Life, like most stories, need 'good' characters and 'bad' characters; and sometimes the darkest, worst and most evil ones are those you fall most desperately in love with.
"Falyn! FALYN!" he shouted, panic setting in deep inside his heart for his lover. "Falyn!" he ran through his forests that cold, black night. His breath misted in the air as he panted, looking desperately for her, to save her from Him.
He was an Unholy Angel; one of Hell's own. The man closed his deep brown eyes against the image about to form, and presses on. A sharp, piercing scream stopped him short. "Falyn!" he turned right and came to a halt in a clearing. Hell's Angel had her, and was pulling her pure innocence out of her heart the way one draws splinters from skin with teeth. The Angel was still in His own ecstasy; He didn't know the man was here. Hell's Angels can only be killed when they feed. The man steadied his breathing, then slowly, silently drew his curved sword, steadily making his way towards the Angel. He lifted his sword from a few paces away and screamed his hate, pain, fear; delivering the blow to the Angel's torso. Falyn fell to the ground, struggling to breathe. The Angel seemed to glow, then burst to flames, shrieking all the way to Hell. The man dropped his sword, fell to his knees and cradled his dead lover, rocking back and forth to his pained sobs…
With a start, Sidney awoke from his dream. My memory, he thought. He glanced at the digital clock by his bedside table. '3:01AM' it said. He ran a hand over his face and looked at the ceiling, then got out of bed and moved to the window of his 20th-floor New York apartment. He smiled wryly at the sleepless city. Two-hundred years and many dark and powerful gifts and precious murders later and Hell's Angel lives on, he mused. Sidney waited for the phone call to tell him where to go and who to kill. Always, that dream tells me of the Hunt, ever since I killed that Angel. His phone rang; Alice Cooper's 'Poison' sounded through the static speakers. "Yes, Master," he answered.
"Tamika Stone. Ecclesia University, South France," the phone went dead. Sidney nodded to the air, then gathered a backpack of his few belongings, arranging flights and re-enrolling in the University.
"Tam, you should relax more, you're working way too hard," Carmen chided. Tamika sighed, shaking her head at her best friend. I really don't know what to tell you, Tamika thought, shuffling the notes and papers again. "The dreams are getting worse, and I never seem to be able to outrun this, thing, whatever it is," Tamika looked directly at her friend. "Sometimes, I'm sure it doesn't want to kill me, but I don't think either of us know what it is that we want from each other…. Anyhow, it doesn't matter, they're just dreams," she finished quickly, then gathered her books and left for class. Carmen gnawed her bottom lip in worry.
Tamika…Sidney thought, his lithe form leaning against one of the large, ancient oak trees by the entrance. He watched her carefully: the easiness of her stride, the swing of her hips, her slender hands, her shoulder-blade length light-brown hair, her deep, soul-gazing eyes, her softly angular face, her lips, her almost-tanned skin. She knows much about everyone around her, and she's sensitive to the environment…. She'll be difficult to get close to…. And her purity, innocence…. She is just what Hell needs, Sidney half-smiled to himself, then pushed off from the trees and walked straight towards her, ignoring the admiring glances from young women sighing with longing. Tamika had her back to him; she wouldn't see him coming. She walked into the crowed foyer. He touched her shoulder. "Tamika Stone?" he purred softly into her ear. She turned abruptly, setting her shoulders against him. "Perhaps. What is it to you?" she challenged.
Sidney smiled at his accurate 'guess'. "Sidney Eccles. We have, I believe, many similar subjects."
She stepped away from him; he was too close, in her space. Like what's chasing me in my dreams. Her sudden, unexpected revelation made her wary and uneasy; she backed away, keeping a straight face and quickly disappeared through the crowd and the winding passages, hoping he wouldn't find her.
Months passed. Tamika saw Sidney everywhere; he was in all her classes, charming all her friends. She had no doubt that he knew what he was doing – he seemed to have everything well-planned out. Everything he did, irritated her. But, as much as she told herself that she hated it, Tamika knew that deep down, she was falling in love with this mysterious, tall and slender boy with his aristocratic face, his longish, messy dark hair, his arrogant, self-righteous ways, his flirtatious mannerisms, everything.
It was funny to think that she might actually be friends with him...
He feels... supernatural, Tamika thought one late night in the resource center while sitting in front of one of the computers, her books and notes spread chaotically around her. He's totally new and unknown, but the university heads and older professors all know something about him, they treat him like a king! They must be keeping his secret, whatever it is…. As she stared at the screen, a dark idea crept into her mind. It couldn't hurt to do a bit of research on him…. Her fingers were moving long before her thought was complete. She hacked into the personal details of students that had been and currently were enrolled at Ecclesia University. Everything had been made electronic last year; any past documents relating to the university could be traced. Sidney Eccles…. She typed into the 'Search' box. As she read over the six listed hits, her head started spinning ideas and fantasies. Lord Eccles donated his estates in 1820 for a University after the murder of his lover, Lady Falyn… Tamika sighed. Nothing new. What else? She scanned further down the page, and stopped breathing. Sidney Eccles, student of year 1899.... Student of year 1930.... Professor of Latin, 1938.... Professor of Religion and Mythology, 1980.... The latest entry coupled with a few photographs several years ago proved her suspicions: Sidney Eccles, student of 2011. Tamika printed the pages and closed the hack to search for more pictures of this 'Sidney Eccles' or 'Eccleses'. Only one face was returned, although in different fronts. The face belonged to the man who had donated his estates in 1820, and the boy currently enrolled here. "What are you?" she murmured, shock and curiosity coursed through her.
"Tam? You still here?" Carmen's voice startled Tamika out of her musings, and she closed the last of her searches and switched off the computer. "Yeah, I'm at the back by the PC's," she called in reply. She gathered her books and irrelevant notes on her new interest. Tamika stood and left; one question rang through her mind the entire, sleepless night: what kind of creature can live that long without being mythical?
Sidney glanced at his watch again. She's late. The professor walked in, and started the lecture on astrology. Tamika breathed out her apologies as she hurried to her seat. Next to Sidney. The professor continued.
"I don't know what you are, Sidney, but I do know that you are not human. Somehow, the university knows you and what you are. Besides all this, I think I find you attractive, lost and broken. I want to help,"
Sidney glanced at her sideways in suspicion and surprise. "Meet me tonight by the Dead Lover's Glade. I can explain everything to you,"
Tamika nodded, and looked hard at him. The class continued much as it had begun, and the day was long for both, as Sidney had come to realise in these past few months that Tamika may be his only saving grace...
Alone in her room, Tamika wrote her essays. When she heard a knock on her door, her first instinct was to grab something sharp. She rarely had visitors. "Who is it?" she called.
"Sidney," he breathed softly. Tamika slowly opened the door, checking that it was Sidney and let him in. For all that she had learnt about him from the time he had nudged himself into her friend-group, she still found him... mysterious, undecipherable. "I have a confession to make, Tamika, before I tell you about me tonight," Sidney said, standing with his back to her and reading over her essays. "Oh?" she said, trying to sound disinterested. Sidney smiled to himself as he heard her hopeful tone. He quickly hid it and turned to face her.
"I am in love with you,"
Tamika took in a sharp breath at this. He seemed sincere enough, but she wasn't sure... He stepped closer, his eyes questioning, hopeful. She reached out to his chest, whether to stop him or invite him closer, she didn't know. Sidney touched her jaw, and drew her face closer to his.
Her excited, nervous breath caressed his mouth sweetly; it was something he hadn't felt since Falyn. He moved closer to Tamika, and pressed his lips against hers.
Tamika gasped into his kiss: he tasted like dark chocolate and gunfights; like the very essence of sex and lust. She moaned, and craved for more of his teasing, mocking touch at her hips, caressing her lower back with his hands as though she was a fragile, delicate piece of porcelain. He could barely hold back his own wild desires, and Tamika could just hold onto her own.
"This note," Sidney murmured, pressing a note into her hand, "contains directions to the Glade,"
She nodded, and felt her heart fly when he traced her jawline with his fingertips, and kissed her neck. She moved her hands over his chest, and wondered what his skin would feel like, but afraid of how she would feel. Sidney left then, and Tamika unfolded the note.
The directions were quite simple, she had once picnicked there with her friends without knowing what the place was called. What drew her attention most, was the post-script at the bottom in his flawless handwriting.
You are in danger, Tamika. I am a Fallen Angel of sorts;
a curse unlike any other lies upon me and others like me.
For you, I would be willing to damn myself even further,
just to save you from Him.
I will free you, she vowed, the last pieces of Sidney's great puzzle had fallen into place.
Evening couldn't take longer to come. Tamika wore a plain black skirt and top with a soft V-line about her neck; a silk scarf she had inherited from her grandmother adorned her shoulders as she strode through the forest to meet Sidney.
"Hmf; I really do not see why Sidney wants to spare you," a deep voice growled. Tamika stopped dead: in front of her stood one of the original fallen angels. His large, bloody back wings were almost destroyed; feathers were missing. He stalked closer. "I am Hell's Great Angel," He sneered proudly. "And from you, I will take what he cannot,"
Before she could run, scream, anything, he was upon her. He wrapped His large arms around her, lowering His head to her heart.
He drew out her innocence.
Tamika had never felt such intense pain: everything felt broken, on fire. She screamed. As the darkness swallowed her, she thought she heard Sidney call her name.
"Sidney... You should not have let her into your world, she was meant for Me," the Great Angel purred, wiping her crimson blood and silver goodness from His mouth. A sly grin crept over his face as he let Tamika's body slide to the ground uncaringly. Sidney felt his black wings rip slowly from his back, his darkness filling him with power. He would kill the Source of Hell's desire for the purity it had forsaken. "She was mine to take; you had no right to presume that I was disloyal," Sidney returned through clenched teeth.
The Great Angel cocked his head. "Is that so?"
"I lured her here with the promise of answers, she would have fallen," Sidney lied.
"Let Me test your mettle," the Great Angel said suddenly, summoning a blazing flamberge sword as his weapon. Sidney opened his palms, a short-sword in each.
The Great Angel struck without warning. His blow was powerful, crippling. Blocking, Sidney knew he had lost long before he had begun. But he was determined to try.
The violent assault lasted for what seemed ages. Sidney was bleeding and almost broken; the Great Angel was seeping black blood from several deep gashes. Satisfied that Sidney was on his knees, He turned away, releasing His blade. Sidney thought of Tamika, and just how perfect she had been and drew strength from her memory. Screaming a feral cry of revenge, Sidney launched forwards and buried one of his blades in his enemy's heart. The Great Angel gave an inhuman wail.
"For all the pain You have caused me," Sidney spat as he silenced this beast with a clean swipe from his other blade. He released his weapons, and staggered towards Tamika's body. He fell to his knees, and lay beside her, laying his black wing over her fragile body and caressed her face. "I am so, so sorry," he breathed.
The photos and videos were on all the newspapers and stations: the media just couldn't sate itself. Not only had Tamika Stone, star student of Ecclesia University been murdered, but some kind of angel lay dead beside her, his wings had covered her body in a protective way and his hand rested on her check. Further research and interviews showed that the 'angel' was in fact a supposed-to-be-dead 1800s nobleman, Lord Sidney Eccles, who had donated these grounds for a university after his first lover, Lady Falyn, had been murdered under mysterious circumstances.
Eventually, it was ruled that both had died shortly after one another, and that he had tried to protect her or her body, judging by the burn wound and lesions across his body, and a severely damaged corpse of another 'angel'. Tamika's exact cause of death was never determined.
In the First Heaven, Sidney wandered aimlessly, staring at the ground. He wasn't sure how he had gotten here after all he had done, he wished he could have spoken to Tamika one last time. "Ow," came the response from someone he walked into. "My sincerest apologies," Sidney said, looking up for the first time since arriving here. Wonder dawned on his face as he saw her... His saving grace, his Angel, his Tamika...