Gravity Lies – Chapter 11

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Chapter 11

So what are we supposed to do now?”

Cecil sat slumped over in my chair with his arms dragging to the floor, looking absolutely miserable. “I don’t really know right now,” he mumbled.

Are you really going to just let him get away with what he’s doing? You’re supposed to kill him, aren’t you? Then why don’t you do it?”

He shook his head slowly, and once he started he couldn’t seem to stop. “No, no, I can’t kill him. He’s my brother. It’s been so long since I’ve seen him. I could never do that to him.”

He’s a demon! How can you two even be brothers in the first place?”

Cecil let out a heavy sigh and sat up a little straighter. “He didn’t used to be a demon. He was an angel, just like me. His wings used to be white.” He curled one of his own wings around his arm and stroked the delicate white feathers. “But things changed.”

I narrowed my eyes, but I didn’t question him any further on the subject. “You were sent here to hunt down a demon. It shouldn’t matter if he used to be your brother or not. He’s a demon, so why don’t you destroy him?”

Because I-” He cut himself off and looked up at me, swallowing, and I noticed his glasses were starting to fog up. “Because I think I can change him and bring him back.”

What makes you so sure? People don’t change so easily, and I doubt angels and demons are much different. I wouldn’t think they could change at all.”

If he changed once, he could change again.”

Hmph. Not necessarily.” I crossed my arms behind my head and laid back against my pillows. “You made a bet with him before. What was it?”

Cecil didn’t respond. I frowned in his direction, but took his silence to mean he wasn’t going to tell me, no matter how hard I pressed. I kicked my legs off to the edge of the bed and rolled to my feet, walking over to him and grabbing him by the shoulder. I made sure he looked me in the eye before I spoke.

What are we going to do about Beth? We can’t just leave her in the clutches of a demon, can we?”

No,” he said with a sigh. “You’re absolutely right. We need to do something to make him let her go. To make him revoke his contract with her so he no longer holds claim to her soul.”

So how are we going to do that?”

I… have no idea.”

I swore under my breath and turned away from him. “We’re getting nowhere with this, I hope you understand. We need to figure something out. I’m not going to let Beth’s soul be stolen by a demon.”

Can I ask you something?”

I turned back to him and gave a little nod of my head. He rested his chin in his hands with his elbows on his knees and leaned toward me.

Why do you care about her so much?”

Excuse me?” I stepped away from him and frowned. “You think I shouldn’t care about her or something?”

No, no, it’s not that at all. I think it’s a good thing that you care for her so much. I’m just confused by it is all. It’s not as if you grew up together. You never knew each other when you were children, right? So what made you start caring about her like you do?”

I didn’t have an immediate answer for him. I turned my back toward him and walked to the window, resting my arms on the sill and gazing outside. “I don’t really know. I think it was after I found out about what happened between our families. The only reason I found out was because I noticed my parents being mean to her family and I wanted to know why. It took a long time. I got punished for it several times when I asked around my dad. I finally got my mom to crack, and she was hysterical about it when she told me. That was about the time that I learned you shouldn’t be asking your parents about things like that, or at least, not my parents.”

Cecil tilted his head to the side as he stared at me. “So you pieced together what happened, you found out the truth, and you felt a strange connection to her through that?”

Yeah, I guess so. Before that I didn’t even really notice she existed. We are three years apart, after all, so it’s not like we had much of a chance to interact with each other anyway. But after I found out, I really wanted to go and see her, talk to her, all of that. But things were too complicated.” I let out a deep breath and shook my head. “And now they’re even more complicated.”

Here’s a question.” He stood up and walked over to me, then leaned down to look me in the eye. “If neither I nor Cynder had shown up here and started interfering with your lives, what would you be doing right now?”

I blinked at him. “I don’t know. What are you even talking about?”

You want to help Beth, right? You’ve been wanting to help her for some time, since before I showed up. So what would you have done, even after she rejected your attempts at friendship? Well, even if she hadn’t, what would you have done to help her?”

I frowned and sat on the edge of the bed, contemplating. “I guess… I would try to find her help somewhere else. She needs someone who cares about her, yes, but she also needs professional help.”

What sort of professional help would you try to get her? A psychiatrist? A counselor?”

Well, a psychiatrist might be beneficial, yeah, but it wouldn’t be easy.” I paused and thought about it a little more. “I don’t know. As much as I really don’t like him, I’d probably end up talking to the pastor about it first.”

A smile touched Cecil’s lips and he nodded his head. “That sounds like a good idea to me. Why don’t you do it now?”

Huh? Even with all this other stuff going on?”

Why not?” He shrugged his shoulders a little. “Just don’t mention that you’ve been talking to an angel or that Beth has a demon hanging around her.”

So I shouldn’t have him perform an exorcism on her?”

No, no, no. That wouldn’t work anyway. She’s not possessed, so it’s not the same thing. Just ask him for advice and guidance initially. After all, she or her grandparents would have to consent before you actually got her to talk to someone about her problems.”

I suppose you’re right.” I hugged my knees to my chest, frowning. “I’ll think of something, don’t worry.”

Good. While you’re doing that, I’ve got problems of my own to figure out.”

I turned my frown on him. “You know, you’re not a very good guardian angel.”

How would you know? How many guardian angels have you met?” He crossed his arms over his chest and huffed, looking somewhat offended.

Well, you would be the first, but you did screw up with who you were supposed to go to, and you’re not even really helping me anyway. As a matter of fact, it seems more like you’re using me as a pawn at this point.”

His face turned red and he turned his back to me. “That’s an unfair assessment. I’m not using you as a pawn. Things are just more complicated than I had prepared for.”

Uh-huh, I’m sure.”

I’m not going to take this.” He went to the window and began climbing out of it. “I’ll be back later, if you care. I need to figure things out.”

You go do that, then.”

I will.” He huffed and disappeared, leaving me alone in my room. I closed my eyes and leaned back on my bed, trying to figure things out for myself. I decided it was finally time to bring up the painful subject of how our family really felt toward the Shepherds now that Angela was gone. Either things had changed or they were still the same. It was a risk, to be sure, but it was one I was willing to take for Beth’s sake.

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