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Four years ago, the vampire Malvient slaughtered Charles Demitrov and his daughter Mika, and left his wife, Angelika, for dead as the house burned to the ground. Instead of being found by death, however, Angelika was turned into a vampire by Michael, a wanderer who was drawn to the horrible slaughter by the flames. Now, fully healed and determined to get revenge for the brutal murder of her husband and child, Angelika hunts down Malvient with clever, loyal Michael. And there is no sea wide, no moutain tall, no cevasse deep enough to save Malvient from Angelika's vengeance.
Hell Hath no Wrath like a Woman.


Submitted:Jan 1, 2010    Reads: 170    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   


"The american people are slow to wrath, but when we do, that wrath burns like an all-consuming flame."

-Teddy Roosevelt

Angelika was dying in flame and blood. The bodies of her slaughtered husband and daughter were strewn on the ground like discarded play-things. Angelika used the last of her strength to slam a bat into their murderer's head, but he simply batted the thing away like a tiger bats away a kitten. The weapon flew from her grasp, and he grabbed her arm, twisting it cruelly and shattering it. Angelika screamed, but it was not a scream of pain. It was a scream of hate, of frustration that she could not take her family's killer with her to the grave. Her eyes reflected such hate as seldom a mortal creature has ever seen, such that it even chilled the vampire, ever so slightly. He stared into her hate burning eyes, waiting for her to die, but even as her body faded, those hate-burning eyes remained on his face. He twisted his bloodstained mouth into a cruel smile. "Such a fighter. Such spirit I would never have expected of a mortal, much less a housewife. What a warrior you would make. A pity I can't change you. You would make an excellent vampire." Angelika glared at him, and snarled with what little breath she had left as her lungs filled slowly with blood. "Buh-buh-burn in hell-l, vuh-vuh-vampire-er." She snarled. The words stammered, but the tone did not. The vampire sneered at the dying woman. "Ladies first," He snarled, and left Angelika to die as the house burned down. Angelika felt her lungs fill slowly with blood. She refused to fade, refused to surrender. Even so, her consciousness slowly faded out, failing her just as her body had failed her. She lay there, waiting for death, though she fought it with every ounce of will she had.
But it was not death that found Angelika that bloodstained night.
~~~~Four Years Later
Angelika sat on the cafe table, watching the city. She could barely contain her excitement. They'd finally found him. After years of searching, she'd tracked him here. She was finally about to get her revenge. She turned to the sable-brown haired man balancing two coffees and doughnuts on a tray. He was skinny and tall, looking much like a gold-eyed scarecrow. Or a beanpole. "C'mon, Mitch! Hurry, will you?" Michael rolled his eyes. "He's not going to run while we drink our coffee, Ang, so take a chill pill. It's been four years, you can wait four minutes." Angelika made an impatient sound. "I'm tired of waiting, Mitch. Let's go after him now, forget the coffee." She pushed eagerly, eyes fever bright with excitement. Michael sighed. "Not that simple, Ang. He's strong. He'll tear you to pieces. Like last time." Michael reminded her. Angelika ground her teeth together at the memory. "It's different now," She snarled. "I'm a vampire now. Stronger and faster. And I've got you with me too, right? Two vampires against one? He doesn't stand a chance." Michael rolled his eyes again. "Precisely why I'm in charge, kid. Without me you'd be staked by now." Angelika rolled her eyes. "Oh, please. You act like I'm your kid. I could go off on my own; you're the one tagging along." She said. Michael shook his head. "Exactly why I come along. I don't think my conscience could take it if I let you run off on this suicide mission alone and I found you dead in the gutter somewhere. We're a team, Ang, no matter what crazy stuff you run off to do." Angelika rolled her eyes yet again, but felt grateful. Mitch had done so much for her. He was a great friend. Not only had he saved her life by turning her into a vampire, but he had nursed her back to health, and then mentored her in vampire fighting and come on this mission for her. He was annoyingly cautious and adverse to conflict, but you couldn't get a better friend than Michael, fangs and all.
Angelika remembered all four grueling years in livid detail. She remembered turning into a vampire, the stitches and bandages and potions and magics it had taken to fix her even with the vampire venom running through her veins. It had taken two years, even as a vampire, to heal fully, and another year to get over the stiffness in her muscles. She felt muscle pains still, occasionally, when working her body really hard. And she would always carry the silvery scars that criss-crossed her body. For four years, Angelika had hunted for the vampire that had killed her family, so she could track him down and kill him.
"You know, you don't have to do this," Michael said for about the hundredth time. "Yes I do, Mitch, now stop saying that," She snapped. "The bastard killed my man and my baby, and I'm gonna rip him limb from limb for that," She said, eyes fever bright with hate. Michael sighed, looking at her. "I worry about you sometimes. This guy's no small fry, Ang, he's powerful. More powerful than me. Maybe even you. Do your muscles still get stiff?" He asked. "No," Angelika said, a little to fast. "Ang," Michael said warningly. "Only a little when I'm really pushing it," She admitted grudgingly. "But only a little bit. And not that much." Michael looked at her hard. "This isn't a small thing, Angelika. If one of your muscles freezes up or gives out in battle, you'll die. "Angelika sighs."Michael, it's not that bad. My body's strong. I don't need to wait any longer, and I won't." Michael looked away. "I hope you're right." He said. Angelika punched him lightly on the shoulder. "You're such a worrier," She said. Michael shoved her back lightly, "Someone has to be. You certainly don't worry enough so I guess I gotta do it for you." He got up. "Well, let's go scout, I guess. There'll be no rest with your eyes burning for blood," He said. It was one of the things that set Angelika apart. Ever since he dragged her out of the burning house, he had seen the fire in her eyes, the way they turned fever-bright with wrath. It scared him sometimes.
Michael and Angelika roamed through the streets. Angelika seemed to be looking at everything, memorizing its place. "You look like a bloodhound on a trail," Michael remarked. "I am on a trail." Angelika retorted.
"I know." Michael said.
Angelika was agitated. "Were is he s'posed to be?" She asked restlessly.
"West side of town. There's a coven over there. We need to be careful; if he's in with them we might need to be patient."
"I'm tired of being patient." Angelika snarled bad-temperedly. She was like a police dog tugging at its leash to get the criminal, then growling at the handler who held it back. She wouldn't rest until she tasted his blood in her mouth. Michael touched her shoulder gently. "Easy, Angel." He said. Angelika loosened a bit at the sound of his stupid pet name for her, but didn't soften. She was impatient for vengeance.
Angelika and Michael came up with a simple, straightforward plan: question one of the vampires in the area about the one they were seeking. A lone coven member approached by two vampires in some dark alley would much, much rather talk then risk a fight.
Angelika and Michael waited for hours at an alley near the coven's lair before some unsuspecting vampire wandered across their path. It was a young vampire, under two years. Not someone's fledgling anymore, but not quite experienced enough to survive well on there own. Michael and Angelika came out of the darkness, blocking off escape. The fledgling froze, eye wide. He hadn't even sensed them in the slightest. Angelika smirked. Clumsy fledgling, didn't your master teach you right? She thought. "Hello," Michael said. "You belong to this coven near here, correct?" He asked politely. The fledgling looked at him, leery. Even a bumbling vampire like this fledgling could tell Michael was the oldest vampire out of the two, and typically in vampire culture, the older the vampire, the more powerful.
"We are looking for a certain vampire," Michael continued, "With which we have a score to settle. Could you perhaps give us the information we need?" Although the tone was perfectly polite and friendly, the words were not. In vampire lingo 'a score to settle' meant you were out to seriously hurt someone. The words were a threat; you don't mess with a vampire with a score to settle. "Who're you lookin' for?" The fledgling asked warily.
"A vampire by the name Malvient," Michael said. "Heard of him?" The fledgling looked at Michael. "Malvient? Sure. He's hanging round my coven." the fledgling said. "Is he under protection?" Michael asked. "No," The fledgling said. "Our coven doesn't protect loners, especially not loners with vendettas against them."
"If he's attacked, will anyone side with him?" Michael asked. The fledgling seemed to think about this question. "Maybe," He said. "Lilit might. She likes him. But she'd be the only one. He's not very nice." the fledgling remarked. Angelika had to fight down a laugh at that comment.
"If Lilit fights with him and gets injured or killed, will she be avenged?" Michael asked.
"If Lilit gets killed fighting for a loner, it's her own stupid fault." The fledgling said. "That's what Blanc will say. And in any case, I doubt she'll fight for Malvient in the first place. Lilit values nothing more than her own skin." The Fledgling looked agitatedly from Michael to Angelika, not liking being cornered. "Can I go now?" Michael smiled, stepping out of the way. "Of course. Thank you for cooperating." The fledgling ran off.
"What are we waiting for? Let's get him, you got your information!" Angelika said. Michael sighed. "Cool it. We're going." he said. Michael and Angelika.
They found the coven with relative ease; Michael had lived a long time as a vampire, and once you saw one vampire lair, you've seen them all.
It was a bar, an old thing that hadn't seen real business since the sixties. It was surrounded by high concrete buildings, all of them abandoned. This whole district was more or less empty.
Behind the bar, out of sight, was a large parking lot, littered with broken glass, weeds, and a couple abandoned cars. It was surrounded by boarded windows and rusty fire escapes. It was the perfect hideout for creatures of the night.
Standing outside were three vampires: the one they'd cornered, along with a dark-haired female and an old, pale haired male. The pale haired vampire was obviously the head honcho.
Michael approached the three alone. "Hail, friends!" he called out, drawing attention to himself. His usually straight frame was slumped his face pointed downward. This was a classic example of vampire body language. The posture here was saying, 'I'm not a threat.' the fact that Angelika stayed behind was also vampire politics. Two vampires approaching would be a threat, simply one not a threat. Angelika disliked having to stay behind, but understood why it was necessary.
The vampire they'd cornered earlier hid behind the pale-haired vampire. He obviously remembered Michael from the alleyway. The white haired vampire glanced at Michael, not even bothering to change his posture. Both vampires were old, but it was not contest who would win in a fight. Michael was taller, but the pale- haired vampire had muscle, and was obviously a fighter. You couldn't hold a high position in a coven without being a fighter. Michael was just a wanderer.
"Hail, vampire," the pale haired vampire said after a short pause. "What brings you to my coven?"
"My names' Michael and I was wondering if a vampire by the name of Malvient was around?" Michael stopped a few yards away, to do his best not to threaten the other vampire's space. Jeez, Michael, you play vampire politics to the book, Angelika thought. The space was more symbolic than anything anyway. A vampire as old as Michael could cover that space before someone could blink, if he wanted to fight.
The pale haired vampire cocked his head to one side in a thoughtful way. "Not at this time. What of it?"
Before Michael could answer, the female vampire interrupted. "Oh, please, Blanc. You heard what Cyril said. This is the vampire who wants to pick a fight with Mal."
"Lilit, be silent" He commanded. Lilit flinched and shut up, staring at the ground in submission. Blanc then looked at Michael. "You're Michael the Wanderer, aren't you? The rover vampire from the east. But what does Michael the Wanderer, who is so famous for being averse to conflict, doing picking a fight with a vampire like Malvient?" he asked curiously.
"It's not my fight to pick," Michael said calmly. "I'm merely accompanying a vampire with a vendetta against him. I will not be doing any fighting."
Blanc's eyes flicked to the shadows where Angelika was. "Fine by me." He said. "My coven won't interfere. He's not here right now, but you might find him here tomorrow." Michael nodded in what was just short of a bow."Thank you. We'll come back tomorrow." Michael left, signaling Angelika to follow.
"'We'll come back tomorrow?'" She hissed in rage. "Let's find him now!"
"Patience," Michael chided. "You've waited this long, you can wait another night."
"Curse you and your waiting! We can find him now! I am tired of being patient, tired of you telling me so!" She hissed.
"Enough with your temper." He said. "Ever since we cornered him here you've been obsessed with finding him. You would do well not to think the battle will be so easy."
"It will be easy," She retorted. "I will rip him limb from limb."
"Like last time?" Michael asked scathingly. Angelika flinched at the memory. "GO away, Mich." she said. "'go away Mitch'" He repeated. "Every time I say something you can't deny it's 'go away Mitch'. Well, I'm not going away. I'm gonna stay here and make sure you don't kill yourself. This guy isn't small fry, Ang. He's powerful. And I'm worried about you. You can't let revenge be your only reason for living. What'll you do after you defeat him? What then?"
"After that I'll be a good little fledgling and we can do other things. After that I'll be at peace to live my life, but until then I cannot live for any other reason. I'll be fine. I wish you'd stop worrying." She said. Michael sighed, ruffling her hair. "I do worry about you. I worry about you everyday. I worry when I see your eyes burn with that wrath. It turns you into a different person, Angelika. A stranger. And it frightens Me." he said. Angelika gave his shoulder a light shove. "I'll be fine." She repeated again.
"I hope so." Michael said.
They got back to the hotel room, and Angelika took a shower. After she dried off and pulled some PJ's on and brushed her hair. Or tried to, anyway. The wind that day had tangled her thick hair into a rat's nest. After watching her failed attempts to tame the wild mess for several seconds, Michael sighed and took the brush from her. "Sit down," he instructed. Angelika sat on the bed and let Michael untangle her hair. "You're awfully good at untangling hair, for a man." she remarked. Michael scoffed. "You forget, I used to have a ponytail. It's you're fault I had to cut it short." He said darkly.
"The gum incident was an accident, and you know it." Angelika said.
Michael scoffed again.
"I regret nothing. Besides, you look better with short hair." She said. "It's not the fourteen hundreds anymore, y'know."
Michael ignored her comment and continued unsnarling her hair. "There," He said finally. "All done." Angelika and Michael sat there for a moment longer before Angelika got up. She was painfully aware of this new awkwardness between them. "Ang..." Michael said.
"Not now, Mich." she said softly. She knew what he was going to say, and didn't want to hear it. She liked Michael, maybe even more than liked, but she couldn't deal with this while Malvient was still out there. Not now.
"It's been four years, Ang." Michael said. "You gotta get over it."
"I can't while Malvient's still out there. After that... Well, we've got plenty of time to sort this out after that." Michael looked at her with a sad expression. He sighed.
"All right, Angel." He said. "Get some sleep. Tomorrow's gonna be a big day."
Angelika went to bed. That night, so close to her long awaited revenge, she dreamed of fire and blood.
~~~
Angelika waited in the shadows, standing next to Mitch in the lot that was the coven's lair. The young vampire they had accosted in the alley, whose name was Cyril, was fetching Malvient for them (He may not have been Michael's vampire, but Mitch was old enough that Cyril dare not disobey.)
The young Cyril came out, nervously looking around. Behind him trailed a vampire Angelika knew the face of all too well, because it was in every nightmare she'd had in four years, burned into her memory as it was, from that bloodstained night. It was only Michael's cautioning hand that held her back from attacking Malvient.
Malvient looked at them, recognition flashing in his black, dead eyes. "You," He said. Incredulously. "I remember you. You're that woman, the housewife with so much fight in her. I thought I'd killed you." he said. He looked at Michael accusingly. "Evidently I didn't leave you dead enough."
Angelika hissed like a feral cat, vision turning red-tinged with wrath. The young vampire Cyril, seeing a fight coming, quickly retreated inside. Michael stepped away. "Good luck, Angel. Remember your training." He murmured.
"Come now," Malvient sneered. "Do not tell me you have spent all this time- what has it been, three, four years?- trying to find me to pick another fight. This time I will not leave enough of you for your friend to revive."
Angelika snarled a string of profanities, circling Malvient, getting ready to attack.
"Temper," He said. "You've got just as much fight as you did four years ago. Hopefully you will prove a better fighter this time."
Angelika leapt at him, claws out and fangs bared. The battle had begun.
Malvient dodged her first attack, circling backward and out of her immediate reach. He slashed at her with his own claws, but Angelika had not spent the better part of four years training for nothing, she jumped back from his claws, spinning behind him for another attack. Malvient spun to face her, moving out of her reach again. He circled around, trying to get her side as she jumped out of the way. "I remember why you're after me, you know," he goaded. "I killed your family and burned your house down, didn't I? You must have found it frustrating, being so helpless in defending them."
"Shut up!" Angelika roared fiercely. In her rage she misstepped, almost falling prey to Malvient's claws. She leapt back ungracefully, barely keeping her balance. Angelika circled around fast, trying to get behind Malvient, but the older vampire was not giving her an easy time of it.
"I remember how they're blood tasted too," he mocked. "I didn't need to feed for a week after that. The little one was especially mouth-watering-"
Angelika leapt forward without thinking, blinded by rage and bloodlust. Malvient had not expected such a forward attack, and she managed to tackle him. Although it had won her a small element of surprise, it had been a stupid move. Malvient was older and stronger by a lot, and it took all of Angelika's ferocity and speed to avoid being pinned. Once that happened, she was dead.
Angelika rolled away and sprang to her feet, barely avoiding Malvient's claws. She had got him pretty good, but she was worse for the ware. She wasn't thinking about her own wounds, however, only about the wounds she had given him. She felt a small, dark satisfaction at the taste of his blood in her mouth.
Angelika circled again, looking for a weak point. She was limping where his claws had slashed her calf, aiming for her tendon. She was lucky he had missed; the battle would have been over if he'd hamstringed her. Even if he'd missed, the limp wasn't going to do her any good.
Malvient suddenly lunged at her, and Angelika stumbled back on her wounded leg, feeling it give out from under her as she stepped on it at a wrong angle. The game was up, she knew she was dead. But this time she'd damn well make sure she took Malvient with her.
Angelika felt Malvient's claws slash at her shoulder and neck, aiming for the large arteries and veins there. She clawed and bit, expecting the death blow any minute. She was already losing too much blood from her leg and shoulder wound. Suddenly, however, Malvient was lifted off her with a screech. Angelika was confused, until she saw Michael dragging his claws down Malvient's back, pulling him away from her. Malvient spun around and backhanded Michael in the jaw, sending the smaller vampire flying. Michael slammed into the wall, stunned by the impact. Malvient went after him, grabbing his foot and sending him flying. Mitch hit the wall with a sickening smack, and Angelika was sure she'd heard some bones crack. He slid to the ground like a rag doll. All this had happened before she could blink.
"Mitch!" Angelika shouted. Malvient laughed evilly. Michael didn't stir.
"That's the second time he's saved your life," Malvient said. "What a pain that vampire is. Weak as a lamb, yet he manages to be a thorn in my side. No matter, though. I don't think your babysitter is going to come save you again." He laughed again.
For once, Angelika ignored Malvient. "Mitch!" she called. He lay motionless. Angelika felt panic and dread fight in her gut. She no longer felt that killer rage, only a concern for Michael.
"Perhaps I will drain him after I'm done with you," Malvient provoked Angelika. "Weak as he was, he was an old one. His blood is sure to be powerful because of age, even if he was frail. I should finish up with you before his body grows cold,"
Angelika threw herself on Malvient with a savage desperation. She felt wrath, but now it was something in the back of her head, like a buzzing. She felt wrath, but was not blinded by it.
"He must have really liked you," Malvient taunted as he evaded her, "After being so famous for going out of his way for centuries to avoid fighting, to try and go up against a stronger vampire, all for his sniveling little fledgling, he must have really lo-" Angelika slammed her claws into his throat, while he was distracted with tormenting her. He had made a mistake; thinking he could control her with her own rage. And until he had harmed Michael, he had been able to. But after seeing her friend hurt saving her, she no longer felt that all-consuming wrath, only a grim determination to end this. She buried her claws into his windpipe, and ripped his throat out. She tore him apart, bone and muscle and skin. And she felt no satisfaction from it. She didn't have the heart to enjoy it.
After Malvient was dead, Angelika stared at his mutilated body. She felt nothing. No relief that it was over, no dark satisfaction in finally getting her revenge, only emptiness. She felt lost. And in the end, perhaps the final joke was that she felt no different from when Malvient was alive. It made no difference. She had finally reached the end of her journey, and only found a yawning, infinite expanse of nothingness she was standing on the brink of.
Angelika walked over to Michael. He wasn't moving. She touched him, and there was no breath, no heartbeat. She cradled his broken body in her arms, and felt numb tears slide down her face. It hadn't been worth it. She thought. It had never been worth it. Because when all was said and done, and Malvient was dead, it changed nothing. Charles was still dead, Mika was still dead, and now her revenge had cost her dearest friend his life. All her wrath had brought was the death of the only person who had cared about her; who had saved her and healed her and taught her and loved her enough to go on this quest for revenge with her, cared about her enough to sacrifice his own life for hers, even if she had never done a thing for him in return. "I'm sorry Mitch," she whispered. "I'm so sorry. You were right all along, and I was an idiot not to see it sooner."
Angelika didn't know how long she sat there; it could have been hours, it could have been seconds, but suddenly she felt she was not alone.
Angelika looked up, and saw a young man pacing nearby. He was scowling at a clipboard and muttering to himself.
"Not right, not right at all…"
Angelika stared at the stranger. "Who are you?"
The stranger stopped his pacing and turned to face her, eyes flashing. At a first glance, Angelika would have called him a vampire, for he was certainly not a mortal, but she now saw he was as much of a vampire as a wolf was a Chihuahua. He was something far more powerful, and strange. Otherness like she had never felt before came off him in waves. It occurred to her that this might be the way a human feels looking at a vampire for the first time.
"You!" The stranger yelled, striding forward in a rage. "A plague on you, you poxy, mule-headed, meddlesome thing! Twice your number comes up, and twice you dance away alive! A curse on you and your poxy, fox-faced kind! A curse on all interfering vampires!"
Angelika blinked in surprise. The stranger had bizarre eyes, so lighta blue they could be easily mistaken for white. The ghostly, unearthly eyes that now glared at her accusingly. "Excuse me?" She said. "I don't quite follow."
The stranger continued to glare. "You are the most troublesome race, you stinking vampires! Every time I get everyone's numbers down for the day, one of you cursed poxy things screws the times up, and I have to write them all over again! Do you know how long that takes? All of you demi-mortals, you all mess with the clocks and the times and the numbers, that I never get a moments rest having to clean it all up!"
Angelika blinked again. "I'm sorry, but I don't understand. Who are you, what are you?"
The strangers' glare even made Angelika nervous, and she was a vampire. "Who am I? A fine question to ask! I would think you would recognize one of your names' namesakes! I'm the one whose been cleaning up your kinds' messes for the last millennia. I am Samael, cursed unlucky time keeper of everybody, the angel of death. I'm the angel that get's to clean up after you vile demi-mortals screw up someone's time."
Angelika stared at the stranger, Samael, really looking at him for the first time. His skin was so pale it was barely off-white, his eyes a ghostly, blazing bluish white. His hair looked soft and fine as thistledown, floating on even the softest breath of air, like a million strands of snow white spider silk. He was medium tall, with a slender build and a round, boyish face. His profile seemed to radiate a soft white aura of light, and yet there was darkness in it. On his back, an aura of shadows and darkness surrounded the shape of what she realized where jet black wings. He was dressed in a nondescript blue knee length tunic the shade of the noon sky, and pants the grey of lightning clouds. Above his head was a thin circlet of braided light, like lightning and shadows woven together. A halo, Angelika thought.
"Well? What have you to say for yourself?" The angel demanded.
"I didn't know I was messing with anything," Angelika said truthfully. "And, I'm sorry but your death? The grim reaper? And by time- you mean lifetimes, don't you?"
"What did you think I meant, day times?" Samael still seemed annoyed, but had calmed down. "I'm not the Grim Reaper, I'm death. The Grim Reaper is just the one who fetches the souls. I, meanwhile, do the paperwork and keep the clocks. I sometimes get to fetch a particularly troublesome soul."
"But-I'm sorry but angels- they don't exist!" She said in disbelief. Samael raised an eyebrow. "Neither do vampires." He said archly. He then pulled a pocket watch from somewhere and showed it to her. It was gold with patterns of roses with thorns engraved on it, along with the name, Angelika R. Demitrov. The clock itself was bizarre, because the hour hand was on the number thirteen (Which is not a number commonly found on clocks), and the minute hand was spinning around crazily. "You see that?" Samael asked. "You were supposed to die today, just like you were supposed to die four years ago. It is seldom a person forestalls death once, and you have managed to do it twice. You should not be alive right now."
Angelika looked down and blinked back tears. "Michael saved me. I should have died, but now he's dead." She whispered.
"Yes," Samael said. "You should have died, but he should have not." Samael pulled out another pocket watch, this one bronze with a faded blue ribbon for the chain. This one had the name Michael the Wanderer engraved on the front, in sharp bold letters. The clock in this one had the hour hand at five, and the minute hand at six. The numbers here were written in roman numerals.
"Do you see the problem?" Samael asked. "The hour hand is only at five, and yet the clock has stopped. If it had been his time, both hands would be pointing to the thirteen. His time is not up, but it appears he has traded it with you."
"Then give him back his life and take me!" Angelika cried.
"Not that simple," Samael said. "I am only allowed to affect the future and present, I can do nothing to the past. What's done is done." Samael looked at Michael's body. "But I have my orders. Tell me, was killing Malvient worth it? Finally avenging your family's murder?" Samael asked.
"No," Said Angelika. "It was never worth it. Even if I did kill Malvient, Charles and Mika would still be dead. It wouldn't matter to them if Malvient lived or died. What difference would it make? And now, because of my wrath at Malvient, Michael's dead. If I could rewrite my mistakes, I would."
"Ah, but that's the peril of being mortal, even only demi-mortal," Samael said. "Anything you do, you cannot change. So you must tread carefully, and think of the cost of your actions."
"I've learned that all too well," Angelika said. "I was a fool."
"'by three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.'"
Samael murmured.
Angelika looked at him. "Huh?"
"That is all we wanted. A little less pride, a little learnt wisdom. To see the error of wrath and vengeance. That is all we wanted of you."
Samael actually smiled, then produced some kind of glowing, rainbow ball of aura, like a miniature sun. He knelt down and touched it to Michael, and there was a flash of searing light.
~~~~
Angelika felt someone shake her. She never remembered passing out, but had evidently.
"Ang! C'mon, get up, Angel!"
Angelika tenses then sits bolt upright. She knows that voice, but it can't be…
Michael looks at her. "About time. I've been trying to wake you up for the last three minutes, but you were out like a light. I was afraid there was something wrong with you." Angelika just stared at him. No, this wasn't right, Michael had been dead…
"Hey what's wrong? You've got the strangest look on your face." Michael said, frowning. Angelika didn't answer, but threw her arms around him.
"You're crushing my ribs," Mitch complained. Angelika kissed him on the mouth. He was alive, alive, alive, her heart sang. Angelika didn't realized she was sobbing until Michael wrapped his arms around her. "Enough, stop that." He murmured. "You're one of the toughest people I've known, what's with the waterworks? It's over, Angel."
"I thought you were dead!" Angelika sobbed. "You weren't breathing, you had no heartbeat-"
"I'm fine now." Michael said, trying to soothe her. "I'm alright."
"Sorry, I'm so sorry, you were right all along," She said. "I thought you were dead, you stupid vampire! What's the matter with you?"
"Enough with the crying. And I saved your life, if I remember, so you have no business scolding me." He said.
Angelika buried her face in his shirt. "I thought I'd lost you." She whispered.
"Come now," Michael said, soothing her. "You won't lose me half so easy. I'm like a bad penny, I'll always come back." He tilted her head up so he could look at her face. "Whether you want me to or not."
Angelika laughed, and it turned into a hiccup. Michael smiled, getting to his feet. He winced. "Come on, now Angel. Let's go back to the hotel and get cleaned up." Angelika stood up, and swayed on her feet. She was weaker than she had thought. Michael wrapped his arm around her to support her, and they walked back to the hotel together, a burden lifted from Angelika's shoulders and a bright new life ahead. I won't be so quick to waste it this time, Angelika thought.




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