Charlie and Alexander made a cute little family in my opinion. They love each other dearly. Out of the series, my favorite character introduction scene is this one.
Alexander Cook tensed, his shoulders hunching as if trying to protect himself from a cold wind. Garret strolled to him, a smile plastered across his round face. He knew Alexander hated the nickname Al.
Just like he knew Alexander hated having his personal space invaded.
Garret slung his arm around Alexander, giving him a hard shake. Light glinted off the earring in Garret’s ear and his bald head. “A bunch of us were thinking of going out, Al. Wanna come?”
Alexander detached himself from the other man’s arm and stepped back. “No, thanks. I have no desire to sit in a jail cell because of some scheme you’ve cooked up.”
“I’m hurt, Al.” Garret pouted. He tried to grab Alexander again, but Alexander managed to dodge him. “You make it sound like I’m a common criminal.”
“You are.” Alexander didn’t give Garret another second, hurrying to his bedroom and sealing himself inside.
The teenage girl on his bed, long legs swaying like tree branches in a breeze, looked up from the thick book she was reading. She smiled, nibbling on her bottom lip at the same time. A lock of honey-blond hair fell into her face and she tucked it behind her ear. Red flashed through her blue eyes so fast that Alexander thought he had imagined it.
He sauntered to her, tilting her book so he could read the spine. Muscles tensed and he jerked his hand away as if burned. He glanced at the door nervously. “Charlie, where did you get that?”
Charlie clutched the Bible to her chest.
“You can’t have that here,” he hissed. “He’s going to freak out. Do you want to go back to the streets?”
The color left Charlie’s cheeks. Silently, Alexander held out his hand and she gave him the book. He shoved it as far as he could under the bed, adding a few pieces of clothing. He’d sneak out later and toss it in the dumpster. No one had to know.
Once the Bible was hidden, Alexander settled on the bed and pulled Charlie close. The scent of her strawberry shampoo filled his senses. “You have to be more careful. You can’t bring any book you want to read here. It’s not safe.”
She nodded against his chest.
“Good.” Alexander’s grip on her tightened.
All his life, Alexander had bounced from foster home to foster home. The parents never understood him and the other kids shunned him. In the last home he had lived in––before aging out––he had met Charlie. She was the first person who hadn’t ostracized him; their friendship began instantly and had become unbreakable. At night, she’d sneak into his room and curl against him like a delicate doll. He’d take the blame each morning to spare her punishment.
When Charlie turned eighteen, he was waiting for her, his arms open for what he considered to be his only family. They had ended up homeless, and, like the foster homes they had lived in together, he took it upon himself to shield her from the harsher side of life on the streets. He was the money-earner, taking odd jobs, but prostitution was the easiest route. Men were always willing to pay for sex. Occasionally, he’d have a female client, but it was rare. Sometimes he’d earn enough on a john to pamper Charlie with a warm bed in a seedy motel.
She never spoke and he never asked why. He was just grateful for her presence. On a stressful day, when money was hard to come by and work sparse, her arms gave him the strength to carry on.
To stop Uriel from freeing Lucifer, Gabriel and his brothers must fall and go to Hell. It is a sacrifice Gabriel is not entirely ready to make. Will he fight alongside his brothers or forge his own path? There is only one choice.
Alexander doesn’t want to help Uriel nor does he trust him, but the angel has promised him a better life. He swore to protect Charlie, and he’ll do whatever it takes. When he meets the archangels and learns the depth of Uriel’s lies, he understands the true meaning of sacrifice. If there’s any hope of stopping Lucifer from being freed, Alexander, Charlie, Zephyr and Lake will have to get to Hell and help Gabriel and his brothers in the fight against Uriel.
The path is finally ending, but the price may be too high.
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