Chapter Seven: Choice Of Love
"Finally, our Romeo has returned." Roger Carter smirked as Alexander descended onto the floor of the Mansion.
Alexander ignored him as he folded his wings back into his back, and stretched his slightly numb body.
"How is she?" Roger asked in a clipped voice.
"If you wanted to know so much, you could go and see her yourself." Alex shot back venomously.
Roger was in front of him like a flashing hurricane. His black eyes were burning with anger and jealousy.
He grabbed Alex's shoulders. "See, that's why I think it's best to keep you away from her. Whenever you see her, your… your arrogance grows. You pride yourself on being the only one who is in love, and that is pathetic, Alexander."
Alex wrenched his shoulder out of Roger's grip. "Roger, it isn't my problem that YOU are no longer in love. You need to aim your jealousy at someone else. I don't care what it takes to be near Anastasia again. I made the Oath, and I will approach her without breaking it."
Roger glared down at him, then losing eye contact, he turned away from him.
"Look. I don't care about what is between you and the Archangel, but you are not going to sink us further. Do you understand me? We have already fallen from God's grace, and a further punishment will kill us all. You made a mistake in loving her once, Alex. And I swear to you, I will not let you make another mistake in loving her again."
Alex drew a deep breath, and pulled himself up to his full height. "Fine. I mean, I have to obey you whether I like it or not."
Roger's hands came down on his shoulders like an iron grip. His black eyes bore into Alex's green ones.
"Alexander, I only want what's best for us, and for you. I can't keep the Archangels in the dark much longer. If they find out you are anywhere near Anastasia, they will take her back to Heaven and damn us forever. For your own good, Alex, listen to me, you are going to lose her… if you fall in love with her ever again."
Alexander started to speak, but Roger raised a finger and widened his eyes. Alex knew it was no use in explaining his attachment to Ana. His Mentor and sort of friend would never understand. As far as he knew, Roger knew nothing except the safety of the fallen angels, and their hope of returning to God's side.
He bit his lip, and nodded unwillingly. Roger released him and gestured to the door at the end of the hall. "Josie has been asking for you. Go."
Alex shouldered past him and strode to the chained door. Before he turned the knob, Roger called out to him.
"The dreams you sent Anastasia! Please tell me they are not your memories. Because if it is…Gabriel will kill us all."
Josie Carter was lying across the couch, finger-combing her waterfall of blonde hair. As soon as she saw him, she swung her legs off the couch and was standing in front of him in the blink of eye.
"Alexanderrrrrrr..." She sang, her eyes narrowing playfully. "Some little bird had told me that you were seeing Juliet again. What, did the Capulets suddenly grant you entrance, Montague? Oh, wait, you don't need an entrance. You need to only flap your wings and off you go, right in front of her window. I am so envious of you, Alexander."
"Josie." Alex held up both hands and backed off a step. "Clearly your little bird is inaccurate. I haven't been seeing her. Well, not actually seeing her. She doesn't even know me. I just… introduced myself and we got…"
"You did more than talking, didn't you?" Josie clapped her hands to her mouth. "Imagine," "doing it" "after so long, is she still as good-"
James Armstrong came into view and clapped a hand on her shoulder. "That's enough, Josie."
"Yes, that's more than enough." A dark voice said.
Master Holland emerged from the couch, where to Alex's surprise, he was sitting all along. He stood up, and raised his eyes to Alex.
"Did you talk to her?" Was the first thing Holland asked.
"Yes." Alex answered in a clipped voice.
"Look. I know what it's doing to you, but if there is any way I can help, Alex, I would-"
"Do you have a plan?" He shot at Holland.
Holland sighed and looked at James, who looked at Josie, who looked back at Alex.
"I guess that is a no." Alex began to turn away. "Just as I thought. Always empty talk-"
Holland grabbed his arm. "We are trying to think of options for you. Correction, we are trying to figure out a way for you, to get in touch with Anastasia and not break your Oath at the same time."
Alex looked at him, momentarily lost for words. Holland seized the chance to continue.
"It might be, just might be possible for us to get around the Oath and the Damnation. But it doesn't have to be that way. If you put aside your love for Anastasia, and keep your distance with her… I don't mean never talking to her again, no, I mean, just… get to know her and if you think she is worth it, you could… start over."
The choice of words were so clumsy Alex almost laughed. But two words stood out for him.
"She is worth it." He said firmly.
"Yes, yes, I am sure she is." Josie shrugged. "Let me give you the simple version: Take it slow. I know you are head-over-heels in love with her, but she isn't. I mean-" She held up a hand as he glared at her. "I mean, she isn't in love with you yet. Just… start over with her. Get to know her all over again. Not as a Fallen Angel to an Archangel, but as a human to another human."
"Yeah, it is bound to be easier for her to remember you, when she is not an Archangel. And you are just Prince Charming to her." James offered, clapping a hand on Alex's shoulder.
Alex sank down into the couch and took a huge breath. He looked up at his fellow companions, the companions who fell with him just because he was in love with the most important Archangel in heaven. He had to pay for that as much as possible.
So, he can begin by sticking to their plan and not be a jerk.
"Fine." He gritted his teeth finally, looking at his friends. "Fine, seeing as I have no plan of my own, I am stuck with yours."
"And we promise you in return." Holland smiled faintly. "We would not let anything happen to her."
Josie raised a hand, like a student asking for to answer a question at a class.
"Um… what if there is… you know, someone else that… um, she likes? I mean, of course we could protect her but... if she falls in love with a human… or another Archangel… then…"
She looked down at her hands, her face flushed red.
James swatted her, while Holland rolled his eyes. Alex, on the other hand saw the image of Anastasia with the blue-eyes bartender. Yes, that would be a problem, if Anastasia falls in love with another. Especially when she didn't know who he was.
But he couldn't worry about that now. Somehow he had to believe that, when the Archangels cast her down from Heaven, they spared a few of her memories. That somehow, she would remember what they once were.
It's a feeble hope, but at least it comforted Alex a little.
Holland looked down at Alex, glared at Josie, and cleared his throat.
"I think we could trust Anastasia's undying love for Alexander." He said loudly.
"Good, then it's settled." James clapped his hands together, as if they just solved a major puzzle. "Now let's get something to eat, I am starving."
Josie rolled her eyes. "Oh God, here we go again."
Alex shook his head. "Count me out. I am just gonna practice my Messengers."
"Oh no, you are not." She pulled him up with strength that is not quite feminine. "You are coming with us. If you think we are gonna let you send an obscene amount of Messengers to drive Anastasia crazy, you are seriously wrong. Now come and let us hunt some abandoned whores and bastards and pass the time."
Moment of Truth: Does he want to spend time secretly watching a woman he loved above anything? Or did he want to kill something with his friends?
Of course, there was never an option, not when Anastasia is involved. A smile crept into his face, and even Josie's, who had known him since forever, seemed dazzled by the rare feature.
"You go and have fun without me. I am going to see how far I can go without crossing the line."
"Oh for the love of God-"
"Exactly, for the love of God. I am not going to get into trouble. I just needed… to be with her as much as I can."
Josie sighed in exasperation, but James nodded silently, and mouthed.
"Go to her."
He gave him a small smile of thanks, and facing the window, bent his knees.
His wings spread out behind him in a gust of wind and he launched himself out of the Mansion... back to her.