An Hour Before Epex’s Return…
“Sir, you called?”
The Drifter didn’t even look up from his tablet. He tapped numbers into a spreadsheet. Losses. Those six bastards were losing him money. Two months of money—gone! A business could go in ruins with this kind of profit loss. He was wrong in assumption of the goddess and her miscreants taking care of everything. He didn’t want to get involved with six stuck-up mongrels who probably couldn’t tell an apple from an orange.
“Tell Agnes to come to me.”
“Yes sir,” the demonic minion replied, then marched purposefully out the door.
The Drifter looked up to his personal guards.
“Clear the room. You can take your lunch break now. This will be a lengthy meeting between she and I.”
The guards nodded and left without another word. A minute later, an attractive woman with long dark hair, dressed in an expensive dress and jewelry stepped into his conference room. He waved a hand, causing the door behind her to shut then lock. The room was windowless, soundproof, magic-proof, and most of all, invisible to the eyes of Paradise Realm.
Agnes simply smiled, fearless. Of course, she’d be fearless. She was just as powerful as him. They were equals, despite the employer-employee relationship.
“So moneybags, have you come up with a solution yet?” she said, purple eyes staring into his. “Don’t get me wrong, you’ve paid but I’d love to get started on that job. Gotta reputation to maintain and can’t have your minions spreading tall tales.”
The Drifter gave her a half-minute stare before speaking.
“Feel free to break through that barrier if you can. When you fail, they’ll be on you faster than—”
Agnes appeared right in his face, straddling him, still smiling without a care. She undid his tie and began to unbutton his shirt.
“I’ve got needs. If I’m going to be stuck here, I’m taking them.”
“There’s a time and place for that and it is not in my place of business.”
“I don’t care, I want sex and I get what I want. And I’m not sleeping with a lousy minion.”
The Drifter waved a hand. The woman froze, unable to move. His shirt rebuttoned itself, but the tie remained in its place. Agnes glared.
“I did not call you in here for that, mercenary,” he said. “It is time to take action. I take action.”
“Bloody hell, did you finally figure out how to use it?”
“Just some of it,” the Drifter replied, “but it shall be enough. We will launch an assault that should catch them off guard. The oracle will give me the strength but for a short time. I will attempt to break a hole into the barrier. Cast a spell to hold it open. You may escape from there.”
“Escape, like the weak?” Agnes laughed. “I’ll break the barrier if you punch a hole into it, then I’m joining into fray to spill me some blood. I’ve never consumed a royal-class before.”
“You’re an overconfident one, aren’t you?” the Drifter said, releasing her from the spell.
“I could say the same for you,” she retorted. “Only a taste of that power and you believe you can take on all six.”
“I do not believe all six will appear at the same time,” he said. “They’re too proud for that. I just cannot risk losing anymore profits.”
“You say that, yet the energy you and your clutch leave behind will eventually attract the Fallen. It isn’t a matter of if. It is when. I won’t respond to any of your calls for help.”
“That worried me at first but what you don’t know is that one did show,” the Drifter said. “I was prepared to portal out but they…somehow managed to kill it. None of my sources know how. My only guess is that they called upon someone powerful.”
“Possibly,” he answered. “I will assume they can call on their rulers at will until I am done here.” Agnes simply shrugged, not impressed. She was still straddling him.
“Before we start this whole hopeless assault thing, I want my needs taken care of right now,” she said, “or I’ll devour your army. You’ll be stuck.”
“Your willingness to threaten me is why I hired you in the first place, but do not—” His eyes widened when all of his clothes turned intangible then flew yards away from them.
“You’re packing and pent up,” Agnes said, grabbing somewhere that snatched the Drifter’s attention. He was still unsure if he should even let someone like her near him, but what would betrayal get her? No, he was paying her too well. “Don’t stiffen your body on me, just let your manhood stiffen.” She laughed, massaging. “If you didn’t want me, you’d push me away.”
“Push you away only for you to come back again, horny wench. Fine, but—”
Agnes’s clothes vanished as she smothered the leader of Sunset with a lusty kiss. She pulled back.
“What are you waiting for, show me why your mistresses were bragging about you the other day.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” the Drifter said.
“You say that, but you’re enjoying this. You better admit after this that I’m better.”
Sometime later, the Drifter rounded up his forces and ordered them into ranks. They were in a large underground warehouse. All of his demons took on their natural shapes, though some still had humanoid forms. Some carried guns, some swords, others preferred tooth, claw, and magic.
The Agnes walked beside him as he inspected his troops. The damn woman held him up for at least three hours and still wanted more “rounds” as she called the sessions. She was acting worse than a succubus.
Minutes later, the Drifter found himself satisfied with the ranks and the troops. He held up the oracle, a glowing clear gemstone the size of quarter.
“Today will be a simple task,” he said. “Get my businesses afloat again. Because of those six imprudent bastards, I’m losing money. But…I’ve finally got it to work. If we are to progress from here, take out those that stand against Sunset.”
His minions cheered and then chanted, “those that stand against us will be crushed like insects.”
“Men and bravado.”
The Drifter chuckled.
“Women are just better at hiding theirs. Now let’s get going. I’ve got profits to regain. Royals to kill.”
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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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