Monday, August 31, 2015

II 6. Zoe's Friday Night Dinner

“Bad boys, bad boys. Watcha gonna do. Watcha gonna do if they come for you!”
Zoe opened the door to her apartment hoping that her friends were in there. Unfortunately, she met two demons being way too preppy for their titles.
“You never cease to amaze me,”
Zoe was genuinely curious what was going on in their heads. She went inside her room and jumped on the bed; she missed it, again.
At dinner, Mark and the rest of the gang came over to eat. Thankfully, the table was big enough; unfortunately, Rowan wasn’t there to cook. Eneizar wanted to try it out after he had watched some cooking shows but that was not going to happen. In the end, Andy possessed Ezekiel and they got an edible dinner.
“So, have you seen the light at the end of the tunnel?” Gabriel started, thought bits of pasta.
Zoe raised an eyebrow.
“I’m not sure I’m following,”
Gabriel chuckled and nudged Mark, bemusedly.
“Have you seen the light or the dark? Something that could indicate how a patient in coma feels?” He was talking quite intellectually for someone who didn’t believe she was going to make it, “I’m curious,”
Zoe glanced at Ezekiel and Chen before her head moved on the other side, to Eneizar and Iaosur.
“Everything is blurry but I felt scared. I wasn’t exactly in Heaven or Hell because I wasn’t dead yet. “Anyway, it doesn’t feel good.”
Eneizar and Iaosur hummed and nodded. She was connected to Earth by a very, very thin string.
“I’m still curious just how that psychopath found you and wounded you,” Gabriel mumbled, the rest agreeing with him.
“True. When Mark told us, I thought he was talking about a supernatural novel not real life,” Luke continued Gabriel's line of thought.
The two humans were too curious but something about Gabe was definitely fishy. He seemed a lot like Ezekiel when they first met: so curious and amazed by the underworld and its secrets.
“I’m curious about that too, actually,” Henry wasn’t helping.
The new member of the group was Jake. Much like Andrew, he was watching and enjoying the theories of others. And much like his former best friend, he knew exactly what to say and when.
“I think we should be grateful that she’s alive,” The newest member mumbled.
She chuckled and hid her smile behind the glass of wine. Her eyes wandered to Andy who was proudly standing between Jake and Chen.
On the other side, Ezekiel seemed a little intrigued by something. He made a sign for her to get closer and leaned towards her.
“I can see Andy. Why can I see Andy?” He questioned, lowering his voice to a whisper.
“Because of me,” She whispered back, partially proud of giving him the present he's always wanted.
Ezekiel nodded and turned back to his discussion with Alice, a wide smile contouring his lips.
The view was wonderful. There was nothing Zoe wanted to change. If anything, there was something she wanted to add; a certain demon. Her expression didn’t change but everyone could see the longing in her eyes. She was happy but something was still missing; something very important to her.
“I say we make it something weekly. Zoe’s Friday Night Dinners.”
Henry’s eyes widened in excitement at Gabe’s brilliant idea.

Unfortunately, there was no Mehrdir to tease but the other demons could manage. It didn't take long for them to notice the sparkles between Henry and Mark when the subject was Zoe.
“You should be careful. He may be your friend now but I’m sure there’s something dark in him, especially when it comes to competing in love,” Iaosur was by Mark’s side.
He really liked how different they were yet they liked the same humanly things. Well, maybe not dancing. Iaosur didn’t like to move his limbs like he had no control over them; it was embarrassing.
“Everything is allowed in love and war, my friend!”
Eneizar was on Henry’s side. Why? The answer was very simple. He was very handsome and Eneizar was very shallow; he was a vanity demon in the end.
“You shouldn’t make plans so soon. You never know when Mehrdir will come back~”
Zoe turned to her friends with a scowl. She couldn’t believe that Ezekiel and Chen were getting involved.
“I’m for Team Asshole!” Chen raised his hand and shouted.
There were two fairies on each side of Andy. He was sitting next to Jake and was trying –key word: trying- not to lean closer to him, scared that he might possess him by mistake.
“I’m betting my fairy duties on asshole too,” The two fairies agreed, “He’s a demon. Their relationship can go on forever,” The female fairy had a point, Andy gave her that.
“I think she should be better with Mark. He can pull her out of the darkness a little. It would be good for her,” The ghost mumbled.
“So there are three teams, right?”
Everyone agreed. Zoe tried to open her mouth and say something but they wouldn’t even let her. She sighed and made herself comfortable.
“So, we have Team Asshole, Team Dino and Team Sexy. Let’s see who bets on whom.” Chen moved in the middle of the room and started to write.
Eneizar patted Henry proud of Chen's team name.
“Who’s the asshole?” Alice asked Zoe.
Chen found it vital to explain, “He’s a greed dem-“
Ezekiel covered his friend's mouth and smiled nervously.
“A guy whom we know but you didn’t have the pleasure to meet. He is a bit cold and he is very-“ Ezekiel had to find the right words to describe Mehrdir, “-troublesome and greedy.”
Alice and Gabriel nodded, happy with Ezekiel's explanation. Jake on the other side glanced at Zoe warily.
“Are you really letting them do this?”
She bit the inside of her cheek and laid back, “My hands are tied.”
Jake chuckled and turned to the issue at hand.
“I’m betting on Henry.” Chen narrowed his eyes at Jake for not using the correct term. The dancer rolled his eyes and corrected hismelf, “I mean, I’m all for Team Sexy.”
Eneizar jumped and high fived Jake, already taking him under his black wing.
“Of course you do. You’re from the same group,”
The three boys glared at Alice. It didn’t seem to affect her at all.
“Anyway, I’m for Team Asshole. It seems that guy made quite an impact on Zoe,”
“Girls,” The boys shook their heads disapprovingly and continued.
“Luke and I go for Mark. He’s funny and smart. Besides, who can look so bright all the time? It’s blinding, I tell you!” Gabe winked and gave him two thumbs up. Mark blushed and laughed it off.
“So, we have two for Team Dino and one for Team Sexy. We also have one for Team Asshole. Alright, Ezekiel?”
Everyone turned to him. He was sitting next to Alice, on the ground, one arm wrapped around the older woman.
“Definitely asshole.” Chen nodded and wrote it on his phone.
“I’m for Asshole too. That leaves us with three points for Mehrdir, two points for Mark and one for Henry.” He nodded to himself. Somehow, it was obvious who was the winner; therefore he just made a circle in front of Mehrdir’s name. “So, Henry loses the first round,” Eneizar glared at Chen but the human didn’t care and continued, “We’re left with two. So, who’s for Team Dino?”
Mark’s friends raised their hands.
“Alright, you have four. Now, Team Asshole?”
Every supernatural being in the room raised its hand. It was overwhelming and Zoe was glad that Chen couldn’t see them.
“When did this become such a big thing?”
Even Rubin came when they started to bet on her Prince Charming. The living room was full of fairies and familiars.
“When Mehrdir became obsessed.” Rubin responded, “By the way, I heard you won’t get a new babysitter. It seems Beelzebub thinks you can manage on your own,”
She couldn’t quite believe that.
“Does he?” She mumbled under her hand.
Rubin started to laugh and shook his head.
“No but he didn’t tell Mehrdir to leave either. He made him choose between going back to Mammon and doing stupid favors for him. He chose the favors so he’ll be busy for the next few decades. But don’t be sad; he can’t stay away from you for too long~” 
Zoe scoffed, “Why’s that?”
Since everyone was busy shouting and high fiving each other, she could talk to herself without being noticed at all.
“Because you signed him. Just like you did to Iaosur but at a larger scale. He’s dust if he goes against the flood and that flood is not Beelzebub; it’s you.”
No one understood why Zoe suddenly became parallel with everything that was going on; no one but Iaosur. When she went in the bathroom, he followed her under his demon form.
“So the fairy dropped the news to you, huh?” He was really blunt.
She narrowed her eyes at him, “I gave you my sign? How’s that even possible?”
He raised his left hand and showed her his wrist.
“Is that it? I can barely see it,” She grabbed his arm forcefully and pulled it in front of her eyes. It looked like the endless knot but not entirely.
“Well, it shows when you want me close or something. I don’t know exactly how this works either sinceI frequently changed my sign,” He trailed.
Zoe sighed and sat on the toilet, “Does it work in dreams too?”
Iaosur stared at her intensely, a wide smile gradually forming on his lips.
“You signed Mehrdir, haven’t you?” He realized something even better, actually, “No, you dreamed him!? I can’t believe it!” Iaosur laughed loudly.
Her jaw tensed and she was ready to punch him or make him feel pain, no matter where or how much.
“I think we all know who’s the winner now, don’t we?” He retorted like a smartass.
“What about Eneizar?” She started, “Does it work on him too?”
“Technically, it works on everyone. But he’s not just everyone. Eneizar has the sign of Vanity; a serpent and that’s hard to erase. He’s a difficult one but I’m sure you can find a way,” He was having a lot of fun and Mehrdir wasn’t even around.
Zoe walked out just in time to see her friends getting ready to leave.
Iaosur leaned against the door frame and smirked. He loved to be around her because she was an infinite source of entertainment. If wearing her sign for eternity was going to be as fun as the present time, he would gladly leave everything behind.

II 5. Bonding Time

“Excuse me but who are you?” Ezekiel’s question was like an echo; it was that silent. 
The man smirked and looked at  Zoe from across the room. His eyes were familiar; that annoying and proud smirk was familiar, as well. Her eyes widened and she straightened her position on the bed when she figured who that man resembled.
“No way,” 
The man raised an eyebrow and entered the room majestically. 
This is how a real demon appears in the Middle Earth,” He beamed, his dark energy engulfing the room.
Zoe could feel the darkness the strongest and recognized him quickly. He seemed to be the same asshole he was in the underworld; nothing was different except the human body. 
“Asmodeus,” She sighed and rubbed her forehead, “Do me a favor and crawl back in your hole,” She spit remembering fragments of their meeting in Hell. 
“I think someone forgot who the almighty demon is here,” He pointed at himself and smirked, “I am.”
“Wait. If you’re Amsodeus, do we really have to call you that? Isn’t it too weird?” Chen's statement only attracted glares from his friends, “I’m just asking natural things,” He added, his hands raised in front of his chest.
The demon chuckled.
“You can call me Kain. That’s an appropriate name, isn’t it?” 
It was much better than calling him some entangled name like Asmodeus but Chen had no idea just how well he chose that name.
“So, you –a guy who looks perfectly normal- hide the prince of lust?” Chen continued asking his curiosities away. 
“Why are you here?” Ezekiel interfered. 
The demon prince walked towards the edge of her bed and sat there, staring into Zoe's eyes.
“Because it’s fun,” 
They waited for him to continue but nothing happened. His eyes widened in excitement when he remembered something, 
“Oh, right. I got you a get-well present!” He smirked cockily and snapped his fingers, “Tah Dah!”
In front of them appeared a demon that looked a lot like a bigger form of Toby from Harry Potter. He didn’t seem to give a care what was going on, holding tightly onto a chain that ended into a leash around the neck of-
“Hans,” She whispered, not entirely surprised after what she elarned about the Lost Boys. Moreover, her eyebrow started to twitch, “Why did you bring him here?”
“Because no one escapes his fate and this little boy here expected to run away from me. ME!”
Asmodeus was genuinely enjoying Hans' sufferance.
“What do you want me do with him?” She asked, her eyes still on the hunter. 
As a matter of fact, Hans looked completely fine except the leash around his neck. That was quite the view and she was lying if she was telling someone that she wasn't content after Hans tried to kill her friends.
“Oh, believe me, he will be more than helpful when you will have to face that stupid cult. He knows dark magic better than the alphabet,” 
Having Asmodeus around was going to make everything seem like she was protected by superior demons. The truth was far from that; he was there to make her life impossible.

After he left with Hans, Zoe asked the boys to leave her sleep and dream about something nice; anything but demons and ghosts. Somehow, Mehrdir was included in her dream.
“You’re here for real, aren’t you?” 
He only blinked, looking at her without any idea how much it hurt her.
“Lilies can be deadly if you keep them in your room while you sleep,” He stated in that particular way of his.
The dream was in a field of lilies.
“But they are pure,”
“And deadly. Just because something looks beautiful doesn’t exhort it from being rotten at the core.” 
“Are we talking about me now?” She scoffed.
“I’m talking about me.” That certainly got her attention. “You will get another babysitter. One that won’t develop any humanly feelings for you.” Mehrdir informed her, his head tilting to the side.
“What about you?” 
The corners of his lips moved up slightly. He was doing his best not to smile or show any emotion for that matter.
“I had an obsession with the commander. You were right, it didn’t matter who he was. It’s not you as a person, it’s the title and what comes with it. That was what truly interested me.” 
She narrowed her eyes and took a few steps closer but he didn’t budge from his spot.
“You expect me to believe a liar like you?” 
He tilted his head to the side and stared blankly at her.
“Yes. That is exactly what I expect.” 
Zoe took a few more steps closer and stopped right in front of him. His eyes darkened yet not like Eneizar's eyes; Mehrdir's eyes were a red towards yellow darkness that looked like leaves on an autumn morning.
“You don’t matter Zoe, the prophecy does. Demons will always think about themselves before anything and anyone else.” He turned his back to her and started walking away.
As he was getting further from her, even in a stupid dream, she panicked and grabbed his wrist.
You’re mine,” 
After she said those words, he felt a sudden wave of energy enter his body. Zoe might have not known what she did but he was aware. 
“I am a demon too, remember? I am selfish and think about me more than anything and anyone else,” She continued in a softer voice.
The demon sighed and pushed her hand aside. He disappeared without a response and without glancing at her for the last time.
They both knew that her statement was false. She has been placing her friends before herself even after she got to Hell.

When she woke up, she had an intense urge to hit something. Her sign was glowing a little and her eyes were changing quickly in between blue and yellow. When Mark entered with a bright smile on his face and a positive attitude, she threw the pillow at him. The human retreated quickly and closed the door behind him.
“She’s really not a morning person, is she?”
Chen was on the bench, playing his game when Mark walked out of her room.
“She’s a demon.” The musician commented. 
What Chen said went past Mark as a simple adjective; not even once thinking or imagining just how realistic Chen’s characterization was.

Two days after her dream, the doctor assured Zoe that she was prepared to go home. It seemed that her wounds healed completely –and miraculously, at that- and she was in perfect shape. However, there was a problem.
 “You’re free to go home, Zoe.” 
“Yes, mom. I’m going home.” 
Both women knew exactly what that was leading to and so did her friends; Ezekiel and Chen took a step back, just in case. They could sense the danger approaching.
“No. Home, in Essex. I’m not joking, Zoe. So many things happened in so little time. I called the number you gave me, written on your supposedly business card. They knew nothing about a Zoe Lestrade and they told us you don’t work there. Actually, it seems you don’t have a job at all!” 
Zoe didn’t seem to react as bad as Ezekiel imagined.
“I’m not a child anymore. You can’t tell me what to do. You can’t grab my hand and drag me into an Asylum just because you are my mother. You have no power over me now.” Her tone was really cold. 
Her mother stared at her in shock.
“You don’t know how harsh life is! You have no idea how troublesome it is. No matter what you do and how much you try to live on your own, in the end, you are nothing but a rich girl. You can’t live without us.” 
That was harsh, moreover coming from her mother. Even Chen flinched and he has already seen Ezekiel's mother who was an overly overprotective woman.
“It’s alright. I don’t have to live,” She responded in the same manner yet her mother didn’t seem to understand her words, “You killed me a long time ago. I’ve been aimlessly walking through life ever since you first blocked everyone from seeing me. You made me like this.” She glared at her mother and left. 
Mrs. Lestrade was speechless.
“Um-“ 
Ezekiel and Chen were reluctant. She was mad and she wanted to vent her anger on someone but neither wanted to be there for her to do that. Ezekiel experienced it already and she wasn’t even awakened back then. 
“We should call someone to calm her down.” Chen stated. That was a good idea, but whom?
“I have no idea what to do. She’s been in a bad mood for three days already. She smacked Mark’s smile off as soon as he entered her room.” 
The boys sighed at the same time.
“What about Kain?” Ezekiel stared at Chen with a skeptical face, “I get it. Bad idea.” Chen retreated his statement quickly.

Zoe wasn’t as angry as she sounded, though. She was having some problems with controlling her emotions and that was obvious but truthfully, everything was going against her. 
Asmodeus appeared while Mehrdir decided to leave and that was the worst decision he took among others, of course. She needed him yet he couldn’t accept her and her feelings and it stung badly.
“Dammit!” 
Zoe ended up in the park. It was noon and it was full of kids. She went and sat on a swing and sighed heavily.
“I wish I wouldn’t know,” She muttered, feeling like digging a hole and hiding in it.
“You’re an idiot,” 
She raised her head and met a pair of familiar but not really black eyes.
“Do I know you?” 
The boy tilted his head to the side and stared at her, “Of course you do. Just because we haven’t seen each other in a very long time doesn’t mean I’m still not connected to you.” 
Her eyes widened, “Andrew,” The boy smiled and nodded. “You possessed an innocent boy.” She stated once she realized how young the host looked.
Suddenly, she kind of got it. Everyone around her became darker once they met her; except the demons. It felt like they were making some exchange of values. 
“This place is full of people. I can't make you look like a crazy person even if you are one,” Andy added quickly, practically excusing his actions, “I know that I’ve been a bad friend lately. However, you came and saved me. You saved all of us and you entered a coma.” 
She started to swing back and forth, not much, but enough not to look suspicious. 
“You saw Hell.” The ghost finished dramatically.
“I saw what expects me on the other side. Weirdly enough, I felt like I belonged there more than anywhere I’ve ever been; more than home.” 
“You felt that because you had demons that more or less cared about you. Eneizar, Iaosur, Mehrdir and Beelzebub, they are the demons that protect you no matter what.”
“Because I’m the commander,”
Andrew kicked her lightly.
“You really haven’t change, have you? They do that because they need you, yes, but there’s something connecting you to them, much like you did to Ezekiel. Besides, you have me, that idiot and Chen. We’ve been drawn to you with a reason and even when that reason will end, we’ll still be here for you because we care.” 
It was weird but she was feeling like she was going to cry. Andrew was taken aback when the most insufferable woman he had met grabbed his hand and squeezed it lightly.
“Thank you,” She mumbled.
They both smiled and the atmosphere became really nice and sunny. 
Until someone interfered.
“Hey! Lucas! What are you doing here? Who’s she?” 
A girl dressed like she was on a date was bad news; Andy possessed a guy that was waiting for his girlfriend. Zoe retracted her hand quickly and fled the scene. The ghost let the guy and hurried next to her a few minutes later.
“What are you talking about? Who are you talking about?” The innocent human asked his girlfriend once he got a good grip on his body.
The girl scoffed and crossed her arms in front of her chest. They were going to fight over that smiling scene at the end and it was Andy's fault.
“I made you such a bad ghost,” 
Zoe was joking but it might have not entirely been a joke for him.
Yes, you did,” 
The two entities chuckled and walked towards her apartment. Zoe was not going back to Essex, no matter how big the scandal was going to be. She created a home -with troubles at every corner and entities that normal humans would never imagine being around- but it was home for her.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

II 4. All The Pretty Little Horses

“We’re done!”
Iaosur and Eneizar were not as happy as she was.
“Why are you sulking?” She asked the boys.
“You might have had fun but we just messed around with women. It wasn’t fun. I didn’t feel any thrill,” Iaosur was the first to respond.
“That’s because they were too old and ugly,” Eneizar’s statement was simply rude.
“I’m curious what do you think is pretty?”
The demons smirked and walked closer to her.
“Can you get it for us?”
Zoe chuckled, “Depends what that is.”
The demons became instantly excited. She was very curious since that was something not many knew about evil entities.

“Chocolate bubble tea and strawberry ice cream are not evil.”
They were walking aimlessly in the park. Eneizar was happily sipping from his bubble tea while Iaosur was licking his ice cream away. Zoe’s expectations lowered that day.
“When you’re living as we do, these are very rare,” Iaosur started, shaking his cone in front of her.
“Besides, how can you not find it pretty? It makes you feel all bubbly inside~” Eneizar continued.
Zoe was very disappointed. The demons whom have stalked her for more than a year were so-
“Girly. You two are so unexpectedly girly,” They scoffed and walked faster, “And so sassy. Are you even evil?”
“We make the best of our existence, unlike some other people,” Eneizar took care to emphasize the message; she got it alright. “Just because we are supposed to be evil doesn’t mean we can’t like what we find here.”
Iaosur nodded in support of his friend.
She scoffed and walked through the gap between them. It was annoying when Eneizar was getting all wise on her.

"I want to go back,"
Eneizar and Iaosur turned to her. That came out of nowhere, a few hours after they just shared words of wisdom.
"And what do you want us to do?" Iaosur tilted his head to the side and watched Zoe think. She was having a debate in her mind, from what he could see on her face.
"I only had to get that demon for Beelzebub. Now I'm free to go back, correct?"
Eneizar and Iaosur glanced at each other.
"Correct. You are free to do anything you want, Zoe. You don't have to ask us before you do something."
"Oh,"
She turned around and took a few steps before she remembered something, “How do I go back?”
The demons chuckled and nudged each other bemusedly.
"Just close your eyes and imagine the place you want to appear into."
She nodded and did that.
When she opened her eyes, she was in front of her apartment door. She caressed it with a smile on her face and walked forward, hitting her forehead against the metal.
"We're not ghosts. We can't go through walls and doors, idiot. You have to appear inside."
Eneizar and Iaosur appeared behind her just in time to get entertainment. What she did looked really dumb and not even a normal human ever did something so stupid.
Iaosur grabbed her hand which made her turn to look at him. In one fast movement, they were inside her apartment.
"Don't go,"
Eneizar raised an eyebrow when she clung to him before pushing her away.
"Don't act so innocent when you know exactly what you have become. Don't try to be a stupid human. You are already dead, even if it's not practical yet. You've always been dead but you never accepted it until now."
Eneizar's wisdom didn't touch Zoe at all but that didn't stop him from leaving with Iaosur, leaving her all alone.

It was still dark outside but it seemed like it didn't matter for her; night and day were not relevant for ghosts and dark entities.  Zoe has been turning in circles and looking at her apartment for the whole time.
"It feels like everything happened just yesterday," She mumbled.
Zoe closed her eyes and imagined a normal day in her home. It used to be loud but she was happy; she could already see Ezekiel walking out of her room looking for something he lost; Rowan bickering with Iaosur and Chen on the couch; Eneizar shaking his head yet watching with amusement everything while Mehrdir would stay near the window, waiting or watching something and there was her ghost friend whom she saved yet hadn't seen in a long time. He would always nag her about the smallest things.
She opened her eyes and felt something drip down her cheeks; she was crying. Zoe bit her lip and tried to stop it trembling but instead, her whole body started to shake. She closed her eyes tightly and cried, feeling so lonely.
After she calmed down, she went to the hospital. Zoe was still not good at appearing but she managed to get in front of the hospital. She didn't have to search for long; granted to the pact he signed, it was easy to feel his energy.
She opened the door slowly and frowned when she saw her best friend connected to machines; well, he only had an IV and was sleeping peacefully. The young woman walked inside and sat on the side of the bed.
"I'm sorry, Ezekiel. It's my fault. Everything is just my fault."
She cried so much at home that she didn't have any tears left but smiled softly when she heard him breathe.
That was a sound she never thought would mean so much. Being alive was the most precious thing a human had. Life, be it rich and healthy or poor and sad, was better than death. It was better than anything; the treasure of humanity.
Zoe caressed his cheek softly and realized just how much he meant to her. Out of nowhere, she started to sing a lullaby for him; the one she used to listen to when she was young whenever she would sleep over her grandparents' house. Ezekiel couldn't see or feel her but at least, she could induce a few dreams and emotions.
Her eyes traveled to his hand and she stopped singing. He cut his right wrist in order to get enough blood for the pact. She turned it around and saw the signature; it was on his forearm. He was going to such lengths for her; he wanted to see the dark world so much.
Well, sometimes wishes do come true.
Zoe's hand shined a bright fiery color and touched his signature. Ezekiel frowned but didn't wake up while she was erasing the wounds on his arm. Even if she was going back to her body, he was still under her wing; he will always be under her wing, be it black or white.

The next morning, Ezekiel woke up in a very good mood. He moved around and realized something was on the bed. The boy frowned and looked at the head sleeping next to his hand, a firm grip on it and looking at the wall blankly.
Once he got up, she disappeared. He rubbed his eyes and realized he only saw what he wanted to see; probably from the pills.
However, while rubbing his face he noticed something on his forearm. His eyes widened and he jumped off the bed. Right then, Chen entered his room with a bright smile.
"I got the deal!" / "She woke up!" They exclaimed at the same time.
Ezekiel frowned.
"What?"
Chen nodded excitedly. Ezekiel pushed him aside and ran to her room. When he opened the door, he saw a Zoe that had color in her cheeks and life in her eyes.
"Zoe?"
She noticed him and chuckled. Her mother was inside already and was crying, believing that her daughter just experienced a miracle.
But Ezekiel could see it on Zoe’s face; she wanted her mother to leave.
"Uh- Mrs Lestrade, can I talk to her for a moment?" Her mother nodded and patted his shoulder on her way out.
"My daughter is so lucky to have found you." She said before she closed the door behind her.
"You have no idea," He mumbled.
Once he got next to her, he felt his arm stung. He looked at it and saw the same yellow color as her sign. She got the oxygen tub off her face and coughed.
"The miracle happened. I'm alive."
She was perfectly fine; like nothing ever happened in the first place. Zoe raised a little and leaned against the pillow. She didn't expect Ezekiel to jump and hug her tightly.
"Um-" She didn't know what to say so the continuation was exactly positive, "You made a pact."
"About that," He let go of her and chuckled nervously, "I thought that if you have died, that was the only way to still see you,"
She sighed and rubbed her forehead, "Zek, I was going to come back anyway. The inheritor has to die first."
He was still very happy that she came back. Chen entered a few minutes later and did the exact same thing Ezekiel did.
"So, how was it?" She raised an eyebrow, not understanding what that meant. "You know, the world down there. How was it?" Chen continued.
She rubbed her chin and tried to remember. Most of her memories became distorted after she got back in her body.
"Quite dark and blurry," That didn't explain much. "I don't remember it clearly. It's like this weird part in my mind that my brain can't comprehend. But I know for sure that I felt scared."
Ezekiel and Chen glanced worriedly at each other before turning to her.
"Why did it take you so long to sign the contract?"
Zoe clicked her tongue and tried to remember but she got a monstrous headache and stopped.
"I don't really remember. We should ask Iaosur and Eneizar."
"What about Mehrdir? Did you see him?"
That didn't happen. She didn't see him anywhere and Iaosur only led her to Eneizar. That was suspicious, actually because she could remember meeting the demons but nothing afterwards.
"Well, he is not important right now. You are." She smiled widely but something was bothering her.

"Zoe, are you alright?”
It was the second day of her hospitalization as a living patient and she was overwhelmed. Except her mother, who was 12 out of 24 hours around her, suffocating her and her friends who were coming when her mother wasn’t there, she had ghosts.
“My title doesn’t seem to help me at all,” She muttered in complete discomfort.
Ezekiel raised an eyebrow and leaned back. They still didn’t get rid of what they brought in her room.
“Why?”
She looked to the side, at the kid playing on Chen’s phone. That was the main reason why he couldn’t finish the level. On the other side, there was this cute guy who was waiting patiently for her to get him to Hell because he sinned. If being handsome was a sin, then-
“Dammit! Why can’t I finish this level! This game is stupid! I swear it’s broken!”
Her eyes moved on the kid. He didn’t seem to have any problem with explaining Chen what he was doing wrong.
“You have a kid nagging you. It seems you have to push the buttons faster and incline the phone to the side to get to the higher diamonds.” She raised a questioningly eyebrow before continuing, “You’re playing Cookie Monster.”
Chen narrowed his eyes at her and brought the phone close to his chest.
“Don’t judge what you can’t understand.” He said warily.
She sighed and turned to the handsome guy, “I’m not an angel and your sin is not too important. Go look for an angel somewhere.”
The handsome ghost disappeared, thankfully. She sighed heavily and laid her head back.
“This is even worse than before,” She groaned.
“Oh, by the way. Isn’t it very silent?”
Ezekiel and Zoe looked curiously at Chen.
“In what way silent? There are hundreds of ghosts in this hospital”
“But where is Andy? You had him around right? And where are the demons? They haven’t appeared in six months.”
That was a good question. Ezekiel was wondering the same thing.
“Eneizar’s deal ended. He can come and go as he wants. Iaosur doesn’t seem to have a reason to come by anymore since he doesn’t have a contractor anymore. Mehrdir’s been missed in action and I don’t know anything about Andrew.”
She just finished her explanation when the door to her room opened.
“Excuse me but who are you?” Ezekiel’s question was like an echo; it was that silent.
The man smirked and looked at  Zoe from across the room. His eyes were familiar; that annoying and proud smirk was familiar, as well. Her eyes widened and she straightened her position on the bed when she figured who that man resembled.
“No way,”
The man raised an eyebrow and entered the room majestically.

II 3. Host Clubs And Demons

"This feels so weird,"
Zoe didn't know how to possess people. Eneizar rolled his eyes and, once they entered the club, he pushed her into some random girl. Zoe fell in her body and felt a wave of new emotions and could actually see her memories.
The girl was shorter than her and looked very childish. She had her hair dyed strawberry blonde and had long and disturbingly sparkly nails.
"You don't look half bad. Quite flashy for my taste but I'm sure Mammon would be proud," Eneizar supposedly encouraged her but it didn't have any effect.
The males entered some random host men and smirked at each other. They have done it before so it wasn't anything new for them; it was rather innocent from what they used to do normally.
"Go look for a host and let's get this finished. Ezekiel is in hospital and is still waiting for his contract," Eneizar didn’t have to remind her; her mind was only thinking about Ezekiel.

"Hello. I would like to-"
When the club employee looked up and noticed her, he smiled widely.
"Kyoko-san! I know exactly why you're here!" She was taken by surprise.
"You do?" She mumbled.
He asked her to enter and nudged her towards the VIP rooms. She gulped and sat close to the door, just in case she wanted to run. He came back with two incredibly handsome boys, younger than her and looking a lot like they got taken from an anime.
"Good evening, Kyoko-hime. It's such a pleasure to see you."
There was one who had dark hair and one with red hair. The red head was closer to her ideal type only because he seemed mischievous.
"Did you come for me, Kyoko-hime?"
The red haired guy had something about him; it was hard to understand what exactly. She leaned closer and narrowed his eyes at him.
"Did I?"
The boys blinked before laughing. They were making her feel really ashamed of what she was doing; Zoe was probably around the same age as their older sisters or aunts so it was quite weird.
The boys ordered red wine and toasted for their rich customer. Zoe loved red wine and would often drink it with her family and that was why the hosts were a little curious when she became so high class.
From what they knew, Kyoko was a regular customer who was older than she looked and had a rich husband. She loved younger men and she often asked for Ren and Kyouya. Unfortunately, they were top class hosts and it was hard to get them there as often as she wanted.
"We heard you asked for us and came right away for you, Kyoko-hime."
The woman's soul was so easy to replace. Her soul was ugly and her sins were mostly about lust and carnal desire.
"Right," She took a sip from her glass and leaned back. "You remind me of two characters-" She started, "-from a yaoi manga."
They frowned.
"Do you like that kind of things, Kyoko-san?"
The two leaned closer to each other; too close for her comfort.
"If I wanted to see that, I'd have asked Amsodeus to organize an orgy," She mumbled and took another sip.

The time together in the VIP lounge was dull. The boys were getting bored because she wasn't exactly cooperating. Kyoko was a depraved woman with with strange kinks and she had done a lot in her 40 years of life; Zoe could see it in her memories.
But Zoe wasn't Kyoko and she had only begun socializing with people so being with two charming young men was still awkward for her.
"I need to go to the bathroom. Can you show me where it is?"
Ren raised an eyebrow and swayed his glass of wine around.
"I thought you are a regular here,"
She bit her tongue just so she couldn't say something she would regret later before she left the room.

Zoe ended up wandering around, looking for the bathroom and for the demon but it was harder than she imagined. How could she make the difference? She didn't know how to check if he was a demon or human in the first place.
"Hey. Are you alright?"
She turned around and met two brown eyes that she fell for instantly.
"I was looking for the bathroom," She mumbled, her eyes staring at the man in front of her.
He chuckled and pointed at the end of the lounge.
"It's down the stairs,"
She nodded but didn't even glance where he pointed at, "You are so handsome and tall!"
The guy raised an eyebrow and chuckled, "So I have been told." She nodded absentmindedly. "I know you, don't I? You are the famous Kyoko-san." His eyes widened suddenly, "No, I don't mean it that way. No one talks about you badly or something. No one talks about you at all." She tilted her head to the side, watching him stumble upon his words. "No. I mean-" He sighed and rubbed his neck.
"You remind me of someone."
He was acting like an older version of Mark. It was cute how different they looked yet how close their personalities seemed.
"Do I?"
"Except, you don't look like a dancer and don't have a dinosaur face."
His eyes widened and he started to laugh.
"Would you like to have a drink later?"
She really wanted to say yes but she wasn't a fan of her body.
"Aren't hosts supposed to not go out with their clients?"
His eyes were staring at her bemusedly, "Who said I am a host?"
She bit her lower lip and felt herself get very excited. Suddenly, the mission was very entertaining and might even have some good points she could use later on.

When Zoe finally got in the bathroom, she was holding tightly on her phone. They exchanged e-mails and she was feeling really light.
"Wait. I gave him my work e-mail address,"
She walked in front of the mirror and looked at her reflection. The woman was not pretty behind that entire fancy make up but Zoe wasn't pretty either so she couldn't really defend herself.
"Hey. Sorry but this is the men's bathroom,"
She turned quickly and met a pair of curious eyes. Suddenly, she felt like an invisible force was attracting her to him; like she just met her soul mate except, it was even more intense and dangerous.
His eyes narrowed and took a step closer.
"Did you hear me?"
She nodded slowly and ran out of there, into the room across, which was the women's bathroom and touched her chest. Her whole being was trembling in both fear and excitment.
"I can't believe this," She flinched when someone knocked on the door.
"Hey, are you alright? It's alright, Zoe. It's Eneizar,"
She grasped the sink and took deep breathes, preparing to lie to a demon.

"You what?"
He was amazed by what she was telling him after she opened the door and let him enter the bathroom.
"I didn't think! Besides, he's really handsome and he's not a host so it's not against the rules," She trailed fidgeting.
Eneizar looked at her as if she was an idiot, "This is not your body. What are you going to tell him if you ever meet him as Zoe?"
Her eyes widened in excitement, "You mean I might see him as myself?"
Eneizar stared at her blankly before hitting her forehead slightly. She pouted and rubbed the aching spot, just like a child.
"Did you find the demon?" Eneizar asked, getting a bit impatient since he had his own stuff to do later. "Are you going to find him today?" She had no reaction whatsoever to his interrogation, making him sighed and lean on one foot, "Look Zoe, Ezekiel is waiting. If you don't give him a contract he will think you died. You can't die yet."
She gulped when she looked into his eyes; the black and emotionless eyes of a demon were scary. Zoe was curious if her eyes looked the same.

Zoe returned to the VIP lounge with a lot of thoughts. She found only one boy there, not much of a surprise.
"Where's the red head?" She asked, looking around.
Kyouya looked up from his phone and shrugged.
"If I am so boring then you can leave," The woman continued, watching as the host got up and left quickly. She felt a little offended actually.
After she remained alone in the room, she leaned back and moaned.
"Are you having fun by yourself?" Her eyes opened instantly and met a pair of devious eyes.
"So you came back,"
"I did. Kyouya left before the time's up. We have rules, no matter how boring the client is,"He was careful to use a tone that would piss her off.
The red head was stranger than the brunette, who seemed to do his job and not mess around as long as he wasn't asked to. Wait. She grabbed his arm but nothing happened. Damn ,he wasn't the demon.
"Why thank you. Didn't expect a host to be so blunt,"
Ren chuckled and sat next to her, "There’s something off about you, Kyoko-san. You asked for us but you're not talking at all."
"Would you prefer me to jump you straight away?"
He laughed and pulled her closer, "Maybe."
She stared into his eyes for a moment before she got on her feet. The door opened and the handsome guy walked in; the one she actually liked.
"Your time's up, Ren," His eyes inspected the room and ended on the red head, "Where's Kyouya?"
Ren shrugged and winked at Zoe before he left.
"That guy is an asshole." Zoe stated coldly, sounding so unlike her even if she was the one speaking.
The handsome guy, whose name was Jun, chuckled. He walked in and closed the door behind him.
"Would you like me to be your host?" He asked, leaning towards her, touching her cheek softly.
"But you aren't," She whispered, looking into his eyes.
"I can be if you want me to," He was having fun just by teasing her like that.
She blushed and touched his hand. In that moment, she felt a breeze and their eyes widened. Zoe felt like she got pushed out of the body, which she did, while the bodies fell on the floor unconscious.
"No way,"
The two demons looked at each other in shock and she wanted to hit something.
"And here I was thinking you might actually be a catch!" He whined and stomped his foot. His eyes moved on her again and inspected her, "You're quite pretty for a demon. Are you pride?"
Zoe was annoyed; not, she was ready to send that demon to Hell and go complain to someone. She walked to him and pulled him closer.
"I'm really annoyed right now. Every guy I like ends up being a freaking demon!" She started, placing her palm on his forehead and watching her sign glow. His eyes widened and he hissed before he got back to his master.
She glanced at Jun’s body on the floor and sighed, "And he was so handsome!"
She bit her lip and got an idea: she grabbed his phone and entered her personal e-mail address under her real name. Afterwards, she smiled confidently and placed the phone back in his pocket.
When sh passed the bar, she noticed the guy who sent chills down her spine. She frowned when she realized he was staring at her. He could see her.
Zoe gulped and hurried out of there, leaning against the wall as soon as she got out of his sight. She couldn't believe it and probably didn't want to believe nor admit it but Zoe found him; she found the inheritor.