“My wife, my boys” Duke said with whole hearted honesty.
Grigori’s head tilted in interest “Your wife and boys. Well, that sounds like a reason to live.”
A relived Duke said “thank God!”
This brought pause to Grigori “Oh let me be clear. If I help you, God did not.”
Grigori stood and assessed the situation. There was a block, looking like cement or concrete, right on the calf of the fireman keeping him from moving. Grigori believed that he could push it over, or roll it, but not lift it.
“Tell me Fireman, what would you say to a deal?”
“Just get me outta here, we only have minutes.”
“If I give you your life – what will you give me in return? Your beautiful wife, for just one night? One of your boys to raise as my own? You still get the other one. Or should I ask for money.”
Duke began to fumble for the walkie-talkie on his shoulder “base this is nineteen, base this is nineteen.”
Grigori bent over and pulled the device from his hand and ripping the cord right out.
“This,” he hissed “is between you, and me. Your friends won’t be able to help you in time.”
“Please, just get my leg out, there is nothing else you have to do, I can do the rest on my own” Duke pleaded.
“One promise Fireman – one promise and I’ll give you your life. Promise me one favor, one favor anytime, anywhere, anything.” Grigori pushed down on the block over his leg adding to the pressure.
Duke screamed in pain “Okay! One favor, anything.”
“Anything, anywhere, anytime, one favor. Say it.”
Duke repeated each word. Grigori complied with his promise pushing the block off and lifting Duke to his feet and taking him to the stairwell.
The mask Duke wore was covered in a thick smoky residue. He hadn’t been able to make out the devil’s face or detail. He found himself lying on the street with his team looking over his body. With care, the team removed the mask, to find Duke in good health. His only ailment was a bad leg and deliriously rambling a repeated phrase, “where is the devil? Where is the devil?”