She had only seen a succubus in her books and some various horror flicks that Val dragged her to see. Lenny edged away from the bar and headed in the direction of where Val was dancing.
“Hey there you are!” Lenny yelled as she wedged herself between Val and the random guy dancing with her. “Wanna head out – think you said something about a final tomorrow?” She shot the guy an apologetic look as Val linked arms with her and nodded feebly. Lenny gripped Val’s arm and began dragging her through the crowds of people dancing. She didn’t dare look back but she knew that the succubus was still watching her.
“Do not engage them,” Gran’s friend Rose warned her. “Even if you’re armed – turn around and go in the other direction without confronting them, if you can avoid it. Only fight them if there is no other option.” This piece of advice always rang through Lenny’s mind whenever she was out in a public space where anyone and anything could mingle. All demons and warlocks had bad blood with one another since the Dark Ages.
“Bar-Bartend-hic! Bartender checking you out?” Val asked as Lenny dragged her out of the club.
“Nah just small talk,” Lenny replied as she dug around for her keys in her jacket pocket. She felt the jagged edge of the key scrape against her fingers for a brief moment before feeling something pull them away from reach. They floated from her pocket and above her head before zipping behind her, making Lenny turn around to see them landing in the succubus’ hand.
“What’s the rush witchie?” the girl taunted as she waved the keys around. “Gotta get home to finish brewing a potion?” She let out a deranged laugh at her own joke and Lenny stiffened. The succubus continued to laugh loudly, almost like that of a hyena. Lenny looked closer and noticed that the succubus had a greyish pallor to her skin – unusual for the species who tended to look healthier and well, beautiful to lure their prey in.
“Who’s laughing?” Val blurted out. “You say something Lenny?”
At Val’s words, the succubus stopped laughing and glanced over at Val, who was staring with glassy eyes and flushed cheeks. Lenny stepped in front of Val and held out her hand.
“All I want is my keys back so I can get her home,” Lenny said as met the green eyes of the succubus. Even the green in the succubus’ eyes looked a little off – they were more of a neon green color than the mid to dark green attributed to the species.
The succubus snorted and pointed at Val, who was peering over Lenny’s shoulder. “Why’s a human hanging around you?”
“Does it matter what species she is?” Lenny replied. She focused her eyes on the keys in the succubus’ hand and concentrated on moving them into her hand. The keys became surrounded by a small circle of blue light, which made the succubus screech as she released her hold on them. Once the keys zipped over to Lenny, she caught them and began walking quickly towards Val’s car, her hand firmly gripped on Val’s arm.
“Wha-What’s going on?” Val asked as Lenny helped her into the car.
“Crazy chick, had too much to drink,” Lenny fibbed as she buckled Val into her seat. Lenny slammed the door shut and jogged over to the driver’s seat of the car. Before she could open the door, the succubus ran towards her, eyes wild and rabid. Without hesitating, Lenny envisioned an invisible wall blocking her from the succubus. The succubus slammed hard into the invisible wall and fell to the ground.
“Can you uh, you uh, sleep over tonight?” Val asked as Lenny started the car. “I feel kinda…dizzy. Musta been that drink.”
“Sure thing,” Lenny said as she accelerated out of the parking lot without looking back. She glanced in her rear view mirror and saw that the succubus was still on the ground, motionless. She wasn’t sure whether it was from too much alcohol or something else, but Lenny could tell that this succubus was not acting normal, which kind of worked in Lenny’s benefit for her first encounter with the species.
Lenny sped up through a yellow light and continued towards Val’s house, which was a few more minutes away from the club they were just at. She heard her phone ring but she ignored it as she changed lanes to turn right into Val’s neighborhood. She had a feeling it was Gran calling to make sure that everything was okay.
“Almost there,” Lenny murmured as she turned left and drove to the end of the street. She pulled up in front of a colonial style house with brick walls and parked the car.
“I, I gots this,” Val said as she unclipped her seat belt and fumbled with the door. She swore under her breath as she fumbled with the handle. Lenny glanced at the handle and the door opened on Val’s next try. Val grinned and hobbled out the car, zigging and zagging her way to the door.
Lenny picked up her phone and managed to catch it before it stopped ringing. “Val have too much to drink?” Gran guessed.
“You know her too well,” Lenny replied as she clicked her tongue. “She asked me to stay over.”
Gran paused and glanced out the window for a moment. She turned back to the phone and continued, “Yes I think that’s a good idea. You girls have fun – feel free to come home whenever you want tomorrow.”
“But don’t you need–”
“I’ll handle the shop dearie, don’t worry about me!” Gran cut her off. “You know that you’re the light of my life, right?”
“Yes Gran, I do,” Lenny said as she unbuckled her seat belt and followed after Val, locking the car before she headed up the walkway. “And you’re the lighthouse who guides me to shore.”
Gran smiled and told her to have a good night before hanging up. She glanced around the room and narrowed her eyes at a lamp that was flickering. She looked back to the window and shook her head. It had been a while since the tension between demons and warlocks had come to a head but Rose’s death didn’t seem like a coincidence. Her close friend’s last words rang clear in her mind – “If there has ever been a time where our kind should back down, it is now.”