The caller ID showed a familiar name and number, so she picked up the call. Yes, there were things going on that probably needed her attention, but it had been a while since last they spoke and she was curious what she wanted now.
“Ya, Chloe, what do you need? I’m supposed to go find some jackass bail-jumper in Vegas tonight. My contact says he’s at the Rio, sucking down those giant margaritas they sell in the souvenir cups.”
“Nothing, actually,” the detective replied. Mazikeen could hear the smile in the woman’s voice. Not many women reacted to her that way. “Actually, I was wondering if you were busy tomorrow night?”
“Why, what’s up tomorrow night?” the demon wanted to know. “Stake-out?”
“No, actually, it’s been forever since we had our last girl’s night out, and I think it’s time for another one.”
“Lucifer has been back for five weeks and you can actually pry yourself loose from banging him for a night out with the girls?”
There was a moment of silence on the other end of the phone, and then a soft chuckle.
“Banging him? Really? That’s where your mind went? Never you mind, Mazikeen. We’re fine and dandy. Anyhow, I think someone has something plotted for Lucifer, so it’s probably good that I get out of the way, and I figured that spending time with you would be fun,” Chloe told her. “It sure was the last time.”
Fun? Chloe had been pissed when she found out it was all part of a bet. Mazikeen hadn’t actually expected to have as much fun as she had, when it was all said and done. But then, she had ended up with her first place to stay without being at Lucifer’s beck and call, and that had meant something, when it came down to it.
“Dandy? Seriously? Dandy,” Mazikeen shook her head. “Does this mean you’ve forgiven me?”
“I couldn’t stay mad at you,” the detective said. “Anyhow, like I said, it would be fun, and Linda would probably like some time away from Charlie to spend a little time with the other nominal adults. Trixie has already volunteered to babysit the little guy.”
“Trixie said she’d babysit Charlie,” Maze said flatly. “Does she know what she might be getting herself into?”
“Well, since she knew about you and Lucifer, I decided to tell her about Amenadiel and Charlie,” Chloe said. “Once again, she seems to have known all along.”
“Yep. She did.”
“She’s not natural, Decker.”
“I think I just might agree with you, but—”
“The Largo has a show, but we can start there and decide what we’re going to do from there.”
“The Little Room doesn’t have much in the way of drinks, and they keep showing that never-ending stream of old Coronet films, but there is that bar right next door to it,” Mazikeen suggested.
“Yes, there is, and they have decent booze on hand.”
“You know we could just go to Lux for free drinks, right?”
“Yes, I do, but then Lucifer or anyone else could just drop by, or he could have his other employees share information on whatever we’d done. Plus, Dan’s been doing a lot of drinking out that way, and I just don’t want to get into it with him.”
Decker’s ex hadn’t been all that happy when Lucifer had made his reappearance. He’d been even less thrilled when Chloe began doing a bit of part-time cohabitation with the man who had been his romantic nemesis before he and his former wife had formally ended their relationship. It probably poked at him that his daughter liked Lucifer as much as she did.
“Okay, Decker, you’ve made your point,” Mazikeen surrendered. “The Largo? What time?”
“The show is at eight, but seating is first come, first served, so, depending on what kind of seats you want, that decides when we show up.”
“You know, the show doesn’t interest me, but I’ll meet you at that bar next door at eight. Does that work for you?”
“It does. I’ll call Linda and make sure she can come,” Chloe said. “To be honest, I asked Trixie about babysitting first, then called you, and now I’ll ask Linda. Does that make me a bad person?”
“No, just practical,” Maze told her. “And thanks for thinking of inviting me, Decker. I had fun that night, believe it or not.”
“I did, too, Maze. I’m sorry about how I reacted. Lucifer was right, but don’t ever tell him I said that.”
“My lips are sealed, Decker,” Chloe could almost swear she heard the demon grinning on the other end of the conversation. “So, who is plotting against Lucifer? Something I should know about?”
“Against? No, not against. I think that Amenadiel is planning to take Lucifer out of bed and get him to do something else.”
“You do realize, don’t you, that Lucifer had a serious case of blue balls while you two were separated, right?” Mazikeen reminded her. “Except for that time with Eve, once you told him you didn’t want him with other partners, he stopped completely.”
“I hadn’t really thought about it, but you’re right,” Chloe said, her voice taking on a suggestive tone. “Maybe I should postpone girls’ night out for a bit.”
“No you don’t, Decker,” Maze protested. “You’ve brought it up and invited me, and you’d better follow through!” `
“Oh, don’t forget to invite Eve along, Maze,” Chloe told the demon, surprising her even more than she had been before.
“Eve? Are you sure?”
“She’s your girlfriend, right? Of course she’s welcome! I’ve been told she’s good at being the life of the party. Maybe we can pry that perpetual appletini out of her hand and introduce her to real drinks, for a change.”
Mazikeen laughed. Eve’s girlie drink tastes were maddening, especially her fixation on those stupid appletinis.
“This is sounding like a lot more fun than I thought it might be,” Mazikeen admitted. “Thanks for inviting Eve along. I don’t think she thinks you like her.”
“What’s not to like, Maze. She’s naïve, yes, but that doesn’t mean she’s stupid. I’m ready to see her again and maybe work on getting to know her better, away from Lucifer.”
There, there it was. The line. The demon ground her teeth at the thought.
“You really think she’ll try to get him back?” Maze wanted to know. “She stepped away when everything happened with Charlie. She just wants to be forgiven.”
“There’s nothing to forgive, Maze. Really. I just think that she needs to learn to have fun on her own, without the aim of wanting others to like her. She’s her own person, not a cypher. It’s something she has to learn, right?”
“You’re a lot more understanding and enlightened than I think I could be, Chloe.”
“I think you’re wrong, Maze,” was Chloe’s reply.
“Oh, why would you think that?”
“Mazikeen, how long was it just you and Lucifer, and then I came into the picture,” she asked the demon. “For so long, any partners he had were fleeting, and then I showed up. I shook things up more than a bit.”
“Oh, that’s nothing.”
“No, Maze, it’s something. It really is something. I know you weren’t comfortable with me coming into your lives but still you did your version of welcoming me in.”
“Lucifer wouldn’t have tolerated anything else.”
“Obeying your boss and becoming my actual friend are two different things, Maze, and if I thought there was anything at all wrong with you, you wouldn’t still be part of my life,” she replied. “Hell, you go off and do whatever it is you’re not telling me about with my daughter and I haven’t put a stop to it!”
Oh. And there it was.
“I’m her mother. Of course, I know.”
“I’ll stop, then.”
“No, no need to stop. Just don’t get her into any real trouble and it’ll be fine.”
“You okay Decker? Someone got a gun pulled on you and you’re giving me some clue?”
The detective laughed, the sound turning infectious, and the demon joined in her laughter.
“No, I’ve decided that if Lucifer can trust you as much as he does, I can trust you, too.”
A warm feeling grew inside the demon. It was an amazing sensation.
“So, then. Tomorrow night? At the bar next door to the Largo? Not the strip club across the street!”
“Not my thing, Decker. Sure, the bar next door. I’ll bring Linda and Eve with me.”
“Great! I’ll bring Ella.”
“She’s a lot more fun than you realize.”
“You know you’re endangering the secret, bringing her along.”
“Look, Maze, Lucifer has never kept it a secret. He’s always been open with who he is. It’s not his fault that people don’t believe him unless they see something,” Chloe replied. “I’m thinking that someday Ella will find out, but I think she’s the kind of person who will take it all much more easily than either the doctor or I did.”
“Now that would be something to see.”
“Yes, but this isn’t a challenge. Don’t push that envelope.”
“Fine. Be that way.”
“I will be. See you tomorrow night, then. I’m looking forward to it.”
“Ya, Decker, me, too.”