The Confession of a Broken Soul

Kaila inhaled deeply as she took in her reflection in the mirror. The Devil's Night Ball would begin soon, and Xerxes had ordered her to get ready. When presented with the various dresses, jewelry, and what seemed like paint for the face, she had not known what to do. Luckily, he had summoned a servant—a human—just like her to help her. Yet she could not have asked the girl, Hannah, as much as she wanted to since Xerxes had leaned against the doorway of his bath chamber watching them intently. Therefore she was forced to remain silent and study Hannah as much as she could. The girl was a little older than she was, pale almost translucent, and her eyes were a dull blue. Her movements were slow—almost sluggish—and it took visibly took effort. Kaila did not even need confirmation that the girl was probably drained of her blood on a daily basis.

Her hands were cold as she applied the paint to her face, and Kaila physically fought the urge to bombard her with questions. The steel gaze of Xerxes' eyes deterred her enough. It was with immense patience that she did not utter a sound as the girl finished, bowed, and left.

"You look lovely."

The compliment took her aback, but she tightened her jaw as she turned away to stare at her reflection. She inhaled sharply as she touched a hand to her face. Her eyes were defined by a black outline making her dark brown eyes stand out, her eyelashes were long and full, her cheeks looked healthy and glowing, and her lips looked particularly inviting as they shone pink like rose petals. The face paint made a lot of difference.

"Make up."

She gave him a questioning look through the mirror, still refusing to actually speak with him if she could help it, Taylor's death still heavy in her heart.

"The 'face paint' is called make-up. Females, especially humans, seem to have an affinity for it," he turned to leave and added over his shoulder, "and stop the childish petulance. I could give you back to Siyavesh at a moment's notice, and I assure you it would not be a pleasant experience if I do."

Exhaling slowly, she turned back to the mirror and gingerly brushed the hair of the side-swept fringe from her eye. Her hair shone sleek and smooth in its elegant up do and it complimented her diamond-shaped drop earrings and matching necklace. As she turned to the mirrored wall behind her, she took in her gown. It was made of charmeuese satin with fuchsia coloring, and had a low cut V-neck halter top with jewel encrusted straps. She was particularly fond of the unique beading and sequins that created a front waist panel that split on the sides for a midriff even if the thought of showing so much skin made her slightly uneasy. The high front slit did little to help.

"Kaila, it's time to go."

Turning away, she heeded Xerxes' call as she left the chamber. She stopped as she entered the bedroom. Somehow in the seconds of leaving the previous room, he had changed into formal clothing hidden by a cloak. His hair was pulled back by a black, silk ribbon making his jaw structure stand out all the more. His wings were slightly expanded giving him a powerful overall appearance. It hit her, once again, just how handsome—beautiful—the being in front of her was.

Walking over to him carefully, she had already stumbled once after having put on the silver, strappy heels, she took notice of his offered hand. She accepted, her palm smoothing over the white fabric of his formal gloves. It felt strange to feel the structure of his hand through the thin material. It was then she noticed, smugly of course, how the height of her heels closed their stature difference; her eyes met his nose. She did her best to keep her face neutral but something must have shown on her face as he raised a brow.

"I should let you know I don't know how to dance," she said instead as they made their way out of the chambers, "whether or not I knew before losing my memory I have no idea."

His tone was mocking, "I assumed as much. You'll learn quickly."

The unspoken "or else" was practically shouted. She scowled, "Not with that tone. You're setting me up for a loss already."

His grip tightened on her hand, and she flinched as she took the silent order to hold her tongue. They continued to walk in silence down the corridors. After a few minutes, she had to ask, "What exactly do we do at these… balls?"

Xerxes did not answer immediately, "The more… traditional part of the ball has passed. It is best that you do not know what it consists of. Now there is dancing in the main hall."

"What is Devil's Night exactly? Why this night in particular?"

"You talk too much."

"Everyone keeps saying that," she rolled her eyes in exasperation. "What's the harm of me knowing? I can't exactly do anything with the information."

"The last thing I need is for you to spend the night crying in a corner because you're frightened out of your mind."

"You'll protect me, won't you? I should be fine."

He glance down at her," That is a lot of confidence in someone who killed your friend."

A knot formed in her throat at the mention of Taylor, but she fought it down and replied, "There is way too much happening too fast for it to sink in completely. I may feel differently later, but right now, I'm just… surviving I guess."

They continued to walk in silence, the journey long and full of turns and ascents of stairs. How many floors does this castle have, Kaila wondered to herself, and everything is so dark all the time. As much as she wanted to ask her questions, she restrained herself and settled for keeping the silence Xerxes' so obviously wanted. Understandably, it came as a shock to her when he spoke up suddenly.

"There are certain rules at these dances particularly for the female that you must follow. Rule One: Brides must always save the first and last dance for their masters or mistresses respectively. Rule Two: Under no circumstances are brides allowed to refuse another vampire's offer for a dance unless said dance has been promised to their masters or mistresses. Rule Three: Brides must never stray from their master's or mistress' side. And the last rule is that all of these rules are negated if the Vampire Lord is involved."

"So in other words: stay by your side and do what you say."

Her comment made him smirk, "To sum it up, yes." Suddenly they came to a towering set of double of doors. "We're here. Kaila, I ask that you behave yourself and keep your composure regardless of what you see. When I say ask, I mean command."

She had barely a second to compose herself before the doors opened seemingly on their own. A haunting musical waltz filtered out of the ball room as they began walking in. An eerie voice glided through the air sending shivers down her spine as the singing resonated through the hall. The ballroom was immense, expanding beyond her vision. It was dark—very dark—lit only by chandeliers of flames and sconces on the walls. Large, arched windows let moonlight through, but only faintly. All around vampires and their brides waltzed to their hearts content; dark colors of mauve, crimson, violet burgundy, and black intertwined with one another.

It was both a beautiful and unnerving sight. She clung tighter to Xerxes as he led her into the throng. She couldn't help but notice how she stood out amongst the dark colors. Biting her lip, she tightened her grip further.

"You have some strength in you," the dark angel commented lightly as they continued making their way through the dancers, shockingly not colliding with anyone. "Calm yourself."

"I'm trying," she hissed through gritted teeth as she fought to stare straight ahead. A few vampires had stopped to stare at them as they passed, and as they continued their path, more and more halted mid-step. It seemed like an eternity until they reached their destination.

Vader smirked down at them from his seat on his throne, numerous brides rested at his feet. Kaila averted her eyes when she realized some were nude. Instead, she focused on the elaborate structure of the throne. It was very tall and had twin, sharp wings protruding from the sides. It had horns jutting from the frame here and there, and at the very peak of the chair it had the face of some type of creature with horns sticking far out if its head.

"Do you like it, Little Girl?"

The Vampire Lord's voice startled her, and as she met his penetrating gaze, she forced herself to think of something to say, "I-It's… intimidating."

The answer seemed to please him as he smiled, his extended canines glinting in the moonlight. "Xerxes," he focused his attention on the angel, "It's been a while since you gave me the honor of your presence at these balls. Do I owe the thanks to your lovely bride?"

She stiffened and glanced at Xerxes only for him to roll his eyes and scoff, "Hardly a bride, and you know it, Vader."

"Details," The Vampire Lord waved a hand casually as one bride crawled into his lap, her tongue caressing his neck. Kaila tried to look away as his hand stroked down the demon's back, over her buttocks, and into the part between them. The vampiress began to give guttural moans, and the sounds sent a bolt of pleasure straight to Kaila's core. The air became thick and heady, and she became lightheaded.

"I think it's time for a dance, Xerxes. The girl looks about ready to join my bacchanalia."

She barely heard his words before she was led away quickly back into the mass of dancers who had continued their waltz. She blinked as the heady air let up, and she found she could breathe once again. As she realized Xerxes had maneuvered them into the first position of a waltz, she hissed, "I told you I can't dance."

"And I told you that you would learn."

Xerxes pulled her to him, placed a hand right under her shoulder blade and clasped her other one, and roughly drew her into the correct position. She flinched, "Could you possibly be a little rougher? I'm afraid my limbs are still attached to my body."

To her surprise, he chuckled, "You do not change, Little One."

Before she could question him, they began to dance. True to her nature, she stumbled more than once. Xerxes hissed directions at her, but she was getting dizzy, and with the turns all she could see were his large wings. She shuddered every time they neared a vampire couple and lost her concentration. After a few minutes, the waltz came to an end.

Oh, thank you, thank you.

She cradled the side of her face in order to steady her spinning surroundings. "That was not enjoyable," she muttered to herself.

"The feeling is mutual."

She managed a glare before a hand touched the small of her back. She stiffened even as Vader stepped into view. "I am afraid I'll have to step in now. I saw that atrocious pass for a waltz." he remarked smirking at Xerxes all the while.

"Be my guest. You've always been a masochist."

Luckily, The Vampire Lord took her away just as she began to let loose a few choice words. "You are brave but do not confuse it with foolishness," he laughed quietly nonetheless, "Now let me teach you how to dance a waltz."

She tried to control her rapid heartbeat as he showed her the correct position. He could of course hear her heartbeat and feel her tense body as he shook his head, "We won't be able to dance at all if you don't calm, Little Girl." After a few moments, he pursed his lips before speaking, "Look at me."

She did.

"Follow me."

She did.

"Lord Xerxes, be careful, there are many who want a bite at her."

He glanced at Myra over his glass of wine before following her eyes to where Vader and Kaila glided along the ball room floor. He couldn't deny that it irked him that The Vampire Lord had gotten the inept girl to move like a swan when it had taken everything he had to keep her upright. Myra's warning had stated the obvious. In her alluring dress, and the warm blood rushing through her still living body, vampires were drawn to the human left from right. Why Kaila had not noticed was beyond him—his eyes suddenly narrowed as he discerned something. Vader's aura…

Of course, he enthralled her. Cheater.

"Do not worry yourself, Myra." he spoke out loud. "I am keeping a close eye on her." Seeing her concerned expression, he inquired. "Why are you not with your master?"

"My master has asked me to look after Kaila for him. Even though Master Vader gave her back to you, my master still feels a sense of obligation."

"He need not worry. Tell him so."

"My lord," she bowed and walked away leaving him to continue to witness the spectacle happening in front of him.

The pair did strike a spectacular picture, he would admit, as they glided past him. As the seconds passed, Kaila seemed to lose herself within her trance. Her eyes were closed and her lips were slightly parted and it so reminded him of her in the throes of ecstasy. The memories surged, and he made the attempt to look away, but he found he could not.

The images of her naked body, the sounds of her breathy moans, and the taste of her skin assaulted him. His breath came out in pants as he continued to watch her. He could practically feel his pupils dilate as his groin began stirring to life. Exhaling deeply, he grabbed the nearest female by her arm and slammed her into the banquet table spilling gallons of blood. As vampires and brides fell to the ground licking up the crimson liquid, he pushed up the bride's dress. His mouth fell open as he glanced down at the vampiress who hissed at him, fangs bared.

Yes, fight me.

She began to thrash, her chocolate curls flying in every direction. Unbuttoning his pants, his phallus jutted out already leaking before he plunged into the awaiting cavity. He grunted in displeasure at the coldness of the demon's lifeless body, but as his eyes once again landed on Kaila who slowly rose from where Vader had dipped her, his arousal grew anew. He thrusted slowly, in time with the waltz he observed, not noticing the moans from the vampiress beneath him. His cock slid in and out of the tight channel; the minutes seemed endless, the images a blur, his only focus: one living, human girl.

Just as he reached his peak, his body pounding into the demon's with enough force to shake the entire table, he caught sight of his human's eyes opening and meeting The Vampire Lord's. Even from a distance they were clouded in desire. She began to lean in, her full lips seeking a mate. In an instant, he climaxed, wrenched himself away from the bride, and soared into the air, his wings beating harshly.

Moving faster than even a vampire could sense, he appeared beside his friend and slave, his body composed and his face neutral. Without missing a beat, Vader smirked as he handed her over in mid-turn giving a bow that went unnoticed as he disappeared into the throng.

Kaila met his gaze, the glassy look in her eyes fading. In response, he tightened his hold on her as they spun on the ballroom floor. She trembled against him, but he could feel her blood rapidly pulsing through her body. Not once did they falter in their steps, and Xerxes knew it had nothing to do with Vader's trance. They continued to dance, fuchsia and black mingling together. Their breathing became in synch, and he could not fathom what had come over them both. His arousal grew anew, stronger than before, and he noticed her pupils completely dilated as her breath grew harsher.

It was then he started to detect, vaguely, the effect they seemed to be having among the demons. Many couples stopped their twirling in favor of copulating, orgies began to emerge from on and off the ballroom floor, and the sounds of echoing moans reverberated over the music. It became impossible to continue dancing, the air around them becoming heady with lust and sex. When a soft whimper escaped Kaila, he knew they had to leave. Clutching her to him, he took to the air and aimed for the doors at the back of the hall. He knew they led to a large balcony, and they needed fresh air quickly. Still in a daze, Kaila did not object as they fled.

As soon as they tore through the doors, he hastily released her barely having the cognizance to slow her fall when she gave a scream as he descended. Landing roughly, he stumbled for a few steps as he clutched the stone parapet hard enough to fracture it. His eyes were clenched as he fought to control his breathlessness, his wings still outstretched and poised for flight. What was happening to him? He fucked a vampire… something he had promised himself never to do, not since—

"Are you all right?"

Kaila's hesitant voice cut through the roar of pounding blood in his ears. It seemed she recovered quickly, and he forced himself to inhale through his nose as he turned to her. She was biting her lip, wringing her fingers together as she stared at him with her wide eyes. "I…I don't know exactly what happened in there," she continued as she took a few steps forward. "Um, did… did I do something?"

The dark angel shook his head, breathing still a chore, "What happened was that pheromones got a little too out of control…this is a norm for vampires. Don't fear."

She seemed to understand as she gave a slow nod, "I suppose that's what you warned me about from before."

He had to face away as he exhaled shakily, "A…Among other things."

"Lord Xerxes—"

He felt her hand on his back; the touch burned.

"—are you sure you're—"

"Don't touch me!" he snarled as he wrenched away, his wings giving a harsh beat.

She clutched her hand to her chest, her face in bewildered shock. "Okay," came her reply. To his astonishment, she composed herself and walked to his side—far enough away that he did not recoil—and began gazing at the moon.

Gradually he calmed, his knuckles loosening their grip on the stone railing, and his wings furling into a relaxed state. Without realizing it, he spoke, "Forgive me. I did not mean to frighten you."

If she was surprised, she did not show it, instead answering softly, "You do that a lot."

He could not find it in himself to be angry, instead choosing to lean forward and stare at the sky in silence. A peace settled over them, and he was loathe to break it. It soon became apparent, alternatively, that Kaila did not share the sentiment.

"I don't… really understand you." She did not face him as she talked, "One minute you are a really… bad person, and the next you…"

She returned to the silence, and he waited for a few moments. When it became clear she would not continue, he prompted her. "I what, Kaila?"

"You seem," she sighed deeply before finally facing him, "You seem good…kind."

"I was once." The words were out before he could stop them. He closed his eyes in frustration. Was Kaila destined to be the bane of his existence?

"I think I was too."

For a moment he wasn't sure he heard right. The hush that followed confirmed it nevertheless. He stared at her in disbelief. She gave a rueful smile as she turned away. Rattled more than he cared to admit, Xerxes asked, "What do you mean?"

"I don't know."

"You are a good person, Kaila, agood human. How could you doubt that?" After all she had been through… for her to even fathom that she was less than good was… blasphemous.

"I don't think a 'good' person would be so willing to forgive the death of a friend …especially when the murderer is standing not three feet from her." Her eyes focused on him, but surprisingly enough, he could not tell what she was feeling right then. "A good person would fight and avenge. A good person would not be so quick to accept a fate based on lies, but I'm tired of being angry and confused." She turned away, "I'm so tired, and I don't even know why."

Her tone was so… worn-out, so beautiful in her vulnerability that he moved and embraced her from behind before he could think twice. She did not tense, instead leaning back into his comfort. His lips caressed the side of her face as he murmured, "I can say with the utmost confidence that you are a good person, Kaila. Without a doubt."

"Thank you," she placed her arms around the ones locked around her middle. "You know… I think a part of you is too."

"I doubt it."

"Why?" She turned her head, "Your actions right now prove it. I have not met a single person who has been either completely evil or completely good."

If only you knew, Little One.

"You know little of the world and its workings, Kaila. I am no more good than you are evil."

To his surprise, she shook her head vehemently, and tightened her grip on him, "Goodness is when you are kind to others, right? When you protect them? And evil is when you hurt others? When all you want is to cause pain?"


"Then vampires and demons can't be all evil! Master Vader , Siyavesh, Myra, and even you, have all protected me. All of you have been kind! At some point."

He shook his head, "It is not that simple."

"Why not? Surely if you and everyone else in this castle are so evil, I wouldn't be alive right now."

"Has it not occurred to you that we need to gain your trust?" he snarled, pulling away from her. His patience was gone. "That we need you and that is why you are alive?"

She began to shake her head, impulsively denying it, before doubt edged in. She clenched her jaw before staring at the ground.

"Now you see. Do not speak about goodness and evil so trivially when you have undeniably no idea of what it entails."

Her head snapped up, and they stared each other down. Defiance, and the fierceness that was so uniquely Kaila, was evident in the glow of her eyes. Not for the first time, Xerxes noted how… stunning she was.

"If you, who claims to know about good and evil, allege me to be a good person, then I must believe you," she declared, her chin raised. "If that's true then a good person must recognize goodness in other people. I recognize it in you."

He should have known she would not be so easily deterred. His fists clenched as anger surged anew. He was reaching his breaking point. "Kaila, enough."

"Why?" The stubborn girl glared at him, "Why are you so sure-"


"No! Tell me why! Why are you—"

"Because I turned away from God!"

The bellow echoed into the night, but he did not care. "I turned away from the light and gave myself over to the darkness. I have killed, I have raped, I have done such horrible, ruthless things that only knowing a portion would tear you apart." He towered over her, and she fought the urge to flee, he could see it. He pulled out his cross necklace, dangling it in front of her. His wings expanded in a fierce stance. "I denied this! That is why my wings are black. I am tainted, dark, rejected. I am damned for eternity."

Her eyes were wide as she gazed at him before she swallowed audibly. To his astonishment, she held her chin high despite it all, "You can change."

At this, he let out a sharp laugh. "I don't think so, Little One. I am what I am. My Creator made sure of that." He turned away, "I didn't ask to be born an angel, and I certainly didn't want to become a Fallen. The truth is I do not serve Lucifer. I do not serve God. It would seem I am neither good nor evil by that definition."

"Then why are you here?"

The echo of Raine's earlier question made him clench his jaw as his eyes slid closed. "I do what benefits me. Here, I answer to no one. I am free to do what I wish."

"But…" came her soft reply, "It bothers you. You feel lonely."

Hanging his head, he took a deep breath and let it out. For a few seconds he relished in the feel of the slight, cold breeze as it soothed his dark feathers. Why couldn't she leave things be? Did she not know how hard it was for him to recognize his own loneliness, his own despair? As he opened his eyes to look at the moon, he found he sought answers from the beautiful crescent , "All I ever wanted was a choice. What does that make me?"

"It makes you human."

It was if time stood still. All of his senses focused on Kaila with such intensive scrutiny, it should have alarmed him. He became acutely aware of the few strands of hair that had fallen loose as they floated with the breeze, of the way the moonlight seemed to make her skin glow like the palest pink skin of an angel, and most of all, of the way her eyes gleamed with absolute conviction in her belief.

It makes you human… is that… why…?

"Thank you," he found himself saying, and it scared him… how much he meant it.

Her sudden smile was blinding, and her entire face lit up in the dark. She was happy… actually happy by so small a thing. Suddenly, he was overcome with a feeling of familiarity. Where had he seen this before? He could not think on it for long. His breath was stolen from his body as she moved close to kiss his cheek. The suppleness of her lips brushed his skin sending a tremor through him that he scarcely managed to suppress.

"You're very welcome."

Their eyes met again as she leaned away. His eyes drifted to her lips, still parted slightly. He was not aware of closing the gap between them, only the sweetness of her mouth as she opened up to him. The kiss was nothing like they had ever shared before. It was as soft as the feathers of his wings that were currently enclosing them into their own private world. He cradled her neck in his right hand, his thumb gently stroking her cheek as they kissed.

Kaila seemed to regain her sense as she hesitantly pulled away. Her eyes were wide, almost frightened, as she searched his face in confusion. The dark angel smirked. Beyond her fear it was clear she did not object to the kiss when her eyes kept straying to his lips. He did not speak as he allowed her to make the choice. Seconds passed, and she must have found whatever she was searching for as she inhaled sharply before leaning back in to capture his mouth.

Their second kiss was much less chaste and much more passionate. His tongue plundered her mouth brutally causing her to give small whimpers that spurred him on. His arms circled her body possessively as her hands slid up his cloaked chest. He inhaled deeply though his nose as white, hot fire coursed through his body. When a small groan escaped him as she gently ran her nails down the back of his neck, he knew they had to leave.

Pulling away, he murmured, "Hold onto me."

Still dazed, she wrapped her arms around his neck right before he took to the air. His human gasped quietly, tightening her hold on him, but when she realized he was gliding through the night, she let out a small laugh of nervous delight, and loosened her grip somewhat. It felt right, strangely enough, holding her like this as he soared through the air. He would never admit it out loud, but it seemed like she belonged in his arms—like she'd always belonged there. He glanced down at her, but she seemed engaged in observing the sky with newfound awe.

How? How did you do this to me? Why you?

As if sensing that he thought about her, Kaila tilted her head up to meet his gaze. She seemed to blush before lowering her eyes and ducking her head. He raised a hand and pulled at the hairpins releasing her long locks into the wind to mingle with his own. She closed her eyes at the feeling, tilting her head back to bask in the caress. He then cradled her throat, his fingers moving up to smooth over her lips. They parted instinctively, but he did not lean down toward her. Instead he sped up, delighting in her sharp intake of breath at their haste. His wings began to beat faster and stronger as they turned and the large window of his chambers came into view.

The windows blew open, and he slowed enough to glide in smoothly. Releasing Kaila, he stretched his wings one last time before allowing them to remain at ease. He then focused back on his human. It was by staring at her now, he noticed all the changes. She was thinner… a little too thin. Her hair was longer, unrulier than when he had first captured her. Her skin was paler, almost as white as a vampire's. How long had she been here? Still, looking into her eyes he found a renewed hope. She was still innocent. She was still Kaila, still human. That was all he needed.

Kaila barely managed to let out a gasp of surprise as she found her back hitting the wall. Her legs were spread as she was pushed up said wall by the dark angel, and following her instincts she wrapped them around his waist. He wasted no time in capturing her mouth, and with a small moan, she gave in.

Why was she acting like this? She hated him. He killed her friend. He abused her. He was… he was… he was lovely.

She tightened her grip on his hair, his silken hair, intent on ensnaring his tongue as his gloved hands gripped and kneaded the flesh of her thigh and waist. As his hand moved from waist to breast, she moaned as he roughly massaged the globe, making the fabric of her dress rub her nipple until it bordered on painful.

His lips left her mouth to trail down to her throat. He began to bite at her skin. His grip on her thigh tightened, and he began to push his hand hard against her breast. "L-Lord Xer—Xerxes." She took in a few sharp breaths trying to get through it. He pulled at her skin with his teeth before jerking her upwards and forcing his body against hers brutally, "Y-You're," she couldn't breathe, there was no room to breathe, "h-hurting me."

A whizzing sound met her ears as he vanished and she fell to the ground. At once, cold air rushed into her lungs as she took deep breaths. Placing a hand on her heaving chest, she looked up to see the dark angel taking his own deep inhalations through his nose while staring at her. No, not staring at her, staring through her. It was as if he had been transported into another place.

A few moments after composing herself, she noticed he did not seem to be any closer to snapping out of whatever trance he seemed to be in. The thought of leaving crossed her mind. It was the smart thing—the sane thing—to do. Her heart… her heart refused to listen. She called softly, "Xerxes?"

"You should go."

She gasped softly, his eyes had unexpectedly zeroed in on her, but she was not fooled. The blankness was there even through the small effort of focus. "Are… are you okay?"

The same bland monotone replied, "I will end up hurting you. You need to leave now."

Carefully, she stood. "I'm not going to leave. Something is wrong with you. I just—what happened? What is it?"

"I will end up hurting you."

"You said that already. Was it what I—"

"You need to leave now."

Was he listening to her at all? His breath was now under control, and he appeared as composed as ever. All the same, she could not simply leave him alone. "I understand, but can you at least tell me why—"

"Leave now, Kaila!"

The bellow silenced her immediately. She had never seen the Dark Angel so rattled. To think she was only trying to help. The thought made her blood boil, and her own temper rose harshly. "Why should I? You weren't exactly complaining a couple of minutes ago. It's not my fault you were being too rough! Just be softer!"

A humorless chuckle escaped him. "You don't get it do you, human? No matter what I do to you, no matter how much pain or sadness I cause you, you always manage to return to me. How? How can you still stand before me after everything I have done? Why do you insist on believing there is something salvageable about me?"

"Because I don't have a choice."

His eyes snapped to hers, his gaze questioning clear, the haze finally gone. His breathing had calmed, and his entire body seemed to unwind as he realized she looked just as surprised as he by her declaration.

"Because… I don't have a choice," she repeated as if needing to hear it out loud one more time. She looked up at him as if understanding a now revealed essential truth. "I don't. I don't know half of the things you're talking about. I don't even know my full name, my life, or anything outside these walls. I've lost Taylor, Myra, even Siyavesh. I've lost everything, everything that made me who I am. I can't even—I know… it's because of that I…" Pausing, she forced the more explosive emotions down as she swallowed through the knot in her throat. "All I know," she restarted as she opened her eyes to meet his, "is that you are all I have. Whether by choice or luck or even punishment, you are all I have—all I know."

Reaching him, she cradled his face in her palms, his expression growing in intensity as he listened to her. "You ask me why I keep insisting that there is goodness in you. The answer is simpler and more selfish than you think." Gazing in to his beautiful eyes, she felt the strength to continue, to confess. "I believe you are good deep down because there is no other option. Recognizing the possibility that I'm wrong will leave me alone." Tears welled up in her eyes, "I don't want to be alone."

Something in his contemplation softened as he continued to watch her in silence. He said nothing, and she found that everything else she wished to express, she did so soundlessly. Gloved hands then cupped her face so gently she could not fight the tears that streamed down her face. His thumbs stroked them away as they caressed her cheeks before he leaned forward.

The kiss was tender on her forehead, and she exhaled in relief as she felt a soothing, cool sensation wash over her. As he pulled away, she leaned up and placed a soft, closed-lip kiss on his lips. One of his arms wrapped tightly around her waist as he angled her head and deepened the kiss.

You can be gentle, she thought in her mind, convinced he could hear her. I know you can. I don't want anything from you. Nothing you can't afford to give me.

Her hands stroked the sides of his face before descending down his throat, his skin feeling smooth and firm beneath her hands. She reached the part where skin disappeared beneath his cloak and formal dress. Recalling Taylor's statement about his aversion to being unclothed for intimacies, she merely reached up, mindful of his wings, and wrapped her arms around his neck.

Breath soon became a necessity for her. Xerxes seemed to know this as he pulled away to give her just enough space to take deep breaths. Their eyes met, no words were exchanged, and she was stunned when he ripped off his gloves, his eyes never leaving hers. She gasped sharply as his hand touched her cheek, his thumb at the corner of her mouth. Her eyes strayed to his naked hand, the feeling of his skin on hers sensitizing every physical sensation. When his other hand settled on her waist, the touch sent a bolt of cold fire through her that she could not hold back the small moan.

The smirk on his face was obvious, but it soon vanished as he recaptured her mouth. His hands began caressing her body through the thin material of her dress, and she raised her leg and wrapped it around his waist. His other hand grasped her thigh as she tucked an arm behind her to intertwine their fingers.

Their passion escalated then as he leaned forward, forcing her to lean backwards, as he plundered her mouth. His sharp inhalations and grunts audible now along with her breathy sighs. He spun her around sharply, pressing her back against his front before running a finger down the back of her neck. She drew in a sharp breath through her nose as the strap around her neck broke apart causing the front of her dress to fall open to reveal her breasts.

His lips on her neck distracted her, and she closed her eyes and leaned her head back to give him better access. Another high-pitched moan left her as his hand smoothed over her stomach and up to cup her mound and then pinch her nipple. His tongue laved at her pulse point, and she forced herself to regain some sense as she turned back around.

Staring into his eyes, she slowly moved her hands to the clasp of his cloak. He made no move to stop her as she gingerly untied the string and let his cloak fall to the floor. Next came his evening jacket, and soon it was down to his formal shirt. To her surprise he took over, and began to slowly undo the buttons, his eyes never straying from hers. She swallowed thickly as more and more of his muscular, ivory chest was revealed to her. Unable to help herself, she reached for the last button and slipped it through its opening before sliding the shirt off him. She could only marvel how the shirt landed on the floor in shreds as it seemed to tear apart to accommodate his wings. She could not admire long as he reached for her and drew her flush against him. The feel of her sensitive peaks pressed against silky flesh gave her renewed desire, and she grasped his face leaning up as his hands stroked down her back to where the rest of her dress clung to her lower body.

She reached back to release his wonderful hair from its ribbon just as he yanked the rest of her dress off her, leaving her in lacy panties. Their lips met yet again, and she welcomed his tongue as it devoured her mouth, in return she ran her hands appreciatively over his skin in awe of the feel of it. Without warning, she felt a gust of air beneath her right before her back met soft, silk fabric.

Just as she realized she was on top of the bed, Xerxes claimed her mouth once more as he ran his hands down her sides to grip her hips. Losing herself in his kiss, she wrapped her thighs around his waist and clutched hard. Taking the hint, he grounded himself down, the bulge of his cock rubbing against her. Just as she sucked his tongue into her mouth, she gasped as he hooked a finger into her underwear and began to tug it down. Pulling away, she met his eyes, glinting in the moonlight, before they were shadowed as his wings expanded. Reaching upwards, she traced a feather with her finger, pausing as he shuddered violently, before continuing steadily adding pressure.

A deep growl met her ears before he began to thrust against her anew. The spark of dark pleasure at the rubbing against her leaking sex made her realize she was now fully nude. Throwing her head back, she closed her eyes as she began to whimper as he latched on to one of her nipples. She gripped his head hard and hugged him to her as sensations began to overwhelm her. Seeming to sense this, the Dark Angel drew away from her chest, and cupped her cheek. He drew his tongue over her slightly parted lips before capturing the lower lip in between his own.

She grew bold then, and trailed her hands down his back before arriving at where the rest of his body was hidden from her. Without waiting for permission, she tugged his pants down, freeing his weeping erection. He stilled then, pulling away from her. Reciprocating from earlier, she withdrew her hands and cupped his face.

It's okay.

He leaned down, eyes closed, as his forehead touched hers. They stayed that way for a few moments before he discarded the last remaining obstacle between them. Returning to her, he drew her body to him, crushing her against his larger form. She gasped when he rolled them over suddenly in a flurry of satin and silk. She found herself straddling him as the cool sheets covered them modestly. He stroked her hair to rest over one shoulder as his other hand tightened its grip on her waist before lifting her up and over his throbbing manhood.

A roaring reached her ears as his fingers entered her. She felt heat rush to her face as the feel of something inside her overwhelmed her senses. She braced herself, clutching the sheets in her hands, as she remembered to breathe. His free hand gripped her chin, stroking her lips, and managed to distract her as he withdrew his fingers moments later. She moaned loudly when she was filled by him suddenly. He gripped her neck and pulled her down for a kiss when he propelled upwards, forcing more of himself inside her. Her whimper of pain was swallowed by him.

Trust me.

Their eyes met as he began to slowly thrust, shallowly and gently. She bit her lip as the familiar sensation of unfathomable pleasure began to build in their coupling. Almost as if renewed life flowed through her veins, she rose and began to move with the rises and cascades of the white lightning undulating in her. She keened right along with his grunts as he took hold of her hips. Covering his hands with her own, she threw her head back, her hair bouncing against her back. It took her by surprise when she found herself on her back once more against silk, but this surprise did not last as he began to thrust anew. Closing her eyes, she allowed him to kiss her throat before she opened them in confusion when he stilled.

His head was bowed, his wings extended as if poised for flight, and he had his hands braced against the sides of her head. She could see the muscles contract before he began to tremble. A pained groan escaped him, and his tremors began to increase. Sensing this was far more serious than he was trying to let on, she opened her mouth to speak when he suddenly lurched forward but caught himself before he fell on top of her. His eyes were clenched tight, and she reached for his face only to notice that he had one hand clutching his chest.

Was he hurt? Did he need help?

Not knowing what to do, she placed her hand below his before gently moving his hand aside and replacing it with her own. There was no heartbeat, which she should have anticipated, but instead she focused on the warmth of his flesh. Somehow she felt that through tenderness not violence, he would feel better.

His hand clutched hers as if to yank it away only to grip tightly, possessively. Gradually, he calmed: his wings contracted, his eyes open and clear, his tremors gone. He was still inside her, no less hard, but the urgency that had overtaken them had passed, had been pushed aside for a more important need to sustain this one moment between them. He brought her hand to his lips and kissed her palm. She smiled. She could not explain why she felt the urge to protect him, as if only she had the power to do so, and decided to let it go, as she gently held him to her, allowing him to rest his head against her own.

He buried his face into her neck and kissed the tender skin before reaching for her thigh and bringing it to his lips. As if to make up for the interruption, he began to slowly reignite the fire inside her by light caresses and soft kisses in just the right spots. Soon he began to move again, slowly, making her feel every inch of him. She clutched him as the slow burn overtook her, soon returning to the whimpering child with no control over the waves of sensation racking her body. His hips began to speed up as time passed, although there was never a lack of finesse in his movements as he did so. His wings began to beat, the air refreshing her flushing body as he ravaged her. Her moans, groans, and sighs did not stop and moved to the staccato beats of the plunges into her warm body.

It was when he shoved a thigh onto his shoulder, and began to piston in and out of her anew that the slow burn roared to life so suddenly, her voice was stolen from her, and all she could do was hold her breath. As she broke apart before being pieced back together so exquisitely, she vaguely noticed his thrusts grew more erratic before he finally came to a halt groaning out her name. She meant to say something, anything, but the world grew dark.

Xerxes threw himself to the side as his body gave out beneath him. His chest heaved with his pants, and he turned to face Kaila only to find her unconscious. For a second, his world turned to ice as he feared he had been too much for her. Only when he saw the slow rise and dip of her chest, did he groan and turn to stare at the ceiling. So many thoughts and questions raced through his head, but he did not allow any to fully form.

Once his body calmed, he turned to stare at the young girl who faced him, dark lashes kissing her cheek. Reaching toward her, he tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear. She shifted, turning her body and burrowing into the satin sheets, her hand clutching the fabric near her face. Her lips open slightly as she slept as peacefully as a newborn babe when its stomach was full and its need for constant affection was appeased.

He could not look away from her, fought the urge to draw her close. There were so many questions he had to ask, so many mysteries surrounding this one girl. He was so much older than her, so much… stronger, faster, and smarter. Why then? Why was she better? He was so much more than her in every conceivable way. She was nothing, but a human, a weakling. Why then did she make him feel like he was lacking?

Why? Why are humans so much more valuable to You?

His body surged upwards along with bitterness, and he was out of bed and dressed in no time. Gazing at her, he loathed her humanity, but it was her humanity that allowed her to touch him as she had.

I don't want anything from you. Nothing you can't afford to give me.

Could it truly be that easy? Was Kaila capable of understanding him? Of caring for him? Without forever in return?

"Xexes, do not ask for more from me. Believe me worthy by who I am and not what I offer, and my heart is yours. I promise you that. I swear to you my silver savior: never forsake me, and I am yours."

That voice, her voice, unbidden but forever in his heart. Melania… I can never forsake you, he thought fiercely, for you. All of this for you. Always. He glanced back at the sleeping girl in his bed. Was she the one?

He walked over to the window, watching it unbolt and open when he neared, and settled a foot on the ledge, wings poised for flight.

It very well could be you, Kaila.

He could not help the following thought that echoed as he soared into the sky.

I hope to the heavens above it's not you.

Time passed in a blur of passion upon his return. Kaila had barely opened her eyes before the dark angel was upon her, his mouth hot and urgent against hers. There was no more tenderness but dark desire that seemed to make him almost… angry.

The side of her face rubbed a bit unpleasantly against the sheets with every brutal thrust into her body. She bit her lip to silence her moans but that seemed to anger him more. Her back suddenly slammed into the wall as he thrust violently into her.

"Don't. Let me hear you." he snarled into the side of her throat as he began to suck on her pulse point.

Unable to defy him, she began to moan and keen. The more brutal he was, the more pleasure it seemed to give her. What was happening to her? "Ah, Xerxes, it feels so good!"

What? Kaila, what are you doing?

After a particular brutal thrust, she felt Xerxes pull away, only to somehow heave her back on the bed. Fury at his callousness surged within her. As he straddled her, she shoved his shoulder making them tumble until she was on top. She snarled at him, and his eyes seemed to almost glow as he growled before shoving himself forwards, into her, as he forced her on her back.

Bracing his arms, he began to piston like a wild animal, and it was all she could do to hold on as she began to cry out. Sensations washed over her, there was anger, pleasure, there was even some affection buried deep, but there was also something… something much darker.

"Fuck!" Xerxes cried out as the impending climax arrived before pulling out of her.

Kaila could only focus on catching her breath as her body temperature skyrocketed and then cooled leaving her trembling. She felt cold… her anger, her passion deserted her. She fought the urge to cry as she curled into herself. Her lower lip trembled, and she clenched her eyes shut trying to control her overwhelming emotions. A few seconds passed before she felt a hand gingerly touching her shoulder.


It took everything not to pull away.

"Kaila. Look at me."

She shook her head once. She couldn't. Not right now.


The single word made her stiffen. Her hand that gripped the sheets, tightened, before she reluctantly turned to see the dark angel propped up on an elbow staring at her with obvious concern.

"I apologize. I hadn't intended to… force you that way."

"Why did you?" she asked quietly, "and why did I…"

"Enjoy it? Nothing is wrong with you, Little One. I… some of my emotions were strong enough to seep into your own. It has been known to happen – not often – but it has happened."

She sat up, "Why were you so angry? I didn't do anything."

"No, no you didn't." He sat up as well, his wings contracting. "It's not even your fault… directly."

"Then how is it my fault indirectly?"

He sighed softly as he rubbed his face, "I didn't mean – Damn it. Kaila."

She exhaled just as deeply and allowed herself to fall back onto the sheets. "This is so complicated. One minute we work, the next we're a danger to each other."

He joined her, arms folded behind his head staring at the ceiling. They were silent for a while before he whispered, "I have heard that matters of the heart are seldom uncomplicated."

Matters of the…?

She faced him and asked, "Do you care for me?'

"I think…" he moved his gaze to hers, "I feel more for you than I have for anyone in a long time."

More than I should. The unspoken thought was almost audible to her ears. She sighed very softly as she moved closer to him, mindful of his wings, and laid her head on his chest.

"Does that mean… I can never leave? If I get my memories back."

She felt him stiffen, "Why the thought?"

"I've wondered. I knew Siyavesh cared for me, but I knew he would never let me go." She looked her head up, "Would you?"

His beautiful eyes pierced hers. She anticipated fury, expected it, but he surprised her when he answered, "I wouldn't be glad if you did."

His honesty stunned her into silence. In that silence a truth so shocking and so unexpected revealed itself to her.

"I wouldn't be either," the revelation was voiced as she lowered her head again.

She could almost hear his smile.

"Things will change tonight, Xerxes. Can't you feel it?"

Xerxes glanced sideways at Vader, long red hair flowing in the night breeze to mingle with his own silver. "Not especially. It's All Hallows Eve. It's the same cycle each year. We attack the humans, the angels come, we end up capturing a little less than we started out with, and the battle ends."

A chuckle escaped the Vampire Lord, "No, no, no, angel mine. Not this year."

"Does his have anything to do with where you are going tonight? Lucifer never directly interferes. What is he planning now?"

Vader shot him a dark look – one of real anger. "He does not need to interfere. The pieces of fate fall on their own. What He and I have to discuss is, in truth, a matter of secrecy."

"Really? How oddly rancorous of you."

"Xerxes," for once Vader became serious, "you may live among us, indulge with us when it suits your needs, and you may even have my friendship, but you are not one of us. You have said it many times yourself. There are things that you simply cannot know for that reason." He began to walk towards the edge of the roof of the castle, "You will lead my armies tonight. I have every faith in your ability. Go. You depart soon."

Xerxes could only watch as The Vampire Lord transformed and flew away. His friend's words ringing true. He touched a hand to his pocket, where his cross necklace lay in wait. No matter which side it came from, the truth always stung.

"The truth is I do not serve Lucifer. I do not serve God. It would seem I am neither good nor evil by that definition."

There was no point in brooding over things he could not change. Unfurling his wings, he took to the sky circling its entirety once before heading for the window to his chambers. He arrived inside just as Kaila exited the bath chamber, wrapped in a soft robe while towel drying her wet hair.

She caught sight of him and gave a smile, "Hello."

"How do you feel?"

"Refreshed. That pool is amazing. I wish my old master had one like it."

Clenching his jaw, he changed the subject, "I'm leaving for a while."

She stopped her movement raising her head, her expression puzzled, "Leaving? Where? How long?"

"Away. I'm not sure how long it'll be for you. Time is different here than it is out there."

"But…" she walked over to the bed and sat down, "We just…can't I come?"


Her look was crestfallen, because she would be alone or because she would be without him, he did not know. "When do you leave?"

"In a few moments, I have last minute preparations." At this he walked over to his wardrobe and opened it up before reaching for his signature trench coat, belt, and weapons. Fighting angels usually consisted of two elements, magic and swords. He was proficiently skilled in the latter, and had much of the dark counterpart of the former. Their true weakness was their insipid need to protect, it was something easily exploited. He knew it well.

Kaila watched him silently, intervening only when he reached to pull his hair back., "Let me." She reached for the ribbon, and gently brushed his hair back. When his hair was secure she ran her fingers over the strands and then onto his wings. Immediately, she snatched her hands back. "Sorry. I know I should ask," she managed to blush a little at the shudder that ran through him, "but I love touching your wings."

He only titled his head slightly and said, "I've noticed. Relish in it for now. I don't know for how long I'll be willing to indulge you."

She knew his humor now. Smiling, she glanced down and noted the swords on his belt. Her brow furrowed and her smile faded, "Are you going to fight? Are you sure I can't come with you?"

"It would be too dangerous for you. You would only get in my way."

She bristled, "That's not true!"

"Really. You would have no idea what you would be getting into. An immortal battle is no place for humans."

"Maybe not other humans! I can…uh…" Her eyes moved back and forth searching for her answer when it suddenly hit her, "The spell! It's still in effect right? Anyone tried to harm me and blue fire will burn them to ash! I'll be fine."

A chuckle escaped him as he responded, "You really don't value your life."

"Yes I do. Most of the time."

His laughter stopped cold.

"What is it?" She asked after several seconds, worryingly searching his face, "Why are you looking at me like that?"

Coincidence. It has to be. "Nothing," he snapped, "you will stay here. End of discussion. Food will be delivered when you call for it. I must go."

The window blew open as he walked towards it. His wings expanded as he neared, and he forced his mind to focus on the upcoming battle. A hand clutching his arm stopped him just as he prepared to launch himself out into the night.

"Will you come back?"

Her other hand was clenched in a fist near her chest. "I… I need to know you'll come back and everything will stay the same. I don't want to be given to someone else. I don't… I need to know you're coming back."

He was pulling the necklace from his pocket and handing it to her before the thought could fully form in his mind. She eyed it with wonder before gingerly taking hold of the chain. "When I return, you can return it to me," he spoke as she brought it up to eye level, "I will come back for it."

I will come back for you…

She nodded faintly and attempted to smile as she clutched the cross to her, "Be careful."

Gliding into the sky, he thought he saw a glimpse of a flash of light behind him, but as he turned to check, there was a large roar that captured his attention. Soaring upwards he watched as a great beast tore through a large part of the castle roof, demonic wings spread as it flew into the night.

"Make me proud, Xerxes."

He acknowledged The Vampire Lord with a nod before soaring even higher into the night. Soon cries and rumbles echoed into the sky as vampires began to gather around him. Each were in their demonic forms, the females smaller and lighter in color than their male counterparts. All of them looked to him for leadership. He did not expect the thrill that raced up his spine. This was his army now. "Demons of Darkness, tonight is the night of All Hallows Eve!"

A chorus of cheers, hissing, and laughter arose.

Smirking, he continued, "This is the night where you have the power! Where you can come out of hiding and take what is yours! Blood you need to survive, blood shall be taken!"

Their noise was deadening now, but his voice was louder yet. His passion fueling the rage in his body, "The Angels, your enemies, will attempt to stop us. We will not let them win! I will lead you into a night where the light will be eclipsed by darkness! The sun will bleed red at dawn!" He began to glide backwards, holding their rapt attention, "Let us show Heaven's dogs that they cannot contain us! The Angels of Light will fall!" His wings began to beat fast as he faced the night sky, "Servants of Hell! Arise!"

He did not need to turn at the vociferous ovations to know that they were ready. The wind bit at him as he flew through the sky enjoying the rumblings of the thousand wings that were beating behind him. The castle was long behind them, and up ahead he could see the magical barrier separating their realm from the other side. Its shimmer could only be seen by a select few, and he braced himself for the ice cold sensation that washed over him as they tore through the barrier and into the Austrian Night.

Through the rolling hills and vast countryside they managed to spot a nearby village. Xerxes made a motion with his hand at the growing series of growls and yells behind them to keep flying. They had raided this village many times, it wasn't his goal tonight. Cold fire seemed to pound through his body as they continued to pass city after city. The army of demons knew better than to begin grousing or questioning their leader. In fact the wait seemed to add to their excitement.


"Slice the humans!"

"Make them bleed!"

"Tear their flesh from flesh!"

There it was. Schlafenstadt… The Sleeping City, near the outskirts of Eisenstadt, large enough to make the night interesting but just small enough to not cause too much alarm. Vampires should remain myth for as long as possible. Things had only just died down from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries where vampires were actively hunted.

True to its name, the town was silent, only a few teenagers and thugs hanging around in the streets after their festive Halloween. Xerxes' smirk grew as he landed in the tall grass some yards near the nearest home. His army descended behind him, reverting to their human form upon touching the ground. They began to walk forward, not making a sound. Then as they drew close, he could hear their collective breaths, chests heaving in zeal, lust pumping through their undead bodies.

This is it.

Suddenly he stopped, and without looking back, he ordered, "Go."

They raced past him, their bodies cutting through the wind the only sound as they invaded the city. It wasn't long before screams of terror, cries of pain, and pleads for mercy echoed through the night. The sounds of chaos drifted through the air, and Xerxes watched, his eyes glinting, as the vampires tore through the city.

Come and get me, Raine.

End of the Chapter

Child of Philosophy