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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34. Thirty-Three

    I turn round in bed, seeing it’s still the early hours of the morning. I sigh, realising that today is the eighth of September. Today’s the day of the deal, whether it be void or not, today marks exactly three months since I made a deal for my soul with Lucifer, meaning it’s been nearly four months since my birthday, meaning that’s how long Lucifer’s been in my life and fucked everything up. And in those four months, I’ve managed to finish the second year of college, pass my AS-Levels, get engaged and married, smoke a cigarette, sell my soul to two people, made a deal with the Devil, kiss the Devil, be seduced by the Devil, move into a flat… and start the third and final year of college. It’s crazy to think that this time in twenty-four hours, I could be experiencing something entirely opposite; I could experience death and I could experience Lucifer’s wrath.

    I groan in frustration; it’s the damn early hours, why aren’t I asleep?

    “Nay? You all right?” Robb asks wearily.

    “Yeah, can’t get back to sleep,” I whisper. “Go back to sleep.”

    “I can’t sleep much either,” he admits, turning to face me. I look at his sleepy face; a pout and bleary eyes looking at me. I find myself chuckling at him. “What’s so funny?”

    “You. The look, you look like a puppy. Sleepy puppy Robb,” I scoff.  He chuckles in response and I feel a painful tingle in my side and I throw my arm out. “Ow! Ow! Robb!”

    “What did you call me?” he chuckles as I squeal, the tickling not stopping even when I catch his arm. “Huh?”

    “Nothing! Nothing!” I complain but he doesn’t stop.

    “Take it back,” he laughs as I squirm, the tingly pain not stopping. I thrash myself into a ball, trying to stop my side being uncovered, but he manages to move so he’s nearly on top of me, able to poke both sides.

    “No!” I laugh, the oxygen leaving my body. I squirm under Robb, unable to stop him attacking me. “Robb! Stop!”

    “Take it back,” he laughs. “Take it back and I’ll let you live.”

    “Okay, okay,” I breathe and he pauses, taking his hands off me. “I take it back. You’re not a sleepy puppy.” He chuckles and moves off of me, still watching me with the bleary eyes.

    “Good, now we have that sorted, I feel better,” he sighs.

    “Good for you,” I scoff, turning back to face him. “I have to wonder why I married you sometimes. Now is definitely one of those moments.”

    “Hey, watch it or I’ll have to attack you again,” Robb warns with a smile. “And because you’re my wife, I can do what I want.”

    I snort. “Oh, are we in the fifties? I think the fact it is actually twenty-thirteen means that equal damned rights apply! If I don’t wish to be attacked, I can damn well express that right.” I chuckle and push his arm gently. “I wanted to do that to my husband, so I did. Shoot me.”

    He pulls out a hand and gestures shooting me with a gun gesture. “Boom.”

    “Oh no! I’m dead!” I gasp, putting a hand to my head in an over-dramatic way. “What to do now? Shot by my own husband!”

    He chuckles and moves closer to me. “I’ll have to give her the kiss of life!” He bends over me and kisses my lips. I gasp and laugh, pulling him closer to me, kissing him back.

    “It definitely worked, she’s alive!” Robb chuckles, putting a hand on my wrist to check my pulse. “Most definitely. Yep, there’s a pulse, right there.”

    “Are you sure? It might just be fake, I swear I had a heart of stone. It can’t be pumping blood!” I laugh, pushing his hand away from mine.

    “Definitely alive; she’s being sarcastic. Welcome back, wife of mine,” he scoffs and lies back down so I move and put my head on his chest.

    “Thank you, husband of mine,” I respond with a small smile. It’s times like this when I realise that if things hadn’t have happened the way they have, then I wouldn’t be here now, enjoying life this way. I wouldn’t have married Robb and we wouldn’t be in this flat and we wouldn’t be spending all the time we have together, it would be how it was before he found out, just bobbing along and surviving, waiting until I’d left university and got a job to marry each other, we wouldn’t be living together and we wouldn’t be as close as we are right now. But because this has happened and today is looming, then we have got married, we have our own flat and we are as close as ever. Although the death and doom is lingering, things have turned out well, considering.

    “What are you thinking?” he asks quietly, tracing his fingers over my back.

    “About how through all the shit that this situation has brought, it’s kind of a good thing it’s happened,” I say and look up at him.

    “How?”

    “Because if it hadn’t happened and if I hadn’t told you, then we wouldn’t have married each other, we wouldn’t be in this flat and we wouldn’t be as close as we are now. If you hadn’t known then you would’ve taken my life for granted, you know, and just carried on like normal. We’ve fought and whatever, but at the end of the day, we’ve not taken our time for granted, have we? Think about it. It’s kind of made our relationship tighter, don’t you think?” I watch him as he considers it, nodding once he understands what I mean.

    “Yeah, I can see that,” he says. “But if it hadn’t happened, then you wouldn’t have ever thought about taking time for granted, you just would have, wouldn’t you? It’s only since you made the deal for three months that you thought ‘shit I have three months’ isn’t it? It’s like anything with a time lapse on it, you don’t think about time until you have to count it.”

    “Robb,” I marvel, smiling. “That was so fucking deep for you. Well done.”

    He chuckles. “It was. But it’s true.”

    I nod. “I know. I know.”

    “We’ll get through this,” he says, taking his index finger and poking the end of my nose. I shake my head away from him and blow on it to shoo it away.

    “Only if you stop poking my nose,” I giggle. He stops anyway and I chuckle, moving myself back to a sleeping position. “I’m tired.”

    “Then sleep, I promise I won’t do anything,” he says, but I can hear the trouble in his voice.

    I chuckle. “That voice, I don’t trust you when you say that in that voice.”

    “Hey, when have I ever been untrustworthy, huh?” he says.

    “Hmmm, no comment. You need to sleep too, Robb,” I say with a smile. “I’ll wait for you.”

    “You don’t trust your own husband? Well that’s just lovely,” he says sarcastically.

    “I don’t trust you when you’re over tired and hyper at the same time,” I say as he puts his arm round my shoulder.

    “Fine, you’ll be waiting a while though,” he teases and I scoff.

    “I’ll wait,” I decide and we both fall silent. I wait for a few minutes and glance up to see his eyes closed. I feel his breathing even and that’s when I move my head back down and try closing my eyes, the sleep taking over almost straight away.

 

    “Naomi? Come on!” I feel my body being shoved.

    “What?” I groan, opening my dozy eyes.  I look over to the clock: nine-thirty in the morning, on the eighth of September. It’s still today, it’s still happening. There’s no stopping the day, there’s no going back. There’s no excuses, there is no escaping the fact that I might not even make it through the day. Knowing that everything we’ve been doing in the past three months; giving my soul to Robb, trying to trick the Devil, marrying Robb, moving, whatever the Hell we’ve done, knowing that it’s all come down to today – maybe – is actually quite scary. Of course, there is the possibility that things might turn out for the better and nothing will actually happen, and today will just turn out to be a normal Sunday. Having a normal Sunday today would actually be welcome.

    “Nay, your Dad will be here soon, so you wanna get up and dressed. I’ll sort out breakfast. Isaac and Mia are just showering,” Robb says.

    “I’ll stay in my pyjamas,” I decide, realising that experiencing Hell in my pyjamas might be a cool experience; they are amazing pyjamas after all.

    “Well, whatever, but Nay, come on,” Robb sighs in annoyance and walks out the room, leaving me alone with my thoughts. Now that it’s daylight, now I know that there is no getting away from the fact that today is the day, I don’t feel like even getting out bed. Maybe it’s easier to just burrow myself here away from it all and face it here, in bed, away from people and everything and everyone it will hurt. Maybe if I stay here, asleep and not get up and face it, nothing will happen. Maybe if I don’t face my problem it won’t actually be a problem. I like that one.

    “Nay, get your arse out of bed and get in here!” Mia yells. “I need help finding shit.”

    I groan and turn over, throwing the cover off me so my legs feel the cold. That way I know I’ll get up. I sit up and rub my tired eyes. I suppose the one upside to if I go to Hell today is that I don’t have to get up tomorrow morning for college. Hopefully the beds will be decent down there… if they have beds. That’s a good point… does the Devil even need sleep? Will I need sleep when I’m downstairs?

    No, Naomi, stop.

    “Oh, she’s finally up!” Isaac cheers, walking out of the bathroom in a towel. I throw him my middle finger with a smirk. He dramatically gestures a capture of it and pretends to tuck it in his pocket. “I shall cherish that forever, thanks Nay!”

    “Fuck you, imbecile,” I snort and stand from the bed. He laughs out loud and moves into the spare room to get dressed. I put my slippers on and head to the mirror. I scoop my hair into a ponytail and sigh, staring at my reflection: the Devil’s mark has disappeared, well it did a month or so ago, since the Devil told me the deal was void. My eyes look a little puffy where I’ve just woken up. My face looked haunted; pale and milky. My mouth is turned down into a frown and I look as miserable as if I were about to attend a funeral. Well, I might as well be if Lucifer turns up today. I wipe my face, thinking it might magically make me look more like myself, but when I put my hands to my face, I spot the sparkling rings on my finger, reminding me of my life in the here and now: married to Robb, eighteen years old, Naomi Hart, student…supposedly betrothed to Lucifer, King of Hell.

    I’m barely human. I might as well be a zombie, a demon or something. Maybe then it would be less of a battle.

    “Nay, I need help,” Mia appears at the bedroom door, looking across at me. I nod once and turn to grab my hoodie to put over my pyjama top and look at her for a minute. “What’s wrong?”

    I give her a knowing look and she sighs deeply.

    “Shouldn’t have asked,” she says and I nod at her. “Look, let’s just go out there, finish making the table for breakfast and act like normal. We can’t haul ourselves up and making ourselves all upset over it, can we? I mean, if this is it, then we need to make the most of each other while we still have each other.”

    She has a good point. I nod and give her a small smile. “Only if you promise me one thing.”

    “No!” she scoffs, knowing what I mean straight away. “You’re not having my extra bacon. I always get the bacon, you get the egg. No way. No special treatment!” Whenever we have cooked breakfast, everyone knows Mia gets the extra slice of bacon and I get the extra egg, while Isaac gets the extra sausage.

    “But I’m special today, Mia, and all these years, it’s been the same. Can we not change it up this once?” I complain as we walk into the lounge.

    “No way in Heaven, Hell, Earth or Pluto. No. I get the bacon,” Mia scoffs and I laugh at her.

    “Fine,” I huff. “But I get the last bit of orange juice in the carton. That shit is mine.”

    “You can keep your orange juice, the bacon is mine,” she snorts. I shake my head and we start putting the cutlery on the table for the five of us.

    “You finally got out of bed then?” Robb approaches me, pressing a kiss onto my hair. I push him away playfully and snigger.

    “If you’re all gonna be like that, then I’ll just head straight back to bed,” I warn, placing the cutlery together on the right side of where the plates will be.

    “Well, maybe you need to learn to actually get out of bed, especially when I’m cooking everyone breakfast,” Robb scoffs. I roll my eyes and give him a quick kiss.

    “Get a room you two,” Isaac groans, walking in and heading straight for the kettle for coffee.

    “Our flat,” Robb points out and gets back to sorting out the breakfast. I watch him and Isaac in the kitchen, smiling to myself. My best friend and my husband, acting completely normal as if today isn’t D-Day or anything, which it might not be, but still.

    “Hey, stop,” I feel a nudge in my side and Mia appears in my eye line. “Nay, come on. We’ll talk later, but not now, ‘kay?”

    I nod once, coming-to and looking at my other best friend; I’ve been friends with her since we started school. I’ve grown up with her, we’ve shared so many memories – like our first crushes, our first concerts, our first heartbreaks – and we’ve fought over a guy, she was my maid of honour, and now to think I could be leaving her, to know I could be embarking on a journey without her involved… that hurts.

    “You’re doing it again, stop it! Naomi, don’t make me take you into the bathroom and give you a cold shower. Or slap you, I could always slap you. Just don’t, come on, it’s hard for everyone,” Mia snaps me out of it. The thought of a cold shower stings badly enough.

    “Sorry, I can’t help it, okay?” I shake my head and move to the sofa. “I can’t stop thinking about the fact it’s all boiled down to today. Everything we’ve done... boiling down to what happens today. It’s just… weird.” I look up at her and she gestures me with her. I sigh and get up, following her into the spare room.

    “Talk to me,” she says. We both sit on one of the beds opposite each other and cross legged, like we used to when we were kids.

    “It’s like, I’m watching Robb out there, and realising that if Lucifer turns up, and he gets what he wants, then today will be the last time I get to watch him cooking, I know you don’t wanna hear this shit, but it’s been the last time I can kiss him, or hug him, or… you know,” I say and she nods, not wanting to hear the rest of that. “I’m sitting here, remembering when we used to gossip like this when we were kids, if Lucifer comes then it’s the last time we’ll do it. It’ll be the last time I hear Isaac’s stupid yelling across the hallway, the last time I hear my Dad call me sweetie or whatever. Now the possibility of me going down to Hell is here, I’m fucking scared, Mia. Really scared.”

    She sighs and takes my left hand in hers, rubbing the back of my hand. “Let me tell you what is gonna happen. Your Dad will be here in ten minutes now, and we’re gonna have the best damn breakfast ever. It’s gonna be grand; we’ll have good food ‘cause we all know what Robb’s breakfasts are like, we’ll have good company and it’s going to be great. Then we’re gonna sit around talking or watching TV or whatever we’re gonna do, and it’s going to be like a normal, relaxing Sunday. You’re gonna enjoy it because you’ll have Robb, your Dad and your two best friends and we’ll have a good time. If he turns up then we’ll deal with it when he does, if he doesn’t, then we’ll all get up for college tomorrow and we’ll deal with life as it comes. Do you hear me? Don’t you dare start looking at each of us and having memories flash before you. Don’t do that shit with me, okay? So you’ll not be able to sleep with your husband again if you do go down there, least you can think back and…you know what I’m going to say, I’m not carrying on with that thought; that’s disgusting, but you know what I mean. Just take it as it comes, Nay. That is all you can do. For me, just enjoy today as much as possible, okay?”

    I look at my best friend and smile. “Okay. For you. Because I love you and all that sentimental crap.”

    She chuckles and throws herself into my arms. “Good. Come on, the food will be ready soon. I literally love your husband for his food.”

    “It’s nice to know you love him for no other reason,” I joke as we walk into the lounge. “Least he’s safe.”

    “Anyone who can cook is not safe, you know that,” she says with a wide smile as the door opens and my Dad walks in.

    “Morning,” he says, putting his coat away and heading straight to the kitchen to try and help. 

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