Angel fever, p.87
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       Angel Fever, p.87

         Part #3 of Angel series by L. A. Weatherly
 
Page 87

 

  Swearing, Seb swivelled around the chimney, firing at the angels as they passed. One of them grabbed for his flickering life force but missed as Seb’s angel quickly shielded him.

  Then a burst of gunfire came from across the street, tearing through his angel’s ethereal body. Seb cried out, twisting in agony. At the same moment, the corner of the chimney exploded into flying fragments of brick.

  It was like being hit by a truck. Dimly, Seb knew he was slipping down the slick roof – he was falling. The ground slammed into him.

  He couldn’t move. Dios mío, the pain – he was broken.

  Meggie, he thought in a daze. Oh, my love, please forgive me. I was so stupid – so blind…

  His thoughts faded until there was only blackness. Seb lay without moving, his curls damp with blood and melting snow.

  At the moment when the world seemed to still, Alex cursed harshly – he had a feeling he knew exactly what was coming next. He scrambled down from the house where he’d been shooting and took off at a run, charging through the streets of Pawntucket as the first faint swirls of the vortex appeared.

  He passed a fallen fighter: a girl holding one of the machine guns. Shoving aside his feelings, he snatched up the weapon and kept going, his footsteps thudding through his brain. Somehow he managed to pull ahead of the angels.

  In less than a minute, he’d gone beyond the third buffer zone. The streets lay empty. As an ethereal wind began to howl, Alex chose a house on the edge of town and flung himself at it, scaling it quickly. Too late, he realized it was one that had been made unstable by the quakes – the wood creaked alarmingly under his feet – but there was no time to change.

  As he hefted himself onto the roof, he caught a glimpse of snowy fields beyond the edge of town – and the hill on the horizon where the girl he loved was fighting for everything they believed in. The vortex moved above her like a pale, swirling bruise.

  Hang on, babe, you can do it, he thought hurriedly – then braced himself against the chimney and spun to face the town. He could just see other fighters heading this way, knew they wouldn’t get here in time. Because coming right towards him was a raging river of white, as a thousand angels bore down.

  Alex set his jaw; he swung his rifle over his back and raised the machine gun to his shoulder. “You are not getting past me,” he muttered down the barrel. “Try to touch her and you die. ”

  As the first angels came into range, Alex started shooting, picking off halos – he swept from left to right, then back again, seeing nothing but the gleaming circles. Angels exploded with furious screams; wings seemed to tangle and churn in a maelstrom of white.

  The angels at the front burst out in all directions – some went high, some tried to veer around. “Don’t even think it,” murmured Alex.

  He shot at a pale blur off to the side; whipped the weapon around to get another; shot at a third with no pause. A fourth, a fifth…twenty…fifty shards of light rained down as he fired, not bothering to check if he’d missed or not. They would not reach Willow – there was no other option.

  The angels behind hurtled towards him in a steady stream. When Alex had shot the machine gun dry, he swung the rifle into position; he moved mechanically across the halos again, firing over and over. The falling light was a blizzard now. Angels darted out from its depths.

  Alex somehow held them off again and again – but they were advancing steadily; he felt his control slipping – and suddenly they were on him in full, screaming force.

  Shit. He flung himself onto the cold, frosty roof; with an outraged groan, it buckled under him. As he struggled to hold on, a hundred angels surged around him, all straining for his life force. He couldn’t shoot the rifle single-handed; he swore and let the weapon drop – briefly considered letting himself fall, too, though the floor below him was gone.

  No. If he was going to die, he’d go out fighting. And though he could barely see through the haze of wings, Alex reached in his waistband for his pistol.

  I STOOD POISED BETWEEN TWO WORLDS.

  It felt as if my hair were crackling with electricity. The energy surged through me – that of the angelic world strengthening our own, rushing out over the planet. In both dimensions, willow branches stirred in the cold wind as I rode the energy’s crest…and used it to reach out to all humanity.

  Millions of people. Billions. Lives, names, images flashed past too quickly to take in: damaged with angel burn, undamaged, young, old, of every colour and creed. Slowly, as the power increased even more, my arms spread out from my sides. My angel lifted up out of me and hovered above, bright and shining.

  Let me help you, I thought, and didn’t even know where the words had come from. Please. It’s time.

  I stood caught in the hurricane between worlds; I was the centre of everything. I felt detached, focused – even though I somehow knew that Raziel was racing towards me, his wings eating up the miles as he was carried along by the surging energy. Even though I knew that in my hometown below, a thousand angels had started heading my way.

  It didn’t matter. Because now it wasn’t only those who’d once been near me whose energy was straining towards me – it was all humanity’s. And this time I was taking control, doing exactly what needed to be done.

  The energy seethed across the earth, leaping from person to person. It felt as if dazzling light was streaming out from my fingertips – though when I risked a dazed glance, my hands looked the same as always. Dizzying swathes of information were roaring past – knowledge of every person on the planet. Blurred images of spiral ladders: the building blocks of humankind, morphing and shifting under my direction along with the very earth itself – the boundaries of our dimension.

  In the angelic world, an enraged crowd of angels had gathered, kept at bay by the swirling power. And though I was shifting things in their world too…I knew it wasn’t me they wanted.

  My outspread arms began to shake as the energy force whipped around the planet again and again, using me as a conduit. I cried out as its raging power almost knocked me off my feet; I couldn’t control this for much longer…

  My angel quickly took the bulk of it on herself. The powerful force screamed past, howling through both her ethereal body and my physical one – if I moved even an eyelash now, I’d be torn to shreds. I gritted my teeth, trembling, as oceans raged and lashed at me. I could feel my angel being battered – hurt – yet still she stayed in place. Oh god, how much longer? I couldn’t hold on – I couldn’t—

  And then…it was done.

  I let out a gasping breath. Somehow I knew not to break the connection yet. Instead, I gradually let the power recede: the angelic energy field was still connected with our own, but it was more placid now. My angel crept feebly inside me.

  The last vestiges of power still sizzled around me, holding back the angels in the other world. The massive army from town hadn’t reached me yet and I dimly wondered why. If they had, there’d been enough of them to break through – they’d have killed me in seconds.

  But another angel had arrived.

  I opened my eyes and saw Raziel standing just outside the bare branches of the willow tree, his face contorted in fury. My muscles shuddered with exhaustion as we regarded each other. I knew that the second I dropped hold of the energy, he’d try to kill me. Because he knew exactly what I’d done – I’d made sure that every angel in existence knew.

 
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