Carl, the butler, who’s name I learned when one of the maids had called out to him one day, came into the study wher I sat next to the glowing fire.
“Mr. Night is here to see you, Miss.”
“Mr. Night?” I asked, wondering if I was suppose to know him.
“Yes, Miss. He would like to have a word with you.”
After a moment of hesitation, I told Carl to let him in. Seconds later a tall man entered the room escorted by my butler who disappeared soon after, leaving me along with this stranger. He stood about 6’3″ tall, with transparent eyes of blue. He had a well trimmed mustache and wore blue jeans and a royal blue shirt. He smiled, exposing his bright white teeth.
“So how do you like this so far?” he asked nonchalantly.
“Like this so far?” I queried, not sure if he was implying what I thought he might have been.
“All this glamour you inherited. I know all about the arrangement.”
“The arrangement?” I asked again, becoming more confused by the minute.
“Yes, the arrangement. You have chosen to be the Queen of the new generation of who are known as “Yuppies”. I am the King, you see. I have led these people to their desire for materialism, and they will be ensuring the generations next will become even more hooked on materialism because they will not have worked at anything to acquire.”
He paused for a moment then continued.
“I see you have taken quite a liking to your own material acquisitions. This is what I hoped for. You will make the perfect bride.”
“Hold on just one minute, please. I don’t understand any of this. Yes, I have taken a liking to this lifestyle, but I am beginning to have some reservations. I miss my old lifestyle. I miss my friends and my family. I’m getting tired of all the glamour and materialism, the play acting among the high rollers. It was just two minutes ago that I was thinking about this. I want to be ME again. And as for me being your bride, don’t you think you are pushing it a little? After all, we don’t even know each other.”
“Ah, but you are wrong. You have known me for many years and have particularly known me for the past three months. Everybody knows me, though many wish they didn’t.”
I found myself staring into his luring eyes. He was breathtakingly handsome. But I knew I had to remain indifferent, no matter how hard it was.
“Whatever you say. I still don’t understand you. And I still want to go home.”
“Sorry. You’re time is up. In fact, today marks three months of your being in this position. You lasted the longest. You are also the only one who never asked questions. It showed your desires were stronger than your curiosity. I like that.”
“Why don’t we put all this beating around the bush aside. I’d like a clear explanation.”
“Feisty too. Okay, why don’t we grab a glass of wine and sit down.”
He walked over to the bar in the centre of one of the bookcases and began pouring two glasses of white before I even had a chance to decline. He handed me the glass with his slender hands free of callouses or scars. They were actually extremely smooth. His nails, which appeared to be manicured, were long and clean.
We both sat down.
“Well, my dear Lidana, as you have managed to remain in this house for three months, you are now committed to a marriage. My name is Luc, short for Lucifer. This is my home. The ring you are wearing is what brought you here. Many other women before you have been in your position, but after only one month they had figured out that there was something eery about the situation they were in and as such, tried to escape. Such a pity. No one will ever know what became of them.”
His eyes squinted as a grin appeared on his cold face. This sent a shiver through my entire body.
“But you, my dear,” he continued, “you were smart. You remained quiet. In effect, you saved your own life. And now, you have committed your soul to an eternity of assuring that people continue to desire money and things and pass this desire to their children. I have found that man is such a desirous animal, always wanting more. He loves luxury and the more luxury he has, the easier it is for me to claim his soul. Or hers of course. But a bachelor in the world of high rollers doesn’t have the proper image. So I need a wife to accompany me to gatherings. Such a pretty wife you will make.”
“But I hate this. I hate all of this. I’m NOT a materialistic person.”
“No? Have you not immersed yourself in such possessions over the last three months? Running up incredible expenses on my credit cards? So, let us not be hypocritical my dear. It’s so unbecoming of you. It’s a fact that anyone can learn to love things more than people. It happens all the time. Why do you think there are so many workaholics, shopaholics and workoutaholics around? Money, things, self-image ego. But you won’t have to worry so much about that with me. I can spend more time with you than an ordinary man could ever dream of.”
“Wonderful,” I whispered under my breath.
“Please. Sarcasm is the lowest form of humour, hadn’t you heard? I care little for it. Anyway, the wedding is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. The gown will be delivered here tomorrow morning. I will see you at two o’clock. Just think, you have an eternity to look forward to. How many women can say that?”
As he left the room I sat there for a while, not quite sure whether this was still just a dream that was turning into a nightmare, or whether I was going crazy. I looked down at the ring. I suddenly hated the sight of it. What a fool I was. Then I remembered the license plate on the limousine: LUC 666. Why had it not registered before? And all those license plates in Toronto with 666 on them! I wondered now if they were followers. Probably. My stomach churned. There had to be a way out. I took the ring off and threw it into the fireplace. The curse of my life. I didn’t want it anymore. I didn’t want any of this anymore!
… to be continued.