The incubus-lite now has a name and Zoe’s much-younger stepsister meets him for the first time.
“Ooh,” Josh cooed as I reapplied my makeup, “does this mean he likes you, or do you think he like-likes you?” He made smoochy sounds, and without breaking eye contact with my visor mirror, I raised my hand and smacked him on the back of the head.
“Owww,” he groaned, rubbing his head. “What was that for?”
“Be glad I didn’t have my baseball bat,” I warned. “You’re an adult,” I told him, “act like one. Especially around Lexie. She needs positive role models.”
Lexie strolled out of the house casually, a tiny backpack hooked over her shoulder, and snapping gum. “Ready, sis?” she asked, leaning in toward the window.
“Well, you have to speak to the villainous sorceress before you abduct me,” Lexie added as she settled into the backseat. She grinned up at me, the picture of innocence, but I knew that face was not nearly as angelic as it seemed.
“The villainous sorceress?” Josh exclaimed, clapping his hands. “Tell me more, tell me more!”
“Ugh, stop behaving like a seven-year-old, or I’ll put you in pigtails and barettes and a tu-tu.”
“Be careful, Mommy, I might like that,” he purred.
Lexie grinned at Josh first, then me. “Your banter is truly adorbs. When’d y’all start going out?” she asked, stretching out over the backseat.
“We’re not dating,” I exclaimed with frustration.
“Can’t anyway,” Josh said with a shrug, “company policy now.”
“He works at the school with you? I want to become a teacher for your district now, babe.” She flashed me a grin.
“Not the school district, dummy.”
“You got a second job?”
“She moonlights at the Havana. She hasn’t told you that? She taps, she shimmies, she sings!” Josh proclaimed.
“Ugh, shut up, you two.”
She paused at the front door, with her hand on the handle. “You want anything, Josh?” Lexie called.
“Nah,” he replied, waving her on, “I’m fine, go on.”
“No hot dog on a stick or skewered crab rangoons?”
“As tempting as both of those culinary delights sound…” he began to reply with a smirk when a beautiful dark-haired woman darted past Lexie and into the shop without a word of gratitude.
“Rude much?” my stepsister muttered, then stamped inside the convenience store.
“So, uh, this might be an awkward question, but, well, what do incubuses eat?” I asked once Lexie had scampered inside the convenience store.
“Incubi,” Josh corrected with a crooked half-smile. “And mostly we devour souls.”
“Souls?” I shouted.
He clamped his hand over my mouth. “Not so loud! I swear, you are the worst demon slayer I have ever heard of.”
I stumbled for a response but instead, kicked a pile of pebbles. “Seriously, though,” I whispered, my voice trembling, “you exist on a diet of souls?”
“Well.” He leaned in. “I have a little secret. Promise not to tell anyone?”
“Uh, sure,” I replied, my eyebrows lowering in consternation.