Amelia transported us back to Secure Corps, demon included. She and Amony started a good ole round of interrogations in the basement while Elly, Sin, Devante, and I headed upstairs to enjoy lunch. Damn, I love it when Amony’s servants bring us food. Half the time, I don’t know what the hell I’m eating but if it tastes good, no complaints from me. Rich people. Am I right or am I right? A long time ago, it’d be the pot calling the kettle black. But…fuck Paradise Realm.
“Sin I’ve been meaning to ask,” Devante started. “Are you and the boss…”
“Having sex? Yes. In a relationship, no,” Sin said.
“Sex buddies?” I said, chuckling. “Guessing you have reasons not to push closer. Besides the age difference.”
“Don’t get me wrong, she’s one hell of a woman. And she did bring this up a few times, but we’re from two different worlds.”
“No, you’re not idiot,” Elly said. “Are you being serious right now?”
“I’m the prince of Hell,” Sin said. “I know I don’t act it but don’t forget. I’ve got a lot more problems on my plate than just the Fallen.”
“Want to share?” I asked. He just stared at his half-eaten plate of food.
“It’s cool, none of our business,” Devante said.
“You’re the prince of Hell?” Elly turned to look at him, eyes wide.
“To think we haven’t brought this up once,” I said. “So much for knowing our teammates.”
“For the record, I found out when we encountered the night terror back out the college,” Devante said. “Ex-prince is the best word for it.”
“Yeah, Devante had so many questions,” Sin said. “But I was kicked out some time ago. Not sad about it at all.”
“Did you like, burn in flames?” Elly asked.
Sin shook his head.
“Where I lived is completely different than what Epex experienced and what tortured souls, demons, and other things go through. I was raised in an earth-like city, had blue skies and certain demons were allowed in if they took on a human form, had human-like intelligence and so on. It was like here, but worse. Demons aren’t really about trust and the royal devils are always plotting. One of them even tried to convince my father to force me to marry her, in attempt to get into our family.”
“Was she a beauty?”
Sin rolled his eyes.
“Devil-women will show you all the physical beauty but the truly horrific, disaster, is in the inside.”
“Never mind that,” Elly said. “Why is there an earth-like place in Hell?”
“Rumors state my father created the dimension, but he never talked to me about his past.”
“Fitting for Demon King Ghost,” I said, waving my arms in mock fear.
“That title is dumb,” Sin said. “My father…never mind.”
“So why obsess with the Fallen, anyway?” Elly said. “Your fuckbuddy offered these awesome jobs, benefits, to kill off Sunset. Then what?”
“Sunset is just a nick of the big picture,” Sin began. “I didn’t ask you to get involved in a war against my father. But…” he paused. “I suppose it won’t matter if I tell you. “
“You better,” Elly said. “I like this job. Let us help more.”
“Yeah man, don’t toss us out,” Devante said.
“Says the professor,” I said to Devante. “At least you have something to fall back onto. I..I could start something, only to get it completely ruined by the hunters.”
“I don’t want to go back to being a waitress,” Elly admitted. “If making a shit ton of tips is all I can do just to pay for my classes, then…”
“You’re in college?” I said, interrupting her thought.
“The local, normal college,” she responded. “Not the fancy university your goddess goes to.”
Sin cleared his throat.
“We weren’t planning to kick you off. Despite having a goddess and even a misthanger queen, Middleburg is still a demon hotspot. There will be plenty of demon patrols to clear out well after Sunset is dealt with.”
“Good to hear,” Devante said. “I like fighting with you guys and then getting beers afterwards.” Everyone nodded in agreement. “So, what’s the other reason why it’s imperative to nuke Sunset?”
“Any of you know of the King God’s tears?”
My eyes widened. Sin eyed me.
“I wonder why it haven’t dawned on me to ask the heavenly-being in our group,” he said.
“Not much of a heavenly-being,” I said. “And I’ve heard of the tears from Amelia’s bitch-sister Karma but don’t know much about them. Supposedly they give anyone the power of a god.”
“It’s rumored that my father’s looking for them,” Sin said. “There’s also another rumor from the underground that points to Sunset having one. We can’t have these things in the hands of the demons or my father. He’s more likely to get double-crossed by a royal devil and then we’ll all be fucked. So…I want to destroy them.”
“Why not keep it for yourself?” Elly said. “Use that power to wreak havoc, have some fun.”
“I’ll pass,” Sin replied. “I’m not trying to bring down the gods on me. No offense, Epex.”
I shrugged. “Don’t start shit, won’t be shit.”
“So the true goal is to break the tear. I’m guessing it’s some kind of gemstone or something.”
“A rune to be exact,” Sin replied to Devante. “Supposedly dangerous to even the user. That much power from the king of gods.”
“Conus?” Elly said.
“No,” I said. “The King is higher than even him. I’m pretty sure he’s the god humans have been writing about this entire time.”
Before the conversation could continue, laughter echoed throughout the entire building. I looked at Mickey, the attendant up front but she didn’t seem to hear it, nor did any other human employee. We rushed to the elevator, entered the keycode that gave us access to the basement, and went down.
“What the hell’s going on here?” I said.
“As soon as Amelia got the information, he sent out a psychic call for backup,” Amony said.
“Fuck, let’s go meet them outside,” Elly said. “Devante, make yourself useful and put up a barrier so that humans won’t see anything.”
“Yeah, yeah,” he said, adjusting the tie on his expensive suit.
“I’m sorry I have to do this,” Amelia told Amony then placed a finger on the demon’s forehead. The demon’s laughter stopped.
“No, no, no!” he screamed his last breath before combusting into ashes.
“Holy shit,” Sin said softly. “Teach me that sometime, oh great goddess.”
Amelia huffed. “Come on, let’s go beat up some demons.”
It didn’t take them long to show up. Among them, I felt a presence that I could either describe as “super-dark,” or pure evil. Then I saw him, a purple-eyed man with long messy grey hair. He had on the trademark suit.
I turned to Devante. “You’re not a devil, right?” Even though I saw his past, I wanted to mess with him.
He glared. “No, unless you mean the handsome kind.”
The power the Sunset devil ahead radiated some serious power. I assumed he was a general of some sort.
And that’s when the fucker did the unthinkable.
One of his minions brought him a rocket launcher. He took aim at Secure Corps. And fired.
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Alvin Atwater is a man of humor, a starving author. With a unique writing style that can outshine even Jim Butcher, Patria Briggs, or Kevin Hearne, he is a character-driven lovable lump of mass. Born in Florida, he's on a mission to defeat his arch nemesis, Florida Man, once and for all.
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