Somewhere in Between

By , Minden, NV
"Who am I?" My voice trembled at the end of the question.

"You're my little angel," My mom whispered as she curled a piece of my wavy, dark hair around her slender finger.

"No," I murmured even quieter, "I'm not." Sighing, she dropped my hair, and scooted slightly away from me. I wanted to tell her that I would be fine on my own, and she didn't need to worry about me.

"Really, Helen, how can you not be happy in Heaven? Everything anyone could possibly desire resides here!" I could hear the frustration leak into her serene tone.

"Mom, you've heard the term 'the grass is always greener on the other side'! Let me prove that where Dad lives the grass is greener for me." I pleaded. She laughed, a trill of wind chimes blowing in the wind, but the sarcasm and mocking was clearly evident.

"There is no grass in Hell, and if there is, it's shriveled, brown, dead." My mom sniffed. It was my turn to scoot away, the sudden harshness of my mom's demeanor took me off guard. Her long, pin-straight, auburn hair framed her face elegantly, the warm pools of honey that were her eyes shimmered with knowledge, and her light pink lips frowned slightly at the edges.

"Mom, you know I've made up my mind. Whether you like it, or not, I'm going to live with my father." I sternly stated, and she rolled her eyes.

"Have you not paid any attention to what the Angel Academy has tried to instill in your mind?" My mom cried, "Do you remember what Hell is described as?"

"Of course I remember, but I really don't care. I haven't met my own father, and I'm not going to keep pretending to be a good girl! It's just not who I am." The balmy breeze picked up, brushing the hair off my shoulders, and the wispy clouds hovering below our feet swayed slightly. Sitting on my mother's back porch, and letting my feet dangle off the edge was always my sanctuary from the perfect society in Heaven. My feet dipped into the mortal world, and I used to laugh at the thought of someone peering up at the blue skies only to find a pair of feet hanging from the side of a cloud. The porch led to my mom's small, (obvious) white house. I lived there with her, and attended the same academy for fifteen years of the twenty I lived.

"You should really consider your mother's warnings." A deep, suave voice echoed through the petite backyard from the porch door, "Hell is no vacation." I narrowed my eyes at the cloud I was gazing at, and knew immediately who the speaker was, Gabriel.

"Oh, Gabriel, I'm so glad you stopped by! Maybe you could talk some sense into this stubborn child." My mom giggled as she walked back to the house, and Gabriel had chuckled a bit when I winced at the word "child". Boy, did he tick me off!

"I doubt even the innocent Gabriel can change my mind." I growled, unpleasantly, after my mom shut the porch door behind her. Again, he laughed at my dismay, and I faced him with a full on glare.

"Helen, please, you don't know what you're getting yourself into. Like you said, you've never even met your father before. Who's to say he's not the heartless daemon he's played out to be?" Gabriel contested, while walking down to where I sat on the porch.

"Please," I barked, "how could I know for sure until I meet him?" Gabriel was unaffected by the edginess of my voice, and sat down, gracefully, next to me. Definitely close enough to brush shoulders.

"Well, I'd say better safe than sorry," He answered, lightly. "Plus, who wants to see a daemon when he gets mad? Unbelievably dangerous, and an inappropriate for a budding angel." I wished my glare seared through his head, but he kept a friendly smile posed on his full lips. Uncomfortable, I made a gap of space between us. This, he noticed.

"Helen, why do you detest me so? Have I displeased you in any way?" Gabriel inquired with a sly smile. The wind blew again, and tousled his ash blond hair in his striking face. His pearl eyes twinkled with innocence, and I held back a scowl. Gabriel had always tried to play off as a pure angel, and you might've believe it if you didn't hear about how many angelettes he fooled around with. Oh, yeah, he had a reputation, but how much of it was legend and how much of it was absolute crap, I had no clue.

"Look, I don't know why you even bother. I will never be with you, or remotely consider the possibliltiesas a couple." I declared, coldly. Finally, Gabriel did something extremely rare, he dismantled his armor, and gave me a glimpse of the real Gabriel.

"Why not? I would make you endlessly happy. Happier than a daemon from Hell!" The desperation in his usually casual tone almost made me smirk. What could I say? I was half daemon, why didn't people remember?

"Gabriel, you are a good boy, and that is the only thing you will ever be to me. I'm not saying that my perfect match is in Hell, but I know, right now, that he isn't here in Heaven." My last words seemed to sting him, but his penetrating stare didn't waver. "I'm sorry, but I just don't believe in happily ever affters."

Gabriel glowered at me, "I'm not asking you to be a perfect princess! I just want you to give me a chance." He was mumbling in a pouty, sulkish manner. Without thinking, I grabbed his soft, masculine hand, but he didn't seem to care. I let a healthy silence pass before I spoke.

"You know, I really don't think that if I did give you a chance that we'd work out."

A flicker of amusement passed across his features.

'Well, we won't know until we give it a try.' Gabriel said seductively, caressing my shoulders gently with his free hand. My hand twitched uncomfortably under his touch, and I squirmed a little.

'I'm making you uneasy, aren't I?' He snickered, and I pulled my hand away. As I scooted away, I was felt some odd bond between the two of us. That, I could say, was the real factor of my uneasiness, and I felt weakened by his accurate assumption. I didn't like the way he read me so easily.

'Let go of my shoulder,' I said coldly, and he, for once, obeyed my demand. Gabriel hoisted himself up and strolled to the back door, with his hands in his pockets.

'You might as well start packing, because I conclude that I'm going to be the one convincing her to let you go.' His tone was cold and indifferent, and I looked at him, puzzled.

'What do you mean? Are you going to try to talk to her?' I snorted, and he cocked brow.

'What? Do you not think I can persuade her?' Gabriel mused. His lips quirked at the edges making him slightly smirk.

'You've got a shot, be my guest,' I scoffed, playfully. I was teasing him again, and I knew he was enjoying it. Without another word to me, he started opening the white, oak door.

'Clarissa, may I have a word?' His deep, silky voice penetrated my eardrums fervently, and I clenched my fists when it called my mother's name. From the bright, cheery kitchen came my mother's high, sing-song voice.

'Of course, Gabriel, your company is always welcome.' Before I had a chance to get up he closed the door to a crack, and wagged his long fingers at me. He mouthed, Stay, and I glared at him with menace. Once he shut the door completely, I hurriedly tip-toed over the porch, and squashed my ear to the wood. I strained to hear bits and pieces of the conversation.

'She'll be completely safe with me,' It was Gabriel's soothing voice that came through first, 'I won't let her out of my sight, I give you my word.'

'No, Gabriel, I don't think she's ready for such a big event!' My mom's voice was shrill and hostile. Yeah, right, I thought, my mom has her war tone fastened in place. There's no way he's going to convince her. My mom's soprano voice pulled me back to reality, she was going on about the dangers of Hell. Gabriel couldn't get a word in, and my mom was ranting furiously. Why didn't he just give up? The idea was stupid, and it seemed like he didn't have a clue what he was doing. Finally, when my mom caught a breath, Gabriel seized the opportunity.

'Claire,' He soothed, lowering his voice, while I ground my teeth at the disgusting nickname, 'trust me.' My mom obviously nodded, because he continued. 'I won't let anything happen to Helen, and you know I always keep my word.' There was a long silence, and I was grateful. The way he was sweet talking her made me sick, and it reminded me of how it would work so well on the Angelettes. Gabriel murmured, his voice muffled by either a shoulder, or her hair, which could only mean he was hugging her.

'I'll be with her all the way to the gates. Trust me, if you truly want her to be happy, let her meet her father.' I narrowed my eyes, why was he trying to get me to leave? I brushed the thought away, and stressed my ear harder to hear my mom's soft words.

'I'm going to miss her so much,' She sniffled, 'all I want is for her to be happy.' I heard the friction of Gabriel's hands rubbing my mom's brown cardigan sweater. Undoubtedly, rubbing her shoulders. God, I wish I could see what was going on!

'Hold on,' Gabriel said, distracted. I heard the tapping of his shoes on the linoleum floor approaching the porch door. Before I could get off my knees, the door shuddered beneath my ear, and in seconds I was facedown on the kitchen floor, without so much of an 'oof'. I scrambled trying to get up.

'Helen, so glad you could join us. Your mother and I were just describing your traveling plans to the Underworld.' My inhale was sharp and obvious, and I glanced at my mother, who quietly took a seat at the kitchen table.

'Mom?' I began, but when she lifted her head to meet my gaze, I immediately shut up. Her mouth was set in a deep frown, and her eyebrows dipped so low that they cast a shadow on her once youthful face. At that moment my mom actually looked her ripe age, and I'd never seen her so depressed, so morbid. I wanted to fling myself into her arms, and see her gorgeous smile. But I knew, those cheery days were over, and I faced myself with a betrayed, hurt mother. All I could do was wait for her to speak.

She barely opened her mouth when she spoke, 'Go pack your things, Gabriel has kindly offered to guide you to the Underworld, and I suspect you can't wait to get out of here. I, on the other hand, have to take a walk. I need some alone time.' Quicker than usual, she got up and paced to the porch door. As she passed me, she whispered harshly in my ear, 'I hope your happy.' And she was gone. All of my emotions pounded my heart, and my eyed filled with grieving tears. I had just lost my mother, and, at that moment, I had might as well considered her dead. She would never speak to me again, and I would be one parent less. I hardly noticed Gabriel wrap his arms around me, and even when I did, I just cried harder into his shoulder. He didn't say anything, and I pulled away from him to look at his face. His handsome face was now puffy and red, as if he had been crying, and his eyes were tinted pink. My heart squeezed looking at his poor boy-like face.

'Why were you crying?' I cracked, more tears beginning to fall from my eyes. He gave me a sad smile, and tears glistened in his eyes.

'I really don't want you to go,' He started, but he grimaced, 'it hurts too much.' I gave an exasperated sob, and he sobered. 'I'm too late aren't I?' He said, bleakly. I pursed my lips, and searched his face. I let a small silence take place before I knew what to say.

I finally shook my head, and breathed, 'You're just in time.' When the last word left my mouth, Gabriel's lips came down on mine, and I instinctively kissed him back. His lips worked over my face, he kissed my eyelids, my cheeks, and my forehead. I had framed his face with my hands, and kissed him with fierce ardor. Suddenly, we were both heading to the same place, both silently agreeing with each other. I pulled him up the stairs, my mouth never leaving his. We ran into my doorframebefore staggering into my room, our fingers tangled in each other's hair. He smelt like a special, expensive cologne, and I could taste the pure adrenaline that seeped through his pores. I felt my soul reach for his, and my mind raced with excitement. My mind had grown wispy like tendrils, made up of a spectral of lights. The delicate tips probed Gabriel's mind, searching every nook and cranny. I struggled to keep my eyes open, to see his face. His beautiful features carved flawlessly from marble, the curve of his lips, and arc of his cheekbones, all so tenderly soft to the touch. As the tendrils etched deeper into his mind, the drowsiness overcame me, and I let my eyelids droop.
Stay tuned for chapter two very soon...





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