THE CRIMSON FLOW

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Chapter 2.0 - TORTURED SOUL

No matter how he tried to thwart her, Becky always found him. At first, he knew not how, but he soon found out a certain pair of angels were at the root of her constant discoveries. He should speak with Kokabiel and Azazel, better known as Craig and Nick respectively. But for now, he suppressed a smile and inwardly sighed.

It had been several months since first he’d happened across her in Whitby; the Yorkshire coastal town with its plethora of historic sites, spectacular views, old-world streets, modern day festivals and renowned fictional villain. The place certainly had an impact on him, but not all for good reason.

There, his true parentage had been disclosed. Samael - interpreted as “The blindness of God”, “Poison of God”, “seducer” and “destroyer”, along with his troop of embittered angels had made it known that Cain was not the son of Adam as he had always believed. He was, in fact, the seed of the Fallen leader himself, and as such, he was Nephilim.

Nevertheless, his love and loyalty remained with the father and mother who had raised him, and not with the deceitful Fallen who had merely sired him. He had even tried to kill Samael, but, that had failed as the Fallen General made his escape when Cain had rushed to Becky’s aid.

With the truth being revealed, however, his faith was on no firmer footing. His on-going battle continued; his crime would never be pardoned, his existence (if that was what it could even be called) was his punishment, a constant reminder of the monster he truly was.

Not only that, but the mark which God had laid upon him had been engineered from the start. He mourned that fact, and also that he was punished by the very one he had fervently worshipped from the time he could crawl.

And with all these things considered, this woman continued to pursue him.

Having been exposed to creatures such as a real-life vampire and Fallen angels, it surprised him that Becky would seek having anything to do with him at all. She had witnessed a brutal slaying of angels; their wings torn from their backs, hearts ripped out, heads removed - all by his hands and yet, still, she followed him. He had to admit, his initial concern that she would not be able to cope with what had transpired in the seaside town, was very much misplaced. She had weathered it well - too well, perhaps.

Her scent always denoted her presence. This was no ordinary perfume, for such luxury he could not detect, but a mood, an intent, a hurt - those he could smell a mile away. Hers was an infusion of melancholy and longing. Granted, its aroma did not seem quite as pungent as in the weeks gone by, but still it hovered around her, almost like an aura, gossamer; wavering and rippling about her person, strangely unique, addictive.

This was an added torment to his already tortured soul. He was drawn to her, like a moth to a flame, although he sometimes wondered which role did he play. If he had gleaned anything from this rather strange friendship they seemed to have struck, it was in accepting her occasional company without intolerance. He had spent the majority of his life shirking such company and it had taken some serious adjusting to allow this woman to become his companion-of-sorts.

In a way, he wished things could have been different, but regrettably, there could be nothing else between them. This he had explained. Vehemently. A number of times. Whether it was for his, or her benefit, he was unsure; the lines there had become blurry.

Yet, knowing what he was, what he was capable of, and what he irrefutably refused to grant her, still she sought him out.

To his surprise, he found he was glad she did. He enjoyed talking with her, having her around. She somehow lifted his spirit, albeit for a short while. They shared quiet moments, times when he did not need to hunt; thus sparing her from witnessing any further brutal, bloody slaughter.

He encouraged her to tell him about herself, even though she swore there was nothing interesting to relate. To him, everything about her was fascinating. He craved hearing about another segment of her life. It may well have sounded tedious to her, but to a man who had walked alone for most of his life, it was fresh, new, interesting, beautiful. Here was a woman who did not shy at the touch of his hand on her arm, or the small of her back. She was not averse to being tactile herself, showing no repugnance by his seemingly ageless self.

Yes, it had been a very long time indeed since he had been in company he found pleasant, warm, gentle, sincere. Those were scents he had also detected, secreted beneath her melancholy veil. They triggered distant memories, and even some further back than he cared to recall. But they were there nonetheless; shimmers, sparks, echoes.

At this moment, he lay with eyes closed as he listened to her breathing. It was soft, steady, relaxed. He knew she was watching him. It was hard to keep the smile from curving his lips. Sometimes, it was a game - seeing how long it would be before she prodded him awake, although he wasn’t really sleeping. Occasionally, she played him at his own game and waited, silently, patiently, testing him as he tested her. Guilt would eventually overcome him. It wasn’t fair that she’d be sitting on cold stone, or soft soil, waiting for him to rise from his make-shift bed in a trough, crate or from under old shelving in some deserted building. It was not fitting that she crawled into such places just to find him.

And so, with his conscience tugging at him, he cracked open an eye and looked straight at her. “Good evening,” he said, quiet, welcoming, with a soupçon of humour.

“Hello, sleepy-head,” she replied, with a friendly smile.

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