“What is it?” Cassius asked.
It was a few moments before Gabriel replied. “This is script. The language of the gods and their ilk.”
“I don’t understand,” Zeke murmured.
“The language of angels. Signed by Sam. But that doesn’t make sense...”
“He didn’t tell you anything about this?” Zeke asked.
“He’s been in and out of consciousness. Anything he has said hasn’t made any sense. He woke for a little while and thought I was his first lover.”
“Is he gay?” Beth blurted out, covering her mouth the moment she’d said it. Brain to mouth filter on!
“The correct term I believe is pansexual,” Gabriel replied without looking up at her – for which she was very grateful; it gave her a chance for her embarrassed blush to go down. “All angels are. The ideology of love in the opinions of our gods is that love is love and that is that; gender, race, any of that, it doesn’t matter.”
“Try telling that to the majority of vampires,” Caelan muttered.
“It’s unfair, I know,” Gabriel looked up at him. “Of course, in angelic society it means that incest is relatively acceptable.”
“What?” Beth asked, frowning. “Really?”
“Yes. Let’s just say that Nalael is one fucked up bastard.”
“Sam or Z?” Cassius asked.
“Z. He tried to kill himself afterwards. Of course, the rule ‘no angel can harm an angel’ applies to self-harm. Doesn’t stop a lot of them trying. Anyway, this is definitely from Sam, this note on the letter.”
Drawn back to the original topic, Beth concentrated on what he was going to say.
“What does it say?” Zeke asked.
“‘It was Conrad.’ Does that mean anything to you?”
“You’re sure it says Conrad?” Zeke demanded. “Positive?”
“I can read a language I helped to create, Zechariah, yes.”
Zeke’s eyes locked onto Cassius’ and the two just stared at each other for a bit.
“They’ve joined forces. Him and Nalael,” Zeke whispered, disbelieving.
“Conrad? Isn’t he the one that...?” Beth glanced up at Caelan as she trailed off.
“Yeah...” Zeke ran a hand through his hair, getting blood in it from his palm, which he hadn’t closed.
“I don’t understand,” Caelan said, glancing between them.
“Who is Conrad?” Gabriel asked.
“An old enemy,” Zeke replied.
“Then they have a common goal: you.”
“Kind of. Conrad, he... He wants to kill Caelan.”
Caelan stared at him in shock, his mouth a little open in surprise.
“Then he needs to come with us,” Gabriel said immediately.
“I’m not leaving Beth behind,” Zeke responded sharply. “I won’t.”
“Sam trusts her, that’s enough for me. She’ll come too if she wants.”
“I want to go,” she said.
“We should go as soon as possible.”
“Wait,” Cassius interrupted, standing and hurrying out to his work area. He quickly searched through the shelves on one wall. He found what he was looking for, grabbing the jar, returning. He shoved it into Gabriel’s hand. “Give that to Sam. It’s the strongest painkiller I have, and a sedative. Zeke will know what to do with it.”
“I will?” Zeke asked him.
“You’re a doctor, you’ll work it out.”