I’d like to say that a board was produced and, medieval style, they began playing around with little pawns on a map. That would have made things so much easier to understand. Instead, well, they began a long list of the heavenly realms that were resisting appointing Bella as their head, or at least as their champion. Some were even doubling down on visitations to the incarnate realm to try and maintain worshiper loyalties!
“That’s just cheap,” sighed one demon. “They’ve lost and they know it. Their era is over.”
The goddess who had brought up the topic had more to say though. “They’ve invited you for a peace talk. I’m afraid they might have something up their sleeve though.”
“Why?” Bella frowned. “It’s scheduled to happen on their holiest lands. They would never fight there.”
My stomach lurched, and I felt a cold shiver run through me. Or would they?
“Yhwh is desperate, and his pantheon is reeling. They are losing power, and fast. They are desperate and may act out rashly!”
But Bella shook her head. “They won’t dare attack me.”
Lucifer smirked for just a second, then covered his lips with his fingers to hide it.
“The whole trinity will be there, and all the angels. The entire rebellions’ forces will be together,” the goddess insisted.
“We could use this opportunity to wipe them out,” Lucifer drawled, lounging back in his chair. “That would be the smartest. We just have to execute the godheads, and the rest will fall into line. It would be a good lesson for anyone trying to oppose us.”
Bella frowned. “No,” she said crossly. “We can’t be the first to attack. I don’t want to do that.”
I almost laughed out loud. No better reason, Bella? Just ‘I don’t want to’? Really? It was childish and probably a show of strength over Lucifer’s idea, which frankly sounded smarter.
The council hesitated. Eyes flickered to Lucifer as if for leadership. Murmurs arose, one goddess faintly saying “But if we could kill them all,” only to let her own voice peter out when Bella looked at her.
Wow. What a council. Such debate. Such – toe licking on their part. Everyone seemed intent to stay on Bella’s good side. Normally, I would have expected Lucifer to put up a stink and demand his idea go forth and conquer, but no. He slunk back in his chair and watched the scene quite smugly. I was in awe.
Even Lucifer was in Bella’s pocket? Really? Wow.
The council lasted the whole day, and we returned to Bella’s home in the incarnate realm after that. She promptly passed out in bed, snuggling against me like I was her favorite pillow. My mind reeled. Everything today just felt like too much. The entire world was changing. Kingdoms were crumbling and I – was being used by a pillow by the most powerful person in this universe. It felt ridiculous, it felt stupid. I’d brought all this about, just by being me. By being reckless with her. My thought crowded and reeled, and the room darkened with the night.
Then, as the moonlight shone into the curtains, the voice returned to me.
“Are you ready, Chaos?”
I slowly sat up. Disentangled myself from Bella’s grasp. She didn’t even move. Then I crept to the window and looked out.
“Yes?” I whispered so softly I barely heard it myself.
“Tomorrow is the day. Are you ready to fight?”
“Yes,” I thought as hard as I could, mouthing it to the moon. Out in the courtyard, a murder of crows were sitting, watching me. There was about a dozen of them, and they all looked grouchy.
“Tomorrow, we need you to be our inner hand,” the voice intoned. “Be -”
I jumped so hard as Kuryo’s hand landed on my shoulder. I stifled my own yelp. He tilted his head to the side, a tense smile on his face.
“What are you doing?” he whispered.
I didn’t answer, not sure what to say.
He shook his head, amused but scolding. “Who are you talking to?” Then he glanced around. “There’s no spirit here.”
Well, uh, good point. How was anyone talking to me then? But I brushed that part aside. Maybe getting Yhwh’s blood all over me had made some sort of link between us. “Look,” I whispered. “Tomorrow is going to be a blood bath. Will you be safe?”
He nodded, his hand stroking my shoulder soothingly. “I’ll just perch somewhere and wait it out. It’ll be okay. Relax.”
I tried to smile but it was a terrible failure. Out through the window, those crows were still there, watching from all across the backyard. “Those your friends?” I asked, trying to change topic.
He chuckled. “Maybe. Are you my friend?”
I looked at him, jarred by the light-hearted question. “Maybe,” I muttered, those eyes looking straight through me.
He smiled, and it was so different than Bella’s. Precious. True. Intense a little. My heart did a silly flip-flop in my stomach. His fingers ran down my chin.
“Would you like a kiss?” he asked under his breath.
“Yeah,” I said weakly, not really believing I’d get one. But I did, and it was sweet. Our arms wrapped around the other – and he abruptly drew back.
“Just,” and he drew the curtain beside us shut, shutting out the night – and the crows. There were disappointed caws and cackles from outside.
I chuckled awkwardly. Heh heh. Look, him and I were alone now. I was half expecting him to suddenly morph or change personality. But he didn’t.
Instead he took my hand and led me to the blanket where he had been sleeping. It was as far away from Bella as we could be without leaving the room. There, we nestled down together with the blanket around us. I closed my eyes and pressed against him, focusing on his warmth and steady breathing and forgetting about the world.