The van went over some lumps and potholes, rattling about so violently that Harold had to brace himself with his hands against the supporting struts and his legs stretched to the opposite side of the van. Jasfoup, to his annoyance, seemed unaffected by the jostling and sat perfectly calm, almost in a state of meditation. Harold realised that even a box of paperbacks was no substitute for the sprung leather of the front seats and wondered how many new bruises he'd accumulate before they reached home.
He glanced at Jasfoup. The demon had his eyes closed and seemed to be smiling at some passing thought. “Well, thank you anyway, I suppose.”
Jasfoup half-opened his eyes, a flash of amber reflecting from the scarlet orbs. “Thank you, but I never intended to actually kill you that time, you know. It was merely a power play to take advantage of your father's feelings for you.”
“Would you have gone through with it, though? If he hadn't agreed to your terms, I mean.”
“Who can tell? What's done is done, old chap. You can't spend your life wondering 'what if', can you?”
“Not generally, no, but in this one instance?
“Let's not dwell on the past and just be glad for the present, eh? I didn't shove a feather up your bum when I could have done. Let's just leave it at that, shall we?”
“You're avoiding the question.”
“Evading, I think. I'm a demon, Harold. I see the multiverse. There are realities where I killed you when I had the chance. You would have taken your place in hell just the same.”
“Are there many where you went through with it?”
“A few.” Jasfoup smiled. “Let's not pursue the subject, eh? Look! The van's stopping.”