I sat there, face burning. Lucifer hadn’t been joking, not even teasing too much, when he’d said we were to discuss ‘things’.
“I’m waiting,” he cooed from across the table, an ornate feather pen in hand and sheet of paper at the ready.
I had my arms crossed and was regretting every decision that had brought me to this part of life. Why, why, whyyyy?
The worst part was that it was kind of fun. All of Lucifer’s attention was on me, just me, and there was a fun to the embarrassment. Guilty pleasure.
I squirmed in my seat, looking grudgingly at the white box that was now beside the blank sheet of paper. If only that collar wasn’t so pretty, I might just walk out.
“Why don’t you go first?” I blurted, finally looking up at Lucifer.
His smirk grew more sinister. “I come first?” he purred. “Alright.” He twiddled the pen, looked once down at the empty page, then back to me. There was just a faint glow to his eyes, a sign of godly happiness. “I like watching you squirm.”
And by like he meant…oh geez. I blushed harder and did my best not to squirm any more. I cleared my throat, willing my voice to come out super bored sounding. “Okay,” I squeaked.
Lucifer chuckled. He set aside the paper and pen. Shifting his chair so that he was a bit away from the table, he patted his thighs. “Come here.”
Oh. All my nerves froze. I stared at him, the proverbial deer before the biggest headlights ever. I mean, I wanted to go but – something inside me hesitated, squirming and … embarrassed? Afraid?
Another chuckle, a twisted smile and Lucifer leaned onto the table, chin in palm. What a lecherous grin as he watched me. “Or you could stay there. It’s not an order.”
I put on my pokerface scowl. I was badass. I was not intimidated. I was –
Really? Part of me scorned. You’re a screw-up.
I deflated somewhat. Picking my gaze up from the table, I saw Lucifer watching me expectantly.
Scowling, I forced myself up. I refused to be a chicken. With a huff as if this was all his fault and I was being punished, I stalked around the table and presented myself before him with my hands in my pockets and chin lifted in a silent challenge.
He shifted his chair again and patted his leg before holding his arms out at his side in silent invitation. With such a devilish smirk.
Another huff and I climbed onto him, straddling his lap. Then, one hand on the armrest I huffed and scowled at him. “Like that?” I scoffed, mockingly.
“Perfect,” he cooed, leaning forward. My heart jumped in my chest. His fingers slid over my face, caressing so lightly as they slid to the back of my head. A tremble of excitement ran through me, expecting him to pull me forward into a kiss.
Instead his fingers slid up to massage my scalp and play in my hair.
“So what do you like to do with your hair?” he murmured, so close I could feel his words on my lips. A gentle tug on my hair made his point. “Do you like it pulled?”
I blushed and glared. I’d been tricked, hadn’t I? It was somehow harder to keep quiet when he was so close. “Weren’t we changing topic?” I croaked.
“Not at all,” he purred, leaning so his cheek grazed past mine, his lips so close to my ear. “So answer me. Do you like your hair pulled?”
I gulped, trying to get my voice stable. “Yes,” I said, a tremble in that word.
“Good,” he crooned, breath hot and moist against my ear as he nuzzled. “See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”
He shifted to lean back against his chair, drawing me with him. We shifted, and I now sat sideways across him, my shoulder nestled against him, my chin cupped in his hand and his other hand traveling up and down my spine.
“So what about your ears?” he asked softly.
I tried to frown, but felt myself melting against him. I closed my eyes and pressed my cheek to his chest. Quietly, I mumbled an answer.
“Good,” he whispered, caresses rewarding me. I melted some more.
Things progressed from there. Question after question came, traveling down my body. Caresses soothed me and I felt myself relax more and more. I didn’t even notice when the hand shifted from cupping my chin to resting over my eyes, blotting out the light.
And, somehow, that helped. Topics shifted to more and more intimate topics that had less and less to do with sex and more to do with submission. His arms tightened around me and I nestled more. My hands found their way to wrap around his arm, holding him tightly.
Then, he asked about Bella. I moved my head, twisting free of his hands’ blindfold. Instantly I regretted it. It was like waking up too fast. The light hurt my eyes and I just wanted to go back into that cozy half-asleep trance I’d unwittingly been in.
But when I looked up Lucifer was patiently waiting. A thumb caressed my cheek as I blinked like a sleepy owl. “She wasn’t very good to you, was she?” he murmured.
That was it. I planted my face in his chest, not wanting to answer and wanting to blot it all out. Bella made me feel like a failure. She was where I’d failed, where the world had come apart. It was all my fault-
My face was picked up, cradled in palms, and lifted. Lucifer peered at me with a frown. “You know she was bad for you?”
Kuryo had said the same thing. But I didn’t believe it. I knew it, but couldn’t believe it. It all just felt like my fault.
Lucifer frowned and drew me back against his chest. I nestled against him, feeling so stupid and useless.
“I’m sorry,” he said, his words reverberating through his chest into my ears. “I knew but I never tried to talk to her. I’m sorry.”
Wow, I thought bitterly. An apology from the god of lies. Snarkily, I told myself it wasn’t worth much yet I knew for a fact that he rarely said those words.
“I’m going to make it up to you,” he said in a more cheerful, even playful, tone.
I looked up, smirking. “Oh really?”
“Wipe that smirk off your face,” he scolded playfully. He reached into his shirt and drew something out.
My jaw dropped as I recognized the black box and my crucifix. He’d had it all along. The fucker. I reached for it but he drew it back to himself.
“Ah-ah,” he said. “You don’t just get it back.”
“You stole it from me!” I squawked, anger bristling. “And you blamed me for losing it! You-”
“And now I’m giving it back to you, as a token,” he said sweetly, but there was darkness in his eyes. “I want you to have it, because I want us to have a clean start. No lies.”
“Oh, really?” I hissed.
“Really,” he said snarkily. But he drew out the two necklaces and passed them over my head and let them rest against my chest. “I want you -” he paused, looking from the necklaces up to my eyes. “You are not well. Go visit your friends’ graves. Go get closure. Go try and find the Sephira.” His fingers trailed over the black box, then down my chest, his eyes lowering as well. “But when you’re done, I want you to come back to me.” He looked back up, and his eyes were serious. “Promise me you’ll come back to me.”
My stomach twisted. I felt the solemnity of the moment, and I felt like I was about to screw up spectacularly. “I’m shit with promises,” I blurted.
“Well, it’s time to get better, isn’t it?” he asked crisply. “Promise it. Come back to me when you’re done.”
I gulped. Did I even want to? I could probably find a happy life in some other world. Kuryo might want to go somewhere else. And worse – this could all just be a game to use me. He’d done it before, hadn’t he?
But these past moments, this quiet time in his lap, had been one of the happiest moments I’d had since my world had fallen apart. So I nodded, wanting to hold onto that and cursing him for having given me a taste of it. “I’ll come back,” I croaked.
“Thank you,” he whispered, stooping to kiss me.