“That was so entertaining, I should let them loose all the time.”
Alex levered herself off of the hound, which, chastened, rolled over and bared its throat. It understood it had been beaten by an alpha.
The demon was standing in the circle, her long black hair flowing over caramel shoulders and wearing a cleavage-baring black dress with a slit up to there. Black smoke curled up around her feet and dissipated.
“I’m glad you enjoyed it,” Alex said dryly, wincing now from the cuts and scratches she’d sustained, but she was no longer bleeding. Her hands still felt inflamed from the dog’s skin, but even that was fading. And she was alive and unharmed. Her legs were shaking.
“Darling, you’re quite the wrestler,” the demon said, grinning at her with half-lidded eyes. “It would have been sexier had it not been a dog, but still.”
"It’s because of you he got loose,” Alex said. “Sorry I can’t jazz up the choice of partner.”
“I’ll live,” the demon said lazily, one hand raised and one on her hip like a diva on a red carpet. “So. You’ve caught him, and I plan to punish him. Do you want to watch?”
“No,” Alex said. What she wanted was to take a handful of Motrin and go to sleep. And not alone.
“Well then, what do you want?” the demon stepped close to Alex, admiring her frankly. “You know I’m excellent in bed. It’s one of my most treasured skills.”
“Not my type, but thanks,” Alex said. She did not like being this close to a demon, especially one looking at her lasciviously.
“No, you’ve got so many choices you don’t know what to do with yourself,” the demon said. She slid a finger along the tatters in Alex’s shirt. “Well, I did offer you a reward. What do you want? Want me to torture that saucy redhead? I’d love to give her a try.”
“I want you to clean this whole thing up,” Alex said.
“Clean it up?” The demon looked surprised. “I could heal you just like that, I could offer you money, power, any one of those handsome devils watching me with such horror.” She blew a kiss at the men.
“I’ll earn all of that myself, thanks,” Alex said, feeling like an after-school special from Hell. Later, she’d find this all very funny. “But you’ve got souls in all the wrong places and a hellhound focused on the wrong people, like Regina Clarke, who has repented, and me and my friends. Yeah, and that saucy redhead too. You can clean it up. Don’t tell me you can’t.”
“I can, but that’s a dangerous demand to make, love,” the demon said, running her finger along Alex’s jaw. “Do you want to play games with me?”
“No,” Alex said. “But the other option is those handsome devils vanquish you. They could do it. You are trapped, you know.”
“Yes,” the demon said sullenly, crossing her arms over her chest. “I know. You have no sense of fun, blondie.”
“I’ve had enough fun because of you,” Alex said mildly. “So can we wrap this up so I can go home? I want a beer.”
“You and me both,” said the demon with candor. “They don’t serve cold beer in hell. There’s beer, but it’s warm. Even I won’t drink that.” She sighed. “All right, dear, to seal the deal, do you know what you have to do?”
“Nope, I figure you’ll tell me,” Alex said more breezily than she felt.
“Pucker up, sweet pea,” the demon said and kissed her. And it wasn’t just a peck. Alex controlled her shudders by will alone, but she had to admit, the demon wasn’t half bad. But still, it was a demon.
Dean’s eyebrows went up.
“Is it wrong to think that’s kinda hot?” he said.
Just as Sam said, “Yes,” Nick said, “No,” sharing a ‘what can you do’ shrug with the other hunter. Sam rolled his eyes.
The demon released Alex and licked her lips.
“Mmm, apples,” she said. “Tasty.”
Dean gave a little shake and Nick rubbed one hand over his face.
The demon turned and looked at the cowering dog, which had not moved since she appeared.
“You are in for a world of hurt, puppy,” she purred. She snapped a leash onto the sparkling collar. Then the two became a pillar of smoke that tunneled into the ground and disappeared. Just like that, Alex was alone in the ring.
“She’s gone,” Nick said, even as Sam said a chant to be sure the area was clear before breaking the circle.
Alex picked up the knife and looked at her shirt.
“Guess I’m not wearing this again,” she said and stepped out of the circle. “Now, which one of you was supposed to tell me that she was gonna kiss me? Blacccchh! Anybody got a mint or something? It’s like French kissing a habitual cigar smoker. Disgusting.”
“We left that part out,” Dean said, looking both guilty and amused.
“Thanks,” Alex said sourly, accepting a handful of Tic-Tacs from Sunny, even as Nick tried to look at her wounds. “I’m okay, just scratches,” she said, but her voice softened. She took her coat back from him and slipped into it.
“Just checking,” Nick said, put an arm around her shoulders and kissed her forehead. “Come on, let’s go back and you can get cleaned up. You smell like you’ve been in a smoky bar all night. With a basketful of mints - and a jar of applesauce. I’m sorry, hon, but you reek.”
“It’s better than cat pee and vinegar,” Alex said, and Nick burst out laughing.