[A/N] Okay, so summer is finally here, and I owe everyone a BIG FAT APOLOGY! Over the course of last month, I was like a chicken with my head cut off. I'm working forty hours a week, plus taking night classes, plus trying to get ready to move at the end of the month, so thing have been a little bit hectic on this side of the computer monitor. Also, I was kind of out of a laptop for a good three weeks...
But I'm back! So everything is O-kay!
Now, for something a little serious: Lately, there have been a TON of accounts of plagiarism all over FP. Many of my favorite stories and authors have had to delete their work due to copying. While I know most of my readers are lurkers, please, let me know if you find something out there that in any way copies any of my stories. I'll know what to do so that you don't have to suffer :).
And now...chapter six!
Earth Angel Orion
Chapter Six: The Purblind Seraph
"…His eyes glowed red, and smoke puffed from his nostrils. Doesn't that sound absolutely frightening, Faolán?" Mephisto smiled as he sucked a fat, purple grape into his mouth, and dropped the empty vine back onto his plate. He chin rested in his palm and his fingers twiddled with a strand of hair that slipped from its binding. Faolán sat to his right, leaning back into the comfort of the embroidered cushions on the large, finely carved seats. His plate was practically emptied compared to Mephisto's, whose plate wasn't even in front of him, but untouched to the side. He'd simply plucked its and bits of the meal from each dish.
"Are you frightened, milord?" Came Faolán's easy voice.
Mephisto's eyes shifted up from Faolán's plate to his face, where his eyes danced with a kind of patronizing, something that caused the grape in Mephisto's mouth to suddenly go sour. He leaned back, sideways, into his own grandly made chair, settling his legs over one arm and reclining against the other. His head tilted, and his eyes narrowed. He knew Faolán was testing his confidence. The cad always did. And like always, he'd have to enforce his position upon the brazen bastard.
"Frightening, it sounds, but did I even state that I, in turn, was alarmed of such fantasy?" His brow raised, and was met with the even-tempered reaction of Faolán. "What intrigues me is what it means. Wouldn't you agree?"
"That it does," Faolán agreed. He leaned, reaching forward, and ran the tips of his fingers along expanse of Mephisto's leg, bared through the robe that slipped open when he shifted positions. Mephisto fought back a shiver, and blinked, hydrating his quickly glazing eyes. He really is a bastard, he thought unpleasantly.
"I'm interested to know…how these dreams tie together. After all, they lead to him didn't they? So, your highness," gooseflesh prickled Mephisto's skin at Faolán's enticing emphasis on his title. That was it. No matter how high his sovereignty was, he was still subject to the seduction of his own servant. He let himself be pulled forward when Faolán gently tugged his wrist. Across the table, Faolán lightly, but firmly, held Mephisto's chin in the crook of his palm.
Mephisto's hooded eyes nearly rolled back their sockets at the feel of Faolán's lurid breath on his lips. His skin suddenly itched from the fabric of his robe, and the table became a quick nuisance.
"The question is…how can he lead us to those…in your dreams..?" Mephisto's mouth hung agape as he concentrated on the feel of Faolán's hand languidly working its way up his inner thigh.
The squeak of hinges and the sudden snatch of Faolán's hand jarred him from his intense concentration, and he blinked. A stream of light brushed past him and Faolán, and they both turned to see Salomé holding the large, engraved door open. Her head was bowed, but no doubt she saw something. She wasn't a fool.
From the doorway, two persons emerged. A tall, thin woman cloaked in a thick off-the-shoulder gown walked through and stopped after passing Salomé. Her head was held high, and a neatly arched brow quirked at her quick scrutiny of Mephisto and Faolán's position. Mephisto quickly pushed away from Faolán and stood, moving around the edge of the table before a second person appeared. He was tall man, top-heavy with a muscular frame, and short, spiked hair. He crossed his arms and stood behind the woman's regale physique.
They both bowed low and reached for Mephisto's hand. He raised it, and gently, each one laid a soft kiss. Mephisto nodded as they backed away, and crossed his arms. "Odile, Tadhg, you are back from Valclava City two days ahead of schedule. Do you bring news?"
"That we do, your majesty," Odile replied. Her voice was husky and low. Mephisto noticed the slightly weathered look about her elegant features. A few faint lines creeped from the edges of her gracefully sloped eyes, still she appeared just as vibrant and polished as the day he'd first met her. He fought back the nostalgic smile tugging at the corner of his lips.
"I'm impressed, Odile. To have been gone for only six days and already have information. Please, go on." He motioned with his hand, and Odile turned to Tadhg, holding out her palm. As he reached into the pack at his side, she continued, "It has come to our attention that an immense energy was expelled whilst we occupied the city of Valclava. We felt it late one day as evening approached. We aren't sure what it is yet, but occurrences all over the city have led us to believe it is tied to him."
Faolán moved beside Mephisto and eyed Odile cautiously. "What kind of occurrences, Odile?" Mephisto could suddenly feel the tension grow. Impatience quickly flooded his mind and he frowned. Everytime these two seemed to meet, their loathing for each other grew substantially. And for no particular reason.
Mephisto noted the faint huff Odile struggled to compose. "In one instant, the animals all over the city were rampant and crazed. Not five minutes later, each and every one of them lay unconscious. Our horses included."
"Not dead?" Inquired Faolán.
"No," she hissed mildly. "Not dead. But they did not awaken till early afternoon two days ago, after a day and half of slumber. Tadhg and I departed immediately—"
"But not before learning that caravan of gypsies were travelling east for the new season. Many inhabitants believed it to be the work of their witches. Nobody would stop speaking of it." Tadhg's deep voice cut Odile off, but she didn't seem to mind.
The word 'gypsies' caught Mephisto's ear, and he inclined his head. "Gypsies, you say? Travelling for the season?"
"Yes, highness. It seems their Spring Solstice has taken place."
He didn't know why, but the news of the gypsies aroused a curiosity in him, and Mephisto wanted to know more. He glanced at Faolán and huffed silently at the hard expression on his face. It was obvious this news did not interest him at all. Nonetheless, he was not the one they were reporting to, and Mephisto would heed the suspicion of these gypsies. Learning more of their 'magic' would probably help him to understand the situation, and that would require sending Odile and Tadhg to gather more on such nomadic people.
"Very well. Have you any idea of their direction now?" Mephisto uncrossed his arms and moved around Faolán to sit back in his chair. He reached for a pert, yellow pear and plucked it from its place among the other fruits.
Odile spoke once more. "When we checked, the closest city to them would be Khadìja, the City of Jewels. One would assume that after such a consumption of food and goods, they would need to replenish their stock quickly."
"Very well," Mephisto said after swallowing a bite of his pear. "You will head to Khadìja and gather as much knowledge of these gypsies as you can. Report back to me as soon as you find out something pertinent. Faolán, you will accompany Odile and Tadhg."
Faolán's head whipped around, and his wide hazel eyes held a luster of enmity. Mephisto could clearly see the vein on the side of his temple pulsing under the thin veil of dark brown hair. His face was instantly devoid of any emotion. A distressing realization caused Mephisto to formidably gulp. He would pay for this later. He just knew it. Faolán would make sure it was as sadistically bruising as possible, if not more. It would leave him bedridden for days if Faolán had any say in the matter.
Calmly, Faolán turned, clenching his fists, and walked towards the door. Tadhg quickly shuffled out of the way as he moved past him and Odile without a word. He practically glowed with loathing.
"You majesty," Odile mumbled furtively. "I do not wish to question your authority, but do you find it wise to send your commanding officer away from his troops?"
Mephisto took another bite of his pear and grinned with filled cheeks. Setting his hand in his palm and crossing his legs, he dangled the pear back and forth from its weak stem, until it snapped off instantly, rolling erratically under the table. He followed with his eyes until it gradually stopped, bitten area face down. He didn't bother looking back up. "Do not worry yourself with him. He will be fine. And so will I. This is a strong nation, after all. And besides, you'll only be gone a few days. I trust the men are on guard should anything arise..?"
Odile was quiet for a moment, before bowing low and turning. Tadhg followed suit, and Salomé curtsied before beginning to pull the door shut.
Still staring at the fallen pear, he gestured towards Salomé. "Leave it open. This room feels too condensed when the door is closed"
She nodded. "Yes, highness."
With that, she stepped into the hallway disappeared from view. Mephisto stared out the door, concentrating on the vague familiarity he shared with her. Reclining back, he let his head rest over the arm of the chair, and stared up at the immense ceiling before him. Visions of fantasy spread through the vast dome-shaped roof. Ornate pillars stretched from walls and met at the center, where an extravagant chandelier dazzled the room, as its various crystals made the candle flames twinkle like stars. In one corner the goddess Aphrodite primped herself among a slew of cherubs. Across from her, the god Apollo rode his chariot across as sunrise of clouds. To his right Zeus stood among a storm of thunder and lightning, and across from him, the wise Athena rose from his cracked skull.
Tilting his head to the side to get a better picture of her, Mephisto recalled the story of her birth. Emerging, full-grown, from the cracked skull of Zeus, she was the cause of his agonizing headache for years. A thought crossed his mind suddenly. Exactly where had he sprung from?
It was a question that stirred his curiosity every once a while, but nothing ever came from it. Now, though, the question seemed to leave a shadow behind, and Mephisto had an undeniable urge to find its progenitor.
Swinging his legs over the side of the chair, he gripped the edge of the table and pulled himself up. Reaching towards the fruit bowl, he whisked up a pure red apple and tossed it between his hands. He pulled the sagging shoulder of his robe up, and stepped lightly towards the door. Salomé left it open a ways and Mephisto easily walked through, without so much as a brush of fabric.
The halls were empty. The moon cast an eerie luminescence about the long corridor through the tall crystalline windows. Mephisto twisted his head both ways, not necessarily debating which way to go, but rather, admiring the ghostly feel the halls took on at night. Leaning towards his right, opposite the direction the others went, he lightly padded past softly burning torches pitifully fastened to the wall with no more than a lousy holster. Their flames flickered and struggled to stay lit as Mephisto's slender frame swept past them.
He strolled awhile, turning the corner at one point, and gazing into the dark abyssal of a slightly smaller, unlit passageway. Stopping, he turned the apple in his hand. Without looking, he reached into a small niche at his side. Pulling a small, thick candle buy its holder out, he stepped back and held its wick to the quickly dying flame of a nearby torch. The small fire burned with a halo, and Mephisto continued forth.
Something about the silent shadows surrounding him calmed him. The feeling of emptiness was diminished by the thought of what he moved towards. A phantom consciousness caressed is cheeks as mysterious currents swirled through the hall. The faint reply of the chimes outside the windows resonated in Mephisto's ears. He held the candle forward. Before him, a large elaborate aperture loomed. He could make out the obscure carving of St. Peter on the front. Beside the doorway were two grand columns, molded in the ancient baroque style, with the busts of the watchman angels at their highest point.
Mephisto snorted at the irony of it all.
For all he knew, it could be the very Devil, himself, on the other side of those doors. Nevertheless, the being beyond those doors intrigued and charmed him to no end. The lack of knowledge in its character sent a chill of excitement through his bones.
He set the candle down next to the wall, and stepped forward. Gently curling his finger around the latch dangling from the center of the door, he pulled, and the old hinges quietly chirped with the heavy motion. Forgetting the candle, Mephisto pulled it open just enough to slip inside, then reached for the handle on the opposite side, and pulled it closed. A rush of air mutely echoed as the pressure ceased.
Mephisto's eyes grazed the width of the great room, dimly lit with torches unlike the ones in the halls earlier. These burned with a strange passion. Flashes of blue shot forth then disappeared into the mass of orange and red. Small archways outlined the walls, each leading to a small enclosed room, intended for use of the priests that once preyed such floors. But they were gone now, and those rooms were no more than storage closets filled with fabric, cleaning supplies, and furniture. The cherubs overlooking the archways looked menacing as the fire flashed over their stone faces.
The floor stretched out in front of him; cool blue marble that gleamed. As it stretched, Mephisto followed its queer patterns to the soundless being sitting rigidly among a tangle of wires, its chin lifted evenly with the floor. He inclined his head and smiled.
"I've come to visit again, my Lord," he announced to deaf ears.
Mephisto took a step forwards, propelling his body calmly towards the unmoving being. The young man was every bit as beautiful and silent as ever. His softly toned arms rested slackly on the thick armrests, his legs simply set before him with his feet flat on the floor. A flimsy yellow robe hardly constituted as covering up. It only reached below his elbows and above his knees. Oddly, he was almost overshadowed by the enormous tree-like apparatus towered behind him. Thick cords and colorful cables weaved in and out of obscurely blinking circuits. Touching from the floor to the ceiling, the only thing calming its sinister watch was the long white brilliance of the man's hair.
As Mephisto neared, he observed the large metal headpiece covering the young man's eyes. Electric wires ran from its sides into the great beast of a machine behind him. Only one eye though; the right eye. Stepping onto the platform that the odd metal throne sat upon, he leaned in. Against the pale dark skin of the man's face, the black lashes sat motionless. Mephisto ran a finger along the man's jaw, grazing it over his soft rose-colored lips, but there was no reaction. What was he expecting? A sudden flicker of life?
"Hmph… How can you remain so lifeless when your chest rises with each breath?" He set the hand that held the apple on his hip and pursed his lips.
From his jaw, he dragged his fingers against the soft white hair, pulling some forward and running it softly against his lips.
"It's even softer than the finest silks…"
Letting the hair fall from his fingertips, he straightened and held out the apple towards the man's serene face.
"I brought you an apple." No response.
Mephisto brought the apple to his lips and took a bite. The crunch reverberated airily through the room. He chewed it casually, and swallowed the juicy pulp. Holding the apple out just a bit, he asked innocently, "Would you like a piece? It's quite delicious."
After another silent response, he brought the apple to his lips and took a bite. Slackly holding it on his tongue, he leaned forward once more, setting both hands on either armrest. Tilting more, he inclined his head to the side and gently set his lips against the man's. His tongue skimmed the surface of the man's lips savoring the bittersweet taste, before dipping into the crevice separating the two and running along his smooth teeth. Nibbling on the man's bottom lips, he manipulated his jaw open and plunged farther, pulling his tongue into his own mouth. The man had a saccharine taste that made Mephisto shiver with delight. He sucked on his tongue, then rolled his own and trapped the bite of apple between their lips. The flavor of the apple added a syrupy sweetness that caused the already rapturous sensations in Mephisto's body to heighten. He felt his blood quiver in his veins and his heart pound in his chest.
The fragment of apple quickly dissolved. Mephisto delicately pushed the man's tongue back into his mouth. As he withdrew his own, he took one last lick of the nectarous morsel, and pulled his lips away. The sensuous aftertaste made Mephisto feel weak, and he shifted his body. Setting himself carefully on the young man's lap, he relaxed into the feathery feel of his body.
"I wonder…are you asleep?" He asked as he lightly ran his fingers over the bare amount of smooth chest that peaked through the man's robe. He looked up at the man's softly firm jaw, and boldly pushed his hand farther into the folds.
"If you are…can you feel this?" Languidly he smoothed his palm over his hard stomach, letting his nails graze the fine contours.
Mephisto straightened just a bit, to nibble on his jaw. As he did, he whispered, "Can you…feel me?" His tongue reached out to taste his skin as a single finger sensuously followed the curve of the man's pelvis.
All at once, he stopped, pulling his hand out leaning back. He eyed the man blankly, then moved to stand up. Turning to face him once more, he reached out and gently closed the man's jaw. He withdrew his hand and leaned in, smiling vacantly. "No, of course you don't. You're just the shell of a man who's as enigmatic and empty as my dreams."
Sloping, he gently pressed his lips to his cheek, when a hot sigh swept over his collarbone. Mephisto stilled, replaying the recent second over again.
He just…whispered something…?
Stepping back, he looked at the young man's face. His jaw hung slightly agape, and his chest rose and fell vaguely sharper. Mephisto swallowed and took a step back, edging off the platform. He eyed the silent young man for another moment, then turned and started back towards the doors.
"Whatever… Just sit there some more and breathe, since that's all you seem to be capable of." He snapped a piece of the apple off and chewed it, attempting to ignore the reminiscent sugary taste of the young man.
When he'd gotten outside the grand room and closed the door, he noticed his candle had nearly burned through. Shouldn't have left it burning…
Taking a shaky—much to his dismay—breath, he leaned back into the support of the door and brought his fingers to his lips. Letting himself slide to the floor, he curled his knees into his chest and dropped his hand, still gripping the apple. His blood rushed through his body as the almost inaudible whisper played over in his mind. Why? Why had that suddenly happened? He done things like that before—albeit, never so intensely—but there was never any reaction. Why now?
Mephisto pulled his robe tighter around him stared down the passageway at the waxing moon, shining vibrantly through the windowpanes and illuminating the normally black halls. As the last of the wick burned out, he stretched his legs out in front of him and eased into the hard wood of the door, his thoughts curdling in his head.
Well, wasn't that fun? This chapter took some work. Mephisto is an interesting character and that makes him difficult to write...haha. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun writing…and seriously? Can't wait to write more.
LASTLY! I now have a Twitter that you can follow me on in case you're starved for the next chapter!
Follow me VeronicaRiley.
It's strictly for any and all fiction related matters. So get cracking!