Destiny, Roses & Romance
Part II: Chapter 47

There had always been something about the night that he loved. Tonight was no exception, despite the storm the night before, the sky was cloudless, stars shining brightly as if smiling upon the world that had been brutalized by the ice and rain less than twenty-four hours before. Snow crunched under his boots, and he practically floated across any ice that may have been in his path. Tonight was great, tonight was going to be perfect.

He just had to get to Alison. His love, his heart, the woman that he had woken up with this morning loving even more than he did when he held her while she fell asleep the night before. Two more blocks and he’d be at The Recovery Room, she was waiting there having gone ahead to grab another change of clothes before they had dinner. And he, of course, had a few details to check up on.

But not anymore, work was done for the day, he’d done all he could do. Tonight was going to be their's again. He was going to get to spend the night holding her, sleeping next to her. And it was enough to put an extra little bounce in his step. Tonight they were going to let the world just slip away.

They were going to let themselves get lost, pretending there wasn’t a deadline in front of them, staring them down and daring them to challenge it. A big red letter day on the calendar that said heartache wasn’t going to matter tonight. They’d promised each other not to think about it, to just be happy like they both knew that they could be.

Everything would be alright tonight, while they were together and the world and reality, as strange and twisted as it’s humor was, faded away from them. Nothing was going to enter their thoughts but each other. No Jamal, no return date, no meddling cousins and best friends, no bad dreams, no sadness. Nothing.

Tonight was just about them spending as much time together as they could before he was yanked away from his soul.

It was heartbreaking to think of it that way. Left him nearly breathless with the sudden knock of real life that had blindsided him. Stopping for a moment, Rafe let out a breath slowly. This was going to be harder than they had planned.

But he knew that already, he had known that. The hardest part of all was going to be being with her and not being with her. Sometimes he wondered if it was such a good thing that he try to keep his distance in one way when he’d given up hope of keeping away in all other aspects of their relationship.

Their relationship. He shook his head slightly at the thought, continuing on his way before he could ponder the possibilities further. Right now he was content to know that they had a relationship. Right now he was just thrilled to know that she knew that he loved her, and overjoyed with the knowledge that she felt the same way. Nothing could compare to this feeling, nothing every had and he doubted anything ever would.

There’d always been a rush in the fight, the fright, the life he’d led had kept him sane with the adrenaline rush that a Kovich came to crave at times. His training had taught him to think of it as a game, a dangerous, dark and twisted game, but still just a game. And he loved to win. Loved it more than almost anything.

But it was nothing next to this. The high he’d always gotten from the chase, the fight, the victory, it was nothing next to what he felt now. It was a lasting high, the one that Ela had spent years in parties in search of. Nadia has told him once, when she quit after years of loving what they did, that it wasn’t better than being in love.

Finally, he understood what she meant. He’d always known she’d made the right choice—in her profession anyway—but not once did he believe her when she said loving someone that loved you was better. If he could call her right now he’d tell her how very, very right she was. And how unbelievable wrong he had been.

Because he was in love, and he never wanted to be out again. He was wearing a stupid grin all the time, unable to pull himself down from the cloud he was on. Happiness was a funny thing.

“It’s funnier that you’re happy.”

With a sigh, he turned, knowing the voice that had spoken to him. “You always were amused by the strangest things.”

“Rafe, now is that anyway to greet me?”

Shaking his head, Rafe didn’t bother hiding his distaste for the man before him. “Better than with my fist, or a stake, or, oh, maybe another needle!”

“You always were cranky when you were forced back to facing reality.”

“What are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be burning in hell?”

“Aren’t you supposed to be up on your little cloud playing a harp with a halo and wings?” With a grin that held just a little too much wickedness to be as soothing as he no doubt hoped it would be. “I’m here for you, my boy.”

“I’m not interested,” Rafe replied, a touch of boredom added to his voice for good measure. “Go back where you came from, James, because if you don’t I’ll send you there.”

“You know, it’s always baffled me why you thought, and think really, that you are stronger than I am.”

“Doesn’t good always win over evil?”

“Maybe occasionally, but I’m out to change that. Good is overrated, Rafe, you should know that by now, good isn’t getting you more time with your little Alison…”

Before another word could be said, before another thought could enter either mind James was against the brink of a building behind him, Rafe’s forearm pressed against his throat. “If you have a single brain cell left now would be the time to activate it, because if you so much as think about saying her name again…”

“You’ll what,” James croaked. “We’re both already dead.”

“True,” the angel smiled. “But I’ve been trained to deal with creatures of evil like you.”

“I only wanted to… talk…”

Releasing him, Rafe stepped back with a groan. “Then say what you feel you must and leave, because I think it was made clear years ago that yours is a face I never wanted to have to lay eyes on again.”

“How can you say that?”

“How can I not? After all you’ve done… You don’t deserve my time, go back to hell and stay there this time would you? All that needed to be said between us was said before Caleb and I had our little run in. You’ve never deserved anything less than contempt.”

With an all too smug smile, James rocked on his heels. “I’m proud of you, boy, you’ve got hatred in your heart! A few more steps and there can be darkness there… Or is there already darkness in your heart, Rafe? Does it ever bother you that you killed me? You ended my life, and for no other reason than to save a complete stranger.”

“Elso jön családom,” he shrugged. “I saved a stranger that was actually worthy of life, that wouldn’t waste it away doing the deeds of evil. Besides, you wanted to kill my cousin, for no other reason than because your boss thought the woman might be a threat to him. You know how it goes, elso jön családom.”

“And what am I, my boy? Chopped liver?”

“Just consider yourself disowned.”

“You know… Your argument really means nothing! Caleb learned earlier that women are the worst kind of threat. At least he didn’t love her… He loved your other cousin. Now she was a threat to his life… And I would know that better than anyone.”

“Nadia was trained, Lucy stumbled into a mess while trying to protect the people around her from his evil, it’s the way of the real Kovich. It’s in the blood.”

“If I’m not a Kovich then certainly that means you aren’t… Isn’t my blood your blood?”

Rafe gave a bitter laugh, shaking his head. “You’ve never had blood. Just ice running through your veins. Ice and hatred to keep you alive.” Turning, he started to walk away, calling over his shoulder, “Vagyunk megtett itt!”

“No, no,” James called back to him, refusing to move a step. “We are not done here. Now, come back before I have to find… Your lovely little friend, and have this talk with her, I’m sure she’d be more than interested in listening to me.” Smiling with satisfaction when Rafe froze, he continued. “Especially when I tell her about our connection.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” Rafe growled, not turning around for fear of what he may do.

“Come now, Rafie, you know me better than that. I’ll tell the beautiful girl you shared your bed with last night… I’ll go where you are forbidden, to your sister, to your other cousin, I’ll tell them all you’re giving up by not answering me, how it’s all their fault that you are the walking dead while they continue on with their happy little lives… Now, come back here and listen to me before I lose my temper and do something you may regret.”

He crossed back quickly, no more than three steps and he was standing dangerously close to a man that had oftentimes been more evil than those he was fighting against in his life. And now, with clenched fists, and narrowed eyes, his mind swam with ways to hurt him the way that he’d hurt so many others. “You go near any of them…”

“Did you know that Ela has two lovely little girls? I never harmed them, you see, I couldn’t do such a thing to my own blood. Unlike you, good old uncle Rafe, the reason they know nothing of their family!”

“Milyen… csinál… ön… akar!”

“I’m almost surprised you remember that, son, after spending so much time up there with your uncle, the meddling fool. Always out to undo everything that I taught! Always wanting to out do everything I’d done… But that really isn’t your concern. I’m here for you, son, I only want to ensure your happiness, to clear the air between us.”

“You want to offer me a deal.”

“It’s a good deal, really, you’re getting far more than you’d have to give.”

“Wait, wait, let me guess, Alison for my soul?”

“You always were a quick one, Rafe. Your cousin could go on for hours, but I always knew you were the bright one of the bunch. You do know who you get that from, don’t you? It’s always been very, very clear to me.”

“Must have been from my mother. My father obviously isn’t smart enough to realize that I’m not taking the deal and it’s a waste of time. Anything else you feel the need to share with me tonight? Because I’m running late and I’d like to see Alison soon.”

“ÉN tudna ad ön élet újra, Rafe.” James smiled again as the angel stilled. “The thing you want most, the thing every part of your heart desires, what your soul aches for… The very thing that your hero uncle and all his goodness can’t give you, I can. I can give you life again, my boy. To… make up for my part in your untimely demise.”

Rafe closed his eyes, forcing back the flashes of Alison, of Destiny and babies and all that could be away from his mind. “No. Not, a chance. I won’t give my soul to you. If I didn’t do it during my childhood, during training or anytime during my life, why would I do it now? Don’t use Alison to get what you want, one up on your big brother, because it’s not going to happen. It will never happen. Elso jön családom.”

“Elso jön családom. That’s what I’m doing here. Putting my family first.”

“You’re putting yourself first! Just like you always have! Ed is dead because you screwed up. Your own mother is dead because you ran scared! My mother is dead because you were too much of a damn coward to live like you taught me! You put yourself first, saved your worthless existence, and then stood there and watched while Caleb murdered your wife, my mother, and nearly killed your own daughter and her unborn children. Your grandchildren, the ones you say you never harmed? Those beautiful little girls that almost didn’t live because you pointed Caleb in their direction to save yourself. You’ve never been any kind of a man, and the last thing you’ve ever done is put someone else first! Don’t pretend you’re doing this for me, because we both know it couldn’t be further from the truth, Father.”

Translations for the chapter

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