Authors: Connie Suttle
Hot Demon In The City
Latter Day Demons
Copyright (c) 2015 Connie Suttle All rights reserved.
P.O. Box 95696
Oklahoma City, OK 73143
This is a work of fiction. Names, places, incidents, and characters are the product of the author's imagination and are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Cover Art by: The Cover Counts
As always, this book is the result of collaboration. If it weren't for the support of my editor, my cover artist and my beta readers, it would be less than it is. All mistakes, as usual, are mine and no other's.
About the Author:
Connie Suttle lives in Oklahoma with her husband and a conglomerate of cats. They have finally banded together to make their demands, which has proven disconcerting to all humans involved.
You may find Connie in the following ways:
Facebook: Connie Suttle Author
Website and Blog: subtledemon.com
Other books by Connie Suttle:
Blood Destiny Series:
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Legend of the Ir'Indicti Series:
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High Demon Series:
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God Wars Series:
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Saa Thalarr Series:
Hope and Vengeance
Wyvern and Company
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First Ordinance Series:
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Latter Day Demons Series:
Hot Demon in the City
A Demon's Work is Never Done*
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Seattle Elementals Series:
Your Money's Worth*
San Francisco in the past wasn't anything like Avendor. I'd been there for a month, with barely an excuse for a vehicle in the garage of Aunt Bree's house and still hadn't learned all there was to know about the place.
I realized I was a captive in this place and time—I could skip back to Avendor, but it wouldn't be the Avendor I came from. That meant I had to adjust to living in San Francisco.
Actually, I didn't live in the city—I lived across the bay in a very large (for one person) home overlooking San Rafael Bay. Aunt Bree had given permission for me to live in her house as long as I wanted, with one stipulation—I had to find a job.
It wasn't any job, either. It had to be with Rome Enterprises. I had no idea why, but when Aunt Bree spoke, people tended to listen and obey.
I couldn't—and wouldn't—hazard a guess as to whom (or what) she really was. What I did know is this; I'd had an arranged marriage waiting for me back home, with a man I hadn't even met.
No way would I settle for that. I wanted to pick my own man—when I was ready and not before. After all, I was barely twenty-three and hadn't lived on my own anywhere. I wanted that experience. Wanted to know what freedom felt like.
Kordevik Weth could screw himself, for all I cared.
Yes, that was his name. I didn't want to know anything else about him. Tapping the keyboard of the archaic computer system people from Earth still used, I searched through the job listings at Rome Enterprises.
Until now, I'd only seen janitorial positions or jobs for assistants of assistants. My eyes locked on a new one—
. I filled out a job application immediately.
* * *
"Miss Silver? Lexsi Silver?" the female voice on the other end of the cell-phone conversation asked.
"This is Anita Grant from Human Resources at Rome Enterprises. I have the application and photograph you sent, and I'd like to schedule an interview for you with Mr. Andrews."
"All right," I agreed, attempting to stop the flutter in my stomach. I'd never gotten a job on my own, before.
What if they hired me?
What if they didn't hire me?
Panic threatened; I shoved it back. Aunt Bree said I'd have what I needed to get the job, but I knew nothing about being a reporter. Yes, I had an education—in Alliance Policy and Politics. That would likely be useless on Earth.
"Is tomorrow at three a good time?"
"Three is perfect."
"Mr. Andrews' office is on the tenth floor of the Rome Building. You know where that is?"
"Good. We look forward to meeting you, Miss Silver."
I barely remembered to thank the woman before ending the call and covering my face with a shaking hand.
* * *
I look so much like my mother
, I told myself as I gazed in the mirror the following day. Silver-blonde hair fell down my back and nearly to my waist. I'd thought about putting it up, but decided I'd be more comfortable with it down. I had my father's blue eyes, however, and I was taller than Mom.
She stood barely above five feet, in Earth measurements. I was seven inches taller. Pushing thoughts of my parents away, I concentrated on my image in the mirror, hoping that Aunt Bree hadn't set me up to fail in an interview.
An hour later, I opened a glass door to enter the Rome Building and headed for the elevator. Squaring my shoulders and releasing a sigh, I decided to hold my head up, no matter what happened.
* * *
Mr. Andrews was round and shorter than I was. In fact, if he'd been painted red, blue, yellow and white, he'd be a beach ball. Squashing that image, I leveled my gaze on him as he searched through a stack of papers on his desk.
The top one was my application form. The rest—I had no idea what they were. "Your college credentials are quite good, Miss Silver," Mr. Andrews blinked at me through thick glasses. "We don't usually offer jobs to those who've attended such small schools, but we may make an exception in your case."
I gaped at him for a moment, before looking down and clearing my throat to cover my shock. "Thank you," I lifted my chin again. Mr. Andrews thought my surprise was due to the fact that Rome Publications would consider me because of my small-school credentials.
I was actually surprised that I had credentials in the first place. "If you're hired," Mr. Andrews went on, "you'll be working as an assistant for one of our best field reporters, Vann Jacobs. Do you know who he is?"
"I've seen his work—and his broadcasts," I nodded. "I appreciated the update he did last week on the congressional probe into bribery and fraud." I mentally thanked my instructor in foreign diplomacy for that answer—Vann Jacobs was more concerned about how he looked on camera than exposing crimes committed by politicians.
"We're proud of that piece, too," Mr. Andrews nodded. "You understand that Vann employs two assistants, who do preliminary interviews and gather information for him? One of them got married and left the company two weeks ago."
I was young and not from Earth, but I recognized politics anywhere. What Mr. Andrews was telling me is that Vann Jacobs let others do the work, then stood in front of a camera, appropriately dressed for the venue and spilled out what others had given him.
"I can handle the work, Mr. Andrews," I assured my interviewer.
"I have no doubt of it," he smiled. "Let me take you to Mr. Jacob's office; he'll finish the interview."
* * *
On the way home, I stopped at a Starbucks and asked for a frappé. The day was cool but the mists had cleared away for my drive home, convincing me it was warm enough for a cold drink. The young man at the drive-through window grinned at my vehicle and stretched downward to hand the drink to me. Yes, it's a TinyCar. Yes, it's cause for hilarity almost everywhere.
Maybe I ought to get something else to drive. Let's face it—most people don't drive a vehicle you could easily navigate down a sidewalk.
Mr. Andrews said they'd call tomorrow about the job—that they had two more interviews to do before a decision was made. A part of me hoped they'd turn me down.
A part of me hoped they wouldn't.
Vann Jacobs wouldn't be easy to work with—he was demanding, pig-headed and, well, a pig. He'd stared at me from one end to the other, making me wish I'd worn anything but the drop-waisted black dress with tiny pleats in the skirt and a short, white jacket over that.
He'd even studied my shoes, which were fine enough; short, black heels that were comfortable and good for walking. The questions he'd asked were common-sense questions, but after a while, I got the idea he wasn't paying attention to my answers.
That's why a part of me hoped I wouldn't get the job. I didn't want to knee my first boss in the groin to discourage unwanted advances. After all, getting away from a male was the reason I was looking for a job to start with.
* * *
I'd lived in the condo for six months and had finally gotten used to San Francisco people, traffic and food. Yes, I understood I was trapped in Earth's past. My marriage was supposed to take place in the future, but six months earlier in Earth time, my intended ran away from me without a backward glance.
I admit to getting drunk and destroying a bar on Kifirin after receiving the news.
I barely remember being sentenced to five years on Earth as punishment. A job awaited so I could support myself—one that came with a warning that if I fucked it up, my sentence would be doubled.
After learning to talk (and curse) like the locals in a short amount of time, I realized that didn't bode well for my future. It made me want to get the hell away from Earth as soon as possible.
My job was working as a driver for Rome Enterprises, a local news conglomerate with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. I ferried reporters and news crews from the studio to locations and back again.
I had a commercial chauffeur's license, in order to do my job.
The thing is—I'd never taken the test; someone had handled the license for me, as well as the job.
I still wondered how that had happened.
I'd started rising early so I could get to the gym—I missed sparring with my friends in the military back home. Krav Maga lessons were a substitute for bladework—I didn't anticipate finding anyone who would spar with blades. Earth had given those up for guns, knives and other, more portable weapons.
Hauling my gym bag over a shoulder, I grabbed the keys to my Jeep and strode out the door. If I timed it right, I could grab coffee at Starbucks before I had to be at work.
* * *
"The job is yours," Anita Grant had a smile in her voice as she delivered the news. "If you can, come in to fill out paperwork this afternoon; Vann wants you on the job tomorrow morning. You'll be going out with one of his other assistants to investigate the murder-suicide in Sausalito."
I'd heard early news on the murder-suicide in question—wealthy, philandering husband with pretty, socialite wife. The mistress was being blamed for their murder, after which she'd offed herself—in the formal dining room.
Open and shut—in most people's minds.
Something about it bothered me, though. I was hoping I'd get to speak with witnesses—I would know whether they were telling the truth.
"I'll be there this afternoon," I told Anita. "Anything special I should bring with me?"
"Two forms of ID," she replied. "Do you have a passport, by any chance?"
"I do have a passport. Why?"
"In case Vann wants to travel out of the country—he does on occasion."
"I understand," I said. "Will I see you this afternoon?"
"Sure. Drop by my desk; I'll have the papers ready for you."
* * *
Anita had lovely, latte-tinted skin, dark green eyes that shone with intelligence and a beautiful smile as she handed a sheaf of papers to me. I knew about Earth taxes, Social Security and a mountain of other things most people take for granted—as long as they were born on Earth. I'd had to learn everything, but I'd found information waiting on the kitchen island the day I first landed in Aunt Bree's house.
Anita Grant didn't know that, but I liked her immediately. It would be nice to find a friend to trust—someday. Anita was added as the first candidate on that list.
* * *
"Kory, drop me off at the front door," Fiona Hall directed. Traffic in front of the Rome building was a bitch; I had to inch the limo toward the curb rather than asking Fiona to walk ten extra feet to get to the sidewalk.
Fiona was an aging princess of a journalist, who did a syndicated talk show adored by ten fans (maybe) across the nation.
Sleeping with an executive ensured that she kept her job, which is why I was delivering her to the Rome building instead of the studio across the bay.
I figured the only reason the executive was still sleeping with her was because he was married and Fiona could ruin him.
After cursing mentally at traffic and Fiona for ten minutes, I pulled up to the curb and got out of the car to open Ms. Hall's door for her.
That's when I saw
The one responsible for my five-year sentence on Earth
Yes, I recognized her—I'd seen photographs of her.
She, on the other hand, had never seen me—which made it all the worse to leave me empty-handed on our wedding day. She didn't even know me—didn't bother to get to know me. That was a stinging blow, because I'd had to apologize to wedding guests, my friends and everyone else who seemed determined to make this my fault instead of hers.
I gaped as she stopped for a moment on the sidewalk, platinum hair blowing across her face as she waited for the traffic light.
"Kory," Fiona's petulant whine brought me back to the present.
"Ms. Hall," I took her hand and helped her from the car.
"That's all for today," she said.
"Thank you, Ms. Hall." I still had another trip to make to the studio before my workday was over, but at least I wouldn't have to deliver Fiona to anyone else's doorstep today.
By the time Fiona walked past me, the bitch I was supposed to marry had already gotten away.
Probably just as well—I wanted to shove her against a wall and let her know exactly what she'd given up without a second thought.
* * *
I now understood what women who worked a high profile job went through on most days.
I had to pick an outfit.
One I could comfortably wear all day without fighting it or fidgeting in it.
One that looked professional enough to those around me.
One I didn't hate.
Clothes were strewn across my bed before I was able to walk out of my bedroom fully dressed. All my fussing ensured that I barely had time for coffee before sliding behind the wheel of the TinyCar and driving toward the studio in Sausalito.