“Hmph, a succubus?” The demon spat on the ground, where wisps of smoke soon began to rise from the abyssal iron. “Weaklings. Trash from the gutter.”

“Oh?” Nuby crossed her legs daintily, the metal sequins lightly jangling. “Tell me then, Daot, how my kind are ‘weaklings’ and ‘trash.'”

“An orgy is all well and good. I’ve had plenty in my time. But you’re obsessed with it. So hungry for constant carnality that you can’t think of anything else. Can’t plan worth a damn, always flighty. And of course, strength.” The demon took up a metal chair and bent it nearly in half, with the metal squealing and heating cherry-red as he did. “Here, the weak do what the strong tell them to do. You succubi are weak, and you’ll never be able to hold a thought in your head for long before sex crowds it out.”

“I see,” Nuby said evenly. “And what would a real demon, like yourself, one who is neither weak nor trash, comport himself?”

Daot puffed out his chest. “I take what I want from those that are too weak to stop me,” he said. “When I want an orgy, I do it, but I don’t allow that to get in my way. I’m not constantly mewling for sex, not when there’s things to plan, things to think of, and skulls that need a bashing-in.”

“I wonder,” Nuby said. “Do you remember a little get-together in the Brass District some months back?”

“Huh?” said Daot. “Sure. Fun party. Thirty people in five beds. That was a night.”

“You said something to the same effect that night,” said Nuby. “That succubi were easily distracted, weak, unable to plan, all that nonsense.”

“Hmph,” the demon snorted. “Was it nonsense?” He dipped a great paw into his vest and procured a watch, checking the time. “Now, if there’s nothing else, hand over the money and let me be on my way.”

“Of course.” Nuby handed over the satchel with Daot’s protection money, letting it jangle to the floor. “A word of warning, though. I wouldn’t touch that if I were you.”

Daot seized the bag and began greedily rifling through it. “What would you know,” he snorted. “There are no orgies in the bag, so you are FAR outside your realm of experience.”

“Oh, I’m sure.” Nuby examined her nails nonchalantly. “You know what would be a pity, Mr. Daot? It would be a pity, a real pity, of some go-getter of a succubus overheard your blustering that night and thought to learn you a thing or two about strength and focus.”

Looking up, eyes narrowed, the demon showed his full set of teeth. “It would be a pity if I had to rip her to shreds for it.”

“And do you know what else would be a real live tragedy? If that succubus murdered one of your bagmen, one of your little errand boys, and you didn’t even notice because you’re so disconnected from your own extortion business. The idea that such a rough, tough, FOCUSED demon like Mr. Daot could let something so slight slip through his fingers…embarrassing, to say the least.”

Daot looked up. “Perhaps, but an embarrassment that is easy to deal with thanks to a snapped neck.”

Nuby smiled. “Ah yes, but what if your new bagman took it upon herself to concoct a poison? Why, think of what a waste it would be to have every one of those loot bags dusted with a fractional dose of something that, at the right potency, means a screaming death even for a denizen of the abyss?”

Again, Daot looked at the succubus. “What’s that?”

“Imagine the last dose, the last fraction, working its way up through the miserable ranks of Mr. Daot’s pathetic and ramshackle excuse for an organization. Bagman after bagman dropping dead with Mr. Daot’s coin in their hand and on their lips.”

When she glanced up, it was just in time to see Daot topple to the floor, hard enough to dent even the iron. Angry-looking fluid was already beginning to leak from his mouth, his eyes. Nuby rose and sauntered over to him, kneeling down to look him in the face. “Perhaps you’re right about succubi being too distracted by sex to see the larger picture, Mr. Daot,” she said with an icy chill. “After all, I’ve spent months rather single-mindedly obsessing over how best to screw you.”

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