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TCOL : BTG : All Over A Child

Asura slumped into her chair at the table feeling more exhausted than he could ever recall. The strain of seeing so many suffer had been overwhelming and she could still se the toll it had taken on the faces around the table. Her anxiety was only growing with the deafening silence, but she was given a sense of calm when she felt Nikolai’s soft fingers on hers and he rescued them all from the miserable quiet that filled the space between them.

“I’m not usually one to start proceedings…” Nikolai held Asura’s hand gently as he spoke. It was for her that he found the courage to live up to his role here. “I see little point however in prolonging this. What has been done, needed to done. There is no question the goal we were meant to achieve has been accomplished. The only matter left unresolved, that is, the only matter I imagine is pressing enough to keep us detained her is the girl.”

“And her father.” Vikarr nodded in agreement. He was not certain Lucifer’s decision to make this decision now was a wise one. Certain individuals at the table were still biting their tongues over the last decision made and Vikarr would have been far happier with a long recess before making another. “What’s to become of them?”

“Not one of you wants to discuss what Lucifer just unleashed?” Samael slammed his hand against the table as he stood. “Just destroy the traitorous angel and his whelp. We have other concerns.”

“Sit the fuck down, Sammy.” Maefyl butted a cigarette against the table as he exhaled. The last bit of smoke danced across the table into a scene of Maefyl slaying a dragon before it faded away in front of Samael. “We aren’t killing a kid and you seem to be the only one with an urgent need to hunt down Lucy’s new friends.”

“You will leave them alone, Samael.” Lucifer added calmly. “You all will. If they do no harm they have every right to their freedom.”

“And they…” Maefyl pointed to Farren and Evadia. “Have every right to live.”

“Quite a change of heart.” Kage hissed. “You were more eager than most to end his life.”

“So Farren gets a pass.” Lillith saw Maefyl’s smirk and interrupted what was sure to be a childish argument between the two of them to move on to bigger concerns of her own. “The girl however…”

“Is what?” Maefyl laughed but he was getting agitated with the situation already. “Dangerous? She’s a child.”

“Children grow.” Eidolon had wanted to avoid any part of theses discussions but forever found himself needing to be the voice of reason. “It is not so much the girl but the soul within her that is the problem. Iesu in name alone carries weight in Heaven. You have seen the damage…”

“Fuck you, Eidolon.” Maefyl scoffed. “The kid is just stuck with a crazy ghost. She can manage.”

“This isn’t about the girl, Maefyl.” Eidolon lowered his eyes and sighed when he realized there was no way to make it sound any better. “Don’t misunderstand me. If there was another way I would gladly hear it, I don’t wish harm on any child, but I will not stand by and watch another rebellion take hold on the hope that she holds a new god inside her.”

“No one outside this room even knows that, Uncle Eidolon.” Asura hoped to argue her father’s side. She had seen enough senseless death for one day. “Why does anyone ever have to know? Just keep her secret and let her live like a normal kid.”

“How long until you think she is discovered?” Eidolon countered quickly and felt terrible for sadness he saw in Asura and his own brides. “I am sorry, but Iesu has already displayed a tendency to surface in times of stress and turmoil.”

“She’ll be here though.” Asura groaned and pleaded her logic. “Since Farren is stuck with Bishop anyway. It’s not like she won’t have people watching her. What harm would there be?’

“Absolutely not!” Kage shouted. “I’ll not have that traitors child spoiled in this estate.”

“Arrogant bastard.” Maefyl sneered at Kage. “Why?”

“I don’t want her here either.” Lilith snapped coldly before Kage had a chance to answer. “End of discussion.”

“But you’ll make Farren stay?” Asura pouted as she looked aside toward Farren. It felt strange to pity the villain, but seeing him as a father about to lose his child she could no longer see the man they hunted. All she saw was vulnerability and pain as he smiled warmly at his daughter and gave her comfort and encouragement. “That’s not fair.”

“These people don’t do fair.” Bishop muttered to himself and went back to trying to ignore things he couldn’t help but hear.

“If Evadia is alive and well I can accept the pain of separation.” Farren answered humbly. He knew it was a risk to speak at all but there was no point in fighting their decisions, and he had been talking with Evadia to help her understand. “I entrusted my life to this Councils mercy for her benefit. I just ask that she is safe and cared for.”

“Why don’t one of you just adopt her?” Caleb giggled to himself forgetting that his playful whispers would be heard.

“Sorry.” Myrt quickly covered Caleb’s mouth and embraced him. “He’s talkative.”

“All suggestions are welcome.” Raziel made the decision to join the conversation and was amused that his cold response chilled Caleb even though he had meant to comfort him. “While I doubt anyone at this table is gracious enough to take the suggestion, it is not an altogether ill conceived idea. We have colleagues more than adequate for caring for a child until she can be left on her own.”

“You want to just drop some half-crazed demon kid in someone’s lap for a year or so?” Maefyl slid down into his chair and covered his face with his hands. It was absurd, but it was probably the best idea they were going to come up with. “Who the fuck do you suggest?”

“Opportunity knocks.” Raziel gestured to the doors as the tapping came from behind them.

Lucifer just laughed as he willed open the doors and a potential foster father stepped inside smiling sheepishly as he dropped several of the parchments he was carrying and GiGi started to help him collect them as her friend nervously blushed with the sudden feeling he was the center of attention.

“Fuck.” Maefyl sighed. “If he agrees, whatever.”

“Geoffrey.” Gabriel stood somberly and closed his eyes after receiving nods of approval or looks of complete disinterest from the Council. “How do you feel about children?”

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TCOL : Eden : Children In Eden Pt.2

Raziel guided his puppets through the sudden storm, following the unnerving laughter of a trickling stream that had appeared suddenly and sweetly demanded they follow. In the surrounding winds the howls of a growing army of choirs could be heard and Raziel’s own worry for Brig was echoed in the minds of the loves still at his side.

“Come, quickly.” The stream that hurried in front of them demanded. It’s flow disappearing behind them making it appear more like a snake than a body of water. “Hurry, hurry.”

“Raziel, I’m scared.” Shana shuddered as she spoke. The others seemed so calm to her, but it was taking everything she had to focus on keeping pace with them instead of bursting into tears. “Where is Brig?”

“You’ll all be together soon.” The water answered sweetly. “Don’t be frightened. We are here to help.”

“Help?” Raziel answered coldly. ”Time has changed you.”

“What happened!?” Shana ran ahead when she saw another path converging with theirs and Presia carrying Nei in her arms. “Is he going to be okay?”

“His heart was pierced.” Presia answered quietly as she continued to follow a flame that flickered wildly in front of them. “He is weak, but I am hopeful. My Lord Frost is not one to give up easily.”

“He was defending me.” Bishop looked away ashamed as he carried Neka. “Those damn things came after Neka.”

“Have you seen Brig?” Shana interrupted. “He went looking for Neka.”

“Neka is sorry.” She turned to Shana with sad eyes and quivering lip unsure of how to deal with feeling of guilt and remorse. She stiffened up and bunched her fingers into fists in Bishops shirt. “Neka will ask Daddy to make it better.”

“She is just a kid.” Bishop fumbled over the apology. “She, I didn’t mean for this to happen… I got lost… We would have…”

“We haven’t seen him.” Farren laid his hand on the nervous vampire’s head and simplified the answer for Bishop. “She ran off and he followed. I’m sorry it led to the rest of you getting separated.”

“Where are these weird things taking us?” Van demanded impatiently.

“To Lucifer.” Raziel eyed the flame and the water that now moved serenely below it. “Though, I’m curious as to why.”

“Well, detour for me and the pretty lady.” The flame danced aside opening clearing where the residents of Golod had just stopped a moment to rest. “You can handle these stragglers.”

“Hey.” Asura sighed and approached the edge of a large glassy pond where strange critters frolicked. “The rock just said we could rest.”

“Where did that thing go?” Bezer looked around for their quiet guide. “Did you kick it Azazel?”

“No.” Azazel laughed and snatched Asura up before she could lean over and stroke one of the critters. “Come on. Break time is over.”

“It’s best not to pet the Vicern.” The water warned. “Tricky little cuties.”

 Nikolai took one last look at the creatures. Like white otters with the black spines of porcupines. He could not begin to imagine what horrible poison tipped those quills and the thought of Asura so nearly finding out first hand made him feel ill. He took Bezer’s hand to quietly comfort himself and followed after the others, stopping a moment to give a nod of compassion to Presia as she stayed behind with her flickering guide.

They’ll be okay.” The water spoke again once they were on their way. “I just know it.

“These guides…” Nikolai looked to Raziel for answers. “Angels? Demons?”

“Neither.” Raziel was uneasy explaining the nature of their host while their current situation relied so heavily on them, but there was no harm in a few simple truths. “We gave them no real name. They could be called manipulators, elementals, djinn.”

“Ooo, Djinn.” The water laughed. “I like that one. Sounds fancy.”

“Use it.” Raziel responded emotionlessly to acknowledge her remark before he continued. “They are, to my understanding, the most powerful magic locked away in Eden.”

“A puddle and a rock?” Azazel laughed until he was suddenly hit by a wall of water that knocked Asura from his arms and held him against the wall of wind where he struggled not to inhale the force of the torrent.

“Enough.” Nikolai helped Asura to her feet and attempted to keep his temper. “Humor is Azazel’s way. He meant nothing by it.”

“Gotcha.” Bezer caught her brother as the wave subsided and let him choke out the attack over her shoulder. As she stroked his back she winked over to Asura to let her know he was okay. “Just be glad we weren’t still with the rock, stupid.”

“Fuck off, Bezer.” Azazel pushed away and shook his hair dry. ”Let’s just keep going.”

“What about Brig?” Shana took Raziel’s hand. “Aren’t you worried?”

“I am, puppet.” Raziel squeezed her fingers. “I think we are all being led to the same destination. We will see him soon.”

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TCOL : Death & New Life : Doubt & Guilt

Farren had barely set his feet to the ground in Itami when the sky filled with the roars of dragons. He knew he wouldn’t be welcome. Itami was one of the most guarded of the Gardens. It protected some of Tsuriai oldest and most treasured creatures. And it was home to one of the Watcher’s favorite accidental races. The fairies.

Targeting the pixies had not been random. They were weak, easy to manipulate and had little to no way to defend themselves making it easy for the human pawns to play their part in Kava’s plan. Even deeper than the convenience was the fact she knew it would enrage Lucifer and his knew Council and rage makes people blind. Now she was nearly ready to bear and wanted to be sure the focus remained anywhere but on their search for her.

“This place is amazing, Kava.” Farren sighed to himself as he looked around the landscape. He had made so many questionable decisions for her and for their cause. Standing in Itami he started to doubt himself. Attacking the pixies had been painful, sacrificing his unborn to the ‘greater good’ was still weighing on him, but now he was about to unleash torment on creatures he had always loved.

Several small dragons circled above him screaming threats. Harpies darted at him and he shifted away to find himself surrounded by a herd of cat-like creatures with antlers that howled and charged at him.

“Not a warm reception at all.” Farren jumped into a tree only to be knocked out of it by a potent blast of fairy magic. “Vicious little bugs. Wish we had a few on our side.”

Farren made several jumps through the Garden evading the angry residents until he found a quiet alcove free of would-be assailants and tried to harden his resolve. He couldn’t bring himself to attack a single one of them; even knowing what he was sent to do was far worse. Farren had no hatred for the creature here, he begged Kava for another way.

•••

It has to be Itami.” Kava held his face and forced him to look at her. “No other place will cut them deeper. Lucifer adores Itami. Its Guardians sit on his Council. All of those traitorous sodomites adore those pesky children of nature. While they mourn and attempt to save Itami, we will have our child. Be strong, Farren.”

•••

“Is this strength?” Farren rubbed the tips of his fingers and watched them go black as he listened to all of Itami shouting curses over his presence and madly searching for the presence he now masked to the best of his ability. Farren kneeled and laid his hand into the creek at his feet that wound its way through the rocks out of the alcove. As a thick green sludge spilled into the water, so did his tears and he whispered before he left Itami to suffer. “Forgive me.”

“That took longer than I expected.” Kava smiled as Farren returned but her expression turned cross when her warm greeting was not returned. “Was there trouble?”

“Aside from what I expected, no.” Farren walked past her. “I need to go look in on your other distractions.”

“Tell me that you love me, Farren.” Kava grabbed his arm.

“I love you.” Farren turned and smiled at her. “Which is why I need to keep you safe, porcupine. Let me get back to it.”

“Take more Thrones with you.” Kava grinned. “They’ll be doubling their efforts.”

“Rest, Kava. I’ll take care of it.” Farren headed through the estate with a pain in his chest. He took only two Thrones and left to oversee more of the horrid work he had been doing. He walked into the back entrance of one of the old warehouses that had experienced recent delays in shipments and loss of pawns and waited. This was going to be the next factory to fall and he almost hoped he would fall with it. Farren sat against the wall near a loading dock and sent the Thrones off to guard entrances, not because it was necessary, he just wanted to be alone. “What am I doing?”

He was so certain of everything when he ran off with her. Farren fell into the ocean of her eyes and had been drowning since. She was always so clear and her intentions seemed so pure, but now he was using skills meant to punish to instead torture the innocent. Farren understood and accepted the need for sacrifice, but was starting to wonder how far Kava would go just to give herself time. When her labor bore fruit, would it justify the damage done?

Farren listened to the sounds around him. The whimpers of frightened and dying pixies, the machinery that caused their misery, the men collecting their spilled magic and dumping it into addictive extracts of delicate flowers. Farren despised everything about this building and every one like it, but he wore the smile and did as he was asked all for love of a woman who had never once given him the comfort of words she demanded to hear from him.

Farren kept listening as the factories symphony changed. Screams. The crash of machinery breaking. The relief of the surviving pixies released. The brief battle and end of the Thrones he had brought along. Farren just sat and waited for the conductors to come to him.

“It took years to coordinate this.” Farren sighed and pushed himself to his feet. “Watching you tear it apart so quickly is disappointing.”

“You haven’t brought your guardians.” Raziel stayed wary of late arrivals, but Farren’s behavior suggested he was not planning another attack.

“Plan on facing us properly?” Nikolai rested his sword on his shoulder. “Or just running again?”

“You survived.” Farren smiled. “I am impressed. I’m not going to have to run, because you are going to have to rush off.”

“Explain.” Raziel raised his hand to hush Nikolai and stepped forward. Without knowing Farren’s mind he had to rely on what he knew of peoples expressions and behavior and Farren was about to exchange information to alleviate some of his own guilt.

“No time.” Farren tossed a small box to Raziel. “Just take that to Itami and hope I’m good enough to undo what I’ve done.”

“What have you done?” Nikolai shouted at him.

“Just go.” Farren insisted. “I did what I had to. I’m not proud of it.”

Farren was gone a moment later and Raziel did not hesitate. He grabbed Nikolai’s sleeve and spread his wings as he took them into the skies of the Garden of Itami.

“This can’t be Itami.” Nikolai covered his face with his arm to block the stench and his eyes stung as he looked at the decay that was sweeping over Svetlana’s final resting place.

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голод : The Power Within Pt.1

“Have you practiced at all?” Raven chuckled as Nikolai slapped at the remaining embers on his sleeve.

“Not really.” He sighed. “I think starting with something as destructive as fire may be ill advised. Water may be a safer option.”

“Water is more difficult to control.” Raven shook her head. She knew he held a great power within him, but his lack of confidence hid it away from him.  She sat a glass of water in front of him. “But you can try. Instead of trying to create, try to manipulate it.”

“How?” Nikolai watched as she demonstrated. The liquid danced from the glass into a ribbon that rose to her fingertips and circled her arm, then twisted behind her and around her opposite arm before it collected in a sphere that hovered above her claw like fingers.

“The idea is the same.” Raven explained. “You have the talent for it, you will find a way. Chaos will answer your call if you will only speak to it.”

“You seem so certain I have this talent.” Nikolai smiled and reached for the impossible ball of water in her hand. As he ran his fingers across its surface he became fascinated with it. His finger danced on the surface sending ripples through the sphere, while he could sense the moisture his fingers remained dry as he slid them over it’s surface and rested them beneath it until the sphere rested on his fingertips.

“I am certain.” Raven said from behind him. She had moved away when she noticed his distraction and saw the water responding to his fancy. “It seems you were right however, we should have started with water.”

“You are toying with me?” Nikolai let the sphere roll into his palm but it maintained its shape.

“What possible reason would I have to do that?” Raven rested her talons on her hips and the cascade of feathers from her arms fell like a gown around her bare legs. “I brought you here to teach you. I left its form to you the second you touched it.”

“I am doing this?” Nikolai whispered as he stared at his hand.

“Try something else.” Raven nodded.

Nikolai tried to concentrate on creating the ribbon of water that he had seen Raven do so easily. He closed his eyes frustrated when the water only lifted slightly and hovered over his palm.

“Water must like you, Nikolai.” Raven laughed softly. “Open your eyes.”

The water from the glass still hovered over his palm in a perfect sphere, but coils of water of his own creation wrapped his arms and danced around his ankles.

“Well, it isn’t what I tried to do.” Nikolai laughed.

“It’s an amazing start.” Raven explained as she walked toward him slowly. “You will need to learn to control it.”

“May I ask why you are helping me with this?” Nikolai pierced the sphere with his fingertips as he spoke and the water spiraled around his fingers in a rapid unending torrent. “I am grateful of course, but I don’t understand your interest.”

“Isn’t it normal for friends to help one another?” Raven smiled as she watched his rapid growth. “Though I suppose it is also a matter of curiosity. How you could have so much talent and have never even noticed is intriguing, but also upsetting. I hate to see such potential wasted.”

“I will try not to disappoint you.” Nikolai smiled as he willed the water into an avian form and sent it to circle her.

“Do you always adapt so quickly?” Raven was almost startled by his sudden confidence. In minutes he had unwittingly called on the chaos and learned to bend it to his will with a remarkable amount of skill. If he were aware of what he was actually doing, he could easily become as strong as some demons. For now it was best to keep him focused on elements and simple tricks to teach him discipline and control.

“I’ve never given it much thought.” Nikolai admitted as he marveled at his own efforts. “What do I do with it now?”

“Any magic you call on becomes yours.” Raven explained. “It can be given permanent form, absorbed into yourself to increase your own strengths, used to defend yourself, to attack someone else. If it came to your call it will answer to your will.”

Nikolai hardly needed to defend himself at the moment, had no will to harm Raven in anyway, but the idea of becoming more skilled intrigued him. With hardly a thought he felt a pulse a warmth run through him as the water that had been entertaining him seemed to seep into every part of him. He was left with only a small pool of it in his palm, which he closed his fingers around as he closed his eyes.

“For you.” Nikolai took Raven’s hand and slid a thin band onto her the smallest of her slender black fingers. A solid ring that seemed to flow like liquid around her finger, soft shades of blue marbled through a bright green that matched her eyes.

“It’s lovely.” Raven admired the gift. “I should refuse this, but one day it may serve to remind you of how simply you started.”

“I only meant it as a way to thank you.” Nikolai sighed.

“I know.” Raven leapt and shifted into the dark feathered bird she favored and landed on his shoulder. The band now smaller and circling her right leg above her claw. She dug at his shoulder gently before she took him home to Golod.

“So that’s where you ran off to.” Azazel spun around in Nikolai’s chair as Nikolai stepped into his office. “Hey, Raven.”

“Morning, my pet.” Nikolai smiled. “I told Bezer to let you know.”

“She was too busy showing off her new collar.” Azazel frowned. “She took Svetlana shopping. So what were you doing anyway?”

“Trying to learn a few things.” Nikolai explained as Raven leapt from his shoulder to stand beside him.

“You did more than try.” Raven sighed. “You are allowed to be proud of yourself when you accomplish something.”

“Show me.” Azazel hopped up onto the desk and perched there grinning. He had been waiting for a few hours and wanted to know it was worth it.

“I can try.” Nikolai extended his arm and the magic came to him, easier this time, answering to his will as if it had been with him always. Coils of water ran forward rapidly from his arm and folded around Azazel before they retracted pulling the demon into Nikolai’s arms.

“In a day you did this?” Azazel looked up at Nikolai as he hugged him.

“In a few hours.” Raven explained. “Once he found a medium to work with it came easily.”

“You amaze me sometimes.” Azazel purred as he pulled Nikolai’s face down to his and kissed him.

“I have a few things to do.” Raven bowed out gracefully with a giggle.

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голод : Unexpected Guests Pt.2

Quick News : The Circle of Golod story line will be in print shortly!

***

“So what’s up?” Bezer asked as she tugged at Nikolai’s hair. “I thought our meeting was tomorrow?”

“Does no one enjoy my company?” Lucifer laughed.

“He was just bored.” Sanguine giggled.

“This is part of Osore’s supposed meeting.” Maefyl explained. “He insisted I apologize.”

“There was no need for it.” Nikolai replied. “Besides, if it was forced it does not really bear any weight.”

“Not forced.” Lucifer corrected him. “Suggested.”

“I seem to recall your suggestions being a bit hard to refuse.” Nikolai added.

“Why do you hate, Nikolai?” Svetlana asked as she glared across the table at Maefyl. “Has he done something to deserve your nasty looks and snarky comments?”

“That’s enough, my pet.” Nikolai kissed her cheek. “Go keep looking for ideas for me.”

Svetlana stood and walked to the desk as she was told, but continued to cast angry glances over the screen at the vampire.

“I don’t know him well enough to hate him.” Maefyl smiled as she leered at him. “Or you.”

“Have I given you some reason to think that you will?” Nikolai asked.

“Do you really want to have this conversation right now?” Maefyl chuckled. “I don’t know about you, but I’m not keen on having an audience.”

“Azazel, do you mind if I borrow your office?” Nikolai stood as he looked at Maefyl and gestured toward the door.

“It’s a mess.” Azazel giggled. “Just go out in the hall.”

“Is this going to be a problem?” Lucifer asked as Maefyl lifted himself from the couch.

“Nope.” Maefyl sighed. “Stay here, Sany. I wont be long.”

 

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голод : Nikolai & Azazel

“This is going to be a constant problem isn’t it?” Nikolai asked once they were alone.

“I hope not.” Azazel crouched down and hugged his knees. “This isn’t fun for me, Nikolai.”

“I realize that.” Nikolai leaned against the wall in front of him. He watched as two young girls turned into the alley giggling. They slowed their pace and whispered when they saw the Circle demons. “We have company.”

“I know. Hungry?” Azazel winked up at him before he stood and turned to smile at the girls. “Evening ladies.”

“You’re Azazel, right?” The shorter of the girls turned her charms on the demon while the other turned her sights on Nikolai.

“Does anyone else look this good?” Azazel grinned.

“He does.” The second girl blinked up at Nikolai hopefully. “I’m Elena.”

“Nikolai.” He answered pleasantly as he rested his arm on Azazel’s shoulder and he felt the soft purr that was barely audible. He was enjoying his game. He leaned and whispered to him. “I hope that is for me.”

“Always.” Azazel grinned as Nikolai took Elena by the hand and led her off into a dark corner and he went about distracting her friend. “So what do I call you?”

“Inessa.” The girl blushed and batted her eyes at him. “So do you have a girl?”

“Not exactly.” Azazel smiled as he saw Nikolai lay the body quietly at his feet and started toward him smiling. He gestured over her shoulder. “I have him. He seems to be the jealous type.”

“Unfortunate short cut.” Nikolai smiled as he looked down at her and licked the last of the blood from his lips and corrected himself. Azazel caught her by the arm when she tried to run. “Well, unfortunate for the two of you.”

“Please don’t.” Inessa whimpered. “I don’t want to die.”

“I’m guessing you hear that a lot.” Azazel pushed the girl to him. “Ever let them go?”

“Only once.” Nikolai lifted the girl and drained her while Azazel watched and waited for the rest of his answer. He tossed her body aside and let Azazel clean up the mess.

“Just once?” Azazel giggled as he took his arm. “And here I thought you were such a humanitarian. You are as bad as me. So what made the one special?”

“She didn’t beg.” Nikolai smiled down at him as they walked from the alley. “Then she followed me home.”

“Svetlana?” Azazel laughed. “That’s pretty messed up, from meal to roommate.”

“I seem to have a habit of taking in strays.” Nikolai laughed. “I’d rather not discuss it though. That’s between Svetlana and myself. You’ve read enough of her secrets, let her have that at least.”

“Okay.” Azazel slid his hand up the back of Nikolai’s shirt and ran his fingers gently over the scars he and his sister had seen earlier. “Wanna talk about these instead?”

“Later.” Nikolai straightened his shirt. “Please don’t molest me in public, and I told you I would tell you about them, but Bezer wants to know as well. So…”

“Aww. Am I embarrassing you?” Azazel jumped onto his back and Nikolai shook his head laughing.

“No.” Nikolai teased. “But you may lose your following if they all know you have something going with me.”

“Don’t care.” Azazel purred. “You wanna go home then? We will probably be interrupting.”

“I think they would enjoy the interruption.” Nikolai boasted as he hooked his arms under Azazel’s knees and carried him. “If you prefer we can give them a few hours and you can spend some time with me. I’m still trying to find a balance between the three of you.”

“I’m not feeling jilted if that was your insinuation.” Azazel laughed. “You’re doing fine, but yea. It would be nice to have you to myself for a while.”

“Then what would you like to do, my pet?” Nikolai smiled. “For the next few hours I’m all yours.”

“You mind indulging me a bit?” Azazel leaned over his shoulder and looked at him hopefully.

“I suppose you’ve earned it.” Nikolai teased. Azazel had made so many sacrifices to be with him, had given him unending love and loyalty. As much as he had been dreading it, Nikolai knew he would eventually need to shake his distaste for the strange fetish to keep Azazel happy. Nikolai continued teasing him as Azazel pawed at his shoulders. “You need to be punished anyway, for the way you looked at those girls.”

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голод : Dark Alleys

Bezer followed closely, but far enough that Svetlana didn’t notice and she wouldn’t be distracted. She listened as Nikolai whispered simple things that hardly needed saying and Svetlana nodded her understanding. She found herself looking over the crowd and trying to guess which of the unsuspecting faces would soon meet its end. When it was finally decided she giggled to herself and watched from the shadows as the two of them cornered the boy. She had expected Nikolai to attack but he stood aside as Svetlana moved on her prey.

Nikolai had recommended the boy and once they were out of sight he stepped in front of him to keep him from leaving the alley. He was infuriated that they had followed him and he tried to strike at Svetlana when she approached, she surprised herself by how quickly she reacted, grabbing his arm and breaking it before he could hit her. His rage quickly turned to fear and he tried to pull away, screaming at the pain he caused himself by twisting the broken bone. Svetlana kicked his legs out from under him bringing his throat closer to her level and pounced on him, she thought she would be more upset with herself, but instead she was impressed with how easily she managed the whole thing. When her meal stopped struggling she just enjoyed what was left of the blood and turned back to Nikolai.

“I told you he wasn’t too tall.” Nikolai felt almost proud. He had managed to pass his gift to her and it seemed she was well suited to it. A bit messy perhaps, but his first kills were not the most graceful either. He wiped the blood from her chin “Had enough?”

“Was that ok?” She hoped for his approval and smiled when he nodded and leaned to kiss her.

“How charming.” Skorn stepped from the shadows and slowly moved toward them. Nikolai stood in front of Svetlana and Skorn laughed at the gesture. “Is my Azazel not enough for you, vampire?”

My Azazel.” Nikolai corrected her. “Or had you forgotten that.”

“No matter.” Skorn leered at him. “He wont mourn you for long.”

“He wont have to.” Bezer pounced over Svetlana and Nikolai landing between them and the would be attacker. “And I doubt anyone will mourn you.”

“Out of my way kitten.” Skorn lashed at Bezer with her tail.

“Too slow.” Bezer laughed as she dodged the stinger and kicked Skorn in the chest to knock her away. “You ruined a nice moment. Now go away.”

“I was willing to spare you to keep Azazel happy.” Skorn taunted. “But it seems you are just as troublesome as ever.”

“Who is she?” Svetlana whispered to Nikolai as she clung to his side.

“A problem that needs solving.” Nikolai answered.

“You are the only problem here, vampire.” Skorn lunged toward the vampires as she screamed. “You can die with your whores.”

Her attack was thwarted as Azazel arrived. He knocked her to the ground and grabbed her tail as she struggled to strike at Bezer a second time.

“My sister is not a whore.” Azazel screamed at Skorn as he swung her against the alley wall. “Now apologize to her. And to Svetlana.”

“I’ll apologize all you want if you come home with me.” Skorn offered her proposal as she steadied herself on the wall.

“He no longer has that choice.” Nikolai left Svetlana with Bezer to defend her and put his arm around Azazel. “Your persistence is admirable, but pointless.”

“We’ll see vampire.” Skorn left them with her warning.

“Is she a bug?” Svetlana grimaced at Azazel as she and Bezer joined them. “You slept with a bug?”

“Gross isn’t it?” Bezer laughed as she hugged Svetlana. “Never understood what he saw in her.”

“I understand it.” Nikolai whispered to Azazel and the demon smiled up at him.

“Sorry.” Azazel pouted. “Again.”

“No need.” Nikolai said as he watched the girls fawning over each other. He turned Azazel to see and laughed. “Would the two of you like some time alone?”

“Don’t you want to play too?” Bezer gave him a seductive look.

“Take her home, Bezer.” Nikolai smiled. “I’ll join you in a moment.”

“Time for dessert.” Bezer winked before she and Svetlana left the alley together.

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