The Angel of Death sped on midnight wings as the dying rays of the setting sun disappeared upon the horizon behind her. Catching an updraft she was lifted effortlessly high above the city, giving her a better vantage point to locate her prey. The rooftops of the sprawling desert city were all beginning to look the same, but no matter, the man she was after would not be found within one of the cookie-cutter, gated communities, she was headed to a seedier part of town.
Soon the homes she passed became smaller, some little more than shacks, then even they gave way to the burnt-out husks of building that were once the heart of the industrial part of the city, now left to rot and crumble.
Here, she knew, her target would be.
The angel folded her wings close to her slender body, dropping like a stone through the cooling air before landing gently upon a rooftop. Her bare feet barely made a sound as she padded across the worn surface, still warm after the heat of day. She'd descended two flights of rotting stairs before she found him, balled up and rocking in a far corner, obscured by shadow.
Her melodious voice filled his ears, snapping him out of his drug-induced stupor to stare in awe as she stepped within a shaft of light. Her tiny body, clothed in nothing more than a few strategically placed bands of black leather, nearly glowed as if from within, porcelain skin soft and unmarred. A black cloak, edges in tatters, swayed gently as she stepped, hood obscuring the majority of her face. It was slung haphazardly across the left side of her body, but on the right, pristine black feathers reflected the light at her side. As she approached him, the massive wings pulled up and back, revealing the dark angel in all her glory.
Ambrose was dumbfounded, unable to pry his eyes from her devastatingly lovely form.
"Ambrose," she said again, stepping in to kneel in front of him.
"God, you're beautiful," he whispered, wide eyes beginning to brim with tears. "Are you an angel?"
"No," she breathed, "I am the gatherer. I've come to collect."
He was pitiful, she thought. Brown hair too long, mussed and neglected. His once clear, near black eyes were glazed over and bloodshot, framed by a five-o-clock shadow and a dirty face. He still had on the remnants of a business suit, now filthy and torn, jacket lost long ago and shirt unbuttoned. His still muscular body was bare beneath, showing the pride and care he once took upon himself. His left sleeve had been shorn off above the elbow, revealing a bruised and track-marked arm.
"Tell him I'll have it tomorrow," Ambrose groaned.
"It's not your money I want, but your soul."
The girl brought a slender white hand up and removed her hood, revealing piercing eyes, a blue-rimmed silver. Ambrose couldn't help but bring one of his large, shaking hands up to her face, tracing a finger along the jaw line. Surprisingly, she allowed it.
"What's your name?" he asked, voice raspy from disuse.
"Rook." Hers, on the contrary, was clear as wind chimes.
Ambrose stood then, the girl following suit. He was easily two heads taller than her, body heavily laden with muscle. Rook found him quite attractive for a mortal man who was about to die. She took her two tiny hands, and placed then on either side of his rough-skinned face, index fingers at his temples, and closed her eyes. In no time at all she was within his mind, seeing the chain of events that had brought him here in the first place.
Three weeks ago he had been a happy, successful man. Ambrose Little worked in a huge skyscraper encased in mirrored glass on the edge of the city, putting in long hours and bringing home fat paychecks to his trophy wife.
He was content with the life he'd built for them until one day, after coming home early, he caught her in bed with another man. Ambrose was furious.
"I worked so hard to give you everything, everything! And this is how you repay me?" he'd shouted at her. She didn't even have the decency to beg forgiveness.
"I hate being here alone, this huge house with nothing but money to comfort me. It doesn't buy happiness, Ambrose! And it doesn't buy love!"
"You think that's what that is? Sneaking around with some punk kid who works for minimum wage? Is that your idea of love?"
His pretty blonde wife had looked to the boy next to her, tanned from the sun and well-built due to hours of manual labor, but he did not look back.
He stared instead at the richly carpeted floor beside the bed, the sheen of their lovemaking just beginning to dry upon his skin. She hesitated a moment, then rose from the sheets, her surgically altered body completely nude.
"Ambrose, I made a mistake," she started.
It was what he'd wanted, wasn't it? For her to beg him for mercy? To forgive her, and she'd never do it again, and she's sorry, and she loves him, wont he just look at her? But all Ambrose heard was pitiful lies, and he bored into her with his eyes like hot pokers. He'd heard enough, seen enough. There was no forgiveness here, for her or the boy who could not look either of them in the face. Ambrose turned sharply on his heel, and stormed down the hall into his office. In the third drawer of his mahogany desk lay the solution to all his problems, and Ambrose felt the thrill of an adrenalin rush before he even touched it.
The trigger guard was unlocked and dropped upon the floor as Ambrose held the Glock in his hand, spinning to storm back down the hallway. His wife had been arguing with the boy, asking why he couldn't act like a man and stand up to him, that she thought they had something good going, and didn't feel anything for her? She was practically shrieking when Ambrose walked back in. She quieted when she saw the gun.
"What are you doing?" she asked, barely more than a whisper.
"Fixing this little problem."
The boy had slid out of bed while Ambrose had his back to him, and was creeping along the wall towards the door, but he'd heard the sheets rustle when the boy left them, and knew exactly where he was heading. Ambrose turned and fired so quickly the look of shock was still crossing the boy's face as he slumped to the floor, bullet between the eyes.
Ambrose walked up to his wife, now backing up against the wall in horror, and pressed his lips to hers before sending a bullet into her chest. One broken heart deserves another.
The subsequent weeks had been a blur, he turned to drugs, left his house in shambles, gambled and drank away most of what had been in his bank account. Somehow he had ended up here, in a decrepit old factory building, shooting heroin and wondering what had happened to his life.
As Rook backed out of his mind, she came to realize his hands were upon her. He'd snaked them around her waist, holding her close with his head dipped near to her own. She should have been offended, furious, but she was not, instead his skin warmed hers and she found a sort of sick comfort within his embrace.
Help me, his eyes begged hers as he brought his head back around to face her, and something within called out to her. She wanted to be with him.
For centuries she'd been collecting souls and never felt a twinge of anything more than contempt for these disgusting, self-abusing strangers. But here he was, touching her with calloused hands, the way no one has ever done before, and she liked it.
Rook drew up on her toes, and allowed her bee-stung lips to touch his, and that slightest touch was all it took to break the floodgates within herself. Her arms wrapped up and around his neck as Ambrose deepened their kiss, pulling her against his body with crushing strength. His muscular chest heaved against her soft, round breasts, and Rook reveled in the sensation of his skin upon hers. Holding her aloft with one arm, Ambrose deftly removed her cloak with the other, sliding it up over her head and twisting his fingers into her windblown hair. Rook peeled the remnants of his shirt from his shoulders, and it fell into the rapidly growing pool of clothes at their feet.
Ambrose turned, then, pushing Rook up against a concrete pillar which stood in the center of the desolate room, and she followed suit by wrapping her long legs around his torso. Their hands were more or less free now to roam and explore each other's bodies, and Ambrose slipped one beneath the leather thong about her breasts, fingering a nipple between thumb and forefinger. Rook gasped and her hips bucked against him, increasing both of their desires.
Her fingers moved nimbly down his sculpted torso and along the top of his suit pants, unhooking the button and clasp holding them in place. Ambrose held her aloft beneath her bottom as he stepped out of the clothing, his growing manhood barely contained by silken boxers. He turned, Rook held securely in his arms, and laid her gently among the mass of discarded clothing, her wings creating a cushion of feathers large enough to easily hold them both. He removed his shorts, and then pulled away the remaining barrier between them, leaving Rook in stark white contrast against the void of black feathers.
Prolonging the moment, Ambrose took one of her nipples into his mouth, sucking and gently nipping at the little nub, as his roving hands landed between her thighs. He cupped the delicate mound of flesh within his large palm, Rook squirming beneath him, her fingers wrapped in his hair and bringing his lips to hers. She spread herself eagerly for him, but he would not take her yet, instead inserting his fingers into her moist folds and rubbing with his thumb.
Rook, never knowing the touch of a man before, was beside herself in ecstasy. Her body moved as if with a mind of its own, squirming and thrusting against his hand, her breath starting to come in little pants.
When she thought she could stand no more, he finally stopped. Rook wrapped her legs around his buttocks, drawing him in until his aching phallus touched her vaginal lips. She knew they both wanted nothing more at this point than to loose themselves within each other, and he wasted no more than half a second before plunging deep within the recesses of her body.
Rook's body arched up against his own, and Ambrose wrapped an arm beneath the small of her back, holding her close as they began to rhythmically move together.
Rook was filled near to bursting with Ambrose's large member, which seemed to grow only larger as he thrust within. The sensations from inside her body had completely taken over her mind, and the only goal now was release. Rook matched him stroke for stroke, digging her nails into his back and crying out in the sheer joy of the thing. Ambrose grunted next to her ear before pulling the little lobe into his mouth, sending her even closer to the edge. She soon felt him swell to indescribable size, filling her to capacity and setting her off like a rocket. As his warm seed spread within, Rook cried out in orgasm, clutching him as close to her as possible, their bodies shaking and convulsing against one another.
Finally she laid back, tight muscles beginning to relax as Ambrose gazed upon her from above. "That was incredible," she whispered, panting and out of breath. Ambrose smiled above her, kissing her lips one last time before pulling out, the cumulative juices of their lovemaking pooling beneath her.
She sighed contentedly.
"Amazing," she reveled.
But as Rook sat up, she realized something was horribly wrong. Ambrose, still in a daze both from the drugs and the sex, had not yet noticed. The pile of feathers beneath them now was just that- a pile of loose pitch black feathers. Her wings were gone.
"Weren't those..." he started.
"Yes." Rook didn't need him to state the obvious. Her coupling with him had been a sin, and she'd paid dearly.
Whatever tenderness Rook had felt in the afterglow was gone now, and it was back to business as usual. She pushed him aside, shimmying into the leathers and cloak, ignoring his pleading for her to come lay back down with him. She wandered over to the corner he'd been laying in when she'd first arrived, finding several syringes and the bag of heroin he'd been shooting from. She gathered up his meager supplies, and carried them over to where he lay amid her fallen feathers.
"What are you doing love?" he asked, as Rook carefully cooked and drew the narcotic up into the syringe, several doses more than he'd been used to.
Without looking into his face, she grabbed his needle-tracked arm and pushed the syringe into it, immediately getting the blood return from the vein. Rook hesitated only a moment before pushing the plunger.
Within seconds Ambrose's pupils dilated and he let out a sigh, before letting his head loll back. She let his increasingly heavy body drop back onto the floor, as his breathing slowed and his heart stopped. Job done.
Rook padded down the remaining two flights of stairs, past the graffiti covered walls and junk strewn rooms, onto the brick street below. Outside, a black Harley Davidson was propped against the stone wall of the building, looking like it had been laid over more than once. She propped it up and settled in on it, and despite it's haggard appearance it started up on the first try. Rook was pulling away as Ambrose was taking his last breath.
By the time the paramedics found him her feathers would be scattered by the wind across the city, and she would be far gone from here. The Harley picked up speed as she raced out of town, the sensation so close to flying.
She was almost contented, as she mentally received her next hit.
At least she'd not fallen completely out of the Reaper's good graces, she thought as she sped off, leaving Ambrose and his memory behind.