Hmmm where do you think I’m going to go with this…
Antonio Perez dangled on the ledge and watched his lover play with the dogs in their garden. It wasn’t so bad being dead he just wished he didn’t have to watch Lee be so miserable.
“You need to move on, dear one.” Antonio said to the lone figure.
For the past two years, each day his lover, Lee, got up, took a shower, got dressed, did some work at his antique store and then came home. He didn’t date. He didn’t look at other men. Hell he didn’t even touch himself.
In all intents and purposes the sweet, vibrant man who Antonio fell in love with was just as dead as him.
It tore Antonio apart.
He floated after his lover as Lee let the dogs back in. They didn’t make a fuss even though he knew they could sense his presence. He guessed he didn’t smell much different dead than alive because the animals never responded to him like an intruder.
Lee walked down the hall touching the pictures of them together, stroking a finger down the photo of Antonio’s face before placing a kiss on his finger and pressing it to the picture of Antonio’s lips.
“He misses you.” A deep voice whispered across Antonio’s ear.
Experience had him repressing the natural shudder that happened whenever the power of the Archangel poured over him.
“I know.” He didn’t turn around.
“You have to leave him soon. It’s been two earth years. I’ve been more than patient.” Michael reminded him. “I’ve never given anyone this much time before. Soon others will prey on my good nature.”
A bitter laugh broke from Antonio. “You don’t have a good nature.”
“Which is why you have to let him go.”
“I can’t leave him until I know someone is there to take my place.”
Michael gripped Antonio’s shoulders. “You would choose to wallow with this human rather than fly in the cosmos with me?”
Antonio turned at the pain in Michael’s voice. “You don’t get it do you? I might not be able to be with him and I might want him to move on and have a happy life, but I will always love him. Even when my soul is recycled to a new body, part of me will always yearn for that man. And one day we will meet again.”
“Perhaps.” Michael’s merciless eyes bore into Antonio as if he was checking the status of his soul. “But as it is in my best interest to see your lover find another I have put events into motion to help you with your task.”
“You have? Thank you.” Antonio was a man of big passions and impulsive gestures so it was entirely in character to throw himself into the angel’s arms. “Thank you Michael.” He squeezed the angel before stepping back again.
A strange expression crossed the angel’s face. “I will never understand you Antonio. I just told you that your lover will supplant you with another and you give me a hug.”
Antonio let his eyes rest on Lee again. “That’s because when you love someone, really love someone, you want them to be happy. Lee deserves to find someone new. It’s not his fault I died and I don’t want him to be alone for the rest of his life.”
“So if I find your love a man of his own what do I get for a reward?”
“What do you want?”
“One hundred years of companionship. You will stay at my side for the next hundred years no matter what happens with your lover.”
“What do you mean by companionship?” Antonio eyed the powerful angel with a wary expression.
“Like it sounds. You will fly with me, sleep with me and be with only me for the next century.”
“But you will make sure he has a good life?” Antonio checked.
“I will introduce men to him until he finds one that is acceptable. Whether he has a long and happy life after that is entirely up to him.”
Antonio locked eyes with the angel. “I won’t agree until he finds a new love, a true love, and it has to be a long term one. A one time hookup doesn’t count.”
“He will be delirious with love,” Michael said in a dry tone.
Antonio laughed. He knew if Michael made a promise he’d keep it. He still didn’t know why the angel continued to seek him out, but if it meant Lee had a better chance at a good life he would give up a hell of a lot more than a century.