tagNonHumanEternal Ch. 09

Eternal Ch. 09


This is where the plot really kicks in. I don't think there'll be any more "onscreen" sex after this point. (After eight chapters, I was out of sex acts, anyways.)

* Neither Harry nor Ghost were quite certain what to do when the doorbell rang.

Harry answered the door, while Ghost stayed out of sight. She could only hear snatches of speech--more from Harry than from the visitor, as his voice was louder. ". . . Doing here . . . unacceptable . . . left in peace . . ."

As she crept towards the door, the other voice grew clearer. "I know you hate me," Neil said, "and I understand why. But I have no one else to ask--Leila's the only one who can help me."

Let him in, she called out. I want to hear what he has to say.

"Looks like it's your lucky day, Neil," Harry said. "Come in, and make it quick."

Ghost came out from hiding as Harry shut the door. Neil stared at her for longer than was entirely comfortable. "You really are Leila," he said.

Not exactly, she replied. But close enough. Harry translated: "She calls herself Ghost now."

"Before I ask anything, I want you to know I'm sorry. For everything. I've . . . sort of got a boyfriend now. He's kind of like you."

Ghost blinked--an action that was rather more impressive with three eyes. That's two sentences in a row that I didn't expect.

There was one thing to be said in Neil's favor: when Harry repeated that sentence, many other men would have spoken back to him, as if Ghost were deaf as well as mute. Neil continued to address his words directly to her. "You're free now, aren't you? Judith controlled you, but you escaped. Randall hasn't escaped--he's been forced to kill for Belial. He wants me to kill Belial, and free him, but I don't know if I can do it on my own."

Ghost pretended not to recognize Belial's name. I'm not going to help you out of the goodness of my heart--assuming I still have one.

"We probably won't be able to get him alone. He may be with another demon, someone named Marlowe. Otherwise, he'll probably be with Judith."

So that's where you're going with this. Revenge . . . I have three reasons to help you, and revenge is one of them. I won't promise anything yet, but I'll at least meet with this Randall.

Harry didn't even finish repeating that. "Ghost, this sounds dangerous. Very dangerous."

I'll explain when he's gone. For now, just tell him what I said.

Harry did as he was told, but Neil had one more question to ask. "Randall said Judith was after me. You were with Judith. Do you have any idea what she wants?"

All I can say, Ghost thought, and Harry translated, is that she must have known you in life. I was told once that her real name was Leslie.

At that, Neil started laughing and couldn't stop. Between guffaws, he gave a time and an address, and managed one more apology before making his way to the door.

As soon as the door was shut, Harry turned, clearly frustrated. "Can you explain any of that?"

I'm not sure what's going on with Neil, but I kind of owe him. I think he's the reason Judith made me, but he's also how I got free, so in a way, it's because of him that I'm here with you. I still haven't explained how I got here, have I?

Harry tried to match her calm, with mixed success. "I've been afraid to ask."

It's a bit anticlimactic, since I'm missing a lot of information. I'm not sure what Neil's connection to Judith is, and I don't know why the trip from Earth to Hell is no longer one-way. When I last saw Judith, she had no idea of the latter, either--but whatever the former is, it meant that she reacted quickly when she realized something had changed. As soon as she figured out that she could send someone to Earth, she immediately told me to kill Neil, and she dropped me off at his back door. She didn't realize how much weaker the Contracts get between dimensions.

"And just like that, the Contract broke?"

Not until I actually refused to kill Neil. It was . . . unpleasant. I don't even know how to describe it. But I held my ground until Neil slammed the door in my face, and when it was over, I found you.

Harry studied her face for a moment. "You said you had three reasons."

The second reason is revenge, plain and simple. If anyone deserves to die, it's Belial. As for the third . . . This Randall's a demon. What if he can anchor me when I teleport?

"You're saying you could go to Hell, drink some lust, and come back?"

It would still be risky, but it's better than teleporting at random.

He moved as if to embrace her, but thought better of it. "Just come back to me in one piece, all right?"

I promise you, I have no intention of being the one who dies.

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