Angela walked over to a cupboard, took out some instant coffee and switched on the kettle.

"Oh, or would you prefer tea?"

"Nope, coffee's great."

She fed Duck, who ignored Constantine as he walked past.

Angela took off the kettle from the stove before the shrill screech got too loud.

"Why did you do that, Angela?"


"The kettle. You could've left it for a while longer."

"I don't like the sound."

Constantine gave her a wry smile.


"The molecular combination of intense heat and the occult properties of water make steam a viable source of what I like to call demon EVP."

"That's demons." Angela looked down at him suspicious and pointed to the kettle.

"Well it's not electronic, but the voice phenomena part, yeah. They can't do anything from there except open a channel just big enough to let sound through."

Angela turned away from him and began pouring. "Well that's fucking creepy" she said matter of fact.

"Not really. The world is very strange if you pay attention. There's a guy actually, New York based, called Dr Strange. Can you believe that? I mean, not that he's an occultist with a PhD or anything, we've got plenty of smart people on side, but the name, it's like going to a banker called Mr Green. Black, no sugar."

"So what's he like? Is this Doctor a strange guy?"

"I wouldn't know. Never met him. But he's The Guy in New York. Every time I hear stories about The City, people who were there say his name in awe. Probably a glamor of some description, no one's that good."

Angela sat. "You hungry?"


"Me neither."

They sat quietly. Angela blew on her coffee to cool it. Constantine felt oddly content. It was rare he had a moment of calm like this.

"Pink elephants." Angela said.


"Are we talking about it?"


"This. What's happening here? What happened yesterday? No discussion?"

"We're adults. Do we need to discuss it?"

Angela finally began to sip her coffee like a comfort blanket of warmth. "I'd like to."

"Listen, I'm not the kinda guy you're looking for. The one who's got a safe job and is never in trouble with the law and that's the guy you deserve. I can't commit to anyone. We're friends and I don't even like having people that close to me since..." Constantine's memory flashed up an image of Chaz, engrossed in a book and leaning against his car. "Even friends don't last long around me."

"So we're friends. This is a friends thing. Benefits."

"I'd like it to be. But it's your call." Constantine threw a hand in the air carelessly.

Angela nodded thoughtfully. "I'll think about it."

"So I was good?" Constantine grinned.

Angela laughed and put down her coffee. "Yes, you were good."


Angela smiled and looked down to hide a slight blush. "You're so distant. It's like you live your life in another dimension, not this one. I'm feel like I'm friends with a time traveler."

"Professional necessity. A very powerful occultist is usually very... uptight. We have to keep our distance from people."

"Why?" Angela went for a refill.

"You know those people, that when they walk into a room, everyone's eyes kinda draw to them? And they get that inkling compulsion to go over and talk? And it's nothing to do with their attractiveness or their clothes, just some unexplainable attraction? Even seeing them walk. They call it charisma."

"Yeah. So what?"

"Well, that's a natural energy lure. When you work in the business for only a few years, you'll start to shine, on an auric level. We call it a beacon. Anyway, this usually has a thing we call a polar effect. People always have intense reactions to you. Love, or hate. But when the occultist in question cares for someone around them, even a little, the effect is compounded."

"Since the energy switches both ways. Like a gate." Angela motioned with her fingers.

"Yes. Like a gate. Exactly. When the charismatic individual has sex, they can cast a kind of natural love spell. It can last for months. With every time they sleep together, it reinforces."

"I thought that was brain chemicals."

"I have a theory it extends the shelf-life of those chemicals, yes. "

"Why's that a bad thing?" Angela leaned back onto her counter.

"Because it removes the idea of free will. Spell couples never work out well. You can never know for certain if the person you care about truly loves you, or if it's just a magnetism you've created by a delusional willpower. It's a sad truth that your own power can be your greatest enemy sometimes. And of course, that magnetism now applied to the poor person can attract all sorts of bad things into their life. Which binds them more to the person they think they love."

Angela looked concerned. "What about other stuff? Kissing?"

"Er, yeah you need to avoid kissing too. It can cause the same thing but on a lower intensity level. Which makes things build up to sex and it just gets so messy."

"Then why do you sleep around? I do hear things from other people, after they've seen me around you." She folded her arms.

"That's why I usually only sleep with people who aren't quite human. The effect is mitigated on them, dampened by a natural shield. Not to mention, sex between two people with the sight can be amazing. You probably hear the stories about Crowley's experiments into sex lucidity, right?"

"No." She shrugged.

"What? Oh, you're missing out!"

"I'll look it up."

"Oh, do. You won't regret it. Perhaps if you play your cards right, you'll get a few private lessons" he winked.