CHAPTER TWELVE

Betrayal

I laid there on the table, stunned. I couldn't believe this.

"Are you arguing with me?"Lucifer asked in a a dangerous voice.

I waited impatiently for the response, trying to see if it truly was Aurora or if it was just my mind playing tricks on me. Or perhaps it was one of the hallucinations. But, of course it couldn't be, otherwise I wouldn't have realized that it was a hallucination.

After a few seconds, the response came. "I am quite sorry, my Lord. It will not happen again."

It was undoubtedly Aurora. I was silent for a moment as I took this fact in. I felt my soul seem crush under the weight of betrayal.

Aurora had joined Luficer. Had she always been evil? Did she ever love me? Why? Why did she defect?

"Oh, by the way, Rane has heard this whole conversation,"Lucifer said to Aurora.

"What? How?"she asked, disbelief evident in her voice. Every word she spoke was like a knife, digging deep into me.

"Magic,"Lucifer replied simply. He then started to laugh.

Aurora was shocked into silence.

Then the door to my cell was thrust open, and in walked Lucifer, followed by Aurora. I looked away, but not before I got my first look at Lucifer. His light was just as bright as before, but my eyes had adjusted to it now.

He wore a simple white robe, and had long golden hair that fell to his chest. He had the face of a young, carefree man. Apparently this was a new form of Lucifer, as I hadn't heard of it during the lesson all eighteen year old Angels get from God on how to detect Lucifer.

"Say 'hello', Aurora,"Lucifer commanded.

"Hello,"she said in a hollow voice. I pretended I didn't hear her, but her talking to me nearly made me crumble.

"Rane. Do not give up," Lucensnex encouraged me. He had been listening to this conversation. I ignored him too.

"Rane. Aren't you going to say hello to your wife?"Lucifer asked scathingly. I attempted to remain calm.

I failed.

Then, through some miracle, a surge of rage filled me, giving me strength. With all the power in my body, I managed to break the chains that held me, even though they had Lucifer's magic on them.

The chains snapped, leaving me with broken chains on my arms, legs and throat. I jumped off the stone slab and rushed at Lucifer. He looked surprised for a moment, but then merely held up his hand, and a blast of magic stopped me in my tracks. I could still move my hands, but my legs were immobile. During this, Aurora just stood there, doing nothing.

"Rane, do not let your anger get the best of you,"Lucifer said in an annoying tone.

"SHUT THE FUCK UP!"I screamed back at him. I had simply had enough. If it was possible, I was going to tear the head off of that evil son of a bitch. Had I been a little less enraged, I would have realized that that was probably not a viable option, otherwise it probably would have been done long ago.

I noticed that Aurora was actually in reach. So, I grabbed her and pushed her in front of me. Before she even realized what I had done, I stole one of her long knives from her belts. Touching her made me went to cry, but I held it in.

With Aurora blocking Lucifer's magic, I was free to move. He stopped his magic almost immediately, but not quite in time. I ran straight at him, and before he could react, stabbed him right in the face.

He fell to his knees, holding his face and hollering in pain. Before I had time to savor my victory, though, he jumped back up, an evil smirk on his face.

"Fool!" he yelled and sent a bolt of purple magic at me. It hit me and threw me backwards so I landed, slumped against the stone slab. My head flew back and slammed against the slab, causing my vision to get filled with black dots that passed in a few a seconds. I felt blood trickling down my neck.

I don't whether it was the magic or the hitting my head, but I felt odd and was unable to move. It wasn't the same as when Lucifer had held me in place, it was more like my brain was sending messages to my limbs to move, but the messages were getting lost along the way. If I hadn't been a little out of it, I probably would have screamed.

Lucifer picked me up and placed me back on the stone slab. He used magic to fix the chains that held me in place. Then he and Aurora left my room.

After a couple hours, I began to feel normal. Well, at least physically. I could move my limbs again, but only very slightly as now they were chained up. And now that my body was receiving messages again, I felt the pain from hitting my head. It wasn't that bad now, thankfully, as quite a bit of time had passed.

Inside, I was numb. I was not angry, not sad, not scared, not desperate. I felt nothing. I WAS nothing. Just an object, laying on a slab of rock. I began to relish in my numbness, but once I did, I realized that meant that I would began to feel soon. Something I did not want to do. So, I closed my eyes and slept, hoping I would have no dreams.

Unfortunately, either through Lucifer's doing or simple bad luck, I did dream. And it was the most lucid dream of my life.

I was in Heaven, wandering empty marble streets. I looked around, but there was nothing to tell me what part of Heaven I was in. The sky shone high above.

Yeah, the sky. I don't think I have mentioned that. There is no sun in Heaven. There is no need. No night. The sky simply glows. Probably a strange concept to most that don't live in Heaven, but to me, having a sun is odd.

I passed by house after house. All of them the same. Proof that this was indeed a dream. It was just rows and rows of the same white, two-story houses. There w

For what could have been centuries, I walked through the nondescript streets, until quite suddenly, the street ended. There was just a a wall of bushes. I looked back, to see if there was another way to go that I had missed.

There wasn't. Actually, there was NOTHING behind me. The houses were gone. The yards were gone. There was just paved road, everywhere. I could see for miles and miles. I walked straight into the bushes, pushing my way through the branches that whipped back every time I moved my hand and slashed my face. But, thankfully, I was out of the bushes in just a few seconds. And in front of a very familiar place. My house.

It was a two story colonial, painted light blue. That had been Aurora's choice. I had wanted it painted tan, but I gave in in exchange for her having to do my laundry as well as her's.

There was no yard surrounding my house like there usually is. It saddened me to not be able to see the lilies that Aurora had planted, the ones I had taken care of after her disappearance.

I walked up the the steps that led onto the porch. Without thinking, I opened the door that led inside, and stepped in.

Inside, there was a staircase that led up to the master bedroom. To the right of the staircase was the kitchen and to the left was the family room.

Now, had this been real, I probably would have looked around more, but in dreams we have no control over anything, so I climbed the carpeted staircase until I reached the second floor which was really just a hallway with the guest bedroom at the beginning and the master bedroom at the end. As I walked to the master bedroom, I noticed that there was no furniture. My house was completely empty.

Then I reached the master bedroom. The door was closed, so I opened it. Inside, there was furniture. Our big queen sized bed took up most of the room. On either side were night tables, and there was one fairly large dresser that Aurora and I both shared on the left wall.

On the bed sitting cross-legged and talking to each other was...Aurora and I.

There were no words, no sound, simply lips moving. Then I realized: this was something that had really happened.

I could remember one day, a few months after Aurora and I had gotten married, we just sat on our bed all day, only getting up to go to the bathroom or to get food and water. We didn't even change out of our pajamas.

Aurora was wearing a plain, silky pajama top and a black pair of boxers. I wore a "wife-beater"(awful name for a type of shirt) and flannel pajama bottoms.

We had talked about everything from our favorite T.V show to the worst times in our life. On that day, we learned EVERYTHING about each other.

Or so I had thought.

Suddenly, the dream faded away, and I saw myself disappear before my eyes. Pretty creepy.

I was on the stone slab again, staring up at the ceiling, completely unable to move now. Apparently Lucifer or someone had tightened my restraints. I could already feel my arms and legs going numb from the blood not making it to them.

I wondered why I had had that dream. Obviously, seeing Aurora again had cause me to have a dream about her, but why that one?

A few minutes after I began to wonder about this, Lucifer stepped in, his inner light brightening up the dark dungeon-ish room.

"Did you like that dream?" Lucifer rasped. "It was from me, you know."

I tried to remain silent, but my curiosity outweighed my common sense.

"How? How did you know about that day?" I asked, trying to make myself sound threatening, which is pretty hard to do when you are strapped to a table and in reality completely at the mercy of the worst being in creation.

"Aurora has 'shared' many memories with me over the year," he answered. I did not like the way he said 'shared'.

"What do you mean?"I wondered.

"Rane, I am Lucifer! I convinced Eve to disobey God! I am quite persuasive." He remained silent for a while.

I finally couldn't take the silence anymore and burst out, "What do you want from me?"

"You already know," Lucifer said evasively, then walked out of the room as if he had been waiting for me to ask that, leaving me in the dark, physically and metaphorically. The pompous prick.

I sighed, trying not to think. "Don't do that! Think! You have to get us out!" Lucensnex was back!

"Do you have a plan?" I questioned, doubtful.

"Not yet. Perhaps you should-," Lucensnex began, but I cut him off.

"Shh! Lucifer or one of his Demons is probably 'listening' in on us. I'll have to come up with a plan by myself."

"Fine," Lucensnex agreed, and was silent after that.

I knew that I needed to get my restraints off before I could do anything. But there was nothing sharp that I could use nearby. Actually, there was literally nothing nearby. The cell/dungeon room was completely bare.

After hours of struggling to free myself from my bonds to no avail, the door opened.

It was a women. Or to be exact, a Succubus, which is a type of female Demon, only less powerful and more tricky. And extremely beautiful.

The Succubus had bronze hair that fell past her waist. She wore a pitch black leather corset, which greatly accented her large bust. She had a matching leather thong. She was thin, and her skin color was a little off. Almost normal but with a tinge of purple. This did little to lessen her beauty.

"Wha-what do you want?" I stumbled on my words not just because of her allure, but also due to the fact that I had not spoken out loud for hours.

"I was sent to clean your wounds," the Succubus replied showing me a wet sponge. She walked cat-like over to the slab of stone I was on. She pulled up my shirt, revealing my cut- covered stomach. Blood still flowed from some of the wounds, though thankfully not very much.

As the she-Demon washed my hurts, I felt myself got...sexually excited. An odd thing to to feel when trapped in Hell, but Succubi were so beautiful that nothing could detract from them.

The Succubus noticed this and rolled her eyes, saying, "Control yourself, Angel. I am done here anyway." With that, she patted my open hand, turned and walked out of my cell, leaving me alone once again.

I suddenly noticed that she had slipped something into my hand before she had walked out.

It was a key.

What the hell?I wondered. Why did she slip me a key?

Then I realized that instead of wondering, I should probably be trying to get my restraints off instead. Which was going to be quite difficult as I could just barely move my hands. Luckily, the locks were right on my wrists, so didn't need to stretch very far.

After several infuriating minutes, I managed to free my right hand. My left one followed quickly. I sat up and freed my feet too.

Then the door flew open, and in strode an extremely pissed off Lucifer.

He drew a seven foot sword and began to walk toward me while screaming, "HOW THE HELL-!," He was cut off mid-roar by me. Running right into him.

Normally, that would be considered one fucking stupid idea, but in this case, it was a good move. For behind him was the Succubus that had slipped me the key, wielding two small handguns.

I fell to my feet, while Lucifer simply bent over for a moment. I scrambled to my feet and tried to run past Lucifer into the dark stone hallway behind him. But I wasn't fast enough.

He grabbed me by my hair and lifted me straight into the air.

Let me tell you. I fucking screamed. Anyone ever pulled your hair? Hurts, doesn't it? Now imagine someone lifting you about a foot off the ground by your hair. That hurts A LOT more.

Right when I thought I was going to pass out from the pain (again), four shots rang out. Lucifer dropped me and clutched his side, where blood was seeping out from his white robe. This time I made it by him and ran toward the Succubus.

"Thank you!" I breathed.

"Run!" she replied and took off into the narrow, dark tunnel. I followed her. Seconds later, Lucifer let out a deafening war-cry, signifying he had already recovered from the shots and was chasing us.

I was a bit behind, so I put on an extra burst of speed and caught up to the Succubus. Unfortunately, the tunnel was to tight for me to run side-by-side with her. This didn't stop me from trying to get answers to my questions.

"Why did you free me?" I asked.

Without even turning to look at me, she replied, "Save your breath! We aren't away from Lucifer yet!"

Which made me notice that I could no longer hear him. "He's not even chasing us anymore!"

"Silence! I will answer your questions soon!"

I only relented because I had to focus on running. A few seconds later, I noticed a dim light further down the tunnel. It was a torch, the only source of light, save for Lucifer, I had seen since escaping from my cell. Right below it was a wooden door.

We finally reached the door. The Succubus didn't even check if it was locked or not; she just kicked it open, and we rushed inside. I shut the door behind me and looked around.

We were in a fairly large room with shelves and lockers lining the walls. In the very center of the room was a slab of stone, much like the one that had been in my cell. Several more torches illuminated it.

"Who are you? Why did you betray Lucifer?" I immediately asked.

"We have no time! Save your questions for later," the she-Demon evaded.

"No. I am not going anywhere until you answer my questions!"

The Succubus rolled her eyes but apparently decided it would be easier to go along with me rather than argue. "Rane! It is me, Alandria!"

"What? No you aren't!" I was dumbfounded.

"Rane, we don't have time for this! Just believe me, I will explain everything once we get out of here. Now quick, contact Lucensnex and ask him where he is," the Succubus ordered.

"Lucensnex! Where are you?"I asked, using our mental connection.

"I am in the same room as you! On the rock in the center of the room. Lucifer must have used Magic to hide me," he replied in my head.

"He is on the stone," I reported and ran to the stone, tentatively putting my hand down, hoping that I was about to cut my hand open.

I felt nothing so, slowly, I moved my hand around, looking for something solid. I found the blade toward the center of the stone slab and immediately the whole sword became visible. I grabbed the hilt and said aloud to Lucensnex, "It feels good to hold you again."

"Indeed. Alandria, do you have a plan for getting out of here?"Lucensnex asked.

"So this really is Alandria?"I questioned.

"Yes. Do not ask any questions 'til later. Just listen and obey her for now," was Lucensnex's annoying reply. I was really getting fed up with being told to not ask questions, but I nodded and shut up.

Alandria stepped forward and spread out a large map on the stone. "This is a map of Hell, at least the part that we are in right now. I stole it from one of the top Demons. From this room that we are in, we have to head back to-" I stopped listening to her. The pain was back. The pain of Aurora. The pain of her existence. A voice interrupted my mental anguish. It was Lucensnex, speaking in my head.

"Rane. I understand it is awful what has happened with Aurora. But you have to listen to Alandria if you want to get out of here." I sighed mentally and began listening to Alandria again.

"-and then we will be at a gate. That gate takes us out of the level we are currently on. The map ends there. We will likely face heavy resistance. This is going to be extremely dangerous."

"Okay, now can I ask you some questions?"I pleaded.

"No. No time. Appear." The magic bag appeared in her hand. She reached in and pulled out what I think was a 9mm Glock handgun. She gave it to me.

"Rane, we need as many people as we can get, so I will be in human form, so you are going to be on your own with that gun," Lucensnex told me.

It felt heavy and awkward. It was the first time I had ever held a gun for a while. And this I didn't have Lucensnex to guide me. "Okay, at least give me a rundown of how to use it," I said, exasperated. "I don't wanna shoot myself by accident."

Alandria pointed to the muzzle. "Aim that at the enemy. Pull the trigger. Hold it tight. Don't put your hand on the hammer." I looked at her, confused. She looked annoyed and pointed at the end of the gun where some little thing was sticking up. "That is the hammer. And each clip only has ten shots, so your gonna have to reload. Here, take these extra clips." She reached into the bag and handed me five extra clips. "It's not a lot, so be careful."

"Really? I was gonna be reckless while I have a dangerous weapon in my hand," I replied sarcastically. I took the clips and stuffed them in my pockets. How do I reload?"

"When you are out of ammo, press the release button and the clip will fall out. Just slip the new clip in and pull the hammer,"Alandria replied. "You might as well take a sword too." She pulled a small one-handed sword from the bag, and gave it to me. I strapped it to my belt.

She then reached in to the bag again, grabbed a one-hand sword, and then passed it on to Lucensnex. He took a hand-and-a-half sword and a few throwing knives, then said, "Disappear." We were ready to face the Devil.