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"You're—you are crazy!"

"Am I?"

Hanging above the emptiness below, a strange, voluminous sort of blackness filtered through my thoughts and settled across my vision. Rage blossomed in my chest and swelled, alive and as virulent as any destructive weed. My nails dug into her wrist until I could feel the slick, even heat of her blood staining my palms. A faint line appeared between Amoroth's manicured brows as an angry, alien snarl ripped through me, and I felt my lip curl. The wind brought strains of Amoroth's clean, citrusy perfume—and puzzling whiffs of burning wheat.

Amoroth's sneer faded. Her eyes widened. Thought trickled through her steady gaze, her free hand tracing the line of my right eye. "You're...."

A growl of frustration wiped away the deeper emotion I could see working through her mind. Amoroth suddenly flung me away, her arm swinging and retracting with the speed of a cracked whip. I gasped as my grip on the Sin of Lust was broken with a mere thought of effort. Then I was falling.

I didn't fall for very long or very far. I must have only dropped about ten feet before something slammed into me and I started ascending again—rapidly ascending, crashing into the Sin of Lust. Amoroth yelped as she was shoved off the guardrail and into the side of what I could only guess was an industrial A/C unit. I inhaled and sucked down a lungful of smoke and ocean scented air.

Darius had me tucked under one arm, taking the brunt of our impact into one of the low concrete walls. My ear smacked into his leg with enough force to scatter my thoughts, and when Darius set me on my feet I immediately collapsed into the wall. My frantic hands patted the hot surface beneath me, checking its solidity. I didn't fall. Darius caught me, thank God...but how did he know where to find me?

Amoroth was extracting herself from the crumpled A/C unit, cursing softly as she brushed dust and bits of concrete from her ruined suit. There was a shard of serrated metal the equivalent size of a butcher's knife shoved through her gut. Noticing it, Amoroth pried the metal loose and dropped it with little regard. "By the Seven, that hurts!"

Darius was on her in an instant, shoving the Sin of Lust into the metal unit again, pinning her by the arms. "Filth," he raged, shaking her hard enough to break a normal person's bones. "What do you think you're doing?!"

Her movement was blurred by the sun and the buzz of adrenaline in my head—but I heard an audible crack above the keening wind. Suddenly Darius was hunched over with his hands cupping a broken nose and Amoroth was straightening her disheveled attire, sneering at the other Sin. The wound in her stomach was gone but blood still flowed from the wrist I had scoured, lacing intricate patterns over her hand and fingers.

"What am I doing? What are you doing?" Amoroth swung at him, but Darius dodged and fell against a thick metallic duct, spitting blood on the concrete. "You must think I'm an idiot. I'll see you back in the Pit for this, Darius. I won't tolerate it!"

"You're right." He straightened and thrust out his palms, sending Amoroth sailing into the now smoking A/C unit. "I do think you're an idiot."

I scrambled to my feet, gripping my throbbing side. "She threw me off the building!" I cried, unsure if I was still in shock or just stunned by disbelief. "She grabbed me from my desk at work and tossed me off the side of this godforsaken tower!"

Darius glared as Amoroth kicked a vent, splitting it in two as she rose again from the twisted metal. "It's not as if you died," she drawled, dabbing at a fresh laceration on her scalp. It healed over in an instant, darkening her livid eyes. "Not for my lack of trying, however."

"What is your problem?!"

"You and your pitiful excuse of a Sin!"

"If you children are finished," Darius interjected as he stepped between us. She was on the opposing side of the A/C unit now, out of Darius' easy reach—but I knew the woman could be at my throat again in an instant. I balked at the 'children' comment, but to a man like Darius who was as old as time itself, I was a child. But what about Amoroth? Was she not Original like Darius? How old was she? From what Darius had told me, Sins who weren't Original had once been human. Amoroth had been human? "What prompted this exasperating idiocy, Amoroth?"

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