Lasciate Ogni Speranza

i. the forbidden fruit always tastes the sweetest

He was the Devil. Everything about him reeked with pure evil. Even the smiles he threw at her were laced with death and destruction. Every promise was nothing but a bunch of lies. Every word was a shard of glass aimed at her heart. Every action was a deed of malice. Every thought was dangerous. Every step he took was a step closer to hell. And every step he made her take was a step closer to falling down.

She had then learned that the Outside World was indeed bad, for Devils like him roamed freely, taunting girls like her and feeding them pomegranate seeds and opening up holes in the Earth. After the trial, Vera often spent her days picnicking with Trucy and Apollo, or playing cards with Phoenix. Sometimes, the four of them would go watch magic shows and Vera pretended that seeing magicians didn't break her heart.

Everything went normally, as if Drew never died and as if the Studio still provided her peace and solace. Vera still painted, letting the colors take control of her emotions, striking the canvas with such aesthetic force...She painted her heart out; she made true paintings, not false ones that plagued her dreams and haunted her with such intensity she always shook in her sleep.

She had always denied that she first thought he was an angel, but Vera quickly learned that lying to herself wouldn't get her anywhere. Yes, she thought he was an angel, even now, she still did. Something about that man was just so ethereal and bright that it was near-impossible not to trust him. Vera knew that the line separating angels from demons was transparent and that it was easy for people to mistake one for the other. It was easy for people to make the same mistake she did.

It was easy for people to think of Kristoph Gavin angel and not for what he truly was.

"Vera, come on! You'll miss the best sandwiches!" Trucy hollered, pulling the violet-haired artist towards the buffet table. Phoenix had won a three nights, two days stay at a fancy-schmancy hotel in some monthly contest Vera didn't know about and he decided to bring his poor excuse for a family with him. Of course, Trucy went bonkers over the buffets.

Vera gave her a small smile as they made way to the almost-shining table filled with bread and other delicacies. Trucy had already begun filling her plate with Tuna fish on rye and the classic PB&J. Vera followed silently behind, picking a few small tea sandwiches.

She'd never really believed in the concept of good and evil, not knowing how much malice was in the Outside World, but she now knew that Trucy was one of the 'good' people. Apollo and Phoenix, too. And herself…Vera knew what she had done to the diary was wrong, but perhaps…perhaps it didn't make her that bad. She shook her head; she sometimes didn't know, anymore. It was better if she didn't think of such things. She then began to concentrate harder on picking good bread.

Sometimes, Vera Misham would dream about the Devil having pristine white wings. Feathered wings that only angels had. Sometimes, they would turn red. Other times, they remained pearly and clean. Sometimes, she'd dream of cutting them off but most of the time, she dreamt of melting the skies with him.

Even now.

Even after all he'd done, Vera still desperately clung onto the false hope she had of him being a heavenly seraph. She tossed and turned on the fluffy hotel bed she shared with Trucy, hearing the younger girl grunt from Vera pushing her off the bed. Nightmares still plagued her; horrid nightmares disguised as pleasant dreams. She still saw the Devil. Everywhere. Even in the serenity of her mind.

He was still there, all angelic with his bright white wings.

And Vera didn't know anymore if he was still the devil.