The next morning the house was filled with the sounds of cleaning and bacon as Bree scurried about the house trying to make herself useful. For the first time in almost a week she was way better then she ever imagined she would. At the same time though, she was nervous about the night a head. So many things depended on their success that at times it felt extremely overwhelming to her. By doing these few simple things though, she allowed herself the freedom of distraction.
"Well good morning beautiful. Is that bacon I smell?" Anthony asked smiling as he came down the stairs. Bree jumped away from washing one of the door windows in shock. Anthony just laughed and pulled her into a good morning hug. Bree gently pushed him away.
"Get off me. I smell like lemon and pine oil." She grumbled, still she smiled at him.
"Well excuse me for giving the most beautiful girl a hug."
"Someone is in a really good mood this morning." Came the third voice of the house. Bree took a few steps away from Anthony to see Marc coming down the steps still dressed in his pajamas.
"What are you doing? We still have to go to school today." Bree barked at him.
"I can't mom. I am sick. Cough, cough." Marc yawned making his way to the kitchen. "Mm mm I smell bacon."
"If you're sick dumb ass, you can't eat bacon." Bree hollered after him. Marc came back into the hall way with a piece of bacon between his teeth.
"Oh no, too late. I wish you told me sooner, oh gosh. Now it really looks like I am going to have to stay home today." Marc replied. Bree threw down her rag and walked towards him about ready to tear away the bacon between his teeth. Finding this extremely amusing, Marc took the bacon out of his mouth and started waving it around over Bree's head so that it was just out of her reach.
"You're such a child!" She yelled in frustration.
"Then stop acting like my mother!" Marc echoed back. After one final attempt, Bree was able to snatch the meat from Marc and throw it in the garbage. When that was done she stormed out to pick up her rag and continue washing the windows. Not really caring what was going on, Marc grabbed another piece of bacon and made himself a breakfast sandwich.
"Sometimes I swear…" Bree began to say under her breath as she jumped up to get the corner of the window. When no one replied she stopped what she was doing and looked around the room to see if she was all-alone. However to her surprise she found Anthony, sitting there on the steps, all pale and ghost like.
"Anthony?" She asked dashing over to him. Before he had a chance to reply she put a hand on his forehead.
"It's been coming in waves. Just let me sit here and ride this one out. I will be fine in a few minutes." Anthony mumbled leaning up against the stair railings. His skin was hot to the touch, and his face was starting to glisten with sweat. Bree gently took his arm and started helping him to the couch in the living room.
"What are you doing?" He asked her a little dizzy.
"Taking you to the couch where you can lay down. You will feel better if you do. I think you have the 24 hour flu like I had." Allowing her to help him lay down, Anthony closed his eyes to try and keep the world from spinning too much. He felt Bree lift his head and place a pillow below it. Carefully she draped a blanket over his body.
"Well, well, well. What have we here?" Marc asked spying on the two of them.
"Get out, Marc." Bree hissed trying to shoo him away. Instead of doing what she asked, Marc just made his way to a chair and sat down to watch some TV. Bree just rolled her eyes and started heading towards the kitchen "I am going to make you some chicken broth okay." Anthony just nodded and continued lying there with his eyes shut. After Bree left Marc leaned on the arm of the chair closest to Anthony.
"So…are you two…going out?" He asked. Anthony opened his eyes slowly and grumbled,
"I didn't get this flu from just hanging out with her you know."
"Whoa! Dude second base! Yeah! Now that's my boy!" Marc squawked with excitement. Anthony was about to open his mouth to say something else but thought better of it, slowly turning his sick face back to the TV. Marc on the other hand just stared up at the TV very happy for his friend. Nothing else was said as they both watched the TV as it droned on. It wasn't until a few commercial breaks later did anyone say anything when Bree walked back in, balancing a bowl of soup on a tray.
"I know you aren't feeling well, Anthony, but I need you to sit up." Bree hummed gently to him. Nodding Anthony did as she asked and sat up. Carefully she rearranged his blankets before placing the TV tray over his lap. Marc watched as she did this and when she sat down to watch TV with them he said,
"What? You're not going to feed it to him too?"Bree glared at him. Anthony on the other hand just asked Marc to stop, as he continued to slowly scoop the broth into his mouth. He was surprised at how right Bree was about the broth helping him to feel a little bit better. It wasn't a whole lot but it was a little, which was better then nothing.
"Oh come on man. I am just joshing with her." Marc chuckled. Anthony looked at him begging him to stop. Sighing Marc finally did as he asked and the three of them just sat there and watched the TV like there was nothing going on. It almost felt like they were just a regular group of teenagers, and since it felt so natural that's what they did all day. Never before did they have the chance to do what normal kids do and they took advantage of it. However, as all good things do, the day was slowly coming to an end, and ironically Marc was the first to notice this.
For the first time that day, Marc peeled his eyes from the screen and looked over to the couch. There both Bree and Anthony were huddled together beneath the blanket, just sleeping. It was odd to Marc because they both looked so happy, like for once their dreams were untroubled. He sat there a moment just admiring the two of them, whishing it was someone else that had to wake the two of them up and not him. As he got up and wandered closer to where they were sleeping Marc couldn't help thinking about what a sorry looking bunch they were going to be. There was Bree with her arm all wrapped up. Her skin was decorated with bruises and cuts. Then there was Anthony who was sick with the flu, and just as pale as the blanket that covered him. How about himself? Marc cringed at the thought, but he didn't have his wings. They were a group, who had been beaten down almost to the point of their physical bodies breaking. However, they were a strong group in the idea that nothing could break the alliance and trust they had just recently developed between the three of them. It was the family they all needed.
Deciding to let them sleep a few minutes longer, Marc trudged upstairs to start getting ready. Going straight to his closet he found his chainmail that would go under his angel uniform. It was made of a white gold and warm to the touch. It was the strongest defense of it's kind and yet the lightest. Admiringly, Marc allowed his fingers to graze the surface of it, then with out thinking he began to strip down to his underwear to start changing into his fresh garb.
Down stairs a cell phone started ringing, startling Bree so bad that she nearly punched Anthony in the face just from trying to sit up. Anthony woke from Bree's sudden movement.
"What?" He mumbled.
"My phone." Bree replied jumping off the couch and dashing to her bags in the closet. After a few seconds of searching, Bree's hands were grasping her phone only to find that she had a missed call from her mother. Worried that something was terribly wrong Bree hit redial and called her back. Anthony waited patiently on the couch for Bree to return but when she didn't he got up and went to the closet.
"Hello? Mom?" Bree asked quietly. She had her face turned into a corner. Anthony leaned up again the door way and just watched her.
"What?" She asked. There was more silence as she listened to closely, however the longer she listened the more her frame seemed to sink. Something was wrong, but then again, when wasn't something wrong?
"When?" She asked again. "I'll think about it." Her voice had suddenly turned sharp and angry. "I said, I will think about it." She growled into the receiver. Her shoulders began to stiffen with anger. Finally after another brief silence she just mumbled a good-bye then hung up the phone. She stood there for a few seconds just staring at the wall as if she was nothing more then a statue.
"Bree." Anthony called to her gently. She jumped at the sound of his voice and a hand went to her face before she turned around to face him. Faking a smile and looked up at him with the bluest of blue eyes that Anthony had ever seen.
"What's wrong?" He asked not believing the smile.
"Oh, it's nothing." She even attempted a giggle.
"No. There is something wrong. What is it?" Bree began to bite her lip. Shrugging she looked at the floor and said,
"No its nothing really. Good ol' Dad just over dosed. That's all. He's going to be alright. Besides why should I care, it's not like he's ever cared about me." Her voice began to rush towards the end. "Anyway. I need to go get ready. We probably have to be leaving soon. Graveyard duty you know." She started to walk out when Anthony caught her arm to stop her. Nothing was said, he just pulled her into his chest and hugged her tight. Unable to stop herself, Bree hugged him back for a few seconds before letting go.
"Really though, we need to be getting ready." Nodding Anthony let go of her. She started walking up the steps towards her room and he just watched.
"You don't always have to be so strong Bree." Anthony finally said. Bree stopped her hand on the rail. Looking off her left shoulder towards the wall she just nodded and continued up the stairs. When she knew he was no longer there she bit her lip one more time before saying,
"But I have to." Then continued up the stairs to her room. On her way up, Marc came slipping down in his uniform, looking ready for a fight.
"Oh, your up." Marc said in surprise.
"Yeah. It's about time to leave." Bree laughed.
"Is something wrong?" Marc asked.
"No. Just tired, that's all." Nodding Marc continued down the stairs to the kitchen where he started making sandwiches. There he found Anthony sitting at the counter in deep thought.
"What's up man?" Marc asked heading towards the cabinet for the bread.
"Bree's dad is in the hospital for over dosing." Anthony replied quietly.
"What?" Marc asked stopping what he was doing.
"Yeah. But that's not what I am worried about, I mean that bastard can rot in hell for all I care, it's Bree. Man, I know I've seen this so many times before, but it never fails to amazing home much someone can love another who hurt them."
"It's her Dad." Marc replies as he starts making the sandwiches.
"I know. " Anthony nodded getting up from the table.
"Where are you going?" Marc asked.
"I am going to get dressed." Anthony mumbled.
"You're still sick." Marc protested.
"Yeah, and Bree's arm is still healing, and you don't have any wings. In all honesty I am in the best shape."
"What ever man." Anthony was about to say more but just waved it off and slowly continued to his room to change into some better cloths. After that nothing more was said as they all came back to regroup into the living room. Anthony did a quick review of the game plan, then they all put on their jackets before piling into his pick up and headed to town.
The ride was silent as they all waited for the inevitable to approach. Bree kept her face staring out the window unseeingly and Anthony had his eyes trained on the road. Marc, however, watched the two of them. He couldn't help but feel that something more had gone on between the two of them, but he couldn't tell what. Finally giving up on guessing Marc broke the silence.
"Pity it's a full moon tonight. Usually Ami and I would be going on a date." Bree stiffened at the sound of Ami's name. They still hadn't told him about how she was actually a Corvus now, instead of an Angel. Clutching the arm rest, Bree did her best not to blurt it out.
"Yeah. I think I remember Ami saying something about that." Bree said nervously.
"Hey, Bree it's okay. Anthony already told me. There's no need to talk in code or anything." This one comment livened the environment of the truck as Bree's head snapped towards Anthony. Her eyes were infested with heat and anger that spilled out on to her face.
"You told him?!" She hissed.
"It's not what you think Bree." Anthony said calmly. Bree stared at him, as Marc laughed wildly in the back seat.
"Wow, I never seen anybody get so embarrassed about one make-out session." This earned a glare from Bree. Marc just laughed and wiped a tear from his eye as he tried to sink into his seat. She was just about to crawl over the seat and strangle him, when Anthony announced that they were there. Everyone froze.
It was time.
"Well. Here we go." Marc laughed nervously.
"Yeah." Bree agreed untwisting back into her seat.
"Let's get out there before it gets any darker. The sun is already down." Anthony had suddenly assumed his usual position as the leader, and the other two followed. Meeting in front of the truck, Anthony handed them each a flare.
"Is this it? It's just us?" Marc asked. Anthony just nodded.
"Okay now spread out." Was all Anthony said. The three of them faced their own directions, clutching their weapons and distress signals. It wasn't long after that, did all the light of day disappear leaving them at the mercy of the moon and street lights. After a while Bree decided she would go visit her sister. She was just about there, when something stopped her. Someone was already there. Clasping an arrow, she got closer and was just about to take aim when they spoke to her.
"What are we doing here Bree?"
"Ami?" The shadowy figure stood up to her full height and took a better step into the light.
"I mean we are just kids. What ever happened to growing up?" She asked. Bree relaxed a bit, but never let go of the bow.
"What do you mean?" Bree asked.
"You and me. We are immortal now, frozen in time like helpless teenagers."
"We are only as helpless as we allow ourselves to be." Bree replied.
"I know. But did you ever imagine anything like this happening to us?" Ami asked. Bree looked at her wondering what she was trying to do. When she said nothing more Bree decided that she would supply a reply.
"No." It was simple but it seemed to do the trick.
"Exactly. That's what I mean. When we were younger we always knew we would grow up. To be honest I was excited about growing up. I was going to go to college, get a degree, meet a great guy, get married and have a family. Then when my babies were grown up and my husband and I grew old we were just going to sit on some porches some where watching sun rises." Bree didn't know what she was going to do because this was all confusing her. Weren't they suppose to be fighting?
"What are we doing here, Bree?" She asked again. "Why are we doing this? We've always been friends before this. What happened?"
"You know what happened." Bree spit, her hands tightening on her arrow. Ami started crying.
"I know, and you act like I had a choice! The worst part is that you were there. You saw him force me to betray you and even try to kill you." Bree didn't know what to say. Anthony had told her that the Devil had no power when it came to free will, but at the same time Bree couldn't just believe that Ami would turn like that. Ami had always been a sweet girl, good and honest. Ami was right, what were they doing there?
"You understand now don't you? You see how I had no choice, don't you?" Ami was starting to beg for understanding, and Bree wanted to so bad, but Anthony's voice continued to pound away in her head.
"The devil has no power over free will." Bree states.
"Do you really believe that? He is the devil for pete sake! He breaks all the rules and does what ever he wants all the time!"
"But the free will is what makes us human."
"Made us human Bree. Neither one of us are that any more."
"But we had had it when we were human and at the time of our decisions be come who we are now." Bree argued her voice revealing her struggles.
"That's what they want us to think, Bree. But there were still rules that controlled our lives, and who we were."
"Now you're talking nonsense. We need rules to separate the chaos from peace." It was obvious Bree was confident with this answer, which made Ami life.
"Really now. How's it living with all those rules? Don't you ever feel restricted?"
"No." Bree answered truthfully.
"Really now. How about that rule that forbids us from being friends?"
"We are still friends." Bree replied.
"But we can't be. It's our nature to kill one another."
"But I don't have the urge to kill you." Bree said. Ami stopped, shocked and molified by her response.
"What do you mean you don't have the urge to kill me?" Ami asked.
"I just don't. Do you have the urge to kill me?" Bree asked. She watched as Ami began to walk backwards almost stumbling over her own boots. Then she repeated herself.
"Ami. Do you have the urge to kill me?"
"Enough! I am tired of this. Stop lying to me! Surely it is killing you just as much as it is killing me to resist the urge to murder you on the spot." Ami screamed in pure rage, suddenly she began to change, her whole being becoming more horrifyingly beautiful then before.
"Since I can not seem to reason with you. I have come to the conclusion that I will just jump to the subject. Join me, or die. It's just that simple."
"Could you really kill your best friend?" Bree asked. Then without warning Ami swooped down upon Bree, holding a hand full of Bree's hair and pulling it upward with a dagger at her throat.
"What do you think?" She spat in Bree's face.
"Ami don't do this." Bree begged. Ami just laughed.
"To see you quiver before me is a rather odd sight. But if you could see the look on your face. I think you would laugh too. Now what's you're answer."
"Kill me." Bree spat back at her. "There is nothing on this earth that could persuade me to join you."
"Oh, really?" Jerking Bree's head to the right she forced her too look at what looked to be like an angel being held down by three very large statues. She peered at it, squinting to see who it was, then his blond head popped up, his face bloody from a broken nose. Ami snapped her fingers loudly, and one of the statues grabbed a handful of his hair to jerk his head back. A knife placed on his throat.
"Anthony!" Bree screamed.
"What's your answer?" Ami asked again, this time applying pressure to Bree's leg just on the verge of breaking it.
"Bree. Don't." Anthony shouted. Then a loud popping noise erupted through the cool night air and causing Bree to scream.
"BREE!" Anthony echoed. Ami laughed again, quickly becoming amused with the whole situation. Getting annoyed with her, Anthony began to struggle with the demons that held him there.
"Don't bother Anthony. Their fists are made of iron." Just then one of the demons head popped off causing it to fall over.
"Oh yeah! No one tries to kill my friends." Yelled yet another voice. This time everyone's attention was directed back towards where the demon had been standing, to find Marc in his spot. Ignoring the complaints, and screams from Ami, Marc took out the second demon just before the other just dropped Anthony and took off. Not stopping there, Marc then came charging at Ami, pushing her off Bree, and throwing her to the ground where he trapped her with his own body. The dagger in his hand posed to kill her, but that's where it stops.
"Marcus." She said lovingly, as she caressed his face with her hand.
"I don't understand." He said looking at her.
"Oh but don't you." She played with him.
"Your just an illusion playing with my mind!" He was just about to kill her when she grabbed his face and kissed him.
"Am I?" She asked humming in a pleasant tone. Marc was frozen with confusion as he continued to stare at her. "You wouldn't kill me would you?" She asked. At this Marc got up off of her and backed off. Ami laughed as two more demons came out of no where and began to beat Marc.
"Marc!" Bree screamed, but no matter what she did she couldn't get up because her leg was broken.
"Bree stop. Just hold still okay."
"She's going to kill him, Anthony!" She cried. " We have to do something." Ami's fingers snapped again, signaling for the demons to stop and just hold him so that he was facing Ami. Ami got up from the ground, and walked up seductively to Marc before taking the sword from his belt.
"You are foolish Marc. You should have killed me when you had the chance. But then again you have always been weak. Have a nice life Marc." Ami laughed kissing his face one more time before posing the sword strike. Bree was struggling to get up and run to Marc's aid, but it would seem that she was going to be too late, when something remarkable happened, causing Ami to scream.
"Don't misjudge kindness and civility for weakness ever again." Anthony whispered in her ear, just before removing his dagger from her back. Ami let out a little choking noise before falling to the ground, ice cold and dead.