And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places...
Welt ~ 8
If I Could Change Your Mind I Still Couldn’t Save You …
Gagged in the back seat of the car my sister stared at me in the rear view mirror, her eyes like hard little chips of emerald boring into me. She hadn’t even seemed surprised when I’d come through the door, blasting through the wood like it was paper when she wouldn’t open it for me. As a single tear rolled down her perfect little face all she’d asked was that I not hurt her family. That’s how I knew this was the right thing to do. Aliona would have tried to stop me if she thought I was doing something wrong. Still, the gag was for her own good; for mine as well. I was in no mood to listen to anything she might have to say, and it was better for her that I not accidentally do or say something cruel in response; my patience for this whole situation had long passed. Raguel needed to be destroyed and that crucial fact seemed to escape everyone but me; if no one would help me willingly then by all I held dear I would make them help me.
I was doing this for them after all. I was doing it for me as well, but my altruism outweighed my own gain. What had begun as a desperate attempt to be free of Raguel once and for all so I could find the peace Aliona had found had become something far larger and greater. My own fate meant less to me now than it ever had; all that was left was the mission. Resolve is a clumsy and ill-fitting word for what I now felt in every fiber of my being. I had become the sword.
“You know this is necessary, Aliona,” I said calmly, taking Christopher’s car through the city towards the building where his condo was downtown.
“You’ll do what you have to, I can’t stop you,” I heard her respond in her mind.
“I’m glad you see it that way, I have no desire to harm you. I love you,” I said to her.
“Yeah, you totally do,” her thoughts mocked me. “Where’d you learn to act this way, little sister?”
“You’ve always been precocious, Aliona. See to it that you don’t become insolent as well.”
“You’re going to try to make me feel bad things and then feed off of me to make yourself stronger, aren’t you?”
“I have to stop Raguel,” I said simply, stern and calm as I looked straight ahead and drove. “Why aren’t you afraid, Aliona?”
“I’ve lived as a mortal for a year and a half. After that, this kind of crap doesn’t scare me anymore.”
“If it is difficult, then why did you choose to do it?” I asked her.
She met my gaze in the mirror, still glaring at me. “It’s a different kind of struggle. There’s no path. No one gets in your business and you can just do what you want. That’s what I tried to explain to you before, but you obviously missed the point.”
“But is not that the reason it is so difficult as well?”
“Yup,” she flipped her bangs out of her eyes with a small toss of her head. “That’s the whole point, stupid.”
“I’m going to take the gag off when we get out of the car,” I explained as I pulled into the underground parking garage. Even in the now dark car I could Aliona’s eyes, sharp and green, glaring at me. She shouldn’t be able to do that anymore. “Do not make a fuss. I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I will if you try to alert them. This is too important for me to fail.”
She shrugged a small shrug and continued her cool glare. Why was she being so resistant? Why didn’t she want to help me? A sister should help another. I would do anything she asked of me, so why couldn’t she have just agreed to help me when I went to her house and asked instead of making me do this now? I got out and opened the back door of the car, taking the gag off of Aliona’s mouth and the bindings from her wrists. She got out, never taking those sparkling eyes off of mine. She took a piece of gum out of the pocket on her low waisted jeans and put it in her mouth, chewing slowly, staring at me. She slowly held the pack out towards me, clenching and unclenching he jaw, and I slapped her on the side of the head. Not hard, but hard enough to make her hair fly across her face. She stretched her neck, a tear in her eye, and went back to drilling into my eyes with hers. She blew a tiny bubble and popped it. I felt anger rise in her before she dismissed it by thinking about her family. Now all she felt was sadness.
“You’re not a very good sister,” she said quietly, trying to keep her bottom lip from twitching and letting another tear fall from her eyes as she stared at me unblinking.
Perhaps that was true, but I was a good soldier. It wasn’t my fault that Aliona couldn’t see the bigger picture anymore. I pointed sternly towards the elevator and she walked to it ahead of me, stretching her neck slightly now and then. I suppose I had to be careful how hard I laid my hands on her. She was a mortal now after all. We went up the elevator, down the hall, and into Christopher’s condo. Once inside I sat her in a chair and was about to bind her wrists behind her when she finally spoke again.
“What am I gonna do? Fight you off and then run?” Aliona asked me, turning her head to look at me and blowing another bubble. She still wasn’t afraid or angry. All I could feel was sadness and love. All she was thinking about was her family.
I pushed a jolt of that sadness back at her and tears came to her eyes again. I hated the feel of it, knowing that the only reason she felt this was because of me. I sifted around inside of her, trying to find something else I could use. There was nothing. The only scraps of negative emotion I could find were all related to me. That meant that I couldn’t use her own feelings against her, only those caused by me. It was not allowed to create feelings, only to share them. A critical juncture had come.
Raguel had to be destroyed and so I stepped across the line.
A wave of ugly loneliness rolled out of me and into Aliona and I watched horrified as her face twisted into a grimace of anguish and she started sobbing. I let loss and hopelessness roll over her and she put her face in her hands, her back shaking with her jerking tears. I felt sick at what I was doing so I let that flow into her as well. She looked up at me, her cheeks wet with tears, and spoke through her sobs.
“Don’t…please don’t” she said to me quietly.
“It is past that point now,” I grated, standing in front of her in the kitchen.
“It’s not too late, you can still stop this,” she begged, crying.
I shook my head slowly and pushed with all my strength with the awful things welling up inside both of us. Aliona cried out in sorrow, rolling off the chair and curling on her side on the tile floor. Tears sprang to my eyes as well as I took what she was feeling and channeled it back through myself and into her again. Her mind was full of images of the worst things she could imagine. Her family dying, her being separated from them, something happening to her and them having to be without her. She thought of me and what I was doing and she shook in awful sorrow. I fed it, looping it around between us, and then found something she was afraid of. She was afraid of dying. It was a new fear, clearly, fresh and small; barely contemplated. I latched onto it, amplified it, and drug it out of her.
I’d never felt anything like it; fear of death was foreign to immortals. It made me feel weak and helpless and I combined my sudden burst of anger with it and let it rush back into Aliona. She writhed on the floor at my feet with her arms clutched around her stomach, heaving massive sobs and cries of anguish as her tears flowed freely. Her face was the most awful thing I had ever seen; a sad Cherub is a terrible thing to behold, and this was beyond sadness. I could feel the emotions I was drawing from her strengthening me, and with them came certainty and resolve. As terrible as this was, it was necessary.
“I truly am sorry,” I snarled through our shared pain as I mentally wrapped the feelings around her tighter and pulled and lashed at her with them. Long wails of “no” or “please” came from her quivering lips and the power it filled me with swelled and stormed. Loss, terror, weakness, fear, and my anger fell on her like heavy tides and I soaked in everything she gave back.
There was a sudden flare of passion in her. She was still thinking about Mark and Lisa, these humans who had taken her away from me, but now it was different. Before I knew what was happening, a torrent of lust and love and hope flooded my mind. I staggered back a step and braced my feet against it. I could feel it almost physically, flooding up from my stomach and saturating me. I pushed back with the rage and desperation and Aliona started twitching on the floor. I drove her back further into herself and her eyes rolled back in her head. She was stuck on one thought, skipping like a broken record as she convulsed on her side on the floor. Her tongue was between her teeth and she bit down on it hard enough to draw blood. I saw myself as if from above, saw what I was doing to my sister, and faltered for a second. In that small space Aliona’s one thought came unstuck and her mental landscape washed over me as she slammed back against me with the love she felt for her odd family.
I saw through her eyes; she was running up a flight of stairs naked, giggling and ducking into a closet. The door flew open and Mark grabbed her around the waist and tickled her. She fought against him as best she could, breathless with her laughter, but he picked her up and threw her over his shoulder. He ran through a door into a bedroom, slapping her bottom and throwing her on the mattress. As he started tickling her again I saw movement over his shoulder and saw a large pillow hit him over the back of the shoulders. Someone jumped on him from behind and tackled him down on top of Aliona. It was Lisa, the cheerful blonde woman I’d met when I came to speak to her. The three of them wrestled and rolled on the bed, laughing. The strength of sorrow and pain I’d built inside of me cracked and shook.
Mark was on top of her, licking her neck. Lisa rolled beside her, running her tongue up the side of her small chest and across her right nipple. Aliona laughed and writhed under them as their faces met and they started kissing. She reached between her legs and I felt her take Mark’s cock in her hand and rub the head against her tight little opening. I felt the pleasure, the lust, the passion, as she slowly slid it past her lips and into her small wet little hole. I gasped and staggered, trying to lash back with torment, failing as the sensation of him pushing into her overwhelmed me.
The love she felt as he started moving slowly in and out of her while Lisa moved her lips from Marks and down to Aliona’s was immense. I’d never felt an emotion so strong in another. He had her thin hips in his strong hands and was moving her as much as he was moving himself and he pushed all the way into her. She swiveled her hips, gripping her muscles around his shaft, and Lisa’s tongue slid around my little sister’s mouth. Through her I could feel not their love, but rather her certainty of it. A pure and shining faith. I dropped to one knee on the kitchen floor and struggled to focus my eyes on where she had stopped convulsing and was dragging herself from her curled up agony and onto her hands and knees. She had her teeth clenched hard she had started shaking her head slowly side to side.
In her mind I saw her undulating and swiveling underneath Mark. Lisa sat up on and put her hands on his chest, pushing him back out of Aliona. She took his cock in her hand and Aliona flipped over and raised her ass towards him with her face in the mattress, the sheet between her teeth and her chest flat on the bed. I felt Lisa’s hand on her tiny ass as she used her other to guide his cock into Aliona’s waiting pussy. He pushed all the way in one wet stroke; she was so tight that she felt him huge and deep, stretched out to her limit. She cried out in glee, giggling as he started to move in and out of her faster. She lifted her face from the sheets and I saw Lisa move in front of her, sliding her ass forward so that her pussy, being rubbed by her fingers in small circular motions, was under Aliona’s face. She lowered her face to it and began licking and sucking at Lisa. I tried to stand, but instead fell to my hip and my hands on the floor. Aliona was shaking her head harder now, her hair hanging in her face and her body heaving with labored breath.
As Mark came in my little sister and Lisa screamed in her own climax, Aliona jerked her upper body, straightening her arms and arching her back to tilt her ass higher. I saw her in the same pose on the floor beside me; her mouth was opening and closing and her hips were shifting up and down. A high breathy moan was starting to come from her lips and my whole body started shaking. The purest love possible was rushing from her and into me and in her mind she screamed loud and high as she clenched her pussy around Mark’s cock and flew into a wild orgasm of her own. Both in the image in her mind and in Christopher’s kitchen she threw her hair back across her back and looked up to the ceiling, screaming in ecstasy. I tired one last time to grip the power fading inside of me and lash back at her with it but the peak of her climax hit and I was thrown back against the cupboards, rolling onto my back feeling numb and paralyzed as Aliona screamed both in her mind and with her wide open mouth, “Get…the fuck…BAAAAAACK!!!!”
As blackness began to consume me I saw her drag herself to her unsteady feet and stumble over to lean against the counter and look down at me. I felt something slam against me, the force directed inwards and outwards at the same time. Exploding. Imploding. Ripping me apart at what felt like an atomic level.
“How…” I muttered weakly.
“I’m still…the big…sister,” she panted. “Never…forget that.”
The blackness took me.
I Keep Talking and You’re Not Listening…
Christopher ran down the hallway ahead of me towards the screams. He had his gun out, holding it in a rather professional manner, and he slammed his shoulder into the door. It cracked but didn’t burst. I could knock it in with one blow but I could tell he wanted to feel useful so I let him lean back and boot it inwards with his foot, pointing his weapon through the door as the momentum of his kick took him a stride inwards. He swiveled rapidly at the hips; one way, then the other. I came in behind him as he stalked through the hallway, pointing the gun through each door he passed. There was a long exhale of breath from the kitchen and I heard Aliona’s small voice saying “I forgive you little sister, you chose this but he pushed you here.” Christopher stepped around the corner about to fire.
“Whoa!” I yelled, but it was too late. A small arm with a pale green sleeve shot out and grabbed his wrist and he was yanked into the kitchen. I heard him slam against the chairs and felt his surprise as they toppled over under him. I ran around the corner and saw Aliona standing there and Christopher sprawled amidst his kitchen set. She handed the gun toward me without looking at me.
Avrielle was lying very still and motionless on the floor up against the cupboards, her beige jacket a rumpled mess. She was barely breathing and I could see she was connected to her sister with thick ropes and strings of love. Aliona seemed coiled inside like a little spring and I stepped around her to put my hand on her shoulder and look into her eyes. She kept her chin down with her face pointed at Avrielle and swiveled her bright green eyes to meet mine. I could see fire there, bright and terrifying like staring into the sun.
“What just happened here?” I asked her, raising an eyebrow and holding my hand out to where Christopher was pulling himself to his feet. “Be very careful right now friend, no sudden moves.”
“I couldn’t let her fall,” Aliona said, her voice small and tight. “Her Spark was going dark, so I took it.”
“You took it?” I asked, startled. “What do you mean…you took it?”
She turned her little face up to me and said, “I mean I just…took it.”
“How?” I asked, my eyes going wide in astonishment.
“I don’t know. I just did.”
“What’s going on!?” Christopher yelled, standing now and tensed like he was going to attack something. “What have you done to Avrielle!?”
“Hold tight, yeah? She’s not hurt,” I said to calm him. He went to his knees beside her and lifted her head into his lap, pushing her hair out of her face and stroking her cheek. Aliona was slowly turning and walking out of the room. “Hey, wait! Where do you think you’re going?”
“No one hurts my sister,” she said darkly as she disappeared around the corner and went down the hallway. She called back from the door, “I’m going to finish what she tried to start.”
I ran to catch up to her and as she punched at the elevator button with her tiny little finger she turned to meet my gaze again. Her eyes virtually blazed like hot green coals and her long sun lightened hair seemed to writhe slightly all on its own. ‘Terrible in her beauty’; they say the expression had actually originated because of this tiny little slip of a Cherub standing in front of me and at that moment I had no doubt it was true. “Should I stay with Avrielle?”
“Keep her safe, cousin.” Aliona breathed passionately. The love in her…in a thousand years I had never felt anything like it. I’d never known love could be so fierce and sharp.
“Jesus…” I gasped.
“Not even close,” she said, biting her lip mischievously and winking slowly at me. It made my heart jump in my chest and I wondered if I had ever actually been like her at all. Even on my best day I couldn’t even touch this.
As she got into the elevator and turned to face me again I said, “You’re bigger than you look, yeah?”
“Fuckin’ right I am.” She grinned viciously and winked again as the doors closed between us.
I’d protect Avrielle from Raguel’s cronies; but who was going to protect Raguel from Aliona? I laughed nervously, then with amazement, then with true mirth as I went back into Christopher’s condo.
“What’s so damn funny?” he said gruffly when I was back in his kitchen. He still held Avrielle against him, sitting on the floor next to her rocking her in his arms. She was in no position or condition to affect anything on him, but I still felt his love for her. I was overjoyed that that part had been real and true.
“Someone who deserves it is about to have a very bad day,” I shook my head in wonder and raised my eyebrows. “Say friend, have you got any gum around here?”
Christopher looked up at me in surprise, “What?”
“Just had a craving for some gum is all. Got any?”
“You’re all very strange,” he said. I could hear him trying to wrap his head around what was going on so I decided to look around myself. I started opening drawers and cupboards, making myself at home.
“What in god’s name is that little girl going to do about any of this?” he asked as I found an old pack of peppermint in the back of a drawer.
“There isn’t one, friend,” I said, chewing at the dry stick, trying to soften it up. “But soon I think he’ll wish there was.”
His response was incredulous. “She’s just a tiny little girl. What is she, 14?”
“Do you read the Bible, Christopher? Revelation 6:16?”
“No, why?” he asked as he lifted Avrielle’s still form in his arms and carried her to his bed.
“…and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb? No?”
He shook his head and put his gun on the coffee table, “What’s your point?”
“Except for that bollocks about the throne,” doing my best with his shoddy gum I pointed back towards the door with my thumb, “it’s about her.”
If I Could Leave My Burning Skin That Has Been Used Up In Your Sin…
Fuck I hated errands. Raguel had sent me to find Avrielle’s little runt of a sister but when I’d gotten here someone had already beaten me to it. There was a cop car. Fuck I hated cops. A dark haired man and some crippled bitch were on the front lawn in histrionics. Fuck I hated histrionics. The cripple was yelling at one of the cops while waving wildly at the ruined front door of the house. The other cop had gone in the house to look around. The man had a look of macabre fear on his face and he was wringing his hands together in front of him as he paced back and forth in their driveway. At least if the little bitch was going to give up the goods and make nice with the meat sacks she had picked hot ones to shack up with.
I rolled down the window of the car I’d stolen so I could listen to them, fiddling with the dangling wires where I’d smashed open the ignition terminal with my fist, smiling at their tangled disarray. The hot blonde cripple was going on about how there’d be hell to pay if the cops couldn’t find Aliona. Hell to pay; I laughed to myself. Hell. Ha. What did she know about it? Fuck I hated hell. I wanted to get out of the car and show her just what hell was like, spreading her across the lawn while the rest watched in awe at my power and savage beauty. I wanted to; but that fuck Raguel had forbidden me to do anything. He was trying to make me feel small still, putting me down like some fucking human thrall while the pain in my body still reminded me what he could do if I disobeyed. It was shame too; in case I’d needed fodder I’d drug along a couple of my own thralls, bound to me with pain of their own, and the three of them would be more than enough to cause some chaos and let me get away. Fuck I hated complex plans. Fuck I hated sitting still.
The dark haired guy jumped as his phone rang and he answered it in a panicked voice, “Ali! Are you okay? Where the hell are you?”
His eyes were wide, his loss made him weak. I wanted to batter the weakness out of him. Fuck I hated weakness. The cripple ran to him, fresh histrionics were about to ensue and I wanted to puke.
“Is that her? Is she okay?” she asked, pulling at his arm.
“Are you okay, Ali? Someone broke into our house, where are you?” He looked at the cripple, “She’s out with her friend, she wasn’t here.”
“Oh thank god thank god thank god,” the blonde said, holding her hand over her face and peaking between her fingers. The cop had his notebook out and stood near them. Fuck I hated notebooks.
“We were so worried something had happened to you, Ali.” He had tears on his face too, and his voice shook with emotion; what a faggot. Fuck I hated faggots. He walked off the curb and into the street as the cop went back to talking to the cripple. “I’m so glad to hear your voice, kitty. I love you. I love you so much…”
Oh for fuck’s sake, this was disgusting. Fuck I hated pet names. It was all I could do not to rip the door off its hinges and throw it at him, leaping on top of him and ripping his face apart with my teeth.
“Where are you? Why are you on the bus? Tell me where you are, I’ll come pick you up. I need to see your face, Ali. Okay, you’re right…it’ll be quicker if I don’t. Please hurry, we were so terrified…”
He was getting closer to the car as he talked to her. I slid lower in the seat. Fuck I hated sneaking around. This was really getting to me. The phone Raguel had given me rang in my lap and I jumped, bumping the horn. The dark haired guy looked up and saw me.
“Hey, who are you?” he asked, walking towards me. Into the phone he said, “I gotta go, kitty. I’ll see you soon.”
He hung up the phone and stepped closer. “Didn’t I see you at the club the other night? What are you doing here?”
Fuck I hated improvising.
“Fuck!” I yelled out loud, kicking through the door and sending it flying across the street. He jumped back, dropping his phone to the sidewalk with a clatter.
The cop on the sidewalk went for his gun as I lunged and grabbed Aliona’s man toy by the throat. Before I could pull him in front of me the cop had already put two bullets in my chest. I screamed in pain and rage and leapt into the air towards him, dragging the poor love stricken dark haired guy with me. I dropped him hard as I landed on the cop and took him to the ground under me. There was a female shriek of terror and a shout of alarm from the house’s ruined door. As I broke and battered the cop under me the other one had come out the door and was shooting me. Each bullet hit like a hot slap. With part of the first’s throat in my mouth I screamed again and jumped on the second. Blood flew from my mouth and my hands as I tore him apart. The shrieking continued and I lost my temper. Fuck I hated bitches shrieking.
I look up from my delicious carnage and saw the cripple helping the man off the lawn where I’d thrown him. It was her shrieking; he just looked stunned.
“NO!” I howled, cop blood running off my face from the gore around my mouth. “THERE IS NO ESCAPING HERE!”
Raguel hated it when I quoted movies. He thought it made me sound stupid. Fuck I hated Raguel. I stood and stalked towards them. She was backing away shrieking and he was pushing himself backwards across the lawn with his feet. A new look crossed his face; maybe it was supposed to look brave, but it just looked stupid. He stood up and put himself between me and his cripple. The thralls, haggard and beaten looking, were on the sidewalk behind them and one of them pushed a gun against her back. The man toy tried to look menacing and as I walked right up in front of them he actually tried to hit me. Maybe he wasn’t such a faggot after all. I moved out of the way before he probably even realized what he was doing and I locked his own arm around his neck. The blonde bitch kept shrieking and I could hear more sirens in the distance.
“Get them inside!” I snapped. The pathetic thralls did as I asked, knowing what I’d do if they didn’t. I’d do it anyways, but they knew not to cross me.
We put them in the basement and I had the thralls split up to guard the doors. There were too many windows. This wasn’t going to work at all. I put one of them at the door to the basement and went outside onto the lawn to wait for the cops. The bullets had already pushed themselves out of my body and the holes were closing up, wrath hot and bright healing me. There were only two more cars, but by the time I was done with them I knew that more would be on the way. While they shot at me and I ripped them apart and threw them around I could hear the phone still ringing in the car. Dripping blood from my hair and skin and new plaid skirt I stalked over, ramming my arm through the window and picking it up.
“WHAT!?” I yelled.
“Now now,” Raguel crooned, “be nice. Do you have her yet?”
“There’s been a…a problem.” I said, wiping blood out of my eyes. I could hear more sirens coming and he probably could too.
“Fuck, Jenna,” he said, disappointed. “Must I do everything myself? I’m on my way.”
I ran back to the house, seeing over my shoulder a large black truck and two more cop cars coming around the corner and into the cul de sac. Fuck I hated SWAT teams.
“Go out there and die for me,” I snapped at the thralls. “I’ll be in the basement.”
I must have looked nine kinds of beautiful awfulness drenched in blood with bits of cop stuck to my face because they both looked terrified when I came off the stairs and stood before where they had been tied together and left on the floor by a deep freeze.
“What kind of person are you?” the cripple wept at me. Fuck I hated cripples.
“The best kind,” I sneered at her, gore falling from my hair to the floor. “I was like your little Aliona once, but hate made me beautiful. Keep your mouths shut, I need to think.”
They clearly had no idea what I was talking about and I laughed and cackled at them lying there bound up and confused and helpless. I could hear voices through megaphones upstairs, and the sounds of the thralls shooting and dying. Fuck I hated thralls.
It occurred to me just then that I was just like Raguel. Fuck I hated Raguel. Where did that leave me? I already hated myself, but this was different. I should be running through the streets destroying things, not hiding in some basement waiting on him to show up and tell me what to do. He needed these two to get to Aliona; he needed Aliona to get to Avrielle. I had them; that meant he needed me; not the other way around. What did I need him for? That morning’s lesson was still fresh in my mind, but I didn’t let it scare me. I used it to steel myself and find resolve I hadn’t felt it a very long time.
“Your driveway was empty, is there a car?” I asked loudly, kicking the man.
“In the back,” he said quickly. “The keys are in my pocket. Just take it and go, please don’t hurt us.”
Fuck I hated pleading.
“Get up!” I snapped, yanking them up. “You’re coming with me.”
I pushed them clumsily up the stairs with their wrists tied together. One of the thralls had retreated back inside and bullets were ripping apart the front of the house. He was cowering below the large and destroyed front window. I barked at him to quit being such a pussy and shoot someone and as he went up on his knees to fire through the window he went down in a hail of lead. I shoved the two terrified lovebirds out the back. Their yard was huge and full of beautiful trees and flowers. One caught my eye, a pearly colored plant about three feet tall with thin groping tendrils and pale translucent flowers on it; a Rislyn flower, evidence of a Cherub’s job well done. I spat on it as we passed and kicked it. The black Audi in the garage was nice and shiny and clean, so I kicked out a headlight and shoved them in the backseat. Walking around the front of the car to the driver’s side door I scratched deep gouges across the hood with my nails.
“That’s a little better,” I said as I got in and started the car. I looked for a garage door opener and couldn’t see it so I put it in reverse and mashed the pedal to the floor, launching the car backwards and through the door into the lane behind their house. I stopped, shifted, smashed my fist into the instrument panel, and took off down the street.
“Yeah!” I yelled, putting my elbow through the window to my left, barking loud laughter.
“Where are you taking us?” the man asked. “What do you want from us?”
“You!?” I snapped. “I don’t want anything from you. Now SHUT UP! It’s DANGEROUS to talk to the DRIVER!”
To accent my point I swerved and took out a row of trash cans. They both yelled or shrieked in the back seat and I laughed louder. Fuck I hated trashcans.
I could feel something I didn’t recognize at first. It was coming from the back seat. It felt like…love. I hadn’t felt that in years; my ability to sense it and manipulate it was buried under so many layers of grief and torment and pain and hate that I couldn’t sense it anymore even had I bothered to try. There was enough of it in the car with me though that I couldn’t ignore it.
“Fucking stop that!” I screamed. “Stop that shit right NOW!”
It spiked upwards and I yanked the rearview mirror off the window and used it to look at them, huddled together on the floor in front of the seat with their heads leaned against each other. Were they fucking praying? No…not praying. They were whispering to each other. They were telling each other that they loved each other, that they loved each other so much. Fuck I hated love. I screamed at them to stop and they just loved each other more. I could feel it bubbling around the car and I wanted to be sick. I turned the stereo on, huge and aggressive electronic music throbbed out of the speakers but I could still here them in my mind. Love love love. Fuck.
“FUCKING STOP THAAAAAAAAT!!!” I howled, leaning back over the seat as I drove to swat at their heads with my hand while the other held loosely to the steering wheel.
There was a huge crashing sound and I felt gravity fuck itself up. I snapped my head back around to look through the windshield to see the front end of the car buckling and crumpling around something; around someone. She held my stare with her burning green eyes as the back of the car lifted off the ground, swiveling her head around to keep my gaze as the car flipped over her and landed on its roof. I smashed through the door and rolled in the gravel of the alley to my feet.
Fuck I hated Cherubs.
“You used to be a Cherub,” Aliona said slowly as she brushed broken glass from her shoulder and walked casually and sensually towards me. She kicked off her pale green flip flops one at a time and stopped a couple feet away from where I crouched and tensed, growling. The music still thumped slowly from the car and she was moving one hip to its slow staggered beat. No one but Raguel had ever scared me and I hated her for it.
“You hate yourself, leave me and my family out of it,” she looked hot and mean and her lips spread in a wicked grin. She winked at me.
“Ali!” the man in the car yelled over the music. I saw him trying to open the back door of the car. “Ali, stay away from her!”
“Please stay in the car, Mark,” she said quietly, her eyes still locked with mine, and took another step towards me. “I love you.”
“You quit the game, bitch,” I snarled, getting ready to pounce. “You can’t fuck with this anymore, so back off.”
Aliona looked from me, to the car I had hit her with, then back to me. She grinned again, savage and wrathful. “Get with the now, Jezebel.”
Her voice was like fire in my ears and I lunged for her with my arms stretching in front of me and a feral cry coming from my throat. She moved only at the last second, twisting lithely and dragging me around her through the air by my hair. I was on my back on the ground, then I was in the air, then I was back on the ground where I had started before I’d lunged at her. Aliona took in a deep breath and strutted to my side. I was back up fast, but she chopped the side of my neck with her hand and then slammed her palm across my face. I span like a top, spinning around a full three times before I slumped to the ground at her feet.
“I really didn’t want to do this, Jezebel. But this is my family and I love them. Don’t you remember what happens when someone comes between a Cherub and what they love? Has it been that long?” She was lifting me to my feet again by my hair. She seemed to vibrate with the deep bass coming from the car and she took my face in her hand and looked into my eyes. “Is there no hope left in there at all?”
“I hope Raguel rapes your family to death and makes you his bitch,” I spat at her. Her eyes went sad for a second and then flared like green stars before she slammed her forehead across my face and I was hammered into the ground again. I rolled over onto my back and looked up at her tiny little body. The sun was behind her, making her a thin black silhouette except for the dangerous green light of her eyes. Her hair whipped around her shoulders in the breeze. I flipped up to my feet as fast as I could but found myself back on the ground again, sliding through the gravel to stop ten feet away.
She strutted towards me to the beat of the music, blowing a bubble with her green gum. I saw my own death approaching on bare feet, crunching in the gravel and smelling of spearmint. It was this or Raguel. Better to go down fighting than sobbing and pleading. I got to my feet and we stood staring at each other in the sun.
“Let’s do this then,” I said through my snarl. I leapt towards her and she watched me fall on her through the air. My scream cut off when her tiny hand shot up and caught me by the throat, wrenching me through the air and slamming me on my back. She was on one knee beside me. She blew another little bubble and popped it with a sharp snap.
She slowly leaned her face down so the tip of her cute little nose almost touched mine. I stuttered, “I…how…you…what…”
“I’ve been doing this longer than you, little demon. You’re just a child to me,” she hissed. The light in her eyes was pulsing and flaring. “There’s no love left in you. Good bye.”
She squeezed her little hand shut like a steel trap and stood up. She hadn’t let go, but I was still on the ground. What the fuck? She opened her fingers, still staring into my eyes, and a chuck of wet red gore slid from her grasp and fell with a sloppy slapping sound beside my face as a single tear rolled over her cheekbone and dangled on her jaw. I weakly turned my head to look at it. Fuck…that was my throat. I looked back at her, blood bubbling out of my neck and pooling in the gravel around me.
“You shouldn’t have fucked with my family, Jezebel.” Aliona spit her gum out at me and walked away. I tried to move but couldn’t. I stared up into the bright sun and felt my body going cold. My vision was black around the edges, and I felt like I was spiraling backwards and down. The world got smaller and smaller and then was gone.