Stupid optimist, of course he wouldn’t be interested, they’re nearly all half attracted up here, I thought to myself as I sat slumped on a bench. The bird song and warm sunny rays making things all too positive for my situation, I was such an idiot. I looked up through the meshed branches and green leaves at the sun. I examined it; I knew only a little about it. How the planet orbited the massive fusion reaction that was the sun. There had been one in our world, but the Dead Gods, in their wisdom, had removed it, and placed the rock that was our world in a void, thus insuring its immortality. The energy for our planet came from its core, where the Gods had placed something, not even we Daemons knew what it was, which fuelled our world with heat. But this ball was magnificent to behold, though you couldn’t make out the mighty explosions of plasma and non-visible radiation, this small disk was truly beautiful.
I wondered what an insect like a bee would see. Their spectrum of vision is far wider than ours you see. It had inspired me when, about 23 Daemonic years ago a human had visited my Alpha. He was a famous Human in our world, akin to Einstein or Telsa in this world, but more prone to invention than theorising. He’d marvelled the court with his creations, but I had been taken in by one particular work. A tonic, which the human had made with a seer, our peoples magicians, this tonic allowed, if only for a few moments, a human or runt to see the world as does a butterfly. I had drunk it and my cries of pure amazement had horrified most of the other runts, as I rushed throughout the tower taking everything in, until I had reached the garden, a feat of great achievement in an underground society, and had stared at the amazing displays of the flowers, it’s indescribable colours which aren’t in the visible spectrum amazing me. I’d cried for days when my Alpha refused to purchase me a vial.
I smirked at the memory, still staring at the sun; he’d tried to cheer me up by presenting me with a book he obviously knew nothing about. Mein Kamp, in original German, a language I couldn’t read, but from my lessons from Erik in history I knew all about. I’d torn it apart in front of him. He then decided I’d taken the tonic thing too far and forbade me from the library for an entire month, I didn’t talk to him for two.
“Don’t stare at it for too long, it turns people blind.” I jumped, falling right off the side of the bench as Matt spoke. He looked at me a simpering look on his face as I lay on my back glaring at him. He was sitting on the back of the bench, his booted feet resting on the seat part. Not thinking I yelled at him in Daemonic
“Where did you come from?” Well, that’s the translation without any swearing, there were about five different insults, per sentence, of which there were three. Smirking, he hopped off the bench and gave me a hand up. As I took it restfully he spoke.
“Joshua sent me”
“You running away from your humans”
“But that was barely five minutes ago!” I exclaimed, “Wait how’d he know”
“Oh, we’re watching you,” he said dusting me off. I bated his hands of me, making him pout slightly.
“I want to see him. Now!”
“Funny, he wants to see you too.” I glared at him and he pouted some more. “Come on” he grabbed my hand and strode off, pulling me with him. We reached the road, which was rather quiet, but there was the odd car parked along its length. At the end of the street was Cody’s house, no one was in sight. After taking his bearings for a couple of moments Matt pulled me in the opposite direction, stopping when he reached a shiny red sports bike. He let go of my hand, and pulled out a key from his pocket and opened the seat compartment revealing two helmets.
“Hang about; this is the bike that nearly killed Cody.” My mind flashed back to Cody walking into the traffic.
“Oh yeah, I nearly killed him. I was making a vaseline run.” He said as he passed me a black helmet, the visor up. “Put this on, I’m a good driver, but it’s the law.” I took the helmet and put it on. Matt got onto the bike, his helmet already on, the visor also up. I got on behind him, but looked up as my name was called.
“Lucas! Stop!” I looked around and saw Cody and Lucy running down the pavement towards us, her hand in his. I narrowed my eyes as I saw their hands. Matt looked around as well, and then looked up at me.
“Want me to wait?”
“No” I snapped my visor shut and wrapped my arms around him. He took one last look at the pair running towards us and flipped his visor down and revved the engine twice before driving off. I ignored Cody and Lucy’s cries as we rounded the bend, and hurtled through the suburbs. Eventually we reached the industrial estate. Matt slowed down as he pulled of the road, and drove past the entrance to Temptation. He pulled to a stop just past the door and sat up, forcing me back a bit, and called to a bouncer, different from before, who walked up to us, and bumped fists with Matt.
“Matty, how goes it?” He rumbled pulling back his meaty fist, and scratching his beer belly. Matt smiled, after lifting the visor up.
“Freddy, been ages man, how’s the baby, Jane recovered yet?”
“Oh a nightmare, I can tell you, we’re up all night but Jane’s better already.”
“Alright man, we gotta dash, but I’ll talk to you later, give my love to Jane.” He flipped the visor down and drove on round the back of the warehouse, which housed the club. There were a pair of garage doors built into the back and they opened without any visible prompt. The bike rolled in and came to a halt between two others, one green and one black. The room was filled with vehicles. Filling the long room, there were: five bikes, the other two were a cruiser and anther sports bike; there was also a white van, with no signs. Then leading the other way down the room, there was a dark navy Bentley Coupe, an open top red Ferrari, an Audi, two other cars under blue tarpaulins before the far wall.
The rest of the room, away from the parking section was a workshop. Machine tools lined the walls, and there was a Toyota pickup in the centre, its engine pulled out on a crane, and one of the passenger door missing. The door was up against the wall, two round bullet imprints planted on it, one rippling the glass, but not breaking it. There was no one in the room, but cctv cameras were in all corners.
Taking my helmet, Matt turned off the engine before turning round and pressing a button by the garage door, which lowered the shutter.
“Let’s go” I followed Matt through some double doors and into an adjoining corridor. It wasn’t very long and there were no doors branching off it just another pare a few feet along, which we passed through. Instantly the décor changed, from unpainted concrete to rich red walls, lined with white. The ceiling was white plaster, with patterns. The moderate room was lined with leather sofas and potted plants. The floor was dark marble, with a carpet running down the middle from a pair of elevator entrances. Our doors were at the close end, in the corner, they stood behind and to the left of a mahogany desk. Two people manned the desk, one a blond woman, in a pin stripped suit and skirt, her heels kicked off leaving red painted nails. The other was a Beta, his horns showing freely. He was wearing a navy business suit, with a red tie. They both stood leaning over a computer screen, watching something. Matt squeezed through between them,
“What we watching?” He asked cheerfully
“South Park” replied the woman he voice slightly nasal. I could make out the voices from the computer but couldn’t see from where I was standing awkwardly. I summoned the courage to peer over the shoulders at the cartoon. It wasn’t long before all four of us were laughing at the screen. After a while Matt pulled himself away from the screen, and gently ushered me away,
“Joshua’s waiting” he said to me “Bye guys” he called over his shoulder, as we crossed the rest of the width of the room, and through an archway, to a small room, which contained the same décor as the previous room. A sign in elegant Daemonic stood above two elevator doors ‘Temptation’. The moment the lift came, we both got in. This one was very large, both elevator doors led into it. There was a red carpet here too and even two potted plants. Two poster frames stood at each side of the far wall, between which was a very large down arrow button and up arrow button, and some emergency buttons, along with a fire extinguisher below. “The big elevator was designed for freight but is perfect for Alphas, check out the posters.”
Obliging him I went over to them, one was had A4 sheets in it. One was a menu for the day; another was a map of the town, with a capitation underneath ‘only go if you’re not horny’. I sniggered at the dirty double meaning. There were other print outs, such as a list of room cleaning times.
“Is this like a human hotel or something?” I asked looking at Matt, who nodded, he looked a bit excited.
“Look at the other one, you’ll never guess who.” I went over to the other one, the entire frame was taken up by one poster. Its outline was made to look like red theatre curtains; in the middle was a black shadow of an elegant figure, seamless and without edges, I think naked, It stood with its back to view, leaning slightly on one leg, the same sided arm, resting on the hip, the other hanging by the side. Big white block capitals lined the bottom of the poster: ‘TOMMOROW NIGHT:11PM”, to top of the poster said, ‘HUBRIS’. I turned to look at Matt.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m going to dance!” he said, grinning
“Oh, who for?”
“Joshua’s human connections from 10 until just before 11, and then I’m going to dance in the club, VIP lounge for our guests. It’s really exciting, its only the second time in decades since Joshua’s let me dance in the club” I blushed a little, imagining Matt dancing, it quickly became Cody. I was snapped back to reality by Matt’s thumb drilling into my forehead, “Time to get off man”.
We came out into the VIP lounge, some classical music was playing over the room. A stage had been set up down the middle of the room, and lights had been set up on some of the pillars. Matt and led me down the steps onto the main floor and towards some sofas where a group was sat.
The group wasn’t large just one small Alpha, three betas and two runts, as well as Joshua. Joshua and the Alpha were deep in conversation, and one of the Beta’s was listening intently. The other two were watching us approach, while the runts were laid out on sofa lazily, one’s legs over the other, feeding each over crisps from a large bowl. As we approached the Beta’s rose to intercept us, but Joshua looked round,
“No, leave them” he ordered the Betas, who slowly sat back down. It was only now as we got closer I examined the group in more detail. The Alpha, was dressed in large cow’s leather trousers, the practical clothing of our realm, he was bear chested. The beta’s were dressed similarly, but wore tunics as well, each bearing an obscure badge I didn’t recognise. The runts on the other hand, were modestly dressed for public display. Most Alpha’s would dress their runts up for public display, to make themselves seem more powerful, for being able to own or attract the best harems. These two however, wore simply human clothes. The one with the legs over the other wore baggy jeans, ripped at the knees, whilst the other wore a pair of beach shorts, each wore band t-shirts. The Betas and Alpha were all bold and the Runts had short cut brown hair.
Once we reached the group, Matt leaned over the back of the bench and Joshua, pulled him down a tad by the back of the neck and kissed him a welcome. The Alpha, sniggered a rumbling laugh, and the beta’s joining in hastily, before stopping abruptly when the Alpha did so.
“I’ll buy him off you, for twenty diamonds if you throw in the red one as well” Joshua glared at the Alpha.
“I am no slaver; both are here willingly, now leave, I will not deal with slavers.” The betas followed their leader, who left without a fuss but as the runts went to go, Joshua spoke again. “These two may stay if they wish” Neither did, but one looked wistfully at the crisps, as the other took him by the hand and led him away.
“Now that they’re gone” Matt said, as he slid onto the sofa next to Joshua and rested his head on Joshua’s shoulder, playing with the drawstring of Josh’s hoddie. I was a bit amazed by Joshua now that I could make him out. Like mine his hair was short and spiky, but it was a sandy blond. He had sharp features and smooth skin, there were no freckles and he was lightly tanned. His eyes, were soft and welcoming, but hinted at something sinister lurking in their depths.
“Yes now, that they’re gone, tell me what happened with your humans?”
“No, first you tell me why you’re watching me.”
“Isn’t it obvious I care that you’re alright. We runaways help one another.” Not too convinced I accepted his explanation and after another prompt poured out my soul to him; about how Cody and Lucy had saved me, how they’d taken me in and Lucy had persuaded that headmistress at her school to let me start their before my papers ‘arrived’ and how I’d spent the night before with Cody and the day with him. Before kissing him and running away.
“...and that’s when Matt appeared” By this point, Matt had become droopy eyed and smiled at me sleepily from his position on Joshua’s lap, to which he had shifted earlier. Joshua, mainly ignoring the drowsy Matt stared at me.
“Interesting, I have a proposition for you.”
“I Work for me”
“I’m sorry I’ve already got a job,”
“It need not conflict, just every now and then, I’ll need you to do a job.”
“Very shady, we’re mainly information brokers, but in reality we’re just a collection of agents, I mainly have the carta gain knowledge which we sell to the highest bidder, making sure that no one gets a leg up on anyone, this way custom is maintained and we force everyone to buy from us or be left behind. We have customers in the continental political, industrial and criminal markets.”
“Wow, but why are there Daemons?”
“I control all known entry portals to the Daemon realm”
“Daemons visit my clubs and hotels for something not given in our realm, something very Earthly. Also I operate in the Daemon realm, but only in minor aspects, I don’t want to risk council intervention, otherwise it’s my head on a plate.”
“But enough business, you may stay here tonight, once Matt wakes up, you can use his room, he won’t be using it” He gently stroked Matt’s head, he’d gone to sleep. “Wake up sleepy” he cooed softly, which prompted Matt to sit up bleary eyed and nuzzle Joshua’s chest. I felt awkward being so close to such intimate interactions
“What, I was sleeping” he mumbled
“Yes, you were, now take Lucas to your room and entertain him until dinner will you. I think Jasmine is making Chinese tonight.” Joshua replied tenderly, as he stroked Matt’s cheek.”
“Ok” Matt whispered, still half asleep and pecked Joshua on the cheek before clambering off Joshua and gesturing for me to follow him. One we were across the room from Joshua who was still sitting on the sofa, his back to us, I tugged on Matt’s sleeve.