Mark watched the expression on his
young daughter's face. She didn't look scared or angry; she was
curious. Her platinum blond hair was falling in her face, but her
eyes, which normally looked like brooding stormclouds, were alive
"So do you have any questions?" he asked. Whitney raised her head. She shook it silently. Mark hugged her, kissed the top of her head, and walked out. He knew that she was just being nice. She had to be overflowing with questions. This had not been any normal father-daughter discussion. Whitney Draper had just learned that she was an angel, and not on a nickname basis.
Damon rang the doorbell on his grandfather's apartment. The elderly man answered it quickly and swiftly ushered his grandson inside. The entire front room was dark, lit only by candles, and there were tattered books and journals everywhere. This was its normal state. No one in Damon's family was organized, not even him. But, it seemed that that helped them think, because his relatives were some of the most intelligent people he knew. Damon and his grandfather settled down cross-legged in the plush black carpet, and soon they were deep inside the lesson, and enjoyed another long afternoon within the twists and turns of his family's history.
Mason stood in the small circular room, specifically in front of the small bay window. Through it, he could see the rest of his friends, milling around the entry, and talking about whatever was on their minds. That was pretty much all they could do. None of them dared to go outside, for fear that the Dark Alliance would strike. It was a silly fear, really. Both alliances had been at somewhat peace for several years, since before Mason took charge. Yet, there was this sense of foreboding inside Mason. Something was yanking his mind away from the solemn contemplation. He chose to ignore it. He crossed into the main room and joined one discussion, even thought he wasn't hearing it.
Jameson was hardly in a better mood. His hideout was much more damp and dark, being underground. He dressed much like his residence, in a long black coat and dress slacks. His hair, long and unkempt, hung in his face in sweaty, limp strands. His team was considerably smaller than their opponents', and Jameson was almost sure that it was due to his leadership, or lack there of. He had heard too many times that he was unorthodox and possibly unethical ways of getting what he wanted across to his………well, he couldn't even call them friends. They wouldn't call themselves that either. None of them were even sure how Jameson got to be archangel. He did. He was born to a family of them. HIs father had passed on only two years ago, leaving the kingdom he had built to his youngest son. Jameson's older brother, Cameron, had been killed in a trian accident not that long ago. But, Jameson was here now, and that was all that mattered. He brought his midnight black wings close to his body, and exited the small cavernous alcove and went before his team. They had some things to talk about.
Mark walked in
the front door, and set down the bags he'd been carrying.
"Whit! I made an office supply run!" he called down the back hallway. Even though there was no answer, he knew exactly where his sixteen-year-old was. Sure enough, she was in her bedroom, nose to her computer, reading glasses perched on the end of her nose. Her hair was falling into her gray eyes, and those eyes were darting back and forth across line after line of text. Whitney's life revolved around two things: research and everything else. Her room said it clearly enough. Stack after stack of encylcopedias covered practically every spot of spare floor that wasn't taken up by the necessities or bookcases. On those shelves were row after row after row of binders and notebooks. The binders were efficiently labeled and sorted by volumes. The notebooks were placed randomly between each alphabet section of binders. These were filled with random facts she found everywhere she went. Mark looked down at a stray binder on the carpet. The masking tape on the side read, in block letters, DRAGONS: VOLUME 2. That was Whitney's typical genre. She loved delving into the history of legendary creatures, everything from dragons to vampires.
"Whitney, you are sixteen years old, and it is a beautiful summer day. You need to get outside. That computer is bleaching the glow from your skin." Mark squeezed her shoulder. She looked up and removed her glasses.
"You try that every summer, Dad. Ain't gonna work." she argued.
"How about you just take a walk to the library or something? At least you'd get out." Mark suggested. Whitney looked at her father, really looked at him. His face was completely serious. She sighed, turned her monitor off, and after slipping her amber sunglasses onto her head and pulling a thin jacket on to conceal her back, she opened the screen door and stepped into the warm Miami sun.
It was only a
five minute walk to the small library, but if you weren't used to a
Miami summer, it felt like forever. Whitney couldn't help giggling
at a gaggle of newcomers, covered in sweat and panting.
"Hello dear." The librarian, Mrs. Hodge, greeted her. "I haven't seen you for a while."
"Yeah, I've just been busy." Whitney couldn't come up with a better explanation. She really didn't have one.
"Hey, there's a handsome boy in the fantasy secion." Mrs. Hodge whispered, and she tried to add to the secrecy by leaning in close. Whitney rolled her eyes.
"Now, Mrs. H, you know I hate it when you pick dates for me." Mrs. Hodge laughed to herself and the two parted ways. Whitney moved amongst the stacks, her eyes glancing innocently at the rows of novels. They finally came to rest on the boy the elderly librarian had mentioned. He was good looking. His brown curls were falling into his eyes as he scanned the book spines, and his navy blue eyes were just……..wow. There weren't words to describe them. She edged up next to him. It wasn't like her to flirt, but this one was too good to pass up.
"Hi," she said, offering him her hand. "I'm Whitney Draper." He shook her hand, and returned the introduction. "Damon Jenkins. Good to meet you." There was a pause in the conversation.
"So," Whitney glanced at the book he'd picked up. "Dracula? Interesting choice."
"Probably won't. It would be my third time anyway." Whitney was awestruck.
"You actually stuck with it twice? The guy practically puts me to sleep." she complained.
"He's certainly unethical." Damon noted, then snuck a casual glance at his watch. "Oh my gosh! I've got to be at my granddad's in ten minutes!" As he rushed off, he called back that it had been nice meeting her. Not even a see you soon. Whitney waited a few minutes, then left herself.