Thief: Chapter 8

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Chapter Eight

    Lucifer raised his hand and the enormous doors burst open with a resounding bang. Storming into the throne room, he lowered his hand and the doors closed again just as quickly and loudly as they’d opened. 
    The servants cleaning up the remnants of the ball took one look at him and his expression and scattered, the ifrit vanishing in puffs of smoke. Others ducked out through the servant’s entrances that were well-hidden in the wall-panels.
    Lucifer ignored them all, very deliberately making his way to the raised dais and his throne. He stalked straight through the group of bloody, beaten demons cowering before the platform, not caring that some of them failed to scramble out of the way. More than one hand got caught beneath the solid, heavy tread of his dress boots and was crunched satisfactorily underfoot. None of them dared to even whimper.
    Lucifer climbed the steps and turned, seating himself smoothly with a rippling flourish of his cape. He had decked himself out in his finest royal trappings, smoothed his tousled hair artfully and placed the heavy crown back on his brow. He looked every inch a conqueror king, and the demons quaking below him told him that it had the desired effect.
    Draven kneeled in front of what was left of his team, his face pressed to the floor even harder than Astarte’s had been. His massive form hadn’t so much as twitched as Lucifer’s heel had ground into his outstretched palm, and if it weren’t for the rise and fall of his naked, heavily scarred back, Lucifer would have thought him dead. No doubt Draven wished he was.
    “What happened?” Lucifer asked quietly, staring down at the exposed back of Draven’s neck. His head General didn’t answer, though a shudder shook through his hunched body at his words. Cold rage filled Lucifer--perhaps Draven would get his wish, after all.
    “TELL ME!” He roared, power flooding him and flinging Draven up into the air effortlessly. Draven grunted as he crashed into a dark marble pillar, the hard surface buckling beneath him. Lucifer picked him up again, never moving from his seat. “How did you fail me, Draven?!” He shouted, tossing him towards the ceiling.
    His impact made the room shake, and tiny chips of stone rained down on them. “Why don’t you explain it to me, point. By. Point.” He punctuated his words with further slams of Draven’s bulk into the ceiling and floor, bouncing him up and down as carelessly as a child with a ball.
 Lucifer smiled. “Finally, the peanut gallery speaks.” He turned towards the voice and was greeted by the terrified gaze of one of Draven’s soldiers. The idiot looked ready to wet himself. Pathetic.
    “I mean, uh, stop, please, your majesty. If you want to, of course!”
    Wordlessly Lucifer dropped Draven from the ceiling, not looking to see where he landed. He was still alive; Draven wouldn’t die that easily. “Speak.”
    The demon flinched, nervously pressing his hands together as he spoke. “It wasn’t the General’s fault that we--that things didn’t go…as planned.” Lucifer stared at him. “There was another reason; the General’s son, the Hunter…he showed up and ruined everything! He was working against us--working against you, your Majesty!”
    “Mammon,” Lucifer growled under his breath. Of course that bastard would come back and try to ruin everything. Stupid naïve pale waste of skin--he’d been breathing for far too long. He made a mental note to scrape the flesh from his bones before he killed him.
    “Is this true?” he asked the puddle of bloody muscle twitching on the marble floor. Draven wheezed, a sticky, wet sound. Lucifer could hear the blood frothing and snapping in his throat with each breath. His lip curled in disgust--how the mighty had fallen. “I’ll take that as a yes, you simpering cur.”
    He sighed and raised his hand, lifting Draven to the ceiling and pinning him there so that the blood poured down, out of his throat to pool on the floor far below. He couldn’t have his General dying of something so mundane as choking on his own blood. He secured Draven in place with another pulse of dark power, and turned back to the man’s cowering subordinates.
    “Thank you,” Lucifer said pleasantly, addressing the one who had spoken up. “You’ve been extremely helpful.” He spread out the fingers of one hand and flicked his wrist, and the demon was torn limb from limb in an instant. His comrades scooted away, one of them going glassy-eyed and green before retching noisily.
    Standing, Lucifer sauntered from the throne, booted feet squelching through the pools of blood that now spotted the throne-room floor. The place grew darker and colder, the walls groaning and quaking around him. “FIND HIM!” He bellowed as he strode from the room.


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