Daman's Angel

Daman Quade wants to die, but when he does an angel rescues him – an angel who doesn’t remember who she is or what she was doing in that dark alley. All Daman knows is that he should be dead and the angel shouldn’t be alive on earth. Daman wants to help the angel return to her place in the otherworlds and enlists the help of Father Joseph. They discover that Angel has to returned by a flesh and blood sacrifice in three days or she is doomed to walk the earth until the end of time, neither angel nor human. Daman is torn, knowing he must be the sacrifice to save Angel and wanting to live and love again in the one chance of life Angel has given him. Angel has a very big secret. She has fallen in love with Daman. Now that she is flesh and blood, her physical attraction is all-consuming. She doesn’t want to go back. She wants to become human, to live and love as a mortal woman. And she wants Daman at her side until death do them part. But that might be earlier than she thinks.

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1. Chapter One

 

Daman’s Angel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

Death shouldn’t feel this bad.

Pre-conceived ideas of floating on clouds touched his mind. He was a bit vague on the whole process of what should happen when one died, but he was sure it didn’t include a world of pain. Maybe he hadn’t ended up in the place he’d thought when one mentioned death.

He couldn’t breathe, but his lungs felt as though they worked. Something else. A weight. A gossamer soft, silken-skinned, good-for-the-soul weight. He pried open heavy eyelids; blinked back vision. A thick strand of silver hair was wrapped across his cheek smelling of fresh earth and clean rain.

The woman.

She’d come between him and the gun. They hadn’t seen her. He’d pleaded. Run. But she just held her hand to him. It had been temptation and he had succumbed. Their fingers had locked, then…

His brows furrowed as he tried to order events. Lightning. It ripped down, speared through her. Electricity pounded through their joined hands, zapping and crackling pure energy.

There was thunder at the same time. No, not thunder. Haki’s gun. Blood dripped onto him. Her blood. Red blemishing perfection. Her eyes had opened wide. A startled bright blue. Then she had collapsed on top of him.

“Where’d she come from?” He remembered a yelp from Ben.

“Let’s get out of here.” That was Haki.

They’d turned their backs and ran like the cowards they were. But they would be back to kill him. Kill her, too, while they were at it. He had to get out of here before they came back. When those two were calm enough to reason that facing Vincent Lepski without killing him first was far worse than facing a woman who appeared from thin air, they would come and finish their job.

He tried to rise, but the woman was pressed over his chest, weighing down cracked ribs and a gut that’d taken abuse. He pried her away, slipping beneath her so that he managed to sit with her curled and unconscious in his lap.

He tucked aside a strand of her hair. Blood seeped from the wound. It caked thick on her temple, and pooled in her hair. The cut looked deep. Nasty. She’d taken the bullet for him. He took a handkerchief from a jacket pocket and staunched the flow, wiping the blood from her skin.

Her silver hair tumbled over her shoulders in effortless shining waves. He’d never seen a woman so beautiful. Her skin was porcelain, flawless. She held the beauty of the ancients on her oval face. Each angle, each plane seemed to have been weighed and measured until it had reached an exact dimension. High arching brows perfectly framed her eyes. Full

rounded lips the color of spring cherry blossoms. Sensuous and soft. A glowing radiance shimmered within her skin.

Her arms were around his waist, as if she’d come to wrap him in them. Slender and long, her fingers were tucked along his sides as though she had been reaching for him.

Gossamer soft feathers caressed his arm. He remembered something soft touching him before he blacked out. He reached to touch them. Wings on her back, wrapped around them both. Protective. His fingers sunk into the feathers, delving into the softness. His hard, calloused hands hardly felt them at all even though his hand had sunk well in. He leveraged a tiny feather on his fingertip. Each strand was delicately perfect, shimmering with the gentle luminescence of moonlight.

A frown formed on his forehead. Unanswered questions flooded his brain, the first being why would this extraordinary woman be wearing wings. Fancy dress? A kinky prostitute? It didn’t fit.

He tucked her hair behind her ear. Something stirred in his mind. The whisper of a ghost of a forgotten memory. He was good with faces. He didn’t recognize her, and yet…on some deep level he sensed a familiarity. Surely he’d remember such a beautiful woman.

She wore a thin dress, the material much too fine to keep her warm. Her dress flowed to her ankles, but did nothing to hide the shape of her figure beneath the light folds. Each curve, every angle of her perfect body was evident.

He wondered how the wings were attached to her dress. There were no harnesses, or ties to keep them on her body. He touched the tip of her wing. Funny how it should be warm. Like touching the feathers of a bird. There was a definite muscle structure beneath the feathers, hard and unbending.

His fingers slipped along the edge of the wing, behind her shoulder. She sighed, her face turned and he stilled, waited, but her eyes remained closed. There was no further

movement. He continued feeling, down to the ends of the wing. There, the feathers were smaller, like silky-soft down. A little more and his fingers reached warm skin.

There were no ties, no beginning or end between her body and the wings. The wing simply merged to her skin, the bone of the wing disappearing into her back. Part of her body. Her very warm, very real body.

This was no costume.

Air stilled in his lungs.

His police-trained mind rejected the possibility, but the Catholic in him made him want to fall to his knees.

It was incomprehensible, yet the evidence was in his arms.

The impossible had come to earth.

An Angel.

That was when he reacted.

His hands jerked from her, the full extent of his horror dawning on him, marathon breath pummeling in and out of his lungs. Cold sweat broke on his skin, soaking his clothes. He wanted to push her away from him, so he could stand and run and leave, but he didn’t want her on the wet, frigid ground. The perfect creature of heaven shouldn’t be left alone and unconscious in a black alley to fend for herself. He wouldn’t leave her unconscious and totally defenseless.

His muscles ticked as adrenaline fought his reaction to be still. Years of tight control reined him in. He slowed his breathing, relaxed his muscles. His body reacted and slowed so the brain could think. Grasp. Understand. He cupped her face, slipped his hand onto her bare arm.

She felt so…human.

Rain fell, in large drops that tapped his shoulders. He couldn’t stay here in the cold, dark, rain with her like this. Neither could he take her to a hospital where God-knew-what might happen to her. He shuddered, thinking about subjecting her to such things. He didn’t want to go there for himself either. He wasn’t supposed to be here, doing what he’d done tonight. The police force wouldn’t stand behind him this time.

Her dress was soaked to her skin. She must be cold. He took off his leather jacket, wrapped it as best he could over her wings and around her shoulders. He needed to be safe, needed to think. Rest. Sleep.

Her eyes fluttered open. He was enveloped in brilliant blue so deep he could tumble into their depths. Striking blue, lit brilliantly with raw emotion. She watched him, as though she asked something of him, pleaded with him and waited for an answer, but he didn’t hear the question.

“Can you hear me?” he asked. His voice cracked with the exertion of speaking. His diaphragm had been pounded so hard it made him nauseous.

There was a scrape beyond the alley. A rubber sole against the wet ground.

“We’ve got to get out of here,” he said. “Can you stand?”

She watched him, blankness in her eyes. Apparently, angels didn’t speak English. He tucked his hands beneath her arms and lifted her. He slung her arm over his shoulder to stabilize her. He needed his gun. They’d tossed it away when they’d taken it from him. He searched and saw it in deep shadow on the pavement next to the wall. He limped over to it and picked it up, balancing the angel as he did. The weight of the gun felt good in his hands. At least now he could protect her.

He lurched to the end of the alley. One foot in front of the other. Teeth clenched against the jarring pain that rode out from his ribs, with the angel heavy against his side.

“Almost there,” he said. Hopefully they could make it away before they saw them. Just as the thought came into his mind, Haki stepped around the corner. Ben followed. Daman instantly raised his gun.

“Come to finish off the job?” Daman said.

“How’d you get her here? That bullet was meant for you, bro,” Haki said. His black eyes glinted ice as he looked at the angel. His gun was pointed right at her.

“Don’t think about it,” Daman said. “Imagine your afterlife if you kill her.”

Ben lifted the corner of his lip. “Now is all I’m worried about.”

Daman stiffened. He could talk through Haki’s thick brain, but Ben was another kettle of fish. Where Haki had a sliver of intelligence to balance out a lack of morals, Ben had neither.

“Leave this for another day. She’s innocent.”

Ben sniggered. “What, and let this golden opportunity pass me by? No way.”

Daman balanced on the balls of his feet, ready to push the angel behind him and take Ben on, but before he could move, the angel slipped from his arms and rose silently into the air above his head. Long and graceful, her wings arched, extending to nearly touch both sides of the alley. She dove toward Ben and clipped the side of his head with the edge of her wing.

Ben’s head snapped back. He dropped, unconscious before he fell onto the ground. Haki bolted from the alley, footsteps fading into the night. The angel staggered, reaching for the wall to help her to stand. Her wings drooped to the ground, the tips becoming filthy with the wet and the dirt.

In two steps, Daman strode to her, winding his arm around her waist to help her stand. Her eyes fluttered closed and she fell limp into his arms. She’d attacked in a matter of seconds, shown no fear of Ben or the gun. And had saved him in the process.

Ben lay prone, sprawled on the ground. A large bruise had already appeared where she had thumped him. There was strength behind those wings. But Haki had seen her and soon Vincent would know about her, too.

He needed to take the angel somewhere safe. Where he didn’t know, but he needed to get the hell out of here. He cradled her in his arms. Her wings folded neatly over her back and followed the line of her body.

He peered around the corner. The streets were empty. He made it to his car, placed her on the back seat and drove out of the city and to his apartment, confused as hell as to what he could do for her when she woke.

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