The fist pulled back through the door, leaving a jagged opening. A mustard-brown demon's face peeked through it.
"Is it too predictable if I say 'Here's Johnny?'" he asked languidly. Then he reached in through the opening, unlocked the door from the inside, and swung it open.
Gus and I stood next to each other, cautiously watching his casual approach. "Um...we're not friends with this guy, right?" I stage whispered from the corner of my mouth.
"With Vilnius?" Gus whispered back. "Definitely not."
"Should I set him on fire or something?" I asked.
"You can try," Gus said. "But if you're gonna try anything, you sure as hell better try it fast."
So I used the newfound powers of my mind and the air around the demon erupted with flames. He stopped. After a moment, the fireball dissipated, leaving him glaring at me with his head hung, as though he were simply disappointed in me.
"A fireball for a greeting?" he said. "How childish. What if I were only here for friendly introductions?"
I shrugged guiltily. "I figure it's probably a safe bet around here to assume you're not interested in being friendly," I said.
"Well," he replied, pretending to brush himself off, "the good news is that there's no harm done. I'm from Hell, sweetheart, you'll need to do a little more than light a fire to piss me off." He smiled. "But the bad news is that I was already pissed off."
With supernatural speed, he rushed me, pushed me back, and forced me down across the top of the desk, his hand at my throat. "Because I heard we had some new clown running the show down here when someone a little more deserving should be at the helm."