“Though, since we are on the subject, I am well versed in both the kindness and unkindness of humans, I have Dahlia, and that boy you shot me for. He’s been trying to steal my horns to sell the bone off to one of his buddies. He thinks he can get a good price for them, I suppose.” Lucien’s eyes narrowed. “Were you looking to save that guy or just shoot any demon halfling that came along?”
Laugh burst out from Elijah. He craned his neck back and drank in Lucien’s inquiry. “I slay any demon that attacks me. I don’t have any intentions of saving a human. It’s a waste of sweat. I approached you because I had sensed something strange in you that I cannot decipher well. A lot of demons are after me, and I cannot let anyone be one step ahead of me in that matter.” He met Lucien’s eyes, and they fastened their stares just a breath too long, only Dahlia and Natalie’s voices from the kitchen cut them out. “Either way, I will keep my eye on you until I am certain you won’t be a threat to me.”
Lucien was sure that was some sort of threat, but when compared to the way Lilith kept her eyes on him, it was an empty one at best.
“Elijah. Honestly, how many people have I injured since you’ve met me?” He asked through fits of boisterous laughter. He hid his unnaturally white smile behind his hand and bit down on his knuckle to try and be a bit more respectful. Droplets of blood slipped through some sloppy wounds scattered across his chest.
That stopped him. Elijah widened his eyes a fraction. He opened his mouth to speak, but came away with nothing. “Well,” a shrug. “You’ve hurt insentient things, the mailbox, Dahlia’s van, the ground you fell upon. I may say, doesn’t have insurance.” A smile cursed his lips. He scrutinized Lucien – his tattered clothes, his horns, the dark eyes, and the scars that marked his body.
“Ah, I see. I didn’t know we were in a Disney movie. I can also paint with all the colors of the wind, and sing with all the voices of the mountains.” Lucien snorted. “I’ll try not to insult anymore mailboxes, lest they have feelings.” He became vaguely aware of Elijah’s gaze. His chest felt hot under the burn of Elijah’s eyes.
“What?” He crossed his arms over his chest and saved himself from squirming uncomfortably in his seat.
“You must lack sleep. The mountains don’t have voices,” Elijah’s brows creased. “The wind is colorless, and we are not in some movie.” He pressed his fingers on his temple, his head throbbing. “Do you even sleep, or eat? What are those scars? Are they from battle?”
“Elijah, I live in Hell, and even I’ve seen Pocahantas.” He dismissed Elijah’s ignorance toward human popular culture as more of a choice, since he held humans with such high regard.
Lucien’s eyes drifted to join Elijah’s line of sight. “Battles? Nah. I really did live in a cage. Most of these are experiments.” He shrugged. “These things are like the ones you saw before, with the cursed iron.” He traced lines over the flat plains of his pecs. “These are just from whippings because I sabotaged a mission.” He flicked his fingers dismissively over a thrashing group of scars over his abdomen.
“And these bruises, I got from being a whore. More or less.” He covered himself up, tugging his lips into a smirk when he didn’t want to. His hands raked his tousled hair, pulled it back, pushed it to the side… all nervous ticks. He looked up and folded his hands across his chest, suddenly feeling awkward and shy. “But don’t go spreading that last bit, I have a reputation to protect.” This smile was even more pathetic than the last. He picked at his fingers like he was bored, when his mind was moving a mile a minute, and not in a psychotic demon way.
“No need to agonize.” Elijah’s lips thinned. “I won’t be publicizing your biography.” Somehow, guilt had formed in his chest. Had he ignored his pleading before, Lucien shouldn’t have had to take a gunshot. Elijah should lack empathy, that was what he kept reminding himself. Empathy was for the weak. Feelings should be set aside, yet he couldn’t ignore how culpable feeling boiling in him. With a sigh, he said, “My apologies for the bullet in your head. Don’t think this will change anything. I just now happen to discern that you don’t earn death by my hands. Tolerating your suicidal behavior was a mistake I made.”
“Don’t pity me, Elijah.” Lucien said with a bit more arrogance than he had hoped would be injected into his voice. “Not for the scars, or the suicide, or the time I spent unable to decide who did what with my body.” He could pity himself enough on his own and pretend it wasn’t so.
Lucien stood on shaky legs. He tried to keep his t-shirt closed as he stomped towards the stairs.
Welcome to the Lucien and Elijah serial by Aubrey Meeks and Julienne
The accompanying illustration was done by Aegisdea and I couldn’t be happier!
Stay tuned for more of Elijah and Lucien tomorrow!
Lucien and Abomination Boys characters and writing © Aubrey “Meeks” Brown 2015
Elijah and writing © Julienne 2015