Vortex Blues by Tina Gerow
The skin on Mitch’s hand grew clammy at the thought of touching the demon, so he
didn’t offer to shake. “I’ll pass on the handshake before the skin crawls off my hand and walks across the room on its own.”
At Cleo’s chuckle, he faced her, keeping the demon in his peripheral vision.
“Good choice, Guthrie. Fear demons feed on fear, which they generate in others. When physical touch is freely given, they can intensify the effect, even from a distance. It’s sort of like inviting a vampire over the threshold, although you can’t undo a touch freely given. You’d have to kill
him to negate it.”
A small squeak escaped from Squid as he shimmered and disappeared, although Mitch sensed the demon hadn’t moved. He made a mental note to read up on fear demons when he got home, wherever home was going to be in this town.
“Thanks for the tip. I’m assuming you’re my new Captain.” Mitch slipped the Glock back in the holster at his waist, then held out his hand in greeting before his brain caught up with the practiced gesture, and he hesitated. Cleo wasn’t exactly human, but he wasn’t quite sure what she was. Did physical contact with her give her some supernatural power over him as well? It would’ve been nice if his asshole ex-boss would’ve sent him for some training before he dropped
him into this dead end assignment.
Cleo’s full red lips curved, and amusement danced in her bright blue eyes. “Don’t worry, Officer Guthrie. I’m a succubus, not a fear demon. We feed off sexual energy and fluids, nothing about your hand says ‘dinner and dessert’ to me. Besides, it’s not department policy for me to feed off the officers who report to me. If you return the favor and do your job, we’ll be fine.”
She held out her hand, and when his internal alarms remained silent, he shook.
was firm and dry. Power vibrated up his arm from the contact, almost as if she couldn’t help it—that it was just part of her. Just another reminder that he’d entered the Twilight Zone.
“I’m sorry, Cleo, is it? I haven’t had any fucking training for this type of duty, and I’m not so sure I’m comfortable being dropped into supernatural central. But if you’ll point me toward my new sergeant or lieutenant, I’ll go start pissing them off and stop wasting your time.”
He met her penetrating gaze and tried not to show his frustration when her smirk of amusement continued undaunted.
Not bothering to answer, she released her grip and motioned for him to follow. Cleo turned a pointed glare toward the wall where Mitch suspected Squid still stood, before she turned and headed down the long hallway.
He shrugged and followed in her wake, the sharp click of her red stilettos echoed around them. Her matching suit seemed painted on and lovingly caressed every generous curve and dip. Her mid-thigh length skirt highlighted legs so long he thought it would take hours to explore their sleek length. In fact, she reminded him of a high-class escort he’d arrested several years back—unconsciously sensuous and not afraid to show it. Her outfit was anything but
Her hips swayed enticingly, and each step brought his attention down to the most perfect female ass he’d ever seen.
Mitch waited for the inevitable quick flash of fantasy where he peeled away the layers until he could caress and possess her, but it never came. His brow furrowed as he realized that normally a woman this heart-stoppingly beautiful would cause some type of reaction from him.
However, no spark of attraction sizzled between them—almost as if he looked at her like he would a sibling.
What the hell is wrong with you, Guthrie? She’s a fucking goddess!
From the little he’d heard about succubi, he’d expected something much different—maybe an unquenchable lust or a sudden erection that could break through concrete. He squared his shoulders and reminded himself he was probably better off without that added complication.
He’d made enough of a mess of his life without adding a woman into the mix—they always spelled trouble, and they always wanted to change a man.
When she reached the office at the end of the hall, she stepped inside without looking back and slid into her office chair with the languid movements of a feline predator.
“Please, sit, Officer Guthrie.” Cleo gestured across the top of her desk at one of the empty worn office chairs facing her. She tapped a perfectly manicured nail against the arm of her leather office chair while she waited for him to comply.
Mitch wasn’t sure what to say, although her open blue gaze seemed to penetrate him completely, and he resisted the urge to squirm.
“Yes, I’m the Captain here. The name is Cleo, short for Cleopatra.”
When Mitch’s brows rose she held up her hand, palm out. He knew supernatural
creatures were long-lived, but her revelation caught him off guard.
“Yes, I’m that Cleopatra. We succubi live a long time. However, to everyone here, I’m Captain Cleo—no last name.” She pointed at him, the tip of her long red fingernail reminding him of fresh blood. “No Nile jokes or I’ll put you on your ass, got it?”
Her suddenly angry gaze pinned him in place better than the nuns at Catholic school, and he resisted the urge to hide his knuckles before they got smacked with a ruler.
Again—he waited in vain for the teacher/school boy fantasy involving the whip and Cleo wearing a very short school uniform.
He’d been a normal healthy male this morning. What the hell happened to him?
“Are you listening, Guthrie?” Her voice burned across the desk like a laser.
He smoothed his furrowed brow and met her piercing blue gaze. “Yes. You’re still a
little defensive about your stint as Queen of the Nile. Got it.”