Malachi shifted, snuggling into Makoto’s chair. Lords he was tired, although with the exception of his eyes every part of him was as boneless as jelly from earlier. The Daemon smiled to himself and the wiggled round until his hips rested against the back of the chair.
If he closed his eyes and listened very carefully he could just make out the hiss of water as Makoto took a shower.
A grin and he rolled off the chair hips over head. The door opened noiselessly and Malachi placed a finger on his lips to Oreo in passing. The doors of the shower were white with steam. Settling down on the floor he watched the slight shadow that was Makoto. The door opened slightly and purple eyes gazed at him.
“What do you want Mals?”
“You to hurry up! ‘Koto I’m as tired as the moon and you’re bloody well taking a shower.”
“Well you should have thought of that before you went and made such a mess now shouldn’t you?” A flash of a smile and then Makoto closed the door on him again. Malachi wasn’t sure there was a safe answer to that one. The Daemon smiled and closed his eyes, leaning back against the cool tiles of the wall.
Warm, wet arms wrapped around his shoulders and Makoto dropped a kiss onto his forehead.
“Heh… you are tired aren’t you love? Tell you what have a shower; you look like you need one.” The muse smiled and pulled him to his feet.
“All right, all right! I’ll take a shower. Lords!” He shot his friend a sly look. “Slave driver.” Makoto hissed at him, arms going round the Daemons hips. The muse lifted him into the shower and hot water cascaded onto him. Malachi yelped in surprise.
“Makoto you arse! What the hell do you think you’re doing? Delaren’s gonna kill me if I wreck another uniform!” He twisted in the muses grip trying unsuccessfully to get out of the line of water.
“Stop squirming Mals and take them off then.” Rich laughter bubbled up around him and the Daemon relaxed.
Deft hands unbuttoned his now sopping shirt and pants. Both garments were tossed out of the shower and Malachi turned, eyes blazing red. His friend’s eyes were so light they were practically transparent. The Daemon felt his own anger ebbing in the face of Makoto’s amused fondness. A smile curving his own lips he placed a kiss on the muse’s cheek.
“Not angry?” Even Makoto’s voice fair dripped with love.
“Na… I just can’t seem to stay mad at you. Hmmm…just what would you know about this ‘Koto??”
“Don’t know what you’re talking about love.” The muses face became serious. “Mals do you love him?” The question caught him off guard and Malachi froze in surprise. A glance at Makoto’s now dark eyes told him all he needed to know.
“Yes… I think maybe I do. Not the way I love you… oh ‘Koto I’m not sure. I think maybe but it could just be because we’re bonded.” He sighed, rubbing a hand over his eyes. Hands circled his waist, coming to rest on his back. Makoto’s hands began to rub in small circles, soothing and calming the Daemon and Malachi couldn’t help but be amazed at how well the muse knew him. “Are you mad?”
“No. Well just as long as I’m still allowed to share.” The shifter smiled at him and hugged him closer. “Seriously Mals, it makes me nothing but joyful to see you happy. Heh… believe me pet, you do love him and it’s not got anything to do with being bonded.”
Malachi grinned at his lover and tugged gently on one damp tendril of blue hair.
“Good. Oh and you’re sharing whether Dazriel likes it or not.” The Daemon yawned suddenly and Makoto reached around him to turn off the water. He curled into the towel offered to him and the muse half walked, half carried him into the hall way.
“Stay with me tonight?” Makoto asked quietly into his ear. Malachi nodded and followed his friend – his lover to their room.
The muse pulled the beds covers down and Malachi slid under the sheets happily, curling into Makoto’s body as soon as he climbed into the bed.
“Night ‘Koto.” His lover placed a hand round his waist and dropped a soft kiss to his neck.
“Sleep well love.” Malachi sighed happily into the warm flesh before him in reply. Then sleep crept up around him and he fell into a sweet, dreamless rest.
He woke to the smell of bacon frying; the Daemon swung his legs out of bed. Makoto stirred beside him, purple eyes blinking sleepily.
“Morning sunshine, Good sleep?” Malachi had a feeling that anyone who could be so damn chirpy at this time in the… a quick glance out the stained glass window proved it to be sometime between morning and noon deserved all that was coming to them. The Daemon sighed, one of these days he’d actually get round to figuring the whole sun-time malarkey out.
“Makoto you gonna get up any time soon?” As tempting as Oreo’s cooking smelled he wasn’t that bothered just now, in-fact…
“Hmm… why? Got something planned in that pretty head of yours, blue eyes?” Makoto’s grin was predatory, not threatening… just wholly Makoto-ish.
“Maybe… wanna guess what?” One hand slid behind his back, slowly so it looked like he was just lying down again. Carefully the Daemon closed his fist around a hand full of pillow and in one quick movement brought up into the air, and then down onto his lovers face. A growl sounded from under the pillow and Makoto grabbed his leg, dragging him forward.
The tussle soon became something else entirely, something of kisses and lust and if Malachi was going to be truthful to himself, not that little a something of love either.
The afterglow was defiantly something of love though, no hiding it there. The softly tickling pleasure of the muses long hair as it lay, veil like on his damp skin was exquisite.
“Mals?” The Daemon turned his head back to his lover’s and smiled gently.
“You want to get up now? Breakfast is ready and the last thing we need is Oreo traumatised again in less then a day.” Makoto placed a hand on his mouth to still the objection that was forth coming. “No Mals let me finish pet. Cause Oreo damn well will be traumatised if you don’t move soon. Have you any idea just how good you look like this?” The muse smiled and ran a hand through his short hair.
Malachi smiled gently and slid out of the bed. The returning smile was as sweet as the sunrise. The Daemon winced, Lords he even sounded Renaissance at times.
“Speaking of traumatising Oreo… you wouldn’t happen to have something I could wear, would you?” There was a soft flutter of laughter at his words and a pair of pants and a shirt hit him in the back. Malachi smiled to himself before tossing the nearby pillow at Makoto again.
He slipped the pants on, grabbed the shirt and ran for it before his friend could retaliate. The Daemon paused before the kitchen and pulled the shirt on. It was, like the pants he wore made of deep coal black cotton. Soft though it must be, the fabric still felt coarse against his over-sensitive skin.
Well that’s what comes of wearing silk for the past eight millennium. Malachi sighed and pushed against the door to the kitchen.
The smell of bacon was stronger and the Daemon’s mouth started to water strongly. Oreo glanced up as he entered the room.
“Morning master Malachi. Would you be wanting something to eat sir?” Not waiting for the reply the tabby placed a slightly steaming plate of bacon and eggs on the table before him.
The Daemon laughed gently. The food smelt delicious and not for the first time he wished he could taste the meals set before him. Malachi shrugged and tucked in, when you thought about it wasn’t really all that bad. He could still enjoy the smell and texture of the food and besides you can’t really miss something you’ve never had. Although the Daemon reflected softly, eating did end up just becoming a chore.
Gentle breathing and a second heartbeat to Oreo’s caught his ears and he turned to see Dazriel hovering in the doorway.
“Hungry? Sit down and Oreo will get you some.” As if to prove his words Oreo placed a second plate down on the table, hovering by the chair until Dazriel sat down.
“Is it any good?” Green eyes blinked at him gently.
“I wouldn’t know my little Angel. I don’t have a sense of taste.” Even he could detect the grudging notes running through his voice. The Angel smiled, green eyes glowing with curiosity. No questions were forth coming and for that Malachi was eternally grateful.
The sound of a door slamming and Oreo’s startled squeak yanked the Daemon from his musing. He glanced up just in time to see Tansear push his way past Oreo and into the room, looking like he was wearing a thundercloud. Malachi winced and tried to slide under the table before he was spotted.
“Malachi!” Tansear’s bellow rocked the table top now above his head. A fist curled into his shirt and yanked him out. The older Daemons eyes flashed in anger. “You little… urg! Have you any idea just how pissed Delaren is?”
“Um… no?” Malachi grinned up at his friend. Tansear’s eyes narrowed dangerously.
“Tansear! You’re welcome in my house but not if your going to go round beating up my guests! Now either sit down, or I’m going to have to show you out.” Makoto stood in the doorway, eyes dark. Beside him stood an Angel, black haired, black eyed and caramel skinned.
Malachi pulled away from the older Daemon, smiled at him gently and then turned to stand behind Dazriel. Tansear’s bonded followed his course with her eyes and coming to rest on Kamerl’s chosen she gasped, wings fluffing a bit. To Malachi’s amusement she stepped behind Tansear, hiding from Dazriel. The thought of someone using the older Daemon to hide was strange; it was usually the other way round.
“Erm… Seraphine? What are you doing?” Tansear blinked, twisting his head slightly to gaze down at the Angel.
“Hiding.” Her voice was as soft as silk.
“Ah.” The older Daemon grinned at Malachi and raised his eyebrows in question. Taking the hint Malachi pulled out the chair near him. Red eyes flashed in amusement and then Seraphine was dropped down into the chair. Tansear smiled and placed a kiss on the top of the Angel’s forehead. Dazriel burst into laughter and Seraphine flushed red. She muttered something and ran for the door.
Malachi gazed towards his bonded and shrugged. The Angel smiled back at him sadly.
“Maybe we should go. Delaren’s already fuming and personally I wouldn’t want to let our master stew.” Tansear frowned at the younger Daemons shudder.
“You mind if I come with? I need a word with Delaren myself.” Makoto asked, leaning against the kitchen counter. One hand stroking Oreo’s fur as the tom sat at his feet. Tansear grunted in reply and the cat sped off towards Makoto’s stables.
“Come on Dazriel. You can help me see to Nenuphar.” The Angel blinked at him then grinned.
The stables had the musky smell of all stables and in the corner Oreo stood, saddling up Makoto’s horse; the beast was twice his size. The mare turned at there entry and whinnied at them happily. Dazriel seemed to light up and reached out to stroke the mare’s nose.
Malachi left him there, walking out into the street calling for Nenuphar silently. The lion padded up to him quickly.
“Hiya boy, sleep well?” The Daemon ran his hands though Nenuphar’s mane, smiling at the feeling.
< Yes, and you master? > As always Nenuphar’s reply thrilled him, there was something about having words dropped into your brain, so only you could hear them that made you feel so cherished.
“I spent the night in ‘Koto’s bed, what do you think?”
< Oh. > Laughter filled his head and Malachi sighed in annoyance.
“Oh shut up why don’t you?” The laughter abruptly stopped and Nenuphar glared at him until the Daemon patted his head, which only resulted in his hand almost getting bit in half.
The soft rasp of cotton against flesh caught him, drawing his senses and the Daemon smiled as Dazriel arms curled around his waist.
“Will your master be very mad at you?” His bonded’s voice was small against the sounds of the city.
“Now Dazriel you mustn’t believe every tale you hear. Delaren’s perfectly normal.”
< Why do you lie to the white one? > The riding lion turned fierce amber eyes on him.
< “Because it’s not fair on him. I don’t want him thinking he’s got me into trouble. Especially when it’s my own fault.” > Malachi replied in the mind talk. Nenuphar sniffed and tossed his head and there wasn’t much you could say to defend against that. Malachi sighed and shrugged.
“Come on Dazriel. Hop on, the others will be out in a tick.” Malachi linked his hands to help the Angel up. Sitting on Nenuphar Dazriel’s hips were level with the Daemons chest. Absently he ran the pad of his thumb over the soft skin and delicate bones of the Angel’s ankle.
The soft padding of paws became obvious and Tansear’s lioness prowled over to them. The older Daemon sat gracefully on her back, his own bonded sitting before him. Seraphine obviously didn’t find riding the most relaxing of sports.
She sat stiffly, hands two small white knuckled fists curled around tufts of the lioness’s fur. Malachi had a feeling the only reason she hadn’t fallen yet was Tansear’s hand round her waist.
“Hope you aren’t waiting for me.” Makoto’s mare tossed her head at them, white mane catching in the wind and twisting itself around her ebony neck. The two were so well matched that it almost seemed the muse was just one more part of the horse.
“Nah, you’re just in time ‘Koto.” Reluctantly the Daemon removed his hand from Dazriel’s ankle and twisted up until he sat behind the Angel. Underneath him Nenuphar started up in his twisting gait and turned towards Delaren’s castle.
The trip was short, The Castle stood in the centre of Kalata and Makoto’s home was only a short was from the centre its self.
Unease started to gnaw at Malachi’s gut as the party passed under the gates of The Castle. There was a soft gasp from Dazriel at the sight of the carved doors but other then that the Angel was quiet. Malachi just wished he’d talk.
“Come on pet.” He placed a hand on the small of Dazriel’s back, half steering, half pushing the Angel forward.
The Daemons lining the corridors bowed their heads as they passed and from habit Malachi found himself mentally checking their condition. Something caught on his senses and he paused, turning slightly to stare at one guard.
The alcohol fumes rising from the Daemon burnt Malachi’s nose. Red eyes narrowed and he started towards the guard, and then paused in his tracks. Dazriel had gasped. Normally… normally the guard would be ruing the day he was hatched, but with the Angel there, anxiousness fair flowing off him Malachi hadn’t the heart to upset him. He caught the guard’s eyes, glared just for good measure and then turned and strode off. He could practically feel the guards sigh of relief.
The doors to the council room were shut, not a good sign. The Daemon paused in the doorway.
“Dazriel, you stay out here with Tansear.” Malachi placed a finger onto the Angel’s lips before he could reply. The smile returned to him was slightly sad and the Daemon drew away reluctantly. He pushed against the door and stepped into the room.
The council room was warm and thick incense coated the air. His master sat slumped over his chair, eyes closed.
“Master? You sent for me my lord?” His voice sounded small against the stone walls. Delaren’s eyes flew open, burning blood fire. Malachi watched with growing dismay at the fiery footprints left in his master’s wake. The first Daemon’s eyes flashed and his lips drew back revealing small white fangs.
“Pain.” Malachi clamped his eyes shut at the order, his master’s command burning its way through his flesh. Why destroy something you enjoy when you can cause it harm in other less permanent ways?
A cry ripped from his throat and then he sank his forehead down to the cool marble of the floor. The Daemon could feel the gathering of air but thoughts had fled him for the pain. Something slammed into his side and Malachi was sent flying into the far granite pillar. He could feel his throat working on the dry sobs. Pain burned, screaming through his veins. Something slid under his chest and flipped him over.
“Enough?” His master’s eyes had dimmed to an ember glow.
“Please.” Malachi gasped over the pain. “Master, please.” The pressure on his chest lifted and the pain ebbed out of him like sea at tide. The Daemon sighed in relief, the edges of his vision darkening, fading out to black. Sharp white flashed across his vision and Malachi felt blood dribble down his chin. Blue eyes fluttered and Delaren growled, raising his fist again.
“Don’t you dare Malachi. I’m not done with you yet.” Hands hooked under the Daemons arms and his master yanked him to his feet. His knees buckled from under him but Delaren caught him before he fell. “Careful Mals.”
The Daemon looked up into his masters calm silver eyes. Delaren raised a hand and trailed the flow of blood from Malachi’s mouth with a finger. His finger glistened with the silver blood as he brought it up to his lips in a gesture of sorrow.
Smiling almost sadly, his voice crooning meaningless words Delaren placed his hand over the Daemon’s shattered jaw. The pain slowly faded out replaced with a disturbing tingling. His master pulled his hand away and Malachi rubbed his jaw against his shoulder trying to make it stop itching.
“All better?” Delaren asked hands coming to rest around his hips. The Daemon nodded and leaned against his master gratefully. “Your Angels waiting outside. I hope his presence won’t impair your work, because this is no time to be behind schedule.”
Malachi nodded at the dismissal and strode from the room after a momentary falter.
Dazriel turned to him from his conversation with Makoto. The muse took one look at him, shook his head and slid past Tansear and into the council room. Even as Dazriel wrapped his arms around the Daemons waist.
“I’ve got to get to work Angel. Do you want to come? Or I can have Tansear drop you off at my rooms.” He murmured into the Angel’s hair. Dazriel turned stunning green eyes on him and smiled lazily.
“I’d prefer to go with you.”
“Of course, this way then.” It was nice he decided, walking through the empty corridors of the castle with another. The usual feelings of loneliness didn’t swamp him as they usually did.
The entrance to the ‘tunnels’ was guarded by the same guards as it always was. Malachi nodded at them in passing and stepped into the main chamber of the ‘tunnels’. Six ovals had been carved into the stone of the walls each one filled with a swirling portal of midnight black. Each one with its own guard and technician. Behind him the Angel gasped.
Malachi smiled and caught the cylinder one of the guards tossed him. The portal nearest them fired up and the Daemon grabbed Dazriel’s hand, pulling him through it after him.
They came to a halt in a forest awash with the reds and yellows of autumn. Malachi started off towards the being he sensed it was his job to collect. The leaves crunched under his boots and the Daemon found himself grinning at the sight of Dazriel springing and twisting through the drifts of leaves. Laughter bubbled its way to the surface and he gave in happily. It cut off abruptly though at Dazriel’s yelp.
“What?” Senses slammed into overdrive and he hurried to his bonded’s side. The Angel didn’t look up from his inspection of his finger.
“Thorn.” He murmured gold hair flopping over his eyes repeatedly. Malachi paused, sighed and then took a couple of deep breaths in an attempt to get of the adrenaline high he was on.
“Here, let me see.” He caught up the Angels hand, pulling the thorn from his bonded’s flesh carefully. A bead of gold blood welled up and taken off guard Malachi raised the finger to his lips, tongue darting out to lap at the blood.
Dazriel gasped softly and the Daemon locked eyes with him as he drew the tip of his finger into his mouth, sucking gently. A soft whimper broke from the Angel’s throat and Malachi drew away to place a kiss on his nose.
“There you go, all better now.” He spun around at the soft rustling of leaves. The wolf cub turned to look at him suspiciously. Its fur was umber brown with traces of smoky white and Malachi could see the undergrowth through it.
The Daemon took the cylinder from his pocket and pressed in a button at the top. The scythe unfolded itself and Death raised it above his head. The wolf cub soul whimpered and darted out between the Daemons legs to crush itself against Dazriel’s legs. The Angel burst out laughing and reached down to pick up the pup, hugging it to his chest.
“Dazriel! What do you think you’re doing! Put it down this instant.” Malachi knew his eyes had gone wide with shock but right now it didn’t seem to matter all that much.
“Why? Can’t I keep him?”
“Can you what?” the Daemon spluttered.
“Keep him. Oh please Malachi.” Green eyes opened wider, lips curving into a begging smile. The Daemon paused, faltered and then gave in.
“Oh all right. You can keep the damn thing. Just don’t turn to me when it starts to rot.”
“It is dead Dazriel.” Malachi placed a hand on his hip, cocking his head at the Angel.
“I know that. Souls don’t rot though.” Dazriel sniffed. “Wait…what do you want a soul for? Only Death collects them…” The Angel’s voice faltered off, eyes coming to rest on the scythe still held in Malachi’s hand.
“Oh so you’ve heard of me then.” The Daemon grinned at him dangerously.
“You’re Death? You’re Death.”
“Yes Dazriel, that knowledge has been certified.”
“Oh good, then no ones going to have a problem with me keeping Rai then.”
“Rai?” Malachi squeaked out. “As in the fertility god?”
“Yup.” The Angel turned and strolled back to the portal, the wolf pup panting at Malachi slyly over his shoulder. The Daemon sighed and followed him, shaking his head in amazement.
The guards stared at the wolf pup when they entered the ‘tunnels’ again but Malachi’s glares kept them from voicing their objections. The Daemon left Dazriel sitting on the floor with Rai as he finished his work load for the day. To his surprise he missed the Angel’s innocence, but most of the sights would have crushed him so it was probably better Dazriel wasn’t with him.
Malachi stepped back through the portal and tossed his scythe to one of the guards. Dazriel scrambled to his feet and followed the Daemon out the chamber, Rai padding at his feet.
He held the door to his rooms open for Dazriel. The Angel grinned at the sight and Malachi glared at Rai who’d just jumped onto his chair.
“Get off.” The wolf pup turned to look at him, snorted and then curled up so his back faced the Daemon. Malachi glared at his back for a while then turned to Dazriel, who was watching him amusement sparkling in his green eyes. “What?” The Angel just shook his head in humour. He blinked and then raised a hand to stifle a yawn.
“You tired Angel?” A nod, “Come on then.” Malachi led the Angel to the bedroom and watched with a raising mischievousness as the wolf pup jump down to follow him. The Daemon shut the door on Rai’s nose with a satisfied sigh. He turned round to disapproving green eyes.
“What? I’ll let him in later Dazriel, promise.” He paused and grinned devilishly. “Besides I think Rai’s too young to be in here.”
The Angels face flushed bright red as Malachi caught up his shoulders, holding him still as he kissed Dazriel happily. His bonded groaned, leaning into the kiss. The Daemon pushed him down onto the bed and smiled…
Dazriel hummed contently afterwards and Malachi set to washing his face with a rough tongue. What was it they said about Daemons and cats? Oh fuck it. With the warm Angel in his arms he could hardly remember his own name let alone some damn saying. Dazriel twisted until one arm curled around Malachi’s neck and their noses rubbed together.
“Love you.” The Angel whispered, eyes closing tiredly. Malachi’s heart caught painfully and blue eyes filled with tears. He blinked in surprise, he’d never cried before. Why was he crying? He’d never been this happy before in his life, well before-life at least.
He pulled away from Dazriel and slid off the bed. Padding towards the door.
“Malachi? Where are you going?”
“To let your damn wolf in, I made a promise remember?” Saying so, he pulled the door open. Rai looked up at him for a second and bared small white teeth. The wolf pup padded past him and jumped up onto the bed. Malachi growled and kicked the door closed.
He climbed back into the bed and cuddled back up to the Angel. He curled an arm around the Angel then sighed, closing his eyes and surrendering to sleep.
Lightning flashed bathing the room in a weak light. Malachi cursed, Dazriel had gone. Fists doubled up and then the Daemon shifted. Brown fur fluffed as thunder clapped above him. A low snarl and then he set off; muzzle low to the ground following his bonded’s scent.
The trail led him to the ‘tunnels’, the guards started at the sight of him and stood quickly to attention. Malachi padded past them and into the main chamber.
“Where did he go to?”
“My lord?” the nearest guard stammered,
“The Angel you fool.”
“He went back to Nurha sire. Kept talking about the wolf.”
Malachi hissed in annoyance and jumped through the portal the technician had just fired up. His paws slammed into wet mud and he skidded forward for a bit. Rain poured down hard, soaking his fur. The Daemon shifted and stood there, the rain beating down hard on his shoulders.