[adj] requiring no physical or mental exertion

Things became almost blissfully easier. And with the help of Pete’s mysterious pills I didn’t even care that things were so easy now.

The stab of my blade into warm flesh was simply routine. Blood on my hands, normal. Eventually Pete joined in, satisfied that I didn’t need to be pushed to do the job. I became envious that his methods of collecting souls were less bloody. With the wave of a hand the person would be strangled by an invisible force, and we would watch as they struggled for air until life left them and they were gone, their payment collected.

My old life faded away, replaced with my new responsibilities. I didn’t sleep as much as I did before, finding time to go shopping on Pete’s dime and eating out at restaurants I would have never been able to get into before, thanks to the influence of the demon who I was starting to think of as more than a friend.

It was strange, going from hating someone so strongly to being able to tolerate them. And I knew it was because of those pills, but I felt that I could think more logically on them. It was my own fault I was in this situation, I constantly reminded myself. No matter how much I wanted to blame Pete, there was still the fact that I had made the deals that had gotten me into this situation. If I didn’t want to be under his control, I shouldn’t have summoned him ever, in the first place.

And Pete was trying to help me through it. He had started everything out slowly, had given me drugs to ease the pain. So how could I go on thinking he was a terrible person? He had his own duties, things he was expected to do. I didn’t even know him, really.

“When did you become a demon?” I asked him suddenly, wanting to know him, while we were out to dinner one night. He looked surprised for a moment, before composing himself, smiling at me.

“A few years ago,” he said. “I didn’t get demon status right away. I had to pay my dues of course.”

“How’d you get into Hell?” I questioned next, curious about his life as a human.

“Same way you’re going to,” he said. “I made a deal and I had to pay up eventually.”

“And what deal was that, may I ask?”

“You sure ask a lot of questions,” he smirked, lifting his wine glass and taking a sip. He set it down and met my eyes. “I was in a band. I wanted us to be big. We were, and then my 10 years were up. When I became I demon and was able to look into the band, it kind of fell apart after I left, unfortunately.”

He frowned, eyes drifting to the table, thinking.

“Would I have heard of your band?” I asked.

“Maybe,” he said. “Most people forgot about us though.”

“You’re not going to tell me the name of your band, are you?”

“Nope,” he grinned at me. “You don’t need to know everything about me.”

“Fine,” I said. “I’ll eventually figure it out though.”

“I’m sure you will.”


When we returned to the apartment building, I was surprised to see Bree there, waiting. The look of worry that was on her face diminished some, but it still lingered.

“Sophie, where have you been?” she asked as soon as she saw me, placing a hand on my arm as if to make sure I was really there.

“What do you mean?” I asked, confused now. “What are you doing here? Is everything all right?”

“You’re asking me if everything is all right with me, when I’ve barely heard from you in months? Are you serious Sophie?”

“I’m sorry,” I said, wrapping an arm around her. “I’ve just been busy, I guess. Has it really been months since I’ve seen you?”

“Yes,” she said. She glared at Pete who was standing behind me. “Can we talk in private?”

“Sure,” I said, glancing back at Pete. “Come on upstairs and we can talk in my room.”

It was silent on the elevator up to the apartment but once inside, Bree went ahead of me toward my room and I followed her. As soon as the door was closed, Bree started in on me.

“You need to tell me what’s going on, and I need you to be honest with me,” she said. “What’s the deal with this Pete guy?”

“There’s nothing going on,” I lied. “He’s just helping me get my feet on the ground.”

“Your feet seem pretty firm on the ground from where I’m standing,” she said. “You’ve definitely upgraded your wardrobe over the few months.”

I sighed.

“Bree, why do I feel like you’re attacking me?” I said. “Maybe I like living here. Pete’s really not that bad.”

“Then why haven’t you spoken to me in months?”

“Like I said, I’ve been busy,” I said. “And I’m really sorry about that. Things just kind of got away from me.”

“If you’re telling me that Pete has nothing to do with you not talking to you,” she said, sounding resigned, “then I’ll believe you. You’re my friend and I care about you. I just don’t want you in some unhealthy situation.”

“Pete has nothing to do with it,” I lied again. He technically had something to do with it, but not in the way that she was thinking. She sighed this time and came towards me, wrapping her arms around me.

“I’m glad you’re okay, then,” she said. “Please do not ever do that to me again. I was really worried.”

“Never,” I responded, with a laugh. She pulled away from me, smiling. She went to my bed and sat on it. I sat on the floor near the bed, leaning against it and stretching out my legs. “So tell me, what’s been going on in your life?”

“Not much,” she said, falling back on the bed with a flop. “I went on a few dates with your old boss, Seth.”

I felt my heart stop momentarily.

“And?” I asked, picking at a loose thread on my top.

“And nothing. Didn’t work out. He’s so not my type,” she responded. “But want to know what’s weird?”


“He totally doesn’t even remember you at all,” she said. “I mentioned you a few times to him and he was just totally blank about it.”

“That is weird,” I said. I was thankful that that was the case, though I wished that I could not remember him. But I wasn’t about to make any more deals with Pete.

There was a knock on my bedroom door suddenly and Bree sat up on the bed.

“Come in,” I said. The door opened and Pete stepped in smiling. I rolled my eyes.

“Sorry to interrupt,” he said. He looked at me and his smile grew. “Sophie, we have to get to work soon.”

“What kind of work do you guys do this late at night?” Bree asked, checking the time.

“That is classified information,” Pete said, winking at us.

“Sorry, Bree,” I said, standing up and stretching.

“That’s ok,” she said. “You’ll just have to make it up to me.”

“Definitely will do,” I said, following her out of my room and to the entrance of the apartment. “I’ll call you soon and we can get together.”

Once she was gone I turned to Pete.

“Ready to go?” I asked. He was staring at the closed door, looking deep in thought. He shuddered slightly and turned his gaze to me.

“Yeah,” he said. “Let’s go.”