Angel of Death
By. S. F. Wheeler
“Did you guys hear about the new kid?” I asked as we waited for class to start.
“Yeah I heard a bunch of people calling him ‘Angelus mortem’.” Coal said.
“Are you sure they were talking about him?” I asked.
“Yeah I’m positive. Why?” he asked.
“Angelus mortem is Latin for angel of death.” I told him.
“Well I heard he killed his own father.” Coal said.
“No I heard he watched his parents get murdered.” Ryan said.
“Guys those are all just roomers.” I said.
“And you’re all wrong.” a tall dark haired boy said as he entered the classroom. “I watched my father kill my mother.”
“Why would he do that?” I asked appalled. Human’s made no sense to me, of course two of my good friends were human.
“You’re a Lupin aren’t you.” the stranger said plucking my wolf like ears on my head. “My father didn’t say why he killed his only love. All he said was ‘Should this bullet go threw your heart and let you live, we shall live in love forever and one day.’ after that he left.”
“So what’s with the angelus mortem stuff?” I asked.
“It was a Lupin who said it first. Claims he sensed the angel of death around me.” he said.
“Well Lupins are known for seeing the beyond.” Ryan chimed in.
“We don’t see the beyond.” I said. “We just sense auras and mood. By the way the Lupin was right. There’s a heavy cloud of death around you.”
“Please take your seats.” the teacher said just as the bell sounded.
“We have a new student today class. This is Nicklaus Black.” the teacher said. “Take a seat there beside Dylan, the one with the white ears and white/blond hair.”
The stranger sat beside me and gave my tail an odd look.
“Every Lupin has wolf ears and a wolf tail.” I said. “Haven’t you seen one before, I mean we’ve been on your planet for over twenty years now.”
“I’ve seen plenty Lupins but you have white fur.” he said.
“That’s because-” I slapped a hand over Coal’s mouth to stop him.
“Ah. A secret. Interesting.” Nick said.
When lunch came around Coal, Ryan and I met up with Tyler for lunch. As usual we found him sweeping his seat with his tail before sitting to our lunch table. This was an all boys school that people simply called The Academy. But ever since my people, the Lupins, crash landed on earth they allowed us to go to school here to. Since it was a boarding school my very first human friend was Coal, my room mate. Then I met Ryan who was Coal’s friend and I introduced them to Tyler who was a Lupin like myself. Unlike me his fur was brown to match his hair. My hair was a very pale blond but my fur was stark white.
“So the new guy is in your class huh.” Tyler said looking around for Nick.
“Yeah and he was asking about Dylan’s fur.” Coal said.
“Yeah and stupid over there almost told him the secret.” Ryan said hitting Coal on the shoulder.
“You idiot. You know the humans can’t know about Dylan.” Tyler said. “I urged him not to tell you two but he said ‘they’re my friends’. The Lupin have a hard enough time trying to act normal around him as it is.”
“Yeah why is that?” Coal asked.
“I was curious too.” Ryan said.
“You know who and what Dylan is, we can’t very well put him on our level so it’s hard to treat him normal.” Tyler said.
“More secrets?” Nick asked appearing behind us. His aura was pure but what surrounded him was death. Must be why the other Lupin called him angel of death. He didn’t mean Nick himself, he meant the angel of death was surrounding Nick. Which was bad.
“So strange.” Tyler said watching the air around Nick. “His aura is… mixed up.”
“It’s not his.” I said. “Angelus mortem is surrounding him.”
“Oh that’s not good.” Tyler said.
“Huh?” the three humans said together.
“Is something wrong?” Nick asked confused.
“Well good news is your aura is very pure. Bad news… it’s being eaten by the angel of death.” I said.
“It’s… what?” he questioned.
“He means you’re going to die.” Tyler said bluntly.
“Why?” Nick asked. “And how?”
“The angel of death has his own reasons I’m sure. But you never know how.” I told him.
“Ah…?” Coal and Ryan looked baffled.
“Well then. Guess I have to start my bucket list early then.” Nick said sitting to our table.
“A man who doesn’t fear death.” I said impressed. “Well it’s not like you can’t ward him off.”
“What do you mean?” Nick asked.
“Angelus mortem can be warded off, preventing death.” I looked up as the bell rang. “But I still suggest you start that bucket list, humans don’t usually have the ability to ward him off.”
On my walk to the dorm I felt a chill following me. I sighed and turned to see Nick who looked startled. “You can’t sneak up on a Lupin.” I told him.
“Right.” he said. “But I have to know more.”
“Fine then. Come to my room and I’ll tell you everything I know about the angelus mortem.” I said.
As I cooked my dinner I told Nick all about the angel of death. How before anyone died the angel of death could be found surrounding them. And how there was no way to just shoo him off, the only way to get rid of him was by proving yourself, facing your biggest fear, and finding something to live for. Once all three tasks were complete the angel of death would decide if you were worthy of living. Usually the answer was no but then again he was a heartless bastard.
“But how do I know how to prove myself and how do I face my biggest fear?” Nick asked me as I served him a plate of food.
“Once you prove yourself, Angelus mortem will show himself to you and bring you your biggest fear. If you face it then he’ll let you find your reason to live. If he likes it he’ll leave you alone.” I said.
“But how do I prove myself?” he asked.
“Like I said, start that bucket list.”
“I won’t give up so easily.” he said.
“That’s not what I meant.” I said. “One weakness every angle has is for people who do what they want no matter what anyone else says. Someone who can stand up for themselves and be bold you know. Angel’s envy people like that.”
“Why?” he asked.
“Why? Because they can’t have it themselves.” I said.
“You certainly know a lot about Angels.” Nick said.
“Every Lupin does.” I told him. “So let’s start your bucket list, what’s first?”
“Oh ah… here.” he handed me a piece of numbered paper.
“Oh boy. We have to complete all ten of these.” I sighed. “Wha… why is this on your list?”
He smiled “Cause it’s something I want to do.”
“You know every Lupin is male right?” I asked him.
“Oh I know.” he said.
“You humans… I can never understand you.” I sighed.
“Your kind loves the same gender why can’t my kind?” he asked.
“My kind only has one gender and we can become compatible with each other if we fall in love. That’s why we’re not extinct yet.” I said.
“So what would a half human half Lupin look like?” he asked.
“How would I know. There’s no such thing.” I said. “I hope you have someone in mind for this.”
“Oh I do.” he said.
“Well good luck getting a Lupin to kiss you. We’re not too fond of humans.” I said.
“I don’t think it’ll be a problem. But let’s start with something easier.” he said.
“How about this one. Hang gliding.” I said.
A few hours later we were standing atop one of the highest mountains around the academy.
“Why don’t you have a glider?” Nick asked as I buckled him into the hang glider. “Aren’t you coming?”
“I’m coming but I don’t need a glider.” I said with a devious smirk. “Let’s go!”
I leaped off the mountain top and stretched out my skin to form a webbing between each of my arms and my sides, and another between my two legs.
“That is so cool!” Nick called over the rush of wind. I flew beside his glider and watched the sun go down. Then I took out his bucket list and mentally checked off hang gliding.
“So next is… oh how about exploring caves. I know some cool ones just over there.” I said pointing.
“Can we land there?” Nick questioned.
“Sure.” I said. “But hold this.”
“A rope?” he said confused.
“Hold tight so I don’t loose you.” I said tying the rope around my waist. I took a sharp turn and heard Nick yelp in surprise. He tied the rope to his glider and did his best to keep it steady while I manoeuvred threw the mountains and trees.
“Prepare to land!” I called gliding to the ground and landing in a run.
His landing was a bit more ruff than mine was. His glider kept him from falling over but just barely. He shook out his hand which I assumed he hurt in some way and asked “So how did you make those webbings that let you glide?” he unbuckled himself quickly and came to hear my answer.
“Lupin skin has high elasticity.” I said pulling the skin on my arm out about a foot. “Now let’s explore a cave.”
“Don’t you have to get back to your room mate?” Nick asked.
“Coal won’t mind. He’ll probably be over at his girlfriends for the weekend anyway.” I said heading to the cave.
“I can’t see a thing.” Nick said.
“Huh? Oh right human’s don’t have night vision.” I said searching threw my small satchel. “Here wear these.”
“Glasses?” he questioned.
“Night vision glasses.” I said.
“Whoa, look at that. I can see now.” he said. “But where did you get these?”
“Property of the Lupin armoury.” I said.
“The Lupin armoury.” he repeated. “Sounds fun.”
“Come on the cave won’t wait forever.” I said running into the pitch black cave. It lit up with a slight green tint thanks to my built in night vision.
“This is so cool.” Nick said poking at a stalagmite. “Where does this cave go?”
“Ah that’s the best part. To a hidden underground lagoon.” I said. “We’ll come out at the top of a cliff and have to jump off it to get to the water.” I took out his list and checked off cave exploring.
“Whoa.” Nick suddenly stopped and steered ahead of him.
“Ah there it is.” I said looking down at the lagoon. A rope ladder hung from the edge of the cliff but we were going to jump since it was on his bucket list to jump from a cliff. “We can leave our things here so they don’t get wet.” I said piling my stuff by the cliff wall.
“Four birds with one stone.” Nick said. “That’s impressive.”
“Hang gliding, cave exploring, jumping from a cliff, and skinny dipping in a lagoon.” I said. “What would you do if you weren’t skinny?”
“Huh?” he looked at me funny. “I guess your kind doesn’t go skinny dipping.”
“Not that I know of.” I said.
“Ah. Well it’s swimming without clothes.” he said piling all his clothes by the cliff wall and then leaping off the cliff.
“Why would anyone swim with clothes on?” I asked myself as I leaped into the water.
“Hey you can see the sky.” Nick said as he floated on his back. There was a big hole in the ceiling of the cave that let the moonlight shine into the lagoon. I didn’t realize it had gotten so late already.
“Hey can you see that?” I asked looking at a shiny something at the bottom of the lagoon.
He rolled over in the water and tilted his head back and fourth, “Yeah, what do you think it is?”
“Humans can swim under water right?” I said.
“Yeah. Can’t you?” Nick asked.
“No. Lupins can’t go under the water very well. We float too much.” I said.
“Well I think I can reach it. Give me a sec.” he said diving under the water.
When he came back up he held a smooth, shiny, rainbow stone. “What is it?” he asked.
I took the rock and inspected it. “The rock has an aura.” I said confused. “It’s… alive in a way.”
“What do you mean by alive?” he asked.
“I don’t know.” I said. “Inanimate objects don’t have an aura. But this rock does. It’s familiar.”
“Could it be from your planet?” Nick asked.
“Possibly.” I said. “It-wait! I know what it is.”
“Why are you so excited?” he asked.
“This rock is from my home. It’s a sole stone.” I said.
“What’s a sole stone?” he asked.
“Well when your people die you simply bury their bodies and let the sole float away.” I said. “But my people use sole stones to safely hold the deceased persons sole. This stone has a sole inside it. A very old sole.”
“Well that checks off five things.” Nick said.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Find something cool was on my bucket list. This is definitely cool.” he said.
I took the sole stone back with us and laid it on my book shelf. “You know, your sole feels so familiar.” I said to the rock. “Do I know you I wonder?”
“I think the colours just moved.” Nick said as he watched the rock.
“Because the sole is speaking.” I said.
“Wait can you hear it?” he asked.
“No no. Not like that.” I said. “It’s simply trying to show me something. What is it little lost sole?” the colours swirled again and its aura filled me with nostalgia. “So I did know you. From our home planet? Yes. So who are you?”
“I can’t believe he’s talking to a rock.” Nick said to himself.
“What is it?” Nick asked.
“The ‘rock’ thinks you’re jealous of him.” I said. “Now who are you? Family? No. Friend? No. So then… one of my subjects? Yes. I see. So which one? Angus! That’s who you are. My door man!”
“You had a door man?” Nick questioned.
“Ah… yeah.” I said. “This is Angus’ sole. He asked to be sent to earth after he died so he might find me. How strange. I thought he’d of stayed with his love. Yes I know you love me too Angus. You were a friend by the way. Even if you were a servant.”
“You know there’s something I don’t get.” Nick said with a wistful look. “You say he was your door man, and that he wanted to be sent here when he died. So that would mean he was on your home planet. Which means he was your door man on your home planet. Which means you were on your home planet before. But your kind has been trapped on earth for twenty years or more now. So unless your over twenty then you were born on earth. Which would mean you were never on your planet before.”
“Enough.” I said. “You’re right. I’m not eighteen like you all think. I crashed here with the others.”
“So those secrets you and your friends keep hiding?” he questioned.
“I’m not a regular Lupin.” I said. “They call me Libertas angelus. The angel of freedom or the freedom angel. My fur is white because I am royalty. I’m a divine. I rule over the Lupin and have for many centuries. When they decided they wanted to explore new planets I said I would bring them to freedom but our ship crashed. Now we are trapped and I make all the Lupins act as though I am a simple Lupin kid. You cannot tell a sole.”
“I won’t.” he said. “I swear.”
The next morning I woke up to find Nick in Coal’s bed. Good thing Coal was gone for the weekend. I looked at his bucket list again and checked off the ones we had done. Five left. Why were these on his bucket list. Alright easy one’s first. Sky diving and flying in a helicopter could go together. Guess we’d do that today.
“You’re up early.” Nick said stretching out like a cat.
“Yeah Lupins don’t sleep as long as humans. Anyway I know what we can do today.” I said throwing my blankets off and getting dressed.
“Where did you get a helicopter?” Nick asked as we got dressed in our sky diving gear.
“I still have connections even on your planet. Our pilot will take us up to diving height and then fly back to wherever he came from. So we have one shot alright.” I said.
“Got it.” Nick said hoisting himself into the chopper.
“Ready?” I asked over the loud hum of the chopper.
“Yeah let’s go.” Nick said leaping out the door. I followed after him and glided to his side. “You know I never thought I would complete my bucket list.” he called over the wind.
“Yeah well don’t be so hopeful just yet. The last three things on your list might be harder than you think.” I said.
“I don’t think so.” he said.
“If you can find a Lupin then go ahead.” I said. “But who puts ‘fall in love’ on their bucket list. That could take years.”
“It could.” he said pulling his parachute. I used my webbed wings as a parachute and floated beside him. “But I don’t think it will.”
“You seem very sure of that.” I noticed. “Your aura is determined and strong willed and… ahh what’s this, no wonder you‘re sure. You already fell in love.”
“You can tell that by seeing my aura?” he questioned.
“Of course.” I said. “But I don’t just see it I can feel it. dulcis et amarus.”
“What does that mean?” he asked.
“Sweet and sour.” I said laughing.
When we hit the ground the landing was a bit rough. And then of course Nick’s parachute fell onto us so we couldn’t find out how to get free. Finally I decided to just cut threw it with my retractable claws. Nick watched in awe as I retracted my claws.
“Well that’s about all the ones on the list I can check off for you.” I said handing him his almost complete bucket list. “Oh wait, you can check off the first one now. I can confirm that your aura is indeed in love. Now you just have two left. But if you complete them you’ll have to face your biggest fear. Are you ready for that?”
“Is anyone ready for that?” he asked in response.
“Perhaps not.” I said. “But good luck all the same.”
“Are you going to leave now?” he asked.
“I can’t help you any further.” I said. “But I did enjoy helping with your bucket list. Is there any other fun activities you’d like to do? Surfing over lava maybe?”
“Okay first, you can’t surf on lava even if it would be fun. Second, I have one thing we can do. I’ve always wanted to go horse back riding.” he said.
“Horse back riding. Well that one’s easy.” I said. “Follow me.”
“Where are we?” Nick asked when we arrived at a very modern day farm. I smiled and pulled him along to the barn beside the house.
“Horses.” I said waving my arms at the hundred stalls of fine bread horses.
“Oh Dylan, to what do I owe this pleasure, your highness.” the barn keep said.
“George how many times do I have to tell you. It’s just Dylan when we’re on earth.” I said. “Are mother and father home?”
“Em yes. They just got in.” George said.
“Prepare two horses for us will you. We’ll be back out in a bit.” I said before running to the house.
“Mother and father?” Nick questioned. “Wait this is your house?” he asked nervously.
“Yes.” I said. “Now follow me.”
“Dylan. What are you doing here?” mother asked as we entered the house. “You rarely come home on weekends.”
“Yes we weren’t expecting to see you today. Is something wrong?” father asked.
“No no. I’m fine.” I said. “My friend wanted to go horse back riding.”
“Oh I see. Hmmmmm. A human?” Mother said inspecting him.
“Mother.” I snapped.
Nick looked completely confused. I couldn’t blame him. My mother and father were both male since my species only has one gender yet I still depicted them as mother and father. Aside from the obvious motherly instinct there wasn’t any way to tell them apart.
“Don’t be confused.” father said to Nick. “Feel free to take the horses around the trails. Shall I gather your camping gear for you?”
“That’s alright I can get it.” I said. “Come on Nick.”
I opened the door to my room and was ambushed by a small skinny boy with perky blond ears. He threw his arms around my neck and said “Dylan you’re back!”
“Calm down Maxwell.” I told him as I detached him from my neck.
“Who’s that?” Maxwell asked curiously. “He’s pretty.”
“Maxwell, human males don’t call each other pretty. They say handsome.” I told him.
“Is he your looover?” Maxwell asked.
“Maxwell.” I snapped. “Just go fetch my camping bag.”
“Who was he?” Nick asked me.
“My little brother.” I said. “Please excuse him, he just learned to become compatible.”
“He what?” Nick said confused.
“Humans call it puberty.” I said. “Our people learn to become compatible at fourteen so they can find a mate.”
“I’m confused, you say you‘re centuries old but you have a family like this.” Nick said.
“Well you see my real parents died centuries ago but their other kids had kids who had kids and so on. To these people I call mother and father I am probably their great great great great great great great great great uncle. But because I never age they take me in again and again as if I were their son. Maxwell I call my brother but he’s a very distant nephew of mine.” I explained.
His jaw dropped.
“Yes it seems confusing I know.” I said as Maxwell came back with a big bag. “Alright let’s head out.”
We mounted up and after Nick figured out how to guide the horse we headed to my favourite trail. It was a long trail though so we’d have to spend the night in a tent by the lake. Nick seemed to be enjoying himself even though I was guessing his thighs were numb from the saddle. He didn’t seem to mind though.
“Alright, this is the lake. We’ll camp here.” I said sliding down from my horse and leading him to the lake to drink.
“Do you own all this land?” Nick asked tying his horse beside mine.
“My family yes. We breed horses for you humans.” I said stripping down and jumping into the lake.
“Interesting.” he said sliding into the water.
“Now let’s catch dinner.” I said diving under the water for as long as I could and skewering a fish with my claws.
“Wait you catch them with your hands?” he said awed.
“Well don’t you?” I questioned.
“No. We use a hook on a line.” he said attempting to catch a fish with his hands. He had missed it by a mile.
“You know the water obscures your view of the fish right.” I said. “Go underwater and you can see better.”
He dived under the water and scrambled to catch a fish. He had hit the fish many times but he couldn’t catch it. When he had finally caught one it flopped in his hands and slapped him before swimming off again.
“Right.” I said. “While you were dancing with the fish I managed to catch quite a few. Can you start a fire?”
“That I can do.” he said.
While he cooked our food I put up the tent and tended to our horses. All Lupins were naturals in the wild, probably due to the wolf blood in us, but not all humans were meant for the wilderness. Nick seemed fine, it clearly wasn’t his cup of tea but he did seem to like how different it was. As Nick plucked a twig from his hair with a laugh I filled a metal bottle with lake water and let it boil over the fire. Apparently humans had to boil lake water in order to drink it.
“Hey Dylan look at this.” Nick said excitedly as he balanced an array of twigs on the back of his hand. He was like a poodle in a dog show, I couldn’t help but laugh.
We had gone to bed earlier then I usually would so I ended up waking up very early in the morning. So early in fact that it was still dark.
“Dylan?” Nick said groggily. “Why are you up?”
“I’ve slept my five hours.” I said.
“That’s all you sleep for?” he said rolling over to face me.
“The days on my planet are shorter then the ones here. So we sleep five hours then we’re up for ten.” I told him. “Fifteen hour days.”
“Wow they are short.” he said beginning to dose off. “Wait I… I think I wanted to tell you something.”
“Something?” I questioned. “Well what was it?”
“I ah… don’t really remember. I think…” he fell asleep.
“Figures.” I sighed and left the tent.
“Dylan? Now where did he go?” Nick said when he woke up again. He left the tent and I could feel his eyes on me. “Are you meditating in a tree?” he asked me.
“Yes.” I replied calmly. My eyes were closed but it wasn’t hard to picture the confused and awed look on his face.
“Can I ask why?” he asked.
“It clears my head.” I told him. “Are you ready to go?”
“Not just yet.” he said. I heard him climbing the tree and turned to see the determination on his face. He clearly hadn’t climbed a tree before but he made it up just fine and sat on the branch with me. He tired to cross his legs like I had done but he threatened to tip off the branch and instead settled for hanging his legs over the edge.
“I had an interesting dream last night.” he said. “Did I say anything?”
“You were about to but you fell asleep.” I said. “Do you remember what you were going to say now?”
“Yes.” he said tilting his head and inspecting me. “What were you thinking about just now before I came out?”
“I was meditating. That means not thinking.” I said.
“Liar.” he said immediately. “Your cheeks are flush and your pupils are dilated.”
“Oh now you’re smart.” I sighed. “Yes yes I was thinking not meditating.”
“About what?” he asked.
“If you must know, this was the first night I spent alone with someone other than Coal.” I said.
“And?” Nick questioned.
“It never bothered me before.” I said. “It’s aggravating.”
All he did was smile.
“What?” I demanded to know.
He touched my arm and I nearly fell from the tree. “Why did I- I don’t understand.”
“Finally.” he said.
“Finally?” I questioned.
He leaned toward me and my hearts leaped into my throat.
“Why are my hearts doing that?” I asked quietly. I wasn’t sure if my hearts were still beating or not when his surprisingly soft lips touched mine.
He pulled away with a smile and I looked to my hand to see red and pink swirls of aura.
“You didn’t.” I said. “How could I? I’m not allowed to.”
“Not allowed to what?” Nick asked. I took his hand and inspected his aura. Red and pink swirls.
“Of course you did.” I said letting our auras mix. “Completely the same. How?”
“Are you planning on explaining this to me?” Nick asked.
“Thanks to that,” I said. “you changed my aura.”
“Yeah I’m still not following.” he said.
“Because you can’t see it.” I said comparing our auras again. “They match perfectly.” I sighed and smiled at the same time. “In other words… you made me fall in love.”
“Well I can check another thing of my bucket list.” he said happily.
“Well that only leaves one right.” I said checking his list. I looked up from the list and steered at him with a crooked expression.
“Ha don’t give me that look.” he said. “I made my bucket list awhile ago.”
“And you put this on it?” I questioned.
“Well yeah. I am a guy.” he said.
“Yes you are.” I said looking at him over the list. “So how would that work if I was human?”
“Do you want me to explain or…?”
“Don’t explain. I assume it works the same as us you just can’t conceive.”
“So why can you?” he asked.
“We can change our insides to become compatible with another male. That way we can produce an egg like a female would. Birth is hard on us as you can imagine but we haven’t gone extinct yet.” I said.
“How interesting that I’d fall for a fallen angel.” he said.
“How interesting that my body would accept it’s change so willingly.” I sighed.
“Huh?” he looked confused.
I growled to myself then said “Thanks to you being human I was the one who had to change his compatibility. Most people say the change is hard,” I inspected the palm of my hand then clenched it into a fist. “But I’m afraid now you have a serious problem.”
“I do?” he questioned.
“Unfortunately for you, me being a divine and a royal is a serious problem.” I explained. “As tradition on my planet the royal family must be pure bloods. And you’re a human.”
“Well as tradition on our planet,” he said. “If you love someone, nothing else matters.”
“Ah.” I smiled. “So it seems. My people might be upset however. Due to the fact that you’re human and the fact that their new king would be a half blood.”
“New king?” he questioned.
“Of course.” I said “The only reason I have been king for so long is because I have never fallen in love. So I could never have a child to be heir.”
“So is it tradition as well that the king must have an heir?” he asked.
“Of course.” I said. “However the king is not usually the one to carry said heir. Now we should head back before we loose daylight.”
When I walked into my house to put away my camping bag my parents instantly ran to my side with wide eyes.
“Hun…” mother said, “I know this might be a strange question but why exactly do you have a pink and red aura?”
“Yes it’s strange that you would have such feelings. But um… who are they for?” father asked.
Nick entered the room and my parents gasped. “They’re auras match!”
“Um Dylan?” Nick questioned as my mother fanned his self dramatically.
“Don’t mind him.” I said. “I did tell you before that Lupin’s don’t like humans very much.”
“The royal line.” mother said even more dramatically.
“Hun a half blood will be good for us.” Father said. “We do live on earth now. Perhaps it’s time we accepted them.”
“That’s not the main problem here.” mother said. “Our little boy is now obligated to have a kid. And also… once there’s a new heir…”
“I know sweetheart but it’ll be okay.” father said as they moved to the other room.
“What were they talking about?” Nick asked me with a worried look.
“I’m immortal currently because there are no heirs to the throne. Once there’s a new heir to the royal line the old king will die.” I said.
“What? But that’s not fair.” he said.
“Not fair? I’m immortal.” I said.
“Well you could just not have a kid right?”
“You don’t know much about the Lupin do you.” I sighed with a smile. “Every king is obligated to have a kid once they fall in love.”
“Your kind’s ways are strange.” he said. “So… how old are you?”
“Oh now that’s a secret.” I said putting a finger to my lip.
“Being only nineteen I had to ask.” he said.
“My ageing stopped at eighteen because that’s when my kind hits full adulthood.” I told him. “Now I think we should head back to school before my parents decide to question you.”
“Hey Dylan.” Coal said from behind his comic book. “Where were you today?”
“Out with Nick.” I said as Nick and I entered the room.
“It’s almost midnight.” Coal said “Where did you two go?”
“Well let’s see, hang gliding, skydiving, spelunking, swimming, horse back riding, camping, cliff diving.” I said. “Was that it?”
“Probably.” Nick said.
Coal looked up over the edge of his comic and steered at us then asked “Why?”
“My bucket list.” Nick said. “If I’m going to die I better do all the things I want first.”
“Ah. Makes sense.” Coal said. “So did you finish them all?”
“All but one.” Nick said.
“Really? So what is it maybe I can help.” Coal said.
“No.” Nick said with a smirk. “It’s not something just anyone can do. Besides I’m not sure I could allow it anyway.”
“Wait why not?” I asked.
“I don’t want you to die.” he said.
“Huh? What the hell is on that list?” Coal asked.
“If I don’t you will.” I said. “And I have more time then you.”
“What nine months?” he questioned. “That’s not enough.”
“No you idiot.” I said. “Until he’s an adult. That’s when he’ll become king and I’ll die.”
“Right so I don’t understand what’s going on.” Coal said. “But I get the feeling I should go stay with Ryan for the night while you… figure this out.”
“So you won’t instantly die?” Nick questioned.
“Of course not.” I said. “That would be stupid. I’ll live to raise my own son. You however,” I inspected his aura, “You don’t have that long. The angel of death doesn’t want you to die instantly. It’s almost like he want’s you to foil his plan.”
“Why would he want that?” Nick asked.
“Don’t ask me.” I said. “You know… for some reason the angel of death’s aura is blended with your own. Like he’s a part of you.”
“I… didn’t tell you before but a Lupin was the one who found me after my father killed my mother. The first thing he said was ‘Angelus mortem lies within you now. Take care not to die.’ I never understood what he meant.” Nick said.
“What he meant.” I repeated. “Unfortunately that was obvious.”
“It was?” he said confused.
“Nicklaus Black. Guess I should have known your father was Nathaniel Black.” I said.
“How did you know that?” he asked.
“Nick I do hate to break this to you but your father is Angelus mortem, the angel of death.” I told him.
“What? Then why would he be trying to kill me?”
“That’s just it.” I said. “He’s not. The reason your aura shows the angel of death eating away at you is because it’s in your blood. Your father isn’t killing you, he’s trying to convert you.”
“Convert? As in turn me into a death angel?” he questioned.
“Exactly.” I said.
Suddenly Nick yelped and fell to the ground as he gasped for air. The dark cloud of aura around him was whipping at him.
“Nick!” I yelled. “He knows we know. He’s trying to take you.”
“So I noticed.” he said threw gritted teeth. “How do I get rid of him?”
“Well… I told you already. You have to prove yourself.” I said.
“The last thing on my list.” he said. The dark aura let up and Nick finally caught his breath. “Did he leave?”
“No. He’s letting you prove yourself.” I said. “You have to show him you can get what you want no matter the cost.”
“But the cost isn’t even mine to bear.” he said.
“No it’s mine.” I said. “And I’m fine with paying it.”
“You’re serious?” he said wide eyed.
“Yeah I am.” I said. “So long as you are too.”
“Of course.” he said.
“Then give me your hand.” I said holding out my own.
“What for?” he asked as he gave me his hand.
“Compatibility matching.” I said.
“It works with just a touch?” he questioned.
“Of course.” I said. “Don’t look at me like that. It makes my hearts beat too fast.”
“How many hearts do you have?” he asked.
“Two.” I said. “How many do you have?”
“We have one.”
“Humans are weird.” I said.
“Says the alien wolf.” Nick said with a smile. “Listen I want to be sure your okay with-”
I cut him off with a kiss.
“Ah. I’ll take that as my permission.” he smiled brightly which lit up his aura.
I had to smile, he was stronger than the angel of death. He’d win this fight without a doubt.
I was awoken by a buzzing noise that I soon realized was my alarm clock. It was Monday wasn’t it. So we had school today.
“Nick wake up we have class.” I said as I stretched out. “Ha, you look so cute and innocent while you sleep. Now, wake up!”
“Huh? What’s going on?” he asked confused. “Oh morning Dylan. I know you only sleep for five hours but- wait it’s nine o’clock. Did you just wake up?”
“Yeah my alarm woke me.” I said as I got dressed.
“You slept for seven hours.” Nick said watching me from the bed with a smirk.
“Wipe that smirk off your face.” I said throwing him his shirt. “I am allowed to be tired.”
His smirk only grew.
“Come on or we’ll miss class.” I said.
“You’re late.” Coal said. “That’s unusual. You’re normally up hours before you have to be. What were you doing?”
“Nothing.” I said quickly.
“Whoa whoa whoa.” Coal eyed me. “You’re all flush. Embarrassed about something?”
“It’s a secret.” I said.
“Ah now we have a secret they don’t know.” Nick said.
“Eh?” Coal steered at us.
“Never mind that.” I said. “Considering you completed your list, Angelus mortem might-” The roar of thunder interrupted me. “Show up at any moment.” I sighed.
“Hey look outside.” someone called. Everyone ran to the windows, and out in the field was a man in a black cloak.
“Nick. You have a visitor.” I said turning to see his startled look. He was afraid and I couldn’t blame him. Nick’s own father, who had killed his wife, was the angel of death, here to determine weather his son was worthy of living.
“I’m with you Nick.” I said. “Whatever your fear is… you can beat it.”
“But you don’t know what my fear is.” he said looking at me concerned. “I should have told you before. My fear is-”
“Being just like his father.” Angelus mortem said as we approached him. “I’m glad you’re here Dylan. Now he can face his fear.”
“Your fear.” I said in realization. “Killing your love.”
“Not killing.” his father said. “Shooting his love with this gun.”
“What’s the difference?” I asked.
“He says it’s a gun for hexed bullets.” Nick said. “That if the bullets can go threw your love’s heart and not kill them then you’ll be together forever and one day.”
“Exactly.” his father grinned. “Take the gun now, son. Face your fear and see if this wolf man really loves you.”
Nick took the gun and steered at it. It must be the same gun his father used to kill his mother. I took a deep breath and knelt before him.
“What are you doing?” Nick asked me.
I bowed my head to him then smiled up at him, “I said I’m with you, whatever the fear.”
“My fear is shooting you.” he said.
“I know.” I said.
“Then why would you let me do it?” he asked.
“Your father is right about the hexed bullets.” I said. “If one of those bullets passes threw my heart then my love for you is true. If I die… then I don’t love you.”
“So my mom…” he said.
“Didn’t love me.” his father said bluntly. “Now. Face your fear!”
“Dylan.” Nick could only steer at me. “Are you sure the bullets work?”
“I’m positive.” I said.
“Then I’ll face my fear.” he said “I know you love me even if I can’t see our matching auras or whatever it was you could see.” he wielded the gun and it was easy to tell he was afraid of it.
“Nick.” I said calmly. “It’s alright.”
He took a deep ragged breath and pulled the trigger.
I wasn’t afraid though it was nerve racking to watch the bullet come at me in slow motion. It stung to have a bullet go threw my heart, luckily I had two because he had aimed at the right side of my chest.
“Just a note here.” I said. “If I were human you would have missed my heart.”
Nick let out a slightly hysterical laugh and dropped to his knees. “I faced my fear.”
“Oh is that all you’re excited about?” I asked.
“No.” he said with a small smile. “That’s only exciting. I’m happy because you love me.”
“Good thing to.” I said. “Otherwise you would have been tortured and killed for killing a royal.”
“Oh good to know.” he said.
“Not to mention a royal carrying a child.” I said.
Nick and his father’s eyes went wide as they steered at me.
“Because of the hexed bullet though,”
“What is it?” Nick said alarmed as he rushed to me.
“Clam down.” I said. “It’s good news. The hex states that if it passes threw my heart and doesn’t kill me then we’ll be together forever and a day.”
“Meaning, Neither of us is going to die anytime soon.” I said. “So long as mister Angelus mortem here let’s you live.”
“There’s only one task left.” his father said. “But it seems that too was accomplished. You found something to live for.”
“A family.” Nick said.
“Indeed.” his father said. “So you’re free to live the rest of your life. Just remember you are an Angelus mortem.”
“And I’m the Libertas angelus.” I said proudly.
“Freedom angel.” his father gasped.
“And you can be damn well sure I’ll free him from more than just you.” I said.
“Well son, I wish you luck. Having a freedom angel at your side is a true blessing.” his father said.
“One last thing.” I said snatching his hood and pulling it down to reveal two fluffy black ears.
“Ah ha. I knew it.” I said triumphant. “Nick, you’re not what you think you are.”
“Huh?” was his reaction.
“How did you know?” his father asked.
“Angels are Lupin.” I said. “Yet there Nick is, no ears, no tail, on the verge of becoming a death angel, with a father that is a death angel.”
“So do you know why?” he asked with an evil grin.
“I don’t know about the ears but I noticed something the other night. There’s a scar on his back where a tail would be.” I said. “You clipped his tail.”
“I did.” he said.
“Wha-” Nick’s jaw dropped. “You clipped off my tail? I had a tail?”
“You’re a Lupin Nick.” I said. “So what about his ears? You couldn’t have clipped them.”
“No. He still has his ears. You just can’t see them.”
“Another hex.” I said. “Break it.”
“Why not.” he said snapping his fingers.
Nick’s jaw twitched along with his wolf ears. “I’m a Lupin?” he smoothed down his ears then turned to me. “So this means the next king will be a pure blood.”
“So it does.” I said. “I’m sure my parent’s will be pleased.”
“And you? Are you pleased?” Nick asked.
“Don’t think I’ll lie to please you. I am happy you’re a Lupin.” I said. “But… I’m more happy that you’re you. And that you’re alive.”
“That’s good to hear.” he said hugging me.
“Little too tight.” I squeaked.
“Oh sorry. I didn’t know I was that strong.” he said confused.
“Your Lupin side is no longer hidden. Though your tail is gone you still possess all the other Lupin traits. Your stronger than humans and faster. Also you have two hearts.” I said.
“That’s a lot to get use to.” he said.
“Don’t worry.” I said taking his hand, “I’ll be right here.”