The atmosphere in Hell had been different to the last time I had been there. The air was thick. It felt like the calm before a huge storm. My mother was close by. I could feel her. She was angry and cold. Her humanity was firmly off. I didn’t know what had gone down, because She wouldn’t tell me.
My thoughts drifted back to that fateful night a month ago. I had teleported into Hell after hearing the news that she had gone into labour. The birth had been underway when I arrived. Lucifer was delivering them himself. She gave birth quickly and without fuss; as I knew she would. I’d heard the screams of baby number two and knew it was over. I began fixing my mother a Hot Toddy. I thought she would appreciate it.
I felt her before I heard her. Anguish so deep and so painful crushed me in its grip. Then she screamed, it sliced through me like a blade. I dropped to the floor holding my head. Glass exploded all around me. I covered my head against the shrapnel. I tried to get to my feet but the pain in my heart and mind was too great. With one hand on the wall, I half staggered, half crawled to my mother. I dropped to the ground again in the doorway to the nursery. Lucifer’s wounded cry reverberated through Hell and beyond. Somehow, I managed to crawl to my mothers’ side, taking her hand.
“Mother, what happened?” I asked her, my tone desperate for answers.
Then it stopped, my mind was clear again. The pain vanished. It was as if someone had placed me in a soundproof booth. I knew the pain existed around me, but I couldn’t feel it. That’s when I knew that she had shut me out. She had turned her humanity off and shut me down from feeling her.
“Mother?” I begged, my eyes glazed, staring at her willing her to tell me.
She shook her head, “The twins are gone. It’s done.”
Lucifer made a sound behind me similar to a wounded animal. My mother’s eyes snapped to his.
“NO!” she spat with conviction. I then knew that whatever had happened to her babies she wasn’t going to share it with me. Well, at least not then. When she spoke, her voice had been like ice.
“I am locking Hell. If you don’t want to be locked here, I suggest you leave.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat. “What can I do?”
“Nothing, go clean up your mess. We will clean up ours.”
She laid down on the bed, with the two empty baby blankets still clutched in her hands. My heart weighed me down like a stone in my chest as I had teleported back to the penthouse.
“Cain…” my mother’s voice called from the doorway, bringing me back to the present. I spun around to greet her. She looked lovely dressed in a red skirt and bra. Her hair was drawn to the side with a diamond clip. Her blood-red lips curved into a smile. She didn’t look like she had given birth four weeks ago. She didn’t look like she had given birth at all, she looked younger than me.
“Are you going to join your Father and me on our hunting trip?” She arched a perfectly shaped eyebrow, sweeping into the room.
“And what are we hunting?”
Her brown eyes sparkled before glowing red, her tone dark, “Everything…”
I laughed. “I’m afraid I have other engagements.”
“Ah, yes, Azazel.” I stiffened; she was rifling through my emotions trying to get a heads up on what I was doing. But I was blocking her, well, best that I could. She smiled knowingly.
“Impressive my boy,” I had glowed at her praise. I guess some things never changed. “I trust you to clean up your mess.”
I mustered up my much-needed courage and asked, “How about a drink before you leave?”
“Make it a shot and pour Luci one, he will be down in a minute.”
Walking over to the mini bar, the vile of my mothers lost emotions felt like it weighed a ton in my pocket. If she caught me, she would rip me apart. She had done it before; I had been under no illusions that being her favourite would change anything. She knew I would heal… eventually.
I poured two cherry liquors, checking quickly over my shoulder before pouring the red contents of the vial into a crystal glass. My heart pounded so hard I’m surprised she didn’t call me on it. Maybe, I was getting better at shielding than I thought. I topped up the potion with a dash of liquor and stirred.
“Hello, son.” I gritted my teeth, taking a deep breath before I turned to greet Lucifer. I fixed a fake smile on my face.
“Hello, Father.” I gestured to the shots, picking up the one for my mother. “Shot for the road.” He smiled, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. He wasn’t as good at hiding his emotions as my mother. I was sure whatever was going on, Lucifer blamed my Father for it. He wore his resentment like a suit of armour. I was coddled knowing that if this went well, I wouldn’t have to worry about him for much longer.
My mother joined us. I handed her the glass that my whole plan pretty much rested upon and picked up my own. My throat tightened. I swallowed to regain some moisture. My hands were clammy as I raised my glass.
They both grinned, mimicking my action. Their voice echoed in unison. “Destruction.” I held my breath.
They both tossed back their drinks, swallowing in one mouth full. I did the same. Lucifer slammed his glass on the bar and clapped his hands. “Ready to burn it all, Hellcat?”
My eyes had been glued to my mother, waiting for a reaction. She shivered slightly, shaking her head. “Fucking hell, Cain, are you trying to poison me?” My heart felt like it stopped beating. Icy tendrils of fear teased at my skin. Cocking her head, she smirked. “That was fucking disgusting.”
She released me from her gaze, turning to Lucifer. They left hand in hand.
I just stared after them. What the fuck had gone wrong? Anger bubbled inside. If that bitch had fucked me over, she would regret it. I teleported straight to New Orleans, appearing outside Sabine’s shop. I banged on the door. I didn’t give a shit that it was four in the morning.
“Open up!” I shouted, raining my fists on the glass. I could have torn it down but I wasn’t about to risk any of her shit.
A few minutes later, she opened the door.
“What do you want, Cain, our business is done?” I ignored her, pushing into the shop.
“It’s done when my mother gets her emotions back, witch. What went wrong?” I had Sabine’s daughter’s demon deal clutched in my hand. I brandished it in her face. “If you want this destroying you better fucking speak.”
She sighed; her eyes fixed on the thick parchment. She folded her arms across her chest.
“Did she drink the liquid?” I nodded.
She pushed out her lips and began to pace. “All of it?”
“Yes!” Irritation grew in my tone.
Bringing her fingers up to her face, she began to tap her lips.
“Where is she now?”
Throwing my hands up in frustration, I snapped, “I don’t fucking know, fucking shit up.”
She stopped, her breath whooshing out sharply. “Does she have her humanity on or off?”
“Off. She’s a fucking monster right now!” Crunching my hands into fists, rage burned through me. I needed her. Especially like she is now.”
Sabine’s worried tone cut through my pity party. “Cain… calm down.”
Looking down at my hands I noticed my hands and forearms were glowing a brilliant orange, hellfire licked at my palms. I took a step forward, my eyes shifting to black.
Sabine stepped back, muttering something, a ball of blue light engulfed her like a protective shield. I cocked my head, my tone dark. “That won’t save you.”
“No, but it will buy me the time I need to get you to listen.” Her voice shook as she continued. “Lilith is emotionless… She isn’t going to be any different until that is rectified.”
This information broke through my rage a little. My hands stopped shaking. The glowing subsided. “So, you are saying it worked, she just doesn’t know it yet, because she can’t feel anything?”
She nodded, still cocooned in her protection spell. Her voice was muffled like she was speaking through a glass wall.
“Get her to flip her switch and her lost emotions will return.”
“You better be telling the truth, witch,” I held out the parchment, “because I could kill your daughter without this.”
“Do you think I don’t know that, cursed man? I am extending you the hand of trust.”
I stood watching her, mulling over her words. I could sense that she was being truthful. I summoned hellfire to my palm. The parchment lit in my hand, burning to ash. I emptied the pile of ash onto the carpet and teleported back to the penthouse.
I stalked over to the big man’s bar and poured a large bourbon.
Now all I had to do was wait.