Authors Notes: - In a few chapters things are going to get really bloody, so look forward to it :) BTW if I'm being too vague at any point, fell free to call me on it.
Esma sucked on her straw stubbornly, but the smoothie refused to give up its innards. She sighed and opened it up and began stirring with a spoon. "They always make these too thick."
Dante watched her and sucked on his smoothie, he paused and remarked casually. "Mine's not too thick."
She glared at him. "Oh, you just got lucky."
He watched her stab at the smoothie with the spoon until it reached the consistency that she was pleased with. She then contently joined him in drinking. He turned from her slightly and watched people pass them by. They were sitting at a small circular table with a brightly color umbrella over them. It was almost noon and most people were either at work or attempting to avoid the heat at all costs. The store they sat at was called 'Smoothie Shoppe' and had a décor that was a freakish cross between a renaissance fair booth and the brightly colored diners from the fifties. Dante was enjoying a lemon-lime smoothie while Esma was sipping at her strawberry flavored one. He was starting to feel better out in the sun. The bright light washed away all thoughts of evil but it was still ungodly hot.
"So, what did you want to ask me about demons?" Esma suddenly asked around a mouthful of smoothie.
Dante kept his face away from her and set his drink aside. "Have you... ever summoned one?"
For a moment she didn't reply and simply stared at him. "That depends on what you call a demon."
He glanced to her, slightly surprised she took his question seriously, let alone admitted to working magic. "What do you consider a demon?"
"Demons are creatures of divine power, in effect many different types of creatures can be called demon. Including angels." She smirked slightly and swirled the remainder of her smoothie in its cup.
"Would you just please tell me if you have or haven't." He said softly, his voice suddenly full of fatigue.
"Yes, yes I have." Esma replied in the same tone as she'd held when they first spoke.
"Did... anything go wrong?" Dante looked to her, carefully watching her face.
"No, of course not." She seemed amused and finished off the rest of her smoothie.
"Have you ever messed up before... magically?" He still felt strange talking about such things, he was used to keeping it secret, for fear of being ridiculed.
"Yes, but-" She shrugged. "it was no big deal."
"Why is that?" He raised an eyebrow and sipped his drink.
"It was just a little house goblin. I got rid of him pretty quickly. Luckily he didn't do much damage." Esma chuckled slightly. "The most he did was move things around so we couldn't find them."
"That's hardly very bad." Dante grumbled, turning away again.
"Why are you asked me these questions? Did you mess up or something?" She leaned her elbows against the table and watched people walk by.
"Yeah... big time."
"So then, what did you summon?" Her eyes drifted from a handsome man in a suit walking by back to her companion.
"I don't really know..." He paused to open his bag and removed the book on demons he'd checked out from the library. "I can't find him in here."
"Let me see." She said holding out her hands. He dropped the large book into her hands and she almost dropped it in surprise. "Heavy book."
"Yeah, my back has been killing me." He tried to be playful, but his heart wasn't in it.
She opened it up and laid it on the table before her. "So, what did you intent to summon?"
"A demon of fear." Dante commented, pulling the lid off his drink and peering in. He swallowed the last few icy drops inside and tossed the cup into the trash beside them.
Esma turned to the pages until she arrived at the second about demons of fear. "And you are sure he wasn't a demon of fear, right?"
"He doesn't resemble the demon in there at all." He sighed and slumped into his chair. "I don't know how I messed it up, I had the right name... the chants were perfect. I don't understand what went wrong."
"What did he look like then?" She asked while scanning the page.
"He was huge... so big he towered over me, I felt like a child next to him." He shuddered as he went on. "Chains... hung from his body, and pierced his skin. His wings were enormous and had dozens of rings of metal in them. More piercings covered him, spikes and more rings. His skin had tattoos carved into it but I could barely make them out, his skin was too dark red, almost black."
"Sounds cute." Esma smirked.
Dante glared at her. "He was terrifying."
"Anything else interesting about him?" She asked, ignoring his glare and comment.
"He looked eerily human, there wasn't too much about his face that was demonic. Though he did have a pair of horns that curved over his head and his hair grew in a line down his back, almost like a mane. The thing about him I remember most clearly was the fact that he had a long tail, with more rings through his skin, and his legs were kind of like a goats. Though they started out hairless..." He stopped talking all at once, the memory of the beast too vivid for him to go on talking.
"Sounds a little bit like a demon of pain." Esma said looking at the picture in the book. "Very classical, red skin, goat legs, and a pair of horns. Though this demon in here doesn't have wings, long tail, or a human face."
"Then what the hell did I summon?" He asked loud enough to get a few strange looks from the other patrons occupying the tables around them.
"Don't fret so much." She scolded him, and continued to flip through the book.
"The thing... I have the hardest time understanding is... why didn't he kill me? He had the change, I know he could have easily slaughtered me, but he didn't." Dante sat up in his chair, rested his elbows on his knees and buried his face in his hands.
"I'll say nothing." Esma mumbled as she read the book.
"What? Why?" He sat up and frowned at her.
"Because it won't make you happy." She glanced at him. "People get upset when I say things that are the truth."
"Tell me what you were going to say." Dante ordered angrily.
"Alright then... I think he spared you to make you suffer more." She shrugged. "He's probably playing with you."
He sank back down into his chair and considered what she said. It make perfect sense. When the demon burst free it had smiled at him, a sick twisted expression that have conveyed his thanks while also promising him pain.
"Well, this will take all day sifting through this tome." Esma said standing up, she closed the book and held it to her chest. "Do you mind if I keep it for a while?"
"No, go ahead. I already looked through it. Didn't help me very much." He said waving his had dismissively, and remained seated.
"Are you going to be ok?" She asked, tilting her head to the side and studying him in concern.
"Yeah, I'll be fine. It's not like the demon is going to kill me right away." Dante said softly.
"Here, why don't I give you my number and you can call me if anything happens or if you just need to talk." She set the book down and pulled a note pad out of her bag. After jotting down her number she ripped the small page out and offered it to him.
"Thanks..." He took it and stared at the number.
"Remember, if you need anything." Esma smiled at him one more time before leaving with the book.
Dante watched her go quietly. She obviously wasn't like him, he could feel it. A warm energy surrounded her and she seemed so content, if not happy. He glanced at his upside down pentagram, so different from hers. She hadn't even made fun of it, like a lot of people did, even the occasional pagan he ran into. He didn't like wearing it anymore but he felt obliged to keep it. The day after he had summoned the demon he tried to leave the house without it but he felt so naked and vulnerable. He was scared by that thought, the idea that he needed it to feel complete.
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