Saving Thomas: A Midway Novel Book Two (Hidden Wings)
I didn’t know how long I’d been asleep, but I woke to the creaking of the cell door. Mariel entered with a torch and two women followed behind her carrying baskets filled with supplies.
“How are you feeling?” Mariel asked, taking one of the baskets and placing it on the floor.
“Better, thanks to you,” I replied.
She grinned, unfolding a small blanket and wrapping it around my shoulders. She then pulled a small pillow from the basket and placed it in my lap.
She then handed me a take-out plate. “Panda Express was the closest fast food meal I could get from our portal. I hope you like orange chicken and Beijing beef.”
“It’s awesome. Thank you.” I really didn’t care for Chinese food, but right now, it smelled heavenly. When I took a bite, it tasted like heaven. In no time, the plate was clean and I handed it back to her. “Are you going to get in trouble for helping me?”
She glanced at the women and they both smiled bashfully. “My brother has been banished here, and has locked himself away in the lower levels, sulking and throwing a pity party. Because he’s unavailable, I’m the one who runs this shit show.” In the second basket, she pulled out some bottles of water and placed them next to me. “Beleth sent your friends one of your severed wings, in a box, with a note attached to it. He’s giving them three days to turn over the Nephilim, Eden East, or he says he will kill you.” She shook her head. “I just thought you should know.”
Her message made the food in my gut churn.
“I have to leave for a few days. I’m being called out to take care of some business, but I will have my handmaidens watching the area. If anything happens, I’ll know.”
Great. She was leaving, and I had a feeling that when the boss was away the dogs would be back in full force to play. Or torture, in my case. There wasn’t any way for her to keep them in line if she wasn’t here, and I knew Beleth wasn’t the type to let her take his control away. He was power hungry. I could see it in his eyes. He despised her standing up to him.
The small bit of hope Mariel had given me was slowly diminishing. At least she’d given me a small mercy, a break from the beatings along with some food and water.
I wondered who Mariel’s mate was. Was he a warrior? A servant? He must not have been high in rank, because she never used his name. It was always Lucifer. No wonder they had groups rising up and creating their own rules. The Underworld didn’t have much of a system.
Grandia, on the other hand, was like a well-oiled machine. There were many parts, but they all worked together, in precise order. Each angel played a role to make Grandia a better place than it was the day before. It was perfection.
And then there was Midway, run solely by Ephraim. Without him, the Guardians wouldn’t be as effective as they’d been all these past centuries. Sure, he’d messed up on this last assignment, but it really wasn’t his fault. He was doing his job as efficiently as possible, and I was caught in the crossfire.
However, I might try and use this mess to gain some points. Maybe Ephraim would feel bad for sending me into a trap that he’d give me some quality time off at a location of my choice. I’d really like to return to Hawaii and catch some waves, without fear of Fallen . . . if I survived this. If I didn’t, well, I guessed it wouldn’t matter.
I was starting to feel better. There were still things healing because of the sleep deprivation and lack of sustenance.
“I’m sorry I have to leave you in such dire circumstances, but there are Fallen that need my help. I wish I could stay, but I can’t.” She indiscreetly pulled something wrapped in a small cloth from her boot, then placed it in my hand and whispered, “If Beleth should come back . . . this might help keep you alive.”
I slid the gift under my leg and tipped my head to her. “You’ve been so kind to me. I hope one day I can return the favor.”
“I ask for nothing in return. Only that you can say, not everyone in the Underworld is cruel.”
“You have already proven it.”
Mariel smiled, her crimson eyes glimmered. She looked no older than thirty, and although she was Fallen, her face was soft and fair, like that of an angel.
“Stay alive, Thomas. I hope to see you again.”
When they left, all light left with them. Reaching under my leg, I pulled out the gift she’d given me, and while keeping it wrapped in the cloth, I tried to guess what it was with my fingers. It was a dagger, small enough to conceal under my pillow, but long enough to cause some damage. It also had a sharp edge.
I unfolded the cloth around the hilt and held it in my hand. Then placed my arm under the pillow and lay down. If I was going to do battle, I’d need my strength. And the only way I’d get that was to sleep. But being asleep also made me vulnerable.
I’d have risk it and take my chances. Beleth would come, because there was no one who could tell him otherwise.
The question remained . . . why would she give me a weapon? A weapon that could injure and possibly kill one of her own. By the confrontation they had earlier, I’d say there was an underlined, mutual hatred between them.
Maybe Beleth was an old fling. Or maybe, he was related, and he felt threatened by her. I could go on and on, trying to guess, but I wasn’t going to find the answers. And I desperately needed sleep.
I hoped Alex and the others were okay. Alaine would keep them from doing anything irrational, I just hoped he wouldn’t go vigilante and try and rescue me himself. If any of them got injured or hurt trying to rescue me, I’d never forgive myself.
Sucking in the humid air, I lay my head on the soft pillow. It was sweet, with a scent of smokiness.
I moaned, feeling comfort. I would never, ever take a pillow for granted. After lying on a stone floor, I would adore my bed and cushions for the rest of my immortal life. Sinking into the comfortable pillow, sleep quickly found me.