Preview. Tell me what you think. Kristi, Darque & Dmitri find an angel in the streets. Dmitri and Darque take him to Raevyn, who has odd medical talents though she's human...as far as they know. So...
Then, when things made sense, and I started seeing, really seeing, what was happening, I wanted to rip my hair out. Everyday I thought 'Kristi, you are more then welcome to leave this whole ordeal behind. Dmitri even said so'. But I couldn't bring myself to do it. I wish I could say it was my love for Dmitri that kept me there, but it wasn't. Don't get me wrong, I love Dmitri with all my heart, it's just Raziel and Tahariel were fascinating.
Raziel, who had gone by Raevyn when I met her, was the most beautiful woman I had seen. At first, I envied her. She had the longest, silkiest black hair I had seen, whereas mine was a frizzy, untamable, mousey brown. Every time I saw her, she would always have it in multiple, tiny braids that reached to her lower back. I still wonder how long it would be if it were to be let down. Only once did I ever see it in a completely different style. That wasn't all that I envied about her though. She had the creamiest white skin, unmarked aside from the pale scar on her neck, which seemed to shine like moonlight at times, and the black wings tattooed on the entirety of her back. Her eyes, though, were grey and cold, like she was at first. It wasn't a bad coldness though. She was dark, silent and mysterious, everything I always wanted to be.
I made the mistake of telling Dmitri when I was still in the 'slow understanding' stage. He froze. I was used to him seeming statue-like, but this was different, as if he was shutting me out. 'Kris' he said my name as if he was disappointed in me. I looked over at him, stopping what I had been doing at the time. Dmitri never said my name like that. When he knew he had my attention, he continued. 'Don't compare yourself to something you don't understand.' His words baffled me, but I nodded anyway. I didn't bring that up again. So, I continued to envy her in silence, almost getting to a point where I hated her. But, I was too nice to act on such feelings.
Moreover, just as I thought I was getting a grasp on what Dmitri's world was like, Tahariel showed up. He was tall, tan and handsome, with white blonde hair that was always perfect and ice blue eyes that seemed to bore into your very soul. He always tried to be kind, but sometimes he failed. Yet, he was still perfect, even when Dmitri, Darque and I found him lying in his own blood, the golden substance smeared on his white, feathered wings.
"And then what happened?" Darque laughed a deep rumbling laugh that drowned in the noise of early morning city crowds. I was still pretty dark out, dark grey clouds hanging in the sky, promising rain later in the day. Kristi had to wonder why, since the weatherman had predicted good weather for the whole week. Horns blared as people tried to get through traffic and arrive at work on time. Dmitri rolled his eyes, but he was grinning, showing off pointed canine teeth. Kristi knew what those teeth were capable of when fully extended, but the thought no longer bothered her.
"Well, I followed the guy, like he wanted me to, and by the time we get into the empty room, I'm really thirsty. My fangs were extended and I had a hard time thinking of anything else but sinking my teeth into his neck. Just as I turn back from closing the door, I feel a sharp point pressed against my chest. I look at the guy, not really registering what he was doing. One minute, he was offering me a midnight snack and the next he's saying 'If you know what's good for you bloodsucker, you wont do anything.'" Dmitri and Darque broke out in a chorus of laughter. Kristi only smiled and clung to Dmitri's arm. She rarely ever got the things the two found funny. They often reminded her of the people who would laugh at random words, such as pudding.
"He actually said that?!" Darque shoved past a group of schoolgirls ogling some guy on the other side of a shop window. They scattered momentarily, squawking about rude people. Both the vampire and werewolf ignored them and continued on their way. Kristi shot an apologetic smile over her shoulder.
"Yep. And it only angered him more when I started laughing. Here I was, dressed up and in a club where vampires can find humans willing to feed them, and I find myself shoved up against a wall with a teenager brandishing a wooden stake at me." Dmitri turned to Kristi.
"Do all you humans think that the stories are true? That simple things like stakes would kill us?" Amusement shined in his hazel eyes.
"Well, what kills you then?" she asked, ignoring his jibe.
"Now why would I tell you that? You humans are funny creatures." Dmitri shook his head, still laughing.
"Maybe because I'm you girlfr-I mean mate." Kristi retorted, quickly correcting herself. She learned that terms like girlfriend, boyfriend, husband and wife meant nothing to the Fair Children, Selene's Children, Lilith's Children…hell practically any immortal. It was always 'mate' or 'the one I am courting'. Human terms offended them, as if you were demeaning your relationship with them. Kristi studied Dmitri's face as they waited for a crowd to move so they could cross the street and continue on their way back to Raevyn's place. Dmitri raised an elegant eyebrow, but said nothing.
"How about sunlight, if not stakes?" Kristi didn't bother lowering her voice when she asked. It wasn't as if anyone was going to immediately assume vampires were real and freak out. I was, after all, the 21st century. People were intrigued by folklore or otherwise discarded it. No longer was it looked upon in fear.
"It does little more than burn my eyes."
"I thought you knew Dmitri could go in sunlight." Darque commented. Kristi shrugged.
"I've never seen him in it. He's always inside his or Raevyn's apartment or out at night. I just assumed-"
"When are these people going to move?" Dmitri grumbled, cutting her off. She knew that he knew she could get information out of Darque. Darque didn't believe in hiding things from people he loved. Dmitri on the other hand, was full of secrets. Most of them were dark and terrifying. She once asked Darque how vampires were made, if it was like the legends. She knew Dmitri wouldn't tell for fear of her thinking less of him. She shuddered just thinking of what Darque had told her.
"Are you cold?" Dmitri asked, withdrawing from her. She shook her head and grasped his hand tighter. He hesitated a moment and was about to say something else, when Darque let out a frustrated sigh, shoving his darkly tanned hands into the pockets of his leather jacket.
"Obnoxious humans. Can't they move faster? No offense." He quickly added the last part, glancing over at Kristi.
"It's fine." She smiled reassuringly at him,
"Come on. I know a short cut." Dmitri tugged her after him, knowing Darque would follow. Dmitri led them into a typical dark alleyway. It was cold, dank and smelled like cat urine among other tings. The smell made Kristi cringe and she immediately felt sorry for Darque and Dmitri. The three passed homeless people lying around and heaps of garbage. They had been walking in back alleys for about ten minutes when it started to rain. Big fat drops of ice-cold water pounded down around them, soaking their clothes instantly. Kristi looked up at the sky. The dark grey clouds had turned a bruised color and seemed to churn about in the sky.
"That's odd." Darque muttered, following Kristi's gaze. Dmitri stopped dead in his tracks, causing Kristi to run into him. He was rigid, all his corded muscles tense.
"What's wrong?" Kristi asked. Dmitri didn't answer. She turned and looked back at Darque. He too was stiff and unmoving, his green eyes almost luminescent in the dark. She saw them glint when they caught a bit of light as he turned his head back toward her.
"Blood." His voice was barely audible over the pouring rain. Kristi wondered why they were making a big deal out of it. It was normal to smell blood in any back alleys. People died there all the time. The murder rate was incredibly high here in this part of New York. Besides, it shouldn't be bothering Dmitri, he fed last night and should be good for the next couple of days.
With a suddenness that startled Kristi bad enough she squeaked, Dmitri lurched forward, disappeared around the corner and into the shadows of an eerie looking alley. Darque went after him at a brisk pace. Kristi stood there, alone suddenly and unsure if she wanted to follow. What if there were dead bodies? She swallowed the rising lump in her throat and followed the two.
The darkness of the small alley seemed to devour her. She shivered, not only because she was wet and cold, but also because she felt like something bad had happened. It seemed to hand in the air, stale and heavy. She crept forward, only able to see about a foot in front of her. She nearly screamed when a pale hand shot out of the darkness and grabbed her. Dmitri materialized, separating himself from the shadows. His mouth was set in a grim line and his normal warm eyes were shutting her out. Whoever said eyes were the doorway to one's soul was a blathering idiot.
"What's wrong? What's going on?" Kristi asked, forcing her teeth not to clatter together. She glanced behind Dmitri as Darque came out of the shadows supporting someone. It was too dark to see details, but the strangers back looked slightly deformed. Nobody said anything as Darque came toward the two. The stranger was barely able to move, which caused Darque to practically drag him. Kristi tried flattening herself against the brick wall to allow them to pass, but the space was so narrow, she ended up bumping into the stranger a bit. He gasped and she felt warmth on her arm that hadn't been there before. Before she could examine it, Dmitri grabbed her hand and pulled her along after the other two.
"Dmitri?" he must have heard the panic in her voice, because he looked down at her and answered.
"But why help him? We can't go around helping every street rat we run across."
"He's not a street rat." Was his curt reply.
"Then who is he? A friend?"
"I don't know him, personally."
"Personally?" she frowned and drew her soaked jacket around her.
"Just drop it for now, Kris. We need to concentrate on getting to Raevyn's. It's dire. She'll know what to do." His voice held so much worry and fear that Kristi didn't ask anything else. They hurried along the alleys and back roads and soon, they reached Raevyn's apartment. Kristi lingered behind everyone as Dmitri banged on Raevyn's door. In the light of the apartment complex's corridor, Kristi looked at the stranger. His hair was blonde, but she couldn't be sure what shade. It was too dirty. Even his skin tone was hard to decipher. His clothes were torn and splashed with something gold. Darque had draped his leather jacket over the man, covering whatever was causing the lump o his back.
As she studied him, he looked over at her. His ice blue eyes pierced her brown ones with such intensity she quickly looked down. As she did so, she noticed the gold substance dripping onto the floor. She glanced up at the man again, who was no longer watching her, but looking at the door instead.
Raevyn jerked awake as she heard someone frantically banging at her door. She didn't know many people in this city and something told her it was Dmitri. She threw her big, black and purple comforter off her and rolled out of bed. A glance at the clock told her it was just past six in the morning. She stumbled down the hallway, rubbing her grey eyes and yawning. She brushed her multiple braids back over a shoulder as she unlatched the door and opened it. Just as she thought, the spiky haired brunette stood there. The bright corridor momentarily blinded her. As her eyes adjusted, Dmitri spoke.
"He's been hurt." Dmitri's urgency caused her eyes to fly open and her head to tilt sideways before she caught sight of the people standing behind him. There was the human girl Raevyn knew didn't like her much, but they still treated each other nicely despite that. The Son of Selene was there as well, supporting a man Raevyn didn't recognize. Grey eyes met ice blue and they held.
"Raevyn?" Dmitri asked. Raevyn ignored him and instead completed her inspection. Her gaze almost immediately found the gold substance on his clothes and dripping to the floor. Her breath escaped her in a sharp hiss. Her posture, once lazy and tired, was now sharp and alert. She practically flung herself away from the doorway and toward Darque and the stranger. The stranger flinched and Raevyn halted abruptly. They stared at each other again until Kristi interrupted.
"We should get inside before people notice. Then maybe someone can explain to me why he is bleeding gold and you all seem scared shitless."
"I think that is a brilliant idea." Darque agreed and stepped forward. They all filed into Raevyn's apartment. Darque helped the stranger sit on the couch before dropping into a chair next to the one Dmitri and Kristi occupied. Raevyn remained standing. She couldn't believe what she was seeing. It was almost unheard of for such a cherished being to be in the human world, let alone wounded. Unless… Raevyn stopped her thought process right there. She couldn't bare to think that this man was Fallen.
"What is your name?" Darque asked. Blue eyes flitted over to him. It was silent a moment. Raevyn could tell the man was weighing what he should or shouldn't say.
"My name is Tahariel." He answered, his voice holding a hint of an accent Raevyn hadn't heard in years. It was no Earthen accent, but an accent not many Earth bound creatures were privileged enough to hear.
"What happened to you? Why are you hurt?" Kristi inquired.
"A human summoned him and hurt him." Dmitri spat. Kristi winced and Raevyn saw the regret in Dmitri's eyes as she got up and came to kneel next to Tahariel.
"I'm sorry that a human hurt you, Tahariel. But I can promise you, nobody here will harm you." She used the soothing tone she usually used on Dmitri when he was angry about something or another.
"Human promises mean nothing to me. You are not honor bound." He stated.
"None-the-less, we won't hurt you. I'm curious though. What are you? You're too tan to be a vampire but not dark enough to be Faery or Fey. And you don't have the rugged appearance of the were-folk I've seen." Kristi asked eagerly. Tahariel looked slightly amused but then grimaced in pain, clutching his side once more. Raevyn stepped forward, shooing Kristi off to the side. Just as she reached the edge of the couch, he slumped over, laying on it at an odd angle. The blonde only seemed barely conscious.
"I think that's our cue to leave." Darque stood up.
"But I haven't had any questions answered!" Raevyn could hear the pout in Kristi's voice and rolled her eyes. Only Tahariel saw and the corners of his lips twitched.
"Come on, my love. I'll fill you in when we get home." Dmitri hugged a protesting Kristi to his side and they went out the door. Raevyn glanced back at Darque, raising an eyebrow.
"You can help him, right?" Darque inquired. Raevyn nodded.
"Alright. I'll see about dropping by around tomorrow evening. I have some things to do with the pack and I need to speak with Caoimhe and Aithne. Perhaps I can talk them into coming along. But, you know how the Faery twins are." Darque mentioned. Raevyn shrugged and turned back to Tahariel as Darque left. She gently tugged the sides of the jacket down. The inside of it was smeared with gold blood. She tapped his shoulder, trying to get his attention focused on her. She needed him to sit up so she could see exactly what the problem was. She could see the stab wound in his side through the ripped shirt, but that didn't explain why he had blood on his shoulders and back. She glanced at what had been causing the lump under the jacket. Hopefully they weren't hurt too badly.
When Tahariel did nothing but blink slowly and loll his head to the side, Raevyn gently pulled him up and positioned herself so he wouldn't fall back over. She gasped and her hands flew to her mouth. Irritated gashes oozed blood and covered most of his back. Her eyes roamed his back, taking in the extent of the damage done. Then her eyes wandered up a bit and to what Kristi had been staring at, though they had been covered by the jacket. Raevyn relaxed slightly when she was sure his wings were unharmed. The white-feathered appendages were drawn in close to his body protectively, but left his back bare enough for her to treat it. She helped him lean against the back of the couch to where none of his wounds touched it, then she walked into the kitchen.
She opened a cupboard and searched through labeled bottles before pulling out turmeric powder. She washed her hands then got down an average sized clay bowl and put water in it. She mixed enough turmeric powder in the water to create a thick paste. Once she was done with that, she brought the bowl of turmeric paste into the living room, along with a wet cloth and some bandages.
Raevyn kneeled next to Tahariel and gently wiped away the blood around the wound on his side. It didn't look to be too deep. Once the blood was cleared away, she scooped some of the paste out of the bowl and put it over the wound. Tahariel didn't seem to be aware of what she was doing. She wiped her hand off on the cloth and used medical tape and gauze to cover it and hold the wound together. The dark-haired woman paused a moment and glanced at the Angel's back. With a sigh she stood and grabbed the mans arm. With some difficulty, she helped him stand.
"Careful." He groaned as they made slow progress to her guest room. She helped him lay down on his stomach before going back to the living room. Raevyn wasn't sure how long the Angel had been wounded, but she hoped it wasn't for long. She only knew so much about healing. The wound on his side was deep enough to need stitches and if he got it more than eight hours ago, the skin wouldn't want to fuse back together. If that happened, he would need better medical attention. Human hospitals were out of the question, but perhaps Caoimhe or Aithne knew a mage that specialized in healing. The Faerie twins tended to know many people on both sides of the law. The only healer Darque and Dmitri knew was herself, or else they would have taken him elsewhere. Unless they thought since she was…
'No more thinking about that!' she berated herself. 'It's not important. Besides, I was forced to leave that life long ago.' She thought. Scowling, she rinsed the cloth out, wet another one and took those, the turmeric paste and bandages into the guest bedroom with her.