Monthly Archives: March 2014

RO : Uncertainty : As Time Moves On Pt.2

“Shit.” Brig cursed quietly to himself when he wandered into Raziel’s office and both Van and Galik were there playing cards with Frikk and Frakk. He turned to walk back through the door when Van giggled. “Morning Van.”

“You’re such a wimp.” Van laid out her cards and waited on Galik to take his turn. “Just go ahead.”

“Hungry! Must eat Frakk.” Frikk teased as she playfully gnawed on Frakk’s leg. “Tasty.”

“Stop looking at my cards.” Frakk slapped at her with his wing.

“I’m not that bad at the moment.” Brig raised his middle finger at Van as he started walking again.

“Aww, do we spoil the mood? Maybe we could help?” Van teased him and demonstrated her role mockingly. “Oh no, mister vampire! Don’t hurt him, he’s all we have!”

“Cunt.” Brig headed down the hall.

“Are you mad at him?” Galik looked at her puzzled and drew a card from her hand.

“I was just teasing him.” Van giggled. “He’s usually a better sport about it. He must actually be pretty hungry.”

“He was.” Raziel answered from his desk.

“You should have told me to stop, Razzy.” Van pouted. “Now I feel bad.”

“I’ll take care of it in a moment.” Raziel replied to the message he had received from Maefyl before he stood. He patted them each on the head and pulled a card from under the torn collar of Van’s shirt and tossed it in the center of their game. “No cheating.”

“Hey!” Galik reached over and pulled Van by one of her pigtails to kiss her. “I’ll make you play naked.”

“That’s a whole different game.” Frikk laughed.

“Frikk is good at that game.” Frakk pulled all of the cards into a neat pile and demanded to start over. “Maybe Galik should deal. He wears less.”

“I’ll be back shortly and we can go home.” Raziel headed for the door.

“Do we get to punish Van when we get there?” Galik teased.

“Enthusiastically.” Raziel replied in his usual detached fashion; somewhat removing the potency of his playful threat, but it seemed no less accepted as they were each wearing smiles when he left.

His messages with Maefyl over the last few weeks were becoming increasingly worrisome. His master no longer wanted the company of anyone but the most powerful of Watchers because he hated the thoughts screaming at him when he left the safety of his home. Maefyl was still troubled with Raziel’s suggestion, but if he weren’t convinced of it soon the skill would have the potential to forever alter his Master’s personality in more than likely damaging ways.

For now he had other concerns. Brig had taken the last few days alone with Shana and when he arrived at his office today he had done so irritated and ravenous. He needed to tend to Brig’s thirst before he could leave Vex behind for the day.

“A moment?” Raziel played at Brig’s game. “I was hoping you could help me with something.”

“What’s that, cupcake?” Brig smiled. He was starting to love how hard Raziel tried on the rare occasions he did more than make himself available. Brig gestured for Raziel to come inside. “Kind of busy.”

Raziel crossed the office gracefully and leaned beside Brig laying few pages across his desk. Actual documents that needed attention, but Brig’s attention was on the throat temptingly stretched inches from his face.

“This won’t take long.” Raziel was as much playing their game as explaining the work he laid out for Brig.

“No, it won’t.” Brig pulled Raziel by his neck and tore it open with his fangs. Brig had managed to get himself addicted to this blood. The few humans he took now when work required it were not even an appetizer in comparison. In only a few months he had become a slave to the taste of Raziel’s blood.

When Raziel feigned death he wound up collapsing against Brig in his chair. Brig started to lift Raziel so he could stand and noticed the blood still wet on his neck when the wound closed and could not see letting it go to waste. He pulled Raziel back up to his lips and licked up his neck to clean up his mess.

“Brig…” Raziel had enjoyed it but thought it best to give a word of caution before he allowed himself to enjoy it too much.

“Too weird?” Brig laughed as he pulled Raziel to his feet. “Sorry, just figured I would clean up.”

“It was fine.” Raziel almost confessed his desire in a moment of weakness, but instead used the setting to explain his interruption to Brig’s hunt. “I can’t very well lie dead in your office. I apologize for breaking the play and for Van’s jest, she meant nothing by it.”

“I know.” Brig smiled feeling a bit euphoric from Raziel’s blood. “Tell her I’m just having an off day and thanks.”

“Tomorrow then.” Raziel vanished and Brig looked over the pages that were left on his desk. He decided it was nothing that couldn’t wait until tomorrow and headed out to meet Shana.

Raziel was glad Demise had spent her day with Shana. She would have noticed the intimacy of the act and scolded Brig for it, putting strain on the game he was enjoying and quite possibly ending it if she thought it had gone too far. He returned to his office to collect the loves he could enjoy and took them all home to relax for a few hours.

Many hours later when Van had been properly ‘punished’ for cheating at cards. Raziel sat meditating in the garden, readying his mind for what he hoped Maefyl would soon accept and trying to make the process a quick one by beginning to duplicate his own mind He had been working for weeks and was nearly through with all he could do before he had Maefyl’s agreement.

The process had been exhausting and he imagined part of his agonizing over Brig and Shana was to be blamed on the extra strain he had put on himself. He hoped Maefyl would be ready to accept the offer soon to remove the burden of carrying so much within himself.

When he laid back in the grass and opened his eyes Galik and Van looked down at him smiling.

“All done?” Galik offered his hand and pulled Raziel up beside them when he took it.

“At least for now.” Raziel assured them. “What would you like to do, puppet?”

“Anything.” Van laced her fingers together and hooked her arms around Raziel’s neck. “As long as it’s with you. I thought maybe we could find a fancy bar where pretty girls dance on tables.”

“We figured you’ll end up having to help Maefyl soon and you said it would take a while.” Galik explained as he smiled at Van’s suggestion. “So we want to keep you to ourselves until then.”

“I’m hoping it won’t take all that long.” Raziel pulled them both close and took them inside so he could smile at them properly. “But you can both have as much of my time as you want.”

“So fancy bar?” Van squeezed him excitedly. “Then we can go shopping!”

“Fancy new clothes to rip off.” Galik kissed Raziel passionately after he agreed to Van’s suggestions, knowing he wouldn’t be able to have another kiss like it until they returned from their outing. “I love you, Lord Raziel.

“I love you.” Raziel caressed Galik’s face and leaned to give Van a kiss just as passionate before they departed. “And you as well, puppet.”


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RO : Uncertainty : As Time Moves On Pt.1

“I hoped you had given up.” Nikolai smirked as he saw Samael standing at his door. After nearly three months without seeing the strange white-skinned demon and he had assumed he had proven himself useless enough that Samael had decided to forego any plans to befriend him.

 “Alone today? Samael grinned at him. “That’s unexpected.”

 “My pets are working and protect one another.” Nikolai turned to return to his desk. If for no other reason then to avoid sending Samael off to seek out their company instead he invited the Watcher in. “Come inside.”

 “Should I tie my own hands this time?” Samael laughed. “Or do you trust me enough to go without another submissive gesture?”

 “Just sit.” Nikolai crossed his arms as he sat on the couch. “I assume you have a reason for being here.”

 “Always so stern.” Samael made himself comfortable beside Nikolai. Sitting cross-legged on the couch as he faced his host. “I so wanted to make a friend of you.”

 “Why?” Nikolai turned slightly to face him. “From the little I know of you, you find me useless and loathe humans, which I used to be.”

 “You were only half.” Samael corrected. “I am making a sincere effort to accept every creature in Tsuriai. Humans included. Both Vasun Lucifer and my bride seem to care for all residents of Tsuriai…”

 “Admirable.” Nikolai sneered. “And it in no way answers my question.”

 “I find you interesting.” Samael smiled at him. “Don’t most friendships begin with such simple motives?”

 “They also begin without threats and kidnapping.” Nikolai pointed out the flaws in Samael’s logic.

 “Unimportant details.” Samael laughed. “There was no harm done.”

 “I don’t find any detail unimportant.” Nikolai had seen the Watchers he knew in contemplative worry, tense over some unspoken coming event that he fully believed involved these Wyrms that seemed so eager to befriend him. “And the threat of harm still lingers.”

 “All the more reason to accept my offer of friendship.” Samael grinned. “If I’m a perceived danger would it not make more sense to be an ally? To spare yourself, your city, and your loves from any threat I would pose?”

 “My loyalties lie elsewhere.” Nikolai scowled at him.

 “There should be no more problems.” Samael’s tail flicked against the floor beside him and distracted Nikolai from their conversation, as he grew more attentive to Samael’s movements. Samael chuckled. “Honestly, you have my word. I don’t foresee the need for any further threats and I have no reason to bring any against you.”

 “I wish I could believe you.” Nikolai sighed.

 “So do I.” Samael admitted. “When my bride finally settles I had hoped to have friends to share in the joy of it.”

 “When she settles?” Nikolai laughed. “After three months with no one but yourselves for company and she has yet to accept you? Have you considered that she may never accept you?”

 “I have.” Samael frowned. “I’m kind to her, but I’m afraid my lack of any experience with women leaves me at a disadvantage. All my attempts to get closer to her only cause more distance.”

 “I told you I would not offer advice on this.” Nikolai knew that Maefyl had given up, that Shiroi to had left her marriage behind, but Nikolai held to his values and decided he would not interfere.

 “I didn’t ask.” Samael smiled sadly. “I won’t ask you to set aside morals on my account. Your stubborn nature regarding your beliefs is one of the things about you I find so interesting. I was only admitting my dilemma, and my fault in it. Isn’t that what friends do? Discuss their troubles?”

 “If I ever feel that your sincerity in your offer of friendship is not entirely genuine.” Nikolai offered his hand and sighed. “Or if you ever threaten or disrespect any of my pets…”

 “I am always sincere.” Samael took Nikolai’s hand and smiled as he held it. “My bride admires you, she will be glad for a continued friendship.”

 “Please don’t make me regret this.” Nikolai removed his hand from the scaled fingers slowly. “Don’t ever put me at odds with friends I already have. I love each of them and they have all been responsible for my successes.”

 “I won’t.” Samael laughed. “We share many friends.”

 “There are at least two that we do not.” Nikolai smirked. They each had a friend the other loathed and Nikolai hoped this odd friendship he was beginning would not be the start of larger problems.

 “Don’t you find it amusing that the very two you are referring to are friends themselves?” Samael grinned.

 “A companionship I will never understand.” Nikolai started to smile. Samael was if nothing else, charming and had a pleasant way about him.

 “I doubt many will understand this one.” Samael laughed and could see Nikolai starting to relax. This strange demon that had won over the love and affection of so many was good company. If Tsuriai had a treasure like this, it was worth sparing. Samael stood and bowed his head. “But I hope it lasts. I should be on my way for now, I hope to have longer gatherings that we can share with those we love.”

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RO : Uncertainty (18+)

“How the fuck does Gabriel do this all the time?” Maefyl mumbled to himself and he leaned miserable over the tiny computer answering message after miserably mundane message. So much petty nonsense. “These people are unbelievable. No matter what you give them, they want more.”

 “So take a break.” Sanguine suggested hopefully as she nibbled on a potato chip. “You’ve been doing this forever. I’m bored.”

 “Sorry, Sany. We’re short a body.” Maefyl read over another ridiculous request and scratched at his neck. “Gabriel is stressed out and I can’t expect Dove to do my job forever.”

 “It’s okay when Gabriel does it instead?” Sanguine laughed. “You’re so weird.”

 “Yea.” Maefyl grinned at her as she licked salt from her hands. “Unfortunately he is doing someone else’s too right now.”

 Maefyl’s brief grin faded quickly at the arrival of an unwelcome guest. He didn’t bother to greet him, instead just leaned over the computer and kept at his task.

 Lucifer could not blame him in the least for being so angry, but he would prefer Maefyl’s usual screaming to this frigid treatment. Knowing he was about to make it worse only saddened Lucifer further, but for any of them to heal, the last wounds had to be made.

 “I’m sorry.” Lucifer slid Shiroi’s ring across the desk to Maefyl. “You should know that she removed that on her own.”

 Maefyl opened the drawer beside him and slid the ring along the desk until it fell in before slamming the drawer shut.

 “Nothing to say?” Lucifer sighed. “Maefyl, I know this isn’t easy…”

 “I’m not all that suited for this work.” Maefyl kept typing as he interrupted the apology. “Gabriel can’t handle it all on his own. He’ll need a new third.”

 “I’ll look into it.” Lucifer turned and leaned against the desk looking away. “Give me a few days.”

 “Just offer Dove the position.” Maefyl suggested. “She already knows the work and doesn’t cause trouble.”

 “I will.” Lucifer hung his head. “Will you please say something about this?”

 “There’s nothing to say.” Maefyl leaned back in his chair. “If Shiroi gave you that, she has already made the decision for me. She chose the freaks over me. That’s the end of it. Don’t you have other things to be doing?”

 Maefyl waited for Lucifer to leave before he walked to the door that led from his office to the apartment he shared with Shiroi and closed the portal that he had made for her benefit years ago.

 “Come on, Sany.” Maefyl tapped his shoulder.

 “Where are we going?” Sanguine fluttered over after grabbing another chip.

 “I need to get rid of the one that goes to Gabriel’s place, too.” Maefyl shifted and did just that. Closing off access to the apartment and their offices and closing the door on a part of his life that was officially over.

 “Are you alright, Maefyl?” Sanguine pouted. “I don’t like it when you get all quiet like this.”

 “I have to be alright, Sany.” Maefyl explained. “If I let it bother me then it bothers Gabriel. I know he would help try and take her back. It would hurt him and he would do it anyway. I’m not letting Gabriel risk himself over it.”

 Maefyl headed through the door into Gabriel’s office. Lucifer stood in front of Gabriel’s desk with Dove. Maefyl brushed the crumbs from his shirt as Sanguine finished her snack and flew over to the desk to join Gory. Maefyl waited for the appropriate moment to interrupt as he stepped beside Gabriel’s chair.

 “If it’s temporary, I see no problem with it.” Gabriel glanced up at Maefyl hoping his mood had improved. They had not spoken for days and barely looked at one another. “I don’t want to burden Dove and when Shiroi returns…”

 “Shiroi isn’t returning.” Maefyl cut him off. “And I suggested Dove. I could think of no one better qualified.”

 “I would be honored.” Dove bowed her head. “I will serve Osore and enjoy working with my Lord Gabriel once again.”

 “I’ll show you to your office.” Maefyl headed toward the door and offered his arm. “Stop with the Lord shit though. He hates it.”

 When Dove took his arm Maefyl heard wave after wave of her thoughts and he tried to push them aside. Though some of them were completely impossible to ignore and a few were almost amusing, he was glad when they reached the office door and she let go of him.

 The door was already a blank slate, which meant the office would be as well. Dove took the office as her own and willed the door open to look inside. She looked up sadly at Maefyl as he lit a cigarette.

 “Don’t bother.” He knew she was about to go into a sympathetic speech and he already knew it would be full of the honest thoughts he had already seen in her head. Dove wasn’t one to lie to make people feel better. She was sorry he was in pain, but beyond that she like so many other of the people in his life could not stand Shiroi. “I don’t need consoling. I’m fine. I do about nothing around here, so if you can help keep Gabriel from spending every minute of the day in his office that would mean more to me than condolences I don’t need.”

 “It won’t be a problem.” Dove smiled. “I’m proud of you, Maefyl.”

 “Thanks. Welcome to Osore.” Maefyl turned and waved over his shoulder. “Let me know if you need anything.”

 “So that you can pawn it off on Gabriel?” Dove laughed sweetly.

 “See, you already know how everything works.” Maefyl left her to settle in and returned to Gabriel’s office. As soon as he walked in Lucifer and Gabriel hushed themselves and he shook his head. “I didn’t mean to interrupt you girls, should I come back later?”

 “I was just leaving.” Lucifer left them to have a conversation they had been avoiding for the last few days.

 “Will you two just talk already?” Sanguine shouted. She was tired of watching them look away when the other entered the room. Silently walking past one another and averting their eyes. “It’s depressing seeing you two like this.”

 “Dove has some pretty interesting thoughts about you.” Maefyl crossed the room and when Gabriel turned his chair to face him, Maefyl leaned over him.

 “Not interested.” Gabriel wished he had the courage to say more. Their silence had been torture and after what Lucifer had just told him he expected it would only get worse. He imagined Maefyl was now trying to pick a fight to ensure it.  Gabriel wanted to snatch him up and never let go, but Maefyl was so inclined to let misery overwhelm him and he didn’t want to push him further.

 “Not even a little?” Maefyl leaned closer until he could feel Gabriel’s breath on his lips.

 “Maefyl, please.” Gabriel clutched the arms of his chair until they cracked. “The only one I have ever wanted is you.”

 “Then stop avoiding me.” Maefyl whispered to him and smiled. “Stop looking at me like I’m going to break, don’t give me apologies and sympathies. I’ve spent my whole life watching you suffer for me; I’m the one that should apologize. I’m through making you suffer. There’s nothing in your way anymore. You wanted me to yourself and now you have it. Just promise me…”

 “I’ll never leave you.” Gabriel slid his arm around Maefyl as he stood. He wrapped his fingers behind Maefyl’s neck and pulled him close. He was so afraid that Maefyl was going to push him away. Instead he wrapped his arms around him. Gabriel spoke tenderly and let his lips brush against Maefyl’s. “You are mine always. I will never let anything come between us again.”

 “Gabriel, just stop talking and take what’s yours.” Maefyl kissed him and Gabriel lifted him into his arms. He carried him to the bedroom and laid him on their bed. Maefyl smiled up at him and shed his clothes, uncertain if the sudden tears as Gabriel traced the long bands of his collar with his fingers were shed in joy or regret. “Don’t cry, my angel.”

 “Do you hate me for all I’ve done to you?” Gabriel’s tears fell against Maefyl’s chest. “For wanting her gone?”

 “No, Gabriel.” Maefyl pulled Gabriel close and whispered at his ear. “I hate myself for ever wanting anyone but you. I should have given myself to you the first time you kissed me. Make love to me.”

 Unhindered by the guilt Gabriel had always felt in taking what belonged to someone else as much as him, his passion became blissfully uninhibited. They gave themselves so completely that even their souls caressed until they were one, completed by one another. Culminating their passion in a dark kiss that Gabriel gave into with such eagerness that he collapsed exhausted in Maefyl’s arms.

 When the phone buzzed on the table beside them sometime later Gabriel groaned at it angrily not wanting Maefyl to pull away to answer it.

 “It’s Asura.” Maefyl sighed at the message and kissed Gabriel before he handed him the phone to let him handle it. “I guess I’ll go get ready.”

 “Maefyl…” Gabriel smiled over at him as Maefyl leaned back through the doorway.  “You mentioned the first time I kissed you. If I had asked then…”

 “I love you, Gabriel.” Maefyl winked at him and laughed on his way to the shower. He had been petrified, but when Gabriel kissed him to drive someone else away Maefyl’s heart nearly tore itself apart because he thought it would never happen again.

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RO : The More Things Change : Devotion Pt.4

“What am I supposed to do?” Shiroi cried as she hugged Nexus. “Do I have to just stay here forever?”

 “Would it be so bad if you had to?” Nexus stroked her daughter’s hair and led her to sit between Kage and herself. “I know this is a frightening change, but if they are being kind to you…”

 “I’m supposed to just accept marriage because my kidnappers are nice to me?” Shiroi laid her head on the table and cried against her arms. “This isn’t fair.”

 “Stop behaving like a child.” Kage hissed. “This is best for you.”

 “According to who?” Shiroi whimpered. “How would you like it if someone just snatched you up and said ‘you belong to me now’?”

 “Will you take my advice if I give it to you?” Nexus offered a more sympathetic tone, but her message was essentially the same.

 “What advice is there to give?” Kage laughed coldly. “The claim has already been made. They are your Masters, you just do as you’re told.”

 “Samael said I could make you leave.” Shiroi snapped at him. “Stop being so mean to me.”

 “You won’t accept them, but are already willing to abuse the favors they give you?” Kage hissed. “I should have really spent more time teaching you discipline and respect.”

 “That would have involved caring enough to spend time with me.” Shiroi shouted at him before she lowered her head to the table again and wailed.

 “Kage does care.” Nexus lovingly corrected her. “He thinks this is a good match. He thinks highly of them and thinks they will keep you well.”

 “What do you think, Mother?” Shiroi sobbed quietly. “Tell me what I should do.”

 “Shiroi, I myself was once given as a gift. The situation is not much different.” Nexus tried to empathize with the feelings of abandonment and loss, the fear of what lies ahead. She tried to explain as simply as possible the happiness that can be found in such arrangements. “Once I accepted my place I found a love I had never managed to achieve on my own. I know you are still mourning over a part of your life that slipped through your fingers, but my advice to you is this: give your new Masters a fair chance at your heart. Give yourself a chance at happiness. Is there nothing about them you can appreciate? Find the one thing you can love about them, or even this place and distract yourself with it. Before long you will find other things to adore until you realize that you are right where you belong. Where are your Masters now?”

 “They are… busy.” Shiroi flushed. As much as Nexus’ logic made sense it still felt wrong. And the fact she knew what her Masters were busy with just gave her more reason to doubt any possibility of happiness. “Even if I could accept this, I’m just going to play second again.”

 “They are lovers?” Nexus looked to Kage and when he nodded she tried to hide her nervous grin. Part of Shiroi’s fear of this union seemed to be nothing more than jealousy after someone who couldn’t balance two lovers equally had already jilted her.

 “They always have been.” Kage explained. “It changes nothing. They are both committed to keeping Shiroi as a bride.”

 “What does ‘kosh’ mean, Uncle?” Shiroi muttered.

 “Love.” Kage replied almost as quietly as she had asked and set his hand gently on her head. “Why?”

 “No reason.” Shiroi whispered and remembered something Samael had said to Azrael before he briefly departed to Golod.

“De kosh sek… both.”

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RO : The More Things Change : Devotion Pt.3

“You’ve got it all over your face.” Kryss laughed at his paint-covered bride when she turned around to wave at his return. She had smeared as much of her paint on herself as the canvas he had given her. “No work today?”

 “No.” Natasha blew at the stray hair that had fallen into her face. “I think Sherry is kind of pushing me out.”

 “I thought she liked you.” Kryss squeezed Nat in front of him. “What did you spill this time?”

 “Hey!” Nat laughed and rubbed her head back against him. “She probably thinks I don’t need the work anymore.”

 “You don’t have to work.” Kryss wiped her face and looked at her work. So much brighter than the things she had painted before. “That’s up to you. Work, paint, or build castles in sand. As long as you’re happy. I’d love to just take care of you, it would give us more time together.”

 “You’re going to spoil me if you aren’t careful.” Nat laughed. “I don’t want to be useless.”

 “I have all kinds of uses for you.” Kryss turned her around and kissed her. The idea of time was only starting to sink in for him. He wanted as much of hers as he could possibly have. Their kiss was interrupted by a knock at the door and Kryss sighed. “I forgot.”

 “Company?” Nat grinned and sat her palette aside. “You big tease.”

 “Yea, sorry.” Kryss laughed as he headed for the door. “Ansel didn’t believe it when I told him we’re married. They insisted on seeing for themselves.”

 As soon as the door opened Taranis and Levina ran past him giggling. He affectionately greeted their parents and showed them inside as he listened to the pups harassing his new bride.

 “It’s so pretty!” Levina shouted. “Come show Mom!”

 “As happy as I am for you.” Ansel pulled Kryss aside and confessed his concerns over Kryss’ new bride. “She is human.”

 “I don’t care.” Kryss replied quietly. His creeping worry welled up inside of him. Time. How much if it did he really have? “I don’t want to think about it right now.”

 “When will you?” Ansel sighed. “Did you think this through at all?”

 “Did you when you were trying to push me into it?” Kryss smirked.

 “I just figured you might have some fun and move on.” Ansel teased him, but instantly regretted it when Kryss scowled in disgust. “I didn’t mean that.”

 “You knew if I pursued anything it would be permanent.” Kryss sighed.

 “I was stupid to encourage it.” Ansel whispered. “I like her Kryss, I was caught up in seeing you so happy I didn’t think about what she is. You know this wont last.”

 “Everything alright?” Nat gave Kryss a worried look when she saw their heated debate.

 “Everything is perfect.” Kryss smiled and patted Ansel’s shoulder to let him know the answer applied to their discussion as well. Kryss fell forward into a pile of cushions and Taranis jumped onto his back. “You want something?”

 “Food!” Taranis bit Kryss’ ear.

 “Come help me in the kitchen then!” Nat squealed excitedly. “I bought so many noodles!”

 Taranis and Levina ran after her into the kitchen and were fascinated by the simple acts that their family never bothered with. She loved how excited they were with the mundane task of boiling water. While the rest of the pack settled in and talked about work Nat instructed the pups in the fine art of instant dinner. She sat out a bunch of individual cups and had them help pull the lids off.

 “Don’t chew on the cup!” Nat yanked on Taranis’ ear and laughed.

 “Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles!” Levina smiled at the pot as her tailed wagged behind her happily. “Can I pour it?”

 “It’s really hot.” Nat held Levina’s hand on the handle and steadied each cup for her. “Now we just need chopsticks.”

 “These?” Taranis grabbed a handful from the counter and started to chew on the ends. “They don’t taste good.”

 “Stop chewing on everything.” Nat laughed and grabbed his hands. “You don’t eat them. You eat with them.”

 “Awesome little chefs!” She let them help stir up the noodles and deliver to their parents and she grabbed her own and took some to Kryss. She demonstrated and helped the pups with chopsticks while she listened to the others debate over the fate of their friend Shiroi.

 “Lord Lucifer wouldn’t just let someone take him daughter.” Luka defended her acceptance of what had been done. “He must see some good in the pairing.”

 “I’m not so sure about that.” Kryss sipped at the salty broth that Nat seemed intent to live on and smiled at her efforts to teach the pups how to slurp noodles off of the sticks. “You didn’t meet them, Luka. There is something not right about those two.”

 “Lord Falcon knows them?” Ansel wrestles with his chopsticks as he continued the conversation.

 “He won’t say much about them.” Kryss nodded. “And if they were responsible for all the dragons and such… it just seems too extreme for something so simple.”

 “You think there is something else going on?” Luka asked as she helped Ansel with his struggle.

 “I just think there’s another purpose to Watchers that strong showing up suddenly.” Kryss explained.

 “Shiroi is okay, though?” Taranis asked. “They just married her, that isn’t bad, right? You just married her.”

 “As far as I know.” Kryss put his arm around Nat as she scrambled over to him with her dinner.

 “Can we invite them down for noodles, too?” Nat smiled up at him.

 “You can ask them.” Kryss handed her his phone. “I kind of doubt they will want to. I don’t think his brides eat.”

 “Bummer.” Nat pouted as she tried to find her way through his phone. “Maybe they’ll just hang out.”

 “I thought you were worried they wanted to eat you.” Kryss squeezed her close.

 “I like them anyway.” Nat grinned and started sending messages. She wanted to get to know them all better. Luka didn’t have a collar and she thought maybe Eidolon’s girls would help explain things to her. “And they are your friends, we should all do stuff together.”

 “Just don’t be upset if they say they don’t want to.” Kryss smiled. Kryss was surprised when minutes later Natasha was jumping up with a huge smile on her face to answer the door. He watched her open it and bounce into a hug with Eidolon’s brides that they each returned with the same enthusiasm, before they started to fawn over her collar and she led them all inside.

 “Want some noodles?” Nat smiled up at Eidolon. “I have crazy noodle skills.”

 “Maybe later.” Eidolon politely declined and sat beside Kryss. He stroked Kryss’ ears as he fell over playfully into his lap.

 “Always Lord Falcon’s favorite.” Ansel laughed.

 “Kyaa!” Kaneko shouted and pulled Kryss by the tail before she shifted into the little black cat that so often warmed her Master’s lap. She ran over Kryss and Eidolon picked her up and cradled her in his arm. Kaneko giggled her tiny victory as she purred. “This is Kaneko’s spot.”

 Kryss laughed as he sat up and watched Natasha light up with all the wonder of a child seeing their first magic.

 “Woah!” Nat wandered over and started petting Kaneko. “I love cats. How do you get so tiny?”

 “Hey!” Kryss pouted and Kaneko snickered at him.

 “It’s cool isn’t it?” Karla hugged her as she joined in stroking Kaneko’s ego. “They do the neatest stuff.”

 “I’ve only seen Kryss change the one time and…” Before Nat could relive the tension of the moment she was about to describe, Kryss changed and knocked her to the floor. Her initial fear of being tackled to the ground by such a fierce creature faded instantly as he licked up the side of her face. She hugged around his neck and squeezed him tightly. “You are so cute!”

 “You aren’t going to let her get old right?” Karla whispered to Eidolon as she climbed into his lap concerned for the friend she was making so quickly and what Kryss would go through if she stayed the way she was.

 Eidolon hushed her with his kiss. Thankfully Nat hadn’t heard but everyone else had. Eidolon had no intention of interfering with Kryss and his bride. Those were decisions they had to make and at the moment should not be discussed at all. Eidolon was not as concerned about the longevity of Kryss’ bride as he was for the life he sensed growing inside her. He doubted either of them had yet realized it, and he was not going to be the one to spoil it for them.

 By the end of the gathering Ansel realized that he was foolish for worrying. Even if Nat was human she could not have been more perfect and Kryss had never been so happy. The inevitable loss would be painful, but seeing Kryss denied this happiness would have been a bigger tragedy.

 “What are you smiling about?” Kryss stretched out once everyone had departed and Nat plopped down on his stomach.

 “I just can’t believe how lucky I am.” Nat leaned over and rubbed her nose against his. “You are amazing and I’ve never been so happy.”

 “Me either.” Kryss teased her. “Even if you like cats better.”

 “I do not!” Nat smiled and cuddled on top of him. She was so exhausted but wanted to sty up to talk with him. “Cats are awesome, but you’re sexy. Why did you not do the whole wolf thing for me before?”

 “After the first time, I thought it would scare you.” Kryss hugged her as she yawned.

 “I like it.” Nat kissed his neck and gave herself shivers. “A lot.”

 “Tired?” Kryss tilted her over onto her side so she could get comfortable.

 “I don’t want to sleep.” Nat yawned as she fought to stay awake. Her eyes sore from trying to keep them open. “I hate that I have to. I want to stay up with you.”

 “I’ll be right here when you wake up.” Kryss curled up around her as she got comfortable and started to fall asleep smiling. “I love you, Natasha.”

 “I love you, Kryss.” Nat was half-asleep and lost her fear of words as she gave up the fight to stay awake. She would likely not remember her sleepy confession in the morning, but the Black Wolf whose heart raced beside her would remember it for the rest of his life.

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RO : The More Things Change : Devotion Pt.2

“Dasha.” Azrael insisted as he held out a cup to Shiroi.

 “I don’t want it.” Shiroi squeezed her eyes closed to refuse the offer. When Kage left she had cried again for hours, but now she just couldn’t do it anymore. She had been laying in the bed feeling abandoned and angry and wanted to refuse every kindness from her kidnappers because she had received none from the ones who wee supposed to care for her. When she felt Azrael sit on the edge of the bed beside her she peeked out of one eye to look at him. His lip quivered as he looked at the blood filled cup in his hand and she felt guilty again for making him so miserable. She sat up and snatched the cup from his hands, finishing it quickly before she handed it back to him. “Happy now?”

 “De haka sek na shepi helsek.” Azrael pouted. He was glad she had taken the offer, but she looked so angry that it hurt him.

 “You know I don’t understand you.” Shiroi mumbled and looked away.

 “He said he wants you to be happy.” Samael translated as he stood in the doorway. “As do I. You however seem determined to stay miserable. You should at least explore beyond the sitting room and the bed that you have been kind enough to soak with your tears.”

 “If you want me to be happy undo this mess you’ve made of me.” Shiroi shouted as she clutched her throat. “Take me home.”

 Azrael gently pulled her hands away from her neck and tilted up her chin before he leaned close to look at the collar and grinned. “Se saba bol ise mess. Se saba paraki.”

 “What are you doing?” Shiroi backed away from him quickly. “I don’t want you to touch me.”

 “He was not hurting you.” Samael sighed as Azrael ran over to him for comfort. He embraced him before leading him back into the room and stood at the bedside. “Have we been cruel to you? Aside from the pain from taking you as our own; which I have already apologized for, have we been in anyway unkind?”

 “No.” Shiroi admitted reluctantly as she hugged her knees and looked at their thin-scaled white feet and the ends of the white tails that slightly dragged the ground. Anything to focus on that wouldn’t involve looking at their faces that gave her warmth she was determined to refuse and disappointment she could not bear.

 “Welak Isa, I don’t want you to be miserable here.” Samael explained. “My intention was never to hurt you, but you are being cruel to Azrael and I can’t understand why you will not even give him a chance. He tries to be kind to you. If you must hate someone for bringing you here, that was my decision. Be more patient with Azrael, he only wants to love you.”

 “Love me?” Shiroi almost laughed at the thought of it. “You took me prisoner and threatened to…”

 “Stop.” Samael pressed a finger to her lips. “I made the threat to keep others away. It was only words, Shiroi. Do you believe me to be so vile that you think I could ever do something so foul?”

 “I don’t know what you are.” Shiroi answered quietly. “You threatened more than me.”

 “That part I meant.” Samael grinned. He may have never meant any harm to Shiroi, but he would gladly burn every Circle to the ground. “I won’t allow you to be taken from me. Unlike others, I protect what is mine.”

 “Lucifer sesa vade na Parasek.” Azrael scowled.

 “I know.” Samael nodded “I sensed him and the one he brought with him.”

 “My Father is here?” Shiroi lifted her head quickly and looked at Samael with hopeful desperation.

 “De bara kabak ken na ench har.” Azrael’s expression became harsh and his eyes filled with rage.

 “I don’t believe that is the reason for his visit.” Samael knew the sent of the guest Lucifer had brought along from their observations and looked to Shiroi for clarity. “Eidolon’s feline bride, you are close?”

 “Kaneko is my sister.” Shiroi nodded. “Half-sister. Is she here?”

 “Azrael, have them meet us on the patio.” Samael kissed Azrael and sent him off to greet their guests. He sat casually on the edge of the bed and faced Shiroi. “If you will sit between Azrael and myself and conduct yourself with at least some small consideration for Azrael’s feelings I would like you to join me.”

 “I’m not going to pretend I’m okay with this.” Shiroi sneered at him.

 “I’m not asking you to.” Samael offered his hand to take her to see her father. “I’m asking you to be kind to Azrael. If you upset him in front of Lucifer, I will have to punish you.”

 Shiroi touched the collar at her throat, not in panic over his threat but in the realization that he had not made it before. Not once. They had not used it to scold her, to force her into anything, not to express their anger or disappointment over her difficult behavior. Nothing. She took his hand and he helped her to her feet before shifting them beside a table in the garden and releasing her fingers once he offered a chair beside his own.

 “Am I allowed to talk to them?” Shiroi asked quietly expecting the answer she so often received when ‘important things’ were to be discussed.

 “Yes. Of course.” Samael smiled. “I just ask that you mind Azrael’s feelings.”

 “Fanet.” Azrael led Lucifer and Kaneko into the garden and pointed to their seats before he sat beside Shiroi and looked past her to Samael. He was puzzled by Samael bringing her before he knew Lucifer’s intentions.

 “Voldrakena, Lucifer.” Samael pulled one foot up onto his chair and rested his arm across his knee. “Do you still take your tea with cynicism and bitterness?”

 “Sugar.” Lucifer grinned as he seated Kaneko beside him. She had remained quiet and docile when Azrael came to fetch them but upon seeing Shiroi he could see her irritation and doubted she would remain silent much longer. He made his introductions as he sat. “Kaneko, our other charming host is Samael. And this is Kaneko.”

 “Yes, yes. De supas.” Samael yawned to mock Lucifer for his mundane waste of time. “Eidolon’s bride, Kage’s daughter. Neither fact is why I allowed her here.”

 “Of course not.” Lucifer glared at Samael. “You mean to please your stolen bride.”

 “Give Snowflake back.” Kaneko growled across the table.

 “As much as I adore your father and your husband, if you speak to me in that tone again I will be sending them what is left of you home in Lucifer’s pocket.” Samael made the threat with a smile on his face that frightened Shiroi. “This is my home. Show some respect.”

 “Kaneko will…”

 “Shush Kaneko.” Lucifer patted her head to keep her from making any threats. “This isn’t what we came for.”

 “What did you come for?” Shiroi shouted at Lucifer as she stood and slammed her hands on the table. “You were the one who let them take me. At least Kaneko cares enough to say something instead of making introductions like nothing is wrong.”

 “You are over-reacting as usual.” Lucifer laughed. “Sit. I would not be here if I didn’t care.”

 Shiroi flopped down into the chair angrily and curled her fingers into fists until her nails broke her skin and she bled on her pants. Azrael kneeled beside her chair and shook his head as he unfolded her fingers and healed the slits in her palm.

 “Snowflake, are they being mean to you?” Kaneko watched the silver haired Watcher tending to Shiroi and was unsure how to react. “Does Kaneko need to claw their eyes out?”

 “No Kaneko.” Shiroi pouted. “They haven’t been mean.”

 “I see Kage’s daughter has a love of violence that matches his own.” Samael laughed and watched with enthusiastic optimism as Shiroi watched Azrael return to his seat with gratitude for his gesture evident on her face. “But they each have their mother’s lovely red eyes.”

 “Kasu dane sek vade, Vasun Lucifer?” Azrael asked impatiently.

 “To see my daughter.” Lucifer poured himself a cup of tea from the pot Samael had left for him. “I wanted to see she was being well cared for before I gave my blessing to this theft.”

 “I prefer to think of it as a rescue.” Samael grinned.

 “A view you’ve managed to convince the Viper and the Falcon of.” Lucifer sipped his tea.

 “Eidolon too?” Shiroi whispered to herself. “Does no one want me around?”

 “Deseka dan.” Azrael leaned over awkwardly to look up at her as she hung her head. “Deseka kosh sek.”

 “Is that true, Azrael?” Lucifer asked. “Dan sek kosh det kaluha?”

 “Tek, Vasun.” Azrael sat up and smiled at Lucifer. “Ha saba det volbaken fetnakalu. Dedesek Welak Isa.”

 “Is Maefyl your son?” Shiroi clutched the edge of the table as she looked at Lucifer and hoped for once he would give her an honest answer. She remembered how furiously Maefyl had guarded the identity of his father, of the chaotic rage that took him over when he finally told her about god and the misery of being his son. How could it possibly be true that Lucifer was his father?

 “He is.” Lucifer nodded and tried to ignore the shocked stare from Kaneko. “Iehovah only woke up what I had already given Lilith.”

 “I…” Shiroi pushed herself away from the table and walked away feeling ill.

 “Azrael, vonek hala har.” Samael frowned and Azrael followed after Shiroi.

 A few yards away Shiroi feel to her knees in the garden and stared at the ring on her finger. Azrael crouched beside her and put his arm around her shoulders carefully expecting her to scream and push him away, but instead she leaned against him crying and clutched at his shirt as he folded his arms around her.

 “Danbol zekusi, Shiroi.” Azrael lifted her into his arms and rocked her softly.

 Lucifer watched with overwhelming guilt and enormous relief as Azrael comforted Shiroi through the pain of the secrets he kept. He turned to Kaneko and stroked her face. “Don’t you be angry. You’ve helped me keep secrets just as damaging.”

 “Kaneko isn’t mad.” She leapt over the arm of the chair and hugged him. “Kaneko knows you wouldn’t hurt Snowflake or Maefyl.”

 “Not intentionally, but my mistakes…” Lucifer began to explain as Azrael returned to the table with Shiroi. When he tried to sit her in her own seat Shiroi clung to him so he took her seat beside Samael and held her on his lap entirely focused on calming her. Samael stroked her hair and kissed Azrael’s cheek and Lucifer sighed. “My mistake seems to be correcting itself.”

 Shiroi trembled as she slid the ring off of her finger and onto the table. Samael picked it up and tossed it to Lucifer.

 “I believe that should be a clear enough message for your son.” Samael grinned. “Now unless you want to discuss your promise to Zakesalek, I think you have upset our bride enough for today.”

 “Kaneko wants to give Shiroi hugs.” Kaneko pouted and put her hands on her hips as she jumped to her feet to make her demand. “Kaneko won’t leave until she gets hugs.”

 “Come on then.” Samael stood and pulled Azrael and Shiroi back from the table to make room. Kaneko ran over purring and hugged Shiroi while she shook in Azrael’s arm.

 “Can Shiroi have her phone so Kaneko can talk to her?” Kaneko looked up at Samael with her continued demands.

 “This?” Samael called Shiroi’s phone into his hand and waved it at Kaneko until she grinned and nodded. Samael smiled. “Devious and demanding. You are most definitely Kage’s child.”

 Samael tapped his fingers against the phone for a moment as he considered the request before he rested the edge of it on Shiroi’s shoulder. She tilted her head back to look up at him when she took it and he could see her shock at his decision.

 “Don’t do anything to disappoint me.” Samael squeezed her shoulder gently and let Kaneko finish claiming her embraces while he turned to address Lucifer. “With that returned I would like you to tell any others that wish to see her to contact her. I wont tolerate any further unannounced intrusions in Parasek.”

 “I should get you back to Eidolon, Kaneko. “ Lucifer finished the last of his tea and stood. “He’ll be worried.”

 Once they left Samael kneeled in front of Azrael as he held Shiroi. He leaned over her to kiss Azrael before he laid his hand over the phone she stared at so miserably.

 “I’m trusting you with this.” Samael explained as she looked at him. “It is filled with images that make me angry and will only serve to make you miserable.”

 “If I get rid of them you’ll let me keep it?” Shiroi rubbed her face on her arm.

 “I will let you keep it regardless.” Samael smiled. “As long as you respect our wish that you not speak with your former…”

 “Can you just take care of it?” Shiroi pushed the phone into his hand. “I don’t think I can.”

 “Done.” Samael had no desire to see the images again; he just used his magic to remove all traces of Maefyl. He handed it back to her as he stood and then he stretched his arms above him and smiled. “Dan sek shuvasa?”

 “Zakesel, Samael.” Azrael giggled at the mistake as Shiroi exhaled her frustration.

 “Sorry.” Samael winked at them. “Do you swim?”

 “Just because I’m giving up one marriage doesn’t mean I’ve accepted this one.” Shiroi hated admitting to herself that she had even done that much, but after so much misery, so many fights, so much time alone, and lie after lie, this last truth was enough to sicken her. “My Father and my Uncle may approve, but I don’t.”

 “I was only inviting you to relax.” Samael smirked. “You can stay here if you prefer. Vade`tach Azrael?”

 “Tek.” Azrael hugged Shiroi to him gently as he stood and let her find her feet before he let go. He stepped back and smiled at her as he offered his hand. “Vade hala de?”

 “I don’t have anything to wear.” Shiroi looked at his fingers and wanted to cry. The strange, scaled hands of her captors had been kinder to her then most. “I don’t have anything at all.”

 “Sek sesa de en Samael.” Azrael took her hand.

 “I’ll have your things brought here.” Samael pushed her hair over her shoulder and rested his fingers against her neck as he changed her attire. “Until then let us provide for you.”

 “I don’t always have the best luck with magic. I usually just wear clothes.” Shiroi rubbed her arms as she crossed them over herself feeling terribly exposed even though Samael had been kind enough to dress her modestly. As she flushed Azrael pulled a towel around her waist and tucked it closed at her hip before he brought her to the waters edge. “Thanks.”

 “Wait until we’re in the water, Welak Isa.” Samael turned her away gently as Azrael giggled and he heard the splash behind him.

 “Why?” Shiroi got a chill from the feel of his hands resting on her bare shoulders.

 “Because we are not as modest.” Samael laughed as he ran over to the water and shed his clothes as he fell into it.

 Shiroi knew her face had gone as red as the swimsuit he had dressed her in and was glad to have been facing away from them. When she heard them splashing around and thought it safe enough to show her face she walked over to the lake and set her phone and towel aside, hoping she could slip into the water unnoticed. Unfortunately it was deeper than she thought and she slid from the slippery rocks and splashed into the water as she tried to find footing. She surfaced to the sound of Azrael laughing and watched Samael tackle him under the surface.

 Shiroi kept her distance as she watched them. Even as they played she could see them watching her as well and they were playfully closing the distance between her and them. Once they were close enough to talk without shouting they held themselves away to keep her comfortable, which Shiroi was thankful for considering their lack of modesty.

 “Are the two of you married?” Shiroi asked as Samael kissed Azrael’s neck and Azrael bit the edge of Samael’s long ear.

 “To you.” Samael answered. “Not to each other.”

 “You’re together though.” Shiroi sighed. She was not even certain why she cared, but after barely a year with Maefyl his interest in Gabriel had killed off most of his interest in her.

 “Welak Isa, are you jealous?” Samael grinned and splashed at her.

 “No.” Shiroi pouted. “Never mind. And will you please stop calling me that?”

 “You would prefer Snowflake?” Samael laughed.

 “Only Kaneko calls me that.” Shiroi noticed suddenly that Azrael had gone missing. “Where did he go?”

 “Vana.” Azrael laughed and wrapped his arms around her from behind. “De haka na hosha sek.”

 “Azrael, nepu kesek.” Samael scolded him when he saw her expression grow troubled. “Vade. She doesn’t want you to hold her, she was upset before.”

 “And you’re naked…” Shiroi closed her eyes.

 “Don’t rush things, Azrael.” Samael smiled at him and Azrael let Shiroi go reluctantly. When he swam past her he let his tail brush against her leg and looked back to watch her blush. When he reached Samael he kissed him forcefully and Samael pulled him close. “Not the best time, kosha.”

 “De haka sek.” Azrael wrapped his legs around Samael.

 “A moment ago you wanted to hold her.” Samael laughed softly and shifted them both to shore wrapping a towel at each of their waists to save Shiroi the embarrassment. “Shiroi, he wants to go inside and Parasek may be dangerous for you.”

 “Okay.” Shiroi shifted herself onto the rocks and quickly pulled the towel up in front of her. She caught herself staring at the scales that didn’t cover as much as she would have thought of them and blushed as she waited for them to start walking away so she could see where the scales of the tails stopped. “Can I have my clothes back?”

 “Bret de sesa ise selsul?” Azrael laughed.

 “Don’t do that, Azrael.” Samael scolded as he raised his hand to Shiroi and dried her before wrapping her in fresh clothes. “Don’t expect favors for kindness.”

 “De supas.” Azrael grinned at him.

 “Bol helasa.” Samael tapped his nose.

 “Kabil.”  Shiroi sighed. She was going to have to learn a lot more if she was every going to figure Azrael out. “What did he want?”

 “Kabil?” Samael smiled when he heard her thank him in Zakesel. For every effort she made to deny their claim and refuse their kindness she was making equal effort to learn about them and had made several compromises. Now she even attempted to learn their tongue. “You’re very welcome. You’ve been paying attention, Shiroi.”

 “He was trying to teach me.” Shiroi admitted as she looked at the seals on her arms. “Until I made him mad.”

 “I’m certain he’ll be glad to teach you more.” Samael gently took Shiroi by her wrist and brought them all inside. “For now though make yourself comfortable, or explore. Just stay inside so we don’t have to worry.”

 “I thought you said you weren’t going to leave me alone?” Shiroi stomped her foot and pouted. “The second I start to trust anyone is the second they start lying to me.”

 “Deseka dane bol lusek.” Azrael bit Samael’s ear and ran finger’s through his short gold hair.

 “We aren’t leaving. I mean to earn and keep your trust. I will not lie to you.” Samael laughed softly as Azrael pulled himself close. “You are welcome to join us upstairs, but I thought you would prefer to explore on your own.”

 “Oh.” Shiroi felt childish for screaming such a jealous tirade when she did not even want to be there. Then as she watched Azrael’s longing grow more lustful she realized what she was being excused from witnessing. She covered her face as she flushed. “Oh. I’m sorry. I thought… I mean I don’t want to…”

 “Shiroi, calm yourself.” Samael shifted closer as she stammered and ran his fingers slowly up her neck and lifted her chin until she dropped her hands and looked at him. He leaned close enough to kiss her but only smiled and spoke quietly. “This is new for all of us. Give me a few hours with Azrael and we can talk more.”

 Shiroi nervously clutched the phone in her hand as she looked away. His offer to explore the estate alone was meant to be kind but it felt like an invitation to map out her own prison cell. As gentle as his hands were and as sweetly as he spoke, his presence was dominating. She was scared to make any request, especially one she imagined was going to make him angry with her, but if nothing else it would be a test of not only her boundaries within her cell, but his willingness to prove all the love he claimed.

 “Can I have company?” Shiroi asked softly, still going through names in her head and wondering is there was anyone at all she could talk to that could help her through this.

 “I said that you could.” Samael stood upright but kept his fingers under her chin as he spoke.

 “I meant now.” Shiroi closed her eyes tightly expecting them to start screaming at her for making the request, but the cool fingers on her skin remained gentle and she opened her eyes to see them both smiling warmly. “I know you don’t trust me, but I just want someone to talk to.”

 “Who is it you want to see?” Samael did not enjoy the idea of her taking company when he wasn’t right beside her, but was so thrilled she had not pulled away from his touch and touched by the sincerity of her request that he was willing to consider it depending on her answer.

 “Nexus.” Shiroi was uncertain why that was the name that came out, but as soon as it did she embraced the sense in it. If there was anyone she knew who could empathize with her situation it would be the one who had been the victim of so many lies herself and lived her life under in the cage of her love for Kage. “My mother.”

 “May I?” Samael tapped her fingers and Shiroi handed him the phone with a look of disappointment. Samael leaned and kissed her cheek before he took his hand away and navigated his way through her phone. Finding Lucifer’s love of gadgets amusing. This seemed like such a pointless means of conversation when he could easily call out to him. “I’m not taking it from you. I’m sending a message to Kage.”

 “Why?” Shiroi could see Azrael was getting impatient with the delay she had caused and started to reach for his arm before she decided against touching him and just apologized. “Azrael, kono. I shouldn’t have asked.”

 “Helbe, fetnakalu.” Azrael reached over and pushed at the corners of her mouth trying to force her to smile.

 “It isn’t any trouble, Shiroi.” Samael handed the phone back to her displaying Kage’s reply and let his fingers linger against hers. “Azrael wants some of my time, and while we will still be close I did promise I would not leave you lonely.”

 “What does ‘chet muta’ mean?” Shiroi looked at the screen a moment before she looked up at Samael.

 “Ten minutes.” Samael smiled as she clutched her phone, squeezing his fingers as she did so. “They will meet you in the garden. I would like him to stay, but if Kage becomes a nuisance tell him to leave until you’ve finished.”

 “Kabil.” Shiroi shivered when they both leaned to kiss her cheeks and vanished. She went back through the glass doors and wandered over to the patio they had entertained on a short time ago assuming that was where Kage would bring Nexus. She was not sure why Samael had agreed, but this was a better alternative to exploring her way into trouble.

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RO : The More Things Change : Devotion Pt.1

“I told you to leave.” Hours after Lucifer had sent them away in a rage, he found Kage still leaning against the door to the throne room. Lucifer leaned beside him and grinned. Kage was as persistent as ever. “How long would you have waited?”

 “As long as necessary.” Kage was desperate for Lucifer’s comfort but given the circumstances he focused on being the Viper he needed to be. “I thought you would still have questions.”

 “So devious.” Lucifer laughed softly. Kage had not stayed to let him finish any query. Kage knew full well if Lucifer had wanted more answers he would have come for them on his own, he stayed out of concern for his Lord and Master. Lucifer took his hand and squeezed his fingers to let him know he understood and appreciated Kage’s efforts to see him through his worries. “I have questions, but I will be asking Samael. First I am going to see Eidolon. As Zakesalek he is entitled to know what is going on.”

 “Should I join you?” Kage offered to be at Lucifer’s side for his endeavors. “For either of your visits?”

 “I’ll call you when I need you. In the meantime, spend some time soothing Nexus.” Lucifer ran his hand behind Kage’s neck and pulled him down to his kiss.

 “My Lord.” Kage pulled away quickly. Fearful that some lingering creature would see the affection and spoil everything.

 “Relax, Viper.” Lucifer laughed. “I know these walls, we are alone. Now give me your kiss before you run along to tell Nexus her child is well.”


“Is Snowflake okay?” Kaneko bounded at Lucifer with tears in her eyes as soon as he arrived in Eidolon’s office. “Kaneko has been so worried.”

“Shiroi is fine.” Lucifer embraced her and hoped he was not lying to her. “Something always seems to separate the two of you. I am sorry I have often been the cause.”

“Kaneko doesn’t blame you, Lord Lucifer.” She rubbed her face against him as she whimpered. “Kaneko just wants Shiroi to be okay.”

“They haven’t hurt her.” Lucifer assured her as he looked over the somber expressions in the room. Eidolon sat behind his desk with Karla standing beside him, both silently grieving over Kaneko’s worries. Taranis and Levina stood to either side of Kryss as they waited for more details about the fate of their friend and honorary member of their pack. Lucifer crossed the room and took a seat in one of the chairs in front of Eidolon’s desk before he addressed any of them. “Kryss, I wanted to thank you properly for your patient efforts. I’m afraid they are at an end, but I’m no less grateful for what you have done.”

“It was an honor, Lord Lucifer.” Kryss bowed his head.

“Why can’t Shiroi play with us anymore?” Taranis interrupted angrily.

“Bow your head, stupid.” Levina corrected her brother quietly. “You know who you’re talking to?”

“Both of you stay quiet.” Kryss grabbed them each by the back of their necks and they bowed their heads in apology. “Lord Falcon, we can continue this later. I’ll just show the pups around until then.”

“Thank you Kryss.” Eidolon waved them off and watched them go before he gave Lucifer a quick explanation of what Lucifer had interrupted so they could move on to other matters. “They are both eager to begin serving in Tsumi and with Kryss’ guidance they are more than ready to do so, but I am trying to convince them to wait.”

“Should we go, too?” Karla kneeled beside Eidolon’s chair and smiled up at him when he rested his hand on her face. “So you can talk?”

“The two of you can stay.” Lucifer loved to see Eidolon’s way with his brides. He was so gentle with them; adoring and devoted in every moment. As fierce as he knew Eidolon could be, seeing the tenderness he gave the two of them was heartwarming. “Kaneko wants to know and I doubt the news will stay secret long, anyway.”

“What news is that?” Eidolon put his arm around Kaneko as she returned to his side.

“The Wyrms decision to keep Shiroi as a bride rather than a hostage.” Lucifer answered.

“I imagine Maefyl is giving Gabriel quite a lot of trouble over this.” Eidolon already knew of Samael’s interest but was still surprised he had gone so far to claim what was already spoken for.

“I’ve forbidden him to act, but you’re probably right.” Lucifer agreed. “They allowed Kage to see her, he confirmed that they have replaced Maefyl’s claim with their own.”

“You’re allowing this?” Eidolon puled Kaneko into his lap as she started to cry into her hands.

“I haven’t decided just yet.” Lucifer ran his hand back through his hair and slumped into the chair. “I was hoping for your opinion on this.”

“That’s complicated.” Eidolon would have been just as conflicted if the decision were his to make. “I hate to admit this, but I have always found the pairing between Maefyl and Shiroi to be less than ideal. Knowing further details about their lineage only confirms that they are not well suited. Still, I respected the union as it was mutual and had your approval. I don’t like that Samael made the decision to end it without consideration for any of that.”

“If Maefyl were not an issue?” Lucifer gave a less complicated scenario hoping Eidolon’s calm reasoning would help with the decision. “If Shiroi had been unwed, would you think the Wyrms ideal?”

“At the risk of sounding cruel, yes.” Eidolon explained. “In a more perfect world your daughter would have been wed through betrothal and there are few worthy of the match. They are Zakesalek, second only to you. They would have been more than worthy of their Lord’s daughter.”

“I think Kage is inclined to agree with you.” Lucifer sighed. “Unfortunately my daughter is far from perfect and so is the world. This situation is going to require more patience than I have to give it at the moment.”

Lucifer removed the phone from one of the black bandages on his arm and shook his head as he read the message from Nikolai. How he had managed to pique Samael’s interest was a complete mystery to him.

~I had another visit from your friend that may require your attention.


“Kaneko, would you go and fetch Nikolai for me.” Lucifer slid his phone away. “I’d like to settle this before I go to Parasek.”

“Do you think that’s wise after Samael’s threat?” Eidolon let Kaneko to her feet so she could carry out Lucifer’s favor.

“If he was interested enough to collar her, I doubt he is in any rush to do her any real harm.” Lucifer explained as Kaneko returned with Nikolai. He looked up to the surprised expression and decided to do away with pleasantries in lieu of getting the conversation underway. “What did Samael want with you this time, Nikolai?”

“Advice on how to win someone over.” Nikolai had not expected Lucifer’s response so quickly, nor had he expected it to drag him into a conversation he was certain he would rather not be a part of. “Pardon the interruption, Eidolon.”

“We were already discussing this.” Eidolon smiled. “Samael came to you?”

“I wish he hadn’t.” Nikolai wanted as little to do with the situation as possible. “My Lord, he means to try and steal away Maefyl’s bride…”

“He has already done that.” Lucifer saved Nikolai from wasting further words or worry over what had already occurred. “Maefyl mourns the loss and I imagine Shiroi is no less distraught over it. It was not a marriage she agreed to.”

“Forgive me, but I don’t understand.” Nikolai worried for Maefyl’s state of mind and found himself grieving the idea of losing any one of his loves. “They have already…?”

“What exactly did Samael ask you?” Lucifer cut him off. Once he had his answers he wanted to send Nikolai back to Golod free of obligation and regret.

“That he wanted to win someone’s love, not command it.” Nikolai hoped he had remembered the words well enough to satisfy Lucifer’s curiosity. “He seemed to think I would have some idea of how to help him do so. Even if I did, Maefyl has long been a friend to me…”

“Thank you, Nikolai.” Lucifer smiled. Nikolai was another of his favorites. Infuriatingly curious at times and quick to anger when it involved any perceived threat to the things he loved, but he had an amazing sense of devotion and loyalty and moral code that made him admirable. “I realize your friendship with Maefyl will make it difficult, but if Samael comes asking advice again…”

“I have no guidance to give regardless of my allegiances.” Nikolai smiled. “I simply love my pets and give them each the respect they deserve.”

“Then get back to it.” Lucifer laughed as he shook his head. Nikolai’s way of simplifying his relationship was naïve. He kept the three of them so overwhelmingly happy it was staggering. Most struggled to keep even one love so well entertained for so long and he had three of the most difficult creatures alive to deal with. “Everyone should be as fortunate to have the happiness that come so easily for you.”

“Happiness is hard-earned, my Lord.” Nikolai corrected Lucifer before he left them to their business. Nikolai considered himself fortunate for what he had, but it had not come easily. It was however worth every second of effort and he returned to Golod smiling for the rewards his efforts had afforded him.

“He amazes me sometimes.” Lucifer muttered to himself as Nikolai left.

“If Samael is asking advice on such things he may very well be sincere.” Eidolon considered it a relief, while it would be painful for Maefyl, he would find comfort in Gabriel and Shiroi might find herself happy with her new Masters.

“Yes.” Lucifer tried to consider the situation from all sides. No matter what decision was made there would be someone to suffer for it. He stood and tapped his fingernails against Eidolon’s desk. “Would you mind if I take Kaneko with me to Parasek?

“If you guarantee her safety.” Eidolon waited for Lucifer to nod in agreement. “Then I don’t mind. It may do them both some good.”

“Who?” Kaneko sniffled as she hugged Eidolon. “Where is Kaneko going?”

“To Parasek to visit your sister.” Lucifer smiled and waited for Kaneko to steal a kiss from Eidolon before she leapt up into his arms excitedly. “You will need to behave for me. The Wyrms have nasty tempers.”

“Karla gave them funny names.” Kaneko giggled.

“Did she?” Lucifer smiled over to Karla and waited to hear them. Karla flushed and looked at her feet. “Well? I could use the laugh.”

“Fish Bait and Bird Food.” Karla whispered nervously, afraid Kaneko had gotten her into trouble until she heard Lucifer’s laugh. “You know, cause they’re worms.”

“Kaneko will have to let you know which is which when she gets back.” Lucifer laughed as Kaneko licked his face. “Eidolon, both of your brides are brilliant.”

“I know.” Eidolon smiled proudly at Lucifer as he vanished and called after him. “Bring her back in one piece Lucifer.”

“I love you, Master Eidolon.” Karla leaned over and kissed him. She was overjoyed when he pulled her closer and returned her passion with a very clear intent to have more than her kiss.

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