Dance with the Devil: Book One of the Devil's Gospel

You’ve been dancing the Devil’s game for seventeen years, and now he’s come to claim what is his…

Turning eighteen is a huge milestone for anyone, but for Naomi Burns, it means more than just being able to buy a drink in a pub. On the night of the eighteenth birthday party, she gets a visit from a strange being, claiming to be engaged to her, and now he wants to take her back to his home so he can get what he was promised: to marry her.
The thing is, the creature claims to be Lucifer, the Devil, and apparently he made a deal seventeen years ago that involves Naomi marrying him when she turns eighteen.
Naomi’s determined to get out of the deal, and she’s on borrowed time to change it. Not only has she got to figure out how to get out of the deal, she’s got to find a way to tell her best friends and boyfriend that she is now engaged to the creature from legends, the Devil himself, and that her new home is apparently Hell.

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35. Thirty-Four

    “Well, I’m full up,” I sigh, sitting back in my seat. “I don’t even think I can move right now.” I glance at Robb who’s still eating his way through his third plateful. To be completely fair, Robb’s breakfasts are amazing.

    “Then I’ll eat the rest of your plate then,” Robb pipes up and goes to take my plate, but Mia suddenly puts her hand on it first.

    “Save it, you’re on your third plate. I, however, have only had seconds. The food is mine,” she scorns.

    “Mia, you got your extra bacon, bitch,” I scoff. “I think the rest is my Dad’s, he’s only had one plate full.”

    “That would stop the argument,” Dad says with a grin. “The food is mine.”

    “What? Husband before Dad,” Robb says, looking jokingly offended as my Dad takes the plate.

    “If I take the food, it stops any arguments between the four of you. As the oldest, I overrule you all, so that’s the way it’s going to be,” Dad says matter-of-factly and I find myself laughing at Robb’s disgusted face.

    I get up from the table and take my now empty plate to the kitchen to be washed up later and head to the bathroom. I lock the door and stand in front of the mirror.

    “You can do this, Naomi Hart,” I tell the girl in the reflection. She’s staring at me blankly, speaking as if I would listen, trying her best to work through her thoughts and get on with it. But even I can tell that she needs more convincing than that. “You managed to sit through breakfast, you can sit through another hour or so. It’s not that hard, is it? Get lost in the moment. Robb can do it; you can do it too.” The reflection stares back at me, gearing herself up to back out there and face the day like nothing could be wrong when there’s a knock at the door.

    “Naomi, I need to speak to you,” my Dad says. “I can hear you speaking to yourself, so I know you’re not busy. Open up.”

    I roll my eyes; does Dad not understand that the door is locked for privacy?

    “I’m busy,” I call back, running the tap and scooping some water up in my hands to splash on my face. Maybe the cold water will help my nerves; I don’t know.

    The water splashes, cooling my face off, sending shivers down my spine from the cool, forcing my teeth to chatter. Okay, bad idea; I’m cold now, but I look up and hear my Dad sighing on the other side of the door.

    “Naomi, I need to talk to you, please, just come out the bathroom, okay?” Dad pleads and I sigh deeply, dabbing my face dry with the hand towel and head towards the door. “Naomi, please?”

    I unlock the door and slowly open it to come face to face with my Dad, looking worried. I give him a small smile and he steps aside so I can walk into the hallway.

    “What is it?” I ask, zipping up my hoodie and following him into my room. He closes the door and I stand by the bed, giving him a questioning look. “Dad, I’m not following what you want…?”

    He turns and looks at me seriously, and immediately I know this is no ‘father love his daughter and is proud of her’ talk. Oh no, this is some serious talk and I know what it’s about. Why I didn’t think this was coming I don’t know, but I wasn’t expecting it and now I’m faced with this chat with my Dad, I want to walk straight out of the room and ignore its existence.

    “Naomi, we need to talk about it, before we go any further, before we forget about it for the day and before something happens and we don’t get the chance,” Dad says.

    “I don’t really wanna talk about it, Dad,” I say, sitting on the edge of the bed. I know there’s no way out of it, even though I’ve made my choice clear, I know he’s just going to go on about it and I can’t stop him, so I better get comfortable.

    “I know you don’t, but I need to, and I need you to hear what I have to say. If nothing happens today, then that’s absolutely great; we can forget we had the conversation, but if something does happen, then I need to know you’ve heard me, okay?”

    I sigh and nod, looking down into my lap; anywhere but at my Dad is safe. Looking at him may cause feelings and tears, and I really don’t need that, especially when I just managed to get myself under control in the bathroom. I might have to make another trip after this little speech thing so I can go back into the lounge without tears stained down my face.

    “Fine, go ahead,” I say while he’s still quiet; maybe he didn’t hear me.

    “Naomi, look, I know we’ve had this conversation before, but I need you to know that I never, ever meant for this to happen. When we had the accident, I didn’t even know what happened, let alone that he was the Devil. I just… I didn’t think; I was so desperate for my one and only child to live, and I know you might find that hard to believe, but if you ever have kids, you’ll understand then, that when you have a child, the only thing you want in the world is for them to be safe and sound, away from harm and you place their life higher than your own,” Dad says. I could almost snort at his comment on me having kids. Well, maybe in the future when I’m not faced with a death threat from the Devil. “All I could think was that I needed you to live, I needed my daughter to grow up and have a life. When that man offered me that deal, I couldn’t say no. When he told me he was the Devil, I don’t know, I just didn’t care, I needed you alive. I didn’t think he would actually come back for you, I didn’t think he would actually do this.”

    “Dad, we’ve already had this conversation. Twice,” I point out without looking at him. I don’t think I can actually look at him; I know he’s trying not to cry. I know if I look at him, I will start, and then everything I promised myself, and Mia, that I wouldn’t do, I would actually end up doing.

    “I know, but I need to carry on,” he says and I nod once and let him carry on. “It was bad enough losing your mother, when you told me about what happened on your birthday, I didn’t quite believe it, and I thought it was a joke, someone playing a cruel joke. But when I walked into your room and saw Lucifer standing there, in a different vessel, I knew he was the same being, and everything I thought wouldn’t happen started happening and the reality of losing you as well hit me all at once. Naomi, I’ve respected that you didn’t need or want me to help you through this, and it was hard for me to do, but now we’re here, now you’ve done everything you can possibly do, I’m scared to lose you. You are my only daughter, and the only other family I have alive in this world. I love you, and I want you to know that I never wished or thought this could be a reality. I love you, sweetheart, I hope you know that.”

    I let a moment pass before I nod once and finally look up at my Dad from the edge of the bed. I see a stray tear leaking from his eye and making its way down his cheek like a single drop of rain coming down from a leaf long after the storm has finished. My heart thumps loudly against my ribs, telling me how guilty I really feel about all of this. This might have been his doing to start with, but I’m the one who made the final deal; I made the deal for three months, I started the whole thing of ‘let’s get Naomi out of her deal’, and it was me who led everyone to believe I could get out of the deal when really, both of us know that somehow I will be going to Hell eventually. Whether that be today, tomorrow, a month away or a year away, it makes no difference; I’ll be going to Hell. And the more Lucifer makes me wait for it, the more it will hurt for everyone else around me. But I suppose that’s the point, isn’t it? His point is to take me and get back at Robb for being with me in the first place, my Dad for making the deal, and my best friends for trying to get me away from him. Everything he’s doing; agreeing to give me three months, ignoring everything we’ve done to try and get me out of the deal, making us wait, keeping quiet on whether the deal is void or not, giving us false hope in the way he spoke of the deal… it’s all part of his plan to hurt everyone around me even more and to get me one way or another.

    “Dad… I get it, you’re sorry, and I accepted it long ago. I know this isn’t what anyone wants, Hell, you think I really fancy being the Devil’s bride? But it’s the reality of our life and we have to get on with it. I love you too, you know that. I don’t want to leave you, but I might have to,” I say, standing from the bed. “And I’m not your only family. You have Robb, and you have Mia and Isaac. They might not be your daughter, but they all look on you as their other Dad. Robb thinks of you as his Dad, so you have them, even if they’re not me.”

    He smiles and opens his arms. I walk into them and give him the biggest hug I can muster. “I know. But you’re right; they aren’t you. You’re my daughter, my sweetheart and I love you. I’m just sorry it turned out this way.”

    “I’d rather have seventeen years of loving my Dad than no years,” I say, more for him than the truth. I don’t honestly know how I feel about that, it’s something I’ve never thought of: am I better off for having the past seventeen years or would I have been better off never being alive past my first year of life?

    “That’s sweet of you, sweetie,” he says and presses a kiss onto the top of my head. “I love you.”

    “Love you too, Dad,” I say and stay in his arms for a little longer; this could well be the last time I ever hug my Dad, and I intend to enjoy it.

 

    It’s the afternoon, and luckily, so far: nothing. It’s been completely quiet. We’ve been sitting around watching TV and talking about nothing and everything. I lean my head to the right and lean against Robb’s chest. He tightens his grip around my shoulder and puts a kiss on my forehead.

    “You okay?” he whispers.

    I nod in reply. “Yeah, fine.”

    “You sure? You don’t sound certain,” he says quietly. I lean my head up and I look at his worried face.

    “I’m fine, Robb,” I reply. He glares for a minute, checking that I am actually fine and he finally nods.

    “I can tell you’re lying, Naomi Hart,” he says.

    “Then you’re telling senses must be broken, because I’m really okay,” I say and hit his arm before getting up. I head over to the kitchen and put the kettle on. I watch Robb join me, leaning against the sink with his arms folded over his chest.

    “So, tell me,” Robb says and I automatically roll my eyes as I put the kettle on. “How’re you really doing?”

    I look at him and mirror his stance, folding my arms and staring at him. “I told you, I’m absolutely fine. Dad and I had a talk earlier, and I got upset – well, we both did – but other than that, I’m fine. Robb, you’re forgetting that I’ve been psyching myself up for this day for three months. How are you doing with it all?”

    He scoffs and steps further into the kitchen. “I’m okay, you know that. Nay, it’s gonna be okay.”

    “Are you telling me that or yourself?” I ask and he rolls his eyes. The kettle boils so I pour a tea for myself, Mia and Dad knowing they want one. Isaac’s on the coke and Robb’s on the water, so while the tea brews I grab a cold can of coke out and take Robb’s glass and fill it with water in complete silence so he can answer my question.

    “I’m telling both of us. It’ll be okay, whatever happens,” he says.

    “I really don’t wanna talk about it,” I say, grabbing the milk out the fridge. “Take yours and Isaac’s drinks will you?”

    “Yes, ma’am,” Robb snorts, but does as he’s told anyway. I roll my eyes and pause for a minute. After everything, why now? Why could he not have been like this from the start? When I don’t wanna talk about what might happen today, he’s suddenly openly ready to talk, but when I was about three months ago, he didn’t wanna know? What is it with Robb and being a complete arse sometimes?

    I finish off the teas and take them through, managing with my excellent carrying skills of two mugs in one hand and one in the other and then sit beside Robb, ignoring what happened in the kitchen and kissing his cheek anyway. I notice the tension in him suddenly leave all at once; I didn’t even know he was tense until he wasn’t anymore.

    “I just…”

    Mia gets cut off by the lights suddenly going off.

    “Power cut, weird,” Mia says nonchalantly. “Anyway, as I was saying…”

    “It’s not a power cut, the TV’s still on,” Isaac scoffs, interrupting her again. I glance around; all the electrics are on, but the lights and the lamps have gone off. The candle Mia lit earlier has gone out as well.

    “Least it’s not dark,” Mia shrugs. “Anyway, as I was saying…”

    Bless her, she’s cut off again, but this time it’s by the lights coming back on.

    “Convenient,” she comments and then turns back to me. “Anyway, I just can’t quite understand what your fascination is with…”

    Everything is suddenly silent; nothing is on. All the electrical stuff; the TV, the lights, the stereo… all off. Blank.

    “And in other news…”

    “What the mother…?” Isaac gasps, standing up.

    Nothing. Silence.

    “…today, more on…”

    The lights start coming on and off like a flash storm, on and off, on and off, on and off. The electrical stuff is doing the same, but in a slower rhythm.

    “What is going on?” Dad demands. All of us are off our feet. I feel my entire body shaking with fright, but also knowing. There is only really one explanation for this.

    “Lucifer,” I say, glancing at Robb and then Mia and Isaac in turn, all three of them sharing the same knowing look with me.

    “You called?”

    I spin around, seeing Lucifer standing by the kitchen, a wide grin on his smug face.

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