The journey back home was even more awkward than the moment on the subway with Mark. Henry and Alice decided to visit later for different yet obvious reasons; Zoe hoped that Ezekiel was home, and Rowan left to do something far from her apartment. But of course, she wasn’t lucky.
When she unlocked the door, she found many people standing and talking in the living room. Ezekiel noticed her first and opened his mouth, ready to explain why they were there but she shook her head.
“I don’t want to get a hint of what you’re all doing here.”
Eneizar rolled his eyes and forcefully pulled her onto the couch. She glared at him before she noticed someone new.
“What is Chris doing here?”
“We came to the common conclusion that Rowan is good enough to teach you how to fight against humans,” Eneizar started, “but we also came to the one-sided conclusion of human perception that you may or may not need to know more about dark magic and what you can do as the commander.”
“And do not say that you’re not the commander because whether you want that title or not, it’s yours already,” Iaosur added.
Without really thinking much, she hit his arm. That was a surprise for everyone since she had never hit a demon before.
“Anyway, Chris and Ezekiel will accompany you on this journey to enlightenment. I will watch and decide what you can know and what you don’t have to know. Iaosur will watch your training with Rowan and Mehrdir is back to his original position as your babysitter. Isn’t that wonderful?” Eneizar continued, sarcasm dripping from every word yet everything he said was genuine.
Eneizar was the one who was going to take that responsibility and he loved how much he could manipulate her in those lessons. The humans shook their heads silently when they noticed his pleased expression but Eneizar rolled his eyes and turned to Iaosur.
“These humans don’t know how to have fun,” the vanity demon mumbled.
Unfortunately, the doorbell rang. Zoe gulped because she already had a slight idea of who was on the other side.
“Oh, no.” She gasped, her eyes widening slightly.
Eneizar, however, got up quickly and walked towards the door with the intention of opening it and probably coming out with excuses to taunt the humans and end up killing them later.
Or that was what she was thinking. With no idea what she was doing, she ran and jumped over Eneizar.
“What are you doing?”
In that moment, she didn’t know what to do so she punched him. His expression changed quickly. He was annoyed and wanted to hit her but at the same time he was confused and surprised. It was a mix that didn’t make much sense for the demon. It was the first time he had been in that position.
While Eneizar was experiencing his first bewilderment, she ran to the door and opened it.
“Hey. We want to go eat something. Do you want to come?” Henry asked, hopes up that he could spend more time with her.
But that wasn’t what irked Zoe’s guilt. The fact that they came to her door and asked her to go out with them, include her in their plans, was very important to her. And she had to refuse...
“I can’t. I’m sorry. But—”
Zoe closed the door in their faces and ran to grab Ezekiel. She opened the door after a few seconds and pushed him out. He was in his socks, so she also threw his shoes at him.
“Wha—” He was clueless.
“I’m sure Ezekiel would love to go eat. He needs a break,” Zoe said while smiling innocently. She looked at him with a weird glint in her eyes, but he got the drift and nodded.
“Sure. A break.” He grimaced before he got his shoes on. She was going to have to pay, and Ezekiel would make sure she would.
When she turned back to the living room, she only found Chris. Everyone else had left or moved; she could hear Rowan and Iaosur bicker about some random human stuff in the kitchen.
“So this is your life, huh? I can’t say I envy you but some people would do anything in order to see what you see, even make a deal with the Devil,” he started.
“People who make that deal don’t know what they’re getting into. Besides, they do it because they need something badly. They’re irresponsible and place their dear ones in danger.”
“You’d know.” Chris hummed and rubbed his chin,“Did they ever, you know, ask you to sign a contract?”
Zoe shook her head. Actually, they never did and that was a little weird. Mehrdir was her guardian and he had the right to ask or force her to sign one, but he didn’t. Neither demon talked about it.
“Did your uncle sign one?”
Chris seemed surprised by her blunt question. That was rather mean since it was his uncle and he loved him dearly. Chris knew that the old man was weird and had some kind of bipolar disorder, but he was his uncle.
“I think he did once. He got into dark magic after he watched movies with witches. He even went to see one and asked her to ‘tutor’ him. That was how he got so deep into this business. He used to tell me a lot of stories when I was young. It got so far that my parents forbade him to come again.” Chris chuckled at the memory.
“But you ended up living with him anyway. Doesn’t he place you in danger every day?”
“I’m not allowed to read or try out some spells. He says I am not at that level yet. I think that’s why I have to teach you about dark magic; I know enough to protect myself but not enough to actually send demons back to Hell.”
That made sense. They wanted someone who was still a novice in the dark arts yet be able to do some little evil chores. She looked at Chris closer and actually started to inspect his attitude towards what he has been hired to do. He didn’t look scared; on the contrary, he was quite joyful and proud of himself.
“This is the first time you’ve seen demons, isn’t it?” she asked suddenly. He chuckled but nodded nonetheless, explaining a few things. “Well, don’t have high expectations. This dark world that you and Ezekiel like so much is bullocks. It’s made out of nothing but disappointment and stupid games where you, as a human, never win.”
Chris bit his lip while staring bemusedly at Zoe. She wasn’t seeing it at all but she was enjoying the latest events much more than she was giving herself credit for.
That day was the beginning of an adventure that Zoe didn’t want to experience. It wasn’t her choice, though, and Eneizar made sure she’d remember that.
“Can’t you brush your teeth faster? We have to meet that cult lover and learn a few things about magic.” The demon started early in the morning, standing behind her for the whole time.
Zoe’s eyebrow twitched, feeling more annoyed than ever before with the supernatural.
“Why don’t you go do something else and appear when you’re needed?” She replied, swaying her toothbrush at him.
Eneizar’s eyes followed the object before he understood what her statement meant.
“Will I be needed?” The blond demon asked with a smirk.
Zoe moaned, growing annoyed and tired with everything at the moment.
“Why are we here again? Is your uncle home?”
Since Chris didn’t know how the training would go in her apartment with so many supernatural beings around, he dragged her to his uncle’s store. Much like before, Eneizar had to grab her hand when they entered the store.
“Did he make such a big impression on you?” he asked amusedly while leading her further into the store.
Zoe stared at him sceptically.
“I was possessed in his study and I'm sure it was his doing. What do you think?”
“He had a bad day.” Chris didn't even bother lying.
She scowled and walked faster, planning to leave before the old man returned.
The first lesson was not going to be in Leo’s room. No. It was going to be in the basement. It was dark and dusty and it looked like a place from Criminal Minds, where the culprit was doing his activities; like cutting people and eating them afterwards, because why not.
She glanced back and noticed Eneizar following with a mischievous glint in his blue eyes. He had some kind of protecting aura around him even though it looked more like a murderous intent. The blond demon was enjoying this new responsibility he had to take care of.
Chris led her through the curtains, into a room lit by candles. There was a circle in the middle of the room and a lot of artefacts and books on the shelves.
“We’re going to start here,” he stated.
“This looks like you want to teach me how to send demons to Hell.”
Chris chuckled. He placed his hands on her shoulders from behind and pushed her towards a table.
“We’re not using the circle yet. And for your information, it’s for calling out spirits.” It was the same thing for her. “We have to start by reading some basic stuff. For example, you have a deep connection to Beelzebub. Let’s learn about him first. That way you can also find out what you can do.”
Eneizar narrowed his eyes at the human. He was going to pass the chapters where her true powers were written in detail.
Fortunately for the demon, the books were about everything but Beelzebub’s powers. On the other side, he was seen as the prince of Hell which made Zoe panic for a while.
“Don’t be stupid. You should be honoured to have such connection to him.” She stared at Eneizar sceptically.
Somehow that panic evolved into a full fight between the vanity demon and her. Chris wasn’t sure when it began but he was enjoying it in a twisted way.
“I feel like punching you in the face right now.”
The demon narrowed his eyes at her.
“I’d like to see you try. It happened once because I let you off easily. That mercy, I won’t show twice,” Eneizar threatened.
Chris took a few steps out of the fighting range and chuckled. It was very entertaining since he couldn’t see Eneizar.
In the end, no one fought. Chris was a little disappointed that he didn’t get to see it, but Zoe made sure to push him harshly when he voiced his thoughts.