Escaping the Devil: Chapter Thirty-Six



This story is rated Mature for adult language, sexual content, references to graphic violence, drug, and substance abuse. This means that this is intended for audiences 18 and up.

Long after the alcohol fugue wore off, they continued their explorations of each other. Eli lost count of the many times she came undone, left as little more than a boneless heap on the dusty floorboards. Yui curled up against her, falling fast asleep against her breast.

She felt truly satisfied for the first time in a very long time. More than just in flesh, though, her core ached in the most delicious way. She felt a bone-deep contentedness. A rightness. It was as if everything—every wrong turn, every bad decision, and mistake—had led her to this moment. To this place. To Sanctuary Hills. To freedom.

Her eyes were heavy as she felt the warmth of impending slumber wash over her. It enveloped her — woolly and warm like a favorite blanket. She felt the rough scruff of a beard against her forehead and the tender caress of lips. A kiss to send her off to a dreamless void. With a contented rumble, she rolled onto her side and looped her arms tighter around Yui. 

And from there, it was black. Sweet, blessed sleep. 

The morning light crept in through the boarded-up windows, painting skyscrapers across the worn floorboards. Eli groaned and shifted beneath Yui’s weight, awkwardly rolling out from beneath the Siren. A terrible crick had formed in her neck and her shoulder, sending lancing pain to her head. 

She marveled at how the rest of her still felt relaxed. Blissed out and at ease, as if the memories of the night before had tattooed themselves into her bones.

Grinning, she twisted to inspect the Siren, still fast asleep beside her. 

It seemed criminal to wake Yui, but Eli’s excitement for what the day would bring made her feel much like a kid on Christmas. Before she could think better of it, she reached for her friend and let her hand trace the shapely swell of her thigh. 

Yui grumbled, her eyes pinching tighter shut. “No,” she greeted, rolling onto her stomach. “Too early.”

Eli chuckled, letting her hand wander over the presented backside. “You don’t even know what time it is.”

“Early.” Yui’s muffled reply earned a small chuckle.

“Aren’t you hungry?”

Like a pup, the Siren lifted her head, her eyes widening, despite the sleep that still rimmed them. “Are you offering to feed me?”

“Yeah,” Eli replied, swatting Yui’s rump. “I’m starving.”

Yui didn’t have to say anything in response—her stomach did all the talking for her, as it let out a guttural-sounding protest. 

Red-cheeked, the Siren rolled onto her back. She braced her heels against the floor and raised her knees as if preparing to do sit-ups. “I want cinnamon buns,” she whined. “And coffee. And maybe some muffins.”

“Are you sure you can pack all that away?” 

“After last night, I’m amazed you’re asking how much I can fit.”

Eli grinned wickedly, feeling a pang at the apex of her thighs. “Keep talking like that, and I’m going to make sure you burn enough calories to warrant that breakfast.”

“I think I did enough last night!” Yui giggled, slowly shifting to stand on her feet. 

She followed suit, brushing her hands over her thighs and rump to rid herself of dust. Her eyes darted around the room, seeking Gunner. His familiar hulking mass was nowhere to be found.

“I gotta pee,” Yui yawned, slipping into her clothes from the night before. Eli stretched, letting out a few squeaked sounds as she did. “Me too,” Eli agreed, turning to gather her clothes off the floor.

“I call the good bush!” 

Yui didn’t afford her the chance to protest before she scampered off. Eli smirked as she dressed, already making plans for the remainder of the day. First, they would go into town, get breakfast and learn the lay of the land. Then, maybe, if they were lucky, they’d also find a place to stay. Eli had already made peace with the idea of living in the flop house for a few days, but the sooner she could set down roots, the better. 

She had just finished dressing when Yui appeared in the doorway, hair mussed and eyes wide. “The car’s gone.”

“What?” Eli frowned, legs carrying her to the door before she could fully process what she had heard.

“The car’s gone,” Yui repeated, sounding dazed. “And so is Gunner’s stuff,” she added, pointing at his corner. 

The world felt like it was being tilted on its axis. She could see that the car was gone, but something inside her refused to believe it, just as she could see that his belongings were no longer there. But something inside of her still refused. Even as her legs ate up the distance to the bag of cash, she began rummaging through it. 

“His cut’s gone,” she gritted. 

Her eyes met Yui’s, now cloudy, rimmed with red. 

“Oh,” she said lamely. “He’s gone.”

“Seems like it,” Eli agreed, brushing her hands over her thighs. “It makes sense.”

“Yeah,” Yui agreed, though her tone left her less than convinced.

“He got us where we needed to be.”


“His job is done.”

The Siren nodded, her lips pressed together in a thin line. Eli watched her throat as it bobbed. She saw her hands close into fists as if trying to steady herself.

It wasn’t hard to imagine what was going through her head. She had seen her growing soft to him during their travels. It was obvious in how she looked at him. But, watching them together last night, she had seen something unraveling in her friend. A wall that not even Eli knew existed had begun crumbling down. 

It was on the tip of her tongue to console her. To ask her if she was all right.

A better friend would have.

Instead, she reached for her hand, letting their fingers lace. 

“C’mon. Let’s go get that breakfast.”

Mutely, Yui nodded, her cheeks flushed with her best attempt at keeping herself held together. 

“It’s you and me,” Eli murmured, draping her arm around her shoulders. “We got this.” 

“We do,” Yui nodded, looping her arms around her middle. 

“C’mon. We’ve got the rest of Sanctuary Hills to see.”

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