Angel fire, p.31
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       Angel Fire, p.31

         Part #2 of Angel series by L. A. Weatherly
Page 31


  In fact. . . he could still sense her energy inside of him, even now. It was as if Willow had left a small part of herself behind, like pollen brushed from a flower.

  Raziel went very still as he considered what this might mean. Then he took a breath and journeyed more deeply within. The room, the chair, the hum of the computer all faded to nothing. Soon he found the spark of his daughter’s energy: a silver and lavender glow. Grimacing at the unnatural half-angel feel, Raziel prodded it carefully, touching it with his thoughts. It responded and grew, lengthening into a rich, pulsing stream of information that led to a similar spark of his own energy, now residing inside Willow.

  She was lying in a bed in Mexico City – she and Kylar had found other Angel Killers. The thought that had come to Raziel in the shower was correct: she knew about the Council. She and the others thought that to kill the Twelve would kill all angels, but didn’t seem aware of the other possibilities – had no clue that it could backfire horribly, as far as they were concerned.

  Unconsciously, Raziel swivelled his chair from side to side as he took everything in: how Juan had stumbled on the information; the help of Luis; all of their plans and schemes. A slow smile grew across his face. He’d never have believed it, but he actually had reason to be thankful that he’d spawned an offspring, like some animal of the lower orders – because the family tie between them had now resulted in a psychic link, set in motion by their inadvertent exchange of energies in the cathedral. And Willow was completely unaware of it.

  Though he had everything he needed for now, Raziel somehow found himself lingering. Willow’s energy was unmistakably half-him – he’d have known she was his daughter even if she looked nothing like Miranda. Strange, he thought with a frown, letting the feel of it wash over him. It wasn’t quite as unpleasant as he’d initially thought.

  Willow’s angel was stirring – the girl had sensed the rushing energy between them, though she had no idea what it was. Quickly but thoroughly, Raziel hid the spark of his energy that dwelled within Willow, disguising it so that it was as similar to her own essence as possible.

  As Raziel opened his eyes again, he was sure the girl would never suspect their psychic connection: he could carry out any further explorations with no danger. Willow’s own spark within himself didn’t worry him, either – if she hadn’t gotten anything from him yet, she was unlikely to. Raziel sensed strongly that his greater psychic experience gave him the advantage here. His daughter’s skills were impressive, but sadly for her, they were hardly on a par with someone who’d been refining them for millennia.

  Seeing that his computer had switched to the Church of Angels screen saver, he tapped his mouse and brought back Willow’s photo.

  Maybe Paschar was right after all, he mused, steepling his fingers. Paschar, an angel who’d been killed by Kylar almost two months ago, had had a vision that Willow could destroy all angelkind. A half-angel who might have the ability to annihilate them all: Raziel couldn’t hold back a grin. Yes, that sounded like a fair contender for someone to take out the Council.

  The first thing, of course, was to tone down the manhunt against Willow and Kylar. Ironically, keeping Willow safe needed to be his top priority now. He’d make a few phone calls tomorrow – get the media to gradually back off. After a few weeks of not being bombarded with her image, the general public would forget; they had the attention span of a squirrel. The other angels wouldn’t be nearly so easy to divert, but at least with the human portion of the Church pacified, Willow stood a chance of not being killed by a lynch mob.

  The Angel Killers’ plot was unlikely to succeed without some help, though. Fortunately, he’d be happy to provide a bit of fatherly assistance from behind the scenes. Soon Charmeine would be travelling down to Mexico City for a brief preliminary trip with some of the other Council lackeys. It would be child’s play for her to meet this Luis person and give things an angelic helping hand. And in due course, once Willow and her boyfriend and their little team of assassins had fulfilled their purpose and done away with the Council for him, he’d have them all put to a slow, lingering death.

  Assuming anyone was still alive at that point, of course.

  THE GIRLS’ DORM WAS A large room on the second floor with terracotta tiles underfoot, an arched window and four single beds. Though I was so tired it felt as if I’d been wrung out like a dishrag, I lay awake that first night in my borrowed pyjamas for hours. Curled tight on my side, I tried to tell myself that somehow we were actually going to defeat the Council, and everything would be okay – that the premonition of sorrow that had hit me in front of the house hadn’t meant anything at all.

  Or the feeling of dread in my dream, come to that.

  It wasn’t easy to convince myself though, when the hunting pack over the Zócalo had been exactly like what I’d seen. Recalling the rest of my dream – the strange boy in the park – I frowned into the darkness, a flutter of worry passing through me. If the events in the Zócalo had come true. . . I shook my head, irritated at myself. There was just no way. The idea that I could ever care for another boy the way I did for Alex was insane.

  Forget the dream, I decided. Not all of it was accurate; that was completely obvious – and reality was more than enough for the time being anyway, with Kara and the others all half-afraid of me, watching my every move. They’ll get over it once they figure out I’m basically as human as they are, I thought. I stared at the window; a street light shone through the thin curtains. It’ll just take time.

  Remembering the atmosphere in the dorm when Kara had brought me in, I sighed. Okay, maybe a whole lot of time. Liz and Trish looked nothing alike, but could have been twins, the way they’d stood watching me side by side with their arms folded protectively over themselves. Liz’s expression had been cold, her black hair half hanging over her face. Trish had looked scared and anxious, biting her lip – somehow the look didn’t really go with her freckles and cheerful snub nose.

  “So she’s staying?” said Liz.

  “Seems that way,” replied Kara shortly. She was putting fresh sheets on the one empty bed; it was in the corner, slightly away from the others. I don’t think anyone was too upset about that, including me.

  I moved to help her. “Yeah, we’re staying,” I said over my shoulder to Liz, and caught her whispering something to Trish – who looked almost ready to cry when she saw me watching; she waved her hand at Liz in a frantic shushing motion.

  I straightened up from the bed. “Look, I know this must be really weird, but—” I stopped. They’d both frozen, as if a chair had suddenly started speaking. Great. Instead of alarming them further, I turned away and picked up the pyjamas of Trish’s that Kara had given me: blue with white polka dots.

  “Is there a shower I could use?” I asked Kara. There hadn’t been one in the bathroom she’d directed me to earlier, and I was dying to get rid of the grime from travelling all day on the Shadow.

  “Yeah, but only one, unfortunately,” said Kara, finishing with the bed. I was trying not to stare at her the way Liz and Trish were staring at me – the sculpted lines of her face were so exotically gorgeous. “The boys usually get it at night; we take ours in the morning,” she went on without looking at me. “But if you wanted to go ahead, since it’s your first night. . . ”


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