So here it is – as voted by two out of three people wanting to know what Voro was up to in the next book. Pardon the language.
Soul Stealer will be available for purchase and download in the upcoming weeks.
Voro could feel Raphael’s trepidation beside him. The guy was genuinely freaking out with worry that Voro might do something unthinkable in front of Saint Peter.
The dude behind the desk in front of them was shuffling papers, apologizing for not being ready for their meeting. He quickly signed something, handed it to the male novice behind his left shoulder and then greeted them both with a smile, folding his hands in front of him, ready to deal out a decision.
Voro was used to having no idea where he would end up. And this time was no different, just more existential. His mortal form was dead and decaying on the other side, and the forces that had forged it were likely not on his side anymore. Due to an odd twist of fate having everything to do with self-sacrifice, here he was on the sunny side of the clouds, chilling his heels while they decided what to do with him.
It had been five months now. It was becoming apparent that they had no idea what to do with him.
“Voro,” the older man said, smiling nicely enough. “How are you finding our accommodations? Still satisfactory?”
Voro couldn’t lie to this guy. Found that out the first day. Peter really did know all; he just couldn’t do anything about it all. And Voro wasn’t about to drop this guy just for being friendly. Peter could kick ass better than most pro wrestlers.
“Things are quite to my liking, sir.”
Peter gave a slight shake of the head. “Nine novices in one week.”
Shit. This again.
“We know that free will is always in question, but the spirits of our novices are fragile. After lying with you once one poor girl tried to kill herself for the debauchery she’d committed.”
Beginner’s mistake. They couldn’t die.
“Sir, with all due respect, I don’t want to come in your house and just start wrecking the place. They come to me.”
Peter smiled. “Free will.”
Voro was confused. “Exactly.”
“I’m talking about yours. You can turn them away, you know.”
Voro stopped himself from rolling his eyes. “Peter, can I ask you a question?”
“Please don’t,” Raphael said softly beside him.
Voro ignored him. “Have you ever fucked anything?”
The question hung in the room like the passing of gas. No one moved, but at least Peter wasn’t enraged or embarrassed. He just took off his glasses and set them on his ink blotter. “What the hell are you talking about?”
That’s the closest anyone around here would come to cussing on this side. Voro was instantly impressed.
“I’m just saying, if you’ve never had sex, how can you tell me that I could always just say no?” He made it sound like the preposterous suggestion that it truly was.
“Some good and decent part of you should take a moment, look upon their youth and innocence, and realize that for them the physical act is love. And for you … it’s an itch.”
“Good and decent part of me? You’ve seen my birth certificate, right?”
Peter smiled indulgently. “Good and decent would be the traits that saved the life and honour of a frustro.”
At the word Voro had to look down at his feet, bare in their flip-flops, and realized that maybe he was ridiculous after all.
“See Voro? You can’t even deny it. So the next time one of our novices loses sight of her virtue, please keep in mind your dear Iola.”
“She was never my dear,” he insisted.
Voro noticed when Raphael closed his eyes. He recognized the tone, apparently.
“She was a biological trap sprung to catch me, and I did exactly as expected. That’s not free will, either.”
Peter leveled a gaze at him, losing the affable expression. “Instead of condemning her to spend her days wallowing in your brand of filth you ended your six-hundred year existence of fucking and sin eating.”
“Just like expected,” Voro finished for him, not even catching the cuss word that time.
“No. Not at all like expected. She could have just killed you. Or the decipio could have done it.”
“This was better … for her,” he was actually getting choked up. Damn it.
“That’s almost something like love.”
“No. It was basically a potion, wasn’t it?”
Peter sighed. “There is no witchcraft. If the trap plays out the way it’s meant you go back to Hell, and those two live a natural life where they either deal with what happens or they don’t.”
Peter’s frown deepened. “I beg your pardon?”
Raphael actually grabbed his arm. “What are you doing?”
“If a Sin Eater is slain by the decipio, the decipio then kills the frustro.”
Peter gave pause. “Sometimes.”
“Too big a chance. So I ended the whole stupid thing. And here we are. Tell me again how well this whole thing worked out?”
Peter put his glasses back on. “You know, Voro. We will find a use for you eventually. But just remember that we can either make this pleasant or not. It’s not like you can go home again, is it?”