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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22. Twenty-One

    “It’s official: we can marry,” Robb beams to Isaac and Mia when we meet up with them after we’ve given our notice the next day. “Fifteen days to go.” I watch Mia giving me a careful look, obviously needing to speak to me or something. I give her an equal careful look, hopefully she understands that I need to speak to her, but I can’t just yet anyway.

    “Aw, man, I’m so excited,” Isaac says with a grin.

    “You’re excited?” Robb scoffs with a laugh. “Man, I’m the one getting the honour.”

    “Hey, we’re getting to see our two best friends get married, if that’s not an honour, I literally don’t know what is,” Isaac retorts. “Actually, need to talk to you Robb, quick.” The two of them take their mugs and go into the lounge while Mia and I stay sitting at the kitchen table next to each other.

    “Tell me,” she says quietly, and I tell her everything about Lucifer, even down to my sob in the bathroom last night. As I tell her, I watch her face soften, and then go into a pained expression as I finish the tale.

    “Mia, I don’t know what to do with myself,” I admit. “He said the deal is void, but yet he’s still turning up, whether that’s because like he said, I’m his addiction or whether it’s for some totally random shitty unknown reason, I really don’t know, but I can’t do this, I need help.”

    “First of all, you need to calm the bloody hell down, woman,” she says. “Getting worked up isn’t helping anyone, especially if you’re keeping this from Robb.”

    “How do I tell him? He’ll hate me for not telling him, he’ll hate me for admitting I have feelings for Lucifer, he’ll hate me for kissing him, he’ll just hate me for it all,” I gush.

    “Nay, you need to take your own advice; go cold turkey,” Mia says, taking my hand and giving it a squeeze. “You’re getting married in two weeks for crying out loud. The Devil can go fuck himself. If he turns up, you ignore him, don’t even acknowledge him. You have Robb. Plus, he’s the Devil, the damned antichrist. You need to think in perspective, you hear me?”

    “In what perspective, Mia? What perspective do I have?” I ask, genuinely needing an answer to that.

    “What I mean is that you need to think about Robb. You’re in love with him, getting married to him. You’ve been in love with him for like two years,” Mia says. “I’m going to ask you something.”

    “Shoot,” I nod.

    “Do you want to marry the Devil?”

    “I…”

    She interrupts me with a hand in the air in the ‘stop’ gesture. “No. I don’t want an answer just yet. Think about it. I’m going to ask you a few things, and I want your honest answer. I don’t care what the answer is, I just want you to think about it, and then answer. Okay?”

    “Okay,” I nod.

    “Lucifer, when you think about him, what do you think?” she asks.

    I think about it: he’s a total cocky arsehole, but he’s seductive, yet not as bad as I thought. “Lucifer’s a cocky bastard, but yet he’s seductive.”

    She nods. “When you look at him, what do you think?”

    I give it a second to show her I’m thinking about it. “I think he’s attractive, yet I know he’s in a vessel, so again, he’s cocky, yet attractive and confident. He’s the Devil, after all.”

    She smirks and then continues: “When you think about Robb, what do you think?”

    I sigh deeply and then say: “I think he’s amazing, he’s kind, loving, I’m completely in love with him. He can be a total arse, but I love him.”

    She arches an eyebrow and I know this is what she’s hoping to hear, which I guess I’ve answered her question. “When you look at Robb?”

    “I think he’s the most gorgeous guy ever, obviously. I see my fiancé, soon to be husband and I see the man I love more than anything.”

    “So, I’m gonna ask you would you rather marry the Devil, who may I remind you is in a damn meat suit, and even I’ll admit he’s chosen an attractive one, or would you rather marry Robb?” she asks and then quickly adds: “I know you Naomi, and I know it’s gotta be hard, but what I’m seeing is that the Devil is pulling a fast one on you, he may think he wants you, so he’s seducing you, trying to get you down there for his benefit and he’s chosen a vessel that looks like your type, looks like Robb, and he’s trying it on, which after all, he’s the Devil, so it’s gonna work. The other side I’m seeing is that I know you’re not as hopeful as we are that it’s over, so now he’s seducing you, you might think it’ll be easier if you fall for him even if Robb and you are marrying. You see what I’m saying?” I nod and stay silent. “And you’re telling me he told you the deal is void?” she asks and I nod in response. “Does he mean the deal with you, the deal with your dad… what does he mean?”

    “I don’t know, all he said is that the deal is void,” I tell her, shrugging my shoulders. She sighs and nods in response.

    “So, we have to work that out,” Mia sighs.

    “Why?” I ask. “Why can’t we just carry on, like nothing’s happened, like everything is fine? I’m getting married in two weeks, why can’t we just, like, ignore everything else? If the deal is void, the deal is void. If he turns up, I’ll be married. It’ll be fine.”

    “And what if you decide to screw it all to hell and join him down there because you’re in love with him?” she asks rhetorically. “What in the world do you think will happen, Nay?”

    “I won’t voluntarily wed the damned Devil, Mia, I’m not that stupid!” I defend, actually insulted she would suggest such a thing. “I love Robb and I can’t wait to marry him. You know that.”

    “So you don’t want to marry him, okay,” Mia says. “So, do you love the Devil?”

    I cock my head in thought. Do I?

    “You told me that the Devil has told you that the deal is void, does that strike you as a good thing or bad thing, obviously assuming that he means the deal for your soul,” Mia says.

    “What do you mean?” I ask her in confusion.

    “The fact that you won’t be going down there to marry him and spend eternity with the Devil, does that excite you or disappoint you, assuming that’s what he means,” Mia asks.

    I think: the fact the guy is totally seducing me rings true in my mind, but the fact that he could be meaning I get to spend the rest of my life with Robb like it should be is still there.

    “I don’t know, I mean I can’t stop thinking about how he makes me feel, but then I think about Robb. It makes me excited about not dying and marrying the Devil, but at the same time a tiny, tiny, tiny bit confused. Not disappointed,” I admit and just as I finish, the two guys walk back in, finishing our conversation.

 

    The next few of days go by absolutely quietly; it’s now ten days until the wedding. To be quite honest, it’s been the nice kind of quiet where nothing happens, no drama and it’s involved pretty much going to college, getting ready for the wedding, and that’s about it.

    “So, you haven’t heard from him, you haven’t seen him or anything?” Robb suddenly breaks the silence while I sit and read a book while he watches some crap on the TV in our room.

    Damn it, I knew this would come, I knew he couldn’t go sixteen whole days without asking about it or bringing it up or something. Jeez, what do I respond to that? Do I lie and say I haven’t, or do I tell him the truth and tell him absolutely everything? Or do I tell him a half-truth and tell him that I’ve seen him but that’s it?

    “No,” I say, deciding it best not to open that wound at least until after the wedding, or if I can help it, never. “Nothing.”

    I watch him from the top of my book as he pauses the TV and turns to look at me from the opposite side of the sofa. Immediately, I know he doesn’t believe me.

    “Naomi Burns, tell me,” he demands.

    “Tell you what, Robb?” I ask.

    “Something is going on, and you’re keeping it from me. Tell me,” Robb says but I keep quiet and meet his serious look.

    “Nothing is going on, Robb, I promise,” I assure him, lying through my teeth but still, it’s for both of our benefits to be honest. I watch as he slowly inhales, holds it for a second and nods as he lets the breath go, moving closer to me and grabbing my book from my hands.

    “Robb…” I begin to argue, but he shuts me up by shifting so we’re together, his lips pressing against mine, immediately taking my breath away, immediately making every thought in my mind be crushed down to nothing.

    “I cannot wait to marry you,” he whispers, forcing my mind to instantly remember Lucifer when he said ‘I cannot wait to have your soul, Naomi Burns’ and my body stiffens in Robb’s hold. “Nay? What’s wrong?” he moves and looks right at me. My expression must be pained because he’s giving me that worried look where his eyes go wide and his mouth turns down into a pouty frown.

    “Nothing,” I say, shaking my head out of the trance.

    “You sure?” he asks, obviously not convinced by the look on his face.

    “I’m sure,” I say with a nod.

    “I’m not convinced, Nay, I know when something’s wrong, and something’s been bothering you for a few days now, I can tell, so now’s the time to tell me,” Robb says, sitting cross-legged opposite me on the couch so I can’t really get away from him.

    I roll my eyes, trying to keep the façade I have going on. “Nothing’s happened, nothing is wrong, Robb, everything is grand.”

    “Yeah, I know you’re lying to me,” Robb says, arching an eyebrow at me. “What has happened, Nay? It’s him, isn’t it? Lucifer. He’s been here, said something… what’s he done?”

    I scoff. “Will you stop worrying? I’m fine.”

    “Nay, don’t lie to me,” Robb warns. “I know it’s Him.”

    I sigh deeply, knowing I can’t hide it anymore. “It’s okay, Robb, it’s under control.”

    “So there is something going on? What’s happened, Nay? What’s he told you?” Robb demands, standing from the sofa and running a hand through his hair. In one second flat he’s gone from being romantic to stressed, and the way he’s sighing and pacing is making me scared. “Why didn’t you tell me when he turned up? How long have you been lying to me about this?” He spins on his heel and gives me a pained look, the light in his eyes dulled by the realisation, the mouth that usually holds a smile upside down and full of annoyance.

    “I…” I begin but my voice stops, unable to think of the right way to tell him the truth. How can I tell him the truth, that I’m beginning to have feelings for the Devil, even that he’s been here a few times in the past few days and I haven’t told him about it?

    “Nay, I want the truth. Hell, I think I deserve the truth. We’re about to get married, and if you can’t tell me the truth… then…” he stops speaking and I find myself looking away, knowing where he’s going with that thought.

    “Robb, I…” I begin but stop.

    “You, what, Nay?” Robb demands, wiping his face with his hands so I know he’s stressed. “I can’t take the lying, especially where this is concerned.”

    “I’m not lying,” I defend, knowing deep down that I kind of am, but really, I’m just hiding the truth which is technically not the same thing. “And… I dunno, all that happened is he turned up.”

    There is absolutely no way in Heaven, Earth or Hell I will voluntarily tell him what happened between Lucifer and me. No way.

    “And what happened? Lucifer doesn’t just ‘turn up’ we both know that, he must have said something, done something. What the bloody hell happened, Naomi? What did he say to you? Because I’ve been living for the past week or so thinking that we’ve won, because he didn’t turn up, you didn’t hear from him… but you’ve been lying, so what the hell happened? Have we still won or have we lost and you not told me the absolute truth?” Robb demands, his voice raising to the beginnings of a yell.

    I look down into my lap, trying to think of a way to say it with omitting the whole… thing. I finally take a deep breath and look up at Robb from my position. He’s staring at me, rubbing his right hand through his hair and over his face, trying to calm down but getting more and more wound up the more I keep quiet.

    “He came to me, told me that I’ll never be able to get rid of him and then the second time he told me that the deal is void… but I’ll still never be rid of him,” I admit quietly and watch from the tops of my eyes as Robb takes it in; sighing a few times, pacing towards the opposite chair and then back to the sofa, running a hand through his hair and then down his face before sighing once more and facing me.

    “And when were you going to tell me that Lucifer has been here more than once since the last time I saw him?” Robb demands, his voice getting louder ever so slightly. “Naomi, I can’t take this.”

    I scoff, pissed off at that comment. “And you think I can? Do you honestly think this isn’t hard for me? I’m the one who’s soul and life are under scrutiny here, Robb. Sure, I get that it’s fucking hard for you, and for Dad, for Mia and Isaac, but have you thought of what this is doing to me, Robb? Honestly? Do you really think I wanted to tell you that after a week or so of all of us thinking we’d won that he’d turned up again, let alone that he’s turned up twice and basically told me two things that contradict each other? He’s basically told me that although my soul is his that the deal is void; I’m confused, Robb. How the bloody hell do you think I can sit here and tell you that when I don’t understand it myself? We’re about to get married for fuck sake and you think I’d want to ruin that with this shit?” I rant, standing from the sofa and facing him. I watch him, knowing he won’t back down on this one. Hell, Robb, neither will I and you know I won’t.

    “Exactly. We are about to get married, Nay, and you didn’t think to tell me that he turned up again? What did you think you were gonna do, not tell me until I either walk in on Him standing with you, taunting you, or did you think you could keep it from me until the day the deal is meant to be up and see you lying dead on the floor with no fucking idea?” Robb retorts, his voice now yelling at me, sending his rage into my ears and down my spine in thunder bolts. I hate it when he’s like this; it’s not very often, but when he is angry, God is he angry. “Do you think I can’t handle it? You think I can’t handle the damn truth?”

    “I know you can handle it, but Robb, I don’t want you to handle it. I don’t know what’s going on, so what’s the point?” I yell back.

    “So you’ve told no one about this?” Robb demands.

    “Mia knows,” I shrug it off, backing up a step, expecting him to explode…

    Which he does: “You told Mia before me? You told someone else before me about this? For… I… what the fucking hell is going on Naomi Burns?”

    I scoff, shaking my head. “You wanna know what’s going on Robb? What is going on is my life is in danger, my soul was sold to the damn Devil when I was a year old because my father wanted me to live. I had no choice in this, I knew nothing, so yeah, I’m sorry that I didn’t know and I lived like a normal kid until my eighteenth. I’m sorry I didn’t know because it meant that I met you and everything that happened between us happened. I’m sorry the Devil turned up and I found out. I’m sorry I accepted your damn proposal! Okay? I’m sorry this shit is happening and I’m sorry I’m trying to stop it and I’m sorry I’m trying to spare your feelings until after we get married by not telling you. I’m sorry for being alive okay? I’ll remember to tell Dad that he should’ve let me die in that accident okay?” I turn on my heel and run up the stairs, making sure I stamp my feet down on each stair as I run and slam the door of the bedroom, seeing Lucifer sitting in his usual position at the desk, flicking his hand as I stop moving. I hear the door lock and the Devil chuckles to himself as his head gracefully moves so he looks at me.

    “Lovers’ tiff?” he mocks, just as I hear Robb slamming his hands on the other side of the door.

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