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His stark contrast to the other people his age was evident, Julian finding solace and comfortableness in tranquility the silence offered. Keeping to himself and rendering himself to be quite the ‘introverted mystery guy' that was hard to approach back in the boarding school seemed to be a particular trait he's kept to himself even after growing up. It's been quite a while since he's moved to the rumored supernatural haven; Evermore City, a place located so far up in Colorado. A place that could offer him a chance to start anew and develop himself into becoming a better person. Julian has had his own fair share of travelling around the continents of the world in his youth, as soon as he graduated off boarding school, but this was by far the most adventurous and ambiguous journey that he's ever taken up to.
During the first few months settling in the eternal city, the raven haired male found himself basking in the freedom the city exuded-- an enigmatic energy that just drew him closer than ever. He had hoped to seek out more people like him, and maybe someone from the past. But he doesn't know that, not yet. Leaving his home in Westminster, England, was hard despite being fairly familiar with the nomadic tracks he's been affiliating himself with, but moving permanently to a place that's over 4,720 miles away. The angel child was a bit skeptical and hesitant to leave his parents and family behind, but the transfer position from his occupation made it a lot easier to comprehend. Julian is an aeronautical engineering officer, which surprisingly suited him far better than being a biophysicist. It allowed him to successfully transfer his department to Colorado as a military officiant. It was certainly better than nothing.
Staring at the pile of snow that has begun to stick in on the stony pavements across his residency, he fished out his phone and dialed a number before waiting for the caller to pick up. After a few rings later, the person on the other end picked up, and a small smile made its way up to his lips. “Hey, how are you doing? Is mom okay? Or has she not gotten over the fact that her eldest son is doing fine in another country per usual?” Calling and contacting his younger siblings and father was a normal occurrence for the nephilim, seeing as his occupation usually entailed him to travel across the world to operate whenever he is called upon. Although this time, he applied for a transfer-- specifically to Colorado. Apart from his siblings and himself, no one actually knew the real reason why he came here, and he intends to keep it that way until a decision is made. He's heard of the nephilim ambassador but has yet to actually meet her, so his permanent marker is not really permanent. Though it's more likely that he'd stay because so far, Julian enjoyed the city.
Not an hour passed and his other phone's ringtone blared loudly on the mahogany desk situated just a few meters away from his bed. Noticing the messenger ID on it, he pursed his lips slightly before informing his younger sister that he'd call again when he has time and ended it. Seems like today's a field day, after all. Not even the winter could stop the progress of his work, it only added more to pile, it seems. Wrapping himself with his outerwear, Julian grabbed his car keys and tucked in his phone as he make his way downstairs, and over to the garage. Waiting for the garage door to open fully, he then drove off the compound to get to his workplace. Or site. Anything that suits, really.
Not long after, he arrived to his located destination and parked the car a few blocks away, simply because he preferred a low-profiled appearance. The winter tickled his skin per se, but nothing that would bother him nearly as much. Perks of working on site, the temperature and weather change literally molds you into a new vessel. He went over and read the clipboard given by the supervisor before nodding and telling the latter that he'll be back with the solution and report in a few days. After a small chat, Julian took his leave. He decided to stop by a cafe to get his daily coffee in his system before he proceeded on working on whatever it was that he received earlier. A problem that needed a solution, no doubt.
Shortly after locking his car, he entered the entrance door and made his order directly at the counter. When he received his coffee, he gave a small smile towards the cashier and went to talk a walk outside. He was just strolling down the shopping lots like a regular resident, taking in what was before him.
There was one thing that the Ailward Aspects knew well of, it was watching years go by like it was nothing. All being over 1,000 years. Immortal beings. Protectors of all realms. Yet it can get very lonely something that she suffered with most of all. Cora was one of the more antisocial of all the aspects. Always having preferred to be by herself rather than be surrounded by people in a room full of people. Like back when she was human yet it was all different, knowing she now wasn’t all alone. Ever so years some of the Aspects choose to spend time away. Apart from each other but it was only in small periods of time. One of the downfalls of being an Ailward Aspects they all couldn’t be apart from each other for too long. Yet it never stopped Cora. Always managing to sneak away. Without anyone even noticing that she was gone. Luckily she’s avoided having a bodyguard if not it’ll be a lot more difficult. Cora wasn’t the best people person at the best of ways. Her dark and sarcastic personality makes people run miles. Scaring off the weak guards. Cora found it amusing seeing them run off in opposite direction when she’d be approaching.
Yet there were a few people who stuck around. Who she was able to put up with apart from her siblings and in return they were able to put up with her. The two people were Rashesh and someone of the name of Julian Lockhart. Things were very confusing for her at the moment between the two of them. Cora was starting to feel her emotions getting all mixed something she’d never experienced before. It’s very unlike her. Julian was an old friend of hers well not old, only met him a few years back. Yet she was the one who abandoned him years back when the Isle of Skye blew up. Knowing where her responsibilities lies not able to sneak away and spend time in other countries for quite a while. Cora always wondered back to the person who she left behind over the years. Most are long dead by now. One of the downfalls of being emotions when some weren’t. Along with all the forever tries she’d have with her siblings. Cora only wishes there would be more leeway but knew what she was in for when she first made the decision to join. Not regretting it one little bit.
Today was one of the days when she had nothing planned. Like most days to be honest. Cora normally over-watched all the training going on in the manor. Watching new and old guard members train. Stepping in if she noticed something that they wasn’t doing right and correct him. Or to train by herself, working out in private. Having some self time, but if she had to admit most days she spent having self time. The life of being an antisocial, one to not be people person. Yet Cora was starting to warm up to people. Only a little. If you class giving someone a black eye progress? If so she was doing good. Cora decided to leave the walls of the manner starting to feel that it was suffocating her. Almost herself telling her to get some fresh air, to go into the light. Maybe she would go and pester Rashesh whilst he was working, something she did time to time. Nobody have caught her just yet. The Aspect of Darkness was wandering down the semi busy streets of Evermore. Trying to blend in with everyone else, till she was taken by surprise. Spotting a familiar, one she least expected to see here in Evermore City. “Julian?” She gasped as her eyes widened spotting the face of an old friend. Standing there in front of her. “Is it really you?” She wondered yet she knew it was him. Julian was easily recognisable, especially with the matching rune tattoos they had gotten after a few drunken nights. To the displeased faces of her siblings when she returned to the Isle covered in tattoos yet none of them knew how many she exactly got. As many were hidden.
Julian was a simpleton, he had coffee in his hand and here he was, strolling around Evermore like a tourist even though he's basically made permanent residence around 5 months ago. It might not seem like a duration, but considering how busy he's been with the latest project and dealing with component manufacturers, those 5 months passed quietly. He didn't even get the chance to scour the city fully, yet. It was only by luck that he was able to take his work home most of the time instead of pulling all nighter at the base's office. The place was creepy at night and was situated at a rather shady territory, no offense intended. Evermore is a supernatural populated city, them being the majority here, takes things to a whole new level. You can never be too careful.
Taking a few sips in between interval takes of his coffee, his hazel hues glazed over the park not far off from where he's been walking. The city center, heavily known as the nephilim territory. Talking of being out of place. Julian has yet to meet the ambassador to his species in the eternal city, mostly because his time would not allow him to. Though, he was sure one of these days, he'd have the chance sooner than later. Some leaders just seemed to scout their babies early. Leadership qualities, perhaps. He wouldn't know nor understand. So far, Evermore has proven to be a decent place to start anew for most part. There were no judgements here and everyone coexisted peacefully under the tact of the peace treaty contract signed by all of them. Well, almost all of them. You go around here and you actually hear rumors flying by more often than interceded.
The angel child wondered if he might meet any familiar faces around the city. He didn't get the chance to actually go out and about, so there's q mild chance there. Until he was proven wrong today, of course. Truthfully, Julian did not expect to meet someone familiar, a mutual, much less someone from the past that really left an impact to him. Standing before him, is Cora. Now, he never truly got her surname, nor could be bothered by it. They were friends. Emphasis on the were. Yup, he didn't take abandonment issues lightly, especially when he couldn't be around his family for the most part of his childhood and even after ascending adulthood. He's always on the move due to his occupation. But a job he loved, so he never got around quitting.
“Cora. What a surprise to find you here.” His tone was somber and his jaw was clenched slightly. It wasn't that he wasn't happy to see her. But it really wasn't that easy to just push everything back under the pretense that nothing happened. Between the two of them, there friendship drives deep. So it also drove a huge wedge when she left. He wasn't sure what to feel right now. Elated? Delighted? Furious? It doesn't help when he fell under the category of the most emotionally enhanced species that has ever existed to grace the earth. God dammit, he really does hate that trait. “Yeah, it's me. Julian Nathaniel Lockhart. In the flesh.” Glancing over to her, he noticed that she still had the matching runic tattoos both of them got some time ago. Well, that's.. Mildly comforting. “I didn't know you were in Evermore. But then again, I supposed I wouldn't know because you didn't exactly leave me with a goodbye note.” Yup, he's not forgetting that.
Cora has always been a nomad in her own right. Travelling every so often to get some space from her siblings mostly or to help out with the guards going on missions. There’s only so much time to spend with each other before you go mad. That’s something the Ailwards have found out. In the end they are family, not changing anything for world. All connected with each other, finding their way back to each other. Now it was more than before. After the Isle of Skye was destroyed all of them come together. Wanting to be all in one place so all knew where each other were. To be there to fulfil their duties as protectors of all realms in their own ways. If anything were to happen to one of them, all would be distort. Cora had lost many of her old friends and good guard members that fateful night. Some things she’d never forget. When everything came crumbling down. Showing all the cracks there were in the Ailward fraction that have been there for a while but was starting to show. Now more than before.
Leaving behind many people over the years. Most of them she left for the fear her identity would be found out. Some was because she had no choice. After Isle of Skye was destroyed, Cora dropped everything. Leaving the life she had made behind including those who she left behind there to. Moving to Evermore to be with her family and those who’d she’d considered family. Now years had passed since then, The urge of travelling never faded for her but she had reasons and people keeping her here. Not expecting to meet one of the people here in Evermore. Yet here he was. Julian hadn’t changed much. Still broody as ever, seeming to give her the cold shoulder too. Cora knew the judgmental looks he was giving her. It was one they perfected together. Spreading her darkness onto other people.
“Right I deserved that” She muttered admitting for once she was wrong something she rarely did. Able to see that he was still pissed in what happened in the last few years after she left without a goodbye or trace. “I know how I…” She started to say not knowing how to explain it to him properly “Things happened when I left” Regretting that back when she’d at least tell him goodbye, it what he deserved. “Something happened and I had to go back, my family needed me” Cora was one of the people who would be coming and going in peoples lives. Good at not telling people who she truly was. A way she thought was to protect those connected to her. Yet never in conversation it ever came up whether each other was supernatural so he couldn’t blame her fully. Cora knew all the time that Julian was a Nephilim. Those purple hints in his eyes was something he couldn’t get away with unnoticed. Having met and been around many other Nephilim and Supernatural people in her time to notice and identify those. That and he wasn’t best at hiding his wing scars on his back either most of the time they were together.
Was she ready spill all the beans to repair what sort of friendship that they had left? Thats the big question she was asking herself. Always had it drilled in her from day one not to spill information about their kind to others, but this time was different. Cora knew she could trust Julian, or hopes she still can. That he’d keep all the secrets safe with him. “I can’t explain right here” Motioning to all the people around them, too many prying eyes and eyes. Hoping that Julian would catch her drift to wanting to go somewhere more private to speak freely. “Do you have a place here in Evermore?” She added, curious to know long how long he was sticking around without asking. Cora couldn't exactly take him back to the manor. Especially now what's happening these days there.
To say Julian was not the least happy when he saw the raven haired female would be a vast understatement, because like it or not, he's an overly emotional being who couldn't possibly shut his emotions away just because he found them pesky. He's happy when he saw a familiar face in Evermore, truthfully he did. But he also couldn't deny the resentment that drove him away from having actual friends in general. When Cora left about years ago, he felt empty because Cora was one of his actual friends that he cherished deeply.
They met under a very random circumstance one night when he inadvertently rescued her or whatever she'd call them, and sparked a friendship. They travelled everywhere together, he finally found solace in her, always divulging everything with her without holding anything back. He was overly pissed with the Aspect of Darkness, that much was certain. But he also couldn't hate her for leaving. Especially when he had no idea what happened to Cora in the first place and if she was forced to leave him. But the angel child knew he would need explanations. Julian deserved that much from her.
He quirked his eyebrows questioningly at the older female, and crossed his arms, his hazel hues still looking over to the Ailward Aspect. “Yeah a lot happened when you left. For instance, I had to move a lot, I spent my time searching for a Cora, though you never told me your surname so I never got far. There's thousands of Cora in the world, where do I even start? Much less your appearance, do you know how many raven haired and dark hued female there was? A lot.” he huffed in distress, but gave her a chance to explain her situation nonetheless. Julian was a bit confused when she said she wasn't able to explain to him in such a public place, and he understood that because there were plenty of prying eyes around.
“I recently got transferred here in Colorado, so yeah I have a place. It's not that far.. Come on.” he murmured absentmindedly and beckoned for her to follow him to his car parked just around the block. As soon as he got inside the car, he rolled his tongue and poked his inner cheek before gripping on the steering wheel. “You have a lot to explain, lady. Starting with who you are because I can't even trace a single shit about you.” It was stressful because he kept trying to do that for two years.
Cora was a person to come and goes as she pleases. Used to travelling around. Sneaking out at night in the shadows without anyone seeing. Always helping to not feel trapped all the time. Stopping from all her dark thoughts from swallowing her hole. So many years have passed since her lived her old life but at times her mind couldn’t help to wander back to it. Cora was sure she wasn’t the only Ailward Aspect who thought and struggled with the same. It was a reason why her and Malva got along so well. Both suffered with similar problems and struggle with it now. On her travels Cora’s only met a few who she stuck around for. Cared for almost. Always having this persona that she cared for no one but it weren’t all true. Cora wasn’t this cold and heartless person everyone thought she was but didn’t dare for many to see. Still wanting to keep her reputation. Seeing Julian standing there brought some truths home to her able to tell and see her leaving him did affect him. Not knowing or thinking back then it would but now could see that it did. For once Cora was starting to regret her actions for up and leaving with no word. She knew back then she had no choice but truthfully she could of handled it all differently. Not disappearing as soon as she had come.
Admittedly Cora always enjoyed Julian’s company, he was always a breath of fresh air. Someone to distract her from all her troubles. Feeding off each other, not having annoyed each other to kill one. Cora wondered if now it would all change. Years have passed they couldn’t exactly go back to how things once were. Cora was the one who left him, her mind wasn’t in the right place back then but now it was. Hoping that she could amend things. Holding onto any form of friendship she could get. Her list of people who she liked or liked her was very short. Only her siblings, Rashesh, Crane and hopes that she could count Julian as one. Hearing as Julian admitted that he spent years looking for her after she left made her feel full of regret. Seeing that he was telling the truth. “I…” She was lost for words for once not knowing what to say or how to say it. He spent years looking for her whilst she was here all the time not knowing that he was looking for her. “I’m sorry” She admitted looking to him with sad eyes. Showing forms of emotions she never let others see. “I’ve always been the one to be secretive, always the one to make up lies. Keeping my true identity a secret” To be a ghost that nobody could reach thinking it was the better way. “I never thought that it would affect someone I cared for” Cora always did care for Julian in a brotherly and sister way, like how she had it with the other Aspects. Now she only wished that she wasn’t so secretive. Things could of been different.
There was so much Cora wanted to explain. To tell the truth to him finally knowing that she could trust him by now. Yet she couldn’t exactly go around telling all her secrets and story out on the streets of Evermore. Always never able to shake the feeling that she was being followed it was something many others felt. A strange aura lurking around in the city. “Alright” The Aspect nodded her head following the Neplilm to his car that wasn’t too far around. Getting inside the passenger seat. It almost felt weird to her being around his presence again years passed but it felt that it didn’t. “Its because you wasn’t looking in the right places” The Ailward guard and Aspects always made it their top priority of keeping all their organisation and identities a secret. “Well we can get the main thing out of way. The elephant in the room” She pointed out what could be the main thing he had noticed. “I’m not human” Obvious that she was immortal not aging a day since they last had met. Whilst Cora had noticed that Julian has aged a bit only slightly, matured. “I know your Nephilim, so we can both be assured that we both had secrets we were hiding yet mine was a bit.. A lot more than yours” Speaking bluntly so used to being cold to others. “I’m not any of the supernaturals you have read or looked up. We all know this city is not a normal city” Hoping that he at least picked up and noticed why the city was a beacon for the supernataul. A reason why everyone comes here. “I’m a different type of supernatural. A Ailward Aspect or what people may know us more as … Dragons all with different abilities” She admitted telling him the truth of what she was. Cora looked over to Julian curious to see what his reaction would be, if he could see she was telling the truth. Or if he would think she was trying to make a joke about it all, but she wasn’t for once. Very much serious.
Julian usually didn't get so attached, him learning the hard way as a child how much that would affect him in the future, and yet the angel child couldn't stop himself from doing so, especially when he knew that was the last thing he should be doing. But it wasn't as if he could control himself when it comes to making judgements about his emotions. When you're categorized under the most emotional supernatural creatures that's ever existed, it's hard to say much about it. Some just kept it dormant and close it forever so it won't intervene, but he couldn't do that. No matter how many times he tried, he would end up failing. He hates this. He hates how he couldn't even get in tune with his own empathy as normal as someone should have been. It was the only time he blamed his supernatural heritage for this.
Cora was someone he really opened up to, and aside from the Aspect of Darkness, the only other person he's ever been closed to was Cornelia, and that was only because he sought out a friend in her during their time in the boarding school. He wouldn't go as far as to say he wasn't under the popular jocks, because he was quite literally popular in terms he never really came to understood. But even with so many people flocking over chatting here and there, the male couldn't hold up a proper conversation without feeling awkward, and by awkward he means getting aggravated at the simplest of things too. Julian understood how he's always been so different from everyone else in his ‘contact circle', if you could even call it that. There were times when he excelled outstandingly in comparison to people older than him and a lot more advanced than his peers, but it didn't come without a price to pay.
What he didn't know was that the said price would be his life. How he wished he could take it back, so he wouldn't have attempted to save Cora that night and befriended her afterwards, because maybe then it wouldn't be half as hurtful as it feels now. This reunion didn't feel as heartfelt as it should be, with the younger male still holding a decent amount of resentment deep inside him. If she wasn't Cora, he knew he would've upped and go right there on the spot, without even sparing a glance to look back. He gave her a look that prompted her to explain properly so he could finally hear everything that he was kept a secret from. Of course he sensed that off her. She had secrets but who was he to pry in? So he never poked into it. But if it was what caused a wrench in their years-end worth of friendship, then he's going to get to the bottom of it.
“I knew you were keeping secrets the first time, Cora. I'm not stupid, I saw it through. I just never prodded much into it because I respected your privacy and I know where I stood, I was a friend and nothing more. You weren't obliged to cater to my every question then and not now, but what you are entailed into doing is explaining so I can finally comprehend my head around it and make a final conclusion. Because I won't lie and say this hasn't eaten me up for years” he grumbled in response to her answer. “I didn't think it would affect me too, believe me. But you're like my sister, more than my friend. This is just like how I could always meet my older sister once a year.” Julian spent all his years away from his family from a young age so he really didn't like being separated from anyone, neither does he like seeing others suffer the same like him.
When she told him she wasn't human, he averted his gaze from the front and gave her a look that said ‘no shit' before scoffing and reverting back to driver mode. “You're really being specific huh” he mumbled once he heard everything else she had to say. Granted, that was what he wished for. The truth. And now the cat's out of the bag. “It's not hard to hide my identity because one look into my eyes is all people needed to do. Doubt there's any purple tinged contacts that could make up for it. Even contacts couldn't help this too.” It made nephilims look a lot more unique and became one of their distinction features, other than their tattoo wings running down their shoulder blades. “Why do you think I came to Evermore.. It's because it's not a normal city.” Whilst he missed being with his family, he also wanted to reach a certain level of solidarity with what he is, Evermore wasn't the key to his question; a place where he could learn without worrying.
Aspect of Darkness, the sound seemed to echo in his head as he drove into his neighborhood, entering his driveway not long after. “I've heard of Ailward Aspects.. I mean, stories and rumors fly around a lot. I heard about it when I was in Siberia, but dragons? Wow, that I did not expect. Nor did I expect you to be one of them” but then again, he's not really the most perceptive person there is. And Cora was rather good at hiding what she was. “I actually thought you're some kind of diviner or something..” Once he parked his car, he got out from it and fumbled with his house keys, opening the door and beckoned for her to come in. “Surprisingly I'm not shocked by this sudden revelation. You've always been so shady.” And there it returns, the playful snarky demeanor he always had.
Cora was always the one to think of no one other than herself. Too selfish for her own good. One of her faults. Maybe it added to why she was heartless a lot of the time. Always choosing to put on an act. A constant, wall and barrier. Not letting anyone through. To let darkness take over, so that light wouldn’t come in. It was was the same to when she let people in. Always taking long for anyone to gain her trust. Never being one to be over trusting, the opposite of it. Still after all these years her previous life still haunts her. Same with how it haunts all the other Aspects, each has their own way to deal with their own personal problems. Hers was keeping up a cold front but now some people were able to see through it, more than she would like but Cora wouldn’t change it. The only regret she has is for choosing to up and leave so suddenly those years back. Cora knew had a thought to how her leaving would have an effect on others seeing it now in Julian.
Having built up so much trust with each other then her leaving threw it all away. For her own selfish reasons. Thinking that it’ll be best of if was left in the dark from it all. That for outsiders to know the truths of what and who she was, the whole organisation. To put it all in jepperty. It was one of the codes all of the Ailward Aspects and guards lived by. All living by the code of keeping their identity a secret from the world, protectors and all. Yet in the past few years Cora felt that it was slowly becoming less and less the same. With how many supernaturals who lived in the city knew of their existence. Where as before it was all different to when they stayed in the dark undetected. Instead of sitting like ducks, under people’s noses. Since the fall of the Isle that changed the whole scopes of the operation, their own personal mission.
If Cora had stayed for long enough to have a chance to tell her secrets to Julian she wouldn’t have lost him. Fearing that now if she didn’t tell him the truth she’d lose him again for the last time. Cora just thought that it was the best for him, at least she wouldn’t put him in any danger. Now it doesn’t matter. Seeing if she’d lost all of her chances she’d been given, or if she had another chance. Friendship was something that she didn’t have much of, only a few she could class as coming close. To think of what the other was thinking. Cora could see how Julian haven't changed much, maybe a little seasoned. More like an adult rather than a university graduate. Still able to read the emotions in his face, body posture. The look that he was waiting for an explanation. Cora was ready to let it all out, to tell the whole truth. For once. Instead of telling of a lie that feeds off a whole series of lies instead of the truths. Good at spinning things around yet this was something she couldn’t do.
Not surprised to hear that he knew she was keeping secrets from him, knowing from all that time she was. Yet he never wanted to pry. Cora knew that Julian was someone who prided themselves in being a respectful person. It was why he fitted so well as an army person. “I always thought I was so good at keeping up my lying skills but it seems not” She mused, laughing at him knowing she wasn’t fooling anyone. Adding to why maybe Rashesh and Crane always knew she was lying because she wasn’t good at making up her lies. Maybe she shouldn’t take her lying skills from Malva seeing as it wasn’t getting her any far. “When I tell you everything you’ll hopefully understand why I choose to kept it from you. For your own protect. And to why I’m like who I am” She confessed to him, to why she was an obsessive and bit compulsive when it came to keeping their secrets safe. Believing it was the only way she could those she cared for safe. Cora will see if their friendship was still strong enough to save her now if he’d belive to why did did all she did. Or if he’d up and go, that would be the end.
Cora was still feeling bad, if affected her too but not as much as it did for him. Having too much on her mind to apprehend everything else. “You are like a brother to me too, like a 5th brother” She added, already telling him something he didn’t know. Not telling him before how many brothers she has yet she knew that Julian only had one sister. Able to sense already the look he was giving her without having to look over to him. “Don’t give me that look” She rolled her eyes at him, shaking her head ignoring his judging looks. “Your eyes is not that noticeable just for those who choose to look closer” She reminded him. “True, Evermore is far from normal that’s for sure” Her voice almost dripping with sarcasm but wasn’t far from her usual tone. “I’ve found that once the city has a hold on you it’ll never let you go. Both the good and the bad” Almost hinting to say how long she’d spent living in Evemore but knew he hadn’t been here for long that's what she’s guessing.
Waiting almost to see his reaction to her coming clean of what she was, seeing he wasn’t surprised at least. “You always were a book geek weren’t you?” She teased knowing that he hadn’t changed a bit. When she first became an Ailward Aspect they weren’t known but as more years passed more have been learnt about their kind. Protectors of the realms weren’t all secret anymore. “Please don’t be like Rashesh going all nerdy on me and say it’s your life long dream to dress up as a gladiator and ride a dragon” Quoting something that Rashesh had said to her which made her remember grown men and their childhood fantasies still there. “I used to be a diviner back all those years about big things happen and I was given an opportunity to become an Ailward Aspect” Cora started to say, opening up to him of her troubled pasts. “After then I lost all touch with my magic, all of what I used to do I cannot anymore” Truthfully losing all her magic affected her, more than she ever let on. To have something all your life to suddenly not having it there anymore was something you could never fully get over. Never properly opened up about it to anyone not even her siblings.
Soon they arrived at what must be his house, following behind in his footsteps. Letting him go in first. “I prefer being careful rather than shady” She commented, rolling her eyes at him once more. Cora went through into the living room sitting down on the sofa making herself comfortable. “There’s 8 of us Ailward Aspects. Each of us has a different purpose for protection of ach certain elements. Mine is Aspect of Darkness. Then there's Aspect of Light, Time, Life, Death, Realms, Magic and Elements. All our powers are different as well as our dragon forms” Telling him of all that wasn’t mentioned in the books that he read. “Our power comes from our staffs that each of us has with us” Cora knew all she was telling him with sworn secrets for their kind all they set out but knew she could trust him hoping that he still could be someone she could trust to keep their secrets safe. Establish the same trust that they have with the Ailward Guards.
Julian couldn’t describe his relationship with the Aspect of Darkness, it’s always so vague and ambiguous, even to them both. Never had they questioned what they were to one another, other than the relative casual term of friends, or even close friends. At one point of his life, a few years ago, when he knew nothing about the outside world when he’s only a fresh newbie set in his own ways to explore the globe inside and out so he could learn more, pick up what he left and expand his knowledge. Admittedly, Julian was kind of naive back then, and he still is, but no one else needed to know that. All that’s important was that he himself knew where he stood at.
He should’ve known there was something off about the raven-haired female standing in front of him, Cora always had that unique charm to her that he couldn’t exactly pinpoint. It was nearly indescribable for him. Julian Lockhart was that guy who’s polite and well-mannered, the kind of guy you’ll probably bring home to introduce to your parents for a potential matchup or to avoid any nagging from them afterward. Unfortunately, no one saw that living up to those expectations, it didn’t do him good. In fact, his entire life was shaped because of his bad decisions. When he met Cora, he was in a bad place, a very terrible hole no one else would’ve ever wished to be in. Then she came, his saving grace, or if others would word it that way. Cora was the sister he never had, and that was saying a lot, considering he had one older sister who’s always the jewel of the family back in England.
She helped him find himself, to create the identity of the vessel he’s living in until today and for that, he owed her his gratitude that will never be able to be paid. Getting close to her wasn’t what he thought would happen, most of the time, he only looked to her as a protege, following his mentor’s steps. The youthful appearance she wore wasn’t deceiving anyone, at least not him, since the nephilim knew there were plenty of immortals lying around in all the places he’s been at. Hell, he’s one. So what was the oddity of Cora not being one? Never one to come to a conclusion without any solid nor substantial proof, Julian kept those suspicions to himself, and it eventually dispersed away the more time he spent with her. That was his mistake; spending more time with her. If he knew she would, later on, be one of the reasons for his broken heart, he would’ve never gone along with all of this.
He would’ve saved her from a dire situation that day and went on his merry way without doing so much as sparing a glance back. But seeing her back in the flesh today, in Evermore, out of all places, it brought back the memories. The ones that really was categorized happy for the particular angel child. Scoffing lightly at her statement, he shook his head and crossed his arms in retaliation. “You’re an excellent liar most of the time, but I’ve lived my entire life surrounded by fakes, so I’m able to detect it easier and faster than most.” His voice was slightly strained, still not used to talking to her again, not after he thought she left for good and was never going to come back. He moved on, or did he really? Would he let Cora go despite all the memories they created together? They were pretty much brother and sister already if they measured up their chemistry and company.
It did bother him to hear those words; it was to protect you. How he hated them. “I’m an adult now, I don’t need protection from anyone, Cora...I can handle myself, the world isn’t as tame as it is, no?” She taught him that, of course, she would remember. He befriended an Ailward Aspect, that part still has yet to sit still with him but he was slowly digesting all the information given by the female. It’s hard, but he’s coping. He can do that much. Hearing her regard him as a brother, as a 5th brother, that caused him to quirk a questioning eyebrow. “You have 4 more brothers? Of course, you do. Why am I not surprised.” He’s not a prying guy, so he didn’t ask anything more than that. The way Cora worded it, the eternal city doesn’t seem like the one you wanted to play around with. Tread carefully, that’s what she’s trying to say, which caused a frown to crease his features. “I’ve only been here for a while, so I wouldn’t know much, but it sounds like it’s more than it appears to be. Is it that shady?” Of course Julian would ask that. He’s trying his best to diffuse this awkward air and shift them into a much more tolerable one. If there was another thing he hated, it’s being surrounded and compressed by aggravation and stressful atmospheres. ”Should I pack my bags and get out?” he joked.
The male’s name did not escape his notice and he gave her a scrutinizing look, squinting his eyes slightly as his hazel hues bore into her dark ones. “You got a boyfriend too? God damn, how much did I miss out” he grumbled, obviously displeased with the fact that she found someone special and he missed out on that memorable moment if it was anywhere near memorable. “And no, it’s not my lifelong dream to ride a dragon, though that’ll be interesting and fun. But it is one of the things on my bucket to see one. It’s all legends and myths, you know. Who would waste a moment not to clarify.” It’s a dragon, for heaven’s sake. “You did not just call me nerdy. Just because smart people exist, doesn’t mean we’re nerdy, sheesh.” Hearing the story about the Ailwards Aspects, it’s overwhelming. Those beings existed in the same realm, dimension, and world as them and they never knew them as anything more than bedtime stories. “Wow…” Was all he could say. It was surreal to him.
Cora always liked to travel. To run. To go someplace where nobody knows her. Nothing tying her down. Living a more simpler life. Even if it was only for a short while. Cora longed for those days. Where she didn’t need to worry all the time of all the things going on. She was no one when she travelled. Feeling like a normal person. Yet Cora always knew deep down that she could never be normal even with how much she tried. Her loyalties and ties would always go back to the Ailward Aspects and guards. Cora always came back, they were her families after all. Honouring her pledge that she made all those years ago she weren’t going to step away from it. One of the reasons why Cora had chosen to travel so much was in search of valuable and rare objects which she could get her hands on. To curse adding to her ever growing collection. Each Aspect had their own element that they look after within the world. Her’s was darkness. Her skills could be used for good or for bad. If anything was to get in the wrong hands. God knows what will happen. There’s some things that Cora isn’t so proud of doing. Ones that she wishes she could take back now but it’s too late. Getting to know Rashesh, Cora was starting to feel regret for playing a part in the capturing and locking up all the Celestials during the years. Being one of the main people. Mostly for the use of her element. Able to stip away the sight putting her enemies into darkness, long enough to use to their advantage.
During her travels whilst Cora was tracking down a group of Celestials, she’d chosen to go alone. Stumbling and meeting Julian along the way. Back then the Nephilim had saved her when she found herself in danger. Since that day they became close friends. Bonding so quickly, he made Cora forget about the darkness. Putting light into it. Escaping all her problems, she’d forgotten to tell him the truth of who and what she was. Not wanting it to ruin their friendship. Never finding the right time, protecting him. Going full circle meeting each other years later. Cora knew she couldn’t keep lying to Julian. He was already seeing through her lies, now she was worrying if she didn’t tell him the whole truth she’ll lose him forever. That is something she didn’t want to happen. Already losing people who she cared about, he wasn’t going to become another one of them. That was something that she was sure about. Cora could already see that Julian have grown into more of a person since the last time they had met, growing up.
Believing a little that she have matured somewhat too but probably still staying the same. Cora always have been the one to always put up walls and cold personas. Way of protection. So she’d never be hurt again. Lately Cora have been feeling herself lowering her walls slightly. With someone being the reason so. It was still a secret that she was keeping from everybody. Cora knew she wasn’t the only Aspect sneaking around. Hiding something or someone from them. She weren’t stupid and sure that others like her were suspicious too. All of them carried on sneaking out till one of them were caught. Today was one of the days she’d managed to persuade Crane to let her be on her own. Cora didn’t always want him following her about and she was sure he didn’t want to do the same either. Promising him that if anything happened she’d contact him. Not did Cora think she’d be bumping into an old friend along the way changing her plans around quickly.
Looking over at the dark haired Nephilim Cora still didn’t believe almost that it was actually him, that they were reunited again. Here they were both thinking the same thing. “I never wanted to do the bad thing you know, I just wanted to do the right thing. To protect you and others but ending doing the opposite” She admitted sighing to herself, almost thinking her past mistakes through her mind. Cora knew she have hurt Julian, seeing it more now than before. “That day when I left, I lost so many people. Ones who I’d known and lived with for centuries. After leaving, I ended up losing you too” Cora started to say opening up to him for the reasons why she’d left but not making it clear.
“Us Ailward Aspects lived together on an Island, Isle of Skye. Along with guard members, supernaturals who choose to seek another life. To do good, getting rid of the bad in the world. Protecting people. I had a phone call from the siblings checking where I was, thinking I was back at the Isle. I learnt that day that it was all blown up. Nothing was left of my old home. We still don’t know why and what happened. Soon after we seek refuge in Evermore City” Cora knew if she was there back then nothing would have been different. Nobody could of stopped for what happened. “I ran away, went back home. Leaving everything, everyone behind. Leaving you behind. For that I am sorry” It was very rare that Cora would ever own up and admit her mistakes. Telling that she was wrong and apologise for all her mistakes. Tears fell down her cheeks as she was opening up to one of the person who’d ever let her see that she was still human, one to have feelings. One who she’d ever see her weak and vulnerable.
Wiping away her tears before he could notice. “I know that now” Seeing that he was right that he was an adult, she shouldn’t treat him like someone who couldn’t protect themselves. All of the Aspects considered themselves family. Always has and always will. Bonded for life, connected in many ways. “Not biologically but us Aspects all consider ourselves family. Spending good part of a thousand years with each other. So in total, I have 7 siblings. 4 brothers and 3 sisters. I’m surprised that we haven’t killed one another by now” She joked laughing softly, shaking her head. Thinking about how things were like. “I think this city is darker than it may seem. Place that have been through so much tragedy yet people stay. Always keep your guard up, that's all I’m going to say” Turning the conversation more to a darker side but she was telling the truth. “Knowing on you, you already have a go to bag” She teased, grinning a little.
Cora was a little confused when Julian had mentioned her having a boyfriend. Taken aback for a moment forgetting what he was meaning then remembered. Rashesh. “He’s not my boyfriend” She quickly responded shaking her head. “He’s got a girlfriend” Cora admitted looking down knowing what they were doing was wrong but still were doing it. “She’s missing but he’s still pining over her, it’s a bit messed up” Another reason why they choose to sneak around, sometimes Cora felt that she was just a replacement for Emily at times. “Your just upset that nothing ever happened between the two of us” Cora joked grinning a little continuing to tease Julian like the old days. Both of them always knew that they were more like siblings rather than anything else. “When we’re in dragon form we’re mostly invisible” She added raining on his parade cause she could, rolling her eyes at him once more. “Umm nerdy” No way about it but made her think to how she spent most her time surrounded by nerds, not realizing till now. “So you can see why I was always so secretive?” Hoping that they all made up now, that they could go to how things were before. “We can do stuff like old times, want to get another tattoo to add to our collection?” She mused grinning waiting to see his reaction to her idea.
All his life, Julian knew things as how lightly he perceived them from his own point of view. He had spent more time cooped up in the boarding school, living his entire childhood in a dormitory rather than being surrounded by his own family and bask in the affection they always showed each other, especially his older sister’s. JaneAnn knew what always troubled her baby brother, the only male in the sibling, her responsibility despite their age differences only being 4 years apart. Julian is very close to his sister, always FaceTiming her whenever he could and the two of them would spend the entire night calling each other, due to different time zones. They hailed from Kensington but JaneAnn is a marine biologist who’s situated in Melbourne, Australia.
No matter how much they struggled to get through each other using the dent of timezone, they would always be able to call, at the end of the day. He was willing to wake up 3 in the morning for her, boldly assuming if he ever slept since the Nephilim is also known for his strictness over his field of work. Being both a pilot and aeronautical engineer wasn’t easy, there were no permanent nor actual shifts to go by. He goes here and there, there’s no saying when he would be dismissed or if he even wished to be dismissed. But due to a few current circumstances on weather-wise, they were told to lay off the flying schedule until everything clears up, allowing them to fly in a much safer condition and surrounding. Doing what he does best, which was rewiring and creating new systems that go around in the jets and planes alike, provided him as a distraction. Regardless of his well-off upbringing, surrounded by a cherishable family that loves him, a sister who dotes on him, and his co-workers respect him, Julian always found it harder to control his emotions. It was the only thing about being an angel child that he frowned upon.
It wasn’t easy having your emotions enhanced five times than it should, originally. With all of that, it didn’t help when he’s alone either. With plenty of friends that he surrounded himself with, how was it possible for Julian Lockhart to feel more lonely than a person initially shouldn’t feel? Acquaintances, that’s what he called them. Never friends. He had very few, and it was easy to count using his hands, Cora is one of them. A very beloved close friend that he thought he lost time ago. Julian is closer with females, posing as a brother-like figure to most, and Cora wasn’t an exception to it, in fact, she’s probably the closest he had to another sister after JaneAnn. 6 years ago felt so long, it had given the raven-haired male time and space needed for him to grow. Thankfully, the Nephilim has always been a mature child, growing in such an environment that helps his growth.
Plenty of what his sister’s personality was attributed towards him too. Polite, soft-spoken, well-mannered, chivalrous, it’s what molds Julian Nathaniel Lockhart. Most people knew him to be one of the many traits he had or more. But what most remembered was how well he worded things and how his manners stayed intact despite everything. It didn’t mean there was no room for any sarcasm nor snark, oh, he has plenty of that stored up somewhere inside him. It contributes to his resting face that always seemed to intimidate most people who didn’t bother to talk or get to know him. Their loss, not his. Cora exuded wisdom, he could sense that when they first met each other. It had been such a dark setting, she was being cornered by a group of people, one he had successfully identified to be diviners, dark ones, to be more specific. From there, their friendship started and throughout the time they spent with one another, it blossomed. Both of them knew that’s as far as their relationship would extend to; a sibling-like relationship. Everything about them was platonic, and neither harbored romantic feelings for the other.
While he had been incredibly hurt over her unexpected departure that came out of the blue, Julian knew she must’ve had her own personal reasons, ones she never bothered to expedite. He didn’t push her around to find out what it was because he respects her privacy, it wasn’t his place to pry and he knew that better than everyone else. So hearing how broken and hollow Cora sounded today, explaining what she should’ve told him 6 years ago, he sighed heavily and pursed his lips lightly. He didn’t like seeing her so upset, it wasn’t a good look on the Aspect of Darkness, and the last thing he wanted to do was to make her upset. She didn’t deserve that. “Just because I expected an explanation, doesn’t mean you have to give in to me, Cora. I understand…” perhaps not as a whole, but Julian does understand. Not everything is explainable neither was it something that they should feel obliged to tell the other just because another party prompted for it. Their friendship meant more than that to the Nephilim and he had no intentions of ruining or jeopardizing it further.
“I’m sorry too, you know. I couldn’t have been easy to deal with, especially after you went through all of that. Losing everyone you knew for long, just like that in the blink of an eye, must’ve hurt.” His tone was empathetic, trying to relate with her as a person. Before everything else that forces people to go into their own categories, they’re living beings, first. Maybe he should think of that more, all those years allowed him to mature more. No more impulsive thoughts, it’s still there, obviously, seeing as you couldn’t just get rid of it so easily in a short period of time. An apple doesn’t fall from the tree overnight, after all. But it takes a lot more efforts to scoop it out of Julian, he’s very centered around his emotions lately. He noticed the tears welling up earlier and he certainly could see how Cora rushed to wipe the stray tears away, probably not wanting to show such vulnerability. Understandable. Once another spots it, it’s game over. For someone as important as Cora, she probably had eyes out eyeing her every move.
Julian is a family man, he holds them on such a high pedestal above everything else in his life, so hearing that Cora was able to co-exist with such people despite their differences while being non-biologically related, at the same time, roused respect from the Nephilim once again. “Yeah… I heard a lot about the eternal city called Evermore. I didn’t move here specifically because I was pulled towards it, I’ll be honest. I came because my base is in Colorado, and Evermore is the nearest city to the area, so I wasn’t being picky. It’s a beautiful place, but deadly like a rose, it has its thorns. I still have yet to venture every single nook, but I’m more than happy to avoid any more situations like that night,” he knew the Aspect of Darkness understood what he was implying on. That night implied on that particular night where he saved her. Protecting is ingrained in his moral values and blood, being half angel himself, like everyone else in his family, but he also knew to what extent he’s able to stretch out. The angel child is not so ignorant among those parts, he knew his limitations.
Though the idea of a city where so many other species could co-exist peacefully felt like something he’d love to witness and so far, there hasn’t been too much trouble, with the exception of the mysterious homicide case on his fellow junior who got killed in one of their hangars. Hearing how defensive she got as she refuted the idea of anyone being her boyfriend, Julian rolled his eyes, scoffing in delight. “You’re a bad liar, you know that? You wish that he is, don’t you? You want him to be someone special, you secretly want that, don’t lie to me, you’ve never been good at it” he had said it outright, without a filter to halt anywhere. Though the girlfriend part was a bit confusing, not to mention, complicated. “I’m not gonna judge so quickly, I don’t think I have the right to do that. Nothing that notes my ‘exemplary’ self-worth, you know” he winked before chortling at his own remark. “But damn, why are you getting yourself in so much complication, you’re already complicated, woman.”
Scoffing once again at the idea of anything blooming between the two of them, he shook his head and wagged his forefinger in front of her sassily. “No no, that’s not it, Ms. Ailward,” he mocked, dragging her surname slightly longer. “I don’t have time for love, come on, you know that.” Or at least, that’s what he tells himself. Scrunching his nose up at the thought of not being able to witness the glorious sight of a dragon, his bottom lip jutted out as if he just ate the sourest pickle ever. And he doesn’t even like pickles. “Bummer…” At the sudden mention of getting more to adorn their bodies, he arched a questioning eyebrow and rolled up both his sleeves. “Have you seen the amount I have? That’s not counting the ones littering on my body, too. Where else do you suggest we have it? Do we even have any more space left?”
Now it was like no time have passed. That in a way they were back to how things were before life all came crashing down for her. Admittedly Cora missed Julian’s company. He was one of the few other than her siblings and Rashesh that she felt comfortable around. Who was able to see the real her. Rather than the constant act and wall she puts up. Not needing to be someone else around him. That's what real friendship is life. One that is quite rare to find and when you do get it, something you shouldn’t loose. Feeling the effects from it herself. Julian was one she could share her secrets to, all that was on her mind. Even if was all just darkness, he was able to listen. That was all she needed, missing when everything was much simpler. If she could go back, telling him the whole truth. Rather than running away she would, their friendship wouldn’t have ended to how it did. Hoping now all the secrets spilled to who and what she was could heal all the broken wounds and threads that there were between them. So things in a way could go back to how they were, she hopes that Julian feels the same. Always valuing his friendship more than anything.
Cora new that Julian’s job wasn’t the easiest, a difficult job to get into. One where person had to be highly qualified to do so, yet she always knew that it was a job that Julian belonged in. They would have never met if not. “So how long are you stationed here?” She wondered looking over to him, seeing if he knew or not. If she could remember rightly so, Julian never knew how long he’d be spending in one place. “Got to know so I can visit you at work like old times” She teased smirking the Nephilim knowing how much he hated when she used to sneak into classified barracks just to see him at work. Mostly to annoy him but too when she was bored. Yet back then he never figured out to how she used to get in, pass through all of the guards. Maybe now he knows what she is, he’ll know why.
One thing she was good at was masking her emotions. Not letting others see the weak side of her she tried so hard to keep away. Her old self in a way, not letting past emotions take over. She knew that if they were to resurface that it wouldn’t end well. Maybe it was why she always put on a cold front worried that one day she may break down again, with all emotions mixed up into one. Cora was beginning to feel her emotions all over the place as she was telling all the truths and secrets to Julian. Worried that if she didn’t tell him the reasons to why she left, worried that she may lose him forever. That was something she didn't want. Not carrying that if he was seeing the vulnerable side of her. “We all do things we wish we could go back and change” Some more than others. “You deserve to know the truth” Cora knew even back then Julian was someone she was able to trust in knowing the secrets of her kind, maybe she a bit scared for him to know. If knowing would put him in danger, something she didn’t want for to happen.
“Are we all good now?” In other words she hoped that their friendship was now back together and healed again so they could go back to a way to how things were. “Everyone took it hard, some more than others” The constant threat of whoever did it looms over them all, not knowing when the next attack may happen. Always on all of their minds. In a way it felt good for Cora to get everything out all her emotions and feelings out when she was speaking to Julian. Needing to get it out, speaking to someone instead of keeping all her problems to herself.
She thought that maybe Julian came to Evermore for a reason. Like many people who choose to come here, it always did surprise Cora and others how many supernaturals turn up. All with dark pasts, secrets all wanting a fresh start in a way. Many people said that Evermore City was a beacon for the supernatural. “At least we found here other here” She smiled softly looking over to him, following onto what he was telling her. “I’ve only had 1 bad experience following that night but don’t worry I gave the person a black eye in reason” Cora wouldn’t be able to forget about when her and Rashesh had their little brawl, for more reasons than others. Different to when Julian had saved her those years ago. “I got a bodyguard now, Crane. He’s supposed to follow me whether I go but I gave him the day off today” Implying that things were a bit different to before, she couldn’t exactly run away and get into trouble now. Well not as often as before.
With the mention of Rashesh she knew now she couldn’t easily change the subject around instead of speaking about her own personal life. Knowing that Julian would just keep pestering until she spilled. “Ergh, I know. Its all screwed up” She groaned almost frustrated with herself, knowing what they were doing was bad but still were continuing. “Its bad, I know we should stop sneaking around. But like with him is all different. He makes me happy even if he’s like the opposite to me” Not speaking before to anyone how much she actually liked Rashesh. “Complication is my middle name” She winked back teasing before ending up laughing at Julian knowing how weird it was sounding. Cora was hoping a little that maybe Julian would have found someone so she could tease him back in return but no. “I swear you're one of those men who say their married to their job or something” She mused rolling her eyes a little.
“You need to get out live a little remember. I could take you out to a club find someone for you, though they might be supernatural knowing on this city” Continuing to press onto the idea just to annoy him. Changing the subject to tattoos instead, Julian’s reaction amused her seeing as he was looking at his collection of tattoos for a moment. “The worse ones are on our necks, why did we get them in that specific place to begin with?” Almost forgetting what or who had given them the idea to get so many tattoos. Remembering returning back to her siblings covered in lots of random rune tattoos, getting quite a few judgemental eye rolls and muttered but she didn’t get scolded. Since it was her body she was one to choose which tattoos she could get. Luckily she still loved them all. “There’s always room Juls, remember that” Cora laughed softly shaking her head to him. “I was thinking upper inner forearm just below the elbow” The one place that they haven’t had filled and still be on show so they don’t have to cover it up.