Tag Archives: Drifa

Waking : Fables : Talon Pt.2

So many years had passed since Talon even gave it a thought. As Lucifer left he could remember it so clearly. Man was still so frightened of the unexplained and their fear made them brutal. The few packs of creatures that attempted to live alongside them took a great risk and it so often ended badly. Talon was there to protect them.

 Even among humans there were some who rose above the fear and hatred and among the beasts those more trusting than others. And in rare occasions friendships blossomed. In even rarer occasion. Love. It was beautiful to witness. The lovely human girl and the fawn as they fell for each other during the long midnight sun. Neither cared for what the other lacked, they just enjoyed each other. The girl was charming enough in fact the fawn had brought her into the village countless times and she had been accepted as family. Hallax and his Hilda. Inseparable. Still she would always have to return home and it was during one of those partings that their perfect love was tested. Hilda was with child and though she tried to keep it secret from her family, by the time she returned to Hallax too many of her village knew.

“They will come for me Hallax.” Hilda had struggled to make the journey north and was weak with fever. “I shouldn’t have come.”

 Hallax and his family assured her it was nonsense. They would protect her and the child. She could stay with them always. But they knew she was right. The humans would come. They feared what a child between them could be. They had never approved of Hilda’s frequent visits and made her life at home very difficult to make that clear.

 Hilda’s pregnancy was difficult and made worse by the coming trouble, but Hallax stayed by her side. Never once letting her feel alone even when the humans finally made their way north.

 By the time they arrived they were little more than an exhausted pack of mutts. The angry mob that began the journey had just lost its fuel over the months of harsh travel as the northern darkness of winter gave them no warmth and little light. The fawn gathered to meet them and as they did so they were joined by their guardian.

 “It’s unfortunate that you made this journey for nothing.” Talon stood unmoving between the two factions and stared down the humans. “If you leave now, however, you can keep your lives.”

“Not with one of us held hostage by those beasts!” One of the mob shouted.

 “I am no hostage.” Hilda struggled even to stand but with Hallax’ help she moved forward on the icy plain to state her intent. “And if you think them beasts, then I am not one of you.”

 Hilda fell to her knees in pain. Hallax panicked beside her as he saw blood spilling around her legs.

 Shouts from the mob accusing the fawns of dark magic urged them forward until Talon swept his fingers across the ice in front of them forcing them back with a gust of wind and ice. He barked his orders to get the girl to shelter before he approached the startled humans.

 “These creatures are protected.” Talon paced in front of the fear struck mortals. “This is my last warning. You leave here and never return or I will have your lives.”

 They left with little argument and the fawns retreated back to shelters. In one such shelter Talon found Hallax trying to comfort his wailing wife as she grew more pale.

 “Lord Talon.” Hallax spoke with a trembling voice. He was young but would be well loved and strong among his kind. “I have no right to ask this. It was our love that brought this trouble…”

 “Why save you all if it is only to grieve?” Talon came to the woman’s side and laid his hands on her stomach. He felt the life inside fighting as much as the mother’s life slipping away. He quickly healed the wounds and helped to calm the child inside the womb as he listened to the others scrambling around him for water for the woman as her wails turned to relieved gasps. In that moment he could have walked away, but it just wasn’t in his nature. He had to have something for his trouble. He worked his magic to ensure it. He made certain Hilda was well and could survive the birth then stepped away to let Hallax and his family tend to her.

 “If there is any way I can repay you.” Hallax smiled at him with tear filled eyes.

 “You already have, sweet Hallax.” Talon smiled. “And one day I will collect. Make sure to keep it safe until then.”

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Filed under Book VIII, story, Waking

Waking : Fables : Talon Pt.1

“You borrow my Third and returned him broken.” Talon voiced his displeasure with Lucifer without hesitation when he arrived. “I do hope you intend to compensate for this loss.”

 “He will likely recover.” Lucifer assured him. “He was given the gift of the Vicern.”

 “Vicern?” Talon was suddenly puzzled as he was intrigued. “That would mean he was in Eden.”

 “Yes.” Lucifer grinned. “It also means that he has survived thus far. Give him time. Nei will recover.”

 “Answers then.” Talon insisted as he stood. “What was so important that I had to risk the twerp to begin with? And what is lurking in my city? They claimed to be friends of Frost.”

 “Let both matters go, Talon.” Lucifer stepped to the desk and leaned onto his fingertips. “Nei can share with you his tales of heroism when he wakes if he so chooses. As far as what lurks in your streets, it is harmless for now. Likely waiting on Nei’s recovery as you are and will move on once he wakes. Go entertain yourself with something else.”

 “And what would you suggest?” Talon scoffed. “I have only this office to keep me busy.”

 “Aren’t you the source of some local folk tales?” Lucifer laughed. “Go stir something up.”

 “With no reprimand?” Talon grinned.

 “You know which lines not to cross.” Lucifer nodded. “Now don’t bother me again over Nei. Presia will take care of him.”

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Filed under Book VIII, story, Waking

Waking : Fables Pt.2

The reserves of Greenland were protected even before the world became Tsuriai. It was largely protected by nature itself, harsh climate and isolated locale made it ideal to protect some of the creatures who decided to brave the world of humans. Talon had been charged with protecting it. As time went on, Karas joined him in that task. When Lucifer set up a new world the task of protecting the reserve fell mostly to Karas.

 One of his visits to the icy lands led to an encounter that would forever change his life. He happened upon a young girl with lovely brown curls heading toward a protected village of fawns in the reserve. Karas pounced in front of her and smiled hoping at once for her to return the smile and for her to do something foolish and give him a chance to stretch his legs for a change.

 “Out of my way, demon.” The girl huffed impatiently.

 “You have no place here.” Karas grinned at the flush her frustration brought to her face and decided to see how pink he could make her. “Human.”

 “I have every right to be here.” Thalia walked up to him confidently and slapped him across the face. “Now step aside. My father expects me.”

 “Father?” Karas rubbed his face as he sniffed at her. “Half-breed?”

 “You find that distasteful?” Thalia walked on without paying him any mind. “Some protector you are.”

 “You know who I am?” Karas caught up to her and fell in step beside her. He was suddenly excited by the fact he was recognizable after such a short time appointed to the Circle.

 “Second of Drifa.” Thalia droned on with a tone that suggested she was unimpressed. “Before that you helped protect the creatures here. Though you clearly don’t know them very well.”

 “Thalia!” Hallax exclaimed as he rushed at his daughter. He was not entirely thrilled to see she had arrived with a demon, but it wasn’t the one he had to worry over so he kept his distaste to himself and greeted the guest. “And who is your guest?”

 “Not a guest, Papa.” Thalia sighed. “We just met on the way. He is not staying.”

 “Charming girl, Hallax.” Karas teased. “I guess that’s the human half showing.”

 “We do not speak ill of the dead here.” Hallax answered sadly.

 “You should go.” Thalia turned and slapped him once more. “Before you offend someone else.”

 As some of the other fawns nodded in agreement Karas realized his sense of humor had crossed a line and he felt more than a little disgusted with himself. He bowed to Thalia and her father. “My apologies. I will take my leave.”

Breakseal

Karas saw her by chance weeks later on the streets of Drifa and ran right over to her. He had rushed in so quickly and hadn’t thought of a word to say and ended up standing there stupidly as she shook her head.

 “You are in my way.” Thalia smiled. The demon in front of her seemed to be sincere and despite her fathers’ warnings she was intrigued by his stumbling attempts to approach her. “Again.”

 “I wanted to apologize properly.” Karas took her hands suddenly. Warm soft fingers that squeezed his in return. “I really didn’t mean to upset anyone. Let me take you to dinner.”

 “I don’t really date.” Thalia laughed. This demon was so adorably awkward she couldn’t help but like him. “I’ll tell you what though, I was going shopping. You can hold the bags.”

 “Deal.” Karas wiggled all twenty of his fingers in agreement. “And I am sorry. I wasn’t thinking.”

 “Don’t worry over it.” Thalia smiled reassuringly. “My family is a little superstitious and my father doesn’t have much trust for demons.”

 “I thought the fawns were on good terms with us.” Karas shrugged and crossed one set of arms as he fell into a comfortable stride beside her.

 “We are.” Thalia paused a moment wondering if her fathers distrust was contagious. She shook off the momentary shivers and continued. “With Papa, it is personal. I suppose it should be my torch to carry as well. You will just have to try and prove us wrong.”

Breakseal

 

“I will never stop trying.” Karas smiled and waited for Thalia to finish her shift.

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Filed under Book VIII, story, Waking

TCOL : Epilogue : Wandering Djinn

“How do we fit in?” Threa looked up at Ria after watching the humans for hours from a quiet rooftop. She thought of the stone like scales on her skin and frowned. “We don’t look…”

 “The demons manage.” Ria leaned and kissed her forehead. “And I think you are simply beautiful.”

 “Ifre may ruin this for all of us.” Threa clutched at Ria’s suit jacket and looked down over a strange city, their first taste of freedom.

 “I doubt that.” Ria chuckled and brushed his fingers back through her hair. “T’waer will keep Ifre in check. Besides he seems to have a fascination with the Siren. If there is trouble it will come from Li’da.”

Breakseal

“It’s cold here.” T’waer pouted. “I don’t like it.”

 “I’m pretty sure this is where they live.” Ifre created a large cloak and wrapped it around T’waer as he watched the Circle building from a distance. It had been quiet but he was sure he felt the familiar presence.

 “So what if it is?” T’waer cuddled up in her new gift. A needless gesture but she was flattered by it. “You like her or something?”

 “I just want to know more, T’waer.” Ifre looked back at her and laughed at the flakes of snow gathering in her bouncy curls. He pushed aside a handful of them from her face and smiled. “You don’t have to stay with me, you know.”

 “I want to.” T’waer blushed and the second she noticed his grin she kicked him in the shin. “Quit being a pest.”

 “What’s the big deal, Lord Talon?” A dark haired demon bounced beside another through the courtyard interrupting the Djinn in their playful exchange. Ifre quieted T’waer and listened intently. “So the twerp got roughed up. You don’t even like him.”

 “The ‘big deal’ Karas is that the twerp is mine to protect.” Talon grabbed his second by the shoulder and looked down at him sternly. “Nei may not be close to me personally, but he is our colleague. Lucifer snatched him away on personal business and sent him back useless. That witch of his wont even let me near him.”

 “So let her nurse him back to health.” Karas answered quietly. “It’s not as if he is dead. She said herself he would recover.”

 “Stand at his door.” Talon pushed Karas away in frustration. “I want to see him the second he does.”

 “No problem.” Karas straighten himself up and gave a quick respectful bow before he ran off.

 “And don’t think for a second I can’t sense you hiding there.” Talon looked in Ifre’s direction and immediately caught his gaze. “I have no patience for cowards.”

 “Cowards!?” T’waer rushed at him on a wave conjured in a rage but was stopped a few feet from him by Ifre and a well placed wall of fire. “Damn it all. Out of my way, Ifre.”

 “We were not hiding.” Ifre wrapped T’waer in a heated swirl of her own torrent and pulled her close as he spoke to an unmoved Talon. The demon had just looked on with his arms crossed casually in front of him as if he had no care in the world. “We were looking for someone.”

 “This is boring me.” Talon turned away and headed for the building.

 “We’re friends of Nei and Presia.” T’waer shouted after him.

 “That I find hard to believe.” Talon stopped at the door a moment. “Frost has no friends.”

 “We only just met.” Ifre explained.

 “Then I suggest you leave.” Talon scowled at them. “As Nei was very recently returned in a rather unpleasant state, I can only assume you mean him harm. Advance and I will destroy you.”

 “We can’t start trouble.” T’waer pulled on Ifre’s arm. “Let’s go.”

 “Another time then.” Ifre bowed his head and left Drifa. Momentarily discouraged but determined to return.

 Inside the Circle building Talon smirked and as he headed for his office shouted down the hall. “The second he wakes.”

 “I got it, Lord Talon.” Karas sighed and slumped against the door to Nei’s office once Talon was out of sight. “Well this is fun.”

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Filed under Book VII, story, The Council Of Lords

TCOL : Connections : A Breath of Life Pt.2

…Long buried.

Ancient magic walks through the flow of Sacred Crimson.

Where it all began

It will begin again.

“Am I interrupting?” Kage hissed at the sight of Nei holding Presia through the end of one of her auguries. He doted on her as he always had and Lucifer had always taken a twisted pride in their union, but Kage had never been fond of vampires and this one was among the most arrogant of their kind.

“When are you lot not interrupting?” Nei sneered at him. He noticed Farren standing close beside a young boy Kage’s young daughter had strung up on a leash and laughed. “Why is that still alive? Was Lucifer’s golden boy not up to the task of disposing of it?”

“That’s no way to greet a guest, Lord Frost.” Presia rested her head on his shoulder smiling. “Shall I make some tea?”

“Guests usually announce themselves.” Nei huffed. “Or at the very least, they knock.”

“I do hope you realize that it is Lucifer’s affection for Presia that keeps you alive.” Kage grinned as he took a seat in Nei’s favorite chair. “Keep your quips to yourself or I’ll have to make the poor girl very unhappy.”

“What is it you want?” Nei smirked as he held Presia tighter.

“A small favor.” Kage tugged at Bishop’s leash. “I need you to turn this boy.”

“Turn what?” Bishop looked at Kage in panic and confusion. “What is this about?”

“Sorry, boy.” Farren squeezed Bishop’s shoulder. “I think both of our sentences just got longer. That one is a vampire.”

“Why should I do you any favors?” Nei laughed. “And what makes him special?”

“He is my daughter’s pet.” Kage sighed. “I don’t want her to suffer the loss, it’s that simple. As far as incentive goes the reward is in the act itself.”

“Meaning?” Nei raised an eyebrow.

“You have a loathing for Maefyl.” Kage pulled Neka onto his lap. “He is opposed to this.”

“Then you’ve got yourself a deal.” Nei grinned and walked up to Bishop. “This is gonna hurt.”

“Wait.” Bishop raised his arms hoping to stay the attack and reason with Kage. “I didn’t agree to…”

“You agreed to stay with my child.” Kage hissed. “I will not have her in the company of a deviant, filthy human.”

“Charming, isn’t he?” Nei crossed his arms and waited to see the drama unfold as Presia leaned against his arm. “Whenever you girls are finished.”

“You be nice, Mister.” Neka pouted. “Neka doesn’t want anyone else making her Daddy mad today.”

“Look, I know you don’t like me…” Bishop kneeled beside Kage to beg him to change his mind. “But I don’t want to be like him. Please.”

“The decision is not mine.” Kage smirked. “If it were, I would be ending your life, not ensuring its longevity. Still I can hope Nei fails in his task.”

“Don’t call me by that fucking name. I don’t fail.” Nei snatched Bishop up by his hair and bit into his neck with a ferocious disregard for the pain it would cause him and the panic it would strike in his fragile owner. The smile in his bite spilled blood down Bishop’s chest as the futile struggle weakened into no struggle at all. The whimpers Kage’s daughter tried to stifle were a somber accompaniment to the soft gasps of the boy who was now only sitting with the help of Farren nervously sitting behind him. Nei wiped his lips and chuckled at Farren. “What is the deal with you? You went from Lucifer’s most wanted to cuddle buddy for his kids new toy?”

“The situation is none of your concern.” Kage held Neka gently as he glared up at Frost. “Begin.”

“I thought I had.” Nei laughed. “Haven’t exactly done this before, but I don’t think the next part is any fun on my end.”

“He is dying.” Farren sighed as he closed the wounds in Bishop’s throat and felt the life slipping from him. “Fun or not, if you intend to succeed as you boasted…”

“Neka doesn’t want him to die.” She pulled at Kage’s jacket and tried not to cry and disappoint him. “Make him fix it, Daddy.”

“Impatient fucking demons.” Nei mumbled before he hunkered over Bishop and opened his wrist. As he pushed the bleeding wound to Bishop’s mouth he taunted him. “Come on, idiot. You are making a kid cry.”

“The boy must be impressive.” Presia stood close by as Frost gave his breath of life to the child he knew nothing of. “To not only keep your company, but win enough of Lucifer’s favor to demand this gift of immortality.”

“I’m in no mood for storytelling, you meddlesome Siren.” Kage hissed.

“Don’t waste it.” Nei sulked and pushed Farren backward as Bishop started to choke. “Lean him back. Presia, just come here and be beautiful. I don’t much care why they want the kid on a liquid diet.”

Bishop slipped in and out of consciousness; in and out of intense pain. He wanted an end to it. All of it. He thought he could endure a life of pain for his mistakes, but the idea of forever started to sink in and he was terrified. The one thing keeping him from giving up in his weakest moments was the sound of sniffling and whimpers. He just couldn’t let go if it meant hurting even one more person. So despite the pain, and the selfish desire to escape a future filled with unknown horror, Bishop found it in himself to latch onto the offered limb with the newly lengthened teeth that ached in his jaw and take hold of a new life.

“Ease up.” Nei ripped his arm away and pushed Bishop back against Farren. “I’m the new Dad, not dinner. I’m also done. So, party is over. Get out.”

“You’re okay?” Neka leaned over the arm of the chair to look him over. Farren was in the process of cleaning up the mess, so Bishop was mostly presentable but he seemed sad.

“He’s alive.” Kage lifted her as he stood and glared at Frost. “I’m certain Lucifer will be gracious.”

“Lord Kage.” Presia took Nei’s hand as they waited for Farren to help Bishop to his feet. “The coming trial is only a doorway.”

“Keep your visions, Seer.” Kage hissed. “I find them useless. You speak in riddles and hazy truth of what may be. Your Augury clouds the judgment of the weak hearted fools willing to follow folk tales. I have no need of fortunes and omens. I don’t need your supposed talent to tell me what Eden holds.”

“With your company, I can see my son here is going to have a miserable existence. I however don’t need to tolerate any of your company any longer.” Nei glared at Kage as he moved toward the pathetic looking new vampiric child he created hanging in the grip of a demon who he assumed would be dust by now. Nei swung Presia’s hand up to his lips and kissed it. “Good luck. I have a feeling you will need it.”

 

Breakseal

 

 

“A first for you.” Presia loosened the grip she had on Nei’s fingers once Kage had left them. “Are you comfortable with the decision you just made?”

 “Completely.” Nei shrugged. “I might even send him a birthday card.”

 “I meant leaving him to slavery in the care of the Viper’s child.” Presia giggled. “You complained about my time locked away in Lucifer’s castle, but you just sent your first born to live there.”

 “He’ll have company.” Nei kissed her neck. “I’m sure you noticed.”

 “A leash in two directions.” Presia sighed. Lucifer seemed to use similar magic to attach the young Bishop to the prisoner Farren and even with her gifts she could not understand why he would use such an intimate bond. “The poor dear.”

 “At least for now Lucifer’s vicious love toy is just trying to keep his kid happy so I don’t have to give it any concern.” Nei bit into the beautiful neck Presia offered so willingly to replenish himself. He was not entirely without feeling; while he agreed to turn the boy to agitate Maefyl, once he began the process he became a part of it. He didn’t call Bishop his child thoughtlessly. He would be following up on the breath of life he had given, just not while there was no need for worry and not while there was so much frustration running rampant in Lucifer’s realm.

 “Lord Frost.” Presia held him tight as he fed and smiled. “I am as always proud to be yours.”

 “So what is with Eden?” Nei slid his fingers through Presia’s hair and smiled as she wiped her blood from his lip with her thumb. “Are they having fun without us?”

 “Not fun, my Lord.” Presia gave him a sad smile. “And not necessarily without us.”

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TCOL : Connections : Farren & The Frozen City

Even before the Council gathered to plan his capture, Farren sat drenched in the blood of the factory pawns he had slaughtered. He clutched his phone miserably hoping for messages he knew would not come. He had been a much of a pawn as the humans he had just turned into puddles of filth.

He had sent dozens of messages. Called just as often. No answer and no reply. No word of his daughter that he now knew he had left in the clutches of a woman whose agenda no longer included him. His part had been played and now he would finish life as a sacrifice. Another distraction to let Kava dig her claws in a little deeper.

Farren sat staring at the blank screen and wished for a slate just as bare. A fresh start. A second chance. There would be neither. He knew that. Farren, like so many others, only realized how precious life was when it was too late. He closed his eyes and could see the sweet face of his daughter. A face he would likely never see again.

“I just want to know that she is okay, Kava.” Farren murmured to the silent room. He had waited long enough amongst the corpses. He knew the Council would be systematically wiping out these dens of tragedy, his plan now was to aid them in their cause until their paths crossed. He didn’t bother cleaning up the mess, telling himself that the Council would understand his rage. He was not looking for forgiveness after all.

When the last of the pixies Farren had released wandered off he pulled himself up using a nearby railing and tucked away his phone. It seemed pointless now to even keep it, but he was still hopeful for it’s chime to bring his worries to an end. He passed a mirror as he cleaned up his clothes and laughed at himself.

“Marching to my death and still succumbing to vanity.” Farren was amused by the concept. It had the stigma of sin scarred onto it by the god of Heaven, but it seemed at odds with everything they were. He justified his grooming as he shifted into the bitter air of the city of Frost and stood in front of another warehouse. He finished his thought with wind whipping around him. “I’ve never seen an ugly angel. I may as well go out looking good.”

“Pardon, Mr. Farren?” A burly bodyguard by the door shivered as he greeted his boss nervously. Trying to warm his snow covered hands with his own breath as he tried to make pleasantries with a man that scared him colder than the snow ever could. “We weren’t expecting you.”

“Death often comes without warning.” Farren touched the mans shoulder as he opened the door. Before it closed behind him he heard the gurgling curses of the man choking his final thoughts on the blood welling in his throat. Farren sighed. “That will not be a pretty corpse.”

As he made his way toward the pixies, Farren unleashed his vermin and multiple plagues. He watched the humans dropping around him and obliterated the few bold enough to come at him with ease. The vile stench of bile, vomit and excrement soon became thick enough to offend even him and when he ducked inside a room filled with twittering voices he cast a spell to shield both them and himself from any further torture from the pungent sickness he had brought into the building.

“I won’t waste time apologizing.” Farren monologue as he opened cells and broke machinery setting free the creatures he had ordered captured himself. “A change of heart does not forgive my willing participation in this. Go home to your gardens and live, this realm is no place for you. It is filled with the selfish and easily misled and guided by worse.”

Farren shook the dust of their gratitude from his clothes and checked again for any word from Kava. There was nothing. He feared for his daughter. Once he was gone, with only Kava to lead her, what would the girl become?

“What is taking them so damn long?” Farren shouted. Lucifer’s lackeys were usually just a step behind him but this was the fourth warehouse he had emptied. He was out of patience and decided it was time to up the stakes. Even if changing sides was going to cost his life it was time to send a message to the Council. He needed to see Evadia. Even just once more. “You want a distraction, Kava? How is this?”

Farren set his little friends loose on the structure as he loosed his gathered strength into the walls and forced centuries of decay in seconds. Metal framework rusted and cracked under the weight and brick and mortar crumbled around him. His vermin tearing with tooth and claw to further pull apart the foundation as Farren jumped through collapsing ceilings and escaped the crash of the roof. As he landed in the dusty rubble of what used to be a working factory of torture he had helped set up himself he closed his eyes an turned his face into the cold flakes that would cover the mistake. He was too lost in his own hope that it would cover him as well to notice the attention he had already attracted from the city’s Circle.

“We will have to invite Lucifer’s Council for a visit, Lord Frost.” A grey-eyed demoness stood beside a vampire that wore a grin from ear to ear as he looked Farren over. “We seem to have found what they are looking for.”

“You make the tea.” Nei smirked as he drew a sword from the sheath on his back. “We’ll have a nice talk with him over our new centerpiece.”

“Now, now.” The girl drew her own sword and gently tapped down the blade of her companion as she giggled. “You know they want him for answers, my Lord.”

“Damn it, Presia.” Nei laughed. “I just wanted to rough him up a bit.”

“The last gentlemen you roughed up is no longer among the living.” Presia knocked snow from the vampires hair and replaced her sword in the sheath on her back. She stood beside her Master and crossed her arms as she looked at the demon on the collapsed factory. “You have caused our city quite some trouble with this disgusting game. My Lord Frost is not kind to those who disrespect the Circle of Drifa.”

“It gave me a chance to stretch.” Nei shrugged and sheathed his sword. “Goofy shit of a demon. You have managed to piss off too many of the grown ups. I don’t even get a stab at you. I have to wait in fucking line.”

“Then tell them to queue up.” Farren sat in the cold, dusty rubble that was crusting with snow. “I’m not going anywhere.”

“Just giving up?” Nei cast a glance a Presia to keep her on guard. “That is no fun.”

“The blood of so many innocents stains your fingers.” Presia sneered at Farren. “It is insulting that you will not even stand up for the cause that inspired you to such wretched acts.”

“The cause was not mine and I am here to SAVE an innocent.” Farren snapped at her and angrily tossed a handful of dust beside him. “Call on Lucifer and his following. I will pay for the blood on my hands.”

“Adjust your attitude, demon.” Nei walked over the rubble with rage burning in him. Presia stayed steps beside him and kept her silence. “I don’t care what answers Lucifer wants from you. Use that tone with Presia again and I’ll make myself a rug from your hide.”

“I’m not here to pick a fight with you.” Farren hung his head. An argument was as pointless as the vampires threat. No vampire was going to stand against him and win, let alone the spoiled Third in a frozen city.

“Wonderful timing.” Nei caught Presia in one arm as she stumbled and fell into a trance. “Come out of it quick, Presia.”

 “The freed angel and the newling are breaking old laws.

Discovering secrets.

The new mother… her name is not her own.

She is mad.

Life of secret and of lie.

The freed angel has found her name.”

 

“What?” Farren stared as Frost roused his demoness from her waking nightmare. The disjointed poetry was disturbing and resonated with him. ‘The new mother… her name is not her own.’ Farren swallowed his fears and hoped the woman’s vision was not about Kava. ‘She is mad.’ Farren slid down the rubble carefully to get closer. “A seer?”

“Among other things.” Nei steadied Presia and took her hand. “Relevance?”

“I’m afraid that is still unclear, my Lord.” Presia looked at Farren with the certainty that it was his presence that prompted the augury. “I am also afraid that he and it are connected and that it is all terribly relevant. It is time to contact Lucifer.”

“Proper channels, you beautiful thing.” Nei kissed Presia’s fingers as he sent a message through his phone to the Council. “I like to speak to Lucifer as little as possible. Feeling up to a lullaby?”

“I don’t think that is necessary.” Presia leaned against Nei and looked toward their captive. “He has surrendered. There is no joy in conquering the defeated.”

“I’m not dead yet.” Farren sighed. “Does being wanted not warrant some sort of rapid response? I have terms of surrender that involve the life of a child. What is keeping those fools?”

“They’ll be along.” Nei kicked Farren across his face. “That’s for drugging up my city with mutilated immortals.”

“Sorry.” Farren spit aside and rested his chin on his knee. “If it makes you feel better you can try and do some damage.”

“Lord Frost.” Presia winked at him. “Mind yourself.”

“The Council can decide what you deserve.” Nei smiled at Presia and ignored the demons arrogance. “The spread of this HiPi is over. I just want you out of my city with it.”

“Apprehended…” Maefyl pushed Nei aside as he arrived and rested his blade against Farren’s face. “Looks more like you are making friends. Get on your feet, Farren.”

“Fuck off, you spoiled twit.” Nei laughed and looked over the entourage Lucifer’s favorite had brought along. “You need this much help to haul away some trash?”

“Nice to see you have not changed.” Eidolon sighed as he grabbed Farren by his hair. “Lucifer will see to it you are rewarded for turning him in, Nei.”

“Stuffy as ever. Falcon.” Nei smirked at the Watcher’s insistence on using his unfortunate given name. “Good to see you, Eidolon.”

“Kyaa.” Kaneko glared at Frost’s Third as she squeezed Eidolons arm. “Is he a friend of yours?”

“Student.” Eidolon answered offhanded as he carefully took Maefyl’s blade in his fingers. The magic in it burned his skin as he moved it away from Farren. “This is unnecessary. Calm yourself.”

“Ke saba bol helkisa’tach.” Azrael touched Maefyl’s shoulder and stepped beside him. “Salek sansan ken.”

“Pathetic.” Maefyl withdrew his sword and sighed. Farren had been so arrogant before, now he wore sorrow and defeat on his face.

“That I am.” Farren chuckled sadly.

“What were you even doing here?” Sanguine shouted at him and hoped the broken remains of the factory beneath them was not the final resting place of more pixies.

“Putting an end to it.” Farren pulled his phone out and opened a checklist of addresses he had been working through. “This should be of use.”

“Why now?” Maefyl snatched it from him.

“Regret.” Raziel answered for Farren. Kava’s spells of protection were fading and emotion was coming through. “And hope.”

“Have fun ladies and gentlemen.” Nei excused himself rudely. “Presia and I have plans.”

“Eidolon, before you all arrived I had an augury…” Presia shared the words and he promised to take them to Lucifer. Once he had, Presia indulged Nei in his eagerness for a hasty exit and the two of them vanished in a swirl of wind and snow.

“Just take him back.” Maefyl pushed back his hair and inhaled the cold air hoping it would calm him. Eidolon escorted Farren to Hell and Maefyl told the others to go ahead of him. Raziel obeyed the request. Azrael did not.

“Sek kaat stava wazuni’tach.” Azrael leaned close to Maefyl’s face and blinked at him. “Kasu?”

“Too easy.” Maefyl sighed. “It’s never this easy.”

“Vet sana saba stava hela na sesa.” Azrael grinned. “Kabak makusa ken blekasu.”

“I’m almost starting to like you.” Maefyl shook his head and smiled at the sad truth of it. “You sick fuck.”

“De kofret sek, nus.” Azrael hugged him and shifted them back to Lucifer’s audience hall before he let Maefyl push him away so he could return to Gabriel. The anger in Gabriel’s eyes hurt him, but he grinned and blew him a kiss as he cuddled up to Samael.

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