“NICOLETTE GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW,” Arison screamed.
“Caio, Arison. Do not follow me,” she said. As Nicolette walked out, she noticed a faint smell of smoke in the air. The emergency workers still swarmed the Vatican, as the crowd cheered when they brought out the Pope. He was alive because of her, but if Thanatos had not shown his face, she would have allowed the man to burn inside the walls. In her mind, the Catholic church was the unholiest of places.
Two hours later, sitting on a flight to Los Angeles, Nicolette watched out the window of the plane at the war brewing in the skies. Lightning, thunder, and torrential rain forced the plane to sit for hours on the runway. The pilot held out for a break in the storm, but she knew the truth. That storm did not happen by accident. The delay in her flight was for a reason. It was Arison trying to force his protege from leaving the city. The power struggle fierce, yet in the end, the flight took off, and she left her life in Italy behind. Grace needed her, and she needed to make sure the child recovered.
Without incident, the flight landed in Los Angeles, the city of Angels, or so they say. The moment that Nicolette exited the plane, it was as though she was home. The mean streets of LA needed her more than they knew. She was Wrath and would leave behind a carnage that none thought possible. It was time to clean up a mess that the world left behind. Even in the middle of the collapse, all she thought about was revenge for the death of the innocent. Thanatos was watching, and she knew he awaited another tonight, but who? Nicolette needed to be at the hospital with Grace, but her hunger was at a depth of an ocean.
After she collected her belongings and acquired a shuttle, the skies opened up and mimicked Italy’s. Nicolette knew this would not be a typical visit, but one that swept the filth into the gutters. A few texts along the way. The driver had her attention as a bolt of lightning hit the road in front of them. He was screeching to a stop, his hands a solid white as he held the wheel.
“I’ve never experienced this. We don’t get weather like this in California,” he whimpered. I don’t know what to do,” he added.
“Pull over, and we can wait it out. I have to be at the hospital, but I have a little time to kill,” Nicolette laughed.
As he pulled into the empty parking garage, Nicolette texted Gypsy to assure her she would soon arrive, but the storm delayed her. She knew the child was alive. If not, the fires would burn the world until they exploded into the heat of the sun.
“Do you have family here?” she asked.
The driver shook his head, still looking out the window,” No. My parents died in an accident a few years ago. So it’s just me now.”
The applause from the skies let her know this was indeed fate. Yes, it was wrong to kill the innocent, but her loyalty was to the Gods. Slowly, she inched her way to the seat behind him, yanking his head back when the lightning filled the sky with fury. A small razor to one side, she pulled across his flesh, severing the carotid arteries. Gurgles were spilling from his mouth as he tried to stop the flow of blood, but his efforts only causing death sooner.
“You’ve done well tonight. I will collect this one, and tonight, you will rest in peace,” Thanatos whispered.
Nicolette waited until the breathing ceased, the storm along with his breaths. He was innocent, but she needed a gift, and he was in the right place at the wrong time.
Forty minutes later, Nicolette sat next to the small crib that held her niece—holding her tiny hand, taking the fever from the child, and placing it within herself. Grace didn’t deserve this, but the war had started, and she was the only one who could save her. The DNA in the child was one that rocked the world around her.