What happens when a bored college student summons an equally bored demon?
01 | Elijah
02 | Elijah
03 | Elijah
04 | Azazel
05 | Azazel
06 | Elijah
07 | Elijah
08 | Azazel
09 | Azazel
10 | Elijah
11 | Azazel
12 | Elijah
13 | Azazel
14 | Elijah
15 | Azazel
16 | Elijah
17 | Azazel
18 | Elijah
19 | Azazel
20 | Elijah
21 | Azazel
22 | EliJah
23 | Elijah
24 | Azazel
25 | Elijah
26 | Azazel
01 | Elijah
Trying to summon a demon in the middle of my bedroom probably wasn’t a good idea.
I was known for being an exemplary student. This didn’t suit my MO. But I was curious. And when I was curious… things happened.
Like that time I’d been sure the cat hanging off my windowsill had talked to me. I’d managed to rescue her and set her free, and I knew she’d said thank you before leaving, even if no one believed me.
So yeah, summoning a demon might not be a good idea, but I was going to try it anyway. If nothing else, it’d help me escape the boredom of this lousy day.
I’d found the journal—five bucks says you can guess where—tucked into a corner in the self-help section of the college library. Can’t finish your homework on time? Summon a demon to do it for you!
Well, it didn’t actually say that. Everything inside the journal was handwritten in a scrawl worthy of the title Chickenscratch. I’d had the journal for a week now, and I’d finally managed to read all of it.
I’d copied over the spell for summoning a demon so I wouldn’t make any mistakes. I’d also drawn a salt circle on my bedroom floor to keep the demon contained until I could make him my slave. Ha! If only…
I wanted to see what, if anything, would happen. I had no illusions about demons actually being real, but I had a feeling something would happen.
“Alright, then. Let’s do this,” I mumbled to myself, pushing my hair away from my eyes as I pulled the paper closer to me.
The spell was in Latin, and though I’d translated it to English for my convenience, I planned on using the original, Latin version today. Words held power, or so the journal said.
I mumbled the first few words to myself to get into the groove, so to speak. Clearing my throat, I trained my eyes on the original spell, took a deep breath, and began chanting.
I didn’t know what I expected to happen. Probably nothing. Demons didn’t really exist after all. Right?
But the moment I finished the first stanza, the air thickened around me. It warmed and crackled, like a volcano was about to burst out under my feet and it was warning me to get the fuck away.
I took a deep breath and tried to swallow the next stanza, to not utter the words that talked about bringing forth a soul from the hells below. But the words kept coming, as if now that they’d found an outlet, they needed to be spoken.
Fuck. This was bad. Really, really bad.
Sweat beaded on my forehead as the air turned hotter. A drop of moisture trickled down my spine, the only movement other than my lips, which still uttered the hellish words.
Finally, the spell ended and I gasped out a breath, dropping the paper and watching as it fluttered to the floor.
The floor underneath me shuddered, and steam billowed out as a huge fucking hole appeared in the middle of my bedroom, in the center of the salt circle.
I bet if I peeked into the hole I won’t spot Mrs. Bailey watching TV with her dogs.
I shifted back, my eyes trained on the hole, really wishing it was a different kind of hole that held my attention so completely.
After a wait that seemed to last forever, a figure rose from the fissure. And then he rose some more, and more until he was all the way out. Holy fuck that was a huge guy.
And he was clearly a guy because a) he was naked. B) His huge ass schlong was right there, dangling in front of me as if he had no shame whatsoever. Eh, he probably didn’t.
“Who dared summon Azazel from his slumber?” He bellowed toward my ceiling, and I realized the top of his head was inches away from it. Fuck, he was enormous.
His skin was dark, and shone like obsidian. Yes, I do mean his skin was literally black in color, like he’d rubbed charcoal over himself before showing up here. (His… erm… privates told me that was actually his skin color and not a scrub gone wrong.)
When he turned to look at me, I almost swallowed my tongue. His eyes were red, and they glowed. Like he had tiny LED lights behind his retinas. I gave him a finger wave as more sweat slid down my forehead.
His brows furrowed, confusion replacing the fury. “Little mortal. Are you the one who summoned me?”
Little mortal? Little mortal? I was 6’1″ and not small by any means, thank you very much.
I narrowed my eyes at him as I got to my feet. I died a little inside when I realized I didn’t even reach his nipples. Still, I rallied myself and spoke in an even tone. “I’m not little. And yes, I summoned you. From what I understand, you’ll now follow my orders for the next year if you wish to stay. Or you can return now if you’d rather go back to your world of doom and gloom.”
“Doom and gloom? No sire. My world has many pleasures you mortals know nothing about.”
“Do you have arcades?” I demanded, raising a brow. “Video games? Movie theaters? Internet?”
Mr. Demon’s—had he said his name was Azazel?—eyes widened, and he tilted his head curiously. “Don’t think we do. We have torture chambers, whores, mead. Oh, and gambling.”
I wrinkled my nose, shaking my head. “Oh no, that’s awful. You need to see what real fun is. Be my slave, and I’ll show you everything.”
What the fuck am I doing? This was crazy. I was talking to a literal demon. Why was I trying to convince him to stay?
He eyed the journal at my feet and pointed at it. “Is that where you found the spell to summon me?”
I nodded, and how the fuck could someone with red eyes give you puppy dog eyes? Because this guy managed to just fine.
“May I see it, please?” He asked, extending a hand.
A demon being polite? I was immediately on guard.
“What, so you can figure out how to escape this circle I created? Yeah, I might be new to this, but I’m not a fool.”
The puppy dog eyes disappeared, and he raised a brow at me, a slight smirk gracing his surprisingly pink lips.
He leaned closer to me, his eyes holding on to mine and keeping me captive, and then he looked down and… blew out a puff of air. He broke the salt circle like it was child’s play, and met my eyes again, a feral grin spreading across his lips.
I leaped for the can of salt I’d placed on my desk, and Azazel gave a low chuckle.
“Chill, Monsieur. That ain’t gonna work.”
I cringed at the convoluted sentence as I looked back at him, only to freeze when I realized he wasn’t in the circle anymore.
Instead, he’d taken a seat on my bed, his legs crossed at the ankles, his bits as visible as ever. His naked ass is on my bed sheet, I realized with growing horror, but I didn’t know what to do. I was just glad my bed hadn’t cracked under the guy’s enormous weight.
Okay Google, how do you get a demon to remove his posterior from your bed without angering him?
“I will be your servant, little mortal. For one year, no more. It’s been a long time since I came to the mortal realm, and this should be entertaining. I’ve been feeling a mite bored recently.”
Oh, do I feel you on that one buddy.
“Happy to hear that’s not just a human trait. Feeling bored, I mean. Okay, then, we have a deal. One year of servitude, and I’ll do my best to introduce you to the pleasures of the mortal realm during that time.”
As I spoke, the fissure slowly disappeared, and I realized the sulfuric smell I’d credited to the hole was in fact emanating from my new servant.
“Okay, Azazel. My first order is: Go get a shower. You stink.”
Azazel tilted his head again, giving me that same curious look, and asked, “What’s a shower?”
Holy fucking jeebus.
02 | Elijah
“You don’t know what a shower is? Please tell me you’re joking.”
“I’m joking,” he told me, straight-faced and without inflection.
“Do you mean that?”
“No? I don’t know what a shower is, dude.”
“How do you know what dude means and not know what a shower is?” I demanded and he shrugged, blinking his red, glowy eyes.
“Oh for fuck’s sake, come with me.”
“Now fuck I know,” he declared, and I rolled my eyes as I led him to the bathroom. Well, led might not be the correct word since it literally took him two steps to get across my room. Then I realized he wouldn’t fit through the doorway.
“Crawl,” I told him, and he raised his brows at me, as if such a task was beneath him.
“You expect the great mighty Azazel to crawl?”
“Well, I could always order you to do it, couldn’t I?” I mused out loud, and he huffed before maneuvering himself into the bathroom without crawling. I was almost tempted to clap and praise his flexibility. I was also tempted by his flexibility. Hmmm…
He couldn’t even stand inside the bathroom, that’s how tall he was. Before he broke my showerhead, I directed him to sit on the floor and he promptly followed my direction, sitting cross-legged and looking at me expectantly.
“Okay, now I will show you the wonders of warm water and a detachable showerhead,” I told him, and the demon looked almost excited about the prospect.
Until I positioned the showerhead over his head and doused his golden locks—oh, did I mention he had luscious golden locks that framed his dark face and made him look almost angelic?—with a warm spray of water. The shriek he let out would’ve rivaled my aunt Ruth’s, and let me tell you, that woman could reach a pitch so high it left your ears ringing.
“Shut up! It’s just water!”
As if realizing what he’d done, he glared at me and shook his head. “I’m a strong, manly demon and that sound did not originate from my mouth.”
I rolled my eyes as I cleaned him, appreciating the warm, smooth skin of his shoulder. I probably shouldn’t be touching him. Actually, I should’ve just told him how it worked and left him to it.
His dick was right there, though, and it was pointing right at me. Of course, it was too big for me, but there were ways I could have fun with it, couldn’t I?
What the fuck are you thinking, Eli? He’s a demon. He’s your servant. No sexy thoughts about the overly large fantasy creature.
“How much longer will you torture me, Master Little Mortal?” Azazel whined, and I tsked.
“My name’s Elijah. And I won’t stop unless you promise not to call me little mortal anymore.”
Azazel grunted, but nodded grudgingly, and I turned off the shower. The water on the floor had an oily sheen to it, and even without using soap, Azazel looked—and smelled—much cleaner. I didn’t think he was ready for the horrors of fragrant body wash yet, so I’d let him escape today.
One step at a time.
Next, I needed to figure out just what the fuck I had gotten myself into. Curiosity will not kill this particular cat. I didn’t survive asshole parents and bullies to be taken down by a mythical creature, no sir.
The game was on.
03 | Elijah
“How tall are you anyway?” I asked as I hunted through my closet for something that would cover up the massive demon who again had his butt planted firmly on my bed sheet. It was looking more and more like the bedsheet would be my only option.
“Hmm… 8’2″, I think? I was 8’6″ before they chopped off my horns.” Azazel said, and I dropped the shirt in my hand as I turned to look at him, eyes wide.
“They chopped off your horns? Why?” I demanded, stepping closer to him. I couldn’t even see the top of his head, so if there were horn stubs up there, I didn’t know.
Azazel sniffed. “Because, according to them, I wasn’t fierce and demonic enough.”
Huh. If this demon wasn’t fierce, what did the fiercer ones look like? And why did I feel bad for this guy?
I guess I knew what being the weak one felt like.
“Eh, you look demonic enough to me. Now, I don’t have clothes your size, so you’ll have to cover up with the sheet while I do some shopping. Hell, I don’t even know if I’ll find anything in your size.”
Azazel eyed me as water dripped from his curls. Fuck, he was going to soak my bed.
Grabbing a towel, I climbed up on the bed and walked over to stand behind him. Now I could see the spots his horns had been removed from. Poor guy.
I covered his head with the towel and started wiping, humming under my breath.
“What-What are you doing?” Azazel asked carefully, and I smiled.
“I’m wiping your hair so you don’t get my bed wet.”
“Hmmm…” Azazel hummed. “Clothes? You mean the garments you cover yourself with?
“Yep. If someone sees you, you don’t wanna give them an eyeful, you know? Human etiquette.”
“I’m not human,” he pointed out, and I scoffed.
“Trust me, I know that. But you’re in the human world, so you gotta follow the human rules.”
“Okay,” Azazel said, and the air thickened for a moment, and then he was wearing human clothes. Actually, he was wearing clothes exactly identical to my outfit: gray sweatpants and an old, white t-shirt. It was like he’d duplicated my clothes.
“Well… that’s one thing taken care of. I don’t think you can blend in with this height. Can you shorten yourself?” I asked as I climbed down the bed and put the towel in the bathroom to dry.
“I will not lower myself to the size of puny humans like you,” Azazel growled, and I narrowed my eyes at him.
“People will scream if they see you right now,” I said, and his eyes widened.
“You…you think I’m ugly? So ugly people would scream in disgust if they saw me?” Azazel asked, and I really wasn’t sure if he was pulling my leg or if I’d really hurt him.
“I meant your size, you big goof. Humans don’t grow that tall,” I explained, and he nodded.
The air went all warm and tingly again, and then Azazel was a nice, human-sized demon sitting on my bed, wearing clothes that looked just like mine.
When I’d decided to try summoning a demon, I’d never, ever expected it to actually work. But now that Azazel was here, I didn’t know what to do with that.
The alarm on my phone went off, reminding me it would be time for my classes soon. Fuck. Why did I do this on a school day? And before class at that?
“What is that thing? Shall I smite it?” Azazel asked, and I looked up to find his eyes trained on my phone.
“Oh no, no touching my phone!”
“Oh, is that a phone? I’ve heard of it from the younger demons. Humans love those things, don’t they?”
“Um, yeah,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Phones keep you connected to the whole world. Life would be painful without the internet.”
He gave my phone a thoughtful look and thankfully refrained from smiting it. “So!” I said, as I walked over to my closet and hunted down an outfit for myself. “I need to get to class. Why don’t you wait here until I get back?”
“I shall come with you. You promised to show me the human world.”
“I promised to show you the fun side of it, and trust me, classes are not fun.”
“What are classes?” Azazel asked, tilting his head in a way that made his golden locks fall into his eyes.
“Class? It’s where we learn new things, or the same old boring things, so we can later get a job and earn money.”
“Hmm…I wish to learn more about humans. I shall join you.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. Even though he was human-sized in appearance now, he still had an unearthly feel to him. Anyone who saw him would do a double take.
“If people saw you, they’d stare. I don’t like it when people stare,” I admitted. I didn’t want to say people would be freaked out if they saw him, since I’d already done that and almost hurt his feelings once.
Why did I care about the feelings of this demon anyway? Because he hadn’t done anything truly demonic since he came here?
“They won’t stare, I assure you Li-I mean, human master.”
“Call me Elijah, please. Are you going to turn invisible?”
He shook his head, making me frown. How will he avoid the stares then?
“Trust me, Elijah.” I shivered at the way my name sounded on his lips. Surprised at my own reaction, I quickly escaped to the bathroom and changed into the jeans and hoodie I’d picked out.
When I stepped back into the bedroom, I found Azazel waiting just where I’d left him.
“Shall I change my clothes to what you’re wearing?” he asked as he took in my clothes, and I shook my head.
I picked out another outfit for him and he used his magic to replicate it on his skin, as if changing like humans do would’ve been too much trouble.
My phone buzzed with another alarm, reminding me I’d be late if I didn’t leave.
I took a deep breath and glanced at the demon I’d summoned because I was bored. Well, that was one way to cure boredom.
“Come on, Azazel. Time to go.”
04 | Azazel
Humans were such boring creatures.
I blew out a sigh as I watched my little human sit there and listen to the other human talk. The older human was droning on and on about something called coding or debugging or some other boring human computer thing, and if his voice wasn’t so horribly scratchy, I’d have fallen asleep of boredom. Can you tell I’m bored?
It had been a millennium since someone summoned me to the human realm. The woman who’d summoned me then had been a powerful witch. She’d needed all her magic to summon me, and yet this measly human with no magic had somehow accomplished the same. Not only that, he’d also formed a bond with me.
Unlike what the little human thought, I didn’t need to be summoned to be able to visit the human realm. I could travel to this realm whenever I wished, and I had done so many times in the past.
The only annoyance was that without a bond with someone in the human realm, I couldn’t have a corporeal form. I could watch, observe, learn, but I couldn’t talk, touch, or do anything to anyone in the realm, which sucked all the fun out of things. It was why I’d allowed the little human to form the bond in the first place. I was tired of watching from the shadows. Yet, there I was, doing the same again because the human needed to listen to the droning man at the front. Just how long could someone talk about computers?
The little human wasn’t anything special, though he was pretty to look at. He had copper curls that framed his pale face, and golden wire-rimmed round glasses too big for his face. He was suitably tall for a human, but tiny compared to me.
A bell rang somewhere, and the humans all stood up as the droning man finally, finally, ended his monologue. I knew he was a professor, and I knew he’d been teaching, but to me all he was was an annoyance standing between me and the little human’s promise to show me the “fun” parts of the human realm.
I stepped out of the shadows, making some girl squeak as she stepped away from me, and headed toward the front.
“Lit—” He raised a brow at me, and I growled under my breath. “Elijah,” I forced out through gritted teeth. “Now that you’re done torturing me, how about you hold up your end of the deal and get us out of this hell?”
He blinked up at me as he put his laptop back in his bag, his face a picture of innocence. He might fool a human with that face, but not me. He’d summoned a demon like me without the use of magic, simply with his willpower. He was crafty and dangerous, especially with an angelic face like that.
“Oh, we aren’t done yet. I have two more classes to attend before I’ll be free.”
My eyes widened at the horror of spending another two hours in that torturous situation, and I barely stopped myself from whimpering. “If that is so, I will return in two hours.”
“Where will you go?” he asked as he slung his bag across his shoulder and stood up. I followed him out of the room, ignoring the people who watched us with gaping mouths. I was in my human form, so I didn’t know what they found so fascinating about me, and I couldn’t care less.
“Anywhere but where you’re headed,” I told him, and he chuckled.
“All right, I won’t torture you. But you promise you’ll come back?” His voice was softer when he asked the question, and I took a moment to read his aura. Insecure. Afraid. Nervous. Lonely.
Lonely? Why was he lonely? He seemed like a well-adjusted, friendly human, if a bit sassy. Granted, I’d known him for only a few hours, but he didn’t seem like the kind of person who would be lacking company.
“I promise,” I answered gruffly, not wanting him to sense that I wasn’t completely opposed to the idea of spending time with him.
“See you in two hours, then,” he murmured softly, and I let him walk off, slipping into another bit of shadow when no one was watching. Taking my incorporeal form, I found myself following Elijah instead of going off on my own.
A male human the same age as Elijah whispered something to his female companion, both of their eyes on Elijah, their mouths twisted in disgust. I narrowed my eyes at them as I shifted closer to my human. I wondered what the story was there.
As I followed Elijah, I realized that every human of his age had one of two reactions when they saw him. They either intentionally ignored him, or they treated him like he was a pariah, eyeing him with barely restrained disgust.
Just what was Elijah’s story?
At least now I knew why he was lonely. This new layer of mystery certainly made Elijah more interesting.
A human with no friends and a willpower strong enough to summon the great Azazel. There was something special about Little Human Elijah, and I would find out what it was, even if I had to suffer through two hours of torture with him.
With a snap of my fingers, I made sure all the boring, human details would work themselves out. Then, I took my corporeal human form and walked into Elijah’s classroom like I belonged there, which I now did.
I slid into the empty seat beside Elijah, and turned to him with a smile. I offered him my hand and grinned at him as he gave me a puzzled look. “Hello, I’m Az. It’s nice to meet you.”
“What are you doing here?” he hissed at me, though he shook my hand.
“What do you mean?” I asked, tilting my head. “I’m a new student. Won’t you introduce yourself?”
Elijah stared at me, open-mouthed, and I winked at him as the other humans murmured behind us, buzzing like little bees that I’d have thoroughly enjoyed crushing if I wasn’t afraid of incurring the wrath of the Otherworlders.
The professor walked into the room, and I leaned into Elijah, speaking softly. “Buckle up, Little Human. The torture begins now.”
05 | Azazel
Someone, anyone, save me! Save me from this torture! I’m losing my will to live with every second that goes by!
“Will you stop fucking sighing?” Elijah snapped, his voice low, and I glared at him.
“How can you enjoy this drivel? Are you a masochist perhaps? Because that would certainly explain things!”
“I’m not a masochist, trust me. And this is important if I want to get an education and find a job so I can pay back my student loans,” Elijah whispered, and I narrowed my eyes as I tried to make sense of that.
“So, wait. You pay money to someone, money that you don’t actually have, to learn this drivel. Then, you use this drivel to earn money to pay back the money you spent for learning this drivel? How does that make any sense?” I demanded. Humans really were a stupid specie. Either that, or they knew something the rest of us didn’t. Surely, there was a better way to have a good life than that?
Elijah buried his face in his palms, groaning softly. After a moment, he looked up at me, and he looked… tired. “Can we please just focus? I know none of this matters to you, and I know what I promised you, and I’ll keep my bargain. But this is important to me. Please?”
I huffed out a breath, mildly disgusted with myself that I found his pleading eyes melting my resolve. Without giving him a reply, I turned to the front and entertained myself with the idea of breaking the professor until he didn’t remember the difference between a keyboard and a mouse.
The bell rang again, and Elijah turned to me. “It’s lunch time. Last class is after lunch. Can you eat human food?” he asked, tilting his head to the side so his curls fell into his eyes.
My mouth watered as I realized I’d get to eat human food again. I’d missed human food, missed the variety and spices and all that deliciousness.
“By the drool dripping out of your mouth, I’m going to take a guess and say you like human food,” Elijah said, and I wiped my mouth. It was dry, but the gesture did make him chuckle.
“Where’s the food?” I asked. There would be no dilly-dallying when it came to food.
Elijah took me to a large room he called the cafeteria, and I breathed in the scent of chicken and spices.
“You should get the food for me,” I told Elijah, and he looked up at me with a raised brow.
“I thought I was the boss here.”
I rolled my eyes at him before turning around to eye all the food. “I don’t know what any of this is called, and I’m tempted to get some of each. I suppose you won’t be able to pay for that.”
Elijah’s eyes widened and he hurried over to the counter, making his food request as I grinned at his back.
Once we had our food, Elijah led me to a table in the far corner, away from the other kids.
I took a huge bite of my burger, humming at the taste, as Elijah popped his soda can.
“Why does everyone dislike you?” I asked, and Elijah made a weird, choking sound before he started coughing.
I watched him with furrowed brows, wondering what he was doing, and it took me a moment to realize he was actually in pain. I patted his back—a little roughly, I supposed—and he almost face-planted into his food, catching himself just in time.
“What the fuck, Az? New rule: don’t pop questions at me when I’m eating or drinking,” Elijah growled out, and I patted the top of his head.
“It’s okay, you’re not dead,” I told him in case he hadn’t realized, and he rolled his eyes at me.
He went back to eating, waving at my plate to get me to do the same. His eyes were far away as he ate, and I gobbled up my food as he slowly nibbled at his.
When I was all done, he offered me his leftovers—which was basically all of his food minus one bite of pasta and the can of soda. I wasn’t about to say no to good food, though, so I ate it all just in time for the bell to announce it was time for some more torture.
I followed Elijah into the new class, taking the seat beside him as the professor walked into the class and started her hour of boredom.
Elijah listened to the woman with interest while I watched him with even greater interest. Whether the choking on soda had been intended or not, I knew he’d intentionally eluded my question. Elijah was hiding something, and if there was one thing I knew as a demon, it was how to break someone to make them reveal all their secrets.
The only problem was, I didn’t want to break Elijah. I wanted him to willingly tell me his secrets, to show me all that hurt he was hiding beneath his snark, his I-don’t-care attitude and the loneliness that seemed to be a permanent part of his aura.
I will figure you out, little human. One way or another.
06 | Elijah
Azazel was acting weird. I mean, he was already pretty weird but the way he kept shooting me these weird glances throughout the class made me wonder what he was cooking up in that demonic brain of his.
I hadn’t expected him to join the class as a fucking student of all things, and I had absolutely no idea what he was planning. All I knew was that whatever it was, it would annoy the hell out of me.
I didn’t even know why I’d thought summoning a fucking demon would be a good idea. No, that’s not true. I hadn’t thought it would be a good idea because I hadn’t expected it to fucking work. But here I was now bonded to a massive, dark, and handsome demon for the next year.
Wait, handsome? I shook my head, eyeing him out of the corner of my eyes.
If he’d heard what the other students murmured about me when they thought I couldn’t hear, his curiosity made sense. After all, he’d asked me point blank what I’d done to piss off the others, and while I’d managed to deflect the question with my impromptu choking act, I knew he was still wondering.
The fact of the matter was, I hadn’t done a thing. Not that that mattered to anyone.
Once the class was done, I led Azazel back home. I rented a small apartment just outside of campus—since my dorm mates had made my life hell after everything blew up, forcing me to move—and while it didn’t feel like home, it was all I needed for now.
I threw my messenger bag onto a chair and grabbed a water bottle, drinking it all as Azazel lurked like a dark shadow behind me.
When I turned around, he was back in his real form, his clothes having increased in size to accommodate him. The top of his head was inches away from the ceiling, and I waved at him to get seated before he scratched it up.
“Why did you change sizes?”
“You try squeezing yourself three times smaller and tell me how it feels,” he growled, and I rolled my eyes. He hadn’t squeezed himself three times smaller. Maybe one. One and a half, tops.
Remembering my promise to him, I stretched, hoping we’d be back in time for me to start on some of my assignments.
“All right, I promised to show you around. You’ll have to change sizes to go outside, though.”
He grumbled in annoyance, but did change his size. “Where are we going?”
It wasn’t late enough to visit a club, not that I wanted to go to one, but maybe I could take him somewhere else that was fun.
“Are you done?” I asked for the thousandth time, and just like every other time, Azazel waved me off.
Of all the games he could’ve been hooked on, he’d chosen Pacman. I mean, sure it was a classic, but it’d been three hours. I was exhausted and I needed to get back home and start working on my assignment, not to mention I was fucking hungry.
Food. That’s it!
“I’ll be right back,” I said, and he barely gave me a second glance as I walked off toward the fast food counter. I placed an order for their cheesiest burger and biggest bucket of fries, taking it back to Az once I’d paid.
“Hey, I’ll be over there eating. Shout when you need me to feed it more coins,” I said, and Azazel’s eyes locked onto the burger, his mouth parting. I had the sudden urge to lean closer and check what demon lips tasted like, and I jerked back, shaking off the errant thought.
“I’m done,” he declared as he stood up, and I bit back a smile as I waved him toward the seating area.
I tore the burger into two, handing him the bigger part before demolishing mine. I hadn’t felt like eating in the cafeteria earlier, and I was ravenous.
Az watched me eat with a contemplative look in his eyes, and I raised a brow at him. He merely winked at me before taking a big bite of his burger, moaning indecently and not very quietly either. I glared at him and he shrugged.
Once we’d eaten, Azazel looked like he wanted to go back to the game, but I shook my head and pointed to the door. He gave me a look tiny puppies would be jealous of, but I knew better than to let him get away with it.
Once we were home, I told Azazel to entertain himself while I worked on my assignment. There wasn’t much space in my one living room plus kitchen combined, one bedroom apartment, so when everything went extremely quiet a few minutes later, I felt it was within my rights to be suspicious.
I stopped typing and cocked my ear for any sound I could catch from the other room.
There. Murmuring. As if Az was talking to someone. But who?
Slowly, I tiptoed to the bedroom doorway, glad he’d left the door open.
I peeked inside and my eyes widened at the sight before me. Azazel sat on the floor in his true form, and on his lap was a huge, black… dog with red eyes just like his and a wide, doggy grin. The tips of his ears were burning, or at least they looked like they had red flames licking at them, though I supposed the dog wouldn’t look so happy if it was burning.
That wasn’t even the question though. The question was what the hell this… this hellhound was doing in my bedroom?
I opened my mouth to ask that very question, but I must’ve made some sound because both Azazel and the dog looked up at me.
Before I could do anything more than give the dog a wide-eyed look, it lunged at me, tackling me to the living room floor.
07 | Elijah
“Holy crap on a—” I snapped my mouth shut before the hound could stick its tongue inside, trying and failing to scramble away from it.
Azazel, the asshole, was laughing, all his teeth on display as he watched us. I narrowed my eyes at him. “Get this mutt off me,” I growled. When it didn’t look like he was going to listen, I added, “or I won’t get you any more of the human food you liked so much.”
Az huffed, but he did whistle, calling the mutt back to his side. I scrambled to my feet, dusting off the ink black fur it’d covered me with.
“Where did the fucking hellhound come from?” I demanded, and he scrunched his nose at me. For an eight feet tall demon, he looked awfully adorable at that moment.
“She’s not a hellhound. She’s a demon hound,” he corrected me, making me roll my eyes.
“Po-tah-to, Po-tay-to,” I grumbled, glaring at the mutt who was drooling all over my bedroom floor.
“Why is she here?”
“Hella missed me,” he said simply, and I blinked at him.
“So wait. She’s not a hellhound, but you named her Hela?” I demanded, flabbergasted.
“Hella isn’t for hellhound,” Azazel said, scoffing at me like I didn’t know shit. “The time I was in the human realm before I got her, I heard a human call a puppy ‘Hella cute’. I thought she was cute when I saw her, so I named her Hella.”
I bit my lip as a chuckle threatened to slip through, but then I caught the earnest look on his face and I couldn’t hold it in. I started laughing. I laughed harder than I remembered laughing in a long time, and my stomach hurt by the time I managed to gasp out, “Oh my god, you’re fucking adorable.”
He gasped as if I’d just insulted him, patting Hela on the rump. Like she knew exactly what to do, she tackled me again. Thankfully, I was steadier on my feet this time, and managed to keep her from making me fall on my ass.
“Is Hella going to stay with us?” I asked, and Az shook his head.
“She’ll go back in a while. She was just visiting.”
“Could you go back to the demon realm if you wanted to? Like, would you be able to come back?”
“I can travel between the realms without a problem. If I’m not around and you need me, all you have to do is call my name and I’ll hear you wherever I am,” Azazel answered, like he could see right through me and knew exactly why I’d been asking.
I nodded slowly, realizing Hella was cute now that she wasn’t trying to maul me. I’d never had a pet before, and even though I knew I couldn’t keep her, I kinda wanted to.
“Alright, I need to get back to my assignment. Do you… hmm… do you need to sleep?”
Az stared at me, brow raised. “Of course I need to fucking sleep. I’m not a damn robot.”
“You know what a robot is?” I asked curiously, and he rolled his eyes.
“I know everything,” he said with a huff, and I gave him an indulgent smile.
“Sure, you do. Okay, you probably won’t fit on my couch, not even in your smaller form, but I have a sleeping bag you can take,” I offered.
“You… you want the great Azazel to sleep on the floor?” he asked, horrified.
“You know, you should try being a little humble sometimes. And yes, I want you to sleep on the floor. I’m not giving you my bed.”
Az narrowed his eyes at me. “In my realm, I have a massive bed with silk sheets and more pillows than I could ever need. I shall return to my realm to sleep, and you can call on me when you go to school.”
I contemplated the idea. Part of me didn’t want to let him go, afraid he wouldn’t return. But we had the bond, didn’t we? He would have to come back.
“Can I go to your realm?” I asked curiously, and he looked at me, startled.
“Humans aren’t allowed to travel to other realms. Not unless…” he trailed off, shaking his head.
“Unless what?” I asked, curiosity piqued.
“Unless nothing, little human. Hella and I will have a cozy cuddle night in my big bed. See you tomorrow.”
And the dog and the demon were gone, no groundbreaking theatrics this time.
I shook my head before returning to my desk, sighing as I re-read the single paragraph I’d written before getting distracted. This was going to be a long, long night.
By the time I finally went to bed, I was closer to my wake up time than my bedtime. Still, I forced myself to sleep, not wanting to miss tomorrow’s lecture because I fell asleep in class.
I didn’t call Azazel back when I went to school. He was annoying when he was bored, and I really needed to focus on my studies. Not to mention I didn’t want him listening to all the gossip that followed me and ask questions I’d rather not answer.
I figured I’d finish my classes and then call him so we could hang out together. Maybe I could take him to the planetarium today. Would that be something he’d enjoy?
“Yo, psycho, where’s the new kid?” I stopped short as Louis stepped into my path, blocking my way. He was an oversized gym junkie, and while I’d seen him around, I’d managed to avoid a confrontation. It seemed like my luck had run out.
I glared at him. There weren’t many people taller than me, but he was just an inch or two taller. Not enough that I needed to raise my head to look at him, but enough that he felt he could loom over me.
“Why the fuck would I know?” I growled as two of his friends stepped close on either side of him.
Louis narrowed his eyes and stepped closer, breathing in my space as he watched me. “He was around you all day yesterday, and today he isn’t here. For all we know, you have him tied up at your place, waiting for you to cut him up.”
A sharp pain lanced through my heart, but I forced myself not to show it on my face. “Maybe I have him tied up and waiting for me to fuck him. What’s it matter to you?”
His face screwed up into a scowl, and he pushed me back. I stumbled, righting myself before I fell on my ass.
“You fucking sicko. Did you kill him? I told them you were dangerous. Evil breeds evil, don’t it?”
Knowing what was coming, I regretted not calling Azazel back. Fuck, this was going to hurt.
08 | Azazel
Why did I have to be stuck with such a careless, stupid human?
What was the point of summoning a demon if you never made him work for you?
I watched as the lump of muscles punched my human in the jaw, making his glasses fall off as he stumbled back. How long should I wait for him to learn his lesson before stepping in? How breakable were humans?
Maybe I’ll wait for one more hit.
I leaned back against the wall, deciding I’d give my human one more chance to call me before I stepped in. But the moment the asshole punched Elijah in the stomach and made him cry out in pain, an anger the likes of which I’d never felt before coursed through me.
I changed into my human form as I made myself visible, and stalked toward the three assholes who’d decided to gang up on my little human.
I picked up his glasses and handed it to him, moving him so he leaned against the wall. Then, I turned to the assholes and let loose.
I didn’t spare the other two who’d just stood there, knowing if they’d been given the chance they wouldn’t have hesitated in hurting him either. Within a minute, all three were on the floor, groaning and whimpering in pain like the sad sacks of blood and bones they were.
“If you ever dare come near him, you won’t have anything left worth whimpering about,” I growled at them before stepping back and turning to Elijah.
He gave me a hesitant smile, glasses back on his face. I could see he was shaken up, even if he’d never tell me, and I wondered what the assholes had meant about evil breeding evil. Had my little human’s parents been evil? But why should he be punished for their crimes?
“Come, human,” I said, pulling him into my arms as he gave a squeak.
“What are you—Put me down!”
“Hush. Let me carry you, my damsel in distress,” I teased, and he chuckled as he rolled his eyes at me.
“I’m not a fucking damsel. I didn’t ask you to save me.”
“Why didn’t you? I mean, what’s the point of summoning a demon if you won’t make him fight your battles?” I asked, honestly curious. I’d never been summoned for anything other than fighting for the person who summoned me. It didn’t make sense to me.
“I didn’t summon you to fight for me. And anyway, those assholes don’t usually bother me. They must’ve had a bad day,” he said, and I felt like he was forcing himself to make light of the whole thing.
“Why did you summon me?” I asked, using my magic to get us back to his home.
Elijah shrugged as I placed him on his bed, wincing as he touched his jaw, which had started to change color. Human bodies were so weird, and so weak too.
“Are you going to die?” I asked before he could answer my previous question, and he gave me a shocked look.
“What? No! No, I’m not. Why would you say that?”
“Humans are weak,” I said with a shrug, and he rolled his pretty eyes.
“We aren’t that weak. I’m not going to die. Probably can’t kiss anyone for a while, but it’s not like I have anyone to kiss,” he said with a grin, before wincing and touching his jaw softly.
“Is that why you summoned me? Because you wanted someone to kiss?” I teased, and his eyes widened, his cheeks reddened, but he didn’t shake his head. At least, not instantly.
Huh. Did my little human want to kiss me?
“Shut up, you crazy demon. I summoned you because I was bored and lonely and it felt like a good idea at the time. I don’t need you to fight my battles for me, though I appreciate you coming to my rescue. I just want you to have fun, be your friend maybe.”
He was such a strange human. I’d never met anyone like him. He’d summoned me, a demon with unimaginable power, and he’d never once asked me what I could do. Hell, he’d never ordered me to do anything except take a disgusting shower. Had he really just summoned me for something as simple as wanting company?
“I can be your friend. I’ll be the best friend you’ve ever had, and I’ll cut anyone who thinks they can hurt my new BFF,” I promised him, and he gave me a wide-eyed look, as if regretting everything.
“Oh, boy,” he muttered to himself as I grinned at him.
Biting my lip, I placed my palm on his cheek, startling him. I’d changed into my true form when we got home, and my palm covered the side of his face from his hairline to chin. Before he could ask what I was doing, I used my magic to heal his jaw.
“Wow,” he breathed, and I trailed my palm down his body to his stomach, pushing my magic into the place the second punch had landed. “Holy fuck.”
“There. All good and new,” I said, and Elijah chuckled.
“It seems like I got an impromptu day off. I really wanted to attend that lecture though,” he said on a sigh, and I remembered him saying how important those boring lectures were to him.
Knowing I’d regret it, I waved my hand at the bare wall across the room, and an image of his classroom appeared on it, the voices filling the room as if we were sitting in the classroom itself.
“What the… ” Elijah mumbled as he stared at the wall. Then he turned to me, gratitude in his eyes as he popped up and pressed a kiss to my cheek, startling me. “Thank you so much!”
He turned back to the lecture, but I continued watching him. He was such a strange human. Lonely, with secrets he still hadn’t shared with me. He’d summoned me without any ulterior motives. And his kiss had made my stomach react in ways I’d never experienced before. What was he and why did he make me feel this way? Like protecting him was my number one goal in life? Like a life without him wouldn’t be a life anymore?
09 | Azazel
My little human was driving me crazy.
I still hadn’t figured out what it was he was hiding, the reason those kids had attacked him. He’d waved off or plain ignored my questions anytime I went near the topic, and I was getting tired of the evasion. Since he was the one who’d summoned me, I couldn’t use my magic to make him talk either.
“What are you thinking so seriously about?” The man in question asked, and I glanced up from my spot on the floor to where he sat on the couch, looking at something on his phone.
“Food,” I answered, not wanting him to know how much space he took up in my thoughts.
Elijah flashed me a grin, chuckling. “Of course you are. Why am I not surprised? Do you wanna order something?”
“Nah, not yet. Let me think about it a bit more so I’m really hungry when it comes,” I said, and his smile turned into a full out belly-laugh.
“Damn, you’re adorable,” he said, and I raised my brows, staring at him like he was crazy. Which he was if he thought I was adorable.
“I’m not adorable! I’m a demon. I’m fierce and dangerous, monstrous even.”
“Oh, please. You’re so far from a monster.”
I waved at my face as if it explained everything, which it should. I had glowing red eyes and a definitely not-human face. Just to emphasize my point, I let my fangs peek out as I scowled at him.
“What? You have a pretty face, Az.”
My eyes widened at this observation and I sat up, staring at Elijah. “Huh. Maybe that’s it.”
“What? What’s it?”
“Maybe you have a few screws loose. That would explain things.”
Elijah rolled his eyes and leaned forward until his face was at the same level as mine, his eyes boring into mine.
As I returned his stare, his eyes roamed over me, and for the first time in my very long life, I felt an emotion it took me a moment to identify: self-consciousness. I felt a sudden urge to hide my face, which annoyed me and made me press my lips into a thin line, which I’m sure did nothing to improve my looks. What was this human doing to me?
“You might not be human, Az, but you definitely aren’t ugly,” he said finally, and I huffed, the weird feeling in my chest only getting stronger.
“Why are you doing that?”
“Doing what?” he asked with a puzzled frown.
“Treating me like a human. I’m a demon, Elijah. Have you forgotten that?”
He rolled his eyes. “So? You’re still a person, Az. Just because you’re a demon doesn’t mean I should treat you any differently.”
I screwed up my face, glaring at him. How had this conversation turned on me? Hadn’t I been thinking about a way to find answers about his past?
I shook my head, shaking off his words and the thoughts in my head. Elijah placed a warm, soft palm on my cheek, stilling me. I blinked at him, my heart beating unsteadily in my chest. What was he doing to me?
“Elijah,” I whispered, and then his soft lips were on mine, and everything disappeared. I gasped at the softness of his lips, and then moaned when his tongue slipped into my mouth. I’d taken great care to hide this particular trait of mine, but now there was no hiding the forked end of my tongue. I waited for him to jerk back, to pull away, but instead the tip of his tongue tickled the spot where my tongue split, making me shiver.
I wasn’t a very sexual demon on a good day, another fact that had separated me from the others in my realm. I usually needed a connection with my partner before I could be intimate with them, and that wasn’t something that happened easily in the demon realm. And yet, kissing Elijah was the best experience of my life. When had this little human started to mean so much to me?
Elijah pulled away with a gasp, and I watched him, wondering how he’d react now. Would he tell me to forget it? Tell me he just wanted to see what it felt like to kiss a demon?
There had been a witch once, a long time ago, who’d summoned me to be her sex slave. I hadn’t had a choice then, since a summoned demon had to follow their summoner’s commands. I didn’t like to think about that time much, but I’d learned enough to know that humans would always think of demons as someone lesser.
But Elijah hadn’t, had he? I thought back to everything that’d happened since I was summoned by him, and I couldn’t remember a single instance where Elijah had made me feel like that.
I blinked at him, waiting for him to say something. His eyes roamed over my face, as if he was trying to read me.
“Um,” I said, and a grin spread across his face.
“Ha! Have I finally made the great demon Azazel speechless?”
I rolled my eyes at him, glad I couldn’t blush. I imagined my cheeks would be bright red if I could.
“Okay, how about we go out for dinner instead?”
I blinked, not liking the fact that Elijah kept surprising me. I didn’t like it at all. I swear.
“Yep. If you want to, that is,” he said, his cheeks coloring with the blush I’d been talking about. But while on other humans it looked stupid, it just made Elijah look prettier.
I found myself nodding, and the way his smile widened stopped me from telling him no like I should’ve. It wasn’t like he’d commanded me to come with him, but I didn’t want to disappoint him, and that was the only reason I’d said yes.
“I know this really great Thai restaurant we can go to.”
“Sounds good,” I agreed, confused how I’d ended up in this spot. The great demon Azazel going on a date with a human. Who would’ve thought?
10 | Elijah
When I summoned a demon, I probably wasn’t supposed to kiss said demon. I definitely wasn’t supposed to take him out on a date.
Then again, when had I ever done what I was supposed to?
Even after everything that had gone down last year, I’d refused to move to a new state like I was supposed to. I’d had nothing to do with what my father had done, and I’d refused to run away like I was at fault. And that might make me a stubborn idiot, but I didn’t care. I liked living in this town, and I wasn’t going to let people run me off.
“Elijah, what are we doing?” Azazel asked, honestly sounding a bit puzzled.
“Having dinner, of course,” I answered with raised brows. I wanted to tease him just a little, since it was usually he who had the upper hand.
“I know that. I mean, are you…is this…a date?”
I’d never heard him sound quite like that. It was a mixture of confusion and…nerves? I decided to go easy on him and answer his question.
“Yep, it’s a date, Azazel. If you want it to be, of course. Or it can just be two friends having dinner,” I added with a shrug, though I hoped he wanted it to be a date as well. I didn’t know when it’d happened, but I liked Az. I’d found him attractive since the moment I saw him—what allosexual gay man wouldn’t with that huge ass dick of his on full display—but the more time I’d spent with him, the more I’d liked him for who he was.
He watched me for a long moment, and then leaned forward, his voice lowering as he said, “If you want to bed me, you could just tell me to do whatever you want, you know? You don’t have to do all of this.”
Any other time, and I’d have teased him for using the phrase bed me. But all I could think about was what he was saying, and the implication it contained. Had someone who’d summoned him done that to him before? Told him to have sex with them, without his consent?
I narrowed my eyes as I leaned forward, so close our noses almost touched. “Listen to me, Az. I will never, ever tell you to do something you don’t want to. If you don’t want to have dinner with me right now, I wouldn’t stop you from leaving. Anything we do will be because both of us want it. Understand?”
Azazel blinked at me, then again. And again. Had I broken him?
Finally, after what felt like hours, he nodded and sat back, his fingers drumming the table for a moment before he picked up the menu and glanced at me over it. “So, what are we having?”
I smiled as I sat back in my seat, and as we talked over a delicious dinner, I couldn’t help wondering about Azazel’s past. I hadn’t really given it much thought, but now that I was thinking about it, I couldn’t stop. Had he been summoned to the human realm a lot? What were his previous summoners like? Had they misused their power over him?
“Elijah?” I blinked up at Az, surprised to realize I’d cleared my plate, and so had he. How long had I been lost in thought?
“Thank you for taking me out on this date. I really enjoyed it.”
I smiled widely as I realized what he was indirectly saying. He wanted this to be a date. My feelings weren’t one-sided.
“Only the best for my precious demon,” I said, and Az blinked again, his brown I’m-trying-to-look-like-a-human eyes flashed red for a second, as if he couldn’t quite control his emotions, and I felt a weird spark of pleasure at having affected him like that.
“Come on, it’s time for an after dinner walk. We’ll get ice cream for dessert,” I said, and his eyes lit up at the thought of ice cream. He was so easy to please.
After I’d paid for our food, I led Az out of the restaurant and we started walking. He startled when I took his hand in mine, his eyes shooting to mine. In this form, we were the same height, so I merely leaned over and kissed the tip of his nose, winking as I pulled back.
His eyes flashed red again, and I smiled to myself.
A part of me wanted to tell him everything about my past, everything that had made me a pariah in the town I’d grown up in. But tonight felt too… right to muddle it with talk of the past. I didn’t want the past to intrude on this moment.
I’ll tell him some other time, I decided to myself, squeezing Az’s hand. Tonight was for Azazel and me.
“Ice cream!” Az exclaimed a few minutes later, and I laughed as he practically dragged me to an ice cream van of all things. “I can’t pick,” he pouted, his eyes taking in all the different flavors.
“Can we please get one scoop of each?” I asked, knowing full well there were at least around twelve flavors in there.
The ice cream guy raised a brow at me as he lifted his scoop. “One of each? You sure?”
I glanced over at Az, whose eyes were practically sparkling as he looked at me, and smiled. “Yep, I’m sure. Give us four at first, please.”
Then, we demolished twelve scoops of ice cream. Well, I merely took a bite of each flavor, while Az ate the rest, looking for all the world like I’d given him the moon.
Once I’d paid up, we walked toward home hand-in-hand, Azazel’s a little sticky with ice cream residue.
It was the best date of my life.
11 | Azazel
I hadn’t told Elijah this, but tonight was the first date I’d ever been on. I didn’t remember my human life, it’d been too long ago, and once I became a demon, there weren’t many people interested in anything more than a simple fuck. No one had ever bought me dinner and all the ice cream I could want, and I didn’t quite know what to do with the weird fluttery feeling in my gut.
Elijah was human. He was the man who’d summoned me. He could make me do anything. And yet, he’d told me, firmly and with ill-concealed anger, that he would never make me do anything I didn’t want to.
I’d been summoned many times since the Underworld was closed down, since demons stopped being the deliverers of torture, and none of my summoners had ever cared about what I wanted. Was it because all my previous summoners had been magic users? Was it Elijah’s humanity that made him different? Or was it just him?
“You look like you’re thinking some deep thoughts.” I looked up at Elijah, who lay on the edge of his bed, looking down at me. He didn’t seem to mind where I slept, so I’d decided to bunker down beside his bed tonight.
“Food. I’m thinking about food,” I deadpanned, and he rolled his eyes.
“If you’re thinking about food after eating all that ice cream, then you must have a black hole in that stomach of yours,” he said, and I grinned. I raised my hand up and poked his nose, jerking away when he batted at my hand.
“You know… I’ve never dated anyone before,” I said, hoping he wouldn’t make a big deal out of it, but knowing he probably would. He was a bit of a drama queen sometimes.
As predicted, his eyes widened behind his glasses, and he leaned forward, his golden brown curls falling into his face as he almost toppled off the bed. “Really? Never?”
I shrugged. “Demons usually like to just jump straight into bed, and that’s not my thing. And people of this realm, well, I do what they tell me to, and no one has ever told me to go on a date with them.”
“Their loss,” Elijah said, his lips pressing into a firm line. “You’re annoying sometimes, but you’re also really sweet, Az. And for the record, I’ve never dated anyone either.”
“I find that hard to believe. You must have guys clamouring to date you.” How couldn’t he? He was gorgeous, sassy, and a little nerdy but in a cute way. If that wasn’t the perfect mix, I didn’t know what was.
“Uh huh. Like you haven’t seen how popular I am around here.”
This was the first time Elijah had brought up the fact, and I had to admit I wanted to pry. I wanted to know why the kids in his school avoided him, what that asshole had meant, if Elijah’s parents had something to do with the whole thing, but I wasn’t sure if he’d tell me.
“Come on, ask me. I know you want to,” he said when I hadn’t said anything for a few minutes.
I gazed up at him, at the wry look on his face, and asked, “What happened, Elijah?”
He blew out a deep breath, making his curls bob, and I couldn’t help wrapping a curl around my finger. The golden brown contrasted perfectly with my dark skin, and Elijah turned his gaze to my hand as he spoke. “A year ago, the cops arrested my father. At first, they said it was just to ask him some questions, but then it turned out that he… that he’d been murdering kids. Boys of different ages. They didn’t tell us all the details, but he… he raped them, tortured them, and then killed them. Eight boys, Az. He killed eight boys before he was caught.”
I’d known something had happened in his past, but I’d never expected it to be something so gruesome. Before I could decide what to say, he continued. “And you know the scariest part? My father was the only parent I had. My mom left us when I was around three, and I used to think my father was the best dad in the world.”
“Some people are good at living double lives,” I said. “He could be the best dad without being a good human being.” It wasn’t like I hadn’t come across similar people when I used to torture the black souls of Underworld, back before Otherworld was created and Underworld became obsolete.
“You know, I’d believe that, Az, if I hadn’t seen the boys’ pictures. Blond curls, hazel eyes, tall for their ages. Sound familiar?” Elijah said it without inflection, as if he couldn’t care less, but I could hear the pain he was trying to hide.
It wasn’t hard to understand what he was implying, and my blood boiled at the thought of his father hurting him that way. Had he killed those kids to curb his temptation for his own son? Or had he always planned to make Elijah one of his victims?
“Where’s your father now?” I asked, mentally planning a visit to give him a taste of his own medicine.
“Hell, probably. Apparently, criminals have low tolerance for pedophile murderers. He was killed a month after he was sent to prison.”
“Then the Burning Chasm will take care of him,” I said, wishing for the first time that I was still the torturer of Underworld I used to be centuries ago. I’d hated my job, but I was suddenly feeling very torturey.
“That’s the place where the evil souls are always burning, right? You think my father ended up there?”
“Trust me, there’s no redeeming that kind of man. He’ll suffer for what he did to those boys, for what he did to you.”
Elijah blew out a sigh, his face drawn as memories of the past haunted him. In an attempt to pull him back to the present, I leaned up on my arms and pressed my lips to his in a light, barely there kiss.
Before I could pull away, his hand wrapped around the stub of my horn, and he pressed closer, kissing me deeply as his tongue snuck into my mouth. I moaned when he teased the space between the fork in my tongue, and he hummed softly.
His cheeks were flushed when he pulled away, and he watched me, his eyes dark. He gave me a cautious look as he asked, “Will you sleep up here tonight?” He looked like he expected me to say no, but he also looked like he needed someone to hold him together.
When the fuck had I grown so mushy?
And yet, despite my hate for mushiness, I found myself nodding and climbing into the bed with him. His bed was too small for me, so I used a bit of my magic to enlarge it to fit me. Elijah cuddled into my side, pressing his face into my chest. He was asleep within minutes, but I lay there for much longer, wondering how it’d come to this.
How had I ended up falling for a human?
Curious about Underworld? The story of the end of Underworld and the creation of Otherworld is told in the Lords of Otherworld series. Start with Maximus.
12 | Elijah
Sooooo… I was in love with a demon. No big deal, right? I mean, he wasn’t an evil demon. Honestly, he was a sweetheart. The way he’d held me last night just because I’d asked him to was proof of that.
It was quick though. I hadn’t known him that long. How could I be sure my feelings were real and not just my loneliness making me feel something that wasn’t there? And what about Az? Did he feel the same about me? Could he? Or did he just think of me as the little human he had to entertain for a year?
I knew he’d enjoyed the date, but that didn’t mean he had feelings for me, right?
An oomph escaped me as a large, obsidian arm fell over me, pinning me to the bed. Az lay on his stomach beside me, his soft snores the only sound in the room.
I glanced over at the clock and realized I’d be late if I didn’t get up now. I tried to heave his arm off me, but he didn’t so much as budge.
“Az, lemme go. I need to get ready for school!” I groaned, pushing at him with zero results.
Narrowing my eyes, I turned my head and blew air right into his ear. He jerked awake instantly, his red eyes flashing as he looked around the room.
“Hi, hello. Can you stop pinning me down, please? I’m going to be late for school!”
He blinked at me for a couple of moments before rolling over to the other side. I hurried to my feet, cursing under my breath as I realized I didn’t even have enough time for a shower.
I froze as I felt Az’s magic surround me—I wasn’t quite sure how I could recognize his magic when I couldn’t see it, but I just knew it was him—and when it disappeared, I felt refreshed, and my clothes had changed.
“Did you just give me a magical dry shower?” I asked, finding Az in his human form and looking ready for school even though less than a minute earlier he’d been snoring his ass off.
“I think the phrase you’re looking for is thank you,” he sassed back, and I rolled my eyes as I grabbed my bag.
“Come on, then. My first lecture will be starting soon.”
“Yay,” Az deadpanned, and I couldn’t help but chuckle as I led the way out.
We made it to the lecture with seconds to spare, and everything was like every other day. The assholes from before kept their distance, like they knew better than to cross Az again.
Things changed when we were in the small campus cafeteria. Specifically, when Az kissed my cheek before taking the seat next to me. Suddenly, a hush fell over the students, and I could almost feel the eyes on me.
I ignored them the best I could, but I couldn’t quite block out all the whispers.
“Did that guy just kiss him?”
“He’s new. Maybe he doesn’t know.”
“Or maybe he’s some kind of freak who is into that kind of shit.”
A loud bang startled the shit out of me, and I whipped my head around to see the table behind us had fallen on its side, all the legs on one side broken in half. It was the same table the whispers had been coming from, and now the kids there had laps full of food as they sat still, looking too stunned to move.
I bit my lip to keep from laughing as I glared at Az, or tried too. I was too amused to really give a fuck, and the twinkle in his eyes told me Az knew that.
“What a weird accident, huh?” he said, humor lacing each word.
“Indeed,” I agreed as I stuffed my mouth full of the gooey pasta.
I’d spent way too long keeping my head down, listening as all these people hated me for something I’d had no part in. I was a victim of my father’s deeds too, but somehow no one could see that. No one except Azazel.
It didn’t matter, though, because I had him now. I didn’t need friends who would bail at the first sign of trouble. I had a demon who would do anything for me, and he was all I needed.
Now all I needed to do was figure out a way to keep him with me after our year-long contract ended.
When we returned home, I worked on an assignment I needed to submit next week while Az played games on my phone. He was hooked on Candy Crush for some reason, and I left him to it as I worked, thinking about everything that had happened since I’d summoned him.
I’d never, ever expected it to work, but it had. I’d summoned Azazel, an eight feet tall obsidian demon with red eyes and broken horns who’d never been on a date and was intensely protective.
He was sassy, an utter jerk in the beginning, but now that I knew him better, I could see it’d been his way of keeping me at a distance. So I wouldn’t be able to hurt him. Because someone in his past had. Maybe the same someone who’d treated him like a sex slave without his consent.
I wondered if he’d ever want to talk about that. I didn’t want to pry, but I still wasn’t sure if he understood just how much I meant it when I’d told him I’d never ask him to do something he didn’t want to. I felt like it was a hard concept for him to get through his somewhat thick skull, but I hoped he’d realize it soon enough.
I glanced over to where he lay on the floor, feet up on the edge of the couch as he played. The tips of his tongue stuck out of his mouth as he clicked around the game, and I wanted to abandon my work to go kiss the hell out of him.
When he looked up at me with his red eyes glowing and raised a brow in invitation, I did just that.
13 | Azazel
Being a human’s lover was… interesting. It was also weird and a little confusing. It’d been a few weeks since our first date, and since then, Elijah and I had gone out many times.
Things at his school had calmed down, and while some idiots still whispered about my human, I’d started blocking their voices with my magic so they wouldn’t bother Elijah. My human was strong, but that didn’t mean he had to suffer through their cruelty. Not if I could protect him from it.
The reason our relationship had me confused, though, was the fact that Elijah hadn’t tried to take it past kissing. From my in-depth study of humans on my off-time, I knew humans usually didn’t wait so long to jump into bed with their lovers. At least not if they truly wanted them.
Was that it then? Elijah liked me, but he wasn’t attracted to my physical form?
I glanced down at myself and tried to see myself the way Elijah did. I was a foot taller than him, large all over. I had a weird tongue—though Elijah did seem to enjoy playing with it when we kissed—and my eyes were scary. My skin color was very much unlike a human’s, and so was my dick, not that he’d seen it yet. The only time he’d seen me naked was when I’d first shown up here, and the difference wouldn’t have been visible then.
For fuck’s sake, I was a demon. I wasn’t supposed to act like this. I wasn’t supposed to feel insecure.
Then again, I’d never been a very good demon, had I? I’d done my job as well as any of the others, but other than that, I’d sucked at being a demon. I never indulged in orgies, I didn’t have fuck buddies for every day of the week, I wasn’t kinky, I hadn’t enjoyed the pain and torture I used to inflict on the dark souls.
“What’s on your mind?” Elijah asked as he plopped onto the couch beside me, his amber eyes glowing behind his glasses. He was such a pretty human.
“Nothing,” I answered quickly, but it was clear he didn’t believe me.
Raising a brow, he sat up before straddling my thighs. My breath hitched as he settled in my lap, his palms on my shoulders as he gazed into my eyes.
“Don’t lie to me, Az. Tell me what’s wrong. Please?” His thumbs caressed my collar bone, and I hummed deep in my chest at how good his touch felt.
“I was… worried… never mind.” I shook my head. I was being an idiot. I didn’t want to reveal this vulnerability to Elijah. I liked the way he saw me. To him, I was the big, powerful demon who could do anything. Not the useless demon who was being attacked by insecurities he’d never realized he had.
“Az, come on. How about this? If you tell me, I’ll take the day off from school tomorrow and we can go wherever you like.”
“A week,” I countered, because it was too tempting an offer to refuse.
“Ha ha, no. How about two days?”
“Three, and that’s my final offer.”
I sighed, knowing him well enough to know he wouldn’t budge further. “All right, deal. A long weekend.”
“Only if you tell me,” he reminded me, and I sighed.
“I was being an idiot,” I grumbled, and as Elijah opened his mouth again, I waved him off. “Let me continue. I was just thinking that it’s been weeks since we started… dating, and you’ve… you haven’t wanted to do anything more than kissing. And I thought maybe it was because of how I looked. I mean, I’m not exactly hu—”
“Stop talking,” Elijah cut me off, and I snapped my mouth shut, my teeth clacking together with how harsh I was. He drew his palms up my neck until he was cupping my face, and then he shook his head.
“You crazy demon. How long have you been stewing over this? First off, I love the way you look, all right? You’re bigger than me, which is a plus. Your tongue is literally magic, it’s so fucking good. Your muscles are so yummy I’d lick you all over if you let me. You’re gorgeous all over, Az. Secondly, you’ve no idea how much I’ve been holding back. The only reason I didn’t ask to do all the things I want to do to you is because I want it to be your choice. You told me you don’t like casual sex, and you’ve implied more than once that one of your previous summoners didn’t exactly care about your consent. I don’t want that. Whatever we do, I want it to be your choice. And that’s the only reason I haven’t devoured you like I want to, okay?”
Elijah exhaled loudly as he finished his rant, his palms holding my face tighter than necessary. His grip loosened as he realized that, and he dragged his right palm up until his fingers were in my hair, the tips tickling the edge of my broken horn and making me shiver.
“I didn’t realize,” I murmured, too stunned to say anything else. Elijah had been insistent about never asking me to do anything I wouldn’t want to do, but I hadn’t realized it would be the same for things like this. I’d done a lot of things—sexually speaking—and if I was honest with myself, which I usually wasn’t in this case, I hadn’t wanted to do most of it. But I’d done it because I’d been told to.
But now here was this human who was giving me something I hadn’t had in a very long time: a choice, free will.
And it wasn’t difficult at all to choose to lean forward and press my lips to his, to tell him without words exactly what I wanted.
“I still need your words, Azazel,” he mumbled against my lips, and I smiled even as frustration coursed through me.
“I want you to kiss me, my little human. And I want to suck you until you come. I want to sink into you and make you come over and over again. I want it all with you. Is that enough words for you?” I sassed, licking his lower lip with the tips of my tongue.
Elijah groaned and attacked my mouth in a flurry of lips and tongue and teeth, and I pulled him to me, soaking up every ounce of touch and affection like I was starved for it. And maybe I was, because I never, ever wanted to stop.
14 | Elijah
“So, what do you want to do right now?” I asked as I pulled back, my breathing harsh. Azazel was a phenomenal kisser, and I was addicted to his tongue.
As I watched, he swiped that same lethal tongue over his bottom lip, his eyes roaming over me, his gaze so intense I could almost feel it. I shivered as his eyes met mine again, and he smirked in his trademark way.
“I want to taste you.”
My breath caught at the image of his wicked tongue playing with my cock, and I bit back a moan. “I…I’d like that.”
He grinned, and I gasped as he picked me off his lap, lifting until my legs were thrown over his shoulders. Cradling my ass, he looked up at me, his eyes so dark that only a ring of red shone through. “I’m going to blow you just like this. Don’t worry, I won’t let you fall.”
I grabbed the backrest despite his reassurance, and I was glad I did because a moment later I almost fell forward when the cool air hit my butt and I realized Az had used his magic to remove my pants and underwear.
“Fuck, you look delicious,” Az murmured, and I felt myself blushing. I didn’t do shit like this. I’d hooked up before, but I’d never been with someone I had actual feelings for. And even when I’d hooked up, it’d never been…adventurous. A blowjob in a club bathroom, a hard fuck and then goodbye. No one had ever manhandled me. Not like Az was doing it, as if I was weightless.
I shivered as he traced a line up my inner thigh with the tip of his nose, whimpering when his tongue snaked out to lick my balls with the lightest of touches.
Az hummed softly, completely focused on what he was doing. Trusting him to not let me fall, I placed one palm on his scalp, tracing the edge of his broken horn with the tip of my finger because I knew it drove him crazy. He still hadn’t told me the story of how they’d ended up that way, but I knew he would when he was ready.
“Holy shit!” I gasped as he swallowed my cock, taking it all into his mouth in one go. I had not been expecting that. My size was in proportion to the rest of me, and while I didn’t have a lot of girth, I was long enough that it took most guys a while to work up to it. But Az wasn’t just any guy. He was a demon with a wicked tongue that was now wrecking havoc on the tip of my cock.
My back arched as the tips of his tongue entered my slit, and it was only Azazel’s grip on my ass keeping me from falling. I didn’t have enough brain power to worry about falling, because all my blood had rushed south.
“Fuck, Az, that feels so good,” I said, my voice breaking halfway as his throat closed around my length. He swallowed again and again, using his throat to drive me crazy.
He hummed around my length and squeezed my ass, using his grip to push me even deeper into his mouth. I groaned loudly, too lost for words. I placed both hands on his head, scraping my nails through his short hair. I rubbed the base of his horns, loving the way it made him hum around my cock.
Using his grip on my ass, he started thrusting my cock into his mouth, controlling the movement completley as he used me to fuck his mouth. It was already the best blowjob I’d ever had, and I hadn’t even come yet.
“Fuck, Az. I’m close,” I gasped, feeling the familiar tingle down my spine, though I knew this climax would be unlike any I’d ever experienced before.
He squeezed my ass tighter in answer, and quickened his pace, pulling me deeper into his mouth, his nose rubbing into my groin with each thrust. The tips of his tongue slipped inside my slit, and I was gone.
My back arched, and I might have screamed his name but I couldn’t be sure. The only thing I was sure of was that nothing had ever felt as good as this. Az swallowed my cum, his tongue lapping at my cock to get every drop of it.
I went boneless in his grip, and he still didn’t let me fall as he slowly slid me back into his lap. And onto his very hard erection that pressed against my ass through his pants.
I pressed my palm to it, rubbing it slowly, and Azazel gave a full body shudder before he took my hand in his, pulling it away from his cock.
“What…won’t you let me make you feel good?” I asked, and Az smiled softly.
“You did. What we just did? It was the best thing I’ve ever experienced. I don’t need anything else. I promise.”
I stared at him, trying to gauge if he was telling the truth. His eyes were warm and clear, and I decided he meant it. While I’d love to make him feel as good as he’d made me feel, I respected his choice.
Rising up on my knees, I pressed my lips to his instead, kissing him softly and humming when I realized I could taste myself on him.
“You, Azazel, are the sweetest, most talented person I’ve ever met. I’m so lucky I found that book and that I was crazy enough to actually try summoning you.”
Azazel chuckled, the tips of his tongue sneaking out to lick my nose. “Trust me, no one is happier about that than me. You’re a great human and a great master. I’m glad you summoned me.”
Warmth fluttered in my chest, and I shifted so I was sitting sideways on his lap. He wrapped his arms around me like I’d wanted him to, and I snuggled into him, letting the comfort of his hold wash over me.
Whether it was fate that led me to find that book that day, or just dumb luck, I was grateful for the man it’d led me to, and I’d do anything to hold on to him.
15 | Azazel
It’d been six months since Elijah summoned me, and I’d never been happier. Every day with my little human was better than the last, and I’d stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop, finally trusting the fact that Elijah truly was as good as he’d first seemed.
The other humans at his place of learning had learned to not bother him, and while he never complained, I worried about him. Didn’t humans need frequent socialization and people who cared about them?
Granted, I cared about him a lot, but was I enough? Didn’t he need someone who could relate to him better?
If he asked, I could bring him a human who would happily befriend him, but I didn’t think he’d approve of that.
Which was why I was in the demon realm while Elijah attended his boring classes, hoping to get advice from my one real friend besides Hella.
“Azzy boy! So you didn’t fall into the Chasm after all,” my friend-slash-pain-in-the-ass said as she slithered over from wherever she’d been hiding.
She was a gorgeous demon, with deep red hair that fell to her waist, bright yellow eyes, and a curvy frame that gave the best hugs on the rare occasion she felt like giving one. The lower half of her body was that of a snake, with deep red scales that gleamed whenever the light fell on them.
We weren’t quite sure why demons had such different body types, but the oldest of us said it had something to do with the magic we’d possessed in our human lives. I had no memories of that time, so I couldn’t say if he was right, though it seemed as fitting a theory as any.
“Fressia,” I greeted her with a tilt of my head, and she flashed me a fanged grin.
“Tell me,” she demanded, raising a single brow at me.
“Tell you what?”
“About whatever put that look on your face. Let me guess. It’s the human, isn’t it? Your summoner.”
I shook my head, amazed as always at how well she could read me. “His name is Elijah,” I found myself saying, even though I made it a habit of calling him my little human. But that was the thing, wasn’t it? He was my human. Not Fressia’s or anyone else’s.
“Elijah,” she said in a lilting voice, her eyes almost sparkling with mischief.
“Stop it. Or I’m leaving,” I threatened, and she sighed as if I was the one being a pain in the ass.
“Fine, fine. So what do you need help with? Are you going to tell me or do I have to start guessing?”
Knowing the kind of things she’d guess, I waved her off. “I’ll talk.” I sighed softly before explaining Elijah’s friendlessness to her.
“Is that all?” she asked, and I glared at her. I didn’t like her implication that it wasn’t a big deal. I was worried about Elijah. I didn’t want him to be left alone once our year together was up.
“I just mean there’s an easy solution to this,” she clarified, staying me with a raised palm as if I was about to attack. Even if I’d wanted to, I knew better than to take a risk like that. Fressia was lethal.
“You think so? What can I do?” I asked, not worried about sounding too eager at the moment. Showing emotion wasn’t something demons were used to, but I found it easier to do the longer I lived with Elijah.
“Bring him here,” she said, and I shook my head, sure I’d heard her wrong. “You said he doesn’t get along with humans, so maybe he’d get along with us.”
“I’m sorry. Did I hear you right? You want me to bring Elijah, a human, into the demon realm? Have you lost your damn mind?”
Fressia’s eyes narrowed, and I immediately regretted my words, no matter how true they were. Still, I forged on. “Even if I wanted to bring him here, which I don’t, it would be impossible. Only the dead are allowed here, remember?”
Fressia waved it off as if my words meant nothing. “There are always loopholes, sweetheart. Remember how King Damien brought his human mates to Otherworld? They’re both still very much living. In fact, from what I hear, their bond returned some of King Damien’s humanity.”
Of course I’d heard about King Damien and his unique mating. Everyone in the demon realm had. But there was one major difference between the king and my situation. “They were his mates, Fressia. Elijah is just my summoner. Nothing more.”
The lie tasted bitter on my tongue. No matter how much I’d wanted Elijah to just be my summoner, he was so much more now. He’d wiggled his way into my demon heart with his sass and his sweetness, and I didn’t know what would happen once our time together ended. To be quite honest,I didn’t like thinking about our time together ending.
“I know that. What I meant was, with magic there are always loopholes. You can’t bring a human into the demon realm, sure. But what happens if your summoner orders you to take him to the demon realm? Which is more powerful? The magic that impels us to do our summoner’s bidding or the one that keeps the living out of the demon realm?”
I blinked at her, not having an answer for her question. No summoner had ever asked to visit the demon realm, as far as I knew, but I could very well imagine Elijah doing just that.
The question was, could the magic of the realms be tricked into letting a human into a realm no living human had ever seen? And if it could, did I want that? Did I want to bring the brightness that was Elijah into my dark realm?
Would seeing my home make him finally realize what I truly was? Would it change the way he felt about me? And would I let that risk stop me from doing something that could potentially be beneficial to him?
16 | Elijah
Azazel was acting weird. It wasn’t unusual for him to act…let’s say quirky…but this felt like something different.
Ever since we’d started dating, he’d been more open with me, even about stuff he felt was stupid or he was insecure about. Yet, for the past few days, I’d been catching him watching me when he thought I wasn’t looking, and I really wanted to know what was going on in his head.
I’d tried asking him point blank, but he just denied anything even being wrong. It’d been the same every time I asked, and it had all started the day he’d last gone to the demon realm.
Something must have happened there, but what? Had someone said something? Was he required to return and was trying to figure out a way to break the news to me?
I’d always known we had an expiry date, but to me it was still six months away. I didn’t know how to deal with the thought that I only had a few more days left with Az.
Served me right for falling in love with a demon.
I blinked, startled at the thought. Love? Was I really in love with the annoying demon I’d summoned six months ago? How did this happen?
It didn’t matter how, did it? The fact was, I was in love with the stupid demon who was keeping stupid secrets from me and was probably trying to figure out a way to tell me we were over.
What if I was the only one who’d been idiotic enough to involve feelings? It felt like it meant something whenever Azazel kissed me, but was that just wishful thinking?
What if I was just a ticket to the human realm and a good time to Az? Did I dare ask? Should I just let things continue as they are and wait for him to say something?
I rolled my eyes at myself. Yeah, right. Like I’d ever just stay quiet and ignore the problem. I was more the kind to face the problem head on and then deal with the consequences later. Fuck waiting and fuck Az for making me doubt everything.
He’d bowed out of coming to classes with me again, so the moment I got home today, I’d demand he tell me everything, no matter how bad it was.
Decision made, I focused back on the lecture I’d been ignoring, my mind clearer than it’d been all week now that I had a plan.
When I got home, Az was waiting for me like always, a feast ready on the coffee table that I had a hard time ignoring. But no, I had to focus. I needed answers.
Carefully, I removed my shoes, placed my bag in its nook, and settled on the couch. Then, throwing out the carefully planned speech I’d worked on while walking home, I blurted out, “Are you leaving?”
Az’s eyes widened, the red flashing brighter, and he asked, “Do you…want me to?”
I rolled my eyes. “Of course not,” I grumbled, pushing my curls off my forehead. “But it feels like you are. Like you’re trying to figure out how to tell me or something. You’ve been acting weird ever since your last visit home, and I thought maybe you need to go back for good or something.”
Without uttering a word, Az sat down beside me and wrapped his arms around me, pulling me into a tight hug. Have you ever cozied up in one of those weighted blankets that feel like warmth and comfort and safety all rolled into one? That’s what Az’s hugs felt like, and I immediately relaxed into him.
“I’m not going anywhere, my little human. I promise.”
“I’m getting there,” he interrupted me with a soft chuckle, and I huffed as I snuggled deeper into him. “When I was visiting, a friend made a suggestion I haven’t been able to stop thinking about.”
He hummed, his chest vibrating against my cheek. This was much, much better than a weighted blanket.
“She suggested I bring you to the demon realm,” he admitted, and I jerked upright, my eyes widening.
I pushed up my askew glasses as I looked into his eyes. “You can do that? Take me to see your home?”
“Living humans aren’t allowed in the realm. Hell, now that we no longer punish souls, no humans are allowed there.”
“Then how…” I trailed off, but he knew what I was asking.
“Fressia, my friend, had a theory that if you ordered me to take you, it might work, since demons are required to fulfil their summoner’s every request.”
“Has anyone ever done that before?” I asked, though my mind was already thinking about visiting the demon realm and what it’d be like. But then I remembered the fact that Az hadn’t told me about this until I’d demanded answers, and I wondered if maybe he didn’t want me coming to his home world. Why else would he have hesitated?
“Not that I know of. It was why I hadn’t mentioned it. I didn’t want you to be disappointed.”
While he sounded sincere, I had a feeling there was more to it than that. The challenge would be trying to figure out what.
“Why don’t you want me to visit the demon realm?” Guess we were cutting straight to the chase then.
Az sighed and looked away, though his arms stayed wrapped around me. He might’ve even tightened his hold as he spoke. “It’s not that I don’t want you to visit. It’s just…it’s not a happy place. And you, well, you’re the brightest thing in my life. I guess I don’t want you to realize how dark my world is, how dark I am.”
I stared at him, gobsmacked. Was he for real right now?
“You magicked me a ball pit last weekend. And then you spent the whole afternoon playing in it with me. Trust me, I already know how dark you are, you big goof. Nothing will change the way I feel about you. Don’t you know that already?”
I rose up on my knees and kissed him before he could reply. I didn’t want to say the words just yet, but I could definitely show him what he meant to me. The decision about visiting the demon realm could wait, because I had a marshmallow of a demon to devour.
17 | Azazel
I was an idiot. In my attempt to figure out a way to broach the subject with Elijah—or even if I wanted to do it in the first place—I’d failed to see what my indecision was doing to him.
I couldn’t believe he’d thought I was going to leave, but then again, he was used to it, wasn’t he? Getting left behind? He had abandonment issues, and I’d just compounded them with my own idiocy.
As if that wasn’t enough, I’d then made him feel like I didn’t want him to see my home. If I could, I’d share every part of my life with him. But he didn’t know that.
“Do you want to?” I asked as I pulled back so he could breathe. I could never forget he was human, especially in moments like these when his heart beat faster because of me. “Visit the demon realm, I mean.”
After Elijah had demanded his answers, we’d devoured the lunch I’d had delivered, and then gone right back to kissing. But now, I needed to know what was going through his head.
Elijah blinked rapidly, clearing the haze from his eyes as he licked his lips. I felt something like pride wash through me at having affected him so much, and I couldn’t resist tracing his wet lower lip with my thumb.
He bit the pad of my thumb, winking as he settled into my lap once more, his arms thrown over my shoulders this time. It didn’t look like the most comfortable position, but he didn’t seem to care.
“I’d love to see your home, Az. You know that. But if you really don’t want me there, it’s okay. I respect your choices.”
I shook my head, dipping my head so he wouldn’t see all the way into my soul with those penetrating eyes of his. “I’d like you to see it. But I don’t know if it’ll work. Please don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t.”
Elijah tipped my head up, a smile on his lips that he pressed to the tip of my nose. “I won’t. As long as I have you, everything else is just a bonus.”
Butterflies fluttered in my belly at his words, and I was glad no one could hear my thoughts because they’d taken an utterly disgusting sappy turn.
“You have the weekend off, don’t you? We’ll go then,” I decided, and he grinned.
“Perfect.” He glanced at the clock before turning to me, brow raised.
“We have time before dinner. What do you wanna do?” His fingers trailed down my side, blazing a path over my skin and telling me what he would like to do.
I bit my lip, unsure. I wanted to give Elijah what he wanted, and if he’d asked for it verbally, I’d have been compelled to give it to him, but he hadn’t. And he’d told me he never wanted me to do anything I didn’t want to.
Over the past six months, there had been many instances where I’d had to remind myself of that.
“How about a movie and some cuddle time?” I suggested carefully, and instead of looking disappointed, he merely smiled widely and leaned back to grab the remote from the coffee table.
“Sounds good. But I’ll choose the movie this time,” he declared, and I had no problem with that because I felt more content and happy than I ever had. I’d never had a summoner who was anywhere as good as Elijah, and I thanked Fate or whoever was responsible for bringing Elijah into my life.
Once he’d started the movie, an action flick that I knew he loved, he made me lie down on the couch before snuggling into my front. His head rested on my arm, and I wrapped the other one around his waist, pulling him into me. He sighed happily, and the sound warmed my chest.
I knew our time together was limited, so I intended to cherish every single moment. Years from now, I wanted to be able to remember the sweet, strawberry scent of his shampoo and the underlying scent of him. I wanted to remember how he felt in my arms, what his smile looked like. How his smile made me feel.
I didn’t want to think about how painful our separation would be, because I knew it would be soul shattering. I’d never felt like this about anyone, and a part of me wished Elijah was a demon because then at least there would be a possibility he was my mate.
But would Elijah be Elijah if he was a demon? Would he be the same sassy, brave man?
I shook off the thought, knowing it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter what Elijah was, because I’d love him in any form. It didn’t matter that he wasn’t my mate, because I still loved him with my whole soul.
“That was fun, wasn’t it? Do you want to watch the second one?”
I blinked back to the present, surprised the movie had ended already. I didn’t want to stop holding Elijah, didn’t want to let this moment end, so I nodded, pressing a kiss to the top of his head. “Let’s watch another one.”
He grinned, smacked a kiss on my chin, and turned back to the screen, his blond curls brushing against my skin. The contrast of his blond hair against my obsidian skin was stark, and it was just another way we were different.
Who would have thought someone like me could love someone like Elijah? Hell, who would have thought I could love at all?
I was a demon, and I’d been created for violence, torture, and mayhem. But maybe, maybe demons were evolving now that violence wasn’t a part of our life anymore. Maybe this was proof that we could change too. That we could feel.
Demons were allowed to move to Afterworld. That wouldn’t be possible if they thought we were evil, would it?
Not a lot of demons had accepted that invitation, though that was mostly because they were sceptical.
Maybe I’d give it a try, after my time with Elijah ended. The thought of going back to live in the demon world didn’t appeal to me much, and I didn’t think I’d be able to bear being around Elijah without touching him, or watch him move on with someone else, someone human who could give him the life he deserved.
Elijah wrapped his hand around me, placing our joined hands on his chest. The small movement was enough to pull me away from my unhappy thoughts, and I pulled him closer to me, focusing on the present. The future could wait.
18 | Elijah
“Ready?” Az asked, and I smiled up at me. Out of the two of us, he was clearly the more nervous one, but I humored him, squeezing his hand in assurance.
“I’m ready, Az. I want to see your home.”
He smiled once and dipped his head, his hand tightening around mine. “Ask me to take you.”
“Azazel, take me to the demon realm,” I said, trying to sound as commanding as I could. Az grinned, telling me I hadn’t quite succeeded.
“Yes, master,” he replied, voice teasing, and waved his hand. Magic stirred in the air, and wind whipped around us as the floor started shaking beneath us. I looked down as a crack spread across the floor, and a gasp slipped past my lips a moment before we fell in.
I snapped my eyes shut as we fell, feeling like I’d left my stomach somewhere in my room. My hand clung to Az’s with a punishing grip, and I would’ve wrapped myself around him if I could’ve.
I wasn’t sure how long we fell, but after a while, my feet finally touched solid ground again. I still waited until my legs felt steady enough before I opened my eyes, a gasp slipping past my lips as I looked around.
Whatever I’d been expecting the demon realm to look like, it hadn’t been this. We were clearly in Azazel’s living space, and it looked almost…normal. Except for the fact that there were no windows and the flame in the fireplace was blue.
Az’s space was made up of one large room divided into a lounge area and a bedroom, with a large couch on one side of the room, and a bed double the size of mine on the other. He had books piled beside the couch, and a dog bed rested beside his bed, probably for his hellhound friend, Hella.
The walls were made of black stone, and they were a few shades darker than Az’s skin. Lanterns hung from the ceiling, lit with similar blue fire.
“Why is the fire blue?” I asked, and Az, who I now realized had been nervously watching me study his room, raised a brow at me.
“That’s your first question?”
“Yup,” I said, popping the ‘p’ as I walked over to the couch to check out his collection of books.
“Before, the Burning Chasm and the demon realm were connected, so we shared the same fire. When the entrance to the Chasm was closed off, we lost access to the fire. I guess the magic of the realms decided we could do with a color change. Also, this fire isn’t really hot, it just gives light,” Az explained, and I changed course to head to the fireplace instead.
I leaned close to the flames and realized he was right. The flames weren’t hot at all, but they weren’t cold either. Experimentally, I stuck the tip of my index finger into the flame, and grinned when all I felt was a slight tickling sensation.
“That is so cool,” I exclaimed, and Az bit his lip, looking curious.
“Absolutely!” Returning to my original destination, I picked up the first book in the stack, running my finger over the leather cover. The book was thick, and it looked old. Very old.
I carefully opened it, aware of Azazel watching me quietly, and realized the book was in a language I didn’t know. I tilted my head, flipping through a few pages before looking up at Az.
“What language is this?”
I blinked in surprise, glancing from him to the book and back again. “You know Russian?”
“I know all the human languages, little human. I’ve been around for a while, remember? One of the oldest demons here was Russian when he was in the human realm. He wrote stories about his life, his time, so he wouldn’t forget. A lot of demons did that in the early days, so they had something that would help them remember who they were and not get lost in the darkness of the dark souls they punished. Now, we read them for fun.”
“Wow,” I murmured, running my finger over a drawing of a flower. The ink was old, as was the paper, and the nerdy part of me wished I could read it. “Any of these in English?”
Az made a humming sound before kneeling beside the stack, shuffling through a few books before he found the one he was looking for. It looked a little newer than the Russian one, but still quite old. The leather was a dark brown color, with a symbol carved into it.
“Here. It’s the only one, but it’s not a fun read. The demon who wrote it moved on to Afterworld a while ago, but he wrote a lot about the souls he tortured. Their stories, their sins.”
Curious, I flipped the book open, cringing as it opened on a page with a very detailed drawing of a man ripping a heart out of a woman’s chest.
“Oh, and he was very good at drawing too,” Az added as he stood up, his eyes falling to the page I’d opened. He winced. “Like I said, not a fun read.”
After seeing a few more of the drawings, I decided the book definitely wasn’t for me. Placing it back on the shelf, I sat down on the couch, looking up at Azazel. “So, it worked. I asked you to bring me to the demon realm, and you did it. Why do you think no other summoner ever asked their demon to bring them here?” I mused, and Azazel got a look on his face that I couldn’t quite read.
I shifted closer to him as he settled on the couch, turning a little so I could see him better. He met my eyes, his red ones flickering in the lantern light as he took my hand in his, brushing his thumb over my knuckles.
“It’s probably because in this realm, the demon isn’t bound to his summoner anymore.”
19 | Azazel
It took Elijah a moment to understand the implications of what I’d said, and his eyes widened when it finally clicked, though he didn’t pull his hand away from me.
“So, you’re not bound to me anymore?” he asked, and I detected a hint of sadness in his tone. As well as I knew him, I knew he wasn’t sad because he couldn’t control me anymore, but just because he didn’t want to lose the bond we shared.
“We still have a bond. You’re still the human who summoned me. But here, I don’t feel the same compulsion to follow your orders,” I explained, and he tilted his head, looking thoughtful.
“Do a headstand,” he told me, and I grinned when it did absolutely nothing. I could ignore it without a sweat. “Fuck, this is awesome. We should just stay here.”
I raised a brow, waving around the fire-lit cave we were in. “You want to live in a cave instead of your nice, airy apartment?”
Elijah made a face, shaking his head. “I know, I know it sounds crazy. But this place is kinda cozy. And I like that I can’t control you anymore. It means that all of this,” he waved between us, “is really real.”
I rolled my eyes. “It’s always been real, little human. You didn’t force me to want you, trust me.”
Elijah smiled, clearly pleased, and eyed the exit of my cave. “Can we go outside? Can I see more of the realm?”
I blew out a breath, thinking about it. While the other demons wouldn’t exactly attack Elijah, I wasn’t sure what their reaction would be to having a human in their realm. As far as I remembered, it hadn’t ever happened before.
“I just realized…there’s no food in this realm, is there?” Elijah asked, looking far too dejected by the prospect. Had he really been serious about wanting to stay in the demon realm forever?
I waved my hand, and magic stirred in the air before a packet of crisps fell into Elijah’s lap. “I wouldn’t usually be able to do that, but our bond lets me use you as a sort of conduit to the human realm.”
Elijah picked up the packet, eyeing it curiously. “So, did you magic this or steal it from the human realm?”
“Why don’t you eat the crisps and let me worry about where they came from?” I asked with a wink, and Elijah shook his head before opening the packet and stuffing a few crisps into his mouth.
“Now, do I get to see more of the demon realm?” he asked, eyes alight with curiosity.
“You know that human saying? Curiosity killed the cat?” I asked, and Elijah waved me off.
“I’m not worried about that.”
“And why not, if I may ask?” I raised a brow at him, leaning against the stone wall as I watched him.
He grinned at me, pushing his glasses up his nose. “Because I know you’ll keep me safe.”
What was that feeling in my chest? It was warm and gooey and icky. It made me want to pull Elijah into a tight hug and never let go.
Shaking my head, I straightened up and offered my palm to Elijah. Grinning, he took it and hopped to his feet, sticking close to my side as I led the way out of my cave and into the main tunnel that ran through the whole realm.
The demon realm wasn’t all that big, and the tunnel connected all the caves in the realm. Lamps hung on both sides, lighting up the path in a blue glow, and Elijah’s eyes tracked each lamp, glowing with curiosity as he studied them.
“There’s not much to see in the realm, to be honest. Most caves are like mine, belonging to a demon. There are around 150 demons here, though the numbers go down every decade as more of us decide its time to move on,” I explained, and Elijah looked up at me, amber eyes glowing strangely in the blue light.
“Have you thought about it? Moving on?”
I shrugged, not willing to admit that I had. “I like the human realm too much to want to move on,” I settled on saying, which wasn’t a complete lie. I did like the human realm, but not because of all the art and food, like I did before. Now, I liked the human realm for just one reason: Elijah.
“Would you like to meet a friend of mine?” I asked, spotting Fressia’s cave up ahead. We hadn’t been spotted by a demon yet, and I figured Fressia would be the safest demon to introduce Elijah to, since she already knew about him.
“A demon friend?” Elijah asked, his eyes going wide behind his glasses, and I chuckled softly.
“Yes, a demon friend. Her name is Fressia.”
Elijah nodded after a moment of stunned silence, and I stopped in front of Fressia’s cave, knowing she’d sense my presence.
“Az, you brought a guest! Come on in,” she called, and Elijah shot me a wide-eyed look as I parted the curtains and waited for Elijah to step into the cave before following him inside.
My human froze the moment he spotted Fressia, his eyes widening as he took her in. Should I have told him a little about her before bringing him here? He looked stunned speechless, and his lips parted as he took her in.
Fressia, being the mischievous demon she was, threw her deep red hair over her shoulder, and moved toward Elijah, caressing his legs with the end of her tail and making him jump.
“Fressia,” I warned, and she shot me a grin.
“You didn’t tell me how pretty your human was, Azzy,” she said, and I glared at her, both as a reminder that Elijah was mine, and because of the stupid nickname.
“You have beautiful eyes,” Elijah said, finally finding his voice, and I glared harder at her, as if it was her fault Elijah liked her eyes. She simply ignored me, giving Elijah her full attention.
“So do you. Elijah, right? I’m Fressia. Nice to meet you. I’ve heard a lot about you,” she said, offering her hand, and Elijah shook it, giving her a curious look.
“You have?” he asked, and Fressia shot me a grin before speaking.
“Aye. All this big lug has talked about recently is you. It’s kinda adorable, actually,” she said, and I scowled at her.
The fond look Elijah gave me soothed me some, though, and I let them talk about me like I wasn’t standing right there just because of how happy it made Elijah.
Fucking hell, when had he turned me into this lovesick puppy?
20 | Elijah
The stories Fressia told me about Azazel sounded nothing like the guy I knew, but they were a reminder that Az wasn’t simply a guy, he was a demon who’d once punished and tortured evil souls in these caves.
“Do you know the story of how Az lost his horns?” Fressia asked, and I shook my head. She was seated on a plush, deep red couch across from us, and she looked like a work of art, with her red scales gleaming in the light from the fire and her red hair stark against the pale skin of her upper body. She was naked like Az had been when I’d first summoned him—he now wore pants in both forms for my sake—but scales covered most of her front like a pseudo-shirt, ending just above her chest.
“I swear to god, Fressia,” Azazel growled, but she waved him off.
“So, once upon a time, Az was given the job of torturing a soul. This was when Underworld was still working, obviously, and the souls we got ranged from evil to simply desperate. Now, the souls who’d committed crimes out of desperation usually end up in Otherworld and get a chance to redeem themselves, but back then they all ended up here.”
I nodded along as Az huffed beside me. He’d told me all about Otherworld and how the realms worked. I wasn’t supposed to know all this, but then again, I wasn’t supposed to have a demon lover either.
“So, the soul Az was supposed to torture had held up a bank at gunpoint and robbed it. He’d done it to save his son’s life, to pay medical bills, I think. But he’d accidentally shot a man while robbing the bank, so when he died, he ended up here for his crimes. Now, Az, being the sweetheart he was, didn’t torture him the way he was supposed to because he felt sorry for the man.”
“Oh no,” I murmured, sensing where this was going as I remembered what Az had told me way back when I’d first summoned him, when I’d asked him why his horns were chopped off.
“Oh yes. The elder demons decided Az wasn’t doing his job properly, and that he’d earned a punishment. Those old fuckers chopped his horns off as a reminder to all demons to take their jobs “seriously.” Joke’s on them, though, because a decade later Underworld closed up, and the Burning Chasm took its place, leaving us with no souls to torture.”
“You know what the best part was?” Az asked, and I raised a brow at him.
“There’s a best part to all of this?”
He nodded, a vindicated smile on his face. “Every last one of the elder demons ended up in the Chasm.”
“What? How?” I asked, confused. I’d assumed only the evil souls went into the Burning Chasm. Then again, someone who’d cut off Az’s horns had to have at least some evil in them.
“It’s a known fact that constant proximity to evil souls can…infect you, I suppose is the right word. It was why Underworld was shut down in the first place. The souls were turning the demons darker, turning them into creatures that thrived on torture and punishment. Most of the older demons ended up in the Chasm, and the ones that remain here now are the youngest of the demons,” Fressia explained, and I shook my head in wonder.
It was hard to imagine not knowing all of this now, but until a few months ago, I’d had no idea there were other beings out there, let alone other realms. I felt a little sorry for all the humans who had no clue they lived in a world full of magic.
“That’s good. I’m glad they were punished for what they did to you,” I told Az, and Fressia grinned widely.
“Aww, you two are just adorable. I can see now why Azzy is so head over heels for you,” she said, and I rolled my eyes, waving her off even as my cheeks flamed.
Azazel growled softly, but it only made her chuckle. It was clear to me that they were good friends, and I was once again glad I’d asked Az to bring me here. Getting a glimpse of his home and his life here was wonderful, and it made me appreciate having him with me even more.
“Oh, Az. Have you heard about the things going on in Otherworld?” Fressia asked, and I tuned back into the conversation as Az frowned, shaking his head.
“What’s going on?”
“There seems to be some kind of trouble down in the Chasm. I heard through a soul collector they put up new warding around it. They don’t know all the details yet, but something big is going down, I’m sure of that.”
“Maybe there was another breakout attempt?” Az mused, and I raised a brow at him.
“A breakout from the Chasm? Like the torture place of all the evil souls?” I demanded, and Az nodded.
“There was a breakout a few years ago, but the King of Otherworld stopped it before the souls could escape Otherworld.”
I blinked, trying to imagine what would happen if there was another breakout, if the souls found their way to the human realm. Would they destroy it? Try to take over? Kill everyone? I shuddered just thinking about it, and I had to shake my head to get rid of the images.
“Whatever’s happening, I’m sure the Otherworlders will take care of it. They always do,” Fressia said, and Az hummed.
“That’s true. Elijah, I think it’s time we return home. What do you say?”
I had absolutely no idea what time it was, or how much time had passed since we came here, but if Az thought it was time, I had no reason to doubt him.
“Sounds good,” I told him before turning to Fressia. “It was nice meeting you.”
“You too, sweetie. Keep this lug on his toes, you hear?”
I chuckled as I nodded, and Az just shook his head before tugging me out of her room and back down the tunnel to his room.
“Wait, wait, don’t take us back yet,” I said when we were in his room, and he gave me a curious look, stopping in the middle of his cave.
“Because I need to do this first,” I said before pushing up on my toes and pressing my lips to his.
21 | Azazel
A week after our visit to the demon realm, there was a knock at our door at ten in the evening.
Elijah and I shared a glance. We both knew we weren’t expecting anyone, and that put me on high alert. I shifted to my human form before walking over to the door, motioning for Elijah to stay behind.
My little human ignored me as usually, of course, and slid up beside me as I opened the door.
We both stared at the woman standing on the other side. She was dark-skinned, dressed in jeans and a white t-shirt. Her arms were covered in tattoos in a brilliant shade of red. She would’ve seemed like a stranger if not for the very familiar red hair and yellow eyes she sported.
“Fressia?” Elijah asked before I could, and she smiled widely at him.
“Hey, Elijah! You gonna invite me in?” she asked, and Elijah smacked my arm, tugging me backward. Since I was in my human form, he actually managed to pull me back.
“Let her in, Az,” he said, and I grudgingly opened the door wider. Even though she was my friend, I didn’t know if I was comfortable letting another demon into our home. If she was here, that meant she had been summoned. And who knew what her summoner wanted from us?
“Get that constipated look off your face, Az. No one sent me here,” Fressia said, tossing her hair back as she settled on the couch as if this was her house. I bit back a growl as I stuck close to Elijah, who didn’t seem to mind having a second demon in his home.
“Can I get you a drink, Fressia?” Elijah asked, and she smiled widely.
“You’re such a sweetie. I’d love a cup of coffee,” she said, and I stopped Elijah when he started moving toward the kitchen.
“Tell us what you’re doing here first, and then you can have some coffee,” I challenged her, and she grinned, completely unruffled.
“If it will make you a little less growly, sure. The king of Otherworld vacated the demon realm. All the demons are now here in the human realm,” she said, and I stared at her, sure she was joking.
“Really?” Elijah demanded, much more willing to trust her than I was, even though I’d known her longer.
“Yes. The queen of Underworld is trying to break out of the Chasm, apparently, and they were worried she’ll try to do it through the demon realm. Then Mammon got himself summoned by one of the dark souls, they practically shit themselves trying to get us out of there before the dark souls could summon any more of us,” Fressia explained, and her tale sounded more unrealistic the more she spoke.
“I don’t believe you,” I told her, and she rolled her yellow eyes.
“I don’t care if you believe me. I just thought I’d let you know. All the demons are under strict orders to not hurt any humans and to look out for any escaped dark souls. Figured I’d let you know,” she said, twirling her dark hair around her finger.
“Who summoned you?” I asked, and she bit her lip.
“I can’t tell you that,” she said, and I realized it was a term of her contract. “But,” she added with a mischievous smile, “I can mention the completely unrelated fact that it’s someone I just talked about.”
I raised a brow at her, going back through our conversation before my eyes widened. The fucking king of Otherworld had summoned her? But how?
Shaking my head, I decided I wasn’t going to try to wrap my head around that one. “So what are you doing here? Don’t you have orders about where to be?”
“Not really. As long as I look out for dark souls and don’t hurt humans, I can do whatever I want,” she said with a wide smile, and for the first time I took in how happy she looked, how excited.
“Well, I’m happy for you, then. But don’t turn up here unannounced again or I’ll fry you to the bones,” I threatened.
“Azazel!” Elijah gasped, looking horrified that I’d threatened her, but Fressia merely laughed.
“Understood, Azzy. I’m going to take off while I still can. Be on the lookout for dark souls, and take care of this cutie,” she said, winking at Elijah as I growled again. I couldn’t help myself. My human brought out a jealousy in me that I’d never felt before.
Once Fressia was gone, I pulled Elijah to me and hugged him tightly, shifting back to my true form so I could properly hold him.
“Do the dark souls have any reason to come looking for us?” Elijah asked, his cheek pressed firmly against my chest.
“Not really. I think she just wanted us to stay on guard because the Otherworld king told her to be. If the dark souls do come to the human realm, they’ll probably go into hiding until they’re no longer a priority to the Otherworlders,” I said. I’d known Mammon. Once upon a time, he’d been my mentor. I knew the way he thought, and I knew he wasn’t above manipulating the person who summoned him into doing whatever was the best for him.
“We’ll be careful, then,” he said, and I smiled softly as I looked down at my human. He was such a fierce little creature.
Reaching down, I cupped his chin in my palm, tipping it up so I could look into his eyes. “Yes, we will. I won’t let anyone hurt you,” I promised, and Elijah smiled before rising up on his toes, his intention clear. I grabbed him around the waist, pulling him into the air and making him laugh.
His laughter subsided as he placed his palms on my cheeks and claimed my lips with his. I hummed into the kiss, pulling him closer as I stuck my tongue into his mouth. No matter how many times I kissed Elijah, it was never enough. It would never be enough.
Curious about what’s happening in Otherworld? Read in Lionel!
22 | Elijah
“You know, every time I attend his lecture, I wonder if Mr. Rivers even knows anything about computers,” I grumbled as I unlocked the door to our apartment, turning to look at Az as I opened the door. He’d been unusually silent on the way home, and I couldn’t figure out what was up with him.
“What’s wrong with you today? You’ve been scarily quie-“ I froze as I turned back around, blinking stupidly at the scene before me. Fairy lights decorated the walls of our living room, the couch was covered in soft, fluffy blankets, boxes of pizzas were stacked on the coffee table, and the TV was turned on, just waiting for someone to pick a show and start watching.
“Az…” I murmured, turning to him. He scratched the back of his neck, looking everywhere but at me. “You did this?” I murmured, more of a statement than a question. Who else would do something so sweet for me?
“You’ve been having a rough few days at school, so I thought I’d do something for you,” Az said with a shrug, as if it was no big deal.
Dropping my bag on the floor, I wrapped my arms around him, burying my face in the crook of his neck. He hadn’t changed back to his true form since the door wasn’t fully closed, and we were almost the same height like this. I breathed in his familiar smoky scent, and thanked whatever deity had led me to finding that summoning spell that day.
No one had ever cared for me the way Az did, and I never, ever wanted to lose him. The reminder that I only had a few more months left before our one year deal ended popped up in my head, but I pushed it back, not wanting anything to ruin the cozy evening Az had arranged for us.
“So, what are we watching?” I asked, pulling back just enough that I could push the door closed. The moment the door clicked shut, I felt Az ripple under my touch, and the next moment he was back to his true form. After a lot of kissing and words of appreciation, I’d finally managed to convince him that I loved everything about this form of his.
“Whatever you want,” Az said, his red eyes glowing warmly.
I grinned at that, and I felt a little bad for taking advantage of it when he’d given me such a nice surprise, but I couldn’t help fucking with him a little. It was practically our love language by now.
“How about Beauty and The Beast?” I suggested, and the scowl was instant. I’d discovered some months ago that Az had an unexplainable hate for all things Disney. He still hadn’t told me why he hated anything that had the name Disney attached to it, but I was determined to needle him until he told me.
“Why would you want to watch that when you’re living it?” he asked, and I rolled my eyes at him.
“Of course, how could I forget I have my own big, bad beast?” I said mock-seriously, and Az narrowed his eyes at me.
“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to magick all of this away,” he threatened, though I was sure it was an empty threat. Mostly sure.
“Okay, okay. How about that show we added to our watchlist last month? The rom-com,” I suggested, and Az nodded.
Ten minutes later, I’d washed up and changed into comfier clothes—one major bonus of having a demon boyfriend who could magick anything for you was having the best, comfiest clothes you could want—I joined Az on the couch, cuddling into his side as he covered us with the soft-as-sin blanket that definitely wasn’t from my closet.
As Azazel navigated through the options on the TV to find the show I’d mentioned, I took a moment to just observe him. He was so beautiful, his dark skin glowing faintly from all the fairy lights, his lips pursed as he searched for the show. I may have called him my big, bad beast, but he was a lot more like Prince Charming to me. He’d turned my life around, replaced my loneliness with a contentment I’d never felt before.
“I love you,” I said, voice soft, just as the show’s theme began playing, and I froze as Az’s head snapped to me, his eyes wide.
“What did you say?” he asked, voice equally soft, and I debated whether or not to tell him for a full second before deciding I’d hidden my feelings long enough.
“I love you, Az,” I repeated, my voice a lot stronger this time. I shifted closer to him, pressing my palm on his chest. “And it’s okay if you don’t feel the same. I just-I wanted you to know.”
“Not feel the same? Elijah, I feel like I’ve always loved you,” Az said, his voice warm and dripping with sincerity. It was my turn to look at him in shock, and he smiled softly. “I knew it the day you told me you wanted to see my home, the day you let me pick cuddles and a movie over sex.”
That…that had been a few months ago. Wow.
“It was basic human decency, Az. The second part, I mean,” I said, wishing he hadn’t lived a life where that made me special to him.
“I guess then I haven’t met many decent humans,” he said with a shrug, and that made me worry. What if he only thought he loved me because I was the only human who’d ever been nice to him?
“Stop. I can practically see your thought process,” Az growled, and I ducked my head. “I love you for who you are, and yes that includes your kindness, but it’s not the only reason. Okay?”
I nodded, accepting him at his word simply because he had no reason to lie.
“Good, now let’s watch this show before the pizza gets cold,” Az declared, and I smiled as I cuddled into him, his words settling warmly in my chest.
23 | Elijah
I blinked at my Kindle as the words started mushing together, and realized it might be time I turned it off and slept. Az had fallen asleep almost an hour ago, his body a familiar warmth at my side.
Placing the Kindle on my nightstand, I turned on my side so I was facing him, his arm shifting around my waist before wrapping more securely around me. Smiling, I snuggled closer to him, sliding my arm over his hip to hold him to me.
My eyelids fluttered shut and I exhaled deeply before dragging in Az’s fire and smoke scent. Just as I was about to fall asleep, Az’s arm tightened around me.
Pulling my head back, I looked up at him, brows furrowed. “Az? You okay?”
Az stayed quiet, apparently still asleep, but his arm didn’t loosen its grip around me. He bent his head, burying his nose into my hair and breathing deeply, as if scenting me. Unsure what to do, I held him in return and let him wrap himself around me.
Azazel was so light-hearted and fun-filled most of the time that I sometimes forgot he’d practically lived in Hell for most of his life. I couldn’t even begin to imagine the shit he’d seen, and I was sure he’d never actually had a chance to process that shit.
I’d seen a therapist every few days for six months after my father was arrested, and I still saw her sometimes when I was having an especially bad week. Who was Az supposed to talk to, if he even wanted to? A human therapist would just get him sent to the looney bin.
That was a worry for later though. Right now, all I needed to do was hold Az and help him through whatever nightmare was haunting him.
“Shhh, you’re okay, Az. You’re okay,” I murmured, rubbing his back as I held him close.
After a long while, he relaxed in my hold, and after some time I finally fell asleep, but when I woke the next morning, I remembered what had happened, even if Az didn’t. Az didn’t usually show me his vulnerable side, but he had last night, and I didn’t quite know if I should mention it to him or not.
“Good morning, Az,” I greeted him as I walked into the kitchen. He was standing beside the coffee machine, waiting for it to finish brewing. It was a ritual he’d adopted soon after he came here, just like 90% of America’s adult and young adult population.
“No,” Az grumbled, and I bit back a smile.
“I think the appropriate response to that is good morning,” I said, just to fuck with him, and he gave me a squinty-eyed look.
I chuckled, and he scowled at me. We may or may not have finished a six-pack of beer last night. Neither of us were big drinkers, and while I’d stopped after my second one, Az had finished four all on his own, and he was clearly feeling the effects.
“Can’t you like, magic away your hangover?” I asked, and he raised a brow at me, as if the answer was obvious.
Considering how it’d been ten months since I summoned him—a fact I avoided thinking about whenever I could—and it was something that always made my blood boil, I was surprised I hadn’t realized it already. Maybe I was still a little drunk.
“Shit. Want me to take care of it?” I asked, and he shot me the stink eye.
“Do you want me to beg?”
“Jeez. Chill out, man. Az, please use your magic to get rid of your hangover,” I said, and he sighed, snapping his fingers.
“Better?” I asked with a grin, and he nodded.
The coffee machine beeped, and he filled two mugs before walking over to me and handing one to me.
“Are you okay?” I asked after I’d taken a sip of the perfectly brewed coffee.
“Yeah, it was just a hangover. I’m fine,” he said. Clearly, he didn’t remember last night. Or maybe he just didn’t want to mention his nightmare to me. Should I push?
“Uh, last night, did you have a nightmare?” I asked, deciding to fuck it. Az had helped me with so many of my issues, and I wanted him to feel like he could talk to me if he wanted to.
Az furrowed his brows, as if thinking about it, and then sucked in a sharp breath, going stock-still. After a moment, he shook his head and shot me a cocky grin, though I could see the lingering unease in his eyes.
“I don’t have nightmares, Eli. Though I have starred in a lot of them.”
I rolled my eyes and lightly slapped his massive chest. “I’m trying to have a serious conversation with you!”
“And I’m trying to subtly avoid it,” he growled back.
“Well, that wasn’t very subtle,” I said with a grin, and he huffed, gulping down the steaming coffee like it was nothing. “You can talk to me, you know,” I said, softening my voice as I placed my palm on his chest right over his heart.
Bright red eyes met mine as he covered my palm with his, his chest rising and falling in even breaths even though he technically didn’t need to breathe.
“I know. It was nothing, I promise. Just a stupid dream. I’m a demon, Eli. The stuff from Underworld doesn’t bother me like you think it does. I wasn’t made that way,” Az said, and I believed him even if some part of me insisted that couldn’t be true. But it made sense, didn’t it? Az was supposed to punish the evil souls, not suffer himself, so why would their wrongdoings affect him?
But if it wasn’t that, what was it?
Az sighed and shifted his eyes to the floor between us. “I can see you don’t plan on letting this go.”
I shrugged, and he glared at me.
“Fine. I dreamed about losing you, okay?” he snapped before grabbing his mug and stalking over to the sink. He slammed the mug a little too hard, and I jumped. He didn’t turn around, but I could see how tightly he was holding on to the sink. Shit, maybe I shouldn’t have pushed him.
Quietly, I walked over to him and wrapped my arms around him from behind, pressing my face into the space between and below his shoulder-blades. His skin was blazing hot as always, and I whispered against it, “I have nightmares about losing you too.”
Azazel didn’t react for a long moment, and I held on to him, waiting him out. Then, he jerked around and pulled me to him, his lips crashing into mine as he kissed me like his life depended on it. Hallelujah!
24 | Azazel
Demons didn’t really have a lot of feelings. It wasn’t that we were unfeeling robots, but more that our emotions were dampened so we could do our jobs properly when Underworld still existed.
I’d only just started truly feeling emotions in all their depths since bonding with Elijah, but the one emotion I still couldn’t figure out how to deal with was the one haunting me the most these days: fear.
I’d never been afraid before, but the closer we drew to the end of our contract, the more I felt the fear clawing at me. I didn’t want to leave my little human, but I also didn’t know what else to do.
I had a feeling the answer was just out of reach, that if I could just get a handle on my fear I’d figure it out, but so far, I’d had no luck.
He was at school, and I’d—probably for the first time since I started joining him—stayed back, because I knew he could sense something was up with me, but I hadn’t wanted to confess exactly what.
“Who killed your dog?”
I jumped to my feet, growling when I realized it was just Fressia. “What the fuck, Fres!”
She widened her eyes in mock-fear, raising her palms up in surrender. “Whoa. Did you and your little human get in a fight or something?”
“No,” I snapped, and she walked over to me, her ruby red heels clicking against the floor. She settled on the couch beside me, throwing one leg over the other as she turned to face me.
“Talk to me,” she said, losing the sharp edge to her voice that she usually donned like armor.
Sighing, I rubbed my palm over my face. “Our contract ends in less than a month.
Fressia stared at me for a long moment, as if waiting for me to continue. When I didn’t say anything, her brows shot up. “Wait. That’s it? That’s what got your panties in a twist?”
I growled at her since I couldn’t find the words to express how annoying I found her. She shook her head as if she was disappointed in me, and then said, “Wow, you’re dumber than I thought.”
I aimed a smack at her and she dodged it easily before pulling me into a headlock. “Fuck, Fres. Let go!”
“Not until I knock some sense into you. Such a big head and it’s all empty in there, isn’t it?” she teased, her arm loosening just a bit.
“I’m not stupid,” I protested, and she scoffed.
“Sure, if you say so. What’s your explanation for not having figured this out? It’s not that hard.”
“I don’t know what to do. It’s not like Eli can just summon me again,” I grumbled, and she dropped her arm and gave me a look of disbelief.
“Who told you that?” she asked incredulously, and I got a sinking feeling deep in my gut.
“Uh, Ryk,” I said, and she rolled her eyes.
“Are you kidding me? You believed Ryk? He’s a sweetheart, but he’s even dumber than you. Then again, you were dumb enough to believe him, so who knows?”
“Will you please stop calling me dumb?” I growled as I processed what she was saying. Did she mean what I thought?
“So what you’re saying is Elijah can summon me again?”
“Duh. As long as he has the spell, sure. And maybe this time you could ask him to make a better contract. Like, a lifetime one, maybe?” she suggested with a waggle of her brows.
“I can ask him to summon me again,” I repeated quietly, and maybe I was a dumbass because the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. Of course, part of it was because I’d believed Ryk, but still. I should’ve known better.
“Really hard not to call you dumb when you’re acting like it,” Fressia said with a frown, and this time I landed a smack on her arm. Rolling her eyes, she brushed off her arm, as if rubbing off my touch. “If you’re done with your pity party, I want to tell you the thing I came here to tell you.”
“What is it?” I asked as a feeling of relief settled into my chest. I wouldn’t have to leave Elijah.
“You know how I told you the Otherworld rulers summoned all the demons to get them to the human realm?”
“Yeah, you told me last time. Because the demon realm wasn’t secure, right?” I asked, and she nodded.
“They’ve resolved the issue, but some of the dark souls managed to get to the human realm with Mammon’s help.” Mammon was one of the oldest demons that existed, and I wasn’t surprised that he’d gotten himself bonded to a dark soul.
“That sucks. Mammon is pretty powerful. Those dark souls could cause some serious damage with him,” I said, and Fressia nodded, her lips turning down in a frown.
“Yeah. It’s why the Otherworld rulers have ordered us to stay in the human realm—not that we mind, of course—and find those souls and Mammon. All of us are spread out over the country and doing whatever we can to find them, though we haven’t had any luck so far.”
“Do you need my help?” I asked, and she smiled, patting my arm.
“Nah, you have fun with your human. If I need your help, I will ask for it. I promise.”
I nodded and glanced over at the clock, realizing Eli would be back soon. I couldn’t wait to tell him what Fressia had told me.
“I can see I’m losing you, so one last thing and then I’m gone,” Fressia said, and I turned my attention back to her. “So, Ryk, Nico, and Star are sharing a four-bedroom apartment with a human.”
“Holy shit. Really?”
Fressia laughed, her head bobbing up and down. “Oh yeah. The poor kid is probably at his wit’s end about what to do with them. He obviously doesn’t know what they are, but you know how Ryk and Star can be.”
“Yeah, I’m having trouble imagining them trying to act human,” I said with a shake of my head, and she grinned.
“It’s better than any show Netflix has to offer.”
“I bet,” I said, sneaking a glance at the clock again. Fressia isn’t easy to fool though, and she caught me instantly. She gave a short laugh before standing, her red hair falling forward as she patted my cheek.
“Be good to your human. I’ll see you later.” As suddenly as she’d appeared, she was gone.
I sat back on the couch as energy thrummed under my skin, and started counting down the minutes until Eli would be home.
25 | Elijah
I was so tired it felt like my backpack was full of rocks. The moment I got into the apartment, I was going to drag Az into bed and cuddle him for an hour straight.
One moment I was stepping through my door, and the next I was surrounded by a firm, warm body that smelled of smoke. Az. I relaxed into his hold, and held on to me tighter, his face pressed into my curls, his arms like bands of steel around me.
I kicked the door shut without trying to move out of his arms. The last thing we needed was for someone to see him in his true form. Then again, we’d probably be able to pass it off as some really good cosplay get-up. Humans were easy to fool.
When Az kept holding me, I realized this wasn’t a usual I’m glad you’re home hug.
“Az? Is everything okay?”
Finally, he pulled back, and I looked up into his red eyes, searching for any clues about what had happened.
“Everything’s perfect. I…I figured it out,” he said, and it didn’t take me more than a second to realize what he meant.
“You won’t have to leave?” I asked, and he shook his head. A wide smile spread across my lips, and I pulled him to me. He came willingly, and I pressed my lips to his, hoping he could feel all my love, hoping he knew how fucking glad I was that he’d figured it out.
If we hadn’t figured it out, I was thinking about asking him to take me to the demon world with him. I didn’t know if I would’ve been kicked out once our bond ended, but I figured it was a chance I had to take.
“So? What do we have to do?” I asked, pulling back just enough to meet his eyes.
“You have to summon me again,” he said, and I blinked.
“Oh,” I murmured, and his smile dimmed.
“Unless you don’t want to. I just assumed…but it’s okay if you don’t—“ I pressed my fingers to his lips, stopping his rambling.
“Shut up, Az. Of course, I want to. I love you, and I don’t want you going anywhere. I’m just bummed because summoning you would mean I’d have power over you again, and I don’t want that,” I said.
To my surprise, Az rolled his eyes. Shaking his head, he met my eyes, his red ones looking unbelievably soft. “Elijah, I haven’t felt powerless once since you summoned me. You’ve given me more freedom than I’ve ever had, and I want to be bonded to you. I like belonging to you,” he said, and then ducked his head, like he hadn’t meant to say that last part. I knew how difficult it still was for him to share how he was feeling, so I was glad he’d said it.
“Just as long as you know that I belong to you too,” I murmured, and he smiled softly.
“How did you figure it out anyway? And didn’t you once say a person could only summon a particular demon once?” I asked, and the look on Az’s face now read embarrassed, which was weird. Why was he embarrassed?
“Uh, apparently that’s not true. Fressia dropped by today, and she told me I’d been lied to, though I think the demon who told me that believed it himself, so I don’t think he meant to lie. Anyway, you can summon me again,” he explained, and I hugged him again, burying my face into the crook of his neck and pressing soft kisses to the skin there.
“I’m so so happy to hear that,” I mumbled against his skin as his arms tightened around me even more.
After a few minutes, he touched the side of my face, and I pulled back to look up at him. He kissed me again, and I lost myself in his touch, in the way his tongue flicked against my lips, urging me to open up for him. We made out for lord knows how long, and then Az pulled back, his pupils wide and his lips red, his face a picture of desire.
“I want you inside me,” he whispered, and heat blazed inside me. I reached for him without thought, and he crushed me to him as he attacked my mouth again.
Az stood up straight with me clinging to him, and my feet hovered in the air, my backpack thumping to the floor as he magicked it off me, and he continued kissing me as he led us to the bedroom.
We undressed quickly, swapping kisses between discarding pieces of clothing, and then Az fell onto the bed on his back, pulling me on top of him.
“I’m ready,” he murmured against my lips, and I realized he’d magic-prepped himself, which shouldn’t be this hot but somehow was.
I slid into him in one long thrust, and he moaned loudly, his red eyes shining even brighter. Because of our height difference, I couldn’t quiet reach his lips in this position, so instead I placed kissed on his sternum, tasting his skin as I slid almost all the way out of him before sinking back in, setting up a maddening pace.
Az flipped us over after a few minutes, and I groaned as he started riding me, his big, muscular body swaying enticingly above mine. I ran my palms up and down his sides as he moved, my eyes trailing over him, admiring all the big and little things I loved about him.
We didn’t do this often, but when we did, it was explosive as fuck, and I knew this time would be the same—or maybe even better—as I felt my orgasm closing in, the familiar tingling starting at the base of my spine.
Reaching forward, I wrapped my palm around Az’s cock, and he gasped as he quickened his pace, his hole tightening around me. Unable to take it any longer, I pulled him forward. He came willingly, and I pressed my lips to his, sliding my tongue into his mouth. The position was surely awkward for him, but he was too close to care about it.
I came first, filling Az with my cum as I shouted his name, and he followed after me a few thrusts later, painting my chest and abdomen with his release.
Az fell on top of me, and I wrapped my arms and legs around him, hoping to keep him right there for as long as I could. Forever might be a good place to start.
26 | Azazel
I used my magic to clean us up, not wanting to leave the comfort of Elijah’s arms—not that I’d ever admit that to him—and then flipped us over so I wouldn’t crush him.
Sex had always been a weird thing for me. As a demon, I’d been around it constantly in the early days, and I’d always been just mildly discomforted by it. I hadn’t had a lot of interest in it, and even that tiny smidgen of interest had disappeared after the first time a summoner had used me as her personal sex slave.
Even now, I didn’t always feel like it, even when I was physically aroused, even when I had a man whom I loved more than anything in all the realms. I didn’t understand why that was, but Elijah did. He said that was just the way I was built, and that as long as I was happy, that was all he cared about. At first, I’d been skeptical, and with good reason. I hadn’t seen a lot of human men in their twenties who didn’t want sex all the time, but Elijah wasn’t a usual human and I knew that now.
“I know you’re a demon and all, but when you make me feel like that, I can’t help thinking you’re god. Or at least an angel,” Elijah said, crossing his arms over my chest and resting his chin on them so he could watch me.
I rolled my eyes at him, secretly pleased I’d made him feel that good. “There’s no such thing as angels,” I said, and he raised a brow.
“So there is a god?” he asked disbelievingly, and I shrugged. That was a minefield I stayed far away from. Humans were weird when it came to religion—not to say they weren’t generally a weird bunch.
Elijah chuckled, and I smiled, my eyes roaming over his face. I’d spent the last few weeks desperately cataloging each and every thing about him, afraid I’d lose him and never get to be with him again. At least not until he passed. Then, I could’ve followed him into Afterworld, but I still would’ve had to wait decades, and he could’ve found someone else by then. Someone he loved more than he’d loved me.
“What are you thinking about? Your face is all frowny,” Elijah said, and I placed my palm on his back, running it up and down as I tried to figure out what to say.
“Are you sure you want to summon me again? Are you sure you wouldn’t rather find a human man to settle down with? Someone who can grow old with you? I mean, I guess having a demon with magical powers has its perks, but…” I trailed off at the narrow-eyed look on Elijah’s face, losing steam.
“You listen to me, and listen carefully,” Elijah said, sitting up until he was straddling my stomach. “I love you. I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone or anything. I wouldn’t care if you lost all your magic tomorrow, I’d still want you. I don’t want a human. I don’t want your magic. All I want is you. I want the man who gets competitive over arcade games, I want the man who cuddles me and watches bad TV with me.”
I stared up at him, stunned by the passion in his words. I’d known he loved me, he’d told me enough times to get it through my thick skull, but I hadn’t realized how deeply.
“Az, you have no idea what my life was like before you. I was a loner. I had no friends, and pretty much everyone thought I’d turn around and murder someone one day because of my dad. I…I was just existing, Az. I’d forgotten how to live. And then you came into my life, and I promised to show you the wonders of the human world, and somehow you ended up reminding me what it was to live. You saved me, Az, but more than that, you loved me. I’ve never been loved the way you love me, and I would never, ever want to give up what we have.”
I nodded slowly as something wet touched my ear. Frowning, I touched the spot and realized my cheek was wet. My eyes widened as I realized there where tears on my face, and I quickly scrubbed them away, as if Eli hadn’t already seen them.
I squeezed my eyes shut in embarrassment, and sucked in a sharp breath when I felt lips brush against the wetness on my cheeks. “It’s okay,” Elijah murmured, so close I could feel his breath washing over me. “It’s okay to cry, Az. It’s okay to feel.”
My eyes opened of their own accord, and I blinked, more tears flowing out. Meeting Elijah’s eyes, I realized he had tears in his too, and I reached up to wipe them away, my voice lost somewhere in the maelstrom of emotions inside me.
Elijah leaned closer and then his lips brushed against mine, so soft, so warm. I pulled him to me, pressing our chests together as I kissed him, my fingers sliding into his silky curls. I still wasn’t quite sure why I was crying, but I trusted Elijah enough to not hide from him, to let myself feel all these emotions, emotions that I hadn’t believed demons were able to feel at all. Maybe Elijah had changed me somehow, on a cellular—or rather magical—level.
A little while later, Elijah pulled back, a small smile on his lips. He kissed my cheek before sliding onto the bed. I turned on my side to face him better and wrapped an arm around his waist, not willing to let him go any further.
“I’m so glad I won’t lose this,” Elijah murmured, a heaviness in his voice that I recognized as exhaustion. He’d looked tired when he’d walked into the apartment, and everything since must’ve only added to his tiredness.
“Me too. How about you take a nap and we’ll celebrate with a nice dinner later?” I asked, and he smiled softly as he pressed his face into my chest.
“Good idea. Love you,” he mumbled, already half asleep.
“Sweet dreams, love,” I whispered, pressing a kiss into his curls and settling in for however long he slept. “I’m glad I won’t lose this either.”
OMG! I hope that this will become a perchasable book, and ends up tying in more of the otherworld characters and not just a quick mention like with King Damien. I would love to be able to add this into my kindle collection of the intermingling stories from Mistvale to Otherworld!
Elijah Summons a Demon will be available as an ebook once it’s complete, though I haven’t decided yet if it’ll be a freebie or available on Amazon.
Please make it a Freebie on bookfunnel.
Hey Fran, once the story is complete, I plan on expanding and publishing it. 🙂
Wow. Love it can’t wait for more keep up the great work.
Love the book was wondering if you could give azaxel his hirns back like the king grants him a request or something along those lines
Love this! I too want to be able to buy this as a book ❤️
And you will be able to once it is completed!
When will more episodes come out? I love it so for and can’t wait for it to ve finished and put into a book.
Hey Fran, I’ll be posting chapters on time from now on. I had some health issues that kept me from posting the past few months. Thank you for your patience.
Thank you! So so awesome to read the next chapter about these two. I’m so in love with them! Hope you are doing much better & life is treating you kindly. ❤️❤️
Hey Gayle! Thank you for your lovely words. 💜
First I want to day I hope life is treating you better now. Secondly I can’t wait to be able to buy this and add it to my collection of retractable books.
Thanks for taking the time to regularly write us new chapters, it is most appreciated.