Author Topic: Cutting Ties  (Read 952 times)

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Offline The Cedar Witch

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Cutting Ties
« on: July 27, 2019, 09:50:22 AM »

The demon stuck to the shadows to avoid being seen, coming up to the back gate and being let in without a word.  The Doors were scarcely open for half a second before he entered, such was his haste.  The first floor was empty save for the demon guarding the elevator with whom he made eye contact with as soon as he set foot inside.  Wordlessly, Laurent was given access to the elevator and whisked down to the second floor.  The dent he had made in the wall was still there, and he smirked with a bitter sense of pride.

The hallway leading to the closed doors of Zeus’ office was strangely silent.  Shadows were motionless as he passed by where they ordinarily would cling.  It was Most Unsettling and his steps stiffened as tension gathered in his body.

What if he were walking into a trap?
Surely Zeus wouldn’t double-cross him.
They had a history in hell together, after all.

The doors flung open when Laurent was a few steps before reaching them.  He could see the back of Zeus' horned head from where he sat.  The hair on the back of Laurent’s neck stood on end.  The door closed with a slam as soon as Laurent was inside, and he cursed internally for jumping at the sound.


“Well?”  Chtahzus’aak spoke with command usually reserved for lower-level grunts.  Had Zeus been a lesser demon, Laurent would’ve rushed at him.  Instead, he remained silent in hesitation.  Zeus continued to watch the fish in the aquarium on the back wall, waiting.

Everyone in the demon ranks knew it was a Mistake to make him wait.

Laurent cleared his throat and wasted no time,  “I have learned that an election for Central will take place in three months time, that McCloud's opponent is the ex-Luminary's fledge, Ben Samson, and a certain Damien Evans will be McCloud’s campaign manager.” 

After a length of uncomfortable silence, Zeus spoke slowly.  “Is that all you have to report?”

Laurent hesitated, unsure.  “Yes.”

“You tell me things that are already well known.”  Chtahzus’aak exhaled a sigh.  “I must admit, Va'tamal, I am surprised.”  Laurent flinched at the sound of his true name, color draining rapidly from his face.  This was not the reaction he'd hoped for.  He expected that some information was known, but all of it?  Zeus finally turned the chair around.  His expression was chillingly calm.  “Here I thought you had a reputation for getting results.”

“I still do.”  Laurent snapped.  This was a mistake, he knew.  But he had been caught so off-guard by this reaction.

“Then why is it that your little fanged-friend had more to offer me than you?”

“What do you mean?  I brought him to you--”

“Yes, and it was another one of your great risks!”  Chtahzus’aak thundered, standing abruptly and slamming his hands down on the desk.  “Offering him protection within the city.”  He scoffed.  “Time and time again you act with authority you do not have.  Do you think yourself my superior?”

Laurent glared but said nothing.

“After your misstep, Bansai paid me proper respects, did you know this?”

Laurent reluctantly shook his head, seething inside.  Zeus appeared to relax, dropping his shoulders and circling around to the front of the desk.  He leaned against it with arms crossed over his chest.

“Va'tamal, it appears that you have outlived your usefulness to me.”  Chtahzus’aak leveled a cold gaze at the other demon.  “Your carelessness and arrogance put too much at risk and you gamble insensitively with a delicate balance that I maintain.”  Bansai was not the first time.  Laurent had insisted on continuing to be a liability.

Laurent blinked, processing, attempting to anticipate what was coming and fighting with the cruel chill of not knowing.  He ached to slip into his natural state, feeling Too Vulnerable in human skin, but a transformation like that would be only interpreted as a sign of aggression.  He knew better than to meet Chtahzus'aak head on.

“At the conclusion of this conversation, you no longer work for me.  You never did.  We may have known each other on the Other Plane but that is where our dealings have ended.  You are never to return to this compound.  ”  Chtahzus’aak straightened.  “Am I understood?”

“But Chtah--”

“Am I understood?”  His bark echoed through the room.

“...Yes.”  Laurent’s clenched fists trembled.  He loathed being in this position.  He was not accustomed to such crippling failure.  Nikolai, as it turned out, was completely useless.  A dead end.  A stupid plaything and nothing more.  Should’ve just killed the Pretty Eyed Whore when he was clearly already Spent.

It didn’t matter anyway.  He had other Things he wanted to be doing.  He still had his Princess to reclaim.
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente