Azrael nodded. “Thank you. For everything.”

“It’s not a problem. You’re the closest thing I have to a son, even though you’re much older than me. I love you like my own. Skyla’s not the only one who wants you to be happy.” She squeezed his hand and left, leaving him to his own thoughts.

Something in the corner of his eye caught Azrael’s attention. He turned to look. The sight shocked him. Asmodeus was sat in one of the chairs.

“Come to finish the job have you?” Azrael asked him.

“No. I’ve come to talk,” Asmodeus replied.

“Oh, have you indeed?”

Yes. Why is that so hard to believe?”

“Um, because two hours ago you tried to kill me.”

“An hour and a half actually.”

“So, you’ve come to talk. About anything in particular?”

“Chelsea. You love her, don’t you?”

“I do,” said Azrael.

“So do I. That’s why I came here. I’ve been here for a while actually. I never expected to come across you.”

“You destroyed any chance you had of her loving you back when you lay with and killed Elizabeth. Even with your magic you can’t make her love you. You can only make her desire you. Even if she did fall in love with you, could you stay faithful to her without the physical love?” Not a single word was tainted with malice or spite.

He thought about it for a while. He took something out of his pocket: a pack of cards. He pulled the chair closer to the bed and opened the box. He shuffled the cards and gave some to Azrael and kept some for himself. The rest he put on the bed. Azrael looked at the cards in his hand.

“This is the Minor Arcana of a Tarot deck,” he said.

“It’s exactly the same,” said Asmodeus. “Cups are Hearts, Wands are Diamonds, Swords are Spades and Pentacles are Clubs. Simple.”

They played the card game with the Tarot cards. Azrael felt uncomfortable the whole time. He hated Tarot, all Angels did. It was Demon work.

“I’m sorry about your wife,” said Asmodeus.

“No you’re not.”

“I am.”

“What happened?”

“She came after me. She knew she wouldn’t see you again. She knew you wouldn’t see your child. She bested me with steel and defeated me with magic. It was her that won you the war. She was beautiful, and merciless.”

“She knew no mercy against you? I can’t say I’m surprised; you killed her parents and sister.”

“Did I?”

“You and Leviathan. They were living on earth for a while. They needed a break.”

He paused and decided to change the subject. “Why aren’t you doing your duties?”

“My last collection was Chelsea’s father. He wanted to see her one last time so I took him to her. She was beautiful. Her blonde hair, her brown eyes. Her father asked me to look after her. So that’s what I’m doing.”

“Does she know?”

“She knows I collected him. That’s all she knows about it.”

“So she knows you’re the Archangel of Death I take it.”

“It was her who made me go after you. Elizabeth rang her. Then Chelsea rang me. She made me try to save her best friend, even after I explained the situation; that the girl would either be killed by me or you.”

“Yet she made you go anyway. I feel a bit guilty now.”

Azrael smiled at the Demon.

The End

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