Angel fire, p.88
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       Angel Fire, p.88

         Part #2 of Angel series by L. A. Weatherly
 
Page 88

 

  As he’d thought, Sophie had taken some time to respond – he smiled as he imagined her frantically checking out what details she could on her own, before she’d finally, cautiously written back – but eventually she’d bitten, and he’d deftly reeled her in. And now she was down in Mexico City, in touch with Charmeine the friendly rogue angel – and doubtless very, very excited that she and Kylar were about to rid the world of the angel menace. Bringing back Sophie’s image, Raziel smiled. No need to thank me, he thought. Really. I’m only too happy to help you find him.

  Because Kylar knew Sophie. He may not like her, but he knew her. He’d trust information that came from her. And that, thought Raziel as he snapped off his laptop, was the only way to beat Kylar at his own game.

  Seb really couldn’t believe that Willow’s boyfriend was this stupid.

  As the team took the Metro to the Zócalo, Seb stood beside Willow in the crowded subway car. Dozens of angel wings surrounded them, looking bent and bedraggled in the throng. The team was scattered throughout; Alex stood with Kara and Wesley, half a car-length away. He and Willow had barely spoken since officially breaking things off the day before – when they’d had to, they’d been cool and professional with each other. Now Willow stood quietly as the train sped them all towards the cathedral, her face expressionless. The crystal pendant she’d always worn was gone from around her neck. Though she’d made it clear that she didn’t want to talk about what had happened, Seb could sense her anger; the depth of her hurt.

  The train lurched. Willow grabbed his arm briefly to steady herself, then offered him an apologetic smile; conversation wasn’t an option with the noise. She was wearing make-up, which she never did. It made her look older, though no more beautiful. As Seb smiled back, he wished that he had the right to put his arm around her for no real reason, just to feel her pressed closely to his side. And he thought he could cheerfully throttle Alex, who had had the right, and apparently cared so little about it that he was willing to break up with Willow simply for being friends with him. Seb mentally shook his head in disbelief. God, if Willow was his – if he could be with her the way he longed to be; if he could actually go into a room with her and shut the door and tell her how he felt with words, with his lips; hear her say the same things back while she stroked her fingers through his hair – then he wouldn’t care who the hell she was friends with. Who in his right mind would? No matter how much Willow cared about him, she would never cheat on Alex, never; did the cabrón not know that?

  By now, Seb had a lot of practice in keeping thoughts like these buried. As he entertained himself with fantasies of dragging Alex to one side and telling him in great detail exactly what an idiot he was – perhaps throwing in a punch now and then to emphasize the point – the uppermost part of his mind was busy concentrating on the car around them; the advertisements; the people. Willow could have sensed what he was feeling if she’d tried, but Seb knew she wouldn’t. From the start, it was as if they’d had an agreement: he wouldn’t make the fact he was in love with her too obvious, and she’d pretend not to notice it.

  As the train rattled its way through the tunnels, Seb supposed he should be glad that Willow and Alex had broken up. But it was obvious how deeply they were still in love with each other. Even across the crowded car, he could sense the emotional ties that bound them; he was sure they’d manage to patch things up soon. Meanwhile, feeling how much pain Willow was in was agony to Seb, so that he found himself in the bizarre position of wanting to pummel Alex until he saw reason and made things up with her. Seb smiled wryly. He wouldn’t really have believed it, but he wanted Willow’s happiness more than he wanted his own.

  He wasn’t a saint, though; sometimes it was all he could do not to just pull Willow into his arms and start kissing her. And he prayed with everything he had that she’d get Alex out of her system soon and see what was so blindingly obvious to him. Because thinking of her dream – of the whole sequence of events that had led him to her, spiralling back through his life for years – Seb couldn’t believe that fate had brought them together only to be friends. It was clear to him that he and Willow were meant to be, not just because they were both half-angel, but because of who they both were, their personalities. It was as if their souls had been crying out for each other their whole lives.

  Seb knew if Willow never felt the same, he’d deal with it somehow – being in her life as a brother was a lot better than not being in her life at all. It was becoming more difficult by the day, though. He’d never have dreamed he could fall more in love with his half-angel girl. But actually being with Willow in person, feeling the effortless depth of their connection that was like nothing he’d ever experienced – and knowing that it could still be so much more; a whole world more, if she’d only open her eyes and see it too – Seb let out a breath as the train started to slow. He wasn’t sure if it made things better or worse that he thought he’d caught glimpses of attraction from her sometimes; thoughts so fleeting, it was as if she had no control over them. On the whole, he thought it made it worse, given how much she was in love with Alex. And it definitely made it harder for him to be brotherly towards her.

  That’s exactly what you’re going to do though, he told himself. Until she tells you she wants something different, you are only her brother. He glanced down at Willow’s red-gold hair, her face. She’d see it for herself someday, he thought. She had to.

  She just had to.

  The train reached Zócalo station; the doors unfolded with a pneumatic hiss. “I guess this is it,” murmured Willow, her forehead creased with apprehension.

  “This is it,” agreed Seb, pushing his thoughts away.

  They jostled off the car. Everyone in the world seemed to be going to the Zócalo. Alex and the others had exited further down; the group rejoined each other near the station stairs. As they started up, they could hear a thunder of voices chanting: “El DF is dying! Funds for doctors, not angels! El DF is dying! Funds for doctors, not angels!”

  The Crusaders rally, Seb realized. As they came out onto the Zócalo, they could see it – a solid, fist-waving mass of people gathered near the Palacio. Their auras were blood-red, merging together and throbbing towards the sky as the people chanted, so that the crowd looked like a single, angry creature. Seb stopped in his tracks, neck prickling. He’d seen auras like that before – usually around street gangs before a fight. Never around thousands at once.

  Nearby, hundreds of people wearing angel wings had gathered, screaming just as furiously: “The angels will provide! If you have true faith, the angels will provide!” Though mostly damaged, their auras were a furious red too, straining towards the Crusaders. Dozens of grim-looking security guards patrolled the edges of the crowd, while overhead several angels cruised, with glinting wings.

  Willow glanced at Seb. Her green eyes looked larger than usual, accented with eyeliner. “This really isn’t good,” she whispered to him, and he knew she meant the seething auras, rather than the angels on the hunt. Like him, she had to be picking up on the vibes of the rally too – the organized fury surging all around them.

  “It’ll be all right,” he muttered back.

 

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