TAMING FIRE: WEEK 6
The Creator stretched his legs, crossing an ankle over the other. He smiled, staring out over the courtyard as his hands dug into the grass. Up above, the sun filtered through a passing parade of clouds, and he tilted his head back to bask in the interrupted rays of warmth.
“Is it so hard for you to enjoy the day, Emile? Look at all the wonderful things around you.” The Creator turned his head.
Emile put his sandwich down and wiped his mouth. “I’m sorry, but I’m having a hard time enjoying myself. Your other half is trying to kill me and Xavier…I don’t want to talk about it.”
“You enjoy his company and you’re scared that you don’t understand why.” The Creator hummed. “Only natural I suppose.”
“There’s nothing natural about him.” Emile chugged from a bottle of water. “I don’t understand…sir, why me?”
“Why not him?” The Creator pointed to a man running across the lawn. “Or her?” A young woman trudged up the stairs across the way. “Why not the mail carrier?”
“That’s exactly my point, so why me?”
Sighing, the Creator shifted towards Emile. “Inside of you, Emile, you carry so much heartache, darkness that eats at you. But here,” he put a hand over Emile’s heart, “you overcome it all for the sake of life. Even though you hurt inside, you have a desire to help those around you, to be a good person and not allow your past or current demons wear away your light. As Lim said, you walk the line on an everyday basis, and all you would have to do is reach out a hand to either side and fall. Yet you keep your balance, because you wish to do so, not because you’ve been persuaded. That is a rare gift, for most mortals desire to be categorized, to fit in even though that is not who they are. You truly wish to be yourself, a good man.”
“Is this a punishment? Have I done something wrong? I don’t understand. It’s always me. I’ll never be happy.” Emile put his lips to the back of his hand, breathing deeply.
The Creator scooted close. His arm slipped over Emile’s back. “You are a treasure buried under many layers of mortal sin. They have ignored your beauty and your love for far too long, and my heart is heavy with the pain you suffer. However it is part of life, Emile. Many suffer as you do, because of them, quietly dwindling away when they can’t stand to breathe any longer. If you wish to view this is a sacrifice, it is up to you, but to me and mine, you are a warrior of the light. One of our own is in the midst of a raging battle, and it is your task to save him. Xavier needs you, Emile. One of you without the other is a dangerous future.”
“I didn’t decide to like him. It’s forced because of you.” Emile looked up. “Isn’t it?”
The Creator shook his head. “Your futures may collide by my hand, but the heart wants what the heart wants. Whatever designs you foresee with Xavier are all of your own doing.”
Emile shook his head. “That’s not possible. I basically threw myself at him. I’m not like that. You don’t understand.”
“I don’t understand?” The Creator laughed. “You are so innocent.” He rubbed Emile’s shoulder. “It suits you well.”
Groaning, Emile hid his face in his hands. “Of course you understand. You know everything before it happens. You’re God.”
“I’m many things, Emile, but always know I’m listening when you speak to me. I watch over you continually. I would never give you more than you could handle. This situation you find yourself in is nothing you can’t overcome. You are essential, as are all my children, but you’re purpose is dear to me. I hope you will let your heart guide you. Many will test you and your relationship with Xavier. I know this scares you, you wouldn’t be who you are if it didn’t, but you have me and mine behind you eternally. Just call and we will be there, my Emile.” The Creator kissed Emile’s hair.
Emile shivered, filled to the brim with ease that reminded him of his grandmother’s hugs. He had so many questions and the feeling that he only had so much time to answer them. When he looked up to see the Creator’s face, he found himself staring at a pure ray of sun breaking through the clouds.
The Creator was gone.
A warm breeze rushed across his face, leaving behind the scent of his grandmother’s perfume. Instead of breaking into tears and scrambling around like a frightened idiot, Emile closed his eyes and inhaled. He concentrated on the feel of the sun and the softness of the new growth of grass under his fingers. He let the smell of his grandmother still him.
The cross around his neck thrummed with power, heating up as he focused. His questions were his own to answer. God wasn’t going to give him everything he wanted to know. It was up to Emile to take his future into his hands, just like the rest of mankind.
When he opened his eyes with a renewed heart, his gaze landed on Xavier standing across the courtyard. Xavier’s eyes were narrowed. His hands were stuffed in his jacket pockets, arms stiff and legs shoulder width apart. He was livid. Emile looked to the spot where the Creator had sat and put two and two together. He gathered up his things, rushing to catch up with Xavier who had turned around and stomped off.
“Xavier!” Emile gasped, running full speed over the grass. He sidestepped a couple holding hands and pounded down the steps. “Xavier, wait. Slow down.”
“I had my suspicions.” Xavier stopped short, watching Emile trip over his own feet beside him. “But not in my wildest dreams did I suspect you to be working for the Creator directly.”
Catching his breath, Emile winced at the scratches on his palms from the pavement. He got to his knees, checking his bag over. “I didn’t know I was. It’s all a misunderstanding. I’m not one of you.”
Xavier growled, letting himself fall into a crouch. “What did you just say?”
“That’s what worries you? That I know what you are? You just saw me with him and…never mind. We have to get out of here.” Emile scratched his chest. The cross warmed to an intolerant level. His paranoia shot up the scale.
Xavier observed his surroundings, wondering what the hell Emile was looking for. “You think I’d go anywhere with you after what I just saw? You’re out of your fucking mind. I’ve got people hunting me on both sides, Emile. Or did your precious Creator forget to mention that?”
Emile whipped around, grabbing Xavier’s collar. “You’re wrong. The light isn’t after you like you think. It’s the dark, Xavier, and they’re not only after you, they’re coming for me too.”
“And why would they come for you, Emile? Who the fuck are you?” Xavier yanked Emile to his feet. He dragged him behind a cluster of trees in the courtyard.
Emile gulped in air, aware of Xavier’s arms still around him. He flicked his eyes around, terrified they were being watched. “I’m the guy who has to protect you from them.”
Xavier balked, letting go of Emile. A sizzle bled over his back, signaling the beginning of an excruciating ordeal. “You’re fucked in the head. Do you have any idea what I’m capable of?”
“I think I have an idea, but you can’t use your power on me, can you?” Clutching his cross, Emile took a step back. He felt dizzy, as if distancing himself from Xavier made him sick.
“Oh, they’ve told you have they? Making fun of me I suppose. I thought you were some innocent little mortal who was a bit pretty and didn’t know it, but you’re not, are you? Protect me, what a fucking joke. When they find out I can’t be the demon I’m supposed to be, terrorizing the mortals and claiming their souls, they’ll wipe me out, Emile. Tell me, mortal, what the hell is so funny about that? Without me, you’re fucked too.”
“Do you see me laughing?” Emile gripped his head with one hand, reaching for Emile with the other. “Bee knows already, Emile. He tried to kill me earlier. He thinks I’m doing this to you or something, I’m not really sure. I don’t know what to do, but everyone seems to think I’m the guy who has to pull your head out of your ass and make you see the light. I’m just as fucked as you are. I know that and I’m scared, Xavier!”
Rage bubbled in Xavier’s gut. Steam rose from his demon hand. Unconsciously, he reached out for Emile, pulling him close. “He touched you?”
Emile breathed in relief, fitting his arms around Xavier. He inhaled his smoky scent, rubbing his nose into Xavier’s jacket like a puppy. “I saw him, Xavier, what he really is. He tried to burn me. He should have killed me, but I fought back. Lim didn’t have to help. I made Bee leave somehow. He exploded into ashes.”
“Slow down,” Xavier rumbled. His eyes locked on the area around him, searching for one of his kind. “What exactly did Bee say?”
“He said he will pocket my soul or some shit like that. Basically he’s pissed off that he doesn’t know who I am or how I could hurt…I think he said Deumos? Lim said the demons are free to make the next move because he openly helped me by giving me this cross. Now I’m the middle of some war or something and I’m supposed to help you and I have no idea how to. But I do know that we’re supposed to…”
Xavier turned his head. His eyes both heavy with anger and soft with the guilt he held for Emile. “Supposed to what?”
Emile shook his head. “Doesn’t matter.”
“Obviously anything matters at this point. If you are who you say you are and I’m kind of a loner right now, any information you have helps us, Emile.” Xavier rubbed his gloved hands down Emile’s back.
“You probably get a lot of attention from people, like…they want you. You’re probably used to getting with guys or girls often, but I’m not. I don’t just kiss people I’ve only known for two days. In fact, I haven’t kissed anyone since my parents threw me out a few years ago. But the first time I saw you, I wanted to so badly. And anytime you’ve been around me since, I just want to—”
“Be with you,” Xavier finished. “I have the same problem. You’re not my type, not remotely so. And yet, I’m drawn to you.”
“Oh, thanks,” Emile spat. He pushed away from Xavier, having enough contact to make his headache go away. “Glad to know I’m despicable and this whole thing between us is forced. Thanks so much for confirming that. I was kind of fuzzy on the details.”
Xavier stood there, arms crossed. He waited for Emile to calm down while keeping watch on the tree line, tracking any movement around them. “Are you finished?”
“You know what,” Emile adjusted his backpack, “fuck you. You’re such a badass, you can protect yourself. I’m gonna go pack my shit and sleep at the church. They can’t touch me there.”
“Right, because there’s never been any corruption in the church.” Emile rolled his eyes. “And you’re not going anywhere. I said I was attracted to you, didn’t I? I just merely added you weren’t my usual taste. What you read into it is all your imagination.” The next spike of pain lit his spine up like a Christmas tree. He grimaced into his shoulder, clenching his fists.
“Are you okay?” Emile faltered, slowly plodding over the grass.
“Do I look okay?” Xavier groaned, falling to his knees. “Shouldn’t have said that.”
Joining him on the grass, Emile put his hands on Xavier’s shoulders. “You can’t be mean to me because it hurts you, doesn’t it?”
Xavier growled, fingers biting into the grass. “Yes.”
Emile felt under Xavier’s jacket, running his fingers along his back and over his skin where it was almost too hot to handle. “What is that?”
“Wings,” Xavier hissed. He crawled away, gasping through the pain.
“Why can’t you let them out?” Emile saw the anguish Xavier was going through and went to him again, hoping to comfort him somehow. He couldn’t let him suffer, no matter how much Xavier wanted to suffer alone.
“Let me help.”
“No!” Xavier groaned, sitting up. He closed his eyes, wishing away the pain. It had never lasted this long.
“Yes.” Emile huffed, getting as close as he could. “There’s got to be a way to fix this. I’m supposed to help you. He wouldn’t put us together if I was only supposed to watch you suffer. That doesn’t make sense.”
“Put us together?” Xavier’s dark eye smoldered red. He snarled. “The Creator did this to me! Now he’s forcing men down my throat too? I’ll have his head.” He choked on his next words. Fire crept through his stomach, causing him to twist onto his side.
“Shit.” Emile pulled Xavier into his lap, dragging them into the safety of a group of thick pines. He peeled Xavier’s jacket off, lifting up his shirt. Jagged red lines laced up his back, moving around as if something were trying to get out. “Breath, Xavier, just breath for me.”
“Hurts so bad, Emile…”
“I know. Close your eyes and hold onto me. Let me try something.” He positioned Xavier facing him, arms around his neck. Emile placed his hands on the small of Xavier’s back. “I can’t watch you like this, no matter how much it hurts your ego. I just can’t do it.”
“I’m not weak,” Xavier whispered. “Only when it comes to you and I don’t know why.”
“It’s because I’m yours.” Emile closed his eyes and focused on the heat of his cross. He envisioned the warmth of the sun slicing over him on a summer’s day, the floral smell of his grandmother’s perfume, and the touch of her hands when she used to put him to bed. The cross hummed against his skin, radiating power down his arms into his hands. Tingling, his fingers moved over Xavier’s scars, willing the pain far away.
Xavier sighed, relaxing his weight against Emile. The most beautiful relief settled in his body. The pain was gone, and only a pleasurable tickle remained. Still, he held onto Emile, grasping at his last words. “How did you do that?”
Eyes opening, Emile blinked. “It worked?”
“Yes.” Xavier turned his head, still resting against Emile’s shoulder.
“I don’t know how. I just wanted to make the pain stop and I did. I pictured things that made me happy, things that used to help me when I was hurting. Something’s changing inside of me. I knew it would work if I could just touch you. I’ve never done that before.” He hugged Xavier. “I’m glad it worked, though. Whatever’s wrong with me, I’m glad I made it stop.”
“I hate that I can’t stand it. I should be able to take the pain because that’s who I am. I thrive on pain, Emile. I used to live to destroy mortals, to tear them down until they wept or went mad. I would have let them at you before this happened. I would have helped them.” Xavier shuddered as he exhaled. “Do you understand? I’m not someone you should protect.”
“I don’t think you understand. You’re not just a demon, Xavier, you’re part angel too. It’s time you realized that.”
Xavier sat up, eyes narrowed. “I won’t be like my mother. She lives to destroy my kind, my friends and family—”
“They’re only your friends because you don’t know anything else, you refuse to. Would you destroy me if you had the chance now, Xavier?” Emile tried to keep a calm face, but his stomach churned at the cool look in Xavier’s eyes.
Turning away, Xavier got to his feet. “No.”
“Because it would cause you pain or because I’m your friend now too?” Emile stood slowly, waiting for a reply.
“Does it matter? I told you no.”
“It matters to me. I feel for you, Xavier, like I’ve never felt for anyone before. I’m not calling it forever or something farfetched, but I know that if they were to destroy you this very minute, I’d never forget. I would never be the same. That’s how I feel for you. Why? Because since we were thrown into existence, we were supposed to be together. This was all planned since the beginning, since he decided it to be, and I could think of far worse futures for both of us. I could continue to disappear, being a joke to anyone who decided to pay me attention, barely getting by in school, and scraping pennies to have a roof over my head after my tuition was paid, or I could be something. I could be something to someone and have a real purpose that meant you could have one too. You could be that someone to me, and so sue me, I want that. I’ve always wanted that. Who the fuck doesn’t?”
“Wonderful, you’re a romantic.” Xavier growled, scratching his head. His hair spiked under his hand, leaving him with a mess on his head. “I’m not. I see it in black and white. I’m going to get my ass handed to me, and if I’m lucky, I’ll still have a head when it’s over. And you, if you come along for the ride, you’re going to die, Emile. They will suck the soul from your heart with a fucking straw and chat about how delicious it was later. They’re demons. Good doesn’t always win, Emile. Pull your head out of your heart and look around you. We’re going to be in the middle of a war because of what my mother has done.”
“And you’re just going to take it lying down? You’re going to let them kill you and then me because you can’t bear the pain or because you’re scared? I’m fucking human, no special powers here, and I’d fight to save us both, even if I died trying. And I’m glad I’m a romantic because that means I have a heart. You’re so hot and cold, I think whatever semblance of a heart you have took a fucking vacation. If you don’t want to do this with me, fine. I’ll do it myself. Heaven help me, I have no idea why I’d try to save your pathetic ass, but I’ll do it because it’s the right thing to do, which is something you know nothing about.”
“I did the right thing by you! After Deumos pulled her night of the living dead stunt in the basement, I carried you upstairs and held you all night long because you were terrified, even in your sleep you cried. Every time I tried to move, you started all over again. Only when I had my arms around you did you sleep without a sound. I couldn’t hear you cry, Emile. It broke my…whatever the fuck I have, because according to you it’s pretty dark in there.” Xavier howled, scratching at his back to rip open his skin. He couldn’t take the sporadic pain flashes anymore. He was done.
“I don’t remember that.” Emile crossed the distance. “Why don’t I remember that?”
“Because Bodus put you to sleep! I didn’t want you to remember that fear. You’d never be the same again.” He keened through his teeth. Both eyes glowed, on the cusp of bursting with emotion. “Why can’t I stop feeling for you?”
“Because you’re mine.” Emile yanked on Xavier’s collar, drawing him forward. “Because you don’t want me to die. Because I may not be striking, but I’m exactly what you need. And fuck it, I need you too.” He claimed Xavier’s mouth with every second of pent up passion he’d locked away for years. Every boy he’d pined over, every sexy smile that hadn’t been for him, every night he’d touched himself hoping it was someone else; all of it he gave to Xavier.
Xavier’s eyes rolled into the back of his head. He fed on Emile’s passion, his fiery heart, and everything pouring into his mouth. He tasted the sweet sugar of Emile’s soul on his tongue and his pain retreated into the dark void of his heart. Clutching Emile’s sweatshirt in his fists, Xavier yanked him closer, tilting his head to drink from the well of Emile’s mouth. A growling rumble fled into Emile’s throat from his lips, taking their kiss to darker lusts.
Emile almost slung a leg around Xavier’s hip. He couldn’t seem to get close enough. He couldn’t get enough of any of it. No one had ever kissed him like this. No one seemed to want to turn him inside out from the mouth down. No one else had clawed at his chest, fighting to free him of his sweatshirt.
Xavier’s hands tore apart his jeans button and Emile’s eyes opened. He pushed Xavier away, realizing where they were. His pants wouldn’t button. The zipper was broken too. “Fuck.” Emile looked around for anyone who would have seen. Someone, aka a demon, could be out there, reporting back to Bee…if he still existed.
“The fuck?” Xavier grabbed him by the hood, twirling him around. “I wasn’t fucking done yet.” He bit Emile’s lower lip, grinding into him below.
Emile moaned again then snapped back to attention. “Hold up!” He wedged a hand between them, fighting off Xavier’s strong hands. “It isn’t safe here.”
“There isn’t a place in the world where we’re safe, Emile. Fuck, I’m not safe and here you are eating my mouth like I’m made of chocolate.” Xavier sucked in a breath, letting it go like a predator. He licked his lips and crooked his finger. “Get over here.”
“This isn’t about sex, Xavier. We need to get out of here until we know what’s happening.”
“And go where, Emile, back to the house with Deumos, who you lovingly know as Mosey?” Xavier laughed darkly. “Wonderful idea.”
“That’s not a bad idea, actually. What about the other guy, Botis? Didn’t you say he helped you?” Emile looked at him hopefully. “You said you had friends. Now it’s time to see if they really are.”
Pacing for a minute to gather his thoughts, Xavier stopped, turning on his heel. “What if he doesn’t help? If Bee knows about Deumos, one of them must be his eyes in the house. I didn’t tell him. I’ve been avoiding him obviously.”
“You’re an idiot. Of course she told him, I almost burnt her to a crisp.” Emile pulled the cross free of his sweatshirt, holding it out for Xavier to see. “Duh.”
Xavier’s almost anger floated away. He tilted his head, his mind spinning. And then it clicked. “That’s it. Lim gave you that cross as protection because he knew what was going to happen to us. You had no weapon and he gave you one. That’s a disciple’s cross, Emile, not just any fine jewelry store will sell you one. The Creator hid them after Jesus’s disciples passed on, treasuring the holy relics of such pure and faithful followers. He didn’t want them disturbed or tainted. The story goes that if one were to wear the cross of such a holy man, they would see the world for the evil it had become and be the light in the dark for all those who were blind. Lim really did give you the ultimate weapon against them, Emile. He gave you the complete protection of the Holy Spirit. No darkness will touch you unless you let it in with your own free will and succumb to the sin of mankind. I had only heard stories, but it’s real, isn’t it? You’re a modern day disciple, Emile. You really are here to protect me.”
“I’m not a disciple. I’m a college student with a punch card at Little Tony’s. I don’t even go to church anymore.” Emile shook his head. “I just wanted to help you, Xavier. I like you.”
“Don’t you get all emotional on me now. You faced off with Bee and sent him running, Emile. Don’t act like a coward. I think you’ve proven you’re not.”
“What does this mean then? Lim said he was going to be in trouble for giving me this. What if the Creator decides to take it away?”
“He won’t do that now. If you already have it, it was part of the plan, and the Creator foresaw Lim doing it. If the angel wants to take the rap, then by all means, I have no problem with it. But you’re safe from them, Emile, as long as you believe. And you can’t very well erase the memory of meeting the Creator in person, so you’re all set.”
Emile shook his fists. “That doesn’t make me feel better, Xavier. Now Lim’s in trouble when we need him the most. The dark side gets to make a move on the chess board to even the score and you’re stuck on warm and fluffy until we can get your wing thing under control. I can’t just make out with you in the middle of a fight with one of them to make the pain go away.”
Xavier smirked. “It would probably give us a minute of reprieve. They’d most likely be so confused, shock would set in. But you don’t get it. I only have to be nice to mortals. No one said a damn thing about being nice to demons.”
“Then why do you need me?” Emile looked down. “You can fight your own battles.”
“I kind of need a flashlight in the dark.” Xavier took a few steps and flicked the cross around Emile’s neck. “And I kind of want you just because.”
“Because you have to?” Emile turned his head, sulking.
“No. I think you put it best, because you’re mine.” Xavier tilted Emile’s chin up and kissed him one more time.
“Oh hello there,” Lucifer mimicked a female voice into the phone. “This is…” He read the thoughts of the woman in his grasp, tightening his hand around her throat. Bee hadn’t given him much to go on. “This is Sandra Florentine, Rosalind Sisco’s lawyer.”
He listened, nodding his head to the voice on the other end. He made a few faces at the real Sandra Florentine, shaking her to make her dance as he blew her kisses. “Uh huh, oh you were unaware she hired me before she passed? That’s strange.”
Luficer flung Sandra across the room, covering the noise of her barely breathing body hitting the ground by opening his filing cabinet. “I have here a notification of the deceased’s final records, indicating her grandson as the recipient of a large trust set to be accessed on his twenty-first birthday, which is…next Friday. How about that? Isn’t it wonderful?”
He distanced the phone from his ear due to the shrieking from the woman on the other end. “That’s a pity you feel that way, Mrs. Sisco. Is there someone else I can speak with? As the beneficiary of Rosalind’s home and other assets, I’ll need a family witness to uh…sign some official documents.” His hand motioned her on in a circle. He rolled his eyes. “I must have caught you on a bad day. Did you say your son can rot in hell? Funny…” He grinned at Sandra, who tried to pull herself up a chair. “Well, ma’am, I’m afraid you’re going to have sign these documents in person or I’ll have to alert the authorities.”
He shrugged at Sandra and covered the receiver. “How would you rate my bullshitting skills on a scale of one to ten, hmm?” Sandra groaned, falling to her side again. “Ah, well, maybe later then.”
Kicking his feet up on the desk, Lucifer stretched his arms and yawned. “Mrs. Sisco, I’m sure you don’t want the authorities involved. Why don’t we arrange a quick meet and greet in the office and everyone can be on their merry way? Of course, you’ll have to refrain from using that kind of language in front of your son. Young impressionable minds and what not…” He laughed silently, holding the phone away for a second. “Yes, we wouldn’t him to think he was a, what did you say, worthless piece of crap? Yes, we wouldn’t want that.”
He covered the receiver again, looking at Sandra’s petrified stare. “We totally want that.”
After a few minutes of negotiating, Lucifer had Mrs. Sisco right where he wanted her. “Don’t forget to bring your lovely husband. I’m sure Emile will just adore seeing him after all this time. Screw myself? Well, if that were possible, I’d be a very lucky woman.” He sniggered. “You have a good day now. I’ll see you Thursday.”
He sent Bee a message that the meeting had been set and put the phone down. He clapped his hands, reviving his flat screen back to life. “Sandra, would you rather watch Wheel of Fortune while you suck my dick or do you prefer Ricky Lake?”
TO BE CONTINUED…