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Prologue


Dying young should not be so peaceful.

The thought wrapped around me slowly. Nor had I supposed dying would feel like being bathed in warm, afternoon sunlight.

Perhaps I was already dead.

Yet, sharp gravel pressed against my legs. I heard tortured metal creaking nearby. The smell of burnt rubber hung heavy in the air. I felt amazing warmth cradling my back.

Puzzled, I tried to sit but agonizing pain exploded through me and I froze, unable to move, unable to think, until the warmth against my back intensified, soothing away the pain.

As I started to drift back to the peaceful oblivion, I heard my name, whispered like a soft breeze, coaxing me to open my eyes.

Then I knew I had died.

I was caught in the gaze of an angel.

His eyes were the deepest blue, like a summer sky just before dusk. For several long minutes as I lay captured by his solemn gaze, an astonishing understanding dawned on me.

His existence gave meaning to mine. Even more incredible, my life gave reason to his. The conviction blazing in his eyes told me I was not mistaken.

I marvelled at the awareness coursing between us, until spasms of diamond sharp pain suddenly robbed the air from me. But what I saw in his eyes shocked me more than the crippling pain. Despair had darkened them to almost black.

No!

I fought for air, each tiny gasp excruciating, until I was exhausted.

Blackness stole me away, and with just the memory of him for comfort, I took every precious second of it with me.


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