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.

“Who?”

“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

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Forever Lost – Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Halfway to the castle off to the right was a pulse of power that caught Gideon’s attention. Looking in that direction, his eyes widen slightly as a once empty field was suddenly filled with what looked like a county fair. Sara, he thought. His relief that she was not in the castle was such that he faltered in mid-flight. The relief was short-lived as the illusion of the 1950’s county fair slowly dissolved, revealing where they were and more chillingly who they were. And Sara stood somewhere in the middle of them.

“Mother of God,” Talon breathed.

One by one the angels angled towards the horde.

“I’ve never seen this many demons in one place,” Loghan said in awe.

“More for us to slaughter,” Michel grinned gleefully.

Loghan grimaced at the angel. “You are one sick son-of-a….”

“We have never fought this many at once, or in their realm,” Aitan rumbled as they stopped to hover high overhead. “We are only nine, they are hundreds.”

“I don’t know,” Michel said nonchalantly, scratching his chin with one of his arrows. “I kind of like the odds.”

“Just sick,” Loghan muttered. Then more loudly, “It doesn’t really matter how many there are. Gideon was given the task of protecting Sara, which means we all protect her. We can’t leave her down there. They will tear her apart, and that is only after they are done playing with her.”

Gideon’s entire body went ridged with rage. They would not touch what was his. If they did, they would beg him for a death he would never grant them.

“Enough, Loghan,” Talon hissed seeing his leader’s expression. “Aitan is right, Gideon. There are too many of them and we are weak here.”

“I will not leave without Sara,” Gideon responded with a calm that raised the hair on Talon’s arms.

“I didn’t say we would, but going down there will be suicide. We need a diversion to pull some of them away,” Talon suggested, trying to reason with him.

When Gideon turned his blazing eyes towards him, Talon realized all the reasoning in the world would not stop his leader from going down into that death trap. With one last silent plea of sanity that Gideon ignored by turning back to the demon horde before them, Talon turned to the others.

“Loghan is right. Sara is all our responsibility. There is something about this girl that the powers to be in all the realms want. We have to make sure she does not fall into the wrong hands, whoever that may be,” he added the last quietly so only Gideon could hear.

Gideon looked at Talon, his eyes widening just a fraction. So Talon was not so sure who to trust either. Good to know.

“If this is a trap for me, you need to get her to safety, Talon. Take her to my house on Nepal. Tell no one of where you have gone except those you trust unequivocally.” He reached out and took a hold of Talon’s forearm, his grip bruising. “Keep her safe,” he hissed desperately.

Gripping Gideon’s forearm in a show of brothership, Talon nodded he would do as he was asked. Then they descended into the foray like silent shadows. There was nothing silent about the screams that followed. As Gideon fought his way through bodies, he absently realized that it had been over twenty minutes since he stood outside the electronic store watching this scene unfold. Time must be running differently here, something he had never heard of. Usually time flowed equally in each realm. He would have to wait until later to ponder that particular peculiarity. His first and only priority was finding Sara and getting her the hell out of this gods-forsaken realm.

“Sara!” he yelled between slashing and beheading. “Sara! Where are you?”

“Here!” a female voiced called from somewhere in front of him, her voice strained.

Thoughts of her fighting for her life fueled Gideon to fight harder. His name hissed in the midst of all the chaos sent a shock of adrenaline through his system, distracting him from his goal. That voice was familiar. Too familiar. Looking up he spied Lizza high in the air holding a struggling Sara and his heart froze. If Sara fell from that distance she would not survive. Their eyes locked and even though Sara did not know him, not really, there was a look of complete trust in those eyes. Trust he was not sure he had earned. However, that did not stop the feeling that slammed into him. The one that wanted desperately to earn that trust so that he could keep her with him forever.

“Let her go, Lizza,” Gideon snarled.

Lizza only laughed, which aggravated him more. That fallen angel had been a thorn in his side for far too long. Time to pull it out. Before he could launch himself into the air, his attention was diverted by a presence so foul it dwarfed all the others around him. There was only a few demons who could manage that feat, and only one who wanted Gideon’s head badly enough to risk the wrath of his master.

“Gideon!” Talon yelled in warning.

“Loathar,” Gideon snarled making that one word something as vile as the thing that stood before him, armed to the teeth. That he was so well armed brought a smile to Gideon’s lips. It meant that even though Gideon was weak in this realm, Loathar knew he could very well lose this fight.

 The demon lord flexed his huge leathery wings, as his grin widened showing his surprisingly straight white teeth. It seemed to make the expression of malice on the demon’s face all that more fierce.

“You can’t just come in here and claim what is rightfully ours, Angel,” the demon scoffed.

“She is not yours, Loathar. She belongs with me,” Gideon snapped. Unfortunately the demon did not miss the hesitation over the word with. What Gideon wanted to say was that Sara was his, but that would bring a whole other set of problems down upon them. More he did not need right now.

“I suggest you keep better watch over your charges if you wish to keep them, Angel. She is in our realm now and she came freely, therefore she is ours. Your claim is null and void,” Loathar laughed. Then his voice grew low and husky. “And I plan to take pleasure in every part of her.”

“Over my dead body,” Gideon snarled.

“If you insist,” Loathar smiled. With a huge roar that shook the ground Loathar lunged.

Gideon parried with the ease of an existence worth of battle. Distantly he heard Sara scream and he desperately wanted to look, but he caught a flash out of the corner of his eye and knew that Talon was going after her. That she would be safe.

A few more blows and they backed away from each other, breathing hard as they circled.

“I never would have expected this to work out so well,” Loathar gloated. “The great Gideon! Leader of the most feared band of warriors the heavens have to offer laid low because of a small insignificant girl. I will have to admit, she does have spirit.” He rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “It will be interesting to see how long she will last before I have broken it.”

“I told you, demon,” Gideon said calmly, although he was anything but calm inside. Thinking about this monster touching Sara sent him into a rage the likes he had never felt before. “You will have to kill me first, and even if you do I will make sure you have nothing left to touch her with,” he added with an evil grin as he pointed his sword at the demons crotch.

“Now that is just rude,” Loathar’s voice showing his hurt as he cupped himself. Then his expression turned low and vicious as did his voice, “Boys, you know what to do with rude angels.”

Gideon barely had enough time to duck the mace that whistled through the air at his head. Then they were on him. Loathar and three other lords, all attacking at once. It was not long before Gideon lost his shield. Blocking a sword blow of the smallest lord, Gideon grabbed his wrist twisted and pulled the demon’s back to his front, his arm firmly around the demon’s neck. Now the demon had to fight his own people in order to survive, and the weapons bit into his body, not Gideon’s. Unfortunately the demon’s brethren did not care if they killed one of their own. It was just collateral damage.

“Gideon!” he heard one of his men call frantically.

“Get out of here!” Gideon ordered as he continued to keep the demon in front of him while they both fought.

“We are not leaving you!” This time it was Aitan’s voice that rumble through the ranks. A few of the lesser demon’s cowered back, knowing the mace that followed that voice was death.

“Go! Help Talon!” Gideon yelled.

With a high pitch scream, the demon he held was suddenly dead weight as a sword cleaved him almost in two. Gideon was barely able to jump back before the sword dug too deeply into his side. Swearing, he put his hand over the wound, blood seeping quickly through his fingers. Not good. Normally a wound even this size would heal almost instantly, but they were not in normal circumstances, and the weapons the demons used were laced with a poison that hindered healing.

Suddenly Aitan stood before Gideon facing his attackers. Loghan was beside him as two others faced opposite sides, barring the demons from reaching him. Dropping to his knee, Gideon gasped for air, the wound deeper than he first thought.

“We need to get you out of here,” Loghan hissed, the worry tight in his voice as he knelt beside Gideon.

“No!” Gideon gasped with a tone that none of them dared argued. “It’s me they want. If I stay here they won’t follow you. Go. Help Talon. Sara’s safety is first and foremost. Make sure she is safe.”

Loghan hesitated for a moment before he put his fist to his chest and nodded in reluctant acceptance. Helping Gideon to his feet, making sure he had his sword then giving him one of his own short swords, Loghan looked once more into his leader’s eyes to make sure this was what he wanted then started barking orders.

“Fall back!” he called.

The others balked at first, unwilling to leave their leader wounded with the enemy. But one look at Gideon’s fierce determination and they expanded their wings and were gone.

The demons immediately closed in on Gideon.

“Seems your friends have left you. I knew they were cowards,” Loathar sneered.

The smile Gideon gave him was so cold the demons hesitated in their advance.

“Oh, I’ve only just started,” Gideon responded ominously.

Then he was airborne and heading away from the direction Lizza had taken Sara, deeper into the bowels of hell with over a thousand demons in pursuit, all screaming for his death. With a wicked grin, he thought the odds could not have been better.

 

Chapter 3

Chapter 5

Copyright © 2017 Heidi Barnes

Forever Lost – Chapter 3

Chapter 3

When Gideon arrived at the gates of the realm the human’s called Hell, he found himself alone. That wasn’t right. There were always guards posted at these gates. To leave them unattended meant someone wanted him inside, which meant a trap. And they took the only bait that was guaranteed to draw him in. This was not good. The question still remained, who would do this?

Suddenly he was surrounded by warriors, but he did not take his eyes off of the gates or draw his sword.

“So what is the plan?” Talon asked.

“We go in, find Sara and leave,” Gideon answered calmly.

“Does anyone else think it strange that there are no guards here?” one of his warriors asked.

With his short curly sandy blonde hair and bright blue eyes, Michel looked more like the angels the humans depicted in their pictures, except for the leather armor, the quiver of very large arrows, the matching bow in his hand and the very large very dangerous looking mace at his side. No, this particular angel was one of the most feared in their ranks. Wicked smart with battle strategy along with his weaponry, Michel reveled in the interrogation of the enemy. The bloodlust that fell upon him in those instances and in battle was the reason he was under Gideon’s command. The others could not stomach what Michel was willing to do to extract information out of the enemy. There were times Gideon could not stomach it, but because of this angel they had managed to find the most dangerous lords of the underworld and put them back where they belonged.

“I was just thinking that same thing, my friend,” a dark haired dark skinned angel rumbled. At seven foot three, there was no mistaking what Aitan was. His blacker than night hair braided in rows that fell down his back between his wings was tied back with a leather thong. His strikingly sapphire eyes glanced around the cavern as he pulled his massive sword from the sheath at his back, his muscles rippling with power.

The four others that surrounded Gideon, all various sizes and coloring, followed suit with their varying weapons. Out of thin air gold shields one by one materialized on each arm not holding a weapon. Although gold was what the attacker saw on the surface, underneath was a metal only the strongest of demons could attempt to dent.

“This reeks of a trap,” Talon whispered, concern furrowing his brow.

“I agree, but who wants me down here this badly?” Gideon asked. Talon gave him a look that said are you really asking that question? “Badly enough to risk war?” Gideon reiterated in exasperation. “Lizza is not that brave, or stupid.”

“There is only one that I think would be that stupid,” Aitan rumbled.

“Loathar,” Talon said grimly. One of the higher lords under the flag of the Horsemen known as War; Loathar had a grudge match with Gideon that went back to before the angels fell. “He would also have the power to pull off that spell.”

“What spell?” one of the others, the shorter, leaner yet by no means any less dangerous angel’s asked.

“It doesn’t matter what spell he used, Loghan,” Gideon snapped. “What matters is Sara is in there and she has no idea what she’s up against, or how to defend herself.”

The others blinked at him, stunned by his outburst. Gideon never lost his composure. If he did not gain control of himself before going inside, the very air would feed off his anger, draining him and making his opponents stronger. What he needed was calm, but how was he supposed to do calm when his heart was racing with fear? Thank God his strength was returning. Whether it was because of time or because he and Sara were now in the same realm he did not know, nor did he care. What he did know was he needed every bit of his strength to rescue her. He could fall apart after she was safely at his home, and in his arms.

That thought stopped him. The only times he allowed himself to hold Sara was when she was lost in grief about her mother’s passing, and because she felt she had to stay strong for her family that was few and far between. The sense of peace mixed with something…alien Gideon felt when he held her had always confused him. Now he was thinking about taking her to the realm those of his kind resided in, which was forbidden.

No, not there. Not until he understood exactly what was going on and whom he could trust. There were other places he could take her. Places far away and that only a select few knew about.

Gritting his teeth, Gideon closed his eyes, willing himself to focus on the task at hand. Walk into an obvious trap, find Sara and rescue her. When he opened them he was calmer, better centered. He looked at his men who were waiting patiently for him to return to himself, no judgment or condemnation in any of their eyes. They trusted him to do his job, be their leader, and they would put their lives in his hands without question.

“Trap or not, the doors are unguarded and I will take whatever advantage we have. I also want you to know that I have not asked the powers to be if we can retrieve Sara from this realm. If you follow me in there, there may be…repercussions. If you do not want to follow me, I will understand.”

There was only a moment of silence before they all started to check their weapons, tighten various straps holding those weapons, swinging swords to loosen fighting arms or notching arrows. Gideon smiled. These men were his family, his brothers. They would have his back in any situation, as he would have theirs. They would risk punishment for him. However, Gideon did not think there would be a punishment. Where this may be a trap for him, something inside told him that there was a much larger force at work here. Larger than Heaven and Hell, and Sara was somehow in the center of it.

“Now that that is settled, let’s go hunt some demons,” Michel said, a wicked grin turning his features positively evil. Gideon answered with one of his own before he put his hand on the door, closed his eyes and concentrated. There was an audible click and the gates swung open.

“I was hoping for something a little more…flamboyant,” Loghan sighed wistfully.

“Ringing the doorbell before entering the enemy’s home does not bode well for living through the next few minutes,” Michel reminded as if he were talking about the weather.

“But it does have a certain flare,” Loghan offered with a wave of his hand that suggested royalty. “It says, yes we know you are badass, but we are bigger badasses and we are here to kick yours.”

“You do have a point,” Michel mused. “Maybe we should make noise as we enter.”

“If you two don’t shut it the only thing flaring and making noise around here will be you when I turn you into an angel pyre,” Talon snapped.

“Temper, temper,” Loghan clucked.

Talon started to turn to retaliate, but Gideon slipped through the gates and beyond. The questions and worry Talon had on the street surfaced once again. He only hoped that Gideon’s concern for Sara would not distract him from the fact this could very well be a trap for him. Loathar was one of the top lords of the demon world and not to be taken lightly. Normally Gideon could handle the demon, but he was still weak and his mind was not as focused as it should have been, something Talon was sure Loathar was counting on. Taking a better hold of his sword and shield Talon followed Gideon, hearing rather than seeing the others silently follow suit.

The warriors met no resistance through the tunnels that lead deeper into their enemies’ world. As the air grew thicker and the heat grew stifling, the angels slowly and cautiously kept going. When they reached the end and stood on the precipice of a high cliff, the realm the humans called Hell in all its glory, or damnation, spread out before them, they stopped to survey their surroundings.

Most think of Hell as a vast network of caves filled with pain and agony, brimstone and fire spewing everywhere, and there were those elements in the levels far below. But here, where even though there was extreme heat and an acrid smell, it looked more like something you would see on earth hundreds of years before man began to take over and destroy nature’s beauty.

Forests, bogs, fields, mountains, lakes. To one who did not know better it looked rather peaceful, except for the red haze that painted everything in its bloody tint. They would enter without knowing that the creatures that lived in the forest, bogs, meadows, mountains and lakes would rather eat you slowly, relishing in your screams of pain and terror.

Sara was down there…somewhere in that land of horror. Gideon closed his eyes as a wave of guilt ridden rage engulfed him. He should never have left her today. He should have realized that the lead he had been given was only a means to distract him, so the bastards that have hunted Sara her entire existence could take her. He could rail at Talon for allowing her to be captured, but he knew that would be useless and unwarranted. Talon had proven time and time again he would never let any harm come to Sara. No, powerful forces had been at work. Forces Gideon was for the first time beginning to fear.

“You know,” Loghan grimaced in disgust, breaking into Gideon’s self-recriminations, “no matter how many times I come here, I will never understand why everything has to be red. I mean, there are other colors in the spectrum. It just smacks lack of imagination.”

The others ignored him.

“Do you sense her?” Michel asked quietly, moving to stand next to Gideon who stood silently staring out at the vast expanse.

Did he sense her? Once again closing his eyes, pushing the fear back into the box where it belonged, Gideon reached out, searching. In amongst the anger, fear and evil, a light shone brightly. Sara! His eyes snapped opened.

“There,” he said pointing towards the large mountain.

Loghan whistled. “Do you know who lives there?” he whispered.

“Yes,” Gideon answered quietly.

“How do you plan on getting her out of there?” Aitan asked. “That fortress is the most well guarded location in this realm. Even the  Dark Lords fear that place.”

“I know.” When Gideon turned to Talon, he let him and only him see the fear in his eyes. Thankfully, Talon was able to keep his composure and not let the others know that Gideon had no idea how they were going to rescue Sara from a fortress so full of evil, no angel dared enter it. Not unless they went unwillingly, and when they came out, if they came out, they were never the same. Both Talon and Gideon could personally attest to that.

“Why don’t we start flying in that direction,” Talon suggested his eyes not leaving Gideon’s, willing his strength into his leader, his friend, his brother. “She may not be in there, but somewhere in-between.”

“It’s a good idea,” Aitan rumbled looking at Michel with concern, who answered with a frown of his own. They both sensed something was not right with their leader and that made them uneasy.

Gideon looked back at the mountain praying Talon was right and Sara was not in the castle. “The longer we are here the weaker we become. Let’s go and find something to fight and return to the cleaner air of the human realm before it’s too late.”

Each of the eight fighters nodded their agreement. Then as one they lifted into the sky and headed further into the bowels of Hell.

 

Chapter 2 

Chapter 4

Copyright © 2017 Heidi Barnes

Forever Lost – Chapter 2

Chapter 2

When Gideon was first told what his next assignment would be, he refused. He was a warrior, not a babysitter. His place was alongside his brothers fighting their never-ending war of good verse evil. Of the Angels from Paradise against the Demons from Hell, the Fallen, the damned. With his mismatched family whose unyielding loyalty to each other had been forged on the battle field, saving the humans from horrors they did not believe existed outside of fairy tales and myths.

Unfortunately, the powers that be did would not take no for an answer.

Vehemently – yet respectively – voicing his displeasure, Gideon transitioned down to the small tent where the child he was charged with keeping safe slept in the bundle of furs on an worn woven rug. The small caravan was quiet as it was late in the cold desert night. Deftly stepping over the parents who slept by the door, Gideon took notice of two older children who slept only a few feet away from his charge towards the back. Lying next to the babe was another toddler no more than two blinking up at him with a small smile on his lips, instinctively knowing the stranger in their midst dressed as one of their own in a black robe belted at the waist, long open coat and headdress that covered his blonde hair and most of his face, leaving only his blue eyes visible, and wearing enough weapons to slaughter a small army was of no threat to them.

Innocence is wasted on the young, Gideon thought with a grimace.

Their ability to sense danger adults were too caught up in their own angst to see. To be able see mystical creatures hidden in this wondrous world during a time they were too young to remember.

Removing the cloth that covered his lower face, Gideon smiled at the young boy as he knelt down next to the infant that called to him. Turning his eyes to the little one he frowned. It was not that he did not like babies; it was that they were fragile little things, and his hands were made for wielding a sword and breaking necks, not taking care of a creature that would break if he sneezed too hard on it. He wondered what was so special about someone small and innocent that he was charged with guarding it with his very existence.

Are you here to take care of my baby sister? the two-year-old’s thoughts broke into Gideon’s.

Yes, little one, Gideon answered looking at him.

She’s very special isn’t she, he frowned, his eyes grave as he looked at his sister.

Yes, youth was wasted on the young. Even though he had no information, the toddler instinctively knew something was special about his baby sister. Probably knew more than Gideon. Before he left, Gideon had tried to glean information from his superiors. All they would tell him was that if any harm came to her, he would not like the repercussions. That was when they opened a window into hell, showing him what was instore if he failed. Not that he needed an incentive. As much as he disagreed and let them know his objections, repeatedly, he would do as they asked with everything in him. It was what he was created for.

Yes she is. What is your name little one?

Aaron, the toddler thought proudly.

And your sister’s? he asked looking down at the babe.

Zahara, he answered with a smile. I will help you protect her from the bad people. His expression grew grave as he gazed at his younger sister. They have been hunting her for a long time, searching. Longer than I can…. The toddler stopped, as if he was about to say something that he knew he shouldn’t. You protect her? he asked again, his tone a plea.

Gideon frowned at the boy, a chill creeping up his spin. I will protect her with my life.

Looking down at his sister, Aaron nodded. Okay. Suddenly he smiled brightly at Gideon, the graveness from a moment before gone, and chimed, Night!

Once the toddler was settled down and asleep, Gideon turned his attention back to the infant. She was awake now, and as he looked down into her dark chocolate eyes, all his questions grew. How could one so young have a soul so old? So…pure. And what did Aaron mean they had been hunting her? She was only a few weeks old. Nothing made sense.

Tentatively he reached out his hand, his finger extended to touch her cheek. The baby cooed and wrapped both of her incredibly tiny hands around his finger, squeezing it before bringing it to her mouth to suck on. In that instant, Gideon was lost.

In the thousand years that followed, Gideon realized what Aaron had meant by a long time, and that if he wanted to survive the hell that had been unleased on the small child, he would need help. Enter his brethren. Some of the fiercest, deadly warriors known in the universe, their souls forged in the fires of Heaven and honed from centuries of fighting whatever foul creature Hell spat out at them, they were loyal to him to a fault. These men he trusted, no other. Not even those who claimed they were Heavenly Divine.

From that first day, it seemed as if every demon in existence tried to either take the girl or kill her. Yet it was not until the tenth year of her third life Gideon realized why they wanted her.

They were living in what is now known as Mayan Ruins deep in the Honduras jungle. Beloved daughter of the chieftain, Ixazaluoh was rarely left unguarded due to the attacks from what the natives thought were a roving tribe that had made it its mission to steal the princess for their own. Gideon and his comrades new the truth. They were Fallen, come to take what Heaven was so zealously guarding. What their enemy, Gideon was holding so close to his side.

Gideon had made sure he was the head of her personal guard, and that his men were dispersed throughout the grounds. Usually he had at least two of them close at hand at all times, but they had been pulled away to take care of a disturbance on the other side of the city. So he was alone with Ixazaluoh when they were attacked in one of the fields. Trained to defend herself by Gideon, she did not hesitate to join in the fray. What stunned Gideon, and he’s pretty sure those who attacked them, was as Ixazaluoh turned towards one of the demons who was disguised as a human male, she recognized it what for what it was and did not run screaming in terror. Snarling its name in Mayan as if his very existence disgusted her, she stared the demon down until it shrank back in fear. Somehow, even though they knew she was special, the demon saw past the mortal shell of the soul of a slip of a girl and saw her for what she was. Old and pure and powerful. It was also when Gideon realized, whatever the Fates had designed for her, it would change the universe as they knew it.

Zahara, Ixazoluoh, and in this new life time Sara. Different variations of the same name throughout her lifetimes, and where it sounded so simple, when it rolled off Gideon’s tongue it made his heart skip a beat and always brought a smile to his lips.

With each death and each rebirth, Gideon’s feelings for his charge grew and changed. Each death had become harder to endure, each rebirth a relief that she was not gone from him forever.

Number one rule for what mortals called guardian angels is you do not fall in love with your charge. Being as old as he was, Gideon was very well acquainted with the dangers of falling in love with a mortal, no matter how old the soul was. But he found that arguing with one’s heart was a losing battle. Still, if the powers that be found out about how he felt about Sara, they would pull him away from her, and that would not do. To not be able to see her smiling eyes every day, watch her sleep at night. Ease her nightmares with a brush of the back of his hand on her cheek, or whispered soothing words in her ear. To allow someone he did know or trust to keep her safe was unthinkable.

On those rare occasions when Gideon was called away for some other business, or tracking the demons who were rumored to be hunting her, there was only one angel he trusted with her safety. Talon, his most trusted sometimes obnoxious friend. Well, if Gideon was truthful Talon was always obnoxious. Because his inability to keep his temper, or mouth, in check, Talon would have been exiled a long time ago if Gideon had not reminded his superiors of Talon’s bravery and loyalty, or his skill on the battlefield. Of the atrocities they had all endured in this never ending war. And while Talon grumbled about what he called “babysitting duty”, Gideon knew he would give his life to keep Sara safe. Not only because of his unwavering loyalty, but because Talon saw what Gideon saw. That there was something about his mortal that was special, powerful. They just could not figure out what.

Today Gideon was hundred miles away checking on a lead he had been given about a powerful lord from the hell realm plotting to kidnap Sara. A false lead, as it turned out. He was about to go find the bastard that gave him the bad information and slowly gut him, when a wrenching deep in his soul that was so powerful it took him to his knees and left him gasping for air. Something had happened to Sara. When he could finally concentrate past the pain he tried to sense her.

Nothing.

It was as if she never existed. She was just…gone.

Pushing himself weakly to his feet, Gideon stamped down the growing terror threatening to disable him further, pulled in his strength and in a flash was standing next to Talon who was glaring at something in a store window. Around them the mortals walked by, unable to see the two six foot five armor clad warriors, continuing on with their day without a care in the world while Gideon felt as if his was ending.

“What the hell happened?” Gideon gasped leaning heavily against the side of the window. Why was he so weak?

“I’m not sure,” Talon answered his voice stiff with anger. He did not like it when something happened right in front of his nose, and this he never saw coming or was able to stop. It just smacked of sloppiness, and sloppy he was not, but that was exactly what had happened. There had not even been a hint of demonic presence or use of magic. He blinked and Sara was just…gone. “One moment she was standing here looking at something in the window and the next she vanished.”

“What do you mean vanished! How can she just vanish?” Gideon snapped standing straight. The world abruptly tilted, bringing a groan from him as he closed his eyes slumping back against the brick wall.

“What is wrong?” Talon asked his anger replaced with concern when he saw how pale his friend was.

“Not sure.” Bending over at the waist, putting his hands on his thighs, hanging his head, Gideon tried to suck air into his lungs. “Hard…to breathe.”

Talon studied his friend for a moment; an errant thought he quickly dismissed flitting through his mind. After the last betrayal, the one that had hardened the angel’s heart to stone, Gideon had sworn off women. Something only Talon knew. Nevertheless, the way Gideon was acting….

Again Talon dismissed this thought. Gideon never broke the rules. Bent them every once in a while to the point of breaking, maybe, but never broke them. Especially this one. Falling in love with a charge was the biggest taboo of their kind, and it meant immediate exile from heaven if caught.

Pushing that disturbing thought aside, he pointed to the window and said, “The bigger question is, how Sara is in there?”

This time taking it slow as he straightened, Gideon looked where Talon was pointing. Inside the store were different sizes of TV’s. All flat screen, all high definition, except for one. It looked like one out of the 1950’s. Big, bulky and everything in black and white. Even the movie playing was old. Something about a circus.

“I don’t under….” Then he saw her. Inside the black and white, dressed in tight crop pants, canvas shoes, button down shirt that was tied at the waist and a wide headband holding her long brunette hair from her face was Sara. She was talking to someone who looked vaguely familiar. On closer inspection Gideon sucked air in through his teeth. “Lizza,” he snarled.

“How the hell did she pull Sara in there? She doesn’t have that kind of power,” Talon snapped, completely stunned.

“She must have had help. Either way we need to get Sara out of there,” Gideon growled. Placing his hand against the glass, magic tingled up his arm. Yes, a very powerful spell. One he had never seen or felt before. “There is only one place Lizza could have taken Sara. I want you to gather the others and meet me at the doorway into His realm.”

“We can’t go in there without permission!” Talon gasped.

“Don’t tell me after all the wrong you’ve done in your existence, you’re going to balk at this one misdemeanor?” Gideon asked in disbelief.

“Even I have my limits,” Talon snapped. After a moment of watching Gideon stare at the black and white as if memorized, Talon voiced his concern. “But I’m starting to wonder where your limits are.”

Gideon’s head snapped towards him. “What do you mean by that?” he asked, his voice harsh, but his eyes told a different story. There was fear there. Something Talon had never seen in his friend’s eyes.

After a moment of hesitation Talon looked away, shaking his head. “Nothing,” he muttered dismissively. However, as far as he was concerned the matter was not over. Gideon had saved his ass more times than he could count, and Gideon was the only one Talon counted as family. Whatever was wrong with his friend, however far Gideon decided to bend or even break those rules he always quoted at him, Talon would not abandon him. Even if that meant exile. “I’ll gather the others and meet you at the gates. Give me ten minutes.” Then he was gone.

Gideon stood stock still, staring at the spot that Talon had just vacated, the same dangerous thought going through his head. Just how far was he willing to go to save his charge? And the unasked question, why?

Turning back to the screen he watched as Sara began to realize something was not quite right with her surroundings. As he had learned through the ages, Sara Cantrell was important enough to have the most dangerous ruthless warriors the heavens possessed assigned as her guardian. He did not think those who gave him this assignment would chastise him for going into His realm without asking them first. A little voice in the back of his head asked if it really mattered, because if he was honest with himself, he knew would have gone after her even if they forbade it.

As the creatures around Sara started to change into their true forms, time for questions and misgivings were at an end. He had to get her out of there before it was too late.

For everyone.

Chapter 1                                                                                                                    Chapter 3

 

Copyright © 2017 Heidi Barnes

Whispers in the Dark

Black Passion 2

Desktop Nexus: Black Passion

Whispers in the dark
Touches feather light
Flames singe
Sleepless night
Bodies wound tight
Surging
Building
Detonation
Nirvana
Morning dawn
Bodies cool
Fantasies lived
Reality seeps in
Breaking away
To live again
Until another time
When fires burn bright
In darkest night.

Copywrite © 2017 Heidi Barnes

 

 

Dangerous Thrill

Shadowy alleyways
Darken corners
Not a soul in sight
Waiting for footsteps
Stalking the night
Warnings of danger
Gone unheeded
Seeking something dangerous
Forbidden
A thrill
The props are in place
Cloth wrapped tight
Skin exposed
To winters might
Highest heels
Shortest skirt
Swaying hips
Quietly screaming
Please
Come take
Shadows move
Figures five make
Faltering steps
Second thoughts too late
Deed set in motion
No turning back
Ready or not
They attack

 

Copyright 2017 Heidi Barnes

 

 

Daily Prompt: Miniature

via Daily Prompt: Miniature

The rocking horse flew through the air, buzzing, neighing, doing loop-de-loops. Not a care in the world. The summer day was hazy with heat, showing the pollen that flew into the air as the rocking horse zoomed in and out of the flowers that filled the meadow. What a glorious day to be free! it thought. Free to fly among nature and all her glory. For the rocking horse had never been free before. At least he did not think so. All he remembered was the golden cage that surrounded him from his very first memory. It had been a large cage, filled with toys, a miniature barn with bedding his master called fluff, whatever that was. Plenty of food and water, and he was treated like a prize possession. All and all not a bad place to be, but it wasn’t…free.

With a long whinny that was its laugh, the rocking horse took off into the sky like it had been shot out of a cannon, leaving a trail of vapor behind it. Once it got to the highest point it stopped. Its small wings fluttered furiously to keep him suspended as he surveyed the beauty around him. Green rolling hills butted up against majestic mountains, the tallest peek raising up into the sky like a silent sentinel, watching over all below. Farms dotted the landscape with a village centered in the middle, a gathering place for the humans to sell their wares, catch up on gossip and celebrate their holidays and special occasions. Today was one of those days. A wedding was taking place and everyone one was there, decked out in their finery to help the happy couple begin their new life together. Which was why the rocking horse was free.

Sighing in contentment, the rocking horse looked down at the forest below it. Surely there were more like him. Maybe he should go down and start….

A shadow fell over him and then was gone.

What the…? 

Glancing around, the rocking horse could not see anything. Shrugging his shoulders, he once again surveyed below him, trying to figure out the best spot to begin his search. This time he saw the shape of the shadow floating across the tree tops. Large and silent, it drifted lazily around him. Taking a closer look, the rocking horse realized that the appendages that were out to the side of the body were wings and the large fan like thing in the back were…TAIL FEATHERS!

As soon as the rocking horse began his dive, a shrill shriek filled the summer air. Not daring to look back, the rocking horse streaked towards the safety of the woods.Dodging in and out of trees, he could hear the bird crashing and shrieking behind him. Must…find…shelter! There was a loud crash, then a crack of wood, then silence.

The rocking horse dared not slow to see if the bird had crashed into that large tree it had just flown through. No, it knew now where it must go if it was to remain safe. This outside world was a scary place, with things far to large that wanted to eat it for a morning snack. There was only one place it would be safe.

Sometime later, the front door opened to a small cottage near the woods and a young woman danced in, humming a lilting tune.

“What a wonderful day,” she sighed. “Full of laughter, good food and good friends. They really should have weddings more often, they are so much fun.” Putting her basket on the wooden table in the kitchen, she danced over to the small living area where there was a large golden cage and her childhood friend. “Hello, my little one. How was your day today? Uneventful, I suppose. Let me tell you about mine and we can relive it together, shall we?”

The miniature rocking horse neighed in response, rising up into the air and doing a somersault telling her it was happy to see her. With a small smile the woman did not see, it hung in the air, happily listening to his master’s voice as she regaled him with the days events. Happy to be safe and sound and alive in his home.

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes

Have a wonderful song filled summer day. 🙂

Love’s Sacrifice – part 13 Hold On

Cheza and Kiba reaching for each other

Desktop Nexus: Cheza and Kiba reaching for each other

Love’s sacrifice,
never forgotten
always in my heart.
My promise,
my vow
to you I recite.
I will find what was lost
defeat endless night.
Darkness will retreat
to the light.
All I ask
through eternities might
is that you fight for life,
that you hold on to hope
with both hands tight.

The Light in the Darkness

Desktop Nexus: The Light in the Darkness

*Laughter
maniacal
chilling.
Accepting the challenge
so boldly declared.
Confident in victory
Darkness waits, unaware
the strength in love
as pure as light,
will conquer
even the darkest
of night.
If you only
hold on tight*

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes

This is the end of out story. I hope you have enjoyed it. I may, in a time not today (okay, been rhyming to much!) flesh these poems out into a full fledged story. We will see.

If you have missed the beginning click here: Part 1

Part 12

Love’s Sacrifice – part 12

A Gift of Darkness

Desktop Nexus: A Gift of Darkness

I walk into  darkness
away from the light.
The memory of you
once beautiful and bright,
fades with every step
taken into the night.
I am no longer
my own,
my master I must
obey.
The God’s have
forsaken me,
Hell is my home,
my debt to pay.
There is no one to
save me.
I am
alone.

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes

This is a poem/story that came to me while driving and listening to Phil Collin’s, In the Air Tonight. Where it has seemed to take on a mind of it’s own, as with all stories, that first initial push to write furiously has slowed down. So I will post as soon as my stewing and listening to the song repeatedly give me inspiration. If you have just found this story, here is the link to Part 1. I hope you enjoy.:)

Part 11  <—>  Part 13

Love’s Sacrifice – part 11

Shaiya Light &amp; Darkness

Desktop Nexus: Shaiya Light & Darkness

Foolish child
you play a game
you have no hope
of winning.
I will own you.
Your mind,
your body,
your soul.
You have given me
everything,
and received
nothing.
And for what?
Love perceived
from demon spawned?
How pathetic.
How splendidly
naive.

Darkness

Desktop Nexus: Darkness

As for you
my faithless pawn,
freedom is yours.
Though earned it
you have not.
Do not waste
what you once discarded
so carelessly.
Take one more look
at the price
that was paid,
for true love
will never again
come your way.

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes

This is a poem/story that came to me while driving and listening to Phil Collin’s, In the Air Tonight. Where it has seemed to take on a mind of it’s own, as with all stories, that first initial push to write furiously has slowed down. So I will post as soon as my stewing and listening to the song repeatedly give me inspiration. If you have just found this story, here is the link to Part 1. I hope you enjoy.:)

Part 10  <—>  Part 12