The Fire in My Blood: Ch 5

Requies had provided me with the apartment number while I had mulled over my first introduction to his place of business. After a longer than necessary chat, I headed out his door and made for the west end steps. I had left Cortex and Tempestatis back at the warehouse to wait on orders. I had also left them with an order to obtain the pickled crabapples for me if they insisted on playing another round with the guys while they waited for my report back.

Ascending the steps, I caught my first glimpse of one of the rumoured Rubrum men. Sure enough, in the shine of mid-afternoon sun, the flag of a red diamond was stitched into the guy’s patchwork jacket. A three-bar stripe was pinned under it. Probably had some meaning.

I slipped my shoes off on the second floor below them and ascended the steps quietly. If I lost anything, I knew the coat would survive, but I always suffered issues finding new shoes. I was not going to replace my new boots.

At the top of the flight, I slipped down the concrete porch until I was right behind the man with the coat. He was oblivious to my approach. Which was a blessing. Ment no fire. I picked him up by the back of his neck and the waistband of his pants and tossed him over the edge. On second thought, as I watched him fall, I probably should have broken his neck. He screamed rather loudly before hitting the bottom. I sighed. The scream brought out another guard, this one searing my sinuses with rat tobacco. Jeez, I wouldn’t be able to smell anything for the next fifteen minutes at least.

I ducked from his barreling fist, but he twisted, landing a solid punch to my chest. My lungs wheeze at the abuse. He mewled at the crunch of bone. Trusty trench coat to the rescue. I returned the favour, giving him an upper hook to the sternum. He coughed up blood, coating my sleeve. I grabbed the back of his neck and brought my knee up to break his nose before pumping him full of flame till he glowed from the inside out. I tossed his corpse over the rail to join his fellow guard.

“That leaves one last thing to do. Let’s find out what’s behind door number one.” I twisted into a hook kick and slammed into the aged wood. The door splintered in, sending shrapnel and the door handle into the drywall. Three men ducked under the impact.

“All right, you bleeding saps, the infernus you doin’ on Caeruleum territory?” I grouched as I rushed in. A muffled cry drew my eye as I took in the room, grabbed one guy by the wrist and yanked him out of the room and over the rail. My brain registered the mewl from in the room.  A body had been strapped to the bed, a black sack over his head. Of fuck no. Not on my territory. They were getting evicted the satisfying way.

Two of the men stood around the bed, startled. One pulled a dagger from a sheath at his back and rushed me. The second lout brought down a ham sized fist to my shoulder. I blocked the knife and turned into the punch. Contact. The crunch and overwhelming scent of copper heightened my need to burn. Two bodies hit the floor, smouldering. I kicked them, though I was sure they were already dead.  Shit.  Should have kept one to drain out.  This was going to be a rough ride back.

“Right. Out you go. No need to make good ole’  Requies come up and pull you out,” I muttered as I dragged the corpses out and over the railing. I dusted my hands off and walked back into the apartment.

I pulled my com out and switched channels. “Tempestatis?”

“Tempestatis here.”

“Bring your guzzler around and have Cortex set up defence in case. I sent a few men over the edge of the railing. Should be dead, but I’d rather you not get blasted,” I checked the small closet and tiny bathroom for any other men.  Maybe I’d get lucky and find a quick snack. I was not keen on getting ambushed, though.

“Guzzler, boss?” Tempestatis asked. I could hear his boots hitting gravel. He was doing what I asked; he was just curious.

“Requies’s info was golden. Got a guy from the trafficking ring they were running on our territory. Rubrum is gonna have some issues with me if they keep encroaching.” I bared my fangs.

“Need one of us to come up to you?” I heard that hitch in his voice. He always hits that one note. That one note and I quiver under my own immense sense of guilt. I switched the com off as I turned back to the man in the bed. One leg was chained to the footboard. The opposite arm was strapped to the headboard. Poor bloke.

“Easy, easy,” I tried to reassure. “I’m gonna take the bag off,” I explained as I approached the side of the bed. The man was shaking. He was pasty white, underfed, and probably just a few inches shorter than me. His one free hand he balled up in a fist and lashed out, trying to defend. “Stop, stop. I’m not going to hurt you,” I soothed, standing well clear of his flailing. I switched to Angelus and repeated my statement. He quelled momentarily. I circled around to the other side where his hand was bound. “Don’t go kneeing me in the head,” I muttered as I reached over and pulled the bag off.

They’ve sent another one,” he muttered, tears staining cognac-coloured eyes. I was anticipating his hand coming up to lash out. I wasn’t anticipating the twisting in my chest when his eyes met mine. He didn’t try to fend me off. Instead, he moved to cover himself, cringing with embarrassment and fear. Welts ran the length of the back of his arms. The Rubrums were asking to be disbanded. “I’m not with the Rubrum. I’m going to let you out, okay?” I turned to the bound hand. The chain lock was going to be easy enough to melt, the manacle lock would take someone back at base to pick through.  I could never manage fine point work with my heat.

You’re not with Gemma?” the man gulped. His voice was soft, and it slipped down my spine like silk. That was new.

I pulled back my shirt collar to reveal a knotted blue thread lacquered into a brass necklace. “I’m Caeruleum. You’re on my territory, so under my protection,” I explained while I dismantled the lock at the headboard.

You’re with Nigrae Lunam?” he asked, fear lacing his voice. Why did my Alias on his lips send shivers across my skin?

What’s your Alias?” I asked, turning to his leg. Zip ties for the chain were going to be a snap. The weld mark between links that kept the chain bound to his foot, though… Clavis would have to do something about that. He was the best I had at tiny heat.

“Sanctus.” He quivered at the question. He rubbed at the circulation in his hand. The metal had cut into his wrist.  He was covered in the smell of oxidizing and fresh copper.

Right, Sanctus. I’ve got a man coming with a guzzler. Do you want in or out of the territory?” I asked.

You’d harbour me? What about your boss? I’m Rubrum.” He sat up when his foot was free. His auburn hair tumbled around his shoulders and down his chest in tangled knots. He peeled the sheet off his back. More marks flayed it.

I pulled my trenchcoat off and tossed it on him. “Here. I’m not seeing clothes around here for you.” He pulled it on, unable to look at me. He cowered at the crunch of gravel under tires. “I tossed the Rubrums out, but there’s no telling if they have backup. I’m going to make a dash for my men. Can you make it with me?” I asked. He nodded solemnly. He stood up and wobbled. “They haven’t fed you, have they?” I prodded gently. 

He shook his head. “Been three days…maybe four,” he murmured.

“Fuck,” I mutter. “A’right, here.” I leaned over. “Let’s get you out of here.” He climbed on. Piggyback wasn’t my usual method, but whatever. The guy’s back and arms were liable to be tender. I wasn’t about to fireman hold him. The fire in my blood sang to me. That aggravating Repercussion. I could taste my desire at the tip of my tongue. Whatever it took, I was getting the man out of the hotel and somewhere safe before I went on a Rubrum hunt. I knew where I’d take my next meal.

“Boss?” Cortex asked at the entrance to the hotel room. He surveyed the scene and the gaunt man on my back. “Report was right?” he ducked me out of the room. We took to the stairs like bats out of Infernus.

“One of the victims.” I tilted my head to indicate Sanctus. He weighed nothing. He had laid his head against my neck, his breath warm. “Need to get a crew out here to work surveillance. Can you get Fornacem on that when we get back to base and send  Requies payment for the trashed door and drywall. The rest should be billed to Gemma by way of Caeruleum. I want her to know that I found her botch job.”

“Yes, boss.” Cortex jumped the last couple treds.

Tempestatis had brought the heap of junk we called a guzzler around as close to the stairs as he could get for us. Cortex ran around to the passenger side and slid through the open window for the com. I could hear him issuing commands.

The guzzler was a modge-podge hack Clavis had tossed together for us that drank biodiesel like an alcoholic. “Boss!” Tempestatis opened up the back door for me when he saw my hands full.

“Easy with this one. His back’s almost gone.” I gingerly set the man down.

“Gemma’s just begging to be dethroned,” Tempestatis hissed as he approached Sanctus. The man pressed against my back in terror. The guzzler was unsettling, and so were Tempestatis and Cortex. I’d seen it before when we’d rescued others in the rings. “Sanctus, this is Tempestatis and Cortex. They’re gonna take us back to base.” I eased his death grip on my sleeve. My Repercussion kept going haywire every time I touched his skin. I was going to need to eat soon if the throbbing rings in my eyes were any indicator.

“Wait. Did you call him Sanctus!” Cortex popped his head up over the top of the guzzler.

“You know him, Cortex?” I prodded as I ducked the man in. 

“Not personally.” Cortex opened up the opposing back door and reached in to help ease the man in, keeping to the sleeves of the trench coat. “Careful,” his tone went soft with Sanctus. I cocked my eyebrow. “Get him in, boss, and on our way. I’ll tell you. Means I’ll need to double Fornacem’s patrol though and arm them,” he grumbled. Sanctus whimpered as he sat into the seat.

Can’t be comfortable.” I got in after him and closed the door. Cortex clicked the other door shut and slid into the front passenger seat. Tempestatis floored it, and we fish-tailed out of the parking lot and onto the street.

It’s not,” he agreed, pain radiating across his face.

“Anything I can do?” I asked. He shook his head and leaned his forehead against the window to watch the blocks fly by. He shifted, trying to take pressure off.

Three-quarters of the way back to base and Cortex turned around in his seat to talk to me. “Gemma’s not gonna let him go easily.” He flicked a glance to the man sitting next to me.

“Sanctus?” I asked sceptically.

“I can buff,” he admitted quietly. He attempted to shrink his lanky self into a ball.

“Power up? Wait. You’re one of the three Providentia?” I demanded, my heart hitting the inside of my ribcage. Oh, we had just taken one of Gemma’s really shiny toys. She was going to throw a royal tantrum, and there would be fire in Imperium tonight.

You’re gonna put me in a cell too, aren’t you?” he pressed himself into the corner between the door and the seat. His eyes bit into my core. Something familiar about his face. It nagged at the back of my brain.

Is that where Gemma’s been keeping you? Why are you in Caeruleum territory?” I twisted a bit to put some distance between me and the man sitting next to me. More space, more breathing room.

Gemma’s planning something. She sent me up with the front to infiltrate the territory. She keeps me caged if I’m not buffing someone.” His voice was getting quieter.

“Not putting a damn Providentia in a cage,” I hissed. “Like Infernus I’d think of putting anyone in a cell for their power.”

“Speaking of power, boss…” Tempestatis let on as he reached for the com. “Hail, Maria Mater?” he clicked over the station. A couple seconds elapsed as we all waited for her to answer.

A crackle and pop of the speaker announced someone on the other side. “Maria Mater here,” her voice chirped over the speaker.

“Everyone’s heading back. Get Medicus. We’ve got Rubrum’s merch,” he instructed.

“See if Archimagirus’ll get some food for him. Said he hadn’t eaten in three days,” I instructed. “And Vestitor. Don’t think my coat’s gonna work for his wardrobe as a permanent fix.” 

“Got it!” I can hear the relief in her voice, and shouting for others on her side of the com.

“Maria Mater, see if there’s volunteers,” Cortex glanced back at me. I hate that analysis.

“He burned, didn’t he? And didn’t leave himself leftovers?” I heard her seething. Shit. “Yeah, I’ll round up some volunteers. Oye, Erumpo, go see if anyone wants to play Dracula’s thrall for a bit! Archimagirus’s getting food ready!” 

I cringed at that announcement. I was such a waste of everyone’s power. 

“How many you need, Maria Mater?” Erumpo barked. “Anyone wanna help boss today?” 

I wanted to crawl into the trunk of the guzzler. Turn the damn com off. The guy next to me was practically vibrating.

“I want to say two, but have four on hand,” Cortex reached back. His blue threaded bracelet flashed in the sunlight. His thumb drew against my barcode. The scent of pine, yeast bread, and copper was just enough to ignite that roil beneath my skin. I hate my Repercussion. I despise my reaction to it. My fangs slid down, deforming my lips.

I can’t really hide it. I tolerate Cortex testing. He’s fed me more than anyone else on the base. He knows how far he can press without getting under my skin about it. I trusted him to know me better than myself when it came to my Repercussion.

“Make that a solid four, and Archimagirus might need to put on potatoes or a half slab of bread, whatever we’ve got that’s heavy on the stomach,” he instructed. “Boss, you’re sure you don’t…?”he went to offer. I shook my head, pushing his hand away.  

Sanctus turned to look at me, curious about the interaction. “Volunteers -” his eyes meet mine over Cortex’s hand. “You’re Nigrae Lunam.” His fear was palpable in the tight space. Fangs and black eyes seem to have that effect on the uninitiated.

“You didn’t know? Lunam, it is polite to introduce yourself or do you have absolutely no class?” Tempestatis asked as he slid into the base’s warehouse.

“He had asked if I was with Nigrae Lunam and sounded scared asking, so I didn’t feel it necessary to terrify the man,” I growled as I opened my door.

Maria Mater stood on the floor in the midst of Clavis’s section of the shop staring at me with a twitch in her jaw. “Tell me you at least killed the bastards,” she spat. She was really put off. Dropping a pair of Accendium who couldn’t speak Imperian on her apparently did that to her. She’s not really a kid person. She’s more a do her own thing person. People tend to refer to these types as cat people. I knew enough house cats to call her a tiger.

Cortex helped Sanctus out of the car as Medicus arrived with Hyacinthus and Archimagirus. “Where’s our patient?” he asked as he surveyed the four of us. Cortex pointed to Sanctus, who was trying his best to become one with the frame of the guzzler.

“Go easy on him, Medicus. He’s a victim of the Rubrum’s ring, and a Providentia, so, gloves,” I instructed, wiggling my fingers.

“Gloves?” Archimagirus asked with a plate of baked potatoes steaming. He looked about ready to throw a fit. He hated anything that took away his tactile senses.

“Woah, seriously? You just took a Providentia from Gemma? She’s gonna be pissed!” Hyacinthus smiled amiably at the timid man.

“Is Fornacem getting everyone together?” I asked her.

“Hubby and Fornacem are already pulling three five-man teams. We should have a full rotation down at  Requies’s in the next twenty,” she reassured. 

I nod and turn back to the growing crowd. “Unless he says you can, don’t go touching him,” I hissed as I walked up to my co-leader.

“How many?” she demanded from me. I stood there looking down at her sparkling blue eyes, guilt trying to bite into my stomach. “Three with fire, two just jacked over the edge of the railing,” I admit. “And I melted a lock and several zipties.” I tacked on quietly.

“He also busted one of  Requies’s doors!” Cortex added on for good measure.

“I didn’t burn that one!” I justified.

“Couldn’t just keep one of them to bleed dry?” she snapped her fingers. A set of men and women looked out through the doorframe.

“Not here, and not in front of you or him.” I nodded back to Sanctus.

“You keep insisting on propriety,” she grouched.

“‘cause you keep looking at me like I’m an abomination.” I finally dropped that bit of information I’ve held back for too long.

“I keep looking at you like this because you don’t trust me with a basic function of yours. Everyone else has seen your Repercussion. You treat me different, and everyone talks,” she whispered fiercely. 

I looked at her, stunned. That had never occurred to me. I just didn’t want to scare her. She was my co-leader, and I had never known that had been a thorn in her side. “Oh…”

“Will four do it? I had six who said they’d be willing,” she asked, her tone level. I’m not sure what to do with this. Six years and she’d never told me it bothered her.

“Three. Can you see about finding him a room? Was Vestitor able to find him clothes?” I asked.

“You didn’t give us a measurement, so Vestitor’s waiting for him after Medicus. I’ll get him the spare room next to your’s set-up. Why are your eyes so black? They don’t do that unless you’ve gone completely ballistic. You didn’t blow the hotel, did you? Three. Is three gonna really be enough?” she pestered as I strode toward the door.

“I did not detonate. Especially not for four men. Not enough to make me feel like I’d need to,” I quipped. 

She pulled me around to look at her. She pressed her hand to my forehead and the swamping scent of lilac and blood just about drove me through the roof. I pressed her hand away, only to feel another set of hands grip onto my sleeve. Hades, please let someone kill me now. I prayed. I looked down to a pair of cognac eyes that begged me not to leave him. I could get drunk on that colour. “Medicus’ll see to you, Sanctus. You’re safe here.” I tried to dislodge him. He shook his head adamantly.

“He doesn’t want to leave with Medicus.” Cortex came back around to my other side. “Can’t get anyone close to him. Shaking like a leaf and doesn’t seem to understand us.”

I let the gears click in my head as I tried to figure out how to detach the distraction from my side. Finally, I turn to him in full. “Sanctus?” I asked. He hummed a quiet reply. “I need for you to go with Medicus. It’ll be better for him to see to your back. I thought I scared you?” I kept my tone quiet. I hoped it was gentle. I was having an infernus of a time controlling my fangs. I could only imagine what my face looked like at that moment.

He shook his head mutely. Maria Mater crept closer. “Sanctus?” she asked, her voice soft. Oh bless the little hearth mother. He burrowed into my side. I wished he wouldn’t. The Repercussion was setting me on edge, and he smelled like a warehouse of copper pipe, sage, and rosemary.

“Let’s move this to somewhere quieter. Does that sound like a good idea?” she asked him. He contemplated her question, his fingers waivering nervously on my sleeve. He nodded mutely, unable to look up at her.

“Let’s head to the green room then. I’ll let Lunam show you where it is after I’ve had everyone get their stuff together, okay?” she explained. I don’t know what kind of magic she had for making people do what she wanted, but without fail it always worked.

“Yes, ma’am,” he mumbled, his voice barely more than a spider’s thread. Maria Mater nodded with one of her charming smiles and turned to usher the rest of the group out of the way. Her voice undulated down the hall as she provided instructions. Archimagirus would drop off food in the room for everyone. She sent Hyacinthus, Cortex, and Tempestatis off to help Fornacem and Mercator. Medicus was to wait back in clinic for later. Tension eased down my spine. That was why she was my co-leader.

That left me with Sanctus, who had finally untangled himself from my arm. The shop had quieted, save for Clavis, who was tinkering off in the far corner with a generator. The man didn’t talk to anyone if he could help it. He liked his machines and his privacy.

Sanctus…” I went to speak, but I couldn’t find the words. They were stuck in my throat. He pulled my trench coat closer around him. I’d smell him for days. Let me die and bury me under ten feet of clay. He couldn’t see my remedy for my Repercussion. I couldn’t let him. “What do you know of who I am?” I kept my tone as even as possible, switching to Angelus.

Nigrae Lunam, leader of the Caeruleum. Has eyes that go completely black when he’s angry. Reason he’s called Nigrae Lunam. Walking bomb. Set him off and he vaporizes everyone indiscriminately. Doesn’t like anyone, so everyone is a potential target. Leader cause he forces others to work for him under threat,” he answered, cowering further into my coat.

“That’s a lot to unpack there,” I concede. “You’re a Providentia, so you’ve seen a lot of Repercussions, right?” I leaned against the corrugated wall. He nodded, not looking at me, though his hand never left my sleeve. “You sure you don’t want to go with Medicus to the clinic and get your back taken care of?” I did not want to be having this conversation. He shook his head vigorously. “Gemma or any of the other Rubrums ever tell you what my Repercussion was, not just my Catalyst?” I asked, this time unable to look at him. Some people got to sing lullabies. Others had to go run a mile. Clavis got to set a hundred screws in order from largest to smallest. Tempestatis had to stack a set of metal disks twenty times. Cortex’s was mopping. Maria Mater’s Repercussion was similar to mine in liquid consumption – though hers was respectable water.

She said you killed people before and after your Repercussion,” he gulped.

She’s not entirely wrong,” I admitted. He looked up at me, his skin going sallow under wide eyes. “Most of the time, I don’t kill people,” I shrug. “It happens, though.

Then the volunteers?” his voice cracked.

This is why I want you to go see Medicus in the clinic and not follow me,” I tried to allude.

They’re going to die? And they’d do it willingly?” he gulped, horrified.

No. They aren’t dying,” I soothed. 

The shop com crackled next to my ear. “Okay, Lunam, we’re ready for you. Medicus’s back at the clinic. Just get Sanctus over there after you’ve eaten,” Maria Mater interrupted me.

You don’t need to see this. Not after everything you’ve been through.” Wet heat burned at my eyes. I couldn’t imagine what seeing me doing this would do to him. Not after what Gemma and her people had taken from him. His hand quivered on my sleeve. “You’re terrified of me, but terrified to leave me. I’m very confused, Sanctus,” I explained as I motioned for us to walk down the hall.

I know what you do. So I know I’d go fast,” he explained.

Oh great. I was his get-out-of-life quick ticket.

I opened the door to the green room, the room we used to put formal guests when we were waiting to get them into the council room. Archimagirus had left trays of finger sandwiches and baked potatoes on the table pushed up against the wall. Six volunteers, three men and three women, stood just inside, laughing about something. Trust Maria Mater and Cortex to not trust me with how much I needed.

I drew in a breath and stilled my nerves. Usually, this was easy enough to do, but I had to consider the man at my side. “Thanks for taking your time, guys. Means a lot. I appreciate it.” I do make it a policy to thank them for this. It wasn’t something they had to do.

“No probs, boss. Anytime,” Praesepe smiled, brushing back his black hair from his eyes.

“You just know you get the day off tomorrow for it. What is it this time you’ve got your bet on?” I asked. I know this foolhardy kid. Two inches taller than me and built like an ox, we’d been asked on more than one occasion if I was his father. Never sure if I should feel insulted or complimented about that. I was only ten years his elder. He had a string of underground bets going on at any given time.

“How long it takes for Gemma to send her crew over to  Requies’s.” His smirk was malicious. Kid very rarely lost his bets too. “Want in on this one boss?” he offered as he extended his wrist. I swallowed the smell of compost, camomile, and blood. My stomach screamed at me, and saliva swamped my mouth. “Ten on,” I let go of my inhibitions. The feeling of puncturing, that crackly sound of flesh as my fangs sliced into an artery, was alluring. I heard a muffled gulp and cognac eyes left me feeling something inside my bloodlust that I had never felt before. “Ten on.” Praesepe’s smile slid across my shoulders as I let my high control me.

Eventually, a tap on my shoulder had me closing his wound, and I was turned to the next person. Yeast and leaf mould. “Flumen,” I greeted.

“Nice to see you back, boss,” her voice was low and husky.

I make an effort with each volunteer to greet them, talk to them, be familiar, treat them like they aren’t just food. I hate my Repercussion, and this was the best I could find to apologize for being me. “Greenhouse going alright? I know you had Clavis put in those new fans. They helping?” I swallowed as my body shook in anticipation.

“Much better. The citrus mould is down. Gonna lay in the hammock tomorrow and enjoy it.” She raised her wrist higher for me. I sank into it happily. Volunteers get the next day off. It’s another policy I passed when Cortex tried to help me and fell flat on his face after one of my feeding sessions.

I went through my third one and thought I was done until Sanctus got too close to me. My heart went into my throat, and I dearly realized that my thirst had not slacked. Two more volunteers later, and I was glutted out. The last of the six left unhappily. He wouldn’t be getting the day off tomorrow.

So…” I turned to Sanctus as I wiped my mouth with a handkerchief I kept on me for just such occasions. I couldn’t tell if he was in shock or not.

I thought…Gemma always said….” He was trying to wrap his head around what he had just witnessed.

“Here, come on.” I motioned him over to the table. The others had already eaten their fill to start making up for the blood loss. I put a couple sandwiches in Sanctus’s hand. “Eat,” I encouraged.

He stared at the food in his hand in confusion before looking up at me. “Really?  Is it okay to?  You have green eyes,” he told me in surprise. 

I blinked at this statement. That was not where I thought this would go. I snorted. “They aren’t always black,” I laughed. I’m so used to everyone who works around me knowing my eye colour that I often forget newbies aren’t familiar with it.

“They’ve been black since you took that hood off me, though the black took over more and more.” He pointed out as he finally bit into a sandwich. Watching him eat was relief enough for me.

Indicator that I used my power. At least, that’s how I see it. Doesn’t do jack for my vision. I can’t see in the dark, and it doesn’t make light better or worse unless it goes all the way to the edges. I’ve seen it in mirrors before, and yeah, it’s trippy as infernus.” I smiled. I felt like a rolly-polly and comfortably warm. Sage and rosemary was only dimly nagging at my periphery.

So…not angry?” he asked as he shovelled the rest of the sandwich and half of the next one in his mouth. 

I handed him another one, and the shock of his fingers bumping against mine sent a wave of electricity rolling under my skin. “Lasts until I fix my Repercussion.” I’m not sure why watching him eat was proving to be such an interesting thing for me. I’d had meals with enough other people over the course of my life and had not taken an interest in fingers holding a sandwich, or perfectly straight white teeth biting into bread. It was all I could do to draw my attention away from the soft pink of his lips.

You haven’t used your power since getting in here. Why are they going black again?” he pointed out.

Wait. What? Not possible. My stomach said I was a pig and a half. I stepped back until I could see myself in the mirror on one of the walls. Sure enough, to my horror, they had gone completely black. “The infernus is this?” I asked.

You’re Nigrae Lunam; I’m new here,” Sanctus pointed out, though with his trembling, I think he’s more pomeranian than human.


Yeah, and this is new in my book. Well…I’m not hungry. I couldn’t eat more. Let’s get you to the clinic. Maybe it’ll go away,” I said hopefully as I directed Sanctus out of the hall and to the clinic.


Chapel Orahamm (C) 2022-2023. All Rights Reserved.

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