This is the Young Adult novel I’m working on.

Chapter 1: Lux The First Day

It’s such a strange feeling to know but not remember. I know I’m an angel on Celestial Carnation. But I don’t remember the events that landed me here in this body, in this desk, on Earth. As angels we prepare for incarnation, but my mind is like swiss cheese. When I go looking for a glimpse of a memory, I slip through a void and find myself back at square one: I’m an angel, and a teen at Capital High School. I look out the classroom window, the expanse of where I live filters in fully. Why can’t my memory be as clear as the windowpane? It’s mid-October and a blustery day in Helena, Montana. The high mountain desert cooled from the blistering end of summer temps. Nestled in the valley of the Sleeping Giant, amidst the Continental Divine, the small-town sprawls across the flat land. It’s a thriving web of life nearly engulfed by the mountain chains on either side. Evergreens mingle amongst the crimson and golden deciduous trees, the limbs ready for the dark encroaching days of winter. The leaves twirl and fall from bared branches to the ground. I admire the grace as they let go readying for another cycle of life. I wonder if I’ll have as much grace as I adjust to my new life. Change in nature is predictable. Humans are a different story. I arrived two weeks ago and already I sense how vulnerable it is to be human. In that time, I’ve been watching T.V., Netflix, and YouTube to help bring me up to date with how teenagers speak and act. The rest Celeste and Skyler, my angelic counterparts on Celestial Carnation, filled me in. It’s all a blur in my head. While I don’t know everything one would from birth, I’m hoping I’ve absorbed enough to blend in.

“Miranda?” Mrs. Gloss calls out.

Roll call? Seriously, how embarrassing! Just as I look up to answer, a boy runs through the door. He’s a blur of black sweatshirt as he jumps into the empty desk in front of me. He slides in right as the tardy bell rings. As if he knew I was watching, he turns around and flashes a cool grin.

“Hey, you’re new. I’m Grayson. What’s your name?” He asks.

He slowly takes me in from head to toe. His eyes a deep charcoal gray, like thunderclouds forming during a summer storm—full of electricity which only pulls me deeper into his gaze. His jet-black hair falling just below his lashes. He seems quite muscular, despite the bulk of sweatshirt, but more like a panther than a gorilla. His hypnotic eyes are full of curiosity. Unfortunately, I am unable to avert mine in time. He raises and eyebrow and clears his throat clearly wondering if I’ll respond. But before I can answer, Mrs. Gloss answers for me.

“Miranda, Miranda Lux?” she repeats. She taps her fingers atop her oak desk in the front of the room and looks up from the clipboard, peering above the black reading glasses perched on the tip of her nose, and waits, expectantly, for the student disrupting her morning roll call flow to answer.

Well, here I go.

“Lux, I go by Lux and I’m here.” I look down when I hear the snickers filter around the room. Great! So much for trying to lay low on my first day. I mean, I knew I’d have a hard time fitting in as an Incarnated Angel, but I didn’t think roll call would be it. I scan the room and take in the sea of students, shutting out the murmurs about the new girl and her odd name. They’re kids. I hear Grayson repeat my name softly in a whisper. He nods his head, satisfied with his question answered and turns back around towards the front of the class, but not before catching my eye, sending shivers up my spine. I shake it off, like static cling, unwanted but exhilarating none-the-less.

I continue to glance around the room and realize the students sift themselves into groups. athletes sit in the middle of the room, the academics up in front, the misfits in the back, with the cool crew in between. I wonder where I’ll be placed? I chuckle to myself as I realize I’ll likely exist in the “other” category, kids won’t know what to do with me.  In a simple white T-shirt and jeans, with gray-blue eyes, and golden-blond hair that falls in frizzy waves, it’s pretty difficult to sort me out into the social order. The only item I’m wearing that affords any interest are my motorcycle boots— worn black leather with a bright shiny buckle resting at the base of my ankle with a slight chunky heel used to catch the pedal of a motorcycle that I don’t have nor have ever ridden. I live for these boots. That’s one thing I’ve gravitated towards while here is the fashion.

Oh, and speaking of jock types, my angelic friend and opposite, Celeste jumps up hearing her name during roll call.

“Call me whatever you like, you’ll all know me eventually,” she bows before sitting down. She is confident, sassy and, of course, met with applause from the middle of the room— the jocks. Lead by what can only be the school’s football quarterback, Cade. I know this as his jersey is emblazoned with his name and the number one directly below. Typical. It isn’t difficult to see why she elicits that reaction. She’s tall and lean with beautiful auburn hair cascading down to her shoulder blades. With sun-kissed skin, a sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of her nose and emerald green eyes that gleam from within— she looks like she walked out of a Victoria Secret catalogue.

Skyler, on the other hand, replies “present” when hearing Mrs. Gloss call his name. That’s Skyler, not wanting to cause any ripples unlike Celeste. Where she’s fiery, he’s like sunshine with his shaggy blonde hair, deep ocean-blue eyes and an athletic body. He and Celeste have been here ahead of my arrival for reasons I don’t know. But he’s definitely cemented himself as one of the heartthrobs. When he spoke his name, the girls swooned and sighed.

“Class take out your copy of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and turn to act 2 scene 2. Grayson why don’t you read Romeo’s portion and Lux you can play Juliet.” Mrs. Gloss holds up her worn copy. Black leather with gilded lettering. Thick despite the rice paper pages. We, however, have to read from the non-descript school-issued copies. If they want to encourage reading, the district should invest in more hip stacks.

Grayson ambles to the front of the class, opens his copy, flicks his hair out of his eyes with a quick head nod, and begins. “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the East and Juliet is the sun…” His deep voice resonates in his chest. He pauses and looks at me before continuing.

I sigh, place my chin on my fist and lean forward. A few more girls sigh but this time I get it. Whatever passed between us earlier had an effect on me just as much as his reading has with the teenage girls. Although, I suppose, I’m one of those teens now, too.

I try and relax to take in one of my favorite passages like savoring a delectable piece of chocolate. But my heart beats with hummingbird wings, this will be my first time speaking in front of the class. Grayson abruptly looks up at me and tips his head as he reads the last few lines, “Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, who is already sick and pale with grief.” His expression as if to say “tag, you’re it.”

“Thank you, Grayson. Lux, please continue.” Mrs. Gloss reclines in her chair, the vintage springs creak in protest. She looks at me steadily through her spectacles, while a slight smile forms. I get up from my desk and move to the front of the class. My boots click with each step. Grayson passes me on his way back to his desk. Our hands brush and the same static electricity passes between us. I rub my hand on my jeans. Grayson pauses and looks at his hand then sits back in his desk. The class is quiet. I turn around slowly, aware that all eyes are on me. It feels like Mrs. Gloss is punishing me for my roll call blunder when I look at the passage. Normally, I’d love reading this in the comfort of my own room. To make matters worse, Grayson stares right at me, not through me like the other students.

Apparently, he’d like to witness my embarrassment first-hand. Oh well, here goes.

“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?

Deny thy father and refuse thy name.

Of if thou wilt, be but sworn my love…”

I finish reading the last line and can’t help but sigh then look at the ceiling dreamily- moved by such a declaration of love. I hear a few whispers float across the room. When I look up, I’m greeted by Cades amused brown eyes and a smirk slowly forming on his face.

“Cade, you seem to have something to add, please do share with the whole class rather than limit your insightful comments to those near.” Mrs. Gloss says. She closes her book and marks her the page with the ribbon attached then turns to give him her undivided attention.

“I think it’s a bunch of sentimental drivel, I mean really: stars, love and denying your family name…if Romeo was a real dude, he wouldn’t need to say all that to get Juliet. I mean, she’s just a chick,” he says exasperated to explain himself. He looks around, the other boys nod in agreement, including Grayson, to my dismay.

I want to let this pass, but I feel the need to defend.

“Sentimental drivel? This is Shakespeare, classic literature and one of the most romantic love stories ever told! Who are you to judge?” Why did I have to end that with a question? I don’t want to hear anymore from Cade. My cheeks flush and the heat spreads like wildfire across my face. I don’t need a mirror to know I look like a vine-ripened tomato.

“No offense, really. But Lux, has a guy ever said anything like that to you? I think it’s out-of-date. We should be reading something more contemporary. Don’t you agree?” Cade asks, leaning forward, his elbows propped on the desk top.

And he had to end with a question as well. Why can’t we both just finish this? I do not want to tell everyone that I’ve never had a real boyfriend or any type of romance for that matter.  I look at Skyler for help only he seems to be enjoying this spectacle as well. He offers me a smile and nod of encouragement. I glance over at Celeste, but she’s distracted looking at her polished nails. I look to the girl across the aisle from me, her hair is black as night and falls in tight braids around her face. Her heart-shaped lips are expertly lined and glossed, instead of a smile she slowly forms a heart with her two hands just below her desk for me. The simple nudge gives me the courage to answer.

I mouth, “Thank you” to her.

She nods back smiling, the saucer-sized gold hoops dangling from her earlobes bob in unison.

I take my seat, feeling every eye follow my movement then inhale slowly, buying time before I admit my inexperience.

“Well, I’ve never really had a boyfriend, but if I did, I sure wouldn’t mind him quoting Shakespeare to me. Or better yet, making up his own declaration.” Oh, did I really say that?

“That’s what I thought. Never had a boyfriend. Everything is a foolish fantasy and not reality, time to wake up…Edward Cullen, Jace Wayland, Rowan Whitethorn, and the like do not exist.” With his final statement, Cade dismisses our banter and turns to Grayson who still has his smoldering eyes fixed on me.

Man alive, I wish he wasn’t paying attention. I lower my head and hope my hair covers my face. I may not see him eye-to-eye, but I feel his gaze as I blush all over partly because of his stare but also from the embarrassment.

He clears his throat.

My pulse quickens. He’s going to add to this wonderful experience.

“What my cousin is trying to say,” he looks to Cade then back to me, “is that not all of us believe in hyped romance. That’s all. No offense to those who are moved by the sentiment.” Grayson shrugs his shoulders.

I can’t think of how to respond. I just lower my eyes again and try to retain some dignity. Fortunately, the bell rings saving me from needing to answer.  Grayson jumps from his desk and is out the door before I can even put my book in my bag.

The girl to the left, the one that helped me out with her encouragement, chuckles and says, “That’s our Grayson, he always knows when and how to exit.”  She extends her hand to me. “I’m Alexis and, for the record, I do believe in romance. Would you like to eat lunch with me?” She asks, her face open and sincere. I instantly feel comfortable around her. Her energy wraps around me like fluffy cloud billowing in the sky on a sunshine day.

“I would, thank you!” I say, happy to be making a friend.

“Great. I like to eat in the music hall. It’s a bit out of the way, but we can have space there. I’ll fill you in on the social order of Capital High.” Alexis says, picking up her textbooks, “meet me after your 4th period by the front doors for lunch.”

“Sounds good! If my first class is any clue, I’m going to need all the help I can get!” I scan the empty classroom and wonder if I’ll ever get used to this: High school and being human.

“Just be yourself, and those who are meant to will flock as friends. Those that don’t, screw them,” Alexis winks then pulls her messenger bag across her body, preparing to leave.

“Thank you,” I say shoving my notebook and pen in the front pocket of my back pack, “see you in a few hours!” I zip by bag up and sling one side through my arm. I make it to the doorway then stop, throngs of students heading to their next class fill the hallway like a river with currents and eddies, the directions foreign to me. I step out into the hall and pause near the bank of beige lockers flanking the hallway. The only individuality shown are the various locks protecting the contents. I’m not sure where room 201 is located, second floor for sure, but which way: left, right, left then right?  I scan the map Skyler tucked in my backpack. The high school has three floors that spread like an H with three stairwells, one on either end but the widest smack-dab in the middle of the flow of students.  The gymnasium is on the far end just passed the office and front doors. Beyond the gym, are the auditorium and music rooms, but I won’t need to go there until lunch.

“Lost Lux?” A deep voice asks from behind. I turn around only to be met with Grayson staring down at me amused, his eyes crinkling at the corners from his grin.

“I have a map that’ll take me to room 201.” I say and hold my hands up showing him the glossy trifold.

“I see that,” He says stepping closer, “but it’ll help if you turn the map this way, otherwise you’ll be looking for second period in the parking lot.” He chuckles, turns the map for me, and points to the room on the second floor just to the right of the middle staircase. “If you run up now, you won’t be late.”

“Thank you,” I say assessing the center lane of students that flow up the steps like waiting to enter double-dutch jump rope where timing is everything, then pause to look at his eyes again.

He holds my gaze for a few seconds then asks, “what is it?” The question reflected in his baby blue eyes.

“Your eyes, they were gray in class, but now they look blue?”

“You noticed, that, huh? I have hazel eyes.”

I scan his clothes but nothing blue jumps out.

He chuckles and shakes his head, “my eyes change with my mood, not my clothes,” He says quietly. I wait for him clue me into what blue means, but he just stares back as if daring me to guess or ask.

“So gray and blue, who knows what else?” I raise my eyebrow, “I guess I’ll just have to pay attention to figure out what it all means.” I fold the map up and shove it in the back pocket of my jeans.

“Haha, you better get to class, Lux,” he winks then turns around quickly and is swallowed up by a group of guys headed towards the gym. I watch him walk away and wonder how one boy can elicit so much curiosity. Why do I care? Why do I want to know more about him? And why do I feel this way around him? Excited and wanting more? I have so many questions, but they’ll have to wait for dinner back at the house when I can pepper my angelic family with questions.

I slide into my chair as the tardy bell rings. I sigh relief, making it to my second period. The teacher smiles over at me and says, “Bonjour, Je m’appelle Mademoiselle Coco.”

Before I realize it’s another language I say, “Bonjour, Je m’appelle Lux.” I know it’s French. But I don’t know how I know.

Mademoiselle Coco claps her hands at my fluid French then says, “enchante.” I nod then softly chuckle, if only she knew. Would she be enchanted, or scared to know I’m an angel? Her energy is fluid and silky like the scarves the French wrap around their neck.

I lean back, already feeling at home in this language despite my celestial origin.

Chapter 4: Nox The Hall of Stars

We ambled in through the large wooden double doors, spilling into a grand entryway with gilded molding, crystal chandeliers and a ceiling that rose high up topped with a dark dome studded with diamond stars glittering like the night sky. Outstretched from the center of second floor were two sweeping staircases curving down each side of the hall as if wings cocooning us. The navy walls covered in gold-tipped constellation mosaics that belonged to the Milky Way, including the human Zodiac, as well as our own celestial markers. Dark and Light angels ascended the stairs, more and more filled the spaces in between. Adriel and I made it barely half-way up our flight of stairs, when I noticed the glow angel on the other side flanked with her clique, an angel with chestnut pixie hair and the other with long espresso hued spiral curls. Both, with white wings and in the same dove-white robe and pants we all wore. The expanse of that flight of stairs was only Light Angels, just as ours was wing-to-wing Dark Angels. Almost exactly split in half, a slight ripple of unease glimmered in my center as if an omen. Not that I believed in those things.

In a clap of light, Archangel Michael appeared, directly in the center of the two staircases. His royal blue wings fully unfurled, he was clad in a robe of the same color with metallic symbols embroidered down the lapels. He wore pants of a similar hue, his wings and garb denoting the Blue Ray—his Light Ray. His hair was sunny blonde and eyes piercingly bright sapphire blue, so much so it hurt to look directly at him for too long. Almost as if one was gazing into the sun, the star closest to Earth.

I shuffled my feet and pinched the bridge of my nose, breaking my gaze, the building tension in my temples unbearable from his intense energy. Adriel nudged me, as Lia and Linx elbowed their way up to us, arguing over the best weapons to wield on Earth, and whispered, “if it isn’t Saint Michael himself gracing us with his presence.”

I smothered a chuckle and shook my head, just like Adriel to turn something considered holy into a slam. Even then, it was so quiet you could hear the whirring of the Orrery clicking into the planetary alignment we waited for, ushering in our celestial cohort for Angel Academy.

“Welcome to the Hall of Stars,” Archangel Michael boomed, the lights cut off

suspending us in complete dark save for the shimmering tiles of constellations clicking and moving mimicking the motion of stars, moons and the planets of the cosmos. Some traveled horizontally, while others ticked up high into the dome shooting down sparks and trails of light.

“There is light and then there is living light.” Archangel Michael said then closed his eyes, bringing his hands together in front of his chest, as if praying. A falling    n star dripped from the ceiling landing on the top of his head, it swirled into life, 7 points like a star bent into a crown.

“The Light Ray Ceremony, as you know, will sift you into the various rays that match your energy frequency. You will live, train and study alongside your ray companions while you further your abilities and understanding of the Milky Way Galaxy. Those who are selected for Celestial Carnation, will then prepare for their incarnation on Earth, to walk amongst humans connecting souls with their scrolls.” The gleaming crown bled sparks down the sides of his head, igniting lines that whorled and shimmered, traveling from his neck to his chest, along his clavicle, over his shoulders and out to his arms, arcing back to his trunk, meandering down his legs and finally, swirling at the tops of his feet. A living constellation. The light so bright it shone through his robes as if embroidering living light into the fabric. The symbols on his lapel back lit, reflecting the light as if moving on their own. Archangel Michael opened his eyes, his irises now rimmed in a golden halo and shared, “these are your scroll lines. They connect you with your very essence of the Divine. Your energy is an expression of the Divine, not the sum total. Your Light Rays, while corresponding to your energy expression, only tell a piece of your energetic blueprint, the other is your essence. You will either gleam gold, silver or copper, each corresponding with the Celestial Spheres: Erelim, Ophanim or Deva with a darkened or lightened quality depending on your allegiance to the Dark or the Light.”

The bells chimed above in a melody beckoning dreams filled with moonbeams, stars and light.

“It’s time, the great planetary alignment of the Milky Way is upon us. Wings out, angels.” In a woosh Archangel Michael whirled up and up into the darkened dome, his voice filling the space between, “rise up, angelics and join me for the Light Ray Ceremony is about to commence.”

A flurry of wings and speed carried us up as the dome faded away into a hall of night sky and stars hovering high above Angel Academy. The oval barely a pinpoint below. There were 7 aisles that flowed toward the stage, all full except for the row on the outer edge, waiting for us new angels to take our place. Adriel and I swooped down close, edging into the 4th row of seats from the stage. Close but not too close. The glow angel was two ahead, and honestly, I was surprised she wasn’t in the first row. As if sensing me, she turned around and locked onto my eyes. Hers golden like the purest light from a newborn star, inquisitive and open. Her rosebud lips parted as she studied me, and I felt it. My heart constricted then fully relaxed, as if finally at ease in her presence. What’s your name? I wondered.

Her brows knitted together, as if pondering something then a silky voice responded in my head, Luxiel.

“Did you hear that?” I turned to Adriel, but he was too busy looking at the stash of obliteron stars Linx procured.  I sighed, of course he didn’t hear, unless she broadcast her name out to all. I glanced back, but she faced the stage.

The same fluid voice asked, What’s yours?

            I paused, wondering what I would sound like in her head and articulated, Noxiel.

She jumped slightly in her seat then slowly turned back around.

I grinned. Apparently, my voice was a surprise. And I reveled in surprising people.

She smiled back, her cheeks blushed pink and eyes glowed with specs of starlight.

“Who are you staring at?” Adriel followed my line of sight. His eyes narrowed as he took her in becoming slits like a cat calculating how to catch the mouse then growled, “the glow angel, careful, she could be a distraction.”

“Jealous?” I bristled.

He slapped me on the back, “Never, just making sure you don’t lose your head…” He paused and looked down at my chest, the slightest glimmer emanating through my robes, “or your heart. I need you— we need you— all in.”

“I got your back, you needn’t worry about that.” I frowned, realizing Luxiel was again immersed in a conversation with her two friends.

“She is cute for a Light angel; I just don’t see you with someone like that. Too love and lighter. You need an equal. Someone able to stand next to you and fight. She’s probably destined for the Pink Ray, which is the exact opposite of the Blue Ray.” Adriel fisted his right hand and pommeled it into his left, then leaned back as if the truth needed space.

“I know,” I sighed shrugging my shoulders “she probably isn’t interested in a fighter anyway.”

“Her loss,” Lia piped in, suddenly paying attention.

Linx nudged her. “What? Noxiel is likely one of the most interesting Dark angels here with his history fighting in the astral and other realms. We only joined him a few millennia ago.” Lia cocked her head and stared at Linx, practically challenging him to disagree.

He chuckled and shook his head then said, “I have to admit, I’ve missed your stories.”
“I’ve missed telling them.” I said, resting back in my seat. “But you forget, this is my first time here, I’ve never fought in this galaxy let alone the 3rd dimension.” I splayed my hands motioning to the space all around us.

“None of us have.” Adriel admitted. “That’s the best part of this, we get to crush it together. Can you imagine our practices on Angels Rest and…” he motioned for us to lean in closer then said, “and in the astral realms linked with this dimension, it’s going to be epic!”

“Shhh, about the astral realms, we don’t need stragglers following us there.” Lia chided, tightening the folds in her robe.

Adriel zipped his lips.

“Is that all it takes to quiet you up?” I chuckled then turned back front but not before catching a glimpse of Luxiel, her honey-gold hair slightly billowing in the space breeze. Feeling a connection with her, was new too. I would’ve stared longer but a flash of light brought fourteen golden thrones onto the stage.

Angels new and seasoned, Dark and Light started to hoot and holler.  There were 111 students to each cohort, totaling 777 of us. So many of us, and yet I know 3, well 4 if you count Luxiel. Above us were the celestial spheres, each in their own orbit, marking night. When the spheres aligned concentrically, that’s like sunlight for Earth and marked day for us. A beam opened from the golden sphere, Erelim, joined with the slivery ray from Ophanim then a coppery hue from Deva, all coalesced and connected with each throne. As if on fire, the first two erupted in red flames, the second two, burnt orange like a flickering torch, the third two in blistering yellow light, then green twisting followed by royal blue, indigo and, finally, for the last two chairs the violet flame. The golden thrones pulsed in technicolor starfire denoting all the Light Rays. The separate streams of light shot up from the thrones and intertwined rising high above before connecting 9 stars closest to us that formed the Vestrae constellation. The six brightest stars marked the wings, 3 for each. Then one for the head, another mid-way for the center and the final star the base energy. The throne rays ignited the wings into a kaleidoscope of color, with pink light in the center like a heart and white light surrounded it all in a luminescent outline representing the unity light.

“Look something is coming down from the constellation!” An angel midway from center stage, in our row, exclaimed, pointing to what we all could very well see.

A bright light, fell from the constellation, but rather than descend to the depths of the cosmos, leaving a trail of sparks, it navigated with its new trajectory the stage.

“It looks like a shooting star!” Another angel added, alarmed at the thought.

Everyone hushed in our row, the other 6 rows watched reverently clearly understanding what was happening and not cluing us in.

“It can’t be,” said an angel next to Luxiel, shaking her head. “That doesn’t make sense, we’d be incinerated at contact.”

The angels around us nodded in agreement then turned back to the night sky.

“It’s an angel with something in its hand.” I said, squinting to get as much detail the distance would afford.

“It’s a torch of some sort!” A voice exclaimed.

The light grew closer, 6 large wings tipped in the finest iridescent light flapped rhythmically, the angel’s white-gold hair flowed behind like a trail of stardust. In her hand was a golden staff with a light as bright as if a hypergiant star emitting from the orb on top. The angel was beautiful, wrapped in the same dove-white robes as those of us in this new angelic cohort. She hovered just above the stage.

“Hello angel,” Adriel murmured clearly appreciating her beauty which was unlike anything I’d seen before. “Who is she?”

I shrugged then said, “no clue but she’s Seraphim.”

Adriel grunted. We all knew that 6 wings marked the Seraphim.

Linx and Lia didn’t move, their eyes fixed on the stage, reflecting the pearlescent light sloughing off the Seraphim.

Caelestis Luxiel articulated to me.

I flinched slightly at the voice What did you say? I shot back.

The Seraphim is Caelestis Luxiel repeated.

How— but I didn’t get to finish my articulation back to Luxiel. The star on legs spoke.

A voice rich with all the harmonic tones of the universe intoned, “Hello Michael,” she inclined her head his way. Her robes shifted and shimmered as if made of fabric studded with microscopic stars.

Archangel Michael bowed, his hands coming together in prayer.

Adriel elbowed me, “she’s on a first name basis with The Archangel himself!”

I nodded. “Caelestis”

“Hello Caelestis” Adriel said with a whistle loud enough for the whole Hall to hear.

The crowd chuckled. Caelestis glided to the front edge of the stage and looked at our row then brought the Sceptre down with a tap on the floor. The orb no longer lit at the end of the staff matched the crystal amulet suspended from her neck. It pulsed with an asteris or star formed from the refracted light in the gem.

“Careful now, wouldn’t want you to lose your head,” I joked.

Adriel shot me a wolfish grin, “I can multitask.”

I chuckled and said, “of course you can.” A few angels ahead turned around and shushed us.

Caelestis turned to face the whole audience, maneuvering to the center then said, “Blessings, angelics. Tonight, marks the first stage of the great planetary alignments for the Milky Way Galaxy and as such, the Milky Way Triad. To those in the Cycles 2-7, welcome back.” She turned to them and brought her hands together in front of her chest, bowed, then splayed her palms out sending sparks and arcs of white light into the audience.

Then she turned toward our row, a soft smile playing on her lips. Her eyes glinted pearl white as her scroll lines lit up, not gold or silver or copper, but pure incandescent starlight. It rippled and flowed from her body creating a canopy over us. It sizzled and sparked, I wanted to touch it, but you don’t just contact a star or its light, you let it wrap around you.

“May the love that flows through each of us, the force that moves the stars, the moons and the planets, guide you on your way during this initial cycle at Angel Academy. The Celestial Sceptre is an extension of the Great Celestial Constellation, our angelic mark in the Milky Way Galaxy, seen in distant star systems and universes. When you grasp the Celestial Sceptre your special frequency in this dimension will emerge and blip out into the Milky Way creating a blueprint for your essence.” The back of the stage held a large starcrystal lens propped up on a gold tripod that zoomed in on the galaxy with the little blue planet bobbing as if it was the center of the solar system rather than the sun.

The Celestial Sceptre lit up emitting waves and ripples of bright pearlescent light into the lens zeroed in on Earth which seemed to absorb the energy surge, creating a path for our essence to tether. Caelestis handed the sceptre to Archangel Michael, who stepped from in front of his throne, the other 13 still pulsing with rainbow light streams, and bowed deep.

Caelestis bowed her long white-blonde hair cascading over her left shoulder. She turned to leave then paused facing the angelic crowd, brought her hand to her lips and blew a kiss that transformed into a sheet of sparkling starlight thick like a blanket that billowed then flowed down to us in the crowd. The star kiss tickled and effervesced when it danced atop my skin.

“I wonder what a real kiss would feel like,” Adriel murmured.

I eyed Luxiel and said, “you and me both.”

Adriel shook himself, as if waking himself up and said, “enough of that, not sure what came over me. I’m here to fight and you, sappy angel, keep your head on straight.” He muttered something about the light affecting him and reclined back in his seat, his steely eyes taking in the stage.

“Sappy angel? Really, you were practically drooling at the sight of Caelestis.” I shook my head.

“Well of course, that’s like Miss Cosmos of angels… a once in a lifetime energy.” He grinned steepling his fingers as if that explained it all, then abruptly dropped his arms to his side and ground out, “stop staring at the glow angel. Make her come to you.”

Before I could explain that she had, in my head, Archangel Michael clicked the Celestial Scepter three times and each Ray of rainbow light bathing the thrones receded to reveal the Archangels.