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?”
“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.”
“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?”
“Danny you are being thick.”
“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?”
“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.
“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.”
“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.”