Appassionata is a bittersweet love story about a love that was written in the stars and rewritten on earth between guardian angel, Darien Sommers, and his charge, Veronica Milano.
The star-crossed couple have been in love for over three centuries and are always torn apart from their afterlife when reincarnation gets in the way.
On the earth plane, they thought their affection forbidden, but when circumstances prove catastrophic, they realize their relationship dates further back than they ever suspected.
Fallen angel, Caleb, is adamant on ruining Darien’s life over a matter of revenge, a twenty-year grudge which has seen the murderous rampage of the dark angels rage. Now he’s out for Ronnie, using his power and associates to cause terror after terror in her life through the use of her friends and family. With Ronnie in the shadows of the Angelical world and Caleb fighting for success, it’s up to Darien to save his soul mate before their entire lives are lost for good.


5. How Do You Do

Bite These Buns was a wooden slated building in the centre of Driftwood’s small town. The once blossoming pink paint had begun to chip and fade with age and the rotting panels barely looked promising in keeping the structure in place. It was easy enough to imagine that in its day the cosy building had shone out like a gem in a necklace of tasteless beads, but now, it reflected the uneasy portrayal of its life.
   Inside, practically each two seated and dual set table was occupied, emotion was high. A toddler in a pushchair shook his legs and screamed, an elderly couple laughed and held hands and a marriage going down the tubes could be heard from several yards away. Few waiters were available to the masses and so, rushed around on rollerblades attempting to keep each customer satisfied.
   “Gem!” Ronnie called when she saw her appear from the staff room.
   Gem’s head shot up and she looked more than just relieved. She flew around the tables, skates clicking against the hard wood floor. “You have no idea how glad I am to see you,” she exclaimed as she took Ronnie in a hug, “even if you do look like a complete tramp. Are you okay?”
   “I’m fine.” It wasn’t a complete lie. “How about you, are you okay? You look exhausted.”
   But there was little time for her to utter any kind of response. A car honked outside and Darien waved good-bye before pulling his car away from Simone’s Gallery. He was off to fulfil his “deadly deeds” that were oh, so secretive to him.
   “Did Sommer’s actually just wave at you or are my eyes that ancient that I’m actually beginning to hallucinate?” Gem asked as she pocketed her leather book and perched on the only empty table in the room.
   Ronnie shrugged. “I guess.”
   “He did! I see you blushing.”
   “So what if he did? It’s not like it means anything.”
   Gem’s eyes narrowed and her grey irises appeared to flash a deep purple. Ronnie rubbed her own and looked again. They hadn’t changed at all. “Really I’m just more interested in the why.” Gem smiled. “What’s going on?”
   “Nothing.” Ronnie wasn’t about to go and tell her about the cause of events that had led to him dropping her off, but nor was she about to lie to her best friend. So instead she said, “He works at my mums shop. He came round to collect something from the house for her and offered me a lift into town. I didn’t want to stay in alone.”
   Gem smirked. “By the sounds of things I don’t see you ever being home alone again.”
   “No,” Ronnie mashed her worn out face into her hands. “It’s not like that.”
   “Sure it’s not. That’s what they all say.”
    The oranges, reds, and black strands that co-existed in Gem’s naturally blonde hair, sat in a messy bun atop her head. Her heavily made-up eyes, still remained immaculate, and Ronnie knew she’d come to work from school. Within the entire duration of the day, she hadn’t touched up her make-up once. Ronnie was jealous. Gem’s flawless skin was still shimmering in its radiance; in comparison, Ronnie just knew she looked like road kill. “Think what you want, Gem,” she said, “I know it isn’t.”
   Gem pulled back her seat and lent across the table, pulling Ronnie’s hands to her own. “You need to stop being so pessimistic. Have hope. Believe.”
   “You make it sound like I want him or something.”
   “Don’t you?”
   “No. Of course not.”
   Gem tapped her nails against her cheek. “It may not be what you want, but Fate and Destiny may have other plans.”
   Ronnie shot her a look of disbelief. “Why are you even saying this? I thought you wanted him to be single for you?”
   “I did but I’m not going to be the one to stand in the way of things. I can see when something is meant to be—no matter how much it hurts. You need to go for it.”
   The door opened, the bell jangled and Gem’s face fell. A gasp escaped her in what was not the portrayal of someone enthused to see another. That very flicker of colour alteration reappeared in Gem’s irises. Surely it could not have been a matter of light displacement, such things did not occur regularly.
   Ronnie went to speak but Gem was already on her feet, putting a sure enough halt to any exchange of communication. She stormed toward the customer, anger flaring off her like heat from the sun. “What the hell do you think you’re doing here?” she seethed. “I don’t want any trouble. I already said no to you once. Now leave me alone, damn it!”
   That confirmed it. This was one of Gem’s crazy ex’s who was going to be in serious trouble if he didn’t get out of there—and fast. Gem was at least half the height of this guy’s six foot frame. He had broad shoulders, the kind that showed the defined muscle under his shirt, and black tangled hair that feathered round his cheekbones. His olive skin intensified his brown eyes which met Ronnie’s gaze and a smile pulled at his mouth. “Relax, Gem,” he said, his voice calm and relaxed. “I’m not here to cause any trouble, just to check up on some things.”
   “And what might that be, Caleb?”
   His smile grew and he nodded in Ronnie’s direction. He tried to make his way around Gem but she stood in place. “Like I said, Caleb, I want no trouble. Don’t act like that’s not what you’re here to cause.”
   “And don’t act like you don’t know that I’ll create a scene. How can you be so dumb?”
   “Because you don’t know half the intentions the universe has planned for you and someday all your darkest deeds will come back to bite you on the butt. I don’t want anyone in the mix when it comes to that.”
   Caleb scowled, he didn’t like that response. “Not if I have anything to do with it. Now, if you’ll please excuse me, Gemini.”
   Gem allowed her shoulders to fall as she dropped her hand from Caleb’s arm and slowly stepped away, returning back to the table with Caleb following behind. Ronnie had not seen Gem lose power before, but this Caleb guy seemed to possess a lot over her and truthfully, it was intimidating. If he could lower Gem, the strongest person Ronnie had ever come across, there was no use in trying to deny the inevitable: she was bound to sink.
   They both sat down. Caleb was the first to talk. “So, I’m guessing you must be the famous Veronica Milano. I’ve heard such a lot about you.” It wasn’t a question; he was sure of his comment and knew it.
   Ronnie nodded. “I hope the buzz is good”.
   “It is. And it just got a whole lot better.” Then Caleb turned to Gem. “Don’t you have some work to be getting on with?”
   Gem seemed anything but concerned for getting back to her shift and, had it not been for another member of staff calling for assistance, Ronnie doubted she would have left at all. She slowly raised herself from the chair, eyes on Caleb like that of a child who needed to be watched constantly. “I’ll be back as soon as I can, Ronnie.” she assured. “And as for you”—she pointed a stern finger at Caleb—“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t.” Then she left.
   “She’s a hard one to handle, don’t you think?” Caleb asked once Gem was out of ear shot.
   “I wouldn’t know. I’ve not seen her quite so . . . frazzled, before.”
   “No?” he rubbed his hand along the stubble of his jaw. “Then you mustn’t have known her nearly as long as I have then.”
   “That or I haven’t managed to tick her off quite like you have.”
   “Yeah, that could be it. How long have you known her?”
   “About a year.”
   “That long, huh?” he seemed to consider this. “Time sure does fly.”
   “Yeah, it only feels like I transferred over last week.”
   “Ah, so you’re an out-of-towner? What brought you here?”
   Ronnie frowned and twirled a strand of hair through her fingers, it was dry now.  “My parents filed for divorce and I wasn’t sure whether to stay with my dad and sister or come and live with my mum here.”
   “And now you’re here to stay?”
   Ronnie nodded. “For now.”
   Caleb smiled. Well, he almost smiled. It was more like a forced lifting of the lips slightly at either corner. He stood up, ready to depart, just as Gem’s pleased features emerged from behind the counter. Ronnie felt vulnerable and tugged on the hem of her jacket. It had a cold unfamiliar roughness to its texture and she realised she still wore Darien’s leather jacket. It smelt of him: musky with a hint of muddy earth and rain water. She pulled it tighter, basking in the presence that was him. Even though physically he failed to be in attendance, the jacket carried much of his personality.
   She took inventory of herself. With her jogging bottoms and tank top she had to look a sight of amusement, especially with the way the leather swamped her.
   “It’s nice,” Caleb complimented, eyes following hers and roaming over it analytically. “Familiar too, do you mind if I see it?”
   Ronnie shrugged, beginning to shimmy her way out of it. “It’s not actually mine it belongs to—”
   “I just got off shift and am dying to get to work on thinking up ideas for our little project,” Gem interrupted as she pulled the jacket back over Ronnie’s exposed shoulders. “Is that alright with you?”
   For Gem’s benefit, Ronnie followed her lead.
   “I was on my way out anyway.” Caleb explained.
   Gem tweaked her head to the side, her rainbow cascade of hair falling to the side in numerous spiky ends. “And I was just speeding up the process—nothing quite like being prompt, hey?”
   Caleb dug his hands into the pockets of his jeans and started for the door. “I’ll catch you later then.”
   “Not if I have anything to do with it.” Gem called after him. “Come on, Ronnie. Let’s get out of here.”
   Ronnie rose from her seat. She felt bad for Caleb, he was only trying to be friendly and Gem had dismissed him like out-of-date meat. She wanted to know what their relationship was, how such bitterness had been conceived between them. Though, what with Gem’s current state of mind; Ronnie would keep her lips sealed—at least until Monday—when she too, wouldn’t be so worst for wear. Then she’d find out whether this impulse she felt to stay away from Caleb was anything worth listening to.

The back room was small and blue. There was a wooden coffee table in the centre surrounded by a few old chairs and various kitchen appliances. Ronnie had meant it when she’d planned not to ask Gem anything to do with her relationship with Caleb, but when Gem had introduced the topic surrounding him, she figured it was okay.
   “I hate that guy,” Gem retorted, scraping back a chair and slamming into it with great distaste. “There’s something about him that really grinds my beans. He’s not right—and not in a good way.”
   Ronnie sat down, uncertain of an appropriate response. Surely “Why?” was acceptable enough.
   “I don’t know,” Gem said, reaching back to grab a pack of cookies off the counter. “We were a little more than friends a while ago and there was always this hidden agenda I felt he had when I was around him.”
   “What gave you that idea?”
   “Everything he said just seemed to have an underlying meaning. I asked him about it once and he told me not to read into it too much, said I would know when he was ready for me to know. I have to admit I think he’s a psycho,” Gem said without a hint of doubt. “Cookie?” She held out the packet.
   “No thanks,” Ronnie said. “Did you ever find out whatever it was you felt he kept hidden from you?”
   “Nope,” there was something like a lie suggested in Gem’s tone. “I ended things with him before it went too far. I was always concerned for my safety when I was around him.”
   “He tried to hurt you?” Ronnie was shocked—no wonder Gem didn’t like him.
   “No, but if I had have stayed with him any longer I think it could have come to that. Maybe not in a physical way—I don’t think he’d go as far to do something like that—but definitely mentally. He’s twisted. I’d stay far away from him if I was you.”
    Ronnie pursed her lips. “Believe me, I plan on it.”

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