You know what would be nice? Through all this ”trying to capture Allen Walker” saga of Order, one or two named finders who DOES know Allen -and/or Kanda- like Toma to actually come across them alone BUT ending up helping them escape because they were a part of Order before this whole 14th ordeal and saw just how self-sacrificing Allen was for everyone and just how bad in a situation/position they are in so the finder misdirects other finders towards the way they were not running to.
“three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, the truth”
The bells tolled exactly at nine o’clock in the morning, the fast fading face of the moon floating away.
The male stepped off the porch, ignoring the fists slamming against the entrance door. He slid the key in his left pocket and walked off without a second glance back.
“You bastard!” Feyre screamed. “I was doing you a favor!”
The bells tolled exactly at ten o’clock in the morning, the whispers of words and sounds of shoes fading into the church.
The male slid out the window, ignoring the raging protests from the representative. He slid the neatly folded contract in his left pocket and walked off without a second glance back.
“You thief!” the businessman yelled. “I’ll find you!”
The bells tolled exactly at eleven o’clock in the morning, sparks flying from the black stone and fire raging around the slab of rocks.
The male held out his palm, and the blacksmith set the warm leathed into his rough hand. He gripped the hilt and watched the sharpened blade absorb the piercing light.
“My finest creation,” the blacksmith stated. “Dark and deadly.”
The bells tolled exactly at twelve o’clock in the afternoon, the dry rays of the blearing sun falling across the deserted village.
The male went up the steps of white-cracked stone and strode under the dome of the church. Flinging the iron-rodded doors open, he carelessly twirled the blade in his hand.
“—are there any objections?” the priest started, and stopped—
—gaped at the dangerous male stalking down the aisle—the darkness exuding from him, the darkened blade of obsidian and might, and the delightful wickedness curved onto his mouth.
Murmurs broke through the pews, but the male only focused at the bride, at the veiled woman in gray, not white.
He smiled wider. “I object.”
The husband sneered, malice pinned over those beady eyes. “A bastard thinks he can claim my property?”
The male saw red, and twirled the blade to a stop. “Property?” he breathed lowly, too softly.
Those at the end of the pews leaned forward eagerly. The priest edged further away from the altar, sensing the brewing trouble.
A pause. Then — “Property?” the male roared, and strode forward at a faster pace.
The proclaimed husband sneered, and drew his own blade from his side. “She’s indebted to me, anyways. By law you can’t interfere, bastard.”
It was time they learned to not provoke the bastard he was — little did they know his true ferality and rage — little did they know the game they’d just stepped into — little did they know the true wildcat behind that veil.
The male merely shrugged, sheathing back his blade. The priest visibly sighed, the husband smirking in victory.
The male drew the contract out of his pocket.
The pews were silent.
“What’s that?” the black and white figure of a husband called from the top of the steps. “You can’t beat me by sword, so you turn to paper?”
The male could see the outlines of the female’s lips under the veil — curved up into a crooked smile.
It only made him smile more.
“Sure, Tomas Mandray,” he drawled out. “But it’s not legal to marry Nesta Archeron, either.”
“ ’the hell you mean?” the Tomas Mandray bit out.
The bride lifted her gray skirts and took one step down from the platform. The male walked one step up, rolling out the paper. The priest took the contract warily, eyes skimming over the legal document.
The priest cleared his throat.
The man at the altar clenched his fists. “Well?”
The priest looked almost apologetic. “It seems you cannot marry Nesta Archeron because, she—in fact—is already married.”
Tomas’ mouth dropped open and closed.
The bride tore off her veil, revealing the vicious woman underneath. She didn’t stop there, tearing off her skirts and sleeves — revealing the combat clothes underneath.
No more gray and white, but ink and darkness.
Her true self.
Nesta Archeron held out her left hand, revealing an obsidian ring embedded with pure, shining rubies.
“Hello, Cassian,” she smiled, and down the rest of the steps towards the male. “My husband.”
Cassian walked up the steps, and kissed her forehead. “Hello, wife.”
A cough sounded from behind them, Tomas snarling, a vein popping out from his forehead. He had brandished his sword again, the edge aimed at Nesta’s back.
Cassian immediately moved his wife to his side and launched forward, deflecting the blow in a smooth, fierce motion, drawing out his own sword in a single movement.
Tomas’s sword flew through the air and snagged through the golden curtains covering the crystal, mosaic windows.
The priest ran.
“You dare harm an unarmed female?” Cassian snarled.
Tomas backed up against the altar, lines of sweat running down his face.
“She does not belong to you — never has and never will.”
Tomas reached for the goblet on the stand and tossed it at Cassian’s direction.
Cassian easily dodged the flying goblet and lunged — wielding the blade under Tomas’ neck. Leaning in, he made sure the other male could hear every enunciated syllable.
“Midnight. Here. We settle our scores there.”
Tomas swallowed, his adam’s apple bobbing.
The blade pressed against the other male’s neck, drawing little lines of crimson pressing against his black suit.
“Fine,” Tomas Mandray managed to snipe out, eyes blackening. “Midnight.”
The pews emptied.
The bells tolled exactly at twelve o’clock midnight, the moon casting disillusioned rays of white against the dark, the only witness of what served to transpire at the church.
The male walked up the stairs of the church with air of confidence. He pushed open the cold, steel doors and walked down the single path.
Another male figure stood at the altar, a larger sword hanging low at his hips. “I thought you wouldn’t show,” Tomas rasped.
“No one hurts my family,” Cassian snarled, “and lives to tell the tale.”
Tomas descended from the altar, Cassian striding up.
When Tomas lashed out with his first stroke, Cassian dodged — a tossed his own sword to the side.
A maniacal grin. “I don’t need another weapon to kill you.”
Tomas faltered. Cassian’s right hand reached out and grasped Tomas’s neck.
He squeezed, relishing in the sounds of protest and the aroma of fear. Tomas weakly swung his sword, but Cassian merely grabbed the edge of the blade, and yanked it out down — dislocating Tomas’s wrist.
Tomas squeaked and let go of the blade.
Cassian expertly caught the sword with his left hand and raised Tomas by the neck higher.
He squeezed — a crush to the windpipe.
Perhaps Tomas Mandray pleaded, but Cassian — the bastard — never heard him above the other male’s own choking noises.
Cassian raised his left hand, the steel sword glinting in the faded fray of the church.
He struck a line down Tomas’s abdomen. A semicircle and a slash. More lines. More blood. Tomas’s body stopped squirming in Cassian’s grasp.
Cassian drew Tomas closer so the male could hear every enunciated syllable. “As Nesta Archeron is my wife, her debts are paid. You have not a single legitimate claim to or on her.”
Cassian plunged the blade — not through Tomas’s heart, but through Tomas’s kidney.
Cassian twirled Tomas’s body around, and slashed the blade in an arc — not through Tomas’s neck, but through Tomas’s spine.
He dropped the convulsing body.
“The blood spilled here tonight was spilled by your own sword.”
A horrid cacophony of coughing and spewing emerged from the floor.
Scarlet and crimson red stained the royal red carpet, soaking into the tiles and through the pews.
Cassian spared one last look at the twisted figure at his feet, and the lines carved over the fallen’s stomach: RAPIST.
“By tomorrow, you will excommunicated for your sins. In front of everyone, you will be damned.”
The bloodied body twitched.
The male left the church, the moon shining a brighter eerie glow along his path, the darkness and shadows swallowing the other fallen male’s body whole.
The bells tolled exactly at one o’clock in the morning, the moon a crescent and half-smile of a Chesire’s cat leering down in expectation.
The male rounded the cathedral where the priest slept.
He pushed open the golden-rimmed doors with silver embroiderment.
The figure in the bed roused awake quickly, pulling the blankets around the bed. “Who’s there?” A whisper.
The male merely flicked the blood-stained blade up in answer.
The figure shrieked — a high pitched sound belonging to a female.
The male stalked around the room, noting the intricate scrawls of feminine writing. When the figure at the bed made to leap out and away, he turned around with abruptness that had the hooded figure halting in shock.
Cassian smiled — a predator’s grin. “You should have known better, Ianthe.” He tsked his tongue. “You — even a High Priestess in Priest’s clothing — should have never, ever mess with a bastard.”
He shot forward and grabbed Ianthe’s jaw, forcing it open.
Before she could scream, he nicked off her tongue in a clean slice.
It fell to the ground.
The scream died at her lips.
Cassian drew the blade through her second kidney. Blood splurted over blue robes and all over the pearled floor.
“The blood spilled here tonight was spilled by Tomas Mandray’s sword,” the male recited.
He pulled the blade out.
He pulled back the Priest’s hood, revealing the blond-haired woman inside.
“Tomorrow, you will be excommunicated for as imposing as a male who serves a higher status than you.” Cassian watched the convulsing figure on the floor. “In front of everyone, you will be damned.”
He stalked out of the cathedral, tossing the bloodied blade into the fountain of holy water.
The bells tolled exactly at two o’clock in the morning, the shadows seeping out from the lines of the fields of lilies.
The male leaned down and picked on in full-bloom along the stem.
A woman appeared from the stalks, a ghost of a phantom.
She swung the obsidian sword in her hands easily, the red encrusted jewels glimmering through the darkness.
“My plan fully worked?” Nesta asked.
She pressed the hilt into his hands.
The blade was clean, immaculate.
He pinned the flower behind her ear and kissed her forehead.
The wind blew softly around them.
The male nodded. “Remember to tell me to never get on your bad side, Nesta Vatra.”
A viper’s smile. “Feyre’s unlocked now, and can’t suspect the other’s deaths.”
A soft breeze carried away their secrets of the day and dawn.
“Just curious,” the male drawled, nodding. “But why the kidney?”
She intertwined their fingers. “A strike to the heart or across the neck, and the village would have expected you.”
Cassian chuckled deeply, and stared at the woman — his wife. Dangerous, dangerous this woman.
Sheathing his blade, he wrapped his arms around his wife’s waist, lifting her up along the white light of the moon, and kissed her deeply, the flowers singing the melody of dark and deadliness around them.
“To the future and the past,” she whispered, as he nipped her lips.
“To freedom, Nesta Vatra.” And Cassian Vatra lifted her into his arms bridal style, carrying her into the dawn.
*Vatra means fire in Croatian; I’ve always imagined Cassian as Middle Eastern among others.