Hello there! How is everyone today? I'm feeling a little bittersweet right now, as I always feel upon finishing a story. I loved writing Taming Fire. It was twisted, a bit offensive to some, endearing, and thought provoking to me. It forced me to push aside my feelings on heaven and hell and everything in between to create something different and unexpected. I like doing that - pushing myself into a situation I need to write my way out of. It makes my brain tick and gets my imagination to come alive. :D
I hope you all enjoyed this story and came to love the characters just as much as I did. This is truly the end, and yes, I left it with an open ended feeling on purpose because we can't know our future or the plan laid out for us just like the boys won't know theirs until they get there. This was one of the themes in this story, so I thought it was quite fitting. Not to say I didn't wrap up what needed to be finished, I just liked the ending and the symbolism behind it.
If ever I feel the call to write a sequel I have the perfect setup. So...there's that. ;)
Anyway, I truly hope you like the ending of Taming Fire.
Much love and hugs,
These are the songs I used when writing the last part of the finale. The last one inspired this story to begin with. I love them all, though. Enjoy the tunes and the story. <3
TAMING FIRE FINALE: PART 2: THE END
Emile came awake, but kept his eyes shut. He was too comfortable to give over completely to consciousness. Underneath him was the softest bed he’d ever slept in. The mattress seemed to be connected to his thoughts, understanding just the way he liked to be cradled in his sleep. Silky curtains tickled his nose. They blew away from the open window near his head. He knew the opening to the outside was there simply by the summery breeze rustling his hair every minute or so.
He stretched his arms and legs, producing a delicate noise of satisfaction. His body twisted over, snuggling further under the sheets. Staying in bed seemed the best option. He could skip class just this once. It wasn’t like anyone was shaking him to get up, telling him he was late, or badgering him to start the laundry and his chores. Let them forget me, Emile thought. I just want to stay here forever.
“You have an eternity to lounge in bed, sleepyhead. It’s time to wake and greet the day.”
“Mm,” Emile argued, pushing his head into his fluffy pillow. “Go away.”
For a minute he thought his mind would shut down again, and forget all about the obnoxious voice in his head and the fluttering curtains urging him to open his eyes.
“I think you’ll want to see this, little one.”
Emile finally put a name to the voice advising him to get up. He started to come awake quicker than he wanted to. His haze broke away, leaving his body shocked for a few seconds. Sitting straight up, sleep wringing him out, Emile threw to the floor and scrambled to rid his legs and chest of sheets and blankets. He remembered now. He remembered everything. It all came flooding back to him as if someone had hit play.
His heart raced.
He had no idea what to expect.
Seated in the corner of Emile’s attic room, Lim continued to push back and forth in an old white rocking chair. The angel grinned, blue eyes sparkling. “Good morning, little one.”
Emile glanced at the window then did a slow spin around his room. He was back at Raven House, but everything was different. The formerly decrepit wood paneling covering his walls was now clean and white, neatly squeezed together where none of the elements could touch him. The holes and cracks on the ceilings were gone, too. His bed wasn’t caving in. Instead, a new bed sat under the window, large enough to sleep four, and covered in a thick, feathery mattress. Gold, gossamer curtains swayed in front of a large window that hadn’t been there before.
The room was no longer meant for a housekeeper. Unless he’d been the winner of a home makeover show, Emile knew he was somewhere else. Somewhere like heaven.
“You look well.” Lim stood up. He seemed just as upbeat as when they’d first met. Dressed in white jeans and a sheer button up, Lim was beautiful, even more so when his wings fluttered a bit behind his back. His golden curls winked in the light as he stepped towards Emile. “It suits you.”
“What suits me?” Emile swallowed.
“Being yourself.” Lim slowly put his finger to Emile’s bare chest.
At first Emile leaned into the touch, craving affection to ward off his fears. Then he thought of Xavier and felt a slash of betrayal in his gut, no matter how paternal Lim’s touch was meant to be. Eyes drawn to Lim’s hand lingering on his skin, Emile gasped. Embedded into his skin, over his heart, was a metal cross. Shining silver and thinly laid, the cross seemed to react to his emotions, glowing under his touch.
“W-what is this?”
“Every messenger should carry his faith with him always.” Lim’s eyes twinkled. “Yours is beautiful, isn’t it?”
“There’s metal… There’s metal in my chest!” Emile put a hand to his mouth and ran to the mirror that was behind the closet door. He threw open the door and gulped. Nothing was there except for a wooden barrier that didn’t budge under his hand. “Lim?”
“Angels don’t need closets. We can change our clothing with a simple thought. And we aren’t allowed mirrors on this side. We don’t need anyone getting a big head around here, after someone’s little dance with vanity.”
Emile knew who Lim meant. Lucifer was the reason he was here. Where there were demons, there were… “Did you just say angels?” Emile exhaled, dropping his hand. “I’m not an… No, I’m not an angel. I don’t have wings. I can’t be…”
Lim shook his head at the pitiful expression on Emile’s face. “I know you remember what happened and I also know you’re smart, so I’ll let you put things together, with or without wings.”
“But, we’re in Raven House. This is my old room.” Emile lifted his hands.
“Is it really? I think not, little one. I think you knew the moment you woke up where you were, but you’re too scared to admit it. This is all of your doing, Emile. This is where you hoped you would be. So, this is where your heaven lies.”
Emile slid down the wall, staring at the immaculate hardwood floor. “I’m dead,” he murmured.
“Physically, yes, but spiritually you are reborn.” Lim crouched next to him, keeping a steady gaze on Emile. He wanted to comfort his former charge. He wanted him to understand. “You’re one of us now, although, you’re a tad more special than the rest.”
“I’m dead,” Emile repeated.
“Didn’t you hear what I said?”
“Yes, you said I’m dead. What about Xavier? Is he…”
Lim grinned. “Is he what?”
Emile wondered how he could be in heaven and feel so empty inside. Even his cross couldn’t make him feel better, the cross now a part of his skin like wings were part of an angel. He put his face in his hands.
“I did the right thing. I was sure I knew what came next. I lied to him, Lim. I thought… I thought if he chose the Creator we could be together here. I bet he’s down there suffering. I bet he’s—”
“I bet he’s downstairs eating breakfast because that’s what you picture heaven to be like, perfect and peaceful. You wanted heaven to be normal, something you never had.” Lim rose slowly. He offered Emile his hand. “In every sacrifice you make for the greater good there is a reward, no matter how small or unseen, your kindness is never forgotten.”
“He’s really…” Emile’s eyes flooded with tears. He didn’t take Lim’s hand, instead pushing against the wall so hard he almost toppled face first to the floor. Once he gained his footing, Emile followed the attic stairs down and raced through the open door like his feet were on fire.
Everything about Raven House was lighter. The dark wallpaper was gone. A creamy coating of paint covered the walls. Windows were open at each end of the hall, letting in a sweet scent that was good enough to eat. However, as aesthetically pleasing as the scenery was, Emile could have cared less. Nothing mattered except for reaching the first floor.
His bare feet slapped against the main staircase, almost tripping over his linen pants to get to the foyer. The next few seconds were a blur. Tears ran down his cheeks. He gripped the kitchen entry to swing himself around the corner. His feet squeaked to a stop on the kitchen tile. There at the table, with his back turned to Emile, was Xavier. White tipped black wings were tucked back over his smooth and muscular back. Xavier’s fork stopped before it touched his mouth. Syrup dripped from a bite of pancake, slowly drizzling onto his plate.
Emile watched breathlessly as Xavier’s hand lowered his utensil, clinking metal against china; it was the loudest noise Emile had ever heard.
Rosalind’s floral scent erupted in the room, reminding him to keep breathing. The smell alone was enough to make Emile want to curl up into a ball and sob. So many things had gone wrong in his life. So many people had shunned him for who he was. So many hours he had contemplated giving up because no one understood. Nonetheless, he didn’t give into temptation. He fought back, no matter how hard it was.
It was all worth it. Every tear, every drop of sweat, and every whispered prayer was worth this kind of joy. His breath left him. His arms opened and his Xavier came to him. Fingertips slid up his arms, carrying an electric current throughout his body. Xavier’s eyes were dark, ringed in white, void of the sadness Emile had become accustomed to. Only love remained; a love they had discovered together.
Love was the key to change. Emile had changed Xavier, not who he was, but what he stood for. The change reflected in every sure breath he exhaled, the way he stood taller, and the way he looked at Emile as if he was the most beautiful thing in all of creation. Emile’s heart thumped in his chest, begging to flee his body. His cross warmed, lending him strength to stay on his feet.
“You got it wrong,” Xavier choked.
A little heartbroken at his love’s first words, Emile sniffed. “What?”
Humor flitted through Xavier’s eyes. “What came next, you got it wrong. You had the right idea, but unlike the Creator’s son you still have a body back down there. And I think you left your rolling stone somewhere along the way.”
Emile exhaled in relief. “Dammit, I thought—fuck this.” His hand found home behind Xavier’s neck, tugging his dark angel closer, desperately. His lips crushed Xavier’s. Careless of what spying eyes were upon them, Emile fed at his lover’s mouth; thirsty for his kisses since the last one, since before they’d been separated by death.
Xavier responded with just as much enthusiasm. Aligning his toned chest with cool metal and bare skin, he brought his arms around Emile where they belonged. Their kiss deepened. Sounds of their pleasure drowned out the rest of Emile’s dreamy afterlife creation. Emile’s idea of perfection interchanged, spelling the hereafter with his depiction of just the two of them, touching and exploring unabashedly as new lovers were supposed to.
When Emile opened his eyes and dragged in oxygen, even if he didn’t need it any longer, he found the scenery quite different. Rather symbolic of his yearning for freedom, their new world was atop a massive cliff, overlooking the ocean. Waves crashed into the rocky shoreline below. Wind, not hot or cold, just right, pushed off of the open water, sending the tall grass around their legs into a reckless dance.
The air smelled clean and salty.
The breeze swept through Emile’s linen pants, causing them to flutter around his ankles.
His chest felt lighter than it ever had. He no longer carried the burdens of his former life.
He was free. Free to stand atop the highest point in his newfound universe and close his eyes, just to feel the glory of heaven wash over him; just to feel Xavier’s touch and how profound their love was for each other.
“You have a beautiful mind,” Xavier whispered in his ear.
Smiling with his eyes closed, Emile leaned back into Xavier’s chest. “Thank you?”
“I’ve never seen this for myself, someone else’s idea of perfection. I’d never admit how stunning it was before. Then again, I’d never experienced this. I’d never experienced you.” Xavier’s hand snaked across Emile’s back before falling away. The dark angel came to stand at Emile’s side, content to hold his hand.
“I don’t understand.”
“I don’t think you ever will, not like I do. I thought… I thought I wasn’t good enough for this. I thought I should have never been born. The way they always fought over me. The way they never wanted to guide me or give me a purpose like all parents do with their children. It was like I wasn’t good enough to be a part of this. From the moment my father brought me topside from hell, after stealing me from my mother to raise me in Lucifer’s likeness, I saw the humans and the way they loved their children.
“I was jealous, Emile. I envied those children who didn’t have any abilities, but had the one thing I didn’t. They had parents who decided together how to raise their child and make them a better person for their future. I saw how the Creator sacrificed his own son! I thought to myself, what the hell kind of father would do that? I saw Lucifer and how he only cared about himself, but in the long run, I figured he had it right. You could only rely on yourself to get through all of this. No man who loved his child would ever give them up to death willingly. Living in the shadows and feeding my anger made perfect sense.
“Because what did I care anymore? My parents didn’t love me. They would have provided for me and never let me go. They would have given me this. They would have given me love! Then I met you and all of that changed. I was so confused.” Xavier turned to Emile, spreading his wings as far as he could.
He was magnificent. He was commanding, striking, and full of love, yet tinged with dark. In his eyes was a well of hope that seemed bottomless. He was renewed in Emile’s eyes; still the same man he loved, but different in a healthier way.
“And now, are you confused now?” Emile took both of his hands, drinking up the connection streaming through them with a simple touch.
Xavier shook his head. He sniffled. “You were just like me. You were always alone. However, instead of being angry you chose to rise above it all and make a difference, no matter how small. You chose life and love over temptation, even though hate would have been so much easier. The moment I saw you disappear I knew I had to change. I knew with your sacrifice that I had to honor your memory and have the courage to see Lucifer for what he really was. He was nothing, Emile. He didn’t give you this.” Xavier looked out over the water. “He would never give you the shirt off of his back or hold you when you were sad. He’d never guide you or give you choices to help you grow. He forced himself on me. He stifled who I was for his own selfish reasons, because he didn’t care.”
Emile touched Xavier’s cheek, needing to comfort the man who had become his world. “He hid who you were and made you believe you were worthless. But, to me, you mean everything. To the Creator, you’re special, Xavier. He cares. He cares for you so much.”
Xavier hugged Emile until all of the air left his lungs. He sobbed, finally letting go of his anger. He wanted to feel as free as Emile. He wanted to experience the wonder of the Creator’s love, not just in body, but with the other half of his soul, through Emile’s eyes.
“They love you, you know. Your parents always loved you. I saw it before I died, Xavier. I saw it in Bael’s eyes how scared he was for you. I felt in it in my heart when he tried to grab me. He didn’t want you to suffer like he had. And Elsanah, she did this for you. She knew the end before there was a beginning. She trusted the Creator with your well-being, and as it turned out, she made the right choice. He’s always the right choice. Look around.”
Xavier leaned back to explore Emile’s heaven again. “This wouldn’t be possible without you. Do you know what you’ve done, Emile? Do you know what giving up your life has done to heaven and hell?”
“I gave them a choice.” Emile smiled.
“No. You imprinted your faith on Lucifer. Those demons will never be the same again, but some of them will never change, no matter how scared they were when their king vanished. But, some of them will beg to repent and know what we now know.” Xavier touched Emile’s chest, admiring the cross. “Didn’t you wonder why this was here or what you would possibly need it for in heaven?”
“I just thought it was—” Emile was cut off with a finger to his lips.
“A warning of your faith, a faith I feel just by touching you.” Xavier put his forehead to Emile’s. He pulled him closer. “It’s a weapon against those who mean you harm and a means to fight against the dark. We’re not done, baby, not by a long shot.”
“A messenger,” Emile murmured against Xavier’s lips.
“My messenger,” Xavier groaned.
Emile still didn’t understand. The Creator hadn’t shown him this part. He was lost, only left with Xavier to fill him in. But, they were both too needy to talk any longer. Whatever was coming they would be ready. They would have each other.
Emile opened his mouth to receive Xavier’s tongue; hot and slick against his own. He moaned. The wind caressed his face. Xavier’s fingers slipped into the waistband of his pants, deftly pulling them down to touch the swell of his ass. Emile arched, filling Xavier’s hands with flesh. He dragged Xavier’s breath into his mouth, swallowing it down just to know what the other part of his soul tasted like.
The sky changed, melding together deep purples and blues. Strips of black crept through the painting above, dotted with stars. Xavier’s heated darkness charged forward, still lingering deep in his heart. This time, his darker side had been tamed by Emile’s heart. The only devious plans he had left were to conquer Emile’s body and please his other half until they couldn’t move.
Emile was flipped around. His back flush with Xavier’s chest, he guided the angel’s hand down his body, grinding his ass hard. Fire raced through his veins. He was overcome with the need to mate. His other half had been missing for too long. He needed it back. He needed it inside of him.
Head falling back against Xavier’s shoulder, Emile pushed the angel’s hand past the barrier of his linen pants. Nails raked over the hair above his cock. He shivered uncontrollably. Dark, unbridled forces ripped their passion awake. There was nothing sweet or gentle about Xavier’s fingers as they wrapped around Emile’s erection. Nothing tame about the way he wrenched the linen pants down to rub his cock against Emile either.
“Yes,” Emile breathed, reaching up to wrap his arm around Xavier’s neck. “Don’t stop.”
“Can’t,” Xavier assured him on a hiss. His thumb swiped up a heavy drop of fluid from the tip of Emile’s penis. He continued to grip his lover’s length, moving up and down to create a dizzying friction. “I might be an angel now, but my body is still made for tempting and taking.”
“Fuck, take me,” Emile purred, twisting his nipple between his fingers. His caught between his teeth, eyes closing tight.
Xavier growled. He urged Emile to his knees. Looking down at those innocent eyes, Xavier could have exploded at the sight of his mate. Emile’s pants were tangled around his ankles. His hand pleasured himself between his spread legs. His plump lips opened, glossed over with his pretty pink tongue.
With a touch, Xavier’s pants scattered to the wind in ashes. His heavy cuffs, made of Lucifer’s horns clanked as glided one over another; one hand going for Emile’s head and the other guiding his cock to Emile’s lips.
Emile was drawn to the heavy flow of fluid leaking from Xavier’s slit. He touched it, rubbing it between his fingers while looking up at Xavier. Now he got it, what Xavier had said about his body being made for tempting. The liquid continued to flow, heavy and thick, clear and sweet scented from his cock. His dark angel was made for this; made for pleasing him; made for sexual ease.
Emile’s tongue darted forward, catching a drop. Xavier’s flavor exploded in his mouth, drugging him. With hooded eyes he looked up at his other half and took just the head into his mouth. He sucked gently, teasing his lips over sensitive skin, lapping at the nectar produced just for him. His hands found residence on Xavier’s hips, able to feel them as they rotated, urging Xavier’s cock deeper.
“That’s it.” Xavier combed his fingers through Emile’s hair. “Taste me.”
His wings flapped. He threw his head back, overcome with ecstasy. Those soft lips moved over his length, little by little. They swallowed him, released him, and started all over again. His precious mate slaved over his cock with his tongue, licking him root to tip while cupping his balls with a firm hand. Emile massaged the space between them, grounding his thumb into the erogenous area until it bordered on painful, yet somehow Xavier wanted more.
“Open,” Xavier commanded. He looked down. A storm brewed in his eyes. Emile complied and let him sink deep into his mouth, nails digging into his hips. “Swallow.” He pulled back, gritting his teeth.
Emile gulped, licking his lips. He moaned, still handling his erection below. Xavier guided his cock back to Emile, painting his fluid across Emile’s cheeks and over his lips. Emile took charge, greedily swallowing Xavier’s manhood again. His head moved up and down, taking it all.
“Emile!” Xavier was caught up in his mate, overstimulated, but he couldn’t stop.
He ran his hands over his chest, breathing heavily. His moans were constant, loud and guttural. He pumped his hips, force feeding his cock into Emile’s mouth. It just felt too good not to. He fisted Emile’s hair, reveling in the wet sounds his cock made against the balmy heat of Emile’s perfect mouth.
Their eyes met. Twisting between dark and light, Xavier sank to his knees to join Emile. He nipped at Emile’s bottom lip, sucking on it. His taste lingered, along with something all Emile. A taste he wanted more of.
Emile obeyed the force of his hand, guided onto his back. Long legs snaked over Xavier’s, begging to be touched. He did so possessively, feeling every tremble; every tense seize of Emile’s muscles under his fingers. Wings covering them, Xavier brought his lips to Emile’s softly, while sliding their cocks together.
“You look good enough to eat,” he whispered, fisting Emile’s hair to pull his head back. Creamy skin awaited him. In one slow line, he licked down Emile’s neck, dipping into his collar bone.
Hands urged his head lower. Emile’s erratic whimpers, coupled with the gyration of his hips, couldn’t be ignored. Making his way to Emile’s belly button, Xavier stopped to tease him, staring up at his frenzied lover.
Emile almost came at the sight of Xavier, above him with his powerful wings spread. Stomach tight, his muscles flexed and his eyes dark enough to drown in, Xavier was a man to behold. His cock sprung proudly between his legs, still leaking onto Emile’s skin; hot and wet the fluid kept coming. Emile lifted his legs, beyond caring if he was begging for those hard, uncut inches to fill him. He wanted so many things in that moment, but a need brewed in his stomach; a need that couldn’t be defined, only acted upon.
“I want you.” Emile pushed Xavier back. He crawled into his lap, moaning as he sandwiched his erection between them. He moved up and down, allowing Xavier’s dick to glide behind his ass. “Now.”
“You’re not as innocent as I thought.” Xavier lifted his head, kissing Emile. “Then again, you’re a part of me. I should have known.”
Emile gasped, laughing at the same time when his ass cheeks were spread apart. The head of Xavier’s cock sparked heat over his entrance; back and forth until both he and Xavier were dancing. Their sweet kisses once again deepened. Emile became forceful, unashamed of what he wanted. He’d come to the conclusion that wanting his lover wasn’t a sin, it wasn’t evil or forbidden in the eyes of the Creator. They were meant to be together, like this, however they wanted. As long as at the end of the day their hearts remained loyal to the light, they were free.
Driven by his inexperience, wanting to play out every move he’d fantasized about for years, Emile pushed Xavier onto his back. He made a show of stretching his torso, running a hand over his neck and down his chest while straddling Xavier. He could see the frustration in Xavier’s dark eyes, but he smiled, and dipped his head.
“I’ve waited for this moment for a long time. There will be other times, but never like this, never the first time. I don’t want it to be over yet.” Emile kissed Xavier then pulled back before he could be trapped in his arms.
Wearing a coy smirk, Emile turned around, once again straddling Xavier. He slid back inch by inch, looking over his shoulder. Xavier was salivating, out of his mind with sexual deprivation. The closer Emile’s backside came to his chest, the louder his growl became. Pushing Emile gently down, Xavier ran his hand over the swell of his lover’s ass, bringing a hand to rest on each cheek.
Emile gasped, squirming as Xavier’s tongue flattened over his entrance. He howled in pleasure, hanging his head to see Xavier’s swollen erection. Lying out on Xavier’s stomach, he brought his lips nearer. Slowly, he sucked the head into his mouth, tasting the half-breed’s fluid, letting it fill his mouth until he was forced to swallow. It coated his throat and warmed his belly; made him an addict of Xavier’s body. He sucked harder, taking more into his mouth. Xavier’s thighs spread to accommodate him as his stiff tongue prodded Emile’s hole open, fighting muscle to breach it.
Eyes closed, Emile gyrated in time with Xavier’s tongue, groaning and hissing. He wanted more. He wanted so badly to keep pleasing the powerful creature underneath him, but something inside of him couldn’t be ignored. God, he shouldn’t have teased Xavier. Now Emile knew exactly how he felt. What he’d imagined, a lazy, uninhibited time of sexual exploration had turned into an anxious, needy, groping show of passion.
He smiled. That was just fine by him. He was about to turn around when a finger began to push into his ass. He nearly came apart. Xavier pulled Emile’s cock back gently, putting it into his mouth as he stretched out his ass with one finger. Emile bucked, panting out incoherent words. He was surprised at how smoothly Xavier’s digit went in. Hardly any resistance was met. He bit his lip when another finger joined the other, pushing into him.
“Xavier,” he shouted. “I can’t hold it…”
“You can,” Xavier assured. He licked up Emile’s cock, reaching his hole again.
Emile groaned his way onto Xavier’s length. He sucked for all he was worth, trying to keep up with the steady flow leaking out the corners of his mouth. Both of the fingers in his ass moved back and forth fluidly, easing him open until he couldn’t take it anymore.
Neither could Xavier, despite his insisted patience. Before Emile could protest his dying urgency to be filled, Xavier gently pushed him into the tall grass, belly flush with the ground. Emile stuck his ass up, pleading for it; pleading to feel how much Xavier loved him.
Xavier’s body glided down his back. Kisses rained over his sweaty skin. Love bites pulled his flesh between Xavier’s blunt teeth. Wings flapped above them, sending a cool current of air over their naked bodies.
Emile sighed, holding onto what sanity he had left. He let Xavier take his time until his solid weight finally settled into place on his back. Xavier, ready to mount him, the sheer anticipation of their bodies joining, had Emile rubbing his groin into the ground to ease the throb in his cock. Xavier placed one hand next to his and used the other to place his cock on top of Emile’s ass.
The thick liquid Emile had come to love dripped down his backside, even more so when Xavier began to move his hips, coating him; preparing him for the next step. Xavier kissed between Emile’s shoulder blades, lowering his wings to shelter them for such an intimate moment. His lover atop him, almost there, was like standing in front of the door, waiting to come home.
“Are you ready, my Emile?” Xavier’s lips ghosted over Emile’s neck until they were able to reach his ear and suck at his lobe.
Emile pushed back on Xavier’s erection, letting the tip sweep over his entrance. He moaned, lifting his head. It fit against Xavier’s shoulder. “Don’t make me beg, Xavier. I need you.”
“Need me to what?” Xavier’s breathy laugh sent shivers up his spine.
In the small space of a moment, with Xavier’s sly grin pressed to his neck, Emile thought of the very first time he’d met his dark angel. He remembered the look in his eye; the same look he was wearing now, only then it had been hidden under a mask of fear, like it was wrong to show someone else how happy they made him. They had wanted each other from the start. Only they hadn’t understood what to make of it.
They understood now.
They had both come a long way for this moment and all of the moments they would share in the years to come.
They had found their other half.
Now it was time to bind each part together and complete their soul.
Trembling, anticipating the sweet entry of Xavier inside of him, Emile craned his neck to see his lover’s eyes. “I need you to be a part of me like you were always meant to be.”
To Xavier those words could not have been more perfect. He rubbed his cheek over Emile’s shoulder and took a deep breath. “I know now what it is to love and I will never stop, Emile. I will never stop loving you.”
Emile cried out, trying to make sense of the emotions and sensations crashing into him all at once. Xavier pushed into him, connecting them like never before in both body and mind. They could feel each other from the inside; their thoughts; their pasts. Every moment of their lives wove together as their souls became one.
Xavier bit down on Emile’s shoulder, drawing blood into his mouth; heightening the euphoria of his length buried deep in his other half’s tight body. He shuddered, holding onto every one of Emile’s memories as if they were his. He didn’t want to miss a thing as memory after memory raced through his mind.
Emile running away from his parents as they screamed at him from the lawn. The midnight chill wrapping around him as he hid in the graveyard next to his grandmother’s headstone. Xavier tasted every lonely tear from that night, even though they had long since dried.
Then was Emile was standing on the boy’s doorstep, being shunned by his onetime lover out of fear. They were so young. Emile was breaking. He was running again with nowhere to go. All alone, just like him, for so long. Fighting, getting into college just to prove a point, being so damn lonely. Always accepting everything he was given, good or bad. Being grateful for the simple things. Still lonely. Scared of change. Change wasn’t safe. But, Emile did it. He fought for life.
Xavier gasped when he saw himself through Emile’s eyes for the first time. It was such a vivid memory. It was important and special.
Xavier pounded into him from behind, swept up in his lover’s point of view; his body; his scent; his loud moans and gasps for air. Xavier put his hands over Emile’s, pushing all the way inside until he was as deep as he would go.
He’d never shun him.
He’d never let him go.
He rocked his hips, urging Emile lower to the ground until only his ass remained off of the ground. As close as they could get, Xavier ground deep, so very deep until he could almost touch the light Emile held inside. He closed his eyes, tears wetting his cheeks, and Emile bared his half of their soul, letting no trace hide in the recesses of his mind. He trusted Xavier. They were it for each other. There would be nothing closed between them.
Emile clenched grass between their entwined fingers, biting down on Xavier’s knuckles to keep from screaming his pleasure. He spread his knees wider as he was pounded into the soft ground. He was taken for a ride with his body and in his mind. He stripped Xavier layer by layer, privy to his innermost darkness and memories.
Envy of the angels had held his Xavier prisoner for so long. Why couldn’t he be like them and be who he was all at the same time? He’d never understood that he had a choice. He never questioned a better way or sought to expand his horizons by using his other half, the part of him descended from his mother’s blood. He never thought he was good enough and shunned himself, giving others of his kind reason to doubt him and call him out as worthless and ignorant; not good enough to be one of them, but not good enough to be called angel either.
When his mother cursed him with his condition, he had felt such betrayal and wanted to let himself die, because that’s what he thought he deserved and what everyone wanted. But, when confronted with Emile for the first time, Xavier’s world shook on its axis, destroying all that he had come to know.
Emile was shown all of it. He felt the pain dissipate in his lover with every memory leaving his body like a bad dream and nothing more.
And then he saw himself through Xavier’s eyes. The most beautiful man he’d ever seen. The need to touch what was off limits. Holding back. Yearning to comfort. Regret for saying awful things. Haunted eyes and nights of fitful sleep. A hand reaching out, begging for him.
Xavier had fallen for him from the very first moment.
Emile pushed back against Xavier, arching his back to let his lover as deep as he could go. The tip of Xavier’s cock brushed something inside of him, sending his eyes into the back of his head. Emile reached out, tugging on Xavier’s feathers, bringing them closer. He felt the shudder on top of him, heard Xavier’s guttural moan. A hand snaked underneath him and fisted his cock, timing each feisty pull with Xavier’s thrusts.
Emile’s body warmed. His sweaty chest slicked against the ground, brushing over the molten metal embedded into his skin. With every second he neared climax. With every push of his cock through Xavier’s hand, the cross on his chest burned hotter and hotter, reminding him this was a gift and he was never alone.
They had each other for all time.
They would never be alone again.
They would always be different and that was okay.
They were free to be themselves, and no one judged them for it.
This was heaven. This was perfection; the two of them as one, thinking and feeling, loving and breathing into each other and the new world they had created.
Emile smiled through the heat as Xavier brushed over the same spot, pulling back. Emile came undone, giving into his body’s need to expend his seed all over Xavier’s hand. Still, Xavier pumped his hand up and done, coating his cock with his lover’s release. His thrusts grew urgent. His rhythm became erratic, jerky. Looking at Emile’s profile, a sated look in his eyes and the slope of his back sweaty and glowing, Xavier spread his wings and came hard.
His fingers left deep marks in Emile’s palms. His teeth gouged his bottom lip and his eyes flashed white as he screamed inside his mouth, unloading into Emile’s limp body. Xavier collapsed his weight onto his mate, holding him until the trembling stopped. His breathing slowed with time, as did Emile’s. Neither of them could speak. They didn’t need to. Everything that needed to be said had been shown to one another with their act of love and the joining of their bodies.
Rain began to fall in tiny droplets to cool the heat radiating from them. Xavier slid to the ground, tangled with his lover. Pulling Emile close to his chest, he rolled onto his back to see the rain. It didn’t catch on his lashes. Every drop seemed to roll away from his face, allowing them to see each droplet in full while they rained down from a vast starry sky.
Neither of them tried to make sense of heaven. They didn’t have any questions left for the Creator or what he stood for. The answer had started and ended with them and that was all they cared to know. The rest would come in time.
As their hands found each other, and they snuggled in close, naked and satisfied, Xavier wrapped them in his wings and closed his eyes.
Emile sat next to his grandmother, in awe she was really there. He’d touched her face and hair so many times he’d lost count. Rosalind laughed softly, enveloping his hand in hers.
“I’ve been with you this entire time.” She kissed his hand. “Did you think I would leave you?”
Emile sputtered, “I-I just…I didn’t know. I was so tired, Gran. I was giving up hope. I thought I was crazy when I smelled you or thought I saw…”
“You did see me because I allowed it.” She tightened her hold on his hand.
Lim snorted. “And she didn’t get punished for that by the way.” He slung a leg over the side of the armchair. He winked at her.
“Oh hush, you. I’m not his guardian. I’m his.” Rosalind nodded at Xavier.
“My what?” Xavier stiffened.
“It was my job to protect your future by guiding him to you, by never letting him give up.” She smiled warmly. “And I believe I did.”
Confused, but still giddy inside that his Gran was beside him in the flesh, Emile looked at her. “This whole time you were leading me to Xavier?”
“Lim needed a little help. You can be stubborn at times...just like Xavier.” She laughed, turning back to Xavier. “Who do you think gave you the idea to get coffee that first time you took Emile to class, Xavier, even though you’ve never given anyone a gift in your entire existence? Furthermore, how did you know how Emile would take his coffee?”
“Damn.” Xavier sat back in his seat. “You’re right. I didn’t even think about it. I just know I needed to… No, I wanted to make him feel better. I would have never.”
“See?” She winked. “It’s all in the little things. His plan has many components and we are all a part of it.”
Lim got to his feet. “All of us,” he confirmed and walked to the front door of heaven’s Raven House.
Xavier and Emile almost ran to the man who walked through the door. His red eyes were still there, but they weren’t menacing anymore. They were tinged in pink and happy to see them. A white streak ran through his shoulder length hair, affirming his choice in loyalties.
Botis kept his arms tucked over his chest, appearing shy or scared of what they’d think. He looked at the ground. “Hey.”
“Hey? That’s all I get?” Emile lifted Botis’s chin with a finger.
“Forgive me. I’m just…I’m not ready for this,” Botis whispered, averting his eyes. “I’m not like you or Emile. I don’t belong here.” He hung his head. “I still don’t understand why he accepted me.”
“If you didn’t belong here then why are you? Why are you here, Botis?” Xavier stepped forward, overwhelmed with the change in his best friend’s appearance. His hair was silky and shiny; almost blue it was so black. A lone streak of white sliced through his inky tresses, playing off of his pale skin. His pink eyes, rimmed in red, glanced up under pressure.
“I have no idea. I feel as though I’ve been put here because there was nowhere else to place me. You’re with Emile. She is here for you and Lim is here for the Creator. Where does that leave me? What am I to do while you continue on? I have nothing left. I have done things I wish to forget. I am not worthy of here or you or him or her. I have no purpose. I am cursed to breathe, Xavier.” Botis slowly clomped over to the window in his chain link boots. His lip trembled. “I am nothing.”
Rosalind walked to his side. She put her arm around his waist. Botis’s back went rigid. He looked down at her as if he was about to see a ghost. Rosalind simply smiled. “The Creator has a plan for us all. He loves the good, the bad, and the ugly. You, my sweet dark one, are more than meets the eye. Just as Xavier was made to believe there was no other way out, you have resigned to think the same. You believe you were conjured by that witch to suffer and be a prisoner of Lucifer’s.
“That’s not true. You were born of the very air the Creator made. You were forced to fight to survive and live through the pain to make you stronger. He would never torture you. He would never give you more than you could handle, because right now, right here, I can see with my eyes you made it through. Here you stand before us, a survivor and a new warrior for the light.
“Only you can decide where you will go and who you will keep close to you. But know you are never alone now. You’ve been given the choice and you made it to better your life. You can do the same for those who are like you. Botis, you were supposed to be here to do that. You were supposed to show those created as you were that they too can survive and change. And they will help you find them. This is your family now. We are here for you.” She touched his face before she pulled him into her arms.
Lim covered his back, sandwiching the conjured demon turned good guy in their embrace. “We’re here, Botis. Can you be here for us?”
Sagging in their arms, Botis nodded, hiding his face in Rosalind’s hair. His shoulders shook a little. His heart could be felt by all in heaven. The acceptance of a family was all he had ever wanted. If only someone had just accepted him and loved him, he would have never known what it was to suffer because pain could only cut him physically, but rejection sliced through his heart. Then again, he saw the bigger picture now. He saw the rewards he was given for coming out of his shell and making a stand. No matter how hard he had fallen at the Creator’s feet to beg to be on his side.
His pride was still intact.
His heart still beat.
He was finally home.
Emile and Xavier came to his sides, completing their family in a tight group hug. The tears wouldn’t come for Botis because he didn’t need them. His shoulders shook because he was quietly laughing with joy. Elation overflowed from his heart. When he looked up, his smile showed it.
He was about to deliver a quiet thank you, only his intentions were interrupted by a creak at the front door. Two male angels in full battle gear swept through the foyer. They stopped at each side of the living room entrance and waited for Elsanah to enter first. Her heels clicked over the hardwood, giving Xavier a second to shudder at the noise. He couldn’t help it. The last time he’d heard that noise…
He shook it off. This was a new day and a different time in both of their lives. His mother did love him.
And he had to smirk at her appearance. Even in heaven his mother held tight to her human disguise. Her nose twitched, lifting her glasses a bit. She cut her green eyes to the group. “I see you’re all here.” She cleared her throat, looking Xavier up and down. “And you,” her voice cracked, “you look well.”
“Mom?” He took a step forward.
She shook out her hair much like a bird ruffled its feathers. “I’m fine. You just look well, is all. I’m happy for you. It was never my intention to make you hate me. I hope you can forgive me or at the very least, forgive him.” She pointed to the ceiling and stopped herself. She chuckled. “Kind of silly to do that here, isn’t it?”
“A little.” Xavier grinned. “Though, I guess you’re not used to pulling that move up here, only for me.”
She closed the distance between them and touched his shoulder. A feather bloomed under her finger and she smiled. He touched her hand. “I’m not mad at you. I was, but I get it now. You did what was best for me. If you hadn’t… I’m just really glad you did.”
“Tough love for a stubborn child.” She kissed his cheek quickly then regained her professional posture, but not before whispering, “I love you, my son.”
Xavier held the words close to his heart, memorizing them so he would never forget. He reached out his hand and Emile twined their fingers together. “Botis stays here. If that’s what you came to talk about. He’s not leaving us.”
Botis tried to interject, but Elsanah silenced him with a hand. “I’m not here about just Botis. I’m here for all of you.”
“We’re leaving?” Emile frowned. He shook his head, dumbfounded. “This is my place. I’m not going anywhere.”
Elsanah raised her brows. A smirk teased her lips. “Aren’t we the bold one? Fitting for my son, and expected as you are his other half.” She laughed to herself. “It’s not permanent, Emile. So, settle down. All angels are expected to work; especially when we have demons stuck between the two ends. You can consider this,” she gestured to the house, “your headquarters if you like. I personally enjoy a Vegas theme, but whatever you wish to call home, I suppose.”
The Archangel stared at Emile’s chest. The cross began to glow. He patted his chest, looking at her in a state of panic. “What’s going on? Is it—is it blinking?”
Xavier put his hand to Emile’s chest to calm him. “Damn, it’s hot.” He shook his hand out. “Mom, what do we do?”
“Emile, are you burning?” She crossed her arms, amused.
“No.” He dropped his hands. “But, I am blinking. That’s a problem.”
His cross burned white then started to fade only to glow again. Elsanah clucked her tongue. “You are the messenger and you are being summoned to a real problem.”
“Spit it out, mom. Seriously.” Xavier grew anxious, keeping his arm around Emile’s shoulders.
“You’ve been gone for a long time, Emile, as have you, Xavier. Time moves in the blink of an eye on this side. On earth, Emile, you’ve been dead for almost three decades, and the demons stuck between have been given their time to choose. It is now time for you both to reap their souls and give them an ultimatum. They knew this day would come as did you all. You have been given the tools to carry out the Creator’s wishes. It is time for you to return and continue your journey.”
“We’re supposed to make them choose? Us?” Xavier growled. “I didn’t sign up for that.”
“I believe you told Bee that next time he would pay for his ways, did you not?” Elsanah narrowed her eyes. “And I assure you his ways haven’t changed a bit.”
“Bee,” Xavier hissed, tightening his grip on Emile’s shoulder. “He’ll rot.”
“Not unless he refuses Emile’s message from the Creator. If he accepts, his sins will be purged and he will be reborn and welcomed here with open arms,” Lim explained. “The four of us will return to mankind and find the demons one by one. They will be given the choice in full detail. It is up to us to make them see their wrongs and make them repent. If they don’t…they will join their king in his permanent prison in the fires of hell, to suffer for all of eternity.”
“Then why the heck am I blinking? Someone fill me in here!” Emile fumed where he stood. He slapped his chest, growling through his teeth.
“Somewhere on earth, a demon is using what power they have left to cause destruction to a human. You are being summoned to that location to deliver the message.” Elsanah lifted Xavier’s hand. “And you, my son—”
“I will enforce the punishment of their refusal,” he finished.
He’d sent Lucifer to the doghouse. He knew exactly what the cuffs around his wrists were meant to do now. Watching the devil crumble into nothing then being sent to hell was a memory Xavier would never forget. He couldn’t wait to do it again. Anything to avenge the memory of Emile being ripped away from him, however short their separation had been. It had been too long in his book.
Xavier turned to Emile. He took his hands in his. “This is our purpose, not only to be together, but to finish making a change for man. What you did, giving up your life like that to save people who meant something to me was heroic and selfless. Now, I think it’s time I showed you the same respect and protected the people who were once yours. I want to be better, Emile. I don’t want to hide up here. I want to be with you and our journey isn’t done. We can still be together anywhere.”
Emile squeezed Xavier’s hands. “No. It’s not done. It’ll never be done, and I’m okay with that. A little scared, but okay.”
“Scared of what?”
“I’m not some warrior like you, Xavier.” Emile played with the cuffs around Xavier’s wrists. They reacted to his touch, glowing softly. He smiled up at his lover.
“You fight with your words. You’re a warrior, too, Emile. We can do this. We can offer them a home or we can send them back to their worthless king.” Xavier leaned in, putting his forehead to Emile’s. “Let’s do this. It’s not like you can die, right?” He grinned, forcing away the subtle pain in being reminded of Emile’s human death.
Emile glanced up from under his lashes. His face glowed every few seconds from the light of his cross. He snorted. “No, I guess I can’t.”
“Then it is done.” Elsanah clasped her hands behind her back. “Emile and Xavier, you will return to man with Lim and Botis at your side. Together you will carry out the Creator’s plan until every last demon has decided for themselves whether they wish to accept his love or not. You leave immediately.”
Turning to her, Emile’s eyes widened. “Now?”
“Unless you wish to sleep with your internal nightlight blinking this evening, then yes, I mean now.”
Emile was quiet for a moment. He looked at his Gran. “What about you?”
Rosalind let go of Botis’s hand. “I’ll be here when you get back. Someone has to look after this place.” She smiled and opened her arms when Emile came to her. She hugged him. “You’ll be fine. You always have been. Now you don’t need me to reassure you. You have him.”
Emile nodded, pulling away. He stood in her loose embrace, staring into her warm eyes. “We’re coming back. Don’t go anywhere, okay?”
She chuckled, sweeping her long silver hair over her shoulder. “I’ll be here when you come home. That’s a promise.” Rosalind pushed onto her tiptoes and kissed his cheek. “Get going. A soul needs you out there.”
Xavier’s hands led him away. Botis joined them on one side and Lim on the other. They faced Elsanah as a team of misfits. They’d all come from different places with different stories, but as long as they had Xavier and Emile to get them through, to be their rock and reminder of the Creator’s love, they knew they would succeed on their mission.
Elsanah stepped back. She lifted a hand, gesturing them towards the front door. Passing the two heavily armed Archangels in full armor, Emile tightened his grip on Xavier’s hand and opened the front door. On the other side of the threshold it was nighttime. Light from a massive old barn poured over an open yard of swaying grass. Wide fields encompassed the landscape to either side of the structure and the small house next to it.
It was so quiet and pretty at night. Emile had a hard time picturing a demon being drawn to something so old and beautiful. The barn looked to be on its last legs from what he could see in the dark. It was the kind of barn one would drive by on the way to the city and wonder why it was still there as it was basically done for, while at the same time thinking it would make a great picture. The house was just as old. The railing was warped from years of use and the front steps bowed in the middle.
Yet, something about the place was calming, breathtaking even. Emile glanced at Xavier. His crossed thrummed with light across his chest, calling him forward.
“You sure about this?”
Xavier glimpsed over his shoulder to gauge his team’s reactions. He saw the determination in their eyes and nodded at his lover. “You do what you’ve always done and I’ll be right there beside you. Right, boys?”
“That’s the plan.” Lim put a hand on Emile’s shoulder.
“I’m in.” Botis elbowed Xavier, just happy to be a part of his new family’s mission.
Staring out over the farm in front of him, Emile took a deep breath and crossed the threshold. He planted his feet on fresh grass. The minute he realized he was still half naked, he grinned and closed his eyes. Boots flowed over his feet, encasing his legs up to the knees. His imagination as an angel continued with dark jeans, snapping and buckling around his waist. He left his chest exposed, going for an open knee-length leather coat.
Opening his eyes, he found Xavier smiling at him. Emile shrugged. “No one said angels had to wear white.”
Xavier tugged on his hand, bringing him closer. His eyes flashed white. “Think you’re a badass now?”
“I’m not the one with Satan bracelets, but I think I can do just fine for myself.” Emile teased his mate, pulling back before their lips could meet.
Botis rolled his eyes. “You couldn’t pull off a shirt with that little trick? Why not just wear a sign around your neck, something like ‘we’re here to annihilate you if you don’t say yes’.”
Lim laughed. “He’s right, you know. Button up, little one. Let’s go check out that barn.”
Huffing, Emile buttoned up his coat. He bumped shoulders with Xavier. “Ready?”
“As I’ll ever be.” Hand in hand with his mate, Xavier walked his team up to the barn. “Do you feel that?”
Emile put his hand to the barn door. An uneasy sensation spread over him. Death, a very violent death had occurred here. On top of death, he felt the demon. His cross burned at his chest, affirming they were in the right place. He nodded. “Demon.”
“Humans, too.” Botis sniffed.
Lim gripped the cracked open barn door. “Step back.” His other hand went to the sword on his hip.
As he pushed the door into the barn, they could make out a single swinging bulb hanging from a plank running across the bottom of the upstairs loft. Hay once bundled into tidy bails had been tossed all over the place, making a nest for the center of the floor. Blood painted the walls, the windows, and soaked into the gold piles.
Emile paled. Xavier growled. Lim pulled his sword from his belt, and Botis fisted his hands at the figure on her knees in the middle of the room. She hunched over the body of a young man. His foot twitched, but it was just a reflex from the way she held him in her lap. Wisps of light escaped around her. The boy’s soul was leaking out and she was very hungry.
Her teeth noshed. Wet noises made their stomachs turn. The boy’s eyes were cold and dead, staring at them as his head lolled to the side at an unnatural angle.
Emile stepped forward. He unbuttoned his coat, letting the light from his chest free. The room began to glow and the demon slowly straightened, but didn’t show them her face. She kept her back to them.
“You’ve been given time to change your ways and understand your wrongs. The Creator wishes to collect on his bargain and your time here is done. Repent and ask for his forgiveness so you may know his love or parish to the fires of hell forevermore, where you and your king can burn for all time.”
Emile let his coat fall to the floor, where it burst into specks of golden light and disappeared.
The boy’s body tumbled to the ground as she stood. It was then that the team noticed the other bodies of his family piled against the far wall. They could feel the souls trapped in her body, feeding her the power she’d lost long ago when her king had fallen. Her claws rapped against her palm. They felt her smile before they saw her bloody lips for themselves.
Her decaying skin continued to flake away, as it always had. Her eyes were black pits set into her twisted face. Long fangs snapped as she turned to them and lifted her horned head.
“I repent to no one,” she hissed, flinging blood from her claws. “I am free and have fed. I have the power I need.” She fisted her clawed hand, triumphant.
Emile lifted a brow. “I’ll take that as a no?”
Botis stepped forward from his hiding place at the back. “Hello, Deumos…”
Her smile fell. She sniffed from the nostrils flattened into her rotting face. “Botis?”
“Oh yes, and I brought a few friends with me. I think you remember Xavier, the one who sent your king to hell?”
Xavier let the swords around his wrists rip free. Fire engulfed each blade and this time he would not be tamed when using them. He smiled cruelly. “I think she remembers me just fine.” His wings burst from his back, giving him a darkly ethereal appearance.
“Those are not real.” She pointed to the swords. “Lucifer’s horns grow again… They will…”
“Now we’re getting somewhere.” Emile summoned his faith in the form of golden light in each palm, seeing the fear manifest within her disgusting features. “It’s really simple, Deumos. All you have to do is repent and say yes. This doesn’t have to end badly. Their souls can be returned to the Creator and everyone can call it a night. What do you say? Don’t make us take them from you. Do the right thing here.”
She hissed and backed away, before crashing through the barn wall. The place rumbled, ready to come down with the slightest push. Emile looked at Xavier. “Feel like a run?”
Xavier snarled. He grinned through his anger. “Only if I get to watch you run from behind...my mate.”
Emile rolled his eyes, but laughed. He grabbed Xavier’s hand, the love of his life, and led the hunt for Deumos.
The four of them took off through the hole in the wall before the place came tumbling down. Minutes later, under the open skies of the Creator, Xavier and Emile fulfilled the first step of their destiny. Deumos’s screams sent a message to all the demons near. The Creator’s boys were back. And this time, they weren’t fucking around.