“When did you wake up?” she asked.
“I’ve not been to sleep.”
Zeke only shrugged in response. Beth followed his gaze to the TV, realising he was playing a game. She watched the man darting about the screen, with a pair of pistols and sword that became a scythe or a hammer.
“Why haven’t you been to sleep yet?” she asked him again.
“Because – damn you, demons – the longer I stay up, the more tired I get, the deeper I sleep when I actually get round to it.”
“Why does that matter?” He didn’t reply. “The nightmares?”
He nodded slowly. “It makes them not as bad, or makes them go away completely. Most nights I’ll go to the lab and just fiddle with chemicals if I don’t have anything to do.”
“Has there ever been a time when they weren’t too bad?” He didn’t reply again, but he did look over at her very briefly. “Has there?”
“Yes,” he murmured.
“When was that?”
“When I was with the Covenant.”
Beth almost gasped in surprise. “Really?”
He nodded silently.
She watched him play for a little while, unsure of what to say. After a while, another question popped into her mind:
“Who is the guy that rang earlier, the one Lilac told you about?”
Upon hearing her, he immediately paused his game and looked at her.
“You really want to know that?” he asked after a minute.
She hesitated before nodding slowly. Zeke sighed, running a hand through his hair.
“Jordan isn’t my father.”
“What do you mean?” Beth asked, confused.
“My mother was a warlock. Warlocks can’t be impregnated by vampires. Not in the... usual way. I’m only a very tiny part vampire, but it’s enough to make me need blood. Thing is though, it’s so little that I want it extremely rarely; I have to pretend to feed a lot of the time, so I don’t have to explain.”
“What does this have to do with that guy?”
“It’s all part of the story. I was an experiment; my mother cast a spell while she was pregnant with me, mixing Jordan’s blood in her veins. He’s not really my dad.”
“Did he tell you?”
“He doesn’t know.”
“What?” she almost exclaimed, making Caelan stir between them.
“He doesn’t know,” he repeated.
“Mother asked me not to tell him.”
“Then who is your dad?”
“That’s the thing: I have two.”
“Magic, literally. Mother slept with two different men and allowed them both to father the same child. It’s incredibly complicated.”
To be honest, it was making Beth’s head hurt, just thinking about it.
“Okay...” she trailed, trying to comprehend it.
“I don’t blame you if you don’t believe me.”
“I do! I’m just... trying to get my head around it.” She thought about it a little more before nodding. “I think I get it. So, who are they?”
“One is Samael. One of Storm’s friends.”
“I’ve met him. A fallen angel?”
“That makes things easier. He’s still an angel in technicalities; the gods just don’t want him serving them. The other is Nalael. A demon.”