Chapter 3:

Nothing Else Matters


Tobias is not an athlete, he dashed with all the strength in his body. He frantically fiddled into his pockets to get his ID to scan, panting as he did so. Before hustling into the building and into his apartment, when the door shut behind him, he immediately slipped to the floor. His lungs burned inside him, leaving him gasping for air.

Meri came rushing to him, noticing the obvious horrified look on his face, she knelt down next to him and pressed her hands on his shoulders.

"Tobias, what happened?! You look like you just witnessed something horrible!" She asked in a panicked tone.

He huffed harshly still, barely able to get words out. "She's…not…human!"

Meri is even more confused after his response. "Who isn't?"

Tobias calmed his breathing enough to explain finally. "Zoey and I got jumped, and I fired at one of them with my gun so she could escape. But, she refused to leave me behind, and turned into this…winged beast…and murdered one of them right in front of me!! She was smiling the whole time Meri, a full sadistic smile! I just ran away, I didn't want to stay around to see her kill the other one too.."

Tobias shivered in fear, the thought had already come to mind he needed to somehow face her at work tomorrow. Meri plopped down next to him in silence, putting her arm around his shoulder while he almost sobbed.

"Tobias. What you said is borderline unbelievable. Just know you can't tell anyone else about that, they'll think you're crazy. But, I believe you. I've never seen a look like that on you before. The good news, she can't kill you because that's too suspicious. The bad news, you'll need to face her eventually." She said matter-of-factly.

Tobias knows everything she said is true, he just didn't feel like he was ready to face her just yet.

"I' to her when this project is done.."

"Sounds proper, but do try to listen to her side. It sounds odd, but the thought of you severing from her makes me feel uneasy. She's your only true friend after all."

"Uh…about that…I kissed her right before everything happened."

Meri quietly got back to her feet and began walking away. "I guess you'll find out if such emotions are truly blind. If not, I don't know how things will recover."


Several days passed after that fateful night, Tobias went to work and completely immersed himself, working not only in the office but directly in the creation process as well.

It quickly became apparent that something happened between Tobias and Zoey, the closeness, the flirtation and even their fiery but comedic back and forth banter was missing.

Rumors got passed around that they were a couple and had a bad breakup.

The project, which was an artificial heart for people with heart disease amongst other ailments, is successfully done almost at the deadline.

Tobias is there seemingly alone finishing a few touches. That is, until Zoey politely knocks before stepping into his office with a look of shame on her face. Her first words sounded like she'd been crying.

"Hey. I really need to speak with you, I'm really, honestly sorry about scaring you like that. I wanted to protect you so desperately that well, the truth of me came out."

Tobias looked at her and all the sights and sounds came back from a few nights ago, making him shake noticeably. He had to grab his own forearm so tight his nails dug in just to try to calm down.


She stopped him from trying to speak. "Don't force yourself right away. I'll explain myself, for better or worse."

Tobias nodded, trying to somehow make the fear subside.

"Tobias, I'm a demon. Like the kind you hear of from the fiery abyss of Hell. What you saw was my Incarnate form coming out against my own will, and everything got out of hand from there. I promise you're not in danger, her overwhelming desire to protect you drew her out."

His eyes widened in response, listening to her made him stop shaking, because his mind went into overdrive. "A demon from hell?! Incarnate form? Wait, did she just refer to whatever that half is as a separate being?"


"Yes, a demon's Incarnate form is like a split personality who can talk to you and is usually more emotionally unhinged. She felt incredibly bad after everything, so much so that it's unsettling how quiet she's been."

A black mist suddenly shrouded her. A mist Tobias recognized from a few nights ago. In a few moments, she stood over him looking down at him with her blackened scleras. "Tobias…" Her voice sounds like a low growl. She took his hands and held them in hers firmly, only now does he notice her sharp, pointed nails.

"This is the other her, the umm..Incarnate form. She's holding my hands so tightly, like she's afraid I'll run again?"

"Please don't fear Zoey because of me. I…no, we don't want to lose you. I promise to never scare you like that again, and we hope you'll still stay by our side."

Despite her darker sounding tone, she didn't give an intimidating vibe towards Tobias. The black mist dissipated giving way to show Zoey was in control once again.

"Ugh, I don't know what's gotten into her lately. But, what she said is true."

Tobias stood up, taking a deep breath as he looked into Zoey's eyes. "Look. Being a part of this world of demons and Hell is out of my depth. I don't know if I'm the person you want, it might be better-"

"Shh!" Zoey cut him off. "I would never drag you into those affairs unless you wanted to be a part of them. Is it so crazy that I just wanted to be with you? You are the kindest person. How am I supposed to act towards someone I've been so close to? Especially someone willing to risk it all just for me? Which reminds me…where'd you learn to shoot like that?"

"I..uh.." Tobias struggled to find his words.

"You've neeever told me about your past in three years. At least I had an excuse. So, what's yours?"

Tobias tensed up more, with drops of sweat coming from his head. Zoey's hands still gripped his, making escape impossible. He had to do something he'd never done, speak his truth.

"I was orphaned when I was five, due to some awful circumstances. I went through places in California, Texas, and Detroit before landing here when I was sixteen. I picked up a lot of conventional and useful knowledge along the way that allowed me to land here. Those guys who attacked us were part of a gang, they commit all kinds of crimes and usually kill anyone they rob. That's why I fired first on them. I've been shot before, stabbed several times, I know the darkness of this world a little too well."

He took a breath, looking at Zoey passionately. "I do care about you a lot Zoey. You're the only person I've ever been able to attach myself to, go figure you're a hellspawn. The question is this. My next promotion will bring me up higher and I can't bring you with me, do you trust me to move forward? Do you believe I can make actual change? Cause if not, I don't want to cause you problems with whatever agenda you have."

Zoey frantically shook her head. Her hazel eyes grew bigger as she gripped his hands even tighter. "Tobias! None of that matters to me, why don't you understand that? Our agendas don't matter, our conflicted views don't matter. The only thing that does, is how we feel for each other! So, after everything I told you, what do you truly want?"

The inflection in her voice sounded desperate, like she was pleading with him.

"I-..I mean, I liked you enough to kiss you. Something I've actually never done before. There's just something nagging at me, and I feel like it's stopping me, I don't know why."

She released his hands and put them on his shoulders. "Paradise and my goals don't correlate. You don't have to worry about that."

"Tobias, you deserve this. You deserve her, put your pettiness aside that she's a demon. Most people aren't lucky enough to find someone they genuinely like. You've strived for happiness for so long, don't overshoot it and just stop monologuing and kiss her!"

Tobias wrapped his arms around her and kissed her suddenly again. She responded with her demonic strength to push him back into the wall and return it very passionately. He reactively pushed her back from being caught off guard.

"Whoa. Slow down Zoey."

"What do you mean slow down?! You sparked it, I was just adding to the fire."

"An analogy like that coming from you is very ironic."

"I'll drag you to hell and show you how hot it can get. Or, really play into the fact that you're my boss and we shouldn't do it on your desk."

Zoey's voice ended on a very seductive note that made Tobias' face turn into a bright tomato.

"Ughh! Zoey you can't say that in my office! There's cameras here you know!"

"Haha! No, I would never do something like that. My other half however, would've jumped you numerous times already. She's way more passionate and aggressive."

"We..should probably go." Tobias began shuffling towards the door as Zoey tugged his shirt making him turn around.



"I love you."

"I-" His words got caught in his throat as soon as he realized what she said, but in a quick recovery he responded back to her.

"I love you too, Zoey."