Fern screamed, clinging to Elijah’s body like a lifeline. His skin was torn, his face bruised and swollen, his pale blue eyes wide open and lifeless. She howled in horror and shock, gathering him to her and trying to blink away the hot tears drowning her vision.
Sobbing, she blasted him full of all of the healing power she could muster. Nothing. Her tattoos recoiled and flooded forward, surging downwards in a blaze of white and pulsing into her fiance’s prone form. She tried again, reaching desperately, trying to force his system to restart.
She didn’t care about the blood that soaked into her dress and covered her arms to the elbow like grotesque gloves. She didn’t notice the blood slowly trickling out the side of his mouth and out of one ear, just focused on his eyes as they blazed white-hot with her power and faded again, still blank and dead.
She barely felt the arms wrapping around her, hardly heard her mother’s voice over her own wailing. “…have to stop! Ferny, I’m so, so sorry! I’m so sorry but you have to stop this! Please! Stop!” Fern tore her gaze away from Elijah for a second, fearing that if she looked away he would disappear again, every last trace of him warping away for good.
Farrah knelt beside her, her arms wrapped tightly around her daughter, speaking through her own tears with a strangled voice. “Baby, I’m so sorry, but he’s…Eli’s gone. Fern, please stop. You’re only hurting yourself.”
Fern felt her face beginning to crumple, the tears starting up again in earnest as her mother tried to console her. She managed a watery “No,” and limply pushed Farrah away, grabbing for Eli again.
His body was so much colder than she remembered, the blood on her hands rapidly cooling and clotting stickily. She stroked a hand over his broken face, leaning close to him. “Come on, Eli, this isn’t funny anymore, wake up.” She sobbed. “Wake up! Come on, you have to wake up!” she cried, shaking at his shoulder back and forth. “Come on! Please!” She collapsed on top of him, weeping uncontrollably.
Dimly, she heard running footsteps and a loud gasp from behind her. She dismissed the sounds altogether. Her whole world, her future, her best friend had just been torn apart in the blink of an eye, his body too broken to go on. And for what? Why did Eli have to die? For Abby? For that thing?!
She snarled, levelling herself up to glare over her shoulder. “You.” She growled. She locked onto that green-eyed stare and held it. “This is all your fault!” she hissed, lurching unsteadily to her feet and staggering towards Abby. “You did this!! You killed him!! You killed him, you monster!!!”
A small, strong hand gripped her shoulder. “That’s enough, dear.” The calm voice of her grandmother said, slicing through her rage.
“No, it isn’t!” Fern shrieked, ripping away from Serena and stalking forward. “Elijah is dead because of her--we signed up to defend a human. Not an abomination!”
With a deafening roar, a beam of pure golden light filled the room in a terrible, powerful blast, flinging Fern and one of the chauffeur stand-ins backwards. Fern landed in a heap in front of Serena. She was lucky; the other angel had cracked his head open on the baby-grand piano, and blood poured from his skull like a faucet.
A creaking and groaning came from overhead, and Fern looked up just in time to see the chandelier, an opulent gold and crystal confection, plummet earthwards. She braced herself for impact that never came. Gingerly opening one eye, Fern saw why.
The twisted, gently smoking remains of the chandelier landed softly beside her, courtesy of her grandmother, she saw by the graceful, spidery glowing markings that faded softly on her skin.
She turned to stare at Abby; the girl was just standing there, inside of an untouched 2-metre radius. Outside of that perfectly circular space, the walls and hardwood floor were scorched with deep-black stripes. Cracks ran up the walls, splitting the plaster like veins. Fern shook her head in horror. “What the hell are you, you freak?!”
She felt like vomiting--how could they defend this thing? She was a bomb with no countdown, a pin-less grenade that had landed in their hands. She had liked Abby, she truly had, but…but she hadn’t wanted this. This was all too much. And Eli…She felt the tears threatening to rise again, and held them at bay.
“She’s dangerous!” She stated to anyone sane enough to listen. One of the Warriors her mother had called in after they got back to the house stepped towards Abby, nodding to one of her comrades. They both accessed their powers, their eyes burning bright with Holy light.
“Wait!” Aiden jumped in front of Abby, arms outstretched to halt them. “Are you crazy?! She doesn’t have control over her powers. Stand down!” They stared at him, not letting go of their power. “I said stand down! That’s an order!” He barked authoritatively. “She isn’t trying to hurt anyone, but someone else is going to die if we don’t all calm down right now!” He shot Fern a pointed look, and she averted her gaze.
The words “someone else” hung in the air over them all, and the tension in the room was nearly palpable.
The only sound in the room was Abby’s heavy breathing, which rapidly grew ragged and uneven, large, tearing gasps wracking her body. The angels all watched in alarm as the girl hyperventilated for a few seconds and suddenly collapsed to the ground in a dead faint, Aiden barely managing to catch her.
Fern could only stare at her fallen form, thinking that she would give anything for Elijah to just be unconscious instead of…instead of…
This time, she didn’t try to hold back the tears.