Blas Archangels: ASHWINGS (Complete, 28 Chapters) – C. Swallow

Ashwings -4- Condescension
 
The waiter called Myron escorts me to the seat opposite the mystery man, Valentine. I slide into the leather booth and cross my knees and clasp my hands, trying to appear… I don’t know… polite or something.
 
I watch as Valentine nods to Myron, who leaves the restaurant and stands outside. He looks like he’s on guard duty, but I assume it’s a mid-shift break from his job in the fancy restaurant.
 
“Don’t be afraid to eat,” Valentine speaks well, straightening up, I watch as his wings flutter a bit and sparkly dust slowly sheds off his deeply ash toned feathers.
 
Beautiful.
 
I’m entranced already.

Forget the food and wine.
 
“Are you invisible to everyone else here? What’s your species?” I ask, my lips turning up into a smile.
 
“Well, those certainly aren’t the first questions I expected to come out of your mouth, Ivy,” Valentine’s hands land on the cutlery, his face turns to stone and I think he’s angry.
 
He doesn’t explain.
 
Oh, awkward… he waits for my reply.
 
“…forgive me, I don’t actually know what your letter was referring to… in terms of us…” I whisper this.
 
“It’s true, they can’t hear us. You’re correct so you don’t have to whisper like a mouse,”…so he was impatient too… Valentine motions to the food again, “…the letter, was obviously about this… dinner… I expect you’ll try the selection? Unless you prefer to devour with your eyes…” he glances at me in disapproval.
 
My whole confidence slips out of place for a second and my thoughts scramble briefly.
 
I gulp because I get the feeling he isn’t used to talking to people who don’t understand how important he is.
 
I look at the food and pick up a short bread angel, nibbling on the wings. I chew and swallow while Valentine blinks for the first time.
 
Once and slowly.
 
Yep, he was arrogant.
 
“I’m inviting you back to the E.W.” I note that he decides he better get straight to the point.
 
“I will not break a law –” I slowly put the angel down.
 
“On the contrary, you will cross the E. Horizon tonight, or I will send out Myron to gut you and deliver your corpse to be resurrected as a blood leeching pet… I don’t want that for you, Ivy, I want your will to act for your own accord, for your survival,” Valentine dips his finger in a copper bowl of melted chocolate and he tastes it with mild joy.
 
…what did he just say to me…?
 
I’ve lost my little cute smile.
 
I’ve lost my nerve.
 
I’ve lost my confidence.
 
Gut me…?
 
Corpse?
 
I was having dinner with a psychopath.
 
I had to get the hell out of here!
 
…Uno…
 
…his name and his face and his admission on the bridge, causes me to hesitate.
 
“December,” I whisper her name while gulping down my nausea.
 
I catch him off guard and Valentine’s face finally shows more than a second of emotion. He’s blue eyes narrow, his mouth curling with displeasure.

“…excuse me?” Valentine asks, strangely irate.

“So, you do know her?” I ask, “Did you kill her too?”
 
“She crossed willingly,” Valentine avoids speaking to me about her directly, “Have you decided your fate?”
 
“My fate? No… no way, I can’t decide anything. Please. Listen. I think this dinner is a mistake, I think you’re mistaken about who I am. Whoever you are, you shouldn’t be interested in me… I’m literally nobody… and I don’t want to be in your E.W. especially after that death threat you just said so blatantly without emotion.”
 
“Oh, I have emotions,” Valentine seems to consider this an inside joke, because he smirks at his own response, “…you can break the law, blue blood… it’s okay… you’ll continue to live as you are when you cross a second time willingly and I hand out judgement from that point. It’s my job. Here’s a sweeter deal; I’ll go easy on you if you leave right now and cross without question.”
 
“Wait. I can’t process all this. I’m still stuck on gut me and corpse and resurrection,” I pick apart every fucked up part, “…and I know the law and you can’t manipulate me… I won’t cross… that’s not all, murder is against the law in Ora. By the Galaxy Law – you can’t send out someone to take my life. Look around you, we’re not in your E.W. which is clearly some kind of hell. We’re outside your property. So…” I shrug, “You can’t break our law. We’re not in your world.”
 
“…you see, death isn’t a big deal where I come from. Only the Final Death ends your entire existence. When I spoke of Myron, I spoke of something I have no qualms about delivering… or commanding of my Blas Angel Commanders. We were granted with sin to hand out punishment. I’ll do what I have to, to deliver yours to you,” Valentine is far too comfortable replying to my defence in this way.
 
“Punishment for what?” I ask, totally confused.
 
“Your lust, Ivy, is your fault,” Valentine chooses his words carefully and I feel like I’m drowning in blue simple orbs that know every little detail of my mind. He slowly smirks again, once more, at his own words.

“You’re awfully arrogant, Valentine,” I whisper this to try and change the subject, “What are you, exactly?”
 
“I think you mean, who am I…” he corrects me before he answers, “Angel of Vengeance and a Judge of Final Death. Think of it like this; I can read your sin meter.”
 
“I have no sinful thoughts,” I don’t know why I’m still here.
 
I should be running for my life. This man was nuts.
 
“Precisely why the Atrinite marked you the other night,” Valentine picks up his wine glass and tips it off the side of the table so the liquid spills on purpose.
 
“Stop!” I instantly slide out of the booth, grabbing a napkin and falling to my knees, trying to soak up the small amount he purposefully leaked.
 
“…precisely…” I can’t see him when Valentine says that one word again, but it’s drawled low enough for my ears only, he leans forward and I swear he sounds turned on… or something.
 
I quickly get back to my feet but I don’t get back in the booth.
 
“That was a trick?” I blush bright red for falling for it, “But if I’m so innocent,” I point to the wine, flustered since he made me prove his own point, “Why would an Angel of Vengeance, want an innocent female for company?”
 
“You’ll find out when you cross over willingly,” Valentine is bored of looking at me now and seemingly bored of also communicating with me, “See you soon, Ivy. I’ll send Myron after the crimson hour… midnight… he’ll do what I say, sweety, don’t second guess that.”
 
“Wait –”
 
But Valentine disappears in an illusion… or a teleportation… or maybe it was a hologram.
 
He’s gone.
 
The full table disappears and all I see is salt, pepper and a menu.
 
When I look out the window… even Myron the ‘waiter’ is gone.

More like Myron my killer after the hour was up.
 
“Table for one?” a waitress approaches, thinking I’ve just walked in.
 
“Table for none,” I hold up my hand and she pauses, looking offended, “Sorry, I… I have to go…” even the red lantern lights of the restaurant have turned to yellow candle light only.
 
The carnal energy is gone and I feel like I’ve just spoken to a dream demon.
 
I walk out into the street and glance at the moon.
 
Midnight would be sooner than half an hour away.
 
…if what just happened was real and not just a dream… Valentine really was impatient to get decisions done quickly.
 
But was it real? Or was I just going insane?
 
I think it was real.

And I was just asked by some almighty angel to break a law of the Galaxy… all of a sudden, I feel…
 
Doomed.
 
My chest sinks and my fingers feel numb and tingly, like I might pass out.
 
I force myself to walk up the street in the general direction of the E.W.
 
It was my fault for gaining his attention… it was my fault for him having to spill the wine… it was my fault for cleaning the wine… it was my fault he left his property to find me… it’s my fault that I caused him to come after me… I was full of heavy, horrible doubt.
 
My stomach was spinning, my appetite for food was gone.
 
My feet were taking me quicker and quicker to the E. Horizon, the territorial line of the E.W.
 
Ivy, now Valentine’s freaking voice is in my head, it is all your fault. Once you trigger the lust in a Blas Angel, you don’t stop burning until we do. And I burn for you, sweety. Come closer. Don’t stop.
 
I wanted to fall at his feet.
 
Beg for his forgiveness.
 
I’ll make it all better, put your faith in me, your belief is now in Valentine the Angel of Vengeance.
 
I needed to be punished.
 
Oh, yes, sweety, you need to be punished by my hand.
 
Entranced!
 
I’m in a trance!
 
I’ve shuffled, walked, jogged, ran and then sprinted my way to the E.W. my heart burning up as Valentine speaks through my chest, my mind, even my fucking tongue tingles because it feels like his words are rolling off my breath.
 
I can’t stop moving, under compulsion until the very last second. My nose is about to skim the edge of the E. Horizon when my will becomes my own.
 
I halt, my breath coming out in horrible gasps of panic, my eyes watering from intense fear.
 
Valentine just controlled my fucking body, my mind, my thoughts, my blood; everything.
 
But now I stop and I’m okay.
 
He can’t force me to cross the border.
 
This was a choice.
 
A shadow falls over my face at that point, my neck screams predator and I turn in slow motion to see Myron standing right there, in his fake waiter outfit, right behind me, holding the longest sword with the brightest sheen I’ve ever seen.
 
Perfect for gutting.
 
“Boo,” he drawls it and blinks, tilting the sword to catch the moon light, I jerk back with instinct.
 
Half my body skims the fence.
 
The finality of those nerves firing and my muscles moving my body, seals my fate.
 
I’ve touched the fence and it’s all over.
 
I’m pulled in by the sheer power of the E. Horizon.
 
And I’m falling.
 
Again.
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