And then the Heavens fell…

June 1994
He was in shock. She looked as if she fell straight from the Origins, her hair spread across the floor like a golden halo. The reason he fell, the reason he gave up everything in his existence, lay dead on the floor.
“Such a pity…” a voice murmured from behind him.
He felt a ripple of anger mar his grief. He rose to his feet, snarling, ready to attack the trespasser. For he knew who she was and the reason she was here.
“Whoa, down boy.” She said taking a step back.
“You lied” He snarled. “She’s dead”
The newcomer took another step back. Although his powers were still affecting her, she had become stronger. The smoky black tendrils that surrounded her before were more solid than vapor, and although they shuddered when he came closer, they held their ground, wrapping around her body like a second skin.
He smiled a slow feral smile that would have previously made her shudder.
“You’ve been promoted”
Her smile matched his. “And you just lost another girlfriend. I admit the circumstances to be different. But eventually, it’s the same result”
His demeanor suggested serenity but she could feel the anger and hatred simmering beneath his calm exterior. How could she not? She thrived on it now. She took a deep breath, inhaling his anger.
“Speaking of,” She went on taking another step back as he advanced “how is she?”
“She’s dead”
“Oh not this poor soul here” She said. “I meant, my replacement”
For a second she caught a flash of sadness in his eyes. But before she could get a proper read on it he took another step towards her and the darkness around her shuddered and wrapped tighter around her.
“What do you want?” He snarled.
“You know what I want” She murmured in a low seductive voice.
“Humor me”
“Your allegiance”
“That all?”
“Well… the rest is up to you of course.”She took a step forward this time and the tendrils shuddered violently. She ignored them. “It could be like before Rafe. We could be together”
“Together” He repeated eliminating the distance that separated the two of them. He was close enough to touch; kiss her if he wanted.
“Just like before” She whispered moving her face closer. His breath fanned her face.
He smiled again and caressed her face softly. Her eyes drifted closed and her lips parted in anticipation. His hand traveled along her jaw, caressing the back of her neck until suddenly he took hold of her hair and pulled her face away from his.
“What-” She yelped.
The tendrils of darkness were wrapped around her tightly, to avoid contact with his skin. She looked as if she was being cocooned in them.
“You fell Zania” He whispered. “I decline”
Her eyes betrayed nothing except hatred and contempt.
“You have no choice” She snarled back. “You want her alive? You give in”
He released her and she took a few steps back and adjusted her red dress provocatively. Everything about her, from her cascade of waist long dark hair to her flawless figure garbed in the red sheath was designed for seduction. But he remained unfazed.
“She’s already dead” He said with no real emotion.
“I can bring her back”
“I don’t want that”
“Wow. Have the rules changed since I left? You’re allowed to lie now?”
“You weren’t in much of a position to question the rules anyway.” He said calmly. “What were you? Guardian?”
“That’s beside the point.” She snapped, clearly incensed by his comment. She took a deep breath and smiled again. “Make your decision now darling. We don’t have much time”
“A Term” He said after a few seconds.
She laughed; the tinkling sound of it at odds with the cruel expression on her face.
“No such luck babe. My boss won’t allow anything less than five. And I need a guarantee”
“Two. Take it or leave it”
She deliberated for a few seconds and shrugged. “I need your ring”
He shook his head. “No. I’ll give you a feather. Just one, for two Terms.”
“How about a permanent job instead?”
“And rank under you forever? No thanks”
The darkness shuddered once more in warning. She took another step away from him. “You’re not making this any easier Rafe”
“I don’t intend to” He turned away from her to look at the girl lying on the floor. “I won’t agree to anything else Zania”
“Fine” She said.
“Double cross me again and you’ll regret it.” He warned turning back to face her. Instead of cowering at his expression, she smiled.
“You run a hard bargain Rafe”
“Run along and tell your boss of your great achievement” He said sounding exasperated. “Leave me be”
She smiled once more and lifted her arms, allowing the darkness to embrace her completely. He didn’t even blink at her dramatic exit. Instead, he knelt beside the girl; who was slowly stirring into consciousness, knowing he made a grave mistake and wondering if it was worth it.

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