“It’s just a suggestion.” Gabriel stopped at the bedroom door hoping to eliminate the need for screams. “But it may be better to let this go.”
“Why the fuck would I do that?” Maefyl shouted at him. “She lied to me. Just stay out of it, Gabriel.”
“I just think you should postpone the discussion.” Gabriel walked into the bedroom to find something to occupy his time while Maefyl was screaming at Shiroi. “Regardless of what Eidolon told you, do you think this is the best time for this? Just tell her to stay where it is safe and deal with any lies she may have told you when you have less to upset you. You know that your arguments with her never go well.”
“Because she’s useless.” Sanguine pouted. “Arguing is the only thing she is good at.”
“That’s not helping, Sany.” Maefyl sent Shiroi a message to meet him and leaned in the bedroom to look at Gabriel. “Please just let me deal with this. You said you wanted me focused. I can’t focus when this is driving me crazy.”
“Not nearly as crazy as it is driving me.” Gabriel muttered as he pulled a journal from the shelf and walked to the bed. “Do what you have to do, Maefyl. I’ll be here for you when you need me.”
“You always are.” Maefyl pulled the door closed and went to answer the knock at another one. “Sany, please. I know you’re angry but stay quiet.”
“I will.” Sanguine pouted and cuddled against his neck. “I’m always here for you, too.”
“I know.” Maefyl sighed and opened the door. When Shiroi smiled at him he just lit a cigarette and walked to the couch.
“Did I do something wrong?” Shiroi gave him a troubled look as she followed him to the couch and sat beside him. “What did my Father say?”
“This has shit to do with Lucy.” Maefyl glared at her. “You feel like telling me what actually happened with Samael?”
“I told you he…” Shiroi felt her throat burning.
“I’m more interested in what you didn’t tell me.” Maefyl cut her off. “Why would you lie to me?”
“I didn’t lie.” Shiroi grasped at her neck when the collar there began to burn. “Maefyl, please stop.”
“You let him touch you.” Maefyl screamed at her.
“I didn’t let him.” Shiroi cried and reached for his arm. “He just did it.”
“Don’t touch me right now.” Maefyl stood up and started to pace. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“It’s not that big of a deal.” Shiroi whimpered through her pain. “Why are you so angry?”
“You are definitely Nexus’ daughter.” Maefyl whispered and he felt a playful pinch on his neck that he knew didn’t come from Sanguine. Even Kagemusha was voicing her agreement in subtle ways. “Shiroi, I tolerate more from you than I should. You see anyone else’s brides mouthing off? Hiding things from them?”
“Not everyone else has to share their husband.” Shiroi shouted back at him. “Do you think it’s easy for me to see you with Gabriel all the time?
“Please tell me you are fucking joking.” Maefyl laughed. “Eidolon, Raziel, Nikolai… all completely content.”
“My Father and my Uncle manage to be happy with one marriage.” Shiroi shouted at him.
“You had no problem with Gabriel when he was willing to fuck you on command.” Maefyl screamed at her. Her defense was infuriating because he knew the truth of those ‘happy’ marriages, but he managed to keep the truth to himself. Her defiance only made him angrier with her. He kicked the table aside and lifted her by the throat. He pulled her back with every intention of slamming her into wall but stopped himself and just dropped her to her feet when he heard her thoughts. She still wanted them both. It was not that he was married to Gabriel that had her aggravated. It was that she could not share him. “Damn it. I thought you were through with this bullshit. He doesn’t love you. He never will.”
“I didn’t say anything about it.” Shiroi scowled at him and rubbed her neck. “I don’t want your precious Gabriel.”
“Liar.” Maefyl hated that he heard it, but he knew beforehand that the feelings were still there. He sat on the floor and tried to calm himself. “If I’m not enough…”
“Don’t.” Shiroi kneeled in front of him and curled her fingers into fists at her knees. “Maefyl, I love you.”
“Do you?” Maefyl turned her arm and ran his fingers over his crest. “Or do you just think you have to?”
“I loved you before you did that.” Shiroi’s tears would not stop falling. She felt her heart breaking as she watched his expression turn from anger to sadness. “Please believe me. You’re everything to me.”
“I give you everything you want and you still end up crying.” Maefyl sighed and wiped her face before he pulled her into his lap and rubbed at her neck. “You okay?”
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.” Shiroi hugged him. “I didn’t know how. He kept saying awful things about you not protecting me. I was scared. I didn’t want you to be angry.”
“Well, you fucked up.” Maefyl pulled Shiroi to her feet as he stood. “I am angry, because you decided to lie about it.”
“I didn’t…” Shiroi’s denials were cut off by his kiss and his arms folding gently around her.
Maefyl knew the only way he was getting an honest answer was to take it, so he did. In their kiss her mind opened and he could see and hear the truth she failed to tell him.
“Gabriel. I need a translator.” Maefyl stepped away from Shiroi and waited for Gabriel to walk down the hall. “What is ‘Welak Isa’?”
“White one.” Gabriel answered. Gabriel had been listening, so he knew Maefyl had gotten his answers another way. “Is that what they were calling her?”
Maefyl just nodded and waited for inevitable questions from both of them.
“You had him listening?” Shiroi shouted at Maefyl. “How is what I did any worse than you not telling me about this?”
“He had no choice.” Kagemusha defended his deception. “Your father has ordered that he is never without protection.”
“So I can’t have time alone with him?” Shiroi glared at Gabriel. “I assume you get plenty of it.”
“Leave him alone. It’s Gabriel or Kage.” Maefyl wasn’t any happier about the lack of privacy, but it was the least of his worries. “Take your pick.”
“You can do no wrong in Gabriel’s eyes and Sanguine hates everything I do.” Shiroi looked away pouting. “At least if Kage were here I might have someone on my side.”
“I doubt that.” Kagemusha laughed. “He would be disgusted by your whimpers. Nexus bleeds for her mistakes, if she betrayed his trust…”
“I didn’t do anything!” Shiroi shouted.
“Shut up, Shiroi.” Sanguine screamed at her. “Haven’t you caused enough suffering? When are you going to learn your place?”
“And where is that Sanguine?” Shiroi snapped at her angrily. “I thought my place was at Maefyl’s side, but the position often seems to be filled with more desirable company than my own.”
“This isn’t helping.” Maefyl stepped in front of Shiroi and took her chin in his hand. “Your place is with me. Gabriel and Sany have their own place in my heart, as do you. It would be nice if you would stop trying to break it. Stop attacking Gabriel every time you are backed into a corner. You want more attention? Fine. You don’t go to Tsumi anymore without me. Don’t leave Osore at all without me.”
“That isn’t fair.” Shiroi cried. “I thought you trusted me.”
“I did.” Maefyl tightened his fingers on her jaw and thought about Samael’s offer to end her loneliness. “I also thought you were happy. Conversations over, Shiroi. You don’t go anywhere without me knowing. I’m tired of finding out what’s going on with you from other people.”
“It wasn’t a conversation to begin with.” Shiroi muttered.
“If you are that unhappy just go away.” Sanguine unleashed a wave of magic from her hands that knocked Shiroi across the room. She was angry but the attack was just as much to prevent Maefyl from hitting her and once again angering Lucifer. The last time Maefyl tried to discipline his unruly bride, Sanguine had almost lost Maefyl. She was not going to allow it again. She screamed at Shiroi with tears in her eyes. “All you do is make him miserable.”
“That’s enough.” Gabriel helped Shiroi to her feet and then stood aside to try and sway Maefyl from a demand that would only serve to interrupt his own time with him. Gabriel wasn’t willing to give up a single second he did not have to. “From all of you. I don’t at all approve of her behavior, but you’ve given her trust and freedom since you met, Maefyl. She made some bad decisions; do you plan on punishing her for mistakes? Shiroi has family in Tsumi, don’t deny her time with them.”
“Shiroi, I’m just upset.” Maefyl held Sanguine in his palm and stroked her back with the back of his finger as she cried quietly. “I do trust you. I do want you to stay in Osore a few days while we figure things out, but you know I’m not going to keep you from living your life the way you want.”
“I really can’t have any time alone with you?” Shiroi sat on the edge of the couch and hung her head. She was still shaken by the sudden attack from Sanguine and that no one else seemed to be bothered by such a show of power from the tiny creature. “For how long?”
“I’ll be in my office.” Gabriel held out his hand until Maefyl let Sanguine in his palm. “Use yours, it is well enough protected that Kagemusha will spare you a visit from her Master.”
“As long as you don’t leave it.” Kagemusha nodded. “I’ll bend my orders because of the favors you have done.”
“Thanks.” Maefyl kissed Gabriel and leaned to kiss Sanguine’s head. “I’m sorry Sany. Do you want to stay with Gabriel until I work this out?”
“No.” Sanguine pouted. “But I don’t want to be around her either.”
“Then you and Gory can keep me entertained.” Gabriel suggested and gave Maefyl a stern look to make sure Sanguine would not be lonely for longer than was necessary. “He will not be long.”
Maefyl took Shiroi to his office. Gabriel went to his own and suffered through Maefyl’s need to console his bride.
“Why do you tolerate his time with her?” Kagemusha asked as she joined Sanguine and Gory in Gabriel’s hands. “You could easily put an end to it.”
“Shouldn’t you be with Maefyl?” Gabriel smiled and refused to answer.
“I have no desire to watch them.” Kagemusha added. “No desire to spend much time with the girl at all. My Lord Kage has a weakness for her, I do not.”
“I hate her.” Sanguine pouted.
“Sanguine, be patient for Maefyl’s sake.” Gabriel laid the trio of fairies on a small cushion on his desk, before he created and slid a small cake to them. Gory and Kagemusha started sharing it quietly while Sanguine continued her complaints.
“I don’t understand how you are so patient about it.” Sanguine sobbed. “She should bother you more than anyone.”
“I can’t deny that I would prefer to have Maefyl to myself.” Gabriel nudged Gory aside with a fork and took a piece of the cake for himself. “I won’t ask him to give up something he loves because of my own selfish desire. If I had not been a coward for so long he would have been mine alone. Sharing him with Shiroi is the price I pay for that cowardice.”
“You encouraged the union that makes you miserable.” Kagemusha added.
“A fact I often regret.” Gabriel sighed. “As much as there have been a number of times when her actions have led to some unfortunate outcomes, Shiroi is not the villain you all make her out to be. She has just as often made herself useful.”
“Only after she caused the problems to begin with.” Sanguine shouted. “I hate that she just has to cry and Maefyl forgives everything.”
“He loves her Sanguine.” Gabriel sat his fork on the edge of the plate and looked at her sadly. “I don’t like it either, but he would do no less for either of us.”
“Sounds like I make all of you miserable.” Maefyl leaned in the doorway between Gabriel’s office and their apartment.
“That was quick.” Gabriel looked up at him surprised, he had expected to be subjected to hours of their intimate apologies, but he sensed Maefyl had only given her a brief taste of his kiss. “I was trying to allow you time…”
“It’s fine Gabriel.” Maefyl crouched by the desk and poked Sanguine. “Are you so mad at me you can’t enjoy your sweets?”
“I’m not mad at you.” Sanguine pouted until Maefyl stuck his finger in the icing and held it in front of her.
“Then cheer up.” Maefyl insisted and when she started smiling again he winked up at Gabriel. “Both of you.”
“How did you get her to shut up?” Sanguine licked the icing from his finger.
“Family secret.” Maefyl rolled a small vial of liquid across the desk to Gabriel. “I borrowed this from Lilith. Should keep her out of trouble for a week or so.”
“That’s cruel, Maefyl.” Gabriel scolded him and slipped the vial into his pocket. “You left her alone?”
“I told her she’s fine.” Maefyl sighed. He realized it was an extreme decision to make on a whim, but he was still too angry to deal with her fairly. “I made her comfortable and told her to sleep it off. I don’t have time to worry about her wandering off right now.”
“What will have you so busy?” Gabriel questioned him as he pushed back from his desk and beckoned Maefyl to him.
“Well, Raziel wants you to talk to Michael about Brig.” Maefyl handed Gabriel his phone so he could see the request himself. “While you do that I thought I would take Kage and Raziel and pay Samael a visit.”
“No.” Gabriel grabbed Maefyl’s arm and pulled him into his lap. “I’ll speak with Michael, but you are not to see Samael unless I am there. I would rather you didn’t at all.”
“It won’t matter.” Kage arrived beside Lucifer. “You don’t have time for any of it.”
“Come outside.” Lucifer commanded. “Both of you.”
“They have made their decision…” Gabriel sighed as he looked to the sky filled with all manner of creatures ready to massacre the humans they hated. “What have they asked, Lucy?”
“Nothing as of yet.” Lucifer explained. “This is just a message to show their intent. Samael wanted my attention.”
“For your attention he threatens Osore?” Maefyl scoffed.
“Not just Osore, half-breed.” Kage corrected him as Kagemusha reclaimed her place on his shoulder. “All of Tsuriai. The Wyrms have roused all of Parasek.”
“They have filled the skies and forests the world over.” Lucifer grinned. “They threaten not only me, but the faith of the entire world in those I’ve left to protect them.”