Tides of Sorrow

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4.7 - A MEETING OF THE ANCIENTS

His focus burned on the doorway of the White Horse & Griffin as he waited for Samael to exit. Quite what the supernaturals were doing or wanted, he knew not, but he didn’t like how they seemed to have targeted Becky. An involuntary twitch played at the corner of his mouth; he now knew her name thanks to her companions uttering it when they pushed past him.

The situation though had changed. There was potential danger or at least, an unfamiliar element at play now. And some prodigy was mentioned also. He needed to know what was going on.

He stood along from the hotel restaurant just within the doorway of one of the many Whitby Jet shops and waited, knowing he would be followed.

A snarl stretched his mouth as the auburn-haired man graced the pavement. No longer did he see the angel’s true identity, he was like any other man on the street - except for an ‘aura’ which still emanated from him and only Cain could see.

Nevertheless, survival instincts kicked in, predatory traits rose to the fore; gums stretched as incisors elongated nicking the inside of his bottom lip, nails pushed out tearing cuticles, becoming talons preparing to rip and gouge, eyes darkened as his whole body tensed, ready to react if necessary.

He watched as the man looked first to his left then his right, eyes searching the chattering throng as they passed by. Then his eyes locked on his observer.

The Fallen grinned. Slotting his hands into trouser pockets he started casually towards Cain. When he drew level, he stopped and quickly looked askance at the vampire.

A few moments silence prevailed but Cain did not flinch. Instead, his eyes fixed on the angel’s profile taking measure of every pore, crease, curve and line of his face. A mild curiosity stirred - the creature was almost like one of the Great Masters’ marble portrayal of such seraphim.

The angel finally turned to face Cain straight on. “We meet at last,” Samael said, smooth, offering his hand.

Cain held his gaze, wary of the celestial, then glanced quickly at the pro-offered hand but did not accept. He remained silent, his expression impassive, stature notably defensive. His veins felt a turbulent rush, the blood pricking every nerve-ending, sensitising every follicle.

The Fallen let his hand drop to his side; a rumble of soft laughter sounding in his chest. “There really is no need to be so ... unfriendly.”

“One must choose one’s friends carefully,” Cain replied.

Samael tried to conceal a grin behind his hand as he made a show of surveying the street. Catching Cain’s heated stare, he attempted to ease the tension. “My name is Samael. I am a...”

“I know what you are.” Cain’s eyes rippled, their colour as black as the jet pieces in the window behind him.

Samael smiled, succinct. “So, you are learned. I’m impressed.”

Cain was not placated by flattery. The vibes from the Fallen were muddied, complex, imbalanced. He was desperately trying to decipher the real intentions of the creature, but conflicting signals made it difficult. “What do you want?”

“Oh, come now! A little pleasantry would not go amiss,” the angel said, with a mild-mannered shrug.

Cain maintained a phlegmatic countenance. He was not about to let down his guard to this abstruse entity. It was not as though he lacked strength, guile and a truly terrifying fierceness of his own, but just how he would fare against a creature such as this angel, he knew not. The strange, somewhat ambiguous presence he’d sensed over millennia could easily be attributed to this Samael and his kind. They must have existed alongside him all this time and yet had never crossed paths until now.

Was there an agenda at play here, he wondered? To what purpose? What could they possibly want or require? He decided it would not be wise to afford this being a sense of comradeship.

Samael clucked his tongue. “Alright, then will you permit me a chance to explain?”

Cain eyed him suspiciously, then after a moment nodded curtly.

“Shall we walk?” Samael gestured the way ahead. “Best the mortals do not hear.”

Cain cautiously stepped out from the shop doorway and Samael fell into step beside him. “You say you know what I am,” the angel began. “You have come across my kind before then?”

“Not as such,” Cain replied, tight. His eyes did not meet Samael, instead, he scanned the crowds, searching for the other Fallen. He did not want to be caught unawares. He was also reluctant to wander too far from where Becky still remained with her friends in case more of the angels decided to swamp her. He circled back.

“Then how...”

“You reek of power. An unearthly power. I was visited by one of you a very long time ago, but he masked his presence before me. And I have read about your kind, of course, from the Bible to the Koran, Tripitaka, Masora and the Analects.”

Samael’s eyes darkened for a beat before he forced a laugh. “Ah. Fairy stories.”

Cain shot him a look.

The angel shrugged, non-committal.

Cain sneered as his eyes drifted to a shop window with an image of a vampire in full regalia. “We are equally renowned through the written word.”

“My tale goes further back than yours,” the angel said, hiding a grin.

“In the Holy Scriptures perhaps. But, I have been depicted, albeit less favourably, throughout time by countless civilisations and in various forms. This is not a popularity contest, however, it is a meeting of the Ancients.”

“Indeed.” Samael walked, hands clasped behind back, his demeanour suddenly becoming serious. “This...previous visit you mentioned, what happened?”

Cain halted and faced the angel. There was something in the celestial’s eyes which suggested the question was genuine - which in turn meant he did not know who had visited Cain. Regardless, this was not the time. “I prefer to discuss the present. Now, you offered me an explanation. Let’s hear it.”

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