Summary: Matty just got Olli back but will they be able to repair the damage that has been done?
Warnings: See part one.
Apologies: Sorry this is taking so long. The story is proving more difficult to write than I first thought. This is just a little something to tide you over. <g>
Thanks: Big sloppy kisses to Helene for becoming my go to BETA reader. Also big thanks to everyone who has emailed be feedback on this story. The encouragement was invaluable.
For my muse, my wife, my love.
Olli fell boneless to the floor before anyone could react. Everyone stood staring at the toddler until Matty asked, "Honey what did you do to Olli?"
"Olli sleep mama," said Ilona matter-of-factly.
"Yes I see that," said the child’s mother, rolling Olli over onto her back. "Why?" she asked checking the unconscious woman’s pulse feeling a steady rhythm beneath her fingertips.
The toddler thought for a second and then nodded her head to herself, "Tired."
Matty smiled and ruffled her daughter’s hair. She looked down at the woman she loved and brushed her fingertips across the worry lines in her forehead.
Rachel bent down next to her laying a hand on her shoulder, "We need to get her cleaned up, something tells me she’s going to be out for a while." Matty nodded and she and Rachel moved out of the way so Clark could lift Olli off the floor. He did so with a grunt and a muttered ‘A lot heavier than I remember’.
Matty turned to Lillith with a questioning look and the vampire smiled. "Come light of my life," she said to Ilona holding out her hand to the child. "Let us go find some trouble to get into shall we?"
Ilona’s face lit up, "Lil!" she exclaimed as if seeing the Queen for the first time. The child half walked, half ran the short distance to her friend and took her hand. She liked Lil a lot, and Lil always let her do stuff that mama told her not to.
As the group parted ways, Matty could hear her daughter relating her latest adventure to the Queen as she listened intently and made reassuring noises. Everyone delighted in the irony of Ilona’s relationship with the vampire but no one would ever comment on it for fear of what Lillith would do. Matty, however, teased the vampire every chance she got, but the Queen never did anything more than smile and shake her head.
Clark exited Matty’s room shortly after depositing Olli on one of the beds. Matty sat next to the unconscious woman with her head in her hands. "How did this get so screwed up?" she asked herself aloud.
"Do you really want to know the answer to that question?" Matty looked up to see Rachel still standing in the room. "I figured you could use a hand."
Matty gave the scout a smile she didn’t really feel. "She would probably rather you were here then me anyway."
The shorter woman walked forward and squatted in front of Matty resting her hands on the top of Matty’s knees. "Please tell me you don’t believe that, because if you do, you should have left her where she was."
"Then why did she run to you?"
"Because she doesn’t love me. She doesn’t have to worry about me breaking her heart, she never gave it to me to begin with." Rachel moved to sit next to Matty on the side of the bed. "What we had has turned into a wonderful friendship and I care for her a great deal, but I know where I stand. The love she has for you…" The petite woman paused and looked into Matty’s eyes. "Do you feel the same for her?"
"Yes," said Matty without hesitation.
Rachel released a breath she had been holding, "Good, then everything will be fine in time." The scout wrapped her arm around Matty’s shoulders, "We should get started, by the looks of her we’re going to be here for a while."
After only a couple of slight fumbles, the two women were able to coordinate with each other and had gotten Olli undressed. They began washing the woman, uncovering injury after injury and numerous cuts that needed tending along with some older cuts that had already scarred. When they rolled Olli over and Matty saw her back she gasped. The criss-cross scarring of whip marks left very little of her back unmarred and the brand that she wore looked fresh.
"The brand will heal," said Rachel gently wiping a shoulder blade. "It always does when she’s away from them."
"Demons. It’ll heal and then the next time she’s around them it will burn its way back into her skin. Judas likes his brands to stay fresh as the day they were applied," finished Rachel disgusted.
"You know a lot about her." It wasn’t a question.
Rachel looked up from her task, "Like I said, to her I’m safe," she said smiling. "What you think of her matters. She kept waiting for the right time to tell you everything, but it never seemed to come." The petite woman moistened her rag again and began to get out gauze and tape. "If you ask me, it was a shitty excuse."
Matty couldn’t help herself and she burst out laughing. She had missed this interaction. Her friendship with the woman had been strained ever since she sent Olli away. As she thought a question came to her, "What happened to things between us?"
"Look, I don’t know why you sent her away and I don’t need to know. I got pissed at you because you didn’t even let her explain. Wether or not the explanation was good enough was up to you but you didn’t even bother to find out what it was. That hasn’t set well with me." After a long pause, Rachel continued, "I know that it wasn’t any of my business and I shouldn’t have treated you the way I did. I’m sorry. If it makes you feel any better I would have done the same thing to Olli."
Matty smiled. "Am I a bad person if it does make me feel better?"
"Nah," the scout said chuckling.
Once Ilona had returned from her grand adventure with Lillith, which caused way too much commotion for Matty’s liking, she perched herself on the bed with Olli and didn’t leave. For three days, the toddler sat with the unconscious woman telling her stories, drawing pictures and showing them to her. Matty tried to get her to play somewhere else besides the bedroom but the child refused, stating that if she left Olli would be lonely.
On the forth day Matty was returning from the food line with her daughter’s breakfast when she heard the toddler scream. A thousand horrible thoughts flooded Matty’s mind at once and she dropped the plate she was holding and ran into the bedroom. Immediately searching out her child, she found Ilona sitting on the bed right where she left her. She then found the source of her daughter’s scream. Olli was up out of bed and holding someone against the wall by the throat. The Halfling was breathing heavily and snarling something in Latin.
"NO!" exclaimed the poor young man in Olli’s hands.
The Halfling growled again and said, "Fides punica! Cave quid dicis, et cui."
"Miserere," gasped the body going limp, "Cedo maiori."
Matty could tell that whatever the young man was saying, it wasn’t going to stop Olli from strangling him to death, right in front of her little girl. "Olli!" Matty closed the distance between them quickly and laid a hand on the tall woman’s shoulder. "Not in front of Ilona," she whispered. With that said, Olli looked over to the bed to find Ilona standing on the mattress with her little hands on her hips.
"Olli, no. Bad."
Those three little words struck Olli to the core and she dropped the person in her grip. "I…just woke up and there he was. He smells…like them," she finished with a snarl.
Ilona got down from the bed and walked over to the person pointing at him, "Is Gus."
"Um, Augustus," rasped the young man.
Ilona nodded, "Gus," she said again as if that explained everything.
"You’re Gus?" asked Matty.
"Yeah," said Augustus rubbing his throat. The young man’s lip curled to reveal a very pointed set of teeth.
Olli growled again but Matty laid a gentle hand on her chest to stall the warrior. "I thought you were imaginary. She talks about you all the time but I’ve never seen you around anywhere."
"Her majesty doesn’t let me out on my own very often. Usually when I see Ilona, she is with us in chambers. I snuck out today because I haven’t seen her for a few days and…and I was worried."
Matty wrapped a motherly arm around the young vampire and ushered him toward to door. "I will speak with Lillith and ask her to grant you free time to visit with Ilona."
"You will?" Gus’ face lit up, "Thank you Your Grace."
"Just promise me not to show up in my bedroom unless you’re invited ok?"
The young man’s face reddened, "Yes Your Grace." He peaked under Matty’s arm to Ilona and waved goodbye as she ushered him out.
Ilona stepped up to Olli and took her hand. She led the Halfling back over to the bed and pulled until Olli sat down. Then she crawled up onto the bed and into Olli’s lap, all the while with Olli looking dumbfounded.
Matty returned and knelt in front of the befuddled woman placing her hand on a cotton-covered knee. "How do you feel?"
"Stiff," said the woman without looking at Matty.
"Are you hungry, thirsty, anything I can get for you?"
"No," still without eye contact. "How long have I been out?"
"Little over three days, midget here has been keeping you company," said Matty ruffling her daughter’s hair. Olli looked down at the child and smiled wrapping her arms around Ilona. "I don’t know how she recognized you or knew your name, but you are her new best friend."
"Olli fend," said Ilona smiling and playing with a spot on the warrior’s shirt.
"I’m sorry about Gus," said Olli, finally looking up to meet Matty’s gaze. "I woke up and…this place isn’t familiar…then I look over and find somebody sneaking in the door."
"If he were mortal you would have scared ten years off his life. I didn’t know you could speak Latin let alone scare the hell out of someone with it. What did you say to him?"
The Halfling sighed heavily, "I accused him of working for the devil…and then followed it up with a little posturing."
"What did he say to you?"
Olli looked ashamed, "He asked me for mercy. It seems like many have done that over the past year."
"Don’t what?" asked Matty returning to her feet. "Talk to you, or be nice?" she finished with irritation. "You", she said pointing to Olli, "stay here. You", this directed at her daughter, "come with me."
Ilona looked as if she was going to protest but a hard stare from her mother stopped the words from being uttered. The toddler climbed down from Olli’s lap and took her mother’s hand as she walked from the room. Turning back at the door, she gave a small wave to her friend. Ilona could tell her mother wasn’t happy and knew that Olli was in trouble. Hopefully her new friend wouldn’t have to spend time in the corner.
After only a few moments, Matty returned sans child and with a new plate of food. Setting it down on the bedside table, she pointed at Olli, "Eat, while I talk."
"I said eat, while I talk." Taking the hint, Olli didn’t argue any further and began to pick at the food. "I’ve had a long time to think of what I was going to say to you once we found you. I put it all together in my mind, a long list of things with questions and heartfelt statements but it all boils down to one thing. It is highly inadequate and doesn’t even come close to expressing how I feel but I can’t seem to find anything that works better." Matty got down on one knee in front of Olli and took one of the warrior’s hands in both of hers. "I am truly, deeply, sorry. The past two years…"
"One year, ten months, and thirteen days," came the barely audible interruption.
A bittersweet smile came to Matty’s lips, "Yes, all of that time, was wasted because I didn’t trust you. When I found out the truth…well…why didn’t you try to explain?"
The Halfling raised her hand to caress Matty’s cheek but hesitated and finally dropped her hand back to her own lap. "Little one…there is no explanation good enough to rid me of the guilt of what I’ve done. When you sent me away, it was what I deserved. You had every right to judge me, and I always swore to myself that I would accept whatever sentence you chose fit."
"But I know you tried to protect me, I know about the prophecy and how you fought against it." Matty took the hand she was holding and pressed the palm to her cheek. "What happened was not your fault, I know that now. Please, please forgive me," she said letting her head drop.
The redhead then felt her face lifted as Olli trailed her hand from Matty’s cheek to her chin. Matty’s eyes settled on Olli’s as the warrior spoke, "I love you, and there is nothing that Hell or Heaven can do to change that. I will love you until my last breath. And for as long as I love you, you will never have to ask for my forgiveness, because it has already been given."
Matty was guided up until her lips came in to contact with Olli’s. The touch was tender and so sweet it almost overwhelmed the two women. Matty poured everything she felt into that kiss, losing herself in the warrior’s essence. Following Olli’s movement she ended up on top of the warrior and as Olli’s heated body pressed against her, her mouth was taken again. She moaned deep and could feel her nipples brush against the body under her with every breath she took.
The amount of love that the warrior felt for this woman made her soul ache. She wanted to take her time, feeling and tasting every inch of skin this woman had. She trailed her fingers up and down the sides of Matty’s body caressing the sides of her breasts through the material of her shirt. The redhead sighed at the contact and sat up, straddling the body beneath her. This woman could do anything she wanted to her and Matty was a little frightened to realize that she welcomed it. It felt like Olli’s hands were everywhere at once and moving in time with the throbbing between her legs. She rocked her hips slightly feeling the throbbing increase.
Olli ran her hands up the front of Matty’s body, removing her shirt as she went. The warrior sat up and wrapped her arms around the small body in front of her, taking Matty’s mouth again. Small hands wound their way into Olli’s hair and across the back of her shoulders igniting fire as they passed. Matty kneaded the muscles there and all the way down the Halfling’s spine until she got to the hem of her shirt. Tugging lightly, she was able to lift the shirt up and over Olli’s head with minimal interference then she placed both hands on either shoulder and gently pushed. The desired effect was not achieved, however, when Olli twisted and flipped the petite woman so the warrior was now on top. A wall of heated muscle trapped Matty against the mattress of the bed as Olli kissed her way along a bare collar bone and down between two glorious breasts.
Olli took Matty’s hands in hers and raised them above the other woman’s head. The flames they were creating upon the warrior’s skin was distracting her from her mission. As she held them in place with one hand, she unbuttoned Matty’s pants with the other and maneuvered them below her hips. When the offending garment got to mid thigh, the Halfling brought her foot up and pushed them down the rest of Matty’s legs and onto the floor. Kissing her love one last time Olli pushed up onto her knees in front of the prone woman.
The warrior put a hand on each of Matty’s knees and opened them as wide as they would go, exposing everything the woman had to offer. She slowly settled herself between those open thighs and reveled in the moist heat that coated her stomach. The warrior thoroughly kissed each breast leaving no amount of skin untouched. Olli delighted in the sounds that her love was making and allowed it to encourage her further. As Matty’s excitement grew, Olli began to feel the woman’s hips grind against her searching for release. Olli raised herself up off the other woman and kissed her way down a slightly muscled stomach and into the curls at her love’s center.
Matty’s hips came off the bed when she felt Olli’s tongue caress her. She tried to move to put the woman where she needed her most, but feeling strong hands on her hips, she could tell Olli was planning to take her time. The Halfling licked and kissed every inch of her driving her closer to climax. Just before the torture would have taken her over the edge, the warrior stopped and kissed her way back up to Matty’s lips. The redhead could taste herself on the lips of her lover and let out a growl of her own. Olli stopped what she was doing and looked at Matty as her eyes darkened to black and her fangs extended ever so slightly. The small woman felt a shiver of anticipation run the length of her spine as Olli bent and kissed her neck.
The fighter let her fangs lightly scrape the surface of Matty’s skin and the woman gasped a ‘Yes, please’ into her ear. Olli needed no other invitation and she maneuvered herself into a different position over the other woman. The next time she actually bit down, she entered her lover fully, stretching her open. Olli felt the warm slickness take her in and then contract tightly, wracking the small woman’s body with spasms. When they subsided, the warrior began to move in a rhythm, listening to the gasps and moans of her lover. The sounds acted like a map, telling her where and when she was needed. She continued kissing the breasts before her and began to suck on a nipple as she quickened the movement of her fingers.
Matty felt like her body would explode. The pressure that she thought was released had returned with a vengeance until she could hardly breathe. The air to her lungs came in short gasps as she tried to reign herself in. She was losing complete control and was battling with herself over the exquisite feeling. Then Olli captured her mouth again in the sweetest kiss. "I love you little one," said the warrior in a low husky voice. Matty’s spirit exploded along with the rest of her body as her climax washed over her. Olli held onto her until the spasms that rocked her body subsided and she was able to breathe again.
"I missed you," Matty whispered into the warriors lips. She felt Olli smile at that and then muscular arms tightened around her and she was rolled over on top of a very solid body. "Oh God, I forgot about your injuries!" Panicking slightly, Matty began to move away.
"My injuries are healed," the Halfling said following Matty’s gaze to her own body. "Evidently your daughter has a gift. I was totally healed the moment I woke up."
Matty touched a couple of the places she knew to have held open wounds and found only scars left in their wake. Choosing not to think about the ramifications of this discovery right now, Matty raised an eyebrow. "This means I get to have my way with you?"
Olli smiled, "Yes it does."
"Brilliant," said Matty lowering her head to capture Olli’s lips once again.
Just then, a bright blue light engulfed the room and the two women were left in the presence of three other individuals. "We would offer to come back at a better time, but the circumstances being what they are, you’ll have to overlook the intrusion." Matty drew back onto the far side of the bed as Olli moved to put her body between the intruders and the naked woman. The being in the middle put up a hand and spoke again, "We mean you and your love no harm Halfling. We are here to help."
"Who are you?" asked Olli menacingly.
"We are Watchers," the three said in unison.
Olli stiffened and stood slowly, every muscle in her body strained with tension. "Grigori," she spat, "Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodies?"
The middle being spoke again, this time with anger and irritation in his voice, "Tu fui, ego eris. Te igitur."
"Alright, hold it," said Matty from behind Olli. "For those of us in the room who haven’t been alive since the Roman Empire, let’s stick to English only please." The redhead shifted to the edge of the bed and drew the sheet around her as she stood. "You have disrespected my home, interrupted a most pleasurable evening, which has been a long time in coming I might add, and enraged my Halfling. Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t let her rip you apart right here besides the fact that it would be a hell of a mess to clean up."
Olli hadn’t heard anything past Matty calling her ‘her Halfling’. For as long as she could remember, Olli had despised that title, but coming from Matty it filled her with a sense of pride. She moved closer to the petite woman as she advanced on the trio, providing a strong presence at Matty’s back.
"Please Your Grace, we mean no disrespect I assure you." The trio bowed and then the one on the right said, "Allow me to introduce ourselves, I am Hades. This is Athena", he said gesturing to the woman at his right, and to the last, "and this is Ares."
A snort escaped Matty as she tried not to laugh. "You have got to be kidding!"
Another blue flash revealed a fourth being in the form of a beautiful blonde woman. After scanning the room, the newcomer’s eyes landed on Olli and she smiled brightly. "Apollyon," she said, her voice choked by a barely controlled sob. Tears began streaming down her cheeks as she started towards the Halfling. Closing the gap between them in only a few strides, she threw her arms around Olli’s shoulders in a fierce hug. Olli closed her eyes as the familiar scent of the woman enveloped her and she returned the embrace. The two women broke away and stood next to each other. As Matty looked on, she began to realize the two-shared similar features.
"Little one, I’d like you to meet my aunt Aphrodite. Aunt D, this is Matty," said Olli stepping forward to take Matty’s hand.
"It is a pleasure to meet the woman who has taken possession of my Lion’s heart," said the beautiful woman, taking Matty’s hand in her’s.
"I hate to interrupt once again but we do have a lot to discuss," said Hades. "Perhaps there is some place a little less crowded we could go?"
"Um, yeah," said Matty turning to Olli, "there should be a guard stationed outside the door. Tell him to take you to the conference room," she then motioned to her state of undress, "Give me a minute and I’ll join you." The Halfling nodded and exited the room trailed by the four Watchers.
With fresh clothes and what she considered an open mind, Matty entered the conference room to find everyone seated and waiting for her. She took a deep breath and walked to the head of the table seating herself there. She never did get used to being in charge, and every time she assumed this role, it created butterflies in her stomach. Looking over to Olli, she received a warm smile and returned it. "Ok, first off I have questions that are going to be answered before we add anymore information to this mess. Now I know who the Grigori are, what I don’t know is why you’re named after the Greek Gods."
"We are just of that sect. There are many of us; some go by the names of other deities. We are known throughout all of the religions in history," said Athena.
"Members of our group were also known by the names, Apollo, Mars, Zeus, and Venus," continued Ares. "There is also Vishnu, Shiva, and Garuda, among many others, who watch over your Hindu brethren."
"The Celts called some of our fellows Morrigan, Branwen…" Athena said before she was interrupted.
"Needless to say we are everywhere. When we were cast out of heaven we never gave up our duty of watching over God’s creations," said Aphrodite. "We have a deep love and appreciation for your kind; some say it is that love which led to our fall. That is why we are here now with news that we hope will aid you in your struggle."
"That still doesn’t explain how your related to Olli," said Matty letting her inner thoughts be voiced.
"Aunt D is related to me by blood," began Olli, "she is my mother’s sister."
"I thought your mother was human."
"As far as everyone else knows she is. It’s hard enough being a demon let alone a fallen angel as well," said Olli, eyes glistening.
"Oh my Lion," said Aphrodite taking Olli’s hand. "You no longer need to hide who you are." The Watcher took a deep breath and turned to Matty. "You know of your adoption?"
"What?" asked Matty.
"The parents that were lost to you in the car accident, you know they are not your birth parents." It wasn’t a question.
"I know, but they raised me ever since I was just a few weeks old. Why?"
Hades gained everyone’s attention by clearing his throat. "Your birth parents were Grigori, like us. Shortly after your birth, an Archangel took them both, leaving you to fend for yourself. We were never told why, but we were ordered to deliver you to the people who raised you. Not until we heard you were to beget the Peace Bringer did we understand why we were forced to abandon you, now we know it was for your safety."
Matty sat at the table stunned, "You mean my real parents…were fallen angels?" The three Watchers nodded in unison. "Then that means…oh God Ilona…". Matty could feel herself starting to hyperventilate.
"Aunt D, Matty can’t be Grigori, she hasn’t exhibited any abilities whatsoever. Shouldn’t there be some kind of sign?"
"She has developed abilities in your absence Halfling," corrected Ares.
Olli looked to the woman she loved with raised eyebrows. "Little one, is this true?"
Matty was stunned, "I thought I was just imagining things. Hearing people’s thoughts and sensing feelings, I’ve always been a little sensitive. I thought it was just because we were in such close quarters here. It wasn’t until we found you in the Pit, when we had that momentary connection, that I really thought it could be something else."
Olli thought back to the times when she was able to sense Matty’s feelings. Coming out of the nightmare when they collided in the hallway, when she would meditate, when Matty felt distressed, afraid, or even genuinely happy, and she realized that she had sensed the emotions without the normal effort it took with humans. "Oh little one, if I had known of the adoption I might have been suspicious but…".
"There was no reason to be," finished Matty. "What effect is this going to have on Ilona?" she asked the trio.
"Well, it makes the prophecy a little easier to understand," said Hades.
"I know, ‘From great sacrifice and evil doings shall a force greater than hope be born’," said Matty.
"That is not the complete prophecy," said Aphrodite producing an old, battered, scroll. She gently unrolled the parchment and began to read.
"The tip of Destiny, run again crimson by Grace,
Ushers balanced disunion.
Great sacrifice and evil, beget forces greater than hope.
Portions of two sums first divided will couple.
After the dissolution of sanguinity,
Might stronger than chain and sword
Descend upon the foe of devotion."
"The translation you gave for the section is loose but mostly correct. May I inquire as to how you came about it?" asked Ares.
"Lillith," said Matty seeing the vampire enter the room.
"I heard there was a party. Imagine my hurt when I found that I wasn’t invited. So rude of you Chosen," she said tsking as she sat herself next to Matty near the head of the table. "Well, aren’t you going to introduce me to your friends?"
"Um, ok, Lillith this is Ares, Athena, and Hades…".
"Hmm, Grigori, I didn’t know our little resistance had quite peeked the interest of the Council, at least not so much as to send a detail to our humble abode."
"Lillith, please be nice, they have done nothing to us…," said Matty before Lillith interrupted her.
"These are my family your highness," said Olli darkening slightly, "please tread lightly". The Queen just inclined her head before turning her attention back to Matty.
"In my experience, which I don’t have to explain is vast, I have found that where the Grigori go, trouble follows." Lillith settled farther into the chair as she fixed Ares with a look of challenge.
"I fail to see why we owe you any explanation at all or how you could be of any assistance in these matters," said Ares standing.
The Queen mirrored his stance causing the remaining Watchers to unseat themselves as well. Matty could tell that things were about to get way out of hand, please stop this, she thought to herself. As soon as she completed her inner plea, Olli launched herself from the chair in which she sat, to the top of the table. Her features changed rapidly, mid leap, and she landed solidly emitting a roar of warning to all present.
Everyone in the room froze, waiting to see what would happen next. "Sit down," said Matty in a way that broached no argument. At first no one moved, none of them wanting to be the first to concede, then another low rumble from Olli started them sitting. "Since it seems Olli is the queen of the playground," said Matty making eye contact with the Halfling and getting a barely perceptible nod in response, "and Olli belongs to me." The Halfling then jumped from the long table to land directly behind the petite woman, "I would then be in charge. I’d hoped our Watcher friends would be a little more polite seeing as how Lillith has already proven her allegiance, and I have yet to be privy to yours."
It did not go unnoticed by the occupants of the room that all throughout her speech; Matty remained seated and was the embodiment of control. Lillith smiled to herself with pride, the Chosen had come a long way since they first met. The Grigori, to their credit, were now aware that they were not going to be able to assume control of this group as they had first thought.
"Now, let’s get back to the prophecy," ordered Matty as she gestured for Olli to be seated. Looking around the table, she received a smirk and nod from Lillith and a genuine smile from Aphrodite. The three remaining Watchers looked less then pleased but resigned to maintaining decorum for now.
"As far as we know, we are the only ones to have the complete version. When it was first written we were ordered to divide the verses and hide them. We knew that Samuel had procured this one," said Athena pointing to a place on the parchment.
Great sacrifices and evil beget forces greater than hope.
"He had it interpreted by a scholar whose muse is a friend. I’m afraid that without the remaining parts to fill in the gaps, the interpretation was loose at best. Then we discovered that Lucifer had tracked down two other portions and had put plans in motion to take advantage of the situation it revealed." Athena then pointed at two other verses separated by the body of the work.
The tip of Destiny, run again crimson by Grace, ushers balanced disunion.
Might stronger than chain and sword, descend upon the foe of devotion.
Lillith scoffed, "Well that explains a lot. That bastard thinks he is going to usher in a new order."
"How?" asked Matty
"A blood letting," answered Olli with a worried look on her face. "Based on what he has, when there is blood spilled by Grace it will empower him to defeat us."
Matty took a moment to study the text. She read it through carefully, verse by verse. "I don’t think the translation is correct. I’d like to have Arthur look at this with me…," Matty said stopping short. A spike of hate, lancing through her consciousness, interrupted her speech.
Unbeknownst to the group, Ares had been repositioning himself while they spoke. He had maneuvered himself behind Olli and before Matty could yell a warning, the Grigori launched himself at the Halfling. Everyone looked on in shock as he wrapped his arm around the Halfling’s neck, threatening to choke the life out of her. Olli struggled with the powerful Watcher trying to get her feet under her. Matty snapped out of her stupor just as Olli began to go limp and struck the Watcher upside the head with the scroll. His grip loosened just enough for Olli to power up out of her seat and turn toward him. She lashed out with her fist and hit Ares in the gut, knocking the wind out of him.
The rest of the small group recovered and two of the other Watchers moved to restrain their injured comrade. Aphrodite ran to Olli’s side, "Are you alright?"
Olli nodded, unable to speak just yet when the room was encompassed in a bright red light. A dozen demons appeared out of thin air and wrestled the small group to the ground. Olli and Lillith were hit a couple of times in the head for good measure when they resisted. "I just want the Halfling, and the child," boomed a voice, "Leave the others."
A demon wrapped his arm around Olli from behind and in a flash they were both gone. The same thing happened to Ares but before he disappeared, he lunged forward and grabbed the scroll from Matty’s hands. A few seconds later, their impromptu guests were gone again and an eerie silence settle among the group.
A loud banging on the conference room door brought them out of their stupor. Mother Elizabeth burst through the doors panting, "Ilona…she’s gone…just disappeared."
"Damn Grigori!" raged Lillith as she got up from the floor where she had been unceremoniously dumped.
"We had nothing to do with this!" shouted Aphrodite.
"Really, so it was a coincidence that the day some minions are able to breach our defenses just happened to be the day YOU showed up." Lillith started towards the Watcher intent on doing damage.
"ENOUGH!" yelled Matty, getting everyone’s attention. She turned to Mother Elizabeth, "Was anyone else taken?"
The Mother nodded, "Gus, he jumped on the demon’s back trying to get to Ilona and he vanished right along with them."
"No…Augustus," whispered Lillith.
Another bright flash and Remiel appeared before them. "What’s going on?" asked Matty.
"My apologies Your Grace, we didn’t know what Ares was planning until just before it happened," the angel said.
"Where are they?" asked Matty advancing on him.
"They’ve been taken to Lucifer’s church. It is there that Judas intends on performing the ritual."
"I know how we can get there," said Aphrodite, "please let us help you."
"Haven’t you done enough already?" yelled Lillith.
"I said enough," Matty commanded, raising her voice. "If we’re going to get them back we’ll need all the help we can get." The young mother could tell that Aphrodite held only concern for Olli and her daughter. However, just in case, "So help me, if you do one thing to make me think you are against us," she said to the Watchers that were left, "I will personally dispatch you to whatever hell you belong." The small group stood silent, no one daring to make a noise.
"Lillith, get your people together."
"Yes Chosen," said Lillith leaving the room.
"Yes my dear?"
"Go tell Clark I wanted our group ready to leave five minutes ago. Tell him not to skimp on the weapons and bring everyone we’ve got." The Mother nodded and exited the room at full speed. Matty turned her attention to Remiel, "It’s in your best interest to offer us any help you can."
The angel gave a hint of a smile at the authority the woman projected, "It will take time, but I will gather up what help there is and meet you at the church."
After he left, Aphrodite walked over to Matty and put her arm around the young woman. "We will get them back. Apollyon will keep your child safe until we get there."
Matty buried her face in the Watcher’s shoulder accepting the momentary comfort. Inside she was raging with fear over the fate of the two most important people in her life.
The moment she materialized again, Olli began to struggle. That is, until she saw Judas holding a knife to Ilona’s throat. "Ah, ah, ah," Judas practically sang.
"You won’t kill her, you need her," Olli said menacingly.
"That is true," Judas said cocking his head in thought, "But the prophecy says nothing about either of you being in full health." His voice turned cold, "So if you don’t want to see her little stubby fingers fall from her body one by one, I suggest you cooperate." Olli stopped struggling, never taking her eyes off her former master as a couple of his minions shackled her hands and feet.
"Olli?" said Ilona in a small trembling voice.
"Its ok honey, just do exactly as I tell you ok?" Ilona nodded to her friend as Judas stepped closer to the Halfling. The demon swung with all his strength and struck Olli across the face. Her head turned on impact but was righted shortly afterward, eyes blackened and teeth bared.
Judas Laughed, "Oh Apollyon, you never cease to disappoint me. I have something you left here when you made your hasty retreat last time you escaped my dungeons." He snapped his fingers and a collar appeared in his hand. Olli’s eyes widened at the sight of the iron object. "I see you haven’t forgotten," said Judas affixing the collar around Olli’s neck. Once the lock closed on the latch at the back of her neck, all strength drained from Olli’s body, causing her to go limp in the arms of the demons by her side.
The demon turned to Ares next, "It took you long enough."
The form of Ares morphed into another demon and bowed to Judas. "My apologies master. It took longer than expected to talk the Watchers into getting involved."
"Do you have what I want?"
Without rising, the demon raised his hand that held the scroll.
"Excellent, now that I have everything I need, we can begin the ritual as soon as possible." Judas snatched Ilona up into his arms, "Bring her," he commanded pointing to Olli.
The entire entourage, willing or otherwise, made its way out of the small room they were currently in and into a vast chamber. At the far end of the room was a large wooden cross that hung upside down. Olli shrunk away from the image as her brand seared its way deeper into her flesh. "All of this will be yours one day," Judas said to Ilona.
"Let her go Judas. You have me now, you don’t need her." It was a bluff, but Olli needed to try anything at this point to get Ilona out of this place.
"You don’t give me enough credit Apollyon. Don’t you think I know what I’m doing? I’m the one who found the pieces of the prophecy after all. They did a fine job scattering it to the wind, or so they thought." Judas set Ilona down on a stone alter under the huge cross. Poking his finger at her, trying to get her to laugh, he said, "I need both of you for my little plan. But rest assured Olli, once I’m done with you, I’ll kill you and put you out of your misery."
"Bad man," said Ilona crossing her little arms.
Judas laughed loudly, "Yes I am you little vixen, and after I’m done you will be too." The demon then turned and backhanded Olli across the face knocking her unconscious and splitting her lip. "Take her away, she clutters my hall." Olli was dragged from the room leaving a trail of blood along the floor.
All Matty could do was worry as she sat waiting for her people to assemble. They were going to have to take a plane before they would be anywhere near where her daughter and lover had been taken. She thought back to that horrible dream she had when she first came to the compound hoping desperately that it wasn’t coming true. Hoping that she would be able to get the two people she loved most back in one piece.
"Have you tried talking to her?" asked Aphrodite appearing in front of her.
"Apollyon," the Watcher answered, surprised that Matty didn’t know of whom she was speaking.
"How am I supposed to do that when she’s thousands of miles away?"
Aphrodite sighed, "You are still thinking in human limits. You and Apollyon, for all intents and purposes, are joined. You have been through too much together for you not to be able to sense her presence at all times."
At the surprised look on Matty’s face she continued, "Let’s just say we’ve been keeping an eye on you two." Aphrodite sat next to the petite woman. "Concentrate on her. Clear your mind of all thoughts that aren’t about her. If you focus your thoughts you will be able to communicate with her."
Matty nodded and closed her eyes. Taking a couple of deep breaths, she tried to focus only on Olli. Slowly her other thoughts cleared and only left a perfect mental image of the warrior. Matty’s mental self reached for her as Olli tried to speak. Only pieces of what she was saying came through, "we…wrong translation…he…Ilona." Matty lost the connection when a searing pain ripped through her skull. Aphrodite steadied the woman while she recovered.
"What did she say?"
Matty shook her head a little to clear her mind. "It was too broken up. All I could decipher was the translation was wrong, then she mentioned something about Ilona but I lost her after that."
"Alright everyone, let’s move out!" called Clark from the entrance of the loading area.
"Come, we will keep trying on the flight over. Perhaps it will be easier the closer you get," said the Watcher rising and lending Matty a hand.
As they joined the others about to depart, they were met by Lillith. "Where is it that we’re going exactly?" the Queen asked Aphrodite.
"France, Paris to be precise," answered the Watcher.
"Ha, the only thing in Paris is good cheese, fine wine, and rich blood."
The Watcher frowned distastefully at the smile on the vampire’s face. "That, and over a hundred miles of catacombs under the city, that’s why the church has remained hidden for so long."
Lillith cocked her head in thought. "You know, I tire of these surroundings. Every few decades I like to change the location of my lair, keeps the humans guessing." Matty shot the Vampire Queen a look. "Sorry Chosen. Anyway, if we’re able to flush them out, I think I’d like to take over the territory. I could expand a little; maybe have a couple of more orgy rooms built just for fun…"
"Lillith," interrupted Matty, "how about we concentrate on saving my family first. If you help me do that, I promise to help you redecorate myself."
Aphrodite smirked at the exchange. "Of course Chosen," Lillith said and then fell silent. Matty took her leave of the two, continuing on to the plane.
"I never thought I’d see the day when the great Vampire Queen was quelled by a mere woman," said Aphrodite teasingly.
Lillith stopped short causing the Watcher to turn and face her. "I do not trust you Grigori," snarled the Queen. "For the record, if you, or any of your friends, do anything to compromise this rescue, or cause Ilona to be injured, I will make it my personal mission to ensure you pay for your mistake." Stepping closer, the Queen focused her thoughts and plunged them into the Watcher’s consciousness. You of all people know that I’m capable of making good on that promise. Do not test my boundless ability to inflict pain. The connection was severed so abruptly that it forced Aphrodite to take a step back, lest she fall. Lillith smiled sweetly and continued on her way as if taking an easy Sunday morning stroll.
Return to the Academy