Welcome to the Family
Mehrdir was worried and not only because the sign on him and Iaosur was bleeding. It was so bad that they had to use bandages to stop it but what was pissing him off was the simple fact that he wasn't there when she was in pain.
"Where is she?" Mehrdir asked for the nth time.
The one who was the most stressed was Eneizar, though. Maybe he wasn't showing it but he was scared. He led her to the Revenge House and much like any cursed house, it was always moving; even if he were to go back where he found it, it probably moved already.
Mehrdir and Iaosur were getting drained of energy by her even if she was doing it unconsciously; it was the humanly reflex to survive. They could feel small pieces of her pain and it was horrible because her pain wasn't physical, the fight was in her mind. Mehrdir was going crazy because he was the main piece of hope she was holding onto as well as the one piece that was always missing.
The greed demon glared at Eneizar before he locked himself in her room and got in her bed pulling the covers close to his chest so he could smell her scent and feel the leftover energy. Zoe was missing him; she needed him and he wasn't there. When she needed him the most, he had no idea where she was.
"He is deeply connected to her, isn't he?" Gakhas started from the side, playing with the remote like a child.
Iaosur glared at the short demon before he grabbed him by the collar and threw him into Eneizar. Both demons fell in a mess on the ground with the angst demon towering over them.
"You can't understand it. It's such a powerful feeling. I can't even return to Hell because of her but it's not only that," Iaosur snarled.
Eneizar pushed Gakhas aside and got up groggily.
"You should know just how precious she is to us, Eneizar. She gave us more than we deserved." Iaosur continued.
Eneizar was feeling bad; that much was obvious for everyone but maybe not enough to react.
They were still glaring at each other when a sudden gust of wind blew the windows and doors open. Everyone turned to the front door; even Mehrdir got off the bed and moved into the living room.
Beelzebub and Mammon entered in all their glory, the latter having a cape bigger than his body and with white hair covering his eyes. Leviathan and Belphegor followed, in a more casual way and looking quite normal for demons.
They were all mad; no, Beelzebub was ready to kill and his eyes and sign were glowing. Belphegor took Gakhas into the kitchen, Leviathan grabbed Iaosur and walked out, Beelzebub turned to Mammon and through a silent and unexplainable understanding, the greed prince entered Zoe's room to speak with Mehrdir.
Everyone was gone; everyone except Eneizar and he had a vague idea why.
"Where is my apprentice, Eneizar?"
The demon was helpless in front of Beelzebub and he knew it. Against a prince, he was nothing even if he belonged to vanity.
He gulped and flinched when Beelzebub pushed him against the wall, "Where is she?" The prince hissed.
Those yellow eyes were glowing with hatred and bloodlust; it was such an ugly sight mostly because those eyes were reminding Eneizar of the sand from the outskirts where massacres were scheduled every day at every hour.
Eneizar could feel his body going numb and could hear high pitched sounds but was unable to identify where they were coming from.
Beelzebub's eyes narrowed, "Why?"
Eneizar flinched. The noise was getting louder and he could barely hear what the powerful demon was saying.
Beelzebub wasn't exactly soft on demons that weren't his propriety. He was known as one crazy bastard who was calm most of the time but when he was mad and angry, bad things were happening. He was a monster.
Since he wasn't getting anything, the gluttony prince grabbed Eneizar by his sign. The vanity demon gasped and felt his body break in two. It was such a horrible pain and he was nothing but a fish out of water.
"Ezekiel tried to make a deal with Asmodeus. He wanted to give half of his life so he wouldn't send hunters after her and lock her in Neverland." Eneizar barely got out through gritted teeth.
Beelzebub raised an eyebrow even though his expression remained the same; however, he wasn't an idiot and knew that vanity demons were skilled in lying more than others.
“Good. Now, the truth,” The prince whispered darkly into his ear. He also pressed on the serpent harder and Eneizar’s eyes looked ready to jump out of their sockets.
“He’s Zoe’s anchor. Without him, she becomes easy to manipulate. She becomes a real and monstrous demon. Asmodeus wants to use Ezekiel as blackmail,”
Beelzebub’s eyes were slowly changing from yellow to a bright orange.
Eneizar gulped. That was his master; it was impossible for him to give information on his master.
Beelzebub chuckled. “You are a loyal dog, aren’t you?” The prince let go of him and vanished.
Eneizar could finally come back to normal but he couldn't stop his legs from trembling.
On the other side, each demon had a talk with his prince. Leviathan told Iaosur to be careful around Eneizar since he was vanity; he also told him about Belial.
“So, he sent a spy. Doesn’t that mean he works with his beloved?” The demon started in a matter of fact tone.
Leviathan stared at Iaosur as if he was staring at an idiot.
“He can’t take sides but he can manipulate in order to get what he wants. Demons left Hell through the hole. Too many and in such a short time,”
Iaosur agreed. The rebellion was powerful and once they were going to use the power of Lucifer, Middle World was doomed.
Leviathan continued, “Gakhas isn’t a spy but Ezekiel's girlfriend is. She wasn't aware of it since she would become unconscious but it’s better to be careful than sorry.”
On the other side, Belphegor was ready to hit Gakhas. The short demon wasn't exactly touched by the glare his master was giving him and his respect for higher demons was non-existent.
Belphegor pulled him closer and snarled, "I told you to keep an eye on the girl!"
The sloth demon nodded, "I did,"
"Not the commander, Gakhas. I said the human girl!"
The demon blinked, "Oh,"
Belphegor had to remind himself that Gakhas was actually a decent demon. He was manipulative and very smart so, he was one of the best demons he had. Bel had to repeat that in his mind a few times so it would work.
With Mehrdir, things weren't exactly bright either. Mammon was visibly judging him.
"Did he really want to make a deal with Asmodeus?"
Mehrdir sighed and rubbed his forehead. The sign was irritating; besides, she was crying and she was inducing those feelings to the ones connected to her.
"No. From what I know, Asmodeus has been using familiars to gain information on Zoe’s friends,"
Mammon raised an eyebrow and crossed one leg over the other.
"He was supposed to come after me, though," Mehrdir nodded, the prince was right, "Who interfered?"
Mammon scoffed, "Of course. That little vanity demon got himself really deep. He will pay later. First, find Zoe and that human she loves so much," The greed demon nodded and got ready to leave when Mammon added a little detail, "And cover that sign. It makes me want to throw up."
Of course, Mammon's sign was gone. Mehrdir had the sign of the commander, now; moreover, his endless knot was different from Iaosur's.
Mammon noticed it as well.
Mehrdir's sign was an exact copy of Zoe’s. That meant only one thing; a thing that really amused Mammon and probably annoyed Beelzebub: they were connected; maybe not practically but spiritually, they were.
Demons are monogamous. Even if they want to, they can’t find someone else once they offered themselves. They can’t go on without each other. They are stuck together for an eternity.
When Mehrdir and Mammon walked out, the rest were there already, Beelzebub was absent and Eneizar was shaken up.
"Are you going to tell us how to find her?" Mehrdir asked.
Eneizar glanced at his sign before he decided.
"The Revenge House. It was in Essex, close to a park," The vanity demon responded calmly.
Mehrdir frowned and bit his tongue in order to keep the anger in.
"That is her hometown. If her mother finds her there, she will get another ticket to an asylum," Eneizar sighed and left, annoying Mehrdir even more, "Good! Leave! We can find her without you!"
Iaosur was in the back, watching the greed demon closely.
"He'd give absolutely anything for her. I don't know if it's noble or pitiful," Gakhas' eyes were on Mehrdir as he commented.
That was true. It was almost impossible for a demon to fall in love; moreover, he fell for the young commander. He did so much for her. His whole existence was gravitating around her.
"Once she will be safe, he will run again."
Iaosur chuckled,"I bet he will."
That will be the unfortunate ending of such a passionate search. Everyone knew it; everyone, but the culprit himself.
Beelzebub was angry. If Eneizar learned something commuting between Middle World and Hell was to never, ever, in his aimless and horrible existence get one of the Seven Princes mad. He worked for Lucifer and he was hardly getting angry, mainly because he was just not giving a heck about anyone and anything; Lucifer was living off the misery of others.
But Beelzebub was a leader. He was the commander of the biggest and most powerful regiment in Hell. He was dangerous and had demons everywhere around the world. He wasn’t just some gluttony demon who knew nothing but eat and drink and feast on humans; he always had an aim. His existence was holy for some cultures and that was offering him a back door towards the Middle World. If he wanted to, he could have invaded the world already but he didn’t and that was very curious. Eneizar was curious why he didn’t take any action yet.
“Is the plan working well?”
He was back in his domain and Lucifer wasn’t doing much; most rooms were empty and smelled of meat. It was dangerous to walk outside the mansion without being wary as demons of different levels were crawling into the vanity domain. It was both dangerous and endearing.
“She’s locked into the Revenge House. I made the seal so she can’t get out unless I want her to.”
The vanity prince smirked in satisfaction, “And the inheritor?”
Eneizar rubbed the back of his head nervously, seriously considering a lie.
“Well? Has he been found?” Lucifer urged his demon to respond yet he wasn't exactly being intimidating.
The rest of the princes were keeping that a secret. Neither Lucifer nor Asmodeus knew the truth and Eneizar wasn’t sure he wanted the inheritor dead either.
“She didn’t find him. We thought the older son of the Carveys' is the inheritor but he doesn’t have anything special. It’s not him.”
The prince stared down at his demon and scanned his facial expression.
“You’re not lying to me, are you Eneizar?”
The demon had to use his best efforts not to succumb into Lucifer’s eyes; they were evil and threatening.
The prince stared at him for a few more minutes before he nodded and waved him off.
Eneizar was going through some hardships for the first time in his existence; he was feeling the need to protect and that never happened before. He was scum and he was shallow and selfish. Nothing was more precious than himself; no one but Zoe Lestrade.
He sighed and kicked a head in annoyance; it was just lying around, anyway. Eneizar just lied to his master and he was going to get it so, so bad later.
“I know what you did~”
Eneizar flinched. He was so absorbed by his trouble that he didn’t even feel the other demon and it wasn’t just a demon.
It was Satan. He was the wrath demon, the one who didn’t care much about anything but fights. He was doing remotely well since his demons loved to possess thugs; besides, everyone who committed suicide was getting to him. Satan had plenty to choose from if he wanted new demons and Iaosur was one of them.
Iaosur killed himself when he was fighting in the war. He got to Satan as nothing but an annoying human soul but Leviathan was the one who saw potential in him and made him a real demon. However, Iaosur left both for Mammon; the greed in his being was too much and now, he just became Zoe’s possession.
How entangled was everything, huh?
“What have I done?” Eneizar retorted, having courage for someone who just suffered the wrath of Beelzebub; in a light form.
The skinny demon prince raised an eyebrow.
“We both know what’s going on in here. There are two sides fighting at the moment but you can’t choose which side you fight for because you have a certain sign and you can’t go against it. If you want to change the sides, you have to change the sign.” Satan explained as if the demon didn't know already, “Give up or give in. We both know what you want to do, though.”
“Why are you telling me this? You can’t wait to shed blood.”
The wrath prince sighed and scratched the side of his head sheepishly; for a demon that was existing for war, he was quite the leisure man type.
“Do I want that, really? Do I want to get punished if angels interfere?” Eneizar’s eyes widened, completely forgetting about that since he entered Zoe's lair, “Never fight against an angel when you are only driven by childish needs. You become worse than scum. You become nothing.”His voice sounded exactly like a snake’s; well, his face was kind of like that too.
It was amazing how he was wrath and feared by everyone. In Christianity, he and Lucifer were seen as one and the same and that often annoyed Lucifer but gave Satan more power. Maybe that was why the two were hardly seen together.
Zoe was still in the circle however, Ezekiel woke up. He was tired and still bleeding but, since he was next to his master and she was watching him, it wasn’t as bad as it should be, naturally speaking.
“Hey, Zek? Did you become my friend only because I could see ghosts?”
He raised his head and looked straight into her eyes, “Yes.” He could see her tense for a second but she put the mask back on quickly, “You were exactly what I wanted to be. You had what I wanted to have and you were living the life I wanted to live,” He saw her look down at her lap and fidget so he continued, “But that changed after I saw just how hard it is and how much it eats your soul,”
“Were you jealous?”
Ezekiel was wondering if he should tell her the truth. She trusted him and she was ready give her life for him.
“I was at first. You were so keen on ignoring everything that was happening around you and you wanted to be normal so badly. I thought a few times that you don’t deserve this gift,” He heard her grunt and crawled closer to her. He pulled her hands off and squeezed them, “But you do. You deserve to be the commander. You are the perfect balance between humans and demons; besides, you are a leader.”
She chuckled darkly, “I’m a failure as a human being. At the same time, that’s what makes me such a good demon. How ironic,”
Ezekiel smiled and caressed her cheek.
“Remember the promise we made before?” It was the first and last promise she made with someone for life, “You went to Hell and returned with this weird knowledge and blurry images; you became part of that dark and selfish world but you are still you.” He wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tightly, “You are powerful enough to control the demon inside you and you are smart enough to manipulate the ones around you. You are precious, not only for Beelzebub but for us too. We are a family now; fucked up and handful, but still family.”
She licked her lips and hugged him, “Thank you.”
In those kinds of moments, she was feeling safe in Ezekiel’s arms. He was like an anchor; her anchor.
“I bet you’d like me to magically transform into Mehrdir right now,” He joked.
She chuckled but hit him slightly in the ribs. Unfortunately, he was wounded and it actually hurt a lot more than she intended.
Eneizar returned to Middle World and started to walk aimlessly around Essex. The house moved and he had no idea where it might have gone. He squeezed the information out of some fairy and ended up in front of Zoe’s house, easily appearing inside and finding her room; it was at the end of the hall, on the second level. It was quite isolated, if you were to look at it from an outside point of view.
The rest of the house had bright wallpaper and was better enlightened than her room. Once inside, he found nothing. She moved out when she was already 24 years old; that room had to be full of memories but it wasn’t. The wallpaper was plain, she had nothing on the walls and her bed was neatly arranged in the corner; if anything, it looked like an asylum room.
Eneizar was going through the same issue as Mehrdir: their prides as demons were breaking in front of her, they started to care for her and that was dangerous. Zoe had them wrapped around her finger and it wasn’t even only him and Mehrdir. He could swear she had Beelzebub in her palm; well, practically and theoretically.
From her house, he appeared in Norfolk where was this night club he enjoyed going to. He was on his way to eat and wreck havoc when he passed a certain street. At first, he didn’t find it weird however, something urged him to turn back and take a look; his gut feeling was always right. Eneizar licked his lips and started to fidget; he didn’t have a heart but something was beating inside his chest, loud and fast. He sighed and groaned when he realized how nervous he was and the reason for his recent condition; he wanted to go in and break the seal, he wanted her free and well and he definitely wanted to be on her side.
Zoe and Ezekiel were on the ground, staring at the ceiling. They were thinking about a lot of things.
“Mark and Luke didn’t move on their free will next door,” She announced, “They’re hosts; people who have been possessed once and are willing to be used from time to time but be protected in exchange.”
“Protected against what?”
She shrugged, “Other demons, maybe.”
Ezekiel turned to Alice’s body but it wasn’t there anymore.
“Alice is a host too. She stabbed me and I got carried here.” Ezekiel started out of nowhere.
Zoe frowned and blinked quickly. She got up and turned to face him.
“So you didn’t want to make a deal with Asmodeus?”
Ezekiel shook his head.
"Mehrdir told me that I should make a deal with Mammon. He’s interested in me because I’m a link between purity and evil. Someone kept me safe and even nullified my pact with the Devil. No matter how deep I get into Hell’s business, someone grabs my hand and drags me back into the light.” Ezekiel raised an eyebrow and leaned towards her, “Do you know anything about that?” He was sarcastic; he knew she wasn’t going to explain her decision.
“I-no,” She had such an innocent expression. If he didn’t know better, he would have believed her.
The peaceful atmosphere broke when they heard the front door opening. It made a loud noise, just like in horror movies. She moved closer to him and grabbed his hand.
“Did you come back to watch me squirm, because that won’t happen,” She threatened.
Eneizar rolled his eyes. She was such a stubborn and annoying girl, even in such dangerous situations.
On the other hand, Eneizar’s eyes glowed and the signs around them faded away one by one. It was an intriguing sight. He was a selfish little bastard but he just went against his master’s orders. He turned his back and started to walk outside. Zoe stared at him for a few seconds before she ran after him.
Much like she did to Mehrdir, she grabbed his wrist and immobilized him. Unlike back then, she knew what she was doing and concentrated on slipping bits of her energy into him. She closed her eyes because they started to sting, her palm was bloody and her sign was slowly turning orange.
His eyes widened and he gasped for air. Something in his being was being modified slowly, torturing him from inside out. Eneizar glanced at her over his shoulder with eyes that seemed ready to jump out of their sockets. Zoe was erasing the serpent; she was erasing his identity.
Once she was sure she imprinted her sign on his wrist, she could finally breathe. The whole process of changing one sign’s was tiring besides, the serpent was a hard one to change. It was powerful and she wasn’t even sure she wiped it off completely.
“Welcome to the family, Eneizar,”Zoe chuckled wickedly before she fainted.
She passed her limit a few hours ago; actually, it was amazing she lasted for so long.