Chapter 1: The Good Samaritan Prelude
I don't really dream any more.
When I fall asleep, I see flashes of memories. Bits and pieces from my life before this happened.
Growing up Catholic, time spent outrunning it, time spent crawling back into it because it was comforting and familiar as I adjusted to a solitary life.
Nothing changes. It should be comforting.
But it's not. It's nothing to me.
Except one day that rings clear as a church bell.
It was raining, and I'd run out of gas on the way to get filled up after a business trip. I thought it was divine providence that I was halted only a block west of my home church.
Shivering from the chill - and abject embarrassment - I opened the door to see if I might find a familiar face. Father Murphy preferably, or any of the clergy would do. I didn't do very well with new people. It was always a jarring experience.
"Are you lost, child?"
I spun at the sound of a new voice, and was struck dumb by a stunning pair of glacial eyes.
If I hadn't lost my grip on the empty gas can, I would have stared forever. "O-oh! Oh no, I'm s-sorry about this, I didn't mean to-"
"Calm down, it's alright. I didn't mean to startle you, miss. You seemed like you needed help." I couldn't help but marvel at how soothing that voice was, like sinking into a warm blanket on a winter's day. The gas can was nestled back in my awkward hands.
I looked away, still embarrassed. "Thank you. I'm stranded a block from here. Out of gas...and I j-just got back into town."
After a beat, "Stay right there. I'm sure we've got some in the five-gallon in the basement. Let me take yours and get it refilled."
Relief filled my chest. I still couldn't look up, but nodded my thanks just the same.
A few minutes later, my little gallon can was full and I was headed for the door. The rain had let up, at least. "Thank you, Father...erm..."
"Finn. Call me Father Finn."
I felt a blush in my cheeks at that. "Nice to meet you, Father Finn. You're new?"
"Just started here yesterday. You attend here?"
"Yes. Wednesdays and Sundays."
"Ah, very nice! I'm delivering my first message here Wednesday. Hope to see you then."
I nodded. "Certainly, Father. See you then."
That was the first time I'd raced home solely to masturbate.
That was the day I decided on you.
You shouldn't have.
We had fun together. Don't tell me you regret it. Oh wait...
Already did, love. Want another go?
No, I want you out of my head.
Can't do that.
Alright, fine. I won't. You amuse me. I'm looking forward to seeing you out of your mind.
The next time you see me, I'll be coming for your head.
I know. Which, you'd have to be out of your mind to do. And it'll be such a pleasure to end you...and that useless fuck of an angel you're with. Oh, and just for the sake of disclosure, while you're hunting me, there's a price on your head too. All of my demons are looking for you.
....Then it's lucky I have nothing to lose.
Chapter 2: Vision Without Sight
Training has its own share of bumps, lumps, and awkwardness...especially with an angel on your shoulder and a demon in your head.
Close your eyes.
It's a surprise.
I hate surprises. You call yourself my guardian angel and you don't know that about me?
I know for a fact that you used to love surprises and that your dislike is only the result of recent events. This is a good surprise though. You might like it.
Come on, humor me.
Fine. Okay, closed. Happy?
As much as you're sarcastic.
Ask nicely and I might.
Before I could retort with a caustic comment, I feel something weighty slip into my palm. It warmed quickly as I wrap my fingers around the solid, smooth handle.
“Now you can open them,” Kenny instructed, ever the patient teacher.
When I did, there is this knife that looks as if it had been carved out of a single block of... hematite? The silver-lined etchings were so intricate, I thought it had to be decorative.
Touching the twisted blade and coming away from it with stinging cuts just from a glancing tap proved me wrong. He took it from my hands with a chuckle.
“This dangerous beauty is a dagger carved by Lucifer's hand, for the sole purpose of those who dared stand against him in Hell.”
I scoff. “Funny that the very first insurrectionist feared someone following in his footsteps.”
Kenny smirks, seeing the irony. “He called it the End of the Betrayer, drama queen that he was, and rumor has it that he gave it a unique power.”
“What - the ability to make angels lopsided?”
You would think, after a week of being around this epic being possessed of power and might beyond my knowledge, that I'd be more mindful of what I said about him. Or the fact that he did, in fact, have one functioning wing. (He wouldn't say what happened to it.)
But I'll be honest: I liked pissing him off. His eyes flashed an unnatural golden hue that just...did something for me.
I should care that I may have offended him. And I do, to an extent. Just not enough to fully feel it. It’s him I have to thank for being able to register anything at all. And Kenny’s probably regretting it.
But he doesn’t say anything. He just continues with a shake of his head and walks to the other side of the room, his head down.
Fuck. I’d say that is absolutely the case.
I look down at my feet for just a moment, having a semblance of shame. When I glance back up to apologize, the dagger is closing in on me. Right between the eyes.
When I closed my eyes, I expected to feel an impact, followed by a searing stab through the center of my head. Peering with a single cautious eye, I still see the curl of the dagger blade, feel a whisper of a point on the bridge of my nose. But nothing more.
It hangs suspended, slowly turning, with nothing tangible holding it up. It holds me dead in my tracks, frozen.
“In capable hands, this nasty little blade will do the will of its wielder, often without speaking a word. It forms such a bond that, with enough time and bloodshed, the two become inseparable.”
I shiver with a hint of fear. “I see.” Swallowing a hard lump in my throat as I stared down the dagger, I ask, “So...how did it get separated from Lucifer?”
Before responding, Kenny pulls the dagger from its suspension and handles it effortlessly, as if it were just another knife. “You don’t wanna know. Not until you’re ready for it. Plus, it’s a long story. One that we don’t have time for. There’s more training to do. And we have a field run tonight.”
I suppose I deserved that. This was going to be an uncomfortable session.
Oh my...trouble in paradise? Did you hurt his little cherubic feelings? You should save the tears - I hear they make an excellent seasoning.
Yup. Very uncomfortable.
As I lay in the tub, washing away spatters of wraith blood from an especially nasty field run, it occurs to me that I didn’t know a lot about Kenny Omega.
Truth be told, there were far too many questions to begin with. Most of them involved how angels and demons actually existed, how much of the Bible was real, and why my guardian angel wasn’t allowed to intervene when that demon was consuming my fucking soul.
What I did know was that he was proving himself trustworthy and honorable, having saved my life in defiance of Heaven’s orders and gave the minuscule remainder of my soul some needed support to prevent me from going totally insane.
And he only has one wing. That, I learned by accident. It’s a very sore spot for him, both literally and figuratively speaking.
I did learn something else about him tonight during the field run.
Tonight, we fought off a small pack of wraiths (hunter demons, according to Kenny) in a dark alley somewhere in North Las Vegas. These things stay to the shadows, avoiding light at all costs. Which means you were screwed if you were unfortunate enough to find yourself in a shadowy area of town.
I had been hurled against a brick wall and pinned while the angel was distracted by two of his own. Its hand was ice around my neck and slimy as a frog’s skin. Hollow black eyes, wolf-like teeth with traces of blood and viscera, and a heavy, sickening stench like black mold and rotten egg.
No weapon, no ability to move, no angel...for a moment, I was definitely fucked.
And then, “Get down!”
The wraith was distracted, and I ducked down quickly.
A second later, BOOM!
My body jolted at the blast of his double-barrel shotgun, heart leaping into my throat. Wraith blood and brains splattered everywhere, and its corpse fell to the ground with a wet plop.
He helped me to my feet, picked away demon bits from my hair and shoulders. He didn’t chide me for what I thought was an epic fail on my part.
Instead, “You did fine. Go back to the room - there’s a bath with your name on it. I’ll clean up and get back soon.” And then he teleported me back here with a single touch.
I learned something about Kenny Omega tonight.
No matter how pissed he might be, he’ll always come through.
“I’m back!” He announces in ever-dramatic fashion. Speaking of which...
He peeks in on my bath while I’m covered in bubbles. “Dinner’s on the way up. And we have to talk. No rush though - finish your bath when you’re ready.”
I nod and he leaves the doorway.
I’m surprised you didn’t ask him to join you.
Didn’t I tell you to fuck off?
Name the time and place, love.
Don’t you have someone else to fuck over?
...In a moment. I missed ruffling your feathers.
Funny. I didn’t miss that at all.
We should get together soon.
We will. And I’ll crush your fucking head under my boot.
Ooooh, I love when you talk dirty.
This isn’t foreplay.
Should be. Looking forward to the climax.
I huff in frustration once I feel him go silent. Fucking Bálor...always has to have the last word.
Chapter 3: One-Winged Angel - An Interlude
It's the angel's turn to speak. Although the demon in your head has a few words.
A/N: Hello hello! This is an interlude (surprisingly) - turns out our angel isn’t so complicated, which is nice. But Finn, demon that he is, couldn’t let him steal the show entirely.
Anywho, I hope you enjoy it. ^_^
It's easier that you're eating while I tell you this. Means you won't interrupt as much.
I'm kidding! Mostly.
It is important that you don't interrupt. There's a lot to tell and it's meant to fill any gaps in your knowledge.
I’m sure there’s a few gaps he’d love to fill…
There’s things that I debated telling you about because no one outside of Heaven - or even Hell - knows. But it’s what you didn’t know that nearly got you killed. And Heaven would have stood by and let happen.
So fuck it. You’re gonna hear it from me. And you’re gonna hear everything.
Oh, this should be fun.
I’m sure you’ve figured out that there’s a Heaven and there’s a Hell. There’s a God, and there’s a devil formerly known as Lucifer. There are also angels and demons. And there’s no peace at all between them. You’ve read the Bible - you already know this.
What you don’t know is that God left ages ago, Lucifer’s dead, and both sides were forced to outsource for leadership. But that’s not important - only because that story will take forever, and you still need sleep.
What is important is that both angels and demons have had to maintain a hands-off policy on humans. Let free will reign and let human beings choose their own fate. They’ll discover the truth soon enough anyway, so let them be and leave it at that until the moment of death.
Things were uneasy, but fine. Up until souls set for consideration into Heaven started disappearing. Also lost souls - souls without a path that could swing either way based on their deeds. You were one of those.
What was done to you...was done to at least four hundred others in the course of the last five years.
Close. Four hundred and twenty six. He did his homework, at least. Good boy.
I’d been pleading with Heaven to intervene, petitioning anyone who would listen. But they’re all afraid of him. Someone who can bewitch even the angels? There’s no defense for that. And his horde was ready to overtake us at any given time.
But then he set his sights on you.
I fought the brass tooth and nail to get you out of there. They ordered me to stand down and let things take their course. Not enough resources, they said. We can’t lose you, they said. You weren’t worth it to them.
So I fell, flipping them the bird on the way down.
I lost one of my wings getting to you because...a demon of the air caught me out of nowhere. Sliced it right off...
One of mine, no doubt.
...just before I rushed in to save you.
How noble of the lopsided puppy.
So now you know. We’re on our own on this one. It’s said to be a fool’s errand, trying to reclaim a soul.
But then...an angel’s never stepped in to help before. This training might seem tedious and pointless…
He’s right there.
...but it gives you a fighting chance. Bálor caught you off-guard once. I won’t let him do it a second time.
I considered Kenny’s words that night as he checked the wards to keep demons away. A tinge of regret colored my mind, when I thought about how I’d teased him for only having one wing. He’d lost it trying to save me.
Awww. Is my little slut developing a crush?
Fortunately, Kenny taught me a quick spell to temporarily shut him out of my head to help me sleep at night.
For once, it was nice to not let him get the last word.
Although he did give me something to think about.
Chapter 4: The Beautiful Liar
Father Finn checks in to say hello. Just remember...it's all in your head.
Dreams are...funny things, aren’t they?
Sometimes they’re so fragile, evaporating the moment you wake up to the sound of an obnoxious and unforgiving alarm clock.
Other times, they’re so very real. So much so that it's hard to tell where the dream ends and reality begins. And you remember everything then, it's so strong.
I know you can see this. I know you can hear it. You may not remember all of this...but you're still my captive audience.
I thought you'd want to see precisely what I've been up to lately.
See that naked beauty over there? On the Saint Andrew's Cross? She's a new acquisition: innocent, inexperienced, underutilized…
And absolutely fucking sweet. Her slit is like the nectar of a peach, and her soul tastes like pure desire drizzled with raw honey.
She suffers so beautifully under my hands, too. I spank her, she arches her back and pushes up for more. When my hand goes around her neck, her eyes roll back in sheer ecstasy.
She lets me do everything to her. Well... almost everything.
Apparently, anal sex is off the table. So is knife play, and anything even remotely sacrilegious. (Ironic considering her current state, I know.) Just good old-fashioned kinky sex.
Not that I mind because... it's what she wants. And what she wants lets me defile her and devour her soul even faster.
But she's not you. None of them are.
You had so few limits with me, so few reservations. You were open to everything I proposed, even as you were grieving the loss of your mother. The bondage, the whipping, the rough play. Just the thought of fucking your gorgeous ass against the altar with my rosary tight around your neck gets me hard as a diamond.
I miss that. I want that again. Don’t you?
I’ve gone through several of these baubles in the past two weeks. But none were so delightful or challenging as you. Never been sentimental over food before, but…
I found you delectable on so many levels.
This one has one more morsel left. I think I'll just...put her down in the nicest way possible. Let her die of a violent orgasm as I consume her to the last sweet drop.
And I'll still want more. I'll still want you.
A demon has to eat. So I simply have to make do until you come to me.
You could always just...give up this little crusade to get your soul back. You have to know it's hopeless to try. I mean, I’ve consumed the essence of what makes you human, and unless you kill me, there’s no chance in Hell you’re getting it back.
But I could easily kill you. I'd do it now if not for the fact that the thought of you coming to me gets me extremely aroused.
I could also keep you, make you my obedient little pet. You'd do whatever I asked and, in return, I'd make you immortal. And we'd fuck for eternity.
I know you won't ditch the angel. He's your insurance, your protection. You won't survive the trip without him, not unless I call off the demons hunting you.
And I could...but I hate that feathered fuck more than anything and screwing him over delights me.
But he's making sure you get to me in one piece, so I can’t do anything to him either. Yet. He'll die when he gets here.
Either way, you're mine. I'm not finished with you.
And don't worry. This little snack will be gone long before you arrive. I'll be waiting patiently for your arrival.
Soon, love. Very soon.
Chapter 5: When It Rains
An injury, a memory, and a heavy storm...but don't fool yourself. Nothing about this is normal.
Last night was grueling. An ambush of angry demons is not exactly the way one hopes to be welcomed into Chicago. Kenny and I hacked and slashed our way through the back alleys of State Street.
In trying to keep Kenny from getting snuck up on, I took a slice to my upper thigh. So much for trying to be dependable in a fight.
Once we were settled into another hotel - Kenny never did anything half-assed - he was able to heal me and made certain to help me through the shock.
I slept for fifteen hours straight. When I woke it was to a note.
No rush - we've got time, he said. Take it easy and I'll be back before you know it.
Outside on the balcony, against the wall in nothing more than an oversized shirt, I considered the last time I’d seen it rain this hard. The way the thunder seems to make the earth tremble and all of creation take pause.
The way the lightning was a beacon and a warning, a battle cry to rally and intimidate.
The way the rain fell forever in pounding sheets, leaving the world below awash and pure in its cooling essence.
If I hadn’t followed the storm on the Weather Channel that day before my shopping trip, I would have sworn that Finn had brought the storm with him.
Maybe he did. And he was just as relentless.
I wasn't out here because I enjoyed the storm. I was out here because…
Fuck. The rain reminded me.
His touch. His whispers.
“I like that you dream about me.”
My breath was a consuming fire in my chest. This is wrong. I can’t...
“And…you should take what you want.”
The rain did nothing to cool me down.
“How long have you wanted this, hmmm?”
I was trembling as my fingers crept under the drenched fabric.
“Already so sensitive, so wet. Tell me... how many nights you've touched yourself and thought of my hands being there.”
I bit my lip as I brushed against the throbbing bundle of nerves, jolting from the contact.
“...I'd rather fuck you 'til you can't walk. Until you can't breathe without feeling me inside you…”
Gasping aloud, I flicked and slid along my folds, easing my way inside.
“Such a good girl, taking all of me. You feel fucking amazing on my cock, you know that?”
Two fingers wasn't enough before long.
I fucked myself on three fingers, moans in competition with the storm above.
It wasn't his cock. It wasn't him. It wasn't Finn.
I don’t want him like this. I can’t...I shouldn’t need him like this.
Yet I could still feel him. Inside me. On my body. Under my skin. In my blood.
So close. Fuck, so close. Please…
My cry rang out in time with the thunder.
As I shook and vibrated, pulling out my fingers, I heard footsteps barreling towards the sliding door and my name being called.
“Shit, what are you doing out here?!” Kenny stood in front of me, panicked. “Are you alright? Let's get you inside. You don't have a soul but you can still catch your death!”
God, he sounded like a parent. But seeing him in this light, seeing how sincere he was and how he looked after me... I couldn’t deny that I was drawn in.
So what I did next should not have come as a surprise. But it was.
Pressing my lips to his was a healing balm. The rain felt cool instead of like the liquid fire it had been.
Yes. Yes, this is what I needed. What I craved.
I breathed against his lips, pleading with him. “Please. Please, Kenny...take me. I can still feel him….his touch, it’s everywhere. Please just...make me forget about him. Take his touch off me.”
Kenny lifted me up effortlessly, wrapping my legs around his waist, and carried me inside. He didn't need to be told twice.
Chapter 6: Blessings Flow
You'll never understand the connection between sex and thunderstorms...but you're not complaining.
My sodden shirt was gone before I'd even hit the wall inside of our warm hotel room. And Kenny was even more solid than that.
Pressed against me, he stole the breath from my lungs joining his mouth to mine. My legs hoisted around his waist held fast as he caressed my thighs -
And then, he stopped. Fuck, why?! Does he not know how much I need this?
“I know what you need, beautiful,” he cooed. “But shhhh...I've got a bath prepared for you. Be a good girl for me, and I'll give you exactly what you need, and even more.”
He lowered my exposed body into the hot bath, the soothing warmth chasing away the chill. I kept trying to kiss him, pick up the passionate interlude where we left off, but rebuffed me with a lighthearted smile.
“Been awhile since I’ve seen you this eager, beautiful,” Kenny teased. “Patience though…can’t have you getting sick, can I?”
He laughed gently as I pouted. But even that melted away as his large hands rested upon my shoulders, hot as the water, and they glided upon my skin. Any tension that had gathered there before had dissipated at his touch. They drifted lower, grazing my collarbone…and a gasp escaped the moment he cupped my breasts perfectly.
Oh, I was in an all-new kind of trouble. Those hands were working their magic deep into my skin.
“So wound up. All that tension can't be good for you. I'm gonna take my time with you, get you nice and relaxed.”
God, those hands could do whatever they wanted - I just needed them to touch me.
And touch me, they did.
I arched into them as they kept massaging and palming the swell of my breasts, exploring my sides and my stomach, finding their way to my hips.
I leaned my head back as his scent filled my senses: rain and ozone, ash, blood, and holy fire. As his strong, burly frame hovered, I reached up with my tongue to graze a small patch of skin on his bare chest.
He simply chuckled and continued his ministrations, fingers gliding along my inner thighs and brushing against-
I gasped and bucked into his fingers. Fuck, I wasn’t prepared for that. Did my body long to be touched that badly?
No. He was just that damn good.
A moan erupted from my throat as Kenny worked me with deliberate, careful movements. I promised I’d be good. I really did. He was just... making it very hard to keep my hands to myself.
Just as I was ready to beg for release, those hands lifted me from the tub and wrapped me in a soft towel.
Being cradled in his arms should have felt embarrassing. And if my soul were intact, it might have been. But all I felt was warmth and safety.
“That's a good girl,” Kenny rumbled above as he laid me down on the bed. The towel opened at his fingertips, baring me completely to him. I studied him under the lights. His platinum-to-dark curls glowed like tendrils on the surface of the sun. Cobalt eyes, harsh during the heat of battle, burned with a softer glow of thinly-veiled want. His upper body - all sun-kissed skin and solid muscle.
No question about it: Kenny was an Adonis, minus the narcissism. But he was, however, plenty competitive.
“Making the touch of a demon go away…that happens to be my specialty, beautiful. Follow my instructions, be a good girl for me, and I’ll make you forget he ever touched you.” Thick fingers played gently upon my abdomen, leaving a burning trail as they moved lower. “Is that what you want?”
I shivered at the silken timbre of his voice. “Yes,” I breathed back. “Please.”
At that, his eyes flashed hungrily. His restraint was in place. He didn’t need to go wild.
He knew he had me in the palm of his hand, willing and needing to do whatever he asked. And he had no intention of releasing me until he was finished.
Soft lips moved on the delicate skin of my inner thighs, inciting shivers in a feedback loop on my spine. But it wasn’t until those lips and tongue met my needing, slick core that those signals pulsed through me in full force.
He hummed and kissed me there as passionately as he did outside in the rain, using a single digit to tease and coax me open to him. My fingers tangled in his curls as I keened from his touch. The more I tugged, the more his sounds vibrated my swollen clit, and I was already fading fast.
Kenny was relentless, pushing me closer and closer still to the edge. His finger crooked inside me, hitting a spot that set me on fire.
I shattered with the force of the orgasm that slammed into my brain. Sharply, I cried out and gripped his head with my thighs. His tongue lapped at my folds, as though he were ravenous for every drop he could draw from me.
“Fuck,” I panted, still trembling. “Fuck.”
“Ask me nicely,” he teased, mouth guiding his way along my body.
A taste of my essence on his lips as we kissed, and I was weak with need. All I could manage was, “Please.”
He stood to remove his pants - no fair! - and the sight made me glad I was lying down.
Kenny’s thighs were...and his cock…
I swooned. He was thick in every possible sense of the word. He could split me in half for all I cared, and it wouldn’t matter so long as he was inside me.
“Not trying to mutilate you, beautiful,” he replied to my thoughts. “But...you’ll be feeling this for a while.” Settling in between my legs, he lined up at my entrance and eased himself carefully inside.
It was all I could do not to lift my hips and take him all the way. The stretch was too much as it was. I laid there breathless as he sank in, filling me completely. Gripping his shoulders, I pleaded almost soundlessly, “Move. Fuck, please move.”
The rocking of his hips didn’t ravage or hurt, but settled into a rhythm that had me on the edge just the same. Tears sprang to my eyes. He didn’t stop, he didn’t ask about them...instead, he wiped them away and kissed my cheeks with all the care and gentleness of a lover. Those lips traveled to every inch of skin he could reach as he picked up his pace.
I held on to him, our moans and pants mingling together on the air.
His hips snapped even harder, drawing out desperate noises and cries from my lips.
I needed...needed...God, I’m so close…
“Let go for me,” I heard in my ear before feeling a sharp nip at the earlobe.
For the second time that night, I felt like I could fly. The orgasmic rush knocked the breath from my lungs. My nails dug deep into his skin as I rode out the intense wave.
It was as I slowly came down that I realized...I never felt - or heard - Kenny hit his climax.
He chuckled, hearing my thoughts once more. “Oh sweetheart...I’m just getting started with you. We’ve got all night.”
In the dark of the cathedral, he sits and mulls over his thoughts for a moment. Jealousy has never been his best color, and that’s not about to change. In fact, he’s quite amused. The angel just keeps surprising him.
“Never pegged him for a sloppy-seconds type,” Father Finn muses to himself. “Try all he wants, he’ll never touch her like I can. Or have her the way I do. And after they’ve enjoyed their little dance...they’ll both find out why it’s not nice to play with a demon’s toys without permission.”
Chapter 7: Interlude - A Demon's Lament
A friendly reminder from your neighborhood priest.
You know what’s funny?
I pride myself on a lot of things. Not giving a single flying fuck about the remains of my food being one of them.
Yet somehow...the fact that my leftovers became an angel’s foolish attempt to turn it back into a meal? That makes me more than a little curious.
Not that I don’t understand what you were trying to do. That time in the rain where you finger-fucked yourself to the memory of us, I had done the same. Just the thought of pounding into that tight, willing slit...
Fucking incredible orgasm, it was. Spilled right on my victim’s face as I took the last of her soul from her body.
A demon’s gotta sate his appetite somehow. This prissy bitch certainly wasn’t doing the job.
But I digress.
Imagine my amusement, however, when you asked Kenny Omega, the lopsided floppy bird himself, to make you forget about me. As if he had a touch so magical, so pure, that he could repair the damage.
Hm. I think you forgot how this works.
If he was that fucking good, he would have restored your soul by now, wouldn’t he? You wouldn’t be chasing me. You sure as hell wouldn’t be fucking him!
But don’t misconstrue this as “jealousy”. That would denote that I actually care that he had his hands on you. No, no...this is irritation at your arrogance. And the entirely misguided thought that either of you could unravel my handiwork.
And now my objective has never been more clear…
I want to ruin you.
I should have when I had the chance.
That fuckhead of an angel doesn’t have the power to take my mark off of you. It’s permanent, indelible.
You’re my plaything. Mine.
…and it’s time I remind you of that.
Get ready. Your little dream is over.
Chapter 8: Marked By The Blood
Never let it be said that this demon isn't true to his word. Well, most of the time.
The screams that tore from my throat could have awakened the dead for miles around.
At the same time, I felt like I was drowning.
The right side of my face was pinned to a prickly rough surface. My stomach felt as though it had erupted, full of molten lava spilling forth. No control of my arms or legs. No relief. Just pain. Everywhere.
My body was yanked rudely across the harsh surface. Back and forth, up and down. Against walls and cold glass.
It wouldn't stop.
It wouldn't stop!
GOD MAKE IT ST-
“Wake up, beautiful. Please... please, wake up.”
Kenny's pained voice awakened me from a dreamless sleep. Every cell of my being felt depleted, beyond mere exhaustion.
“He nearly killed you,” Kenny said in an anguished whisper. “That son of a bitch nearly killed you.”
I tried to speak, but nausea overwhelmed me and I took deep breaths instead and waited for Kenny to tell me more. My eyes were barely open in the dimly lit room.
“I woke up to you screaming, your body being flung around the room like a ragdoll. There was... blood. Coming from your eyes, your ears, your mouth, and…”
He placed a hand over my chest and I gasped from the sudden flare of pain. “Here. Where he marked you.”
It was bandaged. I could feel the tape on the perimeter of the stiff gauze.
“I couldn't heal it. You lost a lot of blood, but not enough to…” He stopped for a moment before continuing. “The shock alone could have stopped your heart. It almost did. Once it was over, I did everything I could to get you stable.”
His hand stroking my hair calmed me somewhat. When I felt myself drifting off, I didn't stop it.
“Demons have been circling. But the room is heavily warded so they stay away. I’m going out now to secure the area. Rest now, beautiful. I’ll keep you safe.”
Safe? I doubted that.
I didn’t know if I ever would be again.
I woke up again, sick to my stomach. Not sure how I made it to the toilet, but I was thankful for it, the remains of blood and bile emptying out. When the dry heaves finally stopped, I rose on shaky knees and rinsed my mouth out.
My eyes rose to the mirror, and barely recognized myself. Faintly tinged skin, hollow eyes, hair caked with blood. I needed a bath.
The flare in my chest came back, bringing with it a barrage of horrific images.
A young college aged girl, lying dead over an altar.
Kenny, my angelic protector… dead. His throat looking as though it had been ripped out by a wild animal.
And Father Finn - no, Bálor - standing bloodied and triumphant over his adversary, extending his hand to me.
I shook my head to will the images away. Looking at my chest, I raised a hand to the bloodied bandage. The tug at my skin only confirmed it was stuck to the wound. I took a wet washcloth and squeezed water on the gauze to loosen its hold.
When I removed the bandage, I was nearly sick again.
The brand looked as if it were cauterized as it was being cut, but it was done so cleanly that there was no mistaking what it was.
A pointed cross, with a serpent curled around it and slithering downward.
My plaything. Mine…
His voice in my head. The room spun.
When you've recovered, you'll come to me. You both will…
I gripped my head, wanting it to stop.
...and I'll reclaim what is rightfully mine.
The last thing I saw was the floor rising to meet me as my shaky legs finally gave out.
Chapter 9: The Angel's Plea
Decisions are made and the battle lines are drawn. The end is near.
Two weeks of relocation and recovery.
Two weeks of looking over our shoulders.
Two weeks of Kenny watching over me with remorse.
Two weeks of Finn's - no, Bálor's - looming threats.
It was getting exhausting. I was exhausted. We were getting closer to familiar ground.
I can feel you getting closer, love...
I can smell your fear.
I can almost taste your blood.
You’re insane...running headlong into danger like this.
Into what will most likely be the worst torment of your life.
You sure you want to take that risk, lass?
Both your lives for a mere soul?
The sick feeling in my stomach that arose from hearing Bálor's voice in my head was a constant companion.
But it wasn’t enough to stop me.
Every demon that crossed my path met the business end of my cursed dagger...or my angelic protector's shotgun blast.
I couldn't feel anything more than the echoes of dread in my chest. And a whisper of regret.
Not for what Kenny and I did in sleeping together. But for what I knew I'd have to do to end all of this.
After a grueling fight on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, we stayed in a hotel in the heart of downtown. Kenny continued to take care of me, treating my wounds, making sure I ate something, and watching over me as I slept.
But his eyes. They were still haunted, cautious. His hands were careful and steady, but the playfulness was gone.
Kenny still felt guilty for putting me at even greater risk with the demon. I wanted so badly to take the fear out of his eyes and his touch, and I had no earthly clue how to.
How do you break a stalemate with an ethereal being without pissing them off?
I shut Finn's - no, Bálor's - presence out of my mind mostly every day, for the entirety of my recovery. It was the longest I'd gone with his constant voice in my head, the most peaceful I'd felt.
Kenny trained me, especially in wielding the End of the Betrayer. He still kept his distance. Didn't joke, or laugh. Didn't even smile.
It was hard to believe that I could miss his warmth until it wasn't there anymore.
As he sat on the other side of the room, reading through a small grimoire he carried in his bag, I watched and wondered.
Kenny has been...well, a lifesaver. He's looked after me, taught me to fight, treated my wounds. Touched me in a way no one has.
And we were descending into the darkest pit of Hell, pursuing a goal we might never obtain. I was about to get an angel killed over me. The weight of guilt and self-loathing was too much to carry.
If I was going to die... I wasn't taking anyone with me that didn't deserve it.
Kenny doesn't. Not for me.
I started gathering my things, putting the backpack I carried back together. Ignoring him calling my name, I kept going until I got to the twisted blade on the dresser.
“Stop. Please.” The soft, vulnerable tone in his voice gave me pause as I stood with my hand on the weapon.
Taking a shuddering breath, I turned to face him, barely able to look him in the eyes.
"It's over for me, Kenny. You gave it your best, and it's all I could ask." I clutched my chest. "But he's got me... and I can't escape that. He won't let me go."
Kenny looked stricken as I added, "I don't need you to give up your life for my worthless ass. You don't...I mean, you could do so much good here in Earth, help others. Don't waste your time on me."
I looked away from him, burying the dagger in my bag and moving for the door.
My name was a whisper on his lips as he, moving faster than I could have caught, wrapped an arm around my waist and drew me in.
"I made my choice. I'm not letting you face that monster alone," he said, thick with emotion. "We’ll get it back. We’ll send him back to Hell And when it's over... I want you with me. You don't have to be alone anymore."
I shook in his grasp, feeling hot tears stream down my cheeks. Dropping my bag, I turned and wrapped my arms around him. His warmth enveloped me. I felt his lips press against my neck, and I offered more.
Kenny stopped, reluctant to continue. I pleaded to him with my eyes, my lips finding his in light touches.
Please, they said against his skin. Don't stop. I need you.
Scared kisses became deeper, ravenous, needy. Biting, grasping, tearing off of clothing and the hard wall against my back. It was the heady mixture of fear and desperate need that drove us together in that moment.
The spell keeping Finn out of my head would need to be refreshed in a few hours. I would make sure we made the most of it.
She's getting smarter about keeping me out. No matter.
The closer she gets, the more insatiable I become.
If she’s willing to risk lives just to get to me...well, I can do no less. Hence the playthings I devour to keep me amused.
I can’t wait to finish what we’ve started.
Time to end this game.
Chapter 10: When Faith and Fear Collide
A face-off takes place...and someone dies.
I couldn’t breathe.
Time slowed down around me.
My head pounded with the dreading thud of my heart.
I collapsed to my knees, my dagger tumbling to the wet carpet in front of me. Numb. I was numb and trembling.
And there was blood on my hands.
The scent of sex, blood, and incense lingered upon the air as we entered the dimly-lit church. The cathedral looked normal enough, cast in the comforting glow of candles from the altar. But there was no consolation here. There was no safety.
And if we fucked up, there was no chance of us getting out alive.
“There's hardly a chance of you getting out alive now.”
Right on cue, the demon assuming the deceptively benevolent facade of Father Finn emerged from the shadows as we approached the altar. An altar that bore an unfortunate sacrifice: a young woman who couldn't have been older than her early twenties. A chunk of her neck had been taken out, and the gaping cavity in her chest showed broken ribs and the space where her heart once was.
None of that fazed Finn though. He simply licked the blood from his fingers as he approached, cassock flowing behind him, greeting us like old friends. “Kenny, how long's it been? Couple ages, maybe?”
Kenny visibly bristled but remained calm, answering back just as casually, “Give or take a century.”
Finn smirked. “I see you and my whore have been getting along.”
Ignoring the golden flash of anger in Kenny's eyes, the demon went on. “Fun little road trip, fighting off my army, all to come here and...die at my hands. I'm touched, really. You know how to make a demon feel special.”
Kenny aimed his double-barrel sawed-off shotgun right in Bálor's face. “The forces of Heaven compel you to give up the soul you have wrongfully taken. Surrender it now and let this woman live in peace. She has done nothing wrong.”
Kenny speaking on my behalf and pulling rank didn't send me over the moon, but I was thankful for his presence and felt a little braver…
That is, until Finn's eyebrow cocked as he turned his predatory gaze upon me. A flood of heat pooled in the pit of my gut, and I cursed myself for feeling what I felt in a moment like this.
How can he still affect me this way?
After a short pause, Finn shrugged. “It's true. She did nothing to deserve being targeted, per se.”
He turned toward the altar with dramatic flourish. “And by the laws of creation, as a protector of God's craft, you are within your right to compel my cooperation.”
When his gaze returned, it was a terrifying blood red. “Doesn't mean I'm going to though.”
Kenny didn't think twice. He pulled the trigger.
The shot rang out, reverberating through the cathedral. Finn gripped his chest in shock. Dark rivulets of blood slipped through his fingers…
But the wound was closed when he moved his hand. Ice flooded my veins witnessing his recovery.
No earthly weapons can kill him. Not that it was Kenny's intent... merely the equivalent of a punch to the gut. A warning blow.
“Fuck,” he said, mildly exasperated. “I liked this cassock.” Undeterred, he added, “I refuse because it doesn't matter how I got her, she's still my food. My property. That you played white knight before I could finish her off just says you were hungry for my sloppy seconds.”
The butt of Kenny's shotgun slammed across Finn's smarmy face. “She is not yours, you possessive fuck!” Kenny called out. “She doesn't deserve this. None of them did. You've claimed more than your fill - what's giving up one soul compared to thousands?!”
With a low growl - and a devastating blow to Kenny's jaw - he replied, “One soul too many. And I hate to lose. Especially to a lopsided fucker like you.”
In a blink, his expression changed. It was much more sinister, like he had just come up with an awful idea. “Besides, she has a voice. She can speak for herself.”
I gazed at him in shock. “The hell do you mean?”
“The hell do you think I mean, lass?” He returned mockingly. “Free will. You can petition for your soul. But I reserve the right to decide what I will accept in return.” The bastard was gleeful at the thought.
It sounded too good to be true. Which meant he had to be lying. And I said as much. “Bullshit.”
“Could be. But Kenny here can tell you that I speak the truth. Even more than that, I'm being fucking charitable.”
Kenny grimaced, but agreed begrudgingly. “He lied about you not being able to get your soul back, but he's not lying now. Out with it already, you piece of shit.”
Ignoring the defensive angel, he fixes his focus upon me. “So here's my bargain: I will restore your soul. Every single bit of it. But in return...you will swear your allegiance to me. You will welcome me in your bed. You will obey when I call. You will kneel before me.”
I was sickened by what he proposed, and I struggled. “You want me to be your whore,” I choked out.
“Vardat lilitu. You'll be kept well. But for my use and mine alone. For as long as I determine.”
I could hear Kenny's voice in my head telling me not to do it, to stay strong. Every cell of my being screamed against it.
But every cell was aleo desperate. And tired. So tired of denying my fate.
No matter what I did.
No matter what I said.
No matter how far I ran.
I belonged to him.
I had been his all along.
My vision began to clear as I came to, responding to the voice in the room.
Without facing them, I knew something was different.
There was an electricity in my chest. A warmth I had long taken for granted until I didn't have it anymore.
But with it...a weight came down. Harder than anything I'd ever experienced.
I couldn’t breathe.
Time slowed down around me.
My head pounded with the dreading thud of my heart.
I collapsed to my knees, my dagger tumbling to the wet carpet in front of me. Numb. I was numb and trembling.
And there was blood on my hands.
Kenny's face looked up at me with pained eyes as the light faded from them. Blood flowed from his throat as he took my hand in his, gripping it tightly.
I forgive you, his gaze said. I'd always forgive you.
No. Please don't...not Kenny.
But as the memory returned to me - in crystal clarity - I knew it was true.
“Didn’t think you had it in you, lass. With the gift he gave to you, no less,” the demon said, impressed. “And to think I'd spent so much time defiling you...but for a mere human, you’ve outdone even me. You managed to permanently damn yourself for eternity.”
He leaned towards me with crimson in his eyes. “You killed an angel in cold blood. There is no hope for heaven for you. You're mine. Completely.”
Finn's evil smile met my tearful face as a horrified scream ripped from my throat.