“You want me to smuggle you, who claims to be Lord Belial’s daughter, out?” the demon asks.
Cecelial, a ball of apprehension blocking her voice, nods.
He extends a clawed hand expectantly. “What do you have to pay me with?”
“Um,” she licks her lips, salty with sweat caused by the infernal heat that constantly plagues the Hells, and swallows. Pay him? Damn. “I don’t- I have- well, I have nothing.”
He starts to turn away. “Then be gone, you wretch. Be grateful I don’t imprison you and alert your father, if that indeed is truth.”
His rejection chills her. She needs him to get her away from here, get her away from her father. He has no idea how long it took to find him. He doesn’t know the whispers she had traded with several of Belial’s whores and servants, how many shreds of parchments she had gone through trying to pick up his trail. All while her father’s spies watched went about making sure she never left. When at last she had found him and their meeting agreed upon, she had been in such a rush to get a way out settled, all the jewels she could have bargained with had been left behind.
Of course he would expect payment, though. It was stupid to think he wouldn’t just because of her.
The Imp stares at his retreating form. He’s monstrous, with the upper body of a bulky, muscular man and the lower half of a giant centipede. His skin is a murky brownish-green spattered with red and his eyes fire-lit bronze. The hard shell making up his bottom half is the same colour scheme; eight legs curving from it like knives and they tap across the hard ground on sharp points. It is an eerie noise.
Supposedly this demon is able to smuggle anything out of Belial’s realm. He runs a black market of sorts, specialising mostly in slaves and whores. Makes sense, then, his reputation. It’s why she had come to him.
Ignoring the sick feeling starting to rattle her stomach, Cecelial calls out to him. Her voice is weak at first so a second attempt is made. He stops; turns partly with a bored eye fixing on her. She knows what he must see: a small, figureless, red-haired whelp who claims to be not just a daughter of a Lord of Hell, but a Favourite as well. Her tail lashes nervously behind her as her clawed fingers dig into her palms, black with a red tint, and tiny horns starting to sprout from her head. A loose tunic, probably salvaged from a battle somewhere, is all that covers her. She really doesn’t look like a threat or demon with connections. Doesn’t help she has to fight to keep her low alto voice from breaking as she speaks.
“I will pay you however you want,” Her eyes widen when she realises her voice sounds strong. Proud even. As if this is merely one of the common disputes her father’s chambers see. “You get me out of here and you can name your price. I will pay it.”
The last sentence truly captures the demon’s attention. “Whatever I want?”
She nods, ignoring how the sick feeling is banging against her insides like a war drum. One of the servants she had talked to said this smuggler had a very specific sexual taste. He likes Imps.
“You’ll be just his type,” the servant had said.
The thought of that is terrifying.
He faces her again, so suddenly that she jumps a little then feels her face burn. He had gotten the better of her just now. Slowly he comes closer, stopping mere inches away, and his rancid smell fills her nose. She forces herself not to gag as his eyes wander up and down her body.
“Well, now,” he almost purrs. “That changes things…”
When a claw snakes out and touches her lips, Cecelial raises her eyes to meet his. He touches her almost lovingly. It takes a lot of willpower not to bite him when he leans in; his breath is stale and smells of rotting meat.
“One month,” he says to her. His breath is overpowering. “That is how long it takes to smuggle in whores for your father usually. Getting them out? It can take anywhere from two months to years to centuries. For you, it might be even longer than that. Are you prepared to wait?”
“Are you sure? Once Belial finds out his most favoured daughter is missing, he will send his servants out. They will not stop until you are found, out of desperation to keep their hides on. And that’s assuming, of course, that you are who you say you are.”
Again, she nods, swallowing down a hard lump made of unease and reluctance to really agree to this. If she wasn’t so desperate to salvage what was left of her sanity… she would not be doing this. She would not be agreeing to this.
“Very well,” the demons’s eyes bore into hers as he names his terms. “I will get you out but you, your body… you are mine until then. Whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want. Once you confirm, you will not leave my presence until it’s ready.” He says sinisterly.
Cecelial closes her eyes for a few moments, thinking it over. She doesn’t dwell on it.
“Deal,” she whispers.
He grins morbidly. “Let us begin.”