So It Begins...
"Athena, it's time to get up." Atara says throwing a pillow at me. I roll on my side and grumble. "Seriously if you're late to Leonards class again he will punish you worse than before. Remember how bad it was cleaning the dorms for a week?"
"Don't remind me. Demons come up with the worst punishment." I sit myself up on the edge of the bed rubbing my palms against my eyes.
This is Honore Island. The school for angels, demons and nephalem or hybrids as most would call them. The school is built on an island in the sky. Yet it has two sides. The demons and the angels. The teachers don't have to mingle though everyone has to learn from both.
The teachers are on a rotation between here and hell or heaven. Hybrids are not welcomed into either. They are allowed to come here for school but usually being so difficult to control they are stripped of their wings and thrown to earth to live and die like a human.
Though hybrids are rare they have happened. More and more over the past century. The angels or demons that have produced them are shamed but not punished other than forced to teach here for hundreds of years. Which most already had been. Over the last five years here I've begun to realise that everyone is afraid of hybrids. Of what they can do or be. They are neither angel nor demon and able to control and manipulate both sides. So they are stripped. De-winged, the only blade able to actually harm a hybrid permanently belongs to archangel Michael the god of war's sword.
I am the daughter of two angels. Ariel the angel of nature and Sariel the angel of guidance. It is expected that I should excel in everything. That i should be nothing but a good angel, not too powerful but good enough.
Yet I'm not that. I'm stronger, stronger than most, to the point I hold back when I compete sometimes. Mother has now told me to. The more she tells me to hold back the more questions that form in my head.
An angel wouldn't do the things I do. They wouldn't rebel or curse, they wouldn't fight beyond that of lessons. They wouldn't enjoy it. Yet a child born from two angels has never not been an angel.
I slowly get out of bed and stretch my arms above my head as I let my wings extend out fully. They reach above my head with a slight spike and touch the floor. Large and powerful, yet not white nor black. Almost pink. They have been changing over the years. Like each year they get slightly less white and that bit more pink.
"It's not the time to admire your wings Athena. You must try to refrain from such vanity all the time. Least when it's not with me." Atara says with only concern in her voice. Atara is the daughter of Dina, the angel of learning. Atara is an excellent young angel. Smart and angelic in every sense of the word. From how she moves to speaks and holds herself. We have roomed together now for almost two years. She has been trying to help me understand my sense of not belonging but even her knowledge has gotten us nowhere.
"Yes, yes. I'll be ten minutes." I say walking into the bathroom and turning on the walk in shower. Letting the water cascade down my body. I don't bother to wash my hair instead stepping out I look in the mirror. Tying my hair back into a sleek ponytail. My black hair that goes down to my waist now is contained. The waves are still flowing down my back. My eyes are a green colour that changes depending on my mood. So deep green that it's like looking at fresh leaves growing on the tallest healthiest of trees.
I finish up and get changed into some leggings and a crop top. My belly button and toned abdomen out on show. My breast filling the small crop top. Atara looks me over and shakes her head.
Her auburn hair cut short so as not to get in the way of her pale skin matching her white feathers. Her plump lips in a thin line as she puts her arms over her chest shaking her head.
"You're drawing more attention to yourself by the week Athena. You should be more careful." She steps back, opening the door. I follow behind her as we make our way down the stairs and outside. Finally onto the open grass she extends her wings and flaps once sending herself into the air. I smile and do the same with one large flap of my wings. I am much higher than her smirking down at her. "See this is exactly what i am saying. You're too competitive. Too interested in a challenge."
"I'm not interested in a challenge. I am the damn challenge." I say gleefully.
"Yes Atara i know. I must behave if I don't want to rouse suspicion from the teachers or worse. It's not as though Seraphim watch anything we do, they spend all day worshiping god. The cherubim guard the sacred throne, and neither the four princes or seven sub princes of hell are remotely interested in what happens here." I say with a sigh realising just how boring this place really is.
We are sent here at a young age and a year could be ten years in earth's time maybe even more. Time moves slowly for immortals, the days longer and weeks stretch on. My age here is 18 but to a human I would be closer to two hundred years old.
"I know your bored Athena but please for your own safety. It's already bad enough I don't tell my mother our concerns don't give me cause to worry further." She flies higher and takes my hand in hers giving me a sweet look. I give her a half smile, the best I can muster.
"Of course. Thank you for being such a good friend."
We fly the short distance to the building of demons. The teachers all are a demon of some kind, each specialising in something. Today we are with Leonard the demon of sorcery. The building is so different to that of angels. This has statues of demons all around. The stone is almost black. Fire pits lit up throughout the open halls. The high towers pointing like daggers towards the heavens. We land our feet softly to the ground and push open the large dark wooden doors. Inside are angels, demons and hybrids. All talking in their own groups. At the front of the large classroom Leonard stands impatiently in his black trousers and shirt.
"Students sit with your partners." Leonard demands in his usual hoarse and to the point voice. I smile at Atara as I move towards the far side of the classroom. Taking a seat next to Caine.
Caine is a hybrid but the only one in the school who is orphaned. He knows neither who his mother or father are. Blade another hybrid knows his mother is Jezebeth the demon of deceit or lies and Neo knows only that his father is Kobal the demon of hilarity or dark humour.
Caine has no one. He was brought here only a year or so ago but we get along really well. I would even say he is my closest friend and with him I don't act or pretend which I like. It's like we had an instant connection. A bond that i cannot explain but it was there.
"Looking forward to class today?" He says nudging me with his elbow and smiling.
"Always. Don't act like you don't love a good assignment. Especially one where we get to go to earth." I nudge him back keeping my voice down as Leonard begins to speak.
"Shame we can't ever mingle with the humans. Least that would be more fun."
"You say that but we'd only fuck something up. Ruin someone's short life." I say chuckling. Looking away from Caine to the clearing of a throat. Leonard stood glaring at me.
"As you, Athena obviously don't need any advice, I believe you'll be just fine remembering how to heal the west forest in africa?" He says, giving a slight smirk. I feel the snide remark wanting to escape my lips. Or the middle finger that wants to flip him off.
"Your advice is always welcomed sir Leonard. We were just discussing just how much we can learn from you." I try not to sound as sarcastic as I feel. I don't think I succeeded as Leonard uncrosses his arms giving me a strange expression. One I've noticed him give me numerous times before.
"Then remain silent for the rest of this and you may learn something." He turns back to the class and continues as though he had never been interrupted in the first place.
Caine and I share a sly smile before sitting silent for the remainder of his talk. Once it is finally time to head to earth we walk to the edge of the island and turn to each other.
"Last one smells like rotten demon barf after a good bender." I say laughing as I fall backwards. Leonard sets a path. The only way we can go to earth is on one. They don't teach how to make paths. It's similar to a slide in the sense it's smooth and lands in one place.
Caine is fast. That's an ability a hybrid gets. Strengths of both angels and demons. Yet none of the weaknesses. Or not that have been found yet. I see them as gray. Why can't the sub princes of hell or even the archangels accept them. If they did then higher up would have to as well.
The fact that Caines life is nearly certain to be sent to earth is upsetting but worse annoying. It infuriates me that his chances to remain and then be able to move on to heaven or hell is wrong. It isn't fair and it should be changed.
I land first but Caine is close behind only ten or so seconds slower. He lands on his feet smiling.
"You sure you're not a hybrid? I'm the fastest of the five and you beat all of the others at everything." He says nudging me with his shoulder as he starts walking. I follow nudging him back earning a laugh.
"What?" I grumble.
"Seriously. I've been here for over a year now and you're not an angel Athena."
I stop standing stark still. He has joked a few times calling me the devil or a demon. It's always felt like a joke but is it? My parents are angels. I have to be an angel. I am a damn angel but why don't I act like one. Where is my self control? My compassion beyond doubt? My lack of temper or vanity?
"What's wrong?" He turns around realising that I've not followed. Tracing his steps back he stands before me and puts a hand to my shoulder. My five foot two height has me smaller than most but a lot more agile.
Caine is taller than me but not the tallest of the hybrids at five feet ten. His black curly hair that's slightly too long flows in the wind. His slightly tanned skin which we always disagree who has a better complexion of the sun kissed tan. His hazel eyes, the mixture of warm chocolate and dark green grass.
"Did something happen?" He sounds truly concerned.
"No, it's just." I look around quickly before waving my hands and throwing a shielding bubble around us. Sometimes Leonard will watch our progress. He won't be able to hear what i say now. "Caine, do you actually think i'm an angel?"
"Well, you don't act like the others, but most are a bit too much for my liking. Some are alright though. Your strong, fast, agile and your sorcery is top of the class. If I didn't know who your father and mother were, I would say you are a demon or hybrid, but you know your parents." He gives my shoulder a light squeeze. "Don't worry I'm sure you're just going to be some rockstar angel. One like no other."
"I'm not so sure. I know my parents are both angels which makes me one but sometimes…"
"You're just not so sure?"
I nod in response. Taking down the shield to end the conversation. What more is there to say really? Caine pulls me into his arms and puts his around my shoulders. A hand cradling the back of my head. Now Caine is gorgeous and we get along so well. Even the connection is there but it's not romantic. It's stronger like a bond that can't be broken. I put my head to his chest and arms around his waist. We stay like that for just a minute before he tugs my ponytail and lets me go.
"Time to get healing the forest. Stop moaning about being a rock star, little A." He smiles and I can't help but smile back.
"I'll show you a rock star." Skipping ahead of him I walk further in. Casting spells to heal and help growth as I do.
Caine has to concentrate much harder than me. Directly touch the tree or grass to link with it. Though we don't interact with humans we help the earth we keep things in order in a sense. Without us protecting the earth it would have crumbled hundred of years ago. I stop skipping when I hear monkeys calling in the trees above me. Caine comes to stop next to me and looks up.
"You're always so fascinated by earth animals."
"Well we don't have any. Animals are beautiful, innocent and nothing like humans or us. They live and do what they need yet some love and protect one another. Don't you think it's crazy? Humans can slaughter each other over nothing but an argument yet animals will only do it when needed. They don't seek out conflict." I say as I focus on the large monkey sat in the tree.
"You obviously haven't watched these a lot in mating season or when crossing into another territory." Caine laughs.
"O shush you know what I mean."
"I know. Angels and demons can breed without punishment but their offspring are treated like a diseased vermin. As though we chose to be born and abandoned." He says with such feeling. It's as though I can feel his pain.
"I'm sorry Caine. I dont think it's fair and if I could, no. I promise one day I will change it. You'll be accepted for who you are."
"I know you would try but this is how things have been for thousands of years."
"Then it's time for a change isn't it? Like you said, how is it fair? Look at you abandoned with no one claiming to be your parents. Living at the hospital until finally allowed to honore island." I'm angry for him. He deserves better. Someone knows who his mother is etleast. She gave birth and left him but why didn't anyone reveal who the mother is?
"I wasn't strong enough to leave the hospital as a baby. They say I was not as developed as I should have been. Smaller who needed the extra hand. After that it was a case of where to take me, no parents. No orphanage here. A hospital bed and room for years was fine. I had food, freedom and didn't have to put up with all the crap you have." He shrugs as if it didn't matter but I can feel it did. I sense people's feelings, strongly but with Caine it's like I feel physically not sense it. "And look. Now I'm here to enhance some skills before they send me to earth."
"I won't let them do that." I say full of venom, almost spitting the words. Caine takes my hand and gives me a reassuring squeeze.
"What will be will be. Least I made a best friend along the way."
"You're more like family. A cock blocking brother actually." I laugh and he returns it with a belly laugh of his own.
"Well when I'm not too busy it's a good thing to protect you."
"Not like I need protecting. I could beat them all anyway" I smile smugly as we continue forwards. Completing our assignment in record time. The forest was fresher and stronger than when we arrived.
We return back to school and get the all clear from demon Leonard that we have finished for the day. Saying goodbye to Caine I head over to the farthest field closest to the edge of the island. It's peaceful and helps me clear my head. I don't just practice flying because it's not just important to be good in the air. I'm acrobatic to help keep me stealthy and agile. After over an hour of working out I finally sit down on the edge. Feeling weightless. Like a small speck in such a vast galaxy.
"Working out again little angel." I hear his arrogant voice from behind and don't even bother turning.
"Damon, you know I was just thinking how i was a speck in such a big place. Tell me how does it feel being a little prick surrounded by big ones?" I quickly respond with. Unable and not wanting to contain the attitude that I usually try to refrain from using.
Damon is the son of satan and Armand, who i sense is with him the son of Lucifer. Both Lucifer and Satan are one of the four princes. Ruling different sections of hell. The only demon above them is Asmodeus, king of demons.
Asmodeus was in love with Sarah, the daughter of archangel Raguel. When Sarah did not return his affections he in turn killed seven of her husbands. Each on the night of their wedding. Not allowing her to consummate the weddings. Even the king of demons can love beyond reason. A demon is not necessarily evil, just not as controlled or considerate as maybe an angel.
"Such a big mouth for such a little angel." He says. I finally stand turning towards them both.
Damon and I are not really friends. He gets on my nerves and I give him crap for it. He is tall at six feet, broad and lean all at the same time. His wings are as dark as the night sky without a star in it. His hair a mousy brown colour and his skin pale but creamy. His eyes flick between red and brown depending on his mood. His hair is short at the sides and just long enough to run your fingers through in the middle.
Armand on the other hand we are actually friends. His eyes are the same flicking between brown and red or even both at times. His hair is black with afro curls usually sweeped up into a neat bun at his crown his side short with a fade towards the centre. His skin a dark tan. He's broad like Damon. Tall but maybe an inch taller and leaner.
"Such a small dick for a big guy." I bounce right back at Damon, earning a laugh from Armand and a smirk from Damon. He enjoys winding me up. I can't deny that I do like giving him crap back. A bit I reassure myself.
"Come now you pair there is plenty of room for all of us. Why don't you stop giving each other shit for ten minutes?" Armand interjects.
"I don't know. His ego takes up a lot of room Armand. Shame you pair are like cousins or something. You wouldn't know."
"Come now little angel you speak about my dick so much because you haven't seen it. Where is the hybrid now?" Damon says and I glare at him before poking a long nail into his chest.
"He has a name and you damn well know it. Caine isn't always with me plus I don't need him to take on guys like you." After giving his hard chest a final poke I go to pull my hand away but he takes my wrist in a stern grip.
"You say that little angel but i'm pretty sure it was that hybrid that stopped you from finally climbing on my little prick, the last party we all had." Damon says it so smugly that it makes me want to slap him.
I zap him from my wrists and he chuckles but lets me go. I don't need a reminder of the fact the last party I had far too much cleg. Cleg is similar to a human cider. It's brewed here and sometimes a bit of magic may be used to make it stronger. I blame it on that batch being just that.
"If i hadn't been drunk you wouldn't have gotten within a foot of me."
"O yeah." He says taking a large step and bringing his body nearly flush to mine. I'm about to react when Armand places a hand on Damon moving him back.
"So you're not drinking tomorrow night then?" Armand says with a smile which I return in kind after rolling my eyes at Damon.
"Now i didn't say that. Just i may actually have to take better care of who i surround myself with when i do." Blowing Armand a quick kiss I flap my wings and fly into the air. Setting them both a few feet off balance from the wind that soars towards them as I go up. I'm high up but i still don't miss the sly remark from Damon.
"Can't wait to show you my little prick tomorrow little angel. See if that mouth is as good at other things. As it is with kissing and attitude."
God he annoys me. Out of all the guys i've kissed he is the only one i can safely say i don't understand why i did. We bicker every time we see each other. Not friendly words, never a smile, always a smirk. Yet if Caine hadn't come into Damon's dorm room that night. Almost dragging me from Damon's lap where I was straddled. I know things would have gone a lot further then they have before.
Demons confuse me. Angels annoy me and I feel closer to a hybrid. How much more messed up could I be?