Dark Angel Ch. 02byLevanaHyll©
Darkness surrounded Ashriel. He'd stripped naked, bathed in the waters of the Pool of Sorrows and then knelt on the Rock of Offerings with his wings spread out as far as he could stretch them. The cold made him shiver, but he kept his eyes on the horizon. Seraphia's three moons cast a silvery path upon the calm ocean water below Mount Chielos, where the holy city of Angelos rested at its summit.
Legends said that many eons ago, the holy mother of the Seraphian race, a true divine angel, fell from heaven here. She was terribly wounded, but an ancient native warrior to the planet tended her injuries. They fell in love and mated. Every child was born with black wings. When these children grew into adults, they also found their true mates and had chicklings of their own. After a few generations, chicklings were born with white wings. Less and less with the stark black wings of the holy mother. When Lucifer was unleashed in their realm, the winged Seraphians went up against him. Those with white wings were slaughtered. The black-winged angels decimated the legion of devils and demons by just being near them and unleashing their special powers. Lucifer was chased away.
Many years of peace followed and both reaper and Seraph flourished together. But Lucifer returned. Again, both Seraph and reaper took arms, except this time the majority of the reapers, because they were weak of flesh, refused to leave their lovers to fight. The plague of demons and devils grew, until all reapers were forced to go into battle.
This time, Lucifer was captured and cast into the Realm of Darkness. What should have been a time of celebration turned into turmoil. There was outrage over the reapers reluctance to battle against the forces of darkness, and so it happened that reapers were deemed too holy to take mates. Their lives had to be dedicated solely to serving the Divine One and keeping the forces of darkness at bay.
Ashriel knew this, had lived by this code of honor for over four-hundred-years. He'd prided himself on his steel resolve to never feel desire...until he saw Annie. She was his weakness...and he'd succumbed to that weakness.
The sky began to lighten, the sun creeping up slowly from its slumber to paint the sky shades of pink and lavender.
Ashriel remained upon his knees until the sky turned a bright cerulean blue just a few shades lighter than the sparkling ocean below. The sun blazed upon his head, wings, and shoulders, making his skin tight and warm. His flight muscles ached from holding his wings open for so many hours, but he held his position stoically.
Today the elders would announce he was fallen. His parents would be notified. Maybe his brother. He would be taken before the elders, high priests, and priestesses. Tomorrow he would be publically deplumed and then cast out...off the planet and forbidden to return. To do so was an automatic death sentence.
He knew there was a group of fallen reapers that rescued exiled reapers to keep them from being taken into slavery. Of course, having no credits, they all usually fell into prostitution.
Ashriel closed his eyes in misery. He would rather starve to death before selling his body for food or shelter.
After meditating on his sin and his fate, he rose, dressed, and walked back to the castle where he'd lived since he was two sun orbits. No one seemed to pay attention as he walked, head bowed in shame. He entered the inner sanctuary, approached the altar, and prostrated himself face down with his wings completely extended to either side, covering his arms. Resting his forehead on the cool marble floor, he sighed, his heart filled with sorrow.
"Forgive me," he whispered. "I know I am unworthy for even that. My existence was to serve you, not myself." His nose and eyes burned with tears. He took in a shuddering breath and continued. "I vow to continue to seek out the dark prince until the day I die. I will not allow Lucifer's release so long as I breathe. And if he ever is released, I will fight him to the death if need be." He clenched his fists and bared his teeth with determination. "I swear this to you."
A sense of peace settled over him, causing more tears to flow and pool on the slick marble beneath his face. He held his breath when he heard the sound of little wings fluttering around him, the sound of small feet padding closer to his body. Dominatios. They circled around him and he shuddered when small hands caressed his wings and hair. The scent of sweet flowers permeated the sanctuary.
His vow had been accepted. Ashriel's throat felt tight with emotion.
Disappointment surged through him when their presence disappeared, leaving him lonely and bereft.
Amaranth's footsteps came closer. He clenched his fists and spread his wings wider to cover himself completely.
"Ashriel, what are you doing there? Are you okay?"
She stepped carefully around him, mindful of his wings.
He would not hide like a coward. He'd been man enough to bare his body to a woman last eve...man enough to sink his cock into her body. He would be man enough to show the colors he'd streaked his once pure aura with.
Ashriel took a deep breath and folded his wings. Slowly he stood and looked up at Amaranth.
She was just a few years older than Ashriel. He still remembered when she'd had the worst crush on Davariel, how she'd wept when he fell from grace and turned demon.
Her eyes widened in horror as they stared at him. She clapped her hands over her mouth, choking back a sob.
"I'm sorry," was all Ashriel could say.
"Oh-my-God." She shook her head slowly, tears streaming from her eyes. "How?"
Ashriel looked away, his face flaming in shame when his mind conjured up the memory of the previous night.
"Why?" she whispered when he didn't say anything.
"I..." He was at a loss for words. Why indeed. Anniel had screamed his name. At least she knew who'd fucked her. Would she remember this morning?
"I'm a fool," he whispered at last.
Amaranth rushed and gripped his shoulders. "You must run. You must flee," she exclaimed trying to shake him.
Ashriel gripped her arms and stared angrily down at her. "I will not. I will take my punishment like a man."
She opened her mouth to say something else but the doors to the sanctuary opened, the siglons-old hinges groaning with age.
Amaranth darted around Ashriel opening her wings to block him—as if she could. Ashriel tried to move her aside, but she wrapped her wings around him.
Father Reushuel hesitated in the doorway. The light from the corridor kept his front in dark silhouette, but his silver eyes, which were riveted on Ashriel, blazed with cold rage. The elder approached slowly. "Step away from him, Amaranth."
She shook her head, crying hysterically.
Ashriel tucked her wings down gently with his hands, hugging her to him. "It's okay, little one. I'll be all right. Please don't cry," he said softly, pressing a kiss to her temple.
She tried to cling to him when he stepped around her to face the elder.
The older reaper stared at Ashriel. He shook his head slowly side to side. "Of all reapers. You? How could you? You are the highest acclaimed high priest on Seraphia. You are legendary, Ashriel. You alone are responsible for the decimation of more than half of the demons and devils from Davariel's era."
Ashriel bowed his head. "Killing devils and demons is my duty, Father. It's what I was born to do, sir."
"And you throw all that away for a cheap piece of pussy?" the reaper roared.
The insult to Anniel had Ashriel's angered gaze snapping to Father Reushuel, but the older reaper only sneered with disdain. "Or did you let some male fuck you?"
Ashriel took a deep calming breath. "I am fallen. The details do not matter."
Father Reushuel stomped up to him and slapped him hard. Ashriel tasted blood in his mouth and had to grip Amaranth to keep her behind him.
"You insolent, conceited, young prick," Father Reushuel spat. "We'll see how you feel about the details tomorrow when your fall from grace is announced and every feather on your lovely black wings is ripped off."
Ashriel closed his eyes in despair.
Amaranth clutched his arm, her sobs ripping him apart inside.
"Go to your quarters and do not come out until you are sent for. You are now officially under arrest," the elder ordered, his voice echoing in the dimly lit sanctuary.
Ashriel began to put his arm around Amaranth to comfort her, but the elder yanked her away from him. Amaranth cried out in pain as the reaper dug his fingers into her arm ruthlessly. Ashriel's first impulse was to hit the older reaper, but he somehow managed to contain his impetus.
Father Reushuel dragged her farther away from Ashriel, his eyes practically bulging from their sockets as he screamed, "Don't touch her. You'll get your filth all over her."
"Let me go, you fucking asshole," Amaranth shouted angrily, trying to pry the bruising fingers from her arm.
Father Reushuel spun and slapped her soundly, making Ashriel wince. His whole body tensed, ready to pounce on the elder if he tried to hit her again.
Amaranth reached back to retrieve her divine sword to Ashriel's shock, but the older reaper grabbed her arm. "Try it and I will beat you to the brink of death, stupid girl," he snarled.
Ashriel's vision altered and he knew his eyes had gone black. "Amaranth, no," Ashriel said in a low voice. "Don't get in trouble over me. It isn't worth it. Stand down." He looked at the sneering elder who'd been his mentor. "I'll go. Just don't hurt her. She's distraught."
"Go," the elder yelled.
Ashriel walked around them, relieved when Father Reushuel released Amaranth.
She rubbed her arm, tears streaming down her sweet face as she watched him walk away.
Ashriel felt like a selfish wretch. Amaranth looked heartbroken. His parents were going to be furious, filled with shame. His brother, Garethiel, would laugh his ass off.
Ashriel cursed under his breath.
Anniel huddled under her covers. It was long past time to get up but she didn't want to. She'd ordered the lighting to remain in night mode and chewed her lip. The area between her legs ached terribly as well as her nipples. He'd been so huge, so ruthless, so...male.
She shuddered. It had taken many years for the hurt Garethiel had caused to ease from her heart, and in one night she'd turned into a mega slut and let another Seraph screw her crossed eyed. At least this time there were no pledges of love. They had just flat out fucked each other's brains out. She'd probably never see him again. It was just as well. A fine reaper like Ashriel probably had his pick of women...and men. Reapers were notorious bisexuals.
Ashriel. That name sounded vaguely familiar. Maybe later she'd Google him.
Closing her eyes, she remembered his beauty. His feathers were stark black and his skin sun-kissed bronze. His hair was by far silkier than Garethiel's had ever been, and his eyes reminded her of flashing lightening. There was something about him...it was silly of her to feel this way, but there was a sweet innocence about the way he'd stared into her eyes...a raw hunger, open passion. His emotions showed so transparently, as if he'd never had sex before and was experiencing the wonder of it for the first time.
But that was ridiculous. Maybe he was newly fallen. That would explain his slightly over effusive rutting. He fucked like a machine, barely hesitated every time he came and just became more eager to keep plowing her.
Anniel groaned and rolled over in her bed. Thinking about the sexy reaper would do her no good. She needed to keep away from all Seraphian kind, white or black winged.
In a way she was glad she'd finally had sex again. At least the last man between her legs was no longer...
Anniel frowned. No. Wait. Garethiel hadn't been last. How could she forget? She'd gone into heat during her pregnancy and had let Lucien and Devon mount her. Zak had also wanted to help ease her pain, but he'd wanted to gag and tie her up first. Hell no.
Anniel snickered at the memory. Sweet Goliath and his big bad Dom tendencies.
With a sullen sigh, she rose from her rumpled bed and activated her holo screen to run through the mornings' news.
With a yawn, she padded into the hygiene room and stood in her hygiene unit.
"Activate," she murmured tiredly.
Gentle blue rays engulfed her body leaving her clean and invigorated. She listened absentmindedly to the news and was a little startled when the hygiene unit blipped. It found an anomaly?
She frowned at the screen. Most likely, it was just the soreness in her body from not having sex in—Anniel rolled her eyes—in over three centuries. Lord, she was getting old.
About to tap the screen to see what the unit found, she overheard the mention of Alpha Angels from the holo screen. A loud commotion sounded from the other room and piqued her curiosity.
Anniel sat at the edge of her bed wide-eyed to watch the holo screen monitor.
Five minutes later, she was focusing on the guys' life sources and teleporting into the med unit room thirteen floors down in a panic.
Zak sat on the examining table, wavy golden hair a wild disarray, barefoot, and wearing nothing but his white drawstring pants. Devon, Seth, Remi, and Dr. Quinn were also present standing around him. They looked as if they were arguing, but Anniel didn't care.
"Oh-m-god, have any of you seen the news?" she shouted rushing to them.
Devon put his hand on her shoulder. "Easy, sweetheart. What's going on?" His glowing blue eyes stared into hers with worry.
Anniel looked around the big lab room until she spotted a holo-monitor.
"Quick. Turn that thing on."
Zak hopped off the table and they all huddled around the sphere projected from the monitor.
The boys looked at her expectantly.
Gripping Devon's muscular arm for reassurance she instructed the holo screen, "Please show report on enemy rogue Master Guardians."
Devon as well as Seth slipped their arms around her waist and Anniel took solace in their warmth.
A pale female, obviously from Crystalian descent, appeared within the sphere.
"Arboria is declaring war on the Edenian solar system, stating that its rogue Master Guardians abducted the long lost princess, and sole heir to the Arborian King Lumar's throne." Zak's mouth dropped open. "The Arborian Master Guardians tried to negotiate the return of the princess and stated that the so-called Alpha Angels hypnotized a mob of spectators in the infamous club Haddasha and unleashed them onto the defenseless Arborian Master Guardians."
"Nice," Remi snorted. "We we can hypnotize the masses now."
"We can, Rem," Seth murmured pointing to Devon and himself.
Zak leaned in closer, obviously eager to hear what else was being said about all of them and his new girlfriend.
"The princess was forcibly removed from the Arborian Master Guardians' custody by a fallen reaper, who not only threatened the Master Guardians, but also threatened the well-being of the Princess Alloon."
Anniel shook her head.
"What a crock of shit," Remi snapped.
"They didn't even get her name right," Seth seconded. "Alloon?"
Anniel shushed them. "That's not the worst part."
The Crystalian female continued in her droning voice. "The Edenian council has claimed they no longer have any jurisdiction over the rogue angels, that they have been accused and charged with high treason as well as apocalyptic crimes committed over three hundred years ago. Rumor has it that these rogue angels are most likely true fallen angels and a bounty has been placed on their heads of astronomical proportions."
"What the fuck?" Zak breathed out.
Again, Anniel shushed him. They needed to hear the whole report.
"Skirmishes are already breaking out universally as all beings take sides on this issue. Many are followers of Zachariel Wilder, guitarist of Draconius Imorteus, and Rowie Enoray, also known as Midnight Rose from Angel of Retribution. Search has started to find the stolen Edenian space station, Alpha 7. These rogue Master Guardians are wanted... dead or alive. We sent our number one reporter to Seraphia to find out where their reapers stand with regards to this situation, and whether or not they will be joining in this hunt." The female turned to the side to another monitor. "Jablah?"
"I didn't finish seeing this part," Anniel admitted. "I doubt the reapers will step in to hunt us."
Devon sighed, shaking his head. "I'll go talk to Ama and Ash."
Shock rolled through Anniel. "Ash? You mean Ashriel? Why would you talk to a fallen reaper?"
Devon frowned at Anniel. "Fallen? Ashriel isn't..." Devon's mouth dropped open, his eyes going back to the monitor. "Oh fuck."
The image had switched to a lizard man, wearing a long black coat with a hood. His muddy-green eyes looked wild and he stood in the midst of a crowd of shouting white-winged Seraphians. "Jablah reporting here. This is breaking news. My crew and I landed in the metropolis of Angeloria on Mount Chielos and have just learned that one of Seraphia's high priests is being outcast today. The high priest was the youngest ever to take his formal vows, replacing His Eminence, Gadriel, who, as you all know, was killed by the angel of destruction over three hundred years ago. That's right folks. I'm talking about Ashriel of Angelos."
Anniel's knees gave way beneath her as her world faded to black.
Vaguely, she felt strong arms holding her, keeping her from crashing to the floor.
Confusion assailed her. What happened? Where was she?
"Annie, baby, what's wrong? Wake up, sweet heart."
Arms lifted her and a soft surface cushioned her back.
A firm hand patting her cheek had her finally stirring from the murky grey haze that filled her head. With a pathetic whimper, she turned her face into hot silky flesh and took a deep breath of... citrusy sweetness. Zak. She knew his scent anywhere.
Anniel blinked open her eyes to find herself engulfed in his meaty arms, staring up into his glittering sapphire eyes as his blond hair created a golden curtain around them.
He grinned affectionately. "Hey, sexy. Feeling better?"
She felt disorientated. "What...?" She looked around, brows furrowed until she saw the holo-monitor.
Two reapers held out Ashriel's wings. Ashriel stood bound between two columns, his head bowed, fists clenched Two other reapers approached, said something to him and then walked around behind him. Ashriel tensed and then let out a piercing scream when they began to rip the feathers out of his wings. Blood spattered everywhere.
"Oh-my-god," Anniel screamed.
"Turn that damn thing off," Zak snapped.
She clutched his arms, sobbing, her eyes unable to tear away from the sight of the beautiful reaper's black wings being destroyed in cold blood. His cries of agony rang in her ears.
The sphere disappeared, but the memory of the sight of Ashriel all bloody and shaking in agony remained burned in her mind... in all of their collective minds.
"I don't understand," Anniel wailed. "I thought he was fallen. Why would he give me Liquid X if he...?"
Her eyes darted to Remi. Liquid X. Of course. It was Remi who'd slipped it into their drinks. Oh-God. That meant she'd literally raped the virgin reaper.
Remi's eyes welled up. "Annie, baby. I thought he'd come back here with us. I didn't know he'd go back to..."
"How could you?" she screamed making him wince.
"Easy, honey," Zak tried to soothe, but she wouldn't have any of it.
She shook Zak off angrily and stalked to Remi who cringed back from her. "He tried to stop me. He kept flying and ramming himself into the stone walls. I didn't understand why he was hurting himself. I was so crazed with that damned drink you gave me, I took him by force. I took Ashriel's virginity, defiled him... and it's all your fault."