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The Road to Heaven is Paved with Bad Intentions

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Chapter 1

LOS ANGELES . PRESENT DAY

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

Lucifer rolled over and hit the ornate, gold alarm clock so hard it spun onto the dark wood floor with a metallic crack. The clock looked like it belonged on a mantle at Versailles. Two cherub angels sat atop intertwined filigree and Ficus leaves. But it chirped at him like a modern-day Sony. “Bloody hell,” he puffed into his satin-covered pillow, posh British accent cracking, his eyes still closed, wet with tears from a startlingly white morning sun.

Lucifer Avgerinos was a specimen of divinity. He stood tall at six feet three inches tall, wide, tanned shoulders topping his thin, muscular frame. His black hair was deliciously wavy and always perfectly styled. His almost black eyes raged with passion and yearning, and a little bit of vulnerability. He was a mystery to most, which was always lusciously intriguing. He carried himself with an air of merciless superiority. His implacable rules of self-behavior and his unremitting desire to stay true to his word made his companionship desirable. Just because he was the devil didn’t mean he had no integrity. He dressed in the best fashion. He was a Cuccinelli, Louboutin, and D&G man. He had a custom silk pocket square for every day of the year. His suits cut across his meticulously toned chest, slacks hugged perfectly round glutes and hard as granite thighs.

Lucifer stretched a long, well-formed arm across the massive California King-sized bed, brushing against last night’s distraction. He had forgotten he wasn’t alone.

“Okay, up you go, love,” he drawled, rising up to his elbow, not remembering the leggy brunette’s name. He nudged her, causing her to snort and roll off the bed, where she woke up hitting the floor, much like his alarm clock.

“Hey,” she murmured, wiping black eye liner across her cheek, still in a boozy haze. “I’m up, I’m up.”

He hated it when he fell asleep before they left. It was an amateur move, and he was no amateur. “Sorry, darling,” he continued, pulling himself out of bed and pushing her toward a messy pile of sequins on the floor. As he stood, his broad shoulders flexed, revealing a garden of light brown freckles cascading across his back, soft red silk pajama pants lightly hugging a perfect bum. “Got to go to work, I’m afraid.”

His evening companion struggled to pull the barely-there dress over her head before he had her unceremoniously stumbling down the hallway to the elevator.

“Thanks again, have a wonderful life.” The door to his penthouse slammed behind her with a thud. “Ugh,” he breathed, turning toward the kitchen. “I need a drink.”

 

Lucifer’s penthouse overlooked Sunset Boulevard. He loved living in LA. It was chock full of debauchery he could partake in on a daily basis. His kind of town. It had been his home base since prohibition, and he wasn’t going anywhere.

He had converted the penthouse from an old ten-story storage facility into the most decadent living quarters in L.A. And that was an accomplishment. The open floor plan revealed a large living area, exposed kitchen and bar, and a rich, wood-lined library that doubled as his home office. The high ceilings were covered in refined teak imported from an ancient forest in Burma, and the floor was rare Italian calacatta marble. The furnishings were from all over the world, many were gifts from royalty. Throughout the centuries, Lucifer had befriended many a monarch who rewarded his allegiance extravagantly. The lush, burgundy settee in his living room once sat in Prince Albert’s sitting room. It had gold leafed legs and bracing, and the rich red brocade that covered it was medieval Byzantine. It was worth a king’s ransom, literally. The prince left it to Lucifer in his will. Albert’s intimate parties were legendary with a very small circle of friends, and the escapades Lucifer experienced on that little sofa were even more so.

He pulled open the double-door subzero stainless-steel refrigerator and gazed absently inside. Dissatisfied, he pushed the heavy doors closed hard. “Aaand a real drink it is.” He spun around, his smooth, bronzed back reflecting the golden strands of sunlight filtering in through the floor to ceiling windows.

“Ah, my old friend,” he said uncapping the century-old bottle of Scottish whisky atop one of the shelves behind the dark mahogany bar. He tipped the amber liquid into a thick crystal rocks glass and tossed it back in one gulp, calmly pouring himself another.

Today was a big day. His new film was premiering at the Grauman. The Grauman was his all-time favorite theatre, and he had been to them all in his many millennia on the Earth.  He was there for its first film, the premiere of DeMille’s The King of Kings, ironically about Jesus’ death and resurrection. It was a spectacular showing, if not a touch affected, but he didn’t really blame DeMille. He was working with the only story the world cared to believe. The building was magnanimous though. The Exotic Revival-style architecture was grand and decadent, two words that described Lucifer to a tee.

Lucifer loved opening his films there. There was an old Hollywood reverence around the theatre that gave the premieres just that little something extra. His new film starred a young, up-and-coming Scottish actor, Graham Heughan. Lucifer had discovered him in a London playhouse doing Shakespeare of all things.

Musing the days of the stage, Lucifer threw back one more gulp of whisky and headed to his room to change. He emerged in a pristine, cobalt blue suit with a crisp Gucci Diamond Silk pocket square. His deep sable eyes looked even darker than normal on this bright Monday morning. He took one last peek in the magnanimous bar mirror spanning the width of the wall behind glass shelves peppered with all his favorite whiskies and headed out the door.

 

Lucifer launched Dragon Studios sixteen years ago and it had become one of Hollywood’s most prolific and successful film and television studios. He loved being in the heart of Hollywood life. There were always half-naked starlets, wannabe writers, ambitious producers, and greedy financiers around to play with. He was the devil after all. He had a reputation to uphold, and the studio provided an excellent source of evil fodder.

He walked the corridors of Dragon that morning to a barrage of “Good morning, Mr. Averginos,” backlit by the tinny echoes of Davie Bowie’s greatest hits spilling from the speakers overhead. His stride was long and purposeful, his Cucinelli slacks gripping strikingly firm quads much to the delight of most of the female staff, and about half of the men.

“Good morning, Mr. A,” Elinor said trailing behind Lucifer into his grand corner office. Elinor Christie had worked as his assistant for the last two years. She was tall and slender with shoulder-length red hair, coiffed like a 1940’s catalogue pinup. She was one of the few in his office strictly off-limits for random sex since he needed her to organize his life. They seemed to go gooey once he had given them the good stuff and he had no idea how to manage his own calendar, so there you have it.

“You have morning meetings and then an appointment with Stefano at two for your final fitting before tonight,” Elinor rattled off to Lucifer’s back.

“Yes, Ellie, darling, perfect,” he answered her, sliding into his impossibly lux black leather office chair.

Elinor set a coffee mug on his desk as he leaned back in the chair, black eyes running up her lean, pale white arm. “Thank you,” he said, taking a long drink. “What is this?!” he choked, a light spray of whisky misting over the glossy desktop.

“Sorry, Mr. A, we’re out of Macallan. I had to use the Oban,” she apologized, wiping the desk with her sleeve, straining to withhold her eye roll.

“Well, that is unacceptable,” he huffed. “I mean, it’s called Macallan Mondays for a reason. There’s not even a day that starts with O.” He stood up, quickly buttoning his single breast. “That’s okay,” he continued, raising a dismissive hand and disappearing out the door, “I will take care of it.”

 

Lucifer returned an hour later with a large red wooden cask of Macallan. “How did you get that in an hour? I’ve been waiting on a shipment for two weeks,” Elinor asked. “Did you have it at home?”

“Of course not, Ellie,” he chided. “I just went to Scotland.”

Elinor laughed at what she supposed to be his wicked sense of humor. She didn’t realize it was the truth. He was an angel. He had wings. Flying to Scotland was of no mind. He went along with the ruse, though. Explaining his identity was always tricky. No one ever believed him anyway.

“So,” he said, settling back in his chair and uncapping the new bottle of whisky. “Did I miss my first meeting?”

“Yes,” Elinor replied, sitting down across from him, crossing her long legs. He wished she would wear skirts sometimes. He imagined her legs to be as creamy white as her toned arms.

“Excellent,” he smiled, dumping the Oban from his cup into a nearby plant as Elinor winced. “And what of my next?” He leaned back and poured a rather tall serving of Macallan, his hungry eyes observing the girl, which made her nervous. He could tell. And he loved it.

“James needs to speak with you about the premiere. Graham has some sort of special request,” she said, rolling her eyes. “Actors.”

“Oh, come now, Ellie. Graham is a true talent,” he leaned toward her. “He belongs to us. We must take care of him.”

“Yes, sir,” she said, rising quickly, always a little warm when her boss was so close. “I will let James know you are available now?”

He nodded, taking a lengthy swig from his “I 🖤 The Devil” mug. It was a cheeky gift from his asshole brother.

The meeting with James went as Lucifer expected. Graham had some “requests” for his transportation to the premiere. He wanted a limo stocked with women and drugs. James, Lucifer’s Head of Talent Relations, was predictably affronted at Graham’s request. Lucifer just laughed at him. “James, you’re such a ninny sometimes! Who am I kidding, all of the time!”

James Mackenzie, sorry excuse for a Scot, had been with Lucifer since the beginning. He was the only human Lucifer knew who could handle the celestial demands of celebrities. Lucifer often thought he was an angel in hiding. He certainly comported like Lucifer’s most self-righteous brothers and sisters. He didn’t fit the part physically though. James was average height and thin, not a rippling muscle on his body. Lucifer often wondered if he had his suits specially shrunk to fit his frail frame. His dark amber hair seemed to set off his blue-toned skin. Lucifer was as into self-care as anyone, but a little sun would certainly take the edge off his Dawn of the Dead visage.

“Boss, I just think that it best we protect our assets,” James half-breathed.

Lucifer didn’t respect his weakness, which was palpable. It hung around his neck like a yoke. He looked like he would break into a thousand pieces at one wrong word. Fear was an emotion Lucifer avoided at all costs.

“James,” he said, rising from his seat, “We take care of our talent.”

“Yes, sir,” James nodded.

“Give him what he wants but monitor quality and quantity. One of the girls can babysit.” Lucifer ambled to the door, ready to be done with the meeting. James hopped up from his chair and scurried out, his stringy hair flopping over shallow blue eyes. “I will see you at the show!” Lucifer chuckled after him, closing the door. “Idiot.”

 

The afterparty was still raging at 4AM. Dragon had yet another success to boast. As did Lucifer. The trail of women had been long and… carnally satisfying. “I do love LA,” he breathed hotly into the bejeweled ear of starlet number twenty-something.

There were still about forty people in his penthouse. His favorite Bowie was blasting out of the tier-one Klipsch two-way in-ceiling speakers. The sound was so clear, you could have sworn David Bowie was giving a live performance. The floor was littered with clothing and people. Half empty glasses cluttered the bar top, the large wooden dining table, the white gothic limestone fireplace mantel, pretty much anywhere there was a flat surface.

Cocaine dust trickled off the coffee table into the mouth of Dragon’s newest star, Graham Heughan, while a tipsy blond sat on top of him, pulling her shirt over her head. He was overindulgent. Lucifer certainly thought so, and that was saying something. He was also gorgeous. His strawberry blond hair danced across a lightly tanned forehead. Deep azure eyes cut into your soul when he was acting. However, it appeared when he wasn’t acting, those deep azure eyes were glazed with the purple haze of whatever drug of the moment he was consumed by. Even Lucifer was impressed at the amount his human body could take.

“Graham, darling,” he called across the room. “Do take it easy. You have pressers all week.”

Graham mumbled, unable to put two words together in his snow fog.

“Alright, that’s it,” Lucifer chirped, standing, starlets falling off his mostly naked frame. He crossed the room and snatched Graham up off the floor. “Get up ya bloody fool. It’s time to call it a night. Or morning. Or whatever it is now.” Graham struggled to his feet, still mumbling. “Ugh,” Lucifer grimaced, pushing what he thought were Graham’s pants into his hands and dragging him toward the door. “Your breath is apocalyptic. Sara!”

“Lucifer!” echoed amongst the noise. A petite black girl popped in from the balcony, ringlet curls bouncing around her pretty face. She rushed toward Lucifer, taking Graham’s arm and snugging it over her shoulders.

“It’s time, Sara,” he said to her, peeling Graham’s other arm off, wiping cocaine dust from his shoulder. Then licking his fingers. “Hmmm,” he smiled.

“Right-o, bossman,” Sara nodded, exceptionally perky for four in the morning.

Sara was Lucifer’s personal assistant and best friend. They were platonic soulmates, which was strange for Lucifer to have a platonic anything. But he needed Sara, and he had a strict rule of never sleeping with anyone he needed. Sara was quite happy to not sleep with Lucifer. She loved him like a brother from the moment they met. They connected on a different kind of plane. She did love bad boys, however, which Lucifer fully supported. She could take care of herself, even if she didn’t look like it. She was only a peck over five feet, but she was more than capable. She worked out every morning, so her small frame was tight and muscular. Her eyes were a light amber that turned gold in the sun. And she had a wicked sense of humor, a requirement in Lucifer Avgerinos’ world.

Sara supplied all party trimmings from booze to drugs to hors d’oeuvres to security. She was a double black belt in karate, a Harvard grad, and an ex-call girl. She had answered Lucifer’s “call” about three years prior. He knew a gem when he saw one and she began work for him the next day. Long story really short - her parents passed away in a car accident while she was at Harvard. And after graduation, she moved to LA to pursue a career in law. She got into some trouble with a creepy client and ended up hiding out in a local brothel. She only went out on the call with Lucifer to ask for his help. She had heard dozens of Lucifer Averginos stories around the brothel and hoped he could help her. He hired her on the spot to be his personal assistant and put the word out she was under his protection. Lucifer was someone people didn’t want to cross.

“I’ve got an 86, boys,” she whispered into a mike on her collar as she pulled a wasted Graham toward the door. Within seconds a barrage of men in black emerged from the shadows. One pulled Graham from her, all but carrying him out the door. The others swarmed the penthouse, clearing it of starlets, dishes, and other paraphernalia within minutes.

“You are a love, Sara,” he said, gently kissing her palm, a signature move. She rolled her eyes and disappeared out the door.

 

The sun was barely twinkling over the horizon as Lucifer lay back on his blood-red satin sheets, breathing heavily, a wet line of sweat running down his cheek, traversing the thick dark stubble of his square unshaven jaw. He was finally alone. His heated breath slowed, and his taut muscles relaxed. No one cut through satin sheets like Lucifer Averginos. He drifted off to sleep, the cool California breeze snaking through the open window teasing his naked form, an unseasonable chill lilting in the air.

A few hours later Lucifer jolted awake. His head was reeling. If he wasn’t the devil, he’d swear he was hungover. As it was, it took an ungodly (pun intended) amount of alcohol to make a dent in his sobriety. He was shaken by the dark pit that gripped his inner core. He had rarely felt such an intense feeling of dread before. And he was Satan for crying out loud. It was as if his gift were in serious overdrive, and he didn’t like it. He didn’t like it in general, but this morning, it felt like it might consume him entirely.

He forced himself into a sitting position, examining the still slightly disheveled room in front of him. What a night. Nothing turned him on more than success. His time on Earth had been either achingly dull or fraught with failure most of the time, so victory was the most potent aphrodisiac he knew. That’s why he loved the movie business. He was good at it.

He stretched his long, muscular legs over the side of the bed, sliding into expensive brocade Dior mules and nothing else. He barely flinched when his front door swung open. A tall, rigorously handsome blonde man strolled in, seizing a bottle of cognac on his way.

“I saw that,” Lucifer said leisurely pulling on his robe.

“Eyes in the back of your head too, now brother? Can you see your horns from there?” Malec chuckled, knocking a few random sex toys off Lucifer’s leather sofa to make room for himself. “Do you actually use these horrid plastic things, Luci?”

“What are you doing here?” Lucifer asked, ambling casually to the bar, his eyes narrowing. “No way you are having one drop of my Louis 13!” he barked, swirling to face his brother who happened to have the bottle of Louis tipped up gorging on it already. “You bastard!”

Malec lowered the bottle, ignoring Lucifer as usual. “Mmm, you always have the best drink.” Lucifer’s brother was almost as perfect a specimen as he was. His golden blond hair was tucked loosely behind his ears, revealing an expertly chiseled jawline. He had light blue eyes and a bulkier physique. Lucifer thought he looked like a frat guy from a 1980’s college movie. He certainly acted like one.

Lucifer gave Malec a knowing look. “Give it back now. It’s way too good for your pathetically unrefined palette.”

“Just cause you’ve latched onto the upper crust of this tragic species with your stupid accent doesn’t mean I want to,” Malec spat accent-less, corking the bottle of Louis and tossing it high in the air toward Lucifer.

“For fuck’s sake, Malec!” Lucifer roared lunging for the bottle, snatching it from mid-air. “Let me ask one more time before I toss you over the balcony, what are you doing here?”

Malec stood up, stomping on something that made a strange squeaky noise. “Ugh,” he snorted, kicking the weird toy out of the way. “Look, Luc, I came by because I need your help.”

Lucifer studied his brother for a moment. There was something off with him. Malec would only ever ask one sibling for help, and it certainly wasn’t him. He was quite bullheaded, and seriously thick between the ears. Lucifer sat the bottle of insanely exclusive cognac down and looked Malec hard in his blue eyes. “Ok, go.”

Malec returned his firm gaze. “I need the sword.”

“What sword?” Lucifer asked, eyeing his fresh manicure.

Malec rolled his eyes at his brother. “You know what sword. The Kalokako, ass,” he spat. “Look, the other night, I ran into… a demon. I think.”

Lucifer didn’t blink. A demon. On Earth. Not likely. After almost too long of a silence, he finally replied. “Okay, Malec, let’s say there is a demon still on Earth. What makes you think I know where the sword is?”

“You don’t have it?” he asked, surprised.

“Why would I have it?”

“It’s your sword!” Malec spat back.

“It most certainly is not my sword!” Lucifer blazed. “The sword is supposed to be at the bottom of the pit, where it always has been.”

“I don’t think it is,” Malec warned, brushing off the fire flaming in Lucifer’s black eyes.

“Okay,” Lucifer said, steadying himself. He clapped Malec on the shoulder firmly turning him toward the door. “Sorry you have wasted your time here, brother. I don’t know what your angle is, but you’ll find no help here.” He opened the heavy wooden door and shoved his irritated brother out.

“Bastard!” Malec called out not turning back.

 

Lucifer relaxed, his eyes drifting across the large open room to his bedroom door. The door stood tall against the lightly frescoed wall. He had it made in the Philippines from the mahogany timber of Bohol. It was quite a masterpiece. It had hand carved flames encircling the devil’s pitchfork. He grinned at the irony. He had never in his long, long life possessed a pitchfork.

And he did not believe for a second there was a demon on Earth. He would know. He would be the first to know; they were chock full of darkness. So, why did Malec want the sword? And what made him think that Lucifer had it?

He dismissed the whole thing. It was no matter. Malec was useless and certainly not dangerous. The sword was perfectly safe where it was. There was too much to distract him now. He had another party lined up. And right on cue, his phone rang.

“Hello, Ellie, darling,” he drawled, the slippery black robe sliding off his shoulders.

“I presume coming into the office is not on your agenda today, Mr. A?” She sounded annoyed, which went unnoticed by Lucifer as usual.

“Well, I have something planned for early afternoon that I must attend to, so I’m going to say no.” He dismissed her irritated sigh and continued. “Be a dear, Ellie, and take care of everything for me, would you?”

Nothing.

“Thank you, Ellie,” he continued, ignoring her silence.

“Of course, boss, I’m on it.”

He could hear her roll her eyes. “You’re the best. Remind me to give you a raise tomorrow.” Before she could respond, he dropped the phone onto the bed and stretched his legs through a pair of his favorite silk pajama pants, the cool liquid fabric teasing his inner thigh.

“Hmmm,” he sighed wickedly as his front door swung open, Sara leading a brigade of caterers and bartenders into his kitchen.

“We’re here!” her overly cheerful voice rang across the room.

“Ugh,” Lucifer grunted, peeking his head into the living room. “I’ll be out in a bit, darling,” he cooed. “I’ve got someone to take care of first.”

 

He fell back onto the lush, soft bed, releasing himself from the silk pants for a few moments of solitary enjoyment before the real party began.

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