The only belus to not be still alive in the Demon Spring books, the belu noxes are somewhat of a mystery. Bael clearly hates them, but why? In the final book, I had a lot of fun telling their story, including their supposed beef with Bael, and how their son Lotan comes to be. I thought I might share a sneak peek (and introduce y’all to Lotan, who you’ll more about next week).
Spoilers for the end of the second book
The Belu Noxes, a love story
Cam and Anya’s first stop (although unwillingly) in the final Demon Spring book is to the noxes. There, Lotan tells Cam a little more about his folks:
“How much do you know about when the first demons arrived in this world?” Lotan asked.
“Depends on who you ask,” Cam said with a chuckle. “My grandmother says God banished the most evil humans to the Underworld for their sins. The evil in their hearts changed the world, turning it into the magical cesspool it is today—no offense, of course.”
“Of course,” Lotan said, the amused smile still sitting on the edges of his mouth.
“My great-aunt and others with more scientific minds believe there was seismic activity, the first breach between this world and ours, and a small group of humans fell through. The survivors are the belus.”
Lotan leaned in so close Cam could count each one of his black eyelashes. “Your grandmother was correct.”
“O-oh good,” Cam said, suddenly unable to breathe.
He turned back to the overhang, inhaling the night air. “When I was a babe, my father took me on his knee and told me about the day he and my mother arrived in this world. They’d been living in a village in what you humans now call Central America. God arrived to take my mother to the Underworld. She would be a martyr, suffering for all eternity for the sin of anger. It was a great honor, so God said, to be given this great power.”
“Sounds like kind of a cop out,” Cam said.
“My mother was of the same opinion, especially when she learned she would leave my father behind in the human world. There are some who would say my mother’s anger wasn’t anger at all, but passion. And much of that passion was for my father. They worshiped each other. So how could she rejoice in everlasting life if my father wouldn’t be in it?” He smiled. “So God relented, and allowed my father to join her as an act of mercy.”
“That’s beautiful,” Cam said quietly. They had been together forever until Anat came along. “So while we’re telling truths here, why do you want to know about my talismans?”
“If your lady is successful, Bael will be gone. The humans will realize their master no longer has dominion over them, and I’m afraid the pendulum will swing in the other direction. They may be more willing to take revenge against their former overlords. I don’t want my noxes to be caught unawares—especially the innocent ones.”
Cam snorted. “Are there innocent noxes?”
He was quiet for a moment, then asked softly, “Did a nox really kill your sister in cold blood?” His gaze once more captured her in its snare, but this time, there was a bit of desperation in his eyes. Almost like he was begging her to admit it was a lie.
“Yes,” Cam said, turning away from him.
“Why?” he asked softly.
“Jack and I had been closing in on getting real, hard evidence on the nox lord in Washington,” Cam said. “It’s hard to catch demon lords in enough shit to bring charges against them. It’s harder still to make them stick. The Division does a good job of kowtowing to the lords.” She sighed, rubbing her forehead. “All of them, apparently.”
“And this nox demon thought you were going to convict him?”
“That, or maybe he was just tired of us showing up at his hotel every few days,” Cam said with a sad laugh. “All I know is I get this call from Jack, and I can’t even…” She swallowed, the memory rising in her mind. “I couldn’t even understand him. But I’ll never forget walking into that house, seeing him cradling her in his arms and begging her to wake up.”
A warm hand covered hers. Lotan’s brows were knitted together, his eyes full of sincere regret. “Cam, I am truly sorry.”
“It’s fine,” she said, removing her hand from his. “I mean, it’s not fine. But it’s not like… Well, I guess you could have stopped it, actually.” She brushed away a tear before it fell.
“I could have, and I should have,” Lotan said. “There are some lines of noxes who are more loyal than others. The ones who bow to me are forbidden from transforming humans unwillingly—and absolutely forbidden to kill. Others ally themselves with Bael’s rule of law.”
She squinted at him. “Are you sure you aren’t telling me all this so we’ll side with you? How do I know you won’t renege on all this when Bael’s dead?”
He smiled. “I like you, Cam. You aren’t afraid to say what you feel.”
Demon hunter Jack Grenard’s life changed three years ago when his wife was brutally murdered by the very demons he’d been hunting. At the urging of his partner Cam Macarro, he’s starting a new life in Atlanta, hoping he’ll find the man he used to be. But on a routine hunt, they come across a new type of demon–one that saves instead of kills.
Meanwhile, demons across Atlanta are preparing for the quadrennial uprising of their Underworld brethren. Worse yet, there’s a rumor the so-called king of the demons, Bael, will appear for the first time in over a century. Jack and Cam must uncover the truth about the mystery woman before all hell–literally–breaks loose.
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