Previously on Tinder Fate…
Luke stayed with his wife and daughter grateful they were safe. But there was still the matter of Azzy’s father. Whenever he closed his eyes he could see the demon’s face. “Vega?”
“That’s my name,” said the long-haired man with the surfer voice and the ice blue eyes.
Luke blinked. He had been resting his head on his sleeping wife’s chest, to hear her heart. But now he clearly heard a voice coming from inside the room. “Hello?”
There was a mirror in the room and looking at him was the tall blonde man with a ghostly, vacant stare. “Are you scared?”
Luke actually was not. This wasn’t his fight; Vega was here for Azzy and possibly Azzy’s little boy. “Your daughter has your eyes.”
This caused Vega to smile. “Can I come in?”
“Are you a vampire?”
That caused Vega to double over in laughter. “No, I don’t require permission to cross into this realm, but it would be nice to know if I had an ally- a fellow father.”
I looked to little Shannon asleep in a nearby bed. I loved my daughter, but then again she wasn’t my biological daughter- she had a father who was pure evil; a man whose death may have accidentally caused Vega’s resurrection.
“How about a friend of a friend?” asked a different voice.
I looked around to find a lizard crawling at my feet. It was transparent, like a shadow, until it stepped into Vega’s line of sight. The magical ‘light’ from the mirror caused the details of the lizard to appear; it was a pink axolotl with rainbow gills and strange neon green wings.
“W-T-F?” Vega was laughing so loud I was surprised that both my wife and daughter remained asleep. “Do I know you?”
“Free me from this form and you will,” the axolotl’s voice was adorable, like something from the show, ‘SpongeBob SquarePants.’
“Who gave you this form?” Vega asked.
“The ruler of heaven, he claimed it was so I could live as a guardian to Azzy’s son, Lucas.”
Vega stopped laughing at stood straight. “You mean your son.” A blast of light engulfed the lizard. When the light faded a familiar dark-haired man knelt before Vega. “Remy Desilva, it’s been ages.” Vega looked at me to explain. “I knew this a–hole when he and Azzy were just kids, they would pickpocket tourists on the beaches of Hawaii while his old man and I partied with hookers.”
“I know who he is,” Luke said with a sense of anger. “Azzy said you were her childhood best friend who also happens to be the father of her kid! And now here you are trying to make a deal with Azzy’s father? What the hell are you? Why should any of us trust you?”
“Because Azzy can’t be trusted. The grief over his husband’s death has driven her to madness.”
“But doesn’t her husband live here- in this hospital as an angel?” Luke glanced around for any evidence of that fact. This was Azzy’s hospital, she was somewhere in the building while they were practically planning her assassination.
“Her husband also cannot be trusted. His powers are limited.”
Vega was smiling a big, evil grin. He moved his hands to widen the portal and easily stepped through, into the room. “Remy, to prove where your loyalties lie, I will need you to bring me my grandson.”
“No!” Luke felt a sharp pain in his chest. He had made the wrong decision. “This isn’t right. If either of you truly cared about Azzy you wouldn’t be trying to take the only family she has left.”
“And what would you suggest we do?” Vega asked with a chuckle.
“Talk to her like a father, prove to her why you deserve to have a relationship with your grandson.”
Vega laughed a typical villain laugh. “How about- if you try to get in my way I will send you and your family straight to hell?”
The lights flickered. “That’s not happening,” echoed a new voice. The shadows started to move, forming the silhouette of a male angel; Johnny, Azzy’s husband. “My son is staying with my sister and we will fight to protect his soul.”
“Protect him from his blood lineage?” Vega asked with a roar. “His true purpose!”
“We are more than the sum of our parts,” Johnny said in a calm tone.
“Fight me, angel! Let us see who’s the man worthy of deciding my grandson’s fate.”
Remy suddenly transformed back into his axolotl form. He was heading towards the window.
Luke knew if Remy got to the little boy first, Lucas would have every reason to trust him. Remy had cared for the child when Johnny was dying and now, as an axolotl, he lived as his guardian angel- a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Luke lunged at the lizard, grabbing it by the tail but as he did, the room went black. He was alone, with the girl from his near death experience standing before him.
“Go home,” she said in a whisper.
The little girl became overlay-ed by a new image; a tall female angel with a golden arm. “Go home,” the woman repeated.
Luke blinked his eyes and he was back home in Portland, Oregon. This was the apartment he and Kelsey had picked out for their new life before the tragic events of the wedding. “Kelsey?”
Kelsey rolled in, in a wheelchair. Her legs were in braces and her face was still noticeably bruised but through it all she smiled. “Hi, baby.”
Luke straddled her lap, careful of her injured legs. “Hey,” his voice was breaking with emotion. “How are you?”
“Better,” she said as she cupped his face. “I’m glad to be home- our home.”
The kiss was their first since the wedding. Luke almost expected her to be pulled from his arms again by some evil force. but no- she was his. “You look great.”
“For a month, I mean, I’m not paralyzed so with therapy I want to get back to being 100%.”
That answered one question; somehow he had time traveled one month into the future. (Or somehow lost one month of his life- however one wanted to look at the situation.) “So, where’s Shannon?”
“With that little boy.”
“He’s been a godsend. You like having him here, right?”
“Uh, yeah. I’m just going to go check on Shannon.” Luke walked to the bedroom that he had decorated for his toddler daughter. “Shannon, sweetie?”
The little girl was laughing. As Luke opened the door he could see why.
Shannon was with Azzy’s son, Lucas. and between them was a certain rainbow, winged axolotl.
Luke was frozen with fear. The creature looked at him with its chubby cheeks and little eyes. “Hi,” Luke said awkwardly.
Shannon giggled. “You’re silly, Daddy.”
“Yeah,” added Lucas. Azzy’s son had her blue eyes, dark hair and kind smile. He was small enough to look innocently adorable. “Rainbow can’t talk.”
“The lizard’s name is Rainbow?”
Shannon petted the creature’s head. “Rainbow is an ax-o-lot-l.”
Luke nodded and walked backward away from the room. “Kelsey?” He called to his wife int he kitchen. “I think I’ve been a little tired, a little stressed- so my mind is drawing a blank- remind me why do we have a little boy living with us?”
“As a favor to your friend.” Kelsey paused and bit her lip in deep thought. “What was her name?”
“Azzy?” Luke replied. Did Azzy do this- Send him home with her son? If so, why was ‘Rainbow/Remy’ here?
“No not Azzy- she was at a meeting or something like that. It was her assistant.”
“This assistant- did she have a golden arm?”
“Maybe, I mean I wasn’t really looking. We were getting discharged and given tickets for a flight back to Portland. And then she just mentioned how Azzy might be a little overwhelmed for the foreseeable future and we should take her little boy.”
“And the lizard?”
“Lizard? You mean that thing Lucas keeps talking about? I swear, that little boy has such a vivid imagination.”
“You can’t see it?” Luke asked out loud.
Kelsey only laughed. “You can see it?” She pulled a tray of chicken nuggets out of the oven. “Lucas! Shannon! Come eat dinner!”
Luke chuckled awkwardly as he turned back to the room. the moment the children left, ‘Rainbow’ transformed back into Remy. Luke glared. “Am I the only one who can see you?”
“You may be able to see me, but you won’t be able to stop me.”