Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: [I]Feb 21 Event: Angel and Demon prompt: Siks x Breggo13 xx

  1. #1
    Red Ninja
    SikstaSlathalin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    My hidden Dojo
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy is my best, but I can do and like just about everything.
    Posts
    126,003
    Mentioned
    48 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    1186

    Default [M] [I]Feb 21 Event: Angel and Demon prompt: Siks x Breggo13 xx

    Rated M for possible mature content including sex, violence, language, graphic situations, alcohol, and drug use.

    Wrong Side of Heaven, Righteous side of Hell




    Prompt: Angel and Demon, tragic romance story.
    Setting: Victorianesqe Times, Dravenmonthshire(fictional place), about thirteen miles from London sitting at a crossroads built during Roman times.
    Due Date: Feb 21st



    In a world of Light and Dark, there is very little room for gray areas. You are righteous or a sinner, you are good or you are evil...you are an Angel or you are a Demon. Once upon a time the two were one and the same. But with Lucifer's fall the split in Heaven made two worlds of stark contrasts.

    Forever at odds and never meant to mingle, Angels and Demons are supposed to be above and beyond the silliness of the heart. Knowing their duties are paramount to maintaining the balance of the world, one protects and saves, the other corrupts and destroys. An unfathomable dance that will come to an end when the very walls of reality crumble and the final conflict for existence comes to fruition. Destined to fight and die upon the slopes of Megiddo for the lasting control of life and death...space and time. The End all, be all for all life on earth and beyone. But as there is Lucifer and God at far ends of the spectrum there is a third force in the middle that is often overlooked or claimed by either being and that is Fate.

    Fate is the referee for the end times, she is neutrality incarnate and the one who observes and maintains the balance between the Light and the Dark. No matter who wins she will continue on, but sometimes...just sometimes...she inserts her hand into the ways of the world pushing certain buttons and pulling certain strings for a desired effect. And this time it's centered around two simple creatures, neither a grand part of the Divine Mechanism.

    Abigail (van Hellen), a young Guardian Angel in training being sent to Earth to earn her final rites before she is granted her silver wings and is tasked with guarding a newborn human. Young and inexperienced, but far from naive she knows the importance of her role in the Kingdom of Heaven and is dedicated to earning her wings. But the reality of humanity is quite the shock for an Angel seeing all the dirt and blood for the first time.

    And her partner in this Divine Tragedy? Liminal Manchester, a Crossroads Demon wandering the Earth tempting souls with boons and deals that can change their lives forever. Becoming a millionaire overnight? Done. Being made into a Hero or even a King? Done. Anything is possible for a Crossroad Demon, but every deal comes with a price. And that is always too high for anyone to pay. Your soul or the soul of another, and if you don't pay? Well they always pay either on their own or after being dragged into Hell in the fiery jaws of a Hellhound at the command of the Elder Demons known as Keepers. The Seven Deadly Sins and the Captains of Lucifer's Infernal Army. Lim is just a middleman looking out for his own hide, because if a Deal goes sour it's him that'll pay. A few millennia on a Tormentor's Rack is a great motivator for keeping your quota high.

    These two young lovers will find themselves at the foreground of Fate's interference in the cosmic opera. Simply pawns in the biggest chess game of all time...and as we all know...pawns rarely survive a chess game. Join us for one of the oldest stories of all time...star-crossed lovers who find themselves trapped in the throes of love and loss.
    Last edited by SikstaSlathalin; 02-07-2021 at 04:59 AM.


    Xbox One Gamertag: Free Today56 just say who you are first.
    Breath deep as the snow falls around you. Let it fill your lungs and purify the fires of doubt within you.



    Spoiler: The stories I've written x50 



  2. #2
    Little ball of fire
    Breggo13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy, Mature, Private....Unless you dare to get me curious...
    Posts
    2,314
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    578

    Default

    March 31st, 1839

    It is a very strange feeling indeed to be sitting on a roof and being so close to these humans, seeing them and hearing them, smelling all that they smell and feeling the breeze and sunshine on your skin. It is so different to being in Valhaven or even HallHaven - there, everything seems so faint that you barely notice it. It is the end of Spring here and my skin feels oddly tingly at the cold. I, however, cannot help but smile because it is so new and so bewildering. Humans are truly the favorite of our Father to be able to enjoy all these feelings - they are blessed.

    Although I am documenting this as part of my training, I should still like to make it personal. I have seen dreams and memories of so many who wrote down their thoughts on paper, it must contain something special to these beings. How am I to stay on the path to Heaven if I do not understand what feelings and thoughts a...a diary evokes? Often, they all start with introducing themselves to a reader who rarely picks up their writing but it is almost a prayer for good memories so I will do the same, strange of a custom as it is.

    Abigail. My name is Abigail. For as long as I can remember, I was destined to be a Guardian Angel, a Protector. We are the angels who most people know of but we are rarely praised as warriors with great evil. We act as guides and observers, nudging Humans this way and that to keep them on their path of Enlightenment. My brothers had been recruited for other specializations - Warriors, Lorekeepers and Justice Bringers, all perfect for who they were. I am so happy for them and believe that the Father always knows what one is meant to do. Everytime I see them, they bring me joy and small gifts of memories - happiness of a new mother, joy of a child seeing a rainbow, the calm contentment of an old soul. I have been excited to see it for myself and now…

    Archangel Barachiel says that I am still seeing the World as though it is full of beauty, that one day I will see all the evil and traps that lay for everyone here - even Angels! I think she is just embellishing as I am not alone to be fascinated with the new feelings and emotions that come rolling on us every day. I finally understand why the Protectors always seem a bit different - no matter how often you hide in the Sanctuaries and scrub clean, you can never quite get rid of all the emotions that are channeled through the air. Even now, as the city slumbers, I feel so many different things radiating from every direction and I don’t know what these feelings are. One in particular - an aura more than a feeling - makes my wings flutter. I fear that is the one scent that I will never quite be able to keep…


    The ballroom was stuffy and warm, a typical party of food and drinks, games of card and music and, most importantly, dancing. People started across the floor in waltzes and country dances, following complex patterns as they came together and moved apart, all the time observing some hidden rules of the steps and propriety and whatever else that caused there to be a mixture of excitement, intrigue and, in some cases, desperation. Candles were set on every surface so that the room was engulfed in soft, shifting lights and a faint smell of honey from the melting wax. The mahogany floor creaked quietly under the many shuffling feet, seemingly vibrating with the energy of the whole affair and encouraging hearts to race.

    “Now remember, you are here to observe. Do not dance unless you absolutely must, do not draw attention to yourself and do not end up in any kind of Human scandal. We need to remain undiscovered and having people calling on you will be quite the opposite.” Lady Barachiel instructed her young charges as they waited by the entrance to the ballroom, smoothing out invisible creases and straightening jackets. They were a large group but none of the locals paid them any attention - they have long since learned that the dowager duchess from Austria came from an extensively large family and every season the van Hellen clan would show up to join the busy season. Every year, gentlemen and young ladies would breeze easily in the foxtrott across the floor but none would ever show interest in a single English chap. Some wondered why the Austrians ever came abroad to begin with. Tonight, the group was smaller than in previous years - five or so gentlemen in impeccable evening wear and no more than three young ladies, pleasantly comfortable in each other’s company. Even from afar, it was easy to see that all of their compliments and comments were in earnest, all in love and honest.

    “Ja, Frau Barachiel,” Abigail smiled at the matron, enjoying the feel of muslim against her fingers. Beside her, Marie-Anne smiled as well, fixing her dress. They wore no jewelry aside from simple lace necklaces but all of the young Angels were happy and excited to be here. There was a certain weariness in the Archangel’s voice as she herded them together.

    “Right then,” she muttered before nodding elegantly to the valets ready to open the doors. Somehow, the nod was not cold but it was elevated and elegant, one of pleasantness and endearment as though a loving mother nodding in encouragement. Followed by the young people, Duchess van Hellen floated into the room, a soft smile gracing her lips and elegant nods to those that knew her. There were curious gazes as this year’s debutante’s from the far lands followed before the gentlemen - all pleasing to the eye - closed off the group. They settled in a far corner, talking among themselves in a language not quite German and not quite something Hungarian - at least none who claimed to be prepared for spying on the elusive family could figure out what they were saying.

    Among the powdered wigs and large skirts though stood a dark figure dressed in clothing so out of place among the high lords and ladies of Dravenmonthshire that many had to double take just to make sure he was actually there. Tall and lithe like a panther from the savage continent and his long silver hair done back in a colonial ponytail. His clothing while clean and finely made were obviously from the colonies. Long coat, somewhat baggy pants, partially opened linen shirt, black square heeled boots, and a rogue’s hat complete with some carrian bird’s discarded feather.

    Because of the darkness of his outfit his pale skin almost seems to glow with some kind of internal fire. He drew the eyes almost as much as the Duchess and her brood, but fear and apprehension flared behind their eyes. Ominous whispers carried under the jovial tone of the ball, all anyone knew was that this man in black was a very close associate of Lord Dravenmonth. Either a new business partner or his bodyguard though no one knew all that was said was his name was Liminal Manchester and he had eyes that seemed to glow yellow in the right light. But as soon as he was noticed the man seemed to vanish into thin air appearing among a group of gabbing courtiers talking as casually as friends at a pub would some many feet away from where he was last seen.

    Moving in such a way could be easily overlooked to the unlearned observer as the crowds shielding him from sight until they cleared before you. But to those that knew the misty regions of the world forgotten by much of humanity he was not unlike the ancient Sidhe, or Fae. Deal makers and powerful creatures of Old Magicks, but they could sense Angels of the Abrhamic God like a fox senses hunting hounds and generally avoids them. This man though looked unphased by the Heavenly Beings among the Humans. Curiosity is the bane of many creatures be they heavenly or not. The Archangel studied him with keen eyes trying to suss him out, but as the grand lady and her entourage made their presence truly known Lord Lucius Dravenmonth gathered the pale man to his side and went to introduce himself to the only person in that ballroom that he would consider a peer and thus be even worth his time and energy speaking with, the Duchess van Hellen.

    The people parted before the gangly Lord Dravenmonth and his somber guard as he slunk his way across the ballroom. Liminal easily loping along a step or so behind the lord, his American Cavalry saber glinting at his belt as he moved his coat aside to put it on display. While he much would have rather kept his revolver at his side, guns are considered crude and unseemly in high society like this. Used by criminals and lowly guards outside of war zones, swords though, have always been status symbols in England, and any lord or in Liminal’s case guards worth a damn would only carry a sword at a party like this. Upon reaching the Duchess’s table Lord Lucius gave a toothy smile showing his false white teeth proudly before bowing low to Lady Barachiel, the American simply tipped his hat to her and the other ladies setting back comfortably on one foot observing the unnecessary rituals and pleasantries of English Society while his right hand rested lightly on the hilt of his saber upon seeing it closer the weapon did indeed looked legitimate and showed great wear around the d-guard and pommel even the sheath itself being scuffed black leather that showed signs of surviving being set aflame and shot at with musket balls.

    “Ah my lady van Hellen, always a pleasure to have you grace my humble halls with your presence.” Taking her hand gently he politely kissed the back of it before standing back up to his full height. “I hope the road from Austria wasn’t too difficult for you and your family?”

    Barachiel raised an eyebrow and tilted her head in acknowledgement, her eyes constantly flickering to the Demon before her. She knew him - oh, he did love to linger around the ballrooms all too much. Most times, he gave her and her charges a wide arc, choosing those victims who were a guarantee and, had she not other priorities, the Archangel would have scared him off immediately. Unfortunately, she never had the opportunity and the Demon - Liminal as they called him here - never caused trouble enough to call upon Warriors of the Father.

    “It was, as usual, quite pleasant. I do love returning back here - there is a certain English air that is lacking back at home,” she turned her gaze to the lord of the city, smiling in her mysterious way. “I am very lucky that I have such extensive family - without all these grandchildren around me, I always have a reason to come back.”

    Abigail and her siblings all showed their respect, the females giving small bobs and the gentlemen nods. She had observed the main man as he approached - tall with slicked back dark hair, grey peeking out and very distinctive facial features. He was beautiful! Abi was truly fascinated by how uniquely beautiful every single human was and - what shocked her to the core - how often people were overcome by self-hatred and jealousy, looking at someone else. However, as she looked up from under her lashes, her attention shifted to the figure to the right. Actually, she caught her breathe - something was very different about the man standing there. Something different and dangerous . She couldn’t see his face easily under the shadows and his mask, casually slung to hide his mouth. He was tall and dressed in something….vaguely homey which contrasted sharply to the unfamiliar garments around her. Getting her bearings, she turned her gaze away, trying to understand why she ended up observing the man for a beat longer than usual.

    The Lord Dravenmonth smiled broadly, taking a deep breath of the air around him as if agreeing with the Duchess’s words. Personally, he hated the smell of the air this close to London, even thirteens miles away the stank of the Thames was unmistakable. Were he able to work his will, he would’ve founded his lands more North closer to Hadrian’s Wall and Scotland, perhaps, or the Southern shores of Wales. Alas, his family had been granted these lands many centuries ago and he couldn’t just leave them.

    “Hmm yes, England does have a certain aroma that is hard to find anywhere else on the continent. As for news from the continent, I don’t mean to pry, but I’ve yet to make my yearly pilgrimage to Rome or Paris this year. Please tell me, what news from those places do you have if any? Last I heard the French were talking of having another costly war and some opera house in Venice was burning.”

    Whatever conversation that followed was duly ignored by Liminal. Dravenmonth was a client and Liminal simply hung around to receive payments due only to leave right after. Somehow, he chose a very inopportune day to come collect from the aristocrat. This party was news to him and Lucius simply refused to talk with him until the gala had ended. The issue was that once he was summoned, he couldn’t leave until the deal was made or the buyer changed their mind before they signed. That was a rare occurrence as Crossroads like himself could usually scare or convince them to sign on the spot. But Lord Dravenmonth was sly even by weasley British Lord standards and his knowledge of the occult and summonings was greater than most humans. He was too valuable an asset to lose, so Liminal allowed himself to be dragged along through the preparation week before this and the party itself. Luckily, he would be done at midnight tonight as that was the deadline for Dravenmonth’s payment. And if he didn’t pay that, well, it would be a very dark night in Dravenmonthshire indeed.

    And even though the presence of a full fledged Archangel made him tremble under is mask he was a professional and was glad between his mask and hat his fear was pretty much invisible if he could control the shaking of his hands.While normally the Protectors never engage in conflict outside of life or death situations for those they protect. Barachiel was still an Archangel and if she deemed it necessary she could invoke the Rite of Annulment and smite him into a speck of brimstone on the spot. She wouldn’t risk the wrath of God nor would she anger the Keepers or Hell Knights enough to bring danger from below. He was a Crossroads Demon, little higher than the young demons that fill the Tormentor’s ranks. He was a dime a dozen to use a human term, still in his questo to avoid looking at the Archangel he found himself looking at one of the Lady’s “grandchildren” he locked eyes with the girl just as she was locking eyes with him. Another Angel that much he could sense, but her light was much softer. If Barachiel was a roaring barn fire, this girl was a candle flicking in a small breeze. A Guardian in training perhaps? His otherworldly eyes were absorbing her presence when he felt Lady Barachiel’s aura flare up in warning. She knew what he was just as he knew what she was. Quickly averting his eyes he shuffled back gently clearing his throat and holding his hands behind his back waiting for the Human Lord to have his fill of news so they could leave.

    “Ah, a Waltz!” Lord Dravenmonth exclaimed as all around them couples formed and got into position. “I would ask one of your lovely cousins myself, Duchess, but the old gut and limp do little to make a man graceful.”

    “My lord, you are all charm,” Barachiel smiled though her gaze involuntarily flickered to the dancers. The archangel was rarely distracted by simple human emotions anymore - the centuries with humans allowed her to tune out the good and the bad. Her young charges though were quite the opposite. Their eyes glowed a bit as they watched curiously though she frowned as she caught the gaze of Abigail. The youngest one among them - and by some accounts the most promising - was looking like the true debutante, her blue eyes glued to the dancers and musicians, mouth slightly opened in a small ‘o’. Sighing, she turned to the rest. ”Please disperse and make your field notes. Follow protocol and be alert. I will be checking your notes tomorrow.”

    ”And Abigail, Frau Barachiel?” Alexander, the eldest among them, took the lead. Barachiel shook her head in a slight no. Nodding in understanding, the Angels bowed in farewell and dispersed around the ballroom in pairs, talking quietly in Celestial. The Archangel watched them leave before turning back to the Human Lord.

    “My apologies, I didn’t think it would be fair to keep the young ones from enjoying the celebrations by themselves,” her lips twitched in amusement at the words. “Though I do like keeping the youngest near - you never know who may be lurking as the season becomes busy.”

    “What a beautiful language,” the lord sighed, perplexed as usual what dialect it was exactly. Perhaps, if he had paid more attention to his governess and then in Cambridge, he would have been able to be more knowledgeable in linguistics. Alas, his youth was passed in manners less productive than that. “Your youngest - I do not believe we have been introduced.”

    “Abigail, my lord,” Abi dipped into a curtsey, glancing at her mentor to see that she did everything right. Barachiel closed her eyes in confirmation.

    “And does Lady Abigail dance?” the lord asked curiously. It was a jest - that much was clear. Any self respecting lady of their rank would have to dance if she ever dreamed of finding a husband. It was the one time people could talk tete-a-tete with little consequences and it was...fun. Unsure, Abigail turned to the Archangel but the man didn’t bother for an answer. “My my, I do think we need to find you a suitable partner. Now, who can it be?” Looking about, the lord couldn’t find any man nearby; he never liked discussing politics with young ladies. They lacked the constitution and level head for such deep talks - he was as likely to send the weak-willed girl into hysterias as bore her discussing the wars in France or fires in Venice. Luckily, his eyes landed on Liminal; whereas Barachiel saw a dangerous Demon, Lucius saw a useful tool he could use. Young ladies were far easier to glean information from than wise and wordly dames like the Lady van Hellen and he relished using the American’s ominous demeanor to scare people. He would use him to scare the young lady into spilling secrets the Duchess would not give him. “Ah Liminal my boy! You look almost as bored with this conversation as the young lady. How about you dance with her?”

    The darkly dressed man froze under his mask and contemplated forgetting his role in this and simply dragging Lord Lucius away to Hell himself. But protocol dictated he play along because any sort of dispute he allowed himself to be dragged into could result in him forfeiting his own life so he silently stepped forward and offered the girl his hand. “Of course milord, would the lady honor me with a dance?” His voice smooth and deep like a river in the mountains, his accent placing him somewhere near Virginia by the sound. He smelled of smokey oak, not overpowering but certainly noticeable. Once again he was glad his fear and tension were hidden under his black mask, his eyes quickly glancing at the Archangel as if expecting a flaming sword to cleave him in twain any second.

    “My lord, I am not sure it is a good idea,” Barachiel frowned, her voice sounding almost at the same time as the strange man’s. Abigail held her breath - while dancing was frowned upon, if one was asked for in a situation one could not refuse, there was no barrier for it. When it came to keeping appearances, her mentor was the first to scold them from being out of line. “The girl is young - she won’t know what to do with Liminal’s advances.”

    The lord laughed pushing the young man closer. “No better time to learn, and I assure you. He may look like a knuckle dragging Colonial, but he is one of those rare backwoods gentlemen that were raised by a proper English family. Plus he is sober, most suitors are well into their cups at this time of the night.” Lim stumbled under the Lord’s push, his hand gripping the young lady’s in his fall. Luckily, he caught himself and the pair of them stood up, quickly being ushered away by the Lord before the Duchess could object.

    “I hope you return her in one piece,” the Archangel said coldly, deciding that making a scene of one dance would do little good. The silent threat hung in the air between her and the Demon - Else you will learn the true Wrath of the Heaven, not seen since the days of the Fall. Abigail, meanwhile, was trying to regain her calm. She had always been empathetic and picked up on human emotions with ease - she could not tune out the curiosity directed at her dance partner and, inadvertently, at herself. It was strange - what did it matter that she danced with a man? He was no better than any other and she would have been happy to dance the foxtrot with a blind man as long as it meant she could try to dance.

    However, he wasn’t truly like any man she had seen before - there was something off about him. She wondered if he was an atheist. Barachiel had told them about these strange people who rejected the Father’s flame. They lived without knowing the Protectors’ touch all their lives and their path to Heaven was much harder. Some said, they were cold to the Celestial touch. That was exactly how the man’s hand felt. Though her fingers were barely touching his skin and shaking slightly, she could feel how cold he was. Ice cold. Without the flame. It unsettled her and she shot a glance at her mentor’s dark expression, subtle so that Abi only knew it was there from experience.

    Her pale blue skirts swept across the floor as she was guided to stand among the dancers. Unable to lift her gaze, she allowed the man to guide her hands in the proper position, trembling slightly. Perhaps, it was better to dance with a believer, blind he may be, than someone so….cold?

    Eager to get away from the Archangel, Liminal nearly dragged the doe-eyed young lady to the far side of the ballroom so Lady Barachiel would need to sprout her wings to reach him if she chose to smite him anyway. Once the fear of imminent destruction was lesser, he noticed something he was surprised to have missed upon first meeting the young lady. Her body radiated heat in every direction. That candle he pictured before was quickly replaced by a raging hearth fire, still not as hot as the Duchess, but maybe her proximity was simply that overpowering to the girl’s own holy fire.

    He had heard in Hell that Angels that remained loyal to the big guy burned with the fervor of their devotion to him. They absorbed his divine light like the desert absorbs rain, gone mere seconds after falling. He could feel sweat tricking up under his heavy coat and shirt beginning to cling to his frame. Despite the unpleasantness of it, he found himself compelled to look upon the fair pale beauty of the young Angel. He was sure she couldn’t sense his demonic aura otherwise she wouldn’t be so wonderstruck being on the floor with him and she likely would’ve turned him down upon asking. And being the granddaughter of a Duchess meant she could get away with it even at Dravenmonth’s insistence. Liminal had rarely encountered Angels on Earth, most could sense him just as easily as he could sense them and they simply kept their distance. Eternally at odds or not, not every encounter needed to end in bloodshed; even if a Hell Knight and Holy Warrior met on the street they weren’t compelled to kill each other. Such a conflict could also result in destroying huge swaths of the mortal plane and that was just bad for everyone’s business.

    Holding the girl as close as he could, Liminal kept one eye in the direction of the Duchess. Spinning through the throngs of people, he tried to remember all the steps. “I apologize for his lordship, Lady Abigail. He has trouble taking no for an answer, even when it’s a Duchess like your grandmother saying “No” to him.” He gave a weak chuckle adjusting his hand at her waist, feeling her suppleness even under the ridiculous dress she was wearing.

    “There’s no need to apologize,” Abigail’s lips curled up slightly into a smile. Heretic or not, the man still had manners. “A single dance would not cause the sky to fall, contrary to what my grandmother says.” It was about as far out of her usual compliant nature as she was ready to go. She couldn’t exactly think clearly as she tried to focus on the moment around her - the dancers, the way she glided across the floor, the rather familiar way the man’s hand ended up on her waist. She was rather close to him but she wrote it off to the loudness of the music - how else were people to hear one another? “Do you often frequent such gatherings?”

    Liminal chuckled lightly at the girl’s joke. Wittiness was almost as valuable in this place as dancing skills, but many young ladies did the bare minimum for clever conversation. Spinning around, he dipped the girl lightly, not sticking strictly to the dance dictated by the mid tempo music around them. “No, I’ve never been one for all this pomp and ceremony. Back in America, we’ve dropped all these fancy gowns and long winded conversations about goings on in France or Rome. We focus on enjoying ourselves more than keeping some silly old men in wigs happy.” He moved a little closer, brushing his cheek against hers. He couldn’t help himself; he was part Seducer Demon as well as Crossroads Demon. “We much prefer keeping those in our company happy.”

    “You Americans are very good at breaking traditions and propriety,” Abigail couldn’t help the blush that tinged her lips as the man spun her around. The Human Lord had mentioned that Liminal was sober but was he truly? Her older siblings whispered about things other than drink to make a man lose his mind. As his cheek brushed hers, she caught her breathe. Too close, too familiar screamed her inner self. This was no way she should allow it but she couldn’t bring herself to stop it right away. “Have you lived here long?”

    Sensing the girl’s apprehension, he pulled back. She wasn’t like the human women he’s dealt with, even without exerting his Infernal Will he could turn most to putty in his hands with a few well placed touches and dusky words whispered into virginal ears. Even a young Angel could severely damage him if they wished. Grasping back onto the conversation before it got lost, he smiled with his eyes nodding lightly. “Oh yes, Americans weren’t the first to rebel...but we did do it the best that’s for sure.” Letting his worry at being slain by an angry Archangel slip away for a few seconds, he brought his full attention to his dance partner now. “I don’t actually live here. I am simply concluding some business with his lordship before I head back to Virginia. How about yourself, how long will the Duchess keep you on this gloomy rain soaked island?”

    “I…” Abigail tried to get her thoughts together, unable to fully concentrate. There were so many things running through the air, especially an emotion she couldn’t quite describe. It was what had steadied her when the Man got close - the feeling of desire? Was that it? She wasn’t sure that was the right word and she made note to ask her mentor when they were home. Nonetheless, it caused her to be unable to focus and it took her a few steps to try again. “I am not sure - we are here for the season but with the war, it may be that we cut our visit short. It would be quite a shame but I cannot go against my Grandmother.”

    Liminal nodded lightly. He’d heard rumblings about war in some cross talk, war was usually a good time for deals. People willing to do anything to save their own hides when death comes to their doors. But unless someone contacted him, he rarely followed the global gossip mongers. “Yeah war never changes, always disrupting the world around them. Hope you all get somewhere safe before it gets ya.” He smirked at her final comment. “I suppose not, but have you never thought about it? Surely you’re old enough to make your own decisions?” He smirked more, once again dipping the girl.

    “Thought about?” Abigail arched an eyebrow, her eyes meeting his fully for the first time. Involuntarily, her heart quickened. There was something about them, something that triggered an old memory and yet she couldn’t quite place it. She wasn’t sure where she gained the bravery but what happened next - well, Abigail was sure it was some other being forcing her hand. She reached out lightly with a hand to pull down the loose scarf, revealing the man’s full face. He was….beautiful. No, not just beautiful - he was beautiful in the way her winged brothers were with a defined structure and perfect forms. He was...She couldn’t finish the thought, simply looking at his face. “Why do you hide?”

    Surprised by her action, Liminal quickly stepped away as she pulled down his mask. His eyes flared bright yellow like the shine of a newly minted gold coin. The mask and hat allowed him to keep his eyes shaded as any light on them caused this type of reaction. It was how Demons saw in the near perfect darkness of Hell. Without speaking, he pulled his mask up and bowed to the young lady quickly turning and leaving out the side door to a courtyard. He spared one final glance backwards, his mask being pulled up higher as he noticed Lady Barachiel parting company with Lord Dravnemonth and moving quickly towards Abigail.

    “Are you alright, my dear?” Barachiel was the first to Abigail’s side as the young Angel watched the man leave, frowning as she thought back to what she had seen. The way he glared at her in that moment - she felt frozen to the core, as though she stood on the edge of some abyss and by some miracle didn’t fall down. Shivering, she let her mentor take her hands, frozen as they were, into her own.

    “I am, it was just a dance,” she murmured as the Archangel signaled for the rest of them to gather. Barachiel pursed her lips.

    “A dance with a Demon is never just a dance my dear.”

    “He wasn’t a demon….” Abigail’s sentence trailed off as she turned to look at the older Angel with a shocked expression. He could not have been and yet….was he? Why did it even matter?

    “Come, we best get you to the Sanctuary,” Barachiel handed her off to Alexander and Andrew then led the way out. No one tried to stop them as they left. Unable to help herself, Abigail threw one last look at the ballroom, for a second meeting the same burning gaze from the dark corner and feeling her heart race. What had happened?

    And so, I do believe he was a Demon though which kind, I do not know. I am not sure I should ask Archangel Barachiel especially as she seems to dislike him especially so. I know it was wrong of me to accept his dance and let him so close to me - I still feel his aura on my skin - but I cannot erase his eyes from my memory. It is as if they are burned there and it will take me a thousand years to get rid of it. That and his cold touch.
    Alas, I will leave it for now. Father forgive me, I hope that I never see this Demon again. He is nothing but trouble.

    Abigail

  3. #3
    Red Ninja
    SikstaSlathalin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    My hidden Dojo
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy is my best, but I can do and like just about everything.
    Posts
    126,003
    Mentioned
    48 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    1186

    Default

    April 3rd, 1839

    I have to write this entry from the confines of the Sanctuary - I have been sitting in one of the cleaning rooms for a full day now and yet I cannot shake off the Demon’s aura. Somehow, I still feel cold inside, as if somehow I am infected. Barachiel says it will go away but I wonder - why is it that I am the only one affected so much by his presence? I spoke with my sisters and while they both felt his presence and were uncomfortable by it, they recovered much quicker.

    Why is the Demon singling me out? I do not understand - this is the first time I do not understand Father’s will. Or his lack of guidance for he is not answering my calls for strength. I pray that I have the strength to move past this creature’s seducing ways if only to complete my training. Barachiel did mention that Guardians chased by Demons will not make good companions for Humans. We are assigned to a soul but a Demon chooses his freely. What if he torments me when I have an innocent to guide? What if I make a mistake?

    Liminal...he unnerves me and yet...I cannot help being drawn to the edge, to look at that abyss of darkness just a bit and wonder what is down there. I try to focus on the humans around me but the second he walks into the room or is nearby, I can feel my heart quicken and butterflies fly in my stomach. My senses tingle and I know exactly where he is. I know that most of what I feel is just a reflection of other women - they look with excitement upon different men. Excitement and anticipation. Some of them look that way at the Demon and then are disappointed when he gives them no heed. How can they not see just how blessed they are to be spared the temptations that lead to ruin?...


    As is usually the case in merry old England, the day started with gloomy skies and damp window panes. Hard to imagine how anyone here goes a day without catching their death of a cold. The Noble house of van Hellen have always been early risers, and on this fine rainy day, Lady Abigail was bundled up in a riding skirt and a heavy cloak as she walked about the park near Lady Barachiel’s estate accompanied by a couple of silent Cherubim. They are the second-highest rank in the Heavenly Courts under only the Seraphim and Archangels themselves. As such, they are entrusted with protecting the Angels upon this Earth. Like the Warriors, they are allowed to strike down any that threaten one of the Heavenly Host, but like the Protectors they can only do so when in matters of Life and Death.

    As much a Caste as their own species of Angel, Cherubs are the only ones who know where the Garden is located and after the Serpent had infiltrated it and corrupted Adam and Eve, only they and the Lord God himself are allowed to walk its verdant pastures and forests. Each has taken an eternal vow of silence so none may reveal the location and corrupt it as the Serpent had. Today, only two followed her about the small park, but her dark thoughts of Liminal the Demon were already more company than the young Angel desired this gray day.

    Abigail hugged her arms around her, walking along one of her favorite paths. It was a long walk around the park and most people didn’t come through the thick trees unless they were on horseback which, on gloomy days promising rain, there were not many. The two Cherubs, dressed as manservants rode behind her on horses, leading her own and keeping a respectable distance away. She never fully understood their role - was there really something so dangerous as to attack a young angel? Their silence was unsettling to say the least but no matter how much she begged her brethren to come, none wanted to be outside the Sanctuary for long. Promising not to do anything rash, Abigail rode off with her two silent shadows.

    As she walked, she smiled. Something about Earth was different - it seemed to breathe with a different energy than her home plane. Every flower, every strand of grass had a story - it had seen so many things and wanted to share so many memories that Abi wondered if she would ever hear all of them. Sighing, she came up to an old oak and placed her hand on the rough bark. “Will you tell me your secrets?” She whispered.

    “Now that’s awful rude, askin’ a complete stranger to tell you their secrets before you tell yours mi’lady.” The low laugh of Liminal sounded from around the backside of the tree, the man appeared very much out of nowhere as he did last night at the ball. Though now he was dressed in much more comfortable looking clothing of heavy canvas trousers, brown boots, a white cotton shirt and a much more well worn leather duster. At his waist hung a silver revolver and large black handled buck knife instead of the clumsy sword.

    Moving as to stay out of the Cherubs direct line of sight making sure to keep the tree between him and them. He was in the park conducting soul business, but most unusually his mind was drifting to places it shouldn’t. Namely that angelic girl from the ball. He knew how stupid it all sounds and as a Demon whose done work for centuries twisting these very feelings about to birth deals. Falling for these same tricks and feelings was infuriating. But as he heard her voice the impish nature of demons took hold and foolishly decided to make contact in hopes of taking the edge off the burning annoyance in his mind.

    Abigail froze, her heart quickening all at once. She turned so that her back was against the tree trunk, her hands grabbing at the roughness to keep her balance. Without seeing him, she knew he was there. She felt the coldness that radiated from him and shivered. “You’re a Demon, aren’t you?”

    Liminal chuckled softly leaning his back against the tree pulling the brim of his hat down to make sure his eyes stayed covered. He was without his mask today, but the high collar of his coat served a similar purpose. “Hehe, you got me there good Lady van Hellen, I am a Demon, Liminal of the Crossroads if we’re bein’ all British and proper. And you’re an Angel am I right?”
    “What difference does it make if you are a Demon of the Crossroads or not?” Her lips barely moved as she whispered, glancing at the two Cherubs currently standing a ways off. If they noticed who she was talking to, she doubted she would ever be allowed outside the Sanctuary alone. Not to mention that Liminal would cease to exist. Pushing from the trunk, she started down the path, keeping close to the shrubs and shadows. “What are you doing here - reaping some helpless soul?”

    Following the young woman’s lead he stuck inside the treeline slipping his hands into the long pockets of his coat. Demons were surprisingly honest when they needed to be, but now didn’t seem like one of those times. “Naw just out enjoying a break in the weather before it dumps all over our heads again.” He glanced back at the girl’s silent vigil riding slowly behind her, their stoic faces cracking with suspicion the more she walked along the wooded path. “Seems strange to see one of you out here though. I ain’t been here very long, but from what I’ve heard you feathery types don’t leave your big house much...leastwise without your Boss hanging about. Are the two blocks of silent muscle back there really all the protection you get?”

    “You think you are a threat?” she arched her eyebrow, stopping by a rose bush to smell the flowers, glancing at her guards under her lashes. As she looked back, her eyes seemed to meet his own even as he hid in the shadows. “You are good at avoiding questions.”

    The man chuckled giving a slight shrug. “I could be, but to an angel in training. Most things in this world could be a danger to you. You do know Angels and Demons aren’t the only...non-human things roaming this world yes? Lycans, Vampires, and even the High Sidhe still lurk these green hills and rocky fields. As swift and fiery as the blades of Heaven can fall they cannot fall swift enough to save you from the likes of them if they come a callin’. And I answered your question as I recall. I’m out for a walk, same as you.”

    “Very well, let me rephrase then,” She touched the petals of the rose, distracted for a second by the softness. As her hand moved, she ended up touching the edge of his jacket. Abigail bit her lip, not daring to look up. Contrary to what she thought, the material was real - the same as any human wore with wear and tear. It was cooler to the touch but that only made it more exciting. Her stomach did an involuntary somersault even as she drew her hand back. “What is a Crossroad Demon?”

    Liminal let out a low amused laugh. “Really? I thought the education in Heaven was far above that which we get in the fiery underground.” He studied the petal of the rose as well.

    “Perhaps Crossroad demons aren’t important enough to be mentioned,” Abigail smiled slightly as she moved away from the rose bush, a single flower in her hands.

    Taken slightly aback by the girl’s unforseen jab the Demon snorted lightly. “Seeing as there’s only five kinds of Demons that populate the lakes of fire and misery, I find it odd you don't already know. From top to bottom, Keepers, Hell Knights, Seducers, Crossroads like myself and the Tormentors. We aren’t as varied as you feathery types. You have what? Nine Levels with the big guy on top of it all?”
    “Perhaps,” Abigail smiled slightly, amused at his rather unreserved manner. She clasped her hands behind her back, walking forward without sparing Liminal another glance. “Although, I think even your education covers that.”

    Lim laughed a little bit louder than he had planned. “My education consisted of knowing you are the bad guys, we’re the good guys, and the Morningstar was just the victim of daddy being mean. Well that and learning my trade as the Devil’s bondsman. But I hear you get taught music, dancing, art, literature, as well as history, war, and other such fancy things. Down there, only the Hell Knights and Keepers get to learn anything fun.”

    “Careful, you risk much more than I do if you give yourself away,” her lips curled into a smile as she brought the rose to her nose, hiding her emotions from her escort. The two Cherubs seemed to be looking for something but she had acted much the same the past few times so they didn’t do much past raise their awareness. Abigail, however much as she distrusted the Demon, didn’t want him to simply perish for answering her questions. She didn’t want that death - final and with no return - on her conscience. “Do you get to choose who you become? Or does your….leader….act in the way of the Father? Determine your destiny?”

    The man’s sly smile stayed on his face as he found another tree to lean against taking a deep breath smelling rain in the air. “Haha, I risk everything by simply not working on my duty 24/7, telling you the stuff you already likely know is hardly a breech in whatever “sacred duties” we in the land of fire and smoke bother to hold dear.” He realized the tree he was leaning against was an apple tree. With an ironic smile he pulled one down and offered it to the girl through the bush. “As for our destinies, aside from the Morningstar’s Captains who became the Keepers and his Lieutenants that became the Hell Knights, the rest of us, just start young and work up from Tormentors going as high as we can before someone takes us out. The highest I’ve seen was a Succubus named Annora that became...basically the Madame of the fiery lake’s brothel. She sends Succubi and Incubi up here to play around with weak-willed Humans. Quite chaotic in most senses of the word is pretty much the description of Brimestone Land.”

    Abigail stopped by the tree, twirling the rose in her fingers and unable to stop herself from trying to look at the Demon’s face. Her eyes grew large and her mouth formed an ‘o’ when he spoke of the Brothel, her cheeks turning pink and the pale flower dropping to her feet. She had heard about all the evil but she never…discussed it. That had never been something of interest but now, as she looked at the world, she wished she knew more. Her hand shook slightly as she gingerly touched the fruit, her fingers electrified with coldness as she brushed then against his skin. “You risk not getting much farther if my escort sees you.”

    As she warmed the fruit in her hands, she smiled slightly. “Choices must be hard - you can never know the right path nor how to truly bring the most to the world. Is it a choice, to hide from the world?” Her fingers itched to pull away the collar covering his face again to fully see it but she focused on toning down the emotions her mind was conjuring, still full from the days past.

    As she took the apple, he heeded her warning and quickly pulled his hand back through the bush, moving a little deeper into the trees eyeing the Cherub carefully once more. “Well humans are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, you and your winged kin know that much I’m sure. Anything...out of the ordinary makes them very antsy. And I’m...quite out of the ordinary.” Pulling an apple down to eat himself he pondered what to ask next.

    Abigail took a quick look at her escort and seeing that they caught sight of the apple, made a gesture to show that she was going to get more. In her silent question to bring them some fruits, they shook their heads. Taking a breath to calm her nerves, she slipped into the shadows, ending up closer to the Demon. She still kept the trunk between them but she could now look at him unobstructed by the growth, her eyes taking in the features she could see with curiosity.

    Surprised once again by the girl’s suddenness he instinctively moved around the tree to try and hide his face as he was sure she was trying to get a look at him again. “Careful there, fair maiden. Get too close and I’ll scream some kind of unwanted advances on my virtue by you.” Letting his laugh ripple in the air between them, he decided on his question. “So why are you and your holy comrades down here in the muck and mud of England?”

    “The reasons you mentioned - history, dance, art,” Abigail grinned slightly, feeling the cool air around him even from a distance. “You find joy in tormenting people and reaping souls? How odd. You manage to cause heartache without trying - jealousy, despair, desire. Why is it that you are here?” She arched an eyebrow, bringing the apple to her mouth. The smell of the fruit was something else - fresh, sweet and appealing. Dangerous fruit indeed.

    He snorted again. “My, my looks like someone else is good at avoiding questions. I cannot say I enjoy what I do...but I have no other recourse. I am but one thing and one thing only, anything beyond that is irrelevant. It’s like asking a human if he enjoys walking down the street or breathing.” Just then a loud boom of thunder roared over their heads causing the Demon to look up and jump a little. “Hmm seems our conversation is at an end, Lady Abigail. Your Sky Father seems set to water his garden.”

    Abi jumped closer, bumping into the man as the thundering above stopped, grasping at anything to steady her rather clumsy acrobatic display. Unfortunately, the thing closest to her was the Demon and as she steadied herself, she felt her cheeks pale. She was, once again, closer to him than modern etiquette dictated for young women and, she was quite certain, closer than she would ever have been allowed by Barachiel. As soon as she found her balance, she pushed away from him, breathing unsteadily. “You, sir, need to practice your hiding skills more thoroughly. Do be careful if you are so set to visit this garden again. Next time, it may not be me who finds you.” Glancing back at her guards who were beginning to ride towards them. She handed back the apple he gave her, she picked up her riding habit and sneaked by. With perfect timing as her escort was approaching the tree, frowning to themselves. Giving them her most genuine smile she handed them both other apples she picked up despite their protests and began hurrying back towards the Sanctuary. Allowing one of them to help her back into the saddle, she picked up the reins and turned her mount back towards the mansion acting as the Sanctuary. As she urged her horse into a trot, she didn’t look behind her, but could feel Liminal’s burning eyes into her back.

    Watching the woman he felt raindrops hit the brim of his hat as she and her guards vanished over a hill. Letting out a low sigh and a chuckle he plucked one more apple down and began munching it thoughtfully as the storm made itself known to them all.

    ....In Heaven, I never considered what fruit I was eating. Like people, they were all uniquely delightful and, like all else in Heaven, allowed only a taste of their essence, distant and faint. Here, I for the first time enjoyed the juiciest of fruit from strawberries to watermelon and mangoes. We have them all at the Sanctuary - all except for apples. I didn’t think I was missing much until I held one in my hands. It is true, I have tasted them in Heaven but in that moment, it smelled so much that it mattered not where it came from. Even if from the hands of a Demon.

    I did remain strong, Father was my witness. As I finish my training, I will not indulge in the human ways and will not touch the forbidden fruit, not when I can enjoy everything else this plane has to offer. I am resolute and determined…yet I cannot forget the way his eyes glowed gold, the scent of the apple and his voice, soft as velvet and raspy all at once. If Liminal keeps appearing when I least expect him, I fear one day I will be faced with a great trial I may become a victim of.

    Abigail
    Last edited by SikstaSlathalin; 02-06-2021 at 07:22 AM.


    Xbox One Gamertag: Free Today56 just say who you are first.
    Breath deep as the snow falls around you. Let it fill your lungs and purify the fires of doubt within you.



    Spoiler: The stories I've written x50 



  4. #4
    Little ball of fire
    Breggo13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy, Mature, Private....Unless you dare to get me curious...
    Posts
    2,314
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    578

    Default

    April 7th, 1839

    Barachiel made it very clear that she was disappointed at my behavior the other day. I didn’t know how to bring up that I saw the Demon again but somehow she knew - perhaps, what they say about the Cherubs and Archangels being able to communicate by thought is true. She invited me to share her afternoon tea, a rare Human tradition she thoroughly enjoys, and brought up Liminal. She didn’t say much about him but her tone of voice made it quite clear…

    “Abigail, he is dangerous,” Barachiel sighed sadly as she elegantly lifted the teacup to her lips and closed her eyes with pleasure as she took a sip. Abigail looked down at her hands holding the perfect porcelain teacup. She never shied away from such meetings with her mentor before but today, she felt in the wrong. The archangel was right on every account when it came to Demons and their dealings. Liminal was not to be trusted - he was a scheming, seducing scoundrel who came to this plane to sow discord and stray humans away from their paths. It was a dangerous game - free will - that humans possessed in abundance. Each wrong choice took them farther and farther from the Father and their own redemption. As a Guardian, she should be learning how to counter him and, better yet, keep his kind far away.

    And yet, a small part of her wondered if there was something else, something more. He was dangerous, she couldn’t deny that, but he didn’t seem a lost cause. And wasn’t that Father’s wish to give every creature a right to redemption? The Crossroad demon made her feel emotions she couldn’t name and it both scared her and exhilarated her. She wanted to know more about him because he was so different, to learn more about his life and his upbringing, to understand….something. What, she wasn’t quite sure.

    “I know but…” Abigail bit her lip. Barachiel didn’t rush her, radiating encouragement and comfort. “I just thought that by talking with him, I could understand more so what Demons like him were about. Then I could protect humans better.”

    “You are such a sweet Guardian already, my child,” the Archangel smiled as she replaced her teacup onto the elegant saucer. Her hand rested on Abigail’s causing the girl to raise her blue eyes. “It warms my heart that you are so dedicated to your path. However, your passion must burn as a steady flame - you cannot grasp everything at once and if you try, you will burn up. Angels have been led astray when they didn’t temper down their desires for knowledge and for perfection.”

    “I don’t understand, Archangel,” Abigail felt her heart skip a beat. The older woman sighed.

    “You have learned enough about the Crossroaders and Seducers for now Abigail. Leave it and focus on what you are here to do - learn about humans. Leave Liminal to his little troublemaking deals but do not get involved.”

    “I understand,” Abi nodded, taking a sip of her tea. She truly did in that moment - Liminal was to be left alone. She could observe him from afar as she could any other demon. Placing the teacup set on the table, she smiled. “I think I should rest and reflect.”

    “You are going to be a real gem for our Father,” Barachiel nodded in approval. Giving a slight curtsy in case anyone saw, Abigail made her way upstairs to her room, deep in thought. She had every intention to follow the Archangel’s instruction and leave the Demon alone. After all, she did learn a lot more about the creature a few days ago when they were almost stuck in the rain and he told her of his dealings. Rather vaguely, to be sure, but enough that she knew what to watch out for. Or she hoped it was enough - the real test would be the second she was entrusted to a soul to guide. Any fraternizing with the enemy would endanger the very thing she needed to protect and so, regardless of how she thought she felt, she would not approach Liminal.

    She paused on the staircase, biting her lip. Had she ever approached him? If she had, it wasn’t knowingly. He seemed to appear in that annoying way of his, seemingly out of thin air. She always felt him appear before anything else, that strange feeling of an abyss suddenly forming before her and seeing what she would do. Abigail couldn’t understand why the Demon appeared on her path and she wished, desperately, for answers from either Barachiel or the Father himself. However, today it seemed that answers were not to be found - at least none past that her meeting with the Demon was a mistake. But...was it?

    Abigail sighed, continuing to the room she called her own. It was very plain, done in the same tones of ethereal blue as the rest of the bedrooms and acting more as a prop than for any specific reason. Nonetheless, Abi still felt herself relax a bit more as she closed the door and leaned against it. Something about Liminal made her want to see him again. There was a certain aura, a faint hint that perhaps, just maybe if she dug deep enough, he could be more than a simple Crossroads Demon. Why she had this thought, she was not sure but….wasn’t that what Father always said and what she was taught from her first breath? Everyone deserves a chance to turn to the right path, no matter how many evil deeds were behind them. That must apply to Demons as well.

    Walking over to the bowl of fresh fruit, she aimlessly picked one up, twirling it in her hands. She hadn’t been able to bring up something that was troubling her, a first in her memory. Every time she closed her eyes, she kept seeing the silhouette of the demon, his high collared coat and hat drawn to cover his eyes. Even though she saw them only briefly, she couldn’t forget the way they shone like molten gold, wild and cold and...she couldn’t fully describe it but they sent her heart racing and stomach fluttering and palms sweating. Sighing, she brought the fruit to her mouth and was about to take a bite when she noticed the sweet smell. An apple, how fateful.

    “I will not do it,” she whispered, observing the green thing in her fingers. “I will not go against my mentor’s wishes for you.” With a decisive thud, she smacked the apple onto the side table and turned towards the exit, planning to sit in the Sanctuary for as long as it took her to forget what she had seen in her mind. And it was the golden eyes, glowing with passion as they offered her a fruit.

    I am resolved, I confess. I will do my utter best to avoid Demons in particular but Liminal is at the top of my list. I want to become a Guardian and I know it is my essence, the same as deals and darkness is part of...No, I will never again utter his name in this book. I need to focus on my prayers and my training.

    -Abigail

  5. #5
    Red Ninja
    SikstaSlathalin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    My hidden Dojo
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy is my best, but I can do and like just about everything.
    Posts
    126,003
    Mentioned
    48 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    1186

    Default

    May 10th, 1839

    I fear I have made the biggest mistake in the World. I don’t even know where to begin, I doubt that I have enough words and patience to write down everything that has happened. I can’t even write this anywhere near the Sanctuary so I am in the conservatory as it is the furthest I can get away from everyone. My hand shakes as I write this but….I have lied. My Father, you are my witness and I...I commited that sin. I didn’t want to but I can’t stay away from Liminal. If Barachiel ever found my sketchbook, she would be horrified by my most recent sketches. I wish I had cared to grab my watercolor set - the graphite cannot ever reflect the gold of his eyes.

    I didn’t mean to see him - he jumped on me out of the shadows like usual. Technically - oh my, what a horrid word it is
    technically - I didn’t see him but rather a bird…

    The early evening sun glowed low and orange over the high stone walls of Sanctuary. Outside of Buckingham Palace, the lands of the Van Hellen clan sported the best defenses in England. But their defenses went far beyond stone and posted guards. As with every outpost for the Lord’s First Children, heavenly wards, invisible Cherub watchers, and least expected of all, large brown feathered Eagles wearing golden harnesses protected these sacred grounds. They were one of the four Heavenly animals and since Oxen and Lions are a bit harder to take care of, the eagles were chosen as another layer of protection for the Sanctuary. Their keen eyes and sharp hunter’s instincts allowed them to see and sense things that could slip by under the other wards.


    But every failsafe can fail at least for a time, and tonight one extra eagle was circling overhead. This one was just as large and dark as the others, but whose eyes seemed to glow more golden than his kin. And as he circled over the Conservatory, he found his prey, the fair skinned maiden that has been tormenting his dreams. Why was she so stuck in his mind? She was beautiful, but not the most beautiful woman he has seen. Her innocence was the most pure he’d ever known though, and for some hunters, innocence is often just weakness wearing a different word.

    That was the lie he told himself to explain it: she was weak, but high enough up that he could use her and gain information he could sell to someone or use as leverage for later deals. He knew it was a lie of course, but oftentimes, we tell ourselves the sweetest lies just to make the truth easier to swallow. Beginning his descent to the tall Pomegranate tree growing out of the open roof, not being sure what he would even say, but his feathers fluffed up in anticipation to just being around the young angel again.

    Abigail wasn’t sure when she fell in love with the pomegranate tree - in the past, the large apple tree in the park had been her favorite but since her conversation with the Archangel, she had avoided it. Frankly, she avoided the park altogether, preferring the distant conservatory where she was left alone. Or, she pondered, as alone as an Angel on earth could be. The old pomegranate tree had become her favorite spot and she would spend hours nestled in its century old branches, aimlessly watching the sky or sketching through the activity had started to be dangerous. Try as she might, she could never avoid her hand to draw the rough features of...She shook her head. Most of her drawings were scrapped as soon as she started and she had stopped trying to draw things from memory.

    Her favorite time had always been the night when the stars appeared, drawing constellations and images in the dark velvet sky. She loved to sit and enjoy the scents of the conservatory with the blooming plants and butterflies. Tonight was no different - she was sitting in the branches, her light muslin nightgown hugging her body and her shoulders wrapped in a thicker blue coat, currently unbuttoned. Her hair was down in its blonde waves, falling down onto her back and shoulders. Hugging her knees to her chest, she tilted her gaze to the heavens, welcoming the kiss of the light spring breeze.

    She felt his presence before she even knew what it was - the almost forgotten feeling of looking into the abyss, the coldness that made her shiver even though it was warm in the building and hug her arms around her body. Abi bit her lip, looking around the dark room, her eyes trying to find the golden gaze she knew was there, breath catching a bit. How could he have come past all the security and the guards? How did he know how to come here? Had he come before? Unable to find anyone, she tilted her head against the bark. She must have imagined it - that feeling - mistaken it as a gust of wind. “You would know if he was here, wouldn’t you?” She asked the pomegranate tree, letting out a sigh.

    Just as she asked, a sudden weight landed on the tree somewhere and she heard the unmistakable voice she had been both dreading and fantasizing about. “Well I’m sure it would considering I just landed on it.” The sound of heavy talons above her head and the gentle gust of wind told her exactly where he was. “And I can’t help but appreciate what a nice handful you have milady.”

    Abigail’s voice caught in her throat as she stared with large eyes at the eagle that sat on a branch near her, golden eyes giving away the true creature before her. Her chest rose and fell as her heart raced and she tried to say something, anything, her fingers frying to grab the branch she was sitting on to stabilize her. As if laughing, the pomegranate tree shook in the breeze, tossing a ripe fruit into her lap. That seemed to bring her out of her shocked state. “But you are a bird!”

    The large bird laughed, though his avian anatomy made it sound more like a screeching breathe than an actual laugh. “Indeed I am! And a magnificent one at that if I do say so myself!” Spreading his great wings a little, Liminal did the awkward hop flap all raptors do when using their talons to move rather than their wings. “It has been a very long time since I’ve chosen to take the form of an animal, I forgot how different their bodies and senses are from the Humans. Everything just pops, especially my eyesight.” Once he was more level with the girl he blatantly stared at her chest seeing her nipples poking through the sheer fabric almost outlining the shape and swell of her chest. “And how resistant they are to the cold, unlike Humans.” He squawk laughed again, his feathers poofing up.

    “You!” Abigail flushed with anger, wrapping her hands around her chest and glaring at the bird. “How can you be here and be a bird when I know so clearly how you look?” One hand flew to her mouth, knowing that she spoke too much. The other stayed firmly glued to her body, not willing to give the Demon the satisfaction of such a view. The unblinking bird gaze was unnerving, making her want to squirm in her skin.

    Seeing her discomfort, he relented his gaze though having eagle eyes isn’t something you can just shut off like the valve to an oil lamp, still he cocked his head away like he was following some scurrying mice below them. “I’m beginning to think you slept through most of your Angel schooling now milady.” He took a breath which on a human would’ve been a sigh. “Neither Angels nor Demons have a set form back in our...homelands I guess you can say. In the Fiery Lake all us Demons look like pillars of smoke or fire depending on how close we are to the Morningstar. And in Heaven I assume most y’all look like fireflies or somethin' all balls of light and rainbows. It’s only down here on Earth we pick forms. Now not sure how that goes for you Angel Types, but a Demon can pick a new form every time he's summoned. And this time I just chose to appear as a bird, but like I said, a magnificent one!” He squawked, spreading his massive wings out as widely as the tree would let him still allowing him to show off a nearly four foot wingspan.

    “Perhaps I should count my blessing that you torment me only in the form of a bird now,” Abigail whispered, observing his display and feeling the coldness radiating from him. She did remember her mentor talking about it at some point but it seemed so long ago that it had slipped her mind. “Do you visit your….homeland,” she sniffed in distaste, “often?”

    Lim shrugged, his talons gripping tighter as a strong gust of wind began rocking the tree. “Hehe, I have no choice most of the time. Once a deal is done, poof down I go back underground ‘til someone summons my services again. Part of the whole “banished from Sky Daddy’s sandbox” deal that got penned before I was even a chunk of brimstone on some Seducer’s backside.” He tried to hide the bitterness in his voice, but birds, who aren’t even built to talk at all have very little control over such things, maybe next time he’ll come up as a dog. At least they have different vocal cords to play with. “So yea, I go back quite often, though the longest time it took was about two weeks to close the deal. I was just gettin’ used to being somewhere that didn’t stink like fire sadness too.”

    “Why did you come looking for me?” The question was barely a whisper, Abi wasn’t even sure she said it aloud but she was sure that Liminal understood it. It has been burning on her tongue since the moment he landed before her, feathers and all. His gaze unsettled her but even in this form, she could still see him as he was - tall, brooding and handsome. It scared her to realize that she did, in fact, find him attractive regardless of what form he took. Her fingers gripped the edges of her gown till her knuckles were white but she forced herself to look into his eyes, hiding her turmoil of emotions behind a mask she had gotten good at wearing. Somehow, what he answered was important to her.

    The bird’s feathers dropped slightly at the question. It was one he’d been tossing around in his head as well. Even in her scandalous state of dress, she still wasn’t the most beautiful female creature he’d seen. He’s met with the mighty Fae Queens of the Summer and Winter Courts, beauties carved from the very essence of beauty, and unlike most female creatures their beauty never fades, it just...changes... is the best way to word it. As part of the Three Goddesses the Maiden, the Matron, and the Crone they stay in one form until their daughters grow in enough power to replace them. The Maiden becomes the Matron, the Matron becomes the Crone, and the Crone becomes one with the aether that binds all worlds together. An endless cycle of the old world.


    But something about this young heiress has him enraptured. He couldn’t tell if it was her delicious innocence, her holy warmth, or simply because she’s the first woman whose been so oblivious to the world, he didn’t have to be the Damned Salesmen all the time. He could relax around her, even the Demonesses in Hell put him on guard. Always up for some fun, but always looking out for themselves first. Friendship and loyalty were painfully rare Down Below, and the boons of turning on someone deemed weak and submitting them to be “fixed” were quite lucrative. It’s quickly becoming its own class of Demon, those doing it are often called Backknives. Sure you can get back at them easily enough, but then you become one of them and even Demons have some honor though a more twisted form of it. Realizing he was taking too long to answer he simply shrugged and went with the easiest answer. “I wanted to.” He said then began to preen his feathers casually in hopes of hiding some of the nervousness in his voice.

    “But why?” Abigail tilted her head, her hair moving to reveal her pale skin on her neck, exposing her vulnerability. She was exposing herself to him - if he wanted to, he could attack and have a great shot at, if not killing her, at least causing good damage to the perfect skin and soul. Somehow, she trusted him not to do it. If he wanted to seek her out to hurt her, he would have done so before revealing his presence to her. Deciding that she could trust him, she let her hands drop, ending up playing with the fruit in her lap. “You take great risks to see me - what do you want from me? Fore there is nothing I can give you, Liminal.”

    She froze, a sad smile on her lips. It was the first time she dared speak his name out loud. While he had uttered hers countless times, she never returned the favor, distancing herself from him in any way she could. Tonight, hidden from the view of the world by the old tree, she finally broke her own vow. And, for whatever reason, she felt relief, relief at not having to constantly stop herself from even thinking about how it sounded or how it was spelled, not having to stop her mouth from trying to pronounce the vowels one at a time. “There is nothing I can give you, Liminal.” Abigail repeated though her voice was sad.

    Eagles see more than just the cold's effect on a barely clothed young woman’s body. He saw the war of emotions dance across her face as she spoke. Fear, joy, remorse, anticipation, and at the end of it all, sheer relief. Quite amazing in his opinion, but they reflected his own emotions, he was just very good at hiding them even out of bird form. “Who says anythin’ needs to be given or taken? I do this cause I want to and I think you feel the same way otherwise you would’ve called your strong silent types on me in the park or out here. In this form I could flee better, but when they caught me...less likely to be able to fight back. Birds only have beaks and these stabby toe things to fight with afterall.” He gave a soft squawking laughter, lifting one large foot wiggling his three toes lightly before placing them back on the tree branch.

    He then glanced past the girl spotting something of interest. Flapping down he landed on a pile of crumpled up sketching papers and pulled one apart as gently as he could to study it. Another squawk laugh followed. “Always thought my human nose was pointier than that.” He said simply, beginning to pick through the other drawings out of curiosity.

    “It’s hard to know when you never show your face,” Abigail blushed as she watched him, her heart pounding. What did he really think of her sketches? She hadn’t meant to ever draw them and then when they simply appeared, she was for sure not planning to show them to everyone. Most often, she destroyed them before she left the conservatory but tonight, she didn’t have the time. Thus, her most recent images lay discarded on the ground. “Does it matter anyway if you will simply change your appearance the next time you disappear?” She asked as she began bringing herself out of the tree, deciding to keep close so they wouldn’t need to raise their voices and risk being heard. Once she met the Earth, she knelt beside the large bird and began gathering the pictures laying them out before him after seeing how much he struggled using only his talons and beak. Once everything was laid out and weighed down by a little stone she moved to the carved stone bench wrapping her blue coat more around her lithe frame as the wind continued to blow around them.

    Watching her move about with interest, Liminal thought about what she said. It was true she could never know what face he’d appear with next. In the past, he’d taken a new face every day for two months. Men mostly, but he could elect to be a woman if he wanted, though in these times that would more likely hurt his chances at closing a deal than help them. Seducers do that kind of stuff, not him. But once all the pictures were laid out, he hopped closer to study them more. Only a few were of his human face, others were landscapes or pictures of clouds and the sun. Each was meticulously and beautifully done as the last, but the ones with him seemed to have taken the most time and showed the greatest detail.

    “True I ‘ppose, but we all have our favorites we keep goin’ back to. That gunslinger was the face I saw in some dime novel out in the Western Americas a few years back. I changed a few thins o’ course. His hair, chin, and that scar that went down his left eye like a railway track - those were my additions. You never want to pick the face of someone famous when you appear up here. Way too much trouble. These are very well done though, guess you didn’t sleep through your art classes at least.”

    “I wanted to have reminders of my time here,” Abi sighed, coming back to where the large bird observed the images, sitting down beside him on the ground and looking critically at her pictures. “Down here, it seems to be the only thing that helps me clear my mind. Or at the very least, it helps me focus on my goals.”

    She reached for a far drawing but then stopped, looking at the Demon beside her. Slowly, her hand moved instead towards his feathers, her blue eyes catching his golden ones in a silent question, asking for permission before her fingers touched the freezing plumage, gingerly at first and then more boldly, digging her fingers into the thick feathers curiously. She had never dared touch the large eagles patrolling the Sanctuary before, but she was always curious how they felt to the touch. Somehow, touching Liminal excited her more than she expected - she smiled gently as she traced the design of a single feather, curious to the markings.

    At first surprised by her forwardness, he contemplated letting the bird’s instincts take over and snap at her. But the thought of contact with her holy warmth was too tempting to spoil. He didn’t even realize how cold he really was until he felt her soft tapered fingers on his body ruffling and massaging his sleek feathers. Like a child would pet a dog it was...invigorating to say the least. He was not sure how an eagle showed pleasure, but he poofed up his feathers for her letting out something like a coo...at least in his mind that’s what it sounded like. To her it might’ve been a strange gurgling sound one makes when washing their mouth out after a night of drinking. “Hmm you got a mighty soft touch milady.” Was all he said leaning into her hands some more trying to absorb some of her warmth a chill running up his avian spine.

    The sound of his voice made her freeze, her hand on his feathers freezing. What was she doing? Touching a demon? She shivered, not sure what had come over her to make her even consider it. What if anyone was to come in this second and see her? She doubted that the Cherubs or the Angels would be as easily fooled as the large eagles. Liminal’s eyes gave him away and if she could determine who he was in a moment, she didn’t for a second think Barachiel would have any trouble at all. She withdrew her hand, moving to pick up her drawings into one pile. “You shouldn’t be here, Liminal. You will get caught and they will destroy you.”

    As she pulled away, Liminal found himself saddened at the loss of warmth. He was no more sure how eagles show sadness than how they showed joy, but his slumped shoulders and deflated feathers might be the right reaction. Still, he recovered quickly and regained his composure. Flapping his wings gently, he hummed through his beak. “I doubt the eagles here are fully wild, might not be such an odd sight seein’ one like this and they all got gold eyes like mine ya know.”

    Despite his protests, he knew in his heart she was right. Anyone more in tune with the spiritual world would see or feel his aura and then...fiery blade from on high. The moon was rising over the Sanctuary walls anyway - surely Angels had a bedtime that Abigail was definitely breaking. Flapping his wings, he took off and landed on the lowest branch of the tree looking down upon her with what could be called longing even for a giant bird of prey. “They really are wonderful drawins’ milady Abigail. If this Angel thing don’t work out, I hear some Angels can leave Heaven and become one with the Humans. They called Watchers or somethin’ right?”

    “Yes,” Abigail looked up at him, eyes sad. “Watchers….or the almost fallen as they are called. Once we leave, we may never go back home. For some, it is a punishment worse than death.”

    He laughed sardonically. “We Demons got a similar sect. Only called the Uplifted, usually fullla Fallen who ain’t fallen so far. Also called Grey Angels, it’s usually the only way outta the Fire World.” He looked down at the tree, his talons gripping it tightly. “A Demon’s most fervent hope.” He said more to himself than to her. “Either that or you die and get to sleep forever in the Nothing. Have a good night my fair lady.” He gave a birdy bow then took off for the sky letting out a final almost mournful cry before vanishing from the Angel’s view.

    Abigail watched him go before fumbling with the pictures. Touching them one at a time so that the sketches of the Demon turned to ashes and then burying them at the base of the pomegranate, she took the rest with her as she made her way to the house. As she came close, she looked into the dark sky, seeing a few large shadows flying across the landscape. Smiling to herself, she walked into the main house.

    “Abigail, is that you?” Barachiel’s voice sounded from the drawing room, freezing the young woman in her tracks. Taking a second to steele her nerves and prepare for the conversation ahead, she walked into the doorway. The Archangel was sitting in her favorite armchair, a scroll hovering in front of her. “You came late.”

    “I got carried away with my drawings and then the night sky - it was a clear view tonight,” Abigail responded, looking at the older woman. Barachiel nodded.

    “Show me your pictures, dearest,” Abi obliged, passing the slightly crumpled landscapes to the Archangel and clasping her hands behind her back. Barachiel took her time, observing each picture with interest before lifting her steel-grey eyes to the girl’s blue ones. “Are those all of your sketches?”

    “Yes,” Abigail didn’t blink but crossed her fingers behind her back. “I love drawing landscapes and these were the ones I remember.”

    “You were alone in the Conservatory?”

    “Yes,” Abi wasn’t sure how but she answered without blinking, almost believing that she had been there alone. “I know the rules Archangel, I would never breach them.”

    “Very well, get some rest Abi,” Barachiel handed her back the drawings. “Try to come on time next time.”

    “Of course,” Abigail curtsied, taking the drawings and heading upstairs. Somehow, she wasn’t sure how, she managed to hide this night from slipping out of her mouth. She hadn’t exactly told the truth but she didn’t lie….did she? After all, the rules referred to humans, not giant eagles and in any case, there was nothing that happened that night that she regretted or felt needed further observation. Yes, that was it. Agreeing silently with her own assessment, she fell asleep almost instantly, for once not plagued by the golden eyes in her dreams.

    The next day, once they had received all their visitors and Lady Barachiel accompanied the men to one of their clubs, assuming a male identity, Abigail slowly made her way to the Conservatory. Waking up, she almost immediately regretted her behavior last night - she regretted lying. Hiding under her pillow, she wondered if it was too late to go and tell the truth, to reveal the breach in their security, to confess all her sins. She nearly came to the conclusion that it was the only way when...something steadied her. She didn’t know what it was but she couldn’t bring herself to give up Liminal just like that. More than that, Abi didn’t want anyone to know about the Demon. It was strange and yet empowering, to know that she could keep just a single thing to herself.

    As she reached for the door of the Conservatory, she locked onto what it was that brought her the calmness and strength. He talked of Demons wishing to leave Hell...what as the word he used? Uplifted! She knew from her teachings that no one was beyond redemption, and now she knew what to call it. If she could convince Liminal maybe...just maybe...he could be Uplifted! Her job was to protect and guide right? Help those who have fallen from the Path of the Father and his Son! She wasn’t sure what an Uplifted Demon would be - would he simply be a Fallen Angel or would he be fully human at that point? She didn’t know, but the Sanctuary had a great many books from the Father’s own library thus she could surely find something on the subject.

    Pleased with herself, she looked at the pomegranate tree, holding her breath as her memory immediately drew up the contour of the large eagle with his regal features and colorful feathers. Her eyes fell upon a small, plain box resting on her usual spot instead, dusty in color and a bit bent. Abi shook her head - it was most definitely not there when she left the hideout last night. Had someone found out what had happened? Looking around reflexively, she gingerly approached the branch, reaching out to pick up the small box. There was no note and no message, just a simple package but when she opened it, her eyes grew large with excitement. A set of colorful chalks, small but in every color imaginable.

    Her fingers found a golden colored one and brought it closer to observe just as something fluttered from the cover of the box. Frowning, she replaced the chalk and reached down, picking up the rough paper curiously. Turning it this way and that, it took her a second to find the right angle where the faint ink caught the light and echoed into a readable message. [i]‘For the eyes.’[i] Abigail stared at it for a couple of seconds, her mind racing at a thousand miles an hour. Was this proof that there truly was more to Liminal than most pictured him? Did he….care? And if he did, perhaps he could become uplifted? Shaking her head, she tucked the paper away before spinning on her heels and heading towards the library. It was time to start doing some research.

    I still haven’t found anything very informative about the Uplifted - the ancient texts only mention them briefly, as abnormal freaks that create only the worst of the creatures stuck on the Human plane. Whether they remain demons or become humans is still a mystery. Perhaps Liminal could tell me more next time I see him? I must be frank - it is a relief to use his name again and, blush as I may at this, I enjoyed the way it sounded when I said it. It is nothing like I have heard before and I do believe it suits him quite well.

    I cannot believe I have lied to Barachiel about him but...I do believe it is why we have crossed paths. The Father does not see him as a lost soul and I will be the one to guide him away from the burning fires of Hell. It is the reason that we keep meeting, I am sure of it now though....I have never heard of Guardians getting strange feelings when they are near their wards. I must write it off for him being a Demon but…

    I do wonder if I would have been so bold had he not appeared as an eagle. It was rather...disrespectful of me to say the least but he did have the most beautiful of feathers. Perhaps, I will ask to keep one next time I see him as a bird. I hope he does keep his usual presence if he decides to come as a human - I think I can now try to replicate his eyes much more effectively. Alas, I will have to trust that our paths will cross again. Knowing Liminal, I should trust him that he will make it happen.

    Abigail
    Last edited by SikstaSlathalin; 02-07-2021 at 07:14 AM.


    Xbox One Gamertag: Free Today56 just say who you are first.
    Breath deep as the snow falls around you. Let it fill your lungs and purify the fires of doubt within you.



    Spoiler: The stories I've written x50 



  6. #6
    Little ball of fire
    Breggo13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy, Mature, Private....Unless you dare to get me curious...
    Posts
    2,314
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    578

    Default

    June 4th, 1839

    What. A. Night. I can now understand fully why humans decide to keep journals - who else can you relay everything that has passed without fearing that your secrets will be spilled at their convenience or by mistake? If you haven’t figured it out by now, I have started a second journal for Barachiel (I claimed this one had been accidentally destroyed) so while my rather mundane observations of the human race continue in that tome, here is where I can commemorate what has passed. And had I said it - what a night.

    Last night, we attended the infamous Summer ball at Lord Dravenmonth’s manor. Infamous because the ball is famous for its lavishness, grandeur and...debauchery. It is a truth universally known that if one is anyone and wants to be someone, they can be found at the Summer Davenmonth Ball, dancing away into the sunrise with a huge orchester that can rival Buckinggham Palace and a dinner with more courses than one can count. And the gardens….the gardens are the Demon’s playground with more young ladies being compromised in one night than in a month during the London season. The only reason we have to attend is because Barachiel cannot keep up the pretenses without showing respect to the local lord and not attending would be equivalent to a slap on the face.

    I didn’t think Liminal would be there but I cannot hide the truth - I hoped he would be in attendance and I was curious how he would look. Not a large eagle, that much was for certain but perhaps the form he had before. After all, he did confess that was his favorite. However, I never hoped for what happened next…


    Summer in England, warm and prone to wonderfully temperament winds. Lords and ladies danced around the ballroom or chatted amongst themselves in the Lord’s summer garden. Music played in the air all around them. The Angels in training were being allowed to mingle on their own, as their training has been advancing. Observation, minor interventions as needed, and only checking in with the Archangel every hour or so.

    While her siblings stayed around the Summer Garden, Abigail found herself drawn apart from them seeking solitude. It’s been an increasing habit of her’s since that night in the Conservatory. She helped those she could, but her mind has been increasingly distracted. In the past few weeks, she was yet to find any useful information concerning the Uplifted and any way for a Demon to make that transition. Rather, in theory, everything made sense - do enough good deeds and repent and poof! In reality, there was no definition of “good” or the amount or even what an Uplifted demon was meant to do once they permanently settled in the human realm. The lack of information and the inability to look for Liminal in order to get some answers had made her more and more seclusive, sitting alone in the conservatory for most days. It had worried the Archangel at first but she understood when Abi claimed to be overwhelmed and in need of solitude. The issue was dropped but no matter how often or how late Abigail stayed in the pomegranate tree, the Demon was nowhere to be seen.

    As she stood near the door to the veranda, observing the colourful dancers currently spinning around the room, Abigail wished to once more be among them. Unfortunately, or in irony, she didn’t want to dance with any of the humans present. The good ones with pure souls were courting their future wives and those that wanted to dance with her were not ones she wanted near. Thus, quietly staying in the shadows with a glass of punch, the young Angel observed everything without a smile, only sad blue eyes. Her lips curled slightly as soon as she felt the chill brush against her bare shoulder, the same skip of her heart and the slight change in the air. She knew the second the Demon entered the room and she was waiting to hear his voice, without knowing how he looked like, she was certain he would not wait long to approach.

    “So we meet again, my fair lady. I prefer your nightgown honestly, but still the picture of beauty.” His smooth voice sounded from besides a small pine tree as they were in the Lord’s Winter Garden now. He was in his human form again though in these warmer months he had forgone his long leather coat replacing it with a black leather vest, black pants, a white shirt, brown boots, and his signature black rogue’s hat. Once again he was wearing his dress saber. Even in the darkness of the empty garden he kept his eyes in the shadows.

    Even in summer his cold aura spread all around him as he leaned against a small wicker threshold.

    “You certainly know how to make your presence known,” Abigail didn’t turn in his direction, hiding her smile in the cup as she brought it up for a sip through her pulse sped up with excitement. Slowly, she looked to where he was standing. “I am surprised that his Lordship allows you to show up to his balls so underdressed - no coat, no frock and such a hat. My my, how his entourage has fallen.” She absently raised her hand to check her hair and smooth out the blue silks of her dress, finding a small side table to place her now empty cup.

    The Demon chuckled, walking closer to the Angel, his hands sitting in the tops of his pockets. “Well I ain’t exactly supposed to be at this party. Our dealings closed hours ago, but he didn't send me back and forgot about me. So as long as I stay away from him, I get a free pass for a few extra hours.” He stopped then sat down on the small bench besides the woman already feeling the warmth of her presence. It had been a busy few weeks since he’d seen her last, but like before she was paramount in his thoughts. The mind wanders when you’re going through the motions of your everyday life without a break. And being a Demon means your mind wanders even more and into realms most of the civilized people would baulk at.

    Reaching into his vest pocket, he pulled out a small silver flask and unscrewed the top, the smell of very strong alcohol filling the air between them. Lifting the flask to his mouth, he took a pull of it grunting lightly at the burn before replacing the lid. “But I gotta ask, why you out here and all alone. Surely Lady van Hellen will be getting worried ‘bout ya.”

    “I told her I wanted to observe the night sky,” Abigail shrugged with one shoulder, perching gingerly on a nearby bench so that she was sitting close enough to him that they could speak without fear of being overheard. “You never explained what an Uplifted becomes, you know.”

    Replacing the flask, he shrugged his broad shoulders lightly. “Guess Sky Daddy’s books weren’t very helpful? Well, sadly we ain’t got much more about it down in the Land of Smoke and Sadness. The number of Uplifted Demons I know I can count on one hand.” He held up two fingers for emphasis. “And they just vanish off the Demonic Radar far as I can reckon. Though Keepers might know more, but talkin’ to them ain’t exactly easy. If I don’t get blasted outta their castle first, they’ll make me explain why I wanna know ‘afore tellin’ me. Ain’t y’all got Lore Keepers or somethin’ up there ya can ask?” He smiled pointing his finger skywards.

    “I won’t be going back home for some time yet,” Abigail lowered her eyes, pondering what he said. It seemed that she would have as much luck finding anything useful from him as she would from any of her siblings currently stuck in the Human Realm. Whatever it was, his becoming Uplifted was still her best plan to help him. Perhaps she would need to discover these few and rare demons who escaped their bonds. Surely, they would be able to explain how they shook off their pre-written fate to end up with a new one. “Thank you. For the chalks.”

    Liminal nodded, slightly moving to sit besides the girl on her bench planting his elbows on his knees. Maybe he could find something out, he wasn’t friends with those Demons, but he knew those who were - maybe they could fill in some blanks. But that was for later in his opinion. He has been dreaming about speaking with Abigail again. However, Dravenmonth hadn’t summoned him recently and other Summons had taken him out into the Americas and those Northern Territories with all the moose and maple leaves for a few weeks. “Colder than Hell” really applied up there.

    As she mentioned the chalks though, he gave her a big smile. “I thought you’d like those, found’em in the trash a few days ‘afore we met last. Don’t know why anyone would just throw’em away, but their loss your gain. How they workin’ for ya?”

    “At least you didn’t steal them,” Abigail muttered before blushing. She had been trying to get the right shade of gold for his eyes for a month and yet every time she thought she was close, she ripped up the sketch. No matter how much she tried, something was constantly missing from the likeness. Perhaps, she thought grimly, it was the soul. “It is a lot harder to find the right shade of gold for Hellish coldness than I imagined. It is harsher than the sunlight’s rays and yet somehow softer than an Archangel’s halo.”

    He chuckled again looking up as the moon began peeking over the tops of the courtyard walls. “Hehe I ain’t never seen an Archangel’s halo so I’ll take your word for it. But, uh, maybe try mixin’ gold with white and orange? Could help.” Leaning back, he planted his hands on the bench, the fingers brushing the girl’s backside a little as he kicked his legs out comfortably. “So been meanin’ to ask. What are you and your angel friends even doin’ down here? I guess trainin’, but how much training do ya really need to watch humans being all...borin’ and human?”

    “How did you become a Demon and know what exactly to offer so that a human couldn’t say no? We know what is good in these souls but we know nothing of the dangers they face. Not outright. We know little about you and your kind, your tricks and dealings and how people react.” Abigail paused, standing up from the bench and walking towards the steps leading down to the gardens. “We know very little of how grey everything is. Not the color but how complex everything around the humans is, how a simple change of a color can be the difference between straying and staying on the path.”

    Looking up at the stars, she grinned, turning to look over her shoulder. “I did tell Frau Barachiel that I was going to explore the garden. I do hope you will not make a liar out of me Sir.”

    With a smirk, he stood up from the bench and walked up beside the Angel, his hand brushing her as he passed. “Well far as I can tell, we get spawned, and use the same playbook for each job that deals with Humans. Good may be complex, but Sin is real simple. All humans want the same things more or less. Power, Wealth, Lust, Vengeance, Food. Ya just get told how to tell which Human loves which Deadly Sin the most and give it to them. But for Crossroad’s it’s usually even simpler. The Human who summons us, does so with what they want already in mind so we just give’em what they ask for.” He shrugged softly as he entered the lower terrace admiring the statues of ancient Fae creatures and other fantastical figures with partially dead partially alive plants scattered all along the cobblestone path.

    “Do all humans who call you deserve the punishments those Sins bear?” Abigail raised her eyebrow, moving down the stairs slower than the Man, elegantly holding her skirts to avoid stepping on them. As she ended up on the lower terrace, she let the blue silks sweep the cobblestones, the small paths of the English garden illuminated with tiny lights. Watching him for a moment, Abigail sighed. “How long have you been doing this? The deals and the souls and the whole…?” She waved her hand to symbolize everything.

    He let out a low rich laugh. “Anyone who sells their soul to a Demon deserves punishment, even we, get taught that. Doesn’t matter the rest of their life or choices, they give that away they’re just askin’ for it. But that’s someone else’s job not mine, I just make the deals, Keepers pick the part of the Fire Place the humans get sent to and the Tormentors do the rest.”

    He spun in a light circle picking up a wilting red rose from the bush, the thorn pricking his finger lightly before he handed it to his lovely companion. “I’m probably as old as you are milady, a couple hundred years. And been doin’ these deals since I was yanked off my Seducer mom’s teat and sent above ground.” He said lifting his finger to his lips licking the black blood off it.

    Abigail blushed at his words, taking the flower carefully and bringing it to her nose. Trust it for someone meant to be seductive to go about echoing profanities, no matter how true and to the point they were. Walking further, she eyed the dark hedges of the maze with curiosity. Something about the darkness and the challenge spoke to her and, she inwardly smiled, it was one of those few simple joys that even Barachiel could not stand in the way of. After all, wasn't the Archangel constantly scolding all of them about not engaging in enough new mental stimulus? Playing with the flower in her hand, she turned to look up into the Demon’s eyes, hidden once again in shadows but unlike the previous times, she could find them even in the fake darkness. “Let’s try the maze.”

    The Demon stopped in his tracks looking at the maze. His back was to her, but that little devil inside of him wanted to have a bit more fun with this girl. Turning back he pulled his hat off his head and spun it around his finger idly. “We could, but I have an idea to make this much more fun.” He handed her his hat, then quickly plucked her hat off her head placing it on his. “We’ll do a little competition, I’ve been through this maze a number of times, so how’s about instead you go through it yourself and I try to steal my hat back? If I can’t steal my hat back by the time you reach the center you win.” He began walking around her slowly as he spoke studying her dress as he went thinking of what other mischief he could get up to. “And if I can steal it back before you reach the middle I win? Whatdda ya?” He smiled at her adjusting her hat atop his head so it sat at the same roguish angle his own did moments before?

    Abigail looked down at the hat in her hands, slightly surprised. It was worn and simple, nothing like what she pictured. It wasn’t even that cold. Blinking as she thought about the game, she looked up at him curiously. “And what, pray tell, will you want if you win?”

    The Demon simply winked.“You’ll see.” With that he vanished around the corner in the maze leaving the young Angel all alone at the entrance.

    Abigail took a minute to stare at the spot where the Demon had been standing, her mouth gaping a bit like a fish. You’ll see - somehow, it did not sound at all reassuring when it came from a Demon. Shaking her head and hiking her skirt a bit to help her move, she started into the maze, her other hand gripping the rim of his hat tightly. As she moved through the dark corridor, the hedge lightly trying to grab her skirts, she made a right turn at the first intersection.

    As she turned the corner a wisp of cold flew by in front of her and she felt a very human hand brush across the tops of her breasts as they were exposed from the top of her dress before it was gone again.

    Abigail caught her breath, tripped and nearly fell face first into the ground, stumbling for a few steps before regaining her balance. Shaking her head in mild awe at the Demon’s boldness, she continued down the path, trying to keep going, her eyes involuntarily starting to search for any sign that Liminal would be there.

    The girl remained unmolested through the next couple of intersections, but just as she was regaining her composure she felt that same gust of cold and immediately stopped holding the hat over her chest expecting that to be his target again. But the cold seemed to dance around her and he felt his hand brush along her neck and chin from ear to ear sending chills throughout her body and causing the faintest of moans to escape her lips before it vanished once more.

    “My….” Abigail bit her lip hard, bringing herself back to reality although her body was roaring with emotions that she previously did not know existed. She felt warm from the inside, jittery and somehow extremely alert to everything around her. Letting out a shaky breath and gritting her teeth, she raised her skirts higher than was deemed appropriate, picking up her pace. If this was to be any indication of what she would witness if she lost, she surely was not about to be in that position.

    Once more, she remained vigilant and it seemed to pay off a couple of times. She felt that same breeze of cold rush towards her, but with some slightly less ladylike maneuvers she managed to hop, skip, and dodge the lewd creature’s increasingly bold hands. She actually managed to reach the halfway point of the maze before he got her again. With her skirts still up higher than they should’ve been in decent society, she felt the wind rummaging against her exposed lower legs, sneaking up under the bunched up skirts and causing her to break out in goosebumps across her skin. But as she walked over a little brook and bridge the wind came up again and she felt both his hands grip the upper parts of the back of her legs and the bottom of her buttocks before leaving. The sudden shock caused her to stumble and fall into a seated position off the side of the path.

    “When I find you Lim, you will regret this,” She promised into the night, standing up and quickly brushing her dress off, shaking her head. At least she didn’t land in the creek which was a small blessing in itself - there would be very little way to explain to Barachiel why her gown was suddenly soaked and in disarray. Picking up his hat and grinning wickedly when she realized it had suffered a worse fate, having landed in a small patch of mud, she continued on, keeping it far away so as to not blemish her dress. There were only a few more turns left and she felt her confidence grow as she continued onwards, twisting past a few tighter spots as the growth grew closer to the center and became a bit more wild, a sure sign that many gave up. In the night sky, the pale silhouette of the elegant gazebo started to form.

    Her confidence grew with each step and so did her speed. Forgoing any worry about more of her legs becoming exposed the young Angel ran as fast as she could in her current footwear. The last turn was coming up. And so focused was she on winning she didn’t feel the cold wind come up to her again. With the muddy hat held out in front of her, her hands were too occupied to stop Liminal this time. Now both his hands came out and rubbed along the front of her bodice squeezing her chest through it as well as undoing a few of the ties at it’s front causing her modest chest to spill out with her corset before he vanished once again.

    Freezing in her tracks, blushing with anger and shame, Abigail glared at the night before quickly regaining her proper look, nostrils flaring. The second she won this stupid game - and she had no doubt she would win - she would tell him exactly what she thought of this behavior. This was...after all it….how could she….! Unable to formulate a full sentence without blushing darker, she started towards the center, breathing a bit heavily from her rollercoaster of emotions. For once, she felt not the least bit embarrassed about the dark thoughts occupying her mind, mainly the dismembering of one upstart Demon.

    Abigail could see the gazebo and the center of the maze now. She sprinted towards the finish line. Already, she was coming up with what she would make this savage Demon do once she won. Maybe force him to lick all the mud off his hat! Or make him wear her hat until they meet next! Yes that would show this beast of a half-man what happens when you disgrace a lady like this!

    And with elation in her heart, she leapt for the center of the maze, but mere inches from winning a breeze kicked up and Liminal’s hat flew from her hands, her own hat replacing it. The girl watched in slow motion almost as Liminal flicked his wrist to free the hat of mud and replaced it to his head before leaning casually against the railing of the gazebo, the biggest smile on his stupidly handsome face. “Hmm that was quite fun wouldn’t you say milday?”

    Angry blue eyes met his, burning with a dark flame rather unbecoming for a lady or an Angel. Crossing her hands, she stuck her chin up. “You have quite the nerve, Sir, to do what you have done. What if someone were to see?”

    Unperturbed he sauntered up to the fuming woman. His hat was lifted high enough allowing his golden eyes to glint mischievously in the moonlight. “Well then good thing no one saw eh? Besides you looked like you were havin’ fun. Likely more fun than you’ve had in weeks?” He asked, stopping within arm’s reach of the girl, a smoldering smile still on his face.

    “Oh, the most fun thinking of all the ways I can wipe that smile,” she pointed a finger at him “off your face. You disappear for weeks at a time and then decide that you can simply….simply….” Abi blushed wildly, not able to finish the sentence. How could she say what was pretty frankly not in a young woman’s lexicon? His hands had touched her in places no one had before and it felt good. Bewildering, strange but pleasant and she couldn’t help but want to understand what the feeling was. It was the same butterflies and quick heartbeat but now there was also a flame that seemed to awaken every time his ice cold presence brushed against her skin.

    Lifting his hand he gripped her chin staring into her eyes. “You’re very cute when you’re mad Abigail.” Suddenly moving in he kissed her lips deeply, his free hand coming around to grip her waist pulling her whole body closer to his kiss.

    I must confess, when his lips touched mine, I couldn’t remember my own name. It was the strangest thing - one second I was ready to kill him and the next...How can I describe it when I can’t even remember it? All I know is that it was so wrong and yet so right. He was demanding and teasing and rough and yet he was right. Are kisses always so bewildering? Is this why the humans pass so many glances and lounging touches, all in the hopes that one day they experience something like this?

    My heart races every time I think about Lim’s kiss and his tongue tracing my lips once, burning them with a coldness I never knew but even though it burned, I wanted more. Oh, in that second, I wanted it to continue forever. In truth, it lasted no more than a minute. And then he was gone - with perfect timing as always. Alexander appeared a second later, looking concerned and in search of me. Barachiel was getting worried, he said, and it was time for us to return to the Sanctuary. On the way to the house, we passed quite a few couples in the bushes and I thank that we did for I wouldn’t be able to explain my blush and flustered appearance otherwise.

    I haven’t been able to fall asleep since then - every time I close my eyes, I see Lim there, the gazebo in the background. I am happy to say that I finally was able to capture his eyes and his face - truly as it should be. I finally saw what I was missing. Let it be my secret, one I won’t share even here, at least not yet. Now, more than ever, I want him to become Uplifted so that he can be closer to me...Or, dare I say it? No, I can’t. I can only help Liminal become better…

    Abigail

  7. #7
    Red Ninja
    SikstaSlathalin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    My hidden Dojo
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy is my best, but I can do and like just about everything.
    Posts
    126,003
    Mentioned
    48 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    1186

    Default

    June 13, 1839

    First off, I want to apologize for the stains of chalks on the pages today - I had been drawing but I couldn’t calm my mind just by recreating memories. Instead, I needed to write them down, How strange to think that I started to find so much necessity in having to express myself on paper and to communicate with my future self. I re-read my previous entries and my Heavens, I am not even sure who that was. Except, I know who that was and who it is. It is me. I was the one to write down everything that transpassed and I was the one to participate in those activities almost willingly.

    I don’t regret anything that has passed but….I am nervous. For the first time in my existence. We had a visitor from Heaven the other day - a Justice Bringer of all things - and one I was extremely happy to see for the most part. I have always been close with my older cousin growing up and missed him terribly when he became a Justice, leaving to the farthest of places to fight monsters much more dangerous than Liminal. Barachiel allowed me to show him the gardens and to spend time tete a tete. I hoped he would give me answers…


    “Abigail! Abigail, come quick!” Marie-Anne burst into the room, breathless as she grabbed onto the doorframe, her face lit up with excitement and - Abi was bemused to see - a blush. “You will never guess who came to visit!”

    “Would you like to tell me?” Abi asked softly, standing up from her desk where she was working on her notes and turning to the tall looking glass to adjust her dress. At the door, the dark haired woman sighed impatiently but otherwise remained collected.

    “Rakul!” She was unable to keep emotions out of the single word, revealing a mix of excitement, anticipation, determination and….wistfulness? Abigail’s hand froze on the way to fix her hair, curiously looking at Marie-Anne’s reflection in the glass, the strange expression on her face and a slight quickening of her chest. If she had been a regular girl, Abi was certain that she would be classified as completely enamoured with whatever gentleman was visiting. To make matters more amusing, this particular gentleman was very well known to Abigail and she had spent much of her childhood following him around.

    “Rakul is here?” she hid her grin, deciding to have some fun and taking her time.

    “You sound as though you are not excited about it. I wonder why he came here,” Marie-Anne pursed her lips in an adorable manner, thinking. “Why would a Justice come to visit us here?”

    “Only the Father knows,” Abi shrugged, turning towards the exit. “Best find out sooner than later.”

    “Come,” the older Angel grabbed her arm, dragging her down the stairs to the drawing room, waiting until one of the Cherubs opened the door for them and, once they stepped through, dropping into a courtesy. “Lady Barachiel, Lord Rakul.”

    “My lady, cousin,” Abigail followed suit, bobbing down and casting her eyes to the ground.

    Dressed in surprisingly humble clothing for a Lord, Rakul still much rathered his silver armor to these human articles, but he also knew that in this part of the world seeing a man walking around in what would be considered an antique would raise more eyebrows and ask more questions than he was willing to answer. His long blond hair was pulled back into a simple colonial tail, his face as clean-shaven as always.Though more slight of built than the Cherubs, he stood nearly a foot taller over the biggest one on the grounds. At 6’11 inches, even the Archangel Barachiel had to crane her neck slightly to look at him. His outfit was a simple pair of corduroy pants, white shirt, black shoes, golden vest and burgundy jacket. Atop his head sat a handsome charcoal colored top hat, every bit the traveling gentlemen, despite being one of Heaven’s Police Officers for most of his life.

    As the young Angels entered a large beaming smile crossed his face. Bowing low he approached and kissed the backs of their hands. “Lovely to see you both again. Hope my arrival didn’t disrupt any lessons?” He asked, glancing at the Archangel who simply shook her head.

    “No you timed your visit perfectly Justice Rakul, we had just finished lessons for the day and were beginning observation exercises. But what brings you here today? I’ve not received any missives from my brother Gabriel about any official business that requires sparing a decorated Justice as yourself.”

    Rakul nodded to the dame. “That is because my arrival was a spur of the minute choice by St. Raguel. He’s been keeping track of some...unusual activities surrounding the Human Lord Dravenmonth recently. He’s noted a pattern in the number of Souls vanishing from this land, he’s asked me to look into the journals you all keep to see if any of you have noticed the same pattern. I hope that won’t be too difficult?”

    Humming gently to herself, Barachiel shook her head standing up. “Of course not, Marie-Anne please gather the others and collect their journals.” The young woman hesitated a little glancing at the tall warrior wishfully. However, with a sharp clearing of her Mentor’s throat, she curtsied and vanished from the room. The Archangel followed shortly after. “It will take some time to gather my other charges as most of them have already been sent out into the Shire to observe.” She glanced at her youngest charge remembering her familial connection to the Justice. “Abigail, I assume your journals are all kept in your rooms yes? Marie can obtain them before going to find the others. You may take Rakul and show him the grounds, catch up.” She smiled at both Angels then whisked away from the room.

    Abigail curtsied again as the Archangel left the room before shaking her head in amusement. It was, at the very least reassuring to realize that she was not the only one gaining the ability to show and feel emotions, even such as wistfulness. And if she was honest, her cousin was an object worth a good amount of wishful sighs. While the young men in their group were all heartthrobs of the debutantes, there was something older and more confident, more reassuringly dangerous about his stature and the look of his eyes. Apparently, enough to make even young Angel swoon.

    Once the Lady van Hellen left the room the tall Angel looked down as his favored cousin, his silver eyes glinting merrily. “Knew being a Protector would suit you Abi. I remember your brothers roughhousing around your family home and you going out of your way to protect your toys and the family pet from them.”

    “You weren’t in any rush to protect them with me,” Abi shrugged, looking up at him before her lips pulled into a smile. “Someone always wanted to determine who was in the right.”

    He laughed richly. “And someone always had to make sure they didn’t hurt each other. Being the oldest, I was always stuck babysitting you fireflies. At least Megriel became a Lore Keeper never had to worry about him fighting. Just Miziel and Grisson who interestingly enough was my trainee when he passed his Justice Trials. Has he ever told you that?”

    “We were never close,” Abigail blushed, thinking about her youngest brother. Grisson and Abi were the closest in age and had seemed to be opposites as far as Angels went. How they were siblings was a mystery to most and had it not been for the same light of their aura - or rather the same shade - it would be assumed one of them was most certainly adopted. Secretly, Abi always thought it was her brother but she never dared speak it aloud.

    He frowned lightly, he had a couple of sisters himself. One was a Lore Keeper the other a Healer, but they were all quite close. “Ah well that is unfortunate, he spoke quite highly of you when I was training him. Though he often joked you must’ve been adopted as you were so different from him and the other two. But I digress, I do hope I won’t be convincing you too much with this tour. It’s been quite a few centuries since I’ve been on Earth. But we all know not to go against an Archangel’s word.” He bowed to her then moved for the door opening it for the young Angel motioning for her to lead the way his face still creed in a bright smile his white teeth shining a little in the dim light.

    “I am surprised he managed to complete his training,” Abi mumbled as she took the lead, deciding to show Rakul the gardens that were in full bloom with the summer months upon them. Some of the younger cherubs - those who chose to not learn the way of the blade- took pride in the gardens and their upkeep, zooming around and arranging the flowers to showcase the best and rarest that could grow on English soil. Thankfully, none ventured into the Conservatory nor took interest in her pomegranate tree. Clasping her hands behind her back, Abi started down one of her favorite paths that looped down to the pond and through the oldest of the estate’s trees, the emerald skirt of her day dress sweeping across the well kept stones. “What is the strangeness you are here to investigate?”

    Being lost in the earthly beauty around him, the Justice took a few seconds to respond to his cousin’s question. “Well I can’t go into details, just yet as I do not have all the information, but from what my lord tells me. Old, infirm, and homeless are disappearing at an alarming rate for such a small area. Now in large cities like London, human vice runs rampant and it’s a favored place for Crossroads and Seducers to make their...their...kills is the word Lord Raguel used. But out here in Dravenmonthshire, it’s more than a little peculiar.” Reaching up he freed a young Cherub’s leg from a forked tree branch.

    “Have they been disappearing recently?” Abigail raised an eyebrow, her breath catching for a second inside. Is that what Liminal had meant when he mentioned being busy or coming to the lord of Davenmonthshire? Or did he simply come to those who could no longer be saved? “Is it a single demon, do you think?”

    Looking at the girl curiously he studied her face seeing some apprehension behind her words. But let it slide, Abigail has always been more empathetic than most Protector Angels, if she showed more interest she would’ve been recruited into St. Raphael’s Healer Ranks rather than St. Barachiel’s Protectors.”Lucius Dravenmonth has been under the watchful eye of the Justice Bringers for many decades now, but in recent months he seems to be emboldened by something. In the old days we’d normally just drop down and set him right by hook or by crook, but Humanity has taken many turns for the worse so we need to tread carefully.” He mulled over her last question, he supposed if an old enough Demon was at work they could claim the number of souls Lord Raguel has been tracking, but it is unlikely. “I suppose one Crossroad or Seducer could be so skilled at their craft, but the Justice Bringers are looking for multiple Demons working across the entire Shire.” Giving her another smile he asked his own question. “Why so curious? Do you have an idea who we’re looking for?”

    “No,” Abigail shook her head sadly. Over the past weeks, she had noticed that the more she believed in the lies she spoke, the more realistic they become. The Human realm had a unique feature that didn’t exist in the heavens - even Angels could not easily tell apart the lies of others. And she truly did believe that the Demon that her cousin was tracking most definitely wasn’t the same demon who kissed her a few weeks ago. “Lady Barachiel did point out a few demons to us in the crowd during the season and I had the misfortune to waltz with one at the start, but I wouldn’t know the heads or tails of them. You know that we aren’t supposed to interact with them.”

    Rukul nodded slowly, slipping his hands into the pockets of his coat. “That is quite surprising indeed. Lady Barachiel has never allowed any Demon to come within fifty feet of her charges in the past. I will need to discuss that with her, did this...thing give you a name? They might be my first stop in this investigation.” His voice sounded neutral, but Abigail would know that protective tone from her childhood anywhere.

    “I….I was so flustered…” Abigail bit her lip, trying to honestly remember if he had given her his name during their first meeting. It had been mentioned but he hadn’t introduced himself and technically, it wasn’t even a lie. “Perhaps Lady Barachiel will know - I haven’t seen him at any of the balls and gatherings since. He didn’t seem to be a fan of dancing. Tell me, Rakul, are demons always so cold? I thought….I thought they come from quite the inferno? His touch burned my skin.”

    He nodded again looking at the eagles as they flew overhead. “Yes, that is part of their strange duality. They are without soul and thus without our Father’s love and light to keep them warm. We Angels are so full of that love that anywhere we walk is filled with His Warmth. Humans have about half that much love and light and it’s in constant flux as our two sides fight for their future. If he crosses your path again avoid touching him as prolonged contact somewhat reverses our...polarities I suppose is the right word. They steal our warmth and we’re forced to take in their cold. It can be like a sickness that leads to us becoming Fallen.” Shuddering a little he shook his head.

    “I remember the lessons - I didn’t leave the Sanctuary for a while after that encounter. It was rather frightening,” Abi decided not to elaborate why exactly it was frightening to her and it was not for the fear of losing her warmth. “I did wonder though - Rak, if we become the Fallen, are their Fallen demons? Or what would they even be called?”

    Looking to the sky again he clicked his tongue a few times in thought. “Oh gracious that takes me back. As I recall in Metatron’s Physiology of the Cosmos, they are called Uplifted Demons. Though such a concept just seems laughable, I believe he called them...abnormal freaks that create only the worst of the creatures stuck on the Human plane. I remember bringing that book here before the Sanctuary was established didn’t you look in the Library for it?”

    “I was more worried about the possibility of an Angel becoming Fallen than to look too hard for it but I must confess, the concept did interest me. Perhaps I should take a look in the Library though do you have any idea where it can be in the shelves?” Abi stopped by the old rose bush, smiling as she knelt beside the flowers, smelling their sweet fragrance.

    Scratching his nose he chuckled. “Under M as I recall unless you and your classmates decided to pull a prank on Lady Barachiel and rearranged the books. Some young comrades and I did something similar to Lord Raguel’s libraries. He was not happy, but it was some of the most fun I remember having in my youth. But if the idea of Uplifted Demons truly interests you look for St. Rapheal’s Book on “Healing the Souls of the Souless” purely academic theory, but I remember a passage somewhere in the middle of book that talked about Uplifted Demon though he called them...Gray Angels or the like. Which always confused me because Fallen were sometimes called Gray Angels as well. Maybe the two are more alike than most think?”

    Kneeling besides her, he pulled a primrose off one of the garden structures and set it into Abigail’s hair. “But were I you dear cousin, I wouldn’t worry myself too much with learning about Upflited Demons or Gray Angels. They are a very rare occurrence, I can’t even think of a single Demon of note that became Uplifted. Focus on becoming a Guardian, it is what you were destined to be.” Leaning down he kissed her forehead fondly. “And I feel you’ll be one the best just like our Grandmother, you are her namesake afterall. She was one of the Angels tasked with watching over the Son during his travels in the Desert.”

    “I promise I won’t spend too much time on it, Rakul. After all, if you say it is a theoretical research text, it will be a miracle if I even find the passage. Thank you though,” She smiled, her eyes filling up with dancing lights. Standing up with his help, they continued towards the lake, talking about less intense subjects, Abi looping her arm with Rakul’s as they reminisce about their childhood and the antics they had participated in over the years, comparing training notes and trying to outdo each other as to whose Boss was a tougher mentor to please.

    Rakul has once again become the hero in my eyes even if he does not know it this time. I have yet to find the passage he spoke of but I think I know where the book may reside within the huge library. Sadly, I will not be able to do my research in the open - while my cousin may not know everything, I am sure Lady Barachiel will be a bit more observant. After all, she did know about my meeting in the gardens the first time. It wouldn’t do me any good if she starts to suspect…

    I do hope that I haven’t brought too many Justices to go hunting for Lim but I didn’t have a choice. How am I to help him become Uplifted if I don’t know what it is or what it truly means? I needed to learn more and for that, I had to risk it. After all, I couldn’t simply ask Rakul if he knew what Uplifted Demons were. That would have raised more questions than was necessary and most certainly, I wouldn’t be able to keep secret on my dealings. I hope my cousin will forgive me once he understands what I am trying to do. I hope that he will understand once he finds out. And I am afraid he will find out - he always got to the bottom of things. No wonder he became one of the best Justices in our Father’s ranks.

    Be safe for now Lim and….I’m sorry.

    -Abigail
    Last edited by SikstaSlathalin; 02-11-2021 at 02:55 AM.


    Xbox One Gamertag: Free Today56 just say who you are first.
    Breath deep as the snow falls around you. Let it fill your lungs and purify the fires of doubt within you.



    Spoiler: The stories I've written x50 



  8. #8
    Little ball of fire
    Breggo13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy, Mature, Private....Unless you dare to get me curious...
    Posts
    2,314
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    578

    Default

    6-16/39

    Dear Abi,

    FUCKIN’ FUCK! FUCKIN’ FUCK FUCKIN’ FUCK! Just my luck, a damned Justice Bringer drops by your house just as I was about to come see you again. I sensed him a mile off and had to stop myself from screamin’ like a baby and haulin’ ass away. This might be the end of everythin’...in more ways than one. I doubt you sicced him on me, but I know your Archangel would. What follows is likely gonna be my first written letter and maybe my last will and testament if I can’t stay ahead of the Angel Judges. Here’s what happened in the three days since I sensed the Justice Bringer landing.

    I had just concluded some deals with Dravenmonth when the whole ethereal plane just rippled. Like someone had just dropped a giant rock into a pond. The Human didn’t feel it...but I did and it almost made me sick. I smoked out of there without even checking to see if the payment had gone through. I knew right away it was a high ranking Angel coming to pay your Sanctuary a visit. And I knew as discrete as I and the others have been trying to be that Dravenmonth and his little Convent of Occultists would the first place the feathery sheriff would came a’knockin’ so I cut my lines and ran...I just ran. I’m sure you’ll think of me as a coward, but only Hell Knights or Keepers would even have a chance of surviving more than a second against a Justice. And as you know I ain’t neither of those. But I did find out a friend of an Uplifted Demon is hanging out in the Toad Stool Tavern just on the Northern edge of Dravenmonthshire. It'll be a good place to hide out for a few days too.

    It’s run by some lesser Faes of the Summer Court and their magic will act like a shield for Demonic Aura for a little bit...as long as the Justice doesn’t walk by the door or anything. But with any luck I’ll sense him coming and be able to run before he reaches the door either way. I went into the Toad Stool looking for Mazikeen, she and I had a...thing for a while...but she wound up having a much deeper fling with Grixgis before she became Uplifted. Seducers like playing all sides of the field...let’s just see if she still likes men enough to help me.



    Liminal could hear the Toad Stool before he saw it. Located far enough from the town to not be a bother for most early risers, but close enough to give nearly anyone in Dravenmonthshire the exact good time they’re looking for. A regular Hell on Earth, sex, alcohol, gambling, bloodsport, exoctic drugs from the Far East. All the joyful sin of humanity for a reasonable price, and while not a place a Crossroads can ply his trade it’s a favored spot for Seducers. One Seducer in fact was the goal of Liminal’s exodus today. A bawdy and busty Succubus by the name of Mazikeen. Mischievous even by Succubus standards, but has a soft spot for friends and former flames. The darkly dressed man just so happened to be both.

    Having not been unsummoned, Liminal was still walking around in the cowboy’s skin. His long leather duster pulled up high to hide his face and his hand resting anxiously on his holster. Not that it would do him any good against a Justice, but feeling it’s cool metal surface beneath his fingers was comforting all the same. The sounds of revelry and debauchery became louder and louder the closer he got and the faint tingling of Fae magic adding just that next level of comfort to his fraying nerves. The smell of the tavern hit him next, booze, piss, semen, and blood the stink of the sinful is unmistakable. It almost felt like returning home when the desperado breezed through the door of the tavern, an instant hush falling over the once rowdy crowd.

    Liminal was known throughout the Shire. But one look at his gun stopped anyone from bothering him and soon they went back to their tables allowing the Crossroads to take the furthest bar stool that looked at the door. The bartender, a Troll in disguise approached and growled out. “What’s your poison?”

    Liminal took one more glance at the door then answered. “Scotch-whisky, also can you tell me if Mazikeen is working tonight?”

    “She never works,” the Troll snorted, turning to mix up the concatenation. “Can her mischief ever be called work?”

    “Oh please Ziki,” Maze’s voice seemed to fill up the room in one easy swoop, suffocating those hearing it with desire and wonder. “It is my tavern after all. One of your hangover cures but don’t you dare tell me what’s in it. I won’t drink it otherwise.”

    “Good morning to you, too sunshine,” the Troll smirked as the demon slid slyly onto a nearby stool, her eyes blazing with a strong hangover and a rather sleepless night. Not that it stopped her from casually taking inventory of the Demon sipping on his whisky, her tongue tracing her lips.

    “Has been a while, hasn’t it Liminal,” Maze stated curiously, “I don’t believe I quite extended the invitation to come visit me as you see fit.”

    Observing the interaction between Maze and Ziki, Lim simply sipped his drink enjoying the burn as it went down his throat. More nervous than he thought he’d be, he focused on tapping into that calm businessman charm he relied on doing deals. “Last I knew this place was owned by Summer Fae and neutral ground in the cosmic sense. But I’m not quite here by choice. A Justice Angel landed a few days ago...and let’s just say I know where he’ll strike first so I made myself scarce.”

    “Your knowledge of this area is as outdated as your charm,” Maze yawned, smiling sweetly as the Troll placed an ugly looking green cocktail before her. Making a face at the smell, she downed it down in one chug, wiping her mouth with a carefully offered napkin by the bartender. “Thanks Ziki, you are the best. What would I do without you?”

    “Suffer your hangovers like a woman,” Ziki grumbled though there was a bemused grin on his face.

    “What would be the fun in that?” The Demon raised an eyebrow. As the Troll chuckled, she turned to the man beside her. “Justice Angels come by here time and time again - they only scrunch their delicate noses and turn the other way, cheeks blushing. None of them can stand the amount of emotions radiating from here. Plus, I managed to barter with the Fae so we have some of their protective charms still. That said, why do you think you’re first on their list?”

    Liminal chuckled, still sipping his drink. “Yeah until they find a reason to come in they’ll keep turning away.” Placing his drink down her spun the glass slowly in thought. “Not me, Dravenmonth will be their first target. I'd just be collateral damage while they “tended” to him. So I’m ducking in here for a few days until he can manage to unsummon me..”

    “Mmmm, and why do you think I will allow you to hide out here?” Maze purred, resting her chin on her hand and tilting her head. “Haven’t you been warned not to engage with a single sinner for too too long?”

    The Crossroads snorted lightly at her possibly not so idle threat. “Cause, you know that if I go down, every demon that does business in Dravenmonth will go with me. The Lord is a huge coward. He'll quickly give up the names of everyone in his little Occult Society and they’ll give up all of us. And don’t you like to visit one Lady Dregin in the East?” He smiled lightly, winking at her. “You have always had a thing for older human women.”

    “Men, women, they are all the same to me,” Maze shrugged without any interest. “I am not sure where you got the misgiving impression that I preferred one to the other. You can stay….for three days. Then you better be gone or I will give you up to Justice myself. Your pathetically romanced look is bad for business.”

    Shaking his head he used it as a segue into his secondary motive. “Hmm, Grixgis gave me that impression. You two were quite close.” Looking over the rim of his glass he took another long drink of it emptying it and waving his hand for another. “Hmm I recall you loving this look back in the day. Called it “rugged and dashing” Besides you give me to a Justice you’ll have way more than just me affecting your business. The Summer Queen may not own this place anymore, but considering that’s her Summer Knight over there.” He nodded towards the beautiful man with fiery orange hair, sun kissed skin, and eyes like the setting sun sitting in the back corner sipping some bubbling concoction and wrapped in a red and orange traveller’s cloak. “I can be sure she keeps tabs on the old place. Once she knows you’d willingly give someone up to a Justice you’ll lose those protections faster than a Tormentor cracks a Falsifier in the Pit.”

    “Do you want my help or not?” Maze’s eyes flashed a dangerous fire, a sure sign she was getting slightly annoyed. “If you are here to simply scare me, darling, your rugged and dashing looks will do little to assist you.”

    “Maze,” Ziki placed a large cup of wine before the demoness. “Play nice.”

    “I am nice,” the silver eyes rolled to show her attitude. “You are killing my fun like always. Even if you knew I was going to let him stay for old times sake, you didn’t have to spill it. His desire to prove his worth was quite amusing though - as I said - he needs to remember who runs this place. Not everything he knows about my inn is the truth and no one needs to know the whole truth.”


    With a slight smile Liminal tipped his glass to her conceding her point. “Don’t worry we Crossroads are all about upholding the rules. Thanks for the help Maz, got one more question though. Got a little bet going with some of my buddies down South. They said no Demon has even been Uplifted, I say someone has, they don’t believe me of course so now I gotta bring them a name or I get to spend the weekend cleaning up after Cerberus in the Third Ring. Wasn’t Grixgis Uplifted? I swear I heard you two talking about once.”

    Mazikeen stopped her hand with her drink, absently swishing the red wine in her goblet around. Almost immediately, the aura around her turned shallower, making the Demoness appear much more tired and exhausted. Ziki grunted in sympathetic understanding before moving further away, delicately leaving the two alone at the bar. “Grixgis did become Uplifted - or at least she claimed she did. Right before it, she started spending much too much time with humans, more than was good for her. We never talked about it in great depth as she decided she needed space. ” The woman let out a dark chuckle. “When she came back again much like you, I didn’t bother to ask, only gave her the same job she had before. She’s upstairs sleeping if you do want to talk to her.”

    Noticing the woman’s changing aura his brow furrowed a little, but he was in something of a hurry so taking his drink we went upstairs. This early in the night most rooms were empty save for the occasional Brownie cleaning up. The one room that had a closed door was marked private, it was the place for employees to rest between shifts or if they didn’t have anywhere else to go. Gently trying the door he found it was unlocked, moving quietly as he could he slipped inside. It was a bay room with six beds laid against the walls around the room, every bed was empty, though one did have mussed up sheets.

    Going deeper into the room he heard a woman’s quiet yawn in the adjacent washroom. Quirking his eyebrow he looked towards the door almost freezing as it opened. Clad in a thin shift that clung snuggly to voluptuous curves he could spot anywhere was a small woman excited rubbing her eyes. Upon noticing Lim she squeaked in surprise then quickly ducked back into the washroom as if ashamed of her body being seen. “What...what are you doing in here! This is for employees only, leave or I’ll...I’ll scream!” She said fearfully from around the door.

    Thinking she must be joking he summoned a fire in his hand and lit the candle nearby lifting it up to his face smiling at the woman. “Nice to see you too Grixgis, it’s me Liminal of the Crossroads.”

    Staying behind the door the woman peeked her head out now in the light he could see she was most definitely a human instead of a Succubus. “My name’s Mary...not...not Grixgis? I just work here as a waitress! And I don’t know anyone with such a weird name, now go!” She said with more fire than before, but still hid behind the door of the washroom.

    With a strange disheartened nod Liminal put the candle down and quickly left. Hearing the washroom door fly open and the door to the bay room quickly locking behind him. Taking another drought from his drink he returned downstairs to find Maze still at the spot he left her, her aura still...sad looking. Sitting back down he sighed. “So she’s Mary now?”

    “Funny how Uplifting works, isn’t it?” Maze leaned back, sitting to observe the slightly frazzled Crossroad Demon. There was no mockery in her voice. “You and I, even Ziki, we all know who she was. But she does not. No name, no family, no past, very little future. That is why little is known about this process - most Uplifted just wander on to die in some gutter.”

    He sighed lightly finishing his second drink starting to feel the burn now, but still he asked for another. “I see.” As his third glass clunked down her stared at it for a few seconds before sipping it.

    The Succubus studied him then rolled her eyes sighing. “By the Morningstar, you Crossroads are so annoying. Smartest of us maybe, but the worst at lying even, subconsciously. I know there was no bet - most Demons don’t even know about Uplifting let alone give a fuck about those who did it. This is about that skinny little angel bitch you’re playing around with.”

    Looking up, Liminal clicked his tongue in disbelief. “What makes you say that?”

    Once again the Demoness rolled her eyes. “I’m a Succubus you ass. I can practically smell your feelings for her.” Shaking her head she sipped her wine again looking at the wall.

    “You are glowing rather….strangely,” Ziki agreed as he caught the last sentence from Maze and shrugged, placing more drinks before them.

    Looking at the large man, Liminal quirked his eyebrow. “I’m glowing? The Fire does that mean?”

    “Not literally,” Maze chuckled, bemused. “It’s a stupidly human expression that the large oaf,” she jerked her head at the bartender, “has taken a liking to. He means you have a stupid half-smile on your face every time your thoughts wander and you practiclally scoweled when I mentioned the little featherduster. You,” she jabbed Lim hard in the chest, “are glowing. In. Love.”

    Swatting her hand away, he simply scoffed, but it was a thought he’d been wrestling with for the past few weeks. Crossroads are indeed bad at lying...at least by Demon standards. The validity of contracts demanded as much truth or in most cases as much stretched and double worded truths as could be penned. The last thing you wanted was a deal going bad because you used the wrong tense in the wording, giving the Human a loophole to exploit that lets them keep their boon and their soul. He tried to think of some comeback or counter, but found none and simply shrugged, hoping to dodge the subject altogether. “So tell me about these Humans Grixgis was hanging out with? She ever give you a reason why?”

    Maze gave him a curious glance, but sensing his hesitance, decided not to push the issue. Crossing her legs and lighting a long cigar, she puffed out a perfect ring of smoke, chewing on her plump lip for a second before replying. “If she did, I wasn’t in any mood to listen. We had always been up to mischief together and then, for the first time, she ditched me. Over and over again for some man or woman. We fought about it but she kept saying she couldn’t help herself.” The Demoness paused, taking a long sip of her drink and absently fiddling with the cigar in her fingers, her silver eyes growing distant. It was rare for her to become so still and contemplative - always a bustle of fun and seduction, Mazikeen was never one to dwell on the past or the future. She lived and breathed in the moment and for the moment. Finally, coming to some decision, she placed the cigar in an ashtray.

    “Fine, I’ll tell you but it won’t be much,” she chewed her lip again, suddenly nervous. Looking around, she leaned closer to Lim so that no one could overhear them easily. As the night grew on, people started to trickle in, some to indulge in food too good for such cheap money, others for the wine and some for the fun. In their corner by the bar, the pair was secluded but Maze wasn’t about to take any chances. “Rumours back then mentioned that she wasn’t seeing just humans. Grixgis was also seeing someone else.”

    Glad she left the last subject alone Liminal leaned in to listen. “Oh really? You never struck me as the monogamous type - if she wasn’t seeing humans who she was seeing?”

    “It wasn’t a demon of any sort,” Maze grinned, eyes sparkling. “The word was it was some featherduster. Who or why, no one knows.”

    Liminal hummed lightly. He guessed it would be too much to assume he and Abigail were the first Demon and Angel to gain feelings for another. The two sides were once one afterall, who's to say an Angel and Fallen didn’t have a thing before the Morningstar screwed the pooch and dragged half of Heaven down to the Pit with him. “The plot thickens.” Was all he said lining up a barrage of questions to ask Abigail the next time he saw her. Finishing his drink he slid the glass back waving his hand over it that he was done. “Thanks for all this Maze.” Standing up he pulled his hat off smoothing his hair out, he sighed exasperatedly.

    The Demoness waved her hand dismissively. “Yeah yeah, just paying my debts.”

    Walking by he kissed her on the cheek almost fondly. “No...really... thanks.” Moving past he waved to Ziki tossing him a gold coin for his drinks. He had a feeling he wouldn’t be welcomed in the employee only room any more, but Fae buildings always have an undercroft where Higher Sidhe hunkered down when visiting. The most shielded part of the building, and the quietest. While the Summer Knight was in the building his Queen wasn’t otherwise he would’ve been guarding the door rather than drinking in the bar.

    “Mhm, git you ruggish and charming Roadie,” Maze blushed slightly before making a fuss with cleaning up the cups and heading over to help Ziki. The Troll gave her an odd look and chuckled, receiving an immediate elbow in his gut. Barely grunting, he continued to grin as Maze, back to her usual charm and seduction, swept the floor, greeting the patrons and casually sending sultry gazes at those she knew would be great fun.

    Down in the root cellar he found the small painted door that marked the entrance to the Undercroft. Barely big enough for a rat to fit in, but for someone with the ability to turn into smoke it was perfect. It wouldn’t have any Wards up as no Sidhe were present, so alone with his own thoughts Liminal slipped into the Undercroft and landed on the first bed he found undressing down to just his pants he laid down and hoped for sleep.


    Once the sun comes up and I get the time to wrap my head around a few things. I will be sending this note to you via the greased palm of a human lands keeper employed at your Sanctuary. He’ll place it in our favorite spot right where you found the chalks. I’ll keep digging up info from Maze if I can. But hey...at least we have an idea now.


    Hope to see you soon Abi.
    Love Liminal

  9. #9
    Red Ninja
    SikstaSlathalin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    My hidden Dojo
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy is my best, but I can do and like just about everything.
    Posts
    126,003
    Mentioned
    48 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    1186

    Default

    June, 19th, 1839

    Dear Abigail,

    I am sure that Archangel Barachiel has already explained your mission to you by the time my letter finds you and it may confuse you why the Justice decided to enlist the help of Guardians. The answer, my sweet cousin, is simple - we need you young Guardians to keep those of Davenmonthshire safe from the temptations provided by the demons in those parts until we are able to corner the one causing all this chaotic trouble and exterminate him from the human plane.

    Barachiel has mentioned your past dealings with our main suspect, the Crossroads Demon Liminal. Though she is positive that your interaction was forced by the Demon, I beg you Abi, do not assume that he cares for anyone but himself. You will never be able to turn a Demon into something they are not and far too often, they show a mask of themselves to the world. Were you anyone else, I would simply suggest that you detain him on sight but….you are too pure and soft-hearted, almost to a fault. Thus, I can only ask you this.

    Be diligent. Be smart. Be careful. And if you think there is any danger at all, run. I will be listening and if you need me, you know how to call. I will be there faster than you can call my name.

    Take my blessings with you, Abigail.

    Rakul


    Abigail took the long way to the shire. Even though the sky was low and grey, the clouds threatening to break into rain, she wanted the time to think. Riding slowly on her mount, she let the delicate mare pick her way down the road at an easy pace, not worried about being seen. With her training almost complete, she was once again allowed to tap into her more ethereal skills, invisibility being one of them. Hidden from prying eyes, Abi had opted for her usual light armour that she hadn’t worn in a while as opposed to the beautiful gowns of the era. Her fingers absently fidgeted at her necklace, currently hiding the ashes of two letters addressed to her by Liminal. While seeing his handwriting made her heart race, she didn’t trust for the letters to remain private thus, memorizing them, she burned the paper and stored the ashes in her locket. Then came the debriefing, the preparation and the departure. Finally on her own, she was able to reflect on exactly what the Demon had said.

    His letters had told so much, but kept so much in the dark as well. To be Uplifted, he needed to do something with several humans however, it wasn’t clear on what that was. The only logical conclusion she could come up with was save them instead of damning them. His specialization made it that much more difficult - where Succubi could work without scrutiny, Crossroad Demons work much more closely with Keepers so anything out of the ordinary will be brought to the forefront sooner. Therefore, Abi hoped that he had been looking for other ways to figure it out, but by the conclusion of his second letter, he was no closer to an answer.

    Upon finding the book Rakul mentioned, Abigail found out that an Uplifted indeed needed to save seven souls either on the Human Plane or find a way to drag them out of Hell itself. Neither option was great but he needed to know, so along with her orders to patrol and protect the Shire, she would head for this...Toad Stool Tavern and try to find him. Her heart quavered at the idea - she’d never been so far from the Sanctuary on her own. Although, she supposed, this was all part of her training and, maybe by extension, part of growing up. Even though she was a couple of centuries old by human standards, Rakul was nearly a millenia old and Lady Barachiel has been around since the Beginning. So many years ahead of her and she was already harboring regrets. But...if she could save Liminal...this would all be worth it. The Father had set her on this path...or at the very least hasn’t condemned her for it yet.

    Blinking in confusion as the first drops of rain hit her skin, Abi tilted her blue gaze to the heavens, allowing the rain to wash over her. Regardless of how she felt, she couldn’t just turn away from everything she had known. Unlike a demon, she liked Heaven and her mission. She liked love and being loved and spreading love although it was never talked about in lustiful regards. Not that she lusted after Lim, she thought blushing, she wanted to help him with all her heart. And that - one kiss notwithstanding - was exactly how she felt. The rain continued to fall and biting her lip, Abi looked across the countryside. If the storm continued its steady downpour, there was no way anyone would be out of doors. Turning her horse North, she nudged her into a trot, deciding to take the weather as a sign of where to go first.

    The Toad Stool was not what she pictured - it wasn’t broken down or creaking, had no skeletons or demonesque signs on the door. Frankly, the tavern was extremely well kept with elegant wood carvings and a separate building for horses and carriages. Allowing a waiting stablehand to take her mount, she cuddled into her cloak, glad she took the time to change into clothes of this era though now she was dressed in men’s clothes with her hair tucked to resemble a man’s cut. Pushing the door open, she walked in, shaking off the water from her clothes and letting her eyes adjust to the eerie red light coming from candles behind specially crafted colored glass. Around her, people sat around tables, eating and chatting, most with a drink in hand. In the corner, a band was playing some music that she hadn’t heard on Earth yet, something dangerous and sad and….Abi wasn’t even sure she could describe all the emotions the melody evoked. To the left, opposite of a curling stair to the upper floors stood a bar, a huge man that Abi sensed wasn’t human cleaning glasses and watching the patrons.

    Taking a deep breath, she walked over to the bar, leaning on it casually enough and observing her surroundings with interest. As the man approached, she looked at him, curious. His mossgreen eyes with vertical pupils observed her with matching intrigue but he didn’t seem alarmed or even unfriendly. After a few seconds, he grinned and leaned closer. “What can I get you, sweet wings?”

    “Is it that obvious?” Abi raised an eyebrow, deciding there was no need to pretend. She had walked into a demon’s liar after all - if this one could see her, so could the others. At least, she remarked grimly to herself, she could now identify Non-Humans on sight.

    “We don’t get your kind coming in often,” the bartender shrugged, pushing a glass of spiced wine her way. “You must be looking for Liminal.”

    “Is that obvious too?” she sighed, taking the drink. The bartender smirked.

    “Well, you don’t look like a Justice or any of them warrior types, you aren’t fainting at the sign of a Demon and you look like you have some purpose. Seeing as we are all aware of your friendship with one of our Crossroad brothers, it begs the assumption,” seeing her hesitation at the drink, his smirk became an outright grin. “Don’t worry, it’s not poisonous. The name’s Ziki by the way. In case you want to leave a tip or something.”

    “Not worried,” Abi mumbled, glaring at the cup in her hands. If what this Ziki claimed was true - that all the Demons around knew of Liminal’s interest in an Angel - why had none of her brethren brought up a similar question? Unless they all knew and they knew she would go looking for Lim the second she got a chance? The thought chilled her to the bone much like Liminal’s kiss had although there was absolutely nothing exciting and romantic about the feeling. It was cold, clammy fear. Had she just led her cousin to his hiding place? Shaking, she took a sip to calm her nerves.

    Ziki looked the girl up and down before slipping away to tend to more customers, leaving her sitting alone at the bar, the riot of smells and sensations filling her senses. She did not remain alone very long, though her visitor was not who she hoped it would be. Instead of Liminal, a tall man with pale skin, white hair and dressed in a rich cloak of blue and white leaned against the bar beside her. His eyes were like the icy lakes to the North, clear and the deepest blue color, but cold...even colder than Liminal’s. The air around him chilled as well. “Well, well, I’ve never seen an Angel up close before.” Reaching his hand out, he freed Abigail’s hair from where she had hidden it. “Far more beautiful than I had hoped.” Leaning in, his coldness grew even deeper. “You even smell better than the soft handed Priests of your God.”

    “And I have seen a Demon too many now,” Abigail’s voice was cold and aloof as she glared at the stranger, struggling to keep her body from shivering. Tilting her chin, she turned her gaze away, bored. “Your company is not wanted sir.”

    The man laughed smiling like a cat that just found a mouse to play with. “Oh sweet lass, I’m something far more than some sulfur huffing Demon.” Rubbing his hand over her head and down her hair he continued. “I am Athelstan, Knight to Queen Mab of the Winter Court. Older than your books or your Churches.” His hand gripped Abigail’s hip. “And more powerful than your God.” He whispered dangerously in her ear.

    “Are you really brave enough to fight off a squadron of Justice? Or a flight of Warriors? My, I thought the Winter Court produced brave creatures, I didn’t think it produced stupid ones,” Abi’s voice remained even as she manuevered away from him, trying to step away without bringing too much attention. Unfortunately for her, that only sent her further into one of the many shadows around the main tavern floor. Ziki was busy chatting with some other customers to spare even a glance her way, not that Abi thought he would come to her rescue anyway. Why didn’t she bring her dagger, one of the gifts from her cousin? At the time she was packing, she presumed it would be a tracking device - after all, it had been in Rakul’s possession for centuries and he knew the magical weapon’s aura. Now, she wished for it’s comforting grip.

    Smiling even broader, the Winter Knight stood up, showing just how much taller he was than the young Angel. He was like an ancient glacier, slow, deliberate, and nigh unstoppable. Moving to corner the girl, he planted his hand into the wall above her, the sound ringing all along the dingy wood. “Ooo pretty wee thing, your feathery warriors mean little to someone who was around when your God sacrificed his son to some fat, sweaty Romans.” He quickly grabbed Abigail’s chin and forced her to look at him. “And now, it’s time to show you what real power looks and feels like.” His strength was tremendous, but just before his lips touched hers, the sound of steady footsteps were heard followed by the resounding boom of a gun. The Winter Knight snarled in pain and lurched to the side, a gaping bullet wound staining the back of his cloak in crimson.

    “You Faery types are all the same bags of hot air and bluster.” Liminal’s voice sounded in the dead silence of the Tavern. Athelstan turned to face the Demon, an icy sword appearing in his hand.

    “You pathetic worm!” He lunged at Liminal, but a metallic smoke began emanating from the Knight’s back. Pain filled his once beautiful face and the icy sword vanished.

    Lim smirked, spinning his revolver expertly around his finger. “So big and powerful, but an itty bitty bullet of iron is all it takes to put you down. Now get out of here before Mazikeen comes back down. Or she’ll do far worse to you than shoot you in the back pixie dust.”

    Hissing at Liminal, the Winter Knight, whose face was already turning gray and deathly, darted for the door, vanishing in the howl of the wind. As the excitement ended, Liminal holstered his gun and rushed to Abigail’s side running his hands over her looking for injury.

    “I’m fine,” Abigail tried to smile weakly, but she couldn’t help the relief that flooded her voice as she hid her face in his shoulder, his coldness soothing her racing heart. She didn’t want to admit it but the Fae had unnerved her more than she had let on. “I just wasn’t expecting it to be so…” She glanced over his shoulder at the semi-lit tavern.

    Liminal nodded slowly, wrapping his arms around her. “Weren’t expectin’ it to be so rough? Well luckily, most people don’t give a flyin’ flip about you or who you follow, as long as ya leave’em alone. That goes double for most Fae, Athalstan is just in a bad mood cause Maze cut’im off from his favorite girl for not payin’ up front. Come on, we can talk in the back.” Wrapping his arm around her lower back, he led her into the quieter part of the tavern used mostly for banquets or parties. He nodded at Ziki ordering two drinks for them, the Troll gave a nod back getting some warm spiced wine ready.

    Abi didn’t protest as he led her somewhere, only wondering about who Maze was and how it was that Lim knew the tavern so well. It seemed as though he was more than a simple regular. Her eyes grew large and she couldn’t help stealing a sideways glance at him - was he involved in all the debauchery that happened under this roof? Over the past few months, she had learned enough to know what occurred between men and women when they were alone and naked.

    The room they were in now was dark save for faint light coming in from the large windows. Around them, furniture was draped in white sheets, protected from wear, tear and fading. Hugging her arms around her, she stepped a bit away from the Demon, looking at the paintings on the walls. Had she not known where she was, she could easily mistaken this for quite a well furnished building of a Lady. “I couldn’t fully lie to my cousin, you know. He only wants what’s best for me.” She smiled weakly, “I’m sorry it sent the Justice on your trail.”

    Ziki arrived with their drinks. Silently handing them to Liminal, the Troll departed leaving the two young celestials alone. He placed Abigail’s drink down near her, allowing her to choose when she wished to drink. Hearing her words, the Crossroads shrugged with an easy smile, sipping his own wine. “You didn’t sic anyone on me Abi. Dravenmonth did that hisself, he was gettin’ too greedy with whose soul he bargained for continued wealth and power. The Feather Cops woulda come down here regardless, I’m just glad we ain’t in the old testament days. I ain’t too keen on being made into a pillar of salt or somethin’.” Letting out a low chuckle he pulled some sheets off one of the more comfortable looking couches and brushed some dust off before he sat down watching her.

    “What do you mean - he traded other people’s souls?” Abi frowned, picking up the glass and swishing the liquid around, her eyes focused and sharp.

    Sipping his wine, he shrugged lightly, wondering how to broach the subject of sacrifice to her.
    “Eh, Soul’s a soul to Demons, usually the Clients offer up their own souls for their boon. But those with power and influence like Dravenmonth can get away with bargainin’ boons with the souls of others. As long as they got no family to speak for’em, and bein’ the Lord of an entire Shire means ain’t no one no gonna question him for takin’ people off the streets as he pleased. Most of the Heads ‘round Europe been doin’ it for centuries, that Longshanks guy was particularly fond of usin’ Scots he captured for his bargains.” He chuckled almost cruelly at the memory. “Too bad some of ours put a Changeling in the crib of his son, pretty much ensurin’ we’d get his soul in the end.”

    “You monsters,” the words were out before Abi could stop them, her voice a mere whisper in the night. Slamming the cup on the cloth covered table, she turned away from him, her hands crossing over her chest. How could he talk about it with such ease and humour? Didn’t he realize what he had to do and would he even have it in him? Had she been wrong about Liminal all along? Struggling with her mixed feelings, she was surprised that it was Rakul’s words that brought her comfort - You will never be able to turn a Demon into something they are not and far too often, they show a mask of themselves to the world. She knew the true Liminal, the one who wanted to desperately let go of his ties with Hell even if he never voiced it fully out loud. She knew that he had many masks and hid behind them with ease, protecting his true emotions deep within. Even around her, he slipped into whatever role he wanted, but there were a few moments, as small and far between they were, where he revealed his true self and she knew it.

    “I hope you will find saving souls more entertaining if you ever want to be Uplifted,” she said, her voice still a bit cold.

    Swishing his cup around he smiled sadly. “Yeah, we’re monsters alright, but it’s our lot in life. The Morningstar ensured it, we tempt and mislead pokin’ holes in Sky Daddy’s plans, as said Sky Daddy decreed.” Shrugging deeper at her second thought, he drained his cup placing it on the ground at his side. “As for me saving Souls? That’ll be nearly impossible I think. Least not without a Keeper seein’ me doin it.”

    Feeling her hopes dashing and her heart failing, she remembered some passages from the Lord’s Book. This was a Test of Faith for her...a true Test of Faith and those are never easy. Like Abraham sacrificing his son on the mountain or The Son’s forty days of pain and famine in the desert, she could do this; she simply needed a plan. “Why should that matter? You said in your letters that this...Grixgis woman did it without even her...female lover knowing.” The very idea of two women laying as only a husband and wife should was still something she was having trouble wrestling with.

    Smiling, Liminal stood up to join the young Angel where she stood. “That was because like Mazikeen, Grixgis was a Seducer. By the very nature of their job, it sometimes takes time to get the soul. Not all humans are lecherous rabbits lookin’ for the next roll in the hay. Sometimes they want love and commitment before they welcome the Seducer into their bed. Oddly, rapin’ a human don’t get the Soul.”

    Once again blushing at his words Abigail pressed on. “And why can’t Crossroad Demons get away with it?”

    Liminal shrugged, slipping his hands into his coat pockets. “Cause our job is much more cut and dry. And we’re the ones that report to the Keepers when a Client faults on the deal. Then they take their hellhounds and go collect the wayward human takin’ the owed soul by force. We got timelines and quotas to meet. Otherwise.” He dragged a thumb over his throat making a rough slicing sound. “We’re the ones who pay.” Pulling his arm from his coat, he rolled the right sleeve up showing Abigail the gnarled flesh of his right arm. Many healed over burns and stab wounds of some kind. It even looked like the skin was peeled away and grew back in a few places. “This was the reward for my first screw up.”

    “Our Lord died willingly to give Humans - and Demons - the chance for redemption. It comes to be as simple as this, Liminal. Do you want this enough to die for it? I can help you but,” Abi bit her lip, her eyes filling up with tears. “But I cannot do it for you.” And here was the moment of truth - did he want it bad enough or were his words, everything he had said and wished for, merely that, simple syllables uttered into the air between them?

    He smirked, slipping his sleeve back down and replacing his coat honestly surprised her reaction to that was minimal, but just touching her face the other night nearly made her faint. Deciding to not worry about it he shrugged his careless smile being just that….carelss “I do, but unless I got a plan, I ain’t gonna last long enough to save any souls. If a Justice Bringer causes this much stir, a Keeper or Hell Knight coming to find me will be like the Second Comin’ everything will be shut down, while Sky Daddy rallies the Warriors to wage war on Dravenmonthshire.” Lifting his hand he brushed away her tears his golden eyes softening. “If it means I can be with you though. I'll spit in the face of the Morningstar hisself.” Leaning in he kissed her lips softly once more. A split second later, Abi responded, closing her eyes and for that moment, nothing else mattered.

    ...I have decided to stay at the Toad Stool for now. It amused Mazikeen to no end and for that alone, she was happy to provide me with a room connecting to Liminal’s. I have to promise myself that I will not forgo my mission - to look into the lost souls - but that doesn’t mean I cannot return every night here and help Lim figure out a way to help people without being caught. I want him to become free and I want to be with him. It’s a scary thing and even though I wonder if it is wrong to even think that, it feels so right as though the Father himself is blessing this path.

    We will face each new day together but for now, I need some rest.
    -Abigail


    Xbox One Gamertag: Free Today56 just say who you are first.
    Breath deep as the snow falls around you. Let it fill your lungs and purify the fires of doubt within you.



    Spoiler: The stories I've written x50 



  10. #10
    Little ball of fire
    Breggo13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy, Mature, Private....Unless you dare to get me curious...
    Posts
    2,314
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    578

    Default

    Time passes differently when you are with someone you love. Minutes become hours and hours become days. You become blind to the world outside, all that matters is the one you are with. And for Abigail and Liminal that is exactly where they belong and where they wish to stay. As Lim predicted, Lord Dravenmonth was more than quick to sell out his fellow Occultists in hopes of sparing his own eternal Damnation. From the commotion upstairs the many Lords and Ladies were scrambling to seek refuge from the Justice Bringers as Rakul had brought down four of his fellow Angels of the Law to help mop up the Demons and their Human consorts.

    Liminal was one of the lucky few to make it into the limited safe space available in the Toad Stool Tavern. Maze had barred the doors from anyone with an Aura other than plain non magical human, and that included three of the Occultists themselves. All high ranking officials from the likes of England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. Yes, when Heaven intercede on the mortal plane many flee before it’s righteousness. But while it might sound dramatic, as if Revelations itself was happening just above them, both of the young lovers knew that is not how Justice Bringers work. From behind closed doors they bring judgement, their eyes and ears everywhere so no one hides from the long reach of Heaven’s Law. And as the rich and influential were usually an eccentric lot, none of the commoners would care to notice if their Master vanished for a few weeks. Just means they wouldn’t have to pay taxes a little bit longer, and even if they did Lady Barachiel would be there to help fill in the gap. This would be the beginning of the end for her charges’ Guardian Angel Training. Guiding the wayward shires and farmlands towards the path of righteousness.

    Even then though our two lovers didn’t care. Revelations could actually be happening at this very moment and they would refuse to leave the warm and comfort of the Toad Stool’s undercroft. Their entire world was that magically protected haven in the bowels of the earth. Passion without restriction...love without judgement. In their minds they were not unlike Adam and Eve and the Undercroft, their Garden. They gave themselves to one another wholly, their bodies becoming one their spirits...the same. There was no Light or Dark...no Angels or Demons...just two people thrust together by fate to enjoy each other as nature intended.

    Very little was said between them and while at the beginning there was trepidation as the first throes of utter pleasure washed over them all that was cast aside. Like a pair of pants after they had fallen in the mud. Nothing down here could stand between them, and while Abigail knew the sin she was committing she still convinced herself it was meant to be and she was working towards helping her Demonic Lover become Uplifted. As for Liminal, he allowed all his masks to fall for the first time in many centuries. He allowed someone to see him vulnerable, see him not as the smooth talking Crossroads Demon, but as a man and by extension as the wounded creatures he truly was. While not locked in the most intimate of embraces he spoke of his past with his Angelic soulmate. Of his childhood among other youngling Demons cast into the collective “play pen” of the second ring of Hell surrounded by the Lustful and Leacerhous. Their parents usually a Seducer and a Tormentor, but sometimes the Hell Knights and even Keepers came down to taste the fruits of the Second Ring. And then...no one was safe from their appetites, though Liminal refused to speak much of his time in that Ring, the ever empathetic Abigail knew the truth he could not speak.

    She in return exposed her vulnerable youth to him. Teaching him as many things as he taught her, the layers of Heaven, the beauty, the culture, she even spoke of the Son himself. All Angels meet him, he is an active wanderer of the Heavenly Realm and he always enjoyed speaking with the Souls in Heaven be they Human or Angel. The Father makes appearances as well, though very rarely as life on Earth depends the bulk of his attention. Abigail says she has only even seen Him once, and that was on the day of her birth as he does make it a point to be present at the birth of every little creature in Heaven. They learn his face, listen to his voice, and connect with his eternal spirit. The Demon had very little to add to this part of their experience as he had never experienced anything like that. The Morningstar was chained to a massive icy lake at the very bottom of the Pit, anyone can go see him, but very few do. The Keepers themselves only seek him out when they need guidance over governing some part of Hell. Neither Liminal nor anyone in his line or who he has spoken with has ever seen the Fallen One. Some say it’s because they are not worthy to look upon his beauty or because the sorrow and betrayal they see in his eyes are too much for them to bear. Those who say such things are very old and zealotous, they actively worship him as the Angels and Humans worship God. For most of the denizens of the Pit though he is an afterthought, the one they blame for being stuck in an endless pit of pain and misery. At best he is spoken of like a boogeyman or cautionary tale, at worst he is the monster the Holy Records call him. Most young Demons like Liminal view him with neutrality or annoyance, he is the reason they were born in the Fiery Lake and suffer like they do, but there’s nothing they can do about it now.

    Thankfully they rarely dwelled on such depressing subjects. Abigail would tell stores from her youth in Heaven and Liminal would regale her with some of his less salacious antics on Earth. She particularly loved his stories from the Western United States, the tales of horseback riding and looking up at the sky to see nothing but stars dazzling her to no end. The hours whittled away like this the pair riding on endless waves of loving words and impassioned actions. Neither bothered to mark the passage of time in any way. Being what they were they rarely needed to eat or sleep and only drank when the passions became too heated and they needed to catch their breaths. And while they would never admit it, they both knew this would be the one and only time they could be together until Liminal became Uplifted. They knew that once they left this Undercroft they would be enemies again and as both Barachiel and Rakul would be looking for Abigail now she would be locked up inside the Sanctuary until the Justice Bringers were finished with their work.

    It was entirely possible she would never get her silver wings once she left this safe little haven of love. Dereliction of duty even when in training is a very serious offence in Heaven, it was almost as bad as falling into hubris like the Morningstar. Liminal’s fate would be little better if Lord Lucius was unable to finish his deal Lim would be trapped on the surface until someone smote him. Or if the wayward lord was killed then the tethers keeping Lim here would be severed and he could return to the Fiery Lake until he was summoned again. But it was more likely than not he would miss his quota and be collected by a Hell Knight for his punishment before the cowardly human lord would die.It wouldn’t matter to the Knight that the arrival of Justice Bringers had delayed his return, it would only be seen as Liminal screwing up and thus only be fitting to strap him to a rack to be tortured for that screw up. Yes, their worlds would change for the worse once they left, but they both knew it could not be avoided. So, foregoing more useless words they kissed and joined together once more intending to stay that way for as long as they could.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •