Daos IV ~ Ch11: Reborn

Previously ~ No Fury

Dani Reyes
When Dani met Hyun-jun for their dinner date at a Caribbean grill, she noticed his mood was remarkably improved.  There was color in his cheeks, a bounce in his step, and he greeted her with a very sweet kiss, not caring that they were in public.  It left her breathless.

"What's gotten into you?" she asked, pleasantly dazed.

"A renewed sense of purpose," he beamed back.  "Something I haven't had in a very long time."  He looked up at the restaurant and raised an eyebrow.  "So this is where we're eating tonight?"

"Oh, yes," Dani nodded eagerly.  "This place does wonderful things with citrus flavors and ribs.  Smell that?"

They both inhaled the sweet, tangy aromas of orange, lemon, melted brown sugar, and seasoned beef.  Hyun-jun felt his mouth water as his stomach growled.

"I have to say, Daniella," he mused, "you do have the best taste in food."

Dani shrugged modestly.  "Trish likes to do the on-again-off-again vegan/vegetarian thing, but I don't bother.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I care about being healthy and all that, but personally...I've never met a cooked animal I didn't like."

Hyun-jun Im
Hyun-jun felt his heart stop.  He turned to look at Dani, really look at her for the first, suddenly realizing how much she reminded him of someone.  That same sweet nature, that similar awkward, innocent charm...and that identical bottomless pit of a stomach.  How had he missed this before?

"What did you just say?" he whispered, suddenly out of breath.

"I know I shouldn't eat as much meat as I do," she sighed, "because people in my family are prone to a certain skin condition, but I've always be believed that a world-class rack of ribs is totally worth the acne."

What happened next baffled them both.  Without warning, Hyun-jun had Dani back in his arms, giving her a kiss that bordered on X-rated.  When they finally parted, breathless and almost speechless, he assured her, "Tonight...you can eat all the ribs you want.  I don't care if the resulting acne is biblical."

***



***

"So how come you're not seeing anybody?"

Trish Flores
Not only was Daos deeply annoyed that Trish had yet again shown up at his tearoom uninvited, he was getting really tired of people asking him that question.

When he scowled, she hastily added, "I'm worried about you, Daos. I don't want you to be alone."

"Alone?" he blinked.  "I couldn't be alone even if I tried.  I barely even know what the word means anymore.  If my roommate isn't trying to drag me off the club or the bar, a certain reporter friend of mine is randomly showing up wherever I go.  Between constant invites to drinks and invites to dinner, rest assured...I'm Mr. Social Hour."

Trish rolled her eyes.  "You know what I mean."

"Why aren't you seeing anybody?" he pointedly inquired back.

"Hello, lesbian," she blinked.  "Not a whole lot of options in this town.  I'd totally hook up with that librarian friend of yours, but she's never around anymore."

Nicolao Daos
"I could place a similar argument," Daos raised an eyebrow.  "Hello...demon-hunter who's decades older than he looks because he was dumb enough to wind up in the underworld for years.  Not a whole lot of options here either.  You're a reporter, and a weird one at that - you live for this stuff.  But the truth is, the average person cannot handle what I deal with."

Trish sighed, suddenly gloomy.  "You know Dani's dating Hyun-jun now?  After screwing Dominador in your car behind a strip club, she's now enjoying romantic bliss with a really, really rich guy.  I mean, who would've thought?"

"Not I," Daos muttered.  "But I get it.  Dominador said sleeping with her was a moment of weakness, and I get it.  He's lonely.  He's getting restless."

"We need to go on some road trips," Trish announced finally.  "There's more to life than Soleado Valle."

***

Kyung-min
Dani was peacefully sleeping beneath the heavy covers of Hyun-jun's king-sized bed. He was loathed to leave her, even if for only a moment, just to get a drink of water. Shirtless, he padded across his upscale bachelor pad to the kitchen. When he opened the fridge and a peel of light spilled out, he wasn't remotely surprised to see the demon Kyung-min standing nearby.

"You've stalled long enough," the towering man raised an eyebrow. "Yiryeon deserves an answer."

"And he shall have it," Hyun-jin grinned, leisurely sipping a glass of ice cold water.  "The answer's no.  Human or not, this skin is mine.  We had a deal, and I lived up to my end of the bargain.  I made him prince, and like a typical spoiled little prince, he wants to have his cake and eat it too."

"You made a deal for the skin in order to pass as human," Kyung-min reminded him.  "Now that you are human --"

"Then restore me," Hyun-jun cut in curtly.  "I know you can.  You already know you should.  And as for Yiryeon, either put him in a new body or send him off to the afterlife.  We both know he's long overstayed his welcome."

Kyung-min observed him warily before speaking again.  "If you want your demon status restored, you must go to the one called Dominador Ona.  You must ask him - and only him - to be restored."

Hyun-jun was confused.  "Dominador?  But Daos is the one who --"

"I live in a different realm, remember?" Kyun-min smirked.  "My sight stretches across worlds, across time.  If you want your immortality back, you must ask it of Dominador, only Dominador.  He's your path to being restored."

Next ~ Reborn II

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