“They've been gone for a while now,” Beth murmured, looking up at the clock.
“Beth, they can look after themselves; they're big boys now,” Cassius chuckled without looking up from his book.
Beth had no idea what it was he was reading but he was practically absorbed in it. It looked old, the leather binding worn and marred with scratches. The owl from the previous night stood watch over the back of his armchair, a black raven standing on the mantelpiece over the fireplace.
“I know they are,” she replied. “Aren't you worried whatsoever? It's been two and a half hours.”
Cassius looked up this time, a small smirk on his face. “No, I'm not worried. I know what Zeke is like, dearest. He'll want to take Caelan back to his apartment.”
“What, why– Oh.” She hadn't thought of that and now that she had she didn't want to think about it. What made the mental images now scarring her mind worse was the fact that she'd walked in on them this morning.
“Exactly. If something had happened, we'd know about it.”
“Yeah...” Beth took a deep breath and forced herself to calm. She sat down on the couch with her hands on her knees.
The living room was quiet for a couple of minutes. Beth watched Cassius silently: his eyes flicked across the words on the page, and he stroked his chin absentmindedly, the stubble there the same yellow as his hair - it looked bizarre with his skin colour, as his other hand supported the ancient book in his lap.
“What are you reading?” she asked curiously.
“It's an old book about the hybrids of angels and warlocks,” he replied distractedly.
“You mean people like Zeke – hybrids – they've happened before?”
“Nothing like Zeke has ever happened before.” He looked up, turning his golden gaze to her. “Zeke is four of the most powerful races in existence. But the dominant ones in him are the warlock and the angel. Which is why I'm reading this, but it's not exactly useful,” he muttered.
“Because they all died before they reached fifteen at least.”
Cassius read a little further, probably finishing the page or paragraph before shutting the book and sighing exasperatedly.
“This is useless. I don't know why I'm bothering, even Sam doesn't know what can happen.”
Beth yelped at the unfamiliar voice, jumping a little at the unexpectedness of it. She looked up to the fireplace. Leaning against it with his arms crossed was a man with royal blue hair and scarlet eyes. His skin was dark, tanned, and his body muscular. The muscles in his arms and chest strained against the thin fabric of his light blue t-shirt. His thighs filled his grey jeans easily. He had a black marking under his left eye, one of lines - straight and curved - and a single dot in the middle. It wasn't entirely dissimilar to Sam's star.
“Gabriel,” Cassius sighed.