“I wish I could find them. Maybe if you told me where Vera was, I’d get some.”
“All in good time.”
“Come on. Why are we here? Do you want to kill me?” We were on the roof of the tallest building in the city.
“If I wanted you dead, it would have happened a long time ago. I want the opposite.”
“You’re not making any sense.” Wind burned my face. All I wanted to do was go home and crawl back into my bed…or Jared’s.
“I am. If you’d only think about it.” He stepped closer to me, making me move away from the wall.
“I am thinking. I think you’re a jerk and a bully. I think it’s time to leave me the hell alone.”
He laughed again. “I’m not your enemy. I’m trying to be your friend here. What I do for you tonight will be the greatest gift you’ve ever received.”
“I don’t want anything from you but my sister.”
“It’s time for you to find out who you really are.” Murphy had me cornered. If I stepped back any further, I’d be a pancake on the street below.
“Who I really am? I know who I am.”
“Do you? Do you know who your parents are?”
“Yes. Tami and Chris Bates.”
He laughed. It was a laugh laced with anger and it chilled me. “Chris isn’t your father.”
“Uh, yes he is.”
“No he’s not.”
I shook my head. None of this made sense.
“It’s true. Vera is only your half-sister, by the way.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“She misses you.”
“I’m not going to believe a word you say.” I couldn’t, it was too much to take in. “Chris is my father.”
“Deluding yourself isn’t going to change the fact that your father is a much more powerful man.”
“I don’t believe you.” I started to shake.
“You met your half-brother recently. He’s a real piece of work.”
“I don’t have a half-brother. Just like Vera isn’t my half-sister.”
“Yes, you do. He doesn’t know about you yet.”
“Who is it?” I didn’t really believe a word he was saying, but part of me was afraid that there could be some truth in it.
“I’ll give you one clue.”
“He’s the king.”
“Levi? You’re telling me Levi and I are related?”
“Uh huh. Think about that, sweetheart.”
“No. Just stop messing with me!” My body shook again. I wanted to lunge at him, but that would only lead to me getting hurt.
“Are you getting angry, Casey? Do you feel out of control?”
I shook my head.
“I told you it was time to find out who you really are.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Take off your sweater.”
“Take off your sweater.”
He closed the distance between us, ripping off my sweater and leaving me in just a tank top.
“What, my sister isn’t enough for you? Now you’re going after me?”
“I don’t want you for that, Casey. Vera’s more than enough for me. Sorry to disappoint you.”
“What do you want from me?” I struggled to maintain my balance.
“I already told you what I want right now.”
“For me to figure out who I am?” I wrapped my arms around myself tighter.
“Exactly.” He stepped toward me once more. “I really hope you figure it out fast.” A grin crossed his lips. “Have a nice time. Let me know how it is for you.”
“Do you know how high up we are?”
“We’re at nearly fifteen hundred feet and you have less than ten seconds to figure it out.” He pushed me.
I lost my footing and had no time to react. My body was launched off the building. The world flew by as I fell freely through the air. I should have been scared, I should have been crying, but instead my body got warm. I felt a sensation I’d never felt before, and a searing pain spread throughout my entire body.
Suddenly, I wasn’t falling anymore. I leveled out, and my heart returned to its normal speed. I glanced back, wondering who had caught me, but I only saw black wings. The truth set in. No one caught me, I’d caught myself. The wings were mine.
The wings moved without me consciously thinking about them. I headed away from the city street, up above the buildings and higher. I laughed. I laughed harder than I ever had before. All these years, I’d had the potential for this? To escape everything? To leave the ground behind? After constantly falling, it was time to soar.