Paper and Fire, Angel and Liar

Paper and Fire, Angel and Liar

Status: Finished

Genre: Young Adult

Houses:

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Young Adult

Houses:

Summary

"'It’s so strange, that you died that particular month,' Peter whispered.
'Poetic, I would say,' he heard her voice behind, after a tiny gust of wind, 'Why did you call me?'"
The first instalment of the Unholy Runaway series, we are taken to the very beginning, where a dissatisfied with his life young man decides to summon a demon, to try to live the remainder of his life in comfort by selling his soul. However, he finds that a certain agreement between demons ruined his plans almost completely, as well as got him into a tricky situation.
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Summary

"'It’s so strange, that you died that particular month,' Peter whispered.
'Poetic, I would say,' he heard her voice behind, after a tiny gust of wind, 'Why did you call me?'"
The first instalment of the Unholy Runaway series, we are taken to the very beginning, where a dissatisfied with his life young man decides to summon a demon, to try to live the remainder of his life in comfort by selling his soul. However, he finds that a certain agreement between demons ruined his plans almost completely, as well as got him into a tricky situation.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Chapter 1: You Don't Know Me

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 16, 2017

Reads: 40

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 16, 2017

A A A

A A A

Click.  Puff.  Click.  Beep.  A shaky hand reached for a huge porcelain cup under a coffee machine; the hand belonged to a young man, wearing blue pajamas with stars, wizard hats and magic wands.  His face was a rather ordinary one, with blue eyes and just a tiny bit of freckles on his cheeks, small nose and a red mark on his forehead, in a strange zigzag shape.  His looks have to be given credit though, as, despite his real age, at present he looked barely sixteen. 

A sound of door closing somewhere.  The young man didn’t waste any time, and after taking a few sips, left the cup on the kitchen table and ran back to his room.  As soon as he made it there, he took one end of the dusty round carpet shaped like a flower, and in one swift motion turned it upside down, revealing a black pentagram on the underside.  This rapid air movement caused a couple of used matches and an empty lighter to fall from the small nightstand near his double bed.

But he didn’t mind, and in one fluid motion dove under it.  He emerged shortly, the color of his pajamas gaining a grayish hue from a thin layer of dust covering him head to toe, as he was holding another lighter in his right hand (just like the empty one lying in the corner), a small box of crayons in the other, and a dirty polyethylene bag of wax candles by its corner with his teeth.

He then hurriedly proceeded to put the candles on the pentagram.  Needless to say, they refused to stand, and the young man swore quietly, as he grabbed the lighter and, melting their bottom sides, put them on every intersection and corner possible.  Some still fell, and he had to repeat the procedure with those again.

As soon as he was finished, the young man realized, he had forgotten his book on the bed, and effectively cut himself from it.  Swearing a little louder, he walked there and back again across the carpet, knocking a few of the candles down in the process.  Quickly opening the correct page, he then started to copy the symbols from the book with green crayon to the different sections of the pentagram.  Just as he was about to finish, he spotted those few knocked candles, and, with a sigh, put them back into upright position.

He paused, overlooking the room.  The black pentagram with green symbols and ordinary, yellow-white candles looked impressive.  Huh, he never thought that color choice would look so good.

Still holding the book close to his eyes, he started to read the spell in Latin.  Nobody knows, why you had to summon demons in Latin (and that’s what he was about to do), and he wasn’t about to start asking such questions.The tricky part was that he had to light all the candles while reading the spell, and that was further complicated by the fact that he had wasted all the matches to make the pentagram.  And anyone who tried to light a vertically standing candle with a lighter would know that this was a little awkward, so he had to read the spell really, really slowly.  Upon lighting the last candle, he pronounced the last words of the spell in a patter, as he, with his slow reading, was a little behind his motions.

“None of this went according to plan!” he thought, as he waited for the spell to reach Hell.  It didn’t take long, and the flower-shaped carpet lit with the red glow that was seemingly coming from the very fabric itself.

“Azkabal, the fifteenth demon of sloth, I summon you before myself!” he shouted, and, as if obeying his command, the only window in his room burst open, letting in a breeze of unusually cold air for the spring day outside.  The pentagram exploded with smoke, and he coughed.

As soon as the smoke started to clear away, he saw something he definitely didn’t expect.  Lying in the middle of the carpet in his room was a most beautiful, red-skinned woman he had ever seen.  Well, he hadn’t seen many red-skinned women before.  Not one actually.

Her full lips, shiny black with lipstick (“Do they even have lipstick in Hell?” a thought raced through his mind) looked especially gorgeous, when they parted to reveal flawless rows of white teeth with extended canines, abnormally long for a human, but still pretty short for a vampire; small and somehow cute nose along with thin yet perfectly shaped eyebrows accentuated the eyes well.  And what kind of eyes were they! You could stare in these eyes for days and weeks, months and years – an eternity even; it was like looking into the heart of a volcano – bright sparks of yellow and orange swirled, bursted, died and were constantly re-ignited in the deepest ocean of pure black void.  Small, barely visible rings of white still gave away to any observer where the owner of the eyes was looking at the moment.  Her bob cut hair was of the same black color as her lips and eyebrows, and two dark-brown, sharp, yet small, slightly rounded horns protruded from under it.

The lucky (Or unlucky? It was hard to tell at this point) summoner gulped, as he caught himself staring.  Shifting his gaze, he became even more restless, as he looked at her body.

Without speaking of any particulars, her body looked amazing.  Perfectly shaped lissome legs ended in small feet, with thin spikes sticking out of her heels, by the looks of them – of same material as her horns.

And she was stark naked.  But you had to give it to the young man – he kept his composure quite well, his only reaction being a couple drops of sweat racing down his temples.

“Who… Who are you?” he stammered.  He obviously made a mistake; maybe he read the wrong spell? Wait, no, then the summoning wouldn’t have worked.  He couldn’t summon the wrong demon, could he? Besides, maybe this wasn’t so bad after all…

Moving slowly, cat-like, she stretched her back, causing her summoner to gasp, then turned her head to him, blinked her magnificent eyes in the same slow manner and gently as whisper, said in a deep, husky voice:

“Idiot.”

The young man went wide-eyed.  Just what were you supposed to say in circumstances like these?

“Are you Azkabal, the fifteenth demon of sloth?” he managed.

“Listen, kid,” she said and bit her lip, while swaying her hair to the side with her right hand, “Do I look like I am?”

“You demons can change shape!” he declared as he stuck a finger at her accusingly. He wished he was as sure of his words as he tried to look.  However, she nodded at that.

“True.  But do you think male demons would still be looking like that when summoned?” she queried, raising an eyebrow.

“How would I know?” the young man replied, “You’re my first… demon!”

“Is that so?” the corner of her mouth curved in smile just for a second, “Okay, let me tell you then – I am not Azkabal.”

“How could I have made a mistake? I’ve been planning this for months! Okay, stay calm, stay calm.  I need information, and if she can’t help me – I need to get her out of here as soon as possible!” he thought, “On second thought, it would be a good idea to get her out of here anyway.”

“So what hun?” she said, nonchalantly throwing one leg over the other, “What was it you wanted a demon for?”

“But you’re not a demon of sloth,” the young man said.

“Well, I’m sure we can come to some sort of agreement,” she said, winking at him, and then added, after letting out a long sigh, “You are quite a handsome young man…”

Despite a show she was putting for him, he turned away.

“It doesn’t matter,” he whispered through gritted teeth, his hands clenched into fists.

“Now listen here, you,” she said in a different tone, “Lonely loser! You should be grateful I even tried to make a pact with you, only kings and warlords got that honor before!”

“What do you even know about me, to call me names?” he said as he turned back to face her.  Instead of a small man in blue pajamas, there was now a man with steel in his voice and piercing stare in his eyes.  He was still wearing the same pajamas however, but now he wore it in a much more dignified and proud manner.

“Well, happy people don’t summon demons,” she said with unladylike snort, “Besides this place doesn’t look like a palace or a temple.”

“Well, I-” he started and stopped, when he heard noise outside.  A distinct beep of a car alarm being set.

“Oh no,” he broke out in cold sweat, “I will talk to you later!”

He swiftly grabbed his book from the floor nearby.

Priinceps gloriosissime cælestis militiæ,” he read quickly.

“Not gonna work,” she put in, yawning lazily, “The one for me should be somewhere at the end.”

Sancte Michaël Archangele, defende-” he stopped reading, looking at her wide-eyed “Wait what?”

“To banish me you need a different chant, asshole,” she said and flared her nostrils.

“Wait, you actually want me to banish you?” he said, amused.

“You think I wanna stay here?” it was her turn to show him her back now.

“But I don’t know which one it is,” he whined, and shook visibly as the door closed somewhere.

“Peter!” a loud female voice called somewhere in the house.

“Crap!” he said, trying to swear as quietly as possible.

And there would probably be no story to tell, if he hadn’t made one grave mistake.  He stepped into the pentagram and pushed her out of there towards the other end of the room, to his wardrobe.  She turned her face to him, her eyes so wide in amusement that they looked like giant yellow gemstones, her mouth open in astonishment.  But he would have none of it.

“Hide, now!” he ordered as he pushed her towards the closet.

“What can be so scary, that-” she hissed as he shoved her inside the wardrobe.

“Mom,” he said, and closed the wardrobe door, despite her protests.

 “Peter, be a dear and help your dad with the bags,” a voice could be heard right outside the room.

“Not a sound, and don’t even think about going out, you hear me?” Peter whispered threateningly at the crack in the wardrobe doors.  He quickly went to the middle of the room, picked up the rug and turned it upside down, in order to hide the pentagram; he was not mindful about all the candles still on it, and they ended up everywhere in room – in the corners, on nightstand and bed, even under it.  Without even a backwards glance at a chaos in his room, he went out.

He wasn’t away for too long, and soon came back, this time wearing a puffer coat over his pajamas.  He quickly made his way to the wardrobe.

“Stay there just a little more, please,” he said.  He didn’t sound so sure this time.  She wondered if he, after having some time to think, began to understand what really happened.  Shortly, there were quick footsteps outside the room, and she could see a woman entering.  First impression was of a happy… ball.  She was short, not exactly fat, but rather plump, red-cheeked and with a lot more freckles on her face than Peter; and she was smiling. 

“Oh dear, Peter, what happened here?” she asked her son.  Her smile didn’t look like anything special apart from the fact it seemed to be as important as any other her feature – without any doubt you could say she carried it everywhere she went and could hardly be seen without it.  Right now however, she tried to look at her son with a serious expression, who, after adopting a sheepish look on his face, replied with a cunning lie.

“I was just practicing to make a surprise for Mike’s birthday,” he said nonchalantly, “Did you know that it’s a torture to use the lighter for candles? Matches are way faster and more convenient…”

“Silly boy,” she replied, patting him on the shoulder, and instantly put her smile back on, “These candles are way too big to put them on the birthday cake, besides, I was thinking of ordering one of those candles in shape of numbers, so as to spare everyone the trouble of counting them.  Now, be a good boy and clean this mess up, and come to dinner – mommy’s bought steak today!”

Halfway to the door she stopped and turned back at him, her expression serious again.

“I called Mr. Renfield, but he said they don’t need more employees.  I trust you are still searching for a job?” she inquired, trying to look Peter in the eyes.

“Yes, mom,” Peter replied, avoiding her gaze.

“Good! It does a man no credit to live off his parents at the age of twenty-four, so keep searching,” she put her smile on again, and marched out of the room.

Peter wiped the sweat from his forehead, and crash-landed on his bed.  There he was lying, a vacant expression on his face, when he felt something lightly touching his hair.  At first he just extended a hand and tried to grab whatever it was, but didn’t find anything.  Then, when same thing lightly touched his thumb, he turned his head and startled.

“Oh, it’s you,” his expression became softer and more tired, “I didn’t hear you coming out.”

“I didn’t,” she said.

The demoness from earlier was squatting beside his bed, a small feather in her hand, her black fingernails gleaming as she tickled him with it.  She looked different now, for one, she was shorter and generally smaller, her facial features also became more crowded on her face.  From sexy seductress she now looked like a teenager, a teenager with horns, tail, and red skin.  Her naked form was concealed under a gray t-shirt which was too big for her, and reached halfway to her thighs.

“Is that supposed to be a lightning?” she said, as she tickled the red zigzag mark on his forehead.

“No, it’s a ‘Z’” he replied, “My nephew, Mike, hit me with a corner of his alphabet board full of plastic letters after he went bankrupt playing monopoly with me.”

“You, humans, never cease to amaze me,” she mused.

Peter turned away from her.

“Why?” he groaned.

“What exactly do you mean?” she asked.

“Why were you summoned instead of Azkabal?” he clarified.

“Oh, well,” she paused, gathering her thoughts, and explained “It’s this new idea most of the succubi agreed to.  Since the population on Earth grew so dramatically in recent years, we were summoned non-stop, to cater to sexual desires of… Let’s just say, displeased part of rapidly increasing male population.  While it was good for our business, most of us got bored and overworked, and wanted to go back to the good working hours we used to have before.”

“So you switched places with less popular demons, is that it?” Peter tried to guess, and raised his head to look at her.

“In a nutshell, yes.  Do you know when was the last time someone summoned Azkabal, for example?” she asked, studying her fingernails, and not waiting for an answer, looked at Peter again seriously and said “Five hundred years ago.  While I was summoned over ten times each day.”

“Wow, I had no idea,” Peter admitted, letting his head fall back on the bed.

“Why did you need Azkabal anyway?” she asked him, as she resumed tickling him with the feather.

“Did you hear that little piece about finding a job when my mom was here?” Peter answered her question with a question, and he too didn’t wait for a reply “I hoped that in the name of sloth, he could do something about it.”

“You don’t want to work?” she allowed a tiny bit of disgust enter her voice.

“Why should I?!” he lifted his torso from the bed, half-standing half-sitting and, trying to look impressive, spoke loudly “All my life I’ve been working hard, first in school, then in college, don’t I have a right to rest? I believe-”

“Peter, is something wrong?” a distant voice of his mother inquired.

“No mom, I’m just rehearsing!” he shouted, and heard a strange sound.  Turning his head around, he found the source of strange noise – the demoness chuckled.

“What are you laughing at, filthy hellspawn?” he said, insulted by being a laughing stock.  And to whom? A demon!

“You try so hard to conceal my existence from your mom,” she stared him square in the eyes, “Especially considering that you got to live only a few minutes.”

She quietly chuckled again.

“Wh-h-ha?..” Peter shook visibly and looked at her, “What? Why?”

“Silly, you either banish a demon, or you at least leave it in the pentagram,” she explained calmly, but her eyes looked dead serious, at least for Peter “If you do something as stupid as to push the demon out of the circle, it can, for example, rip your heart out just like that.”

She clicked her fingers, and laughed in amusement when he twitched in panic.

“Of course, I’m not as vulgar as that,” she continued, “If I kill you, you automatically become a martyr and your soul will go to heaven.  Instead I’m just going to consume it.”

Her normally yellow eyes became lit with the red glow.

“This won’t hurt… Much,” she said, grabbing him by the shoulders.

Peter, to his vast surprise, found that he couldn’t move at all! She walked around the bed to stand in front him, and lowered her head to his eye-level.

“Oh, don’t look at me with those pleading puppy eyes.  If you really must know,” she lowered her mouth to his ear, “I am truly sorry it came to this.  At least before we had a chance to have some fun…”

She drew back from him and smiled.

“After all, it’s just my job, you understand.  But wait,” her smile broadened “You never had a job, did you? Well, no point in delaying the inevitable.”

He saw her hand glowing with same inner red light like her eyes and in the next moment she reached with it for his chest, her hand going right through his puffer coat as if it weren’t there.

Peter felt her touching his nipple… and nothing.  He turned his head to look at her quizzically and noticed he could move again.  But his surprise was nothing compared to hers. The demoness removed her hand and made a few steps back, her eyes full of disbelief and confusion.  She looked at him, then at her glowing hand, then at him again.

“Who… What are you?” she managed, licking her lips nervously.

“Er-r-r-r,” Peter scratched the back of his head, “A human, I think?..”

“I doubt that,” she replied, and narrowed her eyes at him.  She flourished her hands in some weird pattern in his direction, and a few small yellow lightnings left her fingers, and hit Peter in the chest.  Surprised, he fell on the bed with a few indistinct sounds.  She smiled.

“Hey, what was that for?” Peter said as he lifted his torso and raised an eyebrow in her direction, “It tickles, a lot actually.”

A smile left her face.

“I don’t understand!” she declared and turned away from him to stare at the wall.

“Women…” sighed Peter and sat on the edge of the bed, and spoke quietly to himself “Okay, think what to do with her...  Think!”

He rubbed his forehead for some time, while she was still standing there, studying the wallpaper pattern.

“What’s your name?” he inquired, after the silence became rather uncomfortable.

She gazed at him with mixed expression, which somehow combined the fear of a cornered animal, curiosity and that special kind of resentment, unique for females everywhere.

“Vallarixia,” she replied after a long pause, “But friends call me Pixie.”

“I didn’t know demons had friends,” Peter said.

“I didn’t know humans found a way to resist demon magic,” she replied venomously, as if it was his fault he didn’t die or surrender his soul.

“I don’t know what went wrong!” he offered an excuse, but then remembered, that it was after all his soul they were talking about, “Besides, you tried to kill me! And now you blame me it didn’t work?”

She turned up her nose at him.

“At least I was playing by the rules!” she scoffed.

“You tried to kill me!” Peter repeated.

“So what?” she said.

“Well, life’s precious and all that,” Peter waved a hand and furrowed his brows at her.

“Says who?” she asked him again, her arms akimbo.

“Everyone knows that!” Peter almost shouted, and realized his mistake too late.

“Is there someone with you Peter?” a male voice inquired from the depth of the apartment.

“Wait here,” he said, putting his arms palms front in a pacifying gesture, and left the room. 

He came back in about ten minutes, and found that the demoness changed again.  She became even smaller, and was currently bundled in his blanket on the bed with her tail sticking out at an odd angle, reading a fashion magazine while wearing ridiculously big round glasses.  Peter could only wonder where she got them and the magazine from.

“What do you think you’re doing?” he questioned her, clearly displeased, “And what if someone comes in?”

“I will just erase my presence from their mind,” she replied in a childish voice, a lot different from the one she used before, “Besides, you left me here with nothing to do.  I’m not your wife you know to patiently wait until you come back.”

“Fair enough,” he said, as he sighed and landed on the floor beside her, hugging his knees, “So what now?”

“Why do you ask me?” she peered at him from behind her round glasses, “It’s not like it was me who broke the rules.  Twice.”

She looked so ridiculous and cute that he couldn’t help but smile.

“Watcha grinnin’ at?” she squeaked at him.

Peter couldn’t contain himself anymore, and burst out laughing.  She looked at him curiously and patiently waited until he stopped.

“So what can you do? As a demon I mean?” he asked, still smiling.

“A lot of things, depends on what you need,” she replied, and put her index finger on her chin, so she looked a lot like a small nerdy kid.  If nerdy kids could have a red-colored skin, horns and a tail, that is.

“Well, I don’t want to work, you know that already,” he reminded her.

“Hm-m-m-m…” she looked thoughtful, “Come to think of it, I could arrange that…”

“And what would happen?” Peter asked her, “You can’t take my soul, so what else can I trade?”

“Oh, that is not a problem,” she assured him, “The fact that I can’t take your soul doesn’t mean you can’t give it willingly, or trade it.”

“What’s it worth then? Twenty years? Thirty?”

“You misunderstood me,” she clarified in that high-pitched voice “I’m not a demon of sloth to make such a deal, but I can offer a different contract, and as a result, you will be free of work for another… Let’s just say for many years to come.”

“And in the end?” Peter raised his head to look her in the eyes, his expression unreadable “You take my soul, right?”

“Well, in theory, yes,” she conceded “But it will be sort-of up to you when the moment comes.”

“So it can be even eighty years or something?”

“If you last that long,” she grinned, showing the multitude of her shiny white teeth.

“Now wait a moment,” Peter said, and his expression changed, “I remember reading a book about something like that.”

“Oh, you mean him.  Yes, there was but one mortal who made such a pact before,” she nodded, and grinned again “He didn’t last.” Her expression became a little sour, “Still, he tricked his way out of going to Hell in the end.”

“What makes you think I won’t do the same?” he inquired.

She bit her lip, managed to free one hand from the blanket, pushed herself closer to the edge of the bed and patted him on the cheek.

“Because he was a man, the man,” she said very gently, “And you are-”

“What?! What am I?” he snapped and she recoiled, “You don’t know me!”

“You are just a kid,” she said, but without much emotion.

“I’m twenty-four!”

“You can be over fifty and still be a kid inside,” she reasoned, adjusting her glasses and wrapping herself in the blanket again.  Once done, she turned her attention back to the magazine, “Suit yourself.  You can still banish me with the appropriate chant, you know.”

“Why?” he asked defiantly after a pause “Why do you offer me such a deal?”

“Well, we got a stalemate here for one,” she answered, “A non-standard situation.  I’m supposed to consume your soul, but I can’t.”

“Lucky me,” Peter put in bitterly.

“Two – because this is interesting and exciting,” for the first time he saw a real emotion, close to a human one on her face, “Imagine working as an aircraft pilot for years, and then you are suddenly offered to pilot a spaceship.”

Her eyes gleamed behind her glasses.

“Just thinking, that for this contract I will have to summon the powers of the fallen angel…” her expression became dreamy.

“What? You mean the big guy himself?” Peter looked at her with disbelief.

“Yes!” she enthused, “I’ve never done this before you know.”

“Fine!” Peter got up, “What are the conditions?”

“Oh, you mean it?” she chirped, freeing herself from the blanket.  “Well, listen,” she started to explain, “You have to say something like ‘This is what I lived for’ or ‘This is what I wanted all along’ in a meaningful way to me, this will signify the end of the deal.”

“Does it mean I have to watch what I’m saying to you all the time?” Peter asked.

“Bah, no, this won’t work if your heart’s not in it,” she continued, “And it works in reverse too – if you really feel that way but don’t say anything, the deal is over as well.”

“How much time do I have?”

“An eternity,” she smiled, looking up at him from the bed “But you will get bored eventually.  Besides, this will be a nice vacation for me, since I will be free of my duties for the duration.”

“So do I sign a contract with blood or something?” Peter was sweating, but mostly because he was still wearing a puffer coat over his pajamas, and the room was quite warm as it was.

“Wow, no, that’s retro-style,” she creeped closer, “We do it with a kiss, especially in the succubi department.”

“Um, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that,” he gestured at her appearance.

“Just give me a moment,” she said with a smirk.

It looked as if a white wave went through her body, and she changed.  In the blink of an eye, the seductress was back, and more.  A pair of giant bat-like leathery black wings extended from her back, and she wasn’t naked this time - and that was quite an outfit.  All of it was made from same, shiny black material, and included a pair of gloves reaching as high as her elbows, a thin stylish choker on the neck, corset-like top, a miniskirt and some sort of strappy sandals with only half a sole, which allowed her to stand on her natural high heels.

Peter’s expression changed into a slightly more sheepish one.  It was after all, what he requested, but…

She didn’t waste any time, and came closer to lean on him, gently stroking the back of his neck with her gloved hand, sending shivers down his spine.  Her smell overwhelmed his senses for a second and was gone the next one – it was a light and elusive, yet sweet scent, reminiscent slightly of vanilla.  In one fluid motion, she wrapped her wings around them, and looked him in the eyes.

“What are you waiting for?” she mouthed, almost without making any sound at all.

For one crazy moment Peter’s world revolved around a pair of glossy black lips; he saw his own reflection staring back at him from those magnificent demonic eyes.  The time itself stopped.

And then he kissed her.


© Copyright 2017 Robert Grey. All rights reserved.

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