It's Micah's last assignment, the one that would earn him his wings. He felt prepared for the challenge ahead of him this Christmas seasonuntil he met her.
Karen had been a forgotten child, a loner, and refused to open herself to hurt. She'd been down that road more than once and very recently had been dealt a miserable hand, being stood up at the altar.
Could an angel on a mission have the answer to her frozen heart? Could the heart of a wounded child locked inside a grown woman bring a forever love together? Only the choice of an angel will make this a Christmas to remember, for both of them.
"This is going to be a very difficult assignment."
Micah shrugged, feeling confident in his ability.
Aria's gaze cooled a little. "Don't be overly assured of success on this one, Micah. It is the Christmas season on Earth. The hardest time of the year for us, for those who lose faith."
There was a moment's concern, brought on more by Aria's caution than his one misgiving about the time of the year. Earth hadn't changed in millennia. People were the same regardless of creed, sex, or religion. He reacted with humans as they saw him, as their beliefs allowed. Sometimes he stayed invisible, sometimes not. He'd become very good at reading the necessity and nudging the proper outcome for the individual. At one time, his commanders would have called him cocky. Now, he was simply confident.
Humans all desired. They all loved, and hated. Many lost their way, and some simply quit. Those souls didn't make it to the gates, if they chose that path. It was a sad occurrence, but he'd realized some time ago that he couldn't help them all. Those souls didn't become angels, but it was his honor to aid the others as best as he could. So far, he had a near perfect track record. Even young angels make mistakes.
He wasn't young anymore, which was why he anticipated this assignment with eagerness.
When he was granted his wings, he'd be the mentor, he'd write in the tome, and call on his fellow angels to help those who needed it most. It wasn't power, as he once had craved. It was time to pass on what he had learned.
"I do not fear Christmas," he said. "It is the best time of the year."
Aria tilted her chin in a thoughtful silence. "I hope in this case, your assessment helps the lady in question."
Lovely! He almost cheered. Women's wishes were by far easier to aid as they rarely fell into materialistic wants. Some did, of course, but women were emotional creatures. They wanted warmth, caring, tenderness. His time traveling back and forth over the centuries gave him quite an advantage.
"Are you ready?" she asked. There wasn't any need to instruct him, as she once had. He was an experienced angel of mercy. Aria had been a patient and thorough teacher.
"I await my assignment with an open heart."
She lifted a hand over the hovering tome, and it slowly spun until Micah could also read it.
Silence stretched as he read.
"If you do not think you can help this one" Aria said, disturbing Micah's second read through. There was no anger or disappointment. Not every angel could help every case.
"No, no. Why would you think that?" he quickly asked, hiding the swell of doubt he felt, for the first time. This one was not going to be easy.
Her gentle tones floated on the sunbeams around them. "I ask because you were frowning."
He glanced up and caught her stare. Simply patient. A single 'oh' was all he could give her in answer. Aria did not lie.
Micah squared his shoulders. "I accept." He pushed away the niggle of doubt that sat on his shoulders. He had been asked to help for a reason. He could not fail this one.
For the first time since he'd been serving the heavens, he questioned how humanity continued with such wounded souls walking the Earth. And how those who harmed so deeply could still walk free. Aria's expression was blank, merely accepting his decision, then she nodded and offered a small smile of warmth, blessing him for his choice. It was not out of arrogance that he'd chosen to help this wounded soul, but because he knew he had been asked for a reason. He would help her, heal her, prepared for the coming moments or days as much as he could be. Standing straight, he waited.
In a flash of light, Aria and the tome disappeared, and Micah was swept down to Earth to give his aid to this lady who had, indeed, suffered.