Whitney called her father and told him she was spending the night at a friend's house. It was a childish excuse, but what else could she do? If she thought herself a skeptic, her father was worse. Damon apparently didn't find this a good excuse for her excuse.
"You couldn't have come up with something better than that?"
Whitney didn't dignify that with any kind of response, but instead tried to get Mason talking.
"Mason, would you care to explain what this all has to do with me? I mean, something tells me my dad didn't give me the whole story."
Mason chuckled. "That's because your father didn't have the whole story. We don't exactly advertise around here."
"Who is 'we'? I mean, this is Miami. It's hard to go unnoticed."
Whitney knew this all too well. Her father said that she was a very private person in a very public place. Perhaps these people had the same complex.
"We're the Light Alliance, or the good guys, if you will."
"Quick question. What was that thing that tried to eat me?"
Mason sighed. "Which one, Apollo or Luna?"
"Both for that matter. Neither of them seem to like me too much."
Damon interrupted. "Luna just needs to get to know you, but don't even try getting to know Apollo. Talk about a simple way to get your throat ripped out." Whitney's hand went instinctively to her throat. This got a laugh out of Damon. Whitney didn't find it very funny.
Mason regained control. "Both of them are half werewolf. Apollo's half took him over long ago, but Luna still has a bit of self-control about her. Still, better watch your step. She can get pretty primal."
Whitney was sure all the color had drained from her face. "You guys sure are a lovely group. Still, what do all of you, what does all of this have to do with me?"
"Your dad told you you were a pure angel, right?" Damon asked. Whitney nodded. "Have you ever tried out your…..abilities?"
"Sure, but I was real little. My mom got pretty worried about me, so I haven't tried anything in years. It was hard to even think about it after she died."
"Can you still do it?"
Whitney couldn't answer Mason's question. She felt the ridges on her back where her wings came out. They had hardened with the lack of use.
"I can try."
Whitney suddenly wasn't sure if that was so true. When she was younger, her methods had been rather unorthodox, and even they hadn't been practiced in almost a decade.
"How do you do it?" she asked of Mason. He seemed to be taken aback.
"Well, uh, I don't know. I guess it's just instinctive. I don't know what to tell you." He glanced over at Damon.
"Here." Damon came to her side. "Take my hand." Whitney looked up at him. He smiled his crooked smile. "Just trust me."
So, he intertwined their fingers, and a cold shiver raced up Whitney's spine. She wondered if this was what they meant by "love at first sight". Suddenly, there her wings were, hanging silently behind her.
"How did you do that?" she asked.
"It's emotionally targeted." Mason thought aloud. "Good thinking, Damon."
"Thanks." He winked at Whitney. Both of them knew what emotion this instance had been triggered by.
"Alright." Whitney cleared her throat. "Now that we know I'm fully functioning, can you two please explain what all of this has to do with me? Don't leave anything out."
Everyone sat down. Mason started. "Whitney, in Miami, there are two 'groups' of legendary creatures. We are the Light Alliance."
"The good guys." Damon interjected.
Mason gave him a somewhat dirty look. "Yes, I suppose you could put it that way. The Dark Alliance on the other hand……"
"They're pure evil."
"Damon. I can handle this."
"Thank you. You see, Whitney, they think the rest of mankind should know of our existence, and that they should fear us. We, on the other hand, eleive that it is better to keep ourselves to ourselves."
"So, that's why you guys have been fighting about for thousands of years?" Whitney asked.
"Basically, yes. Now, for the past few hundred of those years, we have been at what can only be described as a very uncomfortable standstill. No one has dared to make any kind of move. That is, until you came along."
"See, that's what I don't get. I've been in Miami for sixteen years. Why are they choosing to care now?"
Damon took over while Mason went downstairs to fill in the rest of the group. "Pure angels have to be a certain age before they can take on the responsibilities they are assigned. That age is typically around 16."
"So, what, they want to kill me? Why?"
"Because." Damon got right in front of her. "The appearance of a pure angel has always been known to be the end of our standstill. In every ancient text I've read, it's been recorded that this is the time for the two alliances to come head to head. But, the Light Alliance has the upper hand."
"Why's that?" Whitney asked.
"We have you." Damon chuckled at the confused look on her face. "Pure angels have all the qualities of a normal angel, but they're multiplied. You are the only one who can help us take down the Dark Alliance, and they know it. That's why they want to get rid of you. But, we're not going to let them, don't worry. I'm going to take good care of you."
"Come on, Damon. I'm sixteen, not six. I can handle myself."
"No offense, but you don't know the Dark Alliance. They are ruthless. You truly don't stand a chance alone."