Urial went back home with people staring at her. Many people, both with kind and unkind intentions tried to convince her to seek treatment but she refused. She just want to get home and concentrate on healing herself. As Urial reached home, she tried to creep into the large house unnoticed. It was successful at first until she came to the living room. Her three brothers and parents were there.

“FROST!!!!” Mrs. Alisa Spencer gasped in shock as she seen her daughter with scars and blood all over her. “What have you been doing?! Have you been fighting with those hoodlums again???” Alisa cried out as she rushed to Urial, trying to help her.

Urial pushed Alisa away gently. “No, I’m okay.” she replied softly, “I will be alright after some rest.” Urial said, hinting at the healing element. Alisa bit her lip. Her daughter had just rejected her again, as usual. Urial sighed in silence. Alisa was probably the only Spencer who truly cared for her and whom she cared for as well. Her brothers were snickering and her father was frowning badly.

“Frost… don’t be like this…” Alisa insisted gently, “Your father just invited the famous Dr. Clinton Crawford over today for his eye ailment. I think he might know how to help with your injuries too?”

“Mother, I…” Urial began, but it was too late as Alisa asked a nearby servant to summon the doctor from the guestroom. Urial could almost feel herself squirming as she spotted the doctor coming into the room. Not such a coincidence… Twice in a day?!

Tabris smiled coolly at Urial as he entered the room. He hadn’t planned to raid Urial for a second time or her silly human family but it was such a coincidence that her human family called him up for his services. His left cheek had almost healed and his left shoulder was still bandaged up, though it wasn’t apparent. He looked as though he has not been injured at all, besides the little cut on his cheek. “Hello. You are Miss Frost Spencer? I have heard much about you.” He greeted as he bowed politely, eyeing Urial. “Oh my. Your wounds looks terrible. You need healing right now.” Tabris turned and looked at the Spencer family. “If you might, Mr. and Mrs. Spencer.” Alisa and her husband David looked at each another, unsure. William, Richard and Patrick snorted and left. Alisa was about to say something when Tabris stared into her eyes. // Go now. //

Alisa nodded her head and said, “Alright.” Looking at Urial, Alisa said, “Listen to the doctor, Frost. Mom will come back later.” Without another word of protest, Alisa pulled David out of the room despite his silent protests.

“Now we have all the time, Urial…” Tabris smiled as he turned back and looked at the archangel.

Urial felt a chill as Tabris stared at her through the eyes. Funny ideas popped into her mind from nowhere and she wondered about them worriedly. Tabris drove her family off almost effortlessly and Urial realized that he must have used his powers on them, besides the fact that her own family didn’t care much for her. She looked in depression as Alisa and David left the room leaving Tabris and her alone. // So it’s true that he could plant a seed of thought into a person’s mind… // “What do you want with me again, Tabris? I don’t believe it’s such a coincidence you are called up here for services.” Urial almost demanded an answer from Tabris, despite knowing that she is waaaay no match for him.

“You have a spunky attitude despite your recent crushing defeat, Urial.” Tabris said with a laugh as he raised a shield over the room, rendering it unseen, unheard and undisturbed by any ordinary living things. Tabris noticed that Urial was nearly squirming and he smiled in amusement. Urial was only acting brave as he expected. Intelligent people who act as strategists were mostly weak-willed or didn’t have enough guts, Tabris thought. “I’m surprised that you managed to recover so much, even though you are the Healer, Urial. You have impressed me so.” Tabris replied with a smile, nodding his head as he walked towards Urial slowly.

Urial took a step backwards in alarm as Tabris stepped towards her. She couldn’t imagine being hurt by him again. She didn’t think she might be that lucky to be rescued for a second time, as Raziel was in trouble and Gabriel sounded as though it was serious when he left along with the others. “So what if I lose to you, Tabris?” Urial replied defiantly, “As you know, the Gathering has began and you might just be able to sense out how many angels we have gathered together now with your dog-like nose!” Sneering, Urial added boldly as she stared into Tabris’s eyes, “Besides, this little victory is nothing. The real victory is in the end, in which the real victor would emerge. And I’m sure the forces of the light would win while the forces of the dark and evil would crumble and waste away in the abyss forever. Oh. Maybe by that time you people won’t even have an abyss to stay in you know? Just pure hell for you.” Urial said spitefully.

Tabris stood where he was and listened to Urial’s bold insults to him. When she was finished, he smiled slightly. “I have to wonder if you have this script written for any demons beforehand.” Tabris smiled and in a split second, pushed Urial against the wall, crushing her right shoulder. He jerked up Urial’s chin and placed his lips onto Urial’s roughly.

Urial was startled as Tabris forced her into the corner of the room, and against the wall as well. She didn’t even have to respond when Tabris jerked her chin up and kissed her hard, nearly taking her breath away. Urial was stunned, and shocked. Her eyes flung opened and tried to resist Tabris, but his hold on her was too strong. She was injured, and she was already beginning to feel the power of his gaze on her mind. She slumped down to the floor as Tabris let her go. Tabris laughed as he dropped her , the look on her face just amused him. Urial has a nasty temper all right, but he doubted anyone has ever told her how cute she looked when she was angry or stunned. Tabris opened up his wings and flew out of the window after that, still laughing. He would put the consideration of telling Gabriel this incident on his list. For now he would find other amusements.

Urial escaped back to her room after Tabris was gone and his shield taken down. She sat on her bed crying with her face buried between her knees. She hated Tabris, and from now on, she would find some intelligent way to deal with him, she vowed. She would get her revenge someday, and make Tabris regret his actions to her!

Gabriel flew invisibly to an alley near where he sensed Urial resided. With a smile, he shifted back into his human form. In all truth, he was far more comfortable as a boy than as an angel. It was two sides of a rather uncomfortable spectrum. He then frowned as he realized what he would look like, popping up at her parents’ door. His clothes were bloody and dirty; not an inspiring appearance. Gabe laughed aloud. What was the point of being an angel if you couldn’t alter your form? With the most delicacy he could manage, he removed the stains and scents from himself and his clothing fairly quickly. Running a hand through his fair hair, he figured he was presentable. //I come, Urial.// With a beatific smile on his lips, Gabriel trotted out of the alley and made his way to Urial’s door.

Urial’s youngest brother – Patrick Spencer, was kicking pebbles in the front gate when he noticed Gabriel. He walked up to him and stopped him. His hand blocking Gabriel’s way. “Hold it kid.” sixteen years old Patrick said, glancing at Gabriel with despising eyes, “Who are you and what’s your name? What company are you from? Are your parents some tycoon? No? Get lost then.” Patrick was chasing Gabriel away, seeing that he’s not some rich boy.

Inside her room, Urial could sense Gabriel. A rush of joy surged in her and she wanted to go see him. However, something pulled her back. A strange force stopped her from doing so. Urial touched her lips and found that it was what Tabris had done to her. She wrapped her arms around her knees again, eyes red with tears. “No… I can’t see him…” she uttered softly and painfully.

I’m not rich, but I’m not poor either…” He mumbled. “I go to the boarding school nearby. I came to see your sister… Frost.” Gabriel was uncomfortable; the boy was obviously bigger than he was, even though he was sure they couldn’t be too far apart in age. What’s the point of being an angel if I can’t use it, he reminded himself. He might get in trouble later, but… It was worth the risk. He gave the boy’s mind a gentle, unnoticeable push to allow him in. “I heard she wasn’t feeling too well, so I came to visit and offer my condolences.” That definitely sounded like a bookworm. Oh well; let the boy think what he would.

Patrick blinks at the slight mental push, but it worked perfectly. He stepped aside and scowled, “Get in then, kiddo. I thought she only mixes around useless girls, no boys.” Sneering, Patrick left. Up in her bedroom, Urial shook in embarrassment. Gabriel was in! Now what was the girl going to do?

Gabriel walked into the house quietly. It seemed that no one was paying him any attention. He cleared his throat, and gave a slight bow. “Um… I came to visit Miss Frost. I heard she wasn’t feeling well, and I came to… visit.” That was… Redundant, he thought. He stood silently, back straight. Adults liked to hammer you if you slouched.

“Missy? She’s up there. The doctor just left after inspecting her.” a kind maid informed Gabriel, who had been ignored like he was a statue.

Gabriel smiled and thanked the maid. What nice parents. Sheesh. He carefully picked his way to her door and knocked carefully. “Urial? I know you’re there… Are you alright? I came to see you.”

Urial sat up straight when she heard Gabriel’s voice. She groaned inwardly. Not now… Not when she was still feeling so bad and low. Still, there was a part of her wanting to see Gabriel, and cry out her problems to him. Urial bit her lips. Now Urial. You are a big strong girl. Don’t just break down in front of people and freak them out. Forcing a smile on her face, Urial replied, “Come in, Gabriel.”

Gabriel smiled and walked in. Urial was ruffled and in the floor, red eyes and swollen mouth. “What happened?” He went over and sat next to her, allowing her to lean on him if she wished.

“Nothing…” Urial said hesitantly. She couldn’t decide whether to tell Gabriel the truth or not. She was still thinking up of a way to deal with Tabris after all. “Thank you for coming to visit me…” Urial said gratefully.

Gabriel knew she was lying, and was a bit disappointed… But if she didn’t want to tell him, it was her business. “I was just worried, is all. You weren’t looking to well after Tabris had his way with you.” He could still feel the filthy demon’s trace on her. Disgusting bastard.

Urial’s face flushed. She hoped Gabriel wasn’t going to sense Tabris’ new and fresh scent on her! They had been very close just now, after all. “Thanks for the concern, Gabriel…” Urial said, feeling touched, “I’m glad that you cared… none of my human family members cared for me….” Maybe Alisa should be exempted from this…

Gabriel was somewhat alarmed but not surprised. By the notice they gave him, a stranger in their house, he could have walked off with the family jewels and no one would have noticed. “Do you need or want anything?”

“I….” Urial had just started to talk when Richard walked past the room. He frowned when he seen Gabriel sitting beside Urial. The frown broke into a grin though. “Didn’t know you had a boyfriend, Frost.” he sneered, “Is he living off you? Must be. You are rich, who doesn’t want to?”

“Hey, he’s my friend and you have no right to insult him like this!” Urial yelled at Richard, “Besides, you have no business!!!!!” To further prove her point, she picked up her pillow and threw it at Richard, who dodged it and escaped quickly. “Sorry, Gabriel…” Urial apologized awkwardly, “None of them know any manners…”

Gabriel blinked and shook his head at the boy’s hasty entrance and exit. “It’s all right… I have a sister. She’s a nutter. You were saying?” He sat patiently. It would take a lot more than her brother to annoy him today.

Urial stared at Gabriel for a moment before bursting into tears. “I came home… and Father has some problems with his eyes. Mother sees I’m injured and let the doctor tend to me too… The doctor was Tabris!!!!” Urial gushed out, sobbing.

Gabriel held her again. Seemed like this would happen often. Not that he minded, he just wished that it wasn’t when Urial was strained. Tabris, a doctor? Now that was a stretch of irony… Gabe wondered how many of his patients actually survived. Sick bastard… “It’s going to be all right… Everything’s going to be all right…” He patted her hair semi-awkwardly and rocked back and forth a bit. It worked on his sister, after all. “You’re alright, aren’t you? Did he do anything to you, should we get Raziel over here, or Adriel or someone?”

“NO!” Urial said suddenly, jerking up her head, though she looked down soon again, “I don’t want too many people to know…” she mumbled. Urial hesitated telling Gabriel what had happened but she guessed she had to, since it was bothering so. Telling it might release her pent up stress. “He… he kissed me…” Urial muttered.

Gabriel almost choked. “I’m gonna kill that bastard… I swear it, I will. And I’ll leave him where the others can find him! I promise, I will.” …He dares… I’ll pay him back for this. Stealing… Damn him… Red haze threatened his vision. He would pay Tabris back… Brutally. He might even leave him alive… He was sure Raphael might enjoy finishing him off, after all… It would probably please him to add it to his running tally.

Urial put her arms around Gabriel and continued to cry, “I… I can’t forget that!!! He stained me!!!!!” Still angry at Tabris, she continued to think of a way to deal with the fallen angel… Tabris was not stupid… but Urial supposed that if he lost his weapon, he wouldn’t be as powerful as he was.

Gabriel supported Urial silently, mulling over the painful dismemberment of Tabris. Maybe he’d hang him from a tree with his own weapon. “…Are you sure we shouldn’t let one of the others see you? If Tabris left his mark on you, I cannot take it out easily or completely. True majick was never my strong point,” he said softly. He had never had an issue with revealing his weaknesses, unlike a certain male angel he knew.

Urial nodded as she leaned on Gabriel’s shoulder and shut her eyes. She was feeling so tired… especially the injuries she has gotten from Tabris. In no time, she had fallen asleep on Gabriel’s shoulder.

The room quickly grew dark on the two young bodies in the room, both fallen asleep on one another’s shoulders. No one ever noticed; no one ever looked in. One’s slumber was disturbed by strange dreams, dreams and nightmares and memories perhaps resurfacing from the slush of thought long forgotten and hidden because of the fierce storm outside… Or perhaps because of the strange, dark energies that seemed to be lowering over all of London’s head.

Urial woke up with a start, feeling a powerful yet subtle darkness in the atmosphere. Something must be going on… Maybe some Satanist doing his work or a demon set loose… Whatever it was, it worried Urial and her thoughts drifted to a certain library somehow. It was ridiculous, but she felt like going out right now to the library. Urial slipped out of Gabriel’s arms and placed the blankets over his thin frame. She smiled as she looked at Gabriel. He looked like a baby when he was sleeping. She wondered if he was dreaming about her. Urial sneaked out of the room and tiptoed down to the main room where she opened the door and got out of the house. As the chilly winds blew against her wounded back, Urial felt a sharp stinging pain but she walked on, and out of the Spencer residence.

Rishta had left the manor of Autumn Riktophen and had arrived home through the main doors. She then had went upstairs to her room and opened the balcony doors. Closing the curtains absentmindedly, she got changed into her nightgown. She had gone to bed, and fell asleep – without closing the balcony doors or the window, allowing the cool night air to enter the room.

Tabris was flying high in the sky, enjoying the cool perfect weather. It was the perfect time for a flight. Curiously, he noticed a familiar angelic figure swoop in to an equally familiar mansion. Rishta. Smiling, Tabris followed in to the window inside the mansion. But now, Rishta was sleeping, unaware of anything else. Her hair was out, and spread on the pillow, her lashes lying heavily against her cheeks, streaks still there from crying. He looked at her sleeping form and smiled. She was so beautiful. Keeping his wings, he walked over to Rishta’s bedside silently. He stooped down, and kissed the angel’s lips softly.

As he kissed her she merely stirred, and mumbled something as soon as he had moved back. “Hmm… uh… sorry… so sorry…forgive me…”
She was still thinking about hurting Raphael – although Tabris would not know it. Slowly her eyes opened, only half-way though. She was staring at the ceiling, totally unaware that Tabris was there. “So sorry…”

“Sorry? To who? Me?” Tabris asked softly, as his hand gently stroked Rishta’s hair. He looked down at her, eyes shining with both passion and lust. Yet it seemed they had a slight tinge of concern in them too.
“Why are you crying…?” He asked the sleeping angel with a smile across his face.

Rishta was still drowsy, but she turned towards the direction of the voice. “Dr. Crawford? What are you…?” Then her memories hit her. “Tabris!” She was stunned, scared, and furious all at the same time. As though it was a second nature she moved from his hand and got up on the other side of the bed – looking at him as though he slapped her. “What are you doing here?! And my tears are none of your concern!” Rishta said, extremely conscious of the fact she was wearing a nightgown – a very pretty thing, made with lace and Chinese silk, and how Tabris seemed to be staring at her, with lust in his eyes. “What do you want…?”

Tabris shrugged, still smiling.
“Just thought I would drop by when I saw you going into your room.” he said nonchalantly, “And don’t sound so harsh on me. I’m truly concerned about you. Don’t you know I’ve liked you since the first day I set my eyes on you?”

“Ah, so, I take it you normally drop by girls’ rooms’ in the middle of the night!” Rishta said, and her eyes widened in surprise when he said he liked her. “That is impossible! Demon’s don’t like – they LUST. And I think it is pretty obvious how I feel about you.” He stepped forward as he smiled, “Or do you hate me…?”

Without any warning, Tabris lunged forward, catching Rishta in his embrace and kissing her. The force stopping her breath and shocking her. And for that she hated him even more. You don’t hate him… you can’t hate – you just want him gone. a voice said, and it was true. The only things she hated were the demons who killed her family – mortal or not.
However, she knew she had to get away from him. She pulled herself back and stared at him. //Let me GO// she sent, putting all her pain into that message. She then turned and tried to pull away. “Let go of me now Tabris! Let me GO! You aren’t winning any points for doing this! You are just making me hate you more!” Rishta said, hoping against hope that he would let her go.

His mental power set up a mind shield blocking off the mental attack of Rishta’s. Tabris’ will was powerful and a few glass ornaments in Rishta’s room cracked and smashed in to pieces by his opened mental force. Tabris refused to let her go, despite what she had said. He pushed her to the bed and pined her down as he kissed her lips again, sending his tongue in to her mouth. // It doesn’t matter, Rishta. It will be different after tonight… after you become mine! You will have no choice… but to love me! And I will make you love me! // He replied mentally.

Rishta refused to be daunted by the fact that her mental attack was stopped. She fought him with everything she had, but the man was strong. He managed to pin her down and French kissed her – Rishta was shocked. Clear your mind! Think Rishta! Otherwise you are gonna end up his! Use your brain! It then hit her. Since her arms were spread, but pinned – she had some chance. //I will NEVER be yours Tabris! Not in this lifetime!// With that hand she grabbed her sword, which she always slept with under her pillow. She swung it forward, so it was one fraction away from Tabris’ neck. If he pressured her wrist anymore, she would drop it – cutting into his neck. She ignored all the pain she felt, and focused.
//Let me go Tabris, or I will decapitate you – and I don’t care if I die along with you!//

Tabris reluctantly let Rishta go and stepped back. Suddenly, his whip appeared and entwined around the sword. Tabris caught the end of his wire and pulled. The sword flew out of Rishta’s hand.
He let the power go off, and smiled cruelly. “I’m going to tie your hands up now… and you can’t resist anymore…”

Rishta was shocked when the sword disappeared, but at least she had some breathing space. Her body shook, but her voice was steady.
“The day you successfully tie me up is the day I go against the angels! It will not happen, and you think I cannot resist? Watch me.” Then with amazing speed she backed out onto the balcony, and kept her eyes on him. She extended her wings, since her nightgown was backless and stopped at the edge of the balcony. Tabris was still in the room, but she had a feeling he wouldn’t be in there for long… And then she saw Raphael and for the first time, she breathed. Thank you…

Raphael had followed slowly from the Riktophen Manor, and he descended on to Rishta’s balcony. Hearing Tabris’ words, he was enraged! Without any warning, Raphael flew right in, his wings disappearing, and gave Tabris a hard and swift punch to the face, taking the fallen angel by total surprise. “How dare you!” Raphael was hopping mad, “I will teach you to go around violating girls!!!”

Raziel’s head jerked as he felt the painful stab of his spell. Something was far too close to Rishta… Heaven, a Demon… Wordlessly, he dropped Sapentia back into Staff form and launched into the sky, his wings melting in flawlessly with the early evening sky. He put all his strength into flight, using his Air majick to aid him. The air screamed with Raziel’s passage. He dropped in silently through the window, still wrapped in his cloaking spell. The demon would not be able to sense him. Raziel padded in silently, wings wrapped tightly around him. This would be the first worthy test of his protective spells in ages.

Tabris’ back and head hurt from Raphael’s sudden attack but he ignored it. “Leave us, Raphael!!!” he growled, “This is none of your business!!! I want Rishta and she’s mine!!!”
Tabris’ wire appeared in his hands again, and a shield was set up over the place, to prevent mortals from sensing the fight. His eyes spitting fire of anger, Tabris slashed the sizzling red hot wire towards Raphael.

Raphael flew out of the wire’s way as he removed Strife from it’s flute casing. He gathered a remarkable amount of force at the tip of it’s blade and sent it driving towards Tabris’ chest. Raphael’s presence added onto the power, threatening to tear Tabris into pieces.

Rishta’s eyes widen – something that was becoming familiar to her. She ran back inside, and grabbed the sword on the ground, and held it ready.
“Just because you want me, doesn’t mean I am yours! You will never own me!” Then something wild ran through her mind – it might save her room, at least. She brought the sword near her neck and gave Tabris a cold smile. “Do you want to play a game with me? Approach – and see what I can do to myself… I do not fear death, and you will lose. Back off, and approach me like a gentleman some other time, and then you may win. Do not tempt me with death, for I willingly accept it. So, Tabris – will your lust overcome the love you say you have? Or will your love conquer the lust?”

Tabris blocked the blow as his wire became a shield of power. However, he heard Rishta’s words and they affected him enough that he could no longer concentrate on his defenses, though he was already showing signs of breaking down. Raphael’s blade stabbed him in the heart cruelly. Tabris staggered backwards as blood splatters to the floor. He put his hand to his chest, trying to stop the blood from flowing out like river into sea. He looked at Rishta, a truly remorseful and sad expression in his eyes. Then he opened his wings and flew out of the windows.

Raphael walked over to Rishta as Tabris left. “I’m sorry for my attitude towards you just now, Rishta. If I hadn’t been a jerk, Tabris wouldn’t have gotten to you…” He bowed his head down, “I’m sorry….”

Rishta looked on as Tabris was stabbed, and then the look he gave her tore her strait through her soul. He is going to die… All because of me. Trying to be smart… but it was stupid. Foolish… I have to make it right! I will make it right! “No, Ralph, it wasn’t you – it is all right…” She smiled, to prove her point. “And I know this sounds crazy, but I need to help Tabris. He may be my enemy… but this was not just… only because I distracted him. I won’t be able to live with myself if he dies Raphael. I am going after him.”
Then, without further notice, she pulled on a coat, grabbed her sword and flew after him, leaving a stunned Raphael.

Raphael couldn’t believe it. There could a trap waiting for her! Who knows if Tabris had an army of evil servants or not… But that was only his imagination of course. Peeved, Raphael left Rishta’s house and took flight into the sky. He would go look for Adriel. The night is too much for him.

Raziel unfolded his wings quickly and swooped out of the room following after Rishta and dropping his cloak.
You fool!!” He screamed over the wind, his voice rivaling the agony of the air’s split. “He is STILL stronger than you!
Raziel smashed through the air once more. In Air elements, his only rival was Gabriel… The only angel faster than Knowledge.

Tabris flew into his own mansion’s room and sat on his bed. He winced in pain as he tried to stop the bleeding. As he remembered Rishta’s words to him, his eyes were red and watery. He shouldn’t have followed Lilith and Lucifer… The foolishness of youth, as some might call it. Tabris just sat there, feeling hurt. He didn’t even know why he had done all that just now and he felt guilty. Perhaps now Rishta will hate him forever.

Rishta flew as fast as she could, following Tabris. When she saw him enter his house, fear gripped her – but she ignored it. Then she heard Raziel, and her heart wrenched. She was caught between her friends wishes and her personal beliefs. However, she could not turn back now, she would not be able to live with herself.
//He may be stronger… but I am not going to fight. I have to help him… this fight was not fair… and all because he likes me, he got hurt. He just wanted me, blindly I admit… but I have to try… otherwise I would never be able to live with myself. Also, he saved one of my servants… a life for a life, remember? I will be fine.// Rishta sent to Raziel, descending into Tabris’ room, just a bit out of sight.
She approached him, half concealed in the shadows. Rishta just looked at him for a moment, shocked that this was the effect of her words. “Um…Tabris?…”

Tabris looked up and wipes his tears away. “What are you doing here? To see if I’m still alive or dead for good? Go away!” Tabris said, trying to conceal his wounded feelings within himself.

Rishta looked at him, eyes wide. He had changed again, like a child who was mad at someone and refused to talk to them. She was somewhat irked at that. He had the gall to snap at her after he did?! Oh well. She would fix him… “For your information Tabris, I came to help you. Lie down… and I will see what I can do.”

“I don’t trust you!” Tabris snapped angrily, and that only made him bleed more, “I don’t trust any angels!!! All of you are bad!!!”
Tabris tried to stand up and throw something at Rishta but his chest hurt. All he could was to project his mental powers and send a glass ornament in his room flying towards Rishta’s direction. It did not hit her though. Tabris made it hit the balcony door beside Rishta, as if to warn her to get away.

Raziel alighted in the edge of the room’s entrance. Convenient, balconies were. He arrived in time to here Tabris’s exhortation on how ‘bad’ angels were.
Cloaked once more, Raziel released Sapentia again… Just in case. He stood guard at the balcony door, watching Tabris and waiting for Rishta’s next move. //I have come. But if he kills you, I will never forgive myself and I swear he will not outlive you by long.//

Rishta smiled as she felt Raziel’s presence. Somehow she felt better, knowing that he was there. //Do not worry Raziel – he would not kill me. He might kill you, so I suggest you hide. I think he is having a temper tantrum…// Along with that message, she sent her amused feelings. She then faced Tabris. “‘Angels are bad! Bad!’” Rishta said, mimicking him and making him sound almost childish. “Did you forget that you were once one? I just want to help… is that so wrong? Besides you are hurt bad… and I can’t let it bleed like that.” Then, before he could react she had moved up to him and removed his hand and took a quick look at the wound. She then covered it herself, and gently moved him to the bed.
“Lie down Tabris… this is somewhat deep… you are lucky it did not pierce your heart. Let me help… please.”

Tabris growled at Rishta mentioning that he was once an angel. “Don’t remind me of that!” he shouted and he tried to struggle when Rishta moved him to the bed. “STOP THAT!!!” Tabris yelled, “What are you doing?!”

//If you call that a tantrum, I’d hate to see what he’s like when he’s angry. He is not much older than you, I think… Experience wise.//
Raziel watched Tabris carefully. He wasn’t going to trust him, no matter how guilty Rishta felt… Even though he had sympathy for the poor wretch.

Rishta let him scream and simply looked at him, like he had lost his mind. “Fine. I will not remind you. And what I am doing is obvious. If you lie down the blood flow will slow, and you don’t have to die and maybe give me more time to save your ungrateful self! Control yourself! Now, lie down before I knock you out and then help you!” She then sent a message back to Raziel. //Thanks… cruel, but true… I do have a lot to learn. I wish he would calm down – he is ruining my nightdress!// In reality, she was just talking, relying on Raziel for her patience right now… not to mention she was extremely conscious of the simple fact she was wearing her nightgown. “Now, are you going to calm down, or do I have to make you calm down?!”

Tabris scowled at Rishta as he lied down on his comfortable fluffy bed. “Don’t be rough!” Tabris growled at her.

Rishta smiled, she had gotten through! Finally! She was starting to hope she had anesthetic. Quietly she sat next to him, never taking her hand away from the cut. She pinched the wound, to keep it shut, but the area was probably so numb now he couldn’t feel it. She then placed her other hand near his temple, brushing away a few strands away with her fingers. One might think she was being emotional, but that was far from the truth. She was going to fix him, then get away from there! She then shut her eyes and began to concentrate, using all her energy to get his mind to fix himself faster. Quite an unusual process, since she could not affect the wound directly, she was taking another course.
And so it began.

Raziel watched what she was doing with a bit of carefully hidden surprise… He pushed up a mental shield to mask himself, and then attached a one-way link to Rishta to feed her some of his stronger, pure angelic energy.
//Be careful to filter it into your own energy… Not only do I not want Tabris to know I’m here, but it could send him into shock if it strikes him pure.//

Tabris twitched as Rishta began to heal him. Her healing abilities were far from Urial’s, but at least it would fix him up for a night or two. Tabris closed his eyes and drifted to sleep.

Rishta concentrated. When she felt the energy from Raziel, she mixed it with her own – like diluting wine. Underneath her hand, she could feel his skin heal, and was sleeping. Twenty minutes passed… then thirty… finally, almost an hour had passed, she was done. Rishta opened her eyes and lifted her hand – perfect. No one could tell it had been sliced. She turned to Raziel, all powers drained. “Thank you… I might not have been able to do it without your help… lets go.”

Raziel dropped his cloak so that he would once again be easily visible to angelic eyes.
“I will escort you home.” Raziel laid a deft spell on Tabris, quickly, that would ensure that he remained sleeping until Rishta was safe in her manor, all doors and windows locked once more.
He walked out on the balcony and stretched his wings as wide as he could… Felt nice, too, as he waited for Rishta.

Rishta walked out of the house, glad to be in the night air. She wiped her blood stained hand on her dress – this would have to be burned. She stretched her wings, enjoying the feeling of the wind rustling them. She turned to Raziel, looking grateful. “Lets go…”
And with that she took flight and waited for Raziel. Raziel took off besides Rishta, trying to watch all directions at once in case their other halves, the demons, decided to join. That would be bad. Very, very bad…
So, he made it an effort to keep them flying quickly.

Rishta arrived at home, looking back at Raziel, she was glad they hadn’t been attacked. Quietly she walked into her room, and viewed the mess. Broken ornaments, rumpled bed, blood… she looked at this and flinched, she would never be the same. “Um, Raziel – I am going to change, and then shut up the house. Would you like to stay? If so, I have some spare rooms you can use… so, what do you say to that?”

Raziel alighted into the room, just behind Rishta.
“Yes… I think that would be a good idea for tonight. Can you have a courier send a message to my patrons that I will be… Umm, researching in your library tonight? They are rather used to my eccentricy. Do you have a set of spare chambers next to this suite?”
He studied the chamber swiftly; blood on the rugs, sheets, and staining the stone floor; broken glass; he could repair most of the damage while she changed. “I would also recommend a bath,” he admonished, seeing the blood on her skin as well. He dropped his angelic form and stood in the center of the chamber. Thunder rolled outside; a flash of lightning lit the room. It was getting nasty outside; the majicks had disturbed the weather badly.

“Sure.” Rishta nodded. She disappeared for a moment, and came back 5 minutes later. “Some of my servants are going now. I sent them a note, just so there would be no complaints…” She laughed. “It is amazing how you can hide yourself up, and become a mystery – then people would do anything to get a letter from you… Another thing – I will not be using this room tonight… I will sleep in one of my spare rooms. There is one that has another room that joins through a hidden corridor… maybe we can use them. Excuse me now – I am going to clean myself up, and pray I am not followed.” Rishta said, giving him a slightly impish smile, no way any guys would see her bathe!

Raziel gave her a small, grave smile. “Very well, then.” After she left, he began cleansing the chamber. First, he used fine filaments of pure energy to burn the taint and the blood away, disposing of the sheets as well and blasting the stones until the taint was obliterated. It was exhausting, tedious work that required his full attention… Just what he needed. No time to think. He drew the blood from the rugs carefully, and scattered the ashes of the bloody sheets into the stormy sky. Small majicks like these would not disturb the weather further.
He knelt onto his knees and began to collect the glass in his hands, accidentally slicing both several times before he was through… The pain gave him another thing to concentrate on outside of himself… He couldn’t brood on his fallen cousins or on the angels’ plight. He stopped the bleeding quickly, but did not heal the wounds.

Rishta came in after a little while, wearing another nightdress, but covered with a robe – she had to preserve some dignity! She saw the room – practically spotless!
“Raziel, you did not have to do this…” Rishta said, looking around. Her hair was damp and she pushed it back, looking at him. “Raziel… your hands…” she shook her head, looking at him. “You shouldn’t have. Anyways, come.” Before she left though, she closed the doors and locked them, doing the same with the windows. The rest of the house was sealed. She then left, with Raziel, the room. Down several hallways, and up some stairs they went. Finally they arrived. The doors were far apart, but that was not the point. She went inside one, and beckoned for Raziel to follow. There was a large painting there. “See, this isn’t a painting – it is a door. There is one like this in my room. You simply push it, and it will open to a corridor – which will lead to the other room. So, any problems, you can sneak in. Clothes have all ready been prepared – in the closet. Good night.”

Raziel nodded and thanked Rishta, pushing open the portal to emerge into a small, dark passage. He had to duck a little, but the little hall was unobstructed and he could move quickly.
He changed into a soft robe he found in the wardrobe, and sat down on the bed. Softer, with a thin feather mattress atop a second, firmer one. Much nicer than his at the manor… But although he was tired, he did not go to sleep for a long time… He carefully renewed the spell, strengthening it and modifying it so that short of death, he would be alerted if a demon came within half a room’s distance of Rishta. Raziel felt guilty that he had not reacted swiftly enough after Tabris’s latest act.

As soon as Raziel went into his room, Rishta went into hers, but she didn’t sleep, although she felt like it. She could not help but keep on feeling Tabris’ presence… and keep on reliving every moment she had seen him. He was a mystery that she had to solve – maybe then she would be able to be rid of him.

“I have liked you since I first set eyes on you… Rishta is mine! … you will not feel that way after tonight… I will make you love me…”

I really have to stop this… I am going to drive myself crazy… Rishta said, finally dozing off into a fitful sleep. At least I will be rested…

Raziel awoke from a fitful doze around midnight, the lightning lashing the sky beyond the enclosed room into a dark frenzy. Something was happening… Raziel could feel the power pushing down on his shoulders, and it was not a pleasant feeling, either. He walked quietly through the passage after dressing in something more suitable. “Rishta? Wake up.” He shook her shoulder gently. “Something’s happening. Wake up.”

Rishta was in her room again… Tabris approaching… but it wasn’t him. It took a few seconds, but she remembered: Lord Tobias. She remembered him from her past – and she wished she could erase him from it. She remembered her granddad had wanted her to marry this man if he didn’t get a better deal… Rishta was fine with it, but he wanted more…
She was in the fields one day and he had approached, totally unaware that she had hidden guards following her around… he had grabbed her… kissed her… then was arrested… forever afraid to be treated like that again…
But now he was hurting her again… and not relenting in his eternal torture….

“NO! Let me go! Don’t touch me!” Rishta cried, waking up, sweating, her hair clinging to the back of her neck. She then realized who it was and was embarrassed. “Uh… sorry Raziel… just a nightmare…” She then felt the power. “What is going on?”

Raziel nodded solemnly. It was not his place to ask; whatever it was in the past, in the shadows of sleep. He himself never dreamed… Only remembered.
“I am not sure… But now is a good time to begin teaching you about the Greater Protections. They work best with two or more, but one person can perform them, also. Take a place on the north side of the room, facing me.”
He himself took the southern half. In truth, this type of spell worked best with multiples of four, but two was better than one.

Rishta was curious, but she did as he said. She walked towards the north room, pulling on her robe as she did. She hated this – she was raised to be modest, and now look! Years of tradition down the drain! She then turned to him, “What now?”
To tell the truth – this spell sounded interesting to her.

Raziel smiled. She was an eager student.
He traced an invisible sigil on air; the Alpha signet. “Do you know anything about personal sigils, for majick-users?”

Rishta looked at him, a bit confused. Then she remembered her mother saying something… Now Rosi… watch carefully… this is the sigil of Destiny… your father used it in his magic, and his father before him… it goes back all the way to the First One. Now you must learn…. and so she traced it in the air…
Rishta snapped back to attention. “The only one I know is this…” She traced it, her hand moving quickly, and with obvious practice. It was like her lessons, she knew it by heart. “My family sigil… always used when majick spells were needed. But I do not know any spells I can do with it.”

Raziel smiled. “You can place your sigil on any long-range spell. What I mean by that, is any ‘permanent’ spell or enchantment, like protections, curses, majickal items, et cetera. Some spells require you to use them in the casting, though, especially strong curses and good protection spells and the like.
“It is necessary for this spell. Now that we have ‘identified’ ourselves… Summon up all of the majickal energy you can, of your strongest element.” Raziel summoned up the power of Air, a blue-and-silver glowing energy that cocooned him in comfortable, gentle light. Air was the element of speed and disguise, of enchantment and beguiling… Sylphs giggled in his ears, musical laughing chimes. As always, it threatened to leave him breathless. He waited for Rishta.

Rishta watched Raziel, and then followed his lead. Summoning up all the energy she could, she focused. A purple-silver aura surrounded her, calming and embracing her. The power of thought – emotions, feelings, knowledge, learning, all in there surrounding her. As Raziel heard Sylphs, she heard a song, familiar yet no so. A chorus of heavenly voices, murmuring things lost before time. She searched herself, and her sword glowed for a mere moment, shining blue. All of a sudden she tapped a hidden source of power in her, and the light grew stronger. She then looked at Raziel, waiting for his next instructions.

Raziel spread his arms out to the sides, and moved them slowly before him until the were parallel, palms facing each other but not quite touching.
“This is not necessary, but I’ve found gestures help concentration.” He laid the groundwork of the Air section of the spell, laying a delicate lattice that, when breached by unfriendly majick, would disappear. “Watch what I do… One day, you will have to recreate this. It is useful- you can check it easily, to see if someone has tried to observe you or cast offensive majicks. It is such a low-key spell that it is almost unnoticeable.”
He next began to place in a ‘watcher’ spell, using the manor’s stone walls to brace the spell. “This will tell you if any majick-using or -made creatures come here, including demons and angels…”
The final part of the spell would require Rishta’s personal energies. “Rishta, do you know how to perform a two-way link?”

Rishta watched all this with a keen eye, as though her life depended on it – which someday it might. Then he asked about the 2-way links.
“You mean when 2 people can share their energy through a mental link? I have done that before… unconsciously… but I think I can do it again… why?”
She looked at him, and inside sighed. If only she had strength like that… maybe they wouldn’t have died… maybe.

“It will double the spell’s power.” Raziel cautiously lifted a link, extending it halfway and holding it. She would have to make a link of her own to join it.

Rishta simply accepted the fact, and extended her own mental link. She hadn’t done this in years, but luckily she remembered. She joined them with almost ease, and kept it steady.
Looking at him, with almost an odd gaze, she whispered, “What now?”

Raziel released enough power for the spell into the link, as Rishta did. He gently pulled the ‘knot’ of the link towards him, taking control of the powers. With the ultimate finesse, he began using both energies to weave protective shields over the whole House and its grounds.
When he finally finished, his human body was tired, sticky with sweat, and aching. A bit much action in one day, especially for one not used to it. But with the completed spells came satisfaction. “I suggest that you learn a Truth seeking spell and test your servant’s minds to see whom is dangerous to you and who is not. Then you may begin Shielding them as well.”

Rishta looked at Raziel with concern as her aura died down. He looked as though he just ran from London all the way to Russia! Quickly she walked to him, and gave him a glance, looking at him as though she expected him to collapse at any moment. She listened about the spell, and nodded – she probably had some spell book lying around…
“Sure, no problem… do you want to have a bath and then rest up? Your human form cannot take all this exertion… you are not invincible as a human, you know…” She rang the bell for a servant and told him to prepare a hot bath and clothes for Raziel. “Now, I insist you go and freshen up… then maybe we can sleep without worrying… that is why you awoke, am I correct? You do know that Tabris coming wasn’t your fault… ” Rishta looked at him, she hoped he didn’t feel responsible.

Raziel nodded slowly, tottering off behind the servant to find the bath. He hoped it was one of those nice Roman-types… After he bathed and changed, Raziel felt like a new man. Sort of. He went back to his room with a murmured goodnight to Rishta, and then slept like the dead. Really.

Rishta said her goodnights and looked at him worriedly. I hope sleep will help him… But now she felt restless, and her head was throbbing. Something had awoken, she could feel the dark powers. There is no turning back now… I remember this… deja vu… but where from? Maybe some vision… She then turned and walked to her real room and picked up the book Raziel had lent her. Then she walked back to her room and sat on her bed, and began to read – absorbing the book for the rest of the night… at least, she thought so – in fact, within 5 minutes, she had dropped off, as dead as Raziel.

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