Sunday, October 4, 2015

II 20. Hide The Evil Behind/Look for The Light

Next morning, Zoe woke up with a headache. She walked inside the bathroom and washed her face. She froze when she noticed something different at her reflection in the mirror.

The commander had a red substance in each corner of her eye. It looked like veins broke inside her eyes. She blinked a few times but nothing happened. Besides, she saw scratches on her chin. They were signs of someone forcefully grabbing it; someone like Belial, whose fingers were sharp and burnt.

She used make up to cover the scratches but her eyes were impossible to cover. Zoe had to use sunglasses; outside was winter and definitely not sunny.

When she got downstairs for breakfast, she only saw her father.

"Your mother and aunt went out to buy things for the party. Later, they will drag you out to get your make-up and hair done." He was talking like a robot; no feeling while announcing her schedule for the day. "Are you alright?" Mr. Lestrade asked as soon as he put down the newspaper. "You wear sunglasses on a winter day, Zoe." It sounded even worse when he pointed it out.

"My eyes hurt but it's going to be fine. I spent too much time in front of a computer," He nodded. "You don't seem surprised." She added when she noticed just how chilled was her father. Mr. Lestrade chuckled and leaned towards her.

"Can you blame me?" She understood that feeling well. After a while, she got used to surprises. She kind of missed the surprise visits and pranks from Iaosur. To be truthful, she missed them all; good or bad, she missed her demons.

"Mom invited the whole neighborhood tonight?" Her father nodded. He had the same expression as her; pitiful. They both pitied their lives. Actually, she was a lot like her father. Maybe they didn't look alike but their minds were working the same way.

"You better call someone to come and act as your date or your aunt will find you one." He stated before he began to read the rest of the newspaper. Her eyes widened and she remembered just what kind of men her aunt knew.  That was a no, no.
Zoe shook her head quickly and removed upcoming images from her mind. She had to call someone.

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The first on the list was Tory. He was the closest man, both physically and emotionally, that her family knew.

"I'm sorry but I'll come with my girlfriend." She stared at the phone quite surprised.

"You have a girlfriend?" She sounded impressed. The young human scoffed.

"Is that such a big shock? I wasn't going to wait for you forever, you know." His response stung a little. That was when she realized something.

"But Mehrdir would," She mumbled away from the phone. She was comparing two males who had nothing in common and were from different worlds.

"What?" He didn't hear well but he did catch the name Mehrdir in her sentence. He didn't know who that was but he had a slight idea he was going to find that out very soon.

"Nothing. Just, I can't wait to see your girlfriend!" He chuckled and hung up.

Next on the list was Alec. After a second thought, she erased it from the list. He already had a girlfriend and she didn't want someone who could easily expose her. In the end, she wanted someone who could lie.

"Demons lie better than anyone," She mumbled to herself. She almost dialled Ezekiel's number but she stopped right on time. She couldn't. Maybe Ezekiel wasn't at home in the first place. Maybe Jasper could- no, no. He still had a lot to learn. She could call Henry or even Jake. But if her mother would start to talk about her past, they would get scared and she won't be able to see them ever again.

Zoe groaned and dropped her head on the table. She raised her head a little and noticed the box she got from her grandfather. It was suspiciously inviting. She grabbed it and got on the bed. She put it down in front of her and stared at it intensely.

"What's in here?" She wondered out loud. The commander bit her lip and opened it. Inside the lid was an inscription. Her eyes widened when she read it. It was in demon language and it was addressed to the commander. Moreover, the commander's name was- "Beelzebub." She whispered.

Inside the box was a watch. It looked ancient and it was blocked on a certain hour. Zoe inspected it closely but it didn't look dangerous at all. If anything, it was an amazing piece. She turned it and read what was carved on the back. It seemed to be a response to what was written inside the lid.

"Nothing can shatter the loyalty of a demon. Don't trust and don't love a demon. Don't trust and don't love me." Zoe read out loud. Maybe if she was normal, she wouldn't have understood but she wasn't and she felt her heart break a little. She took the box and read the inside text again. "Between Heaven and Hell, the door is thin and inviting. Between Earth and Hell, the door is wide open. Thus, keep the demons out and trust the angels. Thus, hide the evil behind and look for the light." She finished.
It was interesting how both messages were written by a demon and both messages were encouraging people to forget there is evil in the world and just search for the good and live peacefully.

The watch was broken. It was stuck on 12 o'clock and it didn't have any mechanism inside. It was really light as well. Once she touched it with her signed hand, the clock's tongues turned wildly until they stopped on the right time; Zoe checked it on her phone. The watch suddenly started to work and it moved on the right hour. She dropped it on the bed but the clock didn't go back to midnight. It was working well, like it wasn't even stuck before. Moreover, did her grandfather know the truth about it?

She didn't have time to ask. As soon as her mother came home, they dragged Zoe out. She gulped when she got pushed inside her aunt's car.

"We're going to have so much fun!" Zoe doubted that.

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Surprisingly, it wasn't that bad. Her mother let her choose her own dress but they forced her to look for heels. The make-up was light and made her eyes look bigger. They decided to arrange her hair into a bun so her long neck would show off. Overall, the three women got pampered and the finished product was amazing.

The whole preparation took around four hours. When they got home, the men were in suits and the living room was decorated with lights and colourful tinsel . Her mother loved to decorate herself but Christmas was an exception. Mrs. Lestrade liked impressive parties with decorations of high quality made by professionals. She hired a company and gave them more than they deserved. 

The men of the house seemed surprised by their wives and daughters. Mrs. Lestrade looked amazing and younger than she was. Her blonde hair was curled up and the black dress was showing off her long legs.  On the other side, Zoe looked like a beautiful young woman; a younger brunette version of her mother. It was amazing how her father's eyes got stuck on his wife; same with her uncle on his wife. Zoe felt happy but she also felt a little tinge of sadness and disappointment. She wanted to meet a man that would look at her the same way her father was looking at her mother.

"So, Zoe, I have this cute guy that will come tonight. He works in my law firm and he is both rich and handsome. What more can you wish for, right?" Her aunt was getting excited already.
 Zoe chuckled nervously. She had no choice but to nod her head and agree. There was no backup plan for that problem.

As her aunt was planning Zoe's future, the victim walked upstairs. She let the door to her room open and looked into the mirror. Her eyes became normal once she touched the clock but she was still scared that her orbs would spontaneously turn yellow. She wasn't surprised after what happened in the past and all the craziness she's been through. However, she was curious. Zoe grabbed the watch and put it in her purse. She didn't know why but she felt comfortable with it around her.

"Zoe?"
At the door was her grandmother. She was dressed stylishly yet for her age. Zoe wouldn't expect any less from a former fashion designer.
"You look beautiful!" The old woman admired her niece, making Zoe smile. Her grandmother had such a soft voice that she couldn't help but feel comfortable around her.

"Thank you. You don't look very excited for the party, though." The old woman chuckled.

"I lived my life and went to parties when I was young. Now, I'm more interested in what my grandchildren want to do." Zoe laughed. Her grandmother used to be a party animal but once she became a mother, she softened up and learned how to control her desires. "I heard you got your present earlier." Zoe's smile cracked. "Did you open the box?" The smile disappeared completely.

"I did." Her grandmother sighed and sat down.

"What did you find inside?" Zoe's eyes narrowed slightly at the older woman.

"An old watch." Her grandmother nodded and took a long look around the room.

"This room doesn't feel occupied at all. It's empty and gives off such bad energies," Zoe agreed. "It was never your room. Not even when you were a kid. Your mother didn't let you live your childhood freely. She had a lot of rules." Zoe was curious where that was going. "I'm sorry,"

"It wasn't your fault." Zoe responded and sat next to her grandmother.The old woman's eyes saddened and grabbed Zoe's signed hand. She caressed it softly before she turned it around and pressed her thumb in the middle of her sign. Zoe's eyes widened. The sign became visible and it started to glow.

"I was supposed to be the commander in this family." Zoe's eyes widened. "I hated it and passed it on my best friend. She married the inheritor and they had a great family but you got stuck with this title." Zoe was shocked. She couldn't move or speak. "I used dark magic to curse you. I didn't want to have the pressure of the commander or have my children suffer because of it. The demon told me that the deal will only backfire later on. I didn't expect you to be the victim." Zoe was trembling. She was furious and sad and had so many other emotions.

"You knew the truth." She stated as she jumped on her feet and walked away from her grandmother. "You knew I could see ghosts and demons and you didn't say anything?" She sounded broken. Her grandmother sighed and nodded. "You could have taken me in and help me understand what was wrong with me but you didn't. You stayed aside and watched as mom threw me into an asylum!" It was getting obvious in her voice that she was getting angry. Once her eyes landed on her grandmother, the yellow circle in her eyes became bigger.

"I'm sorry. I tried to make another deal but they didn't accept." Zoe narrowed her eyes at her.

"Of course not! Demons are manipulative! They're smart and know when to attack and how deep to scar you to have you in the palm of their hand!" Zoe lashed out at the former designer. The older woman raised an eyebrow and leaned closer.

"You seem to know that well,"
That was it. Zoe exploded and her eyes became more intense than before. The yellow circle was getting bigger and bigger.

"Of course I know! I've been bullied by demons ever since I was a baby! They never showed kindness to me. They never offered me a deal. They played with me and with my feelings and now, now I have to fight for the one who helped me more than my family ever did! A demon, grandma! A demon!"
The woman looked down at her hands. She was feeling awful but that was nothing compared to how Zoe was feeling.

"I'm sorry. I didn't expect you to awaken your powers so early. I didn't even expect you to be cursed. I tried to find an explanation and cover it up but it was in vain. And then, you moved to London and I lost track of your life!"
Zoe wasn't going to show any remorse for her family. She got nothing from them except pressure and pain. Besides, she got chosen as the commander because of a freaking deal! She became the commander just because her grandmother found a way to pass it to someone else.

"I'm not like you, grandma." The older woman furrowed her eyebrows in confusion. "I'm going to take responsibility of what I am. I'm not going to pass my curse to someone else. It's not even a curse any more. It's a gift and you were so scared that you couldn't see the good it brings you." Zoe said coldly before she walked out of there.

Zoe walked downstairs feeling like crying. She really wanted to pour her sadness and disappointment in a good and long cry but she couldn't. The guests were coming and she had to look perfect. She closed her eyes and leaned against the wall. She breathed in an out for a few times before she calmed down. When she opened her eyes, she realized that everything was just a charade. She was nothing but another liar in that family.

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The party started at 8 o'clock sharp. Back in her apartment, Mehrdir and Eneizar were standing in the kitchen, looking at each other.

"Did you feel it?" Eneizar asked. The greed demon sighed and rubbed his face.

"She's breaking. If we don't do something, she's going to be another puppet in Belial's hands." Mehrdir responded with a frown.
Eneizar agreed. The vanity demon groaned and scratched his head before he jumped on his feet and started to rub his back.

"We both know the truth about her family. They did everything in their power to make her the perfect child. They gave her everything as long as she was acting normal. They thought she was hallucinating." Mehrdir knew. He was the main reason for that. He loved to mess with Zoe's head when she was in school. It made him feel good about himself. He never thought that she would turn the tables around. "She's a real commander, Mehrdir. She gained this title when she stood up against Leviathan and Asmodeus. She has the courage to stand in front of Lucifer. She is one in a million and Hell knows that." Eneizar continued.  Mehrdir leaned against the table and rubbed his eyes.

"It means nothing if she breaks now." Iaosur agreed and got up.
He walked in front of Mehrdir and punched the greed demon. It took him by surprise. It was amazing how much Zoe changed Eneizar and Iaosur. From demons who wouldn't care and wouldn't regret, they became so human. Besides, they were loyal and had every reason to be; she had the power to rule.

"Wake up and do something! You are the only thread she's holding onto. Beelzebub knows how much she loves you. Nothing stands between you and her. Nothing but your pride as a demon!" Eneizar shouted and glared at the greed demon. He waited for an answer but when it didn't come, he rolled his eyes and left.

A few minutes later, the greed demon entered her room and looked for something in the drawer. Ezekiel was talking to Jasper when the demon barged in.

"Uh, what are you doing?" Ezekiel was surprised. He had never seen Mehrdir in such a hurry; not even when she was in danger and that was saying a lot of his personality.

"Prepare or find some suits. We're going to Zoe's Christmas Party." He announced. The humans looked at each other in confusion.

"Why?" Jasper asked. He still didn't know everything that happened between the demon and the young commander.

"Because I'm going to admit my feelings and I'm sure you'd like to be there to see it." Mehrdir was sarcastic but that made Ezekiel grab his phone and call for a renting shop.

"Hello? I'd like six suits please. Don't matter the colour as long as it's dark." Ezekiel nodded at whatever he's been told. "Can you deliver them in like, 15 minutes?" He frowned and nodded. Mehrdir was confused. "Alright. Thanks!" He hung up and smiled at the two males. "They'll deliver them in 15 minutes. You get all handsome!" Ezekiel said while looking at Jasper. Afterwards, he turned to Mehrdir. "You make yourself look human." Mehrdir nodded and left right away.

It took only five minutes for Ezekiel, Chen and Jasper to look classy. On the other hand, Gakhas' face was hard to fight against. The demon had a poker face and would rarely show a smile. He looked like a teenager but wasn't acting like one. Of course, that wasn't the case for Eneizar and Iaosur. They already got used to act like young men.

Once they got the suits, Ezekiel realized how different they all looked. The demons had a certain pride and a certain glow that made them stick out in the crowd. Eneizar and Iaosur were dressed in black suits, complimenting their height and slim bodies. On the other side, Gakhas was wearing a white grey suit and looked ready for prom. Mehrdir was probably the biggest change since he finally looked like a gentleman in his dark red suit. 
On the other side, Ezekiel looked charming with his hair arranged and the suit was making him look taller than he was. Chen finally looked like a man his age, really charming and a bit maybe like a host; but that was because of his personality.

"Alright. I already called a cab." Ezekiel smiled at his friends excitedly.
The demons weren't going to appear in the Lestrade Residence. They hated the idea of taking the car but they complied. They whined for the whole ride but it was better than staying at home for Christmas.

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Zoe rolled her eyes for the tenth time. Her aunt came over with a man that looked acceptable. He was as tall as Iaosur and as blonde as Eneizar. Zoe didn't fancy blonde men, actually. When he started to talk, Zoe blocked his voice out completely. She was sick of men like that,  talking about himself and his career. She grabbed another glass of champagne and drunk it in one gulp.

"So, what do you do?" Zoe felt like groaning. He started to ask things about her. That was horrible.

"I work as a webtoon artist." She mumbled. The man tried to hide his disapproval but he didn't do a good job at it. Zoe sighed and took another glass of champagne.

"Do you usually drink so much?" His tone ticked her off.

"No. I usually don't drink."
He raised an eyebrow and took the glass from her hand. He placed it on the table and pushed her towards the gigantic Christmas tree. He wrapped his hands around her and started to dance. Zoe noticed the happy and content gazes of her family. She was feeling like she was going to throw up.

Zoe danced one song, two songs but had no patience for the third. She told him she had to take a seat and regain her breath. He agreed and followed her, unfortunately. Having someone following her wasn't strange as long as that person was either Ezekiel or Chen. She closed her eyes and fidgeted. He was suffocating her. Luckily, the bell rung and she offered to go and check it out. The guests were all there; no one was missing. Freaking Tory was having a good time with his freaking pretty girlfriend. It was annoying because everyone was having fun except Zoe.

Zoe sighed and opened the door. She froze when she saw the six men in front of her door, dressed in dark suits and looking extremely well. Ezekiel was the one who knocked and he had a wide smile on his face. He looked like a neat puppy. Her eyes inspected every man and she stopped when she saw Mehrdir. She could feel her heart beat faster and her hands getting sweaty. He was more than handsome; he looked perfect.

"Who's at the door, sweetie?" Her mother came behind her and checked out what happened. In front of her door were six handsome young men. Her eyes widened. "Who are these young men?" Zoe's eyes moved on Ezekiel.

"My friends." Her mother raised an eyebrow and stared at them. She did recognize Chen and Ezekiel from the hospital but the others were new. "I invited them." Zoe continued. Her mother nodded and let them in.

"Why didn't you tell me?" Her mother asked her daughter once the surprise guests entered.

"I wasn't sure if they would come or not. They have their own families." Her mother bought that reason and walked to her husband.

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Once the boys got comfortable, Eneizar and Iaosur gathered around the table. They grabbed a glass of champagne each and surveyed the living room. The girls and women were staring intensely. They were handsome and they knew it.

Gakhas and Chen walked towards the table and grabbed some snacks. They weren't concerned with the party and why they were there in the first place.

Ezekiel and Jasper went to Zoe. She was dressed in a long dress that was showing off her figure. Her hair was in a bun and had a few strings of hair let loose on each side of her face. She was beautiful.

"Why did you come?" She asked, though she tried to keep her voice down.

"We don't really know. Mehrdir and Eneizar went in the kitchen and talked about something. It ended up with Mehrdir looking for suits and here we are." Ezekiel responded and looked warily at her mother. She was staring at him and talking to a woman. "Your mother is freaking me out already."

"Ignore her." She added fast. "When did he get this sudden revelation?"

"An hour ago. We moved fast." Jasper responded. He was amazed by the decorations and the house itself. It was huge and it reminded him of home. His family would often gather for Christmas and have parties. That stopped when he got sent to Japan and Tom left home.

"You should ask Mehrdir." Ezekiel gave her an encouraging push toward him. He left with Jasper and found Tory. They had a lot to talk about and a lot to explain to the human.

Zoe took a deep breath and walked towards Mehrdir. He was staring at her when suddenly, someone interfered. It was the annoying mediocre rich man.

"You disappeared for a minute. Let's-" He didn’t have time to finish his sentence when someone tapped his back and pushed him a little to the side. "Excuse me, who are you?"
Zoe was impressed that Mehrdir came and interrupted. He wasn't the type to act. She noticed that throughout time.
The demon stuck his hand out and the males shook hands.

"Mehrdir. I am Zoe's lover." The whole room turned to them for a moment. The demon announced that loud enough for it to echo through the room. Her parents were taken aback but the demons felt like clapping.

"Finally," Zoe swore she heard Ezekiel mutter.

"Did you record that? Did someone catch it on tape?" She heard Chen ask around. He had a huge smile on his face and was very excited.

Zoe couldn't move. Her eyes widened and stuck on Mehrdir's face. She could still hear it in her mind.

Zoe's lover. Zoe's lover. Lover.

"Her aunt told me she doesn't have a boyfriend." The rich guy was partially right. Zoe didn't have one and Mehrdir was going through an issue every time she would tell him she cared. She was curious what he was going to say.

"She has now." Mehrdir responded bluntly. 
Her eyes widened even more. The demon narrowed his eyes at the human and squeezed his hand a little too tight. The human retracted his arm quickly and watched as Mehrdir grabbed his date and started to dance with her.

"I didn't know you can dance." She mumbled. He leaned close to her year.

"I can't." Mehrdir wasn't breathing but she felt his voice vibrate through her whole body. "Who was that?" He asked while glaring at the human from the corner of his eye. She wasn't sure if she should smile or not. The happiness was bubbling inside her.

"No one important." She heard him scoff and couldn't keep it in any more. Zoe smiled widely and pushed him back enough to look at his face. He had the same expression as ever. "Why did you come here?"

"Isn't that obvious?" She tilted her head to the side and bit her lower lip. His eyes moved down to her lips and he swallowed. He really wanted to kiss her.

"No. Explain it to me." She licked her lips and smirked. Zoe was aware of what she was doing. She was tempting him to kiss her in front of her family and a bunch of other people. "Mehrdir?" His eyes moved up for a moment to catch the glint in her eyes. She was mischievous and had no idea who she was playing with. Mehrdir smirked and leaned in. He shocked everyone but mostly himself when he kissed her. It wasn't deep or sensual but it was significant.

"I love you." Zoe eyes widened and her smile fell. She felt her heart beat so fast that it could jump out of her chest. At the same time, she felt a chill down her spine and shuddered. Mehrdir chuckled when he saw how red her cheeks got and pulled her closer. "I love you, Zoe." She gulped the excess of saliva and the excess of nervousness. The young commander was a mess and he was smirking cockily because he knew he was the reason. She rose on her toes and pecked him before she wrapped her hands around his waist tightly.

"I love you too, you idiot."
He chuckled and caressed her back softly. For the first time ever, Mehrdir felt like he did the right thing in his life. He was complete because he finally recognized his feelings. It felt like a lot of pressure just faded away.

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"I feel like crying," Eneizar stated as the group gathered together. He glanced at Ezekiel and saw him shed a few happy tears. "You are-" Iaosur covered his mouth.

"Shut up and enjoy the sight. You won't see it again soon." Eneizar rolled his eyes and pushed Iaosur's hand off.

"Isn't this amazing? I mean, even Beelzebub got tired of seeing him stalk her." Gakhas was right. He saw the two bicker about that. Beelzebub was the master and was the one who could turn Mehrdir into dust. "I wonder why he didn't kill him and why he let him fall for her."
Ezekiel took a hankie from the table and wiped his nose. Chen rolled his eyes and patted his friend.

"Because he is the only one that cared enough to stay by her side. Even if it was an obsession in the beginning, he saw her grow up and become the commander. It may sound weird but I think it was fate." Ezekiel responded happily.
The demons chuckled bemusedly.

"It wasn't. It was Beelzebub's plan. I'm sure of it." Everyone turned to Eneizar. His statement was intriguing. "He fell in love with a human before. He tried to keep her away but she was stubborn. She got pregnant with his child. The truth is that she tried to take her life and get to her lover but that obviously didn't happen. He gave her a box with an ancient watch. He carved a message inside the box and on the back of the watch. It was his way to say good bye forever." Eneizar continued his tale.The humans were shocked.

"You mean-" Eneizar didn't let Ezekiel finish his sentence.

"Yep. The commander is the daughter of Beelzebub, not his sister. He lied. Unlike Lucifer, Beelzebub has big plans for the commander. Until now, none realized the truth and none accepted their fate. Zoe is the only commander that took the title as a gift not as a curse." Eneizar turned to Ezekiel and smirked. "You did that. You opened her eyes. That's why Beelzebub is fine with your friendship." Ezekiel gulped. He didn't expect to have such a big role in her life.

"So that's what she meant," Ezekiel moved to the side and mumbled. It finally made sense.

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Mehrdir and Zoe were talking in the corner when her mother came over. She saw them kissing and that was enough to quirk her interest.

"Zoe," The demon squeezed her hand. It made her feel safe and happy. "You didn't tell me you have a boyfriend." Mehrdir raised an eyebrow.

"We fought," Zoe responded. "But we're fine now." Her mother inspected Mehrdir from head to toe. She quite liked what she was seeing. He seemed to be a serious young man with a nice career but with a troublesome personality. Something about him was dark and suspicious.

"Are you rich?" Her mother was blunt, just like her daughter.

"I might be," Her mother glanced at Zoe. She was chuckling and enjoying his answers.

"Do you work? Or is your family giving you money?" Mehrdir stared at the older woman with judging eyes.

"I have a business." Zoe tried to keep her laughter in.

"What kind of business?" Her mother's tone changed. She was the strict woman he saw before.

"Music business." That shut her mother up. She seemed impressed. Zoe was surprised how easily Mehrdir could lie. "My agency represents students from K University. I'm sure you heard of Yun. He is one of the best entertainers and teaches Ezekiel and Chen." He pointed at the two innocent humans. Her mother sighed and nodded. She couldn't fight against so many details.

"Well, come visit us again, Mehrdir." The demon nodded and smiled like a gentleman. Her mother blushed faintly and walked back to her husband. Zoe chuckled and hit him playfully.

"You are such a smooth talker,"
Mehrdir was ready to respond when he felt something. He looked at the other demons and they were all frowning. A sudden earthquake moved the whole house from side to side for a few seconds. It wasn't big but it scared the guests. That was when it hit Zoe too. She looked up at Mehrdir with fear all over her face.
The war was coming.

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