After they had eaten and the desserts were ordered, Mister St. Claire leaned against his seat, looked at his mysterious companion for a brief time and then his bright green orbs fixed on Mina.
“So on to the business at hand. The papyruses you’re searching for aren’t in the digging site anymore.” Her look of bewilderment said she was about to reply but he interrupted her and continued, “That’s why Miss Lady is here. If you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, you can acquire the documents from her.”
“I don’t understand. I was under the impression…”
“Those papyruses weren’t mine to begin with, dear Mina,” Elijah whispered all flustered.
“What Mister St. Claire wants to say is that he managed to buy one item before my employer noticed the important value of those documents in the market,” the mysterious woman spoke for the first time with a soft but heavily accented voice that betrayed her Hindu origin.
Their waitress appeared followed closely behind by a man with a cart filled with their desserts. The yummy looking dishes were all put in front them and then the waiters left after wishing them a bon appetite.
Does she mean the Black Market? Mina mentally asked her husband.
Vergil glanced at her before giving a slight nod and then gazed directly into Lady’s dark eyes. The woman tensed immediately, gulping down the spoon full of her fancy ice cream too quickly and wincing when the brain freeze hit her.
The guilty one smirked, grabbing his wife’s hand under the table and giving her a gentle squeeze; as if he wanted to communicate her that he would take over from there. After all, the Black Market was his playing ground.
“Does your employer pretend to offer the items in question at a private auction?” he asked without breaking eye contact with the caramel skinned female.
“Exactly.” Her spoon shook under his gaze, attracting the attention of all those in the table. “But I’m sure that if you make him an irresistible offer, my employer will gladly sell you the papyruses without the need of any auction.”
Miss Lady was a remarkable woman. Almost everyone in the past had caved under his will by this point but not her… she still fought against his allure and power. Remarkable mortal indeed!
“How much does he expects to win in this auction?”
“Ten million per item… and there are five of them…” She opened her mouth to say more but shut it and lowered her gaze to the melting ice cream.
“Do you have some proof that you have them in your possession?” Mina cut in. She had noticed the silent stares between the two and wasn’t a bit happy about it. “Better yet… have you validated their authenticity?” she said almost roughly to the woman.
Vergil gazed at her. The way she was fisting her hands at her lap, the creases in her brow and the anger shining in her stormy gray orbs said it all. His little dove was jealous!
He smiled inwardly. That was good reason to celebrate later in the night. The demon imagined her with the dress he bought her and flushed cheeks from a cup or two of his favorite rum, inviting him to bed with those rosy lips of hers and had to grip the table in an effort of controlling the sudden urge of touching her intimately.
“Here.” Miss Lady passed her phone to Mina displaying some pictures of the scrolls in question. “You’re welcomed to inspect them tomorrow if you wish so.”
“Why not today?”
“Don’t you remember we have plans for later, my love?” This time it was Vergil’s turn to interrupt. His gaze met hers and he gave a slow lick to his lips before planting a kiss over her hand. It was a promise for a delicious night together and it left her speechless. Nothing was going to ruin what he wanted to do with her for the rest of the day. “The papyruses can wait until tomorrow.”
“But…” A look at those shining blue eyes of his and Mina had trouble breathing all of a sudden. Images of their first night together flickered through her mind, making her feel hot and embarrassed. “Okay, tomorrow it is then.”
Elijah burst out laughing, drawing the attention of various patrons in the restaurant, his companions included. “You know…” he started, addressing Vergil with a smile that softened his rough features. “I have known your wife for only a month but she has already shown me how hot tempered she can be. I admire you for being able to tame that side of her so quickly.”
“Thank you, Elijah, but that’s not really true. Is more like she tamed me,” the blue eyed prince answered, his eyes never wavering from her gray ones.
The fluttering in her stomach remained through the rest of the conversation and even when they got into the taxi that would take them back to the hotel. The intensity with which Vergil said «she tamed me» had her mentally reeling. It was almost as if she were walking over the clouds... as if she were falling in love for the first time all over again. But why? Why was she feeling like a madly in love teenager? Could I be falling in love with him already?
“You have been awfully quiet for some time now,” her husband said, grabbing her hand between his and returning her back to Earth.
“Why ask when you can hear or see... I don’t even know how you do it, but the point is that you have the ability to know what I’m thinking in seconds! Why ask me about it?” she exclaimed a little too loud, making the driver glance in their direction through the rearview mirror.
The demon prince sat closer and grazed her ear with his fangs, earning a little moan for the effort. “You’re the first mortal to ever ask me to constantly invade her mental privacy. I find it strange but alluring at the same time. It means you want to bare your soul to me and I must confess that thought is most gratifying.”
“Yes, I bet it is,” she whispered looking at the buildings passing by like grains of sand in an hourglass. Her thoughts drifted until she ended up wondering the implications of loving a demon prince. I’m doomed. Pain squeezed her heart at the possibility of not reuniting with her mom even after her death. I must banish my feelings for him forever. Locked them away inside my heart and throw away the key or the fires of Hell will be the only thing awaiting me when my time comes. Her hand flew to the necklace, the one that Eiael had given her, and mentally prayed to her Guardian Angel. Eiael, please help me hide my true feelings from Vergil. He can’t know that I’m beginning to love him.
A solitary tear rolled down her cheek and she quickly wiped it away before her demon could notice it but failed anyways.
The smell of salty tears reached him and he turned her face in time to see her beautiful stormy eyes shine with tears and fright. He tried to enter her mind and search for what suddenly had her so sad but found a barrier around it; a bright and golden barrier that stood between him and her thoughts. It can only be of angelic origin. Damn it!
“Talk to me, my princess. What made you so sad?”
“I just remembered all the times mami warned me to be wary of demons.” She leaned close so they could talk in whispers. “And here I am, married to the very creature she wanted to protect me from.”
“I could never hurt you, Mina.” He cupped her cheek and wiped another tear from her soft skin. “You’re too precious to me.” More than what I will ever admit aloud.
No one said anymore until they reached their hotel room. Mina walked straight to the bed and laid there looking like a broken doll. He needed to know what she was thinking so hard about because the very idea of not seeing her smiling face was a physical torture for him; and contrary to the popular opinion, demons didn’t like to be tortured.
So without his ability there was only one option available to obtain what he wanted. He would get her drunk and let the free will do the rest!
“Please, don’t be sad,” Vergil said while opening the elegant red leather box where his twenty-five thousands’ favorite rum was delivered and filled two silver glasses he summoned from the mansion at New York. “I know you must miss your mother dearly but you should be happy and celebrating our victory, mi pequeña paloma.”
“What victory?” That seemed to get her attention.
“Tomorrow you will have the scrolls in your hands,” he answered, coming to her with the two glasses and a sexy smile on his lips. “Here.” He waited until she took the half-filled glass he offered her and then two ice cubes appeared on it. “This will cheer you up. It’s my favorite rum; a Caribbean brand made in Trinidad called Angostura Legacy. I’m sure you will like it.” He watched her as she took a very small sip and licked her lips tasting the exquisite flavor.
“Don’t lie to me. I’m sure you like it so much because is dark red, very similar to blood.”
“But I can see that it’s of your liking as well.”
“Yes, Vergil,” she answered him with a small smile while patting the bed so he sat beside her. “It taste as vanilla and spices… very good for an alcoholic drink.”
“Then let us toast for small victories and happy endings.”
“Shh.” He took a gulp of the liquor and kissed her, spilling the liquid inside her mouth. She yelped in surprise but swallowed it without any objection. “Now will you toast with me?”
His dove didn’t respond but rolled her eyes and lightly clanked their glasses.
“For small victories and happy endings.” Mina winked at him and finished her drink in one swig that burned her throat and sent her into a fit of coughs.
“You weren’t supposed to drink it that way.”
“I noticed.” She managed to say between coughs.
He chuckled slightly and stood up, pulling her with him to gently rub his nose against the curve of her neck. Her body shivered and she sighed. Even if he couldn’t read her thoughts, the inner turmoil of her soul cried out to him, driving his demon blood insane with lust. “I want you naked, my love,” he whispered still nuzzling her perfect skin.
“Vergil…” His name was a moan on her lips and she wasn’t sure if it was meant to stop him or plead for more. But one thing was for sure: if she ended up naked, her inhibitions will be overwhelmed by passion and she will gave in even if it meant damning her soul forever.
Very slowly he ran a hand down her back and her clothes began dissolving as his fingers traced her figure. When he stopped at her butt, she was completely naked.
“Now you’ll be mine.”
Her heart skip a beat and her knees weakened when he spoke of making her his with a raspy voice filled with lust. He had to snake an arm around her waist to keep her upright, something he took to his advantage as he rubbed his manhood— still trapped inside his pants— against her hip. She moaned low as her mind went blank for a second or two and when she focused on her surroundings again, he was dipping his head for a kiss with dark red eyes.
Her body froze immediately, fright taking control of her while he kissed her as if he wanted to harvest the cherry of her lips. “Your eyes.” She managed to whisper in his ear after he broke the kiss.
Vergil shook his head to clear the haze filling his mind and took notice of his wife state. Mina was trembling in his arms while her scared eyes were fixed in his. Dammit! Not again! “I’m sorry, Mina.” He sat her down on the bed and strode to the table where the bottle of rum awaited him, berating himself in demon tongue.
She gripped the sheets as she saw him gulp down two half cups of alcohol and drop to the loveseat passing a hand through his short white bangs. How could she sit still and not go to him when it was obvious he was hurting deep inside? How could she shut him out just because he was different from her? It was selfish of her to do so when he was just as lost with their situation as she was. Her mother always taught her to be kind to others even if they weren’t humans. Then why she always told her to stay away from demons? Because she was a faithful woman and even the All Seeing Eye can be a prejudiced person. I bet mami never even met a demon and went by with what her angel told her.
And I’m doing the same. Great! Now who’s the one making assumptions?
Mina sighed. No matter what Marina had told her in the past, the fact that her heart yearned to comfort Vergil couldn’t be ignored. Then how was she supposed to act? Would she follow her mom’s advice or her heart?
Before she could make up her mind, the demon stood up, summon a shopping bag to his hands and walked up to her. He tried to gaze at her eyes but every now and then his eyes drifted down her nakedness and she would feel ghostly fingers roaming her skin, making her shiver with desire.
“I bought this for you when I left you tied to the bed,” he confessed, feeling his cheeks heating up. Why the hell am I blushing? Ah! I disgust myself! “Let me help you.” And before she could say something, he snapped his fingers and dressed her with the fine items. “Go to the mirror.”
She admired the translucent black fabric with flowers that covered her and gasped at the softness of the texture when she moved to stand up. With a smile on her lips she ran to the bathroom and gazed at her reflection in the wall mirror. “This is absolutely gorgeous!”
The dress had kind of an Arabic style with its long sleeves, deep “V” neckline and a matching veil that was held in place by a beautiful headpiece of chains with a ruby at the center of her forehead. A heavy beaded necklace adorned her chest and a chained belt covered her waist; along with earrings, bracelets and rings that matched everything to perfection.
“I’m glad you love it because you look stunning on it,” her demon prince said from the door. “Come. Let’s eat something. It’s already sunset.”
“But I can’t feel any underwear beneath all of this. I can’t go out without underwear!”
“Who said anything of leaving the room?” Vergil replied, letting his hungry gaze wander over her body and giving her a half smile. “Besides, you will not need underwear after the dinner.”
“So this is the woman?”
“Yes. The spirit told me they will be here tomorrow at midday,” Thanatos answered from within the shadows of the Muslim styled bedroom. “It’s really a shame I won’t be able to collect her soul when she exhales her last breath.”
The two gods were under the cover of an invisibility spell watching their casualty perform her bathing rituals.
“Can’t you just steal her soul from your Hindu equivalent?” Alecto asked with an arched brow.
“There are very strict laws regulating reapers. We cannot go through the dimensions doing whatever we please like the rest of the gods do. Plus Mara would kill me if I took a soul meant for her pantheon.” He paused watching the tanned exotic beauty dress her curves in a golden nightgown before turning to the Fury. “Bring the Empusa. It’s time we prepare the chessboard.”
“I’m getting tired of being your messenger,” the raven haired goddess mumbled as she vanished.
Moments later the vampiric daemon appeared beside him and bowed her head.
“You know what to do.”
“Many thanks for the treat, my lord,” the female said before leaving his side transformed in a dark cloud. She floated to the Hindu woman, careful of always staying at her back as the mortal went from one side to the other, and sank her fangs into the caramel skin once her victim stopped beside the bed.
The dark haired beauty screamed as the creature drank her blood but all too soon her frightened sounds became nothing more that deafening silence and her lifeless body fell to the floor. Without wasting time the Empusa turned the corpse face up and grew her claws into three inches long sharpened knives that she used to open a hole in the mortal’s chest. There was no blood left in the body so ripping out the heart turned up to be a rather clean job, eating the organ not so much.
Thanatos saw the exact moment when Lady’s ghost appeared in the bedroom and her reaction to the Greek vampire eating her heart. Her eyes widened and her mouth opened, she was about to scream again but in her current form her cries would only attract the attention of the very goddess he wanted to avoid. Not this time, darling.
Blowing an electrostatic storm in the specter’s direction, he managed to disrupt her incorporeal form to the point she exploded, leaving small pools of ectoplasm everywhere. The woman’s ghost would reform in time so Mara hadn’t lost her price forever only momentarily.
“It’s done, my lordship,” the daemon told him using the same heavily accented voice of the woman that lay dead a few feet from them. “Do you require anything more from me?” she whispered while caressing the face under the black hood.
He watched her, taking in every detail of the Empusa’s new physical appearance. The same dark eyes and long hair, skin tone and even the same curvy body of the now lifeless mortal. He smirked as he waved a hand to burn the corpse over the floor and hooked a finger under the chin of the new Miss Lady. “There may be something you can help me with…” the reaper said, gazing into her plump wet lips. “And I have time to spare.”