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She Walks the Line

She bled gold; ethereal and pure, dripping from soft unblemished flesh. A beloved shell for her illuminous immortal soul.

He bled black; thick burning ink pouring from the sharp edges he’d carved into himself. His blackened fractured soul still smoking even hidden beneath his human guise.

Gold and black. That’s all they were; gold and black. Good and Evil. Such perfect puppets they were, stuck skirting the edges as they dance for their masters. Her angelic brothers and sisters in the clouds above, serving her Lord. His devilish comrades and the Fallen Angel that ruled all below.

But here, crouched above him, Holly can’t bring herself to care about the Rules. Her Lord and the High Heavens don’t matter, nor does the piercing agony in her abdomen. She is no stranger to pain, neither is Damian, her eternal adversary, but that doesn’t mean they don’t burn with agony in the moment.

A moment that could have been avoided if she didn’t care. If she didn’t love this forbidden man. What hope was there for the love of an Angel and Demon anyway?

Yet, here they were, strung together by both physical and mental bonds. (Look at her, being so poetic, Damian would scoff if he could hear such thoughts. And she’d laugh if there weren’t a spear in her gut.)

Damian coughs, blood splattering across pale lips. His crimson eyes, though hazed, still strike her like a physical blow. That beautiful and unattainable red. How often had she wished to have that burning gaze on her? To look upon her with desire? With love?

Damian hisses, actually hisses, like a snake or a furious cat. The sound reclaims Holly’s wandering attention. She watches as fangs flash, his skin rippling as he fights to hold his human guise together. The following shudder rips though them both and she chokes, swallowing the burning tang sticking thickly to her tongue. How long had it been since she’d tasted her own blood? Three, five centuries?

Holly’s arms tense, the weight of her own body suddenly too heavy, and she strains in silver white armor. But she stays up. She refuses to fall again. Her demon was already hurt more than enough for one night.

The rogue angels behind her laugh, twin bells ringing, a sound she had learned to love. A sound that had filled her early days with warmth and gave safety meaning. But now….

She meets Damian’s gaze, her chest heaving with phantom need (since when had she needed to breathe like a mortal?), and between the reflections of bright blue and crimson eyes – they argue.

I can beat them.

I know you can. But at what cost?

Unimportant.

Liar.

I’m not lying.

I think you are. At least a little.

Even if I am, you can’t stop me.

You’ll get in trouble.

I won’t.

They’ll take your wings.

Damian pleads without words, eyes shimmering with unshed tears. Holly smiles and rises as much as she can onto her knees, consequently lifting his head and upper back off the ground. Damian gasps, throat a dark abyss filled with bleached teeth. His chest heaves beneath her as clawed hands curl around her arms, the metal groaning under his grip. She reaches between them, one hand pressed firmly against his scalding chest, and wrenches the staff from him, wings propelling her away.

She crashes back to the ground, the earth cracking beneath her boots, the holy spear still pierced through her gut. But it does not matter, he is no longer being burned and poisoned by the holy weapon. Nor her blood.

Damian coughs, rolling sideways, pulling his arms and knees close to his chest, dark crimson splattering from his lips and painting the ground beneath. He gasps, clawed hands pressing against the wound. Unholy light bursts from between his fingers as he attempts to heal.

Holly swings around, blurry vision dizzily resting on the two rogue angel, taking in the gaping mouths and glowing eyes bulging out of their human guises. A smirk tugs at her lips, and she flashes her own brilliant teeth. Then she reaches down and wraps her gauntleted hands around the slippery staff, and then she twists.

The staff breaks under her fingers. She tosses the front away, barely hearing it clatter before reaching behind herself, between her own glorious wings, and pulls.

The remaining piece gives way with a loud squelch. Throwing her head back, the wounded angel screams to the heavens, wings aglow and spread to their full span. The sound still echoing through the air, she turns back to the trembling rogue angels, her own eyes alit with holy fire, abdomen caked with gold, and summons her sword.

It appears without a sound, resting comfortably in her palm as if it had always been there, glowing the silvery-white all blades of Heaven did. She raises a hand, wipes it across her stony expression, and suddenly, her face is hidden behind an ornate helmet. The angles gasp and stumble back, recognizing the symbols dictating the woman they had attacked to be a General of the Holy Guard of Heaven.

And she was furious.

With barely a shift of her wings, Holly rushes the two angels. She swings her blade, and golden blood bursts from the chests of her opponents. The angels scream, the sound rattling in Holly’s ribcage, but she does not stop. With her free hand, she punches the angel on the left, launching him back. Leaving the other, she follows the make angel, and with a twist of her wrist — she slices off his arm.

Holly leaps back with one beat of her great wings as he screams, weapon clattering to the ground as he drops, clawing at the bleeding stump.

Returning her attention to the second rogue angel, Holly pivots, swinging her leg up to kick the back of the angels head. The female rogue slams into the ground without the breath to scream.

Holly snaps her fingers, and the broken remains of the spear fly to her side. With two, impossibly fast movements, Holly pins the fallen angel like a bug against the ground. This time, the angel can scream. The sound prices the air, and the pinned angel chokes, coughing up gold as she claws at the ground. Her wings flutter helplessly as Holly watches from above, eyes cold.

The male angel cries out, rushing towards Holly with his spear raised. This is his last mistake.

Pivoting, Holly grabs the spear, and uses it to pull the male closer. She whips her head forward, caving in the skull of the rogue angel’s human form. He drops at Holly’s feet, wings twitching. Holly pins him too. Physical wounds never kept them down.

Threats dealt with, Holly returns her blade to her scabbard. She turns, and rushes back to Damian’s side, ignoring the screams and curses falling from the rogue angel’s lips. Holly drops to her knees, wings spread, a shield and a barrier. She presses one hand to his still bleeding chest, and cradles his cheek with the other. With a though, she dismisses her helmet, and offers a smile.

A gesture that might have been sweeter if there weren’t blood dripping from her mouth. With a sigh, Damian reaches up and wipes away the gold, skin sizzling at the contact, accidently replacing it with an inky streak. Holly doesn’t mind though.

What does concern her, are the still living rogue angel’s behind her. And the curses and disgusting comments the female one in particular is making. (She’s not wrong about Holly caring for the demon, but the words she uses to describe said care, are.) She shares a look with Damian, then rises. Holly marches over to the fallen angels, wings spread wide, eyes cold.

Standing above her beaten enemies, she raises a hand to the sky. Holly throws back her head as white light bursts from her hand, rushing towards the night sky, and then through it. A bell sounds, both distant and all around them. Holly drops her hand and steps back.

Within seconds, three angels appear before her. Two of Heaven’s guards, and her friend and brother, Heaven’s highest Executioner. The angel whose job is to pass judgement on angels who disobey, and the one who so often severs the wings of those angels before they are cast out of Heaven.

With a gesture from the Executioner, the two Guards begin removing the spears and pulling the injured, struggling rogue angels to their feet.

The Executioner glances over his shoulder, and meets Holly’s eye. His gaze is just as piercing as ever, and Holly struggles not to shiver. She presses one hand to her healing wound, and watches as the Executioner’s eye flickers over her shoulder, towards the downed Damian. Holly flares her wings, reclaiming his attention.

The Executioner once again meets her eye as his Guards chain the rogue angels. He turns away, snapping orders to the Guards, and it is only when the two Guards and their struggling cargo are gone, that he speaks.

“Be mindful of the line, Sister.” He warns. Before Holly can reply, he leaves in a flash of light. Holly sighs, shoulders slumping, wings dropping. She turns, and tries not to feel disappointment. Her demon is gone, the only trace of his presence, the splatter of ink mingling with her own spilled gold.

Holly sighs, smile bittersweet as she takes to the sky.  She doesn’t bother seeking him out, her efforts rarely produced results.

Besides, she’d already courted the line between a caring angel and a fallen one, too much today.

 

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