Lore of the Angels Ch. 10byAlecrire©
Once again, thank you to my wonderful editor, Jason Moore for his time and effort in polishing this chapter. Hope everyone's enjoying the story so far!
"Bring her in," said Noor calmly. Then turning to Anthony, "You don't have to stay."
"No, I will." Anthony's voice was hard and determined. If Yuki was going to threaten Noor for helping Zilarrezko, then he needed to be there to defend her.
"Stay close to my Ordinals."
As soon as she turned away, Anthony caught sight of two more Angels descending into the courtyard. One of them looked like a Fire Angel with crimson wings while the other reminded him of the long lost Earth Angels.
However, the neon-like green wings were a clear sign that she was a Light Angel.
"I'm Midori and this is Amarela. You must be Anthony."
Anthony was too distracted to properly introduce himself for Ehren had returned with Yuki and one of her Ordinals, Seraphina.
"Hello Light Angel."
"Yuki." Noor was looking serene and composed but everyone knew that Yuki had just insulted the Light Cardinal by referring to her as a mere Angel. "What can I do for you?"
Yuki sighed; a finger tracing the tip of Noor's wings. "I've always found these so pretty..."
The tension in the room jumped a notch.
"Please," she laughed. "I am not here to pick a fight... well at least not with you."
Noor didn't say anything; her eyes simply watching the Snow-Water Cardinal move from one Ordinal to another.
"Well Noor, you know why I'm here," she said, suddenly turning on her heel.
"Perhaps... but humor me." The Snow-Water Cardinal glared at Noor. She didn't like her plans belittled.
"My ships are reaching the Cape to refuel." Yuki flicked her eyes to Anthony. "Grant me a safe passage."
"It is very... gracious of you to ask my permission directly," replied Noor, smiling sweetly. "I thought you preferred poisonous letters."
"Ehren, please escort the Snow Queen out. She has said what she came here to say."
The Dark Ordinal had barely taken a step before Yuki hurled out a storm of icicles. They evaporated before they hit anyone, but the small act had served its purpose.
Of all her ordinals, Noor had only physically shielded Ehren, even though he was one of the furthest from Yuki.
"So the rumors are true!" she said gleefully. Then pouting, she looked at Ehren and shook her head. "It's a pity..."
"Oh? Don't you want to know why?" teased Yuki. "You wouldn't want to lose him now would you?"
Noor didn't bat an eyelid; her inaction serving to incense Yuki further. "If he collapses in the middle of battle, don't say I didn't warn you..." Yuki circled the Dark Ordinal and peered at his face. "Not my type. Didn't know you went for the whole... morbid look. Doesn't matter. You won't be able to tell the difference when he's dead anyway."
Noor finally took the bite. "What do you want Yuki?"
"What's it worth to you?"
"My Ordinal is willing to die for what is right."
Yuki cocked her head in surprise. "Oh really? Then you should say your goodbyes soon then." Another pout as she made the pretense of walking towards the door. She was truly disappointed when Noor didn't stop her. "You're no fun! Ask me! Come on Noor..."
"I don't play games with children."
Yuki's eyes widened in fury. However this time, it wasn't icicles that were aimed at Noor but a jet of flame that shot out from Seraphina's wings.
The Light Ordinals were caught off guard for they expected to melt Ice. But not a single flicker touched their Cardinal for Anthony had absorbed it from across the room.
Yuki was taken by surprise and took a step back; genuine shock on her face as she looked at him. "Have you changed your loyalties?"
Anthony didn't answer her.
"You should leave now Yuki," said Noor gently. "Like you said, you're not here to pick a fight."
The gentle reprimand made Yuki snap her attention away from Anthony. "I wish to conduct a trade."
When Noor kept quiet, Yuki became annoyed. "I know you're helping Zilarrezko so I'll make this worth your while."
"My loyalties cannot be bought Yuki."
"Oh... I'm not buying anything," she flashed a wicked smile. "Retreat your aid and... I'll spare his immortality." She angled her head towards Ehren.
Her words confirmed Anthony's hunch. Ever since he saw her Snow troops advancing north in Iluna's lands, he knew Yuki was planning to unclip her in the end.
If Yuki thought that Noor would succumb to the threat, she had clearly underestimated the Light Cardinal.
"Ehren will show you out," she said simply; a serene smile on her face.
Yuki was clearly stunned. "You... you're not negotiating?"
Noor didn't even bother to reply.
As the two Cardinals exited at opposite ends of the Sky Bridge, the sky began to darken and Anthony felt the first pinpricks of sparks masquerading as rain droplets.
When he woke up the next morning, Zilarrezko couldn't help but smile at the feel of his beautiful Valkyrie snuggled against his body. They had fallen asleep in each other's arms last night; both caving in to their exhaustion.
Even in sleep, Aria looked exquisite. He never had the chance to really look at her as he did right that moment. Apparently her eyelashes were the same black with strands of blue just like her hair --waist length, thick and luxurious --spread out on his silky sheets.
His eyes travelled down the entire length of her body, noting the smooth golden skin that he had begun to love. Just looking at her made him want to lick every inch...
"Stop that," she whispered, slowly stirring to stretch out and look at him. Those sex-sated, sleepy eyes were a sight he didn't mind waking up to every morning.
"Good morning." He smiled, pressing his lips to hers. Her response was a soft purr; her body rubbing against his, sensuously like a cat marking its territory.
Grinning, he slapped her butt playfully. "You'd better stop that unless you don't intend to get out of bed the whole day."
The blue in her eyes shone slightly as though challenging him.
Zilarrezko was such a sucker for those eyes.
"Wrap your legs around me," he told her. She didn't hesitate a second --which was perfect because he took the opportunity to get out of bed, with her clinging onto him.
"No fair." But she was already leaning her head on his shoulder, enjoying the feel of being carried like that to the bathroom. She was still holding on to him when he let her down gently to her feet.
"Maybe, if you're good."
She pressed a kiss to his chest before turning on the shower tap. "Are you joining me?"
"In a while."
Then he walked out of the bathroom.
Alone, Aria went under the pouring water, feeling the heat soothing the soreness between her thighs. She was already soaked; hair plastered to her back when he came back and stepped into the shower with her.
"Yes," he replied, nuzzling the back of her neck. "I have an important guest to meet over breakfast..." His hands moved forward to play with her nipples, rolling them between his fingers. "And I want you to be there."
Her easy response made him stop his movements. "You're awfully cooperative this morning."
"Yes," she whispered, placing her own hands on top of his; urging them to continue moving. She even lathered soap on her body, purring at the feel of his hands roaming over slippery skin.
"You are terrible," he said, as he felt the soft curves of her behind rubbing enticingly against his already hard cock.
"So are you," she whispered, turning around to soap his upper body. "You didn't get to come last night."
He arched an eyebrow at her. "You're counting?"
"Naturally. It's three --zero at the moment darling. You'd better catch up."
That was invitation enough.
Pushing her back against the wall, he lifted one of her legs over his arm and drove his entire length in, making her scream.
She shook her head, curling the other leg around his waist. "You're so hard..."
"I wake up with an erection... in case you didn't notice."
"I did," she flashed him a wicked smile. "Why do you think I'm so wet? It's the anticipation darling."
Zilarrezko decided that he liked that term of endearment. Just to show his appreciation, he began to move his hips; pounding her against the wall under the torrent of water. Her body was arched towards him; fingernails digging into his shoulders as her pussy walls clenched tight around his cock.
"Come for me," he whispered into her ear. "Just the way I like it..." He moved his hips faster, knowing the increased stimulation would push her...
Aria screamed his name.
Her body quivered against him as her pleasure coursed through her body. He waited for the shudders to end before letting her feet down.
"Turn around and lean against the wall," he instructed, grabbing her ass even before she could do as she was told. Spreading her legs apart, he moved closer and stroked his cock between her ass cheeks.
"Angel..." An impatient plea.
"You want this cock?" he murmured; moving his hand to rub the engorged tip of his cock against her parted nether lips.
"Don't tease... please..." she whimpered, pushing her hips backwards, spearing herself on his cock. Zilarrezko allowed her free reign for the next few strokes; her body moving in such a wantonly manner as she fucked herself on his cock.
Aria was bent at the waist, hands braced against the wall as she offered more of herself to him. The sight of his cock disappearing into her tight pussy was enough to bring about that familiar tightness in his balls. It was time.
He gripped her slender waist and began moving his hips; sawing his cock in and out of her wet and willing pussy --slowly at first then much faster and harder; slamming into her again and again.
She was just so hot and tight, convulsing around his cock...
A guttural roar marked his orgasm; his hips slapping hard against hers as she met him thrust for thrust, driving them both into a pleasure-filled oblivion.
It was almost nine o'clock when Zilarrezko and Aria made their way down to have breakfast.
"You look very different in clothes," said Aria as her eyes took in the sight of him clad in jeans and a long sleeved shirt.
"I would say the same for you." He pointed to her own assemble of jeans and t-shirt. "Half the time you're either naked or wearing that... thing. I should really ban you from wearing it."
"Why?" she asked in surprise. He shouldn't be able to see her second skin for what it truly was!
"Baby, it clings to your every --and I mean every curve. And if my Ordinals hadn't kept their eyes straight, they'd be blind by now."
The Archangel stopped walking to look at her curiously. "We are going to talk about that later. I want to have a closer look at the material. Never have I heard of a cloth that can create Illusion!"
Aria smiled, not wanting to say anything more about the issue. Instead, she asked, "How many floors exactly are out of bounds to the public?"
"The top ten floors of the building," he replied; a hand moving around her waist. "I've allowed the children to roam these floors as they like."
"That's very generous of you..."
"I try," he said, as they stepped into the garden on the ninetieth floor. "It seems they are already here."
"Oh!" Aria was too stunned to say anything else for the sight that welcomed her was simply breathtaking. It wasn't just the fresh blooms or the spread on the breakfast table but the fact that her siblings were welcoming her with smiles that made everything seemed much more perfect.
As she came closer to the table, she saw Lucian getting up from his seat. He must have been taking care of the children since their arrival. Aria reminded herself to thank him for it later. Maybe she should get him something.
"I hope you had a good rest, Cardinal," he said, in his usual cheery voice. Aria was sure that he meant that for Zilarrezko but Lucian seemed to be addressing her.
It was odd.
When Zilarrezko said nothing, Aria knew something was wrong but she played along. "Good morning Lucian. Have the children been good?"
Lucian didn't get a chance to answer for the twins were already chiming in; regaling their eldest sister with every single detail of their journey from home to New York and everything they had done since then till that morning.
Zilarrezko had watched as she patiently listened to the twins; nodding now and then even as she buttered toast and poured milk --not for herself but for every one of her siblings first. She had barely bitten into her own toast when Leiha asked for more jam and Angelo asked her to pass the half-boiled eggs. Still, she did everything calmly; never once raising her voice but smiling instead as she gave in to each and every one of her siblings' whims.
His heart ached just watching her for she reminded him so much of his mother --those gentle smiles and laughing eyes; patience in every gesture even when he was stubborn and refused to eat...
He looked up into the beautiful golden --no-- these were black swirls around blue... the eyes of his... his what?
"You should eat." She patted his thigh gently as she pushed a plate of toast in front of him. "Lucian, you too. It must have been exhausting to keep an eye on my siblings."
Lucian flashed her a wide smile; lavender eyes reflecting his playfulness. Aria figured that he was probably enjoying himself too much to feel exhausted. However, she shouldn't be imposing on him like this. Lucian had other things to do.
"Lucian, why are you the only one here? Where are the other Ordinals?"
"Oh... I don't..." He looked over at Zilarrezko. "I mean, my duty is here with you and your siblings."
"Do you want my Ordinals here Aria?" asked Zilarrezko, saving Lucian from needing to answer anymore questions.
"No, that is not necessary. It's just that you really shouldn't take him away from his duties."
"Trust me, I'm not. Actually, only Marcus is around. He should be arriving with our guest in a while."
Aria looked like she was about to protest but Leiha chose that moment to spill juice all over her dress. Kissa was already on her feet to tend to her sister when Lucian stepped in her way.
"Let me. Come Leiha. We'll get you changed." He lifted her off her chair and walked her to the elevator. Kissa was still standing when the lift door opened to Marcus with the elderly Gaia by his side. She sat down immediately and looked away.
That small gesture did not go unnoticed by Aria but she had to let it go for her attention was focused solely on the wizened old woman who chose to sit on the opposite side of the table, directly in front of her.
Aria had never seen a much stranger creature. Though the woman's body clearly showed signs of old age, her eyes reflected someone much younger, sharper and definitely more alive than the decrepit host of her body. And those eyes --were of the earthiest brown with two silver rings; one inside the other circling...
Aria frowned. Her pupils were a crescent shaped!
"I'm really sorry," she apologized as she got up. It had been incredibly rude of her to stare at their guest. "Would you like some tea?"
The old lady smiled as Aria poured her a cup. It was only when she sat down did Zilarrezko introduce them to each other.
"This is the Ayn you asked me to save. Her name is Aria and these are her siblings --Angelo, Kissa, Troy and the other girl you saw earlier is Leiha." Then turning to Aria, "And Aria, this is Gaia."
Aria was so stunned that she couldn't string words to even say hello to their guest.
"I'm pleased to meet you, Cardinal," said Gaia instead; amusement flashing in those strange eyes.
Aria flashed her a meek smile for she was certain that her brain was currently a mush. Surely this Cardinal had not just addressed her as Cardinal? What was wrong with everyone today? Aria swore that Lucian had addressed her the same way earlier.
She vaguely heard Troy --who was too young to know any better --saying hello to Gaia although Kissa and Angelo were equally stunned as her.
Gaia was an enigma --a figure of the Lores; a legend who was thought to be dead...
A nudge from Zilarrezko had her jerking out of her daze.
"I can't apologize enough Cardinal... I'm just too..."
"Surprised?" asked Gaia.
"Ah... I think that's putting it mildly. I'm truly honored to be in your presence."
Gaia waved a wrinkled hand. "Oh please. I'm just an old woman. Would you help me crack this egg, child?" The question was directed to Angelo who was sitting beside her. He obliged her request and was passing her the bowl when she grabbed at his hands.
Angelo sent a fearful look at his sister.
"Such strong hands for a young boy..." she brought his palm to her nose and sniffed. "Same... same brackishness... Give me your hand girl," she demanded from Kissa.
Eyes widening, Kissa thrust her palm out.
"Ah... sweet innocence," said Gaia gleefully. "Ah... but you're much harder to bend... to change..." She shook her head. "Only the most dense and stable bodies for you..."
The siblings looked perplexed at Gaia's words but Zilarrezko understood her. Gaia had previously described Aria as brackish --a mixture of salt and fresh water --and now again for Angelo. But Kissa, as her personality showed, was more reserved but stable like that of the ocean depths.
Releasing Kissa's hands, Gaia returned her attention to her eggs. She was eccentric that way.
Meanwhile, Troy was tugging at Aria's sleeve and Zilarrezko couldn't help but smile. The little boy, though scared was always putting up a brave front. He too wanted to know what Gaia had to say about him but Zilarrezko had a feeling that Gaia was only interested in the eldest three who were clearly at pre-Cardinal and Cardinal levels.
"Gaia, will you be staying here another day?" he asked.
"I do not need such height when I cannot fly," was her reply.
Zilarrezko was about to reply when Aria spoke up. "If you have nowhere to stay, I'm sure you can stay here. Right?" she turned to him; eyes daring him to challenge her. Zilarrezko wondered since when had his home become hers... or maybe it was part of the mortal-love package.
"Aria... Ayn," Gaia looked up. "Do you not feel the ice spreading?"
"I..." Aria wasn't sure. When she was imprisoned, she had always felt an ever increasing coldness approaching but she had attributed that to the place she was caged in. Was that what Gaia was talking about?
"I will stay," she said suddenly, reaching across the table to touch Aria's hand. "Because I like what you are." Before Aria could say anything, Gaia turned her hand such that they were palm to palm. "Water Cardinal."
Everyone at the table froze; their eyes looking expectantly at Aria, waiting for her to speak.
"I don't..." she stammered, turning to Zilarrezko for help.
He patted her thigh and angled his head lazily towards Gaia. "She has no idea what you're talking about."
The Earth Cardinal pulled her hand away and made a face. "She is what she is."
"But we're not Angels!" Heads turned towards Kissa's sudden outburst. "We're just... mortals."
"Mortals who can perform Illusion?" Zilarrezko challenged.
"We're just born that way," she said meekly; cheeks gone red.
The Archangel's eyes softened. She was looking at him, as though expecting him to chew and spit her out. "We are also born this way. By the time we reach adolescence, Angels know whether they have the makings of a Cardinal or not. But angel births are so rare and few... and those who make it to Cardinals? Even fewer." He paused, looking at each and every one of the siblings. "Which is why your family is very... special. Five potential Cardinals in one family? Fascinating."