The Devil's Deal

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The coffee shop had been quiet for the last hour of the day, allowing Ferya to do most of the cleaning up that was usually required once the shop doors closed. Anything to get done quicker, to get home faster. As a human, she had no desire to be out anywhere close to curfew and the shop hours only gave her ninety minutes to finish her duties and walk the twenty minutes home.

She had moved on to the rear kitchen, prepping for the next day's baking when she heard the small chime of the door opening, followed by the slightly metallic taste to the air that indicated one of the higher beings had entered her shop. Ferya paused for a moment and took a steadying breath, before walking out into the public part of the shop to face the last of the day's customers.

When she was a child, humans had been the only species that humans worried about, but somewhere between learning to ride a bike and becoming an adult the rest of the world's species had taken over the planet, leaving a semi-civilized society of creatures that didn't necessarily care about those weaker than them.

She had been dealing with vampires, shapeshifters, goblins and faeries for most of her life now, most of her memories were formed in the years after the change. After humans had been thrown to the bottom of the food chain and finally accepted their places; as slaves or benevolently tolerated second class citizens depending on how progressive and liberal the local government was. She was one of the few humans who was considered free, able to work and support herself as long as she followed the rules and stayed out of trouble and avoided being hunted down as free range prey.

There, standing in front of the baking display case was a beautiful winged man; his hair a deep mahogany, eyes too dark to show any colour from the distance, and a set of very large, feathered wings on his back. Only these wings were black and the feathers looked gilded, like metal, which contrasted the expertly tailored black suit that clothed his lithe body. He was beautiful in a way that told her he could attract anyone he wanted, regardless of gender, species or sexual orientation. She was briefly relieved to find his gaze, and whatever power it held, focused on the display case until she realized he was glaring at the empty section that her sticky buns usually occupied.

This man was surely amongst the highest echelon of beings that existed in this world and he didn't look happy at all. A glance to the clock behind him told her that she had thirty minutes till closing. Two hours to get home, if she lived through this encounter at all.

"Can I help you?" she managed to murmur, freezing the moment his eyes raised to her. He wasn't surprised, he had known she was watching him, but the blackness of his gaze seized her body as he regarded her cooly.

"You're out of sticky buns."

Ferya's mouth went dry, his disappointment sinking through her like heavy weighted torment, but she forced herself to nod slowly, her eyes flickering to the ground at her feet, "They sell out before noon most days."

"and today?"

"By ten." her words were a soft whisper, "The owner believes that they sell better if they're of limited quantity. So I'm only supposed to make one batch."

She heard the shuffling of feathers and the soft tread of dress shoes on the tile floor, the hairs on the back of her neck standing up straight as the angel paced closer to her, "Poor planning on my part, is what you're saying?"

There was a pause, though she didn't dare answer the being who could rip her soul from her body with a flick of his fingers. He could cause her excruciating pain or mind blowing bliss depending on his whims, or merely reduce her to a half-acknowledge memory with a subtle thought.

"Look at me." His voice was a purr, gentle, though the power in his words removed any will of her own, and Ferya found herself looking at the man who now stood directly in front of her, only a small counter between them. His eyes were pure black, so dark that they didn't reflect the lights of the room or the smile that graced his beautiful lips, "Good. Now, I have a problem."

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