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Did God Ever Cry Over His Lost Angel, I Wonder?

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 A piercing fear runs through Chloe as she asks if it’s over and is met with first silence and then, “I’d say yes, Detective, but I’d be lying and we both know I don’t do that.”

That fear only grows deeper as he continues to speak. Deep down, she knows what he means, but she makes him say it anyway, to confirm her suspicions.

“I have to go back.” Her world cracks like the glass behind Jimmy Barnes’s head after Lucifer threw him into the studio window during their first case together. There’s a spark of hope that it won’t shatter completely as she asks him how long he will be gone. He keeps talking and the glass of her world spiderwebs further. She is trying her damnedest not to cry. He steels herself, taking a steadying breath. The words tumble from her lips. Three simple words, thrown around too often without being meant, yet so hard to say when they should be said.

“I - I love you. I love you. Please, don’t leave.”

The tears begin to fall and Lucifer is stunned into silence, but for only a moment. He smiles, but it’s sad. As he walks forward, he reaches out to Chloe, “We were wrong about something else in the prophecy. My first love was never Eve.” He wipes a tear away from her cheek as she looks up at him. Sadness fills his eyes as she leaned into the touch. “It was you, Chloe. It always has been.”

He leans in for a kiss that she gladly accepts. It conveys every ounce of love he has for her…. And every ounce of sadness. She feels his stubble, her own tears, his fingers tangling in her hair, the soft press of his lips, the scratch of his jacket against her hand, . She memorizes every detail while she can. She knows in her heart he’s leaving and she can’t stop him. She grabs at him, to try and make him stay, a whispered prayer, “Please… don’t go.”

“Goodbye.” Tears brim at those deep brown eyes as Lucifer backs away. He extends his wings, soft, pearly white, and feathered. She looks them over, the first time she has ever seen these wings. He reaches out to her again, cupping her cheek with a final goodbye. She closes her eyes as his hand falls away. Her hair wisps back with a soft breeze on an otherwise still Los Angeles night. She opens her eyes and he is gone.

 


 

On the throne in Hell, Lucifer brushed an errant tear off of his cheek with some force. He straightened his jacket sleeves and settled in. Holding back the tears would be his biggest battle for now. He must show his demons that he is their king and they will not defy him again. Crying because he missed his human would show a weakness that he couldn’t afford right now. Their lives were so fleeting, no demon could ever understand how he could love her. So he will sit high on his throne above all these damned souls and demons, prevent them from going back to Earth, and hope to see his Chloe again some day. Soon, if he’s very, very lucky. He just had to keep reminding himself this was for her. To keep her safe.

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Chloe stood stock still on that balcony until her legs went numb and finally collapsed under her. She crumpled to the ground with a sob. She tried to make him stay, she thought that finally telling him how she felt would keep him on Earth, but it hadn’t helped. At least you know how he feels about you now , the little voice in the back of her head said. She sobbed harder. It was almost worse knowing that he felt the same way about her that she felt about him. She lay on the cold concrete floor and sobbed until sleep overtook her. She was exhausted.

The night passed and Chloe tossed and turned. Dreams of Lucifer coming and going. Some good, some bad, but all blurry and out of focus, like she was watching a movie screen from inside a water tank. They were disconnected and muddled. Everything was in a haze. She couldn't remember anything from one dream to the next, but she tried to hold onto the good ones before they slipped away. But for each good dream came a nightmare and they only got worse as the night wore on, till the only dreams that flickered across the movie screen in her head were nothing but sheer terror. Her screaming finally woke her up. As soon as her eyes snapped open, she had forgotten the dream, but she was in a cold sweat and her throat was sore.

It vaguely crossed her mind that she needed a drink of water, but as she started to move, she noticed that she was no longer on the penthouse balcony floor. She looked around her and realized that she was surrounded by gentle black silk. This was Lucifer’s bed. She thought she might be dreaming again, so she picked up a silk encased pillow and brought it up to her face. She took a whiff and then buried her nose in it as she held back more tears. She wasn’t dreaming. She knew she couldn’t have conjured up something that smelled so much like Lu- she took a breath; like him in her head. She ran her hands over the slightly rough embroidery, she looked down, seeing for the first time the embellished heart pattern in the fabric. She smiled to herself. Of course . It was something so simple, but so Lucifer . Whatever people may think about him, his penthouse always said more about him than his club downstairs did.

She got up and went out to the bar to get a bottle of water out of the mini fridge. She felt better after having slept, but the aching in her heart and the knowledge that he was not there or coming back anytime soon, pointedly kept her from looking at the balcony. She wondered, as she cracked the bottle open and took a deep drink, if she would ever be able to set foot in this building, or even drive near it, once she left. She finished the bottle quickly and went in search of her phone, knowing she would have quite a few missed calls and messages after having not come home. The thought of Trixie left at home alone all night flashed through her mind and doubled her efforts to find her phone.

She found it on the nightstand next to the bed and quickly unlocked it, only to find the first message to be that Trixie had called Dan and asked him to pick her up and she spent the night with him. She checked the time; it was almost 11 o’clock in the morning. Dan would have taken Trixie to school by now and was probably wondering where she was. If he hadn’t already had Ella GPS track her phone. She punched in his number, but stopped before she hit send. She decided to take a shower first and then she would get back to everyone. Shutting off her phone, she laid it on the bed and walked to the bathroom. She got to the shower and turned the water on as hot as she could stand.  She stripped out of her clothes, leaving them in a pile on the floor. She stepped under the spray of the water, letting it rush down her back and smooth back her hair. It was scalding hot but she didn’t mind. The physical pain helped to calm the heartache. She blindly grabbed for a bottle of body wash; finding one, she poured some in her hand. The light flowery and vanilla scent wafted up to her and she opened her eyes to look at the label on the bottle. It was the same brand and scent of body wash that she always used at home. For a moment she thought that one of Lucifer’s “play dates” had left it, but it was completely full and unused. Had he always had this in here for her?

She pushed the thought aside and washed up. She did her hair, finding a bottle of her brand of shampoo and conditioner beside the body wash. She turned the water off as it started to grow cold and grabbed one of the fluffy, black, monogrammed towels that hung on the towel warmer on the wall. She dried off and wrapped Lucifer’s robe around her before walking back out to the bar area. She would get dressed in a bit, but she needed a drink first. Something quite a bit stiffer than water this time.

She poured herself a glass of the strongest thing she could reach and coughed slightly as it burned down her throat. She finished the glass in two gulps, but thought better of pouring another. Chloe moved to the piano, running her fingertips lightly over the gleaming black surface. The memory of her and Lucifer sitting here and playing “Heart and Soul” together drifted through her mind. She held back the tears that had instantly sprung to her eyes as the fact that they might never get to play together again followed the sweet memory. She sat down and lifted the lid over the keys. She would never hear him play or sing again, here or in the club. She shook the thought from her head. He would be back, he had to come back she told herself.

After a moment, she steeled her nerves and walked out to the balcony. Walking to the glass railing, she looked down at the pavement below. She had never contemplated suicide, but at least now she had some inkling as to why some people did. Just standing where he stood when he left had her reeling with loss, with fear, with a deep, unfathomable sadness. She collapsed to the floor, her back against the thin pane of glass that kept her from tumbling off the balcony, and for the first time since she was a child, Chloe prayed. But not to God. She knew he must be real, but it was Lucifer that she prayed to. She prayed for him to stay safe and to come back to her when she could.

 


 

In Hell, Lucifer heard Chloe’s prayer. His eyes welled with tears when he heard her voice, but he forced them back. He was currently in the middle of a horde of demons that were trying to kill him. He took a slash to the arm from a demon blade and he growled as he felt a trickle of blood running down his arm. He lashed back with his wing, cutting the demon’s throat with one of the claws on the end of his wing. Growling deeper, he gave one large beat of his wings and lifted into the smokey air. He did not have long before he had to go back into the fray, but he could do one thing that his dad never had, answer a prayer. He folded his hands in front of him as his wings continued to beat in the ash-laden air.

 


 

 

Chloe still lay crying on the floor of Lucifer’s penthouse balcony. But through her sobs, she heard a voice in her head. It sounded like Lucifer, but she pushed it aside, thinking she imagined it. But it was insistent. She finally let the voice wash over her.

Chloe, my Love. Another sob racked her body as she heard those words. She didn’t imagine it, Lucifer had heard her prayer and was answering it. I heard you. I will be home as soon as I can, even if I have to kill every demon here before I do.

“Lucifer,” she whispered, not quite believing that he had heard her. “I love you.”

And I love you... Detective. She could hear the smile in his voice when he said that one little word. I have to go there are a legion of demons trying to dethrone me and they need to be reminded of their place.

“Be careful Lucifer.”

Of course, my Love. I have every intention of seeing you again, but for now, I have to go. There was a pause before he said, I love you, Chloe Decker.

“I love you, too, Lucifer.”

 


 

Chloe’s voice faded, but her “I love you” still ringing true in his ears, Lucifer’s hands fell to his side. He wheeled in the air, surveying the carnage below him. Demons versus demons, those that rebelled and wish for a new king against those that always stayed loyal to him. Above the cacophony of noise, Lucifer growled a warning to those who had defected, “I am your KING! You shall kneel before me or pay the price!”

The demons that supported him dropped to their knees, as did a few of the rebels. A thought struck Lucifer like a lightning bolt then. Was this payback for his rebellion in Heaven? Was he being given a taste of his own medicine? He pushed the thought aside, he would have time to think about that later. Maybe he’d talk to Linda about it when he got back home. And when did he start calling Los Angeles home? Another thought that he pushed aside and revealed his full Devil form. A few more of the demons dropped to their knees, but many remained standing. Lucifer sighed. Fine. Death would come to those that deserve it. Lucifer folded his wings back and dove for the ground, right into the group of still-standing demons.

 


 

 

At a nightclub in Las Vegas, a curious looking woman dropped the tumbler glass she was cleaning as she felt a searing pain rip through her right arm. She removed her jacket and pushed her shirt out of the way to find an angry red line across her upper arm. She covered the mark with her hand and took a deep breath. One of the employees cleaning the tables looked over.

“Ma’am? Are you alright?”

She nodded slowly. “I’m fine, Sylvia. I just need to go do something. I might not be back for a while, will you take over, please?”

“Of course, Ma’am. But… you’re leaving again? You just got back a few hours ago. Are you sure everything is alright?”

“Of course, dear. Of course.”

She let Sylvia clean up the mess from the dropped glass and took the elevator to her penthouse above the club and walked out onto the rooftop patio. Her black wings unfurled as she was engulfed in sulfuric black smoke and disappeared.

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Chloe had finally managed to pull herself together enough to get herself home, get a change of clothes, and head into work for at least a little while, maybe catch a small case. She walked into Ella’s lab and was immediately greeted with silence and then a squeal that took Chloe far too long to figure out it had come from Ella. Dan stood on the other side of the table in what seemed to be a bit of a shock. Or maybe he was furious, Chloe couldn’t really tell. Maybe she should just go home, but then Ella was in her face freaking out about something. When Ella was bouncing around like a puppy on steroids and a sugar high, one could only ignore her for so long.

“-dn’t find you, so Dan had me track your cell phone GPS, ‘cause apparently he was worried about you, and it showed that you were at LUX, and then I checked the elevation and it showed that you were in the penthouse floor, not in the club and,” she paused and squealed again, hugging Chloe tightly.

“Um, Ella?”

As Ella pulled back she said, a bit breathless, “I just…. I’m just so happy for you.”

“Happy about what, Ella?”

“You and Lucifer, obviously!” Her voice squeaked when she said Lucifer, but it was from joy not sadness. For all her deductive skills, Chloe still could not figure out what Ella was on about. Maybe she should go home.

“Ella, I have a headache and I’m not really thinking clearly. Can you explain exactly what you think I was doing at Lu-cifer’s?” She was proud of herself for not breaking down sobbing as she said his name.

“You two, ya know, did the do.” At Chloe’s still puzzled look, Ella leaned closer and said in a stage whisper, “You two had sex!” She was grinning from ear to ear as she said it, but Dan looked worried.

Chloe rubbed her temples and sighed. “We didn’t have sex, Ella. I’m sorry to… disappoint you.”

“So you spent the whole night staying up watching movies and talking?”

She looked so happy for her that Chloe didn’t want to let her down, but she had to tell them sometime and now was as good a time as any.

“No, Ella. Luc...” she sucked in a sharp breath, tears threatening to spill again, “Lucifer left last night.”

“Left? What did he go off to Vegas again?”

“No, no. He, uh, he… went home.”

“Chloe?” Dan was concerned. He was always concerned about her, but this was different. His voice was clouded with the judgement that only came when he thought Lucifer had hurt her. This was not going to end well. Even worse if she let the water on her lashes fall.

“It’s… it’s alright, Dan. He’ll be back.” Even she doesn’t sound convinced at her half-assed attempt.

“Chlo?” A soft touch at her arm. It’s Ella. She pulls Chloe into a hug and she can’t hold back anymore. She sobs into Ella’s shoulder, mumbling nonsense about how Lucifer left, and something about Hell. Ella can’t make sense of what she’s saying, but she knows Chloe is hurt, far more so than she ever has been; even when she’s been shot.

Through her sobs and the rough sniffles, she hears Dan mumble, “I’m gonna kill that bastard.” She throws out a hand to stop him.

“Dan, y...y...you can’t find him.”

“The hell I can’t.”

“Dan,” it’s a whine and she’s not proud of it, but she throws herself in front of him, her hands on his chest. Then weakly, “Don’t. Please. Dan, please.”

“He hurt you, Chloe.” And there is still a murderous fire in his eyes. “I’ll find Maze or Amenadiel, or have Ella track his cell phone. I’ll find him, Chloe, and I’ll make him pay for hurting you like this.”

“He… he didn’t hurt me, Dan. I just miss him.”

“And what? He comes back with another hooker on his arm like last time? You care for him, Chloe. I don’t have to agree with it or like it, but I can still damn sure keep you safe. And I’ll be damned if I let him come… come waltzing in here with another one of his girlfriends hanging off his ar-”

Dan tirade was stopped by Chloe suddenly pulling him into a fierce hug. “I know, Dan.” She let go of him, “But he won’t do that. Not this time.”

Dan’s anger was dimming, but something still didn’t feel right. He was gentler when he asked, “How can you be so sure? He’s done it before, what's stopping him doing it now?”

“He loves me, Dan.” The world froze. She was sure Dan and Ella had both stopped breathing. “And you’re right; I do care about him. I - I love him. And all I can do is hope that he will come back home, come back to me. But for now he… there are some important things he needs to deal with first. That’s why he left.”

“More important than you Chloe? I’ve seen the way he looks at you. I know, somewhere , deep down in that twisted heart of his, he might love you, he at least cares about you. But if he really feels that way, how is there something so important to him that he would have to leave you for it and not at least, I don’t know, take you with him or something? I think he’s running because he is scared of what he feels. He’s a man used to one night stands and, and sex parties, not steady relationships.”

Chloe gave a slightly gurgly laugh. “Now you sound like Linda.”

Dan sighed, exasperated. “Chloe, listen. You can love him all you want, but men like him don’t change. Just… know I’m here for you if you need me. We both are,” he looked over at Ella and then brushed past Chloe and out the door. She watched him go, scared that he was still going to try and find Lucifer, but he only settled back at his desk.

Staring out the window of the lab into the precinct, Chloe looked like she was waiting for Lucifer to come waltzing down those stairs and into the lab, sweep her up in his arms and kiss her and tell her he was never leaving again. Ella’s voice snapped her out of her reverie.

“Chloe. Go home. Get some rest. You need it. This case will solve itself soon enough.”

She shook her head, “I need something to do other than mope, Ella. I need to work.”

“No, Chloe. This will only make it worse. Believe me. You’re not at your A game and it won’t help if you have to solve cases without him. Take some vacation time, Lord knows you have enough of it racked up. Spend the day out with Trixie. Go do something. He’ll be back before you know it. I promise .”

She smiled sadly. “Don’t make promises you can’t keep, Ella.”

Chloe left the precinct feeling almost impossibly worse than she had the night before. She went home and curled up in bed. She sent a text to Dan asking him if he would keep Trixie for a while. He said he would. She cracked open a bottle of wine and a tub of ice cream, finding a coffee mug and a spoon and flopped down on the couch to watch cheesy Hallmark movies. Whoever said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend had clearly never tried Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey paired with a merlot in a coffee mug.

She had fallen asleep with an empty wine bottle and the few melted remnants of ice cream in the container, both on the coffee table, and the end of another Hallmark running its credits. She had more dreams that night of Lucifer. She still seemed to be in a fishbowl, but this time, the dreams seemed centered around some sort of battle with Lucifer in the middle of them all in his full Devil form. Despite the dreams, and maybe because of the wine, she slept rather soundly that night.

 


 

Lucifer slashed out with a demon blade he had picked up from one of the dead ones. Just as the horde of demons seemed to thin, there would only be more behind them. It was exhausting and that was considering Lucifer’s incredible stamina. Time also moved slower in Hell than it did on Earth and he was unaccustomed to the time difference after having spent so much time on Earth. He thought again of Chloe and why he was down here. He fought harder.

But the harder he fought, the harder the demons fought and the more of them there were. It wasn’t long before they had him pinned to the ground raising a blade to cut off his wings, ground him. Without Lucifer on the throne, they could go back to Earth and find Charlie, find Chloe. Again, Lucifer tried to rise, to fight but it was no use. There were to many of them. Even the demons that were still loyal were not able to fend off those holding him down.

Dromos had started to slash at Lucifer’s wings, shredding them before he removed them, when a great comet of fire and black smoke came through the portal of Hell and into the middle of the mass of demons. At first Lucifer thought it was his older brother Michael, always one for an entrance. But then the demons wouldn’t have backed away from him the way they were doing so now. Lucifer looked up to see a red figure similar to himself  with black feathered wings, reeking of sulfur, and surrounded by a cloud of black smoke. The tips of its wings were still flaming, but didn’t seem to be hurting it.

The figure stood over Lucifer, protecting him, and roared, louder than even Lucifer could. He looked around him, ignoring the pain that shot through his wings and back. He was surrounded by a sea of kneeling demons, all of them regardless of whether they were fighting for him or Dromos. The only one still standing was Dromos himself. He looked back up at the new figure as their wings extinguished and folded back. The figure’s devilish form gave way to a woman with raven black hair, the ends fire red. Then she spoke.

“Lucifer is your King and you will kneel to his rule. Those that refuse,” she leveled Dromos with a deadly glare, “Will pay the price in blood.”

Dromos still stood tall, despite the warning. In a flash, one black wing unfurled and lashed out, the burning tip removing Dromos’s head with one slice. He body crumbled to ash. She spoke once more, her voice ringing out in the silence, “To those who still dare to challenge the throne, step forward to receive your punishment.”

Everyone stayed kneeling and no one else moved forward. She nodded gently and turned, offering a hand to Lucifer. He took it and found himself lifted into the air, not of his own volition. He was gently placed on his throne as the woman hovered before him, beating her wings like a smoke swathed moth. He carefully folded his wings in, crying in pain as he did so. All below them was silent.

“They will find a new leader and rise again.”

“I know. And I will be here to help you stop them. But first, you need to heal.”

“I can handle the demons. They won’t rise again until they can find a suitable leader. I will have time to heal. I am worried about Chloe. With me down here, there is no one up there to protect her.”

“You want me to go and keep an eye on her?”

“Please.”

She was taken aback. Lucifer never said please, you either did as you were told or suffered the consequences, as his lieutenant, she knew this well. He was desperate and afraid. Something she had never seen in his eyes in all her years of serving him.

“Of course, my Lord.”

“Lahabiel… There is no need for that. I know you are loyal. You always have been and I trust you with her safety. But don’t show yourself to her, unless you have to. I also leave LUX, my cars, and my other properties in your care, if Maze is not already handling it.”

“Of course, my Lord,” she said with a bow. “Are you sure you are going to be alright?”

“Yes, Lahabiel. Now go.”

With one more bow and a rise of flame and smoke, the creature rose from the throne and through the portal of Hell and back to Earth.

 


 

The woman landed on the rooftop patio outside the penthouse of Elite Nightclub in Las Vegas. She folded her wings and the smoke dispersed. She walked inside and made some calls. The next morning, everything she needed was packed and moved out, the furniture was covered in sheets and she was on her way to Los Angeles, the City of Angels.

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Apologies for not writing for a few weeks. If you noticed, or if you didn't, the tags changed to include the Good Omens TV Series. I have fallen in love with these two. I have not read the book so the characterization of Crowley and Aziraphale will be based solely on the show, but I do plan to read it soon. It has been a bit hectic lately, but I have written some. My two biggest problems are that I lose interest in things quickly, especially big projects like this, and that I am shit at writing in a linear fashion. What I have written are scenes that have been knocking around my head since before I started writing this, but don't come into play until much later in the story. There are also a few kinks I'm still working out. So for those of you that have been waiting, thank you for staying and for those of you that have just finished reading this, my apologies again. I will try to post another chapter as soon as I can. Thank you all for bothering to read this and staying with it if you have.

And as for anyone wondering why I set this as Graphic Depictions of Violence, it includes or will include, scenes containing rather gruesome demon battles, standard crime scene violence, and deaths (mostly of demons and a few people). If anyone thinks that this is not necessary, let me know in the comments, and I will change it to no warnings.

Lexy 2019-07-06

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Chloe didn’t wake up until late the next day. She cleaned off the coffee table and took everything into the kitchen. She set the mug and spoon in the sink and poured herself a glass of water, finding some aspirin and some alka seltzer. She was hung over and sick to her stomach. She knew there was no way for her to go in to work today. For a brief blissful moment, minus the being hungover part, she had no idea why she was hungover. Then a thought crossed her mind. She couldn’t avoid Trixie forever and she would have to tell her that Lucifer was gone.

Cue the waterworks, Chloe set the glass of water on the counter and sank to the floor, sobbing. She knew it wasn’t the best idea, but she got up and found her car keys and her jacket and headed to the nearest liquor store. She had never held her liquor well and the hair of the dog was one thing she almost certainly avoided, but right now, it just seemed better than trying to sober up.

 

Dan tried calling Maze again. It was useless. He had had Ella track her cell phone, but it was either turned off or the GPS was disabled. He called her in hopes that it was only disabled but if her phone was turned off, she would have an inbox full of messages from Dan. Chloe was devastated and she was going to spiral. Dan had seen this happen to her before, but never to this extent. This could destroy her career if she wasn’t careful. He knew he wasn’t helping because he didn’t like Lucifer, he figured Maze could help her. She had known Lucifer for who knows how long and she had been Chloe’s best friend and roommate. But of course, right when he needed her the most, she wasn’t there.

Dan slammed his fist down on his desk and garnered the attention of several unis and a few other detectives. He didn’t care. He was pissed, at Lucifer, at Maze, at the world… at himself. He took a breath and blew it out. He had to get out of here for a bit. He wanted to leave LA completely, but Chloe was still fragile and reeling from loss and Trixie had been staying with him for the time being. This was the last time he should be leaving. Dan took a breath and tried to calm down. A thought crossed his mind, What about Linda? He pushed it aside, she had enough on her plate with Charlie to worry about Chloe, too. Then he thought of Amenadiel but he and Chloe weren’t that close. He sighed.

He thought of Trixie. He still had not told her why she was staying with him for so long. He got the idea that she knew something was wrong no matter what he told her, but she was staying strong for his and Chloe’s sakes. He also knew that she cared for Lucifer almost, if not as much, as Chloe did. He didn’t want to let her down or hurt her, no matter what he thought of Lucifer. And the anger boiled in Dan’s veins again at the thought of having to avoid hurting his daughter and dealing with his devastated ex-wife because that BASTARD couldn’t care enough to stay the fuck put. He sighed again. He was going to kill Lucifer when he got home, everyone else be damned.

 

Chloe returned home and threw her keys on the table next to the door. She dropped her jacket on the floor and moved to the couch with her already half empty bottle of vodka. She had a bottle of cheap overproof rum in her other hand. She sunk onto the couch with a long-suffering sigh. An odd thought struck her as she took another deep swig out of the bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag and sunk further into the couch. It was a line from one of Trixie’s favorite tv shows, Doctor Who, This is how the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper. How appropriate, she thought bitterly. Her world as she knew it was coming crashing down around her ears and hardly anyone else knew it.

She set both the opened and unopened bottles down on the coffee table and picked up her phone. She speed dialed Trixie and let her finger hover over the send button for a while before she shut the phone off and curled up on her side, throw pillow tucked uncomfortably under her cheek. She sobbed herself to sleep wondering what she was going to do with herself.

Outside on the patio, a dark figure, yellow snake eyes glinting in the low light of the fading sunset, watch her as she slept. He hung his head and sighed. Looking back up, Crowley slipped into the house unnoticed and dead silent, taking both bottles of liquor away and setting a fresh glass of water, a couple of aspirin, and an alka seltzer tablet on the coffee table in their place. He draped the soft blanket hanging on the back of the couch over her and left. Just a whisper of the glass door sliding closed as he moved through the night. Getting into his old Bently a block away he drove back to his flat at LUX. It was going to be a long and bumpy road for her, but he had been given an order to help and that’s what he intended to do.