He looked down upon her, his own mind sundered, as he voluntarily broke her heart. She must believe him evil; how else would she embrace the Fall? But it hurt him; for all these millennia he’d never expected anyone to actually love him. Among his brethren? It was more likely God would forgive him before they did. And how many of them would rebel if their Father ever welcomed him back. But not Leliel. Somehow, even though she’d fought him the most fiercely, when he would have made night his realm instead of hers, she’d fallen in love. She had fallen. In love.
Leliel gave him light where there had been none; hadn’t she seen him? Truly? He felt the change as they joined; as if he’d never fallen. He knew she saw it too. Could she believe he was still using her? She must. He was kind with her though: he gathered her in his arms. She let him. She was broken. She might not even fly again: he knew the risks. If she lost her grace but didn’t embrace the fall, she wouldn’t. Or maybe… could he tell her he did love her? What could they do? He the king of hell and she a full Angel? He’d never considered that. He cradled her tenderly, bringing her to the bed. She let him. She didn’t move, she felt like a doll in his arms. When he laid her on the bed, he noticed her eyes were veiled, all the life in their depth gone. Her eyes that twinkled even here were blank. And suddenly it felt terribly wrong.
“Leliel, Leliel!” He called her. She didn’t react.
He pulled her in his arms again, sitting with her, holding her closely. Her body was limp, her wings lifeless. He noticed then… the ink disappeared when he removed the bracelet but now the edges of her pearly white wings were turning grey. No. No. NO. NO!
“Leliel… Don’t do this. Please.”
How could he even guess that by breaking her heart, he would break her? And yet how could he not? Hadn’t he felt exactly the same thing? Didn’t his heart break the same way when His father turned away from him? But he’d been in Heaven when he relinquished his grace. He remained an angel, albeit a fallen one. But she wasn’t falling though; it was different. She hadn’t given up her grace because she denied God. She was losing it because he denied her. So she was denying herself.
“Leliel don’t do this. Please. I’m sorry. Forgive me.” He kissed her lips, cold as ice. “I don’t want you to fall into darkness. You don’t deserve this. Please. Come back to me.”
He kissed her deeply, despite the absence of response, breathed into her that she opened her eyes. He cried. He hadn’t cried since Man was born and His Father’s eyes looked away from his angelic children.
“Leliel, don’t leave me. I love you.” He cried into her neck. “I love you.” He showered her face with kisses, keeping an eye on that dreadful damning grey, saying the words over and over. Did their Father hurt as much when he left? When he betrayed Him? When a light started shining about them, he continued. She couldn’t fall. She shouldn’t. It was his fault; not hers. He kissed her lips again, looked into her eyes. She was smiling.
“Look at you.” She whispered. “So bright Lucifer. So bright. You’re rising.”
She passed out again. But the light burned brighter. That was when he realized it was coming from him, not her. The grey had stopped spreading but her wings weren’t shining. He was. He gathered her in his arms and disappeared. He landed in the desert. Where once he challenged His Father to test Job’s faith. She wasn’t waking up…
He did one thing he hadn’t done in time long forgotten. He prayed.
“Father. Please not her. It was my fault.”
And somehow… his plea received an answer. One of them stood by him. And his face showed weariness and worry, as he looked upon Leliel. Helplessness too.
“She’s losing her grace. We should be going; we’ll kill her. She won’t withstand the light.”
“She won’t be. There’s nothing I can do.”
He was angry again.
“Why did you come if you can’t help her Raphael?”
“You prayed.” There was surprise but also awe in his voice. But why did he care? It wasn’t for himself. It was for her. “And for some reason He sent me. I came.”
He knelt by her side again, took her hand.
“Leliel…” he whispered. “You were right. I understand now.” He looked up. “I understand Father. How much You hurt, how much I hurt You. Forgive me. Or punish me again. Cast me away from Your light and love again if you must, but not her.”
He bowed his head… His plans had gone so completely awry; he’d never intended to love Leliel. And when he did he never intended to break her so entirely that she would be destroyed. He fell because he was selfish; she was dying because he was selfish.
Once more light surrounded him but he didn’t care; only Leliel’s pale face was of importance. She was getting paler if it were possible. Her hands were so cold now: he’d not known cold since he made Hell his domain. But here… he was. Cold inside too. If He didn’t save her… what would he do? He brought her to him again, holding her tight.
“I’m so sorry.”
Twice he’d hurt her. How had he not understood? She loved him now but she loved him then. Two sides of the same coin. How blind was he? So spoiled by their Father’s love he hadn’t seen a love that was just as pure and sacred. And he was about to lose it because he hadn’t believed what she said. But she’d been right all along: about him, about the light in the darkness.
Had she ever stopped believing he could rise again? She’d told him she was fighting the darkness, never him. And she’d allowed him to rise. But he would fall again if that killed her.
In response to the Daily Post writing prompt Sacred