Loria grabbed the cart as we stepped into the bright lights, the chattering of children with a few babies screamed. Employees calling out to each other as the intercom played music. Even as we walked in, I was clutching onto the cart for dear life as the world spun and I felt the ground give beneath my feet.
It felt just like when I was tossed from Heaven and my stomach lurched into my throat.
A voice cried out and I felt my arms burn before I was lifted into someone's arms. "Lark are you okay?" A voice called, I couldn’t tell if it was Loria or Zeke crying for me as people started to clamor around us.
"Yeah, just, uh, got light-headed," I whispered.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Someone in blue was asking and I nodded, struggling to get my feet righted under me.
"Yeah, I'm sure," I insisted and offered a meek smile to the concerned employees.
"Let's get you some fresh air anyway," Zeke insisted and I nodded in agreement, ready to get out of there.
"Alright, I'll get some clothes that Lark can try on later and some of the dry food," she offered up.
“He’s smaller than me, needing a belt if you go for that. So maybe two or three sizes below mine?” Zeke called back as he guided me out of the store.
“Alright! I’ll keep that in mind!” She shouted before disappearing into the throngs of people who were already back to their normal.
Outside, Zeke leads me to a spot next to the door, rubbing my back gently all the while. "What happened?" He asked gently and I gave a small shrug.
"It was bright, loud, overwhelming," I admitted with a sigh and rubbed my face gently, looking at my arms to see the red welting. “Oh…”
"You had sensory overload," he whispered softly and sat next to me. “Sorry about that. I’ve been trying to not touch you after that first time…”
“That first time?” I asked, looking at him confused from the corner of my eyes as I tried to see just how bad it was.
“The one time in your room when Loria and I were there. I accidently touched your neck,” he explained. “Demons and Angel essence don't mix well.”
“Ah,” I whispered and dropped my arms and looked at the sky.
"I had that, uh, the overload, when I first came up here as well," he offered, though it was obvious he had no idea how to comfort me as my heart slowed though my chest ached painfully from the adrenaline.
"What is a sensory overload?" I asked, lolling my head to the side to look over at him.
"It’s when your senses get overloaded. Pretty much everything that you were explaining that you experienced inside," the demon explained, pushing himself to his feet so that I was craning my neck to look up at him.
"I'll go get you something to drink, you’re still looking a bit red," he explained and I didn’t even get the chance to respond before he was slipping through the automatic doors.
Leaning my head back, I stared up at the cotton candy dusted sky, closing my eyes to just bask in the sunset sun.
Then the scent of sulfur hit my nose
Breath caught in my throat and jerking my head up, I was greeted with two demons and an angel to boot, standing right before me and I tried to back away from them, but I was already pressed against the wall.
"If it isn't the traitor," the angel sneered down at me, but I didn’t recognize the voice which concerned me.
"So this is the one you were talking about," one of the demons commented and stepped forward to crouch in front of me, his ice-blue eyes holding my gaze and my stomach dropped.
Slowly standing, back still flush against the wall, I was trying to keep away from the two demons who were sneering at me.
"Indeed it is, Mr. Goody two-shoes," he stepped closer before there was an arm between them and me.
I could feel myself quake before looking over. Relief flooded my systems and I saw that it was Ezekiel who was glaring at them. "I suggest you leave,” he snarled.
"Now why would we listen to someone like you? You're one of the lowest ranking demons in existence," the one who had stepped close to me countered, the air wavering around him as things started to get heated.
"I may be low rank, but it's only because I keep challenging Lucifer," he smirked, apparently there was a hidden threat behind those words that I didn’t get.
"What are you doing?" one of the angels hissed at the demons as they back-peddled almost into traffic
"Ezekiel," a smaller demon snarled and continued to back away, ready to bolt.
"What about him?" The angel was still trying to figure out what was going on.
"He's one of the stronger demons, despite his rank," the mirrored demon explained and it seemed to click for the angel.
"Are you kidding me? Why is the demon protecting the angel in the first place?"
“Because we’re friends,” Zeke stated hauntingly. "I think it'd be a good idea to leave now. You're starting to piss me off.”
"Zeke…" I warned softly, gently tugging on his shirt.
I really didn’t want him to get in trouble on my account.
He looked back at me before letting out a sigh. “Fine.” His voice clipped out, then he kept his eyes as the enemies started to back away. "Let's head back inside."
"Sounds good," I agreed as I slipped around as the demon continued to stay between them and me.
But of course the Angel had to make a comment about it. "I never knew you were such a chicken Larcrion. Uriel used to say you were his protege," they bated, and while I wanted to snap back at them, Ezekiel was pushing me forward to the store.
Inside, I still felt overwhelmed but with Zekes’ warm hand on my back, it made me feel grounded. The bright lights and reverberating sounds still hurt but it was more manageable this time around.
"Come on," guiding me towards the clothing section. "I last saw Loria around here, so let’s hope she hasn’t wandered too far.”
"What, er-what do you think brought them here?" I finally voiced, glancing up to catch the pinch of his mouth as his fingers pressed harder into my back.
"I don't know. You have me and Loria, so don’t worry too much about it. Add on Lorias’ status as sanctuary keeper, they can’t touch her, and I am an all powerful demon," he winked with a cocky grin and I blinked a few times before smiling some.
"Yes, fearsome indeed," I teased back, letting out a small chuckle as I felt my body relax some.
A light laugh hit my ears and I looked around to see Loria hiding behind a clothing rack. "You two seem to be having some fun," she grinned cheekily and a huff brushed against my ear.
"Not so much,” I informed with a soft sigh. "We can explain later."
"Oh?" she held up a shirt in front of me and tilted her head. "Well, just let me get a few more clothes for you and then we can go," she assured as she set the shirt in the cart that already had an assortment of clothes.
"Oh, okay, well, is there anything else we need to get while you go through the clothing section?" I asked, not wanting to waste the trip.
"You need to get a phone, so why don't you go see what they have to offer?" She pointed out as she went to get a few more pairs of jeans. "We normally have some but they're all outdated and we haven't gotten any new ones yet."
"Okay, Zeke, will you come with me?" I asked and he gave a ready nod.
"Zeke has a card so you can buy it back there instead of having them bring it up front.”
“Okay, weren’t we also going to get some food?” I asked and she paused with a small hum.
“We can order out tonight,” she offered and Zeke groaned.
“We’re not getting chinese food again.”
“Lark can pick,” she waved us off. “Go. Shoo.”
Zeke placed his hand on the small of my back again, pressing me forward as we zig zagged through the racks and shelves before reaching a walk way. "How do you think Loria is going to react to the incident outside?" I asked under my breath.
"Honestly, she'll probably be worried but will figure something out,” he explained as we reached the back corner of the building where there were rows and rows of electronic equipment.
There were all sorts of phones and I didn’t understand a single thing, looking behind me to see tablets, laptops and printers.
Zeke took charge as he started to look at some of the phones that were hanging on the display. “Please, choose for me. I have no idea what any of these do and I doubt I’ll need anything major since I’ll be around one of you two always,” I insisted and he chuckled.
"Here. This is a phone that'd suit you," he pointed at a small smartphone. "It can do everything that you're going to need it for." Nudging me towards the small counter to get the phone. “If you end up choosing to stay here, we can always get you an upgrade and save that for another visitor.”
A weird ache formed in my chest at the idea of staying before I felt the world tilt around me.
'- we're moving to the next town over. I know you were just starting to settle in but things just aren't working out here.' A forlorn female tone whispered softly.
'- I know you're upset, but – is excited to try to keep your chin up for her okay?' a demanding tone ordered and a firm pressure tapped what I thought was my head.
'Please try to give this a chance -,' the female voice added on.
It was clear for once and I could see that outline of a face and almost like a smile. The other felt like they were taller than the female like figure and both seemed to care for me and this other person they were talking about.
"-k, hey Lark are you okay?" Zeke called out, an arm supporting me with a pained expression. "What's going on?" He practically demanded.
"Memory," I answered and straightened, pulling away from him as a heat ran up and down my arm. Reaching, I could feel puckered skin from where we must have made contact from when he held me up.
"Everything alright? You're really pale Lark," Loria asked, fingers grazing my arm as she held my gaze. When did she get here?! Was I out that long?
"Memory, sorry I didn’t mean to concern you both. Uh, did, um, was I out long?" I asked weakly.
“Not long, I called her when you zoned out,” Zeke explained and I gave a nod of acknowledgement.
" Zeke can you take Lark to the car while I check out?" she asked, fishing her keys from her purse, handing them over as he nodded.
"Sounds good," I agreed, my body starting to feel like it was filled with lead.
Lounging across the backseat, I covered my eyes with my arm. "Can I just say that this has to be one of the longest days ever?" I grumbled out.
"I can believe it," Zeke agreed, leaning the seat back so he could look over at me. "How are you feeling otherwise?"
"Drained. Empty," I chewed on my bottom lip. "Muddled."
"Well, maybe once we’re back at the sanctuary we can find something to help you refocus," he offered with a reassuring smile.
"Watching you guys play video games helps.”
"Sounds good," he grinned before a light pounding happened on the trunk of the car.
I jumped and he just leaned up to look back before popping the trunk and getting out to help Loria. I could hear them bickering, but I couldn't make out anything they were saying.
I really hope it wasn’t about anything serious.