Monthly Archives: November 2013

Vex : Wolf Pack Pt.2

“You’re being unfair, Uncle.” Shiroi shouted at him. “Why now?”

“You are being unreasonable.” Kage spoke coldly. “You’ve done nothing with the help I’ve given. Learn to control what you already have. I will give you no more help in this. It’s pathetic that you still need my assistance. Children are more adept.”

“So teach me.” Shiroi pleaded. “I’m not trying to be ungrateful. I just don’t know what I’m doing.”

“Which is sad enough.” Kage hissed and raised his hand to strike her. His fingers met with Kryss’s face instead as the demon shifted in front of her. “Don’t interfere. This is a private matter.”

“That doesn’t make her any less a woman.” Kryss was overstepping and he fully expected to pay for it, but as naïve as he may be about women he saw no need for any violence against them. “Please don’t hit her.”

“Thank you.” Shiroi put her hands on Kryss’s shoulders from behind him and squeezed gently. “It’s okay though, don’t get yourself into trouble.”

“I didn’t mean to interfere, Lord Viper.” Kryss bowed his head respectfully. “It was…”

“You don’t need to explain yourself.” Kage ran his fingers back across the Black Wolf’s face. “As it is, Eidolon will scold me for striking one of his pups.”

“I didn’t plan on telling him.” Kryss smiled up at Kage. “I won’t be the cause of tension between the two of you. We were all relieved to see the two of you working together again.”

“Aren’t you just the perfect gentlemen?” Shiroi hugged Kryss tightly from behind.

“Enough, Shiroi.” Kage scolded. “You’re making him uncomfortable.”

“Just can’t do anything right, can I Uncle?” Shiroi scowled at him as she stepped away from Kryss. “I apologize.”

“No need.” Kryss smiled. “I just seem to get in trouble for being friendly and you are closely tied to demons I don’t want to make enemies of.”

“Was there something you wanted, Kryss?” Kage asked as he turned and headed for his office. “You may join me upstairs.”

“I wasn’t done talking to you, Uncle!” Shiroi shouted after him.

“Yes. You were.” Kage didn’t bother turning to acknowledge her. He was through supplying her with strengths she wasted. “Good day, Shiroi.”

“I wont keep you, Lord Viper.” Kryss didn’t want to offend either of them. He bowed and waited until Kage was behind his office door before he stood and turned to the angry white haired demoness. “I’m sorry I interrupted. It wasn’t intentional.”

“It’s my fault anyway.” Shiroi managed a smile. “He doesn’t like unscheduled visits and he’s been flustered with me lately anyway. I only popped in on him because I was coming to Tsumi anyway.”

“What would drive you to aggravate a Watcher anyway?” Kryss laughed a bit as he scratched behind his own ears. “Especially that one.”

“He is angry because he thinks I’m useless.” Shiroi sighed. “He sort of cut me off.”

“Aren’t you Lucifer’s kid?” Kryss raised an eyebrow in confusion. “How could you be useless?”

“I think that’s what has him angry.” Shiroi admitted sadly. “Everyone seems to think I’m wasting my potential. Kage was giving me help, but only to gather strength. I managed to make everyone angry, no one wants to help any more.”

“Why not ask Lucifer to have the seamstress help you?” Kryss offered the suggestion. “If you already have magic, Mistress Raven should be able to help.”

“Dove and Raven are among the ones I’ve managed to piss off.” Shiroi sighed. “And my father has practically disowned me.”

“So figure out what you want to learn and find a teacher.” Kryss smiled. “Maybe they just want you to take initiative. Have you tried anything?”

“Maefyl was helping early on.” Shiroi wondered why she was pouring her heart out to this odd gentlemanly demon she barely knew. “I was doing okay, but he gets angry with me pretty quickly.”

“Aren’t you his wife?” Kryss had seen them together at the strange vampiric wedding. She had Maefyl’s crest and his collar. He couldn’t understand what would make him angry enough to turn his back on his bride. “He should be happy to teach you.”

“I think he was at first.” Shiroi walked to the steps and sat. “There were some complications and a lot of confusion for a while, then he started complaining because I couldn’t tell him what I wanted to know.”

“Well that would help.” Kryss laughed and crouched in front of her. “Anyone could teach you a few things, but if you don’t know what it is you want to do anyone is going to get impatient with trying to decide what to teach you. Most of us just figure it out on our own. Just try something, if it suits get better at it. If you hate it try something else. You obviously want the power for something or you wouldn’t be yelling at the Viper. So, what is it you want?”

“To feel appreciated for the things I can do for starters.” Shiroi sighed. Her strange skills had come in useful on a few occasions, but she had little control over them and they seemed generally useless for anything beyond calming hostility when it was reaching explosive heights. On a smaller scale it only seemed to upset people when she was upset, or win an extra smile or two when she was in a good mood. She had spent so long just trying to suppress it before she knew what she was, and now that she did it seemed weak and pointless. Aside from the emotional disaster of a skill she thought useless she only had minimal control over the elements, she had driven off the friend who helped her get that far. “It would be nice to have anything useful to feel proud of. I doubt spending my days as the Circle secretary are ever going to win any respect, but I don’t seem to have any skills worth a damn to anyone. I feel bad unloading on you like this, you probably have a million things you would rather do than listen to a stranger complain.”

“I was just killing time anyway.” Kryss smiled. “If you’ll forgive me for being blunt…”

“Go ahead.” Shiroi sighed. “I’m used to it.”

“You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself.” Kryss felt horrible for being so rude but hoped she understood his intent was not to insult her but to pull her out of the rut she had dug herself. “You’re a doormat because you lay down and take it. If you want to be useful make yourself useful. You aren’t going to get anywhere begging for the attention of the likes of the Viper or even your father. If you want their attention you have to be exceptional. Show them your worth if you want the pat on the head. They wouldn’t tolerate you if they didn’t care about you, but if you just soak up attention they are going to get tired of giving it.”

“Where do I even start?” Shiroi sighed. “I’ve already pissed them all off. At this point I couldn’t even ask their help if I knew what I wanted. They all have so many talents, probably more that I don’t even know about. I wish I could just find one thing that he does, to be something I can be a part of.”

“So pick one and try it.” Kryss said plainly. “Wishing gets you no where.”

“You saw how they all fought at the wedding?” Shiroi rested her head on her knees to ashamed to even look the patient demon in the eyes. “I hate violence, it bothers me that they all seem so excited by it. But even though I can’t stand it, I watch them when they fight like that and I get so jealous that I can’t join in. It’s hypnotic, the way they move. Like dancing. I can’t do that either. I don’t know why I’m telling you any of this. You probably think I’m an idiot.”

“So, I’m confused. You want to learn to fight? Or dance?” Kryss laughed trying to tease her out of her misery.

“Shit!” Shiroi jumped up suddenly. “Dancing. I am supposed to meet Kaneko.”

“I haven’t heard from Lord Falcon yet.” Kryss explained as he noticed her confusion. “My pack was invited along. I should get back to them.”

“You dance?” Shiroi hoped to continue the conversation, but felt like she may be burdening him with her troubles.

“On occasion.” Kryss imagined that Ansel and Luka were still sleeping so he could afford a few more minutes. “If you don’t like fighting it seems an odd choice for a new hobby. What else does your Maefyl do?”

“What doesn’t he do?” Shiroi sighed. She wanted so desperately to be a part of something he enjoyed. “Maefyl, Gabriel, My father, Uncle, even Asura. They all excel at everything they do without even trying. Each one of them has so many talents. Art, music, dance, and the way they fight, their skill with magic, even the way they walk. They have such an ease about them, an aura of grace and perfection that carries into every aspect of their lives.”

“When you figure out what it is you want to do you will be just as talented.” Kryss smiled. She seemed determined to defeat herself before any one else could do it. “I doubt this is appropriate but once Luka has her pups, it won’t be long before I have to start training them. I don’t think fighting is going to suit you, but if you want the basics I don’t mind an extra pup at the lessons.”

“You would teach me?” Shiroi looked at him hopefully but with enough doubt to make his smile a sad one. “I don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t have to fight.” Kryss explained. “While they are small I’m gong to teach them as much as I can. Give them a taste of everything and let them decide what they want. I’m just giving you a chance to tag along and give you the same chance to find what you’re good at. I have to ask them of course, but Ansel and Luka would probably teach you as well.”

“I would love that.” Shiroi’s eyes started to well when she thought of the possibilities. Kryss was giving her a chance at a fresh start. She would be a fool not to take it. She just hoped he wasn’t crossing any lines that would get him into trouble. “If you are sure it’s okay.”

“Please don’t try to hug me again.” Kryss stepped closer with a handkerchief and blotted at her tears as they fell. He felt the phone in his pocket; one of the three provided by Eidolon for his wolves, jittering and he grabbed it. The message on the screen made him laugh. He had almost forgotten who he was talking to and it seemed that her father had not entirely disowned her after all.

“Thank you.” – L

“Yea, I think it will be okay.” Kryss was a bit unnerved that the conversation had not been entirely private. He found himself rethinking every word and hoping he was well enough behaved as he slid his phone away. “I’ll let you know when we get started. Until then, do me a favor and at least try a few things. Step out of the box a little and figure out if you have any interests beyond what you think will make you more acceptable to someone else. You already have the love of those around you, I don’t think they are looking for the flattery of taking up their hobbies”

“I’m glad you wandered in here.” Shiroi smiled.

“Just remember that later.” Kryss grinned. “I may be a nice guy, I doubt I’m a nice teacher.”

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Vex : Wolf Pack Pt.1

“The two of you could join us if you’d like, Nikolai.” Eidolon offered to entertain them a while longer after Kage had ended his part in hosting their guests.

“As much as I hate to turn down any invitation from you, I must decline.” Nikolai smiled as warmly as he could. He was determined to put thoughts of Freya behind him and try to erase the images Kage’s words had stirred. “Azazel and Asura are waiting for us. I want to get home to them.”

“Of course.” Eidolon nodded and Bezer and Karla gave each other a quick hug and said their farewells. Once they stood in the empty hall by themselves Eidolon tugged at Karla’s hair. “Kaneko is going to meet us there.”

“She doesn’t seem to like Kryss very much.” Karla sighed. “Do you think she’ll like the other two?”

“I hope so.” Eidolon smiled as he took them to the apartment building they called home, lifting her against the door to one of the apartments he had given the wolves as she wrapped her legs around him. He kissed her neck and she bit into his.

“Lord Falcon…” Kryss had exited the door behind them and turned away embarrassed. “Forgive me.”

“For what exactly?” Eidolon let Karla slide from his grip as he cleaned them both up smiling. Karla giggled as Eidolon turned Kryss to face them. “If you are going to spend time in Tsumi you will need to get used to seeing both of my brides take my blood.”

“Not what I thought I was seeing.” Kryss averted his eyes and stepped past the two of them toward the door. The scene had been far more intimate than he expected for feeding and he was troubled by having stumbled upon them. He pushed open the door and stepped aside to invite them inside. “Either way, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“I was surprised you convinced them to come so soon.” Eidolon led Karla inside and waited for Kryss to lead them any further. The apartment already similarly furnished to the estate the pack kept in Hell.  “Will this be sufficient for all of you?”

“I’m going to stay next door.” Kryss nodded and collapsed onto a pile of cushions on the floor by a small table that he set for tea and started to pour it as he called for the others. “Company you two.”

“So good to see you, Lord Falcon.” Luka held Ansel’s arm as she walked. “I apologize that my condition leaves me temporarily useless.”

“I thought you said she was going to have the baby soon.” Karla pouted when she saw the woman. Her stomach barely distended under the simple white sundress, tied at the bodice with a band of grey that matched her own hair and tail. “She’s still tiny.”

“She will remain so, she is not human.” Eidolon sipped his tea and put his arm around Karla. “My bride Karla.”

“A pleasure to meet you at last, Mistress Karla.” Luka bowed her head to them as Ansel helped her sit and joined her on the cushions. “We’re all honored that you and Lord Falcon would have us living so close.”

“Are you kidding?” Karla giggled as she bounced on the cushions beside Eidolon. “It will be awesome!”

“So how is the happy couple?” Kryss curled up around one of the cushions.

“Doing well as far as I know.” Eidolon handed his cup to Karla and she shuffled along on her knees to lay it on the table, tugging gently at Kryss’s tail on her return. He was glad at least one of them was accepting his wolves, but the kicking at the door signaled the arrival of his less accepting bride. He kissed Karla’s cheek and stood to spare Kryss the insult at his own door. “I should get that.”

“Sorry Kaneko is late.” She pounced at him and he caught her in his arms. She giggled as her tail swayed. “Kaneko needed to be sure she wouldn’t get fleas.”

“I want you to be nice.” Eidolon took hold of the colorful bracelets on her wrist. Flea collars to further prove her distaste for Eidolon’s wolves. “This is not amusing. You are insulting my friends, and it reflects poorly on me. What is your problem with Kryss?”

“Kaneko doesn’t like him.” She pouted. “He is too friendly with you. He licked Karla and you let him. Kaneko doesn’t want anyone touching either of you.”

“That is enough.” Eidolon set her on her feet and took her hand. “You will be polite. You and Karla have demanded most of my attention, and I neglected many on account of you. Those that see fit to return to me should be treated with the respect they give you. Kryss has been nothing but kind to you and you have wounded him.”

“Maybe Kaneko should just wait upstairs.” She looked at her feet close to tears. Eidolon rarely scolded her, never stifled her playful teasing. “Kaneko can’t embarrass you if she isn’t here.”

“Only if you want to insult me as well.” Eidolon lifted her face and smiled at her. “Give them a chance. They want your approval.”

“Kaneko will try.” Kaneko let him lead her inside and she sat quietly beside Karla.

“So what exactly will be expected of us?” Luka could see Eidolon’s frustration and the sadness it was causing his bride. Rather than draw attention to it she thought it would be better to distract them from their misery. “I’m curious what Kryss has gotten us in to.”

“Very little.” Eidolon smiled. “In reality the need for guardians in Tsumi is no longer necessary. It is more symbolic than anything, but you would be an extension of the Circle itself. It requires only your presence and good judgment. The three of you are far more than qualified.”

“So eyes and ears?” Ansel laughed as he hugged. “We’re being demoted to scouts.”

“Guardians. Not scouts.” Eidolon corrected. “You watch and listen, but you are also free to do as you choose as long as you adhere to a few simple rules. I trust you to act on my behalf.”

“And if you keep me company I’ll babysit!” Karla offered.

“We don’t stay little long enough for that.” Kaneko rocked herself on the cushions. “And I keep you company.”

“I’d be honored for your help with the children, Mistress.” Luka smiled.

“I’m almost disappointed Mistress Kaneko.” Kryss looked at her and felt guilty for the scolding she had received. “No quips about house breakings?”

“I have asked she not be so cold to you.” Eidolon pulled Kanko onto his lap as she clenched her fists. “Don’t provoke her.”

“I wish you hadn’t, Lord Falcon.” Kryss pouted. “There’s no need to scold your bride on my account, I prefer to be teased than see her upset because of me.”

“They’re moving again.” Ansel smiled as he hugged Luka too him. He had been spending most of the last week with his hand on her stomach just waiting for these moments. Her confession that there were to be two only made him more excited for their arrival. “Come here, Kryss.”

“I’ll pass thanks, I think it feels strange.” Kryss laughed as he rolled himself up to sit and speak a bit more formally. “I am sorry, Mistress. I had intended to earn your respect.”

“Kaneko will let you try.” She turned her face against Eidolon’s chest and he rubbed through her short white hair.

“Thank you.” Kryss smiled and bowed his head. “If there is anything that will…”

“Just do what Master Eidolon tells you.” Kaneko interrupted his offer and clung to Eidolon. “Kaneko doesn’t need your help with anything.”

“Perhaps we can continue this visit this evening.” Eidolon was just as guilty for her behavior. He spoiled them both, lavished his attention on them to the extent that he had ignored his responsibility and his friends. Neither of his brides were prepared to meet the veritable army of friends, colleagues, creations and servants that would eventually come to call on him. “If Kaneko is not too angry with me, and if Luka is up for it.”

“Whenever you would like, Lord Falcon.” Luka bowed her head as Ansel and Kryss rose to their knees to bow their own.

“You’ll come with Kaneko tonight?” She grinned up at him.

“After we’ve talked.” Eidolon answered her quietly before he stood and took each of his brides around their waist and left the wolves.

“How did you manage to make her so angry, Kryss?” Ansel laughed and tossed a pillow across the room at him before he collapsed back into the cushions beside Luka.

“I didn’t do anything.” Kryss sighed. “I don’t know why she hates me.”

“You wouldn’t have to do anything.” Luka giggled. “You are so naïve about women. She doesn’t like the competition for his attention.”

“That’s full on stupid.” Kryss scowled at Luka. “I’m not competition. The man has two wives for fuck sake. If she should hate anyone it should be the other wife.”

“I wasn’t referring to romantic attention.” Luka explained. “She doesn’t like that you are so comfortable with him. We have a long history with Lord Falcon and she’s only been with him a short time.”

“Still stupid.” Kryss stood and sighed. “You guys want to go out with them tonight?”

“Certainly.” Luka smiled and cuddled up to Ansel. ”Though I may take a nap first.”

“I might take a walk then.” Kryss headed out the door after waving a quick goodbye to Ansel. Living amongst mortals was going to take getting used to, but finding his way around a city he was meant to protect would likely be the bigger challenge. The world was easier to navigate when there was less in it and they had not bothered themselves with the mortal realm in centuries.

Shifting would always be the easiest way, but the wolves were hunters, Kryss wanted to know every corner, every corridor, every road through the metropolis and every path through the forests that served as secondary reserves for rare creatures brave enough to leave Itami.

He figured the first thing he should do was find his way to the city center, the Circle building. It didn’t take him long to find his way on foot. It was the simplest place in the city to sniff out as it was wrapped in more magic than any other location. Eidolons building being a close second. He wandered inside the building and for the second time that day regretted his timing.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Van landed face first in the grass after an unsuccessful leap at the infuriating bird she had spent the last twenty minutes chasing around the garden and growled at it. As it warbled off victoriously, she brushed herself off and pouted at her audience.

“This isn’t exactly what I had in mind, Razzy.” Van straightened her skirt as she stood.

“You asked for a turkey.” Raziel leaned against a tree and watched the bird poke around behind her.

“I wanted to cook one for Galik.” Van giggled. “Not chase one around the yard all day.”

“Want help?” Galik laughed as he hung upside down from a branch above Raziel. He loved watching her determined chase. It was hilarious to him that she could outwit, outrun, and outfight any human, but was being completely beaten by the fat, ridiculous looking bird.

“I’ll get it.” Van grabbed for the turkey as it walked close beside her and it ran off flapping again. “Damn it.”

“Maybe you should talk sexy for him.” Frakk suggested as he landed on the birds back.

“Make him sit still.” Van tiptoed closer and the turkey bolted off sending Frakk rolling onto the grass laughing. Van grabbed the fargoyle instead and scolded him. “You are not any help at all. Don’t you want a yummy dinner?”

“I don’t think it looks very tasty.” Frikk landed on Van’s head. “Why do you want us to eat the ugly bird anyway?”

“I was talking to Brig about weird old holidays and he reminded me about one they used to have in the States.” Van grinned. “Everybody would get together their family and friends for this huge dinner and celebrate the things they were thankful for. I know I can’t even eat and it’s probably stupid. I just thought it might be nice because… well, I’m thankful for all of you.”

“I shouldn’t have been laughing.” Galik rushed across the garden and snatched up the bird by the neck before running back to Van. “Should I just eat it?”

“Well at least it’s dead now.” Van laughed and kissed him. “I was going to cook it, though.”

“Charming thought, puppet.” Raziel took the bird from Galik and they all pouted as it vanished. He knew her intent and was enjoying the playful break. Galik was entertained and despite her growls and pouting, Van was enjoying herself. “Except…”

“Yea, I have no idea how to cook. I was going to look it up.” Van pouted. She had not cooked for hundreds of years and even before it was unnecessary her experience was limited. “I can follow instructions.”

“You took my ugly bird.” Galik sighed.

“I just put it inside for you.” Raziel took each of them by the arm and led them inside. Frikk and Frakk perched on their shoulders until they were through the doors and smelled something delicious and flew off to track it down. Van and Galik smiled at Raziel and he grinned. “I thought I would save you the trouble.”

“This is perfect!” Van squealed excitedly at the spread Raziel had created and Galik poked at dishes Raziel had found in Brig and Van’s memories. They were from stories and pieced together from their childhoods, from films and books. But Raziel had managed a table setting suitable for their abundantly grateful family. Van grabbed a large knife front the table and stabbed the turkey. “See. It’s not so ugly now. Frikk get out of the croissants!”

“They are so warm.” Frikk dug herself deeper into the bowl of bread.

“Blegh.” Frakk tossed a blob of cranberry onto the floor.

“Yea.” Van smirked as she cut into the turkey. She was making a bit of mess of what she thought would be a simple task. How hard could it possibly be to slice something? “I remember those being gross. I think I’m doing this wrong.”

“It’s not wrong.” Galik snatched a piece of the turkey to try it. “This is good.”

“We’re thankful for you as well, puppet.” Raziel wrapped his arms around Van and kissed her cheek. “I’m sorry you won’t be able to eat any of it.”

“I have more fun feeding the two of you any way.” Van grinned and offered him a piece of her uniquely carved turkey. “OML! Frakk what are you doing?”

“Building a fence to keep Frikk out of the potatoes.” Frakk grinned as he pulled another stalk of asparagus into place and smashed stuffing under it.

“There are potatoes?!” Frikk looked up from her happily claimed bowl of bread and spotted the bowled of fluffy whipped potatoes.  Frikk giggled and flung a croissant across the table at Frakk before she launched after it and tackled him. “Your fence will never protect you!”

“They make such a mess.” Van laughed and grabbed another piece of turkey as Galik stepped closer smiling. He was quick to devour the offering and lick her fingers. “You like it?”

“Not as much as I like you.” Galik hugged her and Raziel. He smiled as he felt Raziel fingers in his hair. Galik was grateful that Raziel had loved and kept him for so long and even in accepting Van still gave him every affection. “Thank you.”

“I love you, guys.” Van was grateful for her new happiness, an acceptance she didn’t even realize she had longed for. She looked back over the table the gargoyles were quickly turning into a battle zone and giggled. “What do you want to try next?”

“Some fence.” Raziel’s gratitude was deeper than either of them could realize. Van had been the inspiration for the meal, but Raziel had long hidden, painful reasons to be thankful for the love he held now. “Followed by… what are the carrots now?”

“Fort.” Frikk giggled from behind a pile of baby carrots she had stacked like bricks.

“Excellent.” Raziel sat and pulled Van into his lap. “Anything not claimed for the war?”

“Ugh.” After one taste, Galik pushed the dish of cranberries across the table. “You can build the new fort out of those.”

They decided over the course of the night that it would become a yearly tradition. Complete with the turkey chase. To remember not to take what they had found in each other for granted. That their time together was something to be truly thankful for.

“Wasn’t this tradition a bit of a mockery?” Raziel asked when Van decided it was time to have her dinner and bit into his neck. “The humans that began it turned on one another.”

“But we won’t.” Galik smiled as he shared warm bread with the fargoyles. “We love each other.”

“I chased a turkey for you guys.” Van licked her lips. “That’s true love, Razzy.”

“What can we make her chase?” Frikk gnawed on a piece of turkey. “Any other tasty critters?”

“What does bacon come from?” Frakk asked excitedly.

“I’m NOT chasing a pig!” Van laughed. “I draw the line at ugly birds.”

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Vex : A Promise Kept Pt.3

“Answer my question, child.” Freya heard the remains of an accent; a familiar one, but buried after years of a shared tongue instated by Lucifer. “Why have you asked to see me?”

“A foolish hope.” Nikolai admitted the fact to himself more than he was satisfying her demand for an answer. After only a few moments in her presence he found her loathsome; her confidence was arrogant, the tone of her voice filled with spite and hatred, even her strange eyes were bitter. Nikolai was unsettled by her presence.

“Speed this along, Nikolai.” Kage hissed. “The stench of death and coitus on the two of them is revolting.”

“I don’t expect you to understand.” Nikolai tried to remain calm amidst the hostility. “I imagine these names will carry enough weight to at least convey some of my purpose in making the request. Mist was a friend to me and it was Artemis who gave me life. Both are now gone, I thought you were as well.”

“A friend of Mist?” Freya clutched the arms of the chair furiously. “Did he speak of me?”

“Very little.” Nikolai shook his head not wanting to tell her the simple truth. Mist had no kind words to say about her. “He did not like to speak about his past.”

“No need to be kind, Nikolai.” Kage interrupted coldly. When the truth was so painful he could not help but share it. “Kurayami found her useless and thought her dead.”

The bitterness in Freya’s eyes turned quickly to rage and she glared at Kage with murderous intent. Hiwai was no less infuriated by the insult but quickly spilled pain into the collar at her throat to keep her seated as he slipped his six thin fingers into the curls at her shoulders.

“And Artemis?” Freya moved past the pain and the insults. “He took you as a lover? As beautiful as you are, I find it insulting that he would find a man as a fitting replacement.”

“I never replaced you in his eyes.” Nikolai hated her assumption that he had been a lover to Artemis, but at least in the vampiric sense he had used him as such. Arguing otherwise would only serve to further humiliate him further. “Artemis was simply lonely, our time was brief.”

“Still his taste in men was exquisite; such a sweet, beautiful face.” Freya had walked to Nikolai and lifted her foot to press against Nikolai’s chest with the black stilettos she wore. She leaned and locked eyes with him. “Tell me, little boy. Would you like a taste of what Artemis found so desirable?”

“I believe you have met my brides.” Nikolai answered calmly and smiled. “I’m quite satisfied with the taste of them.”

“If you would like to survive long enough to meet his husband as well, I suggest you return to your seat.” Kage’s voice sliced through her confidence and she removed her foot from Nikolai and stepped away. Kage continued his threat as she reclaimed her seat. “If you touch him again I’m going to save everyone the trouble and kill you myself.”

“That will be unnecessary, Kage.” Nikolai was puzzled by Kage’s defense of him and could only assume it stemmed from his twisted views on respect. He tried to ignore it completely and focus on the task of finding something redeemable in Freya. “I’ve answered your question. I have a few of my own. Are you familiar with a young man called Brig?”

“My pretty little plaything in Vex?” Freya smiled at Nikolai hungrily. So beautiful, so perfect, so very loved. She wanted to humiliate him and destroy that disgusting confident calm. She wanted to use him to satisfy herself and then tear him apart. “We were very familiar. One of my favorite little pretties.”

“One of?” Nikolai was disgusted with the look of satisfaction on her face. “The things you did to that child? You’ve done this to others?”

“And enjoyed it.” Freya admitted with a wicked grin as Hiwai smiled behind her. “As I would enjoy you if you weren’t cowering under the protection of your powerful friend there.”

“Firstly, Lord Kage is not a friend.” Nikolai raised his hand at Kage to ask his patience. He willed chaos into his hands, it swirled around his fingers in brilliant streams of blue and ribbons of black until it settled into daggers that he clutched and drove into the arms of the chair. “Secondly, I hardly need his protection from the likes of you.”

“A sorcerer?” Freya stared at him panicked.

“A demon.” Kage corrected as he smirked at Nikolai. Golod’s useless vampire may not be as useless as he once thought. He seemed to be finding his place among the demons and his long years had served him well. As infuriating as Kage found him, Nikolai was clever and patient. He had once kept a close watch on him, it would be worth doing so again.

“But your eyes…” Freya stammered as she searched her mind for understanding.

“My mother was human.” Nikolai scowled at her and returned to the subject that mattered far more than his heritage. “You have no remorse for what you’ve done?”

“Why should I?” Freya laughed. “I’m through answering your questions.”

“I have no more to ask.” Nikolai withdrew the blades into his hands and sat back in the chair quietly. Maefyl was right. She was detestable in every way she could be and beyond redemption.

“Take her and go, Hiwai.” Kage commanded and they were gone. He burned the chair that they had touched until even the ash had been obliterated. He turned to Nikolai and grinned. “I often forget that you are a…”

“Don’t.” Nikolai cut him off. “I am not Maefyl, don’t you dare call me that. My bastard father may have been a demon; I was very much human.”

“There is no shame in what you are.” Kagemusha flew to her Master’s shoulder. “It has made you strong and it helped you claim those you love.”

“Are you satisfied with your little chat?” Kage asked as he willed the door open, letting Bezer run to Nikolai’s side.

“Are you okay, Master Nikolai?” Bezer kneeled in front of him and he took her face in his hands. “You look upset.”

“I am quite well, my pet.” Nikolai smiled at her. “I should have listened to you and your brother. The past is better left as memories and I am blessed enough with the family I have now, there will be no more searching for others that only disappoint and complicate my life.”

“So no more fighting with Maefyl?” Bezer was relieved to hear him accept it. He was always going to be the curious sort. More inclined to learn from mistakes than advice. His reason always prevailed and he came away from each experience stronger and more resolved.

“I never fight with Maefyl, my pet.” Nikolai rubbed her cheeks with his thumbs. “No more worries. The world will be better for seeing that woman dead.”

“Unless either of them move against you.” Kage cautioned Nikolai sternly. “That is not a service you will be providing for Tsuriai. Wretched as she is, Hiwai is still my servant and she is his bride.”

“And you would enjoy it if I gave you a reason to retaliate.”  Nikolai was once more puzzled by Kage’s behavior. “Why steer me from a course that would allow you to take my life?”

“I don’t see the need to give you my reasons.” Kage wore the smile that struck fear into so many. “If you must have an answer; I don’t need to take your life, you pose no threat.”

“And for defending me against Freya?” Nikolai smiled back at him. “She is as harmless to me as I am to you. Do you have a reason for that?”

“I was not defending you.” Kage hissed as he saw Eidolon and Karla at the door. “I will not have your quarrels with another vampire settled in my office. What do the two of you want?”

“I came to make sure you are kind to Nikolai.” Eidolon laughed as he crossed the office and stopped in front of Bezer and Nikolai as they stood.

“I am not required to be kind.” Kage laid his hand on Karla’s shoulder. “I have however fulfilled my favor to you.”

“Thank you!” Karla turned and hugged him.

“I have asked you not to do this.” Kage kept his arms aside and looked to Eidolon for his aid. “Kindly remove your bride, Eidolon.”

“I find it amusing she makes you so nervous.” Eidolon took Karla around her waist and pulled her to his side. “Stop harassing him.”

“So it’s you I owe my thanks.” Nikolai smiled at Karla. “I was curious who had convinced him.”

“It didn’t take convincing. All I did was ask.” Karla defended her cranky friend. “I don’t understand why everyone thinks he is so mean.”

“I have no more patience for this.” Kage returned to his desk and sat tapping his fingers impatiently. “Would you all please leave me in peace?”

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Vex : A Promise Kept Pt.2

“Sorry to keep you waiting.” Nikolai grinned as the door to Kage’s office opened for him. “You didn’t really mention a time.”

“In the future you show up when I call.” Kage hissed. “Do not forget I am doing you a favor, Nikolai. Good morning, Bezer.”

“Good morning, Lord Kage.” Bezer purred against Nikolai as she greeted the Watcher that sat behind his desk. “It was my fault we were late, sorry.”

“No matter.” Kage invited them to sit. “They have not arrived and it gives me a moment to make a few things clear. Bezer, you will not speak and you will not move.”

“She will stay by my side.” Nikolai ran his fingers over the ring at the front of Bezer’s collar creating a short chain from the chaos he grew more confident manipulating. He wrapped the end of the chain around his hand as she smiled up at him. “It will not be a problem, Kage.”

“It will not be a problem.” Kage hissed as he shifted in front of them and grabbed Nikolai’s arm forcing the chain from his hand and taking it into his own. “Because she will stay with me. I’ve seen your inability to control them. My servant is vicious and his bride quick tempered.”

“I’m perfectly capable of controlling my bride.” Nikolai reached for the chain until Kage crushed the bones in his arm. Bezer broke through the chain Nikolai had created and pounced at Kage.

“You can’t even create a bind strong enough to hold her.” Kage struck Bezer as she came at him and she fell against the desk. Kage waited at the edge of his desk for an answer. “She stays with me or outside. Your choice.”

“Forgive me, my pet.” Nikolai pulled Bezer to him as he lifted her. “Once they arrive, will you wait outside?”

“No harm will come to your Master.” Kagemusha assured the demoness.

“I won’t be long.” Nikolai smiled as he leaned to her ear. “I wasn’t through with you either.”

“Okay, Master Nikolai.” Bezer kissed him.

“If you can not control yourselves, she can wait outside now.” Kage hissed as he turned the chairs that that faced his desk to face each other. “Your lusty displays disgust me.”

“Jealous?” Bezer giggled.

“Why would I be jealous?” Kage’s smile turned viciously wicked. “I have already had my fill of what you have to offer.”

“Bezer, my pet.” Nikolai ran his fingers up her neck into her hair. “Wait outside.”

“Yes, Master Nikolai.” Bezer left nervously, knowing she had caused the comment that hurt him and fearful he was going to make the situation worse once she had gone, but staying would only make him look weak in front of Kage.

“Does that upset you, vampire?” Kage laughed softly as he leaned against the front of his desk. “That I have played with your toys.”

“You will not lure me into attacking you.” Nikolai sat in one of the chairs and looked across to the other. “Her time with you was pointless, and it is over. I asked her to leave so you would not upset her further.”

“Pointless? I doubt she found it pointless.” Kage laughed as he leaned across Nikolai to force him to look at him. He grabbed a handful of the vampire’s long dark hair. “Your hair so like mine, do you enjoy the chills it gives her as it falls across her skin? The way she twists it in her fingers when you enter her? Will you still enjoy it knowing that the first name she screamed was mine?”

“Yes, I find it offensive that you have laid hands on either of my cubs.” Nikolai managed to smile through the sickening thoughts. “But it seems to me that Bezer was accurate. You are the one who is jealous, painfully so. Not because you feel anything for her, I doubt you ever did, but because it is me who has taken her.”

“You have impressive control of your temper.” Kage struck Nikolai across the face as he stood and watched the vampire lick the blood from his lip as the split closed. “Let’s see if it lasts. Hiwai.”

“My Lord Kage.” Hiwai appeared beside Kage with his arm around the waist of a tall blonde vampire that he forced to kneel with him.

“Have your bride take a seat.” Kage instructed as he leaned against his desk and crossed his arms in front of him. “Stand behind her and remain silent. If you move she loses limbs; if you speak she loses her tongue. Do you understand?”

Hiwai bowed his head as he led Freya to sit across from Nikolai and stood behind the chair as he was told. They all sat quietly for a few moments as they evaluated one another. The vampire Mist had written off, that Artemis had loved, the only other of their short bloodline that still lived. She was strangely tall for a woman and her smile was filled with a bit of wickedness that matched that of the strange demon beside her. The long dark coat she wore matched his as well, fitted to the waist then hanging loose enough that as she sat and crossed her legs it laid open to expose her long limbs.

“Whatever you have to say had better be worth the pain Hiwai suffered because of it.” Freya’s words shattered the silence and set a hostile tone for their discussion. “What makes you think you share my blood?”

“He is not the only one to suffer for this meeting.“ Nikolai gave Kage a quick glance as he folded his hands in his lap. “Besides it is my understanding the two of you are quite proficient at leaving agony in your wake. Do not expect my sympathy.”

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Special Teaser : I Only Want To Be With You

“This one isn’t labeled.” Gory held up the shiny disk to scold Maefyl for his lack of organizational skills. They had spent a cozy morning in Osore listening to dozens of selections from an archaic collection on electronic devices that should be long buried if his magic had not kept them thriving. They all enjoyed days like these, time they made to set aside problems and appreciate each other even if just for a few hours. Gory was curious about the mystery disc. “What’s on it?”

“No idea. Just put it in.” Maefyl was barely listening to the music anyway. He had agreed to keep the volume down since Gabriel decided to stay in and play. Ever since he convinced Gabriel to start playing video games they had a friendly rivalry that demanded his focus at the moment. He doubted the music would make a difference. He nudged Gabriel’s arm “If I didn’t know better I would say you have been playing without me.”

“He’s too busy doing your job.” Gory teased as she kicked the play button.

“Oh no!” Sanguine feigned panic over the first notes. “Turn it off before he starts singing!”

It was too late. Maefyl had tossed the controllers onto the couch and moved the coffee table aside. Gabriel laughed as Maefyl pulled him to his feet smiling.

“I don’t know what it is that makes me love you so.” Maefyl led Gabriel in a silly dance across the carpet as he sang. “I only know I never want to let you go…”

•••

Miles away in Golod Maefyl’s love of old music lived in his daughter who was sharing it with those she loved more than anything. Bezer giggled as Asura playfully shook her hips and tapped them each on the nose as he sang.

“Cause you started something. Oh, can’t you see?” Asura had always been a fan of the silly old love songs Maefyl tortured her with as a child. She never wanted to admit it, but they were charming and made her smile. Now she listened to them all the time to remind her of home and she loved to tease the cubs as she performed and it was fun to make Nikolai blush as she sang for him. She did this often enough that they were starting to love the cheesy old songs just as much. “That ever since we met you’ve had a hold on me.”

“It happens to be true.” Azazel sang as he pulled her onto the couch with them. She and the cubs crowded Nikolai and looked up at him and made him flush in unison. “We only want to be with you.”

•••

“It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do.” Lilith sang sweetly from Lucifer’s lap as they marveled over the remarkable coincidence they stumbled upon. As much as Lucifer enjoyed seeing the trouble his friends got up to, he enjoyed these tender moments just as much. “I want to spend each moment of the day with you.”

“You aren’t going to admit this is a beautiful moment?” Lucifer tussled the Viper’s hair as he sat quietly at his feet.

“It is ridiculous.” Kage hissed. “And you promised them privacy.”

“Spoil sport. I’m enjoying this.” Lucifer grinned and joined Lilith in song as Kage rolled his eyes. “Oh, look what has happened with just one kiss.”

•••

“I never knew that I could be in love like this.” Van danced around the room singing along loudly with her headphones on. She knew from their smiles that Raziel and Galik didn’t mind the interruption to their conversation and she was enjoying the silly old music she had snatched from her friends. She spun past them and kissed them each on the cheek as she continued singing. “It’s crazy, but it’s true. I only want to be with you.”

“Is she calling us crazy again?” Galik grinned as he watched her flirty dance around the office.

“We are not the ones singing to music no one remembers.” Raziel answered in his usual even tone as he watched his bride. Her exuberant joy in such simple moments was one of the things that made her so fascinating.

•••

“Classics provided by Maefyl this morning.” Eternity giggled at the music pouring through the speakers as Kaneko shouted her orders to the lessers and prepared to open Feeding Darkness for the day.

“An old favorite if I recall correctly.” Eidolon watched Kaneko tapping her feet as she stood on the bar and looked things over and Karla took a seat at the bar humming to the familiar song.

“Lord Eidolon?” Eternity noticed his sudden silence and the chill to his skin, but quickly realized why when she saw where Karla had decided to sit.

His moment of reflection had nearly stopped his heart, but the flirty nature of the song that played turned the memory of the night they met into a playful moment and he joined Karla at the bar. He hoped she could recall as he did one of the happiest moments of his life.

“You stopped and smiled at me.” Eidolon sang quietly as he sat and handed Karla a pack of cigarettes. “And asked if I cared to dance.”

“I fell into your open arms.” Karla sang her reply as she pushed off of her stool and let him catch her. The distant memory of a previous life was suddenly hers and she loved that he had given it back to her. “And I didn’t stand a chance.”

•••

“Now, listen honey.” Maefyl sang as he pulled Gabriel close by his lapels. “I just want to be beside you every where.”

“As long as we’re together, honey.” Gabriel winked as he sang his reply and made Maefyl smile. “I don’t care.”

“Oh brother.” Sanguine rolled her eyes and poked at Gory. “Now you started something.”

“Oh can’t you see.” Gory tried to sing through her laughter.

“That ever since we met you’ve had a hold on me.” Maefyl pulled Gabriel into his arms as he continued his serenade. Everything about these playful moments felt perfect and he couldn’t be happier about Gory finding the mystery disc. He had no way of knowing that his eccentric taste was spreading a strange love across Tsuriai.

•••

“No matter what you do.” Kaneko purred as she pounced along the bar and hugged Eidolon and Karla. “Kaneko wants to be with you.”

•••

Shana had been poking at the keys of her piano to recreate some of the music they listened to in Golod. She had finally gotten a few of them right and was humming along to one when Brig wandered in.

“You stopped and smiled at me and asked if I cared to dance.” Brig sang along softly as he sat a few bags on the couch and fumbled for his cigarettes. “I fell into your open arms and I didn’t stand a chance.”

“You sing?” Shana giggled. “And you know the words? I couldn’t remember them.”

“It’s and old song, but I’m older.” Brig sat beside her. “It’s a cute song. Keep playing I’ll see how much I remember.”

“You have a pretty voice.” Demise sat on the edge of the piano and waited for the performance.

“Don’t pick on me, doll face.” Brig let Shana catch up to where she had left off and realized her he remembered more than he thought he did. “I just want to be beside you every where. As long as we’re together, honey, I don’t care. Cause you started something. Oh, can’t you see? That ever since we met you’ve had a hold on me. No matter what you do, I only want to be with you.”

•••

“I said no matter, no matter what you do.” Maefyl grinned at Gabriel. “I only want to be with you.”

“Now turn it off before we get that buttercup song.” Sanguine demanded and rushed for the stop button.

“Rematch?” Gabriel handed Maefyl his game controller and kissed him.

“Tired of me singing already?” Maefyl laughed as Sanguine and Gory made safer musical selections.

“Never.” Gabriel teased. “I just thought you might want to redeem yourself after that last round.”

“I was distracted.” Maefyl winked at him. “Didn’t count.

Breakseal

“Oh, Look what has happened with just one kiss…” Mala

“I never knew that I could be in love like this…” Vikarr

“It’s crazy, but it’s true…” E

“I only want to be with you…” Donovan

Special Note : Songwriters (Ivor Raymonde / Mike Hawker) as performed by Dusty Springfield.

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Vex : A Promise Kept Pt.1

“Lord Kagami.” Hiwai knelt in front of Kage as he arrived in a clearing. “I would have come to you.”

“It’s not you I need to speak with.” Kage hissed. “Bring Freya. Now.”

“For what purpose?” Hiwai eyed his master carefully.

“Bring her.” Kage brought a mass of chaos into his hand and took Hiwai’s shoulder. Hiwai screamed as the chaos spilled from Kage’s fingers in molten flames that ran over the demons skin, burning through his clothes and searing the skin.

“At once, my Lord.” Hiwai stood and shifted away when Kage let go.

“He must enjoy her.” Kagemusha noted. “I’ve never seen Hiwai hesitate to fulfill any order from you.”

“It was you who hurt him?” Freya arrived beside Hiwai as he kneeled as much in pain as in respect as his wounds healed slowly. She glared at Kage. The only thing Hiwai had offered in explanation when he returned suddenly and grabbed her was that his ‘Lord’ wanted to speak with her. She stepped forward angrily intent on attacking the demon who looked at them with such disgust and felt Hiwai’s talons tighten against her wrist.

“Do not move.” Hiwai hissed at her. “You belong to me, he is my Master. You will not attack him.”

“I accept no orders from one who would do this to you.” Freya protested as she kneeled beside Hiwai. “But I will do as you ask.”

“Stay quiet.” Hiwai whispered to her as he bowed his head to Kage. “I’ve done as you asked, Lord Kagami. Do not harm her, I beg you.”

“There is someone who wants to see you vampire.” Kage explained coldly. “You are the last two of the same bloodline and he has a ridiculous fascination with those that came before him.”

“What makes him assume we are from the same line?” Freya scoffed.

“You will have to ask him.” Kage hissed. “I don’t generally bother myself your kind. Just be in my office tomorrow.”

“And if I refuse?” Freya fell to the ground in the pain and clutched the scaled collar at her throat as Hiwai stood, still holding her wrist tightly.

“There is no need to answer, my Lord.” Hiwai bowed his head. The answer would have been unpleasant and end in her death. It was not worth risking Kage’s rage, not over a simple conversation with a vampire. “I will bring her.”

Kage left without another word and Hiwai pulled Freya into his arms.

“Why are you so loyal to him?” Freya ran her fingers over the skin of his shoulder as Hiwai struggled to heal the damage Kage had done. “You should have let me claw up that pretty face of his.”

“Lord Kage is not only one of the Watchers, but my creator.” Hiwai told her. “You will not touch him and I will do everything in my power to keep you from his wrath.”

Breakseal

 

“I love you, my pet.” Nikolai laid against Azazel as the demon shuddered against him. He smiled at the satisfied look on Azazel’s face before he kissed him once more. The tender moment interrupted as Asura screamed her pleasures from the foot of the bed, her legs draped over Bezer’s shoulders. Nikolai sighed when he heard his phone ringing somewhere amidst the clothes strewn across the floor. “That had better be important.”

“Just don’t answer it.” Azazel purred and wrapped his arms around Nikolai and nudged at Asura with his toes. “It’s probably just her folks wanting to chat. It can wait.”

“I’ll check.” Bezer grinned as she leapt off to search through pockets, leaving Asura to pant on the bed. When she saw the one calling she lost her playful grin and tossed the phone to Nikolai. “Might be a bad idea not to answer.”

“I agree.” Nikolai sat up and answered. “What is it Kage?”

“I realize the notice is short.” Kage’s voice was just as sinister through the phone. “If you still wish to speak with Freya, come to Tsumi.”

“May I bring…” Nikolai began but was quickly interrupted.

“I would prefer you came alone.” Kage hissed. “If you insist on a chaperone, I will tolerate one of the cubs. Do not bring the half-breed’s child into this.”

“It seems I will be spending time in Tsumi.” Nikolai sighed and slid from the bed.

“Right now?” Bezer pouted as she pulled herself against him. “I’m not done yet.”

“Then come into the shower with me.” Nikolai grabbed her tail as she swung it against his leg. “Kage asked I bring only one of you.”

“That’s not fair!” Azazel growled.

“Just don’t enjoy yourselves too much while I’m gone.” Nikolai leaned over the bed and kissed them each gently. “I’m not through with either of you.”

He knew Kage would be far more offended by the smell of sex on them than he would by their being late. It may be ill advised to keep a Watcher waiting, but as it was Kage waiting, Nikolai took a very long, satisfying shower. With her tail wrapping around his thigh and her claws in his back, he took Bezer against the wall of the shower. Her gasping screams at his ear barely masking the cries of Azazel and Asura in the throws of passion in the next room.

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