Chapter 1 - Hey, Ho! Let's Go!
How Amaline dealt with you, you really would never know. You were far from graceful, sarcastic and you had a silver tongue to rival Loki (interesting fellow, by the way, if a little insane). Hell, you were the one that came up with that dreaded nickname she hated so much! Gods, she hated that name….might be why you keep calling her that. Anyway, case in point being—you were a little annoying. And you were human. Perhaps they went hand in hand?
Why was it so strange that you were human? Well…Amaline’s a vampire. A five hundred year old vampire with a nasty habit of punching people if they pissed her off. Somehow, you are the only being on this planet that manages to piss her off and come out without a scratch. Somehow, some way, you had become good friends with the ill-tempered vampire. After almost becoming her meal, mind you. Details in which you didn’t really want to go into. Having an eternally grouchy vampire nearly chomp on your neck didn’t leave good memories behind.
Amaline wasn’t known for her sense of humor (actually, she had zero sense of humor). So you took it upon yourself to become her sense of humor. A job you took pride in. Maybe too much pride, sometimes, but whatever. Speaking of jobs…
“Hey, Blood Bag! Wake you ass up, we’re already late as it is!” Amaline’s growl made you groan a little, blinking your eyes open to a dark room. It had taken forever for you to get used to your graveyard shift. No pun intended, hardy har. Your name is Lyra Magdalene Greene—your mother believed in unique names that would result in teasing from cruel children in school. You worked as a Detective’s Assistant—guess who the detective was—at the Otherworldly Detective and Forensics Investigations Agency. O.D.F.I.A. for short. Yes, a human working for a detective agency for the supernatural. Go figure.
You had been working at the Agency for close to six years now—it was a job more or less shoved onto you after you discovered it by accident. You had followed Amaline one night and…voila? At first, it had been amazing and awesome, but after solving a few cases and having a number of supernatural creatures wanting to ruin and/or end your life…it lost its extravagance.
After another shout from Amaline, you finally dragged yourself from bed and slouched over to your wardrobe, picking through the clothing. It really didn’t matter what you wore, so long as you looked somewhat professional. So a dark red blouse and black jeans it was. With your favorite pair of boots and dressy black jacket, you were the epitome of ready. Kinda.
You had to rake a comb through your hair as you walked, having been dragged out of the bathroom just after brushing your teeth. Amaline was griping about how Alex was going to react to being almost thirty minutes late. Alex, by the way, was the head of the Agency, a good-looking fae with a mean disposition. He really couldn’t stand you, but your particular set of talents was quite handy for the Agency. That and Amaline was fond of you and she was the only person with a worse attitude than him.
“Oh, stop bitching, Fangaline,” you sighed, earning a nasty look from the vampire. “Alex has no room to talk. Lupus is late all the time and don’t even get me started on Roan. He’ll whine about it for an hour and be fine. So long as Rob doesn’t do anything to piss him off any more than he already will be during that time frame, everything will be fine.”
“You say that with such confidence.”
“I’m a confident person. How else do you think I’m able to deal with over half the shit that goes on nowadays?” you grinned all knowingly at her. Amaline rolled her dark red eyes and shoved you ahead of her through the front door of the Agency. Which, of course, made you trip over your own feet and land on the ground in an ungraceful heap. Earning laughter from everyone in the immediate vicinity.
“Still confident, Blood Bag?” Amaline smirked at your blushing face. You scowled and pushed to your feet, dusting off your clothing. “I swear, you’re almost as bad as Rob sometimes.”
“Hey! I take offense to that!”
“Amaline!! Human! Get in here!”
You sighed, “Alas, our fun must be interrupted by Sir Bitchiness himself. Come, my dear vampy! To the land of Mood Swings we must go!” And away you flounced, leaving behind an exasperated vampire and many amused coworkers.
“You know, maybe if you stopped picking at him, he’d like you more.”
“I know that droll voice anywhere. How’s your evening Lupus?” You smiled, pausing to look at the curly haired werewolf. Yes, a werewolf named Lupus. Your canine related jokes had dried up several years ago. He was probably the blandest person you ever had the joy of meeting. At most, his expression would change from neutral to mild irritation, usually due to your picking or Rob’s clumsiness.
As if on cue, poor Rob stumbled past you, tripping over air. It was really quite amazing how a two hundred year old vampire could be so clumsy. One would think that after the first fifty years, he’d have gotten walking down at least. Not Rob! You had to give it to him, though; Rob made clumsy look good. Tall with neatly styled blonde hair and amazing electric blue eyes, oh yeah. He was a pretty picture to look at. Had a neat trick too. Rob could faze through pretty much any solid material—people included. Not the most fun experience you ever had to encounter, but it was definitely cool.
“Evening Robber!” You cheerfully greeted him. Rob glanced up from frantically gathering his paperwork.
“I wish you would stop calling me that,” he sighed.
“Then tell me your real name and I’ll stop trying to guess,” you grinned.
“I told you, my real name is Rob!”
“You get a funny twitch above your eye every time you lie, Roberto.”
Rob gave a sigh of defeat, looking over at Amaline. “And you live with her?”
“She’s not nearly this bad at home, trust me.”
“No, most of the time I’m asleep,” you smiled brightly.
“Which is why you’re stuck here doing paperwork at the last minute.”
“Sorry, Fangaline, if I actually need sleep,” you sniffed haughtily.
“Funny, I’ve seen humans run on less than three hours of sleep.”
“That’s because they’re not human!” Okay, yeah, so you were whining a little bit. Just a little.
“As amusing as this is, Boss Man’s waiting for you two,” Lupus interrupted.
“Right, his Royal Bitchiness. How could I forget,” you mumbled. “Are you running to soothe his anger with good reports, Roberth?”
“Where in the world do you come up with these names?” Rob muttered, having reorganized his papers. “And considering they’re not good reports, no, I’m not.”
“Oh? What are they then? More cases?” you asked, intrigued now, leaning over his arm to see what they were. Okay, Rob was a tall guy—easily scrapping six-foot-four, which might explain his clumsiness, if he was human. Actually, most of the beings in the Agency were taller than you, except for the fairies and dwarves. It wasn’t that you were short—you were a perfectly normal five feet, six inches. It was just they were freakishly tall. That was your excuse, at least.
“Yes, all seemingly by the same individual,” Rob frowned.
“Ooh, a serial murder!” You gasped excitedly. Rob quickly held the papers out of your reach.
“No lookie until Boss Man approves it,” Rob said, smiling at your disappointed whine. Amaline rolled her eyes and gave you a nudge towards Alex’s door, which you reluctantly trudged to, Rob following in mild amusement. If anything, you brought entertainment to the Agency.
“You called, My Lord?” you drawled as you opened the office door. You quickly shut it again to avoid getting hit by the stapler Alex had hurled at you.
“Yes, I did! Why are you and Miss Attitude thirty minutes late?!” Ah, the sweet, dulcet tones of an angry fae. Always pleasant to hear first thing in the evening.
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe because of the fact you worked us until after sunrise? And then it was an annoying hour long trip home trying to keep Fangaline from burning up,” You muttered to yourself, opening the door again once you deemed it safe to enter.
“I heard that, human.”
“Can’t you ever call me by my name? It’s—“
“I don’t care what your name is. Everyone knows who I’m talking about, you’re the only human here,” Alex snipped, sitting down heavily in his chair. Alex could easily pass off as a Legolas look-alike, if Legolas had eyes the same color of a lime peel. It fascinated you how many different colored eyes there were in the Agency—many shades of red, blue, green, even purple and gold! Made you a little jealous; you have to buy contacts to even attempt to reach those exotic colors. “In any case, you two have a new case.”
“Ooh, is it the serial murders?” you asked excitedly. So you were a little morbid. Meant you fit in great with this crowd.
“No, I haven’t looked over those files yet,” Alex said, sending a glare to a suddenly nervous Rob. “You two will be going to the Magic Shack and dealing with an unlucky sorcerer by the name of Mephisto.”
You barely bit back a groan. You and Amaline had dealt with the sorcerer many times in the past, for one thing or another. He was nasty and rude and you really didn’t care much for how he stared at you and Amaline.
“What’s the problem with that old bat now?” Amaline was just as fed up with him as you were.
“Someone has been slipping into his shop and stealing potions and supplies he had back stocked,” Alex explained, holding out the file to you. You took it reluctantly, flipping it open to look through it. “Either it’s a human attempting to try black magic or it’s something else. I need you two to find out and report back your findings. Before sunrise, preferably.”
“You’re giving us a time limit?” You frowned.
“Consider it your punishment for being so late. You’re lucky I don’t fire you.”
“One, you can’t fire me,” Amaline stated. “And two, Blood Bag here is useful. Why get rid of an asset?”
“Don’t patronize me, Amaline. Now leave, I need to have a word with Rob about his inability to keep files classified…” Alex glared. You sent Rob and apologetic look, before being led out by your vampire friend.
“Poor Rob,” you said.
“If you’d learn to think before speaking, he wouldn’t be in trouble,” Amaline said, snatching the file from your hand to flip through as she marched towards the exit.
“I didn’t know they were classified!” You objected, hurrying after her.
“Always assume files are classified, Blood Bag.”
“My, we’re in a bitchy mood tonight,” you mused. Yeah, that was one of your favorite words. Bitch. It just had a nice, crisp sound to it.
“If someone hadn’t slept through all three of her alarm clocks, then maybe I would be in a better mood,” Amaline deadpanned.
“I was tired! Trying to get you home without you turning into burnt toast was a pain in the ass and an exhaustive feat!” You exclaimed, scowling.
“I would have been fine, thanks.”
“Oh, quit that. Honestly, don’t you know I know you better than that now?” You huffed. Amaline decided not to comment on that, taking the, unfortunately, familiar path to the Magic Shack.
The Magic Shack was a shop in the alleyways of your town meant just for the supernatural. No normal human can find it, since it’s protect by a spell that keep them from seeing it. As you’re not a normal human, you have no problem seeing the shop.
“Wouldn’t it just be easier to say the old bat’s finally gone senile and call it that?” you muttered, making a face as the shop came into sight.
“As tempting as that sounds, Alex would know and I don’t want to deal with another hour of him going on and on about doing a proper job as a seasoned detective, blah blah blah…” Amaline sighed.
The shop itself was quite impressive. It was much larger than it looked, filled with numerous spell books, potions, ingredients for potions, brewing supplies, ritual materials—anything and everything a magic loving being would kill to have. You would probably enjoy the shop more if it wasn’t run by such a nasty sorcerer like Mephisto. You had no clue how he stayed in business—he was ruder than a goblin on a bad day.
“Mephisto? It’s the Agency, we’re here to discuss the claim you sent in….yesterday,” Amaline glanced down at the file to double check the date.
“Ah….good evening, young misses.”
God, that voice made you cringe every time. It was about as soothing a nails on a chalkboard, and as slippery as a snake. The sorcerer slunk out of the shadows of the corner of the shop, his eyes glowing eerily. To most, he would appear to be a middle-aged, slightly graying man with a charming smile. To you, though, he was a wizened, white-haired man with little to no teeth left. He creeped you out big time.
Oh right, about that gift of yours. It’s quite handy, really, something that you’ve always had without knowing why. You’ve always been able to see past whatever spells and enchantments that an Otherworldly placed on themselves or on places to hide from humans. You could easily pick out a werewolf in a crowd of people or a fairy’s home from a forest of trees and flowers. You didn’t think too much on it until you learned that even Otherworldly can’t tell the difference between each other from normal humans. Alex jumped at the opportunity to use that gift and thus, you were shoved into the Agency as Amaline’s partner.
Anyway, back to the problem on hand.
“Evening, Mephisto. We’re here on business,” Amaline said.
“Yes, I had hoped Alex would look into my case quickly,” Mephisto said in his eerie whisper.
“You’ve reported on missing potions and supplies?” You asked, deciding to get down to business this time. You hated dealing with Mephisto and wanted out of there as quickly as possible.
“Yes. Many of my deadliest potions and rarest of supplies…” he hummed, leading them to the back of the shop. You barely kept back a cough from the amount of dust everywhere. Honestly, didn’t he know how to clean? You weren’t exactly Mrs. Clean or anything, but even you had a limit to the amount of clutter and dust you could deal with.
“What kind of potions and supplies are we talking about here?” Amaline asked, frowning. He gave her a sharp look.
“Legal ones, if that’s what you’re wondering,” he sniffed haughtily. Ah, you were wondering when he was going to start with the holier-than-thou attitude. Took him long enough.
“I’m supposed to question everything, Mephisto, there’s no offence meant,” Amaline drawled.
“I don’t like your tone.”
“And I don’t like you, but let’s be friends for now, alright?”
You barely kept from snickering at the offended expression on Mephisto’s face. Instead, you began sniffing about, so to speak, peeking into opened boxes and cabinets. There was definitely something odd in the air. Amaline seemed to notice as well, before her nose wrinkled in a way that said she smelled something bad.
“Amaline, what do you smell?”
“I smell something that needs a bath.”
“Now’s not the time to find your sense of humor, Ama,” you sighed.
“Fine. It smells like a demon or something from the Netherworld.”
You frowned and turned to look at her. “Something from the Netherworld? You don’t think Jerald or Devin might know something?”
“That’s exactly what I think and I know where to find them.”
Jerald and Devin were a pair of demons that worked undercover for the Agency. They got the low down on everything going on in the dark side of town and they gave info to the Detectives when they needed it. So long as they worked for the Agency and kept their hands clean, they didn’t have to worry about being thrown back to Hell. You didn’t mind Devin too badly—he was alright, for a demon. Jerald made you nervous, though, with his whole cloak and dagger routine. Despite Amaline assuring you that he was quite loyal to the Agency.
“We’ll get this straightened out Mephisto,” Amaline said, looking at the sorcerer.
“You’d better. I’ve got a big order coming in and I need to have those potions,” he grunted.
“Yes, sir,” Amaline said, walking out with you behind her.
“Grouchy old quack…” you muttered.
“He supplies the Agency with potions.”
“Doesn’t change that he’s a grouchy old quack. Besides, doesn’t Roan supply the Agency just as well?” you asked.
“He does, but he’s busy with training his new apprentices. It’ll be who knows how long before he can go back to fixing up stocks of potions for the Agency,” Amaline explained.
“There’s always his brother.”
“David isn’t one to put forth active help in the Agency. He has a wife and a kid to worry about.”
“So does Jake and you don’t see him complaining.”
“No, but you are, now shut up.”
You pouted, but did as you were told. Out of the alleyway you walked, right into the dark side of town. You felt really uncomfortable here, especially at night. There were many demons and shadows that prowled the streets, and a lot of rogue vampire attacks were made here. Thankfully, you had Amaline with you, but it only eased your discomfort so much. Must be from being human, you supposed.
“Jerald, nice evening to be skulking about,” Amaline practically purred. You thought the demon was going to jump out of his skin. “You should be on your guard. I thought you knew that by now.”
“Oh, ha-ha. Amaline’s found her sense of humor,” the spikey-haired demon narrowed his eyes as he turned around.
“No, she hasn’t,” you immediately piped up. Amaline gave you a flat look, in which you replied with a sweet smile.
“Ha! Mary Magdalene, what a pleasure to see you out here!” Jerald laughed.
“I never should have told you my middle name…” you muttered darkly. “It’s Lyra, you ass.”
“I like Mary Magdalene better.”
“You would, wouldn’t you?”
“Irony at its finest,” Jerald smiled. “Picking aside, what do you want?”
“What makes you think we want anything? We could have been enjoying this fine night,” Amaline said.
“Because I know you better than that. You never come on this side of town unless you’re looking for information, so spit it out,” Jerald frowned.
“Alright, fine, you caught me. Mephisto’s shop’s been robbed, by someone that smells like a demon fresh from hell. Know of any newcomers?” Amaline asked. Jerald tapped a trimmed claw against a slight yellowed fang for a minute as he thought.
“…you know, now that I think on it, Devin mentioned something about seeing a new face at the pub the other week,” he finally stated. “Said he smelled ripe as hell—literally. Guy must’ve come out of the Netherworlds, at the most, two weeks ago for it to be that strong.”
“Two weeks?” Amaline frowned. “Did Devin talk to him?”
“Yeah. The guy said he’d been summoned by some practitioner of the dark arts, though he didn’t work for the guy like the other ones he summoned,” Jerald said. “Think this summoner might have something to do with those deaths?”
“It’s possible, but it’s highly probable that he’s the guy stealing rare potions and ingredients from Mephisto,” Amaline said. She dug around in her pocket for a minute and pulled out a vial, slicing her thumb with a fang and letting some blood fill the small container. “Here. For your information.” She handed the blood to Jerald, who took it with a grin. Vampire blood—especially blood from someone as old as Amaline—was a rare treat for a demon and granted them extremely powerful healing capabilities. Most would stock up on it for whatever reason they could think of. Jerald used it for when he dealt with demons or spirits that had lost control of themselves.
“Much thanks, Miss Fang.”
“Gods…damn it all, Blood Bag, it’s your fault,” Amaline scowled at the nickname. You only snickered, following the vampire as Jerald disappeared into the dark again.
“Oh, stop bitching. Let’s just get back to Alex and give him the news. Hopefully that’ll satisfy him enough to make him forget earlier…”
“One can hope!”
“Please don’t, your hoping usually ends up with us in some kind of trouble.”
You decided not to reply to that.
It was a quick trip back to the Agency, much to your relief. However, upon stepping inside you wondered if perhaps you were better off in the alleyways, dealing with demons and shadows. It was like an explosion went off and you soon saw why.
“What is she doing here?” You hissed through your teeth. If you were a cat, your hackles would have been raised. Whom were you referring to? Why the sweet, evil, demonic harlot of a witch that liked to frequent the Agency and stir up all kinds of hell. Particularly with Rob and you. Something neither you nor Amaline cared much for.
Really, you didn’t hate many people. You rarely held grudges and you preferred to make friends than enemies.
But this woman just really got underneath your skin. You could, quite eagerly, admit to hating the witch with a fiery, burning passion.
“Weeeell, if it isn’t the little human Seer!” Her oiled sweetness made your skin crawl. You fought the urge to hiss at her, and instead glared daggers, hoping she’d just burst into flames right then and there.
“What do you want?” you snapped.
“Oooh, so vicious!” she laughed. Lupus looked like he wanted nothing more than to shift and tear out her throat. Poor Rob clearly wanted to disappear. “And after I went out of my way to come and visit my favorite people!”
“Favorite people to terrorize. What do you want, Morgana?” Amaline’s voice was laced with poison.
“I simply came to deliver a gift to my favorite human in the world!” Morgana’s eyes narrowed slightly as she looked at you. The hatred was quite mutual—she hated you for catching her slipping poisoned love potions to unsuspecting clients that ended up with her imprisoned and without power for quite some time. She was still on parole.
“I’m not interested. Thanks,” you replied flatly, walking past her towards Alex’s office. You reached out and grabbed Rob’s jacket to drag him along and away from the witch, since he seemed unable to do so himself.
“Awe, and break my heart? How cruel. I made it just for you.”
“Jesus Christ, can’t you get over yourself and get a life-!!!” You sputtered and coughed as a nasty smelling liquid exploded over your face, hair and entire front.
“Have fun getting that spell off, human. Oh, and before you say anything, vampire, I checked the rulebooks—it’s not illegal,” Morgana smirked. As you wiped the liquid from your eyes and spat it out of your mouth, she sashayed out of the Agency. Lupus nearly retched as the stench of the liquid seemed to permeate everything and he quickly had to run out of the room to save any sense of smell he may have left.
“W-What the fuck did she just throw on me?!” You coughed, gagging a little.
“Aside from something that smells to high heaven?” Amaline’s lips were twitching. Nothing of a good sign, in your book. “You really don’t want to know.”
“…..I hate it when you say something like that, Ama, because now I do want to know and I’m sure I’m not going to like it,” you said darkly.
“That’s because you’re not,” Rob said faintly and you saw he was biting his lip, like he was trying not to laugh. Yeah, you really needed to find a mirror now.
“Ama, what did she throw on me?”
“No shit, Sherlock, what kind of spell?”
“My, you’re bitchy.”
“I just had a spell—encased in a very vile tasting and smelling liquid, mind you—thrown on me!! Yes, I’m going to be bitchy!!”
“Alright, alright…you’re the Grinch.”
“You’re bright green.”
“All of you. Bright bottle-green. Even your hair and the whites of your eyes.”
“….I’m going to murder that bitch.”