Part way across the room, a very large and very drunk demon stepped into their way. His gaze ran the length of Xyla’s body, pausing on all the bits Mal tended to pause on, too.
“H-hey, cutie,” he said, attracting the attention of half the bar with the volume. “Buy you a drink?”
“I’m flattered,” Mal said, batting his eyelashes. “But we have elsewhere to be.”
The bar roared with laughter as the demon frowned, trying to work out what just happened. His eyes widened as it struck him.
“I meant her, not you!”
“Really? Well now I’m just embarrassed.”
“You wanna watch your mouth, human.”
“Or what? You’ll start a fight?” Mal gestured about the bar. “In Earl’s?”
“I don’t give a damn where we are, I’ll rip yer head off and use it as a bowling ball!”
Mal scratched his neck. “You wouldn’t get many strikes.”
“Heads aren’t round enough, you see. You wouldn’t be able to accura—”
His attempt at neutralisation via sarcasm ended abruptly as the demon swung a large fist at his face. It came too quick for him to dodge, so he closed his eyes and tried to think painless thoughts. The blow never came. He opened one eye tentatively to see the demon’s fist held fast in Xyla’s hand. She cocked her head as he struggled to pull free.
“Did you just throw a punch at my boyfriend?”
The demon screeched as she squeezed, and Mal winced at the sound of grating bones.
“Well?” she asked again, the picture of calm. “Hurry up. We have places to be.”
“N-no, I mean yes! I mean...” He paused. “Can I have my hand back, miss?”
“Not until you apologise.” She squeezed again.
The mountain of a demon babbled a number of apologies, in several languages, and Xyla let go.
“There’s a good boy.” She turned back to an amused Mal and held out her hand. “Shall we?”
“We shall.” He took her hand, and they walked over to a bemused Earl. “So I’m your boyfriend, am I?”
“Do I get a choice in the matter?”
He feigned a sigh. “I guess I’ll just have to go along with it, then.”
She grinned. “You know, most men would chastise me for stepping into that fight.”
“Meh. Most men are stupid. Also, most men’s girlfriends aren’t millennia old demons capable of head-butting their way through a bank vault.”
“You put it so lyrically, Mal.”
He dropped into a short bow and hoped that she wasn’t paying too much attention to his thoughts. Boyfriend? Booya! If he was anywhere else, and had two working legs, he’d have danced a jig.
There we are!
If you'd like to read a longer sample, click here to be taken to Smashwords, or click here to be taken to the Kindle page where you can download the sample.
Other stores will have it soon, and I'm trying to figure out the whole 'print' thing, too.