‹ Prequel: Shadow Kiss
Status: This is the sequel to Shadow Kiss. If you have not yet read Shadow Kiss all the way through, then please do so before continuing with this story. Thanks! And remember comments are always appreciated!

The Freeing Blood

Chapter 15

Chapter 15

I sat in silence beside Mary as I mulled over everything she had just told me. Zak and I were destined to always meet. In one way or another, we were going to meet for the sole purpose of me saving his soul.
I turned to Mary as another question popped into my mind. “Did God know that we would fall in love?” I asked, my heart beating faster in anticipation of her answer.
Mary chuckled slightly and tossed her curls over her shoulder. “What a silly question to ask,” she answered with a twinkle in her uniquely colored eyes.
I smiled in relief and laughed softly at myself. “Maybe so, but I wasn’t for sure if maybe He hadn’t planned for that to happen. And that maybe since it had, He would get angry or something. You know, having one of His angels being in love with a demon.”
“Zak isn’t a demon,” Mary corrected. “Zak just has its shadow growing and living inside of him. That doesn’t make HIM the demon. Even if that WAS the case, God would never be so cruel as to break apart two people destined to love one another.”
I nodded, a small smile playing around the corners of my mouth. “I suppose that you’re right.” My gaze dropped to the ground at my feet. The plush green grass swayed slightly in the gentle breeze; the delicate scent of wildflowers tickled my nose.
“I really do love him, you know. I will do anything it takes to save him,” I whispered unsure if she would even be able to hear me.
Mary didn’t comment for the longest time, I was afraid she HADN’T heard me. My gaze slid back to her only to see those swirling hazel eyes boring into mine with a kind of sadness.
“Even if it meant that you would die in the end?” she softly questioned.
My eyes widened infinitesimally at her question before I could feel my head slowly bob up and down in a nod.
“Of course. I would gladly give my life to save his. As long as I knew he was safe,” I answered boldly making sure my gaze never once faltered away from hers. She needed to know that what I had just told her was the absolute and utter truth. Death was just a small dot on my screen when it came to saving Zak. I would do anything for him.
Mary smiled as if she had only asked that question to reaffirm how I felt about Zak.
“You haven’t yet asked me the one question that is most important, though,” Mary teased nudging my shoulder with hers.
I arched a brow waiting for her to continue.
“How to save Zak,” she answered.
“How, Mary? Tell me how to save him.”
“Do you remember how I brought you back here?” Mary inquired.
I scrunched my eyebrows together as I thought back a couple of weeks. “Yes, I remember, why?”
“So then you recall how I shoved my hands deep inside your chest and basically restarted your heart?” I nodded my agreement.
“Well, it’s something like that I suppose. I don’t…” Mary sighed. “I don’t really know the specifics. God said you would know how to save him when it came to that point. That it would just suddenly click inside your head. He did give me something to tell you though.”
I quirked a dark brow in curiosity and tilted my head to the side. I tucked my rich brown hair behind my ear as it began to fall across my face. “Oh? And what did He tell you to tell me?”
“He said, ‘Thou cannot defeat power greater than thine own’,” she reiterated.
Mary shrugged her tiny shoulders. “Don’t ask me. You’re expected to know what He means by that.”
I sighed in frustration. “I’m not a true angel of His, so how the hell am I supposed to know what He means by that?”
“Like I said, He said it would click in your head at the right moment.”
I shoved my hands back through my tousled waves gripping at the sides of my skull. I needed to know what He meant NOW. Not later when my life could possibly be at risk. I growled in aggravation at the entire situation. Why explain in detail about my duty as an angel if the frigging guy wouldn’t even tell me how to save the man I loved? At least with a slightly better description then ‘thou cannot defeat power greater than thine own’. This was infuriating! I didn’t have the time to waste trying to figure this out! I needed to find Zak!
I whipped around to face Mary; my hands gripped her fragile shoulders tightly. “Mary, where is Zak? Is he ok? Will I be able to get to him and save him in time?” I shot off one question after another.
Mary sheepishly grinned. “About that…” she nervously chuckled.
My eyes went wide. “Please don’t tell me it’s too late to save him,” I breathed trying to hold back the tears that burned at the edges of my eyes.
“No, not completely, but listen to me very carefully, Aerolynn. He’s not Zak anymore.”
“Do you mean…the darkness…?”
Her eyes shone with sorrow as she spoke, “I’m afraid so. It’s completely overtaken him. There’s not much of him left. When I had last seen him lying there on the floor, he—”
“WHAT?!” I cried out shaking her lithe body slightly. “Are you telling me he’s dead? That the darkness—”
Mary’s small hand slapped across my cheek making me lose all thought. The side of my face stung with the force of her slap. I lifted a shaking hand to my cheek completely shocked at what she had done.
“Would you stop interrupting me and jumping to inane conclusions?” she huffed angrily. “He’s NOT dead. He passed out from the inner battle he’d had with the darkness. While he was vulnerable, the darkness took full control of him consuming the little that was left of his soul. It has a tight rein over him now. So that’s why I came to you as quickly as possible to explain these things to you. I figured we would have more time than this for me to explain, but it appears that the darkness has grown at a faster rate than expected,” Mary quickly explained.
I lowered my hand; a fierce determination replacing any thought and feeling I had been having. “Where is he, Mary? It sounds like time has run out for us.”
“He’s at the lake beside the MacMiller house. He was lying on the small beach last I saw him before I came to get you.”
“You mean he was there the entire time?” I gasped in slight shock and outrage. He had been that close the entire time?
“I guess so. I’m not sure. But you need to get to him quickly, Aerolynn. Otherwise, I fear we might be too late.”
I was already dashing for the car before she could even finish her sentence. I couldn’t believe he had been so close within my grasp this entire time. And here Nick and I had been thinking he had traveled farther away than he had. I almost wanted to laugh out loud with joy at the mere thought. I knew Zak wouldn’t go far. Or if he had been planning on it, he had first stopped by the place where he had planned a surprise for me. A place that held memories for him. A place that held memories of us.
I stabbed the key into the ignition and roared the car to life. I turned the car around and tore out of the cemetery flying down the small country road racing for Zak.

~~~~~~Luke’s P.O.V~~~~~~

I counted the money in the cash register when the bell rang signaling someone’s entrance. I lifted my head and tipped my head at Mason. He was still covering for Aero which I didn’t mind. I knew Aero needed her rest and plus today was her birthday. She kind of deserved the day off to spend some time with her…boyfriend…
My heart throbbed with a stabbing pain like someone had sliced open my heart and had merely pinned the wound together with thick needles. I sighed. I couldn’t control who she loved any more than I could control my love for her. I was just glad to see he had returned to her just in time. I’m not sure she would have survived if she hadn’t known Zak was waiting for her to wake up.
“Yo, dude, what’s up?” Mason greeted sliding behind me and leaning his back against the counter beside me.
I shrugged. “Not too much. Just counting up the money in the drawer to make sure everything adds up right.”
“You mean you can count? And ADD?” Mason gasped in shock. I shot him a dirty glare before breaking out into a smile and shaking my head.
“That’s fair, I suppose. I’m still amazed at the fact that you can read something that has no pictures to help you,” I retorted with a chuckle.
Mason laughed. “Dick,” he smiled shaking his head.
“So what does your sister have planned for her birthday?”
I wasn’t sure why, but that one question shifted the entire atmosphere surrounding us. It had gone from being playful and carefree to dismal and distressing.
“I’m not sure. I hope she’ll be ok though,” he sighed turning his back to me and snatching out his apron from under the counter.
“Oh…I see. Because I was going to stop by the apartment later and give her something,” I informed him fingering the object in the side cargo pocket of my pants.
Just then a car that looked eerily familiar flew by the store. For a moment, as the car raced by, time slowed to a crawl. Through the driver’s side window I could see the determined face of Aerolynn focusing on something beyond the road. Under that determined mask was another emotion: fear. What had her so frightened, yet determined that she was breaking all speed laws in the country to get to it or away from it?
“Mason, cover the store for me,” I mumbled as I slammed the drawer shut now that I had officially lost all interest in counting money.
“What? Why?” He asked confused.
“Just…do it. There’s something I need to do right now that is urgent,” I snapped at him slightly irritated. The longer I stood talking to him, the greater of a distance that came between Aerolynn and me.
“Don’t fucking snap at me!” Mason retorted. I didn’t have time to argue with him as I ran out the door to my truck to chase after Aerolynn.
I didn’t know where she was going or what she was going to do, but I had a sinking feeling in my stomach that whatever it was wouldn’t end well.