At the edge of the valley, Jaron watched. Opening his mind’s eye, he saw the circle of voices as the daughters of the Forgiven lifted their song. And in his frozen soul, he heard the chorus of angels, calling out in joy as the heavens rang. A gold sea, as calm and clear as a mountain lake. His heart swelled with longing. For peace. For purpose. For home.
Then Jaron heard her. Her voice was different. And yet, somehow, it wasn’t. It lifted over the others as she sang powerfully of the vision he had sent her. It was a song of longing and strength. It was, to the ears of the Fallen, a song of hope.
Jaron closed his eyes and allowed his heart to join the song he had given her.
Barak appeared beside him.
“Can he see her here?” the grey-haired angel asked, always alert to danger.
“Normally he can see her everywhere, as I can. But I cloaked the valley when I knew she would be coming. She’s safe. For now.”
The two stood silently in the darkness as the magic rose in waves, flowing over the land. Elsewhere, the trees had lost their leaves. The ground was harder and the wind more bitter. The haven the daughters of the Forgiven had created was as gentle a place as the harsh Earth could be. When the snow finally fell, it would lie soft on the ground.
“If he sees your fingerprints here, he will know.”
There was silence between them until Barak heard the words that Jaron had not spoken.
“You have distracted him in some way.”
Jaron shrugged. “I was not expecting to have an ally as convenient as him. Even an unwitting one.”
“You call him your ally?”
“He is my ally as long as I can use him.”
The Fallen narrowed his eyes. “The scribe is no ally of mine.”
“We both believe it was her magic that rent heaven, brother. It was her magic that brought him back.”
“She tore the fabric of heaven with her magic, brother.”
“There must be a reason. And if her magic needed his, then we will use him. Perhaps there are possibilities we have not considered.”
Barak crossed his great arms, covered with the raised talesm of their kind. “He is our ally for as long as he proves useful, and no longer.”
Jaron shrugged. “Of course.”
Then the two Fallen turned their eyes back toward the Irina song and watched the sunrise.