“Where is she now?” Lenny asked as she moved away from the counter.
“I was gonna bury her body but it start disintegrating when I tried to move her,” the demon said as he crossed his arms. “Wondered if you would happen to know what got her.”
Lenny shook her head and glanced over at the sink where the blood had been. “So did you hurt Gran before I found you in my room? Is that why I can’t find her?”
The demon snorted and narrowed his eyes at her. “What do you take me for?”
“A soulless lowlife who craves sex and violence 24/7,” Lenny said.
The demon stepped closer to her and looked her in the eye. “First things first, most of the demons are that way but I’m not. Second, this place was empty when I stopped by. The blood in the sink is mine.”
“Aww poor baby,” Lenny shot back. “You cut yourself while breaking and entering?”
A red flush flooded the demon’s cheeks and he rubbed the back of his neck. “Er see that’s…not…where the blood came from actually. I found your address through a vampire back at the club who happened to know your drunk friend there. She would only give it to me if she could uh, you know, bite me while we–”
“Okay and why are you still bleeding?” Lenny cut him off.
The demon held out his wrist and Lenny saw the puncture marks from the vampire’s teeth. She studied the teeth indentations and winced.
“She sure bit hard from the looks of it,” Lenny murmured. “Why the wrist though?”
The demon shot Lenny a guilty smile before looking away. “Urm yeah, she had my wrists pinned above my head and preferred to just reach up and drink there instead–”
“Okay that’s enough, I don’t need to hear the rest of your sexcapade,” Lenny said. “Clearly she punctured a blood vessel and its taking a long time to heal. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised that vampire sex would appeal to a demon.”
“I have a name, you know,” the demon said as he snapped his head toward Lenny. He held his hand out and said, “I’m Tarico Sussex but everybody calls me Ari.”
“And I thought my name was weird,” Lenny said as she gingerly shook his hand before dropping it. “Just call me Lenny – my mom gave me my stupid legal name. I hate it.”
“Guess that makes two of us,” Ari grumbled as he shoved his hands into his jean pockets. “Although it was my great times a thousand grandfather’s name, hence why I got stuck with it.”
“Well now that introductions are out of the way, I think its time for you to go,” Lenny said as she glanced over at the door. “I told you that I know nothing about your crazy sister.”
Ari frowned and held his hands up. “Whoa there! Don’t you wanna know what happened to her?”
“Not particularly,” Lenny said. “She was crazy and deranged. Sorry that you were related, I guess.”
Ari stared at her in disbelief and shook his head. “You suck at being compassionate, did anyone ever tell you that? ‘Sorry that you were related, I guess?’ Who says that?”
“Is this the part where I’m supposed to throw you a pity party despite the fact that you just called your sister a bitch?” Lenny asked as she crossed her arms over her chest.
Ari zipped closer, his face inches away from Lenny’s. His green eyes flashed as they met Lenny’s and he gritted his teeth. “No and seriously, how do you have any friends?”
“Easy, I just avoid demons and anything else that could give me a problem,” Lenny said as she looked him straight in the eye. She could hear her heart beating loudly but she tipped her chin up to look him in the eye. “Look, for the record, your kind doesn’t have the greatest rep with me.”
“Really? Cause I thought there was a line of demons outside waiting to heat up your bed,” Ari shot back with a smirk.
Lenny pushed him away and picked up her keys as she made a beeline for the door. She didn’t have time for this stupid banter between her and the demon – Gran was probably wondering where she was and the shop would be closing in a few hours. She slammed the door shut loudly and locked it before walking as fast as she could toward the shop which was a few blocks away.
Lenny yanked her phone out of her pocket and checked to make sure that Gran hadn’t texted her. She saw a new message from an unknown number and she slid her finger across the screen to read it.
Do you always lock guys in your house after you first meet them? ;P
Lenny rolled her eyes as she put her phone back and continued to take long strides toward town where Gran’s shop was on the corner. She waited patiently for a taxi to turn left onto the street she was about to cross before dashing to the other side and searching for the spare shop key on her key ring.
“Gran! Sorry I’m late!” Lenny announced as she slipped through the door and closed it behind her.
“No need to apologize,” Gran called from the front of the store. “I guessed that you were spending time with Valerie – how was last night?”
Lenny shrugged as she picked up her apron from the peg near the door and tied it around her waist. “Interesting, I guess,” she admitted. “Not my kind of place – lots of magical creatures hang out there from what it seems.”
“Val drink too much?”
“You know her too well – actually, scratch that,” Lenny replied, “she got a house special and it was really strong – made her act very giggly and loud.”
“Probably made by a fae no doubt,” Gran said with a knowing smile.
Lenny blinked and did a double take. Gran chuckled as she washed her hands, drying them on the towel nearby.
“Oh I have memories of being your age dear and going out to have a good time,” Gran recalled. “When I turned 21, my girlfriends insisted on taking me to a fancy hotel bar for my first drink. They didn’t know it but the bartender was a fairy – he flirted with me while making my drink and I can’t remember too much that happened after that. I know my friends took me home but I woke up with his number on a piece of paper in my purse!”
“Did you ever call it?” Lenny asked as she began stripping kale leaves off the stems.
Gran shook her head no and sighed. “He was handsome but I thought I’d never have a chance with him, you know? And their kind don’t age like we and humans do. But I can just picture him as if it were yesterday – sharp cheekbones, gold eyes…”
“His name wasn’t Baine, was it?” Lenny spoke up. She hadn’t paid much attention to his eye color but she recalled that they definitely weren’t blue or green.
Gran shook her head, “It was Quentin actually. He also had blonde hair – is this Baine also a fae?”
“Yup he was bartending at the club I went to,” Lenny said. “Except he had dark hair and lots of piercings in his ears.” Lenny washed her hands and dried them off. “How have things been going?”
Gran glanced out at the shop front to make sure no one was waiting for them. She turned to Lenny and told her that it had been quiet – the girl who came in for a miracle a few days ago returned with a better complexion and a radiant smile, despite the fact that her date only wanted to go with her as a pity date. Everyone else either came for natural cures for things like headaches, stomach cramps, and a daughter bought a rare mix of tea for her uncle’s birthday.
“I think its safe to say we’re done for the day,” Gran replied as she walked to the front door to flip the sign to closed. “What sounds good for dinner dear?”
Lenny put away some of the perishable ingredients and sighed. “Ummm…takeout maybe? Not feeling up to cooking tonight.”
Gran laughed as she returned to the back room. “You read my mind. I’ll go call the takeout place you love so much. General Tso chicken and brown rice, right?”
“Always,” Lenny said with a smile. She waited until Gran had left the back room before pulling her phone out to text the unknown number from earlier.
You better not be still in the house when I get back.
She pressed Send and received a reply about a minute after that.
Aww do you miss me already? ;X
Lenny rolled her eyes as she began to text back. A little voice in her head warned her that she was playing with fire but she didn’t care – for a demon who claimed that he was nothing like his hot-blooded, lusty brethren, he sure didn’t seem that different, at least in text messages.
I thought you were supposed to be the demon who wasn’t like the others.
Then nothing for a few minutes. Lenny took this moment to put her phone away before Gran came back from calling the takeout place.
“How about we watch something over dinner?” Gran suggested as she began fishing out her keys from her purse to lock up the shop.
“I think that would be fun,” Lenny agreed as she held the door open for Gran. She closed the door behind her and stepped to the side as Gran locked up.
“Takeout should be ready in 15 minutes – why not take a nice walk into town before its ready?” Gran said as she began heading down the street.
Lenny nodded as she walked alongside of Gran, ignoring the vibration in her pocket.