Two Kingdoms (Page 28)
“You wouldn’t have really died,” Lilith says as though I’m being dramatic. The second she says the words, the pain in my temple decreases once more, drastically. “You just like theatrics. Always wanting attention. It’s so childish and pathetic.”
“You don’t even know what she’s talking about,” Manella says dismissively.
“Don’t have to. I just need the historically accurate facts as evidence. Hellfire can’t kill hell spawn,” she goes on.
It’s not like I knew that, and her interruptions belittle the point I’m trying to make.
The pain continues to lessen.
“I faced the Devil and won a sword fight after just dying—again—from being stabbed topside—”
“That wasn’t a real death. Just a temporary one. Those aren’t really all that impressive,” Lilith cuts in with an eye-roll. “It’s not as impressive as coming back from a true death, which has never been done before.”
“Well, it’s been done now, since she’s standing here and ranting for being called a coward,” Cain points out, smirking at Lilith, who rolls her eyes again. “Sounds just like her old self, too.”
My head feels soooo much better.
“Overachiever,” Hera says in a singsong voice while blowing her red nails that turn purple.
“Purple is my color right now,” I snap defensively at her, and quickly shake my head when I realize I’ve already gotten way too distracted again, and this time I’m actually trying to stay focused.
But…it is my color. I’ve already called dibs.
Apparently, I’ve waited five hundred years for it, so it’s clear I have dibs.
Great. So not the time for one of my mind rambles, nor is it the time for my weird new color obsession.
“And Daddy would never kill his favorite,” Lilith resumes. “You’re not as heroic as you’d like to think. You just pretend to be badass. I could be your version of badass if I really wanted to be.”
“Can I punch her?” I ask anyone who wants to answer, flicking my gaze around. “Will it affect any balance?”
“I think it’s safe,” Jude drawls from my side.
Lilith vanishes and reappears at Lucifer’s side, smirking as she props up on him.
“I hate for my girls to fight,” Lucifer says on autopilot.
“This is why she’d be a terrible champion,” one of the angels who hasn’t spoken yet finally says to the other four. “She can’t even finish a sentence without being distracted.”
I feel like we’re all the naughty hell spawn being chastened by an archangel.
I pause…trying to recall who, if anyone, has mentioned they’re archangels, but I stop immediately when my temple starts to hurt again.
The twin closest to me leans over and stage-whispers, “Pssst…You forget we’re evil f*****g hell spawn.” With a smirk and a normal register to his voice, he adds, “We can’t take things save-the-world-serious for too long. It’s naturally bad for our health.”
Suddenly, those bouts of temple pain make a lot more sense. The Joker pops into my head with, Why so serious?
I think humans understand balance more than they let on.
“Fighting Jahl takes a lot of focus, intent, and pure determination. There’s nothing pure about her that doesn’t have an impure balance. It’s likely it would never be selfless enough to counter her selfish intentions, even if she sacrificed herself,” he continues, throwing those last words out there like they genuinely think I’d die for them at this point.
I’m pretty sure The Apocalypse shouldn’t be expected to be quite so noble after just watching herself be gutted and having some epic romance ripped out of her hopelessly romantic heart.
“Thank you, Michael!” Lucifer shouts, pointing at the angel who stands. “Thank you! I’ve been saying this all along.”
“That’s nothing like you’ve been saying,” Azrael argues.
“Of course it is. Word for word,” Lucifer states, though I suspect it’s a lie, given the expressions in the room.
I haven’t heard him make that argument, but I’ve been missing for five hundred years!
“I heard him. It’s the exact argument we’ve had since we came in here,” one of the twins says absently as he carves the Gemini sign into the stone table.
Ah, so definitely a lie then.
“Doesn’t matter the argument. We came to see if there was any way she could defeat Jahl now that she’s come back. She wasn’t an ideal candidate back then. She’s certainly not an option now. We’ll both seal our gates after she levels the world and sends the remaining souls to their eternal resting/unrestful grounds,” Michael continues conversationally.
“NO!” Rafael shouts, pointing at me. “You saw that power. Even weakened, she’s brimming with it. A few months in hell, and she’ll be more than ready.”
That mind-searing pain in my head is back.
“Revelations, brother,” Lucifer bites out. “The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse will start things off. Then she’ll level the world as much as she’s able. After that, the few who survive will face Jahl.”
They continue arguing again, and I turn and walk out. None of this feels right. I’m trying to remember a life I can’t remember, and too many things are just popping into my mind that I know. I don’t know how I know them or why the thoughts haven’t been there up until now, or why it feels like there’s still a jack-hammering in my head, or why I really want to find my pretty crown….
I pause and blow out a breath.
“Where are you going?” Gage asks as he catches up.
“The Four Horsemen and The Apocalypse are about to walk into a pawn shop on the seedy side of town to see a lying angel-slash-fake Elder about a dead woman in a cemetery. Just a regular…what day is it?”
“Thursday,” Kai states conversationally as we continue walking instead of siphoning, because I really need to take a walk.
The farther away I get, the lesser the migraines—because there’s certainly more than one going on right now—become.
“Just a regular Thursday,” I continue.
“You have blood dripping from your nose. Stop for a f*****g second,” Jude snaps.
“There’s blood dripping because of the multiple migraines. If this is the balance to multiple o*****s, I may forgo sex,” I tell him seriously.
He doesn’t look convinced.
As if he’s trying to scare me in my moment of weakness, Lucifer appears directly in front of me, startling the s**t out of me.
We all stay quiet as I just glare at him.
“I’m not in the mood to face my Daddy Issues at the moment,” I tell him curtly.
“You’re on your way to visit Harold,” he says with a shoulder shrug. “Understandable. You can’t kill him. The balance will be devastated. He’s currently neutral, and Lamar killed his Elder powers that I still have to restore.”
“Lamar didn’t stab him, and Harold is definitely still alive.”
“Yes, he did,” Lucifer says with certainty. “And he killed his Elder powers. Not his angel. You’re welcome. I made Lamar do that and wiped it from his memories. Harold would have sensed a shape shifter,” he goes on.
I blink at him.
“He’d have done it himself if he’d have known the truth. Killing Harold’s Elder power keeps him stuck topside, since he was close to redeeming himself and returning home,” he continues, smirking. “He’ll face Jahl too now, after you destroy the world, as punishment. To be safe, let’s not tell Manella that I used his boyfriend. He tends to be petty over such things.”
“You’re unbelievable,” I say in exasperation.
“I’m evil,” he reminds me. “So are you. So are we all.”
Why do I bother? He can’t help himself. He has to lie and manipulate, and I can never tell what’s really going on in the moment. He says everything with conviction and sincerity in his eyes, and then he backs it up with a reasonable point.
I say nothing, and he rolls his eyes. “I’m not sure why you insist on continuing to take your anger out on me.”
“I find it really hard to believe it was so easy to simply end my life, given the fact I’m supposed to be this all-powerful entity,” I bite out. “Since I’ve returned, you’ve lied to me, you’ve manipulated me, you’ve played me like a chess piece, and you really crossed a line with that latest illusion,” I go on as the blood continues to drip and the pain in my head grows. “I’m sick of the lies and half-truths that are wrapped around—”
My words cut off as I hiss out a pained breath.
“What do you get when you cross a platter with a vagina?” Kai asks, confusing me as I keep my eyes shut and focus on massaging away the pain.
“A platterpuss?” I guess.
He snorts. Three others groan. Miraculously, my head feels surprisingly better.
“Hilarious,” I state dryly.
“Better than half your s**t,” he mumbles under his breath.
“You’re my favorite just for making the effort,” I tell him, blowing out a breath of relief.