Tower of Babel
Author: Isaac Woulms

Chapter 31

Ben and Trisha stared in disbelief as Samael confidently stood before them. All his wounds from the battle had healed and the smirk across his face was another sign of his healthy disposition.

Getting back in the Tower took a lot out of me, Ben thought. And Trish is in no condition to fight either. He remembered how he was acting in his last fight. The thought of losing control again was like staring into an abyss. He leaned to Trisha and said, “Stay here. I won’t let him hurt you.” Ben took a few steps forward and took his jacket off, tossing it to the side.

Samael uncrossed his arms and walked closer.

“I don’t want to fight you but I will if I have to.” By the time Ben finished his sentence, Samael was within arm’s reach.

They stared each other down, both balling their fists. Ben could faintly sense a rise in Samael’s telekinetic energy as the river inside himself flowed as well. Trisha stood a few feet behind Ben and grabbed for her necklace. She funneled her energy into the pendant, but all it did was glow. “Ben, be careful,” she said.

Samael raised his right fist, brought it to Ben’s chest, and took his thumb to squeeze one of Ben’s nipples against his index finger. “Open chest.”

Ben swatted Samael’s hand and grabbed his bosom. “Get your hands off me.”

Sam shoved Ben to the side and walked towards Trisha. “What the hell, girl. I can’t remember all the times I asked you to fly me around. How was it?”

Ben regained his posture and intercepted Samael by grabbing his shoulder. “Stay away from her.”

Samael looked back at Ben and said, “Relax, captain serious. If I wanted to fight, I wouldn’t wait until you noticed me to bash your skull. Me and Trisha use to be an item. I’m just catching up on lost time.”

Trisha crossed her arms and looked away. “He’s a liar.”

“Liar? Ha. All right then, how is that I know your favorite position?” Samael nudged Ben’s shoulder and said, “I’m sure you’d like to hear it. It’s the one when you’re lying behind her and both of you are on you’re side. You see the trick is you get your hand and-”

Trisha stomped over and flicked his right eyeball, making Samael reel.

“Shit. I’m kind of using that eye.”

Ben looked back and forth at both of them. “So it is true.”

Trisha put her hands on her hips and said, “It's not something I'm particularly proud of.”

“Don't be mean. You were enjoying yourself while it lasted,” Samael said.

“You cheated on me.”

“It was consensual.”

“You're full of shit.”

“Guilty.” Samael laughed and put his hands up in defense.

“So what are doing here? Why did you follow us?” Ben asked.

He cracked his knuckles and neck before saying, “When you get stronger we're going to fight again.”

“When I'm stronger? If I remember correctly you were the one losing.”

Samael smirked. “You think so? We can fight right now if you'd like. Maybe I should smack your bitch ass around in front of your women to get the point across.”

“Shut up, Sam,” Trisha said. “What are you really doing following us? Why didn’t you just stay in your cage?”

The smirk left his face. “Sit there and rot you mean? With all that’s going on in the Tower do you really think anyone’s going to remember to feed me? The Styx aren’t even there anymore.”

“The Styx are gone?” Trisha asked.

“Yeah. You didn't feel their brainwaves disappear from the Tower? I know they weren't that close, but it was pretty obvious to sense.”

“That's bad.”

“Nah they were kind of doomed from the start. It's not like they could have lived a long life in the prison. After Ben came and got his ass beat I decided I would tag along until he could challenge me again.”

“You’re just as obnoxious as you were before you were thrown in prison. Ben let's get out of here.” Trisha took Ben's hand and tried to drag him away, but he stood his ground.

“Why have you followed us Samael? I want an answer.”

Samael rolled his eyes and said, “I want to fight you again, stupid.”

“Tell me the truth.”

“I'm going to have a chat with Lilly.”

Ben's fist shook at his side. “I remember the chat you had with me. I won't let you hurt her.”

“Easy now. So much can be lost in communication.”

“I heard what you said, Samael. I can't allow you to get Lilly.”

“Do you really think you can stop me?” Two tendrils came from Samael's forearms and danced in front of Ben. “I'm back and ready for action, but you have some energy lag from our last fight, not to mention the stunt you just pulled getting back inside the Tower. If you think you’re ready for round two then there's nothing between us but space and opportunity. Come at me bro.”

Trisha walked past Ben and put her hands on Samael's shoulders. Samael dropped his guard and smiled at her. She then kneed him in the balls making his face twist as he fell down coughing. “That’s not nice.” Samael ran his hand over his buzzed hair and tried to breathe evenly. “Ya got me.”

Trisha started pushing Ben away, wanting nothing to do with Samael.

“No wait. Hold on.”

“Move. Move. Move.” Trisha told Ben.

“Stop.” Samael's tendrils wrapped around Ben's ankle. “She was a part of everything that happened two years ago. Coincidentally she was also a part of the love triangle that Trisha mentioned earlier. I know I beat you up in the past but that feels like ages ago, right?”

Ben kicked Samael's tendrils away and continued to walk.

“What are you going to do when you reach the top, Ben? You think your speak softly tact is going to work on the Demon members? There might be two of them but Shax and Baal are off their rocker. How do you think you'll manage to defeat both of them? Are you going to kill them?”

Ben came to a halt by Samael's questions. His mind conjured up the images of Shax back in Arp, the way he destroyed him and his car without breaking a sweat. “I’ve run into Shax and I don’t know who Baal is but I don’t want to kill anyone.”

Samael got to his feet and retracted his tendril. “Are you planning on talking things out? Want me to give you a million and one reasons why that's not going to work?”

“Are you saying you have a plan?”

Samael started laughing. “You’re as funny as you look. You’re asking me if I have a plan, so that would be to assume that I'm joining you guys on your little journey? I'm not joining you I'm merely going to travel alongside the two of you until I reach the top.” Samael saw Trisha shoot him a glare. “It doesn't mean we can't be civil while we travel together.”

Samael, get the hell out of here. I don't know what you’re up to but leave me and Ben alone, Trisha thought, specifically transferred to Samael's mind without Ben detecting anything.

You might not know what I'm up to, but I know your little game. I happened to pick up a few thoughts of yours after your conversation with Lilly earlier. You got a cold heart, Samael replied.

“We'll let you travel with us if you behave yourself,” Trisha said.

“Are you sure about this?” Ben asked her.

Yeah I think Sam's up to something, Samael said to her with his mind. He then snickered a little.

“That's up to you Samael. We'll let you travel with us, but the first sign of betrayal or ill intent and you’re out,” Trisha said.

“Like you two had a choice to begin with.” Samael walked up to the two of them. He looked at her then at Ben. His smirk solidified. “On a less serious topic, come here you.” Samael hugged Trisha and twirled her around. “It's been too long friend.” Samael faced towards Ben and winked at him.

Ben tried his hardest not to react towards the gesture but Samael could feel him getting upset on the inside.

I think you've got him wrapped around your finger, yet I clearly remember how you got so pissy at me for breaking your heart way back when.

Trisha couldn't say anything in her defense. She knew what Samael said was true. She could tell that Ben was becoming attached to her, maybe in a way beyond friendship. She kept telling herself he would be okay after Lilly holds up her end of the bargain. Then it would be as if the two of them never met.

“We should get going,” Ben said.

Samael stopped hugging Trisha and said, “Lead the way Benny boy.”

Ben winced and said, “Just call me-” His pupils dilated and he stood perfectly still.

Trisha cautiously took hold of Ben's shoulder and lightly shook him. “Ben? Are you Okay?” He didn't reply. “Ben?” Nothing. “Ben what's wrong?”


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