Chapter 1: The Meeting
Christine had never felt so nervous in her whole life. The ballroom was lavishly decorated with symbols of unity and peace in celebration, but she barely acknowledge her scenery. She always expected her wedding to be a happy affair. The happiest day of her life. But her heart was heavy with dread. And with a glimpse at the demons and angels somewhat stiffly socializing, she knew exactly why.
This ball was in celebration of her engagement to the demon prince of Hell. A union arranged to create a peace and permanent balance between Heaven and Hell. Heaven would offer its purest woman, aka her, to be a bride to Mephistopheles' unruly youngest son. Christine was more than willing to do this in the interest of peace but it did little for her nerves. It was certainly no small task. Especially since all she knew of her fiancé were rumors.
Of course, every angel knew about the demon prince, Blackheart. Especially after the San Vanganza incident a few months ago nearly ruined and destroyed him. Rumor had it he was an arrogant playboy with a certain talent for trouble. He could easily seduce any woman he wanted. He was as ruthless in his crimes as he was remorseless. Apparently, Christine's duty was to attempt to soften his actions. Try to be a saving grace for the most hopeless of lost. How was she supposed to do this when she had never even seen his face?
She couldn't stand it anymore. Her nerves were far too great. Christine began to make a beeline to the nearest exit from the party. She wasn't ready to meet Blackheart, let alone become his wedded wife. She couldn't possibly marry someone she didn't love or know. Someone who couldn't possibly return any love that might come. Surely, she wasn't the only woman they could offer. She was more than certain Blackheart didn't care. Last she had heard, he had already made an escape from the wedding.
Unfortunately, her own escape was intercepted by her mentor, Mikhail. His smile was warm and comforting in a fatherly way. "You look beautiful tonight, my dear." Did she? She hadn't actually seen herself tonight. All she knew was Mephistopheles' servants had picked it out for her.
"Mikhail… I'm scared…"
"I don't see why you should be." Mikhail offered her an arm which she gladly accepted. The calm elder provided her desperately needed tranquility in the eye of the storm. "This is a happy occasion, my child. You're getting married tomorrow."
"To the son of the devil. I've never even met him… I'm getting married to a man I know nothing about…" Christine tried very hard to keep calm in her confession to her elder. "How can we possibly stay together?" She wrung her hands nervously. "From what I understand we're total opposites."
"Exactly, Christine. You know the old adage 'opposites attract.' Besides, you also have a gift for saving souls beyond all hope." Christine blushed a little bit at the compliment.
"Perhaps but-" Her thought was cut off by a great crashing from outside the ballroom. Everyone froze. All mingling ceased from the seeping tension. Christine cringed at the angry yelling that came next.
"I will NOT be forced into this!" A male cried. She could only guess that it belonged to her future husband. He didn't sound very thrilled with the idea.
"You have no choice! Think of this as a chance for… redemption from the contract."
"You can't force me to marry one of THEM!" Christine quickly turned on her heel and bolted to the nearest balcony. She was in desperate need of some fresh air.
Christine wasn't afraid of the demon prince. She wasn't even afraid of Hell. The thought of this wedding absolutely terrified her though. Even more frightening was the possibility of what her future husband thought of her. Yet she had no idea why. She certainly had a healthy amount of self-confidence in her. Of course, the prince's little outburst didn't help matters at all. He was obviously about as thrilled about this wedding as she was. At least they had one thing in common…
The slam of the balcony doors brought her out of her thoughts, making her jump. "Stupid, pathe-" Christine stiffened as the voice cut off, obviously spotting her. "I'm sorry. I realize anyone else was out here." She immediately recognized the voice. It had been yelling not five minutes earlier. At least he seemed to be polite.
"Its fine, milord. I can leave if it pleases you…" she suggested to her fiancé, her medieval formality masking her nerves. The anger in her voice made her very nervous to face him. He let out a frustrated huff.
"No. That's not necessary." She nodded, still wary of facing him. "You know you don't have to be afraid of me." She shivered as an icy thumb and forefinger gripped her chin, turning it to meet their owner's gaze.
Blackheart was certainly as handsome as the rumors foretold. Jet-black hair framed his features, casting dark shadows with every tilt of the head. Like most demons, he sported unnaturally pale skin, but it seemed to suit him. What captured her attention though were his eyes. She had heard he had unnaturally light eyes for a demon but she had no idea just how blue they were… "You seem familiar. What's your name?" She swallowed nervously.
"Christine de Lionecourt. Your fiancé, milord." Blackheart raised an eyebrow at that. He had only ever seen a picture of the angel they were forcing him to marry. It certainly had done the girl no justice.
He began to circle Christine, acutely aware she was nervous in his presence. It was one of the reasons he prolonged her torment. He also wanted to survey this woman they were forcing him to spend his life with.
She was certainly an attractive little thing. The corset of her gown hugged her frame, emphasizing already perfect curves. Judging by the length of her skirt, she must have been long-legged. He was surprised by the strapless nature of her gown which seemed to cause a permanent pink stain on her cheeks. He chuckled. "Do I make you nervous?"
"No, milord." She have been from an aristocratic world, judging by the way she carried herself and the unconscious formal use of the title.
"I'm pretty sure that title doesn't apply here. Considering…" He stopped behind her, wrapping an arm around her waist. She was nervous alright, whether he was the cause or not. And he couldn't help but enjoy that fact. "We'll be married tomorrow," he whispered in her ear. He chuckled as a shiver crept down her slender spine. "Do I frighten you?"
"N-no…" She gulped. "Not at all." The demon prince frowned. She was actually telling the truth. How she wasn't afraid of him he didn't know. But he was now very determined to change that.
As predicted, Christine jumped at the pleased growled from him. "M-maybe we should rejoin our party…" He chuckled darkly. She let out a startled gasp as he pulled her against him, pinning her there.
"Why? The night is young. No one will miss us if we disappear for a few minutes… Or a few hours…" She wiggled, attempting to pull away from him.
"That's rude and highly improper." He didn't release her, so she continued to struggle against his unyielding arms. "Please let go." Of course, he didn't. Instead, he turned her in his arms, making her face him.
"Why?" He asked through his impish grin. Christine tried very hard to wrangle in her nerves. She was certain her future husband was trying to seduce her. And he was putting in an intense effort that was almost working. Especially with those eyes. Something about those ice blue orbs drew her to him like a moth to a flame. "I'm rather… enjoying your company."
Because I don't feel safe alone with you… She didn't dare voice her thought, not to him. It wasn't physical harm she feared… The mischievous grin that crossed Blackheart's features did not help matters.
"Well… Perhaps you shouldn't," he said, reading her thoughts. He caught her chin again, gently pulling her towards his own advancing face. "Beautiful creature like you?" She was close enough to feel the cold radiating off his skin. "Could probably drive a saint to sin…" His lips ghosted against hers.
"Christine." Christine jumped away from Blackheart at the calls, while Blackheart just scowled frustrated. She didn't look up lest Mikhail and the demon king see the blush painting her cheeks. "You two are needed inside."
"Coming, Mikhail…" She wasn't fond of the note of regret in her voice. The demon prince released a regretful sigh.
"Till next time then… Christine." Blackheart took the angel's gloved hand, kissing it. She just watched him, a little shocked. That was the first time he had used her name. He practically purred it. Her face grew redder even as the two were led back inside. But I promise I will get that kiss. Christine was certain he would.