The house was dimly lit and a family of five stood around an elderly bedridden woman. Several of the people were crying and others holding her frail hand. She was dying of old age and her last wish was to die peacefully in her home.
Her children fought furiously before coming to the decision to honor her wishes so their mother’s last moments would be peaceful.
The children made a wise choice.
Standing at the foot of the bed, Azrael waited as she took her last breath, her life finally ending. The family members started to cry as they realized what happened and only him saw the woman’s spirit rising from the bed to face him.
She was courageous and he gave her credit for it as the woman looked him directly in the eye.
“I’ve been waiting for you, angel of death. Take me home.”
He held his hand out for her to take as she took one last look at her family.
After taking his hand, he led her in the right direction to reunite with her husband and moved on to his next reaping.
Over the course of the night, he reaped all the random chosen ones until he was down to the last.
This one was a runner.
Something about runners excited him.
He was reaping the victim of a car wreck caused by his drunk driving, a human with little care for his fellow human.
“No, not you. I’m not ready! Don’t you understand? I will never go with you!” the greasy balding man screamed as he anxiously paced back and forth.
Under the streetlight, you could see the dirt and dried beer on his wife beater and sweats. This man was nothing but a pig and knew exactly where he was going.
“Foolish mortal, you can’t run from death.” He said, spinning his scythe in a wide arc, bringing it into the ground.
The ground exploded upwards and a long crack ran towards the man as he tried to run, dark wisps of energy grabbing hold of his ankles, dragging him towards Azrael.
Moving like liquid, he brought the bottom of his scythe down onto the ground, making the energy hold the man up in the air where he kicked his legs frantically.
Without hesitation, he opened a portal to the pits of the realm the greasy man was headed.
The mortal screamed, causing Azrael to laugh evilly, getting amusement from this mortal’s peril. He loved it and enjoyed this, when he embraced the inner darkness like this, he felt whole.
Torturing mortals was a specialty he had perfected. Most of the time he found their darkest fear and used it to his advantage.
In the mortal’s eyes, he saw his glowing gold eyes burning bright beneath his low cowl.
The mortal continued to scream and writhe as Azrael held him over the dark pit beneath him. His blood sang from the thrill of bringing such misery. He held the man captive as he raked his sharp claws across his chest, digging deep into his ethereal flesh.
After a few minutes of causing the spirit to scream from the torture he put him through, he dropped him into the pit, the sound of his scream getting cut off as he closed the portal.
He had grown bored.
Before leaving, he felt something in the area that made his senses jump on high alert, something he couldn’t see.
It was dangerous and looming, both of which he didn’t like. Drawing the shadows around him, he vanished and appeared in Lila’s bedroom again.
What was that?
Why did he get a feeling of dread and why couldn’t he see it?
His mind raced wildly as he sat in the chair by the desk.
He couldn’t think straight.
Not in several thousand years had he felt something like that before and it wasn’t good.
The last time he had put it away, it had nearly cost his life and a generation of humans.
A small sound caught his attention, moving his focus towards the bed.
Lila rolled over, facing him, sighing softly in her sleep. She was the person he wanted to protect with his life if anything were to happen.
Her sleeping form stirred his insides, pleasantly.
Standing up, he slowly approached her, kneeling beside the bed. Soft puffs of breath blew the loose strands of her hair ever so gently, her slender arms outstretched before her where he had slept hours ago, beside her.
Even in sleep, he found her immensely beautiful.
Afraid to wake her, he kept quiet until she suddenly woke up, grasping blindly in the dark for him.
She located him by his eyes, causing him to jump slightly as she reached out towards him with a sleepy smile.
“Come to bed, baby. It’s cold without you.” Stretching beneath the covers, she held her hand out to him.
Azrael hesitated before he assumed human form again and curled under the covers beside her, pulling her against his body.
Sighing softly, she curled up against him, nuzzling his chest before falling asleep again.
She hadn’t been afraid when seeing him sitting beside the bed dressed in his robes with glowing eyes, acted as if it hadn’t been anything new. He loved how she looked past all of that, seeing who was under the cowl.
Lila hadn’t seen his eyes glow before, yet she ignored it. He was counting that towards her being barely awake when she begged him into bed with her.
Setting aside those thoughts, he let himself drift to sleep.
The next morning, Azrael awoke with Lila sprawled across him, her cheek resting against his chest. Somehow, they had entangled, and she had ended up on him like this and it turned him on slightly.
What worried him, though, was that his human guise had fallen. He dared not move to wake her or she was in for one hell of a surprise.
Lila had no clue.
Her skin touched his heavily scared lower body and it made him uneasy.
Quickly, he made himself human in appearance again, in case she woke up. It took his energy to do so but he wasn’t quite ready to show her, yet.
The sun shone through the white curtains, casting light onto everything in the room.
He noticed for the first time that the décor was rather simple and modern. Everything was very feminine and soft, compared to the hard edges and intricate furniture at home.
Back home, his place was a lot darker than hers, though. She had surrounded herself with light, the polar opposite of the darkness he clung to.
Darkness comforted him.
It was a part of him.
His birth had been one of darkness.
Around nine o’clock, Lila awoke.
She looked around the room, orienting herself before coming to see him. Stretching, she rolled onto her back next to him.
“I don’t know about you, but I slept like a log.”
He chuckled, “I don’t run on a lot of sleep but when I do, I sleep very well wrapped around you.”
They gazed at each other for a few minutes until Lila sat up, rubbing her eyes.
“I should get dressed. I have a friend visiting today. She’s stopping by for brunch.” She rooted through her closet, pulling out a top and jeans along with a pair of tan cork wedges.
Azrael followed her to the bathroom, leaning against the side of the door as Lila dressed. He folded his arms as she put some eyeliner and lip gloss on. Her long hair was left to cascade down her shoulders and frame her lovely face.
“Who’s this friend of yours? Would they be shocked to find me here?” they walked towards the kitchen, where Azrael sat on a stool at the island.
As she pulled a potato salad and pasta out of the fridge, she set out some dishes on her dining table. “Shirley, and I don’t think so. She’s a mortal so the immortal stuff is hush hush in her case.”
She set the bowls of food in the center of the table and went to setting silverware for three.
“I know better, love. How long have you known her?”
“I met her a few weeks ago, she’s super sweet and has helped me with stuff. It’s only suitable that I make her a yummy brunch. I’ve never really had brunch before, either, so this should be interesting.” She smiled as she whirled around her kitchen with ease.
In a matter of minutes, she had the table set and ready to go for her brunch with Shirley.
He changed his clothes to black jeans, a black tank top, and black socks. Being in non-black clothing yesterday just about made him puke. To mortals he appeared goth, even though he wasn’t.
Lila noticed as she texted on her cellphone, “I was wondering if something was wrong with you yesterday. You weren’t wearing your usual head to toe black.” A big smile appeared on her face as she glanced up at him a few times.
He snorted, “If I had worn black in this area, I would’ve stuck out like a sore thumb.”
She nodded in agreement, giggling, as she put her phone on the counter behind him.
As she walked toward the table, he grabbed her by the hips and yanked her back against him.
Lila squealed as he playfully nipped at her neck, trailing kisses up her check before rounding back and kissing her lips. He dragged the kiss out and invaded her mouth with his tongue, kissing her until they were both ragged of air.
Pulling from the kiss, he set her on his lap where she found he was very aroused down south.
“You’re so naughty.” Lila rubbed her nose against his.
They heard the doorbell ring and Lila went to greet her friend.