“Yo, it was some seriously wild shit. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Poof!” Chuck yelled. “She lit his ass up. That boy didn’t know what hit him. I’m telling ya, Nox never disappoints. I’ll never forget it.” He leaned over the coffee table to dabbed his cigarette in the ashtray. 

Danny shook his head as he often did when the young men chattered about their late-night adventures. He was not much of a nightclub man in his older years. He’d much prefer sipping on scotch in the comfort of his own home. However, he didn’t mind hearing the stories of those who did not. Plus, he needed to kill time until the boss arrived.

“She burned him alive?” Amir questioned, his eyes wide and full of horror. 

Chuck nodded and took a deep drag. 

Danny laughed. “That’s definitely not the worst thing that has happened to Nox, but that is pretty wild stuff. Nyx is famous for a bit of dark theatrics. She has been missing for years, though. I am shocked to hear her name.” 

“You said who was there?” said a deep voice from the doorway. 

The group of men turned to face a tall man in a custom-tailored suit. His face was stern and rigid. His stance in a volatile position, as if he was ready to either run or attack. The men were quick to stiffen up their postures and lower their smiles. This was not a man to joke with, and considering his stance, especially not today.

“I don’t know who the woman on fire was, but I believe the woman in the cape was named Nyx.” Charles gulped. 

“Do you believe, or do you know?”

“That is what everyone else was saying, Mr. Salvatore. Darkness spiraled out of her chest. It wasn’t like anything I’ve ever seen before. She is the Goddess of Night, right?”

Mr. Salvatore fiddled with his cufflinks and straightened his collar. Fidgeting was not a common act for the man, but with news of Nyx’s return, his fingers would not stop moving. He took a deep breath and recaptured his composure. 

“Right, thank you.” Mr. Salvatore walked away from the group of men toward his office, then shut the door. His chest began to heave as he reached out to his desk for support. His knees began to wobble, and his heart began to pound. He slowly allowed gravity to take over, falling to the floor as the world spun around him. Gripping his face, he closed his eyes and mumbled a prayer.

*****

Ed sifted through and emptied boxes filled with papers onto the garage floor. He smiled, humored by the fact he had full intentions of burning them and ridding himself of the burden. Now, he found himself elbow deep, searching for information on clients he’d forgotten he had.

“What is this?” his wife asked. “Why are you digging up old boxes and making a mess in my garage? This stuff should have been thrown out years ago.”

“Your garage? Really, Sheila?” he replied.  

She gave him a hand on the hip and pursed lips in response. He looked down to roll his eyes in an act of defiance. She cleared her throat to acknowledge. 

“It’s for work, okay? I’ll have it cleaned up when I am done. Please, just leave me alone and let me work.”

She abided and walked away without a word, slamming the door hard enough to shake the room. He rolled his eyes again and let out a loud sigh.

The fact was, he couldn’t believe he was doing it, either. He shouldn’t even have the paperwork anymore, but he’d figured if a client decided to sue him, he wanted to be prepared. That being said, if he were going to be sued by a client, it would have happened already. 

He knew giving Nyx all the paperwork and information on a specific accounting client was wrong. In fact, it was illegal. He could go to jail for it, but all she did was smile when he said that to her. She’d made it clear that she not only didn’t care, but she thought the excuse was cute. Ed knew Nyx was not a being you could say no to and expect to remain alive. When she made the demand, he’d shivered. 

Nyx had insisted this information was part of his destiny, that this was one of the reasons The Fates had sent him to work at Nox. Ed had difficulty believing a dusty old box he should have tossed was his true destiny, but he did not argue. He decided not to ask any questions and follow the orders of the woman who could kill him in the blink of an eye. 

What she planned to do with this information remained unknown and ominous. Numbers and business accounts didn’t feel like something a powerful goddess needed. Couldn’t she kill him with a snap of her fingers? 

There it was at the bottom of the box, the paperwork for Amedeo Salvatore. He grabbed the file, then got into his car without cleaning up the mess in the garage. Another act of defiance he would likely regret later.

*****

Nyx was in his old office. She had taken it over as her own since her arrival. There was no indication she had slept or ate. She merely existed within those walls, pacing back and forth. 

Ed handed over the Salvatore file to Nyx. “May I ask what you plan to do with that?” he asked. 

She opened the file and flipped through several pages. A smile formed across her face. “Of course you can ask, but it does not mean I will answer.” Her smile grew larger and larger as she paged through more. 

“The file is a few years old,” Ed added.

“That’s okay. I am sure not much has changed.”

Ed swallowed sandpaper and felt his forehead begin to sweat. He balanced himself before asking directly, “What are you planning to do with that file?”

“I am going to ruin his life, of course.”

Nyx (Marie Casey)
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