Chapter 1 ∞Dark Night∞

The moon hung in the sky full and plump, looking almost ready to burst. I have always felt stronger when the moon is this way, its brilliance making everything else feel small and feeble compared to the big picture. Sitting here, cuddling on the hammock with Angel also makes me feel safe, like I have a barrier surrounding me that nothing negative could ever penetrate. The feeling is almost too strong for my fragile heart to bear.

A gentle breeze cools the warm blood in my veins as I listen to the sounds of the leaves rustling in the trees, making music to set the mood for the evening. I can feel his emerald green eyes staring at the back of my head, probably wondering if he should bring up a conversation or just enjoy the fact that we are with each other. After I told him about my Arcanum I had shut him out for weeks; I just didn't want to know how he had reacted to such a secret that only three people—now four—had known. But here we were now, just enjoying being so close to each other again.

"Cain!" On hearing the high pitched squeal of my little sister ringing through the night air, I know something bad must have happened. I had instantly felt the fear and agony of the cry, the impression sending a chill down my spine thinking of what she must have just seen to unleash such a terrified scream into the suddenly still air.

"What is wrong with Claudia?" Angel asked in his sweet, sympathetic voice.

"I don't know, but I think I should go check on her," as I turn to look at him in those deep green eyes of his I see concern staring back at me. I have to pry myself from his warm embrace, his strong arms wrapped tightly around me like how a child holds on to their teddy bear. Arms such as his were always hard to be apart from.

"I will be waiting for you, my love," he says with a smile that very nearly made me not want to leave him even as I stood from the hammock.
Claudia; the thought striking with a shock, like licking an outlet, reminding me of the problem at hand as I moved to leave Angel behind.

"It won't be long, I promise," I say as I bolt for the back door of the house.

It is a simple two story house painted such a painful yellow that in the sunlight it almost blinded any who gazed upon it, but in the darkness of night it seemed almost white. As I enter into the back door I automatically feel it; that light tingle in my stomach, the pain in my temples, the burning of my ears. It's the same feeling I've gotten ever since I was eight years old, since that day, that terrible day, at the lake where I found him.

Another scream pierces my ears and I run full speed for my little sister's bedroom, skipping steps when I reach the stairs and darting down the long dark hallway that leads to her room, my mind thinking of all the worst possible scenarios. I burst into her bedroom and run across the toy scattered floor. Claudia is sitting up in bed, tears running down her cheeks, and I sit down on the soft pink comforter next to her.

"Claudia, love, what's wrong?" I ask, pulling her into my lap as I always do when she has one of her premonitions.

She sobs one last time before saying, "It was terrible Cain, there was blood and bodies."

I can feel tears running down my bare leg when she starts crying again, silent sobbing causing her to shake on my lap. "It's okay love, breathe, relax; can you tell me whose the bodies were?" I slowly run my fingers through her curly blonde hair, trying to calm her down.

"No, there were two of them though. One of them had hair like Angel's, and the other one I didn't recognize."

I stop mid-stroke at the sound of Angel's name. Claudia's dreams are never wrong and have always come true, and at the fear of losing Angel, my one and only, my King, the one I would defy the Goddess for, might die. At my silence she looks up at me, the tears having stopped, but eyes still puffy.

"Are you alright?" So young and yet wiser than any other ten-year-old I know.

"I'm fine, lil' love; Angel's name just kind of scared me a little bit," she smiles up at me and giggles.

"I said it looked like it was his hair, as in his style. I didn't say it was him, silly goose, you should listen to me more closely."

I laugh and slowly drop my hand to her side and give her a gentle, teasing pinch. "And you should tell me more about your dream, honey."
The small smile she had managed to obtain disappears instantly from her pudgy little face. "Well, it started out with me walking in the park, and I walk past this cute little flower bed and see one of the prettiest flowers I have ever seen. I just bent down to pick it up when I hear this shout come from someplace nearby," she pauses and I continue once again to stroke her hair.

"Keep going, love,"

"Okay, well, you know how I am, and I stand up and go running in the direction I heard the shout," and I smile briefly down at her, knowing exactly what she means. "well, I turn a corner on the path and bam, right there in the middle of a clearing there are the two bodies I see…" she stops and starts crying again.

"Oh no love, don't cry, it's okay, I'm here for you and always will be," at this she sits up off my lap.

With fresh tears running down her cheeks, she looks me dead in the eyes, "and I see you running away with a bloody knife in your hand."
Before I can say anything I hear footsteps coming from the stairwell and know very well it meant Angel was on his way up. Claudia quickly wipes away her tears and climbs back underneath the covers just as a quiet knock sounds at the door.

"Come in, babe," I shout, and Angel walks in looking all kinds of sexy, his smile lighting up the dark room and walking with such grace he reminds me of a male ballerina.

Until he trips and falls over a stuffed bear, and the illusion disappears in an instant. To laugh or not to laugh, that is the question at hand. A question I answer with hysterical laughter, Claudia joining me until we are laughing so hard our stomachs ache and our faces are turning red. Angel gets up and the room goes momentarily silent, you can hear the wind outside rustling the trees. He runs a hand through his hair and fixes his shirt, the tension from Claudia and my conversation completely gone.

"You okay babe?" I ask with a giggle.

"Oh yeah, I'm fine, just dropped in to see how Claudia was doing,"
One of the best things, I have decided, is that he is just so damn caring. Some of my past boyfriends would just leave when I didn't spend every waking moment with them, but Angel is a strong shoulder for any person in need, reminding me of just how we met. I can't help but smile up at him as he stumbles across the floor, tripping over a rubber ducky, and comes and stands next to me, placing his hand on my shoulder and giving it a nice rub..

"Hey girl, how you feeling," he asks Claudia, and a huge smile spreads across her face. Girl; she loves it when he calls her that.

"I'm alright boyfriend," she says in her best black voice, "just bad dreams I guess."
She looks at me with her own bright green eyes that see you through and through and gives me the looks that says "oh hooray, this is just another one of our huge secrets we can never tell anyone."
I nod with complete understanding.

"Well if you're okay, mind if I steal your brother?" Angel interjects, and I look at him with my own face that says "I love you but that's messed up to leave a crying little girl alone".

"Of course boyfriend," Claudia says in contradiction to my thoughts, and looks back at me, "I'm sorry I disturbed your night Cain."

"It's fine love, I am always here for you, you know that."

She pats my hand that's resting on her leg. "Now go, your lover needs you," she laughs and points at angel, "You two go have some fun," then she looks at me and puts up a hand like she's whispering something top secret o Angel, "and I mean clean fun, you naughty boys."

My face turns beet red and all I can do is look up to see what Angel's reaction is, but he's not there. Instead he is literally rolling on the floor laughing so hard no sound is coming out.

"Will you please get up you look like a complete buffoon!" I shout, kicking him in the shin before turning to my nasty ten-year-old of a sister. "Thanks for that Claudia."

She smiles a big toothy grin at me and shrugs her shoulders and says, "well it's true!" with a wink to me as she rolls over and looks off the edge of the bed at Angel.

"Time to go giggles," I say, grabbing Angel by the wrist and yanking him to his feet and dragging him down the hall yelling my good night to Claudia.

"Well didn't you get a kick out of that, you pervert!" I exlcaimed, but he's laughing too hard to even answer me.

We walk back down the hallway, down to the main level of the house, then over to the basement stairs that lead to my room. Once downstairs, I turn on the light to illuminate my "chambers", as Angel likes to call it, and stride over to my dresser to light the candles that I have scattered along the dark mahogany wood surface and shut off the fluorescent light. I've always preferred candle light to artificial light; it has always seemed more natural to me.

Darting past me, Angel runs over and jumps on the bed, giving me a big toothy grin.

"What are you smiling at?" I ask, just as he starts slowly pulling off his shirt, throwing it to the floor.

"Well?" He says with a sexy smile that could only mean "baby I need you now, I need you in my arms and your lips on mine"..

"I told Claudia we would be good tonight," I say even as I pull off my shirt.

"What she does not know will not hurt her," he retorts as he gets off the bed and walks toward me to wrap his arms around my shoulders. I'm about a foot shorter than him so I have to look up to see his face otherwise I'd be staring at his nipples—which I'm not complaining about.

He picks me up and carries me to the bed with my legs wrapped around his waist and my arms on his shoulders. When he lays me down I can see the fire of passion already burning in his eyes. I climb on top of him as soon as he lets me go and lies on his back, and I kiss him gently on the lips but this was not a moment to be gentle. He flips me over, onto my back and kisses me with such need I gasp. His kisses travel down my chest and I pull his hair a little sharply. His lips against my skin start a wave of sensation that ripples out from the point of contact and radiates all over my body, making me want more and more of his stimulation. Why does his touch make my mind go fuzz and my entire body tingle? Love is such a confusion emotion I don't know how to work it let alone understand it.

The remaining clothes fly off at a rapid speed and by the candle of the light our skin glistens with sweat from the act of the sins of the flesh. When we're finished we collapse on top of each other, our chest heaving in and out: gasping for breath. he looks at me with those bright burning eyes that not five seconds ago were looking at me with such undeniable passion it was hard to believe how normal they looked now, questioning, even.

"Baby, you know I love you right?" I giggle at his words and run my finger down his still wet chest.

"Yes, I do," I answer.

"I'm just saying if we never had sex again I would just be happy that I have you and that I can call you mine."

I've never felt such love from one person as I do from Angel on a daily basis, that's why he is my soulmate and I will never let him go without a fight. That night I fell asleep in the arms of the man that I love. That night I cuddled with my king and only sweet dreams filled my slumber.

Only if I had known what was coming I would have never woken up.