Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a seat with your back to the wall in a crowded coffee shop on Seattle’s Capital Hill? I finally settled for one that snuggled up close to a big trash can, figuring if anyone came at me from that direction, I’d at least hear him coming. I’ve got my Glock close at hand, but had to leave my sword in the car. Devlin would have my hide if I skewered someone in a public. Not that he’d be happy about me shooting up the place either.
The real question is how I came to be interviewing a demon in the first place. Seems Alexis and Pat White are good buddies and they thought the two of us would have a lot in common. Can’t imagine what, but I’m willing to talk to the guy. I just hope I recognize him when I see him coming. All I know is he’s tall (aren’t we all?), has long black hair and green eyes. Sounds a lot like Devlin, but as far as I know, Dev doesn’t run in the same circles as Satan.
Wait—I bet that’s him. Alexis mentioned something about devilishly handsome. Gack. But yeah, it’s easy to pick a warrior out of the crowd. I move to stand up and he immediately spots me. Okay, here we go—
DJ: Kade? I’m D.J., Alexis sent me.
Kade: (his eyes narrow as he approaches the table) What the hell are you anyway? You’re not human. Not completely anyway.
D.J.: I’m a Paladin.
Kade: You’re not from the dark realm.
D.J.: No, I’m from Seattle.
Kade: Very funny. I repeat—what are you?
D.J.: (looking around) Look, I’ll answer your questions, but can we sit down. People are staring.
Kade drops into the chair next to D.J., stretches his legs out and crosses his arms over his chest.
Kade: Okay, I’m listening.
D.J.: Like I said, I’m a Paladin. There’s a barrier between this world and another one. When there’s an earthquake or volcanic eruption, it goes down and these crazy bastards invade. I spend much of my time, sword in hand, showing them the error of their ways. If I die, I come back from it. Well, at least until I turn into one of the crazies and my own people kill me.
Kade: Sounds like fun. At least you aren’t stuck tracking down a helpless mortal who you have to protect so she can be come the Crystal Goddess.
D.J.: What does a Crystal Goddess do?
Kade: Other than destroy my kind completely?
D.J.: Well, that sucks! So why would you protect her?
Kade: To save my brother’s life. Besides, I plan to seduce and control her . . . and encourage her to free my brother. My powers of persuasion are, shall we say, prodigious. (his smlie was definitely predatory)
D.J.: If that’s the case, why do you look so worried?
Kade: Because as an Ash Demon, I’m constantly tempted by my mortal weaknesses of compassion and love.
D.J.: And what does that mean in the scheme of things?
Kade: Destiny’s a threat to us all. I suspect I’m not the only one hunting for her. For my brother’s sake, I need to control her, not damage her.
D.J.: Well, good luck with that. How do you plan to get close to her?
Kade: (arching an eyebrow) Getting close to her isn’t the problem. Walking away might be.
D.J. shifts in his chair, as he considers what to ask next.
D.J.: So moving on, like I said, I’m damn good with a sword and heal faster than mortal man. What spidey senses do you have?
Kade: I can fly.
D.J. (arches a skeptical eyebrow.): Get serious!
(this guy obviously thinks he’s hot stuff and judging from the way the waitress keeps staring at him, maybe he is)
Kade (definitely smirking): Why ask if you’re not going to believe me?
D.J.: Fine. You fly. What else?
Kade: (looking smug) I can shoot lightning bolts from my fingertips.
D.J.: I’m thinking we got screwed. I have got to talk to Alexis. This is so not fair. I bet you’re immortal , too?
Kade: Pretty much. Unless the Crystal goddess sucks us into a crystal and then we’re suspended indefinitely. That’s both painful and humiliating.
D.J. : Sucks to be you, then.
(His cell phone rings. He glances at the text message.
Oops, sorry, gotta go. The barrier has decided to go yo-yo on us again. Can I give you a lift?
Kade: No, I’m heading for Seattle U. It’s only a couple of blocks from here.
D.J. holds out his hand. Kade reluctantly shakes it. As they walk out, D.J. slaps Kadeon the back and grins.
D.J. Good luck with that whole seduction scene.
Kade’s eyes gleam: Luck? Who needs luck?
D.J. watches the demon walk away, and then heads for his car. He pulls out his cell phone and punches a number on speed dial.
Alexis: Hey, D.J. How did the interview go?
D.J.: Fine, that Kade’s a cocky s.o.b., but I figure it’s part of the whole warrior package. He’d fit right in with the Paladins.
Alexis: Yeah, I thought you’d like him.
D.J.: But I want to talk to you about the whole flying and lightning bolt thing . . .
Alexis: Oops! Gotta go, D.J., my other line is ringing. Watch your back in the tunnels. . .