“Excuse me but who are you?” Ezekiel’s question was like an echo- it was that silent.
The man smirked and looked at Zoe from across the room. His dark eyes were familiar and so was the constitution of his face. Her eyes widened and she straightened her position on the bed when she figured who that man resembled.
The man raised an eyebrow and entered the room majestically.
“This is how a real demon appears in the world of sinners,” He beamed, his dark energy filling the room.
Zoe could feel the darkness stronger than the rest and recognized him quickly. He seemed to be the same asshole he was in the underworld; nothing was different except the human body.
“Asmodeus,” She sighed and rubbed her forehead, “Do me a favor and crawl back in your hole.” She said remembering fragments of their meeting in Hell.
“I think someone forgot who the almighty demon is here,” he pointed at himself and smirked, “I am.”
“Wait. If you’re Asmodeus, do we really have to call you that? Isn’t it too weird?” Chen's statement only attracted glares from his friends, “I’m just asking natural things,” he added, his hands raised in front of his chest.
The demon chuckled and rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
“You can call me Kain. That’s an appropriate name, isn’t it?”
It was much better than calling him some entangled name like Asmodeus but Chen had no idea just how well the Hell Prince chose that name.
“So, you –a guy who looks perfectly normal- hide the Prince of Lust?” Chen continued asking his curiosities away.
“Why are you here?” Ezekiel interfered.
The demon prince walked towards the edge of her bed and sat there, staring into Zoe's eyes.
“Because it’s fun.”
They waited for him to continue but nothing happened. His eyes widened in excitement when he remembered something.
“Oh, right. I got you a get-well present!” He smirked cockily and snapped his fingers, “Tah Dah!”
In front of them appeared a demon that looked a lot like a bigger form of Doby from Harry Potter. He didn’t seem to give a care what was going on, holding tightly onto a chain that ended into a leash around the neck of-
“Hans,” she whispered, not entirely surprised after what she learned about the Lost Boys. Her eyebrow started to twitch while she added, “Why did you bring him here?”
“Because no one escapes his fate and this little boy here expected to run away from me. ME!”
Asmodeus was genuinely enjoying Hans' sufferance.
“What do you want me do with him?” She asked, her eyes still on the hunter.
As a matter of fact, Hans looked completely fine except the leash around his neck. That was quite the view and she was lying if she was telling someone that she wasn't content after Hans tried to kill her friends.
“Oh, believe me, he will be more than helpful when you will have to face that stupid cult. He knows dark magic better than the alphabet.”
Having Asmodeus around was going to make everything seem like she was protected by a Princ. Unfortunately, it wasn't the one she would have wanted.
After he left with Hans, Zoe asked the boys to leave her sleep and dream about something nice; anything but demons and ghosts. Somehow, Mehrdir got in her dream.
“You’re here for real, aren’t you?” she asked meekly.
He only blinked, looking at her without any idea how much it hurt her.
“Lilies can be deadly if you keep them in your room while you sleep,” He stated in that particular way of his, as if she was just a responsibility he was forced to deal with.
The dream was in a field of lilies.
“But they are pure,” she muttered touching one softly.
“And deadly. Just because something looks beautiful doesn’t exhort it from being rotten at the core.”
“Are we talking about me now?” She scoffed.
“I’m talking about me.” That certainly got her attention. “You will get another babysitter. One that won’t develop any humanly feelings for you.” Mehrdir informed her and looked to the side not prepared yet to look at the disappointment in her eyes.
“What about you?”
The corners of his lips twitched but he did his best not to smile.
“I had an obsession with the commander. You were right, it didn’t matter who he was. It’s not you as a person, it’s the title and what comes with it. That was what truly interested me.”
She narrowed her eyes and took a few steps closer but he didn’t budge from his spot.
“You expect me to believe a liar like you?”
He tilted his head to the side and stared innocently at her with those doey black eyes of his.
“Yes. That is exactly what I expect.”
Zoe took a few more steps towards the demon and stopped right in front of him. His eyes darkened yet not like Eneizar's. Mehrdir's orbs were a red towards yellow colour that looked like leaves on an autumn morning.
“You don’t matter Zoe, the prophecy does. Demons will always think about themselves before anything and anyone else.” He turned his back to her and started to walk away.
As he was getting further from her, even in a stupid dream, she panicked and grabbed his wrist.
After she said those words, he felt a sudden wave of energy enter his body. Zoe might have not known what she did but he was aware.
“I am a demon too, remember? I am selfish and think about myself more than anything and anyone else,” she continued in a softer voice.
The demon sighed and pushed her hand aside. He disappeared without a response and without glancing at her for the last time.
They both knew that her statement was false. She placed her friends before herself even after she got to Hell.
When she woke up, she had an intense urge to hit something. Her sign was glowing a little and her eyes were changing quickly in between blue and yellow. When Mark entered with a bright smile on his face and a positive attitude, she threw the pillow at him. The human retreated quickly and closed the door behind him.
“She’s really not a morning person, is she?”
Chen was on the bench, playing his game when Mark walked out of her room.
“She’s a demon.” The musician commented.
What Chen said went past Mark as a simple adjective; not even once thinking or imagining just how realistic Chen’s characterization was.
Two days after her dream, the doctor assured Zoe that she was prepared to go home. It seemed that her wounds healed completely –and miraculously, at that- and she was in perfect shape. However, there was a problem.
“You’re free to go home, Zoe.”
“Yes, mom. I’m going home.”
Both women knew exactly what that was leading to and so did her friends. Ezekiel and Chen took a step back, just in case. They could sense the danger approaching.
“No. Home, in Essex. I’m not joking, Zoe. So many things happened in so little time. I called the number you gave me, written on your supposedly business card. They knew nothing about a Zoe Lestrade and they told us you don’t work there. Actually, it seems you don’t have a job at all!” Mrs. Lestrade raised her voice quite a bit.
Zoe didn’t seem to react as bad as Ezekiel imagined.
“I’m not a child anymore. You can’t tell me what to do. You can’t grab my hand and drag me into a mental hospital just because you are my mother. You have no power over me now.” Her tone was really cold.
Her mother stared at her in shock.
“You don’t know how harsh life is! You have no idea how troublesome it is. No matter what you do and how much you try to live on your own, in the end, you are nothing but a rich girl. You can’t live without us.”
That was harsh, moreover coming from her mother. Even Chen flinched and he has already seen Ezekiel's mother who was an overly overprotective woman.
“It’s alright. I don’t have to live,” she responded in the same nonchalant manner yet her mother didn’t seem to understand her words, “You killed me a long time ago. I’ve been aimlessly walking through life ever since you first blocked everyone from seeing me. You made me like this.” She glared at her mother and left.
Mrs. Lestrade was speechless.
Ezekiel and Chen were reluctant. She was mad and she wanted to vent her anger on someone but neither wanted to be there for her to do that. Ezekiel experienced it already and she wasn’t even awakened back then.
“We should call someone to calm her down.” Chen stated. That was a good idea, but who?
“I have no idea what to do. She’s been in a bad mood for three days already. She smacked Mark’s smile off as soon as he entered her room.” Ezekiel replied in his defense.
The boys sighed at the same time.
“What about Kain?” Ezekiel stared at Chen with a skeptical face, “I get it. Bad idea.” Chen retreated his statement quickly.
Zoe wasn’t as angry as she sounded, though. She was having some problems with controlling her emotions and that was obvious but truthfully, everything was going against her.
Asmodeus appeared while Mehrdir decided to leave and that was the worst decision he took among others, of course. She needed him yet he couldn’t accept her and her feelings and it stung badly.
Zoe ended up in the park. It was noon and it was full of kids. She went and sat on a swing and sighed heavily.
“I wish I wouldn’t know,” she muttered, feeling like digging a hole and hiding in it.
“You’re running away once again.”
She raised her head and met a pair of brown eyes and bright blond hair.
“Do I know you?”she asked looking around before focusing on his face.
The boy tilted his head to the side and stared at her.
“Of course you do. Just because we haven’t seen each other in a very long time doesn’t mean I’m still not connected to you.”
“Andrew?” The boy smiled and nodded. “You possessed an innocent boy in order to talk to me in the middle of park.” She stated once she realized how young the host looked.
Suddenly, she kind of got it. Everyone around her became darker once they met her, except the demons. It felt like they were making some exchange of values.
“This place is full of people. I can't make you look like a crazy person even if you are one.” Andy added quickly, practically excusing his actions, “I know that I’ve been a bad friend lately. However, you came and saved me. You saved all of us.”
She started to swing back and forth, not much but enough not to look suspicious.
“You saw Hell.” The ghost finished dramatically.
“I saw what expects me on the other side. Weirdly enough, I felt like I belonged there more than anywhere I’ve ever been; more than home.”
“You felt that because you had demons that more or less cared about you. Eneizar, Iaosur, Mehrdir and Beelzebub, they are the demons that protect you no matter what.”
“Because I’m the commander.”
Andrew kicked her lightly in the knee, where a bruise will soon appear.
“You really haven’t changed, have you? They do that because they need you, yes, but there’s something connecting you to them, much like you did to Ezekiel. Besides, you have me, that idiot and Chen. We’ve been drawn to you with a reason and even when that reason will stop, we’ll still be here for you because we care.”
It was weird but she was tearing up. Andrew was taken aback when the most insufferable woman he had met grabbed his hand and squeezed it lightly.
“Thank you.” She mumbled.
They both smiled at each other and the atmosphere loosened up.
Until someone interfered.
“Hey! Lucas! What are you doing here? Who’s she?”
A girl dressed like she was on a date approached them. Andy possessed a guy that was waiting for his girlfriend so Zoe retracted her hand quickly and fled the scene. The ghost abandoned the guy and appeared next to her a few minutes later.
“What are you talking about? Who are you talking about?” The innocent human asked his girlfriend once he got a good grip on his body.
The girl scoffed and crossed her arms in front of her chest. They were going to fight over that smiling scene at the end and it was Andy's fault.
“I am dragging you into the dark side.”
Zoe was joking but it might have not entirely been a joke for him.
“Yes, you are.”
The two entities chuckled and walked towards her apartment. Zoe was not going back to Essex, no matter how big the scandal was going to be. She created a home -with troubles at every corner and entities that normal humans would never imagine being around- but it was home for her.