An Angel's Job
Author: Lyndsay Noemia

Chapter 15

     My eyes were squeezed shut, that horrible image still haunting my mind. It was as if somebody had tattooed it onto the inside of my eyelids. "I told you that you weren't ready to see me." Angel's voice wasn't angry, or arrogant, but hurt. The weight that had been pushing down on me before was now gone, meaning that Lilith had been moved off of me. My eyes snapped open as Lilith screamed. It wasn't a sound of pain, it was a sound of anguish.
     "You said you didn't care!" She sounded almost like she was pouting.
     Angel's-Ephraim's?- voice was cold, "You will never lay a hand on Jasmine again. She is my charge, I will protect her at all costs."
     "You bastard!" Lilith shouted, tears streaming down her face. Angel still looked demonic, yet angelic. How was that even possible? His wings were outstretched, and they still had those white stripes on them. More than ever, there was an impulse to reach out and touch him, but that was when I was staring at his wings or chest. When I looked up at his face, my mind went into terrified mode. His eyes, weren't their normal zombie color. They were a glowing red, glowing, as if they were on fire. Angel's hair was pushed up in the front by bone spikes. To me it looked like a black and white roof, being held up by off-white, horn shaped columns. My mind sidetracked for a second, something it often did. Angel looked as if someone had drawn him in black and white, then went over it with a red pencil for his eyes.
     "Lilith, please. Leave for now." The columns receded, his eye's fading into their rightful color. He placed his hand on her forearm, something that may have looked like a comforting gesture to others, but to me it was all too intimate. There was another flash of light, and I fainted. Again.
     "She's finally waking up," A familiar voice said, then continued, "Yep, she's opening her eyes."
     My head felt like someone was taking a jackhammer to it. With a ringing in my ears, I asked, "What happened, Clarice?"
     She smiled down at me, and answered, "You passed out and hit your head."
     I nodded and she left. The only thing that came to my mind was how grateful I was that it was all a dream. The clock read nine, so I plugged my iPod in, and prayed that sleep would come easily. When my alarm clock went off the next morning, my heart skipped a beat, half expecting Jasen to be there when my eyes opened. He wasn't, though. There was nothing out of the ordinary, and for the first time in the past few months, I actually felt... normal.
     The bus ride to Ridgewood was good, especially my greeting from Zander. He followed me to my locker, and while we were talking, he went tense. I knew without looking that Ephraim had arrived. For some reason, that dream had turned me off to Ephraim almost completely. Almost. "Jasmine, we need to talk."
     "Please leave me alone," I said, "I'm in a bit of a hurry." That was a total lie, but there was just something about Ephraim that made me want to not talk to him.
     He put his hand on my shoulder. "We need to talk," He repeated.
     Zander intervened, "Dude, she said leave her alone."
     Ephraim dropped his hand and glared at Zander. "And what the hell are you going to do about it?"
     "I'm gonna take my girl-" He stopped himself, then continued, "I'm gonna take Jazz and take her to class."
     "Jasmine, please," Ephraim was practically begging me to listen to him.
     I gave Zander a quick kiss on the cheek and said, "I'll see you at lunch," Then my attention was turned to Ephraim, who was glaring at Zander. "You get two minutes to tell me whatever the hell it is you want to say." Zander stalked away, shoulders tense.
     "It will probably take a whole lot longer than two minutes."
     "Then, we're done talking."
     Ephraim's eyes bored into mine. "Fine, but we'll talk about it later?"
     Melanie and Blythe appeared then, cutting off the conversation. Ephraim walked away, his shoulders also rigid. Blythe spoke first, "What's up with those two? We just saw Zander in the hall. He looked like he was going to punch a hole in the wall, and so does he," She pointed to Ephraim.
      I sighed and was about to tell them about the conversation when my phone buzzed. I laughed for a second- it was my alarm that had failed to go off when it was supposed to. Melanie's eyebrows rose in a question. I flipped the phone over so she could see. She smiled, and then said, "Jazz," She said adopting Zander's nickname for me, "You got a message."
      "That's weird, I always delete them right after school. Nobody sent me any texts after I passed out."
      "Well, what's that then? It says you read it, too." Blythe said.
      Somewhere in the back of my mind, terror passed like a tsunami through my thoughts. I selected the message, and it opened. The phone clattered to the floor after my eyes passed over the first line. "I have a surprise for you..."
      Melanie grabbed me by the elbow before my knees gave way. "What is it?"
      Wordlessly, I pointed to the phone. Blythe picked it up and asked, "What's so important about this?"
      The story about Ephraim and Lilith poured out of my mouth, minus the part about Angel. Melanie spoke first, "Well, technically you were cheating on him with Zander." Melanie always was the sympathetic one.
      Blythe made a comment before me, "Well, she didn't invite him over and watch them make out."
      "Exactly," I breathed. Angel's voice rang loud and clear through my ears, "She's just a charge, nothing more." That terrible weight pressed down on my heart once. There was a faint awareness that Ephraim was watching me.
       Melanie sighed, "But still, you weren't really fair."
       "I know, but I intended to tell him yesterday at school. It's not my fault he wasn't here."
       Blythe went to say something, but the bell rang.  


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