The Pact of Caïna
The late 1800’s was a tumultuous time for the Londoners, and all Britain to be honest. But there seemed to be a new interest in the dark and macabre during that century. From the blood sucking vampire Dracula to the monster created by Frankenstein and the uprising fascination with murderers such as Jack the Ripper, people were just mesmerized by what lied in the shadows. The underground had surfaced as did the wickedness in citizens. It was an overall mess and people were searching for something to believe in, be that alcohol or the church.
There was one figure that seemed to strive among other rich lord and ladies and that was Lord Tilney. He was a noble man whose connections reached as far as the Queen herself. He was part of the House of Lords and had several banks under his firm bloody hand. His wife recently died and he seemed to like telling his youngest child all about how to be a successful man while watching the portrait of late Mrs. Tilney.
“You need to be brave, Henry. Speak up and look straight into the eyes of those you talk to. If you waver, they will notice. And if that happens, our whole name will be thrown through dirt.” He said, rather coldly as if his son was not merely ten year old.
Henry was not his only child but the other three were all girls so Mr. Tilney didn’t bother with educating them.
“Spoken like a true politician, father.”
There was one other son he had, a bastard named Marcus. He was already in his early twenties and his existence had been ignored for a majority of his life.
“I believe I told you not to show your face in my house ever again, boy.”
Marcus was the spitting image of Tilney which always annoyed the lord because no matter how much he’d deny it, the whole world could see the resemblance. That was the main reason why Tilney killed the servant and abandoned Marcus when he was just an infant. He tried his best to keep them as far as possible from his family but Marcus was just as stubborn.
“What are you going to do? Kill me, just like you did with mother and even your wife?” Marcus asked, knowing exactly which buttons to push in order to get the old man angry.
“Leave my house!” Tilney screamed before he looked down at Henry. “Go into your room.”
Henry’s eyes fell over his mother’s painting before he looked into the cold eyes of his father. There were high chances that Tilney did murder his wife but no matter what truly happened, Henry still trusted his father. Therefore, he turned to Marcus with a glare and punched him as hard as he could before he ran away. Tilney seemed to gain some sort of pleasure out of this interaction because he started to laugh.
“Nobody accepts you, boy. Not here and nowhere in this whole world. You should have died like the rat you are. What? You think that if you come to me looking like this I will welcome you into the family? Ha!”
The truth was that Marcus did make enough money in order to dress appropriately. He had enough friends in the theater for them to lend him suits that matched his height if he needed. But that was not what Marcus came for.
“I don’t need your filthy money and I do not want to be part of your dysfunctional family. I’m here for something else.” The boy said and grabbed something from his pocket before he threw it at Tilney’s feet.
Tilney didn’t need to move in order to read what was written in capital letters: Eviction Notice.
“How did the bank get a hold of my address? I thought you said you want nothing to do with me so then why am I getting evicted?” Marcus asked holding himself in check.
Tilney threw him the most disgusted look he could make and scoffed loudly, stepping over the document.
“I don’t care what happens to you.”
“Then why did you interfere with my former place of work? Some of your men visited my employer and persuaded him to fire me.”
“I don’t care what happens to you.” Tilney repeated emphasizing every word.
Marcus glared at the old man and approached him slowly, looking very much like an angry wolf.
“If you continue meddling into my life, I will also meddle into yours. And we both know you have more to lose than I do.”
“You should have died. Nothing in this house, nothing that is mine will ever be inherited by you.” Tilney said grabbing his son by his chin forcefully. “Now return into your grave and never come out of it, vermin.”
Marcus glared at his father with such malice that if he had the power to, he would have killed the old man right then and there.
“If you take this from me, I will make sure I’ll break you and your banks.”
Tilney laughed in his face. The sound was hideous in Marcus’ ears and it made him despise the lord even more than before.
“You think your name has any relevance? You will die the same way you were born: insignificant and anonymous.”
“We’ll see about that, won’t we?” Marcus said with a cocky smirk. “See you in Hell, father.”
Now that the same dark eyed, mellow and pale looking creature thought more carefully about his past, he realized that that was the night that begun his ardent desire to become immortal or at least outlive his father. Considering the difference in their ways of living, Mehrdir was sure he would die out of a sickness sooner or later. The irony is that Mehrdir hung himself but not before leaving his legacy.
“Excuse me but what are you thinking about with such a concentrated expression?” Caleb asked since he couldn’t go back to sleep next to Zoe.
“The Pact of Caina…” He muttered to himself as he caressed his palm. “It was a blood pact between a dozen of people rejected by their families or society in general. Unfortunately, it seems like the pact didn’t vanish in time and their priorities changed.”
“Is that why they raided Zoe’s apartment? Because they are misfits searching for the daughter of Beelzebub?” Caleb asked right away, surprising Mehrdir with his boldness. “Weird, I haven’t heard about this Pact of Caina. Who created it?”
“Marcus Tilney, bastard son of Lord William Tilney. The old man took everything from him so in his thirst for revenge, Marcus prayed to Satan for help. He never expected Satan to actually reply.”
“And? What happened?”
“A deal with a demon is a tricky little thing. He hung himself, handing his soul to Satan willingly.”
“Is that your pity story?” Caleb asked with eyes fixed on Mehrdir. The greed demon was taken aback by how perceptive this human proved to be. “Did you at least successfully take revenge on your father?”
“Yes. But I couldn’t enjoy it nor did I inherit anything. It was all quite pointless in the end. And I lost my life and soul.”
“What about Zoe? How did you calm her down so easily?” Caleb asked in his usual curious tone. He didn’t seem to judge Mehrdir but he wasn’t being sympathetic either.
“My endless knot.” He explained and showed it to the human. “Although she marked several demons, mine is different. We are mates.”
“Like…friends?” Caleb asked not understanding if it was a British thing or not.
“You do know what mating is, don’t you? She marked me as her chosen partner.” Mehrdir explained with a bemused expression, especially since Caleb’s reaction was far greater than expected.
"So you and her have...a deep connection, right? Then how come she seems to hate you?" Caleb asked since it seems the demon was in a good enough mood to answer.
Mehrdir sighed and rubbed his forehead nervously. He knew it was his fault for everything that has happened and how unprepared Zoe was during the war. But at the same time he knew that if he had the chance to do it all over again, he wouldn't do anything differently.
"I'm not the most reliable demon."
Caleb blinked, thinking just how reliable and demon did not exactly fit together in the first place.
"So, what has changed? You're here now, aren't you?"
The greed demon stared at Caleb with pleasing surprise. This boy was very simple minded and yet having him ask all the questions that Mehrdir avoided was not bad at all.
Just like Mehrdir said, Zoe did not eat anything in the morning. She only washed her face, brushed her teeth and grabbed a hand through her hair before she went back to her apartment. Caleb didn't insist on following because he felt this tense atmosphere around her.
Meanwhile, Caleb was still very involved into his research about the fairytale book. He read it more than three times and he still found little details that he formerly bypassed. There were stories connected to all seven sins and even to angels although they were a rare appearance. For some reason, he was expecting something big to happen, he had this ominous feeling that he will witness the greatest sight of his life. He just didn't know when.
It just so happened that he walked past a wall filled with posters and one in particular made him smile.
Suddenly, Caleb decided to change his plans for the day and he turned towards the police station. He could only anticipate Zoe's reaction when he was going to invite her to a friendly carnival date.
"No." Was her cold answer.