Authors: Linda Creel
After they left
Lucifer’s private chambers, Samhael left for Utopia to meet with Richard, while
Mortriel traveled to Savannah to see if the angel-bloods were hiding under the
protection of the Guild.
Arriving in the city limits,
Mortriel started mumbling to himself.
This is a waste of my time. I suspect the brats are in Aeden
under the watchful eyes of Paul and Adam. The Guild wouldn’t be foolish enough
to risk them being captured a second time. The idiots think Gideon’s shield
will protect the angel-bloods, but they’re wrong.
Mortriel began to walk
towards Eve’s plantation. She hadn’t lived there in years, but the property was
Coming down the dirt
path, he noticed a lone Elite guardian standing outside the fence, and his body
tensed. The angel was clothed in the trademark purple cloak worn by all of the
Elite guardians. Since he was standing sideways, and the hood obscured his
face, Mortriel wasn’t able to identify the angel.
Surely Josiah wouldn’t have come here alone to search for his
daughter. I’m certain my powers are strong enough to destroy him, but Father
would be angry if half of the Elite Guard sought revenge for the death of one
of their own. Perhaps I should turn around before he confronts me
“You should not have
come,” the guardian warned. “This ground is hallowed.”
Recognizing his voice
as Malakiel, one of the few guardians Lucifer trusted, the tension left
Mortriel’s body and he inched closer to the white picket fence. “I have walked
on sacred ground before, and am still here to talk about it,” he said.
“This land is unlike any other. It is the
resting place of the first angel-blood, Gideon’s wife, Alice. If you doubt me,
then by all means step onto the property.”
Malakiel’s warning. There was nothing to be gained by entering the
“I wasn’t expecting to
find you here. Usually, the guardians don’t involve themselves in the Guild’s
business,” Mortriel said.
“Josiah has already
spoken to the Council about your activities. The Guild knows you and Samhael
have been killing angel-bloods and taking their young daughters to Purgatory.
You were foolish to kill Josiah’s wife, and capture his children.”
“How was I to know those brats were his
children?” Mortriel argued.
“What’s done is done,
but you should be wary of Josiah. He may have stepped down from his position as
our leader, but he still carries a great deal of influence amongst the other
guardians. My brother and I have some control over them, but Josiah is still
well-respected. He will stop at nothing to free his other daughter from Hell.
Many of the guards will support his decision to attempt a rescue and they will
make life difficult for you and Samhael.
I have spoken to my brother, Caeus. We are willing to assist you.”
“No one can penetrate
the gates of Hell. I assure you, the child is perfectly safe. I am curious –
why would you and Caeus want to involve yourselves in our business?”
“We despise the
angel-bloods as much as you,” Malakiel admitted.
“So you’ve heard --
Bree and Tercia rescued the angel-bloods from Purgatory? I suspect they are in
“Bree and Tercia are
dead,” Malakiel said. “Whoever told you they were alive must have them confused
with someone else. It’s not unusual for the angel-bloods to resemble their
ancestors. Perhaps your friend was mistaken.”
“My Father was in Aeden
and saw the girls up close. He is positive about their identities. He is
certain Avriel has been reincarnated too, and goes by the name Aura now. The
archangels are keeping a close watch over the girls; regrettably, they are
untouchable for the moment.”
“What can we do to
help?” Malakiel asked.
“My Father has a plan,
but it will take time to put things in motion. We would be obliged if you could
keep Josiah and his friends from interfering until we are ready to proceed. For
now, Josiah’s eldest daughter is locked away with the Eternal children. We
tried to lure her out of the glass cage, but our efforts were fruitless.
Malakiel chuckled. “Why
would you send her to them?”
“It was my Father’s
decision. The brats swear their mother is coming for them. I made the offer to
go to Aeden and capture Aura if she’s there, but my Father has refused my
proposal. For some reason, he wants to leave her alone. He thinks she is more valuable
alive than dead.”
“I’m certain Lucifer
has thought this through. Unless you are prepared for an all-out war with
Heaven, you should heed his instructions.”
“We’ve heard rumors
that Aura is very close to a young mortal named Ryan. He is an unusual mortal;
I believe they call his kind trans-genders. He has entered the priesthood. If
you can gather any more information about him, it will be invaluable to us. We
may not be able to touch Aura, or the little angel-bloods, but we can still do
damage to her human friends.
will have to be discreet. We don’t want the Guild to know you are gathering
information for me and my father.”
“There are still a
handful of guardians who share our opinion about the angel-bloods. They can be
trusted because they are loyal to Caeus and me. They can make some inquiries
without being noticed.
How should I
contact you if we have new information?”
“You can send a message
to Purgatory. Say nothing to the other guardians. It may be better to keep this
arrangement between you and your brother for the time being. Josiah will have
to be watched closely. If he makes any trips to Aeden, I want to know about
“I’ll speak to my
brother. Caeus will take whatever precautions are necessary to keep our
involvement secret. Perhaps Josiah should be sent on a mission, so he’ll be out
of the way.”
“Have there been any
unexpected visitors or unusual activity in Savannah during the last few days?”
“The Guild doesn’t include
us in their business, but if you’re searching for the children, I can attest
none of them are here, including Josiah’s daughter.”
“If Gideon’s wife is
buried on this plantation, I would think the angel-bloods would feel safer
“The Guild won’t move
their families because they are afraid of a conflict. They’ll remain in Aeden
with their children. There is something that has been bothering me.
If Purgatory is so well guarded, how did Bree
and Tercia penetrate the protective barriers?”
“They must have been
given other powers when they were reborn,” Mortriel said.
“Michael will likely
summon his son Dahnael to Heaven. I’m not sure what his involvement will be,
but Caeus can ask him to keep us informed of the Council’s plans.”
“Are you certain Dahnael
can be trusted?”
“Caeus is the only
father he has ever known. I have no doubt of his loyalty. If I hear anything
newsworthy, I’ll attempt to contact you. Will you be returning to Hell, or will
you remain in Purgatory?”
“Samhael has been sent
on a mission. When he returns, we are supposed to meet with my father.
Unless there is something significant to
discuss, I’ll wait for your message.”
The two men shook
hands, and then disappeared.
Joseph, who had been
hiding behind a tall oak tree, listened intently to the conversation without
making his presence known.
Fools – did they think we wouldn’t be watching? Now, we know
Malakiel is no longer loyal to Heaven. I need to report this to the other
members of the Guild and High Council. Our children are in more danger than we
especially if the
Elite Guard has sided with Lucifer. I pray there is no more killing, but
knowing Mortriel and Samhael, this is just another game to them – a game they
will eventually lose.
The angel hurried to
his home and informed his brother Jack and their friend Martin of the
conversation that transpired between Mortriel and Malakiel.
The men agreed they
should notify the High Council as soon as possible.
Joseph sent Paul a
silent message. The rings each of them wore allowed them to communicate with
each other without being in the same location.
We need to meet with the Council again. There has been a new
development and we should seek guidance from our fathers. Jack, Martin, and I
will meet you there
Adam and I are on our way
,” Paul responded.
The angels kissed their
wives goodbye and left for the meeting hall. Eve had already seen the
conversation between Mortriel and Malakiel in her visions, but she was
forbidden to relay the news to her husband and children.
One of the downsides of
being a seer was that you couldn’t alter fate. It was a rule she would never
break, even if it meant losing someone she cared about, including her
daughters. Hopefully, their powers would keep them safe.
When Samhael entered
the city of Utopia, he wasn’t concerned about being recognized by the
residents. Wearing a black suit with a crisp red linen shirt and matching tie,
he looked like a businessman.
The European colony was
hidden in Cumbria, England and encompassed several miles of green pasture. Past
the village were a dozen country estates, and beyond that -- dense woods.
Though the weather was
colder there; the scenery was just as breathtaking.
Unlike the Guild and their family, the
residents did not interact with their human neighbors beyond the town’s
Henry Fairbourne was
chosen by the Guild to serve as governor of the Utopian colony, succeeding his
father, who ruled before him. Married to Meredith, they had four children –
three sons and a daughter. Richard was the eldest, followed by Caspian, Analie
Richard was the eldest
at thirty seven, followed by Caspian, who was thirty five, thirty
three-year-old, Analie, and Joshua, who celebrated his seventeenth birthday a
few weeks before.
Anyone who looked at
the governor’s other children couldn’t believe they were related to Richard.
The two younger males
and sister looked nothing like their older brother. While their hair was golden
blonde, and always kept trimmed, Richard’s hair was black, greasy, and often
Even though Richard
dressed in expensive clothes, they were ill--fitted and did nothing to improve
his slovenly appearance. It was his raven eyes that drew stares from most of
the Utopians – cold, evil eyes, unlike the crystal blue eyes of his siblings.
There was no doubt in
anyone’s mind Richard was Meredith’s pride and joy. Even though her other
children could rot, and she wouldn’t shed a tear, she liked controlling them.
Joshua was biding his time until he could leave home and make a life of his
own. Sometimes, he wanted to be as far from Utopia as possible. The only thing
keeping him at the colony was his best friend, Will Crestwell.
The city reminded
Samhael of the village in Purgatory. People were scurrying about, tying satin
bows around the lampposts. The scent of fresh flowers and homemade breads and
cakes was in the air, and a make-shift altar was being decorated with white
roses. The preparations were underway for Caspian’s wedding.
Many of the shops had
their doors open, and some of the residents were seated at some of the outdoor
cafes, talking excitedly about the nuptials.
Knowing he would find
Richard at the governor’s mansion, Samhael stopped one of the passersby and
asked for directions. They had no idea who he was, and assumed he was in town
for the wedding.
The estate was not far
from town, and after a brief walk, Samhael found himself in front of the home
Richard shared with his parents and younger brothers.
Samhael knocked on the
door and was met by a young servant girl. “Good afternoon – I’m looking for
Richard. Can you tell me if he’s here?”
“Whom may I say is
“My name is Sam; I’m an
“Wait here and I’ll
call Master Richard.” She hurried away and when she returned, Richard was with
“You can return to your
duties, Acadia – there is still a great deal to do before the wedding
tomorrow,” Richard said.
The girl curtsied and
hurried out of the room. “What are you doing here? What if someone recognizes
you?” Richard whispered.
Samhael started to
laugh. “I doubt there is anyone here who knows me. We need to talk. I have a
proposition for you. By the way, Lucifer sends his regards.”
“I’m rather busy –
can’t this wait until tomorrow?”
“Is there somewhere we
can speak in private?”
Richard’s eyes gazed
around the room to make sure no one was listening in.
“There is an old cabin
on the outskirts of town. My father-in-law used to go there to tinker with his
inventions. It has been abandoned since his death. We can speak there.”
He then guided the
fallen angel out the door, unaware that his brothers Caspian and Joshua were
watching from one of the upstairs bedroom windows.
Richard and Samhael
walked past the city limits, until they arrived at the woods. The old wooden
shack appeared to be on its last leg. There were holes in the tin roof, the
steps were half rotted away, and the glass windows were shattered.
Once inside, Samhael
looked at the old furniture which consisted of a round wooden table, two
chairs, and a cloth sofa that had seen better days; a small cot was folded in
one of the corners.
There was a cracked
porcelain sink and small refrigerator in the kitchen.
The dust was so thick it was clear no one had
used the cabin in quite some time.
Without regard to the
filth, Richard sat in one of the chairs, while Samhael stood across from
“You’ll forgive me if I don’t care
to soil my suit.”
“What’s so important
that it couldn’t wait until after my brother’s wedding?”
“Lucifer wants to try
another experiment and needs some volunteers. We were hoping you might suggest
some of your mortal acquaintances. It has been a thousand years since we last
made a pair of Abyvirs, but he feels the timing is right if we are going to
succeed in eliminating the Guild and taking control of the angel-bloods.”
Samhael stepped on a
cockroach which was scampering across the floor. He searched for a piece of
cloth on the counter and wiped the residue from his shoe.
Richard began to laugh,
but seeing Samhael’s eyes squint in fury, his humor was short-lived. “I’ve
never heard of an Abyvir in any of my lessons.”
Heaving the dirty towel
across the room, Samhael went to the sink to wash his hands.
Not wanting to touch another filthy rag, he
allowed the air to dry them.
“I’m not surprised. It
is the culmination of mixing the blood of a hell-hound with that of a human.
They rarely survive, but those who do have enormous strength. When they aren’t
attacking, they can pass for any other mortal, but they have no free will and
are absolutely obedient. Lucifer thought you may be able to suggest a few
friends who would be willing to take the risk. They will be well-compensated
for their efforts.”
“I may know a pair of
brothers who have done some work for me in the past. I’ll ask them if they have
any associates. What are you prepared to offer if they agree to accept the
“If they survive, they
will become part of Lucifer’s special guard.”
He looked around the
cabin – with a good cleaning, it could serve the needs of the creatures.
“We are on the brink of war, and the more
weapons we can procure -- the better. I will send some servants to clean up
this mess. I’m afraid it will have to do until more suitable arrangements can
“I’ll agree to this,
but I have a few conditions. I want their first victims to be my sister and her
family. They live in the country, so there shouldn’t be a problem with them
returning to the woods after the deed is done. I am to be engaged to Renatta
Carnegie, but she has refused my advances. They can attack her and scar her
face, but I want the rest of her intact. Are you certain you can control these
“We will manage them.
Since you will be assisting me, they will be under your control. I am far too
busy to deal directly with them – that will be your job. If you are still
planning to take control of Utopia, you will find them an invaluable
I assume you intend to remove
your father from his position as governor and do away with his council?”
“Yes – but first we’ll
take care of my sister. If the beasts are successful, my brother, Caspian, will
be their next target.”
Samhael began to
chuckle again. “I take it you aren’t pleased about your brother’s marriage to
“Once I get Renatta’s
money, she will have an unfortunate accident. Then, I’ll work on getting rid of
Caspian so Desiree and I can be together. This marriage is nothing short of a
charade; Desiree will always love me.”
“I don’t understand why
you just don’t marry her now.”
“My mother insists that
I wed Renatta. Her family is one of the richest in Utopia.”
“Surely you were made a
wealthy man when you inherited your deceased wife’s estate.”
“That was eighteen
years ago. I’m not destitute, but raising a teenage daughter costs money. I‘m
accustomed to a certain standard of living. Marrying Renatta will secure my
future and the future of my children. I have to get back to the house, but we
can plan to meet the day after tomorrow. I’ll have an answer for you then. I’m
certain Chester and Clarence will agree to your proposal if the price is
Samhael doubled over in
laughter. “Clarence and Chester – how priceless; they sound fearless already.”
“I’m sure we can change
their names if they agree to your terms.”
“I’ll inform Lucifer
you are on board with our plans; until we meet again.” Samhael snapped his
fingers and disappeared leaving behind a thin cloud of black smoke.
Richard left the cabin
and walked back to town. Seeing all of the wedding decorations made him angry.
Caspian doesn’t deserve Desiree. She should be mine.
Then again, she will still be mine; we’ll
just have to be a little more discreet about our meetings
Richard continued his
walk with a smile on his face until he reached his parents house. He found
Desiree in the parlor reading a book. When he was certain no one was looking,
he pulled her into an embrace.
“Nothing has to change.
We can still be together,” he whispered in her ear.
Before they could break
apart one of the young maids walked into the room carrying a tray with a pot of
tea and two cups.
“A thousand pardons,”
she said, her face turning a deep shade of scarlet.
“Don’t be silly,”
Desiree responded, trying to diffuse the embarrassing situation. “Richard was
just telling me a secret. You can take the tea back to the kitchen; we’ll be
going to town for some refreshments.”
The girl kept her head
down and scurried out of the room, taking the tray with her.
“Do you think she’ll
tell the other girls what she saw?” Desiree asked.
“They know we’ve always
been close. If I worried about every bit of gossip that came from one of our
servants, I would never have a minute’s peace.”
Desiree stood back and
looked at Richard – really looked at him. She didn’t have the faintest idea why
she fell in love with him. His black hair was greasy and unkempt. His clothes,
despite being expensive, were ill-fitting, and his eyes were the color of coal.
His brother, Caspian, on
the other hand, was much more handsome. She could sometimes see the muscles
bulging through the sleeves of his shirts.
Caspian’s long blonde
hair flowed freely in the wind; she almost wished his mother hadn’t insisted
that he have it cut for the wedding. It was his friendly smile which had
captured the attention of every single girl in Utopia – all but hers.
Yes, Caspian was quite
the catch. Most of the residents loved him, but despised his eldest brother.
Still, Desiree couldn’t deny she was in love with Richard, and would rather be
It’s too late to change plans now – Meredith would never
I wish I could refuse to
marry Caspian, but Meredith would make my life miserable. She has to know how I
feel about Richard, yet she doesn’t seem to care. He is marrying someone else
too; maybe Richard doesn’t love me as much as he pretends.
‘Your mother is
planning dinner tonight, but we can go into town and have a glass of wine,”
“Are you as sick of
these wedding preparations as I am?”
She nodded and Richard
led her out of the parlor through the front entrance. Walking arm in arm
neither paid any attention to the whispered comments and stares from the
Caspian and Joshua
waited for his brother and future wife to leave before they walked downstairs.
“Did you recognize the
man Richard was speaking to?” Joshua whispered.
“No – but I don’t
travel in the same circles as our older brother. Maybe Richard has purchased a
special gift for Desiree and he wants to make sure it arrives in time for the
“I don’t think so.
There was something odd about him; his hair and clothes were too meticulous. Do
you think he could be a fallen angel?”
“We have wards around
the city; if he was one of Lucifer’s disciples, we would have been warned about
his presence. I wouldn’t worry about any trouble; the Guild and their family
will be here tomorrow. Eve and Aura are both seers. They’ll know if Richard has
invited any of the dark wings to the wedding. Do you have a date? I think you may
like Adam’s daughter, Jessica.”