Virgil didn’t get out of bed for a week and a half. He didn’t answer any phone calls or text messages. He didn’t check his online profiles. He barely ate or used the bathroom. He barely even slept. No one bothered him too much. He guessed they’d figured he’d been through enough. Once in a while he would see Rona leap onto the roof, peek through the curtains and then leave again. Erk stopped by as well, but Virgil didn’t see him. Vanessa called and left messages, but Virgil didn’t check them.
There was a mixture of surprise and relief on his mother’s face, the day he decided to go downstairs for breakfast. He ate heartily, while Celeste pestered him about when Rona was going to come back over. He caught a glimpse of the news that day. The missing teenagers had been found, and Jay was being given the credit. The mayor shook his hand on the news and he was being declared a hero.
He didn’t accept the reward money.
Mr. Goodman had disappeared. His home had been raided where the police found some odd drugs. They concluded that he had been using drugs when he attacked Virgil and his family.
Coach Yval had been appointed acting principal of the school.
Stacy had awoke from her coma and was expected to return to school in the coming weeks.
Jay stopped by to check in on Virgil. He took Virgil aside one day and asked him what had really happened. He didn’t believe that it was a coincidence that the same guy who had been holding Rona captive would suddenly turn up at the house the day Mr. Goodman decided to lose his mind. He wanted to know what happened once Virgil left the house. He needed to know what was really going on.
Virgil lied to him. It was the hardest thing he had ever done. He made up some elaborate story about a gang and some drugs and a bunch of other stuff. He assured Jay that he was okay and it was all over now. Worst of all, Jay bought the story wholesale.
“Thanks for telling me the truth, Bud,” said Jay with a smile. “I appreciate that you confide in me.”
“Can I ask you a question?” said Virgil with a serious look.
“How did your Krav Magra skills workout for you against Mr. Goodman?”
“Let me show you,” said Jay with a laugh.
He put Virgil in a headlock.
Rona walked out to Sloan Lake. She took her lucky stone in her hand. She closed her eyes for a moment and got lost in a good memory. With a flick of her wrist she tossed the stone over the surface of the lake. It skipped several times before sinking.
She felt a tiny bit lighter.
“Excuse me, young lady, would you mind helping me with my bags,” said an old woman as Rona was walking away. “I don’t live too far away, but these bags are so heavy.”
“Could you make yourself corporeal?” asked Rona.
“I beg your pardon.”
Rona scooped the old lady up and squeezed her tight.
“I love you, Angelica.”
“And I love you too, Angerona.”
“Thank you for everything. I won’t let you down,” said Rona, releasing Angelica, now in her normal form, from her grasp.
“I know,” said Angelica. “You were amazing.”
“I learned from the best. Anyway, I’ll catch you later. I’ve gotta’ catch up on my stories,” said Rona, turning and walking away.
Angelica gazed up at the sky. She jumped up and down with glee several times before orbing away.
Virgil sat on the roof outside of his window with his head buried between his elbows. He looked up when he heard a noise and realized that Rona had landed next to him. He put his head back down as Rona took a seat next to him.
“Are you alright, Teenface,” asked Rona in a gentle voice. Virgil shook his head. “Yeah, I get that.”
Virgil lifted his head up, tear streaks reflecting light off of his cheeks. “My life is ruined. I’m scared to go outside knowing that some demon could pop up and grab me at any moment. And they can look like anyone. Who am I supposed to trust? I can’t even tell anyone what’s going on. I’ve never felt so alone.”
“You’re not alone. I’m here. And I’m not going anywhere, so deal with it.”
“No. I need you. I don’t think an angel from Heaven would have thought to hit Goliath in the balls—and completely ruin the David and Goliath story forever, for me. I need you,” said Virgil with a faint laugh.
Rona smiled. “I need you too, kid. You’re my redemption. Maybe we can save each other.”
“So what am I supposed to do now? Am I supposed to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life wondering when the next demon is coming to get me?” asked Virgil.
“Let me worry about them. Because if they come for you, they’re going to have to go through me first. And I fight dirty. You just try to live your life, I guess,” said Rona.
“Can you promise me that you won’t let anything happen to me,” said Virgil.
Rona was silent for a moment.
“I made a promise a long time ago; never to promise again,” said Rona. “I’m going to be straight up with you, Teenface, I can’t promise you that everything is going to be okay. I can’t promise you that nothing bad will ever happen. I don’t know what the future holds. All I can tell you, is that I will guard you with my life, and that’s the truth. How’s that?”
“It means a lot,” said Virgil.
Rona squeezed Virgil’s hand and he squeezed back.
“Can I ask you a question? Why did you get kicked out of Heaven?”
Rona bit her lip. “I know it’s probably personal, but I just really want to know.” Rona gazed off into the distance. She breathed deeply. “You’re not going to tell me are you?”
Rona looked at Virgil and smiled. She kissed him on the cheek.
She leaped from the roof.
“Oh, come on, I really really want to know!”
The Red Hood walked around the ruins of the building inside of the construction site. Pitroth was a fool. He had overreached instead of focusing on the task at hand. Heather removed her hood. She would not fail. She was going to get the boy, and nothing was going to stand in her way.
The bell rang.
Virgil walked through the hallway of Les Freakly high school. He clapped five with Erk and Ali. Vanessa gave him a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. Most of the students looked like they were itching to ask him about what happened with Mr. Goodman. Principal Yval gave him a dirty look. Andy Mowry avoided eye contact. Miss Tilley gave him a bright and sunshiny smile. Heather gave him a modest wave. Rona was standing over by the locker with Brittany and her friends. She stuck her tongue out at him as he walked by. Virgil didn’t know what move the universe would play next, but he knew one thing for sure: life just got a whole lot more interesting.
Thank you for making it to the end of my book. It means the world to me that you took the time to do so. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. Feel free to review it honestly. Stay tuned, because Rona and Virgil will be back soon! There’s still so much story to tell! Visit my website at kjholloway.com for all things Aegis.