Robert was sat on the sofa, talking to someone Beth couldn’t see.
“Daniel, must you go on and on about that?” Robert groaned.
A man laughed. “Anything to embarrass you, my friend,” said the invisible man.
“Beth,” Robert said, grinning when he saw her. “Daniel, this is Beth.”
“She’s even more beautiful than you said, Robert.”
Beth found it very unnerving not to be able to see the owner of the voice. He stepped out of the shadows. His pure white hair was the complete opposite of Robert’s, but his eyes were practically the same. He was taller than Robert was by a couple of inches at least. His muscular chest was bare, to Beth’s embarrassment. Then she saw the white wings behind him.
“Beth, this is Daniel,” Robert said, sitting forward, unsure of how she was going to react.
“Hi,” was all she could think to say.
“Hi,” Daniel replied.
Beth glanced between the two men, waiting for one of them to explain Daniel’s wings.
“Daniel’s from the plane where all immortal, otherworldly creatures originated,” Robert said.
“We keep the peace, what little of it there is. I guess you’d call us angels,” Daniel elaborated.
“That’s not what you are though, is it?”
“Why would I call you an angel if you aren’t one?”
Daniel smiled. “I like you, I think we’ll get along very well. Right, I need to be off; the sun shall be rising soon so I’ll say goodbye. It was nice to meet you, Beth.”
Then a pure white vulture was flying out of an open pair of French doors that led onto a balcony. Beth sat next to Robert on the sofa.
“Can’t Daniel just get a ring like yours?” she asked.
“Oh, the sun doesn’t harm him. He’s just photophobic. Moonlight is the closest he’ll get to actual light.”
“When the place you’re created in has no sun and you’re exiled for something you didn’t do, you want to recreate everything.”
“Oh,” Beth said. “What was it he didn't do?”
“He won’t tell me.”
Beth was silent for a long time. She could see Robert watching her, but she was too busy thinking about what she was going to say. It would change everything.
“Robert?” she said quietly.
“What...” Beth took a deep breath. “What would Alex do, if I chose you?”
“Well, last time, he tried to kill me.”
“His last girlfriend chose me when I showed up. He wasn’t happy to say the least. I wanted nothing to do with her, which seemed to exacerbate the whole situation. This was a century ago, in France.”
“Oh. Anyway, so Alex would try to kill you?”
“And it would be pointless, again, seeing as I’m still here and he ended up with three broken ribs, both legs shattered, along with an arm and a dislocated shoulder. Not to mention a nasty array of bruises.”
“You enjoyed it didn’t you?”
“Not the actual fighting, but the end result, yes.”