Chapter Five: Leianna
Despite all sanity I followed the green cats eyes through a portal and found myself here. Where moonlight is the only light on soft rippling water. One step and then another lead me from the concrete and metal jungle of the world I knew to here. The shadowy figure with cat’s eyes keeping me above the surface, preventing the Styx from swallowing me whole. Further we walk through the Styx, the large doorway we had walked through is dissolved into darkness. Crossing a lay line felt easy, Henry had always told me bridging a lay line is hard. Harder than this felt.
Finally, I dare to speak, “where are we going?” Of all the questions that was the one I chose. Not “where are we?” I could guess this is the path to hell, though much more beautiful than I had expected, a starless sky lit by the most beautiful moon. Not “who are you?” Because whoever this figure is, I am sure I will find out soon.
The figure raised his hand, wanting my voice silenced. A soft flowing, like silk in the wind, leaked from his fingertips, assuming it is after all this, male. The inky black swirl that had come from his hand wrapped its way around my body, a long flowing black hooded cloak, that felt so soft that silken would have seen an insult. Woven water would have been impossible surely? After sometime in silence with swirling darkness surrounding the busy hum of lives being lived without light. Bowing to the figure that lead me along, keeping me well wrapped in a cloak that seemed to have obscured me from notice. I am lead one foot to another to what is best described as an ancient, castle. Through a grand courtyard and in through the gates, bowed in by gargoyle like creatures that turned my stomach in every way imaginable. On we walked, servants bowing as they are dismissed. This was never going to be just any demon was it? Of course not with my luck; lead here captive to a demon who had remained mostly silent for miles.
“I am not a demon” his voice sounded almost human, distorted by the high ceiling of the room we had just walked into. Dark black sparkling granite walls, high ceilings, two sofas of lime green cushioning either side a heavy black coffee table. He strides to the furthest sofa from the door, the room empty of anyone but us. He removes his cloak. A tall man with pale blue eyes sat on the sofa, less imposing and monstrous than I had imagined he would be. Though undeniably, devilishly handsome. Am I allowed to think that?
A small smirk on his face appeared when the cloak fell from my shoulders as I reluctantly sat on the opposite sofa. Making some distance between us.
“If I wanted to hurt you, you would have fallen in the Styx miles ago. Relax. I have no reason to harm you.” His voice now less distorted, there is the soft husk to it, almost intoxicating, undeniably seductive.
“Why not?” I ask, knowing that right now, I sound like a child lost somewhere.
“You could say I have an interest in you.” I studied his eyes hoping he would give something away but all I got out of it was him raising his eyebrow.
“Why?” Again… really? Is that all I can do? Ask questions like a child?
“Who do you think your mother and father sought out after you were born?”
“Some demon I guess” though right now, that doesn’t feel like the right answer even if it was my first.
“Not quite. I think I need to tell you a little story.” He said as he stood up and moved over to the further corner of my sofa.
“Sure… go for it” distracted, counting the distance between us.
“A very, very long time ago an angel gave his blood to a small tribe of people. Breaking an unwritten rule of the heavens. He gave his blood to the very first of what became known as the touched, those that had separated themselves from the Adam and Eve’s of their world in some way by being the best examples of their kind. He designed them as protectors of those that would destroy the Adam’s and Eve’s safety, those creatures in the night that preyed upon the childlikeness of their kind. I suppose the Touched was a better name than demon hunters at the time. Because they had been touched by the blood of an angel. Those few exalted humans that would remain in shadows protecting the world from the darkness.”
I nodded, “that is the story the Touched hear from birth, their creation and exaltation.”
“So they do, and you are part of it. But that exaltation didn’t go unnoticed. The heavens saw what had been created, and sought out that very first ever blood bearer. The part they don’t tell of that story is that the angel who created them paid a heavy price. He was stripped of his angel fire and exiled to the below as it was called by the angels, earth to those who dwell there. The fallen angel forced to live a mortal life on earth became the thing he had sought to protect the Adam and Eve’s from not ready to live a mortal life the fallen angel chose to become an underworldling. In time that fallen angel even became something of a King when who he was became a long forgotten rumour.”
“Becoming immortal or less mortal?” I wondered aloud.
“Semantics. Neither makes a difference in the long run.”
“Your idealism cost you everything.” I say without thinking.
“I was shunned and banished, and what really happened to me, is buried in ancient long forgotten history. Or so I thought. When your parents sought me out, knowing who I was and who I had become. I couldn’t resist the opportunity when they offered me something incredibly precious.” His smile for a moment looked almost bashful.
“What?” I asked now more curious than I thought possible.
“You.” That very word hung in the air, heavy, like the dawn of a thought, where you realise you are in a very strange and surreal predicament. He continued “they offered me you, a chance to perform the ritual again. I was ready to rewrite my history and so I performed the ritual. You share in my blood and I see so much of me in you, a villain of circumstance.”
“What do you want?” I ask, not ready for an answer.
“Do you know my name?” He asked. I didn’t answer, “do you know the name that history forgot, do you know who I am?”
I look at him, into those pale blue eyes, almost loosing myself trying to work it out, thinking too hard was getting me nowhere. So I stopped trying to work out if I had ever heard the name that had created the Touched, they themselves believed it long forgotten in history. Now I looked into those ice blue eyes twinkling from within, I let myself get lost in them. I felt a smile grow on my face not knowing how or why. “Saoris” I said, barely a whisper, hearing myself, hearing the name I knew I was right. His stare faltered, a smile grew so handsome and clear at hearing his own name.
“It has been so long since I heard that name, your parents may have known who I was but they only knew me by the name I wear now.”
“How did I know it?”
“My blood is in your veins, you know me in the same way I know you, we are connected in blood and it is thicker than water as the Adam and Eve’s say.”
“I think the phrase ‘blood is thicker than water’ refers more to the bonds you make in battle or relationships you choose can be greater than those of family ties.”
“And I chose you. I know what it means, don’t for a second think I know nothing of your world because I once chose not to live in it. Do you not see the battle on the horizon? Have you not seen what the world has become? Are you not disgusted with the corruption?”
“For a guy who chose to live in the underworld you sound so little of a demon that for a moment I could see the angel you once were.” I couldn’t help sounding in awe of the man now sat so few inches away on this hideous lime green sofa, cool blue eyes, dark black hair and so handsome he could drive me to distraction or destruction at any moment.
“Wasn’t I glorious?” his smile beamed so widly, so boyishly handsome.
“Yet now you choose to live by the name Raxaorie and hide your past to live a sort of immortal life as an underworldling rather than live out your days praised in name as the angel who gave everything of his self to protect the childlikeness of the Adam and Eve’s, the creator of the protectors.” I see anger flash in his eyes, for a moment, I can see the darkness in his handsomeness.
“You know nothing. I chose freedom. The first freedom, the freedom everyone is punished for, the freedom of choice.” He is closer to me now than he had been all night, anger contorting his eyebrows, no longer the boyishly handsome creature, but now he seems nothing more than a man.
I can smell a hint of pizza on his breath with him so close, “this is my choice” I say wrapping my hand just behind his head before I quickly bring my lips up to meet his.