That Demon in Blue Jeans by Toni V. Sweeney
Kate Carter has always considered herself a good girl, but she’s also a very lonely one because of that fact. One night, she does something rash…she asks the Devil to send her his baddest Bad Boy, all for her own.
What Kate gets however is Zel, an underachieving incubus, who’s in line for evaluation. Zek’s failed every review he’s had for the last ten thousand years, and Kate’s his last hope for promotion. This assignment is one he’s desperate to pass.
What follows is a night of passion neither mortal nor demon can forget and that leads to complications…as Kate and Zel realize they’ve fallen in love…and that the Devil had plans for both of them…
“Wasn’t that a great movie?” Kate slid into the booth beside Selena. It was a lovely late spring afternoon. She and her friends were lucky to have a four-day work-week and as was their usual Friday routine, they had just left the Ritz Theater, where the latest horror movie was playing. Now they were now at their favorite burger barn.
“Yeah!” Audrey agreed breathlessly, waving at a passing waitress who skidded to a stop and trotted over. “I just looove Sean Donovan.”
“Oooh, ooh!” Jennie mocked, clutching her clasped hands to her heart and rolling her eyes upward. “Don’t we just love those Bad Boys?”
“Oh, yeah,” Audrey went on. Her gaze roved over the menu. “Especially those Bad Boys Turned Vampire.”
“Huh, not me,” Selena declared, pulling the menu from Audrey’s hands and studying it intently. “I don’t want a bad boy of any kind.”
“Well, I certainly do,” Kate replied. “Mister Sean can put his shoes under my bed any time…fangs and all.”
“I suppose that’d be all right,” Audrey smirked. “If his shoes are the ones with the fangs, and not the man himself.” She was always correcting her friends’ grammar, much to their irritation.
“Even if they are,” Kate retorted. She plucked the menu from Selena’s fingers and studied it with the same care as her friend had, then glanced up at the waitress whose name tag informed one and all, Hi, my Name’s Gina. No need for that, Gina knew all the girls, had gone to school with them, in fact. “We’ll have four Specials, Gina.”
“Coming right up.” The waitress scribbled on her little pad, nodded, and hurried away.
The debate about motion pictures, movie stars in general, and bad boys in particular, especially the paranormal kind, continued. Most of it centered around the movie they’d seen that night. It was a minor epic with a plot about a young hood possessed by a demon. After many transformations and some very excellent special effects involving the hero’s gratuitous semi-nudity and a generous display of six-pack abs, he meets a sweet little social worker. Demon is exorcized by pure love amid fantastic explosion, clinch, closing credits.
“Girl, how can you say that?” Selena stared at her. “You’d really like to be treated the way the girl in that movie was? I mean…he was so hateful to her, even when he wasn’t a demon.”
“I agree.” Kate smiled at Gina who placed a mouth-watering Special Grill’r Burger Deluxe with Fries and Soft Drink in front of her. It was Kate’s usual order. She really didn’t have to tell Gina what she wanted. “Still…when they got together? Did you see those sparks? Yee-Hah!” The others snickered as she gave a loud theatrical sigh. “He’s so handsome, all that red hair and those green eyes…”
“Wouldn’t touch ’em,” Selena stated. “I always remember what my Granny told me…A red-headed man is the Devil’s own chile.”
That earned her a scornful laugh.
“I’ll take him, if you won’t. In fact, I’ll put in a Special Order, right now.” Kate raised her hands, dramatically clasped in supplication. “Ole Debbil Satan, send me your baddest Bad Boy, ’cause I’m ready and waitin’ and definitely willin’!”
There was a bright flash of lighting, illuminating the sky to an eye-blinding brightness. A clap of thunder followed, so violent the glass in the little restaurant’s windows rattled. The liquid in Kate’s cup splashed onto the tabletop.
“Wow!” Kate glanced out the window, looking upward at the sky. “Is it starting to rain?”
“Not a chance,” answered Selena, picking up her burger. She snapped a napkin out of the dispenser and handed it to Kate who took it and began to mop up the spilled soda. “That was just the Devil, granting your wish. Now, eat your fries. They’re getting cold.”
It was early evening by the time they left the restaurant. The little group had gotten no further than the entrance when rain flooded the streets.
“I don’t understand,” Kate said, as she paused just inside the foyer door. There was a news box next to the entrance and she hastily fed quarters into it. The front popped open and she took out a newspaper. Dropping it on the closest table, she began pulling the pages apart. “There was no rain in today’s forecast. No thunderstorms, either.”
Thankful the town managed enough news to enable the local paper to have a dozen pages, she began to distribute several thicknesses of newsprint to Selena and Jennie while Audrey dug into her purse and brought out one of those little plastic rain-hood thingies. Unfolding it, she fitted it over her hair.
“It didn’t,” Selena confirmed, taking her share of the paper and folding it again before arranging the sheets over her head. She looked at Kate, then peered outside. “This is all your fault, you know.”
“Me? How do you figure that?” Handing Jennie the last pages, Kate began to fold her own.
“If you hadn’t bothered the devil with that smart request of yours…”
“Oh, come on!” Kate looked at her friend in astonishment.
“…it wouldn’t be raining now and I wouldn’t be in danger of having my brand-new hairdo ruined by that deluge out there.”
“You don’t believe…”
“Oh, really, Selena,” Audrey spoke up, giving her friend a disbelieving look.
“Is that possible?” Jennie’s eyes widened. They all knew her to be very superstitious. Jennie gave black cats a wide berth, and always knocked on wood. She even wore a lucky penny on a chain around her neck.
“Of course not.” Audrey bestowed a scornful look on her.
“You know, that was a mighty bright flash of lightning,” Jennie pointed out. “The thunder made my teeth chatter…and it happened just as…”
“…just as I put in my order for a Bad Boy?” Kate laughed. “In that case, let me amend my order. Right now.” Cupping a hand to her mouth, she looked up at the pouring rain and called out in a stage whisper, “Hey, Mr. Satan, sir…about that Bad Boy? Could you make sure he has red hair and green eyes?” Grinning, she looked around at the others.
“Be polite, Kate,” Selena muttered. “What do you say now?”
“Oh yes…” Kate looked up again. “Thank you.”
“Hey, it’s letting up,” Jennie announced.
Four surprised faces looked up. Sure enough, the rain was slowing, the sky clearing. In a few moments, it stopped completely and as they watched, the dark clouds parted and dissolved into white wisps, revealing a sun in the midst of gloriously setting.
“Hm. Guess the devil likes it when people are polite,” Selena said. Rolling up the newspaper and stuffing it into her tote, she caught Kate’s arm as she pushed open the door. “Come on. Let’s get to the car before he changes his mind.”
Toni V. Sweeney has lived 30 years in the South, a score in the Middle West, and a decade on the Pacific Coast and now she’s trying for her second 30 on the Great Plains. Since the publication of her first novel in 1989, Toni divides her time between writing SF/Fantasy under her own name and romances often set in the South under her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone. In March, 2013, she became publicity manager for Class Act Books (US) and also Double Dragon Publishing (Canada). She is also on the review staff of the New York Journal of Books.
Website: URL: http://www.tonivsweeney.com/
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