Category Archives: Vex

Vex : Dreamscape : Lord Maefyl ~Fin~

“They were so cute.” Asura flopped on the couch between Maefyl and Gabriel. She giggled as they both hugged her between them.

“Human kids are more fun.” Azazel yawned. “They stay little longer.”

“I’ll bet you were adorable, Master Nikolai.” Bezer knocked him to the floor as she tackled him.

“Careful, my pet.” Nikolai pulled her onto his lap as he sat up. “We are not at home, it’s bad enough you keep breaking our tables.”

“Where are my books, asshole?” Azazel tossed a pillow at Maefyl. “I want presents.”

“Azazel.” Nikolai pulled Azazel by his collar to scold him. “Be polite. I apologize, Maefyl. He has been a bit wound up lately.”

“There’s a stack of them in Asura’s room, pussy cat.” Maefyl stuck the pillow behind his head and laid back on it as he watched Azazel run down the hall. “Snacks in the kitchen, Bezer.”

“Yay!” Bezer jumped to her feet. “Come on, Blondie.”

“Get the door on your way back, Azazel.” Asura laughed when she heard the knock. She giggled when she watched him wander past with a stack in one arm as he held one in front of him and let the pages flip down in front of him on his way to the door.

“What are you doing here?” Azazel glared around his comic at the irritatingly calm face that stood at the door.

“Fuck.” Maefyl sighed when he realized why the presence was a familiar one. “Let him in Azazel.”

“Whatever.” Azazel turned and walked back to Nikolai with his magazines and left Raziel to close the door on his own.

“You said a week, Lord Maefyl.” Raziel bowed his head as he stood beside the couch.

“I didn’t mean to the minute.” Maefyl sighed. “I just meant to give me some time.”

“Forgive my intrusion then.” Raziel turned away as everyone just listened quietly to the exchange. “I will leave you to your family.”

“It’s fine, just sit and don’t make this weird.” Maefyl lit a cigarette and hoped Raziel had some idea of how to socialize without making everyone uncomfortable. “I assume you have at least met everyone.”

“We were all at Brig’s wedding, but we didn’t really talk or anything.” Asura leaned close to Gabriel and whispered what everyone was thinking. “Did he say Lord?”

“He did.” Gabriel knew the others had heard and hoped they would be kind enough to let it go. “I will explain later.”

“I thought you didn’t want anyone calling you that?” Bezer pouted. “You yelled at me for it.”

“I don’t.” Maefyl tapped his fingers on his knee as he smoked and cursed himself for not being clearer with Raziel. “This situation is a little more complicated than you wanting to be respectful, Bezer.”

Raziel had taken a place at the far end of the couch and just sat quietly and waited. Maefyl made every effort to ignore his presence and continue with his gathering but the others would keep throwing disapproving and uncomfortable glances in his direction.

“Must you look through these here, my pet?” Nikolai laughed as Azazel sat one of his books open in Nikolai’s lap and clung to his arm swaying his tail.

“He is such a pervert.” Sanguine giggled and kissed Maefyl’s nose and before she flew over to the table to share Bezer’s snacks. “And you encourage him.”

“You don’t talk much.” Asura crawled over Gabriel lap and kneeled on the couch facing Raziel. “You should have brought those neat little fargoyles.”

“They are with Van and Galik.” Raziel explained. “I will bring them to see you another time if your father allows it.”

“Pass.” Azazel growled at Raziel. “We don’t need you or that freak of yours in Golod.”

“Must you insult, my Galik?” Raziel’s expression showed no sign of the irritation he felt.

“What is your problem with him anyway?” Asura turned to Azazel pouting.

“Raziel lets his little freak fuck and massacre things in the front garden.” Bezer answered for him. “Screams and blood splatter tend to ruin a nice walk.”

“Especially when the freak flicks blood at you and threatens to make your sister his next art project.” Azazel added. “That thing is hideous.”

“I believe you taunted him first.” Raziel explained with calm even voice. “Did you not?”

“Hmph.” Bezer sneered and looked away. “I only pointed out that he had to torture those poor girls because it was the only way he could every make them scream.”

“Are the two of you so innocent?” Raziel asked. “How many humans have you shared and murdered?”

“Enough.” Nikolai screamed and drew daggers into his hands as he stood. “You will not insult my cubs in my presence.”

“Master Nikolai, please don’t.” Bezer hugged him. “Raziel is a Watcher.”

“He’s not worth it anyway.” Azazel insisted. “Just ignore him, Master Nikolai.”

“Didn’t you just yell at Bezer for misbehaving in someone else’s house?” Asura giggled as Gabriel pulled her back across his lap and sat her between himself and Maefyl.

“Raziel, learn to deal with the pussy cats or this isn’t going to work.” Maefyl said finally. “I don’t care what Galik used to do, I don’t care what they used to do. I do care about everyone here. If you have any respect for me, figure out how to get along with them.”

“I will, Lord Maefyl.” Raziel replied and looked to the cubs settling their Master. “I apologize for what I said and for Galik’s behavior in the past.”

“Good enough.” Azazel smirked at him and rubbed Nikolai’s back. “I don’t care what he thinks anyway.”

“Fine, my pets.” Nikolai wrapped an arm around Azazel and stroked Bezer’s face. “As long as this nonsense is not mentioned again.”

“It wont be.” Maefyl sighed and pushed himself off the couch. He patted Asura’s head and leaned to kiss Gabriel before he headed for the door. “I’ll be back in a while. I’ll be in my office having a chat with Raziel.”

Breakseal

 

“Do me a favor and call first from now on.” Maefyl sighed as he slumped into his chair and Sanguine fluttered to the desk.

“Yes, my Lord.” Raziel answered calmly.

“Can you just call me by my name?” Maefyl leaned forward and knocked his head against the desk. “I can not begin to tell you how much I hate this Lord shit.”

“If it makes you more comfortable.” Raziel laid his hand on the desk. “What I call you doesn’t make much of a difference, and it is not my intent to offend you.”

“Good.” Maefyl looked up at him. “You don’t need to check in with me like this either. Honestly, I don’t expect anything out of this.”

“We had limited time before.” Raziel explained his intentions. “I wanted to share more with you.”

“I’m not sure I’m comfortable jumping back into your head just yet.” Maefyl smirked at his blank expression. “Though I have to admit it’s easier to talk to you there. Fucking smile once in a while.”

“You said you had questions.” Raziel admired Maefyl’s honesty and his complete lack of interest in taking advantage of the situation. “I would be easier to show you, but I will just answer what I can.”

“You said you wanted the same favor for Van that he gave Asura.” Maefyl gestured to a chair for Raziel to sit and he did. “You didn’t just mean his blood. What did that sadistic fuck do to my daughter?”

“Not just for Van.” Raziel looked around the office trying to make sense of the disorder. “I want it for Brig and Shana as well.”

“Want what?” Maefyl pressed impatiently for an answer.

“The blood he gave her was infused with not only chaos manipulated to give her strength but the untainted essence of a Watcher.” Raziel could see Maefyl’s shock and tried to better explain. “Watchers have more than their soul to define them, each of us flows with more than blood. When the first will to exist stirred in the chaos it would have been useless without the essence that let it live.”

“I know we come from chaos.” Maefyl sighed. “But I have know idea what you are talking about. What did her give her?”

“Nothing that will harm her.” Raziel assured his Master. “It was meant to protect her and I promise you there is nothing more pure. His actions may have been arrogant but the gift he gave…”

“He shouldn’t be using my daughter for his fucked up experiments.” Maefyl stood kicking his chair behind him.

“He is the only one who manages to harness what occurs naturally in the rest of us.” Raziel continued calmly unaffected by the tantrum. “The souls of the Watchers formed around these seeds of creation. They are a part of us. Lucifer alone seems to be able to take hold of them and use them as he pleases.”

“What the fuck is he?” Maefyl turned and punched the wall. “And how do you know all of this?”

“Each of our skills are unique, though you and I seem to share similar skills.” Raziel offered his hand. “You have a gift for reading thoughts, and your skill at entering dreams and memories is not only remarkable but only beginning to bloom. We all have some ability to speak to each others minds, but you have something stronger.”

“Fine we’ll do this your way.” Maefyl took his hand and before he could even begin to enter on his own Raziel pulled him into his mind, into the dreamscape with its hidden doors and secrets.

“Are my skills why you chose me over Gabriel?” Maefyl looked at Raziel and tore away his hand. “He would be better at this.”

“I did not even consider him.” Raziel smiled. “I apologize for insisting, but Lucifer watches you very closely.”

“You were saying…” Maefyl insisted he continue his explanation.

“Lucifer can not help but focus on his victories, constantly congratulating himself for his own brilliance.” Raziel explained. “It makes him vulnerable to my skills. At least it used to. His skill at hiding even his most vocal of thoughts has improved.”

“No wonder no one seems to like you.” Maefyl looked around the strange world a second time and it was no less fantastic. “People are entitled to privacy in their own thoughts.”

“I can not help what I am.” Raziel pointed out. “While it has not won many friendships, it has prevented wars and worse. The things I know give leverage. I’ve given loyalty to no one before you because the knowledge is dangerous; I have on occasion given small truths when they served all sides well and protected existence. It has been peace I’ve kept.”

“He didn’t just want what was left of Iehovah destroyed.” Maefyl sighed.

“No.” Raziel smiled. “I know things about Lucifer that he wants no one else to know. He wanted the control over his own secrets. To better answer an earlier query, had I given my loyalty to Gabriel, Lucifer would have destroyed me without hesitation.”

“And what exactly doesn’t he want Gabriel to know?” Maefyl asked. “As far as I know they’ve been friends since the chaos spit them out.”

“They have been.” Raziel nodded. “But as much as they love one another, Gabriel adores you more than anything. Lucifer doesn’t want Gabriel to know what he truly is and what you are.”

“Raziel, Lucifer told me and Gabriel what he does. What he’s capable of.” Maefyl sighed. “And I know he’s my father. We moved on.”

“Forgive me, my Lord. “Raziel laughed. “But, you know nothing.”

“Stop.” Maefyl put a finger to Raziel’s lips. “If that’s true, then I prefer to stay blissfully ignorant. Whatever it is, I’m not ready for it. I’m happy and I plan on staying that way. Let Lucifer keep his secret, you keep his secret. I don’t want the burden of carrying it.”

“As you wish.” Raziel nodded.

“What I do want to know is if Asura is safe.” Maefyl turned and looked over the endless landscape.

“She is.” Raziel stepped beside him. “Not only did you free her soul from oblivion, he has given her a secondary soul, the essence of Watcher. As she grows stronger she will make it her own and not only will her body be immortal, her soul will be as well. There are very few capable of scattering and absorbing the claimed soul of a Watcher.”

“Seems odd, since I know more than a few of you are gone.” Maefyl scoffed.

“Every one of them was destroyed by a very select few.” Raziel replied. “Lucifer, Kage, Eidolon, Samael, Azrael, myself and your Gabriel. The first of us.”

“You said no one else could destroy a claimed soul.” Maefyl asked. “What did he give Asura?”

“As I mentioned before Lucifer is the only one capable of manipulating them.” Raziel told him. “The one he gave her was pure, untainted and will be her own. Most Watchers have hundreds of these pure souls within them. Some thousands. The Six have billions upon billions. Lucifer has control of an infinite influx.”

“That’s enough.” Maefyl glared at Raziel. “I asked about Asura. I don’t want to know about anything else right now. For fuck sake, does no one have happy secrets?”

“Of course they do.” Raziel nodded. “Kage and your father seem to share a happy secret.”

“How the fuck do you know about that?” Maefyl scowled at him. “I would think if they know what you are capable of, they would keep that buried better.”

“I didn’t need their thoughts. There are other ways to gain knowledge.” Raziel laughed. “Kage made the mistake of visiting me too soon after he took to Lucifer’s bed. Of course this is not the first time he has enjoyed Lucifer’s favor.”

“I know.” Maefyl hung his head. “Better than I should. I don’t understand why he would…”

“Kage has always loved Lucifer.” Raziel told him. “He hates that he does, but there is no fighting an emotion so powerful.”

“I don’t know how you deal with all this shit in your head.” Maefyl sighed. “As long as Asura is okay, I want to get back…”

“Of course.” Raziel let go of Maefyl’s hand and broke their connection as he stood. “I assume I’m not welcome at your gathering. I will take my leave.”

“I never said you weren’t welcome.” Maefyl smiled at Sanguine who had kept a vigil over them. “Did I, Sany?”

“No.” Sanguine giggled. “Is it all cobwebs and creaky floors in there?”

“Be nice.” Maefyl laughed. “Raziel, if you insist on this weird relationship…”

“You want to be my friend?” Raziel answered blankly.

“If you can manage to stay out of my head.” Maefyl nodded. “Let Gabriel be the one to finish my sentences.”

“I will not pry.” Raziel told him. “Unfortunately I hear focused thoughts like voices. I can only promise to keep them to myself and not to make any effort to go beyond what comes on it’s own.”

“It’s a start.” Maefyl shrugged and lifted Sanguine to his shoulder. “That respect extends to my wife, my daughter, Sanguine and Gory. I doubt Gabriel is a problem.”

“He is not.” Raziel confirmed that Gabriel’s mind was beyond his reach. “I will do as you ask.”

“And you’re welcome to join me.” Maefyl offered. Raziel may claim to trust him, but barely knew him. Whether friendship was possible or not remained to be seen, but he had to start somewhere. “Tell Galik not to bite and you can call for him and Van.”

“I would be honored, my Lord.” Raziel pulled Maefyl inside and behind him when the office door opened and he saw Lucifer standing behind it.

“Not necessary.” Maefyl grabbed Raziel’s shoulder and pushed him out of the office and past Lucifer. Maefyl waved at Lucifer and pulled Raziel by his jacket down the hall. He opened Gabriel’s office and pushed Raziel inside. “Door on the left. Now. Behave yourself, invite your friends and I’ll be there in a minute.”

Breakseal

 

“So what has your pet told you?” Lucifer grinned at Maefyl’s charming evasion as Maefyl let Gabriel’s door close.

“Did you know he reads minds?” Maefyl leaned on the door and teased him. “Crazy shit, Dad. Would have rather had a dog though.”

“Cute.” Lucifer scowled at him as he approached and sat on the balcony railing across from him. “Should I be concerned?”

“No.” Maefyl smiled at him. “You should be thankful that I’m taking this shit as well as I am and unless you plan on visiting, make it quick.”

“Then tell me what Raziel decided to share with you.” Lucifer grinned.

“Not much.” Maefyl lit a cigarette and blew the smoke at Lucifer. “I told him to keep it to himself. I don’t want to know. You wanted your secrets kept and they are. Leave him alone, stop fucking with my family or I might get curious.”

“Don’t threaten me.” Lucifer spread his wings behind him as he clutched the railing. “I could end the both of you.”

“But you don’t want to.” Maefyl smiled. “And to be perfectly honest I don’t really want to know what has you so pissed off this time. I am going to try and make a friend of Raziel, but that’s all I really care to do. If I have questions for you, I’ll ask you. Just stop fucking with me. Please.”

“Stalemate then?” Lucifer grinned.

“No.” Maefyl screamed at him. “Damn it, Lucy. I don’t want to fight with you any more. The only games I want to play with you involve cards and my old consoles. I miss the way things used to be. What the fuck happened to us?”

“Go make friends.” Lucifer hopped off the railing and pulled Maefyl into his arms to embrace him. “Have tea ready for your mother and I tomorrow evening.”

“I will.” Maefyl held him a moment before he let Gabriel’s door open behind him and ducked inside. He waved and smiled weakly as Lucifer disappeared from sight and the door shut leaving Maefyl to stare at the black surface. He pushed it open angrily and wandered back to his office door and laid his hand across his name carved into it.

“What are you doing?” Sanguine asked.

“Concentrating.” Maefyl snapped at her and closed his eyes until the door caved under his will.

“You’re old name?” Sanguine whispered. “Why?”

Maefyl Necuratu Anubin

“Because it’s time to own up to who I am.” Maefyl tapped the letters before he shifted into the apartment. He sat beside Gabriel and grabbed the tablet off of the table. Maefyl swiped across the screen until he opened his own information, He smirked at Lucifer’s efficiency and slid it into Gabriel’s hands.

“You’ve decided to use your name again?” Gabriel looked at the screen as they spoke quietly. The room was crowded and filled with music and laughter enough to hide most of what they said to one another. Raziel had brought his companions to add to the visitors from Golod. Bezer had turned up the music and Gory and Blondie were sharing snacks with Frikk and Frakk. Gabriel was confused as to why all of a sudden Maefyl had made the decision to use the name he had hidden from. “Why?

“Yea.” Maefyl sighed. He had used the doors magic to confirm a truth he already knew. He gave it his will. His given name, his father’s name, and the name of the one he loved. He had always assumed the name was either Lilith’s or Iehovah’s. He had changed and shortened it to try and hide who he was, but none of them used their second names anyway and his crest gave him away. He assumed no one knew the name was Lucifer’s. Somehow Maefyl just knew it to be true. Lucifer had given the name to Lilith who had passed it on to Maefyl. “I think I may have been insulting my father by not using it.”

Breakseal

 

“Clever boy.” Lucifer chuckled as he slid his fingers over the screen and sat the computer aside. “Now lets see if you can live up to it.”

 

~And these lives will continue…

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Vex : Dreamscape : Weatherby-Brig

“Hey, wake up.” Brig kissed Shana’s forehead and sat beside her on the bed poking through the messages on his phone. He laughed as she rubbed at her face and rolled toward him. “Morning, doll face.”

“Morning.” Shana pulled herself up into his lap. “Is it weird that I sleep better now that I don’t need to?”

“I prefer to think I just wear you out.” Brig kissed her. “Hungry?”

“Yep.” Shana bit into his neck, knowing he only offered because he snuck out early to feed before she woke up. She was getting used to the constant need for blood, and he was making every effort to make it easy on her. He still didn’t want to talk about his time captive and Shana had decided it might be for the best.

“Van has been blowing up my phone.” Brig sighed as he rubbed at his neck. “Go get ready so I can go see what they want.”

“You could have gone and checked in.” Shana laughed as she slid off the bed.

“I would, but they are asking for both of us.” Brig smiled. “I swear they like you better.”

“I can’t help that you’re a jerk and I’m likeable.” Shana teased him as she grabbed her clothes and headed for the bathroom. “I’ll be quick.”

“You guys are so cute.” Demise made sure Brig’s hair was perfect as she landed on his head. “Still like it blue?”

“Yea.” Brig laughed. “I would change to red, but I think Shana might pick on me.”

“Probably.” Demise laughed. “So what do you think they want?”

“No idea.” Brig sighed and reached for his cigarettes. “Van is excited about something. She doesn’t shut up when she’s excited. All Raziel said was to bring Shana when I come in.”

“It’s nice you all get along at least.” Demise tugged at one of the shorter pieces of Brig’s hair. “Kage was always mean to Kurayami, he treated him like a slave. And Eidolon and Kage were still fighting over an old grudge so Eidolon took it out on Kurayami because he hung around with Kage. The only one that was nice to him was a friend of Eidolon’s.”

“That Nikolai guy?” Brig asked. “He seems okay. Little weird but nice.”

“The baby bat is a nice guy.” Demise smiled. “They had a weird start but Kurayami always liked him.”

“I know you miss him, doll face.” Brig flicked the ash from his cigarette and tilted his head so she fell into his palm. “We might not live up to what you had, but we both like you. I love having you here. I know you have some problems with Maefyl, but I like him, too.”

“I know.” Demise sighed. “I like it here too. I’m trying to forgive him. I know what Kurayami did was awful.”

“I don’t need to know.” Brig smiled. “We all make mistakes. It’s cute that Shana calls me a jerk now but for a while I really was being one. I got a second chance, and I’m sorry that your friend didn’t. But you still deserve a chance to be happy. I hope it’s with us.”

“I hope so, too.” Demise hugged his fingers. “You think maybe you can make friends with baby bat? I kind of miss him.”

“I can try.” Brig rubbed her side with his finger. “I don’t know that he likes me all that much, but you can always visit him.”

“No way.” Demise announced proudly. “I go where you go. You’ll just have to win Nikolai over.”

“Deal, doll face.” Brig grabbed another cigarette and laid back on the bed to wait for Shana. “We’ll make friends with your baby bat.”

Breakseal

“So is there a dictionary in one of these piles of books?” Brig crushed the last of his cigarette in the ashtray when Shana finally wandered back into the bedroom.

“Why?” Shana finished buttoning her blouse with a puzzled look.

“Because I’m pretty sure you need clarity on the definition of quick.” Brig laughed as he stood and slid his phone away. He wandered over and hugged her as she straightened herself out in the mirror. “Did you use my cologne?”

“Yes.” Shana stuck her tongue out at him in the mirror. “I figure because you’re so clingy I end up smelling like you any way, I might as well get a head start.”

“Clingy? I’m not clingy, doll face.” Brig picked her up and spun her toward the door. “I’m lovable.”

“Yea, you kind of are.” Shana smiled as they bounced down the old wooden steps together and she stopped in the living room to play a few bars on her piano before Brig dragged her out giggling about how she was going to get him in trouble for being late.

“It’s foggy.” Demise complained as she fluttered her wings to knock the moisture from them.

“Welcome to Vex.” Brig laughed. “It will clear up, doll face. No worries.”

“So, no idea what the big deal is?” Shana swung Brig’s hand as they walked. She never thought she could enjoy something so simple as holding hands but theirs seemed to fit so perfectly, like they were meant to be together.

“Nope.” Brig shook his head and noticed Van and Galik waiting outside. He was about to wave when he noticed they weren’t in the courtyard of the Circle building but one belonging to a new building that now sat beside it. A matching structure, with the same white columns and marbled courtyard only this one was lined with raised gardens and centered with an enormous and elaborate fountain. As they sped their pace to investigate Van waved excitedly and told them to hurry closer and Galik smiled like a child with a secret he could not wait to tell.

When they were close enough to read the lettering perched above the entrance through the fog Brig stopped in his tracks and squeezed Shana’s hand as she started to cry.

“I told you the liked you better.” Brig giggled. “Your name is first.”

Shana looked at the building with happy tears blurring the fog veiled entrance of the surprise Van was so excited about.

~ Weatherby-Brig Library~

“I feel like I’m dreaming.” Shana whispered.

“I thought Shana may prefer running this as opposed to running errands.” Raziel appeared behind them and nudged them both forward with his fingertips. “As most of this area is unclaimed and unused, I thought it would make more sense to retain it and repurpose it for the use of all of Vex rather than repopulate it. The only person with any claim to the local land seems to be you Brig.”

“Yea, I own a few blocks around my place.” Brig nodded. “I just never did anything with it.”

“I will see to it that it and your home are properly restored.” Raziel explained as they stopped at the edge of the fountain. “The rest of the area will be repurposed. Van has suggested a park.”

The fountain was an impressive structure on it’s own and seemed to be carved for one flawless piece of dark stone, save for the intricately carved white dove that sat at the top of it, it’s overly long tail feathers wrapping around the spire and spilling water below. In the doves mouth a branch that for Brig conjured up memories of old bible stories about peace, but the branch this dove held did not belong to an olive tree. It was distinctly evergreen. Brig’s eyes were as filled with tears when he saw the letters carved into the dark stone beneath the flow of the fountains peaceful waters.

~Juniper Brig~

“I never told you about my sister.” Brig wiped his face and he noticed a small plaque at the edge of the fountain. A promise from the Circle.

No child will suffer in Vex.

“You didn’t need to.” Raziel explained. “I hope it is a fitting memorial.”

“It’s perfect.” Brig smiled. “All of it is perfect.”

“Can I go in?” Shana hugged Brig and smiled hopefully at Raziel.

“Of course.” Raziel gestured ahead with his arm. “Lessers will be supplied to keep it maintained, but it is yours to run as you see fit. Spend as much or as little time as you wish with it.”

Shana gasped as they entered and began to wander through the stacks inhaling deeply and smiling. Brig watched her happily running her fingers over the spines of the books as he followed her with Raziel.

“I don’t know why you did all this, but thank you.” Brig wanted to hug Raziel but shoved his hands in his pockets to respect the Watcher’s wishes. “She loves this.”

“It’s a gift to both of you.” Raziel was tempted to mention Brig’s thoughts and allow the embrace, but it was for the best that things remain as they were. “And an apology.”

“Apology for what?” Brig smirked. Raziel may have been awkward to talk to but since he met the Watcher he had done nothing but look out for him, and for Shana. “You haven’t done anything wrong.”

“I failed to protect you both well enough.” Raziel admitted his failure but his remorse was hidden with the cold even tone of his voice. “It will not be a mistake I make again.”

“This is amazing!” Shana skipped back to them and hugged Raziel, he just patted her back and stepped away. Shana smiled nervously and tried to apologize for the familiarity. “Oops. I’m sorry, Lord Raziel. I’m just overwhelmed with all of this. I don’t even know what to say.”

“This is pretty awesome, Razzy.” Van had been dragging Galik through the aisles in search of a book she insisted Galik would enjoy but soon realized she did not have the navigational skill necessary to find her way around a library. “Hey Shana, where do I find the Kama Sutra?”

“Pervert.” Brig laughed.

“There are several editions in my library at home.” Raziel explained there was no need for further searching. There was no need to search for any book in this library as there were as many and more in his own collection.

“We have a library?” Van giggled. “How did I miss that?”

“How could you miss that?” Shana shook her head laughing. “It was gorgeous! I could spend hours in there.”

“I’m guessing because there’s no naughtiness allowed in the library.” Frikk giggled as she crawled up Galik’s leg. And tugged on Frakk’s tail.

“Well that’s just boring.” Van giggled and Galik pulled her close whispering the things he was going to do to her in the library when he got home.

“Do not ruin my books, Galik.” Raziel warned when he heard the lurid promises.

“You think maybe I can visit again and spend some time in your library?” Shana asked Raziel. “You must have a phenomenal collection.”

“Of course.” Raziel gave a quick nod. “Though many are in languages I doubt will do you any good.”

“How about you spend a little time in this library first, doll face.” Brig laughed. He loved how excited she was over her books, but he was not so thrilled with the idea of another visit to Hell so soon. “I’m sure there are a few in here you haven’t read.”

“And maybe a few that you have?” Shana teased. “I can check the grade school section.”

“Ha ha.” Brig sighed. “You know I’m not an idiot, right? I managed my way through a few universities when I got bored.”

“A few?” Shana grinned. “How many is a few?”

“I don’t know, five? Maybe six?” Brig shrugged. “I just go and get a degree under some random name once in a while when I get bored.”

“You are so strange, Brig.” Shana laughed and hugged him. “And full of surprises.”

“I will leave the two of you to enjoy this.” Raziel turned and Galik and Van fell instep behind him. “Brig, you do have a few duties to attend to. Don’t leave them for too long.”

“I’ll be right over.” Brig promised he would put in the effort as he hugged Shana back tightly. As Raziel left, the lessers he promised would maintain the library appeared and went straight to work. Thin, dark skinned creatures with harsh features but not entirely unpleasant looking. Each of them well, but modestly dressed as they quietly went about their tasks. Brig and Shana watched a few moments as a few went about patrolling the aisles looking for misplaced tomes, others clamored up the shelves with feather dusters, while a few of the more presentable creatures took their place behind counters to serve the public of Vex when the time came to do so. Brig kissed Shana’s cheeks and smiled at her. “I should get to work, you going to be okay alone with the creepies?”

“They all look pretty safe.” Shana giggled. Lessers had been a part of Tsuriai from the beginning and there was no one that hadn’t had to deal with them in some capacity or another. This was nothing new to her, it was almost a comfort to have so many around because their duty on Tsuriai above all else was to serve and protect humanity. “I’m just going to wander around a bit. I doubt there will be any guests on an unannounced first day.”

“I’ll be right next door if you need me.” Brig tugged at one of her braids and kissed her gently. “If you get bored, come and save me. I love you, ShaSha.”

“Love you.” Shana smiled at him and watched him wander off before she skipped through the aisles like she had stumbled onto some wondrous new land.

Brig made his way through the courtyard, stopping to smile up at the fountain a moment before he headed over to the Circle building and went inside. He was sure the library was likely protected like the Circle building was so he had little to worry about, he could get some work down and Shana would be safe in her sea of books. He had intended to go straight to his office and check his messages but ended up pacing in front of Raziel’s office trying to decide how he should thank him for everything the Watcher had done. How to even talk to him without feeling like a complete fool. Even though they had settled on a path of friendship; Raziel’s demeanor, or lack of one, was intimidating.

“If you wish to speak to me you can come inside.” Raziel stood by the door that Brig had not even noticed opening. Brig stepped inside quietly and sighed when the door closed behind him. Raziel tried to ease Brig’s troubled mind. “I am not all the frightening, and I’ve told you before you have no reason to fear me.”

“Thank you.” Brig hugged Raziel tightly when he started to walk by.

“I have asked you not to do this.” Raziel protested the embrace but folded his arms warmly around the vampire for a moment before he thought better of it and let his arms fall at his sides and continued to scold Brig. “You don’t need to thank me for anything.”

“Sorry.” Brig was shocked that Raziel had indulged him for even a moment, but the awkward end to the embrace left Brig feeling embarrassed. He backed up a few steps and shoved his hands in his pockets. “I know you don’t like the hugging.”

“Was there anything else?” Raziel walked to his desk and sat behind it.

“I have a question if it’s not too personal.” Brig sat in one of the chairs in front of the desk. “It probably isn’t any of my business but I was wondering about this shit with Maefyl.”

“You want to ask how I ended up giving him my loyalty?” Raziel was as blank a page as ever and he could hear Brig’s frustration at not being able to ascertain whether or not he had crossed any lines he shouldn’t have. “Lucifer has wanted my loyalty for a long time. Maefyl was a safer alternative. It affects nothing in Vex. You have no need to be concerned.”

“I was more concerned about you than Vex.” Brig frowned at him. “But it’s more curiosity than concern. Is this loyalty like mine to you, or like Van’s to you?”

“Like yours. A promise.” Raziel was surprised Brig had been so candid in admitting his concern. “His claim is not one of intimacy, I am his servant, not his property.”

“I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t anything weird that was going to hurt Van or Galik.” Brig was still confused by the subtle differences between loyalties, but relieved that there were differences at all. “I don’t want our happy family falling apart.”

“It will not.” Raziel assured him without a trace of emotion but Brig had already figured out in their short time together that Raziel was not one to waste words. As Brig relaxed in his seat Raziel started to answer his messages.

Brig took the sudden quiet and Raziel’s diligent typing as a hint that he should get to work, he pushed himself from the chair and headed for the door.

“Do you regret agreeing to this work?” Raziel asked as Brig reached the door.

“No.” Brig had been through some traumatic moments since he took Lucifer’s hand, but he had come through it all. He came though it with new friends and strengthened old friendships. He had the companionship of a fairy that thought he was decent enough to spend her time with. And he was deeply in love and married. What was there to regret? “Not at all. How about you?”

“No regrets.” Raziel let the door open for Brig and went back to his work before he was tempted to say anything he would regret. He had given up much to keep the secret guarded, he could not risk destroying all he loved on a chance he knew to be pointless. “Good day, Brig.”

“Good day, Lord Raziel.” Brig left and walked down the balcony to his office to get things finished for the day.

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Vex : Dreamscape : Perspective (18+)

“They are very cute.” Lilith smiled as she sat across Lucifer’s lap at his desk.

“Yes, my love.” Lucifer smiled at her a moment before he scribbled in his journal.

“They will be well loved in Tsumi.” Lilith kissed his neck. “Eidolon and his brides already adore them.”

“Yes, my love.” Lucifer continued dragging his quill across the page.

“Are you ignoring me, my Lord?” Lilith pouted at him playfully.

“No, my Love.” Lucifer set the quill in his journal and wrapped his arms around her. “But you do not want to hear what I have to say right now.”

“Try me.” Lilith kissed his forehead.

“If you are willing I will give you another child.” Lucifer kissed up her neck. “Maybe I will do something right this time.”

“I said never again and I meant it.” Lilith pushed him back into his chair. “We already have children, are they not enough for you?”

“They are.” Lucifer pulled her close again. “It was an offer, not a request.”

“And what were you writing about so feverishly?” Lilith rested her fingers on his journal and he flipped it closed on her fingers making her smile.

“My aggravation with your son and his wretched new pet.” Lucifer told her. “I am trying to give myself a good reason not to strangle the two of them.”

“I would think you would count this as a win.” Lilith smiled. “Maefyl did as you asked and offered to supply you with Raziel’s secrets. You have the Keepers obedience in Vex, and the son that loves you now owns the rest of his loyalty.”

“Which are points I was trying to convince myself of, my love.” Lucifer grinned at her. “It still doesn’t change the fact your son managed to snatch away what my cleverness should have left firmly in my hands.”

Our son.” Lilith corrected. “You can’t deny him each time he makes you angry.”

“Yes, my love.” Lucifer sighed and handed his journal to her. “I never deny him. You are free to see for yourself.”

“I don’t need to see.” Lilith slid the book back on the desk. “I believe you and I trust you to be rational about this. Maefyl did not ask for Raziel’s loyalty.”

“No, but he has it.” Lucifer pointed out the larger problem. “And with it his secrets, including I imagine some of my own.”

“I doubt that Maefyl is all that interested in Raziel’s secrets.” Lilith laughed. “He will probably go out of his way to avoid any involvement with him.”

“My dear, sweet Lilith you are so blind when it comes to Maefyl.” Lucifer ran his fingers over her lips. “Knowledge is power and power is tempting.”

“My dear, sweet Lucifer.” Lilith teased. “Power is power and you have all of it.”

“Your confidence in me is intoxicating.” Lucifer slid his fingers under her skirt and two of them into her. “As is your eagerness to please me.”

“My Lord, I thought you had plans this evening.” Lilith flushed as he kissed her shoulders and continued to tease her with his fingers.

“They can wait.” Lucifer lifted her onto the desk as she started to moan. “You clearly don’t want to, but you’ll have to ask me nicely.”

“Take me, my Lord.” Lilith arched herself off the desk and bit his ear as she wrapped her arms around his neck.

“That isn’t very nice.” Lucifer whispered as crawled onto her grabbing the black bandages of her feathery skirt and tearing it from her. “If you are going to be a bad girl I’m going to have to punish you.”

“Now that sounds like fun.” Lilith teased and started to back away. As he crawled further over her she shifted away and redressed herself in a short pleated, dark plaid skirt and a black jacket bearing his crest in red. Her hair was pulled up into a high ponytail with loose sections that framed her face as she slid on a pair of glasses and smiled. “Should I bother with shoes?”

“It won’t matter once I catch you.” Lucifer shrugged and leapt off the desk as she started to back away. When she turned to run he shifted in front of her and he held her tightly. “Maybe you should have gone with sneakers.”

“Maybe I wanted you to catch me quickly.” Lilith teased.

“What am I ever going to do with you?” Lucifer stepped back and lifted her chin with his fingertips as he lifted her skirt with the yardstick he was suddenly clutching. He shook his head and smiled when he noticed she had covered her treasure under more than the skirt. “It isn’t nice to make me work so hard. Take them off.”

“But professor.” Lilith teased as she posed seductively and ran a finger over her bottom lip. “I’m a good girl.”

“I’ll have to add lying to the list of things to punish you for.” Lucifer grinned as he pulled up a chair and sat. He pointed the yardstick at her. “Now take them off and come closer.”

Several Circle meetings were cancelled over the next few days, and Lucifer’s ghosts were present at a few others as he and Lilith played little games with one another, stopping briefly for tea and picnics in the gardens before returning to further intimacies. Some rough, some tender, some playful, but all of them satisfying until he decided to give her time to recover and they took a walk through some of the more beautiful parts of hell.

“My love, Maefyl may not have a lust for power.” Lucifer once again voiced his concern. “He may not care for secrets. It’s not really Maefyl that has me concerned at all. Raziel may tell him certain things on his own, and it may put me at odds with the boy again. There are just some things he won’t understand.”

“Have faith in him.” Lilith hung on his arm lovingly. “And in yourself. He has overcome so much and you have always been able to make him understand. The two of you are so stubborn, but you both love each other. Unless something actually happens, will you stop dwelling on it? I hate seeing you so worried.”

“I will try.” Lucifer kissed her hand. Lilith was right, Raziel swearing himself to Maefyl was in most aspects a win, regardless of how well Raziel thought he might have dodged him. Now Lucifer’s biggest concerns were how vocal Raziel was going to be and how Maefyl would react to certain secrets. “If I start to worry again I will let you distract me. In the meantime we have some visiting to do.”

“Where to?” Lilith smiled.

“To see our children.” Lucifer smiled back at her before he kissed her and took her to Osore.

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Vex : Dreamscape : The Pack

“This is so exciting!” Karla bounced on the cushions beside Eidolon. “I can’t wait to see them!”

“Nyaa!” Kaneko purred beside Eidolon. “Kittens would be cuter.”

“Pacing will not speed things along, Kryss.” Eidolon smiled at him. “Please sit.”

“I can’t help it.” Kryss laughed and ran to the door when he heard the knob turning. When Ansel opened the door he held a tiny demon in each arm. “Ansel they are beautiful!”

“A boy and a girl.” Ansel rubbed his face against Kryss’s. “I couldn’t be happier.”

“How are you feeling?” Kryss lifted Luka to carefully carry her in to see her guests.

“Wonderful.” Luka hugged him. “I can walk Kryss.”

“You need to rest.” Kryss laid her on the cushions beside Ansel and kneeled in front of Ansel to play with the children, letting them grab his hands and gnaw at his fingers. “So what are we calling these little darlings?”

“Taranis and Levina.” Luka smiled at her pups as they chewed on Kryss’s fingers. Each of them with the same striking blue eyes that each of the wolves had. Each of them had white ears and tails tipped in grey. The boys had black bands on his ankles and the girl had them on her wrists.

“Can I hold them?” Karla inched over on her knees.

“Be patient Karla.” Eidolon laughed. “I think Kryss may want to hold them first.”

“They are so cute.” Karla inched closer to Kryss so she could touch them, but looked to Ansel and Luka for permission.

“Go ahead.” Luka leaned against Ansel smiling. “They aren’t so fragile they can’t be touched.”

“They have cute little claws.” Karla took one of each of their feet in her hands gently. “I love them.”

“Congrats.” Kaneko smiled as she crawled over and kneeled behind Karla to look at them and they were smiling. She melted. “They are both really cute.”

“Careful Kaneko.” Eidolon smiled as he stood behind his loves and rested his hands on their heads. “You’ll make Kryss hug you.”

“Nyaa! Maybe just this once.” Kaneko giggled. Kaneko leapt over and hugged his back. “But don’t drool on Kaneko.”

“You’ve got it, Mistress.” Kryss leaned his head against hers as she purred. “Sorry if they don’t live up to feline standards, but I think they are perfect.”

“They are.” Kaneko purred and reached over Kryss’s shoulder to touch the boy’s soft ears. “Can Kaneko be their aunt?”

“I suppose that means you will not be the only proud Uncle, Kryss.” Eidolon smiled and sat close beside Ansel.

“An honor I would be glad to share with you, Lord Falcon.” Kryss close to the adoring father and put his hands around one of the pups. “Is it okay?”

“Of course.” Ansel grinned and let Kryss lift Taranis into his arms and the boy smiled at him. “He loves you already.”

“And I love him.” Kryss cradled the baby in his arm. Taranis gripped his finger and his thumb and tugged at his hand. The blanket slipped open as Taranis kicked around happily. Taranis had two perfect bands of black around each ankle that matched the ones on his sister’s wrist. Kryss smiled as he imagined they would cause the same bands of black in their perfect white coats. Kryss’s eyes glossed with happy tears.

“Would you like to hold Levina, Mistress?” Ansel offered when Luka pointed out the Karla’s eagerness to be involved. “She wiggles a bit.”

“All babies wiggle.” Karla smiled and held out her arms. “She’s so pretty.”

“Thank you, Mistress.” Luka smiled. “They wont be small long, but I would love your help with them.”

“I get to be an aunt too?” Karla smiled and rocked Levina. “Thank you Luka.”

Eidolon knew the pups would be dear to Kaneko and Karla. As they could have never have their own children, they would lavish affection on the wolf packs newest members.

“Kaneko needs to send pictures to Snowflake.” Kaneko took a bunch of pictures with her phone. “She’ll think they are cute, too.”

“Snowflake?” Kryss asked. “You mean Shiroi?”

“Yea.” Kaneko nuzzled up against Karla and took a picture of them both with Levina. Then she turned the camera on Kryss. “Smile pretty.”

“Can you send them to Asura, too?” Karla giggled. “She likes twins.”

“These two are going to be very spoiled.” Eidolon smiled. “Of course they will be grown before I ever get to hold them.”

“I’m sorry, Lord Falcon.” Kryss wagged his tail as he leaned over Eidolon and let him take Taranis into his arms. Kryss was surprised with how comfortable Eidolon was with a child in his arm. “I didn’t know you liked children.”

“I’ve never given them much thought.” Eidolon rubbed the boys soft ears and smiled as Taranis giggled. “I like these two and Asura was always charming.”

“They seem to like you, too.” Eternity smiled from his shoulder at the baby demon that giggled and cooed at him.

“You would be a remarkable father, my Lord.” Ansel smiled proudly when he saw his son in his Master’s arms. He pulled Luka close knowing her pride swelled as his did.

“I suppose I do like children, but I prefer being an Uncle.” Eidolon laughed. “I’m not as patient as everyone seems to think.”

“Nonsense.” Lucifer arrived suddenly and leaned over Eidolon to poke at the tiny demon in his arms. “You are more patient then most. Their names?”

“The boy is Taranis, the girl Levina.” Luka told him as she lifted herself to her knees beside Ansel. “We’re honored you came to see them, Lord Lucifer.”

“We wouldn’t miss such an occasion.” Lilith smiled.

“Thunder and Lightning? I like it.” Lucifer stepped over to Karla and lifted the girl from her arms. “They are both lovely. My congratulations to the pack.”

“You like babies?” Karla pouted because he ended her time with the baby girl.

“Of course.” Lucifer chuckled as Levina pulled at his hair. “How could I not like something this precious?”

“Was Kaneko this cute?” Kaneko bounced beside him on her toes with her tail swaying behind her.

“Positively adorable.” Lucifer cradled Levina in one arm and rested his hand on Kaneko’s face. “And you still are.”

“Nyaa!” Kaneko purred and bounced over to hug Lilith.

“I think she like’s you, my Lord.” Lilith smiled as she watched the girl giggling in his arms.

“Because she knows I will see to it she is well protected.” Lucifer crouched in front of Luka to return the child to its mother. “I sincerely hope she is less trouble than my daughter.”

“Thank you, my Lord.” Luka held her daughter to her.

“Such treasures.” Lilith was already fawning over the boy in Eidolon’s arm and a tear ran down her cheek that Eidolon brushed away the moment he saw it. “May I?”

“Of course.” Eidolon let her take the boy in her arms knowing the part of Lilith that was a mother was fondly recalling her own child in her arms. “I should not be keeping him to myself.”

“You can hold Kaneko instead.” Kaneko bounced over to her Master and fell into his lap. Karla followed and sat beside him and Eidolon wrapped an arm around each of them.

“Did it hurt Luka?” Karla asked. While they waited she heard none of the sounds she expected of labor.

“No, Mistress.” Luka smiled at the undue concern. “We do not suffer as humans do. It is exhausting, but not painful.”

“Will they change like you do?” Karla continued excitedly.

“Of course.” Ansel answered happily. Karla’s interest and enthusiasm was infectious. “In a few weeks they will be all over the place and you can come and help Luka keep track of them. I need to get to work with Kryss.”

“You don’t need to leave them so soon.” Kryss assured Ansel he could spend as much time as possible with his children. “I can take care of things as long as you need me to.”

“He’s been at my side for months.” Luka teased. “I could use the break.”

“She’s so mean to me.” Ansel laughed. “I need to get used to the city anyway, Kryss. I want to be familiar with the place we’re raising the children.”

“Asura wants to know when she can see the babies.” Karla checked the message on her phone smiling. “She says they are adorable.”

“Nikolai will wait to bring her until Maefyl and Gabriel decide to visit.”  Eidolon pulled his brides to him as he stood. “And we should follow his example and give the family time to enjoy the little ones on their own.”

“Boo.” Karla pouted. “I didn’t get to hold Taranis, yet.”

“We should be going as well.” Lucifer nudged Lilith until she stood and handed Taranis over to Karla.

“Yay.” Karla smiled.

“We’ll be back to spoil them.” Lilith smiled and took Lucifer’s arm and they left as always without a goodbye.

“Once they are grown and trained they will serve you as we do, Lord Falcon.” Kryss rolled back onto the cushions. “We wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“Kryss, don’t concern yourself with this now.” Eidolon smiled. “They are children, let them grow and decided for themselves.”

“They will be part of your wolf pack, Lord Falcon.” Ansel smiled.

“Thank you, my Lord.” When the pups were finally back in the arms of their parents, Kryss walked Eidolon and his brides to the door. “For inviting us back into your life and giving the pups a part in it. We could not be happier.”

“I’m glad to have you back.” Eidolon pet Kryss’s ears and pulled him into his embrace. “I’m the one who should thank all of you. I never should have left you for so long, I feel fortunate to still have your complete loyalty.”

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Vex : Loyalty : His Master & His Servants (18+ near the end)

“Shit.” Maefyl opened his eyes and Raziel fell forward with blood spilling from his nose and through his lips. He pulled the Watcher into his lap and started to force magic though his fingers to undo whatever damage he had done.

“That wont be necessary, Lord Maefyl.” Raziel sat up and wiped his face. “It is already healing.”

“Is it finished?” Lucifer demanded an answer coldly as he held Lilith in his lap.

“It’s taken care of.” Maefyl nodded. “You going to relax now?”

“Enjoy your new pet, Maefyl.” Lucifer sneered. “All of you, out.”

“Gabriel, go to Vex with him.” Maefyl lit a cigarette and kissed Gabriel’s cheek when he started to protest. “I’ll be there in a minute.”

“What is it you want?” Lucifer stared at Maefyl as he approached. “I said to get out.”

“I need to know you are done with this shit.” Maefyl leaned over his parents so they both paid attention. “I did what you asked. I’ve been doing everything you ask. I didn’t want this.”

“I know.” Lucifer grinned up at him. “I did not attack you.”

“I’m not attacking you either, I’m asking you to back off.” Maefyl pleaded. “Brig and Shana are good kids. Raziel has done good for Vex.”

“I let him live.” Lucifer shrugged. “I’ll support him in Vex, beyond that he is no longer my problem. You are his Master. You take responsibility for him.”

“A little help would be nice, Mother.” Maefyl sighed.

“Compromise.” Lilith suggested.

“Play nice and when you need something from Raziel I’ll work on it.” Maefyl kissed Lilith’s forehead and waited for Lucifer to give him any sign of acceptance. He smiled at him. “Would it help if I said please?”

“It might.” Lucifer pulled Maefyl down to hug him. “Give me a few days, I may even forgive you for ruining my fun.”

“Thank you.” Maefyl pushed away from the throne and took a long drag of his cigarette as he left the hall and joined Gabriel and Raziel in the courtyard of Vex. “You could have gone in, you didn’t need to wait.”

“He insisted.” Gabriel wrapped his arms around Maefyl and hoped whatever he had stayed behind for was settled.

“Let’s clear this up now.” Maefyl leaned back against Gabriel and looked at Raziel, once again a blank emotionless face with still black eyes that made Maefyl’s skin crawl. “I’m not cut out for this. You can put whatever title makes you comfortable on it. I am just going to respect what you’ve done for the city and for my friends, and hope to count you among them at some point.”

“Do not insult me by disregarding the loyalty I’ve given you.” Raziel explained. “I will not make a burden of myself. I have a previous obligations to Vex that will keep me occupied, but I am at your command.”

“I’m not disregarding it.” Maefyl closed his eyes and tried to think of a way to explain himself. He understood the gravity of a Watcher giving his loyalty to anyone. Lucifer had the respect of most of them, the loyalty of most by now. But it was hard won and it was not something Maefyl took lightly. “I just don’t plan on abusing it.”

“Which is why I chose you over your… over Lucifer.” Raziel replied cautiously correcting himself. “My secrets are yours. My only request is that private memories remain my own.”

“Don’t worry, I don’t need or want any insight on your personal life.” Maefyl laughed. “I have questions, but they can all wait for now. I’m assuming you already have my number?”

“I do. We will have much to discuss.” Raziel turned and headed for the building. “If you have a moment to join me, Lord Maefyl.”

“This is so weird.” Sanguine giggled as they followed Raziel inside.

“Lord Raziel.” Galik ran to the door to embrace him but stopped when he realized there were guests. Frakk crawled up to his shoulder and sat there. “I’m glad you’re back.

“You had us worried, Razzy.” Van cuddled beside Galik with Frikk wrapped around her legs. She was so miserable because she wanted to hold Raziel too. “Why is he so shitty to you?”

“It should no longer be a problem.” Raziel took Galik’s ear in one hand and wiped Van’s damp cheeks with the other. “Do not cry, puppet.”

“You two okay?” Maefyl walked past the reunion at the door and crouched down in front of Brig and Shana as they sat against the front of Raziel’s desk holding each other. Brig nodded and put his finger against his lips to hush Maefyl because Shana had fallen asleep holding him.

“I just stayed long enough to make sure he was okay.” Brig answered softly. “Please tell me all this shit is not normal. I can’t take this all the time.”

“It is not normal, most of it anyway.” Maefyl smiled. “You’ll all be fine if you keep sticking together the way you have been.”

“So what happened?” Demise was concerned by something hidden in Maefyl’s expression. While he looked relieved there was something else there that weighed on him heavily. “It is over isn’t it?”

“Vex is in the clear.” Maefyl winked at her. “Are you going to stick around here?”

“Yep.” Demise smiled at him. “They need me.”

“That we do, doll face.” Brig grinned. “She did have a pretty valid question though.”

“Yea. What was so important?” Van was not about to ask the more specific questions that had her worried until they were home alone. She flicked the stick of her lollipop across her frown. “Why did they get to stay and we couldn’t?”

“I sent you here to protect you from harm.” Raziel stepped past them toward his desk. As sure as Raziel was of the decision he made, he knew Galik would be troubled by it. “I was fortunate that they remained. It is thanks to them that I will no longer have to deal with Lucifer’s insufferable pestering over my loyalty.”

“How?” Galik laughed nervously. Lucifer had been after Raziel’s secret for as long as Galik could remember. He could not imagine what would possibly put an end to it.

“You’re all being loud.” Shana interrupted as she sat up and smiled. She was glad they were being loud, glad to see they were all back in one piece. “I’m hungry.”

“And that is a good excuse for us to bail before it gets weird.” Brig hugged Shana to him as he stood. “You don’t mind do you, Lord Raziel?”

“Not at all.” Raziel was just as eager to finish explaining and retire to his estate for the night. “Before you go, you should be aware of this as well. I will have no one in Vex showing disrespect to my Lord.”

“This isn’t a big deal, Raziel.” Maefyl sighed.

“Him!” Galik shouted and glared at Maefyl. “Lord Raziel, Why?”

“So is he like your boss?” Van stepped in front of Galik and pulled his arms around her before she looked over to Raziel. “What about Lucifer?”

“Lucifer is still to be obeyed in matters concerning Vex.” Raziel was glad to see Van take the initiative to calm Galik, and impressed that Galik had managed to keep his temper so calm to begin with. “But I serve Lord Maefyl in all else.”

“You are being suspiciously quiet about this.” Maefyl whispered to Gabriel. “What gives?”

“What exactly would you like me to say?” Gabriel took Maefyl’s hand. “I don’t disapprove and I know you don’t want praise for the honor. As long as there is nothing beyond proper service, I have no complaints and no part in this.”

“There is a matter of what I should call you.” Raziel cocked his head slightly when he heard there quiet exchange. “You are wedded to my Lord, but mistress seems inappropriate.”

“I’m sure Shiroi is going to love that.” Sanguine rolled her eyes. “Something else to swell her head.”

“Be nice, Sany.” Maefyl laughed because it was likely true and because Gabriel nervously tightened his fingers around his hand. Gabriel was about as fond of titles as Maefyl.

“Gabriel will be just fine.” Gabriel insisted. “You serve Maefyl, not me.”

“If I’m dealing with this so are you.” Maefyl smiled at him. “Gabriel has more than earned the title, Raziel.”

“As you wish, Lord Maefyl.” Raziel nodded. “If it is not too much of an insult, I would like to cut this visit short. Perhaps we can discuss things further tomorrow.”

“How about a week?” Maefyl wanted more time to figure out this new role. He was uncomfortable with Raziel’s sudden loyalty and wanted to keep himself as distanced from it as possible. “I have things to take care of anyway and you all need some down time.”

“My Lord.” Raziel bowed his head in appreciation and understanding as Galik and Van stood to either side of him with marked concern on their faces.

“You two have nothing to worry about.” Maefyl smiled and tried to spare Raziel the need to explain things. “This isn’t going to change him or anything between the three of you, I was just the easy way out. As far as I’m concerned I have no business being anyone’s Lord.”

“We’ll walk you out.” Brig offered as he put his arm around Shana and headed for the door. “I’ll see the rest of you tomorrow.”

Once the door was closed Raziel took Galik and Van home to address any further concerns in private. As he sat on the couch they each wrapped around him tightly. Frikk and Frakk settled on the table in front of them and listened to them quietly.

“Can you trust him?” Galik rested his head on Raziel’s shoulder. “I don’t want you serving anyone.”

“Maefyl is honorable, puppet.” Raziel stroked his fingers through Galik’s hair. “Consider him a friend and give him your respect.”

“I will, Lord Raziel.” Galik pouted.

“And you puppet?” Raziel pulled the elastics from Van’s hair as he spoke. “Will you behave?”

“As long as your friend doesn’t mess with us.” Van poked Galik in the side as she snuggled up against Raziel. “And as long as you take me and my favorite slice of cheese here upstairs.”

“Cheese?” Galik poked her back. “Why am I cheese?”

“I get it!” Frikk giggled wildly as she flapped her wings behind her and clapped her hands together. “Like a sandwich!”

“Are you making fun of me?” Galik looked away from Van pouting.

“No.” Van crawled across Raziel’s lap and into Galik’s arms. “I’m offering to let you tear my clothes off.”

“I don’t need to go upstairs for that.” Galik tore open her shirt as he kissed her and laid her back on the couch.

“I love the both of you.” Raziel smiled as he unlaced Van’s boots and slid them off. “Nothing will ever change that. My loyalty to Maefyl will never outweigh my loyalty to either of you. I may serve him, but my love is yours.”

“We love you too, Razzy.” Van smiled at him over Galik’s shoulder, flushing as Galik pressed into her. She bit her lip as she watched Raziel’s clothes fade into nothing, panting from Galik’s efforts and from the sight of Raziel. She loved the graceful way of their magic, but could not help but think of how fun it would be to undress them both herself.

“Next time.” Raziel winked at her and knew she understood he had heard her thoughts from the redness in her face and the nervous grin that quickly turned to blissful as Galik joined her in the evening’s first sweet release.

“Which of you beautiful creatures should I take first?” Raziel picked each of them up and took them upstairs. They giggled as he tossed them onto the bed.

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Vex : Loyalty : Raziel Pt.2

“You will not touch what is mine.” Raziel replied. “If any harm comes to them, by your hand or any other, I will burn Vex to ash.”

“I don’t need to lay a finger on those you love.” Lucifer shook his head as he laughed. “Your own secrets will be more than enough to destroy what you have.”

“What secret would that be Lucifer?” Raziel asked. “What grand knowledge do you think capable of making me bow to you?”

“Love, dear Raziel.” Lucifer laid his hand on Raziel’s shoulder. “It has a remarkable power to bring people to their knees, and I’m going to use yours to break you.”

“It is no secret that I love those I have taken as my own.” Raziel pushed Lucifer’s arm aside. “Van and Galik are both content and accepting of one another.”

“But will they be as accepting of the love you hide behind this mask of yours?” Lucifer ran a finger down the side of Raziel’s face and grinned as he saw the still black eyes start to stir as Raziel panicked. “Will they enjoy knowing you crave the attention of others? Will Brig still give you his friendship when he knows you want to take his bride as your own? Will Shana be willing to call you Lord when I tell her you desire the feel of her husbands skin against yours?”

“What makes you think any of this is true?” Raziel backed away from Lucifer and began to deny it, but Lucifer pulled him back by the front of his jacket.

“Your actions have betrayed you, Raziel.” Lucifer laughed wickedly as he ran his hand over Raziel’s cheek and showed the Watcher his own tears. “As do your tears.”

“Impossible.” Raziel touched his own face.

“Seems your mask has a weakness.” Lucifer made his offer plain. “With whispered words I could destroy everything you love, or you can swear your loyalty and I will protect your lie.”

“What you ask in return for this secret is of immeasurable value.” Raziel looked at the small audience gathered beside Lucifer’s throne. “And your promise carries little weight as you have already given the secret to others I have no reason to trust.”

“I already knew.” Maefyl offered in defense. “I’m not big on sharing secrets.”

“I am aware of that.” Raziel knew Maefyl was more adept than most at keeping things hidden. “I still have no reason to trust you.”

“Maybe not, but you know I have no reason to hurt you.” Maefyl sighed. “I can’t offer anything but my word and my assurance I would rather Brig and Shana not know about this. You keep them safe and happy, I’ll be more than happy to keep them in the dark about your feelings.”

“I don’t get it.” Sanguine pouted. “Why is it a problem to love someone? Why don’t you just tell them yourself?”

“Raziel already knows the feelings are not reciprocated.” Gabriel answered for Raziel. “Admitting his love will only cause a rift in friendships he values. It would wound his marriage as they watch their Master yearn for another. He would rather suffer on his own then see any one of them in pain because of him.”

“Ouch.” Sanguine frowned. “I wont say anything.”

“Me either.” Gory added. “We’re good at keeping secrets.”

“For the most part.” Maefyl smirked. “But you can trust them Raziel and whether or not you believe it, you can trust me.”

“They must never know, Lucifer.” Raziel took Lucifer’s hand. “And for what you ask I need more than your silence. They will have your protection and you will give me the use of your seamstress.”

“Will I?” Lucifer leered at Raziel, curious as to what leverage he still thought he had.

“And the same favor you have given your granddaughter, Asura.” Raziel wanted to assure every one of them was well protected. “For each of them.”

“Enough.” Lucifer squeezed Raziel’s fingers to silence him. “I’ll see to it your vampires are given power, but you are in no position to demand it comes from me.”

“Then I will send Dove to Vex in Raven’s stead.” Gabriel offered. “Now both of you, be done with this.”

“You’re both ridiculous and I would really like to go the fuck home.” Maefyl interrupted. “Raziel, I get that he is pissing you off, but he does this shit to everyone. Just get it over with.”

“You suggest I give him even more power?” Raziel asked. “The secrets I keep will allow him to do far more. Far worse.”

“Raziel holds the collective knowledge of every lost Watcher.” Lucifer grinned. “He keeps not only secrets but memories.”

“Damn it, Lucy!” Gabriel shouted at him. “You have no need of Iehovah’s mind. He never even held a candle to what you are capable of.”

“Don’t you speak that name!” Lilith screamed and a burst of chaos spread from her as her ribbons lashed wildly around her limbs.

“Calm down, Mother.” Maefyl sighed. “He doesn’t want the memories, Gabriel.”

“Clever as always.” Lucifer laughed. “You are right, I don’t want them. I want to destroy them. I want to erase every trace of his filth from existence.”

“Messy.” Maefyl smirked. “Does that include me?”

“You are not his.” Lucifer screamed at Maefyl and struck him with the back of his hand knocking him to the floor.

“You want so desperately to hear my vow?” Raziel darted over to Maefyl and helped him to his feet. Hearing their exchange had helped him make his decision. “And it is the eradication of Iehovah’s knowledge you seek?”

“Yes.” Lucifer sneered as he shifted through Lilith’s defenses and embraced her to calm her rage.

“So be it.” Raziel hid his grin as he bowed his head and fell to one knee in front of Maefyl. “I swear my loyalty to you, Lord Maefyl. You have my obedience and my service, as you require it. If you wish to honor your father’s request I will open my mind to you.”

“What the fuck?” Maefyl looked at him dumbfounded a moment before he had to draw his blades to block Lucifer’s sword as he brought it down against Raziel. “This is your fault, back off.”

“I can just kill him and save the trouble.” Lucifer laughed. “Out of my way.”

“And you think you are going to do better than him for Vex?” Maefyl protested as he held his blades against Lucifer’s strength. “Give him a break.”

“Enough, Lucy.” Gabriel pulled Lucifer away by his waist and embraced him. Stroking his hair back until Lucifer calmed enough to reclaim his sword. “What’s done is done. Maefyl will do as you ask. Stop this.”

“Rip the remains of god from its head.” Lucifer shrugged away from Gabriel and threw himself onto his throne.

“Un-fucking-believable.” Maefyl sighed and sat in front of Raziel. He laid his fingers on Raziel’s neck as the demon sat closer and folded his legs, resting his ankles on his knees. Maefyl was in no way looking forward to rummaging through the mind of a Watcher. “You are going to have to trust me, a lot.”

“You have my complete trust and my faith in your abilities…” Raziel closed his eyes. “My Lord.”

There was no resistance, no struggle to force his way through the minds defenses. When Raziel offered to open his mind it had not been an empty promise. Maefyl was nearly overwhelmed by the complete serenity of it. Lush, peaceful landscapes stretched infinitely in every direction from the soft grass they sat on, like he had been invited to another world. Raziel sat in front of him smiling with his eyes closed, as they opened Maefyl gasped. He had thought Raziel completely unable to express himself, but the smile he gave conveyed warmth, his eyes were vivid and alive striking blue, swirled with lavender within a thin edge of silver.

“Welcome to my dreamscape, Lord Maefyl.” Raziel stood and offered his hand. “I will guide you.”

“This is incredible.” Maefyl let Raziel pull him to his feet. As they walked appeared and disappeared beside them; Maefyl let his fingers graze one and for just a moment it changed becoming the entrance to an enormous marble structures lined with intricate columns, it reverted and disappeared again once he withdrew his hand. “What was that?”

“One of many collections.” Raziel continued walking and Maefyl followed, listening to the explanation as he tried to take in the scenery that was so unlike anything he had ever seen. Raziel smiled back at Maefyl’s fascination. “It may make an amusing diversion one day, but it does not hold what you seek.”

“I don’t even know what I seek.” Maefyl sighed. “I have to ask; why did you choose me?”

“The simple answer is that I trust you more than Lucifer.” Raziel laid his hand on one of the doors and it changed. He pushed open the large double doors of what resembled a castle. “If you prefer a better explanation, I will elaborate. I suggest it wait until we are through with Lucifer’s request. We are sitting vulnerable in his hall.”

“You have a point.” Maefyl walked through the door and stumbled as he looked up through what seemed to be an unending library. “What is this place?”

“Everything left of Iehovah’s memory.” Raziel explained as he pulled a book from the shelf and opened it, letting it rest in his palm. “Give me your hand.”

“If you mean to show me…” Maefyl shook his head.

“This one is harmless.” Raziel assured him. “I understand your reluctance, my Lord. I only mean to show you how to claim knowledge here.”

Maefyl took a leap of faith and extended his hand. Raziel laid it across the pages and for an instant he was thrown into an old memory. Gabriel and Lucifer laughing together as they oversaw the hatching of some strange fur covered dragons, and Iehovah scolding them for not taking themselves seriously.

“Those two have always been together.” Maefyl sighed as he pulled his hand away. “Okay, I get it. How do I get rid of this?”

“Do you actually want to?” Raziel replaced the book on the shelf. “There are not only memories here. Every accomplishment, every secret, every curse…”

“Don’t.” Maefyl scowled at him. “I’m over it.”

“As you wish, Lord Maefyl.” Raziel engulfed the room in flames. He started to fall forward and Maefyl caught him and headed for the door.

“This hurts you?” Maefyl asked as he watched the strange castle burn and crumble.

“The pain will pass.” Raziel nodded. “It is done. We should wake.”

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Vex : Loyalty : Raziel Pt.1

“It’s over, Brig.“ Demise rubbed his neck with her hand hoping to snap him out of it. “You can let her breathe.”

“You okay, ShaSha?” Brig held her face as he tried to put the sights he had spared her out of his own head.

“Is it over?” Shana opened her eyes slowly. “Was it as awful as it sounded?”

“Yep.” Sanguine answered from Maefyl’s shoulder grinning ear to ear. “Squish!”

“So what now, Lucy?” Gabriel gathered his wits. Seeing the ugliness in Asura’s past was difficult, but Maefyl had avenged those who needed avenging. Brig had been returned to Vex. Unfortunate circumstances that led them all here had been resolved and Lucifer’s smile was far too full of satisfaction over such simple victories. “They have been through enough.”

“Don’t be a nuisance, Gabby.” Lucifer scolded Gabriel for his judgmental morality. “I invited you to watch, not lecture. I only want to have a civil little chat with Raziel.”

“Then send the rest of them home.” Maefyl suggested a more discrete conversation. “Have your little chat in private.”

“We came with Lord Raziel, we’ll leave when he does.” Brig took Shana’s hand and she nodded in agreement. “ I appreciate your concern Maefyl, but…”

“This is our family.” Shana finished for him. “A little unconventional, but we got each other this far.”

“Can I be the mom?” Van squealed and Galik tugged at her pigtails and kissed her.

“Such a touching level of devotion.” Lucifer laughed. “Especially for one who has managed to keep himself so well secluded and free of the burdens of friendship for so long.”

“If there is a point, Lucifer. Make it.” Raziel insisted. “I do not care to waste any more of my time on this diversion.”

“Your fragile little family is my point.” Lucifer stood and stepped toward them. “Each of them so very vulnerable.”

“I am capable of protecting them.” Raziel answered without hesitation and hid every hint of his frustration with Lucifer’s game.

“You are so very arrogant, Raziel.” Lucifer laid his hands over Raziel’s and Galik’s hearts and grinned at the perfect rhythm. Until Galik pushed his hand away and stepped behind Raziel. “Can you protect them? It would be a shame to break a heart beating so perfectly in time with your own.”

“Is everything okay, Razzy?” Van asked nervously. “This is getting a little unfriendly.”

“Everything will be fine, puppet.” Raziel rested his fingers on her cheek. “Galik, take everyone to my office and wait for me there.”

“I don’t trust him, Lord Raziel.” Galik protested.

“Neither do I.” Raziel tugged at the rings on the edge of Galik’s ear. “I won’t be long.”

Galik did as he was asked leaving Raziel and Lucifer with a much smaller audience, but still larger than Raziel was comfortable with.

“I’m flattered you followed in my footsteps.” Lucifer grinned. “It is a painful process to create something so perfect. I imagine the pain of losing it would be far worse.”

“Are the threats necessary?” Gabriel rested his arm around Maefyl.

“I made no threat.” Lucifer laughed. “And I won’t if Raziel is feeling inclined to kneel.”

“Never.” Raziel answered coldly. “My replication of one of your more successful experiments gives you no leverage. You have nothing to offer that will ever be enough for that.”

“It’s not what I can offer that you should be concerned with.” Lucifer continued. “What I can take from you is far more effective as motivation.”

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