“Can you feel that?” Maefyl looked at Raziel.
“One cluster of thoughts still very well guarded.” Raziel nodded. “Sachiel abandoned him but still has secrets she wants kept.”
“Farren.” Maefyl grabbed him by the back of the neck. “Stop making the kid feel like shit over saving your skin. There is something in your head we can’t see.”
“I don’t know what you have seen.” Farren stumbled backward and Maefyl let him fall.
“Let’s see how long your leash is.” Maefyl grabbed the blonde hair and started to pull him away until Farren gasped for air. Maefyl kicked Farren closer so he could catch his breath. Farren still had nothing of value to share and Maefyl almost felt guilty for the pain he had put him in. Almost. “Well you don’t have to share a bed.”
“You’re welcome, Kage.” Lucifer looked up at him and winked. He had been generous enough to allow for Farren to be locked in another room if need be.
“Tch.” Kage looked away. He had too much to be furious over and couldn’t decided which slight against him to react to first, but he wanted the crowd to thin quickly so they could get to work. “Myrt, you and your companion are no longer needed. Leave.”
“Gladly.” Myrt held Caleb tightly and bowed his head to Gabriel. “I still have nothing but respect for you. You and Maefyl are our friends and I love you no less then the friends I have found in Nihil. This was a waste of time, but I would ask that if this Council has any further requests to make of me, you make them. I don’t want to come here again.”
“Geoffrey, you may want to excuse yourself as well.” Gabriel suggested. “The Council will handle the rest of this.”
“Don’t run off just yet.” Maefyl flicked through the phone he had taken from Farren and questioned him. “Are any of you little friends still hanging about to cause us problems?”
“No.” Farren came to the realization that they had followed him from place to place more than they had safe guarded any one of the facilities. “I think they were there to watch me. She called most back to Eden with her. At worst there may be a few lingering Powers.”
“Get yourself some exercise, Geoff.” Maefyl tossed him the phone. “If you want help, see if Nikolai will lend you the pussy cats.”
“Can we?” Bezer bounced into Nikolai’s arms excitedly. “I want to break things!”
“If you look out for one another.” Nikolai grabbed Azazel’s collar and pulled him close to whisper. “And if you behave. Don’t think I didn’t notice his eyes, my pet.”
“No worries, Master Nikolai.” Azazel purred and turned to kiss him. “Angels are boring.”
“And no one is more fun than the two of you.” Bezer leaned over to Asura and tugged her into their awkward huddle.
“Just stay in touch, okay.” Asura held Bezer’s face and kissed her. “I don’t like this.”
“We’ll be back before you can miss us.” Azazel winked at her with a sweet smile and blushed as Nikolai pulled him up by his collar and kissed him.
“Just behave.” Nikolai reiterated sweetly. “And be quick about it.”
“Will do.” Azazel grabbed Asura and kissed her until she was relaxed against him. “Don’t worry. Humans are squishy and Powers are pushovers.”
“Let’s go play!” Bezer jumped on Azazel’s back and he carried her to join Geoff as he bowed his head to accept their help.
“Get going.” Maefyl insisted.
“Please.” Lucifer added. “Now that this problem will not be growing I want it cleaned up rapidly.”
“Why are we still sitting here, Lucy?” Maefyl barely waited until Geoff had left with the cubs to launch into an impatient rant. “We have the name and place.”
“Do you tell him nothing, Gabby?” Lucifer rested his head on his fingertips. “Kage…”
“Fighting any war requires strategy, Half-breed.” Kage rested his arm on the throne and closed his eyes. “This is one the Council will be fighting alone. We can not call on others for help in this. The garden Sachiel has chosen to defile with her presence is not one many will set foot in.”
“Eden carries with it more than whatever horrors Iehovah stained it with.” Gabriel laced his fingers through Maefyl’s. “He used its serenity for privacy, it was once a piece of Tsuriai, of Earth, made into a garden because of its significance.”
“Not in the mood for riddles, Gabriel.” Maefyl sighed. “Just tell me.”
“It was where Watchers first tread.” Lilith offered what she knew of Eden solemnly. “Sacred because it was the first ground graced by the creators.”
“Pardon my rudeness, Mistress.” Samael laughed. “You should hardly be the one to explain. You have no real knowledge of Eden.”
“Eden saba kuraxa.” Azrael smiled and his eyes glossed as he remembered happy moments of their earliest days.
“Home?” Maefyl looked to Gabriel for clarity.
“Of Zakesalek.” Gabriel nodded. “Where we first brought magic to this world. And for a time where we managed to live without trying to destroy one another.”
“Home before we separated ourselves from the realm of the creatures we guided.” Eidolon added. “It holds a sentimental significance, but only to the six of us and Lucifer. It is tragic to learn it was used for so foul a purpose and to be darkened once more as a sanctuary for the Ghost and her schemes.”
“Schemes…” Farren sat and hugged his knees. “I think I know part of the plot she wanted hidden. Kava; Sachiel, she only wanted to have a child so she could force another soul into it.”
“Is she completely mad?” Kage shouted.
“I think we may know what became of the lost carpenter.” Lucifer rushed to help Gabriel restrain Maefyl as he began to scream. “Listen to me you stubborn child. I told you I would help. Stop your screaming.”
“This is unforgivable.” Eidolon snatched Farren up from the floor and struck him with the back of his hand. “You allowed this to be done to your own child? You have no right to beg us to save her on your behalf.”
“Didn’t you once request the head of a friend under the powerful influence of love.” Samael taunted Eidolon. “Really, Falcon. How can you judge him for being used as a pawn after you so easily fell into Kage’s trap.”
“And your excuse for cruelty?” Raziel tilted his head as he looked at Samael. “You have needed no such influence to do the dreadful things you have done.”
“I enjoy it.” Samael smirked.
“Kyaa.” Kaneko screamed and pulled at her hair. “All of you stop it. You are making Kaneko angry!”
“What the fuck, Galik?” Brig shouted as he clutched the fresh claw marks on his face and watched Galik licked blood from his fingernails.
“Don’t stand so close.” Galik grinned.
“Calm down, lovely.” Vikarr held Eliza as she struggled to get away intent on attacking Kage. “I won’t lose you over this.”
“I want to rip him apart, Vivi.” Eliza screamed and scratched at his hands. “Let me go. He killed Vale.”
“Master Nikolai.” Asura clung to Nikolai for comfort and wished the cubs had not gone away. She wanted them together. She watched a room full of friends and lovers suddenly turning on each other irrationally and was herself overcome with an unexplainable sense of dread. “What’s going on?”
“Tch.” Kage shifted suddenly across the room and slapped Shiroi across the face. “Control yourself. It is your anxiety that is doing this.”
“Uncle…” Shiroi rubbed her face and looked at him with wide eyed understanding as he laid his fingers against hers and realized what had happened. She had let herself get swept away in her own emotions. So troubled by the state of things that her gift touched even her; her fears and anger caused old grudges to surface and spill out into spiteful words and her sadness at seeing Maefyl in agony put her in a strange state of shock. Shiroi lost complete touch with the power in herself and could only stand there helplessly as it swept across the room infecting others. Kage had managed to keep his wits about him and realized what had to be done. Shiroi felt the arms of her husbands close around her gently as the shouting in the room softened and she gave Kage a trembling smile of gratitude. “I’m sorry. Thank you.”
“Don’t thank me. Learn to use your skills properly.” Kage hissed at her and turned away quickly to rejoin the others. His own calm was broken by the sight of Neka snuggled into the arms of her pet and he drew his sword, bringing the edge to Bishop’s neck. “And you should explain very quickly why you have laid your hands on my child.”
“She told me to pick her up.” Bishop sighed. “Just doing what I’m told.”
“Kevas.” Lucifer chuckled as he helped Gabriel settle Maefyl. “Let Neka play with her toy. We are a little busy at the moment.”
“Hardly.” Kage sighed. “There will be no rush into Eden. Most of this Council is ill prepared.”
“Then Zakesalek should go alone.” Eidolon suggested. “There is no risk to us.”
“What about the kid?” Karla looked up at him and whispered. “You aren’t going to let the crazy bitch hurt her are you, Master Eidolon?”
“Language.” Eidolon ran his hand over Karla’s short hair and sighed. She squeezed against him to apologize and he held her close as Kaneko took his opposite arm. “As much as I would like to avoid it, sacrificing the child to rid Tsuriai of Sachiel’s madness is not altogether…”
“Unfortunately I promised Maefyl I would see to the safety of Iesu.” Lucifer interrupted Eidolon and started to pace. “If what Farren has told us is true and his daughter now holds that soul, then the child will be spared.”
“Thank you.” Farren whispered his gratitude to no one in particular.
“I don’t think it’s for you, buddy.” Bishop quietly muttered his response when he saw Farren wipe away his tears.
“As long as she is safe.” Farren offered a weak smile before he hung his head and thought of his daughter.
“You’re funny, Bishop.” Neka hugged around his neck and giggled. “Neka likes you.”
“I like you, too.” Bishop smiled and gave a light squeeze. “Your Dad is scary though.”
“You haven’t even seen him angry, yet.” Lilith whispered suddenly from beside them. As Bishop started to jump away she wrapped an arm around him and giggled. “Don’t worry, the rest of her parents like you.”