Chapter 7

"Get away from here!" Andrew commanded the enemy as he stepped out of the car bravely and stared the devil down with equal determination. The lion took one, tiny step back tentatively before taking one, small bound forward again with a dangerous roar of warning to the angel. But Andrew didn't back down. He knew that this creature could easily take one more small pounce and be upon him, but that didn't matter now. If he was meant to be taken instead of Monica, then so be it. He would be more than willing to take her place.

But just then, Monica had been watching through the front window and saw the lion bound forward. Without much thought about it, she had raced to the front door, unlocked it and hurried out on the front porch. "Andrew!" She screamed, fear for her friend ringing like sirens in her Irish lilt. When she rushed down the porch steps, the devil again, turned her attention from Andrew to Monica, knowing that now, he had them both out here and also had a great opportunity at hand.

"Monica! Get back inside! Now!" Andrew shouted in the most commanding voice he had ever used to address Monica. But she didn't move. As the mammoth cat took a few steps toward her, all she could think about was that if she went back inside now, Andrew would be left at square one outside. She could see that she had a choice to make, but Andrew made it for her. He raced around the feline and stepped in between him and Monica, spreading his arms protectively as he turned his back to her to face the lion. "Don't you dare lay a paw on her." He ordered, but again, the lion put up a fight. He roared one more time in frustration, causing both angels to start nervously. But suddenly, Andrew knew what had to be done and wondered why he hadn't thought of it before. It was simple enough.

"I command you, in the name of the almighty Father in heaven to go back to where you came from. Now! And leave her alone!" Andrew ordered in a voice so strong and powerful that it almost frightened Monica to hear it. She had never heard him quite so determined that he would yell in such a manner. The lion seemed undecided over what to do now. He knew he didn't have a choice but to leave, but he felt it necessary to roar for the millionth time as a final warning to the angels before fading away into the night, leaving nothing behind but fear. It was as though he had never been there at all.

Both Andrew and Monica felt themselves exhale a ridiculously long breath they didn't even know they were holding. Andrew sighed a breath of relief and turned to face his friend, who now had tears streaming down her face after the entire ordeal. She then, without much thought, threw her arms around Andrew's neck and sobbed into his shoulder almost uncontrollably. He allowed his arms to encircle around her back and hold her as close as her pregnant belly would allow. He kissed the top of her head tenderly and held her for several minutes, telling her all the while how much he loved her and how glad he was that this entire ordeal was over. And she held onto him so tightly that she was certain never to let go. The moment was one of love and tenderness…and thanks.

But then, quite suddenly, their sweet embrace was cut short when Monica pulled away and instead placed both hands over her stomach with a distracted expression. Andrew immediately caught sight of this and he placed a consoling hand on his friend's shoulder. "Whoa, whoa what's wrong?" He asked in a serious voice as he attempted to make eye contact with her distant gaze. But suddenly her alarmed expression turned to one of amazement and joy and an ear-to-ear grin spread across her face.

"Andrew, feel this." She commanded gently as she suddenly reached out, grasped his hand and brought it to her stomach. Andrew didn't have to wonder long what she was talking about, for suddenly he felt it. The baby was kicking! He felt it against his hand and beamed brightly in amazement. He couldn't believe it! He always knew there was a baby growing inside his friend, but now he could actually feel it! It was incredible. It was there! "Oh Monica." He breathed proudly as he pulled her into another embrace, pulling away only briefly after a minute to stare down into her beautiful face for a long moment before planting a loving kiss on her forehead. He then wrapped his arms around her once again. Four more months seemed so far away all of a sudden, and yet so close.

To be continued…Coming soon: Surrogate Angel – Part 3