(this chapter is a bit more scary/creepy it also contains a bit of innuendo)
The library was filled wall to wall with books. Dak’kon had no idea what he was looking for, at least not specifically. A random search would have taken months. He needed to find a solution to Xyven’s possession and a means of ridding the house of any and all infestations. He decided to start his search with the heavily dog-eared books on the side table. The books, he soon discovered, were filled with illegible notes and more usefully highlighted passages.
Most of the books pertained to exorcisms and cleansings. There was one book that pertained to demons but it was apparent that his grandfather had never quite figured out what type of demon possessed Xyven. He seemed to have narrowed it down to a genre, sex fiend. Dak’kon was going to have to talk/interact with Xyven again if he was ever going to riddle out the monster’s identity. His grandfather had dedicated his whole life to research and Dak’kon wasn’t prepared to sacrifice that kind of time.
“I took you to be a man of science.” Dak’kon’s head snapped up. It was too early. Xyven loomed in the doorway but there was something wrong with him. The man appeared, almost unsteady, like the flicker of a dying street lamp.
“Well there’s not exactly a lot to do around here for entertainment.” Dak’kon said sitting the books to the side. He was going to play this casual and if possible avoid a confrontation.
“It looks like you’ve been redecorating. I don’t like what you’ve done with the windows.” The demon’s tone expressed displeasure. A displeasure so fundamental that it could even be thought a precursor to violence. What started out as a slow out of sync walk across the room escalated rapidly. Before Dak’kon could even rise from his chair Xyven had crossed the room and was bent over him gripping the chair’s arm rests. The demon’s face was close, too close. Dak’kon didn’t flinch, at least not outwardly. Everything was an act, a machinations, and as much as Dak’kon hated playing games everything depended upon his ability to put up a good front.
“I can think of better uses of your time.” Xyven said his grin was wide, serpentine. Dak’kon caught the innuendo and it repulsed him.
“I don’t think I like what you have in mind.” Dak’kon said eyes narrowing. From this distance he thought that Xyven looked pale, almost waxy. Was the demon forcing himself to be awake? In any case he’d learned something important Xyven did not care for the changes he’d made to the house. Did Xyven have issues with natural light? Or was it change?
Xyven’s laugh was deep and unsettling. “That’s too bad…” The demon said and though he rose he remained close. Close enough that Dak’kon couldn’t comfortably get out of the chair. “I think we’d have fun together but who would be on top?” The question seemed to amuse the demon a good deal. Dak’kon did not humor the demon further by proposing an answer. Any answer, even defiance, would have only served to continue that line of discourse.
Instead he changed the subject. “I thought you’d be headed out by now.” Dak’kon commented doing his best to keep his tone and body language relaxed.
“I have a room here didn’t you know that? The weather forecast is threatening snow figured I’d better stay the night encase the roads become impassable.” Xyven seemed disinterested in this particular line of conversation and answered only to keep up the pretense of civility. “So did you ever run into Nikolai?”
“Sorry I haven’t seen him. I guess he moved on.” Dak’kon responded careful not to rush his words and careful not to break his gaze lest it look like he was being deceitful.
“That is unfortunate.” Xyven said more to himself than to his present company. “We’ll be spending a lot of time together in the upcoming months. I would prefer if we got along. You are aware of my reputation. That is all in the past. I had a difficult upbringing. Got mixed up in drugs. Took a bad course. But I’ve put that behind me now.” Xyven seemed oddly sincere, human almost. What was the game? He’d just seen the man move across the floor with unnatural speed. Was it Xyven that was different? Or was it his perception that was warped?
“I only glanced at your resume. I am not one to belabor the past. We’re cool.” They weren’t cool, Dak’kon hadn’t liked Xyven from their very first conversation. The way he’d spoken about Nikolai, denigrated him. He couldn’t deny that they had similarities. He slept around a lot. He was also very forthright with his lovers about his intentions. It was their similarities perhaps more than their differences that caused his revulsion. He’d never referred to anyone as a slut though, that would have been hypocritical.
“You’re alright Daks heh just don’t read too many of these books they’ll rot your brain same way they did the old mans.” Xyven lifted one of the books off the table and let it fall to the floor with what Dak’kon took to be disgust. There was a threat imparted in the demon’s tone that suggested to him some degree of intimidation. Clearly there was something in these books, an answer, a hint, a potential weapon. “Look I am going to turn in early. See you around.” Xyven really did seem to be feeling unwell. The man’s gait was slightly staccato. There was a sound too like static on an old CRT television.
Dak’kon bid the man goodnight and noted that instead of heading toward the back of the house or up the stairs where the bedrooms were located he headed toward the foyer.
The house had no servant’s quarters, all the staff had slept as guests/residents in the house. That of course included the former chef. Maybe there were some clues in Xyven’s room? It was much too dangerous to attempt entry now, what with the demon semi-conscious and besides he wasn’t even sure which room belonged to Xyven. Dak’kon took the books to his bedroom., they were too important to leave behind.
He had to proceed as planned so as not to arouse any suspicion.
Dak’kon locked the door to the bathroom, a precaution he’d not taken on the first night, A precaution he deduced afforded him only the illusion of security. Nothing remarkable occurred during his shower. It wasn’t until he was finished that he noticed the paint on the window (he hadn’t finished all the windows) had run. Fat, black ribbons stood in stark contrast to the white tiles and that wasn’t the only thing amiss in the room. His image in the broken mirror was even more obfuscated than before. All he could see was heavy, black smoke. So strong was the impression that he even smelled it but a quick survey of the room revealed no flames. He dressed in a blue t-shirt, boxers, and a pair of blue and black checkered pajama bottoms and brushed his teeth feigning ignorance of anything supernatural. ‘Keep your shit together’ He thought and that thought became his mantra.
Dak’kon locked his bedroom door behind him for all the good it did him. Nikolai had not yet reopened the portal and so there was nothing to do but read. He read while drinking vodka from a water bottle. If Nikolai didn’t come through in time he figured he ought to get drunk enough to enter on his own. By the time Nikolai arrived he had a pretty good buzz going.