“Keep pacing like that, and you’ll make a hole in the floor.”
I didn’t even look up as the growl left my mouth, my eyes trained firmly on the intricate carpet design beneath me. “Nice to see you too, Lucifer.”
Lucifer gave a breathy chuckle, his footsteps soft on the floor. “You seem to be in a good mood today, Rohan. What happened?”
“This happened,” I tossed the crumpled up paper to Lucifer, drawing my eyes to him for the first time that day. I don’t remember the last time I had Lucifer in my office, and while we were still waiting for Damien, the turbulent waves that crashed in me couldn’t hold their force any longer.
“What is this?”
“A sticky note.”
“Great. So she likes sticky notes, big deal. What, you want me to get more for her?” Lucifer asked, his claws poking through the holes of the note that I had made. He didn’t open it yet.
“No, Lucifer just-!”
“Why don’t you read it and see? Maybe it’s a love letter for you,” Lucifer continued. He picked at his claws, tossing out the scraps of paper that stuck to them. “Why am I doing your dirty work, anyway? Can’t you-!”
“Lucifer, just open the goddamed paper,” I roared, my eyes flashing as I swirled towards him. I clenched my jaw, my hands crumpling into hard fists.
I must have startled Lucifer, for I hardly yelled at him. His eyebrows rose, and he took a step away from me, his hands held placatingly in the air. “Geez, relax, Rohan. I was only fucking with you. I didn’t mean anything by it.”
“...I know,” I breathed heavily, calming myself. “Shit, I know. Sorry, Luce, I didn’t mean to snap at you. I’m just so...so fucking mad, you know? Like, mad enough that I don’t have any words to explain it.”
“Well, then let’s see why you’re so pissed today,” Lucifer grumbled, his dark eyes narrowed in thin slits. “But if it’s any prank or fucking sex letter, don’t expect me to stay quiet.”
I snorted. “Sex letter? We’re not even there yet, Luce. Relax. I promise you, it isn’t any of that.”
Lucifer snarled lowly. “It better not be. And don’t call me Luce.”
“Whatever you say.”
I watched with careful eyes as Lucifer peeled the paper open, the sticky part of the note gripping onto his thumb. Faster than the time it takes a turtle to take a step, Lucifer’s eyes darted up to meet mine, his jaw dropping, the paper fluttering to the floor.
I eyed it carefully as Lucifer approached my desk. I disliked it immensely when litter was left on my floor, and even though the contents of the note had startled me too, I hadn’t been as overtly disturbed as Lucifer looked.
“So, let me get this straight?” He began calmly, eyeing me as I made a grab for the paper again. “Some fucking bitch had the audacity to fucking threaten you?”
Way to put it bluntly, Lucifer, I thought, clearing my throat. “Well, Radha, technically, but I’m glad you get the point.” I tapped the paper. “They need a better riddle too. This was shit.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Lucifer exploded. “This is serious, Rohan! This is a threat! Do you know, after that kidnapping, what else they can do? Fuck you if you aren’t taking this seriously, but-!”
“Lucifer, this is serious. I was only laughing at your reaction,” I said. “After Radha’s kidnapping, I thought it was just a case of mistaken identity. I was worried, yes, but I didn’t think too much of it. Then, when this threat was taped on her mirror, I began to get serious.”
“So...when she was kidnapped...?”
“I was serious then, Lucifer. You saw how worried I was.” I bit my lip. “But things like these don’t happen here; I thought it was simply a mistake, or one of your one-night stands. Now, I’m not so sure.”
Lucifer’s eyebrows pinched together. “Damien and I haven’t had a one night stand in a while,” he disclosed quietly. “Ever since Radha came, we kept people out of the palace, well, except for Gabriel.”
“Really? He knows how to get in?” I asked.
Lucifer nodded. “Yeah. Damien was tired of changing realms, so he gave Gabriel a passcode to enter. You know, by the East entryway.”
I hardly heard him, though, and wiped a hand over my fatigue laden face. “Ah, yeah, I know. I doubt it’s Gabriel, though. He knows what I can do to him should he try something like that.” I flexed my claws in my gloves. “Besides, he doesn’t have a motive; he’s never met Radha.”
“We can’t be too cocky about our ideas, either,” Lucifer interjected. “He may have known Radha, but how would he have known that she was here? Did he see Damien take her?”
I rubbed my chin. “It’s a possibility, but we’re making assumptions right now. We don’t have any concrete facts. Maybe once Gabriel comes here we can interrogate him.”
“He’ll know if we interrogate him, though,” Lucifer said. “Gabriel’s smart, as much as I hate to admit so. He knows the difference from a regular meeting and an interrogation. We’ve done it to him before.”
“So we have. But at this point, we have zero leads and no evidence. I’d rather have some rope to grasp onto instead of a slippery rock wall,” I said. “And if he isn’t the perpetrator, then we’re back to square one.” I paused. “Wait, what did you say about the East entryway?”
“That...Damien gave him the passcode?”
“We have a passcode there? Since when?” I asked.
“Since always,” Lucifer replied. “It was installed while you were in your mourning/brooding phase. Damien and I just assumed that you knew about it.”
“Well, now I do,” I mumbled. “Also, mourning phase, really?”
Lucifer feigned indifference. “What? Day in and day out, it was always ‘Mohini’s gone!’ or ‘I’ll be lonely for life!’ You were such a teenager, Rohan.”
I scoffed. “You should be thankful. I was much worse as a teenager.” Then, I sighed. “I actually haven’t thought of Mohini in a while.”
“Damn. What do you want me to do? Take my pants off and dance?”
I chuckled. “It’d be funny, but no. I just wanted to let you know. I’ve found myself thinking more and more of Radha, day and night.”
Lucifer narrowed eyes zeroed in on me. “Do I want to ask what you’ve been dreaming of about her?”
I smirked. “I don’t know. Do you want to know? Cause I can tell you; There was this one dream where she was standing in her towel, and-!”
“Nope. Forget it. I don’t want to hear it,” Lucifer interrupted, glaring as laughed bubbled out of my lips and into the air around us. “Keep your perverted thoughts to yourself.”
I wiped my eyes, some of the liquid soaking the hard plastic mask. “It was a daydream, Lucifer, it wasn’t real. Besides, what about you and Damien?”
“What about me and Damien?”
“You like him, don’t you, Lucifer?” I said, my voice firm, yet inquisitive at the same time.
Lucifer scoffed, his dark orbs dialating. “What makes you say that? Damien’s just a colleague of mine.”
“Really? So, all those times when he’s asked you to hang out with him in the middle of the night, or whenever you stare at him while thinking, those are just ‘friendly things’?” I asked, raising my fingers to make quotation marks.
Lucifer scowled. “You have no say in my personal life, Rohan, so keep your nose in your own business. Whatever I do and whoever I sleep with are none of your concern.”
“Actually, it is, considering I saved your worthless ass,” I growled, stiffening on my chair. “I’m your friend, Lucifer. You know that; you can trust me.”
“Love is meaningless, and a liability. I don’t care about it, I don’t need someone in my life,” Lucifer pressed. “I’m perfectly fine with one-night stands. Nothing more, nothing less.”
“So, basically, you’re lying to my face,” I drawled, my eye ticking.
A growl ripped from Lucifer’s throat and he slammed his hands on my desk. “I’m not lying, Rohan!” He roared, despite his eyes unable to meet mine. They ducked away from me, sweeping across the books on my office shelf. “Damien is only a friend to me, nothing more, nothing less. We will never be more than that, is that clear?”
“You don’t tell me what to do, Lucifer,” I mimicked, “But yeah, I got you. I won’t pester you about Damien...”
“Oh, thank God-!”
“...Damn you and your fucking ass, Rohan.”
“What?” Damien’s incredulous voice squeaked from the doorway, and a trail of rumbling laughter escaped my jaws, my fangs poised like those of a python’s as I threw my head back in my amusement. Lucifer’s cheeks were tinted pink against his dark grey hue.
“H-How long have you been standing there?” He asked, a slight stutter joining his words.
Damien shrugged slowly. “Just for a minute. I heard my name on the way here.” His eyes darted between Lucifer and I. “Is everything okay? Have I done anything wrong?”
“No,” Lucifer said quickly, just before I could. “You did nothing wrong, Damien. Sit down.”
I smirked, but Lucifer dutifully ignored me.
“Yeah, sit down, Damien. We have a few things to talk about,” I agreed, gesturing with a nod towards the chair next to Lucifer. Damien hesitated for only a moment before he sat down gingerly, his eyes still holding caution.
“Is it about Gabriel, again? I thought we talked about him last week already?” Damien asked.
Huh, it was only last week? Damn, time flies, I thought. I shook my head. “No, not about Gabriel. Why?” I sat up in my chair. “When were you going to tell me that you gave him the East entryway’s passcode? When were any of you going to tell me that there was an entry and exit in the dome?”
Both Damien and Lucifer shifted in their seats.
“Well...we just found the place, Rohan. Maybe ten, fifteen years ago? We didn’t know if we should tell you or not because...” Damien faltered.
“Because what?” I snarled. “Why couldn’t you tell me?”
“You have a curse, Rohan. We couldn’t risk you trying to escape,” Lucifer countered. “And even if we did, we risked having a human catch us. We have two already, we don’t need a third one.”
I scowled. “Radha isn’t like them. I don’t want to hear that again. She’s...different.”
Damien’s eyes glimmered, but Lucifer groaned. “Please, I don’t want to hear about your sex life right now. Let’s focus on the matter at hand; the kidnapper.”
“We haven’t had sex,” I grumbled. “And not only kidnapper, but how they could be related to the note.”
“Note? What note?” Damien asked.
“This one. It was taped in Radha’s bathroom,” I explained, passing the wrinkled note for Damien to read.
He turned the paper in his hands, inspecting the crinkles and the cursive handwriting of the writer. “Whoever wrote this must’ve been in a rush,” he noticed. “The script is nearly illegible, and maybe it’s just their handwriting, but nobody has handwriting that unreadable.”
“I think they were in a rush,” Lucifer said. “I mean, Radha’s in her room most of the day, and when she isn’t, she’s either with Damien, Saira, or you, Rohan.”
I hummed, drawing my tongue over my icy lips. “That’s...a possibility. You aren’t wrong on that factor, but I feel like we’re missing a piece.”
“What do you mean?” Damien asked.
“How did he or she get in here? The dome hides the palace from everyone, and apart from Gabriel, no other human knows of this place,” I elaborated.
“We were thinking that Gabriel could have had something to do with this, but we aren’t sure if Radha knows him or not-!”
“And if she does?” Lucifer asked.
I leaned back in my chair, the wheels squeaking. “Then, we investigate as to why he could be trying to kidnap her.”
“Maybe it’s an old lovers thing?” Damien suggested. “You know, just like they do in movies?”
“I know,” I agreed. “But if Radha doesn’t know Gabriel, then what are we interrogating him for?”
“Because he’s the only other person who could have let anyone else into the dome,” Lucifer stated, as if the information was obvious. “You know us, Rohan. We wouldn’t betray you, ever.”
“I know. I can read your minds, you know that, right?” I asked, a smirk tugging at my lips.
Damien’s jaw dropped, but before he could give me a piece of his mind, Lucifer held his hand up, interrupting him. “Great. So, just how much of our private lives could you have seen?”
I shrugged. “All of it, I just chose not to. I know it’s not any of you; I read your minds after the kidnapping. Even if you tried to hide your thoughts, I would have been able to see them.” I flexed my fingers in my glove, my claws scraping uncomfortably against the fabric. “But we’re getting off topic.”
Lucifer nodded, smoothing his vest. “Rohan’s right. We need to find out who exactly this kidnapper is, and what he wants with Radha.”
Damien hummed. “What if he’s not going after Radha?”
Both Lucifer and I looked at him, inquisitive. “What do you mean?”
“Think about it,” Damien replied. “Sure, there’s a possibility that someone could be targeting Radha, but if it’s not her, who else is there left that could be of value?”
A moment of silence passed between the three of us, realization taking a few moments to settle in our guts.
“Me,” I murmured. “The only other person here, is me.”
“Well, figuratively. There’s still me, Damien, Saira, and Chandra, but there is a higher percent chance that they are targeting you,” Lucifer agreed promptly, a smile on his lips.
I blinked. “How are you so happy about this?”
“I’m not,” he snipped. “I’m just smiling to take your attention off the arm I just broke from your chair.”
Instinctivley, I looked down. True enough, the wooden piece was splintered and cracked in Lucifer’s pale hand, his body shaking.
“Lucifer...it’s okay, you know that, right? We’ll figure this out, but it’ll take time,” I assured, trying to be gentle, despite knowing Lucifer hated being babied.
“Yeah, I know that when fucking dipshit is coming to visit with his fucking fat ass and his fucking attitude. Yeah, we’ll be safe. And worse comes worse, either you die, or Radha dies.” Lucifer didn’t wait for me to try and explain. He bowed roughly to me, sparing Damien not even a second glance as he stormed out of the office, the room shaking as he slammed the door shut.
“Will he be alright?” Damien asked immediately, looking ready to follow the infuriated demon.
I held him back, licking my lips carefully. “He should be. You know how Lucifer is. He gets easily protective, that’s all.” I looked away, clearing my throat. “He’s worried about everyone, some more than others...” It didn’t pass my eyes the glances Lucifer had given Damien, despite his denial. I knew that there was something brewing between them. I just had to figure out what.
Damien shiftily nodded, his eyes unable to meet mine. “Lucifer’s always had an explosive temper. I’m surprised his one-night stands were able to, well, stand it.” He chuckled, but it was forced, as if he wasn’t comfortable speaking of Lucifer’s romantic endeavors.
I nodded. “He has, but that makes him reliable, because he’s also honest. Lucifer doesn’t like liars, and that makes him fair. I can only hope he doesn’t lose his temper around Gabriel.”
Damien shrugged. “I doubt it. Lucifer usually locks himself in his room whenever Gabriel visits.”
“Speaking of Gabriel...“I glanced at my calendar that was hanging on my wall, and my body grew cold, as if I were dead.
“What?” Damien’s eyes roamed my still body. “What is it?”
“Gabriel’s coming...this weekend!”