Author's Note: This was written as birthday gift for my wonderful beta reader Katt who wanted to see a story where Lucifer spanks Ella. The story takes place directly following Season 3 Episode 25 (or would it be season 4 episode unknown?). Specific spoilers for the episode. Written July 2018.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, and I'm not making any money from this story.
Warning: Non-consensual spanking of an adult. I do not advocate this behavior in real life, only in fiction.
BROTHERS AND SISTERS
Instead of only lending half an ear while thinking of other things, Lucifer actually paid attention and listened to Ella talking about her work. He had to admit that his sister Azrael had a point. Ella was incredibly smart, kindhearted to a fault, and talkative to the point of almost being annoying. Exactly like his little sister used to be back when they all lived in the Silver City together. No one could ever replace Azrael in Lucifer's heart, but since they weren't supposed to fraternize according to dear old Dad, Ella helped to fill that particular void. And besides, he'd grown fond of Ella even before Azrael had pointed her out to him.
He was so busy thinking about the similarities between Ella and his sister that he almost missed what she was saying, until he heard the word 'bomb'.
"I'm sorry, what was that?" he asked, refocusing his attention to her.
Ella sighed, but quickly continued as if she often had to repeat herself. "I was talking about these photos that my forensic buddy in Detroit sent me. The blast pattern is similar to a crime scene I worked on. We found a bomb under a murder victim, and my friend was wondering if it could be the same bomber, but it's not." She pointed to her computer screen and showed him the outline of the blast radius while explaining several scientific facts that Lucifer couldn't be bothered to remember.
He interrupted her rambling and said, "You found a bomb under a murder victim? When was this?"
"About three years ago. I'd finished taking photos and doing my preliminary examination, and when the guys went to move the body, they triggered a countdown on a bomb that was under the victim's left shoulder."
"That must have been terrifying for you," Lucifer said sympathetically, thinking about how frightened he'd been when he watched Chloe defuse a bomb.
Ella shrugged, "Not really. I was too worried about the victim's cat to think much about myself."
"The victim's cat?"
"The poor little thing was petrified with all the people going in and out. I'd seen it scamper under the bed when we first arrived. It scratched me up pretty good, but I got her out safely before the bomb went off."
Frowning, Lucifer sat up a little straighter and said, "You knew there was a bomb counting down, and you took the time to rescue a cat?" He didn't like the feeling that was swirling around in his stomach. It was the same feeling he'd had when Azrael tried following her older brothers into some mischief that could potentially be dangerous.
"Well I couldn't very well leave her there!" Ella said, sounding defensive. "Besides the countdown clearly said I had five minutes, which was plenty of time."
Scowling and shaking his head, Lucifer said, "Honestly Ms. Lopez, I thought you had a little more common sense than that. You know as well as I do that there's always the chance of a bomb going off early."
"Don't get all grouchy about it," she said with a pout. "You're as bad as my brothers. They were all like, 'Ella don't ever do that again', and 'I'd have pulled you out of there kicking and screaming'." She rolled her eyes and muttered, "My oldest brother even said he would have paddled me if he'd been there, which is ridiculous because I was ten the last time anyone paddled me, and my brother certainly never had permission to do that when we were growing up. Normally I would have just laughed at him for saying something like that, but I could tell he wasn't joking that time."
"And rightly so," Lucifer said with a curt nod. That was most certainly what his father would have done to any of his children in the same situation.
"What?" She glared at him for suggesting such a thing.
"Pulling you away from danger and paddling your backside for putting your life on the line sounds like an appropriate punishment to me. And to be clear, I'm not talking about the fun kind of paddling."
She glared at him even harder, and he glared back.
"That's not funny, Lucifer."
"No, it isn't," he agreed. "I don't take punishment lightly."
"And I'm going to tell you the same thing I told my brothers. I wouldn't have left the cat there, even if I knew I had a paddling coming."
The stern lines on his face softened, and he put a hand on her knee. "Your kindness is admirable, Ms. Lopez, but kindness can go too far."
"All life is precious," Ella said.
Lucifer nodded. "Yes, all life is precious, but not all life is equal. Like it or not, there is a hierarchy to life. Flies and mice are also alive, but no person in their right mind would risk their life to save them. You will never convince your relatives or your friends here at the LAPD, including myself, that your life is worth risking to save a cat. If you'd been saving another human, that would be different."
He could see some conflicting emotions on her face, but eventually she said, "I don't agree."
"Well then," he sat back, and crossed his arms. "It seems I'll have to be keeping a closer eye on you."
"I don't need anyone watching out for me."
"And now I'm the one who doesn't agree."
The faced off for a few moments, until Ella looked back at her computer screen and said, "I should wrap this up and go home for the night."
He looked at the clock on the wall. "It's later than I thought." He stood, and said, "I'll leave you to it."
"Night," she said without looking his way.
He paused before walking out the door and said, "I hope you know I wouldn't be looking out for you if I didn't care."
She hung her head for just a second, and then sighed before walking over and giving him a hug. "I know, big guy," she said. "I don't agree with you, but I get that your heart is in the right place."
He tolerated the hug and awkwardly patted her shoulder. "Yes, well. As long as we're clear on that point."
# # #
Later that same month, Lucifer got a call early in the morning about a dead body. He met Chloe, Dan, Ella, and some other police at an expensive home in Beverly Hills. He walked through the door with a smile and said, "Impressive," as he looked at the décor. He found everyone in a room full of racing paraphernalia, including trophies, pictures, models of cars, and framed newspaper articles. In the middle of the floor was a young man with an electrical cord wrapped around his neck.
"What do we have here?" Lucifer asked as he got close to the body.
"Mateo Eperanza," Chloe said. "Twenty-eight, found strangled with an extension cord here in his home about an hour ago. Estimated time of death between ten and twelve hours ago. He was a NASCAR driver."
"Not a NASCAR driver," Ella corrected, "The NASCAR driver. He's won more trophies in the past three years than any other driver on record. He hasn't lost a race since he started. He was more than impressive, he was amazing." She looked at his body with a frown and added, "Now we'll never know how many records he could have broken."
"Sounds like you were a fan," Chloe said.
"More like a super fan," Ella agreed.
"Any idea who would want him dead?" Lucifer asked.
"Every other NASCAR driver would stand to gain with him gone," Ella said. "But his closest rival is Billy Wright. They've been neck and neck more than once, only to have Mateo pull out in front and win."
"What about family?" Chloe asked. "Do you know anything about his personal life?"
"I don't know anything about his life before he won his first race. But the press calls him a playboy. No wife or kids, and he always has a different woman beside him in photos."
"So there will be no lack of suspects for the murder," Lucifer said.
"You should talk to the guy who found him to narrow that down." Ella jabbed her thumb in the direct of the kitchen. "He said his name was Jason Ponce. He claims to be Mateo's best friend, but I've never seen him around the track, he's never been in pictures with Mateo, and he's never been mentioned in any of the articles that I've read."
"Ponce?" Lucifer asked. "Jason Ponce?"
Lucifer smiled and rubbed his hands together, "This should be interesting," and headed towards the kitchen, leaving Ella to her work.
"You know this guy?" Chloe asked as she fell in step beside him.
"I do indeed. We made a deal five years ago. He was a car thief when I met him, and he came to me asking for funds to set up his own auto body shop. I gave him the money, and in exchange, he was supposed to fix all of my cars for free. Our deal was all well and good for about two years until I found out he was actually running a chop shop."
"What did you do?" Chloe asked.
"Told him I'd be seeing him in hell, and took my business elsewhere."
"You didn't call the police?" Chloe scowled with disapproval.
"If I called the police every time one of my associates did something illegal, you'd never have the time to deal with the major crimes like murder, rape, and assault. Car theft barely registers as a crime compared to those. Although last year I did hear a rumor that a couple members of his crew went missing, so maybe he's upped the anti."
Lucifer could see a lecture brewing in the detective's eyes, and quickened his pace to step through the kitchen doorway. "Jason!" he said in greeting with one of the smiles he saved for known criminals.
"Lucifer?" Jason asked, clearly bewildered. "What are you doing here?"
"I consult for the police department now." Lucifer looked Jason up and down. It had been a few years, but nothing much had changed. He was wearing an old pair of jeans with grease stains on them, a tee shirt with a hole in the collar, and his fingers were permanently stained black around the nails from working on cars. But his eyes were a bit puffy as if he'd been crying, and he was sitting next to a drink carrier with two Starbucks coffees in it.
"What are you doing here?" Lucifer asked.
Jason's eyes turned towards the room with the dead body in it, even though all he could see was the kitchen wall. "Teo and I were going to go to on a hike today. I came over to pick him up, but when I got here…" he had to pause to get control of his emotions, "…the door was standing wide open, and he was… cold when I felt for a pulse."
"How did you know Mr. Esperanza?" Chloe asked gently.
"He was like a brother to me. We lived in the same apartment building growing up. Went to school together. We always got along because we both loved cars, and we've always kept in touch."
"If you're such good friends, why doesn't the press know about you?" Lucifer asked.
"Uh…" Jason's eyes darted to the detectives, before he said carefully, "Due to the nature of my work, we keep our friendship on the down low."
"Because you're a criminal, and that would ruin your friend's reputation," Lucifer said.
"Allegedly," Jason said.
"Did Mr. Esperanza have any enemies?" Chloe asked.
Jason shrugged. "Teo's manager and all of his sponsors were making a ton of money off him, so none of them would want him gone. All the other NASCAR drivers would stand to gain with Teo out of the picture, but I don't think any of them would have done it. They all seemed to get along."
"What about Billy Wright?" Chloe asked.
Jason shook his head. "Nah, Billy is a good guy. He wouldn't have done this."
"One of Mateo's multiple romantic partners?" Lucifer asked.
A bitter chuckle came out of Jason. "He didn't have romantic partners. He had an escort service that provided women. They wouldn't want to lose their meal ticket, especially since they didn't even have to sleep with him."
"Why would he…"
Jason cut Chloe off. "Because he was gay, and terrified that the press would find out."
"What about actual romantic partners then?" Lucifer asked.
"Nope. Teo never had a real romantic partner." Jason sighed and looked down at the floor. "His home life wasn't the best. His parents would have disowned him if they ever found out, and Teo wasn't just ashamed of his own sexuality, he was repulsed by it." He looked in the direction of the dead body again and said, "Suicide wouldn't have surprised me, but murder… that I don't get."
Lucifer leaned in and asked, "Where were you last night between eight and ten?"
"Me?" Jason's eyes snapped to Lucifer's. "You think I had something to do with this? He was my best friend!"
Trying to placate him, Chloe said, "No, of course not, it's just procedure. We need to officially cross you off the list of suspects."
Lucifer looked deep into Jason's eyes, and said, "Were you jealous of your friend, Jason? Did you desire to have his home, his job, his life?"
"Then tell me, what is it that you do desire?"
Jason blinked a few times as if confused, and then said, "I want my best friend back. I don't know how I'm supposed to go on without him in my life."
Frowning, Lucifer lost interest in questioning Jason, as he clearly wasn't the killer.
Chloe jumped in and asked, "Where were you last night?"
"At home. Alone."
Lucifer wandered off to look through the rest of the house for clues, while Chloe finished up with Jason.
# # #
Half an hour later, Chloe and Lucifer were about to leave to question some of the other NASCAR drivers, when Lucifer noticed Ella out of the corner of his eye. She was in the kitchen sitting next to Jason, and had her arm around his shoulders.
Scowling he said to Chloe, "I'll be out in a moment Detective. I need to have a quick word with Ms. Lopez."
"I'll meet you at the track," she said as she left.
Still scowling, Lucifer went into the kitchen and said, "What's this?"
Ella gave him a sad smile, "I saw Jason here in the kitchen, and he looked like he could use a hug."
"He doesn't need a hug, he needs to go home before the press gets wind of this."
"Have some compassion," Ella said with a frown. "He just lost his best friend."
Turning to Jason, Lucifer said, "The detective and I are going to the track. It's only a matter of time before the press is here asking questions. Do you want to be here when they arrive?"
Jason wiped the fresh tears off his face, stood and said to Ella, "Thanks for listening to me, it really helped. But Lucifer is right, I need to go."
She rubbed his arm, "Yeah, of course. Drive safe, and try to focus on the good times."
Nodding at both of them, Jason walked out. Once he was out of earshot, Lucifer leaned close to Ella and said, "Mr. Ponce is a criminal, and not to be trusted."
"A criminal?" Ella said, looking out at the retreating man's back just as he turned the corner to go out the front door.
"Yes. He started stealing cars as a teen, and now he runs his own chop shop."
Ella tilted her head to the side and said, "That doesn't necessarily make him a bad person deep down inside, and even if it did, everyone needs comfort after losing their best friend."
Scowling at her, Lucifer said, "If being a thief isn't enough reason for you not to trust him, how about the rumors that a couple members of his crew went missing last year?"
"You should know better than anyone that judging someone because of their reputation isn't fair."
He had to admit Ella had a point, even if he didn't like it.
"Is he a suspect in this murder investigation?" she asked.
"No, I know he's innocent of this particular crime," he reluctantly admitted. "But that doesn't mean he's innocent in general. I've had dealings with him in the past, and he didn't uphold his end of our bargain. He's not a good person, and he's not to be trusted."
She rolled her eyes. "You're as bad as my brothers," she muttered, and then in a placating tone she said, "Okay Lucifer, I hear you. He's not a good guy. I don't know why it matters since I'll probably never see him again, but you can chill out now and get back to work." She picked up her camera and stood. "I need to get my samples to the lab and run some tests."
Her tone reminded him of Azrael's tone when she thought Lucifer was being overly protective, and while he didn't exactly appreciate the fact that she wasn't taking this as seriously as he wanted her to, he also knew she had a valid point. He was being over protective, and if he thought it through, there was no real reason for his warning, because she'd probably never see Jason again. But when he'd seen her hugging the criminal, he'd felt the need to say something.
"I should be getting to the track. The detective will be expecting me."
She patted his shoulder, and said, "I'll see you back at the office later."
They both went their separate ways, and Lucifer tried to focus his attention back on solving the murder.
# # #
Three hours later, Ella was more than a little disappointed. All of the evidence she'd gathered at the crime scene had turned up zero DNA and zero fingerprints other than the victim's. She hated it when criminals were smart enough to clean up after themselves. The only thing she could say for sure was that Mateo was quite inebriated at the time of his death, but that didn't give her any answers as to who killed him. She started looking through the crime scene photos again, to see if there was anything she might have missed. When that didn't give her any new ideas, she started going through the box of the victim's personal effects, even though they'd been over it all before.
While she was looking at Mateo's wallet, her direct line started ringing. She picked up the phone and said, "Lopez, how can I help you?"
"Ella?" A male's voice asked.
"Yes, this is Ella."
"This is Jason. From this morning."
"Hi Jason," she said with sympathy. "How are you holding up?"
"Not good," he admitted. "I've been thinking about Teo all day, and I have some information that I think will help you guys find whoever did it."
"That's great!" she said, "I can give you Detective Decker's cell phone number."
"No!" Jason said, "I mean… I don't know if Lucifer told you, but my business isn't exactly legal."
"He did tell me, but Detective Decker isn't interested in that, she just wants to find the killer."
"I don't want to talk to any detectives, and I certainly don't want to come to the station to give a cop my information. I was wondering if you could come meet me."
"Me?" she asked, feeling both nervous and flattered at the same time.
"You were really nice to me, and I desperately needed a friend this morning. And you're more of a scientist than a cop, so I feel like I can trust you."
"Aw, that's really sweet," she said, and she meant it, but in the back of her mind she thought about Lucifer's earlier warning. "I could meet you around the corner from the police station at the Starbucks."
"I was hoping you could come to my shop. I have three guys working today, and when I leave, they don't tend to get much done. It's only about fifteen minutes from the police station."
A little warning bell went off in her brain, but then she reminded herself that Lucifer said the guy wasn't a suspect, and she remembered Jason's genuine tears about his friend. If any of the evidence she'd collected had turned up a lead, she wouldn't think twice about saying no, but she had nothing. It wasn't like she was going to be alone with him if three of his employees were there at the shop, so it seemed relatively safe.
"I could probably do that. What's the address?"
He gave it to her, and she wrote it on her note pad. Then he said, "Do you guys have Teo's day planner? The one he kept on his desk?"
Ella dug through the box of things and pulled the booklet out. "We do."
"Could you bring it with you?"
"The evidence can't leave the building."
"Does he have a little star next to some of the dates? Right up next to the number, not down in the notes where he wrote down his racing schedule."
A rush of excitement went through her. "He does. We noticed that earlier, but didn't know what it meant. Do you know what it means?"
"You'll need to bring it with you, so I can check it against my calendar here at the shop, but yeah, I think I know what it means."
She bit her lip, and darted her eyes out to all the cops on the other side of the glass. She knew it went against protocol, but Lucifer and Chloe had a fantastic track of solving cases, and Lucifer certainly didn't follow protocol most of the time.
"You'd have to wear gloves," she said.
"I will, I promise. Thank you Ella, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I need to find out who did this to Teo."
"I'll be there in about twenty minutes."
"I'll meet you out front," Jason said.
Ella hung up, and tried not to feel guilty while stuffing the day planner in its evidence bag, and then shoving the whole thing in her purse. She grabbed a few pairs of gloves and put them in her pocket before heading out.
When she stepped out of her lab she almost ran into Dan.
"Whoa," he said with a smile, "Where are you in such a rush to get to?"
"Late lunch," she said with a plastered on grin. "I'm just really, really starving you know?"
Dan nodded and asked her retreating form, "Any new updates on the Esperanza case?"
"Nope!" she called over her shoulder, and hoped no one noticed that her face had turned bright red.
Sixteen minutes later, she was pulling up in front of Jason's shop, while telling herself for the hundredth time that solving Mateo's murder was more important than following the rules.
# # #
Two hours before Ella left the station Lucifer and Chloe were at the track questioning some of Mateo Esperanza's competitors and his pit crew. They all seemed to be upset by the news of his murder, and no one knew of anyone who would want Mateo gone. A few of them suggested the multiple women Mateo usually had around him, and some of the others told them to check with Mateo's manager who knew more about Mateo's day to day activities than anyone else.
One hour before Ella left the station Lucifer and Chloe were at Mateo's manager's office. The only helpful information the man could give them was that early last year Mateo had made several trips to the local mental hospital to visit 'a friend', but he'd refused to tell the manager who he was visiting. It had gone on for about three months before abruptly stopping.
As Ella was leaving the station, Lucifer and Chloe were questioning one of the doctors at the mental hospital about Mateo's visits. The doctor happened to be a female who couldn't take her eyes off Lucifer. He gave her one of his dazzling smiles, leaned in close, and said, "Tell me doctor, who was it that Mateo Esperanza came to visit last year."
Clearly flustered, she stammered over her words, "I can't divulge that information, but I really, really want to."
"Come now," he said with a wink, "You can tell me."
The wink was her undoing. She started telling him everything she knew. "He was visiting his step brother Jason Ponce. Even though Mr. Esperanza's father was only married to Jason's mother for a year, they grew up in the same area, and always called each other brothers."
"Why was Jason here?" Chloe asked, suspiciously. She didn't like this new information, especially since Jason didn't have an actual alibi, but she'd never seen Lucifer's powers of persuasion fail.
"He has Dissociative Identity Disorder."
"What's that?" Chloe asked.
"Formally known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Jason is the original personality, and he's also the host, but he's unaware of all the alters."
Chloe shook her head. "You've lost me."
"Jason has at least ten other alternate personalities inside him, or 'alters' as we call them." The doctor explained. "He's aware of this, but at times refuses to acknowledge it when he loses time. We call Jason 'the host', because he's the one in charge of the body the most often. He knows of at least seven other alternative personalities, and one of his personalities, a woman in her forties named Nikki has told him that he has three more that keep themselves hidden from Jason, because they know he wouldn't approve."
Chloe turned to Lucifer and said, "When you do that thing you do to get people talking, how would that work for someone with multiple personalities?"
"I have no idea," Lucifer said.
"Each personality is distinctly different," the doctor said. "If you ask Jason something, he doesn't speak for the other personalities inside him, he only speaks for himself."
"So one of his other personalities could have committed the crime…" Chloe said.
"…and Jason might not know about it," Lucifer finished for her. He turned back to the doctor, "Would there be any reason for Jason to want to harm Mr. Esperanza?"
The doctor shook her head. "Jason loved Mateo. He was the one good constant in his life. Dissociative Identity Disorder is brought on by severe early childhood trauma. Jason's biological father was both physically and sexually abusive towards him for years, and his mother had a drug problem. Hanging out with Mateo gave him a respite from his parents."
"Thank you doctor," Chloe said, pulling Lucifer out of the room while talking to him. "We should talk to Jason again. He was the last person to see Mateo alive, and he doesn't have an alibi. See if you can get one of his other personalities to talk to you. Ask for Nikki, since she knows about the personalities that Jason doesn't know."
Lucifer nodded in agreement, and said, "He's probably at work right now. I'll take you to his shop."
# # #
Ella met Jason outside his shop and smiled when he thanked her for coming. When he took her inside, she saw his crew working on a beautiful racecar, and rushed over to ask them questions about it. Jason and his crew seemed to be impressed with her knowledge of cars, and they all spent the next twenty minutes talking about the mechanics of racecars. While they were in the middle of the conversation, a bell rang in the shop, startling Ella.
"What was that?" she asked.
"Break time." One of the crewmembers said as he pulled a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket, and walked towards the exit. The rest of the crew followed, and soon Ella was alone with Jason.
He smiled and gestured towards his office. "My calendar is in here. Let's take a look and I'll tell you my theory."
She nodded and, went with him to a cluttered office with shelves full of tools, books, and other supplies. He shut the door behind them, and pulled his calendar off the wall. He spread it out on top of his desk, and said, "Do you have the planner?"
She handed him a pair of gloves and put a pair on herself before pulling the planner out of her purse. He put the gloves on, took the planner, and pulled it out. He skimmed through the pages to find the days that matched the page he was looking at. He stared at one of the pages with a star on it for several seconds before shaking his head, and closing his eyes.
"Idiot," he muttered.
"What do you see?" Ella asked, moving closer to look at the calendar on his desk.
He turned to look her in the eye, and Ella automatically took a step back when she saw his expression. His eyes were now filled with rage.
"Jason?" she asked warily. "Are you okay?"
"Not Jason," he said, talking a step towards her. "Randy. And no, I'm not okay."
She scrambled backwards, and rushed to the other side of the desk to keep the large piece of furniture between them. Unfortunately, that also put her further away from the office door.
"What?" Terror rushed through her as she realized she was alone with him, none of her co-workers knew where she was, and he was clearly crazy. Her eyes darted to the small office window, hoping to see the rest of the crew, but the garage remained empty.
He slapped the day planner down on the desk next to the calendar, and flipped to the next starred date. "Damn it, Mateo," he muttered. "Why the hell would you do that to us?"
"Do what?" Ella asked, hoping to keep him engaged in a conversation until his men came back.
"He marked down the days we fucked."
"What?" Ella whispered.
Randy pulled a small bucket off one of his shelves, dumped the planner inside it, and got a lighter out of his pocket. "It's been happening since I was eighteen and he was nineteen, but if I'd known he was going to be keeping a record of it, I never would have let him fuck me in the first place." He opened the lighter, and held the flame to the planner. "Jason can't find out about me, or about the things Mateo and I did. We'd be back in that fucking mental ward for the rest of our lives. That's why Mateo had to die. After talking to that bitch doctor, Mateo realized he'd never actually fucked Jason, it had always been me. That moron wanted to tell Jason about us, as if Jason could handle that kind of information without having a complete and total mental breakdown. After the shit his father did to him, having a gay personality would damage Jason beyond repair."
Once the planner was on fire, he looked into Ella's eyes and said, "And unfortunately, that means you've got to go, too. Which is a shame, because Jason really likes you in a straight boy type of way."
Ella shook her head. "Please don't…" she stopped talking as he opened the decorative wooden box on his desk, and pulled out a gun.
As he was lifting it up to point it at her, she ducked behind the desk, and tried to keep him talking. "How did you find out about the stars?"
"I got a letter from him this morning. Some courier service he hired to give me the letter if he ever died. I'm sure he thought he'd die in a spectacular crash on the racetrack, not in his house by my hands. He confessed everything we've ever done in that fucking letter." Randy leaned forward to see if he could get a good shot, and said, "Don't make this harder on yourself, just come out."
The office door banged open, and Chloe yelled, "Freeze!" as she pointed her gun at Randy.
Randy muttered a curse, stilled, and raised both hands in the air.
"Put the gun on the desk and step away," Chloe ordered.
He slowly did as she asked, and she got the handcuffs out of her back pocket. She started telling him his rights as she cuffed him. As soon as he was incapacitated, Ella popped up from behind his desk.
"Ella?" Chloe asked, shocked to see her. "What are you doing here?"
Lucifer stepped into the office as well. "Ms. Lopez?"
Ella rushed around to their side of the desk and gave first Lucifer and then Chloe a quick hug while gushing, "I'm so glad you're here! You came just in the nick of time." She let go of Chloe and turned her attention to the bucket with the smoldering day planner, and dumped it out on the desk to see if any of it was salvageable.
"Are you here alone?" Chloe asked.
Ella nodded absently with her focus still on the planner. "Jason killed Mateo," she said as she grabbed a stack of clean rags off the nearby shelf and put them over the day planner to make sure it was done burning. Then she opened it up and took a close look, and saw that at least one of the little stars had survived the fire. Looking up at Chloe she said, "I got a confession out of him, but he told me his name was Randy, not Jason, and then he threatened to kill me, too."
"What?" Lucifer glared at Randy and took a menacing step towards him. "You threatened to kill Ms. Lopez?"
Randy remained completely silent, and kept his eyes on the ground.
Chloe quickly pushed Randy further back, and stepped between him and Lucifer. She looked Lucifer in the eyes and said, "Calm down, he's already in custody, and he needs professional help."
Frowning, Lucifer reluctantly nodded, and took a step back.
Chloe turned to Ella and said, "I'm going to call for back up, take Randy, or Jason, or whoever he is right now back to the station and book him. But later tonight when all of that is done, I'm going to want some answers."
"Answers?" Ella asked.
"You're here alone, and you took evidence out of the lab." Chloe said with a disapproving scowl on her face.
"Oh." Ella couldn't come up with anything to say that Chloe was going to like, and her shoulders slumped.
"I expect this kind of thing from Lucifer…" Chloe said.
"I beg your pardon," Lucifer interrupted, clearly offended.
Chloe continued as if he hadn't spoken, "…but not from you. Unless you have a really good explanation, I'm going to have to report this. It's a huge breach in protocol, not to mention incredibly dangerous to be here by yourself."
Unable to defend her actions, Ella kept quiet. She noticed Lucifer's features becoming more and more displeased as Chloe spoke, and desperately tried to come up with some kind of explanation, but her conscience wouldn't let her. Her latex gloves suddenly felt too hot. She took them off, set them on the desk, and rubbed her hands on her jeans.
Lucifer crossed his arms and said, "Detective, can you keep everyone outside for a few minutes while you call for backup and gather statements? I'd like a word with Ms. Lopez in private."
Ella's took a step back and swallowed hard.
"Sure," Chloe said as she hauled a silent Randy out of the office and then out of the warehouse.
"Lucifer…" Ella said cautiously once they were alone.
He held a finger up to stop her and said, "You, Ms. Lopez, are going to tell me exactly how you came to be here by yourself with the killer, and if I don't like what I hear, you'll be going directly over my knee."
She bit her lip for all of half a second, and then blurted out the whole story. She told him about the lack of evidence, the phone call from Jason, the thought process that went behind her decision to drive out here, and her run in with Dan on her way out.
"Well," Lucifer said, "I'd say a paddling is most certainly in order."
Ella hated the guilt that was swirling around in her chest. If she didn't feel bad about what she'd done, and about Chloe's censure, she'd be telling Lucifer to back off. But she did feel bad, unlike the time she saved the cat, and she knew she probably deserved it, even if she didn't want it. So instead of putting up any real protest, she wrung her hands, took yet another step back, and said, "But you're the one who told me he wasn't the killer, so I thought it was relatively safe."
"Be that as it may, I distinctly remember telling you not to trust him." Lucifer started rifling though the items on the shelf and the desk as he spoke. "As soon as I'm able to find a satisfactory implement, you're getting punished. Ah, this should do nicely," he said, picking up a sturdy wooden ruler off the desk.
Having gone to Catholic school in her younger years, Ella knew exactly what that was going to feel like, and opened her mouth to protest, but the words simply wouldn't come out. She closed her mouth and instead put both her hands on her bottom to shield it.
He pulled a rickety looking old metal chair out from behind the desk and sat in it. He pointed to the floor beside his right leg with the ruler. "Right here, Ms. Lopez."
"You don't have to do this," she said. "I already feel awful about it, and I swear I'm not going to do anything like this again."
"No you're not, I'm going to make sure of that," Lucifer said sternly. "Feeling guilty, only gives me more of an incentive to punish you, because Hell is full of people who feel awful for what they've done." He stood, closed the distance between them, and took her by the upper arm. "Come along, Ms. Lopez. I'd like to get this over with before we're disturbed," he said as he pulled her to the chair.
She gasped, but didn't struggle when he sat back down and eased her down across his lap. He wrapped his arm around her waist, and tapped the ruler against the seat of her jeans a couple of times. "I believe three rounds should do it. This first round is for taking the evidence out of the lab. I personally don't see a problem with that, but unlike me, you're one of those people who feels bad about breaking the rules."
He lifted the ruler and snapped it down onto her bottom.
"Ah!" she yelped reflexively at the first strong smack, and then took a deep breath in and held it for a few seconds while Lucifer put the ruler to use laying down line after line of stinging pain. He was spanking much too fast for her to keep her breath in for any length of time. "Ow!" she complained, and wiggled to get away.
"I think not," Lucifer said as he tightened his grip, and focused the last several smacks on her sit spots and upper thighs.
"Ow!" she said again, but this time it was less complaint, and more reaction to pain.
He paused and let the ruler rest on her ass. "Have I made my point on that subject?"
"Yes," she said with a pout and put a hand back to try rubbing out the sting.
"None of that," he tapped the back of her hand with the ruler, and she immediately snatched it away.
"Better," he said. "The second round is for lying to Daniel, and for not telling anyone where you were going. I don't condone lying in general, but under normal circumstances I'd make an exception for lying to Daniel, especially if it's at his expense. But even at his most annoying, having Daniel here to watch your back would be better than being here alone. And if you simply couldn't bear to have Daniel in the vicinity, then you should have told someone else where you were going."
He started spanking again on top of already sore skin. She immediately started to wiggle, and kick her feet at the increased sting, but she didn't ask him to stop, because she did feel guilty about lying to Dan.
"Ooow!" she said pitifully, praying that it would end soon. Once the smacks made their way down to her sit spots for a second time, she whined and put a hand back to cover as much of her rear end as she could.
Lucifer paused, took her wrist in his hand, moved it to the small of her back, and then continued right where he'd left off.
By the time that round was done, Ella's eyes were bright with unshed tears, and her breathing was ragged.
"I'm sorry," she said.
"Yes, I'm sure you are." Lucifer tapped her bottom with the ruler a couple more times as he said, "Last one, and it's the big one. You put yourself in grave danger by letting a known criminal talk you into meeting up with him at his place of business. That decision could have cost you your life, and I'm not having it." He shifted her forward so that her hips were resting on his left thigh, and then put his right leg over hers to keep her in place if she tried kicking too much.
"Please don't," she whimpered. "It already hurts enough. I don't need anymore."
"I'm afraid you do." He raised the ruler up, and started in on the third round.
The first smack landed, leaving a nasty prickly sting in its wake, and she couldn't hold back her tears, or her loud exclamations of pain with each successive swat. She writhed around, trying to get away from the onslaught, but he kept her pinned easily.
He didn't stop until he'd delivered the full punishment that he thought she deserved for putting her life at risk, ending it with a flurry of swats aimed at her sit spots.
The last round had lasted for less than thirty seconds, but it had seemed like minutes to her. When the swats finally stopped, all the fight went out of her, and she lay limp across his thigh while crying.
Lucifer reached over and set the ruler back on the desk, let go of her captured wrist, and gently rubbed her back for a few moments. "Punishment's over," he said softly. "You're forgiven."
When her only response was more tears, he carefully turned her over so she was sitting upright. Before he could pull out his pocket square to hand it to her, she'd latched onto him with a fierce hug, and pressed the side of her face into his chest while she cried.
"There, there," he said softly as he put one arm around her. "You're alright. Just give yourself a moment to recuperate." He used his free hand to get the pocket square out of his vest and shook it out before holding it in front of her. "Here, use this," he said, hoping to prevent any more bodily fluids from getting on his clothing.
She took it, sat up a little, wiped at her eyes, and blew her nose before trying to hand it back.
"Keep it," he said, as he watched a few more tears slide down her face.
Leaning against his chest again, she said in an accusatory tone, "That really hurt, Lucifer."
"Yes, that is the point of punishment."
Pouting, she said, "You didn't have to be so hard on me, I already said I was sorry."
"You could have been killed today Ms. Lopez. Can you honestly tell me you didn't deserve a serious chastisement?"
She opened her mouth to say yes, but the word wouldn't come out. She huffed, and muttered, "It was horrible. I've never been paddled that hard before."
"I should hope not," Lucifer said. "You told me you were ten the last time someone paddled you. This was adult level punishment."
"You're mean," she said.
"You're laughing?" she asked as she tried to get off his lap.
He tightened his arm around her waist to keep her there, and quickly shook his head. "I'm not laughing at you, Ms. Lopez. I simply find it amusing how much you remind me of my little sister at times."
She stopped trying to get away, and he gently pushed her head back down to rest against his chest. "I didn't know you had a little sister," she said.
"One time when she was quite young, I caught her trying to sneak off on her own. I forced her to confess her misdeeds to our father, and he was less than pleased. She told me I was mean for weeks after that, but she didn't say it with malice, she said it with a pout, which is exactly what you just did."
He rubbed a hand up and down her back, and he kissed the top of her head. "And I'll tell you exactly what I told her. The next time you're faced with a potentially dangerous situation, you remember how mean I can be, and make the decision to keep yourself safe. Is that clear?"
She sighed, and any remaining anger drained out of her as she relaxed against him completely. "Very clear."
After several moments of silent comfort, Lucifer eventually said, "People are waiting for us, and I'd say we're done here." He helped her to stand, got up himself, and pushed the chair out of their way. "I'll speak to the detective on your behalf. Tell her there's no need for official consequences for this particular bout of misconduct."
"You're not going to tell her that you…" she trailed off, not wanting to even say the words after the whole horrible ordeal.
"…paddled your backside for you?" Lucifer finished for her. She nodded and he continued, "Of course I am. I don't lie to the detective and…" he had to break eye contact and glare at the floor as he finished his statement, "…she knows I'm always honest with her." He was able to make eye contact again and gave Ella a forced smile. "Not to worry Ms. Lopez, the detective will immediately forgive your misdeeds, and lend a sympathetic ear while you tell her what a monster I am."
A concerned frown crossed Ella's features, and she reached out to touch his arm. "Monster?" She shook her head. "I never said monster. I'm the one who's sore, and I wouldn't call you a monster, because I know you wouldn't have done it unless you thought it would help me."
"Thank you," he said with sincerity, feeling marginally better about the prospect of talking to Chloe about what he'd just done. He gestured towards the front of the warehouse. "After you."
She started walking and her mind focused back on the case at hand. "Once backup gets here, we're going to need to re-bag what's left of the day planner, and look for a letter that Mateo supposedly sent to Jason. It's probably here at the office somewhere. And I'll need to…"
Lucifer smiled as he listened to her verbally cataloguing the things she'd need to collect to put Jason away for good, and sent a silent thank you to his sister for putting Ella in his path.