I flag down a server carrying a bottle of Devil’s Mark. She hands me the container along with an etched glass tumbler. Pouring myself a generous portion, I nod toward the alcohol. Ashmedai holds up his palm. “What did you come here for, Ash?”
A barely perceptible flinch passed over the King. He was never a big fan of my casualness around him.
“You’re too comfortable here, and that’s a problem, Sybil.”
I take a sip, eyeing Ashmedai over the rim of the glass. “Really? I didn’t know it was possible to overstay a visit to Hell.”
Actually, I’ve been here thirty days past my due date back home, but I’m having fun. Once I return to Falls Creek, I’ll have to give up wearing jeans and skimpy tops. I’ll put my waist-length, black hair up into my normal severe bun. My husband prefers me in humdrum suits and dresses with sensible shoes and no makeup. Boring!
Ashmedai’s eyes narrow as he crosses an ankle over his knee. “You know what I mean, Sybil. Khan expected you a month ago.”
Khan’s expectations no longer concern me. I toss back the alcohol and wipe a red-tipped finger across my mouth. “He can wait forever. I don’t plan on going back to him.”
My father-in-law tips his head but doesn’t indicate any real surprise at my revelation. “He is your husband, and you have a duty—”
“Don’t talk to me about duty!” I spit back. “Khan doesn’t respect his vows. I’ve decided that I won’t either.” Crossing my legs, I notice Ashmedai’s eyes drifting over my curves. It’s one reason why my husband doesn’t like me in jeans—the attention the garment brings me. Glancing back up at my father-in-law, I say, “Ash, I’ve done some thinking since I’ve been in Hell. I want out. I’m done with Khan, his demands, and his ever-changing stable of females.”
Ashmedai lifts a dark eyebrow. “Are you requesting an absolution? You realize that it must be a mutual decision?”
Tilting my head and pursing my lips, I think about his questions for a moment. “Do you really want an honest answer? Let me ask you something. Do you know that your son only does things that benefit him?”
“How do you mean?”
“Khan doesn’t consider my feelings or needs. I can’t remember the last time we were intimate. Unfortunately, I do recall the moments he spends with his whores. Every single damned night he visits with a different one, leaving our bedroom to fuck someone else. Then he comes back smelling of hot sex. Not even bothering to wash off the stench before slipping between the sheets. Some nights he stays in their wing and doesn’t return till morning. The only thing I’m grateful for is not having to hear their constant moaning.”
Ashmedai shakes his head. “An unfortunate situation. I didn’t know about it, but I want you to think on this.” He strokes his beard. “Granting an absolution is a permanent act. Once done, I won’t reunite you.”
My fury grows, and a crack forms in the glass. I set it on a side table. Last thing I need is to injure myself. “Good. Like I said, I’m done with Khan. Let someone else deal with him. I’m sure he’ll be happy with the Whore-of-the-Day.” My decision is final. I’ve had enough of being my husband’s doormat.
“Not acceptable,” says Ashmedai. “When I joined you, it was for eternity.”
His words infuriate me. “Then un-join us! Our marriage is a farce that I didn’t ask for! If you don’t undo this, I’ll walk away. I’ll live the life I want with or without your permission.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish