I know you’ve been waiting with batted breath to find out what happens to Contessa and Cezon and who is the child anyway. Will your questions be answered? You’ll have to read to find out.
For a recap, read: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Cezon shook his head. “You sound like your mother.”
Contessa smiled. The child’s face slipped from disdain to fascination. He wouldn’t blink. He wouldn’t look away. Contessa stopped smiling and glared. He looked away then.
Cezon ruffled the child’s dark hair. “Contessa is fairly attractive but when she smiles, she’s stunning.”
She turned that biting stare on him. Cezon’s eyes glowed with amusement.
“She unleashes that smile and any creature would do what he asked. It’s fascinating.”
“Let’s eat so we can visit the child’s home.”Contessa choked back the sigh.
“It doesn’t work on you?” The child asked Cezon.
He laughed, a hearty sound. She wanted to strangle him. “Of course not, I know her.”
The child dragged his feet, tried numerous excuses but fortunately, he was too afraid of Contessa to lead them anywhere else but his home.
The smell leaking from this building was obscene. Contessa stepped back, so did Cezon.
“What loathsome bile did they create in this place?” Contessa asked.
The child took lead. They had no choice but to follow.
The inside smelled horrendous but looked normal enough. The air was old. His parent’s hadn’t sleep here last night. They would find nothing of value here. Cezon grabbed her hand.
They aren’t his birth parents.
No, they are not. Are you surprised?
“Yes I am.” Cezon headed to the stairs. “Lead us to your room.”
The child hesitated long enough to make Contessa’s fingers itch but she kept her mouth shut and her ire chained.
Asamee’s room wasn’t extraordinary nor was it a cell. His parents weren’t here to confirm whether or not they loved him but, they wanted Asamee to believe they did.
“Where is that smell coming from?” She held her hand over her mouth and nose. It didn’t help.
“Asamee’s parents searched out the vilest people and gorged themselves on their souls.”
Disgust rose. She beat it down. It didn’t stay there.
“Why?” was all she could get out.
“Disgusting I know,” Cezon opened the front door and let Contessa and Asamee pass, “They must’ve needed the power for something.”
Contessa looked at him. “Enough souls to create such a noxious scent would corrode the creature- mind and body. Who would risk such a fate for temporary power?”
Cezon’s chuckle held little amusement He hooked his arm around her waist and kissed her cheek. “That’s the thing about SoulEaters- you stick to your own class and get only a narrow view of things.” He kissed her again and released her.
The air felt strange, heavier- even the humans felt it. Too many got into altercations over something as inane as an impassive glance. A women leapt in freight when a car bumped the curb as it turned. Others searched frantically for a vaporous villain they felt stalking them. Contessa too sensed death’s slow march into this city.
She despised the interruption but couldn’t deny the fear in the child’s voice.
“What is going to happen to me?”
She looked at Cezon who gave a noncommittal shrug. “You’ll stay with us.”
Contessa faced forward but not fast enough to avoid Asamee’s smile.
They arrived at their building but neither entered. The scent at the front door was disturbing.
Contessa rushed through the building and took the stairs eight at a time. Ivo was curled on the floor outside their door. She was withering and muttering words Contessa didn’t understand. She stared wide-eyed at the wall as though the monster that mauled her soul was still here.
“Manly,” Ivo said as Contessa knelt beside her.
Contessa bit back her relief. “Hey sweetheart.” She brushed Ivo’s thick hair out of her face. As usual, it didn’t stay there.
“Why won’t you do something with this hair?”
Ivo’s gaze recovered some clariety but was still too distant. Her soul had been mangled. It wasn’t healing becasue she was outside their barrier. Who could have done this? SoulEaters gained sustenance from souls. They could not manipulate it, let alone maul it.
Cezon arrived followed closely by Asamee. He opened the door. Ivo’s started to heal once they crossed the threshold. By the time Contessa placed her on the couch, she could speak coherent sentences. Ivo caught sight of Asamee and something ugly crept into her face.
“YOU. You smell like them.”
They all turned to Asamee. He looked at each of them with defiance.
Contessa positioned herself in front of the child. “What happened?”
She eyed Contessa as though she did not recognize her elder sister. “Two creatures, fat with power, barged into Those that Rule’s place of residence and devoured them. I was there because I smelled something strange around you, Manly, and wanted permission to visit. Those creatures killed the Heads of each class as well. All except,” she looked from Contessa to Cezon,” the Noble and the Draior class.”
Contessa looked at Cezon who shook his head. “So they will be after us.”
Ivo nodded. “What is that behind you; it reeks of those creatures?”
Asamee moved from behind Contessa and glared at Ivo.
“I am not a what. My name is Asamee Banks.”
Ivo looked startled for a second then roared with laughter.
“Manly, how many times have you wanted to kill this child? I like him already.”
Cezon, as usual, stayed away from Ivo. He leaned on the wall with his arms folded and his mouth closed.
A scream reached through the window, grabbed hold of Contessa’s fear and dragged it to the surface. They rushed to the window but they didn’t need to. They felt the army of SoulEaters descending on the city. Humans were dropping dead. Some ran but they could not escape a monster they could not see.
“Contessa!” She turned to Asamee, the fear and panic in his face was palpable, “Did they create me to help them with this?”
She nodded. His walls crumbled and so did he. Ivo rose and collected Asamee into her arms. His brilliant soul repair her sullied one.
“We cannot stop this can we?” Contessa asked.
They didn’t answer. She turned back to the horror on the street and watched the SoulEaters devour the city.