It was a mixed crowd that settled down in the hall of St. Jacob’s. The priest, Father William. Mike, out of cop uniform. Me. Thruor.
All we needed, I thought, was a friendly vampire or Loki. Fortunately, the latter didn’t show up. Or unfortunately. I was sure he’d have some good ideas. Or just spike the cupcakes with cayenne. Or laxatives.
But still, how often did we have a Catholic priest and a valkyrie in the same room? Eating cupcakes?
“Okay. So…can your other friend come?”
“She’s having a family crisis.” Kanesha was studying up a storm and reading up on emancipation, and trying to work out if her income was up to it. “Maybe it’s also something somebody here could help with.”
Mike might even have some advice. And he spoke up. “Oh?”
“Her old man got out of jail. She doesn’t want to go back and live with him because he won’t let her go to college ’cause she’s a girl.”
“Oh. Got it. I’ll think on it…but the demons are likely to be eating souls, so…”
He was right. This crisis was more important than Kanesha’s. I put aside the highly unworthy thought that it might be fun to feed Mr. Clem to the succubi. Which it might be. But… “I’d feed them his, if he had one and if I didn’t think he’d give them indigestion.”
Thruor laughed. She knew I was joking. Mostly.
“No feeding any souls to demons,” Father William said, sternly. “Okay. The trick is to get them in a good location. Ideally together. I have a feeling they can communicate.”
“So do I,” I found myself saying. “They’re likely to be holing up during the day and then coming out when the clubs open, right?”
“Hrm. Maybe we could get a club owner on board,” Mike mused. “Somebody with a basement.”
Thruor grinned. “Or a dungeon.”
Father William looked uncomfortable.
“No, it’s a good idea,” Mike said. “They’re going to be attracted to that kind of thing. Drawn to it.” He let his shoulders slump. “Easy pickings.”
“I last saw them in a…toy store…” I admitted. I was almost uncomfortable talking about it as poor William, who was now approximately the color of his communion wine.
“I know just the place. And relax. These people won’t put any pressure on anyone to join in on play time.”
I just didn’t want to know any of the details of play time, but they were right. A place like that would draw succubi like nothing else. And my presence would draw Martin.
This might actually work.