Finally, I have the time to sit down and update my stories!!!

Chapter Eleven

Royce and I stood on the border of Louisiana and Mississippi. Ralph was still in the car, with the window rolled down.

"God go with you," the angel said. He still looked just like Jimmy Stewart.

"He will," Royce replied.

And Ralph turned the car around and floored the accelerator. I had always heard how fast angels could fly. But I had never heard how fast they drive. I should have known.

"Why can't he go with us?" I asked Royce quietly.

"He has other business. Angels aren't like God. They can't be everywhere at once." Royce smiled wryly. "I guess you aren't too confident to be traveling with just me. Not after I got shot. Sorry protector I am."

I shook my head. "No, Royce. You are a great guardian. Besides, you were shot saving my life! It says in the Bible that no one has more love than the man who would lay down his life for a friend. I guess you are the person with the most love that I know. How could I say that I am not confident in you?" After that bit of rhetoric, I felt awkward and I looked down at my feet.

Royce was quiet. I looked up at him. He had one hand on his hip and he was looking up at the stars. He looked like a hero. "Come on, Mary," he said, turning to smile at me. "Let's go."

"Where?" I asked, smiling madly at him. Why was I smiling like that?

"To meet my sister."

Two miles down the road, my legs were shaking and my breath was coming in short, quick gasps. "Royce," I said, "I'm a swimmer, not a walker. How much farther?"

"Not too far." Royce was walking along the road in an odd pattern, looking behind us, before us, to each side, his eyes scanning the forests and the road. "Did you notice that no cars have come down this road?"

I suddenly forgot my exhaustion. "Oh my gosh. You're right." Of course he is, I thought. He's my Welsh knight. Hey, that's a rhyme.

"We could be in danger." Royce stopped walking and I stopped with him. He reached out and took my hand in his. His long, slender fingers were cool against mine. "Listen."

I closed my eyes and concentrated on hearing. My ears were pricked by a rustling sound in the trees to the right. My eyes opened, surely with a frightened look, and I turned to Royce. "Royce, in the trees. I hear it. What is it?"

"It's them."

Them. I didn't even ask. It was the demons. The ones who were looking for me. They had caught up to me at last. Where was Ralph? Had he failed in keeping some of the demons at bay?

Suddenly, out of the darkness of the forest, came a flock of winged creatures. Their skin was dung brown and the had red eyes. They had human-like forms, but their back legs were bent like a frogs. They were naked, but there was no hair on their bodies. Their skin was totally smooth, except for the wrinkles on their foreheads. They had man-like faces, but their noses were grotesquely long and pointed, as were their teeth and ears. And their eyes were terrible. There were about six of them. And in an instant, we were surrounded.

"Royce!" I cried.

Royce caught me to him, holding me tight against his strong, slim body. "I didn't want it to end like this. Mary, I'm sorry."

"It's not your fault," I said, my voice shaking.

Out of the shadows of the forest crawled the Shadow Meers, four of them. There was no way the two of us could defeat such an army!

"Mary," Royce whispered in my ear, his voice hoarse. "May I kiss you?"

"Yes," I said. I knew that I wanted him to.

He turned me to face him and there was something in his blue eyes that I could not read. Did he want to kiss me because he liked me or because death was imminent and he wanted one last good moment?

It was too late to ponder, for he was suddenly kissing me. And suddenly I knew that he really must like me. He was kissing me passionately and I was kissing him back. His arms were around me, pulling me to him, and suddenly, I noticed that I had one hand on his neck and the other caressing his face.

Good Lord, I thought. We must be in love.

We finally pulled apart and just stared at each other.

"I didn't expect that," Royce said quietly.

"Neither did I," I said. I noticed that his arms were still around me. "Royce--"

There was a loud screeching sound. One of the flying demons was signaling the others. They were closing in.

"Oh, God!" I cried, half in prayer, half in fear.

Royce jerked me to face him. "Kiss me again!" he cried.

So I grabbed him and kissed him--hard. If this was the last thing I would ever do, I would do it well.

We were so caught up in the kiss that we didn't notice the bright light that scattered the demons, saving our lives, so caught up in the kiss that we didn't notice the big Hummer driving up and stopping beside us, so caught up in the kiss that we didn't notice the woman stepping out of the Hummer.

Royce was just starting to kiss my neck when a voice interrupted us.

"So, Royce. I see that you must be enjoying this assignment."

We froze, looked at each other, then turned to face the woman. I suddenly realized that the demons were gone.

"You saved us!" I cried. "Thank-you!"

She was a very small, very pregnant woman with red hair and huge cobalt eyes. She smiled at me and shook her head. "Never thought I'd find my brother making out on the job."