“He wants Zeke. It's as simple as that. He wants what Sam has. I don't mean that as in Zeke belongs to Sam, rather that Zeke trusts Sam and will happily meet with him. Nalael has always been less than his brother. When Z was still alive, Nellie was third but Sam has always been better than them. He was always first to be chosen, everyone's favourite. Angels cannot harm angels, which is why he became a demon.”
“He wants to kill me,” Zeke said quietly.
“No, he wants you to acknowledge him as your father. He's always wanted a son. Then when Sam had his children, Nalael felt he had to outdo him. He still does.”
“Sam’s a father?” Cassius asked, frowning.
“In a manner of speaking, yes, though it is not my place to speak of such matters,” Gabriel replied.
Zeke took the letter from Caelan’s hands and read through it silently. He turned it over and frowned at the paper, moving closer to the small fire in the fireplace. The red-orange light shone on his face, accenting the little crease on his brow as he concentrated. Lifting the paper up, the firelight hit the back of it, shining through.
“Where was Sam when you found him?” he asked Gabriel suddenly, his eyes flickering up briefly.
“On the back porch, why?”
“He was alone?”
“Yes. What have you found?”
Zeke placed the letter down and pulled his knife out from the back of his jeans.
“Zeke...” Caelan said, a slight warning tone to his voice. Zeke merely shushed him.
He flattened out the heavy parchment, looking down at it. He slid the blade along his palm, the padded area near his thumb.
Beth could see that Caelan was tense, to stop himself moving towards his new fiancé. He seemed to sense her gaze and looked up, focusing his eyes on her instead. She smiled back comfortingly.
Zeke rubbed his hand over the back of the letter, sitting back on his haunches as he watched the results.
The blood moved. On its own.
Gabriel pushed himself off the mantelpiece, kneeling down next to Zeke.
“You really are just like him...” the angel muttered to himself, the fire reflecting in his red eyes the same way it would a cat’s, making him look otherworldly.
“Just like who?” Zeke asked, looking over at him.
“Your namesake,” was the reply.
Zeke stared at him for a few moments with a frown before it became obvious he wasn’t going to elaborate on his words.
At this point, the blood on the paper had formed shapes. Beth heard Gabriel’s sharp intake of breath as he picked up the letter, standing. Zeke stood too, moving closer to Caelan automatically.