The Price Of Lust: Book One of Faces In the Crowd, Chapters 2.9 and 2.10

IX. UNCLE LUCIFER

Not more than a day after my talk with Lazarus and Lucretia, I received yet another unexpected visitor. This time, it was as if the devil himself had entered my home. So evil was the man who now stood, alone, before me. At once, I knew this to be my Uncle Lucifer. His blood red hair seemed to be ablaze, as if it were an undying extension of the fires of Hell it’s self. His bone white skin, as pale as a corpse in a morgue freezer, if not a bit paler, was broken only by a penciled mustache of the same red hair and a ruby like slit of a mouth that smiled evilly at me from my door.

“Hello, Magdalena,” he hissed, “I assume that you know who I am. Of course, of course. I sense that Lazarus has been and gone, therefore, you do know me. And, this said, I assume you know why I’m here. Therefore, I will but ask you once to give to me that which belongs to me. Give me the money that was stolen from me.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I retorted, truthfully, “I never stole anything from you. I’ve never even seen you before in my life. Everything I have, I have worked hard for.”

“Of course, you little whore, you didn’t steal from me,” he hissed hatefully, “your precious pappy stole it from me. I intend to leave here with it. GIVE ME THE MONEY. NOW! Or must I beat it out of you? Hmmm?”

“The first time you touch her,” Connie’s voice boomed from behind my uncle, “will be the last time. I will make very sure you never touch another woman again. I even suggest that you take back all that you just called her.”

“And exactly what do you expect to do to me?” Lucifer hissed coldly, maliciously amused, “why should I be even remotely afraid of you?

As if to dare Connie, Lucifer reached toward me with intent to hit me. In one single bound, Connie flew into action. I’d never seen this side of Conrad before. His fists flying, he pounded home every reason he’d warned Lucifer not to touch me. Every audible punch hit it’s mark hard enough to make audible the cracking of bones and the tearing of flesh. Blood spurted everywhere, and I thrilled at the scene that played it’s self out before me.

His rage spent, Connie carried the bloody mass that had been, and still was, uncle Lucifer out of the apartment. In the aftermath, I wondered where his rage had come from. He’d never lost it like that before, no matter what I did to him. But when my uncle had threatened my body…he’d lost all control.

After he returned, he came over to where I was and embraced me. I could feel his body still shaking with an overdose of adrenaline. His muscles were hard, but a comfort nonetheless. Now I knew that he loved me with all his heart. And, oh, how I loved him.

X. UNCLE CAIN GIVES IT A TRY

Two hours after Lucifer’s visit, there was another knock upon the door. This time, Connie answered. There, before him, stood a diminutive version of Lucifer, hair and all. Though I had to laugh at their resolve and twisted logic, I knew that it was trying Connie’s already frazzled patience. They just couldn’t take no for an answer. Even though the money they claimed stolen was, in fact, honest profit; they lusted after it.

This little man, I knew to be Cain. His likeness to the Usher family was just too uncanny for it to be any other way. He even acted like Lucifer. It was strange. My daddy’s brothers had been evenly split between good and evil, and their names were the clues as to which was which. Of course, Connie, unable to take the intrusion any longer knocked the little imp out cold and carried him down stairs.

Connie returned, breathing a sigh of disgusted relief now that the object of his annoyance was gone. I simply let a stray giggle escape my lips and he looked over at me as he sat down beside me.

“What?” he demanded gruffly, “you find this kind of thing funny? You find my being annoyed as hilarious? Or are you going to tell me that that was just a nervous reaction? Well…?”

“Oh, no,” I replied stifling a few more giggles, “nothing like that.”

“Then, what?” he asked, still irritated.

“Well…” I replied, amused, “it’s just you’re so cute when you get angry. You just looked so comical picking up the midget.”

“Oh, you,” he grunted in exasperation, as he bore down on me playfully as we sat on the couch.

We wrestled around for the better half of the next hour or two. Both of us noticed that my mood had changed for the better. Then, in a moment of sobriety after our match, he looked at me. At once, I could see the seriousness in his eyes. Perhaps he thought I’d give him the slip again, as I had so many times before. Or, perhaps, he had a familiar thought. I couldn’t tell.

“Will you marry me, Maggs?” He asked, knocking me for a loop, “I mean, will you give me your hand in marriage once and for all?”

“Oh, Connie,” I replied, in a sigh of stunned joy, “yes…of course I will.”

You could’ve knocked poor Connie over with a feather when he heard my answer. I, myself, was also very much surprised. Still, I’d intended to say ‘yes’ anyway. But I hadn’t expected to do so at such an early point in time. I’d settled on this resolve when uncle Lazarus advised me to reconcile with my friends before it was too late.

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