Everything was clear as crystal to Gabriel. The steps they needed to take, the purpose for every small detail being accounted for. She knew they would not have trouble enlisting Sebastian’s healer to their cause, knocking their team number up to four. The drive was quiet. From the backseat, she watched the road vanish beneath the hood of the TransAm. Graeme sat in the passenger seat, a small part of him still unable to relinquish complete control of his car over to Sebastian, but he didn’t protest the other man’s driving tactics or radio choices. Whatever tension had been between the two men when they’d first met, it seemed most of it had been dampened down to a mild distrust that each of them were willing to brush off for the greater purpose of their mission.
When they finally pulled down the long dirt road that led to the Healer’s cabin, Gabriel breathed a sigh of relief. They were one step closer to the end-game. The relief was tainted with apprehension, but she couldn’t help that. So many things were clear to her, but just as many were hazy. She had no indication of what would happen when they performed the summoning. A part of her was terrified. Terrified she’d lose Graeme, terrified she’d be called back from earth and everything she’d thought while she was there would be called into question. Terrified she’d been tricked, that it was a terrible sin for her to feel for Graeme the way she couldn’t ignore she really felt.
She could tell that Sebastian wanted to go up to the house alone, but she couldn’t let him. She couldn’t sit and wait in the car. Gabriel had to know what he would say, had to see the way the healer reacted. Too many factors were involved and she had to be on high alert for any warning signs that something would go wrong.
He knocked and in the minute it took for the door to swing open, Gabriel held her breath and ran over the plan five times in her head, checking for holes or flaws they hadn’t seen before. The woman that answered the door was stout and sort of gnarled. Her body was curled inward, just the slightest bit hunched, and her long black hair was a tangled mess pulled into a knotted bun on her head. She wore layers of multi-colored patterned shirts and a long skirt that flowed outward around her where it touched the floor. Squinting up at them, she said, “Sebastian. I wasn’t expecting you. Who are your friends?”
Sebastian smiled and said, “This is Gabriel, Hazel. She’s an angel.”
Hazel blinked at him as if she were waiting for him to continue. When he didn’t, she said, “I know that, you idiot. Who is he?” She jerked a crooked thumb in Graeme’s direction. “He stinks of demons.”
Sebastian nodded. “This is Graeme. The Destroyer’s vessel.”
Hazel stepped back as if she’d been struck and Gabriel moved her arm out, catching the door just as Hazel tried to slam it closed. She said, “Hazel, I don’t mean to be rude, but we need your help and I’m not going to ask you twice.”