42 // LILY / EPILOGUE

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'You sure you want to do this, Case?'

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'You sure you want to do this, Case?'

Addi's brow was a mess of worry lines as he looked at me, his gaze flitting down to where my hand rested on my distended stomach. I'd been rubbing it without even realising it. Rubbing it because I could feel Lily moving around inside. Rubbing it because it calmed me. Addi knew that and I knew what he was thinking now. He thought I didn't want to do this. He thought I'd changed my mind.

I looked into his eyes and smiled.

'Yes, Addison. Perfectly bloody sure, thank you.'

I chewed on my lower lip as I studied his face, suddenly uncertain whether he was trying to dissuade me because he didn't want to be a part of this. I couldn't blame him. He might have enjoyed being a gangster once, but things had stepped up a level since his days of dealing drugs on Davey's patch.

'You know, if you don't want to be here, Ads, no one's going to stop you from leaving, or think any less of you for not sticking around.'

'Speak for yourself,' sniffed Berith, coming to stop beside us and leaning against the balcony, looking out across the view afforded from being ten storeys up. 'I'll think less of him. I thought you had more balls than this, Addi.'

Addi sucked in a breath through his teeth, his eyes darkening. 'You know something, I think I preferred you when you were Oscar and he was a right royal bastard. I reckon that pretty face you have now has gone to your head, man. I didn't see no other human on that freaky inter-dimensional battlefield surrounded by all your fucked-up friends. I got through that, remember? I got away from that ugly-as-fuck Cherubim thing, I survived having my soul half-sucked out of my chest and I'm still standing today.' He shook his head and sneered in disgust. 'Telling me I ain't got no balls. Man, I should chuck your arse over the side here and let you fall. Bet you won't be looking so pretty when your face is spread out across the pavement.'

Berith shrugged, pushing one unruly lock of dark hair behind his ear. 'I've survived worse falls, my friend.'

Addi was right. Berith - who was now Berith again, no longer needing to disguise his true form under the mask of a human face - was remarkably good-looking. He turned heads wherever we went, his dark skin and long, wild curls earning him admiring glances from women and men alike. It seemed strange to me, that someone who had hid in Oscar's repugnant body for so long, was actually quite the head-turner. Tall and muscular, he looked every inch the man I had seen in Ethan's memories, accompanying Lucifer and Lilith and young Ethan on their travels in the Tibetan mountains.

I grinned and rubbed my stomach again, not because I needed calming, but because it had become a thing to do whenever I sat listening to Addi and Berith banter back and forth. It felt good being around them and this weird friendship they'd developed. Of course, neither of them would admit it was anything close to a friendship.

You're my friend, he's just a fucking bad smell that won't go away, Addi had said.

It's not a friendship, it's an understanding, Berith had said, demons do not need friends.

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