Chapter 9 - Danai

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Looking over the room with three out of four walls made mostly of glass, Danai knew she was overpowered, outclassed, and way too far from home.

But she had bigger problems, like the Angel staring her down who looked like a cross between a television cop and an ex-marine in a navy blue suit. That had to be Isaiah, the one who had built this place and who ruled it now.


Don't get dramatic, Danai.

She folded her arms and tried her best to look like she meant business. "Okay," she said, mustering all of her courage. "I'm guessing the big guy is Isaiah. Either way, one of you had better tell me what's going on."

The cop Angel, Isaiah, smiled. "Not a marshmallow, good." The expression softened his face, making her relax a touch. "You're Uniq, then?"

Danai swallowed. "Danai. Uniq is...I don't use that name."

"Danai," he tilted his head. "That means beloved."

"Thanks." Her knapsack with her crappy phone was across the room, nestled on the wrong side of a beautiful girl who sat, ankles crossed with on a sofa was upholstered in a golden beige that looked like it belonged in a magazine. So did the girl. Above her hung a chandelier, because apparently Angels lived in glass houses with crystal chandeliers instead of normal light fixtures. And they had white marble coffee tables.

The most normal thing in the room was a massive, wall mounted HD TV, which was currently muted. It was showing a documentary on wild cats.

Of course the beautiful girl had wings. The traditional kind, all downy white feathers that looked like they belonged in a painting.

Danai looked at Gabriel and then at the girl on the sofa, who looked back with a cold, regal fury.

Danai didn't want to know what she'd done to earn that look, and she didn't have to learn. The faster she got out of here, the better. She said, "I don't know what all of this is about, but you've made a mistake."

Isaiah asked, "You were blinded by Gabriel's light, weren't you?"

"That doesn't mean-"

"And you can see our wings."

"There have to be other people who can do that."

"You were in the room when your mother and the others died?"

Danai swallowed. "I don't remember it." But her nightmares did. The chanting. How the air had ripped open, and a shadow had poured in. Dr. Hall - they'd all called him Doctor out of respect, not from any qualification - had taken Sister Amelia, a thin, nervous woman with thin blond hair and a habit of chewing on her cuticles, by the throat and kissed her. The woman had spasmed, her eyes bugging out, the cold, damp air filling with the smell of urine and blood.

"I don't remember," Danai said again. "It was all trauma."

"You don't believe that."

She didn't. Not anymore. But that didn't mean that she was just going to let that history get her caught up in some current war between angels and demons. She wanted to live a normal life. To have a boyfriend. To go to a beach without the sand, in its thousand grains of memory, tearing her heart and mind apart.

"Just take me home," she demanded. "If you don't-"

"The monster you saw, it lives in Dominick now."

"Well, that sucks for him, whoever the heck that is."

"Dominick King-"

"The Dominick King?" She'd heard of him. They'd done a talk about him in class last year. He was supposed to inspire them that someone could come out of the projects and end up building one of the most powerful companies in the world. King Industries had fingers in everything: technology, investment banking, real estate, factory farming, medicine, the list went on and on. "He's a billionaire!"

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