I needed Kivra’s cooperation. Or, better yet, Kivra’s obedience.
I took a deep breath, steeled myself for her wiles, abuse and intimidation, pulled out my Hell phone, and called her.
“The fuck do you want?” she answered. Our dialogue, intended for setting aside our differences to achieve a common goal, was off to a less than promising start.
“We need to meet,” I told her.
“Do you have my three thousand demons?” she asked me. “Plus the ten I donated to your pitiful little army?”
“No,” I said.
“Then we have nothing to talk about,” she snapped.
“This is important,” I insisted. “Halkkor will slaughter us all. I can stop him, but I need your help to do it.”
She let a moment pass in silence. “Fine,” she said curtly. “Meet me in my office.”
“You think I’m that stupid?” I said contemptuously. “We’ll meet alone, somewhere neutral. The empty plains beside the Barracks of the Damned.”
She laughed. “I don’t need to lure you into my office to kill you,” she told me. “But if it makes you feel better, fine.”
“I’ll see you in ten seconds,” I told her. She hung up without another word.
I clapped my phone shut and exchanged a concerned glance with Gus. “Stay strong, bro,” he whispered confidentially. “You’re in charge. She can only take that from you if you let her.”
I nodded. “Right. Jaelin, did you hear where we’re meeting?”
She stepped forward. “Yes, sir.”
“Meet me there, but stay back. I just need you nearby as backup in case Kivra tries something.” She nodded.
“You mean when Kivra tries something,” Jorge commented quietly. “Dealing with her is not my favorite part of my job.”
“Me neither,” I grumbled. I took another deep breath and teleported away.