“And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’ And Semjaza, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’ And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’ Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And these are the names of their leaders: Samlazaz, their leader, Araklba, Rameel, Kokablel, Tamlel, Ramlel, Danel, Ezeqeel, Baraqijal, Asael, Armaros, Batarel, Ananel, Zaqiel, Samsapeel, Satarel, Turel, Jomjael, Sariel. These are their chiefs of tens.”
-I Enoch Chapter 6
He watches the woman as she searches the bushes and adds to the pile of berries in her basket. As She bends forward to pick more, her dark hair falls forward over her face, exposing the column of her neck. He wonders what it would feel like to lay his hand upon it. Suddenly, she yanks a piece of hair from over her eyes and looks in his direction as if she senses his presence. Never has he so desired to make himself known or speak with one of these children of the Father. Sariel is sworn, gladly, to watch over them and to serve them, these mysterious creatures made in His image. “Bayla,” he murmurs to himself. Her name means “beautiful” in her language and to him she is more beautiful than all the wonders he has beheld since creation. She turns her attention back to the bush and pops a berry into her mouth. Tilting her head back she closes her eyes and hums as she chews, clearly enjoying her treasure. Longing rushes through him as he imagines kissing her exposed throat and tasting the fruit on her lips as he caresses her dark hair. What would he see if he could gaze into her black eyes?
Sariel jerks himself into a straighter stance and shakes his head while silently reprimanding himself. “These thoughts need to stop,” he tells himself. He glances at the horizon then back at Bayla sending feelings of urgency toward her. She pushes up from her knees, brushing her hands over her coverings of rough skin and fur, and realizes that she has lingered here too long. She had felt triumph at the unexpected discovery of such a full bush at the end of the season and had lost track of time. He can feel her rising panic as she grabs her basket and rushes toward the path.
It’s dangerous to be away from the caves this late in the day. Predators emerge from their hiding places to hunt at night. Many of her kin have been lost to their fearsome claws. Her fear consumes him as he follows close behind her. He represses the urge to scoop her into his arms and fly over the trees to the safety of her home. This would only serve to frighten her even more and tread too closely to disobedience on his part. Just as she is about to break through the trees and run into the lighted open area that surrounds the caves, Sariel’s eyes dart to a shadow slinking through the under growth. This fanged monster moves with swift purpose. A vision of Bayla sprawled on the ground, blood marring her golden skin, brings forth a rage in him that is horrifying. In the blink of an eye he’s beside it gripping its throat. Sariel bares his teeth as he squeezes, the stench of its breath burning his eyes. It makes choking sounds, its eyes rolling back as it struggles. Finally, the creature goes still. He heaves it away from him, disgusted and looks up in time to see Bayla skip happily into the cave.
“She is lovely, is she not?” Sariel swings around to see Azazel gazing down at the beast. “The woman I mean,” he says, still looking at the broken animal. Sariel remains silent as he studies Azazel. This Watcher is an immense presence. He’s tall, even compared to most Watchers, and well muscled. He wears a breastplate of gold and gold bands at his wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles. He carries a long spear in his right hand. All of this glistens in the light coming through the trees, as if it has been constantly polished with great care. His black hair falls to his shoulders in waves. Azazel’s dark features completely contrast Sariel’s pale blonde hair and translucent blue eyes. Even his plain choice of covering, a white linen tunic, sets them apart. Azazel’s golden eyes are piercing as he looks up and meets Sariel’s stare.
“Yes, Sariel, I’ve been watching you for a while now, and you seem to spend an unusual amount of time around this tribe in particular.” He steps toward Sariel extending his hand in a gesture of camaraderie and places it on his shoulder. He
turns Sariel to face him, his spear in the crook of his arm, as he places both hands on Sariel’s shoulders. “I do not judge my friend, for I recognize on your face the same expression that I myself have worn as well as many of our fellow Watchers.” Sariel begins to open his mouth to deny what Azazel is saying, but instead he looks away, his face puzzled, and eyes clouded.
“You love her!”
Sariel breaks free from Azazel’s hold and turns away. “What is your purpose here Azazel? Do you wish to further torment me! It does not matter what I feel for her, for she can never be mine!” Sariel leans his cheek against a tree, letting it hold him up. “She will live her life with a man. A man that will take pleasure in the secrets of love with her and share in her laughter! It will be a man who smiles into her eyes as he holds their newborn son in his arms.” Tears roll from his eyes and fall to the ground. He touches one in awe. He didn’t know they could cry. He’d never before had reason to feel anything less than joy. How horrible and wonderful life must be for them! To always feel such things!
“My friend,” Azazel whispers, “I tell you it is possible for YOU to be the man that shares in these things with her!”
Sariel turns back toward Azazel and searches his face. When he finds only honesty there, a serge of hope begins to fill his heart, and nothing in heaven and earth will ever be the same.