“Ok,” Kinzer said. “Now, someone want to tel me what the
fuck is going on?”
61 Devon McCormack
“Are you guys psychotic?” Kinzer asked.
A woman, her wrists and ankles bound in rope, duct-tape
around her mouth, slept, curled up between a bed and a nightstand.
Her skin was even whiter than Kinzer’s, and her cheeks sunk into her narrow jaw bone, in extreme contrast to her swol en, round
bel y. Thin, dirty-blond hair was tied in a ponytail that fel below her shoulders. She couldn’t have been more than twenty-five years old.
“You kidnapped a pregnant woman?”
“We did what we had to do,” Treycore said.
They stood in a bedroom that wasn’t much bigger than the
backroom at Dick Dongs.
After Treycore and Dedrus’s shift, they drove Kinzer and Kid
back to their place. Treycore now wore a short-sleeve button-up.
The sleeves were so tight that as his muscles flexed the seams ripped
63 Devon McCormack
Dedrus was in a polo and khakis, far more conservative, as if
he was trying to hide the good body that he had.
Kinzer knelt by the woman, gazing at her bel y.
To think, this child could end al the pain...al the hurt...al the
torture that The Almighty has oppressed this world with.
“Janka told us about her,” Dedrus said. “I guess, before...”
“He knew where the Antichrist was?” Kinzer asked. “And he
never said anything to me?”
“He told me he didn’t want you to have to handle that
burden,” Dedrus explained. “He would rather you not know than
be implicated by The Almighty.”
If only he’d known
, Kinzer thought.
“Why is she tied up?” he asked. “Does she know what’s
“You think we were gonna tel her,” Treycore said, “that she
was having the devil’s kid?”
Kinzer’s eyes fixated on several dirty bowls, spoons, and
bottles of water that were scattered at the woman’s feet.
“Do either of you do dishes?”
“We both work,” Dedrus said defensively.
“At night!” Kinzer fussed. “You can’t leave her like this.”
He grabbed the edge of the duct-tape around her mouth
and pul ed.
RIP! went the tape as it exfoliated her lips.
“Fuck!” she moaned, stirring to consciousness. “What did I
tel you about...Who the fuck are you?”
She had large eyes that seemed too large for her tiny, frail
face, which was locked in an bitter stare. She pursed lips and cocked her eyebrows.
Kinzer figured that her irritation made sense. He didn’t
imagine there were many who wouldn’t have found themselves
equal y enraged had they found themselves in her situation.
“It’s okay,” Kinzer said. “I’l explain!”
“If you bunch of faggots want to rape me or get bjs, let’s just
do it and get it over with.”
“No, no. It’s not like that.”
“I don’t have time for this shit. I’m gonna have a baby. Or
can’t you tel ? And you know, it wouldn’t kil me to have a cigarette.
Anyone got a beer?”
Her words scrambled Kinzer’s thoughts. He tossed his glare
over his shoulder. “Dedrus,” he whispered. “Where did you find
“She did tricks,” Treycore explained, “over at Cheshire
“Oh,” Kinzer said, his eyes returning to the woman.
“Um...I’m not going to let you smoke or drink while you’re carrying The Leader’s baby.”
“What? Who? You know who the father is?”
“Yes. That’s actual y what I want to tel you. Now, I’m gonna
untie you and explain—”
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“Don’t fucking untie her!” Treycore interrupted.
“Yeah,” Dedrus said. “Don’t do that. She’s a biter.”
“Just let me handle this. I think you guys have done a shitty
enough job with this as it is.”
He fiddled with the ropes around her wrists, loosening them
The foul look on the woman’s face softened.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Maggie, you’re carrying a very important baby.”
As he finished untying the rope, he set it beside him and
worked on her ankles.
“Are you a religious person?”
She shook her head.
“Good. That’l make this easier.”
He started his tale of God and Satan, just as he had told it
to Kid. He explained the war between Heaven and Hel , al owing
her thoughts to reel through the mind-fuck that accompanied the
reversal of thousands of years of The Almighty’s religious
Kid stood in the doorframe, glancing around
uncomfortably. Kizner was fairly certain that Kid thought he was insane. He knew he shouldn't have told him as much as he had, but after al that had happened, he real y didn’t feel like there were any immortals he could trust, and it was nice to have someone to talk to. But considering Kid’s clear disbelief, he couldn’t figure why he
was stil hanging around.
“For a long time,” he said, stil attempting to soothe her
concern. “The Almighty has planned to have a child—a ruthless,
sinister, malicious monster that will bring plague and death to the world, wiping it into oblivion. This child is referred to as the Christ.
The Council has restrictions against him creating a Christ. It would be like China deciding to use a nuke. Through our team’s
infiltration into The Raze, we learned that God is already in the process of bringing a Christ into the world. The Leader, as we cal him, knowing this, has launched his own Antichrist, a child that wil take on the Christ. This child will bring peace and love to your world.”
Maggie’s eyes were wide. “Which one am I having?” she
She stared at him blankly.
“That’s the good one,” Dedrus piped up.
“So,” Maggie said. “I’m having the devil’s baby. But the
devil’s good? And you guys are demons?”
“We prefer the term fal en,” Kinzer corrected.
“Ok. You are fal ens, and you’re going to protect my baby so
that it can save the world? Am I hearing this right?”
Kizner sighed, relieved. It was wonderful that she’d been able
to absorb al that so fast. Even better than Kid.
“See,” he said, turning to Dedrus and Treycore. “It doesn’t
hurt to communicate with mortals.”
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“Um—” Treycore muttered.
Before he could expand his thought, something smashed
into the back of Kinzer’s head. His face smacked into the floor.
Ceramic shards scattered on the carpet around him.
It was the lamp from the nightstand. Evidently, when
Kinzer’d turned to his higherling friends, Maggie had made haste with finding a weapon.
In a flash, she was at the window, unfastening the lock.
“Oh, fuck!” Dedrus exclaimed. He hopped over the bed.
Treycore ran around and wrapped his arms just above her bel y.
“Let go of me, you crazy fucks!” she shouted. “Help! Rape!
Rape!” She scratched at his arms.
“Fuckin’ bitch!” Treycore shouted.
Dedrus struggled to restrain her.
It took nearly fifteen minutes to rebind her ankles and
wrists, but a few bite and scratch marks later, they had her stabilized on the bed.
“Please don’t kill me!” she wailed. “Oh, God save me from
“Guys,” Kid said. “Why don’t you show her something?”
Kinzer, Treycore, and Dedrus exchanged uncertain looks.
Treycore threw him a condescending glare. “
“She’s scared cause she thinks you guys are insane. Don’t any
of you have wings or something you can show her, so she’l believe.”
Treycore’s glare transformed from condescending to curious.
He undid the buttons on his shirt, pul ed it off, and tossed it aside.
The dip in his back ran down to a peek at his ass-crack.
“Final y!” Maggie exclaimed. “Just rape me and get it over
with! Fuck, not rape with those abs. Jesus!”
Treycore closed his eyes and took a deep breath. A series of
feathers shot out of his back and expanded till they filled just over half the room.
“No fucking way!” Kid exclaimed.
Maggie’s mouth dropped. “Someone get me some A2.”
Dedrus led Kinzer into his study.
After Maggie had come to accept her situation, they’d untied
her and left her room so that she could get some rest. Treycore and Kid had also been ready for bed, so Treycore generously offered to share his room with the stench-ridden mortal.
Dedrus and Treycore’s house was the perfect place to hide
Maggie. They never used it for swaps or any transactions with The Council or The Leader’s emissaries. It would take far more than The Raze discovering their identities for them to track this place down.
The study was as messy as the rest of the house. The
bookshelves that lined the wal s had books stacked and leaning on their sides. Piles of files and papers were scattered across his desk.
Had Dedrus known he was going to have immortal
company, he would have tidied up.
“It’s good seeing you again,” Dedrus said. He made his way
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to a bookshelf on the other side of the room, next to a lamp. He stood on his toes and pul ed at a book. The shelf pushed forward, revealing his secret compartment.
“Very nice,” Kinzer said.
“It’s just something I rigged a few weeks ago.” The shelf
swung open, revealing racks stocked with an assortment of swords, daggers, and knives. He reached in, pul ed out a sword, and handed it to Kinzer.
“I can’t take this.”
“Yes, you can,” Dedrus said. “It’s an old wartime sword
anyway. It’s actual y the one I used when we used to team up on the Morarkes.”
During the war between Heaven and Hel , Kinzer and
Dedrus had been part of a special immortal task force known as
Fient. Fient had discovered that, as Morarkes had been designed to restrict their assault to higherlings, they had been designed with an incredibly narrow focus. They couldn’t multi-task, so when they
picked a particular victim, the Morarke would be absorbed with
them until they’d been destroyed. Knowing this, members of Fient would work in teams of two, one immortal drawing the Morarkes
attention while the other immortal attacked it in its weakest point.
Being that Dedrus’s swordplay was vastly superior to Kinzer’s,
Kinzer was always the distraction and Dedrus was always the
“Then you should keep it,” Kinzer said.
“No,” Dedrus insisted. “You need something, and you were
always so good with a sword. It’d be a shame for you not to have it.”
“Not gonna do me much good now that I don’t even have
His look drifted across the blade. He sighed.
But Dedrus knew he was reminiscing about more than his
“I appreciate it,” Kinzer said.
“What are friends for?” Dedrus mused.
Dedrus led Kinzer from the study, into the adjoining living
room. They sat on a couch.
Frozen dinner trays, water bottles, and unopened bil s
littered the room.
This is so embarrassing
, Dedrus thought.
“How are you holding up?” he asked.
“Considering the circumstances,” Kinzer replied, “I guess
pretty fucking good.”
Dedrus couldn’t imagine what Kinzer must have been going
through, having lost his wings and Janka, but he was wil ing to do whatever he could to help.
“I don't know what motherfucker ratted us out, but when I
find him, I swear to our fucking Leader, I'l —” Choking on his
words, he pressed his hands against his now-trembling face.
Dedrus scooted across the couch, wrapped his arm around
him. He wished that there was something he could've said to ease Kinzer's pain, but he knew that the horror he'd experienced was far
71 Devon McCormack
too heinous for words to soothe.
Kinzer threw his arms around Dedrus, squeezing tight. His
body quivered. He pul ed away and sniffled as he wiped the back of his hand across his nose.
“Sorry,” Kinzer said. “It's just...”
“Kinzer, I understand. There's no shame in being sad about
“I guess we'd better get to bed.” Kinzer scooped the sword
Dedrus had given him off the floor, hopped up, and headed to the stairs. “We got a lot of shit to sort through tomorrow.”
Dedrus didn’t move. “You can have my room,” he said. “I'l
just sleep here.”
“Come on. I think we can handle being in a bed together.”
“I don’t think I can,” he said. He wanted Kinzer so bad, as