“A Feeder,” Palleman informed me, lingering at the door. Feeders, I thought with distaste. The cannibalistic monsters that roamed the barren lands of Abannon just outside of our city. The only thing that separated us from them was the Dardon Wall. What had Saera been doing on the other side of the wall?

            Saera saw me and she calmed, flopping back onto the healing slab. “Master Gaius,” she whispered, her voice hoarse and tired and full of relief.

            I moved to her and stroked her hair. She leaned into my hand, closing her eyes. I motioned the Flares forward with my free hand. They helped me turn her over onto her stomach.

            Saera winced and let out a small yelp when I moved to place the ribbon of skin back in its proper place. She had lost so much blood. My eyes scanned her body for other injuries. I ran my hand over her neck towards her shoulder. She screamed. I winced and pulled back. She had a broken collarbone.

            The Flares moved her onto her side so that I would have better access to both injuries. I put one hand over her shoulder and the other just above her collarbone. I lowered my eyelids until I could see nothing.

            A heat invaded my chest, pushing through my veins with purpose. It streamed down my arms coursing through to my hands and fingers. I opened my eyes to see Saera’s skin melding back together, the blood still dribbling from a few places that refused to heal so quickly.

            Her skin was mostly smooth again; the wounds were now bright white scars. If she had been injured by anything else, it would have cleared. Feeder venom, only seen in third generation Feeders, left a bright scar that forever marred the flesh.

            I held my hand out for a bucket and a wet cloth. They were brought to me. Saera’s breathing had slowed considerably.

            Tenderly, I washed the blood from her back, urging a Flare to do the same for her wing. The Flare gave me a disapproving look, hating to cater to a worker—a being so far under his station—but I was above his rank so he complied.

            “Tane,” she said breathlessly. I was instantly alert. I leaned into Saera as I washed her shoulder, hoping she would tell me of Tane’s fate. Had she fallen at the Feeder’s hands? “I flew away before I could see. Is she safely on Earth?”

            I bit my lip and dipped my chin to show that I did not know. Saera searched my eyes when I looked back at her. I could hear her thoughts; they were worried and exhausted.

            Quickly, before anyone could see, I brushed a message of comfort into her palm. She sighed, and I watched as Saera closed her eyes.

            I looked back to Palleman. His dark hair contrasted shockingly with his light eyes. He turned from me then, but not before giving me a long, approving stare. His thoughts were turned to elevating my station.

            I could hear his footsteps fade as he walked down the hall. I smiled half-heartedly and stood, covered in angel’s blood.

Tane

 

            It was a strange experience, traveling in a group. It was as though conversation was expected, as if silence was not acceptable. Most of this required conversation was directed at me.

            “So, did you go to a party last night or something? To end up naked on a stranger’s lawn must have made you regret it, huh?” the one they called Felix asked. His voice was rather ragged. There was a predatory undertone to everything he said. It made me uncomfortable.

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