23 year old’s eyes flew open when the opening bars to Under Pressure reached her ears. She smiled and turned it up before she jumped out of bed, dancing over to her drawers to grab her running gear. The young woman swapped her PJ’s for them and pulled her hair into a high ponytail, all the while singing the lyrics to the song.
Before long, her trainer clad feet were pounding down the pavement, music blaring in her ears. “Morning Azira!” she called to the bookshop owner as she passed.
“Morning Tessa!” the angel called back. She ran along the embankment and past her little florist’s shop, Leilani. A black Bentley passed by slowing down as its occupant, a demon named Crowley turned his head to look at the blonde. Now he’d seen his fair share of human females in the thousands of years but none of them had caught his eye like she had. And it nearly made him crash the car if not for his quick flexes.
Once Tessa was done with her run, she went straight for the shower to freshen up. She then had a quick bite eat before heading out to work. “Hey, guys”, she softly greeted to the flowers and plants inside her shop as she prepared the place for opening.
It was where Crowley saw her next, adjusting the window display. He watched, fascinated as she gently caressed the leaves and petals. That was the kind of care and devotion that he gave to his plants. And yet some of them saw fit to have spots on their leaves. Maybe this young lady might be able to help him? With that idea in mind he headed off to his home to choose a plant to show her.
Tessa hummed a tune under her breath as she carefully pruned her bonsai tree on the counter by her till that is until the bell over the door rang, signalling that a customer had entered. “Good morning”, the blonde greeted, looking up “Welcome to Leilani. I’m Tessa, how may I help you?”
“I was wondering if you could help me with this?” Crowley asked producing a small potted plant “no matter what I do, I couldn’t stop these infernal spots”.
Tessa took the plant from him, setting it down on the counter. “Those are quite common”, she said touching the leaves.
“Can you get rid of them?” Crowley asked.
“Course I can”, Tessa replied “it’ll only take a minute”. She took the potted plant into the back room and the demon wandered around the shop, inspecting the plants and flowers while he waited. “Here you go, all done”, Tessa said making him look over at her.
Crowley took the plant from her and saw the leaves were spot free “thank you”, he said, thankful he didn’t have to resort to removing the leaves or destroying the plant completely.
“You’re welcome”, Tessa said.
“How much do I owe you?” the demon questioned.
“You don’t owe me anything. For such a small job, it’s on me”, Tessa answered.
Normally, Crowley would be content to have something for free. Heck, he often used his powers to get just that but for some reason he didn’t feel right about it this time. “Let me give you something for it”, he said taking out some money from his pocket “please”, he added holding it out.
“Alright”, Tessa said, seeing that he really wanted to give her money for it. When she reached out to take the money, her fingers brushed his and the demon felt sparks upon contact. A warmth blossomed in his chest suddenly bloomed in his chest. It wasn’t painful. Rather it was very comforting. He stared into her blue eyes feeling this undeniable pull toward her. To be honest what he was feeling should make him uneasy but it didn’t. In fact it was like for the first time in over 6,000 years, everything had fallen into place. “This is quite a bit much for one little plant”, Tessa remarked bringing him out of his thoughts.
“Well, I’ve got a few more plants that could do with your help”, Crowley admitted “that should cover it all”. That was a lie. He didn’t have any more and he wasn’t about to let her give the money back. Actually he’d be more than happy to give her more…he’d give her anything she wanted.
“That will more than cover it”, Tessa said, going over to the till to pop the money inside “shop hours are 9 till 5, Monday to Friday. Just bring you plants in and I’ll work my magic. What’s your name?” she asked “just so I know who to expect next time”.
“Anthony Crowley”, the demon replied “and you’re Tessa, right?”
The blonde nodded “Yes”, she confirmed “Tessa Nightingale”.
Tessa Nightingale…lovely name for a lovely lady the demon thought. “I’ll see you later Tessa, with more plants”, he said.
“I look forward to it”, Tessa said with a smile. Crowley returned it and left the shop. Not long after he left, Veronica Blake swept in, carrying a large binder. Tessa barely suppressed a groan. She was the worst customer that she ever had. The woman always had the most outrageous requests and demands that they be done in a timely fashion. She also had a habit of changing her mind so many times that by the end of it, Tessa had the overwhelming urge to strangle her.
Veronica opened up the binder to show her some centrepieces. “I want 50 of these done”, she ordered pointing one particular arrangement “and one of those for the main table”.
“Of course”, Tessa said noting it all down “I’d say you’re looking £800 to £900 mark price wise. Its also gonna take up to a month”.
Veronica looked at her shocked “that’s not good enough. You will have them done same time next week and if you’re lucky you’ll get £450 for a job well done”, she said, haughtily.
“I’m afraid you’ll have to take your business elsewhere”, Tessa informed her “I cannot do what you ask in the timeframe you’ve given me”.
“You will get these done by next week otherwise you may find that you’ll struggle with next month’s rent”, Veronica threatened. Tessa’s jaw clenched and her hand curled into a fist.
“I’ll do my best”, she said in as calm a voice as she could manage.
“Good”, Veronica said, scooping up the binder from the counter and walked out of the shop. Tessa sighed and dropped her head on the counter with a dull thunk.
“Afternoon Angel”, Crowley greeted as he wandered into the bookshop. He’d been in a very good mood since meeting Tessa that morning and to be honest he didn’t want to stop feeling that way.
Aziraphale raised his brows at how chipper the demon looked which was rather out of character for him “Afternoon Crowley”, the angel greeted back “you seem unusually happy today”.
“What’s wrong with that?” Crowley asked leaning against a post, arms folded.
“Nothing at all”, Aziraphale replied “just a bit out of character for you. So whats got you in such a good mood?” he asked. Crowley opened his mouth to respond when Tessa walked past the window. Immediately his head turned towards her, a smile creeping onto his face. It didn’t take a genius to work out that it was the florist that had gotten the demon in a good mood. “Tessa? Oh, no, no, no! you stay away from her”, Aziraphale said sternly.
“Why?” Crowley questioned.
“She’s a good person who deserves to be loved and cared for”, Aziraphale answered “not to be corrupted by the likes of you”.
“Oh a little bit of corruption is good for the soul”, Crowley remarked “Wouldn’t mind being Tessa’s”, he added with a mutter which the angel heard.
“Please, Crowley don’t do it”, Aziraphale pleaded “you can do it to someone else, just not her”.
“I gotta go”, Crowley said, ignoring him “got to choose a plant for Tessa to fix”. Aziraphale watched him go with worried eyes.
“Oh, I do hope he doesn’t hurt her”, he said to himself. Maybe he should warn Tessa about the demon…?
Tessa sank down onto her sofa, propping her feet up. She picked up her mug of tea and took a sip of the hot liquid. The blonde sighed. That was just what she needed after a long day of work, dealing with nice customers in between she-who-shall-not-be-name’s order.
She shifted the mug into one hand while she switched on the TV, turning it to the movie she’d been watching the night before. Once the movie was over, Tessa dumped her mug in the sink and went to bed.
The next morning, Tessa went about her usual routine. The only difference was that when she was approaching the section of her run where she’d pass Aziraphale, the angel stepped out, blocking her path. “Is everything alright Azira?” Tessa asked, taking out her earbuds. He’d never stopped her before. Well…there was that one time when she first started six months ago but apart from that, he never stopped her again.
“No, not exactly”, Aziraphale replied “I want to talk to you…well warn you about Crowley”.
“You mean Anthony?” Tessa asked.
“Y-yes him”, the angel confirmed “he’s not what he seems. He’ll tempt you into doing thing you wouldn’t normally do. For your own safety, you need to stay away from him”.
“Azira…its really sweet that you’re concerned but Anthony is just another customer”, Tessa assured him “I’m pretty sure that once I’ve helped his other plants, I wont see him again”. She put her earbuds back into her ears and ran off. Aziraphale watched her disappearing form and sighed.
“That went well”, he muttered to himself, rather disheartened that she didn’t believe him. He couldn’t give up! He just couldn’t! Aziraphale slipped inside his shop. He needed tea, lots of it if he was going to figure out how to keep Tessa safe from Crowley.
As Tessa walked up to her shop, Veronica was standing there, impatiently. “What time do you call this?” she demanded.
“Uh…half an hour before I open?” Tessa said digging her keys out of her bag.
“Don’t get smart with me young lady!” Veronica snapped “I’ve been waiting here for ages!”
“My shop opens at 9”, Tessa stated unlocking the door and stepping inside “you are fully aware of this so if you want to turn up early, that is not my fault”. Veronica gaped at her like a fish as the blonde busied herself around the little building, getting it ready.
“How much of my order did you get done?” Veronica decided to ask instead of having a go at her.
“The main table centrepiece”, Tessa answered.
“That’s it?!” the older woman exclaimed, her voice rising “that’s not good enough”.
“I was busy”, Tessa informed her, tweaking a display “I had other customers to deal with”.
“Well, from now on you’ll be focusing on my order and mine alone”, Veronica ordered “unless you want that rent of yours to go sky high”.
Tessa’s hands shook with anger but she took a deep breath to reign it in. She turned to the woman “I’m not going to forgo my other customers for you”, she calmly said “but I’ll put in some extra hours in the evening to focus on your order”.
It wasn’t what Veronica wanted to hear, however it was a comprise she could accept…for the moment. “Very well”, she said “I’ll be checking in tomorrow and you’d better make more progress” and with that she swept out of the shop.
“Bitch”, Tessa grumbled and continued setting up. She did her best to put on a friendly face for the people who stopped by. They didn’t deserve her foul mood. In between helping them, she carried on with Veronica’s order. She was so focused in trying to get as much of it done, that before she knew it, it was almost 6.
The young woman stepped out from behind the counter to lock up the store when the world suddenly tilted and she fell to the floor. That was were Crowley found her, minutes later. “Tessa!” he exclaimed rushing over to her, taking care to put his plant down first. He’d meant to come over sooner but he had some things to take care of beforehand. “What happened?” he asked, easing her into a sitting postion.
“Went to go lock the door…the world went spinny and down I went”, Tessa explained “it could be because I haven’t eaten yet”.
“Well, then lets get you some food”, Crowley said helping her up “there’s a table for two Ritz”.
“One: I’d never be let into the Ritz, least of all looking like this” Tessa gestured to herself, tendrils of blonde hair falling out of the bun on her head and glitter spotted on her clothes “Two: I have this big order for Mrs Blake that needs finishing for by next week. And she’s gonna be checking up on me in the morning and…”
“Screw her”, Crowley cut in, rather bluntly “don’t risk your wellbeing because you’re trying to please some uppity woman. And I’ll be there tomorrow to set her straight if she starts on you”.
“Please don’t Anthony”, Tessa said “it’ll just make things worse”.
“Ok, I won’t”, Crowley said though he had no intention of keeping his word “now, the Ritz awaits”.
“I still don’t think a fancy restaurant is such a good idea”, Tessa said flicking the lights off and locking the door, the demon staying close in case she seemed like she was going to fall down again.
“Where would you like to go instead?” Crowley asked.
“Mmm…I’m seriously craving a pizza. How about Pizza Hut?” Tessa suggested.
“Sure”, Crowley agreed. Not his first choice but if that’s where she wanted to go, then that’s where he’ll take her.
Tessa settled back in the front seat of Crowley’s Bentley very warm and full from all that pizza she ate. All that food was making her very sleepy too. “Thanks for dinner Anthony”, she murmured, resting her head against the window.
“You’re welcome”, Crowley said and started up the car. He’d learnt a little about the young florist during dinner, including how she’d always had a love for not just flowers and plants but nature in general. He was also pleased to discover that she liked to listen to Queen too.
It was several minutes later when he pulled up to her building. He reached over and gently shook the slumbering blonde awake. “Mmm?” Tessa mumbled sleepily, opening her eyes to look at him.
“We’re here”, Crowley said.
“Right”, Tessa said. She was about to open the car door when the demon opened it for her “thanks”.
“Do you want me to pick you up tomorrow?” Crowley asked as she stepped out of the car “you know, to take you work”.
“That’s very kind of you but I’d rather walk though I will definitely see you at my shop where your little plant will be right as rain”, Tessa replied “And you better be on your best behaviour. So no ticking off Mrs Blake”, she added in a stern tone.
“I make no promises”, the demon said.
“I suppose that’s the best I’m going to get”, Tessa said “goodnight Anthony”.
“Goodnight Tessa”, Crowley said.
“Tessa can I have a word?” Aziraphale asked as she blew past him the next morning.
“Later Azira!” the blonde called back. The angel sighed, disappointed that he couldn’t talk to her. Maybe he’ll swing by her shop later to attempt to have another conversation with her. As she ran past her shop, Veronica was standing there. The woman blocked her path, forcing the blonde to stop.
“Isn’t this a nice coincidence?” Veronica remarked.
“I guess”, Tessa said slowly.
“Since we’re both here now, do you think I could inspect your handy work?” Veronica asked.
“I don’t have the shop key on me right now”, Tessa said “but if you wanna wait here, I’ll be back in about an hour and I’ll show you then”. She tried to step around her but the older woman grabbed her arm.
“I want to see it NOW”, Veronica demanded, digging her nails into Tessa’s skin.
“I don’t have the key on me right now!” the blonde insisted.
“Good morning, Tessa”, Crowley greeted, suddenly appearing behind her. Veronica quickly released the younger woman. “How are you, love?” the demon asked, sliding an arm around Tessa’s waist, pressing a kiss to her temple.
“I’m fine”, she replied, rather surprised by the affection he was giving her.
“And you must be Veronica Blake”, Crowley said, turning his attention to the other female who, he was pleased to note, was looking rather uncomfortable “My girl here has told me all about you”.
“Oh?” Veronica asked “what did tell you?”
“She told me that you’re very demanding and have unrealistic expectations”, Crowley answered “now I suggest that you leave, right now”. Much to the relief of Tessa, Veronica left without saying a word.
“Thanks for the save”, she said, stepping away from the demon.
“You’re welcome”, Crowley said.
“I better get back to my place”, Tessa said “otherwise I’m gonna be late to open up”, she added nodding to the shop.
“Want some company?” Crowley offered.
“Only if you can keep up in those trousers of yours”, Tessa said and took off before he could respond. The demon ran after her. He could’ve easily fallen into step with her but he had a much better view hanging back.
“So this is your home”, Crowley remarked as Tessa let him into her flat.
“Yep”, Tessa said, dropping her keys into the little bowl by the door “I’m gonna go freshen up. Be back in a minute”. While she showered, Crowley poked around her little place. It was nice he supposed, not the kind of place he would live in but it definitely suited Tessa.
She wasn’t kidding when she told him that she always loved nature. There were flowers and plants dotted all over the place and they were all thriving. A couple of landscapes hung on the walls and a few photos as well. One particular photograph caught his eye. It was of Tessa in a white dress standing on a beach at sunset. With the light, her outfit and the way she was standing…she looked almost ethereal.
He then spotted another photograph, one that was turned around. Crowley picked it up and flipped it over to see a young man next to Tessa, both smiling at each other. “Ok Anthony I’m ready to…” Tessa trailed off when she saw Crowley holding the photograph. She walked over to him and snatched it out of his hands “you shouldn’t look through other people’s stuff”, she scolded before tossing it onto the sofa “now, we’re going to go to my shop so I can fix your plant and then you’re going to leave”.
She didn’t bother to wait for Crowley to say anything or to even apologise when she walked out. He glanced at the photograph wondering who that man was and why she had such as reaction to him looking at the picture.
“Tessa I’m sorry”, the demon said as they walked down the street “I shouldn’t have done that”.
“No, you shouldn’t have”, the blonde said, crossly “and I’m not talking to you about it cos its none of your damn business”. Crowley was disappointed but he understood. People were allowed to have secrets. Heck he had a really big one…he was a demon.
The moment Tessa got to the shop, she scooped up Crowley’s plant and disappeared into her back room. She came back a moment later. “Here”, she said pushing the plant at him “I suggest you don’t come back for a while”.
Crowley nodded “ok”, he agreed. Tessa watched him go before she crossed to the door, locked it and flipped the sign to closed. She sank to the floor, pressing her face against her legs and let out a scream, the sound being muffled by the denim.
Tessa opened the door to her flat when she heard a knock at the door. She was surprised to see Aziraphale on the other side holding a bouquet of Lilies. “Azira? What are you doing here with…flowers?” the blonde asked, confused.
“Oh, they weren’t from me. I found them at the front desk”, Aziraphale explained.
“Oh…thanks for bringing them up”, Tessa said taking them from him “so what are you doing here then?”
“I came to talk to you about something, its rather important”, the angel replied.
“Alright”, Tessa said, stepping aside to let him in “would you like some tea?” she asked.
“Yes, please”, Aziraphale answered. Tessa nodded and headed into the kitchen to brew them both a mug of tea. She set the bouquet down on the counter which is when she noticed the little card tucked inside with the flowers. Tessa pulled it out and opened it up.
Tessa sighed, setting the card down. Maybe she overreacted a bit when she saw him with the
photograph but she couldn’t help it. She reached up and touched her shoulder blade, tracing the scar hidden by her shirt. Tessa let out a shaky breath, dropping her hand, fiercely blinking away the tears that threatened to form. No! She wasn’t going to shed any tears over what that…monster had done to her. She was NOT going to revert back to that broken woman again.
She popped the flowers into a vase and made the tea. “So, what’s this important thing you needed to tell me?” Tessa asked setting the mugs down on the coffee table.
“Its about Cr- Anthony”, Aziraphale said making Tessa sigh “please just hear me out”, the angel quickly “you really aren’t safe around him. He’s dangerous”.
“Azira would someone dangerous get me flowers to apologise?” Tessa questioned “defend me to my most difficult customer?” she touched his arm “I love you but you’ve really got stop being so protective of me”.
“I can’t help it”, Aziraphale admitted “ever since…you-know-who, I’ve been concerned with your wellbeing”.
“He’s gone Azira and he’s never coming back”, Tessa stated, trying to keep the tremble from her voice. She picked up her mug and took a sip of the liquid. The pair fell into silence which was filled with them drinking their tea. Eventually, Tessa was seeing Aziraphale to the door. “Thanks again for coming Azira and please don’t say any more about Anthony being dangerous”, she said.
The angel sighed “Alright, fine I won’t”, he reluctantly agreed. It was clear that she wasn’t going to believe him but short of telling her the truth, her view point wasn’t going to change.
Tessa faltered when she saw Crowley standing outside her shop. “Look, I know you told me not to come back for a while but I needed to see you”, the demon admitted “did you get the lilies?”
“I did and I love them”, Tessa replied “I’m also sorry too. You didn’t deserve the way I reacted. To be honest, I should’ve hidden the photo away” she moved over to the door and unlocked it “if you’ve not got anything else to do, you’re more then welcome to hang around here”, she offered pushing the door open.
“I’ve got some time to kill”, Crowley said. Well…he had all day really. Didn’t have anything planned except to talk to Tessa.
“Great!” the blonde said with a smile and stepped inside “just don’t scare off any of the customers”, she added, pointing at him warningly.
“Veronica being the exception?” Crowley asked.
“Yes, she’s the exception”, Tessa replied and the demon grinned.
“So…” Crowley moved toward her, backing her against the counter “how affectionate should I be in case she decides to show up?”
“I…um…don’t think you need to do that”, Tessa answered “she’s not likely to come here after yesterday”.
“Well, just to on the safe side…” Crowley leaned in “should I be this affectionate?” he murmured in her ear, settling a hand on her waist and pressing a kiss just below her ear. Tessa’s eyes fluttered closed as he moved down to her jawline.
She was vaguely aware that the bell over the door just ring but it didn’t really register with her until an all too familiar voice spoke “This is a familiar sight”. Tessa’s eyes flew open and she pushed Crowley aside to see someone she’d thought was in her past, Hal Riley. “Though it was usually me doing that”, Hal smiled at Tessa “hello Tess. Miss me?”
Tessa stared at her ex, everything he did to her came rushing to the surface. “Hal…” she managed to say, weakly.
“And who is this?” Hal questioned eyeing Crowley “your new…special someone?” he smirked “Hate to tell you this, new guy but Tessa is mine. No matter what you do, she’ll always belong to me”.
The demon surged forward, grabbing the man and slamming him against the wall. “She’s not property”, he said angrily, his serpentine eyes flashing dangerously from behind his sunglasses “you DON’T own her”.
“Tell that to the marks I left on her”, Hal shot back, glancing at Tessa “as long as she has those, she belongs to me. And they’re never going away. So she’ll always be mine”. Crowley followed his gaze to see the blonde trembling and in tears. She was terrified. That made him even angrier. He should tear him limb from limb!!
The only thing stopping him was the scared young woman in the room. He wasn’t going to traumatise her any more than she already was with her ex’s return. Instead he lowered his glasses enough to show Hal his eyes, smirking in satisfaction when the human looked scared. “I want you to leave this shop…leave London. And never return”, he ordered. Though of course he wasn’t going to let Hal go that easily. He was just going to deal with im later.
“Y-yeah sure! I-I’ll do that”, Hal stammered.
“Good”, Crowley said. He released Hal and the man scarpered. The demon pushed his glasses up, covering his eyes before he went over to Tessa. He put his arms around her and the blonde buried her face in his chest, sobbing.
It had taken a while but Crowley had managed to get Tessa calm enough so she could get some sleep. “Please stay”, the blonde pleaded sleepily, grabbing his hand when he tried to go “I don’t want to be alone. I don’t feel safe”.
Crowley sighed. He really should just go and exact some demonic vengeance on Hal fucking Riley. But there was something with the way she spoke…and he decided to stay. “Alright, I’ll stay”, he agreed.
“Here”, Tessa said patting the pace next to her. The demon didn’t waste any time taking his shoes off and sliding under the covers next to her. As she was practically asleep, he took off his glasses. “Thank you”, Tessa mumbled, her eyes already drifting shut.
“You’re welcome”, Crowley said. He didn’t think this would be the way that he’d eventually get into bed with Tessa and yet here he is, laying next to a young woman who’d just had a nightmare from her past resurface. And he didn’t feel any inclination to do anything that he’d usually do. In fact, all he wanted to do right now was to comfort her. That and get revenge on Hal. His eyes flickered to one of her plants and he smirked. Time for a little demonic miracle.
In a pub, Hal Riley was drinking heavily, trying to get those freakish eyes from his mind. He closed his eyes and shuddered recalling how they looked right into him. There was a scrape across the bar and he opened his eyes to see a plant identical to the one Tessa had at her home sitting there. He watched an evil face form in the flower. “You hurt Tessa”, it said in a monster like voice “now you pay!” Hal screamed as the leaves shot out trying to grab him. He threw himself off the stool and rushed out of the pub as fast as he could.
Back at the flat, Crowley’s smirk grew wider knowing that his little miracle worked. He shifted closer to Tessa until his back was pressed against her chest. He slung a protective arm over her, closed his eyes and fell asleep.
Crowley was the first one to wake and found that they were still curled up together. Tessa’s shirt had slipped a bit, exposing her shoulder. He stared at the scar on her skin. That bastard said he’d marked her… he slowly lifted her shirt away and saw the extent of what that man had done to her. Anger bubbled up inside of him as he took them all in. In that moment he knew his little demonic miracle wasn’t enough. Hal Riley deserved complete and utter hell. With that in mind, he slipped out of bed and left the flat making sure to grab his glasses on the way. He strode toward his Bentley and drove off, all the while thinking of ways to make Tessa’s ex suffer. It didn’t take him long to track him down. Of course it didn’t considering he used a demonic miracle.
“Oh god”, Hal breathed staring at the approaching demon, terrified.
“God can’t help you now”, Crowley said, angrily “I’ve seen the scars” he took off his sunglasses, glaring at him with his yellow eyes “and now you’ll pay”. Hal screamed as the demon rushed at him…
Tessa woke to find herself alone. “Anthony? You here?” she called sliding out of bed, padding out of the room. There was no answer and she didn’t find him in the living room or the kitchen. However, she did find a short note on the counter.
I had something I needed to do. See you later
The blonde set the note aside and started on making herself breakfast. She went out into the living room where she laid eyes on the photograph. Her breathing quickened and her hands shook. Tea splattered the carpet along with milk and cereal as her hands trembled. All those memories she’d tried to keep buried came rushing to the surface. She felt a flash of pain across her back, it was like a burning sensation which made her scream, dropping the cup and bowl. There was another phantom pain which sent her to the floor. Tessa curled up on the carpet and sobbed.
Several blocks away, Crowley emerged from a shadowy alleyway, Hal’s screams still ringing in his ears. It didn’t bother him though. That man had gotten what he deserved…and more. He caught sight of himself in the Bentley’s windows and made a face. His face and jacket were speckled with blood and other things. With a quick demonic miracle he was now clean. The demon got into the car and drove back to Tessa’s home.
When he reached the flat door, he heard a scream which had him kicking down the door. Crowley found Tessa curled up on the floor shaking and crying. She let out a small scream when he touch her shoulder, jerking back. “It’s me”, he said, softly.
“A-Anthony?” Tessa asked, quietly, peering up at him through puffy, red eyes.
“It’s me”, the demon repeated. The blonde let out a sob, breaking down into a fresh round of tears. Crowley drew her into his arms, holding onto her as she cried.
“I can feel it”, she whispered, clutching his jacket tightly “every cut… every burn…” she sobbed “why! Why did he come back now!”
“You don’t have to worry about him anymore. He’d not coming back”, Crowley said quietly.
“You can’t know that!” Tessa cried “he’ll come back and he’ll hurt me even more!”
“Hey, look at me”, the demon said softly and she looked up at him “he is never coming back”, he said with such conviction that Tessa very nearly believed him “and I won’t let anyone else hurt you”, he promised. Tessa buried her head into his chest, tears still running down her face.
“Thank you”, she mumbled.
“You’re welcome”, Crowley said. As he sat there holding onto the crying woman, he started to wonder why he felt so protective over her. Did it have something to do with the connection he felt when he touched her hand? And what about being nice? He was a demon, he’s never nice. Well… only a little bit to Aziraphale but that’s only because the angel was his best friend, despite how many times he’ll insist that they weren’t friends. Though now it seemed like the tiny slither of goodness that he had deep, deep down inside of him was being shared between not one but two people. Well…one angel and one incredible young woman.
“I need to work”, Tessa insisted when Crowley had ushered her back to bed after she’d stopped crying. Even though she was both physically and emotionally drained at this point, she wanted to do something to keep her mind occupied.
“Work can wait. You need to rest”, the demon said.
“I’ll rest later”, Tessa said, though her eyes were starting to droop “do me a favour….get rid of that infernal photo”. She couldn’t have that in her home anymore.
“Of course”, Crowley said.
“Thank you”, Tessa mumbled before she fell asleep. Crowley left her room and went into the living room to where she had ‘hidden’ the picture. He picked it up and made it burst into flames. He then settled down onto the sofa, turning the TV on with the volume down low. Crowley wasn’t watching it for very long when Tessa started screaming.
The demon bolted off the sofa and into her room. He took the young woman into his arms, assuring her that it was just a nightmare. There he stayed until she stopped crying. “I’m sorry”, Tessa sniffled.
“You have nothing to be sorry for”, Crowley said, rubbing her back.
Tessa spent the rest of the day with Crowley, curled up on the sofa binge watching movies. “Thanks for staying with me”, she said as she saw him to the door, in the late afternoon.
“It was no problem”, Crowley said “will I see you tomorrow?”
“Probably”, Tessa replied “I’ll be at the shop tomorrow”.
“You sure that’s a good idea?” the demon asked.
“Honestly? I highly doubt it”, the blonde answered truthfully “But I need to at least try. If I don’t, I’m just gonna be here and thinking about…him and what he did…” Tessa shook her head “I need to get my mind focusing on something else”.
“Alright”, Crowley said “I’ll swing by the shop tomorrow”.
“See you there”, Tessa said and closed the door.
The next day Tessa went about her daily routine. She smiled when she saw that het photograph was no longer her flat. While it couldn’t erase what that monster had done, it made her feel a little bit happier. Once she’d eaten, she headed out on her run. When she finished she headed to her shop like normal.
“Oh, you poor thing”, Tessa murmured seeing that one of the plants, an orchid had started wilting a bit. She cupped her hands around the poorly petals and concentrated. When Tessa moved her hands away, the petals were healthy. She smiled “That’s much better isn’t it?” she asked touching the plant. She went into to the back room and sighed, seeing the mountain of work she still had left to do for Veronica’s order in her back room. She took some of it out, plopped it onto the counter and got to work.
The bell jingled above the door and she looked up to see Hispanic woman enter. “Welcome to Leilani”, Tessa greeted “I’m Tessa, how may I help you?”
“I’m Isabella Lopez and I am looking for some flowers for my daughter, Savannah, Quinceañera”, the woman replied. Tessa cleared the counter, popping the stuff into he back room and brought out a folder.
“I’ve got a few choices here with both modern and traditional bouquets”, she explained, setting the folder onto the counter and flipping slowly through it to show Isabella some of the different ones “of course there’s also the option of a custom order so the bouquet can be created to suit your daughter better”.
“May I take this home?” the older woman asked.
“I have a smaller leaflet”, Tessa rooted around behind the counter and pulled it out “take your time to look it over. Shop’s hours are 9 till 6, Monday to Friday so feel free to drop by with your daughter” she also handed over a little contact card to Isabella “this has the number for the shop and my home number if you ever need to contact me outside of shop hours”.
“Thank you, Miss Tessa”, Isabella said.
“You’re welcome”, Tessa said “I look forward to seeing what you and Savannah decides”. She waved at Isabella as she left and started toward the back room to pick up where she left off when the bell jingled again. “Hi wel…” she began, turning around and trailed off when she saw it was Crowley “Anthony”, she said with a smile.
“Hey Tessa. I brought you something”, Crowley said and produced a rather sickly looking plant.
“You really shouldn’t have”, Tessa remarked, taking it “I’m guessing you want me to work my magic?”
“If you don’t mind”, Crowley replied. He didn’t like making his plant purposefully wilt but he wanted to give her something to focus on like she wanted so she wouldn’t be thinking about Hal.
“I’ll be back in a moment”, Tessa said and ducked into the back, pushing the door behind her. She placed it onto the table and held her hands over it. Slowly but surely the leaves started to look less wilted and have a healthier green shade to them. She picked it up and took it back to Crowley “Here you go”, Tessa said.
“You have to tell me your secret”, Crowley said, completely amazed at how quickly she’d reversed what she’d done.
Tessa smiled at him “Sorry Anthony but a girl has to keep some secrets”, she said in a teasing tone. Though in all seriousness, she wasn’t sure how he would take the news about her little…gift. The last person who found out, it didn’t end well.
“Tessa?” Crowley asked, concerned as she suddenly paled and her breathing quickened. He set his plant down when she started to shake. He gently took hold of her “you’re ok”, he said softly “just breathe”.
“I…can’t”, Tessa gasped, sliding into full on panic attack.
“Yes, you can”, Crowley said “take deep breaths with me”. He started to breathe deeply and slowly Tessa joined in. The more she did it, the less panicked she was. “There you go”, he said, seeing that the panic attack was over.
“I’m sorry”, Tessa said leaning against him, seeking comfort from the demon. Crowley wound his arms around her, holding her close.
“You don’t need to apologise. It’s not your fault.”, he said “Why don’t you call it a day?”
“Yeah, good idea”, Tessa agreed. She didn’t want to close early but if she had another panic attack like that, she wouldn’t be good to any of her customers.
Crowley sat back in the booth at the club watching Tessa dance, seemingly have a good time. He thought it would be nice for her to get out and have some fun, relax a bit. After the two days of being woken up by screaming and her panic attacks, she definitely needed this. To be honest he could do with a little fun too though it was not about him tonight.
“No”, Tessa said slapping a pair of hands away as they wandered too close for comfort. The man who’s been dancing close to her for the past few songs, didn’t listen. “I said no!” she repeated louder “stop it!” Tessa exclaimed when he grabbed her tightly. That had Crowley out of the both, shoving the man away from her.
“She said ‘stop’”, the demon said, glaring at the human.
“Hey man, she was coming onto me”, the man slurred, putting his hands up.
“Was not”, Tessa shot back, glaring at him as best she could while she was tipsy “you too handsy”.
“Can you blame me?” the man asked, openly leering at her “dressed like that, its impossible not to touch you. I just wanna get you alone and run my hands all over you tight little body” Crowley’s jaw clenched “I bet you’re a screamer in bed…”
SMACK! The drunken man’s head snapped to the side as the demon’s fist slammed into his cheek. “Never talk about her like that”, Crowley said in a low, dangerous voice. He took Tessa’s hand and carefully led her out of the club.
“I’m sorry”, she mumbled “I ruined the night”.
“No, you didn’t”, Crowley assured her, forcing himself to calm down. She didn’t deserve his anger and if he calmed down enough he wouldn’t he tempted to hunt that lowlife down later and put the fear of…well him into that bastard.
“He was just so grabby and handsy”, Tessa stated “it was like he was made of hands” she giggled at that which made the demon chuckle too “c-can you imagine?” she waggled her fingers, laughing “whoops!” she said when she stumbled into Crowley “you have nice hands”, she remarked, glancing down at them where they rested on her arms “keep me safe”, she added. She glanced up at him “can I go home now?”
“That’s probably best”, Crowley replied. He scooped her up and carried her to his car.
“Easy there”, Crowley said, steering her Tessa away from one of her hanging plants.
“But its sooo pretty”, the blonde said pouting. She then looked at him “you’re so pretty too”, she added.
“Thanks”, Crowley said. Though the night had been a bit of a bust thanks to that drunken idiot, he was still amused by her antics and what she said.
“I should dye my hair ginger”, Tessa suddenly stated.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea”, Crowley said “you’re much nicer as a blonde”.
“Aw…Tony you make my blush”, Tessa said, leaning on him more. Crowley got her to the bed and sat her down on it. He went to take off her shoes when she put a finger to his lips. “Shh….no talking, the singing potatoes are about to start”. She moved her finger away and laid down. Crowley slid her shoes off and she curled up in a ball “Don’t forget to feed the ducks”, Tessa added in a mumble “they get very cranky”.
“I won’t”, he promised her.
“Night, night strawberry”, Tessa said before she fell asleep. Crowley pulled the duvet over her and pressed a kiss to her temple.
“Goodnight, Tessa”, he whispered. He knew that she was going to have a hangover in the morning unless…Crowley rubbed her temples with his fingers using a little demonic miracle to ensure she woke up hang over free.
Tessa’s face scrunched up as she stirred. Her eyes flickered open and she was surprised that she didn’t have a killer headache given the amount of alcohol that she’d consumed the night before. She slid out of bed and quietly padded out of the room. She smiled seeing a sleeping Crowley on her sofa. The blonde watched him for a moment before she headed into the kitchen to make breakfast. A nice cooked breakfast was the least she could do after her drunken antics last night. Tessa cringed as she remembered. “I’m not drinking that heavily ever again”, she muttered as she took out bits and pieces from the fridge, setting them onto the counter. Tessa popped the radio on so she had something to listen to while cooked.
When Crowley woke up, smelt bacon and heard…singing? Curious he went over to the kitchen and pushed the door open. Inside Tessa was standing over a pan, stirring away, singing to a song on the radio.
Don't go breaking my heart
I couldn't if I tried
Oh, honey if I get restless
Baby you're not that kind
Tessa looked over at the doorway when she heard Crowley joining in. She smiled.
Don't go breaking my heart
You take the weight off of me
Crowley walked into the room.
Oh, honey when you knocked on my door
I gave you my key
He took her hands, spun her into him, wrapping his arms around her waist.
Nobody knows it
They sung together, Tessa leaning her back into his chest more.
When I was down
I was your clown
Tessa looked up at him, making a face and the demon laughed.
Nobody knows it
Right from the start
I gave you my heart
I gave you my heart
The blonde twisted around in his arms.
So don't go breaking my heart
She tapped him on the chest.
I won't go breaking your heart
Crowley kept one hand on her waist and took the hand that tapped him, holding it to his heart.
Don’t go breaking my heart
And nobody told us
‘Cause nobody showed us
And now it’s up to us babe
I think we can make it
Tessa’s heart beat faster as he started to move his head down.
So don't misunderstand me
Her eyes closed as his lips drew nearer to his.
You put the light in my life
Just as they lightly brushed together, the phone rang. Tessa jumped, startled by the noise.
You put the sparks to the flame
I've got your heart in my sights
“I better get that”, she said, stepping back “do you mind finishing breakfast?”
“Sure”, Crowley replied though he was a pretty disappointed that it had gone off. Whoever it was had crap timing.
“Thanks”, Tessa said and left the kitchen.
“Oh Angel”, Crowley grumbled under his breath, hearing her greet Aziraphale after picking up the phone.
“Sorry about that”, Tessa said coming back into the room a few minutes later “Azira was just asking if I wouldn’t mind giving him a hand sorting out some books today. Apparently he got some new ones”.
“Of course he does”, Crowley said, still irked over the fact that he’d been stopped by the angel. If he hadn’t, he would’ve kissed Tessa. And he wasn’t sure if he wanted to try again as it seemed like the moment had gone. Though he hoped another moment like that would come up again soon. The demon gave himself a mental shake. What the bloody hell was wrong with him?! Hoping for ‘moments’ to kiss the girl that was right in front of him. He wasn’t normally like that. Usually he wouldn’t wait, he’d just do it.
It was Tessa and this connection he felt with her. It was changing him and he wasn’t sure if he liked it. Sure it was exciting and intriguing but at the same time it was a bit scary too. Crowley internally chuckled. Him scared. That’s a first. Well…technically it isn’t the first. When he felt the devil’s anger, that was the first time he had been properly scared.
“I have to go”, he suddenly said. He needed some time to think.
“Oh…”, Tessa said, disappointed “did you want some breakfast before you go?”
“No…I’m good”, Crowley replied and then he left. Tessa couldn’t help feel a little hurt by his abrupt departure. They were having such a good time and then…he just left. The blonde didn’t want to dwell on it and picked at the breakfast, not really enjoying it. She then went on a run like normal but her heart didn’t feel like it was in it. For the first time she didn’t complete the circuit and headed home.
Tessa waited at the lights for the little green man to appear. When it did, she started to cross. Suddenly a car came speeding along. She barely had time to let out a scream before the vehicle slammed against her body, sending her flying.
And everything went black.
Aziraphale ran as fast as he could, a slip of paper clutched tightly in his hands. He really didn’t want this prophecy coming true! He stopped short when he saw an ambulance parked across the road. “Excuse me”, he said pushing through the growing crowd. The Angel’s heart plummeted when he saw that it was Tessa they were putting into the back of the vehicle. His grip loosened on the paper and it fluttered to the floor.
An accident will befall the Nightingale. Her life will hang in the balance.
“Wait!” Aziraphale managed to say to the EMT’s “I need to be with her”.
“You know this woman?” one of them asked.
The angel nodded “She’s my friend”, he replied. The EMT gestured for him to hop onboard and he did so. Aziraphale looked down at Tessa, touching her arm under the blanket using an angelic miracle to keep her stable while they went to hospital.
Crowley’s Bentley tore through the streets as he drove like crazy to get to the hospital. “Should never have left her”, he growled angrily to himself. Aziraphale had told him on the phone that Tessa had been in her running gear but he never saw her pass his shop like she always did. That meant she either changed routes or she decided to cut her run short. The latter one was more likely and he knew it was his fault. If he hadn’t left like he did…she never would have crossed the road at the moment and gotten hit by the car…
He pushed his foot down on the pedal, forcing his car to go faster.
“Where is she?” Crowley demanded, running up to where Aziraphale anxiously was waiting.
“Tessa is still in surgery”, the angel replied “Crowley…its really bad”.
Inside the Operating Theatre, doctors worked as quickly as possible to save the life of the young woman on the operating table. Unseen by humans , the Archangel Raphael walked up to the table. “It’s not your time”, he said, placing a hand over her heart.
“What’s happening?” Sandra Jones, one of the doctor’s asked when the lights grew brighter. As it got too bright, they were forced to stop in order to shield their eyes. When the lights dimmed back to their normal brightness, the doctors were amazed to see that their patient was miraculously healed.
“It’s a miracle”, another doctor stated, in awe.
“Certainly is”, Sandra agreed. They checked her over to make sure that they were all imagining that she was healed. When it was confirmed, they got her prepped to go to a recovery room.
Outside, both Crowley and Aziraphale were surprised and a bit shocked to see the Archangel Raphael walk through the double doors. They hadn’t expected the angel to show up especially after the stunt they pulled to stay alive. “Miss Nightingale is fine”, he said.
“You healed her”, Aziraphale stated.
“That I did”, Raphael confirmed “she is one deserved to be healed” he looked at Crowley “do not let her slip through your fingers Crawley”.
“I won’t”, the demon promised.
“She’s in Recovery Room Two”, Raphael added and walked away. The angel and demon wasted no time darting through the double doors to see the young woman that meant so much to the pair of them.
“Tessa”, Crowley breathed, slowly approaching the bed. Aziraphale hung back, watching as he touched her face with such tenderness that made the angel wonder…could his friend truly care for her? It certainly seemed that way.
“You know this isn’t necessary”, Tessa remarked when she came home from the hospital three days later “I could’ve gotten home on my own”.
“I know you could’ve but that wouldn’t have been right”, Crowley said. In all honesty he’d been very reluctant to let her out of his sight. He was rather scared that if he did, even for just a moment, that something was going to happen to her. That and the Archangel had told him not to let the blonde slip through his fingers and he certainly wasn’t going to do that. “Do you need anything?” he asked as she got into bed.
Tessa shook her head “No, I’m good”, she replied “I wouldn’t mind some company though”. She patted the space next to her and Crowley got under the covers as well, making sure to take off his shoes first. “That day you left, did I do something wrong?” Tessa questioned after a moment.
“No you didn’t”, Crowley answered “I’m the one who did something wrong. I never should’ve left, I’m so sorry”.
“It’s not your fault”, Tessa said “you weren’t the one who hit me with a car”. It didn’t matter if she said he wasn’t at fault, he still felt responsible. The way he left had affected her run which in turn caused her to get hit by the car. Which reminded him, he still needed to hunt down that asshole and make him pay. Later though, right now he was more focused on the young woman he was with.
At Aziraphale’s bookshop, the angel was getting ready to head over to Tessa’s flat with a small Get Well Soon basket which included flowers and cakes. He turned to go when he saw an envelope on the table. The angel set the basket down and opened up the envelope. Inside was a small slip of paper, identical to the last prophecy he had found. His eyes widened as he read the words written on it.
A glance draws him in.
Sparks dance as he touches her.
The snake and nightingale bound together.
An impossible love is created.
“Oh…my…” he breathed. They were prophesied to be together and he wasn’t sure what to make of it. One thing was for certain, he couldn’t tell them about this. If they were meant to be together as the paper stated, then it was best to let it happen naturally. He left the prophecy behind as he went to Tessa’s home, unaware there was an extra bit on the back of the paper.
Crowley looked over toward the bedroom doorway when he heard a knock at the front door. He eased himself out of the bed, taking care not disturb Tessa who was cuddled up to him, fast asleep. “Angel”, he greeted as he opened the front door “are you alright?” he asked seeing that the angel seemed…nervous.
“Yes. I’m fine”, Aziraphale replied quickly “absolutely ticketyboo”. Crowley raised a brow at his word usage as the angel passed him. There was definitely something going on with his friend. “How’s Tessa?” Aziraphale questioned, setting the basket on the coffee table.
“She’s resting at the moment”, Crowley answered “so what’s going on with you then?”
“Nothing is going on. Nothing at all”, Aziraphale said “I’ve got to head back to my shop now. I’ll pop by later to see how she is” and with that he hastily left.
“Ok then”, Crowley said slowly and closed the door behind the angel. He then went back into the bedroom and curled up with Tessa. While he didn’t know what was going on with him, one thing he knew for sure, he wasn’t going to leave like that again. He was also going to be around her more often. If nothing else, he was going to make sure she stays safe.
It was a few days later when Tessa ‘kicked’ Crowley out of her home. As much as she loved him being there, taking care of her while she recovered from the hit and run, she wanted her space back. Plus she couldn’t easily tend to her plants in her usual way with him around as she hadn’t yet told him about her gift.
The blonde smiled as she watched a vase of roses come back to life. She glanced over at the door when she heard a knock. “Right on time”, she said to herself. She’d invited Aziraphale around so she could catch up. Crowley said he had stopped by when she’d come out of the hospital but since she had been sleeping most of that day, she had missed the angel. He never came around after that. Until today. “Azira”, she greeted, opening the door to reveal the angel.
“Hello Tessa”, Aziraphale greeted back “how are you feeling?”
“I’m good thanks”, Tessa replied “better since I’ve had my home to myself again”, she added moving aside to allow him to enter.
“Anthony being a bit overbearing?” the angel asked.
“Yeah, just a bit”, Tessa laughed “I mean I love him…” Aziraphale tensed at those words but the blonde didn’t notice as she had her back to him “but I just needed my own space back. Was going a little stir crazy without a slither of privacy”. She disappeared into the kitchen and the angel heard the kettle start up.
“You must relax”, he said to himself “Crowley is already asking too many questions, you don’t want Tessa doing the same”.
“Did you say something?” Tessa asked, poking her head around the door.
“Only to your plants”, Aziraphale replied. Relax. You must relax he repeated in his mind like a mantra.
“Oh, well feel free to talk away as much as you like to them”, Tessa said “I do it all the time”. She ducked back inside and the angel let out a breath.
“That was close”, he muttered. A minute later, Tessa came left the kitchen, carrying two cups of tea.
“So how’s the shop?” she asked, setting them down on the coffee table.
“Its fine”, Aziraphale replied “got another new set of books”.
“Which you’ll spend all your time scaring customers away from”, Tessa said.
“I don’t want their sticky fingers all over them! They’re first editions”, Aziraphale said.
“I still don’t understand why you have a bookshop when you don’t sell any of your collection”, Tessa remarked “you should get some ‘people friendly’ novels”.
Aziraphale looked like a lightbulb went off above his head “that’s an excellent idea! Would you be able to help me with that?”
“Of course”, Tessa answered “I’ll even update the plants you have”.
The angel smiled at her “thank you Tessa, I’d like that very much”.
Tessa rolled her neck and wrung her hands. It had been a slow day which meant to she could get on with Veronica’s order. And she needed to work fast as the infernal woman was going to be turning up at the end of the day. With skill and her powers, she managed to get them done. She barely had time to get the boxes properly stacked when the woman breezed into her store like she owned the place.
“Oh good, they’re all done”, Veronica said. Tessa watched her carefully inspect each and every centrepiece. “They’ll do”, she finally announced and handed over £400 for it.
“This is less than the quote I gave you”, Tessa stated.
“No it isn’t”, Veronica said “now be a dear and bring those out to my car”.
“Sure”, Tessa said “cheapskate bitch”, she muttered under her breath as she hauled the boxes outside. Once they were all loaded up into the back, the blonde watched her drive off and flipped her the bird. She wasn’t normally like that but since getting hit by the car, she’d realised that she needed to stand up for herself more.
Tessa wiped the back of her hand across her forehead and checked the time. She needed to close up and get over to Aziraphale’s shop. She popped back inside Leilani, went through her closing routine and wandered over to the bookstore, pulling along a case of books. She really needed to get herself a car. She had a licence but never saw the need to get a vehicle. Her little business wasn’t far from her home and she didn’t travel much. Public transport was more than enough to get around when it was too far to walk.
Aziraphale flipped the ‘open’ sign to ‘closed’ with a sigh of relief. Tessa had to chuckle at his reaction. She still had no idea why he even would buy a bookshop when he just freaks out over people touching his precious volumes. All the more reason for these books that she bought over. They would keep potential buyers away from the other books for a bit at least.
“Where do you want to put these?” Tessa asked shifting the books in her arms.
“Uh…” the angel looked around and spotted a couple of shelves close to the door “there”.
Tessa walked over to the bookshelves and set the books down to allow Aziraphale to organise them as he saw fit. While he did that, she busied herself by swapping out the shop’s plants with some other ones. It didn’t take long for them to sort out the books and the plants. “Thank you for your help”, Aziraphale said.
“You’re welcome”, Tessa said carefully putting the plants into the box.
“I’d like to take you out to dinner”, he suddenly announced.
“Oh…you don’t need to do that”, Tessa said.
“But I want to”, Aziraphale insisted “how does the Ritz sound?”
The blonde laughed “you know Anthony made me the same offer ages ago. and I’ll tell you what I told him. There’s no way that place would let the likes of me in”, she said.
“They will if you’re me”, Aziraphale said “please Tessa…I won’t take no for an answer”.
Tessa put her hands up “ok, I’ll go with you”, she said “tomorrow though. Tonight I just want to sleep”.
“Alright. Tomorrow it is”, Aziraphale said.
“Mind you, it’ll only be happening as long as I can find something to wear”, Tessa added “I’m not turning up there in something like this”, she gestured to her outfit, a plaid shirt and a pair of jeans with a hole in one of the knees.
“I’m sure you’ll find something”, the angel assured her. If she couldn’t, he’d make sure that she got into the Ritz anyway.
“Morning Tessa!” Crowley greeted falling in step with the blonde as she ran past.
“Morning”, Tessa greeted back.
“Mind if I join you?” he asked.
“Sure”, the blonde replied “though…you’re gonna have some problems running in those”, she added nodding to his leather trousers.
“I can’t pull off running shorts as well as you can”, Crowley stated, purposefully looks at her ass. Tessa smacked him on the arm.
“Cheeky”, she mock scolded.
The demon grinned at her “Oh, I can be more than cheeky if you like”, he said suggestively. Tessa stopped running and looked at him, brows raised.
“Are you flirting with me, Mr Crowley?” she questioned, a bit surprised. It was the last thing she was expecting from him given how sweet and caring he’d been to her during his short stay at her home.
“Maybe. Maybe not. It depends”, Crowley answered.
“Depends on what?” Tessa asked.
“If you’re enjoying it or not”, Crowley replied with a smirk.
Tessa laughed “maybe I do. Maybe I don’t. You’ll just have to find out”, she said and with that she carried on running. The demon stood there shocked by her response but quickly snaps out of it and runs after her.
“So does that mean you want me to continue flirting with you?” he asked, hoping that was the case.
“I’m not hating it if that’s what you mean”, Tessa replied.
“Good”, Crowley said “race you to your shop!”
“Hey!” the blonde shouted as he sped off. Tessa pushed herself to go faster as she raced off after the demon.
This was the sight that Aziraphale saw when they went past his shop “Hi Aziraphale!” Crowley called to him.
“Morning Azira!” Tessa shouted at the angel. Aziraphale watched them and couldn’t help think about that prophecy which foretold them being together. Looked like it was heading in that direction. Which hopefully meant he didn’t need to keep the prophecy a secret from them for too much longer.
“Hah! I win!” Tessa cheered tapping the shop’s door first.
“Yeah, you did”, Crowley agreed though he’d actually dropped behind just so he could look at her ass some more.
Tessa fanned her face “boy…I need a shower”, she remarked.
“Me too”, Crowley said “maybe we could…share? It’ll save water”.
Tessa laughed, though her cheeks were a bit red at his suggestion “In your dreams Anthony”, she said patting him on the shoulder. She then jogged away.
“For the moment”, the demon muttered as he followed her.
Tessa looked up from the flower arrangement that the was working on when the bell went. It was Crowley. “I brought lunch”, he said holding up a basket.
“Good timing. I was just about to stop for my lunch break”, Tessa said. She sat down on the blanket, declining the glass of wine he offered.
“Well, I figured since we can’t shower together, we might as well eat together”, Crowley stated.
“Don’t be too disappointed Anthony”, Tessa said, eating a sandwich “play your cards right and it may happen sooner rather than later”, she teased.
"Is that so?" Crowley asked, with a smirk, accepting her challenge. He moved forward, pinning her to the blanket. The demon lowered his head to kiss her when the phone rang.
“I gotta get that”, Tessa said, skirting out from beneath him.
“Bloody phone…again”, Crowley griped to himself.
“Hi, I’m Tessa Nightingale, how may I help you?” Tessa greeted into the phone “uh huh…” she jotted something down on her pad “I can put together some options and have them ready in a couple of days” she wrote something else down “the Beaumont. Three pm. I will be there. Have a nice day” she hung up the phone.
“That a classy place”, Crowley remarked “did you get an order from them?”
“Sort of. Some statesperson is throwing a big do at the Beaumont. They heard about my little shop and requested that I do the flower arrangements for them”, Tessa explained.
“That would be really good for your shop”, Crowley said “an order like that…”
“It would allow me to hire an extra hand or two to help out around here”, Tessa said.
“And that would be really, really good”, Crowley said walking over to her, taking her hands “it will give me more time to…as you put it ‘play my cards right’”.
“Yes it would”, Tessa agreed “now unless you want to help me, I got quite a bit of work to do. and then I’m meeting Azira later”.
“Oh? Anything special planned?” Crowley questioned, interested.
“He’s taking me to dinner at the Ritz”, Tessa answered “providing I can find something to wear. I’m not exactly one for having classy dresses in my wardrobe”.
“You might be surprised what you’ll find hidden away”, Crowley told her “but for now. I’ll leave you. Got somewhere else I need to be” and with that he kissed her cheek and left the store, taking the picnic things with him.
Tessa rifled through her clothes, discarding one outfit after another. She paused on her white dress, the one she wore to the beach that one time. She couldn’t wear that one either, Hal saw to that when he put those scars on her back. She sighed. It was hopeless! She was going to have to call Aziraphale and cancel. Tessa picked up her phone and was about to dial her friend when she spotted something blue in the back of her wardrobe.
She pushed the remining clothes aside to reveal a stunning blue lace dress inside. Pinned to it was a little note.
Something beautiful for someone beautiful
“Oh Anthony”, Tessa breathed touched by the gift. She didn’t know how he managed to get it into her wardrobe and quite frankly, she didn’t really care. She had something to wear to the dinner with Aziraphale and that was all that mattered.
The 23 year old slipped the dress on, glad that it fit nicely. She was happy to see that it covered her back as well. Tessa ran her hands through her blonde tresses wondering what she could do with it. Eventually she decided on a loose braid, threading a couple of flowers through it. She then popped on a pair of dark coloured flats and left her home to go meet Aziraphale.
It was safe to say that the angel was a little bit speechless when Tessa arrived. “You look absolutely divine, my dear”, he remarked.
Tessa smiled, blushing at his compliment “Thank you. And you look rather dapper in that suit of yours”, she said. The angel adjusted his bow tie, pleased.
“Thank you Tessa”, he said “now, let’s go eat”. He proffered his arm to the florist and she took it. Together they headed inside the Ritz.
Tessa was sure that she’d never laughed so hard in her entire life! In all the time she’d known Aziraphale, she never realised that he had such a sense of humour. She wiped the tears away from her eyes and that’s when she noticed Crowley. “Anthony”, she said gaining Aziraphale’s attention.
“Oh great”, the angel complained under his breath. He had hoped to have the evening with Tessa alone.
“Hey Aziraphale”, the demon greeted pulling up a chair to the table “Tessa, you look amazing”, he added kissing her cheek.
“It’s all thanks to you. If you hadn’t sent this dress, I’d be in jeans and a t-shirt”, Tessa said “and a laughing stock of this place”.
“You wouldn’t be a laughing stock” Crowley tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, keeping his hand their “You still would be the most beautiful woman here”.
“Such a sweet talker”, Tessa said
“You know it”, the demon said giving her a wink “now! what shall we have to eat?” he asked picking up a menu.
“Thanks for taking me home”, Tessa said as she got out of the Bentley, a couple of hours later.
“You’re welcome”, Crowley said.
“And gate crashing the dinner aside, I’m grateful you were there”, Tessa continued “Azira probably isn’t so happy with you though…”
“Ah, he’ll get over it”, Crowley said waving her off.
“Yeah, probably when he gets another shipment of books”, Tessa joked making the demon laugh.
“Well I had a good time”, Crowley said “do you think we could have dinner together? Just you and me?”
“Are you asking me out…on a date?” Tessa counter questioned.
“I am”, Crowley confirmed.
“Then I accept”, Tessa said. The demon smiled, pleased that she said yes.
“How about tomorrow?” Crowley suggested “after work?”
“Tomorrow sounds good”, Tessa agreed “I will see you then”. Crowley watched her disappear into the block of flats before he got into his car and drove away.
Work the next day seemed to fly by for the young florist, probably because she had her date to look forward to. As soon as the clock reached 6 PM, Tessa quickly locked up and hurried home. “Anthony”, she stated, smiling when she saw another new dress in her wardrobe, a deep green one this time. She put it on and waited for Crowley to show up. When there was a knock at the door, she opened it to reveal the demon standing there.
“Tessa…you look beautiful”, Crowley breathed, taking her in.
“Thanks”, Tessa said, stepping aside to allow him to enter “you know, you didn’t have to get me this dress”.
“I know but I wanted to treat you”, Crowley stated.
“And somehow you managed to get this dress and the other one into my wardrobe without breaking in”, Tessa continued folding her arms.
“I’m afraid I can’t tell you the secret”, Crowley said “but rest assured, I’ve only come in to your place those two times while you were out”, he promised her. Technically he never entered the flat, he’d done a demonic miracle twice…though he couldn’t tell her the truth. At least not yet. “Now, shall we go to dinner?” he asked, offering her his arm.
“Yes, lets”, Tessa agreed, slipping her hand into the crook of his arm. They left the flat together.
“I really shouldn’t have drunk so much”, Tessa slurred, leaning against Crowley.
“Probably not”, the demon agreed. After dinner he had taken her to get a couple of drinks which turned into a few more than he had planned.
“Why do you always wear shades?” Tessa asked peering up at him “It’s sweird”.
“Easy for you to say”, Crowley remarked as she stumbled over her words. He scooped her up and carried her the rest of the way to her room.
“Is your hair on fire?” Tessa asked as he laid her down on the bed “you should put it out before you get burned”.
“I’ll do that in a minute”, Crowley promised, deciding to just go along with it like last time.
“Good”, Tessa mumbled, her eyes already starting to droop “don’t forget to feed those ducks…they get really cranky” she added. Crowley quietly chuckled at the mention of the ducks again.
“Good night, love”, he whispered, pressing a kiss to her temple, taking away the potential for her to have a hangover the next day.
Tessa’s face scrunched up as she stirred. Her eyes flickered open and she was surprised that she didn’t have a killer headache given the amount of alcohol that she’d consumed the night before. It was a miracle really, she got drunk twice and woke up the next day without a hangover.
She glanced to the side when she felt the bed shift. Tessa tilted her head, regarding Crowley who was laying next to her. She reached over and gently caressed his face. Tessa’s fingers paused when the demon opened his eyes to reveal yellow snake like ones!
“Tessa?” he asked, confused at why she was looking at him, eyes wide, mouth slightly parted in shock. Then he realised that he wasn’t wearing his sunglasses.
“Don’t!” Tessa said grabbing his wrist when he went for his shades “Don’t hide them”, she added in a softer tone, releasing his wrist “they’re beautiful”.
“No, they’re not”, Crowley said, his body tense, ready to make a run for it “they’re the eyes of a demon”.
“So?” Tessa asked, not seeing the problem. She had could control plants…make them grow and bloom. How was he being a demon any different?
“So! I’m a demon Tessa!” Crowley exclaimed jumping from the bed “I’m a monster! You should be running away from me screaming!”
“You’re not a monster!” Tessa shot back, getting out of bed too “I’ve stared a monster in the face. I’ve been marked by one!” she ripped part of the dress at the back, exposing some of her scars “THIS is what a monster does!” she angrily jabbed her skin “this is what a monster does”, she repeated, quieter. Tessa sank onto the bed, tears starting to well up in her eyes. Crowley could feel his anger draining away as he looked at her. She looked so broken…so beaten down by what Hal had done to her. He sat down next to her “I don’t care what you are”, she whispered, her voice wobbling “I care about WHO you are. Anthony Crowley. The man who came into my shop with a wilted plant and left with my friendship. You made me feel so cared for…I’ve never felt that with anyone…not even him” Tessa rested her head on his shoulder “please don’t go”, she pleaded.
“I won’t”, Crowley promised and putting an arm around her, holding her close as she cried. He felt so relieved that she accepted him for what he was. It was like a huge weight had lifted from his shoulders.
Eventually Tessa stopped crying and moved her head from his shoulder. “God I’m a mess”, she sniffled wiping her eyes.
“No, you’re not”, Crowley said, he touched her face “you’re not a mess. You’re beautiful. Most beautiful woman in the world whom I love and adore”.
“You love me?” Tessa asked.
“I do. So much”, Crowley replied and softly kissed her.
“Um…I suppose now that I know the truth about you…its time I told you about me”, Tessa said when they finally parted. She picked up one of the flowering plants and before Crowley’s eyes, she made it wilt and then bloom.
“That’s incredible”, he breathed “how long…?”
“Since always”, Tessa answered, setting the plant aside.
“Who else knows about this?” Crowley asked.
“My parents….and Hal”, Tessa replied “it’s partly why he hurt me. He thought I was a freak”.
“You’re not a freak Tessa”, Crowley said caressing her cheek “you’re amazing. And I will never, ever hurt you like that”.
“You promise?” Tessa questioned.
“I swear. I won’t hurt you”, Crowley vowed, pressing his lips to hers. Without breaking the kiss, the demon tugged her into his lap. She let out a hum of appreciation as Crowley’s lips moved from her mouth, across her jawline and slowly down her neck. “So good”, Tessa breathed. No one had ever made her feel this way, not even…no…she wasn’t even going to think about that man.
“I can make you feel good in other ways”, Crowley whispered suggestively in her ear making her shiver.
“Anthony…I…I…” Tessa tried to say but she seemed to be having trouble forming her words.
“Tessa, we don’t have to if you don’t want to”, Crowley said pulling back a bit. He didn’t want to force her to do anything she didn’t want or wasn’t ready for.
“I want to”, Tessa said “I really do. Its just…the last person…” she trailed off not wanting to finish that sentence.
“I know”, Crowley said wiping a tear away as it rolled down her cheek “it’ll happen when the time is right”.
“Thank you”, Tessa whispered, resting her head against his chest.
“What in God’s name were you thinking?!” Aziraphale exclaimed when Crowley admitted to him several hours later that Tessa knew about him being a demon.
“I wasn’t thinking in anyone’s name really”, the demon confessed “she just saw my eyes and the best part is…she didn’t freak out! She accepted them…accepted me” Crowley smiled “she’s amazing”.
“That much is obvious”, Aziraphale said.
“Oh and she knows you’re an angel”, Crowley added “Don’t look at me like that. you know its only right she knew about you as well”.
“I suppose it is one less secret to keep”, Aziraphale muttered to himself.
Over at Leilani, the florist in question was hard at work creating several different arrangements for her meeting at the hotel the next day. She hummed under her breath as she deftly worked her magic, quite literally. Tessa jumped when the door to her shop burst open and Veronica swept in. “What do you want?” the blonde asked “I’m rather busy right now”.
“Well I need you to shift your priorities to me”, the woman demanded. Tessa stopped what she was doing and looked up.
“Just who the hell do you think you are?” she questioned, moving around the counter “coming into MY shop and acting like you own the place”.
“How dare you…” Veronica started.
“No, shut up!” Tessa snapped, the plants and flowers starting to tremble as they reacted to her anger “I’ve had it with your incessant whining and outrageous requests! No more!”
SMACK! Tessa stumbled back into the counter, clutching her the cheek that Veronica had just slapped. “Get away from her”, came a low angry voice behind her. Veronica paled, knowing who that was. She shakily stepped away from Tessa and turned to the fuming demon. “You’re no longer going to be doing business with Tessa is that understood?”
Veronica nodded “Y-yes I understand”, she stammered.
“Good. Now get lost”, Crowley ordered. He watched her scurry out of the shop before going over to his girl. “You ok?” he asked gently touching her cheek, healing it.
“Yeah, I’m fine”, Tessa replied. She let out a breath “Right, I gotta get back to work”, she added.
“Want some help?” Crowley offered, making a mental note to deal with that bitch later in a way that would be fitting for her.
“Sure”, Tessa said. The pair went around the counter to work on the floral arrangements, Crowley stealing kisses every so often.
“Mmm…that’s nice”, Tessa hummed appreciatively as Crowley massaged her shoulders. Her shoulders and neck were really aching after the last couple hours of making flower arrangements. It would have taken less time if they hadn’t done it normally but since she didn’t want Crowley using his powers, she wasn’t allowed to either.
“It’s the least you deserve”, the demon said. Tessa glanced over her shoulder at him.
“What’s the most that I deserve?” she asked, curious.
“A full body massage”, Crowley replied.
“Ooh sounds nice”, Tessa said.
“It’ll be very nice”, the demon agreed, pressing a kiss below her ear “and pleasurable”, he added moving his lips down her neck. Tessa’s eyes fluttered shut, enjoying the sensations on her skin.
“Maybe we should move this some place else”, she suggested, feeling his hands slide under her t-shirt.
“Good idea”, Crowley said, picking her up and carried her to the bedroom where he proceed to give her exactly what she deserved, a night of unforgettable pleasure.
“I love you”, Tessa murmured, resting her head on his chest.
“I love you too”, he said, kissing the top of her head. As Tessa slipped into slumber, Crowley felt something… he wasn’t sure how to describe it…but it was like a shift in the air…a change. His eyes flickered down to her abdomen, placing a hand on it. It should’ve been impossible with him being a demon and all but there was no denying what he felt. He’d just become a daddy. “Well…that’s unexpected”, he remarked.
In Aziraphale’s home, the angel froze upon feeling something very similar to what the demon had felt. He looked out of the window. “Oh…my”, he breathed.
Crowley was the first one to wake the next morning. He smiled at his slumbering girl, lightly trailing his fingers up and down her arm. He shifted closer to her. “I’m gonna take care of you and our baby”, he quietly promised “Good morning”, Crowley murmured in Tessa’s ear when she finally stirred awake.
“Morning”, she mumbled.
“What would you like for breakfast?” the demon asked “anything particular you’re craving?”
Tessa thought for a moment “Just my normal cereal”, she replied “but I can get that. Anything you’d like to eat?”
“The only thing I’d like is you”, Crowley replied, tugging her on top of him, the blonde giggling in the process.
“Stop it!” Tessa laughed as he kissed her neck, nipping at her skin.
“Never”, Crowley, playfully growled “you’re too tasty”. Tessa managed to wriggle out of his grip and made a break for it. The demon chased after her, managing to corner her in the hall. “Gotcha”, he said, gently pushing her against the wall.
“So you have”, Tessa said “Now what are you going to do?” she asked.
Crowley smirked at her “So many things, love”, he replied, picking her up and carrying her to the bedroom.
“What the hell were you playing at?” Aziraphale demanded to Crowley “you got Tessa pregnant”.
“Yeah, I know”, Crowley said. He still on ‘cloud nine’ as the humans would put it. He was having a baby with the woman that he loves. What could be more amazing than that?
“I mean how is it possible?” the angel questioned, still pacing “In all my years I’ve never heard of such a thing”.
“Me neither”, Crowley admitted “fantastic isn’t it?” he added with a grin.
“But it shouldn’t be possible. Of all things, how could you get a human pregnant?!” Aziraphale cried.
“You must know about the birds and the bees by now, angel”, Crowley remarked “you’ve been on this earth long enough”.
“Yes, yes. I know what is required”, Aziraphale said, getting a bit flustered “that still doesn’t answer the fact that a human is now carrying your offspring. You’re a DEMON. Demons don’t get humans pregnant”.
“And somehow I managed to do it”, Crowley retorted, beginning to get rather angry with the angel especially when he started calling Tessa ‘human’. As if that was all she was. “I don’t know how and honestly I don’t care. Tessa is carrying my baby. I may be a demon, Aziraphale but you’re forgetting one thing…the child is half human…half Tessa”. Aziraphale was taken aback by how fiercely he was protecting this unborn child of his. “I felt it, angel. I felt the moment our baby was conceived and it was incredible. The best feeling I’ve had in…well…ever”
“It was some feeling”, the angel agreed “and I think we should give Tessa the news”.
“No”, Crowley replied “If there’s one thing I know is that women love to find out the happy or shocking news on their own. Not have their partners tell them”.
“I just don’t feel right keeping such a big thing from her”, Aziraphale said “can’t we give her a tiny hint?”
“No”, Crowley said firmly.
Aziraphale sighed “fine”, he said. He hoped that it wouldn’t take too long for Tessa to find out that she was pregnant.
Crowley let out a sigh for the nth time. He was so bored! This was not the kind of party he wanted to be at right now. His eyes flickered to his girl chattering away to one of the guests. Tessa had invited him to be her date to this thing so he would endure it for her. “You really must try these little nibbles Crowley!” Aziraphale said coming up to him with a small plate “they’re absolutely divine”. The demon didn’t answer him, he was too focused on the blonde a few feet from him. “I must say…I’m proud of our friend”, he remarked “this’ll definitely help her business to grow”.
“Definitely”, Crowley agreed. His eyes narrowed behind his shades when a young man approached Tessa, taking her hand and kissing it. “Oh no you don’t”, he growled and stalked over to the pair. Crowley cleared his throat, catching the attention of Tessa and the young man. “Care to introduce me, love?” he asked, putting a possessive arm around her.
“Yes”, Tessa said “Michael this is my boyfriend, Anthony. Anthony this is Michael, he’s the son of the people hosting this little shindig”.
“Nice to meet you Anthony”, Michael said holding out his hand.
“Uh huh”, the demon said, not really interested in getting to know him.
“Excuse me, Michael”, Tessa said and led Crowley away “do demons get jealous?” she asked him quietly “cos it sure looked like you were”.
“I was a bit”, Crowley admitted. He didn’t want any other man taking interest in his girl especially since she’s now carrying his baby.
“Do you know that you’re hot when you’re jealous?” Tessa questioned with a smile.
Crowley smirked at her “how hot?” he countered asked, settling his hands on her hips.
“Very, very hot”, Tessa whispered in his ear. The demon gripped her hips tighter and pressed a searing kiss to her lips.
“Let’s take this elsewhere”, he suggested.
“I have a room here”, Tessa told him. That was enough for Crowley to pull her out of the ballroom and up to the hotel suites.
As soon as they got into Tessa’s hotel suite, they were all over each other, kissing and touching. With a snap of his fingers, Crowley miracled their clothes away. Normally he’d like to take off her clothes but since they were rather eager, he thought he’d save time. The demon scooped her up in his arms and carried to the bed. Moans of pleasure filled the air as they made love.
“Is it me or does that get better every time?” Tessa panted as she came down from her high.
“Not just you, love”, Crowley replied, softly kissing her “gets better every time for me too”. The blonde smiled tiredly at him.
A couple of days later…
Tessa looked from her laptop where she was working on some job adverts when she heard a knock. She set it aside and headed to the door. “Anthony”, she greeted, smiling at the demon “you know, you could just let yourself in”, she added, stepping aside, allowing him to enter.
“I know I could but it’s not the polite thing to do”, Crowley said, pressing a kiss to her cheek.
“I should get a key made for you”, Tessa remarked, going back to the sofa “you’re here often enough”.
“Sounds like a good idea”, Crowley agreed, joining her on the sofa, propping her feet on his lap “and since I am here a lot, maybe I should move in”, he suggested, rubbing her ankle.
“I don’t know”, Tessa said “I’m not sure if I’m ready to take that step”.
“Oh”, Crowley said, disappointed. He’d hoped she would say yes that way he could be with her when she found out about the baby and to support her through what was to come after if she decided to keep it. Hell, he would even pray to God if that was what it took.
“However, I be willing to give a trial ‘move in’ a go”, Tessa continued “Say a week? And hopefully by that time I’ll be ready for the move to be permanent”. Crowley responded by giving her a very big kiss. “I take that as a yes?” Tessa asked with a smile knowing that’s exactly what it meant.
“A very big yes”, Crowley replied, kissing her again “so, what were you working on?” he asked, nodding to her laptop.
“I’m working on some job adverts”, Tessa replied, picking up her laptop, scooching closer to the demon “wanna help?”
“Sure”, Crowley answered. The pair sat there, working on the adverts until they’d finally came up with a good one that could be used for her shop.
“Thanks for helping me today, Anthony”, Tessa said as they both got into bed that night.
“It’s no problem, love”, Crowley said. The blonde rested her head on his chest and dozed off. Crowley placed a hand on her stomach, closed his eyes and fell asleep too.
Tessa twisted a strand of hair around her finger as she went over the orders. The bell jingled and she glanced up, seeing a woman just a bit older than her walk in “Welcome to Leilani, I’m Tessa Nightingale. How may I help you today?” Tessa greeted.
“I’m here about your job advert”, the woman said pulling out a piece of paper showing it to Tessa. The blonde flipped open her small notebook she was going to be using for interviews.
“What’s your name?” Tessa asked.
“Rachel Dubois”, the woman replied and Tessa jotted it down.
“And do you have a CV I can look at?” she questioned.
“Yeah, I do”, Rachel answered and took out a couple of papers stapled together. She handed it over to Tessa and she barely got to glance at it when a man in a very expensive suit walked in.
“You’ve got some nerve Miss Nightingale”, he said.
“I’m sorry?” Tessa asked, confused, stepping out from behind the counter.
“My wife is ranting and raving about demons!” the man said, angrily “and she’s also accusing me of having an affair with one of the staff!”
“And your wife would be…?” Tessa questioned.
“Veronica”, Mr Blake spat.
“Well, I’m sorry Mr Blake but I had nothing to do with that”, Tessa said “I’m a florist. Not a witch”.
“It was your boy toy”, Mr Blake accused “he did something to her!”
“Sorry, Anthony didn’t do anything either”, Tessa said “all we did was have some words and state that I will no longer be doing business with her. So perhaps your wife is coming up with these fantasies because she’s a little upset. Or maybe she needs to take a visit to the psych ward”.
“Why you little…” Mr Blake began, stepping forward only to be stopped by Rachel.
“Get out”, she ordered.
“I beg your pardon?” Mr Blake asked “just who the hell do you think you are?”
“Tessa’s friend”, Rachel replied “now get lost before I kick your ass out the door”.
“This isn’t over Miss Nightingale”, Mr Blake said in a threatening tone.
“Yes it is”, Rachel countered “now shoo!”
Mr Blake threw one last glare at Tessa before he left. “Thanks for that Rachel”, Tessa said.
“You’re welcome”, Rachel said.
“You know, I think you’re hired”, Tessa said “just gotta check you’ve got enough experience…” she picked up the CV and skimmed through it “yep. You have. Congratulations Miss Dubois, you’ve been hired”.
Rachel smiled “great!” she said, happily “when do I start?”
“Next Monday”, Tessa replied.
“Sounds good to me”, Rachel said “I know this sounds like a really weird request but can I read your palm?”
“Uh…sure”, Tessa answered “why not?”
She held out her hand and Rachel took it. “Interesting”, the brunette murmured, her eyes flickering up to Tessa’s bare wrist and at her stomach “very interesting”.
“What do you see?” Tessa asked, missing her glance.
“Your life line is long and apart from a little break, your heart line is strong. I’d say you are in a very good relationship right now”, Rachel said.
“I am”, Tessa confirmed with a smile.
“Here”, Rachel said, taking something out of her bag “I know we’ve only met but I’d like you to have this” she held out a purple crystal on a silver chain “and if you could wear it when you go to bed tonight”.
Tessa took the crystal from her “Why?” she questioned, confused.
“It’s kinda hard to explain but please just trust me and wear it”, Rachel answered.
“Alright, I will”, Tessa promised. Rachel smiled and left the shop. She walked down the street with a pleased feeling in her chest and the smile still on her face. As she passed between two buildings, a hooded figure stepped out of the shadows.
“You just couldn’t resist, could you?” a female voice called making Rachel freeze.
“Vanessa”, she said, slowly turning around.
“Jessamine”, Seraphina greeted, pushing her hood down “or are you going by one of your silly little alias’? The last one was what…Rachel something?”
“Dubois”, Rachel said.
“That’s right. Never could understand why you would want to change your name”, Vanessa remarked “after all, we’re supposed to be observers only. But you…” the brunette circled Rachel “can’t seem to follow that simple rule”.
“She deserves a happy life with her baby and Crowley”, Rachel said.
“That may be what she deserves but you know that’s not whats to come”, Vanessa reminded her “It has been foretold since the beginning of time and there’s nothing you or that little crystal you gave her can do to stop it”.
“I don’t care”, Rachel said “I’m not going to stand by and do nothing”.
“That’s exactly what you’re going to do Jessamine”, Vanessa said sternly “we observe and if needs be give a little nudge. That is all. So I suggest you don’t turn up for that job on Monday” and with that, she pulled up her hood and walked away. Rachel watched her walk away and her hands curled into fists.
“Sorry Vanessa. I can’t do what you say”, she said.
“Where did you get that?” Crowley asked, noticing the necklace around Tessa’s neck when they got into bed that evening.
“I got it from a lovely lady whom I just hired today”, Tessa replied, touching the crystal “I like it”.
“It does look good on you”, he agreed.
“Thanks”, Tessa said. They laid down together, the blonde curling up into his side.
Over at Rachel’s home, the brunette was staring worriedly at the prophecy in her book. When a red hue shone through the window, she got up and looked at the Blood Moon. “Please don’t let it come to pass”, she prayed.
On the street, Vanessa was gazing up at the moon with a smile on her face. “Its time”, she said.
At Aziraphale’s house, the angel was still up. Another prophecy had appeared in his shop and he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. It was about Tessa that much was for certain but he had no idea what it all meant. Though he hoped that nothing bad was going to happen to the young woman.
On the eve of the 13th day
The trio will align
A Blood Moon will rise
The true Nightingale will be awoken
Back at Tessa’s flat, while the couple slept, the red light of the Blood Moon shone through the closed curtains. It landed on the 23 year old and several things started to happen. The purple crystal around her neck started to glow. Her golden blonde hair turned platinum and a tattoo shimmered into being on her wrist. Tessa shifted in her sleep, unaware of what was happening to her. About a minute later the red light dimmed and she returned to normal.
Crowley and Tessa were woken up rather early next morning by Tessa’s phone ringing. “Just ignore it”, the demon mumbled sleepily, nuzzling his face into her neck.
“It’s Azira”, Tessa said, recognising the ringtone “He knows not to call this early on a weekend so it’s got to be important”.
“Screw the angel”, Crowley said “he’s not ruining our morning”.
“Alright but I’d rather be screwing you”, Tessa teased. That had Crowley wide awake and rolling on top of the blonde.
“So would I”, he stated before he kissed her and proceeded to do just that. He also miracled her phone away so that there would be no interruptions.
The angel in question was rather anxious to speak with his friend…to make sure that she was alright. Though he didn’t understand the new prophecy that had turned up at his home, he couldn’t shake the feeling when he woke up that morning that something had happened to her. Maybe he should stop by her home?
“Mm….that was so good”, Tessa murmured as she and Crowley lay there, completely satisfied.
“It sure was”, the demon agreed, lightly tracing patterns on her arm. There was knock at the front door and Crowley groaned “if that’s Aziraphale, there’ll be hell to pay”, he griped.
“I’ll go check”, Tessa said. She gave the demon a quick kiss before sliding out of bed and pulling on Crowley’s shirt. He grinned at how good she looked in it. The blonde walked to the front door, doing up a couple of buttons on the shirt as she did so.
“Oh…my…” Aziraphale remarked at the state of her undress “I’m so sorry to um…disturb you but I wanted to make sure that you were alright”.
“I’m fine”, Tessa said.
“She’s more than fine”, Crowley added coming up behind her, putting his arms around her, purposefully placing his hands on her stomach “now if you’ll excuse us, we’re really quite busy”. Before the angel could respond, Crowley shut the door in his face.
“That was a bit rude”, the blonde commented.
“But it was true. We ARE busy”, Crowley told her, scooping her up in his arms “very, very busy” and with that, he carried her back to the bedroom.
When Monday rolled around, Tessa was feeling a bit under the weather. However, she still went into work as she had to get Rachel started. “Are you alright?” the woman asked when she came into the store.
“Yeah I’m fine”, Tessa replied “just feeling a little out of sorts. I’m sure its nothing though”.
Boy, are you in for a surprise Rachel thought “So, whats on the agenda for today?” she asked.
“Well, I’ve got a couple of orders that need finishing out the back if you wouldn’t mind doing those”, Tessa answered gesturing to the back room.
“Sure”, Rachel said and disappeared into the back. Not long after she had gone, Vanessa entered the shop.
“Welcome to Leilani”, Tessa said in her usual greeting “I’m Tessa Nightingale. How can I help you today?”
“I’m looking for some flowers to give my friend. She’d just had a baby boy”, Vanessa answered.
“Congratulations to your friend”, Tessa said.
“Thank you”, Vanessa said “what would you recommend for my friend?”
“Well, blue hydrangeas are quite nice” Tessa picked a couple of them out “and you put some white roses in with it” she carefully plucked them out of the bucket and put them with the other flowers.
“I quite like that”, Vanessa remarked.
“Ok, we shall do that then”, Tessa said. Vanessa watched her take out some more flowers before she went over to the counter to start arranging them.
“Have you been doing this long?” Vanessa asked while Tessa worked.
“Nearly 3 years”, the blonde replied.
“Really? You look like you’ve been doing it a lot long than that”, Vanessa stated “you’re a natural”.
Tessa smiled “thanks. I’ve always been good with flowers. Actually any kind of plant really. My mom said that I had a gift”, she explained.
“I’d say she is right”, Vanessa agreed “Tessa may I ask you a question?”
“Of course”, Tessa replied.
“How far along are you?” Vanessa asked, making Tessa stop and look up at her, confused “I mean it must be still pretty early as you’re not showing”.
“I’m not pregnant”, Tessa told her. It was completely impossible for her to be as the only one she’s slept with is a demon.
“Are you sure?” Vanessa questioned “cos you’ve got that same aura about you that my friend had when she was expecting”.
“I’m very sure”, Tessa insisted.
“Perhaps I wasn’t mistaken”, Vanessa said. Tessa continued with arranging the flowers, handing them over once she was done. “These are great, thank you”, Vanessa said.
“You’re welcome”, Tessa said. She told Vanessa the price and the woman paid. With a ‘goodbye’, the brunette woman left the shop. She wasn’t gone long when Tessa gasped, feeling the crystal around her neck heat up. The blonde quickly removed it, dropping it onto the counter. Tessa rubbed the spot on her skin where the necklace once sat. She eyed the crystal before tentatively reaching out and touching it. She frowned when it felt surprisingly cool to the touch. “That was weird”, Tessa muttered picking it up and popping it into her pocket.
When Rachel finally came out of the backroom after finishing what Tessa had told her to do, she stopped short seeing that the blonde was no longer blonde! “Oh no…” she breathed. Tessa glanced to her and smiled though it faded seeing the shock on the woman’s face.
“Rachel? What’s….?” The brunette quickly snapped her fingers, freezing the florist in time.
“Please tell me it’s on you”, Rachel muttered as she hastily searched the 23 year old for the crystal. She let out a sigh of relief when she found it in Tessa’s pocket. Rachel clasped around her neck and snapped her fingers again.
“…wrong?” Tessa asked as continuing as if she hadn’t been put on pause like a movie.
“Nothing. Nothing at all”, Rachel replied, relieved that Tessa was back to normal now that the crystal was back around her neck. What could’ve been the reason she….Oh…Rachel’s eyes widened a fraction when she caught a whiff of Vanessa’s perfume. Of course. She should have known that woman would try something like that. After all, she herself was interfering in a big way. so it made sense for Vanessa to do something to get it all back on track.
She wouldn’t be getting directly involved if she didn’t feel so strongly about Tessa’s fate. It wasn’t right! Her destiny…if you could call it that…was going to take her down a dangerous path. And that was something she wasn’t about to let come to pass. No matter what the consequences were to her.
“Oh, ok”, Tessa said “you think you’re up to helping me out here?”
Rachel smiled “Oh, I’m more than ready”, she replied.
“Mmm that’s nice”, Tessa hummed as Crowley rubbed her feet and ankles that evening. For some reason the afternoon had been so hectic that despite having Rachel’s assistance, Tessa was exhausted. It didn’t help that she had been feeling a little off all day. “What did I do to deserve you?” she asked.
“It think the better question is what did I do to deserve you?” Crowley counter questioned.
“Being a very suave, sexy demon whom I love and adore”, Tessa answered.
“Suave and sexy, huh?” Crowley said with a smirk, crawling over her.
“Yep”, Tessa said “very, very suave and sexy”. That response earned her a big kiss followed by yet another night of unforgettable passion.
It was a mere 24 hours later when Tessa had announced to Crowley that she was ready for him to permanently move in with her. As a result, the demon had treated her to a night of a romantic dinner at the Ritz followed by several rounds of sex.
In the early hours of the morning however, Tessa woke suddenly feeling like she was about to hurl. She jumped out of bed, disturbing Crowley as she did so, and rushed to the bathroom. Tessa dropped to the floor by the toilet and threw up. Crowley held her hair out of the way so she wouldn’t get vomit in it. “Sorry for waking you”, Tessa mumbled sitting back.
“There’s no need to apologise”, Crowley said closing the lid of the toilet and flushing the contents away.
“Think I had bad piece of fish”, Tessa said, pushing herself up enough to perch on the toilet lid. Though, she couldn’t help but recall Vanessa’s question about how far along she was. Tessa shoved that thought aside. She wasn’t pregnant! She had been feeling unwell for the past couple of days but that was probably a tummy bug or something. And her being sick now…food poisoning. Had to be.
“Probably”, Crowley agreed though he thought it was more likely to be her ‘condition’ than food poisoning. This was good. Well, not good that she was sick but good because it meant that it wouldn’t be too much longer until she found out that she was pregnant. He went to the kitchen where he got her a glass of water and then he stayed with her in the bathroom, rubbing her back while she sipped the liquid.
“Hope I’m not sick later today”, Tessa said finally getting into bed after the nausea subsided “can’t really afford to take a day off work. We got a big wedding order to do”.
“I’m sure Rachel can hold down the fort for one day if that was the case”, Crowley assured her.
“Maybe”, Tessa agreed, already starting to fall asleep “love you”.
“Love you too”, Crowley said, pressing a light kiss to her temple.
In the days that followed, Tessa and Rachel worked hard to complete the wedding order for the deadline that was set. The blonde had to be sneaky when it came to using her gift to help speed things along as she didn’t know how Rachel would react to it.
“Thank god that is done”, Rachel said leaning against the counter tiredly when they finally got the last of it all boxed up, ready for delivery.
“You said it”, Tessa agreed, taking a swig of her water.
“How are you doing anyway?” Rachel asked, glancing at her. She figured from how tired Tessa looked that she was starting to have pregnancy symptoms.
“I’m good”, Tessa answered.
“You sure?” Rachel questioned, eyeing her.
“Yeah…I’m fine”, Tessa insisted, straightening up.
“Alright then”, Rachel said “I’ll be back in a moment. Nature calls”. She pushed up from the counter and slipped into the back. Tessa took another drink and fixed her hair which had become a little messy due to being so focused on completing the arrangements for the wedding order. The bell above the door jingled and she took a breath to compose herself.
“Good afternoon”, she greeted to the woman that entered “I’m Tessa. How may I help you today?”
“I’m looking for a houseplant for my home”, the woman replied “you wouldn’t happen to have a Bird of Paradise by chance?”
“As a matter of fact, I do”, Tessa answered. She moved out from behind the counter and started over toward the house plants section when she stopped, a wave of dizziness coming over her. “Oh…”
The older woman, Lisa, was quick to place a hand on her elbow, steadying her. “Easy does it”, she said.
“Thank you”, Tessa said, grateful “I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me”.
“I know”, Lisa said “it happened to me a lot while I was pregnant with my boy”.
“But I’m not pregnant”, Tessa said “I can’t be”.
“Trust me, dear. You may not be showing it, but you are carrying a little one”, Lisa insisted.
Tessa shook her head “I’m sorry, I think you’re wrong in this instance”, she said.
“Perhaps I am”, Lisa agreed “though in any case it wouldn’t hurt to take a test. Just to be sure”.
“No, I guess it wouldn’t”, Tessa conceded “anyway. Let’s get you that plant”. She continued over to the section with the house plants and picked up a Bird of Paradise “how’s this one?” she asked.
“That’s perfect”, Lisa replied.
“Would you like it bagged up or left as is?” Tessa questioned, taking it to the counter.
“The plant as it is will be fine, dear”, Lisa answered.
“Alright”, Tessa said “that’ll be £12.50”.
Lisa handed the money over to her and Tessa gave her the plant. “I wish you the best of luck if the test is positive”, she said.
“Thanks”, Tessa said.
Tessa took the test that she’d purchased after work into the bathroom. She held the box in her hands. If she did this and it turned out to be positive, her life was never going to be the same again. And if it was negative…well life would continue on as normal. Whatever the outcome, she had to know. “Ok, lets do this”, she said to herself and opened up the box…
Over in Aziraphale’s shop, the angel was busy organising his books when a piece of paper slid off his desk. He picked it up and saw it was the prophecy about his two friends being bound to one another. He really must tell them the truth now more than ever since they had a baby on the way. Aziraphale turned it over and froze.
Bound by love
But lost to another
The nightingale and the snake
Their future undiscovered
Taken by force
To a world like no other
Where the supernatural rule
The secrets she’ll uncover
Love will be tested
Lives will be lost
But for the demon and angel
They will find her at any cost
“Oh my god”, Aziraphale breathed. He had to get a hold of Tessa now! He rushed over to the phone and dialled the florist.
At the flat, the blonde’s phone vibrated on the coffee table. “Hey this is Tessa. I’m unable to come to the phone right now but if you leave a message after the beep, I’ll get back to you as soon as possible”.
“Tessa, it’s me. Aziraphale. You’re in grave danger. You need to call me back straight away”
About a minute later, Tessa slowly emerged from the bathroom, staring at the test in her hands. Positive. It was positive. “I’m…I’m pregnant”, she breathed. She couldn’t believe it, she was having Crowley’s baby. Yes she had two people tell her that she was pregnant but she didn’t believe it until now. She had no idea how it was possible given that she was human and he was a demon. Yet she couldn’t deny what the indicator on the little stick was telling her.
Speaking of…she had to tell Crowley the news. Though she had no idea how he would react. Yes, he loved her and showed her every single day. But a baby…would he even want it? The blonde placed a hand on her stomach, rubbing her thumb against the fabric of her shirt. “I want you”, she whispered to her unborn child “even if he doesn’t”.
Tessa picked up her mobile from the coffee table and dialled the demon. “Hey, love. What’s up?” Crowley greeted after he picked up.
“Are you busy?” Tessa asked.
“When it comes to you, I’m never busy”, Crowley replied.
“Do you mind coming home?” Tessa requested “there’s something important I need to tell you”.
“I’ll come right away”, Crowley said and hung up. The demon grinned at his phone. He knew what she wanted to tell him. She finally found out that she was pregnant. He darted to his Bentley, hopped inside and sped off.
Inside their flat, Tessa was tending to one of her plants, trying to keep her hands from shaking. She frowned when plants and flowers started rustling from a breeze. It shouldn’t be possible as all the windows were closed. “What the hell?” she asked as it grew stronger, blonde strands whipping at her face. There was a loud crack that sounded like thunder behind her making her jump and scream. Tessa spun around and her eyes widened at what appeared to be a portal in the middle of the living room. Suddenly, a woman stepped through it and grabbed her hand. “Let me go!” Tessa cried, struggling in her grip, digging her heels into the carpet. But it was all in vain as the woman was far too strong for her.
The door to the living room burst open and Crowley entered “Anthony!” Tessa screamed as she disappeared into the portal. The demon lunged for it only for the swirling mass to vanish causing him to land on the floor hard. He slowly sat up, staring at where the portal used to be. She was gone… taken to god only knows where…
He caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of his eye. A pregnancy test. He picked it up, seeing the two little lines which had confirmed what he already knew…she was carrying his baby. Crowley grasped the test so tightly in his hand that the plastic cracked. Anger surged within him, kick starting a fire that would fuel his desire to get the love of his life and unborn child back. Nothing was going to get in his way. NOTHING.
He was broken from his thoughts when his phone rang. “Crowley! Thank goodness! Are you with Tessa? She’s in serious danger” the angel exclaimed.
“She’s gone Aziraphale”, Crowley said “she was taken…right in front of me” he looked down at the hand that was clutching the pregnancy test “and I’m going to get her back, no matter what the cost”.
So that’s it folks. The end of this story. However, it’s not the end of Tessa’s journey. Keep an eye out for the sequel!