Chapter 24: So Aster's in Hell
I stretch my jaw.
That kind of hurt, which means he is truly running out of patience. What I need to do is start asking the right questions. Like, why was he impersonating Aster’s form when he first met me?
Better yet, how?
“Why did you bait me here?” I choke, “And what’s with faking like you were Aster, to get me to talk?”
Ezra stands upright, “Of course, Saphyre, you see, Aster was not only dear to you but others as well, some very important others.”
“What about you?”
He smiles, “Aster is nothing less than a brother to me, a vagabond no doubt, but my heart and his use to beat in unison,” He begins pacing in front of me, “That boy and I fought many wars together, we grew up in the same vicinity, hell, we bunked.” He stops. “But then, one day he left.”
This is a little too much, “Okay, one thing at a time, what, were you just army buddies or something, what does any of this have to do with me?”
Ezra gives me a piteous look, “Sweetheart, it has everything to do with you.”
I close my mouth and clench my fists closer to my bound legs.
So Ezra continues, “You see, we were not simply army buddies, we operated on a much higher tier.”
“What do you mean?”
He crosses over to me and I instinctively lean back, “You think a mere human can just break into your head and see your every thought before you even recognize you are thinking about it, do you find it mediocre to be sitting inside of your brain talking with just a man?”
Point taken and noted, douche bag.
Still this is all very strange, but hell, I don’t know how else to think of it. All I can think about is Aster. Not the amazing bit of being inside of my own memories. That’s nothing compared to being able to see Aster again.
“No I don’t find it normal, actually, this is all crazy, me being here with you and you stalking me for answers I don’t even have!” I dare yell after he damn near dislocated my jaw.
Ezra’s expression is unchanging, he just steps closer to me, “Aster never told you his real name, did he?”
"Aster is his real name!” I shout, how can he be so shameless as to question me about the only boy I ever truly cared for?
“His real name is Asteroth, he is an angel and not the kind you humans depict us as with halos and robes or standing somewhere unclothed saving our fellow man. We are disguised as humans in this realm and the only way to know you have truly met-”
“Wait, wait, wait run that back,” I almost burst into laughter, this guy has clearly had too much cocktail, “You mean to tell me that you and Aster are age old creatures, otherwise known as angels, who walk around parading yourselves as humans? Of all possible tales, you couldn’t do better than that?”
Ezra’s not amused but my cheeks are on fire from holding in an outburst of cackling.
Then it just comes out all at once. My chest couldn’t hold it back any longer.
This guy really thought he could actually pull that story off.
“It was never my intention to make you think I could pull anything off.”
I sigh and -wait, “Did you just-”
“Did I just read your mind to answer your question, yes, and my name isn’t ‘this guy’ it’s Ezra, you should consider yourself privileged to be the first human to know it.” Ezra steps away with his back towards me, “Think what you will, but your friend that you cherish so dearly is in huge trouble with some very bad people.”
Aster’s in trouble?, “Don’t - Don’t do that.” My heart tightens into a hard fist.
Ezra tilts his head back to look at me, “Don’t do what?”
“Don’t try and make me your pawn by saying something so ridiculous, Aster’s never done anything wrong to anyone!” I feel so tense, “How can you claim you care for him, but say something like that so informally?”
Ezra laughs, “You know, for someone who cares an awful lot about someone, you really are selfish,” He pops his knuckles, turning away from me, “You think you were the only one hurt in that car crash that night?”
The question slapped me square in the face.
“Aster saved you from dying, almost taking his own life,” Ezra faces me, “And all along robbed you from your fate, you were the one steering the wheel that night, you convinced him to let you drive even though you had no experience, he did that for you!” He’s furious, his anger is echoing off of the white walls of my mind.
I don’t even remember what happened!!!
How do I possibly react appropriately?
“I had to pull you both from that accident, when I saw him in that state I thought he was gone for good.” Ezra looks up, “It maybe would have saved him a lot of trouble if he was.”
I grunt, “Quit beating around the bush and tell me where he is!”
Ezra folds his hands before him, “Detained, kidnapped, gone into the Underworld.”
Underworld...? It isn’t until now that I notice that my nose is flaring in rage, “Why the fuck is he in a place like that, why are you here and not saving him?!” I cannot hold the tears, “You sorry piece of shit, he could be dead by now!” My chest convulse in sobs and sorrow.
Why Aster....why not this fucking creep?
Ezra’s body disappears.
I gulp, where did he go?
My body jumps. He’s behind me trailing his large hands down my arms. I shake, but I can’t move. His touch is so soft and terrifying!
My gun...I need my gun.
He snickers, “If only you really meant those words for me, you see there is a bounty on your head, sweetheart.” He lowers his voice, “I am afraid the only price that they wish for you to pay for Aster’s life, is that you to take his place.”
His hand then squeezes around my neck.