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




Chapter Three


Thomas




I landed in a warm and humid environment, on manicured grass surrounded by coconut trees. I sucked in the salty breeze while listening to the birds sing and watched the ocean’s waves lap back and forth across the sandy shore.

As I turned around, I saw a brick building about six stories high. It must have been the hotel. It was small but quaint. I wasn’t picky.

As I maneuvered toward the front of the building to check in, I pulled the file Ephraim gave me and quickly skimmed through it. My reservation would be under the name . . . wait. Tom Ocean?

It seemed Ephraim was lacking creativity these days with our assignment surnames. I thought the one he gave Alex on his last assignment—West—was bad, given that his assignment’s name was Eden East. At least mine wasn’t too bad, but it sounded like it belonged to some old-time musician.

A tanned skinned girl with long, brown hair greeted me at the front desk with a wide smile. She spent way too much time conversing, when all I wanted to do was get to my room. She asked me a dozen questions about myself . . . where I was from, who I was with, and did I come to Maui on vacation? That was one thing I disliked about being a Guardian. Mortal women were taken with us. We weren’t like their mortal men. We were angels. Immortal beings near perfection.

I really disliked trying to explain myself. I just wanted my key and get to my room and make sure I was prepared for the assignment. I still needed to read through the file before I took off to find Mr. Whedon.

When the girl finally handed me my key, I thanked her quickly and took off toward the elevator. I was on the sixth floor . . . Room 611. Inside the room, my things were already there. I drew back the curtains and stepped out onto the lanai. I had a beautiful view of the ocean, so I grabbed the file, sat on a plastic wicker chair, and read through the file. I could get used to this.

The key to this mission was to find out why the Fallen had taken interest in Jeph Whedon. I wondered how the Watcher randomly caught the Fallen with this guy. They usually were on assignment too, following a specific person, or in Alex’s case, his Watcher Isaac was tracking the growing Darkling numbers in Washington, near Brindle Hall. He just happened to see the Darkling’s encounter with Eden, which was luck on her part. If he hadn’t witnessed it, Eden probably wouldn’t be here today and she and Alex wouldn’t have bonded.

The Watcher supposedly witnessed the Fallen accompanying Mr. Whedon into a building, and after some time walked out with him, shook hands, and went their separate ways. Thinking this situation was odd, he contacted Midway.

Watchers never got physically involved. As was true to their title, they merely…observed. Maybe the Fallen had thought Mr. Whedon was something special. A Nephilim, perhaps. But, according to Midway, Jeph Whedon was nothing more than a simple mortal.

Midway had been wrong once before, on Alex’s last assignment. Eden East had been flying under the immortal radar. It was because of her contact with a Darkling, attention was brought to her. And it was Alex, sent to protect her, who discovered she was in fact a Nephilim.

Eden was now living in Alaska at the Gray Estate. Alaine and Samuel had invited her to live there, not only because she was a Nephilim, but because they found out her biological father was Samuel’s best friend and warrior brother, Danyel. A Fallen Angel who’d given his life, so Samuel and his daughter could live.

Alaine agreed to help train Eden to use her new gift of weather manipulation. A power given when she transformed on her eighteenth birthday. This was the first time I’d ever encountered anyone who could change the weather with a thought, but according to Alaine, that was just the tip of the iceberg.

I wondered how they were all doing up in Alaska. I glanced at the phone and decided to give Alex a call, since he now had a cell phone. I ducked back inside and dug through my bag, also finding a brand new cell of my own. Midway was stepping it up . . . adapting to the technologically social world. Being a Guardian and trying to blend in as a human, we all had to adapt.

I dialed Alex’s number, because he’d made me memorize it, and waited as it rang.

“Hello?” he answered.

“Alex?”

“Yeah. Who’s this?”

“Dude, you don’t know your oldest friend’s voice by now?”

“Thomas?” He was genuinely shocked. “Man, where are you?”

“Finally on an assignment. I bet you’ll never guess where Ephraim sent me.” I kept my voice monotone.

“Siberia? You aren’t in Siberia, are you?”

“No, thank the Creator. But I’m wondering if that’s where Dom is.” I laughed. “I haven’t seen him in a few weeks.” Alex laughed too, and I couldn’t help but think of Dom in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by snow, wrapped in a huge parka.

“No, he was here a few weeks ago. He was stocking up on some of Miss Lily’s cookies. Said he was headed to Guam.”

“Wow. Ephraim really has him trotting the globe.”

“Yeah, no kidding. I’m set to return to Midway in a week.” Alex’s voice sounded down. He’d be leaving his bonded to return to his Guardianship assignments and that wasn’t easy. “So, where are you, man?”

I couldn’t help but smile as I said, “Maui.”

“No way! Dude, that’s your dream assignment.”

“I know. I just hope I can get some surf time in. I can hear the ocean calling me.”

Alex laughed. “So who is your assignment? Anyone cute?”

“Not even remotely cute,” I moaned. “It’s a mortal dude, scruffy and a bit rough around the edges. I’m here to see if he’s flirting with the Fallen.”

“For your sake, I hope it’s nothing and you can catch some surf. I doubt Darkling reside in Hawaii. Sunshine and heat . . . totally not their thing. So, unless you have a run-in with the Fallen, surfing will probably be your only action.”

“Here’s to hoping.” I really couldn’t wait to get a board and rip on some waves. “So how’s your girl doing with the training?”

“Eden is amazing. As a matter of fact, we just returned from her training on a totally uninhabited, secluded mountain top where she couldn’t hurt anyone.”

“Has she hurt someone?”

Alex paused for a brief moment. “I’ll tell you something, but you have to promise you won’t tell another soul. Especially, Dom.”

“That bad huh?”

“Eden summoned a mini-tornado today and somehow lost her focus. The freaking twister changed its trajectory and dropped right on top of me. Dude, I was spinning like a rag doll until I was sick.”

Envisioning it in my mind, I burst out in laughter. “Wow! I wish I were there to witness it.”

“No you don’t. Everyone thought it was hilarious as hell, especially Kade. I’m still recovering from it.”

I laughed again. “She didn’t do it on purpose, did she?”

“It was my fault. I was cheering her on and it threw off her focus.”

“It’s a good thing you’re immortal. And now I know why you don’t want Dom to know.”

“Yeah, he’d never let me forget it. That’s something no one ever should have seen.” Alex sighed. “Kade’s roasting was bad enough.”

“I bet. So, is Eden’s gift limited to spinning her mate?”

“No. This girl can make the sun shine on a cloudy day. Or make it rain when there isn’t a cloud in the sky. She can call thunder and lightning with a mere thought, and make it all disappear with another. Alaine is helping her learn how to control the wind. Once she has that mastered, I don’t think I’ll ever have to worry about leaving her alone. She’s even more badass than I thought.”

“That’s awesome, man. I’m really happy for you.”

“Thanks, Thomas. Hopefully you’ll find your bonded on some random assignment like I did. You never know.”

“I’m not counting on it. Especially on this assignment. Isaac is with me on this.”

“The Watcher?”

“Yeah. I guess this boring assignment called for backup.”

“Dude . . . just remember you’re in Hawaii.”

“You’re right. I can’t complain. The weather is beautiful and the ocean has been taunting me.” I sighed, glancing at the clock. “I gotta run. Tell everyone I said hey.”

“Will do,” Alex said. “Come visit us after your assignment, before you head back to Midway.”

“I will. I’ve been craving a home cooked meal from Miss Lily.”

“Isn’t everyone?” He laughed. “All right, bro. Have a good one. Keep in touch.”

After I hung up, I grabbed my bag and keys, and headed out the door.


***


The air was hot and humid, and the AC was blasting in my black convertible as I drove toward the west side of the island. Jeph Whedon had an open house at a property in the town of Kaanapali. I loved the area. It was riddled with tourists, but the land was beautiful, and a lot of the properties had ocean views. Even if they didn’t have a view, the ocean was never far.

The sky was clear and blue and the sun glinted off of the ocean waves as I snaked my way around, what the locals called, the Pali—a road with steep, rocky cliffs on one side, and another steep, cliffy drop to the ocean on the other.

The vehicle had a small, digital tracking device attached to the dash. It told me that Mr. Whedon—the red flashing dot—was on the road, a few miles ahead.

I couldn’t help but wonder why I was assigned to this guy. If he was normal, why would the Fallen be in contact with him? It sure wasn’t to invest in real estate. Maybe it was just because Ephraim knew how much I loved the ocean.

I followed the road through the small town of Lahaina and when I reached Kaanapali, the red dot had stopped. Avoiding detection, I pulled off to the side of the driveway and parked behind a tree. From what I could see, the showing was of a large two-story, luxury home on a large manicured lawn. Flowers and trees were beautifully landscaped throughout, with a gorgeous backdrop of the ocean. If I were mortal, it would have been an ideal place to live, however it was probably close to a million dollars.

I found Jeph’s vehicle parked in the driveway, a white BMW with a vanity plate that read JWRLTY. The sign said the open house started in an hour. Maybe I’d go in, posing as a potential buyer and do a quick walk-thru. However, the shorts and flip flops I was wearing weren’t the most appropriate attire. But then again, this was Hawaii and people dressed a bit more casual.

While Jeph was inside, I waited, biding my time by checking the weather on my phone for the next few days. Sun was forecasted, so I planned to hit the waves on my first break, even if it was for a short time. Stepping outside, I let the warmth of the sun embrace me and breathed in the salty breeze.

Walking around the outside of the property, I caught no scent of Fallen and highly doubted I’d see them today. There should have been no reason for them to have been in Hawaii in the first place, unless there was some kind of a threat.

Time flew by, and before I knew it, a few cars pulled in. I made my way down the path and walked inside. Mr. Whedon greeted me, saying he’d be back after taking a couple on a tour through the house. He looked like a simple man wearing khaki slacks and an aloha shirt. He was under six foot tall, medium build, with brown curly hair, which was a tad too long. The house was modern and staged with whickered furniture and hand painted artwork of Hawaiian scenery. It was open and airy and smelled of fresh baked cookies. The kitchen, filled with high end appliances, held a plate of cookies on the counter. They were still warm when I grabbed one and took a bite. It definitely wasn’t as good as Miss Lily’s.

I lingered around twenty minutes before heading back outside. A paved walkway led me down toward a small seating area which overlooked the ocean. Waves crashed on the rocky shore below. Birds were singing and the wind was gently blowing through the small grove of coconut trees on the right side of the property, making them sway.

Sucking in a deep breath, the air was still clear of any Fallen or other foul scents, so I decided to head back to the car.

After dozens of visitors and hours that seemed to tick on forever, Jeph finally locked down the house and picked up his open house sign at the end of the drive. Every person who visited was human. Not even a hint of Fallen, or anything else immortal.

Maybe this assignment would be much easier than I’d thought. Boring as heck, but easy.

After Mr. Whedon left, I followed him back to town. He parked in a small lot in front of a two story commercial building next to a mini mall.

I waited in the parking lot while he went in, and about an hour later, he exited the building, carrying a suitcase. It appeared as if he was done for the day and would be heading home. I prepared for a boring, long night.

Hopefully, there was a food store near his house, where I could grab a bite to eat, and maybe some snacks. Food always helped make the time pass a little easier.