Chapter Nine – No Rest for the Wicked

Given that monsters really didn’t need sleep, most mortals tended to automatically assign them to the night watch so that they could rest.

Billy honestly didn’t blame them for that, but he still resented it a little.

Granted, he didn’t sleep much, even when he had the opportunity. Most times after he and Goody had fucked, the demon would drift off into a light slumber and Billy would just watch him. The decades quite literally slid away when the youngest Antichrist was lost to pleasure and sleep, and Billy enjoyed tracing the soft curves of his face with eyes and gentle fingers. It was his own private pleasure to wrap the younger being in his wings and keep watch as they rested until the next morning arrived.

Tonight, though, he wasn’t thinking on pleasure. There were mortals amongst them, even if a couple of those mortals had monster blood to some minor extent, and monsters he was as yet unfamiliar with, so he would watch over them in the nighttime hours.

Vasquez, whatever ancient hungry beast he may be, seemed to pick up almost immediately that it would be safe to feed and rest. The monster had all but fallen on the food provided for them to share by young Miss Emma then settled himself into the space just below where Billy’d set up as his watch position, slid his hat over his eyes, and fell into a deep sleep. Even from nearly ten feet away, the angel could hear the other’s snoring.

Almost exactly across the way but a few feet lower, Faraday had stretched out with his feet facing the east, his own hat over his face as he rested against his saddle in somewhat lighter sleep. Billy still had no idea what variety of Fae the man was, and he knew that Goody would chew on the mystery for ages until Faraday took pity and told him. All the angel was certain of was, that whatever Faraday was he was likely as old as he himself was at a minimum; after all, the Fae had been roaming the earth long before the Host of Christianity started to populate the heavens and hell.

Goody himself had settled into a nook just below Faraday, obviously feeling some level of security in all the older monsters surrounding him, and fallen into a true slumber. Billy could tell because the age faded from the little demon’s features, leaving him looking closer to what his age in the mortal world would be. Amongst the Host, the youngest of Lucifer’s sons would be closer in age to the young widow Cullen and her companion than to Sam Chisolm, and in sleep he looked it.

Billy cast his awareness to the surrounding land, letting his wings truly unfurl as his odd cohort slept around him. Their shadow was wide, and he took a few moments to preen out any damaged feathers before hiding them away again physically yet leaving their shade on the rock behind him. Any wild creatures that gave thought to harassing their camp would be frightened away by his display, and any monsters meaning harm would likely think twice.

After all, humans weren’t the only ones unfamiliar with angels. A wise monster would pass them by once realizing an angel was part of the group.

He let his attention wander through the night, finally opting to slip into a light slumber with the first hint of the sun on the horizon. Goody would likely be rising soon, since he couldn’t stand the thought of the humans guessing how young he truly was and would pull the decades back to his flesh in short order; and Faraday was facing the sun and would probably arise as it drew higher into the morning sky.

What drew him back to full wakefulness, however, was the scent of near-death approaching and the sound of Chisolm’s gun.

Billy was on his feet between one heartbeat and the next, his favorite blade drawn and at the ready. Goody was already crouched in an attack position, looking every inch like a mortal in his mid-forties and holding his rifle in a firm grip; that weapon had dispatched many an enemy directly to the devil himself, and Lucifer was far too fond of his youngest to not accept such gifts happily. Faraday was sitting up, both hands hovering over his guns that, Billy noticed, each had a handle that would prevent him from directly touching the iron. And below him, he could hear Vasquez slowly awakening with a low snarl that sounded like thousands of monsters rather than the one he knew the ancient to be.

Jack Horne was standing just within their little camp, and while the near-death still clung to his flesh like a red flag, he didn’t pay any mind to the monsters. Rather, he used signals that Billy recognized as military to indicate that someone else was approaching from the west, and the angel let his awareness lock onto the future wendigo even as he turned to see who or what was approaching.

He nearly relaxed as he caught sight of the Indian, recognizing the markings on his face as those of a young shaman.

The natives of these lands and the monsters had something of a symbiotic relationship. Those they called shamans were capable of learning the language of the monsters and could speak it aloud even if they could not use the mental version. In point of fact, during the many wars with the white men over these very lands, monsters had taken up arms and fought alongside the Indians. Billy himself had warred with the Kiowa, and he knew Goody had thrown his lot in with the Sioux and Apache tribes at separate times. Given the way that Faraday relaxed as well, it was likely the Fae had rode amongst one of the tribes himself; Vasquez undoubtedly had walked and warred with the natives of Mexico against the Spaniards when they came.

Chisolm called out to the Indian, in the tongue of the Comanche that Billy was passingly familiar with. When the young shaman replied in kind, the angel fully relaxed his stance to turn the bulk of his attention to the proto-wendigo that had somehow not only moved further into their camp but was now standing just in front of his own watch point. A sidelong look revealed that Vasquez had his revolver trained on Horne, teeth still bared and fully prepared to devour the threat. In the meantime, Goody had taken a higher post to train his rifle on Horne while Faraday had his pearl-handled revolver drawn but held loosely; the Fae must feel that the others had things well in-hand but was ready to provide backup if needed.

These were good comrades, Billy realized as a small smile crossed his lips. Even with a threat to them all, the elder monsters were subconsciously moving to keep the youngest in the safest position. And, as the shaman tossed aside the deer he’d hunted down and shared its liver with their mortal leader, their group grew to one more ally. Even if Chisolm had apparently decided Horne following was a good thing—and Billy’d let him live so long as he didn’t turn on his people—the angel would still follow, just to see where this ended.

Besides, he hated witches who thought themselves greater than others more than anyone else in this group. It would be his pleasure to thwart Bogue and his ilk, and he would personally pin the witch down with his blades before his Goody dispatched the man to Lucifer’s domain.

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