37 // BERITH

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Authors Note: Hello lovelies, hoping you're all well

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Authors Note: Hello lovelies, hoping you're all well. Huge apologies for keeping you waiting on this update. I had originally hoped to update last week, but this chapter has been a total bastard to write and, if I'm being honest, I'm still not happy with it. I'm betting that when you're done, you'll wonder what the fuss was all about, but the complexities of Ethan's destiny and how it's all led to this point really messed with my head during this chapter and I'm still not convinced I've managed to do this justice. But, because I hate delaying updates, I've decided to post regardless and say to Hell with it (not that there's a Hell, you know haha).  Thank you for your patience and utter brilliance, as always <3 

***

The room I was taken to, was not the same hall where Ethan had been left screaming obscenities and threats at Blake until the doors had closed behind us.

It was small, barely bigger than the bedroom in Ethan's home and instead of birds of every colour and size emblazoned on the walls, here it was dull and grey despite the lights that pulsed sluggishly under the surface. It was also completely empty, with no furniture at all, so once the Demon guards had pushed me inside and slammed the door behind me, I could do nothing but walk to the other side of the room and slide my back down the wall to sit on the floor.

My eyes felt sore and swollen, the skin underneath tight with dried tears. I took a few deep breaths, a heavy ache settling across my chest as I inhaled and exhaled, my throat burning. Leaning my head back against the wall, I prayed for the panic not to overwhelm me, I prayed that Ethan was okay, I prayed that Addi had recovered, and yet the whole act of praying ironically seemed pointless now seeing as there wasn't actually anyone to pray toanymore.

I'd never been much of a believer myself, but I knew plenty who were and plenty more who found comfort in praying. I wondered now, if Blake got his way and the Great War brought the Angels to their knees, how many would suffer knowing that their prayers had been a waste of breath? Who would they pray to now? The Demons? Blake? How many would crumble without that sense of hope they'd always clung onto as a means of getting them through the hard times? I'd never been a believer in hope either. Hope had always been something for everyone else. Not me. Hope was for the privileged and the pitiful. Hope was for the desperate and the needy.

And I'd never known what it was to need hope so desperately until now.

I needed it for Addi. I needed it for Ethan. Fuck, I even needed it for me.

When the door suddenly opened, it wasn't hope standing there, but Oscar.

As he stepped into the room, I didn't bother getting up, partly because I knew it would be a struggle to try and stand with my hands bound, but mostly because I was done standing to attention for Oscar-bloody-Turnbull. I was done with the barely-there dresses worn to please him. Done with turning on the charm to make him smile. Done with being the trophy girlfriend sent to help an old man get a hard-on, just for the sake of business.

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