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.
Copyright © 2018 Heidi Barnes