You better hope she doesn’t say a word,” Gabe warned, lifting a finger to Uri’s nose.Uri grabbed the finger laughing, “What are you going to do, cupcake? Seduce me to death, in all your sexy glory?””Just shut up,” Gabe groaned, pushing the door shut in his friend’s face.
Uri stood staring at him, casually looking Gabe's body up and down before saying with a sly grin, "Well hello to you too, sexy. Does your wife know about this?" Uri then motioned with a dainty fingertip to Gabe's ensemble.Looking down, Gabe quickly realised the robe he had grabbed to cover himself with belonged to Rachel, and much to his dismay, was far too sheer for comfort at the moment. Slipping a well laid hand into place, Gabe huffed and looked at his friend in aggravation, secretly trying not to laugh.
Uri was turned, looking at him, shouting something, but at that point, Gabe couldn’t hear him. A moment later, Gabe felt like the car was spinning uncontrollably. The nausea overcame him and he seriously thought he might be sick. He looked down at Sophie to make sure she was still all right. His hands were holding her head gently, but they no longer seemed like his hands. There was a glowing, blue light coming from his palms. He began to hyperventilate. Everything went black.
The smoke stung at the corners of Uri’s eyes as he struggled to open them. He could hear the battle sounds all around him and smell the iron from the blood drenched warfare in the air. Much to his surprise, death had not yet claimed him. He could feel Raimie’s body under his own, no warmth came from him, however, and Uri feared the worse. Over his shoulder, he heard a large blast and the earth shook under him.The trackers had obviously followed someone through. There were hundreds of designated transportation locations as part of the evacuation drill. Absolutely nobody was allowed to transport directly to a primary facility for this exact reason. If a tracker were to follow your transportation signature to the next facility, the Guardians could be nearly wiped out in one night. The secrecy of the facilities and cloaking spells were key in their safety.Uri knew if he or Raimie had any chance of surviving, he needed to get clear of the fighting and find a healer. Attempting to sit up, he braced his weight on the earth just beside Raimie’s head. He quickly reconsidered as the unbearable pain shot through his side. Running his hand down to the source, he could feel the shaft of an arrow jutting out from his side; a warm wetness covered his fingertips.In the distance, Uri could hear someone crying out in agony, not a voice he recognized, yet the pain in it seemed all too familiar. Another blast rang out from behind him as Uri slumped to the ground, groaning in pain.
Gabe realized he was standing there alone, with a goofy smile on his face. Limping inside, he closed the door behind him, her words still lingering in his mind. Gabe wanted more than anything to be able to choose happiness. He wanted a rain storm to make him smile. He desired that the simple task of cooking would make him dance. To Gabe, however, it didn’t seem as simple as just making a choice. He hoped her joy was contagious, because he was in uncharted territories.
Crossing the small wooden bridge, just past the rubble, Gabe ducked off to the left and swooped underneath into hiding. Once sure he was secure, and could not be seen by those that passed overhead, Gabe collapsed on to the dirt and grass. Turning on his side, his body convulsed, and relieved itself of any food that had been in his belly. Rachel was right. He was a liability. Anyone who tried to protect him ended up paying a high price. He didn’t know if his old friends were dead, but he was certain whatever fate had found them must have been bad.
Gabe watched, holding his breath as the figure slowly turned. The body moved in an almost unnatural way as it shifted and crawled slowly on all fours across the floor. When the candlelight at last fell on the figure, Gabe could make out the auburn hair of his beloved Sophie. Her hair was matted, greasy, and hung in her face.Gabe saw her shoulders were hollow looking and her skin was almost glowing white. Gabe caught sight of Sophie’s fingers, her knuckles were bloody, and her nails cracked and peeling. Instinctively, Gabe fell to his knees and crawled to Sophie. Without even giving it a thought, he grabbed her hands and pulled them closer to the light.
The roar of the crowd began to grow. He heard them harmoniously stomping their feet in a rhythm that cried out for battle. Gabe glanced across the arena to several cages that were shielded by large cloaks. Whatever was inside was clearly becoming agitated by the noise of the crowd. The captive creatures began beating against the bars. Random secret shrieks and growls came from their general area.
Michael staggered to his feet and turned to face his worst nightmare. Baal stood before him, a smirk on his face. He wore his signature grey, pinstripe, three-piece suit, and casually twisted his pinky ring on his long and slender well-manicured finger. As it rotated Michael caught a glimpse of the rubies in the skull’s eye sockets. His black hair was slicked back, the sight of his false appearance made Michael sick to his stomach.