Zeke stands before us, his hand still outstretched as he waits for Austin to take it. Austin is hesitant before he raises his hand. My eyebrows scrunch in confusion as Zeke’s friendly smile turns into one of malice. His red eyes start to glow as intricate designs begin to appear up and down his arms and neck in black ink. “Stop!” I shout, pulling Austin away from my supposed grandfather.
The designs disappear quickly, his eyes dimming down to a darker red. “What’s wrong Celeste?” Austin holds onto my shoulders, peering up at Zeke. “You didn’t see that? You didn’t see his hands?” He slowly shakes his head, confusion clear on his face. Growing irritated, I turn away from him, placing my attention on Zeke as he clears his throat to speak.
“Creatures of our species can see our true forms, Celeste.” Zeke chuckles darkly at my irritation which earns him a glare from me. “What do you mean true forms? And what were you going to do to my mate?” I growl lowly at the tall man before me, keeping Austin and Cal behind me.
“Well I could’ve done anything to your precious mate. I could’ve brain washed him, drove him mad, or simply ended his life.” He takes in a deep breath, stuffing his hands in his pockets. “But I wasn’t going to do any of that. I can’t be harming your soulmate and having you despise me. No, I was merely going to put the pup down for a nap.”
He finishes off his sentence by peeling off his thick overcoat and placing it on a chair. Only turning back to face us when he hears movement. A look of surprise passes over his slightly aged features when he sees both my friend and mate gone, leaving only me with him.
“Well, aren’t you a very trusting young lady.” He laughs lightly, leaning against a table with his arms crossed and sleeves of his white dress shirt rolled up. “Not a single part of me trusts you. I just prefer not to have the people closest to me in the room when I skin a man.” A smile forms on his face at my words, one of respect and admiration.
“My dear girl, you’re just like me. Always eager to torture a man for information. Though you look just like your mother.” A tsking sound escapes his lips at the last bit of his sentence. “What do you know about my mother?” I cross my arms, my eyes turning to slits as they glare harshly at the man before me. “Everything considering she’s my daughter.” His eyes harden while talking of the woman I grew up with for a small portion of my life. “The bastard of a girl never even told me about my own granddaughter.”
“If you’re really her father than what’s her full name?” I inquire, knowing my mother never told anyone her true name. “The name I gave her when she was born over three centuries ago, Lilith Alice Masters.” My body goes stiff, no one knows her as Lilith but me and my father. Everyone else knew her as Lily Anne, the sweetest girl you could ever meet. No one really saw behind the mask she wore everyday though.
“This is impossible. You can’t be her father because my mother is a human and her parents died a house fire when she was 12.” I take a small step back, trying to gather my thoughts, but they’re in too much of a frenzy. This doesn’t go unnoticed to Zeke as he sees my breathing become uneven. His hands shoot out to steady me when I nearly trip and fall. “Calm down, Celeste.” His voice is like an echo in my head as the designs appear once again with his glowing eyes. My body instantly calming on command. “What was that?”
“That, Celeste, is just a small demonstration of what we can do.” He says proudly while taking a step back. “How did you find me?” The question just pops out randomly when I’ve calmed my rapidly beating heart from exploding out of my chest. “Well, I first heard about you a few years ago. Word of a rogue girl spread all across the world and at first thought nothing of it. “It’s just another rogue”I told myself. Then I heard of her eyes, how they would change from a striking vibrant red to a dark abyss of black, only a slim ring of red remaining around the iris. I realized this was no ordinary rogue going around killing the damned souls that walked this earth, it was one of my kind.”
He begins to walk around the room, taking in the quaint little library I’ve been held up in for the last three days. “I started doing research on you. Then about a year ago I learned your name. It was quite difficult to do, too. Considering you’re mostly known as the Angel of Death. “No one dares to speak the name of the Angel of Death for she will kill you, too.” Dear god, I can’t tell you how many times I got that same response over and over again. But it was worth the wait, for a drunken fellow was willing to tell me your name for a price. Celeste Middleton. You can imagine the shock I felt when I heard the last name of my daughters’ mate.”
He scowls once again at the mention of his daughter. I grow a little confused but decide to voice my questions at the end of his tale. “Once the shock left my system, I grew restless. The thought of a possible granddaughter out in this world had me on edge. Always wondering what you looked like or how you acted. So, I visited my oh so lovely daughter.” Sarcasm drips from his voice as he flicks his wrist in distaste. “And I got my answers. I, in-fact, did have a granddaughter roaming this earth. A granddaughter that I had wished for years. A little girl who I could teach the ways of our people and hopefully do better than the first time. So, I asked where I could find you and was appalled to find out she had abandoned you when you were merely a child. My own blood threw her daughter away like she was nothing.”
He looks to me with pity in his eyes which I growl in annoyance at. I don’t need anyone’s pity. “I’ve been searching for you ever since and now I have found you. And you’re quite better than anything I could’ve hoped for. You’re everything your mother could never be.” He comes up to me, placing the palms of his hands gently on each side of my face. “What are we? What does “δαίμονας” mean?” I ask quietly, fearful of the answer.
“It means demon and that’s what we are—demons. We’re warriors of hell and the devil himself.”