E M O T I O N L E S S
Her heart doesn't even beat now.
"Adiona, you must comply with the Council's punishment." Blaire's tone was stern as she regarded the Archangel. "It's only a month. Just protect her for a month."
"You mean I'm seriously stuck with her for the next thirty days?" Cleo exclaimed. "I'm as straight as a spaghetti stick!"
"Until you get hot and wet," Blaire coughed and Cleo glared at her. She quickly sobered up.
"Listen, Cley," Blaire spoke softly. "I get that you're straight, and I respect that. But heaven wills for you to be mated to Adiona and there's nothing we can do about that. Who knows, maybe you're bi, but you just don't know it yet."
"Blaire, you of all people know me," Cleo sighed. "All I've ever dated are boys. I don't believe in fate, and so what if I can see her wings? Even if she is my mate, we can just go our separate ways and forget this ever happened."
Adiona walked until she was a few inches away from Cleo and bent down, bringing her painfully stunning face to be in the same level as hers.
"I have even more important matters to attend to than this, but for the sake of my honor, I have done my best to understand and empathize with you, Cleomandra Stone," Adiona purred, her eyes maintaining eye contact with the brown-eyed beauty. "I have waited for my mate for over a thousand years. However, now that you are here, my very existence is threatened. And so is yours."
Cleo's eyes widened the same time her brows furrowed. A thousand years? My existence is threatened? Heck, isn't my existence a threat?
"As an Archangel," Adiona continued, not a hint of emotion in her voice. "It is in my nature to protect. So I will proceed to be your bodyguard and eliminate all possible threats against you. However, no romantic relationship must emerge from this arrangement."
"But you're mated to each other." Blaire was incredulous as she held her hands up. "Are you fucking serious?"
"Wait, ok, hold up," Cleo was standing up now. "So all in all, you're agreeing to my terms? To forget this ever happened?"
Adiona raised a perfect brow. "No, I can never forget my only mate. Especially one that is female. However, for the safety of the both of us, I am here to protect you, and you must avoid becoming close to me. That's all I ask."
"Not a problem," Cleo said through clenched teeth. "As long as you stay the fuck out of my head, I won't bother you, and you do the same."
Blaire rolled her eyes. "Adiona, a fucking Archangel, centuries older than an angel, is assigned to do bodyguard duty, meets her mate, and makes the most ridiculous deal on the planet. Ignoring each other."
"I want to have nothing to do with her," Cleo crossed her arms. "How is this even going to work? I'll just be seeing Adiona's distractingly big-ass wings everywhere I work? No. I'll hire another bodyguard. I'll just say that she did her part of the deal."
Blaire shook her head. "The Council will still know."
"I don't really care what the Council thinks, to be honest," Cleo stood up. "Theyll be punishing Adiona, not me. Which is perfect."
Blaire sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose to ease her headache. "What Adiona feels, so will you."
"What?" Cleo was flabbergasted. She turned to Adiona. "Is that true? What do you mean?"
"I must leave," Adiona completely dismissed Cleo's questions, and it infuriated her. The black-winged angel stood, delicately wiping her hands at the sides of her black pants, her plain black shirt clinging to her breasts that slightly moved with her motion. "Stay here, Cleo. You'll be safe with Blaire for tonight. I have some matters that I need to attend to. I will see you at dawn."
And with that, the confident creature strode to the large glass door, slid it open, and spread her wings.
They truly were massive and magnificent. They spanned out even farther than the two glass doors and glittered in the moonlight. Despite being shocked and angry at Adiona's sudden leave without explanation, Cleo couldn't deny that her wings seemed to calm and scare her at the same time. They were a mysterious perfection, just like their owner.
They flapped once and Cleo held her breath. They flapped again and her breath was stolen.
And into the dark night, her new bodyguard flew. Cleo Stone was left to wonder what the next day held.
Cleo tossed and turned in her bed that night. Even though the sheets were of velvety coolness against the summer heat of the night, she was still sweating. The aircondition couldn't help her mind slow down either. She groaned and swung her legs over the side of the queen-sized bed and padded barefoot across the carpet, down the hallway, and softly knocked at her best friend's door.
"Blaire?" she whispered, opening the door just a crack.
"Hmm?" She heard a murmur and she walked in. "What's up?" Blaire sat up, turned on her lamplight, and rubbed her eyes sleepily. Cleo noticed that she couldn't see her wings anymore.
"Aren't your wings uncomfortable to sleep in?" Cleo asked, her eyebrow curving inwards.
Blaire laughed, ending it with a smile and sigh, "Why do you say that?"
"Well," Cleo made circles at the beige carpet with her toe. "You know, with the bones and stuff. Isn't it uncomfortable?"
Blaire pursed her lips while smiling and replied, "It's actually the most comfortable place to sleep on. Angel feathers are softer than clouds you won't even notice the 'bones and stuff'."
"So you'll fall through it then?" Cleo smiled teasingly, coming to sit indian style in front of Braile.
Blaire rolled her eyes smilingly. "You're such a child sometimes."
Cleo laughed along with her then sobered, "I still can't believe this is happening."
"What do you mean?" Blaire had a concerned look on her face as she rubbed Cleo's arm to comfort her.
"Before yesterday, I had no idea angels existed," Cleo's voice was barely above a whisper. "And now I'm still having trouble believing my best friend is one. Let alone myself being mated to another."
"Oh honey," Blaire soothed. "I'm genuinely sorry all of this was suddenly dumped on you, and I'm even more sorry that I didn't tell you what I was sooner." She bit her lip, feeling guilty. "What kind of a best friend am I?" She turned away from Cleo to hide her glassy eyes as she stifled her tears.
"Blaire," Cleo said gently, holding her best friend's chin so she would look at her. "I kind of understand why you didn't want to tell me. What matters is that I know that now, and being mad about it isn't going to turn back time."
Blaire sniffled, and Cleo hugged her tight.
"You're not mad at me then?" Blaire's muffled voice sounded against Cleo's chest.
"No, I'm not," she said softly. "I'm still confused and frustrated as to what exactly is happening, but I need to be mature about this." She saw that Blaire was still a bit sad. "I could never be mad at you." she lightly punched the shorter woman in the shoulder and Blaire softly laughed, sniffing.
"Thanks Cley," she replied. "Any other questions? I'll try to answer the best I can."
Thousands, Cleo thought. But her mind was foggy right now and she could feel the effects of exhaustion laying claim to her eyes as they drooped. She couldn't think straight, all of a sudden. But she had to know one thing before she turned in.
"Why is Adiona so... emotionless?" she hesitatingly asked, thinking of the winged beauty. "There's something dark and cold about her. Like, her face doesn't even move, regardless of what she feels. Heck, I don't think she even feels anything. Why is that?"
"Oh, you noticed," Blaire chuckled softly. "You haven't even known her long. Anyway, Adiona is...I guess you could say, ancient. She has lived for so long she's bored of human emotions, and therefore void of them."
Cleo's eyes widened, her exhaustion forgotten. "So she has no emotions? At all?"
"Yeah, pretty much," Blaire nodded. "I mean, I guess she did, but that was way before I was turned. Her heart doesn't even beat now."
Cleo didn't think her eyes could widen any further, but they did. "Her heart doesn't beat? At all?"
Blaire laughed, "Stop turning my questions into answers. And yes, it really doesn't. If you've been an angel long enough, your heart stops beating, and your blood is replaced with translucent liquid gold. Sadly, for her, when her heart stopped beating, so did her emotions. Or was that the other way around?" she shrugged. "I've only been an angel for a century, so I'm practically a baby."
"But that's not true," Cleo frowned, not just because she was thinking hard, but also because she couldn't believe her best friend was over a century old. "I saw how shocked she was when I told her I could see her wings. Shock is an emotion. But then again that's the only thing I saw appear on her face." She had to mentally stop herself from saying the word flawless before face.
"What?" Now it was Blaire who was frowning. "That's weird." She murmured, looking just as confused as Cleo.
"Wait a minute," Cleo's mind processed the new information. "You said her blood turns into gold after living as an angel long enough. But you also said that when they find their mates their body starts to produce gold. What does that mean?"
Blaire tilted her head to the side, her gorgeous wild curls tumbling over her ear. "I've actually never heard of an Archangel meeting their mate, so I don't know. Most Archangels kill their mates-" she stopped suddenly, as if realizing she said the wrong thing. "-meats is what I meant-I don't know why I said 'mates'- Archangels are very carnivorous." She smiled wide. "Any other questions?" Her spine was rigid.
"I'll ask them tomorrow," Cleo replied, noting the change of her behavior. She caught what Blaire said, but didn't let her know. She sensed there was something huge her best friend was hiding, and she knew her well enough to know that she wouldn't try to hide it from her unless it was this threatening.
Cleo was smart enough to figure it out on her own.
She stood up and walked backwards to the door. "Sleep tight Blaire-bear. I'll see you tomorrow." She was suddenly tired again and the thought of going to bed was inviting.
Why would the Archangels kill their mates?
She switched off the lights and softly closed the door.
And the click of the door echoed her muffled scream as someone grabbed her in the dark. Followed by complete silence save the soft gush of wind.