The back bed had a curtain drawn around it hiding its occupant. Lucifer and Adalrik carefully laid Fallon on his stomach on the first bed they came too. Talon helped Gideon onto the one next to it. An uneasy truce had been agreed on until they found Sara and Damien. After that…well they would see.
But before they could start the wounded needed tending, and secrets kept for far too long needed to be told.
“I’m going to have to cut your coat and shirt off,” Adalrik informed Fallon as he opened a drawer and started rummaging through it.
“That’s fine,” his voice hoarse with pain.
Trying to find a comfortable position, Fallon finally gave up with a gasp, his huge battered wings hanging limply on either side of him. If only he had the strength to hide them. Then maybe they could heal, but something about the blast had sapped a lot of energy out of him, and Lucifer had taken the rest by just being there. Just the thought of what that bastard had done to Sapphira had him clenching his teeth with rage. The stories he had heard before he escaped. The screams…. What Lucifer had forced on her in an attempt to break their bond was monstrous. Then again, it was a monster he was contemplating killing right now.
God, her absence was like a hole in his soul. In the bedroom when the spell broke turning everything around them to ash with its force, Sapphira had been ripped from him so violently he was surprised he survived. It was all he could do to shield Gideon from the worst of the blast, and by the feel of his singed wings there had to be some permanent damage.
He could feel Sapphira’s connection to Gideon and knew what it would cost her to lose him. Knew what it would do to him, even after all these years of separation, if he lost his only true friend. So Fallon did the only thing he could. He protected him. Looking over at Gideon who was sitting with his elbows on his knees and head in his hands, Fallon knew the pain of Gideon’s wounds had nothing to what he was feeling inside, and what he was about to tell him was not going to make it any better. Sapphira may be alive, but she was forever out of his reach. Both of theirs.
Fallon hissed as Adalrik jostled his wings, dragging him back from his own misery.
“Sorry,” Adalrik murmured, although it did not stop him from what he was doing. “I don’t understand why they aren’t healing,” he said in frustration.
“Demon fire,” Lucifer explained from where he stood holding up the wall across the room. His ankles and arms crossed, a formidable being even relaxed, he stared at Fallon’s singed wings dispassionately.
Adalrik looked at him with a frown. “I didn’t think Sapphira and Damien held that kind of power.”
“Neither did I,” Lucifer said thoughtfully.
“Seems your children kept a few secrets from all of us,” Talon said. He was standing behind Gideon who was sitting motionless, his eyes now glued to the floor, his hands hanging limp.
“This is one power I do not even think they knew of,” Lucifer sighed rubbing his face with one hand. “There is only so much knowledge one can glean from prophecy. The rest is up for interpretation, and that interpretation is usually wrong.”
“What prophecy are you talking about?” Gideon asked wearily, looking up at Lucifer.
“The one that brings about the end of the universe as we know it.” When Gideon gave him a blank stare, Lucifer frowned. Unwinding himself, he moved to crouch down in front of Gideon. Looking into his eyes, searching, Lucifer made a noise of disgust in the back of his throat. “Those bastards know no boundaries.”
“What are you talking about?” Gideon asked watching as Lucifer stood in one swift movement and found Michel in his way, glaring at him.
“What did they think this would prove?” Lucifer demanded, his hand sweeping to take in Gideon.
“We knew what would happen if he knew the truth. We had to do something to prevent this from playing out as it was intended,” Michel said defensively.
“And how did that work for you? Because he did not know what or whom he was guarding, we have lost her. Is that the end you wanted?” Lucifer asked incredulously.
Michel hesitated, unable to keep the Fallen One’s eye contact. Looking away he muttered, “No.”
“What did you say?” Lucifer asked not wanting to let the angel off the hook that easily.
“No!” Michel answered sharply glaring at Lucifer. “Listen. I did not agree to this,” he said pointing at Gideon who was looking from one to the other trying to figure out what the hell they were talking about. “Just as you did not have any choice in your living arrangements. We are soldiers. We do as we are told or pay the price, and for me the price was too high.” He said the last softly, as if he was embarrassed to admit that he had been weak.
“No price is too high if the alternative means betraying those who are your family,” Fallon said into the quiet.
At this Lucifer stiffened, but he did not respond to Fallon’s reprimand. Instead, he visibly made himself relax and move to Fallon’s side where Adalrik was trying to heal his wings, careful not to make eye contact.
“Let me,” he said quietly.
Not sure he should entirely trust him, Adalrik stepped aside so Lucifer could take his place. Rubbing his hands together, Lucifer braced his feet then closed his eyes as he hovered his hands over Fallon’s wings. At first nothing happened. Then, slowly, the feathers grew and became whole once again. It was with a sigh of relief that Fallon gently flexed his wings before they carefully retracted until they became a beautiful iridescent black tattoo on his back.
“Thank you,” he said looking at Lucifer, the words bitter in his mouth. The last thing he wanted was to owe the bastard.
Lucifer nodded in acknowledgement and Fallon took it as a, “Your welcome,” because he knew he would get no more from the proud being before him.
“Aren’t you forgetting someone?” Talon’s said evenly.
Lucifer glanced at Gideon before narrowing his eyes on Talon. “I cannot restore his wings,” he said stiffly.
“Cannot or will not?” Loghan asked.
“There is no time for this,” Gideon growled, stiffly pushing to his feet. “What prophecy are you talking about, and what does Michel and Fallon know that apparently the rest of us don’t.”
“That, like me, you have been Sapphira’s mate from the moment you looked into her eyes,” Fallon answered. There was something in his voice Gideon could not quite decipher. Not anger, not quite, but almost resignation.
“That’s impossible,” Logan scoffed. “We can only have one mate, and that is for life.”
“Apparently Sapphira is different,” Lucifer answered looking between Gideon and Fallon, his expression thoughtful. Something was becoming clearer, and he did not know as of yet what it would mean.
Fallon’s eyes were locked with Gideon’s. “The first time you looked into her eyes. What did you feel?” Fallon asked his voice quiet. As if he was asking a secret only few were privileged to know.
“As if she owned a part of me I never knew existed until that moment,” Gideon answered, his tone matching Fallon’s. “I thought it was the Guardian bond.”
Fallon shook his head, looking at the far wall, his eyes lost in some memory. “I felt it. A wrenching. I knew it would happen when the spell completed, but I did not realize..,” his voice drifted off. After a moment of silence, he turned his eyes back to Gideon. “She belongs to Damien now. There is no force in this universe that can change what has been done.”
“They are brother and sister. Born of the same womb. They cannot be mated,” Adalrik said.
“Sachi bore them into the mortal world and they are of the same. Just not in the way you think,” Michel corrected, his tone cryptic.
Lucifer’s eyes widened in shock.
“What the hell are you talking about?” Talon asked.
“A secret known only to a few. A plan that has been in motion far longer than the four thousand years Sapphira and Damien have been on this plain.” Michel narrowed his eyes on Lucifer, a hatred that he reserved for only a few aimed at the Fallen One. “One that the prophecy speaks of that is now coming to pass. I only hope that when the time comes they are as forgiving as they used to be.”
“Are you telling us that Sapphira and Damien are…?” Fallon started to say.
“If I had known…,” Lucifer whispered hoarsely, the horror of what he was coming to understand written plainly on his face.
“What?” Fallon snapped. “Not fed her to every vile creature you keep locked up in that hellhole you call a dungeon? Do your best to win her loyalty after you betrayed her trust because now you know who she is, what she can do to you?”
“I do not need to gain anyone’s loyalty because I trust no one. You two made sure of that,” Lucifer snapped his anger grounding him in the here and now, because to think of what they would do to him would have him on his knees begging for mercy. Something the Fallen One refused to do for anyone.
“Lies to keep you in your place,” Gideon reminded, his own mind reeling with this new news and the knowledge of what Lucifer had done to one of the most gentle creatures he had ever known, ever loved. “But now I’m wondering why we kept your secrets. Why we went through all that pain when you repay us with deceit and betrayal of your own.”
“I never betrayed you,” Lucifer said, his voice low and dangerous as he glared at Gideon. “I trusted my friends to respond in kind. How wrong I was. You who sat up in your gilded cage while I was sent to the foulest dimension in the realms to rot. And you!” he snarled turning on Fallon. “Taking what was not yours to take. Giving her something that was not yours to give!”
“Now what is he talking about?” Loghan asked, throwing his hands up and letting them drop in exasperation.
Fallon seemed to know.
Lucifer leaned forward, wanting to dig the blade into Fallon’s heart as far as he could. “Something she lost without even knowing she had it.”
With a snarl Fallon lunged at Lucifer, Quinn and Aitan barely able to hold him back.
“I will kill you!” Fallon snarled.
Gideon sat on his bed, the color draining from his face as he realized what Lucifer was saying. Something lost without even knowing it was there. A child.
Suddenly Fallon stilled. Not the stillness off defeat or anger, but a stillness that came from a being of immense power and knowledge. One far above those in the room. Even Lucifer.
When he realized what he was looking at, Lucifer’s eyes widened and he took a step back. Quinn and Aitan released Fallon and followed suit.
“You could not keep them apart forever, my friend,” a voice that was not Fallon’s, although it came from his lips, said calmly into the silence. “Although you did give it a valiant try. I commend you on your…tactics.” The smile on Fallon’s lips was mocking.
“You,” Lucifer snarled.
Fallon’s smiled widened. “The soul that was two is now one. The choice must be made. Will you make that choice?” the voice asked.
Fallon’s smile grew sad. “I did not think so. I guess that leaves it up to me. Thank you for all that you have done to insure she will once again be mine.”
As suddenly as the presence came, it disappeared. Fallon blinked, reaching out for something to hang on to as he tried to reorient himself. Possession was not a fun experience to be begin with. Especially….
“Was that who I think it was,” Loghan whispered.
The only answer he received was stunned silence.
Copyright © 2018 Heidi Barnes