Authors: Jennifer Anderson
His mind coming back to the matter at hand. She had other abilities, that he was sure of. He heard enough talking in hell to know more than one demon is interested in her. From the top of the rung, to the bottom. The bottom feeders are interested in any human soul. The top is only interested in the most powerful and useful of souls. If he was unsure coming back, he wasn’t now after taking the head of the demon in his basement. Running his fingers down his abdomen where he took a claw, only hours ago. It made sense now why the High Council picked him, the most powerful earth bound angel. Still, I’m protecting her against an army. Inadvertently pulling her in closer to his side. Did she know she had other abilities? He knew the answer to that question. He could tell from day one she was hiding something from him. Her reasoning in doing so, he had no idea. She had trust issues, that was obvious. A lot of humans do, her more so. However, he couldn’t dance around the subject any longer, he had to know exactly all the variables he was dealing with.
Taking a deep breath, he started to shake her awake. “Carma.” He whispered regretting instantly having to do so.
Startled, my eyes snapped open and I sat straight up reaching for the knife on the night stand.
“Easy angel girl. It’s only me.” Blane said smirking at the reaction of a fighter.
“Blane! Oh my God! Are you alright?” Laying back down beside him, trying to slow down my now speeding heart. The fear still vibrating through me.
“I will be. I am almost healed.”
My abilities now gone again. Wondering if it had anything to do with his injuries. “Where the hell did you go?” I said smacking his arm sitting up next to him again.
Looking up at her in disbelief, he couldn’t believe she had the nerve to smack him.
“Don’t do that to me again. I was so scared.” Now reaching down to hug him. “I’m so glad you are alright. I was so worried.” Pulling back to a sitting position again. His arms never reaching back around me. I didn’t care. I was just happy he was alive and on the way to being well again.
Startled by first the smack and then the hug, he wasn’t quite sure what to say in that moment. She was such a strange combination of a human.
Uneasy of the silence, “Why did you leave me with pretty boy? He got his ass whooped in zero point two seconds Blane.”
Forcing himself in a sitting position, he didn’t like how vulnerable he was laying down. “Speaking of that angel girl. You have some explaining to do.”
Shifting uneasy, “What do you mean?”
“Would you mind explaining to me why the most powerful demons are after you? And before you lie to me again, I know there is more to it than having just strong empath abilities. So, don’t insult me by lying to me again.”
“How did you know?”
“Answer my question first.” Blane said.
He now sat there, his arms crossed in front of his solid mass of muscles. His perfect hair tousled everywhere. He made it hard to concentrate on the question at hand.
“Fine.” Turning away from him and putting my feet on the floor, I stared at the door. I couldn’t believe I was about to tell him this. I have never told anyone. Fairly certain my life depended on it. Now even more so. “I can discern lies.” My voice cracking as I said this.
Looking back, Blane’s eyes was closed and he was cussing under his breath. I was fairly sure I was completely screwed at that moment. “So, how much trouble am I in for?”
Between clenched teeth, “Anything more I need to know about?”
“Isn’t that enough?” Pulling my hair back into a tight pony tail. Fidgeting with anything I could get my hands on.
“Oh it’s more than enough. Still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense why the most elite demons are on our tail.” No point in making sense of any of it. They decide they want something, then all sense goes out the window.
“I’m not going to make it through this alive am I?” I asked turning towards him, tears burning behind my eyes. Still refusing to cry in front of him. Never wanting to show weakness. If I am to die, I’ll do it with as much dignity as possible.
He didn’t like the thought of never seeing her again, of this human ceasing to exist. “Not on my clock angel girl.” He said mustering up the best smile he had.
“As much as that eases the pain, you can’t protect me forever.” Now letting the depression wash over me in waves. Distracted by his warm smile.
“Your forgetting. It’s not forever. You have 80 more years at most to live. That is a drop in the bucket for my kind.”
“I know that’s supposed to make me feel better, but it really didn’t.” I said unable to stop the laugh that escaped out of me. It sounded more of an hysterical half laugh, half sob.
Sucking up his pride, he reached out and pulled her down next to him, holding her in his embrace.
I loved having his arms around me. Never knowing what it felt like just being with someone so gentle, and dangerous at the same time. Being next to that person, held by them without the pain that came along with it. The only pain I felt at this moment was my own aching heart. “Blane?”
“I don’t want to be some knife wielding eighty year old elderly person fighting off demons in a nursing home.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m saying if there is no hope for me, I don’t want you wasting your time, and your life protecting me.” Now more worried about him, than myself. I didn’t like anyone putting themselves in harms way for me. As a child, my foster parents would think I was ridiculous if someone were to even stomp on a bug in front of me. I would cry and have a melt down unlike no other. Maybe it was my abilities that made me more empathetic towards any living soul, maybe it was just me. I don’t know, but I’d rather be dead and gone than have any other soul feel an ounce of pain that was meant to be for me. Before I thought he was an unshakable angel, unable to be hurt or feel pain. I was wrong. The rules have changed and my mind was made up. This wonderful man slash angel wasn’t going to stick his neck out for me. I would leave him when the time is right. I would bare the pain and die in dignity.
“Carma, you are my assignment. I will protect you until my assignment is complete. I never turn my back on a job.”
That stung. I didn’t want to be an assignment. That fact was even more unbearable than at the hands of a demon. I was falling for this unattainable man. The first time where I thought I was falling for someone was in high school. That fact was thrown back into my face when I figured out it was all a ploy to get down my pants. Then again, right after high school. He was handsome, charismatic, smooth talking and about six months later I found out very much married. I should have known sooner. I just didn’t ask the right questions. He never felt guilt around me. A true testament to how much of a dog that guy was. Cheating on his wife and kids, never feeling the least bit guilty. Looking up at Blane, he was obviously the cream of the crop. Overwhelmingly handsome, powerful, strong, motivated, proud, the list goes on and on. If I wasn’t so busy staying alive, I probably would have noticed my growing feelings sooner. Not being able to gauge anything from him was a blessing and a curse at the same time. Wanting to know how he feels, but having the perfection of him shielding everyone’s feelings from me, including his own. Such a double edged sword. Only feeling what he is feeling when he was injured. I decided at that moment that I should probably tell him that also.
“Blane?” His arms still held tight around me, almost painfully. I didn’t care. Just as long as he didn’t crush any ribs, I was happy where I was at.
“Although my abilities were mild, they came back briefly while you were injured. Any thoughts as to why?”
“They did? Were you able to get anything from me?” Hoping she would say no.
“Pain, a lot of pain.”
Sighing and nodding his head. “My powers were not at their strongest. That is probably why you were able to pick it up from me. Now that my powers are almost completely back, they are more than likely acting as a shield again.”
“I see.” Holding tight to his warm body, enjoying these few fleeting moments.
“I did not hurt you did I?” The concern in his voice obvious.
“No, it did not hurt. I was just worried about you.”
“There is no need to worry Carma, it takes a lot to kill an angel. Even an earth bound one. Almost impossible.”
“Almost impossible, is still to much in the possible range.”
“Let me worry about things. Just stick to me and you’ll be fine.” He said as much to himself as he did to her.
“Well then don’t leave me with pretty boy anymore.” I said grateful that he stuck his neck out, but he wasn’t Blane.
His grip tightening, “Owe. What the hell.” I said rubbing my arms.
“Sorry.” Loosening up his grip. “I forget how fragile you humans are sometimes. Why do you call him pretty boy? Are you that attracted to his looks?” His nerves now grinding.
“Oh, no. No. No. Are you kidding? No.” I said stammering out my response.
Smiling now, “Then why?”
“It isn’t meant to be a compliment. He just dresses really nice, and seems like he puts in a lot of time in his looks. He is handsome don’t get me wrong. He just looks high maintenance. That, and I said it to annoy him.”
“You think Gabriel is handsome?” His anger churning back up again.
“Well yeah, he’s handsome. Not my type but, he is handsome. I’m sure all angels are beautiful.”
Relaxing a bit, “Do you think I am handsome then?” Staring down at the top of her head, the strawberry scent still assaulting his senses.
“Well, duh.” It wasn’t the most charming retort I could think of, but it was all I had.
“Duh, usually means something is obvious. However, nothing is obvious with you Carma.” He countered.
“Fine. You’re gorgeous. Geesh, you angels are a vain sort of group aren’t ya.” I said, my cheeks growing warm.
He knew it was her defense mechanism, and didn’t take much mind in the compliment that was back handed with an insult.
“Can’t we change the subject.” Suddenly uncomfortable in his arms.
“Fine. When did you first know that you could tell when someone was lying?”
This necessarily wasn’t the subject I had in mind. Sighing, “Well, soon after I acquired my empath abilities. I just knew. It didn’t make dating easy that’s for sure. Did you know most males lie in high school? Heck most lie out of high school for that matter.”
“I didn’t attend high school, but yes I imagine most would.” Snickering.
“I can’t tell if you ever lie. I don’t like it.” Looking up into his face.
An eyebrow arching up at me now, “You could just ask me if I lie.”
Laughing, “I wish it was that simple. Fine. Do you lie?”
“I’m an angel. I have no reason to lie. If I don’t want someone to know something I just don’t tell them. If they ask and I don’t want them to know, I tell them that. I’m not concerned if it hurts feelings or not.”
I could respect that. Being hurt by the truth is so much better than being hurt by lies. “You know I think I actually believe you.” A first for me.
“Have I given you a reason not to?” He asked still holding me in his gaze.
“There is your answer angel girl.” Smirking at me.
“Are you going to tell me how you got hurt?”
“I was in hell. I had to find out who was after you.” Brushing it off like he just went down town to the local grocery store.
“Hell? As in hell?” Pointing down to the ground.
“Yes, that is the one and only.”
“Why would you do that? Are you crazy? What were you thinking Blane?” Mad as hell at him for putting his life in danger.
“I did that because I needed to know what we were up against. Last time I checked I wasn’t crazy, and I was thinking about protecting you. You need to go back to sleep. You need your rest. No more questions.” He said pulling away from me, holding his side as he slid off the bed.
“Sure, besides I’m sure you’ve done that for a lot of your assignments.” Trying to make myself feel better.
Stopping on his way to the bathroom for only an instant, “No, never.” Walking in and shutting the door behind him.
Well didn’t that just make me feel even worse.
Sitting down on the edge of the hot tub he didn’t really have any reason to go to the bathroom, other than he needed some time away from her. She was too intoxicating, making it hard for him to focus.
Turning over and shutting off the lamp, I was shivering. Knowing it was not from being cold I pulled the blanket up to my chin anyhow. Nerves had gotten the best of me today. Trying to put on a brave front, truth be told I was terrified inside. Always knowing I would never lead a normal life, this still wasn’t what I had in mind. Shacked up with an extremely hot, deadly angel. Demons chasing me for the rest of my life. Letting a tear escape from my eye and fall onto the black pillow case. I took a deep breath and held back the flood gates. He was only in the next room and I knew he would hear if I started to cry. Feeling everyone else’s emotions for years had made me an expert at ignoring my own. Pushing them back, never letting weaknesses show. It takes a toll on a person after a while, until you feel like all that tension is cooking up into a ticking time bomb.
The dream was the same as always, never any new details. The enormous angel standing over the bassinet, hands white knuckled on the sides, weeping. My heart aching each time I am forced to relive that dream. Rubbing my eyes, the curtains were now open letting the morning light trickle in. Blane wasn’t next to me on the bed, looking around he was no where to be found. Just as I started to panic he walked out of the bathroom with a towel tied around his waist. Looking absolutely beautiful, and very healed. My line of vision traveling down to his abs again, then back up to his stunning eyes.
“You’re awake. I figured you would sleep at least a couple more hours.”
His towel sifting off being replaced this time by a black pair of dress pants, and a white button down shirt with a tie. He looked unbelievably gorgeous. However, he always looks unbelievably gorgeous.
Lifting a finger, “What’s up with the clothes?”
“We have to go check on something today. Briefly.” Tucking his shirt into his pants.
“Um okay. Mind if I take a shower and grab something to eat first?” The food appeared beside my bed and I heard the shower flip on in the same instance.
“Please. But do make haste. I want to get back before we start getting hunted again. Your clothes are in the bathroom.”
Grabbing a bagel, I was starting to get annoyed with him dressing me. Walking by him, there was a beautiful white sundress with a pair of white heels sitting on the floor. What? Was he psychic? Wanting to scream in delight and run towards them I controlled myself.
“Is that outfit pleasing to you?” He asked smirking.
“It’ll do. Thank you.” Walking in and closing the door quickly to hide my sudden excitement. Taking another bite of the bagel I relieved myself and quickly stepped in the shower. It felt heavenly after sleeping in my clothes all night. Blane’s blood still stained my arms as I scrubbed them clean. Washing my hair quickly, I was surprised to see strawberry scented shampoo. Doubtful that is what he used, I smiled. The things that man notices. Finally, I stepped out feeling refreshed. Drying my hair as well as I could, I tied the long locks in a braid going down over my left shoulder, fastening it securely.
Stepping into my dress and pulling it up, it fit like a glove. I seriously needed to do some undergarment shopping today. Way to embarrassed to ask him to supply those needs. The dress went mid thigh and felt wonderful. Slipping on my heels I felt like me again. Sighing, and turning around looking at myself in the mirror it did a lot to lift my spirits. I didn’t want to admit to myself that I wanted to look sexy for Blane. Eating the rest of my bagel, I quickly brushed my teeth and walked out of the bathroom.
Blane stood up from the end of the bed quickly, “You look gorgeous angel girl.”
Blushing, “Thank you for the clothes. Um, do you mind if we briefly stop by a store so I can get a few things today?”
Shaking his head, “Anything you need, I can get for you Carma. The only thing you have to do is ask.”
“I prefer not to, it’s personal.”
“You will not embarrass me by asking.” Blane said looking at me confused.
Sighing, “It may not embarrass you, but it does me Blane.” Popping my hip out putting my hand on it.
“It will be safer if you just ask.” Standing his ground.
“You are a difficult man.” Gritting out in aggravation. Deciding which would be worse, going with nothing, or just asking. “Never mind. Lets drop it for now.” Hoping a gust of wind wouldn’t make me regret that decision.
“As you wish. I will bring it back up again later.” Putting his arm out so I could lace my arm through his.
“I have no doubt.” Saying under my breath. Unfortunately, he heard because his mouth went up into that smirk again.
“So, where are we going and why are we dressed so nice? Not that I’m complaining because I’m looking forward to some fresh air and any opportunity to wear heals is a win win in my book.” Now rambling.
“You will see soon enough.” Making our way into a kitchen and out another door where we were met with a garage. There was a huge SUV, a porche, and a camaro sitting in the corner. He chose the sleek red camaro, opening the door for me. Sliding in next to me, the garage doors opened and we were soon headed down the lane and onto the long winding road. My heart heavy again, wondering when the next attack would be.
“You got quiet, what is wrong angel girl?”
Looking over at him, his eyes were focused on the road, his features as hard as stone.
“Just worried about the next attack.”
“I told you I would not let anything hurt you. You don’t believe me?” He asked confused. Knowing that he has now proven himself time and time again.
“No, I believe you.” Looking out the window.
“Then why are you worried?”
“I’m worried you’ll get hurt again. I just don’t want you hurt, or worse.”
Slamming on the breaks, his arm went out to protect me from jerking forward.
“What the hell Blane? What happened? What’s wrong with you?”
Staring at me, his face was unreadable.
“You are worried about me? Demons are after to keep you, torture you, use you, hell some are even out to kill you, and you are worried about me?”
“Well now that you put it like that….No, I’m still worried about you.” I said trying to lighten the mood a bit.
His arm went back on the steering wheel and he floored it again. He looked pissed, and I had no idea what I did to piss him off. He looked even more dangerous when he was mad, and even more handsome. Opting to keep my mouth shut I didn’t want to make it worse when he was in control of this speeding death trap.
Making our way into a little town, we stopped in front of a nursing home and I looked around confused. Slamming the shifter in first, he turned off the engine and came around to open my door, still not speaking or even looking at me. Grabbing my arm he lead me into double doors and down a hall past elderly people sitting in wheel chairs. At this point I was so utterly confused I just let him lead me.
Finally, we reached a door that said Rose written on the front of it. Knocking a few times, he walked me in, shutting the door behind us. An elderly lady was fast asleep in a wheel chair sitting in front of a large television. She wore a pink floral colored nightgown with matching slippers. Her hair was silvered with age and her tiny hands wore rings on each finger.
“Rose dear.” Blane said shaking her gently awake.
When her eyes opened her mouth came up into a big smile. “Blane, honey. How are you? I’m so glad you made it this month.”
Standing off to the side thoroughly confused.
“Rose, this is Carma. She’ll keep you company while I go talk to the nurses.”
“Okay honey. You hurry up and come back.” She said winking at him, holding his hand tight before he walked by me not even glancing in my direction.
“Sit down dear.” She said patting the bed next to her.
“Hi Rose.” Sitting down nervously.
“So Carma dear, how do you know Blane?”
“Um well, he’s a friend.” Not really knowing how to answer the simple question.
Shaking her head with a knowing smile on her face, “He is protecting you to, like he did me.”
The shooting pains, started in my head and I was bombarded with emotions. I got to comfortable with my gifts being on vacation and let Blane get to far away from me.
I felt pain, misery, happiness, sadness all balled up into an overwhelming mixture. Suddenly my hands were in my lap and the old lady’s hands were on my head, the pain slowly dissipating into bearable again. Finally putting her hands back down in her own lap.
“That Blane, he could have told me before he left.” She said shaking her head with a gentle smile on her face.
“What are you? Are you an angel?” I asked in disbelief.
Laughing, “No dear. I am a healer.”
“What? A healer?” Rubbing my forehead. “That’s how you know Blane?” Still in shock.
“Yes, I was his assignment once, many years ago.” She said still smiling.
“Did you heal me? Did you get rid of my abilities?”
Truth, damn it. “Can you get rid of them?”
Looking at me in disbelief, “Why would you want to get rid of them dear?” Holding my hand now.
“Because they are a curse and I want rid of it.” A tear escaping down my cheek, wiping it away quickly before Blane came back in. Looking nervously at the door.
“My dear girl, there is nothing to fix. Your gifts are a blessing, not a curse. You have to learn how to harness them, not dampen the effects of them.”
Another tear escaping, I looked nervously at the door again. “I don’t want them. They have hurt me most of my life, and now they are hurting other people. Rose, I can’t stand them hurting other people.”
“Other people? Blane. You need not worry about Blane dear. He is the strongest angel you could have gotten. He will protect you, like he did me.”
“Did you have demons after you Rose?” I asked a little to sarcastically. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to sound like that. My nerves are just shot.” I said wringing my hands together.
“It’s Blane. You love him.” She said telling me more than asking me.
“Blane? No. No, you have it all wrong. I haven’t known him all that long. He is a wonderful guy, er angel but no. I haven’t known him that long.” Now nervous again.
“And yet you still love him. I don’t blame you dear, he is so special. I to once held a torch for him. However, he did not feel the same way.”
“I don’t love him.” I denied yet again.
Patting my hand, “Whatever you say dear. Just be careful, angels and humans are forbidden to be in a relationship together.”
Looking at me again, running a hand down my cheek.
“I wonder.” She said looking at me curiously. Turning my chin from side to side.
“Huh? Wonder what?”
“You’re so beautiful, too beautiful.” She said dropping her hand smiling.
“No reason to be sorry. On the contrary you should be grateful.”
“Grateful? What are you talking about?” Wondering if this old lady was sane or not.
“You will find out in due time. I wonder where that Blane is, my healing effects will only last so long on powers as strong as yours.” Looking towards the door, “Ah dear, there you are. Where were you?”
“Just making sure your care is top notch Rose.” Blane said smiling and winking at her.
Laughing and touching his face, “Oh dear, you had your chance with me love. I have been since taken.” Rose said gently patting his cheek laughing.
“Carma can you give Rose and I a moment?”
“Um sure. I said walking towards the door.”
“Don’t go to far, we don’t need a scene.” He said, still refusing to look at me.
“No wouldn’t want that.” Leaving, slamming the door a little harder than I meant to. Leaning against the wall shutting my eyes, waiting for this day to be over. What a confusing old lady. Speaking in rhymes and riddles, never giving me a straight answer.
“So what do you think?” He said pacing the room in front of her wheel chair.
“She’s powerful Blane. Easily the most powerful I have ever come across. It was all I could do just to subdue her powers. It would be impossible for me to heal them completely. I’m sorry. I know that’s not what you want to hear.”
“They’ll kill her Rose. Eventually.”
“I know dear.”
“Looks like my hands are tied.” Slumping down on the edge of her bed, resting his head in both of his hands.
Grabbing his hand in hers, “Don’t fret Blane. You only have to open your heart, and that will be your way.” She said winking.
“Open my heart Rose? What do you mean?”
Smiling and winking, “In due time. Now I don’t mean to be rude, but my favorite soap is coming on.” She said to shoo him away.
Standing up, “Alright, alright. I know when arguing with you is futile.” He said his hand on the door knob ready to walk out.
“Keep an eye on that one Blane, she cares more about others than herself. With her abilities on top of that, it makes for a volatile situation.” She said waving her hand in the air, “Now be gone with you love.”
Walking out confused, “Come on.” He barked.
Grabbing me by the arm again, he was practically dragging me down the hallway. “What is your problem Blane? What did I do to piss you off so badly?” Shoving me into an empty room and against the wall, his body was solidly against mine. Towering above me I refused to break his gaze and cower.
“I don’t want you to care about me. No one that I have ever been assigned to has cared about my well being.”
Looking away from him and out the window, he took his hand under my chin and forced my face back to him.
“I am not the kind and cuddly angels depicted in movies. I am deadly and unfeeling. I am a warrior. You will not care for me. Tell me you understand.” His said, his voice cold.
When I didn’t say anything he pushed me against the wall harder, but not hard enough to hurt me. There was my answer, idol threats. He had no intention of hurting me.
“Answer me.” He roared in my face.
Looking up at him defiant, “Warrior, unfeeling. Got it.”
“That wasn’t the answer to my question and you know it.” He said taking his hand from my chin and removing the piece of hair from my eyes that had fallen out of my braid.
“You say one thing, your actions say another. Don’t act like you would hurt me.” I stood unmoving looking into his eyes.
“You are an annoying human. You know that?” He said his hands now on the wall by my head, holding me in place.
“Your an egotistical, proud, stubborn little angel.” Flying the insults back at him.
“Oh Carma, quit with the four play baby.”
“Four play. Hardly. Get off me.” Attempting to shove him away, to no avail.
Looking down at her, her chest was shoved firmly against his abs, driving him crazy. The defiant look in her eyes, there was no denying this woman drove him crazy. He wanted her, physically wanted her. Not only that, he wanted to keep her. Knowing it was forbidden trying to think of a way around that rule, not knowing if she felt the same way. Now regretting the white dress and heals he had supplied her with. She looked beautiful in white. The white angel costume she wore, still seared into his mind for all eternity.