Chapter Four

A startled gasp escaped Selena's lips before she gave Jericho a shove. She pushed herself away from him and shook her head. "I told you not to do that," she said through her teeth.

"But I knew you really wanted me to. Admit it, Selena," Jericho said, suddenly right in front of her. He gripped her shoulders almost painfully. "You want revenge on the woman that took everything from you."

"I don't," Selena snapped, jerking out of his grasp.

Jericho would not be deterred. "But you do. I can see it in your eyes, Selena. You hunt her kind for a living," he smirked.

"I sell books," Selena argued, putting her desk between Jericho and herself. It's not that she was scared of the man, exactly, but he was a high level demon. He came in at a whopping Level Eight and she had only ever managed to kill a Level Seven—and she almost didn't make it out of that one.

"And you dispatch the creepy crawlies that revel in the night," Jericho purred, advancing toward her.

"I do this town a favor. People come to me," Selena snapped. "I don't chase down demons."

"But would you if one of your…customers was being hunted by a demon and had lost their entire family? Wouldn't you think it was your duty to help that poor defenseless soul?" Jericho hissed.

"Stop it," Selena ordered, curling her fingers into fists, her nails biting into her skin.

"That is what you are, Selena. A poor, defenseless soul who has lost everything," Jericho continued.

"Stop it!" Selena snarled, her eyes stinging with unshed tears. She was not defenseless. She didn't want to hear it anymore - demons told lies all the time to get what they wanted. What Jericho was doing was nothing new, just a means to an end. Right?

But Jericho wasn't finished. He wouldn't stop until she admitted to everything he said. He knew he was right and he was determined to make her admit it. "This woman—this demon—killed your mother before your very eyes. And now she's coming for you. She's getting stronger and you know it. You live your life in fear because you know that someday she will come for you."

Selena opened her mouth to object, but no sound came out and Jericho continued on.

"If you don't do something about her she will come for you and she will kill you. The best chance you have is to get rid of her first and you know it. You're just too afraid to leave the comfort of your little bookstore and actually do something about your problem," he hissed.

"Why do you care?" Selena shouted, finally snapping. "Why do you care so much, Jericho?"

Jericho narrowed his dark eyes at her and balled his hands into fists at his side. "Why don't you?" he countered.

Selena turned away from him, knowing that she would never get an answer from the infuriating man. "Just go," she sighed, rubbing her temples, wanting nothing more than to soak in a hot bath and forget about all of this. And she most certainly didn't want to think on his question too much, lest she be tempted to give an answer.

Jericho was in front of her in a blink, gripping her wrists and standing much too close. "You're going to want my help. You're going to come, crawling on your knees, begging me to help you," he snarled, his eyes flashing red. "And when you come begging for my help, you're going to wish you had accepted my offer when I gave it to you." His hands began to grow warmer and Selena shifted uncomfortably, trying to pull her wrists free.

"Jericho," she said, sounding slightly breathless.

His grip tightened and Selena had to struggle not to cry out. "This woman has ruined your life. Look what she's made you," Jericho growled, his eyes still red around the edges.

"You're hurting me," Selena whimpered, her wrists starting to burn with the heat coming from his hands.

"Good," Jericho hissed. "Maybe now you'll listen to me."

"You're a Revenge Demon," Selena managed through gritted teeth, knowing that her skin was beginning to blister. "You thrive on this sort of thing. Why should I help you?"

Jericho abruptly released her and took half a step back, his eyes retreating to their usual deep brown. "Because you're too good," he told her with a wicked smile. Jericho slowly sauntered around her desk toward the front door. "The guilt will eat away at you and you know it. If you die, then this demon will just move on to the next great family curse. She'll just kill more people. Who knows, maybe she won't even target a specific family. Maybe she won't wait for them to grow up. She could kill children—babies. So why not at least try and save some other family the pain you've gone through?"

Selena knew that Jericho was just spinning his pretty words to make her do what he wanted, but she had to admit, he had a point. Once she was gone the demon would have fulfilled her purpose. She would have killed Selena's entire family.

Besides, wasn't Selena tired of being afraid to walk out her front door?

She eyed Jericho nervously. "Can I think about it?" she asked.

Jericho lifted an eyebrow slowly, as if giving her question serious thought. He smirked and dipped his head in a mock bow. "I will be back tonight to collect your answer."

Selena half expected him to disappear in a puff of smoke, but he simply whirled around and walked to the door, all swagger, pausing to give her a wink before slipping out onto the street. Once he was gone Selena sank down into her chair and dropped her head into her hands. Why did she feel like that was a threat?

She glanced at the clock and cursed, jumping to her feet. If Jericho was going to be back tonight—there was no telling what his definition of 'tonight' was—she better get moving on her Ghoul Chasing.

With the efficiency of someone who had done it many times before, Selena tucked her assorted weapons into her bag, grabbed the small pile of descriptions and locked up her shop, pulling her hair back into a pony tail as she moved down the street. Most people chose to be off the streets by the time the sun set, but that was the best time for Ghoul Chasing for Selena. It made it easier to spot the ghouls from the mortals.

She walked with purpose, glancing at the papers in her hand. Some had addresses, others just a name or description. She sighed and chewed on her lower lip. She supposed she would start with the easy stuff and get it out of the way. A single mother had come in tonight complaining about a Faerie infestation. Selena could understand her desire to get rid of them.

Faeries were a step up from Imps, being Level Two demons. They liked pulling pranks the same as Imps, but they were larger, had magic they could wield and enjoyed fighting back. On top of that, Faeries were invisible to the naked eye. Selena had been in a few nasty Faerie fights, but she wasn't completely inept. She had learned on the fly when she first started her business of hunting the baddies and had made some mistakes, but she knew what she was doing better now.

Arriving at the destination of the Faerie infestation, Selena paused and glanced around the house. It looked empty as per her request and she sighed, starting up the steps. She found the spare key under the mat like she had been told and let herself into the house.

Almost immediately something came flying at her from the dark and she only just had enough time to duck out of the way as the plate shattered against the wall where her head had been moments ago. A creepy giggle sounded and Selena picked herself up off the floor with a sigh. "So it's gonna be like that?" she muttered, cracking her knuckles.

Digging around in her bag quickly, prepared to dodge more flying objects, Selena hauled out one of her favorite charms. She slipped the necklace around her head and blinked a few times trying to find one of the little suckers.

The Faerie stood on the other side of the room, a few feet shorter than Selena with his long orange hair hanging loosely around his thin shoulders. He laughed at her, pointing his gnarled finger at her, his little teeth sharp points.

"You little prick," Selena muttered, moving toward him. Unaware of the fact that she could see him the Faerie danced around her, trying to trip her frequently. Letting him think she couldn't see him, Selena stumbled now and then to keep up the pretense. And then, when he was pulling back to kick her, Selena whirled on him and caught him by the throat. Her skin crawled where she touched him and she tried not to shudder as the Faerie hissed and spat at her like a feline, sinking his teeth into her hand. Selena gave him a good shake and, digging into her pocket, she flicked some purple dust at him. He blinked wide eyes at her and then let out a little shriek as his body grew smaller and smaller until he was sitting in the palm of her hand. Moving quickly Selena closed her fist around the little asshole and grabbed a nearby jar. She shoved the Faerie inside, closed the lid and stabbed a few holes in the top. She smirked at him and he pressed his face against the side of the jar and flipped her the bird.

Selena scowled and jammed the Faerie into her purse, going in search of others. She had been told it was an infestation, after all, and that usually meant more than one. She glanced at her hand and frowned at the bite marks marring her skin and the blood dripping from her hand. "Bastard," she muttered knowing that was going to sting like a bitch in the morning.