She didn't think she had been out long, Lily woke up to the gentle back and forth motion of being carried down the hallway. Asmodan had her cradled like a baby in his arms, she wasn't sure how she could tell but they were just his arms he hadn’t used anything to increase them he hadn't taken the time to do it. She felt strong enough and told him that she could walk. He asked if she was sure and then placed her down but as he did he turned her to face down the hall towards her room an asked her to please not turn around. She wanted to know why but didn't press the mater she stood looking down the hallway as she had been placed.
“Your timing was bad.”
“We were about to make a deal when you did whatever it was that you did.”
“You were going to make a deal? My timing was great then. I warned you about making any sort of bargain with any of them.”
“The deal was that she was to help make the building safe for your work and only act to my benefit for the rest of my life.”
“That’s a giant loophole right there.”
“Really? Even if she can’t act against me?”
“You didn't say that she can’t act against you, you said she did have to act in your benefit, when she isn’t in your benefit she could be in hers which is ending your life sooner than later. They will hold to the deal once it’s made but they will spend every spare second looking for a loophole or an easy out.”
Lily didn't reply she only stood staring down the hallway away from him. Danny moved up beside her staring down the hall with her.
“What is back there.”
“A large part of her essence but not in the powder form that you have seen in the ball before. Lily I’m sorry I know you made me promise to stay out of your head but when you were laying there on the floor I couldn’t just stand and watch.”
She turned and hugged him then. Burying her face in his chest, she didn’t cry or sob she just pressed her face into him as she squeezed him. Her words were muffled coming through his chest and shirt as they were. She reassured him that she wasn’t mad at him. He froze up his body went rigid almost corpse like at the touch only relaxing slightly as he came to grips with the situation and the reason she was hugging him. He had become so removed from human contact and had removed himself so much further after Niath’s great deception.
“It’s ok. I understand. I’m not mad.”
“Would you want her? If the Bargain was in your favor would you want her?”
Lily was silent for a while after he asked. She relaxed her arms around him and moved herself back a step. She looked up at him and thought through her answer.
“I am not a Warlock. I think to have a chance of surviving in the situations that I am going to find myself in being around you I will need her wont I?”
“Do you want out of this? I can have Algie set you up somewhere for what I have already put you trough and done to you. You won’t be rich but you won’t ever have to work again. I will take care of you Lily you deserve that much at least. I loose myself sometimes. I get wrapped up in what I am focused on and you aren't a person anymore when I do it. You are a bottle holding the demon essence that I need to get a building that I have ruined to work for me. I lose sight of the fact that you are woman who lost her job for opening a door on a fool who fell down some stairs. What you have gone through between then and now is not fair for anyone. If you want out I will make sure everything is taken care of for you.”
“It wouldn’t work.”
“Where would I go that I would fit in now? What would I tell someone a new neighbor or something when they asked what I have been up to before I got to where I would end up?”
“We are both going to bargain with the demon then. She will make a deal with you and she will make a deal with me and if she doesn’t I will split her several ways and give her to… she will agree and for the most part it will be fair and there will be a time limit on it. She will not be a slave forever. Agreed?”
Lily looked up at him and was quite for a while then she nodded her head in agreement.
A deal was struck it was not what any demon would have considered a fair deal but given the situation Niath was in and who was present when her options were put to her she had agreed. Later that same night she was presented as a mental image to Lily and the second bargain was struck. Volnam who worked as a demonic attorney on the side of the mortals loved finding each and every way to lock Niath out of any room that could be thought up to maneuver. Niath was intelligent and could negotiate but she was not educated in dealing with mortals on fair grounds as the Imp was. There were probably no other caste of demon that had more experience with mortals as a whole than Imps, and the Imp was dealing against her. Niath was promised that she would participate in sex when Lily chose to have it and that it would be often enough to keep up with what was demanded of her power and that was the only concession she was allowed. The whole process took hours and when it was done Niath was back inside Lily and Lily didn’t have the need to keep her locked up. Asmodan offered one last time to let her out before it was all finalized and Lily declined his offer. The Bargain was set Lily and Niath were in a symbiosis from then till Lily’s time was past.
Later in a private mental conversation with Volnam, Asmodan voiced a few questions he had thought up during the negotiations but kept to himself the chief among these was that it sounded to Asmodan like for the most part if Lily held up her end of the deal which was really only to have sex on a semi consistent basis Niath’s power would flow freely but if that was the case wouldn’t Lily live pretty much forever? To this Volnam just nodded and pointed out that no Succubus was smarter than an Imp. Asmodan could feel the flood of caste related prides and prejudices. He then wondered if Lily knew that she had just been negotiated into assisted semi immortality. After Volnam had left the work shop Asmodan then wondered even more impressed with the Imp if the Succubus realized it.
The Warlock took a short nap and then around ten in the morning he headed out into the fogs of Raleigh he could have done it with his eyes closed he wasn’t really using them anyways. Mentally he had reached out until he found the alien mortal mind of Mister Creed. He wondered and walked until he finally found the man who oddly wasn’t surprised to see him. They stood staring at each other for a few minutes neither said anything and finally Asmodan explained that he needed the man he didn’t say for what only that he needed him. From there Creed just followed him. They wandered back Asmodan’s place and Creed got to endure the first floor to the elevator. They reached the fourth floor and Creed was introduced to Mezzphogus.
Things were moving so fast now Asmodan kept thinking to himself. Everything was settled with the demons in the abyss all had been broken down into small units and teams with team leaders and rules and names for each other it was all very military like, which he guessed was good since he had a demonic commander in charge of it all.
Lily walked into the tower a few times over the course of a week testing out the mold, seeing what could and couldn’t be done with it and finally said she had a solution to the problem. Asmodan pressed her for the answer but she never gave it to him, she just told him it wasn’t in his power to do which privately drove him up a wall but she never did say what it was that she was going to do.
Jack stayed in the building, one of the spare rooms. Asmodan had bedding and clothes brought for him it was one of the few things aside from the tower that he had asked Lily to do lately. He didn’t come outside of his room much, when there was food he came out got it and went back. About the time that Lily had come up with a solution to the mold problem in the tower Jack was sitting in his room when there was a knock, When he opened the door he was only slightly puzzled by what he saw, the large blue-purple being that stood in the doorway looking at him with drifting hazy eyes. The human noticed the legs that weren’t legs right after he noted the eyes. It was as if his mind were hardwired to locate things that it could connect with the fog, the legs and the hazy drifting eyes were that connection here. As far as Jack was concerned this being was from the fog. He felt an itching tingling sensation at the back of his skull and somehow in the center of his brain at once and then he heard it.
“You are the one that would serve the Warlock?”
As he repeated the title warlock the demon sent a mental image of Asmodan’s face.
“The one who brought the fog? Yes I will serve him.”
“Will you join with me in safe guarding him, as well as any future Warlocks from his line?”
This sounded like it was becoming a long term agreement to Jack but he didn’t think about it long there was a massive feeling of strange in this place and a sickening feeling of wrongness on the first floor which seemed to affect everyone that lived here and none of the people that he had seen come in to visit and then leave again, not that he had seen to many people since he tried to not leave the room and wander too much. He had seen who he thought he heard the sometimes blonde woman call Asmodan’s Lawyer and one of the lawyer’s assistants and he had heard another voice in the hallway though he never saw who the nasally voice belonged to. He had felt this mental itching several times since he had been here as well but this was the first time there was a voice attached to it he quickly put it together that something possibly this mist being before him might have been reading his mind maybe gauging if he was worthy of the current offer being laid out for him now. If the fog wanted him then the fog could have him.
“Yes but there are many things that I don’t currently understand.”
As soon as the human heard the words in his mind the powerfully built being seemed to fall forward onto him arms extended out towards him. Jack had the instincts and the reflexes to get back out of the reach of the thing but his mind couldn’t get the command to the rest of his body. The body of the being seemed to envelope him and he welcomed the sensation it was so much like the embrace of the fog which he had begun to miss. This fog however did not float around him it began to flow into him it invaded, there was an odd but not painful sensation as it flowed into every opening it could find he involuntarily clenched his bottom at the violation and then forgot it as he felt what it must be like to sweat in reverse. He felt the fog begin to seep through the pores of his skin. Finally he just seemed to fall over; there was no pain he had just been taken into sensory overload. All he could see was the purple blue substance that made up the demon thing as he absorbed it into the tissues around his eyes all he could hear was the odd muffled slurffing noise that was made as it entered his ears which also seemed to create an insane level of vertigo and finally he just fell back onto the ground. He didn’t actually hit the ground the demon that was soaking itself into him absorbed the impact of the fall. Jack finally just kind of became aware when the process was over. He was there in the room but he was not alone he looked around and saw no one else but he instantly understood because as soon as he looked for the other being it addressed him from inside his head. It was with him it would always be with him and he would always be with it. It sank in naturally it didn’t shock or scare him it just seemed like that was how it was always supposed to be. Jack who had been cheated and let down and abandoned, would never be alone again. Slowly at first he also understood that he had been unstable and as far as the Warlock was concerned untrustworthy because of the instability but now he was stable now he could be trustworthy because the Mezzphogus was with him Mezzphogus was what he had been missing and now he was complete and could be trusted an relied upon. As he realized this and accepted it he began to realize so many other things he and the construct were completely one and he was learning that they both knew what the other knew. No that wasn’t right. It wasn’t one and the other not anymore it was just him.
Jack Creed the murderer and the thief melted away, his ego his personality everything that made him what he was as an individual, all the fault he had picked up in his life, his justifications for his actions since the fog had rolled in. All of it melted away and Mezzphogus stored it as memories but dulled the emotions that were associated with it or maybe muted them. Jack felt like a new man a completely new man but in the background in that space where a normal person thinks to them self and listens to themselves as they think in that space where they hear their thoughts but it is still them listening for Jack that space was no longer him it was Mezzphogus. The demon like construct had embedded its consciousness into Jacks subconscious; once everything that could later cause conflict was removed the construct for the most part went dormant leaving the new and improved Jack to himself.
Jack Fog climbed up to his feet. Everything was different now there was no single way to describe it to himself he was just aware of it. Aware of so much now, the fog he understood was nature’s way of covering something she was embarrassed about it was a sign of abomination. He understood also why the fog was there and that it was his masters mistake but one that would soon be corrected. Jack understood that his master had made many mistakes but that it was due to the lack of proper instruction and he felt slightly at fault for that. Jack at first took issue with the sudden referencing of Asmodan as his master but he understood where that was coming from as well. It was part of the tradeoff for… hmm he understood that he would never grow old now that he would be close to physically indestructible he could be destroyed but it was a very hard thing to do. Jack also understood magic but realized that it wouldn’t work for him in the same way it would for Asmodan or another human that tried to do it. He was a being forged from magic not a being to forge magic this also didn’t upset or depress him it was just the way it was he had never needed magic or had giving it any real thought before, it was something that wasn’t real until a few minutes ago. Jack looked out into the hallway and realized it was like he now had high definition vision he saw everything and he caught almost all of it and as he thought back on what he saw Mezzphogus pointed out the few things he missed. Again it was something that there was no real point in explaining magical vision isn’t something that could be explained to someone who didn’t have it. He could just pick out all the details but not only the physical details he understood aspects of things as he saw them. He felt that he would better understand the implications of this as he had more chance to use it. After looking down the hallway he noticed a blurred movement and as he stared at it he noticed the Imp inside of it. he understood that he could notice the imp inside of it because Mezzphogus had been crafted to help the Warlock and one of the ways he provided that help was in security and being able to notice things that could sneak up on the Warlock and harm him was built into the weaving of the spell that bound him together. The invisible Imp froze mid step as he noticed that the human down the hallway was staring straight at him. When Jacks gaze did not shift away after a few seconds the Imp took another few steps forward and when Jack’s eyes followed him he dropped the spell that held him hidden and hopped into the air to glide over to the mortal.
“How did you know I was there Fog Fanatic?”
The Imp asked outloud in what was now a very clear English accent.
“I saw you Warlock Familiar.”
The Half human replied in perfectly sent mind speak.
“You are my most favorite Human.”
The Imp laughed as it continued on past him down the hallway towards a window.