“You aren’t human,” I said.  It was a statement of fact.

He shook his head ruefully. “No matter how I try, I’m still… me.”

“Then what are you?”  The silence stretched long and thin until I felt I could cut it with a knife.

“Incubus.”  He said the word softly, distaste in his voice.  He didn’t look at me though I watched him close, and his face looked like some horror.  Shaking his head, he gave me a wry, bitter smile.  “Used to be, anyhow,” he said.  “But even after these last years, I still can’t get away from the hunger. And it’s harder to fight when I’m injured.” He glanced at me, a meaningful look. I felt guilty, remembering how I’d shot him.

“Used to be?”

He paused at the bottom of the stairs to his apartment, and checked both directions. “I had a change of heart. I renounced Hell.”

“And now what? Does that make you a strange angel?” They headed up the stairs.

“Hardly!” He snorted as he unlocked the apartment door. “No, I’m stuck trying to live a more or less normal, non-evil life while hiding my dirty little secret. Do you see now why I push you away? You can’t trust yourself around me. I’m a predator. I mask myself in appealing forms to lure you in unknowingly.  Maybe you’ve noticed how my eyes aren’t always the same color, or how my features shift.  It’s all an illusion.”  He took a breath and shut the door behind us. “It’s all a beautiful, deadly lie.”

“Dad trusted you,” I said.

He grimaced.  “A bad idea.”

I rolled my eyes. “Well whether you like it or not, it looks like we’re in this together. Now: where do we begin looking for Dad?”

* * *

(This piece is part of an ongoing serial story. You can catch up on the plot via the Serials page. If you liked this work, please consider purchasing one of my other stories, or some of my music for your collection. :)

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