by EJ Sankey
Jade was throwing things across her room in a bratty rage. “I want my shoes. Where did my shoes go? They would look so good with this dress I’m wearing.”
Daisy scrambled around the room to help her find them. “I could have sworn I saw them over here, Miss,” she said, praying she would find them so she could have some peace and quiet.
“Yeah, well your lazy housekeeping skills suck. You should know where all my stuff is. That is your job!” she screamed in a childish manner.
Daisy smiled, and let out a sigh of relief when she saw the shoes sticking out of a clothes pile. “Oh! Here they are, Miss Jade, right here in the back of your closet.” Daisy ran to give them to her.
Without any inkling of a thank you even nearing her lips, Jade snatched them out of Daisy's hand. She held them up to her face. She caressed the shoes as if they were cute, cuddly kittens. “Oh! Here you are my pretty little shoes. I thought I lost you forever.” She glared at Daisy. “Don't ever let that happen again!”
“No, Miss, never, I promise,” Daisy said, looking at the ground.
Jade put on her shoes, and huffed out of the room.
Daisy watched her as she exited. “That girl needs discipline in her life. She’s out of control,” she muttered to herself. She turned toward the messy room, and tried to make some order out of it.
Jade pulled up to the club in a taxi. She got out and paid the cab driver. She then turned and walked into the club like she owned it. All eyes were on her.
She threw her hands up in the air yelling as loud as she could. “Hey everyone, I am here. Let's get this party started!” Jade did her best diva runway strut into the room. “To all the divas in the house, keep your men in check. You don't want to lose them to me!” she said pointing to herself. The fearlessness rolled off her as she said it.
She had silky, soft, straight, copper-blonde hair. Her features were heavenly. Her curves were small yet supple. She brushed up against every man as she headed out to the dance floor.
She smelled like ambrosia. The men couldn't keep their eyes off her. Twenty-two years old, and she’d already had over a half dozen boyfriends. Because of her non-disciplined, extremely bratty attitude, she ran every one of them off. She took pride in that. She knew she could get a new guy at the drop of a dime. Her looks were too hard to resist. She began to dance seductively, inviting any man to approach her.
A well-dressed, distinguished looking gentleman took her up on the invitation, and slid up behind her. She raised her hands above her head and wiggled her body into his.
“May I buy you a drink?” he whispered loudly into her ear loud enough so she could hear him over the music.
She reached back and massaged his outer thighs with her hands. They were rock hard. She liked a man that took pride in his looks.
“I thought you would never ask,” she said turning towards him and looking in his eyes.
He smiled and danced her over to the bar where he ordered her a drink.
She brought out her mirror and looked at herself. “Perfection.” She smoothed her hair down.
“You are a vision of beauty,” he said, handing her the drink he ordered her.
She took it and seductively sipped it through the straw.
“I haven't seen you here before,” she said between sips.
“I am new in town. I just moved here from L.A.”
“Oh, L.A.” Her eyes glittered with visions of money dancing in her head. “What did you do in L.A.?”
“Please call me Cameron. Yes, L.A. I work for a modeling agency.”
Jade put her drink down in disbelief. It was her night, her very own night to be discovered. She sprang into action, trying not to sell herself short. “A modeling agency – I know I have the right features for you,” she said as she did a little twirl for him. “See? Perfection.”
He smiled. “Oh, you are easy on the eyes. Your banging body would look wickedly amazing on the cover.” He sized her up with his eyes.
“YAY!” She squealed, clapping her hands. “When do we start?”
He slyly leaned into her. “Well, first, we have to get you back to my place. Second, we have to take some pictures of you and see how you look on camera.”
Jade gasped in delight. “Oh, that's easy,” she said, holding up her phone. “See? I look good. See all my selfies that I took? I. Look. Hot!”
“No, no,” he said smoothly pushing her hand down. “I have to get you in front of a special camera, one that will give me better idea as to how you will show up on a magazine page.”
Jade lowered her eyes and thought for a moment. “Oh, okay. What kind of camera is that?”
Cameron chuckled a bit. “It’s a camera that I have hooked up to my computer. It is specifically formatted. I can take your picture and it will show me what you will look like in different backgrounds.”
Jade could hardly contain herself. She jumped up and down. “What are we waiting for?” she asked with anticipation in her eyes. “Let's go right now.”
He clapped his hands together in a prayer-like manner and bowed a bit. “My car is out back. Let's go.”
She put her drink down and headed over to the door with him. Like a gentleman, he held it open. “Thank you,” she said, graciously walking through it. She stopped and looked at him for further instructions.
He caught on to her gesture rather quickly. He pointed to the back of the lot. “My car is that black one over there.” He said pointing to an SUV.
She smiled and enthusiastically walked over to it. Just as she got to the car, she turned towards Cameron so he could open the door for her. Instead, as she turned, she saw him coming at her, with his fist in some brass knuckles. He punched her in the face. She didn't go down as easily as he thought she would. She felt a little woozy. He raised his fist again to hit her. She closed her eyes and waited for the blow. Before he could hit her again, Cameron was slammed into a brick wall that was close to his car. Jade waited for that blow, but it never came. She opened her eyes. It was kind of blurry. She felt her legs go out from underneath her. Just before she hit the ground, a pair of strong, warm arms embraced her.
“I've got you,” said a strong, masculine voice.
She succumbed to the blow, and blacked out.
She came to and shot up. “Ouch!” she said holding her head. She took a moment to let the pain subside, while she closed her eyes. When she re-opened them, she looked around. She was in her room. Her French doors were wide open, letting the warm breeze blow the sheer curtains in. The lights were dim. Breathing hard, she tried to make sense of it all. She thought to herself, I know what just happened. I should be in the trunk of the car. Why am I not? Who saved me? She picked up a mirror and looked at her face. It should have been black and blue. It should have been swollen. How long was I out? My face is not as bad I imagined it to be. She put the mirror down, and picked up her phone. Two thirty in the morning, the next day. It is only hours after the incident, what is going on? If I’m not in the trunk of the car then…..“I should be in the hospital right now. I should have half my face caved in,” she whispered to herself. She got up and headed out of her French doors and stepped onto the veranda. She looked over the city. As she was standing there, a huge shadow passed over her.
A couple of days passed. She stayed in. It was all a mystery to her. She lay in her bed staring up at the ceiling. “Who was the one that saved me? Why didn’t black out when I got punched in the face? That was a hard blow. Most importantly, why am I not still reeling from the pain?” she said quietly to herself. Little did she know that there was a pair of eyes watching her this whole time. “This is crazy. I’m a social girl. I need to get out,” she told herself, shaking off the incident.
She put on a light coat, and headed out the door. The sun was setting. The air was warm. She did not know where she was going, she just kept walking. She hit the corner of her street. She looked up. She saw that she was on the busy street not too far from her house. She looked down it. There was small diner she went to for pancakes in the morning sometimes. A smile graced her face as she headed toward the familiar-looking establishment. It was almost a home away from home to her. Just as she stepped onto the diner’s parking lot, a car spun out in front of her. She stopped in shock it was Cameron, the man from the night the club.
He jumped out of the car and lunged at her. “No one interrupts me like that.”
She jumped back. “Who are you?” She screamed.
“Your worst fucking nightmare, that's who.” He went to go punch her again, but was stopped dead in his tracks. He looked at her. “What the hell?” was all he could get out, before he was lifted off the ground and dropped on top of the diner’s roof.
Jade stood her ground, her copper blonde hair in disarray. A man walked up to her, cool and calm, lighting a cigarette.
“We have to stop meeting like this.”
Jade looked at the man. For the first time in her life she was intimidated. He had slick black hair, piercing green eyes, and an athletic build. He wore a black leather jacket, plaid shirt, torn jeans, and biker boots.
“I know you,” she said, hugging herself. “You don't have the best reputation around here.”
“Oh is that so?” He said leaning, up against a car with smoke coming out of his nose. “What have you heard?”
She looked down at the ground. He walked up to her, gently lifted her head, and looked into her eyes. She looked away. “Well, you know, just that you hurt people, and stuff.”
“And stuff.” He repeated.
“What do you mean, ‘We have to stop meeting like this’?” she asked changing the subject.
He smiled. “Well, wasn't that you, at the club, not willing to get into the car with that guy, up there?” he said looking up at the guy running around the roof, looking for a way to get down.
She smiled. It was almost comical to her.
“Well, you know rumors. I know all about them,” she quietly said.
He smirked. “Well, all I can say is that I have heard things about you, and they aren’t pretty.”
“Oh yeah, like what?” she blurted out.
“It doesn't matter, rumors, right?” he asked with a question mark look on his face.
For the first time in her life she was speechless. “I think I’m just going to go home. Its been a long week.”
He watched her as she walked off. He then he turned his attention to the guy up on the roof.
Jade sat at her vanity mirror. Nothing made any sense. Her eyes widened. Oh my gosh, I didn't even ask him his name. Here he saved my life, made sure I was okay, and I couldn't even get his name. What kind of person am I? And on top of it all, I accused him of being something he's not.
For the first time in her life, she saw how selfish she was. Have I always been like this? Have I always been this ungrateful brat? And what rumors are going around about me? she thought to herself while looking at the ground. She took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. She slipped on one of her sleeveless silk nightgowns, and climbed up on her bed. She pressed her face into the cool pillow, and closed her eyes.
Jade sat in the back of the coffee house, holding a hot cup of coffee. She never felt so humble.
Suddenly a familiar pair of green eyes sat down next to her.
“Devlin.” he said, sipping black coffee.
“What?” she asked in a whisper.
“You're Jade, right?”
She just sat there looking at him.
“You know what, sorry to bother you,” he said as he got up to walk away.
“Thank you,” she said quickly.
He looked at her and sat back down. “What?”
She cleared her throat. “I said, ‘thank you.’”
He draped his arm over the back of the booth. “Well, that is better than 'I know who you are, and it's not good.'”
She blushed. “Sorry about that. It's just...” she trailed off for a moment.
“Just what?” he asked curiously.
She shook her head, and sipped her coffee. “I can't place you at the moment. I thought I knew who you were. And yes, it's Jade. How did you know?”
He tossed something her way. “You dropped your wallet.”
She blinked her eyes. “Oh, thank God. I thought that Cameron, or whoever he is, had it.” She picked it up and looked through it. “Thank you.”
He nodded his head. “You're welcome. By the way, I know a little more about you than you think.”
She raised her eyebrows in surprise. “Okay....so answer me this. Do you know why my face didn't cave in, or swell up, after I was punched?”
He looked around the room. “I’ll call you later. Right now I have something I have to do.”
“Um, okay, sure,” she said with a puzzled look on her face.
Later that night, Jade sat in a chair on her veranda. Her phone rang. She looked at it and didn't recognize the number. “Hello?”
“So, I think you had a question for me earlier?”
“Yeah, who else do you think this was?”
“I don't know, I didn't know this was your number.”
He smiled. “Sorry, I am not too good at this.”
“What, having a conversation?”
“You're a cocky one, aren’t you?”
His voice seemed to be getting closer, coming from someplace other than the phone. “Maybe, what's it to you?”
She pulled the phone down from her ear, and listened. “Well, you know, I thought one would only get like that once they got to know someone.” She shook her head. “It feels like I have known you forever.”
“It seems like that doesn't it?” he said climbing up over her veranda wall.
Jade sat there looking at him.
“How did you know I was here?”
“Lucky guess,” he said, gazing at her.
She narrowed her eyes. “You're not going to hurt me, are you?”
“I've known where you lived for over a week. Don't you think I would have done something by now if I had wanted to?” he retorted. He pulled up a chair and sat down next to her. She took a deep breath. He smelled so good. She liked the way he moved, so confident, so salacious. She couldn't keep her eyes off of him. Her body tingled in his presence. She never felt like this before.
“Yeah, I guess,” she answered in a whispering voice.
He pulled the chair closer to her and looked into her eyes. “So, I think you were asking me how you didn't swell up after that guy punched you in your face?”
She nodded her head. “Yes.”
He rubbed his chin. “You're not going to like this answer. Actually, you’re not going to believe me when I tell you.”
“Well, after that punch, yeah, I think I might. It wasn't just any old punch. It was meant to almost, if not certainly, kill me. I didn't really feel a thing, nor did I swell up. What is even more impressive is that I still have my skull intact.”
Devlin stood up, leaned against the wall of the veranda, and lit up a cigarette. “Okay, fine. In a nutshell, you’re an angel.”
She looked at him. “Wait, what?”
He took a long, calm drag. “You know that story of how your mother died after giving birth to you.”
“Well, that didn't exactly happen. She went back to heaven. It was punishment for....well, you know...getting with your father, a mortal.”
Disbelief rushed over her body. “What?”
She heard her name being called. She snapped out of her daze and looked back at her room.
“Hold on, Daisy. I’ll be there in a moment.”
She looked back at the wall of her veranda. Devlin was gone. She got up and looked over the wall. He wasn't anywhere to be seen.
Daisy stepped outside onto the veranda where Jade was sitting. “Jade, there you are. Your father is on the phone. He said he tried calling you on your cell, but it was busy.”
Jade looked at her phone. “Battery must be dead. I'll go charge it.”
“Yes, don't worry about that. I will do it for you. Go talk to your father. He’s worried,” Daisy said, shooing Jade toward the house phone.
“Thank you, Daisy,” she said as she rushed off to the phone. “Hi, Daddy.”
Devlin looked up at the veranda and snuffed his cigarette.
“There is more to it than just that...” he said, walking away.
Jade tossed and turned. The answer she got earlier only filled her with more questions. It was driving her nuts that she had seen him before, but could not place him.
“That face, I know his face.”
Then suddenly, like a brick falling from the sky, it hit her. She shot up off of her pillow.
“He is the Jersey Devil. Devlin! That is how I know him,” she said in excitement.
Suddenly everything went black, and silent.
Jade opened her eyes. Everything was blurry. She tried to move, but couldn’t. She was tied down to something.
“What the hell?” she yelled out. She looked around. She didn't recognize where she was.
“Oh good, you're awake.”
She looked over in the direction of the voice. “It's you!”
“Like I said before, no one interrupts me.”
“What do you want from me?” she asked, irritated now.
Before Cameron could answer her, she gasped in terror at what she saw. Right there in front of her were skulls. Real ones, and human. They were stacked in a pyramid form. Lit candles were dripping blood red wax all over them. There were walls lined with rib bones. Backbones with the pelvis still attached to them hung from the ceiling.
“I guess I don't have to explain myself anymore.” Cameron walked over to her, cleaning a knife. “I do love your features. I did work for a modeling agency. I wanted to know what to look for. What were the best structures to bring to my basement of beauty here,” he said showing it off.
Basement of beauty? she mouthed to herself.
Ever since she learned she was an angel, she wondered what could or could not happen to her. Would her mother come and help her? Would her divine body repel anything bad that could happen to her? She was kind of excited to see what would happen next.
He walked over to her and outlined her cheek with his finger. “Look at the definition of those cheek bones, so beautiful. Look at that rib cage, it is just so perfect.” He gloated. He sniffed her. His eyes lit up. “Even better girl, you know what a rare find you are!” He almost jumped for joy at his find.
“What?” She asked with a curled lip of disgust.
He was so giddy, he could hardly contain himself. “You are a virgin!”
“Oh, yeah, that,” she said in a boring tone. “None of my boyfriend’s ever really appealed to me. I always thought they were pretentious, sticks-up-their-butt, old fuddy duddies. In other words, men like you.”
He pulled back from her. “But you seemed so interested in me when we were on the dance floor. You hurt my feelings now.”
She sighed. “Yeah, I can't resist men in suits. It's my weakness.”
“I'll show you pretentious, stick-up-the-butt, old fuddy duddy,” he growled picking up the knife. “I usually like to at least numb my victims up first before I start cutting away at them. Key word -usually-, but you, you hurt my feelings.” He lifted the knife up to her forehead, and outlined her face with it.
She tried to wriggle out of her restraints. “How long have you been doing this?” she asked, trying to distract him.
Enjoying their game, he indulged her. He brought the knife to his lips. “You know, I don't remember anymore. I do know I started back in the early '80s.” He smiled a sinister smile, and looked at her. “Oh, you never forget your first kill though. So awkward, so messy, and with so many screams. It was such a rush. I think I was 15 years old at the time.”
“Were you now?” A man’s voice came from the other side of the room.
Cameron whirled around to see who it was. “You came to the wrong city. Jersey does not want you here.”
It was Devlin. He looked at Jade. “Seriously, again?”
She shrugged her shoulders. “What can I say? I live for danger.”
His sparkling eyes smiled at her. She knew she was safe.
Annoyed with Devlin, Cameron came charging at him with the knife. Devlin held out his hand, palm out. He smashed Cameron's nose up into his own brain.
He looked at Jade. “I hate those long, drawn-out fight scenes. This way, it is done and done.”
She nodded her head and smiled. “Yeah, I hear you on that.”
Devlin looked at her all tied up. He blushed a little. A crooked smile appeared on his face.
She widened her eyes as a huge smile spread across her face. “Hey!”
He let out a laugh. “Okay, okay. I’ll untie you.”
He walked over to her and cut her loose. “Come on. Let’s get you home.”
He laid her in her bed.
She could not resist his smell. “Stay with me,” she said looking into his eyes.
He slid in bed next to her. “As long as you want me too.” He wrapped his arms around her.
“Tell me a story,” she said breathing in his scent.
He nuzzled her ear. “Okay,” he said getting comfortable. “Here is one that I have wanted to tell you. I’ve been watching you forever. You are Jade Rose Stone. You were born on August 3, 1992. Your father is a mortal. Your mother is an angel from up above. You are vivacious and fun. Your laugh is infectious. You are as beautiful inside as you are outside.”
Before he could finish she kissed him. He tenderly kissed her back.
She kept close to his mouth, as she told him his story. “You are the Devil. The Jersey Devil to be exact. You are nothing like what I read about you. What I witnessed today showed me what a pure soul you are.”
He slipped her shirt off and kissed her collar bone. She didn’t stop him. He pulled down her bra. She breathed hard. She unbuttoned his flannel shirt, revealing his muscular body. She ran her fingers against his chest. He lifted her chin, and tenderly kissed her. She pulled off his shirt and unbuckled his pants.
She stopped for a moment. “Tell me another story.”
He outlined her body with his finger. “Your mom was sent down here three years before you were born. Your father met your mother one day, when she was being attacked by a demon. He helped her. She wasn't too happy about it at first, but your dad eventually won her heart over. She never told him what she was. Not until just before you were born.”
Jade cleared her throat. “Why was she sent here in the first place?”
“Back in the '80s there was a huge demon outbreak. There was a lot of devil worshiping going on. Not all the demons were caught; some still roam the earth today. Take Cameron, for instance.”
He slid her panties off and massaged her in between her thighs. She moaned.
“After you were born, Heaven took your mother back. That is the ultimate sin, procreating with a mortal. Heaven left you behind because you are only half angel. Your father has been taking care of you ever since.”
Jade was hesitant to ask the question she was about to ask. He just saved her life. She played with her fingers, as it bashfully slipped out of her mouth. “Aren’t you considered to be ‘a demon’?”
He took a deep breath, and leaned back on the pillow. “My mother was mortal, so I was born with a soul. Me being the thirteenth child in my mother’s eyes, I might as well have been the devil himself. So in a fit of rage one day, she cursed me while I was still in her womb. She wished me to actually be the devil. Someone heard her wish, and granted it. I did not kill my mother on that stormy night back in 1735, like the legend says I did. It was my father. He had reached his tipping point. I was one too many kids in his eyes. He went on a drunken rage that night. Not only did he kill my mother, but he killed the midwife and some of my brothers and sisters as well. He tried to kill me, but because of the curse, he couldn’t. Over the years I evolved into what you see before you. I’m here to protect the innocent and weak. It all depends on who you talk to about me. Some will tell you I’m here to protect, while others are terrified of me. Those are the ones I am protecting the weak and innocent from.”
She pulled him closer to her. Her hands rested on his hips. Taking her time, she pulled his pants down, and then off.
He slipped in between her legs. He looked into her eyes. “Are you okay?”
She nodded her head yes, and pulled him closer into her. They rolled around the bed in the throes of passion. It felt so beautiful. There were a couple of times where she would open her eyes, and see that they were floating in the air. Later that night Devlin held her close to him, and caressed her hair.
“I’ve loved you since the day I laid my eyes on you. I remember one time you were getting into a limo. You were with your third boyfriend. I knew he wasn’t right for you. He would never be as amazing as you are.” He breathed her scent in.
“You know how they say it takes only a second to know the one you are supposed to be with? I took one look at you and I knew. I have never felt like that about anyone before. I would wait till the end of time for you.”
She smiled and returned his embrace. “I just met you, but there is this feeling deep down inside of me. I love your scent. I love your ways. I love the way you move. Your looks are so intimidating. I don't think I ever want to let you go.”
He kissed her ear, then her cheek, and he rested his head just above hers.
“Is this crazy?”
He smiled. “No. This is how some of the best love stories I have ever known started out.”
She smiled as she allowed that answer to envelop her being. She fell asleep listening to his beating heart.