12 Jan 2018

The Devil You Know - Epilogue

Humanity is saved.
One week later
Ione grunted as Diesel landed on her stomach.  "You are too big to be doing that," she said, scolding the cat as he stretched out on her.  His only response was a tiny new before purring.  Despite herself, Ione scritched the cat's ear.  "I'm not going anywhere if that's what you're worried about."  Diesel rolled over on to his back, letting Ione scratch his chin.

Karen came downstairs wearing a figure hugging red sequined dress.  "Still on the couch?"

"I'm not the one with the date tonight."  Ione set down her novel.  "Looking good, Karen.  Ben would be jealous, if he wasn't an angel."

"Who do you think set this up?"  Karen brushed away cat fur from the arm of the couch before perching on it.  "He invited me to his coffee shop and there was Mason getting a cappuccino."

"Like Ben said would happen."  Ione struggled to sit up.  Diesel remained in place despite the movement beneath him.  "Cat, you need a diet."

"Are you sure you don't want to come?"

"I'll be underfoot.  Have fun."  Diesel slunk off Ione.  He crept towards the door.  "Are you expecting Mason so soon?"

Karen watched the cat.  "I'm meeting him.  Diesel, is someone at the door?"

Diesel arched his back.  His hair stood up on end.  His tail fluffed out.  He let out a growl.

Ione swung her feet on to the floor.  "Diesel, what's wrong?"

The doorbell rang.  Ione exchanged a look with Karen before stepping over Diesel to open the door.  Standing on the porch was Mara.  Wearing just a black halter top and red micro-miniskirt, the succubus didn't seem to notice the chill wind blowing.  "Hi, Ione!"

"Mara!"  Ione stepped back.  "I didn't think I'd see you again."

"Jack had something he wanted to get to you and since I had no other plans, I offered to bring it."

"Thanks, I guess.  Want anything to drink, since you're here?  I've got coffee, tea, beer of some sort, maybe some wine.  Come in, at least."

"I don't think I'm allowed."  Mara nodded at Diesel.  "The owner doesn't seem to like me."

Ione stared at the cat.  "Diesel, this is Mara.  I met her last week.  She's a friend."  Diesel hissed.  "Yes, I know she's a succubus.  There's no need to be rude."

"You understand him?"

"He's being a brat.  Diesel doesn't normally behave like this, so I figured he sensed you're a demon."  Ione knelt down in front of the cat.  "But Mara isn't going to do anything to tempt me."  She gave Diesel a quick pet to smooth down his fur.

"Unless I can tempt you with cake.  I heard there's a few cake cafés here."

Diesel narrowed his eyes as he glared at Mara.  He then sat down and began cleaning himself.

Ione gave the cat one last scritch.  "I think he's letting you in."

Mara entered the house, closing the door behind her.  "Thank you," she said, addressing the cat.

Karen waved from the couch.  "Hi, Mara."

"Hey!  Hot date?"

"I'm hoping."

"With Ben?"  Mara tried to tamp down the note of jealousy in her voice.

"Nope.  Ben set me up, though.  I should get going."  Karen got up and put on her shoes.  "Don't keep Ione up too late.  She'll turn into a pumpkin after midnight."  With a couple of last pets for Diesel, Karen dashed out.

"So, that drink," Ione said.

"So, that cake," Mara countered.

"You're going to make me get dressed and go out."

Mara smirked.  "I could skip the part where I dress you."

"I can dress myself."  Ione looked over Mara's outfit.  "I am not going to even try to match you."  She dashed upstairs, coming back down a few minutes later in a purple blouse and a clean pair of jeans.  "There.  Now I'm presentable."

Mara tsk'ed.  "You're never going to pick up a man in that."

"I'm just picking up cake."  Ione slipped her feet into her running shoes.

"Before I forget in a sugar haze."  Mara reached into cleavage to pull out an envelope.  "From Jack."

Ione opened the letter.  "Thanks."  She read through the note.  Her eyes widened.  "Jack's joking, right?"

"I've never seen him tell a joke.  Why?"

Ione held up the letter for Mara to see.  "An escrow account with five thousand Euros?  I only loaned him nine hundred."

Mara waved the concern away.  "Oh, that.  He checked the going rate for BitCoins.  You're richer than you thought."

"I guess I'm paying for the cake tonight."  Ione put the letter back in its envelope.  "This is going to be hard to explain at work."

"Speaking of, Ione, how is work?  Any problems?"

Ione laced up her shoes.  "I don't know yet.  I'm on paid leave while Internal Affairs verifies my report.  I'm hoping they get in touch with Gemma or her bosses.  Too bad I can't go anywhere.  I can't even go to Montreal for a couple of days."  She shrugged.  "I think I needed this time off, for real."

"Sorry about that, Ione."

"Hey, I knew what I was getting into and went anyway.  Saved the Earth while I was at it.  No good deed goes unpunished."  Ione straightened up.  "I'll call a cab.  We are not riding on my motorcycle in this weather."

"No need.  I rented a car.  It's outside."

"You are my hero."  Ione moved closer to the succubus.  "I still owe you something."  She pulled Mara into a hug.  "I do mean this, too.  Any time you're in town, please, drop by.  I'm sure we can get up to something exciting."


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