by M.A Gonzales
Eva must return travel to L.A and find out who is behind several disappearances.
Pulling the covers from her body, she swung her legs over the side of the bed and ran her fingers through her sweat-dampened hair. The bright red letters from the nightstand flashed 2 a.m. Another night of no sleep but in truth it was something she was used to.
Groaning, she came to her feet her toes sinking into the thick motel carpet.
Motels, traveling, keeping hidden in the shadows was something she had grown accustomed to over the years. Being alone was a way of life and in truth it was the only way to keep herself safe she’d learned that the hard way. Still even now, when the wind was warm she would look up to the night sky and remember her life all those centuries ago. In that moment she found herself rushing to catch up with the future and forget the past.
Resting both hands on either side of the sink, she kept her head lowered staring down at the drain. For what seemed like forever now, her days and nights were spent chasing demons, half demons, or even demigods who did their father’s bidding trying to enslave, feed on or exploit mankind. Long ago there had been a division between Gods and from this sprung the war still raging in this modern age.
People were one of two ways. Either they believed in good and not evil or they believed in evil and not good. Those were beliefs she didn’t understand. If there was a counter balance for everything in this world, in this life then how could you believe in one and not the other?
She believed in both. You couldn’t be something like her and not believe. Raising her head, she met her blood red eyes in the scratched mirror in front of her. There were two sides to everything and that is how every war in history had begun.
I “Are you never going to accept who you are and how important and vital you are?” A feminine voice floated to her from the corner of the room.
Picking up the pack of cigarettes she slipped one past her lips and lit it. “Don’t you ever knock?” Smoke billowed in white swirls as she turned to face Ariel.
Smashing her own cigarette into the ashtray, she ignored the insult. “I heard about Mika.”
Her head fell back against the wall but she didn’t answer.
“You did the right thing.”
“You would think that.”
“If I didn’t think it then I wouldn’t have done it but cut the bullshit about understanding. You don’t understand anything and you don’t really care do you? One less demon to worry about right? One less threat.”
“I assumed that by now you would have realized that once evil always evil. They are only pretending to be good. To fool you.”
“Enough. I don’t want to talk about him and especially not with you. So how about we save time and you just tell me what the hell you want Ariel.”
“If that’s how you want it, fine.” Quickly, she came to feet pulling some piece of cloth out of her pocket. “We’ve got a real problem that just popped up in L.A.”
Ariel tossed the cloth in Eva's direction, she caught it midair. “What’s this?” She frowned, running her fingers across the dry, jagged cloth.
Flipping on the nightstand light beside her, she sat down on the bed and began unfolding the delicate fabric as instructed. There were symbols and ancient writing that looked as though it had been singed into the cloth ensuring that its message would never be lost. “It looks Syrian.” Encrypting through fire was a time consuming process in ancient times a luxury not many people had. There was one reason that someone would have taken the time required to ensure this would make its way through the centuries. “This is a powerful spell to conjure a demon.”
Ariel nodded. “Not just any demon.”
“What are you talking about?”
“The spell is designed to call the damned soul of Erzabel out of hell.”
She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “This spell is designed to summon a Rakshasa Queen?”
Ariel only nodded.
Her gaze snapped to Ariel, her eyes narrowing as the full impact of Ariel’s words sunk in. “Who found it?”
“A young woman who worked at a Hoodoo shop in New Orleans.”
“Are you telling me some young woman just had an urge to vacation at one of the hottest and driest places in the world?”
“I don’t know how but she must have found out about its existence.”
“Is that how trouble always starts?” She muttered looking up from the spell. “Did you know about this?”
“I was aware of its existence when it was made and hidden deep in a cave over eight hundred years ago.”
“You can’t be serious.” Tossing the paper into the ashtray she shook her head. “You knew something this powerful existed and you didn’t destroy it?”
"You know I can't interfere like that. I can only hide, suggest but not destroy.”
“A eight hundred year old, fire singed spell sealed in blood and you can't interfere?” Striking a match, she lit her cigarette and then tossed the lit match into the ashtray. Instantly, flames swallowed up the dry fabric. “You should have been smart enough to do that years ago and screw not interfering.”
“It isn’t wise to taunt me Eva.”
Smirking she folded her arms across her chest. “Really? What are you going to do?” She couldn’t stop herself as her dark eyebrows rose in mock speculation. “Curse me?” Tapping her finger against her full lips, she pretended to have an epiphany. “Oh wait. You’ve already done that.” All hint of humor fled and she was serious again. “You can’t do anything to me that you haven’t done already.” Yanking the drawer of the nightstand open she pulled out her twin custom .45 cal chrome and black, Desert Eagles. “What do you know about her?” Quickly checking the bullets in the clip, she shoved the clip back up and cocked the trusty weapon, which had saved her ass more then once.
“She worked at a coffee shop. She didn’t have many friends, a sort of loner bookworm really. She left on vacation and hasn’t been seen since.”
“When was she supposed to be back?”
“A week ago.”
“What about her apartment?”
“I’ve had a Watcher there since we found out about this and she hasn’t been back.”
Never one to be unprepared for anything she slipped the automatics into her shoulder holster, a silver knife into its sheath at her waist, and a smaller silver blade into the sheath strapped around her thigh. She looked up at Ariel. “Somebody’s got to know something or have seen something.”
“That’s why I came to you. Where will you start?”
“A place I know someone will have some information. Devil's Playground.”
“The club in New Orleans?”
She only nodded.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Have you thought maybe Mika was having a change of heart and that’s why he missed your heart, maybe it wasn’t all lies. Maybe he couldn’t bring himself to kill you but one of you had to die?”
“Do I look like I’ve thought about it. It doesn’t matter. He’s dead and I killed him.” Slipping her black leather jacket over her shoulders, she shot Ariel a look that clearly stated back off. “Is there anything else?”
“Yeah.” Ariel brushed past her. “You have allies in New Orleans for once don’t be stupid and use them and maybe this mission won’t kill you.”
“Oh, and wouldn't that be tragic.”
Ariel narrowed her eyes, glaring as she tossed her a piece of paper. “Erik will be expecting your call.”
Opening it, she frowned. “Erik, 555-4798. Who is he?”
“He’s a Demigod, a Dragon shifter, born of fire. If you’re going to track down what's going on you’re going to need his help.”
Erik had demon blood in him. “He’s born of fire and he’s helping us?”
“You’re born of fire too.”
“Not by choice.” She muttered.
“Him either. Call him, you’ll need his help on this one.” Then just like that she was gone.
“Oh yeah. You ignore something important and then call me to fix the situation. That’s balanced.” She wadded up the piece of paper, tossed it over her shoulder and fell back onto the bed with a groan.
Every good Demigod who walked a very thin line living among the corruptions and temptations of man that even they weren’t immune to. At the very least it would be interesting to see what this Erik was all about if he hadn’t already given in to the temptations presented to him.