Gabriel followed Dawn down winding stairs and long corridors. All of the walls around the enormous palace were panelled in dark wood making the corridors seem narrow and dim to Gabriel as he walked. Lou didn’t look up as he finished wrapping a clean linen bandage around Rossier's ankle. The injured daemon was awake but dizzy and disoriented.
“How are you?” Dawn asked moving to Rossier's side.
“Not bad” the daemon said “I think the painkillers help though” Dawn smiled as Rossier looked down to the end of the bed spotting Gabriel. “hey gorgeous.” He slurred.
“Any spare bandage Lou?” Gabriel asked Lou shot him a questioning look. “You missed a bit.” Gabriel moved up to Dawn's side and pointed at the daemons mouth. “Just there.” Lou sniggered as Rossier laughed painfully.
“I have to say, Gabriel.” Lou said going back to his work. “As dry as it is, your sense of humour has improved.”
“So what did you want us for?” Dawn asked.
“Take a seat,” Lou said “I'm almost done.”
Gabriel looked around the large room frowning as he saw a screen blocking half of the room from view.
“Gabriel.” Dawn called as the vampyre moved towards it he looked back and Dawn shook his head.
“I think Dawn's right,” Lou said as he washed his hands. “I don’t think now is the right time for you to see that.”
“What’s there?” the vampyre asked.
“Well,” Lou moved to Dawn “shirt please.” He said “what happens sometimes in a daemons life, is that we live so long it gets too much.” Dawn pulled his shirt off and Gabriel saw the injury to his shoulder had almost healed. “And…”
“Hang on.” Gabriel growled “how is that almost gone?” Lou looked at him in confusion.
“We were waiting for you quite a while.” Dawn said “almost a week in fact.”
“A week?” Gabriel cried not believing the daemon.
“Time here runs faster than any other plane.” Lou said as he began the slow process of removing the stitches from Dawn's shoulder.
“Okay” Gabriel said still confused he sat down beside Dawn.
“As I was saying.” Lou smiled. “a daemon can live for a long time and sometimes they need a break, their spirit leaves and their body stays.”
“So they're dead?” Gabriel asked.
“More asleep.” Lou corrected moving to wash his hands again. “So they stay here where I can look after them. Obviously someone else has taken over the job since I've been gone.”
“How have you been gone so long and no ones taken over?” Gabriel asked Dawn looked up with interest at this.
“I have a system in place, there are shapeshifters on my council.”
“So they pose as you?” Gabriel asked.
“Exactly.” Lou smiled. “Now, shirt off.” Gabriel frowned as he realized why Lou had called him down here.
“I'm fine.” He growled, Lou sighed exasperatedly.
“At least let me look, you're bleeding through your shirt.”
“I said no.” Gabriel stood up moving to leave he felt Lou's hand grip his shoulder and he stopped. “Get off me.” He said quietly.
“Gabriel, everyone in this room has seen your scars.”
“That doesn’t mean I want them on show.” The vampyre snapped.
“They wont be” Lou said carefully watching the vampyres movements ready to move away. “I don’t want you to strip I just need your shirt undone so I can see.” Gabriel turned to look at him and Lou saw something strange in the vampyres expression.
“Fine,” he said dully “but no stitches or pulling me about.”
“Deal” Lou smiled hiding his worry from the two of them.