Jasfoup missed Harold's scowl but could tell by the set of his shoulders he was annoyed. “Now what have I said?”
“You just don't realise, do you?” Harold paused in the rear lobby, standing on the grill that was designed to carry away the blood from any non-authorised being that entered without Harold disabling the portal first. Jasfoup could see the faint glow of active runes as Harold wittered on about empowerment and respecting the feelings of others.
“I get it. I'm sorry.” Jasfoup held out his hand. “Look, I'll even make the tea to apologise, all right?”
“Okay. Thanks.” Harold shook his hand. He shrugged off his coat and hung it up, a wary eye on the kitchen table. He pulled out a chair and sat, resting his palms on the old pine. “Right. Legion. Can you hear me?”
Jasfoup put the kettle on and prepared the teapot, keeping an ear out for any reply from the mother of demons.
Harold glanced at him. “Do you think she heard me? How will I know?”
“You could host the demon.” Jasfoup filled the pot with boiling water and put it on a trivet on the table. He followed it with cups and a milk jug and sat. “We know you're compatible. I found out that much in the Tower of Records. You're a direct descendant of Legion herself. Himself.” He frowned. “Itself.”
“Voluntarily become possessed?” Harold wrinkled his nose. “That doesn't sound pleasant. I like being in control of my own body, thanks.”
“You would be.” Jasfoup poured them each a cup of tea. “You're the son of a seraph. Even diluted, your blood holds the power to exorcise demons. You'd remain in control. Then I could communicate directly with Legion and maybe get some answers.”
“Okay if you're sure.” Harold took a small sip of tea. It was still too hot for anything else. “What do I do?”
“I need to mark you with the invitation symbol.” Jasfoup extended a claw. “Hold out your hand.”
“If you're sure.” Harold did as he was bid. “I'm trusting you with my life here.”
“Again.” Jasfoup gave him what he hoped was a reassuring smile an deftly cut the symbol into Harold's palm.
Harold winced. “I'd better be able to get rid of this demon when I want to.”
“I'm positive you will.” Jasfoup took his hand and held it palm-down on the wooded surface. Harold grimaced for a moment, then his eyes went black.
Jasfoup released his hand. “Fairly positive, anyway.”