Archangel's Prophecy (Page 53)
She was quivering in the aftermath, her skin shiny with a light layer of perspiration and her breathing ragged, when he shifted position to brace himself over her. She stroked his chest with lazy fingertips that moved down to grasp his rigid c**k.
Muscles stone, he gritted out, “I have no patience today, Elena.”
Slowly spreading her thighs, she guided him to the dark heat of her. “Me, either, Archangel.”
Her hands came around to his back on that husky admission—and he pushed into her. The musk of her was a deeply private caress against his senses, her nails sharp bites that anchored him to the physical even as dangerous archangelic energies seethed inside him. Their eyes locked as he sank home, and in the luminous gray, he saw forever.
Legs around his hips once more, she held him possessively tight as he began to move. All at once, it wasn’t enough to be braced over her. He lowered his body to hers but wrapped both arms around her upper back so he wouldn’t crush her. As close as two people could get, not a breath between them, they loved until there was no fear, no pain, no prophesied death, only Raphael and Elena. An archangel and his consort.
“You’re not glowing anymore,” his consort pointed out when she’d caught her breath.
The two of them lay together in bed, Elena on her front on one of his solid-once-again wings, Raphael on his back. She’d spread one of her wings over him, and he ran his fingers over her feathers, checking for any sign of weakness. “Good. I’m not used to having no control over my physical reactions.”
“Oh?” An arch sound. “I could’ve sworn you were swept up in uncontrollable passion not so long ago.”
“This is not a time to tease, Elena.”
Of course she just leaned over and kissed him on the jaw. “It’s exactly the time.” But her gaze was solemn. “You shouldn’t have produced ambrosia, should you? It’s only ever meant to be produced once, to turn a mortal into an angel.”
“That is the legend, but we have precious few facts.” No one, not even the oldest angels who walked the world, could remember the last angel-Made, it had been so long ago. The only thing that had survived was the legend of ambrosia. “It might be that the transition requires multiple doses.” Raphael traced the perfect beauty of a feather that graduated from deepest blue to violet.
Elena frowned. “Stage one, stage two, and so on.” Propping herself up on one elbow, she considered it. “I could see that. All my weird issues could’ve just been a signal that we were nearing the deadline for the next dose.” A dazzling smile. “At least we know your body will produce it when the time comes. No panic before dose three.”
Raphael couldn’t stop searching for the silver in her eyes. “What happened today?”
She told him all of it . . . then blinked. “Raphael”—her fingers spread on his heart—“you were two hours away. How are you here?”
“I have no answers for you, hbeebti. As I had no answers the day I caught Illium out of the sky.”
“Yeah, you were too far away then, too, but you got to him in time.” Elena bit down on her lower lip. “But that was across the city and this . . .”
Raphael continued his careful investigation of her wing. “If I have gained a new Cascade-born ability tied to speed, it is a valuable one. Unfortunately, I have no knowledge of how to access it.” When he attempted to focus on what had occurred so he could recreate it, all he got was a turmoil of emotion and blinding power.
“I knew only that you needed me and I was too far away.” He’d reacted with anger and determination. “I pushed myself faster and faster, and then I was lightning stretched across two universes.”
Elena listened with silent attention, her hair a glorious tumble over her shoulders.
“It felt for a single endless instant as if I was in two places at the same time. My position when you contacted me, and here, at the Tower. Then the two ends crashed into one and I dropped out of the sky to land on our balcony.”
“Like a rubber band stretched too tight snapping back together.”
“An apt description.” Bracing one arm under his head, his other one on her wing, he tried to think through the entire happening again but his brain saw only chaotic flashes, as if the speed of it had been too much for his mind to process. “My skin was afire when I landed—no pain, but a searing heat.”
“Kinda makes sense, if you went supersonic.”
Raphael began to reply when his attention was caught by a glimmer on her shoulder. He’d almost missed it because it was the same shade as her hair, but when he reached out and picked it up, it came away with ease. Long, silken white strands that floated against his palm.
“Am I shedding?” Elena said, tugging at her hair as if to check on its health.
“Elena, this isn’t hair.”
Frowning, she leaned in to pick up the delicate strands from his hand. “It looks like the lint that’s infested my clothes.” Her face went motionless, her breathing too quiet. “It was never lint, was it?”
“I don’t know what it is, but this morning I dropped off a sample at our labs for testing.”
Lines formed on her forehead. “So?”
“No answer yet.” And no return of silver to her irises. “Let’s go speak to them now—but first, hbeebti, you must look in a mirror.”
She noticed the change at once. “S**t.” Her fingers rose as if to touch her eye, dropped before she made contact. “I guess we wait and see. Maybe the ambrosia takes time to reboot me for stage two.”
Raphael glanced out the balcony doors as they went to leave their suite. A number of the Legion sat outside, watchful gargoyles whose huge mind had amplified Raphael’s senses when Elena called out to him. Stay with her when she leaves, he ordered, because he knew his hunter and the demons that haunted her.
“I need to look in on Harrison, too,” she said right then. “And I’ve been trying to track down that Jade guy I told you about.”
Raphael cared nothing for her brother-in-law when the unpredictable changes in her had him by the throat, but some battles had to be fought. Elena had to keep this monster from her sister’s door, had to save Beth as she hadn’t been able to save Ariel and Mirabelle. You should speak to Dmitri. If Jade is any kind of power, Dmitri will know his whereabouts.
No response from Elena, though she did raise her fingers to her temple and rub it absently.
Raphael stopped. Hbeebti, do you hear me?
Halting, Elena turned to face him, and he cursed himself for a worry that had no cause . . . then she said, “Raphael? What’s up?”
“Elena, I want you to send me a mental thought.” She’d developed the ability to speak to him on the mental level far faster than anyone had expected, and now the steel and wildfire of her was a familiar presence in his mind.
She’d braided her hair after showering quickly, and the single plait swung a little as she tilted her head, her expression acute. “I just did.”
“I heard nothing.”
Elena’s throat moved as she swallowed. “No silver in my eyes, and now I’ve lost mental speech.” Pressing her fisted hand against the center of her chest, she took a deep breath, exhaled slowly. “But my wings work and feel fine. This could be a normal part of my development.”