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Deleted Scene – Mercy for the Damned

As promised, another deleted scene for Mercy for the Damned. I could have sworn, I posted this over a week ago, but apparently I never hit the button! This one takes place at the end of Chapter Five. I do love my dream sequences, but there just wasn’t room for it in the final draft.

Strong arms reached around my waist from behind, and I threw my dishrag down in disgust, expecting to see Parker’s cheesy grin over my shoulder. “I thought I told you not to get gropey with me at work unless I give you my permission?”

Instead, another deep voice stirred the hair by my ear. “Is there someone other that me you’d be giving permission to?”

“Adam!” I whirled to see him with my own eyes, throwing my arms around him in an enthusiastic hug. “Oh my God, what are you doing here? When did you get out?” I demanded, half laughing, half crying.

“Cool it, your co-workers are gonna think I just got out of prison,” he chuckled, pulling back to brush the hair away from my cheek.

“Well… you did, didn’t you?” My eyes drank him in, feasting after being starved from his presence for so long. He looked good enough to eat, dressed in his usual black jeans and a black button up shirt. His hair seemed a little longer, and my fingers itched to grab a pair of scissors and attempt to tame it.

“Sadly no, I’m still there,” he pouted, but he didn’t look all that disturbed by the notion.

“What? Then… how are you here?”

“Beats the hell out of me, it’s your dream,” he shrugged as if it was unimportant.
A dream. All at once it dawned upon me; I must be in the Ether, the space between being awake and dreaming. “I thought you couldn’t get to the Ether from Midian?” Otherwise I’d have spent all my time in bed.

“I’m not, it’s just a good old fashioned dream. So let’s enjoy it before the Gestapo notices us.”

“Huh? I looked up and sure enough, there were demons dressed in World War II Nazi uniforms lined up at the bar, enjoying a beer and ignoring us. The rest of the club underwent a shift, somehow merging the old with the new. Civilians and military alike slow danced to an old fashioned big band sound, among the colorful, modern play of lights on the dance floor. Turning around, I saw Adam dressed in the olive drab of an old army uniform, his chest decorated with ribbons. It occurred to me; he could have very well served in the army during the war, or any number of wars over the past hundreds of years.

“Come on, baby, let’s dance like there’s no tomorrow.” Grabbing my hand, he tugged me out there, and I tottered on heels I hadn’t been wearing moments before, my dress longer and tighter than my usual work uniform.

“Wait, Adam…” I let him lead me out onto the dance floor and he immediately gathered me into his arms, pressing his smooth cheek to mine. Not that it didn’t feel wonderful being close to him again, but I couldn’t help but feel the need to get away. It was only a matter of time before the Nazis noticed him. “We should go; they’ll be after you to bring you back,” I darted a look back towards the bar, but Parker stepped in to block my view. Dressed in a shiny, pin striped suit, he looked every inch the mobster club owner.

“May I cut in?” he asked with a suave smile, but I cut him off before Adam could reply.

“No, you can’t.”

“But I thought we were an item, dollface.”

Crap. This was all I needed.

“Something you need to tell me?” Adam raised a dark brow, his arm tightening around my waist.

“No, there really isn’t. Go away Parker,” I scowled, laying my head back down on Adam’s shoulder.

“He won’t be able to save you,” Parker called out, giving up the chase, he strolled back to the bar.

“Look, about Parker…” I started to explain, deciding to come clean, but Adam pressed his forehead to mine.

“He’s right, you know. I won’t be there.”

“Don’t say that. I’m going to save you this time. I promise. And then, we can worry about who’s saving who the next time.”

“You’re going to save me?” he smirked.

“That sounds funny to you?” My chin came up a little, daring him to make fun of me after everything I’d been putting myself through to break him free since he’d made the stupid deal with Raum in the first place.

“No, I think you’re cute when you get all determined, that’s all. But I don’t need saving,” he let go of me, backing away and I chased after him as the dancing crowd threatened to swallow him up.

“Adam, wait…” I caught the flash of his blue eyes right before he disappeared through a door marked “employees only”. Only, instead of leading up to the sound booth, the stairs went up and up. “Adam?” My heels clicked on the stairs, and I could hear him up ahead of me, though he didn’t answer my call. “Adam! Don’t you dare leave me again!” I called out, nearly losing my balance when the door at the top of the stairs opened to a small balcony, overlooking a field, scarred by battle.
Adam stood on top of the railing; perfectly balanced on the wrought iron barrier.
“Adam? Please come down from there. Let me keep you safe.”

“Keep me safe,” he scoffed, eyes on the horizon. “You’ll never be safe as long as you love me.”

“I don’t care,” I pleaded with him, “please come down, Adam.” Too afraid to touch him, for fear that he might fall, I held tightly to the railing.

Adam turned; his face a mask of sorrow. “I do.” He fell backwards, off the ledge and I plunged after him without thinking. The terrace was impossibly high, and my stomach dropped with the sensation of free-fall. There was a split second, where I felt a moment of peace… I would fall and I would welcome the nothing of the end. No more worry, no more pain, no more anger or fear… just nothing.

And then my sense of self preservation kicked in and I screamed like a banshee, unwilling to go down without a fight. Snowy white wings unfurled, catching the wind, and I soared up into the sky, the battlefield incredibly small below. I don’t know how, but I still saw the faces of the demons below, their faces alight with hunger as they caught sight of me.

“Adam?” I looked to the skies for some sign of him, but there was nothing.

“Over here!” I heard the call long before I spotted them waving, Matty, Parker and Sam, each dressed up like old fashioned army rangers. They beckoned to me from the mouth of a cave set into the mountain, and I somehow guided myself there, though I had no idea how I managed it. Just before I reached the safety of the cave, a flood of warmth went through my shoulder. There was no pain, but as I looked down, I could see the stain of blood spreading across my wing.

“You got my wings all shot up,” Sam frowned, examining them critically as he pulled me into the cave, guiding me to a metal hospital bed where Daphne waited, dressed in a white nurse’s uniform, complete with a white, starched cap, her hair rolled in a forties style.

“I’m sorry… Where’s Adam?” I tried to look around the cave but they blocked my view as they surrounded the bed.

“That’s the last time I’ll lend them to you,” Sam pouted.

“It’s okay, I’ll get them bandaged up good as new,” Daphne smiled brightly, breaking out the rolls of gauze.

“Where’s Adam?” I repeated. “Didn’t he make it?”

“Oh honey, Adam’s gone. Didn’t you know? He left,” Daphne explained, winding the white gauze around and around my shoulder.

“He left?” I blinked.

“Of course. What did you expect?”

“But he was free…”

Parker leaned close, his face a mask of pity. “You didn’t think he’d stay with you, did you?”

* * *
That’s what I get for watching superhero movies set in the 40’s before I go to bed… As I lay there, puzzling my way through the disturbing dream, I couldn’t help but wonder; even if we managed to set Adam free, would he leave me anyway? So far we’d spent way more time apart than together and it almost seemed like he looked for reasons for us to be apart. Would we ever be able to have some semblance of a normal life together?

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