Wings of Faith Series short: Angel Requiem excerpt
This is a small taste of Jamie Samms story ; Wings of Faith Series 1: Angel Requiem.
Angel Requiem Excerpt:
Hours passed. No one ever entered the church anymore, so when a cold, damp blast of air from the outside fed the chill in my bones, it brought me to my feet in a terrified agony of stiff muscles. The sound of the doors banging clamoured up into the domes and galleries to bounce around long after they began to swing shut again. A shadow of wings preceded my visitor down the center aisle and disappeared as the doors closed with a muffled thump and gentle click. The echoes faded to silence.
“You're back,” I managed through the pounding echo of my own heart.
The blond angel from the morning visit smiled at me. “I never left.”
“Where’s your friend?”
“Michael? He went on. He doesn’t like it here. He only comes because I ask him to. He thinks it’s too dangerous.”
“He’s right. You shouldn’t be here.”
“But it’s safe.” His smile broadened and my gut twisted in a way I hadn’t remembered it twisting in a long time. “I’m safe with you.”
“What makes you think so?” I backed away from him, stumbling up the steps to the sanctuary, placing the altar between us. “What makes you think I won’t hurt you?”
He hadn’t stopped his advance, but climbed the steps, his gaze falling on my gory collection of artefacts. He touched a bullet with one long finger, too narrow to be human, too delicate to be real, and I shivered. Once—almost too long ago to believe it had been my life—I had felt the touch of fingers like that. I closed my eyes, remembering, aching at the loss, knowing I’d never feel such a thing again. I heard his breathing above the chorus of voices in my head. I felt the gentle stir of air brushing my face as he moved his wings, and I listened to the rustle of feathers, real and substantial and not something just beyond my grasp.
“You still believe,” he whispered. His voice was almost reverent, and my eyes popped open. His smile changed, deepened, touched his eyes and transformed him from a mere beauty to something else. The vision made it difficult to breathe.
“You still believe.” The statement was surer this time. He reached across the narrow divider of wood and debris and touched my cheek. “What a rare thing you are.”
“You shouldn’t.” I stepped back hurriedly. “Don’t touch.”
It wasn’t that I didn’t want him to touch me. I did. I was afraid I would want too much. I cleared my throat of the hoarseness lent by lust and stared him down.
“You shouldn’t be here.” I tried to make my voice hard, but the words sounded more like a plea for him to stay.
“You already told me that.” His voice held a lilt of playfulness. “Generally, I don’t take advice.”
“You should.” I pointed to the altar and its offerings. “I don’t want you to end up like them.”
“You have no trust.”
“Not in my own kind. They’ll hurt you. Go back where you came from and no one can touch you.”
“Where I came from.” He put his hand flat against my black cassock. My heart thudded against his palm, sending blood pounding through me in heady rush after rush. “They all said it was too late for you. That you'd forgotten everything." I didn't know what he meant by that, but I couldn't look away from the intensity in his eyes or find the answer his look told me he wanted to hear. I just shook my head, lost. "I made a bargain with our maker. I can’t go back now unless you choose not to believe. Do you choose not to believe? Choose the life the humans have chosen to follow, and our final link to this world we are meant to protect is severed. We won't come again.”
"You'd be safe." Hope suddenly bloomed in my heart. No Angel would ever again die at the hands of a human.
"For a time." His fingers fluttered against my chest, his wings lifted and a shudder went through him. "If madness can be considered safe. How does one survive being denied the very reason for one's existence?"
I glanced around my empty church. What answer could I give him?
He sighed, and even that small gesture of despair was achingly beautiful. "We would fade, wouldn't we? Loose ourselves in the nothing of lost purpose and forgetfulness."
"You'd rather die violently—"
"I'd rather live in the hope I can save my people." His eyes lighted, sparks flying about us both. His passion lit up the sanctuary, warmed my skin, sent tingling ripples of desire through me, igniting my need to be more than a forgotten, crazy man in a world that didn't care.
I reached out and placed my hand over his chest, cementing the connection between us. How could I not believe? I'd loved an Angel. An Angel had loved me. That I'd lost him did not mean it hadn't happened. That I'd failed to protect him only meant I had to try harder for the rest. I was sure if I looked down, I would see his hand moving with the heavy thumping of my heart beneath. “I believe.” I closed my eyes again to better feel the warmth of his touch. "I'll always believe."