Sariel holds Baylah in his arms, wrapping his gold wings around her as he whispers, “Don’t worry love, I will return before the birth.” Leaving her behind is unbearable yet necessary. He gives her one last kiss, and turns to face Shemsial. “You will take my place while I’m gone” he says and grasps Shemsial’s right arm. Leaning closer he whispers, “Watch over my heart for me, brother.” Shemsial looks into his eyes and gravely nods his head. Sariel signals to Merik and they leap into the air. He can’t help but smile as air rushes over his face and down his body. The strength of his wings is a marvel as they bare him up higher and higher. Before the fall traveling from one place to another was accomplished by a mere thought. This ability is no longer accessible to the fallen watchers. Even so the journey to Azazel’s island will only take a few days.
Needing little rest, they fly throughout the day, but as the sun begins to set they look for a place to stay for the night. Merik points to a small cave in the side of a hill. “That will be a good shelter. Storms are coming.” Sariel looks to his right and, sure enough, dark clouds are barreling toward them. A gust of wind catches under their wings pushing them off balance. Pulling their wings in they drop and soar toward the ground. Quickly they gather wood from the surrounding forest. As Merik hurries into the cave, Sariel pauses for a moment in the center of a grove. The breeze whips through his wings and robes. He can smell the ozone in the air and feel the hair of his body rise at the coming electricity. Dropping the wood at his feet he smiles and closes his eyes. Raising his arms to the heavens, he gives himself over to the chaos of the storm. He begins to manipulate the wind around him, sending it swirling through the trees and into the nearby lake, creating a water spout. When lightning strikes a tree his senses are sent crashing back into his body. He quickly gathers the wood into his arms and runs to the cave. Merik stands in the opening givibg him a strange look. Sariel only smiles and moves past him into the cave.
Merik builds the camp fire as Sariel prepares a meal of dried fruit, meat, and flat bread. He hands Merik his portion and they sit against the cave wall, wings acting as soft cushions. With a gesture Merik lights the wood and warmth fills the cave. “Why did you do that? Stand in the storm I mean?” Merik is watching the storm as he eats. “I don’t know really. For the pleasure of it I suppose” Sariel says while pouring mead into two wooden goblets. As he passes one to Merik he notices the puzzled expression on his face, “Do you not find pleasure in the things of this world Merik?” Frowning, Merik mumbles, “I am not moved by this world as you are Sariel.” They eat in silence for a time as Sariel considers what Merik said. “Why did you fall if you find no beauty in this world?” Merik is still and silent for a moment then turning to face Sariel, he looks into his eyes, and almost inaudibly he murmurs, “I found no beauty in heaven or earth as a watcher. I simply could not understand what it was about these humans that held all the heavens in such thrall. I could glory in nothing so I felt…apart from it all. I was hoping that coming here would change things. It hasn’t. So I serve Azazel and find satisfaction in obedience.” His stark words and cold stare strike Sariel like a slap. He cannot understand, cannot fathom, these feelings that Merik speaks of. “I honor your openness Merik.” They remain silent after this, both lost in their own thoughts. After a while Sariel rests on the cave floor, wings wrapped about his body, and falls into a fitful sleep. His dreams are filled with a feeling of foreboding, shouts, and blood, so much blood.