“twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three…”, the devil quietly counted the seconds while he swung the liquid in his glass clockwise. Actually, the other one should stand up now.
Lucifer observed confused the knife he had stabbed into Marcus Pierce’s chest.
The blood continued flowing out of the motionless body.
Rashly, the Prince of Darkness took another gulp, but his dark eyes didn’t leave the man lying to his feet alone anymore.
Eventually, Lucifer kneeled beside the corpse and pulled his sleeve away by a few centimeters, so that he could take a look at the circular mark on Marcus’ upper arm again.
He had been so sure that he dealt with the immortal Cain.
He hadn’t even considered that the possibility he was wrong existed, when he made his glorious plan.
The devil was still too irritated by his miscalculation as to fully understand the extent of his deeds.
His first call went to the demon.
“Maze would you please come to Lux?”
“I’m not your slave!”
“Please… it’s important.”
“What happened, Lucifer?”
“Somebody is dead.”
“Should I get Decker to the phone?”
“I killed him…”
“All right, I’m on my way!”
He got up for a Moment to stretch his tense limp and pulled the knife from the body. The blade went deep into Pierce’s flesh.
“What happened?”, with fast steps the demon rushed to the bar towards Lucifer, who bluntly laid his look onto his glass: “I made a giant mistake, Maze.”
“Did you lose control?”
“No, it was completely different than that. I…”, sighing, the lord of hell clapped his hands on his lap, “I wanted to prove that Pierce is Cain.”
“And Pierce is… was not Cain. Damn it Maze, I didn’t even think about this being also a possibility.”
The former barkeeper bust out in ringing laughter: “Why doesn’t it surprise me that such a thing happens to you?”
“It’s not funny Maze, I’m so fucked! What if the detective finds out? How am I supposed to ever explain this to someone? I killed someone, Maze. On top of that without visible reason.”
“What do you expect from me now, Lucifer? Should I clean your mess after you, have the corpse disappear and find a good explanation for you? Oh, and while I’m on it, why don’t I solve all your other problems as well?!”, sarcastically Maze crossed arms.
Lucifer enthusiastically slipped out a “exactly”.
With a puff, the demon pulled out one of her knives and held it to the devil's throat.
“Listen to me closely. This is your mess and if you wouldn’t, for some ridiculous reasons still mean something to me, I would leave it to yourself to deal with completely on your own. But a) you need me and b) the detective couldn’t handle finding out the truth, therefore I will take care, that no one will ever find the body. The rest is on you. You’re welcome!”
When the demon took back her knife, Lucifer rubbed his neck morosely.
“How am I supposed to do this according to you?”
“I Don’t know. Figure it out yourself!”
Mazikeen already hung Pierce over her shoulder and was in an atmosphere of departure.
The party was in full swing. Lucifer pushed through the crowd. He wanted to be left alone by her.
“Lucifer, are you all right?”
“You haven’t been to the precinct for two weeks. Has something happened?”
“Everything all right, detective… I just didn’t feel like it.”
“You didn’t feel like it?!”, upset Chloe followed the club owner, who tried to get away in the crowd.
“Yes, just imagine I have also other stuff to do. If I’m allowed back to continue my work here…”
“Did you hear that Pierce disappeared?”
“No, but why would I care?”
“Lucifer, I hoped for your help.”
“Well I have to disappoint you then detective.”
Feeling betrayed by her partner she shook her head and left Lux behind.
It hurt Lucifer seeing her go like this, but he couldn’t tell her the truth and he knew, that if he had her around, she would start to question things he couldn’t answer without lying. And doing that was out of question.
Instead he would pick up one of the present women. Sleep was impossible. The guilt gnawed too much at his bowels. Well, why just one, he could have as many as he enjoyed. After all he was the devil and how he saw it his time on earth was almost over.
Lucifer had to use the last days, weeks to paint the town red once again.
The prince of darkness didn’t know how many days passed partying, but his levity was interrupted by yet another gatecrasher.
“Linda?! Come join us!”
“Lucifer, the last time you went over the top like this you … well, your brother died.”
“You can say it out loud, Linda. I killed Uriel. Just as I killed a human, Pierce, this time.
When killing Uriel, I could at least persuade myself I did it to save the detective because I had to protect her, but now…
Either the detective will see through my game, or dad will punish me…. Either way, I will have to return to hell sooner or later.”
“WHAT DID YOU DO? Okay Lucifer, not that loud! Let’s go somewhere we can talk in private.”
“Why Linda? The whole world can know that I’m a bloody murderer. I deserve punishment.”
Determined the therapist grabbed the devil, who was quite done with his nerves, at his wrist and pulled him up to the penthouse.
When the doors of the elevator opened, Linda was shocked. The chaos indicated what Lucifer went through. Clothes were spread everywhere on the floor. His own and some of “acquaintances”.
Linda swallowed the lump in her throat. Unavoidably she had to admit that it reflected Lucifer’s behavior after Uriel’s death one on one. It was as if she had a déjà-vu.
“Now once again with more details. You killed Pierce?”
“Yes, I thought he was Cain and then he wouldn’t have died, but surprise: I was wrong, and someone is dead because of it.”
“Um, well… that’s quite…”
“Leave it alone Linda! You cannot say anything that would make this fact in the slightest better. I will return to hell. The question was from the moment the dead Pierce laid on my club floor not if, but rather when this moment was to be.”
Broodingly, Linda adjusted her glasses: “What about Chloe?”
“She deserves to work with someone who is not a murderer.”
The devil grimaced, trying to smile.
“But how do you feel about it?”
“It doesn’t matter. You cannot change my mind. I used the last days to procrastinate the inevitable.”
Without waiting for an answer Lucifer turned around on the spot just to look back one last time.
“Please, give this to Chloe!”
Linda took the note suspiciously.
“May I read that?”
My dearest Chloe,
you should know that I returned to hell. Maybe you finally believe that I’m in fact the devil when you try in vain to find me. I did something I cannot make undone. With that I can’t let you catch sight of me ever again. Pierce is dead. I killed him. Look at this as a goodbye letter and a confession. Even if you will hate me from now on, I already miss you.
Desperate and full of regret
“Maybe you should deliver the letter personally, Lucifer… Lucifer?... Lucifer?”
While Linda was reading, Lucifer had gotten off with a few flaps of his wings.
Hell’s uncountable corridors were as sombrely as the prince of darkness remembered them to be.
Just as the time right after his banishment to this place, he felt as if deserved to be trapped here.
He hated all the cool grey ashes and the constant equality, but not as much as he hated himself.
Even if the time passed the same way as on earth Lucifer wouldn’t be able to tell how long he already wandered down here.
Feelings of guilt gnawed at him and pressed into his stomach. He realized how he ironically tortured himself in the moments he wasn’t busy doing his job.
But one pain was deeper.
A whimper left his throat when he thought about the women he left behind.
His heart tightened again.
Angry with himself he shook the thought aside. By time he had to stop drowning in self-pity, then although he ruled hell again there was still a big pile of tasks ahead. The thousands upon thousands of new hell loops brought some fresh air into his daily routine.
A little more focused than before he entered one of the chambers.
Confused, the devil froze. The scene that took place in front of him made him pause. He looked at an exact copy of himself. This copy drew a dagger from the depths of his suit and struck down a just arriving Pierce.
Incredulously, he watched another two to three times how the deed – according to his memories – took place.
Was this supposed to be his own little hell? Then why did he exist twice? When Lucifer thought about it, he didn’t have the feeling to be trapped in a loop. His guilt showed, without a doubt, but it didn’t keep him at this place.
Suddenly it dawned on the lord of hell. This was nothing less than Marcus Pierce’s hell and for a moment his conscience relieved in the knowledge he hadn’t killed an innocent.
He walked out of the shadow.
The demons who created the hell loop awaited eagerly further orders of their master.
With a gesture he dismissed them for now. Maybe he needed a conversation tête-á-tête to get the peace of mind he so desperately longed for.
What had previously indicated the backdrop of Lux had now given way to monotonous stone walls and the chamber’s void was crushing.
Pierce starred at him with fearful eyes. Even though he already endured hell, the fear of the unknown was a lot bigger and to see a second Lucifer, who let everything else go up in smoke, threw him off track.
Lucifer had been gone for too long. He didn’t know why the lieutenant ended up in hell so he would have to bluff if he wanted to get answers, or if this shouldn’t help send out his demons. But because Lucifer wanted to get rid of his guilt, he preferred the easy way.
“Hello Pierce. Look at you! A picture of misery, huddled up here. Your deeds brought you straight to hell”, Lucifer had his eyes glow up red to accentuate his point of view.
Pierce fled backwards as far as he could: “You didn’t give me a choice. I had to order my guys to kill those people or else the detective would have found out about my past”, he made one brave step forwards, “you should be glad about that, too. You wouldn’t prefer if I killed her instead, would you?”
Now Lucifer’s wrath wasn’t just acting anymore. He crashed Pierce in the nearest wall and pressed him against it with a vicelike grip that cut off his breath if he wouldn’t be dead already.
“So, at least it is true that you are the sinnerman.”
“You didn’t know that?”
“I thought you were Cain.”
“Long story that I won’t unravel for you, but I am glad that the knife attack really did kill you, down here you won’t get the chance to hurt anyone else.
Suddenly it dawned on the former police lieutenant: “You are in hell again because you are a weak do-gooder, who couldn’t stand that he killed someone.”
Lucifer’s face, which until then had been distorted by anger now grew cold as ice and he grabbed Pierce’s shirt collar and whispered in his ear:
“You should know better than to call the devil weak.
Thanks to your confession I can return to earth, but I have wings my dear friend. That means I can and will do a side trip to the underworld just for you, to bring you to justice and now I let you live – or rather be dead – in the fear that you don’t know when, but that it will happen.”
The lord of darkness decided to alight in his penthouse first. After all he needed a good explanation for his detective; one that was solid and held the truth.
Even though Pierce was the murderous sinnerman he had to clarify some things. And then there was his letter…
Done from the wearing last weeks he wanted to get some rest before he approached something of his agenda.
His plan to get into contact with Linda before he showed up at the precinct crumbled.
Curled up like a cat Chloe laid in his bed. Had she been here every day since his departure?
The honey blond hair covered her face and his sheets only covered a small part of her petite body since she clung to it as if it was a blankie.
Woken up by his noises the women started to move:
“Lucifer, your wings!”
“Oh that … um… well, do you at least believe me now?”
“Hm… I got your letter. Did you really kill Pierce?”
Timidly the devil nodded. Now she would leave.
“Did you know, he was the sinnerman?”, Chloe calmly looked at him.
Surprised, Lucifer raised an eyebrow. Of course! She investigated in his departure and she never missed a thing.
“I guessed so… If you want to disown me now, I could totally understand… I can at least assure you that he ended up in hell.”
“Lucifer no! I want to keep on working with you. I just need time to process things. Maybe you could draw back for a while?”
Disappointed, but understanding Lucifer nodded. The lump in his throat was so big, that he couldn’t do more. But when Chloe was about to press the elevator button, he slipped out a question:
“Tell me one thing! If you need space, then why are you waiting in my penthouse?”
Chloe turned around to face him. With tears in her eyes she tumbled into his hug. “No matter how much I should detest you for killing Pierce, the time without you was hell. I need you … no, I want you here with me and no matter if you see it like that right now or not, fundamentally you are a good Person, Lucifer.”
Following that, he pressed the police officer a jot closer to his upper body. Gosh, how much he missed her…