Gray Line, part 3
Quinn blinked and groaned; she was hanging upside down. She blinked again and then hit the release for her seatbelt, she remembered wrecking her car. She'd done it on purpose to kill that little fucker, she hoped it had worked.
She eased out of the shattered window and wiped blood out of her eyes and then gave a startled scream of pain as it felt like a hot poker was being jabbed underneath her knee.
She'd give the little fucker his due, he didn't give up chasing her until he'd caught up with her again.
A clawed hand was sticking out from under the wreckage of the car, it twitched once, twice, and then clenched into a fist. The car shuddered, shifting as the demon under it started to move again even after getting sandwiched between the car Quinn had been driving and the parked cars she’d used to try to kill it. A heave and the car rocked, almost releasing the demon as it screamed in rage.
Quinn grimaced and started running to the only place she knew where she might get help. Her cell phone calls went nowhere, which meant someone was blocking her cell signal.
She tried to turn right down the street she wanted but her leg gave out and she tumbled, rolling over and over, her head hitting the cement and causing another gash on her face.
She scrambled up and pulled her gun, firing it at the quickly approaching demon before running down the street. That thing was damn fast and she had to wonder if Dianna would just smile when she read about her demise in the paper.
The bullets punched through it without slowing it down much, the thing leapt, clearing distance between them alarmingly fast. The Gray was very close by; shootings probably weren't even going to be reported to the police.
She was slowing down; frantically she searched around for anything that could be used to stop it, but came up empty. Ahead she could see the bar and felt herself deflate as she saw the lights were all out, weren't bars supposed to be open all the time.
She dug deep and tried to move faster, wondering if she should just stop and eat a bullet.
It would be better than what the demon would do.
Dianna was going to be pissed at her. She leveled her gun at the large front window and fired several rounds giving her a better chance of jumping through it. She wasn't going to have time to ring the doorbell.
Lauren sat up, a headache exploding behind her right eye. She was up and staggering out of the bed before the first pieces of glass landed on the downstairs floor.
"What the fuck?" Dianna yelped, jerking upright in her office chair. It was only two am, early for her to go to bed although Lauren had gone to sleep hours ago. Standing, she pulled the completely illegal sawed-off shotgun from its resting place under the desktop.
The last time someone had broken a window it had been a group of church fanatics that she’d scared off with a shot in the air.
The time before that though, it had been a deranged demon.
A quick jerk and the slide-action shotgun was loaded as she rounded the desk, heading for the stairs. “Lauren!” She caught a flash of a white shirt and then the human was down the stairs. Damn she could move fast, Dianna thought, sprinting down the stairs after the human woman.
The half-demon could feel it now, a hunger that bordered on frenzy. Whatever was coming wanted to kill. Her hand automatically hit the light switches as she flew through the swinging doors from the kitchen to the main bar. The overhead lights burst into life just as a human shape hurled in from the street outside, through the broken stained-glass window.
She almost shot it as it landed, but at the last second hesitated when she realized the hunger wasn’t coming from it, but something outside.
There was no graceful way to jump through a window. Quinn raised a shoulder and ducked her head, pieces of jagged glass cutting into flesh. The impact of her landing made her knee give out; it crumpled heaving her into the ground. She slid along the broken glass into the stools where she lie dazed.
The demon followed in moments after Quinn, it paused for a moment staring at the human as if savoring the soon to be kill, and then moved forward.
It was an ugly one; Dianna had to give it that. Muscles showed through rips in the thing's gray flesh and torn skin, long arms ended in curved claws while its face looked oddly disjointed since ita jaw hung so low to accommodate large fangs. Lauren had skidded to a stop in the middle of the room and was staring at the thing in what almost looked like fascination as it stepped through the broken window.
Moving around the body lying by the bar, which the half-breed realized looked suspiciously like Quinn; she raised her gun, cursing when Lauren got in the way. “Get down!”
Lauren tilted her head and looked back at Dianna almost mockingly but then stepped back, unconvinced that the gun would be any good against the thing. Her own skin bubbled and then hard scales formed over her skin.
In the years that she had owned the bar, Dianna had fired the shotgun a total of three times. Twice had been in the air, which meant this was only the second time she’d tried to kill something. Usually there were other ways to avoid conflict that she preferred, but she could feel the thing’s intent and there was no way to avoid death tonight.
The sawed off bucked in her hands as she pulled the trigger. The normal lead shot was actually melted down metal from blessed crosses. On a normal demon it would have ended things right there. The pellets ripped apart the skin on the thing in front of her, but it kept moving. The disjointed jaw lowered and it screamed as it moved faster than she’d expected.
Long arms caught her with the force of a semitrailer and she went cartwheeling away, slamming into the wall behind the bar in a shower of shattered whiskey and hard liquor bottles.
Lauren hissed and then with her own super-human speed, attacked the creature. Her long, wickedly curved claws stabbing into the thing over and over.
It howled and tried to turn to face the new threat but even before it could do that Lauren reached up and wrenched its head. The loud noise of bones breaking echoed through the room and the creature flopped dead to the ground.
Golden eyes flickered around the room and then she moved to the broken window searching the night for other threats. A car roared off but other than that there was dark silence.
A low groan finally broke that silence as Dianna crawled out from behind the bar, still clutching the sawed-off shotgun. One look was enough to ensure that the thing was dead and she managed to get up on her knees to see to the cop. “Quinn?” She grimaced as she moved, shards of glass from the bottles shifting in her back. “You alive?”
"Mostly." Came the croaked reply. Glass was digging into her skin everywhere and she could feel the sting of various cuts. Consciousness was tenuous and painful; she let out a deep breath and let the darkness swallow her, now that she was fairly certain she wasn't going to die.
“Great. Stay that way.” Dianna used the bar to pull herself up to her feet. “Lauren.” She swallowed, feeling the waves of emotion rolling off the young woman. “Lauren, it’s dead.” Those golden eyes were watching her and she wondered if the shotgun would stop the human.
"Pity." Lauren hissed out. "It was too focused on Quinn, to be a good fight. Its whole purpose for being was to kill her." Her head cocked to the side as the dead creature started to twitch and then the skin bubbled and smoothed away revealing very human features.
Both Lauren and Dianna blinked, that had been unexpected.
“Shit.” The half-demon swore softly. “I was really hoping you were the only one they’d been doing that to.” She looked up from the dead human on the floor to the suddenly human looking Lauren.
"I'm hungry," Lauren replied, "and we should probably cover your window before something else comes in." Part of her was still horrified, another part of her was extremely satisfied with a kill. In a few more moments she'd be more human than demon and then she'd probably throw up. Her eyes were still gold even though the scales were gone. She shuffled over examining the dead man, and frowned.
The window comment snapped Dianna out of her momentary lapse of movement and she went back to the prostrate Quinn, wincing at the bloody gashes. “First we have to keep our newest guest from passing out again.” Grabbing the first aid kit from behind the bar, a necessity in a bar frequented by demons, and a large bottle of clean water, she crouched back down by the cop.
“Ready to get felt up?” The half-breed grinned, undoing the cap to the bottle and holding Quinn’s head steady as she cleaned the blood off the head wound. The gash was right at the hairline and was bleeding sluggishly. “Hold still, this is going to sting.”
Through it all Bob continued to sit at his spot in the bar, barely glancing down at the mess of blood and cop.
The sting of whatever Dianna was cleaning her with, broke her out of the pleasant fog of unconsciousness. She jerked and mumbled. "Bitch."
Blue eyes fought to open and she really wished she was dead, she imagined this was how a punching bag felt.
Lauren found a broom and started sweeping; finally, she poked Bob with the dustpan until he looked at her then she just glared at him until he got off the stool and started helping - even if it wasn't much.
Since that was the first time that she’d seen Bob move off the bar stool, Dianna jerked in surprise when she saw it. “Sorry.” She winced in sympathy at the yelp of pain from the wounded cop. “Hold still you big baby. I don’t think you’ll need stitches for the head wound, the butterfly bandages should hold it still. Now let’s get those pants off you.”
"Um." Lauren spoke up. "Maybe you should take her upstairs and away from all this broken glass before you play doctor. Bob and I will get this cleaned up and make sure the wildlife doesn't get in." Lauren didn't know a lot about the Gray, but sooner or latter something would be attracted to the blood, a hurt cop, or all the pain coming off the hurt cop.
“Good idea.” Dianna sighed. She stood up, slinging the first aid pack over her shoulder and then bent down, lifting the semiconscious cop up into her arms. It was a little tricky avoiding hitting Quinn’s head or legs on anything, but she managed without opening any new wounds.
“Be careful of the feral hounds, they’ll probably come sniffing around with all the blood. There’s wood in the back store-room you can use to board up the window, I’ll get it replaced tomorrow.” Dianna hesitated, not certain what to say to the younger human woman, instead, she just nodded and headed for the kitchen stairs.
“Bet this isn’t how you dreamed of getting into my bedroom.” She quipped to Quinn.
"I'm pretty certain I've never dreamed of it, Theron." Quinn croaked out. This was the most humiliating position she'd ever been in, she'd never really been this helpless before. The side of her face felt like road rash and her knee was throbbing in time with her heartbeat. "I'm also certain I'm not pretty enough or brainless enough to get an invite.”
“Don’t sell yourself short.” Dianna hoped Lauren wouldn’t do anything rash with the shotgun she’d left behind downstairs. Jerking the top covers aside, she gently lowered the wounded cop onto her bed, keeping an ear out for any problems downstairs.
“These have to come off, and it’s going to hurt.” She murmured, undoing the belt at Quinn’s waist and then the buttons of her ruined slacks. Being this close, she could feel Quinn’s humiliation and pain, it radiated off the human. Best to change those emotions, quickly, so she looked up and quirked a grin. “Who says the ones I bring here are brainless? I don’t discriminate.”
"I've seen them on occasion Theron." She grimaced in pain as her steel-toed boots were yanked off then it dawned on her that all her clothes were probably coming off. She didn't have any options, not really. She knew a setup when she saw one, that had been a setup.
If she called it in, she put Lauren and Dianna in danger. "I think I dropped my service revolver downstairs, it's important I find it." She babbled not really wanting Dianna to see the hand print seared into the flesh of her collarbone. Dianna would know a demon mark when she saw one. This one had come when she'd sent that bitch back to hell; she'd tried to take Quinn with her.
Her thoughts were jolted rudely as the heavy utility belt came off and then her pants, exposing the swollen mess that was her knee. "Jesus, it's the size of a pumpkin.”
“Naw, your breasts aren’t that big.” Dianna responded absently as she tossed the ruined pants aside and carefully started to pick glass out of the wounds. “You should go to a hospital you know.” She felt quite proud of herself for remembering that.
Quinn glared at her for that comment. "You sure you didn't used to be a guy, because you sure talk like one." She sighed. "I can't." She wasn't certain it was remotely safe to go to a hospital; of course it probably wasn't safe to stay here.
“Then stop complaining, I’m doing my best here.” The knee was as clean as she could get it, Dianna was pretty sure she’d gotten most of the glass shards. “Here.” She wrapped the knee in bandages and helped Quinn stretch out on the bed. “Now for your shirt.” She raised an eyebrow with a daring look at the cop.
"My vest really prevented any glass from harming my chest, if you have a shirt and give me a moment I could change myself." It sounded desperate even to her ears and there was the fact that if she tried to sit up she was probably going to hurl.
The redhead snorted and batted Quinn’s hands aside as she started removing the shirt and bulletproof vest underneath. “I always wondered how uncomfortable wearing one of these would be.” Dear god, was she actually making small talk to try to make Quinn, of all people, feel better?
"It's really uncomfortable until the first time you get shot then you stop caring." Quinn replied, resigned. Her eyes started to drift closed, the burst of adrenaline that she'd gotten when Dianna had carried her up the stairs wearing off.
“Relax, Detective.” The redhead undid the vest, revealing the simple bra underneath. “I’m not going to force myself on you.” She pulled up the kit and once again started to clean the gashes on the detective’s side which she’d probably gotten going through the window. “Unless you want me to, of course.” She couldn’t quite resist saying, eyes flicking up to the burn prints on Quinn’s shoulders and then away without comment.
"I told you I don't swing that way." Even though Dianna made it really hard because of the sexual energy the woman exuded. "I don't even stare at your tits anymore when you're wearing those shirts." That had taken a lot of self-will.
“Guess I’ll have to try harder.” Dianna purred, running a finger across the wounded woman’s stomach. It really was far too much fun to aggravate the detective. “There.” She taped off one last bandage. “We’ll change them in the morning before I help you with a shower.” The grin was downright evil, and she knew it as she leaned over Quinn and pulled the blankets up over the woman to keep her warm.
Quinn was happy that she was in so much pain she didn't even react to the finger Dianna had run over her stomach. "Fucking half-demon." She muttered out, but it lacked any real bite. Her eyes fluttered shut, but her face grimaced in pain. "You have anything for pain?" She asked.
“Yes, but you won’t like it.” Dianna leaned in closer, pale eyes filling Quinn’s vision.
Quinn blinked and tried to move back but had nowhere to go. "What do you mean I'm not going to like it?" All she was talking about was an aspirin, if she were lucky, morphine.
“Shhhh…” Dianna breathed, lips just barely brushing Quinn’s, her hands sliding up Quinn’s sides to gently touch the human’s temples. “Breathe.” She whispered eyes closing as she felt for the pain that trembled through the other woman’s body.
Quinn was in no shape to push the other woman away and too startled to do anything but let out a squeak of air. Slowly though her eyes closed and she began to breathe in and out. Through the sheet she could feel Dianna's body heat but in a few seconds she was asleep.
The half-demon leaned back, eyes closed as she shuddered. She’d just tasted Quinn’s pain, drawing it out of the other woman and it had been just as intense and beautiful as she’d expected. How deeply these humans felt their pains and pleasures, she always thought that was one of the reasons demons were drawn to them like moths to a fire.
“Sleep well.” She husked, finally managing to stand and leave. Time to find out what Lauren was doing.
"I'm serious Bob, part of me really won't feel bad about ripping your spine out your asshole, now help me get these boards up and nailed into the wall. It’s not like I can do it by myself. Besides I did save you from that scaly dog thing." Lauren said sounding exasperated.
“I’ll help.” Dianna shot Bob a look, shaking her head as she saw the man had retaken his seat at the bar top. “Threats don’t do much to Bob. I’m not really sure that’s his name anyway, I just started calling him that.” She paused to pick up Quinn’s service revolver and place it on the bar top with her shotgun.
“Aren’t we the threatening one tonight?” She murmured, sashaying up to Lauren and helping her pull the heavy wood over to the broken window. “Threatening to rip out Bob’s spine. Very butch of you.” The redhead winked.
Lauren blushed. "Sorry, it’s the demon thing inside me, its still close to the surface so it was either run my mouth or kill Bob. I'm trying. There was a car out there, it burned rubber pulling out, once the demon was killed." She hefted another large piece of plywood, "I think we should get rid of the body now before someone comes to investigate . . . I . . . I just have a bad feeling.”
“Always listen to those, especially in the Gray; they’ll save your life.” Dianna lifted up the plywood, holding it in place while Lauren used the cordless drill to screw it into place. “We’ll take it out back a ways; the hounds will take care of it for us.” Then maybe she could get a shower and pick the glass out of her back.
She watched Lauren carefully, seeing the flushed look and the way she moved with purpose. It was a far cry from the wallflower who’d sat across from her at brunch this morning.
Lauren brushed her dark curly hair out of her eyes and finished the last screw. "What?" She asked when she caught Dianna looking at her. "Did I do something wrong?”
“No.” Dianna swallowed. Damnit, she was still hyped up from the pain she’d taken from Quinn. “Just noticing how lovely you look when you feel alive.”
"Oh." Lauren blushed. "Thank you. Uh, how is your frie . . . Dectective Quinn?”
“Sleeping.” Dianna brushed her hands off and studied the wood with a critical eye. The two-inch thick plywood sheets should hold for the night. Turning she raised an eyebrow at the blush. “No one’s told you that before? You really do have lovely eyes and your face glows when you’re fired up.”
That just made her blush harder. "No. Not really. When your older sister is amazing, you frequently get forgotten. I remember bringing home report cards I got good grades--a solid B, but my parents would say 'Oh, Lauren why can't you be smart like your sister." She gave a weak smile at the memory.
“Report cards?” Dianna looked blank for an instant. “Ah, school.” She smiled a little sadly. “It sounds like a lonely childhood. Did you have friends?”
"Coworkers." The sad smile turned into a frown. "And now?"
"Now I seem to have impulse control problems. I really don't trust myself back in my old life." Although it was tempting; let’s see that slimy delivery guy undress her with his eyes now, ha, she'd probably feed them to him.
"Hmmm." Dianna's lips quirked at the feelings from the human. She turned and headed for the bar. "I need a drink after that wakeup call, you want something?"
"I.. uh.. don't really . . . sure." Talking had made the demon inside go dormant and the shakes were soon to come, maybe some vomiting. The body was still on the floor in the corner.
Two tumblers were produced and placed on the bar, filled halfway with a mixture of dark liquors along with a little something special that Dianna always liked. The half-demon offered one of the glasses to Lauren, following her glance to the body. "Here. I'll drag it out back." It probably was disturbing the human to have it in the bar, she reasoned.
"Thank you." She said taking the glass. "I know I killed it, but more and more I feel like two different people."
"Hold that thought." Dianna grunted, picking up the dead weight and half carrying, half dragging him out the back of the bar. Where she unceremoniously dropped him in the middle of the back alley. She could already hear the wild hounds nearby, there wouldn't be much left of the body by morning. Wrinkling her nose she stopped by the public bathroom to wash off her hands, Lauren had done a job on demon boy back there.
"Two people?" She prompted, sauntering back toward the bar.
"One that's horrified and one that enjoys . . . that . . . killing." Which was a sin. She sighed and took a sip of the drink.
"Your inner demon?" Dianna tried not to sound as if she was teasing, but it was hard. "That part that wants pain, did you have it before your sister started using you as a lab rat?"
"No, of course not." Then her shoulders slumped. "All the time. I just didn't. I always had a little voice whispering to me. Like, like . . . Okay, at work there's a guy who delivers the papers to the library, he's always undressing me with his eyes, it creeps me out. I never did anything about it, just ignored it but part of me wanted to go rip his nuts off and shove him down his throat."
The redhead took a healthy sip of her drink, licking her lips before leaning across the bar. "Lauren, all humans have that. I don't know why people think demons are the only ones with evil in them. We just don't bury it." She grinned. "But then again, most humans can't act on their impulses like you seem to be able to."
"I'm going to hell." Lauren said with a sigh and took another, big swallow.
"Why?" The other woman looked genuinely curious.
"Cause all this is wrong, bad, wrong . . . and . . . and . . ." She shrugged, really not having an argument.
"Have you killed anyone who wasn't trying to kill you? Have you killed anyone who didn't deserve it? I don't think even the human god will send someone like you to hell for that. Besides, I think it's your sister who's in hell right now." Dianna tossed back the last of her drink and refilled the glasses.
Lauren winced a little at that. She might be unhappy with Susan but she didn't want to think of her in hell. "You're right, I just have all this internal . . . stuff."
"I know." Dianna smiled. "You people feel things strongly, you even more, I think. You've hidden away most of your life haven't you? Stowing away your emotions. That doesn't make them go away though, just compresses them, makes them stronger.”
She had to laugh, if a week ago someone would have told Lauren that she would be getting drunk in a demon bar at the edge of the Gray she would have hurt something internally laughing. "This is the most fun I think I've ever had." And the most free she had felt and the sad part was her family had to die so she could feel this way.
"This is nothing honey." Dianna purred, with a waggle of eyebrows.
As if on cue, Lauren turned bright red.
The bar owner laughed, downing the last of her drink. "You should get some sleep. Your hands are starting to shake a little." Which she doubted was related to sleep.
Lauren smiled and then impulsively reached over and gave Dianna a quick hug. "Thank you again. I-I really don't want to think of what would have happened to me if you hadn't helped me." She slid off the stool with her drink and made her way up the stairs after a quiet goodnight to Bob.
The half-demon stared after her, shocked silent by the hug. People didn't hug her that just didn't happen. Kiss, try to seduce, strip, ogle, yes, but just hug?
"Guests. I might as well open a bed and breakfast, Bob." She groused, flipping off the lights and heading upstairs after double-checking all the doors and windows.
Behind her, Bob raised his beer bottle in the darkness and took a sip.
That demon bitch was screaming at Quinn, screaming in that demon language that made her feel like the blood was boiling her brain. Alvera clawed at Quinn, hands on her shoulders burning with heat but she didn't waiver, shoved the muzzle of her gun into that bitch's mouth and started unloading. At this point it might be a relief to die. She was so fucking hot, sweat and burning flesh and pain. Quinn woke up screaming. She thrashed in the sheets trying to find her gun, if she didn't that thing was going to drag her to hell.
"Your gun's hanging from its holster, on the closet door." Dianna was sitting, very carefully staying where she was, on the chair farthest from the bed. She'd meant to simply grab clothes to wear for the day, but Quinn's nightmare had caught her.
A faint bead of sweat trailed down the side of her hairline as she clenched her fingers.
"What?" Quinn blinked, her tongue felt thick and nearly useless in her mouth. She was warm, so goddamn warm. She got free of the sheets, not realizing she was naked or where she was.
"The gun, the one you wanted, it's hanging from the door on the closet." Dianna said, pronouncing the words carefully.
She looked around blinking at the light. "She's going to . . . we need to be careful . . . because . . . okay." She nodded her head dumbly, her thoughts fuzzy due to a fever. She tried to stand but there was something wrong with her knee.
The redhead unfolded herself from the chair, moving toward the bed and catching the cop before she swayed and fell over on her face. "You're hurt. There was a demon attack." The human's skin was burning against her fingers and she swallowed at the confusing emotions swirling through Quinn's mind.
Quinn frowned, trying to think was difficult. "Demon? Alvera?” No, that wasn't right, Quinn had survived that. That had happened years ago, Alvera was banished.
"No. Not Alvera." Dianna whimpered. She had to get Quinn back into the bed and stop touching the cop. She could almost see glimpses of the human's nightmare now.
"Wrecked my cruiser." She remembered parts now, she slumped against Dianna. "It ripped out my antenna and my cell phone calls for backup went nowhere." She mumbled.
"I know." The redhead guided her back to the bed, picking her up and laying her down on the sheets. "You've got a fever; the demon might have had some sort of poison." She wasn't sure, but it was too fast for an infection from the glass cuts.
"Am I going to die?" Quinn asked, poison was never good.
"Do you want to die?" Dianna pulled a sheet up over the naked cop. More to reduce her own temptation than to help Quinn.
"Not really. I haven't survived all the shit in my life to let them kill me with an infected scratch."
"Then you probably won't die. Will to live is important in these things." Dianna left for a few moments, going into her bathroom and returning with water and a few pills. "Here, for the fever. I can't do anything about that." She had to help Quinn sit up and placed the pills in the cop’s mouth.
Quinn nodded and swallowed the pills no fight in her to argue.
"Are you hurting?" Dianna knew the answer to that, but she decided to at least give Quinn a choice.
"I've felt better. Mostly it's my knee." She was becoming more coherent now, her eyes losing their glassy gaze.
"Do you want me to take your pain away?" Dianna whispered, eyes traveling down the length of the sheet.
Dianna's shirt wasn't buttoned up and Quinn really didn't have the strength of will right now, not to look. "Huh?"
"The pain." Dianna leaned down until her head was sharing the same pillow as Quinn's, stretching out her body so it was just barely touching the human's. Only the thin sheet separated them. "Do you want me to take it from you?"
"Why?" She asked, remembering vaguely Dianna had done it before but why help her at all, that was confusing. They didn't not like each other, but they didn't like each other. Didn't they?
God, Dianna was warm; she could feel the woman's body heat through the sheet.
"Because I can feel it, and I can help." Dianna bit her lip. "Why do you have to be so difficult?"
"Because if I were easy, you'd get bored." It took a second but Quinn frowned as she thought over what she said. "I meant . . . I don't know what I meant." It was hard to think, with Dianna so intimately right there.
“You’re charming when you stutter.” Dianna chuckled before taking pity on the cop. “Shhh.” She whispered, hand coming up to cover Quinn’s stomach through the thin layer of sheet as her lips pressed against the human’s temple. “Sleep.” She whispered, drawing the pain out of the body next to hers with a tremble of excitement.
Hands shaking; she pulled away, leaving Quinn to her healing sleep. Twice now she’d taken pain from the Detective. There could not be a third time, not without repercussions she doubted Quinn would be pleased with.
Her head buzzed from the emotions she’d just taken in, Dianna stripped and took a long hot shower in the adjoining bathroom. Where she quickly brought herself to two long orgasms, in both of which she thought of two completely different human women.
Bad, very, very bad she scolded herself as she toweled off and got ready for her Monday. There was no way she would allow herself to become connected to anyone, especially not a cop and a girl who’d never lived her own life!
With that thought firmly in place, and wearing form hugging black pants and top, she went to her study. A quick check at Lauren’s door revealed no sign of wakefulness inside yet, which was good. The half-demon wasn’t sure she could deal with more humans right now.
“Sorry Sissy, that took longer than I thought.” She apologized to the painting, taking it down off the wall and placing it on its stand by the window. “Quinn was having a nightmare, a strong one and I couldn’t get out. All taken care of now though.” Was it her imagination or was the woman on the painting ever so faintly laughing at her?
“Don’t you dare laugh at me! You’re the reason they’re here in the first place. I should throw both of them out right now. I don’t need this aggravation; I have a bar to run, unless you’ve forgotten?”
The painting looked just as amused as it had before and Dianna threw up her hands. A night of sleeping in the office chair had not been a great way to try to sleep.
“I’m going to get food.” She grumbled to herself, locking the door behind her as she went downstairs. If Sissy was going to laugh at her, she could do it alone in the study. She liked her mornings off, time alone she could spend however she wanted. Usually that was sleeping, but since both beds were taken up with guests that wasn’t an option.
And how the hell, she wondered as she started the coffeepot and went to see if there was a paper this morning, had she lost both of her beds to people she wasn’t sleeping with?
“Morning Bob.” She flicked on a couple of lights for him and checked the plywood over the windows. They hadn’t been broken into which was a good sign.
Another reason she’d slept like shit, she’d been clutching a shotgun to her chest most of the night.
There was a paper outside the front door, something you could never count on this close to the Grey. Paperboys had a habit of just suddenly disappearing, which was why she got her paper delivered by a troll-like demon down the block. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the smartest demon ever and every once in a while forgot to deliver the paper and ate it instead.
Closing the door, and locking it, she went back into the kitchen and settled in with the first cup of coffee to see what misery the human world was reporting.
She’d just taken her first sip when her pale eyes focused on the headline. The coffee was spewed from her mouth as she doubled over coughing. The drops spotted across the paper, doing nothing to hide the picture of Quinn in full color on the front page, under the headline “Cop Kills Partner!”
Lauren sleepily shuffled down the stairs, her curls were a mess on top of her head, another reason she had decided to let her hair grow out. She peeked out into the bar checking everything. The whole scene from last night gave her a bad feeling, but what did she know about the affairs of demons. She was just a research assistant.
Dianna gave her a weak wave; carefully folding up the paper she'd just finished reading. "Coffee if you want it. How are you doing?" Instinctively the half-demon tried to distract as she tried to figure out what she'd just read.
"I'm good. I only threw up a little once reality sort of sunk in. I just have . . . a bad feeling about last night, and it's not going away. More and more I'm learning to trust those feelings." And she had injected herself again; that always made her feel very good.
Dianna's pale eyes flicked toward Lauren's arm and then away. "Saturday morning I asked friends to look into who would have sent Challa to backstab me. None have gotten back to me, which is strange. Something like that is usually whispered in every shadow of the Gray within hours."
"What would keep the Grey quiet?" She asked as she disappeared into the kitchen and then emerged with a cup of coffee. Or cream with a hint of coffee as her coworkers used to tease her.
Dianna took one look at the muddy mixture and wrinkled her nose. "No more good coffee for you, I might as well brew you the instant stuff." She took a sip of her own cup and sighed. "I don't know. Something that has them all scared, there are a lot of options for that."
"That doesn't sound that good." She said sipping the mixture. "I know the Gray here isn't as massive as bigger cities but still to have every demon inside it scared silent."
"Not good." Dianna agreed, with another sigh. "There might be someone I could ask, but I won't unless there is no other option." Grimacing, she thought of the contents of the paper folded up on the bar in front of her.
Lauren had figured out not to pry, because without Dianna something bad would have happened to her that night. "Okay." She sat down and said to Bob, "morning."
Since Bob was the scintillating conversationalist Dianna had always known him to be, the half-demon spoke up again. "Quinn's been poisoned. Not badly, but she had a fever this morning." She took a sip of coffee. "She should live."
"That's good." She glanced at Dianna from the corner of her eyes. "Right? We want her to get better."
"Yes." It came out a bit quicker than Dianna had intended. "Sooner she's better the sooner she can go home." There, that sounded more like herself. "That thing that you killed last night, you didn't see a police badge on him anywhere did you?"
"He had nothing on him. Penises really aren't that pretty, it's little wonder religious groups are always trying to cover them up in art." She blushed a little when she realized she'd said that out loud.
The half-demon laughed, hard enough that her eyes watered. "Oh, that was perfect." She kept chuckling, as she wiped at her eyes. "Well, thank you. That improved my entire morning." She slid the paper over to Lauren. "Don't drink your coffee when you read the front page."
Lauren opened the paper slowly as if it might bite her. Her eyes widened slightly and she looked at Dianna. "Do you think it's true?"
"Probably not." The half-demon watched her through half closed eyes. "What do you think?”
She flipped through the paper. "I think . . . I think there's no picture of the victim." She frowned as part of the story sunk in, and she paused to read it in detail. She felt tears pool in her eyes. "The other day she told me a story, to make me feel better; I didn't realize that she was talking about herself. She killed her husband when he sold his soul, they're using that as proof that she's demon touched because nobody could face up against a major demoness and win without losing part of their soul. I think it's sad that this same story probably was spun to make her a hero, now makes her a villain."
"I never told you this; if you tell her I'll deny everything." Dianna spared a sharp look at the younger woman, waiting for a nod before continuing. "She had a son, the father's deal with the demoness led to the boy's death. Quinn killed them both, father and demoness; she has the scars to prove it. She has the respect of a lot of people in the Gray zone because of that."
"That's horrible." Lauren wiped away a tear that had escaped.
"That's the Gray Zone." Dianna looked away.
Lauren cleared her throat and did her best to get her emotions under control. "Sorry. How about I go make breakfast?" She got up but was back a moment later to grab her coffee.
"You're making breakfast?" Dianna arched an eyebrow watching her take the coffee mug. "Do you know how to cook? Helga's not due in today; we're officially closed until tomorrow."
"I can manage breakfast." Came the response.
"Then try not to burn down my lovely bar." Dianna closed her eyes, listening to the clanging around in the kitchen. "You have to be careful with your emotions." She said after a few minutes. "Demons love emotions, the stronger the better."
"I'm working on it." Came the annoyed reply
"No, you're reacting to things." Dianna frowned. "This is important, you can't let yourself feel lust every time you see my ass, or sorrow every time there's a sad story. When you go into the Gray it'll get you noticed and then something's going to try to either kill you or use you."
"I don't feel lust every time I see your ass, it’s your breasts." The last part was mumbled under her breath. "Go check on the cop or something. I'm trying to make breakfast."
Dianna rolled her eyes. "Now I'm a nurse?" She stood though, and took the paper with her as she went back upstairs. It had been a while, maybe Quinn would wake soon.
“It’s like I’m running a bed and breakfast.” Dianna grumbled to herself, taking the paper with her as she went up the steps to the private rooms on the second floor. Why did she keep getting stuck in the same room with Quinn? It wasn’t good for either of them, and of course there was the little problem of what to tell the good detective about the newspaper article.
Straightening her back, and suddenly wondering if she should have shown less cleavage today, Dianna entered her bedroom. It had only been a few hours since she’d first gotten up, maybe Quinn was still asleep. She could always hope.
Quinn was still sleeping. Her face slack and relaxed, but as if sensing Dianna her eyes fluttered open. The fever had reduced, but her mind still felt like her thoughts were moving through a mud bog. She took in Dianna and dismissed her. Then took in the room, and her state of undress, the throbbing knee and quickly examined what little she remembered. "So how bad is it?" She asked her voice cracking and she swallowed to get moisture into it.
Without answering, the redhead walked passed her to the bathroom. The tap ran for a few seconds and she came back with a full glass of water. Perching on the edge of the bed, Dianna slipped a hand under Quinn’s neck to help her up a bit so she could drink some water.
“Your fever’s going down. That’s a good sign. I don’t know about your knee, might be you’ll need a cane for a while.” She brushed her fingers across Quinn’s forehead, testing the temperature.
Quinn was silent; she drank the water and waited. This wasn't them snapping at each other, verbally sparring. Dianna was being nice and caring, she didn't know really how to act. So she stated facts, facts were sharp and clear they could cut and make people bleed but they didn't fester and disease like lies.
"I wrecked my cruiser trying to kill the demon chasing me. I think I hurt my knee in the wreck." She was silent for a moment her thoughts organizing. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have come here, but it was the only thing I could think of. Not a lot of options when something is trying to kill you.”
“You mean when a demon is trying to kill you.” Dianna leaned back, bracing an arm against the bed and lazily watching Quinn. “Except, it wasn’t a demon. When Lauren killed it, which is another story, he turned back into a human.”
Quinn opened her mouth and then shut it. That was a terrifying thought, demons hiding inside of humans, living bombs just waiting to go off. Then she got a bad feeling. "What did this human look like?”
“Black hair, average height, male.” The half-demon raised an eyebrow, wondering what the cop was thinking of. “Looked scraggly, like he hadn’t had a lot to eat in a long time. Why?”
There was a brief flash of hurt and sadness and then it was gone, followed with the distasteful reality that somehow she was going to live a life of disappointment and second bests. "That's not much to go on. But it sounds like my old partner Mikey, when I worked downtown. He called me right before my shift was up, wanted me to come check out what he thought might be demon activity. I thought it was kids messing around. You don't really have to wonder if it's demon activity.”
“You think they,” whoever they were, “did the same thing to him as Lauren? Made a human into a demon?” That was a scary thought and the redhead frowned, not liking it at all.
"Whoa. What?" That got her attention. "Lauren? That scared little rabbit upstairs does the same thing?" She was sure the fuck out of the loop.
“I told you that was a different story.” Despite herself Dianna smiled, amused with the look she was getting from the cop. “How did you think she killed that thing otherwise? I thought detectives were supposed to pick up on things like that.”
"We also don't assume things without facts, because that just makes an ass of u and me. Seriously, I figured it was all about the older sister. She worked for the Government, her files are all classified, and the Government agents won't tell me squat about her or what she was working on. They just want Lauren, which I thought meant she knew something about the sister's work she shouldn't.”
“She is the sister’s work.” Dianna reached over, picking up a business card that Lauren had given her and showing it to Quinn before flipping it back down on to the nightstand. “That’s the sister’s address of where she worked. I was going to give that to you when you could do things like stand up and walk without collapsing.”
Quinn didn't get it. One would assume they were making humans into demons to help the human race but then why send one after her. She stared at the card in thought for a moment before she blinked coming back to the here and now. "All right. I need a shower, clothes, and a phone." She should call the chief; they'd declare her dead soon. That would be a nightmare of paperwork to straighten out.
The redhead looked away, generous mouth turning into a frown. “Why? Who are you going to call?” Damnit, she’d hoped for more time.
Quinn frowned. "My supervisor, I got one call out on my radio, that I was being attacked by demons before it got ripped out. They've bound to have found my wrecked car. Jesus, Theron, they're probably wasting valuable manpower looking for my body.”
“I don’t think you should call anyone, Quinn.” Dianna looked back at her, pale eyes softening with something close to pity. “I think you should just concentrate on getting better here and then we’ll see what we can do.”
Quinn's eyes narrowed. "How fucked am I, Theron?" She asked quietly. She'd never seen Dianna give her that look before. The flirting, the quips, the sarcasm she could deal with. Not this look of pity, this was not something they did for each other. "What the hell aren't you telling me?" It had to be bad for her to be getting that look from the woman.
There was no good way to say this so the half-demon simply reached over the bed, picked up the folded over paper and wordlessly offered it to the detective.
Quinn read the paper, her lips thinning into a straight angry line. How fickle was the world? She wasn't surprised, she'd seen it hundreds of times before: a poor schmuck's life ruined in the media machine, she really never expected it to be her. All because she went with her gut and protected some woman she didn't even know. The headache was coming back behind her eyes as she watched her whole life mean nothing.
“Easy.” Dianna leaned in, hand touching the other woman’s bare arm, waiting until Quinn met her eyes. “Don’t have a stroke yet. It’s not over, you’re still alive and they don’t have you yet.”
Angry blue eyes looked at Dianna's hand on her arm. "It's a matter of time Dianna. It's not like I can just go hide in the Gray, I'm human and a cop; it will take a matter of moments for someone to rat me out. I have no money, my accounts will be frozen, my apartment watched, and all my friends will have their lines tapped waiting for me to call. I'm fucked, Theron the best thing I can do is turn myself in and hope I can get a discharge from the force and maybe relocate somewhere where people don't know my name or face." She let her eyes close, so goddamn angry, to lose to those fuckers.
The anger was so powerful the half-demon had to snatch her hand back or be drawn into it whether she wanted to or not. “So that’s it?” She crossed her arms, to keep them from reaching out. “You just lay down and die? Is that the spirit that let you survive two demon attacks now? You just roll over and give up?”
"No, first I'd like to take a shower." Quinn said, locking her emotions down, trying not to cause Dianna's half-demon nature to flare up, that was the last thing she needed.
She was good at hiding her emotions, Dianna had to give her that much. Snorting at the thought of the barely able to stand human in a shower, the redhead rose up off the bed and padded to the bathroom where she started the water. Leaving it to fill the claw-footed tub she’d gotten with the rest of the bar, she walked back out.
“Hold on to me.” She said, not really giving Quinn an option as she pushed the sheets off her and then picked up the wounded woman.
"Here's a hint, Theron, some woman actually like it if you respect their privacy." She grumbled out, but didn't do anything else. Her knee still looked awful, she'd probably torn her ACL or damaged the joint, that would require surgery or magic to fix she was a little short on paying either off.
“Some women like it when I don’t.” The redhead shot back, taking a deep breath as she turned, carrying Quinn toward the bathroom. It was a difficult thing to do, carry this stubborn woman and try not to soak in her emotions. She might be good at hiding them, but they ran deep and strong. The anger that over layered them right then was seductive and Dianna’s nostrils flared as she walked a little faster.
Quinn shook her head but didn't even try to come up with a comeback. She did give a happy sigh as she slid into the warm water of the tub. "Sometimes I almost forget we don't like each other." She said looking at the half-demon.
“Don’t forget.” It almost sounded like a plea and Dianna stood up abruptly. “Lauren’s making breakfast. I’ll bring some back for you if you want to soak in the tub for a while. Yell if you need something.”
Quinn leaned back in the tub and let her eyes close. She didn't want to think about anything for a long while. "Food would be nice." She said quietly.
With a jerky nod, Dianna all but fled from her room, confusing avalanche of emotions, hers and Quinn’s, tumbling through her as she hurried downstairs.
“That smells good.” She announced as she came into the kitchen, glad to see nothing on fire and doing her best to sound normal.
"Thank you." Lauren said looking over at Dianna. "Just ham and eggs, do you just order take out a lot?”
“It certainly isn’t delivery.” Dianna grinned; distance from Quinn let her get a handle on the emotions. “The last delivery boy got eaten by a Banshee two blocks from here. I usually eat whatever Helga makes, or go get something when I have to run errands.” Something she’d been putting off, but sooner or later she’d have to go out.
"You're tense. Did Maggie, uh, Detective Quinn not take the news well." She set a plate down in front of Dianna. "I made Bob test the first batch.”
“Did he like it?” The ham and eggs looked good, but she probably should ask just in case. “Quinn is being stubborn and angry.”
"He ate everything on the plate, so I assumed he liked them." She sat down with her own plate. "Quinn is . . . well, angry is probably a good defensive mechanism." She took her fork and knife and cut the ham into bite-size pieces on her plate. "Is there a bookstore around here?" She flushed realizing she didn't exactly have any money. Maybe a used bookstore?
“Not one you’d want to visit.” Dianna took a bite of the ham, raised an eyebrow at the spices she couldn’t identify and took a bigger bite. “Why? I have quite a library upstairs. I could get you some books if you wanted to read something.” It was best if they dropped the topic of the good detective for now.
"You do have a very good library I'm sure, in your study that you won't let me enter. But it's not the same, I like books, I wasn't a research assistant for no reason. I like bookstores; I like taking my time checking out covers, flipping through pages, and stopping every once in a while to read something until I find the right book for my mood." She shrugged.
Dianna sighed. Why were things always complicated? The idea of Lauren wandering around the Gray looking for a bookstore wasn’t a nice one. She certainly couldn’t go into the human parts of the city; the chances of her being spotted were too good.
The food was very good and she enjoyed eating all of it that was on her plate, probably almost as quickly as Bob had. Rising she got another plate, piling it with a bit of everything and a glass of orange juice instead of her coffee. Starting for the stairs she paused, looking back at Lauren with a raised eyebrow. “Are you coming?”
Lauren scrambled off the chair and then up the stairs to follow Dianna. She sensed this was important. Not in the earth-shattering way, but still the moment felt important.
“You don’t go in when the door is locked, ever and I lock the door when I go to bed.” Dianna was crazy, that was the only reason she was doing this, she’d gone insane. “The books, you’re free to read whichever ones you want, but some of them are demonic and that’s the only warning I’ll give you on that.”
There were limits; she wasn’t Lauren’s mother after all. Pausing at her room she left the food inside, briefly checking to make sure Quinn hadn’t drowned. When the woman appeared to be still enjoying her bath, Dianna kept moving toward her study door. “Under no circumstances do you touch the painting over the fireplace, got it?”
"Of course." Lauren agreed like everyday someone asked her not to touch paintings. "Um, how will I know if the books are demonic and do they eat people?”
Dianna grinned, pulling out the old-fashioned key and unlocking the door. “The script will be demonic; you won’t get into any trouble as long as you don’t read anything out loud or do any sacrifices.”
Lauren got a little pale at that. "Not a problem there.”
“Good.” Dianna turned, cocking a hip up against her desk and watching Lauren closely as the human walked into her study. Lauren was exactly the second person she’d ever allowed into this place willingly. She wondered what the human made of the books lining the walls and the huge monstrosity of a desk with her personal papers piled across it almost haphazardly.
Then there was Sissy’s portrait, propped up on its stand looking down on the garden in the back. She doubted Lauren even realized there was a garden back there. Few other people did. A cello dominated one of the corners of the room, while comfortable overstuffed leather chairs took up the other two, her desk backed up against the other.
Lauren studied the books, touching one here and there. "Its a beautiful collection." She said softly entranced by each book she passed. She instinctively knew which ones were demonic; they caused an ache in her skull.
"Some of it was my sister's." The redhead pushed off from the desk, abruptly changing the topic. "That entire bookshelf is erotic books; feel free to browse through it."
Not as bad as there being an actual demon there, but, as Don the geeky IT guy would have said 'It made her spidey sense tingle'. She looked up and over at the shelf in question and then blushed. "I might." She tried to sound defiant but failed.
Dianna snorted and reached out, touching Lauren very briefly on the shoulder. "One last thing." She looked uncharacteristically nervous as she guided the human toward the portrait by the window. "Sissy, this is Lauren." The young woman in the portrait stared out the window. "She's going to come look at our books."
She picked up a book on demonology, and then looked around. Oh, she wanted to ask, but knew better. Instead she said, "Hi." To whatever Dianna thought was there.
With a nod, Dianna let out a short breath. "Okay. Enjoy." She hesitated, feeling oddly vulnerable about letting the human in this room.
"I promise to behave, Dianna." Lauren said sitting down in the overstuffed chair.
"You better." The half-demon lingered at the door, torn. "You're the second person to come into this room."
"I'll behave . . ." She was cut off as the study doors slammed shut and locked. From below someone pounded on the front door to the bar.
Dianna flinched backwards; the door slamming in her face with enough force it would have broken her nose had she been just a bit closer. "Gee, thanks Sissy!" She growled, straightening as she whirled to go see who was pounding on the door downstairs. Lauren was probably safer where she was.
"Quinn, you need help getting out of the bath yet?" She asked, as she paused by the door to her rooms. Someone pounded again on the door downstairs and Dianna growled in annoyance. It was her day off; she shouldn't have to deal with this shit today.
"I'll be fine." Quinn grumbled out.
"Don't turn into a prune." The redhead teased. "I am going to get to see you naked again, just accept it."
She took the stairs down two at a time, the pounding really getting on her nerves as she crossed through the bar to the front door. "We're closed!"
"Demon Affairs; open the door." Came the crisp voice on the other side.
"Fuck." Dianna swore under her breath turning her head to tell Bob, but the bar stool was empty. Demon Affairs. She shook her head and opened the door just enough so that she could lean across it in a way that she knew accentuated her body. "What can I do for the fabulous people at Demon Affairs?"
"I am Agent Green, we're following up on the scene of a demon attack not far from here. I can't help but notice the window to your bar." He smiled at her as his eyes dipped down into her cleavage.
"Oh, that." She said in her breathy voice, lust, she knew that emotion well. "Just some college kids getting out of hand. You know how they get." Green was certainly a handsome looking man, boyish good looks, if she'd go for that sort of thing.
He swallowed, and then seemed to clear his head. "Kids, huh?" He looked down at his notebook. "You are Dianna Theron, correct? A local police officer, the one missing from the crash has been seen here a couple of times. A Maggie Quinn, blue eyes, red hair, and an Irish temper?"
"The detective was not one of my biggest fans." Dianna smiled, leaning closer to Green, which of course gave him a better look down her cleavage. "She doesn’t approve of the bar you see."
"If she didn't approve why did she come here so often? Rumor at the police house was she was your sex slave; you had her in a thrall." He laughed it off, while still watching her reaction.
The half-demon's mouth quirked into a sly smile. "Is that the rumor? I'm sure she's furious over it. She doesn't swing my way, Agent Green. Prefers studs like you."
He chuckled even more at that. "So I'm thinking she's being attacked by a demon; crashes her vehicle; hate or not she's going to go for the only place she knows. That would be this place. Mind if I look around?"
"I can't stop you." She stepped back. That was true; the Demon Affairs people needed no warrant to search anything that Dianna had. She was going to have to distract this Green. That was going to be unpleasant. "Bar's empty though, I told you, we're closed today. Quinn would probably rather gnaw off her own hand than come to me for help."
"Thank you." He came in with a frown, looking at the boarded-up windows.
She lingered near him, occasionally brushing against him. Her dad, she thought with something close to disgust, would be proud to see her using her abilities like this.
"Can I get you a drink, Agent Green?"
"Just a water would be great." He smiled at her and tried to discreetly wipe the sweat off his upper lip.
She sauntered away, knowing he was watching her ass as she went and added an extra little sway. Dianna had to get rid of him; he could not be allowed to go upstairs. How far was she willing to go to get rid of him though? Did she really owe Quinn anything? "Nice cold water." She purred, offering him the glass and brushing her fingers against his.
"Thank you." He took a swallow. "You said she didn't like you? Yet in the five years she's been on the force in this district she's come to you 30 times for help on a case, only used you 11 times. I find that odd because she’s only gone to a department sanctioned Demon six times and then all the times you refused." He took a step back and with his pen point at various places around the bar. "Rough neighborhood, you have a lot of bullet holes."
“I was accessible when she needed someone to bully into helping her." Dianna pouted. "We are on the edge of the Gray here." She trailed a finger along Green's shoulder. "I keep saying it would be nice if there was some protection for us out here.” She purred, pressing closer.
He blinked his thoughts completely derailed. "I'm sure it would, Ms. Theron."
He took a step back as if realizing for the first time this might not have been the best idea. His smile changed. "I have to wonder if you half-breeds even realize when you are using your powers. Or if you’re purposefully trying to use me." He pulled out a business card. "If Detective Quinn contacts you let me know. She is considered dangerous, I'm sure the demon communities would cheer as well if she were locked away."
"You'll be the first phone number I call." She watched him through half-lidded eyes as he walked out the door and she closed it behind him. Shoulders sagged a little as she locked up behind him. There were human words for what she'd just been prepared to do, none of them pleasant. Annoyed with herself and the world, Dianna turned and headed for the stairs. Time to get Quinn out of the bath before she did turn into a prune.
Quinn was on the stairs wrapped in a sheet, gun in her hand. She'd been quite ready to kill him, even though it was possible she was wrong, that he hadn't set her up.
The half-demon paused, foot on the second step up, seeing Quinn standing there with gun in hand. "That a gun or are you just happy to see me, cherie?"
Quinn flicked the safety back on the gun. "You're Greek, not Cajun." Her only response to the comment. She wasn't certain if she would have shot him if he had come in to the kitchen, she was surprised he hadn't. Probably didn't want to risk being caught in a bad situation. She had heard the conversation, and had heard it in his voice when he realized he couldn't handle Dianna.
She looked at the half-demon, really looked at her, searching for something. "Why didn't you hand me over?"
Very slowly, Dianna started up the stairs, taking them one step at a time. “Because he said he was from Demon Affairs.” That should be enough of a reason, and the half-demon didn’t want to talk about any other possibility for her good deed. “How do you know what I am? I’ve been told I have a good Cajun accent when it suits me.”
"I had to go back a long way, but I found your immigration records. I like to know who I'm working with." Dianna had aged well, fucking demon DNA. "You hate Demon Affairs that much, even more than me, surprising." Her knee was throbbing she should have stayed put, but couldn't once she heard that fucker's voice.