A few centuries later Golod was one of the most peaceful cities in Tsuriai. It’s people thriving and it’s Circle more accepted then most. Bezer and Azazel took active roles in educating the youngest of Golod’s citizens about demons and gifts Lucifer gave when he established Tsuriai. Nikolai was a far more silent leader, but had still managed to win over the hearts of Golod’s residents and had finally grown used to everyone knowing his name.
Bezer and Azazel had been out most of the morning, one of many visits to local schools where Azazel had the most adoring of his fans. Nikolai entered the great hall with his thirst sated on one of the few criminals Golod could offer and noticed a pile of small packages at the foot of one of the grand staircases. When he bent to grab them he smiled, one for each of them, wrapped in plain paper and offering only a hand written ‘M’ in the corner to indicate who they had come from.
“How long has it been this time?” Nikolai said as he gathered them up adding them to the packages he already carried. The friendship between them had grown, but Nikolai was still amazed at how long they would go without speaking, without any word from each other at all and then suddenly spend hours talking as if they were together every day.
“About twenty years?” Blondie smiled. “You think we should visit?”
“Not today.” Nikolai climbed the stairs and started to laugh softly, remembering his dread the first time he made the short journey to his office. “Today is special.”
“Special how?” Blondie asked as she tugged at the strings of this tiny box Maefyl had left for her.
“Four hundred years special.” Azazel explained as he returned and walked along the balcony rail. He hopped off and helped Nikolai with the other boxes and followed him into his office. “What’s all this?”
“Presents?” Bezer asked as she noticed her name scrawled on one of them. She grabbed it and started to grin. She always liked it when Maefyl sent gifts from Osore, because they were always filled with snacks. She sat on the floor and tore open the package.
“Four hundred years?” Blondie asked as she managed to free her own gift from its prison of string and paper. An enormous chocolate covered strawberry sat inside the box and the lid was covered with scribbling from Sanguine vouching for the deliciousness of the snack and the fact that there were more hiding in Bezer’s presents. “Yay!”
“Since the day I was fortunate enough to meet Bezer and Azazel.” Nikolai explained and watched the fairy attack her gift.
“Are we going to celebrate?” Bezer ate a hand full of thin cookie sticks coated with something that tasted a bit like tea while she looked through the strange packages of her other gifts. “He sends the weirdest things.”
“Yes.” Nikolai slid another box in front of her, one from himself. “Once you are through with sticky fingers.”
“Open yours.” Bezer tugged Azazel’s tail. “Yours are always funny.”
“Not really.” Azazel tore the paper and rolled his eyes at Maefyl’s ongoing attempt to get under his skin. Another stack of comics prominently featuring effeminate male characters with a fondness for their own gender. He sat them beside Nikolai on the desk. “He is such a jerk sometimes.”
“You know you don’t have to keep them.” Nikolai slid his arm around Azazel as the demon hugged him. He looked down at the cover on top of the pile and couldn’t help but laugh at the image of the cat like appearance of one of the characters. “He has gotten more creative.”
“I’ll read them.” Azazel admitted quietly. He had read them, every one of the hundreds that now lined several shelves of the bedroom at his estate. There were even a few he had insisted Nikolai read. He actually enjoyed the gifts for the most part; it was the fact he felt like Maefyl was mocking him that ruined it. “Are we going out?”
“Yes, my pet.” Nikolai handed a large box to Azazel as he leaned to kiss him. He watched as they opened their gifts and they each looked up at him with wide smiles.
“I love it!” Bezer was in her new outfit in seconds and spinning to show it off. Simple, strapless and elegant black, layered beneath to her knees with reds, oranges and white to compliment her hair and tail of which the dress had been perfectly designed to accommodate, Simple black heels tied with orange ribbon at her ankle completed the ensemble. She hugged Nikolai excitedly. “So pretty!”
“I had Raven help.” Nikolai admitted and watched Azazel try to hide the flush to his cheeks as he straightened the cuffs of his sleeves. The white lined black jacket of his suit, complimenting the deep orange shirt, collarless of course so it would not interfere with the one he always wore. When he looked up with wide gold eyes glazing over Nikolai beckoned him closer. “What is it?”
“You still think it was fortunate?” Azazel smiled as he cocked his head. “I mean, meeting us?”
“Of course.” Nikolai smiled as he grabbed them both tightly and they giggled as he lifted and spun them before setting them on their feet. “As impossible as you both are, I don’t ever want to spend a day without you.”
“You will never have to.” Bezer smiled and grabbed another box of treats from her care package from Maefyl.
“Hey!” Azazel complained as Nikolai changed into a simple traditional suit. “Why no fancy stuff for you?”
“Because I’m showing the two of you off.” Nikolai tied back his hair in a pair of ribbons, white and orange to compliment them. “Unless of course you would like me to find something from back then.”
“No, no. This is good.” Azazel laughed as he recalled the depressing gothic attire, but the memory brought less amusing thoughts with it. Thoughts that seemed to spread through the room as he hung his head and thought of Svetlana. “You sure you want to go out?”
“Yes.” Nikolai let Bezer take his arm and put his other arm around Azazel. The look that passed between them said everything it needed to, and when Azazel finally smiled again Nikolai teased him. “Now cheer up or I cancel playtime.”
“Yikes.” Bezer giggled as her brother blushed. She pulled them both toward the door eager to spend the rest of the day celebrating. “Shopping, dinner and dancing first! Coming, Blondie?”
“Can I?” The fairy asked Nikolai. She assumed the nature of their celebration would exclude her from joining in. “I don’t want to ruin your plans.”
“You are part of the life I have with them.” Nikolai looked to his shoulder. “I would be upset if you didn’t join us.”
“His love for them is truly astounding.” Raven watched beside her Lord and Master smiling. “As is his appreciation for them. He sends his thanks for all you have done.”
“I did very little.” Lucifer grinned as he held Lilith beside him.
“Nikolai earned their love on his own.” Lilith nodded her agreement. “And has more than earned this happiness.”
“I only wanted to convey his thanks.” Raven bowed and left as she spoke her last thoughts on it. “He treasures every moment with them.”
“He was one of my better decisions.” Lucifer laughed. “He inspires a bit of faith in the race.”
“Which race would that be?” Lilith asked as she smiled at Lucifer expecting no answer on the subject.
“He is a bit of a chimera, isn’t he?” Lucifer’s grin as he returned home with his Lilith was confirmation that he was inclined to leave his motives a mystery. “Now then, my love. What shall I get up to today?”