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Chapter Nineteen: "Annabel Lee"

"It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;--
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
She was a child and I was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee--
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me:--
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of a cloud, chilling
And killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we--
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:--
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea--
In her tomb by the side of the sea."
-Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe (This entire poem just matches this chapter so perfectly. Thanks, Edgar)!

She was you...

Those three words had me at a standstill. I was frozen and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get enough air in my lungs.

"W-w..." was all I could say.

"You were the angel, Siberia. The one who came to Earth with Raveena and I," Riven said slowly, eyeing me as if he were waiting for me to have a mental breakdown.

"Yeah, I get that," I said, my voice unintentionally sharp. "I mean how? I'm not an angel, Riven. That's ridiculous." I shook my head.

"Your name has always been Siberia," Riven said slowly. "When Raveena described our Fall, you could feel it, couldn't you? Like you were actually there?"

"It's only because Raveena described it in such detail." My voice was a tad bit defensive.

"No, that's not it at all, angel. It's because you were there. You Fell. It was you, Raveena and me. Did you know that you were the second most beautiful angel in Heaven? Second only to Lucifer." He shook his head, smiling fondly.

I couldn't move. I was honestly shocked, so shocked that it felt like every bone in my body was locked in place.

"When we came to this world, we were completely untouched by it," Riven began. "Angels don't really have emotions. The only emotion we have is our love and devotion to God and that's it. When we came to this world, we didn't know that there were other emotions until we came here.

"After a while of being on Earth, you were the first of us to gain human emotions, Siberia. Raveena gained them after you, but I tried not to." He closed his eyes. "But one day, I saw you crying. Actually crying. I had never seen someone cry before. The way that the tears fell from your eyes-like tiny crystals-it was beautiful. I held you in my arms that night. That was the first night I realized I loved you. Not just as brother and sister, but something deeper. Something human."

Riven's gaze on me was intense. I felt the odd need to look away from his stare, but at the same time I was immobilized.

"You and I, we fell deeply in love. So deeply that whenever we were together the love we shared was so strong, you could touch it if you wanted to." He chuckled before his face grew somber. "But then Lucifer and Kronos came for the Essence. We fought them, but Kronos shoved his knife into your chest at the last minute."

Riven closed his eyes and I swear I saw something shiny fall down his cheek, but when I looked closer it was gone.

"I held you in my arms as you took your last breath." His voice was rough with emotion. "Before your soul could depart this world, Raveena gathered your soul into a necklace and she gave it to me. I always kept it with me. It comforted me. Even though I couldn't see you or touch you, your soul was there.

"Raveena discovered that we could bring you back, but we had to use a body that was strong enough to carry the soul of an Archangel. You see, lower class angels can take the bodies of average humans, but Archangels are stronger. We need strong bodies that can withstand us.

"When we found your parents, both of them were half angels, and we knew that we could place the Essence in you. Not only that, we could place the soul of my lost love inside of your body."

Riven's gaze didn't waver as he spoke, his gaze was trained steadily on me, never looking away.

"We infused the Essence with your soul and here you are seventeen years later." He was quiet for a second, seemingly thinking about something before he continued. "Your body had to be very strong. Not only did it survive the Essence, but it survived the soul of an Archangel. That's not easy to do."

Riven and I stared at each other for a long time. I was more in shock and he was patiently waiting for me to say something.

What was I supposed to say? Honestly, I couldn't think of anything.
"I just... I need time to... Process this..." I finally said after a long pause.
Riven nodded and opened his mouth to speak, but I was already on my feet, moving to the door.

I needed to get home and get to bed.

Once I was in bed, I stared at the ceiling, my eyes wide open.

Was it natural to feel like I wanted to scream, cry and vomit all over the place after all that I learned today?

Mom and Dad were half angels. The Marx family were actual angels. I had the Essence in me, something powerful enough to defeat Lucifer and Kronos, the man from my dreams. Not to mention the fact that I was an Archangel who Kronos killed by stabbing me in the chest with a dagger.

I guessed that explains why he always stabbed me in my chest in all my dreams. Maybe it was the Archangel within me trying to tell me something.

I didn't know when or how, but I felt my eyes grow heavy and before I knew it, I was sleep.

I was running. Running so hard that my legs were burning and my lungs were protesting, begging me to stop, but I couldn't.

The moon overhead was full and an odd shade of orange, I noticed as I continued to run.

The trees were burning, I realized in horror.

A feeling came over me suddenly. A feeling of sadness, of anguish. I could hear wings flapping overhead and despite everything telling me not to, I looked up.

Above me was a man, his wings-black as night-were open as they embraced the sky.

Suddenly he was gone and I looked back in front of me and-surprise, surprise-there was Kronos.

His grey eyes stared into mine. I shivered involuntarily as fear coursed through me. I could see Phillipe standing behind him.

I was shocked until I remembered Phillipe was Kronos's son.

"So now you know," he said quietly. "I want the Essence and I can't just take it from you since you're an Archangel and the Essence has tethered itself to your soul. You can give it to me willingly. Give me the Essence, Siberia."

"And why would I do that?" I asked.

He smiled although his smile was not a friendly one.

"Oh, fine, there's another way. I can always just weaken your soul and cut your heart out." He thought to himself before nodding. "You know what, Siberia? I like that idea a lot better."

He plunged his dagger into my chest. Like always I fell back, my face staring upwards.

The clouds opened up and suddenly angels fell from the sky.

I heard singing. Like the last time, this song was haunting.

"Her blood can make the dirt bleed
Her heart can set them free
Her blood is the key
But her heart belongs to me
Will she set them free?
Will she come for me?"

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