“I only snatched him to get your attention,” I said. “Now that I’ve got it, this is what I want.”
“Damn my dame!” Al shouted, hands raised to the ceiling. “I knew it! Not another list!”
“But he's Rachel Candy!"
-Both Jenks and Al”
“I won’t snatch, harm, or scare to death people with you or use checking up on you as an excuse to cause trouble. You’re worse than my mother, Rachel.”
“Mine, too,” Jenks muttered.”
“Pierce jerked his hand from Trent and pushed himself straight. “Kalamack Industries,” he said, expression twisted as he wiped his hand on his pants. “I knew your father.”
“I do not freaking believe this,” I said, shifting to stand where I could see both of them.
Al beamed. “Amazing who you can meet in an elevator.”
“Nothing is so hard that it can't be found by searching.
“Five trolls in a dra-a-a-a-ag,' the four-inch man sang from my shoulder. 'Four purple condoms, three French ticklers, two horny vamps and a succubus in the snow.”
“I sniffed, wiping my eyes. “Look at that,” I muttered. “The bastard
made me cry.”
Jenks’ wings made a cool spot on my neck. “Want me to pixy him?”
“No. But now I don’t have the chance of a ghost’s fart in a windstorm
to get that Pandora charm.” That’s not really what was bothering me,
though. It was Trent. Why did I even care what he thought?”
“...Everyone had to eat, but eating people wasn't polite.”
“Don’t you listen to them, Rexy,” I cooed, and the cat sniffed my nose. “Rachel is a smart girl. She’s not going to go out with a ghost no matter how sexy he is. She knows better. Jenkskie wenskie can just get bent.” I beamed at Jenks, and he made an ugly face. “Rache, put my cat down before you mess with her kitty brain.”
“Rachel, you summon demons. You’re good at it. Get over it, then find a way to make it work for you. It’s not going to go away.”
“Maybe I could be friends with a ghost. I wouldn’t be able to kill him.”
“I’d given up on the white picket fence after Kisten had died—finding out my kids would be demons was the nail in the coffin.”
“she thought I could find a way to save her soul when she died and became an undead. Right now, I was just looking to find the rent money. I’d get to my roommate’s soul later.”
“Jenks laughed, taking to the air and saying, “Give it up, FIB man. It’ll take more than you to get her out. Remember what Ivy and I did to your finest last spring? Add Rachel to that, and you can say your prayers.”
From behind me came Edden’s dry “You think Ivy wants another stint as a candy striper?”
“Looking at everything, I started to feel nauseous, as if the seventies had taken refuge here against extinction and were preparing to take over the world.”
“And Trent,” I said, watching Rex since Jenks was preoccupied with a flightless child. “Beloved city son and idiot billionaire goes and gets caught in the ever-after. Who has to bust her butt and make a deal with demons to get him back?”
“The one who got him there?” Jenks said, and my eyes narrowed.”
“if I’d been hit with the same thing as Glenn, I probably had his doctor. The
thought seemed about right when Glenn shrank back in his chair with a guilty expression. The tomato, too, was in hiding somewhere. I didn’t want to know where. I truly didn’t.”
“It was starting to smell really good in here. And if I liked what it smelled like, then they were liking what they were smelling, and ah…that would be me.”
“I can think of a lot of things to do," he said, "and none of them involve standing up. - Al”
“Edden called the church first,” she said by way of greeting, her thin
eyebrows high as she spotted Ford’s arm linked in mine. “Hi, Ford.”
The man reddened at the lilt she’d put in her last words, but I wouldn’t let him take his arm back. I liked being needed. “He’s having trouble with the background emotion,” I said.
“And he’d rather be abused by yours?”
(Ivy, Rachel and Ford)”
“The small gargoyle had gone entirely white to match the ceiling, and only the rims of his ears, his long clawlike nails, and a thick stripe down his whip-like tail were still gray. He was crawling along the ceiling like a bat, wings held to make sharp angles and claws extended. It just about broke my creepy meter.”
“Al brought his attention back down from the ceiling. “You really don’t want to have sex with him? Why? What’s wrong with him?”
“Ford put a hand to his head. “Back up. Back up!” he cried. “You’re too close.”
Heart pounding, I looked at the eight feet between us and pressed into the fridge.
“I think he meant for the ghost to back up,” Jenks said dryly.”
“Actually,” I said, hesitant to bring it up, “I was thinking along the lines of a curse that can turn you human.”
“Or witch?” Ivy said, surprising me.
There was a soft vulnerability in her and I blinked. “You don’t want to be a
witch,” I said quickly.
“Why not? You are.”
“Uh, guys?” Jenks said, hovering at the window. “Fountain Square is on fire.”
“What?” I jumped to my feet and turned in one motion. Al rushed to the window, and we pressed our foreheads to the glass, looking down.”
“Where did he go!” he bellowed, gloved hands clenching. “I had him in a snare
that would take Alexander the Great a lifetime to untwist, and he did it in a
week!” Al took a step, pinwheeling as his booted heel found an ice cube.”
“Ivy still had her tree up in the living room, and we exchanged presents when we felt like it, not on a specific date. Usually that was about an hour after I got back from shopping. Delayed gratification was Ivy’s thing, not mine.”
“Tom is trying to tag a banshee? By himself? Go for it, coffin bait.”
“Have any of your clients died?” Ford asked. “Someone you were trying to help?”
“Brett,” Jenks said.
“Peter?” I blurted out. But the amulet went a negative gray.
“Nick,” Jenks said nastily, and the color on the metal disk became a violent shade of purple. Ford blinked, trying to divorce himself from the hate. “I’d say no,” he whispered.”
“Holy dust,” I murmured, looking for it among the clutter. Jenks’s wings hummed and he dropped to hover over the envelope that I’d gathered from the slats under my bed, the only place the pixies didn’t clean. It was on sanctified ground, so I figured it was holy enough. And God knew my bed hadn’t seen any action lately.”
“So, it was that bad? That you couldn’t just leave Layton behind but had to flee the entire continent?”
“Mm,” Felix said noncommittally. His voice went raw. “I am sorry I left like that.”
“It’s okay. You don’t belong here. You were a wild toad caught in a mason jar.”
“With a stick and a leaf.”
“Hold on . . . am I the stick in this metaphor? Because I have lost some weight . . .”
“I didn’t know what I was doing. There was something uncomfortable about it.”
“I can’t imagine what.”
“Certainly not The Little Mermaidcomforter. That felt oh-so-right.”
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“Ubi amo, ibi patria. Where I love. there is my home.”
“Anyone who thinks of Satan as evil should consider all the men, women, children, and animals who have died because it was "God's will." Certainly a person grieving the untimely loss of a loved one would much rather have their loved one with them than in God's hands!”
“Raysel, you told me yourself that your father wasn't my liege anymore. I don't have to obey his wishes, spoken or unspoken, and so I can finally say this: go drown yourself, you self-righteous little bitch.”
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