Judas has never been very popular, not in any incarnation that he and Jesus and the others have lived through. But he doesn’t care about that. All he cares about is following the instructions of God as set forth in the script that they follow. And Jesus. For Judas has secretly loved the son of God for over two thousand years.
But now he decides that enough is enough, and he’s tired of watching Jesus die far too early, and for what? This time Judas is determined to see that Jesus lives a long and happy life, no matter what price he has to pay to accomplish it...no matter if he has to make a deal with the devil himself.
I squirm away from him, for I will not permit this. Not yet. Everything on my terms. Or nothing at all. “Lucifer, I don’t have time for your nonsense, nor your juvenile groping. I have no more time for your games, none of them, do you hear me?”
“I hear you, of course, son of God,” he replies, unperturbed, as he grabs my shoulder, not heeding my words at all, spinning me about so we are face to face once more. He peers into my eyes, staring carefully into them as if he can tell something of what I’m thinking just by staring. Maybe he can. The devil has many tricks, after all.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time, Jesus,” he fairly purrs in a very self-satisfied sort of way. “You’ve decided to do it, haven’t you? To allow me to have you to myself. As I knew you would, all along.” His smile is very irritating, and I bristle, knowing I’m only serving to feed his over-inflated ego, but what help is there for it? None whatsoever, so I hold myself in check and treat it like the business deal it is. Nothing more.
“After all these years,” he continues, “two thousand plus years, and now you’re giving in. Why? Because of Judas Iscariot, the very man who continually sells you out time after time after time? If that’s not the supreme irony, I don’t know what is, Jesus. What does your father say about this, about his son the Sodomite? Maybe he would’ve preferred you celibate, like him?”
I refuse to let his words penetrate my mind. I’m beyond being hurt by anything he can say. Let him have this moment. It’s the last he shall have of this sort. I’m here for a higher cause.
“I’ve not yet named my price.” I eye him warily. “Do you not wish to know what it is before you agree to this?” There’s no doubt we both know of what I speak. But he must agree to my terms, or there shall be nothing. Nothing at all.
“All right, I’ll bite, princess, what’s your price?” he asks cockily, his hand reaching toward my crotch, but I manage to halt it before it can reach its destination, push it aside, away from me.
“My price is this. Tomorrow night, you will save Judas.”
“Save him? From what, your father?” He laughs, obviously amused at my words. “Or are the outraged citizens preparing to lynch him? Do you think my merry little band of homophobes hate him that much? Well, it is Judas we’re talking about, maybe they do.” He runs the fingers of one pale hand through his platinum tresses, tossing his head in disdain as I, once again, do not take his bait.
“You’ll make sure he gets away from here safely, I don’t care how you have to do it. But you will keep him from dying. At anyone’s hand. Do you understand me, Lucifer?”
“Oh, I understand you,” he responds, his eyes seeming to glow as from an inner hellish light. “I understand you all too well. To save Iscariot’s mortal hide from a beating, or worse, you’ll give up your own. To me. Do I have that about right?”
“Pretty much,” I reply. “He has to be completely safe from harm, and well away from here,” I continue adamantly. “No negotiation on that point. If he is not safe, and if you cannot prove it, then the deal we strike is therefore null and void.”
“Goodness, you talk such legal mumbo jumbo.” He laughs, but in the blink of an eye, he draws a parchment from his inside pocket, and presents it to me. Am I surprised at his thoroughness? Not at all. He is Lucifer, and not without tricks of his own. I read the document carefully, make sure it covers everything I wish it to. It does. I read it a second time, and then a third, just to make sure he doesn’t slide anything else into it, that’s it, just what I have agreed to and no more. And he has agreed to everything I demand. No less. When I’m satisfied the agreement is indeed airtight and unbreakable, I take the writing implement he hands to me, and sign my name.
And now it’s done. I’ve made a pact with the devil. But on my terms.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at, Muse it Up Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, Silver Publishing and No Boundaries Publishing.