Fran Veal A twig snapped behind me. Jerked out of my thoughts, I jumped up and spun around. My heart stopped. Before me hair gleaming in the sun, stood an angel. Okay, slight (and I do mean slight) exaggeration. He was tall with muscles that rippled under his red T-shirt. His hair was blond and tousled, with one wave flipped just above his eyebrow. He stood there, staring at me with eyes as deep and blue as the sea. I forgot to breathe. Then the angel frowned. “What are you doing here?” he asked. Okay, so he was also self-absorbed, stern and nosy. My chest started to hurt, and I realized I was holding my breath. It came out in a rush. Who did he think he was, anyway? “What do you mean, ‘what are you doing here’? I was here first.” I stood, planning to have it out with Mr. Perfect. “I’m sorry,” he said politely, “Let me rephrase that. What I meant to say is that I’ve never seen you here before.” His sudden change in demeanor gave me whip-lash. I tried to hold my cool under his steady gaze. I struggled to think of something brilliant to say, but I was, at the moment, absolutely speechless. The angel seemed to be studying me as if puzzled. Finally, he spoke. “You seem real enough.” He paused, brows furrowed, “I’m… Joshua, but you can call me Josh.” The sound of his voice was soft, lyrical, mesmerizing. He looked straight into my eyes without flinching or glancing away. My anger melted away. I had to shake myself to clear my head. I was torn between being captivated and scared out of my mind. He might look like he’d stepped off the pages of a magazine, but for all I knew, his looks were the only good thing about him. I stepped back cautiously, eyeing the trail to my left. “And you are?” he asked, stepping toward me. “Leaving,” I started to back up, but a strong hand grabbed my wrist. My heart was pounding as I struggled to break free.