“God?  It’s me, Mya. I hope I don’t sound like I’m bitching or anything and I know you probably think this is all kind of unimportant in the grander scheme of things, but I’m sure you know, it’s really, really hot outside.  With the power out like it is, the AC isn’t working so I had to open the windows.  And even though it’s nighttime, it’s not helping cool off the house any.  I’ve been trying to get to sleep, but I can’t.  It’s too sticky, and I think I must have sweated off three pounds.  You could cool things down a bit if you felt like it.  Maybe help things along out at the power company?  You know I have the utmost faith in you.  Hey, how about a midnight thunderstorm?  Or, I’ll even settle for a little breeze.”

I paused and sighed.  That wasn’t too much to ask for, was it?  I was so hot and miserable however, what I really wanted was for it to up and snow--but I wasn’t asking for miracles or anything.  It was mid-August and all of South Carolina was roasting tonight; it wasn‘t just me.  But like most of my fellow-Southerners, I’d come to rely too much on my air conditioning unit lately to keep me comfortable, and it seemed like the power company may have gotten a little overloaded with the demand. 

I glanced over at the clock on my nightstand.  Quarter to one.  Closing my eyes, I willed myself to sleep, trying not to think about the heat or the humidity or the beads of perspiration trickling down my sides onto the damp sheets beneath me.  I should have just packed up a few things and made the drive into town to hole up in the local hotel for the night.  Of course, I’d kept talking myself out of it, telling myself that by the time I’d gotten to the end of my gravel lane, the electricity would be back on.

I had been telling myself that for going on three hours now and there was still no relief in sight.  Not from the Municipal Power Company or God.  I was sure it didn’t help that I lived out in the boonies in a reconstructed Gothic rectory house next to ten acres of a cemetery that had been filled to capacity way back in the seventies.  It wouldn’t surprise me if my rather rural address wasn’t a big priority compared to the more residential neighborhoods just south of here.

I thought about sleeping in the living room.  At least there were more windows open out there.  I considered the bathtub.  The porcelain would be cool--especially with water in it--but I wasn’t sure I liked the idea of sleeping in cold water and on such a hard surface.

If it would only cool down just a little.  If only my electricity would come back on.  I was beginning to wonder if it was just wishful thinking on my part.


But hey, didn’t I have ‘friends in high places’?  Hadn’t God sent my guardian angel, Pershabael, to me--in the flesh--to save my bitter and hateful soul?  My angel had shown me the error of my ways and we’d fallen madly in love with each other.  Now he returned to me as often as he could--in the flesh--to express that love and indulge our passion for each other.

After having finally fallen asleep, I had been dreaming of just that when I heard the distinct sound of rustling wings.  Any other time, I would have also heard the chink of his body-armor too, but he must not have been wearing it.  In this heat, I couldn’t blame him.  And then, I knew he tended to be more of a tee-shirt and jeans kind of guy whenever he manifested as a mortal man to me, and every once in awhile, his grungy style came through in his angelic attire as well.

Prying my eyes open a crack, I peeked up at the mesmerizing and beautiful face of the angel standing at the foot of my bed.  Light from the moon outside was streaming in through the large stained glass window just to the right, tinting his tanned, luminous skin with muted jewel-tones, making him look even more exotic than he already was.  He was smiling, gazing down at me through a fringe of thick lashes, his sky blue eyes beneath sparkling with glints of silver in the moonlight.  His long, strawberry-blond hair waved around his aristocratic features as his large, amber-colored wings fanned back and forth, creating a refreshing and fragrant breeze in the stagnant room.  He smelled like a waterfall in a forest or a mid-afternoon rain shower and that very elemental scent of his had a reviving effect on me.  Smiling back at him, I sat forward, propping myself up with my elbows.

I looked him up and down.  I was right about the armor.  Tonight he’d opted to wear an almost filmy, pale-colored shirt that clung brazenly to every muscular curve of his torso, over dark, and just as revealing, drawstring pants that accentuated his long legs.

“Are you the answer to my prayers?” I asked with a lop-sided grin.

At first he raised his brow, obviously catching my insinuation, but a moment later, he turned his head a little to the side the same way a puzzled pup might and straightened somewhat.  “Am I?”

I sighed.  “Percy, you’ve got to be the most out-of-sync guardian angel anybody’s ever had,” I complained.  “If you’ve got to ask, I’m thinking the answer is probably no, then.” 

Smiling, he stepped closer to me, his bare feet not making a sound on my creaky wooden floors despite his rather impressive build.

“Oh lover, don’t be like that,” he cooed to me in that sultry Southern drawl of his.  “I’m not the omniscient one.  You’re confusing me with …someone else.”

I made a face at him.  “So you’re not here to turn my electricity back on?”

At that he laughed.  “Now you’re confusing me with an engineer.”

Gesturing around the room, I sat up further, swinging my legs over the side of the bed.  “Can’t you at least use some of your divine influence and make the temperature drop …oh say, ten degrees?”

Pershabael shook his head.  “You’ve got just as much influence as I have.”

“Oh I doubt that!” I replied with a scoffing laugh and wiped at a rivulet of sweat racing down the side of my neck.

Pershabael’s expression appeared indignant.  He stepped even closer.  “Tell me I did not just hear the word ‘doubt’ pass those luscious lips of yours.”

Standing, I reached for him and pulled him up against me.  His body seemed to mold itself around mine.

“Luscious, huh?”

He nodded slowly, turning his head and parting his lips with a clear invitation.

I stretched up on my toes and wrapped my arms around his neck to draw his face down to mine.  Closing my eyes, I touched my lips to his.

He kissed me with an evident desire, pressing his arm tightly against my naked back to hold me close to him.  I could feel the coolness of his skin through his clothes and taste the clean succulence of his mouth.  His hair smelled like a glacial mountaintop and that alone should have given me some clue as to what he’d been up to, but it wasn’t until he cupped my cheek with his hand that it occurred to me how uncharacteristically cold everything about him was.

I jerked back with a gasp.

“What’s the matter?” he asked, looking somewhat alarmed.  He knew that most of the time I was hard-pressed to pull away from him when he was kissing me.

I licked my lips.  They were actually tingling.  I gestured at him.  “Your hand is like ice!” I exclaimed.  “Why are you so cold?  It’s got to be close to ninety degrees in here.”

He grinned.  “Oh, that reminds me.”  He raised his other hand, held closed in a fist over my head.  “I have something for you.”

I looked straight up.  I couldn’t imagine what he might be talking about and admittedly, the fact he clutched whatever it was so tightly in his hand, and was holding it above me, had me wondering.

Slowly he opened his fist and turned his open palm down.  Then, there against the moonlight, I saw numerous small, glittering flakes of white drift from his hand, languidly descending down to my upturned face and lighting softly on my skin.

I was delighted.  “Snow!”  I smiled ear to ear.  “You brought me snow?”

He laughed and it sounded like wind chimes in an evening breeze.  “I knew you’d like it,” he whispered.

I reached up and tried to catch a falling flake.  “How?  Where did you get it?”

“From a cloud,” Pershabael replied in a matter-of-fact tone.  “I scooped it right out of the sky just for you.”  He placed his hands under his arms.  “Sorry my hands were so cold.”

I smiled and peered up at him.  “It’s all right.  It kind of felt good.”  I looked up again, but the snowflakes had long since melted away and disappeared.  I sighed.  “Well, it was nice while it lasted.  That was real sweet of you.”

Pershabael inclined his head.  “I’m glad you enjoyed it, Mya.  But actually, I came here tonight to do you one better.  Get dressed.”

I was excited now.  “You are the answer to my prayers aren’t you?”  I turned from him for a few moments to retrieve a tee-shirt and a pair of shorts from my dresser drawers.

“I like to think so,” he said with a smile.  He shook his head and pointed at the shorts I was pulling on.  “Um, you may want something a little …warmer.”

My jaw fell open with surprise.  Wondering what was going on, I stared back at him.  He wasn’t forthcoming with any more details, but I trusted him.  If he said I needed to dress more warmly, I was.  Tossing my shorts aside, I scurried over to my closet and dug through the jeans in the back.

“Where are we going?”

“You’ll see.”

I turned to look at him.  “Are we flying there?”  My heart was already racing with the thought.

He seemed to think a moment about whether or not he was going to tell me, but then apparently decided it wasn’t going to detract any from the surprise if he did tell me.  He nodded.

“How else am I going to get you there?”

I bounded back over to him, all but throwing myself into his arms.  As he caught me, I wrapped my arms and legs around his body and kissed him hard.

“Oh Percy!  Really?  Where we going?”

He folded his arms around me and gave me a long, lingering kiss in return.  He seemed as if he didn’t want to pull away from me, and then when he did, he emitted a soft little moan.

“You keep kissing me like that and we’re not even going to make it out of your bedroom,” he pointed out, sounding a bit out of breath.

I made myself let go of him and slid down his body to the floor.  “I’ll stop,” I told him.  I had to clasp my hands behind my back, however, to keep from touching him further.  As it was, a part of me would have rather just pulled him down on the bed on top of me and made love the rest of the night, despite the miserable heat.  I was already hot and didn’t think I’d mind making myself a little hotter if he was helping me.

Pershabael flashed a smile as if he knew what I had been thinking.  I’m sure he did.

“Finish getting dressed and then meet me outside, ’round back by the cemetery gates,” he said and then turned to leave the room.

I quickly pulled on my jeans and spied a sweater folded on my closet shelf and went to grab it.

“Hey, am I going to need a sweater?” I asked and peeked out of the closet, but he had already gone.  I was good and truly melting from the layers I already had on, but I went ahead and wiggled into it, just in case.  I tugged on a pair of socks, my old Reeboks, and then hurriedly wound a knitted scarf I’d found next to the sweater pile around my neck.  Ready as ever, I all but sprinted from the room.




Pershabael’s wings were stretched out on either side of him, fanning back and forth and up and down like he was warming them up for the long flight ahead.  Although I had flown with him on occasion, he’d never taken me outside my acreage and never very high up.  Tonight seemed to be the night for not only altitude but distance, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  He turned to face me as I jogged up to him, beckoning me closer with his hand.

“I’m gonna carry you, but you still need to hold tight to me,” he instructed, gathering me up in his arms.  He lifted me off the ground and situated me over his left hip, wrapping his arm around my butt, much like a mother would hold a child.  I dutifully clasped my arms around his neck and circled his hips with my legs.

“This good?” I inquired.

He nodded.  “Don’t worry.  I’m not about to drop you.  I just like feeling you holding me tight.”  He lowered his face and deposited a quick kiss on my lips.

I sighed and smiled.  “I’m ready when you are.”  I knew he could probably feel how hard my heart was beating.  I couldn’t help but be a little tiny bit frightened along with excited.  I wasn’t afraid of heights, but I knew this wasn’t going to be like anything I’d ever experienced before.

Pershabael smiled back at me and nodded.  He took a deep breath and beat his wings faster and harder.  The sound almost reminded me of claps of thunder.  “Okay, then.  Here we go.”

I kept my eyes fixed on his face until I realized we were airborne.  I looked down and couldn’t believe how high up we already were.  The ground was rushing past us, becoming an indistinguishable blur in seconds, and my modest house had quickly gotten smaller and smaller until it was barely recognizable.  To me, it seemed as if we were going faster than a descending roller coaster and as high up as a 747.  In a reactive response, I tightened my grip on him and for a few minutes, buried my face against his shoulder.  I felt, more than heard, him laugh.

“Where are you taking me?” I managed to gasp out.  I peered down once more, but couldn’t make anything out.  I dared to look around me and realized we were surrounded in a cool, damp mist of sorts.  Above, the stars looked very bright and closer than ever. 

“To the snow,” the angel said.

His wings swept powerfully downward, sending a draft of air over me that was so cold I actually shivered, and that made me smile.  This was better than a little night breeze.  It was better than a thunderstorm and it was even better than air conditioning.  I could feel the muscles in his body flex and stretch beneath his satin-like skin.  I could smell the scent of rain on his breath and in his hair and hear the wind gusting past us, flapping my clothes and whistling through the pinions of his feathers.

Now that I was cooler, I felt stirred by the way my angel‘s sexy body was moving against mine.  Keeping one arm wound around Pershabael’s neck, I reached over and turned his head with my hand, clasping his jaw in my palm.  I covered his mouth in a devouring kiss and groaned with an abject savor as he just as hungrily kissed me back.

Vaguely I was aware of him turning and rotating us until he was all but lying on his back, facing the stars with me on top of him.  I took the opportunity he’d given me to rub rather suggestively against him and entwine my legs with his.  I kissed him again, opening his mouth with the pressure of mine.


He moaned into my mouth, grinding his hips against me, letting me know we were both on the same page at that moment.  His wings continued their rhythmic beating, but after a few seconds it seemed as if we slowed some and were simply gliding.

I wasn’t afraid in the least anymore, too awed by the experience now to even consider how high up we were or how fast we were moving.  At this altitude, the air was colder and damper and I realized now I was clinging to him more for warmth than for security.  I could feel the snow lighting on my face and forearms as it swirled around us inside the cloud and pulled just far enough from Pershabael’s tantalizing mouth to see it.

I watched the pristine flakes land on his honey-colored skin and collect on his eyelashes and in the tousled waves of his long hair.  Smiling ear to ear, I touched his cheeks and trailed my fingertips over his brow, brushing aside his bangs.

“It’s snowing,” I whispered, earning me one of his crooked grins.  I touched his cool lips with mine this time and sighed in sensual appreciation.  “I’ve never seen you in snow before.  You’re beautiful in the snow.”

His big blue eyes widened at that and his grin eased into an openly affectionate smile.  “Of all the things you could be thinking right now,” he said, almost as if admonishing me.  Then: “Feel better?”

I nodded.  “This was better than anything I could have imagined.”  I nuzzled his chin.  “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” he breathed in reply.  He shifted me over him again and rotated around once more, placing me beneath him.  His arm tightened around me and he took us up just above the cloud we had been in and into a myriad of stars so bright even the first quarter moon couldn’t diminish their light.

We were traveling fast now, heading away from the snow-filled clouds, climbing even higher, gliding past the vast face of the moon in mere seconds.  I knew he was giving me one last breathtaking view before taking me back home so I made a point of looking around us, but it wasn’t long before my gaze just sort of fell upon his gloriously handsome face and contentedly remained there.  As it was, he smiled at me again and that was just as breathtaking to me.

Our descent was much slower than our going up had been and I loved the wide, winding spirals we made, riding the air currents down, gliding silently with only the occasional beat of his wings to keep us aloft.  I settled my body against his, completely relaxed and at ease, savoring his strong embrace.

When his feet touched the ground just outside the cemetery gates, it seemed impossible that we were already back in South Carolina, but the air here was still thick and stagnant with humidity and hit me like a slap in the face.  I could hear the hum of my AC unit and see the dim light from the hallway outside my bedroom through the kitchen window, so at least I knew the power was back and the house would be comfortable inside.

I faced Pershabael and forced myself to let go of him.  He helped ease me to the ground and steady me until I felt all right standing on my own two feet again.  I took both his hands in mine and squeezed them.

“Thank you.  That was great,” I told him sincerely.  “You knew all along what I wanted and then some.  Don’t you ever doubt that you’re the answer to my prayers, Percy.  With you, I just can’t ask for anything more.  I love you.”

“I love you, Mya," he replied.  “It was a simple request, really.  I was happy to oblige."  He drew me against him and peered down at me, his eyes clearly drinking me in.  “But you mean all I had to do was show up tonight and that would have been enough for you?”

I grinned.  “Uh-huh.”

He pursed his full lips in a kind of endearing pout.  “Better than snow?”

I nodded.  “Better.”  I stretched up and brushed my lips across his teasingly, and then stepped back, tugging on his hands, encouraging him to follow me.

He did readily enough and even managed to capture my mouth for a moment in a rather suggestive kiss before I eased away, skipping further from him.

With a light laugh, Pershabael started after me.  “Wow, you’re easy to please,” he taunted, lengthening his stride to catch up to me.

I had reached the back door and put my hand on the knob.  I raised my brow and turned around to face him.  “You think?”  I narrowed my eyes at him with blatant skepticism.  “We’ll just have to see about that.”

Pershabael seized hold of me, folding me in his arms and covered my mouth with his.  More than a few moments passed before we parted.  Then we stood staring into each other’s eyes with open longing.

“Let’s go see,” he whispered, bumping me up against the door and provocatively pressing his body alongside mine.

Truthfully, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind.  My angel would have been proud.