Fallen Protector

Prologue

Henrik and I stepped over dead grass and overgrown weeds. It wasn't often that the two of us would be eavesdropping over the Fallens, but curiosity always kills the cat. We duck behind a few bushes, listening in to a group of them standing a few feet away.

"The Archangel's daughter. Of course, if we kill the girl, we draw the Archangel in and we get our powers back." Henrik shoots me a warning glance as we duck further in and continue to listen.

"How do we know the Archangel will come?" One of the small, weaker men ask. There must be half a dozen, maybe even less. They huddle around a fire pit, their only source of warmth in this winter. Illinois always has terrible weather-summers are too hot and winters are too cold.

"He will go after whoever killed his child. We just have to make it look like a mortal murder. Nothing unordinary." As they began plotting how they would kill this girl, Henrik side steps over to me, whispering in my ear, his breath warm against my lobe.

"We're going to have to tell the others. And stop them. They're a clever little bunch." I nod and step forward to hear more of what the men are saying, but my sneakers land on a thin layer of ice on the ground, and crack it. The Fallens crane their heads in our direction, and that's our cue to run. Henrik and I twist quickly, running through the dark, dead forest preserve to find our nearest way out. We run side by side until I hear one of them yelling.

"Throw some branches!" the boys yell. I curse loudly as rocks start hitting my back. Bigger ones hit my legs and lead me off in a different direction than Henrik.

"Andrew!" Henrik yells back to me, but I've already lost him.

"Keep running!" I scream out to nothing. I know he won't find me again, and I know I'll be caught. Soon enough, as expected I'm tackled over, and as I roll around in the gravel with whoever attacked me, everyone approaches me, quickly ripping open the back of my shirt.

I'm already screaming loudly, thrashing in everyone's arms. There's three of them on me; too many for me to handle, especially because I'm on the ground, at a vulnerable state. I feel a piercing and it is then that I realize something.

They're ripping out my wings.

I don't know if it's a way to scold me, to get back at me for listening, or because they're desperate to make me weaker, and them more powerful. But I can't think about anything but the pain that overwhelms me, making my numb all down to my toes. My white, broad and strong wings that used to extend far out from my back, now ripped out, from these crazy psychotic Nephilim-the half Ange/hald human breed. I'm screaming and tears burn a trail down my cheeks. I've never endured such pain in my life-short life for an Angel, but even still. I'm only seventeen, and my wings are gone, damning me here to Earth forever.

A good half an hour passes of the Nephilim beating me up and whipping my back, which leaves me drenched in my own pool of blood. They run away screeching before I can see their faces. I doubt they even saw my face as they ripped out my wings. I lay in the woods for the remainder of the night, unable to move. If I were to lift a finger, waves and waves of pain would jump over me and cause me to faint. I am going to kill these Nephilim at any cost, and stop whatever they're trying to do to get their power back.