Gabriel coughed and it was the sweetest sound Aurora had ever heard. She leaned in close and tucked another pillow in behind his head. On the floor Aurel rested quietly beside them.
“Aurora,” he sighed. “I’m not an invalid.”
“I know, but you’re not as strong as you used to be. You were brought back to me as the man you once were. You’re a mere mortal now and lucky to be alive.”
He returned her smile and took hold of her wrist, gently pulling her down onto the bed.
“Careful,” she told him. “The scar is still healing.”
Gabriel traced his finger over the tiny ridges of the symbol that had saved his life, probably more than once. “It’s incredible,” he whispered. “What we’ve been through.”
“Gabriel when I thought I lost you, I mean really lost you, I - ”
“Ssh,” he soothed. “I’m not going anywhere, okay? Not ever.”
She nodded and gently kissed his forehead. “You have your life back just like you always wanted. Tell me, what will you do with it?”
He smiled and shook his head. “You know what? I have absolutely no idea.”
Aurora nodded and stroked his arm. “I never knew you before the Council intervened.”
“Well I was a lot less mopey if that helps,” he smiled.
She giggled and folded herself in beside him. “So I guess that means I’m the most powerful one in the relationship now.”
“Hang on a minute,” he laughed “How do you figure that?”
“You’re a man now. I’m still a descendant.”
“And who said I was just a man?”
She pushed herself up on one elbow and eyed him closely. “What do you mean?”
“Take my hand and close your eyes.”
“Gabriel stop playing around.”
“Seriously Aurora, take my hand and close your eyes. There’s something I want to show you.”
“I’m not going to turn into a demon again, I swear. Just trust me.”
Aurora nodded and slowly closed one eye.
“Both of them,” he grinned. “Come on.”
“Alright you win, but nothing scary.” She waited a couple of seconds and when nothing happened, she pulled her hand away.
“Just wait,” he told her. “Any minute now.”
Suddenly the room began to pulse and a slow hum filled the air. “Gabriel?”
“Just a couple more seconds.”
Something soft tickled at her nose and neck and then her eyelids. “Gabriel can I open my eyes?”
“Yes,” he smiled. “Open them.”
When Aurora opened her eyes, she was speechless. The entire room was filled with thousands of brightly coloured butterflies.
A butterfly with wings as blue as the summer sky landed on her hand and she stared down at it in disbelief. “How did you get them to come?”
“Easy,” he grinned. “I asked them.”
“You asked them?”
“Aurora, God gave me another chance, he reversed what the Council did, but my ancestors still carried the blood of the first strigoi. That makes me a…”
“Descendant,” she finished.
“Maybe not a strigoi-Scythian descendant, but I am a descendant and with everything you’ve taught me…”
“Gabriel, do you know what this means?”
“That we can have a family without pissing of Lucius and the Council?”
Aurora threw back her head and laughed out loud for the first time in as long as she could remember. “Gabriel, I can’t believe it. We can really be a family someday. It’s incredible.”
“Someday?” He grinned and pulled her close. “To hell with that. I say we start today.”