By the time Elijah looked around, Lucien was already lounging on his bed, looking like a dark prince, barefoot and sadly dressed in a new pristine black v-neck.
If Elijah was surprised by the hazy moment that had commenced, he concealed it well. He gazed at Lucien on his bed, thinking of how absorbing he was right now. He rubbed a hand behind his neck and closed his eyes a second. He could go back down and drag Natalie out and they could forget tonight, or he could stay longer and let his own curious mind be filled. A smirk plastered his lips. Always, the latter. He wasn’t ready to go home just yet.
He strode across the room and perched himself on the windowsill, propping his elbow on his bent knee. Lucien could look horrified that he was still there, but he seemed relatively at ease. Elijah’s eyes lit. “You don’t mind, do you? Natalie seems to absorbed in the kitchen with your angel. And, I myself am too interested in your remarkable life.” A shrug. “I don’t usually run to demons or angels with impressive lives.”
“Oh? And what exactly about me interests you?” Lucien’s deep voice rumbled in his throat. He sank low into his bed so that his heavy head could rest on his pillow. His bones were both excited and achy from some annoying halfling symptoms. Lucien had been down this road before, with the sticky tension in the room, dancing in circles around a bed, being too close. What startled him was how slow it was, he was used to being overcome quickly with pain, and being unable to utter a word during the process. This– this was slow and bittersweet. This was enough to pique his interest.
Elijah stroked his jaw and pretended to be contemplating on questions. “You told me about your nature as a demon and angel battling in you, but how do this fair with your feelings? Have you ever felt anything that has affected you highly? How about romance? I see only your depressive state, such a negative emotion. Have you ever felt something opposed to that?” His forehead pleated. “Have you ever felt something human?”
“I have feelings.” Even when he was overcome with darkness he had feelings. Usually those feelings were to kill innocent things, and let their blood spill from open wounds into the street so he could lick it from the cold ground. If he was having a particularly angelic day he found himself being a bit more ruled by logic and law, and using those things to be selfless. But when he was balanced he was as human as ever. When he was neither good nor bad, well, that was something he was experiencing now. He figured that’s what humans felt, he had felt it with Dahlia, and now it was burning more with Elijah, and a hint of wrongness for wanting such things of a man who had killed him. Lucien’s skin burned when he was near Elijah, literally burned, and now it burned with anxious blanketing about his shoulders. It took all he had to force his demonic notions of lust and replace them with human dreams of love.
“I think I am incredibly human when I can balance out my blood. More human than a human. I am neither good nor evil, isn’t that about as human as it gets?” He asked. “I wasn’t joking about the whoring thing. My only experience with romance has been truly void of all romance. It was all physical, all pain, and all against my will. In Hell, I was a thing, not a person.” He flicked his hair out of his unapologetic eyes. This was stating pure facts, but convincing humans or human halflings was proving to be a chore when it came to claims that such things didn’t bother him. He couldn’t feel sorry for the life he had, the only one he’d known, only change it by experiencing new things.
“I’m feeling quite human right now.”
“Well,” Elijah stretched his legs before him. “You’re not in Hell anymore. You’re not treated as a thing in this world. It’s a pleasure to know you feel quite human.” He eyed the street outside, barely illuminated by the street lamps. He recalled Natalie, how he met her and took her away from her ambitious father. His demon twins he deemed were changelings, he rescued from the wrath of a great demon. Elijah had always been fond of taking broken things, but he hadn’t realized it until now. And as he looked back at Lucien, his stone cold heart had somehow eased. What he loathed the most were demons, humans, anyone who took advantage of others who were weaker than them. “My father,” he began, rising from the window sill. “Taught me his own ways, persuading humans with weapons, with war, with fights. I was fortunate. Before I thought he would be like any other demons. But some demons take pride too much, and my father overwhelmed himself with having a son he can dangle in front of his companions. Guess I was lucky.” He walked to the bed, standing just a feet away from Lucien. “But I have to live up to his expectations. I have to compete with myself, make certain I will be the best and my father will have something to brag about.” He snorted. “There was a woman I met in a Scottish village a century ago. I fell in love with her, at her strong will despite her abusive father who did nothing but brand her a whore. She was fierce and I found myself adoring broken things unbend. That’s the first time I felt purely human.”
He plopped on the bed, startling Lucien. Elijah’s brown eyes were pinned on Lucien’s. “I may say, you astound me. After all you’ve been through, you are still selfless. It’s too human. You are more human than you think.”
“You make me sound like a puzzle.” Lucien rolled his head with inky ease to better meet Elijah’s gaze. “I don’t think vengeance is noble. But I want to ensure that my mother dies and cannot create more of me to bring down Heaven and fuck up the universe. That’s not interesting, it’s what’s meant to be done. And I only want it because I was personally affected.”
After a moment, Lucien chuckled.
“So you have a thing for whores, then?”
Laugh erupted from Elijah again. He eased down, lay sideways on the bed and smiled at Lucien. “Perhaps I am fond of whores who are puzzling, but I cannot perceive you as a whore, you see.” He couldn’t say he saw Lucien more as a victim. That could hurt his feelings, he may never know. Funny. He’d just killed him moments ago, and now he brandished himself of preventing muttering words that could hurt his feelings. “How about you, Lucien? What are you fond of?”
“Demons would pay my mother to fuck me. Is that not whoring?” Lucien’s breath hitched and he slammed his eyes shut to rid himself of the memory.
“I don’t really know what I’m fond of, yet.” A goofy grin tore through the dark prince’s face as he weighed the possibilities of how that problem could be rectified.
The air inside seemed to have cooled, but Elijah felt otherwise. He saw the grin on Lucien. His eyes had widened a fraction upon seeing that. “Unless you loved that kind of business, too, then you are no whore.” He propped himself up by the elbows, eyes squinting at the ceiling. “Soon enough you will find what you are fond of.” His lips curled as he looked back at him.
Lucien didn’t need to vocalize that his time in Hell was wholly and completely torture from beginning to end, constant, sleepless, unending pain. There was no need to reiterate how much it hurt, it would only make him seem obsessed, or weak. Saying it was Hell was enough.
“Are you going to help me figure it out, or just keep looking at me like that?”
Elijah blinked for a second, his smile faded. “How frank. I can do the latter and that will be satisfying enough. And remember, I killed you. Aren’t you afraid I can do it again?” His smile was replaced with a smirk. “Or we can forget about the blood and murder.”
“Well, I’m certainly not going to forget about blood and murder only to be ogled.” His displeasure tipped his scale, shooting a pierce through his heart. He collected his hair and held it all in until the scale balanced once more.
Rejection stung more than any torture. It hung in his eyelids, pushing him to suddenly realize his exhaustion, which pushed him down into his bed by his shoulders. Lucien flinched into a shrug.
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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