Thursday, June 24, 2010

Temptation (a suggestive short)

Written with Felix Avenier.

Uriel liked the snow. It didn't even have to be falling from the sky for him to be pleased with it. Drifts of the stuff along the edges of the sidewalks tickled his fancy, and he enjoyed watching the dirty hills turn to slush at the roadside. It was early spring in the North, and things were starting to melt off. It probably wouldn't flurry again, but there were still patches of ice here and there. The sun was out, but it was cold enough for mittens and scarves, for soft woolly caps and long heavy coats. 

The interior of the diner was painted in muted tones of green and white, broken here and there by the brown vinyl stretched across booth benches and the round seats of sleek chrome chairs. Spoons and forks and plates connected with one another in a pleasantly distracting cacophony. It was chilly inside despite the warmth oozing through vents in the walls. The constant open and shut of the door saw to that.

It was cool enough to keep his coat on, and yet Uriel ordered ice water. He'd found a booth seat near the large front window with the flashing neon 'Open' sign. A seat where he could watch the passers-by outside past the slight frost on the glass. His coat hung from his shoulders, bright red in color, matched vividly by the rainbow-dyed scarf that was wrapped around his too-long neck. His long legs were bent toward the opposite bench, boots knocked to the supports beneath. He had a sandwich with fragrant brown bread smeared with cream cheese, cucumbers, and twisting little sprouts.

Snow outside, and yet there were so many green things to be had. He'd taken all of a bite of it before staring off at the street. Forgotten it existed, perhaps. He was too content to sip at his water and ignore the white-bound, paperback edition of Nine Stories sitting on the table beside his meal.

Under the chill of spring and the seeping of the heat from the furnace, came a more pronounced warmth. It was too concentrated to have been from the vents, too strong to go unnoticed. Frost melted before Uriel’s eyes, running down the edges of the windowpane alongside his booth.

Uriel let the heat draw close. Let it crawl in under the soft white suede of his trousers, under the fleece of the cable-knit sweater beneath his brilliantly colored coat. He wore no dark shades over his eyes on this day, having taken the effort to render them glossy and green, but the mundane irises disappeared behind the fall of his eyelids and a wealth of inky lashes. Patience, he told himself. Calm and patience. His eyelids parted in time to catch a ghost of movement in the barely-there reflection. His head turned at the tearing of his bread roll.

“Give them the knowledge to smelt metal, and these people have created such wondrous structures. Yet teach them to make bread, and they give you,” the purring drawl of words paused, searching in distaste that showed plainly in his tone, “this.”

The conclusion was decisive, accompanied by the drop of pinched-off roll into the puddle of butter that had melted too-fast under dirty fingers. Fingers that were brought to supple lips that they might be sucked clean with a shifting about of metallic hoops and studs. A stud spike angled toward the scruffy patch between lower lip and chin, dipping as the pad of thumb was set to teeth.

“Divine inspiration really has taken a turn for the worse these days, don’t you think, Uriel?” The rumbling words washed over Uriel, causing his skin to prickle for the purr and drawl of a large predator. Liquid and languid, they rolled off a barbed tongue hidden behind a cheshire cat’s grin.

Baal slouched backward into the booth's seat on the side opposite Uriel. He was wrapped in a black suit jacket over a red pinstripe vest. Nothing beneath that. Nothing but a collection of silver loops upon which each dangled things particularly precious: a long fingernail, a twine of hair that looked silver enough to have been metal, a tiny vial with a scrap of metal.

Uriel turned on the cheap, clingy vinyl of the booth seat. A small, sad smile contoured his lips, familiar in its settling. His eyes turned up to the face across from him, and he reached his hand to spider too-long fingers across the surface of his book. 

"I do not believe that the baker of that bread was inspired in any which way," he murmured in the soft, sonorous song he often used for speech. "This sandwich, by contrast, is quite lovely. I do believe the cook is in a good mood." His mouth ticked at the corner.

"How quaint." Came the rise of words again, effortlessly bubbling up from his throat. As if he were in a constant, low hum, and raised his pitch for speaking. "The cook does not seem to be the only one in a good mood." He purred, an indicating stare put upon the angel.

The tips of side-swept hair, colored in cheap red over bleached white, shifted against Baal’s collar as he slung his arm slowly over the back of his side seat. Getting comfortable. Easing down. Handsome features ruined by scraps of metal and a streak of kohl 'powdering' across his face--char burns from one temple to the other--stared forward at Uriel when he broke his attention from the view, and set it upon the devil before him.

Uriel’s kind always did attract the predatory sort. The sort that stalked about the mortal masses, protecting them from the influence of righteousness and good. Not that Uriel was either of those. Not as far as Baal was concerned, anyway.

"Strange to see you sitting about cuddling up with a good book. Maybe? Hmm."

Baal’s fingers played idly along the cheap upholstery on the back of his seat. His head tipped, and the cords about his neck clinked softly together. Little trophies. Little relics. His other hand stretched out, creeping forward with all the speed of a wandering spider, nearer to the spine of the book atop the table.

Uriel's expression was ever the regretful smile. His eyes were warm with too much compassion, even toward the being sitting across from him. It was not that he lacked spine, as was sometimes suggested to him. He understood why Gabriel would rather he draw forth a sword and cleave at the thing rather than speak to it. It was just another way of looking at things. 

Still, that didn't mean he wanted it touching him.

Uriel's fingers twitched, and he raised his hand from the book. Relinquished it with a curl of tips to the lower edge of its binding. He nudged it toward the demon, who was getting wary looks here and there. The waitress was not the only one to double-take upon seeing him sitting in the booth with the nice man in the bright red jacket.

"Salinger,” Uriel said after a measure of debate. “He was a brilliant man."

He picked up his sandwich, continuing to affect an air of nonchalance as he bit into the cool, smooth center of it and chewed slowly. Not concerned. Not worried. Not enough to stop from eating. The way his gaze lingered belied the sentiment somewhat.

"No man is brilliant." Baal corrected him smoothly, true to his old fashioned thinking. He stroked his fingers along the cover, leaving cloudy smudges in the wake of his touch.

Uriel let the disagreement stand between them unspoken, and instead washed away his sandwich with three gulps of the iced water. It tasted of the tap, and for a moment he longed for the time when the world was young. When the air and the water were both cool and sweet with their cleanliness.

“Tell me, Uriel,” Baal purred with a tone of taunting affection. “It can’t be the food that has brought you down to our common level. Has traffic at the gates slowed so much? You look,” Baal paused for dramatic effect. “Well. Bored.” Not so much bored as other things, many things that he did not list, but instead implied with the wide, amused quirking of his lips.

“Not bored,” Uriel murmured. He caught the corner of his nail on the edge of one skinned cucumber where it poked from his sandwich. It was half gone with smooth impressions from his teeth. “Contemplative.” He pinched the pale green slice between his fingers and lifted it, smudged though it was on one side with cream cheese and clung to on the other with kinked coils of slender alfalfa sprouts. “Beside which, I wanted lunch. Have you ever had a cucumber? They're much changed from what they once were, but everything is."

"Never," Baal answered sarcastically. “Things continue to change,” Baal purred again, the black hollows of his irises with the faintest of orange pinpoints at their centers set steadily upon Uriel. A fly buzzed in a loop over the table between them. Somersaulting before landing atop a sliver of Uriel's bread. A second zipped in to perch on the rim of the water glass. “Worsen from your perspective, perhaps."

Clean air had turned green with pollution. Hot and humid with industry. Rivers were turning to poison and animals were herded into cramped spaces--not at all appreciated and valued in the way they once were. Clean beasts were grown and slaughtered over and over without sacrifice. Without offering--none at least to the likes of them so much as to the plates of millions of gluttons.

Again his stare had become implicating, narrowing faintly at their blackened corners. His head tipped in spite of how other patrons were staring at the punk bothering that nice man. Maybe no fight would break out. It didn't look like it, for how relaxed the fire-headed one was. How at ease the well-dressed one sat.

"Not just here. No. No. How many of you fell this past age?" Accusation amidst the honey smooth rumble of his voice. The faint decline in chin and brow. Amused and smirking for it. "And how many more are prepared to turn their backs." It was not a question.

"Have you come to try to sway me, then?"

Uriel wiped his fingertips along the thin paper of his folded napkin. It, in turn, was raised to rub at the smudge of off coloration on the corner of his battered, second-hand book. The green of his eyes shifted to the window, which had shed even the lingering droplets of moisture from sloughing off the rest of its frost.

He brushed a fly away with a backward turn of his fingers before plucking up his glass to sip again from the edge. The ice was nearly melted entirely by that point, and condensation dripped generously from its base as he moved it over the table. The fly buzzed again, looped around and came to join the second atop his sandwich. Another lingered against the cool of the window.

“I shan’t abandon my post,” Uriel cautioned.

"Don't flatter yourself too much." Baal gave a soft snort, his grin tugging a little wider, stretching the littering of metal pieces across the length of his lip. "I already know I don't need to try to sway you. The process has already begun."

"Your sort has believed that process begun since the Beginning." Uriel focused again on the demon, hardening his regard. "And while He may not have appreciated the knowledge bestowed to Them, He has not cast me aside."

Nails flecked with lingering bits of thick red paint clicked against the surface of the table thoughtfully, and Baal abandoned his leaning for a forward shifting. Baal’s elbows pushed against the tabletop for support, and messy red hair brushed about one slightly sunken cheek. Kohl-bathed eyes narrowed just a little with interest. A spark of mischief. Knowing.

Baal dared to speak again, voice dropping to a hiss of a whisper. Very slow. Very careful. Deliberate. "Why else would one so high and mighty call upon the likes of us for a favor?" He nodded slowly, raising his finger to let the pointer raise up and press over his metal-laden lip. Shh. That was secret.

Uriel's smile melted slowly away, his mouth sliding into a pool of impassivity. Baal’s unblinking eyes swept across Uriel’s nearly sullen features. The melting of his smile. Uriel reclined in his seat, drawing his book down from the surface of the table. He braced it to the top of his thigh, green eyes intent on the man across from him. They slanted down to the flies gathering on his sandwich. He was not much fond of that particular trick, of the buzzing sound, of the way they conglomerated. Uriel fingered the edge of his scarf, hands now hidden, tucked beneath the top of the table.

"My dealings with Nasreddin are none of your concern."

"Oh. Oh. But Uriel. Uriel. They are."

He spoke as if a friend attempting to console another of some saddening matter, some depressing deed or fact. As if Uriel was perhaps in the process of being dumped by some flippant lover. Baal might have reached to take up Uriel’s hands were they not hidden. A fly abandoned the window to circle Uriel's head once, making a pitstop at the edge of his ear before flying off again to edge the droplets of condensation on the table--though they, too, were slowly shrinking. Slowly evaporating in the heat of Baal's presence.

"And were the process not underway, I would not be here, would I? No, no, no. I would be waiting for His little clay men to climb their way up to his lofty gates. Hm?" He smiled, leaning forward still, though his legs had shifted. The edge of a pointed boot hooked at Uriel's ankle. The motion was slow. Practically tender. A flirtatious rub of toe to shin. Slow, back and forth, as if consoling.

Uriel stared quietly at the man. Shifted his book. His scarf. His gaze fell away to his hat and gloves on the seat beside him. Up again. Across. His legs tucked back toward himself, though there was not enough room in the little booth to do so comfortably. Nasr he could easily have taken, but Baal? He was another matter entirely. Especially with the roads and circles Uriel’s mind had been taking in the lazy afternoon sun.

"Were it not, you would not be made to suffer so. To yearn so." Again his voice dropped into a whisper, a delicate sound. "I understand what it is to suffer, Uriel. Better than anyone. Better than you. Better than Him. Being without his Light. Is that what you fear? Is that what holds you to your post? Safe and sound right where you are? Yes. Yes, but it is not what you desire. Is it?"

"What I desire does not matter. You know this." Dutiful words. Careful words. "What is it you want?"

Uriel’s hands shifted again, gathering his things together in his lap. Soft white gloves, soft white cap. Stacked with his freshly stained book.

"Do not be so quick to judge, Uriel. I merely wanted conversation. Do you know how rare it is that any of you would sit and chit chat like this with me?" Rumbling words, edging on dangerous implications. Though Baal leaned further in, the shoulders of his jacket raising up beneath his jaw. The trinkets about his neck clicked and clattered against the table's edge.

"Though I do want you to know. What you desire," Baal began, an odd pause in his sentence, a break in the wrong place--or perhaps it was strategic. "It matters. Perhaps not to Him, but he does not control all things. I am proof of that. He is proof of that." Else they would have been struck from existence completely. Was he wrong? Baal did not think so. Those who had revolted dared to question, to wonder, to debate His will.

"What do you stand to lose that you have not already grown distant from?" Shadows of doubt. How easily they clouded the light of truth. Of virtue. Baal extended his hand gradually. It was relatively clean, though there was grime about his nails and along the prints of his fingers, traces of scuffed soot marks on the pale linoleum table. His palm was up, practically radiating heat as it sat inviting, fingers lax. Gentle.

"Were we not once.. brothers? Will you not trust me just because I cannot stand side by side with you?" Black eyes pulled a hair tighter as they were set upon Uriel's pale, lovely face.

Uriel paused at the words. Was he, of all of them, quick to judge? Uriel tensed, then relaxed slowly. Baal made a valid point. Already he was leaving. Already he was departing because of his discomfort. What was the heat to him? What were the flies? What did any of it matter? He had not heard the man out. Not in the least. And so what if he wanted company? Conversation with something other than humans and foul-tongued demons? What if he missed some of the Grace? Would Uriel deny him that exposure? What sort of hypocrisy would that be?

"Trust is much to ask of me given the way you've gone." Uriel set his hat and gloves back to the bench. His book upon the lumpy layers of cloth. "As you well know." His brow furrowed above the constant shifting of his gaze, moving from the multitude of flies consuming his sandwich to the upward turn of hand upon the table. He did not reach to touch, but neither did he depart. Instead he nudged his plate toward the demon's curled fingers. "Would you like my sandwich? Your friends seem to have claimed it for you."

Baal chuckled at the offer of the sandwich. The flies, six now in total, fled to buzz tight circles around the plate until it settled again. They went twitching across the bread's surface in a churn of blacks and grays. The demon made no remark to the offer. Ignored it beyond the flicker of humor.

"Maybe trust is too much to ask, Uriel. Maybe it is." He turned his offering hand on its side--not yet withdrawing it. "But can you blame me entirely? Am I completely unjustified? You cannot deny that the same thoughts that have put me where I am have not entered your mind as well, Uriel. As they have, and will, come to plague the minds of all of us. All of them."

Baal raised his finger toward the drop-panel ceiling and gave a lazy twirl. The lingering waitress glanced at the gesture, but did not seem inclined to go and take the dish of flies from their table.

"He has not put an end to your vulnerabilities. He made you this way. Intended for you to bear the weight of constant testing and pressures. Do you not tire of your responsibilities? Do the books not weigh on you, Uriel? Your watch is endless, though only as eternal as you wish for it to be. There is so much more beyond that. So much more to feel. Trust, at least, in my experience knowing what it is like. What freedom is like. I can see that you yearn for it."

Uriel's lips shifted. That soft, sad smile returned. One pale hand emerged from beneath the table, and the angel set his fingers to Baal's in a reassuring pat.

"I do not fault you for your weakness, nor your choices, but they are not my weaknesses. They are not my choices. I shall endure, as always I have. You need not concern yourself over me, brother."

Baal’s gaze fell low, down to the cool touch against heated skin. Skin that would have been uncomfortable for a simple mortal to touch. He was quiet a moment, his expression evening out. Perhaps thoughtful. He watched as Uriel's fingers patted alongside his own. Prickles of goosebumps ran up the length of Baal’s arm, and he inhaled.

"I have said too much."

He’d offended the angel, perhaps. Turned him back into that indifference. No matter. A seed was planted. No, it had been planted long ago. Baal only gave it a little nourishment.

A moment more passed in silence. Baal’s eyes shut entirely. Uriel’s touch was cold. So cold. Baal’s brows pinched. Something in him stirred, and heat flared as if attempting to overpower the chill touch. Melt away any influence Uriel's presence might have had. Tugged at the mournful strings within the void of his soul. Uriel’s mouth tugged, and his fingers curled.

"Though concern."

Baal paused and tipped his head. He turned his hand to capture Uriel's within his grasp--though not so firmly as to be alarming. A fly rose from its sandwich feast, came to perch along the angel's wrist whilst Baal’s other hand raised to join the other. To stroke ember-like fingertips along the inside of his white palm.

"I do have concern for you dear, dear Uriel." His tone was dropping. Growing small. His words paused entirely once again.

Uriel brought his right hand out from beneath the table, reached to shoo the bug away from the captured left. "Misplaced concern," he insisted quietly.

"Is it?" Baal purred.

Baal leaned over the table just a little further, and plucked up Uriel’s hand despite the tension that rippled through it. Despite the obvious discomfort. Baal raised it, bowing low to allow the split ends of ragged hair to brush the tabletop, while lips took to grazing across chilled skin. It may as well have been ice in comparison to his own temperature, though the plume of breath was even worse: hot enough to have reddened any mortal man's skin. To singe small hairs. His gaze remained fixed, strained beneath his brow for the bowing of his head. Baal circled a hand about Uriel's wrist and turned it to allow lips to gather and peck at fingertips.

Uriel did not immediately reply. The heat was making him squirm. The sensations of mouth at his hand were entirely too distracting. He thought, perhaps wrongly, that simply staring the man down would serve as a reply. Would serve to convince him to stop.

"Maybe it is. Your precious bell has been returned, afterall, and I don't foresee you asking a Fallen for favors of a more frivolous nature." Baal paused briefly. "You should take better care of your things, hmn? Especially something so priceless." Each word was punctuated--interrupted--by the peck of lip against fingertip. A light and heated graze of teeth. Dab of tongue.

Uriel could not help but imagine Baal would take next to trying to gnaw his fingers from his hand. The words, though, were what caused him to avert his gaze. Too keen. Nanashi was clever in some ways, but had been too driven by his greed to question. Nasr was too self-assured and self-involved to press the matter beyond its brief mention. Neither party had suspected a thing. This, though, was dangerous. This hinted at knowing in its tone.

"It was a most unfortunate turn of events," Uriel murmured after gathering his thoughts. "But as you say, all is as it should be."

The taste of Uriel. His skin. Baal had never come to a conclusion whether he hated or loved it. Pure as his sort were. Perhaps he hated and loved it at the same time. His gaze fell away only briefly, only to alleviate some of that nagging attention, and turned to the angel's hand. Baal turned Uriel’s palm slightly in order to allowed his mouth to pass along the length of the angel’s forefinger. Turned it again. Nipped lightly in a flirtatious graze before his stare set back on Uriel.

"Unfortunate for whom, I wonder?" Baal whispered.

Uriel closed his eyes at the look, shielding himself as best as he knew how. Hair prickled along the backs of his arms, raising against the heavy fabric of his sweater. He very nearly fled then, but. But. He was one to preach patience. To listen to all sides. To consider and weigh. His mouth turned in on itself, eased again. Eyes opened above the high angles of his cheekbones.

Baal nipped again at Uriel’s knuckle, his actions decidedly more involved in their caress. He abandoned further biting to turn Uriel's palm against a pierced cheek. Baal tipped his head into the cool cupping of Uriel's hand, brittle hair passing across the angel’s wrist as the grip about it loosened and strayed along bright red sleeve. A hollow echo of fawning and doting gestures.

"I am still curious how it is a peon like Nanashi ever got ahold of something so precious. So invaluable. Especially from the likes of you." He turned faintly against Uriel’s palm, parting his lips closer to the man's wrist with a threat of teeth. Mild, but still a threat.

"Will you unhand me?" Uriel pleaded in soft request.

Uriel gave a slight tensing of his arm, tugging, though not enough to force his way free of Baal's hold near his elbow. He did not address the words that had hovered between them in implication. Edging toward accusation without making it. Touches like that made it difficult to think when he was Here.


Baal did not yet let him go, but instead met against the tugging force with one of his own to keep the arm secure for a moment longer. Baal released Uriel after a long stare, his hand slipping away in heavy brush. He moved then, following after the motion to pick himself up, turn, and slide into Uriel's side of the booth. The demon sidled close as Uriel’s breath caught. Baal leaned, and reached to brush some of the hair from Uriel’s neck to the side. Baal’s nose grazed the patch of exposed skin at Uriel’s ear. Gentle. Soft. Slow. Uriel leaned away, listing, closing his eyes and letting out a shaken breath.

"Did you enjoy being able to twist Nasreddin's arm? Especially considering all that he'd done to you?" Baal asked in quiet whispers that licked along Uriel’s neck.

"That does not matter."

Uriel’s words were less melody and more air. The coat swelled with the rise of his chest, eased again after a moment. No matter that he'd felt somewhat vindicated, somewhat righteous in the ordeal. Proud. So what if he had? It was the role that many of his brothers took on. Why not he?

"You must stop that now."

"Must I?" Baal purred in response, leaving the subject of the bell alone for now, careful not to overwhelm Uriel too quickly. "You say I must, but you don't truly believe it. You don't want me to stop. Do you?"

Heated fingers slipped low, touched hidden along Uriel’s nearer thigh. Careful, but strong fingers and palm ran up the length of Uriel’s slender leg, up along the inside of the thigh toward the hip. Careful. Careful. Baal touched the man as if he might break.

Uriel's eyelids fluttered shut again. He did not want Baal to stop, no. Did not mind that slight graze of danger, the thrill of threat. Did not want that hand to pull away, but then did not want it to linger either. Uriel’s knees parted further, the heel of one oxblood colored boot dragging across the floor. His throat worked as he swallowed, heart pumping frantic in his chest And then came a dab of lip at his ear. The singe of heated breath welling down his collar. Gravity tugging in a slight inward lean. A rumbling purr.

"If I had wanted to harm you, do you not think I would have already?" Baal assured with a petting. Another stroke of thigh. Down to knee. Up again, turning to barely graze against the meeting of his pant legs at his groin. "You do not need to deny your true thoughts, your true desires in my presence." Baal rumbled again, luring. "I will never judge you." 

"No; you already have," Uriel whispered hoarsely. "Please," he tried again, though his voice had turned throaty about the edges. His tongue touched to lips that had gone dry for the heat.

Trapped. Trapped. Not so much physically as Baal had worked at Uriel enough to keep him on the edge of his hook. The demon had weasled his way close and preyed upon Uriel's uncertainties. Upon the secrets he kept locked away in wrappings of white and red with rainbow ribbons.

"You beg?" Baal purred, curling inward more.

The demon gave an open grope, but not completely overpowering. It was a testy thing, soft but certain of itself. Willing to guide and bestow pleasures without equal participation. Knowing, at least, that Uriel was getting what he did and did not want at the same time. Baal’s skin practically rippled with sensation. At the feel of Uriel near. At the angel’s wavering demeanor and inability to force himself to withdraw.

"Permit me, Uriel. Permit me and I will give you what you desire. I will show you that it is not at all frightening. Not at all wrong. You are gorgeous. So very pure." And in that, tempting for Baal. A piece of candy sitting just within a sugar fiend’s reach. "You can still get what you want and do what you believe is right. You can do so much more that is good if you just let go." 

Baal parted his lips and set them upon Uriel's neck. Kissed him there, though Baal’s mouth burned hot. The working of Baal's lips was tender and coupled with the slow roll of his palm between Uriel's legs.

"Please," Uriel whispered again. His brows pinched, eyes squeezing tight. "I cannot permit this. Permit you."

Oh those words. They might have been convincing had they not been breathed the way they had. Had Uriel not remained slouched and parted, heated with want and the lingering impressions of Baal's attention, trapped within that unforgiving form a little longer. It was no wonder the angels of old had fallen so easily to the will of mortal women. Living sensation was beyond them in ways, just as supernatural ones were beyond the mortals. It was this that drove the worst of them to indulge so much.

Baal’s hand went sliding away, down Uriel’s thigh again to linger at a more respectable position. The demon’s head rose, allowing his black eyes to find Uriel's face again as he leaned away. Gave Uriel room to breathe. Baal smiled to himself. Ah. So conflicted, he could almost taste the temptation.

"Cannot, or will not?" Baal replied, lingering still, noting the inward shift. The slight lean. The desire in Uriel’s body language and the tone of his voice. "These touches please you, do they not?" Baal continued, shifting closer. Looming. His hands moved again, set themselves upon Uriel in a relentless grope that snaked up his thighs. Were the booth not so narrow, he might have tugged the man to face him.

"You don't have to do anything, gentle Uriel," Baal coaxed. His nose brushed lightly at the crest of Uriel’s cheekbone. "Allow me to do it for you. You will not be at fault. You will have done nothing. Hmn?"

Baiting words tempted, whispered close. Plumes of heat. Baal’s palm cupped Uriel again, assaulting the sensitive nerves. His fingers rolled and squeezed, and he thumbed at the button of soft suede trousers until it popped open.

Still Uriel sat torn with indecision, unable to move. No. No, he told himself. Doing nothing was just the same. It was all the same. He brought his hands up and cupped them over his face. Palms and fingers brushed along supple skin. Uriel's knees tucked toward one another. His hips angled. Away, away.

Baal allowed Uriel to sink and dip, crush toward the window in retreat, to curl partially over the top of the table. There was not enough space to turn about, yet Uriel refused to leave. He would not be that rude. Though in truth, it was doubtful Uriel could be so decisive. It was not in his nature. 

"Please go." Uriel whispered the words like a child willing away the monster under its bed. A child wishing he could open his eyes again in an instant and have the heat gone, the flies gone. Just him and the snow and his cheque. The cheque the waitress had not yet brought.

A fly zipped up from the table to land against Uriel’s cheek. It twitched and jerked across the pale skin, venturing toward his lip. Up flew another. Three, four, five. They buzzed about his brow. About his ear. Uriel twitched at their buzzing, the zipping about of their fat-bellied bodies. He curled his arm across his face, fingers spearing into his hair and palm cupping over his ear. As if somehow he could shield himself from all the world with that. Baal stared, and the flies at once lifted from Uriel's skin to take to the space of the room, dispersing each in their own direction.

"I will wait for you, brother." The words were even and certain.

Uriel’s mouth went dry. Baal extended his arm to graze the backs of his knuckles across Uriel’s cheek. He swept back the angel’s uneven black hair again, and turned his palm to stroke down along the length of his neck. Gentle, ever so gentle with Uriel.

Away. Back and away, the heat retreated to leave Uriel there alone in his booth. Alone with the inward jumble of his thoughts and the conflicting turns of his emotions. Alone with gusty breaths and rumpled clothes.

"I pray that you will wait forever," Uriel mumbled, though Baal was gone. And really, he asked himself, what good was an angel's prayer?


  1. Nasreddin envies Baal's harassment skills ehehee.

    I LURV it! I can't imagine how much of a bitch it must have been to splice and edit rplogs into a cohesive short. :d It turned out nicely though, for sure.

    *Holds out bowl* Please sir, may I have some more? *u*

  2. Wowwwwww... This one was the best yet. Lol. I wonder how many people are able to understand who the characters were without Googling it...
    I got it immediately..but that is because I am odd and enjoy this stuff.

  3. Loved it!

    Nasreddin is also in 2:21, so are these two stories a part of a universe? There seems to be an implied prequel (Uriel's lost bell...unless, that's a part of the angel mythologies that I've forgotten). Does that mean there's more?? *big, hopeful sparkly eyes*

  4. I often debate writing more. There could easily be more. Weiss talked me into trying another out with Nasr and Dev, and so I am to work on that this evening.

    Glad you enjoyed. <3

  5. I am just steadily going through all the stories on Avenier, and loving all the ones that I've read so far.

    I love the way you write the demons and Uriel. There's no romance in any of them, which really matches what they should be, I think.

    I was also wondering if you did any roleplaying. c:

  6. Well besides Uriel there are other there's ... Raphael, Michael, Gabriel, Raziel, Uzziel, etc... in total of angels there's around 72 well known but I can't remember the rest, so yuh I only know some of the ones that end on ...EL

  7. @ grackle - goodness. did not see your comment! i'm very sorry. I'm glad you've enjoyed the stories. I did used to roleplay, yes.

    @brenda - yup! lots and lots of angels. :)

  8. I adore a seductive feast such as this. The excruciating patience of it! The ketchup TV ad drooling just short of the bun *an-ti-ci-pa-tion*. Much appreciation for allowing the experience of being the proverbial *fly on the wall* in this sultry eavesdrop.

  9. I am in serious awe of, and also amused by, this story.The Harassment via flies makes made me laugh. I love the way Baal and Uriel are characterized. Uriel especially, considering he is characterized as a hard-ass in other literary readings of mine. Question Nasr was quoted here, and Uriel was quoted in Surprise,so its safe to say its the same universe?

    Uriel, you will NOT be catching a break anytime soon, Deal with it.

  10. The irony that i finished reading this at 2:21