Astaroth and Lahash left Naberious again in Egypt, to return to the dark realm. Lahash poured himself a drink and sat down in his giant red velvet chair. He brushed his fingers back and forth across the arm. “Be patient. I believe Raina will come looking for you, or what she believes is to be Pandora. Why are you so impatient?”
Astaroth ignored Lahash and left him sitting and went to her chambers, where she kept a crystal ball held by three talon-like fingers. This is where she infiltrated the dreams of humans. She walked over and looked into the large crystal ball, where she saw Raina outside talking to Amelia.
Raina’s face was solemn, but her mannerisms were not equal to her face. She shifted her arms around as she spoke, and she threw her head back as if frustrated. Amelia reached her hands to Raina to calm her, and Raina walked away from her with her arms crossed.
Then the guys appeared and helped the girls into the jeep, where they all drove away into town for their double date to dinner and clubbing.
Astaroth watched the jeep move through town, before she was interrupted and the vision of the group in the crystal ball disappeared.
Astaroth heard her door open and shut. “Lahash. What do you want?”
Lahash grinned and moved with a swagger into her chambers, taking the careful study of her place strewn with red silk sheets and pillows.
Her bedding was mainly red, with black pillows and lay under a vaulted ceiling with old paintings of times passed. Lahash didn’t look up to the ceiling but surveyed the room. Astaroth left the ball after she hid it and moved into the large gathering area of her place.
“I asked you a question Lahash, what do you want?”
He licked his lips, and his eyes surveyed her top to bottom.
“What do I always want? What’s the matter, you can’t handle me anymore?”
He moved closer to her and ran his fingers down the side of her face. “I know you still want me. I can feel it.”
Astaroth turned her back. “Maybe, but we will never enjoy one another again, I have found human men to meet my needs, better than you.”
Lahash tipped his head back and laughed. “Oh, really.” He brought his dark eyes back on her. He studied her red hair and porcelain skin. “I see you change your hair color with your moods.”
“No, I change my hair color to suit whomever I am impersonating.
I can impersonate any human I choose.”
Lahash sat down on her bed. “Is that how you get the men in bed? Pretend to be their fantasy?”
“Yes, so what of it. Why are we even talking about this? Why are you here?”
He became serious, and his coy smile left his face. “It is a matter of time before Raina wishes to see the real Pandora.”
“What is the matter, are you afraid I will be the one? Or I would somehow block the real Pandora?”
“Actually, yes. I do not trust you. I think you have an even deeper agenda then I gave you credit for. I want to go, now.”
Without protest, the two demons arrived on Earth outside the restaurant where the double date was in full swing. They were already seated and ordered the first entrée and drinks.
Raina was cold and distant from Derek, while Amelia seemed bothered at what was happening.
Lahash stood with his arms crossed and gave Astaroth a downward glance and snorted, “Oh, now look here. Raina looks a bit off now, doesn’t she? I wonder what all the fuss is about. She’s got her body facing away from her lover, and Amelia is digging into her appetizer as if she were angry at it. I saw no one cut bruschetta with a steak knife. How about you?”
“Shut up Lahash, this is what we want.” Astaroth stared at the group at the table.
“Do you read minds too?” Lahash snickered.
“I see and enter dreams, so yes.” Astaroth moved closer to the table.
“Careful now, Raina may get a fix on you, then she may want to have you in bed with her and little Derek there.” Lahash moved and stood behind Derek.
Derek, who was chewing a large bite of his appetizer, stopped with a mouth full of food. His eyes were shifty. “Is it cold to you all? I feel like they turned the air conditioner on. Surely it has warmed up little.”
Astaroth glared at Lahash. “Get away from him, you are too close. Any mortal can sense us if we get this close. You are practically sitting on him, now move!” She pushed him away.
Everyone at the table looked at Derek. However, Raina’s look was different from her friend and Brian.
She has a slight smirk upon her face.
“Derek, it may be the dark forces within? Huh?” Raina snorted.
Derek continued to chew slowly and gulped the large quantity of food down. “Raina, what are you talking about?”
Before Raina could say anything, there was an interruption of a familiar voice, “Derek!”
Derek looked to see that his ex-girlfriend was briskly walking over toward the table. As she approached, she was waving and accompanied by another guy that Derek had never met before.
They glued all eyes onto her. In an awkward moment, everyone seated at the table shifted their heads around to look at Derek. Amelia did not stay fixated on him too long; she looked to Raina, who was steamed at the interruption.
Just as Raina’s nostrils were flared, and she stood up, throwing her napkin down on the table, Amelia became a bit of a pleasant interruption herself.
“Raina,” she said awkwardly, “Raina, I need to run to the powder room, I was wondering if you could join me?” Amelia walked around to Raina’s side of the table, where she watched Raina’s eyes like daggers boring into Derek.
Unable to get Raina to budge, Brian stood up from the table and took Derek by the elbow, “Yeah, Amelia great idea. Derek and I were about to go to the bar and find out what the holdup is with our drink order.
Brian nodded to Amelia and walked Derek away from the table, leaving the ex and the new man in her life to themselves.
Amelia and Raina left for the restroom, and Brian watched to make sure they walked away. As he stood at the bar with Derek, he flagged the bartender down and held up two fingers. “Jack and Coke.”
Brian’s face was red, and his breathing was rushed. “Okay, man, you better tell me what the hell is going on?”
The bartender walked away as Brian waited for the response. Meanwhile, Lahash and Astaroth followed the guys over to the bar.
“Oh, now this should be interesting. Wait, probably not,” Lahash said as he examined his Italian cuff links, “I could turn on the television during the daytime and see another version. I am more interested in Raina’s response, so why are we watching dumb and dumber over here?”
Astaroth glared at Lahash. “You know, I am tiring of you. We need to find out why this ex is hanging around. Maybe deep down, Derek is a real scumbag.”
“Well, you should know, wouldn’t you? Come on, we don’t care what he is as so long as he provokes Raina to do what we need her to do.”
Meanwhile, across the restaurant in the bathroom, Raina was blowing her hot air out all over Amelia.
“What the hell is he doing? Why does she keep showing up? That is, it, she’s going down.” Raina started out of the door when Amelia grabbed her by the fold in her arm.
“Stop it, Raina! You will not lay a finger on her. I do not understand what is going on, but you need to find out from Derek before you do anything!”
Raina glared at her and shook her head. “I shouldn’t have to put up with this! Why does Derek still talk to her? Why doesn’t she just leave him alone and let us have our chance?” She ran her hands through her black hair and then slapped them down on the sink, and then she said, “Okay, Amelia, I won’t do anything, but you will summon Pandora. I get a wish, and I will have it. We need to find her, anyway.”
“NO!! I am not calling on her. I don’t care what happens to her, I will not have my soul suffered!” Amelia said.
Raina was incredulous. “Yes, you will! You helped call her, and you own me this. Call her with me once again and let me have this handled, or you can watch me tear that bitch’s eyes out, and I will plant them right onto Derek’s mangled body. Which is it? Either way, I will find a way for her to return, and when she does, we both are implicated.”
Raina didn’t give her friend a moment to reply, she quickly grabbed her purse and burst through the door back into the restaurant.
Amelia was nervous and paced for a moment while in the bathroom. She looked in the mirror at herself and then looked down before turning away and burst through the door.
By the time she arrived back at the table, Raina was outraged at Derek over the ex-girlfriend. She was shouting and causing a scene while Brian watched helplessly.
Amelia marched over to Raina and grabbed her by the arm, and drug her outside of the restaurant leaving the others behind. “Raina! Stop! You are causing a scene! If you want my help, I will do it. But not like this. You will wait here, and I will get the guys, and we are going back to Brian’s.
We are not going out tonight. Or at least I am not going out with you.”
Raina remained smug. “Oh, yes, you will go out with me. We will follow that bitch. You will tell the guys we have some things to do, and they can go back.”
Before Amelia could respond, Raina disappeared and exited into the street in front of the restaurant. Amelia chased her out into the road leaving the guys behind.
Amelia shouted at Raina, who was chasing after the ex who had just left the building. “Raina, wait! Stop!”
“What Amelia? What do you want?”
“Okay, look, I see how upset you are. I will help. We can call Pandora, but we can’t follow her anywhere. Let me get the guys to take us back. I will tell them you, and I need to have a talk. Okay?”
Raina’s eyes were locked on where she last saw the ex running away. “Sure. Now.”
The ride back was quiet, and Derek kept his eyes on the passing cars as they drove back. Brian held his hand over his mouth as he frequently glanced into the rearview mirror at Raina, who kept her angry eyes on Derek.
After they arrived at Brian’s family home, Amelia ran upstairs after Derek as he plowed down the stairs. She stopped and said, “Derek, how did she know?”
He looked away to continue running down the stairs to join Brian at the kitchen table. Brian threw a beer at him and joined him. “How did she know? Why are you talking to her?”
“I only texted her a few times. I didn’t think much of our conversation. She has been begging to come back, and I haven’t said I would take her back. I wanted to see where this goes between Raina and I. Really, I meant nothing sinister with it. Really. I didn’t know that she would show up where we were.”
Brian slammed his hand down. “Damn it, man! Why did you even tell her where we were? You ruined our night! I wanted this weekend to be special for Amelia and me. My intention after a great weekend was for me to ask her to move in with me.”
Derek jerked his head up. “Move in? Our apartment?”
Brian nodded his head. “Next semester I finish school, and I wanted her to go with me when I go to medical school.”
“You got in! Man, that is so great. I am thrilled for you.” Derek’s face smiled, but his eyes were sad.
“Yeah, I got in. I didn’t think they would let me after applying so late, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. But I am going to medical school, and I can’t leave without Amelia. I think she may be the one.”
Derek shook his head. “Man, I am so sorry for whatever I ruined. Really, I am. I will make this up to you. I don’t think Raina and I are good together. If this is how she reacts over problems, I can’t see how I can stay with her, not like this. I am very sorry for everything.”
Meanwhile, upstairs, Amelia and Raina were in a conversation, and mostly it was Amelia trying to calm the situation. “Raina, look, I understand why you are angry with him. I do. I don’t blame you. But you can’t act like that in public. I think he may talk to that girl because you intimidate him. I don’t know. If you would ease up a bit, I believe that you and he would be good together. But with this, I do not understand how this will turn out. I will help you, but we need to do it.”
Raina got up from the bed, opened the box, and the scroll-like paper out. “We will call Pandora now. I will ask for my favor. I want to ex out and for Derek to be madly in love with me.”
“Raina, that isn’t good. I don’t think fairies can do that.” She grabbed Raina’s hand and stared into her eyes. “Raina, listen to me. Do this with the right intentions for yourself and others, not for harm. Remember, this will come back.” Amelia gently released Raina’s hand, and for a moment, Raina stared at the back of her pale hand.
“Cool, so you are in. I am calling her now. She will help us; I know she will.” Raina placed the box that held the powder to the center of the bed. She locked the door, and then she opened the box and picked up the paper. She read the words aloud.
Despite being left behind in a mad witch’s fury, Astaroth and Lahash, who stood and witnessed the precious events, never fell too far behind. As they stood in the room with Raina and Amelia, their eyes widened with satisfaction as Raina read the words aloud to summon whom she believed to be the real Pandora.
“So, I guess this is it now?” Astaroth licked her lips in anticipation.
“Now remember Astaroth, you must do what she asks.
She believes that the real Pandora would do anything for her. You must ease the mind of Amelia that she will not suffer. Her eyes are weary and thinks Pandora may have influence over Raina. Once we can convince her you are it, and she makes her request, you must urge her to continue in the summoning, the correct way. We need her, we can get her to release the real Pandora. Do not mess this up!”
Within moments of Raina speaking the summoning, Astaroth disguised as Pandora made herself known.
“Pandora!” Raina shouted, “Where have you been? I need your help!”
Astaroth smiled. “Yes, I know. I am sorry. I have been in search of Naberious. But first, what is it you desire?”
Raina cleared her throat, “I need you to destroy Derek’s ex.”
Amelia gasped and shook her head.
Astaroth studied Raina, “Yes, yes, the ex. I can take care of that. But first, I need to make a request.”
Raina said, “Anything.”
“Good, Raina. I have located Naberious. However, I struggle to connect with him because of my weakened state. I need you to use your gifts to connect to the underworld. It will require you to go to a cemetery, the one where I met him long ago. Conduct a seance in mine and his name. When you do so, I will be forever connected with Naberious. From there, I will do as you wish.”
Raina jumped up and smiled, “So when do we start?”
Amelia kept her eyes on Astaroth and held Raina’s hand. “Raina, remember, things come back times three. We cannot do this. It is madness. Calling a demon? From a cemetery?”
“Amelia,” Astaroth kneeled beside her, “Listen, you will not be harmed. By doing so will reconnect me to my lost love, and I will be whole again. I can go home. I wish no harm to you.”
Amelia stared into her eyes and then looked to her friend. “I don’t know.”
Lahash remained invisible to the girls, and only Astaroth could see him. He gave her a slow nod and a look with his intense eyes.
She then put her demoness trick on Amelia. Her eyes swirled, and her voice was hypnotic with a hiss. “Yesssss, you will assist us, Amelia. Stand and do as I command and take me to the graveyard. You will have all you desire. In the name of love.”
Suddenly, the fairy book that Naberious kept for so long, floated at eye level in front of Raina, and it opened as Raina said the words aloud. “What is this? The book? I don’t remember anything about a book.”
Astaroth said, “Read the last paragraph aloud, and you will see.”
Just as Raina was about to take the book and read, the guys called them from downstairs. When Raina’s attention diverted, the book along with Astaroth disappeared. The girls abruptly put evidence of their secret away and dashed downstairs.