Heaven & Hell Part 3byTexasAngel28©
Part Three: A Soul With a Purpose
Neganda woke with a sense of dread filling his long dead heart and soul. He looked up just in time to see the sun beginning to peek over the horizon. He quickly stood, despite the protests from his body, and ran towards the house and inside just as the sun's light hit the front door. Two of his servants lay dead where they had fallen…how long ago? Neganda growled angrily and stalked up the stairs towards the room he shared with Catherine. He slammed open the door and stopped, a sense of dread filling his mind. The dress she'd picked out lay on the floor next to a small puddle of blood. The room was a wreck…she'd put up a fight against the angels that had come for her. Neganda dropped to his knees and that's when he saw the gold ring lying on the floor near the drying blood. It was the ring he'd given her just this past week. He picked up the small band and held it tightly in his hand even as he let out a howl of rage and pain. Tears intermingled with blood streamed down his face and hit the floor next to him.
After a few moments, he slipped a chain off from around his neck and threaded it through the golden band. He returned the chain to his neck and stood. His boots clicked against the wooden floor as he walked into the wardrobe. He pulled out clothing he had not worn in almost one hundred years; black pants, black shirt tied at the throat and silver armor that covered his chest, shoulders, and arms. His long hair he pulled back and clasped at the nape of his neck with a black clip. He pulled out a gold-hilted sword and fastened it to his black belt. He pulled a crossbow and arrows out of a nearby trunk along with a dagger which he stuck in the top of his boot. Those who had come and done this to Catherine would pay with their lives. Before he was through with them, he'd have them begging for their deaths.
Catherine opened her eyes aware that the sun had not yet risen. She pulled herself up with the help of the chains attached to her wrists. Her clothing had been removed and the bruises were now dark in color all over her body. Her left wing was damaged and she knew that in itself would take a long time to heal. It had been two days now…two days of violent beatings, of being sexually abused by her captors. But today, she knew, would be the worst of it all.
Today, they would strap her to a long piece of thick timber and drag her through the streets as a reminder to those angels who dared think of disobeying the laws of their kind. She would then be set upon a makeshift rack, facing away from the people, and the leaders of each clan would have their turns in beating her or using her in plain view of those who had come to watch. This would go on until sundown when she would be returned to her cell…if she remained alive. Tomorrow morning she would be bathed, dressed, and taken to her father who lived on the top of Mount Angelos. He would decide her final sentencing, which could range from exile to death. Catherine shuttered as she thought of the day before her and once again prayed that Neganda would find her in time to save her.
Neganda growled low in his throat and shook his head. He'd heard the tales in the taverns and even now he sat listening to one such tale though the man speaking had no way of knowing who Neganda was and what Catherine meant to him.
"I heard the Archangel Renaldi personally saw to her punishment himself." Another man shook his head.
"The child doesn't deserve such treatment. She is, after all, the Angelica. Renaldi should have been destroyed long ago for selling her to the slave traders. She's lucky she was found by the vampire we all hear about."
"Lucky? She'll be lucky if she lives through tomorrow's activities. I heard from a guard that Renaldi beat her so badly and had her raped that it's a miracle she's still alive."
Neganda felt himself grow even colder with the man's words and the growl sounded in his throat once more. The more quiet spoken man, the one who had voiced his concern over Catherine, heard the sound and turned, his eyes widening somewhat. Excusing himself from the conversation he turned and walked to Neganda.
"You'd do well to find her quickly, old one, before she is further harmed." Neganda looked up at the man, the bloodlust evident in his now dark red eyes. "Calm yerself, milord. Come. I'll take you to where she is being held. I have no desire to see her taken into the streets come dawn and watch her be used by the males of her species." Neganda stood and followed the man out of the tavern. Once outside, the man shed his cape revealing black wings.
"You're one of them," Neganda hissed quietly. The man shook his head.
"Not one of them, Lord Neganda, but an angel, yes. Come. If you want to rescue her we must hurry." The angel took to the air and Neganda could do little more than follow behind him. They flew several miles before coming to a large castle. They set down just to the north of the castle and walked the rest of the way into the main grounds. The angel stopped and pointed to a barred window just before them.
"That window goes into the room where she is being held. Go in, get her out and leave quickly. I will deal with the guards." Neganda shook his head slowly and dropped a hand on the angel's shoulder.
"Nay. They have harmed that which is most dear to me. Take Catherine and return her to my homestead. No doubt you know where that is. Stay with her until I come there. Let her know I am soon behind you and that she is in no danger…not now…not ever again." The angel would have argued had he not seen the rage and hatred in Neganda's eyes. He nodded slowly and moved towards the window. Neganda closed his eyes and sniffed at the air around him. Growling, he found the scent from the room at the mansion and began to follow it.
Catherine looked up from where she lay on the floor as she heard glass breaking. An angel with black wings dropped into the room through the shattered window.
"Fear not, daughter of light, bride of darkness, for I have come on orders to see you to safety. The one you love will join you again soon." Catherine said nothing as the angel removed her bonds, took her in his arms and flew from the room with her. Using his own wings as a shield around her unclothed body, the angel flew towards Neganda's homestead. Landing outside the mansion, he carried her inside and up to her own chambers. Laying her on the bed, he walked into the washroom and gathered wet cloths and dry ones and returned to her side. He gently washed the blood from her body and tended to the wounds and bruises as best as he could. Catherine turned to look at him and he raised his eyes to hers.
"I'm sorry I was not there to protect you," he said quietly.
"They would have killed you had you been there, Nicolai," Catherine replied quietly. "As my brother they would have seen it as a failure on your part." Nicolai shook his head and then stood and grabbed a silk robe off the chair nearby, handing it to her.
"Dress, sister. The one you love will be with us soon."
Neganda followed the scent inside the mansion and up a flight of stairs until he reached a closed door. Roaring in anger, he kicked the door open, fangs bared, eyes red and filled with the bloodlust he now felt over what had been done to Catherine. Renaldi stood slowly and looked at the vampire in front of him, fear evident in his angelic features.
"You sought to destroy all that I worked to save, angelic one. Now you will pay with your life." Neganda moved closer to Renaldi then pulled the crossbow from his back, loaded it and aimed it at the Archangel. "Any last words?"
"Kill me and she dies," Renaldi said quietly. "Even if you've already taken her from this place, if you kill me, she will never be safe again." Neganda pulled back on the crossbow.
"I'll take that chance. I will protect her whilst you burn in hell." Neganda let loose and the arrow flew across the room and sank into Renaldi's heart. With lightening speed, Neganda was upon him, his teeth sinking into the man's neck. Renaldi screamed at the pain of the teeth ripping into his flesh. Negand drank until Renaldi's heart was a beat away from stopping then he pulled away and let Renaldi drop to the floor. He grabbed the sword at his waist and held it above Renaldi.
"Now, Archangel, you die." He drove the sword down quickly into Renaldi's chest, twisting it as he did so, then pulling it back out. Blood covered the floor and Neganda levitated off the ground just enough that the blood would not touch his boots. Sheathing the sword and retrieving the crossbow, Negand burst through the nearest window and headed back to the mansion before the sun could rise…
Catherine lay on the bed sleeping, the white silk robe tied around her body, her damaged wing having been repaired by Nicolai. She felt Neganda touch her thoughts in her dreams…
"Are you safe, my love?"
"Aye, Neganda. I am safe. My brother has cared for me in your absence."
"I am in his debt. Sleep, angel. I shall be there soon."
Nicolai stood watch near the bed and saw the look of peace that passed over Catherine's face. Before he could react to it, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He did not start…he knew it was Neganda.
"She will heal, Lord Neganda, but I believe she will need your blood for that to happen." Neganda nodded slowly.
"Give me time with her and let me heal her then you and I must speak." Nicolai nodded and moved from the room, closing the door behind him. Negand stripped from the clothes he wore and moved towards the bed, lying next to Catherine and gathering her into his arms. He slowly moved his hands over her body, assessing the damage done to her. She opened her eyes slowly and looked up at him.
"You're here," she said softly. Neganda nodded and leaned down to kiss her softly. Catherine brought a hand to his face, but her weakness overcame her and her hand fell away. "I'm sorry…my strength is not what it normally is." Neganda put a finger to her lips and shook his head.
"Hush now, love. I will heal you. I promise." Catherine nodded and closed her eyes. Neganda used a finger nail to open his wrist then brought it to her mouth and held her head as she latched on and began to suck the life force from him. As she did this, Neganda leaned down, barring his teeth, and grazed them over the sensitive skin on her throat. She tilted her head and felt his teeth break the skin. All at once, Neganda saw everything they'd done to her and tears broke forth and fell down his face. As her body healed, she broke the hold on his wrist and Neganda swiped his tongue across her throat, closing the wound that was there. He then gathered her into his arms and she closed her eyes.
Outside the sun peeked over the horizon and downstairs Nicolai stood watch over the two sleeping vampires in the upper part of the mansion…
To be continued...