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Life's For The Living

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Lily POV

It’s the 30st of September.

Tomorrow, after breakfast, all my brothers will return to the Devildom to attend RAD. I’m feeling sad about it, but also looking forward to today. Today Leila and James and the others will come home. To spend the final day together with all of us. 

I can hear my demonic brothers already making a ruckus around the house. Getting breakfast ready, no doubt. Even though I’ve moved into my new room, which is in a different part of the Manor, I can still hear them. They must be excited for today… Hehe!

My own room is on ground level. I really love how it turned out! It’s light and I have a lovely sliding door leading directly into the garden, with the Manor’s greenhouse attached to the terras. I have my personal little en-suite and Asmodeus insisted that I should have a large closet. I remember how that convo went... I needn’t worry: He would love to help me pick out items to store in there. The way he beamed so happily at the idea, it made me smile too and I couldn’t resist the idea anymore. We’ve already made good progress on filling it up, normally I don’t like to be too frivolous but there’s something to say about retail therapy.

But it’s time to get out of my lovely room and join the others. So I make myself start the morning routine that Asmo created for me so long ago now and hounded me about until it became second nature. Almost. There are days I still only splash my face with water, brush my teeth and throw my hair in a messy bun and call it a day. After I have finished getting ready I walk into our new east wing living room.

On the ground level we also have our shared small human living room and kitchenette. I’m sure we’ll usually hang out with each other in the main part of the Manor, of course. But I just know that hanging out with my noisy demon brothers is sometimes a bit too much for Leila and Lucien. So to have a more quiet space to relax, without retreating to their room will be nice. And honestly, I think I’ll be taking advantage of that too, sometimes. This living room is next to my bedroom and also has a large sliding door leading into the garden. It will be nice to use together, once our demons have to return to the Devildom. More cozy.

The suggested potion making station was set up in a separate room next to the kitchenette. I’m very excited to start using it, making potions with Leila and James. There is a large common cabinet installed in which we can store our ingredients, vials and finished potions. We also all have our own smaller cabinets in our rooms for the more personal potions and ingredients. It was Satan’s suggestion to do this. It makes sense, I suppose. Leila will appreciate this, she’s trained into being a secretive sorceress. I’m not sure how much I will use mine for that purpose. It’s more likely I will use mine to store snacks, that undoubtedly Beel will take advantage of since I know Leila will be boobytrapping our kitchenette.

We also have a small extra room here on the ground level, right next to my bedroom. For now we’re just using it for storage of all the painting stuff leftovers. Haha!

“Lily, good morning!” Asmo’s cheerful greeting instantly pulls me out of my thoughts when I join my brothers in the dining room. “I have breakfast all ready and waiting for you! I was in charge of preparing it this morning, you see. And I have to say, your Human World waffle makers really make breakfast a breeze.” He sits me down at the table and I emerge myself in their chaos.

Leila and the rest must have arrived just before me, I see bags and suitcases discarded haphazardly. I’m sure they were pounced on as soon as they showed up. Leviathan is already telling James and Lucien all about their rooms and the entertainment room on the first floor.

James and Lucien’s rooms are more or less the same as mine, except not having access to outside, unless they want to climb out of the large windows. Lucifer did not let us renovate the outside of the Manor to keep its aesthetics. There is a small balcony for them, however. But it’s more for decoration, if you ask me. You could place a potted plant on it, I suppose. I can already imagine they’ll be using it for mischief instead. I mean..I wouldn’t hesitate to climb out the window if it was my room.

Between James’ and Lucien’s rooms is Leviathan’s requested entertainment and game room. A large room where we can game, read, hang out, and make noise since it’s extra isolated. The large TV that Leviathan chose for us even made himself a bit jealous. His own is just a tad smaller. And then he picked out all the best game consoles, computer screens and I don’t even know what else. He insisted we needed this and it caused Lucifer a bit of a headache. But Leviathan was so happy with everything he picked out for us, besides being jealous, that I just couldn’t say no to him… Like I thought, I’m not sure what big of a help I was with this. But his happiness made me smile. And that made Lucifer happy.

I smile at Belphie and Satan, glad to see they are showing Leila some restraint. They’ve barely seen Leila ever since Mammon’s birthday, and though I know they understood her feelings, it was still hard for them. They’ve opted to sit across from her instead of trapping her between them. They are just as eagerly telling her about her own rooms. I know Leila has a lot more healing to do before she can fully accept them, but I can’t help being happy as I remember how cute those two were when they helped with Leila’s part of the renovations.

Leila and Pandora’s rooms are on the second floor. At first I thought it would be best to have them living on a lower level for practical reasons. I would have loved to have my room next to Leila’s. Also, Leila wouldn’t have to do all those stairs with her baby all the time for all Pandora’s naps. This was of course easily solved by installing a second crib downstairs, Satan had pointed out. 

I just couldn’t let go of my curiosity: why were both Satan and Belphegor so adamant on having Leila on the second floor? And why did they volunteer to do most of the demolishing and building work up there, not letting any of their brothers help them? They were acting so strange and secretive. So naturally, I went investigating. I was somewhat worried they had plans to make some sort of hidden corridor from their rooms to hers! Leila needs time to heal and no matter how much they both love her, they can’t make her love them back. She’s already been through enough trauma with a demon who thought that love could be forced on her!

But my worries were unfounded, thank goodness. They did have secret plans for Leila’s room. But it was something very cute, actually! They both scowled at me when I unlocked the securely locked door as they were busy. They were both hunched over the plans they made for her and Pandora’s rooms and, obviously not having expected me, they looked a little guilty when I asked what they were up to. But then they explained what they were up to and made me swear to keep it a secret from everyone else.

Apparently one of the original rooms that used to be here had a small secret space inside a closet. I wondered how they even knew about it. We never used the east wing of the Manor before, because all the main rooms were more on the other side or main part of the Manor. They both had these adorable goofy grins on their faces, when they explained that Leila told them that this was her secret in her own reality. Of course they adore these things about her! They wanted to make sure for Leila to keep that secret space so she could keep her most precious items in there. I wrapped them both up in a great big hug and promised to keep it a secret too. 

Eventually they designed a large room for Leila with an en-suite bathroom and the large closet for clothes that Asmodeus demanded for us all, much like the other bedrooms. A lovely room for little Pandora with enough space to have a cute comfortable room to play in once she grows up. And a small personal study in which her secret space-behind-the-closet is.

“You didn’t need to renovate an entire wing.” Leila is shaking her head and I’m wondering if she’s feeling too overwhelmed. “Though I do appreciate it…” She puts on a brave smile and Satan and Belphie beam at her.

“I’m glad we did!” I tell her, trying to take some of the pressure off. “Aside from wanting you all to feel comfortable here, I got some much needed new space too.” 

Satan nods in agreement. “I haven’t told you about the library yet…” He continues filling Leila in. 

On the top floor we also built a small library where we will store most of our spell books over time. It has some comfy couches to read and a big table to do research. I’m assuming that Leila and James didn’t bring many books with them. It makes me sad, thinking of what they have left behind. They lost everyone and everything! But Satan and Lucifer already brought copies of books they find interesting to our new library from their rooms and the main library. Everyone really did their best and worked hard to make it perfect. 

“Oh and we bought you your own car too!” Asmodeus butts into the conversation. “I wanted to get you something cute and pink but they wouldn’t let me.” He pouts.

Leila giggles. “That would have been fun. I don’t mind a pink car, as long as it’s safe and practical…” 

Asmodeus gives her a radiant smile in return. “Really? I suppose we can still cast a color alteration spell over that dreadfully boring grey…”

I roll my eyes, hearing him. “We decided on a practical midsize SUV.” I tell her. “I think you’ll find it comfortable and safe for Pandora.”

“Thank you.” She smiles at me, then turns to Asmo. “I’ll think about it.” She promises him.

“We’ll have a proper tour once everyone is done eating.” Lucifer says, warning his over eager brothers.

“Fine.” Leviathan sighs. “Beel, don’t take all morning!” To which Beelzebub merey nods and somehow shovels in food faster. I better finish putting food on my own plate or else I’ll go hungry this morning and for some reason I feel like I could eat twice as much!

 

Leila POV

“Leila, can I come with you?” Lily asks me when I get Pandora ready for a little walk after breakfast. I know they all want to do that whole tour in the renovated part of the manor, but I just want to be away from it all for a bit. James, Lucien and Mammon can handle it for now.

I smile at her. “Of course.” I notice that both she and Lucifer shut the brothers up with a look, before they can ask to join too. I wouldn’t mind one or two joining us, but not all of them making a spectacle.

“Yo, Leila!” Mammon calls after us, as we’re about to step out of the door. “If you’re goin’ out, pick me up a cake at the bakery.”

“Sure, Mammon.” I smile at him. “You want to treat your classmates tomorrow with a Human World cake?” I know he’s a bit nervous to meet his friends from the Devildom tomorrow, who were actually his counterpart’s friends.

“As if! I dunno what ya mean!” Mammon blushes adorably. But Lily and I look at each other, knowing better. He probably wants to show off the Human World delicacies. If the cake survives until tomorrow… “Anyway, just don’t forget.” He gives both me and Lily a hug and Pandora a kiss on her little head.

“Lily…” Belphegor’s sleepy voice calls out. Lily turns to him with a smile.

“Yeah? Do you want me to pick you up something too?” She asks him.

I see him look between us and then he seems to change his mind. “No...just be careful.” I see her wrinkle her brows in confusion, something is a little off about the exchange but then Asmo is talking to us and we’re already heading out the door.  

“Whoa, can you believe that?” Asmo has grabbed a coat and follows us with an amused laugh. “Mammon is so different now, I barely recognize him like this.”

“Are you going out too, Asmo?” Lily asks him.

“Oh yes.” Asmo nods, smiling. “I’ve made one last appointment with the spa. I need to radiate perfection tomorrow, you understand. You don’t mind it if we head out together, hm?” 

“No, that’s fine.” I tell him. It’s nice to hang out with Asmodeus. He has given us a lot of attention in the past weeks, but from him I feel the least pressure to immediately make everything right again. Which honestly surprises me. Asmodeus is very sensitive. Maybe he feels that it’s nothing personal? Or maybe he just understands that it’s only a matter of time, because no one can resist his natural charms forever. Haha!

“Mammon’s nervous to go back to the Devildom, isn’t he?” Asmodeus asks when we walk through the little park across from Serenity Manor. “He acts as if he doesn’t know what to do with himself.”

“Yeah, he’s a bit upset to have to say goodbye to us soon.” I confirm. “But James, Lucien, Lily and I will be just fine together.”

“He doesn’t have to worry about the Devildom, either.” Asmo tells us. “His friends don’t know what happened and we will keep it that way.”

“They might notice some differences though?” Lily asks him, pushing Pandora’s stroller as she offered to do.

“Maybe.” I shrug. “I’m not sure how far his differences would extend to his demon friends.”

“Yeah, but if it does, we can blame that on the influence of the Human World.” Asmo laughs musically. “...Where he made ‘new’ pacts with two ‘new’ humans. Not to mention adopted Lucien, his new ‘littlest bro’. He’s probably going to act embarrassed about it…” He shakes his head wryly. “He’s such a child. What am I going to do with him?”

I can’t help but laugh. Yeah, the news of two new humans and entourage accepted in the Avatar family must be news, down there in the Devildom. Oh well, we’ll face that hurdle in time too. For now I’m not going to the Devildom, unless it’s an emergency.

“I’m glad you’re mostly the same as always, Asmo.” I tell him sincerely. “That really helps.”

Asmo comes very close, looking flirtatiously in my eyes. “Hehehe. Well, I’m not a man-child like Mammon.” I roll my eyes in return and he laughs. Then his expression changes, suddenly looking a bit sad. “But when I think about it… I’ll miss you. All of you staying behind... I know we’ll have that visiting schedule, but it’s not the same you know? I’ll be sad having to say goodbye tomorrow.”

“Yeah, me too.” Lily tells him sadly. “And I know Leila and James feel the same.”

“Of course.” I nod. “We care about all of you a lot. We were friends before all this happened. That hasn’t changed.”

“I just want to treasure the little moments like this.” Asmo smiles at us, linking his arms in both of ours, which makes Lily swerve the stroller dangerously. Not that Pandora minds, as she reacts cheerfully.

I free my arm from his and he looks a bit surprised and a bit crestfallen. I can see from his face that he thinks he’s been too familiar with me. But that’s not it. I just want what he just told us: Treasure this little moment. So I hold his hand and give him a little squeeze. I don’t want to fight against restoring my pact with Asmo anymore, no matter how much I miss my own. I want to accept him fully in my life. Before he has to leave. He’s been one of my best friends. And I want Asmo to know this. 

He beams at me as we look at each other. “Oh Leila.” He kisses my cheeks multiple times, before he plants one on my lips. “You loved him that much? You love me that much?” He’s practically radiant as he embraces me. “This feeling is better than any admiration from my fans!” Then he looks towards Lily, who was looking at us with a grin and tears running down her cheeks. “Now, now, Lily flower. Don’t be sad. I have plenty of love for the both of you!”

“I’m not sad.” Lily sniffles, joining the hug awkwardly without letting go of Pandora’s stroller. “I could just SEE how your pact snapped into place… I’m so happy…”

“I need to find a suitable name for you too.” Asmodeus tells me, after having kissed away Lily’s tears and we’re walking again. Lily pushing the stroller with an excited Pandora, my hand still in Asmo’s. “I have to make sure it’s a good one, don’t I?”

“Yes, or I won’t listen to it and I’ll give you an awful one in return.” I tell him with a teasing smile.

He frowns sternly, looking into my eyes, searching. “You would, wouldn’t you?” He promises to give it some serious thought. I can’t tell him the nickname my other Asmo called me. But maybe he’ll figure it out on his own. Or maybe he chooses something similar. It doesn’t matter if he can’t find one. I’m just feeling a little more happy, cheerful and energized, due to my newly restored pact with Asmo. Oh, how I’ve missed this feeling...

When we reach the exit of the park on the other side, Asmo bids us adieu. He still has his spa appointment and Lily and I are going to the bakery for Mammon. “See you back at the Manor!” He practically skips away.