I opened my eyes, and I suddenly realized I wasn't in U.S. History anymore. I was in a valley; two huge mountains rose up above me as the winding river crashed below me. Only one place came to mind, and it came from out of nowhere: the Machu Picchu mountain range. In South America.
"Xavier?" I whispered, not daring to be heard by anyone.
"Eliza," I heard someone whisper back. "Stay right where you are. Don't move a muscle."
Something in his voice didn't sound right to me. He sounded a lot more anxious than any human could ever sound. It almost didn't sound like him.
Suddenly, my whole body started to tense up. I felt as if I was being watched. I opened my mouth to call Xavier when a stray hand came up to cover it.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Thomas whispered in my ear. "Pretty Boy can't protect you forever, now can he?"
I tried to bite his hand, but he had held up a gun to my temple. "Try anything like that, and you will never see Pretty Boy's face again."
I barely nodded my head when Xavier rounded the corner. My eyes locked with his, pleading desperatly. The look on his face almost moved me to tears.
"Let her go," Xavier said through gritted teeth. "If you know what's good for you, let her go."
Thomas smiled, a creepy smile. "Sure, Pretty Boy. I'll let her go."
Nothing prepared me from flying into the air. Still in Thomas's arms, he flew me up until the river was nothing but a squiggly line.
"See you on the other side," Thomas whispered. And then he dropped me.
Say what you want, skydiving is nothing compared to free-falling through the sky with nothing to stop you. At least with skydiving, you know there's a pretty good chance you'll live. Unlike falling from thirty-thousand feet.
I prepared myself for death. Unless I somehow managed to land on some miracle trampoline, I was dead.
I approached to ground a lot quicker than I thought I would. The trees seemed to suddenly become closer. The birds avoided getting hit by me as I fell to my death. I braced myself for impact.
Someone's arms were around me. I hadn't died. Xavier had caught me.
My heart thudded in my chest. Whether it was from almost dying, or being so close to Xavier, I had no idea.
"You saved me," I managed.
He smiled and set me down on a rock. His hand brushed my waist. I grabbed one and pulled him in for a hug. I started to cry on his shoulder. I honestly have no idea why. But I did anyway.
His hands tightened around me as I sobbed. After a few minutes of this, he pulled away and gripped my face in his hands. He wiped away the tears that had strayed from my eyes.
"Listen," Xavier said, tilting my head to face his. "I would never let anything bad happen to you. I think we both know that." He paused to make sure I understood. I did. "I would sacrifice everything for you. My heart and soul are yours, and they always will be. Don't ever forget that."
I nodded. Him confessing his feelings for me is great. I just wish I almost had to die for it to happen, though.
Then, all too quickly, he started to lean in. We were so close, I could feel his breath on my face. My skin was buzzing, my entire self felt alive. My heart thudded, and I forgot where I was. I could only imagine what his lips would feel like on mine, the taste of him, the way his hands would feel wrapped around my waist.
His lips just barely skimmed mine when I was pulled back up against a giant boulder.
"Sorry I had to break up the moment," Thomas sneered. "I let you go as far as a I could, considering it will probably be the last kiss either of you will ever get."
I kept my eye on Xavier as someone tied up my wrists. Another unseen entity duct taped my mouth.
"If you do anything to her," Xavier said, "I'll--"
"You'll what?" Thomas said, cutting him off. "Let's see. What can fallen angels do? Why don't we have my little helper remind you. Evelinda?"
My blood went cold. No way was this possible.
The girl who had tied my wrists stepped forward, removing her mask. She turned and smirked at me.
One of the servants ripped the duct tape off of my mouth. I was so angry, I didn't even process the pain.
"How could you?" I screamed. "You used me!"
Eva shrugged. "What can I say? I knew you two would meet, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity."
I paled. All those secrets and jokes we had was apparently for nothing. I didn't know if anything she had ever told me was true.
I spat at her. She pushed me hard against the boulder, momentarily knocking the wind out of me.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Eva said. "I'm a lot stronger than you think."
I knew she was strong. She beat the captain of the wrestling team in an arm wrestling contest. The only advantage I had on her was the fact I knew all of her weakness. She knew none of mine.
When Eva turned around, I kicked her as hard as I could behind the knees. When she was nine, she tore a muscle directly behind her kneecap, and it never healed correctly after that. Whenever she moved a certain way, she would collapse in pain. This time, fortunatly, she did.
The other guard tried to tackle me, so I ducked and kicked this one in the gut. When she went down, I kneed her in the head for good measure. I think it was safe to assume she had been knocked out cold.
Thomas noticed that none of his minions were helping him. He turned around, narrowing his eyes at me. That's when Xavier attacked him from behind.
Nothing could mentally prepare me for the physicality between the two of them. They both seemed to have the strength to fight forever.
I strained at the ropes, hoping that they would give and I could get out of here. But then I felt a tug and some sawing.What I saw was the most shocking thing that had happened all day.
Natalia. She was helping me. She cut the last of the rope and my hands fell free.
"Why are you here?" I asked her.
"It's my job," she said simply.
I heard someone cry out in pain behind me. I turned around, expecting to see Xavier, but Thomas was lying on the ground, moaning.
"We've got at least twenty minutes," Xavier said. "Go."
I was entirely confused. "Go where? There's nowhere to go!"
Xavier jogged up to me and gathered me in his arms. He jumped, and we were flying.
The sensation took my breath away, and then gave it back. At first, I was too scared to open my eyes. But with the fact Xavier was holding me tight against his stomach, I found the courage to open them.
The view was unlike anything anyone could ever imagine. Even in South America, the tops of the mountains were snow capped.The trees wove up and down the sides of the mountains, and the river created a mist that covered it all.
"You're not going to drop me, are you?" I asked, almost afraid to hear the answer.
Xavier laughed lightly, shaking his head. "Watch this," he whispered in my ear. We flew down towards a valley.
We approached the river, and Xavier landed. My eyes shown with panic, not knowing where Thomas and the others were.
"Don't worry, " Xavier said, coming up behind me. "They're all taken care of. They aren't going to bother you for a long time."
I let out a breath of relief, and Xavier stepped in front of me, looking me in the eyes.
"Has anyone ever told you how beautiful your eyes are? They're like the sky," he whispered.
He brushed my hair out of my eyes. His hands wove their way down to the end of the strands. I put my hands on his chest, closing my eyes, savoring the moment. His hands continued their way across my waist, my hips. His touch was so soft and gentle, it was hard to imagine that they were a fallen angel's hands.
The words caught me off guard. I opened my eyes. Xavier started to lean in. I was so tired of waiting. But I need answers.
"Wait," I said. "Thomas said you were a fallen angel. I thought fallen angels couldn't fly?"
Xavier paused for a minute. "They can't. I'm a guardian angel now."
That caught me off guard. "Since when?"
"About twenty minutes ago when I caught you. In order to get promoted, I had to save someone's life three times. I saved your life, so I am your personal angel."
I was apalled. "I have my own angel?"
He smiled. "The correct term would be guardian angel. But yes, you have your own angel."
I didn't do anything for a second, but I ended up tackling him with a hug. I was making a sound some where between crying and laughing. I pulled my head back as Xavier wiped the tears off of my cheeks.
This is it, I thought. It's now or never. So I kissed him.
If I can do my math correctly, this was my first real kiss. Sure, I've had a peck or two at some point, but this was my first full-on kiss. Everything fell away; the rush of the water, the wind in the trees, and eventually the only thing I could hear was my heart threatning to burst out of my chest.
Xavier's hands tightened around my waist as I looped my hands around his neck, pulling us both in closer. My stomach was so full of butterflies, it was almost excruciating standing upright.
Eventually, Xavier and I pulled away from each other, both of us breathing heavy. All of my senses came back to me. My hearing, my smell, and the distinct feeling that someone was standing behind me.
I spun around. Thomas and Eva were right there. I watched as Eva pulled a bow and aimed it right at me. Smart move by her; I had nowhere to go. Except in the river. . . .
When I say go, Xavier said in my head, jump straight back into the river. Keep your head above water and go with the stream. I'll meet up with you later.
I mentally said okay, hoping that he got it.
"Go," Xavier mumbled.
I jumped back, trusting Xavier's judgement. I sat the arrow fly straight over my head. The force of the current surprised me. Within thiry seconds, I was about a quarter of a mile away from Thomas. From Eva. From Xavier.
I don't know how long or far I managed to keep my head above water. By the time I reached land, nothing but cacti surrounded me. And that's when it hit me.
I was falling for a former fallen angel. My sort-of boyfriend wasn't human; he came from Heaven and he was probably immortal.
Only me, I thought. And my ex-best friend and her boyfriend were supernatural, too. And Natalia turned out to be one of the good guys. Go figure.
I sat until the sun started to set. Which had to have been four or five hours. It wasn't until it was dark when Xavier showed up again. When he did, I had apparently fallen asleep. So he picked me up and flew me away.
When I woke, I had no idea where I was at first. I saw a single bed (which I was lying in), a couch, a T.V. set, and a kitchen. I figured I had to be at Xavier's place.
I sat up slowly. My whole body ached. My head pounded, and my muscles fought every move I made. It wasn't until I reached the door frame that I realized what time it was. One in the morning. My mom was going to kill me.
"Relax," Xavier said. "She thinks you're sleeping over Eva's house."
I suddenly remembered everything. My head pounded harder.
"Thomas?" I asked. My voice was hoarse.
"We shouldn't have to worry about him for a long time. Or Eva." He didn't say why. I didn't want to know.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Xavier asked me.
I shook my head. I knew everything that I wanted to know, plus much more. I crossed the room and sat down next to him. He pulled me into his lap.
"I'm here for you, okay?"he whispered in my ear. I turned to face him. We moved closer to each other. Our lips were practically touching when he said, "You're my warrior."
I closed my eyes, breathing in his scent, running my hands around his body, memorizing everything I could about him.
"And you're my angel."