Saving Thomas: A Midway Novel Book Two (Hidden Wings)
I waited until lightning cracked across the sky, and still, the shadowy figures of at least a half dozen Fallen were still soaring above. What the hell were they doing?
I stayed under the cover of trees and darkness, moving ever so cautiously. I was soaked, the rain falling in torrents from the sky. It was cold. So cold, my breath billowed in front of me with every exhale.
My instincts said to pull back. There were too many of them for me to fight alone. But my curiosity was getting the best of me. I just hoped that curiosity didn’t kill me.
As I made my way closer toward the entrance, I kept my eyes on the sky. But the further away from the vehicle I got, the more I began to doubt my decision.
I reached in my pocket for my phone and dialed Alex. The phone rang but went to his answering service.
“Hey man, this is Thomas. Just in case anything happens to me, I’m still on Maui, up at the Haleakala National Park checking out a lead. I’m alone, but Isaac the Watcher said the Fallen were seen gathering up here. I witnessed at least a half-dozen in the sky. I need to figure out—”
A slam to my back knocked the wind from my lungs and had me flying through the air, cracking tree branches along the way. I fell with a thud in the middle of the paved roadway, disoriented and in pain. Focusing, I witnessed dark figures emerging from the trees. Long, onyx wings extended from their backs.
A large, muscular Fallen male with wings folded behind his back approached me. A wide smile spread across his face. “You fell right into our trap, Thomas,” he growled.
How did he know my name? “Who the hell are you, and what do you want with me?” I spat, rising to my knees. Pain shot through my lower back, but I wouldn’t allow them to see my weaknesses.
The Fallen male took another step forward. “It’s not us who want you. Lucifer does. And soon, we’ll have the rest of your angel brothers too.”
“You will never get the others.”
“Oh, but look how easy it was to get you alone. Lucifer has studied each of you. He knows what your weaknesses are. All we had to do was play with a human in your dream location, and your damn, ignorant leaders in Midway handed you right over to us.”
My stomach lurched knowing Dom was also sent out on an assignment. Had they set him up to be captured too?
“Don’t worry. We won’t kill you yet. We’ll probably make you suffer, but we need you all alive. It’s all part of the master plan.” He let out an evil laugh, and stepped forward sniffing the air around me.
“Why have you no scent?”
I raised my head, my eyes meeting his and casually shrugged. “I showered.”
His face went rigid. I didn’t even see his leg as he kicked my gut. My body flew back a few feet, and I doubled over in pain.
I coughed, spitting warm metallic fluid from my mouth before I glared at him and smiled. “You can kill me, but at least I’ve lived a good life, free from the Underworld stench.”
“Oh, don’t worry. You will die, eventually.”
He gestured to someone behind me, and in seconds I was yanked onto my feet, arms and legs bound.
I stood my ground and took a shallow breath, enough to speak my peace. “Someone will come for me, and when they do, you will all die.”
“If they can find you.”
They all laughed, as lightning cracked above us, rain continuing to pour down.
I growled at him, before a blow to the head made my world go dark.
I woke, lying on a cold concrete floor. The pain in my head was splitting, one eye was swollen shut, and I could barely breathe clearly from my nose.
I wondered where they’d taken me. There was no way to tell because all around me was an endless dark. But there was a stench. A thick smokiness, and heaviness to the air.
I tried to move from lying on my right side to a sitting position, but could only manage to roll to my back. I must not have been unconscious for too long because I was still in excruciating pain.
Had they taken me to the Underworld? If they had, there would be no way to rescue me. Anyone who tried would risk death, and I hoped that if I was truly in the Underworld, they would stay away.
I wondered if Alex received my message. Knowing the Guardian he was, he wouldn’t sit by knowing something went wrong. He would come after me. And that’s exactly what they wanted . . . to separate us, making us vulnerable. I regretted now that I’d left him the message. If he were smart, he’d let Ephraim know and let him deal with it. Maybe then, Midway would become aware of what was going on and find a way to stop it.
My hands and legs were unbound, which probably meant I was in a cell. Slowly and painfully, I rose to my knees, then pulled myself to my feet using the wall made of rock and dirt as a brace. I was underground, but still uncertain as to where. I could have been anywhere in the world.
I just had to prepare for the worst. Knowing what the Fallen were capable of, I hoped I could gather enough courage to be strong . . . until the end. Malachi and James were. The looks they had on their faces, knowing they were facing death, would forever be etched in my mind. They were brave and fearless, the epitome of what any Guardian Angel should have been like at their end. I hoped I could do the same.
If this had been Lucifer’s plan, there must have been a reason why I was still alive.
They must have known me well enough to know I’d go searching for answers. Maybe they knew it was what every Guardian would do. Not just sit around waiting for something to happen, when the assignment was a dud.
My thoughts went back to Dom, the only other one of us I knew who was out on an assignment. I prayed he was smart enough to stay out of trouble. But knowing Dom, he’d run directly to it, swords ablaze. My eyes had adjusted to my surrounding. I was in a room, the floor made of stone. The walls were all dirt and rock, the only exit was a large steel door.
I walked up to the door and shoved, but it didn’t budge, didn’t even creak. There must have been some kind of spell put on it. I was weak, but knew they wouldn’t be stupid enough to stick me in a cell I could escape from.
I was alone. There were no voices and no movement, from what I could hear outside. It was so quiet. A deafening silence that could drive one mad. I sat back on the ground with my back to the wall and closed my eyes, picturing the sunshine, waves, and warm, velvety sand.
Would I ever get out of there to experience it again? I didn’t even know if they’d just thrown me in this hole to rot. I’d be fine if I never saw another Fallen again.
I must have passed out, because I was rudely awoken by ice water dumped on my head and shoulders. Gasping, I sat up, trying to focus on my surroundings. A torch revealed the Fallen male leader, with two others standing near the door behind him.
“I hope you got some rest, because it might be a while before you get any more.”
I didn’t reply, which made his wicked smile grow larger.
“What do you want?” I asked.
“The three Nephilim in Alaska,” he replied. “If you can draw them outside of the barrier, we will let you go unharmed.”
He was talking about Alaine, Emma, and Eden. And there was no way in Grandia or the Underworld that I’d put their lives at risk. I was a Guardian. My existence was to protect, especially those three. They were not just Nephilim. They were friends and I’d played a part in guarding each of them.
I looked directly at him. “Never.”
“Whether you help us or not, we will do whatever necessary to accomplish this task.”
I shrugged, but inside I tried to mentally prepare for the oncoming pain.
The leader stepped to the side, then motioned to the two Fallen standing at the back of the room. They moved toward me, each carrying a weapon. The one on the left had a wooden club, the size of a bat, only the head was much larger. The second had a short, double-edged sword. Its sharp blade glinted in the torchlight.
I stood to my feet, but without a weapon I wouldn’t be able to fight back for long. My wings wouldn’t be any good either. The space was much too small, and I treasured my wings. If they knew I had them, they’d strip me. It was the way of the Fallen. They took pleasure in stripping Angel’s flawless white wings.
I wasn’t about to let them beat me senseless without putting up a fight. I held my ground, crouching into a fighting stance.
“You think you can take us on?” the one with the club asked.
Raising my brow, I answered, “That’s the plan.”
He laughed spinning the club like he was born with it.
This was going to hurt.
The Fallen with the club was the only one who attacked. He swung, but I managed to dodge that first blow, stepping too close to the leader. The leader sucker punched me in the side. A loud snap followed. He’d broken my ribs. As I fell to the ground, I felt it. Shooting pain had me gasping.
Still trying to recover from the blow, another one from the side came. The club slammed down onto my left forearm. Another sickening snap had me crying out in pain.
He swung again, but I rolled toward him as the club came down, barely missing me. I spun, on my side, kicking his right leg as hard as I could. It didn’t break, but knew it hurt him because he faltered back and took a knee. I jumped up, holding my broken arm, trying to catch my breath, but the broken rib was making it difficult. Still, I took a fighting stance.
“You’ve got spunk,” the leader said from the side. “I’ll give you that.” He slowly made his way toward the front of me. “You can save yourself additional pain if you do but one simple task. Have them meet you somewhere outside of the barrier. You won’t even have to show up or be in the area. We can even make it look like you were captured at the site, so they will never suspect you had anything to do with it.” He gave a casual shrug. “A simple call will save you the forthcoming torture.”
I shook my head and met his gaze. “If I give them up, I’ll live the rest of my life with a tortured heart and conscience. That’s much worse than any physical pain you can inflict.”
“So be it.”
The man with the club and the other Fallen rushed toward me, hammering me with kicks and punches with their fists, legs, and the club. Blow after blow, all I could do was curl up and take them.
A final blow to my head put me out.