Luckily, we had chosen a hiding spot far enough away that when we moved the grass away, I could see a tall woman with long grey hair hanging down her back and a very white dress that was too youthful for her. She looked like she at least in her eighties, but her back was so rigid and straight that she looked intimidating no less. She was turned to the side so I could only see her profile, but I saw the dark purple of her eyes. They stared at the man lying in front of her, her hands shaking at her sides. Her skin was weathered and worn, but I could tell she was once a great beauty.
“That’s Logan,” Mason gasped next to me, tightening his grip around my hand.
I’d been so focused on the older woman; I hadn’t noticed the other man standing next to the woman. In the split second before I leaped out of the brambles to help the man on the ground, Mason wrapped his arms around my shoulders and pulled me against him. “He’s already dead, Ana. Do you have your phone?”
I had left my phone on the charger. “No.”
“Damn it.” Mason rarely cursed, but when he did, his voice sounded rather demonic.
“I already rejuvenated,” Logan said simply as he slicked his short blonde hair back with a large sweaty hand. He withdrew a knife from his slacks and then bent down so he could slice into the dead man’s skin. Because the man was lying on his side facing away from us, I wasn’t sure how old he was. “We cannot delay any longer. You’re growing too weak.”
The woman pursed her lips together but didn’t say anything. “He’s already dead. What if his soul has already moved on?”
Logan paused and pressed a hand to the dead man’s chest. “It is not too late.”
Mason cringed beside me as Charlotte sank to her knees in front of the man. She cradled his head in her arms and if I hadn’t known better, I would’ve thought she was his mother. Ever so slowly, she pressed her lips to his and attacked his lips with what looked like a violent kiss. But it was different somehow.
I’d never been kissed, at least, not that I could remember. But the way she sucked her cheeks in and refused to look away from him didn’t look natural.
I hadn’t noticed before, but her dress exposed her back and between her shoulder blades, I saw two dark marks on either side of her shoulder blades. I watched in strange fascination as my heart beat intensely in my chest. Instantly and with a great whoosh of air, two dark black wings jutted out from the two dark marks on her back.
She cried out, releasing the man beneath her. Gripping her face in her hands, her skin was covered in a crystal looking fluid that spread out until her entire body was covered in its sticky presence.
I could feel Mason on the verge of fainting behind me, but I wasn’t sure we could sneak away as easily as we had approached. And even if we could fight them off, they had a knife and who knows what else?
“Just close your eyes,” I suggested.
For several, long minutes, I remained half crouched half kneeling pressed against Mason who thankfully had stopped making a choking noise in the back of his throat.
Before my eyes, her skin began to gain firmness, the wrinkles receding back into her face. Her long hair gleamed with blonde until there was no trace of gray. She looked like she was in her early twenties now. The sticky substance dissolved into her skin and as she stood up, her wings gracefully folded back into her shoulder blades. Unlike the woman in my visions who had beautiful white wings, the monster in front of us had ghastly wings that reminded me of rotting flesh.
She surveyed the man with slight contempt but before she could speak, the man crumpled into dust, while a white fluid leaked from the wound in his arm where Logan had cut him.
“Good thing you didn’t want to use him,” Logan said, as he licked his lips. He was facing us so I couldn’t get a good glimpse of his back so I could try to make out whether he had wings or not too.
“He was too weak for our purposes.”
Logan gave her a reprimanding look. “Eventually, we’ll have to start only taking what we need and reserve the rest of their soul.’
The woman smiled as she wiped the corner of her mouth although her face was clean. “Perhaps.”
“Do you see the butterflies?” Mason asked.
I shook my head. There was nothing but the a puddle of white fluid where the man’s body had once been.