A/N: Okay, so I just got a slight burn. Here's part of the message:

Stella? What kind of name is that?

The reviewer then goes on to explain why the name Stella is so incredibly wrong. So, if any of you were wondering about it (and were too polite to write a review with so much scorn injected into it), I will explain the origin of Stella's name.

Stella is a name that means 'star' and is actually quite old. The name itself is a kind of irony, as Abel has already fallen in love with a girl named star, Esther. I did not mean to create a name that seemed too out there, but there were other names that mean star that I am sure the fanfiction community would not be able to understand, especially since I had to go on special websites to look them up myself. So, if any of you don't like the name Stella, I'm sorry but that's part of the story.

Disclaimer: I do not own Trinity Blood, this is now ingrained into my mind, thank you.

The hoe swung in an arc, its metal head glinting in the sun. A second later, the blade buried itself in the soft ground, dragging backwards. Stella straightened her back and cracked her neck. 'This isn't as bad as it could be.' She thought to herself.

Here on the island, all the fathers and nuns were exceptionally quiet. In fact, more than half of the people on the isle had taken vows of silence. Which was fine with her; did she not often complain to Father N… Abel that city life was far too loud for her sensitive Titan ears? Besides, she's only been there for a month; it was not too bad yet, right?

She was going nuts! Honestly, who could stand so much silence? She took her frustration out upon the ground, hitting it repeatedly with the hoe in her hands. She did not notice that a Father was walking towards her before he grabbed the hoe in mid swing. Her eyes widened in surprise; she had not been using all of her strength, but it was a substantial amount. It should have been very difficult for one of these old men to resist the hoe, let alone stop it all together.

She turned about and it was only through many years of diplomacy training (her father had always thought it important) that she was able to keep her jaw from dropping. Towering above her was a mammoth of a man; he must have been more than eight feet tall!

She swallowed hard but looked brazenly into the man's face. He chuckled deeply, sending small vibrations up through Stella's shoes. Setting the hoe on the ground, the man casually wiped his hands on his habit.

"Relax, little one. No one here wishes you harm."

"You believe that," Stella said, wiping her hands on her brown trousers, "then you're not guarding yourself well enough."

Another deep laugh sent vibrations through Stella. "Haha. Little one, I have heard about your strength and your sins, but I have not heard yet of your humor."

Stella roughly grabbed the hoe from the ground and plunged it back into the earth many times. "My sins, eh?"

"Oh, yes." Even on the subject that would be awkward to most, the monk exuded an aura of tranquility, he even seemed amused. Oddly enough, his disposition lifted Stella's spirits slightly. "Abandonment of duties, treason, acts against God, oh my."

Stella offered a sad smile, leaning on the hoe, "You don't seem half as concerned as a monk should be."

The man shrugged, "Perhaps not. If you ask me," he lowered his voice conspiratorially, "it's all a load of nonsense."

For the first time in the month since Stella had come to the island, she smiled genuinely.



"Come on!"

"No."

"Move! Now!"

"No."

"Please?"

"No."

"Damn you!" Michael Leon spat.

Smack! "Who taught you that language you man?" Leon Sr. growled at his son.

"You did!" Michael growled right back, tugging once more at Abel's habit. "Come on, Abel. Get up!"

"I just want to sleep," Abel said quietly.

Leon Sr. rolled his eyes. "You've been sleeping for the past month. Now it's time to stop moping! Sister Ellen said she has an early Christmas gift for you," he urged, attempting to keep his tone calm and convincing.

Abel sighed heavily; he knew that neither of the Leons would leave him be unless he got up. Ever since Stella left, all he wanted to do was sleep. Unlike the days when she was just gone, and he had no idea where she was, Abel had no motivation to throw himself into church duties or help the nuns clean. Whenever he got up, he counted the moments before the day would be over, and he could crawl back into his dreams, where happy reunions with Stella awaited. He had gotten a calendar for his room, and counted down the days until his dreams could finally come to fruition.

"You have five minutes to get your ass out in the hallway or we're coming back here," Michael said.

Smack! "Who the hell taught you that word?"

"I keep tellin' you, old man…"

Abel chuckled softly to himself as his two friends argued on the way out. Some things never changed.

Mindful of Michael's warning, Abel quickly washed and dressed, pulling his hair up into a pony tail and perching his glasses atop his nose. Oddly enough, the way he got dressed reminded him of the mornings after Esther's death, after the numbness had gone away, that is.

Abel felt a pang of guilt. Esther had told him to love again, and yet he vowed he never would. He had gone back on a promise that he had made to himself, but had he fulfilled that promise, Esther would have been disappointed in him. Really, if he kept all the foolish promises he made back then, he would probably not be able to venture outside his room until all had fallen asleep.

Still, he missed Esther's smiling face terribly. It was the memory of her laugh, of her smile, that kept him going through those long years during his battles with Cain. Now, the thought that in one year he would be reunited with Stella go him through the day. It was the same golden feeling he felt all those years ago.

I wonder how long we'll last this time. Abel thought morbidly. No woman that he fell in love with ever lived very long, at least not by Cruisnik standards. But Cain was gone now, and Abel doubted that there were many more evil people that were as strong as Cain. Abel hated to think this way, but Esther and Noelle… they were frail. Human.

Stella was not nearly as frail. She was in fact one of the stronger beings he had ever met in his long centuries. She did not die very easily. She was fast, too. If she had to run, she could buy herself some time should something come after her. No, he was sure she would not die easily.

But she has died, or at least come close to it, twice while she was with you. How many more times has she come so close in her long years? Perhaps stronger is not better. Stronger means more enemies and more chances taken. Can you handle that? A voice in Abel's head cynically called out to him,

Maybe he could protect her. Every time he had lost someone it was because he had been too late. In some cases, he had been merely minutes too late. If she was strong enough to hold on for those few minutes, then perhaps he could protect her.

"Abel!"

Snapped back into reality by the Leon's double-cry Abel quickly finished tying off his hair and ran to meet his friends. Oddly enough, despite the morbidity of his thoughts, Abel felt a little better now.

A/N: Sorry it took so long for an update, but I'm talking to you from grounded land. Also, a bunch of keys on my laptop came off so I have to type a lot more slowly now. If anyone knows how to fix that, help would be appreciated. Review!