Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 15 part 1

Chaos POV

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.

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 14 part 2

Chaos POV

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’

Go home!

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.

A 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.

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 13 part 2

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Chaos POV

Alright, snooping could wait a little bit. I woke up, slept, and woke up in no particular order. On the third day or time waking up, I decided that something had to change.

Like most citizens in the otherworld (and maybe souls in general), I had a voice that told me to get busy and help out washing dishes or something. The other voice was like “Let’s go find out Lucifer’s deep dark secrets”.

Which one do you think I decided to do?

It was three am, if you’ll fucking excuse me. No one makes wise decisions at that time of morning, not after having starved and drank very little for the past few days.

First off, I pretended that I was actually going to help the servants out. I told myself that ‘nahh, I’m not like that, I’m not a snooper’, so I took myself to the kitchen. There I uncorked a bottle of hard stuff and took a few shots out of the bottle. Great.

I toasted to Aaliyah and Jade (another shot or two) and decided not to cry. Bugger it all, I wasn’t crying any more.

Shelfing the bottle exactly where it had just been, I strolled on out and decided to use my spidey-senses and get to work. Lucifer wasn’t the only one with juju powers, after all, and mine weren’t only for fighting.

Alright, most of mine were for fighting because that’s how I had trained myself. But – I knew a few nifty tricks or two.

Drawing a necklace that had been returned to me from my neck, I dangled the crucifix before me.

Now, what was I searching for? Hey, why not – that friggin’ black box. If I could find it, I could go on my searches and find – Kuryo first, then the Sephira. Then we could both fuck off to some corner of the world and let everything else burn. That’s it. We’d be happy and safe together.

Plunking down on the floor, I set all my magic into the crucifix and willed it to help me find that black box. I even asked it politely to make it easy and plain for me.

This crucifix had been a gift from God when I was born, and yeah, it was an irony that I still wore it. But what drunken me didn’t realize right then was that without God’s presence somewhere powering up his sacraments, this crucifix was as good as a toy doll. Drunk me, however, wasn’t thinking of that. The alcohol had probably started hitting and I wasn’t thinking things through too much.

When I opened my eyes, I released the crucifix turned pendulum. It swung immediately, and I gloated. There we were! I was going to find it!

I followed the swings, not at all surprised when I found myself directed towards the large doors. When I crossed past the doors, I was shocked. Wasn’t my black box somewhere outside?

But no, apparently not. I was led upstairs. Across a dark corridor. Up another flight of stairs. I began to wonder how big this friggin’ house/mansion/castle/thing was when the crucifix began bouncing towards a door to my right. I tried it, but it was locked. Curses!

Crouching down, I peered at the lock. I sensed a weak spell. Good, I thought, let’s bust this fucker open.

Drawing out my daggers, I basically butchered that lock and spell, stabbing it ruthlessly then twisting gracelessly. A real lockpick would have laughed at me and said ‘good luck kid’. Somehow, as if someone was letting me in, the lock and spell gave way.

I grinned to myself. Sliding my daggers away, I picked back up my crucifix and slid into the room.

The room was pitch dark. The door that I’d left open cast in the slightest hue of nightlight from the hallway. My crucifix glinted before me and I advanced, following the glimmer before my eyes got used to the dark.

It was when my legs bumped into something that an alarm went off in my head. It was something – knee height, solid but with a layer of fluff on it. Mind dinging away about danger, I ignored it and reached out, lightly tapping the air until I felt – blankets.

I froze. Blankets?

Then, like a bad feeling creeping over me, my eyes adjusted to the lighting and my brain was finally still enough to listen to the silence.

I heard breathing. And I saw a bed.

Oh god, oh fucking god. I was in someone’s bedroom.

Alright. After a moment of panic, I decided that this had to be some guest’s room- no, probably more a servant’s room with that piddly lock on it. Which – if it was a servant who had stolen my black box, then Lucifer would be glad I found it again, right?

So I looked down at the crucifix. It was swinging so fast it was almost bobbing on the spot. I was close.

Okay, okay. I stretched my arm slowly out, left then right and forward. The crucifix swung – then stilled like a pin. I’d found it.

I looked down. There was the shape of a head, barely there. It must be under the pillow.

Holding my breath, I reached out. And out. Then- my hands touched the pillow ever so lightly. Slowly, so slowly, I began to slide under the pillow.

I held my breath as I pushed so slightly against the weight of the head. I felt – nothing? I pushed a little farther.

“What are you looking for?” Lucifer’s cool voice drawled out.

I shrieked and jumped back, spinning around – and around again to see the figure on the bed sitting up. Blue eyes reflected the light like a cats’.

I wished to faint. I wanted it so bad. A strangled sound came out of my throat.

The shape of Lucifer – still so tall without the heels – stepped to me. The crucifix was snatched from my hand. He wrapped the chain around his hand and closed his fist around the crucifix. Then he stepped towards me.

I spun and bolted. I may be stupid, but I knew when I’d overstayed my welcome.

Except the door shut in my face. I yanked – and nope, no budging it.

I froze, mind whirling. It wasn’t just locked now – it was bound shut. Lucifer must have let me in earlier on, and been watching me the whole time. Oh god.

A hand took my shoulder and turned me around. I thudded my back against the door, crushing myself up against it as my eyes stared forward into darkness. There was absolutely no light. None whatsoever.

His voice spoke, low and sensual. “Did you find what you were looking for?”

“I’m sorry,” I squeaked.

He chuckled. I jumped a mile high when fingers brushed my cheek.

“Shhh,” he shushed me, tipping my chin up. Caresses explored my face, my lips. I heard a sniff. “You’re drunk.” And he laughed. “How disappointing.” The touches vanished from my face.

“Disappointing?” I echoed, mind not processing any of this at all.

A gentle light popped on, shining beside Lucifer’s shoulder. I couldn’t see his face, but uh, his torso was like, right there…

“Go to bed,” he said coolly. “You’re drunk.” The doorknob clicked open at my side.

Something niggled at me to stay. What did he mean – and why had my crucifix drawn me here? But I was terrified. I yanked on that door and fled.

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 12 part 2

Chaos POV

I woke. It had been what, a day? Two? I wasn’t sure.

I sat up, looking around for a sense of what time or day it was. There was none, there being no ‘sun’ in hell and no clock in this room. So I got up. Went to the bathroom, then began lurking.

There was no proper other word for it, but the fact was that I didn’t mean to do it. I just didn’t want to be seen and tried to make no noise.

I somehow crossed no servants. Unlike homes in the heavenly realms, homes in the underworld were scanty on their servants. Less was best, unlike ‘up there’ where there were servants for everything.

Then there was that door with light streaming from around it, lighting up the corridor. It was like a giant sign saying ‘hey, here!’. You know the kind.

Now I crept closer, finally realizing that I was, indeed, snooping. Lurking. Being a bad guest. But-but-but – I heard voices. Curiosity climbing in me I crept to the door.

Standing a foot away from the thing, a hand hovering next to its luxurious panelings, I could clearly hear everything happening within.

“They’re coming for us!” a voice was whining. Bella? No one else sounded that petulant and cry-baby when they didn’t have their way.

A deep hum. Lucifer. More voices rose, clamoring for attention. I caught snippets.

“They’re going to wipe us out!”

“They’ve done this before!”

“We need to unify our battlefront!”

Everything abruptly fell silent. Lucifer must have raised a hand, or something. “How do you suppose we do that?” he asked snarkily. “Unite our battlefront?”

A voice, steady, said “We need to strike a truce with the heavenly realm. Maybe even with the Boddhisattvas. We need to unite.”

“And how, do you suggest we staunch that rebellion? They haven’t exactly taken a shine to us lately.”

There was a long pause. Another voice poked up. “A truce. We must speak with them plainly of the gravity of the situation.”

Footsteps were approaching. A servant? Cursing under my breath I crushed myself up against the wall, hoping they wouldn’t notice me.

They didn’t. They strolled by, eyes focused straight before themselves and loosely humming. My heart pounded in my chest. I was seriously up to no good. Chaos, you’re about to get into serious trouble.

But the door… I could still hear everything…all I had to do was cock my head and I could still hear them talking.

They were arguing now, two other voices raising steadily. They wanted to force the heavenly realm to submit, but were wondering how to go about it.

Okay, I thought. Chaos, you need to step away from this. It’s not your problem.

So, wrenching myself away from the door, I turned and – oh shit.

Lucifer was standing right there. Right behind me.

I gaped. Never trust a god to not just apparate behind you.

He was dressed all in silky black with (again) a large slice of his shoulder and chest showing. But I hardly noticed his outrageous outfit and heels, this time just staring at his face. He was smirking, but not in a ‘I’m happy’ kind of way. This was a ‘caught you, little fucker’ kind of way.

He stooped over me. I gulped. With the tips of his fingers, he touched my shoulder, then pointed the other hand down the hallway to where I’d come from. “That way,” he hissed softly.

I darted, bolted, whatever. I ran fast out of there. I was in no shape for a fight and certainly didn’t want one.

Once in my room, I practically barricaded myself in it. Of course I didn’t, but I wanted to just shove all the furniture up against the door and curl in a little ball. What a loser I was. Lame, lost, helpless.

I paced the room until I was exhausted. Whatever that meeting was, it was taking forever. Or, was Lucifer not coming to see me? For some reason I thought he’d come to chew me out. Or was he just ignoring me?

I paced some more, eventually flopping down onto the bed. There, I tossed and turned as sleep began slowly closing over me.

It felt like I had just closed my eyes when a servant shook me awake. I yelped, throwing them off and jumping up.

“Oh good, it’s awake,” Lucifer sneered from behind the fallen angel between us. Angel who slipped away now that their work was done. Which, in case you’re really bad at math, left me alone with Lucifer.

I gulped, looking up at the god. He was wearing something different – did that mean it was a new day? Or had he just changed on a whim after the meeting was done? Either way, his eyes were burning into me.

“I’m sorry,” I mumbled. I crossed my arms across my chest defensively. “I uh- I was wandering and -”

Lucifer crossed his arms as well and tilted his head to the side, as if he was indulging me.

Alright, I was nervous. “I didn’t mean to,” I fibbed. “And I didn’t hear much.”

“M-hmm?” Lucifer tilted his head even more, his silver hair draping around him. “Or are you spying?”

“Spying?” I startled. “For who?”

Lucifer’s lips curled into a nasty smirk and he stooped over me. I stepped back, but my legs bumped into the bed. Trapped.

“You know,” his breath was sweet as it misted over me. “The invaders. How appropriate for you to just disappear, perhaps see them, and return here to eavesdrop. Care to explain how you magically lost your transporter? No?”

I guppied. No sound would come out of me. I felt both simultaneously outraged, insulted, and terrified. In a blink, I decided to be angry. That would work, right?

“I’m not spying!” I fairly shouted, hands curling into fists. “I-”

Lucifer raised an eyebrow. I silenced. Dropping my voice to a hiss I seethed. “I don’t know where the black box went. But I haven’t done anything-”

“Yes, nothing, really,” said Lucifer dryly. “You’ve just been sleeping.”

“I-”

Another look. I fell silent again. My head drooped as I remembered these past few days – and the reason I was like this. My friends…

“What is it?” Lucifer asked sharply. A long finger lifted my chin. I swatted it away without thinking, twisting away.

“It’s none of your business!” I snapped, glaring up at him.

“Oh?” was all he said, so coldly. I felt myself flush with anger, at him and at myself. He was my host after all. He’d taken me in. Did he deserve an explanation?

“My friends are dead,” I snapped, glaring fiercely into those uncaring eyes. “Someone killed them while I was -” my hands shot out and shoved his shoulders. “Stuck! Here!”

Black tendrils caught my wrists and I wrestled against them. I managed to land another shove before I was yanked back.

“It’s your fault!” I screamed, twisting. My wrists were yanked behind my back and I kicked out, narrowly missing Lucifer’s knee. “You stuck me here! You had me kill Bella – you’re the problem! Not me! It’s all your fault!”

The black tendrils were coiling over me but I surged my magic, ripping free and launching myself at Lucifer.

It was like a child fighting an adult, except I was the child in this case. With practiced ease Lucifer caught my wrist, spun me around, and tossed me face first onto the bed. Smack.

Furious, I was back on my feet and attackign again before I could even think. Think something like: hey, it’s not a good idea to get into a fist fight with your host? Or one of the most powerful angels, like, ever?

I found myself slammed face-first into a wall. Black twisting vines, tendrils, things, wrapped around me securely and crushed me against it.

Gritting my teeth, I tried to wrestle free. It wasn’t working this time.

Slow footsteps walked over to me. I squeezed my eyes shut, expecting a ‘I’ve given you so much’ speech.

I was yanked around and dragged forward, straight up into Lucifer’s bubble. There was a frown on his face and his annoyingly nice perfume wafted over me.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered. His palms cupped my face and he stooped over me. So close. My breath caught as he searched my eyes. He was… so close.

My breath caught as his eyes dropped down to my lips. Then they went back up to my eyes. A smirk curled on his face. He was playing with me.

I wanted to scream and kick him again, but swallowed that down.

“I’m sorry your friends are dead,” he said slowly. “But I didn’t kill them. I didn’t mean for that to happen either.”

The tendrils slowly unwound from around me. I found my footing again, but he was still holding my face in his hands. “I am also sorry Bella dropped you like a hot coal,” he said, sounding sincere but his eyes twinkled merrily.

I jerked my head free. “You don’t care,” I snapped, feeling strangely hurt.

“Hmm,” he hummed darkly before turning and stalking away. His voice floated over his shoulder towards me. “Mind your own business, kitten. You can stay here as long as you want if you do that.”

The door to my bedroom shut behind him on its own.

I scowled. Like hell I was going to do that.

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 11 part 2

Chaos’ POV

I was shaken awake by a white fallen angel, and I mean white like ashes that went through the bleacher. There was no healthy color to those cheeks.

They helped me sit up. That’s when I noticed an IV in my arm and a bottle of magic-potion juice whatever on the hand table. Oh, and Lucifer.

Today he was wearing what looked like an army outfit, in the vein of ‘samurai meet space alien meets red lipstick tube’. There were giant red shoulder spikes, a mosaic-decorated chest piece, and a long black dress under that. Oh, and a very bad mood on his face.

I grunted in a sort of ‘hello’. Lucifer glared at me, arms crossed. There were giant earrings dangling on either side of his face.

The nursing angel began fussing over me, uncorking the potion and making me drink it. It tasted like raspberry juice. The color was like blood – And the memory of Jade and Aaliyah came back to me. I choked on the too-warm liquid and nearly barfed it all up. I managed to swallow it down, but set the bottle aside.

“Chaos,” Lucifer said crisply. The angel was swiftly stepping away and vanishing out the door.

“Lucifer,” I said dryly, looking blearily up at him. He tilted his head to the side and looked even more unpleased. I groaned silently inside myself. Here it was. He was going to be all ‘bla bla bla’ and demand something of me.

Because he certainly wasn’t taking care of me for free.

“Look at me when I’m talking to you,” he snapped. I scowled up. “Better,” he smirked nastily. “Now. Do you know where your friend Kuryo is?”

“He’s missing,” I croaked. “I was trying to find him.” Then, a few seconds too late, I asked “Why? Why do you need him?”

Lucifer’s smiled was wicked. “We have a certain problem that you’ve brought upon us.”

I blanched. “Me?”

“Oh yes, you,” said Lucifer sweetly. “You see, there’s an invasion happening across the dimensions. I’ve caught wind of it through – nevermind. But! The dimension you were just in is the one that they are right now focusing on. And we are next. Your good friend would be extremely useful for us right now. In fact, we think he’s what they’re looking for.”

My stomach curdled. “He went missing. I- someone is trying to take over Earth? Like, aliens?”

Lucifer shook his head. “No, silly. They’re trying to take over the god realms.”

My jaw fell.

“So, if you were to travel back to your old dimension, it wouldn’t be there that they would have attacked. It would be the gods of that dimension that they would have taken over. I guess eventually they will extend their control over to the physical realm, but what for if they already control its spiritual dimensions?”

My mind skittered to the principals. They were the ones under attack?

I almost snorted. Well, good luck to the aliens. Leave me out of it.

“So what?” I asked sharply. “What does that have to do with me?”

Lucifer smirked. “Well now, that’s an excellent question. Don’t you think it would ‘redeem’ you to everyone if you helped solve part of your giant fuck-up?” And when I didn’t react, he added “Your parents might want to forgive you if you did.”

My head drooped down on its own. I stared down at the sheets and blanket. I had fucked up royally, that was true. But this was Lucifer. He was going to trick me, I was sure of it.

But then – what other option did I have?

I looked blearily up at Lucifer. As soon as our eyes connected he smirked. He stooped down to my eye level and said sweetly “You take some time and think on it, kitten.”

I ground my teeth, aggravated by his sweet perfume and the glimmer in his eyes. I was trying to think of a snarky answer, but he turned and whisked away.

Furious with myself, I fell back down onto the pillows.

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 10 Part 1

Chaos

I was in darkness for who knows how long. I blacked out. It was all getting to be too much. I didn’t dream. I didn’t know how much time passed. One minute was darkness, the next I woke up with something cold washing over me. I spluttered and sat up. An angel, the fallen kind (you can tell because they were white as sheets) stepped back from my side.

“Oh, perfect,” crooned Lucifer from the other side of me. “It’s awake.” He stooped over me. “Hello, kitten.”

I sat up, scowling. “What- what am I doing here?” I looked around. I was in one of the royal waiting rooms of Hell, laying on an armchair. My hands were empty and I didn’t have the black box on me. Mercifully there was no audience. Just Lucifer and an angel who was walking away respectfully. No Bella. No Bella?

I looked around again, heart plummeting. Of course she wouldn’t be here. She didn’t care, did she?

Lucifer snapped his fingers above my face. “Eyes here,” he ordered in salty sweetness, pointing at his eyes.

“Where’s Bella?” I blurted, trying to sit up. Everything ached. This stupid chair’s armrest was digging into my sides. “Where-” I looked around again. Memories were flashing back into me. The scent of Jade’s body. The stupid orange eyed woman on the beach. The world swam around me. I had to get home.

“Bella wasn’t here when you appeared,” said Lucifer so sweetly. “However, you are.”

I looked at him, finally taking him in. He was dressed in a black and red kimono that was all silky and demonic cultural appropriation. Seriously, I doubt they were supposed to be worn open down to the waist like that, with so much jewelry. Ah, uhm, I looked back up at his face, which was framed with horns and fine glittering chains draped all about. There was a sympathetic look to his face, but I was sure it was fake.

“How are you feeling?” he asked in a gentle coo.

I looked around again, this time to try and hide the tears welling up in me. “Why am I here?” I croaked, scrubbing at my face with a sleeve. “I uh,” I sat up and turned my shoulder to Lucifer. “I’ve got to-”

A long finger with a pointed red fingernail turned my chin deliberately back to Lucifer. A little memo flashed back into my mind, of my father warning me as a child to never turn my back onto a high-ranking demon. Oops?

If it was any indication, Lucifer’s smirk was in place. I doubted it meant anything good though.

“You were sent to do one thing,” he said softly. “One thing, Chaos. Tell me, did you do it?”

I gulped, feeling quite terrified. Emotions welled up in me. “No,” I croaked, about to blubber about Jade and Aaliyah and everything.

“Figures,” said Lucifer sharply, letting go of my chin. He turned and walked away, the silks trailing after him indulgently. My gaze fell to my boots. My head drooped.

Alright get it together, I told myself. We have to find the Sephira. We- just pull it together. Kuryo is still missing.

I rose to my feet as Lucifer reached the door of the waiting room. It flew open, and Bella marched in. Her eyes latched onto me.

“It’s back,” cooed Lucifer. “But it lost the black box.”

“I did?” I yelped, patting myself over. How did I do that?

Bella marched towards me, long coat whirling in fury. “Where is the Trinity?” she hissed furiously.

My heart turned to mush. Tears rose in me. “Bella,” I heard my voice whine, and I sounded pathetic but I couldn’t do anything about it. My arms reached out for her stupidly. I just wanted a hug. Something.

She seized my wrists. “Where is it?” she snapped, throwing my arms out of her way to stand in my face. I shrunk back, feeling myself crumble within. Tears started to fall and I couldn’t stop them.

“I-” Aaliyah and Jade were dead! My little ‘cule was destroyed!

But I didn’t get a chance to tell her. Her hand cracked across my face. My vision blurred, and I fell to the ground.

What a mess, I thought distantly as I heard myself sob. For a second I was outside of my body, watching as Bella stood over me. She was screaming now, her voice high pitched. I was laying on my side, a mess. I watched as she kicked me in the ribs, screaming that I was useless.

And then, suddenly I was back in my body and Lucifer was beside Bella, his hand on her wrist. Bella froze as if caught in a mousetrap. Lucifer smirked at her, but it was cold. “Don’t you think you should stop?” he said softly before dropping her wrist. “You’re embarrassing yourself.”

Bella hissed back, but her voice was quieter. “This idiot was our best chance at getting the Trinity back and stopping the invasion! What do you think-”

Lucifer cleared his throat, looking pointedly down at me. Bella glanced my way as well. “Oh whatever,” she snapped. “She’s useless. Get rid of her. I don’t care.” She laughed hollowly. “Send her back to her parents.”

I looked up at that, propping up on my elbow. My family! Of course! Maybe dad could do something, he was the grim reaper after all –

Bella laughed at the hope on my face. “You idiot,” and she crouched down before me. Her fingers took my chin in their grasp. “You sad thing, haven’t you heard? They disowned you, you useless sap.”

It was like a knife to my heart. My – family? Disowned me? No. no…

I watched, distant, as Bella’s heels turned and marched away. The floor rose up and struck me, hard.

For a moment, everything was dark and peaceful. Then Lucifer was shaking me. “Come on, get up,” and he lifted me by the arm.

The world turned black for good this time.

/////

Chaos’s POV

I woke up in a soft haze. I felt sick, foggy, and my mouth was pasty. Around me, the room was white with only a faint nightlight on.

For a moment, I decided that it must be nighttime and I refused to move. I fancied that maybe I was home, maybe I was in a hospital room and my ‘cule was coming for me. Or maybe my parents were coming.

But this was too elaborate to be a hospital room. There was a dresser chest, a closet, and curtains. There seemed to be a statue or knick nack here and there, but it was too dark to tell what they were.

I nestled down into the bed, shutting my eyes tight against the world. Darkness closed against me for what felt like just a minute before my eyelids were pried open.

“Perfectly healthy,” a voice was saying as lights flashed into my eyeballs.

I struggled, but I was still trapped in a haze. I managed to open both eyes and squint. An angel was stooping over me and drawing back to face – Lucifer? A very grumpy Lucifer, if that was him. His lips were set in a thin line of displeasure and his eyes glowed with anger.

“Not carrying anything?” was all I caught from what Lucifer asked crisply. The angel murmured ‘no’ and said a bunch of other stuff. I drifted off back to sleep.

I woke again in what felt like a blink to the realization that someone was watching me. I blinked, and indeed, the Lord of all things Evil was glaring at me. He caught my gaze and his eyes narrowed. Then in a whirl of silks, he walked away.

I sunk back into darkness.

Chaos & Kuryo (Novel 3) Chapter 4 Part 1

Chaos’s POV

With a thud I landed in a blurr of brown and beige and green. My feet dunked down into slushy mud. I lost my balance and toppled over, arms flailing. I landed face-first in mud.

Ugh. What an entrance.

Spitting and cursing I propped up on my elbows. Before me, a breathtaking view of valleys and farm houses stretched in spring hues with mud spattered here and there. It was where Bella had once taken me to see the view – except now it was spring.

A lump rose in my throat. I crawled up to my feet, feeling betrayed by myself. I just had to come back here, didn’t I? Well, bugger it all.

I looked down at the black box in my hand, cursing myself and my squishy sentiments. I would go back and – something appeared behind me. My hairs stood on end. My magic senses went ‘warning! Warning!’ and I whirled, swords out.

Sparks skittered as I struck a magical shield. It shimmered with pastel colors in a bubble around a very un-pastel person. Lucifer.

Lucifer was all decked out in horns and black robes and the usual tall-as-hell-was-deep high heels that levitated above the mud. There was even the semi-permanent smug look to his face.

“Oh, it’s you,” I said, lowering my swords. I picked up the black box that I had dropped to defend myself. I wiped the mud off of it, then looked back up. Those crystal-like blue eyes were shimmering with amusement.

“Chaos, Chaos,” Lucifer tutted, bending over as if dealing with a child. “What are you doing here, hmm?”

I held up the box. “It was a mistake. I uh- just – wrong place. Don’t worry, I’m leaving.” Like I wanted to stay around here!

Lucifer held out his hand amiably. “Need help? I’m pretty good at fixing things.”

“Really?” I held out the box without thinking twice. Or rather, I thought too late. It was when the box left my fingers that I thought -hey, wait a minute.

“Thanks!” said Lucifer so cheerfully as he straightened, taking the box with him. “And thank you so much for coming back.”

“I need to go,” I said in a blurt “my friend-” but Lucifer was giving me that pitying look he reserved for… unfortunate people. I gulped, feeling screwed.

Lucifer snapped his fingers. Behind him in a semi-circle appeared a whole host of angels. “Take him,” he ordered, a nasty grin sparkling across his face.

I cursed under my breath. There was no way I was fighting my way out of this.

//////

Kuryo’s POV

“Hey,” I was dangling in nothingness, still. Time had passed, and yet it hadn’t. I’d dozed off – or had I?

I wondered if the other bodies that were dangling around were conscious. “Hey!”

But my voice didn’t seem to go far, nor to even echo. It was just absorbed by this lifeless darkness. No answers. Except- a twinge of amusement that came down the umbilical chord.

“You’re alive,” I mumbled, looking up at the thing that was above me. At the dark mass of the Academy’s depths.

A sliver of laughter came down the chord to ripple out through my mind.

Hi, I thought dryly.

Welcome to my world, the voice cooed in my head.

I squeezed my eyes shut, trying not to think of everything and anything. I needed to find a way out of here!

Laughter echoed in my mind. There is no way out, you sad little thing. We will digest you. You will end.

And, like the proverbial villain who never shuts up, the rant began.

It was a mistake, incorporating you so quickly last time. This time, we will do it slower. Yes, yes,.

That was followed by a whole chorus of sighs and laughs. Like every single piece that was shattered up there had its own voice for an instant. It gave me the creeps- yet I somehow understood it. I’d felt that shattered before.

“You do?” asked a tangible voice. I startled so bad, looking up.

A silvery head looked down at me. The skin was silvery translucent, the hair was white and thin, and its torso was child-like, the waist hidden in the darkness that was above me. Thin arms jutted from shrunken sockets to grip at the chord.

“Do you know what this feels like?” and that word, ‘this’ had been said by a million voices.

A strange eagerness was rippling from the being, from this infantile version of the Academy. It was like a heat oppressing over me. But I nodded, feeling a strange sort of sympathy within myself for it.

A sympathy that was noticed the minute I felt it.

“You like me!” the figure squealed, clasping its tiny hands together. It tapped and toyed its fingers together in excitement. “I like you too!” it blurted.

I laughed at this -creepy- but almost charming innocence.

The figure ducked back up into the darkness. Then, weilding a knife, it ducked back down. Knife held in its teeth, it swung down, gripping the umbilical chord with ease. I gasped, suppressing a wave of horror as the region beneath the hips swung down. It was a mess of octopus tentacles, all white and silvery and translucent like the rest of this body.

The being swung down straight before me, the tentacles wrapping around my stomach so the head was just a little above me. The knife was drawn out from the teeth and pointed at my throat. “I’ve got a knife!” the child giggled.

O-kay? I forced myself to stay calm, neutral, pushing all other feelings aside. “I don’t have one,” I said lamely.

The being giggled. The knife was waved in my face. “Just remember.” Then the knife was swung around and planted straight into their octopus hip. It jutted out, the skin torn but not bleeding.

“Now,” the being looked at me, tilting its head to the side. A sigh came from its lips, but I felt a rush of voices in my head. Questions, probing eyes, as if all my thoughts were being sifted through. A question was pulled out of me.

“Who am I?” squealed the being, as if so excited to have someone to talk to. “Well I- I never thought of that!”

“Ah?” I half-laughed, feeling giddy from my senses screaming danger.

It leaned in so close our noses brushed. Its fingers toyed with my ear, the one with the split lobe that had been so long ago. The being grinned. “I remember this. Your escape. I remember you. I remember everything, except -” it took in an angry breath, then hissed in my face. “I am nothing. I have no voice, I have no time, I have no feelings, no agency! I get no friends.” It leaned back, hands locked behind my neck as it arched back, back, back, until all I saw was the tip of its chin and its chest.

“I am alone in my multitude,” it crowed, half sobbing. “I have no friends.”

A feeling radiated from it, raw emotion that invaded me. It was wounded, miserable, shattered, and weak. Frightened, lonely.

I found myself pitying it. Hadn’t I felt that way after surviving the Academy? I’d had no one, not even Charr with me for the first little while. Even then, Charr could only understand so much. I collected partners, but they never filled that strange void within-

“Exactly,” cooed the spirit, drawing me out of my thoughts by rising up again to look down at me. “I’m so alone.

I gulped, not liking how I was seeing myself echoed in this being, this part of the Academy.

“Just More Chaos”; Chapter Twelve Part Two

The next morning, just as the vampires got dozy and started complaining about wanting to nap, the sun rose. Crack!, went the dawn. Moo, went the cows somewhere on the horizon (I guess?) and ba-dang! Someone dropped something in the kitchen.

Bella sat up in her bed, startled awake. Kuryo woke too, but barely moved. He was watching Bella with dark eyes as if gauging what to do next.

I, innocent as could be, was sitting in the windowsill and pretending to be, you know, just sitting. Which I really was doing. But I was also thinking. And wondering. And thinking. But also realizing that I was part of the hive (maybe?) and so I shouldn’t think too loudly.

“What are you up to?” Bella asked, sweeping from bed to just sit on the edge of it, facing me.

I looked around and shrugged. “Sitting. Thinking.”

“I can hear that,” she said nastily.

Oh, ouch. uh-

“Stop thinking, and come here,” she said, reaching out a hand and beckoning me.

My heart did a stupid flip-flop. Aww, she wanted to see me. I slid from the window and padded over. Our fingers twined together and she looked happily up at me. “I’m happy you’re here,” she murmured, tugging me closer. “I missed you.”

Giddy butterflies rose in my stomach. Yayyy my Queen loved me, I couldn’t help but think. She twisted my hand a little and nodded to the floor. “Kneel for me,” she whispered.

I did, because I was happy and she was being kind and hey, wasn’t I supposed to just do what she wanted? It was surprisingly easy right then.

Bella tousled my hair with a grin, then cupped my chin and kissed me. I was happy. For a moment I liked to think that everything would be okay.

But of course it wouldn’t be. Bella grinned and pushed me aside with a foot, enjoying seeing me as disposable. As a plaything. I can’t say it wasn’t fun, but… it stung too, because it wasn’t just a game. It was real to her.

She left for a shower, and I stayed sitting on the floor. I didn’t see a point in moving, not until Kuryo appeared by my side.

“Hey,” he said, crouching down beside me. “You okay?”

I nodded, looking down at my lap. I mean, I wasn’t hurt, was I? It’s not like I’d been punched in the face or anything. But Kuryo put an arm around me. “It’s going to be alright,” he murmured. “I’ll find something.”

I looked at him from the corner of my eye. Should I tell him? Probably not. Bella’s hive – was he part of it? Was I? I wasn’t sure. Death messed around with connections like that.

“Come on, get up,” he said, pulling on my arm. “Don’t stay on the floor.”

I let him tell me what to do. Come to think of it, everyone was telling me what to do… I guess I felt spineless. I guess I just – wanted some direction to life?

I was sitting listlessly on the bed when Bella surfaced from the bathroom, all clean and fresh for the day. Kuryo was sitting beside me, rubbing my arms and trying to cheer me up. I just felt blah.

“Hey lovebirds,” she sneered. “Come along.”

And we followed her. Downstairs and out the front door, to where a portal was waiting. It filled the air with the stench of sulfur and sparkles emanated from it. So it went to Lucifer’s part of hell, I supposed.

Bella seized a hand of both Kuryo and me, and, with a curt nod to the overseeing vampires, dragged us after her into the portal. Whoopee.

For a second I was terrified that she was bringing us somewhere humiliating. That was my first fear, before realizing that I should be more worried about getting myself tortured for havign sneezed in her direction or something dumb like that.

On the other side of the portal, we were unceremoniously shoved forward. I stumbled as the ground rose up to me, and Kuryo caught me. How come he was always on his feet? I briefly wondered if he had psychic wings or something that held him up.

Then Bella called out, her voice just a pitch shrill. “Look what I found!”

And we looked up. And around. There was a whole council. Demon overlords, one wind god whose name I couldn’t remember, several goddesses who looked out for vengeance, and, of course, Lucifer.

Lucifer who, like a drama queen seeing her favourite dish come forward, applauded slowly. Bella strutted forward to take her space at the head of the table. “I also found a jade dragon and a golden one.”

The council oohed and ahhed. Some even applauded for real. I stood, mind reeling. Yeah, okay, so she had a war council. That was to be expected. So – she’d decided to come parade us like little trophies. Also to be expected.

“You know, they’re not just going to do what you ask of them. They’re not yours,” Kuryo snapped sharply.

Bella smirked his way. “You’re really naive.”

Kuryo’s face darkened. And uh, naive wasn’t a word I’d apply to him. Just – for some reason.

“Well, congrats darling,” cooed Lucifer. “You’re doing fabulously.”

Bella beamed, truly proud of herself.

Conversation struck up. Kuryo and I were shooed to a corner near Bella by servants who rushed around serving preferred beverages. Details were ranted about and I pretended not to be paying any attention while trying to soak it all in. Just in case I could relay any and all of it to the rebellion.

As things stood, Bella had nearly captured all of North America. South America had already fallen. Some heathen parts of Europe were still resisting – but her religion was spreading fast as an official religion.

“Even the penguins are worshiping you,” Lucifer added snidely – and I couldn’t tell if he was serious or not.

Then, the topic came up. “We need to speak of the rebellion,” one goddess announced.

“My Name is Chaos 2” Prologue and Chapter One, Part One

I landed back in the world, sword in one hand and bad-assery in the other. Or so I thought. In reality I had every intention of teleporting/zapping myself back to Lucifer’s realm just to, you know, try and catch Bella or something.

Instead, I landed in the mortal/incarnate realm. Bam! I careened on my feet, Bella’s sword in hand and grogginess in the other. The lab veered around me and I felt myself keel over- then right myself suddenly thanks to a grip on my arm.

At my side, FoxFace peered at me. “You’re alone. What happened?”

I staggered as my wobbly legs found their footing (hah!). I held up a finger between us. “Just a min,” I mumbled as the room began slowing down its spinning.

FoxFace clapped me on both shoulders and looked me in the eyes. There were soldiers lining the walls of this lab and they were also glaring at me with all the strength in their eyeballs. But FoxFace shook me stiffly so I looked her in the eyes. “Where is Bella?” she asked crisply.

Alright, the room had slowed down. I shook my head. “I don’t know, I – chased her, and – she got away,” I rattled myself mentally. I felt sick. Oozy. Covered in slime. Was this the effect of the portal, or of going from the Pure Lands back into samsara? Because I felt dirty, and certainly less enlightened than I had been just moments ago. Now the decision to ‘heal’ Bella sounded silly. I wasn’t a Buddha! What could I do? And besides, I had another problem that was glaring me in the face right now.

“What happened?” she looked me over. “You don’t seem wounded.”

“I’m not,” I wrung myself free from her grasp. “I just -” and I didn’t know what to say.

FoxFace gave me a cold stare. Then, with every move speaking volumes of disdain, she turned and marched away.

Chapter One

The department I had been shunted into was the ‘paranormal control agency’. Led by FoxFace, it was largely composed of buffbuff men and women with buzzcuts and egos as big as their biceps. I was shunted to a barracks, given a uniform, and told ‘Welcome to the Squad’.

I had promptly dropped the uniform on the floor and snorted. “Yeah, right!” I’d said.

The officer gave me a nasty smirk. “Kid, we have full permission to make your life a living hell, and to ship you back into the lab if you throw a tantrum. So get your uniform on, or you’re going back into the lab to live the life of a petri dish!”

I wasn’t too sure that they actually had any petri dishes large enough to hold my ego but – I scowled and put the uniform on. Just because anything that kept me out of the lab was a good thing. I didn’t want any more needles, tests, or whathaveyou. And if EVER I saw Leo again, I was punching the man. Jerk.

The next few days were… particular. My hair was cut into a short something or other. I met the rest of the squad. They all looked the same, and were significantly taller than me. In the evening they played card games. The next morning I literally fell out of bed (the top bunk, in case you needed to know) when the morning whistle was blown. We all did a ridiculous amount of push-ups and situps for the sake of ‘warming up’.

Then, after a gross serving of food, I was sent to the office of a certain ‘Officer Standish’, who turned out to be FoxFace.

“Good morning,” she said with a sense of bitter humor. I glared at her. Somewhere out through her window, the sun was barely getting up. That meant that, in hell, Lucifer still probably hadn’t finished drinking yet. Literally, no one in hell got up this early.

FoxFace rested her wrists on the edge of her desk. “You look so much more presentable. How are you feeling?”

I scowled and fiddled with my bracelets, which I had been allowed to keep. FoxFace smiled like it was a job well done. “I am glad you’re doing so well. I’ve heard you’re integrating well too, so far at least.”

“Did you hear about the breakfast cereal too?” I sneered. “It was awful.”

“Military food is awful,” FoxFace said, amused. “And I get complaints about it all the time.”

I paused, not sure how to answer to that. FoxFace just looked- so pleased with herself.

After a moment of her silent gloating, I slumped. “What do you want? Why don’t you just let me go?”

“Can’t, and don’t want to. You are part of our new program. Congratulations, you’re our first non-human military personnel. We’re investigating if you will be a valuable asset to the team’s efforts, if you are able to integrate, or if you should be in a team with other ‘paranormal entitites’. So no, I’m not done with you yet. Far from it.”

I gaped. “But-” I wasn’t sure how human military worked, but one thing for sure was – “I never signed anything! You can’t do this! I’m not part of the military!”

“No, you aren’t. You’re just an experiment. So you have no rights and, if I get sick of you, I’ll just kill you and be done with it.” She spread her hands. “But I have your blood, so if ever the need for you arises again, I’ll just call you back. You’re like a recyclable soldier. Prefect, really. Even if the mission goes foul, I can reuse you.”

I felt a wave of nausea. I’d died from Lucifer’s poison. If I died again… Where was I going?

“What? You look upset. You’re immortal, what do you have to worry about?”

I snarled. “I’m not going to be your slave for the rest of my life!”

“Oh don’t worry. When I retire, I’ll pass you on to the next commanding officer. So until the branch gets shut down, which can be quite some time, you’re going to be a ‘slave’ for whoever’s in office,” and she grinned wickedly.

I wanted to punch something. So bad. But I couldn’t just lunge across the desk and kill her. That’d probably turn my soul demonic or something.

Just about ready to see red and purple and all the colors of the rainbow, I rose and stomped from the room.

“Get back here,” FoxFace said coolly. “And sit down.”

I slammed the door behind me and whirled to face her. “What?” I yelled.

FoxFace gave me an obnoxiously patient look. “Sit down, kid.”

I stomped back to the chair and thumped down into it. Crossed my arms and legs and broke just about a thousand military rules with my expression. I wished she would just flip over and die.

“You do not leave unless I tell you so. You do not move, sleep, or breathe unless it’s an order from one of your superiors. Is that clear?”

I glared at her, digging my nails into my arms. I just wanted to hit her so bad. Finally, just because I wanted this to be over with, I nodded.

“Good. Now I wanted you to know that you have one week, today included, to get ready for your first mission. Get to know your team, rest up, and be ready in a week.”

“What’s the mission?” I grumbled, tightening my arms across my chest.

“Take a wild guess,” she said. Then, as if I might be too stupid to make a proper guess, she said “You’re going to catch Bella. Third time’s the charm, you know.”

I rolled my eyes. “You don’t want Bella caught. You don’t want her anywhere near these brain-washable idiots. Trust me. She’s going to take over this place, right out from under you!”

FoxFace remained neutral. “Oh?”

“She-” I caught myself. How much should I tell her about Bella? How much did she already know? But I wouldn’t give away Bella’s secrets. “You’re fucked.”

“Well, if you feel you have any information I should know, feel free to tell me all about it. But if you’e not going to tell me anything useful,” and FoxFace leaned across the desk. I recoiled slightly, and she smirked nastily. “You can leave,” she whispered.

I marched out and slammed the door behind me as hard as I could.

“My Name is Chaos”; Chapter Twenty One Part One

So, if you’ve been following, that was how I ended up smack! Face-first on the tiles of Lucifer’s throne room. Because, yeah, the portal FoxFace had made for me was rickety in essence and it was a sickening ride. So much so that I rose to my knees and barfed bile.

“Oh hey-y!” said a pair of sparkling high heels right before me. “What’s up?”

I looked up at Lucifer. They looked down, smirking. Dressed in an elegant evening dress full of rhinestones and wearing rainbow earrings and bearing their grey hair in a levitation around them, like they were permanently descending from the sky. S/he looked majestic and regal, like they’d just stepped off a throne. Well, they probably just had.

“I need help,” I croaked.

“Who doesn’t?” said the Lord of lords, rolling their eyes dramatically at the ceiling. “Earlier on, I had to get this zipped up my back on my own. It wasn’t easy!”

I just blinked. Zippers? That’s what s/he was complaining about?

Lucifer crouched down to my side. A waft of exquisite perfume wafted over me. His elbow nudged mine and a sparkling hand dusted my shoulder. “You poor, poor thing,” Lucifer crooned. “What’s the matter?”

I shuddered. Instantly I just wanted to relax and let myself rest against him. But that was a dangerous feeling. I needed to keep my wits about me! So I used the only real tactic that worked on Lucifer: honesty of sorts.

“I need to break a blood bond. A witch has my blood.”

Lucifer tutted. “Now look what mess you’ve gotten yourself into.”

“They stole my blood,” I hissed. “And now they want-” I gulped and stared into those crystalline blue eyes. “They want me to kidnap Bella.”

“Oh?” Lucifer tilted their head to the side. A finger trailed up my neck, sending shivers over my spine. “That’s a pity.”

“I need to break the blood bond. What do I do?”

Lucifer smirked, playing with a strand of my hair. “You need a haircut,” they said cheerfully.

“I cut my hair?” I asked hopefully. That easy? “That will break the bond?”

“No you idiot,” they snapped, standing in a swoop. “i was just saying that you need a haircut.”

My hopes crushed down into my gut. Asshole.

“No, you see,” dramatic as ever, Lucifer turned and strolled to their throne. “Blood magic is terrible magic. Strong magic. Very, very, difficult to break.” With a smirk s/he added. “That’s why you defeated the olde yahweh with it.” and they sniggered. “How ironic that it has now been used against you.”

I paused. Could it be that it wasn’t irony? That someone had snitched on what I’d done and given the witch that idea? “She has a source,” I said. “Someone who knows me is feeding her information.”

Lucifer turned to me. “Oh? Do you know who?”

I shook my head. Dusting myself off, I stood. “No. But I know that they’ve told her quite a lot. She isn’t frightened of me in the slightest, and I can’t seem to get leverage over her.”

Lucifer snorted. “I can’t imagine why anyone would be the slightest bit afraid of you. You’re chaotically useless. Oh, and on the subject of snitches, how is your ex fiancee?”

My mind hit a wall. “She’s the one who snitched?”

Lucifer made a sad face but didn’t say any more.

“How could she?” But I knew why. I’d dumped her, she was mortal, and now she’d had her revenge on me. With a sigh I kneaded a knuckle against my forehead. Swept my bangs back. “Okay,” I said. “Now what? What do I do to fix this?”

“Ah,” Lucifer swirled around in a cascade of silky fabrics. “Now you’re talking, tadpole.”

First goldfish, now tadpole? Seriously people?

“First,” Lucifer sauntered over to me. “You need to bring Bella something. Something big, to show your allegiance. After all,” and now that Lucifer was directly before me, they stooped to look me in the eyes. Their perfume wafted out – and something else. A trace of Bella. A scent of her.

“you’re in the hive,” I gulped, horror drenching me.

“Oh yes,” crooned Lucifer. “So I know that she’s set out a death call on you. But I’m willing to set that aside for just a moment. Let lovers reunite.” A finger was held up between our faces. “Bella wants a portal, but not just any portal. She needs one to Nirvana.”

“But I can’t give her that!”

Lucifer laughed in my face. “You idiot. Don’t you know of Amitabha? The Buddha who vowed to save every last soul? The Buddha who vowed that if one called on them in their final moments, they would save the departing one?”

I shrugged. “Barely.”

“I’ll make it really simple then. If you die while reciting Amitabha’s name, they will take you to the Pure Lands. Right?”

“A portal!” I gasped. “But -”

Lucifer winked. “Don’t worry, I’ve already told Bella you’re here.”

“What?!” I shrieked.

“What?” Lucifer pretended to be all innocent. “She gets here, you die, open the portal, she goes with you to the Pure Lands. She’s all happy and healed, forgives you and fixes your blood problem. Isn’t that great? Thank you Lucifer, yes yes.”

I balked. “But I’m immortal. I can’t die.” And I wasn’t sure I wanted to. Was it painful? Icky?

Lucifer smirked. They plucked a rhinestone off their dress and held it between us, where it shimmered. “Have some poison and find out.”

I hesitated. The rhinestone was pushed towards me. “Do you want to kill yourself, or force Bella to do it for you? You’re dying anyway.”

I snatched the rhinestone from his grasp. Instantly it melted into my palm. I choked as it felt like a needle driving through me, straight up my arm and into my heart.

Faintly, I heard Lucifer’s voice. “Don’t forget -”

The floor crashed up to me. I barely felt it, my vision tunneling and ringing filling me.

My last thought was that I realized that, indeed, Bella hadn’t given me an antidote as she promised. I felt cheated.