Ecanus hung his head when he heard the booming voice from above. He knew he was guilty of doing wrong yet again by corresponding with Rayanne, but he wasn’t ashamed of what he’d done. He looked around but didn’t see anyone. He waited, but no one appeared, nor was he summoned by one of the Council. After a few more minutes went by without anything further, he assumed the roaring voice of the Creator was simply a warning. He knew he needed to heed the cautioning, but he was torn between obeying the written laws, and his growing feelings for Rayanne. Temptation. This was the very first time he actually understood what the word meant.
He turned back to where he could view the lovely woman once more. Ecanus frowned when he saw that she had left the chair she was seated on before and that her home was now dark. He knew that mortals ‘slept’ and rested at length during the hours of darkness, but where he dwelled there was never a need to sleep.
With a heavy hearted sigh, he looked out across the expanse of the mortal world. Although he was checking on the writers as he had done more times than he could count, this was the first time he had ever wondered what it would be like to live in their world. The Creator had given them a beautiful place to dwell. Though humans weren’t given immortality as the angels had been, they were given a second chance. They were given salvation. Upon their death, they could be saved, entering into heaven and experiencing all the love the Creator held for them.
Would the trade-off be worth it, he brooded over the mere thought. Ecanus knew he needed to come to some sort of a decision and soon. He knew he couldn’t ignore the feelings he was having where Rayanne was concerned, but he also wasn’t certain of being with her either.
The talk he had with Barchiel had helped him in many ways, but also complicated things further when he pointed out the choices available to the angel. Ecanus fully understood what his options were. Now, he simply needed to make a choice. That was one of the gifts the Creator bestowed upon the beings of both realms—free will.
Creases formed on the angel’s forehead as he frowned. How could he choose between havingeverything, and having everything he’d recently come to wonder about? One was absolute certainty without ever needing anything more. The other, was uncertainty at every turn. Yet, only one choice gave him the chance to experience the full feeling of loving Rayanne. What bothered Ecanus most was that Rayanne had free will too. Would she want him if that was the road he chose to go down? Was it a risk worth taking? He was now confronted with the hardest decision he’d ever been faced with. The only thing he sought comfort in, was in knowing whatever the outcome would be, his faith would always remain strong.
Seeing that no one was summoning his help at the moment, Ecanus crossed into the mortal realm, appearing in the quiet, dark room where Rayanne was sleeping. He sat on the bed next to her, looking at her intensely. She really was a beautiful woman and he felt a warming in his heart as he continued to watch her sleep. The long, thick, dark lashes of her closed eyes fluttered occasionally above her slender, somewhat pointed nose. Her luscious pink lips were slightly parted, as the whispered sounds of her breath slipped between them.
Before he realized what he was doing, Ecanus lifted his hand to the sleeping woman’s face, gently caressing it as he brushed away the hair that had fallen across her cheek. A grin lifted the corner of his mouth when she raised her hand resting it where his had been just a second earlier, as if savoring his touch. Sitting there looking at her, he would have thought his decision would be easy to make. But it wasn’t. He hadn’t expected that. Their worlds were just so different.
If he asked the Devine power to allow him to become an incarnated angel—an angel who was allowed to become human—he could go to Rayanne. He would also have to choose if he wanted to stay there permanently or simply experience what he was seeking and return. Another hard choice, and one that needed to be made at the initial time of asking. There was no deciding after the fact or changing his mind.
Becoming incarnated was allowed, part of the free will choices that angels were given, but a choice that was never taken lightly. Some had chosen to return after a short life in the human world. Others had chosen to remain as human, experiencing all that came with that, including death.
Ecanus’s thoughts were interrupted as the sleeping beauty stirred, rolling onto her back. “Why am I having such a hard time deciding?” he said, knowing she couldn’t hear him. He knew if he wanted to experience love in its truest form it would require time. Love was unconditional but needed time to grow and to be nurtured. It required complete devotion and patience. Obviously that wasn’t going to happen in a short period of time. Deep inside he knew that asking to be incarnated to be with Rayanne would result in it being a permanent choice of living as a mortal.
Yet what nagged at him was one sole question, what if she didn’t return his feelings? He would then have to live out his time as a mortal without her. She was the only reason he was even considering any of this. It didn’t seem fair. He’d heard that to love someone to the depth of your soul was to make sacrifices to be with them, as well as for them. He just wasn’t sure he could take that kind of leap of faith and trust, to make that magnitude of a sacrifice. “What am I going to do?”
Moving closer, he could smell that the sweetness of lavender from her hair had buried its fragrance deeply in the cloth of the bedding she was nestled in. It was at that time he heard the anguished voice of a man, asking for his help. The prayer sent was filled with depression. Ecanus recognized the voice of Dale immediately, for he had helped the writer many a time before. Dale was a very good writer but doubted himself and his abilities, especially when he was drinking. Holding his breath, Ecanus listened as the man cried, begging for help with his writing. The prayer so anguished, it was the most desperate Ecanus had ever heard him. Through his sobs Dale vowed to give up drinking forever, if he could just write one bestselling book.
Ecanus looked down at the lovely Rayanne for several minutes. His decision was made. With his wings flexed back over his shoulders until they touched each other, he leaned forward and with the softness of a feather he kissed her mouth tenderly. He allowed the meeting of their lips to linger, relishing in its intimacy, wishing she could feel it too. As Ecanus broke off the kiss, he saw Rayanne open her eyes momentarily. Sleepily, she slid her fingers to her mouth, running her index finger over her lips, almost as if she had felt the kiss. A smile formed on her lips as she rolled once more onto her side.
Ecanus rose from her bed, readying himself to leave. He looked once more at the beautiful creature that slumbered so peacefully. As he left her room, the first tear he had ever shed slipped down his cheek. He knew he’d made the right decision, he just hoped it was one he wouldn’t regret.