The Can't Have Bubbles Mix by dizmo
"Yes, yes. Fine. Just get that contract signed. We're running a tight schedule here, and I can't afford to be that far behind… Yes, of course I can provide it. How long have I been in this business now? Exactly…. Oh, for the love of—. Just get it signed. Thank you."
Hanging up the phone, the speaker leaned back in his seat and sighed. Some days, this Prince of Darkness stuff is just so not worth it..
Satan looked around his remarkably well-organized office. Some of the lesser demons in his employ scorned his use of 'modern conveniences'. Telephones and fax machines, they said, just didn't carry the same sense of forbidding evil as appearing in a burst of flame in someone's living room. Sure, that may be the case, but with the population of the world growing exponentially as it was, it was just a whole lot easier to keep track of all the damned souls when you had a Blackberry.
His secretary buzzed in. "Mr. Lucifer, sir, Lou Pearlman's on line three. Do you want me to patch him through, or take a message?"
"Take a message. That man is so fucking high-maintenance. I'm getting to the point where I'm just thinking of voiding the contract and giving him his soul back. See how many people actually sign with him without my help."
It never failed to amuse him. For all the bellyaching the fundies did about hard rock artists, really it was the pop genre that gave him the most business in the music industry. When you consider that 90% of them figuratively sell their souls just to get started anyway… But that was neither here nor there.
His intercom chirped again. "Sergei Petrov, line one. Says it's urgent."
Satan frowned. Sergei was a remarkably effective minion. What did he need? "Patch it through…. Sergei, what's going on?"
"Ah, yes, boss," Sergei broke through in his Russian accent. "We have… something of a situation with the Chasez contract."
"Chasez, Chasez… Oh, yeah, that other *NSYNC guy. Something about a successful album, right?"
"Da. Yes. I have his—ah—friend, Lance, on the other phone line. Want me to being him in on three-way?"
"The one who you tried to recruit for the space thing? Sure, why not."
After a few moments, a deep bass voice broke through the line. "You're actually putting me through to Satan?"
Satan laughed softly. "You're already through, Mr. Bass. On three-way. So, have you decided to change your mind about our offer? I can still—"
"Fuck no. I want to find out exactly why you're reneging on a deal."
Satan blinked and turned to his laptop. "What are you talking about? Prince of Darkness, yes, but I do not break contracts. I can't pick up that kind of reputation. Horrible way to get new souls, see—."
"Then would you care to explain why exactly JC's album is still being fucked around with by the asshats at Jive when it quite clearly states in the contract, page three, paragraph 2, 'Satan,' that would be you, for the record, 'agrees, in return for such considerations,' that would be his soul, 'to provide all accomodations towards the swift and timely release of Mr Chasez's debut solo album.' Now, I'm not exactly a lawyer, but if you look at the date of the signatures on this fucking contract, and compare it to today, and note that the album in question has been finished for longer than this contract has actually been in effect, and still the release date keeps getting pushed back, you can see that there has been absolutely no effort put forward towards anything remotely resembing a 'swift and timely release'."
Satan blinked, opening the file of Carlos's reports. "All the reports I'm getting indicate that the album progress has been going smoothly," he replied with a frown.
"Your reports are fucking wrong. Go to any fucking fansite if you don't believe me. Fuck, just zoom around some Livejournals."
Sergei piped up. "I'm sorry, sir, but I have to be agreeing with Lance. The album seems to be progressing even more slowly than before the contract was signed. And I think I know why."
Satan's expression grew rather cloudy as Sergei related some rather convoluted story involving JC, Carlos, Tara Reid, and some kind of relationship jealousy. I have got to do some damage control here… "Well, Mr. Bass, this is certainly… unexpected. I would, of course, be more than willing to assign someone else to work with Mr. Chasez on this ca—"
"No? I'm the Prince of fucking Darkness. I can't—"
"I know damn well who you are. And I say no. I want him out of this fucking contract. Look at page five. Last paragraph. 'In the event that Satan does not adequately provide all the terms of this contract, it shall be rendered null and void.' You haven't produced. Period. Let him out."
Satan snarled quietly. Carlos was going to answer for this. "Fine. Null and void."
He could almost see Lance's triumphant expression transmitted through the phone lines. "Pleasure doing business with you, Mr. Lucifer."
"I only wish I could say the same."
Lance hung up then, leaving only Sergei on the line. "Sir, it is for the best."
"I fail to see how."
"You discovered Carlos's ineptitude. And besides…"
"I think Lance will take adequate care of JC's soul. In fact, I doubt it was JC's to give in the first place."
Satan pondered that for a while. "Very likely, Sergei. Very likely."
Lance leaned back in his chair after hanging up the phone and smiled. He wouldn't tell JC that he actually talked to the 'man in charge', but what happened apart from that would be just fine for letting C know he was free. "The things I do for love, man. I swear."
But as he stood up and picked up the contract, a thick black 'NULL AND VOID' beginning to appear over each page, he knew, just knew, that for JC, he would have done it again in an instant.