Tag Archives: Presia

Waking : Fables : Talon Pt.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 “With no reprimand?” Talon grinned.

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

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Filed under Book VIII, story, Waking

Waking : Fables Pt.1

“You can’t just hide in there.” Karas reiterated the thoughts Talon had been shouting for days at the office door that had remained sealed since Frost returned. “At least let me see him.”

 “Lord Frost needs rest.” Presia let her voice permeate through the dark monolith of the office door. “You can tell Talon he can wait.”

 “I wish you would at least tell me what happened.” Karas walked away stroking his horns frustrated and headed for Talon’s office. The door was already open and he found the Circles head scribbling something angrily. “She still wont open the door.”

 “I heard.” Talon looked up irritated. “Must you state the obvious?”

 “Well, I’m off then.” Karas shrugged. “I have other work to do. I’m not going to watch a door all day.”

 “You’ll do as I say.” Talon laughed arrogantly. He immensely enjoyed the power he held over Karas, particularly because he knew how much it irritated him. “But for now, you can be off, I’m expecting a guest so I wont be going anywhere.”

 Karas took one last look up at the locked door of Frost’s office before he stepped out into the crisp air of Drifa. It had taken years to get accustomed to wandering freely among humans, but he was familiar enough now that it felt like home. A few of the townsfolk waved a greeting and he returned the wave with two of his four hands. Their giggles made him smile. He was not as capable of blending in as some of the other demons of his stature. As if the extra set of arms was not enough to set him apart, he had a set of black horns similar to those of a ram. Still he had a boyish charm to him, and features that could have made him frightening lent well to his well toned form and wide smile. He seemed to have a popular sway among the people in Drifa, though admittedly not as much as Frost or Talon. None of which bothered him. There was only one person in Drifa who he wanted to impress and he had been trying for centuries.

 Karas crossed his second set of arms in front of him as he often did to keep them out of the way and headed on his merry way. He needed a break from worrying over Frost and couldn’t think of a better way then to catch up with his crush. He wandered his way through the cozy town of Drifa until he found himself at the door for the little clothing store where his little secret worked.

 When he arrived, he paused a moment just to look at her. Her sweet face framed in brown curls and the deep brown eyes that forever had him compromising. She was as always nearly prudishly buttoned up. Long skirt, high socks and a turtle neck today. As adorably modest as she was it couldn’t hide her figure and Karas knew she would look just as lovely out of her clothes as she did in them. Still he didn’t mind the wait. Part of him was glad for it. As human as she looked he imagined she thought of him as anything but attractive. So he told himself he would win her heart the hard way and had spent hundreds of years showing her who he was instead of what.

 Thalia saw him grinning and rolled her eyes before going about her business of hanging clothes back on a rack. She knew he would be in a moment later so she may as well finish up. Karas was just a part of the normal routine now. No use fighting it.

 “You busy?” Karas tapped her shoulder playfully.

 “Well. I am at work.” Thalia smiled at him. Despite the first impression Karas had turned into something of a friend over the years. “You should go away now.”

 “That is no way to talk to a customer miss.” Karas pulled a skirt off a nearby rack. “You have this in my size?”

 “Would you get out!” Thalia grabbed the skirt and started to nudge him toward the door. “Pick me up after work. You can be my shortcut up north.”

 “Deal.” Karas left satisfied that at least he could spend a little time with her later. He enjoyed any time with her at all. Since the very first time she slapped him.

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Filed under Book VIII, story, Uncategorized, Waking

TCOL : Epilogue : Wandering Djinn

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

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

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

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

Breakseal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 “We only just met.” Ifre explained.

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under Book VII, story, The Council Of Lords

TCOL : BTG : The Problem With Promises

“What bargain did you make, Lucy?” Gabriel had been concerned about involving these ‘friends’ to begin with but with Sachiel now disposed it seemed his concerns were once again well founded. The barriers over Eden were still in place, meaning Lucifer was still protecting his realm from potential danger. Moreover he had closed them in tighter and now Gabriel wondered if it was just for the sake of cornering Sachiel.

“Freedom.” Ifre explained plainly. “We help you and he opens the door.”

“Free roam of Tsuriai.” Li’da added. “We have now done our part.”

“Hak! Hak! Hak!” Azrael shook his head and grabbed Samael by his wrist. “Danbol kabak besek na baknit, kosha.”

“I don’t wish to be the one to start another war.” Samael chuckled as he laid his fingers over Azrael’s in comfort. “But have you gone entirely mad Lucifer? The destruction any one of them are capable of…”

“My bargain was with Lucifer.” Ria smiled as he interrupted the smug protest of the Wyrms and stepped closer to the Dark Lord of Tsuriai. “Not his Council. I would not want this to become unfriendly.”

“Ria.” Eidolon entered the conversation carefully. He had wished to avoid it entirely, but if the scales were going to tip he preferred they tip in a reasonably harmless way. “I doubt any one of us would ever deny you freedom; we simply wish to protect what is dear to us.”

Yet with no remorse you locked us away for how long?” Ifre sneered back at him. “Fuck what is dear to you.”

“Settle down, Ifre.” Twaer sadly approached and tried to be the voice of reason for their side. Like Eidolon she preferred a more peaceful approach. If they were going to leave Eden she would rather do so without having to spend the rest of eternity staring over their shoulders. She looked to Eidolon and gave a clearer answer. “What he means is that you’ve all had the chance to find things that are dear to you. We want that chance.”

“Out of the question.” Samael clenched his teeth as he spoke. “You are dangerous. All of you. You care for nothing. Bow to no one.”

“Coming from you that’s beyond ridiculous.” Asura shook her head at him. “You can’t just lock someone away for fear of what they might do. They deserve a chance.”

“It’s no longer a matter of what we deserve, child.” Ria interrupted sternly. “We were made a promise.”

“I have every intention of rewarding you all you have done.” Lucifer smiled at Ria unblinking. “I told you from the beginning that there would be resistance to your request. I have not yet denied it. I just have other promises to consider. Promises I’ve made to each of them.”

“What you should consider is their fragile nature.” Ifre scoffed and walked off quickly creating a path of flames behind him that started to create separation in the group.

“Don’t threaten me.” Lucifer laughed. “I may forget whose side I am on.”

“There should be no side to choose.” Li’da listened to the whimpers of panic as the weakest among Lucifer’s companions clutched to those close to them. “Honor your word.”

“What have you done?” Eidolon held Karla to him as she shook. Had she not been so in need of his comfort his fury would have pushed him to a more violent course.

“We deprived them of light.” Li’da’s child like voices nearly singing together as she waved a hand over the others weeping. “Taken their sight. For a start.”

“They are not in any pain as of yet.” Ria assured their angered hosts as he continued smiling at Lucifer. “Deny us much longer and they will be.”

“You dare threaten what is ours and ask freedom?” Eidolon stroked Karla’s hair and held Kaneko tightly around her waist. He watched as Nikolai extended leashes from the cubs collars to keep them close as they stood defensively beside their Master and Asura. Raziel stood expressionless with his pets quietly suffering at his feet; Galik dutifully checking each of them to ensure they were okay. Each ‘family’ was dealing with it. Even the usually hotheaded and quick to provocation were treading carefully. For that Eidolon was grateful. “It is this abuse of your strengths that makes us hesitant, Ria.”

“None of you have ever abused your power to get what you wanted?” Ifre scoffed. “Be thankful I didn’t just set your pretty friends ablaze.”

“That’s enough, all of you.” Twaer had stood by watching the companions of Zakesalek suffer patiently and couldn’t take it anymore. She shouted for an end to it. “Li’da, this is cruel. They are children.”

“We have not affected the children.” Li’da gestured toward Neka and Evadia as she giggled over the technicality. “Though our patience wears thin.”

“If you harm my child, freedom will be of no concern.” Kage hissed and shifted closer to Neka. She looked up at him sadly from Bishop’s lap where she had been wiping the tears from his sightless eyes.

“Bishop is broken, Daddy.” Neka sniffled and tugged on the shirt of her surprisingly patient pet. “Fix him for Neka.”

“Your toy will be fine.” Kage pet her hair and looked back at Lucifer. “If this is to be a Council vote, I suggest you release them. They can do no more harm than any of us ever have. I would prefer them as allies.”

“As would I.” Gabriel sighed. “There is no reason Tsuriai can not welcome all of you, but as we live by its laws…”

“Cram your laws.” Ifre laughed. “We aren’t looking to upset any kind of balance.”

“We don’t hold any grudge against Zakesalek.” Twaer added. “We just want to be free.”

“Does your release from Eden ensure freedom?” Raziel stepped away from his frightened puppets to confront the Djinn. “It was my understanding you were created to serve.”

“That worked out well.” Samael scoffed and pulled Azrael into his arms as he pouted over the sudden change of heart the Council seemed to be having. “They have no respect for the power that brought them to life.”

“Because they were not created to serve that power.” Presia answered softly as she looked after her wounded Master but her words found every ear and they turned to hear her explanation. She smiled up at Lucifer. “This is why you requested our attendance, is it not? To show them their path?”

“What more beautiful example could there be?” Lucifer grinned. “How is he?”

“Alive.” Presia rested her hand over Nei’s heart. “Thanks to Ifre.”

“She is like us.” Li’da looked to Ria for guidance and let her spell fall away from the young vampires. “But not like us.”

“Yes.” Ria smirked. “With a similar curse.”

“Nonsense.” Lucifer laughed. “Presia is entirely unique and not one of you was cursed. She and each of you were given a gift, a choice.”

“Choice?” Twaer crouched and looked at the relief of the Council’s treasures as they regained their sight.

“We were created to serve a master of our choosing.” Presia smiled as she explained their gift. “Without that bond we are forever incomplete.”

“You sneaky fuck!” Ifre shouted at Lucifer. “That’s why we only reach our potential paired with you.”

“It is also what makes our long years in Eden all the more cruel.” RIa dropped his eyes sadly. “We were wronged more than I realized.”

“Not entirely my decision.” Lucifer looked at his nails as if completely disinterested in the newly discovered pain of his Djinn. “I have also not left you entirely alone. Lets not be melodramatic, Ria. It is not as if any of you were in a cell. You had all of Eden. I visited frequently.”

“We’re supposed to what?” Ifre howled at him. “Start bowing out of gratitude? You promised us we could leave Eden and live as we pleased. Now we’re supposed to pick one of your friends to serve?”

“Have I once suggested you swear loyalty to anyone here?” Lucifer answered angrily and Eden shook beneath their feet. “My delay in your release has nothing to do with you. I have other troubled minds to consider and I won’t lift this veil until I am certain there will be no war over this.”

“So you do intend to put this to a vote?” Eidolon cringed at the thought. He feared the divide it could cause. “Lucifer, this bargain was yours, just honor it. Delaying this further is cruel, and Maefyl and Sanguine are still absent.”

“We also still have to discuss what’s to become of the girl.” Gabriel whispered to Lucifer. “I may regret this, but just give them their freedom.”

“It was your intention, my Lord.” Lilith quietly agreed as she squeezed close to Lucifer. “We can deal with the Wyrms discontent later.”

“So much for your Council.” Samael sneered at Lucifer. “When it should matter most, you will always just assume authority.”

“When it matters you are often no where to be found.” Maefyl seemed distracted as he arrived, but was well enough informed of the conversations to join them without hesitation. He paced through the gathering with an awkward confidence and gave Samael a wink before he continued. “But despite the hypocrisy, Samael has a point.”

“You suggest I risk them?” Lucifer pulled Maefyl by his shirt and gestured to their fragile loved ones. “Don’t be foolish, boy.”

“Don’t be modest, Dad.” Maefyl laughed and glanced fiercely back at Ria as he pulled away. “I’m merely suggesting we make it clear that we are on more equal footing than they seem to think.”

“You?” Ifre burst into a fit of laughter before breaking into several small fires and spreading at Ria’s feet. There was a crackle of laughter in the voice of the flames as they mocked him. “Zakesalek couldn’t control us, what can you do?”

“You pose no threat.” Li’da added as auras of white and black spread around her. She cast a glance at Ria and he became the wind and they resumed their vicious threats. The young vampires started to gasp for air and Li’da smiled cruelly at Maefyl. “You can not catch the wind, or hold a raging fire in your hands. You could never contain Twaer’s tides…”

“No! Stop this!” Twaer ran to Vikarr and Eliza and wept over the girl trembling in his arms. “I won’t be a part of this.”

“Maefyl…” Gabriel was relieved Asura had been spared the pain the others were in, but she was nearly in shock from the horror of it. Each of them under the spells of the Djinn convulsing, their skin dry and red as if they were burning from inside. They had been careful not to assault the direct family of Zakesalek, but these were still their friends. Still their loved ones. “I know you have a point to make, but at what cost? Enough of this.”

“Agreed.” Maefyl grinned and suddenly slammed his fist into the ground at his feet breaking through it until he could feel his fingers around the frightened throat. Threa screamed as he pulled her into proper form and he held her in front of him. “I can most definitely crush a stone. Care to test that?”

“Threa!” Ria released the others and hastily took form in front of Maefyl. He dropped to his knees and reached for Threa’s fingers. “Please. Give her to me.”

“You threaten my family again and I will destroy yours.” Maefyl tossed the trembling Djinn into Ria’s embrace before casually lighting a cigarette and returning to Gabriel for an embrace of his own.

“Understood.” Ria watched Maefyl in awe as he gentle comforted Threa. “We managed to over estimate our position.”

“Just remember that.” Lucifer sighed. Maefyl’s interference had not been at all planned, but it could not have been more effective. “You will need to settle eventually and inform the Council of where. In the meantime, have a look around and follow the rules.”

“You’re letting us go?” Ifre was certain their plans were finished when they stumbled upon a champion that could exploit their weaknesses. “Just like that?”

“That’s how he does everything.” Samael grumbled. “I want it known that I am opposed to this.”

“Noted.” Lucifer smiled wickedly before dropping the veil and permanently making Eden a part of his own realm. He walked to Ria and pulled him down by the hair for a final word. “One more thing before you go…”

“As you requested.” Ria answered softly. “Safely protected as always in the womb of Eden.”

“Enjoy Tsuriai.” Lucifer turned to the others and sighed as the Djinn left Eden. “I don’t imagine any of you are up for a picnic so I’ll see you in the Council hall.”

“I am taking my Lord Frost home to recover.” Presia wasted no time on unnecessary partings. They had played their part and she wanted to return to Drifa with Nei.

The others just waited quietly. Some still trying to take in the full scale of events that happened so quickly, others agitated by another of Lucifer’s quick Exits, some just relieved to be unscathed and with the ones the loved after a journey they had embarked on with no real certainty of either fact.One however had a sense of dread that deeply stained his relief and he could not stop his tears as he held Evadia in his arms for what he was certain would be the last time.

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Filed under Book VII, story, The Council Of Lords

TCOL : Eden : A Warm Welcome

The moment Eden burst to life torrents of winds went swept over it to protect Zakesalek and their families and Lucifer grinned at the panicked reaction as Sachiel called for hundreds more of her pathetic choirs to fight on her behalf. While the coward exhausted herself he waited quietly beside Gabriel for the others to be brought to the cliff overlooking the estate where the once feared ghost hid away.

“Admit it, Gabby.” Lucifer spoke softly. “You’ve missed this place.”

“I have.” Eidolon interrupted and gave a quick nod to the silent shadowy wisp that had led them through the maze of assaulting winds. He watched it disappear before he smiled at Lucifer and listened to the others heave sighs of relief to be through with at least part of their journey. “I enjoyed it more without the obstacles.”

“We took care of what obstacles we could before the elements decided to lend a hand.” Mala grinned and bowed slightly to Gabriel. “They could have given a warmer welcome.”

“Have you seen the others?” Gabriel questioned him sadly.

We are leading them all to you Jakyl.” The wind assured him as some of it coiled in front of him and coalesced into a tall slender form dressed in a well-tailored suit and smiled at him. “Only one of your followers has fallen, and he was struck before our release. He is being cared for. You have no need for worry.”

“You’ve taken forms.” Eidolon moved beside Gabriel astonished by the sight of the element mimicking their demonic perfection. With long white hair that ran down his back until it was nearly clear at his waist and eyes that shifted in pale blues and greens, but surrounding the iris was as black as the entirety of Lucifer’s eyes.

“And names.” Lucifer added as he continued to watch the estate below for Sachiel. “This one likes to be called Ria.”

“You said you were released.” Gabriel asked with instant regret. Knowing release meant blood had been spilled. “Which of us gave you this new freedom, Ria?”

“I was surprised as I am sure you will be that it was not one of you that broke the last of your damnable spell.” Ria smiled at him and started to fade into a breeze again so he could continue his task of gathering the others. “It was the blood of the one called Maefyl.”

“Maefyl is not hurt.” Gabriel caught Lucifer by his arm when he turned with rage evident in his expression. Despite his tendency to be cruel on his own, the thought of his son in jeopardy agitated Lucifer like little else could and Gabriel knew well enough to end the worry. “At least not badly enough to be concerned over. Whoever has fallen; it is not Maefyl. Do you think I would be standing here watching you gloat if he were in any danger?”

“This is an odd gamble.” Eidolon thrust a blade into the ground in front of him and tapped his fingers around it’s hilt. “Even with the numbers the ghost is calling, do you expect a hoard of angels to stand against us? I don’t mean to deny any soul it’s freedom, but you are releasing an unpredictable element into a world we have yet to stabilize after so many changes.”

“Doubt is unattractive, Falcon.” Kage hissed softly as he arrived and stood beside Eidolon watching the raging angels as Sachiel rallied them with her magic. He smirked when he heard Lilith cooing over her attention from Lucifer and decided to leave her to enjoy the reunion while he focused on the matters at hand. “When did you start questioning our Lord?”

“I was merely making conversation, Viper.” Eidolon smiled . Neither of them gave each other a glance as they spoke. They just exchanged odd pleasantries as they watched and listened. Myrt and Mala quietly gave words of comfort and confidence to their husbands while Lucifer fawned over his blood covered bride and taunted Gabriel with the cleverness of his plans. Ria had guarded them and Eden, Lucifer had Eden surrounded in a barrier of his own to protect his own realm from the battle to come and caught between the film of chaos and the violent winds angels screamed a harmony of violent intentions conducted by an angry ghost. Still they stood smiling at an army that would be on them soon, friends after all they had been through and realizing as they listened the cruel genius of their Lord.

He brought them together. All of them.

“Thanks.” Brig kneeled and stroked the pebbles that rolled softly in front of him as they finally made their way to others. He pouted a bit when he realized he was the first from Vex to make it. “I don’t suppose you could tell me if ShaSha is okay?”

The pebbles rolled against his fingers and warmed. He was too relieved to even notice Eidolon had walked over to him and fell over startled from the tap on his shoulder sending Cid and Tali into fits of laughter.

“I apologize.” Eidolon leaned and offered his hand. Kaneko clinging to his back with a wide smile on her face and Karla clinging to his arm giggling. “They tell me you looked out for them. You have my thanks.”

“I think they were the ones looking out for me.” Brig blushed and pulled himself up with Eidolon’s hand. He had taken it in greeting before, but this gesture seemed warmer. When he was on his feet Eidolon sat another hand over his. “I didn’t…”

“You stood up for us.” Karla smiled.

“Kaneko doesn’t give her praise lightly.” Eidolon squeezed Brig’s hand before releasing it. He turned his attention to the Wyrms and sneered. “Nor just she leave out details. I am inclined to thank you for sparing them any harm, Samael.”

“I have no interest in your brides, Eidolon. Save your breath.” Samael scoffed and walked past him, dragging Shiroi along with him by her wrist until he was stopped a few feet short of Lucifer by Kage. Samael clenched his teeth in his grin when he met Kage’s chilling glare. “De naze na seldak hala sekni kevas.”

“Then I suggest you calm yourself.” Kage’s nails lengthened and his fangs fell into his smile. “You won’t be going near him when I can smell death in your intent.”

“If there is death in my intent it has far easier targets.” Samael smiled past Kage. “It merely occurred to me that our guides through this battleground were so very convenient. I wanted ask our dear Lord who we should thank for the sudden cooperation.”

“ShaSha!” Brig ran to his family interrupting the tension for a moment with their reunion. As they kissed Brig felt Raziel’s fingers in his hair and smiled. He held Shana’s face as he whispered. “I’m glad you’re all okay.”

“And we found the lost kitten.” Van beamed proudly as she hung on Galik and pointed to their traveling companions. Neka was cuddled up on Bishop’s back as he walked quietly beside Farren. Behind them Nikolai and his pets lovingly congratulated each other on their progress.

“Daddy!” Neka giggled and swung her feet at Bishop’s sides as he walked closer to take her where she wanted to go. Her excitement was enough to soften the air between Kage and Samael and they both smiled to greet her. “Daddy, the air talks here!”

“Sweet girl.” Samael patted her as she slid to her feet. “The air speaks everywhere if you are listening. What you heard was something far more irritating.”

“And Bishop was so bwave.” Neka grabbed the leg of Kage’s pants, ignoring Samael’s lesson to tell her Father about her adventures. “So was Fawwen.”

“You were to stay with Kaneko.” Kage glared at Bishop as he picked up his daughter and stroked her hair.

“Everyone was upsetting her.” Bishop hung his head. “I made a mistake and put her at risk. That damn vampire got hurt trying to keep us safe. I’m sorry.”

“You’ll have to annunciate, Neka.” Kage grinned at his daughter. “You were telling me about your pet…”

“Bishop kept Neka safe.” Neka hugged Kage tight and rambled on about Bishop and his bravery. “Neka was brave, too.”

Until Kage was certain Bishop had finished wiping away unnecessary tears he held Neka and let her inform him on every detail of their adventure. The fact she insisted on including Samael kept another issue from arising between themselves. As everyone reunited and took time to recover and strengthen themselves. Even as the army around them grew wilder, their faith in each other and their confidence swelled.

“What has you smiling suddenly?” Lucifer watched Gabriel’s somber, contemplative expression melt into a sense of peace. “I assume that my son is finally going to join us. Nothing else seems to distract you so completely.”

“Kosha!” Azrael ran at Samael and leapt into his arms. He grabbed Shiroi and pulled her into the embrace as he bit Samael’s ear and mumbled his exciting news. “Se seta Maefyl, kosha. Ken blekasa.”

“De supas.” Samael held Azrael close and stroked his hair as he watched Maefyl’s quiet arrival.

Samael’s were not the only eyes on him as he carried Evadia into the midst of strangers. All of the Council watched anxiously as Maefyl sat the girl to her feet and took her hand. Gabriel met him and took his hand as he walked toward Farren.

Farren fell to his knees as they approached and nervously spread his fingers in the grass as he watched his daughter blush and start to smile. He wanted grab hold of her and never let go, but he had made a bargain for her safety. His life for hers. He just smiled at her and hoped she could understand. “Hello, Evadia.”

“Daddy!” Evadia leapt forward and embraced him. “I knew you would come.”

“Thank you, Maefyl.” Farren wept as he held his daughter.

“Let him look after her while we put an end to this.” Maefyl patted Kage on his arm. He could already see the aggravation building over another complicated guest and it was unnecessary. Lucifer wasn’t going to allow her to stay. They should at least have this time. “It is time to end this; right, Lucy?”

“Sachiel!” Lucifer’s voice rose over Eden. “Face me!”

Presia’s song began again as she was escorted into the field of Watcher’s by a dark haired young man with eyes like fire who gently carried Nei as he walked beside her. She sang sadly as the winds calmed to reveal a gathering army and her escort laid her Master in her lap for safe keeping. He took her hand and laid it over Nei’s heart. “Sing for him, miss.”

“Is that flirting?” A giggling current of water that had guided them took form beside Presia’s rescuer and pinched him. Her ringlet curls bouncing as she playfully scolded him. Presia’s song was brightening and the skies of Eden were clearer with every note. “Make friends later, Ifre.”

“I want to make sure we actually have friends here, T’waer.” Ifre righted himself as he put his arm around her. “Ria and Lucifer made this agreement, but I remember a few of these angry faces.”

“Don’t be bitter.” Ria scolded as he took form. He let his barriers of wind begin to wane; a gesture that silenced Ifre’s doubt. “For Eden.”

“For Eden.” Ifre nodded.

Angels that were scattered across Eden now converged on the estate were Sachiel hid herself away. Forming threatening ranks and screaming songs of war to combat Presia’s melody.

Fruitlessly. Presia’s song was being amplified by Eden itself and by the magic of those who never left it.

“Ifre.” Lucifer grinned. “Burn that eyesore to the ground.”

“Boring.” Ifre yawned as screamed erupted from the rapidly crumbling estate. Twaer and Ifre laughed as Sachiel shouted curses and hid amongst dust and her army of angels. “Nice work, Threa.”

“Thank you.” Barely a whisper came from behind Ria as a girl barely more than half his height peeked around him.

“Shall we begin?” Ria smiled at Lucifer.

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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 : Eden : Inherited Venom

“We shouldn’t have wandered off.” Bishop picked Neka up and looked around hopelessly for something familiar to lead them back to the others.

“Neka didn’t like them.” She pouted and rubbed her face on his shoulder. “Don’t be mad at Neka.”

“I’m not mad.” Bishop sighed. “I’m lost.”

“We’re all lost.” Farren offered his outlook as he cleaned himself up. He had managed to keep the young vampire and his Master unharmed from any attacks this far, but they had been lucky. “No one knows this place. I can’t say I would have done any differently than the girl, though. Raziel is unpleasant and his family unfriendly.”

“That’s not true.” Bishop sighed. He knew them only briefly but he had liked each of them. “I think its this place making everyone uncomfortable.”

“Neka thinks they are just useless.” She insisted as she sniffled. “Daddy says the Keeper is nothing but trouble.”

“He probably thinks the same about me.” Bishop frowned. It was not that he was particularly wounded by the fact Kage disliked him, but the fact Neka was so willing to accept her father’s ideas as her own.

“Neka loves you, though.” She squeezed around his neck and licked his face. “Daddy will like you someday.”

“How fortunate for you.” Farren patted Bishop’s back.

“Lay off.” Bishop muttered not wanting to turn the comment into another argument. “Didn’t you live here with this woman? Can you find your way?”

“I did not wander the Garden.” Farren shook his head.

“There’s something up ahead.” Vafera fluttered her wings and tugged at Bishop’s hair. To get his attention. “That way.”

In the distance there were stone structures and a clearer skyline so they started toward hopeful to put themselves on a course that would cross with their companions. Being lost in a Garden newly relocated to Hell was not high on Bishops list of things to try and he would gladly give it up the adventure quickly. He was also afraid is they were attacked by more than a few of the armor clad angels, Farren would be overwhelmed and there was no way he could protect the girl on his own.

The structures were in ruins, but what remained sat around a large circular center and Bishop hoped they could wait there for the others and sped his pace.

“Carefully.” Farren pulled Bishop by his sleeve. “Someone is nearby. I smell blood.”

“That’s disgusting.” Bishop answered quietly.

“Don’t even pretend that you can’t smell it, too.” Farren smiled and shook his head as they moved into the courtyard. “Vampire.”

“Oh. It’s just you.” Nei smirked at them and rested his arms around Presia.

“We ended up separated.” Bishop explained sheepishly. “Do you know where anyone else is?”

“You look like shit.” Nei raised an eyebrow at his young vampiric child in disappointment. “You haven’t fed.”

“No.” Bishop looked away embarrassed and not even sure if that was an appropriate emotion to be feeling. “It didn’t seem like a priority.”

“Well, it is. You have to feed, you hopeless fuck.” Nei shook his head and lifted Presia to her feet as he stood. “You aren’t going to be useful to anyone if you don’t.”

“You be nice to Bishop.” Neka hissed at Nei and shot blades of chaos in his direction, pouting when arrogant vampire dodged aside with Presia. “He can eat when he wants to.”

“So how bad is the pain?” Nei ignored the attack and continued his fatherly chat with Bishop.

“I can deal with it.” Bishop ran his fingers through Neka’s hair and tried to smile. “I don’t really want to talk about this in front of the kid.”

“In front of that kid?” Nei laughed. “The Viper’s daughter? In a year she’ll be deadlier than you or I could ever hope to be.”

“I would never hope to be deadly.” Bishop shuddered. “I don’t want to be.”

“You hurt, Bishop?” Neka looked at him with her mismatched eyes and tears fell down her cheeks. “Neka doesn’t want you to hurt. Why do you hurt?”

“Because he won’t feed.” Nei explained plainly as he started to head out of the courtyard with Presia on his arm. “And if he doesn’t want my advice, he doesn’t need my company.”

“Wait.” Bishop just fell to his knees and held Neka tighter as he tried his hardest not to cry. He wanted to protect her and couldn’t on his own. He hated to cave to an obvious manipulation and he wanted little to do with the ‘feeding’ that they wanted to push on him, but it was becoming unbearable just to stand and he needed to look after Neka. “What am I supposed to do?”

“Lucifer made it easy for you.” Farren kneeled beside Bishop and squeezed his shoulder. “You don’t have to be deadly. Just thirsty. I’m here when you need it.”

Bishop had been struggling for hours. So much that he was scaring himself with how well he could smell the blood in Neka’s veins. He couldn’t fight the thirst anymore with an offer made so plainly. He covered Neka’s eyes with the fingers of one hand and with the other pulled Farren closer by his shirt and bit into the side of his neck.

Farren held Bishop through it. He was amused that it was the attacker and not the victim shaking. Further amused by the little girl peeking through Bishops fingers with an excited expression and a tail twitching behind her enthusiastically.

“Now, was that so bad?” Nei laughed.

“What is this place?” Bishop didn’t want to be taunted over it. He wanted to forget what he had just done and that he liked it. He gave Neka a quick squeeze to pre-empt any inquiries and jumped headlong into a discussion he hoped would provide adequate distance from the topic of his fangs.

“I believe it was part of some sort of complex.” Presia admired the crests on the ground. “A large communal estate of sorts. Their home. Or at least part of it. But it seems detached. Like a mask.”

“Or a doorway.” Farren offered quietly.

“Seems too obvious for that.” Bishop used Farren’s shoulder to steady himself as he stood. He felt like he had been drinking, the world shifted in the wrong direction as he walked and his feet seemed too heavy, his head too light. His mind was astonishingly clear however and he gave them what reason he could see for moving on. “It’s more like a distraction. If there were a door to something in this place it would be subtle.”

“Could be buried eighty feet deep or standing eighty feet tall and surrounded in flashing lights, it doesn’t matter a bit of a fuck to me.” Nei grinned. “Presia says a door is going to open. A door is going to open. In the meantime, your little kittens’ Daddy and his friends are off having all the fun without me.”

“You find this shit amusing?” Bishop held Neka’s hand as they followed. “What is wrong with you?”

“With me?” Nei giggled. “There is nothing wrong with me. I find battle exciting, what I find amusing is that you managed to sell yourself into slavery to the Viper’s kid. You clearly weren’t looking for my gift, so what did you get out of the bargain?”

“Bishop is Neka’s friend.” She hissed and kicked the back of Nei’s legs until Bishop picked her up and she cried against him. “Neka loves Bishop.”

“Love?” Nei turned and grabbed the thin leash that she had wrapped around her hand that led to Bishop’s collar. “Is that what this is?”

“He is Neka’s.” Neka tugged the cord away. “Bishop has to stay with Neka forever.”

“Leave her alone.” Bishop insisted softly. “It isn’t her fault. And doesn’t your girl call you ‘Lord’? Isn’t that just the way it is with you people?”

“Enough.” Presia smacked Bishop across his face. “It is not the title or even the leash that my Lord Frost has taken issue with. I am by all rights his property. The greatest Master however is one who loves and respects his pets. The companionship born through that mutual respect can be very powerful, very beautiful.”

“She is just a little girl.” Bishop defended.

“With a very well informed mind I assure you.” Presia smiled and turned her attention to Neka as she spoke her advice. “Still young enough to make decisions that will forever affect her. Ask yourself little Viper, do you want a slave? Or a friend?”

“Neka wants Bishop.” She gnawed on the cord nervously.

“Neka, I’m not going anywhere.” Bishop hugged her close as he stopped a moment to sit and comfort her. He pulled the leash from her mouth and tapped her chin with it. “Don’t do that. You’ll make your Father mad. I don’t want you in trouble. You don’t have to listen to them.”

“Thrones!” Farren unleashed his attacks on as many as he could before he lifted Bishop and Neka to safety from a second onslaught.

“May I join you, my Lord?” Presia giggled as her attire changed and a matching set of sheathed blades appeared at her hip and on her back. Nei backed up to her and drew his blades and she could feel his heart racing.

“I’ve missed this.” Nei spoke through a wicked grin. “Stay close.”

“Always.” Presia nodded and a thick blue ribbon lengthened between them and wrapped their waists. A physical reminder in the heat of battle of the limit to their bond before they would cause one another pain.

“Wow!” Neka flushed as she watched Presia fighting beside Nei. They moved like water together. Even though they were so close and fighting so many different enemies, never stumbling over each other, never hindering each other.

Farren fought those he could when they were close enough, defended Bishop and Neka when they were attacked. The sudden surge in attackers was bothersome. He was sure there had not been this many before. Sachiel must have gotten unsure of herself and doubled her forces. He had feared for his daughter in the hands of Sachiel’s madness, now he worried for the girl being caught in the battle they had brought to Eden. He watched Bishop holding Neka and desperately hoped someone was protecting Evadia.

“Not a great time to get distracted.” Nei taunted Farren as he and Presia came to their aid.

“It’s like they are after her.” Bishop gratefully accepted Presia’s arm around them and the shield of protection she spread over them.

“These are newly called Choirs.” Farren pulled Nei into Presia’s protection before unleashing a mist of rot into the air that quickly worked it’s decay on the coming attackers. “Likely sent to find a child in Eden…”

“Meaning your daughter is lost out here, too.” Bishop sighed. “We should look for her then.”

“No, we should do what we came here to do.” Nei corrected him quickly. “Your pal is gonna sniff his way to his old girlfriend so I can quit this miserable Garden and go back to Drifa.”

“I was only ever in the estate.” Farren turned away.

“Which should make it the easiest fucking place to find.” Nei chuckled and sheathed his swords. The break in the attacks had made them all relax just enough to get sloppy and he noticed the last of the attackers a second too late to do anything other than prevent it from hurting the others. He squeezed Presia’s fingers as he watched the angel’s blade emerge from his chest and only scratch Bishop’s face.

“Lord Frost!” Presia took him in one arm and set fire to his attacker with the other. “Hold on, Nei. Please.”

“Why did I do that?” Nei stumbled from the loss of blood as Presia pulled the blade back through the wound. He could see fear and gratitude on Bishop’s face and silently wished the best for his unfortunate son.

“To save your child, my Lord. And the one he holds dear.” Presia spoke sweetly and filled his wounds with magic as tears ran down her face. “You did well.”

“It was fucking stupid.” Nei closed his eyes and listened to the sounds of life returning to Eden.

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Filed under Book VII, story, The Council Of Lords