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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25. Twenty-Four

    “Oh, Nay,” Mia gasps as she takes me in properly. I’m in the entire outfit, standing in front of her in hers. I see the tears welling in her eyes.

    “Don’t, you’ll start me off, and we’ll both ruin our make up!” I tell her, still trying to compose myself from seeing myself in my dress, hair, make up, shoes… everything. We’re just waiting for my Dad to come and take us to the office so I can finally marry Robb. It’s taken all morning, but we did it between the two of us and both of us look amazing if I do say so myself.

    “Breathe, woman!” I demand her and she nods, breathing in and out to stop herself crying for real as the door goes off. “It’s my Dad!” Her mum and dad have both left already, leaving before I was in my dress so they can be surprised when I get there so it can only be my Dad. Mia goes to the door and opens it.

    “Hey, you look stunning Mia,” I hear my Dad’s voice from the porch. It’s when he walks through the door and stops mid-walk and he stares, open mouthed at me that I find myself smiling.

    “Hey Dad,” I greet.

    “Naomi… you look… wow,” he marvels, tears running down his face. I laugh and approach him.

    “I don’t wanna hug ‘cause my makeup and hair will get ruined, but I’ll air hug you,” I say, referring to when I was little and in bed, we would air hug so I didn’t have to get up. He laughs and air hugs me. When we’re done, he takes my hands and looks me up and down, inspecting.

    “You look amazing,” he says, the smile never leaving his mouth.

    “Thank you,” I say, taking my red roses from Mia. I look at my Dad then, all dressed in his best suit and tie, his red rose in his pocket. “So do you, you look the proud dad if I do say so myself.”

    “I am,” he says, wiping his eyes and composing himself. I giggle and look at Mia who smiles back, still trying to stop herself from crying. “You girls ready? Your carriage awaits.” He puts his arm out and I thread my arm through his as he leads us outside the house and while Mia locks up the house, I grip my bag and glance at the car: he’s had the car cleaned so it’s all shiny and put white ribbon on the front to make sure people know it’s a bridal car for the day, and he’s even put a couple of white roses on the front bonnet.

    “Oh my God, Dad… it looks amazing! Mia, get a photo!” I call and she nods, grabbing her phone and taking a picture. The photographer for the day – Mia’s Dad – is at the registry office already, but he’s getting the photos of the ceremony and reception while Mia’s doing the ‘bride getting ready’ photos on her iPhone. She gets a photo of the car, and then of my Dad and I while I try and fight the light, airy feeling in my chest that I know is complete euphoria that is trying to force the happy tears down my cheeks, threatening to ruin my makeup. I feel like a complete princess, and I even look it, which is something I never see in myself, and I cannot wait to walk down that aisle and meet Robb, and finally get married to him, and it’s all within a matter of half an hour until we get there. Of course, we have to do ‘the interviews’ before the ceremony, which just mean checking that we can still legally be wed, and we’ve opted to do that bit separate so the first time we see each other will be when I walk into the room.

    “I’m so excited, Dad,” I say as he opens the front door for me.

    “Good,” he says with a smile.

 

    I stand in the room with Mia and Dad, waiting for the ‘nod’ for us to go in and get the ceremony underway. We’ve had the interview and I know everyone is just about to be seated and waiting, more importantly, I know Robb is in there, suited up and waiting for me to officially be his wife.

    “Nervous?” Mia asks, holding her flowers, a small bouquet of white roses with red diamantes in the middle.

    I nod. “Yeah.”

    “No need to be, he’s going to see you and not be able to take his eyes off you,” Mia smiles. “It’s going to be absolutely brilliant, fine, smooth and amazingly.” I know both of us are still worrying about the threat Lucifer gave us yesterday, but somehow it’s in the back of my mind, taken there by thoughts of ‘what if Robb’s not there’ or ‘what if Isaac hasn’t got the rings’ or ‘what if the music isn’t right’ or ‘what if I stumble on my words’ instead of what He threatened. Isaac was right last night; somehow we will get married, whether it be as it should be, or whether it’ll take a few more hours. We’ll get there.

    The door opens and the woman smiles at me and nods. “Ready.” I take a deep breath and look at Dad who puts out his left arm for me to take so he can lead me down the aisle to my husband-to-be.

    “Let’s go, sweetie,” Dad says, kissing my forehead before he leads me towards the room.

    As we near the room, I can hear the beginning of ‘Always’: ‘When the world gets too… heavy put it on my back, I’ll be your levy, you are taking me apart like bad glue on a get well card. It was always you fallin’ for me…’

    I feel every part of my body trembling as we find the door, my eyes blurring with the tears of happiness. I find myself gripping to my Dad for dear life as we walk in the door to the room and I see the woman leading the ceremony standing there and the table. She nods at us to walk in and Dad leads me through the door…

    Where I see Robb, standing there in his suit, his eyes widening and lighting up when he spots me. The tears then fall freely when I take him in; his clean-shaven face lit up in pride, his smile from ear to ear. He’s completely elated, excited and proud, and everything in my chest feels fluttery with excitement to see him there, about to become my husband. Everything in the past few weeks has been completely bleak, dull and meaningless, and now, seeing Robb standing there, in his suit at the front of the room with Isaac beside him and his family behind him, it’s all coming together and making sense. Everything has life and life has its meaning.

    Dad stops me beside Robb and Mia stands in the front row of the bride side of the room. I find my eyes fixing on Robb, and he smiles even wider when we look at each other. Dad takes my hand in his and I look to him, watching his smile wash over his face and the tears fill his eyes. He kisses the back of my hand.

    “You look amazing, sweetheart, like your mother,” Dad says.

    “Thank you, Dad,” I say with a smile.

    “I love you, Naomi,” he says, kissing my cheek. I kiss his cheek and he hands my hand in Robb’s direction. “Take care of her.”

    Robb takes my hand and my Dad nods and takes his place next to Mia.

    When the ceremony gets fully underway, I find myself unable to take my eyes off Robb, who keeps smiling away, only stopping once to mouth at me ‘you look amazing’. I only look away once, during the declaration of the laws of England when I glance at the room to see what it looks like.

    And I see him. Lucifer, he’s in the room. He’s sitting at the very back, in the far corner of the bridal side of the room, one leg over the other, a scowl on his face. It’s only when he catches me looking that a smile breaks onto his face and he raises his right hand and does a wave in my direction.

    It’s all I can do to keep on smiling. I take a deep breath and zone back in, looking to Robb as the master of ceremony asks if there’s any objections to the marriage. I keep my eyes firmly on Robb, expecting the Devil to suddenly stand and announce it all in his deep Scottish accent… but within the few seconds that actually feel like a stretch of a lifetime on the death block, the master carries on.

   

    Robb and I go arm in arm, rushing out of the door to the registry office, both of us laughing as the bombard of confetti comes raining down on us, the cameras clicking at the same time. I walked in the door as Miss Naomi Burns, and now I am walking out the door as Mrs Naomi Hart. As the confetti comes down, I stop, letting it rain down and I look at Robb, reaching up when he notices and kiss him for the second official time as his wife.

    “I love you, wife,” he says, the smile still plastered on his face like a tattoo.

    “I love you, husband,” I respond.

    “Oi! Stop loving and pose for the camera!” Isaac’s dad yells and everyone laughs as the two of us turn to the camera.

    I look around, not spying Lucifer, who seems to have disappeared during the ceremony. Somehow, in my heart of hearts, I cannot seem to understand how he threatened to stop the ceremony today because he could and not have done it. Not that I’m complaining, because I’m not, but I just don’t get it.

    But it doesn’t matter at all, because I’m standing here in my white dress and veil, arm in arm with a diamond ring on my finger next to my husband. I’ve won another round.

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