Smiling in the Face of Hell

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Chapter 7

When the boys were gone, Lionel pulled Scout back inside,” you must be tired,” he said as he pulled her through the mansion.

He had Johan go ahead to start Scout a bath as the two of them leisurely made their way back up into the room.

Scout shrugged,” not really, it was fun. I was a little uncomfortable since it was obvious I was still covered in blood, I just did not want to even know how I looked, I’m just happy no one else pointed it out for the rest of the day.”

Lionel sagged slightly,” I’m sorry, I could not clean it all properly this morning,” he apologized.

Scout shook her head,” it’s fine, it’s my fault I got sick, plus, the others did not seem to mind at all that much, just those two Greed and Pride just needed something to try and mock me over brought unwanted attention to it.”

“Those two, I expected it from the beginning, but I did not think Pride would go that far, even when it was clear he lost, he still stayed true to his words.”

She was not sure if he was complimenting him or was just amazed by his stupid stubbornness,” it’s fine, it would be silly of me to expect all of them to just accept me like Lust and Wrath. At least Pride stuck with what he said till the end, unlike Greed who immediately gave in just to save his own hide.”

Lionel scoffed,” true, I guess, but are you ok with that?”

Scout shrugged,” yeah, I mean I got on the good side of at least four of the seven, I have a feeling Envy will come around eventually, so that’s more than I can hope for. It’s not like I can beat those two more into submission than I already have today. I mean, I feel like I did too much, but even after showing my strength and standing up for myself, they don’t like me, so what more can I do? I don’t mind it if they don’t like me, hopefully, they just keep their hatred to themselves since I seem to have a temper.”

“I noticed that,” he said thoughtfully glancing down at her with smiling eyes,” I have been meaning to ask, have you always had such a short fuse?”

Scout chuckled under her breath,” no actually, I thought I had a decent amount of patience, fancied myself the passive type, but I don’t know, they just pushed all the right buttons I guess and I snapped before I even realized what was happening. I never thought I had such anger, or strength. I guess I am thankful you did not take me out there as a human, or I might have just been screwed,” she said, snorting lightly.

“I don’t know, I think you could have still taken them on, in the end, it would not matter, because the moment they lift their hands to you, they would be dead by me. Although I do admit that if you were human I would not have left your side at all, however, since you changed, I had confidence in your powers, I purposely took a while to come back just to see what the boys could pull out from you and make you do.”

Scout crossed her arms, glaring,” that’s mean, using them to see the extent of my powers,” the faith he had in her ability to pull out such power so quickly after transforming was slightly scary, what if she had not truly had any powers then and she would just be trying to pick a fight with demons who could probably turn her to dust with a snap of their finger.

“What? I was curious, and I let it get the better of me. Don’t worry, the moment things turned south would have been the moment I stepped in and possibly killed them. I don’t know, I kind of like your ending better than mine, left a much bigger impact leaving them alive than just killing them for their defiance.”

“I don’t think any of that was worth killing over, especially since I was the one who gave into their provoking and attacked first I guess. If that ended with any more bloodshed than Pride’s nosebleed than I might not have forgiven myself.”

Lionel sighed lightly,” and that is why I am actually quite concerned for you.”

Scout stiffened, then instantly relaxed again him his arms,” why, because I am too kind?”

“Yes. I mean it is not at all a bad thing to be kind, Lust is a kind man and he gets around just fine, however, I am worried that the pains and suffering around here and the way things are will taint you and you will not always be that bright light you are now.”

Scout scratched her temple,” well, it’s not like I can bold faced deny the possibilities of that, but for now can’t I just blissfully enjoy my ignorance? When that time comes we can worry about it then, but now I have reacted so far to things, I have a feeling I would not let something get to me for too long. I haven’t seen much yet, but I still have confidence that the worst that will happen is I puke,” she said with such confidence she knew that she would probably find something that will have her eating her words later.

Lionel just chuckled, leaning over to press a kiss to the top of her head,” you’re right, I guess there is not much that could be done but wait and deal with such things when the time comes. I’m still worried, you are not allowed out of my sight.”

Scout scoffed,” I think not,” she said, already putting her foot down,” you have work somewhere to take care of I’m sure, I’m not going to tag along all the time. Just leave Johan with me, I will be fine, rest assured I will not leave this place at least.”

“You should not so easily trust my servants,” he began, sounding upset that she clearly enjoyed Johan’s presence more than anyone else’s since aside from Lionel, she was the only one she even knew a little more than just a slave.

She frowned, she hated that word, ‘servants’, but she could not ask him to change anything like that since it is as how it is, they were in Hell and they serve their King. This was not the earth’s surface where there were willing people doing jobs that they got paid for and had breaks from. These were nothing less than criminals, creatures that were once people, who committed a grave crime, or multiple, that landed them in Hell. They were here to serve their lifelong price of those crimes that they never admitted and confessed to. They had no choice, she was sure the last place the King wanted Hell to feel like was some vacation hotspot. Suffering was in place, and whoever thought they would get otherwise was going to have a hard time.

“Johan is the only one who I know, I would rather be around them than any other,” she said with a pout, the wide-eyed face of Pignose popped up, the same expression that she had put on before she was dragged to wherever Lionel wished her to be for severe punishment. That face would never leave her head.

Lionel seemed displeased, but in the end, it was better because at least if anything happened, which she hoped not, then at least he knew exactly who was supposed to be at her side. Having one was better than having multiple.

“Fine, I will arrange for Johan to become your personal servant until you get more used to things around here."

Ugh, that word.

“Thanks,” she said, giving him a smile before looking forward, her thoughts already wandering as they seemed to have made it to the bathroom.

It was the same one, she had a feeling that there was only one, since there was only one tenant who was even worthy of having one. Just as promised, the bathroom had been scrubbed clean, there was not a single speck of anything red left. The candles were removed and replaced with brand new ones. The walls even seemed to look a shade lighter than it was before the bloodbath, making her wonder when the last time this place was truly cleaned.

For the walls to have been scrubbed and candles replaced, there must have been a bigger mess than she initially thought. Johan was standing in the corner, small hands clasped in front of it, head down. The tube was boiling with fresh hot water, off to the side on what looked to be a counter were two piles of clothes.

She peeked over at Lionel,” well then, I will be done right away,” she said, turning to push him back out through the door.

It was a losing fight since the beginning, it had already been planned and she knew he would not simply just let her shove him out so easily. He twisted from her pushing to step next to the tub, wide grin across his face as he pulled his shirt off, making Scout stiffen, covering her eyes with her hand.

“I have already seen most of all that is to be seen, so there is nothing to be shy about, I can help you get cleaned up.”

She watched helplessly as Johan slipped out, giving Scout a small smile before passing, closing the door behind it. Johan was her only hope, but there was not much hope since she knew Johan would not dare speak out against the King in Scout's behalf like she actually would have loved.

“I’m sure I can handle it myself,” she began before she felt a warm arm snake around her waist, pulling her forward.

“Your face no longer turns pink, I sure will miss that,” he said before effortlessly lifted her right off her feet, walking her right to the edge of the tub.

Her hands never left her face, she felt his entire body was free of all clothing, she felt it!

She was not sure how much of this closeness she could handle, she could not dare take a peek or she would lose it.

Suddenly, the shirt she wore was being lifted, up and right over her head, her eyes still squeezed shut as she gasped,” Wait-”

That small moment of shock was enough to help Lionel get her buck naked within moments,” relax Scout,” was all he said as he lifted her from the ground once again and as if he was caring for a child he sat them both down in the tub.

Scout peeked through her fingers, the water was too hot and bubbly to really see anything that was submerged. She tried to relax, she was sure he would not do anything, he has already proven countless of times that he wouldn’t. If they were in there to clean, the cleaning was what they were going to do.

He leaned against the wall of the tub where he sat, watching her as she slowly uncurled from her position, giving her the time on her own to open up, making sure to keep herself under the surface as she cleared her throat, sitting back against the wall beside him, curling her legs under her to avoid from bumping his that were noticeably sprawled out in front of him.

His arms were stretched out, hanging on the side of the tub, he was clearly already enjoying himself even while watching her slowly get comfortable being nude in the same space as him.

“It does not burn, does it,” he then asked, bringing attention to something that she had noticed, but did not notice at the same time.

She noticed the steam, the bubbling heat, but at the same time, she had not realized she had not quite felt the heat the same as she did before when she was still human. It was like her tolerance was jacked up very high already, the water only felt maybe lukewarm to her and the steam did not suffocate her or burn her nostrils or lungs at all. The bottom and side of the tub also seemed quite cool to her despite her eyes telling her it should not be that way at all with the steam, bubbles and every other sign that it was like sitting in a boiling pan full of water.

If she did not know any better she would have just imagined herself sitting in a marble bathtub with water that was cooled from sitting a little bit.

When she looked down at her slim, long fingers and arms, she noticed her skin did not turn a bright pink either, although she had a side thought that there could actually be another explanation for that.

“It doesn’t burn at all, now that you mention it, this is the same temperature as it was before right?”

Lionel nodded as he moved, taking advantage of her distraction by gently pulling her forward, turning her so that her back as against his chest. He used his hand to scoop up water and pour it over her hair, running his fingers through her hair as he spoke,” it is, the second you were out of your human body, you were already immune to heat. The fact that you are also no sinner, makes you even more immune compared to me or any other down here.”

Scout let him do what he wanted, he most likely would get what she could not see and she could always appreciate that,” so it burns to you,” she asked, peeking back, as if she would be able to tell.

He snickered,” it does not burn, but it is hot. It’s comfortably hot, so do not worry. There are many who cannot enter Hell’s water or some can’t even get close to it or they would most likely be burned alive. That is the system down here, the bigger the sinner, the less they are immune to the heat. They cannot die either unless either me or the Prince’s truly wish for it. In the event they are killed by myself or one of the kids, then they will be reborn down here, their years of life is restarted and they are to suffer that much more.”

Scout shivered, looking forward, her eyes down at the water, noticing it was beginning to turn a particular brownish colour, getting ever so slightly murky. After seeing that, she snapped her eyes up, determined not to look too closely or she would get sick again.

It was just as she imagined it should be. Sinners are down here to get punished, it’s understandable that no one would enjoy themselves, even the King is here to suffer even though he seemed more than used to it.

“So demons are immortal?”

Lionel continued to seemingly wash her hair, taking his time with just his hands and water, no sign of anything like soap,” that is a little harder to explain. We age, but our lives are extended. There is a theory that it all depends on the sin committed, what age we died and fell to Hell, what our status is. We have a set time that we are finally allowed the peace of death without Hell rebirth and we will never know when that time is until the day we actually die,” his voice was very even, he seemed to have long accepted his fate,” Even me as the King, I am granted eternal life for signing the pact to be Hell’s leader. I also have a heavy price to pay, even being at the very top, I still have to suffer in some ways or else it would be useless to be in Hell. Immortality is nothing that is fun, especially if you are spending it alone and suffering.”

Scout pulled her knees to her chest, instantly noticing the difference in her size by finding her knees seemed to pull up higher than they did when she was human. Her arms were also considerably shorter before, but now she could tell she grew an inch or so in wingspan. The small and subtle differences became clear to her in different ways.

From the start, she had noticed her fingers seemed to have grown a little longer and slimmer, but it became even more noticeable when she can no longer accurately calculate the distance between something in front of her with her arm. She can imagine she was going to be ramming her fingers into doors and walls for a long time until she got used to the slight length difference. It was like she had to reset herself and be mindful of the few extra inches she put on in order to avoid hurting herself or using force she did not now she used until she was accidently punching things and making a mess.

It was like something she read on the internet in highschool about a man who pulled a prank on his parents who went on a vacation. The man had done nothing but shift all the furniture only an inch to the right and when his parents came back they kept running into things and kicking everything, saying that something was off, but it was such a subtle and unnoticeable change that they just could not figure out why they could suddenly not walk through their own house quite the same.

That was what she could closely describe herself at that moment, her entire body seemed to have gained about an inch or inch and a half in length, and suddenly she felt like she could not quite function right at small random moments.

“So you are saying that everyone in Hell is not immortal, but since you are the King, you are,” she asked, trying to make sense of everything, leaving her fear at the door, no longer even feeling scared in the slightest about anything, she was not sure if that was a good or bad thing.

“Exactly, if I were to step down from the King’s seat, then my countdown would continue from where it left off the day I became King. Being King really just freezes your countdown, ultimately just adding years onto my suffering. Since I became the king at a relatively young age, I will have many years ahead of me in the event I step down later down the road.”

“So even as the King, you are suffering,” she then asked, just as she had already suspected, peeking over her shoulder at him to find his face quite calm considering the topic.

He nodded as he gently began to use his thumb to scrub at her hairline where she imagined there was an unpleasant red line,” of course I am, just because I am King does not grant me a safe card from paying for my sins. The only person in Hell right now who most likely would never suffer is you, and only because of the strange circumstances that landed you here. As I said, you don’t truly belong here, but Lady Pers and the council had a chain on your soul so even if you did not belong, the second you died on earth, you were to be pulled and stuck into Hell because of the contract they once had on you.”

So no matter what, she was bound to Hell, whether it was as the Council’s gatekeeper pet or as Lionel’s ‘soulmate’.

She wanted to ask what exactly he suffered from exactly since he seemed so unaffected by everything, but she could not find the right way to word it without coming off rude. She could not help but feel like that was something many don’t wish to talk about in Hell, especially not to someone who will just not suffer the way they do and never possibly underestand. She just felt like she had no right to ask.

Lionel let out a chuckle as he gently splashed water in her face, effectively keeping her mouth shut as he continued to do so before speaking,” your mind is pretty loud at times, just let it out, ask your questions, I won’t get mad, just ask,” he said stopping to swipe the water from her eyes as he seemed to turn his attention to another spot that called his attention that only he could see, giving her all the time in the world to get her words together and ask what she wanted, knowing that he seemed to already know what she wanted to ask, but gave her the opportunity to ask it herself with her own voice.

“How do you suffer,” she then asked, aware that no matter how she worded it, it would have come out the same.

He seemed proud of her gathering enough courage to ask what was on her mind by herself without changing the subject,” every breath I breath burns, it feels like I am inhaling sulfur, or acid even at times in certain places. Outside, the ground I walk on burns, it’s an excruciating pain, but no matter how hot it feels, my skin never burns. Every night I relive the horror and pain of what happened when I was alive that ended with me dead. There are those factors along with other things, things that mostly hurt mentally, like being alone, not trusting anyone, something like knowing not even the Prince’s could be trusted. As the King, I also know of everyone’s crimes, I see their sins through their eyes, feel what they felt while doing it, I know the reasons behind their actions. Every second of the day and night, every new entry comes a new moment that I don’t want to see.”

Scout stiffened, turning to look him in the eyes, how in the hell is he sane from such things, she could not even imagine the things he saw.

Lionel gave her a reassuring smile,” don’t worry, I am perfectly sane, I have had hundreds of years of practice to harden my mind and heart so it no longer affects me like it used to. Same with the heat, I hardly feel it anymore, so you don’t need to worry, I would not have been strong enough to maintain the title of King if I let such little things get to me” he said, poking the space between her brows that seemed to have been knitted without her realizing.

His eyes then unexpectedly found another concern spot, bringing his attention more to it as she twisted in her spot so that he could reach it without her putting a kink in her neck, she admired his dedication to help get her completely clean” if you say so then I will try and not worry,” she said, blinking away a water droplet that got stuck on her long lashes.

“Trust me, I’m fine, not to mention that I now have you, and if it is of any comfort, you do ease a lot of my pains, the soulbond has that effect on both parties. I forgot the feeling of warmth before you came to my side, it was nothing but excruciating heat before, nothing less, but now I don’t feel the pain from the heat as much and I can actually feel the warmth of your skin, actual warmth, something I have not felt during my entire time down here.”

Scout nodded slowly,” isn’t heat and warmth the same thing,” asking unsure what the difference was and why he was enjoying it if it was all the same.

Lionel stifled a laugh,” I guess it is, but you, you are cooler than Hell’s heat, but still warm, if that makes sense, there is a very distinct difference that isn’t the easiest thing to explain really, your warmth is bearable and even dare I say, comforting, whereas Hell's heat is not in any way suppose to be comfortable or painless.”

Although she could not experience them both to compare, she felt like she somewhat understood what he meant. To her, the air around her was comfortable, and she felt his warmth as if she would any other, it felt as if she was back up on earth, she really was not distinguishing or even feeling the heat that she felt when she was still a human, everything somehow felt normal, it was even hard to believe she was in Hell by how unaffected she was by the heat. The trippiest part of it all was that not all heat was gone, but only enough to keep her comfortable, she still felt the warm water, the air wasn’t suffocatingly heavy and unbearable like when she was a human, but just that perfect comfortable temperature for her. It was impossible to tie in any kind of logical, human science to what she was experiencing, this was obviously the works of magic no one could even begin to think they can even figure out.

Scout nodded again,” I see,” she muttered, wringing her fingers in front of her under the water surface thinking of all the possible things that will await her in the near future.

It was hard to think of actually trying to enjoy a life down in Hell, she was surrounded by suffering and criminals, demons that once were humans who sinned and earned their place in Hell, she truly wondered what was going to happen. She wondered if she will be able to find good things about Hell just to make her stay seem a little better than it could be. So much to do and learn, she was there to stay, so no use curling in on herself like a frightened child and staying in a room.

Lionel finished off by giving her hair one final rinse before pulling it all to the side and over her shoulder before he drapped himself lazily across her back, resting his chin on her bare shoulder,” all clean,” he said, wrapping his hands around her bare waste under the water.

She raised a slim hand up to finger her stringy hair, she supposed things like shampoo and body soap did not exist, so just a good warm soak was the best she was going to get. She hoped she did not smell, it was impossible to truly tell, it seems her sense of smell is having a hard time coming back to her properly, or it was just so sensitive that she could not tell what was going on with it.

She noticed an interesting undertone to her hair’s colour that was not there before. It looked oddly faded compared to the deep dark brown locks she recalled her natural colour being.

Lionel noticed her examining the strands, reaching up to grab his own little section with a free hand, fingering it’s nappy ends,” it looks like your hair will get lighter later, it might take a few weeks for subtle changes like this to fully develop,” he said in her ear softly, seemingly very content with their position, despite sitting in dirty, murky water.

Suddenly the door to the large bathroom was thrown open, making Scout jump, Lionel did not move, seeming completely unaffected by the entrance as he slowly lifted his head from her shoulder to look at the one who stood boldly in the doorway.

Scout felt the air thicken, much like it had before when Wrath did the same thing before, barging in without any warning, except there was no underline trust and knowing in this, it was more hostile than anything, and unlike before, Scout had no strength to tell Lionel to hold back.

“What is it Guo,” Lionel called with such a deadly calm tone Scout actually felt scared of him for a split second like she did before. She had seen a few sides of him since she had gotten there, but this side was by far the most frightening one yet, and all that did for Scout was raise every alarm in her head.

Scout slowly turned her head to see the one who was under Lionel’s unforgiving stare to find a slim man in the door, hands pulled behind him to clasp at his back, legs together, back straight, shoulders squared.

The fact that he was standing unscathed by Lionel’s power had her on edge, even Wrath and the other Princes struggled with his power, just who was this man to show more power than the Seven Princes?

His face was flat and unchanging, his skin a dark orange tint. His bony, squared shoulders seemed almost sharp enough to cut something if he wished. Those slanted, sharp eyes were all black and were roughly about two times the size that of which a normal human eye would be, the outer edges stretched across his temple, almost touching his hairline. His nose was extremely thin, but it jutted out like a spike and a good five inches away from his face, nostrils almost nonexistent, nothing but what seemed to be tiny slits on the underside of his sharp triangular nose. His ears, she almost did not notice he even had any they were a funky neon orange colour compared to the rest of his darker orange coloured skin, and they were long and pointed, but it seemed as if they were flattened and glued to his head, making them almost invisible until he turned his head ever so slightly to show them. His lips were thin to the point that they just did not exsist, nothing but a hole on the man’s face with wrinkles showing it’s spot, can easily be described as maybe a butthole mouth, it was quite unnerving and uncomfortable to even look at.

His body was tall, scrawny, thin. His wide shoulders down to his slim waist, then down to his even slimmer legs and feet, his figure was much like Wrath in the sense it was very cone-like, but this man seemed to have not one ounce of muscle and seemed to be only bone, almost looking more like a nail with a head glued rather than an ice cream cone.

The man further showed off how unaffected he was by Lionel’s force and took a few steps forward, eyes glued on Scout, who fought every single urge to shrink into Lionel at his approach.

That was when she realized that there were far more frightening things other than Lionel and the Seven Princes, and there was not going to be any good she can find in Hell like she so optimistically thought she might find before.

“You have a line of confessions that you must attend to, your extended absence is unforgivable,” he said, not a shred of fear in his face as Lionel upped his pressure, not holding back.

Scout’s eyes widened as the man was not threatened by Lionel and his warnings. Lionel became tense, his eyes glaring hard at the man who continued to move forward, not at all taking the warning from Lionel that clearly told him to stop.

Immediately, she felt a wave of protective instincts shot through her like an injection of adrenalin, and she felt herself fall into a similar place she was in before with Pride and Greed, except she knew how to tap into that power now, and she gave it ten times more power just for this special demon.

The moment he stepped within a foot from the tube in where they sat, she released her own wrath with no hesitation.

She felt Lionel stiffen as the man fell to his knees, not even enough time to properly react as his face was shoved into the ground,” He told you to stop did he not?”

Her tone was unrecognizable to even herself, just moments before she was heavily intimidated and even frightened by this man, but the second he stepped too close and she was ready to crush all who dared ignore the warnings from Lionel.

The other thing was Lionel never spoke, somehow she recognized his warning, but saw it clearly and definitely ignored, which triggered this other side of her that she did not know she even possessed.

The pressure escalated the longer he took to respond, which took until the floor was almost ready to collapse from under the man.

“Yes ma’am,” she heard the man ground out, doing his damnedest to try and lift his face, but failing terribly.

The way he responded let her know that she was known already, it was no longer a question on who she was, all of Hell knew who she was, so that gave no one an excuse to say they thought otherwise and not answer her questions or look down on her.

Wow, she then thought, where the hell did all this pride and power come from?

This was the second time that day that she had to take a moment to question why and how she was doing what she was doing.

It’s because of me at your side,’ she heard Lionel’s voice, but did not see him move his mouth at her side in her peripheral vision.

It took a great chunk of her control to keep her face flat and unwavered, the feeling of hearing his voice in her mind, somehow much closer and more intimate than in her ear, was invigorating as well as an odd sensation.

“If you don’t ease up, you might break the floor, we are on the second floor, that can end badly for us as well,” Lionel then purred in her ear, clearly amused more than anything.

She eased her pressure by a pinch, making the man groan as even then he still struggled to try and fight it and sit up, still failing.

“I don’t know,” she began, sarcasm dancing at the edges of her tone, clearly playing with the man, making it clear that she did not like him. If keeping his face buried in the cracked floor tiles of the bathroom was where she wanted him, risking collapsing the entire room with all three of them was a little price to pay to get her point through loud and clear.

Lionel smiled against her neck, lifting his face to press a warm kiss her cheek,” let him go, I think he more than gets where his place is. It was my mistake to forget to remind him as of late.”

She slowly lifted her pressure, sighing as she watched the man sway to get back onto his feet, it was almost laughable at how hard he was trying to play it off, more than once almost toppling over on himself. His pride was swollen as much as Pride himself, and it was disturbing to know that someone else could even possibly be so close to the actual face of Pride.

That was another thing that had her realize that the princes were probably not all named to represent their names as much as they are named prince for their power, and it obviously was possible to find another in Hell that will outdo the worst and portray that attribute much better than the Princes themselves though stand no chance to match their power.

It was clear that Prince Gluttony and Sloth were probably the only two of the seven who probably represented their names the best out there as well as possessed great power, but Scout could imagine that possibility of there being a lot more prideful, greedy, lustful, angry, envious demons in Hell that could be worse than the Princes themselves as far as their personality and egos went. Since this was Hell, there was undoubtedly a huge number of those kinds around. For Pride, Greed, and Envy especially, she imagined the competition was very high and that those were not such rare features in personalities around Hell.

The man still managed to pull off defiance as he stood, keeping his face flat as he straightened out his clothes, dusting off the black suit he wore as if trying to play off the fact he was just eating tile a second ago.

The nerve this man had.

Lionel then tightened his arms around her waist under the water, stopping her from sending him back to the ground, possibly being the last push the floor needed to break and collapse the entire bathroom.

“Get out,” she then said, not letting him have his way, letting Lionel hold her powers back, but not letting him shut her mouth.

“With all due respect,” the man then had the balls to begin saying.

Before she could continue ruthlessly showing her dominance like she never thought she had in her, Lionel broke past her to speak for her, saving her the effort.

“She said get out, speak another word and I will make sure you never speak again,” he then said with the weight of his power, making her realize he was holding back before, both times, when this time, the entire mansion seemed to rumble deeply at the pressure that was suddenly pressed on the entire building.

She felt the rumbles of the entire place vibrate through the tub, the already bubbly and rippled water began to splash around, spilling over the side. To further show off how wrong she was in his level of power, she watched in sheer amazement as the water that spilled over transformed itself, turning into what unmistakably look like lava that splashed out at the man’s feet and legs threateningly.

The man jumped back, his face finally breaking it’s cool facade as he hopped back, eyes on the lava that came alive and came right for him. The man twisted and ran through the door he came in and pulled the door closed just in time as the lava splashed across the door and instantly hardened.

Scout watched, the second the man was gone, the rest of the lava immediately hardened, the rumbling slowly went down until it was completely still again. With everything done, she heard the creaking of the floors under them, making her swallow the lump in her throat, all that confidence and power she previously showed long gone as the thought of the floor caving in under them was more than enough to cause her concern. Since the man was not there any longer to fall with them in the event it did break through, she did worry since she was no longer trying to make a point.

Lionel seemed completely lax as he pressed himself against her back, taking her into a warm embrace that was far different than before when he was just relaxing.

“I think I fell for you all over again,” he muttered against the skin of her neck, a smile pressed on his features as if just a moment ago he was not glaring and frowning at something unpleasant.

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