Tag Archives: Nihil

TCOL : Connections : Strength In Nihil

“I think we could both use a distraction.” Vikarr held Eliza on his lap and rubbed her tears away. “If you can handle the Keeper and his deviants slinging insults, we can visit them and make my offer more properly.”

 “What about Vale?” Eliza whimpered and tried to look away but he held her face and smiled at her sweetly. He had been just as angry, she could see the hurt in his eyes and he was doing what he could to distract her. His offer would likely mean humiliating himself again on her behalf. Eliza hugged him suddenly. “I think we should just stay with our friends here.”

 “As you wish, my lovely.” Vikarr smiled as she clung to him. “I can play Father another time. I’ll have everyone meet us.”

Breakseal

“Obviously.” Donovan sighed and put his arm around Mala to pull him close. When Vikarr sent word he wanted company, the others were already gathered together discussing what little they knew. “It wasn’t a question of willingness. I just doubt I would be more than a spectator.”

 “Cheer squad!” Caleb forced himself to be cheerful even through his overwhelming terror over the situation. “Don’t underestimate the support team. They need us, Donovan honey.”

 “From the sound of things we all may fall into those roles.” Myrt tugged Caleb’s hair until he settled back into his arm. “I don’t think we are even invited to this fight.”

 “We can’t let Vikarr go alone.” Mala insisted. “He is like family to us.”

 “I’m flattered, Mala.” Vikarr cackled. “You can all stop worrying. I’m not certain even I will be going. Seems the Six want to keep the fun to themselves.”

 “So don’t let them.” Eliza pulled out her phone as she wiped her face. “For the love of rainbows, I have to do everything…”

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TCOL : Death & New Life : The Needed Chemicals Pt.3

“This is not cruelty, Maefyl.” Lilith insisted as she reclaimed her place on Lucifer’s lap and sulked.

“May I suggest we handle more prudent matters?” Gabriel looked at the boy sadly. “I don’t mean to make light of your situation, young man. We are however having somewhat of a crisis that my old friends seem to have forgotten.”

“I’ll just stay out of the way then.” Bishop smiled and stepped back from the well dressed gentleman as his strange friend draped himself over his shoulders. “Someone just show me where ‘out of the way’ is.”

“We certainly attract the smart asses.” Sanguine laughed. “What’s your name shaggy?”

“Bishop.” He smirked at Maefyl. “Are you wearing make up?”

“Kid.” Donovan couldn’t help himself. He laughed when he saw Maefyl’s expression. Just the little hint of mischief hiding underneath the practiced smirk. “Just don’t. Trust me.”

“Why are you all here so early?” Lucifer lifted Lilith as he stood and headed for the doors to the Council hall. “If you insist on interrupting my precious family moments, at least be productive.”

“Family moments?” Maefyl chuckled. “And I wasn’t invited?”

“They are here because I called for them.” Eidolon sat his brides to their feet beside him as he retracted his wings. “At least some of them are. I was not expecting so many, I had hoped to only share this with those involved.”

“Share what?” Lucifer leaned against the door grinning. “Which of these early arrivals can I hold against you?”

“Nyaa!” Kaneko bounded across the room and embraced Kage and Neka. “Kaneko is allowed to be early.”

“Always.” Lilith agreed lovingly before she urged Eidolon on. “Please continue, Falcon.”

“It should wait.” Eidolon sighed. “It is a family matter.”

“The matters of Lucifer’s family have been quite entertaining thus far.” Vikarr cackled as he broke his silence. “By all means, give us an encore.”

“I think he might mean yours.” Eliza felt her ears getting hot as she looked up at Vikarr. She expected panic but he only winked and gave her his playful smile. “I did ask him if you had family.”

“I’m certain he intends to answer that for you, lovely.” Vikarr lifted her chin with his fingers and bent to kiss her nose before looking over her at Eidolon. “Don’t you, Falcon?”

“You had an impressive bloodline, Jester.” Eidolon nodded and Karla squeezed herself tightly against him. “Your child carried a wealth of you with her and passed it into a heritage that spanned centuries.”

“Natural mages….” Maefyl laughed as he took in the whole journey through Karla’s mind.. “You lecherous morons introduced magic into the human race yourselves. Hate them so damn much you have to fuck any unfortunate enough to wander alone?”

“Don’t speak that way in front of my child.” Kage hissed.

“Excuse the fuck out of me.” Maefyl glared at him. “ You’re the one that keeps dragging her along like she can’t breathe if she’s ten feet from you. Taking her to bed, too?”

“Not another word.” Gabriel whispered. He watched his tears hit the stone under his feet and endured the pain as Maefyl fell on his knees beside him in agony. He saw Lucifer’s sneakers inches from him and clenched his teeth when he saw Lucifer’s hand on Maefyl’s hair.

“That’s enough, Gabby.” Lucifer sighed and twisted his fingers in Maefyl’s hair as he crouched in front of him. “Ready to apologize?”

“Sorry, Neka.” Maefyl smiled as the pain Gabriel scolded him with faded. It had been for his own benefit. He was going too far. Gabriel reigning him in quickly prevented a far more vicious scolding from the friend and Father who looked at him now with a smile that burned as badly as the collar stung his veins. Maefyl grinned back at his Father and whispered. “Have a new favorite?”

“Never.” Lucifer winked and pulled Maefyl up by the shoulder of his shirt before he pushed him into Gabriel’s arms. “Despite your behavior, I love you.”

“Such a tender hand you take with your children.” Vikarr laughed.

“Would you have done any better?” Eidolon scolded him coldly. “The task I undertook for your bride is testament to your own skills as a father. You abandoned your own child.”

“I’m suddenly grateful we can’t have children.” Donovan muttered.

“It does seem troublesome.” Mala agreed quietly.

“This is all just fantastic.” Myrt interrupted loudly. “But if there is a point to me being here can someone get to it?”

“Silence angel.” Kage hissed. “Your tongue has no business wagging here.”

“Leave him alone, Kage.” Gabriel remained still with his arm wrapped around Maefyl in a voiceless apology. “We called them here.”

“I need no help from traitorous angels.” Kage held Neka to him as he glared daggers at Gabriel. “I trust them no more than this Farren your horsemen raised.”

“Excuse my impertinence, Lord Viper.” Vikarr stepped forward and in front of Eliza to protect her from any retort. “Mala has long served Nihil. He has my trust and I assume Lucifer’s. Don’t speak ill of him. Myrt I have only known briefly, but he came at my request and the Council’s call…”

“With another painted vampire at his neck.” Kage smirked. “Trying to impress the Lord of your race, are you?”

“Hey!” Maefyl laughed. “Don’t drag me back into this.”

“You find this amusing, Half-breed?” Kage sat Neka beside the throne and turned toward Maefyl as he clutched his blade and drew it from it’s sheath. “Perhaps I should take my role as step-father more seriously.”

“Let go, Gabriel.” Maefyl shrugged out of his embrace and tugged at the grip on his arm. Chaos flooded the floor at their feet and choked the air with its sickly sweet scent as Maefyl drew his swords. “This is long overdue.”

“Galik.” Raziel stepped away from his loves and was nearly crippled but their desperation. Their concern for him, their love, so intense it burned. “Look after the others”

“Yes, Lord Raziel.” Galik grabbed Brig by the back of his shirt when he moved to stop Raziel from protecting Maefyl. “Leave him alone.”

“This is bullshit.” Brig rushed forward letting his shirt tear and remain in Galik’s hand as he held Van and Shana. Brig reached Raziel as he spread threads of protection around them, but instead of clinging to Raziel and begging him to be reasonable he pulled his knives and took advantage of being inside of the barrier. He drove the daggers into Maefyl’s stomach and back as he screamed his discontent. “Stop putting him at risk, you son of a bitch!”

“Bad move, kid.” Maefyl grabbed Brig and shifted them away as Lucifer‘s blade cracked the floor where they had been standing.

“He meant to protect me.” Raziel followed as Lucifer slowly closed the gap between himself and Maefyl. “Lucifer, your husband provoked this.”

“I’ll tell you only once to back away, Raziel.” Lucifer heard another step follow him and spun to kick Raziel in the chest. He grinned as Raziel hit the wall and watched the panic in Vex’s deranged family as Galik helped his Master to his feet. “Who will pull their strings if I have to put an end to you?”

“I just wanted you to leave him out of it.” Brig saw Kage fall in step beside Lucifer and his fingers shook on Maefyl’s sleeve. Maefyl had him backed to the wall, but stood to defend him against Lucifer. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s not me you need to apologize to.” Maefyl pulled one of Brig’s knives from his gut and healed the wound. As he handed it over his shoulder he laughed. “Would you mind?”

“What?” Brig hadn’t realized in his panic that his right hand still held the knife in Maefyl’s back. He withdrew it and let it drop to the floor as Lucifer stopped in front of them. “I’m sorry. Maefyl, I don’t want him hurt.”

“Your heroics required insulting my bride and attacking my son?” Lucifer punched the wall beside them and watched the broken stone cut Brig’s face as it shattered. “I’m disappointed, Brig.”

“I didn’t…” Brig stared at his coming end burning in the eyes of the Dark Lord and realized it was his mouth that had caused the trouble and not the blood on his hands. “Mistress Lilith, forgive me. Shana, Raziel… I love you.”

Brig closed his eyes and waited, but it wasn’t his scream of pain that ended the silence. It was the quiet laughter of voices singing. As Brig opened his eyes he slid down the wall in relief as the attention he had attracted was now on Lucifer’s throne and the child that occupied it.

“…climbed up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the spider out.” Bishop sat in front of the throne distracting a little girl from a room full of violence. Demon or not she was just a little girl.

“Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.” Neka sang along the words he had quickly taught her and tried to mimic the silly little gestures depicting the brave spiders efforts. She sat on the throne smiling as her finger spider climbed up her arm. “And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again…”

A room filled with ancient creatures watched in amazement as Bishop smiled at her demands to sing it again. Each of them was touched by the scene for different reasons, they could see the happiness, feel it dancing in the air between them, but only Maefyl and Raziel could see the purity in it. The child like joy of making friends and the sweet sentiment behind Bishops motivation to protect a child.

“What is it you think you are doing?” Kage stepped beside the boy.

“Singing?” Bishop sighed. “It was getting a bit deep in here for a kid.”

“My daughter is well equipped to handle these situations.” Kage spoke softly as he praised the girl that still swung her feet carelessly to a song that had ended.

“Doesn’t mean she should have to.” Bishop muttered as he accepted defeat. He pushed himself to his feet and turned to give the girl’s father a polite bow. “I’ll get out of the way.”

“I doubt it.” Kage grabbed Bishop by his throat as he stood and left and endless ring of blackened chaos wrapped around the boys neck. As he let go he left a braided cord of black that ran through his fingers as he stepped toward Neka. When he kneeled in front of his daughter, Kage wrapped the cord gently around her wrist a few times and let her grab the end in her hand. “This will be your responsibility. I want nothing to do with it.”

“Thank you, Daddy!” Neka hugged him tightly and let him lift her into his arm. “Neka will take good care of him.”

“This is not a gift from me alone. Be sure to thank Lilith.” Kage looked down at the dumbfounded youth. “Tch, I should make it clear now that you are not to speak to me unless I say otherwise.”

“Guess the bad name was an omen.” Bishop grabbed his new leash and shook his head as he muttered to himself.

“At least he’s funny.” Maefyl laughed and pulled a relieved Brig off the floor. “You okay?”

“Sorry I stabbed you.” Brig grabbed his second knife and wiped it on his pants. “What exactly is funny about that situation?”

“His name is Rex.” Raziel shifted quickly to retrieve Brig and bring him back to Shana and the others. “I believe my Lord was making a jest about its commonality as a name for canine companions.”

“That’s worse than yours, Brig.” Van giggled as she wiped the last of her tears away.

“Laugh it up, cunt.” Brig held Shana close and let her cry against his shoulder as he returned Van’s jabs at his unfortunate naming.

“Quiet, puppets.” Raziel insisted and took Brig’s jaw in his fingers. “You will be punished.”

“I know.” Brig sighed. As long as they were all together. As long as Raziel was there to make the threat. It was worth it.

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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 : Simplicity

“Morning, E.” Caleb yawned into the phone.

 “Don’t morning me.” Eliza growled at him. “Where the fuck did you disappear to? Do you plan on actually visiting Sordid sometime this week, Mr. Partner? I should have never agreed to this.”

 “Schedule was covered, honey.” Caleb sighed. “I only work the bar because I like it. Neither of us are needed in the day to day and I needed a few off. I’ll be there in a few hours.”

 “No wonder your bar was shit.” Eliza hung up.

 “She is in full on bitch mode.” Caleb dropped the phone on the floor and rolled over into Myrt’s arms. “Hey there.”

 “Hey.” Myrt kissed him. In a matter of days he shed thousands of years of guilt for his desire and gave into it so completely that he had to replace it with the new guilt of being a demanding lover. He had taken Caleb to the point of collapse several times and had to heal him frequently after letting his lust cloud his reason and forgetting it was not a natural immortal in his bed. “Do you need more rest?”

 “I’m good.” Caleb pushed himself up and rubbed Myrt’s chest. “Are you coming to work with me?”

 “Absolutely.” Myrt sat up and smiled at Caleb. He pushed the blonde hair back over the vampire’s shoulders and kissed his neck. “You should pull your hair back up. I liked it.”

 “I can do that.” Caleb laughed as Myrt wrapped an arm around him and continued to kiss around his neck. “If you let me out of bed long enough.”

 “Do you like this?” Myrt shifted behind Caleb and ran his hands down his arms to the lace-like cuffs he had left on the vampire’s wrists. Nearly six inches of each forearm covered in a delicate black design that fell slightly down the back of Caleb’s hands where the black changed to purple and ended in a point of gold. “Is it too much?”

 “I love it.” Caleb rested his head back on Myrt’s shoulder and smiled. “It won’t be easy to hide though, honey. So I hope you are ready to explain this to everyone.”

 “You won’t be hiding it.” Myrt kissed Caleb’s cheek. “I’m through with hiding. Go get ready.”

Breakseal

Eliza finished approving playlists and checked every register while she fumed about her absentee partner. She never expected much of Caleb, but it would be nice if he would at least show his face. Eliza never needed the help running Sordid before, and with lessers and succubi as staff things were running more smoothly than ever before. The changes to the club as a whole meant there were less troubles to worry over and in general even her presence wasn’t needed on a daily basis, but it was the principal of the thing. She expected just a little bit of respect and business etiquette considering this merger was doing Caleb more good than her.

“You need to relax.” Donovan sat at the edge of the bar answering messages on his phone while he waited to mediate any fight between the business partners. Eliza glared at him as she straightened a few things behind the bar. “You know at this point the two of you just need to show up once in a while and smile. Caleb actually enjoys working the bar, he will be here plenty. Give him a break, he was moving.”

“Don’t you have better thing to do than sit here and piss me off, baldy?” Eliza chucked an empty bottle into the trash. “I’m not in the mood.”

“Believe me, I’m just thrilled to be stuck babysitting the boss’ favorite slut.” Donovan grinned. “But Vikarr had Council shit to do and Mala is busy, so here we are.”

“Don’t call me a slut.” Eliza grabbed the nearest bottle and threw it at him. She stomped off when he just caught it and sat it on the bar smiling. “I really hate you some days.”

“The feeling is mutual.” Donovan laughed and continued to tend to his work. Since Sordid reopened it was far more tolerable to visit and he didn’t mind answering his messages surrounded by idle chatter and music instead of silence. He and Eliza were getting along better despite the way they bickered with each other and it was not the chore he made it out to be to keep the peace while Vikarr was busy.

“How mad is she?” Caleb put his arm around Donovan and smiled over his shoulder.

“Its E.” Donovan shrugged. “So, potentially eruptive as always. Where have you been?”

“Busy.” Caleb smiled. “I’m going to head upstairs.”

“Can you make sure Vikarr gets this?” Myrt slid a scroll to Donovan before he followed after Caleb.

“Hey!” Eliza started past Donovan when she noticed Caleb wandering through the crowd. “That sneaky shite.”

“Wait.” Donovan grabbed her arm and leapt quickly to avoid a scene, rushing the two of them upstairs. He watched Caleb and Myrt coming up the stairs together. Caleb had again dressed to impress the fashionable clients of Sordid and it seemed Myrt had taken advantage of his tutelage. Myrt was far more subtle in his approach, but being a demon he was no less eye catching and the pair of them were attracting attention. Attention that neither of them seemed to notice or care about as they talked. They just continued their conversation, smiling at each other. “Take it easy, E. Let me talk to them before you start screaming.”

“Still my club, baldy.” Eliza pulled her arm away from Donovan and headed for the VIP bar to wait for Caleb. “I’ll scream all I want.”

“Great.” Donovan intercepted Caleb at the top of the stairs in hopes of talking some sense into someone before there was a fight. “Did you get the new place?”

 

“Are you stalking me, Donovan?” Caleb winked at him and straightened a few strands of hair behind his ear. “Yes. And you can tell E to put her panties on ice. I just needed a few days.”

“Shit.” Donovan sighed when he saw the intricate matching cuffs. “It wasn’t moving that kept you away.”

“Not entirely.” Caleb laughed. “I did move.”

“I guess this is your new address?” Donovan looked at Myrt as he stuffed the scroll into his pocket. “You could have at least called Mala.”

“Like he called me?” Myrt smirked and slid his fingers around Caleb’s hip. “I’m making an effort. I wanted to tell him in person and I’ve been occupied.”

“I’ll bet.” Donovan smiled. “For what it’s worth, I’m happy for you, but Vikarr’s volcano over there is about to blow her top so you might want to turn on your collective charm and start apologizing.”

“I’ll go smooth things over.” Caleb turned to face Myrt a moment and hooked his fingers through two of the angel’s belt loops. “You don’t be too gorgeous over here, honey. I don’t want to have to fight off the competition.”

“Was there anyone else here?” Myrt slid his hands along Caleb’s neck and rubbed it gently with his thumbs. “I hadn’t noticed.”

“I…” Caleb was at a loss for words. A fact he didn’t mind when Myrt pressed his lips against his.

“Wow.” Donovan watched Caleb walk off red and flustered and folded his hands behind his head. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Caleb like that. He’s had some stupid crushes before, but he is actually happy. And quiet. That man will babble to a wall if there is no one else around.”

“I like him.” Myrt shrugged.

“MARRIED!” Eliza shouted as she jumped over the bar and hugged Caleb. “For the love of rainbows! Why didn’t you just call and tell me.”

“If you want him to work you might want to be more careful with him.” Myrt laughed at the spectacle. Eliza was shaking Caleb like a ragdoll in her embrace.

“So you two, huh?” Eliza looked up at Myrt and smirked. “Demons have no concept of courtship. You just take what the fuck you want.”

“Angel.” Myrt grimaced. “And I made the offer, Caleb accepted.”

“You’re still bitching about that?” Donovan sat at the bar and sighed as he leaned onto his hand. “I thought you liked Vikarr.”

“That doesn’t mean I like what he did any better.” Eliza smacked the back of Donovan’s head. “What exactly is wrong with flowers, dinner and movie?”

“Would flowers have helped, lovely?” Vikarr held a bouquet of black and white roses in front of Eliza as he slid an arm around her. “You refused the movie and dinner with you is such a messy affair.”

“I am not messy, Vivi.” Eliza leaned back against him smiling as she smelled the flowers. “I thought you were busy.”

“I am.” Vikarr laughed. “Donovan sent word you were being difficult.”

“Thanks a ton, baldy.” Eliza smacked his head again.

“See, boss.” Donovan laughed and pulled out Myrt’s message. He handed it off to Vikarr and continued to tease Eliza. “Bitch is off her meds.”

“Now that you’ve wed, will you be taking Caleb’s name as well?” Vikarr asked.

“Should I?” Myrt walked behind the bar with Caleb. He knew that Mala had taken Donovan’s name, but so few angels and demons had secondary names that the custom was unfamiliar and when he considered their gender it only became more confusing. “I don’t even know what it is.”

“Hail.” Caleb leaned on the bar beside him to quietly offer his opinion. “If you are doing the live as a human thing, a last name helps. Doesn’t have to be mine though. Generally girls take the guys name, which doesn’t really work here.”

“Hail is fine.” Myrt shrugged and stroked the back of Caleb’s neck with his fingers. “It’s just a name. If I should have one I would rather it be yours.”

“You are just the sweetest thing.” Caleb smiled. “Now let’s find out if you make drinks as well as you sweet talk me, honey.”

“I’ll see to it.” Vikarr turned Eliza to him and lifted her chin. “Are you going to behave, lovely? Or should I take you home and spank you?”

“Get back to work, Vivi.” Eliz grinned up at him. “Vale will walk me home.”

“Am I off bitch watch?” Donovan slid away his phone and taunted Eliza.

“Will you please go make him give Doma a bath or something?” Eliza hugged Vikarr and laughed. “He’s been a huge arse today.”

“Anything for you lovely.” Vikarr giggled. “Come along, Mr. Watt. Doma needs pampering.”

“Really?” Donovan shook his head as Vikarr grabbed him by the jacket and Eliza stuck her tongue out at him. “I am so gonna break a rainbow over your backside.”

“I don’t recall inviting you to bed with us.” Vikarr laughed. “But if you insist, I like to do the spanking.”

“Ugh.” Donovan groaned. “I’m gonna puke.”

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TCOL : What We Are : Fathers & Husbands Pt.4

“How long do you plan on avoiding me?” Lucifer sat under a tree in the middle of nowhere and looked up at Gabriel. “This childishness is below you.”

Gabriel barely gave him a glance as he scanned the landscape. He saw no point in dignifying insults with answers and he was irritated with Lucifer’s choice to bring them here. It had not changed. Not a single blade of grass out of place, not a single leaf had fallen. This small grove was held in a state of perpetual springtime, a secret garden nestled within steep ice-covered mountains and harsh winds, hidden from view by Lucifer’s magic. A getaway for the pair of them years ago.

“How can you abandon me now, Gabby?” Lucifer rested his head on his knee and started to laugh.

“I don’t see it as abandonment.” Gabriel crossed his arms in front of him and started to pace. “I’ve just wasted enough time on a lie.”

“Yes, truth.” Lucifer grinned. “You all want truth. When I give you truth you complain about that. As many secrets as you have kept I would think you would know the difference between lying and not sharing. You have a lot of nerve making accusations, Gabby.”

“I’m not going to argue over this.” Gabriel closed his eyes and sighed. “I have tolerated so much from you. Even setting the secrets aside, your meddling has caused me and the one I love so much pain and humiliation. You have given strength even to my daughter without explanation or consent, causing us even more reason to distrust you. I won’t even begin to point out the many things you’ve done to aggravate me with this damn Council of yours. I am just tired of it.”

“Do you want me to apologize?” Lucifer laughed. “For giving you all power and favor? For trusting you with the world?”

“I just want you to leave me alone.” Gabriel hung his head. “All you manage to do is make me miserable. This is no longer friendship. It is barely tolerable.”

“What can I do to fix this?” Lucifer whispered.

•••

“Amazing, isn’t it?” Gabriel wiped his face and smiled at Lucifer. “All the good we’ve done together and we still manage to fight amongst ourselves.

 “Some of us manage to get along.” Lucifer put his arm around Gabriel’s shoulders and laughed away his own tears as he squeezed his friend close. “They will come around eventually. The Wyrms are just overly ambitious.”

 “I wish that I could give them what they want.” Gabriel frowned. “If that would give them some happiness and stop this quarreling.”

 “It wouldn’t.” Lucifer tussled Gabriel’s hair. “And you know they wouldn’t be satisfied unless you loved them. Now stop sobbing like a woman, Gabby.”

 “Gabby?” Gabriel pouted. “If you insist on calling me that I will be the one going into hiding.”

 “Ha!” Lucifer jumped to his feet. “I think it suits you.”

 “You realize you were shedding tears as well.” Gabriel smiled as he stood. “Lucy.”

 “I like it.” Lucifer shrugged. “Of course if anyone else dares to call me that I will have to turn them inside out…”

••• 

“I don’t know that all of the damage you have done can be fixed.” Gabriel turned to see Lucifer with his head rested back against the bark of the tree. Tears had run down his face and with his eyes closed his expression was one of defeat, but his fingers were clawed deeply into the earth beside him. “Lucifer…”

“Just go.” Lucifer nearly choked on the words. “If you are that determined to hate me, there is no point in making Maefyl wait.”

“I don’t hate you.” Gabriel scowled at him. “And my determination is not intended to further any such emotion. I am trying to stop the both of us from hurting each other any further. From hurting Maefyl. He is starting to accept you. He is adapting to what you’ve done. He should not have to add keeping peace between us to the burdens he already has. You force enough on him too quickly.”

“Then forgive me.” Lucifer smirked. “Stop over reacting to my gifts.”

“You blame me for this?” Gabriel laughed. “Why bother asking me here? I don’t have time for more of your games. If it’s forgiveness you want for all the misery you’ve caused, you can have it. It is easier than carrying the weight of holding it against you.”

“I want my friend, Gabby.” Lucifer pushed himself to his feet and stepped toward Gabriel. “Of course I want to know you can forgive any pain I’ve caused you, but what good is it to have your forgiveness if it doesn’t come with your smile? If I can’t come to you when I’m troubled you might as well despise me.”

“Then you will have to hate me.” Gabriel took Lucifer’s hands. “At least until I can find it in myself to trust you again. I’m sorry, but I can’t be what you need me to be right now. You have left me too badly broken and I need time.”

“I will leave far more than you broken.” Lucifer held tight to Gabriel’s fingers and pleaded for understanding. “After everything… Why don’t you understand how much I need you?”

“How am I supposed to be a guiding light for you?” Gabriel sighed. “Your own light blinds us all. You have never needed me. You have the love and comfort of your bride, and now Kage as well.”

“Intimate love does not replace friendship.” Lucifer leaned against Gabriel. “Or brotherhood.”

“We are no more brothers than Maefyl and Iesu.” Gabriel smirked. “You are a hypocrite.”

“Forgive me.” Lucifer grabbed Gabriel by his jacket and begged him to reconsider. “Embrace me again as friend and brother and I will help find the Forgotten Child. I’ll accept that damned soul as my own kin if it will satisfy Maefyl’s need to save him. Just give me the peace of knowing I haven’t lost my dearest friend.”

“Give me some space, Lucy.” Gabriel hugged Lucifer before he pulled his suit free of the Dark Lord’s grip. “And I will be holding you to the offer of aid. I would never expect you to name Iehovah’s bastard as kin, but Maefyl does consider him a brother. If you truly value that bond between us…”

“We’ll find the lost carpenter.” Lucifer grinned. “Though he should consider another profession. I recall him having a bit of trouble with a hammer and nails.”

Gabriel glared at him for the inappropriate comment but Lucifer was gone leaving only his laugh and there was not much point in scolding the empty grove.

“Nice to see he learned his lesson.” Gory sighed.

“He can’t help himself.” Gabriel left the solitude of the hideaway to join Maefyl and smiled at the sight he returned to. Maefyl had let the cubs tackle him to the floor and Asura had painted each of his nails a different shade of horrible and was now smearing his eyelids with various colors from a palette. “Couldn’t decide on a single color?”

“He wouldn’t use the one I brought first.” Azazel purred. “The ungrateful have to be punished.”

“They certainly do.” Gabriel winked at Maefyl and went to join Nikolai on the couch.

“Dane ke bali meka?” Maefyl asked as he laughed at his predicament.

“Deseka sesa wazet’tach se vasa.” Gabriel left the answer simple knowing they would discuss it later. He had given into Lucifer’s desperation just as much for Maefyl’s benefit. Leaving him agitated was only going to mean more trouble for them. As hurt as Gabriel was, it was more reasonable to do his healing while maintaining old friendships and ensuring more help and less meddling from Lucifer. “At least he did not force me to wear purple mascara.”

“I might.” Maefyl laughed.

“You could try.” Gabriel smiled.

“I think the purple looks nice.” Asura giggled and rubbed at the shimmery powder in her plastic case. “Especially with this yellow eye shadow.”

“Let’s get his toes, too!” Bezer giggled and pulled at the laces of Maefyl’s boots.

“I love these visits.” Sanguine walked on Maefyl’s forehead and smiled down at him. As he peeked out of one eye and smiled back it sent a shimmer across her skin and she went a deeper shade of red. She shook her head and giggled ignoring the screaming of her own heart. “You look so silly.”

“I’m being abused and you think it’s cute.” Maefyl stuck his tongue out at her.

“I’m glad the two of you come so often.” Nikolai wiped a tear from his face as he smiled. Seeing Azazel and Bezer enjoy their fun was a joy in itself, but it was Asura he was watching with a bittersweet taste in his throat. She adored her fathers. There were still times he felt like he had snatched her away from them too soon. He treasured every moment, but often wondered if she could love him so carelessly if it created distance between her and the family that raised her and gave her life. “It makes her happy and we all love seeing more of you.”

“Now that we have a hostage you two don’t stay away for twenty years at a time.” Azazel scolded them playfully.

“You can’t have her back though.” Bezer hugged Asura and giggled. “We get to keep her forever.”

“You still have to keep a room for me, though.” Asura poked Maefyl in the chest. “That way we have a room for sleepovers!”

“That room has rules, young lady.” Gabriel interrupted.

“I know.” Asura laughed. “No boys. I guess Nikolai and Azazel will have to sleep on the couch.”

“Sleep?” Azazel grinned wickedly. “Like I’m going to waste time alone with Master Nikolai doing that.”

“Ugh.” Maefyl tried to shake off Azazel’s vivid imagination and Bezer’s lurid thoughts. “Not on my couch.”

“Sorry.” Asura leaned down and hugged Maefyl. “I forget you can see everything we think.”

“I try to glaze over your gross.” Maefyl teased as he sat up and returned her hug. “Don’t worry about it.”

“It’s not gross.” Asura grinned.

“It’s super gross.” Maefyl laughed as he watched Bezer biting her tongue and concentrating on her task of decorating his toenails. She had managed to get his boots out of the way and had luckily not made a fuss over the black nails before she coated them all in a hideous color. Now she was using a tiny brush to paint faces on them. “So is that color. What the fuck Bezer?”

“It’s called gorgeous goldenrod.” Bezer purred over her completed smiley faces. “At least they all match. Quit bitching.”

“It should be called vile vomit.” Maefyl wiggled his toes and giggled at the faces. “Those are cute though. Is Nikolai up next?”

“Don’t even think about it, my pet.” Nikolai smiled.

“I’ll bet she thought about it.” Asura hugged Maefyl tighter before she got up and ran to the kitchen to make snacks for the fairies.

“You know what I thought about?” Maefyl made sure his ridiculous pedicure was dry before he crawled over to Gabriel and sat in front of him. “It’s a good thing I never liked chess.”

“You cheated even before you started brain raiding.” Asura laughed. “You moved my pieces while I was eating cookies.”

“Did not.” Maefyl grinned.

“Yes, you did.” Gabriel pulled Maefyl by his hair. “Are there any other social visits we need to make?”

“Let’s find out.” Maefyl reluctantly pulled out his phone and started sending a few messages. Before they even tried to spend any time alone or embark on any further searching he wanted to check on the status of the others. The extended ‘family’ had a way of becoming needy the second he tried to settle in with Gabriel and he figured it was easier to get everyone settled first. If nothing else he wanted to know Kage wasn’t going to go off in a rage over losing Nexus or having to raise the child she left before her death, and that Natasha was adjusting to her new life. He laid his head back in Gabriel’s lap and smiled at him. “De kosh sek.”

“We need a very long holiday.” Gabriel sighed. Even with the mess of color Maefyl was every bit as breathtaking. His smile radiant. Gabriel could understand Maefyl’s motivation to look after obligation before crawling home to rest, but the only obligation Gabriel wanted to see to presently was the one he had as Maefyl’s husband. “And you might want to clean up. Our daughter can turn any page into a masterpiece, but you have the cosmetic skill.”

Asura was about to defend her artistry but was too impressed by the moment they were lost in. She had seen it countless times in her life. Even when she was small and they were hiding their affection, they would just disappear somewhere in each other. Like the world dissolved around them and all they could see was each other. They were always so beautiful, but she always found them the most captivating when they were like this. She hoped that was how she looked in those tender moments when she felt like she did not even need air to breath, just the love she could feel in the arms that held her.

“Looks like you’ll need that touch up.” Sanguine pushed at the phone in Maefyl’s hand after a message blinked onto the screen. “Kage said to come to Tsumi.”

“I want more pictures of the little one.” Asura jumped onto the couch and let Nikolai pull her into his lap. “And tell Karla to call me.”

Maefyl pulled on his boots and started lacing them while his magic removed the imperfect makeup. It was a fun distraction, but he didn’t want Gabriel embarrassed by the mess. He barely finished tying the boots before Gabriel pulled him to his feet. After brief farewells they departed, but when Maefyl reached for Eidolon’s door Gabriel took his hand and pulled him close.

“Thank you.” Gabriel smiled at Maefyl and reached into his pockets. Maefyl gave him a puzzled look and Gabriel laughed softly at the redness in Maefyl’s face as he opened a stick of gloss. Maefyl had cleaned up the mess and left Golod with only his mismatched manicure. “But you could have put your own back on.”

“Are you okay?” Maefyl tried not to smile while Gabriel applied a thin layer across his lips but there was such focus in his expression that Maefyl could not help himself. He laughed and Gabriel pressed him to the wall and leaned against him. Maefyl just hugged him and waited for an answer.

“I am not looking forward to some of the work ahead of us.” Gabriel sighed. “I don’t like the time we’ve spent apart because of all of this and our schedule does not seem to be improving.”

“Let’s go say hello to Kage and his kid.” Maefyl smiled and reached back to knock on the door. “Then we’ll go home.”

“Please do not mention Nexus.” Kage gave Maefyl enough of his thoughts to explain as he stood at the door. “Kaneko is still upset over it.”

“So are you.” Maefyl whispered. Kage let more than words slip to Maefyl. He kept most of the final moments to himself, but he gave enough of his experience to express the pain he felt. Maefyl was not expecting Kage to let anyone know the details of Nexus’ end. That he had just shared another of his darkest moments brought tears to Maefyl’s eyes as he looked at the small girl Kage held. “She is beautiful.”

“Neka is kitty.” The girl wriggled about and swung her tail at Maefyl.

“Yes, you are.” Maefyl pulled the girl from Kage’s arms and walked off with her before Kage could react. “How did you end up with kittens, Kage?”

“How should I know, half-breed?” Kage sneered at Maefyl as he held Neka above him. “Be more careful with her.”

“The child is not made of glass.” Gabriel patted Kage’s back.

“She is made of cute.” Karla grinned.

“Kaneko is also made of cute.” Kaneko had been pouting about Kage taking Neka and monopolizing her but saw an opportunity to play with her again. She jumped over the desk and hugged around Maefyl’s waist. “Nyaa. Give her here, Maefyl! Kaneko wants to play with her.”

“I just got here.” Maefyl laughed.

“Neka is Kaneko’s sister.” Kaneko grinned.

“Last I heard, she was mine, too.” Maefyl stuck his tongue out at her and cuddled with Neka. “So you have to share.”

“You won’t have to be concerned over company.” Gabriel stood beside Kage and watched Maefyl playing with the girls as Karla cheered on both sides of the mock argument. “They already adore her.”

“I intend to raise her.” Kage watched sadly. He wanted her to have the affection, but the life he led didn’t allow for this sort of wasted time very often. “Outside of time spent in my office, she will not be in this realm often enough to enjoy this company.”

“Make time.” Gabriel smiled at him. “It will be worth it.”

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TCOL : What We Are : Ready To Live Pt.2

The first thing Myrt was going to have to get used to was just being around humans. Despite the integration of demons into their lives they had such extreme reactions to seeing them up close and in social settings they seemed almost obsessive. The walk to Sordid had been oddly spattered with jealous glares and longing gazes, flirtatious greetings and whispered comments that made him uncomfortable. There was some gossip about Mala when some of the crowds mistook him for his brother and he was glad to hear that Mala was so well respected. It was when he reached Sordid that he doubted his decision to live with mortals.

If it weren’t for some of the succubi noticing his anxiety and pulling him upstairs into a VIP table Myrt might have left before he made it twenty feet into the club. So many men and women curious about demons flocked to him and pulled at his arms. Some mistaking him for Mala, others too drunk to care that he was anything but alone and attractive.

“Thanks.” Myrt smiled at the two succubi who had rescued him from the crowd. “Is Caleb here?”

“You’re in luck.” One of the winged waitresses giggled. “He works the upstairs bar. Should we send him over?”

“No.” Myrt peeked over the divider of the table. “I’ll go see him.”

The succubi wandered off and Myrt made his way through the smaller less persistent crowd and found himself a place to stand and watch the vampire. Caleb was well liked and seemed to grab smiles and attention from each of his customers as he filled orders and sang along to the music that filled the club. He was friendly and flirtatious, but not for more than the grins it won him and money it added to the jar behind him. He was careful with his smile and not one of the clientele noticed the chipper bartender that filled their glasses was a vampire.

Myrt eventually built up the nerve to take a seat at the bar, but did so quietly and kept watching Caleb work. He had dressed to cater to and grab the attention of the crowd; His blonde hair braided back on both sides and up the back of his head leaving a frill of it to fall loose over one side. A black choker sat high on his neck that reminded Myrt of Mala’s strange collar. Beneath a deep red t-shirt was a thin black shirt made of some sort of netting and his wrists were covered in black and red bracelets. Myrt leaned on his hand as he watched the vampire mixing drinks and noticed a thin line of black beneath each eye and a shimmer a of red on each eyelid.

“He has never looked hotter.” A young man behind Myrt was gossiping with a friend and Myrt couldn’t help but listen. “Caleb has always been cute, but fuck.”

“Makes you wish they had left the bang-bang rooms up here.” His friend agreed as they walked off with their drinks.

Myrt sighed. Another thing he was going to have to get used to was the way people so openly voiced thoughts that he always believed to be sinful and even now thought it best that they be private.

“So.” Caleb leaned onto the bar and slid a drink to Myrt. “Instead of asking why you disappeared, or yelling because you’ve been here for an hour and haven’t said hello. I am just going to leave this here and be glad you at least showed up like you said you would.”

“I decided I am going to stay.” Myrt didn’t know how to respond to Caleb’s greeting. He seemed hurt and relieved at the same time and Myrt was not sure that trying to answer to his actions would improve the situation. “In Nihil I mean. Can you help me find a place to stay?”

“This is a stupid idea, Caleb.” The vampire muttered to himself and pulled a key from his pocket. He handed the key to Myrt and looked for something to write down an address. “I just got the keys. I was trying to get something smaller but they only had the big one right away. As long as you are okay with a room mate you can stay there.”

“Live with you?” Myrt looked at the key in his hand. “Is that okay?”

“Don’t worry, honey.” Caleb smiled at him. “Roommates are friends and I can keep my hands to myself.”

“You said the idea was stupid.” Myrt took a sip of the drink Caleb had left him and laid the key on the bar. “I can just find something on my own. It can’t be that difficult.”

“I just can’t figure you out.” Caleb snatched the key off the bar and turned away to get his head on straight and force himself to smile for the customers. He filled a few more orders before he bothered to look in Myrt’s direction. When he did he was not sure whether to laugh or cry. Myrt was rubbing his forehead with his eyes closed and had his arm stretched across the bar with his hand sitting open. Caleb laid the key in Myrt’s palm and closed his fingers over it. “Make up your mind, pretty. I’m going to start moving my stuff tomorrow. Am I leaving room for you?”

“Yes.” Myrt tugged at the bracelets on Caleb’s wrist and tried to decide on a proper compliment. “I can move your things tonight if you want. You look… nice.”

“I didn’t think you would be a fan of fancy Caleb.” Caleb started to stammer and reminded himself once more that his luck in romance was not as impressive as he would like and he needed to be realistic. “Give me a little longer here and I’ll show you the way home.”

“I will need to look for a way to earn my keep here.” Myrt opened his package of information and funds and wondered what sort of time it would give him to adjust. “My Lord Gabriel gave me things to help, but I should learn to live properly.”

“You want a job?” Caleb started to mix the refills for the nearly empty glasses he noticed along the bar. “Think you can do this?”

“I’ll make the effort.” Myrt nodded.

“Then you have a job. You can start after we both get moved in.” Caleb winked before he went to take care of his customers.

Myrt watched Caleb for another hour and occasionally poked at his phone and started teaching himself more of its silly functions. By the time Caleb decided to give himself a break from tending the bar, Myrt has more comfortable with the device and as Caleb leaned over to smile at him Myrt snapped a picture of the vampire.

“I get one of you later.” Caleb winked at him. “You want to go see your new place?”

Caleb showed Myrt home to the empty condo and marveled at the magic the demon used to bring all of his belonging from his old place. With Myrt’s continued help and amazing talents everything was in place in the time it would have taken Caleb to make one trip.

“You have more room than before.” Myrt was feeling out of place and started to think his decision to share a home was going to be difficult. He hadn’t even shared one with his brother and they had at one point been nearly inseparable.

“I wanted smaller.” Caleb shrugged and looked into one of the empty rooms. “This is nice though. I was more concerned with being closer to work and it worked out since you decided to stick around. Don’t you have stuff?”

“I guess I should put something in here.” Myrt leaned past Caleb and looked into the room. He liked the smell of excitement on the vampire and the joy on his face as he watched things take shape. Myrt made himself a simple elegant getaway for times he felt the need to be alone and sighed. “I guess that makes it home.”

“We should celebrate.” Caleb patted Myrt on his hips. “But first I need to go grab a bite. I’ll pick something up for you on the way back.”

“Stay and bite me.” Myrt pulled Caleb’s arms around him by his wrists. “I wanted to talk.”

“If you want to talk, your blood is a bad idea.” Caleb closed his eyes and laughed at his predicament. “I fell asleep last time.”

“That wasn’t the blood, sorry.” Myrt sighed. “It should not make you tired. I made you sleep. I was confused. I needed time to think.”

“You are making it hard to keep my hands to myself.” Caleb smiled at him and Myrt let go of his wrists. Caleb nervously closed his arms around Myrt. “Is this okay?”

“Do you touch me like this because you want me?” Myrt laid his hands on the wall and leaned against Caleb.

“If I say ‘yes’ can I have you?” Caleb pulled him close hopefully and bit into his neck. If this was some sort of dream it was a beautiful one. He hoped the answer to his question didn’t turn it into a nightmare.

“This is what I wanted to talk about.” Myrt slid his arm behind Caleb’s neck and wiped the blood from his lips when he finished feeding. “I am trying to start over. I’m trying to let go of the things that have prevented me from living, but there are some things I wont let go of. If I take you, its forever. I will claim you as my own.”

“Are you talking about marriage, honey?” Caleb clutched the sides of Myrt’s shirt and tightened his fingers. “I think maybe you folks do things a little differently. There are usually quite a few steps before people make that kind of promise.”

“I won’t make the choice for you, but that is your answer. I only wanted one other person.” Myrt walked away and pulled off his shirt to make his point quickly. “It did not go well. I told myself then that I would just remain alone. It was less painful. Then you touched me and made me feel things I had tried to bury. You woke things in me that I don’t want to lose. To that end I won’t let anyone else have you and I won’t let you go. So take the time you need and if you are willing to give me loyalty and trust me to care for you, then you can have me.”

“This is what you meant when you said someone hurt you?” Caleb ran his hand over a wide scar on Myrt’s back and felt tears falling down his face. “This is…”

“Still think I’m pretty?” Myrt smirked as he turned to face Caleb. The vampire saw the much larger scar that mirrored the one on his back and the silent tears turned to sobs as he wrapped his arms around him. “Are they that bad?”

“How did you even survive?” Caleb whimpered.

“We heal quickly.” Myrt sighed. “I didn’t show you this to upset you. I just wanted you to understand.”

“I understand that whoever did this to you is a monster.” Caleb’s fingers shook as he ran his hand over the scar that looked like it nearly took off Myrt’s arm. “And that none of this makes you less beautiful. I just don’t know that I am ready to be Mr. Demon. I want you like crazy, but if you need that much of a commitment I guess we both have to wait.”

“Don’t cry.” Myrt rubbed Caleb’s face and smudged his eyeliner back into place. “Waiting is fine. You can tell me what I’m supposed to do with the things Lord Gabriel gave me.”

“That I can do.” Caleb smiled. “Put your shirt back on before I end up married.”

“How is that motivation to get dressed?” Myrt laughed and reached for his shirt. Myrt surprised himself with how comfortable he was. That he could make light of a situation that terrified him. It was as if a veil of forced repression suddenly lifted and now that he knew what he wanted, Myrt was certain he could have the happiness others grabbed so easily. “I should just take more off.”

“You big tease!” Caleb jumped into his arms and they fell over the arm of the couch together. He knew Myrt had let them fall and he liked the way it felt to be in his arms. He liked looking into the strange eyes of a demon and the gentle face that smiled up at him. Caleb sighed softly and touched Myrt’s lips. “I could spend forever just looking at this face. Do what you need to do, honey. I want you.”

“This might hurt.” Myrt gave an apologetic look as he took Caleb’s hands and shifted them into his newly created bed. Caleb bit his lip as Myrt started to make his claim and Myrt put a leg around him and pulled him close as he kissed him. He worked the magic quickly, making the pain worse, but ending it swiftly. Caleb tolerated the pain and returned the kiss with warmth and passion. Myrt could have never imagined a feeling so tender and intimate, he let Caleb lead him until instinct could guide him and the two of them spent hours kissing and caressing with no thoughts beyond the comfort of being in each other’s arms.

A vampire with wretched luck in love and an angel who was taking his first kiss after a lifetime of pain and loneliness, taking a chance they would have love and happiness together. It was desire and not love that motivated their vow, but for each of them it was hope. And love has grown from stranger sources.

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TCOL : What We Are : Ready To Live Pt.1

“Hey.” Myrt ran after Eliza when he saw her heading into the Circle building and fell in step beside her. “Eliza, right?”

 “I prefer, E.” She nodded as she swung a bag beside her. “What’s up?”

 “E, then.” Myrt smiled. “Is Lord Vikarr in?”

 “Yea.” Eliza pouted. “He sent me out for cat food.”

 “Lord Vikarr had work to do and she was distracting him.” Vale giggled. “He should be through with most of it.”

 “I was not distracting him.” Eliza giggled. “I was just sitting there. You might as well come in, Myrt. I think he’s kind of expecting you anyway.”

 Myrt followed her wondering why he was expected. He had been careful not to cause problems during his stay and had told Vikarr when he arrived that he had no plans on becoming a burden to Nihil.

 “Company, Vivi!” Eliza grinned as she strolled into the office. She frowned when she found the office occupied only by Doma. “Where did that freak go?”

 “Does he handle the work if I want to live in Nihil?” Myrt asked.

 “I think they can all do it.” Eliza shrugged as she dropped the bag on Vikarr’s desk and noticed Doma darting after a fuzzy critter way larger than the mice Vikarr usually left for her to play with. Eliza leaned over the desk for a better look and squealed. “For the love of rainbows! Doma don’t play with that!”

 Eliza snatched Doma off the floor as the critter hopped after her and Eliza ran over to one of the chairs and climbed onto it screaming. The long furry rodent followed and climbed up around her feet and she whimpered.

 “Get it away from me.” Eliza whined to Myrt and cuddled Doma for comfort. “How did a rat get in here?”

 “That isn’t a rat.” Myrt laughed and stepped over to help but Eliza’s new friend climbed up her legs and she screamed.

 “Get it off! Get it off!” Eliza let Doma run off as she jumped off the chair and the long rodent climbed over her shoulder and into the front of her dress. Eliza grabbed Myrt to beg for his help. “It’s touching me.”

 “Hold still.” Myrt sighed and carefully grabbed the end of the ferret that was trying to befriend her and pulled it from her clothes. He sat the mischievous critter on his shoulder and rubbed Eliza’s arms. “It’s just a ferret. Calm down.”

 The ferret giggled as it walked behind Myrt’s neck and stepped out onto his other shoulder to wink at Eliza.

 “Damn it, Vivi!” Eliza snatched the ferret from Myrt’s shoulder and held it up to look at it. He snickered again as she looked him over and Eliza laughed as she sat him on the desk. “I guess it’s almost cute. I think Myrt wants to talk to you, though.”

 “I have already taken care of most of it.” Vikarr returned to himself as he moved to his chair. He spun the tablet in front of him to face his guest and pushed it to the edge. You will just need to tell me when you’ve found a home and if you decided to work. Lucifer provides well for his Circles and those that serve them. Your decision to make your own way will leave you on your own, but Gabriel has set up something to give you an easy start.”

 “I had hoped to do it all on my own.” Myrt sighed as Vikarr slid a package to him.

 “More difficult than it sounds.” Vikarr smiled at him. “This was just waiting for me when I returned, but it should be everything you need to find a place of your own.”

 “I should talk to Mala.” Myrt lifted the thick strangely folded envelope and flipped through cards, documents, letters and money. “And take some time to figure a few things out. Thanks for your trouble.”

 “It was no trouble.” Vikarr grinned. “Just don’t cause any for me. The extra help in Nihil would have been appreciated. I don’t for an instant want to push you into work you don’t wish to do and I am elated that Mala will have a chance to see more of you, but another demon in Nihil that has no affiliation with Lucifer or his Circles is a cause of some concern. With my place on the Council I can not afford leniency because of your affiliations. You will need to follow the laws of Tsuriai and of Nihil as any other resident.”

 “You don’t have to be shitty about it, Vivi.” Eliza opened a can of food for Doma and pet her as she attacked the contents. “He’s been nice.”

 “I know, lovely.” Vikarr giggled. “I like him. Which is why I want to be sure there will be no problems.”

 “There won’t be.” Myrt smiled.

 “Welcome to Nihil, Myrt.” Vikarr stood and offered his hand. “As Mala’s brother I expect we will see a lot of you.”

 “That would be nice.” Myrt flushed as he shook the Watcher’s hand. “As long as it doesn’t involve pulling you out of her dress again.”

 “Next time you can just leave me there.” Vikarr laughed.

 “Vivi!” Eliza stomped her foot and Vikarr shifted to her and pulled her into a tight embrace, ending her rant with his kiss.

 Myrt took their sudden flirtatiousness as a cue to leave and slipped out quietly. He left the Circle building with the beginnings of a new life in his hand and wondered if a stack of paper neatly tucked into a thick envelope was enough to truly find a new way. He had never lived among humans, had only known a life of training himself and training others, following orders and serving those he thought were his Masters. He had accepted all he had been taught as truth only to find he had been misused based on lies.

 He made his way to the door of Donovan’s apartment and just stood outside of it. Whether lies had led his life or not, there was still a deep chasm between him and Mala. He still felt abandoned by the brother who saw the truth before him and he couldn’t shake the thoughts of seeing angels bleed under Mala’s feet. Myrt loved his brother but there was so much damage that needed to be undone. It would take time and patience.

 “You can come in.” Donovan opened the door and stood there smiling as he wiped his hands on a towel. “Mala should be here soon, I am just making him snacks.”

 “Hello, stupid.” Dodo greeted Myrt’s arrival.

 “He was a bit upset that you wanted to run off on your own.” Donovan continued as he went back to the kitchen and let Myrt show himself inside. “He wants to spend as much of the week with you as he can.”

 “I needed to think about a few things.” Myrt stopped to pet the bird that squawked at him. “I still do, but I sorted enough out that I think I should have a talk with him.”

 “If you need me to leave you two alone to talk I can go get something accomplished once he gets here.” Donovan stacked the last of Mala’s pancakes and doused them in syrup before he started to clean up. “I know you aren’t thrilled with who and what your brother married, but I love him. He wants you in his life, if that means giving the two of you some space I can back off once in a while. Just don’t expect me to do it all the time.”

 “I don’t expect you to do it at all.” Myrt sighed and walked into the kitchen. “I’ve been rude to you and for that I am sorry. This entire visit has been overwhelming. I can see that you love my brother and that he loves you. You are married and I will respect that. There is no reason for you to leave when I talk to him. Mala trusts you. I should at least give you a chance.”

 “That will mean a lot to him.” Donovan smiled. “It means a lot to me.”

 “I smell something delicious!” Mala ran into the kitchen and grabbed Donovan by his ears to give him a quick kiss before he took the plate of pancakes the vampire offered. “Where have you been, Myrt? I was starting to think you went home.”

 “I had to talk with Gabriel.” Myrt laughed as Mala dug a huge wedge from his meal and shoved it into his mouth. Myrt shook his head as he wiped the sticky syrup from the corner of Mala’s mouth. “I’ve missed how much of a mess you are.”

 “I have a few hours to make a mess.” Mala grinned. “Stay and talk a while.”

 “I have somewhere to be.” Myrt followed them into the living room. “I only stopped to tell you that you don’t have to worry so much about trying to change my mind in a week. I’ll be staying in Nihil.”

 “Myrt, that’s fantastic!” Mala sat his plate aside and hugged his brother. “We can work together again.”

 “I’m not staying to work with the Circle, Mala.” Myrt tapped Mala on the head with his documents. “Don’t be upset. I miss the way we were, but you moved on. It is about time for me to do the same. I hope we can find a way to be a part of each others lives, but I plan to live my own.”

 “That is even better.” Mala squeezed Myrt tighter until he returned the embrace. “You’ll need a place to stay, I never use my home here…”

 “Thank you, but no.” Myrt kissed his brothers cheeks. “I am going to figure this out on my own. I’ll let you know when I find a place.”

 “Do you have a phone?” Donovan asked as Mala leaned back against him.

 “Still figuring it out.” Myrt pulled it from his pocket and Mala snatched it to make sure they could all contact each other. Mala handed it back and smiled before he reclaimed his pancakes and snuggled back against Donovan. Myrt just shook his head. He wanted to ask his brother so many questions about his time with the vampire, but was worried it was going to seem judgmental and start another argument. He thought it was better to leave on a more peaceful note and go fulfill his promise to be somewhere else. “I’ll see you both later.”

 “He must have had quite a day to have made that decision. He was so against even being here before.” Donovan held Mala and started a movie to pass the time and Dodo started dancing along his perch and whistling. “I wonder what Gabriel told him.”

 “I don’t think it was just Gabriel that changed his mind.” Mala licked his fork before cutting himself another chunk of syrup-covered mess. Myrt had been so infatuated with the impossible that he denied himself any chance at being happy. In this new leaf he was turning Myrt could finally be himself; he could let himself find friendship and a simple happy existence. Mala smiled to himself because he had seen the spark of a new beginning for his brother, as he opened his eyes to a life free of imagined chains he was letting his heart open to a life filled with unimaginable love. “I think Myrt is just ready to live.”

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