I couldn’t sleep. My drunk ass just lay there, staring at the ceiling. Time passed, and eventually I wasn’t drunk anymore, just very thirsty. I refused to get up any more though, deciding that I would just get into more trouble.
My mind drifted in nothingness and I didn’t so much sleep as I dozed. Then, for real, I fell asleep.
I knew the moment I was asleep because I felt someone breathing next to me. Someone who’s presence I knew now.
“Sephira?” I turned, looking around on myself (in the dream). I was in a nowhere zone that slowly took the shape of a cathedral-esque setting. There were glorious statues, pews, but no lights save for lamps.
The heavy breathing drew closer. I turned around again – and there was Sephira!
“Sephira!” I lurched and grabbed her by the shoulders. Her eyes were still blindfolded, her walking sticktapping along the ground, and se was in a white robe full of bloody hand prints at the hem, but she smiled.
“Hey you,” she said happily, prying my fingers from her shoulders. “You’re not who I was expecting to see.”
Ouch. I was even screwing up on an astral level. Wow, Chaos. Good job.
Sephira patted me on the shoulder. “Go home, Chaos,”
Wham! I sat up in bed. The bed, Lucifer’s bed. The bed that Lucifer lent me.
I looked around. My throat was parched. The sheets were rumpled around me and I was drenched in sweat.
Go home, Chaos. The words rang in my ears. I wasn’t needed there. I wasn’t needed anywhere.
Furious, I stormed out of the bed and marched into the shower. I wasn’t needed. That’s how bad of a screw up I was. The deity that I was supposed to help was all ‘nope, I’d rather not, thanks’
I showered like I was covered in demon juice, scraping myself raw with an exfoliator and scrubbing so intensely I just about ran out of soap.
Finally, I stepped out of the shower and dressed in some of the clothes that Lucifer had provided (plain, black, blah). When I stepped out of the bathroom, I was face to face with a very grumpy fallen angel.
“Lucifer wants to meet with you,” they said, checkign their watch. “Fifteen minutes ago.”
I rolled my eyes. Great! I couldn’t even shower without screwing something up. Watch – I’ll have clogged the drain or something like that by the time I turn around.
I stormed downstairs, determined to glare and glower at Lucifer the whole time he gave me a talking to. But somehow, the more I walked, the less stomp I had. Pretty soon, by the time I was escorted into a sort of dining room, I felt sheepish. I had forced my way into Lucifer’s bedroom – but he had let me! And…
I found my mind crowded with all sorts of feelings as I looked at Lucifer. He was sitting at the table (all carved with ugly faces in it and leaves and stuff like that), and wearing a silky black robe that cinched at the waist and flared out into a massive skirt. Half his chest was showing (as usual?) and his headdress sparkled with fine chains and studs around his horns.
As I just stood there, thinking but not really managing to sort through my thoughts, he crooked a finger at me. “Come here,” he ordered silkily.
I took two steps forward, then stopped. The door shut behind me pointedly. I crossed my arms and scowled impatiently, like I had something better to do.
Lucifer’s lips curled into a half-sneer. “Chaos, you’ve grown up a lot since you left. You’re an adult now, am I right?”
I shrugged. “I’m nineteen.” In human years, that was. In actual years, I was much older, but you could say my age was nineteen, mentally.
Lucifer’s eyebrows rose then descended in a sour expression. “Did I use an expression that’s too old for you?” He drummed his fingers on a white box beneath his hands, on the table. It was wide and flat and – what was in it?
Curiosity piqued, I tried not to fixate. So I dragged my gaze back to Lucifer – and found him waiting. He’d said something. Oh crap.
I shrugged, hoping that was a proper answer. After all, you never heard of someone selling their soul with a shrug, right? You had to actually sign something.
Lucifer closed his eyes. Sighed. Opened his eyes and gestured to a seat across the table from him. “Sit down.”
I walked to the chair, pulled it out, and thunked down. Lucifer glimmered across from me, piercing eyes latched on me. But the box – something about it was drawing my attention. Probably because it was something I hadn’t screwed up yet.
With a sigh I looked at Lucifer and told myself to focus. He was either about to throw me out or – ask me for something. Which (spoiler!) I’d probably screw up.
I found myself slouching down miserably.
Lucifer drummed his long nails once, then made a face. “Do you know what it usually means when someone – especially not a relative – says things like ‘oh how you’ve grown’? Especially when it’s about you being an adult now?”
Oh gawd. A history lesson? Really? I shook my head.
Lucifer leaned across the table, hands perched like dangerous vipers on the box. “It means they want to get into your pants now.”
Oh- OH. I blinked, then stared at Lucifer. But he’d said that. Why did he say that?
“I have a proposal,” he said, leaning back. With both hands, he pushed the box towards me in a slide.
My heart jumped. The white box called to me from the middle of the table. O-kay. It couldn’t hurt to just… take a look?
Gingerly, I drew the box to myself. It was a fancy thing, with a fabric lining to it, like those engagement ring boxes have.
I lifted the lid.
The inside was all white plush, and the thing was deep black, glinting with silver chains. A collar. A beautiful, ornate, collar.
I looked up at Lucifer, jaw agape. The guy liked me.
He glared at me, but there was a hint of a blush on those pale cheeks. “If you don’t like it, you can give it back,” he said harshly. “And we can both forget about it.”
I looked down at it. It was such a pretty collar. There was a star in the middle, with chains draping out to the sides and small studs sparkling here and there.
I liked it. Greedily, I wanted it.
But – I looked up at Lucifer. Was he really offering – ? My throat went dry as I remembered everything that had happened with Bella. Oh, how much worse it could be with a god on the scale of Lucifer. The god who had already played games with me.
Such a bad idea. Such a, such such such a bad idea.
I looked up at Lucifer. Our eyes met, and his lips quirked into a satisfied smirk. He knew.
Serpent-like, he reached across the table and drew the box back to himself. Settled back in his chair, he was as smug as could be. My face was burning. “Let’s discuss the terms then, shall we?” he said silkily.