“Cinder-“ I heard the Archangel call from the other side of the bathroom door inside my room, his voice surprisingly ringing clear over the roar of the high-pressured water from the updated touch tech showerhead.
Pulling my hands through my wet hair as I prepared to shut off the steady water flow, I answered back. “What do you want?” Getting no answer, I grabbed the soft grey towel from the towel rack and wrapped it around my soaking hour-glass figure. Proceeding to stroll out of the nice bathroom and into the room I slept little in since that Blood Moon, I again asked, “What do you want Augusts?”
“First of all, get dressed, we got things to do.” He hurriedly spoke, his eyes looking away from my towel-wearing body.
“What things?” I inquired, strolling over to the closet I had just walked out of for some ‘clothes.’
“That, I cannot tell you.”
“Oh really? Does it have anything to deal with whatever you two were talking about a month ago on that balcony? Or does it have anything to deal with the conversation you had with that man over the phone a couple of weeks ago?” I probed as I grabbed some clean undergarments.
The silence told me my answer.
“So, it does, huh?” I repeated as I dropped the towel and proceeded with putting on the black lace underwear and bra.
Again, the man was silent.
“But you can’t tell me, can you?” I now asked. Exercising a sigh, I now scavenged for some nice skinny jeans.
“If I did-“ Augustus tried to speak up, his tone sincere.
“No, I understand.” I softly mumbled. “It pisses me off, but I was once in that same boat, so I cannot hold my grudge.” I depressingly clarified as I began to wander out of the closet carrying a nice V-neck women’s t-shirt.
“About done?” the Angel questioned, immediately attempting to change the subject.
“Just about.” I expressed, reaching for the simple hairbrush sitting on the dresser back inside the walk-in-closet, “Let me put up my hair, then we can go.” Brushing the wet tangles out of my dyed black hair, I continued to challenge, “What is the hurry?”
“Stop beating around the bush. After all this time I have spent living in your apartment, you never rushed things as much as this. So, what’s the hurry?” Putting the brush down, I now swept the long locks up in a ponytail before locking my gaze with the blonde-haired, green-eyed Fallen Angel. “And don’t you dare lie to me.”
“How is it you can always tell when I’m lying to you?”
“It’s a secret.” I teased, flashing a sly smile as I slid my hand under his stern chin, feeling the short stubble that was growing along his perfect tan skin. “Now let’s go. I’ll deal with whatever it is when we get there.”
“Yeah, that I doubt.” I heard him mumble deep under his breath. Deciding to ignore the statement this time, I rolled my eyes and exited out of the large modern bedroom.
Arriving down in the penthouse’s garage, I examined the fine art sports and luxury cars all the tenants owned on the property. Augustus’s car was such a sleek-black that it made me unable to take my eyes off the repeating reflection I saw through the waxed carbon-fibered door. “How is it that all the Unnaturals I meet have so much money?” I softly whispered.
“Lots of lying and arduous work,” Augustus spoke, jolting me out of my fixation. Locking my gaze again with the green-eyed man, I rolled my eyes while easing my body into the passenger side. The Angel followed in not too long after and surprisingly kept his mouth shut for the entire ride up to this undisclosed location.
As we pulled up into a confusing location, I swiftly noticed a change in the environment. The sky had turned a dull grey and cloudy as if at any moment the clouds were preparing to drown the world under its feet with a heavy downpour. The buildings seemed darker, broke down, washed out. Around each turn we took, I saw the unnerving amount of skittish people we passed by and could no longer keep my concerning mouth quiet.
“Augustus, what is this place?” I inquired, wanting at least a little bit of insight.
“Well it’s kind of hard to explain, but this is the side of the city you hardly see.” He answered me, pulling the car into one of the few empty parking spots.
“I can see that.” Still avidly examining the surroundings we were in. Swallowing the fear rising deep in my throat, I continued to interrogate, “How many Unnaturals live here?”
“Lots. Not everyone makes it big, sweet cheeks.”
Spinning my head back around I snapped back at him, “Don’t you ever call me that again!”
“Okay, okay.” Augustus retreated. “Sorry.”
“Why are we here anyway?”
“Well, we aren’t really where we are supposed to be yet. The location is a short walk-“
“Stop beating around the bush!”
“Alright, alright.” The fellow Shadow follower submitted, still holding onto that irritating smile of his. “This is the Black Market, and if I told you everything that goes on here then you would for sure swipe my head off of my shoulders and go on a psychotic hunting spree.”
“What makes you think that I don’t want to do it now?” I blurted back. “The stench of fear, anger, power, greed, it's all sending my predatory instincts overboard.”
“Yeah-.” Augustus stumbled before changing the gears and taking the keys out of the electronic ignition. “Let’s get this over with.” I again heard him mumble under his breath. Simultaneously stepping out of the car, I kept in stride with the angel’s long legs.
As we strolled on the sidewalks towards wherever he was supposed to take me, I quickly analyzed the change again in the environment. Surprisingly it was here that I noticed our attire fit in well with the crowd, blending in well with the upper-class society. Getting pulled in every direction, I continued to explore the stands that were selling everything from organs, to personal identities, expensive cars, apartment leases, exotic animals, and even Unnaturals. I could see why the place was called the Black Market. These guys were literally selling anything and everything they could get their grimy hands on.
“Ignore it, Cinder.”
“What?” I snarled.
“Ignore it.” He growled again, this time ordering me with a stern tone that sent chills down my scarred back while clutching my arm so hard that it began to cut the circulation off.
“Augustus-.” I called, sensing that familiar rising gut feeling as I attempted to pull away. But the man’s grip remained impenetrable even with my supernatural strength, I couldn’t get my arm free. As I was dragged along, I relentlessly fought still trying to get some straight answers out of the Valkyrie. “Augustus, why are we really here?”
The man didn’t say a word to me while he dragged me through a crowd full of those filthy creeps, their prying eyes locked on the two of us. Doing what I could to ignore the harsh looks of the potential buyers, my body was suddenly tugged into an empty alley. Before I could gain my surroundings, I was thrown into the worn brick wall with such force that it pushed all of the air I had in my lungs out. Heaving for air, I noticed that the Angel had swarmed my personal space, his hands pressed against the wall, completely blocking my exits.
“Augustus…” I softly announced, sensing this aggressively dark Aura consume his traditionally calm demeanor.
“For once, just shut the fuck up and fucking listen to me, alright Reaper.” The man sternly demanded, relaxing the tense expression on my face and drowning the temptation to rip the man in two, I obeyed the commands. Keeping my mouth shut, I further listened to Augustus speak. “This is how the world works. Always has, always will. So, just ignore them, keep your fucking head down and your god damn short temper in check. Do you understand me?” I didn’t give him an answer. “Do you understand me?” Augustus once again asked, this time using a softer, more sincere approach.
Making a huge swallow, I quietly nodded my head before a second later responding “I understand.”
“Good, now let’s go. we’re already late as it is.” The Angel growled, this time following me out, his hand pressing deep into my lower back as he drove me in the anticipated direction Augustus wanted me to walk in.
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