"You say my name with such distaste, Jet."
"Wouldn't you say your name with distaste if you were me?"
"Perhaps, but I would also realise that I have no reason to be resentful, as if you strike up a deal with the Devil you have no right to be surprised if you're not happy with the small print." Lucifer grins, his yellow teeth bared at me. At least, today they're yellow, his appearance changes everytime I see him. Now he appeared as an old man, his back hunched over, making him appear almost shorter than Rio , his face as brown and wrinkled as an rotten apple. He's clothed in tweed, like a gentleman, with a flat cap perched on top of his candyfloss hair. The whole ensemble to the untrained eye was an approachable well-to-do old man. But all I can see are the eyes, even the whites a black void. I often wonder if he has no eyes, and his sockets are merely holes in his head.
"Perhaps if I were the devil I wouldn't put any small print."
"Perhaps you wouldn't be the devil then."
"What are you here for?"
"I'm letting it slide this time. But I warn you, do not keep sending me souls in such a wrecked state."
"There's no clause in my contract about the state of the souls."
"I'm adding a new clause, and it says if you keep sending me degenerate souls your body will only vanish faster, so feel free to keep sending me drunks and drug addicts - but you won't be doing yourself any favours." Lucifer grins at me. "Think it over, baby."
"Jet, what are you doing?" I tear my eyes away from my unwanted visitor for just a second, but that was all he needed: by the time I looked back he had gone - no doubt taking himself off to add clauses to other contracts.
"I'm getting dressed!" I shout back, taking a second to remember what I had actually been doing before Lucifer turned up.
I pull off yesterdays garments, and don new ones, brush my teeth and pull on my shoes, Rio banging on the door all the while. Stuffing some money in my pocket I grab my keys, open the door and stare down at her.
"Are you quite finished?" I ask, my voice a flat tone of no humor.
"Believe it or not we actually do have places to be, we can't wait outside your front door all day."
Ignoring her I lock my door and follow the two down the stairs.
"So tell us, Jet," Rio started teasingly before we had even reached the ground floor, "Why so distant these past few days, had a...special someone you've been spending some... special time with?"
"Maybe if you could stop poking fun for more than two minutes Jet wouldn't be so keen to avoid us," said Styx.
"And maybe if you weren't so quiet all the time and provided some interesting conversation..."
I let the twins continue with their argument, lost in my own thoughts. I let my feet follow them, while my mind wonders.
I could no longer send intoxicated people down to the underworld. My heart clenched. My job hadn't been so hard up to now. It was simple, I steal souls in exchange for my body on this earth; all I have to do to steal them is kiss the owner of the soul then recite the incantation into their mouth. But it's only easy if I don't know whose soul I'm taking. Like last night, I had no idea who the man was, I simply found the drunkest person I could, came out with one flirty line and then drape my arms around them. Wait for them to kiss me. It never takes long.
But people only throw their bodies around so easily when they're intoxicated. If people have their own minds, if they are sober, you have to talk them into kissing you, get to know them. Make them feel worth knowing. You can't help but falling for them yourself a tiny bit.
I've found that out the hard way, it was the first soul I ever ate. She was Miranda. At first she had no identity to me - I didn't care. But then we talked, she loved art, and she played the harp, and worst of all, she had a baby brother, they had no parents - she was his sole provider. When I stole her soul I saw her brother left alone in the world. I saw him cry and fuss, abandoned on the street, untill he was found and dropped carelessly on the steps of the orphanage. When she kissed me, I almost cared enough to leave her soul, but by then my body was already almost not part of this world. I need to fulfill my contract if I wanted to stay on this earth. So I took it, and felt her die helplessly in my arms. Her last words 'I Love You,' still rung in my ears, echoing off her cold dead lips.
"Sorry about Rio." I snap out of my reverie. We're in the canned goods isle, me and Styx. Rio nowhere in sight, "She's become even more possessive recently."
"What's up with her?" Styx was silent as he faced me, his cold grey eyes looking at me with such intensity.
"I think," Styx said after a pause, "She's fallen for someone, but you know her, when it comes to real feelings she's as quiet as a mouse. Anyway, I think now she's got someone she's interested in she feels more alone now."
"Poor girl," I reply, looking back at Styx, wondering at the intensity of his gaze, and wondering if his eyes were shining so brightly because of emotion, or if the strip lighting in the supermarket was reflecting too brightly off them.
"Jet, Can I..."
But I didn't get to hear Styx's question. Rio reeappeared, a gang of friends in tow.
"Hey, losers," Rio stuck her tongue out," I just ran into some friends of mine and they were thinking about going to the Wreck center, you want to come?"
"I thought you had important things to do."I raised my eyebrows.
"Not that important." Rio said, waving her hand lazily. "You coming or not?"
On the verge of declining I took a look at Rio's friends. My eyes are immediately drawn to a girl with hair the colour of rust which fell in thick waves around her face. Her brown eyes staring at me intently from her pixie face- I knew that look. It was a look that told me I wouldn't have to put much effort in if I wanted her to kiss me.