titian hair was ducked behind the pages of a large tome, one that obscured
the fine features of Simon's face.
Gabriel paused and contemplated the angle of the elbows, the curl of the
hip, on the angel before him. Only for a moment, but a moment, still.
"I've got a message for you, Simon."
"Hmmm...?" Simon failed to raise his head from the book, engrossed in some
important minutiae in his studies. Of course Gabriel had a message.
That was what Gabriel did: brought messages.
"From Himself..." Gabriel allowed his voice to rise, indicating that
closer attention was warranted.
Simon's head snapped up.
"He instructs you to go and see what can be done about the problem in
Sodom and Gomorrah." The trumpet glinted as he waggled it for emphasis.
"Some sort of trouble down there. Things have gotten out of hand. Again.
Your human contact is Lot."
Simon hurried to mark his place, put away the heavy volume and shrug into
his overgarment. It was the tan one, the same one he often wore for such
"I have a second message, as well," Gabriel said, closing the space between
He reached and cupped the curve of Simon's jawline with his thumbs. "This
one's from me." He stroked the golden-russet of Simon's beard with
fingertips, strikingly calloused from the trumpet's keys.
Their lips barely brushed, but they lingered there. Simon's eyes remained
open; Gabriel's were shut tightly, as if in pain.
Gabriel whispered, "Be careful. Gomorrah's rough."
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