Part 1

"Nothing says lovin' like French toast in the mornin' sweet cheeks!"  Scott beamed as he scraped a few slabs of freshly cooked toast on his girlfriend's plate.

Kell grumbled as she stabbed one with her fork.  "Wish the 'morning' part of that phrase would go away” She sluggishly crammed it in her mouth and propped up her head with her elbow on the table.

"What's wrong?"  Scott said in a sarcastic, pouty voice.  "Miss grumpy not a morning person?"  He affectionately wrapped his arms around her in a headlock. 

Any other person this early in the morning would have lost his arms, but because it was Scott, he could get away it.  It was well known that Scott could get away with murder when it came to her.  "You know I don't function right at all until about 10am." 

He nuzzled her with his nose and stood back up.  "This is why you’re always a grouch when you have to get up and pull double shifts."

"Oh god don't fucking remind me please."  She hissed.  "I don't mind the night shift.  It's the DAY one I hate.  Every fucking stupid jackass in Wichita calling me, acting like Free bird is the BEST fucking song ever written in the 21st Century."

"Tell them Dazed and Confused is."  He said crossing his arms.

"And I'll tell you Janie's Got a Gun is.  But that's beside the point."  She said between bites.  "I'm just sick of the damn idiots." 

"Well don't worry sweetie!"  He smiled.  "When I get my hunter's license and start collecting the bounties on some of that demon scum, you won't have to work NEARLY as much to make the ends meet!"

Her ears perked up inquisitively.  "You're going to get PAID for that?"

He was scraping out a pan in the sink.  "Yup.  Why do you think the angels wanted that job in the first place?  Good graces?  Hell no!  The demon hunters don't do it for sport like you'd think.  They do it for the bounties God puts on their heads."

She was even more confused.  "I would think the almighty wouldn't have to pay off his minions to fight evil..." 

"Just think of it as an incentive program love.  And since most angels ARE just dead humans, then what better way to speak to them in their own language.  Fortunately, my kickbacks are going to go straight towards you.  You look like you need a vacation."

"What makes you think that?"  She asked.

"You just poured Pepsi on your toast instead of syrup."

She jumped up.  "Dammit!!!"  She yelled.  Just as she jumped up, the doorbell rang.

"You get the door and I'll take care of this, okay sweetie?"  He said grabbing a napkin.

She angrily shoved back the chair and dashed to the door to answer it.  She opened the door, not paying attention to who was on the other side, and said “Hello, can I help y…  AAHH!!”  She shrieked in almost a Homer Simpson way.

Scott had cleaned the spilled Pepsi off of the plate. “What?”

What had rang the doorbell, was a naked baby, flying at eye level to Kell while carrying a package.  “There’s a fucking baby with wings at the door!”
            Scott got wide eyed and slammed the plate on the counter.  “OH MY GOD IT’S FINALLY HERE!”  He almost knocked her over trying to get out of the door.

“WHAT?”  She said as she tried to regain her balance.

He yanked the package out of the baby’s hand.  “My lisence!  It’s finally here!  I’ve been waiting a week for it to process!  And it’s FINALLY HERE!”  He said excitedly.

“And what the FUCK IS THAT?” She said pointing to the winged baby.  It glared at her.

“Watch your mouth.  They don’t like cussing.”  He signed form on a clipboard.

“Okay… what in the freaking WORLD is that.

“A cherub!  What did you think it was?  They deliver mail for heaven.”  He handed the clipboard back to the cherub, and it held out its hand.  “Aw crap.  Kell, I need to borrow your bead bracelet.” 

She took one of them off of her arm.  Wha…?”  He took it from her hand and gave it to the cherub.  It giggled happily and flew off.

“What the hell did you do that for?  I really liked that one.’  She huffed.

“I’m sorry, but they get really pissy if you don’t tip them, and their favorite thing is beads.  Don’t worry, I’ll get you a new one later!  Right now, I wanna what I got in my kit!” 

He skipped happily back into the house with Kell following him.  “Kit?” she asked.

He had the paper on the packaging ripped open.  Inside was a shiny silver briefcase.  On the front, was a crest that looked like wings on a shield.  He read the paper that came with it out loud.  “Welcome to heaven’s official demon hunter’s guild.  You are the proud owner of one official issue Demon Hunter’s kit.  Enclosed is the following.:  Your official demon hunter’s liscense, which entitles you to all the benifits of the demon hunter’s guild, an animorph collar, instructions for the animorph collar, a wing cloaker, a holy water flask, one official issue demon hunter’s sword, instructions for assembly for official issue demon hunter’s sword, and your official handbook for demon slaying.  If you have questions or concerns involving any of the items in this kit, please send prayer to our technical support staff, and they will get to you as soon as possible.  Thank you for choosing to join the demon hunter’s guild.  And remember, Jesus loves you!”

“My god…”  She said.  “They act just like…  Gateway or some shit like that.”

“How do you think Gateway GOT their service department love?”  He said as he flipped open the case.  Its contents were embedded in white Styrofoam, and seemed to shine with a silvery glow.  He pulled out what looked like a drivers lisence.  “See!  Look!  I’m official.”

She took it out of his hand and looked at the photo.  He had what she thought was the stupidest looking grin she had ever seen on his face.  “You have that just got laid look on your face in that photo.”

“Well that taken day after I came back.”  He said looking back at her with a wink.  She giggled sheepishly at him.

Scott lifted a device that looked like a pager out of it and read what was on the side.  “Wing Cloaker.  Place on belt clip, and flip on to conseal wings.”

He clipped it to the side of his jeans, and flipped the switch.  His wings seemed to disappear into his back.  “Where did they go?”  Kell asked. 

            Scott looked at his back in the mirror on the other wall.  “See the really LONG lumps down my shoulder blades and to my ribs?   That’s where they are.  This little bugger shrinks the bone and feathers down and hides them underneath my physical skin.  Can’t fly though, which sucks, but now Media Boy won’t have to constantly bitch about someone seeing them anymore.”

            She noticed what else was on his back.  “I didn’t know you had a tattoo of your wings either.”

            “I got that before I died.  The real ones just covered it up.  That’s how I got the nickname Razorwing you know.  That was my first tattoo.” 

            “I think you look cuter with the real deal though.”  She said smiling.  She then noticed that the left side of his tattoo seemed to have some scars on it.  “What happened to the other side of that?”  She asked as she traced her finger down one of them. 

            When he felt her finger on the scar tissue, he immediately flipped the switch off of the cloaker, and his real wings slowly emerged out of his back again.  “That’s nothing okay.”  He said defensively. 

            “You don’t have to get snippy with me okay?  I just a…”

            “It’s JUST a scar!”  he snapped. 

            “Scott!  What the fuck is wrong with you.”

            He realized what he had just done.  “I’m sorry…”  He said, hanging his head, and then shying away.  “It’s something I don’t like to talk about…”

            “That’s fine okay.”  She said as she ran her fingers through the feathers of his wing, which was something that he liked very much.  “Just please…  Don’t bite my head off.  I wasn’t trying to hurt you or anything.”  He was shaking nervously as he reached behind him and pulled her close into a hug.

            “Just bad memories.  That’s all…”  He said softly as he walked back to his case and continued to rummage through his contents.  “Look.”  He said pulling out a silver collar.  “Ever see any one of you mortals wearing one of these.”

            “Can’t say I have.”  She answered.

            He clasped it on to his neck.  “Shame.  It’s pretty much a dead giveaway that someone is really an angel.  Of course you probably wouldn’t have known that anyway.”  He said.  “This thingy here isn’t just a demon hunters thing.  A LOT of angels with earth bound jobs have these.”

            “What is it?”  She asked.

            “Watch!”  He said as he jumped in the air with a flap of his wings.  All of a sudden, his legs began to shrink, along with the rest of his body.  He got smaller and smaller, as his feathers started to duplicate all over his body.  He finally landed on the ground, and had changed into a raven about as big as a hawk.  The only thing that actually made him look like Scott, was a red and violet streak in the feathers on top of his head where his hair streaks would have been if he was a human.

            “Oh my god.”  Kell gasped.  “That’s amazing!” 
            “KAW!”  He squawked.  He got a puzzled look on his face, then opened his shiny beak again.  Kaw?” 

            “Ha!  Finally figured out a way to shut your ass up!”  She laughed.  He tilted his head to the side, and flew up in the air to perch on her shoulder.  She stroked his head gently.  “Just don’t go shittng on my car or anything.

            He squawked, and flew off of her shoulder again, landing on the ground.  As soon as he touched down, one of the cats came out of nowhere and pounced on him.  He squawked very loudly in fear.

            “RADDITZ!!”  Kell yelled.  The cat got a wide eyed expression on his face, and dashed out of the room.  Scott fluttered back into the air, and started to get bigger again, and eventually changed back into the black haired tattooed angel he once was, only with several lines of light down his shoulders.

            “Fucking cat!”  He said loudly.  “That hurt!”

            Kell came closer to him, and buried her face in his chest.  Ohh, it’s okay.”

            He grumbled.  “That fucking cat always does that to me no matter WHAT I am.”

            “Oh he’s just a grump.  Leave him be.”  She comforted. 

            He pulled a shiny silver flask out of the case. “Well…” he said as he held it up to the light and examined it.  “I hope I don’t get this confused with my OTHER one.”

            “Holy water?” she asked. 
            “Clever girl!”  He exclaimed.  “We’ll make a deputy demon hunter yet!”

            “No thanks.”  She said in protest.  “You know I’m not a big fan of your ‘employer’.”

            “Oh boy.” He said rolling his eyes.  “You are one stubborn she-cat you know that?” 

            “What makes you say that?”  She asked.

           He chuckled at her obvious cluelessness.  “It just amazes me that you still have this extreme hatred for all Christianity, despite the fact that you’re boyfriend of all people is living PROOF that it exists.”

            “Now it’s MY turn for unnecessary pissiness.”  She hissed.  “You have NO fucking clue at all!”

            There was a pause.  “Is that why you’ve been miss gloom and doom the past week?” he asked quietly. 

            “Among other things” she sighed as she flopped into the couch sadly. 

            He flopped down next to her inquisitively.  “You don’t have to keep it from me you know.”  He said.

            She breathed another sigh.  “You know the other night was the third time.”

            “Third time for what?” He asked. 

            “Third time I’ve almost died in a fight.  The first being when my sister knifed me, and the second when I went crashing out that damn window.”

“Well sweetie, it’s not like you didn’t have people to help you.”

            “That’s just IT!”  She said as she got up out of the couch angrily.  “I don’t WANT help!  I’ve GOT to be able to take care of myself!  If I don’t I’m as good as DEAD out there.”
            Sweetie.”  He whispered softly as he got off of the couch and got on one knee so he could be eye level with her.  “I know you’re a very independent person.  But that’s not going to get you anywhere.  I mean… you can’t just go rushing into things by yourself ALL the time.”
            “Why not?  That’s what I’m used to!”  She hissed.

            He sighed, knowing she was trying to exert her independence.  Something she always did when she felt useless.  “Come on love.  I thought you had stopped doing this after I came back.”

            “I thought I did too… but I can’t help it.  I’m just scared…”

            “…of dying.” He cut her off.

            “How did you know?”  She asked. 

            “Because I always was too.”  He said.  “I mean, you have no idea how scared I was.  Especially after  well…”  He looked like he was about to say something, but stopped.  “I’ll tell you one of these days.”  He said with a very blank uneasy stare.  “But I will tell you this.  Death and dying  it’s not as scary as you might think it is.  I mean, I’d know better than anyone right?”  He took both of her hands, and pulled her in a hug.

            “What’s it like?”  She asked quietly.

            “Dying?” 

            “Yeah.” 

            Scott pulled her on the couch with him again, still in an embrace.  “You know that dreamless sleep that you have when you fall asleep on the couch or in class, and you wake up and don’t know where you are?  It’s like that at first.  You don’t have any conscious thought or feelings, you’re just there in a daze.  Then, it’s almost like you wake up again, and you really DON’T know where you are.  You try to remember the last place you were at.  In my case, I thought one of the guys dumped me in a public place as a prank or something.  But when St. Peter told me what happened, I was shocked.  It was after that I had to face judgment.”

            “Where they review what you’ve done in your life and determine where you go, right?”  Kell asked.

            “If its one thing I love about you is that you’re VERY smart.”  He said softly.  “I’m sure you know the rest of the story, I don’t think you want me to repeat it.”

            “I like your story.”  She said as she stroked his hair.  “I mean, it’d not every day I can say ‘HEY!  My boyfriend’s a DEAD GUY!’”

            He busted out laughing.  “Aw shit I love you.”  He cackled, squeezing her tight.  “Just don’t be so upset, alright.  You are NOT going to die.”
            She wasn’t paying attention to him however.  Something on the TV caught her eye.  She had grabbed the remote off the edge of the couch, and had turned it up.

            “…the victim found last night near K-96 seemed to be eaten by some animal.  Investigators are saying that anyone in that section of town should keep their pets indoors, and dial 911 if they see ANY vicious looking animals in their area.  In other news, several graves were robbed downtown…” 
            Kell pointed at corpse on the TV.  “The last time I checked, animals don’t make teeth marks like that!” 

            “You thinkin’ foul play love?”  Scott asked. 

            She held her chin in thought.  “It could be anything.”  She said.  “Though I’ve never known vampires to be THAT careless with their food.” 

            “You wanna go check it out sweets?”

            “I’d like to, but we gotta get going.”  She said looking at her watch.

            “Why do they always schedule these damn meetings so early in the morning?”  Scott asked as he grabbed his coat.

            “Because Art doesn’t understand that, despite popular belief, we DON’T function at all before noon.”  She said as he grabbed her keys.  “But that’s okay.”  She took his hand and smiled.  “I’ll just curl up in your lap and doze while he’s giving his ‘producer speech’.”

            “Well now.”  Scott beamed.  “We need to have early morning JLD meetings more often!”

 

Part 2

            Kell was literally counting down the seconds of when it was quitting time at work that night.  Which was funny, considering at least she had an hour of shift left to go.  “At least I get some GOOD songs for a change.”  She reasoned, as she reached over from her Game Boy, and cracked up the volume on her favorite song ever, “Love in an Elevator”

            She diverted her attention back her little pixilated companion, when her sensitive ears caught the sound of the doorknob turning.  She immediately stashed the Game Boy underneath her coat, knowing if it was her boss that she’d get in trouble. 

            Kell heard a rather irritating cackle as the door opened, and took her toy again, knowing that it was only the LAST person she wanted to see tonight.

            “HEY HEY HEY!”  The blonde guy with glasses yelled as he opened the door to the radio station very loudly.  “What the hell are YOU doing?!  Slacking off on the JOB!”

            “What do you want Brent?”  Kell hissed, hiding her expression behind her toy.

            “Aren’t you supposed to be on the air or something and not playing video games?”  He said very sarcastically, but not in the cute way that Scott did.

            “I’m already done with my work.”  She hissed.  “And I’m just waiting to get the hell out of here.”

            “And what’s THIS shit you’re listening to?”  He yelled as he looked on the monitor to see what was playing.  “Love in an Elevator!  My GOD you suck.”

            “Whatever!”  Kell hissed, still not paying attention to him. 

            “Don’t you know that ANYTHING after their Run DMC shit is just written to make money?  They should have stayed on the heroin!”

            “I don’t really GIVE a fuck Brent.”  She hissed, trying to hold back her anger.  “Now get whatever you came for and leave” 

            He yanked the newspaper out from where she had her feet propped on the table, and then slammed the door again. 

She growled softly to herself, and hunched over in the chair again.  “One more hour… Just ONE more hour and I can go HOME.”  She muttered to herself.  Kell continued to absorb herself in her game, hoping that if she zoned out, time would pass faster.  It was after about fifteen minutes, when she was finally completely into what she was playing, when she heard a loud SLAM on the window across from the switchboard.  She almost fell out of the chair in terror, and looked to see what had slammed the window in a complete panic.  Brent was banging on the window making a stupid face. 

Goddamnit!” she yelled as she cranked up the stereo again, trying to ignore him.  He started slamming on the window louder.  “I’M NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO YOU!”  She yelled, hoping it would be LOUD enough for him to hear.  She then cranked the speakers up so loud that her ears started ringing.  She thought he got the hint when it quieted down, but then he started banging the window and running his nails down it. 

“Fucking HELL!”  Kell said, finally slamming her Game Boy on the counter in anger.  She ripped the door to the radio station wide open, and stormed to the back door.

“WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM?”  She screamed as she yanked the back door open and darted outside.  “CAN’T I HAVE A PEACEFUL SHIFT JUST ONCE WITHOUT YOU BEING A JACKASS!” 

But there wasn’t a response from Brent.  He was on his knees with his face pressed against the window, and the same stupid look on his face.

“What!  You’re being fucking quiet for once!”  She said, walking over to him and pushing on his shoulder.  Brent slumped over on his back, smearing his face on the window.  A trail of red followed where his face was pressed against the glass.  Kell gasped.  “What the…”  The white sweater he was wearing was smeared red, and ripped across the shoulders and stomach. 

Her eyes got huge.  “Oh… shit!”  She darted around, looking for some kind of animal.  Ohhh shit… oh shit.”  She muttered in a panic, with her heart starting to race.  “Okay okay….” She breathed, catching her breath.  “Don’t panic.  Above all, DON’T PANIC!”  She said, fumbling with her phone in her pocket.  “It’s like what was on the news this morning.”  She told herself.  “That’s all… probably some animal… like they said on the news.  Just CALL the police, and tell them someone was attacked.”

She hit 9-1-1 on the phone, and started to shake nervously with each phone ring.  The dispatcher answered.  9-1-1, what is your emergency.
            “Someone was KILLED on my airshift.”  She blurted out in a panic.
            “Calm down now maim.  What happened.”
            “My co-worker was banging on the window, and I thought he was just being stupid, but then when I went outside to yell at him, he was DEAD!  I think it was some animal that attacked him!” 

“Where are you maim?”  the dispatcher asked.

2402 East 37th St N.  She said, about on the verge of an athsma attack.

“We’ll have someone out there to investigate shortly maim.   Are you still outside?”

            “Yes!  I don’t know what to do, I didn’t see anything out here!” 

            “You’d better get back inside maim.”  The dispatcher said.  “It will be safer in there.”

            Kell backed up with her eyes still on her dead co-worker, when she felt something grab her shoulder and dig in.  She turned around and saw a very large man, who looked and smelled like he had been dead for years.  It made a very angry moaning sound.

            Her eyes got huge, and her heart almost jumped out of her throat.  “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”  She screamed when she realized what it was.

            “Maim!  MAIM!”  She heard the dispatcher on the phone yell.  “Maim!  What’s wrong?” 

            She jerked forward, setting herself free from the mans grip, and still screaming at the top of her lungs.   Kell then felt something wrap around her ankle, and drag her backwards.  She looked down and saw another person, similar to the first one with her leg in his hands.  She kicked the guy in the head, and lost the grip on her phone in the process. 

            “MAIM!”  She still heard the phone yelling as she ran off into the fields behind the radio station.  She didn’t care about the phone at this point.   All she knew to do was run.

            WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT THING?  Her mind screamed.  It wasn’t alive!  It wasn’t a vampire.  WHAT THE HELL WAS IT?  Her thoughts were interrupted however, buy the fact that she clothes lined herself on a barbed wire fence she didn’t see in the darkness.  She scraped up her arms and legs trying to break free from the wire.  Her struggle was accelerated to a full panic, when she saw THREE figures looming towards her, moaning and shuffling, and smelling like fresh corpses. 

            “SOMEBODY HELP ME” she screamed, hoping either the cops she called, or someone in the radio station would hear.  By the time she ripped her clothes off the barbed wire, one of the figures already had her ankles.  “GET OFF OF ME!”  she screamed, kicking the figure as hard as she could.   The other two had her arms, and looked like they were about ready to bite her.

            All of a sudden, she heard a very loud WHOOSH, and felt a wind beside her.  She felt all three of the figures easing their grip off of her, and heard very painful moans.   Kell couldn’t see, because it was so dark out, all she could make out was four shadows fighting.  The excitement died down, and the largest figure of them all came to her.  She instantly started cowering and hoping that it was a friend. 

            It bent down, and she saw a very familiar pair of glasses and colored hair streaks.  “You know.” Its voice sassed. “For someone, who was just telling me earlier today how scared of death you were, you sure do find yourself getting in a lot of trouble a lot eh?”

 

Part 3

            She didn’t even care that he had called her on her own carelessness, or the fact that she was practically shirtless because of the barb wire.  She jumped in Scott’s arms so fast she almost knocked him over.  “How the hell did you get out here?”  Scott asked gently.  “I thought you still had like, a half hour to go.”

            “I thought Brent was being an idiot, but when I came out of the studio to yell at him, he was dead, and then those other guys started to attack me!”  She said frantically. 

            Shhh  It’s okay.  Calm down.”  He comforted.  “I think I have an idea what those are.”
            “Wait a minute.”  Kell paused.  “What are you doing here?”

            “Well,  he said, scratching the back of his head sheepishly.  “First off, I felt bad because I was kind of an asshole to you today.  So…”   He reached in his pocket and pulled out a long stem rose, with a beaded bracelet tied to it.  “Not to mention I promised you I’d replace that.”  She nearly melted when she saw the rose.  “Second.  I wanted to see if you wanted to go to the hunter’s guild with me after you got off and look for my first kills?”

            She seemed to feel better, despite the fact that she almost got ripped to shreds.  “Yeah, I will.”  She said blushing.  “But I called the cops, and we need to wait for them to come first.” 

            She had no sooner said that, when the area started to light up with red and blue lights.  They both stood up, and started to move towards the lights.  All of a sudden, a cop emerged from the car with his gun drawn, and was screaming “FREEZE!”

            Kell hit the dirt and yelled “DON’T SHOOT!”  Scott moved forward, and didn’t see the cop firing on him.  The bullet from the cop’s gun went into Scott’s side.  He dropped to one knee wincing. 

            DON’T FUCKING SHOOT!  WE’RE NOT ARMED!”  Kell screamed. 

            The cop realized what he did, and ran towards both of them.  Scott recovered, and stood at full stance yelling.  “Was that REALLY FUCKING NESSESARY!  THAT HURT!” 

            The cop’s eyes got wide, while Kell motioned towards Scott to cover the bullet wound before it started the Christmas light effect.  “It was only a flesh wound.”  Kell said lying through her teeth.

            “I’m sorry sir.”  The cop said.  “I got a report there was just a woman out here in trouble, and I thought you were the one that had attacked her.”

            Scott snorted in anger, and held his coat tightly to his chest to avoid it from being seen.”Uh…”  Kell said for him.  “He had just came by after I called and fended off the attackers.”

“What happened out here tonight?”  The cop asked. 

            Kell went through the whole story, explaining how she thought Brent was just fooling around when she didn’t know he was hurt.  Apparantly, Scott had only knocked out the three guys that attacked her.  The men were bizarre in themselves, because they seemed to be the bodies missing from the graves earlier today.  After Kell’s story, backup was called, and whatever had attacked her was taken into custody.  They tried to offer her hospital attention, but she refused because she just wanted to go wherever Scott planned on taking her.  The thing Kell was most relieved about the incident, was the fact that she wasn’t considered a suspect. 

        After Kell gave her statement to the police, Scott saw some of the news vans pulling into the parking lot from the corner of his eye.  He tapped the one in charge on the shoulder.  "Sorry to cut this short Chief, but we REALLY need to go."  He said, motioning to the news van.  The cop seemd to understand, because he nodded to Scott calmly, signaling that they could leave.  He grabbed her shoulder and jerked her to the Cavalier. "Get your keys out fast hon.  I don't think we're going to make it."
               The news team had already had their cameras and reporters blazing just as the couple flopped into the car.  "You media jerkoff's better get the hell away from my back bumper fast before you become embedded in it!"  Kell yelled from the driver's seat.  
               The crowd of cameras and lights parted, as she backed the car up and roared off into the night.  "I guess you can come out now."  Kell said as she pulled on to K-96. 
               Scott flipped the pager on his belt, and his wings slowly came out from inside his back, and through the neat little holes he had cut in his coat.  "They start to get stiff after a while when they're in by back."  He grunted as he stretched them out in the confined space of the car.  He then reached towards the lightly glowing spot in his side, and pulled out the .9mm bullet out of his skin.  "You think rent a cop was happy about his little warning shot."  He said in a pissy tone.  
               "Well you did look scary."  Kell said sarcastically.  "It's not like you can't heal or anything."  She placed her free hand on his side with the gunshot in it.  
               This seemed to comfort him.  "So anyway, I think I know what those were."  He said as he threw the bullet in the back seat.  "How else do you explain the cop saying that they were the same people that were dug up from the graves downtwon?" 
               "No shit..."
               "Yes!  I do belive Wichita's got a little Zombie problem on it's hands!"  Scott beamed.  
               "What do you suppose we do?"  Kell asked.
               "I say we hit up the guild and see what they have to say about it."  Scott said.  "I heard through the grapevine today that the demons are getting bolder since the Xero incident a while back.  I have a feeling this zombie thing today isn't a coincidence."   He leaned forward in the seat.  "Head west on Kellogg."
               SHe did as she was instructed, and continued to head west, until they were almost out of the county.  "Uh... Scott.  Are we lost?"  She asked.
               "Not in the least.  As a matter of fact, pull off right here."
               She veered the car to the shoulder of the road, and killed the engine.  Kell did a quick scan of the surroundings, and saw nothing but typical Kansas emptiness.  "Are you sure this is it?
               He was already out of the car and had walked around to the other side to open her door.  "What's wrong?  Don't trust me?"                
               Kell stepped out and looked around again.  "Well no, but I know we're out in the middle of nowhere."
               "Just trust me okay?"  He said happily as he took her hand.  Scott started to lead her through the fields of wheat and weeds.  Kell seemed very apprehensive about being in the middle of nowhere after the Zombie incident.  He eventually stopped where there was an ancient mile marker that looked like it had seen a better life in some other time.  "The fact that they put the number forty two on it cracks me up."  Scott chuckled.
               Kell didn't think it was so funny.  "Just because it's the meaning of life it doesn't mean it's going to lead anywhere."  Kell huffed.
               "Oh yee of little faith."  Scott sassed.  "Come here!"  He said, motioning to her.  "Get really close to me okay?"  
               She stood toe to toe facing him.  "What for?"
               He grinned.  "Because it's the only way I can ever get you to fly with me."  Those words no sooner left his mouth, when he quickly grabbed her by the sides, lifted her up, and leapt in the air.  
               "Oh God NO!"  She screeched, clinging to him tightly.  "I hate it when you do this!"  
               He laughed out loud.  "Oh come on you big baby."  He started to flap his wings harder to get enough air.  "You'll ride a roller coaster or in the hearse with Marcus but you won't go flying with me?"
               "They both don't drop me!"  She yelled, digging her nails into the nylon of his coat.

            “Just relax okay!  The more you struggle the harder it is for me to hold you!”  He let his arms go, and she screamed, clinging even tighter to him than she was before.  “See?”  He laughed.  “Just trust me.”

            It felt good for him to be back in the air again.  Scott let the wind catch his shiny black feathers, and he started to glide upward like a kite.  “The guide said ‘straight up at forty two and you’ll find the Great Center.’  So, we just fly straight up.”  Scott said.  “I just hope I don’t hit my head on it.”  The started to pump his wings to gain a bit of altitude. 

Kell opened her eyes and saw just how high up she was.  “How much further?”  She said starting to go into a tremble.

“We’re almost there, okay?”  He said as he pierced through the night sky.  “It has to be pretty high up so that planes don’t hit it.”  He broke through a puffy cloud and stopped in a hover in midair.  “There we go!”  He said happily and moving into a glide.

Kell opened her eyes and saw what looked like an ancient temple among the clouds.  “Am I dreaming?”  She said blinking.

“Not at all sweet cheeks!”  Scott grinned as they touched down on the silvery stone pavement.  “This is the Great Center!  Think of it like a DMV for angels!” 

She was speechless looking at the place.  It looked like an ancient roman temple, but with a silver shine to the architecture.  Angels of all shapes and sizes were buzzing about the place like it was a shopping center.  “I can’t believe this!  Where is the guild?”

            “Inside of course!”  He beamed.  “Come on!’  He took her hand and dragged her along.  “I’ll show you!”

            “WAIT!”  She stopped.  Kell bent over the reflection of one of the tiles, and started to fuss with her hair.  “I’m in a heavenly place.  I don’t want them to see this.”  She covered up the inverted cross scar on her forehead. 

            “I think they all know that only demon victims have that.”

            “I don’t care.”  Kell said as she took his hand again.  “I have a feeling they’re not going to like a mortal in their presence anyway.”

            “That’s not true.”  He said as they continued into the building.  “Just as long as you don’t blab about it.”

            “Like anyone would believe me if I did.”  She snapped.

            “Exactly!”  He sassed.  Far fetched stories is how we stay under wraps.”

            As they walked into the building, Kell started to feel uncomfortable, because there were angels glaring at them.  She also noticed that he seemed to be the only one in the entire place with wings of a different color.  Other angels seemed to do a double take as he walked by, and started to mutter under their breath when he seemed out of earshot.  “Why are they doing that?  Are you the only one with black wings?”  She asked.

            “Old wives tale.”  He answered.  “There’s something in the ancient testament about black wings that says it’s an omen.”

            “Do you think it’s true?”  She asked, shying away from someone who did a double take on HER being there.

            “Can’t say…” he sighed.  “It mentions something about wraith, but you know me.  The only thing that ever pisses me off is when I see someone I care about getting hurt.  Other than that I don’t have a hateful bone in my body.”

            “Jealously!”  She giggled.  “That’s all it is.   They’ve got to live with the white ones.  YOU on the other hand, make a fashion statement with your shiny jet black feathers that match your hair, and your leather pants for that matter!” 

            He chuckled, and slung his arm around her, dragging her close as they walked.  The hunter’s guild was buried in a hallway in the back of the temple.  The walls seemed to loose their silvery glow to them as they went further down the hall.  When they found the guild, it looked more like a run down truck stop bar instead of a holy place.  “Demon hunters are roughnecks.”  Scott explained.  “It’s why their headquarters looks like this.  Not to mention they’re VERY competitive with each other about it.” 

            Kell noticed the massive board on one of the walls with tallies and odds written on it.  “They BET on who’s going to catch what?”  She said with shock.

            “Blows that whole ‘gambling is a sin’ theory right out of the water huh?”  He smiled.  “Look, why don’t you have a look around.  I’ve gotta get a payment plan started.” 

            She nodded at him, and started to wander around the guild.  She wandered into an angels’ pro shop right out of a Renaissance Fair.  There were enough swords to start a third world war in the shop.  She picked up a beautifully shined silver one that was the same size as hers. 

            “Can I HELP you maim?”  One of the clerks asked.

            “Oh, I’m sorry…”  She said nervously putting back the blade.  “I was just looking…” 

            “Well you have good taste at least.”  The clerk said smiling.  “That one was used by the Angel of Death himself!”

            “I have one just like it at home.”  She answered, shifting her gaze to the daggers on the rack.  “Only, that one’s a vampire sword.  Not a demon one.”

            Ahh yes...  We’ve heard about it.  AND you for that matter.”  She got a puzzled look on her face.  “You’re the girlfriend of the raven.”

            “You mean Scott?”  She asked.

            “He’s known as the raven to the rest of us.”  The clerk said.  “Because of those jet black wings of his.  He’s a very odd one indeed.  It’s not like most angels to backtalk their creator, you know?” 

            “They both apologized.”  She retorted while still examining the blades.  “I think if you got to know him instead of believing the rumors than you’d change your opinion of him.”

            “Well, if I were you, I’d be very careful around that one.”  The clerk sneered.  “Because the rumors MIGHT just be true.”  Kell glared daggers at the angel.  “Let me know if you plan to buy anything.”  He quipped as he slinked off behind an aisle of katanas. 

            Kell stormed out of the store, going to go look for her boyfriend.  Couldn’t find him, but was distracted by a statue instead.  It was one that was very tall, with what looked like a handsome man dressed a bit like a cowboy.  The silver statue’s wings spread out the same way Scott’s did when he stretched in the morning after sleeping.  As a matter of fact, the entire figure reminded her of Scott.  She looked at what was inscribed at the figure’s feet. 

            <i>A tribute to Victor S. Blazehorn.  Under his wings, evil will never rear its head.</i>

            “It’s beautiful isn’t it?”  She heard someone say as they grabbed her shoulder.  Kell turned around and saw Scott, all full of smiles and affection behind her.  “That’s the person who founded this place.”  He wrapped her arms around her.  “It was said that he lived in the Wild West days, hence the Billy the kid outfit.  He was the first and only angel that was ever a demon first.  The legends say, one day he finally turned on all of them, sick of their evil ways, and wiped out an entire bunker of them with his blade.  Because he had betrayed hell, he turned to heaven for forgiveness, and got it.  He started the guild after that, and dedicated the rest of his after-life to killing demons.”

            “Is he still around?”  She asked.

            “Unfortunately no.  Some say he retired from it, and settled down.  Others say the demons finally gave him his just deserts for betraying them.  No one really knows for sure.  All they know is that he just disappeared, and no one’s ever seen him again.”  He hugged her tight, still keeping his eyes on the eyes of the statue.  “I wanna be like him some day you know?”

            “You wanna be in stone?”

            Scott chuckled.  “No…  I just want to be the one to finally rid your world of those wretched things.  You’ve only seen two so far and know just how bad they are.  I mean, you can’t really blame them for ALL of the world’s problems, but I’ll tell you right now that they’re a major cause of it.  I don’t ever want to see anyone get hurt like you did with the Seriptail incident again.”

            “I think you can do it.”  She encouraged.  “I’ll help you.”

            He laughed.  “I wish you could love, but unfortunately, you wouldn’t stand a chance against them.”

            “I kinda figured.”  She said walking with him. 

            “But I appreciate the sentiment.”  He said smiling.  “Come on, let’s hit up the pub, and then we can go check out the Wanted Wall.”  He held his hand on her shoulders and led her to the back of the guild where there was a bar.”