The Angel's Attachment
By Mell Eight
Prompt: before I met you
"The contract isn't acceptable!" Kerr's boss snapped on the phone. "I can't show something so horrible to the client, let alone get the damned thing signed so the company can go ahead with the transaction!"
"Sir," Kerr tried to interject, but was instantly spoken over before he got the chance to ask what the heck was going on. Just that afternoon his immediate supervisor had praised the contract as one of the best to come off of Kerr's desk. There was also an email in his inbox from the company in question assuring him they would sign it the moment it landed on their desk.
The only hurdle remaining had been Kerr's boss agreeing to the terms laid out. But, Kerr was up for a promotion this year; a promotion that put him in direct competition with his current boss. Needless to say, he was being hazed.
"Go in to the office at once and fix this! It needs to be in the client's hands when business hours begin in the morning and I can't let the courier take it until after you've fixed the mess you made!"
"Sir," Kerr tried again, only to be greeted with the harsh slam of the phone on the other end of the line being slammed down. The beeping that greeted Kerr's ear a moment later told him the call had been disconnected.
His boss had called from his home line, not from the office. He was asking Kerr to go back to work, after hours on a rainy night, when he himself was no doubt snuggly tucked in front of his TV at home.
Kerr ground his teeth at the thought, even as he gathered his keys and coat and went to locate his shoes. He didn't need to actually change anything in the contract to get his boss to okay it. He just needed to give his boss the satisfaction of knowing about the inconvenience Kerr had to go to by driving in to the office, logging into his computer, and resending the document.
Hazing, just like he had thought. But he wanted the damned promotion and once he had it his old boss would only be able to lick his wounds in private.
Kerr pulled his car out of his garage and drove out into the quiet neighborhood tucked into a corner of suburbia. The highway was also empty at this time of night, his headlights and windshield wipers the only things visible through the dashing rain.
The office wasn't far from where he lived, and Kerr was soon taking the exit off the highway into a more urban sprawl of streets and buildings that led to the street parking for his office. He usually avoided parking on the street; the permits to do so were costly and the available spots scarce, whereas the four story parking garage a few blocks away was cheap despite being slightly less convenient. This time of night few spots were taken in front of his office building and the police who did permit checks were off duty.
Kerr's attention was on finding a spot to park, so he therefore didn't notice the headlights shining across the street. The revving of an engine made him glance upwards just in time to notice that the oncoming car was driving on the wrong side of the street and was pointed directly at Kerr.
Instinct took over. He swung the wheel of his car, turning so the passenger's side was facing the oncoming vehicle, and hit the gas hard. Kerr felt the wheels of his car bump up on the sidewalk and heard the ping as a parking meter broke off one of his side mirrors, and then he was spinning violently as impact was made. His car careened down the street, slipping and sliding on the slick pavement, the metal buckled under the forcefulness of the crash. Kerr's hands were having trouble clutching the wheel, blood and pain making his fingers slick and feeble.
And then, it was over. Kerr and his car were a mangled and bleeding mess left in the middle of the road as a pair of red taillights sped off into the distance.
Kerr didn't remember anything after that.
The sound of steady beeping woke Kerr from what felt like a very deep sleep. His mind felt fuzzy and addled, almost disconnected from his body, which felt strangely light and formless. He blinked open eyes forced shut with crust and dryness to look at his surroundings.
A hospital, his brain sluggishly supplied after a long look at the bland white walls and morass of medical equipment scattered around the room didn't ring a bell at first. Why was he in a hospital?
"You're awake!" a familiar voice said from his left. Kerr slowly turned his head, watching as the white walls danced with the movement. He waited until his vision steadied before confirming who had spoken.
"Kealy?" Kerr asked, surprised by how hoarse his voice was. Too much screaming, his brain supplied, although Kerr couldn't think of why he had been screaming right at the moment. The IV line hooked into his left arm might have something to do with that, Kerr thought.
"Hi, Kerr," Kealy said with a gentle smile that only made his high cheekbones, curly blond hair, wide blue eyes, and perfectly formed lips look even more appealing. The white-feathered wings folded at his back were the same color as the flash of his perfect teeth.
"What are you doing here?" Kerr asked, wishing his brain could supply the answers itself.
"I'm your guardian angel, Kerr. What do you think I'm doing?" Kealy frowned at Kerr's prone form. "You've got too many broken bones, but the doctor said the airbag saved your skull. Surely you haven't forgotten me."
"Forgotten…" Kerr murmured. Yes, there was something he had forgotten.
"Ah!" a new voice said from across the room. Kerr's peripheral vision showed a man in a white coat stepping through a doorway, so he endured his vision swimming sickeningly to turn his head again. "Welcome back to the waking world, Kerr Donovan. That was quite an accident you got into."
Accident… his brain paused on that world. So familiar.
"If you're feeling up to it, this police officer would like to ask you a few quick questions," the doctor continued, gesturing to a second man who had entered the hospital room behind the doctor.
"Okay?" Kerr asked, his brain still on accident and hospital.
"We were hoping you could give a description of the car that hit you," the police officer said as he stepped up to Kerr's bedside. "Any information you have could help us identify the driver."
"Car that hit me…" Kerr said unsteadily. "Yes," he mused aloud, his brain supplying the images, if not the words. "Red taillights driving away," Kerr continued.
"Yes," the officer said, his voice sympathetic. "It appears you were involved in an unfortunate hit and run. Right now we're assuming it was a drunk driver."
"Not drunk," Kerr disagreed. His brain was finally kicking into gear, showing him the images from just before the crash. "The driver stopped, revved his engine, then pointed his car right at me. He did it on purpose!" Kerr gasped and only Kealy's gentle hand on his shoulder kept him from jumping up in rage.
"That confirms our eye witness account," the officer sighed. "Someone must have been out walking their dog or something, because we got an anonymous call a few moments after the crash detailing exactly that. Good thing too; if the ambulance had been a few moments later we might have lost you, Mr. Donovan."
Kerr glanced upwards at Kealy, who shifted his wings uncomfortably in response. He was Kerr's guardian angel so of course he had been following Kerr's car. Why he hadn't been in the car with Kerr and had therefore been forced to call in human help instead of taking care of the issue himself, and why he had been absent for the past two months, were questions Kerr really wanted an answer to. Later, though, when the officer and the doctor hovering protectively nearby couldn't overhear. Kealy's wings were only visible to those who already knew what he was. Talking about that secret where someone uninformed could overhear was tantamount to betrayal and Kerr would never hurt Kealy like that.
"Which brings us to my next question, Mr. Donovan," the officer continued. "Do you have any enemies?"
Kerr bit his lip in thought. He couldn't think of anyone who hated him enough to try and kill him.
"Kerr's boss," Kealy supplied.
Kerr shook his head, regretting the movement as the room spun sickeningly for a long moment. "Just because we're feuding over my promotion doesn't mean he'd try to kill me, Kealy!" Kerr replied sharply.
"Well, how about anyone who knew you would be driving near your office at that hour of the night," the officer interjected quickly.
That made Kerr pause. There really was only one person who had known where Kerr was going.
"My boss," he said softly, sending an apologetic look Kealy's way for snapping at him. "He wanted me to come in to rewrite a contract we needed signed in the morning. Called me at home and told me to go into the office, asap."
The officer closed his notebook with a nod at Kerr and Kealy. "I think I have enough to begin an investigation," he said. "I'll leave my contact information with the doctor in case you think of anything else."
The officer left. The doctor fussed over Kerr for a few more minutes before heading out of the room too. Only Kealy remained.
"Kealy," Kerr said sharply, his voice dark with admonition.
"Kerr," Kealy replied, his own voice weak in the face of Kerr's anger. "You know I had to leave. You know it!"
Kerr growled. "I finally had you in my arms after years of wishing and longing. Then, after one night of passion you up and left! What was I supposed to think?"
"Guardian angels aren't supposed to sleep with the person they're guarding," Kealy explained. "I broke a cardinal rule!"
"So you ran away?" Kerr snapped angrily. "Before I met you my life was a mess! I couldn't hold down a job, I was sleeping with whatever man would have me, and I hated myself more than anything. Then you appeared and helped me straighten my life out. I have a great job and my own house. I can choose who I want to sleep with based on personality and looks instead of who would pay me more! And I chose you!"
"Of course you did!" Kealy moaned. "I'm your savior. The angel who redeemed you and rescued you from squalor. It's a false attachment!"
Kerr snorted. "You think I don't know all about false attachments? Do you remember the last guy I was sleeping with before you showed up? He was a scumbag, a drug dealer and addict. He wanted easy sex and I wanted food and a roof over my head. I know all about lying and cheating. Hell, I know all about lying to myself about what was important to have in my life!
"But you know what I've learned these past few years living with you, Kealy?" Kerr continued. "That your happy little giggle every time you open the cardboard top of a pizza box and see your favorite food inside is the cutest thing I've ever seen. The way one of your wings folds sideways in your sleep when you're having a good dream is so endearing that sometimes I'd lie awake next to you just to see it happen. Your eagerness to go get the mail or to go grocery shopping, your pleasure when we go on bike rides through the park, and your sheer exuberance whenever the neighbor's dog stops by for a belly rub all make my heart beat faster. I love you, Kealy, and not because you saved me. I love you for you."
"Damn," Kealy swore, his eyes wet as he gazed down at Kerr's earnest face.
Kerr could see Kealy's resolve breaking; the strict laws that governed his race bending under the onslaught of Kerr's love.
"Fine," Kealy finally said. "But you're explaining to the Archangel how you made me fall in love with you when he stops by to yell at me." Kealy's wings rustled and flexed happily as he bent down to press a chaste kiss to Kerr's lips.
"Of course, you silly angel," Kerr replied. He could feel his eyelids drooping as whatever energy had kept him going finally began to wear out. "Now kiss me again before I fall asleep and tell your Archangel to wait until I'm better before he comes to visit."
Kealy laughed and complied. His warm and soft lips pressed again Kerr's one last time as Kerr's eyes slid shut and sleep overcame him. He had Kealy back. That's all that mattered.