The Archangel of New Dam: Episode 5

The Archangel of New Dam: Episode 5

The Archangel of New Dam: Episode 5

Laila

“It wasn’t like that!” Laila shrieked and laughed at Josiah, impersonating her taking the award and ignoring the Archangel of New Dam. “At least, not on purpose.”

Josiah raised an eyebrow and gave her a scrutinizing look. “You so did.”

Laila sighed. “Alright, maybe I did. But if I had known that he wasn’t like the tabloids made him out to be… I would have at least looked at him.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean,” she scraped her throat, “that he has been nothing but respectful to me—going out of his way to help me—and I hadn’t even given him the courtesy of looking at him.”

Josiah slumped back on the couch. “He probably didn’t even notice.”

That made Laila raise an eyebrow at him.

They had finally managed to squeeze in a night together between all of his team’s preparations. 

Josiah yawned and dropped his head on the cushion. 

“Just go to bed,” Laila said and caressed his hand. “You don’t have to stay up for me. I still have some work I could—should do.”

An unsure look crossed his face. “But—”

“But nothing,” Laila said. “If you’re tired, you should rest.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” Josiah stood but hovered over her for a second, bending down to kiss her. “You’re not joining me?”

She shook her head. “I really should get some work in for the coming days.” The first talk with the fae was getting closer.

He nodded and cupped her chin before he strolled out of the large living room. Josiah had a beautiful house, large and spacious and immaculately decorated.

Laila’s nerves had been increasing ever since she’d read through the Archangel’s plan and started the preparations for the talks. The only way she had ever been able to calm her nerves was through certainty. Although—creating the idea of certainty. Nerves stemmed from uncertainty, of not knowing. 

She bit her lip and opened her phone.

Dominic

Dominic stood at the balustrade of his enormous garden in the higher court and looked out at the middle court—the heart of New Dam City. The wind was cutting, and he closed his coat a little further.

A lot was happening. For him, for the city, for everyone. He could almost smell the change surging through the city. 

He deeply inhaled once more and then turned around to get back into his house. 

Strolling through the hallway, he shook off his coat and draped it over the couch. Dominic usually sent all the staff away at night, so he could finally be alone—so he could feel like an ordinary man, with a normal life, once a day.

Dominic wanted to check his schedule for the next day and took his phone from his coat.

When he saw the messages on the screen, one of them heightened his blood pressure.

Unknown number: Hi… Dominic. Laila here. Your number was included in your email, so I hope you don’t mind me using it. And sorry for texting you so late, but could I ask you a question?

He immediately saved the number and started typing back.

Dominic: Hey Laila, no problem. What do you need?

A moment later, Laila replied.

Laila: Well

Laila: I’m a little nervous

Laila: And I wanted to get a feeling for the crowd. 

Laila: Do you have any idea how many fae are planning to come?

A smile spread over his face at the influx of messages that popped into view. 

Dominic: My team has sent a couple of hundred invites to the people who could spread the awareness through the fae population. I expect that most of them will show up because I let them sign my name underneath.

He walked into the kitchen, phone in hand, and poured himself a glass of wine as he watched the small balloon in the corner indicating that Laila was typing.

Laila: Alright, thank you.

The tension she experiences almost seemed to seep through the screen.

Dominic: Does it calm your mind to know?

Laila: I thought it would, but I think it made it worse :’)

Dom’s thumbs hovered over the screen. It wasn’t his place to console her. At least, not yet. But he didn’t want to leave her distressed, and he didn’t want her to have a sleepless night because of it. 

Dominic: Is there something I can do?

She was typing, not typing, typing, not typing until finally, a message arrived.

Laila: Could you talk me through the first day?

Smiling to himself, Dominic typed back.

Dominic: Sure. But it might be easier if we call. Is that okay with you?

Laila

Laila stared at the screen and cursed inwardly. Shit

It might help settle your feelings, though. 

Quickly, she typed back a message before her boldness left her.

Laila: Yes.

A heartbeat later, her phone rang. 

She answered with: “Hi,”

“Hey,” Dominic said from the other end. “Struggling a little?” he asked, but she detected a sliver of humor in his voice.

Laila laughed. “Just a little.”

Dom chuckled at her confession and started talking her through the first day at the fae region. His voice was reassuring, soothing, and extremely steadying. He explained everything in detail and left nothing to the imagination—which was good for her because her imagination had a habit of running wild.

“You know,” she chimed in. “I have no trouble presenting—never had. I love talking about my research. But somehow—this… It seems more important, crucial even.”

He made an agreeing sound. “I get what you’re saying, and I won’t play down the importance of what you’re about to do. But I bet that once you’re there and see how many people you’re helping, you won’t be as nervous anymore. It was like that for me when I became the ruling Archangel of the city.”

You? nervous?” she asked incredulously.

“Yeah,” he said casually.

Laila pictured the Archangel. His blonde hair tucked behind his ears, his beard neatly trimmed, a nervous look on his beautiful face—no, it did not seem to compute. 

She breathed. “No way.”

At the other end of the line, Dominic laughed. “I swear.”

A second or two passed before Laila opened her mouth again.

“How did you get over it, then?”

Dominic sighed. “Time and practice. I almost can’t remember my life before all this anymore.”

“I’m probably making it bigger than it is anyway,” she thought out loud.

“Definitely,” he agreed.

Laila smiled again. “Well,” she said and cleared her throat. “Thanks.”

The other line was silent for a moment, then his low voice sounded through the telephone, “You’re welcome, Laila.” 

“Goodnight,” she said.

“Goodnight.”

She stood from the couch and walked over to the bathroom to brush her teeth and take off her make-up.


Dominic: You’re going to do great, Laila. Don’t worry about it.

She saw Dom’s text coming in as she washed her hands.

Dominic: And in the tiny chance of you getting a black-out, I promise to walk onto the stage and flap my wings a couple of times. That will distract them.

Laila smiled and almost instantly felt the tension leave her body.

Laila: You’re very confident in your ability to stun people.

She walked out of the bathroom and into the bedroom, where she crawled underneath the sheets, beside an already sleeping Josiah.

Dominic: I’ve had some practice over the decades, believe me.

Decades. My god.

Laila: I’ll believe it when I see it.

Dominic: Are you daring me?

Laila: My lord, I would never! Please forgive me.

Dominic: You’ve hurt my trust, miss Cuprum. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to forget this indiscretion.

Her body shook with laughter as she texted back.

Laila: I forfeit my life to you, oh mighty one.

Dominic: That’s a bit excessive, Laila. Keep your life.

She smiled.

Laila: I’ll be holding you to it, though. The wing-flaring rescue mission and all.

Dominic: I’m counting on it.

Laila stared at the screen for some time before tucking her phone away. She felt wide awake as she tried to settle restlessly between the sheets to find a comfortable position. And when sleep finally caught up with her, she dreamt of the Archangel of New Dam.

Copyright 2021 © Britt van den Elzen

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Britt van den Elzen

Hi! I’m Britt, a 20-something creative entrepreneur from the Netherlands. I’m passionate about all things magic and can often be found dreaming about fictional worlds. The greatest love of my life is storytelling and I’ve been reading and watching stories ever since I can remember. ✨

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