It was dark and cold, the rain kept running into her eyes, but she kept on walking. Home was only a few blocks away, and then she could wash the filth of the night from her body. The rain helped, but was a poor substitute for the scalding hot water and copious amounts of Dial that awaited her there. Thoughts from work intruded on her weary mind; she used the click, click, click of her boot heels on the sidewalk to keep her from revisiting the memories of salacious grins and grimy hands tucking money into her boot tops or g-string. God, how had she ended up here? Tonight had not really been any worse than normal, but lately her sense of dissatisfaction had been increasing, and it had become harder to face each day.
The honk of a horn and flair of headlights pulled her from her musings. Before she could react, she found herself pulled back onto the sidewalk. She turned to thank her rescuer, but found she was all alone. It was weird; she could have sworn she felt someone pull her back. Oh, she really needed to pay attention; she had allowed herself to get sucked down into the mire of her life and had not even realized she’d stepped off a curb. If it hadn’t been for… whatever that was, she’d be street-meat right now. She re-adjusted the strap of her purse; large and heavy, it weighed her down almost as much as her thoughts. She refused to go there again. She realized the rain had stopped; the water running down her face was her own tears and they tasted of salt and despair. At least she’d made it home.
This wasn’t him, not who he used to be. Sometimes he missed the simpler days before he had ever laid eyes on Dean Winchester. Before Dean, Castiel had been content to just follow orders; he was a solider, a loyal servant of Heaven. One day his loyalty was rewarded with a special task, raising Dean Winchester from the pits of Hell. He would say he’d been excited to be given such an important task, but excitement is an emotion and angels don’t feel. At least they didn’t use to. Meeting Dean Winchester had changed Castiel’s world, and it would never be the same. He had rebelled against Heaven, been torn apart, reassembled, and redeemed, but those were the events not the catalyst. No, Dean had taught Cas about emotion. Cas, yet another Winchester-ism; perhaps he should have smote Dean for that irreverence, but his armor had already cracked by then. Dean’s lack of fear and gratitude in the face of Castiel’s presence had rendered Winchester a curiosity. He’d call it a mistake, but he couldn’t regret stopping the apocalypse, or if he was honest with himself, his time as a human. Yes, he’d missed having his powers and the heavy but familiar weight of his wings, but human emotion was a heady thing.
When he was brought back after the battle with Lucifer, he’d been thankful he still had vestiges of human emotion; now he wasn’t so sure. He been doing some things lately, and he couldn’t tell Dean; he was too ashamed. The battle in Heaven was taking its toll on him; none of the angels understood what he was trying to do, and no amount of explaining made it better. He wanted to talk to Dean, he just couldn’t. He felt so very alone. In his spare time, of which he had little, he tried to figure out how humans dealt with these feelings. That was the real reason he had been watching that show, ‘porn’ Dean had called it. He was tired of battle plans, explaining things, of feeling alone, and after watching humanity it seemed the way to comfort lay in the embrace of someone else. That was why he so often found himself standing on the battlements of Heaven looking down on humanity. He was looking for someone to take away his pain, someone as desperate as he was for understanding.
That was how he’d found her.
Her name was Caiden, and Castiel thought she was beautiful. She didn’t resemble any of the women Dean had tried to “hook him up” with. Her hair was long, and she had dyed it some strange shade of purple, highlighting it with chunks of teal. Most of the time she wore clothes that completely confounded him; indecently short skirts with all manner of chains hanging from them, shirts that she had to bind herself into, and he’d never understand why she had put so many pieces of metal through her ears, or the ridiculous height of her shoes. He supposed it was the club she worked at; it appeared to cater to men with bizarre fantasies.
He much preferred how she looked at home, after she washed off the heavy eyeliner and padded around her small apartment in plaid shorts and over-sized t-shirts. That was how he’d first seen her, stripped of all her armor. She was in her apartment crying and praying. Her prayers are what had caught his attention that first night; she’d begged for mercy and redemption, begged for heaven to take away her pain and show her the way out of a life she hated. It was what most people prayed for, but it was her sincerity that caught him off guard and made him tune in. He listened to her pray every night after that; sometimes they were desperate, sometimes they were angry, but lately she’d prayed for numbness. The prayers for numbness broke him; it meant she had given up. That was when he had started watching her more closely, following her around.
The first night he’d followed her at work, invisible but there. He watched her as she danced and waited on tables; moving her small but curvaceous body through the throngs of customers, smiling and flirting, but it pained him to do so. Every time someone touched her he could feel her fighting not to pull away, he could feel a piece of her spirit die. No one saw that though, they missed the pain in her eyes. Those eyes fascinated him. They were a dark, rich brown fringed by darker, thick eyelashes. They were luminous and bright despite their dark hue, but they concealed a wealth of anguish if you really cared to look. That night was the first time he had looked into her eyes, and he’d wondered if his reflected the same things. After that night he never set foot in the club again, but showed up faithfully every night to watch over her as she walked home.
Tonight had been bad. The customers had been rowdy and drunker than usual, the tips were a joke, but that wasn’t the worst of it. She had been working at Dante’s 2nd Circle for two years thanks to her dead-beat ex. The bastard had run off with everything, including her one source of income. She’d been desperate, and Dante’s was the only place that would hire her; a pretty sad state of affairs when you can’t even get a job at MacDonald’s. For two years she had trudged through this existence, but never once had she felt as dirty as she did now; bleach couldn’t remove the taint. Tonight a man had propositioned her for more than a dance, not new. What had been new was, God help her, she had considered it. Caiden needed the money in the worst way. Bills were due and she was barely scraping by as it was. With the poor tips tonight she was screwed, and she knew it. So for a glimmer of an instant she’d considered selling herself. When it passed she’d been angry: angry at the man, angry at God, but mostly angry with herself. She’d lost it then, and attacked. Screaming, “I ‘m not a prostitute! Do you kiss your mother with that filthy mouth?”
It was not her finest moment, and was how she found herself here in the alley behind the club, without a job, bills looming, and the last vestiges of her hope gone. She slid down the brick wall of the club, her strength deserting her. She broke, crying in great heaving sobs and began silently pleading with Heaven to save her, to tell her what to do, but she knew her prayers fell on deaf ears. She prayed every night, but at the break of everyday nothing had changed. She was clearly beyond Heaven’s help. In her misery, Caiden missed the sound of the two men approaching, not noticing them until the taller one grabbed her by the arm, hauling her to her feet in a painful grasp.
“What’s this?” he slurred to his compatriot, his foul breath causing Caiden to recoil. He just gripped her arm tighter, shaking her a bit in the effort.
“Looks like a damsel in distress, bet she’ll be real grateful if we save her,” his friend leered. This was bad, she was alone in the alley and the street up ahead appeared deserted. She opened her mouth and let a scream that surely even heaven could hear as they pinned her to the wall.
Castiel was restless tonight. There was a temporary lull in the great battle of Heaven, and the Winchesters were taking the night off. He literally had nothing to do, but wander the battlements and contemplate his decisions. Not something he wanted to do, so he turned his thoughts to Caiden instead. He knew it was wrong, and that he should just let her go; there was nothing he could really do to help her. She didn’t even know he was there watching over her.
He was a stalker, and worse a peeping Tom. He closed his eyes in exasperation. He couldn’t seem to help himself. One night he’d been watching her clean her apartment, and dance around. He’d enjoyed watching her dance then because she employed none of the practiced moves she used at work; no, these were free of artifice and about the joy of moving. Before he’d realized what was happening she’d stopped dancing and started to remove her clothes. He’d known he should leave, but he didn’t. He watched as she pulled her t-shirt over her head, revealing her full breasts. He’d taken an unconscious step towards her then, and stared as she removed her shorts and underwear. His mouth had gone dry and he’d followed her into the shower. Castiel had watched her intently, afraid to blink lest he miss something while she bathed herself. He’d been desperate to reveal himself then, to take her in his arms and lose himself in her, but he hadn’t. Instead he had come back every chance he got just to watch her. Sadly, the showers were not the worst of it, nor were the times he’d looked on as she masturbated. His greatest shame where she was concerned were the times he’d slipped into her dreams, and become a phantom lover; worshipping her body with his mouth and hands, sinking into her and hearing her gasps of pleasure.
He had to be the lowest being in creation; she had prayed for salvation and gotten him instead. Castiel shook his head in exasperation at himself, then her scream pieced the heavens, and he opened his eyes. She was crying and praying again. He could feel the desperation in her pleas, but deciding to leave her alone, vanished to seek solace elsewhere. Appearing in a dank alley, he heard the sounds of a struggle.
They had her pinned, and there was nothing she could do about it. She fought and screamed, but despite their inebriated state they were still stronger than her. She felt fetid breath on her cheek, a hand run up her thigh; that’s when the terror really set in. She closed eyes tightly, tears streaming down her face, and retreated into her mind wishing it all away, screaming louder than her vocal chords would ever allow for.
Before Caiden knew what happened the pressing weight of her attackers was gone. As she started to crack her eyes open, she heard the sounds of flesh hitting flesh and the sickening crack of bone. She heard a deep gravelly voice say, “Leave. NOW! While you can…” At first she thought the command was for her, but then she heard the scrambling retreat of her attackers. She opened her eyes then to see a man in a loose fitting trench coat, concern evident in his ocean deep eyes. She could see his lips were moving, but she couldn’t make sense of the words he said; the shock of her rescue and a sense of familiarity locking her up. He reached out to her, trailing a gentle hand down her cheek. It was enough to snap her out of her disbelief, and she instinctively jerked away.
Castiel cursed himself for his stupidity, before repeating his question. “Are you alright?”
“I, I’m fine…I think.” Her voice was unsteady, but still music to his ears.
“You shouldn’t be alone in a place like this. It is not prudent.”
“No, I suppose it’s not.” She laughed. That laugh did not please Castiel; it had a slightly hysterical edge to it, and her eyes were round and wild. She clearly was not herself yet, he would need to see her home.
“I will escort you home.”
He kept staring at her, and not like a stranger but like someone who knew her and cared about her deeply. It was disconcerting to say the least. She knew she should turn his offer to walk her home down, but couldn’t bring the refusal to her lips. She was traumatized, and for some reason his presence was comforting, like an old friend. She found herself agreeing to let this familiar stranger take her home.
Castiel let out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding until the moment she agreed. The trusting look she gave as she said yes gave him pause because he was not her savior; he was worse than those two miscreants tonight. At least with them she was aware of what was happening, with him, though, she’d never known he was there, and when she did she thought he was a dream.
“Thank you…for saving me,” she whispered, as she turned her eyes from his and began to walk.
“It was…it was nothing,” he replied gruffly. She made him nervous like this, when she knew he was here. His guilt increased as he followed her.
“My name’s Caiden.”
“I kn…” he stopped himself just in time, but it didn’t matter she just continued.
“My friends call me Caid. You can call me either. I figure you saved me, you gotta right to call me whatever you want.”
‘No, I don’t,’ he thought, but said, “I like Caiden.”
“Christ I’m babbling. I never babble, but here I am babbling. Must be the adrenaline wearing off, you know?” She went on, but Castiel didn’t care; she was safe and her voice was soothing to his soul. “What’s your name?” she finished. He looked over at her and took a second to answer.
“Castiel, I like that.” It was the first time she’d said his name and it was a beautiful to hear it rolling off her lips, but that is not what he wanted her to call him. Reaching for her hand he pulled her to a stop.
“My friends call me Cas. I think I would like for you to call me Cas… Caiden.” The look he gave her was so intense she couldn’t meet his eyes, but her gaze fell on his mouth just as he said her name. It sounded like a caress, and she had overwhelming desire to kiss him. As Caiden was leaning in she began to wonder if his lips would be as soft as they looked.
Cas was startled when her lips, feather light, touched his. This kiss was nothing like the carnal kisses they’d shared in her dreams, but he liked it. He wanted more, but in light of the night’s events thought it best not to push her. Then he felt her tongue darting out and teasing his lips; it was his undoing. He put his hand to her head, pulling her closer, and opening his mouth to invite her in; his reward a startled gasp and her acquiescence. She moved in closer, molding her body to his, and deepened the kiss; mating her tongue with his in an instinctive dance. It was perfection. He knew it was blasphemy, but didn’t care; she was heaven in his arms. She had one hand on his hip and the other threading fingers threw his hair, both urging him closer.
Caiden did not go around kissing strangers, but something about this man felt so familiar. She had only meant to give him a whisper soft kiss, but when their mouths met she couldn’t seem stop her tongue from darting out to get a taste of him. When he put a hand in her hair and opened his mouth to her, she was shocked by her reaction. She pulled into him and kissed him with a desperation borne of instinct. It was like her body knew him, but her mind was too slow to make the connection. She had no idea how long they had been standing here kissing on the street, but she did know she definitely wanted him to take her home. She could feel his hard length pressing into her, and began sliding her body against his; the friction of her body and his erection eliciting a mutual groan of satisfaction. She dragged her mouth from his, placing gentle kisses up the column of his neck, the stubble closer to his jaw so different from the softness of his neck.
“Take me home Castiel.” She purred throatily.
“Cas.” He responded in her ear. “Remember, it’s just Cas.” It was important she call him Cas. Castiel was an angel, and not a very good one. Cas was just a man with a beautiful woman in his arms.
“Take me home, Cas,” she hissed, as he ran his hand up her thigh, grabbing her ass, and ground himself against her pliant body. It was all the encouragement he needed to do it again. This time she gasped, “Now!” It was an order, and he still remembered how to follow those.
Untangling from each other Caiden saw a police car slowing to watch them. “Pervs,” she shouted, then laughed. It was the first time he’d really heard her laugh, and he chuckled himself. It was nice to hear her laugh without the usual brittle edge, and he had been part of her joy. He still felt like a wretch because he knew things about her he shouldn’t, but perhaps he could soothe her hurts as she soothed his. Maybe this could be mutually beneficial, and he could stop lurking in the shadows as it were. He was pulled from his musings by the feel of her fingers entwining with his. He liked the feel of her smaller hand in his, and brought their clasped hands to his lips.
When they reached her building he let her lead the way, barely remembering in time that he shouldn’t know where she lived. She opened the door to the vestibule, and took him up a flight of dirty stairs to her apartment. She paused in front of her battered door, keys just raised to the deadbolt lock.
“It’s not much, but its home.” Caiden looked up at him with a mixture of shame, regret, and expectance, then turned her face away. ‘She really expected me to turn and walk away,’ he thought. He found, as he usually did with her, he wanted to soothe her hurts. He reached down, taking her chin in his hand, and turned her face back to his. Eyes meeting, he said “You’ve nothing to be ashamed of. Hu…people do the best they can.” A single tear fell down her face, trailing down her cheek and washing over his thumb.
“Maybe this isn’t…”
“Shhh,” he whispered, as he leaned in to place his lips to hers in reassurance.
Caiden was having second thoughts. Here was this man, obviously well above her and full of good intentions, and she was acting like a prostitute. This wasn’t “Pretty Woman.” He was not going to save her from this life, but then his lips met hers and she melted. They were soft and full of promise, understanding, and a hint of the same desolation she felt. She clung to that and to him as she suddenly found herself fully in his embrace. He pulled away a fraction of an inch.
“We should go inside.” His voice was a whisper, but she could hear it hitch; like he was as desperate for this as she was.
“Yes.” She brushed her lips against his.
“Mmm, yes,” Castiel found himself groaning as she pressed her hips and breasts against him. He slipped the keys from her lax grip, and pushed her back against the door. Hungrily, fastening his lips to hers, he thrust his hips against Caiden, seeking the delicious friction of her soft body against his rigid shaft. He slipped the key into the lock, noting the irony that all he really wanted to do was sink himself into her, but had to pause for something as mundane as a lock.
Caiden knew the instant he got the door open because it swung inwards sending them careening into her apartment, but she didn’t really care what had gotten knocked over. All she could think about was getting him to her bed, feeling him moving inside of her, banishing the loneliness inside if only for a little while. Her mouth never leaving his, she removed his coats and began undoing the knot in his tie, feeling his hands roaming her body.
“I can’t…I…how do I get you out of this shirt?” he asked between fevered kisses as they worked their way to her bed.
“Just undo the…” His hand traveling up her thigh as he gave her a puzzled look had her groaning and as impatient to be rid of the corset as he was. She stepped a short distance from him and grabbed a knife off of the counter. Turning her back to him, she held up the knife, sweeping her hair over her shoulder. “Just cut the laces.”
Castiel gulped. He’d used knives and blades for many things; undressing a woman was not one of them. Then there was the trust in her eyes. He could not fathom the idea of turning his back on someone, no less handing them a knife while he was at it. Now was not the time for that though. Right now he was not Castiel, the General; he was Cas, the man. He stepped closer to her, taking the knife from her hand, fingers brushing gently over each other. He ran his free hand down the back of her neck, trailing light fingers over the laces and the soft expanse of her flesh below, finally settling it on her hip.
Caiden shivered. His hands touched her in such reverence, like she was a goddess and he was privileged to worship her. She felt the tip of the blade at the base of her spine. It was cold and strangely erotic to feel it gently scrape up her back as he severed the laces. As the corset fell to the floor she felt his heat and solidity come up against her, felt a tender kiss being placed on her shoulder, his face nuzzling into her hair, breath falling gently in her ear.
Castiel had thought he wanted some frenzied coupling, but faced with the reality of Caiden he realized he wanted something more epicurean, more sensual, just more. He reached down and unzipped her skirt, sliding it over her hips, letting it fall to the floor before he pulled her against him, sliding his hands over her smooth skin. She turned to face him, looking at him questioningly. Now was not the time for words though. He leaned in and kissed her, slowly, methodically, trying to sear the taste, the feel, the very essence of her soul into his memory.
Caiden felt the shift in his intentions. She realized this was going to be about more than sex between strangers; this was going to be about finding solace, and comfort, human connection. Suddenly she wasn’t sure she could handle that. She tried to change the tone of the kiss to a more rapacious one not allowing for thought. She pulled him in closer, hands tangling in his hair, but Cas was having none of it. Easily subduing her efforts, he grabbed her hands and pinned them to her side. When he lowered his mouth to her breast, she gave in; the sensation of wet heat stealing through the material of her bra as he suckled her, enough to banish rational thought. She felt his hand skim down her stomach, gently massage her hip bone, and thought, “Please, yes.” He hesitated as if unsure of himself. She thought he was going to stop just before his hand made contact where she most wanted it, and her knees almost buckled. He swept her up in his arms then, carrying her over the mattress on the floor. He gently laid her on the bed pausing to remove both of their shoes. He crawled up her body, the look in his eyes so intense she thought she could see forever and she became desperate to feel his skin against her own. As he kissed her, she reached down and began to remove his shirt. What she revealed made her mouth dry; broad shoulders, a chest carved by God, and a toned stomach leading down to lean muscled hips. Suddenly the shirt was not enough, but when she tried to remove his pants he captured her hands and whispered, “No.” Their eyes locked, and he began to trail kisses down her chest, pausing in his descent to remove her bra and then tease each nipple with a flick of his tongue.
Cas was determined to taste all of her. He kissed down her torso, pausing every now and then to explore the dips and valleys of her body. Hers was so different from his; it was all soft lines and gentle curves. The smell and taste of her better than any dream they’d shared. He worked his way lower, placing a kiss just above the elastic of her panties, then slid the scrap of material down her legs. Eyes still on hers he settled himself in the cradle of her thighs, and gave a long sensuous lick. She arched off the mattress, moaning. It was all the encouragement he needed. He licked and laved her, darting his tongue inside of her, never taking his eyes off of hers. She screamed his name. He wanted to make her do that again.
Castiel looking up at her from between her legs with that intense stare that made her slightly uncomfortable, but she dare not break his gaze. He was commanding her with his eyes, telling her to stay with him, to share this. Strangely, that gaze also made her needy, begging for more. He slipped a finger inside of her. Unbidden, she screamed, “Oh God!”
“God has no place here, I assure you.” With that he withdrew from her. She thought for a moment he wouldn’t come back. That statement had smacked of resentment, but he was only removing his pants. He turned back to her, but she only had a moment to admire his proud length before he was on her once more, boring into her with those eyes. They had an unearthly intensity, and she again had the feeling she knew him somehow. It passed though as she felt his broad head nudging at her entrance. Her moment of panic from earlier resurged.
“I can’t…” He started to withdraw from her completely. “No. Just not like this. Maybe from behind would be less…” she trailed off.
Castiel was annoyed by her reluctance to share her soul with him, and made his agitation known as he pulled her to her knees and growled in her ear. He turned her, pulling her back to his chest. He slid into her in a powerful thrust. He knew it was wrong, but he wanted to punish her. The result was almost his undoing. Her moan of satisfaction and the way her body gripped him tightly almost made him spill himself; if he hadn’t been an angel and able to regulate his vessel he would have.
Caiden was unprepared for his invasion. He’d been so slow and methodical up until that moment that when he entered her with such power and force incoherent sound broke through her lips and her body spasmed around him. She heard him groan and shudder behind her. Castiel pulled her even closer, forcing her to allow him to take the whole of her weight. She leaned her head back on his shoulder, wrapping her arm around his neck, clutching his hair, just trying to hang on for the ride as he thrust into her with long, even strokes. Their bodies meeting in a primal rhythm, he wrapped his arm around her waist and increased the tempo.
She had thought facing him was going to be too intimate, and that by giving him her back she could hold something back; she’d been wrong. He wouldn’t let her. He kept kissing her neck, or lips, whispering how beautiful and perfect she was in her ear, between breathless pleas of “Caiden”. He had complete control of her body, and somehow her mind in this position. She finally just surrendered to it, letting him take whatever she had to give because he was leaving something in its place.
Castiel felt the shift when she finally let go and gave herself completely, her body relaxed and he could swear he felt her soul touching him, wrapping him in a peace and comfort he’d never known. He slowed their rhythm then, wanting to savor the feeling, but then she let out a long breathless, “Cas…”, and her body started to shudder, squeezing him tighter with each spasm. He was lost.
As the remnants of her orgasm rolled through her, Caiden felt Cas join her in his own. As he spilled himself inside her she could swear she felt the brush of feathers on her body as if wings were surrounding them, cocooning them from the world outside. That was her imagination though because as he withdrew from her he turned her to face him, placing a tender heartbreaking kiss on her lips, but there were no wings in sight. And wings were just crazy; apparently mind-blowing sex could cause hallucinations.
As Cas lay down with Caiden in his arms he was cursing himself ten thousand times; the fool. As he’d let himself go he’d lost control completely, his wings spreading. She hadn’t noticed though, so that was something. He just didn’t think, “Oh… did I not mention I am an angel,” was going to cut it, and she didn’t need to know anyway. As much as it was going to kill him to walk away from her, he was going to. She could be used against him, and humans tended to end up as collateral damage in the affairs of angels. No, it was best he focus on the battle, and leave this truly angelic creature behind. She had given him comfort when he had none; the least he could do was leave her safe and assure Raphael’s plans never came to fruition.
She was sleeping now, her breath falling in an even rhythm on his chest, and he slipped from her embrace. Now was the time to leave. It would be too hard to explain to her that she was never going to see him again, and in morning’s light, looking into her eyes he knew he wouldn’t have the strength. He felt his heart shatter at the idea that she might think he’d only used her, but he guessed he had. She would never know that he had fallen in love with her; that had he been human he’d never have left her side. He had nothing to offer her but pain and suffering though. So he would leave. He would still watch over her; she needed someone too. He briefly considered wiping her memory, but was just selfish enough to want her to remember him. He placed a brief kiss on her forehead, vowing to himself he would make her safe and assure that he had the power to make her life better. She deserved that much. With that thought he materialized his clothes on his body and disappeared.
The next morning Caiden woke. She reached out for her lover, but found the other side of the bed cold and empty. She couldn’t say she was surprised, just a bit disappointed. She didn’t regret last night though, because for the first time in a long time she felt like there was hope in the world.
Something caught her attention. She crawled from under the covers to the foot of the bed to see what it was. She picked it up and marveled. It was a single feather; silvery white and large like a flight feather, but too large for any bird. She smiled to herself, and thought “Heaven was listening.”