tagSci-Fi & FantasyR & R Ch. 03

R & R Ch. 03

byCorvecoupe©

Author's note: I apologize for the delay in getting this to you! It has been a hectic time in my life at the moment and I've also been working on something else, something more zombie related. I hope you enjoy and I apologize for the lack of too much plot development but I felt Rachel and Ryan needed some time to get to know each other! As always I love and welcome all comments, critiques or otherwise. Thanks and I hope you enjoy!

Chapter 3
Stranger than fiction

"A what? A fucking... a fucking what?"

"A Fallen Angel," it was scary how calmly she said it. Okay, she's insane. Get rid of her. It was way too good to be true. Accept you're an idiot and fix the fucking problem.

"Right, sure," I backed away, putting some distance between myself and the clearly insane woman. All the clues were there and I was an idiot for not seeing it. Who run's naked through a university at night? She doesn't have anywhere to go and is reluctant to answer any questions about herself. Yup a total nut job and you let her into your home!

"You don't believe me?" the calmness was now creeping me out, I was scared she was about to laugh hysterically, grab a knife and stab me thirty three times.

"No, no I don't. Listen, I really think it might be better if you leave..." My legs hit the counter, I'd run out of space to retreat.

"Fine, I'll show you," Huh what? Then I saw them. One second in front of me stood a five foot six brunette wearing a ragged hoody and an old pair of exercise shorts; the next second in front of me stood the exact same woman wearing the exact same clothes except this time there was one major difference: from her back sprouted a pair of white feathery wings.

"Those... are wings," okay a ridiculously obvious statement but give me a break, my entire world had just been turned upside down. Angels exist? And one stands in front of me right now? I looked down at my glass of wine I had managed to keep a hold of and wondered if it had been drugged. Maybe this was a hallucination? Was I going into shock? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE? I veritably screamed inside my own head.

Rachel approached slowly, as one would a timid wild animal, and gently placed a hand upon my forehead. Coolness radiated from her touch, my heart rate slowed, and my mind began to work again. The beautiful wom... angel still stood in front of me, but now instead of freaking out I began to consider the facts logically.

I found her naked lying in the rain. She doesn't know anybody and doesn't have a place to stay. She is guarded about her past. All the things that moments before made her a veritable maniac now could potentially make her an angel. It was all too much and my head was exploding with pain, despite the calming influence of Rachel's touch.

"Alright, so suppose, just suppose, I believe you. What does it mean?" Rationally it didn't make any sense; none of it made any sense, but deep down I think I knew that she spoke the truth.

"It means I've endangered you. I'm... well... there's an entire world out that you have no clue about," Her powerful confident façade cracked slightly. I was suddenly aware of how close she was. How her long delicate fingers with perfectly sculpted nails were caressing my forehead. How I could feel her warm breath play across my cheek. How her large flawless breasts pressed hard into me.

"So tell me," Calmly now, my voice had gained some control, my mind had stopped racing, and rationality had reasserted itself. For the moment, despite how unbelievable it all sounded, I was going to take her at her word.

We sat close together on the couch, despite there being plenty of space for each of us to spread out, needing to maintain the contact with one another. She told me of the world that was out there, the world which was hidden from the general society. She told me about the arcane users, creatures of myth, and about other unbelievable dangers, and to how all of these things she was a source of immense power, a power now unprotected. She told me how she had no allies, only enemies. She told me of a life I hadn't even dreamt of in my wildest fantasies.

"So, why did you fall?" It was one topic she hadn't touched upon, hadn't offered gave any clue what so ever.

"It's... complicated," there it was again, her reticence.

"Try me, I'm not too stupid,"

"I... disobeyed. I won't go further into it; it's not for mortals to know. Just understand that I've been cast out and until I can right a wrong I'll be stuck here."

"What wrong?"

"I don't know. I have one final chance to prove myself, to do something good for humanity. If I succeed I'll be taken back, if I fail... well," she didn't go into it but it was as clear as the day is long that in this case, failure was not an option.

"Oh, right," I responded somewhat lamely, waiting for my mind to supply my mouth with more poignant words, "So what do we do now?"

"Well, we wait. I'll know what it is when I see it; but for the time being I need to rest and recuperate. Just the calming I used on you right now took nearly all my strength and I should be able to do that in my sleep," I suddenly saw through the fake calm façade and saw an individual drained and shaking, a scared and desperate girl replaced the strong and powerful woman.

"Oh right, sorry," Once again my brain struggled for words. Rachel patted my knee and got to her feet, wobbling slightly. She had barely taken a step towards the bedroom before she paused and spun around. As if on a whim she suddenly moved her face close to mine and pressed her delicate soft lips against my own.

She tasted of strawberries, cream, and champagne; her lips were silky smooth and full of fire; her kiss took my breath away and blocked out every other thing in the universe. No sooner had her lips touched mine then it was over, mere seconds to the atomic clock but to me it was eons. So astonished and taken aback was I that I didn't even have time to respond before she had broken it off and put a bit of space between us.

"Interesting," That damned grin again, and with that one word she moved to the bedroom and shut the door. That click of the latch brought the universe crashing back in on me, and in that moment it was real. She had kissed me: the stars had sung, the flowers had bloomed, and I could feel the world spinning.

***

Another fitful night on the couch, another set of strange dreams, and another early rise. This time, however, Rachel emerged before I'd even finished my shower and upon exiting the bathroom I was met with a large cup of black coffee and a fantastic breakfast spread out on the table.

"Morning,"

"Morning," I responded, feeling slightly uneasy after the late night kiss we had shared: the kiss which would haunt me for the rest of my life.

"I'm sorry you had to sleep on the couch again, it completely fled my mind. Tonight I'll take the couch,"

"Thanks," I sat down and started shoveling runny egg into my mouth and chasing it with large sips of the bitter coffee.

"What's your plan for the day?" It was clear she was trying to engage me in conversation and I hated myself that I couldn't comply with her wishes. One kiss and you turn into a thirteen year old? C'mon for once don't be an idiot.

"Well, first thing first, I need to get a new phone," I looked her over and decided that as nice as my old clothing looked on her she might need some of her own, "Why don't you come with and get some clothes?"

"Well I don't really have any money," she started but I cut in before she could finish the thought.

"I've been thinking, why don't you stick with me for a while? I'm already in danger so it can't hurt having you around, and hell we'll both be safer together! And, if we team up it's the least I can do to loan you some cash," my heart raced and I tried to control my breathing. In the last five seconds I had made the biggest decision of my life. I had just extended to her the opportunity to throw my lot in with hers, to battle the underworld by her side. I'd be lying if I said it was because I was just a good guy and that it had nothing to do with the kiss. Hell, for another kiss I'd go with her to hell and back!

"Oh," That was not what I was expecting. 'Of course!' or 'That's a great idea' or even 'Oh Ryan, I love you!' those were all on the list of top things I wanted to come out of her mouth, but that one syllable, those two short letters, they were most certainly not what I wanted to hear.

"Right, sorry. Forget I sai..." it was Rachel who did the cutting off this time though.

"Ryan, you are too sweet. You don't know me at all, you can only guess at the dangers that would come with that, and some part of you must think that this is all a dream, and yet you'd still offer to do that for me? You are what gives humanity a chance at redemption!"

"Really?" I was ecstatic, over the moon, high as a kite, and a thousand other flippant, overused metaphors. So happy was I that I didn't even register upon that last sentence she had slipped in there.

"Yes, if you will still help me, I will gladly take your help," We shook hands to seal the deal and for the rest of breakfast we both wore giant grins whilst making small talk.

***

Pierre helped Angelina out of the car and shut the door behind her. He admired for the umpteenth time the way her dark blue jeans hugged her shapely behind and how the light cotton shirt shifted minutely with each step so one second she was showing enough cleavage to tantalize the purest of men, but the next she would be as modest as a nun.

"So, remind me again why we're here?" Her soft voice was perhaps her most attractive feature, almost singing each sentence as it passed her lips.

"Well Ryan said he's got a friend staying and he bag was lost at the airport, so she's in dire need of some clothes and suggested that you might like to take her shopping,"

"Right, and you just assumed that I'd have nothing better to do than entertain Ryan's friends?"

"No," Pierre responded with a coy grin, "I heard the word shopping." The soft playful slap that met his cheek was less of a chastising and more of a reminder of how much he loved her.

"You'll pay for this,"

"What was the slap then?" He asked, not picking up on her real meaning.

"Oh that was for being cheeky. No what I meant was: credit card please?" she stuck out her hand and waited until he passed over the visa card. Who said I can't have my cake and eat it too? She thought as they entered the building and rode the elevator to ninth floor.

***

"That must be them," I called out to Rachel when I heard the knock on the door. I hoped she and Angelina got on, it was hard to imagine her not getting along with anybody but Angelina could be... tricky. She was great to her friends and an amazing girlfriend to Pierre but she could be mean to those she didn't like.

"Just coming," Rachel appeared from the bedroom in a pair of my very old jeans and a purple polo shirt that had been accidently shrunk in the dryer the year before. I had to admit she looked good even in those. Her blond hair fell to her shoulders and her green eyes sparkled with a joke only known to herself. I could barely help myself from staring at her large unsupported breasts, still firm and perky, and the small slight indentation that betrayed her nipples. I finally tore my gaze away and shuffled awkwardly to the door, all too conscious of the effect she had on my body.

"Morning," I greeted, clasping Pierre's hand and receiving a brief hug from Angelina.

"Hey man," Pierre responded whilst Angelina only smiled and moved past me. No sooner where the two of them in the room then I heard a very audible sigh erupt from both their lips, it appeared Rachel didn't only look good to me.

"Hi," Rachel's melodic voice," you must be Angelina."

"Hey, pleasure to meet you," I shut the door and entered the living space to find Angelina and Rachel beaming at each other and shaking hands. Good, looks like they won't end up fighting after all!

After a brief introduction we piled into Andrew's car and set off for the local shopping mall. We joked along like old friends, which three of us were, and I was glad to see Rachel slipping easily into our gently teasing mannerisms. When we finally reached Broadway Shopping Center and parked we split up, the girls going to buy some clothes whilst I took Pierre to see about replacing my phone.

***

"So what is your normal style?" Angelina asked Rachel when the boys had left them and they were alone in the busy shopping center.

"Sorry?"

"I mean, what clothes do you normally wear?"

"Oh," Rachel took a second to think about it, "Togas." This caused Angelina to burst out laughing for several seconds until she realized that Rachel didn't seem to share in the mirth.

"Right, well let's start with personals then see where that leaves us!" She grabbed Rachel's hand and veritably dragged her towards the local Bra N Things. Rachel was astonished by the risqué mannequins posing provocatively in the display. She hesitated before crossing the threshold behind Angelina.

"Don't worry, it's not all crotch-less panties and garter belts," teased Angelina, more than a little pleased by her new friend's unease, it was nice to get one up on this stunning, funny, intelligent woman.

Rachel, having no knowledge of bra sizes, never even having worn a bra before, got fitted and was quite surprised that the 36 D was apparently quite an envious measurement. She brushed off the comment from the fitter with a non-committal 'oh' and left the fitting room to rejoin Angelina.

After half an hour, a bag full of underwear ranging from purely functional to several sexy little numbers, and two hundred and fifty dollars added onto Ryan's credit card, the two of them left the store.

For another two hours the two girls hit up store after store, buying a pair of jeans here, a couple of skirts there, t-shirts and blouses from one store, and dresses from another. Rachel was exhausted and weighed down with more shopping than she could believe when they finally left the last clothing store and sat on a bench to catch their breath.

"So shall we find the boys?" Rachel asked her new friend Angie, they had hit it off fairly well after Angelina had gotten over her initial jealously and discovered Rachel to be a truly caring person.

"Are you kidding?"

"Um... no?"

"Oh honey, we haven't even gotten to the best part yet!" After a nonplussed look on Rachel's face Angie continued, "Shoes!"

***

When the girls finally rejoined us three things struck me immediately; firstly Rachel was weighed down with a veritable mountain of shopping, secondly the girls were chatting and getting along like old friends, and thirdly my newly found Angel was more stunning than any girl I had ever seen!

She had clearly changed into a few of her new purchases and now wore a slimming white blouse under a light grey cardigan atop a pair of high, hip hugging bootleg jeans which fell lightly over a pair of leather kitten heel boots. I heard a whistle and it took a minute to realize it came from my own mouth. Well hell, she does look good!

"Hey boys," Angie greeted, sliding onto the seat next to Pierre and greeting him with a quick peck on the lips, "You get the phone all sorted?"

"Yup, brand new iPhone for the cheap price of your eternal soul," I flinched involuntarily, a few days before I would have barely registered the comment but that was before a fallen Angel had moved in with me.

"Sorry?" Rachel asked, sliding into the seat next to me, needless to say she didn't greet me in the same way as Angie had Pierre, much to my great regret.

"Pierre is an android fan," I filled her in, "It's another type of phone."

"No, it's a type of operating system," Pierre corrected, irritatingly.

"Sorry Andrew," I mocked.

"Hey, I am not that pedantic! Or paranoid..."

"Now, now," Angie broke up the friendly banter, glancing around to make sure we weren't making a scene. I like her, and there was no doubt she's the best thing that has ever happened to Pierre but she was incredibly superficial at times.

"So what's on the plan for the rest of the day?" Pierre asked.

"Fancy a film?" Angelina responded.

"Nah, just saw on last night,"

"Oh, c'mon! Titanic 3D is still playing,"

"And why would I ever want to go and watch that? I can watch in perfectly fine 2D at home for free. Do you really think..." I stopped listening to the bickering couple because I was instantly aware of the regular glances being shot our way by the two at the next table. No, I corrected, not our way, just towards Rachel and me. I'd never seen them before and was fairly certain they weren't just checking Rachel out. Maybe I'd read too many spy books, or last night's encounter scared me, but it seemed to me almost as if they were sizing us up.

"Hey, why don't we go back to mine," No, not there, just in case they follow us. My mind was spinning, trying to cope with this new world that I'd suddenly been thrown into. I knew I was probably being paranoid but hell, if a little bit of paranoia saved a lot of heartache I was happy to indulge, "Or better yet, what about Circular Quay? It's Rachel's first time in the city and it's a lovely Sunday afternoon."

"Yeah, We're in," assented Angie, speaking for both herself and Pierre.

"Alright then," we got up from the table and headed back to the car. I was relieved to see that the two men at the table behind us didn't follow or make any move to show they even cared we'd left, but I still couldn't shake the feeling they were interested in Rachel and I.

***

"So that was the Angel?" Mitch asked when the four got up from the table and headed off towards the car park.

"Yeah, the blonde one, with her protector and I assume his friends," Mike filled in.

"So why didn't we just take them? He doesn't look too fierce to me and she radiated about as much power as a freshly spawned imp!"

"Haven't you been listening? Two bats turned up in hospital last night, no real reports but from what I figure they got greedy and tried to take him on and... well now they're in pretty poor shape,"

"Two bats? You're basing your judgment on the fact that two pussy little vamps got their asses handed to them? Hell, I could do that in my sleep!" Mitch was angry, it was clearly written across his face and little tendrils of red power seeped from his pores, clearly visible to those who could see that spectrum.

"Were you to busy lusting over her long blonde hair and untapped potential that you failed to take in protector's power?" Mike's voice was low, calm and had only a hint of despair. He was all to used to Mitch's fuck-first-think-later attitude and if it wasn't for his not inconsiderable skill Mitch would have ditched him years ago.

"Oh, c'mon,"

"Look closer next time. It's true he doesn't have the gift, but that doesn't mean he's not powerful. Trust me, we don't want to go head to head with that boy."

"So what do you suggest?" Mitch asked, more than use to Michael being three steps ahead of him.

"We let the wolves do it for us of course," Michael watched the grin spread over Mitch's face and felt a slight thrill of excitement spread through his body. While his partner got his thrills from fast cars and loose women, Michaels pleasures were more subtle; nothing made him feel more alive than crafting an elaborate plot and dragging unsuspecting victims into it. It was like acting and gambling, a thrill that was both exciting and terrifying, with just one wrong roll of the dice, one line misdelivered, it could all be over.

***

"God I'm exhausted," I exclaimed, slumping to the couch and making a sigh of contented relief. I propped my feet up on the coffee table and shut my eyes, just enjoying the feeling of sitting.

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