Daos IV ~ Ch1: Adaptation

Previously ~ Rubble and Dust

Soleado Valle, Texas
Present day

Antonello Gomez
It had been roughly six weeks since the evacuation which put an enormous dent in Mayor Antonello Gomez's career.  But he wasn't worried.  Sitting across from him in his office now was the beautiful Varinka Nuriyeva, a brown-skinned Russian who was deliberately being vague about all things personal.

"So," Gomez beamed.  "You're Russian?"

"I am," she bowed her head slightly.  "My accent's faded a bit, but yes, I am Russian.  I maintain a residence in Krasnodar, Southern Russia.  It's necessary to accommodate all my traveling; I don't fare well in hotels for extended periods."

I bet you don't.  "You specialize in banking, I understand?"

"Yes," she nodded, ever so gracefully.  "My family's been banking for generations."  She was tightly coiffed woman, without a strand of hair out of place.  She sat, knees together, Dolce & Gabbana handbag on her lap, where both hands politely rested.  Her prim suit reminded him of someone.  And speak of the devil....

"I'm sorry," she shook her head slightly, as though to clear it.  "I thought I'd be meeting with Mr. Im to discuss the proposal of opening a branch here."

Gomez beamed, deeply amused.  He practically relished his next words.  "Mr. Im is indisposed.  He's taking some time off to tend to his health."

Logan Browning as
Varinka Nuriyeva
Varinka suddenly laughed aloud, briefly breaking from her prim, proper facade.  It was a quick laugh, mingled with shock and amusement.  "Hyun-jun?" she asked, hazel eyes glinting incredulously.  "Hyun-jun Im is having...health problems?"

Gomez was equally bemused.  "This is Soleado Valle, Ms. Nuriyeva.  Stranger things have happened."  He playfully cocked his head to the side.  "Certainly, he briefed you on that."

She took a slow, deep inhale through her nose, prompting Gomez to grin.  She was smelling him, checking to make sure he was human.  Hyun-jun had warned him that most of their new "guests" would do something to that effect.

"I am human, I assure you," he blinked innocently.  "But don't worry; I have nothing against vampires.  Though...I'd behave myself in this town, if I were you.  A horde of vampires recently tried to obliterate my humble city, and Nicolao Daos didn't take too kindly to it."

Varinka's body stiffened, but she covered well.  Gomez couldn't help but smirk.

"Now," he continued sweetly, "I believe we were discussing the new branch you wanted to open downtown?"



"Did he say what he wanted?" Dominador Ona asked as he and Nicolao Daos rode the elevator up to Hyun-jun's very posh high-rise.  It was located just outside town, in an extremely exclusive location.  The first time Daos discovered it, he was surprised there were so many people with this much money in Soleado Valley.  Then he learned these were just secondary vacation homes.

Dominador Ona
"Only that he needs help," Daos shrugged.  "Which, at this point, could mean anything."

"This isn't healthy," Dominador shook his head.  "The Mayor told the Chief Hyun-jun hasn't been showing up for work.  Trish says he hasn't called or asked to hang out with her.  I don't like it, Daos."

"The man's only been human for a few weeks, people," Daos sighed wearily.  "He was born something else, spent centuries as something else.  Did you guys really expect him to just get over it overnight?"

"Let's recap," Dominador rubbed his temples.  "He spent the first week in a drunken stupor.  Drank until he passed out every night.  Then, you hooked up with that shaman shrink and convinced him to start therapy.  But since ancient demons don't just randomly turn human every day, the shaman didn't know what to do with him."

Daos was getting impatient with the elevator ride.  "It would've eventually helped if Hyun-jun had just stuck with it."  He glanced upwards.  "Jesus...what floor does he live on now?"

"He moved into the penthouse," Dominador blinked.  "Anyways, after the therapy shtick lasted all of five minutes, he started drinking again, to the point he crashed his Benz into - thankfully - an unmanned taco stand."

Daos sighed again.  "Dominador...."

"I'm just saying, Daos, this new reclusive thing he's going on is unhealthy.  He's human now.  Yes, it sucks, but at some point, he's going to have to start dealing with it."  The elevator chimed as it stopped and the doors opened directly into Hyun-jun's penthouse.

As soon as Daos saw the new place, he rolled his eyes.

Hyun-jun's crib
"Typical," the demon-hunter snorted.  "Let me guess...this little upgrade was meant to help with his 'depression'."

"You guess correctly," came a low dour voice from the bar.

The detectives turned to find Hyun-jun in one of his raw silk suits, shamelessly sipping a brandy at ten-thirty in the morning.  He was clean shaven with a recent haircut and smelled of cologne neither detective recognized.  In other words, typical Hyun-jun.

Nicolao Daos
"You know," Daos scowled, "I've actually gone through my fair share of depressions.  Would've been nice to go through them in a penthouse suite."

Dominador grumbled, "Can I get an amen?"

"May I offer you gentlemen something?" Hyun-jun raised his glass.

"No," Daos chortled.  "Whenever a human starts drinking in the morning, it's typically a sign that something's horribly wrong with them."

"Something is horribly wrong," Hyun-jun replied coolly.  He gestured for the men to sit, which they did.  Dominador even made a mental note to start hanging around here more often.  He'd probably have to bring Trish for cover though.

"I need you to fix me, Daos," the ex-demon spoke calmly.  "I can't do 'human.'  That is to say, I can't do my job while being human."

Daos snorted. "I don't think you need to do your job anymore. Chief Solís tells me our good Mayor is making all sorts of new friends without your help.  Why just yesterday, Trish was telling me about the plans for some new micro-chip factory.  And this morning, a certain Varinka Nuriyeva met with Gomez himself.  Something about a bank, I believe?"

Hyun-jun Im
"Daos," Hyun-jun twitched.  "Gomez is in over his head without me.  He needs me to help keep his new 'friends' in line."

Daos chuckled.  "Not to hear his secretary tell it.  Apparently, all Gomez has to do is drop my name during these little meetings and his guests leave with an 'understanding'."

Hyun-jun gripped his brand glass until his knuckles paled.  Meanwhile, Daos mercilessly continued.  Even Dominador winced at what he said next.

"Quite frankly, Hyun-jun, you've become obsolete.  If I were you, I'd take my exorbitant amount of money, change my name, and disappear to some distant random corner of the earth and live out what's left of my mortal life....since it does have an end now."

Next ~ Sympathy for the Devil


  1. "our good Mayor is making all sorts of new friends"
    And this is when Antonello Gomez gets yummy. And lol if Hyun-jun Im ever gets his powers back.

  2. I can see Logan Browning as a vampire. I wondered how Hyun would be able to do his job with him in his current state. Seems like he has been replaced by Daos. I wonder if the mayor is over his head though. Shirtless Ona never disappoints.

  3. When you start out with Laz Alonso, ain't nowhere to go but down...except you didn't. YUM!

    Poor Hyun-jun. He needs to take Daos' advice. Seriously.


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