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Mist rolls along the cobblestone, disturbed by my wide steps and the long coat that moves around my calves. I pull it tighter around me, chin tucked close to my chest. It’s cold here, and my breaths puff out in front of me. The trickling water in the cherub fountain accompanies the soft crunching of stray pebbles beneath my shoes. I spare a quick glance at the boarded-up buildings and the bike that lies abandoned on the ground. Aurelia’s mind is silent tonight as she sleeps softly in my bed, unaware of my presence.

Up ahead, three colorful doors hover in midair, suspended between realities. A small smile tugs at the corners of my lips as I walk past the bike. With a quick glance behind me to ensure I’m alone, I enter the third door and exit into the cathedral. The countless candles that are spread out across the vast space flicker to life in response to my magic and cast a dim glow over the pews. Shadows dart across the walls, spooked by the warming flames that chase away the chill in the air. I blow on my hands as I make my way down the length of the cathedral. Overhead, thickening darkness spreads across the ribbed, vaulted ceiling. It sneers at me as I pull open the large, creaky front doors and step outside.

With one look at the tray of candles on the ground, I cross the grass, weaving between ancient, ivy-covered gravestones on my way to the mausoleum. As though her mind shields it from intruders, the structure is partly hidden behind the thick branches of a fir tree. Ivy climbs up the white marble, the green leaves rustling in the cold breeze. A crow, perched on the shoulder of one of the life-size marble angels beside the bronze doors, caws loudly. Head cocked, its beady, black eyes watch me closely. I barely spare it a glance as I pull open the heavy bronze door and enter the small space.

Greeted by the intricate paintings that decorate every available surface, I let my smile unfurl. “Hey, angel.”

As I watch, the sconces on the wall flicker wildly. While she’s not conscious of my presence, she can sense me.

Dropping my head back between my shoulders and closing my eyes, I inhale a deep breath into my lungs. The bronze doors slam shut, and my smile grows even bigger. Arms stretched out beside me, I let the moment linger. Victory tastes sweet on my tongue. No one can stop me now.

Well, except for…

Opening my eyes, I lower my arms and look back at the door.

I cross the small space, curl my fingers around the iron handles, and push the doors open. Complete darkness greets me. Gone are the cemetery and gravestones. When I take a step forward, a metal tray of candles flares to life by my feet. Four in total.novelbin

A pained groan in the corner has me lifting my gaze. Chained to the wall, blood coating the left side of his face from a cut on his eyebrow, Amenadiel watches me with haunted eyes.

I cross the small space, and his gaze flits down to the knife in my hand with its long, curved blade. As I near, he tugs violently on the chains and roars at me, the sound muffled behind his gag. A used glass vial breaks beneath my shoe as I crouch in front of him.

“What’s it like?” I ask, cocking my head and watching him with twisted amusement in my eyes. “To have your powers stolen from you.” My gaze lifts, and I make a show of scanning the damp, concrete walls. “To be so pathetically helpless. An angel as ancient as you.” I look back at him and incline my head. “As us.”

A bead of sweat trails down his temple, leaving a streak through the dried blood. He glares at me when I smirk. “Did you really think you could enter my timeline and try to kill me? Steal my life? Did you think it’d be that easy?” A cruel chuckle bubbles up from my chest, and I look to the side for a brief moment while my shoulders shake. Scratching my jaw and dragging my fingers through my stubble, I slide my gaze back to him. “You should have made sure I was dead. As it were, you made it so fucking easy to attack you when you entered the veil with Daemon. He never suspected a thing when he exited the mausoleum and found me waiting for him by the cathedral.” Tongue in cheek, I chuckle again and scan the flickering candles in the corner.

He tries to speak behind the gag, so I reach forward and pull the dirty kitchen towel from his mouth.

“You have some last words?”

He wets his cracked lips, his head lolling on the concrete wall. “You won’t get away with this. They won’t fall for it.” Lifting his head, he sneers, “She won’t buy your lies.”

“Wrong.” My smile is as taunting as the gleam in my eyes. I press my fingers to his nose and tilt my head to the side. “Smell that? That’s her pussy.”

Amenadiel tries to shift his face away from my hand, so I grab his face and drag my fingers over his nose and lips. “While you were chained up here, unable to save the girl you’ve fallen for, I fucked that sweet cunt until she screamed my name and begged me for more.” I shove him away and chuckle darkly, watching him glare at me. The defeat in his eyes tells me he already knows how this ends. “Now she’s mine,” I taunt, leaning close to his face. “And I think I want to keep her. What’s even better is that I don’t have to stalk her anymore. That shit was getting tedious. Now I can fuck her anytime I want. She thinks I’m you, the Amenadiel from the first timeline—the pathetic, soft version of me. And not the Amenadiel from the second timeline. The one you tried to kill so that you could make a cozy life here. That was rude, by the way.”

Reaching out, I curl my fingers around one of the chains. “You like her chains? Of course, I only chained her ankle. It was more fun to watch her try to get away from me. It’s one thing to fuck her when she’s willing and gagging for it. And another thing entirely to fuck her when she cries and begs me to stop. I quite like both.”

A growl reverberates inside his chest. If he could, he’d rip me to pieces and set fire to the remains. But as it is, only one of us dies tonight, and it won’t be me.

For once, I’ll stand victorious.

“Now,” I drawl, dragging the blade down the length of the chain. “It’s time to take my life back. Did you enjoy playing house with my son? I have to say that I’m disappointed he went along with it. I thought for sure he’d avenge my death when you told him how you disposed of me.” With a bitter chuckle, I lift his chin with the blade. “I want to look into my own eyes as the life bleeds from your soul. I want to see what my own death will look like.”

“Fuck you,” he sneers, spitting at me. 𝓂𝓷𝓿.𝓂

“As soon as I’ve killed you and left you here to rot inside her mind, I’ll return to my bed and fuck the angel in the ass. How does that sound? You’ll die knowing you couldn’t save her.” I lower my voice, caressing his mounting anger with my taunting whisper. “You failed in all timelines.”

A choked grunt cuts through the moment as I grab him by the back of the neck and stab him in the stomach. Using my sheer strength, I stare into his wide, glassy eyes and drag the knife in an upward motion, all the way to his sternum. The sickening, wet sound of his blood and innards pooling in a sea between us has a slow and victorious smile forming on my lips. Tossing the knife to the side, I reach in. My hand slides over his ribs in my hunt for his slippery heart.

Curling my fingers around the organ, I rip it out and toss it up into the air like a football before catching it again. “So long, Amenadiel.”

To be continued.

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