‘An angel?’ I raised one eyebrow sceptically.
‘Technically I’m what’s known as a “fallen” angel. But I prefer to just say angel, it sounds better,’ Luke smiled sadly. My eyes widened and my mouth fell open as I realised he was being deadly serious.
‘A fallen angel? Wow.’ I breathed.
‘You’re handling this much better than I thought, you’re okay with all this supernatural stuff?’
I could do nothing but nod. I didn’t know much about fallen angels, just that they were angels who had been exiled from heaven. I swept my eyes over Luke, he didn’t exactly look like a fallen angel… He looked too good.
‘What…happened?’ I whispered.
‘For me to become exiled? It’s a long story, Tara.’ Luke’s tone was final and sharp. He obviously didn’t want to talk about it and I wouldn’t pressure him. If he felt comfortable with me later on maybe he would open up then. It occurred to me that I didn’t even really know who he was. He had saved my life, but to me he was a stranger.
‘We should get back to Taryn,’ Luke broke the silence.
‘She might be in danger, Gabriel and Reuben might decide to take their revenge. They don’t take kindly on people who’ve betrayed them you know.’
‘I gathered,’ I murmured. I jumped off the bed and instantly regretted it; the room span and my vision blurred. The floor came rushing up to meet me, but with one fluid motion, Luke grabbed hold of me and supported me.
‘I should carry you. You’re in no fit state to walk.’
I didn’t feel entirely comfortable with a stranger carrying me so I just told him a needed a minute to regain my focus and I would be fine to go.
Luke could drive incredibly fast when he wanted to; we reached the house within an hour. Considering how long it had taken to get to the hotel I was vastly impressed.
‘Something’s not right,’ Luke frowned. Before I had a chance to question him, he got out of the van, not bothering to shut his door behind him and ran into the house. I was tempted to run away; now was my chance. I still didn’t want any part in this mess and my life was clearly in jeopardy, but some sort of force made me get out of the van slowly and warily, a feeling of danger slowly creeping up on me. All my instincts were screaming at me to run, to get out of there but I couldn’t. My feet carried me down the path to the house. The door was open and I could smell something strange in the air.
Down the dark hall, I couldn’t see Luke anywhere.
‘Luke?’ I called out. I heard a choked sob from the room ahead of me, the one with the door closed. My heart pounding ferociously, I made my way down the hallway with each step I grew more and more uneasy. I gently pushed the door open and gasped at what I saw.
The first thing I noticed was that there was blood everywhere. It was splattered all up the walls, all across the floor. Even the windows were tainted red. That was what I could smell. The room was filled with the sickening metallic smell of blood.
The second thing I noticed was the cause of all this blood. In the corner, was the butchered body of the small, blonde girl who had possibly saved my life. Gabriel and Reuben had certainly taken their revenge; Taryn was dead.
I could do nothing; I was shocked into a state of disbelief. Luke however went mental.
‘Those bastards!!! I’ll KILL them!!!’ he punched the wall so hard, a huge chunk went flying across the floor. When he pulled his hand away, it was bloody and covered in dust. ‘I swear to God I’m going to make them suffer so much they’ll be sorry they messed with me!’
I snapped back to reality and crossed the room slowly. It was hard to recognise Taryn now; her face was deathly white and her eyes were wide and unstaring. Her mouth was shaped into a little ‘O’ and there was a tiny crease between her eyebrows, like she was frowning.
I crouched down and closed her eyes.
‘How could they do this…’ I whispered.
‘Because they’re evil, Tara! It’s what they do! I can’t believe I didn‘t see what they were like straight away…’ Luke turned away.
‘Hey,’ I got up and laid my hand on his shoulder. ‘It’s not your fault.’
‘They have to pay.’ Luke’s voice was filled with such hatred and determination it chilled me down to the bone. I couldn’t let him go after them; he’d be killed straight away.
He started to make his way for the door, but I blocked his way.
‘Get out of my way Tara,’ he murmured in a low, dangerous voice without looking at me. His eyes were fixed straight ahead.
‘Luke don’t do this. We have to think logically, if you go storming over to them looking for a fight you know that you’d be killed straight away. We have to think strategically, okay?’
He didn’t say anything for a moment and I thought I’d convinced him, but when he looked down at me I knew his mind was set.
‘Taryn never asked for this. She had no choice in the life she got given, she spent her life trying to do good. She was innocent. She tried to help you, Tara. She chose to side with us and look where it got her! She’s dead. Nothing you can say is going to stop me.’ Without another word, he stormed straight ahead, shoving past me and out the door into the cold, dangerous night towards certain death.---edited---