Monty’s invitation to the party had excited her friends–Tawni, Kaine, and Gabriella’s pleading expressions were all the convincing she needed to accept. Gavin had suggested that he drive the humans there, but Chris was certain he could teleport everyone there in small groups. Monty was working with the two groups to figure out a suitable method of travel when Mona pulled Lizzie aside.
“Hey, Liz. I know it’s a lot to ask of you, especially after that shit with my dad way back when, but Aunt Desi isn’t like most of the council. She’s really nice.”
The teenager nodded. “I understand. I’ve been wanting to see her for a while now, but I guess I was just too nervous to ask.”
Mona frowned as she led Lizzie away from their friends and over toward the center of the little park. The Council of Elders had divided into two groups; Mona and Monty’s father was huddled together with a few other older men, carrying on a conversation in hushed voices. The second group, situated between them and the first, consisted of Sal, a woman, and three men. The woman had her left arm linked with that of one of the other council members, and she was speaking to the former prince with a stern tone that contradicted her gleeful smile.
“Tell Micaela to pace herself with her cravings–she shouldn’t finish the entire thing in one or two sittings!”
“I’ll try,” Sal promised, a biodegradable container in his hand.
“And make sure she gets back into exercising. It’ll make all the difference when she goes into labor.”
The young man nodded and took a step back. “I’ll tell her you said so, Aunt Desi.”
“And tell her that it’s perfectly safe to have sex.”
Sal reclaimed the space between them, his lips upturned in a grin. “Can I get that in writing?”
His aunt swatted at him. “Get out of here, ragazzone. I have someone I need to meet.”
He snickered, nodded his good-bye to the older gentlemen, and gave Desi a swift peck on the cheek. He repeated the gesture to Mona and waved at Lizzie before jogging off toward the east.
With that, the prophetess for the Iuppiter Court turned to face the girls. Lizzie knew she would be blind, but her words and reactions almost had her fooled. She would have thought the woman was looking right at her if she hadn’t noticed that her indigo eyes were unfocused, as if she were seeing right through her. She noted how the psychic’s unorthodox irises matched the color that most dominated her aura, with a prominent stripe of royal blue and the rest a pretty tangerine. Her long, raven hair was pulled back in a thick braid, and Lizzie had caught sight of a streak of white folded into the twists. Her cheeks were rounded, her face was heart-shaped, and she was about Mona’s height. She wore a lace midi dress; ruffles adorned the A-line, extending to drape around her slender arms in a cold shoulder effect. The ensemble was held up by spaghetti straps and contradicted the warmer outfits worn by the younger angels.
Lizzie almost felt silly in her winter wardrobe when the psychic clucked, “You like it? Sal’s girl, Micaela, finds these old magazines with the most gorgeous clothing styles, and she recreates them!”
“That’s amazing!” Lizzie gasped. “The color is a little light for my style, but I think it looks great on you. It matches your eyes.”
“That’s exactly what Aldo said!” Desideria remarked, gesturing to the man whose arm she held. He towered over the rest of us, his crow-black hair kept short and parted to the side. He boasted a full peppery beard and wore a long-sleeved fitted cream shirt over charcoal jeans and clay-brown boots. He chuckled over the psychic’s exclamation and held a hand out to Lizzie.
“Hi there, Lizzie. I’m Aldo, Ricky and Sam’s dad,” he clarified, his soft smile mirrored in his spice brown eyes. His energy was a brilliant shade of garnet, contrasted by streaks of sky blue.
“It’s nice to meet you,” she beamed, accepting his hand and shaking it. She then offered her own to the man to Desideria’s right, smiling as he accepted her greeting.
“Remiel–all the kids call me Uncle Remy,” he began, flashing her a wide, toothy grin. His hair was an ink-black series of tight coils kept short, and while he wasn’t nearly as tall as Aldo, he certainly had a height advantage over Desi and Mona. He wore a plain black t-shirt and navy track pants paired with blue and yellow running shoes. “Cici, Nat, and Gordon are my nieces and nephew.”
Lizzie gasped. “I’ve heard about you from Nat! Super speed, right?”
“That’s right,” Remiel winked before seemingly disappearing from sight and reappearing to the teen’s right. He had moved too fast for her to see him actually make the trip, and she was only able to track his movements by the tiger orange blur with a butterscotch tail. The speedster took advantage of his new position to introduce her to the third and final man in their group.
“This is Christian–we just call him Chris Senior,” he joked, though Lizzie could understand what he meant. He was the spitting image of the young teleporter, except his blond locks were pulled back in a low ponytail. His kind eyes were even the same hazel–but his aura was both orange and yellow split evenly down the middle and surrounded by a layer of silver. He shook her hand with a curt nod and a small half-smile before returning his hand to the pocket of his faded denim jeans. They were torn at the knees, giving him a rugged air that clashed with his tan button-up polo. “I’m sure you can guess who’s daddy he is.”
“She guessed correctly,” Desideria marveled, her head cocked to one side.
Aldo, however, was watching me curiously. “How were you able to see Remi?”
“You caught that, huh?” Desi practically sang. “Lizzie can see aura, or the energies that living things emit. While Remi looks like he’s vanishing to the rest of you, she can still see traces of his aura.”
“Really?” Chris Senior asked, just as Aldo praised, “That’s fascinating!”
“A human that can track me?” Remi pouted, though the canary yellow polka-dots that appeared across his energy gave away his playful nature. “I didn’t think I’d live long enough this time around to meet someone like that.”
That’s right, they reincarnate. “Even the color moves really fast–I just noticed your aura in my peripheral, so that told me where you had gone,” she assured him. “I’m still learning what all these different colors and shades mean, though, so it’s not all that helpful.”
“Hey–” Lizzie and Mona turned back to their group in time to see Monty striding toward them with an easy smile on his lips. “You girls ready to go?”
“I think so–” Mona began, only for Lizzie to gasp and spin back around to address the prophetess.
“I almost forgot! I’ve been wanting to thank you for all the stuff you sent me when I first came to the colony,” the human said earnestly. “The clothes, the furniture, the books–”
“Don’t even mention it, passerotta mia,” declared Desideria.
Then the angel did something the human had not expected; she wrapped her arms around the teen’s petite body in a tight embrace. Lizzie recovered quickly, returning the hug as she was filled with a foreign sense of elation. What is this feeling?
Just as the two broke away, Desideria Alagona cupped Lizzie’s face in her hands, kissed her on her forehead, and pulled back far enough to meet her gaze. The young girl was almost certain the angel could see her, even as her irises seemed to vibrate with the same indigo energy that engulfed them.
“You, Elizabeth Peters, are a very special girl. Don’t let the past cloud your future with fear–set your doubts ablaze, watch them burn away, and dance on their ashes.”
Lizzie inhaled so softly that it was almost inaudible. She pursed her quivering lips together, battling the tears brimming her eyes and the puzzling series of emotions that coursed through her.
“I’ll try, Aunt Desi.”
Desideria nodded and released her face, backing away with a sweet smile. Aldo had remained planted where the psychic had left him last, so all he had to do was offer his arm out to her once she was again by his side; Desideria slid her arm around his with no effort just as Lizzie felt a hand brush against hers. She looked up to see Monty standing to her left, his expression as relaxed and patient as always.
“You ready?” asked the prince. The sun had begun to set somewhere behind Lizzie, so warm rays of honey and apricot illuminated his face. His eyes were especially dazzling as they bore into hers, and a quiet voice inside Lizzie admitted that she would go anywhere so long as he gave her that look.
“Yes.” she exclaimed, interlocking her fingers with his.