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.