The apartment was a mess. Demon blood filled the kitchen and the pizza was unsalvageable. Kanesha ordered more as we gathered around the living room.
I insisted on rolling up the summoning circle rug.
Zaid was the one talking. “See, here’s the thing with demons. Really experienced magic users can work with them, control them, deal with them. Novices shouldn’t try. You’re lucky that was a small demon and you’re lucky the Lady was here.”
I heard the capital letter and flinched. But there was no chance of them treating me like a normal person anyway. “It was a pretty pathetic demon,” I agreed. “But it would still have killed you guys.”
The one who had jumped through the window was starting to return to what I assumed was his normal color. “It had specific instructions.”
“Yes, and did those specific instructions,” Zaid asked mildly, “include not killing you?”
He went back to pale. “Uh…”
“Demons do exactly what they’re told if you have control over them. But they also do things they aren’t told unless you tell them not to. Also, the church desecration was too much. This stops now.” Zaid said it quite mildly. “The Lady saved you because I was hoping you could be talked out of it. But…”
I smiled a little nastily. Inwardly I wasn’t too happy about being the bad cop, but given at least one of them had just seen me kill a demon without breaking a sweat or showing any sign of regret, I was definitely set up for the role.
Kanesha was the good cop. She was ordering pizza.
“What do you…want?”
“For all six of you to swear off the black magic right now. No more demon summoning until you know what you’re doing. And absolutely no more desecration. Or she…” He indicated me. “Will…”
“No. I’ll do something worse.” I smiled. “I’ll call my father.” I made the smile broader. “You might have heard of him. His name’s Loki.”
They all turned pale.
Zaid grinned at me while they weren’t looking.
They fell over themselves to make their promises. I wished I had the horn to use to verify it, but I had a feeling we wouldn’t be getting any more trouble out of this crowd, any time soon. My dad made a very good threat.
Then the poor pizza delivery boy arrived. He dropped the pizza, grabbed his tip and fled. We slipped out while our victims were enjoying it.
I was hungry, but not that hungry. “Think they’ll keep it?”
“I think they will for a bit.” Zaid sighed. “Let’s go get food?”
“Not pizza,” I declared. “I still have pizza sauce on me.”
“I was thinking of the pub near here that can’t decide whether to be English or Irish,” Zaid said.
Kanesha, shook her head. “You go ahead. I’m going to be late for work.” She then turned to me. “You make a really scary bad cop.”
“So does Thea. I think it goes with the territory.” The size did, anyway. But I knew it wasn’t just about that.
“She doesn’t threaten to set Loki on people. I’ve seen his pranks.”
I laughed and slipped my arm around her for a moment, the one that didn’t have pizza sauce on it. “Watch out. He hasn’t got us with anything in a while.”
“That’s because you bribe him with brownies.”
I thought about it and decided she was right, then reluctantly let her go. She vanished towards her job – and I hoped she wouldn’t be late enough to get fired.