The Angel Next DoorbySEVERUSMAX©
Vicky Bali wasn't a normal resident of her small Ontario town. For one thing, most of her neighbors had lived in this part of the province for a good century or more. They were also generally Caucasian and members of some Christian sect or another.
Well, her father was still a Hindu, proud of his Balinese heritage (from which he took a shorter and simpler name when he emigrated to Canada). Her mother, however, was Greek Orthodox, though she didn't regain her fervor until after the end of their 8 year marriage. In any case, neither of them was too strict with her, as she was the younger of their two children. She grew up more with her mom, even if she was very fond of her dad.
Her brother Indra had been assigned to his father's primary custody, under the divorce settlement which intended for each child to have access to role models of their own gender. This avoided a bitter court dispute and psychological harm to the children. It seemed like a fair arrangement, too. Vicky was to learn better how to be a woman from her mom, and Indra was to be shown the example of his father when it came to manhood.
There were plenty of people in the town who were nice and likeable, but Vicky stood out for her cheery nature. That didn't mean that she was always sunshine and light, but she tended to stay in good moods and avoid bad ones easier than most in her community. No one hated Vicky, at least on the surface. She was an outgoing, friendly, and upbeat kind of gal.
She wasn't a perfect girl, of course. She lacked drive, motivation, and any kind of real ambition or sense of direction in life. She liked to spend her days chatting, helping people, and having fun. This included mischief, but it was usually the harmless kind. The old expression, "wouldn't hurt a flea," fit no one better than Vicky. She tended to pout and whine sometimes, but only when she had already charmed the person in question. It was mostly her passive-aggressive, non-confrontational way of getting people to do things for her.
Since she had a big heart, however, she didn't usually think of herself long enough to be a real nuisance with the whining. It was just a matter of when she really had a strong desire for something, more than was usually true. That was about as close to nagging or bullying as she got, so it never gained her a bad reputation.
The summer after Vicky turned 13, a brand new neighbor moved into town. His age wasn't really clear, nor was his sexuality. People were very confused and uncertain about him, so naturally rumors flew across the neighborhood. For one thing, he lived completely alone, and he had plenty of liquid cash. His job, on the other hand, was well known. He had opened the town's third pub, and it did very well once he got his liquor license.
Vicky met him in person a week after he moved into his new house, a fairly decent Tudor-style home. Unlike several on her street who found the new resident a bit nerve-wracking, she wanted to give him a fair chance before being cold to him. It didn't seem fair to her to prejudice herself against him for the vague reasons given by her neighbors. The only specific excuse anyone had given was that he was an American, but that was hardly a good cause for mistrusting him, was it?
"Hi, there. Are you Robert Sebastian?" she asked him, having heard his name, but wanting a pretext to introduce herself.
"Yes, I am. What's your name, young lady?" he answered, as he took his trash to the street.
"Victoria Bali, but everyone calls me Vicky," she smiled at him, once more using her charm.
"Well, Vicky, call me Robert. I would say Bob, but it doesn't fit a surname like mine. I guess that you're enjoying summer break, right?" he teased her, trying to be nice to this neighbor who wasn't as distant with him.
"True, but it never lasts long enough. You have a pub, don't you?"
"Yes, it's the new one, and should do fine once the liquor board approves me. I've always wanted to run a bar, excuse me, pub. I'm still used to the American term," Robert explained.
"Think that you'll still be running it when I'm old enough to drink?" she needled him.
"I imagine so. That would be, what, 6 or 7 years? I'm guessing that you're around 12 or 13. Hell, I'll even make your first drink on the house, if you're still as friendly as you are now," he grinned.
"For me? Well, it's a good thing that I like people, isn't it? I'm thirteen, by the way. But, thank you, and I will hold you to that," the teenager winked at him.
"By all means, as I am a man of my word," Robert flirted back.
There was no way that he would ever make any moves on a girl her age, but that didn't keep him from enjoying her coquettish routine. Besides, flirting with an adolescent girl helped her feel pretty and reduced her insecurity. As long as he didn't try to seduce her at such a young age, they should be fine. Whatever his quarrels with puritanical sex laws, Robert Sebastian was used to the age of consent in his own country. He had no idea that the laws were more liberal in Canada, of course.
Then again, he had been around for a long time, and he had learned the value of patience. It certainly occurred to him that Vicky might make a great lover someday, but she would need time and growth to reach the kind of maturity needed to be his girl. No matter how great a person she might be, 13 was far too young for a serious romance.
Even if he had known that he could legally have sex with a 14 year old girl, he had no desire to knock her up and cause her to fail her classes. Sex was fun, for certain, but it could be experienced later. One would only be in junior high and get to enjoy those years once. He wanted the girl to have her chance to learn and experience things like the prom. He could keep it in his pants where she was concerned for a few years.
None of that got in the mind of a nearly constant flirtation between the older man and the young lady. They spent a great deal of time together, and in that respect, the constant questions about Robert's sexuality helped out. Whatever her misgivings about same-sex encounters, Mrs. Bali would feel a lot safer if her daughter was with a man that she thought to be gay.
Nor was her trust abused. Robert was a great mentor and friend to Vicky, always maintaining enough boundaries to let everyone be cool with their apparently platonic relationship. He consoled her when she was hurt by boys whom she liked, which happened increasingly, despite her sweet nature. There were, sadly, plenty of youths who didn't mind breaking her heart and taking advantage of her kindness. They treated her as a doormat in some cases, and he often encouraged her to confront them about it.
Vicky being Vicky, of course, she wasn't able to do too much in the way of confrontation, and that was admittedly part of her appeal to Robert. She wasn't shy. She was smart, fun-loving, and easygoing. That was just how she was, the butterfly type, who charmed and helped people. That was her way, to be lively and playful, as well as very compassionate.
As for Robert, there were always rumors about him, even 5 years after he had arrived in town. There were men and women leaving his house in the morning every other day. All of them seemed to be happy, so that was never a problem. He never lied to any of his partners about his lecherous ways. Male or female, he was good to them, and they never pressured him for a commitment. For one reason or another, he didn't want to settle down, and they all accepted his inclinations.
The neighbors grumbled a bit about him at times, but he was otherwise a cool guy. Several folks didn't like that he was mysterious in some ways, but it often added to his appeal with many people. One could talk to him in the pub and not feel as if he judged him. Then again, that was the barkeep's trick. It was an old trade secret, to be a friend to all patrons and listen more than talk. Since he didn't have to say much himself, he learned far more about others than they did about him.
Admittedly, he never took on a Canadian accent or local figures of speech. He was still the resident "Yank", a bit exotic or strange by definition. For some, that made him suspicious. For others, it just plain made him interesting. Sometimes, he felt as if he was almost an unofficial ambassador. For his part, Robert really embraced the idea that there wasn't all that much of a difference between Americans and Canadians. Aside from spelling and some political things, he might as well have been living in parts of Michigan or upstate New York most of the time.
When she was 16, Vicky started to notice that her feelings about Robert had grown more serious, but she didn't know what to say or do about it. For whatever reason, he hadn't made any moves on her, and she wasn't sure if he just flirted with her for fun or there was something more to it. She was tired of the chumps that she dated in high school, and really wanted a grown man already. It was one thing if she had been very ambitious and wanted a corporate career, but she didn't. She would love nothing more than to stay with a man and belong to him.
For that reason, Vicky had refused to do anything more than hand jobs and oral sex for her boyfriends. She was still a virgin, because she had decided that losing it was a one-time event and she didn't want to miss the chance to experience it with Robert. If anyone could teach her about sex and make her enjoy it more the first time, it would be him. None of her relationships lasted, but now she started to break them off herself. She wasn't all that assertive in general, nor was she mean about it. She just couldn't bring herself to string a boy along.
When she reached 18, after 2 years of indecision, she realized that it was time to start opening up more to Robert about the one thing that she had hidden from him: her infatuation with her mature, handsome neighbor. Would he understand about this, and what would happen with them? Would he agree to bed her, and if so, under what conditions?
"Robert, can we talk about something private?" she told him at last, on the first day of her summer holiday, after graduating from high school.
"Vicky, you know we can always do that. What is the matter? Are you upset about something? Is it a boy?" he probed, not really sure, and doubting that his attraction to her was truly reciprocated.
"Not really," she smiled, keeping him in suspense as she flirted again.
"Okay, a girl, then?" he taunted her in their usual, light-hearted way.
"No, don't be silly! It's a man," she grinned, but with a look in her eyes that was unmitigated lust. It wasn't really a game, anymore. She would win his heart, eventually, she had resolved by now.
"Lucky bastard! I hope that he doesn't act like a fool and hurt you like those other morons," Robert blurted, unaware of what she meant.
"I'm glad that you think that way, since the guy in question is you," Vicky announced, much to her host's complete shock.
"Cat got your tongue, Robert?" she asked, and then kissed him with her usual enthusiasm.
"Oh, God, baby, I don't know what to tell you! Well, I should be honest. I'll lay my cards on the proverbial table here. You deserve as much from me, since you apparently have feelings for me. I care too much about you to hide what you need to know from you.
"Alright, for the record, there are some things that I haven't told even you. Relevant facts, which you need to understand before jumping into a relationship with the likes of me, especially since we can't be sure that it would last. I've seen others hurt you, and they had the excuses of ignorance and immaturity, which I don't possess. I would be remiss if I didn't enlighten you before we started, and thus allowed our union to begin with false pretenses.
"The first one shouldn't shock you too much. I am not, and never will be, a one-woman man. Neither romantically nor sexually can I restrict myself to one lady, or one man, for that matter. That brings me to the second part. I am bisexual. I like both men and women, though I am far more partial to your sex than my own. This is not negotiable, and it is part of why I have not entered into many relationships. I will not lie to a girl about my intentions, and then have to choose between frustration and deceit.
"I also consider myself obliged to reveal that I have strong feelings for you as well. Make no mistake about that, since you've been candid and sincere with me. I care about you, very much. I haven't done anything with you, since you're much younger than me. I kept it in my pants, and reminded myself that if we happened to get together when you reached 18, that will be nice, but I could wait and see what happened until then.
"There is something else that you deserve to know, Vicky. This is something that I don't even tell my casual partners, because it doesn't really impact them, well, outside of meaning that I can't catch any STDs or HIV. Which, logically, means that I can't spread either, too. Alright, try to be open-minded. I don't mention this to anyone, and I'd rather that you kept my secret as well. I am trusting you with this, as one friend to another, and also as a man who is very fond of you.
"I'm not human, in any real sense of the word. I will bet that was the last thing that you believed about me, that I am something else, but it's true. I'd never lie to you about something like this, simply to impress you or make up something entertaining. What I am, for lack of a better description that humans can understand, is an angel. One of the Nephilim, to be exact. I am semi-divine, a Demigod, in a sense. I'm just not a full-fledged Deity, but I worked for one.
"So, my dear Vicky, I think that you can see why it would be difficult for us. I would love to be with you, but I don't know if you can handle all of the consequences. I need to be sure that you don't have any regrets or resentment before we could become a couple," Robert explained, bracing himself for her possible reactions to this stunning and earth-shattering news.
Vicky would have gone pale, if her swarthy complexion had allowed her. She knew that Robert was strange, in an exciting, appealing way. She accepted that he cultivated a sense of mystery about himself. She was even aware that he had superhuman levels of charisma and energy, but she just thought that he was a rare man with spectacular fitness and magnetism. She had no concept of him being literally almost a God. Then again, it made mind-numbing sense, as it explained everything from his reason for moving to Canada to his abnormal personality and wisdom. It even solved the riddle of why he had never tried to find someone who could accept him, as well as why he was so rich and benevolent.
"Um...Robert, I am completely thrown by this, but I still believe you. It explains much that I didn't understand about you, and I know that you wouldn't lie to me. It certainly doesn't make me love you any less. On the contrary, I am impressed that you would open up about something so extreme, so...supernatural.
"So, you're an angel? Does that mean that you've met God? How does it work, I mean, in Heaven? I gather it exists, right? And what did you mean about consequences and regrets? I'd never resent you for a choice that I made for myself. I might not be the toughest girl in the world, but I can accept some responsibility for my own fate," Vicky reacted with some confusion, not surprisingly.
"You're very wise, and probably stronger in some ways than you credit yourself. You're definitely not a normal girl your age, which shouldn't surprise me. I think that is part of our mutual attraction. I appreciate your trust and faith in me, Vicky. I take it that I can rely on you to keep my secret, then?
"Well, to be exact, the truth of the celestial realm isn't as simple as it is portrayed by most theologians or ministers. For instance, there is more than one God. In fact, there is an entire race of them, and my father is part of that species. There is no devil, either, but there are demons. I am the son of Odin, well, one of them. Yes, my father was the most important of the Norse Gods.
"He is, sadly, dead now. One of Jehovah's archangels, Michael, killed him. It wasn't easy. The only way to kill a God is to prevent metamorphisis, that is changing of shape. When that happens, a God dies and what remains of him or her becomes a demon. The sick thing is that Michael also usurped my father's place in the reverence of the warriors of my people. That happened before Odin's death, so it was especially hard on him. He tried to regain the worship and prayers of the Norman people, but it never happened.
"You see, I am originally from Normandy in France. I think that my father retained some affection for my fellow Normans, so he sired a boy on a peasant girl who secretly still rejected the White Christ. Not all Normans turned Christian at once, at least unofficially. Some of us were still Vikings at heart. My mother reluctantly allowed me to be baptized, so as to avoid hardship for me, but I never truly believed in it. She made sure of that. She said that my father was Odin, and I found out later that she told the truth.
"I briefly got to know Odin, when he prevented me from joining the expedition to Sicily, which as a young man held some appeal as adventure. He informed me that it would be better to battle for him, for my father. He made me one of his angels, as I already had his divine blood in me. I fought for him long enough to see him die at Michael's hands, too young and inexperienced to be able to prevent it.
"Since then, I have been something of a free agent, a rogue angel of sorts. I don't work for the other Gods. I do my own thing, seeking retribution against Michael and Jehovah. The advantage to that is that no one can predict what I'll do and warn them. The disadvantage is that I always have to keep one step ahead of El Shaddai and his minions. That's Jehovah's title and office. It just means 'Supreme Being', or more literally, 'God Almighty'.
"Trust me, this isn't the benevolent Heavenly Father of whom your priests and nuns have spoken. He has little use for mankind, except as a pawn in his Cosmic struggle for supremacy. This is a crash course in divine politics, so let's just call it Celestial Government 101.
"You have been exposed to a universal civil war, among a race of beings so powerful that they could crush you like a termite. I don't say that to be mean, but to prepare you for the reality of the Cosmos as it actually is, instead of the comfortable myths approved by the clergy. Jehovah is a nasty character, a real butcher who would put Hitler to shame.
"I suppose that you deserve to know, however, since you're automatically vulnerable, just by knowing and loving me. More importantly, I happen to love you, which is a greater problem for your safety. Now, do you understand why I try not to get emotionally attached to people? I just couldn't help it in your case, but it's very dangerous for you.
"You should know what you're choosing if we become lovers. I care very much about you, which makes it much different than what happens with a casual partner. Luckily, I'm something of a lothario, which gets me through the sexual part of my solitude. Don't worry about my bedding an enemy, by the way. Unlike mortals, I can sense who is and isn't one of my race. Mere mortals can't kill me, and if they tried to harm you for pay, I would detect some falsity to their motives.
"So, my dear Vicky, what do you think of what I just told you?" Robert probed, half-hoping that she would change her mind, for her own sake. He loved her too much not to worry about her safety.
"I'm a bit overwhelmed by all of this, but I'll take you, anyway. I'd rather die than miss you for the rest of my life, not to mention have you miss me, since you clearly return my feelings. Like it or not, Robert, you're stuck with me. I'm not the sort to boss a man around. Hell, I tend to be a pushover with most people!