Chapter Six, Part Two
“You know, that stuff is bad for you,” God said, leaning against my refrigerator. I sighed as I turned to face Him. He was in chartreuse this time, which was hard on the eyes. Immediately, He muted it to a dusty rose. I surmised He had chosen the chartreuse simply for effect. How like Him.
“I hope You’re not planning on doing this after Gwen is born,” I said sharply, realizing the stupidity of my statement as soon as it escaped my mouth. Of course, He wouldn’t stop visiting once His child was born. If anything, He’d probably increase the frequency of His unplanned visits in order to meddle in Gwen’s affairs. It pissed me off to no end that I no longer had a modicum of control over my life, and I voiced my displeasure to God. “You know, You’re working my last nerve. Couldn’t You at least have the decency to stick to a schedule so I don’t have to worry about You showing up unannounced?” God didn’t answer, which ratcheted my irritation tenfold.
“This shit has got to stop,” I shouted, my hands on my hips. I didn’t know if it was my hormones going in overdrive, but I’d had enough of the Almighty and His highhanded ways. “Get the fuck out of my kitchen. Now!” God still didn’t speak, nor did He move. Without thinking, I picked up a pan and hurled it at Him. It hit Him in the pecs and bounced off harmlessly. It fell to the floor with a loud thud, causing me to jump. God slowly turned translucent as I hauled another pot His way. This time, the pot went through Him, hit the fridge and slid to the floor. Past caring, I hurled pot after pan after plate at Him, some smashing in bits when they hit the floor. Some minutes later, I finally ran out of gas and sagged against the counter. Eyeing the carnage with distaste, I grabbed the broom and the dustpan from the closet.
“You done with your little snit?” God asked, having the audacity to sound amused. He remained transparent, which greatly bothered me. I didn’t like being able to see through God, but He didn’t give a damn about my feelings, or so it seemed. “Or is there more you’d like to get off your chest?”
“I’m through,” I sulked, tossing the debris into the garbage can. “What the fuck do You want?” I knew my mouth was going to get me into trouble with God one of these days, but I couldn’t help myself. Something about Him brought out the worst in me.
“I just wanted to tell you that you’ll be receiving a visit from My son shortly. Ignore everything he says.” God smiled suddenly, nearly knocking me over with the dazzle. It was spooky looking at a pair of gleaming teeth set in—nothingness. Just like that, He was gone.
“Shit,” I muttered, cradling my head in my hands. When I had recovered from His visit, I picked up my cell phone to speed-dial Pie-A-Plenty, the nearest pizza shop. As I was about to punch the button, a portal appeared in my kitchen. Great. It was Lucifer. At least I was still in my work clothes, which meant a slim red skirt and a black blouse. I chided myself for giving a damn and punched the button on the dial. Lucifer was going to have to wait until I ordered my pizza before telling me whatever it was he wanted to say. I was too damn disgruntled to deal with him on a partially-empty stomach.
“I’m back, Margaret Marilyn Wang,” Lucifer boomed, spreading his wings. He didn’t bother with the fairy dust, most likely because he didn’t care if God knew he was here. That was probably a ruse the first time, anyway. Just another trick in his bag to impress the mortal woman that was me. A halo of light enveloped him as he appeared in my kitchen. I held up one finger, motioning for him to wait for me to finish my phone call. He folded his arms in front of his chest, and his wings drooped angrily at being made to wait. Well, tough shit. I had a life, people, and I didn’t truck with this whatever the fuck was going on between Heaven and Hell in my apartment. Something about that thought struck me, but I had to concentrate on ordering my pizza without being distracted by the naked fallen angel glaring at me in my kitchen.
“You’ll be here in forty-five minutes? Great.” I had taken my time ordering my pizza with garlic bread and a liter of Diet Pepsi. I wanted to piss off Lucifer, as foolish as that may be.
“That took long enough,” Lucifer said, unfurling his wings. Even stark naked, he carried himself with a quiet dignity. “You and I must talk, Margaret Marilyn Wang.”
“You may call me Margaret,” I said, interrupting him. “What should I call you?”
“I like when you called me Morningstar,” Lucifer said, a slow smile spreading across his face. Incredibly, he seemed to be flirting with me. Now, I knew I wasn’t ugly, but the Morningstar could have whomever he wanted. I knew he was up to something; I just didn’t know what the hell it was.
“Let’s go into the living room,” I said, smothering a sigh. I wanted nothing more than to take a bath and read a book after devouring my fat and grease. The last thing I wanted was to entertain another entity not human tonight. It looked as if what I wanted didn’t matter, surprise, surprise, as Lucifer strode into the living room ahead of me. He sat on the couch with his legs spread, giving me full view of his engorged genitalia. I looked away from his midsection as I stood across from him. “Will you do me a favor, Morningstar?”
“Anything for you, Margaret Marilyn,” Lucifer said, turning his incredible eyes on me again. For a minute, I forgot what I was about to say as I gazed into the depth of his blue eyes. Blue? Brown? Green? Somehow, they were all those colors and none of those colors at once. “Your question?” Lucifer touched my cheek, and I could feel the heat spread through me. I tore my gaze away from his, knowing that I had to not look him directly in the eyes if I was to escape this encounter whole.
“Could you please put on some clothes? You’re a bit distracting like this.” I gestured to him while keeping my eyes firmly on his chest. It was a nice compromise between his eyes and his groin—both of which were doing odd things to me. If I were a religious woman, I’d be on the horn with my spiritual advisor twenty-four seven given what’d happened to me the last few weeks. It was bad enough I was impregnated by God; now, I was lusting over the Morningstar himself. I was going to Hell for sure. Somehow, the thought didn’t bother me as much as it should if it meant I got to spend eternity with Lucifer.
“Is this better?” Lucifer waved his hand once, then he was fully encased in a tuxedo. I stifled another sigh because while it did clothe him, it only served to emphasize his attractiveness.
“Is there any way you can tone it down?” I asked cautiously. I wanted to request that he make himself ugly, but I didn’t want to give him that much ammunition.
“Tone it down.” Lucifer’s tone was thoughtful as he crossed one leg over the other. He should have looked out of place on my couch in his elegant clothes, but he only brought a touch of class to the joint. “No, I don’t think so.” He patted the couch next to him. “Come sit.” It was an order, not a request, and I reluctantly obeyed. The minute I sat down, he pressed his thigh against mine and dropped a hand on my knee. To my consternation, I didn’t move.
“Morningstar, what is it you want of me?” I asked in a strangled tone. I knew what he wanted—or thought I did—but I felt it prudent to ask.
“I have had my minions go far and wide to find out what He is up to. Do you know, not one of them could tell me?” Lucifer smiled; it wasn’t a very pleasant smile. He took his hand off my knee and draped that arm around my shoulders. Suddenly, I felt naked though I was still fully clothed. “I need you to tell me what He asks of you.” I shook my head, not trusting myself to speak without quavering. I was aware of how easily he could snap my neck with the hand resting on my shoulder. “I know you want to, Margaret Marilyn,” Lucifer said, massaging my shoulder with his hand. Somehow, he had managed to slip his hand inside my shirt without unbuttoning it. Somehow, he managed to take my shirt off without moving a finger so I was only wearing my bra on top.
“Morningstar,” I whispered, trying to pull away. “I can’t tell you.” My near-nakedness didn’t bother me as it had when I was naked before God. I knew, however, that I had to get away from the Morningstar, or I’d do something I’d regret. I made a move to get up, but Lucifer held me firmly.
“He’s trying to destroy me because He’s jealous. You know, it’s the old story of when a father is passed by his son. I’m the more powerful one now, and He can’t deal with it.” Lucifer’s voice had taken on a singsong quality as if he were telling me a story. “You are a pawn in that game, though I cannot see how. I will find out, no matter how long it takes.” He paused for a minute as he scrutinized me. “You’re very beautiful,” Lucifer said into my ear, his hand moving to my breast. “I have a weakness for Asians. I wonder if that’s part of the reason He chose you for His plan?” Lucifer tilted my head away from his and pressed his lips against my neck. It wasn’t like any other kiss I’d ever had. It was ice-cold and searing-hot at the same time, making my bones feel as if they were melting. It was exquisite; it was agony—I had to have more. “You like that, don’t you Margaret Marilyn? Would you like me to kiss you again?” I nodded my head, dimly aware that I was falling into an abyss from which I couldn’t emerge unscathed. I closed my eyes so I couldn’t witness my own demise. I felt the Morningstar’s lips on my breast, just above the bra cup.
“Oh, God,” I moaned, clutching Lucifer’s head to my chest.
“He’s not here right now,” Lucifer chuckled, not taking offense at my slip of tongue. I was beyond caring what would happen to me as I craved Lucifer’s touch. Every nerve of my body demanded that he be allowed access. Just as I was about to give myself completely, there was a thunderous crash which caused me to open my eyes.
“What the fuck?” I pushed Lucifer away and bolted straight up. In front of me was a woman with black tresses falling to her waist. She was wearing a traditional Chinese dress in black with red edging, but she was carrying a sword. She held her hands up in a classictai chi position, and she began moving them around. To my astonishment, I could see the energy moving between her hands. She gathered it into a ball and swatted the ball with her sword. The energy flew in the air and hit the Morningstar on one of his wings which began to scorch.
“Shit! Li Ling, what the hell?” Lucifer jumped up and swatted the tip of his wing with his hand. The fire went out immediately, but Li Ling was doing it again.
“You are not wanted here,” Li Ling said in a musical voice. It had the cadence of a Chinese/Taiwanese speaker, and she looked Asian-Asian to boot. “The Father has sent me to request that you leave. If you choose not to accede, then I will be forced to drive you out. It is your choice, Morningstar.” She bowed slightly to him, but didn’t take her eyes off him.
“I’m going,” Lucifer said, his clothing vanishing in a flash. Li Ling didn’t even blink an eye as she struck another pose. “For now.” Lucifer spread his wings, the one still slightly singed, and soared through the portal, then it closed behind him.
“As for you,” Li Ling said, sheathing her sword. I couldn’t take my eyes off her as she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. Or angel. Or whatever the hell she was. God sure didn’t make mistakes when it concerned the pulchritude of his minions—except for Zeke, of course. “You must be careful around the Morningstar. He is very persuasive.” Even though I suddenly had my shirt on again, I felt terribly exposed under this woman’s watchful eyes.
“Who are you?” I asked, wanting to prolong the conversation.
“I am the Angel of Protection. Well, I’m not the only one, but I’m the one assigned to you.” She bowed to me, her eyes still fixed on mine. “Forgive me for being so bold, but you are Chinese, are you not?”
“Taiwanese,” I said sharply. I didn’t care if she was an angel—nobody called me Chinese and got away with it.
“Yes, I should have seen it. If you need me, just call for me.” She slipped a necklace off her neck and draped it around my own. It was a gold character fastened by a red string—as was the Asian custom—but I had a hunch that this string was unbreakable. “Place your hand on this character and say that you need help. I will be here before you can finish the supplication.” She touched me on the back of the hand, causing my pulse to race. Was I going to be spoiled for humans after all this interaction with angels from Heaven and Hell? “Be strong. The Morningstar will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. It’s up to you to make sure he doesn’t get it.” She disappeared as abruptly as she’d come, though not with nearly as much drama.
“Shit.” I glanced at my watch and saw that only half an hour had passed. I still had fifteen minutes to wait for my pizza.