"Where is she…?" Dali growled. His patience running ever thin. It was important for her to be here. This was the largest party to be thrown this year and Dalliance was looking more splendid than it had in months. An invitation had been delivered to Ms. Morgan and she had promised to attend. She was the only reason why the turn out had been so profound. Rachel Morgan, the only sane female of the Demon race needed to be here.

"She will be here." The demon Algaliarept assured, standing beside him, watching the partygoers from the outskirts of the festivities. "She gave me her word, Dali. Do believe that she understands the consequences of breaking a word with me." Al was certain she would show. He'd successfully taught her how to jump the lines and she would arrive, just as he'd shown her.

But piss on my daisies, the Bitch was taking her sweet fucking time… He pulled his smoke-rimmed glasses from the bridge of his sharp slender nose and busied himself, cleaning the circular lenses with a silken handkerchief. The party carried on before him in the gallant ballroom interior that Dali had chosen from the Juke-Box. The others drank and ate and bitched at the slave servers as usual but a select few of them had started to steal glances in his direction, pondering the same question Dali had asked him, no doubt.

"Summon her." Dali's voice, though a whisper, was sharp like a blade.

Al grimaced, smoothing his signature crushed green velvet coat and fiddling with the spill of lace at his throat. This was, by all accounts, a costume party. Al however was never one for the humorous vestments of such gatherings. He loved to dress up, of course, but a costume? No thank you. Besides, Rachel would be in costume tonight. That would be enough. In fact, she'd agree to show if he allowed her to wear a costume of her choosing. He seethed. "I can't summon her…" He growled, eyes never moving from the crowd.

"Why, by the Hells, not?" Dali asked.

"She warned me that she would be fashionably late and—"

"This is not—"

"Yes, yes, I know." Al's voice was low and pointed. "She's getting ready." He looked at the squat, older looking man beside him then. "Do you have any idea how long it takes for women to dress on her side of the lines?" He sighed, his own patience dwindling as he turned back to the room. "She will be here. She will."

"Mirror her." Dali demanded."

It was a good idea, really it was but he hadn't had the chance to replace his yet. "I… cant."


"She…" Gods.. this was complete and utter shit.. "She… broke mine."

They turned to each other then and what came out of Dali's mouth made many of the party guests stop and swivel their heads. "She broke your scrying mirror? Is that a joke?"

Al winced and looked away from him. "No. I wish it were."

"Well no matter." Dali's voice rose to encompass the room and everyone turned. "You may call her from the house mirror." The music stopped and Dali gestured to the center of the ball room where a large mirror on an iron easel appeared in a sizzle of smoke and black sparkles.

Al, reluctant but knowing it would be unwise to decline, strode after Dali to the mirror and placed his palm across its face. The damned thing was a public mirror, which meant everyone would hear the conversation. That, in itself, was not a terrible thing… but he would ring Rachel's neck if she gave him any sass. The others would give him shit for a century if they knew how she spoke to him. Invoking the mirror he set his mind to Rachel and waited. After what seemed like forever, she picked up.

"Who in the hell is this and how did you reach my mirror?" She growled.

Brows lifted all around and a few chuckles escaped the silent crowd.

"It's Al." He answered her flatly. "Where are you." He felt her frown through the bond of the mirrors and knew her brows were furrowed even though he couldn't see her.

"How did you—"

"Public Mirror." He stated.

"B-but.. Wait, there's a public mirror?"

"Never mind that!" He struggled to keep his voice under control. "Where. Are. You?"

"I told you I would be late." Was her indignant reply.

"This, Itchy Witch, it too late." He felt her mind jumble for a moment before settling into a calm cautiousness at the use of his nickname for her.

She sighed. "I'll be just a moment, I was just finishing up."

He cleared his throat quickly, knowing that she would feel his relief and hating it. "Good. I'm anxious to see this costume you've been going on about."

She laughed a delicious sound he'd never heard from her before and Al's breath hitched for just a moment. "You remember that you promised I could wear anything…"

Al raised a brow. "Yes…" The single word was almost a question.

"And you remember that you promised not to make me change, even if you hate it…"

He paused. "What have you got on, Rachel?" He decided that he didn't like that way she was talking and he hoped she wasn't about to embarrass the hell out of him… she probably was…

"You're either going to love it or you're going hate it." She was enjoying herself. "Get ready, I'm about to pop over." And she ended the connection.

"Finally." Dali drawled, impatience dripping from every syllable.

When the large mirror disappeared and a pop of displaced air erupted at a distance behind him, Al and everyone in the great room turned and there was Rachel. Her back was to them all and Al took the opportunity to peruse her with his gaze. Sexy heels and green velvet pants that hugged her from ankle to ass with a matching stiff collared coat that hugged the curve of her waist and slender shoulders.

He stiffed, brows furrowing in sudden confusion. Green velvet… He thought. Crushed green velvet…

Her hair was pulled back at the base of her skull in what looked like and artfully styled bun with wrapping braids and golden beads, the work of fairies, not doubt… but his heart didn't really start to flutter until she lifted a silken gloved hand that gripped a perfect top hat which she placed upon her fiery head. Her other arm moved out to the side and curse him if it didn't cradle a cane.

She turned to face them all with one elegant, perfect about-face and grinned mischievously, catching Al's gazed through a delicate pair of circular smoke-rimmed glasses. "Hello, my Itchy Witch…" She crooned in a liquid British accent.

Al gaped at her, staring in wide-eyed open mouth surprise. So too was Dali.

"What's the matter, Love?" She reached to tousle the frills at her neck. "Don't you like it?"

Mother-puss-bucket… He thought as his lips curved up into a monstrous smile of their own accord. "Indeed…" He whispered.

"Of course you do." She scoffed matter-of-factly as she moved towards him, mimicking his own confident stride. "Now, pick up your jaw and move." She hooked her arm through his and tugged. "We must mingle." He stumbled a few steps after her before she halted and looked him over. "Gods, what are you wearing?"

Her nose was wrinkled and she was frowning in what seemed like such a genuine show of distaste that for a moment he babbled, fumbling with words. "I-I.."

"Oh never mind." She growled, slapping his back so hard he arched. "Stand up straight. Try to look sexy." It was exactly the thing he'd done to her once and in front of these same people. "Dali, old friend!" She gushed with delight. "How do you do?"

The silence then dragged out into the room for so long that he thought the others might attack them on the spot. She did not, however, drop the grin that was plastered across her face for a second and when Dali finally opened his own mouth it was to howl with laughter. Everyone else in the whole room, in fact, followed suit until he found that he was the only one not laughing.

He looked down at her, not able to stop his smile from spreading wider. Reaching for her waist he yanked her to him hard. Her grin faltered and she dropped the cane looking serious now, her top hat tumbling to the floor. It was a look he hadn't seen on her face in years and one that; curiously, he found he did not prefer if it was indeed genuine. Fear. "Forgive us, Dali," His voice rumbled into the room and Rachel's eyes fluttered. He never tore his gaze from hers. "but Rachel and I have other matters to attend to."

"You're leaving?" Dali was suddenly outraged. "Why?"

"I'm only taking the advice you've been giving me for centuries, Dali."

"And what advice would that be?" He roared.

"I'm going to go fuck myself."

His Itchy Witch beamed at him then and they both disappeared in a golden wash of ever after and the devilish sound of Rachel's excited laughter.