My cell beeped me awake, and I reached over and grabbed it blindly. “What in the bloody blue blazes do you want at this godforsaken time of night?” I snapped into the phone, and froze as a familiar voice breathed through the receiver. “Shade.” I sat bolt upright, leaping out of bed and throwing on a pair of pants. “Spicer!” I yelped, and she laughed. “It’s Trent now.” She said, and I smiled. “Not to me, hot stuff. Whatcha need?” She hesitated, and I could almost see her pretty face deliberating. “I need to get out. I got a friend and three dogs with me. Can you work it?” I groaned. “King and his Cronies, Trent! And a Partridge in a Pear Tree!” I said, and she just waited. I did a mental inventory. “Yeah, I can swing that. I’m gettin’ out too, you can come with me. Is this friend…. Special?” I asked guardedly; I needed to know how hard this was going to be. “I was assigned him and he’s not dead.” She said simply, and I cursed. “All right. Meet me at Pier twenty-nine, tonight. You remember?” I said, and she laughed. “How could I forget. I’ll be there. Thanks, Shade.” She said, a tone of gratitude entered in with her voice, and I almost pulled the phone away from my ear to stare at it. Spicer never thanked anybody. “Don’t mention it. Literally.” I said, to cover my shock. “Wouldn’t for the world, Shade. I know the way the Sword swings.” I laughed, and she joined in with me. “Lookin’ forward to it, darlin’ Spice. See you soon.” I said, and she hung up. There was no sleeping now, I had work to do.

I threw on a black tee, and a vest with a hood that could hide my face. I did just that, and slid out the door, taking my rounds and getting all I needed. Ireland was the only place without a King; That’s were we would be headed. I got the tickets, and then traded them with half a dozen people to make sure King couldn’t catch my scent. I was the one person he could never get, though not for lack of trying. I got dog carriers, because I knew Spicer would never think of it. While we hopped on a ship, they would be inside the dog carriers, as our carry on. I thought about my Spicer and her abilities, and remembered that I never told her my own, though she had told me about hers. I wondered about this Prince Charming that survived through Spicer’s assignment; did he have power? Only time would tell. I could move things without touching them, and I could change the atoms of small objects to make them as good as a bomb. I went back to my room to get ready.

I washed out the spay-on black dye that I wore daily so that no one would recognize me, and my shiny copper-red hair gleamed. I threw on some black short-shorts, and a black tank top. The short-shorts are weird, but you can move in them pretty good, the only reason I need to wear them. I took off the spray tan, revealing my baby-pale skin that was almost painfully bright to look at in the sun. Finally I took out my blue contacts to reveal my vivid flame-red eyes, courtesy of my parents. This was something Spicer had never seen; I hoped she would take in stride.

At eight o’ clock I sat waiting for my precious Spicer and her Prince. I picked up her essence on the wind immediately, and leapt up. She ran up to me, and I opened my arms wide as she slammed into me. “Shade!” She cried, and I squeezed her. “Hey, Spicer. Where’s your little- you.” I said, my voice taking on a hateful tone. I released Spice to draw blade. “Cotton.” I snarled, flipping my sword around, sneering. “I’m going to enjoy killing you.” I said, and Spicer cried out. “No, Shade! Don’t do it, please!” She yelled, and I lowered the blade a fraction of an inch to look at her. “Don’t kill him? The bastard who killed my cat?” I said, softly and then growing in volume. “He killed the only thing I had from my life before I disappeared, and why? Because I wouldn’t keep her in. She went on his porch, and he shot her!” I screamed. Fairy, my little kitten. She was so little, and she was about three years old. And the sonovabitch killed her. “Fairy’s dead?” She whispered, and I nodded, fighting the urge to start sobbing. “She is, and he killed her!” I quavered, and I knew I was close to the edge. So damn close, I wasn’t sure I hadn’t already crossed it. I didn't mention I have a temper, did I? “Listen to me, Shade. What he did was wrong, but he doesn’t need to die. No more blood, Shade. Not today.” She said soothingly, and I dropped my blade and my legs buckled. I took a last deep drink of her smell, and I looked up into the eyes of the hated man. “Cotton, you stay the fuck away from me, or you’re liable to get blown up.” I said, and he looked puzzled. I plucked a hair off my head and rearranged a little. Then I threw it at his feet. It exploded into flame with a pop, and he scrambled away. “Like I fucking said.” I snarled, and slouched as I walked away, to the waiting boat. I found it surprising that Spicer stayed with me; I would think she would take her love over her old friend. But she had loved Fairy too, so maybe she was angry with him. The thought made me happier than it should have. I jumped to the roof of the captain’s quarters. I looked over the sea as we set off, and I didn’t do anything when she joined me.

“I’m sorry.” I said after awhile, without looking at her. I didn’t have to. If she were sane she would be very angry with me for threatening the life of her love. The thought lay like acid on my mind. He was the one she had chosen, of all people. “Why?” she said, and I turned my head, eyebrows raised, to stare at her. “Why? Because I threatened your little lover. I should not have lost my temper.” I said, and it was true. I had let my emotions rule instead of my head. “Oh, Shade. You have misunderstood. He is not my lover; he is my friend.” I looked back in front of me again and smiled, although I had no reason to be happy about that. No reason at all. “Why do you not have a lover?” I asked, trying for nonchalant and failing miserably. “Because you are being an idiot.” She said, and my head whipped around just in time for her to catch my lips with her own. My hand moved to the back of her neck, and pulled her closer. I deepened it, and she tasted like sunshine and strawberries. I broke away, looked into her eyes for a moment, and read her shock at their color.

I leapt off the roof in one smooth motion, and ended up pressing myself against the side of the boat. Little wet, and hella hard to hang on, but I could use my telekinesis if all else failed. And I could think in relative peace, the main objective. I loved my Spicer, I knew that, although I had liked to think of her as more of a little sister, but I realized that I hadn’t thought of her like that for a good long time, probably ‘round about three years. When had I started thinking of her as my Spicer, instead of just Spicer? What had caused me to make that change? When had she decided that I was the one for her? When had I agreed? So many questions, and not one answer amongst the lot. Just questions that lead to more questions. I took my hand off the slick steel to rub my face, and promptly fell into the water. I launched into motion and rose into the air, focusing on getting on the deck. I overshot, and ended up on the roof of the captains quarters again. I dropped like a rock the last couple feet, breathing hard and coughing up blood. I had used too much; I had started to drain my life away. It would replenish in time; as long as I kept to small stuff for a few days.

As I hacked up my lungs, I had an epiphany. I was, well and truly, an idiot. Who gives a shit about all my questions? I loved Spicer, and she loved me, and I could go to hell for it if I had to, and I would a happy fucking camper while I rode in the hand-basket. And I would pester the demon the held said basket to boot. I grinned as it ran through my head, stumbled to my feet, took a step, and fell off the roof. I let loose a few colorful words that shocked even the sailors into staring at me as I rolled to my feet. I stalked off to the room that had been given our party, and found myself slammed against a wall the instant I shut the door.

Arvad had me pinned at the throat, and I wheezed as he pushed on my wind pipe. “I don’t want to hurt you, boy. Don’t push me.” I managed, and he pressed hard enough that I lost my temper and exploded a fingernail into flames. He yelled and dropped me to the floor, where I forced my nose to bleed by going through a power overload again. I lifted him up to hover in the air, and he screamed and thrashed, accomplishing exactly nil. “Calm down, boyo. Mind telling me why you attacked me?” I said, and he snarled wordlessly. I didn’t move, and he finally he lashed out in a rush. “She is mine. We have the same power, she should love me.” He howled, and I snorted. “You listen to me, kid. I didn’t ask for her affections. She gave them of her own will.” I said, dropping into formality. “You hellspawn scum! Half-breed abomination!” he screamed, lost in rage. I dropped him; I couldn’t hold the power any more without killing myself. I walked over and put a foot on his chest. “That’s true; I am sraointe. My mother was daemon, my father was daemon. I am not. I am Fallen. I teann for my Spicer; I fell for her, and there is nothing you can do about it.” I jibed, and kicked him viciously. He grunted, trying to lift one of his limbs. After going antigravity for a while, it took time to get used to the force on you again. I stared into his chocolate brown eyes with my own blood red ones. True demons eyes are fire red; a sraointe’s are darker, blood red. Sraointe meant simply Fallen, a daemon who has changed his loyalty from hell to a certain human. I had Fallen for Spicer, my own dear Spice. Teann meant both fall, and begin. I wondered if the telltale mark on her lower back had appeared as of yet, marking her as my ionmhuinn, my beloved. It would look like a scar, a circle set with a flaming arrow in its center. It would never fade; not as long as I was alive. If I died, she would know; my mark would disappear as if it were never there. I removed my foot, finally, and he surged to his feet faster than I anticipated. “You hellbreed scum!” he repeated, and I rolled my eyes. I could smell Spicer behind me, but he wasn’t yet aware of her. “She should be mine! A demon freak doesn’t deserve her!” I growled, feral. “I’m am no longer daemon, boy! I am sraointe!” I snapped. “Whatever. You aren’t human. You deserve to die.” I sniffed. “You condemn yourself.” I pointed out. “I’m human! I’m just a special type. You weren’t even born on earth. Go run back to mommy so she can torture you again.” He growled, and I nearly hit him again. “Haven’t I burned enough of you away? Do you really want to tempt me?” I threatened. “Yeah, right. I have your True name, Shade. Or should I say Katis?” I slammed him up against the wall. “That name should never rip a hole in your thin air. Where did you get it, I wonder? From Tallow? She would do that. Who did you sacrifice, Arvad? It had to be close blood relative. A mother? A sister? A daughter, perhaps?” He squirmed under my firm grip. “It was Tallow, of course you know who she demands! She was dying anyway. I just used it!” He cried. “Your own mother. You disgust me.” I said simply, releasing him. I heard a sharp breath from behind me. His eyes jerked to the girl at my back. “You bastard! You knew she was there!” He accused. “Yes, I did.”

“Shade.” Her voice demanded my attention. “When I was younger, and you told me there were only human demons. No monsters in the closet. No bogeyman.” She felt betrayed. I understood. “I lied. There was nothing there that I couldn’t handle. I wanted to preserve your childhood. Make it happy.” She shook her head, nearly crying. “I was never a child.” I nodded. “I know. There are no words. I’m sorry.” Her anger kicked in through her shock, and I could see it in her eyes. She didn’t want to see me, now or ever again. I had lied to her in her weakest days; as a child. She couldn’t forgive that. “Once we get off this ship, you will never see me again.” I walked to the door, my hand on the latch. A tear fell, to sizzle on the carpet, making a small burn mark. “You won’t see me again for the rest of the voyage. Spicer...If you ever are in need of me, if you are ever in danger, simply call my name. I will hear it. And I will come.” Arvad spat at my feet. “Get out of here, demon.” I shook my head in sorrow. “Sraointe. Not daemon. Sraointe.” They didn’t see me, nor any of my things, for the rest of the voyage. And when they got off the ship, Spicer never saw me watch her walking away from me.

The End

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