Three turned her attention toward the four Edwards. “Oh look at you! You are covered with nicks and scratches.”
Willie laughed, “Don’t worry about the Edwards. They are made of cement and brick. We will patch them up with quick drying cement when we get back, and they’ll be good as new.”
“But doesn’t it hurt?” asked Three.
“Yes,” answered another Edward.
“What?” asked a surprised Garth.
“Just play along,” whispered the eagle nearest Garth.
“Oh, you poor creatures,” cried Three as she began to caress and kiss each nick and scratch.
Griff saw where this was going, “I may have broken my wing.”
Three rushed over and kissed his wing. Instantly, the wing was healed. Garth was still in awe. He had never seen the powers of an angel in action. Finally, Three stood in front of him.
“And you, my bantam gargoyle, are my hero. You organized this small group to save this poor child who has no one to pray for him. Are you injured?”
“No, I was not injured.”
Griff interjected, “No one would have been injured if some idiot had drawn the Circle of Protection bigger.”
“There wasn’t enough time,” protested Garth. “The demons arrived early. It would have ended sooner if another idiot had not been knocked out of the Circle of Protection.”
All the gargoyles looked at Willie who hung his head.
“It doesn’t matter; you saved the baby,” said Three pointing toward the incubator. She walked over and peeked inside. ”So this tiny guy caused all the fuss?” She opened the top and looked in. “Look! He slept through the whole fight.”
“He is not asleep,” said Garth. “The doctors induced a coma so he would not feel the pain as he goes through withdrawal.”
“Oh, that’s terrible!” said Three. “He’s so beautiful.” She lifted the Plexiglas cover, bent down and kissed him on the cheek.
All the gargoyles shouted to stop her. “Not on the face!” they yelled in unison.
Three was shocked, “Why not?”
One of the Edwards explained, “Because wherever an angel kisses a baby, it leaves a mark, a birthmark. You should kiss somewhere where it will not show.”
“Oh dear! I was just trying…”
“Don’t worry,’ said Willie. “It’s a boy. It won’t matter to him. But don’t kiss a girl on the face.”
Griff interrupted, “Now that we all have caught our breath, another crack baby across town needs our protection. We should get over there right away.”
As the defenders started to leave Garth said, “Go on ahead. I’ll be there shortly. Here Willie, take the sword and draw the Circle of Protection. Make it bigger.”
“Roger, boss,” answered Willie as he took the sword and flew out the window following the Edwards and Griff. “Don’t be too long!” he shouted back. “We need your strong arm and leadership.”
“How often do you have to do this?”
“It is getting worse lately. We used to do this about once or twice a week. Then it started being once a night. Now we fight two or three times per night: too many crack babies, too many demons, and too few gargoyles. We need your help. Angels number in the millions. We gargoyles number only a few hundred thousand.”
“Garth,” said Three. “I am so impressed with what you gargoyles are trying to do. We have to make this work better. But you! You are so brave to fight like this every night. You have so much compassion and love. You are truly my hero.”
With that, Three wrapped her arms around Garth and picked him off the floor. He was helpless in her strong arms. She kissed him right on the lips. He was stunned at first. He had never been kissed--never thought about kissing. Suddenly, he felt something stir deep inside of him. It felt warm and wonderful. Three felt it too. Instead of her usual peck, she pressed her lips hard against Garth’s lips. He felt self-conscious being held off the floor with his feet dangling down. He placed his hands on her hips. Three’s heart began to race as she held Garth even tighter.
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