Months after the wedding, I learned that Leviathan had a “procedure” and was in the midst of scrambling to change his name from Fangs and get his wife’s maiden name back. His excuse was he didn’t want children if they wouldn’t be with his wife, and there was no way I could force it. So the Second in Line title passed to Beelzebub. While I didn’t plan on dying, my youngest brother wasn’t married, so I signed him to a dating site to get the ball rolling. It was very stressful for me, especially when I realized I too needed to start looking. Unlike guys, I was on a timer.“I’m so happy we got this pool installed Ms. Fangs. It’s a great way to just let the weight of the world roll away.”
“What weight do you have? I’ve an entire legacy on me. It’s only getting worse everyday. I fear I’m aging faster than I look.”
“Hm. I wonder, would you like if I were to scout some men for you to take interest in like I did with the bodyguards?”
“I couldn’t ask that of you. Well…I can…I just don’t feel like it at the moment.”
“Hey, you know what else is a great stress reliever? Wooho-”
“Don’t! I’m not that kind of girl. Never have been, never will be. It’s too easy to get pulled in the wrong direction like that, I’ve an image to maintain at all costs.”
“Aww. Fine. Do you go out for drinks? Actually, do you ever leave this house?”
“Not really. Maybe I should! I can’t go stir crazy in here.”
“Let’s go for drinks.”
“No. Nectar and I aren’t agreeable. I had a “drink” once, a small sip. It took a lot of work to erase the damage done by my nectared up self.”
“Then why do we have a bar?”
“It’s more for the guests. And I like to look at it, I like having nice things.”
“How about you spend some quality time with Mencil? He’s a guy, he’s at your beck and call. You coul-”
“No! No, no, no. I’ve thought of that a couple of times, I won’t lie. But I can’t see a positive outcome of anything more.”
“You’re thinking he’s going to do that same as Harnish.”
“I knew it! Hey, Mencil’s already promised you that he won’t ever leave you. Just trust him-”
At that moment Mencil came in. Styra smiled at me and told him to whip us up some drinks. She winked at me and insisted the drinks be virgin, so basically she asked him to pour us some soda or something.“What have you come here for Mencil?”
“8 months working for you and you still think that every time I walk into the same room as you that I need something.”
“Uhm, just wanted a drink Ms. Fangs. And I was hoping to get a swim myself. I doubled checked the premises, nothing is out of sorts. I’ve reset the alarms and traps. Everything’s in complete order. Would you like a cherry?”
“No. Not a fan of cherries, I like peaches though.”
“Alright, peach syrup just for you…is everything ok Ms. Fangs? You look miserable.”
“I’ve been told I always look miserable. Can’t see how though. I’ve got the best televisions, computers, beds, whatever I want I get. I’m as happy as can be!”
I took my drink, nodded to him, and stormed out of the room. I cringed though when my foot splashed down in a puddle from the pool, I hated stepping in pool puddles. Pool puddles always seemed to have hair and stuff floating in them.“So little “Momo” Fangs likes peaches. Let’s give her peaches. She’s such a peach herself. Don’t you think so Mencil?”
“I don’t think that a question I’m at freedom to answer…”
“Oh, how cute. Come on, you’ve got work to do. Mammon’s stress levels are through the roof. She’ll break soon if she doesn’t clam herself down and relax. If she breaks, Fangs breaks. We can’t have that.”
“Of course not! That’s what I’m here for.”
“Then watch her better! When she’s vulnerable, you come in and sweep her off of her feet. When she’s hardening from the overload of her stress, you soften her up. You’d better be better help to our dear Ms. Fangs than what I’m seeing!”
“I got it! I got it! I’m going to go check on her now.”
“Wait! Don’t forget-”
“I won’t, I won’t!”When Mencil sat next to me on the sofa, I thought a butterfly had flown past me. Something was wrong. Very, very wrong. I drank my drink, tasted like wonderful peaches, and decided to watch TV. Every now and again things would go in and out of focus, my hearing would turn into muffled, buzzes and I felt gravity changing. When my consciousness became stable, I would wonder why I was sitting, dripping wet, in my bikini on the sofa. I was swaying again, feeling a warm fuzz from head to toe, and trying to hard to understand what I was doing and what I was thinking. I heard a Giant speak. It was a loud boom and it echoed wildly around my head. I looked over, alarmed, and saw Mencil’s mouth moving.
“Mencil! Mencccciiilllll!” I called, waving my hand to him, trying to get his attention.
“I hear somefing. It’s big. Rully big. So big, I can hear it.”
“Ms. Fangs!? Are you-”
“I don’t hear it anymore! Mencil! Mencccilll it’s gone. Mencil, pencil, Hansel…helllooooo!”
“Oh man. That’s bad, very bad. I made a big mistake. Come with me Ms. Fangs, I’ve got to watch you.”
“I don’t wanna! I don’t wannnnnaaa.”
“Come on, you’re intoxicated. I really didn’t think that this would happen.”
“I can’t. The Giants may wanna schpeak again. I needa hear em, cause if I don’t, then Imma gonna misssch everythin they gots to schay.”This was bad, very bad. When Styra said virgin, she meant it. Mammon was the lightest, lightweight drink I’d ever seen. Between the nectar and the syrup, I had no idea what was affecting her the most. It seemed the more she spoke, the more drunk she became. Well, there was no relaxing her like this. Styra was going to be extremely angry with me, furious even, when she found out that Memmon becamse drunk instead of-
“You schmeel like PEACHES.”
Mammon shoved her face into my personal bubble and started to huff my jacket. I pushed her face away and nervously put my arm around her, terrified she was going to face plant into the coffee table.
“Yes, I know. I think we should get you to bed.”
“Not scheeeeeeepy. No! Nurrr!”
She smiled a goofy smile at me, her head wobbling everywhere. Yes, this was definitely bad.
“You gonna scheep wit me cause my BED gets rully COLD.”
“Shh, stop being so loud please. it’s ok. I’ll stay with you as long as you need. Come on, come on.”
“No! Vampires gonna gits it. They gonna eat you up! I’m shaving you!”
I gently wiggled Mammon, her arms around my neck were locked together. I carried her to her bedroom, there was no way she could take a single step on her own. She sang me a song of peaches, how her family hated her and how she could smell butterfly milk. I gave up on getting her off of me and laid her down on the bed. She was still clinging, and still singing. I climbed over her and took the spot on the other side. Mammon still clung to me, and once I stretched myself out she fastened her body to mine. She yanked my free hand and intertwined it with her own.“Am I gonna die alone?”
“I SAID AM I-” I put a finger to her mouth to stop her yelling.
She licked my finger and I pulled it away in disgust and shock. She wiggled and giggled, a happy drunk.
“No. You won’t Ms. Fangs. You’ll find someone.”
“I’m Mammooon. Jam on. Momo!”
“You marry me.”
“Ms. Fang, Momo. I’m just here to protect you.”
“Marry me! I said it, so it must be. Doo ittt. Do it! Do it! Marry ME. Let’s make babies!”
I pushed her off of me as she tried to roll over. She tried to put up a fight but her motor skills were shot, and she flailed a bit as she tried to regain stability over herself. I took pity on her and put my arm around her once more, moving her wet hair out of her face. When she wasn’t worried about the world and all of its problems, she looked very beautiful and fun. She belched in my face, quickly reminding me of the reality I was in, and snuggled into my shoulder. I drifted off as well.
But I was soon awoken by blaring music.I fell off of the bed in terror. Mammon! I quickly looked up over the bed, she wasn’t there…but her bikini was. Following the sound of the music, I looked in terror as my boss was dancing. Nude.
“Mammon! Where are your clothes! What are you doing!?”
“I must be dancin! I’m so free! Wheeee!” She spun around.
I ducked my head under to covers. Oh my plumbob, she was naked. I’d gotten Mammon drunk, and now she was naked and dancing and acting without a care in the world. She had an image to maintain, and this was more than enough to ruin even 3 more generations. I heard her plop onto the ground. I took my head from under the covers long enough to see Mammon squirming on the ground, fighting a losing battle with gravity. Feeling pity for her once more, I gingerly approached her, making sure I only looked at her face. She smiled up at me and reached a floppy arm up for help.“Mammon. Please put your clothes on.”
She swayed, trying to steady herself as she narrowed her eyes at me. I held my arms out as barriers in case she were to topple over forwards or backwards.
“Nuuurrr!” She bellowed, startling me.
“Mammon, you’re going to catch a cold. Please?”
She narrowed her eyes at me once more.
“I dun like them, copy me!”
“I will not get naked!”
“Well…I have no idea what’s going on in there but it sure sounds interesting. Hope everyone comes out alright.”When I escaped Mammon and wrestled her into her bed, she went out like a light. I wandered into the library, sheepishly and ashamed. Styra was reading her book, never taking notice of me but she knew I was there.
“So…that didn’t go as planned. But maybe next time-”
“No next time. There’s no do-over’s for any mistakes. They’re too vital, this one’s gone far out of the window. What went wrong?”
“I-I don’t know. I gave her the nectar and the charm in that peach syrup you gave me…”
“So it’s my fault it didn’t work? Do you think I made that charm too strong?”
“N-no! No Styra! I didn’t-”
“That’s what you said. You blamed the charm. You blamed me. So you’re making everything my fault? Look we’re running out of time! Do you want the Yipperky family to fail!? Is that what you want brother dear!?”
I hated when my sister got angry. The plan to take over the and dissolving them into the Yipperky by getting through Mammon was far behind schedule. I should’ve been proposing to Mammon by now, should be planning to have children and then killing her to take the name. But no, I hadn’t even gotten her affections yet.
“She’s just so…when I get close to her…when i get close to her I see her. I mean I don’t see that greedy, evil, woman. I see Mammon. Scared, hurt and tired little Mammon. And when I see that I just-““Oh my llama you’re in love with her.”
My sister dropped her book and glared at me. I feared I’d die right there. Styra took on a fake last name and lied about her species to get here. The only reject was me. Styra was pure and accepted and heiress to our family, she came with me to the island when she heard of the Fangs and the power they had. She was embarrassed that a family of rejects was on the same level as our’s and she wanted it to be gone. She was the cruelest witch of our family, worse than Mammon. I was a warlock without powers, I was useless. Styra had done some digging and learned of Mammon’s interactions with a Brute, so that’s what I lied to be.
“No! I swear, it’s just getting to know my enemy! I swear Styra!”
“You’d better. You’d better or your head will be on a silver platter! You forget our mission and you can forget the rest of your life.”
“I can cook! I’ll make her a dish, she’ll be hungry after tonight. You can put a charm in that’ll make her love me. She’ll be powerless against my asking her hand in marriage.”
“Will you be able to sneak it in? Don’t mess this plan up.”
“I understand, sister.”
I was cooking dinner the next day. Yesterday was replaying in my mind, over and over again. I hadn’t sen or heard from Mammon since I’d put her to bed. It was eerie, it was already 7 pm and there was no sign of the household busybody. I’d just put dinner down and poured the charm all over the side I planned to give Mammon. I begged to Llama she show up, I couldn’t let another charm go to waste. My begging was returned, I could almost feel the animosity hitting me.“I want your head! You gave me a drink. I got drunk! You got me drunk! And I woke up naked! There’s so much I don’t know and so much I don’t like. You’ve 5 seconds to explain or you’ll feel my wrath!”
She shrieked so loud I swore some dishes cracked. She was twitching her fingers, she snarled, there was hatred emitting from all over.
“I said 5! You hear me! 1…2…3…”
“I swear I didn’t mean to! I switched up your drink and Styra’s! I know she can really take nectar so I gave her a heavy duty one! I wasn’t paying attention because I saw you in a swimsuit and mixed it up! Once I realized my mistake, I took care of you! You were about to run out naked and I stopped you and put you in your bed so you’d stay safe and keep the family clean.”
“Llama! I’m not buying it! If my swimsuit was enough to distract you then how the plumbob did you manage to only put me in bed!?”
“Because I’m meant to protect you I swear I didn’t do anything, I didn’t do a thing! I would never betray you like that Ms. Fangs!”
I dropped my hands and stared into Mencil’s eyes. I stared long and hard, searching them for the truth. I felt my anger recede, as much as I didn’t want it to. I wanted to stay angry, I wanted him to crack. But I couldn’t.
“Fine. I believe you.” I grabbed the plate meant for me and took a seat on a stool.Mencil joined me and there was a tension in the air. I stuffed food into my mouth, enjoying myself when I felt funny again. I stared into the food and ran the possible ingredients through my head, nectar was definitely not one of them. I stole a glance at Mencil and wondered if he was ahving the same reaction. Maybe the food was just that good? I looked at him again, but I found I couldn’t look away…more that I didn’t want to.
“So…you took care of me?”
“…was I difficult?”
“Well…I mean I wouldn’t say it…it’s not that…”
“I’ve always been difficult. I’m needy, I’m clingy, and if things don’t go my way then I don’t want them going at all. It’s ok if I gave you any trouble, just say it.”
“It’s ok. With the life you live and the duties you have, it’s ok for you to be that way once in awhile.”
“Thanks. I feel like everyone hates me for it though. You understand somehow though, what it’s like to be the one everyone relies on.”
The silence was thick, but it was so comfortable. I was content in sitting by him, stuffing my face. It felt wonderful.
“You asked me to marry you.”
“Did not!” I scoffed, embarrassed, and quickly piling food into my mouth.
“Yes you did. You said you were afraid of being alone…”
“If you need me, I’m here. I’ll always be here Ms. Fangs. I’ll do anything.”
I shook my head and bit my lip, trying to keep my feelings in.
“I meant what I said but I never meant to upset you!”
“I’m not upset! I’m happy but it feels so wrong. Something’s not right, something’s wrong!”
“What? I’m here, tell me what’s bothering you.”
“I can’t explain it. I just feel it though.”
“Are you just afraid…of the future?”
“Definitely. But…it feels better knowing you’re here. You promise? You promise you’ll stay? I feel so stupid to let something from so long ago, when I was like not even 16, be hanging over me like this. It’s so embarrassing. But I don’t know if I can let another promise just run me over.”
“Ms. Fangs, I swear it…I’m so sorry. I swear it.”
I looked into Mencil’s eyes. I saw pain, he looked so upset at something. Was it me? Was he upset that I was upset? Was he feeling my pain that I held onto from my past? I shuffled closer to Mencil and felt his arms move around me.I moved my hand to his elbow, happy to feel his touch. I decided I’d let go of the past. Mencil was here and he meant it. I felt the tears roll down, I didn’t want to stop those. I placed my past, the pain I felt, into my tears and released them. I allowed myself to admit that I had feelings for my bodyguard.