THE CHEMISTRY OF FATE by Meradeth Houston
“They are everywhere, can be anyone, and are always the last person you’d expect.” When Tom stumbles across his grandfather’s journal, he’s convinced the old man was crazier than he thought. The book contains references to beings called the Sary, immortals who are assigned to save humans on the verge of suicide. They certainly aren’t allowed to fall in love with mortals. Which the journal claims Tom’s grandfather did, resulting in his expulsion from the Sary. As strange as the journal seems, Tom can’t get the stories out of his head; especially when he finds the photo of his grandfather’s wings.
Tom’s only distraction is Ari, the girl he studies with for their chemistry class.
Ari has one goal when she arrives in town: see how much Tom knows about the Sary and neutralize the situation. This isn’t a normal job, but protecting the secrecy of the Sary is vital. If Tom is a threat to exposing the Sary to the public, fate has a way of taking care of the situation, usually ending with the mortal’s death. While Ari spends time with Tom, he becomes more than just an assignment, but how far can a relationship go when she can’t tell him who she really is? When she finds out just how much Tom actually knows about the Sary, Ari is forced to choose between her wings, and her heart.
THE CHEMISTRY OF FATE is a companion to COLORS LIKE MEMORIES and is set before the latter takes place. (Check it out on GoodReads!)
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“They are everywhere, can be anyone, and are always the last person you’d expect.”
I should have said the seat was taken before she sat down. I should have gotten up and moved. But there she was, already getting comfortable, pulling a notebook from her bag. I couldn’t bring myself to be rude enough to switch to another spot.
I was staring; couldn’t help it. She was less than a foot away and fidgeting with her pen. She glanced up and smiled; the kind of grin that made her eyes scrunch and told me she’d probably start talking during class. I looked away.
When she dropped her bag next to her feet, she managed to tip my backpack over in the process. My assortment of pens skittered under the seats ahead of us, hiding behind chair legs and other students’ shoes.
“Oh, sorry!” She hurried to grab what things she could, slender hands reaching under seats to catch pencils and paperclips.
My heart almost stopped when she reached for the journal. Why hadn’t I left the stupid thing at home? Her fingers curled around the edge of the small book, and she paused for a moment to meet my eyes; I hoped she couldn’t see the panic in mine. It hadn’t fallen open, but I didn’t even want her touching my grandfather’s notebook. Or any of my stuff for that matter but especially that.
I snatched it from her outstretched hand, knowing my reaction was going to draw more attention, but I couldn’t help it. I buried it back in my bag.
“Thanks,” I said, taking the small pile of school-related detritus from her. Carefully, I stowed them away, making sure the pens all faced in the same direction.
“No problem. Sorry I dumped it all over the place. These rows are so narrow.” She tried to smile, but it wavered and fell from her lips.
The professor started class with a thump on his microphone, and I turned my attention to his lecture. The only way to keep up in this class was to write down everything and pray it all fit together later. It was going to be a miracle if I passed chemistry this semester. Normally science classes were my strong point, but the way this class was taught made it seem like some foreign language with no translation.
After half an hour, the professor had to hunt through his papers for some missing notes, leaving us all hanging half-way through an explanation. My eyes wandered to my bag and the slight bulge the old book made, reminding me it was still there, still confusing me.
I should have left it at home, but leaving it behind didn’t feel right. It bugged me, kind of like the feeling that maybe I’d left my stove on. So I carried it around, taking it out when I had a minute, trying to decipher the meaning of what my grandfather wrote.
It didn’t help that every word it contained unnerved me.
About the author:
Meradeth’s never been a big fan of talking about herself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about her:
>She’s a Northern California girl, but now lives and teaches anthropology in Montana.
>When she’s not writing, she’s sequencing dead people’s DNA. For fun!
>She’s been writing since she was 11 years old. It's her hobby, her passion, and she’s so happy to get to share her work!
>If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she’s terrified of heights.
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