Edge of Thorns 4 - Pt 40Part 40
She's still very young. I think I know just the thing to make her smile...
The writer thought for a moment, then smiled gently as he walked back to Lidia and knelt down in front of her. "How about this," he offered as he signed his request. "You help me make a snowman, and when we're done, if you still want to, I'll take you back inside?"
The child chewed on her lip, then looked past him towards Alton. The angel had already instigated a snowball fight with the other two, and all were laughing merrily as they threw snow at one another. Lidia rocked on her feet. Slowly she looked back at Nathan and, with a hesitant smile, signed back, "Okay."
Nathan gave her a reassuring smile of his own and stood, taking her hand as he led her back out into the snow.
At first, Lidia only watched, still glancing back at the door inside every minute or so, as if it might disappear if she didn't check. She was looking at that door almost as much as she was watching Nathan turn
Edge of Thorns 4 - Pt 39Part 39
This just doesn't seem like a good idea...
"I don't know," the writer said as he looked back and forth between the remaining orbs, then back up at Alton. "It's one thing to have me pick a Sin. I'm not sure it'd be wise to let any more out than we have to..."
"A load of help you are," Scott said with a snort. He rolled his eyes while he surveyed his options again. "The way I see it, either we have some control, or we let Alton keep control, and (no offense, Mr. Sterling) somehow I feel more comfortable not letting the Devil hold most of the cards."
"Technically, I still do." Said Devil gave him a mischievous smirk. "It'll be your three Sins to my four."
"Yeah, well, three to four is still better than one to six." Scott scooped up an orb, pinching it between his thumb and forefinger. "Guess I'll go with the orange one."
"Gula," the other two men said in unison, Nathan not liking the look on Alton's face as he waved the last orb away. The shopkeeper ste
Edge of Thorns 4 - Pt 38Part 38
Best to cover the basics, but not worry him about the further problems I've created. That will come soon enough, I'm sure.
The reporter snorted as he pulled himself up from the edge of the mattress, popping his back as he stood. "Then spill it, Kink," he teased with a smirk. "Don't leave me hanging if it's nothing like that."
Nathan allowed himself to ease -- more so his coworker didn't become too suspicious than actual relaxing -- as he relayed the information he felt was safest to tell. "Alton's okay," he began. "Turns out that whole thing this morning was some ruse of his to get Gula under control. With recent developments, he wanted to make sure she was under heel and not out on the loose."
"Really? No shit?"
The writer nodded. "Yep, and call me crazy or stupid, but I believe it. I've done enough Bible and Lit studies to know that, though he's the Devil himself, he's going to play fair. As he put it, stacking the cards against me takes the fun out of the game.
Edge of Thorns 4 - Pt 37Part 37
Ira is strong and Gula is clever, but neither will do me much good if they're against me. Guess that only leaves...
The writer watched the orbs make one more revolution around the demon's fingers, considering his options, then plucked the yellow one from the group. It warmed in Nathan's hand and hummed, vibrating slightly. Alton smiled and nodded his head approvingly.
"Which did you choose?" he asked, the remaining two fading into nothingness.
"Rita... I mean, Avaritia." Nathan curled his fingers around the yellow orb. "I figure going with the one who's been the nicest might work to my advantage. She's the only one who hasn't tried to kill me yet."
Alton laughed. "I thought you might choose her. It also means I won't have to conjure up a replacement for her in Enya's band. I'm sure she'll be happy about that." Then, with a deep breath, he wrapped his hands over top of Nathan's. "Now, close your eyes, Karol. I'm going to send you back to where you were. I'll be mak
Edge of Thorns 4 - Pt 36Part 36
It's worth the risk.
Nathan stared at his hand and drew a deep breath. Trust. He was having a hard time trusting anyone lately, but after everything that had already happened, what did he have to lose? His life? He'd already made an enemy of one angel and lost the protection and friendship of another; death was the least of his worries. He took Alton's hand. "One more time," he agreed, looking up and giving the demon a thin, weary smile. "I've made enough mistakes today already. I hope I haven't made another."
Alton chuckled, squeezing his hand. "You're willing to risk getting hurt again. That's a step in the right direction. You're lucky, Karol. Many who have been in your situation have crumbled because they were too afraid to trust someone, too afraid they would only be hurt again. Your trust in me -- despite my reputation -- shows me you're making progress. Gabriel would be very proud of you."
A knot formed in Nathan's chest as he released his hand, and he frow
Edge of Thorns 4 - Pt 35Part 35
Nathan dug his fingers into his knees, pulling them up against his chest. The wind howled outside, and thunder cracked loudly, but for once he was too upset with himself to be afraid. What had he done? What had he done? The question echoed painfully in his mind while he cried, the tears coming quickly and hard, blurring his vision before he shut his eyes completely to the stairwell. Where's your head at, Karol, he asked himself. Why do you always make a mess of things? Why do you always ruin things with your stubbornness? His whole body ached and shook. He'd made himself completely alone, just like he always did. Stubbornness. Nathan was crying so hard his throat was hoarse. Why did he always make these stupid, stupid mistakes?
The jerk to the back of his collar and the solid crack his head made against the cold ground knocked the air from him, made his eyes snap open as the darkness spun in front of him. Completely disoriented, it took at least a full minute for him to
Edge of Thorns 4 - Pt 34Part 34
There are no easy answers, and if I'm going to figure this out, I'm going to have to make a sacrifice...
Nathan steeled himself, knowing the consequences of his decision. He didn't want to lose Gabriel as his guardian, but was it worth remaining willfully ignorant of the truth? He kept his gray eyes locked with the angel's despite their furious glow, and drew a deep breath before he finally answered:
Gabriel's eyes ceased glowing, but his expression remained the same: brows gently furrowed, lips drawn taut in a thin frown, and eyes narrowed as he blinked free a light trail of tears. He stared at Nathan, as if he hadn't heard him, as if he were waiting for his real answer, but soon he drew a short, shuttering breath. "Very well," he said quietly. "But once I have answered you, you must never ask me again. Even though I'm sure you've already figured out what my answer will be, you still insist that I tell you. You still... wish to forfeit my protection