The motorbike burned down the hallway. The rider turned the bike into a
skid; stopped an inch from the wall; accelerated forward and roared down the
stairs. A gaggle of Lilim scattered as he bounced to the bottom, and jumped
as he let out a victory shout.
"We've won another Tether! Woo-hoo! Party at Hell Gem to celebrate! Anyone want a lift?" His gaze swept the group, and he pretended to notice his quarry for the first time. He wolf-whistled, and then grinned at her. "I don't know you - where have you been hiding all my life?"
One of the other Lilim bristled dangerously, and spoke: 'Shove off, lunatic, as if anyone wants to know a fool who'll die with his traitor Prince..'
"Stick it, Flame-girl - your pyro Prince couldn't touch Fatso and he won't touch the Boss. Fire is going down - and the sooner you realise it, the sooner you can jump ship and make something of yourself." He turned to a different Lilim.
"Bena, could you introduce us?" He indicated his original quarry with his thumb. Bena nodded; they had agreed long ago that every time she introduced him to a sister that'd he take her to dinner at Temptation. `Sure thing, Rave. Erisya, this is Rave, a friend of mine who serves Hardcore. Distincted, I believe, but he only uses that to annoy The Game. Rave, this is Erisya - Mother's latest creation.`
"And what a beauty she is! Thanks, Bena. But hey, Erisya, if you're new you can't have raged at Hell Gem yet! Gotta fix that. Jump on, and I'll show how to party! My shout - can't have pretty girls not knowing how much fun Hell Gem is!" His infectious grin returned.
Erisya finally found her voice: 'Is it safe?......'
"Nope!" Rave replied proudly. That's why you wear this. He ripped off his leather jacket, revealing a muscular body which was trying to tear apart his T-shirt, and tossed the jacket to her. Catching it, she turned a questioning gaze to Bena. `Go ahead, Erisya. Hell Gem is a lot of fun; it's a good place to learn to dance; and Rave's a pretty decent guy - for a Calabite.`
Rave nodded approvingly as Erisya put on the jacket. "Leather suits you - but you'd already guessed that, right? Hop on." She gingerly got behind him on the bike. "Now remember to hang on tight!" He said, slapping her legs for emphasis.
Racing down the hallways was terrifying - a little exhilarating as well, but mostly terror. Rave accelerated as they left the narrow corridors and headed down the main passageways towards the balconies overlooking the main trading room.
'What the - slow down!'
"No way! Watch this!" They continued to pick up speed as they approached the balcony. Rave reached out with his resonance: the railing exploded as they blazed through it. The motorbike arced over the hall, sailing over the stalls and booths, until they 'accidentally' landed on a gaping Belialite, breaking the fall. And then they were off again, dodging through the crowds. As they approached Hell Gem, the bouncers cheered. Way to go Rave! Great entrance! Out of the way you lot! The Big Fella is coming through!
There was always a queue outside Hell Gem. Furfur made sure of that; his least valuable Servitors spent days queuing outside - just to remind observers how exclusive Hell Gem was. And because they knew their place, the waiting demons were quick to get out of the way, to ogle Erisya, to mutter among themselves: Who's the mystery girl? To be with Rave himself no less! What a beauty? Bet we'll read all about in the papers tomorrow! A photographer materialised out of the crowd; there was a flah of light as he took a photo. He opened his mouth to ask a question - Rave stuck a hand in his face and with a grin escorted Erisya into the club.
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