Grayson sat at the bar, nursing his drink. He stared down into his beer, letting his mind wander over the disaster of his life. Just this week, he found out his parents were getting divorced. His grades were in a steady decline, and now, just this morning, he walked in on his boyfriend cheating on him.
Maybe breaking up with Sebastian would help him study more and bring his grades up, he chuckled. There you go, Gray put a positive spin on it. The sound of the door opening in the nearly empty bar caught his attention. It brought his focus back to his present surroundings.
He glanced towards the door, and his jaw dropped. The man from his dreams stood framed in the doorway. Gray always had weird dreams, but for the last week or so, they were exceptionally weird. And a guy who looked exactly like this guy in the doorway was in every single one of them. Gray looked away before the guy caught him staring.
The man walked up and sat down right next to Gray. Gray finished his beer and tried to concentrate on the TV over the bar. He heard the man say, “Bartender, two beers. One for me and a refill for my new friend here.” Just the voice alone sent shivers down his spine. Gray turned, and the man was smiling at him.
“I thought it looked like you needed another one. You look a little stressed.” The man said.
“Thanks. Its been a long week. I’m Grayson… well, just Gray is fine.” Gray took a good look at the man beside him. Tall, over six feet, jet black hair, and deep dark chocolate brown eyes. The eyes held Gray’s gaze. For just a second Gray thought he saw bright crimson sparks at the center of the eyes, but then the sparks were gone.
“Nice to meet you, Gray. Different people have called me by different names, but you can call me Luke.” He smiled and extended his hand.
Gray shook his hand. “Very mysterious answer, Luke. Do you go to college here? You look familiar.”
“No. I just got to town today. I’ve traveled around a lot in my lifetime, but this is my first time here.” Luke said.
“What brings you to this boring, tiny town? Not much here but the college and this bar.” Gray laughed.
“I guess you could call it a family drama. I am looking for my Father. No one has heard from Him in quite a while.” Luke said.
“I hope you find him, and everything is ok. I know how rough families can be. I just found out that my parents are getting divorced.” Gray rolled his eyes.
“Thanks. The sooner I find him, the better it will be for everyone.” Luke said and then leaned in close to Gray and placed his hand on his knee. “So, do you have a boyfriend?”
Gray smiled a crooked half-smile. His eyes flicked down to Luke’s hand and then right back up to his eyes. “What makes you think it would be a boyfriend and not a girlfriend?”
Luke slid his hand halfway up Grayson’s leg as he leaned in even closer. “Because, ever since I walked in the door, you have looked at me like you’ve wanted to take a bite out of me.”
Luke smirked, then he added, “Do you have somewhere private we can continue this conversation?”
Gray knew he would probably regret it, but he said, “I should say no, but yeah. Follow me.” He led Luke out of the bar and two blocks over to his small apartment, just off the college campus.
The barely got in the apartment and closed the door, and Gray was kicking off his shoes and grabbing for Luke’s shirt. After removing the shirt, he pushed him into the small bedroom and down onto the bed. Luke was taller and had a more muscled body than Gray, but Gray was eager and determined to work off some of his built-up stress from the last week.
He crawled up Luke’s body, planting kisses along his chest and neck. He covered the other man’s mouth with his own, and then he felt Luke’s hands in between them. Luke gently pushed Gray up to a sitting position and looked deep into his eyes. “Gray, slow down a minute. We need to talk.”
Gray tried to push Luke back down. “Talk later. There are other things I’d rather do right now.” He leaned in and nipped at Luke’s ear with his teeth.
Luke pushed back again. “You’re not making it easy to stop.” He nearly growled. “But we have to talk. It’s important.”
Gray looked a little hurt. “What’s wrong? Don’t you want this? Don’t you want me?”
Luke took his face between his two strong hands. “Baby, I want you more than I’ve wanted anyone in over a millennium, but that’s why we have to talk now. Before we go any further. I want you to know what you’re getting yourself into. There’s a lot we have to talk about.”
Gray looked completely confused. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. You aren’t making any sense.”
Luke grabbed Gray’s hips and flipped him over on his back as easy as flipping over a piece of paper, then he sat upon the edge of the bed. Gray sat up and leaned back against the wall, waiting for Luke to speak.
Luke sighed and began. “Remember, I said I have gone by many names?” Gray nodded, a curious look on his face. “The names you humans most commonly call me are Devil, Satan, or Fallen One. The name my Father gave me upon my creation was Lucifer.”
Gray laughed out loud. “Come on. Did you interrupt the hottest sex of my life to tell jokes? I thought you had something serious to say.”
Luke rolled his eyes and stretched out his right arm, then he snapped his fingers and opened his hand. A small ball of fire appeared, hovering over his palm. “Is this a joke? May I continue?”
Gray’s eyes widened in shock and fear, he scooted back against the wall. He started to get up, but Luke stopped him. “Please stay. I would never hurt you. What I have to tell you is vitally important.”
Gray relaxed back against the wall again, mumbling to himself. “I can’t believe I just made out with Satan.”
Luke chuckled. “Whatever!” Then he continued. “My Father, God, has not been seen or heard from since the time of Creation. I tried to keep order the way I knew he would have wanted, but my brothers disagreed with my decisions. It was not God who cast me out of Heaven. It was my brother, Gabriel. Once he got Raphael and Michael on his side, the others all fell in line. The few lesser angels that tried to help me were cast out with me.”
“Wait. Wait. Wait. So, you’re saying that they cast you out of Heaven because of sibling rivalry, not because you are pure evil and tried to overthrow God?” Gray asked, mouth agape.
“Yes. My Father had no part in my banishment. I tried to honor Him the best way I knew. Gabriel is power-hungry. Always was and still is. It is Gabriel who has spread the lies and propaganda about me to you humans.” Luke said.
Grayson sat there, shaking his head. “I’m trying to soak this all in. Keep going.”
“I was cast out along with a handful of loyal lesser angels. We couldn’t stay on Earth, so we were forced into the Inferno dimension.” Luke looked pointedly at Gray. “Though a substantial portion of the Inferno is indeed a fiery prison for evil souls, I have fashioned a Paradise separate from the Fire Pits. Not all the souls barred from Heaven’s Gate deserve torture. The Inferno accepts any who wish to enter. Once there, we judge your soul and process you into either Paradise, the Fire Pits, or Limbo.”
Gray looked lost deep in thought. “That sounds fair, to be honest.”
“Thank you for your approval, kind sir.” Lucifer scoffed.
Gray smiled shyly.
“There is so much more I need to tell you, but we are pressed for time. Gabriel’s thirst for power reached a new level three days ago. He sent a force of angels into the Inferno, where they united with a force of traitorous demons. Their combined army is marching against my loyalists at the Fire Pits. Gabriel wants to set all the damned souls loose upon the Earth. He wants the humans destroyed in such a way that he can blame me. Then he will swoop in as a savior. He will destroy the damned souls, and he will have won Heaven, Earth, and the Inferno.”
Gray was shocked. He didn’t even know what to say or how to respond. “Luke, why are you even telling me this? Angels and demons are real. God is missing in action. The Archangel Gabriel is a dick who wants to take over the world, and the Devil himself is half-naked in my bed. Why me? Why are you here? You should be out leading your army and saving the world.”
Luke stared at Gray with a look of fierce determination. “My army can hold the Pits without me. At least I hope so. But here’s the thing. The only way we stop Gabriel now is with my Father’s help, and you are going to help me find him.”
If anything, Gray looked even more shocked. “How am I going to find God if you can’t?”
Luke grinned at him. “Because you are the last Prophet of God.”
Gray laughed despite everything. “What are you talking about? My life is a disaster. How am I a Prophet?”
Luke cocked his head to one side. “Have you ever had dreams that came true? Or you were somewhere, and something happened, and you felt like you’d seen it before even though you knew you’d never been there?”
Gray thought for a minute. “Now that you say it like that, yes. Those things happen often. And you have been in every one of my dreams for the last week.”
Luke smiled. “You have been touched by God. You have a connection to Him. You will help me find Him. We just have to make sure that Gabriel or his goons don’t find you first, but based on your dreams, it sounds like I was meant to find you, and you are meant to help me.”
Gray nearly screamed. “What?! Does Gabriel know about me? Are they coming after me? What should I do?”
“We leave this town first thing in the morning,” Luke said.
“I suppose I don’t have a choice, do I?” Gray asked.
“Gray, I need your help. God has chosen you. If you learn to focus, I believe you can lead me to Him. You can help me save all of humanity.” Luke said.
“And when I brought you back to my apartment, all I wanted was to get laid.” Gray laughed.
Luke joined in the laughter. “Let’s get some sleep. We should start early tomorrow. We have more to talk about as we travel.” Lucifer lay back on the bed and pulled Gray close to his side. “Is this ok?”
Gray cuddled in close. “It’s probably a huge mistake, I mean you are the Devil after all, but yeah, I’m ok with it. Wait, are you even gay? Was all this a big plan to get me to help you?”
Luke heaved a big sigh. “There is no label to describe me. Over the centuries, I have slept with countless men and countless women. There have been few, however, that I have cared for. A kind and loving soul attracts me, not sex. Man, woman, angel, demon… these things do not matter if the soul inside is pure. Do you understand?”
“I think I do. That was actually a really great answer.” Grayson said as he drifted off to sleep wrapped in Lucifer’s arms.