Part 1: Broken
Part 2: Kith and Kin
You’d think I’d be scared of him now, wouldn’t you? I know I see his eyes in my dreams, his smile, the way he walked towards me. Note I said dreams, not nightmares, although I was scared enough the other night. I didn’t scream though. That might have been because I was too terrified to make a sound but we’ll ignore that. When he got close, when he could have done just about anything, he stroked my cheek. He still looked like mischief, and mayhem, and danger all rolled into one but then his smile softened a little and he took my hand and led me to sit on my bed again. He spoke to me quietly, for hours. By morning, when I opened my eyes I realized that, although I remember his presence and I can still smell his cologne on my other pillow, I can’t recall what he said.
I’ve dreamt about him all week. Jes and Gwen have been teasing me about my crush. *sigh* I don’t have a crush, I’m confused, and disturbed, and attracted, and…. *sigh* I have a fucking crush. It doesn’t matter though. He’ll be at dinner tomorrow night, I’m sure he’ll be an ass or something, and I’m certain this feeling will go away. Jes said I need to come early to help with the dinner prep, she’s actually going to cook for the family. This is a rarity. I wonder what I get to help with.
I spent the day cleaning; the house, the yard, hell even the garage. The house is going on the market this week. Tomorrow I’m heading to look at a few places. There’s a couple closer to the family house and I’m hoping one will suit my needs. I can’t believe how much stuff I threw out. I don’t even know where some of it came from. I found a trunk in the attic, it was full of books. I’ll go through them tomorrow before I head over to help with dinner, or take it with me so the family can give the books a perusal too. Time for a bath I think, I’m still a little too scared to have a shower.
I can’t believe how tired I am. I slept well, I think I got nearly ten hours but I’m exhausted. I need to get to Jes’s house by noon. Going to try to get there a little earlier, I really need to talk to her about these dreams. I can accept that I might be dreaming about the man but these imaginings are far too intense for my liking. I can recall his presence but nothing that happens. And I seem to be hurting myself now. Yesterday I noticed bruises on my wrist, this morning there were more bruises these ones are on my ribs, and I ache. I need Jes to tell me that I’m not losing my mind. I’ve been half expecting it though. Even with everything they told me, I’m still waiting to open the door and find the cops there. Or worse, open the door and find him there, my handler, bleeding, burnt, but alive. I still can’t have a shower. And I know it’s only been a couple of weeks but I’d like to sleep without every light in my room on please.
Stopped to look at a house about a block from Jes, it’s gorgeous. It has high walls around the back (I can put sensors on top for security), a pool surrounded by a sun room, and a wine room right beside one kick ass media room. Not to mention the ensuite attached to the master bedroom. I think this is the house I want. But I won’t see the realtor till tomorrow. I wonder if Jes, or one of the others might like to come along to see it. I’ll suggest it at dinner.
I walk into the house, it’s already quarter to twelve, I guess I won’t get much chance to talk to Jes alone. I’m not sure who else is coming to help with dinner. If it’s Gwen I’m fine, actually if it’s just the sisters I’m ok with it. They can all tease me if they like, so long as I know I’m not going nuts. Any of the brothers and not a word will pass these lips. Last time I had a crush it was months after I stopped seeing the guy before the boys let it go. Now that I think about it, I wonder what ever happened to him. Oh well, doesn’t matter. Would have been nice if he’d mentioned he didn’t want to see me anymore but… wait… *sigh* I think I’d best ask my brothers if they know anything. “Jes? I’m here!” I call out, there’s no sound in the house. Where could she be? I check her room, the basement, wander the rest of the house calling out. Hmmm. Oh! I just heard the back door open! “Jes? Where were you? It’s half past already.” I walk into the kitchen as I’m speaking, only to run into Methial. “Oh! Sorry hun, I thought you were Jes.” A raise of his brow is his only response to my words, and I blush. “I was meeting her at noon, and she’s not here. I heard the door, and thought it was her. And now you’re laughing at me.” He started smiling as I explained, he is such a brat… a really sexy brat… *sigh* ok stop.
He’s still grinning at me and it’s only now that I realize his hands are covered in blood. He sees the confusion, the revulsion, the curiosity on my face. I don’t know if I want to know or not, and I think he’s waiting for me to decide. I’m wavering and I can feel it. I see Gwen through the window when I’m trying not to look at his hands. He takes a step towards me and I bolt outside before he can say a word.
Did I come on a little too strong? I think I’m going to have to be a little more subtle with this one. She’s one of those I can’t just say sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a train but sometimes it’s just a light. She reminds me of who I truly am, so I’m going to have to take care not to lose this one. Simply put, she is like the one thing that defines me, the tattoo I have on my back. It is the definition of who I am.
But subtlety I can do subtlety. Once again I will say this, angels don’t know what it’s like to be a demon but demons will always know what it’s like to be an angel. I have to show her that falling from “grace” is sometimes the best thing that can ever happen to you. She’s going to be a challenge.
I run up to Gwen, and she catches me in her arms. “Dee sweetie, what’s wrong?”
“ummm… nothing… everything… did you know Methial was here?” I wrap an arm around her waist. “Also you’re late. We were meant to meet half an hour ago.” She’s smirking at me. She puts her arm around me as we walk towards the house. She stops us on the deck, hands me the bag she’s carrying, and sends me inside, asking me to send Methial out for a moment.
I ask him to go speak with her and he smiles and nods at me. He heads outside and I head into the living room. I need to get my head on straight if I’m going to be around him. I peek out the window at them, then glance through the books on the shelves. We all borrow, or add books as we choose. There are a few new ones on the shelf. I left the trunk in my car, it was hard enough to get it in there without trying to get it back out again. Maybe I’ll see if I can get help with it later. I glance outside and they’re still talking. Fuck it, maybe I’ll grab the trunk now. I can’t distract myself enough, I keep noticing that I’m looking out the window at him.
My cell phone sings at me when I have the damn trunk halfway out. Of course. Normally I’d ignore it but as it startled me into dropping the trunk (nearly on my foot) I might as well see who wants my attention. Caller ID says Dark One. I answer, and he chuckles because he hears my enthusiasm. We chat about how his week has been and then he gets to the reason for the call. “Dee, how are you holding up?” And there it is.
He’s the first to ask me, I had wondered who was voted least likely to piss me off. “Really Dave? I can’t have a shower because I’m afraid of not being able to hear over the running water. I’m sleeping 10 – 12 hours and feel like I’ve gotten no sleep at all, and I’m waking up with bruises most mornings that I have no idea where they’re coming from. Every time I open a door, any door, I expect that asshole to be there. I keep expecting to wake up and be back in that bed, trapped, and terrified. So how am I holding up? I’m a mess, and I don’t know how long I can deal with this. If something doesn’t change soon you’re going to be down one sister.” I hung up. *sigh* I don’t think anyone should have been given that job. Even Jes hasn’t asked me, and she’s the one I half expected to.
I shove my phone back in my pocket, and notice I’d been pacing. I’m at the side of the house. I turn around and go back to my car. The trunk is gone, and my car is closed and locked. I head inside. Gwen is in the kitchen, I don’t see Methial anywhere. She raises a brow at me and I shrug. “Dave called.” She opens her mouth to speak, and I interrupt. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“You’re going to have to at some point sis.”
“I know, but later please. Did he bring in my trunk?” I start towards the living room.
“Ya he did. What’s in that thing? He said it weighs a ton.” She dries her hands and follows me in. I pull the key I found out of my pocket and tell her that all I noticed was a lot of books. After a quick glance we decide to hold off going through it till after dinner. After all, there’s work to be done.
Gwen and I see Dark One, and Methial coming out of the trees. She’s watching, hoping to see Grim. I’d like to talk to him myself to be honest. Now that I know he is exactly who he’s always claimed to be I want to know why he let me stay there. Why he didn’t at least tell someone where I was. Maybe, if he had, the others wouldn’t have had to die. Maybe those men would be in jail. Maybe I wouldn’t have had to kill, maybe I wouldn’t hate myself so much right now.
Methial puts the cooler on the counter, and I reach in to get the meat. I drop it into the sink as I realize what I’m looking at. More of my family enters the room as I stare in shock. I point to it and ask, rather politely I think “What the fuck is that?” No one replies to me, they all just glance into the sink and wait. “Perhaps I should be asking who the fuck is that?” They glance at each other, then back to me, all I can do is shake my head. “Fine, I’ll inquire from our dear sister should she ever show.” I sit down just before she walks into the room. I watch as her mouth moves, someone must reply because she looks annoyed, but all I hear is a low buzz. I think I might be in shock.
Jes puts me to work on the bread and the vegetables. You’d almost think she doesn’t trust me around the meat now. Oh god what am I thinking? I don’t want to touch it. I get the bread rising and start on the veggies. Gwen is working on the pasta when I look over a while later though I’m fairly certain she notices when my eyes linger on Jes’s cutting board. I put the bread into the oven and stretch, I look around for the whiskey, I could really use a drink. Then I remember I haven’t replaced this bottle recently, note to self do not let anyone’s house run out of whiskey for the foreseeable future. A moment later there’s a glass of wine in front of me, I look at my sister and smile. “I’ll take over the vegetables Dee, you go look through that trunk of yours.” I nod at Gwen, pick up the glass, and together we offer another glass to Jes. She obviously heard Gwen as she nods her head in the direction of the living room. I see concern in her eyes but also determination. This doesn’t bode well for me. I’ll be eating tonight whether I wish to or not. I think I’m going to need a lot more wine.
I hear the sounds of our Babe’s laughter, Casper’s voice as I walk past, and Jes’s reply to him. He needs to be careful that one. Grim smiles at me as he walks by me into the kitchen, I don’t dare interrupt right now, Gwen has a knife and she’s missed him. Methial is standing by my trunk, looking at it almost with longing. I watch as he lights a cigarette, his eyes never wavering in their stare. The fingertips of his right hand trail slowly across the strap closest to him. “Methial, I’m going to take a look through while they finish up in the kitchen. Would you care to join me?” He glances at me, but it’s as if he had to tear his eyes away from something immensely valuable to do so, so slow was the action.
“Please.” He nods as he speaks. “Be right back.” He walks into the kitchen, and I hear Jes speak. The words are too quiet for me but I hear the tension. He enters the room, another glass in one hand, a bottle of wine in the other, the cigarette dangling from his mouth. He places the glass and bottle beside me on the floor, and snubs out his smoke in a nearby ashtray. After topping up my glass he pours one for himself, and raises his in toast. I tap his glass gently with my own, tap it gently on the floor, and sip my wine before I look up. He’s watching me, it’s unnerving.
I offer him the key but he merely shakes his head. I unlock the trunk as he watches closely. I lift the lid and notice his eyes are glued to the darkness inside. I open it completely and wait for him to reach in, when he doesn’t I look at him, about to speak when his hand reaches out and touches my cheek. His eyes lock to mine and though his lips move not at all I swear I hear his voice whisper “Gently, slowly, take them out with care.” I take the books out, one at a time, he touches not even one although his fingers come so close to a few. Under a few layers of books I come across pictures, and some items wrapped in linen, and silk. He stops me before I can pick up anything. This time his lips move. “We need to put it all back. Now. We can look at it all tomorrow, at your place.” Now he is touching the books, hesitantly but he is touching them. I find myself putting them back in, carefully, though not as slowly as I removed them. His tension silences me, where I would normally choose to at least question. He is nearly vibrating, and I can’t help my reaction. I’m scared.
I lock the trunk and we take it back out to my car. As we go back inside the rest of the family is gathering at the table. I must have been truly caught up in the books, I hadn’t noticed so many arriving. I watch as our Dark One taunts my sister, not wise of him as she is the one in charge of our meal. I watch as my family nibbles at her beautiful hors d’oeuvres , I can’t seem to make myself though and so I sip quietly at my wine. She follows Casper for a moment, and I see the pleasure on her face when she steps back into the room. She brings the stew in and I am given instructions. All are to eat, which means she will note if I do not. After a moment she and Gwen go to get the main dish. They come back in and everyone stares in appreciation. She spots her wine, then finally sits to eat. Hers eyes glance at my stew bowl, she can see I didn’t give myself much but I did eat some. She locks eyes with me for a moment, then looks at my plate. For a moment I see a memory of the one we both called mom, looking at me, saying without words that I was to eat everything on my plate. I begin to eat and she finally begins to as well. The interplay was lost on not one member of our family, there will be questions later.
As dinner is coming to a close, Grim appears back in the room. Casper suddenly pipes up to tell us the forest is on fire and nearing our location. My family scatters, we each collect what is ours and step out the front door. Jes waves me off as I offer to help grab the important things. She’d taken everything important to the family home already, and had what she needed in her trunk. I want to stay and watch the fire, but she won’t go until the rest of us are long gone. I hop into my car and take my place in the caravan of vehicles leaving. It’s not until I’m moving that I realize Methial is with me. We’re nearly to my place before I ask him to text her and ensure she made it out safely. He sends the text, no reply. *sigh*
Siara Tyr & Jason Sinner
To read more about dinner please see Hecatomb by Majesty (Melanie McCurdie)