• I stared at the clock on the kitchen wall. Waiting. Waiting had been my life for as long as I could remember, and now, it had become worse, because now I was waiting to know the fate of my oldest brother, Brodi. He was gone, and even though my mother tried her hardest to never let me know where, I knew. I knew, and I wish I didn’t. He was like all the rest, the ones that would never come back. I didn’t know exactly what was happening to them, but I did know it was my mother’s job to stop them. My mother’s and her sisters’ job.
    The clock ticked past midnight. I knew I should try to get sleep, however futile, but I stayed where I was, arms wrapped tightly around my legs, sitting at our kitchen table, loaded pistol in the center.
    1 o’ clock. Nothing. I had lost complete track of time. I was aware, yet not of myself, I was looking through my mother’s eyes, as she glided through a familiar forest quietly and gracefully. I had been taught to use my ‘gift’ only in emergencies, but to me, this qualified. I could not find her thoughts though, and I knew this meant she was slipping as well. She wasn’t in control anymore. Her instincts searched out my brother. My mother was a gifted tracker.
    “Jayde!” The room blurred as I grabbed the pistol and whirled toward the door. I remembered the training I had done, and kneeled, my finger automatically removing the safety.
    I felt foolish and inexperienced immediately as I realized it was my sister calling my name, and she was not surprised, but her hands were raised. “Jayde, not again. What did I tell you about this?”
    I pointed the gun towards the floor, putting the safety back on quickly. I looked up at my sister, “I’m sorry, I’m just anxious. And I was watching. Mom, I mean. I can’t see anything though.” Once my heartbeat calmed, and I settled into a calm, I realized something, “Aren’t you supposed to be out hunting with her? I thought I saw you leave.”
    She took the gun from my unwilling hands, checked the magazine and safety and then answered, “I did leave with her, but we split up, thought we would have a better chance of finding Brodi. I went into town, but I wanted to come get you.”
    “What do you mean? Mother says I still need to master my skills. We’d both be dead is she found out you took me out.”
    “Well, Jayde, we talked about it, and I told mother I thought you were ready to hunt. She agreed. But, mom is kind of in a tough place, so I suggested maybe me taking you.”
    “But…Page. i…I mean…it would be amazing to go with you, but…are you sure it’s okay?”
    “Positive. Now, are you gonna sit here and stare at a clock, or are you gonna come with me and hunt some Black Angels?”
    I took me a second, but I immediately knew what she meant. We each had our own belts which held the necessary tools for hunting what we just called Black Angels. Black Angels, demons, every family has their own word. In our family, the females are gifted, but we all hunt. We all did something to protect the humans. My brothers are classified as “Brute hunters”, mostly because they usually rely on their strength and technique. While me, my sisters, and my mother rely on our gifts.
    I ran downstairs after throwing myself under my bed and grabbing my belt. I slipped it on and we went out the door. I immediately ran to the truck, but Page tapped my shoulder and shook her head when I looked, “Tonight, we run little sister.” She gave me a smile and a wink. Before I could say anything, she grabbed my hand in hers and said, “I don’t mean to treat you like a little kid, but you are still young,” She held up our hands “Just until you’re confident you can keep up. I don’t want to lose another sibling tonight.”
    “So far, what do we know about what happened to Brodi?” I sort of ignored her comment bout out brother, not wanting to face the facts.
    “Not much, just that he disappeared when he took off by himself when he tracked an angel to a warehouse outside Seattle. Of course, me and mom searched there for anything first. There was nothing but the scent. It’s a female, and she's rather young. Other than that, we’ve drawn a blank so far.”
    “Hold up, Seattle? What the hell was Brodi doing in Seattle?”
    “That’s what we don’t know. I know Brodi, and I know he’s now stupid enough to do that without a reason. I don’t know, but we can figure it out, but we have to get going. You ready for this?”
    I took a deep breath, clearing my head and relaxing my muscles, “Yeah, Let’s go.” And we ran. Running for us is different, it’s not like Superman, where his legs move super fast, it’s almost like flying, but it still uses a lot of energy. I’m not sure exactly what allows us to do this, but once you get a rhythm going, it’s fun. But Page has much longer legs than mine, and has been running longer. I’m only your average fifteen year old. In height anyways, and Page, she could easily be a model, long legs, perfect figure-a stunning eighteen.
    I was doing okay, sometimes losing my head and being dragged a few strides, but I would get back up to speed quickly, Page was going easy on me, and I wasn’t about to get her get away with it. It was true she had longer leg and more experience, but I had more strength in every bound. I used this advantage and was soon running a little ahead of my older sister. I let out a short kind of giggle, and only a few feet afterwards she hit the brakes, stopping dead, and her expression changing to that of a warrior in a hunt. She nearly pulled my arm off with the abruptness of her halt. I caught her eye as her nostrils flared and her head whipped around to the east. She let my hand go and took off. I ran after her.

    I trailed her, letting her lead, having no idea where we might be headed. I wasn’t completely sure where we were, but I figured somewhere near Portland. We were running for quite a while before we changed directions, and I did the mental math in my head. I was watching Page for any signs that we might be stopping soon. We ran, and I wasn’t sure how much more I could take, and then she stopped. This time, though, she slowed down before.
    When she stopped, she turned to look at me, “Are you okay? You’re breathing is getting a little hard, we can stop to ret here. Sorry about nearly pulling your arm off, I thought you would be the one to catch the scent. But when I realized it was the wrong trail, I didn’t want to waste any time finding a different one.”
    “I’m sorry, I’m just a little preoccupied, but I caught Brodi’s scent, but it wasn’t heading in the right direction. I was going to say something, but you seemed to be onto something. I would’ve tried to get the trail you were following myself, but I didn’t want to lose you.”
    “I’m sorry, I forget to let you know things. Drink some water, you look a little drained.”
    I did as she told me to as she explained more strategy to me, and asked me to try to see our mother again.
    I sat down against a tree and let my head rest on my knees. I focused and tried to breathe deeply, which was quite a feat after running for several hours. I must have been still for some time, enough for Page to become concerned, because she shook my shoulder. My eyes snapped open and I shot a glare at her, she understood. I stood up and shook myself off, and then took my place back next to the tree. She took a seat near another tree and leaned her head back. I focused again, this time getting something faster.
    I was seeing through my mother’s eyes, but only flickers, which was unusual. The pictures were blurry, like there was a cloud covering them, preventing me from seeing everything. I strained harder to see, trying to push the veil from them. I could see a little better, and for the first time, my mother was not walking confidently, she seemed empty. I could only see darkness for a second, and then a bright light, which must have stunned her, because it did me. A Dark Angel. And she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. And she was with my mother. I jolted myself up from the ground with a gasp.
    Page got up quickly from her place by the tree and came to me. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t breathe. What would happen?
    “Jayde! What did you see? I need to know. What did mom find? What’s happening Jayde?!”
    My throat was dry and I could barely manage to spit the words out, “Mother. She’s with…”