# Gaea 1 - Blood of the Pure

* Know more about the books and read earlier releases on the official site: http://carpersanti.net/gaea/ *

What would you do if in this world there was a Magic Spell able to make the one you love love you in return? And what would you do if,suddenly, what began as a joke, a mere expression of a hidden desire,awoke a dangerous and cruel creature determined to make you bend to his will?

Mariane is a simple and introverted Human girl.

Gabriel is a powerful Deiwos used to always get what he wants.

And how can these two different existences, originated from such different worlds, ever hope to learn to live together, communicate and, who knows, even understand each other ...?


28. Chapter 7 - Part 2

Part 2

Due to that annoying waste of time, I had to practically run all the way to school and, even so, arrived after the first bell. My salvation was that our first class was English and the teacher didn’t seem to notice my tardiness. As to be expected he was already there, at the back of the room, and his black eyes followed me unceremoniously, leaving me tense. I hadn’t changed clothes, if that was what he was checking!The thought hadn't even crossed my mind, after his veiled threat.

Steph arrived nearly fifteen minutes late, beating her own personal record. We spent the rest of class talking, Joanne turning backwards in her chair, about what had happened the previous day. Joanne sounded even more excited than Steph, firmly guaranteeing Michael’s interest on me, and I had to ask them more than once to stop sounding so excited about something that probably would never happen. I almost felt relieved when class was over and we had to change classrooms. Kevin’s silent company was like a balm for my tired mind of having to deal with Gabriel and Michael, alternately.

We met again at lunchtime and Gabriel joined us. The ‘Michael’ subject was once again the main topic and, for quite some time, Joe and Albert still expected to see him arrive at the cafeteria’s door. As he didn’t show up, Joe’s attention turned towards Gabriel, mentioning how the CD he had lent him was amazing. I saw him smile, in that mask of friendliness, and couldn’t help wonder if that daily act didn’t bother him, if he was really insensitive to Human feelings, if the only thing that really mattered to him was fulfilling that Contract.

When he finished eating Gabriel stood up, picking up his tray, and invited me to accompany him to our daily task.

“We already missed yesterday. We better go,” he apologize with a smile that looked even falser, and I whimpered knowing I couldn’t deny him. Once more he was the one deciding what I had to do.

We walked in silence as my emotions mixed chaotically.

On the one hand, I couldn’t help feeling sad, since all my efforts to better deal with him had been all for nothing. Overnight, Gabriel had become someone completely impregnable, a terrifying icy stone. But, on the other hand, I couldn’t feel happier knowing I was about to see Michael again, even though I still felt embarrassed every time I recalled our last meeting.

When we reached the door leading outside, he opened it, giving me passage, and I stepped outside noticing I’d been right. That gesture had been exactly like Michael’s.

We walked side by side across the grass and Michael noticed us at a distance.

“Hey! Hi, Mari! Gabriel!” he greeted us with a warm smile and Gabriel waved back at him.

I muttered a shy and global ‘hello’ when we reached them and Steven answered me friendly, while Francis frowned and Meggie jumped at Gabriel’s neck.

“Gabriel! I missed you!” she cried out with a mischievous smile, and he hugged her, kissing her soft blushed cheek.

“So sorry. Promise it won’t happen again,” he told her gently and she seemed convinced. Lauren stared at me with cold eyes, almost  like she wanted to kill me, and Michael approached me with such a sweet expression that I thought I would melt.

“Everything okay?” he asked me in a lower tone than usual in words that seemed meant only for me, and I nodded, blushing. “I was worried yesterday. I shouldn’t have let you convince me so easily to let you walk home alone!”

“Oh, nothing happened,” I assured him, not knowing where I could possibly store all my happiness. “Ah, right!” I remembered, searching my handbag. “I brought you a new book.”

“Hey, wasn’t it my turn?” he complained and I smiled as I handed it to him.

“I know you didn’t bring one, right? Because you were thinking about all that stuff. It’s okay,” I added noticing his suddenly serious expression. “I want you to read this one. It’s about our real self. It can be a bit ... philosophic. It’s probably not your style.” He took the book from my hands and smiled, washing that bright light over me.

“Thank you.”

All my worries disappeared instantly. I couldn’t care anymore if he was going to like it or not, or if he was even going to read it. All I knew was that I could even die, just to see him smile like that.

Suddenly, a cold wind made me shiver, freezing me inside. My mind took a few seconds to understand what was going on and, as soon as it did, panic squeezed my chest stealing my breath away. I urgently looked for him and saw him not that far away, between Lauren and Meggie, who were telling him something apparently amusing. Yet, he wasn’t listening, his dark eyes locked on me. Completely terrified by the expansive strength of his presence, I noticed that on his statue-like face only his pale lips were moving, fast and silent.

A warm hand held my arm and Michael’s voice sounded distant, lost among the deafening sound of my heartbeat. What was he doing? Was he going to attack Michael again? If so, how? How could I protect him?

His dark gaze became alight with that reddish glow and I wanted to scream! Warn them! Tell them to run! I felt the instant he released his strength like a thunderous explosion and the world spun around me.

I only understood it later. I had fallen, my head hurt. That strength had been aimed at me.

I saw Michael leaning over me, his panicked expression, shouting something I couldn’t hear. I turned my gaze, stubbornly fighting the drowsiness I felt, and saw Steven running towards me. Gabriel didn’t even move, remaining exactly where he was. His perfect pale face unchanging, and yet, the pain in his eyes was so unexpected that it my heart hurt.

I tried to fight against that numbness, tell everyone I was okay, that there was nothing to worry about, but the weight over my eyelids won and darkness enveloped my ability to think.

The sound of running steps, the frenetic beating of something near my ear, the sound of ragged breathing, arms that held me firmly ... And the warmth that made me feel more at ease and safe ...

I heard voices, far away, and words I didn’t understand.

The warmth of those strong arms abandoned me.

The voices went on, urgently, and once more I wished I could tell them that everything was all right. I didn’t want them to worry and, worst of all, I didn’t want anyone thinking about calling my mom, in Paris, to tell her about what had happened. That would only make her worry in vain.

A soft caress touched my skin.

“Mari,” his voice cut my heart. I didn’t want that pained tone to be because of me. Michael ...

His hand disappeared as if he’d heard me and gotten scared, and I heard what sounded like a chair falling. I fought hard to open my eyes and wake up from that forced sleep, but it was no use and his rushed footsteps reached my ears, as he ran away from there.

A light laughter froze me inside and my heart exploded painfully. Was he there? Right beside me? And I couldn’t even move! That was the exact situation that had made me spend numerous terrifying and sleepless nights, when he’d first started sleeping in the living room. Me, lying somewhere, completely defenseless. Not that there was anything I could do if I were awake, I thought, trying to rationalize the situation.

“Suileabhan,” I heard his deep voice in that single word and all the cells in my body shook. A small bell echoed somewhere. “Did you see that? Interesting,” I heard him again, his tone sarcastic and ice cold. “Follow him,” he ordered and the bell rang again. Who was he speaking to? And follow who? Michael? Just the thought made me terrified. Why? What was he thinking??

I felt a touch on my face, on the opposite side where Michael had touched me, and was immediately petrified, unable to breathe. His soft fingers slid over my skin, lightly drawing the contour of my chin. I felt his breath, surprisingly warm, and something cold and soft briefly touched my lips.

“Mariane ...” The sound of my name in his voice ordered my chest to breathe in and I gasped for air as if I had been drowning. His ice-cold hand supported my neck, helping me raise my head, and I coughed, chocking. “Soon ... just a little longer,” I heard him again and his voice became an inaudible whisper. “Right now, how I wish that you’d never read that spell ...”

I sat up with a scream, squeezing my burning chest as I fought for every breath and looked around, searching for him in panic.

“Mari! Take it easy!” I instinctively ran from the hand that touched me on the shoulder and looked at him, too frightened to speak. Steven raised both his hands, trying to calm me down, and I looked around once more. “Everything’s okay,” he guaranteed and I slowly started to recover control over my own body. “How are you feeling?”

“Okay,” I whispered and took a shaky hand to my face. I had to control myself.

I looked around once more and recognized the infirmary. I was lying on one of three beds and the screen between the beds was opened. On the other side were a table and a chair, but there was no one else around.

“Michael. He brought you here,” he informed me and I looked at him, surprised. So that hadn’t been a dream, I thought. And I felt childishly disappointed seeing he was no longer there. “He wanted to stay,” Steven added with a smile and I asked myself if my disappointment had been that obvious. “But he wasn’t feeling all that well. To tell you the truth, Michael has few issues when dealing with situations like this. Sick people, doctors, medical facilities.”

I lowered my head remembering his frightened expression and felt sad for having been the cause of his pain.

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. It wasn’t you fault,” he said with a friendly smile. “Once, during a game, I was hit with a tennis ball on the forehead, right here.” He pointed right between his eyes. “I was unconscious for about half an hour and, when I woke up, he was right beside me, crying as if he were a three-year-old. Absolutely unbelievable, for a guy his age,” he added with a sigh, but the softness in his voice made me smile. “The nurse was here and took a look at you. She told him you were all right, but since you wouldn’t wake up, I guess he kind of stressed up. I met him in the corridor when I was coming to see how you were doing, and he asked me to keep an eye on you.”

I took a deep breath and pulled away the blanket covering me. Steven looked surprised and I faced him seriously.

“Do you know where he is?” I asked in a firm tone that seemed to surprise him even more.

“Yeah. I mean, I suppose. What are you thinking?”

“I want to go and meet him, of course. I have to show him there’s nothing to fear. That I’m okay! Don’t want him thinking any unnecessary things,” I told him, standing up, but a dizzy spell almost made me fall again.

“That can wait!” Steven countered urgently as he held me. “The nurse said you should rest!”

“It’s nothing. Probably low blood pressure. I’m fine now.”

“Clearly you’re not! I just have to look at you. You look terrible!”

I smiled bitterly. I always looked terrible, I thought. “I promise I’ll get some rest. After. Now take me to him. You know I’m right,” I added, making use of his sense of protection towards Michael, and he groaned, beaten.

“But after, you’ll return here!”

“Promise.” He sighed again and put an arm around my waist, supporting me and almost raising me from the floor.

“There’s no need. I can walk.”

“Yeah, yeah. We just saw well that went,” he grumbled, accompanying my much smaller footsteps. “If you faint again, and this time break a bone, Michael will kill me!”

I laughed just trying to imagine Michael angry, and we left the infirmary at a really slow pace. Steven walked carefully beside me, completely overprotective. I, on the other hand, only wished we could reach Michael as soon as possible. And then, as if he’d just materialized right in front of us, Gabriel was there, freezing me in place.

His expression ... I’d never seen him like that. The air around us became heavy and his gaze glowed with that reddish light. He was furious. Insanely, all I wanted was to run way, but my legs wouldn’t obey, and so I stood there, shaking uncontrollably.

Steven looked at me, worried, unable to understand what was going on, tightening his grip around my waist, probably fearing my legs would turn into much. And I saw, from the corner of my eye, he was telling me something ... something that I couldn’t hear anymore.

“Mariane. Come!” Gabriel commanded in his soft tone that, even so, filled me with terror, and I saw him raise his arm, his pale hand outstretched towards me reinforcing his words, making it impossible to disobey them. His hard gaze wouldn’t stand for a denial, just like it hadn’t that morning, but this time there was something different about him. The self-control I’d always seen him show was completely gone, and I was aware for the first time of just how much he usually restrained himself.

Images from the strange dream I’d had came back to me, consuming what little was left of my sanity. His cold fingers on my face, his warm breath on my skin, and those words.

I couldn’t breathe and my chest burned painfully. His command, however, remained in that outstretched hand.

Two hands held me by the shoulders and shook me hard, roughly turning me around, although I couldn’t look away from Gabriel. I knew Steven was calling my name, but his voice couldn’t reach me.

Gabriel’s furious gaze looked away from me to linger on Steven and my heart stopped as a deep hatred took over his expression. No!


I was stunned for a moment. His voice had invaded the darkness surrounding me like a bright ray of light, breaking the barrier keeping me away from the real world. Now I could hear Steven, asking me if I was all right, his warm, strong hands encircling my arms.

Michael ... I could hear him gasping for air right behind me, as if he’d run there. But Gabriel didn’t seem to notice his presence. The mark on my wrist stung. Panicking, I instinctively knew what was happening. The Contract ... he was about to break it!

“No!” I shouted, not knowing if my voice would obey me, and pushed Steven away, freeing myself from his hands.

My terrified gaze turned to Michael, towards the light that guaranteed my freedom and, without even thinking, I ran to him. His arms surrounded me protectively and I squeezed his warm and soft sweater, making sure he wouldn’t push me away. His heat swept over my frozen body, restoring my ability to breathe, my lungs hurting.

I wanted to cry and my frightened gaze turned to Gabriel. I saw him lower his empty head, his attention once more locked on me, and I clenched my teeth hard when he took a step towards us. I was sure he was about to come and grab me, and all I could wish was that he would simply disappear.

Steven took a step to the side, recovering from the hard push I’d given him, and took on a threatening stand.

Gabriel stopped, indifferently gazing at the obstacle in his way, and I felt my wrist burn just like before.

I closed my eyes hard, not knowing what to do to prevent what I knew was about to happen, and held onto Michael’s sweater.

“Go away!” I shouted in despair. “Go away! Go away ... go away ...” I commanded repeatedly, my voice breaking down to a whisper, as if those were magical words that needed to be repeated a thousand times to become real, until a warm hand rested on my head.

“He’s gone, Mari.” His soft voice broke the irrational cycle over which my mind had closed itself, and his hand caressed my hair. “He’s gone,” he repeated, trying to calm me down, and I refused to open my eyes, fearing Michael could be wrong.

“What the hell was that?” another voice inquired and I became numb as finally all tension left my body.

“Who knows?” Michael responded in an undertone, still holding me against his chest.

“Is she okay?” Steven asked, sounding worried, and Michael caressed my hair once again, calming me down.

“Yeah. She’ll be fine,” he assured as if those words were a lullaby, and Steven took a deep breath.

“I’ll be going then. If you need me, call. If not we’ll talk later.” Everything was silent for a moment and then I heard his footsteps as he walked away.

Michael kept his arms around me for what felt like an eternity, simply waiting. Slowly his calm and tranquility vanquished my fear and I stopped shaking. My breath went back to normal and all that was left was a bitter taste in my mouth.

When I was finally able to release him from my grip his arms loosened up, as if he’d been waiting for that signal.

“Are you all right?” he asked, his low voice echoing through the corridor, and I opened my eyes, as usual dried of any tears, nodding. Although he’d released me from his embrace, he kept holding me, probably fearing I might fall, and I lowered my head, quickly trying to put my thoughts in order.

He’d surely ask for some kind of explanation regarding what just happened or why I’d foolishly reacted the way I did. However, I was yet to understand it myself, much less be able try to explain it. It had all happened so fast and there were so many things amiss. If only I could cry. Maybe that would give me some time think.

His warm hand lifted my chin, surprising me, and I raised my head to face him. He looked at me in silence, observing me for an instant to make sure I’d been honest in my response, and I was immediately grateful that I couldn’t cry. With a smile, he held my hand, and pulled me along to walk with him.

“I’m taking you with me,” he simply stated and I blinked, confused.

“Taking me?”

“Yes. I’m taking you to my home,” he added in a matter of fact tone. I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard.

“Mi ...”

“It’s decided!” He cut me off, peering at me over his shoulder with that bright smile on his lips, and went on, dragging me down the corridor towards the main door. The corridors were empty. Everyone who still remained at school at that hour was in class.

“Michael, I can’t just go to your house,” I argued slightly sad at the knowledge I was right. The hand that still held mine made everything that just happened, all my fears, seem like a nightmare, and I wished I could extend that feeling for as long as possible.

“Of course you can! Your mother is away, right? So? Don’t you trust me?” he asked, peering at me once again, and I felt my cheeks blush.

“That’s not the point. Of course I trust you.”

“Then it’s decided!” he declared. “You’re not going back to that house!” His solemn tone surprised me so much that I didn’t protest any longer.

Michael led me towards the bus stop and we didn’t have to wait long until the ‘54’ stopped right in front of us. I was still trying to ground myself when we arrived at our stop, Blackheath, as it was written on a sign. Once again he pulled me by my hand, which he had refused to let go the whole time, and we walked down the road up to a four-story building with small flower beds in the front. Michael walked up to one of the doors and opened it, releasing me for the first time to grant me passage inside.

I followed him down a narrow corridor to a square room. The light pouring down from the window and through the white curtains wasn’t enough to make that compartment bright. On the opposite wall, next to the window, was a gray couch, strategically placed in front of a television. On the other side a cupboard with glass doors through which several plates and other glass utensils could be seen. On the walls were some pictures and, on my left, a big wooden crucifix. I noticed the pictures showed several men in cassocks and couldn’t help recognize one of them, since he was right there in person, sitting at the small table, reading a book.

He looked to be about sixty-years-old, I guessed by the quantity of gray hair crowning his head and the wrinkles marking the corners his eyes, mouth and forehead. The glasses he wore were hanging at the tip of his thin nose, and the eyes that watched us were pale blue, almost like water. The white collar above his black shirt undeniably marked his profession and I immediately knew he was Father Jorge, Michael’s guardian.

As soon as he noticed us, a pleasant smile came over his face and his expression became brighter.

“Welcome back, Michael,” he greeted him and Michael stepped forward, leaving me by the door. I was sure Father Jorge would question my presence. What could I possibly tell him now that I was there? How was Michael going to explain bringing me to his house, just like that? I felt I should probably leave, knowing how Michael tried hard not to make trouble for the man who had sheltered him. Now I was the one making trouble for the both of them.

“Father Jorge, I’m sorry for being so late,” he said, sounding truly regretful, and I felt even worse. That, too, had been because of me.

“Um,” I muttered, calling their attention, and politely smiled at the watery blue eyes watching me curiously. “Good afternoon, I’m really sorry to disturb you.” I was unable to avoid feeling embarrassed by that awkward situation and turned to Michael. “Listen, I’m really thankful for everything and all, but I think I better get going and ...”

“No!” Michael’s response silenced me immediately and I looked at him in complete disbelief. He wasn’t joking and the deep frown on his forehead stated it clearly. “No way!” he added in the same tone and I took a nervous look at Father Jorge, who seemed just as surprised. However, he quickly recovered, sitting straight in his chair, and put on a full smile.

“Michael, so I guess you were about to ask me something?” he led him on and Michael’s tense shoulders became more relaxed.

“Ah, I ...” he stammered, obviously looking for the right words, and I truly felt guilty for being the cause of that unpleasant situation. “This is Mariane,” he finally said. Father Jorge took another look at me. “And I wanted to ask you if she could spend the night here, with us.” Michael lowered his gaze and I felt sad. I’d never seen such an expression on his usually bright face. Father Jorge, however, looked satisfied.

“I see. This girl, you trust her enough to bring her into our home?” he asked in that same calm tone, and I looked at him, not knowing if I should be offended or annoyed at him for trapping Michael in such a difficult situation.

“I do.”

“And what does she mean to you, Michael?”

The uneasiness I felt faded as my heart jumped, and I stepped forward nervously.

“I thank you for everything!” I rushed in a clumsy voice. “But really ...”

“Hush, child!” Father Jorge interrupted me as he turned his smile in my direction. “This is between Michael and I. He made a request. However, we can’t ask for something without having a good reason to do it. And that’s what I want to hear.” I looked at Michael, who seemed to be at a loss for words, and mentally asked him for forgiveness. “What do you say, Michael?”

“Mari is ... important to me,” he whispered, but then his expression became firmer, more decided, and he raised his head to face him. “She is important to me. And she needs help! And I want to help her!” he stated vehemently.

Although I knew I shouldn’t, I felt immensely happy. Important. Me. I could hardly believe I’d just heard him say those words.

Father Jorge nodded approvingly, as if he’d been expecting him to say exactly that, and took a deep breath.

“Very well. She may stay,” he told him and Michael smiled, brightening the entire room.

“Thank you! Thank you very much!”

“Yes, yes,” Father Jorge agreed dismissively, waving his hand as if the matter had no real importance, and his expression became more casual. “Now, Michael, did you buy what I asked?”

Michael’s eyes widened and he seemed to panic.

“Ah! No. Completely forgot. So sorry! I’ll be right back.” he said in one breath, nervously looking for the keys in his pockets, and I couldn’t help following his every move. That Michael was also someone I still didn’t know.

“Right pocket, boy,” Father Jorge told him, looking amused, and Michael finally found his keys.

“I’m going. Be back in a second!” he promised and turned to me, his cheeks slightly blushed. “I’ll be right back! Stay here!” I nodded, thinking how amazing it was that he too, could make an expression like that.

I heard his rushed steps down the corridor and then the front door closing with too much strength.

I was immediately aware of the presence of Michael’s guardian and turned to face him.

“I’m really sorry for all this mess,” I said as he peered at me over his glasses. “And maybe I should really get going. Michael was really nice, and I’m truly thankful, but I don’t want to impose.”

He smiled and I couldn’t help notice that his smile always gave him a peaceful expression.

“Child. Mariane, right?” he asked just to be sure and I nodded. “You’re not bothering us at all. I’m sorry if our previous conversation made you feel ... unwelcome. That wasn’t my intention.” He stood up and I noticed he was a tall, slender man. “Please, do sit down.” He invited me towards the couch and I obeyed, not wanting to look indelicate. He pulled up a chair and sat beside me. “Did you know this is the first time he’s ever brought over a girl?” he asked with a smile, still making me feel self-conscious. “Well, to tell you the truth, the only friend he has ever brought home was Steven. And even then, the invitation was more mine than his.”

I couldn’t help feel surprised at that. No one else? Not even Francis? Sure, I rarely invited my friends over, but I’d spent a few afternoons playing around with Steph, Joanne and Joe, under the pretext of studying. “It has always been like this, since Michael has come to live here. And I understand the way he thinks. But no one can really live like this.”

“Michael doesn’t want to bother you ...” I added and he smiled.

“Yes, I know. But he takes it to extremes. Did you know this was the first time he clearly asked me for something?” I didn’t know what to answer. “He doesn’t even ask me for the most basic things, like a schoolbook, a notebook, or even money for the bus. I always have to pay attention to everything. He even walked to school for a whole week, because I forgot to give him money for the fare. And more than once Steven had to lend him sheets of paper so he could take notes in class. Do you understand, Mariane?”

I nodded. Yes, I understood the reason of his inner-struggle, the reason why those words had been so difficult for him. What I didn’t understand was what all that really meant.

“And now he suddenly comes home and asks me to let you stay with us. I don’t know what happened and I don’t need to know,” he added with a kind smile. “But it seems Michael is convinced you need help.”

I lowered my head. Yes, I did, but there was nothing anyone could do for me.

“Accept the help he is offering you, at least his good will. After giving up on his past, Michael stopped wishing for things. He abandoned the life he can’t remember, but refuses to live his new one. When there’s a need to make a decision, he always lets others decide for him. Even the classes he’s attending. They’re simply the ones where he graded the highest on the exams he had to take when returning to school. It’s not like they’re the ones he likes most. I guess he didn’t even think about it. He let his grades choose for him, and that was that. That’s how he’s been living up till now. I’m sorry for telling all this. I suppose you have your own problems, too. But maybe, maybe you’ll be able to wake him up from his numbness,” he added, hopefully, and I squeezed my hands together.

“I understand all that, but ... The truth is I’m not capable of anything much. Michael and I, we’ve only known each other for a few days. Sure we have similar tastes and have spent some time together, but in the end, I don’t think I have that kind of strength. Besides, right now, I can’t give anything good to anyone. The only thing I can do is get others into trouble, or I wouldn’t be here, now.”

“You don’t have to worry, Mariane,” Father Jorge assured me with his understanding and fatherly smile. “Sometimes, just being there is enough to save a Soul.”


A/N. And that's all. I'm sooo sleepy that I'm falling asleep on top the keyboard. The other book will be updated tomorrow. Sorry :(  Wish you all the best!

* If you want to know more about this book or simply access earlier updates, please visit the official site at http://carpersanti.net/gaea/

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