Azazel (excerpt from book I The Watchers)


Azazel stands and wipes the sweat away from his eyes with the side of his forearm and pulls his long black hair off his neck. The heat blasting him from the forge is sweltering, but he doesn’t mind. He glories in the heat that brings forth his creations. He pulls the red steel from within the forge and places it onto the anvil.
“Now pay close attention. It’s very important to do this properly.”
The humans around him nod vigorously in eagerness to please him. Azazel raises the sledgehammer and, muscles rippling, swiftly strikes the steel. The ringing echos throughout the large smithery. Slowly, a breastplate begins to take shape.

Many hours later he puts aside the unfinished work and turns toward his audience. “This is all for today. I want to see all of you before sunrise tomorrow.”
“Yes master,” They murmur as they bow and back away.
Striding from the smithery down the white columed walkway, Azazel pulls off the drenched loin cloth, his only covering, and throws it to a waiting servant. “Burn that” he says, and giving no thought to his nakedness, he continues forward trailing massive black wings behind him. Whistling, he takes in all the construction happening around him. Watchers and humans are busy building a palace like nothing before seen on Earth. Great columns are being erected to support vaulted ceilings. Beautiful murals will cover walls and ceilings. Azazel gazes at his forming kingdom and is very pleased.

He stops before two giant ornate golden doors and waits for servants to push them open. This is his harem, filled with exotic plants, animals and women. Standing in the large bathing fountain at the center is one of his favorite women, Emel. Her profile is to him, one foot propped on a podium, as her maid thoroughly bathes and oils each leg and foot. Azazel walks into the fountain to quickly wash away the sweat and grime from his work. He continues to watch the maid bathe Emel, smiling with pride as he watches the water running over her swelling abdomen. “How is our son today my aureus mulier?”
“Ah, my aureus vir, our son is fine and strong! How could he not be with such a father?” Her dark almond eyes gleam with victory for she is the first of his women to conceive a child. Emel carries a secret hope and ambition to be named chief wife.

Azazel dismisses the maid and continues to bathe her himself. He pours the fragrant swabu into both hands and massages it into her long black hair. After rinsing and drying her, he leads her to a small chamber just off the gardens. Seating her on cushions in front of him he starts applying an oil containing henna and lily to her golden skin. As he messages oil into her abdomen he feels the movement of his son for the first time. Resting his hand there Azazel can sense that his son is indeed strong, of body and mind. “I’m very pleased with you my darling,” he says as he continues to caress her and message the oil into her skin. She lies back with a sigh of pleasure as his hands move over her voluptuous body. He knows he has stirred her desire and hides a grin at her slight frown as he moves to her head. He oils and combs her luscious hair until it gleams and then uses his fingers to massage her scalp and temples. He feels her relax into his lap and moves his hands down her shoulders and to the beautiful golden skin of her breasts. Her breathing quickens again as he moves to caress her abdomen and legs, kissing each place he touches. He looks up into eyes filled with longing, her arms raised to him, and slowly lowers himself to her warm flesh.
-LM Jones


L’ianə and The Dragon Path (I)


L’ianə stands quietly in the shade of an old forest sentinel
Music winds through the dark wood
She is the one it seeks
Finding her
It’s tendrils enfold her in a golden harmony
And tug her toward destiny

Like a siren song
Dragon-folk are calling her…
So she follows Chygon Rukesyaer
Down the dragon path

He has gone a little ahead of her
She must hurry to catch up
She’s stopped a moment to take it all in
Her world, once so small
Had been in the care and service of others
Now her world is fathomless and unknown

Like a siren song
Dragon-folk are calling her…
So she follows Chygon Rukesyaer
Down the dragon path

All is new again, like a babe
Her bewildered gaze falls on path and tree
Even the wind and sky are strangers
Panic begins to rise
Removing her hand from the tree
She takes a deep breath and straightens

Like a siren song
Dragon-folk are calling her…
So she follows Chygon Rukesyaer
Down the dragon path

Before she can move forward
She stares in shock at her hands
As they begin to glow
He had not been mistaken then
When he’d told her of the magic she possesses
Her laughter rises to mingle with the song

-LM Jones

The Watchers: Prologue pg. 5


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.
-LM Jones

The Watchers: Prologue pg. 4


Sariel smiles as his mind is drawn back to the present. He continues to kiss Bayla’s neck and feels her melt against him. “My little love. My treasure.” He murmurs into her ear. She turns in his lap, wraps her arms around his neck, and pulls his face toward hers. Just as their lips meet the flap to their tent is swiftly thrown aside. Standing in the blazing light is a tall watcher named Shemsiel. His gaze is stony as he folds his blood red wings behind him and dips his head into the opening. “Forgive me master, but there’s a messenger here. He’s been sent by Azazel and requests to speak with you immediately.  “I thank you Shamsiel. Bring him to me right away.”

Shemsiel spreads his hands and nods before turning and swiftly striding away. Shemsiel had once been a guardian in the garden of Eden. He’d taken great pride in his duty, but the fall of the humans had forever changed him. The day Adam and Eve had been cast out he had torn his robes and fallen to the ground. There he had sat for days pouring dirt over his head, as if it were ashes, in despair of their failure. He had mourned the eternal strife that they had brought upon themselves. He’d then cropped his copper curls as close to the scalp as possible never to grow it out again.

Sariel couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen the watcher smile. Shamsiel now served as his right hand in all things and found purpose in teaching the humans the phases of the sun and light magic. Giving him one last lingering kiss Bayla, with his assistance, pushes up from his lap, crosses the carpeted tent, and settles herself on a pile of plush cushions. He takes great pleasure in providing her with these small luxuries. Her life before, though happy, had been sparse of any comforts. He gazes at her as she pulls a basket of cloth and fur to her side to resume working on coverings for their babies. “I’ll have to hurry now that I know I have two to prepare for.” Far from being irritated she beams with pleasure at her own words. Suddenly, she winces and repositions her growing bulk. “Judging by his kicking our son is going to be mighty and strong my love!” Reclining there on the gold and purple silk cushions, black hair flowing down the sides of her heart shaped face, eyes shining, she looks like a goddess of fertility. Sariel finds himself wishing they could stay in this very moment forever. He feels as if a cloud bearing change and urgency is building around him. A sense of foreboding begins to creep in and chip at his happiness. Bayla feels his gaze and glances up at him with that impish grin he loves so well. Sariel has to forcibly control the impulse to snatch her up and flee to some secret place. He knows this would be impossible. Since his arrival her little clan had flourished into a small civilization with the knowledge that he and his comrades had brought them. They now look to him as a leader as well as teacher.

Shamsiel apperars at the opening again and Sariel motions for him to enter. On his heels is a tall lean watcher with straight black hair and facial features that remind Sariel of the cunning black sleekness of a crow. His most striking feature are his peircing violet eyes. Sariel recalls that Merrik is the strange name he prefers. “Merik, you have come far. Allow me to offer you refreshement.” Sariel leads him to a table covered with fruits, meats, breads and chilled wine made from Bayla’s favorite berries. He fills a goblet and hands it to Merik who slowly sips and savors it’s sweetness before resolutely setting it aside. “Azazel has sent me to request your presence at his palace on the island of Atlas as soon as it is possible for you to depart. Sariel knows Azazel well enough not to ask for an explanation. “I see. Thank you Merik. We will depart at sunrise.”

-LM Jones

Diantha of the River


She steps from the dark tree line
Into the twilight
Dark glossy hair flows down her back
Curling at her elbows and hips

Her skin is milk white
Her body is long and lithe
Eyes that are a piercing stormy blue
Set her apart from her people

Tears stream from those violent eyes
And fall to mingle with her blood on the frozen ground
She ignores the blood as it pours down her back and thighs
Slowly, she glides toward the river
in a trance of her own creation

Her breath is a fog
As a lilting song floats from her blue lips
A song to call to her lover lost
A hopeless song,
She knows he will never hear

At the edge of the swollen, rushing river
She raises her arms and her face to the sky
All the animals of the forest remain silent and watching
They bear sole witness

Her song swells to an impossible sound
Even the beasts in a nearby pasture
Bow their heads in homage
To the end of a love
That would only perplex common hearts

But it is a beginning as well
She wades into the water
The sharp rocks slicing her feet
Her blood is a cloud of red
Around her as she sinks

The water takes her
Into a cold embrace
Caressing her like a lover
Its icy fingers
A fire on her skin

As she and the water become one
It flows through her mouth and nose
Spreading within her body and into her veins
Consuming her

Soon the townsfolk begin to notice a change in the river
The water is grayish blue like a violent storm
And never is it still, always rushing
Toward some unknown destination

A new plant grows at the bottom of the river
Long and glossy like the blackest hair
And a mist lingers above the water
Pale and seductive like the curve of a white hip

All the stones in and around the river
Are pure white and smooth
Like bones that have been polished
By brutal waves and grinding rocks

And if you stand by the water and listen to its roar
You may begin to hear a call
To twist and turn in the current
To become one with the river

A haunting song
Of love, loss, and pain
An entrancing song
That bids you to join it

The townsfolk have a warning for those who are new
Don’t stand by that river too long
Or listen to the song it sings
You’ll be lost to her forever,
Churning in her current’s caress,
A toy in her icy fingers
Never relinquished to rest.

-painting by

The Watchers: Prologue pg. 3


“They’re beautiful.” Sariel stood very still and let her explore him. No one had ever touched him and the sensations were overwhelming. He remembered being shocked by the sudden pain radiating from his hands. When he looked at them he realized he’d gouged them with his own nails. He had watched, in amazement, as a drop of his blood fell into the flowers before him. Amazement turned to awe as a new flower suddenly sprang from the others. It was essentially the same as the others but larger and more vivid a blue. His attention was drawn back to Bayla as she exclaimed and cradled his hand, “look how it heals!” It was true, the wounds were already all but healed with no indication that they’d been there at all. Bayla lifted his hands to her mouth and kissed each one. He remembers cradling her face then and bending until they were inches apart. He’d paused, breathing her in, she had smelled like life, like the earth and trees just after the dew. Slowly, he lowered his lips to hers. It was as if lightning struck him then! So much emotion and sensation at once! He’d enfolded them with his wings and continued to kiss and touch her mouth, her face, and her silky hair. “Bayla, my little love, you are a wonder to me.” Stepping back and with one large swoosh of his wings hundreds of flower blossoms fell from the tree above. She had laughed with joy and turned in circles as the pink petals fell onto her upturned face and hands and tangled in her hair. He’d then raised his hands and sent out his senses to the nearby river calling the water to him. He showered droplets over her relishing how they glistened on her golden skin. The sun had been at the perfect angle for rainbows to form around her as she danced in the rain he made for her.


She was the first, and for a time, the only human to see a rainbow. She froze and stood in the light, watching the colors reflect around her. “What is it called?” She’d asked. “It’s magic, my love, and I will share all of it with you in time.” He said as he beckoned her to him. She walked into his arms and lay her head upon his chest. “And you, what am I to call you?” she asked. “You may call me Sariel, love.” Her gaze was puzzled. “Sariel? This name is strange to me. What does it mean?” Sariel stepped back from her and let all human semblance fall from him. An inner light shown from his skin, hair, and eyes as he raised both arms and wings to the sky. Suddenly, the day darkened to night. He hadn’t noticed when Bayla fell to the ground in fear. She stared blankly up as the stars and moon appeared, brighter than normal, in the sky above her. “My name means angel of guidance. I can teach you to find your way with the night sky as well as other things.” He’d been smiling as he manipulated the heavens but when he looked down and noticed her cringing in terror he released his magic immediately. Returning to his simpler form, he knelt in the dirt before her, “Bayla, darling, I didn’t mean to frighten you.” He whispered gently to her, scooped her into his lap, and wrapped his wings around her in an attempt to ease her shivering. Sariel had then begun to sing a song of the angels to her.

“Oh little beloved one
Never should you fear the dark
A greater creation than even the sun
Is the life that beats in your heart

Oh little beloved one
Never should you fear the cold
The power from which galaxies are spun
Finds you lovely to behold

Oh little beloved one
Never should you fear pain
Embrace the lessons, do not run
Don’t close your eyes in vain

Oh little beloved one
Never should you fear death
That battle has been won
Even so, beloved, cherish every breath

You are a beautiful creation
The clay that was formed
A diamond out of darkness
The glory through the fire
A miracle has been forged”

-LM Jones