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Shadows Beneath

CHAPTER ONE

As the sleek silver jet landed in Heathrow Airport, a solemn figure brooded in her private cabin. Dressed in black, swathed in shadow – she seemed to be the perfect type of thief. Possessor of that air… not even the perky stewardess wanted to go near her. It was a dangerous demeanor she portrayed, and their fear suited her just fine – she was in that sort of mood. Being the highest paying passenger aboard this flight, the dark child was the first off. Then again, she had been the only passenger on this private ride. Money ruled this world, and the girl had enough of it. She wasn't some corporate leader, though one could argue it had been a work of inheritance. It didn't matter. The point was, she had it – and she really didn't care what other people thought of her. Maybe a little. Just a little. Okay, maybe a lot.

Once again, I cannot find it… mused the teen, slipping on black sunglasses as she walked to the car that had been prepared for her arrival. The luggage would be brought in another van. Not that it mattered, as long as it got to her manor it would be all right. It was a stormy day. Not storybook stormy, with lighting and thunder – just gray. It was a gray morning. Dark clouds loomed overhead, threatening to burst at the barest whisper. The day would go by, and with it – an increasing promise of rain. In all, a classic English day. And the figure seemed to melt right into it. Black pants and a dark shirt emblazoned with silver Chinese writing, deep brown hair that appeared black – highlights simply hiding in that ebony day. And of course black boots. Why ruin a good theme? She was in a dark mood. Peace… will elude me again until the next vacation… why can’t I fill this Void!? The teen felt old, even though she was just 20, and at the peak of her existence. I could live a thousand years and still feel this way… most unnatural.

The ride to her London home was uneventful. She listened to the radio – the rock improved her mood a little. Slipping off the glasses, she watched the sun climb from the back of the limousine. Deep brown eyes. Some said you could have drowned in eyes like that. Especially now, she thought, amused. Her pupils were large in the darkness of the car, giving them a doe-like appearance. It seemed odd, as they seemed to clash with her pale skin. Clashed… but enhanced. She was beautiful. “How have things been, John?” The girl's soft and sweet voice rang, stirring the sleepy silence. A small smile played on her lips. She was going home. Sure, the feeling of not belonging hadn't been solved, but she was home… no matter how “icy” she tried to seem, the girl missed London and her life terribly.

“Quiet and calm, as usual… how was your trip, Ms.?” The driver made a turn off the motorway, and headed into the city. An amazing driver, John easily avoided the rush as he made his way to the manor.

“It was nice. Venice is so nice this time of year.”

“School started today – and I believe you may have missed it. But, I will assume from your choice of clothing, that you didn’t find what you were seeking – and have jet lag.”

“Yes… and no, I didn't…. and yes again.”

“If I may be so bold as to ask, what is it that you seek?”

“I don't even know myself, John… it's like I am missing something. Sometimes at home, at London, I seem to think I have found it… but my peace never lasts. Something is missing John. It's like a sickness.” John merely nodded in response. He couldn't really relate – so he assumed it was one of those “growing up” things. If he had been given a choice – he would never repeat the teen years. Too much hell. They remained silent for the remainder of the ride. As the manor approached, the girl found herself smiling at it. Smith Manor. Her home… well, for the past 19 years at least. Lord knows where she was before it. But now… it was hers. Sadly, it was empty… the warmth it once portrayed lost, in it’s place, cold memories – and graves. A tear slid past her cheek, but that was it. She didn’t want to mourn over them today… they would not have wanted it. John parked the car and let his employer out. But though it was morning, she was exhausted. Never again…. Never do I arrive home at the crack of dawn… Climbing the stairs slowly, she ignored the hustle and bustle that began stirring in the large house. Within minutes she had arrived in her room and had thrown herself on the bed. But her face hit paper. Pushing herself up, she blinked at it. Reading it out loud, she smiled. Welcome back home Rish!

“Silly goose…” the girl smiled. Giggling, Rishta turned over and fell asleep.







Alistaire yawned and grumbled on the hotel bed he had procured for himself once arriving in London. He had arrived only a little while ago, on “urgent business” he had told everyone. In actuality, he was just moving to newer hunting grounds and was allowing Ana to do what she needed to do at the colleges or universities and whatever with this Treble Morrish guy. Alistaire was more than willing to go along with her, but Ana had decided that she would run off on her own, and in doing so, had decided to just drop him off at the hotel. That left him bored, very bored. It was during the middle of the day, and none of the clubs were open, and there was definitely no possibility to go hunting.

“Bloody girl..” He mumbled as he rolled over, his arm covering his face. He was tired. Very tired. He hadn't of had much sleep at all for the past few days, but that didn't mean he couldn't do anything. He yawned and drifted for what could've been five minutes, ten minutes… maybe even thirty seconds. He didn't know.

Alistaire jumped up after his brief moment of rest and looked around, refreshed for the moment. He had a few bags strewn about the room, and there was one single, very large bed that he would share with Ana. Nothing would go on, of course. Ana insisted on sharing a bed with him sometimes, so he decided he would indulge her. Just this once.

He threw off his clothes and took a quick, cold shower. He liked cold showers; they always got him ready for a long, hard day, and they kept his mind on where it should be. He dressed quickly, putting on a pair of loose black slacks and a purple silk-shirt with a v-cut. Over it he threw his light leather long coat that went down to his tights, and slicked back his hair with what water still remained. He decided to bring along a simple .45 caliber handgun and a double-barreled shotgun that he put in a special holster under his coat behind his back. He wrapped a silver-choker around his neck that was covered in religious icons, it serving a dual purpose– style, and protection.

He walked down to the lobby and asked the clerk if his motorcycle had arrived. He had passed a nice sum to the manager in exchange that he procure him a motorcycle for his London use within an hour of his arrival. The manager had done what he asked, and he had a bike ready for him. Alistaire's lithe frame mounted the massive bike and he donned a pair of unneeded sunglasses and tore of down the road. Immediately, he pulled out his cell phone and brought up Ana's number.

RING RING…

“Whare's tha' bloody girl?” He asked idly, his heavy Scottish accent audible over the loud engine.







Trevor glanced down at his phone. Kris had e-mailed him directions to get to where she was staying, but he had been running into 15505 N. Easterly streets at least ten times today. He didn't see why she couldn't have gone to college back in the states, or even in New York. At least he knew where he was going over there. Spending half the day lost in a land where nobody knew how to talk right was not his idea of a good time. At least Joz had stopped worrying long enough to let him visit Kris by himself. Knowing Joz, though, she was probably going to pop up somewhere or another.

Slinging his bag back over his shoulder produced a thick metallic cracking; he had a pair of guns in there, muffled by some of his clothes. Kris would probably think he was crazy, but only if she found out. Smiling to himself, Trevor marched into the tiny front yard, and pounded on the front door.

Lightly tapping her finger on the panel of the car door, Ana Gordon waited and patiently….waited. She had managed to drag Alistaire after the elusive Trevor Morris. Word about him and his ancestry of demon-hunters was no doubt interesting, so when she got info on his whereabouts- she hopped on that opportunity like a junkie to a half-eaten sandwich.

This was going to be good.

The girl had followed Trevor since he left the airport; quickly dropping Alistaire at the nearest hotel while she tried to work her magic. It all came down to this- he was standing in front of a house, leaving himself open for approach. Eventually she got out of the car and walked over to him, hands in her pockets. You never know if he wasn't a big fan of being chased down by beautiful girls- so Ana was packing underneath her long jacket.

Ana was always packing.

Trevor put his phone away, set his bag on the ground, and began to rummage through it. Moving aside his shirts and spare jeans, he wrapped his hands around the grip of his pistol. In one fluid motion, Trevor drew the weapon, pulled back on the hammer, and leveled it at Ana as she approached.

“The day some bottom-feeding soul sucker like you sneaks up on me is the day I hang up my crosses for good,” Trevor snapped, wrapping his finger around the trigger. “I could smell your demon blood all the way up the street. Coming right up to me was pretty impressive, though. You must be really strong, or really stupid. Either way, you've got two seconds left before I put a bullet into your skull.”

Impressive. He was as good as they said.

Ana smiled and cocked her head, the only visible eyebrow raised. She had both of her hands in his line of sight, both at the level outside of her jacket for a quick draw if needed. Shifting her weight ever-so-slightly, she felt for the holster straps on her back. They were there, and intact. She was ready to roll.

“Hey now- you wouldn't shoot an unarmed lady, would you?” Ana kept her eyes on his, it was a trick she learned from Sean back in training. If you looked hard enough, you could see their pupils dilate- as long as you think you're quick enough to act before they do, you're safe. As tempted as she was to just show him that she wasn't like the others, she thought that talking her way out of it was going to give her a better chance to get away unscathed. “I'm Ana Gordon. Historian. Came here to possibly get an interview?”

“Historian? Interview?” Trevor flashed her a half-cocked smile, and then burst out laughing. “Oh, God, that's a good one! I suppose the rest of your clan are all accountants and secretaries, right?” He had completely let his guard down, he just realized, but as he wiped a tear from his eye, he realized that he didn't care. All of this was too rich for words!

“Christ Almighty, a historian…I wish dad was here for that…he woulda totally lost it.” Trevor slipped his gun back into his bag, and leaned against Kris' door. She must be out already. Probably looking for him, since he apparently couldn't navigate his way out of a wet paper bag. Damn stupid London. “Okay, I'll bite. You're a historian, here to interview me, probably because I've cut down demons and vampires like wheat for years now, right? I can't blame you, really. I even impress myself sometimes. I think if there was any one person in the world who could rid humanity of all evil, it's probably me. I mean…come on. How could you not think that?”

At least she had the gun out of her face. It didn't really matter if he believed her or not, but once she had time- her latest book was out, and waving in his face. “Demons of America”- Was her latest book, in which she did research on the demons that used to plague the states. She did a lot of traveling, and was pretty much able to live off the money that she made from that book alone. That didn't matter- money was just a minor thing compared to the thrill of hunting down the others.

“Historian and writer, mind you.” Ana let out a sigh and calmed down, scratching her head and tucking a pesky strand of hair behind her ear. In the back of her mind she thought of how Alistaire would react to her hanging out with another man- but it didn't matter, he liked to say they weren't together. Well fine- two could play that game. “Now, about that interview…”

Trevor grinned down at her. She was pretty cute, for a demon. “Well, we should start with the basics. My name is Trevor Morris, and I slay evil. To date, I've killed seventeen vampires, four master vampires, thirty weres, two dhampires, one hundred and sixteen demons, fifty-five devils, three hundred and two half-demons, seven hundred and sixty-nine cult members, fifty dark priests, and one Greater Bone Servitor,” he announced proudly, counting off his list on his fingers as he bragged on. “I was born and raised in New York. I'm an Aries; I like guns, kung fu movies, and killing demons. My turn-offs are goths, women who want to devour my soul, and hairy arms. My favorite food is a good Philadelphia cheese steak, and I'm allergic to shellfish.”

He looked up at Ana and shrugged. “Did I miss anything?”

Ana was taking mental notes, not to invite him to a seafood place later on. His astrological sign would explain his actions though, so upon hearing it- she wasn't too surprised. “I was talking interview like…actually hearing about your family of demon-hunters, actually. Although women who want to devour my soul turn me off as well- it's useful info, but not the stuff I want.” She was blunt and straight to the point- dicking around didn't get her the things that she wanted to know. Cold, hard facts was what she needed- oh, and maybe a few snapshots. Flash photography was fun.

Speaking of, Ana hummed to herself and pulled out her trusty camera- snapping a picture of Trevor in mid-question. He had his mouth open, and it would end up like one of those pictures where the person looked a little drugged up- but it was good for now. She'd get more pictures later on, better ones. Like him actually killing. Sweet. “So, when will you get to the killing- so people can see Trevor Morris in action?”



15505 N. Easterly Street. Inside the park near the house where Trevor and Ana spoke, a young man of twenty walked with his arms stretched, and eyes closed. His body was stiff, and he seemed afraid of falling. “Damn you…” the young man – Jeremy Doyle complained in a soft voice, “I'm not blind like you are… don't make me do such silly things… you blind bat….”

Something invisible seemed to thwap Jem's arms then, and he cried out in pain. A voice came to him mentally. //Yes… and date with your Rishta…? Take your practice seriously…// Another blow at his already bruised arms.

“OWWW!!! Stop it!!!” Jem cried out in mercy, “I'm taking it as seriously as possible! I've even managed to memorize part of the bible! What do you still want?!”

//The art of perfectness…// The voice coldly replied.

“I'm a mortal, no humans are perfect. We all err.” Jem retorted, happy with the possibility of shutting the irritating angel up. Thinking of it, Jem had been stuck with the angel for more than ten years, and in each lesson there was no way he could escape a beating from the sadistic angel. Annoying thing was, Jem never knew the angel who had been guiding him. He was able to sense and hear him, but he wasn't able to see and feel him. Eerily, Jem was the only one around who could do it so far, and it made him think that he was really serving the demons in actual fact.

//I told you I'm an angel. I'm not related to the demons.//

Jem was startled and he looked up at where he thought the angel could be but there was simply empty space. “You… you are too much!” Jem yelled while he shook his fists, “I… I am taking lessons from you at the risk of losing Rish as my friend and you never failed to beat me up! You demon!! I will never trust you again!” Jem turned and tried to run to the gates of the cold and empty park.

//Yes… Next lesson… Swimming…//

An invisible hand picked Jem up easily and dragged him to the rails where the lake lied below. “LET GO!!! YOU DEMON!!!” Jem screamed as he tried to struggle but to no avail. “HELP!!! HELP!!! A DEMON IS TRYING TO EAT ME!!!” Jem cried out as loud as he could, hoping that someone could hear him.

SPLASH!!!

Jem was thrown into the lake. “It's cold!!!” Jem howled as he kept struggling in the water, “I… I… I can't swim!” he cried out, appealing to the angel for help but the invisible being ignored him only watching Jem silently. Refusing to help until the boy almost drowned.

“So, when will you get to the killing- so people can see Trevor Morris in action?” Ana had just finished her words when a loud voice came from afar.

“SAVE ME!!! SOMEBODY!!! I'M DROWNING!!!”

Trevor's eyes shifted from pleased to hard iron almost too fast for Ana to catch. “Killing people…?” he growled. “I don't know what you've heard, lady, but I–“

His next smart comment died in his throat when he heard somebody screaming about drowning. Trevor ditched his bag on the front doorstep and ran around to the back of Kris' house, vaulting over the fence in one great leap and charging towards the park nearby. In less than half a minute, Trevor was halfway through the park, and he reached the lake as he shot past a girl wearing more black than was probably necessary. Without hesitation, Trevor threw himself into the water, and started pumping his arms as he made his way towards the poor drowning slob.

Ana almost felt like there wasn't going to be anything good happening- until someone began to scream for help. Running behind Trevor, she quickly reached over and tapped Lux- it was still nicely tucked in it's holster. You never know when one could use firearms. This better had been good; the girl lacked any type of action since they had landed in London. The place stunk, but perhaps that was the horrible stench of evil. A demon smiting fellow demons, wow- that could possibly get her into trouble. Ana Gordon liked trouble, mainly because she could handle it. If not, there was always Ali… Coming to a stop where the land ended and the water began, Ana furrowed her brow. Seems like there was going to be no slaying- but saving a life was good enough. She wasn't dressed for fighting anyway- wearing a white miniskirt and a white sweater wasn't all that good to draw blood in. Inwardly, she cursed at the fact that she hadn't put on some jeans before coming down here.

Jem gaggled in the water and was halfway drowned when someone jumped in and managed to drag him up after some struggling. He climbed up and panted heavily, heaving quite a few times. The invisible being watched on in annoyance.

//You can never do a single thing on your own. Not even when learning to swim.//

“Are you trying to kill me?!” Jem yelled, looking as though he was screaming at Trevor even though he was facing in the other direction.

//….. That's a Morris isn't it? Oh good lord… I thought I will never see the people from Morris family again… How disdainful… I don't like the Morrises…//

“What's your business with the Morrises?!” Jem yelled yet again, beginning to shook his fists, seemingly to direct it at Trevor, “Shut your crap and go!!” Complete silence. Jem turned to Trevor and coughed a few times.

“I'm sorry… Thanks for saving me earlier…”

“A-are you okay?” Her attention was directed to the yelling boy; he seemed bothered by something- or maybe there were voices in his head? No, maybe he was ticked at Trevor. Ana tilted her head and looked at the soaked kid. She was tempted to take a picture, but that might make him yell at her- and that she couldn't really take right now. “Are you okay, Trevor- it looks like both of you need to get changed. Wouldn't want anyone catching a cold…” She walked over to the two of them and gave them a concerned glance. After lightly patting the boy's back and removing her sweater- she handed it to him. “Here, take this…”

“Yeah,” Trevor replied, a bit hesitantly. “Don't worry about it.” He regarded the half-drowned guy curiously, wondering why he was the target of his outbursts, only to be apologized to and thanked a moment later. Was he insane? Talking to himself? Or under demon possession? Trevor's extra senses kicked in, and he immediately found a very strong presence nearby; close enough to almost reach out and touch. His hands reflexively went to his jacket, but he quickly realized that he had left his weapons back in front of Kris' house. His attention slowly turned from the soggy stranger, as he looked alongside him, staring intently at the empty air. There was definitely a presence of some sort there. And why did it feel vaguely familiar?

“What's your name?” Trevor asked, his eyes darting from one side of the stranger to the next. “And why were you in the middle of the water if you can't swim?”

Jem smiled at Ana gratefully as she put the sweater over him. He mumbled a soft thank you as his attention was drawn back to Trevor, who ask a peculiar question. Jem hesitated. He could feel his teacher staring hard at him even though he was thankfully keeping quiet. He didn’t think the man or woman would believe him, maybe even send him to the mental hospital if he tried to explain the truth. However, his teacher seemed to know Trevor, and that sparked a hope in Jem. If he knows this guy, he must be someone so great that he has to be noticed! Jem looked at Trevor seriously. “This demon has been bugging me for eleven years! He claimed to be an angel but he kept refusing to show himself to me or to even tell me his name! He taught me strange things and forced me to read the bible and all that funny stuff. I tell you he's not like an angel at all! He beats me whenever he likes!”

Jem pulled up his sleeves and showed Trevor the bruises on his arms. “See??? I refused to listen to him today so he threw me into the water when he knows that I can't swim! I think he wants to make me into a demon!!”

Within a few hours, Rishta was up and had had a shower, breakfast, and had watched half of some Spanish soap opera. Damn insomnia. “Ugh! I need something to DO!” she groaned out loud to herself.

“Why don’t you go to school, miss?” the cleaning maid replied without care if she was spoken to directly or not. The miss look dreadfully bored, it was the start of school season after all! No sense in missing any of her classes.

Rishta blinked at the women. Then shrugged. “I missed my class.”

“Then go for a walk.”, she suggested. A little bit of sunshine would likely do the girl some good, she had looked so lost ever since she arrived back home to the Smith Manor.

Smiling slowly, Rishta muttered, “I think I will.”



Wandering a bit, Rishta thought she heard screams that sounded familiar. “Jem…? Nah!” But, she blinked as a man ran past her, not being able to see him – just his blur. Jeez… any faster and I would've thought that the hounds from hell were after him… He was then politely followed by a woman. Had they heard it too? Rishta had simply assumed it was her mind – she was too paranoid for her own good. Might as well go see what all the fuss is about… Turning on her heel, Rishta began running where the other two people had disappeared. Despite the boots, she was pretty fast and within a few minutes saw what the others had been running to save.

“JEM!” Eyes wide, she made her way to the small group and cast a surprise look at her best friend, not realizing that she was standing in an angel's shadow. Typical… of all the water-logged people I meet at the park, on the first day of school – it's Jem… only Jem would be able to do such a thing… Mentally giggling, she tried to look at him seriously, but was unsuccessful. In a record of three seconds, she began to smile.

“Jem, ya nutcase, what are you doing here!?” Rishta expected a friendly response from him – after all, she was his best friend. Even though he would be a bit surprised to see her… since she had been gone for about a month. But still, why shouldn't you run into your best friend at the park? Even if he was still choking on water. Turning her attention to the man who had saved Jem, Rishta offered him her hand. “I'm Rishta. Thank you so much for saving my friend Jem here… I dunno what happened… but thank you.”

A familiar voice called out. Jem looked up and was stunned to see Rishta! “Ri… Rish!” Did she hear what he said earlier? What a shame. She would probably think he was making stories up. And he thought she was supposed to be in Venice. What is she doing here?! He smiled happily anyway. Jem was so embarrassed by the whole thing and hoped Rishta didn’t hear his comments about the invisible being.

//…. Cute, isn't she? Rishta… I know her…//

Jem was startled to hear that. “Don't… don't hurt her…” he stuttered out.

“A demon?!” Trevor finally shouted, tearing his hand away from Rishta's. Dammit! And me without any weapons…except… Trevor glanced down at his hands. The only thing he was carrying was the Silver Herald…but did he really want to use that against a single demon? It'd be gross overkill, but if it had to be done, he'd just have to do it. “Come out and show yourself!” Trevor snapped, tightening his fists until his knuckles cracked. “Get your camera ready, Ana Gordon…you just might get those pictures you were hoping for, after all.”

Rishta blinked as Trevor ripped his hand from hers, as though she had burned him. Well, this one's a bit jumpy… maybe they both swallowed some of that poison for water… Retreating her hand back to her side, she looked at him all, her gaze obviously suggesting they all needed some mental help. Wait… maybe he's talking to me. “Um… sorry, no. Rishta means Destiny, not demon. And, thank you for that… introduction.” Rishta was a bit flustered, and was wondering how egotistical this man could get. Claiming that he was some powerful dude. Honestly, what was he comparing himself to? A baby? What made him so special? Unless he was some voodoo master or whatever. Of course, she had to take that walk in the park.

Everything was happening so quickly- people talking to invisible beings, or so it seemed…this place was a nuthouse. Ana looked from the creepy girl in all black to Trevor- and then over to the poor soaking wet boy. The thoughts in her mind stopped when she heard Trevor speak about a demon. Without a second thought she crossed her arms in front of her belly- her fingers coming in contact with the cold metal of her guns. She tightened her fingers around them and pulled, releasing the wonder that was Lux and Ater. Funny how her partner was missing out on the action- he was back doing lord only knows what at the hotel. It was just Ana and Trevor now- maybe kicking ass. “Demon…there's something different here.” Ana was ready if anything were to happen- and she hoped Trevor was too.

Then the other woman went insane, pulling out guns. Immediately Rishta’s body tensed, wondering if she and Jem had thrown themselves into the middle of some sort of mafia meeting. Wait, the mafia was in Italy… no, the mafia could be anywhere. Maybe this was a cult! Yeah, that would make sense. These two were probably high on opium or something, and must have made Jem take some and so that's why they were seeing things…

The angel was invisible, up above Rishta. He stared down at Jem, feeling annoyed. Why, that kid is even smiling to himself in secret joy and victory. Slowly, he sent a mental note to Trevor. //I'm not a demon… He's just sour that I tried to make him learn things he doesn't like… You are John's child… aren't you…? Don't interfere with this matter…// The angel glanced down at again Jem and gave a slight snort. What a brat, he thought.

Trevor stared in amazement at Ana for a moment. She had been packing the whole time? Jeez, that long flight must have given him more jet lag than he thought. He really, really needed a rest. Nope, he realized. No rest for the wicked. Trevor flinched as the voice echoed in his mind. “John's child…? You mean, my ancestor, John?” Trevor looked around, still not able to pinpoint the source of the power, or the voice in his head. “Yeah, I am. My name is Trevor Morris, son of the great slayers of old.” He snorted. “Who the hell are you? And why do you want me to leave? You're not scared, are you? I can't say as I blame you. If I were you, I'd be afraid of me, too. It's not often someone as powerful and capable as me comes along to ruin your day.”

The angel only increasingly got annoyed. Not only did Trevor refuse to leave, he wanted to stay and verbally challenged him. As annoying as his ancestor, he thought. Except that John could be a little bit more mellow. He kept quiet for a while before looking at Rishta, a familiar feeling warmth his heart. Another old friend, but she doesn't remember.

//…. I'm in no mood to fight or squabble with you… Leave…//

Quick as a snake, Trevor smacked the bottom of Ana's hand, catching her gun as it dropped from her open palm. He adjusted his fingers as best he could to the custom grip, and pulled a bullet into the chamber. Funny, though, how she just let go like that. He had met some weak demons in his time, but none of them were disarmed that easily. Trevor suddenly had a sneaking suspicion that she had simply allowed him to take the weapon. Hmph. Not bad, for a half-blood, he thought bemusedly. Trevor spun the gun Lux casually in his hand, and leveled it at the soaking wet Jem when it came to a halt. “A demon can't exist without a host. If I kill this boy, you'll have nowhere left to run. Don't make me do something we all might regret later, and come on out and show yourself. I'm getting tired of screwing around with you, demon.”

When Trevor became the new possessor of the gun and aimed at Jem, Rishta immediately stepped in front of Jem. Awww… This is SO a cult… While Trevor seemed to speak to thin air threatening to shoot Jem, Rishta high kicked at Trevor’s wrist, sending the gun spinning into the air, and into the grass a bit away, near Ana – it's original owner. People going around carrying guns… honestly – they HAVE to be a part of some cult.. or maybe they're dating and just don't like each other… Somewhat pleased at what she had done, Rishta took Trevor by the collar and shook him a few times, hopeful that he would come to his senses. Please don't let him go insane and have him smack me… I don't deserve that…

“Will you stop acting like a psycho! You don't pull guns on random people! AND JEM AND I ARE NOT DEMONS!!!”

The angel stared at Trevor as he took the gun from Ana, and was preparing to find out where to shoot. He was about to react when Rishta knocked the gun out of Trevor's hand and started to shake him badly. The angel chuckled. Still the same as ever. Slightly amused by Trevor's threat to kill Jem, though, he didn't think Trevor would really do that, he challenged him. //… Go ahead… Just try…//

“Wait…” Jem cried out, shocked that Trevor and his teacher were now playing with his life. He looked at Rishta, amazed. He stood up and took Rishta's hands away from Trevor's collar quickly, just in case Trevor went mad. He was sure Trevor and the girl beside him weren’t ordinary people. “Uhh… I'm sorry but it's a lie… He… he's not a demon…” Jem admitted, looking fearful, scared of what Trevor might do to him for that lie, “I'm just trying to get away from him… get some help and… well… he… he told me he's an angel right from the beginning….”

This little act was getting old- Ana grew tired of everyone's overreaction; and she was thankful that no blood had to be drawn. Although she could only guess what Trevor's reaction to being shaken around would be. Maybe he would deck her- that would be cool. “So -THAT'S- what that strange feeling is.” She muttered, referring to the presence of an Angel instead of a demon. Ana had no clue what had gone on now, but when nobody was looking- she extended her hand for Lux to come. And come it did, as if it had been pulled by an unseen force. She had yet to explain how and why they obeyed her like they did- but it even happened when they weren't her guardians. They had been her master's guns once- and even back when she didn't know how to even fire a gun, they seemed to call to her. It was -quite- odd how Lux fit into Trevor's hand like it did- but she wasn't going to talk to him about it until everyone was gone. “Well, that's a plus. At least he's being honest.” Deep down Ana didn't want to harm the drenched boy; it always bothered her to draw young blood. Although the girl dressed in black was asking for it- Ana put both of her guns away and stood next to Trevor. She was growing tired of standing- and she wanted to get her interview over already.

Trevor shot Rishta the most icy stare he could muster, but not for very long. He had a feeling she wasn't the type that was impressed by mere words. She had even called his bluff, and knocked the gun from his hand. He never had any intention of shooting the kid, but he had hoped to lure whatever it was that was giving him a hard time, out from hiding. “I've wasted enough time here,” Trevor growled, staring down at Jem. “I'm going to find out, once and for all, what's going on with you.” The young slayer took a small step away from Jem, raised a hand, and set it firmly on Jem's head. “Shut up and hold still. This won't hurt.” Trevor shut his eyes, and cleared his mind. He couldn't read minds worth spit, but if he poked around the kid's aura and soul, he'd be able to tell what was clinging to him so tightly. Only demons normally gave this much attention to mortals, and if that was the case, this'd be the only way to flush it out. The more Trevor searched, though, the less evidence of demonic possession he found. This guy's spirit seemed to be a bit more churned up than most people's, but aside from that, he was perfectly normal.

Rishta glared at Trevor as he tried to stare her down – resulting in a staring contest for about two seconds. Jem had pulled her back, and for that she was extremely grateful. After all, she didn't want to fight guys who were obviously on some drug high. Then the word 'angel' came up. That's it. Jem is so going to a psychiatrist when this is over with, and I'm getting putting a restraining order on those two. Angels, pheh – honestly… angels would never exist on this plane, they're just fantasy creatures… I hope. Blinking, she realized that she had been daydreaming for a few seconds, the ghost buster or whatever he was had his hand placed on JemJem's head, looking like a priest about to perform an exorcism. She had to stifle a laugh at that. Poor Jem, must have been overworked about the school situation and now had lost it. And this guy thought he was Pope John Paul II! And the woman? Hell if she knew, maybe she was pretending to be some sort of Wonder Woman. That brought another thought into her head: what if she had wandered into some movie set? Some super hero action adventure! Nah.

No…wait, there was something else. Trevor thought as he continued searching. Small so small and unnoticeable, it was only by sheer luck that he had found it at all. There was another presence again, and it felt very much like the first one, though that was only a shadow of the power this one possessed. Trevor tried to search around it more, but the closer he got, the larger the presence became. Surprisingly enough, though, there was no malice in it; only a desire to be left alone. So…no demons. But it certainly didn't feel like any angel he had ever heard about. Of course, his ancestor John's memoirs were full of weird things about the angels he had met, so maybe he was, in fact, dealing with the divine. Whatever. This kid's clean; I don't care anymore, Trevor mumbled to himself as he opened his eyes.

“It's not a demon,” he said, taking his hand off Jem's head. “But if it is an angel, it's the most pissed-off angel I've ever seen. I'd be careful if I were you. Do what he says, `cause I might not be around next time to save your sorry butt.” Trevor turned back to Ana. “Let's go,” he snapped, marching back off towards Kris' house.

As they left, Rishta blinked as her best buddy ran behind her – using her as some sort of shield. How… chivalrous. Then he began complaining. And not about a paper.

“But… but…” Jem stammered, not wanting to face the angel alone, not after what he had done! Ducking behind Rishta as if for protection he continued, “He ill-treats me! I don't want to learn from him! And anyway, why me?! I'm just an ordinary boy!”

“Um… Jem…”

// Oh boy… Running behind a woman for protection…?! How wimpish can you get?! //

“I just want a normal life with a girlfriend! That's all!!” Jem protested, near to tears but determined to stop them from flowing. He honestly thought the angel had something against him, and was there to torture him.

Turning, she slapped Jem's cheek softly, just trying to stop him from cracking like a mirror. The “slap” was affectionate, because after all – she knew what a big softie he really was. Just like a teddy bear. “Jem, did you stay up all night again? Or is this first-day-back-itis? And I can get you a girlfriend if you want.. I heard Alicia really likes you, and she's been DYING for a date…” Sighing a bit, she gave him a somewhat teasing smile. “Should I call in the Ghost Busters?”

“I'm not interested in that slob.” Jem almost snapped to Rishta, upset and irritated that she was not taking him seriously. He watched Trevor and Ana walk away. He thought Ana was a nice, and Trevor seemed to be a little edged. Whatever. He was happy enough that the blind bat was keep quiet… no. He was gone. Whatever. As long as he leaves me alone… Jem looked at Rishta and smiled sweetly at her.

Rishta blinked at Jem, as he insulted one of her friends. Well, not friends – more like gossip acquaintances. Alicia was a storehouse of information, and she told anyone whom she thought was worthy. She and Rish had gotten along in freshman year, and they occasionally spoke to each other. They were pretty close, and Alicia was crazy about Jem. And he had just called her a slob. “Jem…”

“Rish… you should have told me that you are back! I would have picked you up.” He wondered how her vacation went and was worried that she might have returned with a boyfriend.

“I know JemJem… but I came before dawn, and I didn't want to have you wake up – since today was school…” Rishta then noticed that Jem seemed a little edgy, and worried.

“So… did you get any boyfriends there???”

Blinking, she hoped she hadn't heard him correctly. Was he serious? Did he want her to be married off or something? Jeez. “Um… well, many gorgeous guys there – but they didn't speak English, so no…” Rishta laughed then and ruffled Jem’s hair. “Jem, of course not. Now, did you skip school or what?”

“I don't mind missing classes to pick you up.” Jem replied with a happy smile, forgetting that he was quite soaked. He looked at her carefully when she told him that she didn't get any boyfriends and he felt relieved. However, he didn't quite like the fact Rishta seemed to indicate that she didn't get a boyfriend there because they couldn't speak English. Nervously, Jem scratched his head and he smiled when Rishta ruffled his hair.

“So… if they could speak English… you would be coming back with a boyfriend?” Jem asked with his eyes wide opened, “Don't! I heard that the boys there are evil! They will break your heart!” Smiling, Jem straightened himself and hit his chest with a weird look on his face. “You can have me as a boyfriend if you like… I mean… I'm more reliable than anyone else.” Jem said, trying to sound as cool as possible.

Rishta smiled at him, poor sap was soaked. “I know you don't mind picking me up, but you need your rest. Honestly, did you drink a lot of coffee this morning?” Rishta commented on his jittery nerves. Honestly, did he really think she was the type to run off to some foreign country just because she met some guy? She would never do such a thing – first of all, she loved England. Second: she was settled here. Third: her dreams would never let her move. Angel Manor was here – and you can't move a house that size. “JemJem, no worries – I'm not dating anyone anytime soon, especially people I don't know that well and can't speak English!”

Blinking at Jem, she pulled out a cell phone, missing his last words. With a sort of silent authority she called home and asked them to bring a limo. Closing the phone with a soft 'click' she turned back to Jem. “The car will be here in a few minutes… luckily you have some extra clothes at the Manor – and a room – so you can have a shower and everything. Then we can talk. Capice?”

Jem blinked as the phone call interrupted his last few words. He cursed in his mind, wondering who had to call at this time. However he felt relieved too. He didn’t want to face the possibility of rejection. Jem had known Rishta for years and even though he was just a child at that time, he knew that Rishta was going to be the one in his life. Sometimes it just hurt that she talked about other boys in front of him. Jem wondered if his signs of affection were too mild or if they seemed too brotherly. He looked at Rishta and smiled wryly. “Okay. I will come along. But don't yell at me for getting your car seat wet.” Jem remarked with a smile that made him look like a jerk, as if he had some funny ideas in his head.

Blinking, she turned to him and gave him a sharp poke. He had that devilish grin that made her wonder what he really had on his mind. Not that she could blame him – he was like every other guy she had ever met: he had a mischievous streak. The only difference was that when he joked, it was normally something sweet, funny, and utterly adorable. At least, to her it was. Rishta yawned a bit as she and Jem stood out there in the cool air. She hoped the car would come soon – she didn't want her best friend to get sick. On the first day back to school too… that would really suck. Well, unless if Jem proved to be a escapist when it came to school – which she really doubted. “It doesn't matter – it's leather. I just hope you don't get sick.” Rishta brushed a few strands of hair away from her face as she looked at him, then at her watch. The car should be there in a few moments, and all they had to do was wait.

By BroodingDarkness

Before the birth of man there were the angels. The purpose of the Angelic Host was to keep the balance and guide man through it’s evolution… but many did not agree. This stand became known as The Fall and those that apposed the Host were known as the Fallen.

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