chapter xxivMature

The scripture, as everything else, was in Latin and though it took him a while to translate it, he still hadn’t gotten it exactly right.  Gabriel took one glance at the page and told him what it meant in almost an instant.  In other circumstances, he may have felt slighted –having invested so much effort in his translation, but rather than that, he felt some of his (anxiety) diminish.  She was something else, a woman like none he had ever met before.

According to both Gabriel and the book, the most powerful use of the scripture was to carve the words into his arm and cast a blood spell over the fresh wounds.

At first, Graeme had hoped he’d be able to do the carving himself.  He knew it was a ridiculous notion, that the pain of it would eventually outweigh his determination to regain some semblance of control over his life, but he couldn’t help the urge.  He’d been watching his life unravel without having any say over a single instance in it, and that had left a certain kind of damage behind.  Halfway through, the knife slipped from his trembling hand, clattering to the blood-stained tile floor of his bathroom.  Without a word, Gabriel picked it up and resumed the task herself.  One would have thought his nerve endings would have shut down but they never did.  Graeme felt every line, every breach in his skin; he felt it fresh and new and angry with each stroke.

While the wound still bled onto the floor, Gabriel collected it in a bowl and sliced open a spot on her forearm so her blood could mix with his.  He was the least certain about the blood spell aspect of the scripture protection than he was about any of the rest of it, but blood spells weren't exactly something he'd ever encountered before.  The way Gabriel behaved throughout the ordeal was a comfort, she seemed entirely at ease performing the spell and her calmness soothed him.

(Chant)  

Yeah, I just don't have the chant written yet.  They are hard to write, okay?  C'est la vie.

The carved letters on his arm began to burn and glow with a deep golden light.  The pain was harsh and almost crippling, and he had to fight back a scream as it reached an apex of agony before tapering off slowly, cooling down with every beat of his heart.  When the light had dimmed completely, all that remained were the scars of the letters that had been bleeding less than a two minutes before.

Gabriel bandaged his arm up with the same care she’d shown his abdominal injury, but there was no overwhelming chemistry sparking between them.  Graeme couldn’t help but feel like she was pulling herself away from him.  He wanted to draw her back, to show her that it was okay to want what he knew they both wanted, but something stopped him.  As much as he wanted her, maybe it was best if they both looked at things with a clear head.  Maybe what they wanted would weaken them during the oncoming storm.  He could practically feel the looming threats like electrostatic in the air.

Graeme didn’t think Gabriel needed protecting, but she certainly didn’t need to be put even further into danger.  Who knew what would happen to her if someone got word of what she meant to him.  If someone got any ideas about what they could force him to do for her.

The End

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