“Hello to you too, Cassie,” the other replied, a thin smile appearing on his lips.
“What do you want?”
“The boy. I need him.”
“My nephew has a name, Gabriel. What do you want with him?”
“I need him to come with me.”
Gabriel didn't answer for a moment, his eyes narrow, as if he was unsure whether to say or not. “Samael has fallen ill and it seems unlikely it will get any better before Friday. And Zechariah will have a higher chance of survival with us.”
“Ill? How so? And Zeke's not here at the moment.”
“Then I'll wait until he returns.” He noticeable didn't answer about Sam.
“Gabriel, I know we don't get on, but Sam is my friend and I'd like to know what's wrong with him.”
It was a few moments before an answer came.
“Nalael stabbed him.”
“What?!” Cassius exclaimed, sitting up straighter.
“The blade was coated in the blood of darkness.”
“That's not ill, that's dying!”
Beth's heart lurched suddenly. Sam was dying. She'd only known him a couple of days really (she didn't count meeting him as a child) but he already felt like he was one of her close friends; there was just something about him.
“He's dying?” she asked, her voice slightly shaky.
“He's had this before and he lived through it.”
“Only just! The wound is still open!”
“It will never close. We are doing the best we can to make him comfortable and take away the pain.”
It was already that bad? How? She'd only seen him two and a half hours ago.
Cassius looked shocked, his mouth opening and closing without sound.
“How long? How long do you give him?”
Gabriel studied his face quietly for a second. “A week maximum. I need Zeke to come with us so Sam doesn't have to go anywhere. By Friday, he probably won't be able to walk and he is the only one that can help Zeke through what's going to happen.”
“Why is that?”
“Well it would be him, Nellie or Z. But Z is dead and Nellie is a demon. It's all about genes.”
“Couldn't you? You and Sam are bound together, aren't you?” Desperation began to stain the voice of the usually calm warlock.
Gabriel shook his head. “I can't. I will assist Sam but it has to be him.”
“I don't understand, what's he actually going to do?”
“It’s an ancient and rare ritual that will require Sam's blood to flow through Zeke's veins.”
“And... What will that do to Zeke?” Beth dared to ask.
“That I cannot say. What is supposed to happen is he will become like us, but it could backfire horrifically.”
“And he could die,” Beth finished sadly.
“There has always been that possibility with him. I am surprised he survived past his eighth birthday.”
“And why is that?” Cassius asked.
“Because the vampire beat the warlock. He is incredibly powerful in every aspect of his being. The part of him that is demonic is indeed similar to the demon, Nalael, himself. Waiting, hiding until it can make his mark. He's still the same as he always has been, as he proved today."