7.3 - SLEEP WELL MY ANGEL
Having entered The Waverley Guest House his usual way, Cain morphed back into his more acceptable form and met Kokabiel and Azazel in Becky’s room. The two of them, of course, had assumed their human personas prior to arriving at the guest house and entered with ease.
Craig had already removed Becky’s wet clothing, threw it into the shower and had cleaned her wound by the time Nick and Cain arrived. He told them he’d managed in through the front door without anyone seeing him carrying the unconscious woman in his arms. Had anyone been around he would have simply said she’d had a bit too much to drink - not that Becky would thank him for that in the morning, but it was more believable than the truth he reckoned. Nick then pointed out on this particular weekend, no-one would have batted an eyelid at a story about vampires and angels. Quietly, they laughed. He was probably right.
Cain pulled up the armchair from under the window and sat at the side of Becky’s bed. She seemed peaceful lying there, arms over the duvet, hands at her sides. Her injury was bruising around the plaster Craig had taped over the cut but there were no other injuries; at least not physical ones.
“I think she will be out for the count until morning,” Craig said. “One of us should stay with her though. If she has a concussion, which is likely, she may end up being sick or black-out when she stands up.” Both Nick and he looked expectantly at Cain. The vampire stared at them. He was about to protest, but then, after reflection, he nodded and continued to watch her sleeping.
“You should change out of those wet things too,” Nick said to him. “I’ll go get one of our dressing gowns...”
Cain looked at them both. His brow pinched. “How come your clothing is not wet?”
“We transformed before stepping into the rain,” Craig explained. “You didn’t, obviously.”
The vampire nodded understanding. “I do not feel the cold, however, so there is no need,” he said.
“All well and good, but I’m damn sure you are not going to get the furniture in here soaking wet. Now up!” Nick ordered.
Gruffly, Cain rose. When Nick left the room he turned to Craig. “Is he always so bossy?”
Craig grinned. “Yes.”
Shrugging, Cain then started with the questions. “So, I’m curious. How did I not sense you were both Fallen angels?”
“Well, what was it you sensed about Samael and his troop?”
“Their corruption, malevolence, their hate.”
“Exactly. We do not possess those characteristics or emotions. Not all the Fallen are vile.”
“I see that now.” Cain smiled wanly. He looked to the door as Nick came back with a towelling robe. Cain thanked him and excused himself as he went into the bathroom. He peeled off his clothing and hung it as best he could over the towel rails. Roughly he dried off his body and hair, then donned the robe.
Once back in the main room, he retook his seat next to the bed. They all sat in silence for a while. Then Nick spoke up. “We knew you were in Whitby.”
Cain looked at him, his eyes dark, brooding. But he remained quiet, waiting for Nick to elaborate.
“Samael and his cohorts were not the only ones who followed you around. We have been close by on many an occasion, you just never saw us.”
“Because you are a hybrid, an extraordinary one at that.”
Cain scoffed and looked back at Becky. “I am a monster,” he said, low.
“No,” Craig injected. “You did a monstrous thing a very long time ago. For that, you were punished by God, given the mark, and in His name, made to exercise justice on those who did similarly, as a way of penance.”
Cain shook his head. “Penance? I basically commit murder over and over again. I will never have redemption, I know that now. I killed my brother because I believed he had offended God. But he was a good man, an innocent man. There can be no atonement for my sin.”
“Cain,” Nick said, his voice full of empathy. The vampire turned to him with sorrow in his eyes so profound it clutched at Nick’s heart. “We can never receive absolution from Him either. We can only try to do good by those who we live amongst.”
“And that is enough for you?” Cain asked, morose.
“Yes. It was hard in the beginning, but once we found our worth, it eased. You see, those of us who fell were initially infuriated to think God loved His humans more than we who served Him. We were faithful and devout. The humans, in our opinion, were... pointless amusements, foolish beings, useless. That’s how we used to view them.”
Craig took over. “Some do question how can such catastrophes be allowed in the world, why such pain, suffering, terror and hate if God exists. Samael, in one way, spoke the truth. Angels carry out God’s orders and some would indeed be looked upon as heinous crimes, barbaric and needless. Humans think it can only be devils and demons; ‘bad people’ which are responsible for terrible things happening. The truth, if they knew it, however, would be harder to accept than their idea of reality. Both our kin who still stand beside Him in the Heavens and those Fallen, the wretched ones like your father and his cohorts, are all part of God’s plan. As are you.”
“And what plan, exactly, is that?” Cain asked.
Craig and Nick looked at each other. They knew Cain had suffered greatly throughout umpteen millennia with his constant guilt and grief, his thoughts threaded with so many contradictions and questions. And now he had new emotional wounds to deal with; the ones his father and the others had inflicted as they revealed who and what he truly was. Those were not so easily healed as his physical injuries. They knew not how to answer his question.
With a heavy sigh, Cain turned his attention back to Becky. “And what about her? What might she feel from now on? She should not have witnessed what she did this night - but it cannot be undone nor unseen.”
“We know,” Nick said, smoothing the throw at the foot of the bed. “I have hope for Becky though. She is dealing with her own sorrow just now but she will recover from it and be stronger as a result. We will say our farewells to her in the morning.”
“You are leaving?”
“Where will you go?”
“We don’t know yet. Neither do we know what roles we shall play next. This was fun though.”
The vampire took a moment. “So you two are not...?” He raised an eyebrow.
Craig laughed. “No, we’re not. We just like to take on different personas, lifestyles, names; all part of blending in. We’ve become quite good at it. And we have made some friends along the way. We hope you will be one of them.”
“Who knows,” Nick added. “Perhaps we will meet again and form our own crusade one day. Root out all the ‘evil’ together.”
Cain grunted. “Perhaps.”
They bid him goodnight and left the room. He locked the door behind them. Resuming his seat, he watched Becky as she slumbered. So many questions ran through his mind, not least what he should do where she was concerned.
She had trusted him in the end and there was no doubt she was brave. She’d reached in and pulled him up from the well of misery he was drowning in, telling him he had to fight on. She’d believed in him even when he’d wanted to give up.
He felt tied to her. Perhaps it was simply a need to connect, someone to anchor him again, remind him of his humanity. But, would that be fair to her? Would she even want that?
A little moan pushed out between her lips. She continued sleeping. Her face was so serene, so sweet. He concluded she was more of a true seraph than any of those he had encountered. She may not be a believer, she had no powers which the ethereal creatures possessed, nor did she have wings, but she had a good heart and a kind soul and that made her the epitome of how an angel should be. At least how modern man imagined them to be. Such a shame that was not how they truly were.
He ran his fingers over her brow, brushing aside stray strands of hair then he sat back, moulding himself into the armchair. He indulged in one last, lingering look at her. “Sleep well, my angel,” he whispered with a hint of a smile, then he closed his eyes to steal some sleep.