“That’s a good boy…such a good boy.” Gerry dug his fingers behind Grimm’s ears and scratched. The hellhound gave a soft moan before flopping down and rolling onto its back. “You want me to scratch your tummy…ah that’s a good boy.”
Grimm’s tongue lolled out and his foot began to kick in the air in rhythm with Gerry’s scratches. Gerry let the joy show on his face. It was something he would never do in the company of his lieutenants. There was something about having man’s best friend around that always seemed to brighten his day. Especially when said best friend had caused a ruckus in the local magical community. He was getting reports from his agents that people were consolidating their strength and looking over their shoulders. Grimm’s attack was showing the deeper fault lines in the local community.
<The solo practitioners don’t like the Salvatore’s and the influence they wielded. The Lake Norman witches don’t like the Salvatore’s because of their illegal enterprises. Nobody likes the Soulless and the soulless like nobody. The only group we aren’t hearing from is the Divine.> That had him worried.
Day by day he was growing in strength. He could feel the æther swirling in the near-bottomless pit of his Demesne. A few more weeks and he’d have enough to take on the Remnant, and after that all that stood in his way was the Divine.
Grimm’s large, clawed paw waved in his face. He’d stopped scratching and the Infernal beast took offense to that.
“Sorry, boy.” Gerry went back to work.
“This looks intriguing.” Jezebel’s presence and voice came into focus from the edges of the demesne. “Why wasn’t I invited?”
“Enter.” Gerry schooled his face and rotated to face the other Infernal.
She was dressed to impress tonight with a tightfitting evening dress that showed off a lot of tanned thigh. She smiled her sensual smile as she curtsied to the Dux and assumed a humble position.
Gerry didn’t fall for it.
“You asked for me, Dux?” There was an invitation in the question, but then again there was always an invitation where Jezebel was concerned.
“Yes.” Gerry gave Grimm one last pat on the belly and then shooed him away.
The beast gave Jezebel a short growl before complying.
“I don’t see why you created that filthy…”
“That filthy creature has our enemies looking everywhere but at us right now, Jezebel.” He cut her off. “My creation has done more for our mission than you.”
Anger crossed her face for a second before she regained control. “I live to serve, my Dux. I only await your command.”
“It’s time to get some skin in the game.” Gerry’s comment elicited a raised eyebrow from the sex demon.
“I am fully engrossed in our mission, Dux. My agents…”
“You’re agents are doing fine work, Jezebel. It’s you that I want involved.”
“Yes you.” Gerry took a bit of pleasure at seeing the look on her face.
“My Dux, I am management. I maneuver my pieces across the board and influence only where necessary. My people are more than capable of handling any task you assign us. I have trained them well.”
“That’s what I thought you’d say.” Gerry sighed before flicking his wrist.
Just like the first time Gerry had been in the presence of Prince Seere, his hand motion picked the lesser Infernal up and threw her across the room. The impact didn’t hurt as much as it was humiliating. Her hair got ruffled and her dress ripped as she fell back down to the ground.
“Do you know what the difference between a good general and a bad general is?” Gerry strode over to stand over her.
“No, Dux.” She didn’t try to get up.
Gerry could feel the anger radiating off the Infernal, and he drank the excess æther in before she got control of her emotions.
“A good general leads from the front. They know the issues that are important to the common soldier, as well as the tactics needed to win the battle, and the overall strategy to win the war. I’ve been lucky enough to have dealt with some fine generals in my day with our Prince’s legions. You undoubtedly have not.”
Jezebel hid her face.
“Tonight you are going to learn to lead, Jezebel. Not manage… lead.”
“I am always eager to learn, my Dux.” She answered diplomatically.
“Good.” Gerry gave her another look. “Rise.”
She did. “What can I do to prove my loyalty?”
Gerry smiled. “I want you to take a page from Grimm’s book.”
“You want me to kill someone?”
She thought back to the conversation they’d been having.
“You want me to sow discord among our enemies. You want them infighting and stabbing each other in the back instead of looking at the real threat…us.”
Gerry just smiled and waited for her to grasp the full meaning.
“But the magical community is already doing that. They’re already frightened, and knowing your tactical mindset you don’t want to overdo it.” She mused.
“That means that you want me to fuck with the humans.” She arched another eyebrow at the Dux. “But why?”
“My reasons are my own.” Gerry didn’t fill her in. “But you need to have a target selected and complete your mission between eight pm and midnight. Can you do that, Jezebel?”
“Of course, my Dux.” She smiled, and her infernal beauty hovered on the edge of being feral. “I assume you want it to draw the necessary attention.”
“Yes,” Gerry smiled. “Use your artistic discretion.”
“Yes, my Dux.”
Gerry watched at the Infernal curtsied low and exited the demesne through the elevator. He needed to make sure she was committed to the mission of realizing Prince Seere’s vision. She’d been on Earth longer than the old Dux and had always seemed to keep everything at arm’s length. By getting her hands dirty, Gerry was forcing her to join the party. She’d either succeed or fail and that would tell him all he needed to know. A request for another demon of the fourth choir wasn’t something he wanted to do, but sometimes you had to shake up your staff to get the results you wanted.
<Let’s see what she does?> Gerry pushed the lesser Infernal to the back of his mind. He had better things to do.
He’d been called to meet the Dominion. It was inevitable. He was the new face in town and even with his very public alibis she needed to vet him. It was probably going to be the most important meeting of his life. A life that was going to be cut tragically short if he failed.
He headed to the bathroom to begin the purification ceremony. He couldn’t show up to the meeting smelling like hellhound.
“Welcome to the ahhhhhhh…” The doorman nearly had a heart attack as a woman walked through the front door.
He was ancient – over eighty – and he did what he did because he loved it. He’d been doing it for over fifty years, and planned to do it until he couldn’t stand up anymore. He prided himself on his professionalism and that he always treated everyone with a smile. That’s why he was so surprised to feel arousal coarse through him.
Jezebel smiled as she felt the lust in the man’s heart. Even good men felt temptation and longing for beauty. He also hadn’t had a boner since the Clinton Administration which made his æther that much sweeter. She siphoned it off as she walked past the man in a dress that was to die for.
At least that was the goal anyway.
Every male eye in the hotel lobby turned as she walked past. Every female eye grew jealous with envy. No one could have her curves or her smile. They were products of Infernal machinations, and they were gifts she planned to use tonight. On the outside she looked cool, composed, and confident but on the inside her anger was smoldering.
The new Dux questioned her. <He questions me?! He questions my loyalty?! He’s been her for all of five minutes and he wants to ruin what I’ve spent decades building.>
What the Dux had said was true. She played in the shadows while those she trained and molded did the dirty work. In her line of business that was how it worked. She had done her time on the front lines. She had fucked the dregs of this world to their deaths. She had sucked the life from their bodies and passed their souls on the Hell.
<I’ve done my time. I worked my way to where I am, and now he’s going to screw it all up,> she seethed, but kept all of the emotion off her face.
She walked past the line waiting to enter the ballroom and right up to the man in charge.
“I’m looking for the mayor.” She smiled sweetly and infused it with her influence.
“By the stage.” The man got a dazed look on his face when he gave her the information and then stepped aside.
To Charlotte’s blue-blooded elite that cause a few disgruntled whispers, but one look back at them shut them up. She walked across the room like she belonged there and strode straight up to the mayor. Her fragrance blossomed across the space and seeped into the pours of the men and women present. Men of power found themselves drawn to the waitresses, and the waitresses to them. They paired off like they were boarding Noah’s Ark, and left her alone with the most powerful man in the city.
“Mr. Mayor.” She smiled and knew he was immediately under her thrall.
“Hello, beautiful.” The mayor smiled like only a man could when faced with such ravishing beauty.
Despite everything about him. Despite all his charm, political power, and community influence he was only a man. A man had no chance of standing against an Infernal. He reached toward her and took her by the waist to pull her close. She let him get close to her. She even let his hands reached lower and cup her ass. She was numb to the affect a man’s touch had on her. She’d been feeling them for centuries.
“How about we find someplace private?” His voice was husky, and she could feel his anticipation against her thigh.
“Lead the way.” She let him take charge.
He took her hand and pulled her toward a service door at the rear of the room. The ornate wallpaper of the banquet hall faded into the stark metal of the hallway leading to the kitchen. The mayor couldn’t even control himself long enough to make it upstairs to his room. He stopped in the middle of the hallway, pushed her up against the wall, and began kissing her neck. He hoisted up her dress and was surprised to see she wasn’t wearing any panties. She felt arousal overwhelm him.
He started to undo his belt and open up his fly. He was ready. She could feel the lustful æther radiating off him and she savored it. If she was going to take his soul she’d let him fuck her, but tonight’s activities didn’t require that.
When he was at his most vulnerable – when he was trying to pull his dick out of his pants – she reached up with both hands and snapped his neck. She rotated his head a full one hundred and eighty degrees. She smiled as his body went limp, but she easily supported it. Thankfully, he’d wanted to throw her up against the wall and screw her six ways to Sunday right next to the trash chute.
<This will make a good headline in tomorrow’s paper. Mayor found dead with pants down.> She smiled as she hoisted him up and dumped him down the chute.
A few bangs echoed on the way down and ended with one loud one when he hit the bottom.
<That’s that.> She wiped her hands on her dress and straightened it out. <Let’s see what the Dux thinks of that!> She smiled and walked down the hall toward the rear exit.
She had other more important things to do tonight.