“I know I don‘t have to tell you what you’re up against.” said Angelica. She sat on the bed watching Rona rummage through her closet. “These demons are relentless and uncaring; and likely impervious to most mortal weapons. They’re ruthless killers with vast resources and power on Earth. They won’t be pleased with you standing in their way so take care out there and watch your back.”
Rona pulled a rubber duck from the closet, squeaked it twice and then tossed it behind her, into the heap of junk she had created by her bed. “No problem.”
“Rona, I’m serious, I mean if anything happened to you, I’d–”
“What happened to this kids real Guardian Angel?” interrupted Rona. “Let me guess, she disappeared too.”
Angelica nodded gravely.
Rona rolled her eyes. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“We scoured Empyria and all of Heaven in search of her. Not a trace found. As if she had never existed,” said Angelica distantly. “You’ll be the kid’s only Guardian.”
Rona punched her hand with an old boxing glove until a cloud of dust formed, then tossed the glove onto the junk pile behind her. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t the laws set down by the Aegis prevent any of this?”
“Satan knows the Aegis as well as anyone. It doesn’t seem possible that they could be breaking them. Perhaps they’ve found a loophole,” said Angelica.
“Hmmm,” said Rona, trying on an oversized gardening hat with a flower on the brim. “So how is this guardian thing going to work, anyway?”
“Well I’ve arranged for you to meet with The Mechanic, whom will help you from here,” said Angelica. “But the basic gist of it is that you will be enrolled in the child’s school as a foreign-exchange student.”
“Sounds like a plan,” said Rona “What’s a foreign-exchange student?”
“Well, uh, that’s when a student from one country goes to live with a family in another country and goes to school there. It’s a good way for kids to learn each other’s culture and thus gain tolerance and understanding. You know how humans are,” explained Angelica.
“Do I have to go to another country?” asked Rona, as she turned to look at Angelica with a pair of oversized sunglasses on.
Angelica chuckled. “Nope. You just have to say that you’re from another country.” said Angelica, slyly.
“Angelica” said Rona in disbelief. “Are you asking me to lie?”
“No, not exactly. I’m asking you to act; to play a part. Perform! To be the star of your own personal play,” elucidated Angelica.
“Oh,” said Rona sarcastically. “You mean lie.”
“I mean use the truth to your advantage. You are from out of town…look Rona, I’m not sure how straight we’re going to be able to play this one, that’s why I need you to improvise. It’s important that you stay incognito. Our mission is a secret one.”
“Riiiiiggghhht. So where is this ‘character’ I’m playing, supposed to be from?”
“The Mechanic will fill you in on the details and provide you with all necessary paperwork,” said Angelica.
“Who is The Mechanic?”
“A friend, who helps me out from time to time.”
“You’re being a little shady, these days, Angelica.”
“I’m sorry. This is a super-secret mission and there’s only so much information I can provide. I can’t even tell you the child’s name.”
“What?” said Rona.
“It’s not me!” cried Angelica. “The laws of Aegis govern how much I’m aloud to affect things here on Earth. Including how much information I can give.”
“Yeah, yeah. Those pesky laws that the demons keep breaking, but we’re forced to obey. At least I know it’s a ‘He’ that I’m looking for. Since that is what you keep saying,” said Rona giving her friend a sly smile.
“I might have let that slip.” Angelica winked.
“So how do I find this kid?”
“He’ll be the first kid you run into,”
“Whatever,” said Rona in exasperation.
“What are you looking for in that closet?”
“Something to wear.”
“Well, it just so happens that I might be able to help with that,” said Angelica, cracking her knuckles audibly, and then raising her hands as if preparing to cast a spell. “I’m aloud to provide you with one thing to help you on your mission.”
“Really? Okay, lay it on me,” said Rona, standing up straight with her arms outstretched, her palms facing Angelica. She didn’t feel anything as Angelica used her powers, but she knew when it had been completed. She looked at her reflection in the mirror on her closet door, and recoiled in horror.
She was clad head to toe in a tight, leather bodysuit. It was a sleek shade of black that seemed to reflect the light from the bulbs in the ceiling. The top portion of the outfit was low-cut to point of being almost non-existent. Her bellybutton was exposed and her back was covered only by two intersecting straps. She had a whip on her hip and two eight-inch heels on each foot. The tightness of the outfit made turning around to glare at Angelica all the more difficult.
“What?” said Angelica, shrugging.
“What do you mean ‘what’? Look at me!” said Rona, pulling the straps on her top to give her breasts support.
“What’s wrong with it?”
“What’s wrong with it? What’s wrong with it? Where do I begin?” said Rona “What if I’m fighting a demon and my heel breaks? Or better yet, what if I’m gaining the upper-hand on a demon and one of my boobs pops out?”
“I think you look ravishing!” said Angelica. “It’s hip. It’s modern. Not to mention sexy. It’s all the rage among super-powered gals.”
“You clearly don’t know what it’s like to really have a woman’s body. I want to whoop some demon a—butt,” she held up the whip. “but this isn’t what I had in mind. I’m not going for ‘ravishing,’ I’m going for practical.”
“Okay, so what do you suggest?” asked Angelica.
Rona told her.
Angelica turned her face away as if bracing for impact as she worked her magic once again.
The outfit changed in an instant. Rona checked herself out in the mirror. A blue denim jacket with a gray hood now covered her shoulders. Underneath she wore a sleeveless blouse, red on the top with an arch at the midriff, where the color changed to black. Tight, yet unrestricting, formfitting pants attired her lower body. Her hands were clad in black gloves that turned fingerless halfway up the fingers. On her feet were black, high-top sneakers. She moved and bended to get a feel for the new outfit.
“I don’t like it,” said Angelica in disgust. “It’s…it’s…”
“Perfect,” said Rona.
“If you say so. You’re the one that has to be seen in it. The material is blessed so it should provide you some protection against mystical forces.”
She gave Rona a solid punch in the breast.
“Ow! What the hell is wrong with you?” said Rona. She attempted to return the blow, but Angelica’s image flickered and Rona’s hand passed harmlessly through Angelica’s body. Angelica stuck out her tongue and blew Rona a raspberry.
“I was just demonstrating the protective capabilities. Physical attacks and mortal weapons can still get through, but their impact will be somewhat lessened. It will also repair itself if damaged. And, it won’t fade in the washing machine. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the tag.”
“I’m just kidding; you won’t have to wash it. It’s self-cleaning.”
“Angelica, did you just make a joke?”
“I did.” Angelica smiled. “You’ll have to remove the uniform for its cleaning and repairing properties to initiate. And it could take a bit of time until it’s combat ready again, depending on the damage. Anything else you’ll be needing?”
“How about a weapon?”
“I’m a Messenger. I can’t do weapons. Only protections.”
“I guess I’m good, then. First chance I get, I’m grabbing the kid and we’re skipping town,” said Rona.
“Afraid not. We’re not exactly sure why these demons want this boy, but it’s probably because of the person he’ll become in the future. We are afraid that taking him out of his element may prevent him from ever fulfilling whatever destiny he has been given. Lucifer will have won by default. You see, if we change anything about his life, his family, his friends, his environment, he may never become the person he is predestined to become,” said Angelica.
“Great,” said Rona, sarcastically. “What am I supposed to tell this kid? I mean, won‘t my presence there effect his destiny?”
“That’s another thing. We are also afraid that any Celestial interference may also deter him from his path. That is why he must not know of the danger he’s in or of your true origin. You have to stay out of his world as much as possible. No one else must know either for they may become targets of Satan’s wrath or indirectly affect the boy’s destiny. The less anyone knows, the better,” explained Angelica.
“So let me get this straight.” said Rona, running her hand through her hair in frustration. “You want me to protect this kid without telling him who I am or what danger he’s in; to somehow keep an eye on him 24/7 without ever being seen as suspicious or just plain weird.”
“In a nutshell.”
“You know, I’m starting to remember why I didn’t want to do this. Can I call in some help on this?
“Know any Knights of Templar, perchance? They guard the Blood Gage, they could help me guard this kid. I hear they’ve got a ton of resources.”
“I’m afraid not. You’re going to be mostly on your own out there. I wish I could do more. And I’ll answer your every request within my power.”
“What if I’m killed in action? Do I still get into Heaven?” asked Rona.
“That would be tricky,” said Angelica sympathetically. “The mission is to protect the boy. It isn’t over until there is no more threat.”
“Great,” said Rona. “No health insurance. No retirement plan. Do I at least get dental?”
“Rona, time is not a luxury we are afforded. You’d best be off soon.”
“One more thing,” said Rona.
Angelica perked up with curiosity.
“I have a few rules of my own before I fully agree to this. If you deny any one of them than I say ‘screw it’ and go back to watching my stories. One: I do this my way. I will try to follow your instructions as best I can, but I’ll be making the command decisions from the ground. I need you to trust me and back me, okay?”
“Granted,” said Angelica.
“Two: You keep me informed on what is going on. Give me any information you can, even if it doesn’t seem pertinent. If you know it, I want to know it. And I’m expecting you to be there when I call you.”
“I will do my best,” said Angelica.
“And lastly: If I decide to walk away from this at any time—for any reason—I get to do so. No consequences. No questions asked. And you don’t bother me with this again.”
Angelica swallowed then nodded wordlessly.
“I guess that will be all, then,” said Rona.
The two of them walked outside, Rona carrying a duffle bag over her shoulder and dragging a suitcase. She had changed back into jeans and a t-shirt. The day was hot and muggy, but Angelica still wore here white jacket.
“I’d best be off,” said Rona.
Angelica stared at her, a little misty-eyed.
“Don’t you dare,” said Rona.
“I’m not. I’m not. I just wanted to say. I’m proud of you. And thank you,” said Angelica “I love you, Angerona.”
“I love you too, Angelica. Well, time to go be a teenager.”
“Are you sure you know how?”
“Yeah. I was an avid watcher of 90210.”
“Oh, yes, of course. Take care.”
Rona hailed a cab and was off.
Rona entered the warehouse and saw cars in different states of damage and repair throughout the building. Some were up on lifts, others seemed to be just piled one on top of the other. Rock music blared from a radio on the counter. The smell of fuel and oil reeked, and made Rona’s nose hurt. She searched the area for signs of life until she saw a pair of legs sticking out from under a Volvo. The torso of the person was completely under the car and apparently working vigorously. Rona walked up to the pair of legs and leaned down.
The legs didn’t seem to hear her so she said it a little louder.
“Huh, oh, if you have delivery please put it on counter,” said the voice from under the car.
“No, um, I think I’m here for pick up, actually. My name is Rona.”
The pair of legs stopped working and slid from under the car.
“Do you need a hand, sir?” asked Rona, placing her duffel bag on the ground and offering her hand to the mechanic. When the head came from under the car, Rona saw that it was a woman. She took Rona’s hand, pulling herself to her feet. Rona’s hand practically disappeared in the woman’s. The hands were rough like gravel and oil-stained. She was well over six-feet-tall, and her long, blonde hair was pulled back in a ponytail. She had icy blue eyes that seemed to pierce Rona to the bone. When she let go of Rona’s hand, she left a greasy film on it. Rona looked for a place on her person to wipe them off.
“Sorry about that,” said the woman, in a thick Russian accent. “I’ll get you a towel. Come.”
The woman walked over to the counter, reached underneath it and pulled out a towel and a bottle of hand-sanitizer. She tossed both to Rona. Rona caught both, one in each hand.
“My name is Helga, by the way,” said the woman as she lit up a cigarette.
“Rona, Rona…I know that name. Oh yes, you’re the angel-girl that’s going off to save that kid from demons, right,” said Helga.
“Um, are you the Mechanic?” asked Rona, unable to hide the puzzlement on her face.
“Did you not just see me working on a car?” said Helga indignantly.
“Touché,” said Rona. She had thought that the Mechanic might be a codename or something, not a literal mechanic. She couldn’t think of anything she needed less than an actual mechanic.
“You’re Angie’s friend, right?”
“Yeah, Angelica’s angel friend?”
“Hold tight, I got some stuff for you in the back,” said Helga before disappearing into the back room.
Rona waited at the counter pondering what exactly she was waiting for when a man emerged from an office room down the hall. He was as tall as Helga, but had darker hair. He was a portly fellow, with a dirty white t-shirt and a soda bottle in his hand. He walked up to the counter.
“Can I help you?” he asked with a thick southern drawl. He spit brown liquid into the soda bottle.
Rona couldn’t hide her disgust. “I think she’s helping me.” She pointed to the back room where Helga had disappeared.
“Who is? Helga?” said the man. He turned to the back room and yelled to Helga. “Helga, who is this?” he said, pointing to Rona.
Angie’s friend,” said Helga from the back room.
Rona turned away and stared at the exit. Who the hell were these people and how did Angelica know them? On second thought, she decided she didn’t want to know.
“My name’s Chuck,” said the man, putting out his hand for Rona to shake.
“Rona.” Rona shook his hand without turning to look at him. His hands weren’t as rough as Helga’s.
“So you’re that Angel-broad, huh?”
“I be she, and she be me.”
“I see you’ve met my wife, Helga. She’s really a sweet woman once you get to know her.”
“I’ll take your word for it.”
Helga emerged from the back room, cigarette firmly in place in her mouth and carrying a box in her hands.
“Go through this with her,” she said before walking around to the other side of the counter. She grabbed Rona’s duffle bag and suitcase.
“Hey, um–” protested Rona.
“Calm yourself,” said Helga as she took the luggage and placed it on a conveyor belt. She flipped a switch and the conveyor belt moved the bags through a large, whirring machine.
Chuck took out some of the contents of the box and placed them on the counter.
“Here’s your student I.D.” said Chuck, handing Rona a small card. “Your new name is ‘Rona Klevapravatdubrongs.’ And you are from the Island of Djaotongosenia.”
“Where? I’ve never heard of that place,” said Rona.
“That’s because it’s a tiny island with only like 500 people on it. We didn’t want to risk you running into someone from the same country and blowing your cover,” said Chuck.
“Great. So now I’m supposed to be from someplace that I know nothing about and have a name I can’t even pronounce.”
“Ain’t nobody else heard of neither. I can guarantee ya’ that. So that pretty much gives you free reign to make up whatever you want about it,” said Chuck with a laugh.
“More lying. Should be fun,” said Rona. “Where am I going?”
“Denver, Colorado,” said Chuck, pronouncing “Colorado” as “Colerada.”
“Colorado? Isn’t it cold there?” said Rona.
“Colder’n day-old cat shit.”
“Colorado is nice. 300 days of sunshine, and the winters are not so bad,” said Helga as she scanned Rona’s bags.
“What the hell do you know about sunshine? You’re from freakin’ Siberia!” said Chuck.
“I’m from Belarus,” said Helga. She cursed at Chuck in Russian.
“I don’t understand half of what she says in English,” said Chuck.
“Oh red alert! Red alert!” said Helga as she removed Rona’s Elnign Dagger from her duffle bag. “You cannot take this on the airplane.”
“I can’t?” said Rona.
“Of course not!” said Chuck. “It’s a weapon. You’re not a Muslim are you?”
“Oh Chuck, leave the poor girl alone. She doesn’t have time for your nonsense,” said Helga.
“I’m just joking with her. Relax,” said Chuck.
“Don’t joke with her. She’s not interested in you,” said Helga.
“Helga, I’m not—will you shut the hell up!” said Chuck.
Helga ignored him. “No liquids can go on airplane either. If you have any toothpaste, hair spray or lady-toys you might want to put them in the checked bag.”
“Great,” said Rona. “Well what can I bring on the plane? How am I going to get my dagger?”
“We’ll mail it you. Don’t worry, we have our ways,” said Helga, handing the dagger to Chuck, who disappeared in the back room with it. Helga waited until Chuck was out of earshot before saying “He’s really a good man, once you get to know him.”
Rona nodded vigorously. She was going to have a serious conversation with Angelica about who she was associating with these days.
“Okay we just have to run you through the computer. This could take a minute. It is old computer,” said Helga.
“Can’t we speed it up just a little. I have a world to save,” said Rona.
“Everyone is saving the world these days. Hey Chuck, we got someone out here who’s saving the world.”
“Another one?” said Chuck from the back room.
“You see? Every day we have people coming in who are saving the world. Your world-saving is not any more important than anyone else’s world-saving.”
Chuck came back from the back room.
“Here’s your passport,” he said, handing Rona the document.
“Where did you get this picture?” asked Rona.
“We have our ways,” said Chuck.
The computer finished whirring and beeping.
“Okay, there. You’re processed,” said Chuck “Now for the documents, services, shipping and handling, plus expenses and equipment, that is going to run you…”
Rona’s jaw dropped when he gave her the figure.
“You’re charging me?” asked Rona in shocked disbelief.
“Yeah. Business don’t run on smiles and hugs,” said Chuck.
“Oh Chuck, we’ll let her slide just this once,” said Helga.
“No Helga. You can take your Commie-ass back to the Soviet Union with that mess! ” said Chuck.
“Oh, come on. She’s Angie’s friend,” said Helga wrapping one of her arms around Chuck’s waist and using the other one to walk gently up his chest. She pouted before kissing him gently on the side of the mouth.
“Oh, okay. Just this once, hear?” said Chuck.
Rona bowed graciously.
“Thank you so much for all you’ve done,” said Rona. “Which one of you guys is flying the plane?”
Coach. They were making her fly coach. I guess Heaven is on a budget, she had thought as she’d bought some overpriced food. Either that or this mission wasn’t quite as important as Angelica had said. She pushed thoughts like that from her mind. A flight is a flight. She had once crossed the United States on a horse and it had taken considerably longer and been far less comfortable than any flight. Though, flying had become a colossal pain since she’d last done it. Security was more invasive and everything took longer. She had to wait in a long line just to board, and when she got to the front, she was told that she couldn’t bring the food on the airplane and was forced to throw the whole meal away. Next time, she was taking the bus.
Rona made her way down the crowded aisle, almost tripping over a small child, and getting elbowed in the face by man putting his luggage in the top compartment. She finally found her seat by the window and sat down. Immediately following, a very large and slovenly man sat down next to her. A putrid smell invaded Rona’s nostrils. The man’s smell was so horrible that Rona noticeably wretched. She turned her head away, pressing her nose against the glass as if trying to push it through the glass. It didn’t work. The smell followed her nose. It was so gripping that it made her eyes water. She buried her head in her jacket.
“How’s it going?” asked the man.
Rona gave him the thumbs up but didn’t remove her face from her jacket. The man’s breath found her anyway. A mix of rotten fish and wet dog. It lingered in the air. She was going to have to hold her breath for this entire flight—or until she passed out, didn’t matter which. The engines on the airplane were firing up and she could hear the last few passengers finding their seats. This was going to be a miserable flight, she thought as her breath was beginning to build up, threatening to escape at any moment.
Then she heard a familiar voice.
“Excuse me, my good man,” said Ward, “Would you mind trading seats with me?”
“Why should I do that?” said the stinky man.
“Well it turns out that this is my wife,” said Ward.
“You see, we had to buy separate tickets so we ended up getting split up. But we were hoping that a kind gentlemen like yourself wouldn’t mind switching out with one of us so that we could sit together. We really really want to sit together. Isn’t that right sweetum’?”
Rona nodded vigorously.
“We just can’t stand to be apart from each other, right babe?”
“Every moment I’m away from her, her body yearns to have me near. She craves my warm manly, embrace; touching every inch of her body at all times, right honey?”
Rona glared at Ward.
“Anyway, what do you say, mate?”
“I don’t know. I’m all comfy here,” said the stinky man.
“Oh, did I mention that my seat is in first class?”
“Bit of stinky fella, wasn’t he?” said Ward as he buckled his seatbelt. Rona eyed Ward, a slow smile forming on her lips. Ward smiled back. “I gave up a first class seat to sit with you, if that ain’t friendship, I don’t know what is,” said Ward with a schoolboy smile. Rona’s smile grew a little wider. “I think the phrase you’re looking for is ‘thank you.’ But take your time. What? Did I pour it on too thick with the ‘yearning’ comment?”
Rona smiled wide enough that her teeth began to show. She leaned in close enough for Ward to feel her breath on his neck. He turned his head to face her, smiling from ear to ear. Rona gently touched his face, she moved her fingertips down his neck and chest. Then she grabbed his crouch. Hard. Ward yelped. The woman in the seat across the aisle looked over at them. Rona motioned with her head for the woman to turn back around. She did.
“We’ve got a problem, Ward. That problem is that we’re actually not friends. So that makes me wonder what the hell you’re doing on this flight? Could all just be one big ‘ol coincidence, except that I know it isn’t. You see, a first class ticket suggests to me that you bought your flight last minute and that was all they had left. That leaves one possibility. That you’re following me. And I don’t like being followed. It puts me in a bad mood. Now, I’m going to let go, and you’re going to tell me what you’re doing here. And, I hope I like your answer, I really do. If not…” She shook her head, gave one last hard squeeze then let go of Ward.
He lurched forward in pain and stayed that way for several minutes. “Why do women always have to go for the stones?”
“It’s like grabbing a man by the brain,” said Rona. “Now, talk. Start at the beginning. Why were those men after you in the bar?”
“Well, I’d first like to say that strong-arm tactics don’t work on oracles. We are people of many talents, but the one that we are best at, is not getting ourselves killed. That makes it pretty difficult to follow through on threats against us.”
“Well, you’d be good and dead had I not interfered back at that bar.”
“That’s true. But you did interfere.”
Rona opened her mouth to retort, then closed it again. Crap, she thought, he was right. He had never lost control of that situation. Instead, he had used her. Oracles were crafty like that. She had underestimated Ward but she wouldn’t make that mistake again. She watched him closely. What was his game, now? Did he know about her mission?
Her expression must have betrayed her because Ward immediately gave her a disarming smile. “Look, I know we don’t know each other that well, but I’ve always liked you. I’m honestly not trying to trick you. I’m one of the good guys, really.” He paused as if to gauge her reaction before continuing, “Besides, I owe you my life. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. And I’m not following you, but I knew you’d be here so I made it a point to talk to you before we took off.”
“To warn you.”
“Where you’re going isn’t safe.”
Rona sat patiently and waited. She studied Ward’s carefully; trying to read his body language, his facial expression, anything that might speak true if his words were speaking false. She noted that he was better dressed than she’d ever seen him in the past, and clean shaven too. That could be nothing, or it could be everything.
Ward continued. “Shit is about to hit the fan and you’re about to walk right into it.”
“The shit or the fan?”
“Both, respectively. So watch your step.”
“Thanks for the advice.” She leaned her head against the window and closed her eyes. “Wake me up when we get to Denver.” The engine roared and Rona’s momentary peace was rocked as the plane took off turbulently.
“Don’t tell me you’re afraid of flying, Love,” said Ward.
“If I were meant to fly I’d have wings,” said Rona, sitting up in her chair. “I take it you’re going to Denver to escape from your three buddies from the bar. Why were they after you, anyway?”
“I took something that didn’t belong to me,” said Ward. “But it didn’t belong to them either.”
“What did you take?”
“You took a drink?”
“No, would you like a drink?” Ward pointed to the stewardess that was moving up the aisle with a drink cart. He ordered two small bottles of whisky. He offered one to Rona, but she refused. “You are one tragically sober individual.” He downed his drink in one gulp.
“Maybe you just have a drinking problem.”
“Well, judge not lest ye be…a judgmental something-or-other, I forgot the rest.” He downed the drink he had offered Rona in one gulp, then belched.
“You were saying. About what you took.”
“Oh, I wasn’t saying, and I’m not about to start now. Besides, it wouldn’t matter to you anyway.”
Something about the look he gave her suggested otherwise. She didn’t know if he had done it consciously—she didn’t think he had—but the last statement he had made hadn’t been entirely true. She studied his body language more carefully as she asked her next question. “What are you going to do with it?”
“I’m taking it someplace safe.”
Another untruth. Rona didn’t know what it was, something in the tone of voice that was different from the way he normally spoke; more measured, more careful. “Well, leave me out of your little schemes this time.”
“Deal,” said Ward, with a grin.
This last lie made it a trifecta. He was up to something and it was giving her an uneasy feeling. She didn’t like the idea that he was following her to Denver. Somehow, this feeling was intensified by the way he’d gone out of his way to make his presence known. What was he hiding? As much as she distrusted Ward, she didn’t feel threatened by him. That could mean he was no threat or that made him all the more dangerous.
“I don’t trust you, Ward.”
“Good. Your enemies will hide in plain sight, but your allies will be the people that you trust the least.”
Rona didn’t know what to make of that. She pulled her hood over her head and leaned against the window. If Ward interfered with her mission she would deal with him accordingly. For now, she would have to file him away under “unknown.” She had accepted that she was embarking on this mission with more questions than answers, and now it was time to turn her attention to the mission at hand. She closed her eyes and tried to envision the types of dangers she’d be facing and how to prepare. She thought of all of the things she would need to prepare herself. She tried to figure out just how she was going to find this kid. She wondered what he would be like. In fact, she was eager to meet him.
Anyone that Heaven and Hell were both vying for must be nothing short of extraordinary.