For a Good Time, Text Callista

Somewhere in the city, scrawled across a graffiti-ridden brick wall was that stupid phrase along with her phone number. A sudden barrage of dick pics and texts had alerted her something was up, but it wasn’t until someone sent her a picture of the words did she realize someone out there was a huge douche. Callista wasn’t exactly a social butterfly sure, and occasionally she’d forget tone was important when shooting down plans, but did she really deserve to have her number given out to the whole city?

On a whim, she replied to one of the more harmless looking texts. It wasn’t all genital selfies and occasionally there’d be a text asking a random question about what bars to visit or even just a lonely person wanting someone to talk to for the night. Turns out, Callista was an ace at suggesting just the right place for evening plans. She wasn’t so bad at giving advice or just being there with encouraging words when someone venting out their life’s problems, either. When her own life went down the crapper – she lost her job, her apartment, had to drop out of school and start living in her car – Callista at least felt pretty good about the anonymous strangers she helped via text.

If she’d known the sorts of people she was replying too, maybe she wouldn’t have been so quick to answer them.

That morning started off like most of her mornings, these days. Callista got out of her car and dropped into the local coffee shop to order something cheap, but edible and then wash herself up in the bathroom. Once seated by a window, she used the free wi-fi to search for jobs on her laptop. There were so many available, it should’ve have been a problem to find one. Even just a part time gig in a fast food joint would’ve been, but Callista was having the worst luck getting someone to hire her. Positions were always filled or her interview would get trashed. The past year had been such a nightmare that sometimes she thought about tipping herself off the bridge right into the river.

Of course she wasn’t going to. But the thought was always there.

Her phone buzzing on the table perked her up, though. The chances of it being a call-back about one of her applications was nil at this point, and it could always be another sad looking penis, but one of those weird random texts would at least be a highlight for her day. Callista plucked her phone up and thumbed to her messages to see what fate had in store for her.


Blind Date: 2010 vs 2019

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“I’m sorry, I don’t do this much. Uh, blind dates that is.” Faith apologized, reaching for her glass of wine and taking a huge swallow. Much was an understatement. Try never. Except when ambushed by busy-body friends with too much time on their hands.

The man chuckled. A soft sound, not unfriendly. He was handsome at least. With dark blond hair long enough to curl behind his ears. Bright blue eyes, baby smooth skin and an angled jaw. His whole frame looked like those thin wiry magazine models. Men that looked eighteen years old for their entire lives. Even the way he tapped his perfectly manicured fingers on the table was fluid and smooth.

“Nothing to be embarrassed over. I have learned to take life’s surprises with grace.” he grinned, flashing a pearly white smile. “Tell me, Faith, were your friends truthful? Are you a virtuoso of vampires?”

Faith choked on her water, setting down the glass quickly to pick up a napkin. “Vampires…?” Those jerks. They didn’t.

“Yes. Vampires. Your charming friends mentioned that you write books. Stories about vampire love affairs? They explained they chose my profile specifically because I asked for a woman interested in vampires.” His eyebrow raised in a curious gesture.

They did. God damnit! She hated her friends! “Uh, yeah. I have a series that’s gotten pretty popular lately.” Her momentary embarrassment shifted as she cast him a dubious expression. “Did you seriously add that to your dating profile?”

He shrugged his shoulders, casting a wry grin. “What can I say? I like a woman who shares my interests. Do you like vampires, Faith?” He leaned forward on the table, resting his elbows as he clasped his hands together. The look he gave her reminded her of a few exboyfriends. Where they’d try to give that deep, mysterious stare that usually came off creepy and disturbing. He kind of looked like he wanted to eat her.

Here it comes. That moment when a date turns totally awkward. Lucky for her, she knew when to bail! “Wow, look at the time. I can’t believe it’s almost midnight. I better call myself a cab.”

Her date chuckled, dropping his gaze to lift a hand and summon for the check. “Let me drive you home, it’s the least I can do for taking advantage of this ambush.”

“Really? Thanks.” Faith grinned appreciatively. Grateful it wasn’t going to turn in to one of those ‘Why don’t you like me?!’ scenes.

A few minutes later they were outside, walking down the ramps in the parking garage, looking for his car. They got down to the bottom level and turned a corner. The entire place seemed to be empty.

“Do you even remember where you parked?” Faith asked, turning to face her date. With a glance at his face she jumped, stumbling back a few feet as she raised a hand to point a finger at him. His eyes were… they had changed color! Instead of the bright blue, now they were dark red, almost black.

“I’m afraid I fibbed a little. I don’t have a car.” He smile was unnerving. Now he had glinting white fangs. Vampire fangs.

That was just the last straw. Faith’s moment of being startled was gone, replaced by the still slightly disturbed, but much more manageable annoyance. Her date was clearly a wacko and slipped himself some contacts and teeth in while she wasn’t looking. “Okay, I gt it. You’re one of those roleplaying freaks. That’s cool, but if you try to bite me, I’m going to kill the hell out of you, okay?” Faith’s hand slipped in to her coat pocket and curled around a handy spray bottle of mace she kept on her keychain.

He laughed out loud! Apparently her words were hilarious. In a blink of an eye he jumped in the air, practically flying before he landed right in front of her. His fangs grew longer as he grabbed on to her shoulders. Instincts prevailing, Faith whipped out the mace and sprayed him in the eyes! While snarling in pain, she shoved him back and took off running. Vampire. Real vampire! One that was recovering quick as she could hear him growling her name and darting closer!

A stumble over something on the ground had nearly took her off her feet, but she snatched up the object – some discarded piece of metal – last minute. Just she turned, the vampire was there and she thrust it forward in to his chest! He looked surprised as blood slowly oozed from the wound. His head tilted slightly to the side as his lips turned up in to a smirk.

“You missed.” His fingers curled around the metal piece, jerking it out of his chest in a swift motion.

“…oh shit.” His arm swung, striking her with enough force to send her flying backwards. Crashing in to a wall and crumbling on the ground in an unceremonious heap of pain. As he approached, Faith scooted backwards until her back caught the wall. Looked like she was going to be a vampire’s dinner. A fangirl’s dream come true!

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“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this,” Faith mumbled softly, casting the small phone sitting on the marbled bathroom counter a frustrated frown. Though the laughing voice on the other end couldn’t see it, Faith knew Marianne could feel it and that was enough.

“I can’t believe you’re hiding in the bathroom. He couldn’t possibly be that bad. His profile has everything you asked for!”

There was no denying that. Though Faith was furious when her friends revealed they’d set her up a dating profile on, they managed to simmer her down with promises of screening all of her potential dates according to her (un)reasonable demands. It’s just that there was nothing Faith hated more than the awkwardness of the dating scene, with all of the probing getting-to-know-you questions, uncomfortable flirting, and her irrational fear of goodnight kisses. She’d firmly decided she would never go on another date again, but her well-meaning friends always seemed to find new ways to get her out of the house and into the crosshairs of Cupid’s arrow.

She could’ve said no. Honestly, she should have. It seemed as soon as her books started hitting the best seller lists, meeting someone that wasn’t creepy had become a herculean task. Write a few books about vampires and all kinds of weirdos start googling you up and leaving you disturbing messages on Twitter.

But… Maybe, a tiny part of her dramatic little romantic heart was hoping something amazing would happen.

“I can almost hear your inner dialogue. Just tell me what happened already!”

“He’s too perfect!” Faith finally blurted out. Even she knew this was a ridiculous excuse, but that’s just how she felt. The man sitting out there in his dark designer suit, with long blond hair softly curling at his chiseled jaw, and the kind of deep green eyes that could swallow a person up, was such a vision of beautiful perfection that it hurt to look at him. Faith didn’t tend to get dumbfounded by appearance, but everything about the man had her flustered. From the spicy scent of his cologne to the quiet way he spoke. He seemed to always know exactly the right thing to say, and it was all the things she wanted to hear.

It was suspicious. It didn’t feel right.

Marianne had already launched into a rant about Faith’s long-held record of finding the most ridiculous things to complain about, and how she would personally jump the man’s bones and shag him thirty different ways if she had the opportunity. It took Faith promising she’d go back out there and give him a second chance to make her stop.

Once she dropped her phone back into her dress pocket, Faith gave an exasperated sigh and peered at her reflection in the mirror. Brown eyes under a veil of long lashes stared back, silently judging her life choices. She refreshed her lipstick and gave her dark hair a quick comb through with her fingers, then she left the bathroom to return to the intimate table where her date was still patiently waiting.

“You’re uncomfortable,” he said just as she was sliding into her seat.

Faith grabbed for her glass of wine and took a heavy swallow.

“Hmm, yeah.” she admitted. “I just- I don’t do this often. Blind dates, that is. Was it that obvious?”

“Generally people don’t have trouble looking me in the eyes.”

Immediately her gaze shot up to his face, where she found him gently smiling with amusement. Had she really spent the entire night dodging eye contact? Faith got a quick reminder of why. He leaned forward, resting his arms on the table, and something in her stomach just flipped upside down. How could any man in real life look so flawless.

“Tonight hasn’t been that bad, has it?” While she was giving a mental rating of their meal, he reached across the table to grasp her hand and all her thought processes went on the fritz. His hand was soft but firm; warm but not sweaty. Now that he asked, it really hadn’t been a bad date at all. If she looked past all her anxiousness, he’d been enjoyable company and wasn’t that what she wanted? “We share a lot of the same interests, Faith. I can even expand your knowledge on vampires when we’re somewhere more private.”

The spell was broken in an instant.


Faith wasn’t sure what snapped her back to reality first. The casual drop of vampires or the fact he said when. As if it were a guaranteed sure thing she was going somewhere “more private” with him. He seemed to mirror her surprise when she suddenly pulled her hand away.

“I’m sorry, this was nice, but it’s got to be past midnight by now. I should get myself an Uber.” Faith reached into her pocket to pull out her wallet and thumbed out enough bills to pay for her share of dinner. For a split second she felt terrible. She kind of blurted it out of nowhere and Faith didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings just because she got spooked anytime someone was familiar with her books. But when she glanced back up, his shocked expression had shifted from simple confusion to this almost irritated, examining stare. As if she were some sort of inconvenient creature that had suddenly taken the place of his date.

“Generally people don’t-”

“Don’t what, say no?” she shot back before he could finish. Because, seriously, what was he thinking? God, this had to be the first time someone had actually said no to his pretty face! Any concerns she had about his feelings were gone and within a second she had slipped out of her chair and shrugged into her coat.

“Thank you for dinner.”

Faith didn’t take another breath until she was out of the restaurant and well on down the sidewalk.

Cool night air helped ease her flaring temper, though it didn’t quell the storm of second guessing now thundering around in her head. Did she over-react? She had a really bad habit of doing that sometimes. Faith had good instincts, though, didn’t she? A good writer needed to have a grasp on people, an understanding of cues and behavior. Her first impressions were typically the right impression. The whole night hadn’t sat well with her, she shouldn’t feel bad for ending it the moment she knew she was done.

Ugh, this was why she hated dating. She always had to replay the night in her head and pick apart all the things she probably did wrong.

The sound of a second pair of shoes crunching over sidewalk gravel had her looking over her shoulder. A habit she picked up when she moved out to the city, especially at night when it was important for a girl to be wary of her surroundings. Faith expected to see another pedestrian nearby, but not the familiar suit and head of long blond hair trailing several feet behind. Her heart skipped a beat.

He shouldn’t be walking. She knew, because he’d picked her up in his fancy car and the valet had parked it off in the opposite direction in the restaurant’s private parking lot. Maybe he decided to catch up to her and apologize for his assumptions. She could respect him for that and even appreciate it. Faith held her breath, waiting for him to call out her name. To try and get her attention. Anything really. When she couldn’t stand it any longer, she spun around to face him.

No one was there.

Faith let out a sigh of relief. He must’ve needed some fresh air himself, unaware of her presence, and turned a corner somewhere. When she turned back to continue on her way, she ran face first into a solid chest and a pair of firm hands gripped her arms.

“You don’t like me, do you. I thought you were interested in vampires, Faith?”

Faith nearly jumped right out of her skin as she jerked back and out of his grasp.

“What is wrong with you?!” Anger overshadowed her fear as she balled up her fists and stomped a foot. “I didn’t mean to insult you or hurt your feelings, okay? I’m just- I need to go home.”

His only response was to burst into laughter, leaving Faith even more furious. A narrowed-eyed glare was her only parting word before she turned to stalk back in the opposite direction.

In a blink he was blocking her way again.

“You don’t seem to understand.”

That was… completely impossible. Faith stumbled backwards, trying to find some logic to it. She had an over active imagination when she was sober and daydreaming, so of course she’d see things a little weird being alone and scared on a dark street after two glasses of wine and an awkward date.

“Let me take you home, Faith.”

His smile turned wide. A hint of sharp white teeth glinted in the moonlight. Not teeth. Fangs.

Nope,” she whispered.

Faith took off running. She didn’t have a plan or an idea of where she was going, she just ran as fast as her feet could carry her. In the back of her head, she knew this was probably the fun part for him. Predator chasing the prey. At the first opportunity of cover she saw, Faith made a sharp detour and ducked into a parking garage filled with vehicles. She crouched behind an old Nissan, digging her hands into her pockets until she came out with her phone and her keys.

Should she call for help? Who would believe her!

Something heavy landed on the car roof beside her, shattering one of the windows and raining glass down over her head. It grasped the back of her jacket, trying to haul her up along with it, but she slipped out of the fabric and went scrambling. His laughter echoed against concrete and metal in every direction, and no matter which way she spun Faith couldn’t seem to catch a glimpse of him by the light of her phone.

“Isn’t this what you wanted?” She felt hot breath against the back of her neck before arms locked around her. Faith shrieked, her phone slipping out of her hands as she kicked her feet to get loose. She could hear the screen cracking when he slammed a heel down on top of it. His laughter grew heavier and more muffled when she felt the prick of something sharp scraping against her shoulder.

Faith sucked in a breath and squeezed her eyes shut. Hissing out a curse, she jerked her head to the side to give a clear firing shot of pepper spray from her keychain. She was rewarded with a snarl of pain and her sudden release. Faith only paused long enough to kick him in the balls before she darted away.

Her freedom was short lived. He recovered quick enough that she could practically feel him bearing down on top of her. An askew piece of metal grating stubbed her toe and Faith hit the ground hard, grinding a long scrape of gravel and sand up her arm. Another glint of metal caught her eye and she grasped for it.

The next thing she knew, she was on her feet shoving that piece of metal into his chest. Wide eyes of blood red stared down at her in shock. Not green. Dark, unnatural red, filling iris and sclera with bloody nightmares. Her gaze fell with his to the sharp chunk of grey, dripping thick streams of blood down his torso. Faith watched as his fingers curled around the metal and with a quick, sharp motion, yanked it out. She flinched when it slipped from his fingers and clanged to the ground.

“You missed.” All the amusement and laughter in his voice was long gone. Now his tone was nothing but ice cold.

“…oh shit,” she whispered.

The next moment the wind was knocked out of her. Faith felt the blow to her chest, but not the brick wall her body collided against. Everything went bright white for a split second, before a wave of pain washed over her. When she touched her hand to the back of her throbbing head it came back dry, but now she was seeing in triplicate and with the brick baring her way, there was no where to run to.

This wasn’t happening. She wasn’t going to get eaten by a real actual vampire. None of this was real.



Sisters Sparrow

The warm scent of savory spices and sweet sugar filled the homey kitchen. Though the kitchen was spacious, with five grown woman bustling about it was beginning to feel a little cramped. It didn’t take a close examination to tell they were sisters. Each had a similar shade of near-ebony hair – all except Summer, who sported a red so vibrant that there was a long-standing joke she was adopted.

In fact it was a comment along those lines that presently had Summer shouting across the room.

“I’m NOT adopted! Everyone in Dad’s family has red hair, Alexis.”

Alexis shrugged her shoulders, taking a sip from her glass of wine.

“That proves absolutely nothing beyond Mother having a thing for red-heads. The fact stands that you are the odd duck in this little clan, and if you don’t start taking life a little more seriously and go back to college you’re going to waste your entire life.”

Tamara found herself trapped between her oldest sister and youngest, both figuratively and literally as she stood shielded by the island counter whisking a mix of pumpkin and sugar in a bowl. She sighed, casting a world weary glance towards Serena who was too busy getting assistance for her arm sling from Jade to notice.

“Do we really need to accuse Mom of having an affair every time this comes up? In her own house?” Tamara asked.

“Yeah, Alexis. Stop being such a cu-”

“Summer,” Serena warned. Summer gave her an apologetic grimace and twisted in her stool. Alexis might have been known as The General for being so bossy, but Serena had mastered the art of the cop voice and it was annoyingly effective.

Alexis wasn’t finished, however, and gestured at her youngest sister with her glass.

“This is what I’m talking about. You’re off in L.A. alone, with no plan and no sense to what you’re doing, while you’re blowing the checks we send you on marijuana and champagne service. You need to grow up, Summer.”

“Grow up and do what? Be a middle aged lawyer stalking my ex husband and his new kids on Facebook because I can’t stop being a twat long enough to meet somebody hot at a bar?”

The room went dead silent. With no acknowledgment beyond a stony face, Alexis snatched up a nearby bottle of wine and exited out the kitchen door. They could all hear the loud clock clock clock of her heels as she climbed up the hallway stairs.

“That was completely unnecessary,” piped in Tamara first. “You know she can’t-”

“I don’t care anymore, okay!” shouted Summer as she leapt from her seat. “She’s always been a bitch and I’m tired of tip toeing around her stupid feelings because she doesn’t even HAVE any!”

Before anyone could comment on that loaded statement, Summer grabbed her purse, her keys, two pot holders, and one of the pies off the cooling wrack. As if trying to out-do her sister’s exit, she made the extra effort to stomp across the kitchen and slam the door as hard as she could behind her.

“Awkward,” muttered Jade with a soft laugh. “I guess it’s not a Sparrow Thanksgiving without wine and pies getting stolen. Do you want a beer, Rena? Tammy?”

“Do we want to see Tamara’s drunk Dr. Phil impression again is the real question,” Serena responded, wincing as she lifted up her leg cast to rest in Jade’s abandoned seat. She and Jade both laughed when Tamara turned scarlet and threatened them with her whisk.

“That only happened once when Dad spiked the apple cider! I can actually drink without turning into a silly person.”

Silly person,” Jade mocked whilst leaning against the fridge. She flinched and giggled when a packet of unopened graham crackers got tossed at her.

“Okay kiddos, give me the beer before you start throwing things and I forget I can’t walk.”

Once Jade grabbed a couple of bottles from the fridge, she confiscated the crackers and returned to Serena. Only pausing long enough to open the bottle for her sister, Jade dropped into a bar stool at the island counter.

“How is college going?” Serena asked after a long draft from her bottle.

“Well. I got offered an internship to this big name publishing company in New York…”

“That’s amazing!” exclaimed Tamara.

“I turned it down.” Jade muttered. “After Serena getting shot I-”

“If you turned it down because of me-”

“I didn’t!” Jade shouted. Giving a loud sigh, she twisted in her seat so she could explain. “But it got me thinking, that’s all! Alexis defends people, and you protect people, and Tammy– okay, Tammy just stalks cheating assholes, but the point is that I’m writing books about fake cops when there’s so much real shit going on.”

Tamara didn’t look the least bit insulted about her career choice. There was just a thoughtful expression across her face as she balanced her bowl in one hand to pour pie filling into a waiting tin of graham cracker crust.

“It’s natural to change your mind. I tried the Academy, but the second they handed me a gun I just knew that wasn’t for me. It’s okay to try a bunch of things.”

“Change my major again,” complained Jade with a sigh. Her college career so far had been a hodgepodge of topics. Granted the majority of them had to deal with people and law. With a family like the Sparrows, where everyone was either a cop or a lawyer, if you didn’t at least try to follow in the family footsteps… well. You ended up like Summer. And even Summer had lofty aspirations.

“I still want to write,” she confessed. “But I was thinking maybe I could write about true crime instead of fiction. Investigative journalism with the side order of a best selling novel about serial killers.”

Serena laughed. “Dad isn’t too keen on reporters, but if you talk to Mom about it first, I’m sure she can help soften him up. It suits you, Jade.”

“Really?” came Jade’s hopeful reply. “Cool! Because the first story I’m going to write is about your shootout.”

“Jade, Don’t you d-”

“Too late!” To drive it home, Jade jumped from her seat with beer bottle in hand and skipped out the kitchen. “Already talking to Mom!”

“Wonderful,” muttered Serena.

Tamara finished sliding her pies into the oven and pressed in the cook time on the microwave. After washing her hands up in the sink, she fetched a bowl of dip out of the fridge and brought them over to the table along with a bag of chips.

“I’m afraid you’re her favorite. Your job is much more exciting than photographing cheating husbands.” Tamara teased with a grin.

“You’d be an amazing detective, Tamara.” Serena insisted.

“So could you,” Tamara pointed out. “Dad says he’s been trying to get you to take the test for detective but you keep turning him down.”

The chip bag wrinkled as Serena reached her hand inside. “Dad wants us all to take over the world. Right now, I like being a beat cop and getting to know my neighborhood. I can always take the test later.”

Tamara frowned, leaning to rest her chin in her hands as she watched her older sister. “Are you sure it has nothing to do with Ramirez? How’s he doing?”

“Still in critical care, but they’re hopeful.” There was just a hint of doubt in her features and something that hinted there was more to it, but just as quickly as it came, it was gone. Serena straightened up in her seat, and Tamara knew that topic was done and she was about to be in for it. Not only was Serena a master of the cop voice, she also had a knack for turning conversations around when she didn’t want to talk about something.

“You know, I haven’t heard a word about the handsome Supermarket George all day. I seem to recall excitement about a first date.”

Tamara groaned, her eyes lifting up to stare at the small light hanging from the ceiling.

“Turns out Supermarket George has a thing for smelly feet.” Serena burst into laughter and Tamara had to wait a moment for her to simmer down before she could continue. “It really isn’t that funny! I even tried, I honestly thought giving it a shot might make a difference. Trying new things, you know? But. Smelly feet! How do you make that romantic!”

Still snickering under her breath, Serena reached out a hand. “Give me your phone. It’s time we signed you up for Tinder.”

“I thought Tinder was for sexual house calls,” she huffed. Tamara wasn’t keen on the idea, but she handed over the phone anyway. With as many bad dates as she had, Tamara was just about ready to try anything.

“It is,” answered Serena. As soon as the app finished downloading, her thumb swiped and tapped with surprising efficiency. “If you’re going to keep stumbling over the worst of mankind, you might as well do it faster.”

Tamara leaned forward just in time to watch Serena write up a blurb that sounded more like a porn star’s resume than a dating profile.


Her sister laughed.

“You’re not going to find Mister Right, but at least you can have some fun until your hero rides up in his white sedan.”

“You might be worse than Summer,” Tamara muttered, but it was hard to hide the smile that was creeping onto her face.

“Speaking of which, we better gather the clan before Jade springs her news to Dad. We might as well have dinner while they argue.”


Interview with a Character: Jayden Green

For Iwaku Challenge, Interview with a Character #4.

[I]What’s your choice of drink?[/I]
The woman dressed in an impeccable grey suit regarded the interviewer with an amused expression. Her nails tapped gently on the bar. “I like a good beer. But if you’re thinking about buying me a drink, there’s no need. I own the place.”

[I]What’s your ideal romance? *wriggles brows*[/I]
This made her laugh out right. “Does foreplay count? I don’t really DO romance. That whole flowers, dates, and other crap is pretty much just a bunch of useless fluff. Everyone knows it’s the sex people really want, so why not skip to the good part?”

[I]So, level with me. You ever done anything… naughty?[/I]
She cast an innocent expression, which really just made her look devious instead. “That depends on your definition of ‘naughty’. Sexy naughty? Murder naughty? Thieving naughty? I’ve done a lot of things I never thought I would, some I am not proud of. Some I would be happy to do again in a heartbeat. Don’t ask such vague questions.”

[I]Is there anyone you just hate or get annoyed by? You ever ‘teach them a lesson?'[/I]
That innocent look faded in to a slow cheshire cat smirk as she leaned forward in her seat. “Yes, yes, and yes. No one crosses me without consequences.”

[I]What’s an achievement of yours? Somethin’ awesome or badass you’ve done.[/I]
“Everything I do is badass.” Even after the statement, though, she was leaning back in her seat again and giving the question more serious thought. “I had my daughter. I’ve done a lot of things that someone might call badass, but having her and not fucking it all up feels like the biggest achievement I could ever make. Nothing can top that.”

[I]Okay, say you won a lottery. I’m talking, like, a butt load of money! What do you do with it?[/I]
“Invest. My family will live for quite a long time, I want to make sure we have money to live several lifetimes.”

[I]So, you’re trapped on a desert island or in a cave or something, and you can only have one person and one object with you. Who and what do you choose? And don’t say a cellphone or anything else that’ll help you escape or I swear I’ll punch you in the freakin’ face.[/I]
“How about I punch YOU in the face, asshole, if you talk to me like that again?” She almost looked ready to do it right then. “I would have Cupio. I don’t need anything else.”


Interview with a Character: Eleri Xerxes

For Iwaku Challenge, Interview with a Character #4.

[I]What’s your choice of drink?[/I]
Eleri glances around in confusion before pointing at herself. “Who me? You’re not a bartender… Hrm. All right then. I’ll bite. Get me a brandy on ice.”

[I]What’s your ideal romance? *wriggles brows*[/I]
There was a twitch to the corner of her mouth. “I don’t have time for romance. I have responsibilities. Saving the world and all the jazz. But, I kinda like the whole idea of candlelight dinners and walks in the moonlight. Y’know, that normal people stuff.”

[I]So, level with me. You ever done anything… naughty?[/I]
“That’s none of your goddamned business.”

[I]Is there anyone you just hate or get annoyed by? You ever ‘teach them a lesson?'[/I]
Her eyebrow quirked up and she rolled her eyes. “Nice segue. Yeah, as a matter of fact there are a lot of people I hate and a lot of things I get annoyed by. Weirdos in bars, for example. Keep on asking these questions and we’ll if I start teaching some lessons.”

[I]What’s an achievement of yours? Somethin’ awesome or badass you’ve done.[/I]
A dark expression fell over her face as she turned away in her seat to focus on her drink. “I haven’t achieved anything yet. Whether or not I managed to do something ‘badass’ is still up in the air. Lets all hope I’m not a total failure.”

[I]Okay, say you won a lottery. I’m talking, like, a butt load of money! What do you do with it?[/I]
“Obviously you’re drunk.” she muttered with a shrug of her shoulder. “I don’t need any money, I guess I would give it to someone who did.”

[I]So, you’re trapped on a desert island or in a cave or something, and you can only have one person and one object with you. Who and what do you choose? And don’t say a cellphone or anything else that’ll help you escape or I swear I’ll punch you in the freakin’ face.[/I]
Eleri smirked, giving a sly sort of smile. “I’d have with me a Descendant and the Amulet. Because you can sure as hell bet if you have both of those, you won’t be stuck anywhere alone for long.”


Interview with a Character: Leslie Cole

[I]Tell me about yourself.[/I]
My name is Leslie Cole, I just graduated college and started a new job as a desk secretary at a local Magazine. Eventually I’d like to be an Editor. I’m currently hunting for a new apartment in the city, but I’d really prefer living somewhere outside of town in a big house with a nice yard.

[I]What is your preferred genre/type of music and why?[/I]
I don’t think I could pick just one favorite genre of type… I always think I favor one thing, then the next week I am in love with a whole new style or sound. I just love and appreciate music.

[I]Do you cook? What’s your favorite food? (If you don’t eat… traditional foods, then what [/I]do[I] you eat?)[/I]
Cook… experiment… it’s all the same to me. I’m not sure what I do in the kitchen could be considered cooking, but I can definitely promise it comes out edible. I don’t tend to follow recipes. My favorite kind of food would probably be Greek. Serve up anything you can eat with your hands and I’ll love it.

[I]If you had a spirit animal, what would it be? Or, if you actually [/I]have[I] a spirit animal, tell me about it.[/I]
This is a fun question! I had to think about it for a bit. My spirit animal would probably be the snowy white egret or [URL=’’]heron[/URL]. Not sure why I’ve always loved them, but they are very beautiful and elegant birds!

[I]If you could go back in time and change anything, would you? (If yes) What would you change?[/I]
Sometimes I wonder and think about things I might change, but in the end I decide not to. All of these events in our lives, good or bad, kinda shape who we are and how we got to the present. I might not always be happy with myself, but I love where my life is going. I wouldn’t want to change that.

[I]Would you say that you have a good relationship with your parents/guardian/creator? (Why or why not?)[/I]
When my mother was alive, she was probably the closest person in my life. It was just me, her, and my step dad for a long time. Uhm, I haven’t seen my step-dad since Mom’s funeral and I’d rather not talk about that. On to the next interviewee!


Interview with a Character: Tessa Thorn

Done for Iwaku Challenge, Interview With a Character.

[I]Please tell me about yourself.[/I]
My name is Tessa Thorn and I am a manager! Specially, a band manager. I’ve recently been fired and I am now starting up my own record label called Calico Productions. I kinda have really bad luck with jobs, up until now. Managing a band seems to be the one thing I am really awesome at. I guess it’s cause I love what I do?

[I]What is a typical day like for you?[/I]
I wake up at six am and I WORK! This usually involves making appointments, getting advertising done, booking venues, buying supplies, designing costumes, and micromanaging everything. Especially my top star, he’s a pain in the ass.

[I]What do you do when you are not doing what you regularly do?[/I]
Uh… uhm. I pretty much always work?

[I]Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years?[/I]
I’ll be married, living in a nice house with the best record label in history!

[I]Do you have a special someone in your life right now?[/I]
…Surprisingly yes! Somehow my talent became my boyfriend. Which is pretty weird since he was a pain and a bum on my couch. And he’s kinda sorta my accidental husband. But he hasn’t found that one out yet, though. Let’s keep that one off the record now, okay? He is the best thing to ever happen to my life and I kinda want to keep him!

[I]What’s your favorite animal/creature? Why?[/I]
I have recently really started to have an affection for over sized house cats! Especially ones that can eat ex boyfriends.

[I]Tell me about something you’re passionate about and why.[/I]
I am passionate about MUSIC! I love music! It’s probably something that has always been a big part of my life, so when I got involved in the music business it was a dream come true.

[I]If you could go anywhere, where would you go and why?[/I]
I think I want to go to Venice. Touring the city streets in a boat seems really cool.

[I]What do you think about the afterlife? Do believe in it, and the existence of the soul?[/I]
As long as I don’t end up in hell with my Ex-Bosses, I think I’ll be okay!

[I]Is there something you desire more than anything?[/I]
I really, really want D to make me a piece of baklava right about now. In fact, if you’ll excuse me, I think my boyfriend owes me dessert!


I’ll Sell My Soul to Dream You Wide Awake

I would sell my soul to dream you.

They say be careful what you wish for. That what you desire can become bittersweet. What could be worth the price of a soul? A love wild and without constraints. Molten amber eyes and honeyed promises. For what seems to be unreal, impossible, too amazing to be true… it is. Pretty lies spun by a master wordsmith.

True love wins all, but when the true love isn’t yours to claim a soul for a wish no longer seems to be a good deal.

And when the wish has been granted, it’s too late. There is no going back.

Nikella Candereu stood away from the others, arms folded delicately over snow white fabric. She could have easily been mistaken for a queen, draped in shimmering silk and lace, black hair piled on top her head and pined in place with pearls. Her posture was regal, stiff, authoritative. She did not smile, nor did she speak. In fact, this woman had not spoken since the moment she arrived. Those that dared to approach her received a cold stare and nothing more.

Her journey to this strange tower was not perilous. Perhaps it was wrought with dangers, death and blood. Nikella noticed none of it. She had no fear, she had no feeling. The things she saw in the forest did not shock her, nor move her to tears. There was but one moment that gave her pause. Thinking about it now had her fingers tightening around her arms.

Nikella’s arrival to the witch’s abode came without ceremony. On the first day and even the second, she had entertained the thought of leaving. Walking away and forgetting about the strange invitation. A wish was a powerful thing. A thing that could be twisted and turned. But a wish was also irresistible. With the right words a wish could fix anything, be anything. A witch with a request would repay you with something special. That alone was what made her stay. If should could have a wish from a witch…

After all, Nikella already sold her soul. There was nothing else she could lose.


The Veil

Cold. Damp. Soft. A flawless cheek pressed against the forest soil. The sensation was strange. Unfamiliar. Her fingers curled in to the dirt, eyes fluttering open in vague confusion. A clump of brown material lift in the air and slowly sift through her fingers. Her body moved in a lithe, controlled, almost unearthly smooth motion as she sat up. The veil pinned in her hair moved with her. Lace and silk leaving a soft caress against her skin. Once on her feet, the show of perfect wavered. Her knees wobbled. The first step she took had her balance teetering. Even her hands shook. No, her whole body was shivering. Exposed to the chill midnight wind.

Bright light. Blinding. She turned her head away, raising a hand to shield her eyes.

“There she is. In one piece, too. Bring the crate.”

“I can’t find the Khloe model. We’re gonna get our asses handed to u-“

“Relax, they’ve insurance for shit like this. We’ll just report it stolen.”

She didn’t understand the words, not really. But she was conditioned. The box was hers and she belonged in it. Despite lingering stares, she accepted the hand that helped her step back in to the box. Lying back without a word while the branded lid was closed over her.

Genetic Bride Alese Model 021

There was the cold again. Ice prickling, stinging. Now she remembered. She hated the cold. Yet it never lasted for long. Her eyes fell closed to the sound of high pitched beeping and the gentle sway of the crate being moved.


Dear Blythe

Dear Blythe,

I know that I did was wrong. I can assure you I’m in jail paying for it. I held in a lot of anger for a long time and as the first step in the healing process I want to apologize. I know that doesn’t undo what I tried to do and I don’t expect you for forgive me. What I did was wrong and you are right to hate me, I don’t even expect you to do more than crumple this letter up and throw it away, but I have no one else to write to and I just wanted you to know I’m sorry. With the help here in [Redacted – Department of military intelligence] I know I can become a better person.

Again, I’m sorry.

Fred L. Williams.

Dear Fred,

I am not going to say I forgive you, because right now I really don’t. You were going to shoot me with a grappling hook! I don’t even know how that works! But I am sorry that stealing Class President from you drove you insane. I needed it to get in to college, and I didn’t even stay in college. I guess that’s what I deserved? But not being killed. That was going too far.

Please don’t try to do that again.


Dear Blythe,

I didn’t ask you to say you forgive me. I don’t expect you to ever forgive me. I have been asking myself over and over again why I took it that far and I have no answer. My therapist here in the prison suspects that I have unresolved emotions that were projected onto you and next Tuesday we begin to try and explore them. I don’t like shirks but A) it’s state mandated and B) I really want to be a better person. Sorry college didn’t work out for you. It wasn’t what I expected either. Never though I’d end up making prototype equipment for the military, but I guess I’m not anymore. I hope you also enjoy your work. You deserve to have some happiness. We all make mistakes and for what it’s worth I forgive you for high school.

Fred L. Williams.

Dear Fred,

It’s easy to be a better person. You just don’t try to kill people! It’s too bad you have to see a shrink, though. My boss made me go see a counselor after I had a panic attack at work, and I hate it. He keeps trying to tell me I have childhood trauma, and unresolved issues too. But I am pretty sure anybody would be freaked out after that reunion.

I am sure when you get out of prison you’ll be able to find a new job. Business won’t let good scientists go to waste. And it’s not like you -actually- killed someone.

…did you?


Dear Blythe,

No, I haven’t killed anyone. I’m an engineer not a soldier, or a killer. And I’m sorry to hear what I did shook you up that badly, but I don’t think you have to worry about it happening again, as it happens I make a terrible murderer. It was a last minute decision and the ejection system didn’t even work. I was drunk and I really thought you had ruined my life. You didn’t, I did when I decided to steal government property and take out a ten year old grudge on someone who had probably forgotten about it.

If fact I don’t think you ever have to worry about seeing me again. Even when I get out of prison in ten to twenty years I’m still an attempted murderer and convicted felon. Good people who I’ve hurt are probably better far away from me even if I’ve started looking forward to mail day here in case you’ve written back.

Fred L. Williams.

Dear Fred,

I’m glad you hear you’re not a crazy murdering serial killer type person. And please don’t think you are the single reason that was such a bad day for me. Really, it was just the icing on the cake of an already terrible day. You really didn’t even scare me, I was just so upset someone hated me enough to want me dead. Were you there for the whole reunion prior? Apparently plenty of people think I am the root of all evil. Okay, maybe I exaggerate a bit… but I really believe most of our class was slightly insane.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think you are as terrible person or even close to the worst of the bunch, even if you did try to kill me. I wouldn’t be writing to a lunatic.


Dear Blythe,

Maybe then our next reunion will be behind bars. A funny thought. While I am happy I wasn’t the reason you had a terrible day I’m still sorry I made a bad day worse. I still don’t think you’ll ever forgive me but I do not think you are a bad person. OF you really were I don’t think you’d write to a prisoner who tried to kill you.

Speaking of prison Dr Summers says I’m making good progress and is willing to sign a release saying I’m not a danger to society if I keep it up. Ths will not get me out but it will look good at my parole hearing in a few years that I’ve progressed this quckly. I don’t think that would have been possible without letters from outside, so thank you. I’m really trying not to be a lunatic anymore.

Fred L. Williams.

Dear Fred,

Happy Birthday. I hope you like this card and aren’t too offended. I designed it myself at work! I thought the picture and little jail rhyme was amusing. It’s good that you are making progress with your doctor. I hear that parole can come up really fast if you are well behaved enough. The worst you did was make the government mad. MY doctor keeps telling me I am an emotional ticking time bomb and he thinks I need more sessions. I think he just wants to get paid more.


Dear Blythe,

The card was great. I showed it the Dr. Winters forgetting she would have already seen it. They read all my mail in case I didn’t tell you. We had a session today and to be honest I don’t feel to great afterwards. We had a breakthrough and I’m not sure if I like the implications. I won’t tell you the details but it might be best if we didn’t send each other letters anymore. For both of us, well for me.

Fred L. Williams.


Mr. Williams is experiencing a break that he has been subscribed medication for. I believe it would be for the best if he continued communication with someone from outside.

– A. Winters.

Dear Fred,

It’s okay if you don’t want to continue writing me. I, for one, kinda like having someone to talk to that isn’t giving me ‘Poor Blythe’ looks. It’s also kinda funny and ironic you’re the one I’m talking to. You know, we never really talked to each other during high school. Outside of the presidential debates. So I don’t know a lot about you. I bet you don’t know a lot about me either!

I told you that college didn’t work out for me, right? And that I work at a Greeting Card company as one of the writers! Once I was engaged, but that didn’t go anywhere. I like sunflowers a lot, and I always wanted to take a vacation to Holland.

What did you do after High School? (Besides plot revenge?)


Dear Blythe,

Hey, I know it’s been a few feeks but I just wanted to write again and in answer to your question I went to colledge, graduated and started work in Sony’s robotics projects. Learning Japanese was tough but I was barely there a year before I got a job offer from the US government and it felt like my life had become a spy movie. So I came back and got set up with the military working on a bunch of side projects for the Future Soldier program. That’s public knowledge so I hope the cencors doen’t blot that out. Mainly in an old wishlist of projects scrapped in the 60s but with out modern materials are possible. I really enjoyed it, I felt like Q in James Bond only my gadgets would be used by real soldiers and save thier lives and not allow a rich playboy to show of to women. I really screwed that up. Right now I’d be lucky to get a job as a auto mechanic.

That’s prettymuch the story of Fred Williams. No real friends, no love life (not that that was ever a posibility, you know what I was like even in high school) and I didn’t even want to go to the reunion at first. I sure as hell won’t go to any more. Sure people want to see me less now than they did at the last one. I’m not allowed anything alcoholic but if I was I would raise a glass to never seeing any of those jerks again and as soon as I get out starting a new life. I hope I get a nice parole officer. Dr. Winters says she’ll find one for me who I should get along with. I never expected therapists could actually be nice people. Our school councelor always creeped me out.

Once I get out I’d like to meet with you though, if you haven’t got a restaining order. I promise not to try and kill you. I want to make amends and not just for the trying to kill you part, for the tears and years of thinking you were the devil too.

Fred L. Williams.

Dear Fred,

I’m so glad you finally wrote back! I was starting to get worried. I mentioned to a coworker about your letters and she spent and hour telling me about what happens to handsome men while in prison. Hopefully you’ve not fallen prey to creepy inmates.

You’ve had a really interesting life so far, Fred. I don’t know why you thought it was ruined at all. It all sounds kind of exciting to me. Why wouldn’t you have a love life or friends? Then again, maybe you’re lucky not to have a lot of people in your life after all. Being surrounded by tons of friends and family usually means a bunch of nosey people always getting in to your business and telling you how you’re not living life right. They’ll tell you you’re sad, or lonely, or depressed, and never really ask you about your own opinion. Kind of like therapists except you can’t fire them!

Surprisingly enough I don’t have a restraining order on you. You really didn’t scare me much, I told you that. But I admit that being in the same room with you does make me a little nervous. What if I came to visit you in jail first? Just for peace of mind!


Dear Blythe,

I am in a military prison and I hold many secrets in my mind. They don’t have me mixing with the other prisoners a lot of the time. I smeel in my own cell, I shower in my own cell, and while I eat down in the cafateria but there are guards everywhere and it’s no more than sixe to a table. I get a bookshelf in my room and sometimes get to play chess with either Dr. Winters or other inmates. You don’t have to worry about me being the pretty guy in jail.

And I was always focused in school. Pushed to perform and get into the best colledges and univercities available. I never spoke to anyone and was only beating you for class presidency because I knew what the class wanted and how to give it to them. Which is also why I ade a good engineer. But when it comes to expressing what I want I’m a total failure. I don’t do small talk and don’t have breasts. I didn’t really want friends either so it seemed to work out.

If you’re going to visit you’d need to life a petition with the military to do so then they’ll contact you and tell you where to go. I asked Dr. Winters and I’m allowed visitors. Apparently I’m not a danger to anyone which is good. I should get that on a t-shirt. You don’t have to though. Not if you think it would be awkward after I tried to kill you.

Fred L. Williams.

Dear Fred,

Awkward you say? I’m sure it will be! It’s not every day I get to visit a prisoner in a super secret military jail. On the bright side, since you made such a terrible villain, you could try your hand at being a hero once you’re out of jail.

In the mean time, good news! I have permission to visit you, but they are going to send someone to take me there. I get the feeling they’re going to throw me in the back of a van or blindfold me or something. I’d ask what sort of secrets you know for them to make such a big deal about the place, but I don’t think I want to be living in the cell next to yours.

I have been practicing baking lately. I’ll bring you an experimental cake.


Dear Blyth,

You’re actually coming, this soon? I didn’t except that. ANd yes it will be awkwards but at least it’s in a cotrolled enviroment. You can’t get much more controlled that a military prison. I mean here we have military police and while normal police are trianed to use a pointed gun as the threat without putting their fingers on the trigger these guys adn federal agents are trained to have their fingr on the trigger when they point. Interesting what you leard when you work in the military.

But yes, you will be safe and I won’t try t kill you again. Tororow’s session I’m going to ask Dr. Winters to talk me through dos and dont’s. She’s hinted she might want to do a practive meeting with her playing you. But if you’re bringing cake I’ll wantto save some for her if you don’t mind. I’ll have first in case you poison it for revenge. I don’t think I have had cake in month. They let me ask for something special when I behave well but I almost always ask for curry or pie. Reminds me of home, you remember Rachik who cooked in the diner off Dawnview Cresent? I guess I’ll see you soon.

Fred L. Williams.

Dear Fred,

In just a few days my military escort will be here. That’s kind of exciting! I wonder what my neighbors are going to think when I am escorted away by men in suits. Or will they be in uniforms? Camoflage? I’m not sure how these things work. Either way they’ll probably think I was taken off to jail or the funny-house or something.

I had another episode at work. I think my brain deliberately picks the worst possible moments for me to suddenly have a meltdown. I’m not the freak-out type, you know? But I was thinking about that girl who tried to kill herself and a lot of the stuff she said about everyone. And some of the things Calvin screamed at me. And things you’ve said too! I don’t know, I guess I started worrying I affect people in bad ways and it all just sorta snowballed from there. It’d be nice if it happened at home when I’m alone and not in an office with twenty people staring at me like I’m going to do something crazy.

Since you are going to share the cake with Dr. Winters, I picked out a really easy recipe and I am going to test it first! It seems like she’s been a really great doctor for you, and I’d hate to give her a badly burned experiment cake. She might tell me to stop writing!

I hope you’re doing well, Fred. I’m looking forward to talking to you in person.


Dear Blythe,

So soon? I’d say I’d clear my schedule but my scedule is controled by the people who approved the visit so watch out for military police. That’s either be in civies or camo with white armbands. I really have no idea, you might even ride in a humvee. This morning Dr. Winters came to my cell and asked me if I was really ready for you to visit and that the final choice had to be mine. I said that I want to meet you and appologize in person. So I’m sure you’ll be picked up soon. I hope this letter gets to you in time.

Another thing Dr. Winters said was she was going to stop having our letters read, and only if I say anything to her will he read what we have written, so bake a file into the cake so I can escape! Just kidding, I don’t want to escape. I know I’ve come a long way and I not a danger to anyone but I’m where I should be. Trying to escape would just mean I’ll never get out of here. I’ve started building models too. I have the kits brought to me and have all the craft suppies in my cell. They even let me have a proper craft knife. I guess they don’t think I’m a real threat either. It’s great to have something to do with my hands and there is a castle I assembled in Dr. Winters’ office. I’m looking forwards to seeing you.

Fred L. Williams.

Dear Fred,

I’m not sure I’d call it “so soon”. How long has it been since we were in the same room together? That whole process of your arrest and trial took almost a year by itself. And then almost another year still of us writing letters. Or maybe it’s just because it doesn’t feel like soon -enough- to me. I am kinda looking forward to seeing you, despite all the crazy stuff. I’ve tried to keep in touch with a few of my old friends after the reunion, but adult life pretty much has everyone already moved on. Not that I miss those days, but well, I guess I don’t really know where I was going with this! Blythe then isn’t any different from Blythe now. I guess there is just less people around and no where to go these days!

So no more read letters, huh? I guess that must be good news! I keep forgetting that your letters were being screened. Now I’m a little embarassed about blabbering so much stuff. Hopefully your Dr Winters won’t be meeting me there with a straight jacket and locking me up in the loony-bin.

The next time we talk it will be in person! I hope you -are- ready for that, Fred! But I bet it’ll be interesting no matter what happens.


Dear Blythe,

Two things. First my reunion invite arived, thank you very much for forwarding it to me, you’re the best. Second, and this is very big news so sit down and get a cup of tea, I’ll wait. Ready? Good! I got parole! I’m super excited my parole board were really nice and Dr. Winters was on it. I showed them all the job applications I had ready and spoke about space, and you and they didn’t even deliberate they jusy congradulated me. Dr. Winters promised to keep in touch and they even found me an apartment and I’ll be walking out of here on Monday. I’m siding here boxing up my models (I hope you liked the dragon tower I build form the ones you game me that I sent you) and writing to you. Theres not much time between moving in and the reunion but Dr. Winters said I’ll be there if she has to drive me there herself! Ironically though I think my arresting officers will have the honor. But I’m out! I’ll see you soon!

– Fred.

Dear Fred,

Yay! I’m so glad your parole was approved. I told you there wouldn’t be anything to worry about. It makes way more sense to have you out and working for them than in jail. I had to see Doctor Winters today for something completely unrelated and she gave me the good news about your job and aid you are settling in well.

I’m not sure if this letter will get to you in time, but I hope so. Barbara Jenkins sent out an email to everyone on the reunion committee and honestly now -I- kind of want to commit murder. If I weren’t so excited about seeing you there, I seriously don’t think I would bother going at all. I AM kind of glad she made the dress code so fancy strict, cause it’s going to be fun dressing up!

I have to repaint my wall now, because as it stands there is now a tower being flown through space by a dragon and getting shot at by a shuttle. Totally cool, but kind of silly. Maybe some time soon you can come over and help me build a shelf for these models so they’ll stop terrorizing each other.



Welcome to Elswen

(The following is what was suppose to be a fun info page of what’s what on Elswen Island… it obviously never got finished and needs to be)

“Welcome to Triple L Estates’s guide to Elswen, an international city. Brought to you LIVE in the heart of downtown from Mandie’s Candies, the candy superstore. Also spondered by ELSWN Radio and Corner Street Shopping Center, where you’ll find everything in one parking lot. Now with two of our best sales agents Karen Paris and Mitch Christopherson.”

The two sales agents are standing side by side wearing tacky yellow jackets.

Karen: “Hello there potential buyers, and welcome to Elswen. Elswen Island is situated her in the north Puget Sound.”

Mitch: “That’s right. Infact the only way to get to Elswen is by sea or air. There are no roads or bridges that connect us with the mainland.”

Karen: “That doesn’t mean however Elswen, the city or island, is isolated or backwards. We are one of the most technologoly advanced areas in the region.”

Mitch: “One great example is St. Micheal’s Hospital. St. Mikes & St. Mike’s Childerns Clinic has some of the most gifted staff from around the world and the latest in medical equimpment.”

The video takes a quick look around the hospital with lots of children and babies in the picture with lullaby music in the background.

The video comes back to the two agents. Karen is holding a paper called ‘The Chronicle Newspaper’ which shows a woman wearing two bikini tops to cover her four breast. Mitch is reading a more innocent paper, ‘The Puget Times’. Karen blushes and puts paper behind her back then nudges Mitch.

Mitch: “Hmmm NSTV is showing that new series… oh we’re back?” Puts paper behind him.

Karen: “For those unfortunates where there conditions are mental and not physical, there’s Haverghast Insane Asylum.”



Soot, ash and blood covered tattered clothes over her battered frame. But she was still standing. Still marching down the hall, expression grim as she slowly pushed open a door and peered at the occupied bed inside. The room was empty save for one soul, lying on linen sheets as still as stone.

“I am awake, Eleri, you can stop lurking in the doorway.” came the voice, soft and raspy but still with that same teasing lit she was always fond of.

She stepped in to the room, closing the door behind her before she crossed the floor to sit on the edge of his bed. Eleri tried to offer a smile, but that grim expression returned all too quickly. “We didn’t make it. Medemus tried, but- …it’s like they knew we would be there. All waiting there to tear us apart.”

“Heh… Last of the descendants and I am nothing but a dying old man.” he reached out to take her hand. His grip was weak, but he still curled his fingers around hers. “Don’t look so grim, Eleri. You did what you could.”

Eleri shook her head. “Not enough. Your family has taken care of me, Archer, and I couldn’t protect or save any of them. The demons still lay waste to worlds and we couldn’t even come close to their god. And you… you are going to leave me too.” She fell in to silence, staring down at his hand and brushing her fingertips over the dark veins so easily seen beneath the skin. He was once the most prominent and strong of them all. Now he was a shell, stuck there in that bed taking in his last breaths. Not even when her lands were lost did it hurt as much as this.

The old man smiled, pulling her hand to hold against his heart. “I will not be gone, Eleri. When this body dies, as the last descendant I will haunt the amulet. Maybe it was meant to be this way. Destiny has no use for our family any more…”

“I could give you an heir, Archer. You know I can.”

He laughed, the sound coming out like a cough. “I had my children and lost them. I am old enough to be your grandfather. Heirs are for the young, Eleri. My time has passed and the Descendants are gone. Find yourself love and live, girl. You life doesn’t belong to me and the dead.”

“There’s not going to be a man in the universe I love more than you. You gave me a home and protection and a family. No one is ever going to compare.” It wasn’t even an exaggeration. Archer gave her everything and now he was dying.

“Eleri.” his tone turned serious as he struggled to sit up. The charming smile was gone, replaced by a serious wrinkled scowl. “Promise me that you will live. You will live, you will marry, you will start a bloodline of your own. Begin a new legacy if you must, but just [i]live[/i]. We are done. Do not die with us. Promise me.”

She was silent for a moment. Watching that hardened look on his face. Finally she gave in with a sigh, gently nodding her head. “I promise, Archer.”


Blood Bond

They stood at the front of what she assumed was his throne room in front of a table where the orb was now placed on the top of the staff and being displayed. Bianca was worn, exhausted. Her leather armor was taken and she was left with ripped bloodied clothes. There didn’t even seem to be any preparation time, the moment she said ‘I’ll give it all to you – if you let her go.’ Xender had dragged her from the chains to this very room.

Xender sliced a dagger across his hand, drawing a thick line of blood. He snatched her wrist, smirking, as he drug the blade against her palm. Bianca winced. Entwining their hands together their blood mixed, dripping down over the staff.

“My wife. My power.” Xender grasped the back of her head jerking her forward, smashing a kiss against her lips. Bianca’s eyes widened, a sharp piercing pain struck her heart! It felt as if something were being ripped right out of her! Tears slid down her face as the pain grew unbearable.


Marelsou Falls


“All of your paperwork has been filed, Sir. Is that it for today?” asked Allison, standing in the doorway of General Lancaster’s office. Wearing her typical daily uniform, consisting of a pretty chocolate colored dress with white polka dots and a pair of comfy flat shoes, Allison made a picturesque secretary.

The older man smiled at the woman as he rose from his chair to exit the office and rest his arm around her shoulder. “That I am. How about blessing an old man to dinner?”

“Why do you even ask anymore, Daddy? We always have dinner on the weekend!” Allison replied with a grin. She considered herself very lucky. Desk Secretary to a retired General, in the largest city on Mars was a great career – and it helped that she could always give the sad-daughter face whenever she wanted extra days off. She was loving Marelsou. Though she had just been here for a few months after her college graduation, she didn’t think she wanted to go back to Earth. The colonies were blossoming in to fantastic and exciting new cultures – Allison was thrilled to be a part of it.


“Then your mother said ‘If you’re going to bring the entire unit home, next time CALL first.’ I was in the doghouse for months.” General Lancaster and his daughter were riding down the streets of Marelsou on their way home. The sun was on it’s way to setting and the had been pleasant. Allison was preparing to reply when….

BOOM. It sounded like an explosion! A large gust of wind seemed to jostle their vehicle for a moment when CRASH a mangled piece of metal smashed on to the road in front of them. General Lancaster made a sharp turn, the wheels screeching against the road as they nearly tilted before slamming to a rough stop in the side of a concrete building.

Allison came back to consciousness with her father shaking her. As she slowly moved to climb out, he was bullying her in to some sort of vest and giving her a bag to sling over her shoulder. “What just happened…?” she questioned. As her vision was less blurry, it didn’t even look like the streets of Marelsou anymore. There was chaos everywhere! People were running and screaming, buildings were on fire. There was terrible sounds of crunching metal.

Suddenly something came stomping around the corner of the big piece of metal debris lying in the road. Huge, covered in scales with glistening and a nasty look. Allison recognized it as one of those Scalies that had been reported attacking other Mars colonies! Her father had pulled out a gun, something huge, and fired! Her ears were still covered when he grabbed her by the arm and they were running. She didn’t think he was even allowed to have guns like that, where had he been hiding it..?!

As they ran, there was more damages. More scalies! The pair retreated down to the subway tunnels, where they stopped at what must have been a storage or supply room. General Lancaster ushered her inside.

“I need you to stay down here. Allison! Listen, this is important. Stay in here. I will be right back with help. If I’m not back by morning, use the radio. It’s in the bag. Do you understand me?”

Allison barely knew what was going on, let alone being able to understand. Finally she nodded. “Y-yeah. Stay here. …you promise you’ll be right back?”

“I’ll be back.”


No sleep. No rest. Just that deep seated feeling of fear. He hadn’t returned yet, and he promised he would. Allison had dug out the radio from the bag he left her. There were tons of things in it. Little supplies, food, even some small guns and ammunition. Had he always stashed this stuff in his jeep in case of an emergency? Wasn’t it illegal for civilians, even retired Generals…? For now it didn’t matter!

She pressed the radio buttons and started speaking.

H-hello…? This is Allison Lancaster. General Allen Lancaster’s daughter. Something has happened in Marelsou. Scalies are invading the city. I don’t know where my father went, he said he would be back with help… Is there someone there? Marelsou is under attack and we need help!


Hours. Hours and hours. Allison had sat hidden in the small storage room down in the subway for ages. She hadn’t received a reply on the radio. She was worried he message hadn’t even gone through. Worse, her father hadn’t returned either. Lifting a hand, she peered at her wristwatch for what must have been the millionth time. It was just a little bit after 3pm. The subway had been dead silent hours now. None of the trains had gone by the entire time. Was the entire city under attack..?

Allison decided she couldn’t take the waiting any longer! Stiffly, she rose from where she was sitting. Grimacing at the way her body protested, and forcing feeling back in to her limbs. She zipped up the bag her father had left her, but not without pulling out and loading one of the small hand guns. Pulling the bag up to drape over her head and shoulder, Allison moved to the door. She listened for a few minutes before she cracked it open. One small peek gave her reassurance that nothing was lurking outside.

The only sound in the subway now was her own footsteps. Quiet as s churchmouse, she stepped carefully. In her hands she aimed the gun, placing on foot in front of the other as she headed for the steps. There she stayed close to the wall, always glancing over her shoulder every few steps while she rose back up to the street.

For the middle of the afternoon, the streets of Marelsou was eerily empty. Debris laid scattered on the street. Huge chunks of buildings were crushing vehicles. Concrete, plaster and twisted metal in every direction. What really weirded her out was the lack of bodies. …had everyone managed to flee? Were they eaten up and swallowed? Allison decided she would hope for the best and be glad there wasn’t mangled people or scalies laying all over the streets.

Allison made her way down the streets as fast as her feet could take her. Carrying the bag with her was awkward, but she finally found herself back to where the jeep had crashed last night. It was still there, but now it was half smashed, lying on it’s side. There was blood…

No sign of her father. Allison reached up, about to see if she could use her wait to tilt it back over and get it working when she gave a startled pause.


Turning around slowly, she nearly screamed. There was a scalie! He was sniffing in the air, looking around and searching… until his head turned, his sights set on her. Suddenly, he was running forward! With a choked cry, she brought her gun up and fired! Several shots went off until she emptied it, and even then she was still pulling the trigger! The scalie was still running until he finally dropped, hitting the ground with a loud THUMP and a pool of blood starting to collect beneath him.

Allison sunk to the ground. …that had been close..!


No More Dreaming of the Dead, It Becomes Undone

Screaming. Shrill, horrified screaming came from the streets outside. Such a contrast to the usual sounds of rail cars or street shop owners. Black market dealers or lost tourists. Though she was on the top floor of a large building, the screams still reached her open window. She pushed away from her desk and computer. The small little space in her room where she both lived and work. Right from home. Because how could she leave the house when her family couldn’t quite function without her?

It was them she was thinking about when she stepped down the hall. A tight churning coiled in her chest. An odd sensation of cold, chilling fear. Because of the screams? Because of a bad feeling? She wasn’t sure. But it seemed to be trying to wrap it’s way around her head in such a dizzying way, that she almost missed the sound of the door slamming and her mother running screaming her name shrilly. The woman was covered in blood, her slinky tight dress ripped and torn. A wild look across her face. Her mother had never quite been all there in her head, but this new expression was startling.

“What happe-” she was cut off.

“IT’S YOURS. Zeren, it’s yours! Take it!” her mother screamed as she crossed the room. She snatched an amulet on a chain off from around her head and grabbed Zeren’s arm. “Do you accept it?”

Zeren nodded. “Yes, but what’s-”

Her mother quickly draped the amulet around Zeren’s neck. “It’s yours. This is yours. Your inheritance. You are the one, not me. Not me.” she rambled on. The door opened again, but this time closing with a soft click. Zeren’s Uncle stood there. An equally unexplained look on his face, as he eyed his sister who was quickly shoving Zeren to the side and pointing at her. “It’s HERS! She accepted it!”

“What is going [i]on[/i]?” Zeren asked again. Her hands picking up the amulet and taking a better looked at it. She could feel a shiver down her spine. A strange mix of revulsion and curiosity. Her mother had always wore it, but Zeren had never thought to ask what it was.

Uncle crossed the room, taking Zeren by the shoulders. He smiled, but it was such a twisted look it left her feeling a little off kilter. “He’s coming. Coming now for us. We’ll all be together…!”

The door crashed open, wood splintering in every direction and taking out part of the wall with it. Misshapen bodies poured in as Zeren’s mother continued screaming, almost laughing hysterically. “IT’S HER! HER! I AM NOT THE ONE! N-NO…! IT’S NOT ME~!” Blood splattered everywhere when she was lept on, still screaming her strangled cries as they ravished and ripped her body.

Zeren’s uncle had released her, laughing himself. “Come for us! Take us to him. Take us!” He too was lept on, without even the sense to be afraid when his arm was tore right out of his shoulder. At sight of Zeren their movements slowed. Heads tilting as the inched forward. She backed away, nearly stumbling over the furniture. Heart pounding in her chest.

On impulse and running on pure auto-pilot, Zeren ran. The door was blocked, so she hit the window at full speed. The glass cracked and shattered, leaving her falling several feet before she hit the ground with a roll and kept rolling until she was out in the middle of the road. Covered in cuts and broken glass, Zeren pushed herself up on her elbows only to find the streets riddled with those monsters. People running and screaming in terror in every direction.

Zeren climbed to her feet and ran towards the sea, instinct hissing that it would be the only safe place.


In the Pursuit of a Prophecy

“This is not a wise idea, child. The prophecy will come to pass of it’s own volition.”

“When has waiting for a prophecy to happen EVER helped anyone. I am going to circumvent the problem before it starts. [i]That[/i] is the wise thing to do.”

“You tempt fate with your arrogance, little witch. It will be your downfall if you do not tread lightly.”

“Spare me your lectures, Aganeise. You tell me I tempt fate by having raisins in my oatmeal. I am not changing my mind.”

Aganeise, draped in a worn cloak that must have been as old as she was, scowled at the younger witch. She fussed with the folds primly, that bittered insulted look coming across her face in a twist of puckered wrinkles. “Raisins are the creation of evil. Still, to interfere with prophecy comes at a great price. I beg you not to go.”

Slipping a bag on to her shoulder, the younger woman was close to exasperation. Sylvia DuBlanc held little stock in prophecy. Not because she didn’t [i]believe[/i] in it, because she did. It was just that pesky ‘let it come to pass’ nonsense that always pissed her off. What was the use of having prophecies if you weren’t able to change their outcome? The rules and traditions of elderly witches were often useless.

“Woman, we have argued this to the point of pure insanity. I am going. And when I return a great evil will be destroyed and will not have had a chance to step on to our world. Now give me my broom.” Sylvia snatched the broom from Aganeise’s hands.

To create a portal to another world took a great deal of magical concentration. A circle drawn of chalk on the floor, with rune sigils so intricate that the lines had taken her three hours just to draw up. That was quite an accomplishment with an old hag complaining on your heels. The incantation itself was just as intricate. It required a word for each line, and summon for every symbol. Once the phrasing was through, the entire room lit up with a flash. A tear right through the fabric of space appeared before them. Through the opening a grouping of trees could be seen.

“I’ll be back in three days at most, Aganeise. Don’t worry.”

And with that final word, Sylvia stepped through the portal in to another world.



After Belial’s initial escape from the Abyss.

Another village. Another pauper, muddy village in France; centuries, ages seemingly had scurried between his fingers and he continued alive in his continuous errand. The thirteen century was just like the others – a never ending story of passions and barbarousness. A cart stumbled on the muddy road, causing scattered chicken to run out of its way; the market was mildly visited at the time; it would be no wonder very few villagers had money to buy or properties to trade. The tall figure clad in a dark cloak spied the surroundings from his hood. Silver eyes shimmered in the dark beneath the shelter of the hood.

A band of children beggars skittered among the peasants and beasts, trying to catch a terrified chicken; one of them tripped and bumped into the tall silent figure in its dark cloak, next to a booth. The little boy gazed up and gawked at the face he saw beneath the hood; it took him a couple seconds to react and raise a pleading hand to beg this merchant – for the cloak was of a good thick, warm fabric and he certainly looked like a well-fed one. The man hesitated, then gave the child a silver piece.

“Go away”, he murmured. His exquisite voice was a murmur of waters. The child stared and finally left.

Aramis bit his lip. He had to be specially careful around small children – poor innocent creatures. Small children under six years old could still be innocent enough to see through the inhuman veils and see his angelic nature. At least they would only get curious at the sad angel they could see, and sometimes be brave enough to try and touch his wings – and pull the feathers at the worst.

Aramis left the side of the booth and wandered across the muddy roads and trails of the village market. A medieval castle – a mere tower on a hill with a manor, a pit and a wall of wood and stone – cast an indifferent shadow from its height on the squalid village. Aramis cast a look over his shoulder. The little beggars had been following him for a while now. They peeped at him from behind some barrels with wide open eyes.

“You’d better hold fast to your pouch of money, m’sieur”, a smiling voice said. Aramis cast a rather cold glance at the man who addressed him: a thin man in a brown robe. He nodded in greeting.

“Dominus Vobiscum”, the monk saluted. Aramis had a little start.

“Et cum spiritu tuo”, he replied after a tense moment. The monk sensed something strange and tried to gaze into the hood but Aramis moved slightly, making it difficult to see his face.

“Do you need any help, m’sieur?”

“No. Thank you”, Aramis curtly replied. The monk didn’t leave, however. Aramis clasped a gloved hand on his cloak…

//He remembered when disaster struck and the Ritual failed. He had found himself in an unbearable pain, being two instead of one; one filled with hatred and Dark, the other filled with the burning emotion he had tried to tear from his soul and Light; the worst abomination he could have ever dreamed. But it was no dream, not even a nightmare he could wake up from; it was his very own Hell. He had fought Himself. Long both battled, trying to annihilate each other till they came to the bitter realization that they were not separate enough to survive each other. Belial was probably no more…

His opposite had abandoned him. Long they wandered that night in opposite directions, trying to scape from this terrible reality that had stricken them, but despite whatever they did, they were inexorably bound to each other: the angel and the demon. The angel got lost in a marshland near a river; wounded and exhausted, he collapsed and lost track of the world. When he woke up, he was in such a state of shock he could not utter a word for days. A group of monks found him. Taking him for a lost, robbed traveler, the monks took him to their monastery and nursed him back to health. Despite the veil, the monks eventually came to suspect they had found an angel in the marshlands…

But then the demon came back to fetch him.//

“I am alright, good man. Don’t trouble yourself about me”.

The monk had an ironic smile.

“You have been wandering aimlessly, m’sieur. The children have taken quite an interest on you. May I suggest you go back to your lodgings, or perhaps set for a humble breakfast with me? You look quite like a foreigner”. The monk was smiling. Suddenly his friendly gaze turned cautious. “Are you a guest to the vavasour?”

“No”, Aramis said.

Vraiment?” The monk smiled again. “Follow me, m’sieur”.

“I have not said yet if I accepted or not”, Aramis sharply said. “I am a stranger to you – and I don’t know you either”.

“A very healthy attitude, no doubt”, the monk laughed. “But breakfast for free it’s not something to refuse”.

Aramis smirked.

“Monk, honestly… I doubt you have money to waste on me; besides, if we’d bet on whose bag is heavier I believe I’d win”.

“My Rule forbids me to bet”, the monk retorted. He smiled again. “You look pretty poor to me”.

Aramis gasped. In a sense, perhaps he was poor. He lacked the inner peace this man had. His clothes were richer, but in a way this man was right – and maybe this monk was too smart for his own good.

“I am not your charity quota of the day”.

“Then follow me”, the monk said with a grin, leading the way. Aramis blinked, but didn’t move. The monk turned.

“You are lagging”, he said.

Aramis raised an eyebrow, but finally complied. “I warn you, I am not a religious man”, he told the monk once he caught up with him.

“We’ll see about that”, the monk said with a smile.

* * * * * * * * * *

The light shone brightly on the river waters; the reflections hurt the eyes. By the shore, laying lazily on a cape spread on the grass in the shade of a tree, a tall, handsome man with long, raven black hair watched the skies between the branches. He stretched out and sighed in satisfaction. Suddenly a bird that had been chirping in the branches let fall a little bird deed. The man dodged just on time.

“Cursed little beast!” He glared at the bird and the small creature dropped dead. The man wiped off the drop from the cape with the bird’s tail and tossed the dead body into the river.

“Drats. Back already?” He cast a displeased glance at the man that had silently walked by. “Talking to humans again?”

“Yes, again”, Aramis coolly replied. He had had the impulse to laugh when he saw what had happened, but he cast the other a reproachful look when he saw what the other had done. “Taking things out on songbirds? Now that’s pathetic, brother”.
“For your own good, I will ignore your words”.

Aramis frowned.

“I found out some things about this place. That in the end is what you wanted, isn’t it?” Aramis crossed his arms.

“Let us leave this place”.

“Not yet. Don’t play the innocent, Aramis. You wanted to catch my interest; well I’m interested now”.

He cast a dark, yet playful smile at him. They were in appearance, twins: they looked just alike, exact to the last detail. Both beautiful, of noble bearing; tall and strong with broad shoulders, yet a slender build. Silver eyes shone between long, thick, black eyelashes; long, lustrous raven black hair fell down their backs. “Who might their demon Lord be?”

“I don’t know yet”.

With an agile movement, the demon sprang back on his feet. He lazily stretched out and yawned.

“The time is up for some distraction. Let us hunt and destroy”.

Aramis eyed his brother. That’s what they called each other: brother. They also passed as brothers to the human world.

“Why are you looking at me like that? Didn’t we belong in the Order of Destruction?” He had a charming smile. Aramis pursed his lip disdainfully. “It’s your turn, Angel. I want to… study things in the village some more”.

Angel frowned darkly.

“Alright. See you…” Angel grinned and walked away; soon he disappeared among the trees in direction to the castle.

* * * * * * * * * *

The ‘castle’ rose before him, not too far away. A mocking smile slid upon Angel’s sensuous lips. The place was rather an excuse of luxury in the desolated french countryside; it looked improvised and poorly executed. The pit was filled with dirty, turbid waters; a bridge of tree trunks laid from one shore to the other. The sturdy donjon rose four stories, surrounded by the manor and stables, a courtyard and servants departments. The wall was built out of stones and wood – most rustic. Angel sat on the grass and took a deep breath, enjoying the cold autumn air. He had entertained himself exploring the surroundings; the place that had interested him the most was not the castle, though. The most interesting place was a stone house on a hilltop not too far away which overlooked both the castle and the pauperized village. A small forested area surrounded the hilltop. Angel had not entered the forest; from the outside, his demonic senses caught enough information for the moment. The house was a place of Dark cults, presided by a ‘local demon’, as he liked to call them. There were several shallow tombs, with their smell of twisted death and torture. By the state of the dark energies, the cult had took place for several centuries by now, but it had a renovated strength. Angel knew the source was a new Celebrant, and he was after her trail. The scent led to the castle.

By the information Aramis had collected, Angel already knew some details. The lord was a vavasour, who collected the usual taxes to the villagers for protection. At least the villagers were tenants, but free. The rest of the population wore iron collars with their name and the lord’s name. The vavasour had a son and a daughter. Angel caressed the grass with his fingers, then plucked a leaf off the ground. The monk had been kind enough to warn Aramis about the vavasour. Angel smiled to himself, then laid down. He shook some leaves off his hair and yawned. It would still take some hours till nightfall.

* * * * * * * * * *

Nightfall. The dark came from the West, like a immense stain of china ink; quickly covering the skies, it tainted the living forms of the forest and small lights lit in the castle windows and battlements. The village looked very small and defenseless, almost imperceptible in the deep dark. Angel woke up little after nightfall. He had veiled his own presence so well not even another demon would be able to perceive him, even if he’d stumble over his body. There were lights in the forest, climbing the hill. Angel sprang back to his feet and swiftly followed them.

* * * * * * * * * *

In the village, Aramis’s gaze pierced the dark from a humble house’s window. He had taken his own position, knowing in advanced the next step. The monk had offered Aramis to share his lodgings with him, in a small house occupied by a village family. The family had a crippled child, and they had special reasons to offer shelter to the monk. The dark cult kidnapped crippled persons and young maidens; those who they kidnapped were never seen again. Aramis knew well what could have happened to them, but he kept his mouth shut. The monk had a feeling about his guest and Aramis knew it; he did not reveal much about himself, though. No more than the necessary to be considered of help.

Aramis had went back to the village after parting with Angel to see the monk. He accompanied the man in his daily duties, examining the village and looking for a proper place to retreat and hide. In the evening, they visited another family with an ill child. The monk was requested to bless the child – it was a common medieval belief that all sickness was work of demonic forces. Aramis stood in a corner of the room as the monk proceeded to bless the child. Without a word or movement, Aramis used his angelic power to enhance the monk’s power of Light; the child was miraculously cured. The family was overjoyed, but the monk turned and carefully eyed his newly found friend. He did perceive the Light came from that corner.

Aramis smiled faintly.

“That was remarkable”, he murmured.

“Indeed”, the monk said. “And you say you’re not a religious man?”

“I am not”, Aramis replied. “But I see you are”.

The monk stood before him.

“May I thank you?”

“I did nothing to deserve your gratefulness”, Aramis said with wide eyes. He smiled. “I’ve just watched you”.

“Are you here to watch over things?”

“In a way”.

“Very well”, the monk murmured, thoughtful. “I can’t ask you to stay. But will you?”

“I’d be glad to”.

So Aramis stayed with the monk.

* * * * * * * * * *

The stone house on the hilltop. Midnight arrived and the dark cult begun. Black and red candles were lit and strange chants broke the silence. People in black robes joined hands round an oblong table, presided by a huge black cat; behind the animal, a woman in a red dress conducted the ceremony. The victim was laid down on the altar and forced to drink three liquors of gold, black and red substances to cause her heart to collapse. The sobbing and screaming echoed in the vaulted ceiling. A ritual knife shone in the priestess’ hand. Suddenly, the door and every single window slammed open; the candles writhed and their light dimmed. A chilling wind swirled inside the room and a dark ominous shadow rose before them, tall to the ceiling; silver eyes shimmered in it with a mocking evil joy. The cat shrieked in terror and jerked back; when the woman tried to hold it the feline scratched her, causing her to scream; confusion and panic seized the attendees in black robes. The shadow extended a hand and the victim died; every candle in the room lit with unholy fire, turning into a fire thrower; fire shot in all directions, setting many attendees on fire. The cat took another form; a demon rose in its place but it was clear the invasive power overwhelmed him. The fight did not last long; the lesser demon flew into the night, abandoning his followers. The shadow grew; a terrible laughter shook the walls. A few were allowed to escape. The priestess stared in shock and terror as the evil power numbed her senses; the ceiling cracked and fire reduced the very stones to ashes. In a few minutes, the house was only ruins. The woman ran into the forest; looking back, she saw a huge black wolf emerge from the ruins. The animal snarled, silver eyes shining in the dark; it launched itself after her. The woman screamed and ran; the wolf chased her across the forest and down hill. The terrified woman ran for dear life in the cold mist; the demon in the shape of a wolf forced her to run across the wilderness till her robes were reduced to rags and her body was covered in blood from the scratches of thorns and rocks; he chased her mercilessly and finally left her reach the portals of the castle.

The wolf howled. It was not a mere beast. His howl was mocking, cruel and triumphant. The woman stumbled across the bridge; when the first ray of dawn pierced the skies and touched the enormous beast, it vanished like an illusion. The priestess scurried inside the castle and hid.

The sun was about to rise. Outside, Angel shook with mocking laughter and waited. A small party left the castle: it was the vavasour’s son and his hunt pack. The wolf retreated to the forest and sat in the first line of trees, howling. The young noble set after him immediately with his hounds. The wolf led them to the depths of the forest; none of them returned alive.

* * * * * * * * * *

Evening. Mourn had fallen on the vavasour’s castle. A few hours earlier, a nobleman no one had seen before had rode into the castle carrying the lord’s dead son. His body was barely together, due to the attack of a wolf, which was said to have killed the whole pack of half-wolf hounds. The servants prepared the body for the vigil and the burial the next day. The vavasour asked the nobleman to stay for the ceremonies, and the man agreed. It was a tall, handsome man with raven-black hair and silver eyes; his appearance spoke of a well-stated, wealthy noble.

The vavasour daughter had excused herself all day; she was indisposed due to the terrible news. When she came to the chapel to the vigil, she was shocked to see the man his father praised so much had piercing silver eyes she had seen before; she had, for she was the priestess Angel had tormented the night before.

The priestess was terrified. She had planned a new sacrifice for the night, to invoke a demon to her aid. Her familiar had fled and had not returned. She had sent her remaining followers to fetch a new victim, and now she found her attacker in her very house; needless to say it was to her evident he was also her brother’s slayer. But why? Maybe she had neglected or offended higher powers? He had cast some spell on her father; the old man seemed specially fond of him, as if the noble were a long time lost friend. He had dinner with the family that night; his dark, charming smile pierced her heart.

In the village, the news had spread quickly. Smoke still rose from the hilltop in the forest; it was said the vavasour’s son had been killed by the demon the nobles adored, for the villagers were convinced the nobles adored a Devil and they were responsible for the killings and kidnaps. The monk was requested to go to the castle for the vigil and the funeral, which would take place next morning. The monk was however not convinced that the cult had disappeared and he feared for the life of the crippled child.

Aramis was still in the house; he had not gone out all day long, and the monk was certain he had some reason to act like this; besides it gave him some tranquility to know Aramis was in the house with the mother and the crippled child. When the monk returned in the evening, before the vavasour’s messenger arrived, he found Aramis sitting outside the door in a rustic bench, next to a bunch of labor tools the father had reclined on the wall.

“Enjoying the view?”, he asked him. Aramis smiled.

“The world is a nice view”, he replied. The monk sat beside him.

“What do you like best about the world?”

“You ask me that as if I didn’t belong in the world”, Aramis said with a snigger. “I’ve heard monks don’t belong in the world, though – and I am not a monk!”

The monk laughed.

“Maybe. You have not answered my question, though”.

Aramis bit his lip.

“Let’s say… I like the view”.

“I don’t like it”, the monk said with a sigh. “The people suffer”.

“Change that, then”.


“You have your Rule. Besides, I have no answer for that question”.

The monk watched him for a long instant.

“You are not happy, either”.

Aramis forced a smile.

“Who is?”

The monk blinked.

“Happiness comes from within. You decide if you want to be happy; it’s a choice. Sin binds the hearts of men to unhappiness”.

Aramis bit his lip.

“There are worse bounds…” He rose his eyes. A group of armed, masked men appeared, walking to the house. They stopped at a short distance.

“Give us the child named Etienne”, they demanded. The monk was about to rise, but Aramis laid his hand on his shoulder.

“Please, go inside”, he murmured. The monk stared briefly, then complied. Aramis reached out and grabbed a scythe that was leaning against the wall next to him, and calmly rose.

“Resistance is futile”, the men warned him.

Aramis cast a cold glance upon them.
“Indeed, it is”, he darkly said, wielding the scythe with inhuman skill. The men attacked with fury; Aramis killed them all. Not a bruise, nor even a slight cut showed on him afterwards. This the monk could clearly see. The mother wanted to flee with her child to the fields, where her husband worked; Aramis agreed. Aramis and the monk hid the bodies behind some barrels. Aramis carried the child to take him and his mother to the fields. A messenger came from the castle when they were still inside, with the lord’s request to have the monk’s religious services. The monk agreed.

“Are you sure?”, Aramis asked.


Aramis was not surprised.

“You are a brave man”, he told him. “Maybe someday we’ll meet again”.

The monk smiled.

“Maybe we will. Dominus Vobiscum”.

Aramis smiled but this time he did not reply. Quickly Aramis, the mother and child left to the fields; the monk left to the castle.

* * * * * * * * * *

Angel tasted a goblet of wine and smiled to himself. Aramis had used the bait and killed the remaining followers of the cult, as planned – at least the fanatics. The others had surely deserted. His presence had scared away the lesser demons that lurked in the countryside and he could plan to stay for while – as long as it was fun. This had been too easy, though; that was the only spot in his mirror. What an un resourceful woman the vavasour daughter was! She did not provide much entertainment.

The priestess waited in vain for news from her followers. They had seemingly disappeared; maybe this demon led a group of his kin he sent to kill her followers? Without her Familiar, she was helpless in his presence. Irritated, she glanced across the table; he was there having dinner as if nothing else in the world concerned to him. After the austere dinner, the women and the hired mourners joined the vigil over the dead man in the chapel. The chapel in question was a small, vaulted room with a small altar and a few benches; barely an oratory. It was pretty packed with the corpse and the hired mourners, the smell of incense and the smoke from candles, barely leaving space for those who actually knew the dead one. The praying and crying weighed on the spirits. The monk was already there, annoyed at the hired mourners and directing the prayers. He was startled to see someone he recognized as Aramis standing in the chapel door. However, that malevolent air the man had to him was completely different from the gentle sadness of Aramis.
Angel watched the monk with a sly smile; he didn’t enter the chapel. He looked up. Standing in a window sill high on the stonewall of the chapel, Aramis looked back at him. Invisible to human eyes, the angel had wrapped his huge wings around his body. Angel turned around and walked down the archway, back to the manor halls.
A silent shadow followed his footsteps. Angel turned around and smirked. His eyes shimmered strangely in the dark.

“Shadowlord”, a female voice spoke. “What’s been my failure? How did I offend you?”

Angel narrowed his eyes, amused.

“Is that all?”, he asked. “I am not here to answer your questions”.

The priestess walked closer.

“Why do you strike me? I am your humble servant. All this province could adore you as its god, such as you deserve to be called. The lesser creatures of the Dark fear you greatly; none of them would dare to oppose you”.

Angel rose his hand and slid his fingers beneath her chin. His touch was warm; her skin was cold.

“Lovely Temptress”, he softly said. “I can see you want your little power back to you. I own it now; I don’t need you to self-proclaim myself a god. I means nothing to me. I ask you”, Angel smiled darkly, “what do you still own that could interest me?”

The woman paled.

“I do not fear to lose my soul”.

“You do not fear?” A mocking smile slid upon the demon’s lips. “Do you value your own soul so low? Why then would it interest me?”

His voice was mesmerizing, hypnotic. The priestess flinched. She could perceive his power now; she felt a bottomless pit open beneath her feet. The power of this Demon had no comparison to the other demons she had ever summoned – and yet, she knew he was only letting her feel a tiny part of his power to mock her, to terrorize her.

She closed her eyes. His hand slid down her throat, drawing the outline of her body; the power flowing from his fingers sent waves of dark ecstasy through her flesh. His hand slid inside her dress; the woman’s lips opened. The Demon kissed her; a burning pleasure, a maddening touch. The ecstasy was painful, unbearable. She heard distant drums, the clash of weapons and battle calls; myriads of demons chanting in strange tongues – they shouted a name in their battle cries, a name she recognized. She opened her eyes, a scream scratching her entrails, fighting to scape from her throat.

He was gone.

The priestess stood there in the empty archway, dumb, petrified.
“Not to you… I won’t give you my soul!”, she cried out. “Not to you!”

* * * * * * * * * *

The priestess ran to her sanctórum, a hidden vault beneath the castle. She rushed to her books and scrolls, trying to find in her long lists a single entity that could stand against this horror that had set quarters in her house; the Necromancer Himself, whom other powers had named Belial.

* * * * * * * * * *

The night aged. The village was dark and silent. The castle was silent but watchful; midnight arrived and passed. From the tall window sill in the stone wall, Aramis watched the humans in the chapel. His angelic nature allowed him to endure the Holy energies, unlike the demon side of him. Aramis hugged himself, his wings wrapped around him. Angel had already taken the vavasour’s son’s soul; he had collected quite a few since their arrival. That made watching the humans efforts to get divine indulgence for this dead man disturbing.

Aramis peered into the Night. No angels of death had arrived – at least, he hadn’t sensed any. The dark of the night sky, with the constellations shining like gems embedded in the black and blue immensity reminded him of the eyes of Azrael, the Archangel of Death and Destruction. He allowed himself a few minutes of daydreaming – Angel was away for now and Aramis could find some solace in his cherished memories. These were a secret, though. Not even Azrael herself knew about his feelings… Aramis sighed in pain and closed his eyes. The love was a curse to him. He had even tried to tear the love from his soul with the aid of his majicks… He failed. Miserably.

The monk rose his head. He was almost certain he had heard a familiar sigh, which strongly reminded him of Aramis. Where could he be by now? What Aramis was? A man, a gifted man? An spirit, maybe even an angel? Aramis’ most remarkable feature was his sadness, despite his holy gift. What could make an angel sad? The monk had no answer for this.

From the high window sill, Aramis looked down at the monk. He guessed he’d miss the man. It would be no good to talk to him again; Aramis knew that would be dangerous, as much as for the man as for himself. Aramis sighed and picked at one of his feathers.

He looked down again. Angel was coming… Aramis bit his lip. Why right now?

Angel appeared in the threshold to the chapel. He was somewhat bored and Aramis’ memories had disturbed him; he suddenly had the urge to start removing the holy energies out if the place – and why not to start where he was at the time? Angel waved his hand and the humans dozed, falling into a deep, dreamless sleep. The monk stared with a start as the people began to drop from their seats. Angel walked down the aisle to where the monk stood. The man instinctively clasped his crucifix.

//So different… It can’t be him!//

“Who are you?”, he demanded. “Identify yourself, man or spirit!”

Aramis leapt from the window sill and landed beside the monk with a hushed sound of huge, feathery wings, still invisible to human eyes.

“Not him”, he curtly said. He made himself visible in his human form.

The monk let out an exclamation. They were like two drops alike! However… opposite! Angel was unpleasantly surprised.

“He is no different from the others; besides, he’s a consecrated man – further reason to destroy him”.

“I said not him”.

Angel smirked.

“Stop me, then”.

Aramis bit his lip. Still startled, the monk forced a smile.

“You can’t fight my battles, my friend”.

Friend?” Angel was amused. “What’s this new eccentricity?”

“Oh yes, I can – specially this one”, Aramis replied. “You don’t understand, and I’m happy you don’t. Go, leave this accursed land as fast as you can. There’s still time”.

Eh bien! I’m not going anywhere”, the monk retorted. Aramis cast him a rather comic dismayed look at his stubbornness. Angel laughed, half amused, half angry.

“A spirit of quality at last. I was starting to believe they had gone extinct”. He clasped his hand and the Staff of Simara appeared in it. Aramis stood between them, resolute; in his hand appeared a second version of the Staff. The monk rose his crucifix and opened his mouth to start an exorcism prayer when suddenly a large explosion shook the chamber, causing a light drizzle of dust from the tall vaulted ceiling. Angel and Aramis stopped.

“What the Hell was that?”

A second explosion was heard and the ground shook. It seemed like the source was underground.

“Blasted witch”, Angel murmured. He unfurled his wings and flew outside. The monk turned to Aramis, but Aramis didn’t look at him; he ran out of the chapel, following Angel.

* * * * * * * * * *

The ground shook with another explosion. The manor cracked open, like if its walls were as fragile as eggshells; the roof sank and a huge dark from rose from the depths of the ruins, wearing a cloak of dark fire. The shadow giggled heavily. “Bliol”, a guttural voice said. “Long ages have passed since the Battles”. He was talking to Angel, then suddenly spotted Aramis, too. “What the Hell…?”

Angel forced a smile.

“It’s long to explain. I won’t take the work to explain it to you, anyway”.

Aramis dropped his human appearance and unfurled his wings. The giant creature took a huge beam from the ruins around him and tried to knock Aramis with it; Aramis dodged it easily. Angel traced a sigil in the air, then used the Staff to shoot a beam of dark energies to the giant. Aramis landed and stomped his Staff on the ground, chanting words of Destruction; the stone walls closed round the legs of the giant like huge stone hands, holding fast to him. The giant delivered several bolts of black fire at Aramis, but Angel shifted the Staff into the Scythe and deflected the bolts, spinning the Scythe. The giant chanted a spell. The air seemed to swirl and try to crush Angel; Aramis held his hands up and sent a beam of white energies to the chest of the giant; he screamed, interrupting his chant. Angel flipped in his fall, landing on his feet. He launched himself into the air, attacking the giant with the Scythe. The giant counterattacked cracking a fire whip; a storm rolled in the night sky, dark clouds surrounding them, cracking with unnatural lightning bolts. Aramis unfurled his wings and joined the air battle; the spell held fast to the giant’s legs, difficulting his movements. Angel and Aramis combined weapons and spells to fight; the whip caught Aramis’ foot and slammed him against the ground; Angel’s senses went numb for a couple seconds and the giant’s fist missed him for little; Angel quickly recovered and spun the scythe, severing the limb. He giant’s howl rang, followed by thunder. Aramis cried in terrible pain; the whip burned him with demonic ferocity – he chanted a spell as the giant in pain shook the whip, sending himself free from the demonic weapon; Angel redoubled his attack, summoning the evil power under his command. Aramis landed with a thud, but still rose and went back into the air. He joined Angel’s chant. The giant began a spell of his own, but the pain for the severed limb cut his concentration; Angel and Aramis combined their power in a single beam of Destruction, piercing the giant’s neck.

There was a large thunder and an implosion. The headless body sank through the ruins, back to the entrails of the Earth, along with part of the castle. The storm roared above, but not a single water drop fell. Concealed by Belial’s power, the majicks were canalized to the center of the implosion till only half of the castle remained in place. The tower mysteriously survived, as well as the castle’s Wall and the pit. Half the manor, the courtyard and stables were gone, seemingly to nowhere. Even the hill seemed to have shrunk.

Aramis let himself drop to the ground, landing softly on one foot. He folded his wings and touched the cracks in his armor at his ankle. Directing his energies to heal his ankle, he momentaneously turned visible to human eyes. Angel landed beside him, dropping as well his invisibility.

Anyway, who’d see them.

“I was starting to like the place”.

“Don’t speak nonsense – you hated the buildings’ architecture”, Aramis grumbled.

Angel shrugged.

“Anyway, it’s gone. The witch died too – just when she was turning interesting. I can’t believe I followed you here – it’s been disappointing”.

Aramis sighed.

“Whatever. I’ve never tried to entertain you”.

Angel shifted his balance.

“Are you alright?”

“Yes”, Aramis murmured. “It’ll heal soon”.

“Then let us go before unwanted attention arrives – this time you will follow me”.

Angel took flight. Aramis unfurled his wings to follow.

“I understand now… I think”.

Aramis turned with a start. The monk was watching him.

“I warned you to go away…”

“The chapel’s still standing; at least the people there survived…” The monk watched him with narrow eyes. “Do you care about that?”

Aramis did not reply. The monk had a small smile.

“I assure you, you don’t understand…”, Aramis began, but the monk rose his hand, cutting his words.

“You are a Fallen. What’s so hard to understand about that? You are a fallen angel, aren’t you?”

Aramis paled.

“Yes. It’s not hard to understand”. He turned and spread his wings.

“You are a Fallen”, the monk said. “But you are still an angel. Don’t follow him; seek redemption. The Mercy of God is infinite – that’s beyond doubt”.

Aramis’ throat closed and his eyes filled. After a few seconds, he was able to speak again.

“I must follow. This bound I cannot break; it’s too strong for me. There’s nothing left for me – no one to turn to. But you shouldn’t listen to me, if you hold your soul dear. I…” Aramis smiled faintly at the monk, “I thank you for this day. I won’t forget you… but I don’t know your name. Monks change their names…”

“I’ve not thought about my name in years”, the monk said.

Aramis nodded slowly and turned again to leave.

“My name is Táncrede”.

Aramis bit his lip and opened his wings.

“What is yours?”, the monk asked. Aramis took a deep breath. Tears were already running down his cheeks.

“I am Belial”, he murmured. He took flight, turning invisible to human eyes.
Quickly he left the hills back and caught up with Angel as the landscape ran beneath them.

//How wonderful. You give our name to a priest! It’ll be ridiculous if he prays for us – what are the others going to say!//

Aramis did not reply.



After the Fall, before the first Seal of the Abyss was casted by the Angelic Host. I don’t know if this is PG13 – I find it stronger than that… but it’s not as strong as “18 and up” either e.e;

Azazel protected his sensitive bronze eyes from the glare of the sulphurous waters of Stigia, one of the many poisonous water bodies in the Abyss, with a pale, beautiful hand. The crystal-greenish waters formed waves of oily texture. A lesser demon could be burn to death by their acidic action, but to him, they only were a harmless, repulsive gathering of filthy liquid. Azazel bit his lip slightly as he hopped from rock to rock by the lake shore, always landing first and securely on his goat hoof after every agile and precise leap. He had some of his Father’s grace but his own beauty was distorted and twisted, fascinating and horrible at the same time.

Azazel fondly patted a long object he carried in his arms, wrapped in a black brocade cloth. He hopped off the last large rock and onto the white sand below, then limped his way up a narrow trail through a dry landscape of burnt trees. His left foot was a goat hoof, while his right foot was of perfect angelic shape and beauty; the impaired condition forced him to limp, yet he daily practiced to overcome this limitation and make his walking more regular. Azazel rubbed his nose and swatted off an annoying fly. He percieved more humming and a familiar stench. Azazel turned his head and saw white fingers coming out of the sand ahead.

A dead demoness was half-buried in the sand by the wind, her dead body a torn carcass yet a strange fixed smile showed on her decayed face. These were the rests of Beelzebub’s work; Azazel could read the signs very well by now. The young demon stared at the dead demoness. All of Beelzebub’s victims had similar facial features; he couldn’t help but to notice this. Green and blue flies feasted on the cadaver. Undaunted, Azazel turned away and continued across the dry lands, holding tightly onto his wrapped object.

After a few minutes, he reached a small camp custodied by armored Fallen in black robes. Rich tents and standards waved in the dry, bitter wind. Azazel walked to the gate and the guards bowed to him. Azazel frowned in impatience and entered the camp. He knew well they were aware of his presence before he came into view. Azazel walked straight to a red-haired Legion Commander in a bronze armor with emerald ivy leaves. The read-haired Fallen bowed lightly.

“Lord Azazel”.

“Mastema. Where’s my Teacher?”, Azazel asked without much ceremonies. Mastema motioned to one of the tents. They all looked exactly the same, except for the Sigil of their owner; even Belial Archdemon’s tent was no different. Azazel headed to the tent and entered.


“Teacher”, Azazel greeted.

Belial watched him without a word. Of course he sensed Azazel coming long ago and he wasn’t surprised to see him, but he wasn’t glad nor annoyed by his visit. Azazel casted him a speculative look that made him look very much like his Father; but the red flame-like mark across his left eye broke the effect.

“I’ve completed my sword, except for one detail”, Azazel said.

Belial pulled a small table and Azazel laid his package on it, carefully proceeding to unwrap the rich black brocade cloth, revealing a black blade with a golden handle and red gems. Azazel’s fingers touched the carefully woven sigils etched by magic on the polished surface and Belial had a small shiver he carefully hid from the young demon. Azazel was absorbed in contemplation of his masterpiece. Belial carefully checked all details on the demonic weapon and he acknowledged it was a work of art. Disturbing for such a young being. Azazel had inherited Lucifer’s intelligence, yet he was still a pale and twisted reflection of his Father.

Azazel smiled, for he was still able of smiling.

“You promised to teach me Consecration, if I archieved this”.

Belial nodded.

“I will teach you”, he admitted. “It’s a fine piece, and you’ve made a good interpretation of your own Elements into the blade. Remember you must allow the weapon to grow with you; I will teach you the whole Consecration process, but you must remember not to fix the blade into a single stage. Let it grow with you as your own power grows with experience and age”.

Azazel stared at the blade, his fingers still caressing it; perfect angelic fingers on his left hand, his right hand a red claw with black sharp talons.

“I could be as powerful as He is”, he muttered. Belial looked at him and did not reply.


After leaving the the camp of the Necromancer’s Legions, Azazel returned to the Fortress of the Gate – his usual residence. Azazel held tightly onto his sword, again wrapped up in the black brocade cloth as he walked down a long, sumptuous hall; he could not yet percieve his Father’s presence, but Belial and his Legions had returned with the Prince of Darkness – that wasn’t hard to say. Lucifer had led a long campaign against the Heavenly Armies, forcing them to the West of the Garden. Now he was back in the Abyss, and it was said an important battle was coming closer; one that could mark the end of the War.

Lucifer had not taken his son along this time. Azazel was both resentful and glad for being left behind; resentful because he was denied the place he deserved by blood right, but he was glad also… because his Father terrified him. Azazel couldn’t always control the deep fear the Prince of Darkness inspired to him; his terror towards his Father was so intense that he had to make a strong, conscious effort not to flee from his presence. Azazel was quite aware that his Father despised him, and from the very first day he was taken to Lucifer’s presence, Lucifer had marked Azazel’s face with a seal of Fire which never died out; a mark in the shape of a red flame from his eyebrow to his cheek across his left eye. It still burned his flesh and from time to time, it’d torment him. Azazel was too proud to let it show, but there were times when the pain was unbearable.

Azazel absently touched the red mark across his left eye; it was starting to pound softly. His impaired footsteps echoed in the hall, and he came to a halt before entering a side corridor. Moloch was coming down that corridor, wearing delicate and feminine robes. Her crimson eyes laid on him and the Archdemoness smiled faintly. Azazel left his eye alone, not to call Moloch’s attention on himself. She drew energies from pain – most of the time, pain she inflicted to others, and this was both her leisure and one of the sources of her powers.

“Greetings, Young One”, she said, smiling delicately with the air of a high lady speaking to a dear child, yet she always kept her distance, wary as all Fallen were. Her eyes met the wrapped object in Azazel’s arms. She didn’t question him, but she looked at him again. Azazel bit his lip. Part of him wanted to continue on his way and ignore her, but this wasn’t convenient – she was after all one of the Archdemons; someday he could need her alliance. Also, yet Azazel was in many ways too old for his age because his life had forced him to mature faster in many aspects, he was still a young creature and he had something important in his arms. Like the boy he really was, he felt the need to boast about his new archievement and get some praising. Also, he knew she wouldn’t turn him back because he was Lucifer’s son.

Azazel gave a small nod, making himself ready for some formalities to pet Moloch’s self-esteem before getting what he wanted. Demons and Fallen had so big egos these kind of things took precious time out of their lives, even among demonlords.

“Greetings, Moloch”, he replied, stopping before her; his red robes fluttered about his feet and the hoof shone darkly before disappearing from view again. “May your campaign have been successful”.
Azazel had never been too prodigal. He was kind of austere in his words and manner, with much thinking and little talk, which added something sinister to his usual malevolent air.

Moloch nodded.

“It has been, for the glory of your Father”, she courteously replied. “However, your sword was missed”.

Moloch was also familiar with such formalities and she skillfully used them for her own purposes. She knew Lucifer had ordered Azazel to stay in the Abyss, and she also knew the demonbloods saw in Azazel a version of the high Fallen more akin to them, and they identified with him – Azazel’s malevolence inspired them. However, that was not enough worth from the Prince of Darkness’s perspective; this she let seep out in two venomous phrases, but even these could hide a glimpse of sympathy. However that was the least thing Azazel would want from anyone; he loathed all Life and did not want anyone’s sympathy – that feeling was too close to compassion. Azazel catched the impact and prepared his reply.

“May the Leader of the Armies from the Abyss take down the Heaven Gates”, he said with half-closed eyes; from the Abyss sounded more like a demon than a former angel, but this was too subtle to be considered seditious; yet Azazel was Lucifer’s heir and Azazel certainly was from the Abyss. “There’ll be time and blood for my sword to shed; and I have completed my new weapon, which will also add to the glory of Hell”. An small, unwilling smile curled his lip, yet it was full of evil and malice mixed with an inner, private joy.

Moloch was surprised by the intensity of the fire dancing in the youth’s eyes; she carefully kept from showing her feeling. Azazel held up his sword for her to see and began unfolding the carefully plied brocade cloth.

“Good Eve, lord Azazel and lady Moloch”, a voice said; a silouhette stepped off the shadows of the corridor and materialized into a smiling Fallen. Azazel’s fingers stopped and he casted a displeased look upon the newcomer; Paimon was openly irritating, with a perennial grin on his feminine face. The fact that he always seemed to have a reason to smile was disturbing – at least, for Azazel. Paimon’s exaggerated courtesy was half mockery, half an indirect challenge – Azazel’s fingers went cold and his claws curved, going sharper if that was possible. Paimon frequently boasted in indirect ways about his position as one of Lucifer’s advisors, specially in presence of the Son. Yet Azazel had a higher rank as the Demon of Knowledge, it was a fact he didn’t have his Father’s preference.

“It’s an honor to meet you again”, Paimon nonchalantly said with a light bow as Azazel didn’t bother to reply and only glared in return, while Moloch simply watched the match. “You’ll be happy to know the Almighty Prince of Darkness graces Hell again with his presence…”

Then he took a deep bow. Azazel was momentaneously perplexed at this development, but he saw Moloch’s eyes were fixed on something behind him. She smiled with confident devotion and bowed her forehead, and Azazel’s blood drained from his face upon realization.

//He is behind me…//

A tight knot formed in Azazel’s stomach and he felt his hackles rise. His fingers and claws clasped on his half-unwrapped weapon; as usual, he had not percieved his Father’s presence coming, simply because Lucifer had the annoying habit of hiding his presence whenever he pleased with such perfection he was undetectable. Azazel desperately tried to control the need of falling on his knees and throwing up; he summoned his willpower to hide his fear from the others; hide it as he always did and strive not to fail to himself. He slowly turned to face the Devil Himself, his Father.

Lucifer smiled at Moloch and corresponded to her salute with a nod full of grace and dignity, then simple acknoledgement for Paimon. Then his gaze met his son. Lucifer’s bronze eyes were now half-closed, watching his son with a mix of contempt, slight annoyance and yet some curiosity. The Prince of Darkness wore rich black robes of severe elegance, for he Himself was already of extreme beauty and more ornament would’ve lost its meaning on him. Geheena, his renowned sword, hung at his side shining darkly as if watching them all with cunning gaze from its Master’s side. Azazel bit his lip and took a slow and light bow at Lucifer. When he straightened his back again, they looked strangely alike but at the same time, completely different. Physically, the resemblance was astounding, despite Azazel was still a youngster and his own beauty was distorted, while his Father’s was flawless. Lucifer’s eyes met the half-unwrapped weapon in Azazel’s arms. After what seemed an eternity to Azazel, Lucifer rose his hand and opened it, his palm upward; he wanted the sword. Azazel knew too well his silent request was a direct order never meant to be disobeyed. Still biting his lip, he pulled the black brocade cloth off the sword and presented the hilt to his Father; Azazel’s fingers were so cold now, the blade seemed warm at his contact. Lucifer’s long and perfect fingers closed round the hilt and Azazel instinctively took a step back, which proved to be just on time. Lucifer swung the sword, testing its balance, then he suddenly flourished it with impecable skill and Azazel paled further, his hands unconsciously clasping the black brocade cloth. Yet the sword was already consacrated to its owner, Lucifer’s sheer power could bend the will of the guardian spells without flinching. Azazel’s eyes widened as Lucifer moved away a few steps and suddenly threw the sword at him. Azazel didn’t have more time to react than the time his reflexes needed; dropping the black brocade cloth, he affirmed his feet in a defense stance and moved slightly to the side, catching the sword with his right hand by the handle as it hissed its way close to his body; he instinctively flourished it to modify the tremendous impulse the Devil had given to it and brought it to a fight stance. Then he stayed still, as if he had suddenly turned into stone.

Not a sound came from Moloch and Paimon, spectators in the background. A shiver ran up Azazel’s spine as beads of sweat formed on his forehead, dampening loose strands of his hair. The black brocade reached the floors. A smirk formed upon Lucifer’s lips and his eyes shimmered like infernal carbuncles.

“Interesting”, the Devil said. Azazel’s eyes widened and his pupils dilatated to a painful level as Lucifer drew Geheena out of its sheath and attacked him. The terrified young demon counterattacked on pure reflexes but in the second blow, his mind had already taken over. Azazel was sweating in his red robes; even in hard training under Beelzebub’s direction, he couldn’t help but to be fully aware that the Lord of the Flies wouldn’t actually kill him. However, with his Father the story was completely different; in the rare ocassions that his Father toyed with him like this, Azazel could feel his own death fluttering over his head. He did his best in the fight and both swords lit up in terrible flames; Azazel kept his lips tightly closed and Lucifer’s smirk never left his lips. Maybe it went more pronounced when Geheena broke through Azazel’s guard and pierced through his body.

Azazel gasped and his feet faltered, but he didn’t let go of his sword. Lucifer’s smirk changed to a soft and unpleasant smile as he placed his hand next to the wound and pulled Geheena out and off Azazel’s body. He hadn’t cut through any vital point, but still his Son bleeded profusely. Shocked, Azazel absently pressed his fist on the wound in an attempt to stop the blood flow.

Lucifer flicked the blood off Geheena and resheathed it.

“It’s a fine blade”, he coolly commented. “What’s its name?”

Azazel blinked slowly.

“I have named it Lufernatia”, he muttered. Lucifer nodded.

“It’s a work of quality”, he said, leaving him. Azazel clutched his side as his Father left him and he didn’t really notice when did the Devil leave the chamber as all sounds seemed to dim around him.

A soft hand touched his own, which was pressed on his wound. Lufernatia’s tip had met the floor, yet its owner’s red claw was still firmly clasped round its hilt. A brief, subtle wave of relief ran through him, but only enough to stop the bleeding; the wound was still open. Moloch’s eyes were inescrutable. Paimon had followed Lucifer, and they were alone now.

“You learn fast, Young One”, she whispered before leaving him. Azazel bit his lip till it bled. He painfully picked up the black brocade cloth and lovingly wrapped Lufernatia in it again. Without flinching despite the pain, Azazel limped his way to his private chambers; not a soul dared to disturb him on his way.


Sitting on his bed, Azazel checked his wound before closing his bandages. He had done a decent work at healing himself, yet once the wound was completely healed, there’d be a scar for a few weeks. Azazel put his hair out of his eyes and yawned, loosely wrapped in a simple silk robe. His body ached from the fight earlier and to get a little sleep wouldn’t be a bad idea, plus the stress still lingered on his shoulders. He had taken a short bath and carefully polished his sword before wrapping it in a clean cloth. He still didn’t have a sheath for it, yet he was already planning on its design.

//A fine blade, a work of quality…// Despite he hated his Father with a passion and feared him beyond belief, Azazel still couldn’t stop mussing on Lucifer’s words with a sort of delight. After all, his Father was regarded as the brightest mind, and his technical approval was greatly ambitioned. Azazel could praise himself to sleep muttering those words. He was already dozing off when a familiar presence tingled his wards. Azazel lazily opened his eyes to look at his mother.

“Mother…”, he muttered. “I’ve completed my sword…” He closed his eyes again with a small smile and Lilith moved a few bluish black hair strands away from his face.

“I see, my love…”

Azazel rubbed his eyes and sat up. Lilith was looking at him strangely. Azazel didn’t know why, but a cold shiver ran up his spine.

“Mother”, he said trying to break her strange daze, “my Father has returned to the Abyss… I thought you were going to see him”.

Lilith’s silver hair rolled down her pale shoulders. “Yes”, she muttered. Her hand cupped his cheek.

“You are your Father all over again”, she lovingly whispered. Azazel blinked as she leaned over; her lips met his and Azazel jerked back when she kissed him, his eyes open wide.

“… Mother, what…?” Azazel saw her gaze was strangely off and his hackles began to rise, yet he still did not realize what was going on with her. Lilith narrowed her eyes, clasping her hands on his shoulders.

“How dare you reject me now?”, she hissed as her eyes lit up in infernal fire. She tilted her head with a small, crooked smile. “I love you, Lucifer…” Her hair began floating in the air around her as her power shifted, her nails sinking into his flesh.

Much to his horror, Azazel realized that even though her eyes were fixed on him, in her mind it wasn’t himself who she was looking at…


Lilith hugged herself with a soft giggle. She put her hair behind her ears and toyed with a strand of silver, pulling the blanket to shield herself from the cold. It was oddily… cold, for a private chamber. She turned her head to see if Lucifer was asleep. “It’s getting cold here”, she lovingly whispered. But he did not reply.

Lilith reached out and moved his hair out of his eyes as he seemingly was staring off into space, maybe immerse in his thoughts. She enjoyed to watch him when he was thoughtful, aware of the Power of his mind; Lilith was content. Then she saw a red marking in the shape of a red flame running across his left eye, from his eyebrow to his cheek.

Lilith froze.

“My child…” Her voice was thin and trembling. Azazel casted her a blank look. Shaking, Lilith slowly reached out but her fingers didn’t brush against his hair. With her hand suspended short from his forehead, Lilith stared at him. Finally, her fingertips touched him. He was as cold as ice, despite he is the Demon of Fire. Lilith’s eyes filled.

“You must remember…”, she whispered, “that I only do what’s best for you….”


There was a small garden of rocks and metallic trees beyond a wall of basalt in the First Fortress; Kasbeela would sometimes go there to play, sometimes to just sit in the branches of a tree and sing to herself. It was a rather secluded spot, and sometimes the Prince of Darkness would hold council with the Archdemons and powerful Fallen and Demons in the adjacent Hall. However, it had been a while since that Hall had been used, and Kasbeela usually had the garden all to herself. Kasbeel, her father, let his young child go there because it was a relatively safe place – if there’s any place considered safe anywhere in the Abyss.

Kasbeela peered down from the branches of a tree forged in copper and black iron as someone entered the garden and sat on a bench. She recognized him immediately; it was lord Azazel, in his red robes. His insignia was the color red, as the Demon of Fire; Kasbeela smiled to herself, for he seemingly hadn’t noticed the stalker in the tree and she could look at him all she wanted. In her eyes, he was strinkingly handsome.

Azazel laid a black lacquered scabbard on his knees, which held a long sword called Lufernatia, The Black Blade. Azazel’s fingers caressed the hilt of the sword and strange shadows danced in his bronze eyes. “You are the only one I can trust”, he muttered to the sword. “I will shape my Destiny with you”.

Kasbeela didn’t understand his strange demeanor, but she curled up in her branch, watching. //I will be his ally, someday//, she thought. //He’s a great general and he is also so beautiful…// Kasbeela wrinkled her nose, for even though she didn’t muse it to herself, she also knew he had a black heart, if he had a heart at all.



Historical Short Story Timeline: Before the Fall.

The sun of the Mortal World had not completed its transit across the skies; its light came up and across thick translucent veils into the Seventh Heaven, giving different colors to air and objects. Belial looked down through a pool of dark waters filled with bluish cold stars into the Planes below. The Heavens were his true home, an immaterial place where time and age did not affect the course of individual’s existence. Beneath the Seven Layers of Heaven and far below the skies laid the Mortal World; a place where beings were limited by materiality and rough, physical boundaries. Belial moved his raven-black hair out of his eyes in a slow, absent movement. He turned away from the pool and looked upon the road; he sensed the presence he was waiting for coming closer. Golden beams of light flashed through the thin mist as if the sun had changed its course and were emerging into the Seventh Heaven; the mist parted and a tall angelic silouhette appeared: the source of the golden light. The angel looked at Belial and a small, mischievous smile curled his lip. His eyes were bronze and gold; gold feathers graced his six wings, but his hair was of a deep, bluish black in high contrast with his pale complexion. Even for an angel, his appearance and poise were of astounding beauty; he wore the robes of the Order of Knowledge, but it was clear he was a different version of the scholar type, for in his fluid, graceful movements was the mark of the warrior. Lucifer dimmed his Light and walked up to Belial.

“When Azrael walked into the Hall of the Elders, this was stuck to the hem of her robe”, he said, showing Belial a black feather wrought with white. Belial blinked, a faint blush coming to his face; he immediately snatched the feather, which perfectly matched his own. Lucifer’s smile went more pronounced at his reaction. He walked down the road and Belial followed him with a frown.

“How did you get it?”, he asked. Lucifer shrugged the question off, still smiling.

“Why would it matter?”, Lucifer replied. “I suppose that since you are so persistant, the Dark One will like you someday”. Belial shifted his six black and white wings on his back uncomfortably. His own robes were different from Lucifer’s, for he belonged in the Order of Death and Destruction, led by Azrael. Belial’s eyes were silver moons beneath thick black eyelashes in his beautiful face, and his expression turned distant. Lucifer’s smile disappeared.

“I didn’t mean to bother you”, he said, watching his friend in concern. Belial still didn’t react to his apology. They were ‘almost’ brothers; they had been created next to each other, and they were their own first memory – they were close, and they tended to think they were already immune to each other, but as it usually happens with friends, they were somewhat wrong.

“Why did the Elders summon you?”, Belial asked. Lucifer bit his lip as his apology seemingly hadn’t been accepted.

“It was sort of an examination, I guess. They asked me questions, but most of their questions were for Raziel. One would have thought they’d hold an auction on me”, he jokingly said, still trying to make up for annoying Belial on purpose. Belial was infatuated with Azrael – go figure why. As far as it was known, Azrael was devoid of feelings for individuals and she was the embodiment of Fear. “They told me some things… but again, I only watched and listened most of the time. Raziel sent me back and stayed in the Council. I don’t know when he’ll be back”.

Raziel was an Elder and The Angel of Knowledge, Lucifer’s Mentor; a stern and analytic being, of formal cold manner and the ultimate perfectionist.

“What did they say?”, Belial asked as they walked down the road through the mist. Their other senses compensated the lack of visibility by far. Lucifer casted him a speculative look.

“Many things, but… You know Azrael is the Dark One because she’s the only angel entirely devoid of light…”


“They said I am the only angel devoid of darkness. Thus they called me The Lightbearer”. Lucifer seemed to be a little confused. “I am the Lightbearer”.

Belial blinked.

“Well, it’s not completely a surprise… but what does this mean?”

“I don’t know”.

“But it ought to mean something. The Elders gathered and summoned you to tell you this”.

Lucifer bit his lip.

“They half-ignored me most of the time anyway”.

“What did Raziel tell you?”

“Nothing. I did ask him… but you know how he can get. He said I’d find out in Time, or something. He barely spoke five words more, and he used them to send me away”.

Belial arched an eyebrow.

“I see… I guess we’ll have to wait and see”.

Lucifer nodded.

“I guess…”

The mist parted. Belial and Lucifer took a long stair down to a small valley, where a river flowed across the grassy land to a cascade, which fell to another Plane, forming a Portal in the Element of Water. The landscape was strange and marvelous, for it was immaterial and mystic, and all objects were but the perfect absolute idea of their material embodiment in the Mortal Plane. Up in the Heavens, their substance could only be compared to that of dreams. Glass-like scattered trees and vast flowerbeds adorned the valley along the riverside. Beneath the grass, a soft radiance showed the course of the Sun in the Mortal Plane.

Not far from the river, a small number of angels were sitting in the shade of a tree busying themselves in singing and talking. In the shade of another tree, another group led by an angel of Knowledge talked to a white-haired angel who was seemingly cornered against the tree. Lucifer tilted his head with a frown and exchanged a glance with Belial. Both of them walked up to the group and stood aside. Gabael, the leader of the bullies, was playing wise-crack on the white haired angel while the others snickered; but upon Lucifer’s appearance, they looked at him and fell silent, for Lucifer was not smiling at all and Belial echoed his expression. Gabael turned upon the sudden silence and blinked. Lucifer was kind of a celebrity due to his superior intelligence and the fact that Raziel himself was his Mentor, precisely because of his intellect. His censoring look was quite eloquent. Belial on his part had a similar fame, in his own field.

“We were only joking”, Gabael muttered. Deciding a quick retreat was best to save his dignity, Gabael left and the others scattered, leaving Belial and Lucifer alone with the white-haired one.

Lucifer looked at the angel, who seemed ready to either lash out or make himself scarce. From his expression, Lucifer guessed it wasn’t the first time this happened. Lucifer frowned slightly. Wise-cracks. Did they really think it was an archievement to belittle others because they knew a few things more? They were a shame for the Order.

“I apologize for their behavior”, Lucifer said in his natural leadership manner. “Please, don’t judge my Order by them. I am…”

“You are the Angel of Light”, the white-haired angel interrupted Lucifer with half-closed eyes. Lucifer’s pupils widened slightly. Belial smiled slightly with a nod. Lucifer watched the still wary white-haired angel. How did this angel know…?

“Have we met?”, he asked. The angel shook his head. Lucifer blinked slowly. “Then you have advantage over us”.

The angel smiled, still hesitant but less distrustful than before.

“I am Beelzebub”.

“Beelzebub, then”. Lucifer nodded. “I am Lucifer, and this is Belial. Would you like to join us? We’re not going anywhere in special… Just taking a walk”.

Beelzebub’s face darkened again.

“The others think I’m stupid. Maybe they would think ill of you if you’re seen with me, and I see they respect you”.

Lucifer laughed and flashed one of his mischievous, charming smiles.

“And why would I give any importance to what they think? I have a mind of my own, and I am certainly not one to follow the tide”.

Beelzebub looked down for an instant.

“I am not one of subtle words”, he said. “But I thank you for your kindness..”.

“I’ve not done anything yet!”, Lucifer said, still smiling. “Please, join us, Beelzebub”.

After a little while, Beelzebub rose his eyes to look at them.

“Thank you”.

They continued on their way down the valley.

“Just don’t pay heed to Belial. He talks too much”.

Belial glared at Lucifer, for he actually hadn’t spoken in a long while, ever since they entered the valley; Beelzebub laughed, still shyly but slowly gaining confidence.

“Look who’s talking”, Belial muttered with a smile. Lucifer grinned. Belial wasn’t mad at him anymore and Beelzebub was an interesting character; he might seemingly not be a bright mind, but beneath the surface he revealed a glimpse of a higher perception. Despite the mysterious words of the Elders still weighed on Lucifer’s mind, there were no clouds in his day; at least, for now.


Too Late

“Look. I’m gonna tell you the same thing I told her. My name isn’t Gabriel! She’s got the wrong guy!” Bree yelled at the top of his lungs. He refused to get pulled into this shit just because some blind woman had a case of mistaken identity on her hands!

Michael snorted at the psychic. One vampire held Evangeline from behind, one arm around her neck, and the other around her arms, keeping them tight. Two other vampires held Gabriel. One for each arm and they forced him down on his knees. He struggled for all he was worth but he could tell he was beginning to tire.

“Too late for him,” he replied, walking up to the man who used to be one of the most powerful vampires in the world. Now on his knees and nothing more than a human. How disgusting. But harmless human or not, he had to get rid of him. He was still a threat. “Keep him still.” He reached over and grabbed Gabriel by the hair. Oh, he was going to enjoy this and the grin on his face said as much. He could feel his fangs growing and it gave him no small amount of satisfaction to see the fear in his twin’s eyes. His eyes grew wide. His heart was beating faster.

Michael ran his tongue over his fangs. “Poor little Gabriel … I told you I would taste your blood,” he whispered into his ear as he lowered his head. “It is fitting that after all I have taken from you, I finally take the ultimate prize.” He licked the base of his neck, felt the pulse beating there and could feel the involuntary shudder that went through Gabriel. “Your life.”

“No! Gabriel!” Evangeline cried. She tried to break away but the vampire’s grip was too strong and her cane was too far! And Brutus! Oh no, where was Brutus?!

From the swirl of fear and desperation in his mind, Bree felt a twinge of anger. How many times did he have to tell them his name wasn’t Gabriel?! But this whacko was whispering about shit he didn’t even know about and … he was seriously going to bite him?!

“I told you, my name isn’t–AAAAGGGH!” It was like a dog had sunk its teeth into his neck but these teeth were bigger and the guy standing over him was pulling his hair so hard, it probably wouldn’t be long before he pulled it all out!

As soon as Michael tore into the skin, he felt the blood swelling up. He tightened his hold on Gabriel’s hair and forced his head back at an even more uncomfortable angle. The other two vampires had loosened their hold on Gabriel, seeing no reason for it now that the boss had him right where he wanted. Michael didn’t bother being neat. He just ripped his fangs out and felt the blood gushing out now. He clamped his mouth on the wide wound he left as the life began to flow out of his twin.

Gabriel could feel his blood draining out of him. He was slipping into shock. All he could register was the sound of sucking, the feeling of becoming weak, empty. Someone was holding him up by the hair and there was a hand on his back. All he could see was black …



A black-haired man with golden eyes and an evil smirk. Another black-haired man, younger than the first with dark gray eyes. Then a blonde woman with a sad smile. And a brunette with pain in her eyes …

Michael had finally drunk enough. He ran his tongue over his blood-red fangs as he lifted his head, dropped the body. Gabriel was looking pale and his eyes were unfocused, distant. His blood was beginning to slide down his neck, gather in a pool beneath him. It was only a matter of time before he bled to death.

“Now that, that is taken care of,” Michael announced. He was unable to resist the smug grin. That had been so very satisfying! After all the pain Gabriel had put him through! He turned and set his sights on the psychic. “As for you … I find it fitting that you return to being my doll.”

“NO!” Evangeline cried. She was never going to be his doll again! NEVER!

The two vampires who had held Gabriel now left him on the ground and flanked either side of their boss. The other vampire, still holding Evangeline, held her tighter. Maybe, just maybe the boss would let them feed now! All three vampires‘ fangs were already growing in anticipation!

No one noticed that Gabriel’s wound had stopped bleeding or that the wound itself was beginning to seal up. His eyes flashed red. His hands slowly tightened, grew into claws. Fangs emerged from under his lips. His lips were dry, his throat was parched. He could hear the beat of a heart, laughter, weeping. But the only thing that mattered was the hunger. He was hungry, thirsty.

He stood.

“LET GO OF ME! GET OFF–!” Evangeline was struggling for all she was worth! She was tired, maybe, but she refused to give up! She couldn’t possibly give up! “GABRIEL?!”

One of the vampires at Michael’s side laughed. “Yeah, like we’re gonna fall for that!”

“Man, look!” The one holding Evangeline saw him, though and he wasn’t laughing. What the fuck was going on?!

All three vampires turned but Gabriel wasted no time. He grabbed the vampire who had thought Evangeline was joking by the collar and pulled him close. Then he sunk his fangs into his neck, not even feeling the vampire kicking and screaming. For what seemed like an eon, the only sounds in that alley were the sounds of Gabriel feeding and the vampire crying for help.

Gabriel finally let go but by then he’d drained the vampire completely. “What the fuck …” Michael muttered, stepping backwards. He couldn’t understand it! Why was Gabriel still standing?! How did he become a vampire so suddenly?! “Get him!” He pointed!

Evangeline found herself suddenly let go and she scurried to get out of the way! Gabriel. A vampire?! And from the feel of things, he was more animal than man! Just like when he’d gone berserk on the tanker!

The two vampires charged him at once! They weren’t going to let him get them! But Gabriel proved too fast! He caught a fist in each hand and tightened his grip. Then he twisted their arms and flew them into each other! There was the sickening CRACK of bones breaking! He’d suddenly let go of their fists to grab them by the collars of their shirts and drove both of their heads through the brick wall!

They were still stunned when Gabriel pulled one of them out and sunk his fangs into his neck! He had only started drinking when he ripped his throat out and dropped him! The same fate awaited the next vampire! When they were both on the ground, writhing, he slammed his fists into their chests, pulled out their hearts and crushed them!

Michael was nowhere to be found!

The coast seemed clear. She stood, still unsure of whether it was safe or not but knowing she had to try and get through to him. Perhaps figure out what was going on. “Gabriel …?”

“…” He turned, looked at her hard for a moment as he stood and took a step toward her. His fangs were disappearing but there was blood on his mouth, on his clothes. It was everywhere. And the way he was looking at her. He didn’t recognize her. Nothing seemed to register except that she was food.

Then his knees suddenly gave way and he collapsed.


“What’s wrong? Why isn’t he responding?!” Evangeline had managed to contact Oracle and gotten Gabriel rushed into the nearest branch’s Infirmary. Now she was in the waiting room, hysterical and wringing her hands as the doctor sat down beside her to explain things.

“Please, Ms. Clark. We’re doing all we can. The truth is, there is only so much we can do.” The doctor took a deep breath. “In fact, I don’t think there’s anything we can do. We don’t have the necessary knowledge to treat a Carnatelli. He’s a different type of vampire than the ones we’re used to treating.”

“But he’s not a vampire, he’s a man!”

“Not according to our readings. It’s amazing. Really. Never before in our studies has a master vampire been able to produce another master vampire purely by blood transfusion. It’s been a general rule that a vampire always produces a weaker vampire, if any at all.” The doctor sounded very excited about all of this but Evangeline, for one, did not.

“What will happen to him now?” was all she could ask.

“Well, we’ll keep quartered here either until he wakes up or …”

“Or …?” She didn’t like the way he sounded.

“Or … we get the orders to destroy him. I’m sorry, Ms. Clark. But the higher ups believe it is too risky to let a Carnatelli lie around here. Someone is bound to realize who he is and when they decide to come for him … it’s too big a risk for the humans here.”

“Then move him! Or–or swear everyone to silence if you have to!”

“Ms. Clark, please. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult this is for you but … orders are orders. If you like, you can go in and see him.”

“Thank you, doctor. I’d like that very much.”

The doctor nodded and took Evangeline’s arm, gently guiding her into the room.


The Crossroad

It was cold. It was dark. The first snow of winter was still falling. He stumbled through the forest, numbe both inside and out. It wasn’t from the cold. He could never feel the cold anyway and the thick darkness he could see in. It was because … because …

“I used you …” a voice said.

“The hate in her eyes …” another voice whispered.

“I needed her blood …” the first voice continued.

“I played with her …” the second added.

He fell forward, tasted snow. He’d never felt this way before. This was worst than when Anthony had run a sword through his chest and left him for dead. He had often wondered about that. How could something who was never born die?

Now he could feel that sword inside of him again, twisting, slowly twisting. It hurt to breathe. No, it was worst than that. Each time he drew breath, his whole body was racked with pain. Pain. Throbbing, aching, burning pain.

It made him think of her being tied to that stake. How the fire had started from the bottom, a small flame and quickly grew into an all-consuming thing. Only too soon did the fire find its way to her feet, catch a hold of her skirt.

He remembered how he had struggled, fought, tried to twisted and claw his way out from under Michael. He remembered the barbed whip tight around his throat, the same whip that kept his wrists bound behind his back.

He remembered watching the fire move farther up her body, turning her flesh to black. How she had so desperately struggled, her cries interrupted by coughing as she inhaled the smoke. Somewhere along the way he had started waiting for her to suffocate, to spare her, to end her suffering. But she had been alive to the end, until the fire had claimed her, inside and out …

He lifted his head from the snow. He heard something on the wind and smelled smoke in the breeze. The snow had stopped falling and he remembered how it had been unable to extinguish the fire, too weak to combat the blaze.

He started moving again. He stumbled and fell forward. Then he got to his feet and staggered in the direction of the smoke and the noise ahead.

It took him hours to cross a distance it should have taken him a heartbeat to. Steadily the scent grew stronger and the sounds louder. Now he could make out the sounds of stories being told, jokes being shared. He could smell meating being roasted–deer–and wood being burnt.

He came to some bushes and peered through the leaves. Men, women, children, and livestock were camped in the large clearing. He remembered them. They were the ones who’d dragged her away, mocked her and thrown clumps of mud and rocks at her while she went without a struggle. He remembered how she had hung her head as she was dragged, the trail of blood left in her wake. He remembered the hate in her eyes when she looked at him, when their eyes met. He had betrayed her, he had beaten and raped and broken her spirit. He was every bit the demon he had said he was.

As he remembered, the numb sensation left his body. He had betrayed her but he would redeem himself, he would make it up to her. And he would start–by avenging her death. Silent, he sunk his fingers into the ground and began to remember farther back.

“Humans are merely cattle, my boy,” the voice said. “Pawns in our little games, toys we use to entertain ourselves.”

Yes, cattle, pawns, toys, he thought as he clenched his teeth, shut his eyes. They didn’t deserve to live. They deserved to be destroyed!

Another memory came back to him without him willing it to. “Do you know what kind of a name Gabriel is?” she had asked, studying him.

He looked at her. “No.”

She had smiled then, a small little smile as she handed him a bowl of soup, let him drink himself. “Gabriel is the name of an angel. You are named after an angel.”

He had looked at her oddly then. “I am no angel.” She had told him what angels were and he knew for a fact he was not an angel.

She had chuckled. “No … But you could be a sort of angel, if you wanted to. Or … more like a guardian. Yes, a guardian angel. To humans.”

He had snorted. “You humans are weak if you need someone to protect you all the time.”

She had blinked and looked as if he had slapped her. Then she had smiled again. But this smile was … different. It made him feel … like he had done something wrong. “Yes but … we have a strength all our own. Just like you have a strength all your own. I hope one day … you use your strength for the right reasons …”

He opened his eyes, looked down at his hands which had become claws. Perhaps he could make it up to her after all. He stood and peered over the brush to the camp beyond…


“Momma! Momma!” the little boy cried as he ran into her arms.

His mother caught him easily and cradled him against her. He was growing so quickly, her little baby. In no time at all, he would be running around, getting into the type of trouble only growing boys could. “What is the matter, little one?” she asked as she stroked his hair.

“A stranger! A stranger!” the little boy cried.

“A stranger?” On one hand, it could have been just a child’s fear but on the other … These were strange woods. It was best to put him at ease before she thought of doing anything else. “And where is this stranger, my little one?”

“Over there!” the boy lifted his head and pointed across the clearing.

The mother smiled as she turned in the direction he had pointed, ready to tell him it was nothing–only to freeze. It was like something out of a dream. A stranger with such a dark and intense aura, staring at her with something that shifted from malevolence to indifference and back again. She was about to scream for help when she met his eyes. There was something about those eyes. Loss. Despair. Darkness. It sent shivers down her spine and made her feel so vulnerable, so open, so human … No matter how much she wanted to look away, he held her gaze and it felt like ages had passed.

And then he turned and just like that disappeared …


Mark My Words

Some long overdue smut for Gabriel and Evangeline! They are so cute together!

Gabriel lifted his head, tugged on her gown. He wanted her out of it and he wanted himself out of his clothes. He wanted to feel her body against his and press himself against her, know what it was really like to lose yourself in someone and not do so out of anger. She made him feel complete, she was that missing part of him.

Evangeline could tell something was different. Maybe it was the way he pulled at her gown, as if it was something in the way. She smiled at that but then she reached up to cup his face. She could feel his eyes on her, as if she was the only person in the world, the only person who mattered. It made her feel warm and fuzzy inside but the intensity of his gaze also made her heart beat faster. “Gabriel …?” she asked, uncertain.

Gabriel turned his head to kiss her palm. “I am fine, Evangeline. Better than I ever thought I could feel.” And he meant it. He lowered his head to brush his lips against hers. “Let me love you, Evangeline,” he asked, whispering. “I’ve showed you I care in so many ways except one.” His body was tense. He was nervous but he was determined to do this. That was … if she let him. He was through with hurting her. He wanted to heal her.

Evangeline smiled and nodded. Her heart swelled and she could feel tears of happiness beginning to burn. But she willed it away. If she started to cry now, Gabriel would stop and think he was hurting her. Her Gabriel. Her vampire in shining armor who always saved her and never hesitated to do it, no matter the danger to himself. She wanted to answer him but she didn’t trust herself to say something before she really burst into tears.

Gabriel kissed her again, deep and long. His mouth moved against hers, hot and demanding, and he growled softly when she responded in kind. His hands went to her hips and then moved up, trying to figure out this damn piece of clothing or else he’d rip it off of her or make it disappear altogether. He didn’t want to do either of the last two because he didn’t want to scare her. This was a special time. He realized something and slowly broke the kiss. “Evangeline, have you …”

Evangeline felt her cheeks turn hot as it dawned on her what he was asking. Would he change his mind about this, if he knew? But she realized it didn’t matter if he knew the truth or not. Gabriel loved her for who she was. She shook her head shyly. “.. Have you …?” She had been his first kiss but that didn’t mean he couldn’t have made love to someone before!

The smile Gabriel gave her was warm. “No. You will be my first.” And he was going to make it the best time for her that he could. He nuzzled her cheek as his hands moved and his fingers found the fastenings for the corset. They were quick and just as he had opened it completely, his mouth took hers in another deep kiss. His tongue slipped into her mouth and licked at hers as his hands moved away to take care of the rest of the gown.

Evangeline moaned into Gabriel’s mouth. He was so intense, so passionate. It would have scared her if she hadn’t felt the same way. It felt like she’d waited so long for this moment and now it was happening and he was leaving her breathless. All she could do was grasp his shoulders and be grateful she was lying down; he was making her melt. She felt him pushing her skirts up one hand stole underneath. She broke the kiss, gasping when his hand slid between her legs.

“Open for me, Evangeline,” he whispered, looking up into her face to gauge if he was doing something wrong or making her have second thoughts in anyway. But her expression … It took his breath away. She was the greatest gift ever, a woman with a pure, innocent soul who’d dealt with so much and asked for so little in return. He could sense her uncertainty but ultimately trust won out and her legs opened. He smiled again and gave her a kiss on the mouth for encouragement at the precise moment that his fingers found her slit and stroked her. “You are the greatest gift ever.”

Evangeline swallowed and gasped! Her body was tingling in places she never thought you could tingle and so warm. And the way he was touching her and the words he said … It all made her feel alive and … It was wonderful! She blushed and smiled up at him. “Oh, Gabriel, I love you …” She cupped his face, leaned up to kiss his mouth. “You’re in my heart,” she whispered, remembering that part of their vows to each other.

Again, he kissed her lips back, turned his head to kiss her palm. “And you will always be in mine,” he replied just as he felt his fingertips grow wet against her hair, slid one finger inside of her gently. He forced himself to be patient, to just watch and wait as her muscles stretched and tightened around his finger. Her hips jerked, her hands clutched his shoulders. The gasp she let out was not one of pain but surprise and as he slowly moved his finger inside of her, the moan that followed was one of pleasure.

Evangeline’s heart was beating oh so fast! She tried to bite her lip to keep from crying out but suddenly she gasped and moaned! She was so wet and he was making her even wetter! And hotter, yes, he was definitely making her hotter! Her body was doing strange and unusual things, new things that felt incredible! And she was doing them with Gabriel. “What are you …?” Her voice trailed off. It was a wonder she could focus at all!

Gabriel’s finger stopped. “Stretching you,” he answered. “This way your body is ready for me. Pain will be at a minimal.” At least he hoped it would. But he would not let fear stop him now, not when he wanted to make love to Evangeline. It was the one thing he found himself ever wanting so badly. To show Evangeline just how much she meant to him. Then he started to thrust into her again, slowly, gently, shallow thrusts. He wanted to give her a taste of what was to come.

Evangeline lay her head back as her body moved with his finger. She would have been fairly certain this was a dream except … the sensations she was feeling were definitely real! Her muscles stretched and tightened around his finger. He never went too deep as to break her hymen but his finger was beginning to move faster and harder. She was breathing hard and something was … building and … Oh God, building! Especially when he added that second finger! She didn’t know she could stretch so much and yet, she was! Those fingers moved faster and faster and when she had her first climax, she stiffened and gasped and just lay there, to catch her breath.

Gabriel smiled and pulled his finger out. He leaned up to kiss her lips and then moved his attention to that gown of hers. Even with the corset open, he found the only way to get rid of it without tearing it would be to pull it over her head. His lips quirked up at one corner and he tugged on her gown. “Did you want this in one piece?”

Evangeline laughed. She couldn’t help it. His question came out of the blue and despite the fact his tone was as indifferent as ever, she could feel the impatience underneath. “Yes, please. It feels exquisite, doesn’t it?” she asked, running a hand over her gown. Although it reminded her of her time spent in the Devil World as Malsuada’s slave, it also reminded her of being bound to Gabriel. And, as Caroline had put it, it was like her wedding dress. That fact alone made it precious to her.

Gabriel raised an eyebrow at it. Exquisite didn’t quite describe it. But Evangeline wanted it intact and he couldn’t refuse her. He nuzzled her cheek. “Not as exquisite as you.” He kissed her lips softly before he took her skirt and began to pull it over her head.

Evangeline blushed and kissed him back. He always knew just the right thing to say. She had a feeling he’d be giving her warm fuzzies for a very long time to come. As the gown began to lift higher, she found herself becoming uncertain, shy, nervous. This was still all so new to her and she wanted to give Gabriel back for how he was making her feel. “… Gabriel?” she asked.

Gabriel paused. The gown was up to her breasts now. “Yes …?”

Evangeline reached up to caress his cheeks, then run her fingers through his hair. She loved his hair. It never ceased to amaze or amuse her that for a vampire who wasn’t too eager to take baths regularly, his hair was always soft and easy to run her fingers through. “Maybe … I can … return the favor …?” she asked, hopeful and nervous, too. She had never done this and she didn’t want to ruin things but she wanted to show Gabriel how she felt about him, just like he was doing for her.

“Of course,” Gabriel replied, turning his head to nuzzle her fingers. He nipped them playfully, smiling softly when she squeaked again. “But first, I want to do this for you, for me. And after … I am all yours.” He began pushing the gown up again. Evangeline had the most beautiful skin, a fair complexion that seemed to glow slightly with the light of her soul. And to him, she was the most beautiful woman in the world. He sighed softly. “You have no idea how beautiful you are.”

Evangeline smiled and felt herself blushing again. She was pretty sure she had exactly an idea. It was there, in the way he spoke, the way he kissed her, nuzzled her. He thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. No, he believed in it. And he really was all hers. She opened her mouth to tell him how lucky she was only to gasp and arch her back when his tongue licked a nipple, then slid his mouth over it. He sucked on her breast, slow but firm as one hand moved up to caress the other. She clutched his shoulders as her body grew hotter and wetter and she moaned his name.

Gabriel quickly learned that there was no sound sweeter than Evangeline moaning his name. She shuddered, her blood raced, her heartbeat sped up. He gave her nipple one more lick as he pulled his mouth off before he withdrew to take care of her gown completely. And not a moment too soon, he found as he draped it over the dresser close to the bed and returned to stroking her body. She was so warm, so hot and willing. It was a testimony to how patient he was being, not to rip off some clothing and take her now. He quickly returned to her breasts. Now both hands cupped them as he rubbed them in circles against her chest as his thumbs brushed her nipples. He blew on the wet nipple he’d sucked and licked earlier making her gasp again and arch her back.

Evangeline was in heaven! Her hands covered his, then moved up his arms, smiling. He was still fully clothed. Yes, he was a very eager vampire and she loved him with ever fiber of her being. “Gabriel …” she whispered, tugging on his sleeve. “I shouldn’t be the only one naked here,” she said with a smile.

There was a soft chuckle above her. “My apologies.” He broke away from her to undress. He was a little more carefree about where he put his clothes, except for his gun holster, which he put on the dresser next to her gown. Everything else from his boots to his coat wound up on the floor or at the foot of the bed. When the last piece of clothing had been taken care of, he moved between her legs and nuzzled the spot between her breasts.

Evangeline blushed as she spread her legs wider to accommodate him. He was hard and lean and it was far different to be naked with him now than those times when she’d managed to make him take a bath. There was not an ounce of fat on him. She reached up to run her fingers through his hair and hold his head to her. He was the sweetest man ever and she really was mad … madly in love with him. She swallowed when she felt his length pressing up against her thigh.

Gabriel felt her stiffen slightly and he paused. He moved his head up to nuzzle her neck, where her pulse beat strongest. Later, he would have to feed but for now … now he wanted to make love to this woman and make her completely his. It had been a fool’s move not to have done it before. “I love you, Evangeline Clark,” he whispered into her ear, nibbled on her earlobe. “Do you accept me?”

Evangeline blushed and a shiver ran through her when she felt his teeth on her ear and his words … Sweet heaven! She could feel how hard he was and realized that the choice lay with her. If she wanted to, she could refuse him, and he would stop. He wouldn’t force himself on her, he would never force himself on her. But he wanted her so intensely. No, he needed her and she needed him. She nodded. “Yes, Gabriel. I love you and I accept you.”

Gabriel’s heart soared when he heard her say that. He brushed his lips against hers. “Thank you, Evangeline,” he whispered just before he seized her mouth in a long kiss and, with both hands on either side of her, sunk himself inside. He groaned into her mouth. It took every ounce of control not to just drive every inch of his cock into her body but she was already so tight! He didn’t want to hurt her.

Evangeline gasped into his mouth. He was so big! Her muscles tensed and stretched and she was glad he had taken the time to stretch her in the first place. She didn’t stop kissing him though but she cupped his face when he suddenly stopped. He had come up against something, her hymen. She finally broke the kiss and felt him clenching his teeth. “Are you alright …?”

Gabriel’s smile was a tight one. He nodded once. “Your hymen. I need to break it. It will hurt but–” He stopped when she put a finger to his lips and he looked up at her.

There was a soft smile on Evangeline’s face. She nodded. “But I want you to do this. I trust you.” She moaned into his mouth as he kissed her again and when he drove deeper into her, breaking that barrier, she cried out into his mouth. It really did hurt! But as he held his hips and made small thrusts inside of her, the pain dulled and it wasn’t long before he drove every inch of himself inside of her.

Gabriel groaned and broke the kiss once he was completely inside of her. She was so tight! He stopped to slip her legs around his hips as he raised himself above her, hands on either side of her. Her muscles were stretching for him, her slit was so wet and as he thrust into her over and over, he broke the kiss and she began to moan his name.

Evangeline clutched his shoulders. “Uhhh …” she gasped. One hand moved down and she heard Gabriel groan again above her when her hand reached between them. This was … Oh God, this was divine! It fascinated her even as her body moved with his and her legs wrapped around him, pulling him deeper. He was filling her completely. In and out, in and out. He drove deeper and his thrusts sped up. Her hand returned to his shoulder and her nails dig into his flesh.

Gabriel hissed under his breath. He was moving faster inside of her, wanting her to climax first. He didn’t have to wait long as she nearly bounced beneath him. She was panting and moaning and suddenly she arched her back and screamed his name! He smirked as he paused when her muscles clamped even tighter around him. It only took him a few more thrusts before he, too, reached his peak. He groaned and pushed himself as deep as he could before his orgasm hit and he filled Evangeline with his seed.

Evangeline was very aware of Gabriel climaxing but could only moan. “Hmm …” She smiled in contentment as Gabriel lay on top of her, wrapped his arms around her waist and moved to lie down on his side. He didn’t break away from her so she rolled and wound up on her side as well, snuggled up against him. She put her head against his chest as he pulled the covers over the two of them. “Are you sure you’ve never made love to someone before?”

Gabriel took her hand and kissed the palm. “Indeed. But it will not be the last time I make love to you, Evangeline. Mark my words.”


The Birth of a Pillar

“Here is the book. I… Forgive me, Aiyanna, but… Is it wise to do this? The ancient magics have not been used in centuries. We do not know the price you will pay…” The book was passed in to her hands, he seeming reluctant to let it go.

She took the book, her serious face softening to a sad wistful expression. “We don’t have any more time to waste. I will fight a god if that is what it takes to save Marsyas.” Her words didn’t seem encouraging, judging by the grim expression on his face. Aiyanna lifted her hand to brush her fingers across his cheek in comfort. “Don’t worry, Cousin. It will work.”

They left the hall, walking in to a grand open room. White marble and tall stone pillars reached high to the vaulted ceiling. Across the floor lain in gold was an intricate circle design – an ancient symbol of the old magic, faded over time. Her footsteps echoed over the cold stone floor as she nodded to those that gathered around the circle. The book was placed on a podium and opened to a marked page.

Aiyanna moved back to the center of the circle, taking in a deep calming breath. “Begin.” she breathed, cupping her hands before her. The faded symbol on the floor began to glow, a brilliant white ball of light forming in her hands. Her eyes closed as she pulled it in… the offered power of all those surrounding her and that which she offered herself.

Please, Maker of all things, hear our prayer. Allow me your divine power to remove what threatens to end all our existence.

The light grew overwhelming, enveloping the entire circle and she along with it. Humming with an unearthly sound, her eyes blinked opened as the ball of light shattered suddenly in her hands! Everything was cold – like ice! Her body felt frozen, prickling needles before it all was numb.

It is said the whole world heard the sound of the crystal as it formed, shooting up in to the sky – a sight that could be seen for miles. A crystal pillar solid as diamond and cold as snow; clear blue with a single shadow inside where the Imperial Queen once stood. She had become the pillar of the world to save them all.

Aiyanna took in a sudden breath, as if she had been under water for ages and could just now breathe. Her eyes fluttered open, white spots dancing before them, now staring up at the strangest of things. Crystal pillars jutting out from the ground at all sides. Some straight and narrow, some short and thick. Tilted, or tall… They were surrounding her. On the ground she lay, her back against the cold stone of more crystal that seemed to form the very ground like sheets of ice.

Shakily moving to her feet, she glanced around wide eyed. Was this heaven? Could it be Marsyas? Something flickered in one of the crystals, her feet moving forward without instruction. A image – no, many images. Appearing suddenly and then going again just as quick as the next. It was herself as a child. Then it was an unfamiliar forest. There was a city in golden glory, and then another in ancient ruin. All around her the images would appear, in one crystal and then the next. Like a mirror reflecting the times.

Wind blew cold, she knew she could not stay there. Unsure of her heading, but moving forward Aiyanna left the crystal forest…


Arrival to the Forbidden Continent

“There it is.” the gruff old sailor grunted out as he stood on the deck, pointing a mangled finger towards the horizon. Out in the distance a shape was coming in to view. Mostly shielded by the hazy tint of fog or mist. Even the ocean seemed to turn a darker shade of emerald as it reached out towards the continent.

“Great! How long before we dock?” With her hands planted firmly on the rail, her face lit up into a wide grin. This was the unseen. The unknown. The mythic and the forbidden. It was [i]Deridia[/i]. And Wren Norina Rosalinda Alvetica, Seventh Princess of Charbiq, Tamer of Kanterbryn, Scourge of Felweiss, Unprofessional Adventurer, and now Ambassador of Karridran was going to be the first to step foot on the Forbidden Continent and live the tell the tale.

“We’re not docking. You’re getting off here.” He responded, moving away from the rail to a stack of cargo tied down to the dock. There was a bit of rustling. Shouts from the other sailors, and even the Captain was barking orders. Suddenly there was quite a bit of activity.

Wren frowned, turning and resting a hand on her hip. “Huh? Why not? What about a boat? The agreement was transport to Deridia. It’s along your trade route.”

“That places is [i]strange[/i]. We never dock there. Now off you go!”

“Wait a sec-OOOAAAAAHHH!” [i]SPLASH![/i]

Wren surfaced moments later, coughing and sputtering. There was a splash as her trunk landed in the water nearby. Shaking a fist up at the sailors, she made sure they got to hear all of those curse words she’d learned off of them in the past week of traveling. Had Wren known she was going to get chucked head first in to cold ocean water miles away from shore, she might have prepared better. This was not an acceptable way to conduct business!

Oh well. Nothing she could do about it now. Pushing her trunk in front of her, she kicked her feet to get through the water. The trunk seemed to be protesting it’s watery bath, choosing to try and sink beneath the waves instead of floating like a proper trunk. Wren let out another growl as the blasted thing tried to take it with her in to the depths. She wasn’t sure if the thing understood her under water threats, but the kick she gave it sent it bobbing back to the surface.

With the waves working against her, half the time it was a real struggle to swim for the beach. By the time she touched the shallows, she was already exhausted. Grabbing the handle of her trunk, she lugged it behind her until she was a good ways up on dry land then she plopped face first in to the sand.

“Ugh. Uuuugh, you are the worst travel companion. You could have swam for both of us, you don’t have any lungs.” she grumbled at the trunk that so lifelessly sat next to her lodged in the sand. Once she caught her breath she would light a fire to get warm and dry. Maybe she’d light it under the trunk.

But she was there. Deridia. Wren grinned and rolled on to her back, knowing that the moment she opened her eyes she was going to get her first real up close look at the Forbidden Continent.


The Resurrection

Elswen Cemetery. Not the only the cemetery on the island but it was surely the biggest. The moon was full but due to a low fog, it was barely visible amongst the mist billowing over the gravestones. Kendal hesitated before stepping through the gates, a large tome tucked under her arm. Swallowing, she walked down the path.

Kendal stopped at a fresh mound of dirt, surrounded by flowers, little gifts, and pictures. On the tombstone read Samuel Davidson, Loving Husband and Friend. She couldn’t cry. She had no more tears left. There was only a stone-cold determination.

Kneeling, Kendal pulled three crystals out of her coat pocket. Setting one on each side with a final in the middle to form a triangle. The book she place in front of her, already opened to the page she bookmarked. Taking a small knife from her pocket, she drew the blade across her palm, a streak of red oozing from the gash. Kendal placed her hands on the ground at each side of the book.

Pectus ut pectus, animus ut animus, audite mihi manes. Heart to heart, soul to soul, hear me spirits of the dead.” she said softly. There was the sound of a chime as each of the three crystals lit up to a soft yellow glow. “Crux crucis flumen Styx addo mihi absens. Cross the river Styx and bring me the lost.” Another chime sounded as a small yellow orb swirled in to formation at the center of the crystals.

Reverto ut vita. Consurgo ex sepulchrum. Consurgo. Return to life. Rise up from the grave. Rise up. Rise up!”

DONG. The crystals went out and the orb vanished. Suddenly, it burst sending a magical shockwave flowing outwards over the entire cemetery. Mist furled as the night became eerily quiet. Kendal waited, but nothing seemed to happened. It didn’t work… he was still gone…

Wearily she reached out to retrieve the crystals, but suddenly a hand shot up from under the earth grabbing her wrist. She grabbed a hold of the arm, pulling it as well as body up out of the dirt!

“Sam…?” The body shook it’s head, blank soulless eyes finally resting on her face. It looked like him, but his flesh was starting to rot away and what wasn’t gone was a grotesque white. Kendal let go of his arm, scooting backwards trying to pull her wrist free from his grasp, but it was painfully solid. Soft moans could now be heard all around her, but she didn’t take notice! Sam’s body crawled further out of the grave. A hand reached out from behind, wrapping over her face, the sharp pain of teeth digging in to her shoulder!


Kendal was suddenly free from the creature behind her and the body of Sam tumbles backwards when a shot hit his chest. The entire graveyard was alive with the sounds of people crawling up out of their resting places. Decayed bodies mixed with fresh dead, shambling towards the smell of living blood.

“Kendal, get up!” called a voice, but it sounded so far away. Kendal couldn’t seem to find the will to move, watching with blurry tear filled vision as Sam’s body wretched to his feet again to stumble towards her. “Damn it, woman! Get up!” She could hear footsteps over grass and gravel. More gunshots and the dull thud of something cracking bones. Arms wrapped around her waist hauling her to her feet. “C’mon. We’re getting out of here.”

“But Sam…”

“It’s not Sam, Kendal.” BANGBANGBANG! An arm locked around her waist, with a gun shooting down zombies that shambled too close, he hauled her out of the cemetery. More carrying and dragging than walking. Pushing Kendal in to the car, he dropped in to the driver’s seat and picked up the radio.

“Code 76 at Elswen Cemetery, ordering immediate damage control. Repeat. Code 76 at Elswen Cemetery. Entire zombie outbreak.” he tossed the radio in the backseat before taking off in the car towards Autumn Manor.

Kendal was scarcely breathing looking down at her hands. “What did I do…?”


Blind Date Turned Sour

“I’m sorry, I don’t do this much. Uh, blind dates that is.” Faith apologized, reaching for her glass of wine and taking a huge swallow. Much was an understatement. Try never. Except when ambushed by busy-body friends with too much time on their hands.

The man chuckled. A soft sound, not unfriendly. He was handsome at least. With dark blond hair long enough to curl behind his ears. Bright blue eyes, baby smooth skin and an angled jaw. His whole frame looked like those thin wiry magazine models. Men that looked eighteen years old for their entire lives. Even the way he tapped his perfectly manicured fingers on the table was fluid and smooth.

“Nothing to be embarrassed over. I have learned to take life’s surprises with grace.” he grinned, flashing a pearly white smile. “Tell me, Faith, were your friends truthful? Are you a virtuoso of vampires?”

Faith choked on her water, setting down the glass quickly to pick up a napkin. “Vampires…?” Those jerks. They didn’t.

“Yes. Vampires. Your charming friends mentioned that you write books. Stories about vampire love affairs? They explained they chose my profile specifically because I asked for a woman interested in vampires.” His eyebrow raised in a curious gesture.

They did. God damnit! She hated her friends! “Uh, yeah. I have a series that’s gotten pretty popular lately.” Her momentary embarrassment shifted as she cast him a dubious expression. “Did you seriously add that to your dating profile?”

He shrugged his shoulders, casting a wry grin. “What can I say? I like a woman who shares my interests. Do you like vampires, Faith?” He leaned forward on the table, resting his elbows as he clasped his hands together. The look he gave her reminded her of a few exboyfriends. Where they’d try to give that deep, mysterious stare that usually came off creepy and disturbing. He kind of looked like he wanted to eat her.

Here it comes. That moment when a date turns totally awkward. Lucky for her, she knew when to bail! “Wow, look at the time. I can’t believe it’s almost midnight. I better call myself a cab.”

Her date chuckled, dropping his gaze to lift a hand and summon for the check. “Let me drive you home, it’s the least I can do for taking advantage of this ambush.”

“Really? Thanks.” Faith grinned appreciatively. Grateful it wasn’t going to turn in to one of those ‘Why don’t you like me?!’ scenes.

A few minutes later they were outside, walking down the ramps in the parking garage, looking for his car. They got down to the bottom level and turned a corner. The entire place seemed to be empty.

“Do you even remember where you parked?” Faith asked, turning to face her date. With a glance at his face she jumped, stumbling back a few feet as she raised a hand to point a finger at him. His eyes were… they had changed color! Instead of the bright blue, now they were dark red, almost black.

“I’m afraid I fibbed a little. I don’t have a car.” He smile was unnerving. Now he had glinting white fangs. Vampire fangs.

That was just the last straw. Faith’s moment of being startled was gone, replaced by the still slightly disturbed, but much more manageable annoyance. Her date was clearly a wacko and slipped himself some contacts and teeth in while she wasn’t looking. “Okay, I gt it. You’re one of those roleplaying freaks. That’s cool, but if you try to bite me, I’m going to kill the hell out of you, okay?” Faith’s hand slipped in to her coat pocket and curled around a handy spray bottle of mace she kept on her keychain.

He laughed out loud! Apparently her words were hilarious. In a blink of an eye he jumped in the air, practically flying before he landed right in front of her. His fangs grew longer as he grabbed on to her shoulders. Instincts prevailing, Faith whipped out the mace and sprayed him in the eyes! While snarling in pain, she shoved him back and took off running. Vampire. Real vampire! One that was recovering quick as she could hear him growling her name and darting closer!

A stumble over something on the ground had nearly took her off her feet, but she snatched up the object – some discarded piece of metal – last minute. Just she turned, the vampire was there and she thrust it forward in to his chest! He looked surprised as blood slowly oozed from the wound. His head tilted slightly to the side as his lips turned up in to a smirk.

“You missed.” His fingers curled around the metal piece, jerking it out of his chest in a swift motion.

“…oh shit.” His arm swung, striking her with enough force to send her flying backwards. Crashing in to a wall and crumbling on the ground in an unceremonious heap of pain. As he approached, Faith scooted backwards until her back caught the wall. Looked like she was going to be a vampire’s dinner. A fangirl’s dream come true!


The sudden voice had both the vampire and Faith’s attention. The vampire’s body jerked as something hit him in the chest. Right through his heart, a solid wooden stake. His body dropped and with a final twitch he was dead.

The source of the voice was now folding up and putting away a crossbow somewhere unseen, as he stepped forward to lean over the body of the dead vampire. It took Faith a second to realize what had happened.

“You killed him!”

“That’s typically what you do with vampires, rather than dating them like a twit.”

Faith moved to her feet, dusting herself off as she frowned at the man. “I wasn’t dating him. So he’s really a vampire? A real one?”

“Aye, a real one. Now would you get out of the way, I’m working here.” His working seemed to be checking over the corpse for items. A few things disappeared in to his pockets before he glanced up at her with a scowl. “Are you going to be standing there staring all night? Go find a real boyfriend, woman.”

“He’s not my boyfriend! I don’t go around dating vampires!” Faith shouted back at him.

“Right, right. Dinner isn’t dating these days.” he snorted as he rose. Turning away from the body and walking away.

Faith scowled for a minute before trailing behind him. “You don’t know me or what I was doing.” And what about the all obligatory telling the Dame of who he his, his mission, and answering her million of questions. She had a lot of questions.

“Oh, aye, I know you. That writer of vampire love stores. Making slayers out to be the heartless villains, killing your poor glittering night stalkers. You’re exactly what’s wrong with females today.”

“I write books about things that weren’t supposed to exist! …Could you at least give me a ride home since you killed my date.” she sarcastically called after him.

His only reply was to lift a hand and flick her the finger before he disappeared around a corner.

Great. What a way to start the year.



Home! There it was. The beautiful white castle on the hill. The tiny little village filled with happy citizens. Stepping out of the carriage at the beginning of the granite road, she looked up at the home she hadn’t seen in years. A sense of elation filled her as she walked quickly up towards the front gates.

“Halt! Who wishes to enter the castle? What is your business?” spoke a guard who stopped her as she reached the gate.

She was confused, surely they had recognized their own Princess! “Princess Ebony, returned at last. Open the gates.”

The two guards exchanged glances before bursting in to laughter. “Oi, we got a mad one do we? Princess Ebony has been dead for years. Go one now, scatter!”

Dead? Ebony opened her mouth, ready to give them the lecture they so richly deserved. Rolling her eyes, instead she walked off. She refused to waste time in imbeciles! The front gate was only the most direct way to enter the castle. Stepping off the road, she circle the outside wall of the castle until she found a hidden smaller door. A secret entrance only the royal family would know. Ebony entered the gardens.

Surprise took her as she saw a beautiful platinum blond, laying out a blanket on the grass. Her sister Aibori…! Ebony moved forward but stopped just as suddenly when someone else came on to the seen. A handsome man… her prince. The prince embrace Aibori and as they kissed, Ebony ducked behind a tree. …Her Prince and her sister..?

Ebony’s blood ran hot, the jewel in the amulet around her neck sparking to life with her anger. As her fingers balled in to a fist, dark flames licked at her wrists. Rounding the tree, she was going to make sure they paid for what they did…!

A child ran up to Aibori, then a second. A third. They were a family.

They look so happy…

Backing away slowly, the flames died out. Ebony exited through to hidden door back for the village.

So this is how a wicked witch is born…


Prelude to Madness

Guest Written by Alex

All around the grand castle, fires raged on as the bodies of countless soldiers were littered across the once-lush green lawn. The magnificent reflecting pool that held every starry night in its grasp was now tainted with spilled blood. Instead of the pale light coming from the two moons that hung high in the sky, the entire castle was illuminated with the dark red of the flames as they laid waste to the countryside.

“FORWAAAAARD!!” the soldier in blood-spattered gold armor shouted. “Don’t let them take this last line! Fight for the lives of the royal family!”

In a wave of red banners and bronze armor, the last defenses of the royal family charged forward, only to be impaled on the sudden line of pikes which suddenly arose from the enemy ranks. Undeterred, the enemy lines marched forward over the dead and dying soldiers towards the front gates of the palace.


“My lord, the enemy has taken the castle.”

Slowly, the king arose from his seat and moved to his bedroom window. Even in the beginning hours of the siege, he had refused to move from the castle–his pride and joy, which he had personally overseen the construction of. “Thank you,” he sighed, watching as the fires continued to consume his beautiful orchards. He remembered planting those with his wife, years ago…

“Shall we not evacuate?”

“No,” the king said, folding his hands behind his back. “If this is fate, than I shall allow it to do what it will.”

Save for the sound of the crackling flames outside, all was silent. The king stood at his balcony, watching the two pale white moons as they watched the carnage from the sky.

“…you have arranged safe travel for Danika?” he asked rather suddenly.

The second man, heavily cloaked despite the heat, narrowed his eyes and grunted. “Yes, my lord,” he said, surprised it did not come out as a growl. “She has…been seen to.”

The king sighed with relief and leaned on the balcony rail. “Rothamar…” he whispered, “I must thank you for your years of service to my family. Even now, in our darkest hour, you do not leave my side. From the bottom of my heart, I–”

A flash of steel…the sound of a choked gasp as a trickle of blood flew from the king’s mouth.

From behind, Rothamar slowly removed the hissing dagger from the king’s back and stepped away as he dropped to the floor, gasping for breath.

“Foolish old man,” Rothamar spat. “You and your misbegotten family have ended. Now I am the ruler of this system!”

Rothamar spun around and quickly hid the dagger as one of the imperial guard swung the door open. “Sire! As per your orders, Danika has been successfully evacuated from the…ohh, my god…wh…”

“An assassin,” Rothamar growled. “He came in through the window and murdered the king as I had my back turned.”

The soldier’s face turned ash white as he dropped his shortsword to the ground. “Th…then we are lost…”

Rothamar scowled and picked the soldier up by the arm. “Give the order to evacuate,” he snapped. “All remaining soldiers are to leave the palace grounds immediately.”


Grinning under the folds of his cloak, Rothamar slowly shut the doors again and made his way over to the king’s body. “I believe I could very well enjoy learning to rule,” he whispered as he placed the crown on his head.

‘Lord Rothamar, the castle has been taken. We are awaiting your command.’

Rothamar chuckled under his breath; De Seis was certainly enjoying his new found power. “Good,” the new ruler said to the empty air. “The king is dead. The plan has succeeded. This shall be the dawning of a new era!!”

Through the castle full of the dead, Rothamar’s unearthly laugh echoed through the empty hallways…


The Truth About A Lover

“We’re going to have a baby! It’s going to be wonderful – our first child!” Chloe said, giving the brilliant smile that she had been trying to hold back during the whole day. Keeping that secret was driving her mad! She couldn’t wait to tell him!

He didn’t reply to her right away. Silent and frowning, he turned his gaze away and then finally his back to her. She could see by the motions of his arm that he was stroking the light goatee that had grown since the last time she had seen him. He didn’t seem happy at all to hear the news. Perhaps he was just caught of guard. Finally, when he turned around, his gaze wasn’t dashing or smiling like it usually was. He looked stoney and cold. A complete stranger.

“Get rid of it. As soon as you leave here, get rid of the damn thing.”

She stared back at him, wide eyed and unbelieving. “Wh… what? You can’t be serious. This is our chi-”

Get rid of it. I don’t want any bastard children running around some backwater town.”

“We were going to be married, we could just do it a little sooner than planned is all.” she said. She was wringing her wrists. This wasn’t how she pictured this moment at all.

Suddenly, he began laughing. It wasn’t joyful but rather chilling. She felt the shiver go down her spine. “Did you really believe all that nonsense? That we’re going to get married, have a house and live happily ever after? You’re my whore, Chloe. Ha. Not even a whore, my favorite free lay whenever I stop by this forsaken town.”

It stung. Chloe could see white spots dancing in front of her eyes. Whore? Free lay? She was… nothing more than a vessel to quench his lust? No, she couldn’t believe it. This was just a dream!

“I’m going. When I come back to town, that bastard better be gone.”

The door slammed.


Morning Disasters


“uugh… I don’t wanna– CRAP!!” Cheyanne rolled out of bed quickly, hitting the floor with a loud THUD as she scrambled frantically towards the bathroom. Her alarm was going off an hour late! She’s going to be screwed! Flinging her clothes across the room, she jumped in to the shower and twisted on the water. Right in the middle of her shampooing, the hot water suddenly disappeared leaving Cheyanne giving a loud howling screech! Argh, but she was so late…! Sucking it up, Cheyanne muttered curse after curse as she quickly rinsed her hair with the frosty cold water. Free of suds, she jumped out to dry herself off with the towel and get her hair blow dried. Two minutes in to drying something went BZZZT and all the power in the apartment flickered off.

“Oh come on…! I know I paid the power bill!” No, no, she’d double check later! Knowing, she didn’t have any moments to spare, she grabbed what clothes she could barely see with the morning light and tried to dress herself. Getting her make up done was even more trying… she was sure she probably looked like a clown. Finding her watch, Cheyanne was hopping out the door as she slid on her shoes.

She was running down the street towards the subway station when her heel broke! For crying out loud! All she could do was break off the other heel so she wouldn’t be lop sided – at this rate she was going to be late for the train! Cheyanne barely made it down the stairs, hollering for someone to please hold the door..! She slid through the sliding doors of the train just in the nick of time.

Today was going to be a disaster. She just knew it.


The Talk

Late one evening sat four burly men and one petite girl around a large table littered with plates covered in frosting and mugs of half finished beer. Cassius was the middle son, leaning back in his chair with his feet resting up on the table. Dion the youngest son, was lighting up a cigarette. Brennen, second oldest, had his third plate of cake for the evening. While Aaron, the oldest, was sitting at the head of the table quietly eying the spitfire little redhead that was now complaining at Cassius.

“Get your feet off the damned table! Mother taught you better manners than that!” she hissed, throwing a fork with painful accuracy and sticking him square in the chest.

“Ow! Damnit, Brownie! She said you’re not supposed to throw shit either!” complained Cassius, picking up a spoon and getting ready to lob it across the table. Brennen laid a quick hand over his arm and shook his head.

By now, Aaron was rubbing his chin with thought. “Sixteen, that’s legally an adult female.”

Bronwen gave a beaming smile, posing in her chair with pride. “Yep. Not only can I fly any ship I want, I can go anywhere I please with who I please without one of you baboons for a chaperon! It’s the greatest day of my life!”

“Yes… I think it’s about time we have ‘The Talk.'” replied Aaron.

Brennen choked on his bite of cake while Dion paused mid puff. Cassius started laughing boisterously.

Bronwen just blinked at her brothers, a questioning eyebrow raised as she leaned forward on the table. “Okay… it’s not another lecture about how to fly, is it? Fa has been nagging me about that all month.”

Aaron cleared his throat. “No. You’re sixteen now and you’ve already expressed… interest in boys… men. You need to know what men and women do together.”

“Hells bells, Aaron. I already learned all that crap in school.” Bronwen said, rolling her eyes as she rest her elbows on the table and her chin in her hands. “You’re like… five years late.”

“School hardly touches the subject of sex. Man urges. You need to know all of this in deta-”

Brennen interrupted Aaron. “I’m sure she doesn’t need to know all the detal-”

“Of course she does!” shouted Cassius before Brennen could finish his sentence “You want our little sister running off with some jerkass that just wants to grab her tits and stick his pe-” CLONK! The back of Aaron’s hand collided with Cassius’ face, causing the man to tumble backwards from his chair in to the floor.

Bronwen suddenly had the feeling this was a conversation she did NOT want a part of. She eased slowly out of her chair. “You know what, it’s been a long day. I think I’m just going to go to bed.”

“Erika, sit down.” said Aaron.

“…yessir.” Bronwen muttered reluctantly, lowering herself back to her chair. She cast Dion her best sad-puppy ‘save me!’ face!

Dion shifted uncomfortably in his chair. “Sorry, Brownie. Better you hear it now than right before a date…”

“Yes…” started Aaron slowly. “Dates. When you’re on a date, remember that no matter how pretty his words are or what he does, all he wants is to have sex. Sex anywhere. Everywhere. All the time. That’s all we met want out of a pretty girl.”

“Oh god…” was all Bronwen could squeak out before her head hit the table. “Is that all…?”

Cassius had climbed back in to his chair. “No, it’s not. Just in case you don’t know, sex is sticking his penis in yo-” THWACK! This time it was Brennen’s elbow that shot out and cracked Cassius in the nose.

Brennen coughed. “What Cassius means, is that there’s a lot more to sex than just kissing. Fondling, private parts… nudity. It’s all great fun. …for men! Not for you. Ever. It’s horrible messy stuff.”

Dion was shaking his head. “That’s not true. It’s only a disaster the first few times until you know what you’re doing. If she’s anything like us, she’ll figure it out quick enough.”

“OKAY!” Bronwen sat up quickly and stood from her chair. “That’s enough! No more! I swear to gawd if you start describing stuff like sixty-nines and blowjobs I’m going to be sick! …Oh god.. I think I already am… I am never ever ever having sex!” Bronwen covered her ears before they could spit out anything else disturbing, and escaped from the room with a door slam behind her!

Cassius returned to his chair, and paused before picking up his mug of beer. “…How does she know what a sixty-nine is…?”


Fall of a Savior

Bianca ran up the isle, practically on Serena’s heels. “Just grab it, quickly! They’re right behind us!” Stopping at the stairs as Serena dashed up to the alter, Bianca pulled back the string of her bow. The doors suddenly burst open, Xender shoving a man off the end of his sword as he began marching up the isle followed by his beasts. Bianca fired once, twice, threes times, but Xender deflected the arrows using that odd staff he had with him.

“I can’t get it!” Serena had screamed.

“Just GRAB it!”

“It won’t let me…!”

Cursing under her breath Bianca stumbled up the steps to the alter. There, cradled in a stone bowl was a crystal clear round orb. Without thinking, she scooped it up in to her hand. At her touch the orb filled with a cloudy blue, churning with life. Bianca didn’t give it a second thought as she stuffed it in to her pack. Serena had ran down to the bottom of the steps, but screamed as Xender was there drawing down the staff to strike her. In seconds, Bianca was in front of Serena, her sword drawn from the hilt at her back. Steel clashed against wood making a strange unearthly sound.

“Run, now!!” she shouted, as Serena nodded and took off.

“Give me the orb and the savior!” Xender snarled as he shoved against her sword with the staff.

“I think I’ll see you dead first!” she snapped back. Her attention was shattered as Serena suddenly screamed again. Bianca turned sharply to see where she was – a fatal mistake! A sudden harsh blast caught her against the chest, she fell backwards, her back painfully striking against the steps. Xender was over her wrapping his hand around her throat and tightly squeezing.

“Take the survivors alive! We’ll see who this savior is…” Serena’s screaming was the last she heard before falling unconscious.


Evangeline’s Husband Wishlist

(Are you happy now, Clara? It took me three days!)

1. Is really really extra tall!
2. Can dance with me!
3. Can fight with a sword!
4. Will rescue me from my parents when they’re being really mean.
5. Can ride a horse!
6. Strong enough to throw someone and pick me up!
7. Will always eat my candy when I offer it to him!
8. Will be able to handle angry warlocks who drink too much beer and won’t listen to visions and take no for an answer.
9. Doesn’t get scared and run away when I tell him about visions.
10. Always kind to animals and little kids!
11. Protects me from jelly fish or other monsters that try to eat me!
12. Can kiss me senseless even if I’m mad enough to hit him with a stick!
13. Won’t ever be distracted by another girl and thinks I’m the most beautiful person in the world!
14. Can always find my keys when I lose them, no matter where they are!
15. Will not object or get mad when I tie him to a bed!
16. Can scare someone just by glaring at them!
17. Is friends with fun loving werewolves!
18. Will always come to get me if I get locked in a closet or weird place!
19. Has a good savings, but is not snobby, mean, or lazy about it!
20. Will know when I’m upset without me having to tell him and always know what to do!
21. Spends every Christmas with me!
22. Can throw fireballs and kill evil vampires even if I’m clinging to him!
23. Remembers my birthday!
24. Doesn’t complain about my rocks and won’t get mad at me for leaving them all over the house!
25. Will give lots of snuggles at bedtime!
26. Easy to daydream about!
27. Will wash my hair for me when we take a bath!
28. Always smells really nice like rain or forests!
29. Will take care of me when I’m sick, and let me take care of him when he needs me too!
30. Can speak soft at my ear because it’s cute and romantic and sweet!
31. He loves me for everything that I am and won’t be scared of me or think I’m stupid and he won’t try to make me be somebody else just because I’m not normal and keep blabbering things out visions and forgetting that it bothers people!


“I guess I over Slept”

Written for Vay’s writing challenge. I might end up basing a plot of character on this later. .___.; Strangely tickled my muse.

Fire rained down from the sky in long blazing torrents. Buildings were going up in flames, billowing smoke rising from cracked and broken windows. In the streets people ran screaming as grotesque monsters of all shapes and sizes crawled out of trenches in the ground. Black spindly hands, long sharp finger nails. Glistening teeth and voracious appetites. The clouds were red and sun near blotted out.

Inside the small apartment, someone suddenly burst in through the door. Slamming it behind him like hell was on his heels. With a feverish speed, he was grabbing everything he could get his hands on and stuffing them in to a bag. He must have been making a huge racket, as his roommate stumbled out of the second bedroom, barely dressed and rubbing his head in annoyed confusion. His friend looked at him surprised and startled.

“What the fuck, dude! It’s the god damned apocalypse outside and you’re not even dressed?!” he shouted.

His roommate turned to glance out the window before giving his shoulders a shrug. “…I guess I over slept.”


Cassie’s Journal: Entry #???

He fucking shot me in the back and left me there for dead.

I woke up in the hospital and the first person I saw was Professor Yoshi. My sister was lingering around outside, but Yoshi was not who I expected to see by my bedside. Then again, I couldn’t expect Grant, could I? Not unless he wanted to finish me off.

I wish I could forget. Pretend it was an accident. That I never saw him. Ever single moment replays in my head as I desperately grasp for anything that could explain it away. That maybe he did it to save my life. Not stand over my body watching me die with that smirk on his face and a few last words. [i]Nobody upstages me, Cas. Not even you.[/i] What did I ever mean to him. Anything? We walked out of that building with a mission that went flawless and then he kills me. Stole what we claimed together and left me there to die. Like what we were meant nothing. Like I meant nothing.

Yoshi explained to me that Grant left the College and is now working freelance for an Unknown Funder. His people found me and I was lucky to be alive. I don’t know how he knew… he must have found out about Grant before. Yoshi never bothered to tell me anything. Just said that he would find me a new partner.

I don’t want a new partner. I want out.

This isn’t the kind of life I wanted. I was supposed to graduate and spend my days in a Museum or University studying artifacts and putting back together the remains of lost civilizations. Not stealing from governments, getting chased down by maniacs, or murdered by the man I thought loved me.

I’m going to tell Yoshi tomorrow that I don’t intend to do any more extra credit assignments. There are other ways I can pay for my degree…


Cassie’s Journal: Entry #??

Journal entry for Cassandra, revealing more history tidbits. >:D

What do you do when your boyfriend is being an asshole? Laughing in his face is never a good idea. God damned, I don’t know what I was thinking. No, I DO know what I was thinking. I think I finally understand what Grant means about the thrill of the assignments…

Baghdad was such a perfect example of how everything could start great, but turn out so -wrong- in the end. We started in the city hunting down our contacts and squeezing people for a bit of info. He’s got that devil-care smile when he’s pulling the bastard role. We bounce back and forth so well, that there was a man there that wouldn’t spill. Be it a few clever words or the point of the gun. We had it down in perfect harmony.

Once we got to the site, it all flipped. I admire his focus. He saw the prize and everything else was just walls to be knocked down – but that was the problem. The caves were well protected with old-fashioned traps. The warnings were all over the walls, but he wouldn’t stop long enough to heed the warnings. Of course, he said he’s been in the business longer than I and knows damned well about the dangers and how to avoid them. I believed him. Grant was a student of Yoshi’s – assistant even. He could READ the warnings, right? So wrong! He triggered one of the mechanisms, something that even a child could have avoided. We were nearly buried to our noses in mud before I found the hook for opening the doors.

You think he’d have said “Thanks for saving our asses, Cassie.” Not a chance. We got to the grand room without any more problems, only to find the place looked as if it had already been cleared out ages ago. You could see the spot where relics used to sit. Grant was so pissed off. While he fumed, I was examining the pillars. What Yoshi wanted wasn’t one of the famous artifacts. Yoshi never seemed to want what was obvious. There was always something unique. There was an alter that caught my eye, something built in such an odd way it really didn’t fit with the rest of the room. Grant finally asked what I was up to when I laughed out loud. A few rocks in the side could be pushed back revealing a secret compartment. Then out it came. A small stone tablet with ancient inscription. The language was so rare I couldn’t even read it myself. That was what Yoshi was after.

Grant didn’t seem to agree. He didn’t understand the vale of a rock, compared to the gold, jewels and statues he usually grabbed from sites. When we returned to the College and presented the Tablet to Professor Yoshi, he found out! I don’t think I ever wore a more smug grin in my entire life. I didn’t mean to rub it in his face, but I was so tired of him acting like he was the Know-All of the business.

Needless to say there was no sexy time for me that night. We fought about it, I laughed at him. I think I wounded his pride and now I feel like a downright bitch. Later I might make him a treat and apologize. Our differing opinions on work methods shouldn’t come between a good love, right? And we do make such brilliant partners.


Cassie’s Journal: Entry #?

Journal Entry for Cassandra Jones, dated College pre-partnering with Babs.

I killed someone. It wasn’t the first time someone has died on one of these assignments, and you better believe it was self defense. But this time it was my gun, my hand, my bullet. Then, I was just glad we got out of the city alive. But now? Now all I can think about is whether or not that guy had a family. Bills to pay. A life of his own. Grant told me to shake it off. He was trying to kill us first. This shit happens in our business. People die all the time.

I’m starting to wonder if taking these assignments from Professor Yoshi was a good idea. I can’t pay for college without this extra money. My grades in Ancient Culture studies are slipping bad and I don’t qualify for anymore scholarships. But this last job… Now I know for sure that some of this can’t be legal. I should be speaking to cops right now. International police. Instead I get a lecture from the Professor about completing things on time, and my boyfriend telling me I’m a great shot. No one sees something wrong with this?

I don’t think Grant really gets it. He just left his job as Teacher’s Assistant to start doing this full time. He’s calling himself a Professional Relic Hunter. That cockyass smile of his IS pretty sexy, at least until he cracks those Indiana Jones jokes at me. Sometimes I wonder if he’s trying to make that damned movie a reality. Grant always talks about the glamor and the rush of adrenaline he gets from these jobs. But I never hear him talking about the history or culture that we’re digging these artifacts from.

After my final exam for this semester we’re going to Baghdad. At least I HOPE so. Yoshi mentioned that the top grade of the class would get to accompany for that assignment, and I could just see that bimbo Barbara drooling over it. I couldn’t give a shit about the job itself, but this is my chance to partner with Grant on our first funded mission together. He said my skills on the field were impressive and I can’t wait to show him first hand.


Protected: Beware the Forsaken

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A poem I wrote during my 9th grade year of highschool. Yes, I was angry. c__c;

May god rein down on you,

and rip the life you well know you don’t deserve away.

May hell swallow your inner soul,

torture you till kingdom come,

even though you won’t be admitted.

Go to confession,

repent all you can.

Your evil ways prove you other wise than good.

Just hope Satan looks more kindly than I,

May God look more kindly than I,

but I am the victim.

You’ll never see forgiveness from me.


Autumn’s Monologue

A letter or diary entry written by Autumn Riktophen after the events in Brooding Darkness.

I remembered the dark, the fire, oblivion. Dramatic and yet profound, the scorching feeling of flames brushing my skin. Heat so suffocating it drew the very breath from my lips. The soft fabric of my clothing damp from perspiration and clinging to my form with every move I made. I had wished so desperately that it was but a dream. That he was not alive and had perish years ago, finally giving me some sort of respite from the years of torture he had rest upon me.

No… I was not so blessed. He had returned from the very gates of hell just for me. Yet, he was not my fabled husband, though his face and his very baring was so unmistakable. I am not sure when I recognized it was only the shell of Lorant. Perhaps it was the look of unmasked curiosity mixed with the desire to snap my bones in two. Nevertheless, that man stood before me with eyes shining a glittering bronze with the heat of the very sun. The gates of hell had been opened, an infernal army of demons set loose upon the mortal world.

Had my entire life been predestined for these final moments? I had suffered so much in the Riktophen Manor, my only escape was loosing myself in capturing photographs. A photograph could show so much. My talent, one could say, was capturing the true essence of my subjects in picture form. I could see their soul, their aura… their true self through the lens of that peculiar contraption. At first I was so startled, thinking perhaps it was an unholy possession. But, I had learned quickly such a gift was useful to me. Often I had escaped the plots of my jealous mother-in-law’s assassins by learning their intentions through the camera lens.

Several days before that moment, before I found myself staring down at the chasms of hell I had met an angel the very same way. A handsome man with hair of spun gold and eyes the color of the morning skies. I had never before seen such a bright benevolent presence. An aura of the most pure and unadulterated light. He was charming and kind, and I was so taken in. Love at first sight always sounded like such a children’s fairy tale, but I found myself smitten.

Raziel, my guardian angel. It was brave, and yet so futile to come and he had paid that final price. I believe he knew his fate, resigned to his own death. An angel’s duty to die for the sake of good. Still, with the knowledge of the war at hand, I wished he had not gone. To watch him die took a piece of my soul. I had no desire to fight any longer, to spend the rest of my life constantly battling for a way to survive. But… his final words, You must take the ring. The wedding band. Could I let him make such a noble sacrifice and dishonor him by giving up? I couldn’t bare it. Despite being frightened, weary, jaded… I had to take the ring.

It was the most terrifying thing I had ever done. After spending so many years trying to avoid the affections of my husband, to welcome them, to encourage them, all for the sake of retrieving that accursed ring. In the end I was successful, yes. But not without proving a loyalty I had no intentions of keeping. One would ask how could a feel remorse or guilt about a man that had been so cruel. I am not sure myself. I often wondered, would things have changed under different circumstances? This man, he loved me, a twisted kind of love. But love me, he did. Perhaps I was not strong enough to see past the fear he gave me. Or maybe I simply did not want to. You always want to believe the world is in black and white. Good and Evil. But there are always so many shades of gray.

I remembered the anguish, the fear, and the hope. All of those that died during that inconceivable war between the very beings that both protect and spurn this world. The angels and the fallen. Creatures of destruction and beings of creation. A battle that could have turned the very way the world spun, and yet not a human soul beyond myself and Mister Johnathon Morris know.

And so, I write these letters to you, my children and my children’s children. You must never forget the ones that sacrifice their lives for this world you live in. Do not forget that the world is in shades of gray, and behind every face there is a story. Protect the treasures I leave to you and past these stories on, for life is an eternal circle and one day you may learn from the mistakes of the past to prevent mistakes of the future.




Open Your Eyes

This is a song “by” Lily Grey for a private Oracle plotline. It reflects the thoughts and feelings she has about her mother Ciara’s relationship with Leon.

She’s going through the motions.
Another witty phrase or an ice cold gaze.
She says she doesn’t care, that we’re getting no where
And it’s another rainy night alone…

Open your eyes, girl. Life isn’t what it was before.
Open your eyes, see what’s right there in front of you.
Before it’s too late and he walks out that door…

He walks in with a smile,
That devil may care walk in his steps.
He doesn’t want to say he cares, that it’ll get him nowhere
And it’s another rainy night alone…

Open your eyes, boy. Life isn’t the same as before.
Open your eyes, see what’s happening to you.
Before it’s too late and she walks out that door…
Make up your mind, before you lose it all…

Why can’t you talk like you used to?
That schoolyard familiarity, secret words and valentines
Don’t say it’s uninvited, that you’re scared or frightened
It doesn’t have to be another rainy night alone…

Open your eyes, and make up your mind.
Open your eyes, don’t be so blind to the world
It’s who you need, who you love
Make up your mind, no more rainy nights… alone.
Before your heart walks out the door.


Only You

Written “by” Michael for the band Forsaken in the Brooding Darkness: Shadows Beneath plotlines.

I’ll bring you the sky
I’ll take the stars down
Whatever your wish
Just give me a whisper

On my minds there’s only you
I’d walk a thousand lives
Just to see you by my side
It doesn’t matter what I do
Only you

Don’t you know what you do to me?
It only takes your smile
To bring me to my knees
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do
There’s only you.

I’ll lift your feet off the ground
I’ll give you wings
I’ll bring you anything
Darling, there’s only you

You don’t know what you do to me
It only takes your smile
To bring me to my knees
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do
There’s only you.
Only you
Sweet darling, there’s only you


Nothing Left to Save

Written “by” Michael for the band Forsaken in the Brooding Darkness: Shadows Beneath plotlines.

Locked in this cage
Watching the wind take flight
A war of fallen to engage
The angel’s battle I have to fight

I never wanted to be your angel
I never want to believe again
To take the soul of one you love
To take their life with your own hand

Don’t speak to me of right and wrong
When you don’t see all the grey
I’ve turned my back on the angel’s song
I’ve got nothing left to save

The dark one comes to seek my soul
With eyes that see in to infinity
Feathers of my fate will fall
Caught by the ties of destiny

The world is frozen in this feeling
With dreams I’ve never told
Hearts of desperate souls are screaming
Lonesome cries of empty souls

Don’t speak to me of right and wrong
When you don’t see all the grey
I’ve turned my back on the angel’s song
I’ve got nothing left to save


Devil’s Infliction

Written “by” Michael for the band Forsaken in the Brooding Darkness: Shadows Beneath plotlines.

walls of glass that shatter at my own reflection
a thousand feelings of wanting the words I cannot find
chasms of unbreakable shadows caused by her rejection
leaving nothing but the fear that fills my mind

she held me down and ripped my soul away
torn me to peices with all of her games
i could draw that bridge a thousand times
abandoning love to cross over hate’s lines
nothing was ever real, nothing was ever true
binded by ties of regret, until i met you

understand that love is the devil’s infliction
a sort of madness that consumes the mind
even he can’t escape the sweet addiction
a kind of connection most can never find

she held him down and ripped his soul away
torn him to peices with all of her games
he could draw that bridge a thousand times
abandoning love to cross over hate’s lines
nothing was ever real, nothing was ever true
binded by ties of regret, until he met you

don’t be fooled by his convictions
the excuses he chooses to hide behind
he builds his lies on contradictions
and refuses to have his heart entwined

the devil and i are one in the same
played by a woman with dirty games
all that was left of the hate and the blame
but it took one angel for all to change

nothing was ever real, nothing was ever true
binded by ties of regret, until i met you
binded by ties of regret, until i met you


An Angel’s Song

Written “by” Michael for the band Forsaken in the Brooding Darkness: Shadows Beneath plotlines.

Dancing forms of light and shadow
Torn by devil’s dragons of ancient rhyme
Singing praises of a lover’s arms
Heaven’s angel with eyes so kind

I don’t believe in anything but what I see today
It’s never just a simple thing when the world gets in the way
All I am is what I do and that’s all I wanted to say
All I have are the simple things, and baby that’s okay

Sweet angel of mine cease your tears
Living in a dream is never what it seems
But when I look in to your eyes
Time stops everything
My guitar for a kiss and my soul for those words
Just say ‘I love you’ and my heart is yours

I’ll never fear the darkness your light shines my way
Heavens gates aren’t really closed to those who run away
Dancing to an angel’s song we’ll remember the love of yesterday


Something to Think About

Early morning classes were not Lily’s favorite, but she supposed the subject of study made it difficult to get a room at better hours. Practical Alchemy wasn’t exactly a ‘normal’ class by the usual standards and it was not something she expected to sign up for… But she didn’t expect the University of Towsen to be so weird either. In fact, it seemed to be so similar to what her mother was trying to accomplish with Oracle, that Lily almost expected to find a secret military, a weapons vault, or perhaps even hordes of undead.

She hadn’t found anything like that yet, but so many odd things happened at Towsen that there was bound to be something.

That something wasn’t in Practical Alchemy this morning, though. Lily sat on a stool fussing with a formula on the table while Eugene was trying to convince her to join his ‘club’.

“We’ll give you your own plasma pack AND Harold will show you the ghost traps!” he said peeking up from behind the table with his best begging expression. Lily though he looked a bit like Leon when he was begging her mother for more steaks.

“It’s not a good idea. ..and I really don’t know anything about ghosts.” she replied, crushing up a bit of the powder to mix in the… stuff… they were working on. How was this practical?

“Sure you do! You and Conrad were in the library that day Priss was taken away by those weird guys in the battle gear! We’ve seen you looking in to everything. You have to join, you just have to!”

Lily opened her mouth to refuse again when a pair of arms pounced her from behind! Powder scattered all over the table as the girlish voice behind her giggled. “Sorry I’m late! How is my favorite super heroine of all time? And where’s Conrad? I didn’t see him in the hall when I snuck in.” Coppery red hair and brown eyes hopped on to the stool next to Lily. Her name was Hannah and she was that very unfortunate girl Michael tried to grab in the courtyard that day. Since then she seemed to think Lily and Conrad were her heroes and Lily couldn’t seem to convince her otherwise. She was still surprised Hannah bounced back so quickly from the experience.

“Getting breakfast, most likely. We had to wake up so early to get here on time.” Lily responded, handing her the bowl she had been working on and was now trying to sweep up the spilled powder.

“Hannah!” Eugene popped up from behind the table, suddenly standing straight as a board and looking a bit pale. It took him a moment to clear his throat and smooth out his expression to speak again. “C-could you tell Lily that she should join the Paranormal Investigations club?”

Hannah blinked, taking a moment to debate on whether or not she thought it was a good idea. “Well… I do think it would be a good idea. You and Conrad saved me from that monster and I hate to admit it, but crazy stuff always seems to happened here at Towsen. It’s gotten a lot worse lately too. Hey! I’ll join too! We’d be like… ghost busters!”

With that Eugene broke in to a big smile, leaning forward on the table looking nearly smitten! “Exactly! You’re a beautiful genius Hannah!” His grin suddenly disappeared as he realized what he said out loud and started backing away quickly. “I – I mean. Just think about it!” Coughing as he bumped in to the table behind him, Eugene and his lab partner scurried back to their own table.

Lily rolled her eyes at Eugene, flipping the pages of her book to get back on track with their project again. “I really wish you wouldn’t make such a big deal about that. We really didn’t do anything special.”

Hannah shook her head as she organized the ingredients on the table. “You’re waaaay too modest. Everyone else was running and screaming, but you both came out to save me. He was calling for YOU after all. That had to be horrifying! I thought you had a bodyguard because of crazy stalkers or reporters or something, not vicious monsters! And I knoooow you said you didn’t kill him yourselves, but it’s still totally amazing!” she sighed dreamily! “Bonus points that Conrad so gorgeous and you get to hang out with him all the time. He doesn’t have a girlfriend does he? Do you think I can ask him out on his next off day?”

“Off day…?” Lily was so busy trying to tune out all the mentioning about Michael that it took her a moment to realized Hannah changed the subject. “He hasn’t really had an off day. He’s never asked for one.”

A gasp! “Oh my god, really? Lily, jeeze! He’s got to have friends and stuff. You’re the boss, you’re supposed to tell him when to go! It’s not like he can hang around you forever. I mean don’t YOU want be alone sometimes or do something without some guy always following you around? …Besides, I really really want to ask him out of a date, so you’ve gotta give him a day off!”

Lily paused and frowned. She never really thought about any of that before. She sort of assumed Conrad was always going to be around. But, that couldn’t be fair… “I suppose he really does need time off…” she started slowly.

“Aie! Awesome! What about this weekend? Do you think he’ll say yes? Oh, don’t look so grim. We could totally have a double date if you want! I can find you a date an- Bad idea, huh? You’re right, it’s time to cut the cord and get some time for yourself.” Hannah stopped and looked over at Eugene. “You could always join Eugene’s club.”

Lily laughed at that, giving Hannah a slight grin. “He might pass out if I said yes. We’ll be studying Practical First Aid instead…” Both girls snickered.


The Doll Escapes

She tapped her head against the wall as she looked up at the ceiling. Tap. Tap. Tap. Her arms were wrapped around her knees and he folds of the white dress. She hated white… but they all had their colors or special things they had to wear. She was always in white. Maybe she was an angel. Or maybe he just liked the contrast her blood made on the fabric.

A long shrieking scream pierced the silence and she glanced at the door. Goodbye Selene.

“It should have been you.” hissed a soft voice across the room. Long blond pony tale in a red and black Gothic Lolita dress. Out of all of them here, she looked the most like a real doll. She was glaring at Lily with glittery blue eyes. “You’ve been here the longest. It should’ve been you.”

Lily turned away, unable to reply. She didn’t disagree. Selene had only been there for a couple months and he was already bored with her. Why was she still here? Was it because she didn’t die in the first few weeks like most of the girls? There was always new girls. If they didn’t die from abuse or suicide, eventually he just got bored with them. So why after all this time was she even still alive? …and why did she even bother to think about it anymore?

The door suddenly crashed in, two figures crashing to the ground in a fierce struggle! Several girls screamed as they fought on the floor. Finally a shot rang out, the vampire was hit in the chest! But at the same time his fist shot up, ramming a knife right through the underside of the other man’s chin in to his skull. Both bodies fell still.

Several moments went by before Lily was scrambling across the floor snatching up one of the guns from the fallen hunter’s belt. A hand clamped over her wrist. “Don’t you dare! Don’t you dare leave!” said the blond angrily.

“I’m not going to just stay here.” Lily replied, ripping her arm from her grasp.

“You’re his favorite!” she howled, jumping at Lily again to grab away the gun. “You’re never leaving! I won’t let you!” Trying desperately to ripped the gun from Lily’s hand, she was even trying to break fingers!

Lily wasn’t going to let go! She twisted and fought, shoving the girl back! The girl leaped for her again, sending both of them hurdling in to the wall. The gun went off! Both girls slid slowly to the floor. The pretty blue eyed blond fell away, a bloody hole in her chest.

The gun was shaking in her hand as she stared down at the girl, then glanced up at the others. “Don’t just stay…” Lifting herself to her feet, Lily slipped out the door and escaped in to the hall.


Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14th. A long, hard, crazy February 14th. Valentine’s day.

There was the cherub hanging around the office. The bags of Valentine cards. Phone calls from women (and even some men!), one insane radio promotion thanks to Tali, and he didn’t even want to think about the gaggle of faeries. He ran in to nearly every person in town except the one person he wanted to see. All Aidan MacGregor wanted to do now was sleep.

Aidan dragged his feet as he headed straight for his bedroom in the tiny little apartment. His coat was tossed off somewhere on the way, along with his shoes and socks. Crossing the threshold in to his room, he fell face first in to bed.

Out of the corner of his eye he noticed something out of place. Or rather, not so much out of place as… something that hadn’t been there before. Reaching a hand out towards the nightstand, he picked up the book. The Land and Mythos of Leprechauns. He grinned as he flipped it over. On the back was a pricetag sticker for The Page Turner. Aidan had been reading that one on and off for the past two weeks. Every time he stepped in to Sasha’s shop.

Setting it back on the nightstand, he rolled out of bed, unbuttoning his shirt as he walked towards the closet. Pulling the door open with his foot, he paused. In the back of the closet was a small crack of light. That definitely wasn’t there this morning when he was getting dressed. Aidan stepped inside the closet, pushing some of his clothes aside. It was a door. With a curious blink, he nudged the door open wider, a familiar scent gracing his senses.

The room was warm, decorated with classic hand-me-down furniture. A scarf thrown over a lamp. Random articles of clothing on the floor. Aidan stepped backwards, closing the door with him. Strange. He opened the door a second time. …Still the same room! It didn’t take a genius to realize it was Sasha’s. He could recognize her style and perfume from a mile away. Aidan didn’t have any time to think harder on it, as soft footsteps could be heard coming down the hall towards Sasha’s room. He closed the door quickly, pressing his ear against it to listen. There was the rustle of clothing, two clonks of shoes hitting the floor.

Aidan knocked softly on the door. There was a pause of silence followed by a muttered “Oh shit!” He grinned at the voice, knocking once again. Silence. Aidan glanced back towards his room at the book on the nightstand. It was still Valentine’s Day. Not too late for a little gift.

Clearing his throat, he knocked on the door a third time. But instead of speaking… he sang! “I am a man who will fight for your honor! I’ll be the hero you’re dreaming of~!” Aidan wasn’t exactly the best singer, and he might have sounded a lot worse than he would have hoped.

There a mumbled “He isn’t.” on the other side, nearly interrupting his song with snickering.

You’ll keep me standing tall, you’ll help me through it all. I’m always strong when you’re beside me. I have always needed you. I’ll never make it alone…

The door suddenly opened, Aidan having to stand up quick before he tumbled in behind it. Sasha blinked at him, with an examining gaze, seeming to be indecisive on whether or not she was annoyed or amused.

“Hey…” He said, flashing her a grin. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Sasha shook her head, unable to keep from returning his grin. She leaned in the doorway. “Hi.”

Common sense told him to say goodnight, close the door and go to bed. But common sense couldn’t have imagined how nice she looked with that crooked grin, or how her hair fell over her shoulders, or the way she wiggled her toes. So when Aidan tilted forward resting an arm on the doorway over his head and pressed his lips to Sasha’s, common sense decided to take a vacation.

If Aidan were thinking he may have been surprised that instead of a smack, Sasha was returning his kiss. Her fingers curling around the fabric of his opened shirt. Raising a hand, he grazed his thumb across her cheek. His hand moved, resting at the back of her neck with his fingers entwined in red hair. A gentle tug on his shirt pulled him forward as the kiss was broken. With every step backwards Sasha made, Aidan stepped forward, never more than an inch of space between them.

Sasha’s hands pushed his shirt off his shoulders as Aidan brushed feather soft kisses across her cheek and down her neck. A murmur escaping her lips while his arm locked around her waist. Her hands ran over his chest and his stomach, subtly loosening his belt and pulling it free. Aidan pulled her shirt up slowly, hands caressing every inch of her skin until he pulled her shirt over her head and tossed it aside.

Capturing her mouth again, the rest of their clothes were abandoned piece by piece as they inched their way to the bed. Sasha pushed Aidan gently until he fell back, sitting on the bed. Linking her arms tightly around his neck she straddled him. Aidan gripped her hips firmly, guiding her comfortably as he muttered her name against her lips. That electrifying feeling of flesh against flesh was mesmerizing as they moved in rhythmic motion.

With heat flushed checks, Sasha gripped Aidan’s shoulders tightly at the sudden shockwave of pleasure. Resting her forehead against his, her voice was breathless.

“I love-”

“Oh shit!”

Sasha sat up in bed, clutching a hand to her pounding heart. Her body warm and tingling with the sensation of touch, but the room was empty. It was the middle of the night and it was just a dream…?

…What a dream!


The Mission

The Mission. One must focus on the mission. Assassinations between factions of the Trade Federation was not to be taken lightly. It required every amount of focus to keep yourself from saying the wrong thing, stepping the wrong way and getting yourself killed.

So why now, was he in this small closet of a room, tugging on the collar of his shirt and cursing at the heat as he watched a bead of sweat slide down the neck and shoulder of his very attractive padawan?

Adam growled under his breath. Before he knew what he was doing his hand had reached out, cupping the back of Eva’s head and pulling her to him. His mouth took hers in a greedy kiss, sliding his tongue over hers before slipping between her lips. She made a soft sound of surprise, but in an instant her own hands were roaming under his shirt and grazing over taunt muscles.

The temperature of the tiny room had to of shot up ten degrees. An arm snaked around Eva’s waist, lifting her up from the ground and resting her against the door. The hand at the back of her head drifted down, brushing over her neck and shoulders. It glided down to her breast, cupping it in his hands with a gentle squeeze. Adam broke the kiss, his mouth trailing down her jaw to where her pulse was beating a mile a minute. He mumbled an unheard phrase about her skin as he nuzzled his nose against her neck.

Eva sighed. To say she didn’t want this would have been a lie. Months of working with Adam had grown in to an attraction. The way his body moved in a fight, or how his mouth curved in to a smirk every time he made a joke. A mouth that was now brushing across the exposed skin of her breasts, her shirt having been pushed up over her chest. She sucked in a breath as he pulled a taunt nipple in to his mouth. Sucking gently at first, then giving a small nip that caused shivers to tickled through her spine.

The way her body body shuddered was making him hard, nearly as much as the soft sounds of her sighs. His tongue flicked over her nipple before he moved his head to give attention to her other breast. She was beginning to twist against him, growling impatient words. Eva’s hands dropped from caressing his chest down to his abdomen. Her fingers slipped under the waistline of his pants, pulling loose the belt there. “Are you going to play or are you going to take me, old man?” she muttered in to his ear.

Old man? Adam’s head jerked up to frown at her. Eva was casting him her usual taunting smile. His frown shifted in to a smirk as a hand moved down to her thigh and squeezed. “This old man can teach you a few things.” he replied. Leaning forward, he captured her mouth again to kiss her hard. His hand mouth upwards over her thigh, slipping between her legs. He was rewarded with a gasp of surprise against his mouth, of which he responded with another smirk. “I think I like this skirt after all.”

Eva could only moan his name while his hand nudged aside the flimsy silk of her panties and a finger found it’s way in to her slit. He stroked her in slow smooth motions, sliding not one but two fingers inside her. Adam took her mouth his again, kissing her in time with his movements. She was wet, hot, the sensation of pleasure building and building..!

She gave a sound of protest when his hand suddenly withdrew, but it was squelched as the head of his member nudged against her. Eva’s hand moved, wrapping her fingers around his shaft to give a gentle squeeze. She brushed her thumb over it’s head, taking amusement in the low deep moan escaped him. Eva guided him, leaning her head back and bracing her hands on his shoulders when he took one swift thrust! Her body stretch to accept the invasion. Burned with aching desire as Adam took her hips and started moving.

Sweet ecstasy started to build as Adam thrust deeper, quickening his pace. Eva wrapped her legs around him, digging her fingers in to his shoulder. His breath came out in short ragged breaths while he locked an arm around her waist. He continued to move harder, faster. Bracing his hand against his rear so he could drive every inch of himself in to her.

Eva could feel her desire growing stronger until her whole body stiffened! With his name on her lips, she shuddered with climax. Her muscles tightening around his shaft as he continued to thrust. Moments later Adam’s own orgasm hit. He drew her tightly to him, spilling his seed with short jerking motions. When the spasms subsided, he didn’t release her. Only held her close and brushing his lips against her ear.




Gabriel’s arms went around her, responding to her kiss in kind as his hand caressed the small of her back and then lower to give her rear a gentle squeeze. Murmuring his name against his lips, Evangeline pressed a hand to his chest. Guiding him backwards with both hand and body until he had moved back to the sofa. Her hands never left him as she knelt on the floor, breaking away from the kiss to plant a trail over his jaw and to his neck. Her fingers were blazing their own trail as they danced over his chest and glided across his stomach. His body tensed and he gave a low groan as she curled her fingers around his shaft. There was no mistaking his desire for her, and it was his restraint that had her smitten. As her thumb moved back and forth she could feel how difficult it was for him to allow her to take the initiative!

Evangeline smiled against his skin as she nipped against his neck again. Her lips brushing softly over his shoulder and down his chest. Gabriel could not help but watch, intrigued yet amused. Oh yes, he definitely was enjoying her game! His heart beat faster still as his muscles contracted against the cool flicker of her tongue against his stomach. But it’s when she moved lower and took him in to her mouth that he hissed an unexpected moan of pleasure. Encouraged by his response, her initial shyness faded. As her tongue circled and licked, her fingers would stroke firm and agonizingly slow. It was maddening!

Any thought to hold his resolve was broken in an instant as Gabriel growled and seized her arms to pull her up and on to his lap. He was through with being patient! He griped her hips firmly in both hands, guiding her body until he sank himself inside her with a single sudden thrust. Evangeline’s gasp of surprise quickly shifted to an earnest sigh as she settled over him. Her body adjusted and she was more than ready for him. Wet and willing, she captured his head in her hands to run her fingers through his hair and crushed her mouth to his in a feverish kiss.

Gabriel’s hand glided up her side before stopping at her breast with a soft caress. He smirked as she inhaled a quick breath. His head tilting to that spot where her pulse beat so strong. Even now her blood was racing faster as he pressed his lips to her neck and grazed his teeth gently across her skin. But as she gave a soft giggle and rocked her hips, it was he who was grunting to catch his breath.

Evangeline set the pace, slow and steady as she moved herself against. Up and down, in and out, shallow and deep. Absolute heaven building with every thrust. Gabriel left her neck to tilt her just fraction backwards. Capturing one of her breasts in his mouth and suckling until she was softly mewling his name. His hand stole below, fingers gently probing even as he was moving within her.

As sudden gasp escaped Evangeline as her entire body shuddered! She gripped his shoulders, nails digging in to his skin as her climax hit. An arm locked around her waist as another moved up her back and neck to tangle a hand in to her hair. Holding her steady even as she writhed within his arms and begged him not to stop! Her pleading sent Gabriel over the edge and as her muscles contracted around him he too found his climax in a few quick thrusts. Even after he had filled her with his seed, his arms remained tight around her.

Evangeline had no desire to move, worn and exhausted with her face tucked safely at his neck. When she finally did catch her breath, she giggled softly. “Do I make a good tease?”

Smirking, Gabriel pulled a blanket from the back of the sofa to wrap around them both before his arms were right back around her again. “That you do, my devious wife…”