His Name. Of course...
Instinctively, Nathan held the boy more tightly and stepped back. He wouldn't make the same mistake twice, and he had to be certain this was the real Micah first. "I have to be sure," he muttered softly, and then, before the angel could asked, just as quietly spoke his Name under his breath.
Micah stared at him and stopped moving closer, then sighed and lowered his head, shaking it slowly. "I can only imagine what must have happened for you to summon me by Name and not trust that I am already standing before you..."
"I just had to be sure," the writer repeated, relief washing over him. It was Micah. He hurried forward and gently handed the child to him. "I found the key to the freezer and had to go inside because you can't cross the barrier..."
"Not now." Micah quickly took the boy up in his arms. "Let me tend to Dexter first."
The writer bit his lip, folding his arms while he watched in silence. The angel ruffled his wings and placed two fingers on the child's forehead, then closed his eyes. A warm, comforting light began to glow under his fingers tips, and slowly, color returned to the boy's skin. He stopped shivering. His breathing became stronger. He opened his eyes.
Nathan couldn't shake the odd sense of familiarity. He knew he'd never met this kid, but there was something about him that nagged at the back of his mind, and he couldn't quite put his finger on it. He didn't have time to think about it either, his shoulder suddenly becoming icy cold.
"Lumiel needs to do damage control." Gabriel moved beside Nathan, his hand sliding to his arm. "The Sins seem to be doing their best to expose the true nature of things to... well, everyone. He's going to refabricate events to make them more mundanely plausible, but in order to do so, and to make it easier for you, I'm afraid you're going to need to be in a more dire situation than you really are."
"Wait, what? Why?" Nathan tried to pull away, but the angel held firm.
"Don't worry; it's only for the sake of appearances. You'll be fine."
"You know he will still remember the truth," Micah reminded him, his wings folding back and vanishing while he adjusted his hold on Dexter. The boy remained quiet, but wrapped his arms around the angel's shoulders and closed his eyes again, leaning against him. Micah sighed. "Everyone who has been involved with this..."
"Will only remember what they saw specifically," Gabriel cut him off. "And even then, the other two have very good reason not to speak up. They knew beforehand anyway." He looked at Nathan again. "Wren survived. It wasn't his time, but he's very shaken. Susan called emergency as soon as they got outside. I have to make it look like you weren't the one who hacked his arm off. I need to make you look like a victim too."
"Okay, okay, but wait a minute." Nathan managed to pull away from him this time. There was still one question he had to have answered first. He had to know. He stared Death in the eyes. "Where's Enya? The letter mentioned three people: a young man, a boy, and a young woman. Alton and... and Dexter..." He looked back at the child. They had known he was Micah's charge. They knew he would be forced to protect him above all else. "The woman was pretty heavily hinted to be Enya," he continued, looking back at Gabriel. "We haven't found her yet. What about Enya?"
The angel drew a deep breath and frowned. "Safe. She was never in any danger. Don't you see, Nathan? That letter was nothing more than a ruse: bait to draw you in. Enya is not here." He raised his hand and touched his forehead. "We can discuss it later. Dormi."
"But..." Nathan never managed to finish his thought, let alone his sentence. That single touch sent a freezing chill through him, like a rush of cold water suddenly coursing through his veins, and then everything faded to black.
For once, he wasn't surprised to open his eyes and find himself staring up at the white ceiling of the hospital. He was supposed to be another victim, he remembered. Still, Nathan didn't like feeling disoriented, and he wondered how long he'd been out and what story the angels had come up with in the meantime. He slowly began to sit up, but paused when he saw that he wasn't alone in the room.
Sitting in the guest chair, wringing her hands nervously and staring at the floor, was Susan. She looked up when Nathan moved, and smiled at him anxiously. "You're awake. How're you feeling?"
"Like crap." The writer winced as he finished sitting up and leaned back against his pillow. "What happened?"
Susan stood and pulled her chair closer to the bed. She told him as much as she knew. She had gotten out with Wren, but only just barely. When they were trying to get the teen to safety, she panicked when Nathan suddenly wasn't there. "I still don't know what happened to you," the photographer admitted. "One moment you were there, then there were these red eyes and... and you were just gone." She twisted her skirt in her hands. "Then that red-eyed angel showed up and I thought we were all done for."
"Gabriel," Nathan told her. "His name's Gabriel. He's my guardian." Somehow, this fact seemed less reassuring than before. "And the angel of death."
"Yes, he said as much." Susan smiled weakly. "He said that Wren would survive, but I had to call the police. He helped me get outside with him, then told me to wait there while he went back inside for you." She laughed a little. "He thought it was funny when I asked him to promise that you'd be okay."
Nathan wasn't sure what to make of that either and looked at her quizzically. "You did?"
Her cheeks turned bright red. "Well, I... yes. It-it was my fault y-you were there in the fir-first place. I-I brought you the letter..."
"It wasn't your fault." Nathan sighed and smiled at her gently, leaning back into his pillow. "We didn't know."
"I still almost got you killed." Susan looked at the floor again. "An-anyway, before the police showed up, Gabriel came back and said that he found you and that you'd been locked in the freezer too. He said there was going to be a lot to explain, but for now, when the police asked questions, just to tell them everything that didn't relate back to the Sins. And to say that when I found Wren, his arm was already gone." She chewed on her lip and looked back up at him nervously. "He said that we had to keep the truth as secret as possible, because if people learn the truth, things would become worse. I'm not sure what he means, but I don't doubt that we wouldn't be believed anyway."
"It's... complicated," Nathan agreed. "I have a feeling that, once they let me out, you and I will both be having a long discussion with Gabriel, Micah, and Alton." He frowned. "What am I in for anyway?"
"Moderate hypothermia. You were locked in a freezer, remember?"
"Oh, right." That made sense, he supposed. That's probably why he became so cold when Gabriel knocked him out. At least he wouldn't have to stay too long, he figured. "Susan? Can I ask you something else?" He smiled at her again, hoping that his next question wouldn't offend her. "How long have you been sitting there? I mean, were you waiting for me to wake up?"
Again, her face turned bright red. "Yes," she squeaked, though she did smile back. "I was really worried about you, Nathan."
He couldn't help but laugh. He met her gaze and shook his head. "Worried? After the angel of death promised you I'd be fine, why would you... be..."
His smile began to fade and he felt the blood drain from his skin. When his eyes locked with hers, he noticed something he hadn't before.
Susan had violet eyes.