Chapter Five: The Murder of Love
He gazed at her from where he sat, his fists clenched around the glass of vodka he was drinking. Somehow, he knew she would be there. And there she was, her eyes so sad that it almost broke his heart. He remembered how gaily she used to laugh, how her eyes used to dance with mischievous fire. But now...
He watched her touching and flirting with the bartender. Touching him, as she had touched HIM a long time ago. He felt ever so guilty for leaving her. For betraying her love. And he would do anything he could to get her back.
He sighed inwardly, and tried to ignore the strict voice inside his head.
"Alexander, your time with her is almost up. Get out of there."
"No..." Alexander kept his eyes on her movements, knowing that by now she would've noticed him. He also saw her looking at the bartender, with a look in her eyes that she used to reserve for him. He concentrated on the Roger Carter's voice.
"No. Let me stay with her a little longer. At least let me talk to her."
You know the Rules, Alex. You are not supposed to be seeing her AT ALL. It is already a mercy for you to be near her.
"I beg you. Let me talk to her. Just once." He begged Carter silently, closing his eyes.
There was a few seconds of silence. Then Roger's voice returned in his head.
"I am not happy about this, Alex. But I will explain to the Archangels. But don't step over the line, Alexander. You know what will happen. You know if you break your Oath... you will lose her forever."
"Yes, I know, Roger. Thank you." Alexander bowed his head.
He stood up, and found that Anastasia was already watching him. She had no signs of recognition at seeing him, but Alex knew she knows something. Nevertheless, his time with her is ticking away. He needed to move fast.
"Hello." He whispered, watching her lovely hazel eyes widen.
"I am Alexander... and you are Anastasia." He continued.
Anastasia... Her name felt like smooth melted honey, rolling over his tongue, taking him back to Heaven... or, at least, a place he once knew.
Then he saw her eyes misted over, as if she was seeing something no one could see. His chest gave a painful jolt. The jolt also brought hope.
Could she possibly be remembering the time we had together long ago?
But that meant nothing. The Archangel Gabriel had given her a new life. It was possible that the Grand Archangels had missed out on one or two memories for Anastasia. Nevertheless... talking to her already made him weak with gratitude.
"Anastasia? Are you feeling okay?" He asked, his concern for her spilling out, forgetting that she didn't know who he was.
He watched her smile and shake her head.
"Sorry. I don't know what's wrong with me today. I should probably go home."
Her voice... Alex almost moaned in pleasure. Oh God, only hearing her voice made everything worthwhile.
Then his eyes flickered to the bartender. She was looking at him earlier, he remembered, with those sad hazel eyes.
He didn't like her looking at another man like that. She was supposed to only be looking at him with That Look. But now...
His jealousy got the better of him.
"Your boyfriend wouldn't be very happy if you leave." The words spilled out of him, surprising himself at how acid he sounded. "It's okay." He added, the same time she said, "He's not-".
"I mean, who am I to judge?" He chuckled bitterly.
She was looking at him with a frown on her forehead. Exactly how he had remembered her. How puzzled she looked at the sign of any problem.
Then she spoke, and it instantly made him feel better.
"No. No, he's not my boyfriend. I-I don't have one." She stammered, as if she was afraid he would be angry with her.
She began to stand up but then Alex reached out, surprising himself, and seized her hand.
"Please. don't leave."
An electric current passed through them, and Alexander remembered the Archangel's fury. He remembered what had driven him away from Anastasia in the first place. But he didn't care. All that mattered now is her looking at him, as if she... as if she REMEMBERED.
He looked at her intently, and whispered again.
"Stay?" He pleaded with her.
She seemed to be too shocked to speak. But she recovered quickly.
"I am sorry. I don't think I can stay here."
A sudden surge of anger flared up inside him. His eyes roamed over to the bartender, who was wiping glasses, clearly oblivious to what was happening around him. He looked back to Anastasia.
"Okay. Okay, I see. It's him." He growled.
She looked taken aback. "What-?"
"You don't need to leave." The anger was white-hot. He couldn't bear it. Suddenly, he realized what a huge mistake he made. Of course she would've found someone else in her new life. She couldn't have been sitting around waiting for him to show up. And theoretically, she didn't even know he WOULD show up, considering she no longer remembered him.
The last thought brought an end to the matter.
"I will." He said in a final tone, gave another glare at the boy behind the bar, and left the Lounge before she could stop him.
The morning air blasted into his face, and he lowered his head against the wind. He could feel thoughts prodding, begging entrance to his Mind.
Alex, what happened?
Alex, come back, before you do anything stupid.
Alex... Alex... Alex...."
The voices jumbled into a mess inside his mind, and he closed his eyes, letting disappointment and pain wash over him before he addressed the Mind Threads in his head.
"I am here. I am coming back."
Josie Carter sounded a thousand miles away when her voice chirped in. She was probably flying over the Alps or something, eager to return to the city where her fellow friends were at.
Finally. I thought you went into a church and got burned into a crisp... or something like that. Thank God you are okay.
She never failed to make him laugh but this time, he only managed a tight grimace.
"I told you to stick to the plan Roger gave you-"
"I don't give a damn about-"
Careful, Alex. Roger's Mind Thread cut in.
It doesn't matter anyway. It was a huge mistake.
Silence rang through his head. Then Josie was the first to break the silence.
"Don't wanna talk about it." Alex replied.
"Come back quickly, Alex. We have work to do." Roger commanded. Gabriel isn't happy with your little detour. detour-
"It was, too." Josie cut in again. "You should've stuck with me and come Watching with me. You have no idea how many Abandoned soldiers are there-"
"Enough, Josie. Alex, we will be waiting."
The voices in his head died down, until only a low hum remained in the back of his mind.
He drew a deep breath, and let the morning air fill his lungs. He had no choice now. Now that he had seen her, now that he had talked to her. Everything was as different as it could be. Everything except...
How much he needed her. But even 'HER' seemed to be a gloomy prospect. What could he possibly want to do? He made the Oath, he struck a Deal with the Archangels. He couldn't do a thing.
He heaved a sigh, and started toward the forest at the edge of the city. From there, he could fly back to the Mansion up in the distant mountains. He needed to be away from her, or he would've ended up following Anastasia and begged her to remember him.
God, he was such a loser in terms of love.
He zigzagged through the crowd of people, brushing aside shoulders and stepped over a few feet. He knew he shouldn't attract so much attention, but God forbid, he couldn't help it.
He was at the edge of the forest before he knew it. And there, amidst the trees, he released his wings.
The snow white wings with pinkish gold at the edge spread out from behind him, and he arched his back, letting the weight of the wings take control of the balance. Then he slowly regained his body balance, and looked up at the sky.
The morning was slowly fading to afternoon. He didn't know his time passed so quickly with... with her.
He mustn't think of her now. Not now when he was already SUMMONED back to the Mansion.
He bent his knees and pulled himself upwards. His wings flapped furiously behind him, bringing him upwards. In no time, he was in midair, his body pulled taut, his wings flapping slowly. He directed his body to the distant mountains.