Title: Kiss of the Angel
Author: Celyia (cel@celyia.com)
Dedication: This one goes out to the magnificant Alyson Metallium for being not only a stud, but a great friend. *HUGS* Muahaha. Happy birthday. ;-)
Disclaimer: Sorcerer Stabber Orphen and all characters and situations within belongs to its copyright holders. Which, in short, isn't me. :-) As for the original characters and storyline, feel free to take. Just let me know so I can read!

Notes: I'm new to Orphen, so excuse my lack of knowledge. I'll be spelling the words to the best of my ability, but feel free to email me (cel@celyia.com) with corrections. Don't bother with the spelling of the character names, though. :-) Hmm. FFN is going tag-stripping nuts. Not every story is going to have standard formatting so it's a bit of a bitch to put this story up here and still make it readable. Bleh. Sorry if I don't succeed!

As for the story itself, I do hope you like this. Have fun!


Chapter One

From within the shadows, he stood watching, a small smile curving his bloodless lips as he watched the girl stand upon a log. Her beige shift, doing nothing to protect her body from his voyeurism, clung to every curve as she brushed her wet hair from the side of her face.

Stomping hard upon the lichen-embraced wood, the girl stalked back and forth, obviously lost in deep thought. Even though he stood perhaps fifty yards away, he could still hear the angry words spouting thoughtlessly from her pink lips.

Such passion! Such a fire burning within her tiny, lithe body! So much energy, he decided, just waiting to be harnessed.

By him.

The girl would suit perfectly in his plans. No, she just wouldn't merely suit... indeed, she was the key to it all.

Chuckling softly, his engrossed eyes focused on her pretty body as she dove into the water, his every thought so preoccupied by his intricate plans that he never even saw the small dragon that was angrily stalking him.

* * *

She dove back down into the lake, feeling the sweet, blue water splash up as if the pressure alone would tear away all her regrets and sorrows.

With her eyes tightly closed, Cleo remained beneath the water a few moments, almost as she hoped that he would notice her absence.

But she felt no stirring of the water, heard no cries of her name echoing beneath the silent depths. All she could feel was the soft, silky way that the tepid water, no warmer than a slightly old bath, caressed her sun-burnt skin.

Giving up, she swam towards the surface and peeked her head out of the water. Not a person waited on the shore, not a single twig disturbed. Just like so much of her life, Cleo Everlasting found herself completely alone.

And she hated it.

Wrinkling her nose determinedly, she started to make her way towards the shore, trying to ignore the burn of tears as they teased her large, blue eyes. She would not cry over this, not over them. Just because she had the incredibly bad luck to fall in love with a pervert who had the emotional depth of dried puddle ...

Not fair. If that's true, he wouldn't be so determined to rescue Azalie. And if he wasn't determined to rescue Azalie, he wouldn't be the man you love.

... didn't mean she would allow Orphen ruin her life.

With her pointed chin thrust high, Cleo emerged from the water, pulling automatically at her beige shift in order to give her the semblance of modesty. Standing tall, she walked over to the tree on which she had placed her dress and rested her back against the hard bark of the darkwood.

So what if Orphen told me to go home. What does he know, anyway? I was the best partner he ever had and now that I'm going home, he'll know it.

Grinning evilly, Cleo fell against the tree, basking in the euphoria she knew her daydream would grant her. In fact, all she had to do was close her eyes and she could just picture the entire situation in her head:

She would be standing on the balcony, her long blonde hair streaming in the soft breeze, as she would look out towards the dimming light of the dying sun.

Gracefully, a tear would escape her beautiful eyes, only to trail down her flawless cheek, as the sanctity of the sunset embraced her heart and filled her with bittersweet memories of her travels.

Below her, she would her the cries of her hundreds of suitors (more than her sister ever got) as they waited beneath her, hoping for even the slightest glimpse of her perfect (because by that time, Cleo assured herself, her knees would no longer be quite as knobby or her bust quite as small) form.

"Cleo!" she would hear a shout and her heart would stop. Alas, it would be Orphen, standing amidst the crowd of her lovesick worshipers, looking for all intents and purposes like a hurt puppy abandoned on the side of the road.

"I was mistaken, my love! Come back to me! I need you as my partner again! Stephanie was nothing compared to you!" he would call out and jumping with all his power, he would land upon the stone balustrade.

But alas, it wasn't meant to be for Cleo, her heart having had too much heartbreak in so short of time, would take a step back and look at her incredibly tardy (like usual) hero with confusion on her face.

"Do I know you, sir?" she would ask, the soft and quite seductive tones of her voice floating up to grace the air with their very presence.

"Do you not remember me, my love? It is I, Orphen!" he would say with an extravagant flick of his ankle-length (and quite new because he would so want to impress her that the cheapskate would finally replace his torn and ratty one before he even dared step foot in her presence ) cape.

"Orphen?" she would ask, her eyes fluttering softly even as she could see him exhale in amazement at her wondrous beauty, which even he would have to admit, far surpassed Azalie's.

"Orphen," she would smile, her uncallused hand reaching out delicately to the man before her. "Oh, yes. Orphen."

A coy giggle, filled with the mysteries of womanhood would tumble from her slender throat, enticing him- making him regret ever calling her a spoiled brat.

"Please," she would say, "I could never forget. Go to the kitchen and ask the cook for food. We Everlastings would never forget to have extras in our cupboards for orphans and beggars."

And with that, she would glide away (gracefully!) out of his sight, enjoying the enormous CRACK! of his breaking and completely repentant heart.

This wonderful thought should have been enough to make her smile at the very least, but all Cleo could do was wrap her thin arms around her body, wondering why the daydreams never filled her heart up with pleasure anymore.

It was all his fault.

Things had just never been the same since that egotistical, loud-mouthed, evil-eyed sorcerer came prancing into her life: this creature with his flippant ways, his money-grubbing hands, and the most incredible brown eyes she had ever seen.

With a soft sigh, Cleo rested her head against a thin branch, her big eyes searching the small spaces between the towering trees for any signs of her estranged companions.

No sign.

Well, that was just one hundred percent fine with her.

She didn't need Majic and she certainly did need that slant-eyed sorcerer in her life, either.

"Not! Not! I don't need him!" the girl corrected her thoughts immediately, her hand slapping quite hard against her forehead.

Listlessly, she pulled her pink dress down from the sharp branch, her fingers running over the threadbare cotton sentimentally. She would need to purchase a new garment soon: luckily, she was no more than an hour's walk from Totokanta.

Her nose wrinkled as she continued fingering the dress, every bit of her pride screaming out at the indignity of returning home by herself: as if she were nothing more than a truant child dawdling home with the fervent hope her parents would not ask her how her school day went.

Well, it wasn't her fault that Orphen insisted on being such a bully! It wasn't as if she asked for much. It just wasn't fair that he treated everything she said as if it were about as meaningful as a child's babbling. It just wasn't. He even pretended sometimes to take Majic seriously, so why couldn't he ever listen to her?

No, instead he tells her to stop whining and being a spoiled brat.

Now that she thought about it, she wasn't quite sure what she had expected him to say when she said that she was tired of his tyrannical idiocy and was going home.

Maybe she thought he would ask her not to.

Cleo shrugged that thought away as she twisted her fingers within the light fabric, trying not to berate herself over her stupidity. It wasn't as if she hadn't known better: Orphen had always said that his priority is saving Azalie and Cleo could accept that. Sometimes, though, perhaps she became a little jealous of a woman that Cleo believed may have not been the nicest of people, but in the end, she was willing to support Orphen no matter what happened.

So it just wasn't fair. At least he wasn't around now, she tried to comfor herself, even though her heart ached at the knowledge. At least he didn't see her get all upset over what he said. At least he didn't know he had so much power over her.

"Leki!" Cleo croaked out suddenly, feeling the familiar burn once more plague her eyes. How could she possibly go home now? How could she go home and pretend that the last few months never happened? That she didn't really lose her heart to a man she could only call a scoundrel? To go home now would be to pretend that she really was the pesky child he claimed her to be instead of the young woman who had tried her damnedest to help him, to be his strength and shoulder.

But Orphen obviously didn't care.

"'I don't remember anyone asking you to come, Cleo,'" she mimicked nasally, her hands akimbo on her hips. "'Just go home. Why don't you just go home?' Fine, you ungrateful, no-good sorcerer. I'm going home. I hope you're happy now!" she grumbled, every bit of her heart definitely not wishing for the sorcerer's sublime happiness.

"Leki!" she screamed, the anger burbling in her voice. Oblivious to the sounds of pain coming from the thicket to the north, her heart lightened as the little blue creature tumbled out from the depths of the woods, darting towards his beloved mistress.

"At least you love me," she muttered, holding her hands out before her expectantly even as she fell to her knees. A small smile flashed across her face as Leki hopped into her hands, his sandpaper tongue scratching lovingly on her chin. "That's my little boy. Hmm? What on earth were you doing? Is that blood on your nose, sweetie?"

Dismissing the thought as quickly as she could wipe the red substance off of his pert nose, Cleo's mind wandered back to the enigma known as Orphen.

All he saw, all he probably would ever see was Azalie.

So why on earth did she bother? Why care?

"Well, it wasn't as if I had a choice in the matter," she sighed, wrapping the deep dragon tightly in her dress and clutching them both close to her heart. "No choice at all."

Frowning, she stared down at the soft, pink fabric caressing her hands, her heart rampaging over how things could have progressed like this. Completely lost, Cleo bent over the dress, her throat itching as she tried not to think about what could have been and what should be for she knew that thoughts like that would only make her hate more the woman she knew Orphen loved.


Overcome by the heart-stopping grief, Cleo knelt in the marshy grass and wept long after her body started to quake.

Note: Hope you enjoyed that! Sorry if Cleo seems too immature, but she has to have a point from which to grow from, right? :-) Hang in there, I think you'll like where this story is going! Thanks!