She had certain parties assembling and hiding a steel box—without air holes—at the quarry. Tol and his toadie, Herring, would get locked inside it at just the right moment on Friday. Being supernatural creatures, they wouldn’t be able to escape the “cold iron” coffin.
It didn’t matter to Lois if they died, languished, or tore one another to shreds. Truth be told, she’d be happier if they suffered for a very long time, but it wasn’t necessary to the plan.
Once they’re contained inside, the box would be transported to the spent nuclear fuel repository in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. She had no idea whether or not the high radiation would be damaging to the creatures or not, but it certainly wouldn’t bother her if it did. They could languish, decaying, for all eternity, as long as they didn’t get in her way ever again.
“Well.” Tol sat back, and folded his hands in his lap. “In that case, I applaud you for adhering to the letter of the agreement. There’s nothing that impresses me more that a human who understands what it means to make a deal.”
His words caught her off guard. She couldn’t tell from his tone of voice, or neutral mannerisms, if he was being sincere or sarcastic. Her reply could tip her hand if she wasn’t careful.
“Do you drink alcohol, Tol Agarutha?”
“I have been known to do so. What are you proposing, ma’am?”
“I thought we might toast to our mutual understanding, before you get the fuck out of my home.”
Her uninvited guest laughed. It was a rich, mellow, distracting, sound. She loathed every fiber of his being, and craved his touch anyway. It bothered her, in a very primitive way, to feel that way about a creature that could turn her into bloody hash.
Lois stood up, and walked over to the bar by her balcony door. She knew whatever she poured needed to be indicative of celebration and perceived value. Inspiration struck, and she turned back towards her guest.
“Do you have a preference for beverages to toast with?” She asked.
Her question was rewarded with a look of actual surprise on his face.
“I enjoy whisky.”
“I believe I can accommodate your palate,” she said, pulling an older bottle from the back row of stoppered containers, “with this. Port Ellen, twenty-five year old, single malt Scotch from Islay. The distillery doesn’t exist anymore.”
“Yes.” She poured them two stout drams from the nearly full bottle. “It’s a shame, in my opinion.”
Lois walked across the plush carpet and presented her guest with a crystal shot glass. He took it from her and admired the ruddy tan color of the liquid inside. It was lovely to look at, but it was the aroma that truly captivated him. The scent was complex, almost like a trail his mind wanted to follow.
“Let’s toast to the end of a mutually beneficial arrangement.” She said, interrupting his train of thought.
“Yes. To the end of a superb, balanced, arrangement.”
They raised their glasses and then drank. Lois didn’t savor it, but took the entire portion in a single swallow. Tol, on the other hand, experienced each sip with as many senses as he could bring to bear. When his glass was empty, he sat back, and sighed.
“Thank you, Lois.”
“That was a truly rapturous experience. You have my gratitude for sharing such a thing with me to toast the completion of our arrangement.”
She watched him like a hawk.
“A good deal deserves a good end. Don’t you think so?” She asked, deliberately feeling him out.
“Yes. Absolutely.” Tol’s face was almost glowing; he was so taken by the whiskey.
He stood up, almost reluctantly, and relinquished his empty glass to his hostess. With a gentlemanly bow, he disappeared.
“What the fuck was that about?” Lois asked.
No one was there, so an answer ever came.