Chloe shut the bathroom door and leaned against it, shaking. For the hundredth time in the fifteen seconds it took her to run inside, she asked herself how in the hell she wound up in the honeymoon suite of the Ritz-Carlton, married to Lucifer Morningstar.
It was a combination of bad timing and impulsive thinking, as with so many of her adventures with Lucifer. She'd felt compelled to follow him to Lux after closing the Liemolts case, when Lucifer had beamed so proudly about now stocking pickle juice at his club. To think, she'd actually thought that was going above and beyond. And maybe for Lucifer it was.
They'd both been surprised to find the same immigration officer from Liemolts there at Lux, illegally inspecting the club. She'd beamed herself, when she saw Lucifer. “Lucifer Morningstar, you are being detained pending deportation.”
“Surely there's some mistake,” Chloe had insisted.
“Oh, not in the slightest. His visa expired nearly six months ago.”
Chloe wanted to smack the smug look off her face, but Lucifer tried first his considerable lady mojo, and when that failed, he attempted his crazy eye voodoo. “Surely you want to help me out, Officer. We closed the case for you! Don't you really want to do me one little-bitty solid?”
“No,” she'd said, voice far away, and Lucifer jerked back in surprise.
“Well, what do you really want, deep down in the darkest depths of that bleak little soul of yours?”
“I want...to punish all the rule-breakers.”
Lucifer clapped excitedly. “Why, darling, you and I are birds of a feather! I love nothing more than punishing those who deserve it. But I do not deserve it, you see. I'm certain there's been a mistake!”
The woman blinked and shook her head. “No, I looked into it myself.”
“But I'm working with your silly government!” he cried, gesturing at Chloe. “I'm punishing bad guys! Surely you all want me to continue that good work, yes, Officer?”
She seemed unsure, but his spell was weakening. Chloe had thrown an arm through his and said, “It's my fault, really. I've been running him ragged and demanding all his attention with the wedding.” She didn't know as much as she probably should about the ins and outs of immigration laws, but she knew that marriage could get you a green card. They were just easy words, at the time.
He looked at her with astonishment, then turned back to the officer with a smile. “Yes, you see. It's not even my fault, and all will be legal soon. Surely you can let me off with a warning?”
She looked unsure, and Lucifer pressed with all of his charm until she admitted, “Well, you won't face legal ramifications for one hundred and eighty days, but for you, that's the end of the year.”
“We'll move up the wedding,” Lucifer had said, and Chloe really had thought they were simply buying more time.
But somehow, two weeks later, she'd found herself standing before a reverend. Which had surprised her even more than the actual marriage, truth be told. Once he'd talked her into it for real, she'd completely expected a quickie courthouse deal. Instead Lucifer surprised her with a lovely, understated princess-cut ring that was just her style, matching peach gowns for her and Trixie, and a small, intimate church wedding to which their family and closest friends were all chauffeured.
Including one extremely furious Dan.
So now, after a surprisingly real-feeling wedding, she was terribly afraid that Lucifer wanted a real honeymoon. What was she thinking? Of course he did. He's Lucifer.
She finally crossed to the sink and splashed cold water on her face. Lots of it.
“Detective? You really don't have to pretty up for me, love. The cow has been bought, as they say.”
More cold water.
“Detective? The ice is melting, and I'd hate to waste such lovely champagne.”
Who was she kidding? She needed a cold shower.
“Detec–” She opened the door. “Oh. More cold feet, eh? Well.” His hands took hers, so warm against her own frigid ones, and he drew her toward the bed. A quick quirk of the lip came and vanished when she stiffened. “Chloe,” he said quietly, and besides their vows, she wondered if he'd ever called her that before. “I know you've done me the hugest of favors, love. That means the devil owes you one, which is a unique position to be in. I'm not asking anything else of you. I promise.” He gazed at her with such earnestness.
Chloe swallowed. “Really?”
His eyes looked sad, but the flash was gone so quickly that she must have imagined it. “Truly. I promised I'd never lie to you. I certainly don't intend to start on our wedding night!”
She must have blanched, because he pressed some champagne on her, then refilled her flute before speaking again. “That said, I do happen to know what Maze got you.” He gestured toward a little black bag on the dresser. “If you ever want to wear it, I'm more than willing. I believe you'd find me more than you're accustomed to in several departments...”
His usual lewdness broke the ice, and she finally smiled. “I'm sorry, Lucifer. I just didn't think we'd do it for real.”
He downed a glass of his own. “Well, technically we haven't done it at all, have we now?” He stood and tugged on his jacket. “I'm sure you'll forgive me for leaving you alone, but I have some...paperwork and things...to attend to.”
“No, no. It's fine, Detective. I want to personally mail off my forms tonight. No sense letting this all be for naught, eh?” Lucifer gave a small bow. “Good night, Detective.”
She tried telling herself that she was relieved to go to bed alone.
Funny how things didn't look nearly so scary in the light of day. She woke alone in a great bed covered with rose petals, and she felt guilty. She'd at least a worn nice, if covering, silk camisole and shorts, so she didn't bother changing before hunting him down. Lucifer had apparently chosen the couch in the main room, and while he'd ditched the jacket, he'd slept in his tux.
Lucifer looked great in a tux. It didn't even look rumpled. Had he slept at all?
“Ah, good morning, Detective!” He smiled brightly. “I ordered room service. It should be around shortly.”
“I didn't mean for you to sleep on the couch, Lucifer!”
“No, no, think nothing of it.” He jumped up and ran to the door, opening it just as the food arrived. He dismissed the deliverer with a tip and made a big production of serving Chloe himself. “So, how's married life treating you?” he asked with a wink.
“Well, I'm a little concerned, actually.”
Lucifer's smile slipped, and he set down the plate he'd been about to fill for himself. “What's wrong, Detective?”
“What's wrong? We're committing fraud,” she whispered. “This was so rushed! We really should have thought this through better.”
“It's not fraud,” Lucifer said, indignant. “Believe it or not, fewer marriages throughout the ages have been about love than about convenience, connections, or even just fond tolerance. Which I am under no illusions that you harbor anything else but, believe me.”
“It's not that – ”
“I'm very fond of you, Detective. There is no human being I like more, and that's said with the utmost sincerity. I'm touched that you would do this for me, and I plan to be a good husband. Better than Detective Douche, certainly. I'll not give you cause to regret it.”
Chloe smiled, then buried her head into her coffee. After a moment, she said, “Thank you, Lucifer.”
Of course, what she was most worried about were his playboy antics. They’d made it half a week into their marriage when she returned to work, and she immediately raised eyebrows by joining the office pool predicting the number of days before Lucifer returned to his usual bedroom antics with the next bimbo of the week. She expected it by the end of the day, since their “honeymoon” was finally over and things could go back to normal.
She headed home after work, relieved the moment she stepped in the door of her very own home. They'd decided that it would look more legitimate if she and Trixie moved into the apartments at Lux, but she'd dragged her feet about packing. Now she was glad to have a private place to return to and try to understand the many thoughts and emotions which had swamped her all week.
That plan was put on hold when she heard a struggle within. Drawing her sidearm, she checked the door, finding it unlocked. Quietly, she moved inside, clearing the kitchen and living room, then making her way back to Maze's bedroom. Oh, she thought, of course. She turned to leave, but when a muffled scream came from within, her instincts took over and she kicked in the door.
Maze had some poor man bound and hanging from a bar-contraption set up in the doorway of the shared bath. The man was naked except for a ball gag and the strips of leather that bound his wrists far above his head, slung across the metal bar above, and came from behind to tie around the man's scrotum. It pulled as the man jerked in surprise, and Maze laughed.
“Jesus, Maze! A word,” Chloe demanded, running out into the hall. “That bathroom connects to Trixie's room,” she hissed once Maze joined her.
“Yeah? She's not here. You didn't like it when I set up in the living room.”
“I thought we were all moving back to Lux.”
“I didn't want to interrupt your connubial bliss. Besides, Lucifer's still pissed about that whole visa thing.” She crossed her arms and grumbled, “He's the one who fired me.”
“Unstring the man!”
“What? It's consensual...this time.” She pushed the door back open. “Isn't that right, whats-your-name?” The man didn't respond, and Maze laughed again. “Oh, very good! Mazikeen says, 'Isn't that right, little man?'” The man nodded.
“I keep a nanny cam in here, for chrissakes, and you've got the doors wide open. Unstring him!”
“Oh, do you?” Maze put an extra saunter to her ass as she prowled back in and picked up a cat of nine tails. Chloe shook her head and repeated, “Let him go!” before retreating to go pack Trixie's room – firmly closing the bathroom door as she did.
She'd really thought it was better to keep Trixie right where they were, but Lucifer had unequivocally refused to move into the apartment with her and Maze. They knew that stickler immigration officer was going to be keeping an eye on them, so they had to pretend like it was a real marriage. Neither Chloe nor Dan liked the idea of Trixie living above Lux, but Lucifer had redecorated a room just for her and even opened up a private entrance in the back so she wouldn't have to see the club crowd. Chloe really couldn't refuse.
Dan knew why they had married. He was being relatively cool about it so far, but she wouldn't give him any reason to turn her in. He owed her one after Palmetto anyway, and as much as he hated it, this was the one she had claimed.
“He's gone,” Maze said, throwing a black duffel bag down beside Trixie's boxes. “I hadn't even got off yet. Maybe you want to take care of that for me? I promise your husband won't mind.”
“You might want to keep on my good side,” Maze said.
“Oh, you have a good side?” Chloe asked, disbelief heavy in her voice.
Maze smirked at her. “I'm serious. Lucifer kept me around for a reason. If you and Trixie are living there, that's just gonna make more work for me.”
“Why?” Chloe asked, suddenly tense. Of course, Maze didn't work for her, but it was touching to know she'd take care of Trixie if it came down to it. “Who would come for us?”
“You wouldn't believe me anyway.”
There were similar sounds of struggle coming from inside Lux, and Chloe knew this was no kinky foreplay. Not since Maze had jumped from the car when Chloe stopped at a light and sprinted the block up to the club. How the woman knew Lucifer was being attacked, Chloe didn't know, but obviously she had. Chloe pulled her firearm and slowly headed towards the sound.
Lucifer, beaten and bleeding, was struggling to rise from the bar, and Amenadiel lay in a heap in the corner. Maze was battling the most gorgeous woman Chloe had ever laid eyes on – and losing. Somehow. “Freeze!” Chloe cried, and was completely ignored. “Stop, or I'll shoot!”
The woman finally looked at her, and her eyes flashed an icy blue. Chloe frowned. She'd aimed for a shoulder, and there was no hit beyond, but the woman hadn't recoiled or slowed at all. Instead, she tossed Maze aside like a ragdoll and strode across the room. Before Chloe realized what was happening, the woman had her by the throat and raised her high against the wall.
It was that move more than anything that made Chloe realize this was another of Lucifer's relatives. Once this close, however, she also noticed the similar features. Aside from the flashing blue eyes, she could have been the female version of Lucifer: chiseled features, slim nose, soft lips, intense eyes, only her black hair was much longer and fuller. She seemed to glow with some preternatural radiance. Chloe wasn't sure if it was the woman's looks or her grip that sucked her breath away.
And then the woman – no lie – flung forth a humongous set of golden wings. Where had they come from? Chloe fuzzily wondered as her world started to grey. They didn't look anything like she'd imagined angel wings might look. The way they flung toward her, Chloe was reminded of a cobra ready to strike. Or maybe one of those dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. What had Trixie called it? Dilo...
Lucifer roared and tackled her assailant, and Chloe gasped in so much delicious air, blinking away little white squigglies as she struggled to find consciousness. When she could finally see straight again, she saw Lucifer being straddled by the super-human woman – the angel? – who was taking great joy in punching Lucifer in the face again and again. Finally she stopped and bent over, their noses touching.
“Father is not pleased, Luci. We are all appalled! Renounce this...this human...and go home, where you belong.”
“I can't,” he gasped, laughing in her face. “I made vows. In a church, even. Our marriage is binding, so tell Father he can suck it.”
The woman looked at Chloe again, and this time Chloe could have sworn she saw fear in the woman's eyes. She smacked Lucifer one last time and...and she disappeared. Right there before Chloe's eyes. The woman was just gone.
“Who,” she asked, “was that?”
“Shekinah,” Amenadiel answered, finally coming to.
“Our sister,” Lucifer explained, pulling himself up in search of any liquor bottle that was still in one piece. Finding one, he lit up – though not as much as Shekinah.
“She disappeared,” Chloe said. “She glowed.”
“Yes, well, celestial beings can do that. We're married now, Detective. You should really get on board with this whole I-am-literally-the-devil thing.”
“A celestial being?” she repeated dumbly.
“Oh, for heaven's sake! Haven't I been telling you this whole time? Amenadiel, a little help please?”
“He's not lying.”
Chloe looked between the three of them. Maze looked bored, but the two men looked earnest. Chloe laughed. “Ha! You guys almost had me. Is this some kind of –”
“I tire of this. Look, I truly am the devil, he truly is an angel, she truly is a demon, and Shekinah truly is the Holy Ghost. And she's a very unhappy one at the moment,” Lucifer pointed out, “which means you need to start believing me. It also means you probably need to ask Dan to keep Trixie until I can get this squared away.”
“Oh! Uh-huh. I see now. Lucifer, this is quite a stretch even for you. If you'd wanted to be alone with me –”
“She had wings, remember?” he pressed.
“A trick. Somehow...”
“Dammit, Chloe!” His voice was so rough, in a way that he'd never spoken to her. It made her head start to clear.
“She had wings,” Chloe repeated. “You...you weren't lying?”
Maze threw her hands up. “Finally!”
She looked at Maze. Now this one was a bit more believable. “So you're –”
“A demon.” Maze snapped before turning to Lucifer. “Are we going to do something about Shekinah?”
“We really must. Shekinah...” He shook his head. “If Father sent her, we're all in trouble.”
“You said she's the Holy Spirit,” Chloe said, truly feeling like an idiot. “You're saying the Holy Spirit is after me.”
“I think she was after me. You just got in the way.” Chloe blinked at him, and he favored her with his usual grin, now considerably bloodied. “Oh come, Detective. Surprised the Holy Ghost is a she? You didn't think we were all male, did you? What about anything in existence is purely a man's domain? That's all your silly human doings. I do hope that fad has passed. There's a balance, you know.”
Chloe stared at where she'd last seen Shekinah. “God and the Holy Ghost disapprove of our marriage. If ever there were grounds for a religious annulment...”
“Nonsense. They'll just have to get used to the idea.” He grinned at her. “After all, you are. I can tell. And who among you hasn't had a little in-law problem, hm? It may not be settled by Christmas, but I'd much rather hang out with your mum anyway. Once you've met Amenadiel and Shekinah, you've pretty much met them all: boors or assholes, sometimes both.”
There was never a heartbreak so all-encompassing as handing Trixie's boxes over to Dan. Although a distant second had to be watching Lucifer poke his head in every few minutes, a very clear You're not leaving? writ on his face whenever he looked at her.
“You're not planning on sleeping in there, are you?” he asked, finding her lying on the guest bed, curled around a stuffed monkey she'd known Trixie wouldn't miss.
“I certainly am,” Chloe said, sniffing deeply, trying to memorize Trixie's scent.
“She's not dead, you know. Although she's stuck with Detective Douche, which is considerably worse.”
Chloe tried to ignore him, but, being Lucifer, he just didn't know when to stop. “I've never had an empty bed for this long in my considerably long life!” he whined, and Chloe sat up to stare at him.
“Trust me, I know. And I'm not asking you to.”
“But...but we're wed!”
“Didn't you notice I had him leave out the 'forsaking all others' part? I'd never ask that of you.”
“Well if you'd put out, it wouldn't be an issue...”
Chloe's phone chimed. “Body under the bridge at Sixth. Thank God.”
Lucifer's nose wrinkled. “I seriously doubt it was his doing. That isn't like you, Detective, minimizing death like that.”
“I'm not minimizing,” she said, but she could feel herself blushing in shame. “I'm just grateful to stop discussing your sex life.”
“Lack of one, Detective. There's nothing to discuss in that department. Unless you...?”
“Yes, and a quite tight one, too.”
He was mercifully silent on the ride, letting her think. Finally, she ventured, “So...everything you've been saying this whole time...that's all actual, literal truth?”
“Yes, Detective. I've explained hundreds of times by now.”
“So when you say 'Dad'...?”
“And when you were worried that your mom 'escaped from hell', that was an actual, real situation in THE hell?”
“Yup. Oh yeah, that Charlotte Richards you thought I was banging? That's my mum now.”
“That's the body she took. She's the Goddess of Creation, so she's really more an incorporeal form naturally.”
“You don't even want to know who she was banging.”
Chloe was silent again for a while. “So when you say you're the devil...”
“But you're not evil,” Chloe said, and she finally looked at him.
Lucifer smiled the most un-devilish smile she'd ever seen. “THANK you, Detective! That's what I've been saying for millennia.”
She had so many more questions, and she didn't even know what they were, to be honest. It was all such a jumble in her head as she tried to remember everything he had ever said about his 'delusions'. All she could think was Devil, Devil, Devil, Devil...Devil?
“I take it back,” Lucifer said once they reached the crime scene. “Definitely not a tight body here. Looks like our vic has a bit of a telly-belly, eh?”
“His name is Mark Jones, according to his I.D.,” Chloe told him. “And today was his birthday. Assuming this isn't a stolen wallet, that is.” It was hard to make a comparison since the man's face had been shot off.
“A hundred and eighty pounds? He's either a thief or a liar.”
“Had to be a crime of passion. Cards, cash...nothing's stolen. Obviously the perp knew the guy. Two homeless guys over there said he was chucked off the bridge about twenty minutes ago.”
Lucifer peered beyond her, assessing the two men. “Unlikely they got a plate number?”
“Yeah, no.” Chloe fingered the dead man's wallet. “Not a lot here at the scene. Ella's running prints just in case it's not Mark Jones, but we obviously can't use facial recognition or dental records. Let's head over to the address on the I.D. and see if anyone's missing either a wallet or a Mark.”
“Surely we'll find the killer nearby. Dumb killer. If he or she didn't want the body linked to them, they shouldn't have left his identification.”
“Crime of passion and not thinking straight. Let's go see what we find at 42 Main.”
What they found was a den of iniquity, which should have excited Lucifer far more than it did. There was quite the house party in progress. “How old are you?” Chloe asked a kid puking on the lawn.
“Twenty-one,” he answered without looking up, then started heaving again.
“Right. Where can we find Mark?” The kid pointed inside, and Chloe raised her eyebrows. “Thanks. Now get home before I call your mom.”
They were soundly ignored until she started flashing her badge, and then at least two-thirds of the guests ran. At least she could hear a little better, which improved even more once Lucifer shut off the music. “Mark Jones?” she asked the room at large.
A young brunette stepped forward. “He's gone out. Who are you?”
“LAPD. Who are you?”
“Miri Jones. I'm his sister.”
“Fratricide!” Lucifer cried excitedly. “Of course it is! Maybe God had a hand in this after all. He's trying to send me a message.”
“Wait a minute, what?” Miri said, going pale. “Fratricide? Are you saying Mark's dead?”
Chloe sighed and shot Lucifer an angry look. “I'm so sorry, Miri. We've found a body that we believe may be Mark. When is the last time you saw him?”
Miri shook her head. “I don't know, maybe an hour ago? He went out to get more beer. When he was gone so long, I just assumed...well, I thought maybe he was getting me a present.”
“Twins, eh?” Lucifer asked, and Miri nodded. He pointedly raised his brows, as if something important had been confirmed. “What happened, Miri? Get tired of sharing everything with your brother? Get a little murderous when he didn't buy you a gift?”
“What? No! Of course not!” Now the girl started crying, and some of the party-goers came to console her.
“Miri's been here all night. We've all been here, just hanging out,” one of her friends said.
“We're going to need to get statements from everyone. And I'll need to see everyone's cell phones. Maybe someone caught an altercation on camera.”
“Start with that one,” Lucifer said, pointing at another husky young man. “He's deleting photos!”
“I'll call in some units to help usher all of these young men and women to the station.” There were groans, and a couple of people smacked Husky Boy.
Chloe was relieved when Dan arrived with the officers. “How's Trixie?” she immediately asked.
“She's fine. She wants to know what's going on, and honestly, I kinda do too. Are you in dan--”
“Detective Douche! Or should I call you Douche-in-Law now? Obviously Ex-Douche won't work. You're still very actively douchey,” Lucifer said, and Dan rounded an irate look on him.
“You've gotten Chloe into something big, and I don't appreciate it.”
“Oh, it's big all right...”
“Guys, please. Lucifer, come help me search the vic's room.”
“With pleasure, wifey.”
“Let's not call me that ever again.”
Lucifer frowned but followed her upstairs while Dan continued taking witness statements. The second she stepped into his room, she knew it was a mistake. She turned and started to tell Lucifer to go back, but it was too late. “Oh, hell-o!” Lucifer exclaimed pushing past her and rushing straight for the St. Andrew's cross on the far wall.
Chloe reluctantly flipped on the light, which of course had to be red. There was a large round bed with an honest-to-God mirrored ceiling above it, a hook suspended from the ceiling opposite the bed, and all manner of paddles, floggers, whips, and even knives hanging on display racks around the room. “Why?” Chloe asked no one in particular. She shook her head. “See if you can find anything extra-sketchy in this already-sketchy room.”
“You don't like it, Detective? I mean, the budget scarves and plushy pillows are a bit 'co-ed' for my tastes, but his actual toys are quite fine! Will you look at the braiding on this cat?”
“No, I certainly will not.”
“This is high-end stuff for a college party-boy,” Lucifer pointed out. “The cross and spanking bench aren't some woodshop experiments. These are from master craftsmen.” He sounded sincerely impressed.
Reluctantly, Chloe came and inspected the sex toys more closely. She saw a sigil on a lot of the leatherwork which she had come to recognize from helping Maze unpack. “Fairly professional then.”
“I don't know how professional a twenty-one-year-old kid could be, but he's certainly got money coming in somewhere.”
“I'll have Dan get the financials,” Chloe said, still secretly enjoying having him at her beck and call. On cases, at least.
She turned away and started rifling through the junk on Mark's computer desk, looking for a planner. When she bent to look in the lower drawer, she felt a quick and solid 'pop' on her bottom. Did he just...? A flush of warmth crept up her neck...and possibly other places...at the thought.
Chloe stood and composed her face before she whirled around. Lucifer had already thrown the paddle on the bed and stood with his hands in the air. “You bent right as I picked it up. I had to!” Then his eyes narrowed. “Detective, you liked it.”
“I did no such thing!” She could feel herself blushing again. “That was just so wholly inappropriate that I don't even know what to say to you.”
“Here, I'll let you get me back.”
Lucifer pressed the paddle into her hands. “No, really, you're right. That was wrong of me.” He turned and offered his impossibly firm tush for her taking, and Chloe tried to look anywhere but at it. “Hit me.”
“Go on, hit me! I know you want to. You've always wanted to hit me, Detective. Now's your chance. A freebie. I totally de–”
Chloe jumped at the sound, barely believing she'd done it. That was no 'pop', like she'd felt. That was a spank that had been building up for a while. It felt oddly exhilarating, even moreso when Lucifer turned a very surprised, very pained look at her.
“Ah-hem.” They both jumped, and Chloe was mortified to find Dan standing in the doorway. Without thinking, she threw the paddle, hitting Lucifer again – in the arm this time – as he straightened up and got his ass out of her face.
“It's not what it looks like,” she said in a rush.
Dan had that weird neck-twitch going on, and Chloe got pissed that he thought he had any right to be angry. She started to flush again, this time with fury, when something occurred to her and she forgot to be upset. “A college kid would have everything on his phone. Where is his phone?”
“That actually hurt,” Lucifer whined as he followed her out the door. “Like, I felt real pain that hurt.”
“Good. Serves you right.”
They had Miri call Mark's number, and searches throughout and around the house finally led them to the bushes on the corner of the street. “And you're telling me nobody at the party saw anything?” Chloe asked, disbelieving.
“It was a loud party,” Lucifer needlessly pointed out. “Perhaps he lied about getting beers. Maybe he was meeting someone.”
“What I tried telling you...earlier...is that Mark has a stalker,” Dan said, coming to re-join them as Chloe began scrolling through his phone. “Some girl he briefly dated, Alex Something.”
“Alex Zellinger?” Chloe asked, her brows raising. “Seems she tagged him in fifty-eight photos from a 'Spanksgiving Convention'.”
“Ooh, delightful!” Lucifer said. “And what event did he have planned for this month? A very happy Fistmas, perhaps?”
Dan looked horrified. “Dude.”
“He's close, actually,” Chloe said, continuing to scroll through Mark's phone. “Looks like there's a 'Naughty & Nice' party at The Penthouse this weekend.”
“Well,” Dan said dryly, “I guess we know a certain newlywed couple who are more than qualified to go undercover.”
“I told you it wasn't like that!”
“I really don't want to know what it's like with you two, Chloe. Just go and catch us a stalker, okay?”
Of course, it only got worse once they were alone. “Tell me, Detective, do you prefer to be the top or the bottom?”
“Well, you have to be one if we're going to blend in! I could go either way, as you might imagine.”
“It's never hurt before though. It's quite a rush! Shall I be your bottom then?”
“No!” Yesyesyesyesyesyes, her body and mind chanted in betrayal. I'd love to hit you so many good times.
“All right, you can be bottom then.”
Chloe sighed. She'd never been one for pervy stuff, and she had no idea what to expect at such a party. When they got home – home?! – she finally said, “Look, I might live here, but I still need my space, okay. Go have fun at your club. Have a sixsome or something and get it all out of your system. We are not doing kinky play on the job together.”
“Off the job?”
“Just go!” she said. What she didn't say was, Man, I really need to talk to Maze.
“Finally! There you are.” Amenadiel was relieved when his mother finally made it back to her office. He'd almost thought he was going to have to hunt her down at Charlotte's home.
His mother looked at him, then hurriedly dropped her bags. “What's wrong? You're bleeding! What happened?”
“She's here?” Mom sounded incredulous. “She came to Earth again? Why? It's been so long!”
“Why do you think, Mother?”
“Oh. Perhaps that wedding your brother wouldn't invite me to, I imagine.”
Amenadiel gave a humorless laugh. “He knew you wouldn't approve. Besides, you tried to blow Chloe up. Did you really think you'd be in the wedding photos? I'm surprised he let me come. Wouldn't even tell me where it was. He had us all delivered at the last moment, and Maze said he set up at least ten fake weddings throughout the city to keep the Heavenly Host off his trail.”
“I didn't think there'd be a wedding at all!” She sounded indignant. “I knew he liked her, but I'm surprised the detective agreed to it.”
“You're not alone there.” He shook his head. “Shekinah claims to speak for Father, just as Uriel did, but I doubt he's talked to her any more than he has us. What are we going to do?”
“I need to see her,” Mom said without hesitation. “If all four of us band together, your Father won't be able to refuse. With his eldest son and his favorite twins on my side, he will certainly allow me back into the Silver City. Allow all of us, Amenadiel.”
Could it be true? Amenadiel wanted nothing more than to go back home. He thought, anyway. Maze wouldn't be allowed into Heaven, and Amenadiel was surprised at the depth of feeling he had for her. He cleared his throat. “I don't know if the three of us would be enough, Mother.” He gestured to his face. “And Sheki wasn't exactly in reconciliatory mood.”
“Just let me speak with her. I'm sure I can talk to her.” His mom smiled widely. “We'll all be together again. When you see her again, and I know you will, bring her to me.”
Shekinah obviously wasn't pleased with the Lucifer situation, so Amenadiel wanted to feel her out before betraying his mother to her. He went to the rooftop of the Rosslyn, though it pained him that he couldn't fly there anymore. He was forced to use the stairs like a human.
It had been a long time since Amenadiel had prayed to anyone. Not since Father had stopped listening. Still, he managed to set aside his pride and pray to his sister, asking her to join him.
“Shekinah.” Amenadiel smiled. “I wish you had tried this talking route first.”
“I had not expected you to be so weak, brother.”
Amenadiel straightened. “Nor had I, Sheki. Nor had I.” He walked across the rooftop toward her, showing no fear despite the fact that they both knew she could easily kill him now. “Mother wishes to see you.”
“I bet she does.” Shekinah let a humorless laugh. “You know, when Uriel stole Azrael's blade and fled, I thought he'd come here to right the situation with Mother and Lucifer. Yet you were unable to do it; he was unable to do it. I'd as soon avoid her honeyed tongue and fix this entire situation – as you were supposed to, before Mother escaped from Hell.”
“If my time here on Earth has taught me anything, it's that no one can claim to know Father's will. I've learned something recently that leads me to believe this is all part of His great plan. We must let this play out, Sheki.”
“You'll forgive me if I don't take advice from the Fallen.”
Amenadiel flinched. “I have faith in my father now. It is pride that leadeth to the fall, you know.”
Shekinah loosed her wings, as if to taunt him with them. “I will fix this, brother. And when I do, hopefully Father will have mercy upon you.”
“There's no way to fix this! We have to just learn to let go.”
“There is a way,” Sheki grinned. “Lucifer claims he took vows. I know the marriage vows: 'til death do us part. So, let us simply hurry the parting.”
“Sheki...” Amenadiel shook his head. “Uriel is dead. Lucifer killed him when he tried to kill Chloe. His love for her is strong. She's a miracle. Our mother believes that she is the key to bringing Lucifer – to bringing all of us – back to the Silver City. Perhaps that's Father's plan to see us all reunited.”
“I'm not interested in reuniting. Lucifer and Mom should both be in Hell, and that's where I intend to send them.” With that, she was gone.
“Detective, I'm telling you, it's perfectly reasonable to have kinky time that doesn't even lead into sex. It's called 'scening', I believe, and since we're undercover, just think of it like acting. You're good at that.”
“I already paddled you like you wanted, Lucifer, and that's as far as it goes.” Chloe tugged ineffectually at the leather ensemble Maze had loaned her. Maze had also been more than a little appreciative, which only made Chloe feel even more self-conscious. “We'll tell people I'm shy, and that's the truth. We're just there to watch.”
“We'll stick out like a sore cock, Detective!”
Chloe snorted and tried not to listen to that niggling voice that told her he was right. Once she parked the car, she turned and looked him in the eye. “Look, I'm very impressed that you've managed to restrain yourself – ”
“Restrain! Ooh, good one, Detective.”
“But you're right. So you should...play, or whatever...with anyone you like tonight.”
“What, and just tell people you're a watcher?”
Chloe flushed but forced a nod.
“No,” Lucifer continued, indignant. Finally, he met her eyes again. “You're the only one I want to 'play, or whatever' with.”
Chloe blushed and dropped her eyes. He actually sounded so sincere. And now he looked at her, waiting. Finally, she croaked, “We'll just see how everything goes, okay? Remember, we're here to find Mark's stalker.”
Lucifer gave a short nod. “Right-o.”
Inside, it was much like what she'd expected. Very similar to Mark's bedroom, but on a much larger scale. The club's very large stage was in the center of the room, and it had been set up with various 'play' stations, many making use of the stripper poles. There were intimate tables set up all around the circular stage for couples to watch or, Maze had explained with a snort of disgust, as a place for 'aftercare'. Other tables had been set up around three of the walls for vendors to sell their wares, and the fourth wall had a very large bar.
“I can't believe I'm doing this,” she grumbled, holding her clutch against her chest. It had her gun and badge, and that was all she was able to carry with the skin-tight outfit she was wearing.
Lucifer smiled. “Come on, Chloe.” The way he purred her name was entirely devilish. “It'll be fun.”
Chloe led him around the long way towards the bar, circling the stage to look for any signs of Alex Zellinger. Alex's social media had been mostly filled with pictures of Mark, but some had Alex photoshopped in with him, so they knew what she looked like. She had bright, curly red hair, and Miri had told them that she was very short. She shouldn't be hard to identify.
At the bar, Lucifer ordered drinks for them both while Chloe watched the entrance. “I don't see any sign of her yet.”
“Well, if she killed Mark, she may not show,” Lucifer pointed out. “Knowing he's not here.”
“She'd want to keep up appearances, hopefully.”
The night wore on, and there were still no signs of Alex. Every now and then, Chloe would go to the restroom or they'd move booths for a better view, keeping an eye out for Alex and listening to what gossip they could. They overheard many people wondering where Mark could be, which confirmed that he was definitely well known in the BDSM circles. Chloe started asking others if they'd seen Mark, chatting them up, trying to find out if he'd had any fights with anyone in the scene whom he 'might be avoiding'. It seemed Mark was, surprisingly, liked by all.
She grew bored with the same answers and no Alex. After a while, Chloe began to squirm uncomfortably, acutely aware of the throbbing arousal that came from three hours of watching surprisingly hot sex play, for all Lucifer tried to say it wasn't sexual. She'd been all set to keep a poker face through all the perversion, but the 'tops', as Lucifer called them, played with surprising care, attention, and even love. Hits with a toy or a hand were followed by petting, soothing, and murmuring. Sometimes even sweet kisses. There were a few couples – and one noticeable foursome – who showed such devotion and love to each other that it actually brought her to tears.
Chloe refused a third drink and kept squirming.
Another uncomfortable hour passed, and a hot breath tickled her ear. “Look, there's an empty station. We could try it for just ten or fifteen minutes, keep up appearances.”
“We didn't even bring any toys.”
Lucifer held up a small black satchel, and Chloe couldn't help but laugh. “Where on earth did you get that?”
“I visited a few vendors when last you circled. Perhaps I was overly optimistic, but – ”
“ – I figured if you didn't...Wait, okay?”
Chloe could barely believe it either. The were married, after all, and they did need to keep up appearances and not just question people all night. That's what she kept telling herself, anyway. The night was getting late, and it looked like Alex was a no-show. Why waste it? “Yes, okay.” She grabbed his drink and downed it.
Lucifer tsked. “Honestly, I hadn't expected a yes or I wouldn't have let you drink that. Well, your last drink was well over an hour ago. Are you sure you're good to go?”
“Physically, yes,” she said, and she was surprised when Lucifer squeezed her hand.
“I'll take care of you, Detective,” he whispered, and it wasn't even lewd.
The station they claimed had a spanking bench and a stripper pole wrapped in leather. She'd initially wondered why, but when she saw people tying their bottoms' hands against the leather, or in some instances, their entire bodies, she realized that it kept the rope or chains from slipping as easily down the poles. She gulped as Lucifer led her to it. “If I'm not mistaken,” he said, “you did like that little spanking. Shall we start with a bit of that?”
“This was stupid. I shouldn't have said yes.”
That wasn't what she'd expected. “Okay?”
“Didn't we just have that same conversation?” He laughed. “I'm not going to make you do anything you don't want, Detective.”
She'd really expected him to wheedle her a little. Why the sudden change? Did he want her to beg? She felt a warmth between her legs at the thought. Finally, she admitted in a whisper, “I do want it.”
He put a hand on the small of her back and led her to the spanking bench. The pressure increased only slightly, but she swallowed and bent over it without words. The bench faced inward, toward the station across the stage from her. Two men were enjoying some kind of electrical play, and it occurred to her that maybe they should have discussed things a bit more before jumping right in. She didn't even know what Lucifer had bought.
“Hm, the safe word is 'God'. Maybe that'll stop you from exclaiming it while in the throes of passion with me. Nothing ruins a mood more than hearing your Father's name called out.”
She closed her eyes. She couldn't look at the shock-wand men, and she couldn't bring herself to look back at Lucifer. She just squeezed her eyes shut as much as she could and tried to focus on breathing.
A light hand barely skirted her back, and she jumped. “Relax,” Lucifer said, his voice a promise, and she did.
“Good girl.” Her eyes popped open at that, and before she could think, she felt the firm pop of a paddle once again. She giggled, and Lucifer laughed in return.
“Not too bad then, is it? I knew this could be fun, Detective. I never quite liked it at first, this hurting people thing, but somehow it's different with you.” He thwacked her again.
Of course Lucifer would keep up a running-fucking-commentary while he spanked her again and again. She half-way suspected that he wanted her to lose her mind. “It's exhilarating, really,” he said, the swats coming faster. “I've never had someone just let me. Happily.” Again and again.
She was just about to tell him that it hurt, when suddenly he stopped. Chloe felt her dress rise up and she swung around, but she stopped her protests when the unbelievably soothing feeling of the fuzzy paddle eased the heat from her aching bottom. It felt...good. So, so good as he rubbed soft circles on her burning flesh. “Lucifer, my dress,” she croaked.
“You don't like that?” he said, his voice husky. To her surprise, he bent and laid a soft kiss on her seared skin, and she was unexpectedly glad that Maze had insisted on a thong with that dress. His lips felt even better than the fuzzy whatever. Reluctantly, he pulled her dress back down.
“I do,” she admitted, “just maybe not in front of so many people.”
Before she realized what had happened, he pulled her up and spun her around. His eyes almost seemed to glow a deep red, and she thought she'd seen that before. She'd always written it off, but this time, knowing it was real, it was even more thrilling. He kissed her, and the shock she felt was nearly orgasmic.
He smiled as he pulled away, as if he knew. “Good to continue, then?” he asked, holding up a blindfold. She nodded, surprised at her own enthusiasm, and then her vision was gone. “Wait!” she cried.
Lucifer pulled it off, disappointment obvious. “Well, it was rather fun while it lasted.”
She forced herself to look him in the eye, a smile playing at her lips. “It certainly was, Lucifer, and oh, how I hate to end it.” She dropped her voice several notches. “But Alex Zellinger just walked in.”
Chloe took off across the stage and down the stairs, intercepting Alex as she headed toward the bar. When Chloe pulled out her badge, Alex turned to run. Lucifer had stopped to pack his bag (and she tried not to think about all the toys that he'd laid out), so she ended up having to chase Alex down in high heels. Luckily, Chloe was the one who thought to ditch them first, so she was able to catch the woman with little problem (and a lot of applause, partially because her skirt hiked up once more).
“Let's go downtown for a little talk, shall we?”
Alex Zellinger swore up and down that she hadn't killed Mark, that she hadn't even been in town the night he died. She'd been at a funeral, which was easily corroborated with plane tickets and a hotel receipt. She was enthusiastic about helping to find Mark's killer, so she willingly handed over her phone, camera, and linked them to all the Mark pictures she had online. On twenty different photo hosting sites.
Dan caught up with her after the interrogation. He looked her up and down, and Chloe wished she'd at least had a jacket. “How was the party?”
“Fine,” she said shortly. “What have you got?”
“Mark's financials came back, and he's got a steady stream coming in from an online sex camming site. Techs are going over his laptop and phone, and I've put in a warrant with the site to see who was making these payments.”
“Good. Let me know when you guys have got something.” She tried not to sound eager to get home.
Chloe turned around in surprise. “What's that?”
“The cam site. It was easy enough to look around at Mark's account. He'd set up an account pretending to be his sister. Most of the videos are of her. Some alone, some with her boyfriend. We think Mark was making money off selling these videos of Miri, and she didn't know about it.”
“Sounds like motive to me. Mark was a registered gun owner, but Miri would have had access.”
“Yeah, I'm thinking it's either her or the boyfriend. I've got units bringing them both in. If you wanted to go change, or anything,” Dan added.
Chloe smacked him and headed for her desk. She at least had an old flannel in the bottom drawer, her 'in case of stains' coverage.
Lucifer, to her surprise and disappointment, was nowhere to be found.
When Miri and her boyfriend were brought in, it didn't take Chloe too long to get a confession from the sister. She'd learned about the illicit videos the day of the party, and she'd led Mark away to confront him.
“He laughed in my face,” Miri cried. “He said he'd been doing it for years. Since I was sixteen! Isn't that illegal?”
“But why did you have a gun on you, Miri?”
“When I found out he'd done this, I just snapped. I wasn't thinking. He's picked on me my whole life!” So Lucifer had been right all along, Chloe thought. “This was just the worst in a long line of shit things he's done. I was just so angry.”
The noise from the party had covered up the gun shot, and witnesses said Miri had never left. They were right. She was far too small to be able to throw Mark's body off of a bridge. Once they had a DNA match, they were able to pin an accessory charge on the boyfriend. It all wrapped up very neatly, and the night was not over yet.
“So there I was, with the detective's ripe buns right there in my face, and I was just a-smackin' on them. And, you know, they were getting all red and bruised, and...and, I liked it.”
Dr. Linda Martin sat with her mouth agape, not having much insight or substance to add to the conversation.
Lucifer continued, “I mean, I always enjoyed punishing the wicked, but the detective is the least wicked person I know. She's good, and I punished her anyway, and I liked it. Does this mean I really am evil?”
Finally, the doctor found her tongue. “So married life is treating you well. Okay.” She took a deep, cleansing breath. “So, no, I don't think that does make you evil. She really let you do that?”
“I was just as surprised as you!”
Dr. Linda tilted her head. “Well, it can be extremely erotic, and I've no doubt you're very good at it.”
“Of course you've no doubt.”
The doctor laughed. “I just think that, whatever the reason for your marriage in the first place, it was a big step for both you and Chloe. There's a greater intimacy and trust there that wasn't before. This...this party that you went to, that's just another step showing you how much Chloe trusts you. This is a good thing.”
“I did let her smack me as well. It was all fair, you know.”
“Yes, it hurt! The only time I hurt is when I'm around the detective, but when she hurt me, I kind of liked it. Now I see why all those poor saps love Maze so. If you're into that kind of thing. I mean, I didn't think I was, but it's okay when it's the detective.”
“And that scares you.”
“No.” Lucifer looked around the room, anywhere but at Linda's face. “Okay, maybe a little.”
“I think that's good!”
“Yes! Love is scary, Lucifer.”
“I wouldn't call it that.”
“Would you not?” Linda swallowed back a smile. “Okay, then marriage is scary. Intimacy is scary. That's what makes those connections so very worth it. They help you get through the scary parts. You and Chloe have been through many frightening things before. You've both almost died, for Christ's sake.”
“Doctor, please. Let's not bring him into it.”
“Sorry. I just mean that if you can survive all that, I think you two can survive each other.”
Lucifer looked surprised. “You know, you're right. Thank you, doctor.” He stood to leave. “Sorry, I've just –”
Linda waved her hand. “Go.” As the door shut, she giggled and added, “You kids have fun.”
Lucifer hurried back to Lux, resolved to set it up as a place to promote intimacy. He definitely wouldn't call it love, and even intimacy was a stretch, but it was good to stretch oneself.
To his surprise, Chloe was already there. She'd changed, and she was wearing a flannel shirt – only a flannel shirt, from the looks of it – but she still looked absolutely ravishing. “Hi,” he said.
“Hi, yourself.” She ducked her head and grinned in that way that drove him mad. “I thought, well, maybe you didn't have to sleep alone tonight.”
“Really?” He moved toward her, and she reached out her hand to him. His heart fluttered, and he felt a bit like an idiot. “So you did like it?” he said, trying to cover it.
“Yes,” Chloe breathed, her eyes not leaving his. “I thought, maybe, if you wanted...”
“Boy, do I.”
He was still carrying the satchel he'd bought at the Naughty & Nice party, so he tossed it on the bed and fished out the blindfold. “I believe I wanted you all blind and vulnerable.”
Chloe blanched but nodded. “No...electricity...or anything weird like that.”
“My definition of 'weird' and your definition vary a great deal.”
Chloe smiled. “Just remember I'm new to all this. But I trust you, Lucifer.”
She took the blindfold from him and put it on herself. “I do.”
Had anyone ever told him that before? He felt a fire coil in his belly. What to try first? Oh, he would enjoy doing so many things to her, but he wanted Chloe to enjoy it too. He trailed his finger down her cheekbone, across her lips, and down her neck. Chloe quivered, keeping otherwise stock-still. He stopped his finger at the top button. “May I?”
“Please,” she said, and he nearly lost it then and there. Now that was a surprise. Lucifer flicked the first button out of its hole, and it was like the shirt wanted to part for his fingers. He pushed it back over her shoulders, exposing those lovely breasts. Still, he had promised that it didn't have to be sexual, so he wouldn't take it there until she asked.
Instead, he led her to a spot and bid her wait while he piled a few pillows on the floor. “Kneel,” he said, and went to grab a length of rope from the satchel. She was so lovely, all naked. He'd seen it before, but now he got to revel. Lucifer bound her wrists behind her, knotting between them, and was rewarded with seeing Chloe's breathing come faster. He'd started in the middle of the rope, so now he criss-crossed the lengths up her arms, binding them as tightly as he dared. He pressed on her back, making her lean forward to give him better access. “How's that feel, Detective? Everything all right?”
“Yes.” It was barely a breath, and it made his own catch.
He stopped just under the armpits and let her arms back down, then pulled the tails of the white nylon around her chest, crossing them between her breasts. Carefully, he made sure to run the length slowly and softly across her body as he worked. He finally tied the ends, but not too tightly, then ran his hands along the rope. Then he left her there and crossed to the bar.
“Are you really getting a drink right now?”
“Maybe.” He mostly just wanted the ice, but a drink sounded good. He came toward her, letting water from the ice cube drip down her back.
She jerked, her tied arms yanking upward a bit, and he laughed. He sipped his bourbon as he let droplets fall here, down her shoulders, then there, between her breasts. Chloe gasped and moaned, twisting herself about, her tautly bound breasts jutting up, nipples tightening.
“You are so beautiful, Chloe.”
He took out a few candles and lit the room, the better to see her with. Still, he couldn't resist a little wax play. “Have you ever played with candle wax?”
Chloe gulped. “The kinkiest I've ever gotten was using my handcuffs,” she admitted.
“You liked a bit of pain though, yes?”
“Yes. A bit.” Chloe smiled. “Tonight has helped me feel a bit more open-minded. I'll let you know if it's too much.”
The red wax against the stark white rope and Chloe's beautifully bronzed skin was exquisite. Her moans were even more so. He took several different colored candles and made a criss-crossing wax bodice across her bound chest and torso, then he took out a little flogger and began the work of breaking it all back up again.
He started slowly, just trailing the fat leather strips across her bare shoulders. Then he began giving light little pops where the wax was thickest. As Chloe's breath quickened, so did his strokes. He kept them still light, however, just coming faster to match the up and down of her chest. The little red, yellow, and blue strips of wax began to crumble up between the rope and the flogger.
“Lucifer,” she gasped, and he couldn't believe how much he wanted her. Nor could he believe that the feeling was mutual. “I need you. Please, untie me.”
He had been ready to go on forever if she liked, but how could he refuse a request so politely asked? He didn't even bother untying the rope, especially with the wax mucking up the knots; he simply knelt and took shears to the cord, unwrapping her like a glorious Christmas present.
As soon as her arms were free, threw them around him, pulling him in for a kiss. She was in such a hurry that the blindfold was still on. He pulled it off and returned the kiss most fervently, until she began pulling at his belt. “Wait,” he found himself saying.
Chloe looked at him in disbelief. “What's wrong?”
Lucifer sat back on his heels. “You know, but you don't really know. I take my vows very seriously, Detective. If you truly want this, you should know who I truly am.” Why, he didn't know, but he wanted her to see. He needed her to.
She nodded, her eyes wide.
“It's...it's okay if you change your mind,” he told her, and showed her his face – his true face.
Chloe sat frozen, her expression unfalteringly blank. He wanted her to say something, anything. The silence was too thick between them. He finally let his protective façade back up.
“Oh, Lucifer,” she finally whispered.
He shivered with fear. Was that a good Lucifer or a bad Lucifer? He couldn't think straight, his mind a complete blur. He couldn't really read the detective, and that scared him even worse. He stayed kneeling, unsure of what to do.
Chloe shook her head. “Don't ever be afraid with me, Lucifer. You're my partner and my best friend. Nothing changes that.” She held out her arms.
Lucifer fell into them with such force that he knocked her over, and they rolled together to the floor. Lucifer loosed a small chuckle. “I was supposed to tell you not to be afraid of me.”
She pulled back and smiled. “I've never been afraid with you.”
He wasn't sure if he'd ruined the moment, but then Chloe leaned forward and gave him a soft, lingering kiss. He ran his hands up her back, enjoying the lines where the ropes had been bound. She gasped softly as his hands caressed them, then she kissed his earlobe and whispered, “You're still fully dressed.”
That was a situation he could easily remedy. He almost couldn't dare to believe she still wanted him. To his horror, his hands even shook as he struggled to unbutton his shirt, but Chloe took his hands and softly squeezed. “Allow me.”
Chloe was so different from him, from anyone he'd been with. Others were not immune to the passion he inspired, and they always came at him so quickly. He had toyed with her and eagerly enjoyed the faux-punishment the night's entertainment had inspired, but Chloe was slow, soft, and sensual. Her fingers barely touched his skin as she pushed back his shirt, and yet it seemed to him that his flesh still felt a searing heat wherever her touch landed. It was pain and goodness all at once, and it was unlike anything he'd ever felt before.
Her hands moved up his naked back, and he stiffened. He knew she wasn't thinking of his scars, but her touch against them – unlike the rest of her touch – was biting cold. Lucifer felt self-conscious for all of a second, and then Chloe's fingernails were gently grazing down his sides, with just enough pressure to almost-hurt and to feel entirely interesting. Then he forgot to be nervous and was instead proud to show her all of the things he could do with his own skilled fingers.
Lucifer made her come a good three times before he even let her touch him. Putting her off had apparently paid off, for she took him with her mouth and proved that Lucifer wasn't the only one who knew his way around a bedroom. Her tongue was practically divine, and he spun around to return the favor, lying opposite as she barely lost her rhythm. He kissed her mons, on each side of the little landing strip she sported, and he felt her giggle against his cock. Then he dipped slower, letting his breath play across her until she bucked her hips at him, and just as she did, he let his tongue slip out to slowly tease her lips apart.
He loved when she moaned his name. He could have kept at it forever, paying homage to her clit, letting his hands knead her ass, falling into her mouth again and again. It seemed like forever, then it was over so suddenly, and Chloe had thrown him back and moved to straddle him. “You have a condom, right?”
“I don't really need them,” he admitted. It's not like he could get sick.
Lucifer groaned, thinking it was over, because obviously she hadn't – but wait, oh, the little minx, she did, right in that little flannel pocket. She laughed at his surprise, and he had to kiss her again. But Chloe took control, sliding it on him, teasing him as she finally allowed herself to rub against him. He let her, loving the sight of her, and he gathered her breasts together to lick and suckle as she worked herself off on him. It seemed she might never take him, her hand and slit doing all the work, and finally he gave a cracked, “Please, Chloe!”
That made her come again. How delightful!
She finally engulfed him, and he groaned. His groan was cut short as he lost himself in her kisses. She moved faster and faster, for longer than he would have given her credit for. When she began to make little mewling noises, he knew she was close. He grabbed her hips to slow her down, but she took his hands and pinned them above the bed. Her chest dipped into his face as she did, and he leaned forward to lick the strip between them. As he did, she came hard, calling his name and only his name. He bucked and let himself follow.
He'd wanted it so much that he'd almost been afraid he'd be disappointed if it really happened. Like he'd built up the hype, so to speak, but that wasn't the case. It wasn't just that she was wonderful (and she was), but he had to think Dr. Linda might have been right. That intimacy they shared changed the entire dance of it. It had become something more. He just didn't know what.
“Do you know how to get ahold of your mother?” Chloe asked.
Amenadiel looked at her with surprise. “Of course.”
“What do you do? Do you pray, or...?”
“I usually just go to her office.”
Chloe looked shocked, then smiled. “Of course. I should have just looked up Charlotte Richards, I suppose. But what about Shekinah? How would I get hold of her?”
“What do you want with Shekinah?”
How could she explain it without emasculating (unangeling?) Lucifer? “Now that, well, now that we're officially married, I wanted to get the whole family together for Christmas. You and Maze started liking me after you met me. I hoped Shekinah might feel the same.”
“It's not you Shekinah hates. It's Lucifer.”
“How could she hate her own brother?” Chloe'd never had siblings, and it had been lonely. A houseful of family sounded amazing.
“Not just brother,” Amenadiel explained. “Twins. They were Father's two brightest lights, his Morning Star and Holy Ghost. They were everything we all wanted to emulate. Sheki and Luci were inseparable for millennia. He'd get into trouble, and she'd do what she could to keep him on the straight and narrow. Until his rebellion.”
Amenadiel quieted and walked to the great window overlooking the city. After a moment, Chloe joined him. It wasn't the city Amenadiel was looking at but the skies. “When Lucifer rebelled, Sheki warned him. She told him he was going too far, but he was angry. He hated the humans.” Amenadiel scoffed, then looked at her wryly. “Sheki spoke for him, and Father's wrath turned on her as well. She was forced to leave him to his fate, and Luci refused to back away from it. She felt abandoned – and guilty for abandoning him, though she'll never admit it. She feels he abandoned us all. It broke Sheki when Lucifer fell. She has carried and nurtured her wrath for a very long time, and she's done everything she could to play by the books, do exactly as she should, and earn back her own grace. But Father eventually turned away, went completely silent, and she blames Lucifer for it still.”
They were really twins? Chloe's heart broke for Lucifer. “Then it is Lucifer that she must learn to love. How do we get her here?”
“We don't, Chloe. You're playing with something far bigger than yourself. The best thing for everyone is if Sheki gives up and goes home before she kills him.”
“Would she go so far?”
Amenadiel thought about it. “I don't know. She could be swayed either way, but you're human, Chloe. Is it worth pushing when you might sway her in the direction you least want?”
“I have to try. How do I talk to her?” Chloe had no idea why she wanted to get both families together so much. That's not true, she did have some idea. She wanted to see how well this might actually work. For real. Maybe.
“It's a fool's errand.” Amenadiel shook his head and sighed. “Now, you do pray for angels. I usually go to a rooftop, seeing how we – they – fly in.”
“Thank you, Amenadiel.” Chloe smiled. She just didn't have it in her heart to fear Lucifer or his story anymore. It had to have a happy ending. Shekinah wouldn't leave until she killed him or made up with him, so Chloe would do all she could to get them to make up.
She didn't feel safe calling the angel to Lucifer's apartments, so Chloe headed down to the station. Or rather, to the rooftop of the station. She felt a bit silly praying for an angel, but she had to give it a try. “Um...Dear Holy Ghost, the revered angel Shekinah, please come to meet with me.” After a split second, she added, “And please don't kill me for the request.”
“You should be more literal, Detective,” a harsh voice warned her. “There are a lot of other reasons I might kill you.”
Chloe turned around, trying to keep the smile off her face. Shekinah did remind her of Lucifer. “Please don't kill me at all?” she tried.
“What do you want, human?”
Chloe took a deep breath. “Do you still love Lucifer?”
Shekinah looked appalled. “I don't know what he's told you, but we are twins, not lovers! There's no need for petty human jealousy.”
“That's not what I meant at all!” Chloe said, indignant. “I meant as a brother.”
The angel snorted. “Sadly, I always will.” Her blue eyes pierced Chloe's. “Be careful loving him, Detective. It always leads to someone getting hurt.”
“He may have changed since you last knew him. He's changed in the short time I've known him.” She couldn't believe how much he had changed. She would never have thought he would be as loving and solicitous as he had been these last few days.
“Look,” she continued before the angel had a chance to say a word, “I...” Her voice cracked, and she cleared it nervously. “I...love...Lucifer too. He's very dear to me. I know how much he misses his family.” She rather liked seeing the angel squirm guiltily. “I also know Christmas isn't exactly your favorite holiday, but it's important to my family, and Lucifer is my family now.”
“He is not!” Shekinah did that wing-striking thing again, but Chloe would not be intimidated.
“He is!” she yelled back, and Shekinah actually moved back a step, wings falling. “He is,” Chloe reiterated firmly, then her voice softened. “Which means you are, too. Will you please come to our Christmas Eve party at Lux tomorrow night? For just one night, can we set aside the celestial war and just be a family? For Lucifer?”
Shekinah looked away, silent. “Lucifer has a family.”
“He has two,” Chloe pressed. “It could be one. Please? For one night.”
“I won't change my mind about dragging him and Mother back to Hell.”
“Okay, well then at least he'd have a really great memory to take with him.”
To her surprise, Shekinah smiled at her. After a moment, she grudgingly admitted, “I guess I can see why he likes you so. Fine. One night truce.” Now her voice softened. “I do miss him.”
Chloe reached out and squeezed her hand, and the angel gave her a peculiar look. “Thank you. We'll see you tomorrow then. Come hungry. Preferably for food, not revenge.”
Lucifer had strongly argued against celebrating Christmas. Called it “totally unfair” and pointed out that “God had more than one son!” However, Chloe wasn't going to be happy without Trixie in the house, so Maze had hovered unhappily while Chloe and Trixie had set up a tree in the corner of the club.
Chloe also recruited Dan and Maze to help decorate, so it was looking suitably festive by the time Charlotte Richards arrived. Chloe had invited her herself. “Gah! It looks like elves threw up in here. Really. I mean, I get the pure joy in killing trees and stringing them up as a warning for Spring to get her ass back, but what's with the rest of it?”
“Merry Christmas, Charlotte,” Chloe said as warmly as she could manage. “Charlotte, this is my mother, Penelope, and my daughter, Trixie. Guys, this is...well, this is Lucifer's mother.”
“What?” Penelope gasped. “Who does your work, and can I get his number?”
Luckily, Charlotte beamed at the praise. “I was quite young when I had him, truthfully.”
“You guys don't look alike,” Trixie said.
“Well, it's not fair to expect him to look like a goddess, is it?” Charlotte quipped, and Penelope and Trixie both laughed.
“Come on! I'll show you the piñata. Dad helped me make it.”
“We all get to take turns hitting it. You know, with a big stick. And when it breaks, candy comes out.”
Charlotte raised one manicured brow. “Well, that's a game I suppose I could get behind.”
“Will you keep an eye on them?” Chloe whispered to her mom, who looked surprised but agreed.
“What is she doing here?” Dan asked, pulling Chloe away. “Why is Charlotte Richards at your 'family' Christmas party?”
Chloe wasn't sure how to adequately break it to him. “Believe it or not, I've learned that she's Lucifer's mother.”
“His what?” Dan choked. “That's not possible. No way. Couldn't be.”
“It's a long story, but it's true.”
“My god, no.” Dan looked positively green. “So that's why he...”
Chloe narrowed his eyes. “Why he what? What did Lucifer do?”
“Nothing. It was nothing. Hey! Let me go set some of these under the tree,” he said, hoisting the gift bags Charlotte had brought and making a hasty retreat.
After a while, Lucifer himself arrived and was entirely pleased by the familial surprise. Unfortunately, Amenadiel and Shekinah were still missing. Chloe was beginning to get worried.
Lucifer had his arm twisted by Trixie, and so he finally agreed to play a few Christmas carols on the piano. They all drank cocoa and sang, and Shekinah finally arrived just as they finished.
Chloe headed toward her to welcome her, but Lucifer cut her off and kept himself between them. “I invited her,” Chloe hissed. “Let me say hello.”
“No, Detective. Not until we know it's safe.”
Amenadiel followed in behind her. “It's safe. We have reached an understanding, thanks to Chloe.”
“For tonight only,” Shekinah stressed.
Lucifer looked at Chloe with surprise, and then beamed. It was all worth it just to see that smile, Chloe thought.
“Sheki?” Charlotte came forward, her eyes and smile wide. “Oh, my darling! I have missed you so!”
The angel's eyes narrowed as Charlotte reached out toward her. “You shouldn't be here either, Mother.”
Charlotte shook her head. “I just want to be with my children again. That's all. It was all worth it, just to see you and your brothers again.”
Shekinah swallowed and looked away, and Chloe swooped in to save her. “Come on. We were going to eat first, but I think we should jump straight to presents.”
“Presents!” Trixie cried.
“We always open one on Christmas Eve,” Chloe said, handing identical boxes to Charlotte and Shekinah. Having conspired together earlier, she let Maze give Amenadiel his gift, and Trixie gave Lucifer, Dan, and Penelope their gifts.
Intrigued, Lucifer tore his package open. “What on earth is this?” He held the thing aloft with two fingers.
“It's a t-shirt!” Trixie exclaimed, beaming. “I noticed you didn't have any.”
Lucifer did his best to straighten his face into a proper smile, then reached out to hug Trixie. “It's wonderful, child. Thank you.”
“Try it on! See if it fits.”
Lucifer looked at Chloe as if to say Help!, and she just smiled back at him. She heard a snicker from her left, and she almost thought it might have been Shekinah. Reluctantly, Lucifer shed his Prada and donned a bright green Hanes instead. A giant Grinch face stared out, easily matching Lucifer's expression. “It's...phenomenal,” he told Trixie, and she grinned and hugged him again.
Chloe tried not to laugh. “It fits better than you realize,” she told her daughter. She caught Charlotte staring, and she couldn't read the woman's (goddess's?) face. It made her nervous. “Open yours,” Chloe urged her. “I hope you like it. You too, Shekinah.”
They unwrapped their gifts and pulled out matching silver picture frames. “Santa's stopping by for pictures later. I thought, maybe, you two might take a family picture with us.”
“Are you serious?” Shekinah asked, looking between her and Lucifer. Lucifer sat frozen, but he leaned forward just a bit as he waited to hear her answer. Shekinah swallowed and looked to her mother for guidance. Charlotte was smiling. Shekinah smiled back. “Okay.”
“Thank you, Chloe,” Charlotte purred. “What a perfect gift!”
“Hey!” Maze snapped her fingers, getting Amenadiel's attention as he started to tear into his gift wrap. She nodded her head towards Trixie. “You may want to wait 'til private to open that one.”
Amenadiel grinned and thanked her for the gift with a kiss. “So this is why you two stay,” Shekinah said, looking between her brothers. “Really?” She eye-balled Dan, as if considering.
Charlotte leaned over and quietly said, “Dibs, honey.”
Chloe glared at Dan. So that was why he kept stammering any time she came up! Did he really sleep with Charlotte Richards? Lucifer's mom?
“I didn't know!” he said, divining her thoughts.
Chloe's eyes fell back on Lucifer, sitting happily in his green t-shirt, Trixie in his lap as she opened her gift from Penelope. It was, of course, a movie. The Princess Bride. Lucifer had missed the entire exchange. “I don't care,” Chloe said to Dan, suddenly realizing just how true that was.
Lucifer started Trixie's movie for her while the all helped themselves to a large feast laid out on the bar. Lucifer and Chloe sat together in the dark, arms and legs entwined, and watched the greatest story about true love. Chloe blushed when she realized Lucifer kept smiling at her. Shekinah and Charlotte sat apart, murmuring in soft tones, but at least they stayed.
“Well, I wouldn't want to miss the piñata,” Charlotte pointed out. She took several good swings to it, but it was Shekinah who finally broke it once she was harangued into playing.
“Merry Christmas,” Chloe told her after pictures, once she readied to leave. “I'm so glad you came. It's so good to meet Lucifer's family.”
Lucifer nodded at her side. “Yes, thank you. I have missed you, sister.”
Shekinah flushed, a brilliant flash of radiance gone before you noticed it. “Yes, well, Merry Christmas. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning.” She smiled and left, but she squeezed his hand first.
“Merry Christmas, husband.” Chloe flashed a brilliant red herself.
Lucifer looked at her wonderingly, then split into a grin. “Merry Christmas, wife.”