Episode Twenty-Four: Flowers: Scene 7

Which meant the answer was somewhere in my locked up memory.

If I knew the prophecy…but maybe the Norns were right. For right now, I decided to focus on the easier problem.

The succubus.

I had to wonder how many brothels and escort agencies were, in fact, owned and run by demons. Probably quite a few.

I felt sorry for the ones that weren’t, in fact. But she was an easier problem than Surtur.

And I thought I knew how to deal with her. Which was why I was looking up Monica.

She’d lost weight and there were bags under her eyes, but she was willing to talk about some stuff.

“So, I figure the best way to deal with her is to expose her for something.”

“Hrm. She killed the wife that was on to her. And I doubt she’d be careless enough to be caught with drugs.” Monica counted off on her fingers. “Providing male escorts might do it. People are still only somewhat okay with it.”

I nodded. “Yeah, but when there’s a rent boy scandal it’s never the rent boy who gets in trouble.” A pause. “I wonder if all of her girls are in the business voluntarily.”

Monica leaned forward. “Oh, that would get Red Flowers shut down for sure, if we could prove it.”

The challenging face of the one I’d met hadn’t been the face of a trafficked woman, though. That had been the face of a professional who knew her worth. “I think they are, but I can’t be sure. Although I think the one I saw had sold her soul.”

“Which means she’s dangling stuff. Better pay. Looks.”

“Maybe not having to do guys you don’t want to do,” I mused. That had to be a perk for a prostitute.

“Maybe. But if any of them are under age…we need to get somebody inside.”

“That’s dangerous. Sold. Soul.”

“I’d do it. Mine’s apparently already mortgaged, but I can’t, not any more.”

“And I can’t. She’d spot me in a second.” A pause. “Got any friends who are already in the biz?”

“I’m thinking.” She tapped her nails on the table. “Tonya might be willing to do it, and I can’t see her selling her soul to anyone.”

I nodded. “Alright. Maybe you can talk to her.”

“What should I tell her?”

I paused. “What you think she’s ready to know.”

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