Cole had everything: a great education, his own company, money, and Daniel, his lover since college. But in gaining everything, he lost the one thing he'd been building that life for: Daniel. Now that Daniel has moved on, Cole is without direction or purpose. Turning to alcohol and drugs to fill the void left behind, Cole dives head first into a downward spiral, unaware that there is another who loves and cares for him.
As Cole's guardian angel, Raziel has watched Cole since birth, and his love for his ward is deep and abiding. Witnessing Cole's fraying life breaks Raziel's heart, and when the thread that binds them together wavers during an overdose, Raziel breaks all the rules just to keep Cole alive. The consequences are unthinkable, but a life without Cole is a loss that Raziel simply can't conceive. An angel's soul was made to love, after all, and if he saves Cole, perhaps he can show Cole how the end of one great love doesn't mean another waits patiently for him.
"Cole, stop this!" Raziel paced back and forth in front of Cole's desk in his home office. "It's crazy. Crazy! You'll kill yourself. You don't want to die." He stopped and turned to face Cole, who was intently cutting cocaine and setting it into neat lines. "You don't even know what you're doing! Couldn't you have at least asked Rob to show you how to use the stuff?"
But Cole couldn't hear him. Cole had never heard him. The alcohol, the cigarettes, and now cocaine. He growled and slammed his hands down on the polished surface of Cole's desk. "Daniel isn't worth this! Cole..." Cole rolled up a fifty dollar bill, took a swig from the whiskey bottle, and then set the edge of the rolled up bill to one of the lines of white powder. Raziel thought he would weep as he whispered, "Please, Cole."
Cole ran the bill up the line, inhaling sharply, and then sat back, sniffling, rubbing his nose with his fingers. Suddenly, Cole laughed, staring up at the ceiling, and flailed for the whiskey. He missed the bottle, and it fell, crashing onto the floor, the glass shattering, the booze spattering everywhere. Cole blinked and leaned forward, putting the rolled up bill against the next line... and the next... and the next. After a moment, he stood up, stumbled, and fell onto the rug over the hardwood floor. His laughter broke Raziel's heart.
Raziel knelt on the floor beside Cole, stroking his hair back from his sweaty face. His wings fluttered, and he chirped softly, worry twisting his stomach. Cole didn't look well, and the glassy expression in his eyes pulled at Raziel. Something wasn't right. Cocaine and alcohol, he was almost certain, shouldn't be mixed. This wasn't his precious charge. Cole was intelligent, beautiful, kind... not an embittered alcoholic ready to piss away his money on drugs!
"Cole!" Raziel had never wanted to be visible like he did now. He could feel something tenuous in Cole fluttering, the connection between them fading in and out. Cole was dying. Raziel's wings fluttered again as panic set in. "Cole! Don't! I can't... there's no one I can call! No one can see me! Cole, please... you're... you aren't supposed to die yet..."
Cole wasn't listening, though, and that connection started growing dimmer. Raziel looked up to the heavens through the ceiling, whispering a prayer. He couldn't do anything to help Cole. Interfering with life and death was strictly forbidden. When a charge refused to follow the direction of their guardian angel, the angel was never allowed to take matters into their own hands. God had granted the humans free will, and while they could work their influence, whisper advice into their minds, they couldn't force their own wills or the will of the Divine onto them.
The connection flickered like a flame, growing dimmer and dimmer. Oh, God, it was almost out! Raziel chirped again, his wings extending. He couldn't let this happen. He couldn't! Cole was the only charge he had ever felt so much for. From beginning to end, he'd loved Cole. Loved him! It went beyond any ward before. That love was deep, terrible, and now Cole's life flickered. He couldn't lose all he felt, couldn't lose Cole. If he only had time, only had the chance to speak to Cole, to be heard by him. But there was no chance for him to speak to ears that would listen. If he didn't act... In a split second, he made up his mind. He was out of time.