Chapter 21

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(*Nobody's POV*)

A week or two passed after Gracie and Cody had come clean, but neither really noticed the time passing; both were incredibly happy.

The wedding was in less than three weeks. Less if Hunter's added week for preparations wasn’t needed. Those thoughts haunted Cody in every step he took. Every time he held Gracie. It was a nightmare, but he was willing to put up with it as long as he could. They both knew that after the wedding, things would never be the same. Or maybe it was just Cody, since Gracie was often lost in her childish state of mind. Her lessons with Aku began on schedule. It seemed that after every one Gracie had something new to show Cody. Her powers increased and amazed her Demon. After the first few lessons, Cody realized he wasn’t needed after all and let the two Angels train in peace.

That had been his worst mistake.

Currently, Gracie was at one of her Angel lessons. It was drawing to a close and Cody decided to come early. Maybe he could pick up a few tips for dealing with Gracie...

(*Gracie's POV*)

"Oh my gosh! That is so cool! Do it again!" I demanded, my eyes fixated by the pile of dirt in Aku's hands. A small daisy and sprung up from the dirt. The male Angel laughed and shook his head, setting down his creation. The flower slowly closed up and shrunk back into the ground. "Can I do that?"

Aku nodded gently, a smile on his face, but then he grew serious. "Gracie I would like to talk to you before you leave today."

As a result to his expression, my own grin disappeared. "About what...?"

The Angel in front of me seemed to have a hard time beginning but once he started all I wanted to do was plug my ears. "Gracie, I’m worried about what you and Cody are doing. With you being an Angel... it’s just not natural. You have to see that. Our kinds don’t mix and when they do it’s not for the better. We're at wars with them. They kill our kind, honey. You must stop this. You’re not safe with him. He'll get rough with you and... Do things that you won’t want to. This is madness Gracie. Please understand that."

I couldn’t believe my ears. Why was he saying all these things? "Cody would never hurt me." I said in a deathly calm tone. Every ounce of innocence was slowly seeping to the back of my brain; I was becoming angry.

He got the hint and held up his hands in surrender, his expression sorrowful. "Not on purpose, but when he gets angry... He'll have urges that he'll want you to fill that you can’t. You MUST stop being with him this way."

My anger lessened a little. "And why should I listen to you? I'm going to have to deal with Hunter eventually and he'll be worse than Cody will ever be. Besides, Cody loves me. I’m safe with him." My arms crossed stubbornly.

"His kind wasn’t made to deal with us. He's your complete opposite. You’d be much safer with someone else."

Now I definitely didn’t like where this was going. "And who would you suggest?" I narrowed my eyes.

Aku sighed and dropped his head before looking back up and staring me in the eyes. "Me."

My blue eyes stared back at him coldly. "You know we're not like that, Aku. We never have been." I stood to go.

"Gracie just please wait! Let me explain." I tensed and turned back around. "Our kind was made for the other. I was MADE for you. You were made for me. Don’t you even want to try it? Want to know what it would be like?" His eyes pleaded with me now, a light shade of gold. I'd learned new things about Aku. One was that his eyes changed color when he felt strongly enough.

Letting out a sigh of frustration I turned on him. "What are you proposing that I do?”  I demanded him, completely exasperated to tears.

The Angel in the cage stood. "Kiss me." He said simply.

I stopped breathing. "You’re insane." I whispered and turned now for real, tired of his little suggestions that scared me. Because the truth was, I had no idea what I wanted now. He had my brain muddled and confused. My feelings still ran very deeply for Cody but.... Aku? A little spark in me was trying to will my body to turn and try it.

No.

However, Aku never let me make the decision for myself. Before I got far enough away his chained hand grabbed at mine, wrenching back to him. I collided into the cell bars and to my complete horror, our lips touched. Arms wrapped around mine, locking me in place. There was no escape, for Aku was so much stronger than me. The kiss went on.

(*Cody POV*)

Whistling while I walked, I reached the open prison door and stopped dead in my tracks. Aku...and my Gracie.....kissing....? My breath stuttered and my heart shattered. She wasn’t... moving away. I locked my jaw and walked away, fist clenched. My world had been ripped to shreds. I should have known better. I got attached.

A cold fire moved in my stomach as I stormed through the house. Right up to Hunter's office door.

(*Gracie's POV*)

After an eternity, Aku finally released me, and I fell back on to the cold hard floor. Panting, I stared at him in disbelief. "How about that? What did you feel?" He was also out of breath.

"Nothing, but disgust and panic" I said furiously, my voice deadly. I stood and walked out of there, heading for my room. When I returned, I found Cody walking around the room, his face hard as stone. A suitcase was on the bed. "Cody... what’s going on? Are we going somewhere?" I asked in confusion.

He never looked at me, just continued packing the suitcase with his belongings. "No." His voice was like steel. Something was very wrong.

With a dreadful feeling in my stomach, I went on more quietly. "Are... you... going somewhere?"

"Yes." His jaw was locked and he continued his packing.

"Where?" My voice trembled. "When are you coming back?"

Cody had finished packing. Zipping up his suitcase he started out the door. "Why would you care?" He ask coldly, walking out the door.

Hurriedly I followed him out into the hall, a stunned expression framed on my face. "You know why!" I told him. "I love you..." I told him more quietly. "Why are you leaving?!"

"Hunter sent me on another mission." Again that same detached voice. No feeling whatsoever. We were outside now, heading for the gates. I had had just about enough of this. I grabbed his arm and whipped him around.

"What is WRONG with you?!" I demanded fiercely. Terrified. Cody stared above my head before turning back around and kept up his pace, maybe slightly faster. When he reached the gates I finally used all my energy to run and place myself in his path. When he try to go around I blocked his path. "Cody! What did I do!?!" I shouted in desperation.

His eyes finally found mine, and they burned with a dark angry blue fire. "Go and be with your Angel, because obviously, he’s what you want.” The words were said with so much acid that I began to tremble. Then he pushed me out of the way and went out the gates to a black mustang. He peeled out and was gone but his shove had not helped my already unbalanced legs. I fell to the ground and then just didn’t bother to get up. My body hurt and my eyes seemed to be leaking. Scattered thoughts ran through my mind, over and over again.

Cody had seen. Cody hates me. He doesn’t love me anymore. I want to sleep.

The tears continued to flow down my face. A drop from above caught my attention. It began to rain cold feeling-less drops that would have made my heart ache, if it hadn’t been gone already. Stashed away in a suitcase in the back of a black mustang.

(*Aku's POV*)

I glanced after Gracie with a concerned look. Her reaction was not what I had expected, but the timing had been perfect. The little Demon had seen. A grim smile spread across my face. Hurting Gracie was the last thing I wanted to do, but it had been necessary. Gracie belonged with me. Not that pathetic excuse for a creature.

After all, all's fair in love and war. And this was indeed a war.

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