The summer wind blew softly through Elizabeth's hair as she sat by Chelsea's side. The sun reflected off the glistening tombstones around them, emphasizing their golden auras. Only the trained eye could see their glowing halos and furled white wings. The mortal eye could only see a brunette and a blonde sitting quietly together in front of two tombstones. To the other mortals passing by, they were reflections of themselves. All had come to mourn the people they'd lost. For others it may have been a brother or a cousin or a mother or a friend. In the case of the two women, it was their children. On their respective tombstones read Jasmine and Damien's full names along with their rightful birthdates and the date when they'd "passed." Damien's read much differently than Jasmine's as Chelsea insisted on putting his true birthday and the day she knew Lucifer had transformed him into what most would call a monster. Elizabeth easily received Jasmine's birthday date, but she'd waited on the press for her "death" date. In order to keep up appearances, the leaders of Hell had faked their death. According to newspapers, the five of them had died in a fatal car crash during a road trip; none of them had made it out alive. Elizabeth used the obituary date as the one to use on the tombstone. Since the news was public, Jasmine's family and friend's held a funeral for Jasmine. The Nephilim children played the part of the grieving friends as they'd truly lost their friend. Elizabeth couldn't erase the image of the breakdown Aaron and Maddie had when they'd returned to Earth that fateful day. She'd tried to support them the best she could, but she was breaking down herself. She didn't have the strength to hold everyone together no matter how much she wished she did.
Elizabeth leaned heavily on Chelsea and Michael as time went on. Chelsea, who'd experienced losing her child not once but twice, served as Elizabeth's rock. She held Elizabeth as she cried, and she talked her out of her dark thoughts. On the good days, Chelsea would take her out shopping or to see a movie; she'd find something to do to get both of them out of the apartment. During their time together, the two mothers came to be very close friends. At times both of them wished they'd met each other in a mortal life. Then they could be happy about their children dating each other and possibly sharing grandchildren in the future. Instead, they were both heartbroken women who weren't quite sure what else to do now that their children were actually gone. While Michael filled some of the gap in Elizabeth's chest, Rafael tried to fill the one in Chelsea's. Whenever she was around, he'd drop whatever he was doing to go to her side and get her attention. Usually, he resorted to making snarky yet flirtatious comments or physically messing with her by taking something out of her hands or tickling her when she wasn't paying attention. The blue-eyed woman was a firecracker when she was mad, and Rafael came to adore it. The two argued almost all the time. Michael and Elizabeth would usually shake their head at the pair. They knew the two would come together eventually.
Despite the good days, Elizabeth never forgot what she'd lost. Her daughter was constantly on her mind. She wondered what she was doing, how she was feeling, and what the leaders of the underworld were doing to her. After the seeing the drastic change in Jasmine after being dunked into a vat of satanic holy water, Elizabeth assumed Hell's royals didn't have to do much. The poor girl already seemed to be put under their spell. When Elizabeth had talked about it with Michael, he suggested they may have used different tactics during her crowning. He also suggested that since Lilith's powers were designed for manipulation and coercion, the connection of herself to Jasmine was strong enough to take over her mind without any additional resources. Elizabeth also reminded herself that Jasmine was a lot older than Damien when they'd gotten their hands on her. With Damien, they'd had time to break and bend him into the person they wanted. With Jasmine, they barely had any time; they'd had to simply cast their magic on her and adapt the outcome from there. Perhaps that's what worried Elizabeth: the thought of her daughter being changed or altered in any way. While she'd already proven to have changed, she also proved that the daughter Elizabeth knew was still in there. She'd let the heavenly forces go willingly. She'd apologized for her decisions. She said she loved them. She cried when they left. Jasmine was still very much there; she was just being sidetracked by the dark motives Lilith installed in her mind. Elizabeth just hoped the poor girl was still sane. She couldn't imagine having to juggle two different mindsets on a daily basis. It'd surely make anyone go mad.
"I can't believe it's been ten years," Elizabeth murmured almost inaudible. "It feels like they've been gone so much longer than that."
"I know," Chelsea murmured. "Time is a strange concept when you're living forever."
"Do you ever wonder if they settled down? Got married? Maybe had a few kids?"
"Sometimes. As quiet as it's been, I wouldn't be surprised if they had."
Elizabeth nodded to her friend's words. The world had been quiet. While there was the usual disputes between the angels and demons, nothing too crazy seemed to be happening – or at least nothing the archangels seemed to be stressed about. She'd tried to press Michael to tell her if he'd heard anything about Jasmine, but he maintained there was nothing to tell her. None of the angels had seen her. He knew they would've said something if they had. When Alex made his unpleasant visits, Elizabeth would try to get information out of him. Her ex-husband wouldn't budge. He refused to give her any closure concerning her daughter. He'd simply say that she didn't need to worry; they were taking good care of her. Elizabeth couldn't see past his stony gaze to see if he was lying or not. She'd reluctantly decide she'd just have to take his word for it.
"I'm surprised the Nephilim haven't," Chelsea continued the conversation. "You'd think Maddie and Aaron would've married and had a child by now – even if they have temporarily stopped their aging process."
"They're too busy trying to keep up in their father's footsteps. You know how hard their parents are on them. Aaron asked me to help him pick out a ring the other day. The thought hasn't totally slipped his mind." A small smile appeared on Elizabeth's lips. "Hopefully they won't get engaged and then postpone the wedding for another ten years."
"But knowing them, you know they will." Chelsea sighed as she stood up. "Come on. Let's go. Michael and Rafael want us to meet them at that café downtown for lunch."
Elizabeth slowly stood. "Alright." A familiar giggle echoed through her ears as she turned her back to the tombstone. Her brows creased together. "Do you hear that?"
The laughter chimed again. "That. It sounds like…a laughing child."
"We're in a cemetery, Liz. I don't think there's any laughing children around."
The giggle sounded again in Elizabeth's ears. "You really don't hear that?"
Chelsea gave her friend a quizzical look. "Are you hearing things again?"
"I think so…" Elizabeth quieted down as the laughter filled her ears once more.
"Mommy," a child's voice rang through her head. "Come find me, mommy."
Elizabeth quickly turned at the recognition of the voice. "Jasmine," she called.
"Liz," Chelsea started.
"No, just let me see something," Elizabeth said. She walked a little ways past her daughter's tombstone. "Jasmine! Come out, come out wherever you are!" The giggle sounded in her ears. "I'm gonna find you!" Elizabeth's eyes widened as she saw a mane of dark curls peeking out from behind a tombstone. "Look," she whispered to Chelsea who'd followed her. "You don't see that?"
"No. What am I supposed to be looking at?" The other woman asked with a concerned frown.
The mane of dark curls slowly picked itself up, revealing the familiar sight of Jasmine's chubby five year old face. A smile with missing teeth showed on her face before she ducked back down. Her giggle echoed through the wind.
"Jasmine," Elizabeth sighed as tears brimmed her eyes. She rushed towards the tombstone and peeked around it. To her disappointment, there was nothing there. The giggle echoed through her head again. Elizabeth turned her head to see the younger image of her daughter standing a few feet away from her. She was smiling and bouncing up and down.
"Hi mommy," she yelled happily. "You gotta find me!" With that, she darted off behind another tombstone. "Find me! Find me!"
"Come on, Elizabeth. Let's go. There's nothing here," Chelsea said as she softly grabbed hold of her friend's arms. She tugged her away from the tombstones.
Elizabeth was reluctant to go, but she didn't resist against her friend. As they walked, the little girl's voice rang through her head. "Where are you going, mommy? You gotta find me! You gotta find me! Mommy?" Elizabeth turned her head as a tear fell down her face. Standing next to Jasmine's tombstone was the five year old depiction of her daughter with a deep frown and tears on her face. "Where are you going, mommy? Why are you leaving, mommy? You have to find me, mommy! Find me! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" Elizabeth turned her head and walked ahead of her friend. The farther away she got from the tombstone, the lower the voice in her head. Her heat sank lower in her chest as the voice withered away. Within a few minutes, the voice was nothing more than an addition to the wind blowing through the trees.
Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!
The voice carried itself back to its owner. A slender girl with a coffee complexion and waterfalls of wild curls that fell down to her waist stood on a small balcony underneath a starry night sky. She was dressed in a black silk nightgown that swayed with the gentle motion of the wind. She held a small mug between her fingers, occasionally sipping the hot tea from the cup. Her ruby eyes were in another world as they stared out at the brightly lit city of London. Tears threatened to brim from her eye as she watched Elizabeth walk away from her projection. She closed her eyes as she felt cool lips on her bare shoulders. The lips were accompanied by a firm chest against her back and muscular arms encircling her waist. A smile appeared on her lips as the lips pecked soft kisses up her shoulder to her neck and finally settling at her ear. "It's late," her lover murmured. "Come to bed."
"I will in a couple of minutes," she promised.
"That's what you said last night, and you didn't come to bed for another hour afterward." He lifted his head and sighed into her hair. "Are you alright, Jasmine?"
"I'm fine, Damien." She turned in his arms, opening her eyes to reveal the dark chocolate orbs he adored. She looped her arms around his neck as she stood on her toes. She placed a soft, sensual kiss on his lips. She smiled as he moaned into her mouth and pulled her closer against him. Their lips and tongues moved together in a slow, seductive rhythm. "I'll come to bed in a few minutes," she repeated as she pulled away. "I promise," she added at the sight of her lover's raised brow.
"Five minutes," he reluctantly agreed. He pecked a soft kiss at her forehead before heading back into the small, apartment lined with flowers.
She watched him go with a soft frown. She turned her head to look at the starry sky as the wind kissed the back of her neck. Her eyes flashed red again as she sent another message through the silent wind.
I'll see you soon, mommy.