His first feeling was relief that Gabriel was alive. His second was a terror that drove all pain of the knife away. The wings spreading out from Gabriel’s back weren’t the soft white feathers they’d been before. Ted stared as the silver wings unfurled. The edges of the feathers looked razor sharp. Horror filled him when he realized it wasn’t a sword in Gabriel’s hand.
It was a scythe.
Around them, time had gone completely still. He could see a bird paused in flight, a leaf half fallen. In the building, the crackling sound of fire had gone silent. The only things moving were the men in front of him. Michaels, Jormun, Daniel… and Pachua. The dragon tilted his head, staring at Gabriel. “No. You can’t be here.” Pachua started shaking his head. “You haven’t been summoned. You can’t be here.”
He saw Jormun try to struggle to his feet, yanking Daniel out of the way. Daniel took the hint and got a shoulder under Jormun to get them both out of there. Michaels stayed where he was, his face uncertain as he glanced at Ted and then back over his shoulder. Gabriel started forward, toward Pachua.
The dragon lowered his head and let out a snarl. It was hard to feel any pity for the thing that had torn out Monica’s throat and… God, please don’t let Matthias be dead. Gabriel’s forward motion paused, and he turned back to look at Ted. His eyes looked like molten gold as he tilted his head. Then he turned back toward Pachua. Pachua snarled again. “After I destroy you, I’m going to kill them slowly.”