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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2106645-The-Bond
by Poeros
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Occult · #2106645
A post-apocalyptic world when angels and demons fight on earth.

The Bond
by Poeros

"I can give you power and the skills you need, but you can never go back to how you were before. You have to forget about everything here. If you can accept that, I can make you a man like no other. Agree and I shall be with you always and never deserted your side." --The Offer

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The sun setting colored the sky closer to the color of blood rather than that of vermilion. The wind blew, howling with fury as it kicked up dust, weeds, and derby and flew it across the land. The road, where once used by man as a means of transportation, was empty with only the shells of abandoned cars littering along it to remind others of the original purpose of the road. In the distance, one could see the skeletal remains of buildings that now stood with questionable purpose. Most of places, homes, offices, schools, were empty of anything of value or use by this time. The age of man was over, having come to an end nearly eighty years ago when the event referred to as "Tearing of the veil" happened. Heaven and Hell had gone to war with each other on that day, and brought with them an age simply thought to be legend. Man, used to his comfort and lazy in his lack of need to survive, was not ready for the event. The world was no longer in their favor with new creatures to hunt down and devour anyone foolish enough to leave their well-protected homes. Travelers alone on the roads were considered fools and men with death wishes.

The lone traveler was neither.

His solid frame moved with purpose and without hesitation; a jungle cat on the prowl. The majority of his face was covered by a scarf from the nose down and old fashion cowboy hat that sat low on his head to shield his stormy gray eyes from the setting sun. His clothing was well traveled but also well cared were a mixture of leathers and cloth in colors of brown and grays allowed him an easy moment. His pack was a simple affair that held travel rations, water and some changes of clothes along with a map that peeked out from the opening of the bag. However, the thing that attracted the eye the most was the massive sword on his back that appeared to be more a crudely forge slab of metal than a refined weapon. The blade was as long as he was tall and thicker than his arm.

Just as the last sliver of sun touched the horizon, he paused in his walking and set his pack down and off to the side. Spreading his feet into a stance, he pulled his sword free of its leather bindings and held it firmly in his grasp with the tip dipping to rest on the ground.

"Are we really doing this tonight, Roland?" a female voice, coming from his shadow, asked with mild disgust. His shadow moves and twisted with a life of its own holding the form of a woman.

"Little choice. The next town is still miles away."

"I could--"

"No. I hate it when you do that, Nyx. The last thing we need to deal with is Angels."

A soft sigh, "Very well." The shadow shifted until it took on its proper shape stretched out behind him.

Holding his sword steady, he watched as the last light of the sun disappeared around him and the world change. Mist rose from the ground as purple flashes of light sparked here and there across the landscape. The man counted himself lucky that not many demons spawned in the roadways since there were not many people to be had there. It took them several moments to realize he was there and the man readied himself for the assault.

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He was in that place again. A place where he spent years coaching, comforting, guiding and helping his fellow man. It was both his home, his haven and his refuge. Looking about, it was none of those things now. The building in ruins; windows smashed, benches upturn and anything of value long gone. There is nothing left there, but the something about it keeps demons at bay. Their many attempts to entering have resulted in several either being thrown back or combusting from touching a door or window. Other's sought this building as a safe place to stay, but then in their terror and madness they had turned on each other hours ago.

He was alone now. Alone with his head resting in his hands and the collar he wore for so many years around his neck now sitting at his feet. While his clothes are black, he knows that there is blood soaked into them just as it covers his hands and smears over his face. Blood from a man he bludgeoned to death with the altar's cross that attempted to rape another woman. That cross lay on the ground ten feet away with one corner covered in blood. His attempts to try and keep others inside were futile, terror filling their ears and minds.

His hands clasped together, he starts to pray fervently. Begging god to show him something. Just a small hint that he is there or perhaps some guidance. In the distance, he hears the growls of unearthly beasts and screams people. He continues to pray, pouring his heart and soul so much into this that he feels tears slide down his face and sweat on his forehead from the effort of it.

But there is nothing. Nothing from the god he pledged his life and soul for. The god he spoke for and used the teachings to aid others. Only silence.

Then, faintly, came a creaking sound of the main doors of the church as they are pushed open from the outside.


-----------------------------------------------------------

By the time dawn kissed the sky, he was covered in the gore of demons and was sitting half asleep on one of the ruined cars with a makeshift fire before him. Demons and other creatures still prowled around, but the ruined bodies of their comrades kept them at bay. Although the man suspected it was because they were afraid of something else about him. He had little energy to lecture and watched as the sun rose, the light making most of the demons vanish back into the ground and turned those foolish enough to stay above into ash. Even the remains foul smelling blood and entrails on the man silently sizzled and floated off his clothes, leaving no stain but a dust and the smell of sulfur.
Tiredly, the Roland put away his sword and pick up his pack. Fishing around in his back, he pulled out a beat up packet of cigarettes and cursed as he noted the last one. This pack had last him nearly two months, his best time so far. He debated saving it for another day, but decided against it and lit it to smoke as he started walking down the road again doggedly. While demons were the terror of the night, there were other beasts of supernatural origins that roamed the earth these days along with a number of corrupted men that made traveling a hazardous event if not near impossible alone.

The walk remained uneventful as he made his way to the next bit of civilization. There was nothing particularly different about this town from the others he had seen at first glance. Heavily fortified walls rose up from the ground with a variety of religious symbols on them to repeal the nightly terrors from seeking out those that dwelled inside. Such towns were not happy places, but a tense and a serious place where people did their part to keep their home safe. Larger cities were different with children that could be still children before the cold reality of the world settled down on them.

"I love the smell here." her voice said in his ear. Looking down, he noted his shadow moving on its own once more.

Her words gave him pause and he took another look around. Rather than nervous glances to the wall, as many tended to do, people gave them to each other and cowered when armed guards walked by. One guard was brazen enough to hit a villager with the butt of his rifle when he did not move out of the way fast enough. Roland was attracting his own share of untrustworthy glances but sensed it was more to do with his half-hidden face and weapons than the fearful looks given to the sentinels.

"What are you smelling?" he asked.

"Fear. Blood. Death," a wistful sigh following the words. "It's simply wonderful. Can we stay?"

A low drum sounded, causing everyone in the street to stop what they were doing and look up at the sound. They all looked at each other before putting down their things and walking towards the city's center.
Frowning, the man reached out for one of the townspeople, "Excuse me. What's going on?"

The older man shifted a bit before responding, "Someone broke a law. We're to witness the punishment for the crime."

Blinking at this, he let the man go when he moved to leave. He watched the others continue to the city center, each with either grim determination or dread. There was no glee that he had seen in some places with public punishment or execution. These people were terrified. Adjusting his pack on his shoulders, he followed the group.
At the town center, many of the people there were pressed close to each other, but attempting to press as far back from the center as possible. It took some effort to make his way between the crowd to see what was going on.

A man, a teenager really, was being dragged to the center by two guards. His face pale and sweating, he looked between the two oxen's that stood in the center as well. Crying out, he tried to pull back and away, but for hitting by another guard in the back and stumbled forward. The loner watched as the person was hooked up between the two animals, his gut twisting. On a platform, a pudgy man stepped forth to give the gathering crowed and sneer and snort.

"Today this person attempted to not fulfill his duty to the city by not giving his share of food for the stores. As a reminder that a small bit of all of you is required, he will be made the example. Remember! There is no discrimination of age, gender or rank here. All must obey!"

Murmurs filled the air and he picked out small bits of "A small share is most of what we have." and "He's just a boy." When the speaker turned to glare at the crowed, everyone fell silent once more.

"If there is anyone that wishes to defend this man, let him speak now!" The speaker called out, giving the people around him that dared them to say anything.

"When man has no law to govern them, I wonder who the real demons are." the female voice said, a low muttering in his ear.
“Be quiet,” Roland said.

The speaker turned, and narrowed his eyes at Roland. “What did you say?"

Mentally cursing himself, he brought himself up to his full height and held out his chin. “This is insane. How can you do to this someone for little to no offense?”

The speaker looked him over a nearly bristled once he realized he was not part of the town. “Don’t dare to question us, Outsider.” The man snapped, pointing the crop at him. “This is how we manage to live.”

“And at this rate, there won’t be enough of you to make it to next spring if this how you judge and punish."

There was a murmur of the surrounding people, some starting to shift away from him. Doing his best to appear casual, Roland spread his feet apart. A few of the cities guards made their way in his direction and he cursed himself once more as he noted both their swords and bows. A few held riffles, but not many as bullets did not have much of an effect of the sort that roamed the land at night, but still efficient when it came to herding human cattle.

"Who are you to tell us what to do?" the pudgy man demanded.
Gritting his teeth, the main pulled out a cross forged by two nails on a leather thong from inside his shirt. "I am Roland of Los Angeles, part of the syndicate and sent here by the Capital to check on the people in this part of the world and to speak with the regional Priest."

There were another murmur and even more unease. This time the guards shared nervous glances with each other before looking back in his direction.

"You are too tired for this." the female voice said loud enough for only him to hear. "Let me help. I can't have you croaking on me..."

"No," He stepped forward and pulled out his sword in a fluid motion. "I don't need you for this."

"I beg to differ..." the female voice said right before the hammer of several guns were cocked back loudly. Looking over he saw them men leveling their guns at him. There was an amazed moment the loner had as he realized that they were willing to open fire on one man with the rest of the village behind him.

One holding a semi grinned and squeezed his finger around the trigger. However, just before he managed to pull it back completely, something happen to the man's feet. One of them knocked off to the side by something unseen and the hail of bullets went off into one of the guards at the man's sides. Roland noted a form blurred at any of the guards with guns, resulting in either their guns being ripped from them or themselves throw a fair distance across the city center. Screams erupted as the villagers pushed at each other in their attempts to get away from the fighting. He charged in that moment at the man who had been speaking, his weapon swinging effortlessly through the air. Despite the crude appearance of the weapon, it sliced through the man with ease, the upper half sliding cleaning off the bottom and falling to the ground. After that, the fight became a blur figures launching themselves at him to which they all meet a quick ending. More than once he had to hold his weapon to prevent from killing a villager that was also fighting the guards.

As fast as the fight started, it was over. Cries of victory mingling with those of the dying. He noted a few of the guards that had fought with missing limbs and picked up the sounds of someone noisily chewing into something undisguised relished. Roland picked out a group of men that had fought with them, all grimed face but seemly satisfied with the event, except one that was vomiting by the wall.

"Sorry for the intrusion," Roland said, pulling down his scarf and hat, he lowered his head respectfully to the group before him. There were looks of shock on their faces as they saw his face, not gritty or scared, but that of a young man. Strong chiseled features in a face with a shock of short white hair atop his head. A man far too young for the stories that were spread about him for so long.

"Don't be sorry. You've done us all a favor." one man said when he had regained himself. "I'm surprised you even came out this way."
"I was sent to check on the villages and towns in this area from the capital. More than one place has either been done in by either starvation or bandit attacks and the government needs to know the status. The local Priest hasn't bothered to send us the word and all other forms of messengers have gone missing."

"Well, we aren't doing well!"

"I can see that. Tell me what has happened." Putting his sword away, he listened as the men spoke of the High Priest and the things he was enforcing on the towns from providing food, sending women to his lands, and even the requirement of public execution. Roland listened to it all with a neutral expression and nodded when they had finished speaking...

"I'll see to it, you have my word, but I need rest for now. Is there a place I can use?"

"You can have the Harold's home for now since he won't be using it anymore." one of the other men said, gesturing to the first man Roland had killed.

"Thank you."

The house mentioned was not fair, and by far the best house he had seen, but given the state of many of the other homes in this place, it might as well have been a mansion. Once the door was closed and locked, he removed his hat and scarf from his face and found a sofa to lay out on.

"There are several females lusting for you outside. I am sure you could have your pick of them with their husband's consent. Feel free to. I'll just watch."

He let out a surprised laugh and rubbed his face, "I remember the last time a woman flirted with me."

"I had nothing to do with her death ... she ran out into the forest on her own."

The currents of the house slide shut, leaving him in the dim light of the room. Eyes closing halfway in sleep, he was vaguely aware of his boots, hat, and gloves being removed before the feel of a blanket pressed warmly around him.

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She walks down the aisle with a curious expression on her features as she takes in the ruined building. He has married more than his fair share of couples here, but watching her makes him feel fully understand the feelings of the groom as his soon to be wife walking towards him. She is beautiful with the moon coming in from the broken roof nearly makes her hair sparkle in and skin glow as she drifts his away.
The thing is mesmerizing, terrifying, and deadly as she is lovely with talons for hands and feet, a long tail with razor like spikes near the end, and horns that adorn her head like some majestic crown. Golden eyes glow eerily in the darkness, lighting some of the ways before her as she continues to make her way towards him. She is the very thing his book has warned him and others about. A slight sizzle sound as her feet touches the ground accompany her way towards him. Her attention is not on him yet, just the building so far. When her glowing eyes look to him, she smiles down at him.

"Hello, my love."

When he only stares back at her, she places a hand on her cheek. "What terrible manners I have. How rude of me to come dressed so." She smiles a seductive smile that makes his mouth go dry and her form changed to that of a beautiful woman clad in the not stitch of clothing. Her figure one that would have made the goddess Aphrodite ripple with jealousy. He looked away feeling his face burn and her laughter filled the room.

"The world crumbles around you and you turn away for a lack of modesty. Adorable."

Frowning, he stands and removes his jacket, handing it to her without looking at her. Soft, warm, hands brush his own as she takes the offered item and after hearing the rustle of clothes peeks at her to see she donned it loosely about her frame.

"My name is Nyx." She offered another slow smile that has his insides fluttering.

"Roland." They look at each other for a short span of time. "What do you want?" He asks.

"You."


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A knock at the door rouses him wakefulness. Blinking blearily, he found it was nearly dusk outside. The knocking continued with insistence and he lurched to his feet and walks to the door and opens it.

"Sorry to wake you." The villager, one of the men from before that had spoken with him, stood in his doorway.

"I apologize for sleeping so long." Seeing the man was only holding food and folded paper, he opened the door wider. Nodding in thanks, the man walked into the living area and set the food on the coffee table here.

"I brought you a map. I figured it would be more current than what you have." He held the folded paper out to Roland, "And I have marked the patrol routes the guards take during the day."

"You know these routes?"

"I was part of the group that took goods to them, so I know where most of them are. They could have changed." The older man eyed him. "I heard you resist the song of the sirens, or is that just an exaggerated tale? Or a trick to it?"

"No. My heart just belongs to one hell of a woman." He said, grinning at the other man.

The older man only shook his head. "Hard to believe. I have heard about you since I was a child... that you can't be the same man. You are so young."

"Thank you." He said, taking the map in his hands and studying it thoughtfully When the older man realized he wasn't going to get an answer, he walked out of the house. By the time the house was checked once more, it was empty with the offered dishes of food cleaned and left to dry in the kitchen.

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It was some days later when he finally arrived to place with the pro-cathedral building that housed the High Priest and his men at. Sitting the better part of a mile away, Roland surveyed the area with binoculars in the cover of trees about the area. Many of the surrounded buildings from what he could see were emptied or used for either church operations or housing the sentinels that patrolled the area. Roland felt thankful at the lack of civilians. More than once he had had been heavily handicapped by his unwillingness to take the lives of more innocents than those that needed to be killed.

"Need I remind you of the issues of fighting in the daylight?" Her voice sounded in his ear.

He shook his head, “No. We'll move in at dusk.”

“Just us two? Is that wise?"

He grunted, “Other demons will be coming out and when they see the commotion it'll provide a distraction for us. I am sure we can give them a bit of incentive as well.”

Silence greeted this answer and dragged on for several long moments before she spoke again. "And the High Priest? Do we take him back to the Capital for his trial?"

"If what the village said is true, he's not going to make it to the Capital."

"Oh?"

"Aye. All sorts of things happen out in these parts. Sometimes people just die. He's yours when the time comes."

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It was not his best plan. He watched as his shadow moved and stretched across the ground until it reached the trees. Kneeling down, he placed a small item on the ground: a small music box. Taking a moment to wind it up, he left it along on the ground. It wasn't the tinkling sounds of a traditional music box, but a voice, low and clear, sang instead. The words were not of a language widely known, but the melody was hypnotic and enchanting. In the surrounding woods were the bright flashes of purple that accompanied a demon crawling into the world. He watched as one by one, the demons gathered at the edge of the woods, their eyes glowing with purpose towards him as the music played The wind rustle overhead and he looked up to see several winged demons in flight overhead, their nimble bodies avoiding the searchlights below with ease. As the last note slowed to a stop, she felt a presence next to his own appear. Roland glanced back at her, his face grim and his jaw firmly set; the demoness but smiling calmly in return.

"Ready?" she asked.

"Aye. Set 'em loose."

With a raging howl, the demonic horde broke free of the tree-line, descending upon the pain below them like a monstrous wave of flesh rending talons and bone crushing teeth. No words were spoken between Roland and Nyx, yet each knew what the other wished to say; the glance they shared speaking volumes to one another of what lay within their hearts. Wordlessly they moved in unison toward the rushing wall of razor-edged teeth and talons; Roland’s blade held high, while Nyx’s own claw’s and tail twitched in wicked anticipation of giving in to her base desires for mind-numbing slaughter. As they closed the distance with the oncoming wave of demons, their eyes glanced upward into the heavens. Above them, hell spawn keened within the starless sky, their wings whistling as they cut through the air like blades of infernal flesh. One dove, seeking to spit Roland upon its outstretched talons, but it was the swordsman’s blade that struck first; shearing away the beasts’ arms in a single effortless stroke; the demon falling to the ground a heartbeat later with a bone-crushing thud.

Nyx, not to be outdone, spun like a top of deadly quicksilver, her razor-tipped tail, and flesh-tearing talons carving a swath through the first wave of the demonic horde to meet them. Roland growled, his sword like the hand of death, as it rose and fell with murderous intent; his every stroke a killing blow, as its edge cleaved through flesh and bone, organs and sinew with practiced ease. The ground beneath their feet was soon slick with gore, ichor, and entrails; their foes bodies and limbs were strewn and stacked about them like cords of savagely-hewed wood. A fine sheen of demonic blood coated them from head to toe, and it was not long before the demonic horde melted away from the impenetrable wall formed by Roland’s flashing steel, and Nyx’s slashing claws, to stand to snarl in a circle about them. Roland glanced over his shoulder as he felt Nyx’s lithe body press against him, her back to his. The moved as one, turning to face the sea of sinister foes all about them. They had halted the demons advance, at least for the moment, but were yet as a splinter in the eye of the monstrous horde that sought to over-run them.
“ We can’t keep this up.” Roland’s words came out in a pant; his chest rising and falling from his earlier efforts. Nyx glanced backward; her tail lashing out suddenly as a demon pressed too close, her tails razor-like tip tearing out the creature's throat.

“ As much fun as it’s been, I agree. Time to lead our new found playmates within.” At that, Nyx moved, Roland’s steps in time with her own, as they danced in deadly fashion back the way they’d come. Roland’s sword and Nyx's talons wrought bloody ruin once more, as they cut their way clear of the demonic horde’s ranks like a tornado of steel and slicing claws. The demons howled with unsuppressed rage, and moved like rabid dogs to follow in the pairs wake; the wave of fiendish flesh now a hell-forged spear-point, its tip directed by Roland and Nyx at one sole target--the priest’s compound and the cathedral within. A group of men stood between them closed doors to the cathedral, their rifles lowered at them.

“ Are those guns?” Nyx's voice purred at the men, “Adorable.”
Purple fissures in the walls and floors formed, as additional demons in many shapes and forms crawled their way into the room with the wards on the walls clawed out of existence by the maddening swarm. One man fired and was quickly swarmed with demons and soon the room broke into chaos as the soldiers and mercs either attempted to fight or flee, but being unable to do either as the demons moved in and ripped their teeth into anything that moved...

Someone managed to turn on a sunbeam and direct it onto the mass of demons and carnage. Many demons quickly fizzled out of existence and other scurried away to dark corners. A painful ear screech suddenly filled the room and the sunbeam shattered and within moments screams were heard from that tower. The two did not spare it a glance as they made their way inside the building. There were shouts from several men inside with their guns pointed at the door but held their fire as seeing Roland and noticing Nyx too late.

He looked at the group of opposing soldiers with some regret. "Do it, Nyx."

There was a sudden explosion in the air, a feeling of the air suddenly heating and pressing down on the group. Several of the men fell to their knees with shocked expressions, their bodies too heavy for them to move on their own. Nyx's eyes flamed over a wicked grin of sharp teeth looked down on the group with glee. Some men grimly look at her, bravely facing a fate similar to those outside had. But she does not decide onto them as the other demons had. Rather, she reaches out and pulls something invisible towards her. Every face in the room, with the exception of Roland and Nyx, suddenly goes shock white, their eyes dulling and seeing nothing. Even after all this time, watching his companion feast on souls still, chills him.

She moans softly, cuddling her own breasts as her eyes look to him half lidded. "I feel like confessing my sins. Let's go find him."

The hallway lay bare now, any or all that would have stood before them already dead or fled. Roland paused outside the large doors to the final inner chamber and watched as Nyx flexed both hands onto the door and scratched her nails down the front of the door, filling the chamber with a sound of metal scratching against metal. In the wake of her claws were burned and she pulled her taloned hands away to look at the glowing tips with narrowed eyes.

"Don't come in here!" A voice boomed from inside. The two exchanged a look as she slides out of the way while Roland kicked open the door. Never had met the man before, Roland was not sure what to see, but felt his eyebrows go up as he saw a mountain of a man holding a large two handed hammer. The High Priest looked equally surprised to see the both of them and not a horde of demons.

"High Priest of Phoenix, I am Roland of Los Angeles, I have been sent on--"

"I know who you are!" The larger man snapped, "I've heard of you. Heard the rumors, but I still can't believe it. You have forgone everything to bond yourself to a demon?" the High Priest asked.

"Not just any demon." He said, looking almost offended.

"Please, talk about me like I am not here." Nyx huffed, her tail whip cracking behind her in evident irritation.

"But how could you?" The High Priest continued.

"It wasn't a fate I asked for, but it's one I dealt with.

"Hah, you're just a liability. It is only a matter of time before you fall off that high horse. Who will keep you in check then?"

"If that day comes, then another will kill us. It's that simple."

"Or I can just kill you know and be done with it!"

"Perhaps. There is still the issue of the charges against you, which include terrorizing the local cities in your charge and..."

"Terrorize! Hah! They are my people and I will do what I want with them!"

"Ah, I see. Well, Nyx?"

The demon hissed and leaped forward in a blur, her talons swiping several times at the man's hammer, causing sparks to fly. They two jumped from each other, the man holding his weapon in front defensively while the demon in a crouch with her shoulder facing the man. Her tail whipped back and forth behind her from agitatedly as she watched him seriously.

"You can't do anything to me! I am a man of god!"

She cackled at this and pointed a finger at him. "Think that way if you like. You are not without sin or blood on your hands. Do not think yourself better than others just because you wear HIS symbol around your neck with a fancy hat on your head."

"Hah! I will smite you! In the name of God!" He stepped forward, bringing his weapon high in the air and then froze in mid-swing at the demon. There was a look of shock on his face and his body attempted to move back, but his form for froze.

The demon grinned, her teeth sharpening in her mouth and eyes lighting with brim fire. "You need more than lip service to please him.. and he isn't pleased anymore." She said.

"No! No, this can't happen!" He tried to pull back again with no results. A scream filled the room as the demon leaped at him, her teeth and claws sinking into the man's flesh and she slowly tore him apart.
Retrieving his sword from the ground, Roland started to limp from the room. "I'll be waiting outside." He muttered, but know it wasn't heard over the man's screams, the sounds of flesh being ripped or a rather noisily slurping sound.

Sitting outside, he looked up at the sky with a tired expression. Everything was still out now that everything was said and done. The dead bodies he had expected to see once he left the main building were nowhere. The only hint that they had been there at all was picked clean bones here or there that some demon had not bothered to take with them.

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"I heard you outside." She motions her head to the door. "Praying to God."

"But..."

Her smile is rueful, even a little sad, as she sits next to him. Her body is warm and soft as she presses to his side, that warmth spreading through the rest of him. "I use to be an angel. We can still hear prayers if we listen." She looks up, her eyes tracking the large bursts of light overhead. "I want to make a contract with you."

He blinked, "A contact?"

She nods. "I don't want to be part of their fight. I never did." Her head turned to look at him. "But I can't survive here on my own. Not against them. Not without a contract. While they are all busy fighting each other, I am thinking about tomorrow." Her gaze intensified on his face. " I can give you power and the skills you need to live now, but you can never go back to how you were before. You have to forget about everything here. If you can accept that, I can make you a man like no other. Agree and I shall be with you always and never deserted your side."

Her hand reaches out for his own, the grasp soft and warm against his calm hands. Frowning, he looks between her and the lights in the sky. Nothing else is said, and she is not in a rush for an answer as she rests her head on his shoulder. He marvels a bit at such simple contact. Not done into comfort or console, but just for the sake of touch. Something he has never truly been permitted to do since he took he took his vows. His hand tightened around her own, not wanting to lose the only comfort he had at this moment. There is a truth here as well. If she exists, then God does as well. It is only a small comfort to him next to the abandonment. He knows he is not like Job who will be faithful throughout countless hardship, he needs something.

He laughs suddenly. "You could be lying. The bible says devils are nothing but lie-smiths at best..."

"True."

"But you're not."

Her head shifts, black locks of hair falling in a cascade over her shoulder, and he can feel her eyes on his face. "You are sure on that?"
"As much as I know the sun will at least rise tomorrow."

She nodded and the silence fell onto them again and stretched out, the thunder overhead close enough to make the building tremble.

"What's your answer?"


-----------------------------------------------------------

When his eyes opened again, she was sitting next to him in her human form as nude as the first day he met her, her attention on the moon as it makes its journey across the night sky. In the distance, the screeches and screams of demons, as well as other creatures making their nightly rounds, could be heard.

"How long?" he asked.

"A few hours," she said, looking over at him, "I got you something."
"I'm not in the mood for surprises this evening. Not after all of this." he gestured to the destruction around them.

Smiling, she held up her hand, producing a pack of cigarettes and a Zippo lighter. "The priest turns out to have been a smoker."

He stared at the items for several moments before snatching them from her hand. He checked the contents of the pack first to see how many there were and nearly groaned at seeing only one had been used. Pulling one out, he was about to use the lighter before pausing and looking to his companion.

"You mind?"

She grinned and made as if to light a lighter in her own hand produced a spark and then flame on the end of her thumb, "Of course not."
He leaned over to light the end of the cigarette and then leaned back with a sigh, slowly pulling the smoke into his lungs and then releasing it. He wrapped an arm around her and they sat like that in silence. Watching the moon make its turning in the sky with nothing but each other for company.

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