Angel of Darkness(3)

By: Cynthia Eden


The vamp sank his teeth into Nicole’s throat again. She didn’t even have the voice to scream now. Tears leaked from her eyes.

Keenan knelt beside her. The first time he’d seen her, he’d thought ...

Beautiful.

Now, covered in garbage and blood, still fighting a vampire, still struggling to live ...

Beautiful.

It was time. His hand lifted toward her and hovered over her tangled hair. His fingers were so close to touching her. Just an inch, maybe two, separated them. But ...

He hesitated.

Why couldn’t someone else have come into the alley this night? A cop? A college kid? Someone to help her.

And not someone who was just supposed to watch her suffer.

A fire burned in his gut. She didn’t deserve this brutal end to her human life. From what he’d seen, Nicole had been good. She’d tried to help others. His jaw ached and he realized he’d been clenching his teeth.

His gaze drifted to the vampire. It would be so easy to stop him and take one more monster from the world.

Forbidden. The order burned into his mind. He wasn’t supposed to interfere. That wasn’t the way. Wasn’t allowed. He was to collect his charge and move on. Those were the rules.

He’d take Nicole St. James this night, and someone else would wait on him tomorrow. There were always more humans. More souls. More death.

Her hands fell limply to her sides as the vampire drank from her, and her head turned toward Keenan.

There was gold buried in her eyes. He’d thought her eyes were solid emerald, but now he could see the gold glinting in her eyes. Angels had strong vision—in darkness or light—but he’d never noticed that gold before.

Her eyes locked right on him. She was so close to passing. He had no doubt that she saw him then.

“Don’t worry,” he told her. The vampire wouldn’t hear him. No one but Nicole would hear his voice. “The pain is already ending for you.” His hand still reached for her. He’d wanted to touch her before. To see if her skin was as soft as it looked. But he knew just how dangerous such a touch would be—to both of them.

Keenan well understand what happened to those of his kind when they did not obey their orders.

Despite popular belief, angels were not the favored ones. They did not have choices like the humans. Angels had only duty.

“I don’t ...” Her words were barely a whisper. Had the vamp already savaged her neck too much for speech? “D-don’t ... want to ... die ...”

The vamp gulped down her blood, growling as he drank.

“Don’t ... let me ...” Her lashes began to fall. The fingers of her right hand began to curl inward, and her wrist brushed against the jagged glass. “Die ...”

There was so much desperation in her voice, but he’d heard desperation before. Heard fear. Heard lies. Promises.

But he’d never heard them from her.

Keenan didn’t touch her. His hand eased back as he hesitated.

Hesitated.

He’d taken a thousand souls. No, far more. But her ...

Why her? Why tonight? She’s barely lived.The vamp should be the one to go, not—

Nicole let out a guttural groan. Keenan blinked and his wings rustled behind him. No, he had a job to do. He would do it—

Nicole grabbed a thick shard of broken glass and wrenched it up. She shoved it into the vampire’s neck and caught him right in the jugular. His blood spilled over her as the vamp jerked back, howling in pain and fury.

Her throat was a mess, ripped flesh, blood—so much blood. Hers. The vamp’s. Nicole grabbed another chunk of glass and swung again with a slice to the vampire’s neck.

Fighting.

She was fighting desperately for every second of life that she had left. And he was supposed to just stop her? Supposed to take her away when she struggled so hard to live?

You’ve done it before. Do it again.

So many humans. So little life. So much death.

“Bitch! I’ll cut you open—”

The vamp would. In that instant, Keenan could see everything the vamp had planned for Nicole. Her death would be ten times more brutal now. The future had already altered for her. Because I hesitated.

“I’ll rip your heart out—”

Yes, in the end, he’d do that, too.

She’d die with her eyes open, with fear and blood choking her.