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“Anybody seen Ricky?”
Vic shrugged and bent back over his guitar. “No telling with those diurnal types.”
“I’m not the human’s keeper.” Bo adjusted the volume on his amp.
Kalila frowned. “It’s not like him to disappear like this. Usually he watches us during setup and rehearsal.”
“Suits me not to have him staring. It creeps me out when the living do that.” Vic strummed a chord and gave Kalila a look. “You ready? I think the acoustics in here are going to be pretty good.”
Kalila strapped on her Stratocaster and was about to suggest they start with Hot Night, Cold Heart, but then shook her head and put the guitar back in its stand. Rehearsal could wait a few minutes. Ricky was acting weird and she was going to get to the bottom of it.
She found him pacing the parking lot, stopping from time to time and looking around with a wistful expression. Kalila had hired him for many reasons – to keep her band of misfit demons in line, to help her get famous without the use of magic, and because he was kind of cute for a human, but nowhere in his contract was there anything about wandering empty parking lots. She strode up to him. “What do you think you’re doing, mortal?”
Ricky stopped pacing and gave her a sheepish look. “Nothing.”
“That’s not what I pay you for.”
“I’m just remembering.” He gazed across the parking lot toward a strip center and an intersection where cars waited for a light to change. “This is all new, you know.”
“Yes. It’s nice you didn’t book us into a falling-down dump, for once.”
Ricky ignored her. “When I was a teenager, it was all dirt roads and meadows. Me and the other kids from my school used to come here to drink beer, race cars, and hang out away from our parents. Now look.” He made a gesture that took in the asphalt, neon, pre-fab shops and tract housing. “No trace of it at all.”
Kalila gave an impatient sigh. “I realize your kind is prone to nostalgia, but everything gets erased by time. The places of my youth have changed so much in the last two thousand years I might as well be on another planet. Sentimentality is a useless emotion.”
“You think all human emotions are useless.”
“That’s because they are.” What would snap him out of this ridiculous mood? She wanted him inside that club paying attention to her, not wandering about, thinking of his high school days. “Well, I guess I better go back inside and see if we can rehearse a few songs while the boys still have things under control.” She started walking toward the club. “Bo says the manager is hot, and Vic and Lazaro are both very interested in the bookkeeper. Smart brains and type O blood, you know.”
She went inside and let the heavy metal door fall shut behind her. Seconds later, it opened and Ricky rushed in. He paused when he saw her waiting.
“I knew that would get you.” Kalila grinned. “Now, enough with the past. We all have a future to think of.”
AUTHOR'S NOTE: If you enjoyed this story, you can now buy the book in print and Kindle versions from Amazon and e-book format from Fictionwise!.