Never save a demon a dau.., p.1
Never Save a Demon (A Daughter of Eve Book 1), page 1
A Daughter of Eve Book One
J. D. B r o w n
Table of Contents
Other Books by J.D. Brown
1 Baby Ninjas
2 Meet the Emersons
3 Shish Kabob Demon
4 Red Panties
5 Angelic Dictionaries
6 Vanilla Bean Latte
7 Kittens and Puppy Dogs
8 Quantum Leap
9 Have a Hart
10 Al’s Balls
11 Sometimes I Wrestle with My Demons. Sometimes We Just Snuggle.
12 Believe It or Not, I Don’t Actually Have a Death Wish.
13 Voluntary Lobotomy
15 Blood on Her Lips
16 Sweet Dreams Are Made of This
17 Something Worse
18 Kissing Demons
19 I Can’t Drown My Demons. They Know How to Swim.
20 Even the Devil Cries When He Remembers He Had Wings.
21 Goat-Sized Cockroaches
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About the Author
Copyright © 2018 J.D. Brown
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidences are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Other Books by J.D. Brown
THE EMA MARX SERIES
A DAUGHTER OF EVE SERIES
Never Save A Demon
Never Trust A Demon
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For every woman who has ever felt like a hot mess.
L yn Conway watched from her periphery as a blob of black tar about the size of a bowling ball oozed past the main entrance. It paused atop the rough fibers of the welcome mat in the lobby. A few razor-sharp teeth protruded from its sticky exterior and then rolled back into the demon’s body like the teeth of a rusty chainsaw.
She knew she shouldn’t have left the main entrance propped open, but the warehouse that made up the dojo didn’t have air conditioning and it was a scorching ninety-degrees outside. The kids were practically swimming in perspiration.
“Two more laps,” Lyn called out to her students. “Go, go, go.”
She glanced at the demon as it crawled closer to the padded mat of the training floor. The kids shouted and giggled as they ran laps around the orange cones she had set out before class, completely unaware of the impending danger. Thank goodness Arwah demons were slow.
“Okay,” said Lyn as some of the faster kids finished their laps and returned to their stations. Most of her students lagged behind. They were preschoolers, still figuring out the whole co-ordination-slash-gravity thing. Normally she would wait for all her students to finish the exercise, but she couldn’t afford to risk a possession. Literally. Her rent was three days past due. “For our next task, we’re all going outside.”
Squeals of excitement ensued. One of the more high-energy kids jumped up and bolted for the lobby.
“Tanner, wait,” Lyn yelled, realizing her mistake.
The robust little heartbreaker with sandy-blonde hair and bright green eyes halted in his tracks then zigzagged back to his station just moments before the Arwah demon could latch onto the boy’s pant leg.
Lyn sighed. That was a close one.
The dojo’s receptionist, Angie, leaned over the edge of the front desk—way, way over; defying gravity—and narrowed her chocolate gaze. She gave Lyn one of her infamous looks.
Angie had many looks. This one said, What the hell, Lyn? We don’t let the kids outside even if the building is on fire. Angie was a stickler for rules. Fortunately, they had been best friends since Kindergarten, which meant Angie knew all about Lyn’s demon-seeing abilities.
The Arwah demon gurgled along the training mat, bubbling and burping ever closer to its target.
Lyn scanned the kids and made a snap decision. “Everyone, the floor is lava! Quick, get to Master Angela’s desk without touching the mat.”
Angie’s expression twisted into a scowl as the kids leaped onto chairs and climbed the equipment. They raced toward her like a siege of adorable baby ninjas. The faster ones jumped into Angie’s arms and clung to her uniform. She gasped, trying to catch them all.
Lyn stifled a laugh while hedging the slower kids away from the creature regurgitating teeth on the mat. “Quick,” she said to her BFF. “Get Johnny.”
Angie’s brown eyes widened in understanding. She managed to stand, despite the two toddlers in her arms and the two wrapped around her legs, and reached for Lyn’s katana, Johnny.
Lyn brought the katana everywhere she went because, well, one never knew when a demon would turn up, and because swords are just plain awesome. No one messed with a woman who wielded a sword.
The blade rested in its sheath against the office wall behind the reception desk where Lyn had tossed it after coming in to teach class. Angie managed to squat down and grab the sword without dropping any of the screaming children wrapped around her sides.
They looked like a pack of Koala bears. A pride of Koala bears? Lyn blinked. “Hey, Ang. What’s a family of Koala bears called?”
“Do I look like Google to you?” She tossed Johnny into the air.
Lyn caught it with one hand. “Right. Okay, everyone outside. I want you all to show Master Angela how to army-crawl in the grass.”
The kids hopped down—totally forgetting the rule about the floor being lava—and crowded the main entrance. Thank goodness human toddlers were a heck of a lot faster than Arwah demons. The black blob re-traced its tar-laden path, ebbing toward the lobby with the exuberance of a slug.
“Stay close, please.” Angie spoke in a sing-song voice as she herded the students outside. “Watch out for cars.”
Lyn kicked the doorstopper out of the way, letting the glass door swing shut between her and her class. She pulled Johnny’s gleaming blade free of its sheath, approached the oozing mass of black tar, and stabbed it repeatedly.
Arwah demons had a single organ in their center. Not a brain or heart, exactly, but some kind nucleus that had to be pierced in order to kill them. Trouble was, the organ moved around their gross undulating bodies, so Lyn had to stab the demon as many times as it took to find the damn thing. The more she stabbed, the more the tar-like substance of the Arwah’s skin stuck to the blade, clinging to the sharp metal. Her biceps burned with each thrust
“Die already, will you?” She swiped an arm across her brow to soak up the sweat trickling from her hairline and muttered curses under her breath.
Johnny hit something hard. A squish gave under the sword’s weight and the Arwah demon dispelled a little gasp of air.
“Oh, crap.” Lyn suddenly remembered how Arwahs reacted to death. She twisted away, ready to bolt out the door, but before she could take a step the demon exp
The front door opened and Angie popped her head inside. “How’s it going? Oh.”
Lyn raised her arms out to her sides and let her mouth gape in a moment of horror as the ichor hardened in her hair. My hair, damn it!
Angie pulled her lips between her teeth but failed to hide the curve of her mouth. She laughed.
With a sneer, Lyn acknowledged her friend’s humor. Normal people couldn’t see demons—at least not the way Lyn could—but they were definitely capable of seeing demon guts. Whatever a demon’s body became when it died was visible to everyone. The end result differed for each species. Some popped like the Arwah demon. Some dissolved and some fizzed. Greater demons were said to cause sinkholes where their bodies fell. Not that Lyn ever had the pleasure of witnessing the death of a Greater demon. Either way, the Arwah demon’s entrails were as perceptive to her BFF as Lyn herself.
“I’ll just keep the kids out here until their parents pick them up,” said Angie. Humor still curved the edges of her mouth.
Lyn rolled her eyes. “Yeah. You do that.”
Lyn found a bucket and liquid soap in the storage closet. She finished scrubbing the sticky ichor from the floor mat and walls when her BFF came inside. Angie crossed her arms and leaned her hip against the edge of the reception desk. Underneath the martial arts uniform, she had the body of a Latina bombshell with legs for days. Her chocolate brown waves always looked spectacular, even when in a messy ponytail with thin wisps of loose locks framing her high cheekbones.
“That’s the second demon this week,” said Angie. “And it’s only Tuesday.”
Lyn stood and wiped a sticky tendril of blonde hair out of her face. “Did the kids all go home okay?”
Angie nodded. “I had to make up an excuse about why we were waiting on the sidewalk, but yeah, they’re fine. That I could tell anyway.”
The best part about Angie; she could see auras and believed in the existence of an astral plane. Her open-mindedness was the glue to their friendship. Angie was the first kid who didn’t run screaming in the opposite direction when Lyn told her demons were real.
Angie waved her hand as she lowered into the office chair. She reached under the desk and unearthed her suitcase-sized Mikael Kors purse. Designer bags were her vice. She sat the purse in her lap and plunged a hand into its depths. “Was it another Ifrit demon?”
Lyn frowned, remembering yesterday’s encounter with the Ifrit. That thing had been nasty. Ifrit demons were like ugly, angry pit bulls with long limbs and hooked claws that allowed them to scale walls with ease. They were fast, strong, difficult to kill, and even more difficult to explain to Master Chris, the owner of Master Chris’s Kyuki-Do Martial Arts. Luckily, he was the forgiving sort. It also helped that Lyn and Angie had been his pupils since childhood. Now they worked for him, teaching classes and assisting in administrative tasks. He knew he could trust them, even as they lied to his face about how the wind had knocked over the rack of training swords and broke several of his trophies.
Lyn joined Angie in the tiny office. She leaned against the plaster wall across from her friend. “No. It was an Arwah demon this time. Slow as a sloth and just as dumb. They like to possess children.”
Angie lifted a granola bar from her purse but dropped it as she gasped. “They possess kids?”
Lyn could guess what Angie was thinking; ninety percent of the dojo’s students couldn’t even watch a PG-13 rated film without an adult present.
“Should we be worried?”
“Nah,” said Lyn. “I doubt it’ll happen again.” Two demons in two days definitely made a new record, but it was just a fluke. The creatures really only crossed her path a handful of times each year, and even then, they mostly left her alone.
“That’s what you said yesterday about the Ifrit.” Angie recovered the granola bar and tore into the wrapper. “Want some?”
Lyn wrinkled her nose. “Got any donuts in there?”
“In a Mikael Kors? What are you, a savage?” She shook her head. “No way, José.”
Poor José. He never got to do anything fun. Lyn reached across, broke off a piece of the granola bar, and popped it into her mouth.
Angie wrinkled her nose. “Don’t bother washing your hands first, it’s not like you got demon guts on them.”
Lyn smirked and then leaned forward, turning her right cheek toward her friend, where a blob of ichor had hit her. “What, you mean like this?”
“Oh, gross. Get that away from me!” Angie pushed her feet against the linoleum floor and the office chair rolled across the room until the backrest hit the wall.
“Good job backing yourself into a corner, spaz. Now I can infect you with demon cooties.” Lyn lifted her arms and mimicked a zombie while walking toward her friend. She hissed and growled like the Ifrit demon, even though Angie wouldn’t have heard it when it was alive.
“Lyn Conway, I swear if that stuff stains my skin, I’m not going to Tryst with you on Friday.”
Lyn frowned. “That’s harsh. I don’t threaten to ditch you on your birthday.”
Angie rolled her eyes. “Fine, I’ll still go. But I’d be really, really peeved.”
“I’m sure it comes right off.” Lyn rubbed her cheek. The ichor clung to her skin like old chewing gum flattened against the side of a road. “Pretty sure.”
“Well you better get it all off by Friday night,” said Angie, referring to Lyn’s celebratory date of birth. “I can’t have my wing-lady looking like she got leprosy or something.”
Lyn scoffed. The ichor might give her a minor rash but not a life-threatening disease. Only living demons could do that, and only if they possessed a human body.
“By the way …” Angie lifted her well-groomed eyebrows and grinned. “Will Sam be there?”
Heat flooded Lyn’s cheeks. Sam. Just thinking about him made her insides tingle, but not for the reasons Angie believed. Sam was a Greater demon. A big, scary, sexy, hotter than Hell—wait, what? Lyn snatched the granola bar from Angie’s hand and shoved the entire thing into her mouth.
“Hey! Wait, you didn’t invite him, did you?”
Lyn shrugged. She meant to say no, but it sounded more like nuff with little bits of granola launching from her mouth.
Angie flinched away from the flying oats. “Chicken shit.”
Lyn managed to chew and swallow some of the granola, but her eyes watered as the pieces scrapped her throat. “Why did I tell you about him, again?”
“Because you suck at keeping secrets. Especially from me.” Angie beamed as if she won some awesome prize by being Lyn’s friend.
Lyn always believed the opposite. Angie was the bestest best friend a girl could ever hope for. Lyn, on the other hand, was a terrible influence. She knew it. Angie knew it. Even Angie’s parents knew it, and they were never around. But Angela was smart. She kept her grades up, followed the rules, and did everything she was supposed to do. Her goodie-two-shoes personality irked Lyn, but at the same time, she was grateful Angie never gave her parents a reason to keep them apart. The Garcia’s eventually tolerated their daughter’s best friend. Or they just felt bad for her. She didn’t really know which.
When it came to Sam, though, Lyn wished she had kept her big mouth shut.
“Can I borrow three-hundred dollars?” she asked to change the subject, but also because she really needed the money.
Angie frowned. “What for?”
“Rent. I’m three-hundred short. I’ll pay you back next week.”
“No, you won’t.”
“You’re right, I won’t. But it’s my birthday.” Lyn held out her hand and grinned. “Cough it up, my sister from another mister.”
Angie’s lips thinned as she dug through her giant purse and unearthed her checkbook.
Lyn didn’t know what her friend was scowling about. Angie coul
“Business not going so well?” Angie gave Lyn the side-eye while grabbing a pen. She flipped to a blank check and wrote.
“What do you mean? People are lining up around the block to hire a paranormal investigator. Why wouldn’t they?”
“Uh-huh.” Angie handed her a check for three-hundred smackers.
Lyn shoved it into her pocket. “Thanks, babe. I owe you one.”
“No, you owe me three-hundred.” Angie scooted away from the wall and sat her purse on the reception desk. She leaned forward and cradled her chin in her palm, her brown eyes inquisitive. “Listen, I know you said Sam’s blind, but …”
Lyn gasped and a little kernel of granola went down the wrong pipe. Her lungs lurched into a coughing fit. “Ang,” she wheezed. “That’s not why.” She thumped her fist against her chest and cleared her throat. “That isn’t—”
“Well, then why not? ’Cause the way you described him?” Angie shook her head and clicked her tongue. “He sounds hot with a capital H. I mean damn, if you don’t want him pass him my way.”
Lyn’s entire face burned. Oh man, why can’t she just leave the Sam thing alone?
“I’m not judging.” Angie straightened her spine and lifted her hands, palms forward in a no-offense-meant manner. “I get that his disability might be a little weird at first but think of the benefits. You’d know he’s really into you for you. Not just your body.”
Lyn rolled her eyes. “He’s still a man, Angie. His pecker might not be as picky—hey, say that five times fast—but he would still be all about this bod.” She swept both hands over her five-foot-seven frame and all its ichor-stained glory.
Really, her body wasn’t half-bad. She was no spicy Latina with supermodel legs, like her bestie, but she was lean and athletic and had great boobs. “What are you implying, anyway? That I can’t get a guy with 20/20 vision? I’m a total babe. In fact, I’m blonde. That automatically makes me do-able to most heterosexual men.”
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