There was a knock on the door and Amelia entered. “I brought food. “she said,” putting down a slew of bags. “I’m here because I don’t like being out of the loop and I get lonely. Besides there’s a new business that just opened up in our building and there’s a lot of noise, what with the remodeling and the ghosts.”
“Ghosts?” asked Novak.
“Hello,” said Amelia, staring at the two demons, who smiled and nodded at her. “I have dozens of cookies and three pies. Plus, I baked bread and it’s uncut so you can just hold the entire loaf and have fun eating it whole.”
The demons held out their hands and Amelia gave them each a loaf. “They’re so dear, aren’t they? A demon lived with me when I was a child and that’s how she liked to eat her bread.”
“What?” said Louise.
“A demon, just like them” smiled Amelia. “One lived with me when I was a child.”
Shane started laughing. “Where did she go?”
“Oh, she’s still here. We keep in touch and get together a few times a year.”
“What?” said Louise, again.
“Pay attention, will you?” sighed Amelia. “My parents both worked and Susan used to make breakfast for me before school. She made my bed and read to me as well.”
“Susan? Her name was Susan?” asked Louise.
‘No, of course not. But I was young and couldn’t pronounce her real name which is Ketariou. I call her K now and she calls me A. She had a beautiful sister named…”
“Mtteilu?” said Gau.
“Yes,” said Amelia. “Would you like to meet your aunt?”
“We would,” they said in unison.
“Well that’s good because she’s waiting to come in.”
Novak opened the door and K walked in. Tears were running down her face and onto her black sequined dress. She held out her arms and embraced her niece and nephew. Louise swallowed, Shane grinned and Novak wiped at his eyes.
“I thought it would be helpful if they had someplace safe to stay. There’s a whole community of peaceful demons living not far from here.”
“Amelia,” said Louise, “you’re absolutely amazing.”
“Not really,” she said. “When you work for crooks and you pay attention, you learn a lot and when you’ve lived with a demon for years, well, you learn a lot from that as well.. Demons have a bad reputation and for most, it’s one they truly deserve, but like everything else, not all of them are nasty. Some of them are loving and kind. K took care of me. Raised me actually. She was gentle and had a lovely singing voice, although she didn’t know many songs.”
K smiled and nodded, holding out her hand, which Amelia lovingly took.
After a hearty meal, filled with laughter and grunts, many thanks and hugs were carefully exchanged. Promises of get-togethers were made and Amelia then shepherded the demons out the door, to much waving and many calls of goodbye.
“Can I go home now?” asked Novak. “Can I go back to work?”
“I don’t see why not. Gat gave us a map showing where the portals were and we plan on shutting them down. I don’t think any of the demons who are currently here are after you specifically.”
“What if I don’t want to leave?”
“Excuse me?” said Louise.
“Coo,” snickered Graywing.
“It’s NOT like that,” said Louise, staring at the pigeon.
“Hey, Novak. Why do you want to stay?” asked Shane.
“I’ve been bored. My work hasn’t been satisfying. I could paint here. I think Louise is my Muse.”
“Go home Novak,” said Louise.
“Will you let me paint you?”
“I’m busy…I have bad guys to kill.”
“We really need to revisit Dorken,” whispered Shane.
“And we have clean up, as well,” agreed Louise.
“Fine,” he said. “I’ll do it from memory.”
“I like you. A lot.”
“Coo! laughed the bird.
Novak looked at the pigeon. “I know, I know, you did tell me everyone falls in love with her.”
Louise glared at Graywing, who fluffed out her feathers and tucked her head under her wing. “Don’t expect a seed tree anytime soon,” she hissed.
“I’ll be in touch,” he said, as he opened the door and immediately fell over the dead body in front of him.
“Oh, goodie,” said Shane. “A new case.”
“You know this guy?” asked Louise.
“Nope,” she said.
“His name is Tom. He’s my art dealer,” said Novak.
Amelia brought the demons to safety. Tom was killed by his brother, who felt that he had been holding back funds from the sale of work at the gallery. The fact that his wife had been Tom’s girlfriend first, didn’t help matters. There was a Yorkie, named Pippin, involved but he wasn’t important to the case. The guy got life. His wife is currently running the gallery and she has full custody of Pippin. She’s giving new artists shows and encouraging budding street artists. She’s tough but fair, so the other gallery owners don’t like her. She doesn’t care and Shane is making a small pistol for her…you know, for her personal safety.
Novak and Louise never got together because Louise kept hitting him whenever he got close to her. He did paint several pictures of her and they sold for a million each. He offered her half of the money and she hit him again.
Dorken never cast another spell. He did, however, get a local television show, dedicated to dogs and the people they love. Roger, his brother, married his long time friend Ronald on a bright sunny day in June. Novak was invited to the wedding but felt it would be a conflict of interests to attend, so he gratefully declined. He did send a set of beautiful silver candlesticks, which were greatly appreciated, if the thank you note could be believed.
Shane designed several new guns and stunners. She also created handcuffs that could be tightened and give electric shocks by remote control.
Remember the woman who wanted Louise and Shane to shoot her husband? Well, apparently, they took too long so she shot him herself. He refused to press charges and they are on their second honeymoon, somewhere in Greece.
Graywing, Shane and Louise are happy and extremely busy.
Amelia has reorganized the entire office and made friends with some of the ghosts from down the hall.
For the most part, things are moving forward nicely.
Oh, one more thing. Novak gave Louise a picture of himself which she set on fire. She burned it on the roof of his ragtop, vintage black and white ’57 Chevy. He told her it didn’t matter and he’s working on a picture of the two of them together. He’s using acrylics and it’s a picture of her punching him. Louise said she knows just where she’s going to hang it.
Thank you for reading the story.