Forever Lost – Chapter 13


Chapter 13

The first thing Gideon noticed as he came back into himself was he was laying on his stomach on something soft. That was different. The last thing he remembered was Lucifer with his hand in his chest squeezing his heart, trying to get information of where Sara was hiding. But he called her something different. Sapphira. Now that Gideon was not in so much pain and he did not have the Fallen One snarling in his face, that name tickled something in the back of his memory. Something from a long time ago that he had heard regarding Lucifer. The memory slipped away as quickly as it came, leaving Gideon even more confused.

Time to ponder on that puzzle later. Whatever had pulled Lucifer away had to be important. It did not mean the bastard would not return to finish what he started. He seemed desperate to find Sara. But why? With the exception of Sachi, after his fall mortals no longer held any interest for Lucifer.

Opening his eyes, Gideon realized he was no longer in the cell, but his room in his house on a planet in the mortal realm far from Earth. Well, it was more of a series of rooms built high in the side of a mountain. Far from crude, each room was comfortably decorated and kept warm by fire places. Electricity brought from generators gave them lights, modern Earth conveniences like a state of the art kitchen, hot water for showers, TV, game room, and electronic surveillance system. Things not found on the primitive planet that he kept this safe haven. Primitive by earth’s standards.

What this planet did have was magic. When he had found the monastery, he had a local spell caster put Wards around it to hide it from prying eyes. However, Wards did not keep everything out and sooner or later they failed. Along the outside wall of the mountain were stone paths with half walls built to keep the wingless visitors from falling, not that they had many, and a thatched roof overhead to keep them dry. If someone was to look up and see past the Wards they would think it an old abandoned monastery and that was what Gideon wanted. He knew he could not hide from the powers to be for long, no one could. But he could buy some time to figure out why Sara was so important to them.

A small sound beside him brought to his attention that he was not alone. Carefully turning his head, his back burning for some reason, he looked into the face of a sleeping angel. Sara lay on top of the blankets on her side facing him, curled around her pillow. She was here, she was safe. Relief flooded his body, taking away some of the aches and pains of his wounds. Smiling, he reached out and gently touched her face with his fingertips as he had done so many nights before. Only this time she felt him.

Without moving, those beautiful deep chocolate eyes fluttered open and a smile slowly spread across her lips as she focused on him.

“You’re awake,” she said quietly.

“And you’re safe,” he smiled back. When her smile faltered and her eyes dimmed into something haunting, he frowned. “What is it?”

“I will never be safe,” she whispered.

Taking his hand in hers, she brought it to her lips and gently placed a kiss on his fingers. That one small touch sent a shiver through Gideon’s body that he knew all too well. One he had been fighting for the last thousand years every time she became of age. Her voice brought him back from the forbidden thoughts he should not have for his charge.

“And as long as I am here neither will you.”

“What does that mean?” he asked dread replacing the warm fuzzy feeling.

“I can’t stay, Gideon. I can’t place you in danger while you are so weak. I have to leave so….”

“No!” Gideon cried angrily trying to roll over so he could stand. Pain so intense it sucked the air from his lungs shot through his back and chest.

“Gideon!” Sapphira cried reaching for him.

The door crashed open and Talon was suddenly filling the opening.

“What is going on?” he demanded.

“He tried to get up?” Sapphira explained as she moved to her knees on the bed, took Gideon’s arm and gently tried to move him back to his stomach. Talon was there in an instant helping her.

“You need to stay still,” he said gently. Once Gideon was back on his stomach, Talon pulled up a chair and sat down, his elbows on his knees so his face was closer to Gideon’s line of sight.

“What is wrong with my back?’ Gideon gasped. Before Talon could respond, a movement on the other side of him alerted Gideon that Sara was leaving the bed. With lightning speed that shot pain through his back once again, he grabbed her hand stopping her. Something deep inside him told him if she walked out of his room she would not be walking back in, and he could not have that. Turning his head so he could see her, he whispered, “Don’t leave.”

She smiled at him, but it was a smile that did not reach her eyes. Glancing up at Talon, she moved so she once again lay next to Gideon, her hand still firmly in his. “I’m not going anywhere,” she assured, the not yet implied.

What had happened while he was unconscious?

Turning back to Talon, the movement sending a fresh wave of pain through him, he asked hoarsely, “What happened after I left you?”

Talon gave Gideon the summary of the events that happen up until they parted with Michel, Loghan and Damien. At the mention of Damien’s name Gideon’s hand tightened around Sara’s. Unlike the others, he knew Damien’s secret. The son of Lucifer, something that should have been impossible. And there was something else. Something important, but the harder he tried to grasp a hold of the memory the quicker it slipped away.

Those of the higher realms had been trying to capture Damien for centuries. He would appear in the mortal realm to start some sort of chaos, and he was not subtle about it. It was as if he were looking for a fight, and when the angels sent to stop him found him, the blood bath was gruesome.

Finally Gideon and his command were sent in to eradicate the menace, but Damien had always managed to slip their grasp. When they did meet face to face it was never pleasant, and Damien would leave behind more destruction than Gideon cared to remember.

Then, suddenly, a little over a thousand years ago, he disappeared. No one knew to where or why, but when Damien was spotted a hundred years ago he was said to be looking for something. Something important to him. There were also reports that something was different. Instead of creating trouble, he went out of his way to avoid it, and that was not like him. What had changed was a mystery, but Gideon knew that did not make him any less dangerous.

The fact he had been with Sara, alone, sent a chill through Gideon. The thought of what Damien could have done to her….

A look passed between Talon and Sara that told Gideon there was something they were not telling him. Something he would not like. Sara started to slip her hand from his. At first he tightened his grip, afraid she was leaving. Then he let her go. Keeping her where she did not want to be was wrong. If she wanted to leave she was free to go, even though that thought tore something inside him to shreds. Nothing before in his entire existence had ever caused him fear, not like the thought of losing this woman. It was…debilitating. When she made no further attempt to move, the choking fear he was unused to loosened.

“What did they tell you about Sara when you were first assigned to her?” Talon asked.

Gideon thought back. “Not much. Just that she was important and needed to be watched carefully. When I realized demons were hunting her, I asked more questions but they would never give me an answer that was satisfying. There always seemed to be something left out. Why?”

Again the look. This time Gideon turned his head so he could see Sara. The haunted look was back in her eyes. And something else. Something he could not quite put his finger on. She was…different. Even though she was lying on the bed seemingly at ease, there was an air around her, a self-awareness that was not there before. There was also knowledge. Knowledge that gave her more confidence while at the same time frightened her.

Having enough of the tip-toeing around whatever was bothering them, Gideon pushed himself up.

“Gideon, don’t!” Talon ordered moving to stop him.

One look from him and Talon backed off. Sara did not even try to stop him. Instead, as he moved to sit on the side of the bed, she slid off her side and came around to the end, keeping her distance, her eyes wary.

“What the hell is wrong with you two? I’ve been through worse,” he snapped. Slowly and carefully he stretched his muscles, the burning sharp pain in his back once again sucking the air from his lungs. He started to flex his wings…and froze.

The memories of what Lucifer had done to him came crashing back. The pain, the humiliations, the utter despair as he watched his beautiful wings turn into ash.

The color drained from his face. His wings were gone. An angel without his wings was a creature lost. Neither mortal, angel nor demon; the few of them that were still sane roamed the earth trying to fit into a world they did not belong. Each trying to earn back what they had lost. Those whose minds broke were either locked away or destroyed like rabid animals. But to burn an angel’s wings meant that they would never be able to earn the right to fly with their kind again. It was the ultimate punishment, one rarely dealt and one Gideon had not earned.

“Gideon,” Talon started his voice full of worry and what Gideon know knew was pity.

“Get out,” Gideon whispered.

They hesitated for only a moment then both started for the door. Gideon did not look up. He did not want to see that look pass between them again. That look of pity.

Once he heard the door quietly click shut he let his rampaging emotions loose. Pain, anger, fear, desperation. All of them converged into one long endless scream. When he was through screaming himself hoarse, he was on his hands and knees on the floor. Shaking with weakness, he pushed himself to his feet and stumbled into the bathroom. Turning on the lights he forced himself to look into the mirror.

From the front he did not look that much different. Healing scars from where Lucifer had torn through his flesh to get at his heart ran down the middle of his torso. Other, lighter scars from cuts of a blade or whip, bruising that looked days old along his rib cage and disappearing under the white linen pants that hung low on his hips told of the beatings. It was what was missing behind him that he could not tear his eyes from.

His wings. His magnificent wings. Torn from his body and turned into black ash before his eyes all because he would not reveal where Sara was. And he had known. Even though he could no longer feel her, he knew Talon would take her to the only place he felt was safe, and still Gideon did not tell.

Putting his hands on the counter he dropped his head in between his arms. How could he protect her now? When he could not fly her to safety, when he now had a huge disadvantage from those who would come for her who had wings, how could he protect her? And the pity in her eyes. She must only think him half a man now, he sure felt like one.

Even though the self-pity tried to take over, Gideon knew he would not change what he had done. Sara’s safety was his one and only priority. He would sacrifice a lot more if it meant she stayed out of the hands of those who would hurt her.

Carefully standing straight, he dropped his pants and headed for the shower. He needed to wash the filth of Lucifer’s realm off him. Giving the water a moment to warm, he gingerly stepped inside, hissing when the water made contact with the open wounds on his back. While normally wounds healed quickly, these would heal human slow, and he would have the same phantom feelings one did when they lost a limb. As the nerve endings became numb and the pain receded into a dull ache, once again his emotions took over.

Hands on the tile before him, Gideon slowly slid to his knees, the anguish of his loss engulfing him as his tears disappeared into the fall of the water around him.

Chapter 12
Chapter 14

Copyright 2018 Heidi Barnes



Forever Lost- Chapter 12

Chapter 12

Damien knew exactly when his father arrived in the room. It was not hard to miss his overwhelming presence, although the sound of flames flaring and the sudden quiet that followed was a giveaway too. Lucifer always did like an entrance. Unfortunately the quiet did not last long.

“You dare call me like some peasant?” Lucifer snarled

Damien looked dispassionately at his father. To show any other emotion in the mood Lucifer was in would only end badly. As it was, his father was in a rage Damien had only seen a few times in his existence, and the creature it was aimed at rarely lived long. Being his son had never saved him from his father’s wrath. No, the only one immune was his mother. Although, now Damien was not even sure she was safe. Sara…Sapphira was a special case.

“Hello, Father,” he greeted quietly from where he stood in front of the dais. “Glad to see you too.”

An instant later Damien was airborne, crashing into the black obsidian throne with such force the massive chair toppled over. Groaning, Damian tried to get to his feet before his father could hit him again, but he was too dazed and soon found himself once again airborne, this time slamming into the wall in the back of the room. With a resounding crash, he landed on the table that stood against it full of gold and silver vases, breaking them into pieces as he crashed through to the floor.

“Do not be insolent with me, boy! I am in no mood for it,” Lucifer growled stalking around the toppled throne towards his son.

Shifting carefully, noting the broken ribs with a grimace, Damien glared at his father in his full glory. Black leather vest that showed his well-muscled chest and arms, tight black leather pants tucked into the same color boots that reached up his calves. Enormous glossy feathered black wings flared out behind him as his eyes flashed with fire, his power radiating around him, stirring his hair and feathers. Yes, Lucifer was beyond pissed and far into furious. If it had not been for the pain Damien might have been frightened, but he had seen it all before and he was very well acquainted with what would come next. The moment he betrayed his father by hiding Sapphira, the small amount of clemency Damien had by being his son vanished.

“Where is she? And don’t lie to me by telling me you do not know!” he snapped as he reached down and grabbed Damien by the neck, hauled him to his feet and slammed him once more against the wall, his feet far from the ground. Strangulation would not kill him, but it was very uncomfortable.

“I don’t know where she is,” Damien choked, his hands pulling on his father’s wrist, unable to get a good grip because they were covered with something slippery and slightly tacky. Blood, and Damien could guess at whose. “She is out of this realm so I cannot sense her, and even if I could I would not tell you.”

With a howl of rage Lucifer launched Damien into the center of the room. Damien landed hard on the stone floor, rolling to the middle of the room to stop on his side coughing and gasping as he tried to open his airway and breathe around the pain in his chest.

“You lie!” Lucifer roared.

Damien was barely able to roll out of the way before his father landed right where he had been laying, the rock under his feet cracking from the force. Struggling to his feet, one arm carefully wrapped around the broken ribs that were slowly knitting themselves back together, Damien backed away as Lucifer advanced.

“If you cannot sense her, how in the hell am I supposed to?” Damien snapped. “You’ve reminded me enough times of how weak I am. How worthless.”

“Because you are worthless. Hiding behind your mother’s skirts when you were young, and when you outgrew her you hid behind Sapphira. Always following her around like a lost puppy, claiming you were keeping her safe from those that would harm her. You who would never pick up a weapon, afraid of sullying yourself with the blood of others. You were a disgrace! You would not even defend yourself when I punished you!”

Those punishments were a result of his father’s frequent rages that needed an outlet. Usually there was some unfortunate demon nearby that would bear the brunt of his fury, but more often than not it would be him or Sapphira who were the closest. Fiercely protective of his sister, Damien would step in between them, purposely catching his father’s eye, and his fists. Afraid if he fought back, if he showed any form of the strength he held inside, Lucifer would turn towards Sapphira who was an easier target, Damien would be left broken and bloody on the floor, barely able to move or breathe. Even though it meant he looked weak in his father’s eyes, he would endure the humiliation again if it meant Sapphira was safe. Today was no different.

“And if you did not have me to beat, who would you have turned on? Sapphira? Mother?” Damien asked quietly.

That stopped his father.

“I would never hurt your mother,” he whispered. Fear was not something you would think to see in the Fallen One, but the thought of losing his beloved Sachi was at times debilitating. If Lucifer had one weakness, it was his wife. It was why she was kept locked safely in the castle where those that would use her to overthrow him could not reach her.

“When you were in one of your rages, you didn’t care who it was standing in front of you. As long as you bathed in someone’s blood you were appeased,” Damien reminded bitterly. “Better mine than theirs.”

With a wave of Lucifer’s hand, Damien once again was airborne, flying sideways onto long wooden table laden with plates of food, vases full of his mother’s favorite flowers, and bowls of fruit. When he landed on the other side, the glass cutting into his skin as the gold and silver clattered to the floor around him, he stayed where he was. The memory of his father’s power and the pain behind it was never far away. He was not relishing reliving it.

Gritting his teeth, Damien slowly rolled over onto his back, praying the angels had found Gideon and were on their way out of this realm, because he was not going to take much more of this. For the first time in over a hundred years he felt strong enough to fight back, and for once he could.

“Enough talk. You have a connection to your sister that I do not,” Lucifer snarled as he stalked around the end of the table. Damian quickly pushed himself to his feet, but he did not back away. He stood his ground. “Don’t,” Lucifer warned when Damien opened his mouth to deny his father’s statement. “I know the spell is broken. I know your bond is reconnecting, that I can feel. So don’t tell me you can no longer sense her. Now. Where. Is. She!” he repeated through gritted teeth, his face in Damien’s.

“Somewhere you cannot reach her,” Damien answered evenly.

Lucifer started to retaliate, but Damien acted first. This time it was Lucifer who flew through the air, crashing against the far wall. It would be the first and last time Damien knew he would be able to catch his father off guard, and because of his injures he was not up to full strength. Something he could not let his father know.

Nephilim. The children of angels and humans. Creatures of great strength and beauty, yet they held no real power and could not fly like their angel parent. It was one of the things his father used to use against him. However, there was one secret that he and his sister had kept from him and everyone around them.

Being the oldest, Sapphira had developed her power and wings first. So surprised they had not thought to hide it from their father. She was a first of their kind, and it was what alerted Lucifer to the fact that she may be the one prophesized a millennia ago when he and his kind were cast out of heaven. The one who would free them from their prison.

Because of Lucifer’s obsession with Sapphira, Sachi had wisely decided to keep quiet when Damien’s power and wings had begun to develop. Years of abuse could have been avoided if he had only shown he was not weak, but his powers had grown stronger than his father’s and Sachi was afraid that Lucifer would fear that power and destroy her son and thus destroying the very fabric of the universe.

The time for secrets was over.

Appearing out of mist, a sword, long and broad, its handle carved with intertwining runes that spelled his and Sapphira’s names curved around Damien’s hand as he gripped the long pummel. Runes of power and battle graced the blade. Keeping the sword to the side, he calmly walked to stand in front of his father. Lucifer was down on one knee, fists resting on the floor, head bowed, wings spread out to each side trying to catch his equilibrium. Damien could feel the rage radiating off his father and knew he was trying to quell the urge to kill him because he needed answers. Dead Damien could not give them to him. His wings flaring wide behind him, Lucifer raised his eyes full of anger and hate, his own sword materializing in his hand. When he saw his son, his rage turned to shock and Damien knew he had his father’s full attention.

Stretched out behind him, a wing span as large as his father’s, were silver wings. The air moved his hair and feathers, not unlike his father’s had only a few moments ago, as his power pulsed around him. The creature that stood before the Fallen One was not Nephilim nor angel, but something quite different.

“How?” Lucifer breathed, his voice filled with shock as he slowly stood.

“It was easy when all you cared about was the chosen one,” Damien answered bitterly, raising his sword point to his father’s chest. “When you were so focused on Sapphira and her powers and what it meant to you that the son you bore, her twin, was no more than a bug you stepped on when it suited you, it was easy to hide what I had become. But I am not going to hide who I am any longer, Father. Just as I am not going to suffer your abuse.”

“You cannot leave here,” he scoffed. “None of us can.”

“None of the Fallen can leave. Unlike you, I am not fallen and neither is Sapphira. We are from all realms – heaven, earth, hell, and many more you have no idea exist. So we are free to traverse each one freely. The prophecy states a single power will unleash the End of Days. Sapphira and I are two halves of the same whole. Together we are one, and I will not allow you or anyone else use us in some twisted game of power. All we want, all we have ever wanted was to be is left alone.” He took a step forward, his voice low and dangerous. “I am only going to tell you this once. Do not search for us. Do not attempt to use mother to lure us back. Leave us in peace and we will leave you in peace.”

“Do you think they will allow you to live in peace?” Lucifer scoffed. “Every god and goddess in every pantheon will be hunting for you. You cannot defeat them all. One way or another you and your sister will have to serve your fate. You will release the apocalypse.”

“We have managed to avoid it this long. I think we can manage to avoid it a few centuries longer,” Damien said.

“If you think I am going to allow you to simply walk out of my kingdom, you are mistaken,” Lucifer sneered with an evil smile, bringing his own sword level with Damien’s.

“I think you will find I am not so easily defeated, Father,” Damien countered with a wicked smile of his own.

“We shall see,” Lucifer sneered.

With a lunge, the sounds of swords clashing filled the air and castle as father and son fought to defeat the other. Flashes of fire and lightening singed the floors, walls and ceilings, narrowly missing skin and feathers.

From the shadows a pair of dark blue eyes watched and waited with worry as the two most important men in her life battled for dominance. Both equally matched in power and skill, neither one willing to back down. As the first metallic tang of blood filled the air, a hand rested on her shoulder. Jumping, Sachi turned to see her husband’s second in command, Elden, watching the battle with sad wary eyes. He turned those eyes to Sachi.

“Please, my lady. We mustn’t stay here,” he urged, taking Sachi’s arm and pulling her away. “Lucifer and Damien will never forgive themselves if you were hurt in the crossfire. Please. Come away.”

Knowing he was right, Sachi allowed him to lead her away from the sounds of battle. Whatever the outcome, she prayed that the sacrifices she had made to keep her children and the universe safe were not all in vain.

Chapter 11
Chapter 13

Copyright 2018 Heidi Barnes


Suzi’s Holiday Surprise…ish

Sitting in her favorite tree Suzi leans against the bark, overlooking Heidi’s house. “No bodies home” she’s thinking. “Perfect time for setting up her epic Xmas/ New Year’s surprise!!” Sitting forward she runs her chin as she contemplates what to do… all the sudden Suzi jumps to her feet. “Got it!!” she yells, startling the bird on the next branch over. “Oops, sorry.”

Rubbing her hands gleefully she begins her plans.

Looking over the newly manicured lawn, she sees there is not enough space for what she has planned, so grabbing her wand she takes to the sky and circling the yard she systematically removes all the trees and bushes, leaving the entire property bare. “YES!!” She thought… now the fun begins!

Barely being able to hide her excitement Suzi begins to “redecorate” Heidi’s lane for the epic surprise. Wanting to do something completely different, Suzi waves her wand and BAM a volcano appears in the upper left-hand corner of the yard. Next to the volcano 2 big palm trees. Looking at the trees she decided to add coconuts, bananas and 12 monkeys. Then around the volcano and the trees she added pink sand and a large body of water. The moneys were having a wonderful time and Suzi stopped a moment to laugh at their antics.

Looking at the water she Suzi decided a water fountain in the middle would be quite nice, so with I flick of her wrist. Voilà! A big water fountain. Hmmm… that’s a big fountain. Ok… now some lighting. Oh! Tiki torches! Perfect! Again with a flick, 6 torches appear on the edge of the sand.

Looking around, Suzi was almost satisfied with her gift… but something was missing… hmmm… music!!! Thinking for a moment she added a gazebo on the lower right-hand corner of the yard and put in a oom-pa-pa band. Cool! And for an added touch Suzi added a handful of tropical birds, 3 more trees, a lion and his lioness, two adorable, rambunctious cubs, and last but not least three Yorkies.

Waiting until after the sun set, the full moon rose, the stars lit up the sky…the stage was set, almost. With a flick of her wand Suzi lit up the torches and signaled for the band to start. The trombonist hit the first note… ooooh no…

Just then Heidi drove up. Getting out of her car she stops dead in her tracks with her mouth hanging wide open. What the…!!!!

Just as Suzi was fluttering over to greet Heidi, a large shriek rent the night air, following by several more, increasing in volume. Oh lord, the birds were screeching in agitation. Rushing to see what was happening all Suzi could do was stare in silence at the utter chaos around her.

Apparently, the music startled the birds, causing the monkeys to get agitated and in their pancaked state started throwing the coconuts and bananas. One of the coconuts hit the lion and he roared angrily, causing his mate to roar in kind. The cubs thought it was great fun and started chasing the monkeys around. Not wanting to be left out, the Yorkies started yapping at full volume, and in their excitement started to pee all over the side of the house.

Dropped her wand in dismay, one of the monkeys grabbed it and imitating what he saw Suzi do, flicked the wand and caused the volcano to erupt! Just as Heidi was starting to back away, a coconut whizzed by her head, barely missing her, and went through her picture window. Another one flew by and lodged itself in the trombone, causing the band members head to almost explode.

The volcano was now shooting mile high flames and the lava was beginning to run red rivers… right… toward… the … house! Ooooh crap. Calling back her wand, the monkey who stole it looked down in his hands with dismay, let out a loud shriek of disapproval and started throwing bananas. One flew by Suzi, but unfortunately hit Heidi Square in the head.

Suzi had to laugh… the look said it all. So now the animals were running wild all over the neighborhood, the volcano was spewing fire and lava all over the place, and OMG!! The fireworks!! BOOM, Whiz! Shoom!! “Take cover!!” Suzi shouted over the loud din as she flew behind the tree.

The only thing left was the water fountain in the middle of the body of water. Taking out her wand, Suzi got ready to direct the water from the fountain towards the volcano, but a frightened bird hit Suzi’s arm as it flew bye, throwing her flick off course and causing the water to hit the broken window and filling the house with water. Well at least it won’t burn down… Suzi though… “um… I stand corrected.”

Blinking, Heidi tried to figure out why her vision was blurry and what the cacophony around her was. The last thing she remembered was pulling up to her house and feeling as if something was…out of sorts. It was a feeling she had had before, and it sent a sense of dread throughout her body. “Oh, please the power that be, no,” she muttered. Then….

As a what looked eerily like a flaming ball of fire soared over her head it all came back to her. The birds, the band, the VOLCANO! Sitting up, her head spun almost sending her back into the darkness. When the world righted, and she saw what her beautiful backyard had been turned into, she wished she had.

Monkeys were jumping from tree to tree, screaming as below lion cubs tried to catch them when they came to close to the ground. The trees that were not in were on fire. Stampeding past her was a group of four men, two of who were dragging another half-conscious man in between them, eyes wide, skin white, screaming, “Run! Get out of the way!” When she saw what was following them she understood the hurry. A massive male lion was chasing them, and behind him….


Sudden yapping from her left turned her attention to three Yorkies harassing a monkey. Or was the monkey harassing them? Frowning, she shook her head in confusion. What the hell was going on? Suddenly everything went still. As if someone pushed a pause button on a remote. Afraid to look, but unable to help herself, she looked towards the volcano that had suddenly become quiet. Lava still flowed down its sides, catching everything it touched on fire, but the flying boulders of fire had stopped.

“That can’t be good,” she muttered.

Scrambling to her feet, Heidi saw she wasn’t the only one staring at the deadly monstrosity in her backyard. Every animal stood stone still staring at it with wide eyes. No, not good at all. Thank the gods that the nearest neighbor was miles away. As the pressure in the air built, pressing in on her eardrums, even her skin, she frantically scanned the area for the culprit of this newest disaster

“Suzi! I know you are here,” she growled. “You need to come out here and help me clean up this mess before….” That was when she noticed her house, or what was left of it. “SUZI! Get out here NOW!!!”

Fluttering from around the only standing tree, Suzi sheepishly smiled and in the bravest voice she could muster replied. Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

“I’ll just … um… start cleaning up this mess.”

“Yes, that would be nice, but it will take the two of us,” Heidi said as calmly as she could, pulling out her wand. Looking wistfully back at the bonfire that used to be her house, she turned to the wildfire in front of her. “You remember how to make it rain, right?”

“Yes ma’am.” Taking her wand in hand, Suzi aimed toward the sky, but instead of a medium rain a deluge poured down from the sky, drenching everything and everyone in seconds

Standing in mud, completely drenched, her hair hanging heavy down her back, shoulders, and face, Heidi sighed. Reaching up, she pulled her hair back from her face so she could see. “Well, at least the fire is out.” She looked up at the volcano that was reading itself to implode. “For now. We need to stop that volcano before it blows us back to the dark ages. Any ideas?”

Creating a tornado, Suzi directed it over the water that now covered the entire yard, hoping it would collect all the water and she would then aim it into the volcano.

Well…that was the plan, but ya know what they say about the best laid plans….

The ground began to shake. The pressure grew. The animals suddenly came alive and scattered in all directions. Heidi dove out of the way of the lioness and her cubs, landing hard on the now dry dirt.

Now was her chance. Digging into her pocket, Suzi grabbed her magic dust pouch and headed for the volcano. Taking a hand full of dust, she dropped it over the volcano and poof it disappeared from sight. Not really knowing where she sent the volcano, she could only hope it was someplace uninhabited.

Breathing a sigh of relief, Heidi sits up and surveys the damage. Here and there wisps of smoke rose up into the night air. Everything as far as the eye could see in the dark was charred black. Pushing a stray strand of hair from her face the breeze blew, she realized that the sudden absence of moisture left her hair a curly frizzy mess. If only that was the mess to clean up. Looking sideways up at Suzi, who hovered just out of reach, once again looking sheepish, Heidi asked, “Anything else I should know about? Piranha in the Koi pond? Venomous snakes in my….” Heidi glanced behind her at the rubble. “Never mind.” Pushing herself to her feet with a groan, she brushed off her wrinkled slightly tighter clothes, pushed her hair into something that resembled sanity and took a deep breath, squaring her shoulders.

“This is going to take a while to clean up and put right. We better get started.”

Each taking their individual wands, Heidi and Suzi worked their way around the yard and replaced all the grass, the trees and the shrubs. Meeting at the charred remains of what used to be the house, Suzi dropped her head and in a tear strained voice said “I’m so sorry Heidi. I just wanted to make up for the lost holidays.”

Taking a look at the tiny tear streaked, ash covered little fairy, Heidi felt the anger drain out of her.

Lifting up her wand, Suzi wound up what little power she had left and in a brilliant flash of light recreated the original house. Falling out of the sky, she landed on her butt with a tiny thud.

Sitting down heavily next to her in the dirt, Heidi sighed. “I know, and I’m not mad. Nobody was seriously hurt, I think. Hey,” she nudged the fairy. “How about a bath and some dinner. I’ll order from the Thai place in town. They deliver way out here.”

Looking up at Heidi in gratitude, Suzi picked herself up and crawled into Heidi’s outstretched hand. Curling up into a little ball, she sighed in relief and closed her eyes.

Smiling, Heidi carefully got to her feet and walked into the house. In one of the guestrooms she had a specially made fairy alcove for just such an occasion. Although Suzi didn’t know about it because it was a Christmas present. After tucking her in, Heidi took a shower and went to bed, too exhausted to eat, happy to have survived the night in one piece. Tomorrow….well she would see.

Copyright © 2018 Suzanne Carey & Heidi Barnes

I hoped you enjoyed one of many antics of Suzi and her surprises. This is a fun exercise in writing where Suzanne plays Suzi the Fairy and I play myself only as a witch of sorts. Suzanne lives on the east coast and I live on the west coast. We play on Facebook messenger, and usually it’s Suzi the Fairy that starts the well intended mischief. I have other little stories that I thought I posted on this site, but as I look I see I haven’t. I’ll have to find them and put them here and add a link to them as they are written on my page A Little Bit of Fiction. There is very little editing done to these stories. Some punctuation, formatting and spelling. Everything else is as it was written. Thank you for reading. 🙂


Forever Lost – Chapter 11


Chapter 11

“Why do I smell burnt feathers?” Loghan asked sniffing the air.

Damien knew the answer to that question and it made him ill. It was a punishment that the owner of this castle rarely met out because it was the one thing their kind, angel or demon, hell anything with wings feared most. Including the owner of the house. Where Lucifer was ruthless and at times sadistic, there were certain lines that not even he would cross. Burning the wings of his captives was one of them, because once burned, they could never grow back.

Usually the threat of burning the wings loosened the tongue faster than anything else Lucifer threatened. Gideon must have refused to tell him where Sapphira was, and paid the ultimate price for his silence. The sacrifice was not lost on Damien. It showed a devotion, a protectiveness for his charge Damien understood all too well, and sparked a jealousy that set his teeth on edge. Sapphira was his to protect, and after today he would make sure that was what happened.

Glancing back at the two following him, after the last couple of hours traveling Damien had developed an enormous amount of respect for Gideon’s wealth of patience. If he had to work with these two, he would have either killed them, or himself, long ago just for some peace. He could only imagine what the others were like. He had heard the stories of why each of the angels were assigned to this particular regiment.

Michel’s tendency towards blood lust was legendary. It was an almost demon like passion for slaughter that none of the other angels could stomach. So Michel found himself assigned to Gideon. Damien had seen firsthand what the angel would do and had to admit he understood why his kind feared him.

Loghan would not shut up. A sarcastic wit that knew no bounds led more than one captain into insanity. At the moment he was quiet, but Damien was sure it would not last long. He prayed that Loghan’s sword was as fast and cutting as his tongue, because if Lucifer found the…well, Damien did not want to dwell on what would happen. Although, the thought of doing the universe a favor and leaving the angel to his fate did sound appealing.

Another whiff of burnt feathers drifted by. Damien closed his eyes. He had sacrificed much to keep Sapphira safe, but to lose his wings…. Opening his eyes he began to move forward again. No time to dwell on what-ifs. They needed to get in and get out. Then he could finally be with the one being that made his life complete.

The three of them managed to sneak into the castle undetected. Whether or not they stayed undetected was still questionable. As they went from room to room, Damien tried not to think too hard about the last time he was here. He still bore the scars, mentally and physically. A constant reminder of what he had given up and his payment for betraying his lord and master. A payment, if caught, he was by no means done paying. However, when they entered the throne room he could not help but stop and stare at the chair on the dais. The chair of the man who filled a thousand years of his life with endless pain and torture. What did he expect though? Lucifer was not known for his tolerance of those who betrayed him.

Not even….

“You have some nerve coming back here!” a woman’s voice hissed.

The three angels froze, their eyes and swords moving to where the voice came from. Out of the shadows floated a woman dressed in a long blood red cape with a deep cowl that hid her face. Or at least she seemed to float. Looking closer Damien could see the toes of her shoes peeking out from under the cloak as she walked towards them. Then she pushed her hood back revealing her face.

“Do you know what he will do to you if he finds you here?’ she whispered her voice laced with fear as she went directly to Damien. “I did not risk everything so you could walk back in here like some fool.”

“Mother,” he greeted coldly. “So happy to see you. You look lovely as ever.”

Mother? Loghan mouthed to Michel in surprise. Michel shrugged his shoulders, his expression saying he knew as much as Loghan did as to what was going on. For some reason Loghan felt as if Michel’s eyes said something very different. The ensuing argument between mother and son pulled Loghan away from that puzzle to the problem at hand. They had been discovered.

“Don’t take that tone with me,” Sachi hissed. “You need to leave. Now!” she ordered taking the hem of her long full length skirt with one hand and Damien’s arm with the other, fully intending to pull him back the way he had come. Considering her five foot four was considerably shorter than his six foot five, it was a surprise to the angels when she managed to pull him off balance.

“I can’t leave,” Damien protested angrily, yet he was gentle when pulled his arm from her grasp. He may be angry at his mother’s interference, but that did not mean he wanted to hurt her.

She still looked the same as the day she walked into this self- imposed prison she called home. Long raven black hair reached down to the small of her back, hanging loose. Exotic deep blue eyes that were the same as his, flashing in anger at his defiance. That look used to quell him in his boots. It still did to those demons stupid enough to anger her. She wore a long Victorian style deep blue dress that matched her eyes, the one his father was so fond of with elaborate embroidering of roses and birds throughout the full skirt. Silk slippers the same color as her dress peak out from under her skirt as she walked.

Damien glanced at Michel and Loghan who stood relaxed as they studied the two of them with no small amount of amusement. The last thing Damien needed was his mother unmanning him in front of these two. He would never hear the end of it.

“I see the hair and eye color,” Loghan was saying, one arm across his chest as he rested his elbow of the other on it, rubbing his lips in thought. “But the height, the facial features. Just not seeing it. Maybe he was adopted? I hear they eat the deformed ones as a delicacy, which surprises me that he is still alive. He looks nothing like the creatures who pass for normal here.”

Michel closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose as he slowly counted to ten.

“Why are they here?” Damien’s mother asked, her voice thick with disgust as she glared at the two angels.

“It’s complicated,” Damien gritted out glaring at Loghan.

“Now I see it!” Logan exclaimed happily.

Michel reached over and slapped Logan upside the head.

“Ow!” Logan cried out in protest once he regained his balance. “What the hell did you do that for?”

“Show some respect,” Michel snapped.

Loghan began to retaliate, but Michel held up one finger with a look that spoke of great pain if Loghan said one more word. Wisely Loghan snapped his mouth shut. His eyes, however, spoke volumes of what was to come once they were safely in their own realm.

“When your father finds out you brought angels into his home, he will kill you!” Sachi snapped ignoring Loghan.

“He can add it to the list,” Damien muttered. “I don’t have time for this, Mother. If he finds me here before….”

“If he finds you here the last thousand years will seem like paradise. He’s in a temper as it is,” she growled. “That bastard Loathar dragged someone in here bleeding all over my floor. They are down in the dungeons as we speak, torturing the poor soul for information about some whore,” she said bitterly.

Her bitterness confused Damien. Where his father had a habit of doing horrendous things, cheating on his wife was not one of them. He had too much love and respect for her to betray her in that way. Why would she think he was doing that now?

“Where,” Michel demanded all pretense of amusement gone as he and Loghan stalked towards them. Out of reflex Damien moved in front of his mother.

“Remember she is still human, Michel,” Damon said quietly.

“Human?” Loghan gasped in disbelief, his eyes going to the petite woman who was glaring at them from behind her son. A look that would incinerate him where he stood if she had the power. “What is she doing down here?”

“Long story,” Damien answered absently before turning back to his mother. “He’s looking for Sapphira,” he said quietly. Automatically he reached out and gently took a hold of his mother’s arms as the color drained from her face and she swayed.

“She can’t be here,” Sachi whispered.

“And the soul he is torturing is Gideon,” Michel added coming up beside them.

Sachi grew even paler. The fact that Gideon was one of the two angels responsible for his father’s downfall was only part of the reason Lucifer hated him. If he found out the rest, Lucifer would make sure Gideon never survived to see the light of day, and then the universe would crumble. The faster they rescued Gideon and left this realm, the better for all.

“Lizza brought Sapphira here to draw Gideon into a trap,” Damien continued gently. “I don’t think they knew who she was at the time, but they do now. She’s safely back in the human realm, but now The Forsaken One knows she’s alive.” His mother’s eyes widened further as she stared at her son in disbelief. “You know the part Gideon plays in this better than any of us. We need to rescue him and return him to Sapphira’s side before any more damage is done.”

“You can’t go with them. If you two are together,” she whispered.

“It’s too late, Mother. The seal has been broken and the spell is unraveling. I will not leave her again. I can’t.” Damien did not like the desperation he heard in his voice, especially in front of the two warrior angels, but he could not help it. For too long a part of his soul ached to be filled. Now that Sapphira was found his soul was finally starting to heal, and he refused to go through the pain of losing her again. Although, if the prophecy held true, he may not have a choice. Then again he will not be here to endure it.

None of them would.

“How can I help,” Sachi asked after a moment of hesitation.

“No,” Damien said firmly. “Father has yet to figure out your part in our escape and I want to keep it that way. We will free Gideon. I want you as far away from the fighting as possible.”

“He will not give you the angel just because you ask, and you cannot hope to win in combat. He is too strong here,” she said grasping Damien’s arms.

“We are stronger than we look,” Loghan muttered.

“You are in the Hell realm, angel,” Sachi snapped, her eyes flashing as she glared at him. “You are weak here and Lucifer is in a rage. He will destroy you.”

There was quiet. Damien and Sachi turned as one to look at the angels. Michel stood quietly, unmoved, although Damien being the son of Lucifer was not new news for him. Loghan stared at Damien as if he had sprouted horns and a tail.

“Lucifer is your father?” Loghan asked slowly, as if he were trying to come to terms with something so earth shattering it was hard to comprehend. Then his eyes widen as they snapped to Sachi, the realization of who she was rising the color his face. With a slight bow to show the respect he had neglected before, Loghan said, “I didn’t know he had any children.”

“You knew my father was a lord,” Damien snapped, “and he isn’t exactly celibate.”

“Yes. But not the lord,” Logan answered heatedly.

“You know as well as I do there is one higher,” Damien sighed, “and he is the one we should truly fear.”

“You are the son of the fallen angel and you want to argue semantics,” Loghan snapped.

Michel stood silent, his eyes on Sachi. Words were not necessary between them because they were both thinking the same thing. With the spell unraveling, it may already be too late.

“Damn it boy!” Loghan growled. “This changes everything.”

“It changes nothing,” Damien corrected calmly. “We will rescue Gideon and then we will leave.” Damien started walking towards the doorway that led to the dungeons. Loghan moved into his way, sword gripped tight in his hand, eyes flashing with anger.

“We are not going anywhere until you explain what is going on,” Loghan hissed, his eyes locking with Damien’s. It was a look that told Damien he was not going any further until he did as he was asked.

“Tell him,” his mother’s soft voice floated through the air.

“Sachi,” Michel warned gently.

“No,” she said shaking her head. “No more secrets between us.”

Michel looked into her eyes as if searching for something. Finally he nodded, his expression weary.

There was so much sadness in his mother’s voice Damien had to close his eyes so Loghan could not see the pain mirrored in his. He was not the only one who sacrificed everything that day. Taking a deep breath he let it out slowly and began.

“In order to protect Sapphira, we cast a spell that striped her of her demon side making her mortal. Afterwards, she was hidden where my father and The Forsaken One could not find her,” his tone saying he really did not want to be talking about this particular subject.

“When was that?” Loghan asked moving closer.

“Over a thousand years ago,” Damien sighed.

“When Gideon was given guardianship over Sara,” Loghan breathed looking at Michel who stared blankly back, his expression devoid of emotion. Frowning at the unusual reaction from the third in command, Loghan turned back to Damien. “That doesn’t explain her connection to you,” the anger he once held turning into something else. Something wary.

“She is my sister,” Damien answered quietly. The stunned expression on Loghan’s face would have been comical if the situation was not so serious. Damien was so tired of the games, the lies, the loneliness. All he wanted to do was finish this mission and return to Sapphira’s side. Then maybe he could finally be at peace.

“Tell him the rest,” his mother urged, resting a hand on his arm as she looked worriedly up at him.

With an expression that showed the amount of pain he had been hiding, he added quietly, “I am also her twin.”

The silence stretched on.

Twins, especially identical, in any realm were connected in a way few others could explain or understand. Twins of the supernatural kind were connected on a level that far superseded the mortals. They were literally two halves of a whole, and when one was injured or ill the other would feel that injury or fall ill themselves. If one died, the other soon followed. Usually because the loss of that other half left the survivor in so much pain physically and mentally that they either went mad and had to be put down, or they killed themselves ending their misery. In order to keep his sister safe, Damien had basically volunteered to have half of his soul ripped from his chest. A feat he barely survived.

The enormity of the situation was not lost on Loghan. Damien expected pity and was surprised when he saw the distrust Loghan had held in his eyes these last few hours turn into respect.

“We can finish this discussion later when we are on safer ground, Michel said suddenly all business. “Your father is well known for his love of playing with his victims, and he has wanted to get his hands on Gideon for a long time. Pulling him away won’t be easy. How do you suggest we distract him from playtime long enough to free Gideon?”

“Easy,” Damien shrugged, his expression one of determination. “We give him what he wants.”

“And what exactly is that?” Loghan asked.


Chapter 10
Chapter 12

Copyright 2018 Heidi Barnes

Forever Lost – Chapter 10

Chapter 10

A sense of foreboding washed over Damien as he stared at the dark monstrosity that passed for a castle in the only place he knew as home. This was the last place he wanted to be. In fact, in the last hundred years he had done his best to avoid it. Now he was willingly walking into what he knew was a trap to rescue the one angel who could save humanity while at the same time destroy his existence.

Then there was…him.

It had taken almost a thousand years to escape the living hell inside that castle. Years of unending pain and suffering, and now Damien was walking right back in on his own accord. He had to be ten kinds of an idiot for doing this, but for Sapphira, Damien would walk to the deepest foulest pits of hell and back if it meant she was safe.

After what seemed like a life time of searching, Sapphira walks right into his arms without realizing who she is or how dangerous it was to be there. Never in his wildest dreams had Damien consider they would send her to earth as a human. How many lifetimes had she lived not knowing who she was? What she was. When Damien understood why he was having such a strong reaction to a human, that it was Sapphira in the last place she should be, his heart had stopped.

Hiding her from those that would use her to control the fate of the universe was the only solution he and the others could think of to keep her safe. There was one condition, though. He had to sever all ties. They might as well have asked him to rip out his soul, because that was what it felt like when they took her from him. She had been with him since the beginning of his existence, and having that presence taken from his so thoroughly had left him weak and vulnerable.

That was how the lord of this realm found him. Then the real fun began. The same fun Damien knew Gideon was enjoying right this moment. He may not like the angel, in fact he was insanely jealous of his connection to Sapphira, but Damien would never wish that kind of pain and humiliation on anyone. Not anymore.

When he had dragged himself out of his prison, Damien was a different being. All he had wanted was to be left alone, and until now he had managed it. Keeping his whereabouts from one of the most powerful beings in this realm was not easy. However, Damien did have an edge over those who had tried, and failed, in the past. One he tried not to dwell on too much. Even now, knowing made him shudder in revulsion.

A sharp and sudden pain shot through his chest, radiating outwards to his fingers and toes. Gasping, his hand clutching his shirt over his heart, Damien’s knees buckled sending him to the ground. At the same time a howl of rage shook everything around them.

“What the hell?” Logan gasped slowly uncovering his ears as he scanned the area around them, looking for the attack he knew had to be coming.

Damien tried to answer, but he could barely suck enough air into his lungs to stay conscious. There was a movement beside him and a hand rested on his shoulder.

“She’s escaped,” Michel said gently. “She’s safe.”

Damien could only nod that he had heard the angel. Although now that He knew how close Sapphira had been and what her power tasted like in this new form, safe was a relative term. They needed to find Gideon and get the hell out of here. The more of them surrounding Sapphira, the better camouflaged her power would be, and in turn the safer she would be.

Michel saw Loghan watching them, unsure of what was going on while realizing Michel and Damien were keeping something important from him.

“Why does Sara leaving Hell affect Damien?” Loghan asked.

“Long story that we have no time for,” Damien answered hoarsely, moving so he was sitting back on his heels. At least he was still conscious, could now breathe. He looked at the angels who looked back at him with expressions of uncertainty, even pity. “I’ve been through worse,” he snapped scornfully. “The lord of this realm knows Saph…Sara is gone and he is not happy. We need to break in there,” he pointed to the castle, “find Gideon and get out before He calls the lords of this godsforsaken place down upon us and they tear us and anyone near us apart.” Because as much as he despised the owner of this castle and most of its inhabitants, there were a few that dwelled within Damien did not want harmed.

“And you know a way in that we won’t be detected?” Loghan asked, his voice thick with disbelief. The smile Damien gave him did not give Loghan any confidence they would make it out of this stupidity waiting to happen in one piece. Although, the Gods knew he had done his fair share of stupid in his existence and made it out relatively unscathed. What was one more? “Lead the way,” he sighed.

“You might want to put away the wings. The glow is a bit much,” Damien grimaced pushing himself to his feet, his sword in hand. The world wobbled then righted itself. When he saw Michel looking at him with a frown, pity in those blue eyes, it pissed him off. Damien did not know who he could trust, and this particular angel knew more about his life than Damien was comfortable with. Enough that if he wished, Michel could destroy him and the universe along with him. “I’m fine,” Damien muttered before heading past them and towards the last place in the universe he wanted to be.


*  *   *

Immortality had its ups and downs. To watch the universe from its beginning, watch it grow, make mistakes and learn from them, or sometimes not. To heal any wound, never become sick, never die were amazing gifts that through time one started to take for granted. As Gideon hung in his chains, his body broken and bleeding, the ability to heal, to never die, no longer seemed like a gift. In the hands of the enemy gifts could become a curse. When you can never die torture can last a very long time, and this particular captor has had plenty of time and practice to become particularly inventive. It was not Gideon’s first time at the hands of his enemy, and he was sure it would not be the last, but in the short time he had been here it had been the worst.

Then he found he had been wrong.

Pain like he had never felt before tore through his body, his soul, leaving him completely shattered. Sara was gone. When he had felt her presence surround him, envelope him, giving him her strength, the completeness he felt was something in his entire existence he had never experienced, yet at the same time felt as familiar as his own skin. Now she was gone. The howl that rent the air, breaking his eardrums, freezing the breath in his body, his heart, gave him hope that she was not dead. That his men had found her and managed to escape. There were only a hand full of their kind that was powerful enough to feel others between the realms, and he was not one of them. Neither was his captor.

The door crashed open and a hand was around his neck, slamming him against the wall. Pain radiated down his spine into every nerve ending in his body.

“Where is she!” a voice he was all too familiar with snarled in his face.

Gideon opened his eyes to find red eyes glowing with flame and rage. There were very few he feared, what stood before him in his full glory, seething with a rage none could match, was not one of them. A fallen angel that ruled this level of the hell realm with pain and vengeance. One Gideon used to call friend.

“Answer me!” he snarled again, his voice low and dangerous.

“Somewhere you will never find her,” Gideon croaked with more bravery than he was feeling at the moment. The thought of Sara in the hands of this bastard filled his soul with a kind of terror Gideon was not used to. Although, the one thing that he would never show the bastard in front of him was fear. Satan, Lucifer, Lightbringer, The Prince of Hell, Angel of Death, whatever name whispered, right or wrong, he was not one to goad. Yet from years of hatred born from betrayal, Gideon could not stop himself. “Did you really think we would allow you to have her? She does not belong to you, Lucifer.”

“And I suppose you think she belongs to you,” Lucifer sneered. “I can feel your connection to her, guardian.” That last word was said with the amount of disgust one would use if they stepped in a pile of demon dung.

Gideon knew it was not the actual title that irritated Lucifer, but that he held it. Only those who were considered pure of heart and thought could hold the title of guardian, and as far as the evil in front of him was concerned, Gideon was anything but pure. Betrayal can cut two ways, and it can cut deep.

“Do you think I would allow you to touch her after what you did to me? You who, unlike the rest of us, was allowed to rise above your past crimes and the gods now praise as a hero. We both know you are no hero, but a worthless backstabbing bastard only out to save your own skin. I have waited a millennium to pay you back for the hell you have put me through, brother.” Lucifer snarled.

“The only one to blame for your hell, brother, is yourself.” Gideon hissed. “The fact that you dragged Sachi down with you only proves how much of a selfish bastard you are.” As he knew it would, saying the name of the human woman Lucifer had risked everything for brought his fury back with a vengeance.

“You are not worthy to utter her name,” Lucifer snarled with a quiet calm that turned Gideon’s blood cold. “Gideon, decorated warrior, guardian, have done something that not even your master can save you from. You have broken one of our kinds strictest rules by falling in love with your charge, so technically you are mine and you will tell me what I want to know.”

With an audible click, the cuffs around Gideon’s wrists and ankles opened and then he was airborne. Slamming against the far rock wall with such force rocks and dust followed him to the hard dirt floor. Before he could push himself to his hands and knees, every thought in his head rattling around in chaos from the impact, a foot ground into his back keeping him down.

“And since you are mine, so are these.”

Excruciating pain tore a scream from Gideon’s air starved lungs as one by one Lucifer tore his wings from his back. Then he was once again slammed against the wall, the jagged surface digging into his ravaged back as some unseen force held him there.

“You will tell me where she is or I will make sure you never fly again,” Lucifer snarled.

Gideon looked at his bloody wings lying in the dirt at Lucifer’s feet. To not be able to fly, to feel the wind under its wings, the sun at its back was an angel’s worse nightmare. One that Gideon knew he would bear if it meant Sara was safe from this monster. Swallowing hard, he closed his eyes and refused to answer.

A snarl so menacing it raised the hair on Gideon’s body filled the room. Then heat scored his front and he could not help himself. He opened his eyes and watched as his wings were turned into nothing but a pile of ash, ensuring that escape from this cell, this realm, this hell was now impossible.

Chapter 9
Chapter 11

Copyright 2018 Heidi Barnes

Forever Lost – Chapter 9

Chapter 9


Sara was back in South Dakota. Back home where demons and angels did not exist except in myth and legend. Where Lisa was still her best friend and all she had to worry about was whether or not Jimmy Malak would finally find the courage and ask her to the spring fling. Lisa was pretty sure hell had not frozen over yet. Sara still had hope. Lisa could never understand what she saw in Jimmy. Sure he wasn’t the captain of the football team, but under those dark rimmed glasses were the prettiest blue eyes Sara had ever seen. And even though he was tall enough and built well enough to play football, he had told her that those kinds of sports were just not his thing. He preferred hand to hand combat, the bow and arrow, swordplay. Somehow that was just so…hot!

Sara shook her head to clear those thoughts away. She never used the word hot to describe people. It just seemed so demeaning. Jimmy was much more than that. He was kind, gentle, always there when she needed help, and as she thought about it that was kind of strange. In school she was not one of the popular kids. Keeping more to herself, Sara read her books, worked in her parent’s small jewelry shop, where her mom made jewelry from the Black Hills gold that locals brought in. Her dad was in charge of the business end of things. They were by no means rich, but they were not poor either. After she helped in the store after school, Sara went home to take care of her little brother until Mom and Dad came home.

Then something happened that would turn Sara’s world so dark she never thought she would see daylight again.

Her mom was diagnosed with cancer.

It was a rare type of cancer they had never heard of before. One the doctor’s had not found a means to fight. For the next six months, Sara watched helplessly as her mother wasted away and her family started to fall apart. Her dad grew more despondent, spending more and more time at the hospital than at the store. Todd, her little brother, started getting into fights. His grades went from straight A’s to F’s. Even Lisa stopped coming around as much. Sara could not blame her. The atmosphere around her family had turned decidedly negative.

The one surprise in all this was Jimmy. At school, instead of avoiding her as all the other kids did, he would ask Sara how she was doing, if she needed any help, someone to talk to. Apparently he had gone through something similar before he moved to their little town, so understood all too well what she was feeling. Her anger, her fear and most of all the need for someone else to be strong and not judge her for her weakness as he held her while she wept.

Sara thanked him and told him as gently as she could that she was fine. He need not worry about her. What she wanted say was she did not want anyone’s pity. She could see it everywhere she looked. In the faces of the townspeople, the teachers, the kids, and she hated it.

Her world was falling apart and she wanted to scream at the injustice of it all. What had her mother done to deserve this? She was a kind gentle beautiful soul who would go out of her way to help a homeless person who had no food or warm clothing, even when money was tight. Why was she made to suffer when there were so many others in this world that deserved her fate?

Whenever Sara thought that last, it would shock her out of her anger. No one deserved what her mother was going through. The pain, the slowly wilting of her body and soul as the cancer ate away at them. Only Jimmy seemed to understand, and he never gave up on Sara. In the end, he started doing those things around the house that her father would usually take care of without asking. Things Jimmy knew Sara could not do. And she let him.

One day, Sara came home to find Jimmy out at the barn helping Todd fix his mountain bike. Their dad was at the hospital where he had taken to spending the nights, only coming home to shower and change into a fresh pair of clothes before heading back to watch the love of his life wilt away piece by piece. Todd had asked him numerous times to help him fix it, and their dad always promised he would, but it never happened.

As Sara watched Jimmy and Todd, she saw something she thought she would never see again. Todd smiling. It brought a smile to her lips and eased the pain that she was losing that wonderful caring boy that was her brother to the same monster that was slowly eating away at her mother.

When Jimmy turned and saw her watching them, his smile softening into something much more intimate. It was then Sara knew he was in love with her, but Sara was not ready for any kind of commitment. When his smile and eyes turned sad, she realized that he knew this. He had always known and yet he was still here. Somehow he would always be here, and instead of frightening her it soothed her.

Then that awful day came when her mother was no longer with them. Sara’s dad was crying uncontrollably at the hospital bedside. Todd stood behind him, one hand on his back, his tears streaming down his face. He looked so lost. Sara stood staring at her mother’s peaceful face, trying to keep a hold of the memory of her last smile. It was so full of warmth and love, and now she was gone. She could not be gone. Sara was not ready for her to be gone.

Suddenly Sara could not be in that room a moment longer. With Todd yelling after her to come back, Sara ran out of the room, out of the hospital, not knowing where she was going and not caring. Along the street, people called after her wanting to know what was wrong, some guessing and standing in silence as they watched the broken girl race past. Knowing there was nothing they could do or say to ease the pain.

When Sara finally stopped, she found herself outside of town in the middle of a field where there was an enormous oak tree. The Oak was hundreds of years old with the initials of lovers and sweethearts of past and present carved into its vast trunk. Her parent’s initials were among them, but Sara was not interested in love. She was too angry at the world, at God, to care about anything but the pain in her chest that was taking her breath away. Looking up at the barren branches of earily spring, she did the only thing she could think of. She screamed. She screamed out all the anger, the anguish, the unfairness of it all, and when she was out of breath she pulled in more air and screamed again.

“Why?!” Sara screamed at the heavens. “What did she ever do to deserve this? Why did you take her from us? Why?”

The last was said through the tears she could no longer stop.

“Sara?” an aching familiar voice called softly, unsure of his welcome.

Sara closed her eyes and tilted her face to the sky, not wanting him to see her this way. She was the strong one. She could not show weakness or that last thread that held what was left of her world together would crumble, and everything would be lost.

Tentatively his fingertips touched her shoulder and she was suddenly in his arms, her face buried in his chest as she clung to him, sobbing uncontrollably.

“I’m here,” Jimmy soothed, one arm tightly around her while the other hand gently stroked her hair, his lips on the top of her head. “I will always be here.”

Then something incredibly soft enveloped her and….

Sara’s eyes snapped opened. “Gideon,” she breathed.

The arms around her tightened in response to her sudden movement.

“Careful, lassie,” a voice gently admonished. “I would’na want to drop you.”

Sara looked up to see the big red-headed angel smiling at her as he held her, one arm under her knees, the other around her torso. Not Jimmy. Or was it Gideon? Where was she?

Frowning, she looked around her. They were high in the hazy red air flying towards what looked like a rock wall. Around them were other angels, all looking warily at their surroundings as if they were expecting an attack. Definitely not the field where the oak tree was. It was a moment of her mind playing catch-up before she remembered she was in the Hell realm being saved by angels while being hunted by demons. At the moment, Sara was not sure which scenario was worse. Her memory of the past, or the reality she was now in.

“Where are we?” Sara asked, careful only to move her head. The last thing she wanted was to be dropped. Last time was not a pleasant experience.

“We are going to some sort of secret gate Damien said is not widely known to the others in this realm. Apparently it’s unguarded,” he answered the disbelief thick in his voice. Like the others, he did not trust Damien. Sara supposed that was only natural since they were on opposite sides of a war that had been waging since the beginning of time.

Looking around again, she realized there were a few missing, including Damien.

“Where are the others?” she asked afraid of the answer.

“Michel, Loghan and Damien went after Gideon,” he answered.

Sara gaped at him. “They can’t! Do you know where he is? If they go in there they won’t come back out!”

They had reached the wall and found a narrow cliff to land on.

“He said the doorway would be around here, but I don’t see or feel it,” Aitan said searching the rock with his hand.

“I knew we should’na have trusted him,” the angel carrying Sara grumbled as he set her on her feet.

“Despite how you feel about Damien, he would not do anything to harm Sara,” Talon assured his voice tense with pain.

“I told you it was too soon to fly,” Adalrik admonished. Sara turned to see Talon leaning against the wall, pale and sweating. Adalrik moved behind Talon, taking his injured wing in his hands. After a moment Talon sighed in relief.

“You have a magic touch, my friend,” Talon sighed moving his wing with more ease.

Adalrik snorted. “Magic touch or not, you need to stay off that wing for another day,” he snapped.

“And since when has he ever listen to you?” another smirked.

Sara did not even look at the new speaker. Her sole interest was the fact that Damien was walking into a trap and they were taking her out of here without Gideon.

“We can’t leave yet,” she announced storming up to Talon who frowned at her. “We can’t leave Gideon behind.”

“Michel and Loghan are capable enough to extract him. Right now you are our priority. We need to leave this realm before something else goes wrong.”

“Too late,” Aitan rumbled pulling his sword from his back, his eyes on something behind Sara.

“Shit,” someone hissed.

The fact an angel swore, which Sara always thought was a no no, fled her consciousness when she turned to see what was coming at them. The sky was black with winged demons. Shit did not even cover it.

“Well I will have’ta admit, lassie, life around you has never been dreary,” the red-head grinned unhooking his mace from his belt, his eyes never leaving the horde filling the sky.

“The good news is the castle is unmanned at the moment,” Talon said pulling his own sword.

“And the bad news?” the other asked.

Sara finally glanced at him. Like the others he was tall, but his build was leaner, more like a swimmer or cyclist. It by no means meant he was weak. His hair was light brown and kept short and artfully styled. His brown eyes looked like there were flecks of gold in them, but at this distance it was hard to tell. Although those eyes were wary, he smiled at Sara and gave her a small nod in greeting.

“My name is Andrew, but you can call me Drew. The big guy next to you,” he motioned to the red-head with his chin, “is Quinn.”

“Lassie,” Quinn said when Sara looked at him.

“And the one behind you next to Aitan is Darrick,” Drew continued.

Sara only had time to glance, catch a hint of dark blue eyes, sandy blonde hair and for him to say, “Ma’am” before an ear piercing screech interrupted them. She knew that screech, and after all that had happened to her in the last few hours it pissed her off.

“Lizza,” she hissed turning to glare at the tiny figure she could now see in front of the horde.

“That would be the bad news,” Talon sighed. He turned to her. “Sara, we need you to find the doorway.”

What? “I can’t find a doorway. You’re the ones with all the supernatural powers, not me,” Sara said her voice high with anxiety.

“That is not entirely true,” he hedged.

“What do you mean ‘not entirely true’?” she asked her eyes narrowing. This tiptoeing around the truth was starting to annoy her. She added it to the rather long list of things that were annoying her today.

“You may not remember, but you made this doorway. So you do know where it is and how to open it. You just have to concentrate on the energy it is emitting to find it,” Talon instructed. He glanced behind her, his expression darkening. “Sooner rather than later would be appreciated.”

Not really wanting to but unable to help herself, Sara looked back at the darkening sky. Yes, sooner rather than later would be good.

“Where do I start?” she asked turning to the rock wall and scanning it.

“Damien said it was well hidden. Do the same thing you did to locate Gideon. Close your eyes and concentrate on what it is you want to find,” Talon suggested. “We’ll watch your back,” he added when he saw her once again look out at the black cloud of demons that were growing closer.

Turning back to the wall, Sara took a deep breath, closed her eyes and rekeased the breath slowly, relaxing her mind and body as it left her. Putting her hand on the rock wall before her, she reached out with her senses – it is the only way she could explain it – looking for something…different. She could feel the angels around her, their aura’s soothing, calming even with the menace coming at them. Out further was the anger, the evil of the horde. One in particular that seemed hell bent on destroying her. Why Sara could only guess at, but she would deal with that bitch’s betraying ass later.

Pushing all that out, Sara searched for something different. It was as if a beacon was set only for her frequency. Calling her to its origin. Opening her eyes, she looked to the right of her and saw a faint outline of light. Moving so she stood in front of it, she gently placed her hand on a predetermined spot. How she knew this was a mystery she would have liked to explore, but considering what was coming at them she had no time to wonder at it.

With a rumble the door vanished.

“Holy shit, she found it,” someone gasped in surprise.

This time Sara did see who swore and turned to find Darrick’s dark blue eyes looking at her with a sense of awe. There was something else too. As if he was trying to figure out a puzzle and she was one of the pieces. It made her uncomfortable.

“Out! Now!” Talon ordered pushing Sara inside.

They stood by the opening as everyone hurried into a long narrow corridor that was on the other side. When the last angle was through, Sara stood in the doorway looking out. The horde was almost upon them; Lizza’s snarling face the closest. An idea came to Sara and she answered Lizza’s snarl with a wickedly smug smile of her own.

“Close the door, Sara,” Talon ordered as calmly as he could. The corridor they were in that turned sharply to the left a few feet in did not allow a lot of room for fighting. It barely allowed for the large warriors with their wings hidden.

“Just a few more moments,” Sara murmured her taunting smile never leaving her lips.

“Sara!” Talon ordered.

With another ear piercing screech, Lizza spurred ahead of the others, the look on her face telling Sara she was going to use her speed to plow her into the wall behind her.

“Sara!” Talon yelled.

Just as Lizza was about to hit her, Sara raised her hand and the rock wall suddenly appeared. On the other side was a muffled thud. The sudden silence was deafening as small rocks and dust rained down on them from the ceiling.

“That will leave a mark,” Adalrik chuckled dryly.

Sara grinned up at Talon as the others chuckled behind them. He was frowning at her, but she could see the amusement in his eyes.

“Cutting it a bit close weren’t we,” he said raising an eyebrow.

“It’s all in the timing,” Sara shrugging.

Closing his eyes, Talon pinched the bridge of his nose. “You were never this reckless before,” he sighed in exasperation.

“Times change. People change. We all must adapt to what life throws at us,” Sara responded sagely. “Besides, Lizza deserved what she got for lying to me.”

“That she did,” Quinn agreed ginning at her.

Sara grinned back.

“I for one have had enough excitement for one day,” Drew frowned. “Why don’t we leave here before more shows up.”

Everyone murmured their agreement. As they started up the long corridor Sara looked back at the rock wall. There would be no one following them through that opening. That she was sure of. She just hoped that the ones they left behind would be able to find a way out and soon. Something was started today that could not be stopped. Something that would change life as they knew it.

Chapter 8
Chapter 10

Copyright 2018 Heidi Barnes

Time Stands Still

How do I go on
when all seems lost?
How does each day begin
and end
when time seems to
stand still?
When to step outside
to see what the world offers
what life can give
the ups
the downs
the in-between
seems like a step into
I watch from hidden windows
that one day I can break free
from this pain
that keeps me
drags me under
so once again
I can see a horizon
I can breathe
I can take that step
and live.

Copyright © 2018 Heidi Barnes

Forever Lost – Chapter 8

Chapter 8

Sara was not sure how long they hiked through the trees. All she cared about was that they were not heading for the castle she had seen earlier. Something in there was…hungry. For what she was not sure. She just knew she did not want to go there and find out.

Damien never seemed to tire carrying the dead weight of the huge angel. Even when they had to hike up a steep incline, slipping and sliding on the loose black rock, he did not falter. It was Sara that needed rest. Damien helped pull her over the lip of a very high cliff, hopefully the last cliff, Sara lay on her back staring at the red sky gasping for air.

“How come…you’re barely…breaking a sweat and I’m…about ready to…expire,” she gasped.

“Expire?” he smirked.

Apparently he thought that word was amusing. Sara’s racing heart and starved lungs thought otherwise.

She glared at him.

“The air is different in this realm,” he explained, trying to hide his smile and failing. Clearing his throat as Sara continued to glower; Damien went on with his explanation. “Think of it like this. If you live near the coastline you have more oxygen to breathe. But if you venture into the mountains, or into a different part of the country that is far above sea level, then the air is thinner so it’s harder for you to breathe and you tire faster. Here the air is different enough from the air in the Earth realm that when you exert yourself it’s harder to breathe.”

“Makes sense I guess. So is it the lack of oxygen that is making it seem darker, or is it becoming night time?” Sara asked turning her head to look around. She still was not up to moving much else.

“It’s growing dark and we do not want to be out in the open when it fully descends,” Damien voice wary as his eyes scanned the shadows. Something in the tone of his voice told Sara that whatever lived in the dark was not something she wanted to meet. “Can you stand yet?” he asked looking down at her, his hand extended for her to take, his amusement suddenly back as he waited for her to move.

“I’m glad you find my nearly passing out so amusing,” she snapped taking his hand and allowing him pull her to her feet.

A sudden wave of dizziness would have taken her back down if Damien had not pulled her into his arms to hold her up. Again that surge of power tingled between them, only this time it hurt a little. Like being jabbed by little pins and needles. For some strange reason it felt good. The sharp hiss of air along with his arms tightening around her told Sara that Damien liked it too.

“Why does that keep happening?” she asked breathlessly.

“I don’t know,” he breathed, his forehead resting on the side of her head.

It felt so intimate having him this close, as if he needed her as much as she needed him to hold each other up. Sara felt herself sinking into that feeling of mutual need and safety. After all that had happened in the last hours, days, it was welcomed.

A mournful howl reached through the night freezing the blood in her veins, pulling her from the spell that was weaving around them. With a gasp, she pulled away. The sudden chill that shuddered through her at the loss of Damien’s heat brought Sara to her senses far better than any pail of ice water. What the hell? Sara knew nothing about this man, if he was a man as he claimed, which he did not. What had he said? Not exactly? So many things were not what they seemed here. Was Talon even an angel, or was he some demon in disguise to lull her into a sense of safety only to kill her later. The only thing she trusted was the feeling she felt when Gideon eyes met hers. That familiar sense of home. He she knew without any doubt would not hurt her.

Sara did not know why she felt that certainty. Maybe because those eyes seemed so familiar. As if she had known them all her life. Especially those nights after her mother passed away when, in the safety of her room where her father and brother could not see or hear her, she would silently cry herself to sleep.

As Sara stared up into Damien’s eyes, she realized that he was just as confused and shaken as she was. His wide eyes showed a fear she did not think he was used to. That did not help alleviate hers, but with practiced ease she squashed it down before it could overwhelm her.

“What just happened?” she asked glad not to hear her voice shaking.

“I’m not sure, but let’s not do that again,” his eyes thoughtful as he studied her. She thought his eyes once again widened in understanding, but it was only a flash and he was once again back to thoughtful and confused.

“You’ll get no arguments from me,” she readily agreed rubbing her hands up and down her arms, trying to dispel the tingling that still lingered.

“Come on.” The words came out in a shaky breath as he turned to Talon.

Even though they were in agreement that whatever had happened between them could not happen again, the problem now was Sara wanted to feel that warmth, that sense of security, those pins and needles running across her skin with the craving of an addict, and the only source of fix was heaving an unconscious angel onto his shoulders. When he turned to look at her, she saw that same wanting in his eyes. It took a lot of will power for her to stay where she was and not reach out to touch him.

“Ready?” he asked his voice hoarse.

The only response she could manage was a nod.

“Follow me,” he said with a bit more surety before he turned and headed towards the woods that bordered the cliff. Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly in an attempt to slow her racing heart, Sara followed him. Another mournful howl, this time closer, hurrying her steps.

They did not walk very far before there was the sound of rustling wings and they were surrounded.

“Far enough,” a voice so deep it vibrated up Sara’s spine commanded.

Damien and Sara froze.

“What have you done to Talon?” another slightly higher voice hissed.

Sara looked towards it to see a blonde haired blue eyed very pissed off angel stalking towards Damien, turning the sword in his palm clockwise before taking a firmer grip on the handle.

“He didn’t do anything to Talon,” Sara answered quickly trying to head off the fight she knew was about to happen. “Talon fought with Lizza and we fell.”

It did not stop the angel’s advance, but he also did not cleave Damien in two as Sara was afraid he would. Another angel came to help the blonde take Talon from Damien’s shoulders, carrying him a short distance away and laying him on the ground. While the blonde hovered, his eyes going from the unconscious angel to Damien and back as if he was not sure if he should stay with his friend or kill his enemy, the other took off a satchel he had looped over his head. Laying it on the ground next to Talon, he began to take out what looked like medical supplies.

“His wing was dislocated when we fell. When I popped it back into place he passed out,” Sara continued seeing that those who still stood glaring at Damien had not relaxed their demeanor. “Damien was helping us escape some demons who were hunting us.”

“I’m sure he was,” the shortest of them snorted. Although since most of them had to be at least six foot five and above, only a head shorter did not make him short in Sara’s eyes.

“Loghan,” Damien greeted calmly, his hands out to the sides in a show of being unarmed. It would have worked if his eyes had not been blazing with hatred. Again, Sara strongly felt there was bad blood between him and the angels. “A pleasure as ever.”

“We never did finish our discussion from the last time we met,” Loghan said, a sinister smile on his lips as he thumbed the blade of his sword.

“I would be more than happy to start where we left off,” Damien sneered, a sword materializing in his own hand. There was a rustle of metal and wings as the others responded to the threat.

“Enough!” the tall dark angel’s voice boomed silencing everything for miles. It did not, however, stop the two hotheads from glaring at each other. If looks could kill, Sara was positive they would both be piles of smoldering ash on the ground.

Deciding that involving herself in the middle of a pissing contest between these giants would not be one of her brightest ideas, Sara moved towards Talon and the two angels looking him over.

“Is he going to be all right? He’s been unconscious for so long,” she asked worriedly, keeping her voice low. The blonde angel looked up at her and smiled. It did not reach his eyes. Those were laced with worry. The second angel had his hands on Talon’s chest and his eyes were closed in concentration.

“He’s fine,” the blonde assured. “We just need to get him out of here. Our powers of healing are hindered by the darkness of this realm. Even for one like Adalrik,” he motioned to the angel with his eyes closed, “who is gifted with healing. Once Talon returns to our realm, he will be fine.” Then, he took a closer look at Sara and did not seem to like what he saw. “How are you holding up?” standing and moving closer to her.

“Well, my best friend is not who she seems to be. I’ve been dragged into hell, chased by demons who are apparently trying to kill me, and now I’m surrounded by angels.” She shrugged. “Just another day in the life I wish I did not have.”

For some reason, voicing all this out loud brought tears to Sara’s eyes again. The thought that once again her life was taking a road she did not want to travel yet had no choice in angered her. There was no turning left or right, no turning back. Just some unseen force pushing her onward to whatever destiny was laid out before her. Angry at her situation and the fact she was crying in front of others – she hated crying in front of others – Sara turned away from the blonde angel and wiped forcefully wipe the tears away.

“What the hell did you say to her, Michel?” Damien snarled.

Sara looked to see him pushing tbrough the angels surrounding hin and stalk towards her, sword raised, eyes flashing with fire and a possessive rage that frighten her as he glared at Michel. He had no right to act this way. They barely knew each other. Before Damien could reach her, the blonde angel had notched an arrow to a bow Sara had not seen before with a speed her human eyes or brain could not comprehend; ready to stop Damien from coming closer.

“Stop!” she yelled moving in between them. Both men froze, their eyes not leaving the other.

“Get out of the way, Sara,” Michel commanded, his voice a deadly calm that told her he would shoot Damien in a heartbeat and not cry over the spilt blood.

“Do as he says, Sara,” Damien said just as deadly. “I don’t want you to accidently become injured.”

“No,” Sara answered firmly. “No more fighting. I’m tired and hungry and I want to go home, crawl into bed and pretend this was all a bad dream.”

Damien eyes moved to hers, softening with sadness. “I’m afraid it is too late for fairytales, Princess.” he said softly.

Something about the way Damien said princess touched a spot deep within Sara she did not know existed. Another part of her that had been kept hidden for far too long. With a sounding like a gong that reverberated through her and out, that sudden awareness reached out touching everyone and everything around her as it spread out like a wave a pebble would cause if tossed into a pond.

It also woke a memory.

One she never knew she had.

Sara tried to grasp it, but it slipped through her fingers, falling back into the hazy mist it came from, yet not totally gone.

“Why did you call me that?” she whispered.

“Because that is who you are,” Damien answered, his voice still gentle, his sword lowering. There was a sadness in his voice and expression that frightened her.

“You said I was a puzzle, that you did not know why Lizza brought me here,” she reminded growing angry at the thought he had been lying to her this whole time.

“I didn’t know why,” Damien answered, his sword disappearing into the mist where it had come from. “It wasn’t until I held you in my arms,” there was a growl of displeasure from the angels but Damien chose to ignore them, “the second time that….” More growling and rustle of feathers and metal. Damon glared at the angels who glared back then turned his attention back to Sara. “It wasn’t until then that I started to realize who you were. The fact that these particular angels are here to protect you confirms my suspicions.”

“Then who am I? Why am I here?” she demanded stepping towards him. She wanted to push at him in frustration, but the memory of what his touch did to her stopped her.

Damien looked around at the angels then at the trees behind them. “Not here,” he said quietly. Sara opened her mouth to protest but he hushed her. “The trees have eyes, and I do not think everyone here knows who you are.” He looked at someone behind her as if confirming his suspicions, then back at her. Apparently one of the two angels behind her knew. “I would rather not be the one to let slip that little secret until we are safe.” Then he looked around at the others. “Although I don’t think I need to worry about that any longer.”

Sara followed his gaze and saw that all their eyes were on her, each one wearing a look of shock. As if they were seeing her for the first time. It was unnerving. It was also when she noticed Gideon was not with them.

“Where’s Gideon?” she asked her eyes still searching in case she missed him, or he was lurking in the shadows. Somehow she knew when it came to conflict he was not one to lurk, so that meant something was wrong. Sara looked at Michel and saw how uncomfortable he had suddenly become. Something was wrong. “Where is Gideon?” she demanded.

“Distracting the horde,” the tall dark one rumbled.

“What does that mean?” she asked suddenly angry and frighten all at once.

“It means we need to get you out of here before they figure out he is just a distraction and come looking for us,” the one Damien called Loghan answered walking up to Michel. He shot a venomous glare at Damien as he passed.

Damien smirked in answer.

Sara gave him a look that said not helping. Bowing his head, Damien rearranged his features in a more neutral expression.

“I’ll help Adalrik with Talon,” Loghan said. “Either you or Aitan can carry Sara, and then we will….”

“I don’t think so,” Damien uninterrupted, moving so he stood directly behind Sara, their bodies almost touching. Almost was almost too much.

Sara did not want the others see the affect Damien had on her, but with him this close it was becoming very difficult not to lean back against him. Feel his warmth, and that strange pins and needles sensation that she craved. The angels had already voiced their opinion on the subject of him touching her, and they were not too happy with how close he was now.

Too close, she thought breathlessly.

As if he had heard her, he stepped back one step. Suddenly it was easier to breathe.

“You think you can defeat all of us?” the tall dark one rumbled.

“No,” Damien said calmly keeping his eyes on Michel and Loghan. Adalrik was still kneeling next to Talon, his hand on Talon’s chest eyes closed in concentration. “But do you honestly think they will allow you to leave? She is too valuable. The gates will once again be guarded, and this time they will not allow you to leave. If you want to escape, you will need me.”

“We do not need your help?” Michel scoffed dismissively.

“You do if you want to find a way out of here the others don’t know about,” Damien said his voice low and dangerous. “And you would do well to take me with you.”

“And let you loose on Earth? On purpose?” a red headed angel snorted his accent thick. Looking at him more closely Sara could see that his leather was a bit more intricate with designs that were sewn in different color thread. His red-orange hair was long, down his back, braided close to the head on the sides with two small braids falling on each side of his face, the rest was in some sort of intricate braid she could not see, holding it back off his face. He had a large double bladed axe in his hand and his green eyes held amusement as he stared at Damien as if he was daft. Like the others, he was well over six foot. “I think not.”

“Do you have another plan, Celt? I’m willing to listen to any ideas you may have for escaping the most tightly sealed realm in existence,” Damien snapped.

“If it’s so tightly sealed, then why do your kind always seem to escape?” he asked sweetly.

“Enough,” a weak voice commanded.

All eyes turned to Talon. A weight Sara did not realize was there lifted from her chest. She started towards him, but Damien grabbed her arm stopping her. The effect was immediate. Both of them sucked air in as the pins and needles shivered across their skins, several times more intense than before. It seemed the more they touched the harder it was to let go.

Stepping so his body touched hers from shoulder to waist, his nose buried in her hair Damien whispered, “Don’t.”

One whispered word, a plea, and Sara could not pull away from him. Looking up into his eyes, she saw his worry, his need, his determination, even fear and she wanted to take that look away.

“Stop,” Talon barked. This time his voice was more firm, more in control. “No one touches them,” he added a little more softly. “We do not have a choice now. We need to take Damien with us.”

“Talon,” the tall dark one protested.

“No Aitan,” Talon said.

Sara was able to tear her eyes away from Damien to see Talon was on his feet, if unsteady. He looked at Michel who shook his head slightly, his brows furrowed with worry. They were not expressions that put Sara at ease. They were expressions of uncertainty, apprehension. Like Damien, they knew something. Something that would change Sara’s life forever.

“What has been done cannot be undone. Now we must live with the consequences, whatever they may be,” Talon said ominously. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, looking around him counting heads. “Where is Gideon?” Alarm replacing the unease.

“He led the horde away so we could find you and the girl,” Aitan rumbled. “We don’t know where he is, or if he is alive.”

Alive? The thought of him in the hands of those monsters, wounded, or worse dead, gave Sara the strength to pull away from Damien, although it cost her. Gasping she tried to reorient herself as the world spun out of control and pain twisted her insides, almost doubling her over. Behind her, Damien made a noise of intense pain, as if he was gritting his teeth to keep from crying out. Sara wanted desperately to stop his pain, but she knew if she stepped back into his arms she would not be able to think clearly.

Gideon could not be dead. She would feel it, wouldn’t she? Hugging herself tightly, Sara closed her eyes and concentrated on those amazing clear blue eyes. Those blue eyes that felt like home. She tried to concentrate on other features but for some reason they kept slipping away. As if something was keeping her from seeing them.

Behind her, Damien growled in warning.

“Easy, half-breed,” Talon’s voice said very close to her.

Half-breed? Sara opened her eyes to find Talon in front of her. When she turned towards Damien, she could see he was not happy Talon was so close. Again she wondered why Damien was so possessive when they had only met a few hours ago, and why that possessiveness felt so right. When he looked down at her and saw her frowning at him, his anger faltered. She could tell he wanted to say something, but he kept his mouth shut. Sara was not sure if that was a good thing, or a bad thing, but at the moment she did not care. Gideon was somewhere out there, on his own, with a thousand demons after him. She had better things to worry about than misplaced over-protectiveness.

Talon’s voice brought her back to him.

“Sara, Gideon is your guardian angel. There is a link between you that allows him to know when you are hurt or in trouble. Now that you know who he is, that link should work both ways. If he is still alive you should be able to sense him,” he said gently.

Sara did not like the word ‘if’. Gideon was not dead!

“How?” she asked surprising herself with the calmness of her voice.

“Close your eyes. Concentrate on him,” he instructed. “He has been with you since the moment you were born into the mortal realm. You have always known he was there on some level. Concentrate on how he makes you feel.”

“Home,” Sara breathed.

Talon smiled down at her. “Yes, home,” he said.

Sara closed her eyes and once again brought the image of Gideon’s eyes to mind.

“You don’t know what you are asking her to do,” Damien snarled behind her.

“You know as well as we do that she can do this, even with what has happened,” Michel said patiently. “Whether you like it or not they are linked. It was part of the price. Don’t think that a short time with her will erase what was done.”

“And when she does find him. When we are brought together what then? You know the prophecies as well as I do,” Damien hissed, his voice low so the others could not hear. Sara felt him at her back and it momentarily distracted her. This time not so much pins and needles, but a need that was deep in her soul to become one with Damien. A low groan told her he felt the surge between them. This did not make any sense. Why was he affecting her like this?

“Can’t…concentrate,” she said through gritted teeth. This time she kept her eyes closed, because if she looked at Damien there would be no more thinking.

“Damien, please,” Michel appealed just as quietly. He too sounded closer, but again Sara did not dare open her eyes. “You cannot stop what is already set in motion, and we need Gideon. Back away from the princess.”

There was a moment of silence, then a noise of frustration and Damien was no longer behind Sara. “This is not over,” he snapped.

“I know,” Michel said his voice weary.

“Sara, concentrate. Where is Gideon?” Talon gently urged.

Taking a deep breath and releasing it slowly, Sara once again focused on that sense of home. It was there…faint, flickering. Her heart began to race as the thought he was dying filled her with dread. Falling to her hands and knees, she pushed that feeling away and grasped onto that flicker presence, willing her strength into him. It flickered once more, like a flame in a breeze threatening to blow out. Then, slowly, it started to grow stronger, more sure.

Sara, his voice breathed in wonder through her mind.

Before she could answer, a presence so foul engulfed both of them, constricting, smothering, demanding obedience. Sara and Gideon screamed, their backs bowed in pain as they gasped for air that was not there. Sara’s entire life was suddenly flashing in front of her mind. As if someone was looking through a slide show, pausing every once in a while on a memory, taking special note of one thing or another until the images were finally at the present. Then images she did not remember, places she had never seen before from a past that was hers, yet not, began rushing by at a pace that made her dizzy. Just as suddenly as the presence appeared it was gone. Sara collapsed to the ground sucking in precious air, her body trembling with terror.

I have waited a long time for you, Sapphira, a low lazy voice filled her mind. Welcome home.

Chapter 7
Chapter 9

Copyright 2018 Heidi Barnes


Forever Lost – Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Sara was not sure how long they had been in their little hideaway, but hushed voices woke her from a doze. Talon was still unconscious and it was starting to worry her. Weren’t angels supposed to heal quickly? Maybe because they were in Hell the rules were different for angels. She hoped not, because she needed him to help her escape from here. As she looked at Talon peaceful in his sleep, still covered in blood and gore, she had a feeling in the end they would need each other.

“They fell over here,” a gravelly voice whispered.

Okay, considering their location probably not friendly.

“How can you be sure? They fells a longs ways and ‘izza was busy ‘urt’n that angel. I ‘ope she got him but good. Nasty glowing pests!” another slightly higher pitched voice said gleefully.

Change that to definitely not friendly. Sara gripped her sword tighter.

“I know because I watched them fall you idiot!” the low voice snapped. There was a dull thump.

“Ow!” the high-pitched voice howled. “What‘cha go and do that for?” he whined.

“Keep it down!” the low voice hissed. “We don’t want to alert the angel we are nearby. Even down here where their powers are weak they are dangerous. Especially when cornered.”

“You dinna ‘ave to ‘it me so ‘ard,” high-pitched muttered.

“If you don’t shut it I will hit you into next week!” the low-pitched voice growled. “Now look over there.”

There was no more talk, but their crashing around the underbrush told Sara where they were, and one of them was coming closer. Very carefully she crawled next to Talon. Checking one more time to make sure he was still out and breathing, she gripped her sword and pushed herself to her feet.

The trees were not that thick, but the underbrush was. Luckily they had landed near an overturned tree and were hidden in the hollow it created. Very carefully Sara peaked over the edge of the tree. A few yards away stood a tall, skinny demon. Its red skin was leathery looking and covered in bumps. Legs and arms too long for the torso, wings mismatched, hair a lackluster blonde long and stringy. Its face was long and narrow. Jutting out from its lower jaw were long canines that were too big for its mouth so they stuck up around his snout. As it moved bushes out of its way, she held in a gasp when she saw the long razor sharp talons on the end of its gangly fingers. There was no doubt this creature could slice her in two with barely a flick of its fingers. What shocked Sara about it was when the voice that came out of its mouth was the gravelly cultured voice.

“Do you see anything, Ira?” he asked.

Moving her gaze to where the red skinned demon was glaring, Sara saw another taller, muscular, smoothed skinned black demon. Its black glossy feathered wings fanned out gracefully behind him, his red hair cropped short on the sides long on top artfully messy. His face and body as beautiful as his wings. In fact he looked a lot like Lizza.

Sara thought him handsome, until he opened his mouth and showed his razor sharp teeth. However, it was the eyes with this one that made Sara shudder. Black pools of darkness. This demon was formidable, even powerful, which Sara did not know how she knew. It was something inside her that told her to be wary of this one. He was not what he seemed. That sixth sense that always told her when someone was lying to her or wanted to hurt what was hers. It was how she knew her mom was sick with something that meant to take her from them.

Sara quickly squashed the thoughts of her mother down and locked them away. They would only incapacitate her and she needed her wits about her. Especially with tall, dark and deadly looking for them.

Then the demon she now knew as Ira spoke and the image of strength and power vanished.

“Nope. Nuting here,” his high pitched mouse like voice answered.

Sara blinked. That was just not right.

“Are you sure,” the other asked his patience evidently waning.

“If I say there’s nuting here, Loren, there is nuting here!” Ira said menacingly. Or it would have been menacing if he did not sound like a squeaky mouse. Sara had to bite her lip to keep from laughing.

“I still don’t understand why she wants the girl. We were told to leave her alone,” Loren growled.

“You know ‘izza. She loves to stur up trouble,” Ira sighed.

“Yes, and then she drags us down with her. It’s the reason we are trapped in this godforsaken hell hole, slaves to that bastard,” Loren snapped. “Still, Lizza knew Gideon would come after her. No one touches his human. The last one that did is still a black smoldering stain on the ground, and that was over a hundred years ago.”

Sara frowned. A hundred years? For some reason knowing Gideon had been another’s guardian angel did not sit right with Sara.

“’izza said if she brought the ‘irl down ‘ere then we coud git out of ‘ere,” Ira said. “Said Lotar…Lathar…the big guy would ‘elp us.”

Loren paled, which meant he turned a lovely shade of pink. “She made a deal with Loathar?” he whispered. “Is she insane?”

“Porbaby,” Ira shrugged. “All I know is the big guy wanted ‘ideon down here and ‘izza knew ‘ow to do that. The big guy gits what ‘e wants and we finally git out of ‘ere.”

“And the girl?” Loren asked.

“Some’ne else wants ‘er,” his face showing confusion.


“I dinna no. Not sure why either. For a ‘uman she’s a ‘crawny ‘ittle thing.”

I am not scrawny! Sara huffed indignantly.

“I ‘ike my women ‘ound and pump,” Ira grinned wickedly,  using his hands to shape out something large and curvy. “But ‘oever this demon is ‘e’s powerful, and ‘e wants ‘er bad enough ‘e’s willing to break the ‘ules.”

“Then we better find her,” Loren grimaced, a new sense of urgency filling him. “Or Gideon won’t be the only one we have to worry about frying our asses.”

This was so confusing. Lisa, Sara’s best friend, was really Lizza a fallen angel. Sara was in Hell. That one she was still having trouble believing, but as she watched the two demon’s searching the underbrush she had a hard time arguing that it wasn’t true. She still was going on the dream theory, but she never remembered any of them being this vivid, or painful. And then there was the guy behind her with the very large very white wings. An angel. Oh, and apparently someone very powerful wanted her. But why? She remembered asking herself that question earlier before she was sidetracked by Talon’s dislocated wing.

Sara focused back on Loren and Ira. Two very ordinary names for two very unordinary beings. Beings that were fortunately moving away from them. The sigh of relief was short-lived as a hand went over her mouth, pulling her back into a hard body. Instinctively bringing her sword up, another hand grabbed her wrist squeezing. With a muffled cry of pain, Sara’s hand opened and the sword dropped silently to the ground.

“Shhhh!” a male voice hissed in her ear. “If they find us, we are dead.”

That stilled Sara. Whoever was holding her did not want to be found anymore than she did. The question now was who was he?

“I’m going to let you go,” he whispered very slowly as if he was talking to a person ready to jump off a ledge. “Please to do not scream. I would rather live to see tomorrow.”

Nodding she understood, he slowly released her. Once free Sara turned to look into dark blue borderline black eyes. She had never seen such dark blue eyes before and they mesmerized her. Wicked thoughts sent shockwaves down low in her body clenching it tight, while at the same time making it tingle in anticipation. Oh my! How could one look do all that to her? And she had not even seen the rest of him.

“Hello?” he called waving his hand in front of her eyes.

Blinking, Sara blushed when she saw his smirk, giving her the impression he was used to this sort of reaction from girls. Then she saw the rest of him. If she thought Talon was perfect, this man was beyond perfect into Oh My God! Way beyond. The black hair that hit his shoulders and fell artfully around his face and eyes only enhanced his beauty. A tight black t-shirt hugged his well tone body down to his narrow waist to black jeans. Since he was kneeling beside her, Sara could not tell what below the waistline looked like, but she could imagine.

Something soft touched her under her chin and gently pushed up. It was then she realized her jaw was on the ground and she was gawking rather unattractively. How embarrassing! Snapping her mouth shut, she felt herself heat even further. This time in embarrassment.

“Leaving that open around here isn’t healthy,” he chuckled. “You never know what…or who might fly in.”

Recovering what little wits she had left Sara stuttered, “You’re…you’re human!”

His smile dimmed. “In a manner of speaking.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means we do not have time for me to explain,” he answered gently. “Those two idiots will soon realize they are going in the wrong direction and head back this way. We need to not be here when that happens,” holding out his hand to her.

Sara looked at the hand not sure if she should take it. So much of what happened to her today was unknown, confusing. At the moment she did not know which way was up or down, and to just trust this stranger with the gorgeous eyes, no matter what he did to her body – especially what he did to her body – seemed unwise. She moved towards Talon.

“I can’t leave Talon here,” she said. “He saved my life.”

The man looked down at the angel, a hatred she did not understand flashing through his eyes. They knew each other, and were not on friendly terms.

“With those wings it will be hard to move him,” he mused , nothing of the hatred Sara had seen in his expression in his voice. In fact, it was very calm considering only a few yards away were two demons hunting for her. He looked at Sara’s determined expression that said she was not leaving without Talon and sighed. “Very well.”

Walking over to the sleeping angel, he squatted down next to him, put his hand in the middle of Talon’s back, closed his eyes and took a deep breath. If asked, Sara was not sure she could explain correctly what she felt, but a shiver of…power pulsed out from the man around her, through her, and into Talon. With a shudder, Talon’s wings slowly and neatly folded then disappeared. When it was all done, the man slumped forward breathing hard.

“How?” Sara whispered.

“Not easily, I can tell you that much,” the man grimaced.

When he stood, he staggered to one side and she instinctively grabbed a hold of him to steady him. Again that shiver of power pulsed through her, but instead of going into her, it went out from her and into him. With a gasp he froze. Immediately Sara let go, but she felt as if she had left something behind. Some part of her with…him. With wide eyes he turned towards her.

“Who are you?” he breathed.

“Sara,” she whispered back. “Sara Cantrell.”

His eyes widen further for just a moment before he managed to pull himself and his breathing under control. “Well, Sara Cantrell, you are a puzzle, and if what I felt is in any indication, I am starting to understand why the others want you so badly.”

“I’m glad one of us does because I am at a loss. I’m a seventeen year old girl who lives in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I have nothing anyone would want,” tears she had not realize she was holding back finally coming to the surface.

“I beg to differ,” the man countered reaching out and wiping the tears that had escaped with his thumb, his hand cupping her cheek. For some reason Sara could not move away, and that pulsing sense of power once again sent a shiver through her body tightening things low, making her want thing she should not want from the man in front of her. Why did he affect her like this? The widening of his eyes and the sharp intake of breath told Sara, he had felt it too.

“Yes, definitely a puzzle,” he murmured.

“Let’s try over here!” Loren’s voice pierced the uncomfortable silence.

They both looked in the direction of the voice, whatever spell that had been trying to weave itself between them broken.

“Time to go,” he whispered, his voice back to his calm business.

Sara could not agree more.

Moving to the other side of Talon, Sara and the stranger managed to heave Talon onto the stranger’s back. He was rather tall, almost as tall if not as tall as Talon. As he started walking in front of her, Sara was finally able to get a good look at the rest of him. His long lean torso, tight jeans showing his fine ass, the muscles in his legs as they worked carrying Talon’s dead weight down to his dark hiking boots. The thought of who was this person reminded her that she did not know his name.

“You still haven’t told me your name,” she commented as they made their way through the underbrush as quietly as they could.

“Damien. My name is Damien,” he answered.

For some reason the sound of his voice as he said his name struck a chord deep within Sara. As if some part of a destiny she did not know existed until now fell into place. What that meant Sara had no clue, but once they were safe she was going to start asking questions until she was satisfied with the answers, or all hell was going to break loose.

No pun intended.

Chapter 6
Chapter 8

Copyright © 2018 Heidi Barnes


You want me?
You can’t have me.
I cannot give you what I do not own.
Tread carefully
for the one who claims what you seek
will not take kindly to trespassers.

Is it trespass
when I know what I want
you want too?
Let me free you
Break the bonds that chain you.
Trust in me
Trust in us
Trust in love
Trust in fate

Copyright 2018 Heidi Barnes