from Sons of God, book 2 in the Hosts & Hellions trilogy
Chapter One...
c2016 Mia Michele

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As the corner bookstore came into view, she had never been more grateful to see someone leaning against the wall to AUTISM.  Ela recognized the long blonde hair, the jeans, and the navy shirt, and she wept as she fell against him.  Relief swept over her body when she was finally able to stop moving.  “Mike,” she clutched him and buried herself against his strong frame.  “Oh Mike, thank God you’re here.”  Suddenly she knew why the cologne he wore always smelled familiar.  It was the same scent they filled the censors at church with for Christmas.  He smelled of frankincense.
After what she had gone through, Ela knew everything that Lucian had told her was true but the archangel outside her bookstore drove that fact like a stake through her chest.  She shook against him and Ela couldn’t spit the words out fast enough.  “I know,” she gasped, trying to fill her burning lungs with air.  “I know you’re the archangel Michael.”  When she looked up into his crystalline eyes, Ela saw instant recognition.  He wasn’t happy that she knew his identity, but it was clear that he knew she wasn’t lying. “I need your help.”  The wind blew and Ela pulled the sheet tighter around her.  She was so weak that she was having trouble standing on her own, but Mike didn’t let go of her.

Wordlessly, he opened the front door to the shop as though it wasn’t locked and drug her to the meeting space.  The lights came on instantly and momentarily blinded her.  “What’s going on, Eliela?”  Mike had always used her full name, saying it as though it was a prayer but she had never heard him sound as serious as he did tonight.  Ela knew she was about to make his night a lot worse.

She was still shaking as she leaned back against the kiosk, closing her eyes.  Her body still felt like it was running and she found it hard to get in a deep breath.  “I need you all here.”  The energy around her shifted; she opened her eyes to find the four men whom she had welcomed into her shop for years.  “The four of you really are…” Her voice trailed off.  “I’m standing in front of four of the highest beings of Heaven.  I can’t believe it,” she said, softly, shaking her head as she looked at the four archangels.

“Are you alright?”  Rafi eyes were a mixture of concern and anger as he moved to her side and skimmed his hand around her, just as Lucian had done after the motorcycle accident the night before.

She was about to tell him that she was fine but Uri interrupted, his Nordic features consumed with rage.  “Lucian did this,” he seethed.  “Of course, she’s not alright.”

“Stop!”  Ela put up a hand, using her other hand to hold the bloody sheet in place against her.  “It’s not my blood.”  The sticky liquid smelled salty and it made her feel even more nauseous than running, now that she had stopped moving and was away from the fresh air outside.  She desperately wanted a shower and could only imagine how she looked, covered in the mess.

“It’s Lucian’s?” Rafi looked at Mike with shock.  “That’s why I couldn’t locate her.  She was covered in his blood.”  Turning back to Ela, he reached for her arm, not the least bit disgusted by the mess.  “I’ve been looking for you since I came by the store and it was closed early.  We all have been.  But you were off the grid; it was though you had vanished.”
“That was the plan,” Ela said softly as she ran a dirty hand through her matted hair.  “Not to hide me from you but to hide me from them."