I had known what Cupid was hinting at, of course, but the shock still hit me like a bag of bricks.
He leaned towards me, his breath tickling my ear.
“We kill the King.”
My eyes widened and I felt my stomach tying itself into knots.
“It won’t be difficult.” He continued in a whisper, “We wait until his guard is down, and then we strike. You can easily gain access to him, and I can find the weapon to do it.”
“But…but then what would we do?” I whispered back, doing my best to find a fatal fault in his plans.
“Then we declare ourselves King and Queen of Hell. We withdraw from the war, rule side by side, and the contract will be rendered null and void.”
I blinked, trying to hide my surprise.
“Why are you doing this?”
“The years haven’t been kind.” He admitted, “I miss it, the glory, the power…and it pains me to see Lucifer abusing it.”
There seemed to be some truth in what he was saying.
“Are you forgetting about Lucifer’s legions of children?” I asked, pleased.
“None of them feel an ounce of loyalty to him. He made sure none of them know the inner workings of the government, and raised them to be revelers instead of rulers. The people wouldn’t support them at all. We could quash any attempts at seizing power easily.”
I looked at him dubiously.
“You make it sound so easy.”
“That’s because it is.” He smirked, “And it’s all in your hands.”
I did my best to think through the haze of fatigue and anger.
I still didn’t trust Cupid. He was too smart for his own good, and he knew how to talk. He was looking like a prime candidate for our mole.
But he had a good point. If I could take over, I could avoid a lot of bloodshed. And I could get my soul back. The idea of killing Lucifer perturbed me but if it was one life instead of many, wasn’t it worth it?
In any case, it didn’t hurt to play along.
“Fine.” I said quietly, “But we think this through, okay? If we botch it, there’s no going back.”
“Of course.” He smirked, dropping his cigarette and crushing it under a boot.
“And I hope I don’t have to remind you about the importance of secrecy.” I added, watching.
“I won’t breathe a word.”
“And please, try to play the part of the loyal subject.” I finished, sighing.
“Naturally. Anything else?”
"No." I said eventually, yawning.
"Are you tired?" Cupid asked, with a hint of softness in his voice.
"Very." I muttered, "But I can't...exactly sleep."
"I think I can solve your problem."