As soon as Maefyl arrived Lucifer sat aside his journal and smiled warmly. The company was expected and he was genuinely surprised his son had the patience to wait this long, further surprised when the arrival was not accompanied by shouting. Maefyl simply took a seat across from him and quietly finished his cigarette.
“I’ve sent everyone off.” Lucifer leaned forward to grab his tea and gave a soft laugh. “Go on and ask.”
“You didn’t move an entire realm for sake of nostalgia.” Despite the accusation present in his tone Maefyl answered calmly, reminding himself that his temper would only serve to make things difficult. “So what was worth hiding?”
“Protecting.” Lucifer corrected with his usual charm and a mischievous grin. “You make it seem so criminal.”
“You specialize in the criminal.” Sanguine muttered.
“Send her home Maefyl.” Lucifer stood and approached them solemnly. “I will share this only with you.”
“Sany…” Maefyl struggled with the decision. The idea of sending her off was not one he ever enjoyed and rarely even considered unless it was for her own well being.
“I’ll make you a deal.” Sanguine huffed impatiently seeing the impossible situation as a possible opportunity. “I’ll let you wander off on your own if you promise not to get into any trouble…”
“Thank you.” Maefyl whispered his gratitude. He remained as always in complete awe of her ability to see through his pain in any dilemma and do everything in her power to take some of it away.
“I wasn’t finished.” Sanguine stomped her feet angrily on his shoulder before she continued, her tiny voice cracking with emotion. “AND when you are finished here we are going to have our talk. You have been blowing me off long enough.”
“Deal.” Maefyl laughed as Sany tugged at his hair. He was starting to dread this conversation she was so insistent on having, but he imagined he was long over due for a lecture about how he had been ignoring her through all the distractions lately. “It’s a promise, Sany.”
“And you.” Sanguine fluttered up to Lucifer’s face and pouted. “Don’t make him break that promise.”
“He will be back to bother you shortly.” Lucifer smiled and waited for her hesitant departure.
“Satisfied?” Maefyl snapped at Lucifer and kicked over the neatly set table. The heartbreak evident in Sanguine’s goodbye was enough to make him lose control of the temper he’d been keeping well in check until now. “Now just spill it.”
“Come along then.” Lucifer righted the table with magic as he led Maefyl from the room. A few silent descents through the labyrinth and he opened the way into Eden; only then did he start to explain. “I want you to understand before I show you this that it has been for the good of everyone that I have kept this secret. I am entrusting it to you in hopes that you will embrace that fact.”
“I rarely agree with your idea of what is best for everyone.” Maefyl scoffed. “And your secrets have a tendency to cause an awful lot of trouble.”
“Then consider this.” Lucifer stopped over the great seal in a newly restored courtyard and faced his doubting son. “What I will show you could destroy everything.”
“Why is it never easy with you, Lucy?” Maefyl sighed. “Just once I would like to be wrong about you and…”
“That would be terribly boring.” Lucifer laughed and the seal beneath his feet glowed in a myriad of brilliant shades, pulsing brightly and growing in intensity until the light seemed to envelop them only to deposit them seconds later in darkness. “I should have probably warned you to close your eyes a moment.”
“Fuck you.” Maefyl took a moment to let his eyes adjust but it was not just the shock of the light that needed to be adjusted to. The cavern they had moved into had an atmosphere so tremendously powerful it could have crushed mortals to dust. He could taste the magic in every breath, giving a further sense of dread to the ominous setting. The cavern was like a jagged black wound in Eden, carved deep into its core and hidden away like a secret shame. The only light emanated from a strange moss covering the slick black walls, the pale greenish hue making the enormous cavern seem nearly sickly. “It reeks of magic in here.”
“This way.” Lucifer pressed onward. “The magic here is both necessary and inevitable. There are few that could even walk this hall without my protection.”
“It’s like standing in the chaos.” Maefyl noted as he walked. Speaking the fact aloud as much to keep the conversation open as to keep himself centered. The magic here clung to him and he was focusing on every detail that could help him keep control of the different flows of energy pouring into him. “How did no one notice this right under their feet?”
“The magic conceals itself.” Lucifer touched a wall in front of him and the cavern seemed to shift. “Some things seem to understand they should not be found.”
“Could you skip the theatrics?” Maefyl forced himself to grin as the air grew thicker and his head throbbed like he was hearing a million thoughts, but there were no voices here. Maefyl followed Lucifer down another twisting vein of the cavern he was certain hadn’t been there before.
“There is just one more thing you should know.” Lucifer paused suddenly.
“What is that?” Maefyl sighed impatiently.
“That I love you.” Lucifer didn’t wait for a response. The slight flush of his sons face was reward enough as he passed and touched the wall behind him. As he pressed his fingers to it the wall vanished and opened into a chamber he lovingly referred to as the Vault. He entered and beckoned Maefyl to follow. “Voldrakena Maefyl.”
“What the fuck…” Maefyl’s head was spinning. Inside the chamber were several crystal like cells held at floor in ceiling in black stone. Each of them glistening with the same dense dew that covered every surface of the room, magic so thick in the air it had condensed. The cavern was wet with it. He had only been inside for a moment and already felt it collecting on his skin, but the atmosphere so like the sea of chaos was far less disturbing the crystal cells that he stepped towards. Inside in a liquid like suspension which he could only imagine to be a more potent concoction of the magic assaulting him now were stunning creatures. As he moved closer to inspect the multi-winged mysteries he noticed the slightest hint of movement, of breathing and gasped in horror. “They are alive?”
“Of course.” Lucifer turned and stroked one of the tanks.
“What are they?” Maefyl tried to ignore his father’s grin and looked up at one of the sleeping giants. Partially concealed by their own wings folded around them, but visible enough to see that each of them was perfection. Nearly eight feet at the tallest and each with two sets of wings, save for one who had been blessed with the third set. Long, slender limbs and tails complimented each of their uniquely detailed complexions and Maefyl quickly began to realize as he admired their divinity that he knew each and every one of the seven peacefully sleeping secrets. He looked at his father sadly. “What have you done?”
“I did as you asked and showed you what was worth protecting.” Lucifer grinned at him and leaned against the tank the held his own double before he ran his fingers over a series of claw marks that marred the otherwise perfect view. “I wasn’t quite finished though. Should I continue?”
“I should kill you where you stand.” Maefyl glared at him.
“But you wont.” Lucifer tapped on the cell and the sleeping creature opened its wings enough to reveal another of it’s kind held tightly in its arms. “This one was a bit of a surprise. A pleasant one. But a surprise none the less.”
Maefyl looked up at the cell, the inside had been badly clawed but whatever tension had caused the attempts to escape seemed to be, for the moment at least, put at ease. In the arms of Lucifer’s divine double was a younger sleeping giant who bared a remarkable resemblance to him.
“No.” Maefyl stumbled backwards and slipped on the wet floor landing on his back. He stayed there staring at the ceiling and denying to himself what he had seen until Lucifer came to stand over him shaking his head. “I want answers.”
“And I’ll give them to you.” Lucifer chuckled. “But do be more careful. If you injure yourself in here, Sanguine will surely blame me.”
“What are they?” Maefyl closed his eyes and tried to forget that part of him might be floating a few feet away.
“Secrets.” Lucifer laughed. “And if want more than that out of me I need to know this is staying between us.”
“I don’t keep anything from Gabriel.” Maefyl sat up and sneered at his father.
“You will keep this.” Lucifer kicked him across the face. Maefyl hit the far wall of the cavern hard and was starting to get to his feet in a defensive manner but Lucifer ended the bravery with a swift approach and a knee to his gut leaving him again on the floor. “Or I will have to break my promise to Sanguine. Now, I’m going to trust you and send you home to Gabby. Once you’ve had time to cool off we can discuss this further.”
“That thing…” Maefyl used the slick wall to steady himself as he got to his feet. He was aching but the blows were not meant to hurt him only to make a point and Maefyl was far more focused on this room of secrets than the pain of suffering his father’s discipline. He managed to keep the tears burning his eyes from falling as he passed the sleeping creature that bore the face of his beloved and strode up to the clawed cell once more. “Lucy, is that thing…”
“You?” Lucifer squeezed Maefyl’s shoulder and rested his hand on the smooth wet surface in front of them. As he did the creature inside retracted its wings and kneeled in the tank in front of them, bringing its child into better view. As Maefyl started to weep the divinity touched the glass in front of him and Lucifer smiled. “A part of you. As much as that is a part of me. I want you to rest. We can discuss this anytime you wish. I will not lie to you, but you can not share this. Not yet.”
“I hate you.” Maefyl pulled himself to Lucifer’s chest as he slid to the ground in tears.
“I love you as well.” Lucifer held his son in an embrace of comfort and gave a nod to the god that looked on wanting to do the same. “More than I will ever be able to explain.”