“Well, it’s good to have you back,” I said. “Especially right now, since I’m going to need you to work alongside Gavsot while I’m gone.”
“Where are you going?” Gus asked.
“A bunch of demons are invading my home town and tearing up my high school,” I explained. I spoke casually, as though demonic attacks on important landmarks from my past were as commonplace as buying bread and milk. “I’m going to go stop them, and I’m taking Jaelin, Sylnie and Torvin with me.”
He appeared confused. “And you’re giving me to Gavsot…?”
“I’m having Gavsot take over as interim Devil,” I told him.
“What?” he practically shrieked. “Are you kidding me?”
“Uh…no,” I stammered, taken aback by his vehement disapproval.
“Look, I’ve obviously been having a bad time of things lately, so maybe I’m overreacting a bit, Boss-Man,” Gus admitted. “But what was that one thing that I told you not to do even though I can’t tell you what not to do?”
I’d long since forgotten about that moment between us. Way back when I was still a fledgling Devil, I’d suggested promoting a demon to take my place and Gus had been uncharacteristically adamant that it was a bad idea. Apparently his position on the subject hadn’t changed much since then.
“Look, it’s Gavsot, okay?” I said, hoping to assuage his fears. “He’s loyal, he’s reasonable, we can trust him.”
“We can trust him as the Director of Enforcement, maybe,” Gus corrected bitterly. “But don’t underestimate how badly it can backfire to give any demon this kind of power.”
“I feel so loved right now,” Sylnie commented. She seemed mildly amused by Gus’s opinion of her species.
Torvin, on the other hand, was irate. “All demons are capable of is corruption, deception and betrayal, right?” he snapped. “That’s okay. Humans are only good at being soft and weak.”
“At least not all of us are selfish!” Gus shot back.
“I’m one of the least badass demons around and I could still beat the shit out of any ten humans,” Torvin argued. “You’re messy, slothful blobs of flesh and emotions but you’re all too arrogant to see it!”
“That’s rich,” Gus drawled acerbically. “A demon is actually trying to give me a lecture about arrogance.”
“That’s enough!” I thundered as Torvin opened his mouth to rebut. “I have too many problems right now without the few friends I have fighting each other. I understand your concerns, Gus, but I need a strong, experienced leader who isn’t afraid to deliver some hurt, and Gavsot is the obvious choice. Torvin, I’m proud of you for having the courage to speak your mind, but sometimes you just gotta learn when to shut the fuck up.”