“We might still have time, then,” Carmen said. “How old is the host?”
“Uh… middle aged?” Frederica said. “I don’t know exactly. I only met him yesterday.”
“Does he still have control of his body?” Carmen asked. “Or is the demon fully in charge?”
“They seem to be alternating,” Frederica replied. “Like they’re fighting for the driver’s seat. Is that good or bad?”
“Well, it means he still can fight, at least,” Carmen said. “Now, you wouldn’t happen to know the demon’s name, would you?”
“Sorry,” Frederica said. “He didn’t exactly take the time to introduce himself. But we can keep digging and see if we turn up anything.”
“Please do,” Carmen said. “It’ll make thing much easier. I’ll start making preparations in the meantime, and I’ll contact you as soon as I’m ready.”
“Is there anything else you need me to do?”
“Just keep a low profile,” Carmen said. “If the demon realizes you’re onto him, he might go to ground until it’s too late to save the host.”
Frederica absently touched the note in her pocket, her mind drifting back to the look of concern on Cyrus’s face as he’d talked with his husband. And she hoped with all her might that she hadn’t already screwed everything up.
“Okay,” Frederica said. “Will do.”
Carmen hung up. Frederica hurried to class and found Marcus sitting in the front row, nose buried in a musty old book. She gestured him over. He clapped the book shut and joined her in the doorway.
“I just got off the phone with Carmen,” Frederica said. “Turns out I was wrong about the werewolf thing.”
“Obviously,” he replied. “Did she say what we’re actually dealing with?”
“Yeah,” Frederica said. “A demon.”
Marcus got really quiet for a moment, then he looked up at Frederica and said, “The Beast wasn’t an animal.”