Archangel's Consort - Guild Hunter 03 By Nalini Singh

Swathed in the silken shadows of deepest night, New York was the same . . . and altered
beyond compare. Once Elena had watched angels take flight from the light-filled column of the Tower as
she sat in front of the distant window of her cherished apartment. Now, she was one of those angels,
perched high atop a balcony that had no railing, nothing to prevent a deadly fall .
Except of course, she would no longer fall .
Her wings were stronger now. She was stronger.
Flaring out those wings, she took a deep breath of the air of home. A fusion of scents—spice and
smoke, human and vampire, earthy and sophisticated—hit her with the wild fever of a welcoming
rainstorm. Her chest, tight for so long, relaxed, and she stretched her wings out to their greatest width.
It was time to explore this familiar place that had become foreign, this home that was suddenly new
Diving down from the balcony, she swept across Manhattan on air currents kissed by the cool
bite of spring. The bright green season had thawed the snows that had kept the city in thrall this winter,
and now held court, summer not even a peach-colored blush on the horizon. This was the time of
rebirth, of blooming things and baby birds, bright and young and fragile even in the frenetic rush of a
city that never slept.
Home. I’m home.
Letting the air currents sweep her where they would above the diamond-studded lights of the
city, she tested her wings, tested her strength.
But still weak. An immortal barely-Made.
One whose heart remained painful y mortal.
So it was no surprise when she found herself trying to hover outside the plate-glass window of
her apartment. She didn’t yet have the skil to execute the maneuver, and she kept dropping, then
having to pull herself back up with fast wingbeats. Still , she saw enough in those fleeting glimpses to
know that while the once-shattered glass had been flawlessly repaired, the rooms were empty.
There wasn’t even a bloodstain on the carpet to mark the spot where she’d spilled Raphael’s
blood, where she’d tried to staunch the crimson river until her fingers were the same murderous shade.
The scent of the wind and the rain, fresh and wild, around her, inside her, and then strong hands
on her hips as Raphael held her effortlessly in position so she could look her fil through the window, her
hands flat on the glass.
No sign remained of the home she’d created piece by precious piece.
“You must teach me how to hover,” she said, forcing herself to speak past the knot of loss. It
was just a place. Just things. “It’l be a very good way to spy on potential targets.”
“I intend to teach you many things.” Tugging her back against his body, her wings trapped in
between, the Archangel of New York pressed his lips to the tip of her ear. “You are ful of sorrow.”
It was instinct to lie, to protect herself, but they’d gone beyond that, she and her archangel. “I
guess I somehow expected my apartment to still be here.
Sara didn’t say anything when she sent me my things.” And her best friend had never lied to her.
“It was as you left it when Sara visited,” Raphael said, drawing back enough that she could flare
out her wings and angle her body into the air currents once again. Come, I have something to show you.
The words were in her mind, along with the wind and the rain. She didn’t order him to get
out—because she knew he wasn’t in it. This, the way she could sense him so deeply, speak to him with
such ease, was part of whatever it was that tied them to one another ... that taut, twisting emotion that
ripped away old scars and created new vulnerabilities in a whip of fire across the soul.
But as she watched him fly through the lush black of the sky high over the glittering city, her
archangel with his wings of white-gold and eyes of endless, relentless blue, she wasn’t sorry. She didn’t
want to turn back the clock, didn’t want to return to a life in which she’d never been held in the arms of
an archangel, never felt her heart tear open and reform into something stronger, capable of such furies
of emotion that it scared her at times. Where are you taking me, Archangel?

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