Cascadence of Truth is book six of the Not The Same River series. This is part of an early scene from the first draft.
When you get home all sweaty from training and there’s a perfectly turned out archangel begging for a favour …
When I got home from training, Uriel was waiting for me in the drawing room, drinking coffee from a bucket-sized cup. I hadn’t seen him for a couple of weeks. According to War, he’d been sunbathing on a volcano, but he looked as pale and beautiful as ever. Green tweed never looked so good.
And there I was, looking like I’d barely survived a wood chipper. My hair was braided, but that never stopped the frizzy halo from circling my sweaty face. I hadn’t even had time to change.
“Hot date?” I said, throwing myself onto the sofa, too exhausted to care how soggy and gross I was making it.
He looked down at himself and raised an eyebrow. “Seriously? You think I’d wear this on a date?”
“Uriel, you could wear a binbag on a date, and they wouldn’t care.”
“But I would.” He shuddered. “You have appalling ideas in that head of yours.”
“I thought you were on holiday.”
“Did you?” he said, both eyebrows raised.
He huffed. “Trust me, it wasn’t a holiday.”
“So what’s up then? What are you doing here?”
“I’ve come to beg. I’ve been at the uni again this morning. Silas is out of control.”
I laughed, because from what I’d seen of Silas, he had plenty of control. His powers got a little trippy every now and then, pulsing out of him when they shouldn’t, but I didn’t think that was the kind of control Uriel meant.
“What’s he done?”
“He got into a fight. And when he was asked to account for himself he told a member of the faculty to go copulate with his good self.”
“Why did he get into a fight?”
“He wouldn’t say why. Only that it was a direct result of the college’s failure to uphold their own policies.”
I blew out a breath. “Shit! So, he’s been crusading?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that he must’ve already seen a problem, asked them to address it, and when they failed to do it, he took matters into his own hands.”
“You got all that from what I just said? I think I should just let you adopt him. You’re already a better parent than I am.”
“Not really. This is just the sort of thing Leia used to get herself into, and probably still does for all I know. She set up a petition at school once to have bra pinging put on the school’s bullying policy as sexual harassment. The school ignored the petition. We had a male deputy head who actually said the words ‘boys will be boys.’ To Leia.”
“What a fool.”
“Exactly. She spent the next week following him around pinging his pants, saying ‘girls will be girls.’ He must’ve secretly enjoyed it because it took a whole week to get a meeting set up.”
“And did it stop the bra pinging?”
“Not really. Some boys are just arseholes.”
Uriel snorted. “Ain’t that the truth. I’m worried, Violet. He has no friends to speak of. Hazy said he doesn’t stick around after training. Everyone at uni gives him a wide berth. God knows I can’t get through to him. He looks up to War, but isn’t sociable with him either. Arlo is only a little older but they’re both so stubbornly solitary that they repel each other like magnets. Come and meet Silas properly, darling. He needs a friend his own age.”
“I have met him. He’s just not much of a talker.”
“He actually did have a couple of friends at one of his schools. Caitlyn said he was really upset to leave that one, but there’s been nobody since. And you haven’t met him in a stress-free environment, have you? It’ll be different meeting him when nobody is trying to kill you. Please? For me, darling.”