Mira first noticed him as she hurried to the apartment door that morning. He stood behind her, just a few feet away.
Clad in golden armor from head to toe, a large sword hung at his waist, his face held an expression of kindness and compassion.
She was beginning to undo the locks, when his hand rested lightly over hers, gently guiding her away from the door.
Stepping forward, his hand went through the door, punched something and pulled back.
Mira stared from him to the solid door, standing on tip-toe to look through the peephole.
Sounds of running feet filled the hallway, a police swat team swarmed around a fallen masked figure.
She stepped away from the door, only to discover her mysterious benefactor had disappeared.
Her PDA beeped, glancing at her watch, She hurried to the closet, grabbing her jacket. She headed for the door, grabbing her portfolio and purse. The hallway was clear and she took the stairs, eager to get out.
Standing on the curb she tried to flag a cab. Other latecomers pushed and shoved behind her.
Someone pushed hard from behind and she stumbled towards the incoming traffic when two hands grabbed her from behind and holding her back.
Taking her a moment to catch her breath, she turned slightly just to be sure of the golden glow behind her.
Keeping one arm around her shoulders and stretching out his other, he flagged down the next empty cab, opening the door and helping her in before vanishing.
Mira blinked. He was gone again. “Where to, lady?” The cab driver asked, pulling out into mid-morning traffic.
She gave him the name, turning to look out the window. She stifled a yelp at the golden companion seated beside her. She blinked and he was gone.
The day followed that pattern, her clumsiness to his heroic rescues. As she rode home she directed the cab driver to drop her off at the end of street to pick up her dry cleaning.
Figuring she could walk from there, she paid him and entered the cleaners, humming. Exiting a moment later, her dry-cleaned items in one hand, portfolio in the other, Mira didn’t see the shadowed figure at the end of the street.
She didn’t notice him until a rotting smell made her stomach churn. Turning, she half expected to see the golden warrior standing behind to protect her from a falling garbage can.
Instead she saw a giant black red-eyed greyhound. Backing into the streetlight, she stared as the dog doubled in size, large white fangs flashing menacingly.
As it approached, it rose up on two legs, changing form to a creature she could barely stand to look at, but was too terrified to look away.
A golden beam streaked down in front of her, from it, emerged her golden warrior, sword drawn.
She closed her eyes from his brightness, tears streaming down her face at the sounds of battle and the cries of a demon.
Then it was all over. Silence claimed the street the usual afternoon light returning.
The demon was gone and the warrior lay wounded on the sidewalk. Mira gasped, running forward, kneeling at the fallen figure.
“You saved me.” She whispered, her tears falling on his bruised face. “Are you my guardian angel?”
His eyes opened and he smiled. “Tis my honor and duty as your lifeguard to guard your life with mine.”
He began to glow a bright yellow, Mira’s tears turning to jewels that embedded themselves on his breastplate. He carefully sat up. “I thank you for your healing tears.”
Rising to his feet, he picked up his sword, sheathing it. As he stood, a pair of golden wings seemed to fall from the sky, fastening to his shoulders.
Mira stared in fascination, until she remembered something. Her hand went to her mouth. “Lasagna! I left the oven on! I’ll set the street on fire!” She snatched up her armfuls, preparing to run the rest of the way, when he gently picked her up and took flight.
“I turned it off at lunch time.”
Mira felt a tiny smile spreading across her face. “Lifeguard, huh?”
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