A/N: I do not own Kushiel's Legacy, though there are times I wish I did. I hope you enjoy this (short) chapter, and please please please review!
The Journey of Naamah: Heaven
And Naamah and the other Companions followed Elua, not knowing or caring if the eye of the One God was upon them, and where they went they sang, and wound in their hair the flowers that sprang up in blessed Elua's wake. Alone among them, only Cassiel gave thought to Heaven, but he loved Elua too well to abandon him.
~ Earth Begotten, by J. Carey
I cried as I walked away from the Bhodistani town. Mara had changed me, and I felt … odd. Kushiel, that merciful punisher, wrapped a heavily muscled arm around my waist and let me cry into his black robes. Eisheth spoke softly to Elua.
I did not care who watched, nor if what they were thinking as tears ran down my cheeks as we walked. I did not answer their questions of what happened.
How was it possible to love one I had just met? A child, a human child, that had touched me so deeply.
I retreated deep inside my mind, letting Kushiel guide me across the Bhodistani beach. I did not feel the soft sand beneath my feet. I did not notice the flowers that came up where Elua placed his feet, nor how the sun rose over the land. I felt nothing, but thought only of the emotions that coursed through me.
Such confusion I had never felt before.
We traveled quickly, and went far before stopping for the night on a beach. Camael and Anael went to find food in the surrounding forest.
Elua and Cassiel sat next to me, as Kushiel started a fire. I watched the budding flames, but did not see. I expected Elua to speak, but it was Cassiel who did.
"Naamah, why are you mourning for something that was never yours?"
Cassiel was like that, straight and to the point. He never minced with his words; never beat around the bush, as it were.
I did not answer, and a lone tear started its journey down my face.
"Don't cry, Naamah." Cassiel whispered, putting a calloused hand on my knee. "It's not worth crying over."
I tried to control myself, breathing deeply. "Yes, Cassiel. It is worth crying over." I whispered back. "You wouldn't understand this longing."
"This longing for what?"
"A child. I want a child of my own to love and cherish." I pursed my lips in a thin line, gazing at my open palms. My fingers were long and slender, pale as milk.
Cassiel squeezed my knee gently. "I long for heaven."
I looked at him sharply, noticing his gaze went up to the darkening skies. "Why?"
"Adonai treated me well, even if he did forget me. He is old, and such things are excusable." Cassiel murmured, smiling slightly. "There are moments when I want to go back, but I finally found a place where I truly belong."
I saw Elua blush delicately, and raised my eyebrows. "Truly belong, eh?"
Cassiel laughed. "Yes. I belong with Elua, the one that Adonai forgot in his grief."
"Adonai forbade me to practice what he gave me, my passion and desire." I muttered. "I never want to go back to that place, even if it was where I felt safe."
Azza smiled at me from across the fire, his grey eyes sorrowful. "The One God did the same to all of us, in different ways. He called my pride a sin, and his people agreed."
Shemhazai nodded. "He did not want me giving humans information that they could have used, knowledge that could change their lives. Was it not I that gave humans fire, and mathematics? A language to speak with, and writing so that they may speak without speaking?"
Kushiel looked up from the fire. "Pain is love, love is pain. He did not understand that the angels that I punished eventually came to love me for what I did."
It seemed like we were sharing all our woes about the One God. Even though we all knew how we had been wronged, Elua seemed interested.
"Adonai mentioned that singing was unbecoming of a woman, and that singing was an open invitation to any passing man that wanted a cheap prostitute." Eisheth muttered darkly.
Cassiel listened, but I could tell he disagreed with us. Elua, sitting next to Cassiel, was muttering something in Cassiel's ear.
Camael came out of the dense forest, carrying some sort of deer. "Who's hungry?"