Angels in Turquoise Skies, страница 1
Angels in Turquoise Skies
By Debbie R. Cummings
Published by Astraea Press
This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters, and events are fictitious in every regard. Any similarities to actual events and persons, living or dead, are purely coincidental. Any trademarks, service marks, product names, or named features are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if any of these terms are used. Except for review purposes, the reproduction of this book in whole or part, electronically or mechanically, constitutes a copyright violation.
ANGELS IN TURQUOISE SKIES
Copyright © 2013 DEBBIE R. CUMMINGS
Cover Art Designed by BOOK BEAUTIFUL
To My Mother.
The view here always amazed Zachariah Aurelius, especially in springtime. The blue sky dotted with clouds was a painter's delight. A gentle breeze ruffled his shoulder-length light brown hair as he stood on the balcony of his family's home in the City of Clouds. A snow-white owl dropped a scroll, with gold ribbon tied around it, into his hand and then it flew off. He unraveled the ribbon and read the white parchment with gold letters written with grace. "You are summoned to the office of Abidan for your next assignment."
A smile came to his lips. He was always a traditionalist. Zachariah entered the house and placed the scroll on the table. At that moment, he was the only one in residence here. His family had lived in the City of Clouds since time began. He was born there. It was a beautiful place where the angels who worked between heaven and earth lived. Literally, it was up in the sky, unseen by mortal eyes.
Zachariah thought about a pair of shoes and they appeared on his feet. Next he thought of, and concentrated on, the hallway outside of Abidan's office on the other side of City of Clouds. His eyes opened to the familiar sight of white marble floors and walls. Great artwork, from throughout the ages, depicting angels hung on the wall. He chuckled at the private joke all angels knew. Little do the mortals know what really goes on.
Rebekah, one of Abidan's more recent daughters, sat at a white and gold trimmed marble desk in front of a large door. She smiled as she brushed aside a lock of red hair. "Hello Zachariah, you may enter."
Zach nodded. The doors opened the second he stepped in front of them.
A man with graying hair stood up. "Salutations, young Zachariah Aurelius."
He frowned. "I'm not that young." I am twenty-eight. Why did he always call me that?
Abidan's light laughter echoed through the office. "I saw Salome, the niece of King Herod, dance. I watched Cleopatra sail down the Nile River."
Zach grimaced. Abidan could go on about this all century. He was well aware of how old his immediate superior was. Everyone in the angel realm knew. Why do the angels who've been around for centuries have to rub it in? He was sure Abidan didn't call him in here for a chat about that. Let's get down to business. He held up his hands. "I get it. What is my mission?"
Abidan made a tsking noise. "Always no patience in youth." He waved his hand. An attractive brunette woman, working in a place with a lot of books, appeared on the marble desk in front of them like a scene on a mortal television. She was like a mirage in the room. "This young woman is about to turn thirty." The older man's gaze met his. "Her father was Timon McCloud."
Zach stared at him in shock for a moment, before he shook his head. "Impossible." Timon McCloud was an angel who valiantly died in the last battle of angels and demons about thirty years ago. Except he didn't really die in a human sense. He moved onto another realm. Timon was currently working in Heaven. All the angels, for the last thirty years, were schooled on him and the events surrounding the battle. He was revered amongst the angels. Only a select few got to meet him.
"It is possible because she lives as a mortal in place called Springfield Township in Ohio. Her name is Leah Blanco." He pointed to the portal showing the earth realm in front of him. "Look, she resembles him."
"You would know that better than I." He folded his arms over his chest. "It is forbidden for angels of his rank to father a child with a mortal." Some angels were permitted to intermarry, like his parents. Those were the ones who didn't live in Heaven. No matter the rank of the angel, mortals and angels were a big no-no. He heard about it happening, but had never seen a result of it before today.
"He did." Abidan's old blue eyes were on him. "Hence, your assignment." He shuffled his scrolls. "The time has come for Leah to choose to use her powers for good or evil. You must teach her to use her powers for good. In the end, the choice is hers."
"Don't think for a minute this will be an easy assignment. I'm certain the demons know about her powers. They'd love nothing more than to have a daughter of the great Timon as one of them. Beware, they'll send one of their best demons after her. Powers without rules are very seductive. She also has no idea that Timon is her real father. She believes a man named Norman Blanco is her father. Her mother met him shortly after Timon left to do battle. The love angels set that up upon Timon's request. He wanted his love and child cared for."
Zach stood up straight. "I'll keep an eye out for the demons." The demons never scared him. He was trained in many forms of combat and full use of his powers. "Any idea what her powers will be?"
Abidan shook his head. "No, that's not something we'll know until she uses them."
Another image appeared in front of them. "A house has been arranged in Green for your use during this assignment." Abidan handed him another scroll. "The address is on there."
Zach transported himself back to his family's home in the City of Clouds. He sensed someone was there. The cleaning angels already came and went. He entered the gathering room.
His sister, Saffron was seated on the light blue sofa, watching a romantic comedy movie on a television station that shows only classic movies. Her golden brown hair was pulled into a ponytail. Her slacks and blouse were white and pale pink. She looked up when he entered the room. "I just got back. And I saw the scroll."
"I've got to go to Earth on assignment."
She sweetly smiled. "I know. I'm working with you."
"Why didn't Abidan tell me that?"
She shrugged. "He didn't know. It was a last minute decision." Her pale pink, polished fingernail pointed up. "Higher up didn't want Timon's daughter to be lost. He'd be heartbroken if she was. I wouldn't want to face him mad."
His eyes widened. "Have you met Timon McCloud?"
"No, Ebenezer told me that. Don't you remember the stories Mom and Dad told us about him." She whistled. "He was a fierce warrior angel."
Zach thought of Ebenezer, the jolly, heavy set man who reminded him of what mortals thought Santa Claus would look like. Disappointment washed over Zach. Many assignments he completed on his own. Frowning, he snapped his fingers. He disappeared from the family gathering area to reappear in his bedroom.
Saffron reappeared behind him. "I hate it when you do that."
A duffle bag materialized in front of him on the bed. He put in his communication mirror and a few small weapons.
"Don't sulk, Zach."
"It sure seems like it to me." She placed her hand on his shoulder. "This is really important. You know some mortals don't believe in demons or even angels anymore."
He let out a sigh. "You're right."
"She might be scared when her powers come."
Zach, Saffron, and their siblings had their parents to guide and teach them about their powers. Poor Leah, she didn't grow up with the guidance of angels. Or she would have lived up
"How are we going to handle this?" Saffron asked.
"I'm supposed to stay in a home on Earth, near the woman. You may stay up here. I'll contact you with reports."
"I could come with you."
He shook his head. "No, I think I know how I'm going to approach her. Let me try it my way first. I'll call you in if I need help."
"Okay. Don't forget I'm here. Godspeed, Zachariah."
The moon shone brightly through the darkness into the window when Zach transported himself into his temporary home in Green, Ohio. With a snap of his fingers, the room was illuminated. Glancing around, he saw everything he needed was in place. The home was furnished in shades of blue and white. Clothes his size were in the bedroom closet. He dropped the duffle bag onto the bed. Abidan didn't tell him much about the woman. A scroll was in his bag. He pulled it out. Disappointment washed over him. The scroll only gave him data. It didn't mention where she liked to hang out or interests or her guardian angel's name. Those bits of information would've been helpful. He could summon the guardian angel, if he knew the name.
Zach pulled the handheld mirror out of the bag and thought of his sister. "Saffron, are you there?"
Her image appeared before him. "Yes."
"Good, I'm in the house. It's night here. I'm going to get some rest before I go find the woman tomorrow."
"Sweet dreams, big brother." Her image in the mirror faded.
Zach collapsed into the king-size bed.
Leah tossed and turned in her sleep. With a scream, her eyes flung open in her darkened bedroom. She sat up in the bed, panting. Images of fire, light, and strange creatures haunted her dream. She shook her head. Lately, her dreams seemed like a sci-fi movie. Which was odd, since she tried to avoid watching scary or sci-fi movies at night. She glanced at the clock on her wooden nightstand. Four-fifty blinked back at her in red, angry numbers. I've got to get some more sleep before I have to be at the bookstore at seven-thirty. With a groan, she rolled over and hoped she could have a more pleasant sleep.
Zach strolled into the bookstore. His gaze was immediately fixed upon the dark-haired woman arranging books. Somehow, Leah was cuter and prettier than in the vision Abidan showed him of her. Her body was curvy, not skinny like some of the women he'd seen on television. She wore jeans and a dark blue sweater. The things he could do to a body like that. Stop it, Zachariah. You never looked at a mortal or a fellow angel like that before. The elder angels would be ashamed at such thoughts. He leaned against one of the ends of the bookcases and observed her. Maybe I should let Saffron handle this assignment. He shook his head. No, I've never quit an assignment. I'll have to control myself. She moved swiftly and with purpose. That was something Zach could admire, along with her beauty and figure. He sniffed the air. It smelled of coffee, pastry, and books. Those were pleasant scents of Earth. The smell of fire, sulfur, and burning were absent. At least a demon hasn't been here yet. Give them time; I'm sure they'll send one to try. Zach wasn't afraid of taking on demons. He'd battled his fair share before. I need to get a local paper. He grabbed one from the rack by the magazines. Leah gave him a quick glance as she walked by.
He straightened up and walked around the store. She was absent from his vision. That worried him. He also didn't see a guardian angel near her either. The other guardian angels were in close proximity to their assignments. Except one. A woman wearing a white, long, off-the-shoulder dress was sitting in the café. He wondered whose guardian angel she was. It could've been anyone in the store. Leah's attention was vigilant, but not focused on one person. Zach felt someone tap his shoulder. He looked up just in time to see Leah almost run smack into him as she turned the corner. He held out his hand and steadied her.
"I'm so sorry." Her porcelain skin was flushed with pink. Her eyes were green like a spring meadow. A whiff of a sweet, floral perfume filled his nostrils. It was calling out to him like a siren's song. On her, it rivaled the perfume on the angels whom he dated.
"You better slow down or a cop might give you a ticket."
She chuckled as she looked around. "I don't think any are here right now."
Zach smiled at her. For once, in his entire career as an angel, he was at a loss at what to say or do.
She cocked her head. Her curious green eyes were affixed on him. "May I help you?" Her voice had a feminine tone to it.
He cleared his throat in an attempt to find his voice. "I'm new in town. I'd like a book on the local history."
She raised an eyebrow. "Follow me, please."
I must've sounded like a dork. Why couldn't I have thought of something else?
Unlike other mortals, he couldn't read her thoughts. It must be the angel blood. How he was curious to know what she was thinking at the moment! He trailed behind her until she stopped.
He noticed a turquoise ring on the index finger of her right hand. It was the color of the sky in the City of Clouds. "Here you are. Let me know if you need anything else." She walked slowly away.
Zach picked a book and began thumbing through it. His eyes followed her around the store as she continued to work. He sensed another pair of eyes were watching him. His gaze shifted to a blond-haired woman watching him from the counter behind the café. Her lustful thoughts came over very clear to him. The name tag on her dark blue apron read, 'Tabitha.' According to the scroll Abidan provided, Tabitha was Leah's younger, mortal sister. She smiled at him. A dark-haired man stood behind her with his arms folded over his chest. He frowned at Zach. That's her guardian angel. Should I go over and ask him where Leah's guardian angel is? Zach glanced around. The bookstore was becoming crowded. He didn't want to look like a fool talking to air. Nobody could see the guardian angels except angels or demons. Or unless they chose to show themselves. It was very rare for a mortal to see one. Tabitha's guardian angel knew exactly what he was. He did his job and stayed close to her. Zach grabbed another book. Leah disappeared from his line of vision. He focused his mind and sensed she was still in the store. He went to the cash register and paid for the books. Still no guardian angel for her. There had to be one. Every mortal had at least one assigned to them at his or her birth. Maybe the reason why Leah's wasn't close was because she whirled around the store like a tornado.
Wandering over to the café in the store, he was relieved Tabitha and her guardian angel were gone. Instead a college age man took his order of coffee and a bagel. Zach sat down at a table and took a drink of the coffee. Not bad. From his vantage point, he could see most of the bookstore. Leah came out of the back room with a box full of books. Zach watched her file them on the shelves.
Leah looked over. That man was still sitting at the café. He is cute. His light brown hair came to gently brush against his shoulder. A white buttoned down shirt peeked out from underneath the tan trench coat. His brown boots and jean clad legs stretched out under the table. The whole room seemed to light up when he smiled at her. The man had the most unusual hazel eyes. She couldn't believe how she was drawn to him. Should I go over and talk to him? Where was he from? There's a subtle accent to his speech. She turned around and grabbed more books out of the box. Nah, he looks like he just wants to enjoy his coffee and read his books. What was more surprising was that Tabitha wasn't sitting there with him. Her sister was always the first to notice a good-looking man around. Leah was the one always telling her to get back behind the counter. Quickly, she took a look over at the counter. She rolled her eyes at the sight of Tabitha flirting with Ulrich, a handsome blond college student from Germany she just hired to work in the café. I knew that was coming. At least she's behind the counter and not causing trouble on the sales floor. I wish she'd know more about the book part of the store. She's terrible at recommendations. Her idea of reading was a magazine. Ulrich laughed at something her sister said. Leah hoped Tabitha wouldn't break his heart like she did of all of the other guys she cam
A gray-haired woman, wearing a red dress and black coat, approached breaking Leah out of her daydreams of the new hot guy in town. "I'm looking for a book on cats."
Leah faked a smile. "The animal section is this way." She led the way. "Here are the books on cat breeds." She pointed to the bottom shelf. "Here are the books on caring for a cat."
"What about dogs and other pets?"
"The dog books are on the other side of this bookcase." She pointed further down. "Here is the section for other pets."
The older woman smiled. "Thank you."
Leah glanced over at the café again. She could've sworn he was watching her. She shook her head. It must be the lack of sleep. She stifled a yawn as she returned to unpacking the new shipment of books.
Pain like a thousand needles exploded on Zach's skin for a few seconds. A demon is here. His gaze turned to the blond-haired man approaching the mortal woman. Figures, they'd send Torr Fausto. He was the best at seducing mortal women. Leah was one woman he wasn't going to get. Zach rose from the table and strode into the demon's path and intercepted him.
Torr sneered at him. "Aurelius, I can't say it's a pleasure to see you again."
"Likewise." Zach's eyes were on Leah. "What do you think you're doing here?"
"We're still in a free country." Torr grinned. "What do you think I'm doing here?"
Zach gritted his teeth. He was fighting the urge not to punch that smug expression off of the demon's face like he had several times before. He knew he couldn't do that in the middle of the store. "Stay away from her."