“What brought you to Luke in the first place?” Samael asked. Lily looked at him, confused.

“Uncle Beelzebub,” she said, “He told me you wanted me to go after him.”

Samael laughed, “Beelzebub sent you after the priest? How interesting. No, Shynra, I did not give you any such assignment.”

Lily shrugged, “I always got my assignments from him. I did notice that he was sending me to a lot of virgins, but I didn’t think he was sending me in search of Luke specifically.”

“I think you’re wrong,” Samael said, “Our favorite Prince of Gluttony has always been in favor of my reign. He obviously knew something about your priest that we didn’t. He sent you after him with a purpose, I’m sure of that.”

Lily thought about that. Beelzebub was the most ‘innocent’ of her father’s brothers, the fourth in line to the throne. He didn’t have any aspirations for it, however. He seemed perfectly content living his life the way he was, in the amount of excess you would expect for a demon famed for his lavishness. She wasn’t sure it was exactly right to call a demon prince innocent, but out of all her father’s brothers, he fit that bill. She always got her assignments from him.

“Perhaps, but do you think he was trying to find the man that would bring me into power? How did he know to look for a human?” Lily asked.

“That is something I fear that we will never know. Beelzebub is notoriously quiet about his motives. Just take it as the victory that it is,” Samael said. Lily nodded in agreement.

The phone on her father’s desk started to ring, and he took it in hand. Lily waited impatiently as he took the call. Her father’s eyes darted to her in urgency.

“Lily, you need to go find your priest. They just saw him roaming the halls going towards Asmodeus’ cell.”

Lily jumped up from the chair she was seated in and ran for the door. Her uncle was meddling even when he shouldn’t be able to. Samael joined her in her sprint across their family home, and they stopped in front of the door that held her uncle captive. Twisted moans of pleasure teased out from behind the door, and Lily’s stomach clenched. She didn’t want to see what was going on behind the door, but she had to get Luke free from her uncle’s grasp.

She shoved the door open forcefully. What she saw as she stepped through the door made her heart drop. Her priest was in Asmodeus’ embrace, her uncle buried deep within him. Luke’s head was thrown back, pleasure washed over his features. He was enjoying every second of this, and with more abandon than he had ever shown with her. Anger and jealousy were potent emotions within her. Her power surged unexpectedly, but the men in the corner of the room paid it no attention. She drew it up around her and directed it at her uncle. She would do anything to wrench her priest from her uncle’s grasp.

She tried to direct her power the same way she had the other night. She envisioned what she wanted to happen to her uncle, let the vision flood her mind, and smiled with a deep satisfaction as she heard her uncle wail with pain. She was imagining every single one of his bones breaking… including the one buried inside her priest. She watched as the Royal Guard walked over and plucked Luke off the floor, his eyes wide and guilt filled as they connected with hers.

“Take him back to our room, don’t let him leave.” She instructed. The Guard nodded their assent and stalked out the door with Luke in tow.

Lily walked over to her uncle. He lie in a twisted heap on the floor, his limbs contorted into unnatural angles all around him. His pitiful screams still filled the cell. Blood seeped from the open wounds on his body. She bent down and met his eyes.

“Don’t ever mess with what is mine again, Asmodeus.” She spat. “I may not be able to kill you, but I can make you suffer.”

Lily stood up and spun around to walk out the door. Her uncle didn’t deserve another moment of her time. All she wanted was to see her priest and find out why he had run into the arms of their enemy.


“Was Aamon not enough for you?” Lily shouted as she walked into their bed chambers. Luke was curled up into a ball under the covers, his massive size reduced to almost nothing. He just shivered in response. Lily could hear his soft cries. Guilt ripped through her, and she walked over to him. She stroked his shoulder lightly as she sat next to him. “Luke, please look at me.”

He shook his head under the covers. Sobs were wracking his body. She couldn’t stand to see him this way. She felt his pain and heartbreak radiating through her. Did he really love Asmodeus? Lily sighed. Perhaps what Luke said to her in Asmodeus’ castle was the truth. She couldn’t give him what Asmodeus could.

“Luke, it’s okay.” She whispered. Lily realized her anger would just push him further from her. “I told you I would never deny you your true desires, and I won’t. But is he what you truly want?”

She gently worked the covers down around his face. His eyes met hers, fear coating them. She brought her hand down and stroked his cheek lightly, then moved her hand to his hair. She had always loved someone running their fingers through her hair, and now she tried to afford that same comfort to Luke. He didn’t move away, but he was still scared of her. It was then that she noticed that he had drops of Asmodeus’ blood on his face. She had torn her uncle apart while Luke was still under him. No wonder he was scared.

“You tore him apart,” he said weakly, “I was under him, and you tore him apart.”

“I thought you were in danger, Luke. I’m sorry.” Lily knew there was nothing she could say to soothe him.

“No, you didn’t. I clearly wasn’t in danger. You were mad, you were jealous. I could feel it. I felt it before I felt his blood all over me. Lily, you ripped a man apart out of jealousy!” Luke’s eyes were still wide with fear, and despite the conviction in his voice, it was still small. He trembled under her touch.

“I would never hurt you,” Lily said. “Everything I’ve ever done, I’ve done to protect you.”

“I know, Lily. But I didn’t need your protection tonight.”

“You did, Luke. You just didn’t know it. You don’t know everything, and it’s time that you do.”


Lily drew his body onto her lap, not seeming to care that he was covered in her uncle’s blood. He was too scared to fight her, but he also knew that Lily would never cause him any harm, not directly. He sighed and tried to ignore her running her fingers through his hair. It felt good, but he didn’t want any reassurance from her tonight.

“I told you before that I came to you because you were an assignment. You were. My uncle Beelzebub sent me to you. He had been sending me to virgin men across your realm for years and I never knew why. But then all of this happened.” Lily sighed.

“You have more than one uncle?” Luke asked.

“I have six. Together with my father, they are the Seven Princes of Hell, and the founders. You’ve met Asmodeus, and you seem to have taken a liking to him. But he’s the most dangerous to us, Luke.”

“He was in chains that kept him from using magic, Lily. He wasn’t dangerous tonight.” Luke spat.

“Perhaps not, but I’m not talking about just tonight. My father filled me in on what the mark on your back truly means. It’s not what Asmodeus said. That mark gives you my life span. For me to be able to claim my father’s throne, I have to have an equal in power. That’s you. Without you, I have no claim.”

Luke had gone still under her, so she continued, “However, even though your lifespan is linked to mine, I’m not linked to yours. If you die, I will live. But I will lose my powers and my immortality. Asmodeus knows this. He has known it since the beginning. He wants what my father has, and he will do anything to get it. Killing you is the only way for him to achieve his goal, Luke.”

“He would kill me to get in line for your father’s throne,” Luke let the words roll over his tongue slowly. Lily nodded.

“Yes, and if he can take everything he can from us in the process, he would do that too.” Lily said softly. She knew it wasn’t what he wanted to hear, but he needed to hear it. Luke let his body sink into the bed and further into her lap. “I’m on your side, Luke, I promise. And not because I want power. I’ve gone my entire life without it. I can’t stand to see anything happen to you.”

Luke heard her voice catch. He knew that Lily would rather die than let something happen to him. He just wished that the lesson didn’t have to hurt so badly. He did care for Asmodeus. He wanted to share his body with Asmodeus more than anything. The passion and tenderness they had shared before Lily walked into the cell? That had been real passion. Luke never thought he would find it in the hands of a man, much less a demon man. But he had felt alive. Lily gripped his shoulder.

“I know you want what is best for me, Lily. But what if he is it?” Luke asked weakly.

“He’s not, I promise you. If I am not enough for you, I will let you find someone who completes you, Luke. Just please be careful. My uncle does not have your best interests at heart. He wants to destroy you, and he will. Having you fall in love with him will only make him happier when he becomes your downfall.”

“You’re telling me I have an immortal lifespan, as a human, to live alongside this man and try not to fall back into his arms?” Luke asked. “Or live a lifetime of torture and stay away from him.”

“There will be someone else, Luke.” Lily said. He could tell she didn’t believe her own words.

“No, there won’t. And we both know it.” Luke said and pushed himself out of the bed. “I need to get his blood off me, Lily. I promise I won’t go back to him, but I need to get his blood off me. He is the man I love, yes, and I can’t stand to see his pain splashed so nonchalantly across me.”

Visions of Asmodeus curled up grotesquely beside him filled his mind again. His blonde haired demon had looked so shocked at the assault. They had both felt Lily’s power when she came into the room, but neither of them expected what she had actually done. Luke had felt the most intimate part of Asmodeus snap inside of him, followed by his limbs contorting and breaking. The open wounds had splattered blood across Luke before Lily’s guard could move him.

“If you’re going to be a Queen, *Shynra*, you need to learn to control your jealousy.”


Samael sighed as he looked at the broken heap in the corner that was supposed to be his brother. Asmodeus was still wailing in pain. With the cuffs on, it would take him longer than normal to heal. Samael couldn’t take them off, though. The first thing his brother would do was take revenge on Shynra. He would probably mutilate the priest.

“How the mighty have fallen, brother,” Samael said. He wasn’t sure Asmodeus heard him, but the pained laugh coming from the corner told him otherwise.

“You and your half bred bitch of a daughter will pay for this,” Asmodeus replied through clenched teeth.

“Not anytime soon from the looks of you, brother,” Samael chuckled, “I’ll leave those chains on while you heal so you can think about what you’ve done.”

“What exactly did I do, *your majesty*? The priest came to me freely, I have no magic, remember?”

“You touched what doesn’t belong to you,” Samael chided, “You know how territorial we demons are with what is ours.”

Asmodeus spit in his direction and didn’t answer. The scene Samael walked in on with Shynra wasn’t a scene of coercion. He knew Shynra had been blinded by her rage and jealousy, but she had taken vengeance out anyway. He wasn’t sure the vengeance was called for, but he stood by it. Demons were fickle, after all. Her ferocity to protect what was hers made him glow with pride. His daughter had bigger problems to worry about than exacting revenge. She needed to figure out what was truly in her priest’s heart before it got them both killed.


Lily sat on the bed, feeling empty, as she watched Luke walk into the bathroom. She did feel bad about spilling Asmodeus’ blood all over Luke. If she could do it all over again, she would torture her uncle after Luke had been escorted out. His words still rung in her head, though. He said that he loved Asmodeus. But how? The man had kidnapped Luke across realms and held him captive. Lily wasn’t sure that she wasn’t doing the same, but at least her goal wasn’t to see Luke dead. She didn’t want to keep him from what he truly wanted, but knowingly sending him into that kind of danger made her feel sick. Should she let him make his own mistakes, though? Was she willing to risk her own life to allow him to do so?

She knew the answer to that. Yes, she was willing to let him explore. She had never been power hungry. She had never coveted her father’s throne. She would happily live her life just to make Luke happy, even if it meant she couldn’t claim her birthright. The one thing she wasn’t willing to do, however, was watch Luke die because she didn’t do everything she could to keep him safe. She didn’t know how long she had been lost in thought, but the next thing she knew, Luke was standing in front of her, fully clothed again.

Lily locked eyes with him, “I am truly sorry, Luke.”

He shook his head, “I won’t accept your apology for this. You tortured a man because he touched me.”

“Luke, I tortured my uncle, who has open plans to kill you because he touched you.” Lily shook her head, “But that doesn’t matter. If you want to see him, I’ll take you to him.”

“Why would you do that?” Luke asked.

“A show of good faith, or a lack of better judgment. You pick. But I promised you once that I would let you do what made you happy. If he is what makes you happy, I will take you to him while he heals.” Lily sighed. “It’s hard for me to let you walk into danger like this, Luke. If you die, it will be the beginning of the end of me. But I would rather die than watch you live an eternity of unhappiness.”

Lily watched as the shock filled Luke’s eyes, “Lily, I’ve never doubted that you care for me. I may say it out of spite that you don’t, but I know you do. If I follow you back down to Asmodeus, how will I find him?”

“I don’t know,” she said truthfully, “I don’t know how fast he heals, or if those chains will stunt the process. Either way, if you love him, you can be with him in his time of need if you wish.”

“How very generous of you,” Luke laughed, “Why do I need your permission to do anything?”

“You don’t.” Lily said. “But if you want to go, follow me.”


Luke followed Lily back to Asmodeus’ cell. Before he had joined the demon earlier in the night, his feelings for Asmodeus hadn’t been clear. But when Asmodeus entered him for the first time? His feelings had sprung to life. He wanted Asmodeus in his life as much as he wanted Lily. Wanting both of them confused him. He knew he would never lose Lily, but Asmodeus? He was truly afraid that Lily would end him if she had the chance.

As they approached Asmodeus’ cell, Lily waved the Guard back. They parted and let Lily and Luke through. Lily opened the door slowly and let Luke enter first. When he saw Asmodeus’ crumpled body on the floor in the corner, pain sliced through his body. Lily didn’t follow him in. Instead, she shut the door behind him and let him be. It was probably for the best. Seeing his powerful lover reduced to this? It hurt, and it made him mad.

“Oh, God,” Luke said as he walked closer to the demon.

Asmodeus was breathing heavily, his wings sprawled out on either side of him, limp on the ground. When Luke approached him, he dropped to his knees beside him and placed a soft hand on Asmodeus’ shoulder. The demon startled, his body bristled with pain. Luke jerked his hand back. The last thing he wanted was to cause Asmodeus more pain than he already had.

“What are you doing here, Priest?” Asmodeus asked quietly. Luke could barely hear him speak his voice was so frail.

“Lily brought me,” Luke replied. “Everything was so violent, and they took me so quickly… I didn’t know what happened until I got back to our room, and I was covered in your blood.”

“So, the niece that tore me apart to keep me from you led you back to me? Interesting.” The demon grimaced. Luke reached forward and brushed Asmodeus’ blood stained hair back from his forehead. He could see the sweat beading at the demon’s forehead.

“She promised to let me live the life I wanted, she’s just keeping her word.” Luke said as he stroked Asmodeus’ cheek. The demon leaned into his touch. “There’s so much blood.”

“Yes, that’s what happens when a jealous demon tries to rip your limbs off your body,” Asmodeus laughed, the pain from it sent him into a coughing fit, “But, nevertheless, I’m glad you’re here, Priest.”

“Me too,” Luke said quietly. He looked to the door. He needed something to clean the dried up blood off Asmodeus. They left him in this cell covered in it and naked to the elements. Enemy or not, no one deserved this treatment.

“Bring me a bucket of water and soap, a washrag, and a blanket.” Luke called at the door. He knew the Guard heard him. They started shuffling at his order. Luke was surprised that they responded to him. He may be bonded to Lily, but he still didn’t hold a title. A couple of minutes went by before they brought him what he asked for.

“You don’t have to clean me, Priest,” Asmodeus said. The pain was giving his voice an edge that made Luke cringe. He would do anything to take it away.

“No one deserves to sit in their own blood,” Luke said softly, “Will it hurt too much to move?”

“I can manage,” Asmodeus grunted.

Luke sighed and ran his hand down the demon’s arm. It was such a shame to see his powerful body reduced to this. Luke hooked his arms under Asmodeus’ and tried to hoist him up but stopped when the demon howled in pain. Luke brought Asmodeus against him, hugging him as firmly as he dared. The demon was trying not to sob against his chest.

“Keep going,” Asmodeus choked, “The quicker you do this the better.”

“I don’t want to cause you more pain,” Luke said.

“You’re offering me a kind hand in a house that wants to cause me nothing but pain, Priest. You’re trying to help me and I appreciate that, but finish what you started, because this is unbearable.”

Luke steeled himself and did what Asmodeus asked. He propped Asmodeus up against the wall, horrified by what he saw when he got a good look at the demon’s face. His limbs were no longer contorted, but they were covered in bruises and still clearly broken. His face was smashed almost beyond recognition. Blood was caked over every inch of his body, a testament to how much Lily detested her uncle. Luke wanted to reach out and comfort him, but touching Asmodeus more than he had to would only cause more pain. Asmodeus took in deep and labored breaths.

“I’ve got to get you clean, are you ready?” Luke asked. Only one of Asmodeus’ eyes was visible, the other one was swollen shut. He saw the pain glimmer, but Asmodeus nodded.

“Yes, I’m ready.”

Luke twisted the washcloth to get rid of the excess water and started gently brushing at Asmodeus’ skin. The blood wasn’t so dry it was hard to get off, but Luke could tell that even the light pressure was hurting. He was grateful that the Guard had brought more than one washcloth, because it took multiple before he was done cleaning Asmodeus. The demon attempted to smile when Luke was done, but the smile turned into a grimace.

“Don’t,” Luke said softly. “Don’t do anything that brings you more pain.”

“Existing brings me more pain,” Asmodeus said, “The chains are keeping me from healing.”

“They won’t take them off?” Luke asked, shocked.

“They shouldn’t take them off,” Asmodeus said, “I would destroy this house if they took them off.”

Luke shivered, “You would risk me to take revenge on them?”

Asmodeus sighed, “Priest, you are my revenge on them. But I’ve come to care for you, against my better judgment. I’m staying in these chains so I don’t destroy this place and everyone in it.”

“Why are you demons so complicated and vengeful?” Luke asked.

“We all crave power,” Asmodeus sighed, “But I’m tired of talking, I just want to rest.”

Luke nodded and reached over to grab the blanket. With a sigh, he threw the blanket across Asmodeus and himself. He gathered the demon into his arms and collapsed on the floor. Asmodeus relaxed against his body. There was no way Luke was going to let Lily hurt Asmodeus again.


When Luke woke the next morning, Asmodeus was still firmly in his grasp. The demon wasn’t breathing hard anymore, it seemed as if he had healed a little overnight. Luke loosened his grip and Asmodeus stirred. He had been shocked that the demon allowed him to stay, but he didn’t question it.

“Morning, Priest,” Asmodeus said. Luke relaxed.

“I thought you were still asleep,” Luke responded.

“It’s hard to sleep when every bone in your body was crushed.” Asmodeus joked. Luke cringed.

“I suppose so. Are you feeling better?” He asked. Asmodeus inched out of his grasp and turned to face Luke. His face was no longer battered, in fact, it was almost back to normal. Luke let out a breath of relief.

“Yes, Priest.” He inched his face towards Luke’s and kissed him lightly, “I’ll need to thank you properly one day.”

“Thank me? I got you in this mess.” Luke reached forward and brushed errant hairs off Asmodeus’ forehead.

“I got myself into this mess,” Asmodeus corrected. “Shame on me for thinking any of it would be easy once Shynra came into her power.”

“Which I did,” Luke continued.

“If you hadn’t come around, we couldn’t have this much fun,” Asmodeus deflected.

“I suppose,” Luke laughed, “If you call this fun.”

“I call what we were doing yesterday fun,” Asmodeus raised his eyebrow, “The rest of it? A consequence of the fun.”

“I don’t like the consequences,” Luke said.

“Me either, Priest, me either.” the demon shrugged, “Which is why we will wait to continue until I get out of here. I can please you much more thoroughly in my castle, anyways.”

Luke tensed. He might care about Asmodeus, but he wasn’t leaving Lily. “I’m not leaving here again.”

“Afraid I won’t give you back to Shynra?” Asmodeus teased.

Luke shook his head, “More like I’m afraid of what she will do to you if you take me away from her. She almost tore you apart for touching me in her own home. When she got me last time, she made your eyes bleed.”

“Her father is Wrath embodied, her reaction, while painful, doesn’t surprise me. It’s appropriate even. It should be touching to you at the least. She acted out of fear for your life, not caring that she could be risking her own. I don’t like my niece, but you do have a fierce protector in her.”

“It sickens me,” Luke said, “I’m a grown man, I can make my own decisions.”

“Grown? To us, you’re a child. Shynra and I have at least a millennium on you, Priest. You may hate her for the choices she has made, but you are her mate. She is driven to protect you and I’m a threat. She did what she had to. I hate her for it, but I understand it. I’d do the same thing if I was in her position. Try not to hate her so much, you are her King, after all.”

“I didn’t ask for any of this,” Luke complained.

“Trust me, none of us did. But you were chosen, for whatever reason, you were chosen. You have a duty to fulfill, and as much as I want to keep Shynra from reigning, I will not hurt you. I can’t hurt you. If she hadn’t bonded to you, I would have. Keep that in the back of your mind, Priest. I’m her enemy, but I’m not yours.” Asmodeus looked down with the confession. “I trust that she will keep you safe. She won’t let harm come to you if she can help it.”


Lily stood on the other side of the door, shocked at the words coming out of her uncle’s mouth. Had he really just professed his love for Luke? She hadn’t felt an ounce of danger over the night. She had stayed outside the cell door just in case. Luke hadn’t asked for help once. She hadn’t sensed fear in him once. His rage and disapproval still flowed through her. There was nothing she could do to change that. She didn’t feel bad about maiming her uncle. She did feel bad about causing Luke pain.

She knocked on the door softly and stepped inside. Luke narrowed his eyes at her as she walked through the door, drawing Asmodeus into his body. Lily quirked her eyebrow. Asmodeus gave her a smug look and sank into Luke’s arms.

“Isn’t this cozy?” she asked sarcastically.

Luke drew his lips into a thin line. “As cozy as it can be.”

“Yes, you did make it this way, niece. For that I thank you.” Asmodeus winked at her. Lily did her best to keep her face neutral.

“Be that as it may, Luke, we have business to attend to. You need to come with me.” she shifted her gaze to her uncle, “You will be released today to return to the hole you crawled out of. We will negotiate the terms of your visitation with Luke before you leave.”

“I get visitation rights? Oh, fancy.” Asmodeus remarked.

“Watch it. I’m doing this to keep Luke happy, not for you. But you will abide by the rules I put forth, which will be discussed later today. Come on, Luke.”

Luke looked up at her, the shock clear on his face. He didn’t fight with her. He released Asmodeus reluctantly and stood up beside him. He gave Asmodeus one last look before he followed Lily out the door. Lily could feel how much it pained him to leave. She knew somehow that if Luke had a second chance, he would have accepted her uncle’s bond before hers. It made her ache. Not only because she needed him, but because she had the love for him that he carried for Asmodeus.

“Lily…” Luke hesitated. She kept walking, afraid that the tears building up behind her eyes would fall if she turned to face him. She was leading him back to their room. He needed to be dressed for the meeting with her father. She didn’t acknowledge him until they got there.

“Yes, Luke?” She asked.

He sighed, “I know it hurts you to let me see him. Thank you.”

“I don’t want to talk about it. I made a promise to you; I will not break it because I don’t like your choice.” Lily said shortly.

“You know that keeping me happy for the lifetime you’ve promised means not causing him any harm, right?” Luke asked.

“Priest, you cannot expect me to promise you that I won’t harm him. Especially if he threatens your life, or mine. A threat to me is a threat to you. I will have to if he threatens you.”

“He won’t do anything to hurt me,” Luke said softly.

Lily knew that was the truth. A demon would never admit to wanting to bond with a human, ever. Even if it was what they wanted. If Asmodeus had bonded with Luke first, he would have been giving up his place in the line of succession. His admission of love for Luke did not weigh lightly on her. It made her wonder what his true motives had been with Luke before he knew she marked him. He had been surprised when he saw Lily’s wings on Luke’s back. Had her uncle been watching Luke as well?