I'm really not sure I can make a decision like this without knowing what I'm getting myself into, but I don't really want to risk Avery turning, say, me into gold without a way to reverse it that doesn't involve walking all the way to the bookstore. I just don't know...
Nathan shifted his weight from foot to foot, shaking his head. "I don't know, Alton. Can I have more time to think about...?"
A loud banging on the door downstairs cut into his question and startled Avery enough to make him clamber to his feet. "Alton!" More banging. "Alton, I know you are in there! Let me in!"
"No time," Alton said quickly, grabbing Nathan's hands and tugging him forward, forcing him to lock eyes with him. "Listen carefully: take the fire escape and get Avery out of here. I'll keep Micah distracted for as long as I can." Nathan felt his hands become numb and tried to pull away, but the shopkeeper held him there. "You have to trust me, Nathan. I assure you, the cost is mine, not yours."
He released him and moved to the table to clean up their meal while Avery shivered in fear, not sure what to make of this. Nathan grabbed the teen's arm, hands still tingling from whatever Alton had done, and dragged him towards the stairs leading to the roof. As unsure as he was about this, keeping Avery away from Micah was far more important. The banging downstairs grew worse until they heard the door crash open, followed by angry stomping that grew louder and louder and louder. "LUMIEL! YOU HAD BETTER OPEN THAT DAMNED DOOR!"
"Go!" Alton hissed at them, eyes flashing briefly as he rushed to the door leading downstairs. Nathan didn't need any more prompting as he shoved Avery ahead of him and closed the door to the roof stairwell behind them, just as Micah burst into the room.
"Where is he?" the angel demanded. "I have had enough of your games, Lumiel! Where is the first Sin?"
"Micah," the other man said smoothly, as if he had no idea what he was talking about. "Why the fanfare? I was on my way down to let you in..."
Avery was shaking so badly he could barely move, even with Nathan trying to urge him forward. "Come on," the writer whispered. "While he's distracted."
"Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit..." Avery kept muttering over and over.
"I said enough games," Micah growled. "Where is he, you little snake?"
Nathan didn't know how long Alton was going to be able keep Micah at bay, so he grabbed Avery around the waist and carried him as best as he could up the stairs. Lugging the teen along was hard enough, but when he was half-way up the stairs the door swung open. Micah glared up at him, eyes very clearly glowing with a furious amber light. "YOU!"
"Fuck!" Nathan used all the strength he had to run the rest of the way. Avery screamed, Micah swiftly shortening the gap between them, Alton close behind.
"Michael! Please" the shopkeeper begged, catching his arm and trying to pull him back. "He's just a boy!"
"He is a Sin: a Sin that needs to be destroyed! Get off, Lu!"
"No, Michael. I can't let you hurt him..."
"GET OFF!" Micah swung around and struck Alton across the face, knocking off his glasses and sending him tumbling down the stairs behind him.
"Fuck!" Nathan shouted again as he and Avery exited onto the roof, crashing forward into the garden. The teen landed on his knees along the pathway, while Nathan scrambled to keep going. "Come on!"
"Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god..." Avery had started mumbling instead, the pavement beneath his hands turning into gold. "I'm gonna die, oh my god..."
Micah was right behind them, his eyes falling immediately on the young waiter. "Avarice," he sneered, moving his hand to his side, a sword materializing in his grasp as he drew it back. "A lesser sin, but as deplorable as all the others..."
Avery cowered, covering his head with his hands. "I don't want to die..."
I have to do something!