Monthly Archives: October 2013

Happy Samhain

Party in one hour. -L”

Maefyl slid away his phone and resumed his video game. He was content with ignoring the invitation and spending the day right where he was. He assumed that Gabriel would be in his office all day poking at the screen of his tablet and would not want to join in on the festivities.

“Why are you not getting ready?” Sanguine giggled and poked at Maefyl’s neck with a cocktail sword before she fluttered in front of him.

“For what?” Maefyl laughed when he saw she had other plans. The usually naked pink skin was covered in her tiny costume, complete with frilled shirt, long grey frock and fancy buckled shoes. Covering one of her tiny red eyes was a tiny eye patch and she swished a cocktail sword at him as she excitedly showed off her outfit. “Settle down, Captain. I wasn’t going to go.”

“Gabriel is going.” Sanguine poked Maefyl in the nose with her pink plastic sword. “Dress up!”

“Then go with him.” Maefyl sighed. “I’m not in the mood.”

“Yes, you are.” Gory laughed as she landed on his head. “Gabriel wants you to meet him there.”

“He already left?” Maefyl threw the controller on the floor and rubbed at his face. He pulled his hair back into a ponytail as he stood and headed for the bathroom. “Nice of him to say goodbye.”

“Like my costume?” Gory posed on the faucet. Dressed in black from head to toe.

“Ninja?” Maefyl smirked. “You two realize how ridiculous this is, right?”

“It’s fun.” Sanguine poked at Gory and they battled across the counter while Maefyl fixed his eyeliner. “What are you going to be?”

“Vampire.” Maefyl winked at her.

“That is cheating.” Sanguine laughed. “You are going to make Lucifer mad.”

“He is always fucking mad.” Maefyl kicked the counter in front of him and grabbed the phone that jittered in his pocket to find a message from Asura.

Are you coming?

“This is so pointless.” Maefyl sent the reluctant ‘yes’ and laid his hand on the counter. “Let’s go.”

Once Sanguine and Gory found a perch on his shoulder he took them to the doors of Lucifer’s estate and braced himself for an evening of misery. Halloween hadn’t really been celebrated in Tsuriai for centuries, but when the doors opened you wouldn’t know it. The hall was filled with all of Lucifer’s favorites decked out in impressive costumes.

“Dad!” Asura ran over to him and hugged him tightly. Her hair was in pigtails and she carried a little stuffed dog in a basket. “Why didn’t you dress up?”

“Couldn’t be bothered.” Maefyl laughed as the rest of Golod wandered over. Bezer was the cowardly lion, Azazel the scarecrow, Blondie sat on Nikolai’s shoulder painted silver as the tin man. Even Nikolai had decided to play along and had chosen as modestly as possible as the frightening average wizard of oz. “Where is Gabriel?”

“He wandered off with Lucifer.” Bezer laughed.

“You suck.” Azazel teased as he hugged Asura. “You get to go sit in the corner with the other spoil sport.”

“So someone else has sense?” Maefyl lit a cigarette and laughed at the fargoyles that flew past in torn clothes chasing after Shana the nurse, begging playfully for her brains.

“Just Kage.” Azazel laughed and pulled Asura off to dance. Bezer similarly yanked Nikolai by his sleeve until he waved back at Maefyl and gave up.

“Careful, you are going to get stepped on.” Brig picked a plastic ball off the floor and clicked open it’s lid to let Demise out for a bit. She popped out laughing in her fuzzy brown suit. “I still think you should have dressed up like us.”

“Shana didn’t either and I’m a cute hamster.” Demise pouted. “Hi Maefyl.”

“Hey.” Maefyl couldn’t help but laugh at the fairy in a hamster ball. it didn’t help that she was being carried around by a zombie. He patted Brig’s head and walked past him. “I’ll be in the loser’s corner.”

“I thought you would enjoy this nonsense, half-breed.” Kage kicked out a chair for Maefyl, surprised he would have company for the evening. Nexus had darkened her hair and dressed as Cleopatra and was socializing with the seamstresses who had decided on matching rag doll costumes.

“Just not in the mood.” Maefyl sat and sent Sanguine and Gory off to play. “I can’t believe they got Raziel to play along.”

Raziel sat in a long lab coat, his hair frazzled and held back by goggles. he watched with no trace of emotion as Van and Galik danced a few feet away. Victor Frankenstein, quietly observing his monster and its bride.

“You two are trying to spoil my party.” Lucifer kicked over the table in front of Maefyl and Kage. He flipped out the tails of his green jacket and tipped the oversized top hat into his lap as he sat across Kage’s lap. “You have two seconds or I choose for you.”

“I…” Kage protested and Lucifer grabbed his throat and made the decision as he promised. Kage hissed at the embarrassing assault. “Damn it.”

“Too late.” Lucifer stood and wrapped his arm around Lilith; the mad hatter’s Alice for the evening. He had forced Kage to join their troupe as the White Rabbit, complete with fluffy bunny ears. As Maefyl laughed Lucifer glared at him. “Unless you would like to be the March Hare, I suggest you do something impressive.”

“Right.” Maefyl flicked his cigarette past them as he stood. He shortened his hair and shook the auburn from it as he gave up his comfortable attire for the more fitted clothes and dark bandages Lucifer preferred. He gave up his boots for the black canvas sneakers and forced his eyes entirely black. He smirked at Lucifer and hoped he found it as offensive as Maefyl meant it to be. “Too bad I’m not shorter.”

“I have a better smile.” Lucifer grinned and Lilith laughed beside him. He joined in her laughter as Gabriel winked from behind Maefyl. Lucifer decided to let Gabriel have his fun alone and turned ot look over the gathering. “Now where is my caterpillar?”

“Eidolon is over there, my Lord.” Lilith pointed and winked back at Maefyl before she continued. “I believe he is feeding the Chesire and the Queen of Hearts.”

“Unbelievable.” Maefyl shook his head. Even Eternity had joined in as the Door Mouse. “He can convince people to do anything.”

“You look disturbingly like him, half-breed.” Kage hissed as he followed after Lucifer.

“Hey.” Maefyl smiled when he felt Gabriel’s hands on his shoulders. “You left without me.”

“To surprise you.” Gabriel laid his hand over Maefyl’s eyes. “You aren’t allowed to be angry.”

“I’m not.” Maefyl sighed and pulled Gabriel’s hand away so he could turn and face him. He smiled and took Gabriel’s face in his hands. “This is going to be a little weird.”

Maefyl wrapped his arm around Gabriel; shaking his head at his borrowed trench coat and the long skirt Gabriel wore. He pushed his fingers back through the hair that would match his own and giggled at the sight of Gabriel’s perfect eyes framed in eyeliner before he pulled him close and bit into Gabriel’s neck.

Gabriel left the bloody mess on the collar as it only added to the authenticity of his mimicry, but he wiped the mess from Maefyl’s lips as he watched the others preparing their phones for pictures. As the music changed and applause erupted behind him Maefyl tensed in his arms.

“Damn it.” Maefyl sighed. “Who do I blame for this?”

“Me.” Gabriel smiled and kissed him before he spun Maefyl in his arms to face his friends and whispered at his ear. “Happy Halloween, Maefyl. And Happy Birthday.”

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Vex : Integrity Pt.2

“You are so weird.” Shana had read enough old books to know he was intent on having a picture perfect fairy tale wedding and she loved the idea, it just seemed next to impossible and she did not want him to be crushed when it fell apart. For some reason she suddenly remembered what Gabriel had said before he left, advice from Maefyl that she did not quite understand. “What did Gabriel mean? About getting the pain over with?”

“Some weird demon shit.” Brig sighed. “Lord Lucifer gave me something so I could marry you the way that they marry. Maefyl said it hurts, I would really rather not put you through it. I have no idea what it would do to you and as nice as ‘love, honor and obey’ sounds, I think they take it a bit to literally.”

“He gave you a collar for me?” Shana sat up suddenly. “I thought they were permanent. Like tattoos. How can he give you one for someone else?”

“No idea.” Brig shrugged. “Like I said I have no idea what would happen and I think it would be far worse than a tattoo. So I wasn’t planning on giving it to you once I found out what it was.”

“He didn’t tell you?” Shana looked at him puzzled.

“Maefyl told me.” Brig explained. “Lucifer just sort of stabbed me and made it out of my blood. Told me it was for you.”

“Can I see it?” Shana smiled at him excitedly.

“Just don’t touch it. Okay?” Brig pleaded with her. Her smile made him melt and he could not deny her request but he was worried about what kind of damage Lucifer’s magic could do. He fished the cord out of his pocket and laid the pendant in is hand to show it to her. “I really ought to lock this thing up somewhere.”

“It’s pretty.” Shana smiled and reached for he pendant.

“Pretty fucked up.” Brig pulled his hand away and returned the strange necklace to his pocket. “Just leave it alone for now. You want to go out while I have the time?”

“I’m more worried about when you don’t have the time.” Shana looked up at him nervously. “What happens when I get hungry? How often do I have to…”

“It’s not like there’s a schedule, ShaSha.”  Brig sighed and squeezed her shoulders gently. He had never seen her look so lost. “It’s not a whole lot different than before, you get hungry you eat.”

“Except it’s not like running out to the store anymore.” Shana pointed out. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”

“I really wish you had thought this through.” Brig sighed. Her rush to join him in eternity was flattering and he could not be more thrilled to have so much time with her, but it locked her into the nightmare he had lived for so long. He hated the idea that she would have to take lives to live.

“I just wanted to be with you.” Shana defended her decision. “I have a few things to get used to, so help me and just be happy that I’m doing this for you.”

“I am.” Brig smiled as he lifted her and stood. Whatever difficulties lad in wait he would tackle them and make her life as simple and happy as possible, for now he was happy and he wanted to keep them both that way. He would give her patience and everything else she required. “We’ll figure out the details as they come up. For now I would like to take you out and spoil you.”

“I don’t need spoiling.” Shana insisted.

“You said yes, doll face.” Brig grinned and took her hand, kissed the ring on it before he laced his fingers through hers and pulled her along. “I get to spoil you all I want.”

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Vex : Integrity Pt.1

“Why did you do this?” Brig pulled Shana up to her knees in front of him as he sat on the bed still trying to accept what had happened. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done to yourself?”

“I thought it would make you happy.” Shana twisted one of her braids in her fingers as she avoided looking into his eyes. “I definitely didn’t think it would make you mad.”

“I’m not mad, ShaSha.” Brig slid his hands onto her shoulders and sighed. “I’m petrified.”

“Why?” Shana looked up at him. “It means we can be together, that’s what you wanted isn’t it?”

“I think we still have very different ideas on what together means.” Brig wished she had let him explain before she made this decision. “Please tell me you didn’t do this so I would sleep with you.”

“I did it because I want to stay with you.” Shana grabbed his shirt to pull him closer and ripped it.

“And now I have to change again.” Brig sighed. “You’ll get used to it pretty quick, but you need to be more careful.”

“You’ll probably have to help me through this for a while.” Shana pulled herself onto his lap, sliding her legs around him as she kissed him. As soon as he felt her fangs and she tasted his blood he pulled away from it and looked away. She wrapped her arms around him and started to cry. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to. Don’t hate me, Brig. Please.”

“Calm down, doll face.” Brig rubbed her back. “It just freaked me out. I think we should probably talk about a few things though.”

“I think we should talk about getting you out of this shirt since it’s already ripped.” Shana looked at him hopefully as she slid her hand through the tear at his chest.

“I really wish you had let me explain.” Brig frowned at her. “You rushed to call him and now your stuck like this. I was fine with you being human. I wasn’t turning you down because you weren’t like me.”

“Come on, it’s been forever.” Shana pouted as she pawed at him.

“Forever? You aren’t even thirty.” Brig sighed. “And for me it’s been never, so you can wait.”

“Never?” Shana couldn’t hide her shock.

“I told you up until a few years ago it wasn’t even possible.” Brig explained.

“But you were human at some point.” Shana couldn’t believe he had managed adolescence with his face and remained a virgin.

“Yea, and Christian.” Brig defended and noticed her complete confusion. He rubbed at his hair and let out a frustrated sigh. “Which means nothing to you. I’m not going to bother trying to explain religion, it’s pointless anyway. But it just wasn’t decent when I was growing up, and I owe it to my parents to at least try and respect what they taught me. They waited until they were married, and I’m going to. I’m sorry, Shana. Not negotiable for me.”

“It’s just fucking paperwork.” Shana pouted.

“Not to me it isn’t.” Brig kissed her forehead and lifted her off of his lap before he jumped off the bed and took her hands. He wasn’t going to argue over it, but siting around in bed was just going to add to the temptation for both of them. He wanted her just as much, but he was trying to keep at least some of his values intact. “I’m gonna go sit out back. Come with me?”

Shana realized that she was pushing too hard. Pushing him into what she had accused him of doing with all his groupies and started to feel like one of them. She wanted him to understand that she had not made the decision lightly. She did love him, and wanted to stay with him. As hard as it was not to get worked up over him, the physical could wait.

Brig had her wait at the stairs as he wandered into another room and returned clutching something in his hand. Then he led her out to the back porch and jumped over the rail into the shade of a large evergreen. Brig smiled up at her and offered his hand to help her down. She was amazed with her new abilities. She felt so light on her feet. Everything seemed so much brighter, flowers more fragrant. She imagined the heightened senses would be as much a curse as a blessing at times but in this garden, she loved every second of the things she had missed out on or taken for granted before now.

“It’s pretty out here.” Shana smiled over the huge yard and ran her fingers over the low lying branches before Brig took her hand and pulled her to sit beside him. “What are you doing?”

“Checking to see how this works now.” Brig flipped through information on his phone. The one Raziel had given him let him access the same information he could on the computer on his desk. He was slightly disappointed when he found what he was looking for. Just fucking paperwork, ceremonies were only for show at this point, just needed to send in witnessed papers and have the Circle sign off. He shrugged off the disappointment, he could figure out details later. “I want you to understand why this is important to me.”

“So tell me.” Shana leaned her head on his shoulder as he hugged his knees. “I’m sorry I was being a bit demanding.”

“Its okay, doll face.” Brig pulled at on of her braids as he smiled. “I’m just as stubborn when I want something.”

“I’ve noticed.” Shana grinned at him.

“My parents were good people.” Brig leaned his head back against the trunk. “They and my baby sister were murdered by the same vampires who took me. I loved my parents, I respected them. I kept repairing this huge nightmare of a house because I want them to know that. And it’s why I want the kind of marriage they had, I’m not trying to push you away. I’m just trying to do right by my family, even though it turned out church was kind of bullshit, it was important to them. I can at least…”

“I get it.” Shana hugged him. “I’ll stop bugging you about it.”

“I wont make you wait long.” Brig smiled and wriggled playfully out of her hug so he could kneel in front of her. After taking a moment to remember which one it should be he took her left hand and slid his mother’s engagement ring onto Shana’s finger. “I want to spend my life with you, will you please be my wife, Shana Weatherby?”

“Yes I will, Hunter Brig.” Shana lunged forward and kissed him.

“Gross, you know my name.” Brig smiled and held her as he rubbed ring on her finger. He had managed to keep it in pretty good shape but it needed to be cleaned. “I need to ask about a few things, but I would like to at least try to have a proper wedding. Can you keep your clothes on that long?”

“I’ll try.” Shana stuck her tongue out at him. “Hunter.”

“Ugh, don’t.” Brig squeezed her. “I loved my mother but she should not have been allowed to name her children.”

“What was your sister’s name?” Shana cuddled up against him.

“Juniper.” Brig told her as he looked up to the branches. “I never knew her.”

“How about we talk about something else.” Shana offered. “I don’t get the whole proper wedding thing. Isn’t it just a big party and a fancy dress? I mean don’t get me wrong, fancy dress is awesome, but isn’t just loving each other enough. It’s not like I have friends to show you off to, my family is gone.”

“Well since you are ok with the dress idea we’ll have to find someone to help you pick one out.” Brig grinned at her.

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Vex : Nikolai Pt.3

Nikolai was disgusted by every word. His own turning had been cruel and unwanted, but as he listened to Maefyl explain what Freya had done and how the boy suffered even before her torture, he felt nearly as obligated as Maefyl to put an end to her life.

“Maefyl, I’m not sure what you expect me to say.” Nikolai broke the silence that followed Maefyl’s somber story telling. “I can hardly give my approval to take her life. I’ve never even met her; I can’t begin to imagine how the boy has suffered because of what she has done. I am sincerely sorry for what he went through, but it was not her alone that made him suffer. You’ve seen his past, not hers. Are you certain she deserves death?”

“That boy is probably as old as you are Nikolai.” Maefyl began his rant. “He has suffered a past as miserable as yours and I seem to recall having a hand in putting a few of your skeletons to rest, do you think he deserves any less justice for what’s been done to him?”

“I’m not asking you to forgive what she’s done.” Nikolai interrupted. “I don’t think it should be forgiven. But can any one of us claim an innocent existence? We have all been cruel, all done things we regret. I’m only asking that before you take on the role of executioner you at least make an effort to be a fair judge. You met her only once, did you even ask if she was at all remorseful for her actions?”

“None of us are that evil.” Maefyl shouted at him. “How would you like having someone force themselves on you? She spent months raping the kid, Nikolai. You expect me to ask if the bitch is sorry?”

“Maefyl.” Gabriel took Maefyl in his arms to calm his rage. It wasn’t only Brig he was defending. Maefyl clutched the hand of his mother as she looked at the floor. “Calm yourself.”

“He has my sympathy.” Nikolai explained. “My empathy as well. I’m no stranger to his pain.”

“You don’t need to talk about this, Master Nikolai.” Bezer pouted. She had hoped the more painful moments of his past would stay buried.

“It is fine, my pet.” Nikolai ran his fingers through her hair as she leaned against him. Her efforts to protect him from his own past were touching and he tried to comfort her as he steeled himself for the confession of his past. “Artemis saw fit to use me as he pleased, I don’t begrudge your friend his justice.”

“As much as I find Hiwai to be revolting, he is also useful and loyal.” Eidolon interrupted, giving Nikolai a moment to accept the comfort of his pets. “I know his actions during the war more than earned your hatred, but he only acted as he was permitted.”

“Hiwai is not the issue at the moment.” Maefyl cut him off. “Neither is the war, and it doesn’t need to be discussed in front of the girls.”

“Eidolon, I will see to it both Kage and Tsumi are compensated any loss.” Lilith offered her assistance in keeping everyone at peace. “The Viper will not be a problem.”

“Are you in a hurry to be done with this?” Nikolai looked up to Maefyl. “Will I have any time to speak with her?”

“Why would you want to?” Azazel pulled at Nikolai’s hair until he turned to face him. “I don’t want you around someone like that.”

“Curiosity, my pet.” Nikolai was beginning to feel like his entire bloodline was tainted. “I hold out hope that there is some goodness in the blood that flows through me.”

Your blood runs through you.” Maefyl explained. “You aren’t Artemis, You aren’t Mist, and you are most certainly not Freya. There is goodness and compassion in your blood, Nikolai. You were the one that put it there. I like you. I sincerely apologize that you were born into a family of assholes, but it doesn’t make you one.”

“We’re your family, Master Nikolai.” Bezer added as she wrapped around his arm tightly and purred. “You were supposed to have put this soul searching behind you, anyway.”

“Besides it’s not like the blood makes a difference.” Azazel purred as he gave Maefyl a wicked grin. “Asura is his kid and she’s not an asshole.”

“Hey!” Asura pouted as she tugged on Azazel’s tail.

“It’s adorable how much you love me, pussy cat.” Maefyl leaned against Gabriel and squeezed Lilith’s hand. “I’ll give it time, Nikolai. If she goes near Brig or Shana it’s over, I wont let her hurt either of them.”

“Fair enough.” Nikolai nodded his gratitude. “I just want the chance to meet her. If she is as unredeemable as you seem to think, I will stand by your side while you exact revenge. It would not be the first time I’ve aided in the death of my own family.”

“What?” Asura looked up at him startled by the idea.

“That is better left alone, Asura.” Gabriel cautioned her. “It was very long ago.”

“I keep no secrets from her.” Nikolai stroked her hair. The only reason she did not already know the details of his past is because she had never asked. “You have every right to know, my pet. Would you mind discussing it at home? It is rather personal.”

“That’s fine.” Asura nodded. Nikolai never hid anything from her and she knew the second they arrived at home he would tell her everything. “Only if you want to, but deal with this first.”

“Is there any chance you can have her meet with me, Eidolon?” Nikolai asked as he held Asura gently, thankful for her patience.

“Hiwai answers to Kage.” Eidolon shook his head. “I would prefer to stay uninvolved in this.”

“If it’s okay with Master Eidolon, I can tell Kage you want to talk to him.” Karla offered.

“As long as your part ends there.” Eidolon smiled. Her insistence of making a friend of Kage had been amusing. More so because Kage seemed to accept it. “I don’t want you involved either.”

“Gotcha!” Karla grinned as she hugged Eidolon tightly. “Is he even here?”

“Nope.” Kaneko hopped onto her feet. “He told Kaneko he was busy today. Kaneko is hungry!”

“Me too.” Karla pouted.

“Only because we are entertaining, go with Kaneko.” Eidolon kissed Karla and helped her to her feet. Kaneko leaned over to kiss him and they both ran off together. Eidolon waited until they were through the door before he suggested a change of topic and a much needed end to the conversation. “Asura, would you like to continue your lessons?”

“Yes, please!” Asura gave quick kisses to Azazel and Nikolai, Bezer grabbed her and made her linger a moment longer and Asura walked away from it blushing.

“Would you mind, Eidolon?” Gabriel stepped toward Asura drawing his swords. “It’s been a while.”

“By all means.” Eidolon bowed out and turned to block a rather vicious attack from Maefyl, barely knocking the second blade away before it pierced his side. He smiled over his shoulder at Lilith. “Care to join us, Mistress?”

“I think I will just watch.” Lilith shifted to the stairs, hovering inches off the ground and kicked at Bezer’s feet until she offered her lap to sit on. Bezer flushed and looked nervously at Nikolai. Lilith just grinned at his attempt to hide his jealousy. “Why is it you’ve never taken this up, Nikolai?”

“Too violent.” Nikolai grinned as Azazel squeezed him and purred.

“I see Golod remains as twisted as ever.” Lilith laughed.

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Vex : Nikolai Pt.2

“Again.” Eidolon commanded as he kicked Asura backward. “You are faster than that, young Asura.”

“Must you be so hard on her, Eidolon?” Nikolai watched nervously.

“If you are going to be a pest, wait in Golod.” Eidolon deflected Asura’s next attack and let his blade catch her cheek. “You are distracting her.”

“Claws are easier.” Azazel loved watching Asura fight but he always felt a bit left out.

“With enough patience her daggers will be her claws.” Eidolon smiled as she regained her focus and came at him with determined intent. “Much better.”

“You mind a bigger audience?” Maefyl smiled as he watched Asura, impressed as always with everything she did. Her skill and her patience made her succeed in everything she set her sights on.

“Don’t let them distract you.” Eidolon warned as he nodded a quick greeting to the sudden arrival of their guests and quickly returned to his attack. He had taken great care in Asura’s lessons; slowing himself to accommodate her, but never enough to coddle her. Her skill and precision increased steadily with each lesson and he enjoyed teaching her. The strength she had obtained from years of feeding on Maefyl and the cubs, and the power Lucifer had awarded her, had made her as powerful in combat as a young demon. As he attacked she was matching each strike perfectly. “Beautiful. Will you play with Kaneko a while, I need to speak with Nikolai.”

“Thank you, Uncle Eidolon.” They each bowed out of the lesson gracefully and Kaneko bounded over to claim a kiss from Eidolon before she stepped in to take his place.

“Let’s go, Squirt!” Kaneko grinned as she drew her daggers. “Kaneko promised Karla a good show.”

“Don’t make me look bad in front of my folks, Kaneko!” Asura smiled over to Gabriel and Maefyl as Kaneko came at her, Asura caught the daggers against her own grinning as their dance began. “I’ll try not to disappoint you, Karla!”

“You never do!” Karla cheered them both on. She adored watching Asura’s lessons. The pace they kept for Asura made it easier to watch, and Karla loved seeing Eidolon so stern and serious as he mentored her best friend. Watching Kaneko and Asura was always entertaining; both of them were so excited it was impossible not to succumb to their infectious joy.

“I wasn’t expecting any of you.” Eidolon took Lilith’s hand and kissed it as he bowed his head respectfully and offered his hand to Gabriel. “I’m afraid I can do little to entertain you today, I have things to discuss with Nikolai.”

“Me too.” Maefyl sighed. “I have a feeling the discussions may be related.”

“Freya?” Eidolon was troubled by Maefyl’s nod of affirmation as it bore a weight of sadness that meant the conversation was not going to be as uneventful as he hoped. “This is not going to be pleasant is it?”

“I’m afraid not, Eidolon.” Gabriel took Maefyl’s ponytail in his hand as they walked toward the stairs.

Nikolai remained oblivious to their discussion and had offered little more than a wave at their arrival as he watched Asura. As remarkable as his young bride was in battle he remained protective and cringed each time she bled. Azazel and Bezer cheered her on excitedly as she fought, occasionally pawing at Nikolai to comfort him through his worry.

“What brings you along, Mistress?” Eidolon asked as they approached the stairs. Her presence almost always meant Lucifer’s involvement and that was not always a comfort.

“Only spending time with my son, Eidolon.” Lilith assured him. Lucifer preferred to wait out this problem and she was obliged to respect his decision. “I am uninvolved.”

“Mistress Lilith.” Nikolai stood to make a proper greeting to each of them before he sat again and returned his attention to Asura’s battle. It was not often he was invited to them as Eidolon was convinced his presence was too distracting.

“Hi, pussy cats.” Maefyl hugged Azazel and Bezer as they wrapped their arms around him from either side. “Mind if we borrow Nikolai for a few?”

“What for?” Azazel stepped between them, defensive as always over Nikolai.

“Just to have a chat.” Gabriel assured the paranoid cub. “No need to worry, Azazel.”

“We can chat here.” Nikolai answered without taking his eyes off of Asura. “Eidolon rarely allows me to sit in on her lessons.”

“You would think by now everyone would know that the four of you don’t keep secrets from each other.” Blondie giggled from his shoulder.

“Another valid point.” Nikolai grinned as Azazel sat on the step behind him and draped his arms over his shoulders and Blondie crawled into his hair. “As she says, there’s no reason to leave.”

“I can go upstairs if it’s private, Master Eidolon.” Karla offered as she stood and took his hands.

“You may stay.” Eidolon sat and let her make herself comfortable on his lap. He was unsure of how to begin but there was little point in drawing it out. “Nikolai, Freya still lives.”

“And is to wed a servant of Lord Kage.” Nikolai added as he turned to Eidolon and noticed his surprise. “Don’t look so shocked, my friend. Bezer and Asura give me details of every visit. When I heard the name I had Asura sketch the woman, she is a far better artist than Artemis but it was still unmistakably the woman he loved. How long have you known?”

“Long enough to feel guilty for keeping it from you.” Eidolon admitted. “Forgive me, I honestly believed her involvement with Hiwai would mean her end, I didn’t want to trouble you with her existence only to have you grieve the end of it.”

“He’ll still have to grieve. Hiwai may not want her dead, but I do.” Maefyl explained the reason for his sudden visit and continued to point out his disgust with the demon that kept her. “Hiwai too for that matter.”

“Why?” Nikolai looked to Maefyl for some explanation. “Should I be concerned that you seem very determined to destroy my entire family? Will I be next?”

“Let him explain, Nikolai.” Lilith interrupted. “He could have acted without speaking with you at all.”

“What’s going on?” Asura had called an end to her lesson when she saw the tension between Nikolai and Maefyl. She looked between the two of them panicked. “Why are you both mad. Please don’t fight.”

“Calm down, Asura.” Maefyl could see her eyes glazing over as she struggled with the idea of having to choose a side. “This isn’t a fight.”

“Promise me.” Asura pleaded with them. “Both of you.”

“I promise, Asura.” Maefyl hugged her and rubbed her back. “This isn’t about Nikolai and we aren’t going to fight over it. We’re only talking.”

“Come here, my pet.” Nikolai stood and took her face in his hands. “I will never make you stand against your fathers, I love all of you too much for that.”

“Why do you all look so upset then?” Asura pouted.

“Because this will not be the first time Maefyl has had to take the life of one of Nikolai’s family.” Gabriel explained as he put his arm around her shoulders. Asura turned and hugged him. “Freya is the last of them.”

“Then just don’t kill her.” Asura suggested. “Leave her alone. She didn’t seem like a bad person.”

“What exactly has Freya done to deserve your wrath, Maefyl?” Nikolai took Asura into his arms and sat between Azazel and Bezer on the steps. “I haven’t even had a chance to meet her and you come to tell me she is slated for death.”

“Terrible things.” Maefyl had a difficult time trying to put her crimes into words. He explained the memories he had witnessed in as much detail as he dared. Asura and Karla were quickly wiping away tears. Even Kaneko and Bezer were close to weeping over Brig’s sad beginnings and what Freya had done to make his nightmare even worse.

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Vex : Nikolai Pt.1

“Sorry I dragged you into that.” Maefyl apologized as Gabriel let him fall into the couch. As he stretched out on it and closed his eyes, Gabriel kneeled on the floor beside him. “I just…”

“You don’t need to explain.”  Gabriel sat back on his feet and tucked his violin under his chin, watching Maefyl smile as he drew his bow over he strings. “I’m with you in all things.”

“I am going to need to talk to Nikolai.” Maefyl turned on his side to watch Gabriel play. He watched the perfect fingers that led the bow across the strings as Gory sat across them grinning.

“You were saying as much before the girl called.” Gabriel played sweet versions of old songs that Maefyl played at ridiculous volumes in his office. “Shall I call on Nikolai now or do you want to explain?”

“I like Brig, but it might have been more merciful to end him with the rest of them.” Maefyl slid from the couch and kneeled behind Gabriel resting his hand on the wrist that held the bow, kissing Gabriel’s neck before he bit into it.

“I don’t want to see these things, Maefyl.” Gabriel rested the violin on his knee as Maefyl shared what he had seen. “You are welcome to my blood but keep his memories.”

“She is as disgusting as the demon that laid claim to her.” Maefyl pulled his hair back into a ponytail and sighed. “Keep playing. It helps me think.”

“I think Brig is a decent man despite the unfortunate beginnings.” Gabriel resumed playing. “He would have likely been a friend to you if you had given him the chance.”

“Why is everyone so damn insistent I have an entourage?” Maefyl sighed. “Lucy is paranoid enough, I don’t need…”

“Paranoid?” Lucifer laughed as he stood on the coffee table with Lilith at his side. “Don’t be arrogant. I was going to offer you my help.”

“Don’t need it.” Maefyl flipped him off before he grinned at Lilith. “Hello, Mother.”

“You were supposed to visit today.” Lilith scolded him. “I assume you have a good reason for skipping out again?”

“Yea, I do.” Maefyl jumped to his feet and stepped up on the table in front of Lucifer. “Someone saddled me with a bitch of a babysitting job.”

“You made the decision to include the girl in your work.” Lucifer grinned up at Maefyl. At the look of surprise from the pain in the vampire’s side and the blood spilling over Lucifer’s hand where he had driven the dagger into Maefyl. Lucifer twisted the blade before he withdrew it. “Insult me again.”

“That’s enough.” Gabriel laid his hand on the wound and pulled Maefyl off of the table to stand beside him. “I’m tired of the two of you fighting.”

“He stabs me and I’m the one in trouble?” Maefyl pushed Gabriel’s arm off of him, but stayed at his side. “Fuck you both.”

“I have a few meetings to see to.” Lucifer kissed Lilith and stepped from the table, taking her hand to help her to the floor. “Enjoy your visit, my love.”

“Visit?” Maefyl asked. Lucifer had already left. He looked at the sad smile on his mothers face and felt bad trying to brush her off. “This isn’t the best time, Lilith.”

“I recall you telling me I could come to see you any time I needed to.” Lilith hugged him as she spoke softly and knew he would understand. “I felt the need.”

“Okay.” Maefyl smiled. He had made the offer to entertain her when Lucifer was engaging in his lurid affair with the Viper. An affair Lilith allowed, but was no less bothered by. They never spoke of it, and Maefyl told no one. Not even Gabriel was aware of the reason for the increasing visits from Lilith. “But we will be going to Golod.”

“Thank you.” Lilith whispered to him as he hugged her back.

“Tsumi.” Gabriel corrected as he slid away his phone. He was glad to see Maefyl and Lilith improving their relationship, but he knew there was some dark secret behind it. He was tempted to ask Maefyl, but he had kept so many secrets from Maefyl in the past that he felt he had no right to force one out of him. “Nikolai is in Tsumi with Eidolon. For Asura’s lessons.”

“Perfect.” Maefyl grabbed Gabriel by his lapel and kissed him as he shifted them to the hall in Tsumi.

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Vex : Strange Love

“I had no choice.” Hiwai slid his reptilian fingers through Freya’s curls at her neck. “The boy speaks on behalf of the Vex. If Maefyl offended you I will find a way to make him pay for it.”

“It wasn’t that I was offended.” Freya explained. “But the way he speaks to you…”

“I’m not concerned with what the half-breed thinks of me.” Hiwai pressed her back against the tree they sat beneath and let his tongue flick against her lips as he spoke. “I am interested in the fearful screams you won from the young third in Vex.”

“You’ll think me horrible.” Freya tried to turn away from his gaze but he held her face to his and smiled.

“I truly hope so.” Hiwai clutched one of her ankles with his clawed feet as he kissed her. He let his spine bend unnaturally so he could lie against her, teasing her with his desire for her as he started to pry at the edges of her mind. Her slight panic at his intrusion eased as he stroked her neck and spoke. “Let me have your thoughts.”

“You can see my memories?” Freya felt his tail coiling around her leg as he pulled her into the grass and laid her on her back.

“Yes. If you let me.” Hiwai hissed at her ear as he tore at her clothes. As he kissed her again Freya became an open book, as much because she wanted to please him as because she was so glad he accepted even her darkest moments with a perverse joy. He had no need to force her into giving herself over. She wanted him. Guided him inside her mind as she guided him into her body, she led him to the thoughts he sought, her vicious cruelty as she made a toy of the child who would grow to serve Lucifer in Vex. Hiwai loved every second of it, savoring each breath of the memory and each breath she panted beneath him. Watching her every touch strike fear into the boyish vampire, her fangs in his skin making him grimace, her kisses making him weep. She smiled through all of it. “I love you.”

“I love you.” Freya grinned as he took her. “My beautiful monster.”

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