It was written that each soul would have a Guardian. A Warrior of Light to watch over it. Protect it. Be its shield against the darkness, its sword against the fallen. But the days grew dark, man’s souls darker still. Many turned away from the Light of God, cast aside His word and His love. And the Guardians rebelled.
Some say that this was his second transgression. What led to his ultimate betrayal. Others say that he too was but a pawn in God’s glorious manipulation. A means to an end of man’s dark days. One thing is certain, only God knows the truth of his story. Only He knows a soul’s true worth and its fate.
My name is Faith Savage. In this game of good and evil, I’ve met the Guardian that God sent me. His story I am just beginning to learn. His history, I am told, has marked him as damned. But everyone knows Christ died for the sinners. The only question that remains is, could we forgive him if we controlled his fate?
And there it was. There he was. My answer. Ien. Christof. My AWOL Guardian Angel. Fire burned in my belly. Betrayal sliced a knife in my soul. All of the visions, the horrors, the nightmares I lived through, survived just to bear witness to again because of this…this? I didn’t even have a word to describe him. The growl that escaped me was response enough, and Ien stopped in his tirade.
“I don’t think she’s happy to see you, brother,” Gabriel stated.
“You know nothing about her. Get away from her.”
“Oh, and like you know everything. Where the hell have you been, Ien? Where were you when I needed you? When all of us needed you?”
“Faith, it’s not what you think.”
“How do you know what I think? You’re never here when I need you. You never answer any of my questions. And the only thing I’m shown is pieces of what the darkness chooses to show me. So, what is it I’m supposed to believe, Ien—Christof?
You could have saved me when I was a child. You could have put an end to all of my torture and suffering. But did you?”
“Here,” I said, throwing the demon at him. “Since you can’t seem to do anything for me, maybe you can at least save one child. Take this demon, and go to Hell.” I turned my back on him just as he caught the soul sucker. Waited just long enough to see the pain in his eyes. I didn’t care. It would never match mine, as far as I was concerned. I turned my back on him and landed myself straight into the waiting arms of Gabriel. I knew this wasn’t a better situation.
“Don’t you dare touch her,” Ien warned.
Gabriel wrapped his arms around me, pulled me against the hard planes of his sculpted body and replied, “Too late.”
I pressed my head against his chest, breathed in the warm scent of cinnamon, sage, wind and man and I knew I was in even bigger trouble, but resolutely told Ien, “Leave, Ien. Leave me, just like you have all the times before.”
“You have no idea what you’re doing, Faith.”
I turned around then, my back still a thought away from Gabriel’s body, his large hands firmly holding my hips. “You’re right. I have no idea. But at least I know the only person getting hurt is me, because you lost the right to care years ago. Now get out of my sight.”
Just like that he was gone, and I felt my heart twist a little. It hurt. It hurt a lot. I took a deep breath to release some of the pain, but it only pressed Gabriel closer to me. Closer was not a good idea.
“It is just you and me now, Faith,” Gabriel breathed against the side of my neck. My whole body trembled. I was in serious trouble if he could stir that much desire from one delicious whisper.
“Not quite,” I stated, peering across the room and thankfully remembering what brought me here: a slew of cops, dead bad guys and one very lucky little girl. I stepped away from Gabriel and picked up the child. “My work here isn’t done.”
“I’m not that easily gotten rid of.”
“Who said I was trying to get rid of you?” I questioned, knowing it was a lie.