Angel in a Black Fedora
Ciel Björk died a tragic death...but she got over it.
Now she works as an undercover angel, answering people’s prayers.
Chloe is obsessed with achieving perfection to please her unpleaseable father. Chloe’s BFF Austin Powers will do anything to support her in achieving her goal, including helping her win the heart of Bridger Reed.
Ciel is sent to the sleepy little town of Port Fare, New York to help turn Chloe’s dreams into reality. Ciel soon learns that things are not as simple as they seem as secrets are revealed.
Angel in a Black Fedora is the newest book by best selling author Sherry Gammon. A funny and touching tale of life and its challenges.
Angel in a Black Fedora
“Excuse me, beautiful, but is your name Google?” Larry, the goofball guy from my psych class, shouted from across the cafeteria. He grinned widely and continued with his verbal lameness. “Cuz you have everything I’m searching for.”
I, along with almost everyone within earshot, groaned.
I didn’t look to see who Larry was attempting to flirt with, not wanting to add to the poor girl’s humiliation. I shoved the tuna surprise I’d been trying to force down away as Larry spouted another stupid pick-up line.
“Did it hurt when you fell out of heaven?”
I shook my head. “Does he seriously get girls with those come-ons?” I asked my BFF since second grade, Austin Powers—yes, his real name.
“Who’s Larry pestering now, Chloe?” he asked.
I subtly angled myself just enough to see a beautiful blonde goddess strutting her way across the cafeteria.
Oh. My. Gosh. She’s gorgeous.
“Her,” I said with a slight nod. I’d never seen the girl before. She had to be new.
“There are several girls in the room, Chlo. You’ll need to be more specific.”
I faced Austin, or rather Austin’s brown hair, since his face was buried in a book as usual. The guy had bookworming down to a science, which was why he had a full-ride scholarship to Duke next year. Lucky dog.
I playfully grabbed a handful of his hair, nudged his head up, and pointed.
“There.” I stared enviously at the beauty. “Tall, thin, long flowy blonde hair. Perfection. I mean, seriously, the girl’s wearing a black velvet dress, black knee-high boots, and a black fedora, for crying out loud. Who wears a fedora?” And to make matters worse, it looked great on her, as if she were born to wear one. It may as well have been a halo. The girl had it all.
“Look where she’s heading,” Austin said, pointing with his chin. Angel girl continued her strut across the cafeteria toward the table that held the most perfect guy in the world.
“She’s heading for Bridger, my boyfriend.”
Austin cocked an eyebrow at me, his green eyes heavy with skepticism.
“Well, he isn’t my boyfriend yet, but he will be,” I vowed.
“Maybe. If you’d get the nerve to say hello to him.” Austin turned back to his book. “And you’re every bit as pretty as black fedora girl. In fact, you’re much prettier, Chlo.”
Austin was the perfect friend. He always tried to build me up, to make me feel better about myself. He’d been there for me in my darkest hour. No matter what the world threw at me, I knew I could count on him to have my back.
I blew out another frustrated breath as I watched fedora girl plant her hands on Bridger’s table and lean toward him, saying something. I need to learn how to read lips. He threw his head back and laughed at whatever she said. “Now the Adonis is talking to him.”
“Hmmm.” Austin shrugged. “By the way, Adonis was a guy. You probably mean Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love. And fertility.”
See what I mean by smart? Who knows that kind of stuff?
“Austin, I can’t hold a candle to Aphrodite. Besides, you’re hardly a good judge of what makes a woman beautiful.”
He closed his book and met my gaze. “And why not?” His brows scrunched.
“Because you don’t date . . . ever. In fact, I’ve never seen you even look at a girl. Come to think of it, you’ve never had a girlfriend, despite the fact you’re a great looking guy. “ He blushed at my words. Hot and humble. That described Austin in a nutshell.
“Maybe I’m saving myself for a special girl.” He tucked the book into his backpack. “I thought you were going to sign up for the Valentine’s Dance decoration committee. Bridger heads it now, ya know. It’s the perfect chance to get to know him.” He flashed a crooked smile. “If you want him to fall madly in love with you it might help to talk to him.”
I wadded the paper from my straw into a ball and flicked it at him. He chuckled.
“It’s not that easy, Austin. Every time I’m near him my gut aches.” I rubbed my stomach. Even the thought of talking to him made me nauseated.
Bridger’s laugh caught my ear and I turned to look as Aphrodite laughed also.
“She just met him and they’re talking like they’ve been friends forever.” My head drooped. “I can’t even say one word to him. If I try, my hands get all sweaty and my head spins.” I looked at Austin. ”Trust me, throwing up at his feet is not going to impress him.”
“Agreed, but not talking to him isn’t going to do much either.” He wrapped his hand around mine. “Chlo, exposing your innermost feelings can make you vulnerable, and that’s a scary place to be. Trust me, I know. But you have nothing to worry about. He’d be crazy not to like you.”
“Crazy? Seriously? How can I compete against someone like her?” I nodded to the angel in black. “She’s perfect. Absolutely perfect.”
“Enough with the perfect already, Chlo. The outside is nothing if the inside doesn’t match,” he pointed out, like he’d done too many times for me to count.
It was my turn to roll my eyes. “Beauty is everything, Austin. Beauty rules the world. I mean, just look at Bridger’s face. It’s lit up like a Christmas tree. If she were ugly, he wouldn’t react like that.”
Austin shook his head. I knew the look: pinched brow, narrow lips, sternly focused eyes. A lecture was coming.
“Do you remember when you were seven and your dad placed that huge present under the Christmas tree? You and your little sister Holly were so excited,” he said.
“Yes, and when we opened it Christmas day, it was new pillows and bedspreads for our rooms.”
“Exactly. The inside couldn’t compete with the outside, and both you and Holly were disappointed.” He let go of my hand and leaned against the table. “I’m not saying that girl has nothing to offer on the inside, especially since I don’t even know her, but I do know you. You have a whole lot to offer on the inside.” As I started to protest, he quickly added, “As well as on the outside.” Austin knew me too well. It was as if he could read my thoughts. I guess being BFF’s for ten years would do that.
“Thanks. You’re right. It’s going to be true love between Bridger and me. I can feel it in my bones. And do you know what else? My dad is going to love him, too. I can’t wait for them to meet.” I smiled as Austin stood. “Wait, where are you going? There’s still twenty minutes of lunch left.” I glanced at my phone to make sure.
“I have a biology lab I need to che—” Austin’s face blanched as if he’d seen a ghost.
“Hello. My name’s Ciel Björk.”
I turned toward the voice, surprised to see the beauty in question standing at our table. Startled, my breath caught, choking me. Austin patted my back as I coughed.
“Ciel? As in the French word for sky?” Austin asked, his face now lit up like a Christmas tree. He stopped patting me and straightened. Yeah, she’s okay, my butt.
“Or heaven,” she said melodically.
Feeling stupid for flunking Spanish and wanting to feel smart, I said, “Do you spell that like it sounds, C-L, or are there any vowels?”
Are there any vowels? What the heck!
She giggled into her hand. “C-I-E-L,” she spelled as my face flushed. “But don’t be embarrassed. It’s French, after all. You can’t be expected to know how to spell it.”
Beautiful and nice. Great. Now I can’t hate her or I’ll look like a jealous idiot.
“Are you new here?” Austin asked, his ears red. He nervously pushed the strap of his backpack up onto his shoulder, but it slipped back down. I looked away and chuckled to myself.
“Yes, I am. I doubt I’ll be here very long, but for now, Port Fare, New York, is my new home,” she explained. Even her voice sounded angelic. Would it have been too much to ask that something on the girl be less than perfect?
She smiled and settled onto the bench next to me, placing her book bag onto the table. “I just spoke to Bridger Reed and he said you have mythology after lunch,” she said. “Would you mind if I follow you? The layout of the school is a bit confusing.”
“Bridger knows my class schedule?” Excited, I looked at Austin who offered me a simple smile. “I had no idea he even knew who I was.”
“He’s Dr. Bore’s teaching assistant. Bridger has to pick up the roll book from the office and take it to him after lunch. He looked over the roll for me.” She smiled. Her teeth were perfectly straight . . . of course.
“Oh.” I tried not to sound crestfallen. “I can’t believe Bore still uses a roll book. Don’t they use the computer for attendance?”
“This is Bore we’re talking about,” Austin said dryly. “The guy thinks everything is some kind of government conspiracy.” Austin successfully wedged the strap of his backpack onto his shoulder. “I have to get going.” He waved, blushing when Ciel waved back.
“He seems like a nice guy,” Ciel said with a soft smile.
New, and she already has every guy at Port Fare High mesmerized. I thought to warn her that Austin didn’t date when an idea hit me.
“You know, Austin is a wonderful guy. He’d give you the shirt off his back. In fact, I can’t think of anything he wouldn’t do for a friend.” He’d proved his friendship to me a million times over. He’d be the perfect boyfriend . . . for Ciel.“Come on. I’ll show you to Dr. Bore’s class,” I said. And I’ll fill you in on all of the wonderful traits of Austin Powers.