An Angel's Job
Author: Lyndsay Noemia

Chapter 4
Thate's Blade

     I don't know exactly how it happened. One second my Converse were beating hard against the pavement, and the next, stillness. I tried to remember why I was running, but no answer came. Against my back, there was wood or metal supporting me. Trying to move or talk was impossible; there was a gag in my mouth, my hands and legs bound as well. Darkness was my only companion in  the desolate room. Then, a blinding flash overwhelmed me. I let out a scream from behind the gag, as I saw Jasen step into view. "So good to see you finally decided to join us."
     The gag muffled my response. Jasen loosened it a minimal amount. "Us?"
     He snapped his fingers, "Thate!" A menacing look alike of Jasen stepped into the light. The only difference between them was that Thate was noticeably larger, and he had a knife and needle in his hand. I would have screamed again, but Jasen tightened my gag, and Thate stabbed me with the needle. If I screamed, I don't remember. What I do remember is that whatever was in the syringe made my senses acute, making me feel every little thing like a constant thorn in my side. Jasen smiled his Cheshire grin again. "Thate, I will leave you to your business."
     Thate was in front of me in what seemed like seconds. He took the gag out of my mouth, and leaned close to me. "I want to hear you yell." Slowly, but ever so carefully it seemed, he pulled the knife across my skin. I decided not to let him get another benefit from my pain, and whimpered lightly instead. Again, the cool metal of the blade went again my skin, only harsher this time. I couldn't suppress a scream. "That's more like it."
     My body and mind wanted to faint, but something inside me wouldn't let that happen. A crash woke my body from my drugged stupor. "Damn you!" A voice screamed. The drugs seemed to be wearing off, leaving me in a sort of high where I could recognize nothing. "What did I tell you? You ignorant little-" The speaker was cut off by a snapping noise. In my blurred vision, I saw those same black and white wings, enveloped neatly against a pane of ivory. Something seemed so familiar about the figure, other than the fact that he had saved my life twice now. My head turned to the side a bit, making me hit it against whatever was holding me up. "Close your eyes." I kept them shut, again. I didn't really have a choice because of the drugs, and the odd sense of control he had on me.
     Soon, I felt solid ground beneath me. Then, just as quickly it was gone. Trying to talk was impossible, all my words ran together into one incoherent mumble. I tried opening my eyes again when he started healing me again. "Please, don't." He said.
     I was healed enough to talk, "Why not?"
     "Please, be patient. You will know when you're ready."
     Everything looked pristine and sterile. Not my room, I thought in a giddy sort of way. "I think she's waking up." A voice said. At the time it sounded funny, so I laughed. "Yes, definitely up. It looks like the medicines working, too." Whoever it was laughed and soon the door clicked shut.
     "Jasmine? Can you hear me?" There was another voice.
     I opened my eyes. Staring back at me were those zombie eyes that were already familiar. "Ephraim?"
     He pulled a chair closer to the bed. Relaxing against the worn seat, he said, "This is all my fault. I should never have come here I just-" He broke off.
     The medicine may have been wearing off, because I was suddenly was more aware of what was going around me. "The car, Jasen, that dream. What's going on?"
     Ephraim looked tense, "Jasen is a guy whose family has issues with mine. You needn't worry yourself with him."
     I remembered that dream. Jasen with his Cheshire grin. Thate and his knife. Oh, God. I looked down at my arms. Ephraim was watching me skeptically. "Is something wrong?"
     My cheeks got warm. "No, I just- no." I smiled at him. Dragging myself into a painful sitting position with the help of Ephraim, realization struck. "Where are James and Clarice?"
     Ephraim looked at the door and said, "They went to get something to eat. Very reluctantly, though."
     I knew it was because they didn't know who Ephraim was, and Addison would never let me hear the end of "my new boyfriend". I looked down at the hospital gown. "Is there anywhere I could possibly get normal clothes?"
     "Yes, Clarice left these," He pointed to a small canvas bag with clothes in them. "The doctor said that you should be able to change when you wake up. I'll wait outside." He said.
     Inside the bag was a pair of cutoff shorts, a black shirt with the word "Muggle" printed in calligraphy on it, and other necessities. When I got done changing into my clothes I asked Ephraim where the cafeteria was. "I'll go with you, lunch is on me." Jokingly, he bowed and pointed down the hallway and said, "After you, ma'am."
     I called him a dork and laughed as we made our way to the cafeteria. We both got pizza and Sprite. We found seats at a table near a couple of mournful adults. They left a minute after we sat down. "So what happened?" I asked, in between bites.
     "You were driving me home and Jasen-"
     I stopped chewing. Hearing Jasen's name reminded me of Thate and his knife. Suddenly, the pizza didn't look as appetizing.
     Ephraim noticed, "Jasmine, what's wrong?"
     I told Ephraim about my dream, his expression darkening until I told him about that... What did I call him? "Who- or what- was that that saved me. And who is Jasen?"
     "Well, I guess you'd call it an angel, but since it's a dream, call it whatever you want. As for Jasen, I do not want to delve into my past. Let's just say that my family and his family don't get along."
     "Okay, but why did he hurt me?" It sounded a bit more childish than I intended.
     Ephraim looked guilty, "You were with me." He looked away. The conversation didn't last any longer, because James, Clarice, and Addison walked over to us looking relieved. Clarice hugged me and I winced and said, "Watch the neck and head, Clarice."
      She laughed and said, "See your attitude wasn't broken."
      James hugged me and said, "I'm so glad you're safe, but what about the Nova?"
      Of course, that's what he asked about. "Well seeing how my window was broken, the windshield chipped, and the door was practically ripped off-" I stopped. Jasen had practically ripped my car door off. Ephraim shifted uncomfortably in the plastic chair. "Um, I need to talk to Ephraim for a second."
      Clarice winked at me, Addison laughed softly, and James shot Ephraim a warning look with his eyes. I was never going to here the end of this. "Jasen practically ripped my car door off. How in the hell did he do that?" I dropped my voice to a whisper to be sure James and Clarice didn't here.
      Ephraim hesitated then said, "Steroids."
      Why hadn't I thought of that? "Duh. Sorry, I guess the medicine is working better than it should be." We both laughed and I walked back to my hospital room to get my stuff.


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