Amanda couldn't stop herself shaking the proffered hand, despite her unwillingness to trust a total stranger in her own flat. "Amanda Brinkley, though most people call me Mandy." She rubbed her face free on the nonexistent tears. "I've seen you before, haven't I? At the office. You didn't have the horns and the tail then, mind. I thought you were a solicitor from another practice, come to discuss a case."
"Nothing so wicked." Jasfoup smiled, and she was certain he had more teeth then she remembered. "Just a demon, popping in to collect your soul." He consulted what looked like a Blackberry. "Happy birthday for yesterday, by the way. I can't offer you a gift in the circumstances though I did contribute to the one they got you at the office. What did they get you?"
"An espresso machine. Quite a good one actually. It's still in its box over there. I don't suppose I'll ever use it now."
"No, your won't." The demon was tapping away at his personal organiser. "Who's your next of kin? Will they appreciate it?"
"My parents? I doubt it." Mandy drifted over to the package, still on the breakfast table where she'd dumped it after getting home from the office. She traced the clean lines of the picture with her finger. "I've never even seen them drink coffee at home."
"Ah." The demon smiled. "Any objection if I take it then? Only it's a friend of mine's birthday on Tuesday and she'd really love it."
Mandy waved her hands in a 'do I really care' manner. "Sure. Help yourself. There're a couple of bags of Ethical Brand Columbian in the kitchen, too. "
"Ethical?" The demon curled a lip. "Maybe. I'm not supposed to approve..." He looked down as his PDA gave a desultory beep. "What did you die of, exactly? I can't seem to find the information. There's been an error somewhere. According to my records, you were decapitated by persons unknown with a blade not less than eighteen inches long." He looked across at the perfect state of the body. "That's clearly not the case." He looked back at her and gave a reassuring smile. "It all looks quite peaceful. What did you do? Overdose? Gas?"
"No, neither." Mandy forced herself to look at her corpse. There was a snail-trail of dried saliva an her cheek. She wondered if she could remove it before someone came to find the body. "I didn't kill myself."
"You did something, love." The demon went over to the settee and moved a lock of hair from her overly-pale face. "People don't just die for no reason."