The cool, fall breeze on my skin was so refreshing, I could actually smell the season in the air. Woodsy and spicy with a hint of moisture. Although I was enjoying the weather, I was there for a reason. I ignored all the yelling I heard coming from several directions. There was so much of it these days and investigating the sources kept me busy. For now, I focused only on the people inside the house I was scoping out. I could hear a dozen heartbeats thumping loudly, some more erratic than others. I’d already done my investigation on this place, and the police couldn’t really touch them without proper cause.
Even in this chaotic day and age, the rules of law still mattered and that was good. My stomach growled, and I was more than ready to sate my hunger on the assholes inside this raggedy-ass, ramshackled hovel. I’d been unable to feed earlier because demons had to be ever so careful these days. I stilled myself, because I knew what to expect going in and I was going to be quick. I could just teleport and take everyone by surprise that way, but I wanted to make an entrance.
I stood back and let my demonic face come to the surface. I really wanted to scare the motherfuckers inside. I kicked the back door open, sending it flying off its hinges. I startled two men who were sitting at the kitchen table, getting ready to partake in some illegal drug use. They only had enough time to jump up from their chairs before I attacked. I teleported between them, punching each one in the chest. Both men flew backward; one against the kitchen cabinets and the other against the refrigerator, banging their heads and bodies in the process. The impact was powerful enough to knock them unconscious, which was what I wanted. I heard scrambling and raised voices coming from the other rooms and the hallway. I saw one chick coming down the narrow path, gun aimed straight at me. She fired off several shots blindly, but I teleported, dodging the bullets and popping up behind her. Normally, I was against violence toward women, but this bitch was no lady I respected. I grabbed her by the sides of her head and twisted, breaking her neck with such ease, it was almost unfair.
I teleported to the living room where I heard the rest of the voices. They were trying to prepare for a threat they couldn’t prepare for.
“Oh shit!” one of the men, trying to switch the safety off on his gun, managed to say before I teleported to him. He raised his shotgun in the direction I had been at a second ago. Too bad for him, I moved faster than the human eye could keep up with. I aimed for the middle of his back and punched the hell out of him, right between the shoulder blades. I instantly felt his flesh give way, bones shattering and his organs tearing. He gasped as the double-barreled shotgun he was holding went off. The bullets struck the chick who was standing near the hallway entrance, blasting a gruesome hole in her side. The impact sent her body flying and crashing against the wall. Blood splattered the ugly flower-patterned wallpaper as she slid to the floor, leaving a bloody smear. There was another man present. He had dropped his gun and stumbled back into the corner, piss running down his leg and pooling at his feet as he cowered.
As for the man whose heart I held in my grip, he released his last breath and I pulled my bloody arm out of his chest cavity. My leather glove and sleeve was covered in human gore. Raphael would be proud. With two dead, I could see their souls flowing from their mouths. Ahhhh, yeah… it was time to feed. When I first became an Agoto, I did a little experiment after I killed someone. I didn’t take their soul because I wanted to know where it went. I wanted to see if it went upward toward heaven or down toward hell. I saw it leave their mouth and hover just a bit over their body for a few seconds, then dissipate. It was as if the soul was being judged, or maybe it was waiting for me to change my mind and eat it. I didn’t know. I just found it interesting.
For now, I had no plans to let these two souls escape my hunger. I let my demonic face recede and opened my Agoto up to receive the delicious souls as they left the corpses of the monsters I had killed. As I fed, I saw the last man standing fall to the floor and bury his face behind his knees. I guess I had made an impression on him. I’d be getting his ass in a second.
My body was humming with energy and I could literally feel the souls I just devoured working their way through me. My cock throbbed with the need to shoot one off. That would have to wait, I wasn’t leaving any DNA or fingerprints here, hence my leather gloves. I felt powerful, like I could take on the entire world, and these days, that was a good thing. I needed all the strength I could get to do my job with both the Alandale police force and the Society, which had taken on a larger, more global role since Katashniel escaped hell. Damn, I really wished that was something we could have prevented. Lord knows I had tried. But we couldn’t because demons were as clever as they were deadly.
I opened my eyes and turned to the one human still left alive after my slaughter. His aura was yellow, which meant he was a piece of shit, but redeemable. He still had a choice to change his life. But, unfortunately for him, I had a quota to fill and lacked sympathy for him and his other sex trafficking, asshole friends. The man was splattered in blood from the female who had been shot and was trembling like a leaf in a thunderstorm. He was balled up so tight, I guessed that was his idea of a cocoon he hoped could protect him from what I had done. Or was about to do to him.
I must admit, I had come in here and kicked ass. I made quick work of these criminals who deserved to meet their fate. For too long, they’d been selling young girls and teens to other pieces of shit all over the world. Some of those females ended up brutally raped and murdered. With no evidence to connect them to the crimes, no probable cause to bust in on their location, the detective whose hunch I had used to do my own investigation couldn’t take his any further. But I didn’t have to worry about red tape and legalities. I used what information Detective Martin had gathered, the same information the judge didn’t feel was good enough to grant him a warrant, and made my own plan to raid the house. It went off without a hitch, if I may say so myself.
Three dead and two to go because I hadn’t forgotten about the two men in the kitchen. I’d eat them later. This guy sitting in his own piss had immediately bitched out when he saw my demon face and what I’d done to his friends. Really, I couldn’t blame him, I was an ugly fucker when I let that side of me come out to play. I figured he would be the “lucky” one, because I needed to get my king a soul. His would be my sixth since I’d started making deals. I walked over and squatted down in front of him.
He yelped and jumped when I touched the top of his sweat-soaked head. “Hey, take it easy,” I said in an Officer Friendly-type of voice.
He was looking at me now with big, round eyes full of terror. I could only imagine what he was thinking. Good, I was glad he was afraid. He should be. I was a fucking demon and, these days, everyone knew about us. We were no longer hidden in the shadows or just monsters in movies, myths, or fables. We were living, breathing, killing, and maiming creatures of the twenty-four/seven/three-sixty-five variety. There was no escaping us, Katashniel had made sure of that. Because of him exposing demons to humanity, the world was in full-on chaos. I guessed it went without saying since Katashniel was a Soka, meaning chaos demon. This hysteria, paranoia, sadness, fear and the mongering was his raison d'être. He fed off the shit, which made him stronger.
To try and counter the mayhem Katashniel had created by doing very public demon killings all over social media, Adriel made certain his army created some public videos as well. They showed us killing demons who were trying to kill humans, just to let the world know they weren’t alone. How not all demons were out to get them and that some were there to protect them. It helped calm the initial mayhem that had ensued, but we still had a long way to go. A loooong way to go. That was one of the reasons why the Society was now an openly global demonic police force with lots of agents, both demon and human, making up its powerbase.
But I digress, let me get back to this deal I needed to make with this asshole. I’ll get back to that other thing in a minute. The dude had snot running from his nose and onto his upper lip, which looked disgusting. Tears flowed from his eyes so much so, his cheeks were soaked. I laughed and shook my head.
“If you’re so afraid of demons, why are you still doing this bullshit?” I asked as I gestured to his dead friends scattered about.
“P-p-please… don’t—don’t ki-kill me,” he stammered.
I grabbed a fistful of his wet, sweaty hair and yanked his head back. He cried out in both fear and pain, but kept his wide, blue eyes locked on mine. He grabbed my wrist with both of his hands, but somehow knew better than to try to pry himself free.
“Answer my fucking question,” I snapped.
“The… money… the money was… good,” he said and swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing.
It almost always came down to money. “Don’t you know people’s desire for money is the root of all evil?”
“I’ve got to live,” he whined. This time, he didn’t stutter.
I released his hair with a bit of a shove and he let my wrist go. It wasn’t as if he could have overpowered me anyway. I was as strong as two oxen, maybe three since mating with Andre. I snorted. “Yeah, you’ve got to live. I’ve heard that before. You could have gotten a legit job. Instead, you chose to sell underaged girls to other pieces of shit like yourself. Your chickens have come home to roost, buddy.”
In an act of desperation, he reached out with both clammy hands and grabbed the lapels of my jacket. He looked up at me, lips trembling. “Please… please don’t kill me.”
I looked around and, for the first time, was able to take a detailed account of the room. Drugs on the table, guns scattered here and there. Cheap-looking leather furniture and a nasty, stained brown carpet. This house was a shit hole, no doubt, and I was looking forward to getting out of it. I don’t know, maybe living in the lap of luxury with Raphael had spoiled me, but I hated being in the place.
I turned back to the coward. “I’ll make it quick,” I taunted.
“NO! Please, let me live. I’ll do anything. I’ll go straight. I swear!”
He was probably lying through his stained teeth, or even if he tried, he was the type that would sink right back into a life of crime. But this was the opportunity I had been waiting for. “The only way I’ll let you live is if you offer me your soul.”
He released me then and shrunk back into the corner. He shook his head as he looked at me with furrowed brows. “That will kill me.”
I chuckled. “Not right away. You agree to give me your soul and I will let you walk out of here. You can live your life and I’ll never bother you again. If not, well… you can end up like your friends.”
“No! Please,” he shouted, and then looked around again frantically. “Will I live a long life?” he asked me.
I shrugged. “That depends on if you take your vitamins,” I mocked. “How the fuck should I know? I don’t decide the future. I can promise you, you’ll survive this night if you agree to my terms.”
“I’m serious. For my soul, I want to live a long life,” he demanded, as if he had any leverage.
It was time for me to let him know he didn’t have a fucking pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of when it came to negotiating with a demon. “I could just end your life right now. The deal is, I let you live, motherfucker. Not that I make sure you live to the ripe old age of ninety. Take it or leave it. I’m going to give you to the count of three to make this life-changing decision,” I said, then I let my demon visage come back to the surface, claws and all. His eyes bugged out as he screamed, then he immediately closed them tightly as if hoping I’d disappear when he opened them again.
“Do we have a deal or do you die?” I asked him, my demonic voice adding much more horrific promise to my words.
“Yes! Yes, please god, just don’t kill me. You can have my soul, just let me live!” he cried out even before I could start my countdown.
I liked that kind of progress. Meant I could get back to business and not waste any more time with the likes of him. Of course, he was part of my business, just the part I really hated. I didn’t like having to let these assholes live, but Adriel needed souls to add to his power. Taking on Katashniel was proving to be more than a notion, and I wanted to make sure my king would have the strength he needed to win this fight. So I collected souls, and after I have taken this fool’s soul, I’d have six more to get.
I let my demon face fade away, let my claws recede, and was back to my old self. “Looks like we have a deal,” I said, then I extended my hand to seal it. He opened one eye—I guessed to check—and then the other. He looked at my proffered hand, then back up at me. “We seal it with a handshake,” I told him since it seemed like he didn’t know what the fuck I was doing.
Slowly, he raised his trembling hand and slipped it into mine. It was moist and cool to the touch, and after a few good shakes, I was more than happy to let it go. I rose to my full height and looked down at him. “I… um… wouldn’t tell anyone about what happened here, and especially about me. You don’t want to draw any unnecessary attention to yourself,” I warned.
He shook his head. “No, I swear. I won’t say a thing.”
I could tell by his horrid expression, he just wanted me out of his sight. I was happy to oblige, but first, I had to take care of a few things. “Good, I’d hate to have to see you again.”
“Me too,” he said.
Satisfied with that, I kicked him in his face, knocking him out cold and breaking his nose in the process. I probably knocked some teeth loose as well, at least, I hoped I had. I made my way back into the kitchen where the first two men were still lying unconscious and bleeding on the floor. Again, I opened my Agoto up, sucking down their souls. I could do two at a time, and boy was that awesome. My cock was rock hard all over again and aching to bust a nut. Even with two yellow aura souls, I was still on the brink of what I knew was going to be a fantastic orgasm. So far, only a red-hued soul could make me cum instantly. Sometimes, that was a good thing.
After killing the two men, I headed down to the basement where I could hear the other six heartbeats. I knew they belonged to the female victims they were planning to sell on the black market. The closer I got to the room, the worse the area smelled of piss, shit, blood, and melancholy. The door was metal and sealed shut with a padlock. I grabbed the lock and snatched it off like it was a petal from a rose. That was how strong I was, which meant I always had to be careful around humans.
“You’re free, leave this place and call the police,” I said through the door, then teleported home. With the door now open, they could get the hell out of that place. I didn’t want to stick around, because I was the one who had killed everyone and it would just look bad for me. It needed to look like a human crime at the very least, which was why I didn’t just ash the motherfuckers in the first place.
Looking around our fancy home, I wasn’t surprised to see I was alone. I removed my bloody clothes and took a nice, long shower. After throwing on some sweats and a t-shirt, I went to the refrigerator to grab a beer. One of my old, common folk brews, not the fancy-schmancy bullshit Raphael liked to drink. And I wasn’t even going to compare either of our drinks to the sakoya Vahiel mixes up. That shit put me on my back the last time I indulged. I liked getting a buzz, but that drink didn’t know when to ease up. I popped the top off my beer and downed half the bottle in a few swallows. I knew it wouldn’t get me drunk, but I still found it refreshing and a little bit comforting. I walked to the window of our beautiful home in the sky and looked down below.
You could see a few fires burning, hear the sirens going off all over, but at least the citywide rioting was over… for now. Other places still had to deal with the citizens going berserk. Some had re-established order fast and fierce, like Alandale. The city police force had never been so busy with calls ranging from neighbors trying to kill each other to people thinking their pets were possessed by demons. Well, that one-time case was actually legit. It was a demon cat, and because I was the only one on the force that was a demon, they sent me to deal with it. Yeah, I was out of the closet, so to speak. Adriel felt it was important for humans to know that demons had lived amongst them all this time, helping and protecting.
He ordered me to expose myself to my captain, and when I tell you the look on that man’s face when I did was priceless, you could take it to the bank. He actually shitted himself and wanted to fire me, but the U.S. government, which knew about demons anyway, forbade any discrimination of demons in the public sector. So fire fighters, doctors, cops, lawyers, nurses, teachers, and all those other professions were safe from unemployment. Some places found other reasons to get rid of their demon employees, but it wasn’t anything we weren’t expecting. Hell, I was waiting for the day they claimed I missed filing some paperwork as an excuse to sack my ass.
Having strong government backup really helped when it came to keeping things as civil as they could be under the circumstances. It was actually very wise, because the smart thing was to keep those demons who were willing or ordered to help on your side. Pushing us away wasn’t going to help the humans’ cause. I guessed the government had always been prepared for this scenario. The president was quick to respond, not even letting speculation grow once the public killings started taking place. Her actions forced other world leaders to follow suit; some did it better than others. Still, there was a tenuous peace between the humans and demons of Alandale, not to mention the world over.
Having said that, I had only one friend on the force now, Sheila, as all my other coworkers kept their distance. I was guessing it was going to be a long time before they would feel comfortable about someone who could kill them without breaking a sweat. I didn’t try to force myself on them. I rarely went into the precinct and instead, opted to work from my home or Sheila’s. No one objected. I bet they’d be even less thrilled to see me if they knew how I fed. Luckily, I didn’t have to divulge that tidbit. That would have only worked against our cause.
Because most demons could eat regular human food, that was the lie we put out. It only made us look better in the eyes of humans. If they weren’t on the menu, then that was a load off their minds. Some demons really didn’t need to eat humans. Bully for them. I wasn’t so fortunate, but at least I could be slick about it. I felt sorry for demons who had to eat human flesh… or did I? Shit, I didn’t even know. Being a demon myself, sometimes made it hard to pick sides.
As for my mates, Andre was having a rough go of it as well. Being the new district prosecutor meant he was also in the public sector and had to be forthcoming. The former DA had been killed by one of Katashniel’s demons, which was why Andre got the promotion. Coming out was the last thing he wanted, but he knew better than to disobey the king. We were trying very hard to keep things normal, but it was damned near impossible with Katashniel’s army out there painting the world red and gory. The bright side of it was how humans were beginning to see the difference between certain demons.
Like I said, three months had passed since Katashniel had broken free. I could get into a little more detail now. The first month was chaotic as fuck. So many people were killed, as well as demons on both sides. Yeah, believe it or not, there were humans who wanted to worship Katashniel. He was their dark hope. I have no idea what the fuck those dumb-ass humans were thinking they were going to get by worshipping Katashniel, but they believed they’d get some sort of benefit. So, crimes went up, all the really ugly ones. The National Guard was deployed to maintain order, but Katashniel and his army decimated so many soldiers before Adriel could counter.
Adriel’s problem was getting the humans to trust him. To choose him over the fear Katashniel had created. He needed them to work with us to defeat Katashniel. So much had to be explained in order for humanity to fully understand what was really going on. What had been going on for thousands of years. I’ve got to tell you, church attendance, no matter what the religion, picked up substantially. Some sermons even had to be held in arenas three times a week.
Amidst the chaos was the fear and rage. People rioted because they thought it was the end of the world. That a reckoning of some sort had come. Which was completely stupid to me. If this was the end of the world, was rioting, looting, and raping the thing you really want to do? Why not volunteer at a hospital or soup kitchen… dumb fucks. People were in hysterics and running along with the mob mentality. A lot of it was brought on by demons that possessed humans or infected them to make them lose all control and reason.
That meant I, along with Raphael and Andre, were out there in force as knights making sure order could be restored. Our main goal, however, was finding and killing Katashniel’s demons who were siding with that son of a bitch. Those who were out killing people publicly. We put a hurting on those sons of bitches, but now, they had gone into the shadows. Finding them was proving to be difficult as fuck. I really was at a loss, as I hadn’t killed a demon in two weeks. I felt like I didn’t have any direction and it was frustrating the hell out of me.
The only good thing that has happened, in my opinion, was that I had my mates. That was why I was so much stronger and hornier than before. We fucked constantly; it was actually a wonder any of us could get anything done. Of course, Adriel still hadn’t lifted the ban on us about having sex with other people. I was kind of sad about that, because Melissa was looking sexy as hell these days. She’d been training with the Society as one of their junior agents, and when I say women with curves do something to my nether region, believe me. Still, I preferred my mates to anyone else. As a matter of fact, I was mad horny at the moment and not a mate in sight. I wondered if they were busy.
Anyway, I didn’t like the fact that Katashniel’s demons were so good at keeping quiet. Made me curious about what they were planning next. This war wasn’t going to go away any time soon. I had heard only one of Adriel’s knights had been killed thus far. That didn’t bode well for me. I might be hard to kill, but this was actually the first time I was living in fear. It was kill or be killed out in the streets and, at the same time, we had to protect the humans from not only other demons, but from themselves.
God, where was a fucking time machine when you needed one?