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Shadows Beneath

CHAPTER TWO

Ana safely tucked Lux and Ater away, completely ignoring the loudmouthed girl in black. Trevor seemed quite upset with what had happened before- and the boy was even more distraught. Good thing she left her card in the sweater he had been wearing; he could call her cell phone if he needed to talk. Who knows, maybe she could write a section about the angels next. That would be a nice change from the ordinary; something slow-paced. She was actually beginning to tire with running around- she wanted to have some calm-time to herself. That would have to wait.

Her cell phone began to ring, and after excusing herself from the crowd of people she began to speak. Ana had been taking tours of every college she was near- usually stopping by in philosophy and ancient history classes to hear the lectures. Occasionally she would give a lecture herself; pleased to meet the students that were interested in their courses. She would even attend the music classes, and either play -with- the band, or after class. Usually, she had to call way in advance and make an appointment- but this time, the professor that taught philosophy decided to call -her- up first. He asked her to come hear his lecture about Aristotle and even tell his class about her views on him. It sounded like fun, seeing how the party here had not only gotten creepy- it had went down to a dull meow.

“I’d be honored to, professor. I’ll be there in just a few- try not to start without me!” Ana was cheerful and happy when she hung up the phone; walking over to Trevor and lightly tugging on his arm. They were supposed to be leaving, anyway. “Trevor, I was called to listen in on a lecture back at the college- would you care to come with?” She had already begun tugging him back to the house- as well as her rent-a-car. The class had already started and she didn’t want to stall the professor any more than she already had.

“The university…that's probably where Kris is,” Trevor muttered to himself, tearing himself free from Ana's grasp so he could walk on his own. And Ana was offering to give him a ride? Was she trying to lure him into a false sense of security, then pounce and drain his blood? Or turn him into some kind of disease-ridden zombie slave? “I still don't trust you,” he said sharply. “But since you're going where I want to be, I guess I'll take you up on your offer.”

To tell the truth, he was starting to trust her. He had felt something unusual when he grabbed that gun away from her. It felt like somebody was looking over his shoulder, and softly holding onto his wrist to steady his aim. A warm and comforting presence, yet obviously aggressive. Almost divine in its relaxing aura. “By the way,” Trevor continued, “you've got some nice guns.” He threw her a casual smirk; she could take that however she wanted. “I've head about them, in my travels. Luke and Auger or something, right?”

“Well, at least he knows about us…” The soft voice that Ana could recognize was none other than Lux’s; she sighed in relief and walked on. It was a good thing that Lux and Ater could only be heard by her; she had no idea what she would do if everyone else could hear them. She was thankful that they would make themselves scarce. Except for that time that they were both….singing. Ana chuckled slightly and looked at Trevor, walking back to her car. She had been waiting for him to ask about her guns- at least it would give him a chance to -try- to trust her. If she simply spilled her guts about the guns, maybe he’d stop looking at her like she was going to rape him, drain his blood and leave him in a gutter somewhere.

“Lux and Ater- guardians of darkness and light. They’re more trouble than they’re worth.” She reached over and lightly patted Lux, nodding softly. The girl even had yet to explain to Alistaire about her guns- and why she never let him use them. Sometimes, she kept things from him- that he just wouldn’t understand, no matter HOW much she explained. “You won’t be saying that later, Ana- trust me.” Ater would usually be the one that made Ana angry, his comments even angered his brother. He would often say these things to get a rise out of his Lux; who- even after that, remained silent.

“Legend has it that two angelic brothers- couldn’t get along, no matter what their father did. He soon got tired of his sons hatred, and thought it would be a good idea to seal them up- in a situation that they would have to work together for all eternity.” This story had been known by most- either heard in school, or read in a book. Once she got the guns, Ana had a hard time believing in it- until they spoke to her. That had to be the scariest moment in her whole life. Very few things frightened Ana- and hearing guns actually -speak- really did it. “The one you had in your hand- Lux, his bullets seek justice…naw, I’m sure you’ve heard it all before.” Nonchalantly she waved her hands in the air as they neared her car, taking a few minutes to reach for her keys. She would have to call Alistaire when she got to the college to tell him what was going on- to prevent him from worrying about her. He didn’t really seem to care that she was gone, but she called anyway.

“So- where did you hear about them?” She asked, unlocking the door and going to sit behind the steering wheel. His door was then unlocked for him, and she started up the engine. This trip wasn’t going to be too long- they had passed the college on the way there. Ana was really looking forward to visiting the class- but she had no idea what she was getting in to.

Trevor made sure he picked up his bag on the way back, and then casually dropped into his seat, slamming the door shut behind him. “I first heard of them when I was young,” he said, watching the automatic seatbelt slide up to press across his chest. “My father, Simon, called on the original owner, Sean Gordon, for favors when he needed help. Dad always wanted Lux and Ater, but he respected Sean were too close to let that gnaw at him. I always heard dad talking about the guns, though, and how much good he thought they could do in his hands.” He reached into his bag, and rummaged around for his pistol. “I never got attached enough to these things to get a pair custom made,” he mused, running his eyes across the sleek chrome. “Maybe someday, though I can't see myself putting a personality into something as mundane as a mere firearm.” Trevor turned his hand sideways, and a shaft of sunlight breaking through the clouds caught the Silver Herald on the back of his fist, causing the bright metal to flash for a moment before the sun was cast back into gray obscurity.

“I can see now why dad liked those things so much,” Trevor continued, tucking his gun into the holster beneath his jacket. “It felt weird at first, but after a second, it handled like a dream. You're pretty lucky to be carrying those.”

“Sean was pretty great, I met him when I was 16 or so…” Ana said, driving like a madman to the college. She was pretty skilled when it came to racing- to herself. Hopefully, Trevor wouldn’t notice her driving about 15 over the speed limit. Lux and Ater kept themselves quiet for a while as Trevor spoke, trying to remember the person he was referring to. They had gone through all sorts of masters- but the ones that made the biggest impact on them both was Sean and Ana. For not being related, the two had an awful lot in common. Very few could control the darkness in their hearts- or handle Ater’s ability to cloud one’s judgment.

“I didn’t have to put a personality into them…they sort of did it on their own. Most people think that they would do good when being in charge of the guns- but I’ve heard that very few can control it.” That sort of came out as a mumble as they pulled into the parking lot; they had finally arrived at the college- and Ana was more than prepared to listen and even pipe in on the lecture. “Eh, I don’t think you can come into the class with me…but we’ll see what I can do.”







“He NEVER checks his messages!” Autumn growled down at her cel phone, causing her friend Jess to erupt into a fit of laughter. Sighing, Autumn dropped the little orange phone back into her backpack before heading down the halls of the ancient old college. She had been leaving Trevor messages for the past hour about her class, and to just grab the key from under the door mat. He was obviously a door mat himself.

Jess still with a hint of amusement in her voice, continued with her touring of the school. “As I was saying, You'll adore the history classes the most. I must say, we have the most gorgeous professors here in all of England!” Her dark ebony curls danced over her shoulders as she gave another giggle. Jessica was Autumn’s physical opposite, a dark haired blue eyed beauty queen, compared to Autumn’s bright red unruly mane, and dark brown eyes. However when it came to thoughts, both shared the ridiculous love of gossip and cute professors.

“Excellent, no one wants to stare at an old crab while they listen to lectures!” Autumn shared in the laughter before she grimaced at the huge clock on the school wall. “Hell! I'm going to be late for class! Catch you later, Jess!”

Awakening with bleary eyes, Daman Winters nearly fell out of bed when he saw the time on the alarm clock. “9:03?!” the demon exclaimed loudly, vaulting out of the bed in one clumsily motion. Being rather finicky with his clothes, he began to search through his dresser to pick out what to wear to his 9:30 class. Luckily the college was just a few blocks away… After several minutes of being calm and feverish at the same time, Daman selected a slightly clingy black t-shirt and a pair of black jeans. Today just felt like a black day… It took another ten minutes to fix his hair. One of Daman's prize possessions was his hair, with its unique silver and black style. Tugging on his silver and black sneakers, he hopped his way into his kitchen. The apartment was rather tidy, but it seemed as if it was becoming a whirlwind this morning. Rummaging through the cabinets while tying his laces, the college student hastily picked out a granola bar. So much for breakfast. Tossing on his leather jacket, and book bag, Daman was out the door. It was at this point that he submersed himself in utter coolness. Nonchalantly unwrapping the bar, he took a bite out of it as he slowed his pace to a stroll. The demon radiated presence not seen anywhere else, a presence darkly inviting. As he walked, he wondered silently to himself why he kept up so much with this cover. It wasn't exactly the greatest one, but he adored history. Daman wanted to fill his head with facts and dates of the past, a past he wasn't around for. It was also a small longing to be…almost normal for once. He held a silent desire to share space with the mortals, beings that had such short lives. Humans rushed from one place to the next, trying to cram everything into their pathetic lives. Daman merely strolled, smelling the flowers on the way.

When he came to the college campus, Daman was already ten minutes late. His first class of the morning was not a history class; that would come later in the day. Instead, it was some philosophy course. He had a somewhat attachment to philosophy, seeing how the thinkers of days gone by reacted and solved the world around them. Daman entered the classroom through the back, avoiding any eye contact with the teacher. The wizened professor in the front of the room seemed to know not to question Daman, or simply did not care. The lesson had already started, and it was on Aristotle's perspective of the world. Taking a seat towards the back of the classroom, Daman slouched, finishing off the granola bar. Yet another day of college.

Autumn glanced over her shoulder as she heard the back door open and someone slip in to class late. She expected the professor to chide the guy, and was surprised to find him ignoring the interruption altogether. If she were at home, the guy would have found himself standing out in the hall holding his desk above his head. But this was London, and this were so irritatingly different here.

Class lasted a good hour and thirty minutes. Much to Autumn’s pleasure it was an entertaining lecture, she wasn't left with the urge to fall asleep. Her notebook was filled with a bunch of messy scribbles that she insisted were notes to the trained eye. As students ambled out of the classroom, Autumn immediately set her sets on the interrupter, with no real reason to back it up beyond the fact he was fantastically photogenic. Her camera was stashed away in her backpack, maybe she could talk her way into taking some photos…

The philosophy class had been rather interesting. The professor had held the class with his words and animated gestures, and many of the students had felt a connection between themselves and the man. Daman looked down at his small, angular handwriting that cramped the page of his notebook and smiled. Yes, it certainly had been a fulfilling class. As the class ended, he stayed put and watched his fellow classmates linger for a few minutes, and then shuffle out of the class. The demon made no move towards the doorway. What was the rush? Surely the humans had to live their lives in the fast lane, but he definitely did not. He watched out of the corner of his eye as a female with bright red locks and a dazzling smile came towards him. Daman propped his legs onto the desk in front of him, sneakered feet drumming out Beethoven's Fifth Symphony to the tuned ears. Fingers laced behind his neck, Daman stared up at the girl with slitted eyes.

“Hey…” Autumn said, trying to catch his attention. “Do you make it a habit to be fashionably late…?”

A slight grin flitted across his handsome features, and he merely shrugged. “My alarm just happened to malfunction this morning. Or I set it wrong. Either or, I don't usually step out of the house looking like a train wreck.” He tugged on a strand of silver-black hair for emphasis. The fact was that Daman looked eerily perfect in stance and dress. He jerked his head towards the side as he felt a dark presence in the corner of his mind. Ah yes, there was a rather strong demon in the school, perhaps even a Fallen. Daman felt another slightly dark-tinged aura that confused him. Which side is that one on? He asked to himself, still keeping a casual look in the direction of Autumn. Daman stilled his feet, and listened ever so carefully. He still made no move towards the door, however, and felt the slightly dark one about to open it. He saw a flicker of a female face, and then she was gone, distracted by other things. There's something odd about that one… he thought to himself, absentmindedly stroking his chin.

In a fluid motion Daman stood, brushing long fingers idly upon his jeans. Glancing over towards Autumn, he simply said coolly, “I usually go spend some time in the music room right now…” He paused, and then added for nonchalantly, “I play the cello. You can come along if you want. I know a pretty good shortcut through these hallways.” At those words, he felt the slightly dark female meet up with a much more tainted character. And both were headed in the direction of the music hall. Now, this would be interesting…

Trevor turned his attention to the passing buildings outside the window as Ana mentioned her guns. Selective in their masters, were they? And he was able to use one of them? He smiled wryly at his reflection in the window. Maybe there was something to that Named Guns hoopla after all. Ana's car eventually came to a halt at the university, in the sprawling parking lot that was still tiny compared to what Trevor saw of the rest of the campus. “Cripes, this place makes NYU look like an elementary school,” Trevor muttered as he climbed out of the car. His mental reflexes kicked up, and Trevor quickly swept the area with his extra senses. He definitely got a “ping” somewhere in the area, but it was too faint to pinpoint. Oh, well…he'd deal with it later. “Are you sure you know where you're going?” he asked, turning back to Ana.

“Yeah- I'm sure…positive.” Ana made sure to lock the car before walking onto the campus; her tiny form mixing in pretty well with the rest of the students. They were moving like cattle- and after picking out one measly student that looked like he would take a philosophy class. “Where's Mr.Linnel's Philosophy class?” She was already pretty late, and when she was speaking to the boy- she couldn't help but sound a little…angry. Nobody could really take the beautiful Ana seriously until she had her guns pointed in their face- but the college boy seemed intimidated enough. A few points and grunts later, Ana found herself in front of the Philosophy class door. “Eh….you just come along with me- unless you want to stay out here?”

The Ancient Religions class was over; the students left the classroom, some of them clutching their packs and books to their chests as if to ward off some strange fear; a few had the mask of indifference so common to the average student who tries to sleep through most of their lives; others were simply thrilled at the class topic. Being an elective class, the chances were perhaps higher to get signed in more students really interested about the class than in regular courses, but in any case the subject was strange and perhaps the professor was as strange as the class itself. The professor was on the platform before the large blackboards; the screen was still unrolled but the data show system was already turned off. Standing next to the window, Beltrán's tall form seemed darker in broad light. He could be described as a dark person, but sometimes there was a sort of light about him; some would call that 'moments of inspiration'. He was an excellent professor and he did know how to get to the minds of his students, but he couldn't be said to have 'pets' and he didn't have an assistant. Many tried to earn his approval and get closer to him, but there was a subtle wall between people and him when out of the classroom. He was tall and quite handsome, with unnerving silver eyes and raven black hair, and a cold sort of savage look to his beautiful face. His slight Spaniard accent somehow added to his charm. Beltrán was always polite and did look like a noble – only a few students knew he actually was a noble blood.

Beltrán tapped his fingers slightly on the laptop side as the last students were leaving the classroom. The class had been about Molech the God of the Ammonites and the temple Solomon built for him… and the many names this Molech deity had been associated or identified with. Baal, Malik, Moloch… Moloch… Beltrán's silver eyes half-closed as one of his many wounds seemed to open and bleed within his soul. Memories flowed.

//Angel looked at her with dark complacency. Inside Belial gloated, wondering what did Moloch think or what did she perceive about this change, for she hadn't seen what he had done before – split in two without losing power, but gaining. Aramis looked at her and his serene gaze seemed to watch something beyond Moloch's face; but what it was or if he actually saw something, he kept silent and his lips did not open.

“I missed you”, Belial said through Angel, for this was not one of Angel's only thoughts but of his whole. A dark smile slid on his lips. “It's strange, is it not? We don't need anyone. But I missed you. I guess it's your mind what I've missed”.//

Beltrán bit his lip slightly. After more than a hundred years, Moloch turning her back on him still hurt. Maybe she'd never understand he had tried to protect her when he told her about the accursed ring and Azazel. Talking about her as a distant old and outdated deity was strange. Worse maybe, the next class would be about Belial himself. Some students had some questions he quickly solved. Once they left, Beltrán checked his agenda. His next class would be in a few minutes, on Medieval Philosophy. Beltrán picked up his belongings and left the classroom, walking like one who isn't on a rush to get anywhere. In the hall, he sensed a known presence but slightly. Beltrán swept a look around and recognized a soul before seeing its shell.

“I don't care either way,” Trevor muttered. “I just want to get Kris and get out of…here…” Slowly, Trevor's hands tightened, and the comforting weight of his gun turned into an almost unbearable pressure on his ribs. Every muscle in his body seemed to tighten at once; he could feel the pair of eyes on him, even before he turned to face the figure at the end of the hall. A sudden jolt struck him, down in the bottom of his soul, rather than his own physical memory. Trevor wordlessly stepped away from Ana, and made his way down the hall, staring the tall stranger dead in the eye every step of the way. After what seemed like an eternity of walking, Trevor stood toe-to-toe with the man, and narrowed his eyes as he studied the stranger's face. >”You…are…staring at me,” Trevor grumbled. “Cut it out. I freaking hate it when people stare at me. Weirdo.”

Beltrán didn't blink but the silver eyes shimmered strangely as a dark smirk formed; yet it was a slight curl of his lip it seemed particularly intense. “You've come a long way to speak your mind”, he said in sarcasm when Morris arrived and spoke after striding down the hall to where Beltrán stood. “I don't have any interest on you, whoever you might be”. He cast Morris a disdainful look. “You've successfully got others' attention though”, he murmured as the students stared in amazement. “Move out of my way, if you are so kind”, he said in a low and chilling voice, his strange eyes fixed on Trevor's.

Strange meeting, but Belial guessed it might not be meant to be.

I know you, Trevor whispered to himself in the back of his mind. Not your face, but…your presence. Your secret self. Images flashed in front of Trevor's face. A large house. A beautiful woman, and a Spanish nobleman, carrying something bloody. Then, searing pain, and a white flash of light. Almost as quickly as it had come, the strange occurrence was over. Trevor blinked a few times, but didn't say a word as he stepped aside, and allowed the stranger to pass by him.

Nobody in my family ever had visions before. Maybe I'm going crazy. Maybe that thing in the park infected my brain. Trevor's eyes darted across the hall, where a group of students were staring at him wide-eyed and jaws on the floor. “What the hell are you all looking at?!” he snapped. “You look like a bunch of carp with rotten teeth! Go choke on a scone!” Trevor marched back down the hallway, and rejoined Ana in front of the classroom door. That man…

Beltrán coolly walked down the hall leaving Morris behind as he snapped at their little audience. Trevor… The name spontaneously came to his mind. Beltrán reached his next classroom door and cast a sideways look at Trevor Morris as he passed down the hall to join a woman by a door not far away: a demon blood. Belial found the association very strange. He absently pushed the door and held it open for a group of girls who came by to attend his class greeting him with cheery voices and offering to carry his cases. “I can do that myself, thanks”, he told them with a smile.

A tall young man had been watching Trevor and his companion ever since he got out of the Ancient Religions class. With fiery red hair and sparkling green eyes, he looked so Irish he had an eerie air to him. Connor McFadden was sure there was something unnatural to the woman – Connor was what people in Ireland called fey. He just had a knack for such paranormal things and strange powers of his own – nothing he wanted to be known. Connor had a fervent admiration for Beltrán Oliveros. Despite the professor was rather young for his cathedra and ominous curriculum vitae, Oliveros somehow seemed old as the world at times and Connor wished he could become as knowledgeable as he. The strange scene made him cast the evil eye on Trevor and a curious wide-eyed look at his companion.

Ana's face went from happy to flat in the instant that she was almost knocked over with the door. Somehow, they had been horribly late- and Ana missed out on hearing the lecture. Discouraged, she took a few steps back as the students poured out of the class; crossing her arms over her chest. “That's what you get for fiddling around girl. Now, I suggest you get in the ca-“ Ater's voice was interrupted by Ana's cell phone; as it rang, he wondered why he and Lux always had to get the “popular” ones. It was frustrating sometimes.

“H-hello, Ali!” The girl took a few steps back and stood near the bench that was in the hall, the tiny cell phone pressed up against her ear. Ali sounded impatient and bothered- as per usual, that- and it seemed as though he finally had his motorcycle. She couldn't help but wince as Trevor went off to follow some student- he seemed way too eager to pick a fight; even she knew that would be a good way to meet your maker quick. It was something that didn't look like it mattered- boy, Trevor was sure cocky. Covering up the phone and mouthing a few silent words- Ana waved her hand in the air.

“What in the -hell- is he doing?…Picking a fight with a college student…” Ater spoke up again, recognizing the presence in the room. That could be only one being… “…Belial..” Ana did what she could to ignore Ater's rambling and continued to concentrate on the phone call. Alistaire would get upset when she ignored him- and even though he didn't admit it, she knew it was true.

“Yeah, I'm at the college- taking a tour. I missed the class I was supposed to get to, but I think I'll stick to going to the music room. How was your little nap?” He would most likely give her some little guilt trip about her leaving him behind without having anything to do- when he would make a big deal out of being dragged along. Either way, Ana really needed some alone-time. “Do you want to meet me here and grab something to eat after I finish the tour?” She asked, raising a eyebrow at the strange feeling that she felt. It was something powerful…in a college? Strange and unusual. After a few more words, the phone was hung up and Ana glanced to Trevor as he came back. Tucking the phone back into her pocket and fixing her gradually climbing skirt, she mumbled softly and tried to hide her disappointment.

“We missed the class, damnit. I'm going to the music room- do you want me to help you find your friend first?”

Of the two strangers, it was around the girl where strange forces danced the most; Connor could swear there were three and not one on the spot she stood on – but why? The other sounds and voices in the hallway went in a whirlwind and returned to his ears, but in the rush of voices there were some unnatural ones that called for his attention, yet he did not fully perceive… Connor walked to the woman and stood next to her.

“Excuse me, miss; are you looking for someone? Maybe I could be of help…” Connor cast a distrustful look at the man but keeping within the lines of politeness. There was a subtle scent to the girl that made her familiar, a feeling like if she were someone from his town. The other two – where and why – what could they be?

…Belial.. Beltrán clearly heard a voice mutter his name in a second plane. He instinctively tilted his head as he sharpened his hearing; a cold cautious look showed in the depths of his silver eyes. From a bottomless pool of memories sounds and images emerged. “Professor?” Beltrán arched an eyebrow and his eyes focused on the girl next to him, inquisitive. The girl blinked. “Professor, I was wondering if I can turn in my essay later in the day. I've not finished it because…”

Beltrán gave a slight nod. “You may leave it in my inbox at the Professors Lounge, but as I stated by the beginning of the term you'll get three points down for your delay”. He tilted his head a little so the demon blood was within his eye range. Connor had already arrived as well. He had recognized the angel/demon presences by now but he gave no sign of recognition. He listened and waited.

“Nobody asked for your help, Irish,” Trevor snapped, turning his hard stare to Connor. “I think we'll be fine by ourselves, without your amazing cognitive abilities. So why don't you let the road rise up to meet your feet and get lost.” This is what I picked up before. I'm sure of it! Trevor made a mental note to track this guy down later. He had some power in him, all right, but it was buried beneath something solid and tough to scratch–a seal of some kind, maybe? First Ana, and now this guy…maybe his trip to London was going to be more trouble than he bargained.

“I'm going to look around for Kris,” Trevor said, turning back to Ana. “You can do whatever you want. Thanks for the ride.” With a flick of his wrist, Trevor produced a business card from seemingly out of nowhere. “Give me a call later,” he said, handing the card to Ana. “I still owe you an interview.” Giving her a half-cocked smile, he slowly turned around, and made his way down the hall.

Lux's voice came yet again as the Irish man approached; his usual calm tone was now raised and upset. Not even Ater could get a reaction like that out of his brother. “I don't like this- Ana, we need to leave.” He worried about his master while being around so many…strange forces- epically the one that his brother knew. Lux would be damned if he would lose Ana. “Ana! We need to lea-“ Connor was now next to Ana, but even as he spoke to her- she couldn't even think straight enough to answer. Her mouth opened to let out a few words but nothing but a few mumbles came out. It was a good thing Trevor spoke to snap her out of it.

“Oh…” Trevor was leaving the two behind- only after giving the girl his card did he disappear from sight. Now, she would have to do the talking. “Could you lead me to where the music class is?” Her words came out quickly- and he hoped that she wouldn't have to repeat them. She just wanted to go and lose the strange feeling she was getting from Connor. It wasn't just Connor, though- it was someone else, too.

“Mastema. It's been a long while…” Ater's voice came out loudly over his brothers- most likely causing every presence that Ana felt in the room- point it's attention to her.

Connor frowned at the stranger's rudeness and his eyes flashed. “From what tree have you stepped off?”, he grumbled in response. “I'm not talking to you!” Connor noticed the woman seemed disturbed or annoyed, so he held back from going further. He frowned as the annoying American left; the pun to his Irish heritage immediately got Trevor on Connor's bad side. “The music class? I'll take you there, miss”. Connor smiled then his pupils widened as a strange voice slid within his mind like a cold snake.

“Mastema. It's been a long while…”

Connor cringed and felt his hackles rise. He swept a look around yet he was certain the owner of the voice would be nowhere to be seen. “Did you hear… Oh. Never mind….”, Connor muttered. “The music class is this way…” Connor was pale. Mastema, the voice had said… a name of a demon, for all he could tell.

Ana was quickly getting tired of the voices in her head; and as she followed after the man, she decided to shut up Lux and Ater for good. She tucked Trevor's card into her pocket and let out a sigh. A best-selling author and historian had to occasionally crack the whip on the two angelic voices in her head.

“Oh, my- and Belial…Mastema and Belial…it's like a part-“ Ater was about to try and strike up conversation when Ana completely lost it; stomping her foot and clenching her fists. The girl had dealt with enough. Would you two just SHUT the hell up for once?! I want some time to myself- so just be freaking quiet for once!! After that, all was silent.

“Thanks for showing me where the class was, I really appreciate it.” She smiled, mainly because she FINALLY got them to shut up- and slightly because Trevor had been so rude to the man. “I'm sorry about my friend back there, he's pretty jumpy.”

Beltrán frowned as he kept track of the events. He would have rather had Connor away from the girl and the angel brothers, but as Azrael had told him he was not meant to interfere unless strictly necessary – that, with orders. Standing at the door of his classroom as the last students got in for the class, Beltrán watched Trevor leave, his piercing gaze fixed on the soul within the shell. Belial wondered why was he back in England and what was he looking for – what had caused him to return. Return… Maybe Trevor himself had never been to England before, but back then, when his name was another. Playing deaf at the exchange between the woman and the angels, Belial tapped his fingers on the massive wooden door. The two brothers reminded him of himself – of the two who were him. Not a pleasant thought at this hour in the morning.

“You will be late, mister McFadden”, he muttered as he closed the door with a sinister creak. He stepped on the platform and to his desk, setting down his case. “Good morning”, he gravely greeted, going back to work.

Connor let out a small sigh at the warning as the door closed. //He left me out again…// He mentally counted how many more points would be taken from him if things would go worse. The woman stomping her foot and clenching her fists as if ranting at someone startled him, then her pleasant smile surprised him even more. Even for an Irishman, this woman was strange. “It's my pleasure… and don't trouble yourself about that… person“, Connor forced a smile. “Maybe he's having a bad day”.

//Bad day would I give to him…// Connor smiled and led her to a tall door at the end of a corridor turn. “Here's the Music Hall; the music class is held here. I am member of the Music Club, if you need anything. My name is Connor McFadden”. He cast her a curious look. “Excuse me, but there's something familiar to you. Have you ever been to Ireland?”

Ana smiled back at the Irishman; the strange feeling that had been there was faint- but still known. Something that Lux and Ater were responding to. It wasn't as strong as the feeling she got from the professor- but close enough. “He's making the moves…cute.” Ater made one slight comment as he asked about Ireland- once again, hoping to get a rise out of his brother. “Oh, would you SHUT up. You're foolish.” Yes, Lux was then beginning to get upset. He didn't speak any more in fear of Ana getting angry- but BOY was Ater going to hear it later on.

“O-oh…Yes, I've been in Greenwich. Born there.” Either way, she tried to ignore the nagging voices at the back of her head and pay attention to going to the music hall. He was being a gentleman, and she decided that there was no really hurry. Except for that creepy professor. “I'm Ana Gordon…pleased to meet you.”

Connor looked at the woman's hands. Strangely he always looked at the people's hands to know more about them; if the hands were groomed or not, if they had scars or signs from manual work… Hands could tell a lot from someone. Ana's hands spoke of a scholar, despite her so-fashionable appearance. Besides she didn't have the wandering eye of the average 'cheerleader' type.< The shape of her nails strongly reminded him of something else; something distant inside his mind, like the dreams whose shapes you can't quite make out once you wake up. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I see you are not a stranger, then", Connor said, oblivious to the fact he seemed to be putting the moves on her. "Ireland is a land to find beauty in every turn of the road... but there're also strange echoes of a distant past; something that remains in our blood..." Connor smiled rather shyly. "It's odd how some things return". Connor frowned slightly.

“Excuse me! I'm delaying you”. Connor grinned. “Will you be taking classes here?”

There was a bit of truth in what he had said, something that had repeated itself in her mind over and over again. She traveled around seeking knowledge, but never once did she find the answers to the questions she really needed to know. “… but there're also strange echoes of a distant past; something that remains in our blood.” She had an idea of what was in their blood, but just outright saying that they were demons wasn't really a good idea. That wasn't a good way to make friends.

Ana could feel a slight blush come across her cheeks as she checked her watch; she was in no hurry, but he seemed not to care about missing his class. The door was right next to her too- all he would have to do was nod and be on his way, but she kinda liked meeting people here. “Oh, well I'm here to give lectures- and take a tour of the college. It's very nice.” She flashed him a warm smile and tucked a few strands of hair behind her ear. “It seems as though I'm the one who's keeping you!”

“I'm already late and I can't avoid it. It's a risky business to sneak into his class once it's started”. Connor had a mischievous grin. “Well I must go in anyway…” Connor nodded. “You give lectures? That is interesting… What are those about?” Connor smiled. “Are they open to the public or do they require invitation?”

Ana nodded quickly and handed him her card and smiled again; the urgency to let him get to class rising. Being late wasn't good- especially if people would be late to her class. The result usually was her making a complete ass out of the tardy, sometimes even causing them to cry with mere words. Ana was verbally abusing.

“I will be around, in music class and philosophy. You'll be seeing me, I promise. It was nice meeting you, Connor!” Beginning her trek down the hall, Ana weaved in and out of the crowd of tardy students. There never seemed to be a rush to get to class, but it wasn't any of her business. She needed time to relax now and before opening the door to the music hall- she blocked out all of the nagging feelings. Music would calm her soul, she just knew it would.

Connor smiled and carefully put the card in a pocket of his agenda. “It's been a pleasure. I'll see you later! Good luck”. Connor nodded with a smile before heading back to his class. He'd usually wish people he liked good luck, for maybe – and he did not know this for sure, so he just guessed it could be – his strange powers might grant someone better luck for the day. Connor stood out of the Medieval Philosophy classroom door and watched it for a couple seconds. //My goodness, I hope the class hasn't started…// He rose his hand to knock on the door…



Trevor grumbled something indecent under his breath as he fired off another e-mail to Kris. He was looking for the Photojournalism class, and somehow wound up next to Bio-Chemistry 101. She would have to come and get him before he made a wrong turn and wound up in Scotland. Putting his phone away again, Trevor dropped down onto a bench in the hallway, and rested his head against the wall. His entire trip here had been nothing but one giant headache. Well, `cept for that Ana Gordon character. She seemed trustworthy. And she was pretty hot. But, she still had demon blood in her. Then, there were those other two characters, that teacher and the Irish dork. He might have to stay here a bit longer than he had counted on. London was more of a hot spot than he had thought.

“Damn stupid demons,” Trevor muttered around a yawn. “Always givin` me crap…I can't catch a breath or nothin`…” He was asleep before he could even realize how tired he was.

“This is one of the older buildings in the Central Campus – it's gothic architecture is contemporary to Canterbury's cathedral. This wing was a former cloister to the old abbey that rose here, in a Romanesque period”. Aidan nodded as the guide spoke, walking in a small group of University authorities, bodyguards and close subordinates. MS Corp. was a newly acquired benefactor to the University – mainly as a tactic to avoid taxes to an extent – and Aidan was there as President of MS Corp. in an official visit. The small group took an archway and into the building by a arched door.

“The funds are being used in this section to restore some bass-relieves in decay, as you will see Lord Cynric”. Aidan was only half-listening to the man, since once they had gone through the archway and now into the building, strange voices hissed names in the back of his mind. In the back of his mind something seemed to stir, trying to emerge again. Aidan frowned slightly, trying to focus.

“I see”, he briefly said. The group walked briskly down the hallway. The corridors were deserted; the classes had started. On a bench in their way a man slept. Aidan arched an eyebrow, for he for a brief instant thought he seemed familiar… //Again…// Aidan's eyes widened at the voice that hissed within him, but he quickly held control of himself.

“I see the halls are quiet enough to sleep once classes have started”, he said with a dark smirk.

It's broken. Trevor stirred on his bench, and stretched out his legs. That's why I had to bring you back here… “Nh…?” Wake up!

Trevor's eyes flew open as he drastically scanned the hallways for the idiot who had been yelling at him just a second ago. The only people he found, though, was the group at the end of the hallway. One of them, a guy who didn't look much older than Trevor himself, had just made some kind of smart-ass comment. “Hah! Think you're clever, huh?” Trevor shouted down the hallway, folding his hands behind his head and leaning back again. “You tea-sucking clodhoppers are all the same. All talk, and no backbone. What's a high-priced goon like yourself doing here, anyway? Gonna bulldoze the university down and make a strip mall? Fine with me. Just wake me up when the bulldozers show up.”

“Cello, eh?” Autumn laughed good-naturedly in reply to Daman. “I'm sorry, but you don't look like the cello type. I suppose I thought a cello player would be some kind of a dork…” she shrugged it off before her cel phone gave a little beep. Giving an exasperated roll of her eyes, she checked the message. It seemed Trevor managed to find his way to the school, yet couldn't find a simple house key to get inside?

“I'd like to hear though, that would be great.” Autumn shrugged her backpack back on her shoulder after she tucked her phone away.

In the hallway, Autumn and Daman stopped to find Trevor screaming at the top of his lungs to, what Autumn thought, was absolutely no one. All she saw was a tour guide and a man exiting at the end of the hall. “Trevor! Have you lost your mind?! People are trying to study…” she glanced at him with a dumbfounded expression before crossing her arms in an irritated manor. “I'm guessing you didn't get my message about where I left the key…”

Aidan's group had almost reached the point in the hall where Trevor stood on their way to the classrooms when two persons joined Trevor. “If I were to care any about you, I'd get you deported for your mere insolence”, Aidan softly replied with a chilling, small smile as his bodyguards glared at the American. The guide and University representatives were scandalized at the loud stranger, but Aidan had displaced his attention from Trevor to the redhead that had joined him.

Aidan's bronze eyes widened ever so slightly in his pale, beautiful face. A beam of light coming through a tall pointed gothic window at the end of the hall fell upon the young woman's auburn hair; the light seemed to bring flames upon her, forming a golden halo around her beautiful, proud head. Soft shadows framed her face which strangely seemed to emerge from his strange, secret dreams. The University representatives were apologizing for the harsh behavior of the man next to her and glaring at the man, but Aidan wasn't quite listening. All the hissing voices in his mind and the very darkest one of them all had fallen silent; it was so strange, as if Time held still as he watched her…. The voices around him seemed to come from very far away. Aidan could have sworn a violin started playing somewhere in the long empty corridors; he could have sworn he knew this woman from before… but the notion was strangely distant, like one of those dreams we can't make out completely upon awakening.

“I do check them!” Trevor protested, standing up and pulling out his phone. “Look, the last one you sent to me was…fifteen minutes ago.” He paused for a moment, and glared hatefully at his phone. Key under the third rock. Leftovers in the fridge. Back in a while.

“…don't you say a single word,” Trevor growled, looking up at Kris through his bangs. “And you,” he snapped, turning to the guy who was with him, “have got exactly two seconds to get as far away from me as humanly possible before I make your life a never-ending spiral of pain and misery.”

A sharp-edged luminous smile played over Daman's lips as he exited the classroom following the redhead. “The cello is a moody instrument. Perfect for-” The words died as Trevor's yelling drowned them out. He watched the exchange take place between the two, and discerned that they were either very close, or perhaps even boyfriend and girlfriend. Something odd was emanating off the young male, and Daman's eyes slitted when he realized what Morris was. Demon hunter, he thought nastily, molten rage coursing through his veins. Although not the same line as the one who killed my blood, it is one nonetheless. Daman's hand touched briefly upon the blood-stained silver bracelet worn on his left wrist, but kept all emotions in. This was not the place. The conversation was dropped into Daman's lap as the hunter looked straight at him. Gray eyes twinkling in amusement, Daman thought to himself, Lovely choice of words. Such a show of stupidity. I'm quite disappointed. A multicolored smiled lifted itself onto the demon's face, and he said in a mocking tone, “As you wish.”

Aidan came out of his daze with a slight frown. “You could watch your manners in attention to the fair lady you are so lucky to have met”, Aidan coldly said to Trevor. “How dare you be so loud in her presence?” He narrowed his eyes slightly.

“Lord Cynric, we apologize for the inconvenience”, the guide said with a nod of the University representatives. Aidan did not yet reply, but once again looked at Autumm's face.

“May I know your name?”, he asked her, a handsome nobleman in an elegant black suit.

Daman felt a stab of cold pierce his heart, and recognition sunk into his mind as he gazed upon Aidan. Could that possibly be? No… But now the hunter was glaring at him, and he didn't want to start anything right in the middle of a respectable college. So instead of holding a conversation with the one he so admired he made way for the music hall.

Autumn gave Trevor her best dirty look as he managed to scare away her new friend. Later they were going to have a chat about showing up at her school, but for the moment the man down the hall she had noticed earlier had interrupted. He was strikingly handsome, if not in a devilish sort of way. If anyone had that natural “gothic” look, this guy did. He also had a smooth tongue, and gave her the distinct feeling that no one had ever dared to question him. Autumn grinned nervously, still not sure if she were creeped out by him, or if it were just the English themselves she found weird. “Autumn Kristof… Kris if you may. I'm sorry about him, ” she motioned to Trevor, giving him another dirty look, “he's about as subtle as a train…”

Aidan was quite pleased he had obtained her name and even a nickname of hers – yet Aidan was not fond of shortening people's names, he would gladly call her Kris if she wanted him to. “It's a pleasure to meet you, Kris”, he said with a smile and a nod. “My name is Aidan Cynric, baron of Cynshire… and I am at your service, if you are so kind”. Aidan rose his hand and one of his henchmen automatically handed him a card. Aidan gave it to Autumn.

Lord Aidan Cynric
President of MS Corp.

The card included the office address, phones and email. Aidan smiled. “As I said, I'm at your service”. The bronze eyes shimmered in a charming smile.

“Pardon me sir”, Christopher said non-chalantly, bowing down low at the waist with an arm crossed down over in front of him as a half-hearted grin began to creep itself across his lips. It seemed like he had appeared from the shadows or the wall itself, and he could feel the looks fall on him through his dusty brown trench-coat; but Chris simply brushed them off with a discerning turn to Aidan as he stood. “.. sorry for the interruption,” he continued, pausing for a moment to crane his neck around to flash the girl a lop-sided smile that quickly faded when he turned back to the gentlemen in black clothing.

//.. sir, this tour is pointless. You shouldn't be wasting your time.. with, these children. More important things need tending to.//

Straightening his jacket out, Christopher moved a piece of hair from his eye sight and glowered in his mind. Having to behave as ordered was boring to him. But, he had little choice in the matter. Aidan had made that very clear before he had left the corporation that he was supposed to act civilized around others. Though, he had to admit, his patience was beginning to thin severely.

Aidan arched an eyebrow lightly, his eyes still lingering on Autumm's face as she accepted the card.

//I have every right to please my eyes//, he replied to Christopher's mental message. //See? It's not been a waste of time for me.//

A subtle smile slid on Aidan's lips. “Duty calls”, he said with an elegant shrug and gave a slight nod at Christopher. He cast a sideways look at Trevor with a sort of sardonic expression. “I must leave now”, he told Autumn in a less formal tone, as if they were not surrounded by people. “I'd be grateful if I could see you again… Perhaps if I could call you?”

“Um…” Autumn was taken aback, not expecting for him to ask her number, let alone want to see her again. She decided he was most definitely weird, and made her more than a little bit uncomfortable. But you couldn't exactly tell a Lord, no, could you? “I suppose that would be alright…” she rambled on as she pulled out a small piece of notebook paper and scribbled down her cel-phone number. “I'm not exactly familiar with London or the customs or really much of… anything…” Autumn laughed nervously, catching herself talking more than she should. She brushed a few strands of her auburn hair out of her face before handing Aidan the paper.

Trevor was giving her one of those looks like she just handed her soul over to the devil, so she slid her pack higher on her shoulder before donning a fresh smile. “It was nice to meet you, Mister.. ah.. Lord Aidan. I have a Thaumaturgy class to catch!” Waving kindly, she grabbed Trevor's arm and jerked him down the halls before he could make any more protests or loud comments. He was only here for a few minutes and he was already ticking off everybody in sight!

Trevor began to protest, but Kris was in one of those Unstoppable moods, and that was something even he had to be careful around. He cast one last glance backwards at Aidan, and to his contingent of suits that surrounded him. Except for that one guy in the dark coat. Only for a brief second, their eyes locked, and Trevor's heart skipped a beat.

…just too dangerous…over seas…

What is, daddy? What're you talkin` about?

Hm. I'll tell you when you're older, son.

Trevor wrenched himself from Kris' iron grip, and began to follow her on his own. “I don't know if it was such a good idea to give your number away like that,” he said, an unusual amount of concern in his voice. “First of all, he's a mouthy jerk, and I didn't like the way he was smiling. And that second guy was a real weirdo, too. Have we met him before? Because, I could have sworn…”

Aidan watched Autumn and her loud friend go away with a strange smile, admiring Autumn's movements with a serene gaze. If Trevor was a close friend to her or more than that, it didn't have any importance in Aidan's eyes. He added the number to his own cell phone, then handed the paper with Autumn's number to Christopher. //Find out everything about this woman. Full name, family history, bank accounts, credit allowance, current residence, what's she doing in England… Any special talent of hers; you know what to look for. There's something about her beneath her face that calls for my attention//. Aidan nodded at the guide and University representatives as they went on the rest of their tour.

Aidan barely arched an eyebrow at the people engaged in some sort of fight a few doors ahead. “Curious campus life”, he muttered in sarcasm.

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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