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   Chapter 21 When A Demon Loves

SANCTUM By JMFelic Characters: 16990

Updated: 2018-08-16 21:14


Traffic lights, and more traffic lights passed her scanning eyes as Aurora directed her concentration outside of the car. She didn't understand why, but for some reason, looking at the scenery outside calmed her more than watching Father Azrael's hands coordinating and turning his steering wheel with confidence comparable to that of a Ferrari F1 driver.

She deemed the hum of the engine a beautiful tune even though she was not an avid fan of cars. She also admired the sleekness of its interior and the modern gadgets available for him to use. For all its worth, it was certainly a phenomenal vehicle. Truly, Vatican priests know their luxury well.

They were travelling to the City of Adelheid, located in the border between Naples and Bari, Italy where Aurora's family, the Clave Family, resided.

Father Azrael knew that the journey would be a long one; hence, he decided to use the corvette instead of the Mercedes Benz. And using the sports car would mean that it would only fit two passengers; one for him and one for Aurora, which was why Marcus wasn't able to come with them.

It was better this way though. The boy would be bored in a long journey like this and surely, he would sleep all the way through. Well, it was not really Marcus alone, but also the woman beside him too, who was now looking tired and drowsy when he eyed her the hundredth time.

Father Azrael smiled to himself and then pressed a button in the touchscreen where it automatically reclined her seat.

Aurora shifted when she noticed the change, and then positioned herself properly, facing him and using her left arm to pillow her head.

'What a beautiful scene...' Father Azrael commented in his mind, satisfaction more than a hundred percent. 'Sleep well, bella donna.'

Aurora had been in and out of consciousness for many times. In one time, she noticed Father Azrael still holding the steering wheel; the bright sunlight shining his profile. The next time she briefly opened her eyes, she found the touchscreen monitor's time displaying as 11:45 am. She felt her stomach growling lightly, hinting her that it wants its lunch, but due to her drowsiness, she ignored it and continued to nap. The last entry her mind registered was the feel of soft lips touching her own. It was just a feathery kiss; truly nothing to be scared of, and she quickly deduced it as her own dreams playing tricks on her again.

"Aurora..." Father Azrael's voice sounded near her ear some time later. It was soporific - soft and airy - that she thought she was in heaven.

"Hmmm..."

"Aurora, " he called again, this time punctuating her name.

"Hmmm...?" she answered lazily with half-lidded eyes.

"You need to eat."

"I'm...not...hungry."

It was either she was stubborn or she was just too sleepy to even care. It wasn't a choice for Father Azrael however. He turned the car key to stop the engine, leaned forward and then softly whispered in her ear, "Aurora... If you will not wake up, I'm going to rain kiss marks around your neck."

Aurora's eyes quickly shot open. She straightened in her seat only to find the priest grinning back at her. "I'm awake! I'm awake, see?!" she immediately exclaimed.

"Hmmm... I see that my statement is a good alarm clock for you."

"Oh, Cirrus! For crying out loud, you can just tell me we are parked near a restaurant!" she answered, blushing furiously.

"So...you are hungry, " he remarked with a lopsided grin.

He pulled the gear stick into neutral and then opened the door in his side. He slid out, but bent back to peek in the opening towards the flustered Aurora.

"We should have lunch first before we continue our journey. We still need to cover three kilometers more of road for us to get to our destination. Come and be quick, Aurora."

He didn't wait for her to nod. He knew that she would enthusiastically get out of the car and walk right ahead towards the restaurant door.

*

*

*

Their lunch, even though late, was a fulfilling one. It was a fine Italian restaurant with its own building. Fresh produce and home-grown organic herbs and spices were the highlights as well as the owner's pride.

Father Azrael ordered a platter of food for her as usual. Buying her a well-balanced meal complete with the elementary food groups as usual. And forcing her to finish all of them, as usual. As well as reprimanding her of the importance of food in her system, as usual.

He ate, but his plate didn't seem to be as full as hers, much to Aurora's mental grumble.

Seriously!? She was beginning to feel that the priest was trying his best to act as her primary guardian.

She can always disagree with his treatment towards her when it comes to food though, but nevertheless, she did as she was told. His genuine concern and care for her well-being was pretty much commendable, and she was too hungry to even start an argument.

After an hour of staying in the restaurant, they finally rode back towards the City of Adelheid. Aurora was more awake now, seizing the moment to view the new landscapes greeting her.

They

and laces though.

"Welcome! Welcome! Father Azrael. It's so good to meet you!" he jovially stated when the two entered the parlor. He offered a hand to him with which Father Azrael openly accepted.

"Duke Heilwig, good to meet you too, " he replied in a reserved tone.

Yes. He was still flustered by the conversation he had with Aurora in the car, but the current situation demanded his focus so there was nothing he could do, but to wear his priestly mask again.

"Ah!" Duke Heilwig's eyes beamed with happiness as he saw the woman in Father Azrael's side. "And here...of course, is my long lost niece, Aurora. For all these years! My God! You are alive after all! Thank heavens!" he exclaimed, opening up his arms for an embrace.

"Ah, uhm... It's good to meet you too Duke Heilwig, " Aurora replied, feeling uncomfortable with the Duke's warm embrace. In her right hand, she was holding her small pink bag. The only evidence she could show that she was indeed a Clave family member.

"Bah! Don't call me that!" He tossed a hand in the air when he withdrew. "Just call me...Uncle Heilwig, all right?"

Eyeing the old man warily, Aurora couldn't help but feel a little shocked by his request. "Excuse me, Duke Heilwig, but I would prefer to call you in the formal way, " she stated, hands clasped together, "that-that way I would feel more comfortable." She then stepped backward and stood an inch behind the priest.

"Ah, oh well. Of course! Of course! You were just a small girl when you left the house. I can't fault you with that. Duke Heilwig it is then, until you will feel accustomed to me, " the duke replied with understanding, not at all feeling disrespected. "Now, come! Come! Have a seat and make yourselves comfortable."

He went back in his seat and pointed an available four-seater sofa opposite him.

"Duke Heilwig, as what I have told you yesterday in the phone, we would like to know about Aurora's parents, " Father Azrael started as soon as they sat.

Aurora began to fidget with her fingers, looking back and forth in a particular painting in a corner of the room. The painting was a work of art. A masterpiece. But what Aurora noticed was the people painted in it. It actually showed a family portrait of a man and his wife who was holding a small girl in her lap. The small girl had chestnut brown hair and beautiful big, round hazel eyes. Aurora suddenly felt like crying, sure that it was her and her parents in the painting. Luckily though, her feeling of sadness was cut off when she heard their conversation starting.

The duke answered the priest's statement with a knowing nod. "Of course, " he said confidently, "I see that you are a man that doesn't waste time." He poured brandy into an empty glass and handed it to the priest who most eagerly accepted it and drank it straight up. "But that matter will be discussed soon, Father Azrael. Both of you should probably take a rest first."

The exorcist priest, upon hearing this, hid a disappointed grumble. "With all due respect Duke Heilwig, we have journeyed quite far just to know about Aurora's parents. That is our prime goal in coming here."

"Yes, yes. I know your travel was a long and arduous one. That is why I am preparing two guest rooms for you to stay for the night. You should rest there first, and just be back in tonight's dinner. We will have our real talk then."

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