Once she got down to where she’d parked, Madison absorbed her wings again, put her knives in the hidden compartment under her back seat, and put her backup shirt on.
The only way a demon could survive was by hiding what they were. The ones that couldn’t make their demon features disappear had ended up being killed in the dark ages. There weren’t many species of demon left because of it and even some fae had been wiped out.
When she reached home, Madison couldn’t get to the warehouse her apartment was in because of the police cars. She got out of her car and ran to the police line. An officer stopped her and she explained that she lived there. He radioed to someone.
After a couple minutes, Officer Lynton Leeds, Dennis’ partner, came to take her into the apartment. She could smell the blood, gunpowder, and daemon shot. Her stomach dropped.
They entered the apartment in the warehouse and Madison saw Serena sleeping with her head in Officer Ryan’s lap. He looked up at her with swollen red eyes. It confirmed what her nose had been telling her outside.
“Indie’s dead, isn’t she Dennis?” She whispered.
“I’m sorry, Madison. She confronted some guys who were loitering outside the warehouse. They shot her. The security video caught a couple of them, but not all of them. She died before Serena and Nathan got back from their movie.” He explained.
Madison felt the whole world falling away. Indie was her sister, her best friend in the world, her protector, her rock. Without Indie, she didn’t know if she could keep going.
They’d always known something could happen to her, but there was nothing they could do; she was in a dangerous line of work. Indie’s partial human genetics had granted her superpowers and she worked as superhuman enforcement. They’d managed to hide that the girls were supernaturals by registering as superhuman and benign 3, a stronger, faster, healthier, human. It afforded them the freedom to live outside the supernatural camps and fight their enemies.
Serena sniffled a little in her sleep and Madison focused. She had to go on. She had to be strong for Serena. Tonight would be the last time the ‘Phantom’ hunted. Keeping Serena safe and alive would be her goal from now on. Nothing would stop her from keeping her sister’s mate safe.
That night was the longest in their lives. Serena was broken. Madison was trying to keep things together. The police department had been notified about their colleague being murdered. Indie worked in the superhuman department of the local police. Technically, law enforcement but not a cop. They still felt it like she was one of them.
Her funeral service was packed. She’d been popular in the community of humans and superhumans. Madison worked to console Serena and Serena tried to become stronger for Maddie. They were all they had left anymore.
They had to figure out how to function without Indie. Without their best friend. The strong one, the vibrant leader, the passionate fighter. They had to become all of that to keep her spirit alive. It was the only thing they could do.
-- Three Months Later –
I stood outside Perry’s Saloon. It was a dim, boxy building with a lit awning baring the name and logo of the place. Nothing terribly special about it. In front of the building was a large man on a stool. He looked bored and a little angry. Serena and I hadn’t been expecting a bouncer at a dive bar, but it was what it was.
Pulling my purse to the front, I dug through for my ID as Serena pulled her little wallet from her pocket. The bouncer looked them over and I adjusted my purse on my shoulder and straightened my tight green shirt to sit a little lower on my chest. Since I was short, 5’2”, and cursed with an innocent looking face, people tended to think I was younger than I was.
I thought my outfit would help a little. I had a short black leather skirt on with a bullet belt, stockings with garters that could be seen if I sat just right, and knee high leather boots with a three-inch heel. I was wearing my long, dark auburn hair down rather than my preferred high pony or messy bun.
Indie always told me my hair was a big draw for some men. I’d had a few tell me what they wanted me to do to them with it on more than one occasion. It wasn’t my biggest attractor, though. Once they saw my figure, I generally got a lot more offers.
I was the ultimate contrast to my twin. She’d been 5’9” with strawberry blonde hair, a trim, lithe figure, and striking green eyes. They had a sliver of blue in them that made them look like the most expensive emeralds. She also had naturally tanned skin, where as I was pale with honey brown eyes and curves that made almost anything I wore look a little slutty.
She’d told me once that she was jealous of my hips. I was jealous of the fact she looked like the pinnacle of demon beauty. Just like our mother. Heads turned when Indie walked in the room. I’d gotten used to being invisible long before Serena came to live with us when we were ten.
Serena was half succubus and half siren. She had amazing blue eyes that sparkled with purple streaks bursting from her pupil and, tonight, was wearing her glossy, dark chocolate brown hair in a braid down her back. It was easy to see she wasn’t exactly into the idea of going to this bar.
She was wearing a basic blue t-shirt, black skinny jeans, and heelless black ankle boots. The boots had no heel so she wouldn’t tower over me. Serena was 5’7”. Of course, with her flawless hourglass figure, she didn’t have to dress up to make men look. A perfect mix of her heritage.
Serena had wanted to go to one of her normal bars to find a man, but I’d seen this bar in one of Indie’s journals as a place for an easy meal. She’d marked it with three hearts and a star. Neither of us knew what it meant, but I couldn’t argue with it. My sister wasn’t one for absentminded doodling.
The bouncer was really studying my ID. It made me nervous even though I was not only twenty-one, but I’d be twenty-two in September. It was the fact that September was only a few weeks away that even had us out so soon after Indie’s murder. If I could wait another year, I would.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Nothing should make me nervous. Even being this close to my birthday. I was probably the only demon in the world who had to deal with anxiety. Confidence was a major personality trait among our people.
Part of me wished high school and college had been normal for me. If I hadn’t had to deal with the rumors from middle school following me everywhere, I could’ve had a boyfriend and lost my virginity like most desire demons. As it stood, the only men who were interested in me, were men who wanted to cheat on their girlfriends or wives, old men with little girl fetishes, and Nathan, a pervy cop Serena was friends with.
Serena and Indie had sealed their demon forms together. They’d been fifteen when Indie came home and saw that her female mate had been her best friend the whole time. I was so happy for them. I’d been hopeful one of my mates would come along before I had to be sealed, but that never happened.
As a concubus, I am blessed to have two soulmates. One male and one female. When I was named, my goddess told me she knew I’d be really happy with them. In the whole time I trained with her, she never told me anything about them, except that they were both supernaturals. They’d appear when they were meant to, I trusted my goddess.
The bouncer glared and handed back our IDs.
“I better not find out that’s fake later.” He growled at me.
My eyes widened. Men rarely felt the need to threaten me. He was a fighter, soldier, or some other sort of warrior before he was a bouncer. I could smell he was definitely human so that limited the options. Men who’d fought for their lives, faced death, or knew the fear of being hunted by something that wanted to kill them, would sometimes be able to feel what I was. I had a greater appreciation for him.
“It’s really not. I swear.” I told him.
He grunted and jerked his thumb to the door, indicating we were good to go. I almost breathed a sigh of relief, but that wouldn’t help with his doubt. We opened the heavy metal door and entered the building.
It was tinted red, yellow, white and blue from the signs for beer and the fairy lights which were strung from the ceiling. The bar was a square shape on the right side of the building and the seating area had dozens of small tables with two seats. A few had been moved together to create larger tables. People milled around with their drinks, a space was cleared in the center and some couples danced to the music playing on the digital juke box.
We approached the bar and ordered. Serena had a Jack and Coke, while I had my favorite, a Dirty Shirley with extra cherries. After looking around for a bit, we found a table that gave a good view of the room.
Some men had already started looking at us. I knew it was because of Serena. She was beautiful and half siren, just speaking gained her the attention of men.
“You think you’ll find something decent to take home tonight?” Serena asked.
I sighed. “I hope so. I need someone with strong, filling energy. I want the first one to be really good. What about you?”
“I’ll probably head home once you hook up. I get enough from work and Nathan. You can give me some tomorrow, too.” She smiled.
“Alright. I want you to be safe though. Call a cab. Not an Uber. Don’t walk.”
“Yes, mistress.” Serena laughed.
I rolled my eyes. It started as a joke when she swore herself to my service. I told her she didn’t need to do that, but Serena never listened. So much for being ever obedient to her queen.
For an hour, men would come up to chat. Most of them were focused on Serena. I was fine with that. They had weak energy. One or two came to play wingman for their buddies. I wasn’t interested in dealing with men who weren’t interested in me.
I barely acknowledged them and kept scanning the room. There had to be something here if Indie would recommend it. All these weak boys couldn’t be worth noting.
A tall, wiry dude was flirting heavily with Serena and I was bored out of my mind. I decided it would be a good time to go check out the music on the juke box and fix my makeup. I was getting some energy from the few men who were interested in me, but they were wary because of all the other men who were coming up to flirt with Serena.
“I’m gonna go freshen up, Rena. You going to be okay?” I asked.
She looked annoyed at me and the guy looked offended. In his defense, he looked like he had the nicest trailer in the park and at least two rifles in the back window of his truck. Well-off for his socioeconomic class, but not Serena’s type. I felt sorry for her, and for him. Serena liked more elegant partners. I’d make it up to her by picking a nicer bar next weekend.
“Sure thing, Maddie. I’ll watch your drink. Don’t get lost.” She replied.
‘You owe me for leaving me alone with this guy.’ Serena told me in our mind link.
“Next one’s on me. Be back soon.” I called out as I walked off.
I flipped through the song lists on the juke box and put a few dollars in, selecting some of our favorite songs. If nothing else, I could listen to good music while gathering all this weak energy.
My next chance to find someone was a whole week away. I was busy tomorrow night and the guys at bars on Sunday nights weren’t the kind you really wanted to take home. I’d rather go full demon.
Once I made it to the ladies’ room, I pulled out my little hair brush to tame the waves of my hair. Indie got mom’s curly hair. I just had waves.
Some people would think that a demon mom wouldn’t have been as supportive of a less than perfect child, but mine loved me so much. She always got mad when I said I was deformed or ugly. My mother said all living beings were beautiful in different ways. No matter if you were a demon, shifter, fae, or human.
I missed Indie. I missed my mom. I couldn’t help but think, this whole thing would have gone better if Indie were here. She’d be able to tell me what I was looking for at least.
I needed to work on getting more energy. Serena was counting on me to feed her and keep her smelling human. She was drawing too much attention from me and had to go.
‘Serena, you can leave. I still have a way to go to fill up on energy.’ I messaged her through our link.
‘No! A guy just came in. He glanced at me and moved on. Totally your type. People act like he’s important. He seems familiar.’
‘Sounds promising. How’s his energy?’
‘It’s powerful. Like, overwhelming. I can feel it from my seat and he hasn’t come near me.’
‘Damn. Can you go dibs him for me?’ I asked.
‘Got it.’ She replied.
I dug through my purse excitedly. I needed to make sure I looked good if I was going to net a guy that powerful. Especially with him blatantly ignoring Serena. Exactly my type? My goddess was surely looking out for me tonight!
“Morrigan, help guide me.” I whispered as I started preening in the mirror.