Chapter 8 (PArt Two - Toward Persephone)

When Greaves awoke the conversation had elevated to more jovial matters such as music and sport.  Both Angel and Demon spoke of their childhood and their parts in the war.  Now they were exhausted with being so serious.  It was somewhere around their eighth cup of tea when they both heard a groan from the living room.

Emanuelle and Belial walked briskly in to where Greaves was left sleeping to find the scrawny, bespectacled angel sitting upright displaying an evident agony.

"My shoulder, it hurts.  Oh my god are we in a prison?"  Greaves looked wildly around him not recognising his surroundings.  The pain had disoriented him severely and his vision double and slid slowly back into focus, then swiftly back into double mode.

"Not a prison.  Earth. Very similar only better beverages."  Emanuelle sat next to Greaves as she spoke softly cradling him for comfort.

"We got out then?"  His voice sounded like it should stammer with it's weedy tone.  "Oh my god I hurt Belial."  Greaves face became a picture of flushed horror.

"Ah so it was you with the stone then.  I'm fine just a little bruised."  Belial remained standing by the paper white doorway, one arm raised high on the frame and the other limply by his side.

"You...you're a madman.  You leapt from...how...what were you thinking?"  Greaves was collecting himself, his memories slowly coming together piece by piece.

"I was thinking that I had better save you and your sister from being slaughtered.  You're welcome by the way, it was nothing."  Belial stifled a snigger.  There was something about the skinny Angel tht was instantly likeable.  In these few brief exchanges it was obvious that there was no threat posed here.  "You are a scholar of the Cherubim aren't you?"

"I am yes, top of my class and destinde for success.  Well at least I was."

"So with your infinite intelligence, why on earth did you and your sister pursue me.  Such a foolish thing to do."  Belial moved from the doorway and sat on an identical green leather couch opposite the embracing pair.  Emanuelle shot Belial a contemptuous look, a message of distaste barely veiled in her mind.

"In hindsight I believe you may be correct.  My sister insisted that she would go, so as her older brother I figured it was my duty to protect her."

"Protect me?  You foolish goat, I can manage myself."

"Listen dearest I kow that...what is that smell?"

"That would be tea I have just made a pot, you want some?"  Belial moved back into the kitchen.  Amusing as the situation seemed for the moment, it would come back to light that he was lumbered with two Angels both relatively new to the war and neither ready for a bloody onslaught when Heaven and Hell emptied their barracks.  He paused before the sanguine green ceramic pot of tea and felt a deep sorrow.

The sorrow began in his stomach when he first thought of Aamon and his actions.  Creeping up into his diaphragm when he thought of Timon.  His sternum ached when he thought of Aim and his actions at the trial.  Swiftly into his throat as he remembered the loyalty of the fallen, and out of his mouth in a little cry when he thought of the future.  The arguing animatedly about the whys and wherefores of circumstances, and how such an infernal bore Greaves was.

Belial listened vacantly, he remembered his own fights with his brother.  He omitted his brother from his story to Emanuelle, but hey, there had been enough to swallow.  That is how the story of his past felt, like a large serrated tablet of woe.  It cuts your throat from the inside and makes you want to be sick.  Sharing this sensation with others made it worse for him, for dragging up the past was akin to dragging acidic bile from the pit of your own stomach.

Belial needed sleep, he had six hours before going back to Northampton to meet with the fallen again.  He had to get rid of the car and find another one before that time.  He needed to eat, he needed to cry, he needed to thump his hand as hard as he can into a solid brick wall.  Intead he made three cups of tea.

He hadn't realised that Emanuelle and Greaves had stopped talking, nor had he realised that she was behind him watching him intently with a piercing stare of wonder.

"What are you doing?  Boiling the water by candle?"  Belial spun around and smiled.

"No just thinking."

"About what?"

"About me needing to go back to Northampton to meet with the others in a few hours."

"I'll come with you.  You may need the support of a friend."

"They are my friends."  Belial dropped his eyes to the floor and whispered something unintelligible.

"I'll still come with you.  They may have a plan."

"Then the plan wont include you Emanuelle.  Look, it's not that you have outstayed your welcome, but I can't babysit you and the clown in there all day, all week for the rest of your lives."  Belial turned back to the counter and picked up his tea taking a sip his mind began to spin a little with exhaustion.

"This isn't babysitting.  The three of us fought Gabriel and his hoodlums yesterday if I remember rightly."  Belial made to say something but was swiftly cut up.
"Now you listen to me, Mr 'hero of the hour' I distinctly remember that if I hadn't clubbed mr Nasty Chops with the big sword with a rock yesterday, you would probably be a demon burger by now.  Whether you like it or not, you have to suffer our company today, we are all going Northampton."  Belial found himself liking the tone of her voice, the aggression and sarcasm really suited her.

"Greaves is staying here to recuperate for definite, there is no way I am taking him out until he is fit.  What happens if another attack occurs, what is Coco the clown going to hit them with?  A custard pie?  Or will he hit me with it?"  As emanuelle spoke it was Belials turn to cut her up as he found his pace.

"You maybe able to handle yoruself to an extent, but your protective big brother less chance against a kitten.  I am not lumbering myself with the walking wounded answer to Spongebob Squarepants."  Emanuelles face became one of confounded amusement.

"Sponge...?"

"Spongebob Squarepants, he's a human childrens cartoon character."  Belial lost his ground.  "Look if you must come then fine, get a wash, do your hair and then scout around for a suitable car.  I will not let Greaves attend this meeting until I know I can trust him."

"So you trust me then?"

"You tell me, do I have a choice in the matter?"

Emanuelle smiled and left the room.  Belial was angry with himself for giving in so quickly, angry but amused.
The End

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