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The Chronicles of Heaven and Hell



 
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Camille Hammond

The fight for her life had been a long and grueling process. Camille was starting to feel safe in this world -- the soft cushion of love and acceptance that had cultivated around her made her feel whole. Maybe she should have been suspicious of all of these good things; but Cami didn't have any reason to fear karma. The Angel hadn't done anything in heaven or on earth what might warrant some sort of cosmic punishment. At least, not to her knowledge. The girls understanding of sin and punishment went far beyond what those of simple human understanding could muster. She was safe.

Well. Safe from her maker. Not so safe from Gabriel and those who still wished to do her harm.

The idea to spend some time in Cancun hadn't been her own. There had been some private discussion with Caitlyn; her closest friend and her most trusted confidant. Cami hadn't been feeling herself. Not entirely out of the ordinary for our little Angel, but something wasn't right. Headaches were not uncommon but the brash toll that they were taking on her duties was a harsh change from the mild discomfort they usually provided. She was anxious. Slowly becoming afraid of nothing. Even as secured as Atticus made her feel, there was something left to be desired by way of her safety. She couldn't explain it. Camille wouldn't even try. There were still large parts of her that felt her poor way with words wouldn't be adequate when trying to explain how she felt.

So Cami did what was customary for her.

She ran.

It was the middle of the night, and the only thing she'd remembered more vividly than how sticky the spring air was in the south was how peaceful her infant looked, wrapped tightly in her blanket. She slept soundly. Quietly. The soft coo of her breath the most beautiful sound Cami thinks shes ever heard. The petite girl doesn't lean down in to the crib to kiss her daughter goodbye -- instead she'd left a note for Atticus attacked to the wooden post of the crib. A place he wouldn't miss it. A chance he'd read it aloud for the both of them, even if their child didn't understand what he was saying.

'I'm sorry. I'll explain everything when I get back.
It's easier for now if you can't find me.
-- I love you.
'

There were so many things that Atticus didn't know. Camille couldn't explain them. She wouldn'i. It was selfish of her to have dragged him into a life with her. The danger she'd put him in by simply stopping to have a conversation with him was enough. Surely if he had known back then, he'd never have stopped and given her a second thought. What was even more selfish was how she'd had the audacity to go and marry the man. Start a family with him. Love him. Perhaps it was unfair of Camille to make any decision for him or for them without him. But some things were better left undebated. Especially where the safety of their baby girl was involved.

A miracle. One that should not exist. One that would have serious consequences.

When Caitlyn had suggested Cancun, her intentions were undoubtedly pure. A vacation with the family. The quiet healing properties of a warm sun and her salt water companion. There's no way she could have known about the slender man in Cancun. The one that had visited Camille on multiple occasion and offered her an out for her family. The details had gone unspoken, but he didn't leave her dreams without alluding to them, at least. He'd made one thing very clear about the intentions of that which he spoke for;

Camille's body was a confirmed host. One that could withstand the depths of a celestial soul.

It had become increasingly clear to the angel that Gabriel was not the only danger closing in Camille and her cushy new life. There were others out there who had heard about her. Heard about the trouble she'd caused unwittingly in heaven before she was cast out -- and now about the body she was in possession of that seemed to be in perfect working order for the others. Damn her luck. Damn her creator for putting her in this mess and then leaving her to fend for herself. It was bull ****; all of it -- and it caused her the kind of pain that she'd always tried to avoid.

But at least she'd give Atticus the opportunity to stray from that pain. Their baby girl might not know the difference now, but she'd have the rest of her life to hash out how she felt about the entire situation... If Atticus ever explained to her what happened. Caitlyn, Lloyd, and the boys. Even Matilde. They'd all be saved from the burden that was Camille.


Camille slipped off of the plane in total silence with nothing but a small bag slung over her shoulder. In her hand was a slightly crumpled piece of paper containing an address in a script most difficult to decipher. She wasn't entirely sure how she was going to get there as Cami was unfamiliar with the landscape... But hopefully it wasn't too painfully obvious that she was a tourist. Camille didn't have the time or the patience required for being jerked around today.

The first cab she'd managed to flag down was a small win. An older woman had tried her best to shuffle there before Cam could throw the door open, but her young legs carried her swiftly to the car and she shimmied into the back seat without a second thought. Absently, she'd let slip the piece of paper over the shoulder of the driver and into his lap. "I've got to go here, please." She spoke, doing her best to straighten the French curves in her syllables. "The quicker you get me there, the bigger your tip."

Direct. To the point.
That was Camille's way.

Thirteen minutes and seven turns later, Cami's taxi pulled her around the front of a moderately sized estate. It cast entirely in stone, and was the same color of ivory tusks. She might have found it inimidating if she hadn't lived in so many buildings that were similar. It reminded her a little bit of the sanctuary in Bloemfontein... Except it was more clear that the palace in South Africa hadn't been build to compensate for anything.

This place? She couldn't be sure. Not yet.

From her pocket Camille slipped a small wad of bills. She'd taken care to convert her American money before she'd left, and the cab driver would undoubtedly feel that he'd been compensated handsomely for his urgency.

"Come back in an hour." The girl demanded as she threw the door open and slid out of the car. There was no sense of suggestion in her voice, only command. "There's more where that came from."

The small heels of Camille's shoes click quietly against the concrete beneath her feet. She can hear the car driving off behind her, and the sudden feeling of desolation began to creep into her bones. The girl took a deep breath, her chest depressing wholly before she moved forward. Finding the front door with ease, her hard knocks would likely garner the attention of anyone on the other side of the door.

'Can I help you?' A voice came over the intercom to her left (that she hadn't noticed until just now). Without thinking, her thumb hovered over and eventually pressed into the white button beneath the speaker. Is this how you use a call box? Hell if she knew. She'd find out soon enough.

"Tell your boss that Camille is here." The girl swallowed, eyes looking straight ahead into the camera fixated against the stone. "I believe he is expecting me."
June 11, 2018 07:33 pm

Camille Hammond

The silence ticked by them more slowly than Camille ever imagined was possible. Time itself was inherently human and only now, while she was sitting in a den belonging to the enemy, did she actually realize how accustomed she'd become to it. It was almost as if the previous millennium had meant nothing at all. The life she lead before had all but been erased and in it's place sat a world peppered with haphazard cogs and turntables she didn't have to crank herself.

How truly wonderful it was while it lasted.

Cami's cornflower stare remained fixated on the man before her. He sat behind a large, lustrous desk and kept quiet save for the soft bursts of air that would expel from his nose on occasion. She'd started to feel as though they were waiting for something, and it unnerved her to think that she wasn't sure whether it was a person or a conversation. Still, her fingers sat gently atop her lap, thumbs twiddling idly while she sat ever vigilant. When he finally spoke, it almost caused her to startle. The silence had become so harsh and so deafening that his voice was like a hot knife as it pierced the air. Camille physically swallowed down the urge to express the sudden fright, and scolded herself mentally for behaving in such a transparent way.

"So. Camille." The man who would name himself only as Ifrit put on a broad, fake grin, and even as he sat forward in his chair and folded his hands against his desk, his dark hair did not move. "Why don't you tell me -- in your own words..." He paused here, allowing a sly grin to cross his features, "What you've come here for?"

Cami wasn't stupid. She knew that the entirety of this meeting was a show. He was goading her. Hoping for the kind of irritated reaction that the girl would normally fire back in a split second. But the angel was under no obligation to play into his game. She knew why she had come, and she knows that he knows why she's here. There were no need for games, and if she needed to, she would take her ass out of the building just as fast as she had sauntered in.

He had to know what much about her. If he didn't... Camille was happy to show him.

"Let's not push our luck, hmm?" Camille, too, sat forward in her chair, one leg crossed over the other as her fingertips found the smooth lacquered surface of the desk. They began to tap lightly, her nails drumming up a hollow sort of sound beneath her fingers. Briefly, her brow knitted together, before the entire question disappeared completely from her face. "Well now. Not quite as expensive as you'd have us all think?" Her fingers came together and she began to knock obnoxiously against the desktop, soft laughter pressing forth from slightly parted lips while she continued to press the mans buttons.

In a rather harsh display of force, one of the men who'd been standing behind her stepped forward to jerk her back from the desk, and her back was now pressed flush against the sticky leather of the chair. Still, Camille's toothy grin peeked from behind her lips. Even if she considered the gesture to be excessive, she would never allow another party to reign victory over her. Stubborn is the term we're looking for here.

"Miss Rameau" --

"Mrs. Hammond, actually." Camille corrected him before he was able to let slip another word. If she'd squinted just enough, she'd have sworn that she saw him begin to roll his eyes.

"Camille." He instead insisted -- for whatever dramatic effect he could manage, "Never mind the banter. I've other meetings scheduled today. Believe it or not you are not my most important client." Relaxing back in to his chair once again, the man raised his head into the direction of the rough soldier who'd pulled Camille backwards into her seat. He snaps his fingers, pointing to a side door. It's clearly some sort of command, because the stocky man disappeared from the room in an instant. For (at least) a moment, it seemed they were alone. "I trust you've had plenty of time to consider the deal. I think you'll find that you wont get a more generous offer anywhere else."

The small woman huffed, her bright eyes rolling up into her head. Generous offer. What an aggressive understatement. The exact words he had used when initially addressing her could hardly be described as any less than a threat. Ifrit had some how come to possess intimate information about Camille and her life. The names and locations of all of the people and things that were precious to her. Starting with her husband and ending with a weapon that was directly linked to her life force.

Ultimately, she'd come to deduce that someone who was close to her had leaked the information. Leaked is a loose term here, and she wasn't completely naive. Perhaps they'd been paid off. Tortured. No one she'd been close with had gone missing recently, or turned up dead. ... None besides Jameson Orlav but his well of information was far from endless and had surely dried up within weeks of his capture.

Alas, treachery and deceit would remain at the top of her list. A list she might someday have a chance to pursue... Should she ever find herself on the other side of this mess.

Camille's teeth gnash together slightly. Blue eyes flicker from Ifrit's hazy stare down to the fingers that twirled against each other in her lap. There's a lesson somewhere inside the decision she's about to make. One that had been preached over centuries and that she knew all too well herself. The devil doesn't come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. No. He comes dressed like he manages a hedge-fund portfolio, in a Brioni suit, and his tie is made of silk.

"I've thought about it. Obviously. I'm here, aren't i?" She doesn't lift her eyes to meet his once more. No, instead she pries them from where her gaze had settled on her fingers and trains them intently on the edge of the desk before her. Camille had become proud. She was stubborn. Even in the midst of defeat she would refuse to roll over one-hundred percent of the way. Ifrit might find his fouled hands wrapped around this body of Cami's, but he would never find a way to eradicate her soul.

"Wonderful." Fingertips on either of his hands came together in front of his face, like some ridiculous cliche of an evil villain that she'd caught on an early morning cartoon. "All we need now is to have the contract drawn up. Oh, and I'm sure you'll want to be meeting your new partner."

Both of her pale brows furrowed, confusion striking her features immediately. Partner? No, that didn't make any sense.

Then, the palpable echo of a doorknob clicking filled the room, and from behind the same door that Ifrit's henchman had disappeared from, arose a new person. One that had not previously (or so she thought) been a part of the equation. A face that Camille had found all too familiar, and with it's debut came an audible gasp from the small chassis of our now very astonished Angel. With her fingertips pressed against her gaping mouth, Cami rose to her feet, taking one.. two.. three steps backwards, only to have her arms clutched by another man who had been stationed in the shadows of an opposing corner.

"I don't believe the two of you have been properly introduced. It seems this meeting is long overdue."
June 14, 2018 02:10 pm
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