\ 15:40 "Balthazar and the Soothsayer" | unlimitedi.net
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Bored, Logan spun the stir stick of his gin tonic as he gazed absentmindedly around the room. A mix of humans and demons littered the swanky establishment; a typical crowd for the Hellfire Lounge. Next to him, Balthazar was deep in conversation with his associate, laughing as he always did, a bit obnoxious and a lot too loud.

Balthazar’s ‘friend’ was a scraggily looking woman by the name of Tabitha. She wasn’t overly fond on the eyes. She had short, frazzled, grey hair which matched her greyish skin, and when she smiled, you could see the excess of plaque around her cigarette stained teeth. From the conversation, Logan pieced together that she was a witch, like Balthazar. However, where his boss specialized in spells and rituals, invocations and basically anything that was big and flashy, Tabitha’s talents were more subtle. She had a knack for divination. From cards to crystals, she was proficient, and this made her a useful pawn to someone like Balthazar. However, for all her skills, the witch was never able to see just how fake Romano was with her. He would lavish the hag with praise and adoration and in return, she would use her gifts for whatever he wanted.

“So tell me gorgeous, where can I find this Eye?”

“Oh you silver tongued devil, sometimes I think you only call me for information” she laughed, enjoying herself too much to realize that’s exactly what was going on. Maybe on some level she did realize, Logan thought, but she probably didn’t have much of a social life, and these suppers with Balthazar were the highlights of her year. Guess it’s a win win.

Logan tuned out again, scanning the other patrons for something, anything interesting. It’s then that he noticed Persephone, the Hellfire’s peculiar manager. The strange beauty was speaking quietly to three women, sitting in a plush booth at the back of the bar. The women were also lookers, not like poor Tabitha, and Logan couldn’t help but wish he was sitting with them instead. As he let his gaze linger on the quartet of beauties, a strange feeling brewed up in him. Why do they look familiar?. He sat there staring, racking his brain for any scrap of memory that could tell him just why he thought he knew them. Suddenly, the four ladies halted their hushed conversation and simultaneously turned their attention to Logan. Instinctively, he looked away, embarrassed to have been caught gawking. He waited a few seconds before stealing another glance their way. That’s weird. They were all still looking at him, each one now sporting a fresh scowl. Guess I’m not their type.

“He has what?!” Balthazar’s tone had suddenly taken a turn south, catching Logan’s attention once again.

“I had a dream of it last night and you know my dreams are never wrong. Your Grathoki friend gave your little gopher a drop.”

Logan kinda wished he had paid more attention. He had zero idea what they were talking about but his boss definitely seemed pissed.

“Well what else did you see?” Though he tried to keep his cool, Balthazar was seething with rage. He was on the verge of something big, something he’d been planning for months and the last thing he needed was a supernatural catastrophe going on in New York. In the hands of an idiot like Carmine, the Drop could lead to some serious problems, inevitably drawing unwanted attention to Balthazar.

“Oh Balthazar, you know I wouldn’t keep anything from you if I knew,” Tabitha said, taking a sip of her wine.

“No, of course you wouldn’t” Romano replied, his mind contemplating the repercussions of the news he just received. “Well my love, it’s been a pleasure as always, but I’m afraid we have to run.” Abruptly, Balthazar stood up, disregarding the glum look that appeared on the witch’s face.

“Why so soon?”

“Don’t be sad gorgeous,” Balthazar said, as he leaned in, giving the hag a kiss on each cheek. “We’ll do supper again soon. Can’t stay out late tonight, I’ve got a big party to attend on Saturday and you know at my age, too many late nights don’t agree”.

Tabitha did her best to hide her disappointment. “I’ll hold you too it.”

As Logan politely said goodbye, he noticed Persephone standing near the bar with one of her steroid ridden bouncers. She was fixated on Balthazar now, a mischievous smirk on her porcelain face. ‘The hotter they are, the more crazy they tend to be’,” Logan thought, remembering Balthazar’s words from earlier that day.

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