chapter xviMature

She was lucky.

He had fallen asleep as she removed the bandages.  He would think the pain had caused him to slip into unconsciousness, he would know nothing of her small betrayal.  How could he? 

Her own thoughts, however, were full of self-loathing.  What had she done with her precious vessel?  Certainly it could not have been the holy path, not the way her vessel had screamed for it.  Such things were notoriously of the darker ilk.  Perhaps her vessel was tainted?

The thought left a rotten taste in her mouth.  Pawning off blame often left her feeling as if she’d swallowed a piece of a corpse; it made it hard to deny her own mistakes when she could practically taste them.  Still, she wasn’t ready to embrace her loss of sight.  A punishment for her (actions) would find her, eventually; all that was left was to wait for it and accept it when it arrived.   

Naomi’s small fingers moved the needle and thread through his wound with ease.  They’d torn some of his stitches out with their activity – just another reason it was a faulty plan to begin with, she told herself – and she had to pull the remaining stitches out and start over.  It was no matter, it took her less than three minutes to pull the thread tight and tie it off.  Without her commands, her hands moved to wrap the gauze around him again.  She watched the way his chest rose and fell with his breathing.  She wondered where his dream was taking him.  She wondered what he would say when he woke, if things would have changed or if it would make everything even more complicated.

Her blood-soaked fingertips brushed his drenched hair from his forehead.  Things that should not live within her vessel sprouted.  They grew and twisted into knotted patterns around her ribcage.  Angels were often niave in the pathways of the emotional circuits of their vessels, but Naomi did not have trouble understanding.

She was a goner, she knew it.  There was no going back, he was as much within her as her Father.  He may as well brand her heart, for all the freedom it would have from him.  Her purpose had been tainted, but she was not falling apart beneath the weight of it.  Instead, she felt herself coming alive.  Flourishing in the light of her disgrace.

The End

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