“Sariel, tell me, will we have a boy or a girl?” Bayla pulls his hand to the curve of her abdomen, a playful smile on her lips. Sariel is hit with a familiar pang of wonder as he gazes at her. He’d never thought he could find her more beautiful than he had that day in the forest. She has blossomed with pregnancy. Her gold skin is glowing and her black hair flows long and vibrant over her shoulders . Her dark eyes are bright with happiness. When he places his hand on her he can feel the life growing and each day the feeling grows stronger. For a few days now he has felt the presence of two separate lives. He smiles as his senses reach out to his daughter and for the first time their minds connect. She is just waking from a dream filled with bright colors and music. He laughs with joy as he realizes that she recognizes him and excitedly begins to describe her dream to him. He is amazed as he realizes what a wonder she will be. Suddenly, she flinches in pain and he can feel her fear as her brother harshly kicks her side. Sariel focuses his attention on the boy. Anger and jealously are projected into his mind. His son also recognizes who he is and all he senses from him is hatred. How can this be? Calmly, as to not alert Bayla, he pulls his mind away from his children and his eyes meet those of his wife. He refuses to worry her so he smiles and says, “We are having a son and a daughter my love.” The happiness that radiates from her in that moment is so brilliant that he can’t help but be swept along with it. He puts any concerns of his son to the side as he scoops Bayla into his arms and kisses her lips. His fingers trail through her hair and down her neck, the place he’d imagined kissing an eternity ago, and he has kissed hundreds of times since.
His mind is drawn to the day the choice had been made to fall. He’d followed Azazel to the meeting place, surrounded by his fellow Watchers, they’d listened as Semjaza spoke of the good they could do for humanity if they lived with and among them rather than avoiding direct interaction. “Look at their pitifully short lives, filled with struggle, as they scavenge and dig in the dirt.” As he pointed they’d all looked down on humanity and their struggle had seemed sad and pointless. “Think of what we could teach them! And look upon their daughters, imagine their beauty if we taught them all we know!” They all looked and saw the beauty of the women. Sariel had seen his own desire echoed in the faces of his comrades. And so it was on that day that two hundred Watchers left the heavens and appeared before the mortals. The awe with which they were beheld made them feel as if they themselves were gods. He remembered watching Azazel descend, gold armor shining brilliantly, and massive black wings outstretched. The ground shook with the impact of his feet. It had pained Sariel to see the mortals fall before him in worship and fear. Azazel stood over them, feet planted firmly apart, and they had cringed even closer to the dirt as his bellow reverberated above their heads, “behold mortals! For we come with new life to offer you.”
Sariel had slipped away from those crowds to seek out one human in particular. He’d found her in the forest where he’d spent so many months protecting and loving her. He shifted into a human form of himself before stepping into view, he hadn’t wanted to frighten her, but it had been Sariel who was startled by her reaction. “I wondered if I would ever meet you.” She had said as she studied him from head to toe. When their eyes had met and she saw the question there she said, “yes, I know you. I’ve felt your presence so often and I’ve seen you in my dreams.” He had been overcome by so many unfamiliar emotions at once that he nearly staggered. Instead, he held out his hand to her saying only, “Bayla.” With no sign of fear she had walked slowly toward him stopping only inches away to look up into his eyes. “I have never before seen anyone with eyes the color of the skies and your hair, it is like the sun.” As she said this she reached up and touched his hair and then his face. It took considerable effort to stand still and endure the new sensations. “Where are your wings?” He’d smiled into her eyes as he brought his wings back into view and stretched them out to their full length of eight feet across. She had sighed in wonder and walked around him trailing her fingers over individual gold and white feathers.
-LM Jones pg.1