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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28. Twenty-Seven

Naomi

 

    “Nicole, you okay?” Isaac gets up immediately and escorts her to the sofa. “You need anything?”

    “A glass of water would be great, thanks. What the Hell happened? Last thing I remember was that weird light shit at the edge of the graveyard.”

    “You were a bit dozy after that, but you’re fine now,” Mia explains while Isaac disappears off to the kitchen.

    “Naomi, you’re okay?” Nicole asks me.

    “Yeah, I’m fine thanks. Worried about you!”

    “I’m fine, honestly, just a bit… woozy. Thanks Isaac.” She downs half of the cup and holds the glass. I watch her eyes focus onto space, considering something. “What happens now?”

    “We’ll get your strength back and then take you home. How much do you remember about it all?” Isaac asks.

    “I remember everything; everything before, when Naomi appeared to me, when she took over me, everything up till the light thing at the grave, and then when I woke up. All of it, I remember everything.”

    I nod in thought; if she remembers everything, that means she still knows everything about my time in Hell, every single one of my memories up until I left her body. Well, wouldn’t that be an awkward conversation for another time? I sit on a chair at the dining table and watch on as Isaac fusses. It’s only an hour until my Dad would be getting here. What fun that’s going to be…

    “I’m fine, honestly, Isaac, I could probably do with some more sleep if anything,” Nicole smiles.

    “Then stay here, sleep some more,” Isaac suggests.

    “No, it’s probably time I got home, if what Lucifer says is true; my parents will be worried sick.”

    “You’re telling them what?” Robb pipes up.

    “That I stayed here for a while, lost my phone, and I needed some time away.”

    “And you’re sure you’ll be okay?” Isaac asks. The worry in his voice is something I hardly ever hear and it’s rather cute to watch and listen to.

    “Honestly, Isaac, stop worrying. Naomi and I left my phone at my place. I’ve written the number down in the kitchen, so text me if you’re really worried. Worst I’ll get is I’ll get grounded or something. Mum gets sick of me being around the house all the time at the moment anyway, so she’ll soon get sick of seeing me and I’ll just come back here and hang out… if I’m welcome,” Nicole looks away innocently, as if she thought of it as second nature and then rethought, thinking we might not want her around.

    “Of course you’re bloody welcome here. You’re our friend,” I say immediately, earning a smile from her. “Those arseholes have no idea what they’re missing.”

    “Thanks,” Nicole says.

    “Right, let’s get you home then. Nay’s dad will be here soon anyway,” Isaac grabs the car keys from Robb and then yells at Mia.

    “Coming!” Mia yells and appears from the bathroom. “We going?” When Isaac nods, she grabs her shoes. “You two gonna be okay if he turns up early?”

    “Yeah, we’ll be fine,” Robb says. “Nicole, you need anything, you just phone us okay? Isaac will give you our numbers and everything.”

    “Okey doke,” she nods and smiles at me. “Thanks, Naomi, for everything.”

    “No, thank you, you lent me your body,” I reply with a smile and she hugs me tightly.

    “No, you kept me alive, and you gave me friends when I needed them, you’ve done more for me than I could ever for you.”

    I smile against her shoulder and when she lets me go, I say: “Robb’s right, you need us, let us know.”

    “I will. See you guys.”

 

    I sit on the counter in the kitchen, waiting for the damn kettle to boil. More than anything down there, other than people, the thing I missed most was tea. There is literally nothing else quite like it. I can’t do without tea. I tap my fingers on the bench, waiting for the thing to finish.

    “I’ll do it,” Robb appears, gently giving me his hand and helping me down.

    “Thanks,” I say. I take a breath. “Robb…” The doorbell goes off. Shit, that’ll be Dad. Isaac and Mia have their keys, so there’s no way it’ll be them.

    “Fuck,” I panic, stepping back towards the kitchen for Robb to calm me down.

    “Okay, stay in the kitchen, and finish the tea. Make one for your Dad, but whatever you do, do not give it to him. I’ll sort it out after he sees you, we don’t need tea stains on the carpet, ‘kay?” Robb says. I nod in response and stay on the spot. “It’ll be fine, Nay, just stay here. Don’t come out until I come in for you.” He kisses my forehead and then disappears to the front door. I take the teabags out of the mugs and pour a mug for my Dad while I listen.

    “Hey Robb. Mia called, she in?” Dad says. That voice… I’ve missed him so much. I replace the kettle and see my vision blur with the tears.

    “No, she’s gone out with Isaac for a bit, they’ll be back soon, but come in. It’s all of us that really wanted to talk to you anyway, they won’t mind if I start,” Robb says and I hear the front door close as I finish making Dad’s tea. He doesn’t have it brewed so it’ll be fine. I stay in the corner, keeping hidden until Robb comes in for me.

    “Is everything okay?” Dad asks when they’re in the lounge. He’s a mere few feet away from me; my Dad. The man who I thought had bargained for my life, but actually didn’t, the man who always wanted what was best for me even before Robb. The man who encouraged my marriage and the one who encouraged me to move in with my husband, the man who would crucify me if he knew that I’d been back for nearly a week already and not told him, and who would also crucify Robb for getting me pregnant before I died. The man who would actually probably genuinely murder Robb if he had so much as a whiff of another woman on him. My Dad was my hero, and the only person who I could ever love more than Robb, ever. And I can’t walk out from the corner until Robb tells me it’s the right time. Actually, saying that, I could crucify my own father for not looking after Mia, Isaac and Robb after I died, even though I asked him to. That I will not forgive him for, but that could be argued about later. Now is about reuniting myself with my Dad.

    “Yeah, everything’s fine. I just… there’s something I need to explain, and then something I need to show you,” Robb says.

    “Okay, what is it?”

    “Well, here’s the thing, I’ve been doing some research and stuff, and I’ve worked out that Lucifer is back, on earth,” Robb says.

    “Okay… I thought we weren’t doing this anymore.”

    “No, well, that’s not even what I’m trying to say. But basically, Lucifer is back on Earth and he’s attempting to bring the apocalypse to Earth. Now, I’ve worked out a few things about why he wanted Naomi. He wanted her because she was the promised seal to bring the horsemen to Earth to help him with the apocalypse, you know the four horsemen?”

    “Yes, famine, war, death and pestilence?” Dad asks.

    “Yeah, those ones. The thing is, taking Nay’s soul and marrying it was the seal. That’s why he was so set on having her down there. And it worked, because three of the horsemen have been on Earth already. Now I haven’t checked for death yet, because the three of us have been a bit… preoccupied with something, and we should’ve told you sooner, but I’ll explain that to you in a minute, but that brings me to the thing I need to show you,” Robb says in a rush.

    “Robb, what is going on?”

    “Stay there. You might want to sit down, Matthew.”

    Robb appears in the kitchen and nods at me, taking my hand. We both walk around the corner and I see my Dad’s eyes fix on me immediately. His eyes pop open wider than I have ever seen them before. His mouth gapes open and tears work their way down his face faster than the speed of light could ever go.

    “No.”

    “Hi Dad,” I say quietly, releasing myself from Robb’s hold. Dad approaches me slowly, reaching his hand out for me. I step forward and his hands find my shoulder and his eyes look me up and down, trying to work out how it’s possible and if I’m really here and real.

    “How is this even… how is it possible? You… you died,” Dad cries.

    I smile and watch him watching me as if it wasn’t real. “I’m back.” He smiles and pulls me into a hug. It takes me a second to get used to the fact I’m hugging my Dad, but I put my arms around him and give him a tight hug back.

    “I can’t believe this,” he stammers and I feel a small tear land on my head. “How did this happen? Tell me how this is even possible.”

    I find myself out of his hold and standing back in front of him. Robb puts a hand on my waist and sighs.

    “Maybe we should sit down for this conversation. I’ll get the teas.”

    I sit down on a dining chair and my Dad mirrors, still staring at me in disbelief. Robb brings the teas through and then sits beside me for back up.

    “So what happened, Naomi?”

    “I died,” I say simply. “I went to Hell and my soul was in Hell for… two and a half months. Basically, Lucifer is planning to unleash the apocalypse and he told me he needs me to help him do it, so he brought my soul back up to Earth with him. When I came back, my body was buried, so I had to take someone else’s. I took over one of our friends’ bodies and then last night we got my own body back. I’m alive, Dad.”

    He takes it all in, nodding and sipping his tea. I can tell he doesn’t quite understand it, but how can I tell him the full truth when this has broken him enough?

    “But… how? Why? What happened down there, Naomi?”

    “I’m not going to get into that, Dad, there’s really no need. What matters is that I’m back and I’m alive. For now.”

    “What Nay’s trying to say is that, it doesn’t matter what happened down in Hell, she’s back now and she’s alive. We didn’t tell you before because she was in another’s body, but, she’s here now,” Robb explains and my Dad switches his focus between the two of us, confused yet elated I believe. It falls silent and I stare down at my mug just for something to look at. The fact that my Dad wants to know what happens just scares me something stupid. There is absolutely no way he would begin to understand what happened, and there is absolutely no way I could tell him everything. Dad doesn’t even know what really happened before I died; he doesn’t know anything but the bare minimum to do with Lucifer and the deal or anything, and as far as I’m concerned, he will never know the truth.

    “So… what now? Lucifer will leave you alone?”

     I almost choke in laughter, but I take a sip of tea and shake my head. “No. He wants me to help him bring the apocalypse to Earth.  I don’t know how, but he won’t get me. We’re going to stop him. Somehow. I don’t know yet and I don’t know how, but we will.”

    “Of course,” Dad says and takes a sip of tea. I watch his mug shake where he’s got the shakes himself. Probably from the shock of everything. I feel sorry for Dad; he’s only ever tried to do his best for me, give me the best life he could provide, tried to keep me safe, and now look where we are. “Naomi, let me ask you one thing.”

    “Okay.”

    “What exactly do you expect to happen? You are going to stop the Devil and then what? What if you don’t win?”

    “I don’t know what I expect, Dad. If we win, we all get on with our lives. If we don’t win, then, then humanity is lost. Everyone dies.” I look at Robb who gives me a look that I can’t quite decipher. If only he wasn’t entangled in this decision, what I wouldn’t give to kiss my own husband right now. Would I really give my soul for that? No. But I would give my soul back to Lucifer if it meant Robb could choose me again, and I could have my other half back and feel whole again.

    “All right then,” Dad says. He stands up from the chair and drains his tea off.

    “Where are you going?” I ask.

    “Home.”

    “What?” I ask, standing up. “Dad, your daughter just got back…”

    “And you have no idea, Naomi, I am…” he stops speaking and puts his mug in the kitchen. He comes back, tears in his eyes. “I’ll come over soon.”

    He walks out the front door.

 

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