Ezekiel knew he should’ve paid better attention to his mom. If he had, finding himself in the unfathomable Abaddon might have been a little easier to deal with. Zeke might have understood what he was about to face.
Instead he’s faced with the angel Haziel at the end of a sword, stuck in an existence he doesn’t know how to navigate, heading toward a war humanity had no knowledge of.
Haziel promises to see him safely through the battlefield. Along the way Zeke finds purpose and courage, grace and depravity. At his journey’s end, will Zeke want to leave his angel behind when the time comes?
Zeke finally acknowledged Haziel with a glance and those green eyes glowed as the angel smiled. "Ready?"
"Yes," Zeke answered. Excitement bubbled through his body, blow away his exhaustion for the moment. This was gonna be so cool. So many ideas about Haziel's halo flickered through his mind as he watched his friend.
Haziel shifted until his legs were folded and he faced Zeke. He pulled out a little knife from his belt and pricked his finger with a tiny bit of pressure, enough that the blood welled up into a bead on his fingertip. In the grass that separated their beds, Haziel drew three crossing lines and a circle in the middle of it. It was a lot simpler than some of the magic he'd seen angels use since he first met Haziel.
The air seemed to thin out, stretched until it was gossamer, and something indefinable changed around Haziel. Above the crown of his head, little gold and silver lights popped into existence. A couple or four at first, Zeke found it hard to keep track, and then faster the little pinpricks of light burst to life.
Some of the lights were bright, painful to look at, but more were mute golds and silvers, metallic reds and vivid blues. The mass swirled in an elegant disk above his friend's bronze curls at a slight angle. It almost looked like ...
"Is that a spiral galaxy?" Zeke asked. He reached out to touch the leading edge of the swirl, but Haziel caught his hand in a tangle of their fingers and brought it down to hold prison in his lap. The good amount of heat from the angel derailed Zeke's brain enough that he almost missed the answer.
"I believe humans classify it as a grand design spiral, yes." Haziel chuckled as Zeke's jaw dropped. He seemed to know the next question to answer before Zeke figured out what to even ask. "We may not remember where humans are in their growth, but we know what you have known and will know to the end of your species."
"Oh." Zeke managed to close his mouth on his astonishment. It was a little harder to bury his disappointment as the air trickled back into their space and the galactic halo disappeared into nothing once more. "Are all halos like that?"
"Some are as mine. Others are different in shape." Haziel glanced down at their laced fingers and started to fiddle with Zeke's, running the pad of his thumb over the edge of Zeke's nails and knuckles. "For example, Peliel's is elliptical. Our halos are a reflection of our service."
Zeke wanted to study his friend’s halo until he knew the ins and outs of it the same way he knew the constellations he could make out of the freckles scattered across the bridge of his mom's nose. There wasn't time for it, Zeke was aware of the fact, but damn did he want to. And once he left for home, left this amazing being to this desolate place and the war Haziel was part of, he'd never have the chance. That was too much for him to think about while Haziel caressed his hand, a soft smile on the angel's face.