Kim and I called this story a "spin off " one, because it's not a sequel for the series that we write (which starts with "The broken road" and whose latest episode was "The beginning of eternity"). This is a stand alone one, and we truly hope you enjoy reading it!

The choice

(by Kimbre and Deyse)

The events in this story take place in between the years 2000 and 2001.

Prologue: The calm before the storm

The angel of death walked along the fields of Heaven with a sad look on his handsome face. The constant gentle sunrays that would shine forever and the soft breeze that spread the flowers perfume everywhere didn't seem to have any impact on him. When Andrew was chosen to be the angel that escorted God's children to their eternal Home, he felt extremely honoured. But soon, the blond angel realised that in many occasions, accomplishing this assignment would mean carrying a heavy burden. And that was one of these occasions.

It was a fact that violence was part of humans lives, as it was one of the most "efficient" ways evil could work on Earth. But in his angelic mind, it was hard to accept that a human being was capable of committing so many atrocities to another human being. Andrew had just taken a young child Home because one of those terrible things the Father's children would do to another.

But what he didn't notice was that a pair of soft brown eyes was following his lonely steps. When the angel of death stopped to contemplate the view ahead of him, with curvy green hills in the infinite horizon, a soothing and very familiar voice took him out of his reverie.

"I counted the stars and made a list of everything you've taught me while we were in human form..." Andrew turned around to see Monica tilting her head and eyeing him with so much tenderness and affection that his soul was immediately filled with warmth and peace. Besides God Himself, only His sweet and beautiful angel was able to put his heart at ease like that. "That's how I waited for the moment our paths would cross again." She added.

The slight smile on her pretty face was more than an invitation to him and on the following moment, he was holding her in his arms, breathing in her sweet perfume. Monica smelled like wild flowers and holding her was like being granted with the purest and most precious treasure. "All the moments we spend together support me when times are hard, you know that, baby?" he said, his voice was hoarse with emotion.

Still smiling, she nodded. "It works the same way with me..."

Andrew kissed the top of her head repeatedly before speaking again. "Please tell me you don't have to leave soon..." he was nearly pleading.

Monica gently pulled away and searched for his troubled green eyes. "Actually I do..." before the sadness in his heart increased, she quickly added. "...and you're coming with me!"

The way she was smiling nearly undid him, and the blond angel reached out to cup her cheek. "Anywhere you want me to as long as it means us being together..."

As he tried to return her smile, Monica gently lay a gentle hand against his heart. "I can feel there's much sorrow in here right now... And I cannot allow it to stay for so long..."

Andrew reached for her hand and kissed its palm. "Your presence is a powerful force against it..."

The angel of death held her gaze for a few seconds, eyes locked in each other as if hypnotised by a strong connection that would grow even more along the years. Hand in hand, the two heavenly creatures left their Father's fields and reappeared somewhere else - in another emerald green land which would always bring a lot of joy to a certain Irish angel's heart.

"The spring arrived earlier this year, you know?" Monica told him, and like an excited child, she grabbed his hand and dragged him along the Ireland fields, leaving him to contemplate the most beautiful feature in that landscape: Monica. The Irish angel's auburn hair was flying with the soft breeze; long and perfect locks gently brushing his face once in a while as her soothing voice and lovely accent filled the air. Andrew would listen intently to her eternal chatter for long hours. It amused him the way her soft brown eyes sparkled as she spoke about her recent discoveries and experiences, and the world that surrounded them in general. She was barefoot and wearing a white sleeveless dress, her image a genuine heavenly one.

And it was then that the angel of death realised - or merely accepted the fact that words could never express how much and how deeply he loved her. His feelings had broken the barrier of the friendship and reached its completeness.

What had been torturing him was knowing that perhaps she couldn't return them. But then again, hiding what he felt was becoming incredibly difficult.

"Was it a little girl?" she asked, as they walked slowly along the lake bank.

"Yes. The fire consumed the school building too fast. She... She couldn't make it to the hospital."

"But there was an angel of God with her all the time..."

"All the time. As painful as it was..."

They stopped walking and she looked deep inside his green pools. It saddened her to see so much sorrow in them. "I can imagine how terrible it was for you."

"Being an angel of God is not easy sometimes..."

Monica reached out and stroked his handsome face. "Andrew... there's something you should know about it..."

"What else is left to know when I've already been informed that those responsible for the fire will never be caught?" the bitter tone of his voice was heartbreaking.

"Your presence there had a healing power."

"I... I don't understand..."

"The little girl you brought Home stopped suffering at the moment you stood close to her. Her wounds, her pain... it all ceased long before she passed away, and it was because you were there with her."

She could notice the surprise and evident emotion all over his face, and Andrew held the Irish angel as tightly as he dared. "Thank you, baby..."

"You don't have to thank me for anything, Andrew... The look in your eyes has said enough."

The blond angel closed his eyes and dared to tighten the hold around her a tiny bit more. And they fell silent for long peaceful minutes, allowing the strong connection between them convey their immense love.

"So... I've been granted with the blessing of your company for the entire day?" Andrew broke the silence as he stroked her long reddish hair.

"Actually, you still have to listen to a little story about a cup of mochalatte, a very grumpy supervisor and an equally grumpy bar tender..." She had finally cheered him up as he chuckled at those words.

Andrew pulled away and cupped her cheek. "You're really a gift, Monica... I guess that when the Father chose me to be an angel of death He already knew you'd be my guardian angel whenever I felt weak and in doubt."

The slight smile on her face was so beautiful he couldn't get enough of it. "And how many times have you been my protector?"

He placed a gentle kiss over her cheek and held her gaze for another long moment, and slowly the smile on both faces faded away as a strong wave of tenderness and deep love invaded their hearts. The feelings were so intense now that Monica felt she could hardly breathe and at the same time they brought tears of joy to her eyes.

"How could I not? Being close to you, angel, is second nature to me..." he said, watching overwhelmed with tenderness as she leaned against the palm of his hand, her innocent and sweet smile causing a lump to form in his throat. "... I love you so much..."

He said it. Before he could even think, words had escaped from his mouth and revealed the truth he'd carried in his heart for years. The secret had been disclosed, and now he would have to face its consequences.

But his deepest fears were shattered when her pretty brown eyes stared at him.

"I love you too..." came her soft and spontaneous reply a moment later, and it was then that she too realised the feelings that had lain dormant in the depths of her soul.

The blond angel even wondered if they were talking about two different kinds of love but he soon noticed that the look on her face was changing. Slowly, Monica's smile faded away and she gazed up at him with an expression of surprise in her eyes.

The truth is Monica's heart had also been revealed to her.

"I do... I love you..." she affirmed, now with more certainty. And she could not imagine the joy those words had brought to him. She frowned slightly, as now the implications of that discovery started to fill her soul. "Andrew..."

"Shh..." he gently silenced her by pressing his index finger against her lips. Andrew could see there was amazement and confusion in the spark of those beautiful brown eyes but what really mattered now was that their hearts were beating in the same rhythm. "For a long time I kept these feelings to myself... In a way... I've denied them as I thought angels could not experience this kind of love..."

"And can they?" she looked like a scared child who demanded some guidance.

"I spent years trying to understand what I felt... and no matter how much I thought, I always ended up coming to the same conclusion, baby... That I'm an angel and that I love you... I love you in all possible ways a God's child can love another..." Andrew cupped her cheek and stroked her face with tenderness, causing the little angel to close her eyes and let out a trembling sigh.

Monica covered his hand with her much smaller one and when she opened her eyes again, the power of his gaze left no room for doubt in her heart. A lonely tear fell from her eye and came down her face, and as Andrew wiped it away with gentle fingers, she spoke again - what she said sounded like music to his ears.

"Words... I think they cannot express what I'm feeling right now, Andrew... I think they are not enough to express what I feel... for you..." She moved her head and lay a gentle kiss against his palm, leaving him to wonder if there would be a more perfect moment than that. "...But I love you so much that... God forbid me... right now I feel I've existed only for this moment to happen..."

Andrew couldn't wait any longer - emotion had taken over his soul and when he inched his face closer to her, the Irish angel closed her eyes slowly, all the movements they had never experienced before happened naturally, as nature was following its course.

He laid both hands against each side of her face and she could feel his warm breath just inches away. Andrew still took some seconds to admire the beauty of her meek features and in a way to make that moment last a little bit longer. Then he brushed his lips against hers for the first time - softly like a summer breeze.

Monica felt her entire body trembling and her heart beating stronger as she gently grabbed his wrists - not to pull him away, but instinctively to keep him closer and stop anyone from taking him away. All his joy, tenderness and affection could now be felt inside her own spirit, sending away the turmoil of confused thoughts. Yes, angels could love - the moment alone was a living proof of that fact.

Noticing that she offered no resistance, and she would never do it, Andrew pressed his lips more firmly against hers, deepening that sweet caress he was now certain he would never be able to exist without. It seemed that both angels had found completeness in their existence on that exact moment, as two halves had finally been joined.

Once their kiss was over, the angel of death gazed at her with tenderness and affection.

"No matter what, baby, I want you to know that this heart of mine will forever be yours." He whispered.

"And so will mine, Andrew... All my love... eternally yours..." she whispered back, and they rested their foreheads together.

Some weeks later...

A veil of twinkling stars covered the dark sky and all the souls on Earth seemed to be lost in dreams of impossible love or unbelievable fortune while the noise of a cricket broke the silence of the night. There, in the woods of Ireland, one could feel closer to God as a peaceful atmosphere surrounded the deserted woods in that warm summer night.

A soft breeze blew lazily through the trees, and the spark of a thousand stars was reflected in the still waters of a small pond settled in the heart of the forest. Dark brown eyes watched the perfect mirror while a soft sigh of contentment escaped her. The Irish angel could spend hours just contemplating the wonderful creations around her, and now in the arms of another angel, she enjoyed the pleasant atmosphere.

The angel of death sitting next to her was certain that nothing felt so perfect as having the sweet and kind little angel leaning against him, resting her head over his shoulder as he kept a permanent hold on her. Of all of his Father's creations, she was unquestionably the most beautiful one, and sometimes he wondered if he deserved her attention, her affection and the love he could see in those sweet doe-like eyes.

"Thank you, Andrew..." Her soothing accent and the way only she could pronounce his name took him out of his reverie and he bent his head as her eyes met his questioning ones. "...for this lovely night."

With infinite love, he stroked her cheek with the back of his hand. "You were so quiet in there I thought you had fallen asleep, sweet angel..." His green pools were filled with tenderness as he took her hand to his lips.

"Are you saying I talk a lot?"

Chuckling, he gently drawn her closer to him and now kissed her forehead. "What is it you have in your pretty little head, may I ask?"

"Actually... the memories of a day I shall cherish for the rest of my eternity..."

He knew what she was talking about, as those same memories were constantly playing on his mind. "We'll share many moments like this, baby. I promise you that." He spoke, his face was serious now as he wanted her to see the truth in his words.

But Monica knew it. There were no secrets between them and she could feel the intensity of his feelings coming from his heart to hers. "You don't have to promise me that. I trust you with my very soul, Andrew..."

He nodded his head. "When the sun rises we'll go up to Tess. I'll tell her about my love for you, angel... I'll tell her about how your existence makes my existence a beautiful one... About how your voice or your smile can make my world feel complete."

And those words placed a smile back on her face. "Well, I'll tell her about how you touch my heart and my soul... and how much I love you... for the rest of my eternity..."

He didn't waste another moment and brought his face close to hers, pressing a soft kiss against her lips as their hearts beat accelerated inside their chests. Following the same rhythm, joining two souls yearning to be together for the centuries to come.