Chapter Twenty One: Kidnapped?
Dream sequence, Year 1600, the Angels' Gathering
Alexander ran his hands through his hair impatiently. He was still wondering whether bringing Anastasia back to their past life memories was a good idea. But he didn't have a choice. No, he never had a choice. Anastasia wanted the truth. And he would give it to her, whether it would kill him or not. He had to know that Anastasia KNOWS everything that HE knows. This dream is the start of everything. At the Angel's Gathering, the Archangels will try to stop him from chasing after their most beautiful and beloved Archangel, and he and his fellow angels will fight for her. This is the day when all Angels will fight for Anastasia's rightful place in Heaven. And when the CURRENT DAY Anastasia had known about the War, he would whisk her away to the first century where she was cast down with the other angels, including him. And he would explain to her along the way.
The plan seemed flawless, but he was scared of Anastasia's passionate personality. He already knew it was too much for her right now. And he had left her to deal with the Grand Archangels. He had left her too long. He needed to find her before the Grand Archangels mistook her for the Archangel Anastasia.
He scanned through the crowded room for her. The Archangels were sparkling, and the other Angels were talking animatedly, their wings transparent under the chandeliers. They didn't pay any attention to him, and he was relieved about that, by God. He couldn't have their attention focused on him. He couldn't risk that.
He whirled around, and saw Anastasia in her white dress, standing awkwardly on her toes. He put his arms around her.
"I am so sorry about leaving you alone. How much did you understand? Did you get the beginning of the story? Of who I am and who you are?"
She looked at him with those clear eyes, and she sighed.
"I saw so much, yet I understand nothing. But one thing is certain." She caught his hand. "You never abandoned me. You had to because of some stupid war between you and the Grand Archangels. Battle over me. How could you stand me, Alex?" She said in a hopeless voice, stepping back.
"It wasn't because of you. We didn't fight because of you. Anastasia…" She put up a hand and shook her head.
"No, don't sugar-coat anything, Alex. I may not know much, but I know why you SHOULD stop loving me. I am nothing. Nothing, and you gave up so much for me. Why can't you just fall in love with someone-"
She was cut off when Alexander folded his lips upon hers. He tugged her into his arms, kissed and blew on her lips gently. He was so scared of losing her. He couldn't lose her now, now that she was here and he was finally able to kiss her without scaring her. He caressed her lips gently with his own and felt her shifted herself into his arms.
"Ssh, Ana." His lips moved up to her nose and eyes, then to her forehead. "You are EVERYTHING. Do you understand? You are EVERYTHING to me. I would fight a hundred, a thousand, a million and even a zillion wars over you. It is impossible for me to fall in love with someone else. Don't you see? I am hopelessly in love with you. And I need you, Ana. You have bewitched me, and I can't break free of your spell. I love you, Ana. And I don't care what punishment I have to go through for loving you. You are HERE, WITH ME, that's what really mattered."
She looked up through her lashes at him, and slowly broke into a smile.
"I wish I could fight for you, as you have fought for me. And I will, when it should happen. But I still don't understand, Alex. Why would a freaking WAR happen over two people who loved each other? Are we some sort of star-crossed lovers?" Her face flushed with embarrassment.
He chuckled and looked down at her.
"You will understand more before the night's over, sweet Ana." He brushed his thumb across her lips. "Right now, you needed to go with the party. Remember, this is a memory. You cannot change anything, not even when you wish to."
She drew a trembling breath, and nodded.
"Anastasia." A hand clapped onto her shoulder.
Alexander raised his eyes to see Archangel Luke standing behind her. Luke's eyes were narrowed into slits at the sight of Alexander, and Alex glared at the Archangel as hatefully as he could possibly muster. Yes, this was the Archangel he hated most. Everyone knows, every angel and Archangel knows, that Luke thinks himself as Anastasia's Mate. He was Gabriel's second-hand man, and he was constantly after Anastasia. Gorgeous but deadly, Alex knew he had to keep Ana away from him. Especially now that she doesn't know what was going on. He bowed spitefully and pulled Ana behind him.
Luke cocked his head to the side.
"I cannot believe you dare to come to this party and harass a female Archangel who is way above your level." He said quietly, full of hatred.
"Your Grandness is gravely mistaken."
Luke raised his eyebrows, and decided to ignore Alex. He turned his gaze onto Ana, who was too confused to speak. Luke's gaze softened at the sight of her, and he pulled her towards him, away from Alex, who wanted to push Luke's hands off her.
"Anastasia, sweetheart." Louis murmured in her ear, brushing a finger down her cheek. "Gabriel is expecting you. What are you doing here with a mere angel?" Ana shot a furtive glance at Alex, who decided it was best not to meet her gaze. She turned back to Luke.
"Nothing. We were just talking, of course. He was… thanking me for hosting this party, and asked me to thank Gabriel as well."
"Did he indeed?" Luke glanced suspiciously at Alex, and Alex met his gaze with venom. Luke returned his gaze on her.
"Come on then, we must not be late for His Grandness' speech." He steered her away from Alex, not looking back at all.
He took a huge gulp of the vodka from his glass and grimaced as it burned down his throat. He could feel gazes from angels and archangels, and he knew he needed to get a grip. He hadn't noticed it before but he had to get Anastasia away from here. She had been in the dream, the Memory, for too long. She needed time to process their history and waking her up will allow him to explain more clearly. But the question was, Luke had brought her away from him for almost half an hour, and if she lingered in the Memory Dream too long, she would become a part of her Past and would have to go through the Angels' War, the Punishment, and everything else all over again.
He couldn't risk hurting her again.
He moved through the room, and used his sharp vision to look for Ana. At last, he saw Luke standing alone in the middle of the room. Luke looked angry, and he kept swallowing his own cup of wine, while his beautiful features twisted painfully.
Alex was at his side immediately, and he shoved him backward.
"Where is she?"
Luke stumbled back, then his golden wings burst out behind him and his eyes were almost red with anger.
"How dare you attack an Archangel? And how dare you question me?"
"I have no time for your bullshit, now where is Anastasia?" Alex demanded.
Luke glared at him, then exhaled.
"Someone got her."
In a flash, Alexander's own wings burst free and they were tainted in red and pink. His eyes were burning emeralds. He lunged at Luke, and because he was stronger than the Archangel, he almost knocked him over. Instead, Luke uttered a cry as Alexander crashed him into the wall.
"You son of a bitch." Alex growled. "How could you not protect her?"
Luke glared at him hatefully, then arched himself forward.
"If you will let go of me, I can explain everything."