I’m completely confused as I pace my office. It’s mid-day. Too early for wine but my nerves are going haywire. I’ve already applied lipstick twice and done a walk-through of my favorite perfume, Angel. It’s the one in the blue, star-shaped bottle. God, I’ve really got to get that commercial script to them, I just know they would like it. I go and put a sticky note near my computer so I don’t forget. Again. It’s nearly impossible to get in touch with their marketing department but I’ll find a way.
I look at my watch and sigh, seeing that he’s due to be arriving any second. My palms are slightly damp and I run them along the cotton skirt lightly. Zaqar, the insane Angel, wants to speak with me. Why? Why does he want to talk with me of all people? I look at my purple, v-neck sweater and white cotton skirt that falls around my ankles self consciously before deciding it’s fine. At least I’m presentable for this discussion that had to happen immediately, per the beautiful, yet very bat-shit crazy Angel. I know the Guardian’s would be completely against me meeting with him but one doesn’t just say no to a being as old as him. Hell, at least he gave me the courtesy of a ten minute warning. He didn’t even have to do that really. And I’ll just keep this little meeting to myself. The Guardian’s don’t need to know. Especially Dante; definitely not Dante.
A shimmer in the air catches my attention across the room and I feel my heart begin hammering in my chest as he comes into view. Golden curls fall perfectly over his tan face, and oh my God, those wings! He doesn’t seem overly impressed as he looks at me but then, why would he? He is insane and bonded. Or was, a very long time ago. So there’s that.
It was not a question but a statement. I definitely did not have the same butterflies in my stomach with him that I did with Keltor and Dante being here. There was something in my stomach alright, but it is fear, not giddiness. His eyes are the color of the sky on a summer day except for that red ring around the blue that I know is a result of his revenge. I wonder if that red ring will ever go away? Does it bother him that it’s there? I shake the silly thoughts from my head. Focus Jen!
“Zaqar. How may I help you?”
I’m too nervous to sit so I just continue to stand, worrying my bottom lip as I do so. A small smile reaches his own. He seems pleased that I’m nervous which makes me even more so.
“It’s all wrong and you’re going to fix it.”
“What’s wrong Zaqar? What am I fixing?”
“The worlds have shifted because of you, it’s all wrong. The words you wrote, have caused a great discord in the Hells and you have to fix it before it’s too late.”
I look at him strangely. They’re just words. Nothing has shifted surely? “I don’t understand. I can’t un-write what’s written. Besides, nothing is wrong, you must be mistaken.”
Uh-oh. His eyes go black and he roars, the force of it knocking my favorite painting off the wall and breaking the gilded frame. “I DO NOT MAKE MISTAKES!” He screams, stepping closer. His wings have changed from white to black as well and this is just entirely too much. “Once, I made a mistake. ONCE. I do not make them any more.”
I raise my hands in surrender, scared as hell as I back up further. He may be beautiful but I don’t dare let myself believe that he’s not capable of harming me even if he doesn’t realize he’s capable of doing it. “Okay, okay. I’m so sorry. I don’t understand. How do I fix it? What’s wrong?”
My body is trembling, my face is flushed. Would he kill me if I didn’t do what he said? What if I couldn’t do what he said? Then what? Is my lipstick still on after all the lip chewing I’ve been doing? Ugh! Get it together!
He paces, the gorgeous wings nearly sweeping the floor as he does so. His long white robe that drapes over one shoulder along with those wings sure give the impression of an Angel in the biblical sense, even if I know better. He’s no Angel, well, not the halo wearing, singing God’s praise kind of Angel anyway. It’s hard to look at him in the eyes because that’s where his angelic features stop; inside the insanity of his red-rimmed blue. Seeing deep inside, past that crazed color, is a self-made hell. Poor thing has been there awhile as I well know. I swallow hard, watching and waiting, not daring to speak until he does.
“You have to tell the real story, all of it. If you don’t, all eight seals will be broken. Do you know what that means?”
I shake my head no, I haven’t written that part yet.
“Don’t you understand?” He yells again. “You’ve set this all in motion and now you MUST write the end. Everything is leaking! Like a swirl of Shadow coming from the Hells! It’s in my head! I can feel it and it’s going to consume everything. YOU did this! Now YOU must fix it!”
“Oh God.” I groan, so completely lost. The Hells are contained. The Divine Executioners stand guard in all of them. They can’t leak.
“They can.” He answers my thoughts. “And they are. Do you think this is coincidence? All of this happening at once? Have you learned nothing yet of the power of your words?”
He’s insane. I know that. But he looks so desperate and I still have no idea what he needs me to do. Power in words? What a silly notion. They’re just stories, right? “Zaqar, please help me understand…” I say as I crumble down on the cute Victorian couch that Dante sat next to me on not so long ago. My head goes in my hands as I rub my temples.
“Fix it. You have to. Or we all are damned.”
“How do I fix it? How!?” I scream, getting upset. I don’t understand what he wants from me.
“She has to suffer her Fate. She snuck in the Hells and when she did, they sprung a leak. Now, not even the Four are in complete control. Do you have any idea what would happen if the inner Hells opened here on this plane? I will never see my Fated One again if this happens and that is not acceptable.”
I didn’t even want to think about that. At all. And I knew who he was referring to now, but surely she hadn’t caused a leak? That was so long ago anyway…how is it only now causing problems?
“Not even my Island is safe. Fix it.”
Zaqar came up to me and dropped a scroll in my lap to which I gasped as I unrolled it and read. “But she burned it.”
“Yes, that’s what you wrote. Clearly, it still exists and now, Hells are literally rising. Demons are already escaping to the Netherlands and it’s only a matter of time before…” He pauses and closes his eyes. “Zenobia calls for me, I must go. If we meet again, it will not be such a pleasant conversation. Fix it.” He growls before grabbing the scroll and disappearing.
I lean back on the couch and let my heart stop pounding so hard. How? It was done thousands of years ago. The Divine Executioners can’t be slipping in their Immortal duty? I sigh and look out the window, jumping as a shadow passes by it mid-day. I blink and it’s gone, sunshine and a clear sky above. No. No, no, no.
Is it possible that he’s right? Fear grips my spine like the cold hands of death. I look at my computer and sit down, opening Iliyana’s story.
“Oh, and Ms. Sage?” I look up and scream, he is only a foot from me again.
“God, could you warn me before you do that?” Heart pounding again, my hands freeze on my desk. He looks amused slightly, which makes me frown.
“I forget to tell you something.”
Did I want to hear it? Probably not. “Yes?” I murmur softly, looking away from his burning glare.
“You look divine in that color purple. Zenobia would approve.”
Before I can respond he disappears and I looked down at the cashmere sweater. It is one of my favorites. What a strange creature. The world could end, fix it, but your sweater is a pretty shade of purple? Gah! One day I’m going to write a normal, vanilla book with no great consequences or crazy Immortal characters. I laugh at my thoughts. Yeah right.
I wait a moment and when I’m sure he’s not going to pop in and scare the shit out of me again I go back to the computer screen and gasp.
Oh hell, I don’t remember writing this last part…I stare at the cursor flashing on the screen after the words I definitely didn’t put there, daring me to continue. I guess I have to now, even if I don’t understand what all of this means. Who got into my computer? How did they get into it when it’s locked down? I read the few paragraphs once more and that chill envelopes me again as I begin to type…
**This blog post is better understood if you have read Keltor, Ratha and Dante-Part 1 of the Guardian Archives. Thank you for stopping by and please remember to sign up for my newsletter if you enjoy minimal notifications full of treats, freebies and pre-published work!** xoxo