"So, you're..."

"Not an angel," pointed out Carus grimly. Despite the fact that I very clearly have wings, he added to himself.



The girl, barely over thirteen and all skinny limbs, pouted and crossed her arms over her flat chest. He glanced at her out of the corner of his eyes then sighed, wondering just what the hell he was doing. All he'd meant to do was rob the building and burn it to the ground after to destroy the evidence - having his conscience attack him and force him to rescue this girl from the fire wasn't in the plans.

"So what are you then?" she demanded.

Carus sighed. "I don't know. Don't care either."


"Look, kid, just get the hell out of here and go home. You know what home is, right?"

"I'm not stupid!" she snapped, eyes flashing. Then she stuck out her tongue and sneered, "And you just burnt my home down."

"You lived in a butcher's shop?"

"Yeah, so? Where do you live?"

He smiled grimly and replied, "If I told you, I'd have to kill you."

She sniffed as imperiously as a noblewoman at that. "That's so cliché."

"Don't care." He shifted and got to his feet, absently adjusting the half-cloak that covered where the back of his shirt was torn so his wings could be spread. Then he deliberately touched his hand to one of the daggers at his belt and gave her his best glower. "Find somewhere else to stay."

As he picked up his loot and walked towards the edge of the building where he'd carried her, she called out, "So...guess that means you're not my guardian angel?"

There was a bitter, disappointed tone in her young voice but Carus couldn't care less. He'd been disappointed and bitter for as long as he could remember - didn't surprise him that anyone else felt the same. Stepping up onto the edge of the roof, he glanced back over his shoulder at her and smiled bitterly.

"Sorry, kid," he said as the muscles in his back shifted, spreading his dark-feathered wings wide. "But like I said, I'm no angel." Then he launched himself off of the building, heading back towards the drab room that was his home to count his loot then sell it off to whoever could afford it like the thief he was.