One Hundred and Twenty-Nine…

One Hundred and Twenty-Nine: Time is the Enemy

Mila frowned.

Lucifer’s hand brushed his smarting cheek. It throbbed since his ‘beloved’ had clobbered him.

For the second time ever, he was pissed at her.

Words exploded from his mouth without forethought.

He clutched her wrist. “You have no other choice. There’s no time to try anything else, Mila.”

“I don’t know much about girls, but I know it’s been a few days since your last… period. So the time to try is right now. Right now before it’s too late.”

Heat spread over his face, but he didn’t give two shits. All that was important was Mila’s safety.

“Wha—what if it doesn’t work the first time? What then?”

“That’s why we’ll have to do it. Over, over and over again.”

“That’ll help our chances. Doing it over and over. Whatever it takes, Mila.”

She grimaced, scowled.

“For Christ’s sake! Am I really that disgusting to you?”

“No. It’s not that. I love you. You’re the best friend I’ve ever had. That’s why this would ruin everything! And… I’m just not attracted to your kind. They’ve caused me so much pain in my life—”

“I’m not like that. You know I’m not. And what other choice is there, Mila? Do you have a better suggestion? Time’s running out.”

“I don’t know!” she said. “I don’t know what to do! I wish I did. I wish—”

“No. Forget it. Just shut the hell up.” Lucifer thrust his palms outward. “Fuck this. You do what you want.”

Astonishment etched her face. A smile played at her lips as if she didn’t know what to think about his outburst.

Lucifer knew he’d lost his temper. However, she went ballistic first. She had no right to hurt him the way she did.

Nor any reason. All he ever wanted was to take care of her. All he ever wished was her love in return.

It’d been too much to ask.

Slowly she turned her back to him.

“It’d ruin our friendship,” she cried.

“I don’t wanna hear it. Screw our friendship.”

“You don’t mean that.”

Lucifer said nothing.

Mila peered around the small closet.

Guilt sucked. But she just couldn’t imagine doing that with her best friend. The one who’d taken care of her all those months.

She’d lose him as a friend forever. It’d never be the same again. And a baby?

A… BABY?? She didn’t know which idea was more terrifying; having a baby, or turning into a wild creature.

Then her eyes began to burn…

Oh my GOD.

Panicked, she dashed to the mirror.

Paralyzed with fear, she watched as the rosy glow around her pupils faded and brightened.

“Okay. Turning into a beast is scarier than having a baby.” Much scarier.

Goodbye, my best friend in the world. Hello complicated new relationship.

She unfastened each tiny button on her blouse. Then she wiggled out of her night clothes.

“Well this is it, Lucifer.”

At Azura’s and Ezra’s home…

She squirmed in her sleep. A voice roused her awake.

Azura… Azura.” It came from outside the window but she couldn’t see anyone.

His voice was very low, almost a whisper.

She left the bedroom and headed for the front doors.

Azura listened closely. Nothing but the sound of distant wolves howling.

Maybe it was safe to go outside? Since those things seemed to be miles away?

Carefully, gradually she pulled open the left door.

“Is there someone out there?” she hissed, heart thudding.

She ventured a few steps out.

And something below growled, snarled.

Azura was too stunned to move.

Saliva oozed from its jaws. Fangs sharper than any immortals’ in Shadowvale.

It sprang upright, claws like razors.

“No! My baby!” It was all she could think of. Those monstrous claws aimed straight for her pregnant belly.

Someone jerked back the animal.

Azura and her unborn were safe. The monster’s claws, teeth never had a chance.

He hurled it across the yard. It thumped to the ground, still and lifeless.

“Brent,” she whispered between her fingers. “Th–thank you.”

“What are you doing here?”

“Let’s go inside the house and talk. Before more of those things show up.”

He followed her into the home.

Azura led him into the bedroom.

“Not a bad place,” he said. She hushed him. Ezra was asleep (early) in another room. He preferred to sleep in a vertical coffin.

“So this is where you’ve been keeping yourself. It’s been awhile, Azura.”

Yes. It has.

“You aborted my baby a while back.”

Her eyes widened.

“Yeah. Word gets around Shadowvale. Especially since this happened several months ago,” he explained. “So I hear you’re now pregnant with someone else’s baby. From what you said whenever that thing tried to attack you, you plan to keep this baby. Right?”

She nodded.

“So why did you kill MY baby?”

Guiltily, she avoided his glare by turning away. Afterward she spun around to face him.

“I’m sorry.”

“Is that so?” He angrily smirked.

“Yes. You have no idea how badly I feel about ending that pregnancy. I felt I had no choice. I was afraid it would grow up and…”

“Go on,” he said.

“I thought it’d grow up to be like you.”

He nodded.

“Then I suppose you and your new love will make a happy family together. Congrats.”

He stood before the doors. Brooding no doubt.

Yeah. Ezra, the baby and I will make a happy family, she thought.

Brent, if you weren’t so bad, we could’ve had that same happy family. I just can’t stand the thought of us being a family. Ezra is so different from you.

Her feet padded across the carpet.

“Took me forever to find you,” he muttered. “You stopped living at home. I asked Reznik where you were, but he no longer trusted me and wouldn’t tell me. Wasn’t long after that I found out you got rid of our baby. At first I was pissed. Then I felt something I’d never thought I could feel.” He hesitated. “It made me even angrier. I fucking hate being hurt. Makes me feel like a weak, worthless piece of shit. You leaving me, getting rid of my kid made me feel like a worthless piece of shit too.”

“For a few months, I wanted to kill you. I really did,” he added. Those words chilled her to the bone. “Now I’m glad I didn’t find you for so long. I don’t want you dead, Azura. I just want you.”

Bravely, she slithered her hands up to his chest. He didn’t move.

“I still love you. Hate admitting that.” He shook his head.

“Sorry. I don’t know what to say.”

“Do you love him or me? There’s a start.”

“I love Ezra, but I think part me of still loves you too.” Her voice shook with emotion.

Brent withdrew, twisted around and slapped his mouth to hers.

She didn’t stop him. Couldn’t stop him.

Fate may never keep them apart.

Her heart raced, beating for a creature deemed evil by most. Yet a child grew inside her. One who didn’t belong to evil. One who belonged to someone good.

Perhaps fate wouldn’t keep them apart, but surely something else would.

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