CHAPTER 3: THE FLICKERING LIGHT
To say a demon does not have a soul is a misconception, everything has a soul. If it exists, it has a soul, from birds to trees to the shrimp dragging along the ocean floor. Though souls come in many flavors; some good, some evil, and some that balance on just a thread between the two. There is a quiet secret though that many do not know, a soul can change. It is a simpler task for a good soul to turn bad and an uphill battle for a bad soul to turn good. And even if a bad soul should try and turn the tide, does heaven choose to turn its good ear and listen?
"Is that too personal of a question?" Jake says trying to break the silence.
Raven shakes out of his deep thought and pulls his gaze from Jakes drink as he centers on his eyes.
"Oh no not at all....sorry I was just thinking about something....no I'm very single at the moment and yourself?"
Raven could have slapped himself just as quickly as he had said it. "very single???" what a way to sound completely pathetic!" he thought to himself.
Jake nods his head as he looks back at his drink, choosing to speak his reply to it instead of Raven.
"Nah I'm single as they come....there was someone for a while that I really cared for but they decided to take a different path."
Raven finds himself for some reason filled with rage, he barely knows Jake but how could someone reject something that seems so pure, so caring, and innocent?
"I would be happy to rip the beating heart out of whoever did that to you." Raven says jokingly, but secretly would give him pleasure to do.
Jake laughs almost spilling his drink as he sets it back on the bar.
"No you don't have to rip his heart out, a broken rib or two would be great though." Jake says chuckling.
Whether Jake meant to or not Raven heard the two words very clear: "his heart"
The confirmation his own heart had secretly been waiting for. Raven wouldn't have admitted it to himself, but a feeling of joy for one brief moment swept over him.
They continue on with talking about Jakes past as Raven takes every opportunity to avoid speaking of his own. The hours go by and soon they find themselves at closing time, much quicker than Raven had hoped for. As the bartender tries his best to usher his drunk patrons out the door Raven and Jake collect their things and make their way to the sidewalk. They speak for several more minutes about what Jake has discovered in the big city. The crowd from the bar disperses, the bartender locks the door, and they find themselves standing alone on a dim street.
On any other day and with any other human this is the exact moment when Raven would feed on his prey. All alone, with no one to witness, Jake would make for an easy and very tasty meal. Yet those were the thoughts furthest from his mind. Raven stood in the cold, which is much worse for a demon, doing his best to not look uncomfortable. Listening to Jake continue on about his adventures in the big apple. As minutes turned into an hour Jake begins to realize how harshly the cold is affecting Raven and asks:
"Hey we've been standing out here forever and I can tell your getting cold. Would you like to go somewhere else or do you need to call it a night?"
Raven knew he couldn't ask him back to his place, morning would be here shortly and he would have to slumber in his pitch black room. He pondered for a few seconds and thought of what sounded like the best answer:
"Well I do have an early morning ahead of me. Would you like to come over tomorrow night and I could cook something?"
Jake smiled and did something Raven could never have prepared for. He felt the warmth of Jakes hands as they gently grabbed his own, rubbing them to help fend off the cold.
"That would be the best thing that has happened on my trip." Jake said smiling as wide as a human possibly could.
The cold that had so unmercifully been ravaging Ravens body turned into a distant whisper. He felt trapped in a moment, a moment that he was happy to stay in for eternity.
"Great! It's a date than!" Raven said with quite some enthusiasm. But this time there was no second thought. No other voice yelling and screaming about how ignorant it was to invite a human over. All he could see was the smile on Jakes face.
As Jake said his fair well and jumped into a taxi Raven started on his way home. He never noticed how lonely and quiet the streets of New York could be until he found himself without Jake by his side. As a street light above him flickered with a buzzing noise the reality of what had just transpired began to sink in:
"I'm going to have company...."