A week before Damien and Sapphira disappeared – deep in Lucifer’s dungeons.
“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 pure 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 go two ways, and it can go deep.
“Do you think I would allow you to touch her after what you did to me? You who the gods 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 spat.
“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, uttering the name of the 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 God can save you from. You have broken one of our kinds strictest of 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 suddenly 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 get his bearings, a foot ground into his back keeping him down.
“And since you now 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. When Lucifer was done, 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 Sapphira 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. Heat scored his front and he could not help himself. He opened his eyes and….
Everything seemed to freeze. Lucifer stood glaring at the wings burning in front of him with a look of triumph. The flame that once scorched Gideon’s body, ate greedily at his wings, was as still as a macabre sculptor. Even the dust that floated in the air hung silently.
The room filled with a brilliant white light. It floated down from the ceiling, moving and expanding until a figure stood on the other side of the cell from Gideon, dressed in a shimmering white dress that dragged on the floor as it walked towards him, bare toes peeking out from underneath. But what caught his eyes the most were the magnificent wings behind it. They were neither black nor white. They were the color of the earth. Browns, whites, blacks, reds, gold with a smattering of grey as if to show age but not detract from the beauty. Only add.
They were the colors of life.
Then he saw her brilliant blue eyes, and even though they were not the color he had learned to love, he knew those eyes better than his own.
“Sara!” he breathed as he slid to the floor until he sat. It was then he realized his pain was gone. Staring at her, seeing the differences along with everything about her that was so familiar, he was not sure if he should be relieved she was all right or afraid because she was in the cell with Lucifer.
“Shhh,” she soothed suddenly by his side, her cool hand on his face. “I cannot stay long and I cannot change what is about to happen,” she said sadly.
Gideon glanced at his wings, all but a few feathers nothing but ash.
“I know,” he whispered.
“Do you trust me?” she asked.
“Of course!” he answered immediately, his eyes going back to hers. What kind of question was that? He trusted her implicitly.
Sapphira smiled but it did not reach her eyes. “You will not remember this until the time is right,” she said leaning down to kiss his forehead.
Before he could grab her hand, she stood and moved towards the fire. Kneeling down, those beautiful wings sliding along the blood splattered dirt floor somehow wrong, she reached out and plucked a long white feather from Gideon’s burning wings. One that was completely whole and unharmed. When she stood and turned towards him, her eyes were sad.
“Remember that I will always love you,” she whispered.
“Sara! No!” he cried reaching for her.
And then she was gone.
Everything started to move again. Gideon watched his wings, his freedom, slowly burn to ash on the dirt floor as a memory of a beautiful wings the color of life slowly misted away in his mind, leaving him feeling alone and empty.
Copyright © 2018 Heidi Barnes