“They must be found before it’s too late!” the golden hair beauty declared as she paced back and forth sparsely decorated apartment, her white robe swirling around her feet.
Santon could never understand why someone as exquisite as his sister, with a body of…well…goddess chose to cover it with something as shapeless as a robe. With the right cut, showing off her curves and just enough cleavage along with leg, she would have every creature at her feet begging to do anything just for one look from those startling clear blue eyes. But that wasn’t his sister’s way. She wanted to be seen for her brains, not her beauty so she kept everything about her bland.
Glancing around, Santon grimaced. Yes, dull and plain were her motto. These accursed apartments were a prime example. The walls were painted white, the furniture, although plush, were white. The rugs on top of the white tile floors were white as were the filmy curtain that rustled in the breeze from the open balcony. There was no color what so ever except the sky blue eyes of the ethereal goddess pacing like a caged lioness. Or maybe a salivating demon whose prey had slipped through her fingers and she wanted blood.
As much as he sympathized with Godiva’s dilemma, the pacing and lack of color was draining on his already frayed nerves and he was about to lose his patience. Something he could not do in his sister’s realm. Hell, considering every creature in the heavens and hell realm was s was looking for him, he shouldn’t even be here. Deciding the best thing was to placate her, he tried a different approach.
“Who says they will choose to destroy everything. Maybe they will leave everything as it is,” he countered.
“Nonsense,” Godiva scoffed. “Zara has spent the last ten life time’s living with humans, and before that centuries with that bastard Lucifer. After the hell he put her through, it’s amazing she didn’t come out of hiding and obliterated us centuries ago.”
Santon tsked, “Language little sister. You are supposed to be the divine one, the benevolent one, the one who can do no wrong. What would your followers think if they knew you swore like a demon possessed sailor?”
Godiva made a sound of dismissal, waving way his concern. “What do you expect when I hang around you.”
Santon gave a slight bow and shrugged his shoulders before grinning at her in agreement, which made her smile. He may be an evil bastard with sadistic tendencies, but he lived to make his sister smile.
“My point is, with a few exceptions, there is not much to inspire them to allow our creations to live. War, famine, abuse of power, subjecting of those weaker when they should help them.” She shuddered. “Sickening.”
Santon looked down at his hand that rested on the table before him. He sat sprawled out in his chair in his human form. While he did prefer this form, it took energy to hold it. Energy he did not have abundance of since he had spent the bulk of it searching for Zara and her band of interfering halfwits. Sneering, he closed his fist in frustration. Only yesterday she had been within his reach. Until those two abominations almost killed him protecting her. As if a god could be killed. Although, wasn’t that exactly what he and his sister were trying to avoid? Their deaths and subsequently the death of everything they had created? While Godiva was right in her assessment of their creations, not all was chaos and death. There were many places were peace and tranquility reigned. Yet, with every species it was the ones who reveled in the chaos and death who seemed to ruin it for the ones who did not.
Refocusing on Godiva when she sat across from him, arms folded on the table leaning forward eyes flashing fire, he knew what she said had some truth to it. He was to blame for most of the chaos that reigned in the universe. It was what he thrived on. The strange thing was, his sister who loved peace, craved it, was the reason they were in this predicament. It was in her name that some of the worst atrocities were committed. And here she was, glaring at him like their imminent destruction was all his fault.
“Don’t look at me like that,” he snapped his eyes narrowing. “I wasn’t the one who drove her into hiding.”
“No?” her eyebrows rising into her blond hair. “It was your obsession with her that forced Damien to do something as drastic as disappearing into the ether.”
Santon leaned forward and growled, “At least I did not betray her.”
The silence was deafening, and if his sister did not in that cold calculating deceivingly pure heart of hers truly love him, he would be a pile of smoldering ash.
Chuckling, Santon leaned back in his chair. “You thought you had fooled them, but they saw right through you. Even I knew where the line was, how to move around it, slip through and take what was rightfully mine without anyone the wiser until it was too late. You just barreled right through and ran everyone over that was in your way, heedless of the consequences.”
Sitting back with a growl, her arms crossed over her chest, Godiva glowered. “It was for her own good. She needed to see the deceit surrounding her. That those she thought closest to her were not what they seemed.”
“You mean Fallon and Gideon.”
“Of course I mean those to deceivers. I saw what they did, all in the name of protecting her. The atrocities they committed with no remorse. They needed to be put down before they turned on their masters.”
“Are those the lies you tell yourself to help you sleep at night. My recollection is quite different. It was truly sickening watching you throw yourself at them, trying to lure them away. Why you thought they would ever betray her is beyond me? Even I knew they could not be turned away from their chosen path. They belong to Zara and Damien in a way that defies common sense. Hell logic.”
“It’s the way Damien created them,” Godiva sneered. “No free will, or a chance to choose who they served, who they loved. Unlike you, I saw how they secretly despised them for it. It was only a matter of time before they turned against their makers. I was just trying to protect them.”
“You are many things, my dear, but I never took you for an idiot,” Santon sighed in disbelief.
They chose to follow them,” Santon corrected. When Godiva made a sound of dismissal, Santon continued with his explanation. “You were not there, sister. They were not brought into being with thought and magic, fully grown like the rest of our kind. They were born of a mother and a father on that accursed planet our makers chose to inhabit in a small village.”
“Let me guess. They were the sons of dirt poor farmers who lived from crop to crop, but loved the life of a poor man and wanted nothing more. Heard it, seen it, have the t-shirt to prove it.”
“You’ve been watching too many Earth television shows,” Santon snarled, smoke coming out of his nose. When she rolled her eyes at him, it took everything he had not to grab her by the neck and squeeze the existence from her. There were moments like this one when he wondered why he put up with this pompous self-righteous bitch. Oh yeah. She was his sister, his twin, and without her, he would cease to exist. Gotta love the necessity of balance. Keeps one from doing monumentally stupid acts of violence in the heat of the moment to those few they loved. Taking a deep breath in an attempt to calm his rage, Santon continued his story. “Actually,” he ground out, “they were mercenaries. Feared by the people who hired them and the ones they were sent to kill. The two generals, for a lack of a better term, caught the attention of Damien and he gave them a deal they could not refuse. Eternal life and a foe the likes they have never seen.”
“Lucifer,” Godiva breathed.
“And me,” Santon growled.
“But you had done nothing to warrant Damien’s mistrust. Not yet.”
Santon’s eyes grew distant, a memory from long ago assailing him. “From the moment I laid eyes on Zara, I knew I loved her and would do anything to have her. Damien must have sensed it and kept an eye on me. When he brought the generals into play, I was trying to…woo her away from him.”
“Woo?” Godiva smirked.
Santon’s eyes narrowed on his sister, a low growl emanated from deep in his chest. “Got a problem with that word?”
Putting her hands up in surrender, Godiva shook her head. “No. Of course not. Please, do go on.”
Having half a mind to get up and walk out of the room because, try as she might, the smirk was still there, Santon cleared his throat and continued. “Lucifer’s betrayal had broken their trust in those closest to them, us included. For some unknow reason, Damien decided to put his trust in two ruthless mercenaries over those of us who had devoted our entire existence to them.”
“Why would they do that?” Godiva scoffed. “Even before they began to suspect treachery, they were never really trusting of those they did not create. They may have made that planet their home, but they did not bring it into being. I did.”
“You may have created that planet and all that inhabits it, but it was not you the inhabitants worshiped. You spent too much time away playing with your newer creations, and they forgot you. Where Zara and Damien never actively collected worshipers, there were those who remembered. Those who knew the truth of who really was first. Time also played a factor. There was not a being on that planet that did not remember a time when they were not there. Always interacting, never aging. On occasion preforming a miracle or two. Damien had heard about the generals and their ruthlessness. So he decided to keep an eye on them. What he found out intrigued him, and he approached them with his proposition. As you know, over time their…relationship grew into more than master and servant, and because Zara and Damien only allowed those who they had created to be that intertwined in their lives, it never crossed anyone’s mind that the two were not originally immortal.”
“What about the rest of them? Quinn, Adalrik, that idiot Talon? Loghan?”
“Ah, the weak link. Unbeknownst to our makers and their defenders until recently, Loghan is now mine. The fool fell in love with a mortal. Since, at the time, the only beings with the power to give him what he wanted most were the two of us, he came to me and traded his soul along with his immortality so he could live out his life with the simpering ninny,” he sneered that last part. “What he did not realize was, once she was dead he would become immortal again and belong to me for the rest of eternity. He has been very useful until recently.”
“As interesting as that is, it doesn’t explain where they came from.”
“They were all part of Gideon and Fallon’s original company. Mortal’s they trusted with their backs and their secrets. So naturally Damien made them part of the deal. The only rule was, until they proved that the power they would hold did not go to their heads and they began to think they were something they were not, they were not to be in Zara’s presence.”
“They had to prove they knew their place,” Godiva mused.
Santon nodded. “You see, they already suspected that one of us would try to betray them. That we thought ourselves more than what we were. That we forgot who it was who brought us into being. Damien should have not worried, though, for once Gideon and Fallon laid eyes on Zara they were irrevocably hers, and by default the others would guard her with their lives. They would no more betray either of them then cut off their own heads.”
“So Sara and Damien found followers that would be loyal to them and only them, yet we have a traitor in our mists. Someone who managed to make fools out of us.”
“Not us, dear sister. Only you.”
“What are you insinuating? That you have know all along who has betrayed us?”
“Not all along. Just the last few centuries. I decided to keep quiet and wait for them to make a mistake. The first one was when they hid Zara in the mortal realm. You remember. That power surge we felt about the same time Lucifer lost his daughter who at the time I suspected was really Zara.”
“I remember when you found out he had children, when it should have been impossible. It was one of his punishments not to be able to sire children with his mortal wife.”
“Yet somehow Sachi birthed twins and Lucifer did not kill them in a fit of rage, or her for her perceived infidelity. It was out of character for the bastard.”
“I just assumed he loved her to much and forgave her,” Godiva shrugged.
Santon barked out a laugh. “Lucifer. Forgive. I forgot how humorous you can be, sister.” Godiva’s brows furrowed in irritation. Santon cleared his throat, trying to contain his laughter, and continued. “They were centuries old by then. For the longest time I couldn’t understand why I was so drawn to them, the girl in particular. It wasn’t until I felt the spell that I realized what was right in front of me, but it was too late. The spell was cast and our makers were once again hidden from us.”
“So you think our traitor cast this spell.”
“More than one, sister.” He leaned forward again. “I believe there are multiple traitors. Angels that were able to fool us into believing that they were loyal to use only to be still loyal to Zara and Damien. Only great power can split a soul as powerful as theirs. No one immortal has that power, but two archangels, one their guardians, a witch and a higher demon do.”
“Sachi would be the witch, and the guardian would be Fallon for he still retained his memories. Who are the other two?”
“I believe the higher demon is Sachi’s familiar. She would be the only one the witch would completely trust to keep a secret this big. As for the archangels, I may have an idea as to who one of them is.”
Godiva leaned forward, her facer eager. “Do tell, brother. I want to skewer the bastard slowly and painfully.”
“Who has been involved in every aspect of this cluster fuck since the beginning? Who has, since our master’s disappeared, made sure he was with either one or the other of Sapphira’s boy toys? Always interfering with our need for vengeance.”
Frowning, Godiva took a moment to think. “Michel?”
“Bingo!” Santa cried slapping his hand on the table.
“That makes no sense. I created him, nurtured him. He’s one of my most trusted advisors. He would never betray me.”
“Don’t let the fact he’s good in between the sheets cloud your judgement, sister dear.”
“Don’t be crass!” she snapped. Pushing to her feet and pacing again.
“Why is it so hard to believe? Who else would have knowledge of our plans, known details that no one else knew. Details you probably blabbed in the afterglow of your….”
“Enough!” she snapped. Resuming her pacing, Godiva mulled over what Santon had said. Part of her dismissed his accusations a jealousy. He had never liked Michel, less so once he found out about their affair. There was also the fact Michel had kept tabs on Gideon and Fallon for her. Reported their every move. “I don’t believe you,” she finally said stopping to glared at him.
“Of course you don’t, because I have never. in our long existence, been completely truthful with you,” Santon sneered sarcastically. Godiva’s frown deepened because she knew that was true. He could not lie to her just as she could not lie to him, so he never tried. “Stop thinking with your heart and start thinking with your head. It’s the only logical explanation.”
Godiva frowned at him, a niggling of uncertainty beginning to worm its way into her heart. Before she could respond, there was a knock on the door.
“Who is it?” Godiva snapped irritated at the interruption.
“Michel,” came the muffled answer. “I need to talk to you. It’s important.”
As Godiva stared at Santon with a half-bewildered, half-angry expression, Santon motioned to the door with a smirk.
“Why don’t you ask him yourself?”
After a moment of hesitation, Godiva bade, “Enter.”
Copyright © 2018 Heidi Barnes