What's Worth Dying For

Avalon Burge knew why she shouldn't like Gabriel Woods. But she couldn't help herself. It's not like she knew before they became friends, but she'd seen the signs and chose to ignore them. Their types weren't supposed to mix, but something about Gabriel was different. Start reading to find out about the demons and angels in all of us, what happens when they form a forbidden friendship and what they experience when their true natures start to burst through. Please comment your thoughts and some of your own stories! I will read them!! :)

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1. Prologue

       Simplicity and ease. That is all life meant to Stella Jones, for then, it was all she knew. Living in a quiet, suburban neighborhood, surrounded by friends. At the tender age of nine, she encountered each day with an attitude as bright and stunning as her blazing red hair.

       The day continued as normal, coming home from school and playing with the other neighborhood children.They had chalk of all different colors and soccer balls to tennis balls galore, supplied by the mothers. All of their toys were scattered around Stella's yard, their main play spot. Their bright colors catching your eye against the dull, light brown color of her house. There was one boy Stella was particularly fond of, Alex, he lived next door. She thought Alex was awfully fond of her, too.
          Stella considered herself friends with all eight of the neighborhood children, except for one. Ben, who lived across the street, who hated the cold, who rarely came to join them and kept to himself.
        The weather was cooling down, summer giving in to fall's persistent pushing. The crisp breeze blew Stella's hair behind her like a flame and ripped through her thin fleece, but she didn't mind. She'd just finished drawing a purple flower on the sidewalk (which she was very proud of) when she heard footsteps coming from behind her. She glanced up and was surprised to see Ben, his blond hair ruffled from the wind and his brown eyes conflicted. "Can I play?" he asked, his voice small and unsure.
          "Um, yeah," she replied, patting the ground next to her, "I was going to draw a tree, and you can draw some birds, or whatever." He cautiously sat down next to her, already reaching for a red piece of chalk, his posture relaxing. Stella thought for a minute, she hadn't expected him to be so... Normal.
          After drawing a yellow tree trunk, for there was no brown, she was reaching for a bright green when she saw what Ben was drawing. It was this red creature, on all fours, wearing a wicked grin. "What's that," she asked slowly, careful not to sound judgmental.
        Ben looked at her and frowned. "That's me."
          "No, it's not," Stella countered, "That's not what you look like." His eyes hardened and he stood up. Stella dropped the green piece of chalk and stood, too.
          "Yes it is," he snarled and stalked away. The tone of his voice told her she shouldn't go after him. He'd just wanted to draw with her and she'd made fun of his drawing. She was no better than any of the other children who taunted him about everything he did.
        Stella sighed and sat back down, defeated. She drew a normal Ben next to the one Ben drew.
        After a while of deep thinking, she decided she might as well join the other kids. She saw Ben sitting against the thick oak tree that dominated most of her front yard, his head in his hands, the thick branches splaying shadows across his delicate shape.
            Stella was quickly welcomed in to the game they were playing. They tossed a tennis ball as high as they could (which wasn't very high) and tried to catch it before it hit the ground and bounced away. Reluctant at first, she eased out of her sullen mood and began to enjoy the game. It wasn't until a little later when she saw Ben out of the corner of her eye, coming to play again, his expression guarded.
          Something was off about him, Stella thought, he was so easily angered and nasty when so, but it didn't suit him. There must be something else at play, she figured. But she couldn't even begin to fathom what it was.
          One of her closest playmates, Mae, was reaching for the tennis ball as it fell when Ben bumped into her, knocking her down. He stepped back instantly. It wasn't an accident, Stella could tell when she saw his face contort right before he slammed into Mae. The ball had dropped to the ground and Ben picked it up, offering it to Mae as she sat there, her eyes full of tears. "I... I," Ben stammered, "I didn't mean to." His voice matched his blank expression. Mae picked herself up and walked away and Stella was tempted to follow her, to comfort her, but something told her to stay. It made her feel better to see Lydia jog up behind Mae and gently place an arm around her.
          "Look what you did now, Ben," Alex sneered, "Can't do anything right, can you?" Ben grimaced but said nothing. He clenched the ball tighter in his hand. "Well," Alex continued, "What do you have to say for yourself?"
          "I said I didn't mean to, I didn't want to knock her down." Stella looked at him in disbelief. Did he not understand that they all saw him bump into her, that you couldn't knock into someone that hard by mistake?
        "Get out of here," Alex demanded. Ben turned swiftly and started to walk away, across the street, to his large gray house that made Stella's look small in comparison. "The ball," Alex added. Ben stopped, standing in the middle of the road, his body stiff, and let go of the ball. Then he kept walking, leaving the ball stranded in the street. No one moved until Ben disappeared behind his house.
        "I'll go get it," Stella murmured. She stalked out into the road, her eyes on the ground, deep in thought. Which is why she didn't see the car speeding towards her.
        "Stella," Alex shrieked. Stella turned around, blue eyes wide, as a red Prius slammed into her.
        She heard a muffled scream, cut off as she felt her head hit  the pavement with a sickening crack. It must have been her own. She didn't feel any pain, just a numb feeling, as if she was in a dream. Her vision cleared and she saw Ben's gray house and Ben's head in the window. His face a mask of horror. Then blood trickled into her eyes and she saw nothing. Black engulfed her and she felt nothing at all.

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