January 2, 2022


Previously: Great Exaggerations

Daos's voice was tight. "Where did you send her?"

"To roast in hell with her lover," Hyun-jun smirked.  "They have a long and painful sentence ahead of them.  Might as well spend it together."

Trish Flores suddenly regained her ability to speak.  "You can do that?"

"As a member of the dokkaebi," Dominador Ona grimly explained, "Hyun-jun has inherent dominion over the wicked."  Clearly, he'd been doing his reading.  "He can sentence mortals to various hells at whim."

The demon snickered.  "It's not that simple.  There are rules and guidelines.  Sobena Domarad and Enrique Garza just happened to be textbook cases.  They caused great suffering to his wife, and brought shame to the town.  Then Garza had to go and commit suicide, while Sobena started murdering people out of selfishness."  He snorted.  "It's like they were just aching to go to hell."

He turned to face the humans, apparently looking and feeling much better after releasing a whirlwind of Hellfire.

"I believe business can now resume," Hyun-jun beamed.  He walked over to Trish and offered her his arm.  "Now, my lady, you and I need to talk PR.  The Mayor is about to release the timetable for the new high school and as I recall, you wanted a one on one with him."

Trish took his arm in a daze, starting at him as she let him lead her back to his blue Benz where, ever the gentleman, Hyun-jun opened her door for her.

"You okay?" Dominador asked, turning to Daos.

"Just worried," Daos replied, eyes glued to where the Domarad building had stood.  "Pulling a being out of one world and shoving her into another.... That tends to have side effects."


"Did I hear correctly?  The Domarad building went up in flames?"

Chief Bibiana Solís rounded her desk, coming to stand before Daos.  While she had faith in his methods, there were only so many acts of arson she could excuse before folks started asking new questions.

"We have Mr. Im to thank for that," Daos raised a wary brow.  "He found a way around the water demon protecting the building."

"By simply burning it to the ground?" Bibiana blinked.  "I can't believe I'm saying this, but this town has actually gotten weirder since you arrived, Detective."

Daos sighed wearily.  "I tend to have that effect.  Listen, Chief, we gotta be vigilant.  To overpower the rusalka, Hyun-jun unleashed a massive wave of Hellfire.  All magic comes with some sort of price, and magic on that level --"

"--is going to have one hell of a price," she nodded gravely.  "What can we expect?"

"Well," Daos frowned, "he dragged her out of her own world, pulled her through ours, and then sent her to another.  That means open portals in addition to expending energy.  To be quite honest, Chief, we can expect anything at this point.  I'm going to have to make a phone call, and I am not looking forward to it."

"Ah, yes," she nodded, slightly amused.  "Your friend with the books."

"Books?  Yes.  Friend?  Hardly," Daos chortled.  "I'd be surprised if she answers my call at this point, and even if she does, there's a good chance she won't tell me what I actually need to know.  But I'm actually glad you brought her up because you and I have some important business to address."

Without warning, Daos reached behind his neck and unhooked a thin silver chain she'd never noticed before.  When he pulled off the necklace, she noticed it had a flat, round silver pendant attached.

Bibiana chuckled softly to hide her confusion and sudden inexplicable nervousness.  "You're giving me jewelry now?"


"This is an agimat," Daos told her in a very neutral, explanatory tone.  "An amulet, if you will.  It's protected me from countless forms of sorcery.  Since I have a different...protector...now, I want you to have this.  Never take it off, Bibiana," he warned.  "Things are escalating in Soleado Valle, and you are the rightful guardian of this town and its people - not me.  I'm just your...consultant," he added awkwardly, dismayed at the irony.

"Daos," she murmured, taking it slowly and clasping it behind her neck as though in a daze.  It was still warm from being pressed against his flesh.  "You're starting to worry me."

"You should be worried," he told her honestly.  "The influence of the demon Naberius, despite killing hundreds of people, ultimately saved thousands.  It kept other demons at bay, but that protection is gone now.  So we need to step things up.  I'm officially going to make my entire library available to you, your most trusted detectives, and even the Mayor, if you see fit.  Consider it a form of additional training."

"Did you do all this for the last Chief of Police you worked under?" she asked.

"No," he replied, looking her straight in the eyes.  "Which is probably why he died."


They were out of coffee creamer at the apartment, and running low on bath tissue.  While Daos was in his meeting with the Chief, Dominador figured it wouldn't hurt if he borrowed his partner's SUV to do quick grocery run.

He had a favorite convenience store that was a ways away from their apartment, but he didn't care.  It was built for singletons; there were only the barest essentials of single living, the prices were low, and the cashiers didn't chat or ask questions about your day or give you "looks" whenever they saw you eyeballing the condoms.  They were single people too; they knew the drill.

Of course, he didn't actually make it to the store.  To get there, he had to pass the new Club Piel Desnuda and to his surprise, he saw the unlikeliest human being standing outside its door, as though pondering whether or not to go in.

"Dani?" he exclaimed aloud, immediately doing an illegal U-Turn in the middle of the street.  "Dani!" he called out to her after he parked.

Dani Reyes turned around to see who was calling her.  Instead of blushing like he'd expect, she sighed and looked forlorn.

"Buenos dias," she greeted politely.  "What brings you here?"

"I could ask you the same thing," he raised an eyebrow.  "Please tell me you're not thinking about becoming a stripper."

Dani looked appalled.  "Heavens, no!  It's just...the Gato Negro is cutting back on hostess hours and I need to be able to make rent.  Strawberry put an ad on Craigslist for a drink girl."  She shrugged innocently.  "I figured it couldn't hurt."

"Oh, but it could," Dominador assured her.  "Have you ever...even...been in one of these places?"

She sighed again.  "I'm pretty sure I'll be all right."

"Have you tried getting a gig at the library?"

"The only accept volunteers."

"The police station?"

"Still no openings."

"Have you tried tutoring the students being bused out of town?" he asked desperately.

Dani sighed again.  "None of them care about their grades."

"So this is it, huh?"  Dominador winced.  He tried not to think of all the drunken assholes who would try to paw at her.  There was no way Dani Reyes would be ready for that.

She pulled prim, proper manila folder from her tote bag.  "Do you want to look over my resume before I go in?  I'm worried I don't have enough professional references."

Next: Tea for Two


  1. Yay to the shirtless picture of Aljur. So does Hyun not care that he just opened a portal for other things to come through? The way he whisked Trish off was hilarious. Yay to Daos giving Bibiana jewelry, an amulet. Real talk he has Dominador so he has all the protection he needs. I like Bibiana and Daos scenes. So is Daos going to apologize for putting Dani out of work? Plus aren't there unemployment benefits for this town? I'm guessing her working for Hyun would be mute. I feel for Dani maybe Dominadaor can comfort her in all his shirtless goodness :)

    1. Yay to the shirtless picture of Aljur.

      You're "Daos's" biggest fan...ergo, your wish is pretty much my command.

      So does Hyun not care that he just opened a portal for other things to come through?

      Hyun-jun is confident nothing's come through. Daos is just being vigilant.

      So is Daos going to apologize for putting Dani out of work? Plus aren't there unemployment benefits for this town?

      Dani actually didn't work long enough to receive benefits. Like, the school burned down first week of the school year and it was her first week on the job. Daos, if you recall, really does feel about it; that's why he got her the job at the restaurant. The intended running gag here is that until the new school is rebuilt, Dani has to go around town finding odd jobs to make ends meet.

  2. I love Chief Solis pics...she's so sultry beautiful.


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