Teardrops for the Damned

BY : Nemhaim
Category: Anita Blake > General
Dragon prints: 851
Disclaimer: I do not own the Anita Blake series, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Title: Teardrops For the Damned

Challenge: Water


 

The pinkish drops mixed with the clear yet burning water still running over the skin of the man in his arms-he didn't notice.  There was not time for much, lest the humans discover and trap them again.But this, he would do.

With great care, he washed away the remnants of the holy water, so it wouldn't add to the damage already done. Then he wrapped the other man with his cape as best he could.

As they slipped into the shadows towards safety, the heartrending whimpers escaping the other man's throat shattered what was left of his heart.

100


 

Whimpers; they were the only sound left to him, his throat raw after the hours of unimaginable pain from the holy water torture. Pain amplified by finding the void in his mind, where she should be, by confronting his own failure and the betrayal by Jean-Claude.

He had abandoned them. He hadn't come in time. His hide was more valuable to him than all the promises. He wouldn't risk it until he was sure it was safe to try it.

He found the strength to spit the words into the other man's face with complete finality:

“I hate you.”

100


 

“Let him go, Jean-Claude. It’s better that way.”

“I can’t.” He shook his head. He knew Augustine meant well, even if his feelings for Asher were less than friendly.

It had been sheer luck that they had found Augustine in their wanderings, a few months before. Now, it was the only safe haven they had.

“Are you ready to pay the price? You know there is only one way to save him.”

“I am.”

“I don’t envy you. Belle will make you two pay dearly.”

“I know,” was his only answer, as pinkish tears ran silently down his face.

100


 Drizzle fell outside, increasing the sense of despair he felt. The roads would be a problem, but there was no time to waste.

“He hates you now. After he realizes what you are planning… And all for what? Look at him!” Augustine was trying to change his mind again.

“Even if hate is all I ever receive from him, that’s still better than having him past all hope.”

Augustine nodded, but with a disapproving glint in his eyes.

Jean-Claude didn’t mind. His friend would never understand.

Julianna would.

He failed her once. He would not fail a second time.

100


 

Asher spent most of the time after rising in a strange state of no-being. Not dead, but not anchored to the world of living either.

In between foggy memories of blood being poured down his throat almost forcefully at times, and the rain outside, the memories came unbidden.

Julianna had been his servant. The one who was meant to be his companion for eternity. And he hadn’t been capable of protecting her.

Maybe that’s why she had screamed the name of the traitor instead of her master’s during her last moments.

He would never forgive Jean-Claude for that.

100


 

Rain had accompanied them all the way back to Paris. He had been told once, in far more innocent days, that raindrops were angel’s tears. But angels wouldn’t cry for the damned ones, would they?

Absentmindedly, he touched the bundled shape at his side, wrapped in heavy cloth. So cold, so unmoving. They had barely made it in time, crossing the muddied roads as fast as the weather had allowed them.

But they were finally there, at the doors of hope. At the doors of hell.

Would the one they loved, the one they hated, receive them? He hoped so.

100


 

Their humiliation had just begun. They were waiting like beggars in the servants’ area, covered in mud, not given the chance to wash and present themselves properly dressed for Belle’s court. Their dark mistress was sending a clear message of where they stood, ominous harbinger of things to come.

As long as she agreed to his request, he didn’t mind. He had been born a servant, made a whipping boy. It made no difference if he had to endure more of the same to save his lover.

He’d drag himself at her feet, do anything if only she helped Asher.

 

A/N: Many thanks to my wonderful beta, Ruas.

 



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