Eternal Covenant

Eternal Covenant

Status: Finished

Genre: Erotica

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Erotica

Summary

**********Notice: This book has been removed for publishing - Author name: K.G. Inglis******** Cassie is a strong willed young woman whose curiosity lands her on Ahriman's hit list, an evil Fallen Angel determined to make himself immortal. Cassie's only chance of survival is with Alaric, a sexy vampire who unwittingly finds himself in the role of Cassie’s protector. Drawn to her like no other, she is a forbidden temptation he can’t ignore but claiming his Mate could see him banished to the Underworld forever as the secrets he's held for centuries begin to unfold.

Summary

**********Notice: This book has been removed for publishing - Author name: K.G. Inglis********
Cassie is a strong willed young woman whose curiosity lands her on Ahriman's hit list, an evil Fallen Angel determined to make himself immortal. Cassie's only chance of survival is with Alaric, a sexy vampire who unwittingly finds himself in the role of Cassie’s protector. Drawn to her like no other, she is a forbidden temptation he can’t ignore but claiming his Mate could see him banished to the Underworld forever as the secrets he's held for centuries begin to unfold.

Prolog (v.1) - Prologue - Eternity Begins

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: October 15, 2017

Reads: 225

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: October 15, 2017

A A A

A A A

Eternity Begins

 

The day had started no differently from any other he’d experienced over the past fifteen years.  His tunic chafed against his chest from the constant trickle of sweat. Dust collected between his calloused toes, distracting him from a small area on the ball of his right foot, blistered from persistent aggravation of small stones through the hole in his sandal.  The hot, dry wind succeeded only in compounding his discomfort,  blowing a tassel of blonde hair protruding below his helmet into his eyes, causing him to squint.How he missed the cold climate of his homeland.

However the day may have started, he knew there was a promise of something special to come. 

For two hours he stood at his post.  A crowd gathered around him, lining the street and eagerly waiting.  This was the Jewish holiday of Passover and their proclaimed Messiah, Jesus, was arriving for the celebration. 

The crowd jostled for a better position as cheers and clapping erupted behind the market place just around the bend in the road.  Intermingled with the excited overture were the many jeers and insults from those devout to their own various religions.  Jesus had many followers but the enemies he made were very powerful and forthright in their abhorrence of him and what he stood for.

Although he was on duty and therefore not permitted to show any emotion, he was just as excited as the rest of the crowd.  Unlike the other onlookers, he had no trouble seeing the entourage approach.  He stood almost a whole foot taller than the majority of the crowd.  He was tall, even for the people in the village where he was born, standing an impressive stature of six feet, five inches.

His mind drifted back to the region of the Rhine where he grew up.  His village had fought against the Romans for many years, but eventually, they signed a treaty with the Roman, Germanicus, for peace. 

As was the Roman way, young men of the village were offered an occupation in the Roman Army.  In return for twenty years service, they were each to receive a plot of land.  If they survived that long.  Not many did.

Being a Roman soldier demanded total commitment and fealty, and marriage was forbidden.  At the age of fifteen, he didn’t have any worldly experience or understanding to realise how difficult that pledge would be to uphold. 

He loved his home in the mountains.  He wanted nothing more than to live there forever, hunting deer, wild boar, and the occasional hare.  But, many people in his village feared him.  They believed he had a demon inside him.  That was absurd of course, but he couldn’t deny that his ability to foresee the imminent death of others was an unusual gift.  He sat with the dying through their last hours until their time of passing.  Although his presence was obviously comforting for the dying, for his superstitious kin it was unnatural.  

For this reason, and because his hunting and combat skills were second to none, his father encouraged him to enlist in the Roman Army.  While he missed his home and family and thought about them often, he knew he would never return.

He was lost in his memory.  For a moment, it was so real he could almost smell the pine scented breeze rising off the Elbe River. 

The growing noise of the crowd filtered into his consciousness, bringing him back to reality and leaving him suddenly feeling melancholy.

A tugging at his elbow diverted his attention from the crowd.  Before he even turned his head, he smelled her hair, the sweet hint of persimmons intoxicating his senses. 

All thoughts of self pity were instantly replaced with joyous warmth in his heart.  A tingle of excitement rippled throughout his body.  As determined as he was to remain stoic, the corners of his mouth turned up with a smile to greet her.

He looked down into the angelic face of the Jewish water girl at his side, smiling longingly back at him.  Soulful brown eyes silently proclaimed all the words they were not permitted to speak aloud.

Discretely, she took a step closer toward him. “Please sir, would you care for some water.  You must be parched out here in this hot sun.”Her soft and soothing voice was music to his ears.

The afternoon sun seemed to linger over her, highlighting the soft milky-white skin of her face against the glossy sheen of her raven-black hair.  He had to restrain himself from stroking the lock that fell below the level of the veil covering most of her head and shoulders.  Just being this close to her gave him goose bumps.

“Thank you.  You…you are most kind,” was the best he could manage in reply, stammering over his words.  Frustrated at his inability to convey his true thoughts and feelings, he graciously accepted the water skin. 

Their hands touched for the longest moment.  He wanted desperately to make it last longer, but this was neither the time nor the place.  Only five more years of service to go, but he was doubtful he could keep his feelings hidden from the world for much longer.  He made a promise to serve for twenty years but thoughts of deserting had become a constant temptation.  Recently he began making plans to do just that. 

Jessica had been his wife for nearly two years.A year ago their daughter was born.  They were his reasons for living, and also his motivation for deserting the Roman Army.  They had wed with the blessing of her family but things had become more complicated.  Her brother, Jesus, had made enemies of Jewish religious officials and the Roman leaders with his controversial views and his popularity with the people. 

For both their safety, Jessica’s family kept their marriage a secret.  He continued to live in the soldiers barracks, and she lived with their daughter in a small house at the edge of town.  Always careful how and when they met.  If they were discovered?  He shuddered.  He dared not think about the consequences. 

He had made up his mind.  Following her brother’s visit here to Jerusalem for Passover, he planned to take his family as far away from Rome’s influence as possible and start a new life.  The Roman Army could go to hell.  His family came first.

“My brother has asked that you attend the Passover meal,” she whispered. 

Jessica looked around nervously at the people closest to them, all of whom were jostling with one another for a better view of the road. She hoped the excitement of the crowd would drown out their conversation. 

Although he was accustomed to eating with Jessica’s family, this was the first time he had been asked to attend in the company of others.  Jesus’ disciples would be attending, as would an unquantified number of others.  His instinct was to decline, fearing their secret would be exposed.  But, Jesus himself had asked him to attend. 

As much as he wanted to, he couldn’t refuse.

They shared a well-kept secret, he and Jesus.  Knowledge of something much greater in importance than even his clandestine marriage.  And its weight sat like a heavy anvil on his soul.  With a pursed smile and an almost imperceptible nod, he accepted the invitation.

A hollow, sick feeling began to settle in the pit of his stomach leaving him in a cold sweat despite the afternoon heat. 

His time had run out.  He could feel it in his bones.

x-x-x-x-x

Passover supper was a joyful celebration.  All Jessica’s family attended along with Jesus and his disciples.  Good food, good company and good humour were in abundance.  During supper, Jesus blessed the bread as his body and broke it for everyone to eat.  He then blessed the wine. 

Jesus looked directly at his brother-in-law when he spoke: “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many.” 

A subtle ripple of air vibrated throughout the room.  An energy so subtle it seemed only he and Jesus were aware of it.  Those words Jesus spoke during his blessing held more power than a simple sermon to his followers, sending a shiver of foreboding down his spine.

With the knowledge that there was one amongst them who was to betray him, Jesus informed his followers his time with them was ending.  The festive mood of the meal was broken, as were the hearts of all those in attendance.  One by one he spoke to each person to say goodbye.

Lastly, Jesus approached his brother-in-law.  With sadness in his eyes, he embraced him.  “I must speak with you, Sammael.”

Sammael’s breath hitched involuntary.  He had never heard his true name spoken aloud.  It was the name he only heard whispered by the spirits in the forest when he was a child, but never by another man. 

He is right, Sammael thought.  This is it.  His time has run out.  Jesus was about to order him to fulfil his purpose, whether he liked it or not.

The heavy anvil on his soul suddenly felt like a boulder.

All he needed was one more day before he would get his family away from this city.  Why then, did he have the sickening feeling that it was never going to happen?

“Sammael, as an angel of death, it falls to you to help me fulfil my destiny here on earth.  You understand that in doing so you will fulfil your own.  There’s no going back,” he calmly told him.  “Take this cup and protect it.  You will know what to do with it when the time comes.  I’m sorry this responsibility has been placed on you but there’s no other way.” 

Sammael had pledged his body to the Roman Empire to protect and serve for twenty years.  He had also vowed his heart to Jessica to protect and love her and their daughter until his body gave up its last breath.  But it was his third promise that was most binding.  The one where he had pledged his soul in service of all mankind.

Sammael sighed in resignation, his body tensed as he accepted the chalice from Jesus.  

“I understand.”  Sammael replied solemnly.  He was beginning to feel the weight of a commitment he made an eternity ago.  A commitment that frustratingly, he couldn’t quite remember the details of.

Jesus placed his hand on Sammael’s shoulder and gave a gentle squeeze to make sure he had his full attention. 

 “I don’t think you do.  Not completely.” Jesus forced a sad smile.  “You must know, you won’t be forgotten for your own sacrifice, and your future actions will be forgiven.  It’s all part of the greater plan.  In time you will come to understand and embrace this.” 

What the hell did that mean?  Damn upper level angels, always speaking in riddles.

Sammael lightly fingered the uneven texture of the rim and outer surface of the wooden cup, created by years of use.  In contrast, the inside was well polished and smooth, just a couple of shades darker than the outside.  Stained from years of wine permeating the porous wood.  Although his mind was distracted, he was aware of a vague tingling sensation in his fingers emanating from the cup.

“What is it I must do?”

Jesus leaned in closer, his voice low.  “You must complete the sacrifice.”

“What, am I to be the one to kill you?”

“I can’t tell you any more.  I’m sorry.”  Sammael noted the dark hollows beneath Jesus’ eyes.  “My duty here is nearly ended but yours is just beginning.  This won’t be the last time our intervention will be needed in this world.You and I, along with all our angelic brethren have made a promise to protect the delicate balance here. But for now, it’s time for me to complete my obligation.”

Although Jesus spoke with honour and pride regarding his eminent commitment, there was an air of trepidation in his voice.  He was a very powerful upper level angel from the order of Dominions, nonetheless in order to fulfil his purpose, his human form was required to experience physical death. 

Death was not the end of life, the soul lived on eternally in one form or another.  Regardless, even to a being as powerful as Jesus, the process of dying, or more precisely, the method in which he was to die, was still daunting.

Contrary to belief, Jesus was not a religious man.  Religion was a man made concept enabling people to interpret their place in the world according to their limited knowledge.  No, he had spent his life teaching the world a new way to experience life, preparing them for a new phase of evolution, or at least he had tried to. 

Likewise, Sammael followed no religion.  There was no religion where they originated from.  There was no single or multiple Gods that existed to oversee the world.  Instead, a hierarchy of spiritual beings at varying levels of evolution, worked tirelessly together on a immense scale, in multiple dimensions, to create what was known by humans, as God.  Unfortunately, at the current point in evolution, this was a concept that the human race was incapable of comprehending, although they would come to understand this at a much later time.

Despite their limitations, human souls had evolved to a point where they were ready to transcend to the higher dimensions.  However, without the assistance of an angel of death at their time of passing to channel their souls, they were unable to attain this ascension on their own.

Jesus had been sent to create a doorway to the higher dimensions of light for humans to follow without assistance.  Part of the process to achieve his goal required the physical death of his human body. 

Why was it that Sammael could recall the sacrifice Jesus had to make, but not his own.  It was very troubling.

Sammael wrestled with his turbulent emotions to stay composed.

“I have accepted that in our endeavour to live this human life, we have become susceptible to all human flaws and weaknesses.  But, we have also retained our capacity to love with great intensity, and I love your sister and my daughter more than my own life.  Promise me I can protect them, regardless of what we must do.”  Sammael desperately begged for reassurance.

“There are some things that even I am not permitted knowledge of at this time,”  Jesus answered.  It was a hollow guarantee but it was the best he could offer.

However much Sammael wanted to turn his back on Jesus, flee with his family and escape his fate, he knew that this was one duty he could not desert from.

Jesus embraced Sammael, sharing a moment of inevitability that no amount of denial could erase.

x-x-x-x-x

In silence, Sammael walked his wife home.  Their mood was sombre.  He carried their sleeping daughter in his arms, blissfully unaware of the upheaval to her life that was about to unfold.

His mind raced through one scenario after another, trying to plan for unknown consequences to the as yet unknown actions he was duty-bound to carry out.He would fulfil his obligation and immediately after, he would finalise his plans to leave this town and escape with his family. 

If he was still alive.

As they reached the house, Jessica took his hand and gently kissed it.  Their daughter began to stir in the cradle of his other arm.  They were both in awe of the love and happiness that this small child brought them.  It seemed inconceivable that he wouldn’t always have his precious family. 

But he was an angel of death, and death was coming.  He could feel it. The knot in the pit of his stomach had intensified into a block of ice, numbing his senses.  Jesus would die tomorrow, that he knew for certain.  But, there was something more.  Something just out of reach of his mental grasp, teasing the periphery of his fragmented memories. Taunting him.

It was a feeling, nothing more.

Yet, as a warrior he relied on those feelings to survive.  He couldn’t allow himself to be so distracted by the lion stalking him, that he failed to see the cobra hiding in the grass.

Sammael silently entered the house and placed his daughter into bed, barely opening an eye before turning over and resuming her sleep.

 “Tomorrow evening we will leave here.  We need to travel quickly so only pack what is absolutely necessary,” he stated in a solemn tone, whispering out of habit.  He was looking forward to the day when he could live a normal life, without fear of retribution. 

He was determined to create that life for his family.

The moonlight through the window outlined the silhouette of Jessica’s figure, highlighting her full lips, beckoning him closer for a kiss.  He willingly obliged. 

Sammael became aware of something pressing into his side.  The chalice Jesus had given him.

Detaching it from his belt, he placed it on the table.  He dared not take it with him back to the barracks, it would be much safer here with Jessica.  Sammael didn’t know why the chalice was so important, nor did he care.  He had more important things to focus on at the moment.  No doubt its purpose would be revealed in good time. 

Sammael pulled his wife in closer once more for another, more passionate kiss, leaving her in no doubt of his love and desire for her.  All the stress of the evening melted away as the heat of their bodies pressed firmly against one another, moulding into a perfect union. 

It was past midnight when Sammael snuck back into the barracks.

Lying on his cot, sleep took him in fitful bursts. 

In the early hours that morning he was roughly dragged from his bed.  Two fellow soldiers and his commanding officer stood before him.  His commander’s expression could only be described as one of disappointment. 

“Get dressed soldier!”

Had someone reported him returning so late? Did they know he’d attended the Passover meal with Jesus? 

These were the first thoughts to roll through his sleep deprived, hazy mind.

No.  This was his destiny coming to fruition.  Events were now set in motion that he couldn’t stop.

It was time to fulfil his promise. 

Oddly, even though he always knew this day would come, he still felt unprepared.

The guards shackled his hands and feet and lead him from the barracks.  The older of the two soldiers, Logius, an ill tempered man who took delight in inflicting pain on others, held Sammael’s own spear at his back and prodded him with it.

“Move!” Logius bellowed.

The sun had not yet risen.  The faintest red on the horizon splintered the night sky, inspiring the first of the birds to herald in the new day in a chorus of song. 

Sammael was marched through the streets to the palace, the two soldiers flanking him on either side.  Attendance at the palace was never healthy for a soldier, no matter what their rank.  Since he had been summoned at such an ungodly hour, the logical conclusion was that he was in deep shit.  He wasn’t even given an opportunity to put on his sandals.  Strangely, this was something he was grateful for.  The cold marble floors under his bare feet gave him a feeling of being grounded, helping him to focus on resigning himself to the inevitable.  Whatever the hell that was.

Sammael’s stomach clenched. 

Torches lit the hallways leading through the palace.  Pontius Pilate, the residing Roman authority, had a reputation of being tough, although beneath the stern exterior he was still a reasonable man. 

It was time to meet the cobra in the grass, Sammael stoically thought.

Having cleared his head of the cobwebs of sleep, Sammael’s mind came to the inevitable conclusion.  He knew that Judas was to betray Jesus.  That had been another revelation Jesus had shared with him at Passover.  And, he could only assume that Judas had also disclosed his knowledge that Jesus’ sister was married to a Roman soldier.  Why wouldn’t he?  After all, if he could betray Jesus, who supposedly meant so much to him, turning over his sister and husband probably wouldn’t even touch his conscience.  Sammael prayed with every fibre of his being that he was wrong, but deep down he knew he wasn’t.  The best he could hope for was that Jessica and their daughter would be spared any repercussions, and he alone was to be punished. 

As the doors to the chamber opened, his first sight was of Pontius Pilate pacing the length of the room.  One hand on his hip, the palm of the other pressed against his forehead.  As he stopped and turned to face him, his cape flayed out behind him in a magnanimous and pompous display, both hands coming to rest on his hips. 

His eyes showed his inner torment of choices he had been deliberating.  The lines on his forehead were heavily creviced, and his lips pursed so tightly together they appeared drained of colour.

 “I’m assuming you know why you’re here.”  Pilate spoke at last. His voice was light and carefree which was in stark contradiction to his tightly wound body.

Sammael remained silent, his eyes directed down toward the floor, unwilling to aggravate the situation any more than necessary.

 “It seems my city has been overrun by self proclaimed Gods and treasonous soldiers”.  The tone of his voice became sterner, malevolence dripping from the word “treasonous.

Pilate began slowly pacing again.  The soft tapping of his sandals echoed through the otherwise silent room. 

 “I have recently learned that you have taken a wife.  This, on its own, is worth fifty lashes for not obtaining prior approval.” 

Sammael could tell that this speech wasn’t going to end in his favour. 

 “In any case, this marriage would never have been approved!”  The volume of his voice was beginning to rise as his pacing increased.

 “I have been placed in a very awkward position you realise.  I understand this woman you married is the sister of the one the Jews call their Messiah, Jesus.  Is this correct?”

Sammael straightened himself a little more and looked Pilate directly in his eyes.  “Yes, that is true.”

Pilate ceased his pacing.  After a moment of thought, he approached Sammael and stood at arms length from him.  Any closer and Pilate would have gotten a stiff neck looking up at him.  His expression relaxed a little, showing maybe even a hint of sadness. 

“How unfortunate for you.  Jesus has been disrupting the peace and stirring up all manner of trouble for me for far too long.  I cannot allow this to continue.  Nor can I allow my soldiers to defy the law.  I’m afraid an example must be made as a deterrence to others…. You understand, it’s nothing personal,” Pilate told him flatly.

What wasn’t personal?

With a clap of his hands and a curt nod to the guards, the doors behind Sammael swung open. 

The guards dragged in the limp and bloodied form of a dark haired woman and dumped her at his feet.  Sammael’s heart began racing before it sunk into the pit of his stomach like stone.  Jessica.  His beautiful wife was barely recognisable. 

Sammael collapsed to the floor beside her, cradling her head in his shackled hands and stroked her face gently with all the love he felt.  His arms ached to hold her but his bonds wouldn’t allow it. 

Screams tore through his mind but his throat wouldn’t release them, strangled closed by his anguish.

 “This is not your wife.” Pilate spat out, his voice laced with venom.  “Since you are not legally married according to Roman law, she is unmarried, and as such has been judged an adulteress.  Her punishment was stoning,” he told him in a cold, heartless tone.

Jessica was still alive, but only barely.  Her consciousness wavered as she looked up into his eyes one last time, pleading silently to be released from her broken body.  Her eyes became vacant and her body went limp as she released her last breath. 

Sammael felt her essence loosening from its physical bonds, drawn to his angelic power.  He opened himself as she passed through him, sending her soul into the spiritual realms. The gentle caress of her essence connected to his, sharing one last intimate moment together. 

His final gift of love.

Countless times before, he had guided souls across the threshold of death and felt a sense of peace as they passed.  Never had he felt this…despair.  He wanted to die with her.  A part of him did die, the part of him that was human. 

Sammael was bigger and stronger than anyone in Pilate’s chamber.  He could have killed every one of them without breaking a sweat, but he was unable to retaliate. All he could do was hold his wife as he wept over her lifeless body. 

Moments or minutes passed, he couldn’t tell.  Finally, grating past his clenched teeth, Sammael found his voice.

 “Why?  Why?!She didn’t deserve this.  I am the one who should be punished.  I was the one who broke the law.”  Sammael’s expanding grief filled every crevice of his being.  Body and soul.  His throat hurt with the effort to speak through his tears.

 “Well, you’re right about one thing.  You have broken the law and you will be punished.”  Pilate’s demeanour changed, his face became stony, full of indignation. 

What, this wasn’t punishment enough?  There couldn’t be a greater punishment than to know your wife died because of your mistakes, Sammael thought grimly.  If only they’d left this city when he’d first thought about it. 

 “Jesus has also been condemned to death.  He will be crucified this day.  Since you are his brother-in-law, you shall have the honour of nailing him to the crucifix.  You will watch over him until he dies and afterwards, you will also be put to death.”

Pilate bent down, lifting Sammael’s chin to look him in the eye.

“You will be my example to all others who think they can defy Roman law.” 

Pilate turned on his heels and marched away, leaving Sammael crouched on the floor clutching Jessica’s empty body. 

“Oh, and dispose of that before it starts to smell.”  Pilate told the guards with a nod towards Jessica.  He spoke with disgust but his eyes betrayed the regret lying behind them.  This was not the outcome he would have chosen under normal circumstances.  He had been backed into a corner.  In order to maintain the loyalty of his army and keep the peace with influential Jewish religious leaders, drastic measures were required.

A couple of hours passed in a hazy blur.  Sammael found himself at Golgotha.  He, himself had been escorted to the mount by soldiers, taunting him with comments of how his wife had suffered and how she screamed for mercy while she was being stoned. 

His grief became intermingled with white hot anger, simmering in the depths of his soul.  The soldiers faces burned into Sammael’s memory.  Logius, whom he had once called his friend, amongst them. 

Time had no meaning, a minute felt like an hour and an hour felt like a minute.  People moved about him but their presence was insignificant.  Sammael was deaf to the growing noise of the gathering crowd, totally consumed by the loss of his wife.

A procession of people slowly made their way to the top of the hill.  Among those was Jesus, carrying the heavy weight of the cross over his shoulders.

Breathless and exhausted, Jesus collapsed on the ground beside Sammael.  Using what little strength he had left, Jesus took Sammael’s hand in his and squeezed it.“I’m so sorry,” he croaked out, as a solitary tear escaped his eye, rolling over his bruised and bloodied cheek. 

Logius indignantly pushed Sammael in the back with his foot.  “Get to work, traitor.”  His actions obviously amused the other soldiers standing nearby who erupted into riotous, belly aching laughter.

Sammael exchanged mournful looks with Jesus.  “Do what you must.”  Jesus told him, breathing heavily for a moment before continuing.  “You must fulfil your destiny or I can’t fulfil mine.  Your actions will be forgiven.”

That was the second time Jesus had said that, but Sammael’s mind was working at only a tenth of its normal capability.  He couldn’t tell whether Jesus was telling him he would be forgiven for murdering the arsehole soldiers behind him, or for carrying out his duty nailing him to the cross.  It didn’t matter.  Rational thought was well beyond his reach.

Sammael picked up the mallet and one of the large nails lying on the ground beside him.  Jesus voluntarily laid his hands on the wooden beam.  Sammael drove a nail into his left hand, and then the right.  Vaguely, Jesus’ cries of pain registered somewhere in his consciousness, but not enough to break through the hazy wilderness of his mind.

He didn’t remember nailing his feet, or his crucifix being raised and planted into the ground.  But there he was before him, hanging several feet away, overlooking the crowd which was now large enough to cover the mount.

The sky began to darken as an eerie atmosphere settled over Golgotha.  For hours the darkness continued.  The air itself felt electric to Sammael.  He could feel the veil to the higher realms becoming thinner, pulling against the strain of energy being created between the two worlds. 

The noise of the crowd became more subdued as the hours passed.  All except the soldiers behind him.  Obviously they felt it was their duty to continue to taunt him. 

 “When he’s dead,” pointing at Jesus, “It’s going to be my pleasure to kill you with this.” Logius yelled, brandishing Sammael’s own spear in front of him.  “How do you feel about that, traitor?” he jeered, spitting in Sammael’s face.  Clearly he was getting his jollies from the attention and encouragement he was receiving from the other soldiers, but it was doing nothing to subdue Sammael’s growing hatred of the man.

“I’ll kill you last.  I’ll make it slow and painful.  That’s what I think.”  Sammael rasped out with a deadly snarl.

“What’s that, you’re going to kill me!  From your grave?” he mocked, soliciting a new round of laughter from the soldiers.

These same spineless soldiers who now goaded him, until only yesterday had feared him for his size, strength and efficiency in battle.  Believing they had the upper hand seemed to rally a burst of cowardice courage.

Then it came.  That foreordained moment his destiny was tied to.

In his mind, Sammael heard Jesus’ voice.  “It’s time!  Use the spear!

While the soldiers were still distracted by their own small minded amusement, Sammael snatched his spear back from Logius’ grasp.  He moved so quickly that Logius didn’t notice it missing from his hand until it was too late.  Before he could react, Sammael plunged the spear deep into Jesus’ side, eliciting a gush of fresh blood pouring from the wound. 

A crack of electricity exploded into the spear from Jesus’ body simultaneously with a ripple through the atmosphere, which only he and Jesus could feel.

“Protect them always.” Jesus whispered, his eyes resting on the spear.

Jesus’ mother, Mary, pushed past Sammael screaming at the sight of her son’s plight.  So much blood flowed from his wound, pooling on the ground beneath his feet. 

Mary took the veil from her head and held it against his legs.  Unable to reach the wound, she desperately tried to collect all his blood as it was spilled, hoping that by sheer will she could somehow stem the bleeding and prolong his life.  Not willing to let her son leave this world without a fight, she clung to him.

The time had come.  This was his destiny…What was his destiny?  What was next?  Sammael felt so confused.  His mind couldn’t make sense of anything.  Jessica was dead.  He wanted to be near her, smell her scent on her clothes, touch her face and see her smile.

He was shaken back to reality from the clouded recesses of his mind by a shudder which tore through the atmosphere so violently that is shook the very foundations of the earth. 

Jesus was dead.

Numb, both in body and soul, he stood for a moment watching the stunned onlookers searching for their own sense of reality in the events unfolding.  The sky was still darkened and the ground rumbled and shook beneath them.  Storm clouds began rolling in, threatening further ferocious retribution.

The repercussion of Jesus’ sacrifice was being felt throughout all the dimensions, splintering the veil between them a little more.

Mary clutched her son’s feet, wailing at God for taking him from her.  The blood soaked cloth slipped from her fingers and was caught by the wind, landing at Sammael’s feet.  More from instinct than thought, he picked it up.  All that blood on the woman’s veil reminded him of Jessica’s own blood soaked clothes.  He wanted to be near her.  Subconsciously he placed the cloth in his belt.

There was so much commotion on the mount, it was easy to lose track of people in the semi darkness.  The soldiers were too busy trying to regain some semblance of crowd control to notice that Sammael was no longer there.

Sammael wandered aimlessly for hours until finally he found himself at his family’s home.  Clutching his wife’s shawl, breathing in the sweet perfume of her scent, he was lost in memory of all the wonderful moments they’d shared together. 

Although, he had no recollection of leaving the mount or entering the house. 

Once again time stood still as his despair blanketed his awareness.  He wasn’t sure if the darkness still enveloped the land or if it had become night.  He didn’t even know if one day or maybe two had passed since his wife had been so brutally murdered.  His thoughts were lost in the swirling vortex of his mind, staring into the abyss of madness.

The memory of Jessica’s beaten and broken body was a raw wound too deep to heal, its talons grasping and venomous, destroying any and all warmth in his soul.

Early Sunday morning, Sammael awoke at the table, still sitting in the same spot he had been for the past two days. 

The first rays of sunlight began to filter through the window reflecting off something shiny on the mantel above the fireplace, catching his attention.

Sammael looked around him.  It was the first time he had taken in his surroundings since he arrived at his family’s home. 

It was only now that he noticed the evidence of a struggle in the house.  A couple of chairs had been knocked over, a vase lay shattered on the floor and the bolt on the back of the door was broken. The door lay partly open, creaking on his hinges as the outside breeze pushed against it.  Sammael’s spear stood upright against the wall by the door, although he didn’t recall leaving Golgotha with it.  Sammael walked through the house to inspect the evidence of his wife’s capture.  In the bedroom, both Jessica and his daughter’s beds were in disarray.

His daughter!

He’d been so consumed with grief at the loss of his wife, he hadn’t stopped to consider what had happened to his daughter.  In his mind, he played back as many of the taunts from the soldiers that he had could remember.  Not one of them had included his daughter. 

He could only surmise at this point, that his daughter was safe, somewhere.  If his daughter was alive, he had a reason to live. 

Straightening the chairs back into their rightful place at the table, Sammael committed to memory the familiarity of their texture.  After today, this was another home that he would no longer be able to return to.  He had become a condemned outlaw.

His only priority now was to find his daughter and leave Jerusalem as soon as possible. 

As the sun rose a little higher, it not only illuminated everything around him, but it also began breaking down the cobwebs in his mind.  Slowly, his clarity of thinking returned.  The smell of persimmons in a bowl on the bench which were beginning to over ripen, caught his notice.  The familiar sound of neighbours going about their daily chores filtered through the tiny house’s walls, pushing aside the hazy veil even further.

As he continued to look about the room, he realised his hands were covered in dried blood.  Whose blood, he wasn’t sure.  It could have been Jesus’ blood or Jessica’s.  Maybe both.

Although reluctant to shed this last physical contact he had with his wife, he knew he had to clean himself up for his daughter’s sake.  She needed him now more than ever before.

He retrieved the washing basin which his wife kept on a shelf under the window.  The jug on the bench below, was still half full.  He carried them to the table and poured the water, retrieving every last drop.

When his hands were clean, he looked himself over more thoroughly.  It was then that he noticed the cloth.  Mary’s veil filled with Jesus’ dried blood attached to his belt.  The hand woven cloth had soaked up so much blood it was almost brittle.  He placed the cloth on the table beside the basin, perplexed that his state of mind had been so greatly affected that he retained so little memory of the past couple of days.

The reflected glint of metal pierced the corner of his eye, once again distracting him from his thoughts. 

On the Mantel were Jessica’s few meagre prized possessions.  A wood carving given to her by her brother and a couple of other knick knacks she had collected over the years.  His eyes skimmed the shelf for the culprit demanding his attention.

It was a small metal pendant he had given her for their wedding. 

As he picked it up, a very distinct pull of energy emanated from the cup that had been placed next to it.  It was the cup Jesus had given him at their last supper together.  This was the chalice he had been asked to protect... and use.

He placed the pendant around his neck and picked up the cup.

The tingling in his fingers radiated up his arm, the energy warming him as it flowed through his body.  This energy was so familiar to him, it felt like home.  The home that until now seemed so inaccessible.  His angelic home. 

Intuitively, he collected the cloth on the table and placed it in the bowl of water.  Swirls of deep red began to infuse in the water as the blood dissolved and the water became as dark as the cloth itself.  Jesus’ words:  "This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many”… “You must fulfil your destiny or I can’t fulfil mine. Your actions will be forgiven.” played over in his mind.

Again, instinctively he placed the cup in the water.  A deeply seeded compulsion overtook his rationality, compelling him to drink the cup’s contents in its entirety. Then another and another until he had consumed almost the whole basin. 

The warming energy which had flowed through him only minutes earlier quickly faded.  In its place, a hollow, sick feeling settled in the pit of his stomach as a chill filtered through every cell of his body, integrating darkness in the depths of his soul which he’d never experienced before. 

He was changing, into what, he didn’t know. 

Sammael seated himself back at the table, trying to fathom the depth of his new disposition.  He placed his head in his hands as waves of nausea washed over him.

Was he dying?  He could feel his soul loosening from his body, altering.

The sunlight began to irritate his eyes and the sun’s warmth took on a burning tinge against his skin.  It no longer held any comfort for him. 

Soon afterwards he could hear the neighbours in the street.  “Jesus’ body is gone.  He has risen from the dead.”

The news barely registered in Sammael’s throbbing brain.

Morning passed through to afternoon while he remained in the shadows seated at the table.  His body wracked with aches from head to toe, every muscle felt as though they were tearing from their tethers beneath his skin.

A shadow blocked the sliver of light from the doorway.  Sammael lifted his head in time to see three soldiers enter the house.  Although, he smelt them long before he saw them.  Logius, and two other soldiers who had taunted him at Golgotha had come to complete their duty. 

To the soldiers, Sammael’s appearance was sickly and weak.  His skin was pale, his cheeks were hollow and drawn.  His eyes had lost their clarity, appearing more grey than blue, with dark circles beneath them.  He certainly didn’t look like the hulking menace they knew his reputation to be. 

Sammael’s heart beat faster.  Not from the anticipation of his imminent death, but from an unbearable hunger that was awakening inside him.  He could hear the blood pumping in their veins.  Their breath exhaled the aroma of air brushed with blood. 

It was intoxicating. 

He wanted a taste. 

No.  He needed to taste their blood. 

He desperately wanted to fill himself with every life giving drop their bodies could offer.  Like an addictive drug, it called to him. 

Slowly he raised himself from his seat, his eyes never leaving the faces of the soldiers before him.  They appeared mesmerised by his stare, like small animals stunned by an unexpected predator.

Sammael grinned, not a happy smile, but an automatic response to the exhilarating craving enveloping his senses.  As his hunger intensified, he could feel his incisor teeth growing longer. 

Fear became evident on the soldiers faces as realisation set in that there was something unnatural about him, something dark and inhuman. 

Sammael was not fully transformed but he was no longer human either.  He was still mortally fragile.

The soldier’s battle training kicked in.  Logius, being closest to the door reached for Sammael’s spear resting by the frame, choosing this weapon over his own shorter sword.  Instinctively wanting to keep as much distance between himself and Sammael as possible.

Sammael’s attention was diverted to the spear.  It seemed to exude an energy, similar to that of the cup. 

Sammael stood still, arms by his sides, palms tilted out, not giving any resistance as Logius charged at him with the spear, thrusting it deep into his chest. 

Crumpling to the floor, the spear protruded from his body as his mortal life left him. 

Logius found it humorous that he’d killed Sammael with his own spear, just as he’d promised at Golgotha. “Kill me will you.  You’re pathetic!” he mocked, his shaky voice trailing off to a uneasy manic giggle. 

The sight of Sammael’s emerging fangs and predatory stare, lingered in Logius’ mind.  He was unsure how to interpret what he’d seen and justify it in comparison to what he understood to be normal.  It left him with a sense of foreboding.

The soldiers checked for a pulse and believing him dead, left.  They couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

The sun was just reaching the horizon, slowly sinking into history for yet another day. 

On the floor by the table, Sammael’s body began to twitch as he inhaled a gulp of air, filling his lungs with the first breath of his new life.  His eyes opened with newborn sight, everything was crisp and clear.  All his senses were heightened.  He could taste every scent that drifted on the breeze.  Earth, spices, plants, animals...  Even water had a scent. 

As he picked up the scent of humans, his throat began to ache with thirst.  He heard people talking quietly a hundred metres away, just as easily as he could hear a beetle scuttling along the floor in the next room.  His vision had magnified to telescopic proportions.  Colours intensified and the dark was no longer a hindrance.  He could see just as well at night as he could during the daytime.  To add to this, he felt strong.  Really strong.  His already muscular body was now as flawless as chiselled marble, and his bright blue/green eyes now held luminescent flecks within them. 

He exuded a mesmerising, dangerous beauty.

As Sammael sat up, the spear fell from his chest, leaving a gaping gash which immediately began healing.  In less than a minute, there was no trace of any injury to his body.

In that moment, all those memories which had been blocked from him came flooding back with crystal clear clarity. 

Once again he remembered his angelic life, and felt the full gravity of the covenant he had made before being born into this world as human. 

Everything in the universe, in every dimension needs to be balanced.  To keep that balance every action had a reaction.  For anything to exist, its equal in the opposite also has to exist. He knew that where there was black there also had to be white.  When it was night, somewhere else it was day.  And, for good to exist, there also had to be evil.

This was his destiny.  In order for Jesus to create the path of light for human souls to ascend to the higher dimensions, the opposite also had to exist.  HIM!  His soul was now destined to spend eternity bound to his physical form here on earth.He was the new spiritual balance in the universe.

He was the first Vampire. 

x-x-x-x-x

Sammael’s life was changed forever, his fate sealed in blood.  An immortal with incredible strength and power, driven by an insatiable thirst and a burning hunger for retribution for his wife’s death.

Sammael took his fill of both in the one gratifying act.  One by one, he tracked down and drained that life giving nectar from the veins of those he held responsible for her death.  As promised, he saved Logius for last, enjoying the irony of killing him from beyond the grave!

His daughter was safe, as he suspected.  She was being cared for by Jessica’s brother Peter.  Peter and his wife had no children and found joy in raising his daughter as their own. 

Sammael made no effort to contact her throughout her life but he watched over her and her descendants throughout the many centuries that followed. 

 


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