In his long undead life as a vanity demon, Eneizar never believed himself as loyal. He was afraid of Lucifer in the beginning, like the rest of the demons, but he learned that strength could get him far in Hell. Vanity demons in general are not good fighters which is why they are insanely good manipulators. Eneizar noticed however that a sharp tongue had its limits and once in a while he had to use force to get what he wanted. Abaddon was the best example of a strong demon both in wit and brute force, and Eneizar followed him closely to the point the two became equals. One was the left hand and the other was the right hand and Lucifer found them rather funny. But Eneizar was a talented liar during his lifetime and he was even better as a demon so Lucifer decided to not risk it. Thus, Eneizar was forbidden from ever lying to anyone, especially his master.
Now, enchained and looking horrible from head to toe, he kind of wished Lucifer had more trust in him. The priests were watching him all the time and he could feel that his final moment was near.
The door burst open and a man dressed in normal clothes hurried to the guards.
"I-well-outside-" he was not able to explain anything. "We are in danger." He said after calming down a little.
"What? What do you mean?" One of the guards asked with a frown.
"She's here. Zoe Lestrade is here." He said with wide eyes.
Eneizar raised an eyebrow, not quite believing his words. Zoe was far away in the States and she had bigger problems than a vanity demon.
"Is she really? But we sent a whole army to New York."
They were all baffled by the news. Still, Eneizar couldn't help but doubt the truth of those words. He was not Mehrdir. The connection between him and Zoe was based on resentment more than anything else. She punished him by marking him with the endless knot and then he had no choice but to help her during the war. His feelings for her were also irrelevant because she already made her choice. Therefore, at the end of this short analysis, the result was that Eneizar meant nothing to Zoe.
He was very wrong.
When Zoe was in the hospital she had a lot of time to think about her future. She wanted to do everything that she has postponed in the past because she was afraid of herself. The world was big and there were so many opportunities waiting to be discovered. She could finally walk down the street and not feel like she was about to faint because she was so anxious. For the first time in her life, Zoe felt like she was finally in control of her fate.
"What are you thinking about so hard that you're frowning?"
Zoe glanced at the door to her room and smiled at the former demon. Iaosur was a charming man now that he was alive and he seemed to take advantage of it. He raised an eyebrow and approached her warily. He knew her and she was just as full of surprises as Beelzebub.
"Don't smile. I feel endangered whenever you do." He said in all seriousness but Zoe laughed it off.
"I've only been gone one year but you are like a totally different person. You took a loan to open up a business when I left you all my savings. What happened to that money?" She asked, her eyes focusing so hard on him that Iaosur had the impression she was about to ask for her money back.
"It was worth it. The shop is going better than I imagined."
"A pancake shop. How very demonic."
Iaosur rolled his eyes and Zoe watched as his sassy attitude returned.
"I told you before that I like sweet things, remember? Eneizar will appreciate it." He said, not knowing what happened inside the Bloody Rose. But Zoe heard it straight from that priest.
"Eneizar..." she mumbled to herself thoughtfully.
A few hours later and Zoe was taking a walk in the garden of the hospital when she felt this dreadful feeling in her heart. She never wondered, even for one short moment, that a demon could ever be in danger. They were long dead and if something were to happen, they would just end up in hell anyway. Or so she believed...
"Well? Why did you call me asking for the file on your attack?" Roberts asked, taking his lollipop out of his mouth.
"Who was the person that tried to kill me?" She asked, going straight to the subject.
"He was a real priest, if you can even believe that. Brother Bartholomew aka Francisco Malocchio, age 47, no family and no other relative alive as far as we know. We contacted the Vatican but they denied knowing him. However, he did not come alone but had a whole army of young and trained crusaders."
"The Vatican...he certainly came a long way." Zoe mumbled feeling very bitter with the way the church was trying to put all the blame on one guy. "He killed me."
Roberts was taken aback by how easy those words came out of her. It didn't seem like she was too affected by what has happened.
"But why? Why did he come to New York just to kill someone who hasn't done anything against the Vatican?"
Zoe glanced at the detective and chuckled bemusedly. He was still denying seeing her demonic eyes and still wouldn't accept that she was the cause for all the recent deaths.
"The Holy Brotherhood is a subsidiary organization of the Vatican's, whose role has been to kill every child who has the endless knot on their bodies. It is a tradition that has existed for longer than you and I. The Brotherhood remained on the same path, same idea, same belief but their target has changed." Zoe explained remembering all the trouble she had to go through in her twenties. "Their target does not fear death. She embraced it, if anything. Besides, people don't die when other people order but when God allows it."
"You just say whatever you want, don't you? Just like that awful dark haired guy who knew so much about the cult."
Zoe's eyes glistened in the sunlight as Roberts spoke of Mehrdir.
"Marcus. His name is Marcus and he used to be part of that cult. I don't know what he is up to these days." She lied since she didn't want Roberts to look into Mehrdir's past.
"What will you do after you get out next week?" Roberts asked crossing one leg over the other and looking ahead.
"Go on vacation to Italy."
And that was exactly what she did. When Zoe arrived home, she opened her laptop and bought one ticket for Rome. There was no need for anything else or anyone else because Zoe was now very capable of dealing with people by herself. It did feel like she finally had control over her life although she was aware it could quickly turn into a disaster.
The whole flight was peaceful. Zoe slept for most of it and she watched a lot of kid movies that might or might not have made her cry. When the plane landed at the airport in Rome, she needed a moment to get used to the new environment.
There was little to no baggage, she only had a relatively small backpack where she had her legal documents, wallet and little women accessories such as a lip balm, hand cream, and so on.
Zoe spent her whole time going around, eating breakfast in a little coffee store (because she arrived in the morning), visiting usual tourist sights, eating a late lunch in a bodega and waiting around for night to fall over the country. She stopped in front of the Trevi Fountain and threw a little coin for good luck before she bathed in the bright sunlight. When time came, she went straight to the reason she came to Italy for in the first place.
The Vatican was beautiful, she had to admit it. As Zoe crossed St. Peter's Square, she felt smaller and smaller especially after her little chat with the archangel. As she approached the Basilica, she realized she had no plan on how to retrieve what was hers.
"Am I really just going to knock and ask?" She asked herself, doubting that anyone will listen to her. Zoe sighed heavily and looked around for some idea. She noticed a group of foreign tourists and hurried over, trying her best to look and sound as if she didn't speak English.
Unfortunately, the guide was speaking Dutch and Zoe could only nod to whatever they were saying as if she understood. She followed them around as the guide pointed here and there, telling them about the architecture, Zoe guessed. And then they entered the Basilica and the tourists spread around, gawking at the grandness of it all. But Zoe was bothered by other problems and she finally saw a staff door.
She didn't know where she was but somehow Zoe got into the Vatican gardens. She wished to know exactly where she had to go but she didn't. Instead, it was rather odd how she didn't see any priests around.
Zoe froze and turned slowly to meet not just anyone but a cardinal. He knew her, he knew who she was or else he would have already invited her to leave or called the authorities.
"Are you going to take me into a cell and torture me? One of yours already tried to kill me and yet here I am." She spoke coldly.
The cardinal sighed and rubbed his forehead.
"I'm sorry about that, I apologize on the behalf of the Vatican. It was not supposed to be like that but Bartholomew has always been a...complicated man."
"Where is he?" Zoe asked knowing that this man knew what she meant. But the cardinal seemed confused by her question.
"What do you mean? Isn't Bartholomew in New York right now?"
"His body, yes. I mean where is the demon that you're keeping prisoner?"
But the cardinal still seemed to know nothing of what she was speaking of. The only demon he knew about was the one that they recently exorcised out of their former colleague. The same that Bart talked to in the past. But he was gone now and he had to memory of catching another.
"You let your mad dog run around, didn't you? And he got himself shot by the police as he bashed my head off. I never dared go against the church and I quite like the Pope. I tried to keep myself hidden and ignored everything related to Hell but your dog came barking at me and he drew the attention of everyone. Now, Mr Cardinal, you tell me which one of us is the evil one." Zoe said approaching the man. "Now, why don't you take me to Bartholomew's happy place? I'm sure he has one hidden in this place."
The cardinal knew Bart well enough to agree that he did have his own little office hidden away. Unfortunately, he wasn't sure where. And then, under the eyes of a man of God, a shadow crawled towards Zoe's feet and stopped on her hand. She looked at it and saw her endless knot bleeding. Her eyes blackened for a moment and she felt it. The cardinal's eyes widened and he took a step back, afraid of what could happen.
But nothing happened. Zoe walked past him, straight to the prisoner, and no one stopped her. At least they felt guilty for what they brought upon her.
Although many men were moving around him, Eneizar could barely raise his head. He closed his eyes and thought about the reason why they didn't finish him already. It was difficult being the prisoner after living in luxury for most of his life.
"Are you going to cry, too?"
Eneizar frowned but didn't open his eyes although he knew he was not imagining things.
Zoe rolled her eyes and walked over the signs that chained him as if they were nothing. She bent in front of him and sighed.
"Are you an idiot? Why did you let yourself get caught?" She asked seeing how bad he looked. The priests must have truly went all righteous on the vanity demon.
"Why did you come after me?" He asked opening his eyes and looking at her.
"That's a bit hurtful, Eneizar. Aren't we friends?" She asked with a bemused smile.
Eneizar raised an eyebrow and begun by scoffing before he erupted in laughter.
"Is that what we are, Zoe? Friends?" He asked before he continued to laugh loudly. "You are my master, in case you forgot."
Zoe bit her lip and shrugged, accepting his view over their relationship.
"Good enough for me. Now come on, go back to Hell. They're waiting for you." She said before the vanity demon disappeared.