Demon Demands by M.F. Adele

Prologue

Stone

5 years ago

Sitting in any type of classroom setting bored me beyond belief. I preferred the more hands-on classes and training, but the clinical instructor wanted to squeeze in one last meeting.

Words of wisdomwas what he’d mentioned when we’d come in to finish our last clinical. The monotone voice that the teacher spoke to us in would be capable of putting an entire legion of demons to sleep.

A voice recorder sat on the left side of the table I’d taken over, a notebook on my right, and I twirled a pen between my fingers as I listened to his advice. It was the last lecture I’d have before we prepped for our finals. I’d drowned his voice out while I let my mind wander, knowing the words he was saying were important to him, but not me.

I was so close to finishing my degree, but at some point in my college career I’d forgotten why I had decided to become a dentist. Maybe the stable hours or the repetition of the job itself? My eye for details and observation could have been used in so many other fields, but I'd chosen dentistry.

It wasn't like I couldn't get another degree after I graduated. I had a Bachelor's degree that would open up many possibilities, so I wasn't necessarily feeling trapped in my choices.

But I was feeling oddly anxious as I sat in my last class for the day, drawing doodles in the margins of my notebook. Eyes, lips, and sometimes her hands. It was just never enough to identify who those enrapturing eyes belonged to. The answer felt like it would forever be a mystery to me.

The shape was always the same, though the shading I saw them in varied throughout every minuscule dream I had. I never fully saw their true color.

Every time she came to me, however brief it was, I would plead and beg and demand for her name. Anything to help me find her.

She wouldn't speak. She only smiled in such a feral way that I knew I wouldn't be satisfied with anything in life until I found her.

I was borderline obsessive over those fucking eyes and the unhinged way she would smirk when I growled at her for not meeting my demands.

Those godsdamn eyes.

They held such a sadistic glint that I wanted them to haunt me for the rest of my miserably long life. If I couldn't have her in reality, then I'd hold on to the scraps until they drove me mad. And I was getting so close to going insane.

Not one female that I’d come across, supernatural or human, could ensnare me quite like the mysterious woman.

Did she know she was visiting me? Did she know that she was driving me wild without ever making a sound?

If I could just see her whole body, her whole face, in one dream then I could draw her out and hunt her down. Instead, glimpses were all I got. Her hand reaching out to me, her eyes or her lips while the rest of her face was shrouded in shadows.

The first few times had been unnerving, but then I began to search her out like an addict. The tilt of her lips and the dimples in her cheeks slowly became a drug that I couldn’t readily find.

She never came to me when I wanted her, only when I wasn’t looking. I didn’t know if she really saw me or if I was just projecting my longing into a physical form. As physical as one could get in my mind.

Or maybe… I was losing it, falling prey to some undiagnosed mental illness that had been festering after the trauma from my childhood.

That was probably it. What other explanation could there be?

Right as the professor dismissed the class, my phone vibrated in my pocket. My roommate, Palmer, the Irish prick, had sent me a series of screenshots.

I did not want to get caught up in his drama, so I chose to ignore them as I trudged out of the building and through the parking lot.

We weren’t what anyone would define as friends. We barely spoke on a good day and completely avoided each other when possible.

I didn’t mind his company when he was quiet, but he asked too many questions that I wasn’t ready to answer. His books littered our small apartment, papers haphazardly strewn about every available flat surface, and chewed pen lids dotted his desk.

He was messy yet thrived in his organized chaos, and sadly, he was fucking growing on me.

After putting my helmet on, I straddled my motorcycle and made the short trip to our apartment.

Walking up the metal and concrete flight of stairs outside, I unlocked the door. All I wanted was to grab a glass of bourbon, take a shower, and then stretch out on my bed to read over my notes.

Palmer was pacing around the living room, his phone held to his ear as he silently nodded his head. “Okay, he’s here now. I’ll call ye back.”

Ending the call, he whirled on me, looking irritated. “Did ya get my text?”

“Yes.”

“Did ye read any of it?”

I padded into the kitchen, opening the cabinet to pull down liquor and a glass. “No.”

“Feckin’ eejit,” he swore at me, beginning to pace once more. “Nathaniel and Samuel have asked us ta move inta a bigger apartment. It appears that we’ll be gettin’ new roommates.”

“Roommates? As in more than one?” I quirked a brow at him, hating the idea of more unnecessary chatter. Palmer and I had finally fallen into a routine of comfortable silence.

“Three,” Palmer answered, sounding clipped and agitated. “They’re sendin’ three new lads ta town. Potentially a fourth.” He mocked Nathaniel’s dry tone as he looked at the ceiling, rubbing a hand across his clean-shaven jaw.

I watched him with shrewd eyes. “What do you mean by potentially?” I hadn’t been keen on one roommate, much less three or four more.

“I know, right? Well, I asked him about that and all I got back was, ‘If things go right.’ That’s all I got, nothing else,” the mage ranted, stalking across the room. “Then I called Sam about it and all he said was that we’re ta show them ‘round and befriend them.”

“Did he say anything else?”

Palmer snorted. “Yeah. That they’re good guys. But that was it. Not who they are or what they are or why we need ta befriend them. Ya know, all the important shite ya need ta know.”

“I like my life, Palmer,” I cautiously admitted, thinking that my statement wouldn’t be a lie if I found my mystery girl. “I won’t be questioning the Kings. The Devil has never steered me wrong, so I’m sure they have their reasons.”

“That’s it? Yer jus’ gonna blindly follow along because the Devil has never steered ya wrong? Ye can’t be serious, Stone. What’ll ya do? Stay locked in yer room and avoid a whole crowd of lads livin’ under the same roof? Ya barely tolerate me,” he spouted off, gesturing wildly with his hands.

“Yes, yes, and yes. Probably.”

“What?” Palmer shouted, turning to stare at me with his seething gray eyes.

“Yes, I trust the Devil. Yes, I’ll probably stay in my room and avoid everyone as much as I can. But if the Kings want us to be friends with these guys… Wait. Are they all guys?”

The thought of a female roommate sounded equally as dreadful. I missed my tiny loft and not having to share space with anyone.

The mage rolled his eyes at me. “Yes. They’re all males. And ta answer yer next question, I’m not sure if they’re all supes. I didn’t get much more out of the conversation.”

Palmer’s phone chimed as mine buzzed on the counter. The text on the screen was an address a few blocks away with instructions to start moving immediately. What the fuck? I had finals next week.

“Fuck,” Palmer drawled, tossing his phone onto the couch.

“I guess we need to get some boxes,” I commented, pulling the new address up on a map. My nonchalance always had a way of pissing the mage off.

“I have a date tanight. I’m not fuckin’ movin’,” he muttered as he stomped around the open living room of our apartment.

He was working himself into a fit as he started stacking books on the dining table. All I could imagine was him throwing himself onto the ground, kicking his feet and flailing his arms around like a child.

“Cancel it. Let’s go get some boxes and shit. We can pick up Chinese food on the way back.”

He slammed more books down on the table, his ire rising. “I fuckin’ hate Chinese food.”

“You’re an angry little leprechaun, aren’t you?”

“Don’t,” he warned me in a growling tone. I grinned at him, all teeth and sadistic joy. “Do not call me a fuckin’ leprechaun. I will fuckin’ mute ya.”

My smile faded quickly. That wasn’t a threat I’d take lightly again. The bastard had thrown a dictionary at me a few weeks ago, told me to study Earth’s geography more, and to insult his heritage properly next time. He muted me for three entire days, so I couldn’t ask him what the fuck that meant. All because I’d politely suggested that his dad was the Loch Ness monster.

How was I supposed to know he was touchy about where he came from? “The Loch Ness monster is from fuckin’ Scotland.”

He’d raged all night about that shit, and I couldn’t say a word back to him. What he’d inevitably done was give me all the ammunition I needed to piss him off when he asked me too many personal questions.