“Lewis” Gabriel said slowly, the blade pressed deeper. “Lewis, it’s me Gabriel.” Gabriel felt a bead of blood drip down his neck.

“Gabriel's dead”

“Actually Lewis I’m very much alive.” Gabriel said,

“Really?” Lewis still didn’t believe him. he lit the candle beside him, the blade not moving, “turn around” the angel moved the blade away from Gabriel's neck slightly allowing him to turn. Brown eyes met blue and Lewis studied him for a moment then he lowered the knife. Gabriel smiled slightly,

“Hello” he said quietly, Lewis still looked suspicious. “Did you want to put some clothes on?” Gabriel asked, Lewis looked away form him for the first time and realized, having got out of bed at the sound of the ladder being removed from the wall, he didn’t have a stitch on his body. Gabriel turned his back giving Lewis a little dignity as the angel pulled on a pair of trousers.

Gabriel turned as a hand lay on his shoulder, Lewis smiled at him.

“I still can’t believe that its you” he said quietly, “you look so different” he frowned “but you look the same too” he seemed to be a little confused, Gabriel pulled his cigarettes out, he offered one to Lewis.

“No thanks” he pulled a pouch of rolling tobacco from his bedside drawer and sat down heavily on the bed.

“Are you alright?” Gabriel perched on the chair near the end of the bed, Lewis nodded

“You’ve been gone for over forty years Gabriel” he said slowly,

“Has it been that long up here?” Gabriel mused leaning forward to flick his ash into the ashtray beside the bed. “It’s only been around four weeks in the midway” he  looked thoughtful, he never had asked dawn about the time difference, then again he hadn’t asked dawn about a lot of things. He frowned, his thoughts trailing into his own little world.

“Gabriel?” Lewis said Gabriel looked at him as if he’d forgotten the angel was there.

“Yes?” Gabriel sounded vague.

“Why are you here?” Lewis lit another roll up, his first already gone.

“Why?” Gabriel frowned, “I actually have no idea” he realized, Lewis laughed a nice sound that bought back late nights of cards and even games of chess with the angel in front of him. Lewis had watched Gabriel grow up and even now, Lewis hadn’t changed. Gabriel watched him move, then his face dropped.

“Lewis” he growled, the angel blanched at the eyes that burned into him,

“What?” the angel looked at him strangely

“Turn around” Gabriel said not sure that his eyes had seen what he thought they had, the angel frowned at him, then did as he was told. Two deep scars ran across Lewis’ back.

“what happened?” Gabriel asked trying to keep his voice calm, he could see he’d unnerved the angel.

“well,” Lewis laughed bitterly, sitting back down. “I’m not working in the palace any more” Gabriel waited, lighting another cigarette “I was one of the lucky ones, all I got was a beating” he sighed “most of the others didn’t live” Gabriel stood and walked away from him, the cigarette forgotten in his hand. His blood boiled and he frowned as his stomach clenched painfully, he had to feed soon his temper was using up what was left of his blood supply.

“you mean they were exiled?” he turned back to the angel on the bed,

“no, auras rule was that anyone associated with you or your brothers had a beating from the ‘loyal’ guards and two lashes from her.” Lewis sighed, “Unfortunately, most of them hadn’t healed before they reached her they died from blood loss mostly” he looked at the floor Gabriel didn’t know what to do with himself. He was shaking his adrenaline playing havoc with his body.

The End

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