Monthly Archives: April 2014

RO : Zakesalek : A Peaceful Mind Pt.2 (18+)

They had all needed the night to unwind. Maefyl carried two very giggly fairies to the bedroom and laid them on a pillow to sleep off a night of too much wine. He returned to Gabriel as he was seeing off the last of their guests.

 “I hope whatever Lucy has planned isn’t going to screw things up again.” Maefyl pulled his hair back into a ponytail and gathered Asura’s drawings from the table to tuck in one of her portfolios.

 “Come sit with me.” Gabriel sat on the floor and closed his eyes. With an uncertain horizon he wanted to be prepared. He started to pull strength from the deep reaches of the chaos.

 “I just want this to last.” Maefyl laid in front of Gabriel and rested his head back in his lap. Already drenched in the chaos Gabriel brought into the room, but pulling greater amounts on his own until it filled the both of them. The two of them let go of words as they shared the darkness as it swelled around them in a gentle current, filling the room with it’s sweet scent. In eerie silence their minds met and caressed. Maefyl felt Gabriel’s fingers on his neck and smiled.

 Maefyl was only beginning to understand the weight of what Raziel had done. He was only starting to embrace the help Raziel had given him. Raziel had told him he could remain conscious and tap into his dreamscape, but at the moment he wanted to share it. While he strengthened and revitalized himself with the darkness and they pulled the chaos together, Maefyl pulled Gabriel into his mind.

 “What is this?” Gabriel stood and helped Maefyl to his feet; the sweet mist of chaos even found its way here and swirled around their feet as Gabriel took in the vibrant landscapes inside of Maefyl’s mind.

 “I wanted to show you.” Maefyl laced his fingers through Gabriel’s and tugged him forward. He smiled at Gabriel’s reaction to the doors that sprung up beside them. “This is what Raziel did to keep me from losing it.”

 Faint whispers hung in the air as Maefyl shuffled away the last of the thoughts and memories he had collected that evening until there was silence.

 “It’s so peaceful.” Gabriel let his fingers brush over one of the doors as they walked and jumped slightly when its attached building appeared suddenly.

 “I had about the same reaction.” Maefyl smiled at him. “I’m still a bit lost in here. Most of this was Raziel’s”

 “Have you…” Gabriel begun and thought better of the question, as curious as Maefyl tended to be he was also cautious. He doubted he had spent any time behind any of these doors.

 “Opened them?” Maefyl laughed as he concentrated to pull a particular door to him. “Only this one and only the ones inside it I needed to.”

 “Raziel’s” Gabriel looked over the crest on the door. “His personal memories?”

 “I avoid what I can.” Maefyl pushed the door open and pulled Gabriel through it into a seemingly endless hall filled with doors. He went to one and pulled Gabriel into an enormous library. “Some of what I needed to know involved a look into what led to all of this.”

 “Which is how you learned of Kage’s fangs?” Gabriel sighed as he recalled finding Raziel bruised, bleeding and at his wits end. How he had refused aid and justice and wandered off. It had been the last anyone had seen of Raziel’s emotion. “His attack on Raziel?”

 “Kage has always been such a charming individual. It’s not like I was all that surprised by it.” Maefyl squeezed Gabriel’s hand in his. “You however have always been amazing in every way.”

 “We all do things we regret.” Gabriel sighed. “I just hope when you stumble onto some of my more questionable moments you still think so highly of me.”

 “Why wouldn’t I?” Maefyl hugged him. “I doubt I could find anything in Raziel’s head that is going to change what I think of you. Raziel puts you on a bit of a pedestal himself. If you have dark secrets he either doesn’t know them or they are completely forgivable.”

 “I would be relieved, but what he finds forgivable, you may not.” Gabriel hoped Maefyl would wait and let him share the secrets himself.

 “I told you I would be asking you. I’m not going digging for your secrets.” Maefyl rested his fingers on the back of Gabriel’s neck. “Stop worrying. All I’ve seen are a few of your interactions with Raziel and his reactions to them.”

 “Whatever you’ve seen here has made you more accepting of Raziel.” Gabriel looked around the room and wondered how many of these books Maefyl had opened.

 “I guess seeing what he went through made me appreciate his odd way of handling things.” Maefyl explained. “Sometimes even dark secrets aren’t as bad as you would think. I could have gone without seeing some of his time with Galik, but Raziel isn’t the monster everyone seems to think.”

 “We made Raziel a monster.” Gabriel admitted sadly.

 “You didn’t.” Maefyl smiled. “Of all of you, you were the only one who showed him kindness. It’s not like he’s the only monster the seven of you managed to create. Kage didn’t start out as the vicious bastard we all love so much.”

 “He has always been vicious.” Gabriel walked to one of the shelves; the spines were without mark until he ran his fingers over them. “But complicated. At some point he became more than vicious; he became bitter and cruel.”

 “When the one you admire most treats you like…” Maefyl stopped himself. “Kage has his reasons. I’m not excusing the shit he did, but I understand it.”

 “The two of you have established the strangest friendship.” Gabriel smirked. “You accepted it out of pity?”

 “For fuck sake, don’t ever let him hear you say that.” Maefyl laughed. “It’s understanding not pity. He’s been through as much shit as Raziel. Just different shit.”

 “He’s also put everyone through as much.” Gabriel chanced mentioning a tender subject to make his point. “I doubt I have to remind you what Lilith suffered.”

 “Trust me, Gabriel.” Maefyl sighed. “He’s paid for it. He’s still paying for it.”

 “You’re getting as vague as Lucy.” Gabriel laughed.

 “That’s not funny.” Maefyl scowled and pulled a book at random from the shelf. He sat Gabriel’s hand against the pages beneath his own and shared a bit of his talent for ‘reading’ the thoughts the pages contained.

 “You will tell him or I will tear it from your mind.” Kage dug his claws into Raziel’s neck as he held him on his knees in front of Lucifer.

 “If Iehovah plans to make the world his plaything,” Lucifer grinned as he watched Raziel bleed without a trace of concern on his blank expression. “I need to keep him from breaking it.”

 “You are more than capable of doing that without me.” Raziel answered coldly. His pain hidden behind his emotionless gaze. “I will not give you knowledge you don’t need.”

 “Why do you insist on being useless to us?” Eidolon glared at Raziel as he stood beside Lucifer. Furious with Raziel’s lack of compassion for the world they created. “Lucifer is asking your loyalty to protect what we’ve made.”

 “Lucifer is asking for power he doesn’t need.” Raziel corrected. “He will not get it from me.”

 “Ke saba belshesupi, Vasun Lucifer.” Kage tore open Raziel’s throat with his claws. “Kabak de na keka ken.”

 “Hak, Kage.” Lucifer shook his head. “The Keeper will give me what I want eventually.”

 “Why should I give you anything?” Raziel replied to the assumption blankly. “All of you hate me for the things I know. I will not share them to gain favor.”

 “I was not offering favor.” Lucifer laughed. “Have fun with him Kage, just leave him alive.”

 Lucifer left with Eidolon and Raziel endured days of Kage’s pent up rage. When Kage finally left him broken on the floor of a dimly lit room, Raziel forced himself to stand and started his short journey home. The demons he passed sneered and whispered as they avoided him. He heard the thoughts that he had gotten what he deserved as he slowly healed the worst of his wounds. He had almost made it home when his path crossed Gabriel’s and he felt the warmth of the angel’s hands on his shoulders.

 “Who did you upset this time, Keeper?” Gabriel smiled sadly as he ran magic through Raziel’s wounds.

 “No one worth mentioning.” Raziel wrapped his fingers around Gabriel’s wrists. “You need not waste your time on this IsaAnku.”

 “Stop letting this happen.” Gabriel spoke warmly. “You have the strength to protect yourself from these abuses.”

 “Against Zakesalek?” Raziel tilted his head. “I am the weakest among us and evidently the most despised. Good day, IsaAnku.”

 “I’ll speak to Lucy.” Gabriel offered. “He’ll end the attacks.”

 “As he has ordered several of them I doubt that your conversation will go well.” Raziel turned from him. “I don’t need your intervention, Gabriel. Keep your good standing with the others. I will deal with this on my own.”

 “You talked to Lucy anyway, didn’t you?” Maefyl slid the book back into its home on the shelf and smiled. Gabriel could never resist doing the right thing.

 “I did.” Gabriel was fascinated by the memory. It had been clear as if they were living the moment at present. “He laughed it off, but I rarely saw Raziel in such a state after that.”

 “Can I ask you a strange question?” Maefyl was not even sure he wanted the answer, but it had been bothering him. “Did you and Lucy… were you ever together?”

 “No.” Gabriel grimaced at the idea of it. “We were only ever friends. We have always been close. I was the first to find him; it was his voice I followed out of darkness. I love him, but as a brother would…”

 “Poor choice of words.” Maefyl cut him off; sickened at the thought of his sister and further disgusted by the thought of her with Gabriel.

 “I apologize.” Gabriel hung his head. “Lucy and I were never together as lovers. Why would you even ask?”

 “Because Watchers seem to be libido driven fiends.” Maefyl looked away embarrassed by his own questions. “I just wanted to know who and what I’ve shared you with.”

 “I hate to even have this conversation.” Gabriel pulled Maefyl close and knew the answer would hurt him. “You were the first to have my lips, the only to have my heart and only one other has known my touch.”

 “Shiroi.” Maefyl cringed. She had been his first. “I’m sorry.”

 “Don’t apologize. It meant I could have you.” Gabriel held him as he explained. “Not all of us felt the need to act on our appetites, I can’t speak for the others, but I never had much interest to begin with. Not until you. If you are through with this field trip, I can show you how strong that interest remains.”

 “I want to show you something first.” Maefyl pulled Gabriel out of the halls of Raziel’s memories and led him through the dreamscape to another door.

 “Your own?” Gabriel laid his hand against the door bearing Maefyl’s crest. It pulsed with strange warmth that nearly echoed the beating of Maefyl’s heart.

 “Yea.” Maefyl pushed open the door and walked down the long dark corridors watching for Gabriel’s reactions to the sights and sounds around him. Screams spilled from behind doors that seemed to breath, others that cracked and bled as they passed. The halls were dark; the floor swirled with thick dark mists.

 Gabriel’s tears fell as they passed through hall after hall of misery. Sobs and screams left whispers of anguish in the air of Maefyl’s mind and it was painful to know his love had lived in such darkness.

 “It’s not all like this.” Maefyl squeezed Gabriel around his waist and wiped his face. He sped him along to more pleasant halls and Gabriel let out a sigh of relief when they reached corridors that were still, silent, and well lit. Instead of screams, laughter snuck its way through the doors they passed.

 “What is it you want to show me?” Gabriel asked once he was able to breathe again without weeping. They turned down a hall with walls of white and doors of silver that seemed to polish themselves to a gloss as they passed.

 “You said you’ve always loved me, always wanted me.” Maefyl pushed open a door and led Gabriel to a table with a book laid open in waiting. He pushed Gabriel’s fingers to the page and slid his own through them. “I want you to know this.”

 “Get the fuck out.” Maefyl screamed at Gabriel. “Let me live my damned life the way I want to.”

 Gabriel recognized the memory instantly and wanted to pull away from the pain of what he remembered well enough on his own, but he wanted to see this through Maefyl’s own recollection. Maefyl was so young, still very blonde, and living as a human. Every bit as beautiful as Gabriel remembered. And every bit as angry.

 “I’ll return when you’ve had time to calm down.” Gabriel laid his fingers against Maefyl’s blonde hair and sighed. “I am not trying to make these decisions for you. Only passing on your father’s will to you.”

 “Just go.” Maefyl grabbed Gabriel’s wrist and pushed him away. Lilith was a room away screaming profanities and throwing things against he walls. “I need to be alone right now.”

 When Gabriel had gone Maefyl saw to cleaning up after Lilith’s outburst and calmed her as best as he could until she slept. Once he was finally alone he went through his belongings in a frenzy looking for something he had hidden away. He pulled an impossibly white cloak from its hiding place and hugged it to his chest. He had stolen it from Gabriel on one of his visits and kept it so he always had a piece of him.

 “Why do we both have to be men?” Maefyl murmured softly as he inhaled the scent of Gabriel from his clothes. “I hate wanting you like this.”

 Gabriel watched silently. Nearly ashamed to be seeing what became a private moment he would have been glad to interrupt.

 A very young Maefyl, still living his life as a human man, closed his eyes. He clutched the white fabric that smelled so much of Gabriel against his shoulder, leaning his face against it and thinking of the skin it had touched. As he touched himself he wished for the fingers of his angel. He slid to the floor torn between pleasure and misery and whispered a confession into the robe he wet with his tears. “I don’t care if it’s sinful, I would gladly burn if I could be yours.”

 “You were always so angry with me…” Gabriel’s fingers fell away from the book and he felt them trembling against Maefyl’s neck as his lover released them from his mind.

 “You were always pissing me off.” Maefyl looked up at Gabriel and smiled. “I was a kid. I had no idea how to deal with that. You were constantly preaching at me and all I wanted to do was break every rule you were telling me to follow.”

 “Do you think it was any easier for me?” Gabriel pulled Maefyl up into his lap before sliding his fingers of one hand into his hair and the other into his pants. “If I had seen you then, I would have taken you.”

 “Deviant angel.” Maefyl smiled and kissed him. Enjoying the touch he had longed for as a boy. Gabriel filled his ear with vivid memories of his own, confessing years of watching and wanting and the same shameful indulgence as he thought of taking the thing he desired most. He stroked and caressed Maefyl into a maddening state of desire and kissed him passionately through a release that satisfied the long denied young man in his buried memories.

 “I have always and will always love you.” Gabriel smiled at the blissful state of the one who meant more to him than anyone else possibly could. “Whatever happens you will always be mine and I am yours alone.”

 “Then let’s break some more rules.” Maefyl grinned and pounced on Gabriel, knocking him to the floor as he gave him a darker kiss and tore at his clothes.

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RO : Zakesalek : A Peaceful Mind Pt.1

“Good afternoon, Gabby.” Lucifer leaned over Gabriel’s desk and smiled at him. “Did you get my message?”

 “If you’re referring to your countdown, yes.” Gabriel shoved his computer aside and smiled up at Lucifer’s devious grin. “I was ignoring it.”

 “I thought I should give you peace of mind, but since you’re being difficult about it…” Lucifer laughed. “I’ll let you worry.”

 “It’s not your little joke that has me concerned.” Gabriel stood and turned to leave his office. “I want to know what you’ve given Maefyl.”

 “A taste of his birthright.” Lucifer explained. “Nothing for you to concern yourself over just yet. He has adjusted well to Raziel’s gift. Enjoy the victory and stop dwelling on a harmless mystery.”

 “When time runs out?” Gabriel sighed. Lucifer would not leave until he had his chance to gloat and Gabriel was eager to have a simple evening at home.

 “You’ll have a higher seat of power and more responsibility that you don’t want.” Lucifer laughed. “But Tsuriai will remain unharmed.”

 “Do I have the option to refuse this honor?” Gabriel knew the answer before he asked.

 “No.” Lucifer tapped his fingers rhythmically on the desk and considered another option. Not one he was happy with, but he would at least consider it. “If you are troubled by the work, you can resign your place in Osore, but not this.”

 “I won’t.” Gabriel smiled at him. “I’ve made this place my home. It is where I finally saw Maefyl accept himself, where I finally won his heart and where we raised our daughter. I will not abandon Osore.”

 “Thank you for that, Gabby.” Lucifer murmured. “You still humble me. In those moments when I think all hope is lost, your will is a light to me.”

 “It’s exhausting being your pillar, Lucy.” Gabriel went to the desk and pulled Lucifer to him. “Still, I love you and gladly bear the weight. If I have a few days before you once again complicate my life, I am going to go and enjoy it. I’ll come when you call, like I always do.”

 “One last thing.” Lucifer hugged him tighter. “They are going to see each other eventually…”

 “He won’t touch her.” Gabriel sighed. “Honestly, I doubt my intervention is needed.”

 “Just keep him from attacking either of her Masters.” Lucifer vanished from their embrace leaving behind only the scent of strange magic and a whisper. “Enjoy your evening, Gabby.”

 Gabriel shook his head and smiled as he went to the apartment door and stepped inside to the sound of Maefyl singing an old song and tapping the buttons of an old video game controller. Sanguine and Gory were on the coffee table cheering on his progress as they shared a dish of popcorn. Maefyl noticed Gabriel and smiled over to him.

 “Were you singing?” Gabriel slid beside him on the couch and regretted interrupting the surprisingly happy tune.

 “I might have been.” Maefyl flicked ash from his cigarette and continued his battle against the creatures on the screen. “You finished for the day?”

 “Yes. I invited Dove over for wine this evening.” Gabriel stroked his fingers through Maefyl’s hair. “What has you in such a good mood?”

 “Sounds like we’ll have a full house then.” Maefyl laughed. “I talked to Asura a little while ago, she’ll be coming over once they grab Shana.”

 “Are you doing well enough for that?” Gabriel had seen a vast improvement in Maefyl’s mood the last few weeks. He was back to taking walks and seeing visitors, but was often exhausted by the days end. “I don’t want you to push yourself too far.”

 “I relaxed all day so that I could do this.” Maefyl focused on his violent virtual massacre as he leaned against Gabriel. “I’m doing okay. Stop worrying to much.”

 “At least feed before anyone arrives.” Gabriel changed from his suit into more relaxed attire and turned Maefyl’s face to kiss him. What had been meant as a simple sweet gesture to steal a moment of attention from his game quickly became more intimate.

 Maefyl let his controller fall to the floor and he latched his arms around Gabriel. He took full advantage of Gabriel’s willingness to accept the sudden burst of affection and they were soon lost in a dark kiss that only ended when Dove giggled her arrival.

 “I think I would prefer my wine this evening to be white… and in a glass.” Dove teased them for their bad timing as she watched Maefyl wipe the blood from Gabriel’s lips. “If you would like to postpone…”

 “Not at all, Dove.” Maefyl retrieved his controller from the floor and restarted his game. “I got carried away and let that go on for longer than I should. Claim a seat before anyone else shows up.”

 “Can we have wine, too?” Sanguine climbed up Maefyl’s leg hopefully as she watched Gabriel pour a glass for Dove and himself.

 “A little wont hurt I guess.” Maefyl shrugged. “Could be funny, drunk fairies. Actual drunk, not that weird buzz you get from sugar.”

 “Very little.” Gabriel filled the bottom of a short wide glass for the two of them and sat it on the table. “This is probably a horrible idea.”

 “Hello!” Asura shouted as she ran through the door pulling Shana along with her. “I brought company!”

 “Hello again, Shana.” Gabriel greeted her warmly and noticed that she had not been the only visitor from Vex that Nikolai brought along. “And Brig.”

 “Hope you don’t mind.” Brig pushed the hair out of his face and Azazel grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him until it fell back in the way. “Watch it, cupcake.”

 “Cram it.” Azazel laughed and pounced over the table onto Maefyl. “Books.”

 “Hello, pussycat.” Maefyl hugged him. “They are in Asura’s room.”

 “I apologize for the additional guests.” Nikolai sat at the edge of the coffee table with Bezer. “They were already on their way when you spoke with Asura.”

 Maefyl was finding it easier to push most thoughts behind closed doors before they had a chance to process. The more vocal thoughts, the focused thoughts as Raziel had deemed them, were impossible to ignore but he was learning to cope with them and shuffled the unimportant away. He was glad that some of his closest friends were Watchers with enough strength to hide their minds, but he found that the friends that were not, were for the most part honest with their feelings and said what they meant. The few that were more inclined to think one thing and say what they thought they should were a bit more difficult to handle. He often had to stop and decide which thought had actually been spoken before he answered the wrong one. He had been a better judge of character than he had realized, and the validation that the people he was keeping company with where every bit as remarkable as he believed them to be was a relief and a joy. Even more so, because he no longer feared what they thought of him, he was just embarrassed by his assumptions and the high regard they all held him in.

 “I’m going to go ahead and ask since I doubt anyone else will.” Brig prepared for screaming disapproval over the question. “What’s with the doomsday clock?”

 “Lucy has a twisted sense of humor.” Maefyl laughed. He had the same thought when the countdown appeared. He reached behind him for the extra controller and tossed it at Brig. “It’s no big deal. You play?”

 “How the fuck have you kept these things working?” Brig joined Maefyl’s game and settled in to play. He found it was much like riding bike. “I haven’t done this in forever.”

 “Stupid, stupid.” Sanguine hung over the edge of the glass she was standing in with Gory and giggled at Brig. “He uses magic, you idiot.”

 “I think that’s enough wine for you, Sany.” Maefyl pushed his controller into Gabriel’s hand to let him take over as he pulled Sanguine from the glass and gently shook her feet dry.

 “I love you, Maefyl.” Sanguine hugged his fingers and grinned. “You have pretty hands.”

 “No, shoot the other one. That thing!” Gory gave Gabriel helpful advice as he stepped in for Maefyl. She splashed wine to the table as she jumped excitedly in the glass when he figured it out. “Don’t let Brig beat you!”

 “OML!” Asura laughed. She had only seen Gabriel play the occasion brawl when they got Lucifer involved in an evening of games, her more proper father had always frowned on the more violent and grotesque games that Maefyl loved so much. “How did he get you to play his video games?”

 “Giant frog!” Sanguine drunkenly explained as she rolled around in Maefyl’s hand. “Haha! Squish!”

 “Is she okay?” Asura squeezed between Maefyl and Dove and poked at Sanguine. “More importantly is everything alright?”

 “Don’t worry about it. You know how much Lucy loves to mess with everyone.” Maefyl sat Sanguine on his shoulder and she crawled under his collar and into his shirt, tickling his skin as she fluttered her wings. “And Sany is apparently going to sleep it off in there.”

 “Not sleeping!” Sanguine corrected him. “I’m exploring.”

 “Everything in there is mine.” Gabriel laughed as he continued playing.

 “Can I have some?” Demise walked up to the glass Gory was sipping handfuls of wine from.

 “Me too!” Blondie fluttered over excitedly. “It smells better than vodka.”

 “Come on in.” Gory made room and soon they were all giggling over the game.

 “I wanna try.” Azazel crawled over to Brig and tugged on his sleeve. “What do I do?”

 “Here.” Brig sat the controller in Azazel’s hands and tugged his fingers onto the buttons as he explained. “Aim, shoot, reload, and this one throws the explode-y things.”

 “I meant which buttons do what. I do know what grenades were, you jackass.” Azazel flicked Brig on the forehead. “Go smoke or something.”

 “Good idea, cupcake.” Brig leaned back until he fell beside Shana. “You have my cigarettes?”

 “Yep.” Shana handed Brig her purse and continued to flip through one of Asura’s sketchbooks as she listened to the fairies chattering over things she didn’t understand. “You should draw one of these adorable little drunks.”

 “Awesome idea.” Asura slipped to the floor and smiled up at Dove. “Is my book over there?”

 “Yes.” Dove handed over the book she found on the side table and returned to her quiet conversation with Nikolai and Bezer. They had been discussing recent events with enough tact and discretion that no one was bothered by the delicate tension the issues stirred. When the topic became melancholic they subtly altered the course of the conversation toward their appreciation for their places in the Circle. They avoided the topic of the countdown and enjoyed the playful atmosphere around them.

 Bezer had bounced around the room most the evening to engage in every bit of the gathering that she could, but she had settled into conversation with Dove and Nikolai when they started talking about Raven. Nikolai and the others loved her company and she visited often.

 “Sany!” Maefyl laughed and peeked down his shirt. “Stop pinching.”

 “I wasn’t.” Sanguine defended herself and giggled. “I was biting.”

 “Well, don’t.” Maefyl leaned against Gabriel as he laughed. “It’s distracting.”

 “Are you playing again?” Sanguine crawled up and peeked over the edge of Maefyl’s shirt. “Yay! I’m gonna get more wine before Gory drinks it all.”

 “I said that’s enough, Sany.” Maefyl shook his head.

 “Just let them have fun.” Gabriel rested his arm around Maefyl and watched his fingers moving over the buttons of the controller. He had handed his distraction back to him when he noticed his agitation over so many thoughts. As well as Maefyl had been doing with it, there were still moments that were hard on him and Gabriel wanted him to enjoy their guests, not suffer through them. The game gave him something else to focus on, especially with Azazel as competition. The two of them always enjoyed their playful rivalry, and amidst the sea of laughter worries over Lucifer’s riddle disappeared. Maefyl relaxed and they all enjoyed the evening. Gabriel still had worries over the strange magic Lucifer seemed intent to force on Maefyl, but if it was responsible for helping him control the Keeper’s curse there was no reason not to accept it for now.

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RO : Zakesalek : Gathering The Dragons

Every computer in the hands of the Circles displayed a countdown. No word as to why, no warning as to what would happen when it reached zero. Just a small timer counting backward in the corner of every Circle member device. Six days until some event, some change that Lucifer teased the world with and the rumors and whispers that quickly travelled through the realms. Some spoke quietly of destruction while the more informed whispered of old demons coming out of a long hiding.

 The Six saw the clock and knew they would be called to Lucifer soon.

 Lucifer just laughed and curled up with his journal.

Preparations have been made and my ghosts hang silent waiting to give the news of a ruling order over the realms, second only to myself. A new game that I will be sure to win.

Time to stack the deck.

-Lucifer

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RO : EIIP : Honoring A Promise Pt.2

“De haka na vonek kuraxa.” Azrael grabbed his ankles and pouted.

“Vade vana, kosha.” Samael opened his arms to offer Azrael his comfort.

“Bel Welak Isa…” Azrael hesitated to leave Shiroi’s side.

“De shent vade hala sek.” Shiroi stood as she cradled Aurora gently and walked beside Azrael as he crawled over to Samael. Shiroi sat gracefully in front of them smiling.

“Kabil, Welak Isa.” Samael smiled as he held Azrael to him. “Danbol shepi zeku, kosha. Besek shent ench zan. Dekeha danbol supas sek, wat.”

“They are both pretty.” Nat whispered to Kryss. “Did they hurt you?”

“Shh, they can still hear you.” Kryss smiled and rubbed his nose against hers. “It was unintentional. Don’t worry about it.”

“Why doesn’t the one talk normal?” Nat softened her whisper.

“Can still hear you.” Samael laughed. “Azrael does not like Tsuri, but we both appreciate the compliment. You are pretty as well.”

“Thanks.” Nat flushed and buried her face against Kryss. “They all hear as well as you do.”

“Better.” Kage smirked. “Which makes manners and cleverly candid conversations valuable.”

“Cleverly candid?” Nikolai scoffed. “So deceitful and dishonest?”

“That didn’t take long.” Kage hissed. “Don’t be such an imbecile. I do not condone lies; I merely meant there are some things better left unsaid. And undone. Though I don’t suppose you would understand discretion. It seems to be missing from your charming set of skills.”

“Hey.” Asura glared at Kage. “That’s not very nice.”

“His slander was better?” Kage hissed. “I should let him viciously attack my character without retort?”

“The two of you are going to keep life interesting.” Samael laughed. “Could I suggest you put off your quarrel? We are all guests here.”

“My apologies, Kryss.” Nikolai sighed. “This day is for your family, I shouldn’t have.”

“It’s okay.” Nat laughed. “As long as no one is shouting or getting violent, people are allowed to disagree.”

“Just keep it to a minimum.” Kryss nodded. “I would rather surround Aurora with people she knows she can trust. I don’t want her earliest memories to be of fighting.”

“Aurora saba gahe dozeba?” Azrael looked over to Shiroi and the baby she was holding. “Shent ha shepi fetnakalu?”

“I doubt it.” Kage answered. “The girl is much like Kryss. There should be no need for such a change.”

“What change?” Kryss asked. Hearing only his daughters name and Kage’s answer made him nervous. He was okay accepting these guests, but their language made them difficult to deal with.

“He only wanted to know if your child had inherited more from you or her mother.” Samael tried to dance around what he was sure would be a tender subject. He smiled and hoped Kryss would understand to leave the conversation alone.

“Gimme.” Taranis pulled Aurora out of Shiroi’s arms and held her up to smile at her. “So many cranky visitors today. You can come take a nap with me.”

“I wasn’t being cranky.” Shiroi pouted.

“He just likes to use any excuse he can to hold her.” Kryss grinned as Taranis curled up on the cushions beside him with Aurora. “So, do you think you’ll be visiting more now?”

“I hope so.” Shiroi inched closer to her Masters and Azrael turned to sit behind her while Samael kept an arm around his waist. “I feel like I’ve been away forever. Taranis is taller than me, you got married and have a baby.”

“We’ll get you all caught up.” Nat offered her friendship with a huge smile. “Kryss was worried sick about you when you disappeared. Everyone was. I’m glad you came back, it means everyone will be smiling again.”

“Thank you, Nat.” Shiroi shed tears of joy over her warm return to Tsuriai. Samael had said she wasn’t forgotten and he was right. Even after the ill received first encounter, Kryss was accepting the Wyrms and had welcomed Shiroi back happily. As Azrael squeezed her gently she wrapped her fingers around his arms to return his affection. Shiroi hadn’t lost as much as she thought she had and she had gained a happiness she could have never dreamed of.

“De kosh sek, Welak Isa.” Azrael whispered at her ear as he held her tightly with his eyes closed.

“De kosh sek, nus.” Shiroi answered quietly. “Sek en Kaleka Samael.”

“Welak Isa?” Samael squeezed her shoulder. “Saba se supani?”

“I don’t know what that means.” Shiroi whispered as Azrael pulled her back into Samael’s lap and hugged them both.

“He asked you if it was true.” Kage was surprised she had learned any Zakesel at all, but her efforts seemed to make them love her more. “I’m curious of that myself.”

“Sek kosh de?” Azrael touched her face gently and gave her a hopeful smile.

“Tek.” Shiroi flushed. She wished she had waited until they were alone to confess her feelings, but alone or with an audience she would remember the elation on Azrael’s face before he pulled her into his kiss and the warm embrace as Samael folded his arms around the two of them.

“That’s kind of sweet.” Asura giggled. “Even if I have no clue what they are saying.”

“Watch it!” Azazel laughed as Samael happily flicked his tail and it laid across Azazel’s legs. Azazel picked up the end of the scaly appendage and sat it aside. “I get that you’re all giddy, but you don’t need to share the love.”

“Kono.” Samael laughed and curled his tail around Azrael. He wanted to take Shiroi’s kiss as well, but could never force an end to Azrael’s joy. So he held them and waited. Those simple words had just given their claim all the validation it would ever need. They had won the love of their bride and no one would ever take it from them. When Azrael sat back on his feet smiling, Shiroi looked up at Samael and he could see the sincerity of her words. Samael ran his fingers back against her cheek. “De kosh sek.”

“De kosh sek, Kaleka Samael.” Shiroi smiled as he pulled her up to kiss her. No less passion than Azrael had given her, but he kept the present surroundings in mind and kept it brief. “Do we have to leave right away?”

“No. Enjoy your visit.” Samael laughed and arranged her neatly in front of him and pulled Azrael to his side. “But I think we’ve made Kage uncomfortable enough for now. So we should save those kisses for home.”

“At least until Aurora is older.” Taranis laughed. He had been covering the babies eyes and distracting her from their intimacies. “Geez. Take care of that stuff in private.”

“It was just kisses.” Bezer laughed.

“At least Kryss and Taranis has some sense of decency.” Kage grinned.

“Thanks Lord Viper.” Taranis smiled.

“You’re just jealous because there’s no one here to hold you.” Samael grinned and pulled Kage over to hug him. Laughter spilled through the room as Kage pushed himself away and tried to hide the redness in his face.

After Kage made a playful threat to end the visit and Kryss made the offer to allow further visits without a chaperone to spare Kage the torture of being social, tensions started to settle. Aside from Kage and Nikolai making efforts to avoid each other, the gathering remained friendly and warm. Kryss had worried for Shiroi, but realized she may have found a happier existence with her strange new Masters. Nat was overwhelmingly happy with the love and care that was being lavished on their daughter. Azazel and Bezer were their usual mischievously cheerful selves and Asura sat close beside Nikolai sketching memories of the day into her notebook while the Master she loved solidified his odd new friendship with Samael. In just a few hours Samael had begun to win over a room filled with creatures he would have intentionally avoided just a short time ago and surprised himself with how much he was enjoying their company. Azrael was fascinated with the baby, but otherwise kept to himself. He was not as accepting of the new friends as Samael, but appreciated the value of the visit. Something about her friends had helped Shiroi realize her feelings, and in Azrael’s mind that made each and everyone of them, even the human girl, worth considering a friend.

“Sleepy?” Kryss nudged Nat as she started to nod off beside him.

“A little.” Nat smiled. “I can just go lay down if you want to keep talking.”

“Don’t be silly.” Samael smiled and got to his feet. “You’ve been a gracious host. We should be gracious guests and leave you to rest and look after your child.”

The other guests followed the lead and excused themselves. As they said their farewells Samael and Azrael held Shiroi proudly between them and at Kage’s request joined him at his office before they returned.

“These will make your new friends easier to reach.” Kage handed each of the Wyrms their own new toy. White phones already filled with any possible contacts they would require. Samael’s with its few buttons in gold, Azrael’s in silver. “Shiroi can help you with them.”

“You could have given these to us before.” Samael grinned. “What is it you wanted?”

“First to thank you.” Kage slid into his chair as he spoke. “It is a relief to see Shiroi this happy, Nexus has been concerned. Second, I wanted to ask Shiroi to at least send word to her Father that she has accepted the two of you.”

“You could tell him.” Shiroi sighed. “I’m not ready to talk to him.”

“Just a message Shiroi.” Kage suggested. “If not for him, to honor your Masters by taking pride in your place with them.”

“Enonsa fiket?” Azrael grinned at Kage.

“Lucifer will likely use those to contact you instead of calling on you naturally.” Kage told them. “He’ll want you to adapt to using the gadgets he enjoys.”

“We’ll expect his call soon.” Samael slid the weighty device into his pocket. “Kabil, Kage.”

“Thank me by taking his offer when he makes it.” Kage shifted to them and embraced Samael suddenly. “I don’t want to choose.”

“Sek wazuni bet talish.” Samael rubbed Kage’s back. “Have we ever fought against you?”

“Uncle.” Shiroi interrupted quietly.

“What is it, Shiroi?” Kage righted himself and straightened his lapels. “I thought you would be as eager to get home as your husbands.”

“I’m sorry for the trouble I’ve caused you.” Shiroi lowered her head. “I know I’ve been disappointing, but I’ve been trying just as hard to make you proud as anyone else. I’m sorry for how I’ve snapped at you, I was angry because I wanted your approval so badly and could never seem to do enough.”

“Are you happy?” Kage rested his hand on her head and waited for her to nod. “Then heed your Master’s and stop worrying about what I think. I have cared for you since you were a child. I only want what is best for you, as do your Mother and your Father. I am proud to see you beside my friends.”

“Thank you, Uncle.” Shiroi held his sleeve until he pulled it away gently.

“VolVol, Kage.” Azrael waved.

“Volkana.” Kage smiled as he turned away from them; once they left he reconsidered an evening behind his desk and went straight to Lucifer for a more rewarding night of service to his Master.

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RO : EIIP : Honoring A Promise Pt.1

“You are beautiful without all of that, Welak Isa.” Samael returned to find her in front of a mirror with makeup she had brought along from her old life. She had not worn any since her arrival and while he loved watching her efforts, he could not see the point of it. He rested his hands on her shoulders and smiled at her in the mirror. “When I kiss you, it’s your lips I want to taste.”

 “I haven’t been out in so long.” Shiroi leaned back against him. “I wanted to look pretty. Its just lipstick.”

 “De danbol kofret se.” Samael sighed and handed her a towel. “Hanseka, endet se.”

 “Okay.” Shiroi sighed as she wiped away the lipstick. “If you don’t like it I wont wear it.”

 “Kabil.” Samael winked at her. “If you are ready, we can go.”

 “Dan bol bolsu.” Azrael reminded her as he sniffed at the tube of lipstick she was holding and sneered. “Sek stabul bishin.”

 “Slow down, Azrael.” Shiroi smiled burned the lipstick in her hand into dust as she tried to remember which words he used. Azrael spoke quickly and she was still trying to learn. “No more lipstick. I promise. Now what was all of that?”

 “He was reminding you to stay close.” Samael turned her to face him. “With one of us, at all times.”

 “I promise.” Shiroi smiled and rested her hands on his hips. “Samael I want you both to trust me.”

 “We would not be taking you if we did not trust you.” Samael slipped his arms loosely around her. “This will be a test of that trust. You will not only be in the company of Kage, but Asura as well. I want you to be polite to both of them.”

 “I will try my best.” Shiroi smiled up at him. She was a little disappointed that the company for her first trip back to Tsuriai was going to be so difficult, but she desperately wanted to prove herself to Samael and Azrael. She wanted them to understand she wasn’t taking her vow lightly, and that she was committed to them. She hadn’t found it in herself to say the words, but she had fallen for them and she wanted to keep them happy.

 “Ready, kosha?” Samael pulled Azrael into their embrace and kissed him as they made the fast shift to Tsumi, arriving in front of the door to Kage’s office that he had left open for them. Samael grinned as he heard the sound of Kage’s frustration with their intimate arrival.

 “Voldrak.” Kage hoped there would be little of these affectionate moments during their stay. He waited for them to come inside and started to give them the summary of his conversation with Eidolon. “I have managed to smooth things over with Eidolon, but he asked that I remind you the wolves are dear to him and that he is only allowing this because I’ve agreed to accompany you.”

 “If I had intended to do any harm I would not have waited for your chat with Eidolon.” Samael laughed. “But don’t worry, Kage. I wont get you into any trouble with the Falcon.”

“De supas, Samael.” Kage sighed. “I’m only reiterating. Azrael, Kryss’ wani saba shiga; shent se shepi ise enbenu?”

 “Hak enbenu.” Azrael smirked. “De shent chaset.”

 “In exchange for our good behavior, I have a small favor I would like to ask of you, Kage.” Samael grinned at him. “I want you to play nice with Nikolai today.”

 “You’ve invited that indulgent Halfling?” Kage sneered. “What have I done to deserve the torture of tolerating his debauchery?”

 “Ke seta dosana vade`tach.” Azrael laughed as he explained it was only a coincidence. “Danbol sefdat.”

 “I’m not whining.” Kage stood and walked over to join them as Kagemusha fluttered to his shoulder. “Shiroi, I don’t want any problems with the half-breed’s daughter.”

 “Welak Isa saba ise selvunik harun.” Azrael defended Shiroi as he stepped close behind her and wrapped his arms around her. “Ha shent chaset.”

“Asura is also a ‘good girl’.” Kage laughed. “But like all girls, they tend to bicker over useless nonsense. I don’t want to deal with it.”

 “It won’t be a problem, Uncle.” Shiroi answered quietly. “I’m going to see Kryss and the baby, not to pick a fight with Asura.”

 “Then let’s get this over with.” Kage sighed.

 “Can we walk, Lord Kage?” Kagemusha was hopeful for a bit of daylight. “I feel like we’ve been locked away for days.”

 “If Azrael will behave around the humans.” Kage nodded. “I could use the air myself.”

 “Then we will walk.” Samael smiled and offered his arm to Shiroi. “Azrael is not a child, Kage. As long as we have been friends…”

 “I was not trying to insult either of you, Samael.” Kage hissed as he led them from the office. “I don’t like most of them any better than he does. It takes enormous self control to not strike them dead when they approach. Tsumi is crowded and despite long years of integration our kind still attract unwanted attention. They two of you will do so far more than I. I was only warning you of that.”

 “De bara keka onsa shiga.” Azrael sighed. As much as he would enjoy ridding Tsuriai of it’s human plague, he knew the power they were asking for would mean dealing with humans and Shiroi liked them enough to protect them. He had to learn to tolerate them as Kage had. “Deseka bret nalat.”

 As they walked Shiroi clung to Samael’s arm and smiled quietly while the others talked. They were steps behind Kage and Azrael as they made their way through Tsumi. After months away Shiroi was just enjoying the sounds and sights of normal life, peering into shop windows and hoping Samael would eventually trust her enough to take her out to join in societies more simple pleasures.

 “Azrael looks miserable.” Shiroi pouted when she noticed him shuffling along with his hands in his pockets and his head lowered.

 “He despises humanity.” Samael told her quietly. “He is making an effort, but this is hard on him.”

 “De faka pasarat, Welak Isa.” Azrael looked back and smiled at her. He had heard her concerns and was glad she cared enough to notice his unease with the situation.

 “Pasarat?” Shiroi looked to Samael for a translation.

 “He is letting you know he is alright.” Samael patted her fingers on his arm. “Are you?”

 “I know you don’t really like it here, but I am enjoying it.” Shiroi admitted. “I like walking with you like this. It feels like were a real couple.”

 “I just don’t like all of their staring and whispering.” Samael told her as he started to laugh. “Though it seems most of their gossip is directed at Kage.”

 “Their fear serves me well.” Kage turned to answer Samael’s jest. “I rarely have the need to speak to them and they know well enough to leave me alone.”

 “Vasun Lucifer must love your unapproachable technique.” Samael laughed. “You make an interesting choice for protecting these creatures.”

 “I do as I’m required.” Kage answered coldly as they reached the door to Eidolon’s building. “Are you certain you want to spend your day here?”

 “Shiroi wants to see her friends.” Samael nodded. “I want to see her happy.”

 Azrael hated being surrounded by so many humans, but seeing Shiroi smile as they walked through Tsumi had him conflicted. He took her arm as they crossed the lobby, which only furthered the whispers that echoed through the large room. He was glad for the privacy and seclusion of the elevator that took them to the apartment they would be visiting.

 “This should be a miserable experience.” Kage muttered as he knocked on the door. They waited a moment and Taranis opened it to greet them. He just grinned at Kage and stood aside. Kage could hear the cubs inside and knew Nikolai had arrived before them. He paused beside Taranis and waited for the others to come inside. “Good morning, Taranis.”

 “Morning, Lord Viper.” Taranis’ tail waged happily behind him and he stepped up to Shiroi. He loved the surprised look on her face because she had to look up to him now. “Not going to say hello?”

 “You’re so tall!” Shiroi smiled. “I’ve missed you Taranis. Where is Levina?”

 “Out with Mom and Dad.” Taranis stepped closer and even though he had been warned not to, hugged Shiroi and rubbed his head gently against hers. “We’ve missed you, too. Come on, you have to see Aurora.”

 “Ke kurishiki’ach har.” Azrael glared after Taranis as he ran inside to announce their arrival.

 “That is how the pack greets one another, Azrael.” Kage explained. “It was not meant to…”

 “Kono, Azrael.” Shiroi turned and hugged him. “I should have told you about it, I had forgotten. Don’t be angry with me.”

 “De faka bol beshaka.” Azrael held her gently. “Ke saba sekni freva.”

 “Shiroi!” Kryss smiled as they wandered in together. He was a little uneasy about having the Wyrms as her escorts, but Eidolon had assured him they were coming as friends and he was glad to see her again. He waved her over excited as he sat beside his bride. “Come here. This is Nat.”

 “It’s good to meet you properly.” Shiroi smiled as she walked over with Azrael and Samael at either side. They let her kneel to greet them both properly and she hugged them both. “Congratulations. Where is the little one?”

 “Asura and Bezer have been monopolizing her.” Kryss laughed.

 “No one wants me to hold my baby.” Nat smiled.

 “She’s just so cute.” Bezer giggled as she held the tiny little demon in her arms. “So tiny.”

 “Go say hello.” Samael kissed Shiroi gently and patted her head. Azrael held Shiroi’s hand as she walked over for her first look and Samael crouched and offered his hand to Kryss. “I apologize. I should have better restrained myself when we first met.”

 “Just be good to Shiroi.” Kryss took his hand. “Make yourself comfortable.”

 “Hello again.” Samael found himself a comfortable spot near Nikolai and grinned. “Come sit with me, Kage.”

 “I’ll stand.” Kage turned away scowling.

 “Har trefasi saba onzo.” Azrael looked at the baby and then the tail of her pack mates. “Ze manta sesa hak trefasi.”

 “What was that?” Nat asked nervously.

 “He is curious why her tail is different.” Samael explained.

 “Because she’s special.” Taranis grinned as he sat close to Bezer and stroked Aurora’s tail. “I think her tail is pretty.”

 “It is.” Asura hugged around Bezer’s neck a moment before she crawled over to Nikolai. “I love all these huge pillows. Azazel and Bezer have them all over their other place. We should get some, Master Nikolai.”

 “We have a smaller place, my pet.” Nikolai smiled and put his free arm around her. Azazel was already comfortable curled up in the other. “I’m sure Azazel will be glad to give you few.”

 “Maybe.” Azazel leaned across Nikolai grinning. “Do I get a kiss for it?”

 “Of course!” Asura meant to give him a quick peck but he grabbed her took a far more passionate payment for the simple favor.

 “Lord Viper.” Kryss sighed. “Please make yourself comfortable.”

 “Bret de kurishiki se?” Azrael was sitting on his feet beside Shiroi with his long tail flicking gently behind him. He leaned over Bezer and Aurora and waited for permission to touch the tiny demon.

 “Can I hold her a minute Bezer?” Shiroi smiled and let Bezer sit the child in her arms. “She’s so beautiful, Kryss. You must both be so happy.”

 “Bret de?” Azrael repeated his request.

 “Carefully, Azrael.” Samael cautioned him.

 “De supas.” Azrael sat close beside Shiroi and gently touched the baby’s face with the back of his finger. Aurora giggled and Azrael smiled. “Se helasabe`ach!”

 “Ha, bol se.” Kage corrected and finally took a seat beside Samael. He avoided speaking to Nikolai and the Halfling seemed content to do the same, but it seemed Asura and Shiroi had adopted similar behavior to deal with each other’s presence and it made the air in the room tense.

 “Isn’t she pretty?” Taranis grinned at Shiroi and her strange silver-haired companion. “What is your name? Are you taking care of Shiroi?”

 “Azrael.” Azrael reluctantly offered his hand to the young demon. “En tek. Deseka vaku ba Shiroi.”

 “Azrael?” Taranis smiled. “I’ll take the rest as a yes since Shiroi looks happy.”

 “His name is so close to yours, Azazel.” Asura tugged a bit of Azazel’s hair.

 “Mine is better.” Azazel grinned. “More cute, less pretentious.”

 “You agreed to behave yourself, my pet.” Nikolai tugged at Azazel’s collar. “You’ll get me into trouble.”

 “Sorry.” Azazel purred and crawled onto Nikolai’s lap and whispered. “I can’t help I’m so cute.”

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RO : Everything In Its Place : Samael & Golod

After spending the day before putting the final touches on the campus for the art school Asura had planned, the Circle of Golod was getting ready for a late visit to welcome Kryss’ daughter Aurora to the world. Bezer managed to finish getting ready and sat on the counter in the crowded little bathroom poking through Asura’s phone for pictures.

 “She’s really cute.” Bezer flipped through the pictures and watched Azazel do his best to distract Asura.

 “I know.” Asura smiled as she attempted to keep her eyeliner straight. “Azazel, you’re going to make me mess up.”

 “You don’t need it anyway.” Azazel purred as he groped her under her shirt and kissed at her neck. “Skip makeup ad play with me.”

 “Azazel, my pet.” Nikolai sighed from the shower as he turned off the water. “Stop misbehaving and get me a towel.”

 “I’m better than a towel.” Azazel shifted into the shower and pounced on Nikolai laughing. “Naked Nikolai hugs! You’re all drippy.”

 “You’re still misbehaving.” Nikolai turned Azazel to the wall and pushed against him. “Do I need to punish you?”

 “Please, do.” Azazel kissed him and pulled him closer.

 “Hey, you two.” Asura opened the shower door and turned on the cold water and winked at them. “We have plans. I’ll punish you both later.”

 “You try to leave me out and I’ll punish you.” Bezer pulled Asura to her.

 “You going to let me tie you up, Bezer?” Asura giggled. “We might have to make this a short visit.”

 “We’ll pick this up later.” Nikolai tugged at Azazel’s collar and smiled at him. Azazel dried the both of them as they stepped out of the shower and Nikolai slipped into his pants before he lifted Bezer and Asura’s faces by their chins and kissed each of them. “Are the two of you ready?”

 “Yep.” Bezer purred and wiped Asura’s gloss from Nikolai’s lip.

 “Expecting one of your new friends?” Azazel growled at the knock on the door. “Want me to tell them we’re busy?”

 “I’ll take care of it.” Nikolai grabbed his shirt from the hanger as he headed out to answer the door. He led Samael inside as he buttoned his shirt. “This is not the best time, Samael. You should call before your visits. We were all just getting ready to leave.”

 “Call?” Samael laughed. “Those ridiculous devices you all carry?”

 “Lord Eidolon doesn’t like them either.” Bezer laughed. “But he still uses it.”

 “I’ll look into it.” Samael grinned. “If you are busy I won’t keep you long. I was about to visit someone myself. Shiroi wants to see the new child in Tsumi.”

 “That’s where we’re going.” Azazel slid a tie under Nikolai’s hair and pulled him down to kiss him before he let it go so Nikolai could finish. Azazel purred as he watched Nikolai. “The phones are fun, Samael. Just get one.”

 “Can I ask you something?” Asura stepped in front of Samael. “Since you want to be friends and all.”

 “Asura, my pet.” Nikolai stroked her hair and kissed the top of her head. “Will you get my jacket?”

 “You don’t need to send her away.” Samael smiled at them. “I assume your question is in regards to our bride. Shiroi has mentioned the two of you have had problems, I don’t want it to interfere with our friendship, so ask.”

 “I just don’t want her messing with my Dad anymore.” Asura clarified further, glad he was already aware of the nature of her concerns. “Either of my Dads. I don’t want you messing with them either.”

 “Shiroi belongs to Azrael and myself.” Samael assured her with a smile. “She will not be messing with anyone and as long as Maefyl respects that, you have my word that we will do nothing to impede his happiness with IsaAnku.”

“Isa What?” Asura looked at him confused. “Is that what you call my Dad?”

 “My apologies.” Samael grinned and offered his hand. “I meant Gabriel. I hope you won’t make a friendship with your Master difficult because of a past I am uninvolved with.”

 “You keep Shiroi from making them miserable and I’ll try and tolerate her when you’re around.” Asura took his hand and smiled when she felt the cool scaly fingers wrap around her own. She lifted his hand to look at it. “You have neat hands. Look Bezer!”

 “What is it you wanted, Samael?” Nikolai asked as Azazel helped him into his jacket. “If you have plans to visit someone else…”

 “I had hoped you would come along.” Samael left his fingers sitting loosely in Asura’s hand as she admired his scales. “My unfortunate first impression with Kryss will make my presence less than appreciated. I had hoped to ease his mind by surrounding him with friends.”

 “We will be there.” Nikolai sighed as he sat and put on his shoes. “I am not close with Kryss, you could have picked a better friend than me for this.”

 “I enjoy your company, Nikolai.” Samael smiled. “I don’t seek benefit beyond that. I should probably warn you that to put Eidolon at ease, Azrael and I will likely have a chaperone.”

 “Sounds like another full house for Kryss.” Bezer hugged Asura. “I told you it would be just as fun the next day.”

 “Kage?” Nikolai muttered. A trip he had been looking forward to had been ruined before they even left home. “Samael, it is a little early to put this kind of strain on our friendship.”

 “Not a strain.” Samael shook his head. “Consider it a test of my promise that I won’t let my friendship with others interfere with my friendship with you. One last thing before I go, please don’t be offended if Azrael doesn’t speak to you. He wont speak Tsuri.”

 “That’s going to make this whole friend thing complicated.” Azazel laughed.

 “See you soon.” Samael vanished.

 “He’s a little odd.” Asura grabbed one of her sketchbooks from beside the couch. “He bothers with a dress shirt and tie, but doesn’t wear shoes.”

 “That’s why you find him odd?” Bezer laughed. “Of all the bizarre things about that guy, and you pick lack of foot wear?”

 “Shoes say a lot about a person.” Asura defended. “He’s robbed me of my tool for judging him.”

 “So, no shoes…” Azazel pondered a moment. “He likes to be naked?”

 “I would really rather not have that image in my head.” Nikolai covered Azazel’s mouth and he pulled him back to him. “Are we all ready?”

 “Let’s go!” Asura latched onto Azazel and Bezer hugged up close behind her.

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RO : EIIP : Vex : Friends & Lovers Pt.2

“Give me snacks.” Frakk smacked Brig in the head with his wing.

“Alright, cupcake.” Brig snickered as he grabbed one of the bags. “Why is everyone hitting me today?”

“Because you deserve it.” Van winked at him and pointed with her lollipop. “Frikk said once the kids grow up they’ll probably go off on their own.”

“Don’t most kids do that?” Shana laughed.

“Demons grow more rapidly.” Raziel explained. “This brood will likely find a place in one of the reserves and propagate the species.”

“Neat.” Brig watched Frakk excitedly tearing off the shiny wrapping paper.

“Mine!” Frakk devoured a little cream filled cake he found in one of the boxes.

“Don’t worry.” Shana giggled. “Frikk has her own bag.”

“Which reminds me I got something neat for Galik.” Brig ran out the door.

“He’s getting presents for Galik now?” Van laughed and looked to Shana for a hint.

“He had to order them special.” Shana giggled. “The guy at the store thought he was crazy.”

“He is kind of nuts.” Van smiled as she sucked on her lollipop and grabbed Frikk bag of presents to open them for her.

“Be right back!” Brig leaned through the door and headed off for Galik’s office with the long wide box. He knocked on Galik’s door and it opened. Galik was moping behind his desk, yanking on his tie as he typed on the computer. “You busy?”

“Just finishing this stupid form.” Galik pouted. “Why?”

“Because I have a present for you.” Brig slid the box on his desk. “For helping me out when Raziel is busy.”

“I don’t mind.” Galik smiled and lifted the lid. He tilted it back and smiled wider when he looked up at Brig. “Are those?”

“Crickets, beetles and grubs dipped in chocolate.” Brig nodded and smiled. Galik started to tear up and ran around the desk to hug Brig. Hey squeezed him until Brig hugged him back. “Demise helped me catch all the gross little things and put them on sticks.”

“I have to show Lord Raziel and Van.” Galik grinned as he grabbed the box and Brig’s arm and headed out of his office. He dragged Brig along with him and smiled all the way to Raziel’s desk. “Look what Brig got me!”

“That’s so sweet.” Van grinned. “You got him bugs.”

“He likes bugs.” Brig laughed. “I figured he would dig this more than a thank you card.”

“So what does Razzy get?” Van teased. “He puts up with you all the time.”

“Still trying to work that out.” Brig admitted. “I like my gifts to be thoughtful.”

“You’re such a girl, Brig.” Van laughed.

“These are good.” Galik munched on a stick of chocolate covered beetles and leaned over the desk to Raziel. “Want some?”

“No. Thank you, Galik.” Raziel shook his head. “And please don’t trouble yourself, Brig. I don’t need gifts.”

“I told you he wouldn’t want anything.” Demise announced from Brig’s shoulder.

“Just give him a big hug next time you kill him!” Van suggested knowing Raziel would probably appreciate that more than anything Brig could put in a box for him.

“I get yelled at when I hug him.” Brig laughed. The few times he had been moved enough to embrace Raziel, it was always met with resistance and scolding. He was amazed he tolerated playing victim, but Brig wasn’t about to push his luck. “I’ll think of something.”

“I’m gonna go mess with books and call Asura.” Shana hugged Brig and smiled. “She’s going to go see the new baby tomorrow. So I’ll get more pictures.”

“See you later.” Brig tugged at her braids and kissed her cheek. Shana ran off and Brig crouched by the desk to watch Frikk nibbling on sugar-covered snacks. “You still mad?”

“I wasn’t mad.” Frikk laughed. “I was asleep and you scared me.”

“Sorry.” Brig pouted. “Snacks make up for it?”

“Definitely.” Frikk smacked his forehead with her wing.

“Damn it.” Brig laughed as he pushed up to his feet. “Everyone is abusing me today. I’m going to go sort through the mess on my desk.”

“Thank you!” Galik called after Brig as he left.

Brig sat behind his desk and sighed at the mess. He wasn’t all that great with organizing things and when Raziel insisted on paper it tended to sit around until it became a nuisance. “Half the shit here is probably already done.”

“Here.” Demise laughed as she sifted through the piles with her magic, burning off the work that had been completed and neatly stacking the others. “What would you do without me?”

“Get buried in paper and go through more clothes?” Brig took her gently in his hand to kiss the side of her face. “You’re the best, doll face.”

“Would you mind company?” Raziel stood in the doorway and waited for an answer.

“Not as long as the company is edible.” Demise laughed as Brig sat her on the desk. She stepped over to the pile of unfinished work and patted the pages. “He has work to do.”

“Thank you.” Raziel walked inside and took a seat in front of Brig’s desk. “Your gift meant a lot to Galik. Beside myself and Van, he has not made many friends. He likes you.”

“I like all of you.” Brig smiled over the desk. “I really didn’t mean to freak out the little ones.”

“Don’t concern yourself over it.” Raziel closed his eyes and listened to Brig move around his desk quietly. From their combined thoughts he knew Brig and Demise had enjoyed toying with his latest victim and the two of them were still wound up over it. Brig leaned over him and clutched his wrists on the arms of the chair. Raziel tried to feed into Brig’s thirst and the frenzy it had him in. He opened his eyes to a quite wicked grin on the vampire’s face. “What are you doing?”

“You picked a bad room to take a nap in.” Brig leaned to bite into Raziel’s neck and the demon pulled from him slightly. Brig laughed and grabbed Raziel’s neck and Raziel grabbed his arm with his free hand. Each struggle was well restrained and intentional and Brig could have almost believed the reactions were human if the eyes in front of him showed any emotion at all. Raziel made every effort to be a convincing victim and Brig just had to avoid looking at his face until the most convincing part of Raziel’s play; his eventual death. Brig pulled Raziel too him by his neck and taunted his victim. “Making me work for it?”

“Let me live…” Raziel clung to the back of Brig’s shirt and wanted to tear it off of him when he felt the fangs pierce his neck. He had wanted him badly enough, but his kind gestures with Galik, Van and his smaller creations made Raziel’s desire almost too much to fight. Instead of playing dead he wanted to turn the tables on Brig and force him to the floor, but he had become an expert in denying himself and he concentrated on being a more convincing victim. He let Brig take more than usual while he feigned struggle, only letting himself fall ‘dead’ in Brig’s arms when he was sure he could control himself.

“That is so much better.” Brig was giddy from the blood but thoughtful enough to sit Raziel back in the chair instead of leaving him on the office floor. He returned to his seat and leaned back in it, adjusting to the blood as the room spun. “I think I took a bit much.”

“I apologize.” Raziel leaned over the desk and brushed his fingers through Brig’s hair. “I was careless with my timing, but now you should be able to give well to Shana.”

“You want that hug?” Brig asked playfully and pushed his hair out of his face as he reached for the neat stack of papers on his desk.

“Have a good evening Brig.” Raziel turned and left the office. If he had allowed Brig his embrace in jest right then he would have taken his kiss and he could not deal with the rejection and pain that would follow, so he returned to his office to tend to his work and clear his head before he retired for the night.

“This one is super shiny.” Van was looking over Frikk’s eggs when Raziel returned. Pointing out each one for their differences. “This one looks like sapphires.”

“Have you finished with your work, Galik?” Raziel asked as he claimed his seat.

“Almost.” Galik sighed and pulled his tie. He had gladly let Brig’s gift interrupt his work, but there was very little left and he might as well get it over with so he could be out of the shirt and tie for the day. “I’ll go finish. Come on Frakk.”

“More candy please.” Frikk reached her hand out to Van.

“Where do you think the new fargoyles will go?” Van flicked the stick of her lollipop across her teeth as she unwrapped another box of sweets for Frikk. “Do you think they will all go to the same place? Can we visit them?”

“Let her rest, Van.” Raziel beckoned her over to him and she skipped around the desk. She leaned over him grinning. “How do you want to spend the evening?”

“Making you smile.” Van grinned. “But I think Galik said he wanted to fight. He gets all fidgety when you make him work in his office. So I’m going to watch eggs with Frikk so you two can play.”

“I will make sure you get plenty of attention, puppet.” Raziel pulled her onto his lap and held her there in one arm as he spun back to his desk to finish his work. As he pulled the computer in front of him, Van cuddled against him and smiled.

“I love you, Razzy.” Van kissed his face as he tapped against the small screen. They both looked up at the door as they heard the knock. “Expecting someone?”

“Not this someone.” Raziel answered and lifted Van to her feet before he willed open the door. “This is rather unexpected, Nexus.”

“I don’t mean to disturb you.” Nexus stood in the doorway nervously. Wondering why she had come. She wasn’t familiar enough with the Keeper to be asking favors, and doing so was likely going to make Kage angry. “I am not sure I should even be here.”

“Who is she again?” Van unwrapped a lollipop and glared at the pretty white haired demoness who had interrupted their moment.

“Nexus.” Raziel stood and ran his fingers under Van’s chin as he walked past her to greet Nexus. “Your jealousy is unnecessary. She is Kage’s bride.”

“I’m not jealous.” Van pouted and leaned on the desk beside Frikk.

“Yes you are.” Frikk giggled. “I don’t even need Lord Raziel’s gift to see that.”

“You already know why I’m here, don’t you?” Nexus sighed as Raziel stopped in front of her. His reputation had always made others nervous and she was no exception. She wondered exactly how deeply he could see inside her and regretted coming to him to beg for answers.

“You want to know what your Lord Kage hides from you.” Raziel nodded. “I’m afraid I can not help you.”

“I only want to know that he will stay.” Nexus stiffened her expression and told herself not to give into her urge to cry. Seeming weak would only serve to offend Kage further if he found out she had come here. “I’ve suffered too much to lose him.”

“Kage hides most of his secrets well.” Raziel explained coldly. “What I do know I can not offer you. I’m aware of your suffering, but it does not sway my decision. The Viper is not a Watcher I will make an enemy of.”

“Can you at least tell me if he still cares for me?” Nexus pleaded with as much grace as the situation would allow. “What good are your secrets if you can’t even give comfort?”

“Razzy has no obligation to comfort you.” Van laughed. “Go ask your husband if he loves you, leave mine alone.”

“Your bride is feisty, Raziel. I like her.” Malice giggled from Nexus’ shoulder before she fluttered toward the desk to see what Frikk was hiding under her wing. “Babies!”

“A bunch of them.” Van smiled. “I can’t wait.”

“My secrets are not meant to be shared for trivial concerns.” Raziel kept his attention on Nexus as he small companion started conversing with Frikk and Van. “Kage has already told you that he has no intention of losing you. Why do you doubt your Master?”

“It isn’t doubt, it’s fear.” Nexus defended her motivations and her respect for Kage. “I am nothing without him. I can’t exist without him.”

“You’re an idiot Nexus.” Malice interrupted. “He told you he isn’t giving you up and you’re questioning it. It is doubt, and it’s insulting. You’re calling Kage a liar. I should tell him myself that you are embarrassing him.”

“You’re fun.” Van grinned as she handed Frikk a piece of her candy and offered Malice a lollipop. “Want one?”

“Why do I keep you around?” Nexus glared at Malice. Her little traitor taking candy from the bright haired bride of the Keeper and laughing at her misery. “Are you ever on my side?”

“Lady Malice is offering you guidance.” Raziel corrected Nexus’ assumptions. “She wishes you to set your doubt aside and embrace the trust you should have in your Master.”

“Exactly.” Malice smiled and licked at her sour green candy on a stick.

“I should have just gone to Maefyl.” Nexus crossed her arms in front of her. “He shares this little trick of yours now, doesn’t he?”

“If you are concerned about your visit here offending the Viper, I advise strongly against going to see my Lord Maefyl.” Raziel offered what little advice he would give. “Kage will be far more offended if you go to him for this.”

“What about Maefyl?” Nexus snapped suddenly. “He suddenly doesn’t care for Shiroi? He made no effort…”

“He was forbidden to make an effort.” Raziel defended his Master’s honor. “Do not speak ill of the one I serve. I will not hesitate to silence you on his behalf.”

“Didn’t Kage already tell you Shiroi is fine where she is?” Malice scolded Nexus for running her mouth again. “You even helped convince her of that.”

“But I haven’t spoken to these Wyrms.” Nexus had given advice blindly based on her love for Kage, but she had no guarantee that those that claimed Shiroi were being kind to her. She had been denied so much time with Shiroi and was fearful everything they had finally built up, the bond they had started to form would be crushed by her new Masters. “I don’t want my children in pain.”

“You are concerned they are thoughtless with her?” Raziel cocked his head slightly. “That they are like your own Master?”

“Shiroi tends to speak when she shouldn’t. A trait I’m afraid she got from me.” Nexus could no longer keep herself composed. She trembled and turned away to shield herself from Raziel’s heartless gaze as her tears fell. “She’ll make them angry. I have grown used to paying for my tongue, but she has more than one Master’s rage to endure… Even Maefyl lost his patience with her.”

“Shiroi isn’t quite as impossible as you are Nexus.” Malice pointed out that Shiroi was not her mother. “She also isn’t your problem. Kage and her Father have given the okay. You are just going to get yourself in trouble.”

“I do not wish to be involved in this.” Raziel returned to Van’s side and put his arm around her as he offered his hand to Malice. “Child of shadows, it would be best if you took your companion home.”

“Sorry she came to bother you.” Malice slipped the stick that remained of her lollipop between his fingers. “If Kage is upset because of the visit…”

“I would not be any more inclined to share her secrets than his.” Raziel cut her off. “Nexus, I suggest you speak with your Master over your concerns.”

“Quit trying to squeeze pity out of Razzy.” Van added. She smiled up at Galik as he returned.

“The Viper’s bride?” Galik walked past Nexus carrying Frakk by his feet and swinging him playfully as he headed for the desk. “Why is she here?”

“Out of concern for her child and doubt of her Master.” Raziel explained bluntly. “She was about to leave.”

“You really are as heartless as everyone believes.” Nexus muttered.

“Bitch.” Van tried to leap at her but Raziel tightened his arm around her and pulled her closer. Van continued her shouting. “Lord Raziel isn’t heartless.”

“No one insults, Lord Raziel.” Galik tossed Frakk into flight and lunged at Nexus.

“Neither of you will attack Kage’s property.” Raziel grabbed Galik and pulled both of his loves away. He held them close as he whispered his insistence that they both wait quietly. “We will discuss this later.”

“Sorry, Razzy.” Van pouted as she stood beside Galik. They both hung their heads and waited in front of the desk as Raziel approached Nexus.

“If you are so concerned about your child that you would upset the things that belong to me and insult not only me but your own Master as well, perhaps you should speak to your daughter.” Raziel suggested coldly as he made it clear he wanted no more of her company. “Pleading with others for answers is only going to ensure you will be under Kage’s lash and leave you without the answers you seek. If you have put me at odds with Kage I will not stop Galik a second time. Do not come to me again.”

“I won’t.” Nexus glared at him. “Now that I know how useless it is. Let’s go, Malice.”

“Yea, yea.” Malice sighed and fluttered in front of their hosts. She bowed her head and rubbed at her dark hair. “Sorry again. Thanks for the candy and good luck with the babies.”

“Leave her at home next time you want to visit.” Van grinned at the fairy and tossed her another lollipop from the stack on the desk. Malice caught it and Nexus left as soon as Malice rejoined her. Van stepped in front of Raziel and took his hands as he turned back to them; she slipped to her knees and hung her head. “Am I in trouble?”

“No.” Raziel squeezed her fingers. “I find her lack of faith in her Master infuriating, just be sure you are never as offensive. When others come to see me…”

“I know. I’m supposed to be quiet.” Van looked up and smiled at him as he pulled her to her feet. “She just made me mad.”

“Jealous.” Frikk corrected her and laughed softly as she shuffled her eggs around and hugged them too her.

“I’m not jealous.” Van pouted. “I just don’t like other girls talking to Raziel.”

“I’m pretty sure that means you are jealous.” Galik laughed and pulled her pigtails. “You let him talk to Shana.”

“That’s different.” Van turned and bounced up into Galik’s arms. “I like Shana. That lady I don’t like.”

“Can we go home?” Galik hugged Van and leaned his head on Raziel’s shoulder. “I finished everything.”

“Yes.” Raziel ran his fingers over the rings on their left ears before he walked to the desk and stroked Frikk’s wing. When she raised it he started collecting her eggs in his hand. “They’re grown since this morning.”

“Good.” Frikk stretched out and flew a lap around the room as he collected the rest of them. “I hope this is quick, it’s boring laying around all day.”

“It’ll be more fun when they all hatch and they are crawling all over the place.” Van squeezed Galik as he took her home and finished her thought as she watched Raziel laid the eggs out in a cushy warm nest that resembled a cat bed and Frikk curled back up around them. Van let her legs dangle in front of Galik as he held her. “What are we getting up to?”

“A long walk and a hot bath.” Galik suggested.

“Not until I’ve had both of you.” Raziel smiled as he stroked Galik’s hair and released Van’s from the pigtails. “You did after all misbehave today, now it’s my turn.”

“You better come up with a better way to punish me, Razzy.” Van bit her lip. “Or I’ll be bad all the time.”

“No you won’t.” Galik laughed and kissed Van. Raziel watched her succumb to his passion and the two of them lowered themselves onto the couch undressing each other.

Raziel was glad for their happiness and loyalty. Neither of them gave him the cause for worry that Nexus and her like caused for their Masters. He stroked Van’s back and kissed her as she drove Galik to euphoric release, knowing he would never have the need to use the extreme measures Kage used to keep his bride in line. They were happy with him, trusted him, they had even accepted his love for two others and would willingly accept them into this family if it were an option. In their every thought they gave him everything and he would never give them a reason for doubt. Their place would always be with him.

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