Thursday, March 6, 2014

28 In for a penny in for a pound


Danny drove home Lily sat silently the whole time. The Warlock had the argument play out in his head a hundred different ways and none of them ended in his favor most of them had her leaving, some had her attacking him. She seemed happy with how everything went throughout her day but he knew that once it was all explained and she knew she was a good portion demon a good day was not going to excuse him. He had broken her trust he knew it was bad, but he knew that he didn’t really have any other options he couldn’t afford to let her leave. As they moved through traffic he began to very carefully lay layers of mental preconditioning on her mind. If he was doing anything it was massaging her mind to get it into a more accepting mood. Danny hadn’t done anything like this before not the way he was trying it now if he did it right he could tell her that he had killed her puppy and she would understand that it needed to be done and forgive him for it. As he worked his way around her mind mentally sliding his fingers along the walls that she had erected to keep Volnam out. The walls were solid but she was trying to keep them up while also being a mess inside she was scared at what had happened to her and worried about exactly what it was that was done. She was happy and excited over the day that she had had and the possibility that the life could go on like that. Then there was the fact that she had to keep the wall up to protect her mind from the man sitting next to her. Her walls were strong and she had had a lot of time to get good at them but she hadn’t had the training that Asmodan had and she had too much going on to truly focus the way she needed. Asmodan poked here and prodded there until they got back home.
The car parked and she opened her door and climbed out before he could get around and open it for her. Lily closed the door and turned to look at the Warlock as he moved around the car to her. Asmodan watched as she crossed her arms over her chest and tilted her head slightly to the side with an expectant “well” look on her face. The Warlock took a deep breath and let it out as a quite sigh and began to explain everything to her.

Renault felt them arrive he actually felt them almost a mile out but they didn’t draw his focus to them until they were downstairs in the garage. He had learned a new trick on his quest to become an all-powerful poltergeist. The specter had learned to let himself fall apart or dissipate and while he was like this he just sort of spread out like a massive cloud and he was aware of everything that happened in the area that he covered it was amazing to him to see how much area that he covered when he was in this state. At first it was hard to not go nuts. When he was in his massive cloud like form he was aware of so much. He covered a portion of a neighborhood and a few apartment buildings and he was aware of everything that happened in them. If a couple in one house was making love he was present and aware of every motion and sound. If someone was across the street playing a video game he was in on that too. Volnam was sneaking alcohol when he shouldn’t be and Renault was aware of each drop passing from the bottle through him and into the cup which he also filled until the liquid in the cup forced him out of it. He filled every empty space every nook and he was aware of everything that happened inside him or the area that he filled. He did note while he was toying with his limited omniscience that he could not enter into his brother’s vault if the door was closed.
Lily was mad. She was really mad she was about to rip into Asmodan she could tell that he was expecting it, he could put the essence or whatever it was into her then he had damn well better be able to take it out again. But then a thought hit her it even scared her a little bit. What if he did take it back? She didn’t know why that question scared her the way that it did. Lily thought back over the day, no one gets to have days that go like that absolutely no one. Except her today she had that day, she lived like she was a princess in a fairy tale. Everything was provided for her, everyone was nice to her. She did whatever she wanted; she said no to anything that she didn’t want. If she told him to take whatever it was back he had done back then it would be just like it had been before. Lily looked at Danny who looked guilty he looked like he felt bad he knew he shouldn’t have done what he did. That he had violated her trust that he violated her. But had he really hurt her? Women have plastic surgery all the time they spend a fortune on it. As far as she could tell she had plastic surgery all day depending on what guy she was talking to. The world looked sharper like when someone watches high definition television for the first time after a life time of analog.  
“Is this all that is going to happen to me?”
“huh?”
“well… if I stay like this am I going to sprout wings or something?”
“Honestly I don’t know. You could. Volnam and I were wondering if you were going to sprout horns this morning.”
                Lily’s hands shot up to her head to feel for anything out of place.
“You don’t have horns, trust me I looked really hard this morning.”
“So this is it?”
“Well yeah if we stay here.”
“Stay here?”
“There is still some essence left. I can give it all to you. Like I said earlier I had been sneaking it in in doses to make sure I didn’t hurt you.”
“Promise that you won’t do anything else… until I tell you to. I want to see what this is going to end up doing to me. I don’t know for sure yet that what has already been done is finished doing whatever it is that it’s doing.”
“I can wait a little but if you are thinking about going forward with this I have a time table that I have to try and stick too.”
“Screw your time table Danny you have been dosing me with Demon juice!”
                She screamed at him, she hadn’t meant to come unhinged on him all of a sudden but she had and she felt totally freaking justified in doing it.
“Lily you have a purpose now. I don’t know that you have ever had an actual purpose before. Do you understand what that means?”
                This caught Lily off guard. She frowned at him tilting her head slightly to the left. Danny stared at her for a second thinking how to proceed as the little Imp had taught him she was one of the abused and he did need her to get what he wanted, he might as well go by the text book on this one.
“Lily you have never had a purpose before, I didn’t until I was approached by Volnam. You just lived life day to day. Before I came for you, you were that dick Larry’s punching bag, I bet that even though he treated you like that you still told yourself you had things pretty good with him when he was nice to you. You had a crap job in a call center just like I did, they didn’t care about you there as soon as they found out that they were being sued what did they do?... did they do anything for you? Comfort you? Tell you not to worry about it, that they knew it was an accident? ... No they fired you how many years had you given them? Then what were you supposed to do? What happened to you that same day when you got home? What would have happened to you if Volnam hadn’t smelled the fear and the pain in the air and directed the car to your building? I know that you are broken I know that life has not been as good to you as you probably deserve. With me, doing this, I will take care of you. I will always take care of you. I will be here for you. You will never have a need that will not be met and I will never hurt you, I’m sure we will fight. We will argue and bicker with each other. But I will never ball up a fist and lay into you and even if I did I’m not sure that it would hurt you now. I know what that succubus can take and I don’t think there is a man walking the earth that could do to her what has been done to you. I am giving you a chance at that strength. You could have a part in bringing someone back from the dead Lily. Who does that? I’m not talking about Monique I know that you don’t know her and don’t have any reason to care about her but Renault? You know him he has looked out for you he looks out for you often wither you know it or not. Help me save him; there are things that are after him looking for him to take him before I can bring him bake I hide him here with a medallion that I have it’s the only reason that he hasn’t been dragged screaming back to whatever purgatory like place it was that he was in when I finally found him. We need you for this. If you decide when this is done that you want nothing to do with us then you can go, I won’t stop you. But we need you for this.”
                Danny stood silent after he finished. He worried that he had come close to begging, once he got to talking about his brother he started to get more emotional than he would have liked. He felt the temperature drop and Lily must have felt it as well because they both looked over towards Danny’s right in time to see Renault appear. The specter didn’t look inquisitive so Danny assumed that he had eavesdropped a bit before making himself known. Lily looked back and forth between the two of them before turning to head to the stairs. As she walked she called back over her shoulder to Asmodan that she needed a little time and reminded him that he was not allowed to do anything until she decided. Danny listened but wished that she understood that the position she was in. He couldn’t really afford to let her say no Lily was his key into the building.
                Renault waited until Lily was gone and then moved to stand in front of his brother. The specter was paying more attention to his surroundings and his interaction to it and took the time to walk rather than drift.
“She was really pissed.”
“Yeah I know.”
“What did you do to her?”
“You don’t know?”
“Why would I?”
“I thought you had gotten to the point that you just had like spook knowledge or something and knew stuff.”
“I do kind of but I have to be paying attention stuff can happen and if I don’t take the time to focus on it I can lose a lot of time. It all feels really important when it’s driving me nuts hearing and seeing it all but I don’t always have a reference for time to keep it all in. That and sometimes it dawns on me that it doesn’t really matter.”
“What doesn’t really matter?”
“It.”
“huh?”
“Danny you are being thick.”
“What?”
“Doesn’t matter, because it doesn’t matter. Eventually you will die because everyone will eventually die and then what will it matter?”
“OK getting more depressing than I wanna deal with right now.”
“OK what did you do to her?”
“Oh yeah that. I’ve been helping her.”
“And she is mad about that?”
“I have been helping her without her knowing it?”
“How?”
“OK I will explain but no frosty fingers that crap sucks.”
The Warlock explained and his brother did shove a finger into his chest. It was pointed out that if she had outright forbidden him to telepathically do anything with her because of privacy issues then logically, fusing demonic essence to her in her sleep should be a no no. Danny tried to defend his actions he even tried to point out that the reason that he had done it was because he needed a way into the tower for the ritual that would resurrect Renault. The specter pointed out that Lily hadn’t been the one to make a mold that would keep anyone out of the building. He tried to make Asmodan realize that he had created a problem for himself and forced someone else to be the fix for that problem. Asmodan said that he understood and that he felt like crap over it but Renault was starting to think that his brother couldn’t feel bad for things anymore, at least not bad enough to not do the same thing over again if the same problem were to present itself a second time. Eventually the Warlock did point out that she was secretly happy with what he had done. Renault gave him another finger in the chest for violating her mind. Danny pointed out that if he had gone as far as he had that tip toeing around her mind was pointless.
“She has had the greatest day she has ever had and it was because of what I did. I hinted that I would let her go if she wanted but she won’t go. She won’t pass up what I gave her.”
“Look, go look out for her watch her. If she seems like she is going to flip out or kill herself or something come tell me and I will take care of it. I promise she is going to be fine and when she gets a handle on how it all works she will thank me.”
                Renault looked at his brother for another minute and then floated up through the ceiling. Danny stood in the garage for a while just staring at the space his brother had occupied before he floated away. He had finally decided that he was going to goto bed and started for the stairs when Volnam contacted him.
“I have contacted Pipzic and others. Come and summon them. Once they are here we will get to work on the wall.”
Danny stared at the ceiling for a second took a deep breath and accepted that he probably wasn’t going to get any sleep tonight.

                Lily stood in front of the mirror in her bathroom. Her hands on her face, she felt different she couldn’t explain how. Letting her hand move softly against her skin just felt good. Anything touching her skin felt great. She understood more of that now she was at least part succubus. It would make since for contact with skin to feel great for a demon that was famous for sex. She could spend an hour enjoying the way it felt for her to slowly run the tips of her fingers up and down her leg. She had been crying she cried as she left the garage and made her way up to her room but her eyes weren’t puffy. Her eyes always got puffy when she cried her cheeks got blotchy too. But none of that now, was it because she just didn’t have those types of unattractive reactions to things anymore or was it because she wasn’t really upset? She tried to be, Lily wanted to be irate. But she wasn’t she wanted to keep telling herself that this was the same as a rape that her body had been violated, she had been used and if she stayed she would continue to be used.
“No you will be protected.”
Lily snapped her head around looking for source of the voice. It was a soft female voice, soft and strong at the same time. She turned a circle in the bathroom and started for the door to check her bedroom, she heard it again.
“No not out there, in here. Focus on the mirror.”
                She came back to stand in front of the mirror. She understood who was talking to her now, she didn’t know how she knew but she did it was the same way someone knew that their foot was there at the end of their leg without having to reach down and check. She looked in the mirror and she saw herself just like she had before.
“No don’t look at yourself in the mirror focus on the mirror itself. Trace what you see.”
Lily focused like she was told; ever so slowly a symbol appeared in the glass. She waited to see if it became clearer but it did not. It was a rectangle that was tilted just slightly clockwise. Inside the rectangle which was standing with its long side towards the floor and ceiling there were a few small squiggles one at the top center of the rectangle another at the right corner another at the center bottom and another at the bottom left corner.
“Trace what you see.”
                The voice requested again. This time there was some force behind the request coming closer to sounding like a command. Lily’s hand was coming up to comply with the request before she knew what she was doing before she actually touched the glass she stopped herself.
“What will it do?”
“Obey me mortal, trace what you see.”
                Lily put her hand back down and smirked at the mirror. She wasn’t dumb she thought to herself she had seen enough movies and television to know what was going on here. Normally she would assume that she was going nuts. But she knew that the mold which was made with the same essence she had been exposed to, hated Danny and he said it was because the essence was conscious and holding a grudge. She was carrying a lot more of the stuff then the mold had. The demon was talking to her. It wanted her to draw something on the mirror. If the demon wanted it, it was most likely going to be better for the demon than it would be for her.
“No.”
“I will peal the flesh from this body. I will flay you and then I will take you to a dark place in the city and I will call spirits to take men and have them force themselves upon you. Then when you are laying ruined and spoiled in the darkness I will think of something else to do to you.”
                That was more than a little disgusting and frightening. Lily thought it over frozen in place as the demon told her what she would do, she also tried to feed images of it into her mind. The images were weak they lacked detail but they got the point across. Lily reached up and placed her finger on the mirror as soon as she touched it the image which had faded away came back again. They she stopped again and put her hand back down at her side.
“You do it.”
“Obey.”
“No, if you can’t use my hand to trace the thingy in the mirror then you sure can’t peal me or flay me or any of that other stuff. But I can go to Danny and tell him that you are awake in there, have him take you out and spend another couple of days teaching you manners.”
There was no reply only silence. Lily waited, her pulse was racing. Fear had caused a rush of adrenaline and she was shaking a little bit. She had threatened a demon but it seemed to be working.
“You are strong and beautiful wonderful. We can be very happy together.”
“I don’t think so. I think that I’m going to have… the Warlock remove the part of you that is capable of talking to me.”
                Lily placed emphasis on Danny’s tittle when she said it. The woman had a vague idea of what Danny had done to this demon and she knew how much he hated her. The demon had to have known as well, when she spoke next Lily could feel nervousness and a what she was sure was fear in the voice in her head.
“The sigil on the mirror is a very simple one, all it does is allow you to see me in the mirror the way I can already see you. You will feel less… crazy if you are seeing who you are talking too as opposed to just hearing a strange voice in your head. Am I wrong?”
                Lily thought it over; she wished she knew more about dealing with these things. She knew that there were a lot of rules to follow with demons but it wasn’t like Danny had ever sat her down and trained her the way he had been trained. She knew that there was something about making promises with them.
“You promise that it will only allow me to see you?”
“Yes I promise.”
                Lily didn’t like the fact that there was now a feeling of amusement entwined with the voice. But she was pretty sure that they had to tell the truth or something when asked. She was about to respond when she had a sudden epiphany and a feeling of stupidity that followed it. She had been trained on dealing with demons she just didn’t think about the demon she was trained to deal with as a Demon anymore she thought of him more as the poisonous, annoying, alcoholic, flying dog that Danny kept around. With a little more confidence now Lily reached up and traced her finger around the rectangle on the mirror and then slowly traced the four other marks. There was a slight purple glow that trailed a half inch behind her finger as she traced it which faded to pink and then vanished as she went. When she was done nothing happened. A few seconds passed and then the part of her face that was in front of the rectangle on the mirror wasn’t her face anymore. The Succubus was staring out at her. Lily reached her hand up to touch her cheek but the face in the mirror did not do the same. The succubus had thick luscious lips they were deep red and glossy like she had just applied lip stick. Her skin was flawless; it was a deep tanned bronze. Her hair this time was blonde but Lily was sure that it was darker when the succubus was in the room with Asmodan. Her eyes were glowing red but only for a second once they had stared at each other for a few seconds the glow faded. Her eyes were blue when they weren’t lit up not a natural blue but a supernatural piercing blue that someone would be able to notice across a room. As Lily watched them the blue faded to an emerald green just as eye catching as the blue. Her hair was large wild look that they gave girls in hair metal videos but Lily already knew that it didn’t have to stay that way.
“What do you want?”

“I am going to instruct you.”

Saturday, March 1, 2014

27 Better than plastic surgery.

Asmodan Had spent a fair amount of time going over his mold problem. The Mold itself didn’t seem to be spreading off of the building anymore which was the only good thing to come out of his visit. The Warlock had noticed more of a police presence around his place now. He sent Volnam out to check one evening and found it to be the two that arrested him they seemed to want to find another reason to arrest him. He knew why that was, the Video that Algie had shown made them look like chickens throwing themselves back and to the ground at the wave of his hand. They both knew that wasn’t the case they just couldn’t find a way to prove it. that wasn’t really the issue at this point they were annoying but he knew that the police or anyone else that had anything to do with the building couldn’t actually keep him out of it when the time came. His problem now was that the building itself didn’t want him inside. Niath’s essence which was fused with the mold was holding a grudge and why shouldn’t it he took the essence of a Succubus and reduced it to mold; Asmodan would probably be holding a grudge too.
Volnam had already teased him a few times about not having a will strong enough to defeat mold or at least hold the mold off long enough to force his will on it once he was inside. It wasn’t long before the Imp decided that he needed to help find a solution to the problem though and they were both tossing ideas back and forth at each other and both deciding why one would or wouldn’t work. It was during these brain storming sessions that he would become agitated and would end up at the snapping point when Lily would contact him or knock on the door and he would inevitably make a jerk of himself. She would end up upset with him and then he would have a cold handed scowling specter of a brother watching him. It was on a night after one of these incidents that the Warlock woke up with an Idea that would solve a few of his problems and he was sure that it was one of the greatest Ideas he had ever had. The problem with people who get used to doing whatever they want whenever they want is that when they get it into their head to do something they tend to just do it. This was the case with Asmodan and this particular great idea. He Jumped out of bed threw on a pair of black a green checkered flannel pants and a pair of dark brown leather house shoes and headed into the lab where he kept the crystal ball that he kept Niath’s essence in. He experimented with and probed at the essence for the rest of the night and well into the morning. Lily called him about breakfast and he ignored it. His brother checked on him and he told him he didn’t have time to chat. Volnam got around to showing up and the Warlock explained everything to the Imp who at first thought his pupil had lost his mind but as the Warlock explained everything to him the Imp began to understand and sway to the Mortal’s side. Together they decided that for the best chances at success they would have to implement their plan in stages the number of stages was unclear and Asmodan decided finally that once they knew things were going to work they would at that point just implement a final stage and be done with it.

Lily woke up a little after seven which was normal for her lately she climbed into the shower and scrubbed herself down. She shampooed twice and conditioned once and did a final rinse in cold water which she felt made her hair glossier. It was one of the beauty secrets that her mother had given her. When she was down she got out of the shower and began to towel off in front of the mirror. She did it as a habit but it was an old and in her opinion pointless one. She never looked in the mirror anymore not to actually look at herself in any depth. When she looked into a mirror for more than a few seconds enough to make sure her hair wasn’t ridiculous or that the seams on her pants suit were straight, she saw what she was and she hated it. She was a pathetic being there wasn’t really a point in arguing it with herself. She looked where she was now a realized that it wasn’t too far from where she was with Larry. Now it was her boss that was the abusive one, he hadn’t laid a hand on her but that was it. He talked down to her like she was a fool he treated her like an annoying dog that was always underfoot. He yelled at her as often as not and she didn’t have the backbone to leave. She just took it, sometimes he would apologize but that was coming rarer and rarer. If she did leave what would she say when she tried for another job? That she was an assistant for a guy that ended up being some kind of an evil wizard that she lived with him his demon roommate and his ghost brother? She could say that she had worked for a man who had made a biological weapon attack on one of the tallest buildings in the city. She couldn’t do anything and she knew it. For a brief instant she thought about curling her hair and then decided that it was pointless she was going to spend the majority of the day in front of the television waiting until lunch then she would contact Danny and see if he wanted lunch he would say no or ignore her or yell at her for interrupting some crucial experiment. She would go back and wait to repeat the process at dinner then be told she was no longer needed for the night and it would be too late for her to do anything else she would watch more television and then go back to bed to repeat the process the following day. She didn’t know if it was the countless hours of not doing anything and all the television or the stress with the job or any of the other lists of random things that they have decided can make someone gain weight but she was noticing that she was gaining some which never helped anyone’s self-image. Lily put on a dark grey pantsuit and a pair of matching pumps. She tried to ignore that the waist of the pants was getting a little tighter and headed out to the room where she would waste her day.
Asmodan was standing in the entertainment room staring at the door when she entered it. He was in a tan pair of cargo pants this time and a long sleeve black hooded shirt. He was in his house shoes and he had an expectant look on his face. He told her good morning and commented on how nice her hair looked curled which confused her, her hair was straight it didn’t have any natural curl to it at all. Asmodan explained that he had been really tense lately and he was sorry for it he told her that he was still just as busy but he wanted to come down stairs and personally apologize for it. The Warlock went on to explain that he already knew what he was going to be up to for the day and that she wouldn’t be needed. He told her to take the day off he said she could go on a spa day or spend the day at the mall shopping or whatever it was she wanted to do. He suggested calling friends to meet up with or something. Before he headed off to the elevator he handed her a folded wad of money in a money clip and told her that whatever she decided to do was on him. Once he was gone and she heard the door to the elevator ding, Lily headed over to the hot tub and leaned over to look at her reflection in the water. The Tub hadn’t been used in some time and the water’s surface was smooth. She was confused to see such thick curls in her hair. The reflection wasn’t great but she could tell that they didn’t look natural they looked like she had paid someone to do them for her. Still puzzled she made her way back to her room and changed out of her work clothes and into something for going out. She looked herself over a little more closely in the mirror her hair looked great, but why did it look so great? Finally dressed in a white blouse and tighter than normal black pants she made her way to the elevator. By the time she was at the door to the parking lot she had spent some time looking at how her pants were fitting. She pulled up her contacts list on her phone and couldn’t think of any friends to call to do anything with. She didn’t really have friends anymore, her closest relationship at this point was Renault and she wasn’t completely sure he didn’t still sneak in and perv out on her in the shower. She stood in the doorway and stared out at the parking lot for a few minutes. She tried unsuccessfully to make herself take the next step outside several times.
It was a nice thought on Asmodan’s part she thought to herself as she put on a pair of sleeping pants and climbed into bed. She pulled on a plain white tee shirt and sighed as she remembered that her bra was still on. She unhooked it and pulled it out through her sleeve and tossed it on a small chair beside her bed. She turned on some music she liked on her laptop and brought up a book she wanted to read on her phone and laid down under the blankets. After about an hour she had fallen asleep.

Asmodan paced back and forth in his lab. He was frustrated but not mad. He had watched the windows over the front door for over an hour and Lily had never left the building. How could she not want to go out? He did have to admit that the fog made it miserable outside but aside from that there were plenty of things that she could go do. He tried to tell himself that she couldn’t be that far into a depression, she wasn’t one of those people that without an exact reason to get out of bed for the day she just wouldn’t. As he thought about it he decided that if she was one of those people it wouldn’t really be all her fault he was probably a contributing factor. He decided that he was going to have to move things a little faster than he had originally thought.

“So just give her the rest.”
“No. I don’t know what that will do to her.”
“You did not know what the first dose would do to her. You were lucky it manifested with sexy hair and not sexy horns how would you have explained that too her?”
                Asmodan paused to think about that last question. Volnam and he had been going back and forth for half an hour now on the best way to move on with their plan. The Warlock had originally considered using the essence on himself but Volnam pointed out that the gender deference might cause an issue, Asmodan did not want to wake up with sexy succubus boobies. They decided that it had to be Lily all the way, they tested with a very small amount of the essence and it was bound to her in general they were both surprised to see that it managed to go to and affect her hair. He knew it was her hair because when he saw her he couldn’t take his eyes off of it until he identified that it was working its sexy magic on him then once aware he was able to ignore it. He was sure that if he kept giving controlled doses if something started that shouldn’t like horns he could do something about it. He didn’t think he could do the same if he just flooded her with Demon juice and tried to stop small pieces of a large change from happening.
“I think I am just going to go with a third again what the original dose was.”
“Yes that is moving things up so much faster.”
“Want to make this serve two purposes and if she ends up hating herself and growing horns a tail and wings one of those purposes is lost.”
“Give it all to her and if something goes wrong use the voice and make her obey.”
“No deal I’m not going to force her into some state of half demon and then enslave her if she is made at me for it.”
“But you will be forcing her into a state of half demon and that is ok to you? You have a wonderful way of deciding what is acceptable and what is not.”
“What if she ends of having to fight the essence for control of the body?”
“What?”
“You are your essence right? Demons in general I mean you don’t have a soul and a body like mortals you just are the one ugly mess right?”
“Yes…”
“So I am fusing Lily with Niath in small amounts. What if enough Niath gets together in there and decides that Lily’s body needs to do what she says.”
“I am sure that there is a binding we can do for that. If you really want to move things along faster and do not have the constitution to just finish it, at least double the dose and move along twice as fast.”
“Fine. I promised that I would stay out of her head. You need to watch her mind like a hawk if she starts to have conflicting thoughts or anything that looks like a demonslut hostile takeover you tell me immediately.”
“As the Warlock commands.”
                The Imp made a deep bow with as much sarcasm as his mind was capable of forcing into the last thought he put forward. Asmodan moved over to the sphere that the endless vortex of Niath’s essence spun in and held a hand out beside it. After a moment of concentration a thin stream of the pulsing powdery looking stuff began to pass through the side of the sphere and collect in a tight ball above the Warlocks opened palm. The swirling was stopped when it was in the ball Asmodan’s mind held it so tightly that it could not move at all. Mentally he could feel the pain in the sphere it pulsed its colors but much more dimly then it did when it was moving around in the crystal. Asmodan kept his focus on the sphere and moved to the door.

                Lily woke up the next morning and she felt better than she had in a while. She climbed out of bed and took a few minutes to stretch in the sunlight that was fighting it’s way in through her window it wasn’t much the fog still managed to choke out a lot of it but she could feel it and that was the important part. She almost panicked when she looked down at her clock and saw that it was a quarter past ten, and then she thought about it and realized that if Asmodan wanted something from her he would have called or come down and yelled at her through the door. Well he might have, yesterday threw her off it was the nicest he had been to her in a while. She got undressed and into her shower as she used her luffa to she felt odd pleasant sensations. It was like she had never been touched before and liked it very much, it wasn’t a sexual enjoyment really. It was like eating her favorite ice cream it did make the shower take longer than it otherwise would have. By the time she climbed out of the shower and started drying off she felt charged up she was full of life and full of energy she was dressed and doing her hair which brushed out wonderfully and upon deciding what she wanted to do with it, obeyed perfectly. She noticed that the pants she had on today fit much nicer than she remembered before leaving her bathroom she took a minute to really look herself over in the mirror. Her skin looked great she felt like she had that glow that people usually assign to pregnant women she knew she wasn’t pregnant nothing had gone on in that department in way longer than she would have liked. She looked good and she felt good and walking fully dressed felt great at this point as she walked down the hall to the elevator she wondered if Asmodan had done something funny with her body wash or something.
                Asmodan waited in the entertainment room again. He waited and he waited he knew she normally woke up around seven finally at nine thirty he stopped waiting and turned on the TV and sat down to watch a video. Once episode four finished and he was well into episode five he heard the elevator chime he wanted to get up and see if there were any changes but he also wanted to see the scene where Han gets called a nerfherder Danny loved that scene never knew why it wasn’t pivotal or anything he just really enjoyed it. Lily ended up winning the attention contest. She came around the right hand side of his recliner and she looked great Danny stood up with a dumb grin on his face and she looked at him with a similarly silly expression.
“Sooo someone was tired. You goto the clubs last night or something?”
“Please… I don’t have anyone to goto a club with.”
“You don’t need to have a crew to goto the club.”
“It’s not safe for girls to go to those places alone.”
“Whatever. So why so late coming up today?”
“I don’t know I just didn’t wake up, did you need something?”
“Nope just wanted to tell you that I was taking a day off today. I think a lot of my prickishness was coming from the amount of time I’ve spent on dark maters lately. So we have the day off. Looks like you ended up with a four day weekend. Go visit someone see some family call an old friend and have lunch do something. Just get out of the building for a few hours.”
“What are you going to do today?”
“I was thinking about seeing how well my car handles under water. I’m not sure though”
                Lily gave him a strange look with that last part. Then she nodded at him.
“Yeah I think I will get out for a while.”
“Good and if you need someone to go with you to a club take Renault I don’t think anyone would be able to do anything bad to you if he frosty kicks them in the nuts.”
                Lily rolled her eyes at him and headed back towards the elevator. Asmodan turned back to finish his movie, he had missed the nerfherder scene but it was ok. Lily looked like things were going for the best case scenario she didn’t have horns which was a plus. He didn’t think there was a sprout of a tail but he didn’t stare long enough to really tell. The Warlock finished his movie and went for a drive.

Lily went out. She didn’t dress up, she put on a pair of jeans that fit her ok and a plain red tee shirt. She threw on a broken in pair of black and white converse and headed out to the bus stop a little ways from Asmodan’s building while she waited she heard then saw Asmodan’s car come out and go screaming towards the freeway onramp. She decided to skip the bus and walk into downtown on Hargett Street. She passed some apartments on one side and some kind of an adult learning center on the other then some shops all done in brick a lot of the buildings in Raleigh’s downtown area were done in brick. The fog was thick as usual but it was strange as she moved through it she felt like she could tell what was out in it. When a car crossed at an intersection she couldn’t actually see yet she knew it was there and was pretty sure she knew how big it was. It was like her mind was making shapes in the fog that she couldn’t actually see but she was still seeing. There were some kids playing in a park that she passed she could tell how many there were and had a fairly good idea of what they were doing. It was after the point she passed the park that she started to question what she was experiencing not that she was seeing it but why she was seeing it or feeling it or whatever. She stood there at the corner of Hargett and McDowell and just watched the foggy shadow images of people in the fog that were not really there but there. She heard cars on street further away than she should be able to, she heard a jogger further up Hargett heading in her direction. She turned to see him as he got closer she wasn’t sure how she knew he was a he until she thought about that and then she realized that she knew because of the heartbeat. That further spooked her why would she know someone’s sex based on their heartbeat? She was further confused because she had no idea how she could tell anything about his heartbeat from thirty feet away. The Jogger came up too and then passed Lily hardly giving her a second glance and five feet later stopped and turned to come back up to her.
“You ok?”
He asked as he worked to slow his breathing down to a rate that worked with conversation.
“Huh yeah I guess it’s just weird.”
“Weird?”
                Lily didn’t want to have to explain everything that she was experiencing to a stranger. Although he was a well-built stranger a head taller than her she liked taller men. His eyes were a soft blue that was almost grey like the fog that surrounded them His breathing was slowing down but she could tell as he looked at her that his pulse was not. She could tell at this point that he hadn’t really stopped to see if she was actually ok he had stopped to see if he could hit on her.
“I’m ok. I just stopped to watch the kids in the park and got turned around in the fog. It’s this war on Hargett to get downtown right?”
“Oh yeah its down that way I just came from there I am headed back to my place I took a jog to the Acorn and back.”
“OK well thanks.”
“Hey… are you seeing anyone? I mean I’m Sean umm wow this didn’t go how I had it in my head.”
“How was it in your head?”
“It wasn’t really I saw you when I was running by and I had to stop and say hi.”
“Hi.”
“Hi.”
                At this point he was as off of his game as a teenage boy. Lily thought it was adorable. He did finally collect himself enough to ask for her phone number, which she did give. He didn’t have anything to write it on but took the last part of his jog at a sprint so that he could write it down before he forgot it.
                Lily had a great day off. She had a free late lunch with an architect named Adam she later got a ride to the shops in Cary in a very nice BMW M6 by a gentleman named Will. Dinner was provided by herself when she was finally done with the attention of the opposite sex. She still got the attention from them she just didn’t return any. She was polite of course accepting complements when they were given. She just didn’t accept anything else from them. She finally called Asmodan who happened to be about twenty minutes away and asked him to come take her home.
Asmodan said he was twenty minutes out from her and arrived at the designated Taco Bell parking lot ten minutes later. She didn’t hear him coming from a mile away which meant he wasn’t speeding because his car as far as she knew was loud whenever it was going fast. He pulled up in front of her and immediately got out and went around opening the door for her she got in and shortly they were back on the road. She could tell from the look on his face that he wanted to go faster but traffic wouldn’t allow it, he looked annoyed.
“Danny?”
“Yeah?”
“Did you cast something on me? Do something to me in the last couple of days?”
                She saw the change in expressions he looked like he was mentally preparing himself for an argument. There was a slight hint of guilt for a second too. As she watched him watching the road as he drove she began to pick up on all the other things she had been catching from people all day. His heart beat his level of attraction for her which she was pleased and frustrated to see was close to nothing.
“Why do you feel ok?”
“I feel great, today was one of the best days I can think of in my adult life. But it was different way different. Did you do something to me?”
“To you or for you or… explain what you are looking for here?”
“Don’t be a dick. Did you or didn’t you do something to me magically?”
“I didn’t do anything to you magically.”
“Liar… I can hear your heartbeat.”
“Really? Sweet. I can’t do that.”
“I can see things in the fog that my eyes can’t actually see.”
“Are these things bad things? I’m confused… I want to hear more. I want to know all about it but I’m still confused.”
“Men hit on me all day long, it was the strangest thing.”
“Really in that?”
“Hey!”
“Sorry but I mean look at what you are wearing it’s not like you dressed for success today or anything.”
                The Warlock had a point she admitted to herself. She had planned on going downtown walking around a little bit having something to eat then heading home. That is not at all how the day ended up.
“Is it going to hurt me?”
                Asmodan frowned for a second.
“Going to hurt you? Is what going to hurt you? Are you hurt now?”
“No I feel fine. I feel great actually I already said that didn’t I? People on drugs feel fine too while the drugs kill them slowly.”
“Ive seen a lot of documentaries that say that weed never killed anyone. In fact a lot of people will tell you that its really-“
“Danny are you telling me you gave me the magical version of weed?”
“No. I didn’t say that I’ve given you anything.”

Lily took a few seconds to focus on something Asmodan could feel the concentration along the surface of her mind.”