“I need a favor.”
The words jolt me from my sleep and I sit up in bed shivering. He is standing to the left of my bedside table, back against the wall, brooding like always. The cold is unbearable.
I roll my eyes and bury my head under my pillow with an exaggerated sigh.
“You know I can’t help you,” I say bluntly, my voice muffled by six inches of cotton. “The deal is one favor per year. I met my quota three months ago.”
The wooden floorboards of my bedroom creak as he shifts his weight and takes a step forward.
"This time it’s different, Colby,” he responds, spewing my name into the air like a mouthful of vinegar. “I’m willing to make a more… permanent exchange.”
A permanent exchange?
I drop the pillow to my lap and stare unblinking into his empty, black eyes. He takes another step forward, now standing so close that I could have heard his heartbeat— if he had one. His breath licks the side of my face like a tiny flame, but I don’t bother moving. I know he can’t touch me. Not really, anyway.
“I’m listening,” I say, and he stands up a little straighter, a smirk spreading across his face.
“Your soul,” he begins, pausing to brush the tiniest speck of white from his immaculate black suit jacket. “I’d be willing to give it back to you permanently… for a price, of course.”
I try not to choke on my own saliva. Souls come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. And Lucifer? Well, he’s a collector. No one really understands why he does it or what he uses them for, though we all have our suspicions. I like to think that he paints the halls of his hellish mansion with our essence… or something gaudy like that. But the point is, he never lets anyone go. If tonight he was willing to wager my eternal freedom for a simple favor, the job was sure to be less than unpleasant.
Lucifer reaches into the inside pocket of his suit and pulls out a small notepad and a pen. He scribbles something on the top page and folds it neatly into a square.
“Tomorrow,” he says, handing me the small piece of paper. “No later.”
I take the assignment and pull the ends of the paper apart to reveal an address: The White House- 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, HI.
"But... but there is no White House in Hawaii?" I say, but Lucifer is already gone.