When Madison goes to sleep at night, she transcends into the body of another woman. Each night she wakes as a victim of a violent, senseless crime. With each waking day she bears their pain, experiences their death, and is helpless to stop it from happening. With only her aging butler at her side, Madison tries to survive each day without falling into madness.
Brian Brinkley chose to save the life of his young ward marked for death. Thrust from the heavens because he dared disobey God, he tries to find some type of life quiet life among the humans. One chance meeting with Madison and his tranquility is shattered. When she becomes the target of a sadistic man, he vows to do everything in his power to protect her.
I don’t know if you can hear me or not, God, but it’s me, Madison. I have no idea what a life-leech does, but I know you can stop it. I know you can give him more life than can ever be taken by some bullet, no matter what type of being made it. Don’t take him, not like this, not when he just found out he hadn’t done the wrong thing. Please help him.
When she lifted her gaze to look at him, her heart broke because everything looked the same. She didn’t know why she expected her simple prayer to create a miracle, but she had.
“Get them out.” Madison said in a low firm voice.
“One has pierced his heart,” Michael began. “He’s dying Madison.”
“Get them out!”
A wave of calm rose up through her body and she knew where it had come from. “Get them out now! I’m not a two year old to be placated!” She refused to let an angel tell her how to feel. As soon as Brian survived, she’d tell whichever winged-man that had tried to calm her down what she thought of.
Though, to Michael’s credit, he did exactly what she told him to do. Took a thin looking dagger than seemed to glow a brilliant red but couldn’t have been wider than an inch and probed the first hole.
“The first bullet went all the way through, this is a clean wound. Hold him still, I’ll sear it closed. Even unconscious he can still react to the pain,”
Madisonheard something in his voice that gave her a tiny bit of hope. He didn’t sound as grim as he had only moments before. Something had given him a reason to believe there was a chance, even if logically, it seemed otherwise. The other angels held him down while Michael cauterized the hole. Brian’s body jumped and lurched but they held him firm in place. Then Michael instructed them to turn him over.
“These are exit wounds on his chest,” Michael inspected Brian’s back. Madison counted three holes. She assumed that meant two had passed through, and that still left one in.
“Vivian, I’m going to require your assistance,” Michael said.
“I thought you might. Madison hold him, talk to him, bring him to your voice because when I touch him, it’s going to hurt far worse than any bullet ever could,” Her mother said in a soft voice.
“What? Why?” Madison asked.
“Brian is pure, in all ways. His heart, soul, and body are unmarred by life. He hasn’t had to deal with the dark forces yet. Let’s just say that’s a bad combination for a high-powered woman from Hell. However, the bullet will come to me when I call it,” her mother said.
It didn’t make very much sense to Madison but if it saved his life, she’d go along with any plan.
“Turn him over, gently,” her mother instructed.
Michael cauterized the other wound that the bullet had passed through, and then they turned him over with as little movement as possible. The pool of blood that had already gathered under his body brought fresh tears to Madison’s eyes. She tried desperately to cling to the faith that had kept her going so far. “I’m telling you right now, Brian. We’re going right back there, as soon as you get better, and blowing that place up or something. How dare they seduce us with good food then shoot at us?”
She stroked his hair and the side of his face. Whether it helped him or not, she’d never know, but she calmed down the longer she touched him. Her heart rate slowed down and she didn’t feel as panicked as she had before. With a sigh, she realized it was probably another attempt by one of the angels. She opened her mouth to tell them to knock it off, but then Brian’s body lurched so hard, his head lifted completely off the settee.
Her mother’s hand lay near the one hole that hadn’t gone all the way through. Her index finger circled the ripped skin and a black seared welt arose from the path she created. She burned him! Just from touching him! Madison tried to move to push her mother out of the way but found she couldn’t move. The harder she tried, the more frustrated she got. She couldn’t move her arms, her legs or anything.
“Stop!” She yelled. Her body might not be able to move, but her mouth could.
“I’m almost done, darling. I promise this is a necessary evil,” her mother whispered. Madison could hear the pain in her voice and knew it was not an easy task for her either.
A black slug rose from the hole. It literally crawled out of his skin and onto the tip of her finger. Madison felt bile rise up her throat as the slimy creature continued its journey to the palm of her mother’s hand. She held out her other hand, and Michael handed her the blade he’d worked with earlier. Her mother touched the slug with the dagger and it erupted into flames. Then she handed the dagger back to Michael and he cauterized the final wound.
The wounds were angry and red, puckered at the end, but the blood appeared to have stopped for the time being. Tears flowed down Madison’s face as she thought of the pain he must be in and prayed that he couldn’t feel it due to his unconscious state.
“His heart is still beating, though it’s faint. Keep talking to him Madison,” Gabriel said. She hadn’t heard him at her side.
As if she had any intentions of letting him go anywhere. “Fine, but whichever one of you keeps trying to calm me down, and stopped me from moving, quit it now. I do not appreciate it!”
She glared at Michael who she assumed had done it. He struck her as the type to do what’s best for someone whether they deserved it or not. He looked back at her with confusion on his face, and she realized it hadn’t been him. Then she went from Uriel, to Gabriel to Raphael. All three had mirrored the same look as Michael. She looked at her mother.
“Don’t look at me darling, I know better. I’d ask wing-boy here though,” she said as she looked down at Brian.
Madisonstared down at Brian’s face and with shock saw his eyes opening. Her breath caught in her throat as she saw his mouth widen to speak.
“Ssh, rest,” she said.
“Had...to...not...sorry...” he rasped.
The relief she felt at his words staggered her. Though she had clung to hope, it masked a fear of doubt.