"Well? I demanded? "I am still waiting for an explanation."
Hunter sighed warily while running his fingers through the silky threads of his dirty blonde hair, "we can't talk here Nora, I can't risk anyone over hearing what I am about to tell you."
I raised my brow at him "everyone is in class, I don't think you could find a better moment to discuss confidential matters," I thought for a second before adding "and don't tell me that we are going to talk about this later because an explanation is way past due and I'm sick and tired of having people keep things from me."
Hunter seemed to deliberate for a moment before giving in "fine," he breathed out, "but at least let's take this somewhere else."
Seeing that there was no way I could get him to open up to me on school grounds I reluctantly agreed, although I slightly regretted my choice when we pulled up along a deserted lake fifteen minutes later, it also made me wonder why exactly he would choose a lake out of all places to talk, shivering slightly I wrapped my arms around myself defensively before following him up to a pathway that turned to lead up to a lookout on top of a cliff, I swallowed hard while pushing away the images of suddenly ending up on the bottom of that cliff, yet Hunters sad smile had me wallowing in guilt at such thoughts, he wouldn't do that to me, would he?
Deciding there was only one way to find out I swallowed my doubt and confidently marched up beside him, sitting down cross-legged I waited for him to start.
"I don't even know where to begin with this." He stated weakly.
"Just start from the bits that matter," I replied, softening my tone to try and relax him, scooting over I did something I would have not done under normal circumstances, I laid my head into his lap as a sign of my trust, it seemed to work because I felt him relax and settle into running his fingers through my hair.
A few moments had passed and I was getting worried that he would continue sitting in silence when he broke into story telling mode."Long ago a small village on the outskirts of Rome got raided by a passing group of robbers, the towns people were defenceless because they never had to deal with anything past a stray coyote before, the lack of defence they had meant they were powerless to do anything. They got completely cleansed of all their valuables, their houses burned and a large number of the villages got slaughtered."
"What does this have to do with me?" I interrupted, still not seeing the bigger picture.
"Patience, I'm going to get there," Hunter chuckled before continuing, "the survivors were too far away from any civilisation to seek help with the few horses they had gone, they were then forced to live off the now unfertile land, they struggled to survive, but they made do with digging for roots from the surrounding plants, eventually when they ran out of that they gathered any belongings they managed to salvage and moved into the forest. Among the surviving members there was a certain boy called Justius, he was out hunting one day when he saw an injured jaguar, he could have killed the animal for food but he decided to try and heal it despite the dangers. Each day he would bring the jaguar a little water and sometimes a scrap of meat from one of his own meals despite the hunger that raged within him, and each day he would become more connected with nature as he was fulfilling Gods role as a caretaker for the earth. The jaguar eventually left when it was fit to fend for itself again, but God didn't let Justius's actions go by unrewarded after seeing the compassion for nature that mankind could show, he became the first Aurous, time passed and eventually some of the villagers inherited the gift before passing it off to their offspring."
"That's a very nice story," I told him irritably, "but I still don't get it, and what is an Aurous?"
"An Aurous is a human being that has been gifted with an ability to channel nature, the best way I can describe it is that you can manipulate not only an element but you can work with what's in here," Hunter put his hand on my chest, "your inner energy," he finished.
"Okay so I can make roots move in the ground, as great as that it is I have to tell you I still can't connect it to how you are connected to my past."
Hunter stayed silent for a few minutes, we stayed that way while he absentmindedly played with my hair, I was starting to think that he wasn't going to continue past this when he opened his mouth to speak again.
"Your mother comes from a long line of very powerful Aurous's, the line ended many years ago when the last Aurous returned their power to the earth and performed a ritual to lock the ability for the future generations to avoid getting hunted down," he put his finger to his lips before I could interrupt him with a serious of questions, "I'll get to the reason of why your race died down later, but right now we are focusing on the need to know details only; agreed?" When I grudgingly nodded he let himself give me a grin before resuming "keep in mind that Aurous's are humans with gifts that were given from above, so it would only be natural for the archangels to keep watch on the descendants in case a change occurs."
It was clear from Hunters gaze that he expected me to grasp the story but I wasn't too keen on letting him finish just yet.
"So the archangels have been keeping a watch on me and my family?"
"Yes, but your birth in particular caused a stir up in heaven." Hunter winked at me, "we all knew you were trouble from the minute you opened your baby blues."
"Why me in particular?" I ignored his last comment.
"Keep in mind that your race has only ever been human, yet your father being a Nephil means you now have angel blood in you, making you the first cross breed to ever live."
"You're making me sounds like a dog," I mutter.
"Nora you are missing the big picture here! You have the ability to become the most powerful being on this earth, your genes give you the power that could even defeat a fallen angel!"
"Are you sure you should be telling me this?" I wink up at him.
A cold breeze blew across the cliff making me shiver, Hunter noticing my discomfort shrugged off his jersey before handing it to me.
"Hunter," I inquire, curiosity getting the better of me, "why do I remember you?"
Hunter sighs, "well as I said your presence stirred a rift up in heaven, and since your just so unique we couldn't leave you unguarded, I was your guardian for a while but after some complications arose it wasn't safe for you to be around me without being tracked, so I had to erase you mother's memory of a few events happening and had to do the same to you, but I couldn't leave without securing a way to make sure I could keep tabs on you and your wellbeing, I kept on feeling something odd for the past year and then you could imagine my shock to come back and see another fallen angel following your footsteps."
"Why did you come back?" I asked quietly.
"Why is there a fallen angel around you?" he returned.
Now it was my turn to sigh, he was being difficult and he knew it, "you tell me and I'll tell you?" I compromised.
"I had to make sure you were okay, besides it doesn't matter if I'm getting tracked or not, your turn." He grimaced half way through the sentence.
"Patch and I were kind of dating," I giggled at Hunter's awe struck expression, he opened and closed his mouth several times before I reached out and gently closed his mouth by raising his chin.
"Nora that's very dangerous!" Hunter scolded, "he could have been using you as a sacrifice, your half Nep-"
"Half Nephil I know, and funny you should mention that because that was his original intention," I admitted before putting my finger on my lips like he had done before to me to stop an outburst, "but I owe him my life because he saved my life from one of my Nephil descendants who was out on a quest for revenge."
Hunter muttered a string of curse under his breath angrily, "care to elaborate?" he finally asked.
"It's a long story," I huffed, Hunter seemed to get the hint that I wasn't willing to discuss any further so he left it, we lay there for several moments before he got up and dusted his jeans and grabbing my hand to hoist me up, he chuckled at my confused expression, "school will end soon," he informed me gently.
Oh my God! I complete forgot! I was so dead when I got home if the teachers noticed my absence and made a note of it, checking my watch I gasped when I noticed that the bell for the end of the day would have rung, taking out my phone I called Vee to ask her to wait back for me only to get to her voice mail, sighing I had a sinking feeling that I would have to find my way home on my own today, and the weather didn't have me being to thrilled about walking out in the cold.
Hunter seemed to have noticed that I was having an inner panic "do you want a lift home?" he asked raising an eyebrow at me.
"That would be good thanks," I replied sheepishly.
The ride home was mostly quiet; Hunter pulled a disc out of one of the car compartments.
"Breaking Benjamin?" I asked raising an eyebrow at him.
"You know them?" He asked in surprise
"Yeah I used to have to listen to them while Vee drove me to school." I explained, "She used to be obsessed with his music."
"That's the blonde you hang out with?"
"Yup that would be her."
Hunter snorted, I gave him a side look while questioning his sanity, "I figured she would be more of a Taylor Swift type of girl," Hunter said.
"Anything wrong with Taylor Swift?" I asked.
"Nothings wrong with her, I even have one of her discs,"
"Right," I agreed rolling my eyes, I somehow couldn't imagine Hunter cranking up 'Love story' while driving over to the local store.
"No I do!" Hunter's eyes glinted as he pulled out the CD to prove it; he ejected the previous disc and began singing along to the first track.
"Why didn't I have you pinned down as the country music type of guy?" I asked.
Hunter grimaced, "eh well about that," he hedged.
"What about what?" I asked
"I'm not her greatest fan," he took a deep breath before carefully continuing, "but your other half adores her."
"My other half?" I asked still not getting it.
"Come again," I was sure I heard wrong.
"Well when I left I had to erase your memory of ever having a sister for safety reasons, and ever since we came back she has been badgering to meet you, but because she is…unwell right now and can't come to school I think it would be a great idea for you two to meet up this Saturday," seeing my dazed expression Hunter quickly filled in, "look I know this must be a lot to take in so if you don't think you can handle it at the moment then I could give you more time to figure yourself out and when you are ready then you two could reunite."
"No I'll come." I meant for it to sound firm but it barely came out in a whisper, my head was spinning, I had a sister? Yes I knew there was something about that girl in the dream but she was here, and she had been waiting to meet me this whole time? Suddenly a wave of anger washed over me, I was suddenly furious at Hunter for taking the memories of her away from me, how dare he do something like that to me! And to her!
"Nora, are you okay?" His worried voice only fuelled my anger.
"Why did you do it?" My voice was quiet, but it was clear I was angry from all the venom in my tone.
"I'm not following Nora."
"Erase my memory, take her away from me, and god knows what else."
"Nora you have been through so much today, I will explain everything to you I promise, but right now I think I have already overloaded you with information, let's be reasonable and take it step by step."
"Hunter Jones!" He flinched at my tone and my sudden raise in volume, "you will tell me right now."
"Nora," Hunter reasoned, "I have already told you that you are one of the last remaining Aurous's on earth, you have a long lost sister and that you have been constantly monitored by the archangels since birth, I think it's enough for today."
"I deserve to know."
"In time you will, but now today." I sat back with a huff, Hunters tone said he wasn't negotiating, but a small part of me was glad, I needed time to figure myself out and to deal with what I was told today.
"How much are you holding back from me?" I asked, when he was silent I pouted, "come on Hunt, you can at least give me that," I pleaded.
"You look cute when you pout." Hunter grinned over to me.
"Nice try, but I still want an answer."
Now it was Hunters turn to pout, "can you resist this face?" he asked.
No. "Yes I can," I lied.
"If only you knew..." Hunter trailed off.
"You don't even know the start of it."
We had pulled over to the farmhouse, the lights were on meaning mum was home early from her trip, I groaned while trying to quickly think of an excuse, Hunters voice broke my train of thoughts.
"Can you do me a favour?"
"Depends on what it is," I said carefully.
"Don't mention anything I said to you to your mom; remember that her memories are gone too."
That seemed pretty fair, it was a huge shock for me so there was no need to bring up the same emotions to my mother, paying the bills were getting hard enough without having to deal with this too, I agreed to his request before getting out of the car, I was about to walk to the house when I turned around just as Hunter started up his engine, I walked back to the car, he rolled his window down for me and I leaned through it.
"One more question." I warned him.
"Okay shoot," He chuckled.
"If you're meant to be my guardian and such," I paused, "then why did you lose your wings?"
Hunter grinned at me like I was missing something; something big.
"I will let you in on a little secret Nora," he became me closer until his breath tickled my ear; he nipped at it before whispering "I never fell."
And with that he fish tailed around before speeding down the drive.
I groaned, I thought my life was confusing enough when Patch had entered it but Hunter took confusing to a whole new level, I stopped before deliberating what he just said, if he never fell…then that would mean he was still an angel! I gasped, meaning he could still feel everything, and if my memory severed me right he would have felt everyone of those hits Patch gave out, but more importantly he felt every touch we had shared, unlocking the door I was still lost in my thoughts when I was hit with the most tantalising smell of food coming from the kitchen, guess mom finally got sick of microwave meals too, I headed up to my room while dropping my bag and retrieving my books, I knew I
had lots of catching up to do since I missed a day of school while hanging out with Hunter.
"Smells good mom, what are yo-"I froze as I took in the sight in front of me in shock, I tried to talk several times but words didn't come out, I pinched myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming, finally the figure at the bench swung around with a mischievous glint in his dark eyes, his lips came up in a crooked smile and I finally manage to choke a word out.