My eyes lift to the angel's face and even through all his beauty, I can see some unnamed masked emotion behind his lovely features. He is not used to such an intimate conversation. He probably has not thought back to his days as a human for many a years.
"But my angelic name is Tobiah," he says directly after, his voice stronger and more confident. "So you will refer to me as such."
I think back to my bible lessons as a child. Tobiah roughly translates to "God is good," and was given as such to a hero who helped defeat a demon. Fitting, I suppose, given the circumstances.
"Tobiah," I repeat, feeling the name across my tongue and lips. "I like it."
Tobiah looks at me again, clearly uncomfortable with the way this conversation has turned. He brings his eyes to the small box on my bed and gives his head a hesitant nod.
"You disobeyed me, Stella."
All kindness, all gentleness in his voice has vanished. The menacing angel in the sky has returned and is glaring down at me. Tobiah moves another step away from me and crosses his arms over his massive chest. His golden hair moves softly against his forehead as a warm ocean breeze enters through my bedroom window.
I don't know what it is about this angel but I can't seem to keep my eyes off of him. Tobiah closes his eyes in concentration and right before my eyes, his wings start to emerge. His wings are pearled, gossamer, and thick. They put my wings to shame.
And yet again my confidence is grated down like a block of cheese into just shreds of what it used to be. I feel I don't deserve to be in his presence. He is a man of Heaven, a man of God. And I…..I am a demon-halfing, doomed to spend an eternity in Hell, an eternity of entrapment, an eternity of Evil.
"I will leave you be now Stella, to open your box and allow you to mourn. I warned you I would not take this duty lightly. My command to you remains: stay away from Evan."
At that the angel claps his hands and in a burst of sparkling bright light, he evaporates into thin air. The remnants of his smell cling to my room and the air around me. I inhale deeply, just once, to give my mind some peace.
My focus turns to the black box the angel has left on my bed. It's a small box, perhaps only six inches long and four inches wide. It has no fancy markings or trimmings, but has a sleek look to it. I scoot closer to it and my nose scrunches in disgust. Sulfur, pain, agony, and burning. It smells like Hell.
I move my hands to the side of the box, my heart hammering inside my chest. The angel said he 'left me to mourn.' What on earth did he mean? I tip the lid of the box open, my head leaning forward to get a better look.
The box's lid feels like fire in my hands and I push it off entirely. I look into the box and there's a sinking feeling deep within my chest. Molten lava fills up the bottom two inches of the box, moving in a steady, unbending pattern. Atop the lava is a demon, so charred and so small it could easily fit in the palm of my hand.
Tears cascade down my cheeks as I reach into the box to touch the tiny hand of the demon. It disintegrates at my touch and falls into the molten lava below. The demon inside me is livid, running rampant in my mind. She is clawing at me to get out, to seek vengeance for this injustice.
I look at the tiny demon again, so very much like the one that resides within me now. This demon is not just any ordinary demon….it is my demon's soul mate. And with demons like these, like mine, they must have a human host to live in for an eternity. When demon and human are split apart, both die immediately. The process is painful, cruel, and very difficult. But it can be done.
And it has been done. To Stephan.
It is Stephan's demon that is now burnt and dead in that box. And that means Stephan is dead as well. I close the box and scream, my sadness and agony more powerful than I'd ever imagined it would be. My demon is wailing inside my head at the loss of her male counterpart. And while my human side isn't as sad as my demon side, I still feel a growing surge of loneliness and misery that I have not felt in a very long time.
Stephan may not have been the greatest guy in the world. No, he was more like the worst. But he was mine. He was my demon's soul mate. And now he was gone. Forever.