Caelum Sky 9
With weary, dragging steps, I found myself overlooking the neighborhood, still cast in darkness. Lights dotted the streets, the stars starting to fade as the early dawn approached, still some time away. The roof was lit in subtle blues, darkest parts still almost indefinable. It was pretty, it really was. I lay down on the roof, head draping over the peak, absorbing this new neighborhood. The streets were lined up, parallel to one another, with a larger, intersecting street at the end; down this same street, all the houses lined up identically. The homes across the way were still closed up, lights off, people sleeping peacefully inside.
The clouds above me skated across the sky; thin, wispy lines that looked almost dark in comparison. There was very little sound, very little disturbance, general peace. I lay there, practically catatonic, unmotivated and filled with regrets; it was my fault this had all happened; I knew at the bottom of everything, I was to blame. That demon tore up Katherine's and Ambers lives to isolate me, going on and on about me being its queen. I hoped it was a strange term of endearment; it'd ruin my little situation further if I was queen of
whatever the hell that thing really was. No part of it added up, I still figured myself as that aware torso and head in hell, who managed to get out of line and though many lucky, painful circumstances. There was a tiny, belittling little voice in the back in the back of my head that sang my deepest frustration, that despite thinking myself a good person now, that I had been in hell, that I had done something terribly wrong in my previous life, been a horrible human being. I sighed again, putting it out of my head. The best for me was to relax; all that could be figured out later.
Humming, slowly and softly, I began to feel all the exercise, all the activity earlier pulling me, rocking me into that beautiful comfort of sleep. The birds began to chirp, the wind whistled through the trees, slight sounds of the world waking up again. The outside world was still as peaceful and soft as it had ever been; I bubbled on the edge of sleep, thankful to let my tired bones recuperate.
A thump. Something beneath me knocked around, the room under my body clattering for a moment, before something scratched and scrambled towards me. I let out a very long, very annoyed breath, re-adjusting my arms and nestling in comfortably in a way that shielded me from having to see him. Muted, I heard him say something, sounds immediately louder as I saw his head jut from the shingles themselves, from the room below. The angel grunted, pulling himself through the roof behind me, grabbing desperately on the shingles without much luck; I could hear his wings flapping, trying for something, but still fighting to get up. It was a pretty pitiful sight. Without a lot of thought I flopped the end of my tail just in front of him, tapping the thing on the roof. Watching with one wary eye, he stared at it, then looked at me, debating the action for a standard five minutes before reaching out gingerly. I hauled him through the roof with effortless force. My tail swung towards my side, curling back beneath my outstretched wings, back to safety.
"Thanks" He said softly. I didn't respond, closing my eyes back to everything around me. It was far too early to even consider angel-time again, maybe in a week or so. He scrambled up towards the top of the roof, sitting down a little distance away; I waited for the stupid awkward conversation, the annoying rambling of his greatest achievements, the various guilt-tripping and other lines of conversation I was forced to listen to, but it never came. No words came. He just sat there, silent, looking around the neighborhood; after a while resting one hand on the chimney, watching the sky. I remained as I was, turned away. We sat in completely silence, save for a few re-adjustments from both of us at one point or the other, until the sun crept over the horizon, until the people all began to wake in their homes, get ready and go off to work, until kids were picked up for school. Still, the angel never made a sound; a welcomed change. I dared to even call it respectful.
I found myself gawking at him more then I'd like to admit; still strange to see him in somewhat normal clothes. Barefooted on the roof, foot at an odd position, his ankle was bruised and swollen. He had said the girl had broken some bones in the process of them landing, was it possible he was injured too? He had sacrificed his safety for her, diving after the girl knowing that his little chicken stubs of wings wouldn't cut it. Feeling guilty and generally feeling better for resting for a few hours, I picked my head from the roof, tucking my arms closer to my chest, arching my back and stretching my wings full out. They were curious things, when I wasn't using them and just had them folded alongside my back, they were practically invisible. Light distorted them, bent what you were looking at through the wing like it was underwater, but when they were working, they looked no different then the rest of my strange half and half color combination on this demon skin. As I settled back to my belly, I could feel him glaring at me. Still, the angel never said a word. The air was tense, swarming with uncertainty.
"When I first stayed at the Faegel's home, they struggled to find me meaning." I softly broke the silence, "I needed it, for some reason, needed perspective. We both needed a good reason to be there at that house together, especially that first year, we scared each other." I laughed softly, remembering my time spent. He was turned to me, listening to words that made no sense.
"To die will be an awfully big adventure' is the best we found. I still think that shortchanges this situation on many, many levels." I sat up a little straighter, warming myself in the sun, now high enough. "I'm not going to claim to know what's going on. I can't say I'm much good at anything, stumbling through death is my best skill." I looked to him, a little weirded out that he'd flopped personalities so quickly.
"But you keep this up and
you're not as bad as I thought you were." I swung my head a little, "You're still bad. It takes more then a few hours of quiet time to make me forgive what you did." I sat up straight. He nodded, out of place, more evidence we couldn't ever talk to one another. I smirked, shaking my head.
"You still have no idea what I'm saying. I guess I really am pushing 'the angelic divide', as the demon put it." Walking closer to the angel, I sat again, placing my hands to my chest.
"Neri" I said, watching his eyes flicker. He nodded, watching as I pointed out to him, "Ra..zzl..e..?" I guessed, hoping at least some part of that sounded like his name. I was close, that much was true, but the exact name of the angel, I'd only heard once.
He looked stricken, putting his hands to his chest. "Raziel." He annunciated, a little confused, ignoring it. Nodding, I looked back to the world, unsure how to go about it; part of me still screamed for one on one interaction, on social bonds, on having something there that understood me. On the other hand, it was impossible- angels and demons don't mix. How I had gotten his far with my body not hacked to pieces was beyond me; then again, he wasn't trying to kill me now. Maybe there was hope for a little reconciliation, at least. A truce.
Biting my lip from fear of being let down, I stuck my hand out towards him in a handshake. He saw it, giving me an odd stare before looking at me in the eyes, then back to my awkwardly outstretched hand. The angel began to laugh.
"I can't do that" He giggled to himself as I slowly withdrew my hand, embarrassed. Raziel pointed upwards, lowering his voice. "I'd never live that down, and I already have a lot to make up for. You're only still here because I can't figure out how to kill you, that's it." Shut down, I did my best not to show my tattered trust. Promptly, I had my back lined up to the arrogant angel, ignoring him once again. How stupid! How
what was the matter with me?
"Oh, c'mon, seriously?" He laughed, "Is that not something they teach you 'back home'? You and I, we don't mingle." He wiggled his two fingers in a mingling fashion for a moment as he scoffed.
"I don't forget things as fast as you do, demon" he bragged on, digging a deeper and deeper grave for himself. I bust out in awkward laughter, menacing and murky.
"Oh, don't worry, I won't be forgetting this for a long, long time" I growled out, tail twitching angrily. "You're a dirty stuck-up liar, you know that? God, I can't believe I pegged you as anything but an irrational, thick-headed asshole!" My tail swiped around in loose actions, trying to push Raziel from the roof. I felt hurt, embarrassed, and vulnerable. Stupid, among other things. How I'd let my guard down, at a time like this
I was at a loss for words.
"Hey! I'm just doing my job!" The liar jumped out of the way, pushed tightly against the chimney. Aiming the best I could, he sunk into the house all of a sudden, to the room below my feet. Things knocked beneath me; I spun, trying to ready myself for his attack. Searching, searching for anything, two cold hands pressed on my back.
"And I've been doing this job for a very, very long time." he sneered, almost evil, smacking the flat side of the pike onto my scar, area erupting in pain.
"You arrogant little---" Everything swept into a musty darkness, launching my human-self from it and the roof, away from the house as my fingers strained through the black demon smoke for a hold. My body twisted, wheeling my arms around, desperately wishing for wings as the street came to meet me, hitting and taking out the mailbox in the process as I slammed into the road, knocked out cold. I saw the angel grinning the whole time.
"Uhhgghhh" my head ached some time later, feeling the cold, bitter steel pressed into my face as I stumbled back into life once again. Leaning around to stretch out, my hands and feet caught on themselves, opening one sore eye to find myself tied and thrown into the back of the van like before. I dropped my head back down to the floor, tugging tiredly at the binds as the van eased back into silence. This whole thing was starting to become a sad running joke. Something skidded over the metal chassis, my tether- chains brushed my face and lit up bright once more, then scooted away from it just as quickly, uncertain and meandering on their own. The chains blindly lead to the world outside this van; if we were tied together, the angel must've been walking around somewhere. I growled, "That
of a bitch." Managing to sit myself upright, I took a look around. We were parked outside a store right in front of the van, lettered in straight, serious text, one that said it was a very serious place.
"The Christian Science Bookstore?" It had to be said out loud, I wasn't sure it was true, but it was the way the chains lead before disappearing like they never existed once again.
I exited the van five minutes later, untied and decked out in some sort of spiritual hoodie, plain blue that I found crumpled in the back, along with Raziel's armor . The hood was pulled over the top of my head, over the goggles, over the horns on the side of my face, pulling the drawstring tight enough that it wouldn't slip off. It was as normal as I could make myself based on what I felt around my face. There didn't seem to be any other obvious marks; so filled with a whole different sort of fire for revenge I strolled up to the store, fists pre-emptively balled up, slipping inside like it was common news. Immediately, the sound of machines working filled the air as I scanned for them. All I found was a small little shop, walls lined with books, cheap shelving. The far wall had hats and shirts pinned to the drywall like the people had been sucked right from them. There was a line of tables, four chairs to a set, inspirational posters, all topped with chicken-covered drapes. It was an evil place.
I walked through the store, noting the one cashier at her post, the one man looking at a book, with the older gentleman sitting down and reading something at the tables; it was normal, relaxed, no signs of angels, no sign of the machines that were working somewhere in this area. I followed the sound, hesitating before taking a step through the back wall to come across a small quaint workshop. Raziel was in the corner, working on some sort of lathe, carefully inspecting what I could only assume to be a new handle for his pike. He gave a light look over his shoulder, raising a hand up.
"Hey man" he said quickly, going back to shaping the wood. Raising my hand in response, I gave an over-emphasized nod, walking farther into the angel's blind spot. Perfect! How could I do this? An open opportunity for revenge, my attacker with his guard down and back to me in a shop full of pointy, dangerous things; I couldn't have asked for better circumstances, to be honest. I grinned manically.
The pike head was laying on the table next to me, wood stripped from the metallic part embedded into it. Next to on the table were some metal rivets, a type of peg that held the whole thing together, looking fairly new. You could tell it was forged a long time ago, metal bent slightly, the very edges of it starting to rust and no longer terribly sharp; the sides blackened with petina, like it was rarely used. Picking it from the table, I twisted it in the light, inspecting it as the colors refracted through the blade like a jumbled and distorted rainbow.
"Nice, eh?" Raziel spoke to my back, "It's a classic; used it to catch this real nasty demon, got it tied up in the back of my host's van." He leaned low to the wood, inspecting it like he was going to take it to dinner, tapping the end of it on the ground to shake the loose material away and going straight into clearing some holes for the mount. Snorting, I rolled my eyes, dragging my finger over edges. I remembered this exact edge being lanced into my neck. The pike had other marks, scratches, but I stopped on a bite mark, dragged across the blade- the spaces between the teeth were embarrassingly small. At best, the only action this blade saw was chopping down tiny, pointless demons. The angel gave a sort of happy grunt, swinging the thing around in one grand motion as he was apparently done.
"I've got Gauzier coming here soon, see if he can rid the little bastard from my sights- Here, toss it here" The angel motioned, tapping the sawdust from the weapon handle. It was right there, right in my hand, swing it around and get some sweet, well deserved revenge. I tried to get that anger going, the emotion and determination to dole out what needed to be done. Right there! Do it! He's been trying to kill you for days now, make him feel what it's like to get his own treatment! I grabbed onto the pike head harder, hands shaking, quickly turning to him.
The will just wasn't there.
"I can't do it." I took one last longing look at the glittering blade, admitting it to myself softly. I tilted it to see my own eyes flash by, dismayed, sad in the gleam of the pike as I placed it in Raziel's hands. "I'm not you." He looked concerned after I spoke, leaning over as our eyes locking together, visibly shaking once he realized who I was.
"Jesus! You can't, I mean, why are you in here, you're supposed to be in the car! If Gauzier finds you in here, we're both dead!" I almost laughed; raising my eyebrows like it was a challenge.
"You, maybe." He yanked the side of my hoodie, pulling me closer.
"This is not a joke! He'll kill both of us if he finds you here! You're my problem, I released you so I have to
" Raziel's eyes shot to the wall behind me, cementing a smile so fake it was practically plastic, "If I don't
let him know
" He awkwardly mumbled into silence, rushing up to the angel behind me, bending and bowing a lot. This other one looked older; more weathered then Raziel, lines gathering in greater numbers on his face. He wore something relative of a business suit, professional looking, hinting at power with a stance that didn't take anything but the obvious truth. His wings were much larger, folded neatly in a slightly blue variety. I guessed it to be Raziel's boss; at least someone higher in power.
"Let him know
.what? Who is this here?" The angel, Gauzier apparently, pointed over to me. For some reason I didn't figure myself a part of this conversation until then, watching Raziel's eyes widen in fear. There were a few ways to play this: get everyone in trouble and watch the chaos unfold, or humor this situation and try to play the better person. If I had a little more energy I'd probably resort to chaos, but I was still tired from among other things, being shot off of a roof and into a mailbox without protection. That still irked me.
Walking with slow, dedicated steps and watching Raziel's eyes the entire time, I bent low, bowing to the angel like he had done in a respectful manner. Raziel coughed, surprised, jumbled on words.
.N-atalie?" the angel spit out, Gauzier turning to me with that overly expressive new-people face. The one where you don't want to offend someone because you know jack nothing about them, so you pretend every bit of new information is just gold.
"Natalie, huh? You have very pretty eyes, my dear." He bowed in return, taking my hand. I held my laughter in, smiling and nodding thankfully. Of course I couldn't help but stare at Raziel with that oh-so lovely look of 'do what I say, I've got this situation in a very tight, inappropriate grasp'. That and having some upper-classman angel compliment a demon was always good fodder later. I looked back to Gauzier and smiled politely.
"So, what did you have to tell me about her?" Gauzier stood straight, hands in his pockets and attention turned to Raziel.
" He stumbled, eyes darting around the room for a hint, before glancing back over Gauzier, to slowly, like a sopping mess of disparity, rested on me for answers. I rolled my eyes, pointing to myself and grabbing my throat. The angel frowned before he even started talking, like he was sickened by the notion of me giving help. "Natalie
has throat problems?" It ended on a strange, upward inflection as I shook my head slightly, crossing my fingers in an X and using my one hand to snap together like a surrogate mouth. His eyes lit up.
"She can't speak!" He spat out before recomposing himself in presence of his company.
"That's too bad, what happened?" Gauzier turned to me as I nodded sadly, back to Raziel for explanation. This time he looked immediately to me; I furrowed my brows- he owed me. That and I hated him. I curved my two pointer fingers and put them near my head, pointed outside, and wiggled my fingers spookily.
demon outside cursed her?" He questioned again as I walked practically next to him, standing side by side. There was less of a snide smile after he spit out that lie, more of an abhorred fright. He picked up that I was trying to distance myself as that demon in the van, that I was using his words to get out of being killed. Hypothetically.
"Ah, that's right; you said that you had a particularly tough demon you captured, if I'm not mistaken. Must've been a hell of a fight!" The angel laughed, far more relaxed and relatable. I could understand why he'd be in a higher position; they left the debatable psychos for low, maintenance work like stupid commercial exorcisms. "If you want, I can heal you from that, Miss Natalie" I raised my eyebrows and waved my hands at him, putting on arm comfortably on Raziel's shoulder and giving it a hearty and barely polite smack.
.healing her" he said with an incredible amount of distaste. He turned to me with the flattest, coldest pair of eyes as I continued to grin at him, walking back to the halves of the pike, still resting on the table. With an extreme amount of frilly prancing, I presented the two halves to him like they were cast out of sacred lambs, bowed before my great feathery overlords.
"Thanks, apprentice." Apprentice still beats demon scum! He snatched the two parts, his superior critiquing his teaching style.
"Now Raziel, you've got to give them hope, reward them for doing good work." He turned to me like the eager, praise-withdrawn type, "I'm sure you were a big help in the capture of the demon outside, weren't you?" All his condescending words needed was a tousle of the hair and a wink, I swear. I nodded, putting up both fists playfully, making the angel laugh. Behind his back Raziel kept the angry glare, fuming from just how easy it was for me to blend in amongst the rest of them.
"See, there you go. Now let's see what you've got outside this time." Gauzier led the way out back though the bookstore's lobby. Following nonchalantly, Raziel's face was practically stuck to me, trying to make eye contact; I ignored him, walking just a little faster. "Now, this was the demon you exorcised from the graveyard house on Euclid years ago, right?" Raziel looked back to his boss, nodding quickly before speaking.
"It was a class three specter at the time, yes" he gave me one last icy stare, walking more in-step with Gauzier like business associates. "Terrorized the family living there to where they were forced to hide in the closet for seven hours." My walking slowed just a bit, the wave of guilt hitting me like a strong tide. Raziel looked at me slightly, knowing how detrimental the information was. No, no, don't let him beat you like this; you know you had no control over what happened at that time. That demon wasn't you. I slowly smiled, reassuring myself; my best weapon right now was being the better spirit. It worked, the arrogant angel turned back to the other, frustrated.
"My host and I managed to dispel it from the premises"
"And it returned." Gauzier said, irritation plain to see on his face. "Obviously you failed at exorcising the demon" his voice was bitter, worn down. I almost laughed, relishing in the chance to watch him get bitched out. We walked through the outside door, towards the priest's van as he hung his head a little lower.
"I threw everything I had at it, the demon just kept resurrecting each time; it defied explanation, it was very deceptive." Raziel brought his arms wide, one palm facing my direction; he was purposely trying to point me out in a terribly obvious way. Thankfully, I didn't need to distract the situation one bit.
"Of course it was! It's a demon! They're always deceptive!" Gauzier's voice quickly rose, turning to Raziel. "You want an explanation? This demon was smarter then you, it was more powerful then you, and when you should've been calling for backup, you were too arrogant to say please. Raziel, this is how it's always been! You're assigned to class one and class two demons, ONLY. I'm starting to doubt you can even deal with the C2's now!"
"I can deal with much more then that, you know I have, give me a chance!" He pleaded, seeming to forget I was even there.
"I have, Raziel, I have. I'm done giving you chances. Do some decent work for a change and we'll talk." The three of us stood at the back of the van, door still closed, "I don't need this thing to be open to know whatever it was, left. If it even existed." Gauzier, looked away, shaking his head; Raziel just about lost it.
"I'm telling you
" he pointed straight at me this time, "The damn. Thing. Is. Crafty. A trickster! It shifts forms! Screws with people's minds! " Gauzier followed his point and stared at me as I stood there for a second, before nodding in agreement. Raziel's familiar eyes constricted greatly as he slowly turned to me, absolutely brimming in anger; a far different person then when he sat there, contemplating things. Part of me actually felt bad for him; he seemed under a lot of pressure to not be such a screw-up, and in the process, screwed it up further. A sick, twisted part of me could actually understand why he was trying so hard to kill me, but the rest of myself disagreed by popular vote. Raziel stomped his foot angrily. I only nodded more. Oh yes, this demon was quite crafty, I agree.
"I doubt your ability to train any other angelic exorcist, Raziel, if you're going to continue to act like this." Gauzier spoke glumly, overall disappointed with the way he behaved. He raised his head suddenly.
"Good, you take her!" His whole mouth was open, the extreme revelation and happiness that if I managed to shove my apprentice off on the stronger angel, he'll find out who she is and finish her off for me, become some big hero. That's what I assumed, at least. I knew how to play this part. Taking a deep breath, I lowered my head a little in feigned dejection, looking up practically through my eyebrows. With a sad, slow, meek little shake of my head no, I took big, dumb awkward steps closer to Raziel, giving him a great, big hug. Every part of it sickened me. I could feel him tensing up to throw me off, so I locked my wrists and squeezed harder, hard enough to know it wasn't a friendly hug. I wanted that hug to say 'turn me in, and I'll fuck this up so much worse then it is right now you won't know which way is heaven or hell'
I was in a rather dark mood. Someone threw me off the roof earlier into a mailbox.
"She's quite affectionate, isn't she?" Gauzier lightened up a little, noticing my hug was if anything, over-dramatic. Raziel coughed once, struggling to move his arms.
"That's an understatement" He coughed again as I let go, putting both hands behind my back like I was energetic and ready to learn once again. Gauzier looked between us two, placing a hand on my shoulder.
"I think I need to have a talk with Natalie here, if you could give us a moment, Raziel?" He rubbed his arms gingerly, perking up immediately as he saw things starting to go his way.
"Take all the time you need. Really." He grinned evilly at me as Gauzier and I walked farther down the parking lot. I gave an over-dramatic, affectionate wave before turning my back to him. There were faint, angry sounds far behind us now.
"I don't know how you got here or how you managed to be assigned to Raziel, of all people" Gauzier started as I immediately relied on my dumb bashfulness to try and get me through another jam. This angel seemed to know what he was doing, seemed to have a better grasp on things; he was almost a better credit to my stance of angels. Still, if he apparently knew how to exorcise demons of my apparent rank, being a little more careful around him would be a smart move; I batted my eyes more and tried to look denser. "You should consider apprenticing with a more
rounded exorcist to get your wings. Raziel's been
on the low end of things for a while. Not himself." I perked up for dirt, furrowing my brows.
"He's really just at this commercial work for some time off, to recuperate, get his direction again." We continued walking slowly, "Has he mentioned anything about his wife's 'falling'?" my jaw dropped a little as I shook my head no. Falling? This psycho had a WIFE? They couldn't be talking about actual falling; it had to be the religious type, the cast away, the 'out of the light into the darkness' type. This certainly put a new spin on things.
"It's not my place to gossip, but even though it's been a while, he's still unpredictable about it." I nodded like a concerned parent as I looked over my shoulder, emanating nothing but pity. Raziel taunted until he saw my face, suddenly getting very concerned and serious, like he'd been shot. He knew something was up. "If you're serious about becoming an exorcist, it'd be best to train with someone in a better state of mental health." Despite the seriousness of the conversation, I laughed just a little, turning it into a loud cough instead. At least I wasn't alone in thinking he was a little off.
I smiled slowly, shaking my head no. Placing two hands over my heart, I interlaced my fingers, pulling it away. Gauzier looked at me uncertainly, looking back to Raziel as he paced relentlessly by the van. He too slowly began to smile, shaking his head as well.
"You knew something was wrong with him, didn't you?" He looked back to the angel, now incredibly paranoid about the two spirits talking shit about him just out of earshot. I nodded with a little more sentimental gusto. This didn't excuse him from what he had done earlier, it didn't change the way I hated him so, but it did give him a little more depth. I wouldn't call it dignified reason, but just the tiniest bit of depth on a very shallow opinion. It was also helpful that everyone else considered him just as much of a spaz.
"I appreciate you helping him out, my offer still stands. If you feel you can't help any more, contact me and we'll set you up with a more respectful master. Raziel's stubborn like that." He nodded, turning the two of us back around to rejoin Raziel, now thoroughly bewildered and paranoid. He patted my shoulder.
"You have a very respectful student here, Raziel. Treat her well" Gauzier had resumed being the nicer of the two angels. I raised my eyebrows and nodded. He looked like he was at a war with himself, to grab me and shake me by the throat, or just be blunter about it and punch me square in the face. But with his boss around and on my side, his hands were tied. "Maybe if you manage to teach her well, we could work out a better situation for you" Raziel's blue eyes flickered, anger lost for a second.
"R-Really?" He questioned, looking back to me. I put my hands in the hoodie's pockets, looking around. Who was I to try and keep him from thinking I was helping him out? In a way, I suppose I was. On the other hand, this whole bunch of conversation had been one white lie over the other. I was no student, he was not teaching me, I was the demon and they were the angels. My agreement was built on falsehoods alone, when in all truth I was getting Raziel dragged in the dirt more then he already was. Still, there was a flicker of hope in his eyes, even though he knew all this. It confused me more then the notion that he had managed to sweet-talk some angel into marrying him. Maybe the heavenly vows were said on a rooftop, pushing one another onto matching his-hers mailboxes below. I cracked a smile at my thoughts, tuning back into the conversation.
"You know, I'm due to exorcise a class four demon in just a few hours; would you and your student be interested in coming with? I know its stronger then what you normally face, but it might be a good experience for your student to see some real exorcism work." Gauzier said with an air of supremacy. I was clearly able to hear him making fun of Raziel amidst it, but the angel practically leapt at the opportunity, insulted or not.
"Yes, of course!" he said happily, hearing the priest walking up to his car once again. "We'll follow right behind you, I have to let my host know" He bolted at the priest, leaning and whispering straight into his ear. The clergyman nodded, smiling, waving in our general direction. After the two host-priests gabbed with one another and started traveling, I found myself in the back of the van once again, this time not restrained in any way. Raziel sat in the front seat, talking with the priest excitedly, eyes wandering back to me as I sat there, looking out the window.
"If I had more time, I'd tie you back up again; but I'm busy."
"Clearly." I pulled the hood from my head, bundling up in it. Gauzier traveled in his host's car far in front of us, out of range.
"What did he say to you?" Raziel leaned farther in his pilot chair, glaring at me from a lazy distance away. I did my best to put my pity-eyes back on, those deep, sorrowful looks, the 'oh my god, I'm so sorry' attitude. By the way his eyes widened, there was no real need to say anything. "Whatever it was, it's not true. Gauzier likes to make up stories."
"You poor, injured thing" I said softly, voice sopping with pity. Raziel sat up taller in his chair.
"It's not true!" he shouted, defensive.
"Raziel, please! I'm driving!" the priest waved his hand around in some sort of pain, putting it back to the wheel and shaking his head. We drove in strange silence, soft music taking up the conversation.
"Pooooor bay-bee" I said softly, hissing it in the van. Raziel pulled something from the car's glove-box, chucking the user manual at me like a spoiled brat.
Laughing, I settled back down, spending the rest of the trip learning all about the Ford Transit