“Come on” Gabriel said after a few moments “we have to tell…” he paused “someone”
“Who?” Marcus asked.
“No idea” Gabriel said standing up. “Sylver's indisposed and mother and the others aren’t here.”
“And Sylver made the renewal larger sire” Marcus added.
“So we have few people who actually know anything useful for the next few days.” Gabriel growled. He turned to see Dawn still staring down the stairs into the dark. “Dawn?” he said Marcus stopped a few steps up and looked back as Gabriel walked back down to the other angel. “Are you okay?”
“Bad memories sire” Dawn said turning to look at him. Gabriel saw something in the angel’s eyes that he recognized but he couldn’t place.
“Come on” Gabriel said gently he put a hand on Dawn's shoulder and pushed him towards Marcus, Dawn moved without any argument.
At the top of the steps Gabriel shut the door and lay the heavy locking bar across it.
“Marcus” Gabriel turned to the smaller angel “I need you to go to the library and leave a report about what happened.” Marcus nodded “do you know the way from here?”
“Not really sire” Marcus admitted.
“Okay we’ll drop you off” Gabriel said starting to walk the other two following him. “Once you’ve done that come straight to my rooms again do not speak to anyone else.”
Marcus had raided Val's desk for paper and a pencil as soon as they entered the library and begun to write.
In Gabriel's room Dawn sank down onto the couch his legs refusing to hold him any longer.
“I'm sorry sire” he said looking at Gabriel.
“Me too” said the prince Dawn frowned at him.
“For what?” Dawn asked sharply.
“For such an idiotic decision” Gabriel ran his hands over his tied back hair as he paced the room. “I haven't made such a mistake in a long time.”
“What mistake?” Dawn asked.
“We never should have gone further than the lights.” Gabriel stopped to look at him. “We should have come back”
“Sire” Dawn shook his head but he didn’t know what to say.
“I could have got all of us killed.” Gabriel said pacing once more.
“Sire you weren’t to know” Dawn stood up.
“How old are you Dawn?” Gabriel asked, Dawn faltered at the sudden change of subject.
“Forty five almost forty six” Dawn said carefully.
“I'm forty two” Gabriel said looking at him. “And you're old enough to remember the war in the south thirty years ago.” Gabriel said Dawn nodded.
“Yes sire.” Dawn saw Gabriel touch the small, silver ring in the lobe of his ear.
“That’s where I got this” he said Dawn could see Gabriel's thoughts were not with him in the bedroom but far away.
“You got that at twelve?” Dawn asked surprised Gabriel nodded his thoughts back in the room as he pulled a chair out from the small games table.
“I was the youngest angel to ever get this mark.” Gabriel sighed. “But if you remember that then you know why I ran”
“Yes sire I do” Dawn said he watched Gabriel light a cigarette and he saw that the angels hands were shaking slightly.
“How did you get the other three?” Dawn asked looking at the silver rings.
“Another time Dawn” Gabriel said his voice taking on the sharp tone it usually had once more. “For now you acted perfectly but we have to work out what to do next”
As if on cue Marcus knocked on the slightly open door and stepped in.
“All done sire” he said.
“Good” Gabriel said standing he walked to the couch and sat down next to Dawn so he could use the ashtray.
“So what now sire?” Dawn asked gently.
“I have no idea” Gabriel sighed he looked up as someone knocked on the now closed door. Dawn saw Gabriel frown and he stood up.
“No” Gabriel said waving a hand at him the prince moved to the door his hand on his sword hilt and slowly turned the door handle, then pulled and let go. The door swung back and crashed into the wall. Gabriel sword point stopped level with the visitor’s throat.