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   Chapter 69 Epilogue

SANCTUM By JMFelic Characters: 13827

Updated: 2018-08-30 23:24


"How's your knee Your Grace?" Aurora inquired, staring warmly at the recently retired Holy Pope Benedict XVI who was sitting in a rattan chair opposite hers. They were having tea in a shaded pergola in the garden of the retirement home for Vatican priests. He had finally resigned in his seat as the main leader of the Catholic Church due to reasons of old age and a declining health. Pope Francis had recently occupied the position, something that he was pleased about.

"Good actually, " the Holy Pope answered, touching his right kneecap. Good it is indeed that it wasn't having a bout of ache in this early morning due to his rheumatoid arthritis. "I am attending physical therapy twice a week for it. I get to also exercise my knee walking around the park here." His answering voice was soft and true.

He sipped his lemon tea slowly as he eyed a little girl wearing a lavender tutu dress running around the garden trying to catch a blue morpho butterfly.

Aurora smiled watching her daughter too. "It's good to hear that." She then scanned her eyes around the whole garden and the facade of the east wing building. "This is indeed a lovely place fit for you, Your Grace."

"Mumm!" the girl squealed, running towards her mother. She hopped immediately in Aurora's lap to which the latter was most eager to cuddle her close.

There was a twinkle of delight in the Pope's eyes as he saw it.

"Has Un-cle Marcus arri-ved yet?" she stuttered to say, beaming her set of milk teeth towards Aurora's way.

"Oh, Dawn." Aurora smiled. Her daughter has definitely shown an early innocent infatuation with her Uncle Marcus. "We will wait for him together okay? He must be very busy with his preparations."

The little girl nodded in understanding, slipping herself out of Aurora's lap and running back towards a fountain pond.

"Yes of course! Marcus will be ordained a priest a week from now right?" Pope Benedict stated.

"Yes. It seems the Conclave is too eager to fill in Azrael's vacant post."

"The young man is trained personally by him of course. I wouldn't be surprised that the Conclave sends him to fresh missions immediately."

The pope shifted in his seat.

Aurora bent her head and stared at the cobblestoned ground. There is this uneasiness inside her thinking about the welfare of her little brother. "I wonder... how come there are still demon possessions happening everywhere Your Grace?" she asked, confused.

Pope Benedict looked up and curved a small smile.

"Because demons are just too bored with their mediocre lives, Love, " Cirrus answered the question for him, whispering it near Aurora's ear. She turned to her right shoulder and saw him standing behind her with a cool smirk on his lips. He was wearing white linen Riviera pants, partnered with a loose-fitting black v-neck shirt; looking as if he had just came from a yoga class. This was the casual Cirrus Aurora had been accustomed to seeing since he left his pastoral responsibility a year after he made her pregnant.

"Cirrus..." She touched his free arm when he sat right next to her in a vacant rattan chair. "Where's Nathan?"

It was actually short for Nathanael; a name Cirrus had chosen for the reason that it meant an angel ruling over hidden things, fire and vengeance. His twin sister's name was Dawn, he had chosen specifically to partner Aurora's name.

Cirrus produced a grin when a thought crossed his mind. "Bothering the kitchen staff again, " he answered, remembering leaving his son in the care of a fat chef of the retirement home. In the boy's hands were a plate full of butternut cookies and a ramequin of chocolate soufflé.

Sweets. That's what the junior Cirrus loved so much second to vegetable lasagna and meatballs. His rather attachment with food was comparable to a gluttonous sacristan in the past too.

"Oh my, " Aurora worriedly stated. She wasn't worried with Dawn's twin brother eating a lot of sweets. She was concerned with the chef and Nathan's unbelievable food requests.

"What can I say? He is a lover of food, totally an opposite of you, " Cirrus remarked, giving her a smirk again. He was

on them and Aurora returned the gesture with a big smile on her face.

Cirrus nodded in acknowledgement of his apprentice's arrival.

They both decided to join the two in the pergola. When they were strolling back in the pathway side by side, Aurora noticed a boy running speedily towards his twin sister. In his hand was a small basket of freshly-baked miniature apple pies. He gave the basket to his sister, who most eagerly took one pie and took a bite on it immediately.

"Cirrus..." Aurora uttered out-of-the-blue.

"Yes, Love?" Cirrus replied.

"The birthmark in their right shoulder...does that mean something?"

Cirrus watched the twins now sitting next to Marcus who was also eating a pie happily. A slight breeze ruffled his hair as he continued to ponder on his answer.

"It means something, Love, " he answered carefully. "However, we can't say for now because the two of them are still young. But I am quite sure it all connects to your demon mark."

"Is—is that bad?" she asked nervously.

"No, Love, it isn't. I can say it is a gift actually."

"Oh, that's reassuring to hear, " she smiled in relief.

Cirrus hooked an arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him as they strolled leisurely. "Thank you, " he suddenly stated.

Aurora raised a brow, bewildered with his words.

"Thank you for what?"

He paused from walking and brought her closer to him. Beautiful was it standing in the center of a garden full of flowers. The fragrances from the blooms were an explosion in their sense of smell, but Aurora still believed that Cirrus' perpetual scent was the best of all.

"For accepting me as me. Demons are not worthy of love, but you gave me all of you unconditionally. You don't know how much I feel blessed with it."

Aurora smiled warmly, touching his face. "Then it is proper of me to say you're welcome."

"I love you Aurora...for all eternity, " he abruptly said.

Cirrus didn't wait for her to reply. He cupped her chin and pressed his lips on hers in the most delicate of fashion...

The Holy Pope never had the intention of summoning the Archangel of Death here on earth — that alone made Cirrus think over and over again why he ended up in the human realm in the beginning. Was it just a freak accident that he suddenly surfaced before them that time? Or was there a far greater reason behind it?

With Aurora now, an answer was clear in his head.

Maybe Fate was doing its job to bring him and Aurora together. Maybe in order to save the human kind... maybe to bring peace and balance in both of the realms... but for him, it was just a simple maybe... Yes. Maybe because his damned soul needed help, and Aurora was the only one who could save him. In the end, she was his salvation.

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