…Monica entered the dark apartment with little concern as she stripped her coat from her shoulders and tossed it over the arm of the couch before reaching over to switch on the kitchen light. "Andrew." She called softly into the darkness, hoping that perhaps he hadn't gone to bed yet and had waited up for her. But no answer came to her and she flipped the light switch, clearly expecting the room to be instantly illuminated…but it wasn't.
When the apartment remained nearly pitch black, Monica ceased what she was doing and turned her attention to the switch, thinking perhaps the bulb in the kitchen had burnt out, as she flipped it on and off a few more times, but to no avail. No light. Nothing happened. The Irish angel was prepared to shrug off the ordeal, but just as she gave up on the light switch and was about to enter further into her apartment, she could've sworn she heard movement just beyond the reach of her vision.
Freezing in her tracks exactly where she stood, Monica's carelessness suddenly abandoned her as her breathing quickened as well as her heart rate. "Andrew?" She called again, a little more tentatively this time, hoping beyond hope that it was none other than the Angel of Death, just sitting on the couch waiting for her to come home. But she could see no one, as the apartment was far too dark without the kitchen light.
But before she had another chance to react to anything more, a cold, merciless hand gripped her mouth, preventing her from screaming, as another harsh arm wrapped around her chest, keeping her from the ability to do so much as move. Panic tore through her body as she thought of her baby. She wasn't afraid for herself, but she couldn't let anything happen to her son. And Andrew? Oh, God, where was Andrew?
For the first time in her existence, the angel struggled, doing her best to pull away from her fate, but the more she thrashed and pulled, the tighter her pursuer held her. Monica could feel hot, purposeful breath on the back of her neck, thoroughly sending chills cascading up and down her spine. She was helpless, completely unable to do anything in purpose to preserve her own safety or her child's.
But it was then that the intruder made the mistake of releasing her mouth only to restrain her hands behind her back in case she made the decision to resort to violence as a last resort. But only Monica herself knew that she would never do so, even to save her life. She spoke instead. "What do you want?" She demanded in a hushed voice simply and fairly calmly. But the reply she got was one she had expected, for she needn't ask who it was. She knew.
"I think you know what I want, Monica." He whispered in return, his venomous mouth hovering just above her ear, causing her to tremble even more than she already was. But Monica demanded to know more, knowing full well that this creature may be evil, but he could not deny her what she wanted to know. Could he? "Where is Andrew?" She wanted to know more than anything else. If something had happened to him she didn't know what she'd do now, alone with this terrible…monster. But again, his answer wasn't a straight one, but it was enough to confirm her terrible suspicions.
"Well I'm afraid Andrew has been…unavoidably detained." He worded his answer cleverly, knowing that it would be enough to upset the young angel as she began to struggle once more. "No!" She cried out in distress but it did little to phase the devil as he grasped her wrist behind her back and twisted it painfully, doing enough to quiet her once more, and cease her fighting.
Monica clenched her teeth, but refused to show any sign of being in pain, for that might just give Satan the satisfaction he was looking for. But only mere seconds later, Monica was able to hear the oh too familiar click just next to her ear before the cool metal of a gun barrel was pressed against her temple…
…This time Monica sat bolt upright in bed, her face and neck glistening with sweat as she tried desperately to shake the terrible feeling of the gun against her head. Her breathing left a lot to be desired as well, for she suddenly realized she must not have been breathing for the past several minutes. Struggling for air, she did her best to force herself to calm down as she glanced around the dark room surrounding her. It was still late in the midst of the night and morning was a long way off, but she immediately regretted her sudden movements when she felt Andrew stir from his own peaceful sleep next to her.
Propping himself up on his elbows, the Angel of Death shook the sleep from his groggy mind and glanced up at the shaken little angel he loved so much. She was seemed to be shaking uncontrollably, tears glistening over her eyes, though she allowed none to fall and show themselves completely. Sweat gleamed across her skin as she looked down at him, hoping to God in heaven that he could see none of it for result of the darkness.
No such luck. The moment he noted the state the little angel was in, he was quick to sit up to her height and place one hand lovingly against the side of her face. "Hey, are you alright? What's the matter? Is it the baby?" He demanded in a deeply concerned manner before speaking again without even allowing her to answer. "You're sweating." He observed worriedly as he reached across the bed to switch on the light, but Monica quickly stopped him before he could do anything further. The worry and desperation in his eyes was almost far too much for her to bear. She couldn't let him know what was really going on. Not yet.
Placing a firm but gentle hand on his chest to prevent him from going any further, she did her best to look him in the eye and swallow any tears she still had on the way before speaking. "No Andrew, I'm fine. Really." She so desperately wanted to say something more to convince him, as that even sounded like a weak argument to her own ears, but she simply couldn't lie anymore. Not to him. If anyone had ever loved somebody as much as she did now, they would know that it was one of the most difficult things in the world to do to lie to the one you love. But again, it seemed she had no other choice at the moment.
Andrew leaned back ever so slightly in the dark, but kept his gaze firmly on hers, showing ever so obvious skepticism. His expression told her loud and clear that – as much as he loved and trusted her – he clearly didn't believe a word she said. The look in his eyes told her that he needed to know what was really going through her head. That he wanted to help her and he couldn't if she didn't tell him the truth here and now. He was sure she would. She had to. But she disappointed him for the first time since they met. She said nothing and only avoided his gaze, looking down to study the sheets beneath her.
But Andrew was not satisfied with this, as he then gently put his fingertips beneath her chin and lifted her glassy gaze to meet his. The look in his oceanic eyes was tender and respectful, but also intense and meaningful as he spoke. "Monica. Please. You're not fine. Anyone can see it. Please…please tell me what's going on. I love you so much." He assured her with such affection in his eyes that it could make a demon's heart melt, but Monica held strong, and somehow managed to force another lie out of her throat. How, she would never know.
"Andrew, I swear to you. I'm okay. I just had a bad dream. That's all. I'm going back to sleep." She ended the conversation firmly, without even waiting to monitor the Angel of Death's reaction. She couldn't watch him anymore. Fighting to understand the one he loved most.
Quickly turning over so she was no longer facing him, she lay back down on the mattress on her side, holding her breath until she felt Andrew lay back down next to her. She was sure he was far from falling back asleep with complete ease, but she couldn't bear to talk to him anymore right now. She hated herself for doing what she did. How could she have just flat out lied to him like that? That wasn't just a bad dream. It was more than that. And she knew that for sure now. And yet she refused to let the one she loved most help her to carry the load.
It was then that a single tear rolled over her features as she lay there in the dark. A tear for Andrew. A tear for the baby. A tear for her own predictable, terrifying fate.
Coming soon: Chapter 6