“You look less appealing than ever. Didn’t you enjoy these few days I allowed you to recover?”
Herring turned one leaking eyeball to look at the personification of his pain, standing so smug—invisible to human eyes—by the security post on the White House lawn. He debated a myriad of possible responses, before he settled on something non-committal.
“Why, Herring? Did you just grunt at me?” Tol laughed. He was in fine spirits.
“What brings us here today, Tol?”
“My perspicacity, of course.”
“Yea, verily,” Herring snapped from where he squatted by the curbside, “it is indeed.”
“Intuition, too. I feel as though today will be a pivotal moment in my bargains with these egotistical, power-hungry, humans.” He surveyed the grounds as though he owned them.
“You mean; it ain’t for the free food?”
“Very funny, my former master. Very funny.” Tol pointed across the well-groomed expanse of the Kennedy Lawn. “Speaking of food, and very funny, there is your little treat now!”
Alexandra Horsheit, the intern, was walking with a bevvy of her fellow appointees, from the closest door in the building. To his constantly watering eyes, she was an object of lust… but not as interesting as the meal she was carrying for him. Herring prayed that Tol had not brought him here to watch the girl be destroyed because he’d favored her.
“Why are so many of them gathering, Herring?” Tol commented at the steady stream of interns that poured out of the same door. “You didn’t rape them all, did you?”
The Executive Avenue gates, right beside them, slid open to admit a strange motorcade—Secret Service SUV’s escorting a garishly decorated food truck—to the oval drive way along side of the White House. Herring watched the mobile vending vehicle as it approached where he crouched, and felt an electric tingle as it passed him by.
It was the same tingle that he’d felt the weekend before, when wave of pleasure knocked him off his feet. Someone in that truck, perhaps all of them, was in contact with the girl who was the source of that power. No human was a match for him, and if he could hold one of them… these Manleigh Cheese people… hostage, the girl might come to him, and be willing to make a deal. Herring’s mood, and future prospects, brightened considerably.
The Manleigh Cheese truck parked, and the three people inside disembarked to make preparations for the large crowd of young people who appeared to be waiting, loudly, and impatiently, for them to finish. Out of the three, the touch of the girl was strongest on the shorter man—he nearly glowed with it.
In any other situation, Herring would have made the assumption that he was the mystery girl’s mate, for the power that radiated around him. Of course, such a pairing was anathema, and no sane inhabitant of the spirit world would even consider such a thing… unless she was as insane as she was powerful.
Theories aside, Herring knew he needed to abscond with that sturdy-looking man. He would make an excellent lure for fish he wanted to catch, if she was as attached to him as the auroras and halos suggested. Tol was staring in rapt attention at the events unfolding nearby, and that would give him just a little bit of time to plan how to kidnap that particular employee of Manleigh Cheese.