Chapter 8 - Gabe

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Jess was upset, and Gabe could understand her point. His desire for Danai was a surprise. He couldn't afford to lose control, he'd never been truly tempted to lose control since his Angel had chosen him, but holding Danai in his arms had strained it. He had seen her, had touched her, and he wanted to do both again. The need was so sweet it hurt.

After checking her phone, Jess looked up at him with dark brown eyes. "What happened?"

Jess reminded Gabe of a grown up version of a 1950's doll in combat boots. Her face was soft curves with full pink lips, freckles sprinkled over her cheeks, and a round nose that turned up slightly at the tip. Her brownish-blond hair was pulled back in a loose ponytail. One thick, wavy clump had escaped, as usual, sweeping over the right side of her forehead and kissing her cheekbone before it flared out to almost chin length.

Gabe started to explain about the school, Mel, and their escape, but she cut him off. "No, I meant what's going on with you and her."

Of course that was what she had meant. Jess was never one to leave something alone. "It's nothing," Gabe explained. "I just- she fainted, that's all. Stop worrying."

"We can't afford for you to lose yourself. We already lost Eddie. And Mel."

"We don't know what happened with Eddie."

"He's Dominick's now."

They shared moment of bleak silence.

Finally, Gabe said, "I won't Turn. You have to believe that."

"Mel said the same thing. Avaracidia manipulates us through our weaknesses."

"Danai isn't a weakness."

"She will become one if you let her. Our angels chose us for a higher purpose. We can't let ourselves slip."

Jess spoke a good game, but she wasn't any better than the rest of them. "At least I didn't kill-"

"She did it to herself!"

"Just because you're playing the housewife game doesn't mean you're any better than the rest of us."

She blinked, her blue eyes shining. Was she going to cry? She grabbed the knitting off of the table and yanked at one of the needles. It took two tries to wrench the needle free.

"I'm sorry," Gabe said.

"Forget it."

"I know you're trying to help."

"I said forget it."

He couldn't just sit here. Maybe he should check on Danai. He took a couple of steps to the door, then looked back at Jess who was aggressively knitting. No. Jess was right. It wouldn't be fair to drag Danai into his world. He couldn't care for her without risking the both of them. And Isaiah needed her. And Dominick wanted her. Danai didn't need any more problems.

Gabe walked three steps, turned, and paced back to the door. Back again.

On his third pass, he asked, "Have you heard from Isaiah?"

"I texted."

"Yeah." Isaiah rarely returned texts. He was older than the rest of them, in his mid-fifties, and though he claimed to like modern conveniences like cellular phones, he often forgot to use them. "So you know where he went?"

"Nope."

"I didn't mean to say that you meant to kill her."

"I wanted to hurt her." Jess focused on the knitting in her hands, not meeting his gaze or even looking up at all.

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