I Refuse To Fall, When They Still Exist

Rio has been hunting for angels since she can remember; travelling from state to state since she was born. When a shadowey succubus nearly takes away her breath, she has to fight to survive. And fight off her desires for the mysterious emo kid that helped her out.

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14. Chapter 12

I'd sat on the stairs for about an hour, listening to the sounds of the house. It felt good knowing that someone else was here with me, even if I had put a gun to his head not too long ago, and he probably fucking hated me for it.

I'd been listening to his footsteps and the occasional schoosh of running water coming from the bathroom, when I heard the creak of the stairs and the thunk of him sitting next to me. He was so skinny that we both fit, even though he'd wrapped Gran's quilt around himself. The silence between us was deafening and wide, like he was the other side of the Canadian border, where I couldn't get at him.

Gently, almost like I was the one who was crying, even though his eyes were red and his eyelashes matted together, he broke the silence. "Why'd you do that?"

"I had to. I needed to be sure that you wouldn't become an angel. If you did, I had to make sure you wouldn't...you wouldn't...."

"Kill you?"

I nodded slowly, letting the gun hang loosely from one finger. If I let it drop and bounce down the stairs, what would it do?

Probably go off and kill someone else, that's what.

"Why would I become a...a what?" He asked, letting the crucifix on his necklace hang against his bony chest.

"An angel. As in big, feathery wings, halo, thing from the christmas story that says "For lo, I am the angel Gabriel. Sent to tell you, sweet Virgin Mary, that you are host to the son of God". Except they're nothing like that in reality."

"I see. Why would I become one?" He asked.

"You were kissed by one."

"Kissed?"

How am I supposed to fucking explain that? "Have you watched a werewolf film? In the films, when a werewolf bites someone, they become one soon afterwards. It's sort of like that, but with an angel instead of a werewolf. I had to be sure you wouldn't change."

"Call me a dumbass, but I fail to see how tying me to a bed, putting a gun to my temple and asking if I was a virgin, will tell you that I won't change."

It's complicated. "Basically, when you're kissed, a bunch of stuff gets...for lack of a better word, injected into your system. Like the wings, the superhuman intelligence, the taste for human blood and the attraction to human men-"

"What!" He snapped, interrupting me.

Forgot to mention that. Finding out that you might become gay soon after having a gun against your head is bound to be shocking for anyone. "Yeah, that's part of it. If you're lucky, that part might get skipped, but it has happened."

"I'll keep an eye out for that. Anyway, you were saying?"

"Basically, all that stuff gets in your system, and if you're a virgin, then most of it doesn't take effect. It's kinda like you're a closed door, and once you have sex, the door opens." This was pretty deep stuff to take in. I kept talking, as I was terrified of what he might say once I shut up. "Congratulations, you're completely safe from angel kisses for the rest of your life. Like...like a vaccination."

"Well that's fucking comforting to know. Look Rio, I-"

"I'm fucking glad you didn't change. As then I'd have...I'd have..."

"Shot me?"

Yes. No. I don't have a fucking clue what I would have done. I've shot someone else, but they weren't exactly human, but I still shot them.

"Rio?" He asked, nudging me in the shoulder.

"Fuck off!"

"That was all real, wasn't it." It wasn't a question, but more like he was trying to reassure himself that this was actually happening. " I saw that huge bear chase you into the fountain, and this winged woman throw me aside. You shot her, and I saw the wound on her hand close up like she was Wolverine or something. It was real."

"First prize goes to you; it's real."

He went and asked the question that got everyone in deep shit. "What else is real?"

Werewolves, succubi, demons, chupacabras, psychics, vampires, zombies, and anything else you can name that goes bump in the night. Don't forget angels though. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."

"Try me."

Are you asking to get in more trouble? "You got kissed by an angel for it, and it was my fault." I should have shot that angel in the heart whilst I had the chance.

"Well you're an interesting chick, Rio." He nudged me again, this time draping one half of Gran's quilt around me. "You didn't touch me up when you tied me down, did you?"

The fuck? Why would you ask that? "Erm, no. Did you want me to?"

"Well, whatever floats your boat. Can I ask you something?"

Whenever someone says that, they're going to anyway. Carry on; I can't stop you. "What happened to your Dad?"

"He got turned into a succubus. I shot him before he sucked my breath out." My throat constricted, threatening to force out the nothingness that I'd eaten recently.

"A succubus. Ok, right. Haven't got a clue what that is, but it sounds bad. What are you gonna do next, seeing as he's...dead, right? That's what a succubus is, isn't it?"

"It's like a ghost crossed with a zombie, so yeah. It's dead and undead. As for what I'm doing next, well...making lunch sounds good about now. Want some?" I asked, standing up and going downstairs.

"One last thing. You got anyone you can call? Like your Mom, or a grandparent or someone like that?" He caught my hand, but it was gently, and caring. His eyes met mine, and his hair fell back from his face.

"My Mom's dead too. And my Gran. I'm all alone."

"So you just live here alone?" He hauled himself to his feet, not letting go of my hand. He was a persistant one.

"Until I can't anymore, but you're pretty much accurate there. All I feel like making is grilled cheese. Want some?" I asked, leading him into the kitchen.

"Why was that bear after you anyway?" He asked.

"I don't know! Now do you want grilled cheese, or not?" I snapped. I'd been working on that question whilst sitting on the stairs, and I'd drawn a complete blank.

"Yeh, ok. If you promise not to hold a gun to my head." By the time I'd given him the dirtiest look possible, he was smiling, and adopted the classic "Hey, I'm Harmless" stance. "I'm kidding, ok. Lighten up, Rio."

Lighten up? I'd tied you down and threatened to shoot you, and you're telling me to lighten up? "Hey, we're in the same boat. I've been alone since I was 10, so I know what you're going through."

How the fuck am I meant to answer that? We stayed silent after that. I didn't mention his lack of clothing, and he didn't mention any paranormal shit, as the wind howled and tore at the house.

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