"You had to open your mouth, didn't you?" Evangeline hissed at Cam.
Six unarmed Fallen angels faced an army of Outcast armed with silver arrows; all of them aimed at the row of defenceless Angels. Cam had his own bow out but the Outcast were likely to cause far more damage than he was.
"Fuck." Evangeline cursed upon noticing Luce's presence.
Of course the stubborn girl couldn't listen to simple instructions and so the brewing fight just got far more dangerous. Trying to tune out the argument Daniel was losing with the woman he loved, Evangeline tried not to twitch under the heated but blank gaze of the army of Outcasts. Her hand slipped into Cam's subconsciously as the front line of Outcasts raised their bows and loosened their arrows. Thankfully, Molly was there to defend them with garden rakes and arrow deflecting skills.
"Get her inside, and get the Starshots!" Cam shouted at Daniel, and taking out three Outcasts in the process.
The angelic duo (Roland and Arriane) along with Evangeline began snatching up Starshots from the ground and launching them back at the Outcasts with precision. Gabbe tilted the tip of wing at the ground and smiled angelically as the ground beneath them opened up and swallowed twenty Outcasts. Moments after, the ground closed back up. Soon enough, Cam ran out of arrows and the number of Outcasts being taken down lessened as the Fallen waited for them to shoot more Starshots.
Cam used the picnic table as a shield before collecting the fallen arrows and launching them back. Molly continued using her rakes as swords whilst Roland used the sheer force of wind from his wings to send the arrows careening back into the ranks of the Outcasts. Arriane used the old tyre swing that Luce used to play on to deflect arrows. Gabbe and Evangeline swept around the yard, collecting fallen Starshot before spinning back round and jamming them into any Outcast that got too close.
Noticing that the humans and Nephilim were attempting to make their way across the garden, Evangeline shielded them as best she could. Luce watched as the Angel faltered slightly, knees buckling for a split second that it wasn't noticeable to anyone else who hadn't been watching her. Eyebrows furrowing at the bizarre movement, Luce was distracted when Callie cried out in pain, rubbing her shoulder. A Starshot dropped to the ground by Luce's feet. Seeing that the group had reached safety, the blonde Angel grabbed the Starshot and launched it in the direction of the Outcasts.
"Don't shoot him." Luce's voice echoed around the clearing as she attempted to protect Miles. "I'm the one you want."
The fighting ceased.
Everyone froze and turned to look at Luce and the Outcast girl. Cam so desperately wanted to go to Evangeline to check she was unharmed, but was afraid to move in case it led to an unfortunate end for Luce. Whilst Daniel tried to coax Luce away from the Outcast, the young girl stood her ground and demanded that Daniel give her the answers she wanted.
"I want to know about the truce. Tell me the truth and don't lie."
Admiring the determination of the girl, Evangeline couldn't help but smirk slightly at Luce. However, now really wasn't the time to pull this kind of stunt.
"Cam and I drew it up. We agreed to get along for eighteen days. All angels and demons. We joined forces to hunt down other enemies." Daniel explained, casting glances at the Outcast to ensure she didn't attempt to take Luce.
"Because you needed time. We may be trying to achieve different things but for now, Cam and I – and our kin – will work as allies."
"Not that you even stuck by the truce." Cam spat, referring to the numerous times Daniel had paid Luce a visit whilst she was supposed to be safe at Shoreline.
"Neither did you." Luce pointed out.
This was the first Evangeline was hearing of it. Arching a perfectly styled brow at the Demon, Evangeline wished she could've been more surprised at this knowledge. Unfortunately, she had become perfectly accustomed to Cam breaking promises and letting her down.
"So, once the truce is over. Does that mean Cam's the enemy again? And Roland?" Luce turned her questions to Arriane – the one person who had been the most honest with her.
Whilst she knew that Evangeline cared for her, Luce also knew the powerful girl would do what she deemed best for Luce, which tended to be tell part of the truth. Just enough to keep Luce satisfied without giving all the dark details.
Confusion flitted across Luce's pale features as she attempted to process all the information. The Outcast informed Luce that she could whisk her away from all this but that only served to confuse the girl further.
"Don't do something you'll regret, Luce." Cam warned, taking a minuscule step towards the girl.
Glancing around the yard, Luce noticed that the shining dust of Angels had begun settling around everything. All her Fallen Angels were accounted for and seemed to be perfectly safe but the Outcast had lost a significant number of their army.
A slight sheen covered Evangeline's brow.
All of the angels inched closer to Luce, protecting her in case any of the Outcast attempted to snatch her. The Outcast raised her bow and aimed at Cam's heart. Evangeline started towards him but stumbled in the most ungraceful move Luce had ever seen her do. Chalking it up to panic, Luce ignored the clumsy act and inhaled sharply when the arrow was turned on Evangeline. Even more unnerving, upon scanning the beautiful Fallen, the Outcast smiled wickedly.
"Quit babying her." Shelby snapped. "Let her make her own decision for once."
However, this only served to cause the Outcast to turn her weapon on the hot-headed Nephilim. Before the blind girl was able to shoot, her lifeless eyes widened and she disappeared in a flash of light. Dust settled on the floor where she had previously stood. Behind her, Molly smiled cheerfully, lowering a silver bow.
Molly flew across the yard as Phil rose and swung the kayak at her. Grunting as she landed, the Demon brushed herself off with a heated glare.
"Surrender." Phil demanded, ignoring the arrows that Daniel and Cam were pointing at him in retaliation.
"Don't shoot. I surrender." Luce stated.
"What's happening?" Cam barked at Daniel.
Everyone else in the yard looked confused, apart from Shelby who had figured out that Miles had finally managed to split someone. As Luce's projection slipped her hand into Phil's, Daniel let out a choked noise.
"Luce, no." Evangeline whispered in horror, watching as the Outcast and the girl soared away from them.
"No!" Daniel cried. "No, no, no!"
His wings snapped out to their full length as heartbreak coursed through him. Meeting Cam's eyes, Evangeline nodded solemnly and placed a hand on Daniel's shoulder as Cam did what he knew he had to. Raising the bow, Cam released a breath as the arrow went soaring into the sky with accurate precision. A huge burst of white light streaked across the sky and Luce disappeared.
"What's wrong with you?" Daniel screamed, pounding Cam's face as agony burst through him.
Due to the anger and pain fuelling Daniel's punches, Cam struggled to keep the attacks at bay and the pair of them rolled around the grass. Evangeline attempted to pull the two men apart but Daniel threw her off. She spun across the sky and landed in a painful heap on the ground. Exclaiming in pain, she pressed a hand to the fire burning on her left side. Instead of gathering the strength to stand, she huddled on the ground and bit back a small scream. Thankfully, Arriane was by her side in seconds and helped her stand; excusing her behaviour for sadness.
"I'll kill you!"
"You know I'm right!" Cam yelled back, waiting for Daniel to see sense.
Slumping to the ground, Daniel buried his face into the grass. Wishing she could comfort her brother, Evangeline gasped as another course of pain washed over her.
Turning away from her family, the blonde lifted the bottom of her navy shirt to examine the long cut on the left side of her stomach. Despite not pouring with blood, the cut was puffy and red and seemed to be deepening with every passing second. Her angelic nature meant the cut should be disappearing. Clenching her eyes shut, Evangeline knew that the Starshot that had hit Callie earlier had grazed her on its way. Ironically, Evangeline had dedicated her life to ensuring Luce's safety and now Luce was gone.
Nobody had won.
The Outcasts were immortal enemies.
Luce was dead.
The truce would soon be broken and Evangeline was never going back to Heaven. She would die on Earth.
"Luce!" Daniel's head snapped up at a sizzling sound that echoed around the garden and his body raised from the ground.
Evangeline let out a silent sob at seeing her friend and the love of Daniel's life. She was safe and alive but standing before an Announcer. Knowing that her immortal mission had been a success, Evangeline could accept her end with more peace than before. Luce was alive and Daniel would be able to talk her away from the Announcer.
Noticing her family were preoccupied with the now-alive girl, Evangeline slipped away from the yard. Walking down the street that Luce's family lived on, she felt herself getting more and more exhausted with each step. Her head felt fuzzy and she could see the world tilting slightly. Taking flight, the Angel hoped that she would make it home in time.
"You don't know what you're doing, Luce! It could take you anywhere!" Roland warned, hoping to warn her away from the Announcer.
Daniel jogged toward his soulmate, anxiety spurring him on as he begged her not to do it.
"Guess I'll just have to figure it out," responded then dark haired girl.
Daniel ran faster, not previously believing she would truly disappear into an Announcer. However, he was too late. She waved at them and leapt into the murky shadow.
Behind him, the Angels and the Nephilim began arguing. Arriane blamed Shelby for bringing the Outcasts to Luce - Molly defended her. All of them began bickering into Daniel demanded they shut up.
He was going after her.
He knew that finding her could potentially be impossible but there was no way he was going to lose for the second time that night.
"It's not a sign of weakness to let us help." Roland pointed out.
All of them loved Luce. All of them had spent their lives trying to protect her and save her so that she and Daniel could have their happy ending. For the first time in thousands of years, this was the first glimpse of hope they had had. All of them would help get her back, no matter the cost.
Making eye contact with Gabbe, Daniel was reassured that the mature one, the most level-headed would ensure everything would be okay when they got back. Gabbe would make sure Callie got home safe, Gabbe would make sure that Luce's parents understood. She would take care of business in the human world and come and help when she could.
Searching for Evangeline, Daniel knew that her agreement was the one that mattered most. If she believed he was doing the right thing, he would have no room for doubt himself. However, she wasn't there.
"Where's Evangeline?" Daniel panicked, causing all the other Fallen to stare around the yard.
She wasn't there.
But, there hadn't been a burst of light so she couldn't have died? Now both of his two favourite girl's had gone and Daniel was torn.
"Just go. We'll figure it out." Cam reassured the Angel, patting him on the shoulder. "We'll find Eva and you will find Luce."
Somehow, Cam's trust in Daniel and Luce's love was the thing that spurred him on the most. Nodding his head, Daniel stared at the Announcer before him and thought of nothing but Luce. Taking a step into the portal, Daniel knew he would find her no matter what.