For the first time in centuries I feel as if I am truly seen for who I am. Gloriana’s sight sees more than the crude matter of my body, but delves into my heart and soul. Only one other being has ever don that to me, and I have not been in the presence of the Father for a long, long time.
“My goodness,” she says after a moment of inspection. “He is at that. Both of you come in and sit with me.” The cavern erupts in shouts that are barely heard over the cacophony of mumbled words and whispered exclamations.
Gloriana claps her hands and the entire village goes quiet. “Hush, all of you,” she says, her voice is stern and matronly. “Times have been hard, but that is no reason for us to be rude. This man is our guest, now go about your business.” She stands in the doorway, her hands on her hips. “Shew!” she yells and the elves scatter. Satisfied, she turns to Julius and says, “come on, the both of you, and be quick about it.” Julius nods his head toward the door and I enter obediently. My rescuers is close behind me and shuts the door with a rather ominous sounding bang.
“What were you thinking?” Gloriana asks as she turns on Julius. “Bringing him here of all places? Are you trying to get yourself killed?” She paces back and forth in the narrow hall just inside the door. “How will we get him out of here without being discovered?”
“I don’t know,” says Julius, “but I couldn’t leave him to die, could I?”
“Well of course not!” she snaps, “but you could have taken him somewhere else.” She storms off down the hall, her beauty unblemished by her fury, with Julius trailing close behind, leaving me alone in the entryway, wondering what is going on.
I want to ask questions, but I remember Julius’ warning not to speak. I listen and wait, painfully aware that my fate will be decided by the creature before me.
“I considered that, but it didn’t feel right.” Julius turns and looks at me. “There is something special about him,” he says before turning back to Gloriana. “I don’t know what it is, but when I felt his presence and saw him running I couldn’t help but feel like I needed to help him.” He looks back at me and cocks his head to the side. “It was as if he were calling out to me.”
Gloriana looks at me and I can feel her gaze peeling away the layers of my existence. “I see nothing special,” she says and my heart breaks. “He is an Angel, a fallen one at that, though not one of the damned.” She turns back to Julius and says, “get him out of here before the dark ones sense him.”
“No, my queen, I can’t do that.” Julius’s eyes go wide as he slaps his hand over his mouth.
“What did you say?” Gloriana asks, her voice barely more than a whisper. “You are a friend, but do not forget your place.”