Blas Archangels: ASHWINGS (Complete, 28 Chapters) – C. Swallow

Ashwings -10- The Library
 
After Valentine’s attempt to muddle my perception of sanity, I hide out in the bedroom fit for a whole horde of princesses, specifically by staying in a closet. I can’t interrogate Alexios and December because I don’t have a chance to, they don’t return to the bedroom at all, possibly sleeping in other quarters after the feast.
 
In the morning, without a single wink of sleep, I arise from my pile of blankets in my closet hideaway. I exit into a room filled with sunlight. I slowly get ready for my second day at the Lavent Ashwing.
 
Everything was too perfect, as usual. The pillows too comforting, the blankets perfectly warm. I dress for the day in a blue dress of fine velvet. I brush my hair and my worries temporarily fade with the bristles massaging my skull. The fact is, absolutely everything in this E.W. was pure intoxication.
 
I was confident, to a point, that I could explore, as quietly as possible, hiding whenever necessary – if hiding was even possible – and taking this journey of eternal enslavement; slowly.
 
I knew one fact and that was that Valentine seemed to have a boundary in place when it came to tormenting newcomers.
 
He didn’t initiate until I said yes. Everything else in the meantime was coercion… and delicious temptation.
 
I bite my bottom lip as I walk, bare foot down the first hall, my palm on the palace stone walls, treading softly with each step I take.
 
The palace was quiet at mid morning. A few females lounge on couches, reading, writing, painting, drawing, meditating, eating breakfast together, etc. I avoid most of these people.
 
I find a main hall, from the lavish princess wing I exit from, and I head to the first large ‘public’ place available. A very open area. No chance for being cornered in a smaller drawing room.
 
When I enter this first space, I spot books surrounding… and my heart almost drops… the same fountain from last night.
 
The fountain I clung to… an identical one sits at the centre of this room, down a few steps. A wash of water over each basin, gives the white noise to listen to while reading.
 
The library is expansive, and very round. I don’t know where to begin, so I go everywhere, avoiding the fountain while I look through the space.
 
It’s empty, so I’m happy.
 
My fingers fall over the novels of regular readings. Nothing too abnormal or crazy. At the end of each aisle are bay windows, filled with pillows and perfect views of the rose garden.
 
I cannot help myself. I grab the first book of interest I can find – one on angels – and then I recline in a corner nook. One of the curved bay windows with red and yellow stained glass for an ambient effect and a small lookout over the garden, including the walk way to the palace from the entry point. It’s more an alcove for decoration, but I curl up anyway and I set to reading in my little corner.
 
So. Angels.
 
I read.
 
Creatures of protection, if they were guardians. Devine grace, if they were servants of God. Warriors, if they were called to fight demons. Fallen Angels… Blas Angels… disgraced. Archangels. These are what I’m scared to scan over and I leave it until last.
 
I feel as if reading the words will summon them to me.
 
Valentine. Myron. Guzza.
 
What were they?
 
What kind of archangels were they…?
 
Their kind. Leaders. Infused with pure power. Of a star. Stars made planets. Archangels could deliver and end life. Judge. Kill. Play.
 
Archangels, the more I read… are like… monsters of their own kind.
 
While Angels were easy to categorise. The Archangels were more entities of power, with a personality and soul shaped from that. It wasn’t a poor soul, being burdened by power granted. How they existed, was like a pure energy form, which held life.
 
As for King of Heaven and King of Hell. The only difference here was the story. No information was held about these entities, other than belief systems. Differing faiths.
 
The scary thing? Archangels were more real than the divine creators, which came across more as myths. Never seen. Only ever watching.
 
“Why are you reading nonsense for, Ivy?”
 
I nearly jump out of my skin when that deep drawled voice travels over my head.
 
I look up and over my shoulder to see Myron leaning on the stone wall, his wings spelled away. He is crossing his arms, reading the passage I was just reading.
 
He is not alone.
 
Guzza is also walking down an aisle very close by, wings also spelled away as he himself scans the titles, bored.
 
I shut the book and hold it between my thighs, looking deeply into Myron’s dwarf star eyes.
 
Eyes of the universe. All three of them harboured eyes of the universe.
 
“What are you doing here?” I ask, uselessly. I say it before I think about it.
 
“Last time I checked… I live here,” Myron says it with feigned amazement at his own statement, “Thank you for reminding me.”
 
“If this is nonsense… then you are…” I try to reason it, but I feel intimidated when Myron’s gaze stills, threateningly, and Guzza also turns eerily on time to face me, listening, “…nonsense…?”
 
Myron leans over and takes the book from my thighs, setting it on fire and turning it to ash while watching me carefully, “You’re reading a book by mortals, explaining immortals,” Myron doesn’t even have the energy to smile at me, “Little lamb, any interpretation by your kind, with feeble minds and powerless souls… can not… explain… us… we’re not meant to be explained. That’s for us to know – and you to have faith.”
 
That was funny, coming from a Blas Archangel.
 
I hold my knees together with my sweating palms and I refuse to move, “So… do you need something, Myron, Guzza…?”

“Valentine sent us to check on you,” Myron murmurs, “Any questions for us, sweetheart?”
 
“Does Guzza have a full name?” I blurt, “It’s obviously a nickname.”
 
“Nope,” Myron shakes his head.
 
Okay then.
 
“Why is Guzza mute? If you’re all so powerful, he should be able to talk… right…?” I inquire needlessly.
 
“He’s not mute, he can speak whenever he wants,” Myron looks over at Guzza, “Isn’t that right? Do you wish to prove yourself worthy of speech to dear Ivy?” Guzza smiles and shakes his head without speaking, “Didn’t think so,” Myron turns back to me. So strange, “Any questions worth our while…?” Myron waits, patiently.
 
When I glance at Guzza, he is staying in his aisle, as giant as ever, hands in his pockets and eyes drooping with menace. The red irises swirl as he watches me, totally focused on my questions.
 
“Um. Can I ask – will Valentine leave me alone?” I murmur it, “Ever?” I aim for this to be my last question.
 
Myron glances at Guzza and they share a knowing look.
 
“What kind of attention do you require, Ivy?” Myron twists my question around.
 
“Isolation,” I half shrug, “Just leave me alone.”
 
“Why are you such a liar? Your soul literally burns with desire,” Myron sighs, fed up, but he doesn’t do anything, just waits for me to bite back.
 
And I do.
 
Maybe I take the bait, but I can’t help it.
 
Excuse me. I have a soul that belongs to me. If you all think I’m a special ‘Blue Blood’ – and therefore prone to lust. Well. I may lust, but it’s lust I shall control. You should be proud as Archangels that I control my urges, if you want to talk about lying… let’s talk about the three of you,” my complaint turns into a hiss and I sit up on my knees to turn and face them.
 
I’m at their mercy, snapping back like that. But if they wanted truth, here it was, right in front of them.
 
“Blas Archangels,” Myron slowly articulates the words, “Fallen. Ivy.”
 
I wait for more anger to show. It doesn’t.
 
Myron, in fact, turns to stroll off, almost as if I’ve won the argument, but with his turned shoulder a different part of me fires with the burning desire to keep attacking.
 
And just like that, more words are falling past my loose lips, “If tasting tears of terror makes your kind cum, I would dare ask who the real spawn of hell really are. Manipulative, calculative, abusive bastards. The three of you. How dare you take me against my will when I crossed that boundary via coercion when you scared me across, Myron – !”
 
Myron spins on his heel, quick but graceful, both his brows arching high, even with his hands shoved into his pockets. He’s watching me with furious eyes and a delighted smile.

“There it is,” Myron starts, a snarl of excitement seeping in, “Your true colours.”
 
Guzza even starts forward towards me, closing the distance, a scowl set on a determined face.
 
“And what of you two?” I snap, accusing both of them, “Whip and wax? And Valentine making me go blind? Manipulating me in a fantasy?”
 
“Ungrateful little thing, you are,” Myron shakes his head and laughs, while Guzza looks me up and down, now inches before me, he raises his hand and clicks his fingers.
 
Poof.
 
The dress is gone.
 
I’m naked. 
 
Guzza suddenly glares at Myron, who glares back.
 
“Why ruin the fun?” Myron asks, quietly. He waits a second, while I’m busy holding another damn pillow to my chest, “Fine. Some facts,” Myron turns back to me, “Little lamb. This place doesn’t exist with no purpose. We’re Blas Archangels. We chose this. To breed. Little baby angels.”
 
“A breeding palace? Surely that’s illegal –” Myron cuts me off.
 
“No rules exist but our rules at the Lavent Ashwing,” Myron raises his hand and also clicks his fingers together.
 
I shift my butt when I feel my velvet blue dress fluff up against my skin and reappear perfectly in place.
 
I look down and it’s hugging me as tight as before. I look back up, confused as Myron grabs Guzza’s arm, to pull him away.
 
I’m so confused, what were they trying to achieve –?
 
“See? We still have manners,” Myron tries to be smart, speaking to me over his shoulder in his retreat, but I hear a hint of… hurt.
 
He convinces Guzza to go with him now.
 
As they head off, giants with hidden wings, side by side, I drop the pillow I had been clutching and stand up to watch them go.
 
My feet take me to the fountain in the mean time, my mind racing.
 
I grab the edge of the basin and I step in it again. I feel my body is moving on its own. This time, it’s no angel manipulating me.
 
I feel like there are answers in here from inside me. As if a power of my own is telling me… the answers.
 
I slowly kneel in the water, and I think deeply.
 
Pain. Lots of pain. These angels were drowning in pleasurable things to avoid it… deep pain. I can’t help but think it and know it. I just know.
 
I reach out a hand, I dip my finger into the water and raise the wet finger tip.
 
I taste it with my tongue.
 
It tastes as I expect – salty. Just like tears.
 
“I don’t suppose you’ve worked it out yet, but do you feel it, at least, Ivy?” I turn to see December walking towards me from the entrance with Alexios at her side, arm in arm, their white togas are now long blue dresses, matching mine.
 
“Isn’t it so sad, new blood?” Alexios drawls and pulls away from December, as if in a dance as she also jumps into the fountain and twirls around, smiling and closing her eyes, “Oh soooo tragic.”

December shakes her head at the dramatics of her best friend and sits on the edge of the fountain near me, holding out a hand to pull me from the water.
 
I grab it and December hauls me over the edge. I sit next to her while Alexios continues to slow dance around the fountain.
 
Alexios was a strange one.

“Blue Blood, what does that really mean?” I ask December, sitting quietly.
 
“I’m glad you asked. As you know, Satan fucking his harem of mortals, created us, but we have power. Blue Blood is a fancy round about way of saying; witches,” December slowly smiles, “We’re very, very rare.”
 
“Why?” I ask, confused.
 
They killed all our kind – 99% of us, if not even more,” December purses her lips, “Valentine. Myron. Guzza. On Judgement day. They had to kill our kind. We have devil’s blood, after all.”
 
“Why did they stop?” I ask, though it is a morbid question.
 
“Every kill hurt them, because of the lie,” December thinks carefully, before continuing, “To be a mortal with power – a witch – you’re susceptible to becoming evil. At some point, we may do an evil thing, even if we never believe we will. We’re not all good. And most of us are fine, totally normal. But the one rogue witch who is evil, from the very core … well… it dooms all of us. With freed souls we can choose evil, at any point. Not that we do. Our dear Archangels aren’t forgiven into heaven because they refuse to kill the remaining Blue Bloods. They love us. So much, it rivals their love for heaven. So, they can’t choose. Here we are. Limbo. Yay.”
 
“Okay, that makes… sense… kind of, but breeding? What are they breeding here?” I ask.

“Any angels they can, to prove a point, before the next round of angels come to kill us,” December looks pale with those words, “Don’t worry, it only happens two times a year.”

“Um. What?” I blurt, feeling her terror transfer to me.
 
“Valentine, Myron and Guzza protect us from heaven’s purest warriors,” Alexios stops dancing by us and falls to her knees in the water, splashing us with a grin, “It’s oh so romantic. Even if they ignore us, they can’t for those two nights each year.”
 
“What do you call it? Those two nights?” I ask.
 
“Oh, simply; Repentance,” December rolls her eyes, “I hate saying it.”

“Because?”
 
“Because it means opportunity for our lovers to return,” Alexios explains, still as dramatic as ever, “They can kill us and if they do – they’ll be let back in. Granted a second chance.”

“Don’t you ever get scared they’ll kill you during Repentance?” I ask, confused.

Alexios leans on the stone edge, her chin in her hand, which hides her mouth. December bites her lip.
 
“Sometimes,” December admits for the both of them.

“I don’t get it. We did nothing but exist,” I shake my head, “It’s not fair.”

“Don’t think about it,” Alexios slips out of the water to sit on my other side, leaning on my shoulder, putting an arm around my waist, in a side hug of comfort, “Even if we were to die… and they were let back in… we might, just maybe, see them on the other side. If we were let in, that is.”

“…really?” I ask.
 
“Maybe, who knows? Don’t fret, it’s not so bad,” December chuckles, lightly.
 
“Where’s Valentine right now?” just as I ask it, fate answers.
 
Valentine appears in the open arch way, wings spread out, as if he were eaves dropping.
 
Leather pants, ash wings heavy and dragging, his nebulic eyes wide and focused on all three of us.
 
December and Alexios pause their breathing beside me.

“Girls,” Valentine drawls, and I wait for the threat, “Your breakfast is waiting.”
 
Valentine glances me over quickly as he turns and walks off.
 
Alexios and December jump up, turning to face me as I sit still, clenching the edge of the fountain too tightly.
 
“Don’t worry, little lamb,” Alexios mimics Myron, “…you’re safe with us…”
 
I grab December’s outstretched hand, trying to believe Alexios.
 
“Breakfast,” I murmur, “What could go wrong?”
 
December looks up, humming loudly, “Ahhhh… everything?”
 
“But, best not to worry, Ivy,” Alexios adds, “Come on, let’s go devour our meals.”
 
That continued dramatic tone worries me. December does nothing to allay my fears.

I’m not so sure breakfast is the typical eggs and bacon on toast.
 
I guess I was about to find out.
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