"So… Heaven is picky and takes who they want to take and Hell gets all the rejects? Did I say that right?" Olivia questioned from the spot on her couch in the van. "What happens if you don't take them, then? If you reject them, too?"
Having a night, and part of the day, to wrap Olivia's head around all of this was helpful. She didn't feel like the world was moving under her, quite as much, so she was able to focus on the essential questions. Like… that. Olivia was able to ask innocent, simple questions and get the answers to them.
Why wouldn't she ask them? She was curious.
"You get reborn. Try again next time. Though that's really only for like, y'know… religions that aren't related to Christianity. Buddhists and the like." Luce explained. The man ran his fingers through her hair, though that was only because she was currently lying down with her head partially on his lap.
While she scribbled in her journal to Jenny, of course. Liv wasn't writing anything specific at all. Simply just… scribbling. Sometimes she liked to scribble and make random doodles.
"So what would happen if you just stopped. Like… you didn't take any more people?"
Luce made a bit of a face and shook his head. "Uh, we don't. That's like asking the president what happens when he decides nobody's allowed to have kids anymore. It just doesn't happen." Olivia rolled her head back to look up at Luce and dropped her book onto her chest while listening. "We don't decide who comes to us or why. Only what happens when they get there," Luce explained.
Olivia gave a bit of a hum and pat at Luce's hand softly. "I think Heaven is lucky to have Hell, then. Without Hell, wouldn't all the bad people go to Heaven? In a way, Heaven needs you. Even if they don't say it. So, I'll say it." Liv offered.
Liv's boyfriend, as bizarre as it was to say, started to chuckle softly at her words. "Thanks, babe," The man murmured, brushing his hand across her hair again softly.
"You don't need to thank me for it if it's the truth. I just don't think you get told that enough. Sounds like they aren't thanking you," Liv kicked her foot up in the air, a vague gesture to the sky for Heaven. "...And I can't imagine souls would be very happy being there to begin with. So, I'll say it."
"Do you, like, torture people, too?"
"Bad people, yeah. Those that deserve it." Luce slowed his petting in her hair a bit, instead resting his palm against the top of her head. "People that end up there because God wasn't impressed with their loose behavior don't deserve that, so we don't… really torture as much as we used to, but… yeah."
Olivia frowned and glanced up towards Luce again. "...Well that's not very... nice."
"It's Hell, Liv."
"Yeah, and if you add an 'o' onto the end of the word it makes a much nicer word." Liv snipped back, leaning up to flick Luce's nose. "Hello. Therefore, it can't be evil. Not if 'hell' is in such a welcoming word."
Olivia knew that she really couldn't argue with it too much, but… well, she had to tease her boyfriend.
"It's not evil, but neither is a human prison." Luce snorted. "That doesn't mean it's all sunshine and rainbows, either. If you want nice, ask about Heaven."
"I ought to make you focus on making the nice part of Hell nicer. Make it a mini Heaven for people who don't deserve it. Like the Jennys that are stuck there." Olivia slowly sat herself up and folded her journal, resting it on her lap. "Then the Mickeys get the… bad stuff and the Jennys get the good stuff." Liv spoke with a firm nod. Though, she trailed off for a moment before adding, "...Mickey is, y'know… going…" Olivia gestured down to the ground.
Luce gave a bit of a hum. "Yeah, he is. It'd be sooner, but I decided to show a little mercy."
Liv blew out a breath and rubbed at his face. "...Wish you hadn't," Olivia murmured under her breath a bit and glanced towards Luce again, speaking. "...You had something behind him and his confession, didn't you?"
"...When I figured out that the Jenny I fought to get into Heaven was your sister, I… went there to ask her who killed her," Luce admitted to Olivia softly. The man wrapped his arm around her and hugged her into his side. "She told me. That's why I was pissy during Saturday dinner."
"Oh," Olivia spoke softly in thought, hanging her head a bit in recollection at some of Luce's actions. It was a bit fuzzy, the night in detail, but still... clearer now on Luce's anger. "Thank you, for that," Olivia decided to add, reaching over to take Luce's hand. She rested her palm over the back of his hand on her shoulder and let out a breath.
Shifting herself around slightly, Liv dropped her head down onto his shoulder. She closed her eyes and continued to let her mind bounce around to a few more questions that had sparked into her mind, but ultimately decided to keep them to herself. In time, Liv would be able to ask. It didn't have to all come out today.
So, Olivia left it in his hands. "Anything else you think I should know? Or you wanted to mention?" Liv questioned while reaching towards her journal again.
"Well. I trust you've heard of making a deal with the Devil?"
"Great, you do that too?"
"Hey, it's not a bad thing. Normally," Luce made a bit of a face and shook his head. "Go figure the times it goes wrong are the only famous ones."
Snorting, Olivia nudged Luce. "Yeah? Name one good one."
"Well last month I got a guy promoted for free booze."
Olivia raised up her eyebrows a bit. "Did they deserve it? Don't you think promotions happen for a reason?"
Shrugging at his shoulders, Luce hugged Olivia into himself. "...No. It was the manager position of a crummy liquor store. If he sucks he'll get fired. You've read way too much about the butterfly effect."
"Because it's a thing, Luce."
"I am two hundred years old, I know, that doesn't mean it's always substantial."
Olivia gave a bit of a groan and leaned away from Luce. "Thanks for your wisdom, grandpa."
"Hey now, that's young to celestial standards," Luce spoke.
And though it made Olivia laugh at first, her laugh eventually tapered off into a bit of a sad smile. Knowing that Luce was young, at 200 something, didn't exactly make her feel better. If anything, it meant that Liv was… what? And infant to him? She would be dead by the time he was out of his 'twenties'.
Olivia truly couldn't see how Luce thought that staying with her was ultimately better than breaking up now to save them the pain later. It wasn't going to work. It couldn't work. It was just pushing off the undeniable loss.
Luce placed his hand on her back and rubbed softly, supportively. "Anyway… Margaret was bitching at me today and she reminded me that deals are a thing. I was thinking… well. It doesn't have to end, Liv. Not now, not ever."
Liv gave Luce a bit of a sad look and squeezed at his knee. "...Stop it, Luce. It's okay."
"I'm serious, Olivia. Hear me out." Luce insisted.
So, Olivia turned to look at Luce fully and gave him her full attention. "Okay, what is it?"
"You get immortality. I don't have to leave you behind. But… at a price."
Liv squeezed at her knees with her palms softly and let out a bit of a breath. "What is it? Do I gotta be stung by bees ten times?" Olivia questioned, raising up one of her eyebrows. "Do I have to die first?"
Luce shook at his head. "No, nothing as horrible as that. Just… your soul."
Just your soul.
"What? No," Liv frowned and shook her head slightly. She wasn't certain what that consisted of but if anything consisted of taking her soul? That just sounded like a bad idea as a whole.
"It's not as bad as it sounds, Liv," Luce tried to assure her.
Olivia wasn't very assured. "I don't think playing around with souls is a safe thing," Liv stressed in concern. "Especially gambling my own. Wouldn't you think?"
"Really, people do it all the time." Luce made a face. "Marriage and selling your soul to the devil are basically the same thing."
Liv couldn't help but laugh at that. She rolled her eyes, but decided to play his game. "Alright, so if I say yes. What then? What does that mean?"
"It means you give me your soul in order to be immortal, like I am. I… guess it's basically like marriage, which…" Luce gave Liv a look before continuing with a slight nod. "...yeah, might be a tall order now that I think about it, but…"
Olivia blew out a breath. "...But everything about me stays the same. My soul, or something, isn't… chained up or something bizarre like that. Right? It's just… like a different kind of marriage? No 'catches'?"
"I wouldn't do that to you, Liv," Luce assured her softly.
Slowly, Olivia nodded her head. She reached her hand over to take Luce's softly, squeezing lightly. "...Okay, let's say… hypothetically we do and I change my mind? Then what? Am I stuck?"
Luce gave a bit of a sigh and rubbed at his face. "...If you were anyone else I would say yes, but… I don't want to be the reason you end up unhappy, Olivia. If you change your mind, I… I'll get your soul back."
Olivia smiled and leaned over to kiss at Luce's cheek softly. "I was playing 'devil's advocate', since you weren't doing your job," Liv whispered softly while giving a slight laugh - primarily at the term itself.
"My dad's job."
Liv rolled her eyes and reached for his hand. She took his hand, with both of her own, and squeezed it softly. "...I guess I don't know," Olivia decided to say softly to Luce, resting her cheek against him again. "That's a big commitment, Luce. And, I want to be happy, too. I'm just worried about taking a big step like that especially when I'm so young, too." Liv pointed out. "...And what about my parents? If I'm not… aging… can I not see them anymore?"
"Well, you'll age, just… slower than now. They'll be able to notice, so… yeah. But, I guess you've got three years to catch up to me to decide." Luce squeezed at her arm, hugging her against him. "I just… might not always be here, on Earth, for all that time."
Olivia nodded her head slowly. Three years, to her, sounded like a long time. But, to Luce, Liv knew that it was likely very short. "...What if they know?" Liv questioned instead, looking at him. "...Because I can't imagine leaving them, Luce. Not suddenly. Not like Jenny. No one deserves to bury their child and I can't make them think they had to bury two..."
"You wouldn't have to fake your death, just… talk over the phone forever." Luce explained to her, rubbing at her back. "But… I dunno. I mean your parents could send us both to a psych ward if we tried telling them."
"Telling? Yes. Showing…" Liv gave Luce a bit of a look. "...Gets different results. But it's a thought. Then I could see them, despite not aging, and it would be… okay. Besides, I don't think anything is going to hold you down, Luce."
"Only you," Luce said, which… did make Olivia's heart skip a beat or two.
Liv smiled and glanced down at her lap, squeezing her hands together. She glanced over towards him again, letting out a breath, then eventually nodded her head. "...Okay, but… I have my own conditions. Do I get that?"
"You're selling your soul, you get to make any conditions you want."
"Good," Olivia said with a bit of a smile, squeezing at Luce's hand. "...Then, first of all, I want to wait. I don't know how long, but… doing something as big as that after we have known each other for a sliver of, well, your life? I just think it would be better to wait. Not that I want to, but… you know." Liv gave Luce a bit of a smile. "That's my first condition."
"...Okay." Luce drawled out a bit.
"Secondly, I would want to tell my parents," Liv rested her chin on his shoulder, propping her head up. "...I think it's important for them to know. And they don't need to know until after, but… they deserve to know."
"Okay," Luce agreed again. He didn't have the most pleased look on his face, nor had he with the previous condition she gave, but he didn't complain.
Blowing out a bit of a breath, Olivia remained in her spot in thought on if she had any other conditions. But, at the moment, Liv… couldn't think of any. Instead, she leaned her head down and kissed at Luce's shoulder. "...And that's it," Liv murmured against his shoulder softly. "Getting those and getting to be happy with you for what feels like forever? I'm… okay with that. Dare I say, I love that."
"...I love that, too."
"Good," Liv laughed softly. "...Because, in a way, you signed up for an unofficial marriage when I'm ready for it. So, you better love the idea," Olivia teased.
"I've been alive for a long time, and you are the first person that makes me feel the way I do? Like Hell I'm letting you go."
Liv snorted. "Time will tell," Olivia decided to say while happily looking at Luce. "...But even still, you make me feel real special."
"Oh, Liv. If you think you feel special now, you just wait until you let me do things—"
"I am going to stick with the heaven route until I sell my soul, thank you very much."
Luce gave a bit of a sigh and ran his fingers through her hair again. "You'll change your mind?"
"Probably," Liv admitted softly and elbowed Luce's side lightly. "...I've got a little devil on my shoulder."
Thank you for spending your time reading Dear Lucifer!
Dear Lucifer does have a sequel - surprise! If there is interest in the following books, Dear Olivia, feel free to let us know! Alexis and I write quite a bit and we currently have dozens of books that we have completed and we are still currently writing together. If you enjoy any of our novels, reviews of support and following only encourage us to post and share the stories that we write together. Little feedback diminishes our motivation. Therefore, anything is welcome! Please let us know if there is an interest in the following books in Dear Lucifer. Otherwise, feel free to enjoy other novels that we have posted on Alice's account, ChemistryOfLife.
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Lastly, given the state of the world during the Coronavirus, I will be pausing temporarily before posting my next story. This pause is not permanent, but I simply am not in the right mindset to start posting. As you can tell, I started to forget to post quite frequently throughout Dear Lucifer! I promise I'll start posting new stories again shortly, so be sure to follow me as an author for more!
Thank you once again for your ongoing support!
XOXO Alice and Alexis