Night Out

 

This story takes place between the events of BLACK WINGS and BLACK NIGHT.

By Christina Henry

“I want to go to the movies,” Beezle announced.

I looked up from my calculator and checkbook, where I was desperately trying to create a positive balance out of thin air and willpower. Gabriel had given me the rent check, but the motor on the dryer had broken the same week that my stupid annoying half-brother had lobbed three rat demons through the glass on my front door.

Because the rat demons were so small they were kind of exempt from the crossing-the-threshold rule that kept bigger supernatural creatures from busting up my abode. Well, exempt in the sense that their magic was so minor they could cross a threshold if they were forced through it – say, if a half-demon threw them with enough power to shatter the glass.

Anyway, I’d had to get the door repaired, which cost way more money than it ought to, and then I’d spent the next two days hunting down the rats in the walls before they made little rat-demon babies and got into Beezle’s popcorn stash. I’d just managed to destroy the last of them and determine that the house was clear when the dryer started smoking.

All in all, it had not been my best week ever, and now my gargoyle wanted to leave the house and go to the movies.

“Why do you want to go to the movies?” I asked.

“I want to see Toy Story 3”, he said.

“You do,” I said flatly.

Beezle tipped his chin up defiantly. “Yeah. So?”

“Can’t you wait for the DVD?” I asked.

“Movie popcorn is way better than microwave.”

I sighed. “Gabriel probably won’t want to go.”

Beezle snorted. “The devil isn’t even at home.”

“He isn’t? Where did he go?” That was surprising. Very surprising. Gabriel was under orders from both Lucifer and Azazel to stay with me at all times. If I was home, he was supposed to be home. If I was out, he was supposed to go out with me.

“He got a call about a half hour ago and rushed out.” Beezle shrugged. “It’s not my job to keep track of him.”

“No, it’s his job to keep track of me,” I said, irritated. I don’t particularly enjoy having a shadow with me all the time, even one as ridiculously hot as Gabriel, but I didn’t want him to get in trouble with the biggest, baddest fallen angel of all. “How do you know he got a phone call? You’re supposed to be in your perch, not snooping around the windows.”

“For your information, he was standing on the porch at the time.” Beezle sniffed. “You act like I’m an peeping Tom.”

“Because you are.”

“Are we going to the movies or not? There’s a show that starts at 7:15.”

“I’m not supposed to go anywhere without Gabriel.”

Beezle made a pfffing noise. “Since when do you need his permission to go to the movies?”

“Yeah,” I said, feeling reckless. “Yeah. I got along fine on my own before Gabriel.”

I glanced at the clock. We had an hour to make the show, which was more than enough time to walk the twelve blocks or so to the theater and collect enough popcorn to satisfy my needy gargoyle.

“All right. Let me get my coat.”

“Yes!” Beezle shouted, pumping his fist in the air.

“But you have to be…”

“Incognito at the movie theater. I know, I know,” Beezle said.

“Seriously. You don’t want to scare any kids.”

“I got it, I got it.” He rubbed his hands together. “I want the biggest popcorn they have. The one with all the free refills.”

“You are out of your tiny mind if you think that I’m getting up a hundred times during the movie to refill the bag,” I said as I pulled my coat and scarf on. I yanked a knit cap over my curly mop and Beezle settled in on my shoulder as we walked out and down the staircase.

“This is going to be awesome,” he said.

“I just hope Lucifer and Azazel don’t find out,” I said, trying not to be worried.

“Please,” Beezle said. “What could go wrong?”

I stepped out on to the front porch and stopped short.

There was a dragon on my front lawn, and it did not look happy to see me.

I turned to Beezle and glared at him. “You had to say something.”

He gave me his best injured look. “It’s not my fault!”

“ ‘What could go wrong?’” I mimicked. “There’s a freaking dragon on the lawn!”

“Well, no,” Beezle said. “It’s actually a demon that bears a superficial resemblance to a dragon.”

“The resemblance appears more than superficial to me,” I said.

The demon in question wasn’t a humongous medieval-type dragon – thank the Morningstar, because I don’t know how I would have explained that to my neighbors. As it was I hoped none of them were looking out the windows.

The dragon-demon was about seven feet long and a little over four feet high. It looked vaguely like illustrations I’d seen of Chinese dragons – the snout was long and the face was dotted with patches of fur over the eyes and at the jaw. It had black scales, nasty-looking curved claws, and murderous red eyes glaring at me. Long incisors protruded from its mouth like a saber-toothed cat’s.

It stood with its forelegs on my front walk and its back end on the grass of my lawn, and the stance very clearly said, “You ain’t going nowhere.” The snow had melted beneath its feet and the grass underneath the demon was scorched and blackened.

The dragon swayed slightly, side to side like a cobra. And then it opened its mouth.

I called up my magic in time to cover us with a shield, expecting to get blasted by a stream of fire. Instead, the dragon emitted a disgusting, tarry paste that it coughed out in short bursts that reminded me of paintballs shooting from a gun. The paste splattered against the shield, and since the shield was smallish and hastily formed some of the gunk landed on the sleeve of my coat.

It burned through the fabric where it touched, and kept going right on through until it reached my skin, where it burned through that, too. I gritted my teeth against the pain, which felt like it was going through to the marrow of my bones.

“That’s just freaking great,” I muttered. “I can’t afford to replace this coat.”

“You can’t afford to replace me, either,” Beezle said. “So maybe you want to deal with that dragon demon before it eats us or burns us to death or whatever.”

I waited for the dragon to pause in its emission of gross acid paste balls. I hastily dropped the shield and launched a blast of nightfire directly into the dragon’s open mouth.

The dragon’s eyes widened for a moment, then it made a retching noise like a cat with a hairball in its throat. And then it blasted the nightfire right back at me.

I dove out of the way as my own nightfire came back and blasted the porch steps. Shattered wood flew everywhere. I felt Beezle digging his claws into my shoulder so that he wouldn’t be dislodged as I landed on the lawn and got a mouthful of dirty snow.

“Well, that didn’t work,” Beezle remarked.

“You could do something helpful instead of commenting on my performance,” I snapped, rolling to my back and up to my feet in time to see the dragon open its mouth for another shot.

So nightfire wouldn’t work, and I didn’t really have a lot of other weapons in my magical arsenal since my insane great-grandmother had stopped possessing me. What I did have was my mother’s silver dagger, which I always carried in my boot.

“Get clear, Beezle,” I said, and jumped out of the way of another dragon blast.

“What for?” he said as I pulled out the dagger.

“Fine, stay there while I get really close to the demon,” I said, shuffling back and forth like an idiotic video game character trying to avoid the dragon’s acid shots.

He launched from my shoulder with a surprising amount of speed for a really fat gargoyle. The dragon was momentarily distracted by Beezle’s flight, which was exactly what I needed.

I took about three seconds to shape a shield over my hand and forearm. Then I ran at the dragon with the dagger, aiming for its eye.

The dagger’s tip pierced the soft flesh, slid cleanly through to the dragon’s brain. I released the handle as something inside the demon short-circuited and it began to thrash around. I took several hasty steps backwards as the acid gunk spewed out of the wound in its eye and burned pretty much everything it touched.

Beezle landed on my shoulder as I watched the monster in its death throes. “You used me as a distraction on purpose.”

“Of course,” I said. “You might as well be useful now and then.”

Beezle sniffed. “I am useful. I’m your home guardian.”

“And if you were doing your job instead of making me drag your heavy butt to the movies then I wouldn’t have walked outside to this lovely surprise,” I said, indicating the dragon.

“Harrumph,” Beezle said, which meant he had nothing to smart to say for a change.

The dragon stopped moving abruptly, and there was a great exhalation of steam from its mouth. The wound in its eye still flowed, but sluggishly now rather than in arterial spurts.

I felt a pang of loss when I saw that my mother’s dagger had melted into the dragon’s eye. It was one of the few meaningful objects I owned that had belonged to her.

Beezle saw where I was looking, and it was as if he could read my thoughts. “On the other hand, she wouldn’t have wanted you to get eaten by the dragon.”

“No,” I said, but it was hard not to feel like I’d lost a little bit of her all over again. I sighed, then pulled myself together. I had to get the dragon carcass off my lawn, and Beezle certainly wasn’t going to do it for me.

After a few minutes of heated arguing we finally decided the best place for the dragon was in the backyard under the gigantic pile of dead leaves I’d never bothered to bag and dispose. The leaves were presently moldering under a coating of snow so hopefully they would be good camouflage until I could come up with another solution for the rotting corpse of a dragon.

I found my heaviest pair of leather work gloves and double layered them with regular knit gloves to protect my hands, then tried very hard not to touch anywhere on the dragon that had acid goop on it. I spent fifteen minutes wrestling the thing down the gangway and into the yard (it was HEAVY) with Beezle critiquing my methods of dragon-tugging the whole time. Then I dug a shallow hole in the back corner of my yard under the catalpa tree, dragged the carcass into it and covered it over with leaves and snow.

“It totally looks like you’ve buried a body back here,” Beezle said.

I looked around. There were drag marks in the snow, the ground was obviously disturbed and the smell was horrific. But it would have to do until Gabriel got back from wherever he went and could help me move the demon.

“Well, I’m ready for a nap,” I said.

“What are you talking about?” Beezle cried. “What about my movie?”

I gaped at him. “You still want to go to the movies?”

“Yeah! We can probably make the slightly later show – I think it starts at 7:45.”

“I look disgusting and I smell like rotting dragon,” I said.

“So nobody will sit on our row with us. Even better,” Beezle said, rubbing his little hands together.

“You’re just going to annoy me until I take you, aren’t you?”

“Definitely.” He looked at me expectantly.

“Fine,” I said. “But if anything else happens we’re going home.”

Beezle snorted. “What could be worse than the dragon?”

“I’m going to remember that you said that,” I said as Beezle settled on my shoulder.

“What? It’s my fault there was a dragon?” he said, then he sniffed. “Wow, you do smell really bad.”

“That’s it. We’re going inside,” I said, striding toward my back door with visions of a hot shower dancing in my head.

“No, no, wait!” Beezle shouted, flapping his hands. “I’ll be good.”

I stopped and looked at him. He gave me his best innocent-gargoyle eyes.

“I’m not sure you know how to keep your mouth from running,” I said.

“Pot, kettle, black,” Beezle replied.

“And may I remind you who raised me?” I said, reluctantly heading for the gangway instead of the house. Beezle would just nag at me for the next several days if he didn’t get to see this film.

“I won’t say a word about how you smell like decomposing dragon,” Beezle said.

“Your movie popcorn is riding on this,” I said as we stepped on to the sidewalk.

Our street is just off Addison, which is usually a bustling thoroughfare at any time of the day. I turned left on Addison and started walking east toward Clark. From there it was several blocks south to the movie theater.

I glanced at my watch. We had about forty-five minutes to make the show – more than enough time to walk the distance. But I had a faster mode of travel.

My wings emerged from my back and we winked out of sight. No ordinary mortal would be able to see us flying.

I pushed off from the ground and soared above the roofs of the two- and three-flat apartments that made up the bulk of the buildings in my neighborhood. Beezle gripped my shoulder tighter with his claws.

“Why don’t you fly?” I said. “You have wings.”

“I’m an old gargoyle and I’m tired. You would really refrain from assisting the elderly?”

“Oh, for crying…you act like you’re going to turn to stone tomorrow.”

“It could happen very suddenly,” Beezle said.

I saw the rooftop of the theater a few moments later and started to descend, intending to land on the sidewalk. I thought I could walk into the theater and then find a place to unobtrusively put away my wings and reappear.

That’s what I was thinking. What actually happened is that just as I was descending something slammed into me with the force of a charging rhinoceros.

That something was about the size of a small dog and had disproportionately long, pointed horns. I know this because one of the horns slid through the fabric of my coat and just under the left side of my ribcage. I wanted to scream, but the breath had been knocked from my lungs.

Beezle was thrown from my shoulder and I heard him cry out as he struggled to stay aloft.

The creature pushed forward, driving the horn further into my flesh, and hot blood spilled out of the wound. The force of its impact had knocked me off course and I was falling feet over head down toward the alley behind the movie theater. I needed to right myself, slow my descent and get this little freak off before it poked any more holes in me.

I put my hands on the creature’s head and blasted it with nightfire. It screamed, a horrible, high-pitched sound, but it jerked backward. This, of course, caused it to pull the horn from my body. The horn was apparently serrated in the opposite direction, because I felt it tearing and rending as the little monster yanked it out of me.

My wings flapped around for a second until I got myself under control. I landed with an ungraceful clunk in the alley, but at least I was upright. I glanced at the hole in my coat and shirt and the blood the flowed sluggishly beneath it. Not good. I was pretty sure there were some important organs under there that the monster had filleted.

I dug in my coat pocket, looking for something useful to stop the bleeding. All I came up with was a single mitten and some crumpled tissues. I unbuttoned my coat and yanked up my t-shirt. The hole under my left rib was about the size of half-dollar coin and the blood was flowing out sluggishly. It looked like the edges of the wound were clotting, but the tiny monster probably had bacteria galore on its horns. I needed to be disinfected and stitched ASAP, but in lieu of that I stuffed the crumpled tissues against the hole. That was about as good a field dressing as I could manage at the moment.

“Now I just need to figure out where that little freak got off to before he blindsides me again,” I muttered, scanning the alley in all directions, including up.

Either the monster had its own wings (I hadn’t noticed when I was being gored) or it had been tossed at me by someone else who did. That meant it – or its master – was likely going to land on my head at any moment. And where had Beezle gotten off to?

I didn’t want to walk up and down the alley shouting for my wayward gargoyle and broadcasting my location, so I gently flapped my wings so I could slowly ascend up to the roof again. I gritted my teeth as I went. The wound was starting to burn.

I was halfway up when I heard what sounded like a gargoyle war cry.

“Beezle?” I shouted.

He didn’t respond, but I heard the sound of more cries and grunts. There was no point in flying sneaky anymore, so I picked up speed and followed the sounds back up to the roof.

I landed on the movie theater and looked around for Beezle.

My mouth dropped open.

Beezle was sitting on top of the tiny horned monster, his knees on either side of the creature, and he was pounding the freak’s face in with his hard little fists. Beezle was grunting with effort every time he landed a punch, and the monster was crying out when stone met flesh.

I walked closer, trying to get a better look at the monster. It was kind of hard to tell exactly what it was since Beezle had rearranged its face.

Its skin was dark green and bumpy and had a distinctly lizard-ish look. The horns that protruded from its head were inky black and extremely long, and it had a slightly humanoid shape. The hands and feet each had four digits and ended in claws.

It was actually larger than Beezle – Beezle is about the height of a few-months-old kitten, and this creature was more the size of a Scottish terrier. But Beezle had obviously decided to use his enormous bulk to his advantage and was basically weighing the thing down.

The thing stopped crying out, but Beezle kept hitting it in the face.

“I think you’ve suffocated it,” I said, and Beezle looked up.

He gave me a fierce grin and sat back on his haunches, his fists still clenched. “How do you like my handiwork?”

“I wish somebody had videotaped you tackling that thing. I would have paid to see that.”

“I overwhelmed it with my superior strength,” Beezle said.

“Or alternatively, you launched yourself like a seal and knocked it out with your blubber, then sat on it before it had time to realize what happened.”

“Do methods really matter?” Beezle said, studiously examining the blood under his claws.

“That’s what I thought,” I said, stepping a little closer. “What is it, anyway?”

“Pit demon,” Beezle spat. “I hate these things.”

“Why?”

“They annoy me,” he said. “They’re totally subservient to their masters. I can’t stand seeing a creature without any spine.”

“Totally subservient to their masters,” I repeated, scanning the rooftop. “That means somebody set it on me, and I want to know who.”

“Personally, I think we should just get downstairs to the movie before something else happens,” Beezle said, fastidiously wiping the gore out from underneath his claws with the striped scarf he wore.

I stared at him. “You’re not going to wear that scarf after you’re done, are you?”

“What?” he asked. “I just want my claws to be clean so I can enjoy my buttered popcorn.”

“Has it escaped your notice that I am bleeding?”

“You seem fine. You’re standing up and talking, aren’t you?”

“So if I die from blood loss during the movie that’s okay with you?”

“Well, if you’re going to be that way about it…”

“I am. I want a shower and first aid, not necessarily in that order.”

“So I beat the crap out of this pit demon for nothing?” Beezle grumped.

“If you consider keeping it from filleting me ‘nothing’, then I guess so.”

He flapped his wings and fluttered up to my shoulder. “I suppose it’s worth my while to keep you alive.”

“If only so that I can run to the doughnut shop for you,” I replied dryly. “Let’s go home.”

“I am not certain that is a good idea,” said a voice from behind me.

My shoulders slumped. I hated everything about that voice and the person attached to it.

I turned, reluctantly as always, to face my unwanted fiancé. He stood in a shadow cast by the taller hotel across the alley from the movie theater roof. “What are you doing here, Nathaniel?”

He frowned at me as he walked across the space between us. “One would think that you are not happy to see me.”

“One would be correct,” I muttered under my breath. “And I say it again – why are you here?”

“Maybe he wants to see Toy Story 3,” Beezle said eagerly. “You could go home, and he could take me…”

He drifted off when both Nathaniel and I glared at him.

“OK, OK, I get the picture. You don’t have to try to slay me with your eyes,” Beezle grumbled.

“So what is it you want, Nathaniel?” I sighed.

“Your heart on a spit,” he said, and his eyes changed from Nathaniel’s ice blue to a pair of slitted pupils that I knew very well.

“Gotcha,” said Antares.

I didn’t wait for Antares to grab me. I knew once he got his claws on me he could pretty easily overpower me, even though my recent death and rebirth had made me physically stronger. I was still part human, and that mortal half of me would always be at a disadvantage when facing demon strength.

I let nightfire fly from my fingertips before Antares had a chance to think. My half-brother was tossed across the roof by a bolt of blue flame. There should have been the smell of a burning flesh, but there wasn’t. There should have been some kind of defense from Antares, but there wasn’t. Antares was gone.

“What the hell?” I asked Beezle, who was still perched on my shoulder like a pirate’s parrot. “I thought you were supposed to be a guardian. Why couldn’t you see that it was Antares under Nathaniel’s mask?”

Beezle was frowning in the direction that Antares had disappeared. “Because it wasn’t Antares, either.”

“What was it, then?”

“A spell made to look like Nathaniel, then Antares.”

“Why couldn’t you tell it was a spell?” I asked.

“It was a really good spell,” he said, shrugging.

“You would think you would take your guardian duties more seriously,” I sighed. “Someone is deliberately trying to ruin my night, and we still don’t know who it is.”

I clapped my hands together. “Well, that’s it. Message received. I’m not going to stay out here waiting for the next creepy thing to show up and try to remove my entrails through my nose. Let’s go home.”

“What? What about Toy Story 3?” Beezle whined.

“Has it escaped your attention that from the moment we stepped out of the house this evening that a series of bad guys have tried to kill us?”

“Well, technically, they were trying to kill you,” Beezle pointed out. “And I really want to see this movie. Everyone says it’s awesome.”

“Who is everyone? You don’t know anybody,” I said.

Beezle huffed indignantly from his perch on my shoulder. “I have friends.”

“What friends?” I asked.

He mumbled something that I didn’t quite catch.

“What was that?”

“Facebook friends!” he shouted in my ear.

“So you’re the one who’s been messing with the computer. I thought it was Gabriel who kept leaving it on,” I said. “I hope you didn’t put up a picture of yourself on your profile.”

“Of course I did,” Beezle said. “But most people think it’s an avatar.”

I rubbed my forehead in the place where a headache was rapidly forming. I was tired and annoyed, and the crumpled tissue that I had stuffed in the wound given me by the pit demon was not going to serve as a bandage for much longer.

“If we go home now, maybe Gabriel will be there and he can heal me,” I said reasonably. “And then we can try to go to the movie another day.”

“But we’re already here! We’re standing on the roof of the movie theater!”

“I am STILL BLEEDING!” I shouted.

“And there’s nothing like the blood of an angel,” a voice said behind me.

I huffed out a deep breath, glared at Beezle and turned around to face the pack of vampires that were closing in on us.

“There’s no way you’re blaming me for this,” Beezle said decisively.

“Who is the gargoyle who insisted that we see Toy Story 3 tonight?” I said, turning in a circle and trying to watch all of the vampires at once.

“Well, nobody said you had to take me just because I asked.”

“Please,” I said. “I can only imagine the whining if I didn’t.”

There were five of them, surrounding us in a loose circle. I wasn’t in the least bit surprised that they’d managed to sneak up on Beezle and me while we were arguing.

I was surprised, however, that they would move so openly against me. Vampire courts, like the courts of the Fallen, were very big on politics and appearances. That meant that they generally avoided messing with other species’ courts unless they had a public grievance.

The vampires stopped a few feet away from me, fangs glinting in the light of the streetlamps. They were all male and had the too-slick polished look that I associated with their kind, like they were heading out for a nightclub after they were done dealing with me.

I could try to knock out as many as possible with nightfire before they attacked me, but if I did that then I would technically be the aggressor and there could possibly be repercussions for my father’s court. Not that I cared, really, but it was annoying when Azazel called to tell me I’d broken some stupid rule or other (a thing that I did with astonishing regularity) and that I had to come to court to deal with it. I would rather eat ground glass than spend three minutes in the courts of the Fallen.

I looked warily around at the vampires, who seemed to be awaiting some kind of signal. I couldn’t tell which one was the leader, so I continued to turn in a slow circle so that I could make eye contact with all of them. Beezle had wisely turned around on my shoulder so that he could look behind me.

“So, fellas,” I said heartily. “Out for a night on the town?”

“You know why we are here, Agent,” said one of the vampires behind me, and I spun to face him.

This would be the leader, then, and if and when they decided to attack the signal would come from him. The rest of the vampires wouldn’t move without his word. Like I said, vampires are very big on politics. Hierarchy is everything with them.

“Well, no, actually I don’t. Because if you’re here for an after-dinner snack then you should know better.”

The vampire smiled unpleasantly. “Because you are the great-granddaughter of Lucifer?”

“I don’t think you want to offend the Morningstar,” I said. “He can be unpleasant about such things.”

“But offending the Morningstar is what I am after,” he said. “You see, Lucifer recently killed my mate.”

He smiled wider, and his teeth looked terribly sharp.

I nodded. “I see.”

And I did see. I saw that my stupid familial connection with the Prince of Darkness was about to get me in deep trouble, again. And if Lucifer had already given offense then I wouldn’t have to worry about getting into it with Azazel if I drew first blood. And if that was the case…

I conjured up a ball of nightfire and threw the blue flame at the leader. The nightfire hit his chest and he instantly ignited. The vampire screamed and staggered around as the flame consumed him from skin down to bone. The air was filled with the stench of dead flesh burning.

The other vampires leapt for me as soon as they saw the nightfire, but I hadn’t survived being attacked by a nephilim (several times) by being a total incompetent. I turned and released nightfire so quickly that only one vampire actually managed to reach me, and then only to graze my forearm with his disgustingly long nails.

I stepped away from all of the flailing, burning vampires, covering my mouth with my sleeve as acrid smoke filled the air. I didn’t want any of these freaks to come after me later, half-burned and half-alive, so I waited until I was sure that they were all definitively ashes.

“That is the worst thing I have ever smelled,” Beezle said as he wrapped his scarf tighter around his beak.

I glared at him. “We are going home now.”

“Now why would you want to do that?” asked a voice from across the roof.

My heart sank as the figure stepped into the light. Golden hair, black wings, and a suit that probably cost more than the value of my house. This was just what I needed to make this night from hell complete.

It was Lucifer.

“Why me? All I wanted to do was take my gargoyle to the movies like any other normal girl. And just what do you want?” I asked Lucifer, giving him the dirtiest look I could muster.

I probably shouldn’t be provoking the Morningstar himself, especially since he’d threatened to kill Gabriel the last time I saw him. But I was tired, bleeding, smelly and generally sick to death of supernatural BS.

“To escort you to the movies, of course,” he said, seemingly not taking offense at my tone at all.

I narrowed my eyes. “Why?”

“Because you have performed admirably well tonight, my granddaughter,” Lucifer said. “Not many half-humans could defeat a demon-dragon, survive an attack by a pit-demon, outsmart a very clever illusion, and overcome a pack of vampires.”

“How do you know that all of this happened? Were you spying on me?” I asked angrily. “Because if you were, help would have been useful at any time this evening.”

“Now why would I help you when I wanted to see how you would handle yourself?” Lucifer grinned.

I stared at him. “You mean this was some kind of test? You’re the one that threw all those creatures at me? Did you make Gabriel leave the house, too?”

Lucifer shrugged.

“Tell me right now why I shouldn’t push you off the side of this building and laugh when you get run over by a truck,” I said.

“Because,” Lucifer said, snapping his fingers. “The movie starts in ten minutes, and there’s just enough time to get popcorn for all of us.”

As Lucifer snapped his fingers I felt the wound under my ribs heal. The goop that was all over me disappeared and my overcoat stitched back together. The air smelled of cinnamon, and Beezle took a deep sniff.

“Your hair smells like apple pie now,” my gargoyle said. “Now that you’re clean and unwounded, can we please go to the movies?”

I traded a long stare with Lucifer, who quirked his eyebrow at me.

“Yes,” I said. “But the Prince of Darkness is paying.”

Lucifer smiled, and held out his hand to me.

“I know I’m going to pay for this sooner or later,” I muttered.

Lucifer laughed, and Beezle rubbed his hands together.

“This is going to be awesome,” my gargoyle said.

“This movie had better be worth it,” I replied, and let the devil take my hand.

 

© 2011 Christina Henry. All rights reserved.

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