Ethan couldn’t help himself, the frustration had built to this point.
“Really. Things never go your way?” It wasn’t so much as question as it was an accusation, “don’t chat shit.” If there was one thing the demon got it was his way, he always got what he wanted with little care for anything or anyone else. The lanky punk just shrugged, missing the tone in his voice, or ignoring it entirely. Either option was possible. They sat at one of the outdoor tables to a local coffee shop in the town centre. Spencer had insisted they try it, it was on his list. Ethan was just happy to be out of the pub for once, daylight was becoming something of a rarity.
“Gemma Heaton,” Spencer said. Was that a note of regret in his voice, no he wasn’t capable of it, at least Ethan had never seen him display anything close to it. Yet there he was, shoulders slouched, grin gone, feet down off the table. There was none of his usual flamboyance and even his overly animated face had fallen still. Ethan had never seen Spencer anything but happy, if happy was the right way to describe a constantly giddy demon, perhaps wickedly gleeful. He supposed it was possible for him to be deeper than that, after all they had been apart a number of years, who knew what tales Spencer had in him. Despite himself Ethan bit.
“Who the bloody hell is Gemma Heaton?”
“Gem was a lovely girl, kind as you could hope to meet mate. She worked in Greenhalgh’s down the road, you know the pie shop,” he began in a quiet voice. Ethan leaned in a little closer.
“I know where the pie shop is, what did you do?” His annoyance was beginning to creep in and it was bringing with it worry. He knew Spencer had done some questionable things but he always sort of glossed over the facts.
“I’d go in every other day or so if I were a bit klempt, you know I like the steak slices they have,” Ethan nodded but stayed silent. “She was nice to me. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but folk tend to give me a wide berth. But not her, not Gem,” the demon smiled softly.
“Spence, did you love this girl?” the question hung in the air, he had never asked Spencer anything close to this personal. With a small intake of breath the demon looked up catching his eye, there as a sorrow there that Ethan, with all he knew of the demon, found hard to fathom.
“I loved her the way people love the greats, you know, figures in history who stand out and make a difference,” the demon let the sunglasses slip down a little, “she was the chosen one,” the words were heavy.
“The chosen one,” Ethan repeated in mild disbelief. He was willing to admit that he had wondered, since the demon came into his life, if there was any truth to certain myths. Special individuals throughout history, purpose and destiny, and all that storybook stuff. But a girl from the pie shop? Sure why not, after all Jesus was a carpenter. Spencer pushed up his sunglasses and grinned widely, a little too wide for any human. “Well that’s what she thinks anyway.”
“You bastard!” Ethan said louder than he meant to, several people turned to look at him. An old lady with a trolley tutted as she passed.
“Oi mouth!” Spencer pointed at him, “don’t you go embarrassing me in public now or I’ll smack your legs!” he mocked. For a moment there Ethan had considered there was more to the demon than just the chaos he brought into his life, maybe there was some shred of his old friend left in there influencing the creatures behaviour.
“I can’t believe…” Ethan didn’t finish, he sipped at his coffee angrily.
“But I was so bored, I was climbing the pissing walls Eeth, I had to do something,” Spencer said by way of explanation. Ethan focused on his coffee. “Anyway,” the demon continued undeterred, “I noticed she had a birthmark on her arm, just on the inside here, and I thought it would be funny if I messed about a bit.” He leaned in and his tone became conspiratorial. “I whipped up a bit of old parchment, just printer paper washed in tea, and an image of her birthmark and a bunch of other nonsense about being the chosen one of God,” he leaned back and laughed, “ah mate, you should have seen her face.”
“She probably thought you were a smack head or something,” Ethan put his coffee down, “she can’t have believed you?”
“You believed me” Spencer pointed out.
“Kind of my point,” Ethan smiled despite himself, “I thought you were buzzed off your tits when I met you.”
“Anyway,” the demon continued, “I went all out, all the bells and whistles. She didn’t believe me-”
“- she didn’t believe me at first. A few tricks, that one where I make it look like my heads on fire,” he wiggled his fingers above his head, “a little bit of surface mind reading and she was right on board,” he sat looking rather pleased with himself. This was low even for him. That poor girl.
“I’ve seen your moves mate you’re hardly angelic,” Ethan said still a bit annoyed.
“True enough and nor should I be,” clearly insulted the demon made a halfhearted attempt to smarten himself up “tarted up winged wankers. I gave her the old ‘demon on a quest for redemption’ bit. She ate it right up it. Thought I was awfully noble for putting myself through such suffering” It was clear he was very proud of himself despite his pout. “Teen fiction has done fucking wonders for us in that regard.”
“I thought you said this didn’t go your way?” Ethan asked. Spencer shifted and lost his amused look.
“It doesn’t. Turns out she’s a fucking natural,” Ethan couldn’t help but laugh, the girl from the pie shop beating the demon at his own game. “Gemma Heaton is a warrior of sodding light,” that was unexpected, and wholly brilliant, “she travels the globe fighting the forces of evil.” Spencer looked like a child who’d had his sweets taken away. “That was about four years ago. Last I heard she was in Rio, bagged herself a demon of the second circle who was stirring things up.”
“I know right, she was supposed to get eaten by the first cult she ran into. Knocked on the head an put over the roasting pit, jobs a goodun. Buggered my plan right up. Ruined my whole week.” He looked at Ethan sternly over his glasses “So you see, knob head, not everything goes my way,” he sat back with his coffee and smiled suddenly “I still get postcards from her though, so that’s nice.” Ethan drained the last of his coffee.
“You know what I like about you Spence?” he said getting to his feet and leaving the demon alone at the table.
“What?” he asked over his shoulder.