I growl in irritation.
“What do you mean, harvest her soul?”
The youths below have formed a circle around her. I need to save her. Now.
But still I don’t move.
He sighs, brushing at his leathery wings, exactly the same as mine.
“What are you finding so hard to understand? We harvest her soul. You, brother, are trying to save her when really you should be letting her die. Now come, let nature take its course and I’ll show you.”
For the first time in innumerable years, I feel emotion. Indecision, anger, confusion.
“Leave me alone!” The girl cries from below.
I fold my wings back.
I launch myself off the roof and land silently in the shadows, my existence has remained a secret for a reason and I didn’t plan to change that.
Darting from place to place, I pull at the youths, throwing them against the crumbling brick buildings either side and to the damp, lamp light lit floor, their blood seeming unnatural under the orange-yellow glow. The last three turn and run, feet pounding against the tarmac, the girl stands alone, looking around her in surprise, her eyes completely passing over me.
“Thank you.” She breathes and quickly makes her escape.
I close my eyes as he lands beside me.
“What the hell did you do that for?!” he cries in frustration, kicking at one of the bodies. The boy grunts. Still alive apparently.
That’s why I did it.
The gratitude, the knowledge that, despite not knowing who I was, someone at least felt as though they did. To them I was a saviour, a knight in shining armour. Not just some nameless, homeless guy who lurked in the shadows.
Though I was hardly going to tell him that.
I smile crookedly, casting him a grin over my shoulder.
“To piss you off.”