This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Chloe burrowed her head further into the blankets, trying to block the light that was making its way into her peripheral vision. The movement, however small, roused her from her deep sleep and with it came the awareness of the throbbing pain in her temples and the dryness of her mouth.
As she moaned into her pillow she realised the bed was too big, and the sheets too soft to be hers. Frowning she bit back another groan as memories came to her. Talking with her mom, texting Dan, Dan texting back, alcohol, cab ride, Lucifer, more alcohol, blank.
Oh what did she do.
Hesitating, she sneaked a peak under the covers only to sink back into the pillows with relief to find all of her clothes on, except her shoes. Basking in the knowledge she hadn’t had drunk sex with Lucifer, she soon roused herself as more details of the night came to her.
Lucifer would hold this over her for the rest of her life wouldn’t he? As if the line between them wasn’t blurred enough. He already brought up them having sex at least once a week. How much worse could it get now she’d tried to kiss him?
Throwing her hands over her eyes, she tried to push away the mortification. When was the last time she drunkenly kissed someone? Well, tried to kiss someone. Hell, when was the last time she kissed someone who wasn’t Dan!
Ugh, Dan. That was a direction Chloe didn’t even remotely want her brain to go near today. Except she’d have to talk to Trix about it.
Ignoring the roll of nausea in her stomach Chloe clambered out of bed to stumble over to the door. It was only when she cracked the door open, and raised voices met her ears, that she began to wonder where Lucifer was and why he wasn’t hovering over her, waiting for the glorious chance to gloat.
Leaving her shoes by the door Chloe made her way towards the living room, sticking to the shadows as the sunlight made her eyes spin.
It was Maze. Her voice was tense.
“We had a plan.”
“I became otherwise occupied.” Lucifer responded.
“With her.” Maze hissed.
“You’ll remember your place, Mazikeen.”
Chloe leant against the corner, hiding herself from their view.
“She makes you soft.”
Chloe bit back a huff, before edging forward to catch a glimpse of the two. They were at the far end of the room, completely oblivious to her presence. Mazikeen was snarling for lack of a better word while Lucifer stood, unimpressed, looking out the windows. He was wearing his usual suit but had forgone the jacket, the sleeves of his shirt rolled up. He looked much more human in the morning light than he did under the strobe lights at Lux.
“Jealousy doesn’t suit you Maze...poor thing.” He half turned to run a finger down her cheek despite her looking ready to bite it off. “Have I been neglecting you?”
She threw away his hand. “I do not get jealous. Unlike you I have not been corrupted by humanity.”
“We have discussed this before.”
“We should go back.”
Lucifer’s back imperceptibly straightened before turning to her.
“You will never tell me what to do.” His voice threatened, now low, rough, dangerous. But his voice didn’t hold her attention.
The face. It was the face of the devil. Red skin, looking bloody and burned, his eyes gleaming, pulsating. Even across the room she felt like she was drowning in them.
It should have looked comic. How Lucifer’s presence seemed to grow, towering over his bartender who seemed to shrink under his glare.
“Sorry master.” Maze said, looking just like Trix did whenever she didn’t get her way.
“Get back to work.” Lucifer said, his eyes returning to normal, freeing Chloe from the heat that had engulfed her. She staggered back and got into her room before Maze could cross her path, overwhelmingly beginning to feel she was literally in the belly of the beast.
Firmly shutting the bedroom door behind her, as if it were enough to keep him out, she crossed over to the bathroom and splashed her face with cold water, trying to control the panic gripping her.
Her partner was literally the Devil. Just like he’d been telling her ever since they met. And she’d thought he was insane.
The nausea was definitely getting worse as she padded back to the bedroom door to slip on her boots. She could run. It’s not like her phone and purse couldn’t be replaced. She had a hide-a-key to get into her house. She always kept cash in the house so she could pay the cab driver with that. Then she would grab her daughter and get as far away from the devil as she could.
Except Dan wouldn’t let her take their daughter away.
Okay, take Dan.
No, Dan would never believe Lucifer was actually the devil, no matter how much he hated him. He would think she was insane. Maybe he’d take Trixie.
Well, she could take Trix to her mom’s for the weekend, work on getting reassigned to another precinct then Lucifer would be partnered with someone else. She’d move house, now she knew her and Dan weren’t getting back together.
Lucifer would look for her.
She knew that was true.
Still, the thought of seeing him. She wasn’t sure she would be able to look at his eyes again.
Everything finally made sense. How he could compel people to tell the truth, make people succumb to his will, the insane feats of strength, his belief he should be bulletproof, the scars on his back, his brother.
She had to get out of this house before she fell apart. The existentialism alone was threatening to pull her under. Everything she had ever believed was wrong. Oh god, should she be going to church now?
She sucked in a breath as she realised she was no longer breathing.
“Detective.” Lucifer called brightly, she could hear him approaching the door, and began to focus on breathing properly and composing herself. “Are we awake yet?”
Chloe swung the door open before he could knock. Thankfully the sunlight had shifted since she had entered the room and she had an excuse to shield her eyes as the sun blinded her, reawakening the headache that had briefly been forgotten.
“Ah, feeling the effects of last night are we?”
“Where’s my phone Lucifer, I need to get Trix.”
“I put it in the kitchen. I didn’t want you to wake up and make some drunken call to Detective Douche. I thought I’d spare at least a little bit of your remaining dignity.”
She groaned into her hand. “Well thank you. I guess. But I really need to go, I’m late.” Don’t look at his eyes, don’t look at his eyes.
“Can’t your ex collect his daughter? I would think it is the least he could do after his unceremonious dumping yesterday. I thought we could have breakfast.” Without looking at him Chloe could hear the smile on his face.
“I don’t know where Dan is, but I’d rather talk to Trix before he does. Breakfast will have to wait.”
Lucifer sighed. “Oh, very well. Where is the little devil?”
She suppressed a shudder. “At her friend’s house. I’m meant to pick her up at eleven.”
“Oh my, we are cutting it a bit fine aren’t we. Well I guess I can be convinced to run a few lights to get us there in time.”
Chloe stilled. “Us?”
“Why of course. You didn’t think I’d abandon you in your emotional distress do you?”
“I think I’ll survive on my own, Lucifer.”
“Nonsense, let me get my jacket.” He walked off before she protest any further.
Sucking in a breath, Chloe headed for the door, cradling her head in her hand while she waited for him. She had another fleeting desire to run away but stood her ground, not wanting to arouse suspicion.
“Look alive.” Lucifer called, tossing her her purse. “You’ll only make Beatrice worry.”
He walked out the door with Chloe reluctantly following, rooting in her purse for her phone. There were no new messages.
She followed Lucifer in a daze which he hopefully put down to her hangover. Really the headache had sunk to the back of her consciousness. Her mind swirled between Lucifer’s eyes and Dan’s text. To think she had turned to the Devil for comfort. And then tried to kiss him. Chloe barely remembered getting into the car until Lucifer asked where ‘the child’ is.
Directing him to Alex’s house she barely listened to Lucifer’s rant over children’s names.
“Honestly why do you mortals give your children names only to give them silly nicknames afterwards. Alex-andra’s house. Why bother giving it the name Alexandra only to call it Alex?”
“Her.” Chloe corrected, rubbing her temples and trying not to dwell on the word, mortals.
“Alex is a her, not an it. And nicknames are a sign of affection.”
“Hmm.” Lucifer said sceptically. “I’ll still be calling your spawn by her full name.”
“She likes being called Trixie.”
“And I’ve told you, that’s a hooker’s name.”
“You know you’ve really got to stop saying that to her, she’s starting to ask some awkward questions.” She grumbled, sinking deeper into the car seat.
“Is Beatrice staying with you this weekend?”
Chloe knew that was as subtle as Lucifer could be about asking whether she would see Dan.
“Yes, I was thinking about taking her out of town.”
“Where?” He asked sharply.
“I’m going to talk to her about it but I thought we could go to the beach, San Diego maybe. She might like to go around the zoo, it’s been a while since we’ve been.” She was already forming the plan in her head. They could stay in a motel.
“You didn’t mention that plan before.” Lucifer said carefully, as they pulled off the highway.
“Well I think she might be upset that me and Dan aren’t getting back together so it might be nice to take her mind off it.”
Trix and Alex were playing in the front yard when they pulled up to the house. Seeing Lucifer, Trixie squealed and ran over to the car. Alex’s mom came out.
“Lucifer!” Trixie was jumping up and down next to his open window.
“Beatrice.” He responded disdainfully.
“Hey Carol.” Chloe said, forcing on a cheerful smile as she exited the car to scoop her daughter up in her arms. “Thanks for having Trix. I hope she wasn’t a problem.”
“No, Alex loved having her over.” Carol said, looking curiously at Lucifer. “Happy to have her anytime.”
“Well thanks again. I’ll see you Monday.” She said as she hurried Trixie into the backseat, her little girl preoccupied telling Lucifer, unprompted, about her night.
“You’re dropping her off? I thought Dan usually had her over the weekend.” Carol said, moving over to Alex.
“He has to work.” She shrugged. “Have a good weekend.”
Settling into the car she refused to look at Lucifer, focusing on Trixie instead who was simply babbling with excitement.
It took a while for her to pick up on Chloe’s mood.
“Mommy, I thought Dad was going to get me?”
Forcing on a smile she turned to face the backseat. “He had to work. So I was thinking we’d go on a road trip.”
Her smile was blinding. “Is Lucifer coming too?” Oh boy.
“No monkey, just us.” She responded before Lucifer would take Trix’s question as an open invitation.
“I was thinking San Diego. Do you remember going to the zoo when you were younger?”
“Is that the place where we were in those cars in the sky?”
She smiled. “Yeah, cable cars.”
“Cool. Is Dad coming?”
“I just told you he’s working this weekend.”
“Oh yeah. But Lucifer will come instead?”
“No Trix, just us.” Chloe said sternly.
“Because I want you all for myself.” She reached back and tickled her tummy, relaxing as Trix giggled and dropped the subject.
Lucifer was pretty quiet on the drive back to the house, only politely asking questions as Trix continued to talk about her night with Alex and her week at school. Chloe was glad Trix was there to keep up the conversation, as apart from the words ‘Jesus Christ, what have I gotten myself into’, her head was decidedly blank.
“Detective, pass me my sunglasses, they’re in the glove compartment.” Lucifer said as they turned down her street.
Obliging she passed them over, once again avoiding his gaze, depositing them into his waiting hand without allowing their skin to touch. If she’d looked up she may have noticed a suspicious frown developing.
“In you get child, you had better start packing.” Lucifer commanded as the car came to a stop.
“Okay.” Trix chirped. “Mom are you sure he can’t come?”
Chloe bit her tongue before replying, not wanting to snap at her child. “I’m sure monkey, now get inside, we want to beat traffic.”
Passing Trixie the key, she waited until Trix was in the house before unbuckling her seatbelt.
“Well thanks for the ride. And for last night.”
“Not to worry. Perhaps next time you can even try to kiss me sober.”
She grumbled, imagining a smirk forming across his face. Smug bastard. He grabbed her elbow as she made to exit the car.
“You saw me this morning, didn’t you?”
Her mother is an actress, she was an actress, she can lie to the Devil. “Yeah.” She said slowly, dread climbing up her chest, driving the air from her lungs. Breathe. “I stayed at your apartment, remember. Then you drove me home.”
“You saw me talking to Mazikeen.” He pushed.
“No. I heard you both though.”
“Don’t lie to me.”
She yanked her elbow away. “I’ll see you next week Lucifer.” Chloe tried to open her door to find it locked. “What the hell Lucifer, open the door.”
“Look me in the eye, Chloe.”
“Trixie is waiting for me.” She continued to tug on the handle fruitlessly. “We need to leave.”
“Why? Because you want to get away from Dan or because you’re afraid of me?”
“I’ve already told you, I’m not afraid of you. Now let me out.”
“Look me in the eye.”
Taking a deep breath she looked up only to jump back against the door, his eyes bright red. Pulling up her knees she pressed as far away as possible. Up close was even more hypnotic than from afar. She was terrified but completely unable to look away. She must have made some small noise of terror because his eyes quickly morphed back to brown and he moved forward, looking ready to comfort her.
“No. Let me out of this car right now.” She hated how her voice shook.
“You have no reason to be afraid of me.” Lucifer put his hand on her knee only to quickly withdraw it as she jerked further back into the door.
“You’re the devil!”
“Which I’ve been telling you since the day we met.” He shook his head exasperatedly.
“My daughter loves the devil.” She said, bordering on hysteria. “Let me out of this car, right now.”
“What are you going to do?” Lucifer asked.
“I’m going inside, taking some aspirin, putting my daughter in the car and getting the hell away from this insanity!”
“You are coming back.”
“Of course I am, Dan’s still here. We have joint custody of Trixie, I can’t not come back.” She turned and yanked on the door handle again.
He rolled his eyes. “I don’t care about Detective Douche. I’m going to see you next week, aren’t I?”
She shivered. “I need space Lucifer.”
“Everything I’ve ever believed, that I thought was true, has just been proven wrong. And with Dan. I just can’t deal with this right now.”
“There’s nothing to deal with. Everything I’ve been saying was the truth. None of this should be new to you.”
“I thought you were just insane!”
“Well that’s nice.” Lucifer threw his hands up in the air.
Chloe exhaled. “Look, I’m going away until Sunday night. I’m not sure when I’ll see you, but...” she squirmed under his glower, “I’ll call you when we get back, okay?”
“You swear?” He pressed.
“Well go on then!”
It took a moment for her to realise what he actually wanted. “Er, I swear I’ll call you Sunday night.”
He sighed. “Bloody hell. Fine. Get out then. Have a nice weekend.” Unlocking the doors, she stumbled out. Before she could close the door behind her, however, he leant over to stop her, grabbing her wrist. “I don’t want you to be afraid of me. I never want that.” Rubbing a few small circles on the inside of her wrist before gently letting go, Chloe felt her heart rate slow down for the first time since his argument with Maze.
“Okay.” She whispered, turning her back on him and heading inside suddenly feeling weary. Today was going to be a long day. Chloe stood on the porch as Lucifer reversed out, feeling his gaze on her back. With a sigh she pushed the door open.
“Mommy?” Trix asked, standing beside the door. She already had her bag packed, sitting at her feet. “Did you and Lucifer have a fight?”
“What?” Chloe said, pushing the hair away from her face. “No, why do you think that?”
“I saw you two in the car, you looked worried.”
No she looked terrified. “It’s just a case we’re working on honey, it has everyone a little stressed. But it’s nothing to worry about, okay. This is why we’re going away, to relax for a bit.” The lies coming easier when she was talking to her daughter and not the ’Prince of Darkness’.
Trixie pouted. “Okay. I just wish Lucifer could come.”
“Not your dad?” Chloe asked. It worried her sometimes, that her daughter seemed to prefer to spend her time in the company of someone she now knew to be the devil, rather than her own father.
“Dad only talks about work.”
“Well, we’re going to get away from them both this weekend okay. Just spend time together. That’ll be fun right. We’ll walk around the zoo, go on the cable cars, maybe get some ice cream.” She teased, nudging Trixie’s shoulder.
“Chocolate ice cream?” She asked excitedly, already forgetting to sulk.
“If you’re a good girl on the drive down.”
“Can we listen to music in the car?”
“Sure thing monkey.”
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