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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20. Chapter 18

I'd gotten home with Belial, and made a vow to clear out my bag. The .45 caliber pistol with one in the chamber and the safety (thank God) on, wasn't the best thing to bring to school. Even if the principal believed that being scanned for guns and knives was an invasion of privacy. I'd been getting more and more reckless recently, and it was a bad thing to be. Reckless, that is. Many hunters have been killed when they got reckless.

I took it out of my bag and crouched by the ammo crate in the living room, filling the clip before I put it aside. I'd been taught that a full clip is better than a half-empty one, and it was very true. I racked in the last bullet, when Belial started shaking my shoulder.

"Rio?" He whispered, like he was asking someone if he could copy their notes.

Yeah, like this kid's copied anything. "What?" I replied.

"The locks are moving."

I turned to the front door, and watched the key turn slowly by itself. I'd left it in the lock out of habit, and it was the creepiest thing I'd seen today. The Retchford incident was definitely disturbing, but not one bit creepy.

I saw the faint shadow of someone through the window, thankfully without anything wing-shaped. The shadow rippled slightly, as whatever was outside shifted their weight from foot to foot. Well, that's assuming they only had 2 feet. If they moved about half a foot to the right, they'd see me crouched by the ammo crate with a .45 pistol in my hand.

The key stopped turning abruptly, fell out of the lock with a clang, and Charles Illarde came bursting in, crossed the living room in under a second, then closed his hand around my hand with the gun in.

"You won't be needing that." He said, thankfully without the fangs this time.

That's what Charles would have expected to happen, but it didn't. Basically, when you make a girl train for hours each day, fire all sorts of different guns, and saw an angel in half, when a strange guy bursts into her home, you can bet your life that she'll be able to punch him in the face hard enough for blood to start flowing. Especially when she gets him in the nose.

He recoiled away, leaving himself vulnerable. I drew my right knee up to my chest, then forced it up and out, going for the nut shot. Charles had other ideas, and forced my foot away with a hard punch with the heel of his hand. The nut shot is good if it goes through, but a girl's gotta have a backup. Always have something else waiting in the wings. As the crotch is the centre of a guy's world, he rarely guesses it's not the centre of yours.

I only had my left arm free, as he hadn't let go of my right one yet, but even your weakest hand will break a guy's nose if you force it upwards, sliding the shattered bones back into the brain.

He caught me before I could slide the bones back, twisting my arm behind me and forcing it up my back in a shoulder-lock. He still hadn't let go of my right wrist, so it looked like we were doing a warped version of the tango.

I was about to twist my right wrist free, when something jet black and moving like a bullet on speed, came barrelling into Charles with the force of a very pissed off, charging rhino, forcing him out the front door and into the picket fence with a splintering crash.

I ran out, dropping the gun on the way, only to find Belial kneeling on Charles' back, beating the shit out of him with a shattered fence post. That would be reasonably normal, if it weren't for the fucking massive wings springing out of his back. There was something unholy in his eyes, but his bared teeth were comfortingly blunt.

I let him whack Charles a few more times, before I went and hauled him off. The wings weren't attatched normally, as normal angel wings are attatched as smoothly as how your arm is joined to your shoulder. Belial's were springing out of 2 wide gashes on his back, like how Wolverine's adamantium claws sprang out of his knuckles. That was slightly, actually fuck that, very worrying.

"You fucking morons, I'm here to help you!" Charles just managed to say, as Belial gave him one last whack with the fence post. There was a huge hole in the picket fence, where they'd crashed into it. Bits of wood had been flung out in nearly every direction, including a huge chunk right in the middle of the road. Someone was bound to complain about that sooner or later.

I had a tight grip on Belial's coat, but if he managed to slip out of it and go back to pounding Charles with the fence post, I won't be stopping him. Well, for a while at least. The deep growl coming from Belial was worrying though, as no human could make that sound. It sounded like a very pissed off Rottweiler, right before it launched itself into the bite.

"He can't hear you. There's too much angelic power running through him." Charles said, hauling himself up. His face was covered in blood, and the snow around him was now speckled with scarlet. I could see his facial features through the thick, red blood, and he was quite attractive.

"Fuck you!" Belial snarled, as his huge wings started folding themselves back into his back. He was going to be in so much pain later, once the adrenaline wore off. At least I'd restocked the first-aid kit with plenty of aspirin. "Rio, what is he? There's something not right about him."

"You clearly didn't tell your pet about me. I am nephilim, the half-angel evidence of angelic interactions with humans. At your service."

Yeah, yeah, bullshit. "Mind explaining what you're doing here? And he's my friend." And you're not. I asked, finding myself supporting Belial. The wings had folded back completely, and the gashes were healing over. The pain must be kicking in now.

"I came to pay you a visit, seeing as you're such an interesting girl." The slight accent coated those words, sweetening them.

"Yeah, you're not the first person to say that." Belial was completely knocked out now, acting as a dead weight on my side. It's nature's anaesthetic, but a pain in the ass when it came to getting him away from this...nephilim. What is a nephilim anyway? I'd have to do some serious research later on.

"I do hate to be imitated. I take it you're not going to invite me in?" He asked. I'd somehow managed to haul Belial inside, without turning my back to Charles. I felt way too uncomfortable exposing my back to him, when he could easily ram something between my shoulder blades.

"What do you think." I snapped.

"I'm not exactly like an angel. I don't need an invitation to cross your threshold."

Yeah, I think I figured that out myself. "I bet you say that to all the girls. If you're gonna come in, then make yourself useful."

With the same eerie speed, he'd taken all of Belial's weight. "Where do you want him?"

"Upstairs, in my room. No sudden movements though." I swiped the .45 pistol off the floor and followed him upstairs, tracking him with it.

"Where should I put him? And that isn't nessecary by the way." He hitched Belial's unconscious body up a bit, with some unnatural strength and grace. It was like watching Fred Astaire haul around a doll full of sand.

Why should I take the risk with you? "On my bed. He will be ok, won't he?"

"He'll be awake in a few hours, and I hope you have a good supply of fresh meat in the house." Charles said, flicking an army-grade blanket over him. Scratchy but strong, and will forgive the melting snow.

"Alright, now back off from him. Nice and slow." I clicked the safety off, and aimed it directly at his head.

"Didn't you hear me? I said that isn't nessecary." He backed away all the same though, stopping to wipe the blood from his face. "You don't have a washcloth or something, as I'd like to get rid of the blood?"

That sounded like a reasonable request. "In the kitchen." I still kept the gun trained on him though, without taking the safety off.

"Right, start talking. First, why are you really here?" I asked, as Charles scraped the blood off himself.

"I simply came to make sure you're safe. There are many creatures of the night that would be willing to take a bite out of a young nephils. Clearly I arrived in time."

What the fuck is a nephils? "Second question, if you don't need to be invited in, then why did you not just march on in here 2 days ago, instead of standing outside?"

"What?" He looked genuinely confused. "I wasn't here 2 days ago. You mean something was outside? Did it need an invitation?"

When did you start asking the questions? "Looked like it." I replied, remembering how the warding crackled, repelling something nasty. "And I'll ask the questions. Why did my Dad have your number?"

He smirked, like he was enjoying a private joke. "Who could forget William? He was one of our old mercenaries, and went way-out wack after his wife, Selena died. I didn't realise he still had it, as he'd vowed to have nothing to do with us."

Selena? How did he know my Mom's name? "Hold up a second. You knew my Mom?"

"Everyone in the Alliance knew Selena. The only fully-fledged nephils in 230 years, but she gave it all up, married some jarhead and had a baby girl."

Jarhead! If I didn't need you to answer my questions, there'd be a bullet in your head now. "Alliance? What's the Alliance?"

"The Alliance is simply a group of hunters working together to wipe out angels. We're mostly all nephilims, but there are a few like him in it." He pointed upstairs, indicating Belial. Kiss victims basically. "Your Mother was one of us." He added.

How blunt can you be? I know nearly nothing about my own Mom, and you're telling me that she was part of an angel-killing team? "So you're saying I'm half-angel?"

"More like a quarter or an eighth. How your Father thought he'd keep you hidden until you flourish, I'll never know. I couldn't get a glass of water, could I?"

Yeah, it's water you want. I saw your fangs motherfucker. "Glasses are up there. And whaddya mean by flourish?"

"Flourishing is when you get the half-angel traits. Intelligence, agility, and strategic thinking are always improved. No wings though, unlike your...friend."

Yeah, I'll put on a cape and spandex then be faster than a bullet and be able to leap the tallest building. "How do I know you're not just bullshitting me?" I asked.

"Has anything weird happened to you recently? I mean, weirder than normal?" Charles asked, taking a glass down and turning the tap on.

"Other than putting a curse on my history teacher and being dragged around by a string in my back, not really."

"God, you are so close to flourishing right now. And if you still don't believe me, call your Dad's friend Mark Agne. He's one of us."

Mark Agne works for the alliance? How could that be? I spent a whole month with him in New York City and I never noticed. And another one after that when Dad was out tracking The Manhattan Sewer Werewolves. It's not just alligators that live down there, you know.

"So, do you believe me now?" He asked.

Suppose I have to. "Well, I don't have a choice. If I find out you're lying though, I'll put a bullet in your skull before you can blink."

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