URIAHΞI don’t why I do it, and I’m sure I’ll hate myself for the rest of the year for it, but I walk back to her, my hand reaching for her ankle.   I unbuckle the strap of her heel and pull it off her foot, and I hear her groan in relief as formerly constricted blood is allowed to move freely again in her limbs. I do the same for the other foot and am met with another sigh of relief.   I pull the comforter over her, and the plush mass of fabric practically engulfs her small body, leaving only her face visible. I place the lone trash can in the room right next to the head of the bed. She’ll definitely need it in the morning—or whenever she wakes up.

URIAHΞI push past the door and its hinges creak ever so slightly in resistance. I haul us both over the threshold and inside her room, and as soon as I do, the cockatoo starts chirping loudly and boisterously flapping its colorful wings in excitement.   And the sight of them only makes me want to sprint out of here and go find that bastard, Malone, and choke the living daylight out of his lying, conniving, gambling-addicted ass.

URIAHΞ  This was not what I had in mind when they said "redemption mission".   “Watch and protect Danny Sullivan for a whole year and you’ll get your wings back, Uriah”.   That’s what the Arch said.   No further explanations or elaborations. No whys, no hows. Just, “do the damn thing if you want your wings back.”   So I didn’t ask any questions.   I didn’t really have much of a choice, anyway.

KIA  I may be experiencing what is, without a doubt, the absolute, worst hangover I have ever had in all my twenty-six years of life, and as result, my coherence is questionable at best at the moment.   Plus, my motor skills are probably still shot to hell from last night, especially considering the fact that I can barely get passed the constant ringing in my ears and throbbing in my temples—not to mention the disgusting taste of vodka-infused vomit that's still lingering in the back of my throat.   Still, I'm pretty darn sure that what I'm feeling right here and right now is someone else's skin.

KIA∴ Something tickles.   I feel my mouth lift slightly in a half-smile. I think I'm kind of awake, and kind of still asleep, but I'm pretty sure that I can feel something tickling my arm and shoulder.   I'm slowly drifting into consciousness, becoming more and more aware of my surroundings as I come awake.