Published: January 30, 2011
Back in the Hellhound Den, if I was caught reading anything beyond what was required or touching anything in the library I hadn't been told to get, my punishment was usually long and always painful. Although it's a blow to my pride, I acted like a scared rabbit when Devil found me in his library. I was afraid I'd get beaten again. Strangely enough he acted somewhat nervous too. That was my first glimpse into how screwed up he was. Later, when I went to apologize for my behavior (I have no idea why), he lent me the book he had been fetching; a book that I found out later had been given to him by his mother: Frankenstein. He tried to remove what little evidence of his former identity that had been stored in that book. He missed a page. Although I didn't mention it until years later, I discovered his real name.
If you were thinking that Devil was the name given to him by his parents, you're an idiot. Even a man as cruel as his father wouldn't do that even if it was for his own reputation. No, he assumed the name after leaving England. Much like me, his childhood self separated from his growing adult self; although his personalities are far more distinct than mine. Audrey and Rachael blur at the edges. His have a solid line between them.
Upon returning Devil's book to him, I asked if he would point out a few others to me. While doing so an opportunity for him to steal a kiss happened. Any other time he would have. For some inexplicable reason he didn't this time. He didn't kiss me until months later due to an argument over cowardice and mistletoe.
It took him nearly a year, but he finally got what he wanted. He never expected the result. He never expected to see himself in me; to nearly break down because of his recalled memories that I unintentionally inspired. Devil always fostered dependence, a need for him before he let anyone that close to him. Messed up as I am I eluded the usual trap he always set and that's what set me apart from all the other women he had slept with. He found himself unable to resist talking to me; he let things slip around me that he locked away from any other.
He would practically run away from me after that first night. His passions got the better of him though and he invited me back. Afterwards while he still held me close, he found himself cracking again. Something about me brought down his defenses. Much like the first time he fled. This time he avoided me until he came to tell me that I was to return to the Hellhounds. I knew what was awaiting me there. Once Robert found out I had slept with Devil, I could very well be handed my death sentence. I accepted the news. What else could I do? I knew I had to go back someday; I was still Lieutenant. Devil knew also what I was headed back to and he almost desperately was trying to justify his justify his decision.
That night it was me that invited him to my bed. I admitted that I didn't want to go back. At this point Devil had discovered most of my backstory and I had inferred enough of his. He offered to help me get rid of Robert; to give me the chance he never had. To give us time, we faked my death. Robert sounded pleased; that was his ultimate goal after all. From there I kept a low profile, helping decode what files Devil could get.
During this entire time Devil had employed some rogue scientist, Richard Vaugrim by name, for some reasoning that I still haven't figured out. His experiments were
unusual to say the least. Xzarn didn't approve, but then again he approved of very little. Diana, one of Devil's previous lovers, came around about that time and volunteered to become one of Vaugrim's experiments. As I recall, that was really the only successful experiment that I knew about. Due to her new talents, being able to turn into liquid mercury, she soon became top assassin. I didn't like her.
About a month after my "death" Devil sent me to Boston to hide me. He had reason to suspect spies were looking for me due to the influx of new recruits. A month and a half into my "exile" three unknown mercenaries entered the arena where I was training. I'm an assassin myself; I know what others of my kind look like. I was able to strike first before they realized that I recognized their hostile intensions. Xzarn underestimated me. He sent only three and they weren't very good. I got one shallow bullet wound in the side and I left the three dead within five minutes. It took a while to get back to New York as the place I was staying in wasn't exactly up to date in the medical world, but I eventually made it back to the Hall.
I found things in disarray. Xzarn and most of the upper ranks were dead; Devil nearly there, and Diana in charge. Jack welcomed me back with a gun in my face. I was touched at his feelings for me. Once Devil managed to awaken enough to be relatively coherent he called for me to report what had happened. Xzarn had turned on him when they all went on an assassination mission to Vaugrim's labs. The bombs he set killed most of the upper ranks and the lieutenant went after Devil himself. Chances were he would have succeeded had it not been for Cerberus.
Cerberus as far as I understand it, had been Dr. Vaugrim. Upon hearing that he was to be killed, the man turned his last experiment on himself. The creature that resulted was named Cerberus. I never saw it and Devil never really described it other than it managed to tear Xzarn apart; so I can't explain what it did or what it looked like. Devil managed to crawl away before passing out. Three of the six bounty hunters that went with him dragged him back home for some reason (they were enemies after a fashion), and left him to be repaired by the medical staff.
I took up guarding Devil with Jack until Diana moved him to his office. Her influence was spreading
at least over the Commander. The men liked her no more than I did. As for me, well, upon her recent rise to power she made her dislike known. I only waited the day for when she convinced Devil that I was a problem and eliminated me. At first it was that she persuaded Devil to postpone our quest to kill Robert. I could agree with that; the place teetering on the edge of disaster. Diana's inexperience was making things worse. Jack and I tried looking for the file that we knew would be in Devil's office but she walked in. Lying, I explained that I was looking for the files that Devil had collected on Robert so that I could continue on my search. She chased us out after explaining that she had destroyed them.
That evening had me confronting Diana in front of Devil. I had to get her to slip in front of him so that he would throw her out. Upon revealing that she had destroyed the files that he had worked hard to get and then she attacking me when I refused to get out, he acted. He shot her wrist where the bracelet that held the key to her mutations was wrapped. From there she was escorted out. I passed out just after that from the mercury poisoning when she grabbed me. Things went somewhat better after that.
It was around this time that I knew that Devil cared for me. Why else would he put so much effort into helping me? I also knew that I cared for him in return. I wouldn't have told him so much if I hadn't. So why did I leave him? Lots of people have asked me that, including Devil. I had a variety of reasons. One, long distance relationships usually didn't work out. If I was to become commander of the Hellhounds, I would be on the other side of the world. Second reason was we were too much alike. We always got into fights. How long could a relationship last? But the biggest reason was; I was scared. Commitment to one person terrified me. I didn't break up with him; I ran from him. I ran from everything that his opening up to me represented. Trust and care, emotions and weaknesses
everything he could use against me, everything he could use to cage me again
I couldn't take it. Devil's feelings for me motivated him to do what he did, not for his benefit but for mine.
Anyway, upon returning to health, Devil would finally choose a successor to Xzarn; the unlucky candidate
Jack. His subordinates organized, he returned to his search for a hole in my commander's armor. Finally, he found one. Devil, myself, and two other guards headed down to Perth ostensibly for a possible alliance. I was disguised as a third guard to keep Robert from immediately recognizing me. Somehow, he managed to see through my disguise. Perhaps it was my nerves
or maybe it was that he simply knew me so well that I couldn't ever hide.
Once again Devil protected me. He attacked Robert as soon as he offered lodging. Robert was much stronger than Devil though and he hadn't yet recovered fully from his injuries. He was quickly overwhelmed by Robert's unpredictable fighting style. I'm sorry to say that I learned much of my style from him. Just as Robert was to slit Devil's throat, I got over my fear to grab his wrist. Maybe it was just the feeling that someone thought I was worth something or maybe I had had a long break from the beatings that made the difference, either way I was able to trick Robert into pulling me closer
and onto my knife. Still in shock from the stabbing, he never made a sound as I yanked the blade out and slashed his throat. The hot blood that hit my face and neck was heavenly, the iron taste the most delicious drink I ever had. I was free.