“The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”

The book was slapped shut with one hand as the man in the chair leaned back.

His legs were crossed, and with right ankle on left knee, he bounced the right knee slightly.

Both steady eyes of his followed the woman coming through the front door as she struggled with a backpack, grocery bags, and her keys. He spoke when she entered, though she didn’t so much as look at him as she stumbled through the living room where he sat and onward, straight into the kitchen. Bags were heaved onto the counter and left to slump in all directions.

Bread and cans rolled out to and fro, with peeks of boxes given as the plastic began to sag and release it’s captives. The woman only sighed, tossing her backpack down onto the ground and rushing back outside.

The man in her living room waited, setting the book in hand on the small side table and weaving both hands together in his lap. When she returned it was with three final bags. She stopped at the door, long enough to kick it shut behind her, then proceeded to the kitchen yet again.

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

His tempo stayed level and calm, patient and warm, but directly after he finished there came a snap of nerves and the woman shouted, “Will you shut up and help with the groceries?”

He rose, sighing heavily to himself. His suit, a white and light grey number with a light blue tie, was brushed off slightly before he made a slow approach. At the counter the woman was struggling, swatting stray strands of light brown hair back behind her ears while wrestling with a particularly rebellious bag of potatoes.

“I dislike potatoes.” The man commented idly while coming to the woman’s side. It was an attempt at conversation, but one she wasn’t very interested in. She ignored him at first, struggling with the bag before dropping it, giving up on the endeavor of lifting it high enough to reach the counter from the floor.

As the man reached down, plucking the sack up with one hand effortlessly, the woman gave a tired huff. “Good for you. But seeing as how you don’t eat, I generally don’t take your opinion on foods to mind while shopping.” She wrangled her hair back, undoing her sloppy ponytail and redoing it as her company set the potatoes on the counter in what little free space was left. Afterwards he moved around the small island counter to the side opposite the woman.

There wasn’t much more conversation as milk was put away and cans were stacked in cabinets. Boxes were organized in the pantry half-heartedly, and fresh produce was tossed in bowls on the counter lining the wall of the kitchen.

When all was said and done the woman moved back to the small counter in the center of the room and draped herself over the polished top with a loud, dramatic groan.

At the other side the man stood, long blonde hair messed in all directions and left to curl in disorganized waves that began to obscure his face as he leaned over her. He stared, but she didn’t meet his gaze.

After a long moment, he cleared his throat.

“Yes, I know you’re there.” She remarked bitterly, hesitating before dragging her body back up to standing straight. “I haven’t suddenly stopped seeing you, unfortunately.”

When she moved to the living room the man followed, and as she collapsed into one chair he moved to occupy the one adjacent to it. Just as he sat the woman snatched a remote from the table in between the chairs and turned on the television across from them. As the sound of the news began to fill the otherwise silent house, the man snapped his fingers. The television clicked off immediately.

“We need to talk, Kaitlynn.” He sighed.

The woman took a deep inhale and lulled her head back, cracking her neck before slumping down deep into the chair. With head low and knees bent, she was inches from slipping out of it completely. With arms crossed and eyes staring stubbornly straight ahead to the tv and drape-covered windows, she pouted.

“I really don’t like how you guys just take it upon yourselves to drop in and mess with my electronics and tell me what to do.” Kaitlynn remarked sourly.

Aside from her the man set his elbow on the arm rest and leaned over, watching her closely.

“You’re being a petulant child, Kaitlynn.” He chastised.

Her face scrunched as she repeated the man’s words in a mocking tone.

“Get the stick out, Asmodel.” She grunted, still refusing to look at him.

Patiently, he smiled. Such was his job.

He wished, at times, that Kaitlynn Davis was the only stubborn child he had to council. But she was not, and like all the many others she acted in a way that inferred she thought otherwise.

“I come bearing.. bad news.” He said carefully. She didn’t stir from her position, so he waited. When she still did not move, he sighed somewhat tiredly and continued.

“There’s a storm on the way, and-”

Kaitlynn sat up, slammed the remote down on the table between them loudly, and glared at the man suddenly inches away as she leaned between the chairs to meet him.

“I didn’t realize Heaven liked to send me weather reports.” She snapped, eyes narrowed and jaw set. “Say whatever it is you need to in English.” She ordered.

Asmodel paused. He would have been surprised, if such a demanding, presumptuous nature wasn’t common with his recent work. As the case was, he gave things a moment to cool before leaning back into his own seat and nodding.

“War is on the way.” He announced flatly.

The silent air of the room tightened around them, and as they held a firm gaze on one another Kaitlynn seemed to tense. A certain seriousness invaded the conversation, overriding the previous annoyance and dismissal.

“Why are you telling me this?” She asked, voice as suspicious as her face was becoming.

“Because you are being called to fight.”

The minute that passed was long, dead silent but for Kaitlynn’s breaths.

She blinked, and looked away just once before her eyes found the man’s face again and stayed. She wanted to find a hint of a lie there, but his steadfast watching provided only truth.

“Okay.” She finally whispered, struggling for air against the sudden weight of the news.

“What do I need to do?”

This time it was Asmodel who took time to answer, wholly surprised by the willingness of her reply. Collecting himself, it was with eagerness he offered her a reassuring smile.

“Well, first I’d say you’d best go pack. You won’t be back here for.. a while.”

She nodded, standing numbly before glancing to her kitchen.

“Way to go on telling me this before I went to the store.” She commented, then turned away and proceeded towards the front door, where the small hall opened wider to allow the staircase up to her room. As her feet pounded up it slowly Asmodel waited downstairs.

Upon noise of the bangs and shuffles of rueful shell-shocked packing he stepped away from Kaitlynn’s home in the quiet Nevada town. He had others to speak to, and packing so as not to return for some time generally took humans quite a while.

However that small grace proved to be one of the biggest mistakes in history, as when the angel returned Kaitlynn was gone and not a soul in Heaven knew to where.