This is it! And here is the first chapter to wet your appetite! Chapter 2 will come tomorrow! Love you all and much thanks for all the support!
Our date was officially ruined when the waiter slobbered a glob of toxic swamp-green spit into my water.
Okay, technically, the demon had hawked the foul phlegm from the horned snout on its wrinkled piggy-face and into a crystal carafe of water, then used the carafe to refill my glass, but either way, my gleaming goblet now churned with a sludgy muck, bubbling and burping like a wicked witch’s brew.
The demon offered me my glass, slimy smoke twirling off the surface. “Your water, miss.”
You mean my poison.
“Ah,” I cleared my throat to get rid of the squeak in my voice. “I’m not thirsty. Maybe later.” Or never. I casually lifted a steak knife off the table and pretended to check my reflection in the shiny, real-silver silverware surface, and instead saw the demon leaning toward me over the table and holding the goblet closer to my face.
“Hey!” I reeled back.Ugly demonic danger should not have been happening in the Gossamer Falls Country Club’s fine dining restaurant. The place was filled with nothing but etiquette, good taste, mood lighting, soft music—and a whole lot of innocent people.
The hideously formed beast didn’t belong.
Sure, they all couldn’t be Eros, but between the snouty schnozzola and pockmarked skin covered with broken blisters oozing pallid yellow pestilence, this thing kick-started my gag reflex. So much for starving myself all day for the swanky meal. My appetite was currently curling up into a cowering ball of nausea.
While the creature looked around, uncertain of what to do, I dropped the steak knife into my lap and covered it with my napkin. Hopefully, I wouldn’t have to use it before my date got back, but it was more than a little worrisome that Ayden Ishida, a demon hunter, had sauntered out for a mysterious errand and walked right past the hellion without noticing him. Hunters couldn’t see demons when they possessed humans, but this one wasn’t possessing anybody.
Ayden probably didn’t want to mention it and mess up our evening after the weeks of military precision planning he’d put into our first “normal” and perfect romantic date. I’d gotten all gussied up too, wearing a silky dress and even a sassy pair of ankle boots made for strutting.
If the country club didn’t have a strict “No Demons” policy, I knew what was the next suggestion I was suggesting in the lobby’s Suggestion Box.
I struggled to remain calm. If this demon encounter went sideways, the fine china would display guts and gore along with gourmet goodies.
Where was Ayden?
The foul cretin slid the glass across the crisp, white linen table cloth, leaving thin rips and snail-track smudges where his claws scratched and his crusty skin scraped against the delicate fabric.
Chills of terror spiked my skin and a cold sweat threatened to burn through the copious amounts of antiperspirant slathered in my armpits. Ayden’s choice for a booth in the farthest, darkest, most private corner of the expansive room was great when it was just him and me. Me and Snouty Schnozz? Not so much.
“Please, miss.” Green drool dribbled down the corners of his mouth and mixed with yellow slime from the open sores. “Have some water. You look parched.”
And you look ugly.
I pulled my menu up in front of my face. “I’ll wait for my date.”
Ignore him, Aurora. Don’t engage. Delay until you fully understand the situation, and always wait for backup. This mantra had been part of my training.
The sucktastic server glared at me, then grumbled, “Of course, miss.” Before lumbering away, he paused to fill Ayden’s goblet with the same vile concoction from his carcinogenic carafe.
Like my love life didn’t have enough problems, let’s add “fatally poison the finally-really-for-real boyfriend” to the list. But at least the imminent demon danger had passed. He seemed happy to stand back and observe from afar, no doubt counting on me becoming a Dead Nex Walking.
Could it be I’d diverted imminent demonic disaster? Caught a break? That never happened. All I had to do now was wait patiently for that backup.
An elderly man spoke to the demon waiter. “Sorry to bother you, but I ordered champagne and—”
“Honey,” his wife said in a scolding tone. “You can’t drink champagne. Remember your heart.”
“Just one sip for a toast. It’s our anniversary, and my heart belongs to you.” The man kissed her cheek, making her blush.
Awww. How cute were they? I actually recognized them. Well, him. Old Man Cyrus. He owned the hardware store next to my mom’s flower shop. A sweet guy. And, apparently, quite the charmer.
The demon nodded without saying a word and kept going. Good boy.
“Excuse me, you there?” a man at a table near the front called to the demon. “Could you take my son back to the childcare center? His name is Seth. They know him there.”
The demon paused. I was sure he’d say no or ignore the man and keep going, since the creature seemed determined to maintain a low profile. But then his creepy, clawed hands picked up a little boy about five years old and took him away.