Home > Angry God (All Saints High #3)(3)

Angry God (All Saints High #3)(3)
Author: L.J. Shen

“By the way, your eyelids are moving,” he said drily, chuckling.

He straightened up, his finger making a brief stop at the base of my spine. He snapped his fingers, making a breaking sound, and I nearly jumped out of my skin, letting out a gasp. I squeezed my eyes tighter, still pretending to sleep.

He laughed.

The bastard laughed.

Was he sparing me for the time being? Was he going to check in on me from now on? Retaliate if I opened my mouth? He was so unpredictable. I wasn’t sure what my life would look like in the morning.

That’s when I realized I might be a good girl, but Vaughn had underestimated himself three years ago.

He wasn’t a boy at all. He was a deity.


Shortly after what happened during summer session at Carlisle Castle, I lost Mum. The woman who was so scared of me ever getting a sunburn or scraping my knee went to sleep and never woke up. Cardiac arrest. We found her lying in bed like a cursed Disney princess, her eyes closed, the smile on her face still small and pink and full of plans for the morning.

We were supposed to board a yacht to Thessaloniki that day, a trip chasing historical treasures that never came.

That was the second time I’d wanted to pretend I was asleep while my life took a terrible turn for the worse—for no other reason than because it could. Diving headfirst into self-pity was tempting as hell, but I held back.

I had two options: break or build a stronger version of myself.

I chose the latter.

By the time Papa took a job in Todos Santos a couple years later, I wasn’t the same girl who’d pretended to be asleep when confronted.

Poppy, my older sister, joined him in California, but I asked him to let me stay at Carlisle.

I stayed where my art was and avoided Vaughn Spencer, who attended All Saints High across the ocean. Win-win, right?

But now, Papa was insisting I spend my senior year with him and Poppy in Southern California.

Thing was, the new Lenny didn’t turn a blind eye to Vaughn Spencer.

I was no longer fearful.

I’d suffered the greatest loss and survived it. Nothing scared me anymore.

Not even an angry god.



Lenora, 17; Vaughn, 18


I was born with an insatiable appetite for destruction.

It had nothing to do with what happened to me.

With my life story.

With my parents.

With the fucking universe.

I was wired in messy-ass knots. Made out of metal cords instead of veins. An empty black box instead of a heart. A laser-focused vision to detect weaknesses instead of pupils.

Even when I smiled as a kid, my cheeks and eyes hurt. It felt unnatural, daunting. I stopped smiling early on.

And judging by the way my senior year of high school had started, smiling was not in the goddamn cards for me in the future, either.

“Take ten deep, cleansing breaths,” I could practically hear my mother pleading in her calm, sweet voice in my head.

For once in my miserable existence, I listened. Driving my fist through every locker in the hallway was probably the dumbest way in the world to get kicked out of school and simultaneously break every bone in my left hand, killing my career in the process.

Not that I was here for the sharp minds of my educators—or worse, the bullshit diploma. But unlike my shit-for-brains best friend, Knight Cole, I didn’t have a red, shiny self-destruction button I was eager to push.




F…uck this shit. No.

Lenora Astalis was here in the flesh. Alive, kicking, and in my zip code. In my realm. I’d shoved her existence into a drawer in my brain I usually reserved for unsatisfying porn and mindless small talk with girls before they lowered their heads to suck my cock.

But I remembered her. You bet your fucking ass, I did. My little dancing monkey. So agreeable you could get her to deep-throat a baseball bat if you asked, and not even nicely. Supposedly this was a favorable trait in the fairer sex, but Good Girl was too submissive and pure even for my taste.

Back then, she’d had yellow hair like spun gold, shiny loafers, and a terrified, please-don’t-hurt-me expression. The Carlisle cape had made her look like Hermione Granger’s geekier friend. Voted Most Likely to be Wedgied to Death, Lenora Astalis had the annoying quality of looking perpetually prim, proper, and pathetically righteous.

Now? Now she looked…different.

I wasn’t impressed with the black shit she’d smeared on her eyes and the Goth clothes. They were just camouflage for the fact that she had zero spine and would shit her pants the minute someone dropped the F-bomb near her.

Good Girl was standing by her new locker, her hair now jet-black. She was applying an extra layer of eyeliner (she needed that like I needed more reasons to hate the world) while staring at a pocket mirror glued to the inside of her locker door. She had on an OBEY beanie, but had corrected it with a Sharpie so the word was now Disobey.

What a fucking rebel. Someone should notify the authorities before she did something really crazy, like eat non-organic blueberries in the cafeteria.

“Yo, SourAss Kid, what’s good?” Knight, my best friend, neighbor, cousin, and full-time douche canoe, clapped my shoulder from behind and gave me a bro-hug. I trained my eyes on an invisible spot ahead, ignoring both him and Astalis. With all due respect to Lenora—and I had absolutely none—she hadn’t earned my attention. I made a mental note to remind her where she stood.

Or, in her case, kneeled.

I still remembered how she’d reacted when I slid into her room that night. The way she’d shivered under my finger, brittle like a china doll, practically begging to be shattered. Crushing her wasn’t even going to give me the usual high. It was like taking candy from a baby. There was no kindness behind my decision to spare her. I was naturally pragmatic.

I had an end game.

She wasn’t going to stand in the way of it.

Risk. Reward. Return.

Hurting her would have been redundant. Astalis had kept her little pink mouth shut all these years—clearly intimidated. I knew she hadn’t blabbed, because I’d checked. I had eyes and ears everywhere. She’d kept my name out of her mouth, and when her sister came to live here sophomore year, she’d stayed back in England, probably piss-scared of me and what I was going to do to her. Good. Worked fine for me.

But that fragile trust had been broken the minute I saw her here.

In my kingdom.

A Trojan horse with a belly full of bad memories and bullshit.

“Your Cuntness has that extra shine today,” Knight observed, looking me over as he glided his fingers through his shampoo-commercial hair, the color of buttered toast. He was the star quarterback, the prom king, and the most popular guy in school.

Hey, whatever helped him sleep better at night and pacified his adopted-kid complex.

“I’m surprised you can see anything through the mist of your own self-righteous farts,” I sneered, stopping at my locker and throwing it open.

Just six lockers away from Astalis, I noticed. Karma really was a piece of fucking work.

Knight propped an elbow on a nearby locker, studying me intently. He unintentionally blocked my view of Lenora. Just as well. Her Robert Smith custom didn’t exactly add sex appeal to her already bland appearance.

“You coming to Arabella’s back-to-school party tonight?”

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