“I’m so sorry about that, but I had to make a quick call,” he said apologetically.
I didn’t even look away from the game. “Not a problem. You don’t need to explain.”
“But I want you to ask me about the phone call,” Lucifer informed me as he flashed a most Devilish smile. “I’m doing a bit here.”
I rolled my eyes and turned to look at my well dressed guest.
“Fine,” I said knowing I was totally going to regret this. “Who were you calling?”
“Just the Demon I left in charge back in Hell,” The Prince in Darkness explained and dragged out the second part of his reply to build the suspense for his punchline. “I just wanted to make sure things hadn’t frozen over in my absence.”
He then gave me a hand signal, which I took to mean that I was supposed to ask him why he was worried that Hell had frozen over.
“Because I couldn’t help but notice that you’d actually done some cleaning around here,” Satan replied with some snark and a raised eyebrow.
“Come on!” I whined as I reached for a Snapple from the cooler. “This place isn’t that bad.”
“I used to believe you owned the world’s largest collection of dust,” The Devil snickered. “I worried that you kept the dust bunnies as pets to help you through your lonely days.”
“Hardy har,” I growled back at him. “Please tell the readers that you are exaggerating. I don’t want them to think I’m a total slob.”
“Calm down, Austin,” Lucifer talked me in off the ledge. “Sure, the place is a little dusty, but other than that, I feel that my suits are fairly safe when I visit. Then again, The House on the Hill will never be mistaken for an Operating Room.”
“I should hope not,” I said with relief after I had stress chugged three-quarters of my bottle of Snapple. “What gave it away that I had cleaned?”
I looked over and saw my little broom was dwarfed by his pitchfork.
“This whole cleaning thing is so new to me that I guess I didn’t realize I also had to put away the cleaning tools when I was done with them. What a putz.”
Satan laughed a little too hard at that one, but I let it go because I didn’t want to upset him and have him reach for his pitchfork. I wasn’t confident enough in my broom handling skills to defeat him in battle.
“So, Oscar Madison, why the sudden urge to go full Felix?” The Devil asked in a way that made me suspicious that he already knew the answer.
Seamus had probably ratted me out. That Leprechaun would give up secrets to anyone willing to buy him a pint.
“I have a special visitor arriving this week,” I admitted because I knew there was absolutely nothing to be gained from lying to Lucifer.
“Well, it must be love if you’re willing to clean,” The Prince of Darkness teased.
Of course, he was probably right. Damn him to Hell!
“I’m just giving you the craic,” Satan stated in a horrible Irish accent. “Which, as I’m sure your Sweet Irish Girl has told you, means I’m having some fun with you.”
“Please don’t attempt that ridiculous accent around her,” I pleaded. “I’m already fearful that Seamus is going to talk her ear off and never give me a second alone with her.”
“I’ll take care of the annoying Leprechaun,” The Devil promised. “You look after the beautiful lass, and make sure she leaves here thinking you’re the pot of gold at the end of her heart’s rainbow.”
It was the first deal I’ve ever made with The Devil, and I actually felt very good about it.