“Decided to join us?” Lou smiled

“Don’t talk to me” Gabriel said.

“Gabriel” Sylver growled.

“Or you.” Gabriel sat down against the wall Dawn sat down between him and Lou wrapping the fur cloak around them both, he snaked his arm around Gabriel's waist pulling him closer.

“Brandy?” Sylver smiled seeing the prince flush slightly.

“Sounds good.” Gabriel said he turned to Lou “thanks” he muttered Lou smiled widely.

“You’re welcome.”

“We were talking about Lou's involvement in all of this.” Sylver said refilling Dawn's mug.

“I was just saying that my world is on the brink of revolution too.” Lou said “I'm almost positive that there are daemons helping Lord Aim”

“How is that even possible?” Sylver asked.

“I think there is someone on earth that has contact with angels and daemons but I can’t work out who it is”

“Could it be just a random human?” Sylver frowned.

“It’s possible” Lou sighed “and if so then I’ll never find out who it is. Perhaps just someone is playing in occult practises.”    

“Most of the humans don’t have any real magick” Sylver said “those that do have no power, we established that early on.”

“True” Lou said “a few of the village healing women have magick but nothing like summoning. There are also a few psychics that have something.

“Mostly though they're midwives and nurses that sort of thing.” Gabriel added quietly.

“That’s what makes me think it’s an otherworlder.” Lou said rubbing his temples. “But there are so many native to earth that its not likely I’ll find them.”

“Maybe elves?” Sylver said “they have power” he was glad that Gabriel seemed to have relaxed a little.

“Not likely.” Gabriel said “they keep to themselves mostly.”

“I am really confused.” Dawn said Lou smiled. “I know that earth is another plain but nothing about it.”

“Sorry Dawn, I forgot you wouldn’t have been part of the patrols.” Lou said “the angels have been keeping an eye on earth for years working out the humans lifestyles and introducing some of their own” Dawn nodded. “Humans have no magick really just simple lives work, sleep and food are their main interests.”

“They’re not that bad.” Sylver put in. “and they learn quickly.

“I suppose” Lou nodded “but they area also very vain, selfish creatures.”

“That’s true” Sylver said “but the wildlife they have is amazing.”

“Bloody locusts.” Gabriel muttered,

“Will you stop harping on about that?” Sylver snapped.

“It was a nightmare.” Gabriel replied.

“I know but it was sorted fast enough.” Sylver smiled. “Anyway the humans have a hierarchy in some area someone tells them what to do and they do it in others they have a crude democracy system in place but it seems to work for them.”

“They have a good monetary system and their farming techniques were useful to learn.” Lou added smiling.
“You like them” Sylver smiled.
“They are simple and childlike.” Lou said fondly. “They’re also very susceptible to influences from certain places. The problem I have is, similar to here, the rich are rich and the poor are starving.” Gabriel nodded.

“That’s true too” he sighed.

“Its not your fault princeling.” Lou said “you're trying.”

“I'm not.” Gabriel said “I have no influence over the economy I only control the stocks that the army need, right now though that’s not much.”

“Wasn’t Maxwell supposed to be conscripting?” Lou asked. Gabriel looked at him strangely then he nodded.

“Most of the recruits don’t turn up” he said.

“Why didn’t you send out the conscription notices?” Lou asked Gabriel.

“Lady Suzzane” Gabriel growled. “She was another in a long line of prospective partners that mother thought would suit me.”

“You like your woman a little more manly.” Sylver grinned.

“I wouldn’t mind too much if any of them had a brain in their head. Why mother can’t pair me off with a city girl is beyond me at least they can lace their own shoes.” Both Sylver and Dawn erupted into laughter as Lou choked on a mouthful of brandy, Gabriel smiled at Dawn “besides,” he whispered as Sylver tried smacking Lou on the back. “I think I've found what I want.” Dawn grinned.

“Talking of Maxwell” Sylver said once he'd calmed down and Lou could breathe once more. “He should be near here.”

“And Tairas.” Gabriel said wriggling as Dawn's fingers stroked the back of his neck. “He’s still on his sabbatical isn’t he?” Sylver nodded.

“He was two weeks ago” Sylver nodded “that was when I last heard an update from Benjamin.”

“Benjamin?” Dawn asked as he moved his hand to the joints of Gabriel's wings.

“Tairas’ servant” Sylver said “mother insists that he takes someone with him when he leaves.”

“Not that they can have a conversation or anything” Gabriel said he shivered pleasantly as Dawn's fingers buried themselves in the soft white feathers.

“Why not?” Lou asked.

“Benjamin's mute.” Sylver said “poor kid.”

“Doesn’t stop Tairas talking to him though” Dawn frowned.

“You have definitely never met Tairas have you?” Sylver laughed. “The last time I heard him speak was one work of ‘oi’ when Gabriel lit a cigarette while Tairas was eating and that was almost two years ago.”

“Then he almost knocked me out of the window.” Gabriel grumbled.

“It serves you right he was only trying to get it off you and you jumped backwards.”

“It was my last one,” Gabriel growled “and he had a steak knife in his hand.”   

Lou was watching them a small smile on his face.

“Are you okay Lou?” Sylver asked noticing the daemon was quiet.

“I'm tired that’s all” Lou said standing up “and as lovely as this is I must get some rest.” Sylver nodded.

“Wait.” Gabriel untangled himself from Dawn and stood up too. “a word?” it was a request and not an order this time and Lou accepted.

“Yes princeling?” he asked when they neared the cave entrance.

“I'm sorry.” Gabriel said sincerely. “I haven't been myself the last few weeks and it seems to be you that I've taken it out on”

“I know” Lou smiled “relationships at home have been strained and Dawn is confusing you.” Gabriel frowned.

“Don’t presume…” he started.

“Don’t start getting angry again,” Lou smiled “please. All I'm saying is I see a lot of things, I have kept a discreet eye on palace life for some time now.”

“Because princeling as much as you don’t believe me I do care about your mother, your brothers and you.”

“Who are you?” Gabriel frowned.

“I'm an old friend” Lou said “and a loyal servant to the palace and I will protect its inhabitants with my life.”

“I thought you didn’t like mother?” Gabriel asked.

“I may not like her Gabriel but it doesn’t stop me from loving her.”

“Loving her?”

“She was a dear friend of mine that took the wrong path when she came to power.” Gabriel nodded slowly.

“But you betrayed her.”

“Perhaps princeling” Lou nodded “but she betrayed Paradise and the clue is in the name it is not paradise for anyone now, even her own sons.”

“I don’t really want to admit it but you're right” Gabriel said.

“Now you have some time to get home.” Lou said “I will deal with the Rannin. Don’t stay here too long and don’t use the tunnel”

“But the Brook pass is over two weeks journey.”

“And is the safest route.” Lou said “at least if you're fighting it will be in the open.” Gabriel nodded.

“Thanks” he said

“You’re more than welcome” Lou said gently. “if you need me at any time tell Sylver he should be able to contact me”

“How?” Gabriel asked Lou grinned.

“Magick” he said as he vanished.  

The End

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