"Yes, sir?" Gavsot answered. It was a relief to hear the strong, energetic voice of someone who wasn't lovestruck, heartbroken or recovering from near-mortal wounds.
"General, I need a big favor from you," I said.
Behind me, I heard Torvin's strained, throaty voice inquire, "Jaelin…is it true?"
"I need you to appoint someone to run your department for a while. I need to go back to the Living Realm and I need you to be acting Devil because this could take some time."
There was a brief pause. "I accept," he said simply.
"Thank you, General," I replied sincerely. "Get to my office as soon as possible so we can do the spellwork." I hung up.
"Torvin, you need to understand," Jaelin explained. "Things were nice with you. But Talamur and I were together for a really long time. I can't ignore him and the bond that we shared."
"You can't just dump Torvin, either," Sylnie responded. "That's not fair to him."
"It's not fair to me either," Jaelin replied sharply. "I was forcibly separated from my lover for hundreds of years. If I have him back, I'm going to be with him. It's not even a choice."
Torvin sat slumped against the wall. "Wow," he said numbly.
"Maybe this will cheer you up," I told him. "I need you to come with us to the Realm of the Living and help us eradicate the demonic horde that's currently ransacking my home town."
"You want me to go into battle with you?" he said incredulously. "Why would that cheer me up?"
"Because," I told him, "It's a sign of trust. I don't necessarily trust you not to fuck up, but I do trust you to follow orders and act with good intentions. And you've been more and more useful lately, so maybe this whole fucking up thing is becoming a thing of the past."
He smiled weakly. "Coming from you, that's almost not even a backhanded compliment."
"Sylnie," I added, "You're welcome to come with us too, provided you think you're healthy enough."
She glowed. "It would be an honor!"
"Great!" I concluded. "So we just need Gavsot to get here and then we can go upstairs and kick some ass." I heard the sound of an arrival behind me and turned around.
It wasn't Gavsot. It was Gus, looking tired and terrified. A demon was holding him by the hair.