Tag Archives: adult themes

TCOL : BTG : The Problem With Promises

“What bargain did you make, Lucy?” Gabriel had been concerned about involving these ‘friends’ to begin with but with Sachiel now disposed it seemed his concerns were once again well founded. The barriers over Eden were still in place, meaning Lucifer was still protecting his realm from potential danger. Moreover he had closed them in tighter and now Gabriel wondered if it was just for the sake of cornering Sachiel.

“Freedom.” Ifre explained plainly. “We help you and he opens the door.”

“Free roam of Tsuriai.” Li’da added. “We have now done our part.”

“Hak! Hak! Hak!” Azrael shook his head and grabbed Samael by his wrist. “Danbol kabak besek na baknit, kosha.”

“I don’t wish to be the one to start another war.” Samael chuckled as he laid his fingers over Azrael’s in comfort. “But have you gone entirely mad Lucifer? The destruction any one of them are capable of…”

“My bargain was with Lucifer.” Ria smiled as he interrupted the smug protest of the Wyrms and stepped closer to the Dark Lord of Tsuriai. “Not his Council. I would not want this to become unfriendly.”

“Ria.” Eidolon entered the conversation carefully. He had wished to avoid it entirely, but if the scales were going to tip he preferred they tip in a reasonably harmless way. “I doubt any one of us would ever deny you freedom; we simply wish to protect what is dear to us.”

Yet with no remorse you locked us away for how long?” Ifre sneered back at him. “Fuck what is dear to you.”

“Settle down, Ifre.” Twaer sadly approached and tried to be the voice of reason for their side. Like Eidolon she preferred a more peaceful approach. If they were going to leave Eden she would rather do so without having to spend the rest of eternity staring over their shoulders. She looked to Eidolon and gave a clearer answer. “What he means is that you’ve all had the chance to find things that are dear to you. We want that chance.”

“Out of the question.” Samael clenched his teeth as he spoke. “You are dangerous. All of you. You care for nothing. Bow to no one.”

“Coming from you that’s beyond ridiculous.” Asura shook her head at him. “You can’t just lock someone away for fear of what they might do. They deserve a chance.”

“It’s no longer a matter of what we deserve, child.” Ria interrupted sternly. “We were made a promise.”

“I have every intention of rewarding you all you have done.” Lucifer smiled at Ria unblinking. “I told you from the beginning that there would be resistance to your request. I have not yet denied it. I just have other promises to consider. Promises I’ve made to each of them.”

“What you should consider is their fragile nature.” Ifre scoffed and walked off quickly creating a path of flames behind him that started to create separation in the group.

“Don’t threaten me.” Lucifer laughed. “I may forget whose side I am on.”

“There should be no side to choose.” Li’da listened to the whimpers of panic as the weakest among Lucifer’s companions clutched to those close to them. “Honor your word.”

“What have you done?” Eidolon held Karla to him as she shook. Had she not been so in need of his comfort his fury would have pushed him to a more violent course.

“We deprived them of light.” Li’da’s child like voices nearly singing together as she waved a hand over the others weeping. “Taken their sight. For a start.”

“They are not in any pain as of yet.” Ria assured their angered hosts as he continued smiling at Lucifer. “Deny us much longer and they will be.”

“You dare threaten what is ours and ask freedom?” Eidolon stroked Karla’s hair and held Kaneko tightly around her waist. He watched as Nikolai extended leashes from the cubs collars to keep them close as they stood defensively beside their Master and Asura. Raziel stood expressionless with his pets quietly suffering at his feet; Galik dutifully checking each of them to ensure they were okay. Each ‘family’ was dealing with it. Even the usually hotheaded and quick to provocation were treading carefully. For that Eidolon was grateful. “It is this abuse of your strengths that makes us hesitant, Ria.”

“None of you have ever abused your power to get what you wanted?” Ifre scoffed. “Be thankful I didn’t just set your pretty friends ablaze.”

“That’s enough, all of you.” Twaer had stood by watching the companions of Zakesalek suffer patiently and couldn’t take it anymore. She shouted for an end to it. “Li’da, this is cruel. They are children.”

“We have not affected the children.” Li’da gestured toward Neka and Evadia as she giggled over the technicality. “Though our patience wears thin.”

“If you harm my child, freedom will be of no concern.” Kage hissed and shifted closer to Neka. She looked up at him sadly from Bishop’s lap where she had been wiping the tears from his sightless eyes.

“Bishop is broken, Daddy.” Neka sniffled and tugged on the shirt of her surprisingly patient pet. “Fix him for Neka.”

“Your toy will be fine.” Kage pet her hair and looked back at Lucifer. “If this is to be a Council vote, I suggest you release them. They can do no more harm than any of us ever have. I would prefer them as allies.”

“As would I.” Gabriel sighed. “There is no reason Tsuriai can not welcome all of you, but as we live by its laws…”

“Cram your laws.” Ifre laughed. “We aren’t looking to upset any kind of balance.”

“We don’t hold any grudge against Zakesalek.” Twaer added. “We just want to be free.”

“Does your release from Eden ensure freedom?” Raziel stepped away from his frightened puppets to confront the Djinn. “It was my understanding you were created to serve.”

“That worked out well.” Samael scoffed and pulled Azrael into his arms as he pouted over the sudden change of heart the Council seemed to be having. “They have no respect for the power that brought them to life.”

“Because they were not created to serve that power.” Presia answered softly as she looked after her wounded Master but her words found every ear and they turned to hear her explanation. She smiled up at Lucifer. “This is why you requested our attendance, is it not? To show them their path?”

“What more beautiful example could there be?” Lucifer grinned. “How is he?”

“Alive.” Presia rested her hand over Nei’s heart. “Thanks to Ifre.”

“She is like us.” Li’da looked to Ria for guidance and let her spell fall away from the young vampires. “But not like us.”

“Yes.” Ria smirked. “With a similar curse.”

“Nonsense.” Lucifer laughed. “Presia is entirely unique and not one of you was cursed. She and each of you were given a gift, a choice.”

“Choice?” Twaer crouched and looked at the relief of the Council’s treasures as they regained their sight.

“We were created to serve a master of our choosing.” Presia smiled as she explained their gift. “Without that bond we are forever incomplete.”

“You sneaky fuck!” Ifre shouted at Lucifer. “That’s why we only reach our potential paired with you.”

“It is also what makes our long years in Eden all the more cruel.” RIa dropped his eyes sadly. “We were wronged more than I realized.”

“Not entirely my decision.” Lucifer looked at his nails as if completely disinterested in the newly discovered pain of his Djinn. “I have also not left you entirely alone. Lets not be melodramatic, Ria. It is not as if any of you were in a cell. You had all of Eden. I visited frequently.”

“We’re supposed to what?” Ifre howled at him. “Start bowing out of gratitude? You promised us we could leave Eden and live as we pleased. Now we’re supposed to pick one of your friends to serve?”

“Have I once suggested you swear loyalty to anyone here?” Lucifer answered angrily and Eden shook beneath their feet. “My delay in your release has nothing to do with you. I have other troubled minds to consider and I won’t lift this veil until I am certain there will be no war over this.”

“So you do intend to put this to a vote?” Eidolon cringed at the thought. He feared the divide it could cause. “Lucifer, this bargain was yours, just honor it. Delaying this further is cruel, and Maefyl and Sanguine are still absent.”

“We also still have to discuss what’s to become of the girl.” Gabriel whispered to Lucifer. “I may regret this, but just give them their freedom.”

“It was your intention, my Lord.” Lilith quietly agreed as she squeezed close to Lucifer. “We can deal with the Wyrms discontent later.”

“So much for your Council.” Samael sneered at Lucifer. “When it should matter most, you will always just assume authority.”

“When it matters you are often no where to be found.” Maefyl seemed distracted as he arrived, but was well enough informed of the conversations to join them without hesitation. He paced through the gathering with an awkward confidence and gave Samael a wink before he continued. “But despite the hypocrisy, Samael has a point.”

“You suggest I risk them?” Lucifer pulled Maefyl by his shirt and gestured to their fragile loved ones. “Don’t be foolish, boy.”

“Don’t be modest, Dad.” Maefyl laughed and glanced fiercely back at Ria as he pulled away. “I’m merely suggesting we make it clear that we are on more equal footing than they seem to think.”

“You?” Ifre burst into a fit of laughter before breaking into several small fires and spreading at Ria’s feet. There was a crackle of laughter in the voice of the flames as they mocked him. “Zakesalek couldn’t control us, what can you do?”

“You pose no threat.” Li’da added as auras of white and black spread around her. She cast a glance at Ria and he became the wind and they resumed their vicious threats. The young vampires started to gasp for air and Li’da smiled cruelly at Maefyl. “You can not catch the wind, or hold a raging fire in your hands. You could never contain Twaer’s tides…”

“No! Stop this!” Twaer ran to Vikarr and Eliza and wept over the girl trembling in his arms. “I won’t be a part of this.”

“Maefyl…” Gabriel was relieved Asura had been spared the pain the others were in, but she was nearly in shock from the horror of it. Each of them under the spells of the Djinn convulsing, their skin dry and red as if they were burning from inside. They had been careful not to assault the direct family of Zakesalek, but these were still their friends. Still their loved ones. “I know you have a point to make, but at what cost? Enough of this.”

“Agreed.” Maefyl grinned and suddenly slammed his fist into the ground at his feet breaking through it until he could feel his fingers around the frightened throat. Threa screamed as he pulled her into proper form and he held her in front of him. “I can most definitely crush a stone. Care to test that?”

“Threa!” Ria released the others and hastily took form in front of Maefyl. He dropped to his knees and reached for Threa’s fingers. “Please. Give her to me.”

“You threaten my family again and I will destroy yours.” Maefyl tossed the trembling Djinn into Ria’s embrace before casually lighting a cigarette and returning to Gabriel for an embrace of his own.

“Understood.” Ria watched Maefyl in awe as he gentle comforted Threa. “We managed to over estimate our position.”

“Just remember that.” Lucifer sighed. Maefyl’s interference had not been at all planned, but it could not have been more effective. “You will need to settle eventually and inform the Council of where. In the meantime, have a look around and follow the rules.”

“You’re letting us go?” Ifre was certain their plans were finished when they stumbled upon a champion that could exploit their weaknesses. “Just like that?”

“That’s how he does everything.” Samael grumbled. “I want it known that I am opposed to this.”

“Noted.” Lucifer smiled wickedly before dropping the veil and permanently making Eden a part of his own realm. He walked to Ria and pulled him down by the hair for a final word. “One more thing before you go…”

“As you requested.” Ria answered softly. “Safely protected as always in the womb of Eden.”

“Enjoy Tsuriai.” Lucifer turned to the others and sighed as the Djinn left Eden. “I don’t imagine any of you are up for a picnic so I’ll see you in the Council hall.”

“I am taking my Lord Frost home to recover.” Presia wasted no time on unnecessary partings. They had played their part and she wanted to return to Drifa with Nei.

The others just waited quietly. Some still trying to take in the full scale of events that happened so quickly, others agitated by another of Lucifer’s quick Exits, some just relieved to be unscathed and with the ones the loved after a journey they had embarked on with no real certainty of either fact.One however had a sense of dread that deeply stained his relief and he could not stop his tears as he held Evadia in his arms for what he was certain would be the last time.

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Filed under Book VII, story, The Council Of Lords

TCOL : BTG : Expiation (18+)

“So they leave my torment to the mistake?” Sachiel searched the room for a means of exit of which there was none. The room was a solid box of cold stone that was powerfully enchanted. All of her attempts to use any of her magic resulted in pain and exhaustion and he watched her quietly as if he knew the efforts she was making and was enjoying the strain. She tried to stand but found her legs too weak to hold her and instead just shouted at him in frustration. “Speak Half-Breed!”

“In a rush to start atoning?”Maefyl lit a cigarette and patted Sanguine as she waited on his shoulder. He could feel her rage through the heat in her skin.

“Atoning?” Sachiel laughed indignantly. “It is Lucifer and the rest of you traitors who should be on your knees begging forgiveness.”

“You are a seriously delusional bitch!” Sanguine snapped at her. She fluttered wildly in front of Maefyl shouting at the twisted Angel. “You nearly wiped out Itami! You tortured and killed an innocent race to poison humans as part of your nasty game. You even ruined your own daughter!”

“All of which I would kill you for.” Maefyl added coldly a he took command of the cell that was so much like the one that he spent an unfortunate amount of time in. The experience however; combined with the strength he had gained since, gave him all he needed to manipulate this dungeon with as much skill and precision as Lucifer himself. He drew barbed cords from the walls around Sachiel that wrapped her limbs tightly and suspended her in the center of the room. He watched the fear grow in her eyes as the sharp protrusions cut into her skin and pulled to eye level with him. “But you have even worse to answer for.”

“Maefyl?” Sanguine looked at him strangely as he moved toward Sachiel with a unique calm.

“You can go if you want, Sany.” Maefyl managed to smile at her. It was taking most of his wits to not fly into a rage, but he wanted to keep himself from unleashing it on the wrong people for once. He also wanted the cruelty here to stay here. “But if you stay…”

“Shut up, Maefyl.” Sanguine wiped the tears from her face and flew into his hair. “Make her suffer.”

“Aren’t you a clever detective.” Sachiel glared at him as he stepped closer. He had somehow learned of her work and now held a grudge for his suffering. “I will not apologize for doing Iehovah’s will.”

“No apology would spare you.” Maefyl touched her forehead and smiled as he watched her heart break. He gave her the memory of Iehovah’s journals. Every detail regarding his disgust and loathing for Sachiel’s weakness and clinging. “But maybe you should see what it is you worship.”

“It’s not true.” Sachiel shook her head in angry protest until she vomited as much from the pain of the barbs cutting into her as the realization that the one she loved had thought nothing of her. “You lie! Iehovah adored me.”

“You were nothing.” Maefyl scowled and slapped her hard across the face. “All the suffering you caused was for nothing.”

In his rage Maefyl’s nails had lengthened into black talons and he was through waiting; he grabbed one of Sachiel’s arms and slid a nail beneath her skin and back. When enough flesh had peel away he grabbed hold of it and pulled oblivious to her screams of pain and horror as she watched part of herself be torn away. Maefyl almost couldn’t continue when he saw the visage of agony, remembering his own pain and torture in one of thee wretched tombs, but his mind was still swimming with visions of the pain she had caused for so many and it drove him on.

Magic swelled in him, as if it knew, once again without any call. He let it wrap along the strip of Sachiel’s torn flesh and watched it leave his hand. As a strip of cloth caught in a whirlwind it wrapped along one of the cords suspending Sachiel, securing itself on the barbs.

“Is this Justice for your kind?!” Sachiel screamed in outrage and pain. Her voice cracking and tears pouring down her face. “This twisted torture? You truly are Heaven’s greatest mistake!”

“Justice?” Maefyl grabbed her by her hai and slid another nail beneath the skin at her shoulder as he started into her terror filled eyes. “No, bitch. This is revenge.”

“Because I did as Iehovah asked and had Heaven call you what you were?” Sachiel spoke between panting and screams as Maefyl tore away another part of her. As the loose flesh pulled itself tight around one of her bindings her voice became shrill. “You and that whore that bore you should have been exterminated!”

“You are done talking.” Maefyl had been pulling away a strip of skin from her side and tore it off completely at her hip and used it to gag her. He smirked at her look of disgust and her sudden choking at the taste of her own skin and blood. Maefyl grabbed her face so hard it bruised and stared at her coldly as he gave her the last words he would speak to her. “Lilith is not a whore, but this is not for my mother. It’s not for me either. I could give less of a fuck what heaven thinks of me. The lies and hatred you spread did not just make life miserable for me…. You made Gabriel suffer.”

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Filed under Book VII, story, The Council Of Lords

TCOL : Breaking The Ghost : Raging

“You are fucking gorgeous.” Maefyl jumped onto Gabriel’s back after he felled several thrones with his scythe. He may have hated the title, but Gabriel was beautifully skilled in his role as the Angel of Death. Maefyl interrupted his work long enough to pull him back by the hair and kiss him, then tapped his cheek and smiled. “Keep Lucy out of my way.”

 “You will be the death of me, Maefyl.” Gabriel grinned as he went back to his work. Watching Maefyl tear through several more soldiers as moved quickly through the hordes.

 “That was a little gross.” Asura chuckled and sliced through the backs of a principalities knees, ducking as Azazel pounced on it and ended it’s existence. “If you have time to be smooching with Dad, you wanna lend a hand over here?”

 “You should not have come here, Asura.” Gabriel scolded her half heartedly. She was in no way a burden in this fight. Her years of practice had honed her skills brilliantly and her ability to work with her spouses so well was astounding. “This place…”

 “Needs to be cleaned up is all.” Bezer hooked her arm around Asura’s waist and shifted above the angel attacking Nikolai. Asura gracefully accepted the lift and on her descent drove her daggers into the angels neck on either side. Bezer winked back at Gabriel before returning to the fray. “I think secretly you are just jealous Asura is surpassing her folks.”

 “Bezer!” Nikolai grinned as he pretended to chide her for the remark. He nearly devoured the soul of the angel in front of him before he bowed his head to Gabriel. “As always, I apologize for my pets. Still, Asura came as we all did. To stand with you.”

 “And I thank you.” Gabriel sighed and grabbed Lucifer by the back of his shirt. “I am not that distracted.”

 “I was only going to help the others, Gabby.” Lucifer chuckled.

 “You’ve helped enough.” Gabriel pulled him aside as a thundering giant of stone and fire walked over them crushing dozens of choirs in it’s wake. “I am not letting you out of my sight.”

 “Yet you let Maefyl wander off all alone.” Lucifer teased. “For once, Gabby. I don’t think I am the one up to something.”

 “You will not deny him this.” Gabriel sliced over Lucifer’s head slicing a Throne in two and covering Lucifer in the rain of blood. “And you will stop lying to me.”

 “Was that entirely necessary?” Lucifer pushed back his blood soaked hair, cleaning up the mess as he did. He ignored Gabriel’s continued rant as he turned to watch a skirmish nearby. Angels seemingly drowning in the air the tried to breath as flames crept up their legs. Kage gladly contributing to the mess by tossing the corpses of his victims skyward before opening his jaws to devour them. The spill of blood splattering those below. Lucifer caught an power by the throat and crushed the life from it without so much as looking in its direction before he smiled back at Gabriel. “Are you still upset I brought Eden here? Or is it that I conspired to free them?”

 “That you lied.” Gabriel sighed as he watched the Djinn now calling itself Ifre laughing at the burning wings of a dying angel. “This is madness, Lucy. And they are dangerous.”

Breakseal

“Such violence.” Evadia had suddenly started screaming wildly when she caught sight of the battle. Rather the sight of it had stirred up the ghost inside her. “This is witchcraft! God, Save us!”

“Evadia, calm yourself.” Farren held her close uncertain of what else to do. Crying out for a long dead savior meant the soul Sachiel forced into his daughter was alive and well.

“God?” Brig laughed softly and headed over to help shaking his head.

“Don’t do anything stupid, Brig.” Shana pleaded with him. “You’ll get us into trouble.”

“No worries, doll face.” Brig patted her hands and kissed her cheek before he crouched down beside a frustrated looking Farren and a screaming child. He winked at Farren and laid his hand on the girls head. Gently stroking her hair. “Easy kid. What makes you think this is witchcraft?”

“Only God can create miracles.” Iesu looked at the boy and grabbed his hands. “Magic is the work of devils.”

“No devils here. A few assholes maybe.” Brig let himself plop down to the ground in hopes to ease further worry. Cid and Tali climbed up his back and peeked over his shoulders and he could see the fright on the child’s face. Brig smiled. “These two? They are harmless. Don’t be rude, introduce yourselves.”

“I’m Cid.” The fargoyle smirked but kept his place on Brig’s back.

“Tali.” She fluttered forward into Brig’s lap and sat smiling at the strange girl that had at least stopped screaming for the time being.

“Iesu.” He reached forward and nervously touched the creature. “You don’t seem evil, but…”

“She isn’t.” Brig slapped the girl. “It’s rude to assume everything you don’t understand is evil.”

“Don’t touch him.” Van warned when Farren moved to react. “Razzy will rip you to shreds.”

“Do not hit her again.” Farren glared at Brig.

“No…” Iesu held his hand against his face. “He is right. I misspoke. I should not judge….”

“And you can cram that.” Brig laughed. And took the child’s face in his hands. “You said Iesu? The world has changed. You have a lot to accept. I need you to listen to me for the sake of the little girl who has to tag along.”

“Neka thinks she should just shut up and watch.” Neka stuck her tongue out at the girl before turning her attention back to the fray. “Fawwen, make her shut up.”

“Sorry.” Bishop shook his head and wished he could just carry her off a bit further to keep any other hurtful comments from popping out. “She is just excited.”

“Hey, help me find Master Eidolon.” Karla ran over to Neka and Bishop to provide distraction and smiled when Bishop closed his eyes in obvious relief and gratitude. She let Neka scold her for being silly and point out Eidolon as he and Kaneko moved across impossible rivers of wind and fire. “He is good friends with your Daddy.”

“Neka knows that.” Neka giggled. “Daddy has pretty friends.”

“These are good people.” Brig continued making his point to the impossible child once Farren was through scowling. “God has shit to do with it. You and I are lucky to know any of them. Evadia is going to be lucky to have them.”

“Stop playing with the kid, Brig.” Van insisted as she jumped excitedly at the edge. “Come look!”

“Raziel…” Brig stood slowly and watch as a gleaming white dragon rose above the fray and howled. He felt Evadia tug his hand to stand beside him but couldn’t tear himself away from the sight.

“Wow.” Evadia joined him in awe as the white dragon dove toward a collection of angels being rounded up by rising walls of stone and burned them to ash with a breath of flame. As the heat rose on the wind and brushed over the plateau, Evadia looked up to the strangest smile on her new friends face. “Who is that?’

“Our Lord Raziel.” Shana smiled back at them. “And I’m telling him you blushed, Brig.”

“I did not, ShaSha.” Brig snapped himself out of the stupor and looked down at Evadia. “Welcome back, doll face.”

“Thank you.” Evadia grinned. “My ghost gets funny sometimes.”

“We all do.” Brig went back to argue with Shana over his flushing and hoped the girl’s Father could handle the rest.

“You should put that smooth talking to work on your cotton candy compatriot there, London.” Eliza sighed as she watched Raziel’s cheerleaders fawning over their Master as if he were the only one fighting the enemy. “Talk some sense into her. If you expect a child to accept all of this, you should expect her to give Vivi a chance.”

“E.” Donovan put an arm around her and covered her mouth. “Stop it with your shit.”

Eliza stepped on his foot and bit him. “I’m tired of this one-sided…”

“You are all very loud.” Li’da commented coldly and walked through them to stand beside Presia. Still singing a beautiful melody that kept the heads of her charges clear and the winged army distracted. Li’da pointed at the Siren and let a childlike grin distort her face. “She is the one we wish to hear as we watch. No more of your bickering.”

“You cheeky little bitch.” Eliza jumped and struggled to get at her while Donovan held her back and Caleb tried to calm her down. “I’ll rip that grin off your face.”

“Aww, what’s the matter, bitch?” Van laughed. “Little cutie there make you nervous. Afraid your Vikarr is gonna ditch you for the fascinating monochrome she has going on?”

“Quit it, Van.” Brig punched her shoulder gently. “It isn’t worth it.”

“Do you mind, lovely?” Vikarr appeared in front of Eliza and lifted her face to kiss her. His appearance had startled her into calm and the kiss left her blissfully relaxed. Donovan released her and Vikarr wiped a smudge of blood from her face. He folded his wings to his back. “I know I said to call on me anytime, but I am a trifle busy at the moment.”

“They were being….” Eliza pouted until he laid a finger on her lips and winked at her. “Sorry.”

“Just watch me, lovely.” Vikarr smiled and led her to the edge, careful to push her back with his fingers he walked backward off of it. Standing on the air as if he were still walking along the cliff. “I’ll keep you entertained.”

“Kiki says you should go a few rounds as a panda.” Eliza smirked and rested her fists on her hips. “Cause they are cute.”

“I did not!’ Kiki protested and ducked into Eliza’s cleavage giggling and whispered. “I don’t even know what a panda looks like.”

“Can’t disappoint an audience.” Vikarr sighed and dove back into the fight, mid descent shifting into a large white and black bear to entertain his bride.

“Nyaa!” Neka giggled and tried to mimic the change. Balling up her fists and biting her tongue sideways as she drew in the magic and wiggled around in Bishop’s arms. Her change was again imperfect and she ended up cuddled up as a smaller white bear still bearing a cat like tail in Bishop’s embrace. She pouted up at him. “Neka did it wrong again.”

“Good.” Bishop hugged her tight and smiled. “I can’t carry a panda.”

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Filed under Book VII, story, The Council Of Lords

TCOL : Death & New Life : The Needed Chemicals Pt.1 (18+)

“For a good boy you are awfully bad once you take your clothes off, honey.” Caleb laid back in Myrt’s arms sore and smiling. “Am I going to be enough for that appetite of yours?”

“Are you complaining?” Myrt bit Caleb’s ear and ran a hand down his stomach. Met with soft moans Myrt turned Caleb’s face to his and kissed him while he stroked life back into the vampire’s libido.

“No.” Caleb spread his fingers through Myrt’s soft hair and smiled. “I think I am falling in love with my husband.”

“Good.” Myrt grinned. “I don’t have to worry about you running away.”

“I’m not going anywhere.” Caleb teased. “Sex is too good.”

“You aren’t so bad either.” Myrt pulled him closer. “Do that thing with your tongue again.”

“Only because you’re so tasty.” Caleb turned over and leaned over to taunt him with a seductive grin.

“Do it.” Myrt smiled and leaned up to kiss Caleb’s neck. “Maybe I’ll pay attention this time so I can return the favor.”

“My heart might stop.” Caleb caressed Myrt’s sides as he slid down him and teased him with a quick lick. “Besides, honey. If I am doing it right, there is no paying attention.”

 

Only in his most twisted dreams had Myrt ever imagined so much pleasure, but his time with Caleb had been more than physically rewarding. As explosively passionate as their intimacy had been he was just as thrilled to hold the vampires hand. He was happy in this new part of his life.

 

Still Caleb’s mention of love was frightening. It shouldn’t have been. They were already wed. Love should be the natural progression, but Myrt heard the word and panicked. He managed to cover his fear with humor and continue to enjoy the time alone with Caleb, but in the back of his mind it stuck there like a thorn.

“Where is that blasted thing?” Myrt searched through a tangle of sheets and clothes for the phone that had abruptly ended Caleb’s sweet teasing. He whispered his apologies to Caleb and let the vampire cuddle close as he looked at the screen.

“You should probably answer it.” Caleb rested his head against Myrt. “He’s the Head of Nihil.”

“I don’t much care.” Myrt smirked and kissed Caleb before he answered the phone. “What is it?”

“I did not want to show up uninvited, but I have something for you.” Vikarr wasted no time with pleasantries. “I’ve already contacted your brother. You are both to meet me here and accompany me to the coming Council meeting.”

“Why?” Myrt sighed. “I was told I could live without…”

“This is a Council demand.” Vikarr cut him off. “I don’t much like that they are dragging Mala into this either. Just come.”

The call ended and Myrt dropped the phone to the floor and rolled onto Caleb. Caleb ran his fingers over the scar that wrapped the angels shoulder and smiled sadly.

“Nothing to worry about.” Myrt pulled Caleb with him as he left the comfort of the bed behind. “Come with me?”

“Sure.” Caleb loved the feel of Myrt’s arms around him as he started to straighten up their mess with his magic. A warm tingling passed over his skin and he pulled himself as close as he could. “Where are you going?”

“To see Vikarr and the Council of Lords.” Myrt could see the worry return to his lovers face and he laughed softly and hugged him. “I told you not to worry. They asked for Mala, too. It is probably nothing.”

After freshening up Myrt pulled Caleb along and continued to assure him that there was nothing to worry over. Caleb finally relaxed by the time they reached the Circle building. Donovan was just on his way inside and stopped to greet them by the doors.

“Any idea why the Council wants the two of you?” Donovan had been hesitant to leave and tend to his own work. With no real reason for the summons he didn’t want Mala going without him. “I thought you were retiring from this mess.”

“That was my plan.” Myrt wrapped his arm tighter around Caleb and worried that he would have to leave him behind. “Has Mala already gone?”

“He’s inside with Vikarr.” Donovan led them through the hall quietly. Mala was already making the argument for Donovan to tag along and he imagined Myrt was going to have no trouble choosing a side for the debate. Mala at least had the benefit of being Vikarr’s second and Donovan was at least a member of Nihil’s Circle. Myrt had abandoned loyalty for freedom and Caleb was not likely to have any sway over Vikarr’s decision, but Donovan wanted to give them as decent a chance as he had to stay with each other through whatever was coming. “Vikarr is our friend as much as our boss. You should probably just let Mala do the talking.”

“No promises.” Myrt sighed. “We may be fighting separate battles.”

“I doubt that.” Donovan smiled as he stood beside the door to Vikarr’s office. As it opened he shook his head. Mala was still ranting as loudly as when he had left. “I wasn’t invited either.”

“They’re as entitled to be with us as your bride is to be with you.” Mala was nearly screaming his discontent.

Vikarr had listened to Mala vent his rage with a grin hidden behind his fingers. At Vikarr’s request, Eliza stood beside him with Doma curled up and purring in her arms. Vale let Donovan run past her to comfort Mala, but escorted the others into the room quietly.

“You are part of the Council, boss.” Donovan pulled Mala into his arms and sighed. “What do they want with Mala?”

“His skills, I imagine.” Vikarr giggled. No longer able to contain himself with a larger audience to impress. “You can all relax.”

“He’s just been waiting for everyone to get here, chuckles.” Eliza sighed. “He likes it when you get all riled up.”

“Don’t spoil my fun, lovely.” Vikarr grabbed her chin and kissed her as he stood. He winked at her before he walked around his desk to talk less formally with his irritated guests. “To the best of my knowledge they want to make use of your less combative skills, so I don’t think any of you have reason to worry. I also had already planned on taking your husbands along.”

“So you let him scream for three hours?” Donovan ran his fingers up into Mala’s hair and held him close. “You need to keep him entertained better, E.”

“Fuck you, baldy.” Eliza smirked. “You know he loves to tease.”

“Lord Vikarr.” Vale interrupted sweetly. “It is nearly time.”

Myrt had waited while Caleb clutched at his arms. Stayed quiet to let them have their exchange. When Mala glanced over at him through relieved tears, Myrt leaned against Caleb and sighed. “Taking them along is not the only issue. I don’t have any reason to go.”

“That is where you are wrong.” Vikarr laughed. “You may not give your loyalty to me or even to Lucifer, but you’ve chosen to live in Tsuriai. In Nihil. Devoted or not, you must live by certain rules.”

“I haven’t broken any of these rules.” Myrt looked up at Vikarr angrily as he walked closer and looked down at him with an intimidating grin. “I am not bowing to Lucifer.”

“I haven’t suggested any thing of the sort.” Vikarr grinned wider and grabbed Myrt by his hair. “You will however obey him and the Council. Your presence is requested and I have no intention of failing to deliver you to the Council. I’m inclined to protect you as Mala’s brother, but if you are going to be difficult… ”

“Let him go, Lord Vikarr.” Mala glared at Vikarr and made a cautious approach as the Watcher stared wickedly at his unmoved twin. When he stood beside them he took Vikarr’s wrist gently and smiled sweetly at his brother. “They have only asked to talk, Myrt. Do we really need to fight each other over this?”

“Fine.” Myrt yanked his head away once Vikarr loosened the fingers in his hair. “Don’t touch me again, Vikarr.”

“He can’t seem to help touching.” Eliza fumed and pulled Vikarr by his long white ponytail. “There isn’t any reason to get nasty about it, though. Be nice, Vivi.”

“Anything for you, my lovely.” Vikarr spun and snatched her up in his arms smiling. He kissed her softly as she continued to tug at his hair. “Now if everyone is ready…”

“Stay quiet for me.” Myrt turned Caleb’s face up to his. “I don’t need trouble with Lucifer.”

“No one needs trouble with Lucifer.” Vikarr laughed as he pulled Eliza to him. He grinned as his magic grabbed the others and shifted them to the audience hall of Lucifer’s castle. “Of course, our Lord Lucifer often enjoys seeing us squirm.”

“That I do.” Lucifer grinned from his throne. With Lilith at his feet and Kage beside him holding his young daughter, He looked over the arrival of Nihil’s Circle and the guests Vikarr decided to invite. “Particularly when my patience is tested. I asked for the Lancers, not their lovers.”

“I decided each of them would be more comfortable and more receptive to any request the Council may make of them this way.” Vikarr headed for the large doors to the Council hall. “Vale will look after them when we need to speak to Mala and his brother.”

“I don’t have the time to debate this. Vale can stay here with all of them until then. Just go inside Vikarr.” Lucifer tapped Lilith’s shoulder and she stood. “You had something to discuss, my love?”

“Sort of.” Lilith grinned as she walked off to retrieve the subject of her discussion. “I’ll be back in a moment, my love.”

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TCOL : Death & New Life : Looking Forward Pt.2 (18+)

“Where were we?” Maefyl turned back to Gabriel and almost lost control of himself. With his concerns fading Gabriel’s expression had softened and the smile that sat on his lips was so subtle anyone else would have missed it. With his eyes barely open as if he were sitting at his desk thinking Gabriel had the untouchable allure that had driven Maefyl mad for centuries. When Gabriel didn’t answer Maefyl awkwardly tilted his head into Gabriel’s line of sight. “Were you finished talking?”

“I still have to question whether I am awake on occasion.” Gabriel leaned to kiss Maefyl and they both managed to restrain themselves and Maefyl wiped his gloss from Gabriel’s lips before he laughed. “Is that amusing?”

“Only because I was just thinking about how crazy it made me to want you.” Maefyl hugged his angel tightly. “We’re awake. You ready to answer a few of my questions?”

“I said I would.” Gabriel slid his hands under Maefyl’s shirt and up his back. He smiled and bit Maefyl’s ear. “I didn’t say I wouldn’t try to distract you.”

“As long as I’m the only one you are distracting.” Maefyl took a fistful of Gabriel’s hair and licked up his neck. “I don’t ever want to see Samael leaning over you again.”

“I don’t return his flirting, Maefyl.” Gabriel pushed Maefyl to the bed and pinned his arms. “He was not leaning over me. I would never allow it. I need you to remember that as strong as you’ve become, you are not going to win in a fight against the two of them. I tolerate their incessant begging for my attention because it is simpler and safer than risking an attack on you. Don’t taunt them, don’t tempt them, don’t give them any reason to break the fragile truce sitting on Council provides. And don’t you ever again accuse me of giving my love and affection to anyone but you.”

“Oh, it’s going to be one of those nights again.” Sanguine fluttered to the headboard and smiled as she sat to watch them. Maefyl met Gabriel’s kiss with equal passion and delight. He had pushed just hard enough to drive Gabriel to take him. Sanguine loved watching the way they played with each other. Even on the more frenzied unions like this one they took such care with each others needs. It was beautiful.

“That’s what sex is?” Vafera whispered to Gory as she watched Gabriel and Maefyl. Like all fairies she was born with knowledge and concepts, she had a grasp of affection and love as her race understood it but seeing the intimate love of other races was a shock. “Do they do this a lot?”

“They are in love.” Gory nodded.

“He’s bleeding.” Vafera jumped up to help and Gory grabbed her by the foot.

“Maefyl is a vampire.” Gory explained in a hush. “That’s normal.”

“Shhh.” Sanguine was still fawning over the sight of Maefyl from the headboard and didn’t want their ‘guest’ interrupting. She giggled when Maefyl suddenly reached back and clutched the headboard on either side of her.

“Fuck.” Maefyl laughed when he heard his phone. “I don’t care who it is, if you stop right now I’m not speaking to you for a month.”

“Gory, would you.” Gabriel leaned in to tease Maefyl as he grabbed his hips tighter. “And you can’t go a week without me.”

“Hello, You’ve reached Maefyl’s phone.” Gory giggled as she stepped on the speaker button. “He is making all that noise you can probably hear. Something I can help you with?”

“That isn’t noise.” Vikarr laughed. “That is music and I applaud Gabriel’s skill as a conductor.”

“I don’t think they were as amused by that as you were.” Gory shook her head. “What did you want?”

“I do apologize for the timing.” Vikarr continued. “News spread quickly and my succubi were enraged by what took place in Itami. Luckily they are clever creatures and put their fury to practical use and doubled their efforts. Seven more of the torturous distribution centers have been located and most of the network that supplies them has been weeded out and named. I am sending the information to Asura and to you, but I wanted to make you aware of a change. It has been difficult even for my pretties to find some information. It was as if each rung on the ladder was ignorant of the next. I believe that cloud is beginning to lift. If my succubi are learning more, both you and the Keeper…”

“Thanks Vikarr.” Maefyl managed to gasp out his gratitude before Gabriel kissed him.

“I think that’s about all you’re going to get out of him for now, Vikarr.” Gory giggled. “Say hi to everybody for me.”

“Give those beautiful Master’s of yours a little lick for me.” Vikarr cackled as he hung up.

“You have a message on here from Raziel as well.” Gory moved through the screens with her toes to read it. “He says Farren was in Vex and seemed disoriented.”

“I don’t think they are listening.” Vafera stood on her hands for a better different point of view. “It looks sort of complicated.”

“Would you shush.” Sanguine insisted. As much because she didn’t want to see the intimacy end as because Vafera’s high pitched voice kept interrupting her own daydreams.

“De kosh sekni malika.” Gabriel sat up on his feet and let his fingertips caress their way down Maefyl’s torso. “Sesa’tach sek kofret besek saba mave paraki vat onsa paskazuku.”

“I would hope it’s more than my body you love.” Maefyl winked at him before he reached for his cigarettes. “I know I look good, but I want you to respect me in the morning.”

“I would have had to respect you to begin with.” Gabriel pinched Maefyl’s side. “I suppose you want to run after Farren now?”

“I’m just going to check in with Raziel.” Maefyl exhaled and waved at the smoke to clear it away. “The message was vague and there is no point in chasing him. He shows up when we shut down their torture chambers. I’m not wasting time wandering aimlessly. Don’t forget that at the heart of this is Lucy shaking the board. He wants the Council working together.”

“So we regroup and focus.” Sanguine fluttered to Maefyl’s bare shoulder and rubbed against the warm skin of his neck.

“If Vikarr and Raziel are right, the mess in Tsuriai will be swept up quickly.” Maefyl stroked Sanguine with his fingers. “Recovery for some is going to take a lot longer than what I could help with, but Itami still survived and I doubt Lucifer will endure another attack on the Garden.”

“Why?” Gory sneered. “He’s already let so many suffer to prove how right he is. He let our sisters in Itami die. The nether race be tortured and killed. Dragons slaughtered for sport. He is not above letting others suffer.”

“Gory, I’m not going to tell you that what he did is right, or forgivable, or even justifiable. It is however already done and now we have to look forward and if learning how to sustain his magic to protect the Gardens myself will keep the rest of you safe I will figure it out. But trust me when I say he had his reasons and I don’t think he ever meant for it to go this far. I know he has no way to feel your loss or express enough regret to satisfy the hurt you feel, but he does hurt and he does regret what happened.” Maefyl wasn’t sure how else to explain without using himself as an example. “I had no real idea how deeply he suffered the simplest offense against nature until I tried to do a fraction of what he does without effort. When he let a district of souls fall in the Realm of the blessed to teach me that lesson I was already in so much pain, I got the point but bearing the weight without knowing how is nothing compared to letting it be a part of you.”

“I know.” Gory pouted and carried Maefyl’s phone to him. “I’m just angry. We aren’t like other races. Aside from the pixies which are frail and useless in the grand scheme of things to begin with, Vafera and Blondie are the only two fairies born in hundreds of years. Both of them through miracles you worked. Unless you plan on being a very active creator we will soon be more endangered then the dodo and the Black Pegasus.”

“We’ll do what we can.” Gabriel offered his hand to Gory and held her to his chest once she slid into his palm. He gave Maefyl an understanding smile. He had felt the pain, but the clarity Maefyl had found was astounding. Gabriel had been frightened of Maefyl growing too quickly, of chaos overwhelming him or this new magic, the light of his own father swallowing everything there was of the one he loved; instead Maefyl did as he had always done. He made the magic his own, he bent the strength to suit him and wore his pain as a reminder not to take what he gained for granted. He was still young, prone to fits of rage and let his emotions get the better of him so often, but Maefyl was more humble than ever despite the fact he was easily now on par with most Watchers and could likely best most of them. Gabriel squeezed Maefyl’s hand around the phone. “Go ahead and ask Raziel what you need to.”

“It won’t change anything.” Maefyl decided to send Raziel a message instead of calling to prevent awkward moments like the one Vikarr had created. Raziel’s reply came quickly and just as Maefyl had expected Raziel had not seen Farren himself. Through the thoughts of the child that did he surmised that Farren had been unexpectedly delivered to Vex and was prompt in getting away from the Watchers he knew were hunting him. “I told you there wouldn’t be a point in going.”

“And your other search?” Gabriel had let Gory sob quietly against him without embarrassing her by drawing attention to the tears she felt on his skin. He was relieved that as he spoke she crawled up his fingers and fluttered her wings with a smile.

“Lucy is supposed to narrow it down, Farren is cornering himself.” Maefyl gently ran the back of his pinky down Gory’s face before he tapped the headboard. “These two sweethearts are going to sit back here and you…”

Maefyl sat up and smiled at Gabriel as he pulled his arms around him. He didn’t have a chance to finish teasing Gabriel, his angel pulled him into a kiss and offered his bite to begin their dark kiss. The taste of each other only heightened desire and feeling Gabriel’s hand in his hair and pulling against his back made him put bloodlust on hold long enough to make a sultry demand. “Take me, kevas.”

“My beautiful mess.” Gabriel wiped the blood from Maefyl’s lips and hung his head as the phone rang beside them. If it had been any other name on the screen he would have thrown it to the floor and blissfully obliged Maefyl’s request, but he answered as Maefyl laid against his chest and they both laughed at their luck. “Hello, Asura.”

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TCOL : Uneasy : Angels Pt.2 (18+)

“Do you plan on calling everyone together?” Gabriel asked as he grabbed his phone and opened his messages. “Asura seems to have been told already. Nikolai must have been with Raziel.”

“Unless anyone has anything useful to say there is no point in sitting around the table getting frustrated.” Maefyl smirked. “I might go talk with Lucy in the morning.”

“Can I call Council?” Sanguine mumbled with a mouthful of cookie. “I think we can tackle part of the problem from another angle. We’re allowed to make law. So we can scare some of the demand out of Tsuriai.”

“Send the message, Sany.” Maefyl smiled at her. “I’ll back you up.”

“Just give me a few hours with him.” Gabriel insisted as he kissed Maefyl’s neck.

“That’s a little distracting.” Maefyl smiled and continued to play. “I’m trying to find a map.”

“Only a little?” Gabriel bit Maefyl’s ear and opened his pants. “I’ll have to try harder then.”

“Why did you even give me the controller?” Maefyl laughed and paused the game.

“I planned on asking you a few questions while you played.” Gabriel pushed the controller out of Maefyl’s hands and kissed him as he pulled him along the couch. “I decided to do this first.”

“Just decided?” Maefyl pulled off Gabriel’s shirt as he laughed. “How did you ever wait so long? You have no patience.”

“I don’t have to be patient anymore.” Gabriel returned the favor and pulled Maefyl out of his shirts before he ran his fingers over the collar on Maefyl’s neck. “You belong to me.”

“Ask your questions, Gabriel.” Maefyl pulled Gabriel down to him. “You are going to play with me later.”

“I think he wants to play with you now.” Gory broke off a piece of cookie and nibbled at it as she sat with Sanguine watching the two of them.

“You said you helped Samael.” Gabriel sighed. “You gave him your blood?”

“He was in pain Gabriel, he looked like shit.” Maefyl justified his decision. “Azrael had just spared me a few miserable attacks. I didn’t want him holding it over my head. If spilling a few drops meant calling it even, it was worth it.”

“I don’t want them touching you.” Gabriel caressed Maefyl’s side. “I’m afraid this truce of theirs won’t last.”

“We’ll deal with it then.” Maefyl stretched out under Gabriel. “Any other questions to kill the mood?”

“Was she there with them?” Gabriel had to lay against Maefyl to prevent him from wiggling away angrily.

“For fuck sake, Gabriel.” Maefyl scowled at him. “I don’t give a shit about Shiroi.”

“Then answer me without getting defensive.” Gabriel held Maefyl’s face. “If you don’t care, why does the mention of her still make you this angry?”

“It is not the mention of her that is pissing me off.” Maefyl pushed Gabriel off of him and sat up. He rested his head in his hands and started screaming. “It’s the fact you won’t let it go. For the last fucking time Gabriel. I do NOT want her back. Will you just be happy?”

“Kono.” Gabriel kneeled in front of Maefyl and rubbed his arms. “Kosuvo de. De haka’ach sek ba bet lishat.”

“And you aren’t going to lose me.” Maefyl wiped Gabriel’s eyes. “Stop looking for problems where there aren’t any. We have plenty of actual problems without you dreaming up worries.”

“Guess that means the show is over.” Gory sighed.

“Like that will last.” Sanguine giggled as she poked out a message on her computer with her feet. “Those two never stay mad at each other.”

“You’re such an idiot.” Maefyl took Gabriel’s hands and kissed his fingers as he smiled. He wanted to move past the argument and repair the mood so he just moved the conversation along. “Did you take care of that favor for Mala?”

“I did and I wish Mala luck with it.” Gabriel slid up beside Maefyl on the couch. “Myrt has stubbornly clung to very old ideals.”

“Stubborn angels. There’s a shock.” Maefyl said sarcastically as he put his arm around Gabriel. As he poked through some of the latest information on his phone he sighed. Everyone on the Council had responded quickly and every response was as disappointing as Gabriel’s had been. No one seemed familiar with the name Kava and no one had the first idea where to look for Farren. “I had really hoped this was going to get easier.”

“I was looking forward to some time alone with you.” Gabriel kissed Maefyl and smiled. Gabriel knew he had ruined that time alone himself and decided it was going to be easier to get back to it with both of their distractions out of the way. He wished he could have given Maefyl clearer answers about the angels who seemed to be behind the violence and tragedy on Tsuriai, but it was near impossible to keep track of every living creature. It was daunting looking over as much as each of them did. “Make this visit quick.”

“Shit.” Maefyl looked at the message on his phone and pouted over his decision to leave timing in the hands of a girl.

 

Can you meet us around noon?” –Nat

 

“Maefyl is so popular.” Sanguine giggled.

“I should go into hiding.” Maefyl sighed. He sent his response agreeing to show up and dressed as he stood. “Are you coming?”

“Most definitely.” Gabriel dressed and prepared for a few days of visits that would make him wait for the time alone he wanted. At least being able to spend it with Maefyl was comforting. It was preferable to the long hours they had been spending apart recently dealing with separate problems, it would be nice to deal with a few together.

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TCOL : Uneasy : A Familiar Face Pt.3

“Thank you.” Mala whispered to Donovan. Mala dried his face as they waited for Myrt to follow. “I should have told you before now.”

“Don’t worry about it, angel.” Donovan kissed Mala’s nose and smiled. “Just try and patch things up while you have the chance.”

“Could you be any sweeter?” Mala grabbed Donovan’s ears and kissed him.

“This was the happy life you wanted?” Myrt couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “He’s a vampire! He’s a HE!”

“His name is Donovan.” Mala pushed open his office door. “Just come inside if you want to shout at me Myrt.”

“This sort of copulation is a sin, Mala.” Myrt shook his head as he followed them inside. “Do you have no shame at all?”

“I’m ashamed of you right now.” Mala turned and slapped Myrt across the face. “There is no sin or shame in loving my husband. Sin was always a farce to begin with. After all this time are you still hiding from yourself behind these ridiculous old rules?”

“Take it easy, Mala.” Donovan sighed and slumped in front of Mala’s desk moving aside a few stacks of papers. “I dealt with years of it. He’s your brother, he doesn’t need to like me.”

“Don’t move my things.” Mala smiled back at him.

“I’ll put them back.” Donovan sighed as Mala gestured for his chair. He replaced the pages and headed for his seat. “Okay, okay. I’ll put them back now.”

“You’re still as much of a mess as ever.” Myrt laughed at the mess. He was always picking up after Mala. They kept separate homes and he always found himself in one or the other cleaning up stacks of books or boxes and retying scrolls. Mala scolded him for it every time.

“It isn’t a mess…” Mala began with a smile but it would quickly fade.

“You know where everything is.” Myrt finished and sat on the floor frustrated. “Mala, I was lost when you left the horsemen. Then I saw you with Lucifer’s demons when they stormed into Heaven. I didn’t even know you had left home until then. I couldn’t let myself fight you. I threw myself in the flames of a Thrones attack to make myself useless until it was over. When I fell it was into a mass of lessers. I still don’t know if it was good or bad fortune. Had it been demons with any sort of sense I would be gone, but it was not for their lack of trying. While Hell celebrated, I mourned. I knitted my wounds and searched through the remains of the fallen looking for you.”

“I sent you word when I accepted the offer to serve in Tsuriai.” Mala dropped to one knee in front of Myrt and grabbed his shoulders. “I asked you to come then.”

“I had just watched you killing our friends, Mala.” Myrt wept. “We hadn’t spoken in years and you came back a murderer. A traitor. Tsuriai might have accepted things quickly, but I did not. A lot of us did not. How could I leave when I had just helped them sift through the ashes of those they loved, while they mourned our fallen God? Was I supposed to just turn my back on everyone like you did?”

“Myrt.” Mala rested his hands on Myrt’s shoulders as his brother looked away in tears. His fingers grazed the edge of imperfect skin and Mala pulled aside Myrt’s shirt. A wide scar ran over Myrt’s shoulder. “Where did you get this?”

 ***

“You ever try and touch me like that again, boy.” Michael sneered and kicked Myrt back dragging his sword back before he stood and kicked over the water basin in front of him. “I’ll take that arm off.”

 “It was a mistake, Lord Michael.” Myrt clutched at the wound that refused to heal. He whimpered as he scurried backward from Michael’s approach.

 “I’ll have to leave you with a few reminders not to make it again.” Michael lifted his sword and drove the blade into Myrt’s side. “The scars can help you remember your sin. Purge this filth from your mind or you can join the debauchery in Hell. I have no place for sodomites with the horsemen.”

 ***

“They were atonement.” Myrt tugged his shirt back into place. “It’s nothing.”

“Why haven’t you healed them?” Mala tried to do just that and Myrt pulled his hands in front of him.

“Don’t bother.” Myrt smirked. “It seems if a Watcher doesn’t want you to heal, you don’t. Besides I earned the scars. I’m lucky he let me keep my hands and allowed me to keep my place.”

“Michael did this?” Mala was horrified.

“Before you even left.” Myrt sighed. He could still hear the disgust in Michael’s voice. The mocking disapproval of his laughter as he left the room. He had just washed the Watcher’s feet, rubbed his ankles to help him relax as he had done so many times before. Myrt was still asking himself all these years later what had made him run his hands up Michael’s leg, what possibly could have made him believe Michael would accept his affection. In a few hopeful moments of silence Myrt had let his fingers caress the inside of Michael’s thigh before he felt the blade buried deep in his shoulder. He spent weeks begging forgiveness, when Mala left the horsemen Michael started to overlook the matter as a lapse of judgment because of the struggle of trying to keep his brother’s morals intact. Myrt accepted the lie of it so he could resume his work and eventually he seemed to win back Michael’s trust. “It doesn’t matter. What did you ask me here for Mala? Lord Gabriel insists that I hear you out.”

“I wanted you back in my life.” Mala admitted. “I had hoped you would forgive me and come to Nihil. It’s selfish, but we have a strange little family here. I wanted you to be a part of it.”

“The Jester and his vampire?” Myrt laughed. “That’s what you consider family now? And this… I don’t even know what to… I’m afraid to ask which of you…”

“It doesn’t matter.” Donovan interrupted as he checked the message on his phone. “It’s personal. Mala, Caleb is on his way. Do you want me to just take care of it?”

“No, it’s fine.” Mala pushed up the fuzzy sleeves of his sweater and turned to smile at him. He let the office door open and rubbed at his face. “He’s just dropping things off.”

“What’s this?” Myrt grabbed Mala’s wrist and rubbed at the braided band.

“Our wedding bands.” Donovan slid aside the cuff of his jacket to show his own.

“Pretty.” Myrt muttered.

“Hell-oooo!” Caleb announced himself as he entered the main hall and went back to singing to himself as he climbed the stairs. “…I look so good in my fancy hat…”

“Fuck, he’s singing again.” Donovan could only imagine what Myrt’s reaction was going to be to Caleb. Sweet, blonde, effeminate and in no way shy about his tendencies. When Caleb popped through the door juggling armfuls of papers and bags and a cup of what smelled like liquid sugar Donovan just laid his head on the desk and sighed.

“Am I seeing double?” Caleb grinned. “Is this my dream or yours, Donovan honey?”

“Must be yours.” Donovan groaned.

“And I only brought enough coffee for one Mala.” Caleb pouted.

“This is the rest of your paperwork?” Mala smiled as he took the coffee and reached for the messy stack.

“Some of it is on this thing.” Caleb thoughtlessly grabbed for the tiny drive in his pocket and dropped pages to the floor. “Well, shit.”

“At least it wasn’t the coffee.” Mala sipped the warm beverage and enjoyed the soothing feel of it until he almost choked on it. Caleb bent to grab all his papers from the floor and Myrt stooped to help him. Mala just watched quietly afraid to end the moment he was witnessing.

“Came all the way down here to help me?” Caleb smiled as he stacked the pages on his thighs and bounced on his toes. “Should I just call you Other Mala? Or do you have a name?”

“Myrt.” The angel straightened the pages he had gathered and slid them on top of the others on Caleb’s lap. When he started to stand the vampire grabbed his fingers.

“Hang on.” Caleb winked at him and reached into one of the bags he was carrying. “I’m Caleb. I only had one coffee, but Mala won’t mind sharing a few of these.”

“I might.” Mala trekked slowly behind his desk to stand beside Donovan and rested his hand on his shoulder. They both watched the exchange quietly.

“What is it?” Myrt looked at him puzzled. He had been away from humans and vampires for far longer than Mala when he arrived in Nihil. He had forgotten how naïve and simple they were. They spoke without thinking and were awkward and clumsy.

“Yummy stuff.” Caleb opened a small white box and pulled out a chocolate covered piece of fruit. He held it between his fingers and inched closer to Myrt. “Open up.”

“I don’t eat.” Myrt shook his head.

“Don’t or can’t?” Caleb frowned. “Hmm?”

“I just don’t need to.” Myrt answered sadly. On rare occasions he would have something, but he was always told not to over indulge in any sort of pleasure. He had enjoyed eating and thought it should be left alone.

“Well, I can’t.” Caleb continued to pout. “So eat it for me.”

“I don’t want to.” Myrt scowled at him.

“Don’t be a big baby.” Caleb set the box aside and jumped on Myrt laughing. “Open up.”

“No.” Myrt fell back and tried to move away but Caleb latched around his neck and made goofy faces as he laid on him awkwardly and poked at Myrt’s lips.

“Ca-“ Donovan started to stand and break up what he assumed was going to end badly and Mala pulled him back by his shoulder.

“Let them go.” Mala whispered. “Look.”

“Come on, pretty.” Caleb grinned at the tiny smile Myrt tried to hide as he tightened his lips. “It’s candy and fruit. Good and bad all at the same time. You can’t go wrong.”

“If I eat it will you get off of me?” Myrt pushed a few stray hairs out of the vampire’s face that had fallen loose from the ponytail and looked away when he noticed the vampire flushing. “Please.”

“Maybe.” Caleb laughed and held the treat up to Myrt’s lips. “You might want more though.”

Myrt let Caleb slide the candy along his tongue as he rested his hand on the vampire’s back and sat up trying to reclaim his dignity. Caleb was having fun with him but backed off his lap and grabbed the box from behind him. He took Myrt’s hand and sat the box in his palm before he smiled at him and started to gather up his pages again. As Caleb walked to the desk with his papers and the bag of treats for Mala, Myrt just looked at the box in his hand and wondered how he was supposed to react. While they discussed matters of business that made no sense to him he poked around in the little box and felt ashamed for enjoying what he had already eaten. More ashamed for letting himself get swept up in the sudden affection from a stranger. Myrt had never been in a situation like it and was unsure how to end it without hurting the vampire. What bothered him most is that there was part of him that didn’t want to end it. No one had ever given him so much attention. It was flattering.

“Didn’t like it?” Caleb pouted as he crouched behind Myrt and draped an arm over him. “I guess that means you aren’t going to let me sit in your lap again?”

“I did.” Myrt turned to look at him. Caleb had a disappointed sort of smile that Myrt was not sure how to interpret. He thought if nothing else he should show some gratitude for the gift, particularly since it was one of few he had ever received. “Thank you.”

“My pleasure, honey.” Caleb sighed as he took one last longing look. As he stood tried to push the idea out of his head and just went back to the discussion he came for. “Let me know when it’s all done. I’ll probably just get a smaller place to stay near Sordid.”

“This?” Donovan laughed and shook the messy stack of papers. “Give me an hour.”

“So reliable.” Caleb smiled and looked over to Myrt. He mumbled to himself as he wandered off. “I really need to set myself more realistic standards.”

“An hour?” Mala sighed. “I wanted to go home.”

“I’ll do it at home then.” Donovan pulled Mala to him as he stood and gave him a quick kiss. “I’ll go grab my computer. Invite your brother.”

“You really are happy.” Myrt rested his head on his knees. “I’ve missed you, Mala. I just don’t know where to go from here.”

“First to our place.” Mala sat beside his brother and put his arm around him as he snatched one of his treats and ate it. “You have to meet Dodo.”

“Those are mine.” Myrt closed the box and held it to his chest. “He gave them to me. Who is Dodo?”

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