Katie's Hope (Chapter Eight, page 1 of 7)

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Rhyn's power rippled through him, the shockwave knocking down Gabriel before he could deliver the death blow. Darkyn fell as well, and the walls around the Sanctuary tumbled in the distance. He sat up, bloodied and lightheaded, unable to quell the power roiling through him. He spit blood and pushed himself to his feet. Gabriel and Darkyn rose, their attention going west toward the ocean. He didn't remember his power being so strong. He couldn't catch his balance and steadied himself against a rock.

"Ready when you are," he called to his opponents.

Darkyn growled from deep within his chest before returning to his human form. Gabriel sheathed his weapon. Confused, Rhyn joined them and followed their gazes. He saw nothing but a distant beach and the ocean. He glanced to the rocks where Katie had been, only to find she was gone. He looked back at the beach without seeing her.

His heart felt as if it stopped. His powers were back in full force, without her to steady his control. She'd broken their bond. He didn't have to ask how.

"Gabriel," he said.

Gabriel turned to him. He reached into his pocket and withdrew a small black pouch, pouring its contents-- two green gems holding the dust of human souls-- into his palm. He dropped them onto the ground and crushed them with his heel. His job was done.

"Gabriel!" Rhyn's voice turned raw with emotion.

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