Bella, Mortimer, and Enrique were standing in the waiting room of Willow Creek’s hospital, waiting for word on their best friends condition. After Tatiana’s collision with Sophia at the dance, she fainted and was unresponsive.
She was rushed to the emergency room then sent to intensive care because her vitals were becoming increasingly weaker. Doctors couldn’t explain the events taking place, but the crew of friends were quite nervous for Tatiana and felt at a loss.
Mortimer offered to get everyone some coffee whilst they waited, Bella decided to join him if anything for the change of scenery. The waiting room was becoming too stuffy and it represented so much ugliness for her at the moment.
Just when Enrique thought he would have some alone time to call his boss and ask for a favor, he heard the waiting room door open. A foul stench filled the air. He was hopeful for a good report from the doctor.
When he turned around to see who walked in, he was surprised to see a Doctor by the doorway, simply because he was a former Dr. and not the one he was expecting. “Adriel, I should have guessed by your smell, what are you doing here?”
“You question me being here, but isn’t that obvious, for this be a perfect place for harvesting souls my little cherub. Besides, I have a family member to concern myself with. I have a special interest in her surviving until adulthood.”
“I am not your little anything, and your presence will be of no help to Tatiana, I suggest you leave.” Enrique was losing his cool but was quickly able to reign it in.
The Reaper laughed maniacally, “I find it humorous that you believe I would listen to anything you said. You minstrels forget that you have no lordship over the likes of me. Tell me, Enrique is it? Does your team know you are here? Or is disobedience the way of things in the Garden of late?”
Enrique wanted to pull Adriels head clear off his decrepit body, but the truth is, he had no jurisdiction in the dimension Adriel currently resided, infuriated he continued, “Did you have anything to do with the loss of Juliette?”
“Le gasp,” he pretended to act surprised at the news that Juliette was no longer a part of the living, “… has she departed to the Garden little cherub? Let me guess, you arrived to the scene too late? Well, ’twas not I who seized her life, I assure you, however, know this valiant warrior, the Thibodeaux’s are not the only supernaturals in town.”
Enrique was completely caught off guard, of course! Why didn’t he catch on sooner? He had sensed a different supernatural scent since his arrival, but he was so wrapped up in finding Buddy, then completely distracted with Tatiana. It was all he could do to pay attention to anything else.
Adriel amused at the show of emotion Enrique was reflecting grabbed a stool and drug it to face him. Then sat down front and center, “I would have thought you Guardians of the Emotions and Conduct Division (ECD) were a bit, what’s the word I’m looking for…ah yes, brighter.” He emphasized the last word caustically.
Enrique’s eyes started to lose their hue and were immediately replaced with vivid pink color, he clenched his jaw and furrowed his brow. There was so much he wanted to say and do, but Adriel was encompassed by a dark dimension he didn’t want to penetrate, for he would be lost forever.
Adriel gracefully stood placing the stool back in its place, “Awe, little cherub, do not fret over me, I truly am harmless to you. Unless of course, Tatiana passes on, then you would do nicely for my exchange. However, I have had a particular taste for Fey essence for what seems like an eternity, it suits me well. Don’t know what Guardian essence would do to me. Yet, do not misunderestimate, I would be willing to find out.” He meant that whole heartedly, and then stated the obvious by saying, “It looks as though you are vested in the Fey as well, albeit for personal reasons, cherub?”
Adriels probing and the disparaging nickname was irritating Enrique. The correlation with Tatiana was grating not because his feelings weren’t genuine but because he was wearing his heart on his sleeves and this abomination was quick to the draw. The fact that he could do nothing about it was maddening, “You would have to leave the comfort of your dimension to exchange with a Guardian Grimme, I encourage that, fully.”
If the reaper were to leave his dimension to perform an exchange of power with a Guardian it would leave him susceptible, the thought pleased Enrique. “Oh no my little cherub, I won’t give you the pleasure of such an act just yet, besides, Tatiana isn’t going anywhere I will make sure of it.”
Adriel looked deep within Enrique. A trick he picked up the many years he’d been harvesting souls, and realized Enriques true depth of innocence to his involvement in this story, “Incredible, you did not know cherub, that Tatiana is your soulmate?”
“Your words are not amusing.” Enrique was not so sure Adriel was lying to him. He was many things, but not so often a liar.
“Believe what you will cherub.” The Reaper dismissed, “You see I have friends in low places, they tell me many things. That golden nugget being one of them.
Your partner, Buddy is it?” Enrique flared his majestic wings at the mere mention of his partner, “Ah yes, there you are,”
It pleased Adriel to know he struck a chord, amused at his achievement he continued, “He was sent to arrange a new relationship for our budding little Fey. When your boss found out you were her partner he quickly arranged another less supernatural companion. ‘Twas Mortimer who was to replace you. That was Buddy’s mission. The reason why he was sent to this dimension without you.”
Enrique was so enraged and so worked up he couldn’t stop his body from reverberating, “If you are lying to me…” He whispered in pain.
Adriel disregarded Enriques threat, “Your boss knew the moment he saw your file that if you were to ever lay eyes on her, you would be besotted. Of course, the E.C.D. could not allow such a union. Two supernaturals together? Nonsense, they would never allow such an offense! Not since my dear Celeste and I…well, you know the rest of the tragic story.”
“Enough, with your deceptions!” Enrique pleaded more than demanded.
“Buddy had already hexed Mortimor with the love sap you Guardians use to manipulate the heart.”
“We do not manipulate Adriel, we set the worlds on a righteous path to avoid violence, pain, and destruction that can only be triggered by things of the heart.” Enrique defended his alliance, his commitment.
“You do not need to share your boy scout pledge with me cherub, I believe you. Sadly, the day that Buddy was to hex Tatiana, she turned him into a tiny plastic form instead. Witches are crafty that way.” Adriel remembered Abigail’s betrayal and was promptly incensed.
Silent and tortured, Enrique was torn by this news, his partner was harmed by Tatiana, but why? On the other hand, why did Buddy or the Division not tell him about the mission, about his hand in it all? Everything was becoming clear, but his heart was growing clouded.
“Oh bother, I sense the presence of a human. ‘Tis time for me to take my leave, humans bore me so, but I have a feeling our paths may meet again. After all, you are my great grand daughters beloved are you not?”
Before the Reaper left he pivoted to face Enrique one more time, “Oh, by the by, stop delaying the inevitable and do something about our common pest, Sophia. While I appreciate her attempts to keep me energized with all the souls she is hurling my way, it is not their time to depart just yet. There simply isn’t enough of me to go around and she can be so trifling can’t she?”
To Be Continued…