I woke up with a headache. Only one other time in my life had I had a headache. It was when Delphinus sent me a “mind message” when she and Lynx were coming to get me so I could help with the coup last year. The reason it had hurt so bad was because I didn’t have my powers then. My brain was nearly the same as a human. That headache had brought me to tears.
This headache made me happy.
I rolled to my right and found Talia sleeping peacefully.
I blinked and was suddenly looking at my father. I gasped. I hadn’t expected to see him.
“Hello, Stacia.” I was taken back by his appearance. He wasn’t the tall, red Devil I had come accustomed to seeing. He was in a human’s body. He was still tall but rather skinny. The weird thing was that he looked just like me. He had the darkest hair that matched mine but his eyes were still yellow. That gave him away. He was rather handsome otherwise. Ew.
He was looking at my body and trying to hide an amused smile.
I looked down. I was only wearing the slip I wore under my dress last night. I covered myself and wished I was wearing the shorts and tank top I normally wore to bed.
I looked down again and I was. The thin white slip was gone, replaced by my normal pajamas. How did I do that?
“Please, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before.” He chuckled. “I was there when you were born, naked as a skinless rat.” His skin was as pale as mine.
“Well, not exactly. Your mother had only halfway summoned me. I wasn’t a physical being in your realm. I saw your birth because you are my daughter. Even back then, I was tethered to you. I saw it much like I saw your brother’s wedding last night.” His black hair was shaggy, strands hanging in his face.
“How was I born in only six months?”
He smiled, giddy. “I didn’t want to wait nine long months. I can speed up the aging process.” He said the last part dismissively.
He could do what? I didn’t have time to ask about that though. “How come you didn’t make Vela summon you completely? You could have been ruling the universe by now.”
“Then wasn’t the right time, my dear.” It was weird for him to call me “dear” since we looked the same age. He might have even looked younger. “Even I know when things are not meant to be. In a few months, my time will come. No need to rush.”
“What will happen in a few months?” I urged. “The invasion?”
“Have you not realized your dark thoughts are poking through more?” He paused, waiting for me to answer. When I didn’t, he continued, “Something’s coming, Stacia. My Destroyer knows it. She’s ready to come out.”
Something in his tone scared me. “Is my dark side going to come out again?”
He only smiled.
“No, no please. Don’t let it come out. I’m happy. I’m so happy. I can’t ruin it. I can’t. Help me,” I whispered.
“I cannot stop it, young one.”
“Please.” My voice broke and tears sprang to my eyes.
“My dear,” he paused and came closer to me. “Do not cry. Soon you will never cry again. I promise you that.” He lifted my chin. His human body was strange but not terrifying.
“I don’t want to become her—that.”
“There’s nothing I can do.” He stepped back. The comforting father I saw for a second was gone. He was the Devil again.
“When?” I whispered.
He nodded, having read my mind.
“If there was anything you could do, would you do it?”
His brows came together. He seemed confused. “Did you forget who I am?” He shed his human skin and was that red scaled monster again. “I am Satan, youngling. I wish to enter your realm and tear down everything those creatures hold dear. I am no savior, Stacia. And you aren’t either.”
I shrunk back. “I have to go.” I willed myself back home and was suddenly staring at Talia’s sleeping face. I sighed in relief only to have it be replaced by fear. I was going to become the Destroyer in March.
I couldn’t let that happen. No way, no how. So, I swallowed my fear and fell back asleep, cuddling my girlfriend.
“Good job, Enceladians! We’re almost done!” shouted the man who was overseeing the Vela division reconstruction.
All we had left to do was paint the rest of the homes. The divisions we had fixed up so far looked great. The houses were much bigger and very sound. We built in bedrooms, sometimes multiple, depending on how many people lived in that one. Before, the bedrooms didn’t even have doors.
Talia and I were painting the last shop. Suddenly, I felt the urge to cause trouble. My girl looked too intent. I dipped my pinky in the bucket of paint and wiped it on her face.
“Hey!” she said, struggling not to laugh. She bent down and grabbed a handful of light brown paint and hurled it at me. I was laughing too hard to dodge it. It landed smack in the middle of my stomach.
“Oh, you are so getting it!” I ran at her with my bucket of paint. I managed to splash a little bit on her. She then lifted her bucket telekinetically and I was able to duck this time, missing it by a hair.
I was about to come at her again when I heard someone gasp behind me. I froze and turned around. The paint glob that missed me had hit someone behind me. My mouth went wide.
Before Talia could apologize, the man screamed, “Paint fight,” in Enceladian and flung the end of his wet brush on an unsuspecting kid.
Talia and I laughed. The citizens started throwing paint at each other. What had we started?
I grabbed the nearest bucket and poured it over her head. For a second, I wondered if I had gone too far but she burst out in giggles, clearing the yellow paint from her eyes.
Then she charged at me and rubbed her head all over me. She knocked me over and landed on me. Her hair and nose and mouth were covered in dripping paint. I wiped the paint off her lips and leaned up to kiss her. She tasted like chemicals but I didn’t care. I loved her and the way she felt on my skin.
“We should go shower,” she whispered seductively. Fire warmed up my body. Yes, we should.
We flew hand-in-hand back to the palace. As we got to the second floor, I noticed a full food cart outside of Lynx’s room. I didn’t blame them for not coming out of their room. This was their honeymoon.
Once we got to my room, I turned on the shower. I stepped in and waited for Talia to join me. She did and I watched as the paint mixed with water and was sucked down the drain. I gazed at Talia. I spotted a small beauty mark on her ribcage. Her stomach was flat and toned. Her arms held just the right amount of muscle. She could hurt me with her strength if she wanted to but she never would willingly. Her face held the kindest eyes that softened even more when she looked at me. She had the finest dark blonde hair. She was like an angel. And she was mine.
“What?” She caught me staring.
I shook my head. I grabbed her hips and brought them to mine. “I love you, you know.”
“I do know. You tell me all the time.” Was she tired of hearing it? I panicked before she spoke. “I love you too, Princess.”
I grinned and exhaled. “Good.” I turned her around so I could wash the paint out of her hair.