“If she is no longer in pain…” Nikolai asked as he ran his thumb over the bands on her finger.
“Explaining your pain will only make it cut you deeper.” Lucifer explained as he laid his hand on Nikolai’s shoulder.
“Forgive me my Lord.” Nikolai trembled as he spoke, “But you have no idea how deeply wounded I am.”
“Because you are at least in part a demon,” Gabriel explained as he arrived and stood beside Maefyl. He explained the painful truth to Nikolai. “You seem to be free from one of the cruelest aspects of vampirism. When a human is turned their soul is forever bound to the prison of their body. There is no salvation for them. No freedom in heaven or hell. No rebirth. Only oblivion.”
“You can free yourself from the pain by destroying her body.” Lucifer told him. “But in doing so, you destroy her soul.”
“Then I have damned her in trying to save her.” Nikolai kissed each of the cubs at his side and pushed them away before he called flames to the tips of his fingers and laid his head across Svetlana. “And I condemn myself with her.”
“Wait.” Maefyl rushed to him and grabbed him by the wrist.
“I understand the torment of it Nikolai.” Lucifer explained as the twins wept at his feet. “But should they suffer your loss as well?”
“Forgive me, my pets.” Nikolai beckoned for them as Maefyl released his hand and held them tightly when they rushed to him. “I just don’t know how to live with myself knowing I have completely destroyed what I swore to love and protect.”
“At least free yourself from the pain.” Gabriel suggested reluctantly. “In time you may learn to forgive yourself.”
“Damn it.” Maefyl exclaimed as he closely looked at Svetlana lying in front of him. He kneeled there tormenting himself with guilt that no one else would ever know to place on him and decided to make the attempt. “If her soul could be released, would you forego suicide?”
“Maefyl.” Gabriel looked at him nervously. “Why would you offer him a false hope?”
“I wouldn’t.” Maefyl sighed as he called on a power within himself he never thought he would see fit to use. He laid his hand against Svetlana’s skin and everyone watched in silence as he extended his mind through her like ghostly fingers. As those ethereal fingers found the ties that bound her cursed soul he burned through them, releasing her from the torment of darkness and allowing her soul to find it’s way. He let his hand rest on the body that was left in peace as those who understood what he had done looked on in astonishment.
“How did you manage that?” Lucifer grinned at the shock on Gabriel’s face. It seemed not even Maefyl’s closest companion was aware of such a possibility.
“It doesn’t hurt any more.” Bezer sniffled.
“What have you done?” Nikolai asked as the pain left him.
“Set her free.” Maefyl stood slowly and turned to Gabriel who was near tears as he smiled at him. “Don’t look at me like that.”
“Maefyl look!” Sanguine squealed excitedly at the twinkle that grew on Svetlana where his hand had rested. The air around them suddenly filled with the dust of thousands of fairies that gathered to witness the birth.
“What is going on?” Nikolai spoke softly as he inched closer to Svetlana, pulling the cubs beside him.
“This is the first time you’ve done this?” Lucifer smiled. “It seems I could not have chosen a better resting place.”
“Eternity?” The fairy had fluttered to Nikolai and sat on his fingers to watch a new sister emerge. The twinkle had grown and streams of light were weaving themselves into form.
“Fairies are born from the power of exceptional beginnings, Nikolai.” Eternity explained and she watched. “Maefyl has just given birth to one.”
“The first soul released from his curse.” Sanguine told him as she rested on Maefyl’s knee when he sat beside the body across from Nikolai. “I wonder what she will be like.”
“She’ll be perfect as you all are.” Eidolon had witnessed the birth of so many of them and the spectacle was still astounding to him. The crowd that twittered around them creating dancing mists of energy and light as their laughter and joy filled the air.
“Careful Maefyl.” Gory cautioned as Gabriel crouched beside him.
Maefyl slipped his fingers carefully beneath the newborn as the light collected tightly into the delicate limbs and the wings unfolded. She was as unique and beautiful as each of her sisters. Her tiny yawn as she stretched and opened her eyes obliterated any regret he had for his action. Who could ever regret being the spark that created something as beautiful as a fairy?
Waves of joy filled the air around them and even grass and trees seemed to call out their greetings as she dangled her legs playfully over Maefyl’s fingers. She smiled up at Maefyl thankfully, with a full understanding that he was responsible for the act that created her. When she turned the bright green eyes set into the tiny stark white features of her face to Nikolai and the twins her smile grew loving and wide.
Nikolai’s tears began again as he looked at the small miracle that sat in Maefyl’s hand. Her translucent wings shimmered with pink that matched the short locks of her hair and the white skin of her tiny limbs led in perfect gradient to hands and feet of a flawless black. As she blinked her tiny green eyes at him he noticed the thinnest band of black that circled her perfect throat and the tiniest set of fangs gleaming in her perfect smile.
“No more tears.” The fairy fluttered from Maefyl’s hand and hung in the air in front of Nikolai. It was as if Svetlana had given a piece of herself to help create this new life, her soul whispering its final thoughts to the magic that gave the fairy form. “She was happy, she would want you to be as well.”
“Let her sit.” Eternity pulled Nikolai’s hand beneath her new sister and he laid it out for the fairy to sit in his palm.
“This thing can never replace her.” Azazel shouted and buried his face against Nikolai.
“I would never try to.” The fairy said sadly as Gory and Sanguine fluttered behind her and Eternity joined her on Nikolai’s hand.
“Svetlana loved fairies.” Bezer whimpered. “Don’t be mean, Azazel.”
“I’m not sure I know how to deal with this.” Nikolai admitted. “Maefyl, what you’ve done for her, for me. I can’t even begin to…”
“There’s nothing to say about it.” Maefyl let Gabriel help him to his feet as he smiled. “You don’t have any more guilt to suffer.”
“Honor her memory by moving on.” Lucifer added as he set the bed of flowers beneath Svetlana burning.
“Wait.” Bezer cried as she leaned through the flames and kissed Svetlana one last time. Lucifer held the flames until Nikolai and Azazel did the same and let them weep their last tears as he quickly let the flames consume the body. The ash left behind was swept up in the current the fairies had created and sent to rest in the fields of Itami.
“Nikolai.” Eternity spoke sweetly as she broke his mournful silence. “If you allow it she wants to stay with you.”
“If they agree.” Nikolai looked to the twins who nodded their approval with dampened faces and once again offered his hand to her. “Then she is more than welcome. What shall we call you?”
“I would like you to give me a name.” The fairy smiled from his palm.
“Sve-“ Bezer began but Nikolai shook his head and Azazel hissed at her.
“I’ll give her name to no one, Bezer.” Nikolai explained.
“Blondie, then.” Bezer sniffled. “I know she isn’t going to replace her, but she is kind of a part of her.”
“Suit you?” Nikolai asked the tiny miracle in his hand and she smiled and nodded excitedly. “Blondie it is then.”
Once their goodbyes were said. Gabriel joined Maefyl and they went to further placate the dragons Lucifer had put at ease before their arrival. Eidolon returned to Tsumi with Eternity and a new respect for Maefyl and Nikolai. Of their race the two of them had risen above amazing torment and came out of it improved. Lucifer returned to his estate satisfied with the alliances that strengthened among his favorites.
Nikolai returned home with Azazel and Bezer to grieve their loss with the fairy they accepted into their family.