Saving Thomas: A Midway Novel Book Two (Hidden Wings)
Back at the house, showered with clean clothes on, I hopped on the bed next to Eden. She was lying on her back, knees bent, arms up in the air, holding a book above her head.
“Isn’t that uncomfortable?” I asked.
She turned to me with a crazy cute grin. “No. I switch positions when things get numb, or painful, or the book accidentally falls on my face. Whatever comes first.”
I flattened her knees and crawled up her body, forcing my head and shoulders through her arms.
“What are you doing?” She giggled.
“Trying to steal a kiss from my girl.”
“You never have to steal a kiss from me,” she said, dropping her book on the bed then wrapping her arms around my neck, pulling me closer. “Ask and you shall receive.”
“I am dying to kiss you.”
“Your wish is my command.” She grabbed the sides of my face and pulled me closer, her lips crashing against mine.
The bond between us catapulted our desires and in moments, we were both unclothed. I kissed her gently at first, but the hunger grew, becoming ravenous. Our bodies entwined, flesh against flesh, hands roaming, teeth raking, tongues colliding.
We climaxed together, holding and kissing and loving enough for a lifetime. When we were complete, we stayed wrapped in each other’s arms.
Sighing, I kissed the top of her head, the burdens of the real world crashing back down on me.
Tomorrow would be here too soon, and we were all heading into the lion’s den. I couldn’t believe I was allowing Eden to go. It was as if I was putting a bow on her head and presenting her to them. But I wouldn’t hold her back either. If we were going down, we were going down together.
I didn’t want to let her go. Going into the Underworld was like playing the lottery. There were so many variables, too many to rationalize . . . a death trap set and waiting.
What did we expect would happen tomorrow? Would we waltz into the Underworld, find Thomas, rescue him, and then walk right out without resistance?
No, we had to prepare for battle, and the fact that we could lose one or more. War was never easy, especially when you went into it with those you loved.
“Alex,” Eden breathed, her warm breath feathered against my chest.
“Do you think we’ll make it out of the Underworld alive?”
Both of our minds were burdened with the task tomorrow.
I squeezed her tighter against my chest. “I think we have a good chance.” I really wasn’t sure, but that was as honest an opinion as I could give.
“If I die—” she started.
“Don’t.” I held my hand against her mouth. “I won’t allow that to happen.”
She glanced up at me, her eyes swirling with sadness. “I know you won’t, but there is always a possibility.”
I shook my head. “Not for you. I would die first, protecting you.”
She sucked in a deep breath and exhaled loudly. “I hope you know that I would do the same for you.”
We both lay naked, enclosed in each other’s arms, our words still lingering in the air around us.
My cell phone chimed on the nightstand, so I reached over and grabbed it.
Kade: The Guardians from Midway arrived.
Me: I’ll be right down.
“Is everything okay?” Eden asked, curled up against my chest.
I ran my fingers down her arm, watching goosebumps appear.
“Yes. That was Kade. The Guardians that Ephraim sent are downstairs.”
Her head popped up. “Then we should go meet them.”
We both dressed quickly and made our way down the stairs, hand in hand.
“Looks like you two managed a quickie.” Dom laughed, walking past with a wink.
Eden gasped. “How would you know?”
“You’re glowing and Alex is gloating,” he teased. “And you both have that dewy, doe-eyed I-just-had-sex look on your faces.”
Eden’s mouth fell open. “We do not.”
“Sweetheart, I was once bonded. You don’t have to be ashamed.”
Eden glanced at me and I shrugged. I had to admit, Dom was good.
“They’re in the dining room,” Dom’s voice echoed from down the hall.
I wondered who they’d sent.
When we entered two familiar faces graced the table. Mark, Malachi’s twin brother who had been with us on an earlier assignment, and Mason, a new Guardian I’d met on my last assignment with Eden.
Everyone was already in the dining area, waiting for dinner.
Both Mark and Mason stood and shook my hand, then we all took our seats.
“Nice to see you both again,” Mason said.
“You too, man. Did they prep you two on what our plan is tomorrow?”
“They did. And Mark and I have already agreed to go with you.” Mark nodded with his statement.
It was uncanny how much Mark looked like Malachi. It brought back the horrible memory of watching our brother being beheaded by the Fallen in this very house. That day, we’d lost two brothers, and Lucifer lost his son—the very reason why we were in this predicament.
Miss Lily brought in dinner, fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, and corn on the cob. Everyone dug in and the table was mostly silent while we ate. We’d all had a long day of training, and it seemed like everyone was starving. Including Alaine, who was already on her second ear of corn.
After dinner, Miss Lily cleared the table. There was a different vibe in the room, an intense buzz. Then, Alaine spoke. “Tomorrow is going to be another test for us. A major test. Heading into the Underworld is a huge risk. Doing so without Grandia’s permission triples that risk. It will only be us down there, so it is imperative that we stick together. We must remain hidden, administering our plan as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“Samuel will help us navigate, but he has drawn a rough map of where we will be heading.”
Alaine unrolled a parchment and placed it in the middle of the table.
“When we enter the portal, we will be landing here,” Samuel said, pointing at a spot in the map. This area is just outside of the main gate.”
“Is that the same area we landed?” Emma asked.
Samuel nodded. “The last time we entered, we were with your father.” Samuel’s eyes swept to Eden. “I will never forget what he did.”
Eden grabbed hold of my hand and squeezed. Through our bond, I could feel a pang of sadness.
“Tomorrow,” Samuel continued, “in every open area, we must remain in contact with Alaine and Emma. They will keep us invisible.”
Mark lifted a small bag onto the table. “Ephraim wanted me to give these to you.” He pulled out spray bottles and placed them on the table. “It’s a new tool for Guardians. If you spray this all over your body, it will conceal your angelic scent for up to six hours.”
Dom picked up a bottle and sprayed it, sucking in the mist. He began coughing. “It doesn’t smell like anything.”
Mark slapped a hand to his shoulder and smiled. “Precisely.”
Alaine’s face lit up as she took a bottle. “This could very well be our game changer. Concealing our scent was a top concern.”
Samuel nodded. “Once we make it past the main gate entrance, we will head here.” Samuel dragged his finger down what looked like tunnels, and stopped somewhere deep to the right. “This is where they keep prisoners. I’m not entirely sure if this is where they have him, but this is the place we should check first.” Samuel’s eyes moved to Mateo. “If you held onto someone’s hand, like Emma’s, would you be able to pull her with your speed?”
Mateo stood and walked over to Emma, offering her his hand. Emma glanced at Kade, who gave her a nod. She stood and took his hand. In a split second they were gone. And with a blink, they were back. Emma wobbled a bit, trying to get her bearings.
“Holy moly. That was crazy,” she exhaled, grabbing the sides of her head.
“I guess that’s a yes.” Dom chuckled.
Emma plopped back on her seat and rested her head between her arms on the table, while Kade rubbed her back. “She’ll be fine. It’ll take some getting used to.”
“When we reach this area, the rest of us will remain hidden while Mateo and Emma head to the cells to check for Thomas,” Samuel continued.
“I’d like to go with them,” Kade said. “If they run into any trouble, I want to be there.”
Samuel smiled. “Of course. But that would all depend on Mateo.” Samuel’s attention shifted back to the boy. “Would you be able to take two of them?”
Mateo nodded. “I can.”
“Let’s see it,” Dom blurted.
Mateo readily agreed, and stood back to his feet. Kade also stood. Emma raised her head and was about to stand when Kade touched her back. “Why don’t you be the second person, Dom? If he can take us, we know he’ll have no problem.”
Dom slapped the table with his palms and slid his chair backward. “Let’s do this!”
Mateo held out a hand to each of them, and as soon as they grabbed hold, they were gone. Then, in a flash, they were back.
“Wow!” Dom said, shaking his head.
Kade stood still for a moment looking a little confused.
“How was it?” I asked.
“Most of it was a blur,” Dom said, heading back to his seat.
“Now I know how Emma feels,” Kade said, shuffling back to his seat. “It’s disorienting.”
Mateo wore a huge grin on his face as he took his seat.
“I guess we have our scout team. Kade, Emma, and Mateo will be going in. Whether you find Thomas or not, you will return back to us with the information. We’ll need to know details . . . how many guards, which cell, etc . . .”
“The only thing I saw was the front door when we stopped, and all of you when we returned,” Emma said.
“I will be able to give you details,” Mateo added. “I can see everything while moving.”
“Thank you, Mateo,” Samuel said. “You are quickly becoming a vital part of this quest.”
“Don’t forget who brought him here,” Dom chimed in.
“Thank you, Dominic,” Alaine said.
He gave her a cheesy smile. “Of course. I was just doing my job.”
Kade was about to say something, when Emma grabbed his hand and shook her head.
Alaine took hold of Samuel’s hand. “When we enter the Underworld, we need to be alert and aware of our surroundings at all times. We can all hope that we won’t have any confrontations, but we must prepare for battle. We will be entering the enemy’s territory, and we won’t have backup, so we will have to rely on each other. I trust in each one of you and your skills. If we stick together and follow Samuel’s lead, I believe we can all make it out alive.”
The atmosphere in the room grew somber. This wasn’t a normal assignment. This was a rescue.
Alaine looked at Samuel. “If we manage to get Thomas out of the Underworld, you can be sure that the Fallen will come. And when they do, they will come with vengeance and for blood.”
“We will be ready,” Dom said.
“Yes, we will,” Mark added. “I still have a score to settle with the Fallen. They took my brother, so they won’t be the only ones out for blood.”
“Good,” Samuel said. “Get some rest tonight. We will gather in the foyer tomorrow morning and head to the North Pole. That is the nearest entrance into the Underworld. The other side will probably have guards, so we will have to go in invisible. Make sure you’re all dressed for battle.”
Eden stayed quiet the entire time, but I could feel so many emotions pulsing through her.
We said goodnight and everyone headed to their rooms. In bed, Eden rolled over and held me, burying her face in my chest. Then, I heard her soft sobs.
“Hey,” I breathed. “Are you okay?”
She nodded, but I knew she wasn’t. As the minutes crept by, her anxiety would grow.
“You don’t have to go tomorrow. You can stay here with Miss Lily.”
“No,” she breathed. “It’s not that.”
“You can tell me anything.”
She nodded, wiping the wet from her cheeks. “I called my mom today, and she sounded so happy. She told me she and Tim are planning to come up and visit soon.” She paused, I felt her chest heave. “She has no idea of the danger I’m in. I’m afraid to bring her here, knowing I could be putting her life at risk. But even more, I’m afraid that I won’t return from the Underworld.”
I hugged her tight, letting her warmth seep into me. God, I loved her so much, with every fiber of my being. I wished there was some way I could take her burden, and quench her pain. She was my life, and I wanted to see her smile and live a life without fear. Being a Nephilim, there would always be risks, because Alaine and Emma were still dealing with them.
“Eden, I’ll be with you, from beginning to end.”
She looked up at me, her eyes red and swollen.
“You will never be alone. I will protect you, and fight for you. And will lead you out of the Underworld . . . alive.”
Her lips quivered. “I love you, Alex.”
Her words traveled to my heart and I felt them, deep and pure. I ran my fingers down the side of her soft face, wiping away her stray tears.
“I love you, Eden. From the beginning of my existence, my heart has always belonged to you.”
In my arms she fell asleep, and for some time I watched her. She looked so peaceful, without a care.
“This is what I wish for your future,” I whispered. “To sleep peacefully and wake without fear. And I will try my best to grant that wish.”