From Anguished Immortals: Book One, Acts of the Fallen.

An Preview from Chapter Seven, Azrael…Fallen Archangel of Death

Nathan grunted as he shot up into the air, his wings up heaving the sand around the lake a little. A few in the crowd sputtered in awe at this site. Hopefully he would catch him before anything else had been discovered.
Watching him retrieve Azrael in midair made me lose my breath. I was almost sure I was too late when I told Nathan what had happened. The impact from his catch caught him off guard, and both of them crashed into the lake we parked near, which Azrael could have drowned in. Nathan swam to the shore, with Azrael barely hanging on for life. Then Nathan sprawled out on his back, panting for air.
“He’s still heavy,” Nathan said in between breaths, “So he’s fallen, but he still has his wings.”
“I don’t understand,” I said, sitting next to Azrael and petting his face, “Zerachiel killed Zeus in our realm, how did…”
“Because He’s God!” Nathan roared, sitting up, “You nim witted super beings are very forgetful, aren’t you?”
Azrael was unconscious now. Nathan and I glanced at each other as the group of people came up to us, looking bewildered. I knew what he was thinking, so I placed my hand on his arm.
“Nothing to see,” Nathan said, trying to explain.
“But…you…” a young man stuttered.
“Must’ve had your fair share of beer!” Nathan exclaimed, pointing at the young man’s can., “and whatever else you do here…”
He looked at the can for a moment, then dropped it and ran off. Everyone else stood around and watched as we picked Azrael up and carried him to the cab. Nathan assembled himself in the front, then turned the key in the ignition. As we left, the E.M.T.’s arrived.
“Where are we going to go?” I asked, trying to keep my hair out of my face.
“We can’t go back to his house, I have a feeling Zerachiel has either destroyed it or he will,” Nathan answered.
He took a sharp turn onto the freeway, which caused a few cars to swerve. Then he rolled up all the windows. Nathan seemed as calm as ever, even if he drove like a nut case.
“This makes me wonder,” I said, watching Azrael.
“Wonder what?” Nathan asked, peering in the review mirror at me.
“How long Zerachiel has been planning this…”
“Who knows, but now we need to figure out how to take him down. We have an advantage.”
“What is that?” I asked, puzzled.
“Since Azrael didn’t complete his job, and I’m sure other angels have been lied to, Zerachiel can’t travel back here. One reason would be he wouldn’t make it, he’d be shot down as soon as he left Olympus’ atmosphere. The second reason is because he is of a higher ranking, if he isn’t killed on sight, he would have to meet with God face to face. I don’t believe he’d be able to handle that. So he’ll stay where he is.”
“What a coward…” I said in disgust.
Azrael moaned slightly as Nathan switched lanes to an exit. He curved the round about then went down the street. I wasn’t sure where he was headed, but he was quiet and kept his eyes on the road.
Soon we were in a residential area. And then Nathan parked in front of a small but tidy house. He came to the right of the cab and opened the door. Then he pulled Azrael out, and put him on his shoulder. I followed behind him, trying to keep up. As soon we were in the front room, he carefully placed Azrael on a old rugged couch.
I sat down next to him instinctively, and ran my fingers through his curly hair. He opened his eyes in shock, but when he saw me he smiled and closed them again. I wondered if he knew he was dead or alive. Or even more so…if he meant to smile at me. I was just glad he was living, and wasn’t seriously injured.
Azrael’s pulse was racing wildly in his wrist, as he held a high temperature. His lips were slightly parted with his eyes slit. I started to examine his forehead and was shocked at my discovery. Not a single burn, scratch…abrasion. Nothing. He fell hundreds of thousands of miles from another realm, through atmospheric gasses…and he was spotless.
Azrael rolled over on the couch to lay on his stomach, then his left hand uncurled from the fist it once was in. I started to rub his back and study the structure of his muscles. I scooted up a little closer and placed both of my hands on him and started to rub it slowly.
Pushing his tattered shirt up, something caught my eye. Near the top-middle of his back it was extremely hot, but soft. Soft as if the skin were meant to be tender. I started to rub around this area, unsure of what would happen.
Maybe touching his back was a bad idea after all. Azrael shot up off of the couch, then fell on his knees screaming in pain. His wings seemed to have propagated and were flapping at a high speed.
This was causing everything in the room to be engulfed in what felt like hurricane strength winds. I tried to move closer to him to calm him down, but he stood up, grabbing his head, his vociferate ringing my ears. I was frightened at what I saw, but I couldn’t help to gaze at Azrael in amazement….”

By J.C.S.

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