The Old King and the New Bride Ch. 01byKindasortacrazy©
Hey, guys! Welcome back to my world of erotic fiction. I've missed you! For those of you who finished the 'Dealmaker' series with Claire and her demons, you'll recall them mentioning old Lucifer arranging to marry a miss Michelle Harlowe at the end. Well, here it is. This is young Michelle's story, and it's my first story written in the first-person POV. Tell me what you think.
Chapter 1: A Wedding for the Ages
I glare at the ornate mirror in front of me, sending my seething hatred out into the smooth glass. A pretty young woman with a lovely oval face, warm hazel eyes, full lips and lightly tanned skin glares back at me. Her dark hair is piled on top of her head, tiny strands of pearls weaving in and out of the intricately twisted locks of hair. Most people would remark how beautiful she looks today, with her soft lips and shimmery eye shadow.
All I can think of is how pissed I look.
It's my wedding day. I should be happy. But elation is the last thing I'm feeling. Dread, anger and horror better describe my state of mind. My mother has royally fucked up this time, and now I'm having to pay for her mistakes. Fantastic.
My mother has had dreams of becoming part of royalty since she was a girl. Four years ago, she made the colossal mistake of making a deal with the Devil himself, in order to gain that prestigious place in society. My mother got her wish, marrying into the English Royal family after my father 'coincidentally' died in a car wreck.
Unfortunately, as is often the case with my mother, she forgot to hold up her end of the bargain. Once she got her ticket to the crown, she had to make her payment by promising her soul to be a servant to Lucifer himself for the next three centuries. My mother found a way to weasel out of the bargain, so I was put in her place. Though, instead of being Lucifer's servant, he's decided to take me as his bride.
Servant or bride...I honestly can't say which fate is worse.
I continue to glare at my reflection, ruefully taking in every facet of my appearance as my mother bridesmaids finish the last details. They flit around the room, nervous about the wedding that's just minutes away. I don't know why they're so freaked. I'm the one getting married to Hell's ruler, not them.
Still, I've grown tired of arguing over this whole charade. The demons that came to claim me promised that mom wasn't completely free of her deal. Once this wedding is over with, she'll have to pay up anyway. That brings a small smile to my face, and I spend a moment looking over my reflection, reveling in the thought of sweet payback.
As demanded for such a formal occasion, my mother has decked me out in the finest wedding dress she could find. Unfortunately, since I'm marrying Lucifer, it can't be too formal, so she made a few adjustments to the dress to make it more appealing to his palate.
I end up wearing a sleeveless white satin fit-and-flare gown. It hugs every curve I possess, making me feel more like a runway model than a bride. The dress reaches the floor, even with my heels, and has a long train trailing behind me that's trimmed with lace along the edge. A thick ribbon sash is tied around my waist, cinching my figure in and showing off my curves even more. A high chocker-style lace collar wraps around my throat, with three buttons at the back of my neck that hold my dress in place.
Honestly, that's all that can be called 'demure' about my dress. The rest of it is fantastically audacious. My dress is backless, with miles of skin showing from my shoulders to the small of my back. The lace collar and trim along the bottom is jet black, as is the ribbon tied around my waist. There's also a generous oval cutout in the front, stretching down from the base of my throat down to the bottom of my sternum. It shows much more of my cleavage than is really necessary.
It's a beautiful dress, but incredibly sinister as well. God, I hate my mother right now.
"Stand up straight, Michelle." My mother makes sure my intricate hairstyle is secure. "At least smile a little. It's your wedding day!"
I deepen my scowl just to piss her off. Normally I'm lively, happy and loving around everyone I know. It's who I naturally am. Not today, though. I think I deserve to be a little disappointed and begrudging today. After all, this is my mother's fault, not mine. I can be pissed if I want to.
"Come on, Michelle. This is important!" She checks to make sure that my dress is secure.
Yes. God forbid I have a wardrobe malfunction on my wedding day. It is Lucifer, after all. Wouldn't want to shock him.
"I'll stick with my frown, thanks." My tone is sharper than she's prepared for.
"Michelle." She comes around to face me, hands on her hips and her mouth set in a thin line. She's dressed in her black satin evening dress and wears a row of pearls around her neck.
How my mother and I are related, I'll never know. I stand at least three inches taller than her, even without my heels, and my body is far slimmer. My hair is a dark chocolate brown than curls down past my shoulders. Hers is a dirty blond that's pin straight and stops are her collarbone. My lips are fuller, my face leaner, and my skin two shades paler. Her eyes are a bright emerald green; mine are my father's soft hazel-gold. The only physical attributes we share is her straight nose and slender jaw. Other than that, we're as different and a mother-daughter combination can be.
Not that my mother's unattractive, but she's far from the knockout she believes herself to be. The only reason Richard married her was because Lucifer charmed him into it as part of her deal. My step-brother Daniel has told me many times that his father would have chosen me way before my mother. Not that I'd marry Richard, anyway. He's a nice guy, but way too old to be my type. Besides, he's blonde.
"We need this to happen," she snaps at me. "This is all part of the deal we made. We have our power and our wealth. Now we have to pay it back."
I glare at her. My mother's never been good at admitting guilt and taking responsibility. Today is no exception.
"No," I bark. "This is all part of your deal that you decided to skip out on. You have your wealth and money, and I'm paying it back for you."
She rolls her eyes at her, her trademark defensive mechanism. If she can make me feel guilty, then she doesn't have to shoulder as much of the blame. I love my mother, I do, but she's incredibly self-serving. She's also got an ego the size of China.
"Stop this." Her eyes narrow, matching mine. "This has to happen. Would you rather have him come after all of us?"
Well, you're screwed anyway, so what do I care?
She does have a point, though. My stepfather and my two stepbrothers had nothing to do with this deal other than being pawns in it. They haven't made any deals or tried to win any bets against Lucifer. They've just put up with my mother and I for the last four years, handling my occasional outbursts of rage and her hyper-neediness. They've been good to us, and they don't deserve to be dragged any further into this than they already are.
I sigh and cross my arms over my chest, glaring at my reflection once more.
Fine then. For Daniel, Richard and Marcus. But only for them.
This is where I start to despise this soft heart of mine. It's impossible for me to knowingly harm someone unless I know I'll save them later. I've inherited my father's kindness and selflessness as well, and it's gotten me into, and out of, a few sticky situations.
Today, my tender heart has sentenced me to an eternity of marriage to Lucifer.
"Come on," she grips my shoulders and spins me around. "Your wedding starts in ten minutes. We have to get you down to the service."
I am shoved towards the door of my dressing room, laughing to myself. My family and I have never been Catholic; we're not affiliated with any religion whatsoever. But Lucifer himself has chosen to have the wedding in one of California's most prominent cathedrals. It's the ultimate middle finger to God himself.
My mother and I rush out the door, followed closely by my bridesmaids. They're all succubae, really. No one I know or care about. They're just here to add to the ceremony. The five of them are gorgeous, voluptuous and completely heartless.
My maid of honor, Leyna, follows close behind me. I know she's staring daggers at the back of my head, but I'm too panicked to care. She's tall, with long cherry-red hair, pale skin and bright yellow eyes. She's also insanely jealous that I get to marry Lucifer and she doesn't. Leyna's had a crush on her master for centuries, trying in vain to get him to notice her over the so-called 'skinny human girls' like me. But her luck has run out, and now she's pissed because I get the honor she's been craving.
Believe me, Leyna. If I could put you in my place, I would.
We race down the intricate halls of the cathedral, rushing past carved statues of saints and dead priests. I can almost feel the rage radiating off my soul-sucking bridesmaids. They hate the religious crap as much as I hate my situation. This is the last place any of us want to be.
We finally stop just outside the main pathway of the church, hiding behind one of the massive stone walls. There's a long red velvet carpet laid out on the cold marble floor of the church. It's covered in dead flower petals. How fitting
Across from us, on the other side of the entrance, a line of groomsmen -- all high-ranking demons -- waits for their cue to start the procession. My mother ushers my bridesmaids forward, lining them up in their respective spots. Leyna passes me for the last time in my unmarried life, glaring at me and turning up her nose at my obvious humanness. I roll my eyes at her and turn to face the wall, pressing my forehead to the cool stone. The cold feels good and allows me to gather myself for a moment.
My mother rushes back to me, turning me so I face her. She runs her hands over my dress and hair, making sure nothing is out of place. An unknown male demon races up to us from around the corner, handing me a bouquet of dead roses and bowing his head slightly. He slinks back into the main hall of the cathedral, taking his seat in the pews.
My mother's warm hands cup may face, forcing my head up so I have to look at her. She smiles softly at me, reaching out to bush my cheek with her fingers.
"You look so beautiful," she whispers.
I give the best smile I can force. Her pep talks are the last thing I want to hear right now.
She laughs to herself, tucking a stray strand of hair behind my ear. "Your father would have had a heart attack looking at you now."
That makes me smile. I remember my father as the most loving, kind, compassionate man I've ever known. The person who taught me how to read, who helped me with my homework, who comforted me after every nightmare. Tears threaten to escape my eyes. He didn't deserve to die the way he did, crushed between two hulking beasts of metal. He died because my mother wanted power, because she couldn't care less about what happened to him as long as she got what she wanted.
But he died being my father and loving me. That makes my mother's sacrifices even harder to bear.
I narrow my eyes at my mother. "He's not here to see this because of you," I whisper.
She sighs and tries to guilt-trip me again. "Don't do this. He wouldn't want to see you upset on your wedding day."
I bite down on my lip, holding back all the hateful words I want to say. They won't do me any good here. Besides, she hasn't gotten off scot-free from her deal. She'll have to pay up the moment this wedding is over. I can let loose then.
I jerk my head out of her hands, turning my gaze to the wall again. "Go sit down."
She sighs again and nods, patting my shoulder gently before she turns to leave.
Wow, mom. How much more love could you show to me in one day? You're smothering me.
She rounds the corner of the wall I'm hiding behind, disappearing from view as she goes to take her seat. Music starts, a soft, rhythmic melody, and I watch as the pairs of demons and succubae start their walk down the aisle. I sigh and press my head against the cool stones again, trying to clear my head of any emotions.
A soft tap on my shoulder brings me out of my pity-party. I turn to see Richard standing beside me, giving me the warmest smile he can muster on a day like this. His blonde hair is combed back, and his warm amber eyes smile at me in the sunlight. He's dressed in a beautifully tailored tuxedo, with silver cufflinks gleaming on his sleeves and a navy tie. For an old English royal who will never see the throne, he looks - dare I say it? - dashing.
"You alright?" he asks in his signature upper-crust British drawl.
I smile at him. "About as good as I'm going to get."
He smiles wider. "I know. Days like this, you don't really feeling dancing, do you?"
I shake my head. "Not really."
"Hey." He loops his arm around my shoulders. "I know this is one hell of a difficult position to be pushed into, but I know you, Michelle. You'll make it work. You always have. You have a resilience that would make most soldiers applaud you."
I smile again. Richard's a great stepfather, nearly a perfect replacement for my own dad. He loves me as his own kid, even though he only married my mom four years ago. He could cheer up the most depressed soldier in a matter of minutes. He should consider becoming a professional inspirational speaker.
The music changes, switching from the soft melody to the traditional wedding march. My death knell, really. Richard pats me on the shoulder and starts to lead me towards the plush red carpet the stretches down the aisle towards my soon-to-be husband.
"Head up," he whispers. "And do try to smile. I know you don't want to, but it's best if the old demon at least thinks you're enjoying yourself."
I nod and straighten my spine, holding my bouquet straight and plastering a small smile on my face. It's honestly the best I can do.
We reach the carpet and turn towards the enormous cavern that is the main foyer of the crush. It's beautiful, with carved marble columns that reach the ceiling, dark-stained oak pews and breathtaking stained glass windows. The light they let in stains the marble floor red, blue and green. It's lovely, but empty and hollow like the former angel I'm about to marry. Ironically, the monstrous wooden cross that sits at the back of the church has been kept uncovered. Yet another 'fuck you' to God.
I'm going to be struck down here and now, aren't I?
At the end of the carpet stands a bishop at his podium, his Bible hand, a warm false smile on his face. My bridesmaids line the left side of the podium, some still glaring at me. The row of demons line up the right side, standing behind my husband. I force my eyes down, hoping to avoid looking at the dark creature I've been sacrificed into marrying.
Taking one final breath, Richard begins to walk me down the aisle. The pews are lined with people, most of them demons. The only humans here besides the priest are my mother and stepfamily; the rest of my family abandoned us long ago.
I keep my head up as we walk, trying to avoid eye contact with every person in the room. I manage to catch glimpses of people in the pews. My mother and my stepbrothers sit to my left. Mom's dabbing at her eyes with a handkerchief while Marcus and Daniel glare at the demons in front of them. We've grown close these last few years; they don't want to see me married off like this.
To my right sits the gorgeous Claire Harding and her group of demons. Thaltos, Silthos. . . I can never remember the last one...Darrow! That's it! The three hulking hellions sit a few seats back from the pulpit, smiling and laughing as they whisper lewd jokes to one another. Claire is dressed in a floor-length saffron-yellow gown that glows against her pale skin. Her dark hair just brushes her slim shoulders. Her grey eyes find mine as I pass her, and she smiles at me.
I can understand her reaction. She's one of the lucky ones who's had a decent time in Hell with her demons. Three sons and three loyal demons make for a fairly acceptable environment even in the pits of tortured souls.
The last person I see as we walk makes me feel a little better about my chances here. Kara Haven, infamous in the underworld for having the balls to put Lucifer in his place, sits to my right directly opposite Claire. Her long, ink-black hair has teal ribbons woven into the braid, and her sapphire demon's mark radiates off her ivory skin. Her long violet gown is fitted perfectly to her every curve. She sits beside Darian, her half-blood husband; her other lovers, Ladrian and Lyzander, sit next to Darian.
Kara also sees me, her cobalt-blue piercing my own. She grins at me, then mouths a few silent words of encouragement.
I watch her lips move. "If he gets too rough, kick him in the balls."
I nod and hold back my smile. It's valuable advice from someone who's dealt with Lucifer first-hand. I'll keep it in mind in case something goes awry and I have to defend myself against my ravenous fallen angel.
I return my gaze to the priest ahead of me. He's decked out in full catholic wedding regalia, and is smiling warmly -- albeit falsely -- at me. I smile back, my heart nearly bursting from my ribcage. I ponder the thought of running away, of turning around, picking up my dress and hauling ass out the doors of the church. It would certainly give them something to talk about, but I dispel the idea.
I'm marrying Lucifer. If I run, I'm not going to get far.
Richard and I stop at the end of the carpet. I'm shaking as much as he is, but Richard never loses his composure. Ever the born-and-bred gentleman he was raised to be, he smiles at me, kisses my cheek and steps back to take his seat with the rest of the crowd.
I'm alone for a heartbeat as I take the final steps to my side of the pulpit. I can barely breathe, and I'm shaking so hard I could almost be considered epileptic. Still, I stand my ground, remembering that I'm doing this to protect what's left of my family from being dragged into this deal as well.
The priest starts the ceremony, talking about the dearly beloved and how happy of an occasion this is. Happy my ass. If he were in my position, he'd be halfway to Cuba by now.
Oh ,yes. I'm just ecstatic to be here.
I stare at my bouquet of rotten flowers, watching as the delicate, lifeless petals rustle and shake as I adjust my grip. A few of them break off, floating down onto the marble floor. My heart skips a beat watching them fall, my thoughts turning to how my family has fallen from upstanding citizens to wheelers and dealers with the Devil.
The priest asks if anyone opposes our union. The room is deathly silent. No one dares to say yes. Damn it.
Icy fingers reach out and cup my chin, startling me out of my trance. Gently, they tilt my head upwards so I can look my husband-to-be in the eye. Of course there has to be some semblance of torture here. Lucifer can't have his bride avoiding him during our wedding. I relent and let him raise my head, figuring it's better than fighting him in front of our audience. I take a breath and flick my eyes up to meet his.
My breath catches in my throat. My God, he's beautiful. Lucifer stands just feet away from me, his glory and absolute beauty nearly overwhelming me. I can see how he was picked as the best and most beautiful angel. He's flawless.
Bright golden eyes meet my own, shining in the warm sunlight filtering into the church. They're gorgeous, almost hypnotic. I fight the urge to get lost in those gorgeous eyes. If I do, I'll never come out.