Gabriel's Hope (Chapter Six, page 1 of 9)

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Gabriel stayed on the beach until the sun began to set. Sensitive to the light after years in the underworld, his head felt like it was going to explode. Falling thirty stories onto the hard sand of the Sanctuary did nothing to help. In hindsight, he didn't know why he thought the rocky beach provided a more yielding place to land than concrete. If he ever leapt off another building, he'd choose pavement, which might have some give to it.

His back was shredded from landing on his weapons as well as the stones on the beach. He'd managed to peel off his sweater and rinsed the blood off his body in the surf. Now, he waited to heal and to calm down. He could think of nothing more appealing than kicking his mate's ass, as much for leaping off the building as for making him feel what he did when he saw her jump.

Terror. He'd lost her once. He never wanted to lose her again. He'd ignored the demons swarming her apartment building and followed her over the side of the building. He thought of nothing else but saving her. Of all the reasons he resented her, this was the one that stung him the most. He couldn't forget the energy of the bond that tore through when he held her on the roof. It was unlike what he'd known with his predecessor; this was natural, deep, soothing. Compelling. He understood why Rhyn never let Katie out of arm's reach when they were in the same room.

Deidre was his. Judging by the strength of their bond, she'd be more than a duty to him.

He wanted to hate her and to tell Fate to fuck off. Watching the sun sink into the ocean, he knew it was only a matter of time before he gave in and accepted it, like Rhyn eventually did Katie.

"Rhyn said you'd be here."

Gabe glanced at the Immortal. Tamer dropped onto his knees and held out two compasses: the original and a second without the wear of time around its edges.

"I duplicated it," Tamer said. "The original was put together with magic, and I managed to do the same with the new one. There might be some sort of …"

Gabe grabbed the new one, and the face flared to life. The hands spun several times while the icons around its edges glowed, danced and finally settled back in place. The brightness faded.

"…or that," Tamber said. He plucked it out of Gabe's hands and held it up.

Gabe sensed some sort of Immortal power.

"You need to test it, but it reads like the original," Tamer said.

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