The kiss started out hesitantly, unsure, quickly growing into something much more as every nerve ending in Sapphira’s body ignited. When Fallon groaned, tightening his grip around her as he deepened his kiss, she knew that he felt it too. That feeling as if everything was on fire and the only way to quench that fire was to feed it more until it burned itself out.
“And here we thought you had sworn off women,” a snide voice taunted.
Sapphira and Fallon froze.
“Apparently not,” an amused voice answered.
Swearing softly, Fallon’s body shifted slightly as he whispered, “Hold tight.”
“I don’t think so,” another voice behind them growled with a tone that sent chills down Sapphira’s spine. “We were told you would lead us to the girl, but not to trust you to bring her to our master.”
Someone tsked. “You know what happens to those who disobey him,” the amused voice reminded. “You must love that hell hole you have been living in for the last century, Fallon, because if you do not return with the princess, he will leave you there to rot.”
Wanting to know who was surrounding her, Sapphira looked over Fallon’s shoulder to see Ira glaring down at her, his sword tip dug into Fallon’s back. Gone was the bad grammar, the air of an idiot. In its place was a fallen angel who reeked of power and would have no problems shoving his sword through the both of them.
“Hello, Princess,” he smiled. “I believe you know my sister.”
“Yes. I do recall a red-headed bitch dragging me into the last place I wanted to be,” Sapphira responded dryly.
Ira chuckled. “If only she had known who she had in her clutches. She would have tried harder to bring you to our master, and then we would not have to do this…unpleasantness.” His smile was more of a leer and Sapphira suddenly had the impression she was to be brought to their master but the condition was optionally.
Evidently Fallon heard the same tone in Ira’s voice because suddenly Sapphira was on her feet, back against the wall with him in front of her facing the others. Ira’s sword followed, this time ending with its tip resting on Fallon’s neck.
“You will not touch her,” Fallon snarled.
“My, my, my, my,” the cultured voice said. “Touchy, aren’t we.”
Sapphira looked around Fallon’s wings to see two fallen angels dressed in long black coats, black t-shirts and jeans. The only differences in their dress were the shoes they were wearing and weapons they carried. The one who had just spoken stood with his hands clasped in front of him feet apart, brown eyes wary. His hair was cut military short and the boots he wore were also military. Aside from the big ass sword that she could see the hilt over his left shoulder, whatever other weapons he carried were hidden under his coat.
The other fallen angel was the shortest even though he was above six foot. His straight blonde hair was cut short around the sides with the top longer and spiked. Wearing black short heeled boots that tucked under his jeans, as his coat flapped open she could see a gun on each hip. A strap across his chest held a scabbard in place at his back where she knew his sword would be. He was walking towards them and his blue eyes held a look Sapphira did not want to see on any man’s face. It spoke of a lust long denied.
Both men were runway model handsome, but neither held her interest in the way the man standing protectively in front of her did. The man that growled deep in his throat in warning as blondie approached, a sword appearing out of mist into his hand.
The smile slipped from blondie’s face as he slowed, his eyes showing his shock at Fallon’s actions.
“I don’t think he wants you near the princess, Marcus,” military said a little amusement showing in his voice.
“Why would he care? He hasn’t been with a woman since we fell,” Marcus scoffed but he did stop his advance. “Why should he decide to break his celibacy now? It’s not like he has a claim on her because he found her first.”
Military cut looked from Fallon to Sapphira, his eyes locking with Sapphira’s which were wary and a little confused. “Because I believe our boy here has been keeping secrets,” he said quietly.
“What?” Marcus frowned in confusion looking from military cut back to them.
Ira sniffed the air, not unlike Sapphira’s father had done all those years ago. And just like her father his eyes narrowed, only this time it was more of a calculated look.
“Now I understand,” Ira whispered. He began laughing. An all out, hang onto the nearest wall belly laugh. It was so unexpected that Sapphira did not know how to react. The other two just looked at him as if he had just sprouted another head.
“Is he mad?” Sapphira asked Fallon.
Fallon sighed. “Most days,” he said wearily.
“What’s Ira laughing at?” Marcus asked just as confused as Sapphira. Glad to know she was not the only one.
“That our former leader’s second in command, the man who betrayed us all and sentence us to our damnation, has managed to take the one thing Lucifer has coveted all these years,” military cut smirked. “Even more than his beloved Sachi, I think.”
“What?” Marcus asked once again.
“That is enough Malak,” Fallon warned.
“What are they babbling about?” Sapphira asked irritation thick in her voice. She did not like the way Malak dragged her mother into the conversation.
This time Malak laughed, but it was more of a short bark. “Are you telling me she does not even know?” he asked incredulously. This time he did laugh. “And here I thought you could not keep secrets.”
“I have kept plenty of secrets, Malak,” Fallon’s tone telling Sapphira that he had a few on Malak that Malak probably did not want anyone to know. Whatever it was it turned Malak’s amused expression into a scowl.
“Our orders are to bring the girl to our master. I suggest we do that before he becomes…impatient,” Ira reminded with a visible shudder.
Whoever this master was, he was dangerous enough to make four well train and very powerful angels shudder in fear. That was not good.
“I don’t think you will be taking the princess anywhere,” a familiar voice drawled.
Michel! Sapphira thought sagging with relief.
Swords were suddenly in Marcus and Malak’s hands. Ira kept his sword pointed at Fallon. The menacing growl that came from Fallon told Sapphira he was not happy to see the angel. Fallon’s wings flexed, rising a little to hide her from the others. In order to see what was going on Sapphira had to peer around the edge of them.
Michel stood legs apart; hands clasped in front of him, not unlike Malak’s had been. Where Malak was now on guard, Michel was at ease. Aitan stood to one side watching everything at once. Darrick was watching the alleyway behind them, making sure no mortals stumbled upon them. Loghan stood fingering his sword as he grinned mischievously at Marcus, who glowered back. Sapphira got the distinct impression there was a history there.
“What makes you so sure you can take her from us?” Marcus sneered. “She is one of us. A fallen, so technically she is ours to keep.”
The smile Michel wasted on Marcus was not a pleasant smile. It spoke of a loathing that went so deep Sapphira started to wonder if there was something personal between the two males.
“Sapphira is no more fallen than I am,” he said pleasantly. “It is not her fault her parentage is…questionable. Sometimes the sins of the father do not have to follow the child.”
“Oh, I think in this case it does,” Malak said moving to stand next to Ira, who had turned to face the angels and block them from Fallon and Sapphira. “She’s the daughter of Lucifer and the means to our freedom. To be finally released from our prison, to once again roam the earth and take that which is ours. I don’t think you can get more sinful than that.”
Sapphira rested her forehead against Fallon’s back, her fingers digging into his coat as her gut twisting viscously. Malak’s words brought back more of her suppressed memories. Memories of a curse that had followed her since the day she was born. A curse she wanted nothing to do with. All she wanted was to be left in peace.
“Are you all right, Sapphira?” Michel asked his voice sounding strange.
Fallon’s wings fanned back until they touched the grimy wall. It was a possessive move, telling the others that she was his. To her it was soothing, reassuring that he would not allow anyone to harm her. Reaching out she ran her fingers gently though the unbelievable softness of those feathers. Something she thought she would never be able to do again. They closed in around her, his body shuddering, a soft groan filling the quiet alleyway. She knew she was distracting him, but she could not help herself. Touching another’s wings was like touching something deep inside them, and the feeling of pleasure could overwhelm them.
“Keep it in your pants, lover boy,” Malak said snidely. “No matter what has been done in the past, she does not belong you now.”
Once again Fallon stiffened, his wings moving away from Sapphira but still keeping her enclosed. “I have already told you, you will not touch her,” Fallon snarled.
“What right do you have to the princess?” Aitan’s deep voice rumbled.
The silence crept on.
“I think Lucifer has taught our boy here to keep his mouth shut. Since our master rescued him, he has barely said two words,” Marcus sneered. “But that is all irrelevant.” Sapphira was surprised he knew that large of a word. “The girl is coming with us. If you want her…well you know the drill.”
“Yes, we do,” Michel said his voice lowering.
The sounds of swords unsheathing filled the small alley way.
“Shall we take this to somewhere more…open?” Loghan suggested.
“Only if Fallon relinquishes the girl to me,” Malak answered.
“By the expression on his face, I’m going to go with that’s not happening,” Loghan said curiously. “What have we missed?”
Malak laughed. “Oh, if only you knew,” he said right before the first sound of metal clashing filled the small space.
Sapphira tried to summon her sword. Nothing happened. She tried again. There was a little bit of mist but it blew away in the wind of Fallon’s wings. He would not move too far from her, but he was battling with someone she could not see, and she could not summon a weapon to help him. This was not good. Well, there were other ways to fight even if she did not have all her powers.
Suddenly Fallon was slammed back against the wall squishing Sapphira who cried out in protest. She tried to wiggle out, but his hand shot back to hold her in place.
“Get her out of here,” Michel hissed. “I will follow as soon as I can.
“A lot has changed in the last few millennia, loyalties divided. How do I know I can still trust you,” Fallon hissed back.
“You don’t,” Michel said. “But what choice do you have?”
There was silence. The whole conversation was strange to Sapphira. Why would Michel trust Fallon when they were on opposite sides? Unless….
“Move,” Fallon hissed angrily.
Then the weight of the angels were off her and Fallon had his arms up blocking something. Sapphira took the opportunity to slip out from behind him. Looking up she saw Fallon and Ira locked together, their swords crossed, eyes blazing.
“You ruined my kill!” Ira snarled.
“Sorry, didn’t see you,” Fallon smirked before pushing Ira away.
Apparently no love loss there, but there was no time to wonder why or think about the relationship between Michel and Fallon. Grunts of pain as they fought filled the narrow space. As she looked for something to use as a weapon, Sapphira was hard pressed to stay out of harm’s way. Finally she found a thick piece of pipe laying in the trash. Perfect. When she reached down to grab it someone took a hold of her hair and yanked her back.
“I don’t think so,” Marcus snarled.
Sapphira did not think she just reacted. Centuries of training, of being pushed beyond her limits by her father, of trying to stay alive kicked in. As Marcus swung her around, she brought her fist with the momentum. With a cry of surprise he let go of her and stumbled back, blood gushing from his nose.
“You little bitch!” he snarled holding his nose.
“You don’t know the half of it,” Sapphira said sweetly right before she kicked her foot high, landing her toes under his chin sending him slamming against the wall with such force, it knocked the breath from him and brought dirt and dust down on top of him. A movement out of the corner of her eye and she was swinging around to kick her attacker.
“Whoa!” Loghan cried jumping back his hands in the air to show he meant no harm. “I’m one of the good guys. Remember?”
“To be honest I don’t know who the good guys are anymore,” Sapphira said going for the metal pipe again. Once she had it firmly in her grasp she turned to look at what was going on.
Aitan and Ira were circling each other. Malak and Michel were locked in a flurry of sword swipes that made Sapphira dizzy to watch. Fallon was coming towards them, his eyes blazing as they locked on Loghan. The sword in his hand was bloody; his long coat billowing out around him. The way his hair moved and his eyes shown with determination, the flair of his black wings in the small space, all of it made Sapphira’s knees weak. From the moment they had met he had this effect on her. The sense that he belonged to her made it all that more powerful.
“As much as you beating the crap out of Marcus kind of turned me on, you need to get out of here, Princess,” Loghan said from beside her, his voice light and teasing. She looked at him to see he was watching Fallon, his body far from relaxed. He was tense to fight. “Go back to the monastery. You’ll be safe there.”
The monastery. Where Gideon was. Guilt flooded her. When Fallon appeared before her and the memories assailed her, she had forgotten all about Gideon. Forgotten about everything that had happened between them as the male coming at her held her in his arms. Forgot that there was an angel that had sacrificed just as much as Fallon to keep her safe. That loved her. Now she felt as if her heart were being torn in two.
“Go Sapphira,” Loghan urged moving in front of her.
“Get out of my way,” Fallon snapped.
“You’ll have to go through me to get to her,” Loghan said swinging his sword around in a full circle at his side before he crouched down, legs apart, knees slightly bent, ready for whatever Fallon threw at him.
A smile that Sapphira had never seen on Fallon slowly spread across his lips. It was cold, calculating, eager. He wanted this fight. “If you insist,” he said right before he yelled a battle cry and brought his sword down on Loghan’s.
Sapphira did not wait to see what happened. She knew if she stayed she would distract both men, and she wanted neither hurt. With a shrug of her shoulders, her wings burst forth and she was airborne. There were cries of shock and anger below, but she ignored them and flew as if her life depended on it, because it did.
Whether or not she went to the monastery was still to be decided. First she had to get her bearings, sort through the memories that kept coming at her in bits and pieces. Try to figure out what she should do next. Everything was so confusing. If only she could get to her brother. Then things would clear up, but he was at the monastery with Gideon and she was not ready to face that particular problem just yet.
Without thinking, she veered north, any direction to get her away from those that were fighting over the right to own her.
Behind her a lone figure kept its distance, not wanting to make itself known just yet. First to get the female away from the others. Then they would swoop in and bring all the glory to themselves as they presented the one gift their master desired most.
Once they were through with her, of course.
Copyright © 2018 Heidi Barnes