Guess who's back, back again. Sophie's back, tell a friend.
Hello, my beautiful people. How are you? I believe that I have made you wait quite a while for this chapter, and I think I need to deliver it to you right now.
The song for this chapter is Don't Fear The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult.
We sped until nightfall in the Riviera. The entire ride I was frightened about the fact that an archangel stole a lethal book and gave it to a demon, which probably already delivered it to the King of Hell. It was scary how just a couple of weeks ago the thing I worried about most was to make enough money for the week from my two jobs, and now it was to save the entire world. I've had a couple more anxiety attacks, and Niall made me hold on to the air pump. Hey, it wasn't my fault that I didn't want the world to end.
I didn't really know where we were headed. Hopefully, it was to Tennessee. We really needed to get that book back.
I fell asleep and woke up screaming from nightmares about three times. The first time Niall made the car swivel from my sudden screams. We almost crashed into a tree. But I was fine later. When I woke up in the morning we were in a town with tall apartment buildings and small businesses. It looked like the neighbourhood I lived in in Queens. But this one was much nicer looking. Niall was still asleep next to me, looking like such an angel. A good angel.
That reminded me of the dream I had of the blond boy that looked like a fallen angel. The last time I had it was the night before I met Niall. I haven't had it since then. You know, Niall did remind me of that blond boy. A lot. From the colour of his hair to his bright blue orbs, to his beautiful inked skin...
Then it came to me. It hit me like a bulldozer. What Kayla and Adam had said to me was true. Niall was the boy in my repetitive dream. Oh, god. I never gave this much thought, but since I met Niall that evening at the diner I stopped having that dream. I didn't know what to think of this. How did I not see it earlier?
I jumped at the sound of my name. I didn't really know why. Niall woke up, looking groggy and so attractive with his messy hair and half-open eyes. I hope he didn't notice.
"Good morning," I said.
"Mornin'," he replied. "Ready?"
"We're going to see an old friend of mine. His name's Lloyd Jason. He should be able to tell us what we need to know about that asylum."
"Can't we just look it up?" I asked.
"Yeah, but wouldn't it be better to know the truth?" Niall said
"What makes you think that he knows the truth?" I questioned.
"His son was sent there when he was sixteen," Niall explained. "He had schizophrenia and saw things. If anyone knows anything about that place, it's Lloyd."
"But wouldn't it be easier if we asked his son?"
"Sure, if he was still alive."
Oh. That put things in a different perspective. I guess I knew how it felt to lose someone. My own grandmother died a few years back. But I guess it was different when your son was mentally challenged.
I noticed that it was already twelve at noon. How long have we been out? How long have I been out? I felt over rested, and I wondered whether that was a good thing or a bad thing.
We got out of the car, and Niall suggested we went somewhere to eat because he was starving. I couldn't blame him. We ate in a small café which was both good and filling. I was in the middle of drinking my coffee when Niall spoke up.
"I want to say something," he said, "about that... kiss."
I almost choked on my hot drink. What about the kiss? It was just a... kiss. Nothing more. Right?
"Wh-what about it?" I asked.
"Um..." I waited patiently for him to find the right words. "Let's not get too involved in that. I mean, it was just a one-time thing." I could see the hurt in his eyes. Did he... think of me in that way?
"I agree," I said. "Especially with all of this chaos with finding the book. Who knows what that can cause."
"I think we should take everything on step at a time," Niall continued. "It wouldn't be a good idea if this all lead up to sex. Well, sober sex."
This time I almost choked on my cheesecake. What the hell? Why would he say that?
"Y-yeah, we wouldn't want that..." I said. "But it's not like we would, right? I mean, we both understand that it would get in the way of things."
"Yeah, but apparently love has driven people crazy and into not caring about the consequences."
Did I just hear what I thought he said? Was he talking about the 'l' word? ...Love? No, it couldn't be. But then why else was he saying this stuff? I decided not to ask or add anything to the conversation. Instead, I changed the topic.
"So, the King if Hell," I said. "His name is Louis?"
"Yeah," Niall confirmed. "Louis Tomlinson. To be honest, I don't understand why he won't stick to his real name."
"What's his real name?"
When he said this, Niall tried to sound and look as professional as possible, but-
The second those words were said we both erupted in laughter. Wow, what a great name. Who the hell was this guy's mother?
"Richard Stroker?" I giggled. "As in... Dick Stroker? Jesus!"
"I know," Niall replied. "Who the hell names their child Dick Stroker?"
We continued to laugh some more, and soon enough we received glares from the people around us. It took us a while to recollect ourselves, and by then people around us were looking with annoyed expressions upon their faces.
"What about that demon's real name?" I asked.
"Demons didn't get names when they were created," Niall explained. "They get to choose them. So Zayn doesn't really have any other name."
Oh, that was actually pretty interesting. I had so my to learn, and so much of it was not written in Bobby's journal. All he wrote in there was information on monsters and other things he had hunted on his trips.
After our brunch, Niall and I went back to the car. He said that we should get going to Lloyd's if we wanted answers. Niall told me that he was a fifty-four-year-old drunk who lived by himself. When I asked why, he explained that his entire family died when he was thirteen, and when he got married and had kids they died as well. He said that Lloyd was cursed by a demon who he met when he was twelve. That demon cursed him with no family, and whatever real family he had would die. All because he wanted to save his dog.
"But why doesn't he kill the demon?" I asked. "Wouldn't that stop the curse?"
"That's a good question," Niall said. "I don't know why. I never asked."
My heart went out to the guy. Life must've been harsh for him. He had no family and if he tried to start one he would only put them next in line for death. If that were me, I would've definitely gone out for that demon.
Just as we got to the black Riviera, I began breathing hard again. It was hard to draw air, though this time I really don't know why. I wasn't nervous like before. I don't know where it came from. In a matter of seconds I began to wheeze, trying to take in the oxygen around me. It was hard. I heard Niall's calls, but they sounded weird, as if we were underwater. My vision began to blur and I felt this pain in my chest. What the hell was going on?
The next thing that happened was weird. I saw these flashes of a scene in my mind. It came in glimpses. All I could make out was a fire. Then a wall clock that read 12:20. Then, an image of Niall being driven to a hospital with tubes in his nose. What the hell?
Suddenly I felt air fill my lungs. It was so relieving. In a few seconds my headache and chest pain went away, as did my dizziness. I wondered how that happened. Then, I noticed something in my mouth. It was the air pump. Niall pumped air into my system. I was so grateful at that moment I literally gave him a hug. I felt him stiffen as I took him by surprise. To be honest, even I was surprised. He softened though, and hugged me back. It was a warm, comfortable, and his smell lingered around me. I didn't want him to let me go.
"Are you all right?" Niall asked. I was aware of his worry towards me. Not the one because of the lack of oxygen that gets into my lungs, but because I was hugging him pretty tightly. He knew that there was more to my "asthma attack". But I was too afraid to tell him. What if he didn't believe me? What if he thought I was going crazy?
"Yeah," I said. "Thanks." There was no way I was telling him. At least not yet. "Let's just go."
Niall looked at me suspiciously, as if he knew I was hiding something. He was probably onto me, but I didn't care. If this happened again, I would tell him. Maybe I was just hallucinating. Hopefully it was that and nothing more.
After that little scene, Niall and I went to Lloyd's. Turned out his place was not far from the café that we ate in. Lloyd lived in a ten-floor apartment building on Main St. The building was made out of pale bricks and had benches and planted flowers outside. It all looked so cute. The lobby was brightly lit with pleasant-to-the-eyes lights and it smelled like lemon drops. The security man welcomed us and asked us if we were visiting someone. When Niall told him that we were here to see Lloyd Jason he looked surprised, saying that no one ever visited Lloyd Jason. Niall told him that we know and that we are children of a couple of Lloyd's old friends. Still the security guard looked suspicious, but he let us go.
Niall and I made it to the fifth floor and walked up to the door to Lloyd's apartment. When Niall knocked, we got no answer. We waited a few seconds but still no one came to open the door. After a couple more unsuccessful attempts Niall picked the lock and walked inside, with me trailing behind.
What we were met with in Lloyd's apartment contrasted heavily to the rest of the building. The stench of alcohol was sticky in the air, causing me to scrunch my nose in disgust. The place itself wasn't pretty physically, either. Beer bottles were strewn across the apartment, some even shattered. A pizza box was in one corner of the room, whereas clothes were littered all over the floor. The wallpaper looked like it once was a bright blue and yellow colour with cute flowers printed on it, but that was now dark. This was a pretty small apartment by itself, and with everything all over the place it looked even smaller. The television was on and showed some soap opera I was not familiar with. There was a single couch in front of it that was a faded caramel colour, and in it sat Lloyd, very drunk and very unconscious. Along with the TV his snores filled the square living room. I looked around some more and saw a wall clock. It read 12:20. Where have I seen this already?
I heard Niall sigh and say something that sounded like, "Of course." He walked over to him and tried waking him up by lightly slapping his cheeks. Lloyd didn't wake up. Niall tried tickling him. Still, he wouldn't lift a single eyelid. Niall went to the kitchen and I thought he gave up. But I was proved wrong when I saw him get out a large bowl and fill it with cold water. He walked over to the sleeping drunk man and dumped it on him, soaking him everywhere. Lloyd awoke with a loud gasp and he frantically looked around the place. When his eyes landed on the two of us, he looked as if nothing just happened.
"Niall!" he exclaimed, spreading his arms out in a welcome.
I was right. Hewas very drunk.
"She's not my girlfriend," Niall told him. "Robin is a friend. We came to talk."
"Oh, sure. About what?" I could tell he was trying to be as serious as possible.
"About the asylum. Now, I know you don't like talking about it but this is an emergency."
"Now what kind of emergency requires a talk about that mad house?" This annoyed Lloyd. It was obvious by the look he gave us.
"You know that book that has the secret to how to destroy the universe?" Niall asked.
"Yeah, what about it?" Lloyd questioned.
"Well, you know the archangel Raphael?" I said. "Yeah, um, he kinda stole the book from us and gave it to a demon named Zayn, who is supposed to deliver it to the King of Hell."
"What!? That can't be! How could you let that happen?"
"We didn't know, Lloyd!" Niall covered. "We were eating breakfast and the box was in the trunk, and since the box only has demon wardings Raphael took it!"
"Oh, well then why didn't you say so?" Lloyd replied with a laugh. "But what does this have to do with the asylum?"
"Raphael said that Zayn will drop off the book there for Louis," I explained. "We need to go, but we know nothing about that place."
"All you really need to know is that the people who died there were great folks. The people that did ugly stuff to them were the real bad guys. The ghosts won't touch you. They'll actually try helping you."
This was some good news. At least we had one less thing to worry about.
Then this brought me back one of the questions I have asked Niall moments before.
"Lloyd," I started. "Have you ever tried killing the demon? Can't you just go out and hunt it down?"
"So, Niall has told you about the curse, huh?" Lloyd got up from his seat on the couch and made his way to the fridge in the kitchen. All of a sudden he didn't look so drunk to me. "Of course I tried hunting down that damn demon. It's hard. I've been after it for thirty years. I haven't really gotten anywhere, though. Always hitting dead ends. And plus, I didn't agree to it killing all of my family. All the demon said was that in return for saving the dog I had to give up my soul. So I agreed. But the second before the demon disappeared he said that instead of taking my soul he would curse me with the death of every family I have and ever will have. Before I could say something it left. That's when I knew how much I screwed up."
Wow. Damn. Just hearing this makes me frown in rage. I might've been new to this hunting business, but I knew that demon summoning didn't work like that.
So Niall asked for the address of the asylum and Lloyd gave it to him. We thanked him before leaving.
"Do you think he really tried going after that demon?" I asked Niall once we were outside once again. It felt good to be in a place that didn't reek of alcohol.
"Probably," Niall answered, squinting against the bright sun. "Though I doubt that he is now. All he's been busy with these few months is keeping himself drunk."
"Oh my god! Someone call the fire department! There's a fire!"
Someone's yell brought everyone's attention to the building Niall and I just came out of. Oh, no.
An apartment on the fourth floor of Lloyd's building was blazed up in heavy smoke and orange flame. I couldn't help but wonder if it was Lloyd's.
"It's coming from Lloyd's place," Niall muttered. Just the answer I was afraid of. I saw the sheer panic in Niall's eyes. Suddenly he sprinted towards the building.
"Niall!" I hollered when I grabbed him by the shoulder. "What the hell are you doing?"
"I'm trying to save Lloyd," he said. Niall shrugged my hand off his shoulder and rushed for the building. So fast that I didn't get to protest.
I was so frightened. How he hell did Lloyd's apartment catch fire? Most importantly, how did it become so strong and spread so fast? What the hell did he do? The image of alcohol bottles flashed in my mind and I started to panic even more. The apartment was highly flammable. I really hoped that the two made it out alive.
Fire truck sirens wailed a few blocks away, and in no time two red ones and three cop cars came to a screeching stop in front of the building. Policemen pushed back everyone as they all watched the scene unfolding right in front of their eyes. I heard one of the firemen yell instructions to the others and they all began working.
Right before they were able to do anything there was a deafening boom. I looked up to the apartment windows and saw that they had exploded. I caught a lump in my throat and my heart dropped to the center of the earth. I couldn't find my voice, therefore I couldn't let out the scream that was desperately trying to escape.
Niall was in that apartment, and the possibility that I lost him for good was very, very high.