Because of Evangeline’s recent strange behavior, Leon keeps her company while she goes on another of her wanderings. She visits the warehouse that Gabriel had given her sanctuary in, only to find most of it burned down. The real shock is when Gabriel makes a reappearance, only to slaughter the four Oracle Hunters that were accompanying them. Evangeline is confused by the weird darkness that seems to be wrapped around Gabriel so tightly that all she senses is a small spark of him, but is sure that he is still very much alive.
[Leon is really worried about Evangeline! So much now, that he\’s decided to tag along with her–with her permission, of course!] -02:02 Jun 22
[Evangeline doesn\’t know if she\’s crazy or not either! ] -02:03 Jun 22
Leon: *He looked around … They were in an abandoned warehouse of some sort! It was burnt to the ground and from the looks of things, fairly recently to! Unbeknowest to him, this was the warehouse Gabriel had kept his weapons and taken Evangeline and Brutus to safety from Anthony!* -02:05 Jun 22
Evangeline: *Evangeline wasn’t even sure why she was here. She had stayed here for a small amount of time with Gabriel, maybe she was just following shadow impressions to feel closer to him… She sighed!* We stayed here for awhile. -02:08 Jun 22
Leon: *Blink blink! Leon crouched down and picked up a piece of charred wood, then he dropped it before he stood up!* … Here? *He took another look around! This warehouse was huge–or had been huge!* It looks like someone burnt it down not too long ago. You don’t think someone torched the place and everything in it, do you? *He wondered if it was coincidence that this place used to be Gabriel’s and was destroyed.* -02:10 Jun 22
Evangeline: I’m really not sure… *None of his wards were here at all, but she could still feel him here. It was so strange! If the wards on the apartment had disappeared, maybe she’d assume these were gone because he was… but they weren’t!* -02:14 Jun 22
Leon: *From the corner of his eye, he saw movement! But when he looked up and turned toward it–there was nothing there! How strange! He glanced at the spot where he’d seen the movement despite nothing being there as he drew closer to Evangeline!* Uh … Well … Whatever happened here … How about we forget about it and go back to Oracle? *Cissy would get pissed but there was no way he could let Evangeline stay here alone. Everyone at Oracle was worried about her … even Ciara although she never showed it!* -02:18 Jun 22
Evangeline: I think I’d like to stay here for just a little while. *That smile again, the one that was tired and weary and she clearly had to force. She knew everyone was starting think she was crazy – crazier than normal. A few accidents and suddenly she was considered suicidal! …Well, maybe now she didn’t care about being careful, but there was no need for all of the protection.* You should probably get back home before Ms. Grey sends a search party after you again. -02:23 Jun 22
BEEP BEEP! An SUV pulled up to the warehouse and the door opened! Leon recognized them as hunters from Oracle! There were four of them, dressed casually but still armed with a single handgun each and a more powerful firearm like a rifle.
Evangeline: See! I think Ms. Grey is missing you terribly! *That was awfully quick, even by Ciara Grey’s standards! Normally it would be a few hours at the least!* -02:28 Jun 22
Leon: Heh heh … *Leon flashed a wolfish grin at Evangeline!* Too late. *His grin faded when he studied Evangeline’s face. He was reminded of how much alike he and Evangeline were. They were both in love but she’d lost the person she’d counted on the most, much like how he’d counted on Ciara being there when he found her. He turned to wave at the hunters in an "Everything is okay" gesture!* Thanks for the concern, guys, but you can head back to Oracle. It’s real quiet here. *No doubt Cissy had sent them. She was convinced that both he and Evangeline were trouble magnets!* -02:29 Jun 22
The head of the group of four came to a stop a few feet away! “Sorry, Leon, Evangeline. Ms Grey chewed us out and made real sure we understood we either came back with you or stuck around.” He took a look around. His name was Wesley and he’d been with Oracle the longest of the four. “Wow, what happened to this place?”
“Probably some teen prank,” Martin, another hunter, replied from behind Wesley.
The third hunter was off to the side, doing his own investigating of the place! It must have been one hell of a teen prank but that was an opinion he’d keep to himself!
Leon: *He reached out to squeeze Evangeline’s shoulder.* I’d rather not leave you alone here. I’ll go sit with the guys in the SUV and wait. How’s that? -02:34 Jun 22
Evangeline: He may have burned it down himself. *She mumbled softly, not meaning to say it out loud, but the thought came to her so suddenly! If all of his wards remained, then there was no way anyone but Gabriel could find this place – let alone burn it! Then maybe she was not so crazy! …now if she found that feeling again… She nodded quickly at Leon as she stepped away to try!* I am just going to be a little bit, you really don’t need to wait for me. -02:35 Jun 22
Leon: Uh … Sure. *He threw his thumb over his shoulder as if to tell her he was going! He always had the damnest time remembering that Evangeline was blind! Maybe it was because she acted so normal, she had more insight than most people he knew! He headed toward the SUV, whistling to the other guys to back up a bit and give Evangeline some room. If she needed them, she knew how to call for them!* -02:38 Jun 22
Wesley nodded and followed Leon! “Come on, Martin. Back to the car.”
“I’m coming, I’m coming,” Martin mumbled as he followed after them! He looked up and saw Ethan still doing his own investigating. “Ethan, found some gold over there or something?” He snorted at his own joke.
Evangeline: *It was so much harder to concentrate now… She had been so spoiled with Gabriel’s presence and getting to borrow his strength. Now she was stepping carefully, as if she were trying to follow impressions of his footsteps. …but when were those steps made, and was she just going to follow a shadow again? Evangeline stopped brushing ash from the ground to pick up one of her stones. This was one she had left here for Gabriel…* -02:44 Jun 22
Ethan huffed. He wished he’d found gold. Then maybe he could finally get a ticket out of this dump, go fry himself down on a beach in the Bahamas or something. He started heading for the SUV but then he heard something behind him and turned.
Leon: *Rather than take a seat inside of the SUV, he stood behind the open door of the passenger seat and leaned forward, out of the open window!* So, Cissy’s getting paranoid already, huh? *He said to no one in particular.* -02:49 Jun 22
“Yep.” Wesley pulled out a cigarette after returning his larger firearm to the driver’s seat. He offered Leon one out of courtesy, even though he knew the wolf didn’t smoke. When Leon declined, he lit his, took a puff.
Evangeline: *She slipped the stone in to her pocket. kneeling there a moment to chew on her lip in thought. That feeling didn’t go away. Like there was a little burning ember close enough that she could reach out and touch… In frustration she stood. If the others were not here, maybe she could call out for him and really search! But then they were going to say she was freaking out again! Evangeline moved again to follow the steps, this time in a farther direction.* -02:55 Jun 22
Leon: *Was watching Evangeline like a hawk … or a wolf! He saw her move farther away but stopped himself before he yelled that she was wandering away too far. She was a grown woman! And he certainly couldn’t go with the second option of going back and hovering over her shoulder! That was just insane and–paranoid!* -02:59 Jun 22
After a few puffs, Wesley turned to Martin and the other hunter! “Where the hell did Ethan go now?” That guy was always wandering off on his own!
Martin shrugged and said that Ethan had been right over … Well, he’d been right there a moment ago! But knowing Ethan he was probably slacking off somewhere!
Evangeline: *One… two… and right… here! This was where the cot was supposed to be and the few pieces of furniture he had brought in here. But everything really had been burned up, especially right here. If this was were it started… then she was following the footsteps… in this direction! Now she had found something recent, very recent! She forgot all about Leon and the Oracle hunters as she followed!* -03:11 Jun 22
Wesley frowned. “Martin, you and Chris go find him. And when you do, smack him on the head before you drag his ass back here.” Martin and Chris disappeared.
Leon: *He couldn’t help but overhear! He looked at Wesley.* Is this my cue to get nervous? -03:15 Jun 22
Wesley made a face, took another puff. “In Ethan’s case, you’re never sure. That dumbass keeps running off or slacking off. Hard to keep tabs on him sometimes.”\
“… He was right over here.” Martin led Chris over to the last spot he’d seen Ethan. They stopped and both of them glanced around. Martin pulled out the com link. It resembled a walkie talkie. “Hey, Wes. We can’t see him around here. He’s not back at the SUV, is he?”
Evangeline: *Her hand brushed over wood – a few crates that hadn’t burned up in the fire – as she stepped around them. Now it felt different. Something smothering and dark, yet undescribable! It was so similar to that… that weird presence at the the gate just before he…* Gabriel…? *She said it softly, almost expecting a reply!* -03:23 Jun 22
Wesley swore, threw his ciggy down and smashed it with the heel of his boot. He pulled out his own com link. “No. Just keep looking. If he’s not here in five minutes, I’ll find him and beat the shit out of him.”
Leon: *He wasn’t liking the sound of this!* I’ll get Evangeline. *Paranoia or not, it was better to be safe than sorry! He left Wesley at the SUV and walked quickly over to Evangeline. There was no reason for him to start running … just yet.* -03:26 Jun 22
Searching, searching …! It was Chris who called Wesley next! “Wesley, we got a bloodstain here. Recent … Christ, this is Ethan’s gun.” He and Martin knew it the moment they laid eyes on it. After all, the gun had Ethan’s name, last and first, etched in the handle!
Evangeline: *Evangeline paused, digging her hands in her pockets until she found her scrying crystal. What if he hadn’t been pulled in to the gate? She couldn’t figure out how… but if something was masking his presence, then that might explain! Dangling the crystal she waited for the pull and followed! If she wasn’t just chasing memories, then she might find him!* -03:34 Jun 22
Leon: *He was just a few feet away from Evangeline who had her scrying crystal out!* Evangeline, we gotta go. There’s no–Evangeline! *He stood frozen! It couldn’t be–! There was someone standing right in front of Evangeline that shouldn’t be there! Tall, dressed in black, black hair and storm gray eyes … but there was something on his fingertips. Claws?!* -03:38 Jun 22
Evangeline: Not yet. Just a little… bit… *She paused the second time he said her name, the sound of alarm in his voice almost confusing as… That feeling again! Trying to visualize it was as hard as describing it! Like squeezing something so tightly so it wouldn’t slip free? And in the very center… With that same confusion she reached forward to touch! This was Gabriel!* -03:42 Jun 22
Gabriel: *He ran a tongue over the blood on his fangs and smirked when she reached out to touch him. He lowered his head to her ear.* Be careful what you wish for, little Seer. For everything comes with a price. *He whispered, looking up to meet Leon’s eyes. He smirked at Leon before he seemed to vanish!*
Leon: *What the hell?! He blinked when Gabriel seemed to vanish but then he felt someone beside him, heard a whisper! It wasn’t in his ear but it was fairly close! But for the life of him, he couldn’t move!* -03:47 Jun 22
Evangeline: Wait! *She had tried to grab on to him, but he was gone just as quick! His voice was just the same, but… but sounded so completely different! …He was still close enough to follow though. She held out her crystal and immediately tried!* -03:49 Jun 22
Gabriel: … One hunter down. Three more to go. *Then he was gone again, no doubt going for the hunters!*
Leon: Crap! *He growled and turned as soon as he could move–which was when Gabriel vanished from beside him! He was still in shock! This couldn’t possibly be the Gabriel he knew!* Wesley, Martin, Chris, run! *He saw Evangeline going after Gabriel and wrapped her arms around her to stop her!* Evangeline, don’t! We have to get out of here! -03:54 Jun 22
Evangeline: *Think! She had to think and not just react! Something here was out of place, but it was hard to fight that desperation to know he was alive! When Leon wrapped his arms around her, it was reflex to fling her elbow back to hit him so she could keep follow!* Let go, I have to see if that is really him! -03:57 Jun 22
Wesley had been talking on the com link, trying to figure out what happened to Ethan when he noticed someone else by Evangeline and Leon! No one in their right mind ever wore that much black … He blinked when he heard Leon telling them to run! But he was a hunter and out of instinct, he turned for a split second to grab the rifle on his seat as his other hand dropped the com link, went to the handgun in his holster!
Gabriel: *When the hunter turned, he struck! He had reached the SUV a long time ago and he grabbed the hunter by the neck with one hand! With his other hand, he wretched his guns free and threw them down! The other two hunters were coming but there was time for them in a moment! Gabriel smirked when he saw the recognition in the man’s eyes, saw it turn into confusion then fear! And when he plunged the claws of his free hand into the hunter’s chest … despair! He felt the blood gushing over his fingers and hand! Then he bent to bury his fangs into the side of his neck as Wesley’s eyes glazed over in shock!*
Leon: *Ow! By reflex, he let Evangeline go but just as quickly he was running behind her. He wrapped his arms around her waist from behind and was moving backwards! There was no time to waste! They had to get out of there!* -04:02 Jun 22
BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG! As soon as Martin and Chris were in range, they were shooting at Gabriel and heading dead on! Most of the bullets hit Gabriel but when Gabriel turned, those bullets hit Wesley instead! … But by then, Wesley was long gone and only his corpse remained!
Evangeline: STOP IT! *Evangeline was swinging an elbow again, but whether she was shouting at Leon, the hunters or Gabriel was unclear! There was death…! Quick and sudden, with those sharp emotions followed by… nothing! That darkness was twisting tighter, like a noose!* LISTEN TO ME! PLEASE! -04:07 Jun 22
Gabriel: *He was still wearing a smirk when those hunters finally had to reload. Then he threw the body at them and when they scattered, he dashed forward and tackled the one called Martin to the ground! He had him pinned with his knees on either side of him, one hand on his face and the other holding his hands down by the wrists! With a simple twist, he broke his hands and then his neck! In one fluid motion, Gabriel tensed his body and then pounced onto the last hunter who was retreating!
Leon: *Oh, he was more than ready for the next elbow! He just bore it with a soft grunt and kept moving backwards! Unfortunately, one can only move so fast when carrying someone. Especially when that someone doesn’t want to go anywhere!* Evangeline …! You can’t–! -04:16 Jun 22
Evangeline: I have to see! *She didn’t want to hurt Leon, but this was so important! This wasn’t Gabriel – but something was! She had to get closer! To touch him! With a soft growl, she stomped on Leon’s foot!* GABRIEL. -04:22 Jun 22
Leon: *Holy crap, that HURT! He growled as he hopped on one foot, trying to clutch the other but only in vain!* Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow! *Great, they were going to die just so Evangeline could prove the saying "Curiousity killed the cat" true!* -04:27 Jun 22
Gabriel: *He finally stood from the last hunter’s body and held up his hands to see the blood drying on those claws. Something flickered in his eyes as he clenched his teeth and closed his hands into fists.* …
Evangeline: *Now she didn’t need the scrying crystal, it disappeared in to her pocket. The look of confusion had vanish from her face, replaced by a much more decicive expression. This was someone else, but Gabriel was still here. And if he were here, she could talk to him! She approached carefully, but determined!* You are Gabriel. No one else belongs here. -04:34 Jun 22
Gabriel: … I am a ghost. Ghosts do not belong here. *He didn’t turn around to face her. His eyes were closed, his hands still clenched into fists.*
Evangeline: *She hesitated for a moment, but continued forward again. He wasn’t a ghost, she was sure! It was stronger than a ghost, but that…thing… wrapped around him… that was the problem.* No, not a ghost. You’re still here. You have to look at me, there’s something here… *When she was close enough, she reached a hand out to graps his arm!* -04:40 Jun 22
Leon: *Just as Evangeline was about to touch him, he growled and moved away!* … Stay away from me. What I did to your hunters is only a sample of what lies in the future for you. *And then he was gone! For real this time!* -04:45 Jun 22
Gabriel: *Just as Evangeline was about to touch him, he growled and moved away!* … Stay away from me. What I did to your hunters is only a sample of what lies in the future for you. *And then he was gone! For real this time!*
Evangeline: *Gone! Yanked from her senses as if he were dangling from a string and then pulled out of sight. She remained standing there for a moment…just… just trying to process what had happened! None of it made sense and she wondered if she had slipped in to a crazy nightmare!* ..l..Leon? -04:50 Jun 22
Leon: *He hopped to a stop beside her!* … Damnit, Evangeline! When I pull you away from something, there’s a damn good reason for it! What could possibly make you wound me like that when I’m trying to save your life?! Christ, woman …! -04:51 Jun 22
Evangeline: I’m sorry. *She gave a pained expression, and opened her mouth to say something else… but shut it closed again. How could she explain when she wasn’t sure herself. …and oh god..! The hunters! Suddenly she felt so very sick as she sank to the ground!* -04:55 Jun 22
Leon: *He was still rambling on–but as soon as Evangeline dropped to the ground, Leon stopped and crouched down beside her!* Evangeline …? *He put his arm around her shoulder.* -04:56 Jun 22
Evangeline: *With a hand pressed to her mouth, she tried to take slow breaths and will herself not to be sick. If she just calmed down and thought it through. When she was sure she wouldn’t lose the contents of her stomach she was slowly trying to brush the tears from her face.* …t-there is something. I… I don’t know how to… *Everytime she tried to focus on what it was, it escaped her. All she could find was that tiny little ember..!* I don’t know. -05:03 Jun 22
Leon: *Evangeline was a wreck! He instantly felt guilty about putting all that grief on her! He pulled her into a hug!* Until we know who or what we’re dealing with … it’s better neither of us tell Cissy. If something should happen, I’ll take the heat for keeping it from her. You just focus on finding out what you need to. Let me worry about … what’s happened here. -05:05 Jun 22
Evangeline: *Evangeline nodded slowly. What happened here… how many people would die to protect her? If she had to find the it to find Gabriel, she couldn’t let anyone else go with her… this would happen again!* I’m so sorry. -05:13 Jun 22
Leon: *He shook his head, remembering what someone had once told him not too long ago!* Don’t apologize, Evangeline. You have nothing to apologize for. You are not responsible for whatever … happened here–no matter how much you might think otherwise. *He put his arms around her and helped her to stand.* We can’t stay and dwell on the past or the present. We have to keep moving forward. -05:15 Jun 22