The Ghosts had taken up temporary residence for the night in one of the seldom used secluded Villas of a out of town Seraphim. It was far away from the city proper and the compound, up a long drive and blocked by trees so it was practically invisible. One quick sweep of the rooms with erie furniture covered by pure white sheets had told her why this villa was so secluded. It had both a Sagurium and a Seralgio. Rooms filled with every measure of torture devices and tools for brutal sexual play. Tessa had run her hand over the finely crafted and decorated whips, paddles and other toys in the Seralgio, all displayed like pieces of art the owner was very proud of. Tessa picked up a whip that seemed to sparkle and examined it before dropping it in disgust. Diamonds. The whip had small diamonds braided into the leather. Oh the agony that must have caused! Moving out of the Seralagio and into the Sagurium, she had examined the spinning wheel with straps for wrists and ankles and saw the blood stains no amount of cleaning would ever remove. Tessa even had tested the edge on the many flegettes, the tiny razor sharp blades designed to etch intricate designs into intimate areas.
“When we leave, we are burning this place to the ground.” She had told her soldiers, turning on her heel and leaving the rooms, a murmur of assent and agreement following her as they left.
It wasn’t long before they had broken into the cellar and taken the best of everything. Wine, liquor, ale, food… for this night they would feast like royalty. Tessa partook sparingly, savoring a few glasses of a beautiful red wine, thick as blood and a symphony of velvet flavors on her tongue. Gods was it good! It reminded her of Raiden, tasting of tart blackberry, with elegant notes of subtle oak, spicy pepper and bitter chocolate. She lingered over her glass, savoring. The Ghosts had many questions, and she was able to answer the ones about her, but about what they were going to do now… she had less answers. Oh she had ideas, things she wanted to try, but she needed to talk to Raiden first, discuss her ideas with him and get his point of view before she said for sure.
The Ghost Corp didn’t seem to mind, just happy to be able to stretch their wings with the potential for being able to actually use their more colorful skills against the angels who had once sought to subject and out fox them. The one thing that gave her hope, real hope, is that they seemed more then willing to accept Raiden and even Gemini. It seemed that they didn’t care he was a Breaker now that he was on their side, this was a pragmatic bunch, respecting talent and knowledge. Raiden had both and Gemini was infamous for their skills. Hells, they almost seemed excited to work with them. They all seemed to recognize that Raiden was in a in a unique position to help them and they were glad for it, practically grinning in glee and that thought of his skills mixed with theirs to make the Seraphim pay. It would be a slippery slope that Tessa would have to walk upon carefully to keep this from becoming solely about revenge… like Chyla had. So much had gone wrong already…
All around her, the men and women of the Ghosts were chatting and laughing and drinking, she leaned her white head back against a blood red wall and closed her eyes, listening with one ear to the revlery while turning her thoughts inward. She began to analyze her choices and how she had gotten to this point and made such a mess of things. When Tessa had been with Raiden in the beginning things were simple. He was trying to break her, she wasn’t going to let him. She had s stimulating, engaging, and arousing foe in Raiden, one she understood, and she could just be herself with him, just be Tessa. Then he let Gideon take her early which had been a devastating blow, she hadn’t had time to prepare for it. With Gideon, her goal became less clear. She had to survive what could be centuries of his abuse and her mind was not ready for the depth of his depravity. The man she loved was trapped right along with her and she didn’t know how to them get out. As much as she hated to admit it, she had started to fall apart and break, particularly since she had still believed that Raiden didn’t love her and would simply go back to his old life and forget her once it was all said and done.
Then she met Declan who rescued her and Declan believed her so good and pure and beautiful in a time when she had felt everything but that. When he took her, rescued her, Tessa had resolved to be all those things for him since she had loved him. Right up until they attacked and turned on Raiden. She saw it as betrayal, and a overly hypocritical and emotional decision to put the Finial and Raiden and then try and torture him to death with it. Because he had given up so much for an Elohim and she sees him as no more a monster then herself. Raiden had offered to help and they repaid that the way they did and made her party to it, ALMOST costing her Raiden in the process. Something which she soon realized was not at all acceptable to her. That decision made her lose a lot of respect and faith in Declan. For her that the clear turning point in her attitude of Rebellion and her ideals first, Raiden second, it was also what probably pushed her over the edge and less in love with him. So she had made her choice and it had been Raiden. Not the rebellion, not Declan, but Raiden who time and time again had told her he wasn’t the hero and never would be. What they both hadn’t realized was she wasn’t trying to make him into something he wasn’t, she was trying to do that to herself. Now though… because she could love Raiden exactly as he was, she had also accepted that she could love herself exactly as she was. His love would be the star by which she set her sights. He knew her, really knew her. The bratty moments, the arrogant and foolish ones, the good ones.
She made some poor, ill thought out choices the last few days and she knew it. Tessa was feeling very dumb, childish, and a little afraid right now. She was feeling her age, she had been eighteen when she left the Ghosts. A child commander and monster for two years. Though she must have been good at it since they were still willing and eager to follow her. For Tessa, choices and goals were no longer so clear cut and she knew that being the ‘good girl’ who makes valiant choices was no longer an option. If only because every time she has tried to do what she thought was the good and right thing, it went badly. Like saving Lucius last night and there by openly contradicting Declan. Tessa had known that the Ghosts were going to kill him the moment they were out of sight, consequences be damn, and she had simply sought to intervene and save him. Her methods were flawed though and she had weakened the rebellion because of those actions. She didn’t know how to be good. Not completely and certainly not the way Declan had wanted her to be. So since she couldn’t be good, she’d be herself. Flawed and wicked though she may sometimes be, she would do what she could to help and make things right.
So now that she has the Ghosts back, and this world was going to see a shift in her. Not back to monster, but certainly not the good, pure, Queen version she was trying so hard to be at the compound. Her silver eyes opened and she looked at the Ghosts, and a sharp smile turned up the corners of her lips. These were her brothers and sister, her people. They had done some terrible things, but they had always been terribly effective. With Raiden’s help maybe they could turn the tide for the ‘good guys’ and effect the changed they all wished to see in heaven. Getting up she, walked to the kitchen and looked out the windows. It was almost dawn, Declan and his forces would be gone by nightfall from the compound, Gray had assured her. Their small group would return there. No sense letting it go to waste. If Declan had a plan B in place and wanted out so that they didn’t tell of it’s location… they’d take it. If anyone came looking sixteen people with their skills could easily get away. Tessa put a few things into a bag- two bottles of the exquisite wine, a bottle of pear brandy, and a bottle of what the men assured her was finest whiskey known to heaven. She didn’t know what Raiden’s drink was, she had only ever seen him drink what was given to him, perhaps he’d find one now. She also took two boxes of delicate and delicious looking chocolates and a box of some sort of sugared and jellied fruit candy for Gemini. She had never seen anyone luxuriate in sweets the way those two did. Since they were going to burn the house to ashes, it seemed a waste to let it go when they could bring joy to the two.
The Ghosts were happy and content and enjoying themselves, they didn’t need her right now. Tessa walked back in the dinning hall and grinned at them all. “Enjoy it, boys and girls. Drink this Seraphim fuck dry and then burn it down. We will meet after full dark back at the compound, the rebels abandoned it. Apparently they don’t trust…” She rolled her eyes to show what she thought of that and boos and hisses came from the group. “I know, but we will prove our worth, won’t we?” A cheer went up. “Good, I am going to go retrieve my mate and I’ll meet you there. Delta protocol if I am not there by high moon.”
With a wink and wave, she turned on her heel and left, this group would be fine in her absence. She needed to get to back to Raiden. There was some very important things she needed to say to him and a very important question she had to ask him.