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The Lucifer Files

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“I don’t see why we’re revisiting these, my dear,” Lucifer complained. It was that time of night when late and early were meaningless terms, and the precinct was mostly quiet outside of the interview room he'd been ushered into. “I watched Detective Decker conduct several of them; I know what was said.”

“In those interviews, yeah,” Ella agreed pleasantly as she queued up the interview track that she wanted on the computer. “But with how many names you gave us, we had to split up the interviews between several officers to get them all done. Now I have to admit: I was more than a little curious about your mojo…” She twitched her eyebrows at him meaningfully, eliciting another of those confused expressions that she found utterly adorable. “So I skimmed through them. There were some that were pretty interesting, if you know what I mean.”

“I'm sure, but I still don’t see what-”

Her hand curled over his and he fell silent, his dark eyes widening and his mouth hanging open for a few seconds after the words died. It broke Ella’s heart that casual affection was so alien to this man. “Just watch, okay? You’ll see.” At his nod, she pressed play.

* * *

Interviewee: Bethany Mierette
Age: 41
Occupation: Legal Assistant

A redhead of medium build, with fair skin and blue-green eyes sat down into the camera’s view. Her hair was caught up in a clip at the back of her head, with thin curls wisping along the sides of her face. She wore a button-down silk blouse of pale turquoise, a quartz point hanging from a chain around her neck. “So what is this all about?”

“As the summons said, ma’am: we’re taking statements from anyone who’s had sexual relations with Lucifer Morningstar in the past two months. According to his account, the two of you were intimate approximately five weeks ago, is that right?”

“Yes, that’s right. On the 26th.”

“You’re sure of the date?”

“Positive. My divorce had finally been signed off by the judge on the 24th, which was a Wednesday. Two days later, several of the other assistants in the office surprised me with a trip to Lux.” She grimaced faintly. “To celebrate.”

“Why celebrate?”

“My divorce had been dragged out by my ex for nearly three years. Though he never threatened me, it was far from amicable. Things got pretty ugly between us.” A laugh, humorless and almost caustic. “Things had gotten ugly well before that, to be honest.”

“So what happened that night?”

“We were having a few drinks; watching the club dancers. My friends were getting pretty hammered, but we’d taken an Uber and it was a Friday, so they were taking the opportunity to cut loose.”

“How much had you had to drink?”

“I’m diabetic, Officer. Metformin and alcohol don’t mix. Since I like living, I was sticking to club soda with lemon.”

“Had you ever been to Lux before?”

“Once: back when I first split with my husband, also with the girls from the office.” The fingers of her right hand toyed with the silver watch on her left wrist. “I didn’t even see Lucifer on that first visit, though. If I remember right, word around the bar that time was that he’d already found a companion for the evening before we’d gotten there.”

“How did you happen to meet him this time?”

A smile, fond and quietly nostalgic touched her face. “I was sitting at the table by myself; a couple of the girls had gone to the ladies’ room; others were dancing. My heart hadn’t really been in the evening, though, and I was seriously considering calling my own Uber and going home, when all of a sudden he was there: sitting down beside me and asking why it was that I didn’t seem to be enjoying myself at his club.

“It was absolutely surreal at the time. I mean, here I was: over forty, divorced, no kids, staring down the prospect of completely reshaping my life and no idea where to even begin. I’d married my husband right out of college; I didn’t exactly have a ton of social confidence back then and he’d done nothing but erode what little I’d had. By every logic I knew, someone like Lucifer shouldn’t even have noticed I was there, let alone cared whether or not I was having a good time. But he did.”

“Was that a problem for you, then? When what you had with him turned out to be a one-night stand?”

“Oh, God, no.” She laughed a little, this time with far more warmth. “No, I didn’t go up there under any little-girl illusions. I knew what he was offering when he invited me upstairs.”

“What did you think he was offering?”

That same fond, nostalgic smile came back, her eyes bright and somehow fierce. “A gift. Lucifer gave me back what thirteen years of public school, four years of college and almost two decades of marriage had tried to keep me from ever having: a sense of my own worth.”

“How did he do that?”

“Unlike so many people in the world today, Lucifer wasn’t a selfish lover. He was charming, and inventive, and everything his reputation says he is. But he made that night about me. It wasn’t just about him getting laid. He took quite a bit of satisfaction from being able to pleasure me, not just get me off.”

“There’s a difference?”

Her auburn eyebrows quirked. “If you have to ask that question, Officer, I’d say you could stand to take a few lessons from Lucifer in the intimacy department.”

A delicate cough. “So how did it give you your self-worth back, as you say, if this man who took such pains to give you a night of extraordinary sex didn’t want anything to do with you afterwards?”

“He never said that.” The response was sharp, almost angry. “He never, ever said that to me. Never even implied it. I don’t know what other people are saying about how he treats his lovers, but I will tell you right now that’s not how he treated me.”

“Then how did he treat you?”

“With respect.” Her teeth snapped on the end of the word. “Lucifer Morningstar may not be a man whose heart could be easily caught, but that doesn’t mean that he treats his paramours like tissues to be used and then thrown away. He treated me like a person from the moment he sat down until the moment I got on the elevator the next day to leave him and Lux behind, and if we were ever to meet again, whether he was interested in repeating our sexual liaison or not, he would still treat me like a person. That’s the kind of man he is.”

“Do you know of anyone that has slept with Lucifer who might not feel that way? Maybe one of your friends, or someone at the club you might’ve overheard?”

She shook her head regretfully. “No. I don’t go out to clubs that often, and none of the friends that took me there have ever caught his eye. But I do hope you’re wrong about this.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because if someone that Lucifer has slept with is committing crimes out of anger that he didn’t fall in love with them, or jealousy that he takes so many people to bed… I think he’s going to be very hurt by that.”

“In what way?”

“Someone like him, that takes such pains to bring his lovers joy even if it’s only for one night? The idea that the memory of their time together was tainted later with bitterness or jealousy… I think he would take that very personally. I think he’d think he’d failed them somehow, that it was his fault that they felt that way.”

“What makes you think so?”

She shrugged, reaching up to toy with the quartz pendant. “I’m not sure… it’s just a feeling.”