Robyn's just been dumped.

To be honest she saw it coming, he'd done it before, she just believed it was her lot in life to continually deal with it.

But things are changing, Robyn's opening her eyes and starting to realise that her life isn't as mapped out as she once thought. Fate has something interesting in store for her. But is she ready for it?

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent- Eleanor Roosevelt


8. Shadows

Ethan looked down at Robyn slowly falling to pieces on the old, hard, concrete path and longed to hold her. Her beautiful white wings had a golden hue that seemed to radiate her pain and warn others not to her approach her. He remembered that feeling too well.

Mentally shaking the thought from his head, he moved closer to Robyn trying to shield her wings and golden light from any passers by. Although...thinking about it, the suburban street was notably absent of life for early evening. Actually, he hadn't heard a single sound, apart from Robyn's heart-breaking sobs and Rosie's yelps of sympathy, since they reached the blackened house. Immediately on alert, with his intensive survival training kicking in, Ethan paced up and down the street rapidly, looking through the windows of the houses and scanning the perfectly-kept gardens. Not a single light was on in any of the houses and he still couldn't hear a sound. 

Something was very wrong.

'Robyn!' Ethan shouted, as he ran over to her. She hadn't moved, but had stopped crying. No doubt exhausted by her release. He shouted again and her wings curled tighter around her, protecting her from the world. It amazed him yet again how supportive and comforting their wings could be, however unhelpful right now. He needed to get to her and get her out of here.

'Robyn, we can't stay here. Something's wrong.'

She raised her head with a confused expression, her eyes red and raw from crying.

'Everything's wrong' he barely heard her whisper. He crouched down so that his eyes were level with hers, anxious to explain so they could move somewhere safe. But he didn't say anything. Instead he released a breath, loosing himself in her brown eyes. Looking through the red-rimmed pain he saw the spark that he'd already come to associate with her had left. She was numb, her eyes an abyss. It scared him. 

Without thinking he reached towards her and cupped her face. Her wings didn't intervene, instead making way for him. Letting him touch her. She was so cold.

'Robyn, listen to me. We need to go. Whoever did this to the house, I think they're close. We're in deep trouble if we stay here.' Ethan reasoned. But to no avail. Robyn stared at him, her confused expression never faltering as if she didn't know who he was.

She shook her head slightly and closed her eyes. A silent tear slide down her cheek.

'Nowhere to go' she whispered eventually.

Before Ethan could answer, he heard a laugh behind him. Letting go of Robyn's face and letting her sink back to the ground, he got up and looked behind him and saw Leo walk out from behind Grandma Lucy's house. He tensed all over, his wings anxious to be released as he stared at Robyn's ex-boyfriend, wanting to hurt him like he'd never wanted to hurt anyone before.

'I don't think she can go anywhere with you right now. We've got her Butterfly.' Leo sneered.

Ethan looked back at Robyn, seeing the despair rolling off her. The golden hue turning the sickly yellow colour that was the beginning. His heart stopping, he realised that the start of the transformation that night in the woods wasn't the decider. This was. She was giving up and giving herself over to the darkness. They'd take her....he'd lose her.

Fists clenched and wings bursting free from his shirt, he ran towards Leo, wanting to beat him senseless for destroying Robyn this way. Leo's gleeful smile turned to fear as he slowly backed away. Turning, he tried to take off with his...wings? Small bat-like limbs protruded from his shoulder blades, beating furiously as he tried to take off. He hadn't seen 'wings' like that in a while. He was a halfy... no wonder he was so bitter and used the Shadow slang 'Butterfly' when referring to him. Although both parents were usually Angels, halfies never developed completely, not having the inner power or strength to develop their wings properly. With only a few exceptions, they were twisted and sadistic. Enjoying inflicting pain and turning Angels to the shadows. Trying to lower others to their level, Ethan had always thought. 

'I'm going to beat the crap out of you halfy...' Ethan explained calmly. '...Then you can watch as I bring Robyn back. Your bosses won't be happy if she slips through your fingers will they?' Leo turned round then. Exhausted at the effort of flying, he lowered himself to the ground breathing heavily but moving slowly into battle stance, as if on command. This halfy has balls. Ethan thought as he grinned menacingly. He'd enjoy this.

He ran full speed towards Leo, who had drifted further away through his weak attempt at trying to fly. All he could hear was the dog whimpering and scratching at the car window. Quickly, that was drowned out as he went into battle mode, pulling together all his rage for Leo and fear for Robyn and focusing only on his next move.

As Ethan came close he jumped high in the air and kicked Leo hard in the chest. He grunted, but didn't move position, as Ethan flipped back, his pulsing wings bringing him safely back to the ground in front of Leo. Up close, Ethan could see Leo's eyes had turned pitch black. He had entered the mental state favoured by the Shadows. When recruits entered the Shadow mental state they found it harder to feel pain, a killing machine directed mentally by an Elder Shadow. This mental state was never used by most Angels as it often resulted in losing ones self and soul to the Elder controlling them. The fact that the Elder shadows were intervening in this way and risking loosing their minion spoke volumes about just how important this fight was.

Shocked, Ethan realised that the battle for Robyn's soul and the side she choose was much more important to the Shadows than the standard convert-e. She was special, even to them. He had to win this and bring her back.

Ethan crouched low, ready to pounce.

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