Ms Moo smells of a decade of tight schedules and ill-planned clothing choices - polyester, Chloe thinks. So much polyester and angst that have left traces inside the cow suit she is now sporting where she sits, cross-legged on a purple pillow on the floor, surrounded by twenty-three kids and their parents.
Twenty-three pairs of eyes regard her with anticipation verging on impatience.
Add to that the twenty-three adults in the background regarding her with a mixture of glee and pity and Chloe feels pretty much done with today.
Done, as in buh-bye now, checking out, going home to have wine straight from the bag-in-box, just opening the tab and tipping her head back. (She might have done that once or twice, the last time being after her last staff meeting where the library administration held a presentation on the benefits of removing the physical boundaries of the rooms. In the words of normal humans it means removing walls between office spaces and public areas in an attempt to increase the suicide rate among librarians and/or create a transparent working environment.)
Done, as the book about cheerful animals doing pedagogical things together.
She is done. Except of course for the fact that she has another two hours of underpaid service to the public to enjoy before she can grab her tote bag and stroll out of here in her ergonomic footwear.
“And now we say goodbye,” Chloe as Ms Moo says, pouring all of her extensive joy to be alive into the words. “Can you say goodbye?”
She wishes it was a rhetorical question.
It isn’t. Of course it isn’t.
Twenty-three kids instead roar their goodbyes into the sweaty, unpleasantly sweet-smelling air of the Story Time corner.
Chloe gets to her feet which is, unfortunately, a struggle in itself considering the stuffing the suit provides in all the wrong places. Around her bottom and front, for example, as well as around the thighs. Rocking gracefully back and forth to get up, she spots Mr Morningstar standing by a nearby shelf of YA Romance, looking at her with the dirtiest expression she’s ever seen. Well, it might be that she’s reading too much into it. Might be that she considers his entire being an E-rated creature. But he’s definitely staring. And it’s definitely not helping matters inside the already overheated suit.
“Ms Moo,” he says and then he’s right next to her, offering a hand. “Allow me.”
“Great,” she mutters, grabbing hold of him thinking that she’s already dead inside so what’s another little stumble into disgrace. “You’re back. I thought Satan got scared of Story Time and left.”
“Oh I did.”
His smile is wide and yes, wicked, as his gaze travels over the bulky cow suit.
“Seriously ?” Chloe’s voice is more of a whimper. “This outfit does it for you?”
The Devil as a furry isn’t really as sexy as one might expect. Then again, it’s nowhere near as off-putting as it ought to be either, so there’s that.
“Almost anything can do it for me,” he replies, his voice sultry in a way it absolutely cannot be if there’s any scrap of logic left in this world. “I’m very open-minded about the package if I enjoy the contents.”
“Great,” she says again, but she’s allowing him to keep a hand on Ms Moo’s wide butt as she wiggles her way up and away. For support, she tells herself.
Fifteen minutes later Chloe has removed the cow suit, washed her face and applied entirely too much strawberry-scented lotion on all available body parts, feeling rebellious about going against the library policy of non-scented products because today clearly is a day when she deserves to smell of something besides quiet self-contempt. She’s even left the supposed crimes-against-fashion-cardigan behind in the staff room and feels good about life as she returns to the Adult Literature & Fiction Department.
“You disarranged the hold shelf, Chlo?” Dan pushes the book cart in front of him, almost making them both trip over it.
She frowns. “Why would I do that?”
He shrugs, looking woundedly at her the way he’s done now ever since they stopped dating. He never did get over the fact that she had been the one who reported his theft of incunables to their former boss, she supposes. And now he’s adopted the library assistant mentality stating that librarians are actively sabotaging the inner mechanics of the system out of spite, evilness and the shriveled-up little rocks that once were their souls. That they sneak around their workplace, shrouded by darkness, to sow chaos in the shelves and deliberately hide popular titles.
She’s fairly sure Dan thinks this right now.
“Why do people do anything, Chlo? Who can say? All the holds are mixed up and-” The book cart makes its sad little noise again as he adjusts his grip on it but Chloe has already lost interest in his existential woes so she looks around, hoping against all better judgement and everything that is holy - which, until until an hour ago, wasn’t much in her world - that the Devil hasn’t left.
The first sign of it is his nicely shaped butt poking out from where he stands, his tall frame leaning against the information desk where Jan sits, wide-eyed and enthusiastic . Which in Jan’s case means that her lifeless skin is lit by some kind of inner glow and that her mouth is actually moving as she speaks. Chloe hasn’t seen her coworker in this elated state since the Christmas party three years ago when Jan and Ian had started shouting at each other about citations in one of the study cells, then promptly resolved the argument by making out under the table.
"How about A hundred years of solitude?" she asks, breathlessly.
He looks like he’s considering the suggestion when he is in fact, Chloe suspects, merely thinking up new ways of shoving sexual innuendo into perfectly innocent contexts.
"I've always found the scope of it too narrow. A hundred years? That's nothing. I prefer to really be given the opportunity to penetrate the state of human solitude. Do you have anything more... lengthy?"
Yeah, she thinks. Like that.
“Have you read the older classics then?” Jan is practically combusting behind her desk, Chloe wonders if they will have to go Superabsorbent on the chair later. “Perhaps The Divine Comedy- ”
“And I compare more closely with a Giant, than merely with his arms the Giants do; consider now how great that whole must be, that with such parts as these may be compared.” Mr Morningstar smiles innocently, shifting position at the desk in a manner that looks as devious as anything else he does. The clash between those two things is almost painful. “Dante was an idiot. And he exaggerated somewhat. I’m not that big.”
“Mr Morningstar.” Chloe approaches and finds herself being shushed by Jan who's not taking her eyes off the Devil. Oh, she would love to tell Jan the truth, wholesome Jan who goes to church and likes to whine about how few young people these days that find their way to the community. These millennials and their phones, maybe they’d find God if He drove an uber. Furthermore she has a way of saying ‘community’ like it's really a death cult set on achieving the ultimate destruction of mankind, which might explain the bad rep her church gets. That, and Jan herself.
“Oh, hello.” He turns to her and smiles and Chloe isn't proud of it but she knows it's a different kind of smile than the one he gave Jan, she knows it and she feels it and she treasures it, in a way she hopes is only mildly pathetic.
"We were going to make an appointment," she says, glancing at Jan who visibly bites down hard over her jealousy. Ha! Chloe thinks, this is for saying I don't know the difference between conditional and exclusive OR. “Isn't that right, Mr Morningstar?”
"Indeed we were." He waves coyly at Jan - who moans into her coffee mug and returns to staring at the computer screen instead of his shoulders - and stands beside Chloe. "Indeed we were, Ms Decker."
“Chloe. Call me Chloe, please. I mean, I've seen your…”
Jan, who is still listening to them, coughs and Mr Morningstar’s expression turns devious.
“My…?" He leans in, his dark eyes glittering. “My what , Ms Decker?”
For a moment she doubts everything that took place in the reference library, roughly an hour and a half ago. Doubts his facial transformation, his explanation for it, his look then, the burning, shivering heat in the air as he showed himself to her. Had it, in fact, been nothing but a mirage in the sexual desert that is her life?
Then he chuckles and as they move away from Jan’s desk, he gives her an amused look.
“Chloe,” he says. “Then please call me Lucifer.”
“Right. Lucifer. And just checking here - you are the Devil?”
“The one and only. Well, at least that I know of. Doubt dear old dad would have made more like me when the prototype failed so badly.” He looks, surprisingly, a bit troubled for a moment, before his usual expression returns and he lights up again. “Oh, and I’m also a library volunteer now,” he declares and shows her a folder. “Adult Book Discussion leader, indeed.”
There really are no words for how those words strung together in a sentence make her feel, she is certain of it. No matter how well-read she might be (less that patrons think) and how intelligent she is (more than patrons think) she cannot find any word in the English language that manages to cover what a catastrophic idea that is.
“Wow. That’s -” she takes a deep breath. “You do know it’s not adult adult, right?”
“Not at present, it isn’t.”
“And you are also aware that Jan will be choosing the books with you?”
“I’m counting on it,” he purrs. “I believe she will let me have a free rein in the matter.”
“I bet that’s true for most matters,” Chloe mutters, drawing a low chuckle from the strange Devil that walks beside her.
“You are delightful when you talk like that,” he says and damn it if she doesn’t blush a little.
Once in her office - that she shares with three other librarians and five book carts in a real life human Tetris game - Lucifer seems to remember that he’s a Devil on a mission.
“So, Chloe. How do I get a hold of the old religious texts I need?” He slumps down in Joan’s chair in the desk facing Chloe’s own and picks up her librarian action figure with a smirk.
She looks at the list of resources he’s scribbled down for her on a piece of paper stolen from the Craft table down in the Children’s Literature Department. He’s enhanced the ladybug in the bottom left corner in a fashion that will forever taint her idea of ladybugs, but she quickly pushes past that and focuses on the mishmash of book titles and what mostly appears to be random thoughts. It looks like something a priest would be able to help with, but she doesn’t dare suggest it.
“These are… very specific requests. Some of them might be available in digital archives online,” she begins. It’s Librainish for good luck, you damned soul.
Lucifer shakes his head.
“I need the actual texts. I’m a very…hands-on sort of scholar.” He holds them up, waves his hands, as though she isn’t familiar with the concept of hands. Or, she adds, perhaps it’s because he wants to watch her watch him staring at said hands and imagine what they could do, with that slightly dazed expression of the enthralled women he undoubtedly leave in his wake. Does the Devil truly want to fuck her even beyond this act of his? Does the Devil want her soul? What does the Devil want apart from driving her to the brink of madness with his library visits? Chloe’s grasp of religion is incredibly shallow and mostly consists of nope and no thanks followed by not in a million years. Come to think of it, she will have to rethink that stance entirely now that she has proof of the divine. Sweet Dewey, this will take her some time.
“You will find, Chloe, that I’m a very specific kind of man.” He wiggles his eyebrows and Chloe groans.
“Yeah, well nobody’s going to let you borrow the medieval treasures. Regardless of what bribes you are imagining.”
“I don’t bribe .” He huffs and leans back in Joan’s chair again. “And they’re hardly your treasures anyway.”
“Doesn’t matter.” She folds her arms, as though it would help with her lack of authority in the face of the Devil's requests.
They’re silent for a beat. Chloe is reading and Lucifer is, it appears, attacking the issue from a different angle.
“You can come with me,” he says. “It will be the perfect heist. I mean, of course, field trip. A perfect field trip where you can frolic about in librarian Nirvana and I shall, er, examine the texts. I’ll hire you for a month and we’ll hit the libraries-”
“When you say hit …?”
“Hit, visit. Tomato, tomato.”
God, it’s tempting. It has no business being this tempting because it’s also so incredibly stupid. It’s a stupid project led by a stupid man-Devil and it will end in all sorts of stupidity - possibly jail - for all of them.
“It’s still theft even if you call it ‘examining’,” she points out, weakly.
“I’d pay you for your trouble, of course.” Lucifer looks triumphant, certain now that he’s struck gold. Apparently even the Devil knows cultural workers in the public sector are hilariously ill-compensated for their efforts. “How much does this place pay you for a month of…” he winces as his gaze travels over the parked book carts and then lands on Joan’s personal coffee mug featuring a grainy photo of her three ugly children.”Undoubtedly satisfying labor?”
Chloe does what any well-educated, experienced librarian would do when asked about her salary - she laughs coldly.
“Right then.” Lucifer reaches into his pocket and she thinks oh god no and yes please and then he hands her a thick pile of cash. Which is second best, she supposes. “Does this cover today?”
She manages a nod.
He pushes to his feet. “I have a bachelorette party to crash tonight so I must get going but I shall be back very soon for our first little trip.”
“I removed the signs outside that said no parking,” he adds, heading for the door. “Might want to look into getting those back into place.”
Chloe remains in her chair for a few minutes, mostly staring at the list in her right hand and the bills in her left; she sits there like an artful installment of unanswered questions, thinking that he didn’t actually make an appointment this time either.
She’s sensing a pattern.
Two days later, on a glorious Friday, Chloe is picked up at work by Lucifer Morningstar for their first field trip. Picked up in a Corvette, no less, and escorted to her seat by the man himself. As he parks right in front of the main entrance Chloe can hear the whole building draw a collective breath, a synchronizing gasp echoes through the feet-smelling library as she hurries out of it. It feels like freedom.
It might not be entirely like freedom, she realizes as she sits in the passenger seat going through his Google search history to help him figure out why all the library databases she had suggested are, in his own words, terribly flawed. It shocks her to her core to learn that he’s been using them, to begin with. A good ten years in this line of work and she knows that no patron will ever actually check out anything they are recommended to use, so she had mostly mentioned it casually as he strolled into the library the other day, without an appointment and five minutes before closing time.
The former delinquency is annoying; the latter is almost unforgivable.
Chloe Jane Decker is a librarian and thus religious about closing time. With fifteen minutes to go, she begins prowling the aisles and study cells, clattering her keys - her routine had been dramatically worsened once they got key cards for everything - and sighing loudly. As part of that routine, infallibly, some patrons arrive ten minutes later, jubilant that they had beat the odds and made it inside and now that they’re here, what’s Chloe’s professional opinion about The Great Gatsby as a book for their son’s high school book report.
At least Lucifer Morningstar had been gorgeous in his frustrating tardiness, that really cannot be said for most lazy last-minute drop-ins.
And he had given her cash. There’s no forgetting that either.
“You’re searching… creatively,” she says now and glances sideways at her driver. “Do you use the same search queries - words - when you search in library databases?”
“Yes?” He hums some tune she can’t make out over the music and the noise from the other cars on the road. It’s a pleasant scene all things considered, going on a little trip with a handsome man who seems to enjoy her company. Or well, need her help badly in matters that are, evidently, way out of his league. “Why?”
Chloe looks at the five most recent searches:
apocalypse + prophecy + not bloody nostradamus
Will hell come to earth and why? + not bloody sumerian
Really old prophecies about the Devil written by idiots of yore
Is the Devil well-endowed?
Prophecy + porn
She takes a deep, steadying breath telling herself that he is the Devil, not an average American Internet user, people are not this hopeless at information retrieval, this is a special case of a special not-even-man.
Deep breaths. Happy thoughts about wine and blankets and solitude.
And then she remembers that she’s a librarian and that she knows that this is indeed the average level of information literacy for the current population and she has to close her eyes for a little bit and be mindful, before she puts on her Professional Smile and looks at Lucifer.
He chuckles. “You never know if it will generate zero hits until you try. You have video tutorials for everything these days.”
“Have you ever heard about controlled vocabulary?”
“No, but it sounds terrible.” He steers the car off the main road and into the one that will take them to their destination. His hands are drumming on the wheel and he turns the music up. David Bowie, she notices with a small smile. What else. “Why can’t you simply put what you desire into whatever venue that is available and willing and see what comes out? Personally I find that’s how you achieve the best results.”
As he talks he runs one of his thumbs over the outlines of his lower lip and if that isn't a motion that will burn itself into her mind and never let go, she doesn't know what is. It also makes her turn away to look at the road ahead instead of at this impossible, provocative man by her side. He makes a noise that sounds like an amused sigh, raking a hand through the hair that is delightfully messed up by the car ride. Chloe knew there was a good reason she wore a strict bun today, too. (Who is she kidding, there is always a reason for that.) And she wants to twist her own fingers into those curls and -
“You’re still talking about database searches?” she asks faintly.
He flashes a smile and holds her gaze entirely too long. “Of course.”
They visit the Huntington - Chloe has made an appointment , demonstratively and loudly - and Lucifer is two steps ahead of her the entire time, moving from one exhibition to another, wearing out the librarian who meets with them. Her name is Jessica Templeton and she wears a suit and heels and never smiles and Chloe feels like the eccentric aunt in her company, stumbling on her own sensible flats and getting her colorful poncho stuck in the exhibition cases.
At one point Lucifer has to help free her from an incident caused by a sharp corner and his fingers get caught up in the fabric as she, too, pulls at it from another angle. He leans in and his breath is hot against the back of her hand, is a jolt of electricity inside her body.
“If we could continue,” Mrs Templeton says sharply and Chloe feels herself blush.
Lucifer manages to slip his fingers into the tight mess of yarn and metal - entirely too deftly, she decides. It does interesting things to her brain, watching the delicate and quick workings of his hands and she’s almost reluctant when he succeeds. Happy to have her poncho - another piece of clothing that her mom has tried to burn - back in one piece but disappointed that it didn’t take him longer.
“Yeah… right away.” Chloe inhales sharply, banishing the idea of her Devil companion to the depths of well, maybe not hell but somewhere equally far away. “Sorry.”
She looks at him, hoping he doesn’t notice how embarrassed she is in this moment. It cuts into layers of insecurities she didn't even know she had, renders her the introverted teenage girl who was going to auditions to please her mother, the cultural norms of who she ought to be now - as a 37 year old single woman - and why. Chloe herself doesn’t care but women like Jessica Templeton probably do and it chafes inside her.
“I think we are done here actually, Mrs Templeman,” Lucifer says.
“Yes, yes.” Lucifer waves dismissively and Chloe could kiss him.
When the other librarian has left, he looks at her, frowning.
“That’s the woman who talked to your supreme Douchelarian the other day,” he says, levelly.
“How do you know that?”
He smiles, patient, as if he’s about to explain some fundamental knowledge that everyone knows except for her. “The way she walks. I recognized her steps in those heels. Not to blow my own trumpet here, though I certainly don't mind doing a bit of that, but I am quite the connoisseur.”
“You can’t be-” Chloe stumbles over her words much like she had stumbled over herself moments ago. Today is not a day for grace of any kind. Well, when is it ever ? “You’re just joking now aren’t you?”
“I am, I’m terribly sorry.” He almost looks like he means it. “It’s the voice. I recognized her voice.”
“Well, that makes more sense.” Chloe pulls the poncho down a bit further, despite actually not being the slightest bit cold. It’s more of a fashion statement really, that makes for good and firm gestures . That’s what she had thought, buying it, at least. She makes mental notes to herself to check everything she can about Jessica Templeton and her potential relation to Marcus Pierce
“You shouldn’t let anyone make you feel insecure, by the way,” he says, completely unexpectedly, as they walk to the car later. His eyes are dark and intense and full of a strange kind of approval. “You’re clever and kind. Very funny. And, if you ask me, a perfect example of the ever so popular Sexy Librarian stereotype.”
“Well then,” she manages, her throat suddenly parched. She’s grateful for the car door providing something for her hands to occupy themselves with. “I think I will ask you for future reference.”
Lucifer grins back, bright and cheerful. “Excellent. If you are interested, I have a whole reading - well, more of a watching list that you could dig into . ”
She pretends not to hear that last bit.
“But you didn’t get to see the texts we came for, did you?” It feels like a haze. Most of this afternoon is a blur of Corvette and sexual innuendo - two cornerstones of his life, by the look of things - and various messages from Ella, saying she must come to the library bar tonight, that there will be poetry readings and that Marcus Pierce might show up.
Pulling out of the parking space outside Huntington, Lucifer nods towards a pile of what she assumed was extra suits for the Devil, placed in the backseat.
“Lucifer, you didn’t- ”
“I’m only borrowing them. Really, darling, do I have to explain the concept of libraries to a librarian?”
Chloe is drunk.
Like every Library Bar Friday she wishes she was drunk somewhere else, but like every Library Bar Fridays she will simply have to make do with what this place has to offer. Moderately chilled beer. Wine served in eco-friendly paper mugs stolen from the coffee shop down the street. Poetry readings. Ella leading a group of children's librarians in karaoke renderings of 80s music.
“This is like roaring twenties,” Lucifer says beside her, sipping wine from Jan’s extra large water bottle that she devotedly keeps with her at all times at work to never forget to hydrate. “Except it smells worse and the entertainment is terrible.”
“And here we thought this could be a concept we sell to other bars.” Chloe downs her third glass of wine and waves at Jeff for another. She could just tap into the bag-in-box behind the rabbit-shaped counter but that would break the fourth wall of their evening. "Horny librarians doing Plath to music."
"Well." Lucifer chuckles. "I'd come ."
The library bar is a funny story. Or tragic. A typical ‘is the glass half full of sweet booze or half empty of warm beer’ kind of story.
Last year Dan and Jeff, the senior library assistant - supervised by their former boss, a low-functioning alcoholic - had insisted on building “something for the staff to enjoy”. True to their calling in life - to preserve and organize matters great and small - they had constructed it out of old shelves and various Children’s Literature Department hand-me-downs.
Which is why the library now, deep in the bowels of their stacks and staff-only sections, hosts monthly gatherings with the purpose of fortifying the team spirit.
And this is why they are all the not-so-proud co-owners of a makeshift bar that looks like a tree house on cocaine.
“Why don’t anyone just tell them it’s terrible and go home?” Lucifer refills his own glass, then simply snatches the bottle and another one - for her, she presumes - and walks with her to a shelf-turned-table in front of the stage.
“Look,” Chloe says and slumps down on the chair. Screw grace and sexiness, she’s getting to the stage where life is joyous and full of wonder and need no pesky posture to keep herself upright. “The alcohol is cheap. And Ella is the best. Well not at singing, but you know. It’s a group thing.”
Does the Devil know anything about that? Her definition of hell would probably be team building exercises so she has always assumed that hell is a crowded arrival hall full of cheerful idiots shouting about self-affirmation and the power of positive thinking. Maybe it isn’t. She’s about to ask when he makes a grimace at the new song choice from the karaoke crowd.
"Well, I admittedly wasn't up here much in the 80s but the world must have looked bleak to inspire such dystopian lyrics."
"What? This song?" Chloe raises an eyebrow. The bouncy tunes of Nothing's gonna stop us now fills the spaces of silence between them.
"If the world runs out of lovers," he says and downs his drinks, picks up the bottle and pours a new one. “Horrendous.”
She laughs. "I think you're meant to focus more on the rest of it.”
“With such a bleak premise, what’s the point?” He gives her a glance that grows more serious the longer she holds it, which is long because dammit Chloe is drunk and she can’t be bothered to hide her desire to stare at this ridiculously beautiful man. Why is he even so beautiful? Surely that’s not necessary. “So, when are we breaking into your boss' office? I assume that's the reason I was invited to these... festivities ."
"Sure." Chloe isn't one not to grasp at the straws she's offered and Lucifer clearly doesn't need to inflate his ego by learning that she had asked him to come because she likes his company. Also, he's Satan. She gets lost in her own trail of thought and can’t remember what she means by it, but he is Satan. It seems fundamentally important to remember this when all she can think about is how she could drag him into the storeroom and make out. “Well, he’s over there now being admired by the hipsterbrarians and all the females over fifty so we should have a shot.”
Lucifer follows the direction of her gaze and grins as Chloe grabs him by the arm and starts sneaking out. Well, as much as you can sneak when the girl currently on stage shouts your name in between the lyrics of the song.
“He’s popular then?” They walk up the stairs to the Fiction section and Chloe wishes she had brought her bottle of wine. She’s already losing some of the relaxed happiness from before. “Mr Douchelarian?”
“Yeah, he’s apparently handsome. I haven’t noticed.”
“Is that so? I mean, you not having noticed.” Lucifer grins widely.
“Oh come on. Give me a little credit here.” Chloe huffs indignantly. “He once listed his top three novels. Moby Dick, Catcher in the Rye and Atlas Shrugged . I’d never fuck someone who read through Atlas Shrugged .”
“Ah, dear old Ayn. She was no Shakespeare. Now, Will, on the other hand...” He does that tongue-thing again now, the one that had almost sent her into a coma the other day as she was actively trying not to react. But tonight, Chloe thinks, she’s a free woman. A free woman who has dropped her poncho in her office and downed five glasses of wine (quite possibly also a few drinks somewhere along the way) and they have stolen incunables from the Huntington library together so there’s no reason she has to be all prissy and uptight and -
She was going somewhere with that stream of consciousness. She’s sure of it.
She was going somewhere. Period. Right. Office .
But then suddenly they’re standing among bookshelves and not at all in any near proximity to where Marcus Pierce has his workplace; she takes a deep breath. Ah, books. The intoxicating scent of paper and glue, of years of neglect and abuse.
Lucifer is watching her, bemused.
“You were talking to me?” she asks because she realizes that while she’s been lost in her head, he has been speaking, like a soundtrack you keep in the background.
He leans against the shelf behind him, the back of his head pushing the books backwards in a way that will make Dan quietly seethe when he finds out - Chloe isn’t going to waste her time fixing it, let’s be real - but she doesn’t care.
"Are you quite alright, you look like you might be running a temperature." His eyes narrow slightly. “Are you very drunk?”
Chloe makes a sound. In her head it sounds like a sexy and carefree mating sound. In reality, she comes to understand by the look on his face, it might come off more as if she’s blowing a raspberry.
"What is very , anyway? Such a silly measurement. I'm just… really, I just want to-" she takes a few steps, her hands on his arms and her legs a little bit unsteady and useless - this is the Devil after all - as she pulls him down for a quick kiss.
Lucifer's arms come around her waist immediately, mouth curled upwards in a grin as she leans back to look at him. Smug bastard. But his touch is gentle, his fingers trailing a path up along the side of her body while he's looking intently at her.
"Did you now?"
"Lovely," he says, smile widening. “All librarians love it when I talk about how I was the Dark Lady. Poor Will, he -”
Chloe presses herself up against him once more, with less self-doubt this time and a heartbeat that seems to tap into the rhythm of Lucifer’s own because when she tilts his head down to catch his mouth in another kiss, she swears she can hear their pulse in a heavy, intoxicating beat.
“It’s actually more that you talk way, way too much.”