1. Coheed shook his head. “Sorry, ducky. Like I told you earlier, I don’t read minds. I read hearts. You can fill your head with all sorts of nonsense and untruths, but your heart will always reflect what’s truly in your soul.” He turned to leave, choosing to use the door rather than to vanish as he normally would, when he paused to face the astonished man. “I don’t know what’s put a bug up your arse these past few days, and I honestly don’t care. Just don’t try to cross me or Casi. Ever. Got me?”
2. This fragile creature was meant for him. He’d fallen in love with her before he’d come to know her, and that love continued to intensify the longer he was around her. He would give up his existence to protect her, and he had no doubt that was exactly what the Lord intended.
3. A distant rumble of thunder warned of an approaching ice storm. He could hear the wind buffeting the outer walls. Coheed raised his face, closing his eyes as he assessed their surroundings. So far, all appeared peaceful, but it wouldn’t be for much longer. Already he sensed them converging on the church. The demons knew he and the Regina were traveling south. It wouldn’t take them long to find this location and stake it out. However, for the time being, it would be best if she remained here, at least through the night. They would leave tomorrow morning, after she’d had the chance to fully rest and had been fed.
4. Casi started to continue down the hall, when she caught sight of a familiar profile walking past the fence. Surprised, she stared as Coheed seemed to be nonchalantly striding past the churchyard. Like the other people, his head was down, but not because of the cold. Angels weren’t affected by the weather. No, he had his hands tucked into his pants pockets, and he appeared to be in deep thought. He often bowed his head when he was contemplating something, but she was confused as to why he was out there in the first place. And walking.
5. The lights flickered back to life. As she squinted against the sudden glare, he strode over to wrap his arms around her. Relief left her weak in the knees, and she gratefully sagged against him. Behind her, she heard Maman Jeanette remark, “You got a mean right hook there, son.”
6. She crossed the street, pressing into the thick of the things. Several of them howled at her. A couple lunged, daring her to fight them. Trying to intimidate or frighten her. Their horrendous faces melted and reformed, to become more unspeakable. For some reason the transformations didn’t affect her. Not as long as they refrained from grabbing her, and continued to move aside as if she was Moses parting the waves. Maybe it was because Dayroc had ordered them to keep their hands off of her. Maybe it was because they feared being fried to an unholy crisp if they did. Whatever the reason, she lifted her chin and kept going, with a don’t-piss-me-off expression on her face.