“You!” I say, staring at the last person, being, thing, I ever wanted to see again. It had been months since I thought I caught a glimpse of him.
He already has all I could ever give. My eternal soul. And for what?!
All to save a man who turns out didn’t deserve to be saved. The sonofabitch deserved to rot, but I was naïve and in love. Me on the other hand, I’ve lived a fairly upstanding life. Now, I’ll be stuck staring at his gorgeous face for all eternity. Which won’t even come close to making up for the agony and pain I must endure.
Oh! Did you think the devil is some hideous, horned, red-skinned monster?
Ha! Far from it. The fucker is drop dead, cream your pants, hot. Of course, he’s able to take on many forms. I’m sure throughout the ages he’s appeared as a monster to some. The gods and their trickery.
Nope, the ink-black haired, muscular, tall, god with the chiseled features that stands before me today, looks more like the sweetest wet dream, as opposed to the monster he really is.
“What the fuck do you want?! It isn’t my time yet,” I ask as I glare daggers at him.
“Now, now, my pet. Is that any way to talk to your lord? The keeper of your eternal soul,” he walks up to me and curls his lithe fingers through my long raven locks.
I take a step back, “Oh, I’m sorry. To what do I owe the pleasure of a visit from my future torturer?” I scoff.
“We’ve gone over this, pet. Your eternity in the Underworld, with me, doesn’t have to be unpleasant. I can make it rather enjoyable for you, if you stop being such a stubborn, irritating, disobedient, little nymph,” again he’s too close for comfort.
He grabs my chin between his thumb and forefinger, tilting my face up. He gazes into my eyes with piercing blue tide pools. My lips instinctively part.
He smiles, stroking my bottom lip with his thumb, before releasing me from his spell. Coming to my senses, I damn my weak body and its response to his touch and close proximity.
“Why do you hate me so much, Claire?”
“Are you kidding me?! Hm, let me think, you have my soul! I get to spend eternity writhing in pain in a pit of flames, thanks to you!”
“No, no, Claire. I warned you not to take the deal. I told you he wasn’t worth it. You chose not to believe me. It’s not often I give a client such wisdom before they sign over their soul. You chose to ignore it,” he cocks an eyebrow at me.
Shit! Okay, so maybe he warned me, but he’s the devil! I thought he was trying to trick me. In hindsight yeah, alright, I should have thought about why he would try to trick me out of NOT giving up my soul, but love makes you a damned fool.
“Yeah, well, I’m a fucking idiot. No one is arguing that,” I reply.
“Mm, you are a lovely little fool. But, I’m here mostly for business,” he smirks.
“Get on with it then. I have better things to do with the time I have left in this realm than to stand here and go back and forth with you.”
He holds out his hand and in it appears our contract for my soul. Signed in blood, of course.
“I need a favour.”
“A favor?! Who the fuck do you think I am?! We aren’t fucking besties, Damien. You can’t just stop by and ask to borrow a cup of sugar like we’re friends.”
“Don’t you want to know what I’m offering in return?” he grins.
“In return?” I get quiet; my eyes go large as my curiosity is piqued.
He smiles from ear to ear. He knows he has me, like he has my soul, in the palm of his hand.
“Yes, in return for doing me this teensy little favour, I’ll forfeit your soul.”
“You’re lying. Why would you do that?”
“Claire, I’m hurt. I have feelings, you know. I’ve never lied to you,” he looks at me, sadly.
My heart seizes. What the fuck is wrong with me?! I can’t trust Hades himself!
“What is it I have to do?” I ask cautiously.
“There’s this mortal I need... taken care of,” he cryptically answers.
“Taken care of how?”
“Killed, my pet.”
“Killed! Why me?!”
“Because Claire, this particular fellow has a weakness for beautiful women. You Claire, quite honestly, are the most beautiful woman, I’ve ever laid eyes on. He won’t be able to resist getting close to you.”
The look he gives me, makes me blush.
I scoff, “Now I know you’re a liar!”
“I’ve already told you I haven’t, nor do I plan, on lying to you,” he shoots me an irritated glare.
“You’re Hades, Damien! Why can’t you do it yourself?!”
He sighs, “This mortal, has favor with my brother. If I openly go after him, I’ll be enticing his rage. You can do it without drawing too much unwanted attention from his Almighty Majesty.”
“Oh, so I get to take the risk of getting on Zeus’ hit list? Not a chance...”
“Claire, I would never let anything or anyone harm you. Not even my brother. I promise you. Zeus won’t think anything of it if you kill him. You just have to get close to him. You don’t even have to get blood on your hands. You can poison him if you want.”
“Oh, lovely. Well, thank you for making it so I don’t have to get dirty to commit MURDER!”
“This isn’t some upstanding guy, Claire. You’ll be doing more than me a favour by sending him to hell where he belongs.”
I pace the floor contemplating the opportunity set before me. Why am I even considering it?
I am though, considering it. I got a shit deal when I sealed my contract with Damien. My soul for him sparing my fiance from death. He developed liver cancer and was fading fast.
I loved Neal. He was my everything. I had bet my entire future on him, and I was losing him. What I didn’t know, was while I was working my ass off to pay for his insurance and medical bills, he was having an affair with his chemo nurse.
The chemo was not working, and I was desperate. I never expected for Damien to appear out of nowhere when I was crying to myself one day, swearing I’d give anything for Neal not to have cancer. At first, I didn’t believe him when he said he was the Devil, Hades, Beelzebub, Pluto, and the many other names he’s gone by.
He didn’t want me to call him Hades. He asked that I call him Damien. So, from then on the Devil’s name was Damien. He convinced me he was who he said he was, telling me he could cure Neal in exchange for my soul.
I was hesitant, but the day the doctors told Neal that they couldn’t do any more for him and were putting him into hospice care, was the day I called out to Damien, to the Devil.
He appeared immediately.
“I want you to do it. Cure Neal,” I said.
“Claire, think about it well. Are you sure you want to do this? You sign and your soul is mine, for eternity.”
“Yes, where do I sign?” I replied confidently.
The contract appeared out of thin air.
“He’s not worth the sacrifice, Claire. Trust me,” Damien pleaded with me.
“I don’t need your opinion! I’m doing this. I can’t live without him,” the tears ran down my cheeks.
Damien had walked towards me, took my hand gently in his, in his other hand a quill appeared. He stabbed my fingers with the quill.
“Ouch!” I squealed.
He bought my finger to his lips and enclosed his mouth around it. His soft tongue licked the blood off of my fingertip, and when he slowly pulled it out of his mouth, the puncture wound was gone.
He handed me the quill, and I signed the contract. It vanished immediately afterward, along with the quill.
He sighed, “You’re going to regret this decision,” he said, before vanishing as well.
I stood staring at the spot where he once stood.
“What does he know?” I had thought to myself, “I would never regret saving Neal’s life!”
A week later, Neal was feeling amazing. When we went to his doctor’s appointment, the doctors were astounded. They ran a battery of tests and they all came back clear. Neal was cancer free, not a trace of the disease or its effects remained.
The very next week after that, Neal sat me down in our apartment. He told me we had to talk, saying he was sorry, but he would be moving out. He confessed to his affair with the nurse and told me he had fallen in love and was leaving me to be with her.
My world came crashing down around me. At the time, I hadn’t wanted to admit that Damien had been right. Neal hadn’t deserved my sacrifice and I most certainly regretted my decision.
Two months after Neal had broken up with me, I still wallowed in self-pity. Damien appeared at my apartment.
“If you’re here to gloat, please don’t,” I said, shoving my face into my pillow.
“I’m not here to gloat,” he sat next to me on my bed and stroked my head.
“What are you doing?!” I asked, pulling away.
“Trying to comfort you!” he replied, angrily. Offended I wouldn’t want him to touch me.
“Comfort me?!” I yelled, “It’s your fault I’m in this situation! You got what you wanted from me. Leave me be! I’ll be rotting for all eternity in the Underworld and you want to sit here and tell me you want to comfort me?! Give me my soul back if you want to comfort me!”
“I can’t do that, but you don’t have to suffer eternity in the Underworld. You can be my guest, just agree to be mine. Agree to be my bride.”
“So that was your end game?! Did you think after ruining my life, taking my soul, I’d be capable of loving a monster like you?! Did you make Neal leave me?!”
“No! Of course not! He had been cheating on you long before I showed up with my offer. I didn’t want you like that then, I only wanted your soul.”
I didn’t believe him, or I didn’t want to believe him. Still, I would not be blackmailed into being his bride, as he put it. He may have had my soul, but I still had my free will and he wasn’t allowed to force me to agree to anything.
Once I died, and he took possession of my soul, he could make me suffer as he pleased. How do I know he can’t force me to love or marry him? Well, because he told me. He said, just like I had to agree to the contract under my free will to sign over my soul, I had to agree under my free will to sign a marriage contract with him.
I suppose I’ve worn him down. He’s given up on trying to convince me to marry him. Now, he’s trying to convince me to murder for him. I’m not sure which is worse.
I had been wrong on many accounts. The first being I couldn’t live without Neal. I have in fact been able to live without him just fine. Am I still a little bitter? Yeah, sure I am. The second was that I wouldn’t regret signing over my soul, it’s obvious how I feel about that. The third, I never thought I’d ever get the chance to get my soul back.
I look Damien in the eye and ask, “Who is this guy you want me to kill?”