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Love For an Angel

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“Ugh.” Pain that spread all through my body woke me who knows how many hours later. All I knew was that I hurt and Charlie and Jeep were most likely dead already...along with the baby.

“The baby!” the thought of it jolted me out of my half conscious state. I sat up with difficulty and looked around. I could still see the Red Ridge sign in the distance behind me. With whatever will power I had left I stood and stumbled away toward the giant ridge before me. My best guess as to the time was somewhere around dawn. The walk was difficult and long, well it felt terribly long but the thought that they may still be alive, hanging by a thread made my numb muscles work faster.

“Jeep!” I heard Charlie’s voice from on top of the rock structure, then a sickening thud. My eyes widened, ‘He couldn’t have…Gabriel must be here!’ I rushed to the origin of the sound as fast as my beaten and broken body would take me. I reached them just as Gabriel approached Jeep who laid on the ground on his back nearly defenseless. Then I saw the knife,

“No!” my voice was drown out by Gabriel’s almost disbelieving voice,

“Why do you continue to fight? When you know all hope is lost?!” Jeep didn’t back down, in fact he began to get back up as I approached the angel silently from behind hoping to be able to do something to keep him away from Jeep, it was he the child needed after all, not me. There was a sort of grim smile on Jeep’s face that I couldn’t explain, he opened his mouth to spit out blood and uttered,

“Fuck you.” As Gabriel’s knife descended on his I jumped to tackle him but in a burst of light spun of sunshine another figure swooped down on midnight black wings. It was Michael. Gabriel stepped back and flung me off, stilling.

“This can't be. You've disobeyed Him.” his voice wavered like never before and the fear rolled off of him in small waves. Michael’s eyes showed neither malice nor ill-will.

“You gave him what he asked. I gave him what he needed.” he stated simply. Something in the way it rolled off of his tongue made me think he’d said it before but you could never be sure with Michael. In one swift movement his beautifully inscribed sword flashed and Gabriel lie defeated. Truly with his wings back Michael surpassed anything Gabriel could ever hope to become. The golden light around the Archangel dimmed then died, being replaced with rays from the early morning sun. There was a look on his face, one I couldn’t quite place until his gaze shifted upward. It was belonging, the sense of finally being home after long and painful years away. It was a look of contentment that was never there since he arrived at the dinner just 2 days prior. He offered a hand to Jeep who took it and waited till he was steadied before turning to me. I still lay in a shameful pile on the floor where Gabriel had thrown me, too overwhelmed to do much else.

“Audrey. You’re alive.” it was a question as much as confirmation, I nodded anyway. He didn’t bother offering me a hand, knowing I didn’t have the strength to stand at the moment and instead crouched to slid a hand under my knees and another behind my back. After pausing to let me wrap my arms around his neck he straightened. I wasn’t alarmed or uneasy as I usually was when lifted from the ground. I didn’t flinch but just shifted to be closer to him, closer to the warmth the radiated from his body.

“YOU’RE alive is more like it. You died before. I know you did. The tattoos even appeared on Jeep’s skin. Your tattoos. How are you here now?” Even with my present state being what it was I couldn’t help but to ask. He looked down at me a moment with a smile. A real, beautiful smile that could melt the coldest of hearts and reduce a lion to a kitten. Then he winked at me , ME.

“It’s a trade secret. I’ll tell you someday if you’re good.” he joked lightly but the words sunk deep in my heart. ‘I’ll tell you someday.’ Inadvertent or not it was a statement that I’d see him again.

“Well I’ll be waiting, and don’t think I’ll forget Michael.” how many times had I actually said his name aloud? Not even a handful and already it sounded as if I had been saying it for years, it seemed so natural to call to him.

“Oh I don’t believe you will…” he trailed off as his eyes shifted upward, a small look of regret crossing his handsome features for a moment.

“He calls. I’ll take you to Charlie but then I must leave. I can’t say when I’ll be able to return just that I will. You’ll have to take my word for it.” Then his ebony wings expanded nearly blotting out the light and we lifted off the ground. The feeling was nothing less than cataclysmic and a silly grin split my face nearly in half.

“So this is what it’s like to fly? Do you ever just fly around heaven sometimes? Just to fly?” I looked up to him just as he looked down to me. Our faces were literally an inch apart and when he spoke his words tingled my lips and resonated through my whole body.

“At times when things get complicated yes or just to relax really. The gift of flight is nothing short of amazing and we are truly truly thankful to be blessed with it.” his eyes shifted up again as we touched down. He gently set me down in an upright position and I managed to keep myself there.

“This is it Audrey. I hope that soon I’ll be back on earth but until that day please be safe and know that when the time comes there will be a place in heaven for you. Goodbye.” It couldn’t be it, it just couldn’t. Before he could turn I flung my arms around his neck in a hug. He returned the embrace gently for a moment then the next he was gone in a rush of wind and nothing remained. A single tear slid down my face before my words whispered into the wind.

“I’ll be waiting, Michael. Archangel of protection. I’ll be waiting…”