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His eyes are so beautiful. So soft, and full of tenderness. I’ve never seen him look at me that way. I watch him, speechless as my mind processes what he just confessed. His actions were a clear promise of this confession, as were mine. I love him, and I will trade a thousand lives if it means he gets to keep his. Callous, I know, but no less true. Michael would die to protect any one of his people, but for now, I will hold his words close and draw on them for strength. Michael let himself out of his cage before moving to do the same for me.

“Hurry, we don’t have a lot of time. They will know soon.” Michael states as he hurries us toward the door. I stop just short of it.

“Who will know what?” I ask with an uneasy knot forming in my stomach.

Raised voices and footsteps thunder our way.

“They’re coming, Shy. We have to go, now,” he barks.

Adrenaline shoots through me, forcing me to react to the urgency in his tone. I don’t get far before he grabs my arm, stilling me in place. He points to the other side of the door, and I move, leaning against the wall flanking one side of the door. Michael does the same on his side. The door flies open and a man bursts in, yelling, “You-stupid-bitch. I’m going to have so much fun with you.”

As soon as he crosses the threshold, it’s too late. Michael comes up behind him, putting his arm around his neck. Michael turns so he’s back to back with the other man. He tightens his hold, snapping his neck. I marvel at his speed as he ushers me out the door.

“Michael, what’s going on?” I ask, stopping again. “What was he talking about? I told him exactly where the substation was,” I say, confused.

“I know you did,” he confirms. “It was a trap for Oscar. The General wanted me to feed you a false location in hopes you would give it up under torture. It had to be convincing,” he confesses.

I narrow my eyes at him. Not again, please, God. Not again. My inner companion drops to her knees. I can’t quite comprehend the magnitude of what he’s saying. There’s no hiding the emotion playing across my face as I grasp what Michael confesses. He betrayed me, again. Hurt and anger flare, but for the moment I have to smother it. Right now, we’re still in hostile territory. After a minute or two I find my voice. Walking up to him, I gently place my hand on his face, touching right around the burn on his right eye.

“My Archangel . . . Michael. As beautiful as your name sake. Though, your words are as wicked as his brother’s. You are the devil, Michael Varro. You are proof that even angels hide their wicked schemes.”

I drop my hand from his face, taking a step back. There are more footsteps coming, but before they make it through the next door, I kick it in as hard as I can with my foot, sending it flying open. It nails the man directly in his nose, breaking it. He drops to his knees, disoriented, clutching his nose, which is gushing blood profusely. Cold and calculated, I grab him by his hair. I make him look up at my bruised and battered face. He’s one of my torturers. Good. My inner companion says, rising to her feet. I punch him hard in the face, causing his head to snap back before falling forward again. As his head falls forward it meets my knee as I slam it into his face as hard as I can. The force of it sends bone fragments into his brain, killing him instantly.

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