Tag Archives: Sanguine

TCOL : Eden : Those Who Will Stand At The Gates Pt.2

“Bret deseka vonek na Eden, baat?” Azrael tapped his foot impatiently.

 “Palak, Azrael.” Gabriel waved off the eagerness of the Wyrms to destroy and stepped toward Lucifer. “I have one last concern. I asked that you stay behind, Lucy. Hanseka. We helped you close the gates for a reason.”

 “I’m not going anywhere, Gabby.” Lucifer had decided to honor Gabriel’s request… in part. They all felt the trembling as Lucifer started the massive undertaking. Hell shook, but it was not a threatening tremor but a warm pulse of energy. “I won’t have to.”

 “I don’t like this, Vivi.” Eliza clung to Vikarr as if he could stop the shaking himself.

 “Myrt…” Caleb clutched his husbands sleeve and trembled as Myrt pulled him into his arm and drew a lance from the air, ready to protect him. He didn’t say a word but smiled when he saw his brother similarly standing as guardian to Donovan.

 “Is this really a time for games?” Eidolon held his brides in his protective embrace and noticed that Neka’s pet had nearly enveloped her in an embrace of his own. “We came ready to fight for you. Stop this.”

 “Show some faith, Falcon.” Kage grinned.

 Lucifer laughed as his magic completed and he gloated over his success. All of Golod watched him; Asura and Bezer giggling over what they were sure was going to be another argument. Raziel’s puppets stood silently at his side, so intent on making their Master proud that it didn’t even seem to occur to them to be afraid. Nei just fawned over Presia and yawned mockingly over Lucifer’s spell. Vikarr smiled at his worried bride and assured her there was nothing that would harm her. The lot of them were truly remarkable.

 “Done showing off?” Maefyl clapped slowly and laughed. “Now tell the class what you did.”

 “Remodeling.” Lucifer grinned.

 “You’ve brought Eden into Hell?” Raziel stroked Galik’s back. The most eager of his puppets to indulge in the coming fight was growing more impatient.

 “More specifically into my estate.” Lucifer grinned. He could feel the astonishment of the entire realm stroking his ego. Outside his estate they would marvel at the swell of power without ever knowing what had caused the realm to nearly double in size. They would simply see the superficial growth of Lucifer’s castle and know he had once again grown stronger. Once again done remarkable things. “Lilith does love her gardens. Who would like to help rid it of some vermin?”

“I just can’t go a day without saving the world.” Maefyl tightened his ponytail and jumped onto Gabriel’s back. “Stop looking so agitated. You knew he was going to do something obnoxious.”

 “This is not merely obnoxious.” Gabriel stepped up to Lucifer’s throne and rested his fingers against the arm. “Lucy, are the gates contained?”

 “Of course.” Lucy nodded. “I wouldn’t bring Eden only to let those nuisances run about making a mess of my home. Until we’ve destroyed them there is no way out of Eden.”

 “And then?” Gabriel asked quietly.

 “One thing at a time, Gabby.” Lucy stood in front of him and smiled. “Let’s get on with this.”

This is not an end… The gates will open.

 

Presia’s momentary augury brought an eerie quiet to the room and troubling questions they were trying to avoid finally ate away at Maefyl’s patience.

 “Why gates?” Maefyl kissed Gabriel’s face in an effort to calm him. “You said Eden was your home.”

 “And it was.” Gabriel rested his hands over Maefyl’s wrists. “It is also largely inaccessible.”

 “More accurately, locked away.” Raziel explained. “To protect the magic there from itself and our own abuses.”

 “What magic could you possibly not control, Razzy?” Van giggled.

 “Not all magic wants to obey the ones who call on it.” Vikarr smiled at her and Van stepped behind Raziel for comfort. Vikarr was saddened that she was still unwilling to accept him as family, but in no way wanted to push her. “You were fortunate that the magic in you embraced you as it did.”

 “Don’t harass the girl, Vikarr. Even you could not understand this magic.” Eidolon tried to explain further when he realized Karla was waiting so eagerly for an answer. “This magic was more than just beyond us as young Watchers.”

 “It took the six of us to seal the damn things away.” Samael laughed.

 “Vasun Lucifer seta ise benus kenun.” Azrael added as he covered his eyes feigning fear. “De seta kowaksi.”

 “It was an experiment.” Lucifer shrugged. “I think it went beautifully.”

 “This is not a laughing matter, Lucy.” Gabriel snapped at him. “The gates remain locked.”

 “The seals stay, Gabby.” Lucifer grinned. “At least for now. There are other concerns and I have no desire to make an enemy of you over this.”

 “We are going to talk about this later.” Maefyl whispered as he slid to his feet and lit a cigarette. “For now can we do what we came to do?”

 “For once we are in complete agreement, Half-breed.” Kage felt the familiar flutter of Kagemusha’s wings as she whispered her encouragement and praise. “My Lord Lucifer, we have trespassers to remove from Lilith’s newest garden…”

 “Come along then.” Lucifer was waiting suddenly by the door in the back of the hall. “What are you all waiting for?”

 “This should be interesting.” Azazel purred as he walked proudly beside Nikolai until Nei nearly knocked him over on his way toward Bishop. Azazel hissed and clawed toward the vampire but found himself holding a small bouquet of wildflowers and accepting the warm smile Presia offered in apology as she looked back at him. “Fucking weirdos.”

 “Let it go, my pet.” Nikolai snatched the flowers from Azazel’s hand and tossed them to the ground as they walked. “I want you focused. Keep each other safe.”

 “We will, Master Nikolai.” Bezer assured him as she took his hand.

 “At last this Council is living up to expectations.” Lucifer led them inside with a twisted sense of confidence in his dragons and their beloved treasures. In tragedy they were always at their best. “You’ve earned some time to play. Let the games begin.”

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TCOL : Eden : Those Who Will Stand At The Gates Pt.1

“Was I unclear?” Kage shouted over the chatter. “Only Zakesalek will make this journey. Why are the rest of you imbeciles still here.”

“Oh, you were clear.” Asura smirked. “We just aren’t listening. We started this journey as a Council. Our families have all been involved since it started. We all go.”

“Even if Council were permitted, the rest of this rabble is not setting foot in Eden.” Kage insisted. “Send them home.”

“Is your kid going?” Eliza crossed her arms in front of her. Even without his behavior now, Eliza hardly needed a reason to hate Kage after what he had done to Vale. “Fucking hypocrite.”

“Vikarr, silence her.” Kage rubbed his forehead a moment and patted Neka’s head as she stood beside him.

“She will be nice if you will.” Vikarr giggled as he wrapped his fingers over Eliza’s mouth. They were both bitter over the loss of Vale. “This is not yet a meeting, but play nice.”

Lucifer’s audience hall was filled with chatter as they waited; the entire Council and those that loved them gathered to tackle the ordeal with a sort of fearless eagerness that was very nearly touching. Even to the Viper who hid his amusement with his vicious hiss. It was unfortunate that the touching scene was somewhat soured by the arrival of another guest whose arrival was as unexpected as it was unwanted.

“Now this is quite the party.” Nei strolled in confidently with Presia on his arm. “I should be hurt that this is the first time I’ve been invited.”

“Tch.” Kage glared at the vampire. “And who was it that invited you, Nei?”

“Your Lord and husband sent for us.” Presia politely explained their presence.

“So curtsy and play proper hostess.” Nei laughed. “And please Mrs. Lucifer. Call me Frost.”

“Keep it zipped you mouthy little fuck.” Maefyl kicked Nei in the back and knocked him to the floor, giving Presia a nod to explain his intent was to prevent a much more vicious attack from Kage. “I’m sure it wasn’t your mouth Lucy invited you for.”

“I love the both of you.” Kage stroked the girls’ ears when Kaneko came to hug him. He spoke softly and each of his daughters smiled at him. “Go play.”

“He has yet to feed.” Farren whispered to Kage as he followed steps behind Bishop and his young Master.

“Then I suggest you take care of it.” Kage sneered. “Don’t pester me about it. Just bleed.”

Farren shook his head and followed Bishop. In pain, ripped from a simple life and thrown into slavery. Smiling. Catering to the whim of the bright eyed child of a Watcher without complaint. Only ever making himself heard when it was for her benefit. Farren wished he could find that kind of peace with his fate and hoped that when Evadia was saved, she too would have someone as kind to hold her hand.

“You are uniquely quiet, Samael.” Eidolon watched Kaneko teasing her sister and let Karla cling to his arm as he opened a discussion he hoped would remain peaceful. “Any thoughts.”

“We are just eager to see the gates of Eden.” Samael held Shiroi in front of him and smiled as Azrael bit the end of his ear. “Knowing that we will be painting them in blood makes the homecoming bittersweet.”

“As if slaughter has ever soured your mood.” Raziel interrupted.

“Now, now.” Vikarr teased. “Same team, remember.”

“Some team.” Sanguine huffed from Maefyl’s shoulder. “This bunch couldn’t agree on cake or cookies for a party.”

“Why not both?” Asura suggested.

“An excellent point, Asura.” Lucifer arrived with Lilith and fueled the fire of anxious tension in the room. “Why not have it all?”

“Some of us are content with a cup of tea and the company of those we love.” Gabriel hooked his arm through Maefyl’s and whispered his plea for at least some good behavior.

“My Lord.” Kage bowed his head a moment when Lucifer approached his throne. As Lilith sat Kage felt Lucifer’s fingertips under his chin and looked into the eyes he loved to drown in. No trace of worry or doubt in those eyes, just a confidence and warmth that made Kage feel nearly ashamed to speak further complaints. “I tried to make them see reason. I asked them to leave.”

“Look at them, Kevas.” Lucifer grinned and slid his fingers around Kage’s tie. “Gathered together for a common cause, finally becoming the Council they should be.”

“Would that be the Council of the pissed off?” Maefyl flicked a cigarette to the floor.

“Unified.” Lucifer corrected. “I hope to keep it that way. So enough bickering.”

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TCOL : Connections : Surrender Pt.2

“Can you feel that?” Maefyl looked at Raziel.

“One cluster of thoughts still very well guarded.” Raziel nodded. “Sachiel abandoned him but still has secrets she wants kept.”

“Farren.” Maefyl grabbed him by the back of the neck. “Stop making the kid feel like shit over saving your skin. There is something in your head we can’t see.”

“I don’t know what you have seen.” Farren stumbled backward and Maefyl let him fall.

“Let’s see how long your leash is.” Maefyl grabbed the blonde hair and started to pull him away until Farren gasped for air. Maefyl kicked Farren closer so he could catch his breath. Farren still had nothing of value to share and Maefyl almost felt guilty for the pain he had put him in. Almost. “Well you don’t have to share a bed.”

“You’re welcome, Kage.” Lucifer looked up at him and winked. He had been generous enough to allow for Farren to be locked in another room if need be.

“Tch.” Kage looked away. He had too much to be furious over and couldn’t decided which slight against him to react to first, but he wanted the crowd to thin quickly so they could get to work. “Myrt, you and your companion are no longer needed. Leave.”

“Gladly.” Myrt held Caleb tightly and bowed his head to Gabriel. “I still have nothing but respect for you. You and Maefyl are our friends and I love you no less then the friends I have found in Nihil. This was a waste of time, but I would ask that if this Council has any further requests to make of me, you make them. I don’t want to come here again.”

“Geoffrey, you may want to excuse yourself as well.” Gabriel suggested. “The Council will handle the rest of this.”

“Don’t run off just yet.” Maefyl flicked through the phone he had taken from Farren and questioned him. “Are any of you little friends still hanging about to cause us problems?”

“No.” Farren came to the realization that they had followed him from place to place more than they had safe guarded any one of the facilities. “I think they were there to watch me. She called most back to Eden with her. At worst there may be a few lingering Powers.”

“Get yourself some exercise, Geoff.” Maefyl tossed him the phone. “If you want help, see if Nikolai will lend you the pussy cats.”

“Can we?” Bezer bounced into Nikolai’s arms excitedly. “I want to break things!”

“If you look out for one another.” Nikolai grabbed Azazel’s collar and pulled him close to whisper. “And if you behave. Don’t think I didn’t notice his eyes, my pet.”

“No worries, Master Nikolai.” Azazel purred and turned to kiss him. “Angels are boring.”

“And no one is more fun than the two of you.” Bezer leaned over to Asura and tugged her into their awkward huddle.

“Just stay in touch, okay.” Asura held Bezer’s face and kissed her. “I don’t like this.”

“We’ll be back before you can miss us.” Azazel winked at her with a sweet smile and blushed as Nikolai pulled him up by his collar and kissed him.

“Just behave.” Nikolai reiterated sweetly. “And be quick about it.”

“Will do.” Azazel grabbed Asura and kissed her until she was relaxed against him. “Don’t worry. Humans are squishy and Powers are pushovers.”

“Let’s go play!” Bezer jumped on Azazel’s back and he carried her to join Geoff as he bowed his head to accept their help.

“Get going.” Maefyl insisted.

“Please.” Lucifer added. “Now that this problem will not be growing I want it cleaned up rapidly.”

“Why are we still sitting here, Lucy?” Maefyl barely waited until Geoff had left with the cubs to launch into an impatient rant. “We have the name and place.”

“Do you tell him nothing, Gabby?” Lucifer rested his head on his fingertips. “Kage…”

“Fighting any war requires strategy, Half-breed.” Kage rested his arm on the throne and closed his eyes. “This is one the Council will be fighting alone. We can not call on others for help in this. The garden Sachiel has chosen to defile with her presence is not one many will set foot in.”

“Eden carries with it more than whatever horrors Iehovah stained it with.” Gabriel laced his fingers through Maefyl’s. “He used its serenity for privacy, it was once a piece of Tsuriai, of Earth, made into a garden because of its significance.”

“Not in the mood for riddles, Gabriel.” Maefyl sighed. “Just tell me.”

“It was where Watchers first tread.” Lilith offered what she knew of Eden solemnly. “Sacred because it was the first ground graced by the creators.”

“Pardon my rudeness, Mistress.” Samael laughed. “You should hardly be the one to explain. You have no real knowledge of Eden.”

“Eden saba kuraxa.” Azrael smiled and his eyes glossed as he remembered happy moments of their earliest days.

“Home?” Maefyl looked to Gabriel for clarity.

“Of Zakesalek.” Gabriel nodded. “Where we first brought magic to this world. And for a time where we managed to live without trying to destroy one another.”

“Home before we separated ourselves from the realm of the creatures we guided.” Eidolon added. “It holds a sentimental significance, but only to the six of us and Lucifer. It is tragic to learn it was used for so foul a purpose and to be darkened once more as a sanctuary for the Ghost and her schemes.”

“Schemes…” Farren sat and hugged his knees. “I think I know part of the plot she wanted hidden. Kava; Sachiel, she only wanted to have a child so she could force another soul into it.”

“Is she completely mad?” Kage shouted.

“I think we may know what became of the lost carpenter.” Lucifer rushed to help Gabriel restrain Maefyl as he began to scream. “Listen to me you stubborn child. I told you I would help. Stop your screaming.”

“This is unforgivable.” Eidolon snatched Farren up from the floor and struck him with the back of his hand. “You allowed this to be done to your own child? You have no right to beg us to save her on your behalf.”

“Didn’t you once request the head of a friend under the powerful influence of love.” Samael taunted Eidolon. “Really, Falcon. How can you judge him for being used as a pawn after you so easily fell into Kage’s trap.”

“And your excuse for cruelty?” Raziel tilted his head as he looked at Samael. “You have needed no such influence to do the dreadful things you have done.”

“I enjoy it.” Samael smirked.

“Kyaa.” Kaneko screamed and pulled at her hair. “All of you stop it. You are making Kaneko angry!”

“What the fuck, Galik?” Brig shouted as he clutched the fresh claw marks on his face and watched Galik licked blood from his fingernails.

“Don’t stand so close.” Galik grinned.

“Calm down, lovely.” Vikarr held Eliza as she struggled to get away intent on attacking Kage. “I won’t lose you over this.”

“I want to rip him apart, Vivi.” Eliza screamed and scratched at his hands. “Let me go. He killed Vale.”

“Master Nikolai.” Asura clung to Nikolai for comfort and wished the cubs had not gone away. She wanted them together. She watched a room full of friends and lovers suddenly turning on each other irrationally and was herself overcome with an unexplainable sense of dread. “What’s going on?”

“Tch.” Kage shifted suddenly across the room and slapped Shiroi across the face. “Control yourself. It is your anxiety that is doing this.”

“Uncle…” Shiroi rubbed her face and looked at him with wide eyed understanding as he laid his fingers against hers and realized what had happened. She had let herself get swept away in her own emotions. So troubled by the state of things that her gift touched even her; her fears and anger caused old grudges to surface and spill out into spiteful words and her sadness at seeing Maefyl in agony put her in a strange state of shock. Shiroi lost complete touch with the power in herself and could only stand there helplessly as it swept across the room infecting others. Kage had managed to keep his wits about him and realized what had to be done. Shiroi felt the arms of her husbands close around her gently as the shouting in the room softened and she gave Kage a trembling smile of gratitude. “I’m sorry. Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me. Learn to use your skills properly.” Kage hissed at her and turned away quickly to rejoin the others. His own calm was broken by the sight of Neka snuggled into the arms of her pet and he drew his sword, bringing the edge to Bishop’s neck. “And you should explain very quickly why you have laid your hands on my child.”

“She told me to pick her up.” Bishop sighed. “Just doing what I’m told.”

“Kevas.” Lucifer chuckled as he helped Gabriel settle Maefyl. “Let Neka play with her toy. We are a little busy at the moment.”

“Hardly.” Kage sighed. “There will be no rush into Eden. Most of this Council is ill prepared.”

“Then Zakesalek should go alone.” Eidolon suggested. “There is no risk to us.”

“What about the kid?” Karla looked up at him and whispered. “You aren’t going to let the crazy bitch hurt her are you, Master Eidolon?”

“Language.” Eidolon ran his hand over Karla’s short hair and sighed. She squeezed against him to apologize and he held her close as Kaneko took his opposite arm. “As much as I would like to avoid it, sacrificing the child to rid Tsuriai of Sachiel’s madness is not altogether…”

“Unfortunately I promised Maefyl I would see to the safety of Iesu.” Lucifer interrupted Eidolon and started to pace. “If what Farren has told us is true and his daughter now holds that soul, then the child will be spared.”

“Thank you.” Farren whispered his gratitude to no one in particular.

“I don’t think it’s for you, buddy.” Bishop quietly muttered his response when he saw Farren wipe away his tears.

“As long as she is safe.” Farren offered a weak smile before he hung his head and thought of his daughter.

“You’re funny, Bishop.” Neka hugged around his neck and giggled. “Neka likes you.”

“I like you, too.” Bishop smiled and gave a light squeeze. “Your Dad is scary though.”

“You haven’t even seen him angry, yet.” Lilith whispered suddenly from beside them. As Bishop started to jump away she wrapped an arm around him and giggled. “Don’t worry, the rest of her parents like you.”

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TCOL : Connections : Surrender Pt.1

“They are all kind of pretty.” Caleb whispered to Myrt. “What are they going to do with this guy they are bringing?”

“I should dig out your eyes for that.” Myrt grinned. “I have no idea.”

“Both of you shut up.” Asura scolded them and cuddled between Azazel and Bezer. “This isn’t funny.”

“Rest, my pet.” Nikolai stroked her hair as he stood behind the three of them and waited. “Your Father will return shortly.”

“Vivi…” Eliza woke disoriented and cradled in Vikarr’s arms. His sad eyes told her that what she remembered had not been a dream and she wrapped her arms around his neck and wept quietly on his shoulder.

“We will mourn her properly later, lovely.” Vikarr told her softly and tightened his embrace. The strange fairy that had been hanging about in his ponytail slid to one of Eliza’s arms and walked to her shoulder. “Why are you still hanging about?”

“To make you feel better.” The fairy stroked Eliza’s neck. “It’s okay pretty girl. Cry it all out and we’ll make you smile again.”

“Is Kiki going to go with them?” Neka sniffled and tugged on Lucifer’s hand.

“Neka, you’ve been given a pet.” Lucifer tussled her hair and lifted her onto his lap. “Kazeishi has to decide for herself which company she keeps.”

“It should not take this long.” Kage paced in front of the throne. “I should have gone.”

“It has been minutes, Kage.” Samael laughed. “You used to be more patient.”

“I find that hard to believe.” Shiroi mumbled.

“Devana, Welak Isa.” Samael wrapped his tail around her ankle. “There is enough to worry over without another misunderstanding between the two of you.”

The room went silent as Eidolon arrived holding Farren by his hair. He pushed him to his knees as the others gathered near the throne. When Eidolon went to join them Farren looked up at more than a dozen faces filled with pain and rage that he had caused and deserved.

“Maefyl will join us in a moment.” Raziel walked past Farren to join his loves.

“Azrael?” Samael grinned.

“Is with him.” Raziel explained coldly.

“Don’t react without reason, Gabby.” Lucifer kissed Neka’s cheek and lifted her as he stood. He set her beside Kage and walked toward Farren. “Welcome to Hell, angel.”

“I’ve had warmer invitations.” Farren felt tears on his face and laughed at himself for being overwhelmed with fear. “Just bear in mind; Lucifer, that I am here because I accepted it.”

“A surrender.” Lucifer crouched in front of him and smiled wickedly. “And why would you do that?”

“Because he’s tired of living.” Maefyl winked at Gabriel to get his focus off of Azrael’s behavior. “Just get what we need out of him.”

“Myrt, if you would.” Gabriel sighed.

“You won’t need the dream weavers.” Farren hung his head and sat back on the floor. “I’ll tell you what you want.”

“The catch?” Nikolai asked. “You can’t possibly expect us to trust you.”

“I’ll give everything I know to the Keeper if my honesty is in doubt.” Farren wiped the tears from his face. “My only request in exchange is that you save Evadia.”

“Evadia?” Maefyl lit himself a cigarette and reminded himself not to attack before they had answers as he leaned into Gabriel’s arms. “If that’s Kava, no deal. No one here is that forgiving.”

“Evadia is her daughter.” Farren cringed at the thought. “My daughter.”

“Not the name we have been waiting for, angel.” Lucifer grinned. “Myrt, we may need you to inspire the walking corpse after all.”

“I said I would give you the name.” Farren pleaded with every ounce of his sincerity. “I’ll take you to the damn woman myself and accept any death you give me, Lucifer. Just give me your promise you will save the girl.”

“I’m bored with this.” Kage hissed. “What would you have him do with this soon to be orphaned child? It should die with it’s troublesome parents.”

“That’s unfair, Kage.” Asura retorted angrily. “Should Kaneko have just killed me?”

“Nyaa.” Kaneko grinned. “Not a chance, Squirt.”

“We can figure out the spawn once we’ve dealt with parentage.” Lilith insisted. “Give him a sweet lie or have Myrt do what we called him for.”

“Myrt is unnecessary at this juncture. With or without his agreement we will have his knowledge.” Raziel explained. “His mind is opening rapidly as Kava’s protection fades. She has truly abandoned her pawn.”

“Lord Lucifer, a guest.” A large gargoyle stood at the doors to the audience hall with his eyes closed and the doors barely cracked. “A strange angel.”

“Did you have a yard sale, Gabby?” Lucifer stood and laughed his response to his sentry. “His name?”

“He says it is Geoffrey, Lord.” The gargoyle continued quietly. “He wishes to speak with you and my Lord’s Maefyl and Gabriel.”

“Geoffrey?” Lucifer turned to his son and took the playful grin as a challenge. “Send him in.”

“What would make him come here?” Gabriel whispered.

“Nothing good.” Maefyl sighed and knocked ash from his cigarette. A moment later Geoffrey wandered in with an arm full of old books. “We’re in the middle of something, Geoff.”

“Yes, excuse the intrusion.” Geoff smiled. “Dove told me this was a terrible idea, but she was equally angry with what I stumbled upon and insisted I see Gabriel before the horsemen discovered my… indiscretion.”

“Yummy. I don’t remember the Seraphim being quite so… ” Vikarr cackled when he felt Eliza’s fangs in his neck. “Gently, my lovely. I was only looking.”

“He is no ordinary Seraph.” Gabriel brushed off Vikarr’s more perverse interest. “He is a free Seraph.”

“Lord Lucifer, In a trance Presia mentioned a free angel.” Eidolon noticed the strange fairy on his shoulder and remembered Presia’s augury. “And a newling. How did you come by those books, Geoffrey?”

“We sort of peeked.” Gigi giggled.

“I took them from Iehovah’s study.” Geoffrey admitted. “They are disturbing.”

“Don’t.” Kage caught Lilith around her waist as she leapt toward the angel screaming. He kept her restrained as she shouted curses and demanded the books be destroyed. “At least not yet.”

“I won’t touch that filth.” Lucifer sneered as he turned away and shifted to settle his bride. “Burn them.”

“Imbecile.” Raziel slid one of the books from Geoffrey and read through it quickly before dropping it to the ground as ashes. He continued through the stack retaining only one which he carried to Farren and opened. He sat his finger against a name on the page and held it in front of the angel who had gone into a silent shock The gesture snapped Farren back to his focus and he read the page and wept. “Familiar name, is it not?”

“Please.” Farren looked up at Raziel. “I saw your promise to the children in Vex. Don’t let them kill Evadia.”

“I promised that they would not suffer.” Raziel walked away. “Not that they would not die.”

“Give us the name, Keeper.” Lucifer smiled victoriously.

“Discuss it with your prisoner.” Raziel held the last book to his side and let it fall to dust beside him. “You asked that the knowledge in the books be destroyed.”

“Leave it alone, Lucy. Kava is Sachiel.” Maefyl rushed to Farren the second his mind opened itself and kicked him to the floor. He smiled as he brought his sword against Farren’s neck. “You just lost your leverage.”

“She’s in Eden.” Farren closed his eyes and begged his daughter for forgiveness.

“Don’t just kill him.” Bishop shouted. “Fuck. He has a kid. What is wrong with all of you?”

“Keep it silent, Neka.” Kage hissed. “Or I will kill it.”

“NO!” Neka stomped her feet. “You said Neka could keep him.”

“And you repay that with insubordination?” Kage raised his hand to smack her and Bishop stepped in front of her.

“I thought you were supposed to be better than us.” Bishop stood there trembling but looked Kage in the eye as he spoke. “You aren’t angry at her, so don’t take it out on her. Look at all of you. At each others throats and ready to kill each other, kill children for their parents mistakes, you killed a woman for nothing, without batting an eye, while your own daughter watched. How is this any better than the assholes you are supposed to guide? How are we supposed to achieve any kind of greatness if the ones who are supposed to have it all figured out are still fighting it out like selfish children?”

“Neka is sorry, Daddy.” She hugged Bishop’s legs and peaked around at Kage. “Don’t hurt Bishop.”

“Save your rage a moment, Kage.” Lucifer insisted and tapped Maefyl’s shoulder to stay his attack on Farren. “You as well. Our enemy is the Ghost. Raziel, tell me what was in those pages.”

“Filth. As you said.” Raziel denied the request. “It would be of no interest to you.”

“Deal with him, Maefyl.” Lucifer pulled Lilith onto his lap as he sat. “I’m very quickly losing my sense of humor for this nonsense.”

“You do not want these thoughts, my Lord.” Raziel looked at Maefyl as he approached and knew the warning would make little difference. “But they are yours if you insist.”

Raziel opened his mind and watched Maefyl suffer through months of thoughts left hidden before he finally came to the moments Lucifer wanted. Maefyl clutched Raziel’s shirt as he tried to shake off the sick feeling of reading the printed thoughts of a man who had lived a life more disgusting than most could fathom. In the few journals Geoffrey had brought…

Maefyl broke away from Raziel’s mind and vomited.

“Fucking asshole.” Maefyl shouted as he righted himself and glared at Lucifer. “Geoff read these fucking things, why didn’t you ask him?”

“Must have slipped my mind.” Lucifer laughed.

“You are a menace.” Gabriel scolded Lucifer and went to comfort Maefyl. “I hope there was at least something worth suffering through that.”

“I hope you didn’t know about any of it.” Maefyl pulled away and kicked Farren. “Congratulations you fucking idiot. You fathered a child with the jilted whore of Iehovah.”

“Jilted?” Farren had known they were lovers. Sachiel had told him as much.

“That can’t be true.” Myrt interrupted. “Iehovah had no lovers. He only… for a child.”

Myrt had to shift himself away from Lilith’s barrage of needles as she screamed. Lucifer held her and kept her from continuing her assault, but there was no avoiding Maefyl. He tore Caleb away and tossed him into a small crowd of the others as he pinned Myrt to the wall with a dagger to his throat.

“You need to be very careful what you say right now.” Maefyl cut just slightly into Myrt’s skin. “I like you. Gabriel cares about you and Mala. Don’t insult me or Lilith by defending that waste of life. I just saw him bragging over….”

“Maefyl, please.” Nikolai shouted. “Do we need to hear this? Does Asura?”

“I want to hear it.” Azazel grinned.

“Hush, my pet.” Nikolai pulled Azazel close. “We can guess at the horror of it. Keep it relevant to our prisoner and the one we have yet to capture.”

“Go give him a hug.” Bezer nudged Caleb toward Myrt when Maefyl let him go.

Caleb ran crying and knocked Myrt back against the wall as he jumped to embrace him. Maefyl patted Caleb’s head as Myrt held him. They both understood the outrage and had already let the attack go. Myrt was struggling to accept another lie that he had wasted so much of his life on.

“What now, Maefyl?” Sanguine whimpered on his shoulder.

“Where is Eden?” Maefyl asked.

“It is the refuge Iehovah used for his outings.” Raziel explained blankly. He heard the aggravation in Maefyl’s mind before the expression even had the chance to change. The anger focused at him for hiding what he knew. “You asked that I not share everything with you, Maefyl. I am sorry. Yes, I knew of Iehovah’s habits. Of the many that suffered his lecherous depravity and those that died when it went to far. Eden had long been taboo, deemed sacred by his own command, he took his victims there for privacy. Sachiel shared many of his twisted interests, she frequently went to his bed. Until he grew bored with her.”

“You say victims.” Asura chanced the curiosity. “What kind of sex was this guy having?”

“Asura, why don’t you go play with Neka?” Maefyl sighed. “Please.”

“No, Dad.” Asura shook her head. “I’m a member of this Council.”

“As am I.” Raziel answered her request. “I choose not to offend the senses of everyone here.”

“Perhaps I can give a less graphic summary of the now lost entries?” Geoffrey offered. “I did come to offer help.”

“Go for it, Geoff.” Maefyl sat on the floor and laid a sword across his knees as he stared at Farren. “I’ll be deciding how to fillet this fuck.”

“In the relevant entries, Iehovah spoke of Sachiel’s growing obsession.” Geoffrey saw Lucifer’s bride react violently again to the name. “My apologies, dear lady. I will try to be more delicate. She had fallen for him and demanded a union. When he responded with giving a child to the human woman, Sachiel became further obsessed. Not only with Ieh… with her lover, but with his son. She desired a seat beside him.”

“It was just power all along.” Farren muttered. “I’m such a fool.”

“The Ghost has a unique talent for warping the mind.” Raziel corrected Farren’s assumption. “This Council’s demand for your head is almost injustice. Sachiel found your weakness and preyed on it. You are her victim as much as the humans you used in your demented distractions were yours.”

“Like a spell or something?” Bezer asked. “That’s cheating.”

“Essentially, yes.” Raziel nodded.

“Just get Evadia away from her.” Farren saw how eager Maefyl was to stain his sword. The level of his guilt no longer mattered. “Spell or not, I made the mistakes. Be careful in Eden.”

“You’ll still kill him knowing it wasn’t his fault?” Bishop wiped his face on his sleeve when he saw Maefyl move toward him with his sword.

“Tell him you aren’t worth crying over.” Maefyl sliced Farren’s face. “You were causing pain long before Sachiel flashed her bare ass. Tell him how you kill. How you decided to clean up those pawns you were finished with.”

“Dry your face, human.” Farren shook as he smiled. “I hope your decency is catching.”

“For fuck sake.” Maefyl drove his sword into Farren’s knee. “Lucy?”

“Going soft on me, Slayer? What do you want me to do?” Lucifer laughed. “Let him go? He is a walking disease.”

“No one wants to take responsibility for letting him live, Half-breed.” Kage hissed. “Kill him.”

“Or let Azrael do it.” Samael kissed Azrael’s neck. “He’s so beautiful covered in blood.”

“I suppose I could look after him.” Geoffrey offered. “If letting him live is an option.”

“Or I could.” Bishop raised his hand slightly until he felt stupid for doing it. “I don’t see why anyone else has to die.”

“Are you daft?” Eidolon laughed. “You are not capable of looking after him.”

“It is brilliant idea.” Lucifer grinned. “Sorry, Kevas. This will be irritating for you. Neka, bring Bishop to me. On your feet, Farren. You may have just earned a fate worse than death.”

“If I didn’t know that this clever idea came from the mention of that blasted seer of yours I would be very amused.” Lilith inched aside and bit at her pinky so he could work his magic. “Still, it is a brilliant idea.”

“Presia is not mine.” Lucifer formed a thin chain of chaos around Farren’s neck that closed with a small lock and took Bishop by his arm. As the boy fell on his knees in tears Lilith soothed Neka’s worry with quiet words of comfort as Lucifer started to explain. “I’ve had to alter the magic a bit. I’ve only used this once before, but since you offered to take responsibility I couldn’t resist. Farren is all yours now, Bishop. Good luck.”

“I don’t even want the human around her.” Kage hissed. “You can’t expect me to let this deceitful angel remain here.”

“I’m human.” Bishop was not sure why but his mind went straight to logical complications. “What happens when I die?”

“You are my death sentence.” Farren sighed. “He turned your kindness against you. He wraps it up like mercy, but in reality I’m a prisoner waiting to die.”

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TCOL : Connections : Farren & The Frozen City

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discovering secrets.

The new mother… her name is not her own.

She is mad.

Life of secret and of lie.

The freed angel has found her name.”

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“That I am.” Farren chuckled sadly.

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

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

“Why now?” Maefyl snatched it from him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 : Looking Forward Pt.2 (18+)

“Where were we?” Maefyl turned back to Gabriel and almost lost control of himself. With his concerns fading Gabriel’s expression had softened and the smile that sat on his lips was so subtle anyone else would have missed it. With his eyes barely open as if he were sitting at his desk thinking Gabriel had the untouchable allure that had driven Maefyl mad for centuries. When Gabriel didn’t answer Maefyl awkwardly tilted his head into Gabriel’s line of sight. “Were you finished talking?”

“I still have to question whether I am awake on occasion.” Gabriel leaned to kiss Maefyl and they both managed to restrain themselves and Maefyl wiped his gloss from Gabriel’s lips before he laughed. “Is that amusing?”

“Only because I was just thinking about how crazy it made me to want you.” Maefyl hugged his angel tightly. “We’re awake. You ready to answer a few of my questions?”

“I said I would.” Gabriel slid his hands under Maefyl’s shirt and up his back. He smiled and bit Maefyl’s ear. “I didn’t say I wouldn’t try to distract you.”

“As long as I’m the only one you are distracting.” Maefyl took a fistful of Gabriel’s hair and licked up his neck. “I don’t ever want to see Samael leaning over you again.”

“I don’t return his flirting, Maefyl.” Gabriel pushed Maefyl to the bed and pinned his arms. “He was not leaning over me. I would never allow it. I need you to remember that as strong as you’ve become, you are not going to win in a fight against the two of them. I tolerate their incessant begging for my attention because it is simpler and safer than risking an attack on you. Don’t taunt them, don’t tempt them, don’t give them any reason to break the fragile truce sitting on Council provides. And don’t you ever again accuse me of giving my love and affection to anyone but you.”

“Oh, it’s going to be one of those nights again.” Sanguine fluttered to the headboard and smiled as she sat to watch them. Maefyl met Gabriel’s kiss with equal passion and delight. He had pushed just hard enough to drive Gabriel to take him. Sanguine loved watching the way they played with each other. Even on the more frenzied unions like this one they took such care with each others needs. It was beautiful.

“That’s what sex is?” Vafera whispered to Gory as she watched Gabriel and Maefyl. Like all fairies she was born with knowledge and concepts, she had a grasp of affection and love as her race understood it but seeing the intimate love of other races was a shock. “Do they do this a lot?”

“They are in love.” Gory nodded.

“He’s bleeding.” Vafera jumped up to help and Gory grabbed her by the foot.

“Maefyl is a vampire.” Gory explained in a hush. “That’s normal.”

“Shhh.” Sanguine was still fawning over the sight of Maefyl from the headboard and didn’t want their ‘guest’ interrupting. She giggled when Maefyl suddenly reached back and clutched the headboard on either side of her.

“Fuck.” Maefyl laughed when he heard his phone. “I don’t care who it is, if you stop right now I’m not speaking to you for a month.”

“Gory, would you.” Gabriel leaned in to tease Maefyl as he grabbed his hips tighter. “And you can’t go a week without me.”

“Hello, You’ve reached Maefyl’s phone.” Gory giggled as she stepped on the speaker button. “He is making all that noise you can probably hear. Something I can help you with?”

“That isn’t noise.” Vikarr laughed. “That is music and I applaud Gabriel’s skill as a conductor.”

“I don’t think they were as amused by that as you were.” Gory shook her head. “What did you want?”

“I do apologize for the timing.” Vikarr continued. “News spread quickly and my succubi were enraged by what took place in Itami. Luckily they are clever creatures and put their fury to practical use and doubled their efforts. Seven more of the torturous distribution centers have been located and most of the network that supplies them has been weeded out and named. I am sending the information to Asura and to you, but I wanted to make you aware of a change. It has been difficult even for my pretties to find some information. It was as if each rung on the ladder was ignorant of the next. I believe that cloud is beginning to lift. If my succubi are learning more, both you and the Keeper…”

“Thanks Vikarr.” Maefyl managed to gasp out his gratitude before Gabriel kissed him.

“I think that’s about all you’re going to get out of him for now, Vikarr.” Gory giggled. “Say hi to everybody for me.”

“Give those beautiful Master’s of yours a little lick for me.” Vikarr cackled as he hung up.

“You have a message on here from Raziel as well.” Gory moved through the screens with her toes to read it. “He says Farren was in Vex and seemed disoriented.”

“I don’t think they are listening.” Vafera stood on her hands for a better different point of view. “It looks sort of complicated.”

“Would you shush.” Sanguine insisted. As much because she didn’t want to see the intimacy end as because Vafera’s high pitched voice kept interrupting her own daydreams.

“De kosh sekni malika.” Gabriel sat up on his feet and let his fingertips caress their way down Maefyl’s torso. “Sesa’tach sek kofret besek saba mave paraki vat onsa paskazuku.”

“I would hope it’s more than my body you love.” Maefyl winked at him before he reached for his cigarettes. “I know I look good, but I want you to respect me in the morning.”

“I would have had to respect you to begin with.” Gabriel pinched Maefyl’s side. “I suppose you want to run after Farren now?”

“I’m just going to check in with Raziel.” Maefyl exhaled and waved at the smoke to clear it away. “The message was vague and there is no point in chasing him. He shows up when we shut down their torture chambers. I’m not wasting time wandering aimlessly. Don’t forget that at the heart of this is Lucy shaking the board. He wants the Council working together.”

“So we regroup and focus.” Sanguine fluttered to Maefyl’s bare shoulder and rubbed against the warm skin of his neck.

“If Vikarr and Raziel are right, the mess in Tsuriai will be swept up quickly.” Maefyl stroked Sanguine with his fingers. “Recovery for some is going to take a lot longer than what I could help with, but Itami still survived and I doubt Lucifer will endure another attack on the Garden.”

“Why?” Gory sneered. “He’s already let so many suffer to prove how right he is. He let our sisters in Itami die. The nether race be tortured and killed. Dragons slaughtered for sport. He is not above letting others suffer.”

“Gory, I’m not going to tell you that what he did is right, or forgivable, or even justifiable. It is however already done and now we have to look forward and if learning how to sustain his magic to protect the Gardens myself will keep the rest of you safe I will figure it out. But trust me when I say he had his reasons and I don’t think he ever meant for it to go this far. I know he has no way to feel your loss or express enough regret to satisfy the hurt you feel, but he does hurt and he does regret what happened.” Maefyl wasn’t sure how else to explain without using himself as an example. “I had no real idea how deeply he suffered the simplest offense against nature until I tried to do a fraction of what he does without effort. When he let a district of souls fall in the Realm of the blessed to teach me that lesson I was already in so much pain, I got the point but bearing the weight without knowing how is nothing compared to letting it be a part of you.”

“I know.” Gory pouted and carried Maefyl’s phone to him. “I’m just angry. We aren’t like other races. Aside from the pixies which are frail and useless in the grand scheme of things to begin with, Vafera and Blondie are the only two fairies born in hundreds of years. Both of them through miracles you worked. Unless you plan on being a very active creator we will soon be more endangered then the dodo and the Black Pegasus.”

“We’ll do what we can.” Gabriel offered his hand to Gory and held her to his chest once she slid into his palm. He gave Maefyl an understanding smile. He had felt the pain, but the clarity Maefyl had found was astounding. Gabriel had been frightened of Maefyl growing too quickly, of chaos overwhelming him or this new magic, the light of his own father swallowing everything there was of the one he loved; instead Maefyl did as he had always done. He made the magic his own, he bent the strength to suit him and wore his pain as a reminder not to take what he gained for granted. He was still young, prone to fits of rage and let his emotions get the better of him so often, but Maefyl was more humble than ever despite the fact he was easily now on par with most Watchers and could likely best most of them. Gabriel squeezed Maefyl’s hand around the phone. “Go ahead and ask Raziel what you need to.”

“It won’t change anything.” Maefyl decided to send Raziel a message instead of calling to prevent awkward moments like the one Vikarr had created. Raziel’s reply came quickly and just as Maefyl had expected Raziel had not seen Farren himself. Through the thoughts of the child that did he surmised that Farren had been unexpectedly delivered to Vex and was prompt in getting away from the Watchers he knew were hunting him. “I told you there wouldn’t be a point in going.”

“And your other search?” Gabriel had let Gory sob quietly against him without embarrassing her by drawing attention to the tears she felt on his skin. He was relieved that as he spoke she crawled up his fingers and fluttered her wings with a smile.

“Lucy is supposed to narrow it down, Farren is cornering himself.” Maefyl gently ran the back of his pinky down Gory’s face before he tapped the headboard. “These two sweethearts are going to sit back here and you…”

Maefyl sat up and smiled at Gabriel as he pulled his arms around him. He didn’t have a chance to finish teasing Gabriel, his angel pulled him into a kiss and offered his bite to begin their dark kiss. The taste of each other only heightened desire and feeling Gabriel’s hand in his hair and pulling against his back made him put bloodlust on hold long enough to make a sultry demand. “Take me, kevas.”

“My beautiful mess.” Gabriel wiped the blood from Maefyl’s lips and hung his head as the phone rang beside them. If it had been any other name on the screen he would have thrown it to the floor and blissfully obliged Maefyl’s request, but he answered as Maefyl laid against his chest and they both laughed at their luck. “Hello, Asura.”

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