Chapter Thirteen: Severed Love
He saw her appearing out of the small door leading to her balcony. She is so irresistible, she looked so beautiful in her shirt and shorts. He wanted to hold her and told her that he would never leave her side. But it was impossible. He needed to stay away from her. Or, if he wanted to be with her, he had to give her to another angel or Archangel.
The sentence was so heartless, so painful to him, than he wanted nothing more than to never see her again. So that he wouldn't have to see her with another guy. He watched her from the roof of the white church, careful not to touch the cross stuck on top of the roof. It will burn him, and until he could return to God's side, he would always be an outcast from the churches. But who cares about what he touches, now that he is about to freaking lose her forever? Lose the only woman he ever loved.
He could feel Josie's voice prodding in the back of his mind. She wanted to speak to him. Probably telling him to give Anastasia up and leave her alone. God, he was so tired of giving up things. He gave up his position in Heaven, he gave up his freedom, and he gave up his choices. But he couldn't give up Ana. Never in a million years.
Oh, punish me all you want, dear God, but I am going to her.
Before he lose his courage, he launched himself to the balcony where she stood, folding his wings behind him before she could see them. His angelic speed made it impossible for Ana to see his wings and his coming down toward her.
Her eyes widened, and she took a step backward, and wrapped her shawl closer around her shoulders.
"Anastasia," he whispered.
She frowned in confusion, and blinked several times, as if to make sure she was not dreaming. Then she raised her lovely eyes towards him.
"How did you get here? You are not supposed to be here, aren't you?"
Alexander walked toward her and stopped just inches from her body.
"If you want me to leave, I will, Anastasia."
He watched as alarm crossed her face, and then she seized his arm with almost desperate need. The move surprised both of them.
"Tell me what's going on, Alexander. Who are you?"
He smiled sadly. "I am nobody."
Recognition sparked inside her eyes, and he instantly regretted saying it. He didn't want to remind her, or himself, actually, of the many mistakes he made when sending her Messengers. And lately, he had been secretly breaking the rule and sending her memories rather than harmless dreams.
"I meant…" He hastily added. "It doesn't matter who I am. It's only important that I know who you are."
She looked faintly annoyed.
"All I get is riddles after riddles. Why wouldn't anyone tell me what's happening? And Josie… a girl I met when I was running yesterday morning. She said-"
She ended with a gasp because Alex had seized her arm in a tensed grip.
Oh, for the love of God, he TOLD Josie to mind her own business. He even Threatened her. And she didn't listen to him. He was not going to let her off easy this time, the nosy little bitch.
"Yes, Josie. Do you know her?" She asked, looking down at his hand on her arm.
"No, of course not." He hastily released her. "Sorry. I know I freak you out, but I just want you to know that…"
A thorn picked at his chest, and he knew what he was gonna say is gonna rip his heart out. Still, it's for her. And he would do anything for her.
"…That you should stay away from me." He finished, his heart shattering to a million pieces already. "…I am not good for you. And I know… you seem to feel some sort of weird… connection to me, but I don't know you and you certainly don't know me. And it's better to stay that way."
She didn't flinch. She only stared at him with those serene eyes. And it made him weak. He didn't want to do this to her. But she didn't seem to be much affected by it.
"Of course." At last, she spoke. "Of course. We are total strangers. I just didn't know why we always run into each other." She smiled gently, and it brought Alex back to the days in Heaven. When she would smile this way only for him. "Yes, I do feel some kind of connection for you, but don't worry, Alexander. That connection... is not what you think it is. I just thought you were someone I used to know, that's all."
He closed his eyes as he felt himself falling. He was scared. He was scared of her honesty. He knew that she would do nothing to cause him any more trouble. But that's good, isn't it? He told himself. It's what you wanted. Now you can let her go.
He felt a hand on his cheek, and it burned him as if it were hot. He opened his eyes. Ana was looking at him with pitying eyes. She grazed his cheek with her fingers like she was exploring his face with her hand.
"I know, Alex. I know." She whispered, gazing at him. "I know you feel… responsible to explain these things to me. But I promise you, I won't ever put you in an uncomfortable position. I am just happy to know you, Alexander, but I am sorry that I thought so much."
"Ana…" He whispered her name, feeling his whole body crumble at her apology. God, she was so wrong. So wrong.
She shook her head gently, still smiling. "No, Alex. You promised."
When he shifted back into focus, she was gone already.
He covered his face with his hands, and slid down to his knees on the cold stone balcony. His wings burst free, and they hugged him as if they knew he was breaking apart. He knew he shouldn't feel this way. Not over a woman who didn't even remember him. The Anastasia he loved was gone. And it was he who thrust her back to confusion and lies.
It was the most painful thing he had ever done, even worse than breaking up with her. No, he wasn't even breaking up with her, because they were not together.
He was lying to her. And sooner or later, she will discover who she really was, by then she would have fallen in love with an angel, or worse, a mortal.
What could he do? He already fulfilled his part of the bargain. He let her go. The Archangels will be pleased, and then she will be back to Heaven. His friends, those who had fallen with him, would also be loved by God again. And he…he, the angel who have chosen her instead of what's right, would be welcomed.
Yet, he would lose Anastasia.
It's not losing her that was hard, not even watching her fall in love with someone else. No, what was hard was that she didn't remember him. If she remembered she loved him long ago, it would make everything so much easier. She would have a choice then: To return to him or choose someone else.
At least she would have a freaking choice. And then she would always see him as someone who cared about her, who cared about whether she lives or die, who…
… Who loved her, no matter who she loves.
A hand rested on his shoulder, and he opened his eyes, thinking for a crazy second it was Ana. But of course it wasn't.
He looked up at Roger Carter, whose normally stern young face was soft and apologetic.
"You did the right thing, Alex." He said softly.
Alexander slowly stood up, and looked away from his leader.
"Come on. None of the Archangels knew you were with her. You just have to come home now, and we will…we will think of something to make sure Anastasia finds someone as devoted and loyal as you, okay? Just… just come back with me. Come back to us."
Alex drew a deep breath, and looked toward the sky.
"Is there nothing else we can do for her?"
Roger heaved a sigh, and put both his hands on Alex's shoulders.
"Not now. You just need to…to keep away from her for a while, alright?" He urged him urgently. "At least promise me you won't tell her you love her. We will fix this mess. I promise, Alex. I just need you to LISTEN to me."
Slowly, Alex nodded in defeat, his wings arching back behind him. He couldn't do anything now, except listening to Roger. And yes, he needed to keep away from Anastasia. But could she keep away from him? What if the Archangels meant for her to always be in his life, as she did these three centuries?
He couldn't bear to see her. Not anymore. Roger seemed to have decided Alex meant what he said. He pulled him up to the edge of the balcony, looked around him to see no one watching, and bent his knees. After a second of hesitation, Alex followed the two angels launched into the sky, white and gray wings, a blur in the horizon.