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All of her frustration that had been building up through out the week was released when she focused all her energy on running faster, lifting heavier. People had been calling her a beast because of her hard work out programs that could match the ones of any pro athlete going for the olympics. Cassandra had always been pushing her body hard. Liking the way her muscles worked and knowing it’s limits a requirement to hold up to the standards for a fire fighter. She was smaller than most of the others and had to compensate by having more endurance and acting smarter. The blonde was ambitious and when there had been announced that another captain position was open she had been pushing herself harder. In her word failure was not an option, she worked for a goal until she reached it. A very black and white way to see the world.
It took a while for her pounding heart and elevated breath to calm down to a normal rhythm and meanwhile the thoughts that had been causing her tensions caught up to her. The celestial was usually good at living in the moment and leaving tomorrows worries outside her bubble but lately the constant threat that the aspects and their guards posed had been nagging on her. Not knowing if they would go to war or not was draining. Cass wasn’t afraid for herself being locked up hadn’t been the end of the world but she knew that may of the other celestials where still scared by it and she wouldn’t let the people she saw as her family go through that again.
For her self the years on the island was nothing but a blur. She remembered a vague conversation with their leader but nothing more and before they had gotten anywhere Ophelia had rescued them. She had managed to block most of it out to not go crazy. To not go out for vengeance for the guards killing her fiancé when capturing her. Cass tried and mostly succeeded but at times it was hard not to hold a grudge and remember that the aspects surely had a reason for acting the way they had. Hadn’t she done the same if she believed their species posed a threat to hers? She wanted to think not to think that she would try to reason first and not act out of fear but her work at with the F.D had taught her better. People acted unpredictable under the influence of fear.
After a quick shower the celestial left the gym and tried not to take the thoughts of the future with her. She didn’t have any plans this evening, her next shift weren’t for a couple of days and she hadn’t anything spontaneous and adrenaline rushing planned. Going home to the castle and hang out with the other fallen stars was always an option but she felt too anxious to do so. As she wandered the streets the blonde noticed a big male she recognised sitting alone in a bar. It was a face she’d recognise anywhere a man that had been haunting her dreams the past 3 years since she’d been freed.
Before she knew it her feet had start moving and she entered the bar. How foolish of him to be there all alone, without a single one of his guards, with the number of enemies he had in town it wasn’t a wise choice. Cassandra wasn’t there to wound him, even tho she knew many of the other celestials wouldn’t be so merciful if they had the chance. She just wanted to understand why and then go from there. To not be aware of the turbulent aspects escapades with both women and booze was an achievement in it self and she of course was well informed.
”Is this really a place for someone your position Aspect?” She asked with a raised brow waiting for him to counter.
Erythreus stood outside the manor, hands tucked into his pockets, and drenched from the rain falling from the heavens above. Once again, the Aspect of Death found himself crumbling and his world spinning out from underneath him. Blonde headed women seemed to be toxic to Erythreus, and for whatever stupid reason, he continued trying his hand with them. Sofi hadn't been an exception, she was fierce and challenged Erythreus, and if it was over, then he would cherish the memories he'd made with her. She had been the only accidental bump in that he'd never forget. Unfortunately, the irrational, impulsive drunk within Erythreus decided to lean in and kiss her. The rest was likely history now, so here he stood, self loathing and ready to numb the pain the only way he knew how.
Erythreus was now the Aspect's ambassador, and felt he was slowly but surely failing them. While there was nothing directly that he could do, he just felt that he needed to be doing more than he currently was.It was hard enough to know some of them didn't believe in Ery, but to not believe in yourself, feels like an entirely different set-back. Finding himself slipping into a cab, discreetly, so that Dom didn't feel obligated to follow, Erythreus hitched a ride to one of his favorite bars. He had made so many memories here. One of them happened to be named Serena Hamilton. Erythreus had been having a bad night, and Serena had lost a patient, and casually sat there drinking water, which Ery decided to comment on. From that point on, he couldn't remember a moment where he wasn't trying to win her heart.
But, just like every other blonde, he'd lost her too. Perhaps they had some kind of vendetta against the broody Aspect. He chuckled at such an amusing thought, and sat on one of the bar stools, ordering his usual "Whiskey, neat" he said simply, and reminded Chelsea to start his tab. Chelsea was one of his favorite bartenders. Her red hair spiraled down her back in waves, and reach past her perfect ass almost, while her emerald green eyes could pirece right through a man's very soul. Erythreus had been trying to score her number since he started coming here, but since he'd had no such luck, he typically left with whatever woman amused most.
This would be a long night, and the Aspect of Death didn't intend to leave without being trashed. Everything had started off as normal as could be expected, with the exception of Chelsea being more flirty than usual. But, when a females voice chimed in, asking if this was really a place for someone in Ery's position, and even called him out by the word ' Aspect', Erythreus couldn't help but whip his head around to meet that of a blonde. One he hadn't slept with, oddly. And, while he hadn't slept with her, something about the female was strikingly familiar to Erythreus., in a way that sent chills along his spine, and caused the hairs on his neck to rise.
"For someone in my position? If you wanna talk about positions we can do that somewhere more private" He flashed a coy smirk in her direction, before turning back around to his drink. "You seem familiar" he added, and turned his glass up to his lips finishing his drink in one large swig, with his back turned to her still. The Aspect of Death was in need of letting go, and that's exactly what he planned to do tonight. Perhaps now, he'd have some company while doing so. He had to admit though, the female didn't seem to happy about his presence.
Even tho she was in theory knew the aspect, keeping tabs on him and following all the rumours about him you know keep the friends close but enemies closer talk, seeing him flirt live was a different thing. She noticed the bartender giving him longing looks. He was a ladies man who fell in and out of love almost every night. She understood why he’d try to chase the bartender, a red headed beauty with a slender body but more feminine than hers as it hadn’t been pushed by training 5 hours a day. What she didn’t understand was what they saw in him, a broody soul who liked alcohol a little too much. Did they just want to try and tame him to have that on their credentials? How cruel if so was the case or maybe she was just partial about him because he was the main reason her kind lived in fear and her fiancé was no longer alive.
”I am sorry Fairy, did I ruin your game?” She asked tilting her head at the red head by the bar. Slipping the nickname she’d picked up from one of the blondes on his ex list unmindfully as if it was a name she just had come up with herself and didn’t have a meaning or history to him. That the aspect had had a history with blondes was no secret but none of them had lasted very long. The doctor had been an exception but now she was MIA. The sassy blonde waited for his reaction by preparing to leave if he replied with a yes.
Reading him Cass could see that he recognised her but didn’t make the connection. Either he was too alcoholized to or he really had no conscience forgetting about the species he had enslaved some of them for decades centuries even. The thought made the opinionated blondes blood boil but she forced herself to remain calm she hadn’t heard his version yet. Maybe he had a reason for his actions. ”Glad to hear you remember the ones you kept as pets for 60 plus years” She whispered sweetly low enough for only him to hear maybe that would trigger the males memory cells.
”I doubt you’d be able to fulfil that with the alcohol consumption you have impotence wouldn’t surprise me?” The sharp tonged celestial replied at is implied invitation rolling her eyes. He surely lived up to his reputation so far. The vulnerable empathic male she’d only gotten a glimpse of at Skye was no where to be seen. Maybe this was just a waste of time trying to hear what he had to say and get a clarity in his actions, a stupid risk that could jeopardise all of the celestials stay in evermore. She really hoped not telling the other celestials and especially Ophelia that they had to go on the run again due to her reckless actions just because she wanted answers was not a happy future.
Redheads certainly would have been a different approach for the Aspect of Death, and while rumors circulated, saying that redheads were much crazier than every other female, Erythreus definitely wouldn't mind giving this bartender a try. Though he only had one thought in mind about what it was he wanted to do with her. Falling in and out of love constantly, was due to how many one night stands he had had since coming into this city. It was easier to bring a temporary fling home, and send them on their way after you've gotten enough satisfaction from it than to allow feelings to get involved and have your heartbroken.
As much as Erythreus just wanted to enjoy his time, he couldn't help but flex the muscles in his jaw when a haunting nickname was tossed at him. "Seriously? Fairy? Of all the names you could have called me, I mean, even bastard would have settled more nicely than that one" he shot a piercing glare towards the blonde responsible for possibly ruining his whole night now, shaking his head, sighing softly to himself. The Aspect of Death proceeded to his drink, he definitely needed it now more than ever, when she reminded him of his actions years ago towards her kind. He knew the mission of creating peace between the Ailwards and Celestial would be a slow one, but it wasn't until an angry Celestial came along, that he realized it was going to be a lot harder than he wanted it to be. Like all the rest, Cassandra was well within her rights to be pissed at Erythreus and the rest of the Aspects and Guards, but they'd had their reasons back then, and even now, it still seemed right. "If given the chance, I wouldn't do anything differently." his response was plain and simple and lacked emotion. It's not that he wasn't empathetic towards them, it's just that he felt none of them realized what kind of position the Ailwards had been put in when the Isle fell.
"I'm sorry for what you went through back then. But it appears none of you really know what we went through" he added, and gave her a look before taking one more shot, deciding to cut himself off for this conversation, which was odd for Erythreus. He never usually cared enough to be sober, but for whatever reason, this woman had his attention. He could only smirk at her insult, or what he heard as an almost insult when she said she doubted his ability with the amount of alcohol he'd had so far "The alcohol doesn't hinder my performance at all love. Doesn't my very big reputation tell you that as well? If not, i'm happy to give you a live demonstration" his expression was coy and smug, almost like he was proud, except, it wasn't pride, it was just Erythreus being his typical blunt self.
"In all seriousness though.." he then said, and pushed the shot glasses away from him before turning to face her "I know this isn't what you're approaching me for. Im not sure anything I say will give you the closure you need" the Aspect knew he was grimacing a little, and hated showing emotion, but he couldn't help it. When it really came down to it, he did feel terrible for what they had all went through, and he hated that there had been so much miscommunication that the Celestial's never really got to hear the other side of the story. He was more than willing to give her his side of things, but he had a feeling she'd be tougher to talk to than some of the Celestial's he had faced so far. Cassandra had lost more than just her freedom, and he was very aware of that.
"Do you think you can tolerate me enough to take a walk with me? I'm happy to give you another side to this story but not here" Erythreus finished off, flashing her a sinister grin, just to make her nervus about walking with him, because yeah, as humble as he could be, he was always a pretty big douche sometimes, and no matter what he said, there always seemed to be sarcasm in his words. The broody alcoholic was a lost cost, but he knew someday, somewhere out there, someone would find him worthy of a meaningful conversation.
After losing her first and only love Cass had limited herself to temporary love affairs. Actually she’d never been much of a relationship girl. It hadn’t been her dream to get married she had found a home at the station, but her fiancé came from a background of foster homes and never really had a stable family. When he proposed she couldn’t deny. Without him she wasn’t sure she would have had any stable relationships to look back to so maybe she shouldn’t judge Erythreus preference for abrupt relations. It was less complicated and time consuming. However she always made sure the once engaged with her knew it was only a short time thing a curtsy the aspect didn’t seem to be giving his scores.
The nickname had an even sharper effect than she would’ve thought. Almost giving her bad conscience, almost. She wasn’t there to hurt him, or judge him even she only wanted to hear his version and by being offensive she wouldn’t come far. The blonde was known for speaking her mind but usually she was good at not judging or putting valuation into actions. Now it was as if someone had removed all those limits and was eagering her on to follow her impulses. She could´ve apologised, normal her would but something prevented the words from coming out. She just continued watching Erythreus enjoy himself to another beverage.
His lack of empathy and followed by a confession that he wouldn’t do anything different, words that came rather casually but didn’t come as a surprise. She could understand that they must’ve been pressured to make such a drastic decision to turn on an entire species, but what they had went through was nothing like the hell the celestials had lived through. She doubted any situation she’d been put in would’ve caused her to take the same decision. She wanted to say that but bit her lip. He knew the celestials feelings about the situation already.
”I am afraid your reputation has not exceeded you” she said rolling her eyes at his offer. ”That won’t be necessary” she denied dryly when the aspect suggested a demonstration. Sleeping with the enemy never ended in grace. Was he the enemy tho? She had never been sure if that hence the audience she’d demanded while being locked up. ”I am not here for closure I got that the minute we escaped” the star ensured him taking a sip of wine to endure whatever was to come.
”Thats all I ask” Cassandra told him softening her expression some. ”I am sorry I came off to hard Aspect I am not here to judge you I am confident you do that on your own” The blonde rose from her chair ready to hear his version of the events however hard it may be.
Erythreus had built himself quite the rep with blondes, in fact, he was sure that by now, all anyone knew about him was his inability to control himself around women, and had gotten used to being called a sleaze bag. No one truly knew that deep down, the Aspect of Death was just a simple man who enjoyed the idea of an old school romance. Erythreus didn't exactly go out of his way to present that side of himself to anyone, but it's not like he'd been given much of a chance either. Abrupt and short-term relationships were all he'd been able to sustain, especially with his duties as a leader.
The nickname hit a sore spot in the Aspect, causing his heart to sink deep within the walls of his chest, feeling as if someone had knocked the wind from his lungs. It was a silly nickname, but it apparently still had meaning to it, and effected Erythreus more than he cared to admit. Ery was normally quite blunt and filter less when he was engaged in conversation, especially with someone who didn't enjoy being around him, and Cassandra was no exception, only.. he found himself feeling a little guilty of the words he had used. IT was true that if given a chance, he wouldn't take back any of the decisions the Ailwards made in the past to protect everyone, but he knew there was a better way of going about how he spoke it so casually.
The snide smirk adorning his features only broadened when Cassandra said a demonstration wouldn't be necessary shortly after reminding him that his rep hadn't exceeded him. Erythreus shook his head, he truly didn't expect anything less from her right now, and gave a nod to acknowledge the words she did speak while enjoying every last drop of every drink the bartender graciously passed his way. "It's nice to hear you got closure. Many of your kind hasn't even started the healing process yet.. it's tragic." he expressed as genuinely as he could. A man as broody as Erythreus normally didn't do genuine or empathy very well, but here he was anyways.
The Aspect of Death stood there in surprise when Cassandra rose from her seat. He was sure she would decline his invitation to walk, but he wouldn't waste anymore time wondering why. After holding the door open for her to exit first, Erythreus strolled out and began walking. The streets were busy as always, but he knew they could walk and talk without people overhearing certain things, and he enjoyed the soothing breeze from the spring time air surrounding them right now. "So yeah" he sighed and stuffed his hands down into his pockets, bracing himself to explain something that still came rather hard to him.
"No matter what happened back then, none of us could have been ready for it. The Celestial's couldn't have prepared to be locked away, and losing their freedom for years, and the Ailwards couldn't have known they'd be the very ones taking said freedom."
Erythreus knew it was much deeper than them just losing their freedom, because so many had lost their loved ones, or partners. "And I know that no matter what is said about the matter, it won't turn it around and make it better. But, I would like to think that we can make a starting line here to begin something like peace" making amends between the two species would come as a task of course, but there's nothing he wouldn't do to see it through. "I'm sorry for what you lost Cassandra.." the Aspect trailed off, unable to make eye contact, but hoped his voice was genuine enough for her to know he was serious.
He was sorry to them all. But he'd never let his own down, nor fail the task at protecting the world, and bringing peace to it. It was what he and his other Aspects had been given a second chance for, and he wanted to do the right thing with his so called second chance. The Aspect glanced over to Cassandra and swallowed before he continued. "I know it must still be hard for you, you lost more than your freedom, so I don't expect you to just forgive and forget.. again, I just hope we can find some common ground and maybe go from there"
Erythreus hoped Cassandra would feel okay enough to be open with him, as he was sure she had plenty to say. But, not many people were open books when it came to the kind of pain she had endured.
Back at sky the gossip of the aliwards lives was one way to pass time, and since Erythreus had had one of the more interesting love lives at the time it had been one of the hotter topics among the celestials. It was shallow but this normal speculation both helped with feeling some ounce of normality and keeping tabs on the enemy learning every detail they could about their enemy. Rumour had it that the aspect of death was a hopeless romantic which Cassandra could imagine. Behind all sarcasm and flirting she could see a man who just tried to protect is heart or at least it was what she had sensed back at the island. Now she wasn’t so sure anymore. The soft side she´d experienced back there, the one that kept her hopeful, wasn’t the man shew was faced with now.
It was a relief that Ery didn’t tip toe around the subject, the celestial hated people who beat around the bush it was simply a waste of time and complicated things, and she defineatly didn’t need further complications in her life. Fleeing from a species and trying to start again after losing your other half was more than enough.
Cass had always been good at letting go of bad memories and move forward. The blonde rarely got caught in the passed feeling anxiety about past actions. Maybe it was necessary in her line of duty. There was rarely any closure beyond the one you created yourself, on the cases they got called out to. You had to accept that once you’ve given the responsibility over to other authorities there was nothing you could do. It was what broke most firefighter and maybe another reason she had gotten so good at it, because she didn’t dwell. Maybe she had gotten too good at it even. The female had done the same when her fiancé died, just closed off her feelings and moved on refusing to talk about it or even acknowledge her grief. One day it was bound to boil over.
”What a gentleman” She commented sarcastically rolling her eyes as she passed him through the door he held. Where had that riddance been when he decided to capture an entire species? There was a few minutes of silence between them, none of them sure how to begin. Would it spark a flame in the other a flame that would lit the fragile peace between the two species. As they walked silently and aimlessly beside each other through the night Cass notised that there was still quite a few people out.
Just as Cass was about to say something to start the conversation she heard Ery start talking. ”It was an active decision both to capture us, and keep us like that for decades hunting us down as we fell” The celestial said calmly without sounding judge just stating facts. Was this how he saw it? That their captivation was just something that had been thrown into his knee and that he had to deal with? It was infuriating to say the least but she took a deep breath and kept her face blank from feelings. She wanted to hear his version and had promised not to judge.
His apology came as a chock. It wasn’t what she had asked for or expected. Did he think that just a simple sorry would erase everything he’d put them through? How typically manly. ”I don’t want your apologies Aspect” She cut him off before he could speak more about her fiancé, he had no right talking about him as if he’d known him or the pain he’d caused he had no idea. Many of the celestials were scarred for life, awoken by nightmares, claustrophobic to a bizarre degree. The firefighter could hear that he was genuinely sorry but had no understanding of just how bad he’d wounded their kind.
”However I’d like to understand you, so tell me the entire story of what led you to capture us” She said a little softer her green eyes looking into his ice blue. It sent shivers down her spine it was something there something that triggered a feeling she hadn’t felt in a really long time. It was so unexpected that she lost focus for a second and almost fell over a bottle someone had left out on the street.
((( Sorry this one's so long! You''ll understand why after you read it xD )))
Erythreus knew of the rumors back then, or in his case.. the facts. He guessed he even understood all the gossip. The Celestial's had to pass time and do things to distract themselves from full-blown insanity. The Aspect of Death had built himself quite the reputation back when he'd first met Cassandra, and it only grew until it was out of control. By the time Erythreus realized he needed to slow down, it was a bit too late, and he'd slept with over half the people on the Isle of Sky. Even those who were locked in cages. Cassandra had been one of the exceptions, and he figured back then, if she hadn't had a fiance, he would have been with her too.. but she was also fierce and seemed to see through the Aspect of Death. Something he didn't quite enjoy.
Erythreus gave a smug expression towards the Celestial when she sarcastically called him a gentleman, shaking his head before allowing a frustrated sigh to escape his lips. This was the time of night the Aspect liked best, and he was typically lurking in a graveyard. But, tonight was a different ballgame entirely, and even though he wasn't sure how this would play out, he was ready to have this talk with Cassandra. The streets were quite busy for the time of night it was, but it didn't phase Erythreus much. He just hoped that neither him nor Cassandra ran into any danger. Somehow he just knew she'd say it's his fault if they did.
Ery's way of seeing things may not have been the best, but he was sure that Cassandra showing no emotion at all was worse than her seeming angry at him. It actually scared him, and he had began waiting for her to snap. It saddened the Aspect that no matter how he would word this, nothing would suffice, nor would she or any of the other Celestial's ever understand that the Ailwards did what they had to do. Innocents suffered, yes. But the number of innocents who had suffered was much less than what it would have been, had the Ailwards not made the decision they'd made.
"I can't begin to imagine how long it must have felt like for you... all of you" he started, after she finished with her first comment. "I'll never understand your pain, especially yours Cassandra. You lost a little more than others did.. more than just time" he knew she'd lost her fiancé, and he knew she blamed him for that. "Hating me.. or any of the others won't bring him back, and it won't give you back the time you lost during captivity.. I hate it all. I hate that we had to make such a decision, it didn't come easily. But I honestly did do the only thing I thought I could, as much as the others did" Erythreus inhaled and averted his gaze, in a feeble attempt to make eye contact with her.
Erythreus expected just as much and nothing less when she'd cut him off, and rightfully so. "I shouldn't have crossed that line. I won't speak of him again" he said apologetically before gulping as she asked to hear the entire story of how the decision came to light when the Ailwards decided to capture the Celestials.
"The story is a long one, but i'll brief it for you as much as I can." he then took a deep breath, and figured this would be one of the few chances he'd get to give at least one Celestial a little bit of closure, and if not, then he tried.
"It all started with Emilia Dreyvalian.. the first Wayfinder of your kind.. When she died, the Ailward came to the aid of the Celestials, preventing their deaths to ensure that the balance of time remained in a good state. It was several hundred years after that, that Ophelia Dreyvalian became the new Wayfinder and struck a deal with our kind to protect her people from dangers of those who wished them harm. In return for their protection the Ailward required Ophelia to return in time and fix time rifts that had been caused by the deaths of her ancestors, saving them allowed her to bring back her people. The agreement worked for several years but was shattered when a star named Raven Milenia was killed by a group of Initia seeking to change the tables of power between themselves and the phoenixes. Ophelia returned to the time of Raven’s death but the Initia had known of the wayfinder, and she found herself overpowered and was brutally injured, and she lost her light, causing her to be presumed dead. The time rift had set in time by the time Ophelia awoke, causing the death of thousands of Phoenixes and Initia in a war that had not previously taken place."
Erythreus shook his head as if he were sitting in front of a class, teaching a history lesson. He wasn't good at this, nor did it soothe him to go this far back in time, but .. Here they were. "The Ailwards were infuriated with the dangers caused by your kind.. and well, we didn't have much of a choice but to terminate the agreement with Ophelia, thus.. Imprisoning the remaining Celestials. We then spent the better part of fifty years hunting down the rest of the Celestials, placing them on Skye .. Imprisoning them also. Two of the Ailward aspects created a memory removal spell capable of erasing the existence of stars from the world for as long as the Celestial remained in Skye. Wiped from existence there was no one to save the Celestial and they couldn’t save themselves either..."
"Ophelia found a way to save you all obviously, and caused mass destruction upon doing soo.. so while I promised the short version of this story, there you have the whole story.. and you can do what you wish with that Cassandra, but before you decide that it doesn't suffice for the decision we made, think about the decisions your own leader made.. and I admire her very much for those decisions.. she wanted to protect her people and she did.. but I have to be loyal to my own.. and well, the rest of humanity for this matter." Erythreus shrugged and kind of wondered how this would make Cassandra feel, if it made her feel any different at all. The only thing he did hope to gain from this, was her understanding, even if in the end she never forgives him, if people could at least understand, it could very well be the beginning of peace between the two factions after all. As a leader, that's one of the main things Ery was focused on lately. That, and finding a way to keep the Ailwards safe from current threats in the city. After the incident with Vladimir, he wasn't sure his kind could take another harsh blow right now.
It surprised Cass how people could change so much over time. The man standing before her now was noting like the leader she had had a conversation with at the isle. The one she had begged for an audience with, someone she believed would listen and consider. Maybe it was the price he had to pay for the decisions that had been made leading to innocents death and the celestials fall. Perhaps his conscience and demons haunted him and had formed the bitter angry man before her. Sleeping with all these women and the booze was it his only escape? His way of staying sane. She knew some of the stars even had been in bed with him, but she had never been there herself. However she could understand it, she had been there herself, sometimes even was. Seeking thrill to forget about her passed. Otherwise she didn’t have an explanation for the sudden change and it scared her. The blonde loved logic and even tho she knew magic existed, hell she was a part of it herself, she wanted to be able to track changes to its roots.
To Cassandra the night was the best part of the day. Even tho she liked socialising she appreciated her alone time, something that could worry the rest of her species as she had an habit of wandering off on her own. Lost in thought or seeking her next adventure, not the smartest thing for a celestial who all where trouble magnets. She wondered if the other stars would approve of this session. Probably not but then many of them had had their own adventures with the aspect.
They were both wrecked from the happenings that had ended in a mortal enemy situation. While the aspect acted out on his feelings Cassandra did the opposite and had turned into a stone when it came to feelings not evolving her celestial family. Two different ways to cope and survive the pain. Maybe her way was worse or maybe his had more consequences only time would tell.
The fierce blonde wanted to interrupt him correct him, a younger version of her just might have, but she had promised to listen to his version and only nodded for him to continue. His apologises meant nothing as his actions spoke the opposite if his words. He wasn’t regretful at all.
The celestial listen, quietly without interrupting, to the story that lead to her fiancés death and her life on the run. It gave her some perspective. She couldn’t say that she would have done the same thing in his situation, but it was easy with the facts at hand. Wouldn’t she have done anything if it was her family at risk? Even sacrificing civils? She thought she would have at least attempt a friendlier approach first but if there wasn’t any time? As a firefighter you were put in these crucial situations every now and then. Where you had to decide who had the best chances of survival. It was never an easy call to make and afterwords everyone had opinions and salvations.
Silence rose between them as Erythreus´ story came to an end. ”I don’t know what say” Cassandra said as she starting to sort out her feelings. She looked at him his ice blue eyes meeting hers asking for weight to be lifted. Was she ready to give him that relief? ”Thank you for sharing” she begun biting her lip. They had continued walking as the ailward had told his story and had now approached a graveyard. The place to visit if you seemed the death aspect she’d heard. ”I can hear that you are dwelling on guilt for the actions you’ve caused” she told him sincerely the accusation in her voice gone. ”However actions speak louder than words and I’ve seen no sign of remorse there only distractions in attempt to escape the guilt”
Every once in a while, ever since Cassandra had made her appearance tonight, Erythreus had caught himself glancing at her when she wasn't paying attention. Observing the blonde, in a feeble attempt to try to read her, as if to seek out her true intentions with him. He knew she blamed him for losing everything she once loved. Her freedom, happiness, sanity, and even a fiance. Why would she not be here to destroy the Aspect? While he wasn't scared, he certainly was slightly guarded. But, Erythreus did well not to express that psychically. The Aspect done a good job at portraying a happy man when his reality was that of a broken up, twisted, dark, brooding male who had lost himself a long time ago. Ven, and the other seven Aspects had found Ery when he was no more than an animal, and basically molded him back together, teaching him how to function as a normal man again, and how to love himself. It was the whole 'loving himself' that he felt he hadn't mastered yet. Years later he felt broken.
Occasionally, Ery decided to glance around every corner visible to him, a sense of paranoia he supposed, but he definitely did keep in mind that this may not go over well with the other Celestial's, or even other Aspects / Guards. Certain members of each faction still held grudges, and that was the very point Erythreus hoped to make should the day ever come and either faction see a Celestial and Aspect strolling the streets of Evermore together like he and Cass were doing now. Erythreus becoming leader filled him with a sense of obligation. He wanted nothing more than to bring peace among his kind, and the Celestial's.. and this for him, was a very small start, but a start nonetheless.
Ery was truly impressed with Cassandra's patience, because she actually allowed him to finish the story without interrupting. He had already prepared himself mentally to receive a slap to the face, or anything.. anything besides her patience just then, and he hoped the smile on his face, along with the nod he gave once he'd finished speaking, would show her that he did appreciate it.
In the brief moment that Erythreus and Cassandra locked eyes with one another, he felt slightly intimidated. She was gorgeous, and fearless. And he felt that there was even a side of her that might have been very fun, and humble.. a side Ery may not ever know for what he had initially taken away from her. When she finally spoke, the Aspect cleared his throat as he averted his gaze back to the ground in front of them. Erythreus only gave a nod when she thanked him, and leaned himself against a tall, cross shaped tombstone as they reach the cemetery. The Aspect glanced to Cassandra, his eyes widening as she finally said that she could hear how he was dwelling on the guilt behind his actions.. like he had been waiting to hear that for an eternity now. Because if there'd been one thing Erythreus didn't mean to do, it was to take innocent lives. If he had known the outcome before everything had happened, he would have without a doubt tried something differently. The Aspect were left with no choice back then, and panic caused them to act on their decision quickly.
The Aspect crossed his arms. His soft stare turned into a dangerous glare when she then said that actions spoke louder than words, and the only thing Erythreus had shown was that he had piled up a ton of distractions to escape the feeling of guilt. "So then tell me Cassandra. What would you have me do to SHOW remorse for how sorry I truly am for what happened back then? Because I can put my booze down, and not have another one night stand ever again, but then what? That doesn't show that i'm sorry either" he expressed a little snarky, his tone holding more flare than patience right now. This was the price he paid for being Ambassador of the Aspects, but for his people, he'd pay over and over. He just hoped that even if tonight didn't bring much peace between them, that it would be a small start.. a place where they could all start from.
"I have an idea.. but it's likely a dangerous one.. something that could very well blow up for me.. but it's the one, and only thing I know that I can do to show your people, without endangering mine, that I want peace between us all..." He would of course have to run his suicide mission by Ophelia first, and maybe Dom.. since thats his Guard, and go from there. But hopefully it would work out in the end. "I think at the end of the day, we're only doing more damage by continuing to hold onto the past, especially with what I feel right now. There's something going on in this city much bigger than any of us put together.. I have a feeling that whether any of us like it or not.. we're going to need to be on each others sides." the Aspect huffed, because he was actually frustrated now.. but not any less willing to convince Cassandra that he wasn't a monster, nor were any of the other Aspects and Guards.
Being attentive to detail was a must when working as a firefighter and especially in some kind of commanding role, so Cassandra didn’t miss quick glances Erythreus gave her when he thought she didn’t see. To read her she supposed. The blond guessed he was used to people being easy to read for him. Opening up as books as soon as he flashed his charm their way but the celestial considered her self immune to such attempts. Pretty guys would never be her downfall. She could also see questions in his ice blue eyes. Self hatred and questions which Cassandra could recognise. The blonde still struggled with blaming herself for her fiancés death. They had fought the day of Cassandras captivation. She had caused him of being too controlling and intense when he had awoken her with a bucket of ice water and forbidden her to go out with friends again as it messed up her training schedule. Maybe he wouldn’t have felt the need to come to her rescue if they had left things better and then survived.
In a perfect world there was no intrigues no wars. However that was not the world they lived in. Even tho that was the thing Cassandra most wished for. It was exhausting having to hide being afraid for oneself and others safety wherever you went. She was ready to embrace a new era but she knew others would always keep the hatred alive. Some might even be outrageous for their gathered conversation right now. In another world maybe they’d even be friends. The blonde could see a humorous kind man behind the broken ailward. Someone worth knowing but oftenily that man seemed to be drowned by the dwelling.
Cass could see her words angered him which was expected still she kept her cool. She was used to handling angry people twice her size without getting worked upp herself.”You are missing the point Ailward” she said shaking her head at him. Of course he was allowed to have fun and drink if he wished too but to do it with the intention to forget his guilt was not getting him anywhere and was only showing the celestials how little he care for their sacrifice. ”Own up to your mistakes, don’t dwell on them. Tell people like you told me, you did what you believed was right at the time and it came with consequences ” The celestials eyes didn’t avert from his as she spoke. She knew those words wouldn’t make the world forgive him but being honest and letting the world know one had done what he was best at the time was all everyone could ask. It would gain some understanding even if it didn’t gain forgiveness.
”I am listening …damn it” Cass said interrupting him as she saw a familiar face approach them. One of the other stars where approaching the cemetery she could sense the magic. Instinctively Cassandra threw her arms around the aspect drawing him into an embrace and hiding her face in his neck before the other star got close enough to recognise her face. Now they would only see a the aspect with his conquest for the evening, nothing too unusual.
Often times, Erythreus found himself guilty of drinking just to quieten the voices in his head. The voices of those he felt guilty of. People he felt that he had wronged in some way or another, even if hurting them hadn't been the true intention. After a while though, drinking only did so much, and for so long until you become immune to it, and get labeled as just another alcoholic. It was humorus in a way. Erythreus couldn't even remember the last time he had so much as even accomplished a proper buzz. Drinking was more for the taste these days, he supposed, and he guessed it was rewarding whenever he did drink enough to become intoxicated, and careless to all the downfalls his life had presented to him. Since a very young age, Erythreus had been broken. He often thought about how things may have been had he just not yelled at his parents that morning, and left togo hunting, misfiring and striking a Vampire in his shoulder, who had his Vampire brother there with him. They enslaved Erythreus for decades after that, only after slaughtering Ery's entire village, forcing Erythreus to grow up as a murderer just like them. And when Ery couldn't murder the women and children in these villages, the brothers would beat him within an inch of his life, and do the murdering themselves, yelling at Erythreus that his legs still worked (because they left the beatings for above the waist) and pushed him onto the next village.
Village after village Erythreus slowly began to lose his humanity. After several years of living this way, the Aspect had become numb, and he lived like an animal. He had lost any kind of normal human function, and death and murder became sport for him. It was the day he had finally found the ocean, staring from a tall cliff, Erythreus smiled for the first time in years while tears rolled down his face. The site of the ocean was beautiful, so he laid down. He gave up. He knew the brothers weren't far behind him, and that for him laying down defeated, he would die. He was ready to die though. He couldn't live this way anymore. When they finally approached him, their bloody smiles turned Erythreus's stomach into knots, but it's something he'd grown used to. One ofthe men pulled out a vile, with a liquid substance in it. Erythreus was told to drink it, and happily, he chugged it, assuming it was poison and his escape from this cold, wicked life he lived. Sadly though, it was laced with the brothers blood, and it was only wine,and he didn't understand why until they launched him from the cliffs he laid on, sending his body to splatter on the rocks below, yelling the words "here lays the body of Erythreus Heckerbeck..". Erythreus woke up as one of them, and began to live even more badly.
He continued slaughtering villages of people, feeding from whomever, and living that way until a group of seven people found him, (the other Ailwards). Veneteus took Erythreus in, because they had all lived the same kind of lives,tortured and troubled, and the seven of them, showed Erythreus how to live again, how to become a normal functioning man. So.. Ery felt that he would forever be grateful for them, and he would do absolutely anything to keep them all safe. After the Ailwards were executed because of Ery's eating habits, Ery and the rest woke up with a second chance, and because he felt so guilty for feeling like the others died because of him, he had vowed to never ever take life for granted again, and they were each given a task from the Gods, and sent here to make sure peace was restored. Having to imprison the Celestial's after the traumatic event that took place on the isle, was not something he nor the others had felt gleeful about, but they all knew it was for the best, not only for themselves and the Celestial's, but all of mankind.
He knew that some of them would forever hate him and the other Ailwards. But, the fact that he and Cassandra could be here where they were right now, peacefully, and attempting to understand one another, felt like a step in the right direction. That was something Erythreus felt he truly needed. He had been through so many bad things in life, and while none of it truly broke him, he felt damaged on the inside,and had made booze and women his one true escape,which had meant for the most of it, he was only using those women. He knew it was wrong, but one thing at a time. He could care less about changing that right now. He knew they all had bigger things to worry about, and establishing peace, or some kind of peaceful agreement between the Celestial's and Ailwards was right up there with Vlad's disappearance.
The Aspect gazed over to the blonde Celestial as she spoke. Own up to his guilt. There was so much of that, he was afraid to. But, that didn't mean he wouldn't. "You sound like you know what you're talking about. I would love nothing more than to gain some understanding, even if we're never at peace.. the two factions.. but peace is the ultimate goal. Someday." he added, because he had tried with more than a few of the Celestial's. Some of them truly still hated the site of an Ailward. "It's hard not to dwell however. I could gather everyone in this city and speak before each and every one of you, but at the end of the day, when i'm sitting in my room with nothing but my thoughts to accompany me.. it's always bad. I just never wanted to hurt anyone or make anyone mad at me. I and the others, we did what needed to be done, and yes, there were terrible consequences, even for some of you who weren't a danger to us at all, and for that i'll always be sorry. I just wish some of the others were as willing as you" he shrugged, because that was only ever going to be a hopeful wish that'd never become a reality. A man could still hope though. And when there was no hope left, another war would surely begin.
Cassandra pulling the Aspect close, and burying her face into his neck, caused Erythreus to completely freeze as if time stood still right now. He was more tense than he'd ever been in his life. He knew why she had done it, and honestly, he was thankful that she had. This wasn't the right way to let the other Celestial's know,that a peace agreement was in progress. Easing them into it, rather than shoving it atthem all at once was a better idea. After a minute or two of him standing here in complete shock, ERythreus finally relaxed, and allowed the palm of his hand to rest against the small of Cassandra's back. They looked like an ordinary couple, or as many would assume, Erythreus's daily conquest. Erythreus took that moment though, to genuinely hug the Celestial, even if she didn't know it. He was truly sorry to her,and the rest of them. Either way. He was more than thankful when the Celestial was far enough out of sight,that they could escape this awkward embrace. For the first time ever, Erythreus had a beautiful woman in his arms, and felt so wrong about it.
Erythreus gazed to Cassandra, making eye contact for a brief second before letting his arms fall back to his sides. The Aspect nervously cleared his throat, and exhaled. "Thank you.. I think.. I don't know what to say right now" his face presented a man who had suddenly fallen shy, and withdrawn. Ery was truly not himself now. He guessed there was a first for everything. "Sorry, I know that's probably the last thing you wanted.." to listen to him had been more than he could ask for, so when she had pulled herself into him, and forced herself to embrace the very man responsible for the destruction of her happiness, had been more than enough for her he could imagine.
"What a day.." he then commented,finally feeling a little like himself again. "I know its going to take time for you,and the others to forgive me, but thank you for listening at least.. that's all I could have asked for, for right now." he added, and waited to see if she wanted to take this evening any further after having to hold her a moment ago, knowing she would have never chosen that on her own.
Drinking had never been a big part of Cassandras life. Of course a good glass of whiskey was always a good comfort after a rough shift. But the disadvantages had for the most part ought weighed the good. Especially the few years she’d gotten with her fiancée. He wasn’t a fan of liquor after every thing he’d seen it cause on the job and since he was almost frantic about keeping her in perfect shape it had been forbidden territory. The few times she had had a glass of wine with the girls or her at an after work had always ended in a huge fight with him cranking down on her for wasting his time and reputation. Those fights still marked her and the bad conscience after she’d had a drink still remained.
The blonde knew what it was like to beat herself up about past decisions, dwelling over what could’ve been if there decisions had been made. She’d walked down every possible path hundreds of times thinking what if, but it never led anywhere but in misery for herself, and that didn’t do anyone any good. Instead she now tried to accept what she had wronged and learn from it, while still have understanding for others not acting the way she believed optima. ” Hey lighten up, not everyone will love what you have to say that’s life” Cassandra told the aspect giving him some tough love. She knew that all too well. When she had to make a tough call to leave someone behind to rescue someone else with better chances of survival, there was always lots of hate going around.
The embrace was very stiff none of them comfortable with doing something to break their newfound peace. However as the seconds passed by they both relaxed and it felt almost natural, their hearts finding a joint rhythm. Had someone asked her just hours ago embracing him would’ve been equally to being forced to eat a worm but now it wasn’t so bad almost felt safe. After what felt like hours the other celestial passed. Cassandra expected Erythreus to say something clever about her sudden embrace but to her surprise the remark never came. This was the man she had met during her lock up. Not the mask he’d worn when meeting him today. Just a lost boy trying to find his way and making sense of the cruel world he’d been set to live in. Someone who she could respect.
Cassandra herself was stunned over how their evening had progressed. It had surely taken an unexpected turn. It felt like both of them had more too say but didn’t know how to get it out and none of them really wanting their night to end just yet. Because what would happen if they did? Would it really have changed anything? Would they go back to hating each other? or smile politely next time they happen to run by the other in town. Which was likely as some higher power seemed to love playing with the inhabitants fates placing them with just the ones they tried to avoid.