I woke with my body rigid and tight. My eyes scanned the room around me before I realized I was on my side; I must have fallen asleep some time the night before when Gabriel was instructing us on what to do. I didn’t remember much of the conversation, only that after I found out my fate, we spent the next few hours arguing. Jacob kept saying he wouldn’t let God in because he refused to harm me, April threatened Gabriel everytime he moved that she would “boot his feathery ass back to the clouds”, and I just sat numbly and cursed every few minutes. It wasn’t anything productive and I eventually laid down in an attempt to tune out everyone and the world in general. I thought back to the dream I had woken up from; was it just a dream? Or was I seeing what was meant to happen? I remembered my other dream, the one about Jacob, and shook my head. There was no way. It had to just be my body fighting away the stress and confusion of the whole thing. Dreams were always weird; well, when I had them anyways. I rubbed my eyes with a sigh and sat upon the couch. Someone had draped a blanket over me in the middle of the night. I smelled something amazing from the direction of the kitchen and turned to look for the source. April was in the kitchen, cooking bacon and what appeared to be french toast. My stomach growled appreciatively and April spoke without looking up.

“Now I know the sound of a hungry teenager. Come here and eat something before your stomach throws a temper tantrum.”

I smiled and tossed the blanket aside, standing and stretching like a cat. My arms came over my head and I felt my shirt ride up to reveal my belly button piercing.

“Best not do any of that around my boy Ruby.”

I spun around in shock; she had to have been joking, right? Her eyes were firm and full of fire, showing me that she was indeed NOT joking. I tugged my shirt down with a sigh and ambled over to the counter.

“Here I thought you got over hating me.”

“I don’t hate you Ruby. I’m a mother, and therefor I can’t hate any poor child who gets mixed up in this life, but that doesn’t mean that I like outsiders. We have a system here, Jacob and I, and I won’t let some pretty girl come in and play with him like a cat on a string.”

My eyes went wide and an angry gasp left my mouth. Gees, was this woman bipolar?

“Is that what you think I am doing? Toying with him? You think I’m here to flirt with Jacob? That’s cute, real cute April. I have no interest in your son. He’s obnoxious, cut off, reclusive, bitter, self centered…”

“Now you watch your mouth and stop talking about my boy before I smack you senseless!” April snapped, her tone so low and threatening that I glanced over to the knife rack nervously. If she was going to hurt me, I needed some way to defend myself. April’s eyes burned with motherly passion and I knew I had crossed the line by insulting her son.

“You have no idea what Jacob has had to go through. You don’t know him. To be quite honest, I have no idea why he was interested in helping you. Jacob is a good boy. He has always been a good boy and has done the best with the situation we’ve been given.”

“By that you mean the fact that he was meant to be Lucifer’s puppet and now God’s?”

“Yes! And that has been a weight that no twelve year old boy should ever have to bear! He shouldn’t have had to wait and be afraid of the dark because demons lurked there! He shouldn’t have thrown himself on the church priest and sobbed and asked why him! He shouldn’t have had to suffer the way he did and still does! He didn’t deserve, no, doesn’t deserve this. That boy should be a normal, happy teenager who is in college for medicine like he wanted, throwing a football around with his dad and dating a nice, family type girl. Instead, he is a warrior who has to fight in the apocalypse...in a war against Heaven and Hell...not knowing if he will survive…” Tears ran down April’s eyes as she exploded before me. I watched in awe as all the heartache and all the pain from the past burned through her again. A sudden sense of sorrow came over me. Here I thought I had it rough, yet Jacob and April had to grow up with the sense of impending doom over them at any moment.

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