As a human, you normally wouldn’t be allowed into something like a summit. However, I’m making a special exception because I need a smart girl to help me watch all the little ones. This kind of thing hasn’t been attempted in a thousand years. If the necromancer wasn’t here, well, let’s just say this entire city could end up a giant crater in the ground if things go bad.”
I visibly gulped and Janine must have noticed. “Oh, don’t worry dear; I’m sure things won’t go bad. The demons and angels have been vouching for a treaty for a while now. Now the kids might be the problem. I hear some demon kids have been brought to this event as well. The goal is to keep them apart. The last thing we need is one kid punching another or setting their hair on fire. It’ll be your job to watch the angels. I guess the demons brought their own servants; good riddance.”
It was several hours later now. I had long since figured out that this had been Daltom’s plan from the beginning. I managed to infiltrate the summit. I felt a bit like James Bond minus the Pussygalore. Wait, were all the boys in my life considered my Bond women? This thought process wasn’t getting me anywhere. I had to focus on what was coming next because Daltom’s rather short to-do list ran out of instructions. I had no clue how the time traveling alien and his evil cult were going to break up the summit. That was a sentence I’d only be able to say once in my entire life.
We came up to a large building that resembled a massive cathedral. I didn’t recognize the building. I would have remembered a massive church in the city that looked as gothic as this one. I looked around to orient myself and then realized that this was located where a department store had recently been erected. They said there used to be an old church that mysteriously burned down many years ago. Why did I have to remember that particular fact right now? I took a deep gulp; this was not going to go well. I tightened my grip on the vial. Just two doses to go; I could do this.
When we stepped into the building, the pews were lined with groups of men and women. One side consisted of people wearing light colored clothing. A few of them almost seemed to glow translucently. They buzzed nervously, throwing nervous looks at the group on the other set of pews; a group of drearier looking people. The other group typically wore reds and blacks. There were a few demons that resembled what I had seen on that one fateful night. They had red skin and large protruding horns. However, even they wore suits; which looked particularly odd on a demon.
A man jumped down in front of us, seemingly coming from nowhere. I flinched with a squeak. Janine squeezed my hand and leaned over to me. “Be strong, you’ll be okay.”
“Well, if it isn’t Janine,” the man chuckled harshly. “Why have you graced us with your presence?”
“Hello, Stine,” Janine responded tightly. “I’m here for personal business. The Archangel himself asked me to be here.”
Stine sneered. “What business does the Archangel have with you? It is male werewolves that can serve as guards. Most of you women can’t even change unless it’s a full moon.”
“I’m here to watch his children.”
Stine wrinkled up his nose as he walked to the side, giving me a dark look as well before looking down at her stomach. “Another kid from that bastard husband of yours?”
“You lost to him fair and square; don’t be petty.”
Stine let out an angry bark directly into Janine’s face. She involuntarily flinched a bit but held her ground.
Stine turned back to me. “And what is this? A human? A pet of yours? You know they’re not allowed. I’ll take this one and dispose of it.”
“You will do no such thing,” Janine snapped.
Stine’s hand suddenly shifted into a stronger, more animalistic hand; large protruding claws shooting out. He reached for me and I froze in my place. Janine attempted to block his advance, but he shoved her aside with relative ease, causing her to bump into the baby stroller. Katrina was hiding behind the stroller, a wide-eyed terrified look on her face.
“Stine!” A shout came from up front. “Get out of their way; I’ll be needing them.”
Stine stopped almost instantly, looking back at a tall, blue-eyed, blond-haired man standing in front of the church. He had a strong, masculine chest, beautifully delicate features, and was swathed completely in white. He looked like an older Andrew and I realized that this must be the Grand Archangel, Andrew’s father.
The man looked at Stine with a clear gaze that afforded no nonsense. The man growled, then leaped away; a single bound taking him over the pews and up to a balcony overlooking the chapel. I could now see other werewolves on other balconies. It appeared they were functioning as the guards here. Janine dusted herself off with just a hint of a blush on her cheeks. She turned back to me.
“I’m sorry about that. He was an old childhood friend. He wanted to be my mate, but when my husband came along he lost the fight. Never did get over it.”
I nodded numbly, not sure what to say. After she had calmed Katrina down, she began to usher the group of us up the chapel aisle to the front of the church. As I got closer, I could see everyone in the pew more easily. Andrew’s father stood with another man who wore dark clothes and had fire-red hair. In between, them was a terrifying being that resembled death himself.
The man wore a black cloak that covered his entire body, complete with a hood. I could barely make out his face swathed in shadows. It was wrinkled and sunken in. The eyes and cheekbones were almost skeletal in appearance. He had a long, bony hand that held a large staff equal to his height, a glowing red stone sitting on top of it. He exuded an air of terror just by his very presence. That had to be the necromancer.
The red-haired man was arguing with the necromancer and I could finally make out the words, “…in a church is just absolutely an insult. To demand a bunch of demons sit and negotiate on a holy ground spits on our entire culture.”
As we approached, the necromancer held up his hand, shockingly silencing the Archdemon with a single motion. “This church has worshipped God for some time. However, it was also the site of a satanic cult. They sacrificed virgins, summoned demons, and created pacts, not twenty years past.”
The red-haired man scratched his chin. “Is that so?”
“So, you see, there is no better location. It is a place that possesses both a history of darkness and of light. A place of both holy and unholy worship.”
Andrew’s dad now seemed less confident at that statement, but he had the better sense to avoid saying anything. He turned away from the pair, excusing himself as he took a few steps off the podium and bowed to us.
He looked over at me. “A human? You are a gutsy one, Janine.”
Janine shrugged. “My other nanny stormed off and this one has knowledge of the supernatural.”
The Archangel looked me up and down. I fought the urge to turn my head and blush, instead opting to meet his eyes head on. They really did resemble Andrew’s eyes. Was this the kind of strong, focused man that Andrew would become?
“I do sense a great deal of familiarity coming from her. I also sense protective magic placed over her. It is both angel magic, demon magic, and more besides.”
Janine’s eyes widened at me, but the Archangel continued. “A girl who both demons and angels alike would protect. I have never heard of such a thing. Perhaps this summit really can usher peace for our peoples.”
The man nodded to the right. “I have him in the back. Please relieve my advisor so he can be present for the negotiations. My son already ran away once today; just keep a watch on him. Being a father is never easy, but a son never understands when the father must attend to an entire realm.”
Andrew’s father turned away, walking back up to the podium. I continued to watch him until Janine tapped on my shoulder. She ushered me on and I nodded to her. We headed into the back room, a long hallway wrapping around to the back of the church. I was about to babysit a guy who, not too long ago, I had wanted to kiss. This was a supernatural Jerry Springer episode just waiting to happen.
I opened the door and the scene before me caused me to immediately freeze. There were several men standing in the room wearing dark red robes. Andrew was struggling as two of the men had a hold of him and were trying to drag him out a back door. There was a man on the floor unconscious with a small pool of blood under him. I was betting that was the advisor. The group stared at me and Janine in shock.
I immediately pulled out the vial and downed another dose. In a swift motion, I shoved Janine, Katrina, and the stroller back through the door.
“Get Andrew’s dad!” I shouted, slamming the door in Janine’s startled face.
I turned back to the men as a surge of power flowed through me. One of the men tried to dodge around me, most likely trying to grab Janine before she could make it down the hall to warn the others. He was impossibly fast, but with the venom flowing through me, I matched him for speed. I grabbed him and shoved. The man had not expected me to be that fast or that strong, and ended up careening into a table.
Another man descended on me. I turned to him as he tried to throw his arms around me. My enhanced strength broke his grip, but only just. He threw a kick that hit me in the gut. Even with the venom, it hurt and I lurched forward. Another two men had successfully wrestled Andrew out the door and were dragging him into a car.
I grabbed the man, but he easily overpowered me. The strength of the vial was already weakening. I pulled the vial again to take the last dose. The man saw it and slapped the bottle from my hands. It landed on the floor and rolled away. I tried to pull away to jump for it, but he overpowered me. The man who had been tossed into the table recovered, casting a spell over the door before turning to the one that had me.
“Just take her with us!” He snapped, grabbing my legs as I tried to kick my way free.
The two men carried me out like a sack of flour, tossing me into the back of the car. One of the men leaped into the car I was in and the other jumped into a second car. The door leading into the backroom exploded open; the magic sealing it was torn apart in seconds. Andrew’s dad, open rage on his face, burst into the room.
“Go! Go! Go!” a passenger shouted to the driver.
He pressed his foot on the gas and the car shot off. The Archangel ran out the back door, but the cars had already made it out of the alley. He bellowed, a shot of lightning and an explosion filling the air behind the cars. Static rose in the air around me, causing my hair to lift from my head. However, it suddenly dissipated, the car gaining too much distance from the angry Archangel.
The robed man finished tying up my hands and feet, then dropped me into a seat right next to Andrew. I looked over at the boy. He seemed to have the same cold, placid look he had this morning. It was as if this whole kidnapping was boring to him. I lowered my head down, fighting the tears. I had failed. The summit was broken.