“Twenty-three years earlier”
“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
~John 8:44 (NIV)
Lucifer's eyes snapped open at the sound of the door being softly pushed agape. He could not believe he had fallen asleep right on the desk, but perhaps the recent load of work and the restless scheming and waiting had finally taken their toll on both his body and his mind. After all, it wasn't an easy job to wreck havoc on the world night and day and have enough strength to go on. Not without quenching one's hungers, that is.
Mostly though, he was surprised that someone had dared to come in his office, when he'd explicitly warned that he didn't want to be disturbed.
“Anyone who walks in that door without my permission should consider their life forfeit. Are we clear?” He'd told the tiny secretary – a daughter of another fallen angel – who'd squeaked like a trapped mouse, and nodded hurriedly, unable to even open her mouth to speak.
And yet, somebody had entered his office boldly, the door just closing behind them. Within the second, Lucifer was across the vast room and at the door, the intruder's throat squeezed inside his strong hand, bulging blue eyes staring at him in startled horror.
Then he let go, realizing that the person before him was no other than his own son, Garred. A boy of around two hundred years, Garred was the oldest living son that Lucifer had sired. He was also one of the few nephilim – part-fallen, part-human creatures – who Lucifer trusted beyond all the rest, which wasn’t all that much, considering his own standards.
“You should've knocked.” Lucifer barked out, piercing Garred with a cold stare. Then he turned away, walking silently toward the only window – an oval made of bluish glass that kept too much light from seething in. If it weren't for the view of the Saint John's river with the many boats that usually coursed its length, he'd much rather preferred a windowless office – something gloomy and depressing to stir up his evil spirit. But the St. John's reminded him too much of the river that ran through Eden, and he wanted to remember what he had been deprived from, so his hatred would never dissipate.
Behind him, Garred was making smothered choking noises, perhaps the result of being almost strangled to death. “Yeah, I realize that now.” He managed to say when he finished coughing and massaging his throat.
“I suppose Lidia forgot to mention my orders? That I didn't want any visitors?”
“Oh, no, she mentioned them.” Garred replied quickly, a lopsided smirk forming over his mouth. She had mentioned them indeed, between giggling and kissing and... well, lots of other pleasant things.
Lucifer humphed, still looking down at the dark river, its cold oil-like water running smoothly with an almost invisible current. Later it would merge into the blue vastness of the ocean, but he couldn’t see that from here – even the tallest building in Downtown Jacksonville didn’t behold such a vista.
Not that Lucifer cared really – he wasn't one to waste time in senseless marvel of God's filthy creation. He'd much rather curse it and be done with it, but to accomplish that he had to plan it all out carefully, because every tiny step of the way counted in his path to vengeance.
“Then either she's more stupid than I thought – or you are.” Lucifer concluded, not particularly happy with that observation. “Perhaps your belt has finally grown tight on you, boy, but I don't want your hormones messing up your ability to do your job. Don't get me wrong, I thrive on your debauchery, but if I find you slacking, I'll get rid of her.”
“I'd rather you didn't.” Garred replied lazily and finally moved away from the door, his steps muffled by the soft carpet. He seemed oblivious to the threat that lingered in his father's words, as if his mind was concerned with something else entirely.
Garred stopped near one of the cozy, leather armchairs but didn't dare sit down, not after he'd worn off Lucifer's patience with his entrance.
In that moment, Lucifer chose to turn around, his eyes of bottomless darkness piercing the pair of blue ones with an icy stare. A sly, almost imperceptible grin was slowly beginning to stretch his lips, though it was difficult to determine whether that was a sign of any positive emotion. “Are you trying to imply that you're finally interested in increasing the nephilim population?”
“Indeed, father. I am.” Garred said, still upright, and feeling quite awkward. Never before had he been denied the comfort of a chair. Never, until now. He swallowed hard against the lump that had formed in his throat, but that made him more nervous than not. Clearing his throat he added. “Especially since the nephilim population seems to be decreasing, rather than multiplying.”
An angry growl came from Lucifer's lips, as his fists slammed the top of his massive oak desk. His eyes narrowed to slits when he spoke. “You've got the reports.” It was a statement, not a question.
Garred nodded reluctantly. It was this part of the conversation that he'd dreaded. The reports had never been so grim, and he was quite terrified of his father's reaction – even more so now that Lucifer wasn't in a flourishing mood.
“Eleven nephilim have been recorded missing just in the past year.” Garred paused to gather both his breath and his thoughts. That count had never been reached over the course of twelve months. A decade – yes, but a year... If things continued in that direction, no one could tell who would be the next victim. “The only newborns are the two the lab procured. No natural births have been recorded.”
Lucifer was silent, taking in the information as evenly as he could, which meant containing his anger within himself for the time being. Later, when it had boiled to a maximal level, he'd unleash it upon the world of silly, self-important humans. A war, or a hurricane, or perhaps a destructive tsunami....either would work to quench his wrath...later.
Learning from past experiences, Garred decided that it would be better if he continued with the report, instead of waiting to be asked. It had always proved to be the better tactic. “Three of our own are among the missing, father – my brother Rager, and a distant cousin. Also, we've lost a girl.”
“We've lost a girl?”Lucifer snarled, crossing the distance from his place behind the desk to where Garred was standing, in no time at all. Unable to control his fury, he grabbed the nephilim for the front of his shirt and yanked him up so their eyes were at the same level. “One of my own daughters is missing?”
Garred swallowed hard, averting his gaze from the two dark orbits that glared at him with the rage of a hundred piers. “Yes, father.” He muttered, his voice only barely above a whisper. “Dinala could not be accounted for.”
The lump in Garred's throat had become a huge mass that hindered his ability to breathe. The air that was coming out of his nose sounded like wheezing, reminding him that even he wasn't immune to Lucifer's fury, though he was his son. He had experienced it more than once in his two hundred years and knew exactly when he should recoil, or continue on. Right now, he wanted to back off and hide somewhere until time lost its essence, but that option was lost to him.
All in all, this was a testy moment even for Garred, who had been considered Lucifer's favorite son. Yet, Garred knew that his father wasn't furious for no reason. Just like all the other fallen angels, Lucifer could only beget so many daughters – usually one in about twenty live-born children. And without daughters, the whole demon world that the fallen had created so far, would crumple down to ruins. Thus, if a girl was born, it was a reason for celebration; and when one was lost – everyone mourned for her.
“THAT. IS. IMPOSSIBLE!” Lucifer yelled, his whole body shaking in rage, as he threw Garred across the room, where the nephilim collided with the wall and collapsed to the floor in a crumpled heap. “Dinala can not be missing! She's reckless enough to have vanished for the time being without warning anybody, but she would be back in a few days, just like always. ”
For a moment, Garred didn't dare move, for fear that any wrong gesture might just cap Lucifer's fury. But then he slowly righted himself to a sitting position, his back propped against the door, and shook his head. He understood Lucifer's wishful thinking, but sometimes the truth was worth knowing. “I know, father. But even this isn't like her. Even Dinala wouldn't abandon her life for more than a month.”
“My daughter has been missing for over a month and nobody even noticed?” Lucifer growled, his mighty voice rattling the window in its tiny vinyl frame.
From the corner of his eyes, Garred noticed his father advance toward him lithely. He put a hand up, hoping that Lucifer would hoist him up and help him stand. But there was an odd type of sparkle in the fallen's eyes – one that spoke of murder and blood and deepest sort of hunger.
“No, father, ple – ”
“Was it the damned angel again?” Lucifer asked, his voice turning from deadly to mild and cunning in less than a millisecond, making him sound even more dangerous.
Garred's voice was hoarse with tension. “Perhaps, but there's no way to tell.” He cleared his throat, but it was no use. Not when Lucifer was staring at him that way. “No evidence could be found at any of the residences...”
“Then of what use are you to me?” Lucifer crooned softly though his eyes were blazing with dangerous all-consuming flames. He lunged forward, grabbed Garred for the throat and righted him on his feet. “You cannot keep safe even your own sister – and you think I might let you anywhere near my experiments? Garred, Garred…. Do you know how nephilim die, m'boy?” He continued in the same tone, his eyes never wavering from the blue ones of his son. Then he thrust his hand forward, his sharp nails ripping through flesh and bone, until his fingers clenched around his son's warm, beating heart – and pulled.
No sound came from Garred but a soft gasp. He wanted to scream – his mind was telling him to scream – but all too fast it was over. The lack of fresh blood had already begun to shut off his brain and with it, everything else.
Lucifer didn't register any of that – he was too consumed in his own dark hungers. He didn't care that Garred's body was twitching in his grip, fighting against fate to cling to his miserable nephilim life. He didn't care that fresh blood was spraying both his brand new Gucci shirt and the snow white Persian carpet. He didn't care that he'd killed his son.
What he did care about was the taste of pain and receding life that now filled his senses. Life that empowered him with every breath he took – life that was now over.
With the last beat of Garred's heart, Lucifer finally smiled and let go of the limp body. “That is how nephilim die.” He murmured to the corpse. Then he released the still heart and watched it fall on the carpet. “More or less.”
That had been a weird experience – murdering a son of his own, but then again, it didn’t matter whose blood he spilled. Blood was blood – sweet and delicious, and appealing. Besides, he wasn’t the soft-hearted Iontach anymore – God’s magnificent puppet and obedient pawn. No, he was strong now and autonomous, and feared by all – the Lord of Darkness, himself.
All those centuries ago, when he was stripped clean of all loyalties and oaths to the God he hated, he stopped being Iontach and chose a name of his liking. Lucifer – the light bringer. Of course, he brought no light whatsoever. Deception, hurt, theft, murder – those were his specialties. But he liked being called 'Lucifer'. Not only because it sounded grand, but also because it was one of the Creator's own names, and he’d been sneaky enough to steal it. Now the entire earth blasphemed against God every time they called Satan Lucifer.
He loved that, and thrived on it.
“Lidia!” He bellowed, thrusting the door open with no more effort than usual, even though Garred's body lay motionless at its foot like a blockade. When he spoke, his expression was stone cold, and his voice did not waver even once. “Come clean up this mess. Then go fetch me Viveth – I've got business to discuss with him.”
~ Thanks for reading this little preview of my series!!! Please leave a comment if you liked what you read!!! ~