“Kaelynn. Wake up. You need to wake up.”
A loud clanging noise broke into Kaelynn’s subconscious. She came to slowly, drifting a little as she struggled to open her eyes. “Hayden?”
Her lips moved soundlessly for a moment. “Gabriel?”
“Lucifer,” she whispered, finally opening her eyes.
His face wavered in front of her. He was grinning widely. “Miss me?”
Kaelynn closed her eyes tightly, willing him to be gone. When she opened them, however, he still loomed above her. He reached down and flicked the tip of her nose. “Satisfied? I’m completely real.”
Kaelynn groaned. “Go away.”
He clucked his tongue at her. “Not gonna happen.” He dropped down to sit cross-legged by her head.
Kaelynn tried to push herself up on her elbows, but a searing pain radiated from her left arm, and she found she was tied down. Her arms were strapped at her sides, strap was pulled taunt across her midsection, and both of her legs were strapped above her knees and at her ankles.
Lucifer raised an eyebrow at her. “This way you can’t run away again. That was very bad of you, hurting my poor friend.”
“You don’t have any friends,” Kaelynn spat.
Lucifer winced theatrically. “Well that was hurtful.”
Kaelynn heard the clanging sound again. It was coming from behind her head. She tried to crane around to see what it was but couldn’t. Lucifer held her chin between two of his fingers, forcing her to look at him. “You and I are gonna have a little talk.”
“Why would I want to talk to you?”
“Aww. Don’t you like me?”
“No,” Kaelynn said angrily.
“I thought we had a spark.”
“You tricked me.”
“Did I?” He trailed a finger up her arm. Since she couldn’t pull away, she gritted her teeth. “Do you truly think I tricked you, or are you just trying to convince yourself?”
“You tricked me,” she repeated stonily.
He picked up her pinky finger, locking it with his. The clanging sound grew louder. Kaelynn glared at Lucifer and he let her go. “Fine, but how can you tell?”
Kaelynn knew that if she lied, the Earth wouldn’t open up and swallow her, but she also knew that lying was what Lucifer wanted so she decided to just tell the truth. “Because those feelings were fake.”
“But how do you know?” he pressed.
Kaelynn sighed. “Because I know what the real ones feel like.”
Lucifer grinned like a cat who had gotten the pet canary. “That’s all I needed to know.” He jumped to his feet and gestured to someone Kaelynn couldn’t see. “Raise her up.”
Kaelynn felt herself being pushed up and realized she was lying on some kind of platform. The leather straps dug into her body because they were the only things holding her up. The platform then began to turn. Lucifer danced around like a villain from a superhero movie. When Kaelynn saw what the clanging was, she had to bite her tongue to keep from crying out. Hayden was hanging from the ceiling. His feet didn’t touch the floor. The clanging came from him swinging his body back and forth trying to yank the chains out of the ceiling. He was shirtless. Blood dripped from where his flesh had torn at his wrists, and his torso was a mass of bruises. He had been beaten severely. There was a piece of cloth gagging him.
Kaelynn glared at Lucifer. “Let him go!”
Lucifer laughed loudly. “Why should I? I’m killing two birds with one stone here.” He gestured at Hayden. “He’s a pure angel. If he miraculously decides to change his allegiances, he’ll never be ale to overcome my persuasion. And you...” He waggled his eyebrows. “You like him! If you refuse to save yourself, the least you could do is save your boyfriend.”
“He isn’t my boyfriend.” It was the first thing that came to mind. Kaelynn was just trying to stall. Lucifer obviously loved to talk.
Lucifer, however, seemed to have different plans. He reached over and picked up a baseball bat. Then, two big guys came into Kaelynn’s line of sight. One of them knelt and grabbed Hayden’s thrashing legs. The other ripped away the gag. At first, Hayden didn’t say anything. As Hayden would up the bat, though, he snorted.
“I figured you’d have your goonies do your dirty work. I mean, that’s usually the way it’s gone. You wouldn’t want to mess up your manicure.”
He was rewarded for his sarcasm with a swift jab of the bat into his kidney. He bit his lip, refusing to cry out in pain. Kaleynn was proud of him. She hadn’t doubted him. Lucifer hit him again and again, but he didn’t even groan. When he finally stopped, Lucifer had worked up a light sweat. He frowned angrily at Hayden, who smiled at him with bloody teeth.
“Sorry, Lucy, you hit like a girl.”
Lucifer gritted his teeth angrily. “That may be your opinion, but I still have a few tricks up my sleeve. I’ll make you scream”
He gestured to the two men who had entered earlier. They had just stood off to the side, watching. Now, they each grabbed a flailing leg and strapped it to the wall behind Hayden. Lucifer reached into his pocket, drawing out a small, silver knife. That was when Kaelynn’s composure slipped.
“Don’t you dare touch him with that,” she spat angrily.
Lucifer smiled and very deliberately pulled the knife slowly across the flesh of Hayden’s chest. Hayden started thrashing around again. His head jerked back and forth. He had torn his lip open from biting it so hard, trying not to scream out in pain, and blood ran down his chin. Lucifer went to do it again and Kaelynn couldn’t take it.
“Stop!” she cried. The knife flew out of Lucifer’s hand.
Lucifer stared at the knife, lying on the ground across the room, with wide, astonished eyes. “That’s not possible,” he whispered. Then louder, “That’s not possible!”
He walked swiftly over to the knife and picked it up, then returned to stand in front of Kaelynn. “How did you do that?” Kaelynn glared at him. “How. Did. You. Do. That?” Lucifer seethed.
“I told you not to touch him,” Kaelynn replied evenly.
Lucifer’s face contorted in anger. His teeth were bared and his eyes glowed with a strange light. “You won’t ruin this for me. I will have both of you, I will have an army, and I will take over Heaven. You think your little tricks scare me?”
Suddenly, all of Kaelynn’s fears dropped away. Lucifer was just like a child, trying to hide his sadness behind a mask of anger. He was taking all of his frustrations out on others, trying to draw attention to himself.
Kaelynn shook her head. “You got all kinds of Daddy issues.”
His anger faded a little as uncertainty clouded his features then was gone. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“You know, this whole place reeks of desperation, but somehow you manage to stand out.”
His face turned red. Kaelynn was angering him. She wanted to. For two reasons. The first was, she was trying to give Hayden a chance to recover. He had lost a lot of blood and was hanging limply in his chains. The second reason why was because when Lucifer got angry, he got careless. She was hoping he would make a mistake that would benefit her.
Lucifer’s hands were clenched at his sides. One of them still clutched the small silver knife. “You’re pushing my limit.”
“You know what?” Lucifer growled, his anger clouding his judgment. “I think I just decided I don’t need both of you.”
Kaelynn’s eyes widened slightly. This wasn’t the direction she had hoped for the conversation to go. “You’re not going to kill me.”
“Oh?” He tilted his head and tapped his chin with the handle of the knife. “And why not?”
“Because you need me. If you kill me, you don’t get your soldiers. You’re stuck here forever.”
“True,” he agreed. There was an evil glint in his eyes. “But not if I kill him.”
In the blink of an eye, Lucifer flicked the knife at Hayden. Kaelynn screamed as the knife buried itself hilt-deep into Hayden’s chest.
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