My new 9mm didn't fit my hand as well as my old one, but it was rapidly becoming a familiar weight. At first I'd decided it was okay to wear as long as I shot only at supernatural bad guys who were already shooting at me. Lately, I'd had to broaden that definition to anytime my life was in danger. I was currently leaning toward a slightly more comprehensive rule somewhere between proactive self-defense and the-bastards-had-it-coming, which, if I survived long enough, I intended to blame on my deranged partner rubbing off on me.
THIS IS A NIGHTMARE. YOU'VE LOST CONTROL. WAKE ME BEFORE YOU REACH THE BOTTOM, OF WHAT NEVER ENDS. IT FEELS LIKE SUMMER IN THE WINTER, IT'S RAINING ALL THE TIME. YOU FELL LIKE SNOWFLAKES, IN THE SUMMER, MELTING IN THE SKY. THIS IS EVERYTHING, THIS IS EVERYTHING I WANTED. IF IT WASN'T FOR YOU, I'D BE HAPPIER THAN EVER. AND EVERY TIME I THINK OF YOU, I'LL CLOSE MY EYES, AND BLACKEN MY HEART, AND NEVER LOVE AGAIN. IS THIS A 9MM OR IS THIS A TICKET HOME? AND I'LL FORGET YOU, ALONE, AS I LIE UNDERGROUND IN PEACE. IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED? ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? WILL YOU LIVE A LIFE OF LIES AND NEVER LOOK BACK? AND LEAVE THIS PLACE YOU ONCE CALLED HOME WITHOUT A TRACE, AND CALL THIS A TRAGEDY? IS THIS A TRAGEDY OR A ROMANCE? WE NEED A DOCTOR BABY, NOT A SOUVENIR. THIS GLASS IS POISON, BABY, IT'S NOT YOUR LAST DANCE. HOLD ON TO SOMETHING SOLID, DON'T RUN, IT'S NOW YOUR TIME TO GO.
Honest to God, I hadn't meant to start a bar fight. 'So. You're the famous Jordan Amador.' The demon sitting in front of me looked like someone filled a pig bladder with rotten cottage cheese. He overflowed the bar stool with his gelatinous stomach, just barely contained by a white dress shirt and an oversized leather jacket. Acid-washed jeans clung to his stumpy legs and his boots were at least twice the size of mine. His beady black eyes started at my ankles and dragged upward, past my dark jeans, across my black turtleneck sweater, and over the grey duster around me that was two sizes too big. He finally met my gaze and snorted before continuing. 'I was expecting something different. Certainly not a black girl. What's with the name, girlie?' I shrugged. 'My mother was a religious woman.' 'Clearly, ' the demon said, tucking a fat cigar in one corner of his mouth. He stood up and walked over to the pool table beside him where he and five of his lackeys had gathered. Each of them was over six feet tall and were all muscle where he was all fat. 'I could start to examine the literary significance of your name, or I could ask what the hell you're doing in my bar, ' he said after knocking one of the balls into the left corner pocket. 'Just here to ask a question, that's all. I don't want trouble.' Again, he snorted, but this time smoke shot from his nostrils, which made him look like an albino dragon. 'My ass you don't. This place is for fallen angels only, sweetheart. And we know your reputation.' I held up my hands in supplication. 'Honest Abe. Just one question and I'm out of your hair forever.' My gaze lifted to the bald spot at the top of his head surrounded by peroxide blonde locks. 'What's left of it, anyway.' He glared at me. I smiled, batting my eyelashes. He tapped his fingers against the pool cue and then shrugged one shoulder. 'Fine. What's your question?' 'Know anybody by the name of Matthias Gruber?' He didn't even blink. 'No.' 'Ah. I see. Sorry to have wasted your time.' I turned around, walking back through the bar. I kept a quick, confident stride as I went, ignoring the whispers of the fallen angels in my wake. A couple called out to me, asking if I'd let them have a taste, but I didn't spare them a glance. Instead, I headed to the ladies' room. Thankfully, it was empty, so I whipped out my phone and dialed the first number in my Recent Call list. 'Hey. He's here. Yeah, I'm sure it's him. They're lousy liars when they're drunk. Uh-huh. Okay, see you in five.' I hung up and let out a slow breath. Only a couple things left to do. I gathered my shoulder-length black hair into a high ponytail. I looped the loose curls around into a messy bun and made sure they wouldn't tumble free if I shook my head too hard. I took the leather gloves in the pocket of my duster out and pulled them on. Then, I walked out of the bathroom and back to the front entrance. The coat-check girl gave me a second unfriendly look as I returned with my ticket stub to retrieve my things-three vials of holy water, a black rosary with the beads made of onyx and the cross made of wood, a Smith and Wesson.9mm Glock complete with a full magazine of blessed bullets and a silencer, and a worn out page of the Bible. I held out my hands for the items and she dropped them on the counter with an unapologetic, 'Oops.' 'Thanks, ' I said with a roll of my eyes. I put the Glock back in the hip holster at my side and tucked the rest of the items in the pockets of my duster. The brunette demon crossed her arms under her hilariously oversized fake breasts and sent me a vicious sneer. 'The door is that way, Seer. Don't let it hit you on the way out.' I smiled back. 'God bless you.' She let out an ugly hiss between her pearly white teeth. I blew her a kiss and walked out the door. The parking lot was packed outside now that it was half-past midnight. Demons thrived in darkness, so I wasn't surprised. In fact, I'd been counting on it.