Fuck it. If I don't listen to this now, I know he'll be evasive if I confront him about it later. This may be my only chance to learn what's really going on...
The writer swallowed back the knot in his throat as silently as he could and crept further forward. There was an intersection up ahead where the hallway split off to the right. That was where their voices were coming from. Nathan pressed himself against the wall, moving slowly towards the corner while he continued to listen in.
"Why do you have to be such a spoil sport?" Avaritia asked in a way only a spoiled child could. "This is the first time in ages that you've let us really let loose and wreak some havoc! And it's all, as you said, harmless fun!"
"Harmless to a point," Alton said through his teeth, clearly not amused. "You do know that Nathan nearly killed himself to protect the boy you possessed, don't you?"
The woman blew a raspberry. "Please! You say that like it actually matters..."
By now, Nathan had reached the corner, his curiosity piqued so much that he couldn't resist peering around. They were several feet away still, the woman rocking on her heels impatiently while Alton paced, restlessly running his fingers through his hair. He'd taken his glasses off, making his blue-eyed glare twice as intense. "I allowed you and your siblings to help me in this endeavor as reward for your past services. Don't make me regret giving you that privilege."
Avaritia sighed. If Nathan didn't know she was a Sin, he'd think she had one hell of an awesome costume: dressed head to toe in shimmering layers of sheer, golden fabric, her wrists, arms, neck, head and every finger adorned with elaborate gold jewelry, her crown alone would have made Cleopatra jealous. Though she had waves of golden blonde hair rolling down her back, her face had a distinctly Asian shape, although it was possible the flatness of her nose was part of her other frog-like features. She had no ears and her eyes were large and alien. She had the same black and gold markings Avery had gained when he was possessed by her, and Nathan could just see the hints of long, slender amphibian legs peeking through the bottom of her dress. She made a sound very much like a croak as she rolled her eyes. "But this place is so much more interesting than out there..."
"I said no." Alton continued to be firm. "You shouldn't have even been able to stay here after your purpose was served."
"Huh, well," she drawled sarcastically, cocking her head to the side. "Maybe you should have thought of that before you decided to let us in on your little game." She smiled widely, revealing two rows of tiny fangs. "Remember, Mephy, you can't control us completely. We aren't part of Creation. My brothers and sisters and I came from human imagination. Much like the one of this writer of yours..."
The angel seemed to tense, and Nathan pulled back around the corner. This was a lot of information coming at him all at once. This was a game? One orchestrated by Alton, no less, with him and the poor souls possessed by these Sins the unwitting playing pieces. He'd been playing him. And Nathan had let him.
"I do this as a favor," he heard Alton say with an angry calm. "Now, unless you and your kin want to deal with the full extent of my authority -- of which you should know the potency -- then you. Will. Leave. Once you have been defeated, you are to return to your usual duties, and leave Nathan alone. After that, he is no longer your concern."
Avaritia scoffed. "Fine, but don't expect me to pass the message on. You know as well as I do that they won't want to hear it. I'll leave tonight." But then she laughed. "Though not without a parting gift for the writer. He ruined my fun so soon, I didn't even get a whole month to enjoy my freedom. He's going to pay dear for that."
"You had better not harm him..."
"Oh no. His punishment will cause him no more harm than what he already inflicts on himself. Well, at least no more physical harm..." Nathan heard her walking away. "You'll see, Mephy. Let's just say that I don't expect you to be finding any more of my siblings before they appear. You should have never told me how that sense of yours works..."
She laughed again, her voice fading away into nothingness, the only sound remaining the muffled music back inside. Nathan barely had time to get his jumbled thoughts together before he was aware that he was no longer standing there alone. His head snapped forward as Alton was suddenly in front of him, his deep blue stare furious. Nathan couldn't stop himself from meeting his gaze, fear suddenly washing over him when he saw just how dark the angel's eyes had become.
"You should not have heard that..."