“And what about you?”
“I’m on the same road I was a year ago, just a little nearer to the end now.”
“Lucifer?” He shuddered as the name drifted in a whisper beyond his lips.
He shut his eyes and said nothing at first, and when it seemed like he might deign to speak, he turned and wrapped her in his strong, thick arms. Nothing else was said as they embraced, he was simply content to let his arms envelop her protectively.
If she let herself go, she might have cried. She had certainly shed her fair share of tears in the last few days, but she managed to keep them back even as he held her tight. There was a flurry of thoughts that scattered out of the shadows, but it was difficult to grasp any long enough to recognize what it was. At times, she could have sworn she saw the apparition of Tatiana’s face, her round cheeks framed by curly wisps of blonde hair. But the emotion that caught fire in her heart wasn’t the sadness of what was lost. It was love. A love unspoken, yes, but it was the one emotion she knew that mattered more than all the rest. More present even than the fear she often felt as her familiar road grew dark. In his warm embrace she held to the memory of her dearest friend, the one she loved, despite the absence of the courage needed to express how much.
“Whatever happens, you stay safe out there.”
Lilith pulled back enough to meet his gaze. “I will.”
“You end him. For all of us. But I don’t want to see you beyond that damn Veil, not just yet. Do you hear me?”