T he moon cast a pale glow over the homes below. Silver rimmed clouds floated across the moon in a meandering path to nowhere. The white noise of night found refuge in the subconscious; only if you stopped to listen did the night-song of the crickets step up to center stage; the distant creeks rolling over wet stone filling the wings; but from the usual sonic drone a new sound grew ever in the distance. A dull whoomp, whoomp, whoomp, and with it a cluster of clouds crossing the sky began to take on a more distinct shape. Their path breaking off from the others, the soft edges forming into the beating wings of Angels hell bent on destruction that night. There were four of them that began a slow controlled descent over Rose’s home, their wings curling back like parachutes as they fell from the sky. They each landed softly. Silently. Crouching low and ready for violence.
Eyes as black as night turned to Seth, the leader of the group, waiting for his signal. He crept to the edge of the roof overlooking the front door. The others dispersed to different sides, all doors and windows covered from their vantage point. Seth strained his ear for any sign of movement inside. On a normal day he knew the four of them could handle her relatively easily, but he wasn’t a fool. This was her home; her turf. And while their midnight eyes had adjusted to the dark better than others, he still looked for any advantage he could. He’d learned as much last night. He rubbed his temple where a purple bruise had started to form. Under his cloak hid many more of them. Every breath he took reminded him of one in particular that covered the right side of his torso, a pain he hadn’t quite been able to ignore yet. If she was anything like her father, he wasn’t going to take any chances.
There was no real way to coax her outside at this time and ambush her. Nothing good knocks after midnight. This was going to be an invasion. If Michael’s words were anything to go by, and in Seth’s mind, that was a big if, she knew more than she’d let on. There was no doubt her guard would be up.
Michael had been in charge of them once upon a time, back when Seth looked up to him and hung on his every word. When he would have slit his own throat if Michael had told him to. But the angel had grown tired at some point. The field of battle had outgrown him and the shadows of night moved too quickly for his fogging eyes. Abel had appointed him as his own personal guard at that point. That’s when Seth had taken the lead of the group and he’d be damned if he was going to give Abel the same reason to relegate him to chains and council. The very thought of it twisted Seth’s face in disgust and he had to stop himself from spitting the acrid taste it left in his mouth.
With no sign of movement inside, Seth raised his hand in a fist alerting the others to prepare to strike. They moved in concert, their right hands gripping the roof’s edge, their left heels coming forward and digging into the wall as their weight shifted up and over into the open air.
Seth twisted mid air to face the front door just in time to see it fly open. A figure exploded from it and bolted away from him. Their feet pounded the cobblestone, a cloak billowing behind them as they veered east.
“Runner!” Seth shouted as his feet hit the ground. Rose already had a good thirty feet on him as he took off after her. She was faster than he thought she’d be. Taller too. And why wasn’t she flying? Seth eased up as his three companions flew past him. Rutten who was bringing up the rear glanced back at his leader.
“Go!” Seth urged him on then turned back to the home and scanned for movement. Something wasn’t right. Seth skulked into the shadows and approached the house once more.
Back inside, Rose huddled against the stone hearth. Logan had taken off a few seconds earlier and the sound of dogged pursuit rang in the near distance. He was fast but they both knew it would only be a minor delay. They were trained hunters, and they had wings. Ultimately, there would be no running from them. Whatever sacrifice he had chosen to make, Rose knew she couldn’t squander it. Whatever belief he had in her father he had now placed in her. She couldn’t dwell on the fact that she still had no idea where that faith came from, or what truth it lay in. For now, there was only one word on her mind. Run. She crept from the darkness and eased towards the door.
TO BE CONTINUED…