He went to the library the next day. Looking frazzled. His hair a mess, his clothes wrinkled and his hands shaking. When he went into the library, a few of the clerks there gave him worried looks.
He checked out several different books, all having to do with the occult and spells and demons.
There was a half done 3,000 piece puzzle in his hobby room on the table. He threw everything off, clattering to the floor as he placed the books on it.
He sat down, looking through the first book, reading and looking for anything that could help him.
There had to be a way to bring her back. There had to be.
She was a demon, surely she can't just be dead.
None of the books helped him. He threw them to the floor in a fit of rage, a frustrated sob escaping him. He got a text alert. He looked, seeing Beth had texted him, asking how he was doing.
He sent a quick "Fine" before looking through the books again.
Once he got his answer that they had absolutely nothing to aid him. He returned the books to the library, finding new ones, going through them, finding nothing, repeat.
He had to go to the city main and oldest library, finding old spell books and one in summoning the devil himself.
He took down notes from it, writing down the list of items he would need and where and what time.
He made room in his kitchen, moving the dining table and chairs, cutting his wrist and letting the blood pool into a bowl. Once he had enough he wrapped it up, getting a food brush and painting a pentagram on the tile. He lit the black candles, placing them on each point of the star.
He turned off the kitchen light, once everything was set up, standing in front of it. He took a deep breath, closing his eyes and focusing on his words, saying the lords prayer backwards.
He stayed patient, just as he did with Val. Until finally he heard the clinking of pots and pans and a breeze going by his face that smelled of smoke and sulfur.
He opens his eyes, gasping.
The devil was huge. At least seven feet tall, looking almost dragon like with red scales and red horns atop his head. And when he spoke the house rumbled like thunder.
"Why have you called me human? What is it you wish?"
John swallowed. "Please, I've lost someone. Someone I love so damn much. I can't live without them." The devil wasn't surprised, many people summon him for that reason. It was the second most popular reason next to wealth and talent. Then John continued.
"She lived in hell, she was a succubus. She mated with me and she let herself starve just to save me. Please, please I will do anything for you if you can just bring her back to me." The devil looked away. "If one of my own has fallen there is nothing I can do. Even if she were human. Death is universal and inevitable. If I attempt to bring her back it would crumble reality itself." John shook his head. "No, no. You're the devil. You're the one with that kind of power." "Even death is beyond my reach. I cannot help you. Goodbye." John cried out, reaching. "No! Wait!" And then he was alone. Alone with nothing but the black candles and their soft flame.
He cried out in the darkness, throwing everything around in a rage. After he flipped the dining table with a satisfying crash he collapsed into tears. Sobbing into his hands. He shook his head at imaginary voice.
"No...no. I can't do this. I can't." He got the knife he used earlier to slit his wrist carefully, brought it to his neck, staring at the pentagram he made. He sucked in a breath, thinking of Beth and their daughter. She was only a few months old.
A sob escaped him, Beth's smile and Little Penelope in her arms. Little Penelope waving her hands and holding his finger with all the strength she has. Beth holding him close, soft lips touching his shoulder followed by the scent of her flowery smelling shampoo she always used.
He dropped the knife, collapsing to his knees and crying so hard he thought he might be sick.
He must have cried himself to exhaustion as he woke up on the crusty, dried pentagram. The candles still going, a bit weakly.
He felt numb and cold and needing someone to hold him, feeling like a child lost within a forest of darkness.
He stared at the dried pentagram, willing it to work. Willing it one last time to bring Val back.
But it didn't. It only stared back, mocking him in his defeat. A few tears made their way down his face as he looked away, deciding to clean the house up.
It was going on five am by the time he was done cleaning the house. He cleaned himself off with a quick shower but he still felt so fragile.
Like he was made of glass and the smallest thing will break him. He sucked in the tears the threatens to escape, got dressed and drove to Beth's parents house at 5:30 in the morning.
He parked in front of the nice suburban house. A large porch, a swing and two rocking chairs with a beautiful garden in front along with a large and tall tree.
It was going on November so a lot of the leaves were on the ground. He got out, making his way to the front door, leaves crunching under his feet as he walked.
He took a steadying breath, ringing the doorbell, not exactly feeling welcome after what he's done.
It was some time before the door opened. It was Beth, her hair was a mess with sleep, wearing the spongebob pajamas he got her last Christmas. She looked surprised. "John...its 5:30 in the morning, what are you doing here?" He was silent, eyes watering as he looking her over, feeling like he was seeing her for the first time. She continued, looking worried. "John, is something wrong? What's going on? Are you ok?" He spoke quietly,tears falling down his face. "No." He held her close, trying not to breakdown, just wanting to hold her.
She hugging him back tightly. "Hey, it's ok. I'm here." He cried, inhaling the scent of her flowery shampoo and tinge of cinnamon from holiday baking.
She stayed a steady rock for him, holding him close, gently shushing him as he cried until he eventually calmed. He pulled away, her hands coming up to wipe his tears away. "Did you want to see Penelope? I think she's missed you." He nodded. "Yes."
Beth held his hand as she lead him inside, making sure to close the door. She led him up the stairs and to the guest room she was staying in, a crib set up. He pulled away from Beth, waking faster over, looking over his daughter as she slept.
He knew he would be risking waking her up but he gently picked her up, careful not to move her too much. She stayed asleep as he held her, feeling her curl closer to him. He sucked in a breath, kissing her head, feeling Beth come over, holding his arm gently.
He can't believe just hours ago he wanted to kill himself. Take himself away from this perfection in this little room.
He turned, looking at Beth. He spoke quietly. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." She looked confused. "For what?" He swallowed. "For being a burden to you, for not being able to always be there for you and Penelope. I love you, so much. You know that, right?" Her eyes watered this time as she nodded softly. "I know." She leaned up and kissed his head before leaning her forehead on his shoulder. "You are not a burden. You are my husband and I will always be there for you no matter what. I promise." He wanted to say he didn't deserve her but he knows she would tell him not to say that. He opted to stay quiet and keep the peace of the room. His little family was all he needed.
In the underworld Lillth was seething. She lost one of her children to such a stupid thing.
She should have taken her powers away when she had the chance, before things got too far. Now Lucifer was calling her to face the council.
She walked through the large, oak doors, seeing him there along with the rest of the councilmen.
Lucifer spoke. "Lillth. Come fourth. " She walked closer, stopping a short distance from the massive desk that held them higher than the floor. She looked up at them. Lucifer spoke. "One of your children has died due to her own soft heart." "I'm aware." "And were you also aware that for one of your children it is forbidden to fall in love?" "I warned her. I told her to stop but she didn't." "And you didn't report her which makes you just as soft. The next time one of your children show any sign of having a soft heart, terminate them." "Yes sire."
"And they no longer are allowed to mate. They may only go to earth to feed, not to mate. " Lillth growled. "How are they supposed to reproduce?" Lucifer stared her down. "Figure it out but this will not happen again or you may be the one terminated." She looked away, nearly trembling with her anger. "Are we done?" "Yes. You may leave."
She turned quickly, her dress flowing behind her like a cape as she walked out of the room. One of the councilmen whispered to Lucifer. The devil nodded. "Agreed. She shall be dead before the days out. I don't trust her."
John lay asleep when Beth, feeling more at peace than he had in so long. He can't remember the last time he felt this content. Although there will always be a wound Val left, he has a loving wife and baby girl to help him find his way, should he get lost again.