It might have been otherwise:
In a high place Colleen shivers against the cold, hungry, starving, pinioned by desire. She dreams of food, warmth, egg whites, whiskey. In the flame of her lighter comes an angel dancing.
“Colleen,” xie says; voice of flutes and scorpions. “We have seen you. You are seen.”
“Where were you,” quotha Colleen, “five years ago? Where were you then?”
Angel speaks, in tongues of flame: “Watching, always watching. We turned on ourselves as you turned, cut as you cut, burned as you burned. We bruised as you bruised. Do not think—”
Colleen snaps the lighter closed, fingers burnt. She sucks at the sear, mouth full and watering against the savor of meat, cooked flesh rich and velvet on her tongue.