Lou watched as Dawn sat down on the edge of Gabriel's bed his head in his hands beside him the prince was asleep.
“Dawn?” he said quietly Dawn jumped slightly then as Lou came into the light of the candles he relaxed again. Lou looked at Gabriel carefully. “Matron didn’t turn up then?” Dawn shook his head.
“Her son turned up instead.” Dawn sighed.
“He refused didn’t he?” Lou smiled Dawn nodded, “Dawn?” Lou sat down beside his son.
“You’re not happy are you?”
“Can we go somewhere a little more private?” Dawn asked.
“You don’t want Gabriel to know?” Lou whispered standing again.
“I don’t want to wake him up” Dawn replied “or worry him unnecessarily.” Lou nodded and pulled his son up then took his hands.
“Take a deep breath” Lou smiled Dawn did as he was told and they vanished.
Dawn doubled over as a dry heat robbed his lungs of air.
“Take it easy.” Lou said gently a hand on Dawn's back, “it takes a while to get used to.” Dawn straightened up still coughing slightly.
“Where are we?” he asked seeing a lavish but gloomy bedroom.
“Welcome to Hell” Lou smiled Dawn's automatic reaction was to panic.
“I can’t be here.” He cried.
“Why not?” Lou asked gripping his son’s shoulders to keep him still.
“I’ll turn into a daemon.” Dawn shouted.
“nonsense.” Lou smiled. “You’ll be fine.” Dawn felt something inside him stir into life.
“Then why do I feel strange?” he growled.
“Well,” Lou said “it might be because you're expecting something to happen. Either that or it’s because you're half daemon anyway.”
“What?” Dawn snapped.
“I'm not telling you anything until you calm down.” Lou said Dawn stared at him.
“I don’t want to calm down.” He growled.
“Dawn,” Lou gripped harder keeping his son still. “Relax, nothing is going to happen.”
“How do I know that?”
“Please trust me” Lou sighed Dawn took a few deep breaths.
“Okay” he said still breathing deeply “I'm calm.” Lou let go of him.
“alright.” He smiled moving to a couch near the window. “Now what's bothering you?”
“Apart from the fact that I'm in Hell and apparently I'm half daemon?” Dawn almost laughed.
“Your mother was a daemon.” Lou said sadly.
“A daemon” Dawn repeated Lou nodded slowly.
“Sit down.” He said Dawn looked at the couch then in an almost trance like state he sat beside Lou. “I have to go back a little to explain,” Lou said “I was a recon angel, I was sent to Earth to find things out gather information on the humans, that sort of thing.” Dawn nodded. “She was similar, she lived on a different plane, not here, but we met on Earth” suddenly Lou laughed, “I say we met, she tried to kill me, repeatedly. Every time she was on Earth she sought me out.” Lou stopped and Dawn almost forgot his own worries at the look in Lou's brown eyes.
“You loved her?” he asked, Lou smiled and nodded.
“I still do.” he said “we played hide and seek for years, then one day we just stopped and we talked.” Lou frowned. “Don’t ask me why” Lou covered his mouth with his hand for a moment then carried on. “we stole any time we could together, in that time I became man at arms to Aura, we would walk for hours or sit on the beach I never thought it would be anything more than good friends then I kissed her.”
“What was her name?” Dawn asked
“That’s one thing that never came back” Lou sniffed slightly. “I don’t know.” Dawn looked at him horrified.
“Can’t you find out?” he asked Lou looked up at him.
“I've tried every time I think I'm getting close it turns out to be a dead end.”
“Could I look?” Dawn asked “there might be records somewhere.” Lou smiled sadly taking Dawn's hand.
“You’re a good kid” he said “but there are no records I've looked.”
“But…” Dawn frowned.
“No, Dawn” Lou said firmly. “don’t waste your life on this, its over, maybe one day I’ll remember but its possible I've seen her name a thousand times and I would never know.” Dawn nodded slowly. “So what did you want to know?” Lou asked changing the subject quickly.
“I don’t know.” Dawn said he could see Lou was still thinking. “But I now know why I associated you with a burning smell.” Lou laughed.
“the smell of sulphur sticks to everything” Dawn stood up and moved to the small window beside the couch, what he saw shocked him. a vast city lay hundreds of feet below carved out of the stone that made Hell. He looked up and couldn’t see the vast ceiling in the darkness.
“So this is Hell?” he said
“This is it,” Lou smiled moving to Dawn's side.
“Well, one level anyway.”
“Level?” Dawn asked.
“There is the Gaol below and an uninhabitable plane above”
“Why uninhabitable?” Dawn asked looking back down at the city.
“The weather.” Lou said “its insane it goes from over two hundred degrees to minus one hundred every hour.” Dawn nodded. “We tried to find daemons that could cope with it but none could, there are still houses there.” Lou sighed “but no daemons.”
“Cant some of them live on Earth?” Dawn asked Lou looked at him.
“A few already do, but most wouldn’t want to and the rest I would let them go there.”
“Humans are pack creatures, on their own they can be intelligent and rational, get them in a group and they panic and are very dangerous.”
“I wouldn’t mind going to Earth one day.” Dawn said.
“Maybe I will take you one day.” Lou smiled he put a hand on Dawn's shoulder and steered him away form the view of Hell. “Now, what's been bothering you?” Dawn sighed and sat down.