Slowly I open my eyes. My vision is blurred and out of focus so I blink rapidly to clear them. The last lingering traces of a migraine type headache pulses behind my eyes and the throbbing between my shoulders is reluctantly fading. Warily I climb unsteadily to my feet and stumble into the wall behind me at the unexpected weight on my back. I brace my hand against the wall and push myself away but keep one hand at the ready to catch myself should I stumble again. Then my fingers brush against something soft against my back. Carefully I explore the area and found it was feathers. Panic rushes through me as the truth begins to settle like a cold rock in the pit of my stomach. My other hand reaches over the my shoulder and I gently feel the sore area between my shoulder blades, only to confirm what I already knew the moment my fingers grazed the feathers, the source of the feathers protrude from my back, fused to my body.
The quiet click of the door shutting thunderously echoes in the silent room. My gaze sweeps swiftly around and I only see wall to wall of grey concrete and a single open skylight in the ceiling and the last person I ever wanted to see.
La’zar (pronounced: le-zar) stands at 6”3 which towers over my 5”7 stature with leanly muscled arms and charcoal black hair with a lightly white speckled patch just above his ear. He’s dressed in a black button down shirt with the top button left undone and the sleeves folded to just below his elbows and black stone washed jeans with black boots to finish off the look.
I meet his steady red eyes with my violet ones.
“How could you?” I spit poisonously, “You knew how I feel about this but you did it anyway.”
“I thought that you would feel differently once I claimed you.” he murmurs so quietly that I had to strain to hear him.
“But why?” I say softening considerably from the pleading look in his eyes.
“Because I want you back, Terrah (pronounced: tear-rah), I want my best friend back.” He whispers.
“You made your choice. I still had a chance to make mine but you took that away from me. What kind of a best friend does that?” I accuse softly.
He looks away and says nothing so I answer my own question, “Oh I know, an angel of death.” I say scathingly.
“I know I’m selfish and the scum of the earth for claiming you but I just wanted you back.” He says his voice rising slightly in anger.
“If you really cared about me you would have let me be! I know how much being a guardian meant to me, I was going to be a guardian for a boy called Danny!” I scream in frustration and anger.
“Please forgive me.” He begs quietly.
“How can I? You betrayed my trust! I trusted you and you turn around and do this! You claimed me. You know exactly what that means! You stole my choice and now I am forever bound to you! I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!” tears leak in a steady torrent down my face.
He walks quickly over and stands an inch from me and pulls me into a tight hug. I struggle and twist wanting to be anywhere but in his arms, however he keeps holding me until I fall still and continue crying into his shirt.
La’zar rests his cheek on my hair and murmurs softly into it, “I’m sorry for everything but you mean everything to me and I couldn’t be separated from you any longer. Hate me and resent me but at least you are near to me and that is enough.”
He claimed me and stole my choice of being a guardian. When you turn eighteen you have the choice to become a guardian or an angel of death before that you are known as an undecided and have no wings. La’zar chose to be an angel of death and follow his brother; it’s been a year since he made that choice. I thought he would be different from the rest of his family and we had big plans of becoming guardians but he changed all that. Guardians and angels of death are kept separate and the only time they meet will be when they battle over the guardian’s human, who wins decides on whether the human lives or dies. Angels cannot be seen by humans so we fight over their lives as they unknowing continue with their own. I’m seventeen which is why my choice was stolen. If you are claimed before you turn eighteen then you become an angel of death early. However the person that does the claiming does so at great risk and cost to themselves. When you claim the undecided angel it drains you of a huge amount of life force so you can easily die in the process, should you succeed then you are left with a white patch in your hair. Usually the undecided angel chooses to change early but in my case it was without my consent and only angels of death ever perform claiming because they want to swell their ranks and to stop the undecided from changing their minds.
Suddenly all the jigsaw pieces fall into place and it dawns on me as he murmurs that last sentence. He doesn’t just think of me as a friend but as more than that.
“Why did you never tell me?” I whisper softly.
His red eyes widen in realising I understand now, “Because all you ever wanted was a friend and that what I did. I will be who you need me to be because I love you.” He confesses tentatively.
A small smile weaves its way across my face. I thought he wasn’t interested in me, only as a friend. I had buried any feelings other than friendship I may feel towards him. The light fluttering in my stomach rises steadily. Danny’s face flashes in my mind and I remember all that he took from me. My smile drops and I glare at him. His eyes penetrate deep into my soul and glistens with the need to be forgiven, mingled with love.
“Please forgive me.” He begs brokenly, as if I was ripping his very heart strings out.
“I don’t know if I can.” I whisper softly and step away from his arms as they fall limply to his sides and his face crumples painfully.
I spread my black wings and head for the skylight as a lone tear trickles down my cheek, leaving my heart behind with the man that broke it.