Philip, face covered with black soot, walked in to find his lover wrapped in Varrus's black-feathered wings. The scene did not trigger jealousy but instead a strange calm in knowing that Jason was safe. He knew the appearance of Varrus's wings should have shocked, or at least surprised, him but his mind refused to trigger such emotion.
For some time now Philip had felt uncomfortable with his body as if it was no longer his own anymore. There was something unnatural about it, the tanned skin was not dark enough, his body not strong enough. Even the color of his eyes seemed wrong now, as if the deep gray in them did not really belong.
When he had picked up a torch and saw the black soot darken his skin his eyes stared at it as if, for the first time, his true self was showing. Extinguishing it he took the soot to one of the large silver mirrors decorating the dressing rooms of the bathhouse. He rubbed his hands in the hot ash and spread it over his face and chest, blackening it. Philip still felt he didn't quite look right, but it was an improvement over the level of discomfort with which he had been struggling.
Leaving the baths, Philip had gone looking for Jason and Varrus only to find them in Varrus' white-on-white room. Philip climbed on the bed to join them, a smear of black soot being spread on the white sheets until he stopped, finally reaching Jason. He then slipped between Varrus's wings so he could wrap his arms around his love.
Jason, asleep, responded by turning around so he could wrap his arms around Philip, resting his head on the soot-coated chest.
Watching all this from the open door was Kristen, panic written across his face. In his hands was the syringe he had prepared to give to Varrus but it was obvious that it was already too late. He had already altered the memories of Jason and Philip once. To do it again would run the risk of making them psychotic, their personalities split. The black soot covering the top half of Philip's body was proof enough that the Demon was not adjusting well to his forced human appearance.
Kristen knew what he had to do...he just was not looking forward to it. He had hoped for more time to help all involved adjust to their new lives. Already, though, he had waited too long. Without the drugs he had been pumping into Field Marshal Darius, he would have become a full-fledged Demon Spawn. Kristen had had to do the same thing to Caleb to hide him showing himself as a Saint like Varrus. If he did not come forward and tell Philip and Jason the truth, the two of them would continue to populate the world with their "children", not knowing what they were doing.
Taking a deep breath Kristen stepped into the room, closing the doors behind him. He put down Erik's black bag and took out a small bottle containing several small red pills. He took the pills over to a pair of crystal goblets, placing two pills in each one. He filled the cups with a deep red wine before taking a goblet in each hand so he could bring them to the bed.
There he stood, holding the goblets in his shaking hands. He walked slowly and silently, not wanting to rouse all the men at once, for he knew it would be like the waking of mad giants once he told them everything.
It was Varrus whose eyes opened first, noticing Kristen standing next to the bed. "You can leave those on the table Famulus," Varrus said, not recognizing Kristen, only seeing a man in black robes.
"I need to give Jason and Philip their medicine."
"Medicine?" Varrus said, panicked. He had not been told of any illness.
"Something happened in the mountain pass...something that I need to fix."
"Alright," Varrus agreed, clearly worried as he shook Jason and Philip awake.
"Yes?" Jason asked as he slowly opened his eyes.
"Why didn't you tell me you were sick?" Varrus demanded.
"That was almost a month ago," Philip grunted as he used the white sheets to rub the ash off his face since it was now irritating his skin.
"You still have to take medicine!" Varrus insisted pointing to the goblets in Kristen's hands.
"What?" both Jason and Philip asked at the same time.
Kristen, seeing his weave of lies falling apart, whispered, "I need to talk to all of you."
"What is it," Jason asked, now worried about the frantic look on Kristen's face.
"I have a confession to make..." Kristen started in a strong tone of voice that indicated that he was going to give a long speech and did not want any interruptions.
Seeing that all three men were now silent, and looking at him a little surprised, Kirsten continued. He explained who he and Erik really were and that Erik, as a Sindar, had been ready to surrender all of them to his Dominus masters. He told them he came from Mordel, the lands across the Barrier Ocean. He told them that he had killed Erik to save them and then erased their memories of the event so that the telepathic Sindar could not read their minds and find out the truth.
"And what is the truth?" Philip asked, holding back his anger. He understood the reason Kristen had done what he did but he still felt violated.
"The truth is that the Dominus named their creations after creatures of myth. You, Philip, are now a Demon... the pinnacle of their weapons program. Only the medicine I have been slipping into your food has prevented most of the change from taking place."
"What about Jason?" Philip demanded. The more he heard the more he felt violated.
"The Dominus would call Jason an Angel, the control system for their ultimate weapon... that being you."
Looking right into Jason's face, Philip felt his anger fade. Jason, with his gentle spirit, beauty, and innocence, indeed filled the mythical description of an Angel. "I want my memory back," Philip ordered while his eyes remained focused on the man for whom he would give his soul.
"I can give them back to you as dreams but not as true memories. If I did return your true memories, they would conflict with the new ones I gave you... the result would drive you insane and you would question what is real or not," Kristen said, begging them to believe him.
"How will seeing them as dreams be any different?" Philip asked.
"It will be seeing the memory in a mental fog. It will be hard for you to remember the detail for long. What it will do is give you an idea of what really happened."
"Then do it," Philip demanded.
"Drink this then," Kristen said as he handed the goblets to Jason and Philip.
"What will happen?" Jason asked, looking at the red wine with suspicion.
"You will fall asleep and dream about what I tried to cover up."
"Alright..." Jason said before draining the glass.
The drug worked fast. Jason soon fell down on the bed, deep in sleep, his eyelids twitching. Philip soon followed, falling asleep next to Jason. This left Varrus awake and full of questions.
"Why do the Dominus want Jason and Philip?"
"Because of their love and what their love means. The two bodies you see lying on the bed are not their real forms. Just as you now have black wings, Jason and Philip will look different in their real forms," Kristen replied.
"What are they? What am I for that matter?" Varrus asked.
"Jason is an Angel... and Philip is his Demon."
"Jason is definitely an angel, but Philip a demon?" Varrus laughed.
"No... you don't see. When I am done giving both men their treatment, Jason will have white wings to match your black. His skin will be like white marble with veins of black that will show when Philip touches him. His eyes, his eyes will be deep pools of darkness, unreadable to all but his Demon.
"Philip...Philip will turn into his true form. His skin will be darker than the black soot he put on his face, etched with glowing white veins. His eyes will also shine like two white beacons. His hair will go white and, in time, a pair of horns will grow out of his forehead and a tail from his back. Claws for his hands and fangs in his mouth will grow along with his basic physical strength. He will be a terror to look at, but Jason will love him."
Varrus looked down at the sleeping pair, now afraid for Jason's safety. "How?"
"That is the nature and purpose of an Angel... to love the unlovable," Kristen explained.
"Can a Demon love him back?"
"An Angel is the only thing a Demon can truly love and, from what I can see, there is no one Philip loves more than Jason."
"Will that remain the same after Philip turns into a Demon?"
"Philip already is a Demon. All I have done is prevent the physical changes from showing. His mind, however, I could not stop from being altered."
"I see... Philip told me he didn't really feel like himself, that he wanted me to look after Jason."
"That is because a part of Jason is inside you. That day in the woods when you and Jason were caught making love, a small part of his anima entered you, making him a part of you. That is why you turned into a Saint...a type of protector for Jason."
"What does that mean?"
"Philip is a Demon and all Demons are in a life-long struggle to hold onto their sanity. That is what an Angel gives a Demon. They cool the demon's mind and strengthen his heart, a lone rock in a stormy sea. Still, caring for a Demon weighs heavily on the Angel's soul. That is where a Saint finds his purpose. Just as an Angel must comfort a Demon... a Saint must comfort an Angel. While Philip will be the protector of Jason's body, you will protect his soul."
"I see. I think Philip is the unlucky one," Varrus sighed.
"He is..." Kristen agreed.
"Why do the Dominus want us? Do they want an army of Demons to take over the world?"
"They could take over the world any time they want...what they need is something inside the bodies of a Demon and an Angle, something the Dominus and Sindars lost in their pursuit of perfection."
"What is that?" Varrus asked.
"The ability to have children," Kristen replied.
"But Jason... Philip..."
"They are very gay... but their bodies are in prime condition to reproduce something not even the Dominus have."
"Then why not just pick a happily married couple from Jadoor or the Eastern Confederacy?"
"If the Dominus just wanted more normal Famulus, then yes, but this is a game of survival. The Dominus have a long life span but they are reaching the end. If they are to survive, and continue to rule their half of the world, they need to mate with their opposites.
"How are Demons and Angels their opposites?"
"That is a long story." Kristen sighed.
"Well, it looks like these two will be asleep for a while." Varrus jerked his head toward Jason and Philip.
"Alright... but it may be hard for you to understand. There is so much you do not know or could even dream about."
"Well tell me in a way I can understand." Varrus pressed.
"Back where I come from, the Old World we call it, there was a great war. During the war, scientists developed a substance called animus. It increased the endurance of our soldiers and extended the lives of our researchers. First, the substance had to be injected daily but eventually one of the research teams developed the "Core" an organ that could be grown inside a human body to provide all the animus needed."
"So, just like our anima core." Varrus nodded.
"Yes... but opposite."
"Where anima evolves a person, animus devolves."
"Evolution... over time life forms change... usually in the direction of greater complexity. But when a person consumes animus, they tend to devolve into a simpler form."
"I do not understand at all what you are saying," Varrus confessed.
"Then let me give you examples... humans that can change into giant birds or wolves, people who have the fins of a dolphin."
"Beast men?" Varrus asked
"Yes... we call them Morphs. Within our bodies is our evolutionary past. The animus revives it."
"And our anima?"
"It awakens our future," Kristen said in a near whisper.
"So, I would guess that the Dominus, being the rulers of the Old World, have the most animus in their bodies and have devolved a great deal."
"Yes... that is why they need Jason and Philip. Their anima is the most potent. My guess is that the Dominus have let themselves devolve into a dead-end species. They need Jason and Philip's anima to survive."
"Is that how we came to be, we were created to save your former masters?"
"Yes, for while they have physically devolved, they are extremely intelligent. You were created by one of the Dominus. You know her as the Mother, prime goddess of Jadoor."
"Jadoor! We come from that cursed island?" Varrus swore.
"No... you were created in the wastes of the old world, in Mordel, like the legends say. The Mother brought you over the great oceans of sand and water to found the city of Melkor, where she could study you without interference from the other Dominus. There was peace, until a civil war occurred, and the Mother died. It forced the Centurions, Legatio, and their followers to flee and set up Domus to the southeast."
"The founding of the Gate?" Varrus said in disbelief.
"Yes, less than a thousand of you survived the escape."
"I see. But that had to have happened long ago...thousands of years. Are you telling me that during that whole time there has never been a Demon or Angel for them to capture?"
"The original Demon is dead. His Angel is still alive but in hiding. Even if the Sindar could find and capture him, he is not what the Dominus really want. He is artificial, created in a lab."
"What do they want then?" Varrus asked.
"They want a Demon and Angel created naturally, for they would have the strongest anima.
"What does it take for Demon and Angel to... well to come to be. I guess it takes a Centurion and Legatio."
"It does, but beyond that we do not know. Looking at Jason and Philip, I think it requires a love so profound that no one can fully understand it, not even themselves.
"I know...that is why Jason is so special to me...he was so willing to love us Centurions regardless of custom."
"And he will need your love, as you will be around much longer than Philip now that you are Jason's Saint."
"The last Saint lived for over eight hundred years."
"What? I now have the lifespan of a Legatio?" Varrus said in disbelief.
"Yes, you do."
"What about Philip?"
"He will live longer than the average Centurion, a few centuries longer but he will be dead long before you."
"Who knows? The first Angel is said to still be alive, protecting the body of his lover, and he has been around for over five thousand years."
"Jason might never die...?" Varrus realized.
"Possibly. So Jason will have to face the curse that most Legatio have, living long after all the people they care about have died." Kristen nodded sadly.
"Jason, then, is the truly unlucky one."
"Yes. Legend has it that while his Demon lives, an Angel's tears will heal all wounds but, after his lover dies, they become a deadly poison."
"I can see how."
"You will be there to witness all this. While Philip lives, he will be the most important person in Jason's life. His death will most likely devastate Jason, but you will be there to save him from falling too deep into despair."
"But I, too, will die," Varrus pointed out.
"Yes, but by then Jason should have come to terms with his bitter fate, or at least that is what you are supposed to get him to accept."
"I don't know if even I could accept his fate."
"It will not be easy," Kristen agreed just as he noticed Jason's body stir. "They are waking up."
Varrus leaned over Jason just in time to see his open his eyes. "Jason...you feel alright?"
"Yes...I think I now know what happened to Philip and me back in the mountain pass. He gave me his anima and I gave him mine. It caused our bodies to change, but I don't understand why I look like I do now...it does not feel right." Jason yawned.
"I gave you a drug to hide the changes, but it seemed to cause more problems than it solved." Kristen sighed, looking down at Philip's ash-covered face. "I saw that Philip did not feel comfortable...the torment of feeling foreign in one's own skin must have been terrible."
"But he will look like a real demon without the drugs," Varrus said as he noticed Philip stir.
"Yes..." Kristen chuckled. "And he will love the terror he will cause as long as Jason still loves him, which he will."
"I should kill you for what you have tried to do to me!" Philip's voice boomed as he too came awake. "How could you hide the truth from me, Famulus?"
"What you didn't know, you could not tell the Sindar," Kristen replied, his voice shaking.
"You had no right. Do you know how long I have wanted to claw my skin off, feeling as if it didn't belong?"
"I'm sorry...I didn't know how you would handle the drugs," Kristen quickly apologized, easily intimidated by Philip.
"Fix it!" Philip demanded, poking Kristen hard with two fingers.
"I will...just lay back down on the bed," Kristen said as he went to the table where he had left the black bag.
"Why, so you can run away from me!" Philip growled, reaching over and grabbing the hood of Kristen's robe.
Kristen did his best to control his fear. "No... you just want to be laying down for this."
"Fine, " Philip replied, releasing his hold.
"Should I lay down as well?" Jason asked.
"Let's just do one at a time." Kristen sighed, trying to release the stress he was feeling.
Kristen went back to the black bag and took out the syringe again, cleaning it out and replacing the needle. He then filled it up with a cloudy white fluid, which he brought to Philip and injected into his arm.
"How long will it be before taking effect?" Philip demanded.
"It will return you back to your real form in a matter of minutes, your full development as a Demon will take longer...weeks to months," Kristen explained.
At the point where the needle had entered Philip's arm, a black darkness was growing, etched every now and then with glowing white veins. Soon his whole arm was like that, the blackness spreading up his shoulder, moving down his chest and up his face. When it reached his eyes there was a sudden flash as the grey disappeared from Philip's eyes, replaced by bright white lights. Then, as the darkness reached the top of Philip's head, his hair went stark white. Before an hour had passed Philip's whole body had changed back to what it had looked like a month ago.
Seeming to know when the change was finished, Philip jumped off the bed and walked right to the nearest full-length mirror, grinning with approval. "Much better."
Philip then turned to face Jason, who had a look of awe in his eyes at seeing Philip's true form. Philip examined Jason with his glowing white eyes and while he felt nothing but love for Jason, Jason's appearance seemed to be off.
Philip walked over to Jason and gave him a deep kiss before speaking;"Go lay down, Jason. I want to see you again as you are supposed to be."
Jason, smiling, went over to the bed, spreading his nude body across it. Seeing that Philip didn't go off on a murderous rampage, Kristen was much calmer about giving Jason his injection. This time, instead of a spreading darkness, the pink color disappeared from Jason's already pale skin. When the change reached his eyes they turned solid black, giving off no reflection. Philip watched this change with growing approval.
Not able to hold back, Philip reached down and touched the changed skin, sending veins of darkness across Jason's skin. An hour later, when the change was finished, Jason looked like a white marble statue with obsidian eyes and dark black hair. Philip lifted Jason back to his feet before embracing him. Where their bodies touched, glowing white veins against black and shoots of darkness against white danced across their bodies.
Seeing they were not alone, Philip gave the small audience of Varrus and Kristen a menacing stare and deep growl. Seeing that Philip wanted to be alone with Jason, the two men left the lovers alone just as Philip let the sharp points of his fangs scratch the white skin of Jason's neck, his tongue lapping up the blood.
Waiting in the hall, Varrus had to deal with the shocked looks of the servants. And it was not just because he was nude: it was the giant pair of black wings he had on his back. For a while, Varrus debated whether he wanted Kristen to give him a drug to hide them but seeing how such measures had affected Philip, he decided not to.
From the other side of the door there was a lot of growling and laughter, which built to a crescendo and then dropped off into silence followed by a deep satisfied purring.
Two Sides of a Coin
Varrus, ready to go back inside, noticed two men standing on each side of his wings. One of them was Field Marshal Darius, a stern expression on his face. The other was Caleb, who had an almost silly grin.
"Can we go in now?" Caleb asked Varrus with an almost child-like gaze in his eyes.
Varrus looked at Caleb and at once he felt a connection. Just as he was a part of Jason, Varrus could feel that Caleb was also linked to Jason. He also recognized that his position in the hierarchy was much higher than Caleb's.
Not sure how to respond to Caleb's question, Varrus tried to think of what Jason would want and, to his surprise, he got a response. Now that Philip was sated, Jason spoke directly into Varrus's mind, inviting him back in.
"We can go in now." Varrus smiled at Caleb like an older brother, even though Caleb was a decade older.
Opening the large double doors, Varrus led the way, followed by Caleb. Darius approached the door but did not pass the threshold. On the bed were Jason and Philip. Philip was apparently asleep, resting against Jason's body with Jason's arms wrapped around him. Varrus joined them on the bed, on Jason's side, resting his head on Jason's shoulder.
"Thank you for coming back." Jason smiled at Varrus.
"I felt you needed me," Varrus replied.
"I will always need you," Jason said honestly.
Those words stung Varrus, especially after having been told that one day Jason would have to live without him being by his side. It was his main duty to prepare Jason for that day. He thought about telling Jason, but it all seemed too early. He had over half a millennium to help Jason with the tragedy to come. Right now all Jason needed to know that he, Varrus, would be here for him.
"You will always be able to depend on me...you know that," Varrus said reassuringly.
"Yes I do." Jason sighed.
"Does...does Philip scare you looking like he does?" Varrus had to ask.
"I find the way he looks to be very compelling. It is his passion that scares me. He loves me so much. I don't know how I can fill his need for me," Jason replied.
"What do you need of me?" Varrus asked, reaching over to kiss Jason on the cheek.
"I need you to love me," Jason sighed.
"I do love you, Jason. I think you know that."
"I do...I need you to love me even knowing that it is Philip that I love the most."
"I understand and I accept that," Varrus replied, when an idea came to him. Very carefully he lifted Philip off Jason and helped him off the bed. Varrus then took Jason over to the balcony doors, flinging them open and letting the cool, early spring air flow in.
Spreading his wings wide, Varrus took Jason into his arms. He took a deep breath, tightened his hold on his love, and dove off the balcony, taking Jason with him. Before they had fallen twenty feet, the wind blowing against Varrus's wings lifted both of them higher into the sky. Slowly and surely he learned how to turn, rise, and dive, as the stunned people in the city watched with awe.
Carrying Jason with him, Varrus soared up to the fortress he had built on the ruins of the Labyrinth tower. There, he landed on a second-story balcony, which led to another bedroom.
Looking down at Jason, Varrus could not help but laugh to see that his passenger had fallen asleep during the flight. After making sure Jason was comfortable under the sheets, Varrus flew back to the palace bedroom. Inside, Phillip was holding a whip under Kristen's chin, giving him a menacing look.
"You did the same thing to Darius and Caleb as you did to Jason and me," Philip said as more of a statement than as a question.
"Yes..." Kristen gulped.
"Correct the matter."
"I will," Kristen said as he went back to the black bag.
"Start with Darius first... he's my creation, isn't he?" Philip grinned evilly as he looked at the submissive Field Marshal.
"He is... he is your Spawn."
"My Demon Spawn?" Philip snickered as he wrapped a thick arm around Darius's head. "I want to see what he really looks like!"
"Have him lay down on the bed." Kristen sighed, preparing the syringe with a fresh needle.
"Go lay down on the bed," Philip ordered and Darius quickly obeyed.
After Kristen gave Darius the injection, he watched as a pattern of intricate black and red markings appeared on Darius' skin until they covered his entire body, including his head. His eyes, instead of turning white or black, went blood red while his hair turned black.
Once the change was complete, Philip lifted Darius off the bed and gave his servant a thorough examination, giving certain muscles a good slap. "Is Jason resting?" Philip asked while he continued to grin at Darius with a wicked fang-filled smile.
"Yes..." Varrus spoke up.
"Good... it will give me time to see how well my Spawn behaves." Philip smirked as he took the handle of the whip and pushed it against Darius's back, leading him out of the room.
Philip was almost gone before he turned around to face Kristen. "Choose," he ordered.
"I still don't trust you. I will not trust you until you belong to either Jason's or me. Pick which one of us you want to be bonded to."
"I will be able to serve much better if my mind is free," Kristen said desperately.
"But I will not be able to trust you. If you wish to live, you have to surrender to one of us. You have until I come back to make your choice," Philip warned before continuing out of the room.
"No, no, no, no, no!" Kristen shouted, pounding his fists against the closed door. He was half tempted to make a run for it, but the fear of what Philip would do to him when caught stopped him. He then looked at the balcony and, for a brief second' he was tempted to jump to his death, but Varrus and those damned wings of his stood between him and the balcony. Having seen what Darius had turned into, Kristen was sure he didn't want to become a Demon Spawn, but looking at Caleb with his glued on smile, Kristen was not sure he wanted to be like that either. What a choice to make... become Philip's masochist slave or Jason's happy-go-lucky sidekick. The cynical side of him tempted him to pick Philip, but his aversion to pain made Jason seem like the better choice. The problem was, in both cases, he would give up control of his emotions. If the person he was bonded to was happy, then he would be happy; sad, and he would be sad. To have his emotions tied to another person seemed to be the worst form of enslavement.
Seeing Kristen was stressing over his choice, Varrus spoke up. "Pick Jason."
"What?" Kristen said, not having heard Varrus.
"Pick Jason... you might become a giddy fool like Caleb, but at least you know you will be cared for and protected. Philip would not think twice about putting your life at risk if he felt it would further his goals."
"But Caleb! Ever since Jason gave him that kiss, he has been completely happy... it is unnatural!" Kristen said, pointing to a smiling Caleb.
"And what do you think Philip will do to you. Trust me, you would be an even bigger fool to want to become a Demon Spawn. We Centurions would not mind, but you... a Famulus. If you have any common sense, you would see that that path would be wrong for you."
"Alright...I wasn't really thinking about bonding to Philip. It's just so difficult to give up control, even if it would mean happiness."
"Come now... give Caleb the drug and I will take you to Jason so you can bond to him."
"I guess Philip wasn't giving me much of a choice after all." Kristen sighed.
"No... he knew from the start who you would pick," Varrus agreed.
Very slowly, Kristen prepared the needle, one last time. Each action was labored, as if Kristen were trying to imprint the last moments of his free self into his mind. He watched as the color drained from Caleb's body while the hair on his chest and head darkened to a solid black with a dusting of gray. He almost looked like an angel except that his eyes took up a blue glow instead of black. An hour later a pair of black wings ripped out of Caleb's back. When the change was complete, the giddy smile on Caleb's face was gone, replaced by a deep calm.
"Well, at least that silly grin of his is gone," Kristen sighed, feeling Varrus's strong arms wrap around him, leading him to the balcony.
Kristen barely took notice of his flight to the Labyrinth Keep, as he was deep in his thoughts, trying to embed what he felt was his true personality into his mind. He knew it was futile, but he had a faint hope that some real part of him would survive the bonding and change.
When Varrus dropped him off on the second floor balcony, reality hit again. There was Jason, asleep on the bed. Kristen turned around to face Varrus but saw he was already flying off.
Alone with his fate, Kristen made his way to the bed and waited until something happened to tell him what he was to do next. Something did eventually happen: Varrus came back carrying Caleb in his arms. The two men walked over to Kristen and stripped him down to his loincloth. They then lifted the sheets off Jason and indicated that Kristen was to join him on the bed. Once Kristen was lying next to Jason, the Angel opened his eyes, which reflected no light and gave no clue as to what the mind behind them was thinking. Then, very slowly Jason wrapped an arm around the back of Kristen's head, drawing him into a kiss.
At that moment, all resistance inside Kristen disappeared. He willingly, almost eagerly accepted Jason's anima into his mouth. Never in his life had Kristen experienced feeling so loved and so wanted. All the times that he ever doubted that anyone loved or wanted him were now filled with the love Jason was giving him. Deep inside, Kristen knew that it was only Jason's anima and the chemical reactions going on in his brain that were triggering these feelings, but those same deep feelings told Kirsten to not fight it; that regardless of its source it was meeting a need he had always had in the back of his mind.
When the kiss ended, Kristen was surprised to find his thoughts were still his own. Another change was that he now felt weak in Jason's arms, as if he were a child cradled by his father. Looking up at Jason's face, the deep black eyes were still fathomless, but now Kristen could see the emotions behind them...the love and caring Jason felt for the man he had just bonded in creating his third Saint.