Shaking her head at me, she points again behind me. “No…”

Turning back to look, I see what she’s pointing at and my heart stills for a moment. Cherry is still there where she landed. Her body is crumpled on the ground, but her arm is moving almost like a flag.

“Peter,” I shout. “Get Meredith in the car. I’ll be right back.”

“What the fuck?” he asks, but I ignore him.

Jogging over to Cherry, I can’t help but think she looks like the victim of a violent train wreck. Her body just doesn’t lay right on the ground. A leg is turned at an impossible angle. The good arm is still moving slightly while her other is missing entirely.

Kneeling in front of her, I look down at her mess of hair that is more blood and charred scalp than anything else. Her face has that melted wax look to it.

“I’m here, Cherry, it’s Lucifer,” I say in a cool smooth drawl.

Gone are any inflections that comes with the Simon voice. Now I use the smooth, unhurried voice of Lucifer.

Her eye barely moves in her skull and one is completely melted. There’s this faraway look to it.

Taking her hand away from my tie where she grasps at it with blood-soaked fingers, I ask quietly, “Would you like me to do a kindness for you, Madeline?”

She’s far too gone now to know who I really am. She knows only that I call her by the name Lucifer would use for her. It’s her real name.

Pulling the stiletto from my pocket, I press the button and the blade shoots out from the handle.

Cherry could possibly live after all this, but she would never be right again. She would never be able to look in the mirror again.

Her lips part but no words come, only bubbles of blood.

I nod my head and whisper, “Goodbye, Madeline.”

Stabbing the blade down into her chest, I push it deep down between the bones and pierce her heart.

Moving it upwards, I ensure I’ve severed any chance she will have to deal with this anymore.

She gives one quiet death rattle over the flames coming from the building. Then the pain-filled eye fades as the life flees from her body.

Standing up from the body, I can’t help but shudder as I look down at my bloody hands. My suit, tie, and shirt are ruined.

Nothing about this day has gone according to plan, and it’s driving me mad with anger.

Walking over to the truck, I see Meredith still standing beside it with Peter trying to get her to listen to him.

“Look, ma’am, we need you to get in the truck.”

Meredith is not having it though. She just continues to stare at me and the hand I have holding the stiletto.

“What… What did you… do?” she stutters out at me.

“A kindness. Now if you would be so agreeable, please get the fuck in the truck,” I growl at her.

Turning to the cab of the truck, she mutters quietly, “You’re a monster, you all are.”

Ignoring her, I say, “Peter, get me to my SUV and quick. We need to get out of here.”

Once we’re all in the truck, it’s a quick ride around the block to reach my vehicle. In the distance, sirens wail in the background. Thankfully we don’t spot anyone being too nosey as we stop in front of my Escalade.

I would try to clean myself up from the blood, but we just don’t have the time.

Getting out and heading to my vehicle, I notice Meredith is still sitting in the back of the truck.

Walking to her door, I yank it open and wrap a hand around her wrist. She fights me at first, but when I pull her arm hard enough she slides right out of the truck.

“We don’t have time for this shit, Meredith!” I growl as I tug her over to my vehicle.

Turning to Peter as he looks out his window, I say, “Tell Lucifer what happened, and that I am in the process of securing his sister. I’ll contact him as soon as possible.”

“Got it,” he says out the window before easing out of the parking lot.

Meredith must be getting her dander up again because she begins to struggle against me. Blood from me is getting all over her top and arms. Dirty disgusting stripper blood.

Motherfucker.

“Stop fucking fighting!” I shout as I pull her to the passenger door.

Opening it up, I all but toss her inside.

Pulling her belt over her lap, I snap her in before shutting her door. I run around to my side of the Escalade and get in quickly.

Starting it up, I stomp on the gas and peel out of the parking lot.

5

Simon

The door slamming behind me helps with the ache I feel in my loins. The rage of pain radiating through my shoulder does nothing to dissuade the hormonal reaction I feel. If anything, the fight I feel from her makes the pain so much more… sexual.

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