Hello, everybody! My sister Kim started this story and wrote the first chapters, then I joined her and now we're partners in crime!

We truly hope you like it!

PS. Gaby, sis, this is for ya!

The broken road

Chapter 1

The wind blowing her hair around her face obscured Monica's view of the angel she was walking beside of down the forest path. But she could still make out his handsome features as the breeze rippled through his blond hair. Her hand felt so secure enclosed in his, as if nothing in the universe could ever hurt her as long as he was holding her hand.

These new emotions had been welling up inside of her for weeks now and Monica could not even begin to understand them. She had ever only seen Andrew as a friend, her best friend, but now, something in her heart appeared to be changing. Now when he hugged her, or reached for her hand, a strange fluttering would begin in her stomach and seemed to work its way up to her cheeks, which would burn as if Andrew could clearly tell what she was thinking. It was getting more and more difficult to hide the fact that she was troubled from him, but Monica was also so ashamed of how she felt that she was terrified to admit the truth to her friend.

Angels were not supposed to feel this way about anyone, yet alone another angel and what she feared most was that if someone discovered the truth that she and Andrew would be separated forever. Of course, the little angel knew that God was always aware of what was in her heart, but this was one thing she couldn't bring herself to discuss with him. She was deeply afraid that God would be so disappointed in her, or worse yet, that he already was.

Monica was barely aware of the fact that Andrew had stopped walking, until she nearly stumbled, before she turned questioning dark eyes to him, "Andrew?"

"Sit down, angel," He invited her softly, indicating the rocks that were alongside the bubbling brook that ran down below them. Her expression was so inquisitive and so worried that it only reinforced his reasons for bringing her here in the first place.

"Andrew? What is it?" Monica's heart was suddenly pounding so loudly that she was certain he could hear it as well.

Sitting down, he waited until she had done the same, though she looked as if she might flee at any given minute, "Monica, I brought you down here so we could talk."

"Talk?" She blinked as her gaze met with his, "Why? What's the matter?"

"I'm not sure, angel," He began slowly, watching her every tiny movement with his eyes, "I'm hoping you can tell me."

"Andrew, what? No. I don't understand…." Her panic was growing. He knew! Somehow he knew!

"Angel, you do know," He reached for her hand and held it firmly in his own, "Something hasn't been right between us for weeks now and it seems to be getting worse," Andrew's voice trailed off for a moment and when he returned his gaze to her, there was hurt in his eyes, "You've closed off your heart to me, Monica. What is it you don't want me to know?"

Her breath caught in her throat. She hadn't even realized what she had done, but she had been so intent on Andrew not knowing anything was wrong, that she had inadvertently done the one thing that would cause him the most concern.

Andrew watched worriedly as the wide range of emotions crossed her face and he felt himself nearing desperation. He had known the moment she had closed off her feelings to him that something had been terribly wrong, "Monica, please, talk to me. You know that I hate it when something is wrong and you won't allow me to help."

"You can't," She blurted out, suddenly no longer able to meet his green eyed stare, "You can't help me with this, Andrew."

"At least give me the chance, Monica," He pleaded with her, "You know that there is nothing so wrong that I can't at least listen."

"Not this time," Her voice was laden with tears and she tried to flinch away when Andrew looked her chin into her hand to force her gaze.

"Tell me," His own heart was now pounding at seeing the tears in her eyes and her obvious distress, "Please, angel. Let me help."

"I can't," Monica's voice caught in a sob and she tried to look away, but his hand moved to cup her face, stopping her attempt to hide.

"Tell me," Andrew repeated, forcing his voice to remain calm, as his thumb stroked her cheek in an effort to soothe her. He wanted to wrap her up in his arms and protect her from whatever was causing her so much hurt, but he couldn't until he knew the truth.

Her lower lip trembled as tears found their way down her cheeks. How could she lie to him when he was looking at her with so much tenderness and concern? Maybe he was right. Maybe there was nothing that she couldn't tell him, "I….I've been feeling differently…." She began, closing her eyes so she wouldn't have to see his reaction to her confession.

"Differently? Differently how?"

"Differently…about you…." She whispered as more tears slipped from beneath her long lashes.

Andrew's head reared back as he tried to imagine what she meant, "Angel, why? Have I done something to upset you? You know I never want to hurt you, Monica so if I have-."

"No. Not like that. You never hurt me."

"Then what?"

His voice was pleading and she knew she had to say it. The last thing Monica wanted was her dearest friend thinking he had done something wrong, "Andrew, you've always been my best friend, you know that, but lately….lately I've been feeling like….I'm in love with you."

There. She'd said it. Now he could reassure her that she was wrong. That somehow she had misunderstood her own mind and heart because surely there was no other explanation for it. Silence hung in the air between them and when Monica felt his hand fall away from her face, only then did she open her eyes.

Andrew's expression was unreadable and suddenly, all she wanted to do was to reel the words back in again. She never should have said it, "I know it's wrong and I know I'm not supposed to feel that way, but those feelings are still there, Andrew and I don't know what to do! I'm so ashamed, but even that doesn't keep me from feeling the way I've been feeling!"

He gave a short nod of his head though he refused to meet her dark eyes, "You're right," He began slowly, "It is wrong to feel that way."

"I know, but what do I do?" Her distress was mounting and all she wanted was his arms around her but now he wouldn't even look at her.

Andrew shook his head as he gazed out through the woods. He knew what he wanted to tell her, but he couldn't as it would only make things worse. He had no idea why this was happening but he knew he had to protect her as best he could, even if she didn't understand. She was looking at him with eyes so trusting, knowing he was going to provide an answer. He only hoped he could live with himself once he did.

"I don't think it is what you think it is, Angel," He began tentatively, "We've been spending a lot of time together and maybe it has made things confusing."

"It doesn't feel confusing," Monica interrupted tearfully, "I know what I'm feeling, Andrew."

He closed his eyes painfully. Yes, of course she did. He knew that all too well, "Monica, what I believe needs to happen is that you and I need to spend some time apart," He saw the protest in her eyes but he held up a hand to stop her before she could vocalize it, "Angel, please, I don't like this any more than you do, but I think some time alone when you can talk to the Father is in order. Only he can why you are feeling this way." Andrew could only hope that was true as his own prayers had gone unanswered.

"But…but for how long?"

The smallest of sobs escaped her and it was enough for him to pull her into his strong arms and hold her tightly, "I don't know, Angel Girl and I don't like this anymore than you do, but we know we were not created to have these kinds of feelings," He stroked her long hair as he listened to her quiet weeping against his chest, his own heart breaking along with hers, "I'd rather be apart from you long enough for this to be figured out, then to be apart from you for the rest of eternity."

"It's going to feel like eternity," Monica whispered brokenly. She had wanted him to fix this, but this was not at all what she had envisioned. Yet she had always thought of Andrew being not only older but a wee bit wiser about certain things and this was certainly one of those things, "I'm sorry…I'm so sorry this happened, Andrew."

Guilt ripped through him and he pulled away to lay his hands against her cheeks, "You have no reason to apologize, Angel. No reason at all. I'll see you soon. I promise."

"But where do I go?" Her Irish brogue was thick with emotion.

"Go with God, Angel."

Another moment passed as they stared into each other's eyes before Monica flung herself back into his arms briefly, "I'll make it go away. I promise I will. I'll bet it doesn't even take very long."

Pulling away once more, Andrew kissed her forehead lovingly, "We'll work it out, Monica."

He watched as she finally turned and walked away from him, down the dirt path that they had not long ago come up together. Andrew became acutely aware of the fact that though the silence of her heart had been difficult, the pain that was now emulating from it was almost physically painful for him.

Of course, add that pain to the anguish he felt over not being honest about his own feelings and Andrew knew he would be spending the better part of the next several days in prayer. But he couldn't see anything good coming out of admitting to the little Irish angel that the feelings she had spoken of were anything but foreign to him. Andrew had been ignoring his own growing affection for his dearest friend for the better part of two years now because he was far too afraid to admit it and possibly be whisked away from her forever. No, he would much rather keep quiet about it and have Monica continue to be in his existence. However, that little bit of rationalization did nothing for his conscience now.

She had been honest and he had maintained his silence and it hardly seemed fair. But to admit similar feelings to her could only allow them both to lose control. At first, he had been quiet about how he had been feeling because he had been afraid of the same things she had: shame, self-loathing, her reaction to his professed love for her. Today he had been quiet in order to not make things anymore complicated.

Stuffing his hands into his pockets, Andrew leaned against the rock they had been sitting on only moments ago. The little stream below trickled happily on its way and at one time that sound would have brought him great peace, but now the tormenting within his soul was enough to drown out the bubbling water. A heartbeat later, he sucked in a deep breath as he felt Monica withdraw her heart once more from his and the action felt like a physical blow. She didn't want him to know how badly she was hurting.

"Father, did I do the right thing? Please, help us through this. Guide us, please." He was begging but the heavens were stubbornly remaining silent, even to an angel, so it seemed that there was nothing else to say. But then a second later, a whisper poured from his lips, summing up all he felt inside.

"I miss you already, Angel."