Saving Thomas: A Midway Novel Book Two (Hidden Wings)




Chapter Two


Eden




It had been a few months since I’d graduated, and Alex and I had sealed our immortal bond. I was still trying to wrap my head around my new life and the fact that I was Nephilim—half human, half Angel—and was bestowed a powerful gift at my transformation. The Guardians called me an elemental because I could manipulate the weather.

All my life I’d felt alone and questioned all the bad things that had happened, but then, fate dropped Alex, a Guardian Angel and my bonded, into my life. It was because of him I found the answer to the one question I’d pondered my entire life . . . who was my father?

It seemed that all of Alex’s friends knew my father, and highly regarded him. He was a Fallen Angel, but they said his heart was still good. He died giving his life to save his best friend Samuel and his daughter Emma in the Underworld, and I couldn’t help but be proud of that fact. Especially now that I’d met them.

After my graduation, Alaine Gray invited me to come and stay at her estate in Alaska. It was a lavish, three-story home with many rooms. The best thing about that deal was I no longer felt alone. Both Alaine and Emma were part angel and part human like me, so they understood everything I’d gone through. And now, they were helping me realize who I truly was, and teaching me how to use my new gift.

I still kept in touch with my friends from Brindle Hall. Sebastian had moved to California and was now a bartender in South Hollywood. He’d called me several times to let me know he was on a few movie sets as an extra. He’d even found a love interest while he was there. A co-worker who was teaching him the ropes of bartending, who Sebastian swore was Chris Hemsworth gorgeous—tall, dark, and handsome, but of course, not nearly as handsome as himself. He was still so vain, but that’s what I loved about him.

He sent me a few selfies and it looked like he was really happy and adjusting to his new life. And knowing Sebastian was happy and falling into his groove, made me happy too.

Kimi and Trissa were about to start college soon and promised to come visit me on their breaks. I missed them all so much, but we texted or talked on the phone a few times a week.

As for Alex . . . my absolutely perfect soulmate. Everything changed once we’d sealed the immortal bond. The threads of our once separate lives had been woven together, creating the most intimate and exquisite masterpiece. Our bond. We were no longer our own, and I never could have imagined I could feel so much love for another person. It was as if the creator fashioned him just for me.

Ephraim, the supervisor of Midway, had given him a few months off to be with me, but in a week’s time he’d be returning to Midway to continue his Guardian assignments.

I wasn’t sure how I’d fare without him. We’d been inseparable for the past few months. But even when he was gone, I still had Alaine, Samuel, Emma, and Kade here. In the short time I’d known them, they’d treated me as if I was a part of their family.

As of now, I learned that my gift affected the weather within a three mile radius. But every time I used it, or practiced with it, I could feel it growing stronger.

Today, Alex flew me in his arms to our training site. Emma held both mine and Kade’s hands—her direct contact made us invisible as we took to the sky. Along with her gift of invisibility, Emma was also given wings and super strength. They said it was because her father was Fallen and her mother was Nephilim, So she received the benefits of both at her transformation.

Alaine’s gift was also invisibility, so she and Samuel were also concealed on the flight over.

We landed on the top of a secluded mountaintop surrounded by tall spruce and birch trees. Below us was rocky, treacherous terrain no mortal had yet conquered. Summer was nearly over, and being in Alaska, fall looked to arrive much earlier than expected. The air was getting cooler, but it was still manageable.

Kade and Emma walked toward a corner of the small area when we landed and laid out a blanket. I felt a little apprehensive, testing my powers while they watched. I’d heard the stories about this amazing group and their battles. On top of that, Samuel, Kade, and Alex were pure immortals. That heightened the pressure to perform.

I pulled the hood of my black hoodie over my head. Just that simple act helped me focus a bit more, making me feel as if I were in my own space.

Alaine stepped away from Samuel and walked toward me, placing a hand on my shoulder.

Since I’d arrived, she made me feel as if I was part of her family accepting me so quickly. She was kind and gentle, but also organized and precise in everything she did. She was a leader and everyone around her highly regarded her.

“You ready?” she asked.

I exhaled a deep breath and nodded.

“Today, I want to see what you can do with the air. Over these past months, we’ve focused on learning the specifics of your gift. We know you can manipulate the weather, but now, I want to see if you can focus that power, and use the weather as a weapon.”

“Yes,” Alex puffed enthusiastically. He’d been waiting to see how powerful my gift really was.

I was also curious because manipulating the weather had been fairly easy. I could gather dark clouds in the sky, make it rain, and then push it all away for a bright and sunny day. I could call thunder and lightning and could manipulate the air to be either a gentle breeze or gale force winds. That’s the extent of what I’d learned so far.

“What do you want me to do?” I asked.

“I want you to try to harness the wind and shape it into a funnel—a tornado, if you will. If you are able to do that and master it, we’ll move on.”

Okay, I said stretching my arms above my head. I don’t know why I even bothered. This was more mental than anything. Using the power came with consequences. Too much use would weaken the mortal part of me—the frail part. But the immortal part allowed me to heal quickly, with a good night’s sleep. At the end of practices, I could barely move. Having Alex there gave me strength. He pushed me, and then at the end of each session, carried me home and helped me recover. I was incredibly lucky.

“You’ve got this,” Alex whispered, his arms wrapping around me, pulling me close. I hugged him tight, rather wanting to stay in his embrace instead of practicing.

“Thank you,” I whispered. I loved that he was my biggest support and just as excited as I was to see how far I could push my power.

They all stepped back to the trees, leaving me to stand in the middle of the small clearing. Closing my eyes, I blocked out everything around me. Then, in my mind, I envisioned the wind swirling in a circle above me, faster and faster.

The wind whipped around me, and when I opened my eyes and looked up, I witnessed exactly what I’d seen in my mind. The wind was strong, dust and debris circled around me. But I had to stay focused. I had to remain in control.

Dark clouds filled the sky, twisting and spiraling directly above me. Raising my hands, I tried to shape the wind, pulling it down until it started forming a funnel cloud. My insides buzzed with the power of the gift, the sight of the funnel kicked in my adrenaline, making me breathe heavily.

A faint voice—Alaine’s voice—called through the wind. “Focus.”

I had to focus, but damn . . . I was actually creating a tornado. Sure, it wasn’t big enough to kill anyone, but the gusts sucked up the stray debris in the area, unfolding a pretty scary event.

I found that my hands, working along with my mind, helped make these things take shape a lot easier. Like I was orchestrating the weather, instead of compelling it.

As I drew my hands back down toward me, the funnel followed. It reminded me of pottery class, when we learned to shape clay on the pottery wheel. Only this was cleaner and much easier.

The funnel followed my direction, and as it made its descent the wind picked up, making it nearly impossible to hear anyone or anything else around me. Where the others went, I didn’t know, and didn’t dare take my eyes off the approaching cyclone.

The wind and debris didn’t seem to affect me much. It was as if there was a barrier around me, protecting me from whatever damage the power could cause. I felt oddly comforted knowing my gift was protecting its wielder.

The power inside coursed through my veins. It was an indescribable feeling, much different from pushing clouds away from the sun or making it rain. This feeling was more aggressive, like I’d stuck my finger in an electrical socket and kept it there.

Drawing from that power, I continued to direct the funnel until it touched down about twenty yards in front of me. I’d done it. I’d freaking created a mini-tornado.

“Eden—you’re amazing!” Alex’s voice cheered above the wind.

On instinct, I turned to see where he was—standing at the edge of the clearing behind the trunk of a spruce tree. To see the pride in his eyes and the beautiful smile on his face made my heart swell.

But . . . as soon as my thoughts directed toward Alex, so did the tornado. Before I could figure out how to stop it, the massive column of wind sucked him up, taking him prisoner, spinning him around and around like a rag doll.

I was beyond horrified. “Alex,” I screamed, running over to him. “Go away. Go away. Go away,” I screamed at the tornado.

In seconds, the wind and dark clouds dissipated, leaving Alex prostrate on the ground. I dropped to his side as he flopped over onto his back.

“Oh my God. Alex, I’m so sorry,” I cried, wondering if he’d ever forgive me. “Are you okay?”

From behind I heard boisterous laughter, and when I turned, Kade was rolling on the ground. “Holy hell. That was freaking hilarious!” he bellowed.

Emma glanced over to me, then bent over her mate. “Kade, stop. It’s not funny.”

Kade stopped for a moment and stared dumbfounded at her. “You seriously don’t think that was funny?”

“Not really.” Emma huffed and crossed her arms over her chest.

Kade threw his head back again in laughter.

“I’ll never hear the end of this,” Alex moaned, making me feel horrible.

Alaine knelt next to me while Samuel stood directly behind her. She placed her hand on my shoulder and gently patted. “Don’t worry about him, Eden. He’ll be fine. I think the only thing really hurting is his pride.” Alaine bit back a smile.

I shook off the overwhelming embarrassment heating my cheeks. “Alex, are you sure you’re okay?” I asked.

He was pale and dry heaved a few times.

“I’m fine. Just a little nauseous.” He looked up to me, his eyes glassy. “Don’t worry. I still love you.” He opened his arms, and when I fell onto his chest he hugged me tight. “Despite the slight error, what you did was amazing.”

Relief washed over me. “Thank you,” I mumbled into his chest.

“Eden, you did it,” Alaine said. “At least we know now that you are capable of such a feat. And you did it on your first try.”

I sat up and smiled at her, finding Kade and Emma standing next to her and Samuel.

“That was badass, but what went wrong?” Kade gave Alex a wide-eyed look. “Did he do something to piss you off?”

Alex rolled his eyes and I shook my head. “No. I thought I had control over it, but when I heard Alex’s voice cheering me on, I turned my attention to him and the tornado followed.”

Alex sat up, rubbing his temples. “I’ve made a mental note, to never cheer for you out loud.” His eyes caught mine, this time with gentleness. “But always know that I will be cheering for you, nonetheless.”

Kade puffed. “Hopeless romantic.”

Emma gave him a side-eyed glance. “And what’s wrong with being a hopeless romantic?”

“Nothing, my love,” he said, grabbing her by her waist and pulling her into his arms. He then dipped her back and kissed her before straightening her back up. “Absolutely nothing.”

“Mmmm,” she hummed.

“How are you feeling, Eden?” Alaine asked.

I quickly assessed myself. “Fine, actually.”

“Good, then let’s resume, shall we?” She offered me her hand and pulled me to my feet, while Samuel did the same for Alex.

“What else could you possibly ask for her to do now? She called a tornado,” Alex said.

“Yes, she did. But because someone caused her to lose concentration, we couldn’t see exactly what she could do with that phenomenon.” Alaine narrowed her eyes on Alex.

“Hey, I already promised I’d keep all future encouragement and excitement to myself.”

“Good,” she replied, then turned her attention back to me. “Next, I want you to call the tornado and drop it on that tree over there.” She pointed to a dead spruce. “Then I want you to try and use the wind to pick it up and see how far you can project it.”

That seemed like a daunting task. Doubt started to swirl inside my mind.

“I can’t wait to see this,” Alex added. I glanced at him and he winked at me.

“Remember, focus is the key,” Alaine said, already walking toward her safe area.

Emma laid her arm across my shoulder. “Good luck, Eden. You can do it.”

“Thanks.” I loved how close we’d become. Emma was like an older sister to me, and I appreciated her encouragement.

When she and Kade walked back to their spot, Alex grabbed my arms, steadying me to look at him.

“I know it seems like a big thing, but I believe in you. I know you can do this. Just keep your focus on the task, and get it done. I’ll be cheering you on, quietly from the sideline.” He then pressed his lips to my forehead.

I wrapped my arms around him one last time and breathed in his alluring scent, letting it fill me. His scent seemed to have a calming effect on my nerves, and having him there, knowing he believed in me, pushed down doubt that began to surface.

When he left, I stood alone again in the center of the clearing. I shut my eyes and concentrated on the sky. The sun above kissed my face, also offering its warmth and encouragement.

I repeated what I’d done earlier, and when I opened my eyes, I saw the wind swirling above. Keeping my focus, I pulled down the funnel, directing it toward the dead tree at the far end of the clearing.

Because I’d felt the raw power before, it seemed much easier to control this time.

As the funnel lowered on top of the tree, the wind tried to pull it up, but it wasn’t budging. Concentrating on the funnel, I made it spin faster. The wind picked up, debris was tossed around the clearing, but it still didn’t touch me.

As the funnel spun faster, I could hear the tree groaning as it was being pulled from the ground. A loud snap, sent it upward. Excitement filled me, but I had to harness it. This could go wrong if I lost control.

I focused on the tree spinning wildly inside. Below us was a forest of more trees, and beyond that, a river. If I could toss the tree into the river, it wouldn’t damage other trees or the animals that lived there. It was pretty far, but I was determined.

Slowly raising my hands, the funnel followed. I felt connected to it, like it was a part of me.

Because the river was quite a distance away, I made the funnel turn faster. Dead branches from nearby trees were being sucked up, making it appear deadly. I looked out at the river, and with every ounce of energy left inside of me, I pushed it toward the funnel. Like a loaded gun, it shot the tree from its clutches, sending it spiraling across the expanse, toward the river.

I held my breath, watching the large projectile, hit the water with an explosion. It bounced off the top of the water, twisting and turning, and landed in a grove of trees beyond. I exhaled, seeing minimal damage.

The wind died down and the sun illuminated the area. My knees trembled and my body tingled from the after effects of the task.

The others ran out from behind trees, cheering and clapping. I tried to walk toward Alex, but couldn’t move. My limbs were heavy, to the point of exhaustion, making me stand there with my feet planted in place.

Alex was the first to reach me. Without a word he bent over, hooking one arm under my knees, and the other behind my back. He lifted effortlessly, cradling me in his arms.

“You are beyond amazing,” he said, hugging me close.

“I have to admit, that was one of the most awesome things I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot,” Kade added.

“I agree,” Emma said. “You did it, Eden. And you threw that tree further than I thought you would.”

I felt my cheeks blush. I didn’t like being the center of attention.

“I didn’t want to damage other trees or hurt the animals living there,” I said, my voice also weakened.

Alex shook his head, a broad smile raised on the edges of his lips. “That’s my girl.”

“Eden, I’m so proud of you,” Alaine said in her motherly tone.

Behind her, Samuel’s face suddenly hardened. He took a few steps back, his eyes scanning the trees. Kade noticed his change in demeanor.

“What’s wrong?”

“Do you smell that?” Samuel asked.

Kade sniffed the air then turned to Emma.

Emma and Alaine immediately touched me and Alex, making us disappear.

“Stay here.”

“What’s wrong?” I whispered.

“There is a scent of Fallen nearby,” Alaine replied.

Fallen. Here? Maybe what I’d done had drawn their attention.

My heart began to jackhammer against my chest.

Alex squeezed me closer to him, his warm breath caressing my cheek. “Don’t worry. I won’t let anything happen to you.”

I nodded, knowing full well he would keep that promise.

After a grueling few minutes, Samuel and Kade returned.

“It’s clear,” Samuel said. “But Fallen were here.”

Both Alaine and Emma let go, revealing where we were.

“Their scent was strongest, right over near that ridge.” Kade pointed to the left of us. “But they’re gone now.”

“We should head back,” Alaine said, gathering their things.

From behind the backs of Kade, Emma, Samuel and Alex, the most glorious wings appeared. All were flawless white, except Samuel’s, whose were a glistening, satin black.

Samuel gathered Alaine into his arms, and they instantly disappeared.

“Hey Alex. Wouldn’t you rather take a spin home?” Kade jested.

“Don’t,” Alex growled. “And if I find out you told Dom what happened, there will be hell to pay.”

Kade glanced at him and zipped his lips shut.

“Come on you two, let’s fly,” Emma said. She took hold of Kade’s and my hand and we lifted off the ground, also disappearing.

I was relieved to be heading home. The thought of Fallen nearby had my stomach and thoughts in knots.

How much did they see? Were they there to observe the tossing of that tree and witness what it did to me afterward? If they’d seen that, they pretty much knew the extent of my power. And that’s what terrified me. The thought made me never want to leave the house again.

“Hey, you’re safe with me,” Alex breathed, as if he could read my mind.

I knew I was safe with him, so I hugged him with my free arm and closed my eyes, attempting to rest for the duration of the flight home.


***


Training was grueling, and I was exhausted.

Alex bent over and kissed the tip of my nose, then set me on my feet. “I love you, my warmhearted girl.” The endearing look he gave me made my chest thrum.

“I love you, too.” I kissed him wholly on the lips, and as always, it sent an electrifying sensation throughout my entire body. But he could do that with just a look. The power of the immortal bond was incredible. It was strong when we were together, but I could feel or sense him even before he walked into a room.

“All right. If this is gonna get any mushier, get a room,” Kade’s voice echoed from the doorway, a smirk on his lips.

Emma walked up to him, grabbed the sides of his face, and kissed him fully. “That’s not a bad idea.”

He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her inside the house. “See you guys later,” Kade said, turning his head back with a wink.

Samuel shook his head and wrapped his arm around Alaine’s waist. “To be young and bonded.”

Alaine smiled and walked up to Samuel, kissing him on the cheek. “Yes, well . . . I have to run to the clinic. I’ll be back before dinner.”

“Would you like me to take you?”

“No, I won’t be long. I just have to check on a patient.”

“All right. Be safe,” he said, kissing her forehead, his expression that of deep love. A look of admiration and devotion. A love I’d hoped Alex and I would have long into our relationship.

Samuel cherished Alaine just as much as she did him, and it was obvious. After Alex had told me their tragic love story, I understood why. They’d endured torturous hardships, thinking they’d lost each other forever. I couldn’t even begin to imagine losing Alex, especially after sealing the immortal bond. It would break me completely.

But somehow, Alaine and Samuel survived and found each other again, despite all odds. And their daughter, Emma, had also returned to them. It was the ultimate love story. One I could never get tired of listening to.

Before she left, Alaine took hold of my hand. “Eden, you’re adapting to your gift rather quickly. It’s getting stronger every time you use it.” A slight grin rose on her lips. “I can see why the Fallen fear the Nephilim. In this case, you are more powerful than they could ever imagine.”

“Yep, that’s my girl,” Alex said, enclosing me tighter in his arms. I could feel his love and warmth wrap around me.

He pressed a kiss to my temple and my cheeks heated. “Alaine and Emma are just as amazing,” I said, trying to steer the attention away from me.

“Well, you and Emma are a definite force to be reckoned with,” Alaine added with a genuine smile.

“Let’s get inside,” Alex said, taking hold of my hand.

I agreed, but when I took a few steps, my legs buckled.

He caught and lifted me back into his arms, cradling me against his chest. “You’ve trained hard and need to rest. How about I carry you up and make you a hot bath, then I’ll get us something to eat.”

“That sounds amazing.” I let my head rest on his shoulder and breathed in his alluring scent. Closing my eyes, I let him carry me through the foyer and up the stairs to our bedroom. Just as he placed me on the bed, Alex’s cell rang.

“Hello?” he answered. “Yeah . . . who’s this?” He paused and his brow furrowed. “Thomas? Hey man, where are you?”

I smiled and shuffled into the bathroom. “I’m good,” I mouthed. “Go ahead.”

He gave a nod, then stepped toward me and pressed his lips against my temple. “I’ll be back.”

It had been a while since he’d talked to Thomas, one of his best friends, who had been sent back to Midway to await his next assignment. Thomas was one of the Guardians who came to help Alex save me. I was indebted to them. All of them.

I closed the door and sat at the edge of the tub, watching it fill with hot water. When it was full, I poured some lavender salts inside and stepped in. Sinking down, I moaned as the hot water caressed my tired, aching body.

Closing my eyes, I couldn’t help but flash back to the worried looks on the faces of Samuel and Kade when they came back from checking the training area. I was still trying to recover from all the craziness that happened during my last months at Brindle Hall. Darkling, Fallen, being poisoned, finding out I was a Nephilim, my transformation. It was all so overwhelming.

The only reason I was coping with it was because of Alex. He was my strength, my protector, and constantly reassuring me I had nothing to worry about.

But in a week’s time he’d be gone. That’s why Alaine rushed my training, starting a few days after I moved in.

I sank deeper under the warm water, letting it cover my ears. I wished it could mute my thoughts, because every time I thought of Alex leaving, my tears would betray me. I still had a week left with him. A week I would not take for granted.