Chapter 42 - Undying Adoration
We didn’t smile or frown. We just stared at each other speechless.
She slowly approached me, Raphael giving her the freedom, and I really thought I would be embraced then but she suddenly slapped me. Palm to my right cheek. Hard. I was surprised.
“That’s for leaving me without a word,” she stated with bitterness.
And then she slapped me again in the opposite side.
“And that’s for erasing my memories!”
I touched the sore spot of my cheeks and grinned at her remark. I surely deserve this kind of treatment so I accept it with arms wide open. It seemed that she had finally remembered her memories from the past to the present. On what specific part of those, that I don’t know, but I wanted to. Yes, I really wanted to. However, I didn’t dare read her mind again. That’s a privacy that I had learned to adjust even if it was hard for me.
“You bastard! Demon or not you have no damn right to do that to me! You have no damn right to play with my heart and leave me suddenly!” she stated, eyes fuming with acute rage that I can easily douse with a kiss. I wanted to kiss her right now, but I held back in the end when I remembered my weighty mistakes.
I gave her a sad look and started to speak, “I don’t want to cause you pain again Andrea. I did an appalling thing to you remember?”
But she was exasperated instantly.
“And you think that I wouldn’t forgive you? Why? Are you not repentant of your mistake? Are demons too high and mighty to accept their wrong?!”
“Andrea...” I softly spoke, attempting to make her see sense, but she continued bombarding me anyway.
“Eriol...” she called out with sudden gentle eyes, something I have missed for far too long. “Whatever you did, whatever you are, it won’t change the fact that I. LOVE. YOU.”
Her voice may have been shaky, but I heard it correctly. And that was it. That made me float towards heaven again. I basked myself on the feeling, happy that she had finally said those words; those lovely, reassuring words. I would have been a contented, overjoyed demon right then and there but my insecurities pulled me to Earth again.
“Andrea, all I can give you is pain.” Sore was my heart when I told her that.
She flung her hand in the air and placed it directly into her chest. I happen to see the beginnings of tears then. Damn, I had made her cry again.
“And you...are...already giving me pain by leaving, Eriol. Please, stop doing this to me.”
I peeled my eyes away from her, into the floor, and clenched my teeth. “Demons...don’t deserve love,” said I with bitterness.
These were Raphael’s words, but even I couldn’t agree more that demons indeed don’t deserve love. I learned and accepted that truth the hardest way.
“Yet, you’re here Eriol! You’re here! You love me then. You love me now! How can you explain that amidst you turning into a demon, you still refuse to let that emotion go?! You are not begging it from me. I am willingly giving it to you! TO. YOU,” she replied, voice weak and shaking.
I couldn’t hold it any longer. I can’t put up my aloof face and continue erecting my insensitive walls. Abandoning it and accepting our love would be the best promising thing to do.
My God. What have I done to deserve this kind of love from her? She has her destined man, but she chose... she chose to be with me!
“Andrea...” I spoke and decided to close the space between us. She was so eager to accept my arms then, but mere inches away, the archangel’s voice decidedly interrupted our heartfelt union.
“I believe I can’t accept this development anymore.”
I hissed and shot him a glare accompanied by a threatening voice, “Raphael, please, stay away from this!”
Fighting now was not what I have in mind. I want to focus myself on Andrea, but it sure looked like Raphael was still persistent on keeping us apart.
“I’m sorry old friend, but I will have to bind you,” he stated and entered the room, his wide wings tucking in for a brief moment. “I can’t let you go on breaking a human’s destiny.”
And with that, a sudden beam of light appeared on the floor I stood and a neon yellow circle emerged with letter symbols and shapes that was Raphael’s solid proof of a Binding Spell. I cursed under my breath and quickly darted my gaze on my Dear Heart in alarm.
“Andrea! Stay back!” I shouted. I wanted to counter a spell of my own to disintegrate the circle, but I remembered how the effect of it affected Lorde and her in the gazebo. With Andrea standing very vulnerable now, she might be thrown across the room and into the concrete wall if I do it. I can’t have that. So in the end, I just decided to push her lightly away from the zone of the circle.
The spell gave out a wave of energy around me and I was immediately put down to my knees and caged in place. I know I wouldn’t be able to escape now. This kind of imprisonment has zero chances of escape. I ground my teeth when a holy silver chain instantly materialized in my wrists and ankles. The feeling was very painful when it contacted my demon skin.
“Eriol!” Andrea cried out in a disconcerting manner and tried to step inside the energy wave.
“No! Stay back!” I quickly shouted. “If you come any closer your body will dissolve!”
“But I won’t let you die!” Her weak voice came out raspy. The beginning river of tears earlier in her eyes quickly became a flood.
Odd way for her to say that, but I understood it because she doesn’t exactly know what this wave of circle was.
“I won’t die...” I corrected gently, but a thought crossed my mind that maybe dying would be preferable than being locked in the Second Circle of Hell forever without having to see her again.
I gave her a saddened expression and willed myself not to show enough so that her panic wouldn’t increase.
“I will just be imprisoned in Hell Andrea. But my heart... my heart will always be with you. I love you. Please, please don’t cry. I don’t want to see you cry.”
The chain stung again and radiated a high-voltage electricity that I had to quickly wince. I know... this would be the time that the chain drags me to my prison. I know... this would be the end.
The painful electricity enveloped me. I felt it sear my nerve endings all over my body and my head. Most especially my head. It felt like it was being crushed with a paver finisher. Slowly. Very slowly.
Unable to take the torture and amidst the fact that I might scare Andrea, I grew my horns and black wings, hoping it would stop the ache, but it still continued. I tossed my head to the ground with force that could break a human skull, hoping it would block the pain too, but still nothing happened. Crimson blood immediately dripped out, but still the electrical pain kept on pulsing and pulsing around my head.
Then, the pulling sensation started. First was my feet disappearing slowly, then my knees. I could hear Raphael still chanting the Binding Spell and not far away, Andrea’s muffled sobs were clear in my ears.
Huh, I guess my raw demon appearance didn’t frighten her.
Wanting to take one final glance of my Dear Heart, I raised my head up, but my eyes quickly widened when I saw her step inside the wave without any hesitation and knelt on the floor with me.
“No, Andrea!” my voice exploded. I tried to wriggle free from the chains, but still I remain bound. Dammit!
Her arms were wide when she embraced me. I felt her warmth instantly then. She was smiling, happy that she was able to hold me, but her tears flowed continuously down.
“Eriol... Aeshma..." she whispered in my ear. “Bring me to hell with you. I don’t want to lose you.”
“No Andrea.” I lightly shook my head in despair. ”Please, don’t do this Love.”
I wanted to embrace her too, but the chain didn’t give me this chance.
I am a demon. I don’t cry, but my eyes started to water when I saw her skin showing signs of decomposing.
“Please! Please! Fuck! Release me Andrea! You can still release me! Step of out of the circle now!”
That was the last thing I heard from her when I felt my entire body spasm. There was a painful, painful tugging feeling all over my body: my insides, my joints, my blood vessels, my nerves, and my cells. I knew not what it meant, but I had felt this kind of pain before; exactly when I turned into a demon prince centuries ago.
Andrea’s embrace loosened and to my horror, she fell to the ground, unconscious.
And then the wave of circle disappeared, along with all the pain inside me.
I hastily cast a questioning look at Raphael, who was as much surprised as I was.
“Wh-what just happe...ned?” I asked, feeling a little bit dizzy and exhausted.
He gave me a bitter look, almost like he was disappointed over something.
“You are unaffected by my Binding Spell anymore,” he informed and then heaved a sigh. He approached me closer, but his eyes rested on Andrea. “Your sentence has been downgraded because you are no longer a demon. The Hell’s Emperor has stripped you with your demon powers.”
Stunned. I was definitely stunned.
“You are a Fallen Angel again, Aeshma. Doomed to live on Earth just like a human.”
I don’t need for him to prove it though. A new kind of power coursing in my veins now was enough proof for that. It had a milder effect on me, definitely not the usual strong pull I felt when I was a demon, but I am easily accepting the change without a second thought.
Being a Fallen Angel again means a lot. This means a lot! And the one thing that I could immediately think of was Andrea and our future together.
But then my happiness turned premature when I saw her unconscious state again.
Oh Cronus. God. Venus Star! She is...
I hastily gathered her in my arms, pressing my lips against her forehead, and hot tears quickly wetted her face.
“Andrea!” I howled with the sound of my voice beyond grief.
“If she wakes up,” I heard Raphael cut in. “IF she ever wakes up, her destiny strings will no longer be tied to Lorde, but to you. That is...the Heavenly Realms decree. I can’t unbind that anymore. I can’t even meddle with it too.”
He lightly scoffed and in the periphery of my vision, I saw him turn to the side ready to leave the room. “Apparently, they found your rotten heart worth saving for Aeshma. I hope...you are happy. Enjoy your sentence, old friend.”
And with that, he vanished.
What wonderful news it was hearing that my Dear Heart will be forever bound to me. I am happy of course. So happy. But I can’t celebrate just yet. I can’t accept being a Fallen Angel and walk alongside humans when I know that Andrea wouldn’t have the chance to live.
I looked at her in despair as signs of her soulless body were clearly visible. Her face was colorless and she wasn’t breathing. Her eyes were closed and without any trace of tears. There was even not an expression on her face when I tried shaking her.
“Andrea...” I spoke feebly.
Patches of tiny torn flesh in her arms and chest were the remains of her decomposing state. I wished that Raphael had at least healed her before leaving. It was the damn archangel’s fault in the first place why this happened.
He didn’t exactly discontinue the Binding Spell once Andrea went inside the circle despite knowing the wave’s effects in a human’s body and soul. The body disintegrates into patches, until all the muscles, fiber and tissues were destroyed. The soul will be sent to a certain place directly - the place where all souls come to linger before entering the gates of Heaven. The Dasmas.
As a Fallen Angel, this will be the place where I can’t travel aside from the Heavenly Realm. This fact alone had me panicking in fear of loosing Andrea forever.
“Andrea... please, wake up,” I requested, but it was to no avail.
I tried to elicit a response from her by kissing; molding my fevered ones with her cold, lifeless lips. It wasn’t successful.
Damn Sleeping Beauty! Damn Walt Disney! You said by true love’s kiss she would wake up. My love is true... more than true, but why isn’t she waking up?!
I drew her closer to my chest and rocked slightly back and forth like I was soothing a baby from crying. However, this time, I am the one crying.
“Wake up my Dear Heart. Please... Wake up! This life is nothing without you my Love. Please... wake up! I refuse to live if you are not here!”
Her limp form was heavy, but so was my aching heart. It was so heavy with the entire burden I had been collecting since I started loving her. I am willing to take all of these however, as long as she will be with me. But now... I can’t take it anymore.
I closed my eyes and continued pressing her face against my chest so she could hear my heartbeat wherever she was. Yes. Wherever she was, I hope that she had heard what I just said and made her decide to come back.
“I love you Andrea... since the beginning. And I would love you a million times more in this life and in the next. I promise to give you anything you want! I will be your butler again if you say so. Bring you to different places around the world. Cook you anything you want to eat. Give you body massages. Become your servant. Heck! Become Christian Grey if you want to! Just pleaaasseee... please... open your eyes!”
And just like a miracle, I felt a warm palm against my wet cheek. I immediately withdrew and shot a worried look on her.
My heart stopped beating momentarily.
God. She smiled and looked at me with awe in her eyes.
I don’t know what happened and I probably don’t want to find out how. Right now, I am just relieved to know that she came back to life.
“Hey...” she stated weakly, caressing my face again. “You are...copyrighting if you become Christian Grey. Just...be who you are will you? My Fallen Angel.”
I broke out into a smile and kissed her forehead immediately. It seemed she still has the energy to make a joke even with her state. She doesn’t even know how happy I am right now just to see her beautiful hazel eyes sparkling again.
“Andrea, Love. Stay with me?” I asked, trying to seal our contract.
She poked my forehead that had no trace of horns now and nodded gently.
“Of course I will.”
I embraced her tightly then and we shared a kiss that would tie our destiny strings together...