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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38. Thirty-Seven

    “Naomi.”

    A drum is going off in my mind; boom, boom, boom.

    “Naomi?”

    I groan. It’s far too early, surely? My eyes are so dark; even when they’re closed, which means it can’t yet be four in the morning. Hopefully. That means a few more hours sleep, which means this fucking migraine better be gone by then. It’s like I’ve downed a whole bottle of Jack Daniel’s, which from experience, is really not advisable. It gives the worst migraine possible. But I don’t even remember being sick, so how the Hell can I be feeling it this bad?

    “Naomi Hart, wake up.”

    “Gimme a few more hours,” I manage, taking a hand and pressing it to my head. Fucking… this is worse than a bottle, this is more like two bottles worth of migraine. It hurts so bad, I can’t believe it. I don’t think my eyes will even open. I’m sure…

    Oh wow.

    The stars are whirling all around me, dancing to their own tune.

    That’s it, I’m drunk.

    “Naomi Hart, get up and open your damned eyes.”

    Oh, hell. Literally, fuck my life. No.

    “Don’t,” I groan, keeping my eyes closed.

    “Don’t make me force you,” I hear. My voice manages to groan again and I force my eyes open, still with a hand to my head. Everything hurts, not just my head, but my eyes themselves, my back, my legs, even my stomach. It’s like I’ve got the flu or something except without the cold to go with it.

    I see a park. I’m lying on green, freshly cut grass. I can smell that sweet smell of summer, freshly mown grass, filling my nose, calming my head down, comforting it, telling it that we’re not hungover, we can’t be. The park around me is dead, completely filled with nothing; no sound, no people, just the smell of summer, all for me and myself.

    This park reminds me of the summers I used to spend with Dad when I was younger; when he’d mow the back lawn while I sat on the decking above and just relax. The smell always meant it was summer and I’d be able to spend it with Dad; we’d spend so much time in the garden if it was sunny, having picnics, playing tag or racing, having milkshakes, reading or dancing. Even after I was a teenager, we’d spend time together, sitting and talking, or doing my homework, still having picnics.

    “Naomi?”

    I whip my head to the voice. No. Please, Lord in Heaven, Earth or Hell, please… no.

    “You’re finally awake,” he says, sounding worried. “You had me panicking. Do not ever do that to me again.”

    I take him in; still the same Scottish accent, still the blue eyes, still the tall skinny vessel, still the same clothes. Still the same cockiness. Still the same Lucifer.

    “Where am I?” I ask. “Why in the world does my head feel like I’ve drunk two bottles of Jack Daniel’s? Why am I in a park? Why are you here?”

    Everything suddenly crashes itself into my memory bank: breakfast with my family, the chat with my Dad, Lucifer turning up and admitting to lying, the look on Robb’s face… the realisation that I could’ve stopped it all those months ago…

    I’m in Hell. I don’t need Lucifer to tell me that, but why is there a park in Hell?

    “Naomi, you’re in Hell,” Lucifer crouches down in front of me. I look around me; just green grass, to the horizon. Bright blue skies, not a cloud, bright sun, but not as hot as I thought it would be. It feels like a British heat-wave, where it ends up at twenty-eight degrees. But to my complete surprise, it’s not as humid as Britain is during the summer.

    “Then why is there a green park and bright sunshine? Surely it should be dark and there should be fire everywhere? Why’re you still in Mark’s meat suit?” I ask, taking my hand away from my head, it’s not helping so why continue looking like an idiot?

    Lucifer chuckles. “Because Hell is not that stupid cliché people believe it is. This may be the underworld, but that is not literally what it is. Hell is what this is. It’s a world of its own and this is just the part of it where we’ll be staying for a while. As for Mark, well, I just borrowed his meat suit for a while. He’s still alive back upstairs, but I believe I am… attached to his body. I like it.”

    “Well good for you,” I roll my eyes. He’s such a fucking douchebag.

    “I thought this would be a brilliant place for a wedding, wouldn’t you agree?”

   

    Oh, fuck. The wedding. Or, ‘supposed’ wedding. I totally forgot…

    “I’m not marrying you, you sadistic arsehole,” I scoff, standing from my position and ignoring the pounding drum of my head. “The deal was for my soul, and wow, look at that, I’m here in Hell. You can screw yourself. I’m married! Look!” I show him my fingers where my rings still proudly sit. I’m in exactly the same clothes I left Earth in, including every single bit of jewellery and my shoes.

    “As I said upstairs; you’re dead. Your body is on Earth, your soul down here with me. You’re not married to Robb anymore,” Lucifer sneers.

    “Go screw yourself Lucifer, I’m not marrying you,” I scoff.

    “I would screw myself, but that wouldn’t be as fun as having my wife to be, would it?”

    I turn away, the bitter sick coming up to my throat. I swallow it back down and keep my eyes away from him. That is just… there is something about that prospect I just… no.

    “We will be marrying tomorrow, Naomi,” Lucifer says with a sense of excitement to his voice. I finally dare my eyes to cross from the side to him, standing in front of me, a grin lighting up the vessel’s face. He looks like he’s in complete ecstasy, finally having everything he worked for since my birthday. Something about that just sickens me, but seeing I just swallowed it down, I force it to stay down.

    “No, we won’t, that was not part of the deal,” I snarl. “You have what you want; you have me down here. Can you not just be pleased with that? You got what you always wanted, you forced me from my family, from my Dad, my friends… you tore me from Robb, what the Hell more could you want?”

    “What I want is to marry you, Naomi,” Lucifer responds.

    “Why?” I ask, my eyes narrowing.

    “You will find out why, in due time,” Lucifer says nonchalantly. My mouth straightens out and my head cocks. What the…?

 

    I sit on a bench in the park, staring at the grass in front of me, well that is really all there is to look at, apart from the few trees and a few bushes. If I didn’t know any better, then I could be back in Southampton on a sunny day, sitting in Southampton Common, with the small difference that it’s never this dead.

    What could Lucifer really want from me? How much more hasn’t he told me, how much more has he been deceiving me? I know now that he tricked me into making the deal for my soul, but what more could he want? Why in the world would he want to marry me? I’m not a demon, I’m nothing special, just a normal eighteen year old kid from Southampton, England. I’ve done nothing special with my life, I’m quite settled in my, well, alive life. Why would the Devil, the fallen angel, the King of Hell want to marry me of all people? What does he have to gain from it?

    I wonder if I will actually find out soon, unless he’s planning more deception, which I don’t doubt. He is the damn Devil.

    “It’s nice, this part. It’s peaceful, the most peaceful part of Hell, let me warn you now,” Lucifer sits the other side of the bench, staring out at the horizon as if he were any other ordinary stranger. I keep staring ahead, not wanting to look at him any more than I have to after everything he’s done.

    “You did it on purpose didn’t you?” I say, not even needing an answer; I just want him to know that I know. “You knew all along, all of those seventeen years, that the deal you struck with my dad, it wasn’t really a deal. No one can sell another’s soul, especially for a baby, a one year old child. You knew all along, yet you deceived my Dad all along, just so you had an excuse to come into my room on my eighteenth birthday, tell me all that complete bullshit and eventually make me make my own deal. You knew exactly what you were doing, you planned it in that single moment when you laid eyes on me as a child. You didn’t even give me a chance to think!”

    “You’re right,” is all he says.

    “You bet your fucking life I’m right,” I scoff, shaking my head. “Why were you so hell bent on me, Lucifer? Why not someone who was eighteen then? Why wait all those years? What the fuck is really going on here? You don’t want me for my looks or talent at English or whatever the Hell you seduced me into thinking. What is it?”

    Out of the corner of my eye, I see him looking at me, straight faced and blank. “I’ll tell you in time. For now, forget it.”

    “You expect me to forget that you tricked me into this? You expect me to forget that you dragged me from my life, from my husband…”

    “I dragged you away from so much more than that, Naomi. You have no idea what you got yourself into upstairs, you had suffering to come, if it wasn’t you, it would have been something else. In time you will realise exactly what you are here for, exactly what pain I have actually saved you from. Yes, I dragged you away from your father, from your best friends, your education and your family, but when you see the bigger picture, you will realise exactly that this is for the greater good.”

    And with that, he stands from the bench and walks away, leaving me sitting in complete shock.

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