She hoped it would soothe her angel’s torn skin. “Do you have a name?” she asked him.
“Turiel,” he said.
"Turiel." She sat on the bed behind him, peeling down the towel to expose his back. "I'm going to rub this salve on your back. It might help with the pain. Is that okay?"
She saw him tense, the muscles pulling tight under his skin, but he nodded silently. She hardly dared touch him at first, her fingers feather-light, skimming him. But she felt him relax, heard him sigh as if exhaling his pain, and she grew bolder. She massaged the salve in with slow, lingering sweeps of her hands, carefully working around the raw wounds at his shoulder blades. The sight of the wounds brought tears to her eyes. They were jagged, violent, speaking of a cruelty and strength she couldn't imagine. Would it be like having an arm ripped off? Did he still feel the lost wings like phantom limbs?
She wanted to know what happened. What crimes did angels have to commit to lose their wings and be flung from the sky in a ball of fire? Lust? Murder? What temptations were there in Heaven?
He shuddered at her touch, but she sensed it was less pain and more pleasure now. The pungent scent of lavender hung in the air, lulling her into a steady rhythm as she massaged his back. The tension seeped out of him, drop by drop, in time with the rain beating on the window. Finally, she felt she had to stop. Her hands were free of salve and there seemed to be no other excuses to touch him. She raised her hands.
"Don't stop," he said, his voice almost too low to hear.