The Devil's Vesper: Book Two of the Devil's Gospel

After losing her deal with the Devil, Naomi Hart finds herself married to the Devil and living in Hell. She now finds herself fighting a whole new battle; to try and get home to her real husband Robb, her friends and her Dad. But to do that, she has to find out why exactly Lucifer wanted her in the first place.
Lucifer has been plotting to bring the Apocalypse to Earth, and she plays a vital part in it.
Before she knows it, Naomi is thrown back to Earth and she has to find out a way to stop it, and return to her family.
The battle against Lucifer and his forces proves more difficult than Naomi could imagine, and with the fact she has to convince her family she is actually alive thrown in; she is in for a whole new fight.
Faced with overwhelming odds, Naomi needs to find Robb and get his help before time runs out and her entire existence is compromised, but with his belief in her diminished, Naomi’s battle seems even more difficult than she could have ever thought.

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36. Thirty-Five

Naomi

 

    “She’s in the lounge.”

    I don’t even find myself looking up when my Dad walks in the room, the first time since he first saw me alive. I find it laughable that he would even bring himself here now, after Robb died. Actually, why is he even here? Does he think I want him here?

    “Naomi, sweetheart,” Dad sighs and crouches down in front of me so he’s my height while I’m on the sofa.

    “Don’t,” I warn, blinking for the first time and scoffing. Mia stands from the armchair and Isaac walks in. “You didn’t want to know when I came back here, why do you suddenly think I want you here now he’s dead?”

    “Naomi,” Dad pleads. I stand from the couch and move towards Isaac for back up.

    “No, Dad, just go,” I shake my head. I stare at the dining table where the death certificate sits, taunting me just by being. I have absolutely no idea how Isaac and I managed to do it, but somehow, I managed to go with him to register the death. Robb’s aunt and uncle have to get our bank details changed to his uncle, seeing as I’m still technically dead too and they don’t know the truth still. At least then I don’t have to sort through all of that shit.

    We haven’t even started talking what’s going to happen about the funeral; we have to have one, and yet, there is absolutely no freaking way I’m not going there and I’m not going to sit back and let anyone else organise it. They’ll all have to find out sooner or later I suppose.

    I look back and see my Dad being ushered out through the hallway by Mia. I know they’re whispering to each other but I really don’t care about that either.

    “Nay, look, we need to start talking seriously about funerals and everything. I know it’s only been two days, but what if… you know,” Isaac says and when I look at him I know he means what if Lucifer turns up and we don’t get a chance to have a funeral at all.

    I sigh and feel the fresh tears fleeing from my eyes. I can’t deal with this. It’s the knowledge that Robb isn’t going to be in the bedroom when I walk in, it’s knowing that he won’t suddenly come bounding through the hallway and take a cider from the fridge, even the fact that he won’t get pissed off and start drinking again. Hell, I don’t even know if he chose his wife or Anna, and she’s sitting on the other sofa, unaware either. I don’t even care if he comes back and starts punching walls or breaking more mirrors, I don’t give a shit, I just want him back.

    “I guess now I know what he was going through when I died, huh?” I say with a small scoff.

    “Don’t talk like that,” Isaac shakes his head at me. He takes my hand and we sit opposite each other on the couch. He keeps my hand in his and gives me a small encouraging smile. “We will do this, okay? We’ll have the funeral, and who cares who sees you? I don’t know what we’ll do, but we’ll work something out. We’ll then stop the fucking sixth seal and we’ll defeat the Devil okay? Now we know what he needs you for, we can hold it against him. Fucking arsehole won’t know what’s hit him, okay?”

    I look down at my lap and sigh deeply. “Isaac, I… I is there even a point in trying to stop it anymore?”

    “Don’t you make me hit you for saying that, Naomi Hart,” Mia warns as she sits in the armchair. “There is a point, of course there’s a point. He’s trying to take out humanity, Nay. You fought us all tooth and nail to make us see that and now we’re on your side, you wanna give in?”

    “What about vengeance? Robb would want you to defeat him, Nay, he would want you to fight this and stop the apocalypse. He would want you to live on and have your baby and live life. He would want for you what you wanted for him when you died, you hear me? You have us and Nicole when she comes to back you up and help. We’ll win this war.”

    I scoff. “War?”

    “Words, details, whatever,” Isaac waves off. “But we will do this, you hear me?”

    I watch my best friend, tears still clouding my vision and spilling over when they have no room to stay in my eyes. I can see my wedding rings, still proud on my fingers, feeling Robb’s around my neck like he had worn mine, weighing my neck down with the truth. I feel the constant weird feeling in my stomach and the morning sickness still freaking gripping at me like a stupid reminder of what I have to fight for.

    “I hear you,” I agree and both of them smile at me in triumph.  

 

    “Can we just agree not to talk about the past, okay? I need to get through the next three days and then the funeral first, Dad,” I say and take a sip of tea. I’d only agreed to speak to him under Anna’s pleads. She’d told me if anything, I’d need my Dad as support until the funeral and then whatever, but she’d actually made a good argument for him, so I gave in, and now he’s sitting opposite me, giving me that worried look he always gives me. I still can’t believe she managed to worm her way into this, and I don’t even hate her.

    “Of course,” Dad agrees and takes a sip of his tea, leaving me to come up with the next part of the conversation.

    “I, uh, we’re trying to come up with a way to get me to the funeral without people seeing me, you know, like his aunt and uncle and some of his friends that are apparently coming, ‘cause you know, I’m meant to be dead. That was how they got our money as well; I’m technically and legally dead,” I say.

    “You haven’t got any of your own money?” Dad asks. “If you need…”

    “No, no, thanks Dad,” I say with a smile. “Isaac made arrangements with him that Robb’s and my money will pay for it, they’ve given him the details and everything, he just needs to tell them what he’s taking. Isaac took a load with the funeral costs to give to me if I need it. We’re just worried about people seeing me at the funeral. But there’s no way I’m not going.”

    “Naturally,” Dad agrees and sighs, thinking on it. “Look, Naomi, sweetheart, you will attend the funeral, and if people see you, what does it matter? They will ask questions, okay, but you don’t have to answer them, you don’t have to speak to anyone but the people that know the truth.”

    I nod at him, thankful for the support. I know my Dad did things since I died that hurt all of us, but at the heart of it, he’s still my Dad, and well, I love him. Even though he never supported Robb and he dismissed me when I came back, but again, details.

    “Now, tell me, what exactly is going on with the apocalypse and you and Lucifer?” Dad asks seriously just as Isaac, Mia and Nicole walk into the kitchen.

    I sigh deeply and decide why the Hell shouldn’t I tell him the truth? After all, if I’m going to die, then why shouldn’t my Dad know the truth? Well, kind of truth anyway.

    “Basically, there are seven seals to bringing the apocalypse to Earth. Having my soul down in Hell was the seal that broke everything so the first four seals could come to Earth. The four horsemen of the apocalypse. They’ve been and those seals have broken. The fifth seal was having Christian martyrs die, which he did a few days ago. The sixth seal brings natural disasters to the planet, and the seventh and final seal is the angels with their seven bowls. I don’t quite understand it, but that’s the final seal and for that, Lucifer says he needs me to help break it for some reason. That’s why I’m back from the dead.” I explain.

    I watch him nod slowly, taking that information in. How the Hell do I even tell him anything about what happened down in Hell, if he asks? Why should he know that shit?

    “So, why did he kill Robb? We all know he did not die of a heart attack. It is more than obvious, Naomi,” Dad says and I look at him. Of course Dad would have worked that one out; of course it was obvious. Robb wouldn’t just die of a sudden heart attack when he was perfectly healthy. Apart from the drinking.

    “Oh this is seriously fucked up,” I complain, putting my head in my hands.

    “Talk to me, why did he do it?” Dad asks. I look at him through my hands and sigh.

    “Lucifer decided that Robb was his nemesis, simply because I married him and refused to leave him. Lucifer needed me, obviously, for this, and he thought trying to seduce me into going to Hell earlier would work. For some reason, he decided that he wanted to kill Robb. When I came back, I came straight back here without question, even though Lucifer thought making me promise him I wouldn’t see Robb at all. When he came here before the other day, he vowed the next time he came he would take me with him and kill Robb. He killed Robb when I refused to go with him and Robb tried to stick up for me, then he killed him,” I explain.

    Dad nods. “This is fucked up.”

 

    I stare in the mirror, looking at the reflection, the words of the damn song forcing more tears down my face, spreading my damn mascara everywhere. Why did I even choose to wear make-up today of all days?

    I remember walking into the registry room to this song, the one song Robb used to sing to me since I got the Panic! At the Disco album. He used to tell me it was his song for me and my song for him.  I remember what Isaac told me yesterday night: ‘this is your chance to let go, Nay. Robb would want you to have the funeral as your time to let go. He wouldn’t want you to hang on, not now. He would want you to let go so you can get on with ridding the world of the apocalypse. Then he would want you to have your child and live happily.’ I know he’s right, that is what Robb would want, but at the same time, how can I let go when we only just started our life together? Robb never let go of me, not once, I know from what I saw and from what Mia told me. How can they expect me to let go when Robb didn’t and when I’m back from the dead, for him, and when I’m pregnant? I haven’t even told Dad yet; that one should be interesting.

    “The car is gonna be here in a few, Nay,” Mia appears in the doorway of the room. I turn around and look at her in her black dress. She looks stunning, even though she’s wearing minimal make up, the dress still shows off all her damn assets, and here I am, in the black dress I bought new two days ago, stunning as it looks on, my new black hair, my make-up still running down my face, the amount of weight I’ve put on in five weeks is fucking disgusting…

    “I put mascara on, Mia, not even fucking thinking,” I complain as she approaches me, cotton bud in hand. “I also need to stop swearing. My hair is horrible, Robb would hate it.”

    “Robb wouldn’t. He’s probably looking down on you, thinking that your hair colour doesn’t matter. It won’t hide you from everyone, we know that, but it’ll stop people recognising you from behind. We can change it again after the funeral. It really doesn’t look that bad. It’s just gone dramatically different from light to black, you’ll get used to it. I actually think it suits you,” she says, sorting my face out for me. “Come on, we need to get ready properly. Now, save the tears for when we get there. I don’t want to sort your eyes out in the car, okay? Where’s your glasses?” I point to the bed where the big geeky glasses sit. Isaac thought it would enhance my disguise by wearing them or something stupid – to be honest, I don’t even care, I just need to get this thing over with.

    “Okay, I’m ready,” I say with a nod, putting the glasses on and sniffing back the fresh onslaught of tears that threaten my composure.

 

    I sit in the front row beside Nicole and Mia, with Anna and Isaac either side of them, holding both of their hands as the service starts. I can’t take my eyes off the coffin ahead, not even hearing the words of the funeral director. I wish I could give a speech like Isaac was going to, and Mia, and his uncle, which would be awkward seeing as I’m sitting in the front row, but we’ll get through it. The tears won’t stop trickling down my face, and my heart can’t stop thudding. I know inside my chest, it’s broken but yet the fact it’s still pumping is rather bittersweet.

    I wonder if he is in Heaven, or if he’s in Hell. I know he’s more likely to be in Hell, because of the whole Lucifer thing, but yet, some part of me still wants him to be in Heaven, somewhere nice, where he can look down and watch us all. Robb would love watching his own funeral, he’d tell me it was surreal watching the coffin, knowing his body was in it, and he’d love watching the amount of people congregating in the cemetery building thing, mourning over him. I never did ask any of them about the funeral they had for me, but yet, I’m not entirely sure I want to know that information.

    I look down at my stomach, where I know there’s a baby growing, I can already see the tiny bump there, but I wonder if that’s completely psychological or whether my stomach is actually expanding already; something I’m not sure if I should be worried about yet or not.

    I watch as Robb’s uncle Martin suddenly appears in the front where the funeral director was just a mere minute ago. I keep my head down and my ears open.

    “What I wanted to say is not very long at all, because I don’t think I could honestly put into words everything I wanted to say about Robb. I had a long reel of things I originally wrote down, but none of them seem fitting for… well, his funeral,” Martin sniffs. With everything I have, I want to stand up right now and give him a huge hug, but so far, I’m lucky I haven’t been seen by him. “But I guess all I can really say is that Robb was the closest thing to a son I ever had, and I came to see him as practically my son. I love him still to this day as such, and I will always love him as my son. He was a good kid; even when he wasn’t, he was still. That doesn’t make sense, but those who knew Robb between the ages of eleven and sixteen will know what I’m on about.”

    I find myself having a small laugh. I remember him when I met him, I even knew his reputation around school as the tearaway rebel.

    “Robb’s life was full; he loved to the fullest, he lived to the fullest. I remember when he married his late wife Naomi, who all of you probably know either personally or through Robb – he wouldn’t ever shut up about her, even when he’d just met her. I’d never seen my boy so proud or happy. He lived for that girl, and then she was taken from him. Even then, Robb wouldn’t give in. I’ve never had kids of my own, but I always have and always look upon Robb as my own son. May he rest in peace.”

    I watch from the top of my eyes as Martin moves to sit down again, luckily, still not looking towards where we’re sitting. I got away with that one by the skin of my teeth.

 

    Mia clears her throat and wipes one of her leaking eyes from the front where she’s about to give her speech about Robb. She clicks eyes with me for a single moment and I give her an encouraging look. She’s going to do both me and Robb proud, I know she is, she just has to get over her fear.

    “When I first met Robb, through my late best friend Naomi; I hated him. I thought he was obnoxious and arrogant, and I thought he was bad for Nay,” Mia says with a small hint of a laugh. I smile at her, the tears not stopping from my eyes. Nicole squeezes my hand tightly. “But then I got to know him; I could see there was no getting rid of him, and I found out I was wrong. Robb was a kind, generous guy with a heart of gold. He was funny, optimistic and full of life. He managed to win me right over. I literally could’ve found no one better for my best friend than him. He quickly turned into one my own best friends and I…” Mia chokes on a sob for a second. “I know I’ll miss him so, so much. He didn’t deserve to die; he was far too young and had so much going for him, so much to do, so much to see. I don’t understand how something like this could’ve happened, but I know deep down everything happens for a reason.”

    I bow my head, feeling the bombard of tears overwhelm me once again.

    “I hope wherever he is now that he’s looking down on us all and I hope he’s proud of himself – he’s got so many friends here for him now, and I hope that he gets himself sorted out up there; and if he’s listening he’ll know exactly what I mean. I hope you rest in peace up there, because when I come and meet you when it’s my time, you’ll be sorry, Robb. I miss you, you complete idiot, and I love you, you left a mark on me that I never thought I’d have.” Mia finally lets out the sob she’s been holding onto and she sits beside me, collapsing her head onto my shoulder. “I’m sorry.”

    “Don’t you dare be sorry, he’d have loved that,” I say with a smile, feeling my tears roll down my cheeks. This is definitely harder than I ever thought it would be.

 

    The funeral director starts a long spiel about how mourning is a natural process and that to mourn someone is to keep them in your hearts. Though, he then talks about when the mourning process is over, it is never really over, we merely stop visually mourning. To stop visually mourning someone apparently is to also keep them in our hearts. I stare again at the coffin that holds my husband in, lying still forever, never to rise again. Even if Lucifer sent his soul to Hell, even I know there is about a bigger chance of Robb returning to Earth than there is of me ever having a one night stand with Orlando Bloom. And that chance is at as far away from good as it will ever be able to get.

    “I have lost my best friend,” Isaac suddenly says when he takes the front of the hall thing. I move my focus to him, standing there with two single tears rolling down his cheeks. His composure is absolutely amazing. “My best friend has left this world, however, I know that he will still be with us; in our hearts, in our minds, and in spirit. I’ve known Robb for nearly two years, and I can honestly say that he is my brother. We may not share blood, but he is my brother; I will forever have a sibling in him. He protected me and I protected him. We were the polar opposites; I’m a geek and proud of it, while Robb is a secret geek and he hates it being shared, and I know he’s practically strangling me now if he heard me tell you that.” Isaac gets a small tearful laugh from everyone. “But nonetheless, I couldn’t think of a better guy to share the past two years with. He was the best friend anyone could ask for. And I know he would want me to add one geeky quote in his eulogy, so here we go, man, I’ll even tailor it so I’m speaking of you: Robb was strong in life. And for anyone who doesn’t get that, it’s a quote from Gandalf.”

    I chuckle; I can literally imagine Robb smiling with pride right now, bless him.

    “But seriously, Robb was a good guy, one of those guys in life that you just are so thankful you’ve met and you don’t know what you’d do without. I don’t think I’ll ever wake up and not expect him to be up and cooking breakfast or drinking coffee. I won’t be able to get used to not listening to him singing or droning on about how he’s now married and still can’t believe it,” Isaac says, his voice finally choking. “He was meant to be here with us right now, he was supposed to be part of a family…” Isaac’s look falls on me and I find my bottom lip trembling, a single tear falling onto my bottom lip. The saltiness of the mourning fills my mouth with the bitterness of what he just said.

    “Robb, man, you’ll be sorely missed. There are literally no words to define what you meant to me, to Mia, to Nicole, to Naomi, to your aunt or uncle, or to anyone here, or to anyone who’s not here. You left your little mark on our worlds and you’ve been taken from us. We might mourn you now, man, but in time we’ll all remember the good things, and we’ll celebrate your life, which is what I suppose we’re kind of doing now. But man, thanks for being a huge part of my life. I love you, my brother. Rest in peace, man.”

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