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Interview with Elise North Part from A Demon’s Tale

Welcome back to the second and final instalment of my interview with PI Elise North, straight from the pages of my WIP, A Demon’s Tale — the next novel in the Medusa Consortium series. I’ve refilled coffee cups and topped up the shortbread, and we’re ready to chat.

 

KD: Elise, if Magda Gardener, and now the Guardian, are any example of your clients, I would say your life is not dull. Can you give us a peek into what your client list looks like?

 

EN: Well, KD, living here in the Big Apple, I get my share of vampires, most with the same reasons for coming to a PI as any other client. Sometimes they want me to help them find a way to let those they left behind before they were changed know that they are okay, to give them some closure, but they still don’t feel it’s safe for them to put in an appearance all transformed. I do get some vampires wanting me to check up on their familiars. I’ve worked for witches and shape shifters. I’ve worked for a lot of ordinary folks who want me to investigate strange activity that would get them laughed out of any other PI’s office. Of course I’ve done some consulting with New York’s finest – mostly with Detective Paul Danson because he’s always open-minded enough to realize when he’s investigating something outside the box, so to speak.

 

Ghosts, yes. The strangest one calls himself the Historian. He lives in the basement of the New York City Public Library. I had to meet him after midnight when we met. I don’t mind saying that place is creepy after dark. Even more so when I had to virtually break in to talk to him. Most of the time, though,  I liaised with his PA, who is an actual sibyl straight from Delphi. Can you believe it? She’s immortal, so she’s well preserved, but flakey as an old paint job, scary as hell too, when she lapses into prophecy mode.

 

KD: Wow! You should write a book.

 

EN: Don’t be silly, KD, I think writing is kind of like music, there’s magic in it. I mean just look at Susan Innes. I’ll stick to being a gumshoe.

 

KD: As I mentioned earlier, you were hired by Magda Gardener to follow an incubus, a Mr. Sands, I believe?

 

EN: Oh yes. Daniel Sands was an interesting character. Seemed he only ever fed on women who’d never orgasmed, never killed any of them, just made them sing the Hallelujah Chorus. That job bordered on voyeurism almost from the beginning. Strange though, Magda Gardener had me tailing him for months, then all of a sudden she pulled me from the case telling me she had all the information she needed. I haven’t heard any more about him since I left the case. When he’s not in feeding mode, I think he keeps pretty much to himself somewhere in remote Scotland.

 

KD: And the Guardian is the first demon you’ve worked for?

 

EN: Oh I’ve investigated a fair amount of demon activity, but I’ve never actually worked for one before. Would have never thought I would accept one as a client, actually. They’re just too unpredictable.  The Guardian is a special case, though. Any other demon would not have found me so receptive.

 

KD: Having made an attempt to interview the Guardian myself, I shiver at the thought.

 

EN: He’s okay, G. Got a wicked sense of humour he’s still trying to figure out how to use.

 

KD: Wait a minute, G?

 

EN: Well I can’t go around call him the Guardian all the time. Especially when that’s just his last job title, not his name, and since he doesn’t remember his name, or maybe he’s just keeping it to himself, G does the trick and he’s okay with that. As for working for him, well he’s a great client, actually. He’s honest and above board with me, intrigued by the fact that he can’t affect me. I think he might have tried a bit in the beginning, but he mostly wanted my help for Susan Innes, his jailor, so to speak, whose dreams were being invaded by a megalomaniac god claiming to be her father.

 

KD: Poseidon?

 

EN: Yup. What a twat. Calls himself Richard Waters now. Wants to take over the world for Olympus once more and needs Susan Innes’s help to do so. Anyway, that was the original purpose of my visits with G. I found that I enjoy his company, and I’m totally intrigued with gaining some insight into what makes demons tick while I’m working for him.

 

KD: And have you? Gained any insight into demons?

 

EN: Well, I’m not sure, actually. He’s been very open in telling me about what it was like for him before he was imprisoned, and frankly I wouldn’t have wanted to be in the same city with him when he was free. One scary bastard, from what I here. But I think it’s changed him, being imprisoned in a woman – now vampire – he clearly sees as a dear friend, I would say he even loves, though he claims demons don’t feel love. I think, interacting with humans in such a human, such a vulnerable way, he’s evolving. That’s exciting to see. Oh I know you can’t trust demons. But frankly I don’t trust most people either.

 

I find that I enjoy his company, and I’d love to spend more time with him, but there’s only one way I can go to him and not have to go through either Susan Innes or Reese Chambers, who is Innes’s fledgling and the prison annex, as he calls himself. The only way I can visit G. privately is to fall asleep and dream. He has his own dream construct, and I can get there because dreaming does not involve magic.

 

KD: Thanks for stopping by today, Elise, and sharing a bit about yourself with my readers. I know you keep a busy schedule with important cases.

 

EN: My pleasure, KD, and the coffee was great! Since I was up all night working. I’m heading home hoping to grab some shut-eye and maybe dream my way into a visit with G.

 

KD: And the coffee won’t keep you awake.

 

EN: Never does. I guess even coffee’s magic doesn’t really work on me. Or at least not the bad insomnia juju.

 

KD: Come back any time, Elise. Maybe we can catch up later in the book.

 

EN: Sounds like a plan.

 

An Interview with PI Elise North from A Demon’s Tale

I’m very pleased to have the lovely Elise North to mine for coffee with
Elise this morning in the first of this two part interview, which will conclude next Monday, the 21st.

 

KD: Elise is a private investigator with some very unique gifts, and one of the main players in A Demon’s Tale, my present WIP, the next instalment of Medusa’s Consortium. Elise, I first heard about you when I read your reports for Magda Gardener concerning your investigation of an incubus, Daniel Sands. What got my attention is that you could get close to an incubus and not be affected by him. Tell us why that is

 

EN: “First of all, let me say wow, I love your coffee. I adore cold brew, and this morning I really need it. I was up all night searching for a wayward shape shifter. Anyway, never mind that. (runs her hand through short blonde hair, her large brown eyes sparkling like she’s about to share a good joke.)Of course I can’t talk about it at the moment. But to answer your question, yes, for some reason I can’t explain, nor can anyone else, magic has no effect on me, but I can sense its presence, even when no one else seems to be able to. Sort of like a sixth sense I guess you could say.

 

KD: Let me get this straight, you’re not affected by magic at all? Of any kind?

 

EN: Nope. Nada. But the flip side of that coin is that I don’t have any magic in me. I mean most normal people don’t, or think they don’t, but almost everyone has a smidge, even if it’s just a bit of intuition that’s uncanny from time to time.

 

KD: So there’s never a chance of someone slinging magic at you?

 

EN: Nope, never. The real risk is, for example, the strength of a vampire. I’m as vulnerable to strength and physical power, or a plain old handgun as anyone else. While I’m not vulnerable to demons, a person possessed will have super human strength. It’s the secondary stuff I have to watch out for. But I’ve trained for that. If there’s a physical threat, I mean. I spend a good bit of my leisure time at the little dive gym just down the street from my flat, or on the shooting range and I’m well trained in several martial arts. That’s a part of my job.

 

KD: So this being immune to magic but at the same time being able to see it, how does that work, exactly.

 

EN: Well for one thing, I do see dead people, like the kid in the film, though they almost always know they’re dead, and they come to me because they know I can see them, which means I might be able to help them.

 

KD: I take it you don’t mean help them cross over.

 

EN: Nope. Like I said, I don’t have even the teensiest bit of magic. They have to find someone else for that, if they’re in a traveling mood. They come for the typical PI stuff, you know, to find out if a spouse was cheating on them before they died, if said spouse might have been responsible for their death, to find treasure that was stolen from them, to get me to sort out things that only the living can sort. They’re only a small part of my business though.

 

KD: How do they pay you then?

 

EN: Well, as you might guess, KD, it costs a lot to hire me. You wouldn’t believe what I have to pay for insurance. I mean most insurance companies would laugh me out of their offices. So there’s that, but also, my line of work involves a lot more potentially dangerous situations most PIs would face. I mean most don’t have to worry that a less than well-behaved vampire might try to make them lunch or that they might get caught breaking and entering in the New York City library in the middle of the night to speak with a ghost. And I’m pretty sure none of them has ever had to deal with a demon possessed person trying to hammer their brains out. So while I do have a sliding payment scale when need be, generally speaking, I charge a lot.

 

Problem is that more often than not, I’m paid in assets that are only moderately liquid or in come cases not very. I get old coins, jewelry, even pirate treasure on occasion. I get a lot of stuff that has a high value, but can’t be easily converted to cash. One vampire paid me with a priceless Stradivarius. I actually kept that, even though I don’t play. At the time the legal hoops I’d have to jump through to place it in a museum without it looking like I’d nicked it were just too much to bother with. It didn’t seem right to take money for it. I figure some day I might know someone who can play, or maybe I’ll take lessons. Not likely, since I’m tone deaf. I wonder if music is a type of magic. Can I have another cup of coffee?

 

KD: Yes, of course.

 

I pour her another cup, and push a plate of shortbread across the table

 

KD: So I imagine you must have a lot of acquaintances and colleagues who can help you convert those sorts of things to cash.

EN: I have connections. Believe it or not a lot of them are in the police department,
mostly people who know someone who knows someone else they talked to while investigating a theft, but they have lots of connections at the NYPD. I try to stay on their good side.

 


KD:
Very wise, I’d say.

 

Check in with A Hopeful Romantic next Monday, the 21st for the conclusion of our interview, in which Elise North discusses her relationship with the Guardian and what it’s like to work for a demon.

 

Interview with a Demon Part 4

Interviewing a demon turned out not to be a straight forward thing. Absolutely nothing went according to planned, and too late, I realised walking away from it afterward, even with a vampire and a succubus protecting me, wasn’t a given. You see, the truth is, there was just way too much baggage for all parties for the interview to go by the book. I don’t know why I ever thought otherwise. Anyway, enough of my moaning. I’ve done my best to report the details honestly and without bias, but the truth is, after my experiences with Magda Gardener and her Consortium, I have more than a little baggage of my own.

 

Interview with a Demon – the interview so far:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Interview with a Demon Part 4: A Tale Interrupted

 

While the Guardian admired the moonless sky, much as I’m sure Reese and Alonso did when they were in the garden he modeled his prison after, there was no doubt his focus was still entirely on me. But then what physical illusion there was of him was just that, an illusion. To be under his subtle scrutiny made me all the more uncomfortable in a giddy sort of way, and yet it didn’t seem to distract him in the least from the task at hand.

“At the time my home, as it always had been, since before I had need to remember, was a deconsecrated chapel near the city that is now Manchester in the North of England, but you already know this. Of course it was not the chapel to which I was bound. The place itself had been considered sacred ground as long as humans walked the earth, although I don’t know why. The mortal sense of what is sacred and what is profane has always puzzled me. You see, my task was to guard holy ground. I don’t know how that became my charge, or when, only that it always had been, even after the chapel was deconsecrated and put on the market to be sold as a home or a boutique or even a pub. The latter two were not at all to my liking. While I would have enjoyed the orgy of sensation and experience such places might offer me, it would have been only a temporary glutting of my capacity for pleasure and would have most certainly drawn enough attention as to make it difficult for me to choose as best suits me. In fact it might have drawn to me those whose attention I would prefer not to have. Of course, you understand, I mean my jailor, who for the most part ignored me, seeing me as little threat at the time.” He offered a satisfied chuckle. “You see, even our incomparable Magda Gardener makes mistakes. So, after a tiresome parade of estate agents, none of whom held my attention for long, none of whom had what I needed if I were to resume making the kinds of choices I delighted in, one of them at long last succeeded in bringing to me exactly what I had been waiting for. And then the daft woman tried to discourage her from me.

“‘The place has set empty for a very long time, so it will be costly to renovate.’ Those were her words when she saw her perspective buyer’s delight.”

It was very disconcerting for me to hear the voice of a woman with a northern accent coming from the Guardian. With difficulty, I kept my eyes averted and reminded myself that even his voice, whatever voice he chose to use, was just an illusion. He continued. “Then the devious agent added, ‘of course any … human remains have long since been removed from the crypt … as far as we can tell anyway.’ Oh how I longed to throttle her then and there, but of course I could do nothing.” He laughed softly, and I swear I felt the warmth of his breath against my ear. “As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about where her dear client was concerned.

“But Annie, for that was the client’s name, as you may have already suspected, would not be put off. I will never forget her words.” I was even more disturbed to hear him speak in the voice of Annie Rivers. “‘Can you imagine?’ she said, ‘I’ll be the only one of my friends who had a genuine crypt for a wine cellar. Too bad there’s not at least one stone sarcophagus left, you know, as a conversation piece.’

“The agent was horrified and, as for me, well I was instantly enchanted. My dear Annie had laughed with delight when the agent showed her the bathroom with the large tub. ‘Oh I’m really going to enjoy this. It’s big enough for company,’ she said. Oh how that thought intrigued me. You see, an evangelical group had installed the great tub. They were the last to rent the building before it was deserted and sold for the final time. They believed in some strange ritual of baptism that demanded immersion for which it was an essential tool. They didn’t interest me much other than as a dalliance now and then brought on by boredom. In truth, there was little more I could manage, since at the time, I was imprisoned with very limited access to the pastor’s flock. But my efforts did result in several attempts at exorcism. However, when the ‘spawn of Satan’ they feared did not vacate the premises after their hocus pocus, they gave up and left claiming something evil lurked within. Once again, I waited.

“I was not happy with the way the agent rushed Annie through the nave and the sacristy, nor with how she dwelt on the overgrown mess of the back garden and how many bodies had been buried there before the deconsecration. I punished her for that later. As for my dear Annie, I gave her just enough of a sense of well-being, of euphoria that, by the time she left, I was certain she felt right at home and that there was nothing the agent could do that would keep my beautiful Annie from me.”

Without warning the hair on the backs of my arms stood at full attention, as though a bolt of electricity had passed through me, and the ground tilted sharply beneath my chair. Before I could do more than yelp and stumble to my feet, Susan appeared, looking far more wraith-like than the Guardian, and almost as terrifying wearing her rage like a heavy cloak.

“This interview is over.” Her voice made my jaws ache until my head felt like it would explode. But it wasn’t me she was speaking too, and frankly, I was glad. Suddenly the temperature in the garden plummeted and snow began to swirl on a growing fell wind. In spite of the howl of what was quickly becoming a blizzard, Susan’s voice cut through it as though it were deadly silent. “How dare you? How fucking dare you? I trusted you. I gave you your voice, I even let her come to you.” She nodded her head in my direction. “And this is how you repay me, by flaunting the sordid horrors you visited on my best friend?”

“Susan, I don’t understand.” The Guardian spoke with little emotion that I could sense, but then I was busy trying to keep from freezing to death. By this time the wind was howling and snow was falling heavily in what had, only moments ago, been the garden in high summer.

“How the fuck can you not understand? She’s not your Annie. She was never your Annie. You’re here because of what you did to her, because of what you tried to do to all of us. And don’t give me that bullshit about things being different with your kind. I don’t care if it’s different. You know exactly how it is withmy kind.” She rubbed a tight fist against her chest as though she were in pain.

“Susan, you are a vampire,” he responded as calmly as if he were telling her that her shoelace was untied. “And you are unique even among vampires. You are the only one of your kind.”

“And I wouldn’t be a vampire if you hadn’t … if it hadn’t been … How could you not know that …” Her voice drifted off and then she shouted, “Talia, pull her out.”

But Talia didn’t pull me out, instead, I stood with my teeth chattering chafing my arms watching an altercation between a demon and a vampire and wondering if I’d be collateral damage.

 

Interview with a Demon

While it has been an effort to sort through what actually happened, I have finally managed to piece together another segment of what happened during that unaccounted for stretch of time I spent with The Guardian in his prison. As the memories come back to me and as I deal with the consequences of the experience as best I can, I will share the results with you, as I promised him I would. Thank you for being patient.

 

Missed part of the interview? Follow the links

Part 1

Part 2

 

Part 3 A Demon’s Tale

The Guardian sat silently for a time, long enough for me to be tempted to look over at him, or to try and prompt the conversation. But at last he took a deep breath – no doubt for my benefit and spoke. “I won’t start at the beginning. While I may have plenty of time, you certainly do not.” The rich warmth of his chuckle made me want to scoot my chair closer to his in hopes that he might touch me. That I craved his touch made me want to scream for Talia to pull me back to the safety of the waking world. If he were aware of my feelings, he didn’t show it, but continued. “My tale is a long and often tedious one, much of it spent bound or imprisoned by meddling shamans or priests or witches, who invariably mistook my nature for evil. Those in power, after all, have need of the threat of evil if they are to maintain control. I have, more than once, provided them with the necessary excuse for the disturbing and culturally unacceptable behavior of their subjects. Would that they had only understood me better rather than attempted to use me to promote their own agendas. But then that, I suppose, is the nature of human beings.”

“And yet you let your behavior prove them right.” Damn, I have a big mouth, but you see, I already knew a good deal of his story, after all, and I wasn’t about to let him white wash it.

He only shrugged. “Do you consider a lion evil for killing a gazelle, a hawk for taking a rabbit? I am, to the best of my knowledge, as much a part of the natural order as they are. That humans chose to interact with me to begin with is less so, I would postulate. That is, unless they were drawn to me from the beginning by the very nature of who I am.” He raised a negating hand as though batting away a fly. “We’re wasting time arguing my morality when it’s such a human term. I’ve not brought you here for that purpose.”

With a sudden chill, I realized, he had indeed brought me here as surely as if I had been one of the poor souls he had possessed. Susan had allowed it. I quickly reminded myself. Talia had made it possible. But they all owed him a life — several lives, in fact. Before I could contemplate my place in his plan, he continued.

“I cannot impart to you what it’s like to be bound for an age with only my own longings and urges for company. You’re far too finite to understand how maddening such imprisonment is for one who desires nothing so much as flesh and the pleasures and pains it brings. Oh yes, I would gladly take pain to the agony of languishing in uncontained eternity with nothing to hold me to myself and no way of touching the passing of everything around me.”

“But that’s not how it is for you now, surely. I know you interact with the world, at least with Susan and Michael and the other consortium members. Some of them anyway.”

For a moment he was silent, and then he sighed. “It’s true that Susan has become a gentle jailor, kind and considerate of my needs. And yet surely you must understand that never in my long existence have I been incarcerated in a prison so complete, so without any hope of escape.”

“Would you?” I asked, “escape if you could?”

This time the silence was so complete that I thought he had left me. I turned partially toward him startled by the fact that he truly had no face. He appeared much like an unfinished painting of a man overlaid on a starless night. And from that abyss of darkness was a sense of ravenous hunger and desire like nothing I had ever felt. I was taken completely aback that it was even possible for so much hunger and need to fit into one female vampire, no matter how powerful. How in the world could Susan contain him?

Suddenly there was a roar of wind across the fells and, in an instant that hunger was so close to me that I felt it had already devoured me. But even before I could do more than draw breath to cry out, the feeling vanished and he again sat next to me in profile. “I would ask you once more, please don’t look directly at me. I am … unfinished.”

I found myself gripping the chair arms as though I feared being tossed out. Honestly if the chair didn’t toss me out, I ran the risk of dumping myself out onto the ground, I was shaking so badly.

“I am sorry,” he said. “Susan tells me that my impulse control could use a little work.”

My relieved laughter had a hysterical edge to it, then I bit my lip to make myself shut up, and looked the other way.

“You asked me if I would escape if I could.” He continued as though nothing had happened. “In truth I don’t know. Every heart longs to be free… but then I don’t have a heart.” His words drifted away and somewhere deep in the garden an owl trilled, an owl who could no more have been there than the garden itself. “Perhaps residing this close to Susan’s heart, is the closest I shall ever be to having one of my own.” There was another brief pause, and in that instant, I
wondered if the sadness I heard in his voice was only me anthropomorphizing. He continued.

“However when I have been able, when I am free enough to do so, I plan, and I scheme, and I choose wisely. I shall tell you, at least in part, the culmination of such plans, the journey that has led me here to this new prison, so different than any that have ever contained me. Of course you know some of my story, in fact you’ve written it down. But you’ve told it through Susan’s eyes and, while I would never presume to discredit her human point of view, I do wish to give voice to how it was for me, how I experienced those events which led to my strange imprisonment.”

 

Interview with a Demon: Part 2

 

 

 

While I am not a journalist, my role as scribe (with a small s) for Magda Gardener and her consortium sometimes involves the odd interview, and this one may be the oddest one I’ve done so far. While it’s uncomfortable enough working for Magda, it’s even more uncomfortable when I am shanghaied into doing an interview with a demon, which she has neither authorised nor knows anything about. I doubt she’ll be happy about it when she finds out, and she will find out. Come to think about it, I’m not overly happy about it. It’s not that easy to do an interview when you’re shaking in fear. Let the good times roll!

 

 

 

Part 2: In which I Meet the Guardian

Read Part 1 Here

 

It took me a little while to realize I was dreaming. It took me a little while longer to realize that my dream was, for lack of a better word, a lucid dream. It was no dungeon, no jail I entered. It was, instead, a topiary maze. It was night, and yet the ambient light made it easy enough for me to discern my path. There was no question of which direction I should go. I just wound my way through, not really in too much of a hurry to meet what I knew awaited me beyond. The nebulous space in which Susan imprisoned the Guardian was unassailable, though there were no bars, no high walls, no razor wire. In fact the space that contained the demon was of his own shaping. Due to his partnership of convenience with Reese Chambers during their desperate battle with Cyrus in the deserted subway tunnels of New York, he was rather fond of Reese, who is not only Alonso Darlington’s lover, but a brilliant landscaper and gardener. That being the case, the Guardian had turned his space into a garden, which became more and more elaborate as he was given more and more freedom to interact with Susan and those around her.

 

“Off you go then,” I heard Talia’s voice from far away. “Happy demon hunting, KD.”

 

“I am not fond of that woman. I find her most unpleasant.”

 

I cleared the maze into a night garden drenched in moonlight. In fact the garden, I recognized as the one Reese had created for Alonso at his Lakeland manor house. In front of me just where the edge of the fell plummeted into a deep valley with a beck, a man dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt, reminiscent of Reese’s clothing choices, paced back and forth. He neither stopped pacing, nor did he look at me. His laugh was soft and rich, self-deprecating, which I had not expected. “Of course the little succubus and I did get off on the wrong foot, and at the moment neither of us is inclined to make amends. Though I suppose I should be grateful to her for her help in settling me into such an accommodating prison as my dear Susan. And of course in bringing you to me, KD. Please, sit.”

 

Behind me the same winged back chair Talia had been sitting in appeared. When I sat, I realized I was empty-handed.

 

As though he anticipated my reaction, he said, “you are in my dream, my dear, KD. You have no need of pen and paper or Dictaphone. I promise, when you wake up, you will remember everything I need you to know.”

 

Another chair appeared next to mine, and the Guardian seated himself at such an angle that I could only make out his profile, and that not well. He kept his head turned as though he observed something at the opposite end of the beck. “I ask that you do not attempt to look at me directly. It will be … disturbing for you.”

My pulse jumped, and I could manage little more than to nod my understanding. Apparently that was enough. It seemed like ages that we sat there in what might have passed for companionable silence, but the truth was, I had no idea what to say or how to start an interview with a millennia-old demon. Of course I had rehearsed questions, written an outline, but that all vanished from my head now that I was in his presence. I needn’t have worried. He took the struggle out of my hands and began it for me.

 

“I have always chosen the ones I take. It’s never a random act. I choose them carefully and with a great deal of planning and forethought. You see I have plenty of time, and the anticipation is a delight unto itself.” It made my skin tingle and my stomach clench, his use of the present tense, as if he were not in a prison at all, as if he were free to do as he chose. He didn’t ask me if I understood what he meant by taking. I understood all right and didn’t think I was quite up to a less euphemistic description. There was a sense of him shifting in the chair, more than likely to put me at ease rather than because he had any need of it. Then he continued. “Of course I occasionally act impulsively and take when I haven’t intended – a moment of weakness, of answering a craving, of catering to an urge. I have needs, after all, just as everyone does, and sometimes my baser instincts take control.”

 

When I made no response, he added, “you must understand, when I speak of instincts or biological need, it’s only in an effort to help you comprehend my story. In truth, I have neither. My insight into what drives human nature comes only from the experiences of those I’ve chosen through the ages. It’s only through my taking of them that I’m able to share my story with you in any way your mind can grasp.”

 

“I see.” I spoke from a dry throat.

 

“Of course you don’t see,” he responded without censure or ridicule. If anything he sounded rather sad. “You can’t possibly see, but I am compelled to try and convey myself to you, an impossible task for both of us, and yet here we are.”

 

“Indeed,” I managed. “Here we are.”

 

“As I was saying, most of the time, I choose very carefully, the way I chose you.”

 

If I’d had a pen, I’d have dropped it. I remembered only too well what had happened to Annie Rivers when he had chosen her, and what he attempted to do to Susan and Michael. I don’t know if I gasped, or maybe made some other sound of distress. I do know that there is nothing comfortable about being chosen by a demon, and I was on the brink of calling Talia to get me out of the dream.

 

Then that velvety chuckle washed over me. “Relax, my darling little scribe. I’m only joking. Though I’m told,” he added as an afterthought, “that I need to work on my sense of humor.”

 

I’m sure my resulting laugh sounded a little hysterical, though well-laced with genuine relief. Then I found my voice. Whether he understood humor or not, in spite of the poor joke, he had managed to set me at ease. At least a little bit. “You’ll have to forgive me for being so jumpy. I’ve never interviewed a demon before, and especially not without Magda Gardener’s permission.”

 

“Magda Gardener, yes.” He paused as though lost in his thoughts and then said slowly. “Perhaps our clandestine
meeting is my joke on Magda Gardener. Perhaps I wish to see if she thinks I need to work on my sense of humor.”

 

This time I genuinely laughed. “I’m not sure whether I’d pay good money to see her response or pay to be in another country when she finds out.”

 

“Oh, I’m betting you won’t be able to escape her reaction even if you want to darling KD.” I could almost hear the smile in his voice. Then he shifted in his chair with a contented sigh, and the way my skin prickled and the fine hairs on the back of my neck stood at attention, I knew he was now facing me. “Shall we get on with it then, in anticipation of hastening our dear Magda Gardener’s response.”

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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