Dr Linda Martin saw her last patient of the week out the door, and sent her shoes flying. She poured herself some scotch, unable to wipe the smile off of her face. Three days. Three long days away from Los Angeles without nothing else to do but sip Mai Tai in a bikini on a friend's yacht. No patient, no late panicked phone calls, no is-this-thing-on piece of eye candy to distract her, she had to practically pinch herself not to shriek in anticipation. To paint the town red with Mazikeen had been surprisingly entertaining, but nothing compared to cruising around San Clemente Island in the spring. Her pleasant train of thoughts was interrupted by a quiet knock on the door, followed by Lucifer waltzing in like he owned the place.
"Lucifer?" She was certain she had locked the door just now. Maybe not, she thought, her mind suddenly working at a sluggish pace. She pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose, eyes blinking like a deer caught in the headlights of a ten-ton truck. "Did we have an appointment?" she asked, wishing her Louboutin weren't scattered in his path. She laced her fingers over the files, sat straighter, fighting the heat between her legs. Oh god, this patient will be her undoing.
"No, no, I just dropped by to tell you you were right," Lucifer cheered, unaware of her current predicament. Probably not, she thought, crossing her knees. Worse, definitely worse, she decided, putting her feet flat on the floor to find a more comfortable angle. "I was in great need of a friend." He dropped on the couch.
"As we discussed during our last session, being surrounded by people doesn't fill your emotional void." She licked her lips absently. "It doesn't measure up to a meaningful connection with a special person."
"Believe me, I gave it some thought. I do not quite apprehend this loneliness concept yet but I think I made a breakthrough."
"This is great Lucifer, does that mean you refrained from excessive partying? I imagine it can prove very challenging given your line of work."
"Oh, no, nothing so extreme doctor. You of all people know I have tremendous stamina." She wriggled on her seat. "This tension must be released to prevent uncalled-for reactions inherent to my nature."
"Because you are the Devil?" she smiled uneasily.
"Exactly! Surely you would not want me to unleash Hell in Los Angeles, would you?" he commented seriously.
"Of course not. It would be bad," she almost wailed. He stood up abruptly. She sat up with a start, grasping a pen from her desk. He started pacing the floor nervously. "What are you telling me then? What kind of breakthrough are we talking about here?"
"About this friend notion of course," he frowned. Was Dr Linda broken?
"Yes, yes, Father Frank's death affected you very much." Good, that sounded almost professional.
"Another low blow, courtesy of Father dearest," he said sternly. "It made me think that he could hurt people I…" his voice wavered, "… care about to force my hand."
Care? His vocabulary had expanded dramatically since the last time they met. "Force your hand?"
"My failure to comply to His demands is likely to put them in great peril. But I refuse to be coerced. This is a bit of a conundrum, I'm afraid."
"Let's go back to this breakthrough. I will take a leap here and assumed you found your special person?"
"Yess, right," he hissed, swirling back to her. He put his hands on her desk, leaning in. She recoiled with a sharp intake of breath. "Would you believe that my partner…"
"You're referring to Detective Decker?"
"Detective Decker, yes. Last night, she stormed into my loft, not really storm, more like showed up at my place…"
"Which is it?"
"Let me explain. The access to my penthouse is provided by a private lift, elevator, sorry about that. In my mind's eye, I picture her storming inside the elevator but when she reached my floor, the momentum was definitely lost."
"So, no storming?"
He shook his head. "I was on my way to meeting the Brittanys downstairs. I pressed the button, the doors opened and…" he stopped, struggling to put into words what happened the night before, "she was there, taunting me."
"Taunting y… Okay. You call the elevator but it's already on your floor, and you're facing the detective, is it what you're saying?"
"Exactly. She looked disturbed."
"Detective Decker strikes me as a woman who's usually in control," she frowned.
"That is debatable," he said, his inflexion flat and distant. She is not in control of her life, he thought. That this poor mockery of a husband had still some reign over her, that he could provoke such a turmoil at the mere reading of a text proved otherwise. What did she see in that clod? It was appalling. "In any case, yesterday she was not, she was pissed."
"She was angry?"
"Sorry again. She was loaded, hammered, smashed, bombed…"
"Detective Decker was intoxicated," she asserted. "What did you do?"
"Though she seemed determined to keep her intoxication level in the red zone, I diverted her attention."
"You diverted? Lucifer, we talked about the importance of relying on your moral compass when confronted with difficult decisions. You understand you can't take advantage of a woman under the influence?"
Lucifer's mouth went slack. "Who do you think I am, some despicable philanderer?"
"I don't Lucifer, I'm simply clarifying…"
"I don't deny that Detective Decker being immune to my natural charms, I have been devising cunning plans to have sex with her ever since we met."
"Yes, yes," she stuttered. "That would be my guess, yes."
"They all failed. Last night, she assaults me and still I do not falter in my resolve. I say no."
"Alright, that's intriguing. Why?"
"I must admit my reaction befuddles me."
"May I ask you what she did exactly?" she said, picturing Decker in a state of undress, humping Lucifer. "You said she assaulted you."
"Oh, she tried to kiss me," he shrugged it off. "Tell me doctor, am I coming down with some exotic disease? Because I don't mind the bleeding or being set on fire, but the Devil cannot have erectile dysfunction. On the other hand, my performance with the Brittanys this morning was nothing but stellar."
"Okay." Blood, fire, was it some sort of metaphors?
"And you maintain there is nothing wrong with her?" he insisted.
"Absolutely." She sighed. "I think you're making progress, Lucifer," she stated, regaining some composure at last. Lucifer was a complex case. He was a public figure, exhibiting uncanny insight into the human psyche. Despite being thoroughly knowledgeable, he was completely disconnected with his own feelings. His proprietary concern towards his partner combined with a never ending display of jealousy and his absolute trust in her proved Detective Decker was more than his friend. Either he's never been in love or some woman broke his heart, she mused.
"It doesn't feel like progress," he said moodily.
"You're finally getting in touch with your emotions, Lucifer. This is very good."
"The Devil doesn't emote." He sat back on the couch, brooding. "I had to put her to bed."
"Put her to bed?"
"Obviously, she was in no condition to drive," he said matter-of-factly. "She was lucky enough to make the ride to Lux without a scratch."
"You could have called her a taxi…"
"And let her be the target of some psychopath? No, thank you."
"Or drive her back home?"
"Oh… I didn't think of that," he frowned. "Well, anyway, she was safer with me, in any case."
"I see. So what's the problem, Lucifer? She came to you as a friend, got carried away but you kept your end and stayed on course. This is very good or am I missing something?"
"Actually, she was a bit miffed this morning," he confessed.
"Despite you being a perfect gentleman?"
"Exactly, it doesn't make sense. I protected her and yet she seemed mad."
"I assume you slept on the couch?"
"Why would I do that?!" He looked horrified at the thought.
"Lucifer, did you sleep with her?"
She cleared her throat. "I mean did you share a bed?"
"Are you unwell doctor? Long day at the office, perhaps?" She sighed. For some reason, her happy getaway for the weekend seemed like an idle fancy. "Right, I'll tell you again. Detective Decker was comatose, I undressed her, put her to bed and waited until she sobered up. She snores, by the way. Terribly unbecoming."
"In the same bed?" He nodded, studying his fingernails. "Lucifer, you invaded her personal space when she was unconscious, no wonder she's mad at you!"
"We've seen each other naked before, so no harm done here."
Dr Martin choked. "You have to respect people's boundaries, we've been over that already. Go to her, apologize."
"But I did nothing wrong!" he protested, hopping from his seat.
"You don't see it, do you?"
"I see the irony. Nobody wins," he growled, his glare directed at the ceiling.
"Lucifer, this is a relationship, not a competition. There's no winner. You have to accept it."
"No good deed goes unpunished, it kind of tilts the balance, doesn't it? I thank you doctor. I bid you good night."
He whirled around and was gone before she could say anything else.