New Kingdom: Return from ExilebyMicKay©
NOTE: This chapter has not been blessed by an editor so if you are allergic to grammatical/spelling errors please do not read or grab your epi pen. :) I wrote this more than a year ago and just let it die. Recently I have been receiving emails requesting a new chapter on Gabriel....so here goes. Feedback is appreciated unless it's mean and then it makes me cry and then I'm all gross looking.
The fading sunlight slipped slowly in the horizon. One tall shadow stood watched the light with a longing that was certainly shared with his people but would never be verbally acknowledged. The final beams burned against his eyes forcing him to turn away until the room was once again bathed in darkness.
Darkness had become their world. They were now associated with those he had despised and they now existed only because they had fled in self imposed exile. Fled? They had run away. He had personally taken his greatest treasure and ran for safety. And he could never regret keeping her safe.
He glanced at the dark bundle on his bed and instantly felt better. The decades had not diminished her beauty or his love for her. In his opinion, both had only grown stronger. He wondered if they would continue to grow as they continued to live. Forever.
When he had given her the promise of eternity, he had sincerely promised life, love and luxury until the end of time. He had failed to consider freedom. They lived under innumerable aliases and moved in the darkness of night when their presence would be overshadowed by the purest evil thriving during those hours.
Breathing deeply, he fought to control a surge of anger as a spark of his retrained pride surged forward. The terrors of night had succeeded in his absence while he was forced to ignore the screams of women dragged into dark shadows and the silent pleas in the eyes of every miserable person he passed on the street. Children were still the exception to his new rule of life.
Since that fateful night so long ago, he had vowed to never neglect or allow the neglect of a child. That vow was the only trait that remained of the man he once had been. With a smile, he remembered the few seconds of satisfaction when he swiftly moved against an abusive father or boyfriend who had aimed a fist at a child. The pitiful howling of the maimed creature was drowned by the reverence of the rescued child. More than once, he had provided the mother with the funds to leave the bastard or had just moved the child to a safer place.
Rumors were whispered in the darkness of this world about an avenging angel had been sent to save the little ones. He wondered if the rumors had traveled to the ears of the arch angel whose name he had once shared. A name she still used when consumed with passion. He grinned in the darkness wondering what the arch angel thought when he heard her lusty screams.
Slowly he moved to the bed as he sensed her conscience mind waking from slumber. Night was all they had been allowed. It was all they needed. He slipped between the sheets as she inhaled deeply and reached for him. Her hand found him there and ready.
"Mmmmmm, you're up early," she whispered with a smile.
"Some things never change."
"That's a good thing," she responded moving into the warmth of his body. "Are you ok?"
His laugh was short and without humor. "I'm not sure how I should answer that."
"Our numbers have dwindled," she murmured against his chest. "But as long as you and I exist, we will never be alone."
"Then I am better than just 'ok'," he whispered. After a few moments of silence, he asked, "Are you going back to sleep?"
"Nope," she answered as she leaped atop him. "And neither are you."
He managed to chuckle before she covered his mouth with hers.
"Are you sure you're ok?" she asked hours later as they sat in their library.
"I told you..." he started and then paused. "Why do you ask?"
"You block me. I know. I know," she quickly added before he could offer an explanation. "You're protecting me. But there's something else. Something new."
"You feel it too?"
"I feel you," she answered as she moved closer to him.
"Well apparently I don't block you very well. Maybe it's old age."
"If anything, you get better with age," she offered. "But let's not change the subject."
"Then maybe I'm just restless," he murmured gazing into the flames that burned tall and bright in the fireplace. "Bored."
"Not bored," he chuckled pulling her onto his lap. "No, my dear. Never bored."
"But restless," she repeated. "About someone? Gabe, are they in danger?"
"No," he answered quickly. "I can't sense any danger for them."
"Restless," she murmured as she pressed her face against his neck. "Without direction?"
"There was a time that you welcomed the quiet."
"I know," he answered pulling open the lapels of her robe to reveal the skin. "After so many centuries of retirement, I'm ready to go back to work."
"You're not restless."
"I'm not?" he asked nuzzling the softness that belonged to her alone. "You right, I'm not. At least, I'm not right now."
He stopped. Slowly he lifted his head until he could see her eyes and everything hidden there. He smiled as he realized his mistake. "How long have you known? And how did you know? And how did you hide it from me?"
"Yesterday. This is me. You've been, uh, preoccupied."
"You've always managed to amaze me, Alena. I don't know anything. Not really. You can't imagine how that makes me feel."
"It's a calling, Gabe. It's time that we return to the world."
"This world is in the worst possible condition. It's worse than the Dark Ages. Created from ignorance, intolerance and greed."
"You've survived those in the past," she answered moving against him.
"Never like this."
"We have to go," she said with a shrug that allowed her robe to fall from her shoulders.
"The pain has become unbearable."
"Maybe we can stop it," she offered as she straddled his lap.
"We can't erase the past."
"But we can build the future," she argued wrapping her hands around the back of his neck. With a flip of her hair, she exposed the pale length of her neck. "Drink Gabriel. Be strong. For them. For me."
A man moved quietly through his home. The simple task of checking the locks on all doors and windows had once been so insignificant but now determined the safety of his family. A family that had been damaged by betrayal and loss.
The security exceeded most expectations and surpassed simple locks and alarms. Kill first and explain later. His mantra would have once been considered cruel but now it was deemed necessary. Surveying the last security monitor, he nodded and turned to join his mate in their day sleep. And then he felt the intrusion.
His accelerated heartbeat increased beyond his control and his breath caught in his throat. Had he failed protecting them again? Turning slowly he met the dark gaze that could still scare a man to death. And he was glad to see him.
"Bloody hell, Gabriel!" he exclaimed in his native accent. "How did you...fuck, why am I asking? You're here. You're here!" he added moving to his father in law. "Where's Alena?"
"Safe. My daughter?"
"Safe," he added quietly. "I miss the days when their safety was never an issue."
"Their safety was always an issue. My failure to keep them...."
"No!" Alex shouted. "I'm sick of the guilt that we've had to bear."
"It's not the guilt It's the loss."
"And I lost the most," he snapped before turning away. "Let's not do this. Not now. Let's have a drink," he offered moving through the house to the room farthest from his sleeping mate.
He poured two glasses of a dark red liquid that resembled their main life source. "Drink up," he said offering a glass to another man. "For the price of this bottle, the humans have another reason to murder me."
"What else? I can't remember the last time I had blood that hadn't come from Abs."
The two men sat across from each other drinking in silent contemplation. They remained quiet until Alex's curiosity demanded to be appeased.
"What's up?" he finally asked.
"Where do I begin?"
"It's time," Alex repeated. "It's time?"
"Yes. It's time that we..."
"Oh I know exactly what you mean," Alex snapped slamming his glass on the table to his side. "I would just like to know other details. How do you get to decide when it's time? What are we supposed to do? And why? So we can lose everything else?"
"Certainly that's not my plan," Gabriel answered in a steady voice. "I would hope to regain some of our losses."
"I lost a son! Can you return him to me?" he leaned forward dropping his head into his hands. "I thought losing Sarah to old age would be the worst. But it was her choice to remain human. A choice that we agreed to respect no matter how much it hurt."
"It was her wish. She was a happy child that lived to be a happy great-grandmother. And she passed peacefully."
Alex remained quiet as he stared at the floor seeing nothing but remembering everything. "How is he?" he finally asked. "I know that you know. Somehow, you manage to know."
Gabriel inhaled deeply before offering his response. A quick reply would appear insincere or false. A lie would be easily recognized. The truth would be painful for a father to hear.
"About the same," he finally said and cringed when he saw the tears that instantly formed in his son in law's eyes.
"He should have stayed."
"He couldn't bear it."
"It wasn't his fault."
"It wasn't entirely his fault. He was used. And betrayed."
Alex stood because remaining still just felt wrong. He moved to the window and stared at the green field that had provided a canvass for his fondest memories. He remembered how his children had played together with nothing more than their imaginations as the source of entertainment. An unwilling smile tugged at his lips when he recalled the sight of his daughter's descendants who had visited their home to interview for various jobs he had provided them. Of course, they had never known their potential employer was a distant grandfather but he had known and he had protected every one of them.
And then he remembered the dark hair beauty who owned his heart. No matter how many additions and renovations they had given their home, it was still the same house that had given them a place to build their love and family. Even now, they slept in the same room they had shared one night so many years ago. That night had sealed his fate with her. And while he had many sorrows, he had no regrets.
"When I was a boy," Alex finally said, "and yes, I still remember when I was human, I believed that having food and a home was enough. When my mother was attacked, I learned that poverty was tolerable as long as I had her. Within minutes, I had her, eternally young and beautiful, and more wealth than I could appreciate. All thanks to Conlaoch of course."
Gabriel remained silent knowing that Alex had yet to share what he needed to say. He watched the man who he had once admired as a ruthless warrior and despised as the suitor who had claimed his daughter's innocence. In the end, he had to admit that Alex was the one he would have chosen for his Abigail.
"With everything we have, I should be happy," Alex finally said. "But it's like a morgue here. We've had to hide from the world. Separated from the few of us that remain. Prisoners in our own homes. Considered to be the very beasts that we had destroyed all of those years ago."
Alex stopped, realizing that his rambling was not solving any problems no matter how relieved he was to finally share his frustration with someone else. And he finally had the ear of the one who could hear and not judge or break under the stress. Gabriel had been their rock. He laughed when he suddenly realized how much he had missed his father in law.
"Ok," Alex said turning to face the man who had remained silent. "Ok."
Gabriel watched the transformation with a sense of awe. Alex, eternally young and strong, had become a defeated shell of the man who, as a human, helped him conquer those who had nearly destroyed his people so long ago. Now, he stood straight and tall resembling that warrior once again.
"One thing," Alex added, "What's our goal?"
"Eventually to regain our hold in this world. It's not just for us but for them also."
Alex nodded agreeing that the human race would benefit from their return. "What else?"
"Andrew," Gabriel answered. "Our immediate goal is get your son back."
The day passed quietly while both men, though tired and lost for words, were too excited to join their mates in their day sleep. Reclaiming their place in the world demanded their immediate attention.
Alex watched his father in law and admitted that he trusted the man without reservation. If Gabriel asked him to walk through fire, he would gladly comply. But he knew that Gabriel would never make that request. The only expectation the man had of him was to protect Abigail as though she were the most precious treasure in the world. And Alex agreed without complaint.
He had fought the great battles against the Panthralges with Gabriel at his side. He trusted the former general of the world's largest army and he was excited to fight beside him again. Whatever strategy the man had planned, Alex knew it would be their best and only way to redeem the remnant of their people. He suspected that Gabriel had taken the liberty of inviting another warrior to his home. One who he had mixed emotions of seeing. The same emotions that Gabriel had once felt towards him.
He watched the sudden grin flash across the man's face and wondered if he would ever adjust to the unwelcomed intrusion into his mind. With a shake of his head, he stretched his body across the sofa and leaned his head against the pillowed armrest. He felt safe. He was excited. And he decided to be civil to his newest guest.
"Phillip," he said was a bored tone. "Come in. And please tell me why the hell I have a security system that lets you walked right in undetected."
"I designed it," the man said from the doorway. "I know how to bypass the triggers."
"Ah, a premeditated plan for a home invasion. So how have you been, my old friend? Still abducting young girls from their father's care?"
"Not since Samantha. Your daughter was the only one I needed," Phillip answered watching as both men turned to glare at him. "After all of these years and several thousand apologies, I really don't care if you've forgiven me or not."
"How is she?" Alex asked quietly.
"Can you bring her here?" Alex asked but looked at Gabriel for the answer.
"It would be best if we decided how to proceed and then move them at one time," Gabriel answered. "We will all be together soon."
"Well I hope this club isn't for boys only."
Gabriel leaped to his feet at the sound of his daughter's voice. "Abigail," he said simply. The years had neither altered her beauty not lessened his love for the woman. He opened his arms and welcomed her into his tight embrace. After a few moments, she pulled away and looked into his eyes. With a nod, she moved toward the door. He had never blamed her for the collapse of their world under the administration she had shared with her brother. But she had continued to blame herself.
Before leaving the men, she looked at Alex and said, "I'll pack our bags. Let me know when a specific location is decided. And don't forgive Phillip until I've seen my daughter." She smiled as the sound of her mate's laughter surged through the house. The house had been quiet for too long.
Abigail resisted the temptation to call her brother or her youngest daughter. She would wait until she had specific information to share. By the looks of things, her father had contacted those he needed to meet so she would not interfere with his plans. A faint whisper tickled her ear and she knew that she had been wrong. Again.
"I know. I know," she said aloud. "Of course he would have contacted you. I assumed that he would call the warriors first."
"You forget," her twin's voice echoed in her ears. "I killed Gregorii."
"And your humility is to be commended."
"Cut the sarcasm and open the door. Phillip's laser beams nearly castrated me the last time I was here."
Dark eyes peered from beneath the dingy material of an oversized hood. Carefully searching for his next meal, the young man kept his gaze from resting too long on any one person. He hurried over the broken concrete of the city's neglected sidewalks resisting the urge to move with the speed of his species. His survival required that he blend with humans, an inferior group but currently wielding their power in a typical careless manner.
Stepping onto the faded paint of a crosswalk, he hesitated before continuing his pace. He felt the familiar pull at his heart immediately filling his thoughts with visions of a life that he had squandered for nothing. Memories of laughter were replaced with the sounds of sobbing and hysterics. He looked to his left and then to his right and quickly walked across the street.
Without a thought, he rubbed the back of his neck attempting to calm the nerves that tingled near his spine. He had prepared himself for this so why was he allowing himself the misery of remembering.
"Because the pain is your punishment," he whispered. "And the only thing you have left."
Turning a corner, his eyes adjusted to dark street before him. He saw them before they could possibly see him. Standing on the corner or hiding in a doorway, every moral deviant known to man could be found on this street. And there was no limit to the evil available here for a price.
Here, he would feed. Here, he would eliminate one vice from this world. Here, he would try to save one innocent knowing that he could never redeem that which he had lost. A very small part of him hoped his childhood hero would approve of the justice he attempted to serve but his world had become so dark that he could only hope he wouldn't be labeled a vigilante and punished appropriately.
"Ah honey," the rough voice greeted, "I'll give it to you for free. Come on. Let mama make it better."
He kept moving without responding to the invitation. A quick search had revealed that the person never had been nor ever could be anyone's mama. Whatever had led the man to dress in women's clothing and sell his body to other men was beyond his understanding. A sharp sound cut into his thoughts. Turning his gaze toward the interruption he found what he had been seeking. Dinner.
The woman was cruel. He could see it in her eyes and witnessed it as she slapped the other woman again. While most of these people were meek and submissive, a result from years of abuse, this woman was strong and domineering. She had strength and she used it to her favor.
"So you think that little dick can get nice and hard?" she called to him as he crossed the street. "Don't matter to me. It's a hundred bucks if it's hard, soft, you cum or not. K?"
"K," he answered walking past her into the dark alley beside her corner. He glanced at the woman who had recently received the abuse from his meal and felt a small amount of comfort that she had been slapped for the last time by this woman. Another abuser would be waiting. Of that he had no doubt.
He turned as the hideous creature followed him into the darkness. Memory of her previous encounters served as her sight while the preternatural traits of his species served as his. She leaned against the wall reaching for the hem of her skirt. Before she could expose her filthy flesh, he struck. His bite was quick and precise.