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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27. Twenty-Six

    “You can put me down now!” I giggle in Robb’s arms. He’s got me draped over both his arms, but somehow managed to open the front door with me up here.

    “Yeah, somehow, the stairs might be a challenge…” Robb snorts and puts me back on the ground.

     “Shut up!” I hit his arm playfully, taking the joking insinuation. “It’s the dress, it weights seven stone.”

    “Oh, really?” he snorts. “Come on, I wanna show you something.” He holds his hand out for me to take. I shake my head and take it and he leads me up the stairs.

    “What is it? Are you gonna show me the wonders of the bedroom I’ve lived in my entire life?” I say sarcastically.

    “Actually, yeah, but just shut up and follow me.”

    We get to the bedroom door and he pushes it open to reveal the bed with rose petals on, a bottle of champagne and two glasses on the bedside cabinet and an envelope sitting on the pillow.

    “What the…?” I question, a smile lighting up my already bright face.

    A small clap comes from the other side of the room. I spin on my heel and find Lucifer standing there, slowly and sarcastically clapping his hands together in what I can only really describe as a sarcastic applause.

    “What do you want? Leave us the Hell alone!” Robb yells, the veins on his forehead sticking out already.

    “You put on a really good show there, Naomi, I must admit. You look amazing, truly, but really? A white dress? You have heard of the tale of it? That only virgin women should wear white to their wedding. You really have tarnished the tradition!”

    “Oh, fuck you, Lucifer, leave us alone,” I scoff, though knowing the embarrassment in his words are reaching my cheeks and leaving me as red as a beetroot.

    “What a very… apt saying,” Lucifer laughs.

    “Get out,” Robb demands through gritted teeth. “Don’t you think you’ve tortured her enough? It’s her damned wedding night.”

    “Damned,” Lucifer muses. “What a choice of word, there, boy. Yes, I do believe Naomi is damned. Very damned. In fact, so damned that you might say she, uh, is damned to Hell. Or she will be. After all, I am here to get what I want, and I do not intend to leave for Hell without her.”

    I approach Robb and pull him back, though he puts up a good fight to stay to the spot. I feel every single muscle in his arm tensed and ready to fight. “Robb, stop. Come on.”

    “I must say, what did you think you were going to achieve by wedding her?” Lucifer asks, sitting on the chair by the desk.

    “Achieve? What the… I achieved marrying the woman I love, you complete imbecile,” Robb scoffs.

    “Oh, save me from your stupidity, boy,” Lucifer snaps and turns to me. “Can you really, honestly look me in the eyes, Naomi, and tell me that you thought this a good idea, even after everything?”

    “What do you mean ‘everything’?” I question, pulling the comb from my hair, taking the veil and putting it on the bed.

    “Come on, Naomi, do you really think marrying him will stop me from getting what I want?” Lucifer muses, a smirk on his mouth. “I cannot believe after everything we have been through together that you would just… ignore my requests, me telling you that I will get you and that you would just wed this complete… fool.”

    “Hey, watch your mouth, he’s my husband!” I snap back, taking a step forward. The Devil stays in the chair, but leans back, crossing one leg over the other and watching me with focused eyes. I know that he’s thinking something over, but what it is, I truly can’t tell. Something’s going on, something to do with me; maybe he’s thinking of a way to try and get me, or something to do with whether the deal is actually void or not, but whatever it is, he’s keeping it secret.

    “What the fuck does he mean ‘everything we’ve been through’? What are you on about?” Robb demands, standing beside me.

    This is in no way how I envisaged my wedding night. Hell, I imagined all romance and you know, the traditional wedding night with champagne and stuff, and okay so we’re in our own room, and we’re not going on honeymoon, but that doesn’t matter. I didn’t envisage spending the night standing in the middle of my room, standing opposite the Devil and arguing the toss with him about shit.

    Lucifer chuckles, still keeping silent, and still with his eyes on me, he stands up. “Robb, Robb, Robb… I think you need to ask your … you need to ask Naomi about what she’s been keeping from you. I thought the two of you held no secrets or whatever that romantic gesture was?”

    Robb looks at me expectantly for a minute, and then he turns back to Lucifer. “How about you take your scheming and evil shite elsewhere?”

    “I wish I could, boy, but I am afraid that I am tied to the woman you think is your wife, therefore I am not leaving without her,” Lucifer says with a small shrug of his shoulders and a feigned sympathy.

    “You are not tied to her, and she is my wife, so just leave,” Robb argues. Lucifer ignores him and looks at me, a small smile on his face.

    “Naomi Burns….”

    “It’s Naomi Hart,” I correct Lucifer, making him widen his eyes in surprise.

    “Fine,” he accepts through gritted teeth. The expression of pure surprise that I answered him back and corrected him makes him nearly human. “Naomi, why have you not told him yet?”

    “Told me what?” Robb demands.

    “Nothing,” I say, even though I know they both know it’s a lie. But hey, it’s worth a try.

    “I will leave you both with these words,” Lucifer says and he waits till the both of us are looking at him. “It doesn’t matter what you do, whether the deal is or is not, but I will get what I want one way or another. And this hurts, Naomi, this really hurts. Just remember that. It’s like in that other show and book thing you both read; the Lannister’s pay their debts. I’m the Devil and all debts will be paid, remember that.” And with that, the Devil disappears.

 

    “What the hell was he on about Naomi?” Robb demands, moments later.

    “Robb…” I try but he cuts me off with a single, hurt and pissed off look. I can’t hide this from him anymore, I know that now.

    “Don’t ‘Robb’ me, Nay, what the bloody hell is going on? What haven’t you told me? If this is… if you’ve…” he stops, giving up. “Just tell me.”

    “I…  I don’t know what there is to tell you. He’s trying to get under your skin,” I insist, sitting on the edge of the bed.

    Robb turns and looks at me, and I can tell just by the way he’s staring at me with wide eyes that he’s just about had enough. “This is our damned wedding day, Nay. If you can’t tell me shit now we’re married, how the fuck can I trust you?”

    “Robb, for god’s sake…”

    “Yeah, for God’s sake, Naomi! For God’s freaking sake out of everyone. The damn Devil is the centre of all of this crap! There is something, I know you, in case you’d forgotten and just by the way you’re looking at me now, I can tell you’re trying so hard not to tell me something. I know he’s been to you more times than you told me, I know he didn’t just tell you the deal is void or that he thinks you two would be perfect down in Hell together. You can either tell me or you can be rest assured that he can damn well have you Nay, because I’m done. I’m so fucking done it’s beyond believable.”

    I find myself looking into the lap of my wedding dress, my hands kneading together as if the other is dough, my entire body flushing with complete embarrassment, so much so I could be Hell itself in human form.  He has no idea; he hasn’t the first idea about any of it. How can I tell him about what happened between me and Lucifer anyway? How would he even begin to understand that? Especially today of all days?

    “Don’t say that,” I manage, still looking into my lap.

    He laughs. “Then tell me what the hell’s been going on, Naomi, because I really, really cannot handle anymore. You’ve no idea what’s been going on in my head.”

    I sigh, deciding it’s probably best to just… tell him. “He’s been to see me a few times, I don’t know how many exactly…”

    “Five, ten, twenty times?” Robb asks with a stressed sigh.

    “Three, maybe four, I don’t know exactly, Robb, okay? Everything is mixed up in my mind right now. But he’s come to see me, apparently checking in on what’s happening, that kinda shit.” I admit, glancing up at him for a minute to see his annoyed expression; the anger lines between his eyes settling in and he rubs a hand through his hair. I glance down at my lap again. This is not what I fancy doing on my wedding night.

    “So what happened?”

    I sigh again, hating the thought of even thinking about it, let alone saying it out loud, let alone again speaking about it to Robb. “Basically, he’s been trying to make me apparently ‘see’ how he and I belong together, and he wants to marry me down in Hell, whether the deal is void or not. Basically what he’s been doing today, but to me.”

    “That doesn’t tell me what exactly apparently happened between the two of you. What is he on about, what’re you hiding from me? Tell me you haven’t made another deal!” Robb demands, his hand rubbing his chin. I watch the ring on his finger, a constant reminder that we are in fact man and wife, Mr and Mrs, and keeping this from him won’t help anyone, least of all me and him.

    “He… he’s been…” I start but sigh, unable to word it any easier. “He’s been trying to… seduce me.”

    Robb scoffs and I manage to see him chuckling from the top of my eyes. “Naomi… he’s… you’re kidding me, right? You’re telling me some sort of joke, right? The Devil… seducing you, out of everyone on this damned earth… you?”

    I keep silent, looking into my lap still.

    “Tell me you didn’t fall for it?” Robb suddenly turns serious, and I keep silent, leaving a tension filled minute between us. I keep my eyes on my wringing hands, unsure how exactly he’s going to react. Hell, I might as well start writing up the divorce papers tonight, no doubt he’ll want them after this.

    “You fell for it,” he guesses when I don’t respond. I listen to him fall silent and sigh deeply. I can literally hear his annoyed breaths, feel his heart breaking with the realisation. “Tell me, Naomi, just please be honest with me…” he pauses and I look at him slowly. He’s no longer running his hand through his hair, but he’s just staring wide-eyed at me. “Are you in love with the Devil?”

    I snort, a laugh erupting from my mouth at the comment. “In love with the Devil? Robb, are you shitting me? Of course I’m not in love with Lucifer – he’s the damn devil, king of Hell. I’m only in love with you, you complete imbecile.” I stand from the bed and approach him, putting my hand on his cheek. “Do you think if I were in love with him, I would have gone ahead with today? Robb, yeah, okay, he seduced me and yeah, I have feelings for him, but you are my husband now, and there is still no way I will be going down with him to be his wife and rule over Hell. It’s illegal for him to take me as his wife now anyway. I love you; I always have and always will, till death do us part, in sickness and in health and all that jazz, right?”

    He smiles, his head relaxing and his mouth kissing the palm of my hand. “I love you too, Nay, but honestly? How could you keep this from me? Did you not think it kinda important that he was here, trying to seduce you?”

    “Robb, he’s Lucifer, it’s what he does,” I point out. “Give it up.”

    “Give it up?” he demands. “My wife was seduced by the Devil, and fell for it. You think I can give that up?”

    “Robb, for fuck sake…” I sigh, stepping back and turning away. How can he carry on?

    “No, Nay, don’t you dare. You kept this from me, you ran into his arms. What happened? How far did it go? If you dare tell me you’re carrying…”

    I spin on my heel, luckily my shoes are already off or I’d be toppling down. “No! How dare you? That is disgusting!”

    “How can I not think it, Naomi? You tell me he’s been trying to get you to marry him voluntarily, he’s got you feeling something for him, tell me how not to think you might have slept with the damn Devil!”

    “Because that’s disgusting, Robb. Because I am your wife, because I know it’s a complete farce.”

    “Then why did you fall for it?” Robb yells, yanking the tie from around his neck and throwing it to the floor in pure frustration.

    “I don’t know, I really don’t know,” I admit, sighing in defeat. “All right, okay, I should have told you, and I’m sorry I didn’t, okay? But I was scared, I didn’t know what to do or how to handle it.” I see him going blurry in my vision as the tears overwhelm me, ruining my make up even more than I had at the speeches. God, they seem like an age ago now, but in reality it was only a few hours. Even our first dance as husband and wife, that was only a few hours, but it feels like it could have been years and years ago.

    “Scared to tell me what was going on? I could have helped, Nay,” he says calmly. I know for a fact this is confusing him completely; he doesn’t know what to do, what to say or how to react because he doesn’t know how to feel, and my entire being is feeling the same. My heart is torn; in one way I feel so completely guilty for doing this to him, yet I don’t feel guilty because I do in fact love Lucifer.

    “I’m sorry, okay? Look, if it helps, I’m not about to run off with him and commit bigotry, okay?” I say, knowing it’s probably not wise to try a joke, but I can’t lose anything more right now.

    “It doesn’t help, Nay,” Robb says, not taking the joke. “You know what would help? If you would stop lying to me about this. I told you when you first told me of this whole… shit not to keep me out of this. I then told you before we got married that I wanted no secrets. What part of that did you fail to understand Naomi? I’m supposed to be the one you tell everything, I’m supposed to know so I can help you. You are the love of my life, Naomi, and to think that while I’m not here you’re off making out with the damned Devil… it just… it’s disgusting. That’s disgusting. A mere couple of months ago, you hated his guts, wanted nothing more than to get a way out of this. Now, what, are you wishing the deal is still on and that everything we’ve done to try just doesn’t work?”

    “No, Robb, you don’t get it,” I say quietly, trying to keep myself composed and sniffing back the tears so I don’t look completely weak.

    “Then, please explain away, because I really do want to understand why and how my wife has been having feelings for the man whose threatening to make you Queen of Hell.”

    I wipe under my eyes carefully before answering him, not wanting the eyeliner to go absolutely everywhere. “I hate his guts, I want him to piss off and leave me alone. I don’t want to go down to Hell, wed him and be Queen of Hell. Who would want that, Robb? I want to stay with you, alive and on Earth. Every time he turns up, he tells me about how he ‘wants’ me, and it’s not about the deal anymore, apparently I am his addiction. He… he keeps telling me that it’s natural, for me and him to be married or whatever the Hell he wants. He just… he won’t leave me alone, Robb, and the more he saw me, the more he would try to get under my skin. It’s like when you try and catch someone’s attention when you’re a child and you have a crush, you know? He would keep taunting, keep going until he just… he just kissed me. And it felt… I knew it was wrong, Hell, it was the worst thing that I have ever felt, it felt so filthy, but yet at the same time, something made me want more. I thought it was just psychological. That is all it is, Robb, it’s psychological shit. When I see him, it’s like something clicks, I hate his absolute guts and I hate him, but yet it’s something that gets under my skin. I can be angry at him, I can hate everything he says, but at the same time it’s like a part of him is just embedded inside of me and when he’s around it lets him take a hold of me; he controls me almost. Sometimes he actually has literally controlled me. I can’t explain it any other way, Robb. I’m sorry, okay? It’s complicated, and I hate it, and I feel guilty. I’m sorry I lied to you, but I did it so you didn’t have to put up with it.”

    He sighs deeply, looking from me to the floor. He takes a couple of breaths as if he’s going to speak, though he doesn’t. I hope with everything I have that he will look up, smile at me, tell me it’s okay and that we’ll be fine and then somehow, we act like this never happened and deal with it tomorrow, but deep down I know it’s not going to happen. Of course it happened, and of course it’s not okay and of course we won’t be fine. Or if we will and it will be okay then it won’t be tonight at least. The argument’s going to carry on for ages yet, I know it will and by the look of pain on his face I know he’s not able to forget it for a while.

    Robb finally looks up at me, tears falling down his cheeks, something I haven’t seen for a long time. I’ve seen a few tears from him, especially recently, but never a stream of tears like this. Each stream I see reaches like a hand into my chest and tears at my heart, forcing it into my throat so I can hardly breathe even.

    He doesn’t say anything; he just grabs his keys and storms out the room, slamming the door with an earthquake. As he slams down the stairs, I don’t even make a move to go after him, nor as the front door smashes shut. I just stand on the spot, a river of hurt and devastation making its way down my face. I can see the champagne still untouched on the side, the rose petals still scattered on the bed and I realise I’m still in my wedding dress, and I’m standing alone in my room, on my wedding night.

 

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