There were three of them in all. Between them, they stood on each side of Lucien, silent, waiting for him to speak. He was their leader. How foolish Gabriel and Lily were to assume he had no allies, for the Fallen themselves grew in numbers, year after year, century upon century as mankind sinned. They had their purpose and in this new millennium, could become more powerful than anything in the real or spiritual world.
“You may ask your questions as you will, my brethren.” Lucien turned to face them as they stood together. Only one came forward.
“Has the deed been accomplished then?” The voice belonged to Jax, his right-hand minion.
Jax was as old as Lucien himself. However, he didn’t resemble him in the least. He was bronze-skinned and very muscular. Long locks of straight, jet black hair flowed to his shoulders, complimented by eyes that were as black as coal and yet, held the light in them; the gold dust glitter appeared on his body as well and upon his wings. Where Lucien’s wings were white, Jax’s were jet black with a bluish tint throughout. As was true of all angels, he was uniquely branded with a tattoo on his right forearm, words in the very alphabet of heaven itself, which revealed their true names. The ones given to them by God upon their creation.
These tattoos were sacred, the names unknown among men. The Fallen and the Pure both had them. What was known in the current century as “nicknames” were used when they were in the presence of human beings.
To know an angel’s real name gave that person power over the entity; therefore, they held their true names close to them.
With his alluringly dark looks and a pair of tight-fitting black jeans, a chain hanging from a belt loop at the side pocket, and a dagger encrusted with rubies, onyx, and diamonds fastened by a leather band around his waist, he was the perfect angel for this age. He was first and foremost a warrior.
“Yes, it has been done. I planted my seed deep within her,” he lied. He couldn’t bear to tell them the truth. That he’d failed. He knew he could’ve impregnated her if he chose, but he simply didn’t.
“Did she come to you willingly then? Of course, it makes no difference to us how the deed was done, only of the power we shall have with such a child. The original offspring of the union of the righteous Seth and the unrighteous descendants of Cain! We would no longer be forced to hide in the shadows.”
Lucien turned away from Jax and said nothing.
“That is the legend; we do not know where these creatures truly originated.” A deep, husky voice echoed in the darkness.
“Why must you darken this hour with your endless negativity, Evangeline?” Jax frowned in disapproval.
Evangeline was one of the darkest and most evil angels of all. Holding no compassion whatsoever for anyone or anything, her heart did not quicken for any reason. She was the killer of the innocent, sucking the very life out of infants themselves before, during, and after birth. Putting her lips to their tiny mouths, she drew the breath out of them. She left many a mother in the worst misery imaginable with no idea of what had happened to their precious child.
Hers was a turbulent beauty. Her eyes dark, lashes long and spiky, her hair the color of crimson, her lips the brightest of red. She wore a gown of blood-red velvet. Around her neck was a chain made up of many tiny skulls so numerous they all but obliterated the chain itself.
“Because, my brother, I abhor the children of men. Why should we hope a child born of an angel and a daughter of man shall be any better? Their very nature guarantees ambiguity.”
“Ah, you speak of the Nephilim. The very name that means to fall, to kill, to ruin! It will depend on which side the child chooses; ours or theirs when final judgment comes to mankind.” Jinn joined them in the philosophical debate.
The last of them was Jinn, an angel made of pure fire. He prayed on the wants and desires of man, tempting them with promises of lavish gifts, but delivering nothing. When he was done with his prey, he left them in ruins, taking everything from them, including their souls. He differed from the others, for he did not possess their beauty or grace. Awful to behold, his face was a mangled mass of lumps and oozing sores, filthy hair, and a body covered in a long black robe. He was a depraved being, an eater of souls, and because he relished taking the most wicked among man, the evil doer, whose avarice and depravities were as his own, his body became a twisted, terrifying monument to them all.
These three, loyal to Lucien, were part of a group of seven, those in the top realm of the Fallen in dark contrast to the seven most loved angels of the Bible and myth itself, who stood before God.
Lucien stood brooding, lost deep in thought, his eyes fixated on the spot where he’d released Lily into the void. He wasn’t really paying attention to the conversation between Jax, Evangeline, and Jinn.
“You seem troubled, my brother.” Jax had come to stand beside him.
“No,” he sighed. He concealed his thoughts and what lay in his heart from them. They wouldn’t understand, but Jax saw through his guise nevertheless.
“You…love her. It is true, is it not?”
“That’s utter and total nonsense!” Lucien’s words were hard and angry. His eyes were fierce upon Jax, warning him to question him no further.
“I see,” Jax said quietly. “Where is it that you’ve sent her?”
“I sent her where she needed to go. Back to the Salem of old, but not to sixteen-hundred and ninety-two. Oh no, I sent her to see the truth.”
“The truth about Gabriel…and me.”