Chloe stared at the city lights from the penthouse balcony. She was alone. Alone in a way she hadn’t been for many years.
She remembered the first time she walked into Lux to question the owner about a murder. Her eyes locked with his. Amusement, mischief, and sin played across his expressive face even as he scolded her for not making the case a priority. Lucifer Morningstar rocked her world from that moment, even though she refused to admit it. It was the beginning of a strange and wonderful partnership.
Together, they had been through good times and bad. Times when she didn’t understand him, times when he didn’t understand her. Yet when she truly needed him, he was there. He had always been there for her. Not anymore. He was gone and it felt permanent. Final.
The scene replayed itself in her mind as his words echoed in her head, “Hell must have a King.”
She remembered the exact second the panic set in. The desperate rush of words poured from her, “You can’t leave me. I love you. I love you. Please don’t go.” She confessed the love in her heart, even as her mind whispered it was too damned late.
He gave her an agonized smile and admitted she was his first love.
The gentle touch of his lips wrecked her as she felt the depth of what could have been; a meeting of souls beyond anything she had ever believed possible.
He tried to smile in heartbroken happiness even as he said ‘Goodbye’.
His brilliant, white, angel wings expanded from his back, taking up the entire balcony as Chloe watched in awe. He took flight without another word, and left her far behind.
She stood frozen on his empty balcony for the first hour, her eyes flooded with tears as her mind circled round and round. She felt mocked by her own words, ‘I’m still here. I haven’t fallen into a million pieces…’
She huffed out a small, sad laugh. She was officially shattered and she couldn’t bring herself to leave the empty penthouse.
Eventually she turned around and stepped inside to crumple onto the couch. She gathered her feelings into a small corner of her heart and let her mind distracted her with thoughts of what could have been; what should have been. But that led to the memory of how his face looked when she admitted she loved him and the tearful way he kissed her goodbye.
Now questions filled her mind. Why did he say she was his first love? When she tried to have a relationship with him before, he left and married Candy. After that fiasco, he kept her at arms length, and made it abundantly clear that they were just friends. Then Marcus happened, while Lucifer seemed to be in the process of a complete nervous breakdown. Now in hindsight, she knew there had been a lot going on that she ignored. Lucifer had tried to share with her in his convoluted way – he wanted her to know without really knowing.
But at the time it felt more like madness, with her partner shoving her away one moment and then acting concerned and caring the next. Lucifer’s attempts to compete with Marcus had been the final straw. In frustration she accepted Marcus only to realize later that she couldn’t possibly marry him. Lucifer loomed in the spotlight of her heart, taking center stage. She remembered the night Charlotte died; he kissed her and tried to tell her who he was. She refused to believe.
Finally seeing the truth was too much. It pushed everything but fear out of her mind.
Father Kinley made everything worse. He acted so kind and reasonable; so sure that Lucifer brought evil to the world. Chloe hated that she went along with him, only coming to her senses after she was back at Lucifer’s side.
Then Eve arrived at exactly the worst time, her big doe eyes focused on Lucifer.
It was such a mess. If Lucifer loved her before, why did he push her away? If he loved her now, why did he leave so suddenly? She felt like a yo-yo, being thrown outward and pulled back in, never sure what she meant to him.
She stood up, wiped her eyes and squared her shoulders. She was a detective. She found missing pieces of information daily. Lucifer Morningstar was the exception. Deep inside she had known what he was and refused to look too closely. For years she ignored the questions; turned away from the evidence. Now she wanted answers.
She let her logical mind work through the problem. Lucifer hadn’t existed in modern records prior to seven years ago when he relocated to Los Angeles. She had researched that much at the beginning of their partnership. There were only three people who could tell her more. Luckily for her, all three were at the same location. The drive to Linda’s house took less than ten minutes.
Maze opened the door as Chloe raised her hand to knock. The demon studied her with a distrustful look, “Oh, it’s you. Why aren’t you with Lucifer?” She stepped aside just enough to allow Chloe to enter before she checked the street and locked the door.
Amenadiel handed Charlie to Linda and walked toward her, “Come sit down. What do you mean he’s gone?”
“He went back to Hell.”
Maze sat down next to her, and stared in disbelief, “He did what?”
“He went back to Hell.” Chloe clenched her hands tightly together as she talked, “He said Hell must have a king to keep the demons in check. So to protect Charlie, and the rest of humanity, he went back.”
Maze slammed her fist into her thigh, “Son of a goddess! He left me here.”
Chloe gave her a startled look, “Why would he take you back to such a terrible place? He knew you would want to be here with Linda, Amenadiel and Charlie; not to mention Eve.”
With a sullen look, Maze finally admitted, “Yeah. That’s true. It just pisses me off that he didn’t bother to ask.” She gave a small smile, “And if you recall, Hell is my home, Decker.”
“Oh right. Sorry.” Chloe looked totally lost for a moment, but shook herself, “I wanted to ask Amenadiel if there is any way for Lucifer to come back?” Her hopeful gaze settled on his sad face.
Linda set Charlie into his bassinette and sat down near Chloe, “You want him back?”
Chloe turned to look at her in surprise, “Of course I want him back.”
“Huh. I thought you were very uncomfortable with who Lucifer really is…” Linda shrugged and smiled gently, “Now that he’s gone, you can get back to a normal life.”
Chloe rolled her eyes and admitted, “Normal is over-rated. It’s become very clear to me that I’d rather have him.”
Linda nodded in understanding, “He is an amazing man. But the last time I talked with Lucifer, as a friend, I got the sense that although he had calmed down enough to work with you, he still felt the need to hide the ‘non-human’ part of his life. He was very concerned about scaring you.”
Chloe shook her head, “We cleared the air about that before he left, but there was still so much that didn’t get said.” She gave Linda a questioning look, “As his therapist, you know all his thoughts and feelings about me, about us, right?”
Linda leaned back, “Yes. But I can’t tell you anything he told me in confidence.”
Chloe nodded in understanding, but tears gathered in her eyes. With a choked voice she admitted, “I know. It’s just that I care about him so much and I don’t understand him at all. His actions toward me have always been so confusing. I was just hoping for some closure since I may never see him again.”
Maze looked uncomfortable, “Terrible timing to figure out you love him.”
Chloe puffed out a sigh, knowing that it was useless to deny her feelings any longer, “Yeah.”
Concerned understanding settled on Amenadiel’s face, “I think Maze and I can fill in some of the blanks for you, Chloe.”
She wiped her eyes, “Thank you. I want to understand what went wrong after I was poisoned. He got a cure for me, but then left. Things were never quite the same between us after that. I don’t get it.”
Maze drew into herself, and pulled her legs up against her stomach, her boot-clad feet on the edge of the coffee table. She flicked an uncomfortable glance at Amenadiel before she started to talk, “Okay, let me clue you in. He got the antidote from Hell. He didn’t have his wings then, so the only way to get him there was to kill him.” She tipped her head toward Linda, “We put him in the hospital room directly below yours so that he was vulnerable and then we stopped his heart. He died and went back to Hell to get the antidote from the Professor.”
Amenadiel nodded, “Yes. He asked me to guard you in the hospital so that no one could move you away from him while he worked to save you. He finally got the formula and Linda revived him.”
Chloe was horrified, “But he could have died permanently!”
Linda gave her a worried frown, “He almost did; I couldn’t get him to come back. His goddess mother had to go in after him.”
Maze snarled, “Well she owed it to him. After all she was the one that ripped Lucifer’s heart out with the news that Chloe was a miracle.”
Chloe turned to stare, “Excuse me, what?”
Amenadiel took both her hands in his and looked into her eyes, “My father sent me to bless your mother so that she and your father could create you. We aren’t sure why He wanted you in Lucifer’s path, but for a while Lucifer was afraid you were designed to destroy him.”
Chloe involuntarily jumped at the word ‘destroy’. She almost had and it ate at her soul.
Amenadiel didn’t comment on her reaction. He gave her a moment before he gently continued, “Then when he understood that you had no knowledge of the situation, that you were an innocent, tricked as surely as he; he did everything he could to make it right for you. He tried to protect you by putting up barriers to a relationship.”
Chloe paled and whispered, “So I’m just some cosmic toy for your brother?”
He gave her a shocked look tinged with guilt, “No. No, Chloe.” He softened his tone, “We don’t know why Dad wanted you here, but you still have free will. Whatever happens or doesn’t is between you and Lucifer.”
“But Lucifer was angry when he found out?”
Amenadiel looked away and admitted, “More like heart-broken; then angry. He felt pretty much like you do now. He called it smoke and mirrors… a rigged game.”
Maze shook her head, “Exactly. The man is such an idiot. But I kind of get it now.” A picture of Eve popped into her head. She pushed it aside, “He was so confused when you kissed him, but he tried to adjust. He let himself hope.” Maze looked away, uncomfortable with the emotions running through her, “That’s not an easy thing for the Devil.”
She shifted, anxious to get the rest of the story out. “The goddess dragged me into the situation. She had Lucifer meet us at the bar where Amenadiel originally found your Mother. There was an old picture of them on the wall. When Lucifer came in, unaware of what was about to happen, he was in a great mood. He said you and he were ‘real’ and he felt like he could do anything.” Maze stared off into the memory, “I’ve never seen him that happy…”
She touched Chloe’s shoulder lightly, “When he saw the old picture and found out God put you here. It really knocked him back; but he tried to protect you from all the Celestial fall-out. He didn’t want others in his family to realize how much he cared about you.”
Amenadiel bowed his head, “He fell in love with you, Chloe, but he was afraid of Dad’s involvement. At that time, he felt like you had no choice; no free will in the matter, so he tried to give it back to you.”
Chloe stared into the distance, “I see. So he used Candy as a shield, but he still came back. He still wanted to work with me.”
Amenadiel nodded, “Yes. He wanted to be around you, even though he felt friendship was all he could have. But then our brother Uriel showed up and threatened to kill you and Mom.” He frowned, “Lucifer destroyed him to keep you safe.”
Chloe’s eye widened in horror, “Oh no.”
Linda nodded, unable to stay silent, “Oh Chloe, he loved you so much. But the danger from his family is real and he felt you deserved ‘someone better’.
Chloe locked eyes with Linda, “He’s said that to me several times.”
“He had a big problem with your relationship with Pierce, but with everything that had happened, he thought it best for you if he stayed away. He wanted you to be happy, and to give you that chance, he shoved his own feelings to the side. Once he came to understand that you did have free will, all he wanted was for you to choose him. He tried to show you, but Lucifer didn’t fully understand human emotions.”
Chloe twisted her hands together, “He used things like the new car, and the fancy dinner and flowers to try to tell me. But he couldn’t express his feelings, so I thought it was some kind of game to him.”
Maze frowned at her, “He may not know how to express feelings in words, but Decker, how many times did he throw himself in front of a gun or knife for you? I mean he literally died for you at least twice.”
“Twice? What do you… “ Chloe paled as she remembered, “oh no. Malcolm.”
Amenadiel looked away in shame. It was his fault that Malcolm had been given the chance to do so much damage, “Yes. Lucifer told me that Malcolm killed him. But as he was bleeding out, he made a deal with Dad and all he asked was that you be protected. Dad agreed and sent him back to be the one to protect you.”
“So from his perspective, every confusing action he took came from a place of love for me?”
Chloe put her face in her hands, “I nearly betrayed him.”
Maze gave her a light push, “Hey, I do that every couple of weeks. He gets over it.”
“No. It’s different for me. He is vulnerable around me. He let me see the angel he keeps hidden. He truly cared about me and I responded with ignorance and fear. Why couldn’t I listen to my heart?”
Linda spoke as a friend, “Chloe. Don’t do this to yourself. Lucifer was deeply upset that you couldn’t handle his Devilish side, but instead of giving you time, he used Eve as a substitute. She gave him the acceptance you weren’t ready to give. He used her to get what he needed. But he soon learned that acceptance only mattered if it was from you, because he loved you. Under the hurt and anger, he never stopped.”
“I understand that now.” She stood up, suddenly exhausted. “Thank you for telling me. I need to get home, but please let me know if you hear from him.”
Amenadiel stood and walked her to the door, “Of course we will. Please take care of yourself, Chloe.”
She drove home in a daze, as everything she learned swirled around in her head. She could see the absolute truth now. He had always loved her, but his perspective was that of a god.
She had been carefully safeguarded, but with actions that ripped at her emotions. He took it upon himself to shield her and to decide what was best for them both. She sucked in a sharp breath.
He had done those things because he feared her reaction to the truth and she had proven him correct by running away and then trying to send him back to Hell. Why couldn’t it have happened differently?
She slammed her palm against the steering wheel. It wasn’t fair. She finally knew the truth, and she knew the Devil’s heart. She wanted him to love her, not just as a partner and friend, but as a woman. If only they hadn’t wasted so much time dancing around each other.
She threw her keys on the counter and fell into bed, too tired to get undressed. She was asleep within seconds.