was a quiet night as it usually was when he was not around. She almost enjoyed
it, not the absence of his company exactly, but that deep silence that was
broken only by the turn of paper. She never had to fear interruption here.
Sometimes, it felt like she was all alone in this place, with the exception of
Marie, who still insisted on making her a breakfast she never ate. Almost
always, it was true. She hadn’t bumped into anyone who actually lived here in
weeks, perhaps months. If she hadn’t known better, she would almost think this
place just collected riff raff that didn’t belong. Perhaps it did. Would make
more sense that way; she sure felt it right now.
Eve had woken early, the moon still hanging in the sky, and with a defeated
sigh, knowing she would not be getting back to sleep any time soon, dragged
herself down the many flights of stairs. Her fingers raised a thin coat of dust
along the banisters as she held on lightly, trying not to tumble in the dark.
Her comforter, which she had wrapped tightly around herself much like a winter
cloak, was not much help either. The silk trim was dragging slightly on the
floor and it was taking all of her concentration on the placement of her bare
feet not to trip. Somehow, as she always did, she reached the large wooden doors
of the manor library, her hand resting lightly upon its engraved surface.
Pushing it open as silently as she could muster, Eve entered the overly large
room, picking up a box on the end table as she walked by.
Her corner of the room was bathed in a soft golden light as she struck a match,
holding it gingerly between her fingertips. She knew she could feel physical
pain now, she was not longer immune to such mortal things, but the healing
process for her was still that much quicker and it didn’t quite hold the power
over her that it should. It was almost worth the scars that might be left to
feel that sort of shocking pain for just a moment. Just one moment when she
would writhe with pain and bite back a scream. The flame danced dangerously near
to her skin; she could feel its heat, its promise. She flicked her wrist just as
the fire licked at her nails, sending it tumbling into a small bowl of oil,
where it promptly burst into flame. She watched the light dart about in a sort
of wistful way; it’s dancing illuminated on the wall beyond it, comforting in
the way it just illuminated the titles of the books. She scanned the spines,
finally settling on something that looked reasonably entertaining, and pulled it
from the shelves. Her soul ached to be airborne again as her feet touched the
cold hard-wood floor, but she pushed these thoughts roughly aside, turning
towards the window seat. It proved to be just as comfortable as it looked
inviting. She gently rested the back of her head against the wall, gazing
towards the moon, as if trying to figure out the meanings of all life itself. In
fact, she probably was. The book sat open on her lap, her palm pressed to their
brittle words like she could soak them through her skin. Her toes curled as a
tremor passed through her very slender being. The fire rose dangerously high and
a howling sort of music filled the room.
“Fate, quit it. Your spiffy entrances have no affect on me anymore.”
A slight pop
quirked in Everith’s ears and suddenly Fate was standing just to the left of
her, in all her God-like glory. Her garb was beautiful but impractical; long
folds of silks and draperies in the shades of a winter sunset; her feet clad in
elaborate sandals that twisted up beautifully toned calves. As Eve met her eyes,
she realized that they must have been specially fashioned to match the intricate
circlet that wound about her hair and scalp, ending with a single red gem in the
exact center of her forehead. She wasn’t human, wasn’t even really a creature,
but rather a spirit that seemed to just Be. Her hair, long and golden, blew
about her face with a non-existent wind that she had probably conjured up just
for this occasion. Piercing full lips into a narrowed line, Fate folded her
arms, regarding Everith crossly.
“You are not
returning my calls.”
“I do not answer
to creepy little demon things, thank you.”
“Oh that was just
for fun, don’t be a stick. I meant the real calls.”
Those are not calls, Fate. They’re letters. Hence the word letters. Calls are
for the telephone.”
“Don’t you get
cranky with me. If anyone should be cranky with anyone, it’s I with you and
certainly no different,” Fate scolded, stamping a foot.
“Right, I keep
forgetting. Harassing people is considered all part of your daily schedule.”
“Only if they’re
cute and happen to come with certain parts.”
snapping her book shut. “What would you like, Fate? I’m reading.”
“You are not.
You’re gazing out the window with this very pained expression on your face,
wondering if turning me down was the right thing to do. Which is wasn’t, in case
you’re unsure about your conclusion.”
her eyes dangerously, trying to mask the horror in Fate’s statement being true.
She had not been trying to think such things, its just that it was late and . .
. No matter.
“Even if I was, I
assure you, my conclusion would never be that I had been wrong in the first
Fate shook her
head, amused. “You may be brilliant in endless situations, but when it comes to
your own life, you’re not the shiniest penny in the well. I give you brownie
points for your book knowledge and people skills, but I’m going to have to take
off major style points when it comes to your having no clue what to do in your
own life. Just look at . . . “
“Excuse me, I
happen to have . . . “ Eve cut off.
commanded, pointing a perfectly manicured finger between Everith’s eyes.
When she had silenced, she continued, “Just look at what happened with the
Seattle Hunt. You could have taken over that whole situation and you know it.
Hell, you could have been the Mistress of the Hunt, had you really wanted to!”
“But I didn’t
want to. Besides, look back on it now. Isn’t it better that I didn’t fall for
Archer anyway? I’d always been wondering if he liked me because of the fact that
I appeared that I couldn’t take care of myself and would feel tempted to wear
scarves in an attempt to get attention.”
“Shut up about
her already. No one cares, and she’s not worth my or your words. Back on my more
important topic, think how much fun he would have been to toy with . . . ” Fate
trailed off dreamily, twirling a long piece of her hair around her finger.
“Hey! No sexual
fantasies about the Master around me please! Creepy? Yes?”
“And speaking of
sexual fantasies!” Fate nearly screamed, snapping out of where ever she went to
think of elf men, “What is with you and the kid? Darling, he’s cute, but he’s
not that cute! And it’s not like he’s even worth staying around for the sex. He
probably screws like . . . urgh. I can’t even think of something awful enough,
and that’s really saying a lot.”
Everith let out a
shriek, throwing her book violently at Fate’s perfect figure. She disappeared,
reappearing just a moment later, giving Eve an odd look, as if expecting her
grow into some kind of hell demon. No one threw books at Fate on purpose.
“Did you bother
to think for one, single moment out of your stupid, pathetic life, that maybe I
love him? Did you?!”
Fate rolled her
eyes, shaking her head slowly. “Darling, people like you and me don’t love.”
“No, people like
you don’t love. Stop mistaking me for you.”
“You are me,
Angel. Hate to break it to you. We do not love.”
“What the hell
are you talking about? I don’t have time for your riddles,” Eve spat crossly.
“We are immortal.
He is not. We will live forever. He will not. He will die, and you will be left
all alone. All alone, for the rest of your days, wishing you could just kill
yourself. Get it over with. You will wish that you had never loved him even
once, for the pain you will have to go through without him will be unbearable.
It will eat at you every single day of your existence, and that, is for forever.
It’s not that we can not love, it’s that we don’t. We just don’t.”
Eve froze, her
muscles tensing to the point of cramping. Their eyes held, and she saw the truth
behind her tale, the hidden message. Fate tenderly stroked Everith’s cheek in a
loving way, her thumb moving along the high bones with such raw emotion she felt
a pressure behind her eyes. She bent down, smoothing back Eve’s long black
tendrils, to kiss her forehead. Standing up, her eyes were soft, sparkling on
the verge of tears.
“Think about it.”
The fire spit
angrily and died, and once more, Everith was left in the dark.