Previously: Invasions, a Prologue
"Mr. Im? The Mayor will see you now."
Hyun-jun smoothly rose to his feet, carrying a black leather portfolio in one arm. After all, appearances were important to humans. Though Antonello Gomez was meeting him a good thirty minutes after their scheduled appointment time, Hyun-jun flashed his best smile. Waiting was part of the job, and it so happened that demons were far worse than humans when it came to keeping track of time.
Gomez was still on the phone when his secretary showed Hyun-jun in. The stylishly dressed broker politely remained by the door until Gomez gestured for him to take a seat. Hyun-jun gave a slight bow of gratitude and took a seat just as Gomez off the phone.
"Apologies again, Mr. Im; I'm not in the habit of keeping people waiting."
"You're a mayor," Hyun-jun shrugged forgivingly. "Your time is both little and precious. I understand."
"Did you get the file in time?" Gomez asked. "Were you able to go over the numbers?"
"Of course," Hyun-jun beamed. "I estimate it will cost your town approximately $2.68 million to rebuild the high school."
Quite predictably, Gomez's head fell into his hands. He looked as though he hadn't slept in days, which Hyun-jun understood right away; Daos usually had this effect on mayors. It didn't help that Hyun-jun may have inflated that estimate by a few hundred thousand, but it was, as they say, a necessary evil.
"I've already found a bank willing to loan to the town at a reasonable interest rate," Hyun-jun went on calmly, waving his portfolio and keeping an optimistic note in his voice. Humans loved optimism.
"Even so," Gomez sighed heavily, "we're still looking at higher taxes come January 1st. Factor in my campaign promises and we've got a disaster on our hands."
"I understand the school was recently secularized," Hyun-jun remarked. "I supposed you could invite the Catholic Church back and --"
"Absolutely not," Gomez shook his head. "Not after what happened back in '09."
Hyun-jun kept his voice mild, clueless even. "I thought this was a Catholic town."
"It is," Gomez nodded, "but we're probably the only Catholic town in the world that hasn't had the best luck with the Church."
"There may be a way to accept the loan at the current price without raising taxes on the citizenry," Hyun-jun began slowly. "But it will require some...compromises, of course."
Gomez raised his eyes to meet Hyun-jun's. "I'm listening."
Dominador Ona laughed during the ride to the police department. "Trish really moved in with Dani? That's not at all a powder keg!"
"They invited us to dinner tonight. I think we should go, mingle, show our support for their decision. It may work out after all."
Dominador laughed again. "You mean, the Medieval Maiden sharing a roof with the Cutthroat Chick? I don't think so."
"Apparently Dani stumbled across one of Trish's vibrators and felt prayer was the next logical course of action."
That doubled the junior detective over. "How long do you think they're going to last?"
"Hopefully long enough for Dani to find a new job," Daos sighed. "You know, I feel really bad about her being unemployed. She wasn't working at the school long enough to reap any benefits when it burned. I asked the Chief if we had any positions at the station but they're not hiring. Trish says the paper isn't hiring either."
"That restaurant the Chief's so fond of is looking for a new hostess," Dominador shrugged. "Maybe she could put in a good word?"
Daos mulled it over. "Not bad, Dominador."
"Cute girl like Dani will no doubt make lots of tips," Dominador chuckled, "but then she'll probably spend every Sunday at confession, bemoaning her own vanity."
"Nevertheless, a job is a job, and these are some tough times in this town."
"Ain't that the truth," Dominador snickered. "Hey, did you hear about Club Piel Desnuda? Turns out Strawberry is renting the building across the street now. Like, a high school burns to the ground and shit comes to a screeching halt. A strip club burns down and one week later, it's just business as usual."
"Well, at least that one's off my conscience," Daos murmured. "If Dani weren't so painfully devout, she could probably get a gig as a drink girl down there. She'd make a ton of money."
"Or maybe you could teach her how to work the stage," Dominador teased. "We never did talk about the ish you pulled that night. You had everybody on the edge of their seats, holding their breath, unable to blink."
"Oh, that?" Daos waved dismissively. "That's just Thrall. It's the same spell vampires like to use on humans."
His partner was visibly alarmed.
"That was what?" Dominador exclaimed. "It's the same what that who likes to use on what???"
Next: Bombs over Quesadillas