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Excerpt from (Faithless) Guardian

Enjoy!


Elise parked herself familiarly in the doorway as Dover explained the evening’s events to her friend, holding nothing back. Dover explained her theory that the angelic creature had been inside her apartment, that it had waited until it knew it would be discovered before running for the hills. To her credit, Elise didn’t laugh herself sick when Dover insisted it’d been an angel creeping about her apartment.

As she finished her tale, Elise huffed a breath. She rubbed a hand over her pretty face, sweeping fine blond hair from her eyes as she did so.

“And it resisted Holy Command. You’re sure?” Her friend asked as Dover made her way back to the kitchen.

“The Command was in full force, I was still lit up from prayers.” Dover insisted. “Why would an angel be watching me, El?”

The senior Guardian arched a brow, a wicked little smirk playing out over her generous mouth. “Well, maybe it was Hanael wanting to get a peek. If you hadn’t startled him, you might be making the beasts with two backs right now.”

Dover squinted at her friend, shaking her head. “You’re severely damaged, did you know that?”

“My fatal flaw.” Elise shrugged, sliding onto a barstool as Dover hunted up a pair of glasses and an almost-empty bottle of Jameson.

“Seriously, El.” Dover sighed as she poured them each a drink. “I don’t know what to make of all this. It’s weird, right?”

Elise toyed with the glass Dover handed her, staring down into the amber liquid.

“There’s a lot of weird going around right now, but we can’t exactly protect ourselves from angels.”

Dover nodded, throwing back her Jameson in one swallow. Her apartment, always a place of solitude now felt invaded, tainted by some alien presence. Elise lifted her head, watching her carefully. Dover exhaled a shaky breath, setting her empty glass into the sink.

“Want me to stay over?”

No matter how desperately Dover wanted to say yes, she could see the fatigue on her friend. Exorcism always left a mark, even if it went as easily as Elise typically made it seem. She needed to go home, to rest, not baby sit a full-grown Guardian.

Shaking her head, Dover pushed her own needs aside.

“No. Go home, get some sleep.”

“You should head to the Arbor in the morning, talk to Hanael about all this.” Elise offered, her blue eyes leveling her protégé with a heavy stare.

Immediately, that shiver of unease slid once more down her spinal column. Before this morning, Dover would have agreed with her old friend’s assessment. Hanael would know what to do, would give guidance and assurances. If nothing else, he would make her feel better about the strange encounter.

But the way he had turned away from her this morning, his taciturn demeanor so unlike him in the decade she’d been in his charge gave her pause.


-Thanks for reading!

C.A.


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