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WIND WHISTLED BY HER AS she stoop atop a hill overlooking the countryside. Her gentle breathing only soothed her a bit. Thick clouds of smoke from the machines and factories in Birmingham threatened her airways. The grass felt cold beneath her bare feet, kicked off at the bottom of the hill, forgotten so she could relish in this moment. But it is so cold. The chill of the cold morning air sent shivers down her spine, needles of pain picking away at her flesh. Despite this, she kept her head pointed upward, taking in every second. Her eyes remained closed, focusing on everything that made her present. The pain, the fabric of her coat crowded around her feet, the tickle of her hair at the back of her neck.

It was divine. Nothing else mattered.

She felt herself coming back at the sound of a car door slamming shut. Her eyes fluttered open, adjusting to the rare rays of sunlight that fought through the overcast sky. Slowly they shifted to the bottom of the hill where he stood.

He held his breath, there was no desire within him to interrupt her. He couldn't break the silence, his words caught at the back of his throat. His company, however, had different plans. Beside him was a beautiful brown beast, recognizing the woman and neighing to capture her attention.

Her eyes widened, a flash of excitement shining forward. It was far too long since she last seen the horse.

A small smile etched onto her lips while she walked downhill to meet with the beauty who had become restless. Thomas stood, watching the reunion with a fascination.

The connection between Angelina and the animal was strong, overpowering. He felt the radiating waves of friendship and love. She stood before the horse, her hands reaching up to touch the dark coat, affectionately petting the horse.

"Pharaoh," She whispered, pressing her forehead to the beast's muzzle, small whispers in another language following that he couldn't understand nor could he recognize. He strained to listen to what she was saying, smooth from her lips, foreign and alluring.

Her eyes drifted to look at the man who had brought him to her. A small glimmer of gratitude was in her eyes while she mouthed a small 'thank you' to him. The first time she actually looked at him since they stopped talking and he wasn't as prepared as he thought. His breath hitched, his eyes shifting to his watch. He didn't want to look away from her but he had to.

Despite all the worldly things that plagued her, she was angelic. Her being was one that could only be heard of in children's tales. He was the scum of the Earth, nowhere near her level and that made him hate her. He hated how she made him feel without having to try. He didn't want to acknowledge it but he knew that whatever those feelings were, they were about to make him do something that he would never think of doing.

He released a deep breath, his hands reaching into his pockets, his head tilted back. "Angelina," His low voice called for her.

She glanced at him, waiting for him to continue. She had been so distracted by the beauty before her that she hadn't been aware of Thomas battling with himself. Her eyes focused on his face, he seemed tired and she didn't want to hear a word he had to say but she wasn't irrational. She would listen to him because he was the messenger of good news, something she hadn't had in a while.

"I'm sorry."

She swallowed, her head tilting to the side. She was surprised to say the least. He didn't seem like the kind of person who apologized. He was a shark as her father would call him. Someone who will swoop in and take, take, take until there was nothing left but bones.

Her lips pressed together in a thin line, assessing the sincerity in his body language. She didn't want to forgive him. She was one to hold grudges and keep them forever but a small part of her wanted to forgive him. To give him the benefit of the doubt and move on. It was exhausting living with all of the grudges she had against the dead and Thomas. From what she experienced, life was too short to be so angry and hateful.

𝐀𝐍𝐆𝐄𝐋,   𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐛𝐲.Where stories live. Discover now