Side Story 1

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Andrea yawned and stretched her arms above her head. The last remnants of red light from the sunset was just beginning to fade as she smacked her lips and sat up in bed. She blinked a few times before frowning and pulling on the blanket, wrapping herself up like a burrito. She hopped off the bed and shivered as her feet came into contact with the cold stone floor. She placed the ends of the puffy blanket underneath her feet and shuffled forward like a slug. Abaddon preferred keeping his residence at the freezing nighttime temperature of the desert. She wasn’t quite sure how.

Andrea placed her blanket-covered hand on the edge of the fabric blocking her doorway and slid through dragging the rest of the blanket along the floor. She looked both ways before frowning. A large crater could be seen on the adjacent wall. She shrugged and traveled down the hallway that could easily fit ten people walking abreast before arriving in front of an entrance with a purple curtain. She heard voices coming from the other side. “We’ve received a message from Haalbeh.” Shuffling noises could be heard and Andrea tilted her head.

“Leave.” The voice sounded like it belonged to Abaddon. It would make sense since this was his room after all. Andrea yawned again, her disheveled hair framing her purple face. The curtain was pushed to the side and a demon dressed in leather armor exited the room, jolting to a stop when he saw Andrea. He nodded at her before walking around her, his footsteps echoing down the empty hall. Andrea watched him round a corner before she shuffled into Abaddon’s room.

“Was there something else?” Abaddon asked without raising his head. A hint of a frown could be seen on his face as he read the letter in front of him. It was written on a piece of leather, its characters marked in blood.

“Hungry,” Andrea said and plopped herself down onto a couch to the side of Abaddon’s desk.

“Creator’s left nut,” Abaddon swore as his body twitched. His face was cramped as he raised his head to stare at Andrea. “You woke up. Are you sure you are feeling hungry and not something else?”

“Hungry,” Andrea said, drawing out the second syllable, practically singing the word. She smiled at him with her pointed teeth. The short-haired angel sighed as he stared at the demon burrito sitting on the couch.

“You know where the kitchen is; go there yourself,” Abaddon said and waved his hand, focusing his attention back on the letter.

Andrea frowned. “What if something happens to me on the way there?” she asked, causing the angel’s face to harden.

“Where’s the bodyguard I assigned you?”

“He wasn’t there,” Andrea said and pouted. “Did Palan come back?”

Abaddon frowned and threw the letter into the fireplace behind himself. Andrea didn’t quite understand why he’d build a fire if he insisted on keeping the temperature low. “Believe me,” Abaddon said and got out of his seat, “I’d kick you out of my house and ban you from eating in the city the instant your brother returns. I had to increase the quota for the hunters because of you. Where the hell does all that food go?” He stared at the demon that barely reached his waist.

Andrea giggled and hopped off the couch, shuffling after Abaddon as he marched out of the room. The two reached Andrea’s room in silence, and Abaddon frowned when he saw the crater in the wall next to her door’s curtain. Traces of blood could be seen within the cracks, and he ran his finger along the cracks. The blood was dry. “You did not hear anything last night?”

Andrea shook her head. “I had a good dream.” She vaguely recalled the faint images of her eating exotic creatures in foreign lands.

Abaddon frowned and stroked his chin as he stared at Andrea. He muttered, “Not possible.” He shook his head. “Whatever. From now on, you will be sleeping in the room adjacent to me. It would be bothersome if someone targeted you.”

“‘Kay,” Andrea said and nodded. “Let’s hurry up and get food.” She shuffled past Abaddon. A tearing sound could be heard as one of her claws poked through the blanket by her feet. “Oops.”

“Nothing to worry about,” Abaddon said. “It was just one of my most expensive blankets. I was planning on destroying it anyway.” He shook his head again and stared at the crater in the wall for a moment before following after Andrea.

They arrived at the kitchen and Abaddon pushed open the curtain. “The void is back,” he said. A few groans could be heard as a demon appeared from behind a shelf.

“Already?” the demon asked as he wiped his hands on the apron he wore, leaving behind a trail of blood. “We haven’t recovered the losses from ten hours ago yet.” The demon stared at Andrea and sighed as he leaned back and stretched his arm behind the shelf. He pulled out a lizard’s severed leg and handed it to her. “You can eat this for now while I get the rest of them to get more.” He turned his head behind him. “Hey! Get three of the largest bodies we have out here!”

“How are we doing on food?” Abaddon asked.

“We’re managing,” the demon said and nodded. “The extra quota really helps. And the fact that she eats everything raw really saves us time. I’ve seen plenty of gluttons before, but this is the first time I’ve seen one as voracious as her, and she’s only a child. Sins aren’t supposed to develop that early.”

Abaddon nodded and raised his eyebrow at Andrea who was already halfway done with her leg. She was holding it through the blanket, staining it with blood. Sins didn’t develop early for regular demons that was true. A faint smile danced on the corner of Abaddon’s lips. But what if she wasn’t a regular demon?

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