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Excerpt from (Faithless Guardian)

Enjoy!


“Dover Ellis!”

The shout of her name resonated down the hall. Dover and Hanael turned toward the sound, the former mentally bracing for battle long before the dark-skinned angel swooped into the room.

Raziel stormed into the office as though someone had smeared boot polish onto her brand new Manolos, those dark eyes flashing with ire that bordered on murderous.

Dover and Raziel had a checkered, colorful history.

They had never seen eye to eye. Raziel always came off as assuming full angelic creatures were somehow better than Guardians, whom were only resurrected humans, little more than ghouls. Long ago, when Dover had first been made Guardian, Raziel did everything she could to irritate her. It was easier with Hanael now her direct supervisor, but every time Raz and Dover crossed paths, sparks flew.

The Guardian had long-since assumed the hatred on the Power’s side was down to the few dozen times Dover had made her look bad. Over the two years Dover spent in Raz’s ‘service’, she’d managed it more often than not, which was why Hanael pulled her into his own ranks. Usually, Dover got a decent kick out of tweaking the stuffy angel’s nose, but Raziel had crummy timing if she wanted a fight. Dover was in the mood to pull absolutely zero punches.

With her blood still boiling after her moment with Hanael, Dover didn’t bother resisting \the urge to roll her eyes.

“What, Raz? I don’t have time to get into a pissing match right now.”

She knew she was toeing the line, that angelic beings were hard-wired to obey, but she couldn’t seem to stop herself. Judging from the small smirk tugging at Hanael’s lips, the feeling was mutual, even under his attempt at a stern glare in her direction. At the moment, all Dover wanted to do was shove Raziel out, slam the office door and figure out what the holy hell was going on between her and Hanael.

With Raziel and her bunched-up panties in the mix, that was unlikely to happen any time soon.

If the angel noticed anything amiss between Guardian and Power, she said nothing. Long-fingered hands slammed onto her hips in fists, displaying a killer figure tucked into a tailored suit. Raziel’s dark hair was gathered at her nape, pinned carefully into intricate curls. Her flawless skin practically glowed in the last slivers of sun sliding through the windows.

Next to Raziel, Dover felt frumpy and unkempt. It wasn’t a feeling she enjoyed.

“You were consorting with demons!” Raziel raged. “You reek of their filth. You have proven unworthy of your wings. Again!”

Confused and more than a little annoyed, Dover ran a hand through her short hair.

“Raziel, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have wings.”

Hanael stepped smoothly between them at that, holding each hand out as an encouragement to stay in their corners. That hint of amusement still played on his lips as he attempted to stop the pair from all out brawling.

“Enough, Dover.” Hanael cautioned before turning to Raziel. His words were whisper-soft, but with a keen edge. “She was not consorting with demons. She was protecting a Charge.”

“I think not.” Raziel shot back, seeming to not care that the Guardian they spoke of stood two feet away. “The demons are all singing her name, in every part of Atlanta.”

Dover frowned, swallowing hard. Of course they knew where she had been. When Called, Guardians were often immediately monitored in case they needed aid. Hanael would have been alerted the moment she felt the Call. But how did they know the demons were whispering her name? Had other Guardians heard them tonight? Had they reported it to Raziel as something strange?

Hanael had known about Liam’s attack, had he known her to be injured? Was he watching her that closely?

With that now in mind, she felt another kernel of doubt settle in her belly. Hanael’s flame now smoldered, doused by the uncertainty. If he was surveilling her, did he know about the angelic attack? More to the point, if he did know, why had he not mentioned it?

“I killed two Chaos demons.” Dover said when she found her voice. “But yes, they knew my name and they left me a message.”

Hanael turned to her so quickly, even Raziel seemed surprised by the swiftness.

“What message?” The angel’s voice was tight, almost angry.

Wordlessly, Dover dug into her pocket to find her phone, yanking it out as Hanael watched her intently. She knew that look, the gaze of a protector now concerned for his own Charge. Dover swiped the phone open, pulling up the photograph she’d taken of Liam’s wall before she used Celestian spells to reverse the demonic damage.

Hanael took the phone gingerly, Raziel leaning around his body to peer into the screen with him. Dover would grudgingly admit that, should she be in actual danger, Raziel was likely to have her back. Damn her.

His gold-green eyes widened as he stared at the photograph, Raziel shaking her head as though Dover had merely confirmed her suspicions.

“Anyone know why demons want to talk to me?”


Thanks for reading!

-C.A.

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