Monthly Archives: February 2014

RO : The Wyrms : Cracks

“It’s just a suggestion.” Gabriel stopped at the bedroom door hoping to eliminate the need for screams. “But it may be better to let this go.”

“Why the fuck would I do that?” Maefyl shouted at him. “She lied to me. Just stay out of it, Gabriel.”

“I just think you should postpone the discussion.” Gabriel walked into the bedroom to find something to occupy his time while Maefyl was screaming at Shiroi. “Regardless of what Eidolon told you, do you think this is the best time for this? Just tell her to stay where it is safe and deal with any lies she may have told you when you have less to upset you. You know that your arguments with her never go well.”

“Because she’s useless.” Sanguine pouted. “Arguing is the only thing she is good at.”

“That’s not helping, Sany.” Maefyl sent Shiroi a message to meet him and leaned in the bedroom to look at Gabriel. “Please just let me deal with this. You said you wanted me focused. I can’t focus when this is driving me crazy.”

“Not nearly as crazy as it is driving me.” Gabriel muttered as he pulled a journal from the shelf and walked to the bed. “Do what you have to do, Maefyl. I’ll be here for you when you need me.”

“You always are.” Maefyl pulled the door closed and went to answer the knock at another one. “Sany, please. I know you’re angry but stay quiet.”

“I will.” Sanguine pouted and cuddled against his neck. “I’m always here for you, too.”

“I know.” Maefyl sighed and opened the door. When Shiroi smiled at him he just lit a cigarette and walked to the couch.

“Did I do something wrong?” Shiroi gave him a troubled look as she followed him to the couch and sat beside him. “What did my Father say?”

“This has shit to do with Lucy.” Maefyl glared at her. “You feel like telling me what actually happened with Samael?”

“I told you he…” Shiroi felt her throat burning.

“I’m more interested in what you didn’t tell me.” Maefyl cut her off. “Why would you lie to me?”

“I didn’t lie.” Shiroi grasped at her neck when the collar there began to burn. “Maefyl, please stop.”

“You let him touch you.” Maefyl screamed at her.

“I didn’t let him.” Shiroi cried and reached for his arm. “He just did it.”

“Don’t touch me right now.” Maefyl stood up and started to pace. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“It’s not that big of a deal.” Shiroi whimpered through her pain. “Why are you so angry?”

“You are definitely Nexus’ daughter.” Maefyl whispered and he felt a playful pinch on his neck that he knew didn’t come from Sanguine. Even Kagemusha was voicing her agreement in subtle ways. “Shiroi, I tolerate more from you than I should. You see anyone else’s brides mouthing off? Hiding things from them?”

“Not everyone else has to share their husband.” Shiroi shouted back at him. “Do you think it’s easy for me to see you with Gabriel all the time?

“Please tell me you are fucking joking.” Maefyl laughed. “Eidolon, Raziel, Nikolai… all completely content.”

“My Father and my Uncle manage to be happy with one marriage.” Shiroi shouted at him.

“You had no problem with Gabriel when he was willing to fuck you on command.” Maefyl screamed at her. Her defense was infuriating because he knew the truth of those ‘happy’ marriages, but he managed to keep the truth to himself. Her defiance only made him angrier with her. He kicked the table aside and lifted her by the throat. He pulled her back with every intention of slamming her into wall but stopped himself and just dropped her to her feet when he heard her thoughts. She still wanted them both. It was not that he was married to Gabriel that had her aggravated. It was that she could not share him. “Damn it. I thought you were through with this bullshit. He doesn’t love you. He never will.”

“I didn’t say anything about it.” Shiroi scowled at him and rubbed her neck. “I don’t want your precious Gabriel.”

“Liar.” Maefyl hated that he heard it, but he knew beforehand that the feelings were still there. He sat on the floor and tried to calm himself. “If I’m not enough…”

“Don’t.” Shiroi kneeled in front of him and curled her fingers into fists at her knees. “Maefyl, I love you.”

“Do you?” Maefyl turned her arm and ran his fingers over his crest. “Or do you just think you have to?”

“I loved you before you did that.” Shiroi’s tears would not stop falling. She felt her heart breaking as she watched his expression turn from anger to sadness. “Please believe me. You’re everything to me.”

“I give you everything you want and you still end up crying.” Maefyl sighed and wiped her face before he pulled her into his lap and rubbed at her neck. “You okay?”

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.” Shiroi hugged him. “I didn’t know how. He kept saying awful things about you not protecting me. I was scared. I didn’t want you to be angry.”

“Well, you fucked up.” Maefyl pulled Shiroi to her feet as he stood. “I am angry, because you decided to lie about it.”

“I didn’t…” Shiroi’s denials were cut off by his kiss and his arms folding gently around her.

Maefyl knew the only way he was getting an honest answer was to take it, so he did. In their kiss her mind opened and he could see and hear the truth she failed to tell him.

“Gabriel. I need a translator.” Maefyl stepped away from Shiroi and waited for Gabriel to walk down the hall. “What is ‘Welak Isa’?”

“White one.” Gabriel answered. Gabriel had been listening, so he knew Maefyl had gotten his answers another way. “Is that what they were calling her?”

Maefyl just nodded and waited for inevitable questions from both of them.

“You had him listening?” Shiroi shouted at Maefyl. “How is what I did any worse than you not telling me about this?”

“He had no choice.” Kagemusha defended his deception. “Your father has ordered that he is never without protection.”

“So I can’t have time alone with him?” Shiroi glared at Gabriel. “I assume you get plenty of it.”

 

“Leave him alone. It’s Gabriel or Kage.” Maefyl wasn’t any happier about the lack of privacy, but it was the least of his worries. “Take your pick.”

“You can do no wrong in Gabriel’s eyes and Sanguine hates everything I do.” Shiroi looked away pouting. “At least if Kage were here I might have someone on my side.”

“I doubt that.” Kagemusha laughed. “He would be disgusted by your whimpers. Nexus bleeds for her mistakes, if she betrayed his trust…”

“I didn’t do anything!” Shiroi shouted.

“Shut up, Shiroi.” Sanguine screamed at her. “Haven’t you caused enough suffering? When are you going to learn your place?”

“And where is that Sanguine?” Shiroi snapped at her angrily. “I thought my place was at Maefyl’s side, but the position often seems to be filled with more desirable company than my own.”

“This isn’t helping.” Maefyl stepped in front of Shiroi and took her chin in his hand. “Your place is with me. Gabriel and Sany have their own place in my heart, as do you. It would be nice if you would stop trying to break it. Stop attacking Gabriel every time you are backed into a corner. You want more attention? Fine. You don’t go to Tsumi anymore without me. Don’t leave Osore at all without me.”

“That isn’t fair.” Shiroi cried. “I thought you trusted me.”

“I did.” Maefyl tightened his fingers on her jaw and thought about Samael’s offer to end her loneliness. “I also thought you were happy. Conversations over, Shiroi. You don’t go anywhere without me knowing. I’m tired of finding out what’s going on with you from other people.”

“It wasn’t a conversation to begin with.” Shiroi muttered.

“If you are that unhappy just go away.” Sanguine unleashed a wave of magic from her hands that knocked Shiroi across the room. She was angry but the attack was just as much to prevent Maefyl from hitting her and once again angering Lucifer. The last time Maefyl tried to discipline his unruly bride, Sanguine had almost lost Maefyl. She was not going to allow it again. She screamed at Shiroi with tears in her eyes. “All you do is make him miserable.”

“That’s enough.” Gabriel helped Shiroi to her feet and then stood aside to try and sway Maefyl from a demand that would only serve to interrupt his own time with him. Gabriel wasn’t willing to give up a single second he did not have to. “From all of you. I don’t at all approve of her behavior, but you’ve given her trust and freedom since you met, Maefyl. She made some bad decisions; do you plan on punishing her for mistakes? Shiroi has family in Tsumi, don’t deny her time with them.”

“Shiroi, I’m just upset.” Maefyl held Sanguine in his palm and stroked her back with the back of his finger as she cried quietly. “I do trust you. I do want you to stay in Osore a few days while we figure things out, but you know I’m not going to keep you from living your life the way you want.”

“I really can’t have any time alone with you?” Shiroi sat on the edge of the couch and hung her head. She was still shaken by the sudden attack from Sanguine and that no one else seemed to be bothered by such a show of power from the tiny creature. “For how long?”

“I’ll be in my office.” Gabriel held out his hand until Maefyl let Sanguine in his palm. “Use yours, it is well enough protected that Kagemusha will spare you a visit from her Master.”

“As long as you don’t leave it.” Kagemusha nodded. “I’ll bend my orders because of the favors you have done.”

“Thanks.” Maefyl kissed Gabriel and leaned to kiss Sanguine’s head. “I’m sorry Sany. Do you want to stay with Gabriel until I work this out?”

“No.” Sanguine pouted. “But I don’t want to be around her either.”

“Then you and Gory can keep me entertained.” Gabriel suggested and gave Maefyl a stern look to make sure Sanguine would not be lonely for longer than was necessary. “He will not be long.”

Maefyl took Shiroi to his office. Gabriel went to his own and suffered through Maefyl’s need to console his bride.

“Why do you tolerate his time with her?” Kagemusha asked as she joined Sanguine and Gory in Gabriel’s hands. “You could easily put an end to it.”

“Shouldn’t you be with Maefyl?” Gabriel smiled and refused to answer.

“I have no desire to watch them.” Kagemusha added. “No desire to spend much time with the girl at all. My Lord Kage has a weakness for her, I do not.”

“I hate her.” Sanguine pouted.

“Sanguine, be patient for Maefyl’s sake.” Gabriel laid the trio of fairies on a small cushion on his desk, before he created and slid a small cake to them. Gory and Kagemusha started sharing it quietly while Sanguine continued her complaints.

“I don’t understand how you are so patient about it.” Sanguine sobbed. “She should bother you more than anyone.”

“I can’t deny that I would prefer to have Maefyl to myself.” Gabriel nudged Gory aside with a fork and took a piece of the cake for himself. “I won’t ask him to give up something he loves because of my own selfish desire. If I had not been a coward for so long he would have been mine alone. Sharing him with Shiroi is the price I pay for that cowardice.”

“You encouraged the union that makes you miserable.” Kagemusha added.

“A fact I often regret.” Gabriel sighed. “As much as there have been a number of times when her actions have led to some unfortunate outcomes, Shiroi is not the villain you all make her out to be. She has just as often made herself useful.”

“Only after she caused the problems to begin with.” Sanguine shouted. “I hate that she just has to cry and Maefyl forgives everything.”

“He loves her Sanguine.” Gabriel sat his fork on the edge of the plate and looked at her sadly. “I don’t like it either, but he would do no less for either of us.”

“Sounds like I make all of you miserable.” Maefyl leaned in the doorway between Gabriel’s office and their apartment.

“That was quick.” Gabriel looked up at him surprised, he had expected to be subjected to hours of their intimate apologies, but he sensed Maefyl had only given her a brief taste of his kiss. “I was trying to allow you time…”

“It’s fine Gabriel.” Maefyl crouched by the desk and poked Sanguine. “Are you so mad at me you can’t enjoy your sweets?”

“I’m not mad at you.” Sanguine pouted until Maefyl stuck his finger in the icing and held it in front of her.

“Then cheer up.” Maefyl insisted and when she started smiling again he winked up at Gabriel. “Both of you.”

“How did you get her to shut up?” Sanguine licked the icing from his finger.

“Family secret.” Maefyl rolled a small vial of liquid across the desk to Gabriel. “I borrowed this from Lilith. Should keep her out of trouble for a week or so.”

“That’s cruel, Maefyl.” Gabriel scolded him and slipped the vial into his pocket. “You left her alone?”

“I told her she’s fine.” Maefyl sighed. He realized it was an extreme decision to make on a whim, but he was still too angry to deal with her fairly. “I made her comfortable and told her to sleep it off. I don’t have time to worry about her wandering off right now.”

“What will have you so busy?” Gabriel questioned him as he pushed back from his desk and beckoned Maefyl to him.

“Well, Raziel wants you to talk to Michael about Brig.” Maefyl handed Gabriel his phone so he could see the request himself. “While you do that I thought I would take Kage and Raziel and pay Samael a visit.”

“No.” Gabriel grabbed Maefyl’s arm and pulled him into his lap. “I’ll speak with Michael, but you are not to see Samael unless I am there. I would rather you didn’t at all.”

“It won’t matter.” Kage arrived beside Lucifer. “You don’t have time for any of it.”

“Come outside.” Lucifer commanded. “Both of you.”

“They have made their decision…” Gabriel sighed as he looked to the sky filled with all manner of creatures ready to massacre the humans they hated. “What have they asked, Lucy?”

“Nothing as of yet.” Lucifer explained. “This is just a message to show their intent. Samael wanted my attention.”

“For your attention he threatens Osore?” Maefyl scoffed.

“Not just Osore, half-breed.” Kage corrected him as Kagemusha reclaimed her place on his shoulder. “All of Tsuriai. The Wyrms have roused all of Parasek.”

“They have filled the skies and forests the world over.” Lucifer grinned. “They threaten not only me, but the faith of the entire world in those I’ve left to protect them.”

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RO : The Wyrms : Raziel & The Hunter

Brig could in no way deny that a few days away were a much-needed break. Since he took his place in Vex it had been an endless adventure and while he enjoyed most of his work it was overwhelming at times to carry the weight of an entire city’s expectations while struggling to maintain complicated friendships and focus on a marriage he was terrified of losing. He was still trying to find the balance for all of it and a little time to clear his head was probably exactly what he needed. Unfortunately his head was not any clearer. Even in the quiet relaxing waters where he had wandered for a few minutes alone he couldn’t shake his anxiety.

“May I join you?” Raziel stood at the edge of the water, still dressed in case Brig refused his company.

“It’s your house.” Brig didn’t turn to greet him. He just shrugged and leaned on a chest high wall of stone near the edge of the water and laid his head against his arms.

“Are you still upset that I brought you here?” Raziel stepped into the water shedding his clothes as he did. He walked slowly toward Brig, barely disturbing the surface as he moved.

“You already know I’m not mad.” Brig sighed. “Please don’t feel the need to make small talk. You already know everything I’m going to say and most of it is pointless because you aren’t going to answer me.”

“Ask anyway.” Raziel rested his hand on Brig’s back a moment before he turned and leaned on the wall beside him. Brig glanced over at him and Raziel heard Brig scolding himself for staring at his neck. “You only need to ask when it comes to your thirst as well.”

“Why did you bring us here, Raziel?” Brig frustrated himself by asking another question that would get twisted into an unrelated conversation and realized he had forgotten his manners. “Lord Raziel, sorry.”

“Raziel is fine. Unless it is related to work in Vex I won’t hold you to formality.” Raziel weighed his options. He could continue to dodge Brig’s anxiety until he demanded to be taken home or tell him the truth and risk the panic it may inspire. He had nearly demanded their trust and decided he should put more faith in the trust he had given them. “I brought you to protect you.”

“From what?” Brig looked over at him surprised to get an answer at all.

“Two of my kin actively seeking to resolve an old grudge. They are not likely to attack us directly, they would prefer we suffer rather than die.” Raziel explained. “It puts you at risk. My estate is safer than Vex, I thought it best to gather the things I hold dear where I can more adequately protect them.”

“And Vex?” Brig worried for the people he swore to protect. For the city they had worked so hard to fix.

“I can protect Vex on my own if it becomes necessary.” Raziel continued with an unchanged expression. “I can do so more effectively if I am not as distracted with individuals at its center.”

“Why didn’t you just tell me this to begin with?” Brig rubbed at his head.

“I haven’t told the others either.” Raziel had genuinely wanted to prevent panic and make their stay enjoyable. The others had accepted the time away willingly, but Brig remained skeptical and was becoming distant. “You have not fed since I brought you. Why?”

“As addicting as your blood is, it is a little awkward to for me to ask.” Brig sighed. “Don’t change the subject. Are these friends of yours going to be a problem for Vex?”

“While I hope they leave humanity and the Circles alone, I can not say that they will.” Raziel explained that it would not matter. “They are more likely to pursue more personal attacks, but as I have already told you, I can protect Vex on my own. You have my word that I will protect it.”

“Great. So, how long do I have to stay locked up here?” Brig pushed away from the edge and took a moment to duck under the surface before he stood and pushed his hair back. “Can I even go outside?”

“Just don’t leave the grounds until I have a chance to speak to Gabriel.” Raziel nodded.

“What does Gabriel have to do with it?” Brig laughed as Raziel swam over to him. “And why the shit are you and Galik so opposed to clothes?”

“Gabriel is held in high regard here.” Raziel stood in front of Brig. “Heaven’s caretakers will respect his wishes and you should be free to wander.”

“Your friends won’t be a problem here?” Brig resisted the urge to grab Raziel and bite into his neck. He felt the first pains of thirst a few hours ago and temptation only seemed to make them worse.

“They won’t do any harm here.” Raziel stepped closer knowing Brig’s thirst was getting the better of him. “If you decide to wander and they or anyone else here, speaks to you be polite, but be brief. I would have preferred Hell. The residents there are easier to deal with.”

“Not as far as I’m concerned.” Brig sneered and turned to leave. “I need to check on Shana, she’s probably hungry.”

“You intend to feed her until your own hunger becomes her burden as well?” Raziel took Brig by the arm and halted his retreat. “I have seen you both suffer each others starvation. I don’t care to see it again. Why do you not ask me for what you need?”

“I told you it’s awkward to ask.” Brig felt ridiculous explaining what he knew Raziel could just reach in his head and figure out for himself. But he explained as well as he could his problem with this new dependency. “As much as I never thought I would, I actually miss the hunt. I’ve been doing it so long it feels completely unnatural to give it up. Having to walk up to you and ask for blood is degrading.”

“You prefer killing the innocent?” Raziel let his hand fall from Brig’s arm. “I thought I was alleviating your guilt, not adding to your misery.”

“You know that’s not true.” Brig was uncertain whether Raziel was genuinely curious or fucking with him. But he explained hoping for the former. “When you offer I’m all over it. I just can’t ask. I won’t ask. I spent my first year begging, I can’t do it again.”

“Then I’ll make it simple for you.” Raziel offered a solution he hoped would solve a few of Brig’s dilemmas and strengthen the bond between them. “If it’s the game of the hunt you miss I can oblige you. I offer myself as your victim. My throat is yours to claim when you want it. I ask that you respect Van and Galik with your timing, but you can attack as you wish.”

“That’s a bit twisted.” Brig laughed. Now he was fairly certain Raziel was just taunting him.

“It saves me from constantly monitoring your needs.” Raziel explained the logic in his offer in a way he hoped Brig could make sense of. “It is tiresome to watch you for pain and remind you. This will continue to spare Vex from your hunger, still keep Shana fed. And will allow you more independence. It should be amusing to be hunted, I don’t believe I have ever had the honor.”

“You’re serious?” Brig looked for the hint of sarcasm he knew he would never find on Raziel’s face. “You’re just going to let me tear into your throat whenever I want?”

“It’s not as if you can do any lasting damage.” Raziel nodded and walked past him. “I will try to be a convincing victim.”

“If you say so, cupcake.” Brig’s thirst was getting uncomfortable, he would have probably given the idea a trial run had Raziel been clothed, but instead he swam off and tried to wrap his head around the offer. After a while Brig noticed a causally dressed Raziel sitting on the tiles reading with his back turned to him. Brig watched him for a few minutes, amazed with the resolve Raziel had in making the offer and in making himself available for it.

Brig crept onto the tiles near petrified of what he was about to do. Raziel could break him in half, but sat there waiting for an attack he fully expected, that he offered to accept. When Brig convinced himself he was going to accept that offer he tried to force the idea of what Raziel was, who he was, out of his mind. ‘Just another victim’. ‘Just another throat’. He moved swiftly with the intent to claim the blood under Raziel’s pale skin.

Raziel had heard every doubt; every troubled thought as Brig wrestled with the idea, and the inevitable acceptance once the thirst had built enough that Brig could no longer refuse. When he felt Brig’s finger’s in his hair, Raziel fought his reflexes and let Brig pull his head back and tear viciously into the skin of his neck. He clutched at Brig’s back and shoulder as weakly as he could manage to play into Brig’s need for a victim. A gesture that must have been noticed and enjoyed as Brig bit harder and pulled Raziel closer. As Brig crawled onto him to claim more of his blood, Raziel let himself fall limp and eventually Brig forced himself away from the taste.

Brig laid Raziel back against the tiles as the strength in the blood caught up with him. He curled over the Watcher as his head swam. Raziel had been convincing enough that he let himself get caught up in it and had taken too much.

“Should I have stopped you?” Raziel kept still as he spoke, not wanting to startle Brig from his seat on his stomach and end the strange moment between them. He was surprised by the reaction to his words.

“You’re supposed to be dead.” Brig smirked as he put his hand over Raziel’s mouth. The way Raziel hid his emotions made him ideal for looking the part. “Generally I don’t have a chat with dinner after I’ve eaten it. Just lie there and give me a minute.”

 

Raziel did as he was asked. He was amused with the ease in which Brig took to giving him such a command and at his own willingness to obey it. Once Brig collected himself, he laid his fingers over Raziel’s eyes to close them and stood to walk away. Raziel remained as still as the death he feigned until Brig was away from the room, then he sat up and slipped his fingers through the blood left on his neck.

“You’re in love with him.” Demise landed on Raziel’s bloody fingertips as he looked at them.

“I am, child of blood.” Raziel admitted. “You are awoken, yes?”

“You know about that? Demise slid into his palm.

“Yes.” Raziel nodded. “As we share a suffering, I hope I can count on your silence.”

“He’ll probably never love you.” Demise sighed. Her love had already been taken and this love of Raziel’s would never see him. They most definitely shared a suffering.

“Which is why it will go unspoken.” Raziel pleaded. “Let me have him in this way, Lady Demise. I will be in your debt.”

“I envy you.” Demise hugged her tiny legs as she sat in his hand. “You have a heart large enough to love so many. Even if you can’t have them. You still give them everything and you can see them happy.”

“Open yourself, your heart, to your new companions, child of blood.” Raziel brought her gently against his chest as he stood. “I’ll ensure you can enjoy their happiness always. No one will take them from either of us.”

“Promise?” Demise clutched her ear where the tiny reddish black claw sat and almost cried. She could not bear lose anyone else.

“You can allow yourself to love them.” Raziel left the room to escort Demise back to her friends. “You have my word.”

“Then you have my silence.” Demise hugged his fingers as he carried her. “Just don’t let it go too far.”

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RO : The Wyrms : Talk Of Dragons

“So who are they?” Karla asked. “Why did they hurt Kryss?”

“Kryss is perfectly fine.” Eidolon was just as upset about the attack on his Black Wolf, but it was not meant to harm him, only to keep him out of the way. He was more concerned over the Wyrms presence in Tsuriai at all and their sudden interest in certain friends. “They are old friends holding a very old grudge. They were not trying to hurt Kryss, as he said himself, they were more interested in talking to Shiroi.”

“They better not hurt Snowflake.” Kaneko growled. “Kaneko will rip out their eyes and use them to play ping pong.”

“That’s a lovely image.” Eidolon smiled at her. As sweet as she often was, Kaneko had a sadistically violent nature that he found oddly charming. He rubbed her side with his fingers and she leaned over and hugged him. “You are not to go anywhere near Samael or Azrael regardless of what happened. Neither of you are leaving my sight until I know what has brought the Wyrms out of hiding.”

“Worms?” Karla laughed. “Fish bait and Bird food!”

“Don’t let anyone else hear you call them that.” Eidolon laughed as he stroked his fingers down her face. “Though Lucifer may find it amusing as I do, I doubt they would appreciate the colorful new titles.”

“Wyrms with a ‘Y’.” Kaneko corrected Karla as she giggled. “Scary dragons.”

“So if people call you Falcon and you can be one…” Karla lit up at the thought of dragons. “Are they really dragons?”

“You think of the weirdest stuff.” Kaneko giggled. “Master Eidolon could be a dragon if he wanted.”

“Really?” Karla jumped onto his lap. “Can you show me?”

“Tired of my feathers already?” Eidolon smiled at her and lifted her up to sit on the desk as he stood and leaned close to her. “Will a small one do? My office could not accommodate much else.”

“I love your feathers.” Karla hugged him. “I’ve just never seen a dragon. When they showed up in Osore…”

“Shh.” Eidolon put a finger to her lips. He was in no mood to open those wounds again. He obliged her curiosity and changed into a smaller version of a form he had not taken in a very long time. Her reaction was worth taking the time to do so. She squealed excitedly when he felt the scales under her fingers, smiled as she ran her hands back against the powerful jaws and wrapped her arms around the thin neck. His claws were pearlescent, and the white scales that ran over most of his four limbs shared the same glimmer. Larger scales, like armor at his joints where shades of deep blues and greys, and they darkened along his back into deeper shades of purples and the armor that ran along his back and covered most of his tail was black. An odd black that almost seemed to move. The structure of his wings was black, but the inside of them, where Karla gently ran her fingers was like the iridescent white of his scaly feet.

“This is so cool!” Karla clung to him excitedly as he rested a claw around her hip and nudged at her face with his head. Karla rubbed at his nose with her hand wanting to see the teeth. “Go ah!’

“You’re so easily amused.” Kaneko laughed until she turned disappointedly toward the knock at the door. “Guess fun time is over.”

“Damn it.” Karla pouted as Eidolon returned to his own form.

“I should take you to see actual dragons.” Eidolon suggested. He lifted her off the desk and stood her beside him before he gave them each a quick kiss. He sat and willed the door open for his guests. “They are more impressive. Come in, Gabriel.”

“What?” Kaneko whispered to Karla as she poked her shoulder to snap her out of whatever deep thoughts she was thinking.

“Is your dad a snake?” Karla replied quietly. “How are you a cat if he’s a snake?”

“Kaneko is just Kaneko. We just are what we are.” Kaneko shrugged as she whispered her reply. “Master Eidolon and Kaneko’s Father are both Watchers, they have an easier time changing into whatever they want. The cat thing is like part of Kaneko, takes no effort. Other stuff is harder. Kaneko has never seen Kage change, He might be a snake. Kaneko doesn’t know.”

“The Viper tends to be most comfortable as a dragon.” Gabriel couldn’t help but laugh at the exchange he knew had to have begun with Karla’s curiosity. “A Watcher’s title does not dictate their choice in forms. We just tend to favor one.”

“Kyaa!” Kaneko shouted and pointed at Maefyl when she noticed the additional companion. “Why do you have Kagemusha?”

“Kage left her to spy on me.” Maefyl laughed and tried to spare Kagemusha the trouble of giving an explanation. “So wait, Kage is a dragon?”

“The Black Dragon.” Kagemusha answered proudly. “A breathtaking sight, but he has not taken the form in many ages.”

“Reptilian rangers.” Maefyl muttered to himself over the ridiculousness of needless shape-shifting and the endless titles the Watcher’s seemed so proud of that none of them were able to decide on one. “Pretentious bullshit. This isn’t what we are here for.”

“Your purpose here doesn’t eliminate the need for polite conversation or manners.” Eidolon scolded Maefyl for his insultingly inconsiderate tone. “I know the Wyrms are troubling, but there is no need for you to be rude.”

“You did interrupt our conversation after all.” Karla smiled as she teased Maefyl and he softened his scowl as she knew he would. They still had an unspoken respect for one another that made the strange beginnings of their friendship grow into an amazing bond. “Just be nice.”

“Well let me know then you are all finished patting each other on the back for being so incredible.” Maefyl crossed his legs and sat on the floor. “In case anyone needs reminding we do have actual problems to deal with.”

“I miss you being humble and quiet.” Eidolon laughed. “You’ve become quite obnoxious, Maefyl.”

“Just tired of being fucked with, Eidolon.” Maefyl sighed. “Can I smoke in here?”

“If it will calm you down.” Eidolon nodded. “By all means.”

Maefyl lit a cigarette and Gabriel rested a hand on his head. Karla was quick to take the opportunity for a smoke and kissed Eidolon on his cheek before she ran over and sat with Maefyl to have a cigarette herself. They sat together chatting casually and waited for the conversation to move past the stall Maefyl’s frustration had created.

“You doing okay, kid?” Maefyl put his arm around Karla and squeezed her shoulders. “Asura said you were pretty upset.”

“I was.” Karla shut her eyes and exhaled as she leaned her head against his. “I’m okay though. I love Eidolon, I know he did what he had to.”

“Have you spoken to either of them?” Gabriel was glad to see Karla had accepted Eidolon’s actions and returned to adoring his every breath. He would have focused on the fact but instead looked to Eidolon for more answers regarding the Wyrms motivations. “They seem very determined to re-open old wounds.”

“I don’t think the wounds ever closed, Gabriel.” Eidolon tapped his fingers on the desk. He understood their frustration; there were times he could almost empathize with their views. “I haven’t spoken to them, but I don’t need to. They have always wanted the same thing. Now they seem to seek restitution as well.”

“I can’t say that I blame them.” Gabriel sighed. “But their methods are often disastrous for everyone.”

“What exactly happened with Kryss and Shiroi?” Maefyl interrupted.

“Did she not tell you?” Eidolon was shocked to hear any bride would spare any detail of such an encounter, but Shiroi was a daughter to Nexus. She likely shared a few of the troublesome demons less redeeming qualities. “Kryss told her to go right to you and Gabriel.”

“Not really.” Maefyl ran his hands back through his hair. He noticed Eidolon’s concern and started getting angrier about her hiding the truth from him. “Should I be worried?”

“This may be better discussed in private.” Eidolon left his desk and headed toward Maefyl. “Join me in the hall.”

“For fuck sake, Eidolon.” Maefyl was panicked by Eidolon’s expression. “How bad is it?”

Eidolon grabbed Maefyl’s shoulder and took him outside the door as he pulled him to his feet.

“I don’t wish to speak ill of your bride at all, but I won’t do it in front of the others.” Eidolon explained his insistence on discretion. “I hope her silence was innocent, but she should not hide things from you.”

“Hide what?” Maefyl grabbed Eidolon’s sleeve. “What isn’t she telling me?”

“The attack on Kryss was not meant to harm him, or to offend me.” Eidolon began. He spoke quietly and hoped to keep Maefyl’s reaction calm. “He was only pushed aside so they could get close to Shiroi. Their entire visit was focused on her. More specifically how vulnerable she is without you.”

“They didn’t hurt her though.” Maefyl was grateful for that at least.

“If you have managed to offend them, they will have no compassion.” Eidolon continued. “They will not hesitate to use the things you love against you.”

“The things I love seem to hurt me just fine on their own.” Maefyl leaned against Eidolon. “I don’t understand why she wouldn’t tell me.”

“To protect you from it?” Eidolon rested his arms around Maefyl to comfort him. “Or to spare you the thought of another laying a hand on her.”

“They touched her?” Maefyl clenched his teeth and tightening his hands on Eidolon’s jacket.

“Only to take her hand and kiss it.” Eidolon tried to give what small comfort he could. “I’m less concerned with that than the intention behind it. If Samael is angry with you, he will enjoy breaking what’s yours.”

“Why the fuck would she hide it from me?” Maefyl tried to push away from Eidolon but the Watcher insisted on holding him tighter in an attempt to comfort him. “Regardless of his intention, she should have been offended by it and told me.”

“I can’t begin to imagine.” As Eidolon embraced Maefyl he hoped Shiroi had only meant to protect him from the truth, not to hide it. He knew Maefyl felt betrayed, but could offer him little comfort. He had always thought their marriage to be an awkward one at best. “If you confront her about it, be kind.”

“Would you be?” Maefyl scoffed at the idea. “If either of them lied to you?”

“Is omission a lie?” Eidolon tried to be reasonable about the situation and give Shiroi the benefit of doubt, but in truth he would be just as furious as Maefyl. He would never tolerate the sort of disobedience Shiroi exhibited on a regular basis. Still as Lucifer’s daughter any rage on Maefyl’s behalf was always a risk and Eidolon knew it would only serve to wound Gabriel if there were problems. “Does Gabriel know your every secret? Does she? Be reasonable.”

“I tell Gabriel everything he asks.” Maefyl sighed. “Unless it’s someone else’s secret I don’t hide anything from him. I asked her what happened, and she chose not to tell me.”

“Then ask her more directly.” Eidolon suggested. “Don’t doubt her until she has given you reason to.”

“She already has, but thanks.” Maefyl gave Eidolon a final squeeze and backed away from the embrace. He knew Eidolon was trying to help. “I’m sorry I was shitty earlier.”

“I’m used to your nonsense.” Eidolon laughed and patted Maefyl’s back as he led him back inside the office. “I like that you are so impossible about everything. It’s part of your charm.”

“I’m glad you think so, Falcon.” Gabriel laughed. “Next time he is being charming, I will invite you to deal with it.”

“See how mean he is to me, Sany?” Maefyl grinned. She had been with him the whole time and remained silent. He was grateful for it, but he knew it was only going to give her another reason to hate Shiroi, which meant there was going to be more of the endless bickering between them. “You’re the only one who gets me.”

“If I just agree with you will you get me cake on the way home?” Sanguine teased. Like everyone else, trying to put Maefyl at ease.

“Does nobody love me?” Maefyl pouted playfully until Gabriel pulled him into his arms and kissed him. Maefyl smiled up at him. “I’m guessing your were the white one?”

“White?” Gabriel took a moment to realize Maefyl had jumped back into to conversation he had earlier tried to put an end to. Gabriel laughed at the assumption. “Hardly. You command the White Dragon.”

“Raziel?” Maefyl laughed.

“Aww, you have your own pet dragon.” Sanguine giggled.

“Gabriel…” Eidolon knew they were dangerously close to a discussion of the Six and thought a change of subject was in order. They were having enough trouble, and he did not want his brides exposed to knowledge that would put them at risk. “I will let you know if there are any changes, but for now I have nothing of use to tell you. If there is nothing else…”

“I should probably go and have a talk with Shiroi.” Maefyl tapped at Kagemusha. “Any chance I can have a private conversation?”

“My orders are to inform Lord Kage if you are away from Gabriel or the Keeper.” Kagemusha flitted her wings. “My apologies.”

“I imagine you would prefer my presence to that of Raziel or Kage.” Gabriel waved a quick goodbye to Eidolon and his brides. “I’ll stay quiet.”

“Now.” Eidolon watched them leave and snatched Karla off the floor into his arms. Kaneko ran over and he leaned to kiss her. “Where were we?”

“Telling Karla how awesome you are.” Kaneko grinned. “Kaneko is hungry.”

“Come.” Eidolon lifted her and smiled as he felt her fangs pierce his skin. “I apologize for keeping the two of you confined to my company.”

“We like your company and we understand.” Karla smiled up at him. “I already knew you were awesome by the way. I think it’s neat you can be other things, but I love you the way you are.”

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RO : The Wyrms : Nikolai & His Pets Pt.2 (18+)

“I would have preferred you stay uninvolved as well.” Lucifer was concerned, but hopeful over Samael’s unexpected interest in Nikolai. It broke the Wyrms long standing ideals and offered a glimmer of hope that the Wyrms could be reasoned with. “You handled yourself well. I will keep Golod from as much trouble as possible, but to that end I need a small favor from you.”

“Ask it.” Nikolai waited.

“As always Asura has my protection, as do you and the cubs.” Lucifer handed a dark glass bottle to Nikolai as he spoke. “I am however going to be very distracted and you need to make my promise easier to keep. Until I say otherwise Asura needs to be kept within the well established barriers of this building and your home.”

“And this?” Nikolai smirked at the bottle. Its only marking was Lucifer’s crest on its long neck. The choice of a wine bottle was amusing considering the effect he knew the contents would have on a vampire. “For Asura?”

“For the both of you.” Lucifer explained. “You are not as weak as Samael believes, but this will give you both well deserved additional strengths.”

“I’ll do as you ask to keep Asura from harm, but this is…” Nikolai tried to decline the offer.

“Don’t refuse my gift, Nikolai.” Lucifer grinned and vanished.

“Of course not.” Nikolai sighed and went into his office. He chuckled as he saw Asura sketching on the couch. He knew that even after seeing them for only a moment she was filling the page with perfect images of their uninvited guests. He sat the bottle Lucifer had given her in her lap and sat beside her. As usual she had captured her subjects perfectly, well enough that even the sight of the drawing carried the weight of their presence. Nikolai took the book and set it aside for the moment.

“I wasn’t finished.” Asura pouted and looked at the bottle sitting in her lap. “Uncle Lucifer? Why didn’t he come in?”

“He is terribly busy.” Nikolai turned her face to his and kissed her nose. “How would you like to spend a few days at home getting drunk with me, my pet?”

“Hmm.” Asura tapped her chin and tried to look thoughtful as she smiled. “Will there be lots of sex?”

“Quite possibly.” Nikolai fed into her playful inquisition.

“Lots of purring?” Asura continued with a widening smile that ruined her attempts at a calm serious demeanor. “I simply must have at least two naughty kitties.”

“I’m certain we can arrange for that.” Nikolai called for the cubs and they each arrived startled at being asked to return so soon. They jumped over the couch and landed on either side of them as Asura crawled into Nikolai’s lap with the wine bottle and grabbed her sketchbook. “Will these two naughty kitties do?”

“Nicely.” Asura laughed and cuddled closer to Nikolai. “So can this debauchery start now?”

“Most definitely.” Nikolai kissed her as he grabbed each of the cubs by their collars and took them all home.

“Is everything ok?” Bezer asked.

“Yes.” Nikolai stood and set Asura on Bezer’s lap and headed for the bedroom. “I’m going to change. We’re taking the week off.”

“Who was she drawing?” Azazel asked when he closed the door to the bedroom behind him.

“Trouble apparently.” Nikolai answered as he kicked off his shoes and threw his shirt and tie onto the bed. “We need to keep Asura protected and if at all possible, blissfully unaware of any threat. I don’t like the idea of hiding this from her, but I believe Maefyl has gotten himself into another mess and I don’t want her at risk.”

“And Lucifer’s little present out there?” Azazel picked up all of Nikolai’s clothes and shook them clean with his magic before he hung them in the closet.

“A distraction. He does not want her involved either.” Nikolai pulled his hair back into a ponytail as he finished changing. “Though, the gift is apparently for me as well.”

“Our blood and Lord Lucifer’s? You are going to be so very, very drunk.” Azazel laughed. “I’m going to take advantage of you, Master Nikolai.”

“I certainly hope so, my pet.” Nikolai pulled Azazel to him by his collar and kissed him until he could feel the heat from Azazel’s face as he blushed. They had kept their most intimate moments private, and still had yet to cross certain lines with each other. Giving Azazel an excuse to cross them was like giving a child the keys to a candy store. He had been subtly suggesting a desire for more over the last few centuries, and Nikolai had been subtly ignoring it, fearing what it would change between them. “I plan on taking every advantage of you while I have Lucifer to blame.”

“Is it that you’re nervous about or the pretty boys Asura was drawing?” Azazel purred as he pressed against Nikolai. “Do I need to be jealous?”

“No. I prefer your stripes to their scales.” Nikolai teased him as he pulled him toward the door by the collar. “What makes you think I am nervous about either?”

“Because it’s the only time you still sound Russian.” Azazel laughed when Nikolai turned and looked surprised. “When you get nervous you slip up and stop hiding your accent.”

“I hadn’t noticed.” Nikolai had made every effort to hide the accent that to many other demons gave him away as having once been human or had at the very least lived among them long enough to adapt to a dialect. He hoped he would eventually have to stop answering questions, but accent or not it seemed his origins would forever remain a curiosity that begged annoying questions. “Does it bother you?”

“Are you kidding? I love it!” Azazel grinned. Whenever Nikolai indulged Azazel’s need for pain his accent was thicker than ever and Azazel loved every word. He loved that he still made Nikolai nervous after so long. “And I get to hear it more than anyone.”

“It sounds like Bezer started without us again.” Nikola laughed as he opened the door to the sound of Asura in growing ecstasy.

“You didn’t answer me.” Azazel pounced onto Nikolai’s back as he whispered. “What are you nervous about? Them or me?”

“Both.” Nikolai admitted quietly as he ran his hand back through Azazel’s hair. “Go grab a few of your dirty little stories and come show me what it is I’ve agreed to do to you.”

“I’ll have you calling me malchik before I even get you out of your clothes.” Azazel purred as he kissed Nikolai’s neck and then he ran off laughing.

“Quiet you two!” Bezer grinned at Nikolai as he walked in. “I’m very busy making Asura wriggle around.”

“And she is so very good at it.” Asura panted and twisted her fingers in Bezer’s fiery hair. “Back to work, kitty.”

“I married deviants.” Nikolai sighed and sat on the floor beside Bezer. He tussled her hair as she went back to the business of making Asura wriggle. Nikolai grinned as Asura curled her fingers in his hair as well, making him a part of the intimacy between Bezer and herself.

“You love every minute of this.” Blondie laughed as she watched from the back of the couch. She was always entertained by their unending displays of passion.

“Of seeing them so happy? Yes I do.” Nikolai smiled until his eyes fell again on Asura’s drawing. His worry was quickly cast aside when Azazel returned and kicked the sketchbook away, replacing it with a stack of his comics. Nikolai picked one off the top and opened it as Azazel sat in his lap to look over it with him. Nikolai smiled again with Azazel purring against him and Asura pulling his hair each time Bezer made her scream. “I love you, my pets.”

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RO : The Wyrms : Nikolai & His Pets Pt.1

“What are you guys doing?” Bezer grinned as she poked her head in the door. Nikolai had Azazel by the hair and his fanged in his throat and Asura was on his lap with bloody fingers doing something to his ear. “You done torturing Azazel yet?”

“Almost.” Asura grinned as she pulled the piercing needle through Azazel’s ear again and licked her fingers while she watched the hole close.

“Do it again.” Azazel purred.

“Aren’t you supposed to be working?” Nikolai pulled Azazel’s head back by his hair and leaned to kiss him.

“No fair!” Bezer bounced onto the bed and poked at Azazel’s ear. Each one had a stack of perfect tiny rings, three black separated by two green, that sat perfectly along the top edge of cartilage. Bezer pouted over his new presents. “Now we don’t match.”

“Do I ever treat you that unfairly?” Nikolai held his hand out in front of her to show her the rings sitting in his palm before he sat against the headboard. “Come here, my pet. I’ll make sure you match.”

“Azazel just insisted I poke him with the needle when I suggested getting his ears pierced.” Asura giggled. “Which is silly cause it just makes a mess and he heals right up.”

“I just wanted you to sit in my lap.” Azazel stuck his tongue out at her. “The ouch is just a bonus.”

“I could have done that and just bit your ear.” Asura laughed. “Wouldn’t waste so much that way.”

“Yea.” Azazel grinned and hugged her close. “Do that.”

“Better?” Nikolai ran his fingers over the rings he had left on Bezer’s ears.

“I love you, Master Nikolai.” Bezer kissed him before she bounced off the bed. “I’m going to work. See you soon.”

“You too.” Nikolai pulled Asura off of Azazel’s lap and kissed him. “We’ll play later.”

“And what are we doing today.” Asura leaned back against Nikolai and smiled as he grabbed her ears. “I get them, too?”

“It was your idea.” Nikolai smiled. “I would never leave you out.”

“Still won’t get me a collar like theirs though.” Asura teased.

“Your fathers would kill me, my pet.” Nikolai laughed and ran his finger over the delicate collar that circled her neck. “Besides, you have your own. I should go in for a few hours. Want to walk?”

“Sounds good.” Asura grabbed her sketchbook and met him at the door as he straightened his tie. “I still want to see you in all the old fancy clothes.”

“Later.” Nikolai smiled and teased Asura with the possibility of playing dress up as he led her outside. “If you ask really nicely. Maybe.”

As they walked they were stopped here and there for friendly exchanges with the locals. Asura had become something of a mascot to Golod’s Circle and Nikolai had become well loved by the city he protected. He was easily Lucifer’s strangest choice for heading one of his Circles, but Golod was nearly unmatched as one of the happiest, most peaceful cities in all of Tsuriai.

Nikolai was always worried about anything that could destroy that happiness and had become very skeptical of new demons showing up unannounced. Much like the two white-skinned visitors that waited outside the doors to the Circle building.

“Who are they?” Asura whispered and squeezed Nikolai’s hand as they crossed the courtyard.

“I will let you know when I know.” Nikolai smiled at her and led her to the door as it opened. “Wait inside, my pet. I’ll join you in a moment.”

“Okay, Master Nikolai.” Asura bounced inside with her sketchbook to wait, knowing Nikolai would try to continue any discussion inside where they were protected. She hoped they would come inside so she could get a better look and say hello, but there was something odd about the two of them and she doubted they were here for anything good.

Nikolai only turned to approach his unexpected visitors once he knew Asura was safely inside. The magic that protected her there was far more effective than any defense he could create on his own and these strangers that quietly watched him made him nervous. His experience with other demons had varied so vastly from individual to individual, but he had learned to be cautious and while his skepticism may seem to anyone else like paranoia, it had served him well.

“Ke sesa ze Viper sabaki.” Azrael took a handful of Nikolai’s hair when he approached them.

“I have nothing in common with Kage.” Nikolai pulled his hair away before reluctantly offering his hand. Any greeting that began with him being compared to Kage was not one he expected to go very well. “I am Nikolai, Head of Golod.”

“Kage still seems to be well loved.” Samael grinned at Nikolai’s loathing of his cantankerous friend. “I am Samael. Azrael meant no disrespect. We happen to like Kage.”

“I do not.” Nikolai was already unhappy with how the conversation was proceeding. “Do you have some purpose in Golod?”

“Ken salekun.” Azrael noticed Nikolai lacked the irises of the demonic race. “Saba ke dozeba?”

“Half-demon.” Nikolai replied and watched them stare at him a moment in shock before he sighed and explained. “I don’t need to understand your words to see where you are looking. Unfortunately I’ve grown quite used to being a curiosity among the Circles. After years of the same questions, it’s simple to read which ones follow certain looks.”

“Clever, perceptive, polite.” Samael smiled as he listed the admirable qualities as if he were delivering a eulogy. “Chivalrous as well. You saw your bride to safety before approaching a potential threat. Not even a proper demon and you manage to behave better than most.”

“I am also not swayed by idle flattery.” Nikolai continued cautiously. “You have not answered my question. If you have a purpose here, state it.”

“You are the only one of your kind.” Samael grinned. “A strange union of races and an impressive creature by your own right. But you are, as I’m sure you know well, weak when compared to the others Vasun Lucifer has put in your position. I am curious as to why he shows you such favor?”

“Setting your insult aside, I have no answer to give you.” Nikolai was used to doubts and insults. His pacifism had most convinced that he was still as weak as when he began, but when pressed hard enough Nikolai may surprise them all. “If that is all, I’m afraid you’ve wasted your energy coming to me. I can not speak Lucifer’s mind nor do I pretend to understand his reasons.”

“Voldrak, Vasun Lucifer.” Azrael sneered as he gave his greeting to the Dark Lord that arrived beside Nikolai.

“Voldrak, Azrael.” Lucifer grinned. “Tell me, Samael. Are your silly little visits going to lead you to my door any time soon?”

“Why should I bother, Vasun?” Samael smiled back at him wickedly. “Until I have your undivided attention, there is no point in making my request.”

“You seem to be making enemies quickly.” Lucifer laughed.

“Vade, Azrael.” Samael waited until Azrael took his arm before he smiled at Nikolai. “Perhaps a few friends as well.”

“Friends of yours?” Nikolai asked as the Wyrms departed and he turned to head through the door with Lucifer in step beside him. “They are simply lovely. I assume they are the same guests that took Maefyl away in such a hurry?”

“I’m fairly certain their visit here was harmless, but they may return in a less cordial nature.” Lucifer stopped Nikolai before they got to his office to keep the conversation private. “Samael does not waste words. His mention of making a friend of you is a serious offer with serious complications I do not have time to explain. He seems to like you, which may be useful. It is also nearly beyond belief.”

“Useful? And I am so touched you find the idea of someone liking me beyond belief.” Nikolai was as confused as he was troubled. “My Lord, whatever trouble the two of them are bringing, I want no part in it.”

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RO : The Wyrms : Waiting (18+)

“Is Nat still here?” Kryss ran into the restaurant to see if she had waited. Her shift had ended a couple of hours ago and he felt terrible for not being there when he said he would.

“Yep.” The large friendly woman behind the counter greeted him with a smile as he came to the counter. Her little plastic nametag indicated that she was called Sherry and that she was the manager. She slid a clipping from the Tsumi Press to him. “She wanted to wait, I let her work. I wanted to thank you for this anyway.”

“I don’t understand.” Kryss glanced down at the obituary and frowned at it. He looked back at her confused as to why she would express gratitude for what he had done. “Why?”

“Because Nat looks better without seven layers of make-up.” Sherry laughed. “As long as I’ve known that girl she has let that sorry excuse for a man use her as a punching bag. It’s nice to see a smile on her face that isn’t plastered on for a change.”

“I was just doing my job.” Kryss laid his hand over the short article that confirmed his claim. ‘Executed by order of the Circle of Tsumi’. Kaneko had seen to everything. “Nat is sweet. She didn’t need to suffer like that.”

“Oh, she’s sweet alright.” Sherry laughed quietly and leaned to share her secret. “She’s sweet on you. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a girl daydream so much.”

“Hey!” Nat interrupted the woman’s meddling when she came from the back room and shouted her greeting at Kryss. She then promptly tripped over her own feet and spilled the drinks she was carrying down the front of herself. “Crap.”

“Taranis is right.” Kryss laughed and slid the article back to Sherry before going to rescue Nat again. “You are hopelessly clumsy.”

“Clean it up.” Sherry tossed a towel at Nat before she turned to deal with other customers. “Finish up your tables and get.”

“Thanks Sherry.” Nat shook her head and stooped to clean up her mess. Kryss laid his hand on her waist and cleaned up her clothes. “And thank you. Again.”

“I’ll wait out front so I don’t get you into any more trouble.” Kryss smiled and helped her up.

“It’s no trouble.” Nat gave him a quirky smile. “I do this at least once a week. Why were you so late?”

“Rough day.” Kryss had spent longer explaining the unexpected guests to Eidolon than he had hoped. Eidolon had been furious, but eventually insisted it wasn’t going to be a problem. “Finish up and I’ll walk you home.”

When Nat finished for the day she discovered that the walk part of their walk home was the same odd magic Eidolon had used to travel. Once Kryss assured her that it was harmless and he invited her to join him across the hall to hang out with his friends and Nat went to freshen up. After a quick shower she started to get dressed and started getting nervous about the invitation.

“You sure they don’t mind?” Nat yelled her concerns at the door as she dressed. “Me being human and all. If it’s too weird, I can just stay here and paint.”

“You don’t need to shout.” Kryss laughed. “I can hear just fine if you talk and yes. They invited you. They wanted to get to know Levina’s new best friend.”

“I’m kind of hungry.” Nat finished off her second braid as she left the bathroom. “Should I eat first?”

“If you’re okay with pizza the pups have that covered.” Kryss headed for the door and Nat followed him through it and the door across from it.

“Hello again.” Nat stood beside Kryss nervously. She had only met the older wolves once and it had been a very brief meeting. Luckily Taranis saved her from her awkwardness by tackling her into a pile of cushions. “I don’t have any bacon this time.”

“I have some on the pizza.” Taranis grinned at her and wagged his tail. “Wanna share?”

“Not so rough, Taranis.” Luka scolded him, worried that he would be thoughtless of his strength with a human girl.

“It’s okay.” Nat giggled. “I’m resilient.”

“She’s cute.” Ansel whispered as he greeted Kryss with their affectionate nudging. “You behaving over there?”

“You know that I am.” Kryss smirked at him.

“I wouldn’t.” Ansel laughed and ducked away when Kryss moved to grab him. “So what happened today? You had Levina upset.”

“Shiroi had unexpected guests I didn’t want around the pups.” Kryss sat on the cushions beside Nat as Taranis tickled her into fits of laughter. “Where is Levina?”

“In her room making presents.” Luka smiled. “She likes your new friend.”

“So does Taranis it seems.” Ansel curled up beside Luka and scolded his son for over doing it. “Let her breathe.”

“You smell good.” Taranis sat in Nat’s lap and buried his face against her neck and hair as she hugged him and tried to catch her breath.

“I think you have competition, Kryss.” Luka giggled.

Kryss could not have been happier when Levina stormed into the room with a distraction.

“I finished!” Levina had been practicing with the magic all afternoon until it came out perfect and she was proud of her creation. She ran behind Nat and slipped the headband on her head. “Now you can be a wolf, too.”

“Thank you!” Nat squealed as she ran her fingers over the soft band and into one of the ears that sat on it. “What color?”

“Well it had to match your hair.” Levina giggled.

“Nat, the brown wolf, huh?” Nat laughed and turned to Kryss. “Are they cute?”

Kryss nodded and leaned back on his arms trying to figure out if he liked her any better with ears like his.

“Look at him blushing.” Ansel whispered to Luka. “I hope she isn’t as stubborn as he is.”

“I remember you blushing like that.” Luka whispered her reply and bit his ear. “Looks like you still do.”

 

Hours later Nat had fallen asleep in a huddle with the twins and Kryss watched her sleeping peacefully and couldn’t imagine how anyone could have ever hurt her. He hoped that whatever misery she had gone through would fade away and be replaced with happier memories of nights like these when she had laughed until she could hardly breath. Sharing a last slice of pizza between her and Taranis. Brushing Levina’s hair and chatting with Luka about Ansel’s courtship. She seemed happy and that was all he really wanted for her.

“I should probably take her back.” Kryss smiled and crawled over to rub his face against Ansel and Luka to say goodbye.

“She likes you.” Luka hugged him. “Don’t make her wait.”

“Nothing to wait for.” Kryss explained as he carefully moved each of the pups aside and lifted Nat into his arms. “She’s happy now. I’m not going to screw that up by trying to turn a friendship into something else. Good night, guys.”

Kryss laid Nat into her bed and pulled a blanket up over her before he found himself a comfy spot to stretch out in the living room. It may not be what he wanted, but he was content that he was making the right decision. Nat was safe and happy, he could see her everyday… That was enough.

Kryss laid there trying to convince himself he would be able to hide his feelings until he heard her door open.

Nat shuffled her way over to him letting her eyes adjust to the dim light that spilled in from her room. She kneeled beside him in the oversized t-shirt she had changed into and inhaled deeply hoping the lungs filled with air would renew her courage. She laid her hand on his leg and nervously moved it up his thigh until he grabbed her wrist and startled her.

“Can’t sleep?” Kryss saw the gloss of tears in her eyes and felt all of his logic falling to pieces.

“I don’t want to sleep.” Nat answered sheepishly. “I want to thank you for everything.”

“You’re welcome.” Kryss pushed the stray hair out of her face and sat up cross-legged in front of her. “Now go get some sleep.”

“I mean, really thank you.” Nat rested her hands on his knees and leaned toward him as she slid up his thighs. “You said no more freebies, right? So let me make up for everything.”

“Not what I meant.” Kryss sighed and slipped his arms under hers and hugged her before she managed to find out how interested he was. She wrapped her arms around his neck instead and he tried to put an end to her offer. “You don’t owe me anything. Especially that. Don’t treat yourself that way.”

“I just… I feel stupid.” Nat felt like she was going to cry. Kryss had been nothing but a gentlemen and she was throwing herself at him like a whore. She hoped she could recover well enough from her fumbled attempt at seduction to at least salvage his friendship. “I guess I just thought this would be easier if I had an excuse.”

“What would be easier?” Kryss rubbed her back and Nat crawled into his lap and hugged him tighter.

“I like you.” Nat whispered bashfully. “I thought maybe you liked me too.”

“I do.” Kryss admitted. “A lot.”

“Well you already bought me dinner.” Nat blushed at her own corny lines and was glad it was dark in the room. “And made me breakfast. That counts for two dates. Don’t I at least get a kiss?”

“Sure.” Kryss leaned in and kissed her cheek with every intention of sending her back to bed, but he couldn’t help leaning closer and rubbing his face back against hers. When she pulled herself closer to return the affection, Kryss just couldn’t fight it any more. A thousand doubts and worries shouted at him and each one was over ruled by the simplest fact that escaped his lips. “I want you, Natasha.”

“I’m so very yours.” Nat sat up in his lap and pulled off the t-shirt that would have been his only obstacle and Kryss pulled her close and kissed her. Most of her life she had daydreams about ridiculous things that would never happen, and like most girls her daydreams were often fantasies that no one could ever live up to. The second he kissed her Nat knew the only one who would ever be in her daydreams now would be the demon that held her now, and she could have never dreamed big enough to imagine this kiss. After fulfilling the opening scene of her daydreams Kryss held her face and laughed. Nat had not expected laughter after that kind of passion, but it was so sweet and infectious it made her smile. “What’s funny?”

“This is going to break Taranis’ heart.” Kryss lifted her a moment and laid her back in the cushions as he shed his clothes and laid beside her. He stroked her stomach gently and leaned to kiss her cheek “Are you sure you want this? I’m not going to give you up after…”

“Tired of waiting.” Nat laughed and rolled him onto his back as she crawled over him. Kryss let her take him; Nat loved every second of his sigh as she slid onto him and he grabbed her hips to further stake his claim.  “What were you saying?”

“Too late.” Kryss leaned up on one arm and pulled her against his chest with the other as she continued to aggressively take what she wanted. He loved the fact she was enjoying it, that she was taking him and removing forever any guilt he may have had about wanting her this way. He kissed her again and enjoyed the way she used him until she leaned back in his arm and gasped.

Nat smiled as he rolled her onto her back and started to make his own efforts to make her gasp again. She wrapped one arm around him and tugged at his ear. “Why too late?”

“You’re mine now.” Kryss smiled at her. “Wolves mate for life.”

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RO : The Wyrms : Unspoken (18+)

In the Gardens of Parasek, Samael and Azrael laid out on the grass laughing over a coming victory. An army of dragons loyal to the gods that created the race gathered around them ready to stretch their wings and claws and prove their devotion.

“Paranat deseka shent fashka Lucifer.” Azrael laughed as he dragged his tail through the thick soft grass behind him and stared lovingly at the gold eyes he adored.

“Palak, kosha.” Samael slid he finger over Azrael’s smiling lips. “I don’t want to break Lucifer, but for his insults I plan on making him pay for the loyalty we have always given.”

“Balakisi hala de.” Azrael jumped on top of Samael and smiled wildly. Their visits to Tsuriai had gone so well, the garden was warm and fragrant and Azrael was in a playful mood.

Samael was more than willing to oblige the request to play. He rolled onto his side, knocking Azrael into the grass before he took off running. He dove into a nearby lake populated by creatures they had saved from the misguided and corrupt hunters of the human race.

Azrael jumped in after him and they wrestled playfully under the surface as a young mermaid tried to grab the tips of their tails. As the surfaced Azrael spit a stream of water from him lungs at Samael and smiled.

Samael pushed Azrael’s long silver hair back away from his face and kissed him, much to the amusement of the pair of mermaids that sighed and giggled behind him.

“Dan sek kosh de, Samael?” Azrael wrapped around Samael and helped tread water with his tail.

“Tek.” Samael was bothered by the sudden question. Their love for one another had never been in doubt before now. “Kasu?”

“De Danbol supas.” Azrael began to cry and Samael pulled him through the water to the rocky shallows near the edge.

“Danbol zekusi, kosha.” Samael embraced Azrael and rubbed his back. “You’ve let the humans upset you with their uncertain hearts. I will love you always.”

“Ze fetnakalu?” Azrael pouted as he leaned back to talk.

“I told you I would get you one.” Samael smiled until he saw Azrael’s blackish lip quivering. “Is that was has you worried? You think it will come between us?”

“Tek.” Azrael cried.

“Danbol wazuni.” Samael squeezed Azrael tight to comfort him. “It will be something we share.”

“Faka deseka kabak’ach na kosh se?” Azrael pouted.

“Of course.” Samael laughed and splashed Azrael to cheer him up. “I hope we both do. That’s the point.”

“Sumagalik na de.” Azrael pleaded for Samael’s very intimate affection and bit his lip.

“Det galiki.” Samael pulled Azrael by his hair and kissed him before climbing onto him and taking him against the slick rocks on the edge of the lake. The creatures that loved them giggling as they departed to let their gods enjoy one another.

Breakseal

 

“You can’t seriously think Lucy will let you sit this out.” Maefyl shouted at Gabriel as the paced the apartment. “You know that when this shit blows up he is going to drag us into it like he always does.”

“What do you suggest I do about it, Maefyl?” Gabriel was tired of arguing. There was no solution that would satisfy their need for certainty. “Should I tear her out of their arms and lock her away? You could not do that to her, or them. Don’t ask me to.”

“Answer the fucking door.” Maefyl slammed himself on to the couch and lit a cigarette. “I’m sure this is going to make things even better.”

“Well, she is your wife.” Gabriel sighed and tried to smile as he opened the door and stood aside to let the unwanted guest inside. “What is it, Shiroi?”

“I’m not really sure.” Shiroi was still panicked from the encounter, but could see there was already trouble and tried to calm herself before she aggravated either of them further. “Someone was looking for you.”

“A couple of freaky white fuckers?” Maefyl laughed. “Well that’s just great, now they are harassing my wife.”

“Who are they?” Shiroi sat beside Maefyl and leaned against him until he put his arm around her. “Watchers?”

“They are.” Gabriel sat on the floor at the table and fixed himself a cup of tea. Her involvement was unexpected, but it was also the least of his worries. Still she did have a tendency to draw unneeded attention so he warned her against any action. “If they approach you again go to your office immediately. Don’t try and outwit them, just leave.”

“They talked to you?” Maefyl flicked the ash from his cigarette and tapped his foot in an aggravated repetition.

“Samael did.” Shiroi explained their awkward meeting. “The other one doesn’t speak any language I’ve ever heard. They just showed up the other day asking for the two of you.”

“The other day?” Maefyl spoke crossly and pulled her against him. “Why are you just telling me now?”

“You weren’t home.” Shiroi defended her delay. “All he did the first time was talk. I thought it could wait.”

“The first time?” Maefyl snapped at her.

“They just showed up again when I was in Tsumi with Kryss.” Shiroi cried when she thought of how easily they tossed her teacher aside. “They didn’t hurt me, but…”

“Eidolon can deal with any attack on Kryss.” Gabriel cut her off. He was not about to take on Tsumi’s troubles as well. “You should stay in Osore for the time being.”

“If they were looking for us, they should have had no reason to bother you this morning.” Maefyl was furious they had approached her at all, but a repeat visit was unnecessary as they had already discussed things. “What did they want?”

“I don’t know, Maefyl.” Shiroi cried and hugged him. “He hurt Kryss, spouted off something about you not being there and left.”

“Just stay away from them.” Maefyl kissed her face. “They already threatened Asura, it wouldn’t surprise me if they decided to use you against me too.”

“What did they want from you?” Shiroi felt guilty for not telling him everything. She should have told him word for word what Samael had said, but she thought they were upset enough without quoting the Watcher who kissed her fingers like he was trying to court her.

“It doesn’t matter.” Gabriel told her. “We are staying uninvolved. Lucy will have to deal with the Wyrms on his own.”

“You don’t want to play on my team, Gabby?” Lucifer sat beside Gabriel on the floor and flicked the empty cup in front of him until Kage kneeled beside him and filled it from the pot Gabriel slid to him. Lucifer grinned as he took the cup from Kage’s hands and turned his smile to Gabriel. “Why would you abandon me in my time of need?”

“I will not risk Asura over one of your games, Lucy.” Gabriel was distracted by Kage’s quiet obedience but managed to speak his mind with certainty. “I won’t play on either team.”

“You’re daughter is under my protection. No one will touch her.” Lucifer sipped his tea and smiled over his cup. “Don’t stare at me Maefyl. If you have something awful to say, get it over with.”

“I don’t need a shadow.” Maefyl slid to the floor to join them at the table. “I’m sure Kage has better things to do than follow me around.”

“I enjoy seeing you get along so well.” Lucifer finished his first cup and sat it in Kage’s palm. “He enjoys getting under your skin and I find it amusing. I think he can keep the job a while longer.”

“What the fuck ever.” Maefyl sighed. Lucifer was too satisfied with himself to listen to anyone’s logic at the moment so anything else would be a waste of breath. “You want to waste his time that’s just fucking peachy, but you need to answer a few questions.”

“Do I?” Lucifer laughed. “Why would I oblige you after you speak to me in such a way?”

“Does Lilith speak Zakesel?”  Maefyl asked anyway. His tone was not going to make a difference. Either Lucifer was going to answer or he wasn’t.

“Shiroi, would you excuse us?” Lucifer smiled but it barely hid the rage in the grin just waiting to surface. “This is about to get unpleasant for your Master.”

“Sure.” Shiroi pushed herself off the couch and stomped off toward the door shouting. “I’m used to being excluded from all of your lives. Why should this be any different?”

“Just let her stay, Lucy.” Maefyl sighed. Certain facts were going to surface that he was going to have to discuss with her anyway, she may as well start dealing with harsh realities now.

“Oh, no. It’s fine Maefyl.” Shiroi swung open the door angrily. “I don’t need to give him any more reason to think he chose a poor Master for me. I’ll be in my office cowering like a good girl.”

“Lovely.” Maefyl muttered. “Now I get to deal with that.”

“You always have to deal with that.” Sanguine grumbled. “She is just being louder about it today.”

“If you are both finished complaining…” Lucifer waited for the two of them to finish pouting. “I assume you ask about Zakesel because Samael mentioned your name?”

“And called my mother a witch like someone else I know.” Maefyl glared at Kage. “You seemed awfully friendly with the freaks.”

“They are my friends.” Kage replied quietly. “As are you, half-breed. I want to resolve this without losing any of the things I care about.”

“Gross.” Maefyl scowled at Kage. “I like it better when you’re an asshole.”

“Shut up and listen.” Kage grinned. “All your mouth does is get you into trouble. This time it has taken us all with you.”

“Both of you shut up.” Gabriel threw his cup across the table and it shattered. “What are you going to do about all of this, Lucy?”

“I asked first.” Maefyl inched closer and teased Gabriel. He put his arm around him and whispered. “Calm down. It makes me nervous when you lose your temper.”

“Then leave your questions until later.” Gabriel closed his eyes to collect himself. “I’ll answer them, but we have other problems.”

“I won’t do anything until they do, Gabby.” Lucifer explained. “I promise you, Asura will be safe, but if they start their nonsense again I will call on you and you will stand with me. This is getting resolved.”

“I don’t see how. You would have to make some major compromises.” Gabriel shook his head. “You have barely managed to keep their loyalty, after so long doing your work without question and without reward… They are as tired of your games as the rest of us.”

“Are you tired of my games, Kage?” Lucifer grinned.

“No, my Lord.” Kage answered carefully. “But Azrael and Samael play just as fiendishly. If they gather their loyal in Parasek things will get complicated.”

“Parasek?” Maefyl was getting more and more frustrated with the things he did not seem to know.

“A reserve like Itami.” Kage explained. “Larger and filled with the remains of races long forgotten. Very few are welcome there.”

“Should we be talking to Nikumu then?” Maefyl suggested doing something besides sitting around waiting for calamity.

“Nikumu and Fukushu love you, Maefyl.” Gabriel sighed. “But they will not fight the Wyrms.”

“About the only ones in Itami not loyal to the Gold and Silver Dragons are the fairies.” Gory admitted sadly. “They would fight for you Maefyl, but I beg you not to ask them to. Our race is fragile.”

“I would never risk a single one of you.” Maefyl shook his head. “Lessers are useless against dragons, without Nikumu and Fukushu we have no defense.”

“Everything will be useless if they are angry enough.” Kage explained coldly. “Azrael’s nymphs have drowned nations once, he won’t hesitate to have them do it again.”

“I have some thinking to do.” Lucifer stood and excused himself with a bow. “You two behave while I try to solve our little problem. Kage, say your goodbyes and join me.”

“Kagemusha, stay with the half-breed.” Kage let her walk down his fingertips to the table before he stood to leave. He paused a moment and swallowed his already wounded pride. “For the humiliation you spared me in Golod, you have my thanks Maefyl.”

“You suck at friendship, Kage.” Maefyl smiled to hide the understanding of Kage’s pain. “You don’t owe me shit and you don’t need to leave Kagemusha. I will call you when I need to go out in the big scary world alone and need someone to hold my hand.”

“I’m not leaving her as my spy.” Kage spoke softly. “I’m leaving her in your care to protect what is left of her respect for me.”

“You need to tell me what happened.” Maefyl sighed. Whatever had changed was tearing Kage apart.

“I will.” Kage left an uncomfortable silence in his wake as he went to join Lucifer.

“Care to explain?” Gabriel asked when Maefyl finally broke the silence when he laid back onto the floor and kicked at the table.

“It’s not my business.” Maefyl laid his arm across his face. “I would have told you by now if it was.”

“And what happened in Golod?” Gabriel stood and headed for the door to his office.

“I just stopped Lilith from picking a fight.” Maefyl answered as honestly as he could without explaining Kage’s situation. “Where are you going?”

“To finish a few things in my office and then to see Eidolon.” Gabriel paused at the door. “Are you going to join me?”

“Yea.” Maefyl jumped to his feet and laid his hand in front of Kagemusha. ”If Kryss was there I want to talk to him. Shiroi is hiding something. I want to know why.”

“Thank you, Maefyl.” Kagemusha stepped onto his fingers and he lifted her to his shoulder to take a place with Sanguine. “For you understanding and your discretion.”

“Don’t sweat it.” Maefyl joined Gabriel in his office and let him answer his messages while he listened contentedly to Sanguine and Kagemusha comforting each other. He waited quietly until Gabriel finished and took them all to Tsumi for answers.

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