Michel walked through the white halls with one goal. Find his mistress and tell her what had happened and try to change her mind. It was not the first time he had tried to reason with the old bat, and Michel knew he would probably be wasting valuable time, but he had to try.
“You dare show your face here when you practically handed her to that monster!” a voice hissed with so much venom it stopped Michel short.
He had his enemies, but none ever talked to him with this much disrespect. They knew better. When he found the source, his eyes narrowed. The blue eyed, blonde hair beauty that men would sell their soul for stood glaring at him with so much hatred Michel was surprised that he was still standing. As it was, he knew her beauty was a façade. Inside there was an ugliness that defied logic.
“Why are you not out looking for them?”
“Careful, Lucinda. My patience is running thin today,” he warned starting back down the hall. “Besides, we don’t know where Zara and Damien are. All we know is they are not on Earth.”
“All the more reason to be out there,” she hissed pointing at a nearby window, “looking and not in here on some fool’s errand!”
“The universe is a big place, Lucinda. It is going to take time to search it all,” Michel growled.
“Time is one thing we no longer have,” Lucinda muttered.
“What are you talking about?” Michel asked stopping and staring at her.
“Nothing that concerns you,” she said dismissively. “What I want to know is how you could have been so careless. The one place she needed to stay away from was the one place she was dragged into? You should have known she would find a way back to Fallon sooner or later,” Lucinda said in disgust. “She always returns to one of them.”
“One, Fallon was not the one who found her, Damien was. Two, she had no idea how or why she was in Lucifer’s realm or who any of us were.”
“Damien, Fallon or that idiot Gideon. Does it matter which one? Somehow they always reconnect no matter what obstacles we put in in front of them,” she scoffed with a dismissive wave of her hand. “Why Godiva created any of them and put the fate of the universe in their hands I will never understand. They’ve been nothing but a pain in our backsides from the beginning,” Lucinda hissed.
“After all we’ve been through you still believe Godiva created Zara and Damien?” Michel asked stopping to look at her with his eyebrows raised.
“Of course she did,” Lucinda scoffed as if he were daft. “In the beginning there was good and evil. Godiva and Santon. They divided the realms into two separate spaces. One for her and one for him. Balance. It wasn’t until Zara and Damien came along that it all became the convoluted mess it is now. To believe otherwise is blasphemy.”
Closing his eyes, Michel rubbed his face with one hand. How easy it was to forget when it suited ones beliefs. Michel had to remind himself that Lucinda, as old as she was, was not there in the beginning. Neither was he, at least not when time literally began, but he was one of the few who had been created shortly after Godiva and Santon. It had been a time of learning, of creating, of mistakes and triumphs. Then it all changed.
Lies, deceit, betrayal. All new concepts to those of them who had no reason to believe someone close, loved without condition could become spiteful, vindictive. While Santon had crossed many lines when he pursued Zara, he never hid his intentions. They all knew what he wanted. It was why Gideon and Fallon were brought into the fold. The real betrayal came from Godiva. A fact few knew, and even fewer knew the particulars. Lucinda was one that knew that something had happened, but thought the real culprit to be Santon. And why not? He was the embodiment of evil.
Still, lips will whisper and rumors run rampant. Even in the heavens.
“Whether you choose to believe it or not, Zara and Damien are the beginning, Lucinda. Two halves of a whole who cannot survive without the other. The soul of the universe itself. To ask which of them came first is like asking whether the chicken or the egg came first? No one will really know the answer to that question, although they will spend hours, even years arguing about it.”
“You don’t really believe that, do you?’ Lucinda asked taken back by Michel’s sincerity.
Michel sighed, pushing his hair back from his face. “I don’t know what I believe anymore,” he sighed wearily. “We’ve played this game so many times over the course of our existence it is wearing thin.” Like his patience, he thought frowning.
“Well, they know who they are now. What they are capable of, and Santon is determined that this time it goes his way. I for one did not go through all the scheming, lying and secret keeping from She Who Knows Everything just to have that bastard take the victory out of our hands,” Lucinda snarled.
“You honestly think either of them did not know what we’ve done? If you believe that you are blinder to the truth than I thought. The spell was to powerful, to costly, for them not to notice it being cast. No. They knew something had happened when we hid her in the human realm. Even in human form they were drawn to her like a moth to flame. It would only be a matter of time before Godiva put two and two together and came up with deceit within her ranks. The question is, does our mistress know who was involved and what will she do to us?” It was rather satisfying to watch the color drain from Lucinda’s face. “Now if you will excuse me, I have a report to give.”
Lucinda grabbed his arm as he turned to walk away.
“You should know she is not alone.”
Michel frowned, not understanding what Lucinda was trying to tell him. Then his eyes widen in shock and he took a step back. Close on the heels of that was a rage so fine the air around him began to sizzle with heat. “What is he doing here?” he snarled stepping towards Lucinda who wisely took a healthy step back.
“Baking cookies, what do you think he’s doing here?” Lucinda snapped, although the contempt behind her words were laced with a bit of wariness. Michel’s easy demeanor, brilliant blue eyes, charming smile hid a viscous killer who relished the bloodshed of his enemies when the right buttons where pushed. And Santon pushed all those buttons at once. “He’s here to see his sister. After all he has done, how she still thinks she can save him is beyond me.” Her eyes moved past Michel, down the hall where their mistress’s apartments lay. “Lucifer is a playground bully compared to that one.”
Michel’s eyes moved to where Lucinda glared. Where he agreed with the goddess and her assessment of Santon, the biggest difference was Lucifer, in all his misguided stupidity, knew his place. Santon had never been able to learn that lesson.
“Be careful,” Lucinda’s soft voice echoed in the hall. Michel turned his frown towards her, realizing what he was hearing was not the creature before him talking, but prophecy. “If you confront them in their place of power, you will lose everything you hold dear. Tread carefully, dear one, for the purity of your soul hinges on the choice you will make.”
With those ominous words, Lucinda vanished leaving Michel with a chill that reached into his bones.
Copyright © 2018 Heidi Barnes