5:07 PM Gin Hades: After Work Musings and Evening Longings

He misses his brother.

Elijah used to love reading almost as much as he did. Of course that was before they grew up and time spent pleasure reading was time that could be best put to other pursuits. Gin never regretted it though, the hours he'd spent working as a teenager so that Elijah could have just that much more of his childhood.

Innocence was too easily lost. The Apple came in a variety of colors and forms, now more than ever.

He put the last book on the shelves, checked his watch. Of course he's a few minutes past his shift's end. The Head Librarian, Miss Solo, always let him leave early on Fridays, knowing full well that the Library stayed open for another three hours. She'd joke that he needed to spend more time with his girlfriend and less time among the literary ghosts of long dead men and women.

He'd reply that they were better company than most men and women his age, that he felt at home among words of wisdom and folly, of prophecy and perdition. Of course Nike, a part time Librarian there herself, appreciated the extra time together, told him to stop being a staid scholar long enough to enjoy take out and bad reality T.V.

He loved those ridiculous shows more than he'd admit, but not as much as he loved Nike, with her irreverent laugh and her near angelic kindness. He often wondered how a person who'd grown up as poorly as he, had managed to win over someone as wholly good as her.

He tried not to think of Miss Solo, all alone in the massive library for hours on end with no company but the books. Somehow the three of them ran the place pretty efficiently, but he wanted to tell her that she was younger than him, that it was unfair she was all alone when he was blessed with such joy in his life. He wished he could share some measure of the happiness she'd brought him by gifting him the position that let him meet the love of his life.

Nike was pestering him to set their boss up with Elijah, the real reason he had his brother on his mind. Nike thought that his younger brother would benefit from Miss Solo's steady presence, quirky as she might be, and that she would love his spontaneity. The thought of a spontaneous tax lawyer was somewhat hilarious, but Elijah managed it. Whenever Gin started to hope that his brother had managed to settle a little, he pulled a ridiculous stunt like using a few months' worth of pay to buy him a new car or proposing a relaxing vacation to someplace extra warm in the dead of winter. His brother had an almost demonically maniacal mind, capable of driving him into fits over worry that his younger sibling would decimate his credit score before he made it to half a century.

As much as he protested the idea of setting them up on principle, mixing family and work could become hellishly awkward, he couldn't help but secretly hope that it was plausible. Miss Solo deserved true joy in her life, and his brother, while messy, was a good man at heart. But Elijah lived several hours away from them and his cell service wasn't great. Even if he did want them to talk, Gin wasn't sure how they'd even hold up a steady conversation.

He made it to his car and sighed, staring up at the gathering storm clouds. It was hard not to see them as an omen. He shook his head. He'd promised Nike he'd try to be more optimistic, stop treating setbacks as if they were the end of the world, personal roadblocks set to bedevil him. After all he'd found a little slice of heaven in her, best to stop acting like he was trapped in Purgatory.

He really did miss his brother. Maybe this weekend he could make the trip down to visit him. Buy a few good books and a bottle of the good stuff along the way.

After all, what were brothers for?

The Darkness knows that it is playing with fire, proverbial and physical, as they ensorcell the demon before them. But for now the Broken Hearted One knows no better, letting old desires take root and flower into the sweetest of delusions. Even a devil can long for family, for comfort, for that which they will never be granted.

They almost feel pity for him, as he drives ahead of the storm towards a brotherly bond long dissolved and a love as Forbidden as the one that caused the storied Fall, oh so long ago.

Love makes fools of us all.