Chelsea laughed nervously. “Oh, we’re not dating,” she said.
“Oh really? Be careful around him then,” she whispered.
“I don’t need to worry about that.”
Asmodeus and Leviathan had stopped their psychic conversation and were whispering as if they were scheming.
“Oh?” said Selene. “How come?”
“If he did anything I didn’t want, my boyfriend would have to kill him. Literally, I think.”
Selene smiled. “So who is your boyfriend and why does he trust Asmodeus?”
“Azrael,” said Chelsea.
Selene’s smile fell. “The Azrael? Archangel Azrael?”
“Yeah. They’re working together to make sure I don’t come to harm.”
“You must be really important to both of them.”
“How long have you known Asmodeus?” asked Chelsea.
“Centuries. He introduced me to Lucifer. They’re the only Princes who are actually friends. Though Asmodeus and Satan have quite a good relationship.”
“He seems quite nice.”
“Who?” Selene asked.
“You’ve met him?”
“But you’re not dead.”
“What do you mean?” Chelsea asked cautiously.
“Humans who meet Satan die, just from the power he radiates. I’m surprised Azrael let you go through with it.”
“He wasn’t happy about it. He went off in a strop after telling me to remember it was my decision when the consequences came. Asmodeus just said it was a ritual that the people who’d attempted it had all died.”
“There’s a reason behind that. Satan’s a nice guy to those who are worth something. There’s a hierarchy for a reason. The Princes are those with skill in battle, those who are good at their... trade, if you can call it that.”
“What does that mean?”
“Satan is good at making people angry, Lucifer is good at making people proud, Mammon is good at making people greedy, Beelzebub is good at making people take more than they need, Belphegore is good at making people lazy, Leviathan is good at making people envious and Asmodeus is good at making people lustful. They’re chosen very carefully.”
“So I could have died simply by being there?”
“Yes. I’m shocked that Asmodeus didn’t tell you.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“Are we ready to go?” asked Asmodeus.
“I am,” Chelsea said.
“Okay then. Lucifer, you’ve given me a lot to think about. And Selene, I haven’t even said ‘hello’, have I? Well hello, and goodbye.” He leant across the table to kiss her cheek.
“Goodbye, Asmodeus,” said Selene.
“Asmodeus,” said Lucifer, “think about it.”
“I will. Goodbye, brother.”
“Goodbye.” Lucifer looked at Chelsea. “I would say ‘good luck’ but whatever is to come is already decided.”
Chelsea simply nodded. Asmodeus stood with Chelsea and left the building. They walked for a while in silence.
“Why didn’t you tell me I could have died in that ritual?” she asked him.
“I thought you understood the risk.”
“No. Of course I didn’t. If nobody tells me, how do I know?”
“I’m sorry, I should have made sure you understood.”