“They’re so…human,” Aden’s brother said as he peered over the edge of the building they were sitting on.
The night life was so busy on Earth. Car horns blared at pedestrians running across the street. There was traffic for as far as the eye could see, which was considerably far with the amount of street and business lights. The stars even hid from the glowing monster that rose from the city.
“What did you expect them to be?” Aden replied.
Gabel shrugged. “Perhaps more like us?”
His hand gripped the handle of his silver sword tighter as he watched the streets. “If they were more like us, they wouldn’t need us.”
“I suppose that’s true,” Gabel said.
A woman’s scream made Aden’s ears ring. He flexed his large wings that glowed an unnatural yellow from the lighting. “Let’s get a move on,” he leaned forward before falling off of the roof.
He listened closely, waiting for it to come again.
The high pitched cry came from a dark alley to the left. He felt his skin prickle as he became invisible to the humans he flew past.
He wasn’t sure of how the alley could possibly be so dark with the neon bar sign across the street. As he let his eyes adjust, there was a dark figure with arching black wings dragging a tiny teenage girl with him.
Aden landed and gracefully moved forward as the stench of last week’s trash and sewage greeted his nose. He had to push down the nausea as he proceeded forward. His palms became sweaty as he tried to clutch onto his sword. It was strange. He had faced Fallen before. He had killed hundreds of demons by now, but something was different about this Fallen.
As he neared the Fallen, he recognized his presence.
“I was wondering how long it would take you to show,” the voice was lower than the last time he heard it, but then again it had been many, many years.
“Omar,” a lump in Aden’s throat appeared, his mouth went dry.
“Hello brother,” Omar replied. “Have you missed me? Or haven’t you cared?”
The last mission Aden had gone on was with his two brothers, Gabel and Omar. Back-up was supposed to be coming. They were told to wait, but Omar had the confidence in them to continue. They had underestimated the size of the demon. In truth, it hadn’t really been a demon, but Lucifer himself. Being the oldest, Aden was going to sacrifice himself so his brothers could escape. The devil had had no interest in him. The devil had wanted Omar, his youngest brother, because of his pure and strong heart. Aden had done everything in his power to change his mind, but the devil wouldn’t budge.
Since Omar had been a Warrior when the devil consumed his soul, his wings turned black and he became a Fallen.
At that point, Aden had gone to his father and pleaded with him to go to God to ask for Omar back or even to take him in Omar’s place. Nothing was done. Their parents no longer cared for Omar in his new state. They merely pretended like he never existed.
“Omar,” Gabel came up behind Aden, his voice saturated with shock.
“I see you still favor him,” Omar spat and gestured to Gabel with his chin.
“I did everything in my power to fight for you!” Aden cried as the pain in his chest grew.
“Don’t lie to me Aden, you left me.”
“He took years of his life trying to find you, to bring you back,” Gabel angrily stepped forward.
“Easy,” Aden grabbed Gabel’s shoulder.
“What? Are you going to kill me?” A sinister smirk stretched across Omar’s face. “Did you come here to be the hero?”
“That’s usually how this sort of thing goes,” Gabel said.
“You would murder your own brother?”
Aden’s hand suddenly felt the heaviness of the sword. His hand began shaking and he hoped no one would notice.
A small whimper came from behind Omar. Aden had completely forgotten about the girl he had come to save.
Omar, amused, lifted a wing so Aden could see her.
It was hard to tell if she was still conscious or not, but he knew he would have to get rid of Omar before he could help her.
“Let her go,” the words spilled from Aden’s mouth before he could stop them.
“It’s not like you have it in you to take me anyway, but mark my words I’ll be back.” And with that Omar was gone.
Aden used glamour to appear in jeans and a black shirt, made his wings invisible, and ran to the girl’s side.
She was older than he had expected, probably a young adult. Her unruly curly red hair framed her petite face. A cut ran from her right eyebrow up to her hair line. Her hazel colored eyes were huge and her pupils were dilated with fear. A bruise was beginning to blossom on her cheek. Her heart beat was strong, but her breathing was much too fast.
“It’s all right,” he spoke softly to the beautiful girl. He had never seen a human before. He had always been under the impression that humans were ugly and inferior to angels. But there was something about this human that made him not want to take his eyes off her. “You’re safe now.”
She didn’t reply.
“Are you ok?”
Her eyes searched his face before she broke down in tears.
Aden turned to his brother, whose appearance was much like his own. “Go tell the humans that you need assistance.” He nodded toward the building across the street.
Gabel bobbed his head before turning to leave.
Aden pulled a handkerchief from his pocket that had been a gift from his mother. He lightly dabbed at the bleeding cut.
“What was he?” she whispered.
“I know you saw him,” her voice was frantic, eyes darting about. “I'm not crazy. He had those big black wings…and…and you had those white ones…what are you?”
“You lost a lot of blood,” he casually answered. “You must be hallucinating.”
“I am not!” she insisted. “I know what I saw—”
“Aden,” he finished for her.
“Aden?” Her face was twisted in confusion.
He hesitated. He shouldn’t be talking to her. “Yes, that’s my name.”
She fell silent.
“Did he hurt you?” he questioned. Aden needed someone to show up soon. He had gone days without sleep and he wasn’t sure how long he could keep up the illusion of being human. Besides, angels weren’t supposed to interact with humans unless they were a Peeper, but something about her had captured his attention and he couldn’t turn away from her…
The wail of sirens brought him out of his day dream.
“Help is coming,” he stood to leave, not even sure if the sirens were for her or not.
“How do you know?”
He shrugged. “Just do.”
“Will I ever see you again?”
Aden sighed as he tucked the hankie into his back pocket. “Hopefully not.” He hesitated before slowly passing his hand over her line of vision to erase the last hour of her memory.
Delilah woke up to the bright lights and white walls of a hospital. It was all too familiar of a place that it was almost like a second home to her. How did she get there? She couldn’t remember. Why she was there was a complete mystery. What had she possibly done this time?
The quiet beeping noise of a heart monitor was the only sound being made. If she focused hard enough, the ticking of seconds came from a clock that was out of her field of vision.
The door opened and a man, extremely tall, dressed in a white coat entered. As he turned to face her, she realized it was Dr. Green. Her usual doctor for when she came in for some strange, random reason.
“How are we feeling today, Delilah?”
“Still seem like your normal sarcastic self, I see,” he grinned.
She knew she made his day only for two reasons; one, because she was the one cracking the jokes and two, she put more money in his pocket than any other place she visited. Thank God for health insurance.
“So what’s the damage?” she sighed.
“Nothing really, the cops said you were mugged in an alley. You have a scratch on your head, but nothing serious that would need stitches. And there’s also a bump that probably wasn’t from last night.”
“Oh it wasn’t. I was cleaning out the fridge earlier this week and hit my head on the door,” she smiled.
“You never fail me,” he chuckled. “And you have a small bruise on your cheek bone.”
“Will the cut leave a scar?”
“Damn,” she said. “I wanted a sexy scar to show off.”
He chuckled. “Not this time.”
“When can I go home?”
“The police want to question you. I’ll run a couple more tests, but then you can be on your merry way.”
“Maybe if you started having better luck you’d already be home.”
She glanced down at her watch. “Actually, I’d be on my way to class.”
“I’ll write you a doctor’s note.”
“Thanks,” she mumbled. Doctor’s notes hardly did anything for her attendance record these days. Half of her teachers assumed they were fakes anyway due to her frequent visits. She had one teacher that wouldn’t even let her into the classroom anymore if she showed up late with a doctor’s note.
Dr. Green shrugged. “It’s my job.”
He left and was replaced with a shorter man dressed in black. He looked so serious with the neatly cropped brown hair and his tight knit eyebrows. He pulled out a small note pad and clicked a pen.
“My name’s Detective Ross.” He clicked the pen as he spoke.
She waited for him to continue.
“I need you to tell me what happened last night.”
“I was leaving work late and then I was pushed into the alley then I woke up here.”
“You don’t remember anything else?” He looked from his pad to her and then back again with another click of his pen.
She thought back really hard, but she found nothing. But wait…those milk chocolate brown eyes…“No.”
“Nothing at all?” he looked up in alarm. “They said you were conscience when they put you in the ambulance.”
She shrugged. “Doc said I hit my head, perhaps it’s short term memory loss?”
“Do you remember anything about your attacker?” He was adamant to get something out of her. His frustration caused him to click the pen several more times.
She closed her eyes and heavily sighed. Maybe if he stopped clicking his pen, I could remember something? Delilah thought. She remembered warm hands, but they weren’t rough and…feathers? Black and white ones? Oh, she was going insane…was it possible that she was drugged? No, she didn’t remember anything like that from the night before. At the same time, she didn’t really remember anything.
She quickly shook her head. “No, I remember nothing and besides it was dark in the alley. I couldn’t see anything.”
He sighed, disappointed. He tucked away his note pad and pulled out a business card. “If you remember anything call me at this number.”
“Yeah, sure.” She had no intention in doing so since she would most likely be put in a crazy house if she told the cops she was attacked and rescued by angels.
He nodded before leaving.
Delilah let out a long breath as she melted into the mattress. “Why does this stuff always happen to me?”
After another hour in the hospital, she was finally allowed to go home. Delilah took a taxi since she didn’t feel like finding and waiting for a bus to take her home.
She found it weird that no money had been taken from her wallet and her iPod hadn’t been stolen from her bag. Maybe they hadn’t wanted money. Maybe they didn’t like her music selection? Or maybe they had been trying to rape her? Was she going to get pregnant now? But Doc hadn’t said anything about that. He would have mentioned something if it were the case.
The taxi that stopped for her had more rust on the sides than her older sister’s 1990 mini-van. The inside smelled like piss and fast food wrappers littered the floor.
The ride was short due to the lack of traffic at this time. This was her favorite part of the day, when all the crazy work-alcoholics were tucked safely away in their office cubicles. The sun was peeking up over the top of the buildings, reflecting off of the glass.
She handed the taxi driver a ten.
“Tip?” came his heavy, thick smoker’s voice.
“Clean the cab first and invest in an air freshener,” she slammed the door and marched up the steps to her apartment. Sometimes she wished she still lived on campus, everything was so simple then. Her roommate, and unfortunately her best friend Tatyana, had convinced her that life would be so much better if they lived in an apartment. They could have more parties (which they’ve only had one with maybe five people) and more guys (Delilah had had one “boyfriend” since they had moved in a year ago, unlike Tatyana who had a different boyfriend every other week).
The door was already unlocked which meant Tatyana never locked it last night or she was up and about, thinking of actually going to class today.
Delilah had been wrong on both accounts.
Tatyana was awake, in pajamas, on the couch. The aroma of coffee was so over powering.
“Hey girl,” she smiled at Delilah. Her long brown, almost black, hair was down. Her eyes gleam a greenish color even though they were actually brown and her caramel colored skin could use a tan to bring out the crispy brown color that she usually was in the summer.
Delilah closed the door, obnoxiously so, as she dropped her bag. “Are those my pajama pants?” She questioned as she stuck her head into the fridge.
“Maybe, they were in your room.”
“Yeah, that usually means it’s mine.”
“I love you?”
“I know you do. That’s why you didn’t call to see where I was last night?”
“That hot doctor you always have called and told me what happened.”
“You could have come and at least made sure I was ok and like not dying.”
“Doctor Hottie said you were ok and I was…preoccupied.”
“Preoccupied with what?” Delilah demanded. She heard the toilet flush from down the hallway of their loft.
Gus, Tatyana’s latest boy toy, waved at her with a stupid grin on his face. A small white towel was wrapped around his small hips. This exposed his beautifully chiseled abs which small shiny beads of water rolled over. His cream colored skin was slightly pink from the hot shower he’d just taken. His blonde hair had turned a light brown and was matted to his forehead. His blue eyes were clearer than crystals.
“Seriously?” She turned to Tatyana.
“Sorry?” Tatyana smiled as she got up and came to her side. “But how can you resist that?” She murmured into Delilah’s ear.
“Are you alright Delilah?” he questioned. “Tia told me what happened.” He leaned against the door frame, stretching his muscles, pulling each of them tight.
She was so jealous of Tatyana. Delilah would never tell her that, but she was. Tatyana had the curvy, sensual body that any man would want to touch. She knew how to seduce men.
Unlike Delilah, who has no curves what-so-ever. She barely filled in an A-cup bra. She was the clumsiest person she knew, spending more time and money in the hospital than actually living her life. Her pale skin was speckled with more freckles than the spots on a cheetah. And lastly, her hair was more of a lion’s mane than something you could call beautiful. When it came down to it, she was the brains and Tatyana was the pretty friend.
“Yeah, I'm fine.” Delilah said.
“That’s good,” he grinned. “Well babe I got to get to work. See you tonight?”
“Of course,” Tatyana kissed him before he disappeared to get changed.
“Tonight?” Delilah asked.
“Oh, by the way, Gus invited us to a party at his friend’s place. I hope that’s alright.”
“What about class?”
“Del, it’s Wednesday, no class remember?”
First, she got mugged without really being mugged and then it happened on a Tuesday night? How random?
“Liar, you were making that confused face.”
“I don’t have a confused face.” Delilah felt her nose scrunch up.
“Yes, yes you do and you make it all the time,” she laughed.
“We can go shopping for something to wear. Grandma sent me my birthday money.”
“Not like you don’t have anything to wear…” Delilah said under her breath.
Tatyana came from an extremely wealthy family. Her grandmother always sent her at least two hundred dollars for her birthday. Yes, Delilah was truly jealous. How nice would it be to not have to work almost every minute she wasn’t in class?
She wasn’t going to complain too much though. Her older brother, Zain, did a good job of taking care of her…or at least he did until he drank and gambled all of their money away. Her sister Ariadne, who was three years older than their brother, was now financially helping Delilah finish her last year of college, her brother’s living expenses, and her beautiful triplets she had had four months ago.
Delilah was slowly making herself more and more independent so Ariadne didn’t have to help her as much. She felt bad for taking her sister’s money like a soulless vacuum cleaner sucking dry her wallet, but felt slightly better to know that Ariadne’s children’s diapers and formula were costing about the same as her tuition which Delilah paid more than half of.
“You know I hate shopping,” Delilah finally answered her question.
“Come on it’ll be fun,” Tatyana put her stupid smile on. “Don’t you want to look sexy? There might be a hot guy there.”
“Like the one that didn’t speak English?”
Tatyana shrugged. “You said you were into foreign guys.”
“What about the one who still lived with his mom and carried comic books around in his back pocket?”
“It’s not like you were going to sleep with him anyway.”
“How about the one that ate food with his toes because it’s fun?”
“Ok, that one was just way off and I said sorry like a million times.”
“Just stop trying to set me up with people. I’ll date when I’m ready.”
“Don’t you want excitement in your life?”
“If you mean sex, I'm fine with being a virgin.”
“You’re a virgin?” Gus questioned as he threw on his coat.
Delilah sighed as her face burnt from the fire under her skin. “Don’t you have somewhere to be?”
“Right, bye again,” he gave Tatyana a very long, very gross deep tongue French kiss that looked more like he was trying to choke her with his tongue than anything romantic.
“Leave!” Delilah demanded. “Seriously, you need to stop bringing back guys.”
“But they’re so fun,” she smirked. “And I really like this one.”
“Yeah, until they rip your heart into a million pieces, burn it and send the ashes scattering off to the wind.” She made a flying motion with her fingers as she looked off into the distance.
“So dramatic,” Tatyana rolled her eyes. “But I'm telling you, you got to let the spiders out sometime.”
“It’s not an attic.”
“Spiders can be in your basement too,” she said.
Delilah crossed her arms, suddenly feeling uncomfortable with the direction their conversation had taken.
“What about babies? Ever gonna have one of them?”
“Tia, I'm twenty-two, I have plenty of time to even think about having kids. And I never said I was going to stay a virgin forever.”
“Then why not now?”
“I'm waiting for the right guy,” she suddenly remembered the brown eyes from last night.
“Waiting?” Tatyana snorted.
“Besides,” Delilah continued. “I don’t want my first time to be with a guy who picks his nose with his pinky toe or waxes his unibrow every other day.”
Tatyana broke out into a fit of giggles. “Oh come on, we are going shopping and you are going to like it.”
After a shower, a stale bagel with butter, and a cold cup of coffee, Delilah was ready to face the horrible day before her.
Tatyana automatically began throwing outfits at her. “I think you’d look stunning in brown, oh or maybe this blue.”
“Tia, I can’t hold anymore,” she mumbled as she shifted the weight in her arms.
“Alright, let’s try on stuff.”
To humor her, Delilah pretended to try on outfit after outfit.
“Why haven’t you shown me anything yet?”
Delilah peered at Tatyana through the crack in her changing room door. Tatyana faced the tri-fold mirror, fixing the straps of the yellow halter top dress she wore. It flowed over her body like a water fall does over rocks. It was short, but appropriate…ish.
“Um…haven’t really found anything that tickled my fancy yet.”
“Tickled your fancy? Girl please, we do live in the twenty-first century. Try on the blue one I picked out or maybe that dark purple one.”
Delilah sighed and pulled the short purple dress off of the hanger. It was one of those cute dresses that had the one sleeve and the other side was strapless. She had always wanted to try a dress like this.
It clung tightly to her body and ended mid-thigh. It was something her mother would have never allowed. Though, Delilah felt like she could get away with it because it was fingertip length…
“Alright, I'm coming out,” Delilah hesitated.
Tia’s face broke into a wild grin. “Damn girl, trying to show me up or something?”
Delilah turned to the mirror.
She did look good. And it made her look like she had some kind of butt…
“You should totally get it.”
“Maybe? You think you can find something better than that?”
“But what? It’s on me.”
“Fine,” Delilah said, not really in the mood for a fight.
“Awesome. Well, I think I'm going to get the orange dress.”
“The orange one?”
Tatyana had tried on so many Delilah wasn’t sure what was what anymore.
“This one,” she held up a bright orange tube dress. “And I was thinking of this brown belt to go with it?” she wrapped a knitted brown thing around it.
“Go for it.”
“You don’t care.”
“That’s the spirit,” she laughed. As Delilah went back into her changing room, she continued to talk. “We totally have to go shoe shopping now!”
Delilah moaned, but she was pretty sure Tatyana hadn’t heard her.
As they walked down the street, they passed by an alley way. It seemed so familiar. She looked across the street to see a bar. She knew this place; she just couldn’t put her finger on it…
“Del, you coming?” Tatyana had back tracked to find her.
“This place seems so familiar…” Delilah saw something shine off of the sun’s rays. Then she recalled black and white feathers, like a curtain soft as silk.
Tia gasped. “What if this was where you almost got mugged last night?”
What if? She thought.
She stepped forward as Tatyana continued to ramble on.
Delilah wandered a ways down until she met the shiny object. A pure white feather as long as her arm from elbow to wrist lay on the ground at her feet.
Thank you for reading! For the rest of the novel search for "Rising Stars" by L.M. Williams on any forum that sells books or ebooks.