Duncan and Niasa – 17. Decisions

I had to hand it to Janus: he had some pretty fine taste. For our second meeting, he had chosen an excellent, expensive, and quiet seafood restaurant by the beach. On the eve of summer, this was a particularly good choice. I had Niasa accompany me, this time. She insisted on it, in part out of concern for my safety, and in part because it was a free dinner. Typically for Janus, he had booked an isolated table, with a screen to hide us from the rest of the patrons.

Janus wore his usual International Man of Mystery outfit, but with bigger sunglasses. I wondered how he managed to avoid attention with his appearance, as he never seemed to even wear a mask. Niasa obviously wouldn’t wear her baggy pants and sweatshirt in three digits weather, but fortunately the restaurant had a dress code lax enough to accept bikinis. As for me, I was trying on a Cuban suit; I kinda liked it, even if beige was not my colour. Janus declined to eat or drink anything aside from an iced coffee. I had the oyster plate with some champagne. What the hell, right? We were celebrating -and Janus was paying. As for Niasa:

“Can you make my order, like, a pile of fish? I don’t even care what kind, so long as you grill it and serve it with some kind of spicy sauce. Just tell your cook to, I dunno, slab a whole bunch of fish on the grill, and voila. Can you do that? ‘Cause that would save us all a lot of time.”

The waiter looked uncertain, and a tad weirded out, but agreed to ask the cook.

“Are you going to have some vegetables with your fish?” I asked.

“I assume there’s going to be some veggies in the sauce…” she shrugged.

Janus closed his eyes and enjoyed the warm wind blowing through the nearby opened window. When the appetizers -shrimp cocktails and crab rangoon- were served, he finally initiated the conversation.

“You’ll be happy to know Ms Bianchi has been detained by the relevant authorities, and is currently awaiting trial in a specially designed detention center. Her accomplices are on the run, but authorities are confident they will be caught soon.

– Yes, apparently you have some friends among the FBI, too,” I said. “Why am I not surprised ?”

The waiter came back.

“Right, so I spoke to the cook, and the manager, and her manager, and they agreed to do that, but you have to pay in advance.

– Sure thing!” Niasa said. “Hey, Jaja, pay the man.”

Janus scoffed, and pulled out a few bills from his jacket’s inner pocket.

“Now, do you still have all that data we discussed?

– Yes, Rin is watching it, when she’s not taking care of Gordy’s wound,” Niasa said.

“Have you thought about what to do with it?

– I didn’t realize it was up to me,” I said, slightly sarcastic.

“Of course it is. The data is, I’m assuming, stored offline in a location only you, Dr Roth, and Ms Niasa know about. You could delete it all if you want.

– Is it weird that I find what he just said oddly threatening?” Niasa asked me.

“No, I find everything he says oddly threatening,” I said. “Right, yes, I could delete it. But I won’t. Why would I?

– Well, that brings us back to my question: have you thought about what to do with it?”

I shifted in my seat.

“Look, if you’re suggesting that I sell it off on the black market or something like that, forget about it.

– No, no, absolutely not,” Janus said, raising his hand. “The part of your life where you would do such things is over, I know that. It was over when you met Niasa. I’m asking this question honestly.”

I tapped my fingers on the edge of the table. With a sigh, I said:

“Well… I gave it a few thoughts, I guess.

– I’d like to hear them, please.”

I frowned. So did Niasa as she sipped her glass of champagne. Where was he going with this? My Hellhound and I looked at each other, then I said:

“Okay. This is a bit long-winded, but apparently you don’t mind beating around the bush. I’ve been thinking about all of this dimensions and portals business ever since I’ve learned about it. I mean, sure, it’s brilliant, but… There were quite a few things that have been bothering me.

“Firstly, there’s Bianchi, obviously. Trying to take over the world, and all that. She’s tried twice, and it’s a good bet she’d try a third time if she could.

“Secondly, there was Niasa’s mother, and why she arrived in this dimension. I’m going to go on a limb and assume you already know…

– The Hellhound rebellion,” he said. “Yes, I do.

– Right. Then you probably also know that they’ve arrived here because some people on the other side also know how to travel between dimensions. I guess it’s not much of a surprise, considering… Still, it’s interesting.

“Thirdly, there was the story of someone named Jackson Pulver…

– A major actor in the aforementioned rebellion. Yes, I know of him.

– Course you do,” Niasa said. “Seriously, dude, you’re low-key freaking me out, right now.

– Anyway,” I continued, “that man, by all accounts, found himself in another dimension purely by accident. Some sort of fluke. Which means that, apparently, that’s possible too. Which means it likely happened before. In fact, that may be how some mamonos found themselves here, centuries ago. I guess we’ll never know for sure…”

Janus shrugged noncommittally.

“Fourthly, there was what we discussed last time. How I believed there were probably more than two companies working on portal technology, and likely some governments on it, too. That got me thinking. What if the next Bianchi is a CEO or a head of state, somewhere? What if some ambitious, crazy guy decides to ally himself with some otherworldly power to conquer the world, like some kind of Lovecraftian cultist? There may not be someone to stop them, next time.

“And the reverse is true, too. What if there are archangels or archdemons in some other dimension that think the grass is greener on our world? Bianchi believes she has been sent to this world as some sort of vanguard for an invasion by some strange god. She may be a nutter, but what if she’s right?

– A sobering thought,” Janus said. “So what do you conclude from all this?

– Right now, the vast majority of the people of our world don’t even suspect the existence of these worlds, because those who do know about them prefer to keep it a secret. And that means they’re unprepared. So, my idea is to make that knowledge public. Not necessarily all at once, but gradually, by distributing the data to the kind of people who can understand what it is, and infer what it means. Scholars, researchers, students… Maybe even journalists and such.

– You’re not afraid that, by doing so, you’d be creating that other Bianchi you talked about?

– No, because I would also be creating the people who would stop them. The entire world would realize the opportunities and the threats behind this. Every country, every army, every government will develop ways to prevent that. Maybe they’ll create some kind of transdimensional United Nations, or some Blue Berets, or something.

– And that way,” Niasa concluded, “the power will be on the side of the people. It won’t be just one CEO, one President, or one crazy evil genius holding it. And that way, if there’s an invasion, we’ll be prepared, wherever it may come from. No gods, no masters, no archangels, no archdemons. Fuck them all. None of that transdimensional colonialism crap.

– Yes, like Johnny Silverhound said,” I nodded.

“Johnny Silverhound!” she said. “I like that.”

Janus joined his hands on the table, nodding. He wasn’t smiling, but something in his expression lightened up. Then, it all became clear in my mind.

“This is what you want too,” I said.

He arched his eyebrows.

“You said it during our last meeting: you fancy nobody as overlord of the Earth. You wanted me to come to this conclusion on my own. You said that too: you were trying to avoid manipulating me.”

This time, he actually smiled.

“Did you actually plan for all of this the first time we met, back in that mansion in the Hamptons?” I said, actually impressed.

“Yeah, seriously, this is crazy,” Niasa said. “You arranged it so that he would save me, you made it so we would defeat Bianchi, you even brought us here to agree with your plan. What’s the next big reveal? Are you secretly his real father?

– No, sorry,” Janus laughed. “I’m afraid Mr Abercromby’s parents are truly his parents. I have no more revelations up my sleeve.

– Well, other than you turning out to have been a good guy all along,” Niasa said. “I actually didn’t see that coming.

– Me neither,” I said. “To be completely honest, I’m still not sure I believe it. So, what’s the next step? I give you all the data, and trust you’ll arrange its distribution?

– I wouldn’t recognize you if you did,” Janus said. “I can offer you help and advice on how to distribute it, but you are free to follow it or reject it, as you see fit.

– Humph. What kind of advice are we talking about, here?

– Well, as Janus and as Jayme Valentine, I have developed a rather large network of acquaintances, some of whom owe me a few favors. These people include researchers, company directors, government workers… I’m willing to use that to help you, should you agree.”

I blew air out of my nose.

“I’m beginning to think you started this whole favour-trading business specifically to that end.

– An interesting theory,” he simply commented. “You still don’t fully trust me, do you?

– No, sorry. You’ve simply been too… agreeable. Too helpful.

– My apologies,” Janus said with a smirk.

“I’m willing to believe you don’t want to see anyone conquer this world out of sheer altruism, but there has to be something else you want. And my intuition tells me it’s something more personal.”

The waiter finally came back with my oysters, and the first three of Niasa’s fish. She immediately got busy digging out the bones, using her claws with great precision. Janus let out a sigh, his gaze suddenly distant. The white spots over his face moved, forming a new pattern again.

“Ah… Let me tell you a story,” he said. “There was once a man -a boy, really-, living in a rather dull and grey world. Ever since he was born, he dreamt of other worlds, filled with magic and adventure. And even as many told him to forget about those fantasies and grow up, the boy only held tighter to them.

“Eventually, the boy decided to make his dreams a reality. He browsed every book he could find, interrogated every scholar he could meet… But he found nothing in the former, and from the latter he would only get words like “impossible”, “unfeasible”, and “unrealistic”. Some would have given up then, but the boy was only encouraged to go further.

“He started looking into… other, more arcane forms of knowledge. He browsed strange treaties, obscure grimoires, and outlandish manuscripts. He met with less than reputable people, moving in less than reputable circles. And, between odd rituals and weird dealings, he obtained what he was seeking: a glance to the other side. And what he saw… changed him.

“There, beyond the pierced veil, stood a woman -a girl, really. The boy looked at her, and the girl looked at him, and they both knew. Their hands met. Their very souls bonded, in a way that transcends flesh or feelings, and, for an instant that lasted an eternity, they became one.

“But, as it usually goes in those stories, something went wrong. Their magical bond was brutally severed, and the veil between their worlds became a blind wall again. Suddenly, everything became dark. When the boy regained consciousness, he felt terribly wounded, even though he wasn’t bleeding or hurt in any apparent way. Some of his memories were gone, he realized, and replaced with others he couldn’t recognize -they belonged to the girl. It was as if… a piece of his soul had gone missing, and had been replaced by a piece of the girl’s soul.

“And although his body was unhurt, it wasn’t exactly intact. His skin had turned to something strange, black as coal with spots of white. Furthermore, it had acquired the strange ability to… change.”

To illustrate his narration, he modified the pattern of his spots again. He then stopped talking to drink his iced coffee.

“Ever since, the boy, having become a man -something resembling a man, at least-, has been looking for the girl and the missing part of his soul. In this quest, he will not rest, nor leave any stone unturned.”

He took a deep breath, and his gloved finger traced meaningless symbols with the drops of coffee that were staining the tablecloth.

“That’s quite a story,” I said.

“Yeah,” Niasa said. “It’s like The Case of Charles Dexter Ward meets Saya no Uta. I don’t know which parts of it are true, which ones are metaphorical, and which ones you just made up, but I do have some questions.

– I thought you might,” Janus said.

“First of all, how do you even know that this girl is still alive?

– I know she is,” he simply said. “Like I said, there is a part of me in her…”

He closed his eyes and appeared to focus for a moment, then his skin started changing again. This time, however, his entire body underwent a more radical change. Curves appeared along his torso, his facial traits became thinner, his stature shifted… Moments later, Janus had turned into a female version of himself.

“… and there is a part of her in me,” he concluded, his voice sounding more feminine.

“Huh,” I muttered, amazed. The two-faced god, I thought. Of course…

“Wow, okay,” Niasa said, momentarily forgetting to swallow her mouthful of fish. “Err… Second question. How are you going to find her? There could be literally an infinity of dimensions out there.

– Yes, that is a possibility,” he said. “But tell me something, Ms Niasa, Mr Abercromby. Look at each other and tell me: if your partner was lost somewhere beyond the veil, would the perspective of infinity stop you in your search for your loved one?”

Niasa and I looked into each other’s eyes. I smiled bashfully, and she took my hand in her paw.

“Then, you understand,” Janus said.

“Yeah…” Niasa said.

“Okay,” I said, turning back to Janus. “We’ll take you on, on your offer to help us. And… hum… I suppose I should thank you for everything you’ve done for us.

– You’re very welcome. It was in both of our interests, after all.”

He stood up, and reverted back to his male form.

“Now, I must leave you. Please enjoy your meal.”

I left my seat too and held my hand out to him. He shook it.

“No, really, thank you,” I said. “And good luck. I don’t know what your next step will be, but I hope you find what -or who- you’re looking for.”

Janus looked moved for a moment, then waved us goodbye and left the restaurant. He quickly disappeared in the crowd on the street. I sat back with Niasa, and got started on those oysters. After dinner, we both decided to take a walk on the beach before going home.

The sand was warm under my bare feet. There were not many people left at this hour, except for a couple of families, and a group of teenagers trying to get a campfire started. Niasa dipped her feet in the sea, then growled that it was a bit cold. She looked at a small boat passing by in the distance, and said:

“I can’t believe the feds that took Bianchi also took our boat.

Her boat, you mean. We stole it.

– Yeah, but, like, we defeated Bianchi in battle. Isn’t there an article in the Constitution that says we get her stuff? This is America!”

She sighed.

“Could we buy a boat?” she asked.

“Are you sure you want one? It gets really cold at sea, you know.

– Ugh, right. Let’s just put a pin in that, then.

– Plus, we should be a bit more careful with our money, what with my situation and everything.”

My former company NUTEC had gotten in some serious trouble. First, there was the revelation that one of its directors had been arrested -the charges had not yet been revealed to the public. Then, the Homeland Security department and the FBI both started investigating the company, and seized a lot of stuff, mostly IT equipment. This, unsurprisingly, caused some financial issues for NUTEC as investors started pulling out en masse, and the corporate board announced a series of layoffs. I was one of the very firsts to be walked out the door -and one of the happiest, reportedly. Fortunately for us, Niasa wasn’t exaggerating when she said she earned more than enough to support us both.

“What do you think you’re going to do, now?” she said.

“I don’t know. I was thinking of taking a break, if that’s okay.

– Sure, darling.”

She kissed me on the cheek.

“Maybe this will give you more time to practice the guitar.

– Yes… Maybe. I don’t know, I think I want to try something else.

– Like what?

– I’m not sure. Writing, maybe? But, for starters, I was thinking about… this.”

I rammed my shoulder into her, and she fell in the water with a scream of surprise.

“You are so DEAD!” she said, laughing incredulously.

I managed to outrun her for about a yard, then she nabbed and lifted me above her head.

“No, wait, I like this suit,” I said.

“Tough shit!”

She threw me in the water, then leaped after me. Unfortunately, our fun was interrupted after a few minutes by a lifeguard who informed us that this was a family beach, with children present, and as such certain behaviours were not tolerated there. He helpfully indicated a few adult-only beaches nearby, but the moment was gone. Too bad, I thought. Maybe this would have been an ideal moment… No, I can find better. Maybe over dinner? Or a dinner date? Or…

When we came home, Sorina was already there. Even though she had not been officially made part of the layoffs, it had been “mutually agreed” by her and corporate that she should “pursue different career opportunities” and leave the company. Her previous association with Bianchi was probably to blame for this. Between her education level and her experience, she had received job offers almost as soon as she had updated her online resume.

She was standing against the back of the couch, her arms crossed. I sensed something off with her as soon as she looked at us.

“What happened to you?” she asked as I took off my drenched clothes, while Niasa threw her bikini in the sink.

“We got caught in the monsoon,” Niasa said.

“The monsoon,” Sorina said. “On the West Coast.

– Yup. Freaking climate change or something.”

Sorina scoffed and shook her head.

“What’s wrong, Sorina?” I asked.

“Hm? Oh, uh… I have some news.

– Bad news?” Niasa said as she went to the bathroom to grab some towels.

“Well… I got a job offer. A pretty good one. Better salary than my old job, good hours with paid overtime, more vacation time…

– Where is it?” I asked.

“Edinburgh,” she said.

In any other circumstances, the pedantic Britishman with Scottish roots in me would have immediately corrected her pronunciation (it’s “Edin-brah”, for crying out loud!). But I didn’t.

“And… You’re gonna take it?” Niasa said, drying her mane with a towel.

Sorina had a sorry smile.

“I already have. I’m starting next Monday. They need me very quickly.

– Sorina…” Niasa said.

Sorina brushed her cheek, then toyed with one of her wolf-like ears.

“It’s okay, Niasa. After all of this, I just wanted a fresh start. A new job, a new place… That’s what I need.

– I… Well…” I said. I cleared my throat, then tried again: “I get it. I’m really sorry about all that’s happened.

– Don’t be. I’m moving on.”

Niasa suddenly glomped her.

“We’re gonna miss you.

– I’m going to miss you guys too,” Sorina said, kissing her on the cheek.

I joined the hug, petting both Sorina’s hair and Niasa’s mane.

“Let’s throw you a party,” Niasa said.

“Yes, let’s hit the town next Saturday,” I said. “Just the three of us. We could try that new VR game at Yuko-Arcade.

– I’m leaving tomorrow morning,” Sorina said.

“What?!” Niasa said.

“I’m moving overseas. There’s a lot of things to do, and lots of paperwork I need to expedite before I can start working. And I need to get the keys to my new place.”

Niasa made a little whining sound. We continued to hug in silence for some time. Then, I sensed something moving at chest level. I looked down, and saw Niasa unbuttoning Sorina’s blouse to cup her tit.

“Really?” Sorina said, a little amused.

“What?” Niasa said, fake pouting. “Goodbye sex. Because I’m sad.

– Oh, all right…”

Sorina held Niasa’s face with both of her hands and softly kissed her on the lips. Niasa grabbed the front of her blouse and finished opening it -without tearing it apart, for once. Because I had decided to oblige Niasa and for absolutely no other reason, I snuck behind Sorina and caressed her lower body, unzipping and lowering her pants as I did. Our Vampire sighed as she felt both my skin and Niasa’s fur against her almost naked body. Niasa undid her bra and took it off. Then, she used the pair of fuzzy handcuffs -which she had apparently grabbed when she went to get some towels- to tie her wrists in front of her. Sorina chuckled. I picked her by the waist and lifted her to help my Hellhound take off her panties. She did, then grabbed our willing prisoner’s legs, and we both dragged her to our bedroom.

Sorina was thrown on the bed, and Niasa kneeled over her, holding her bound hands above her head.

“We can’t be too long,” Sorina said. “I’m leaving at seven tomorrow.

– Use your mouth for something other than making me sad!” Niasa said as she sat on her face.

I laid beneath Sorina, and moved her thighs apart. My fingers went to spread her lips, while my tongue looked for her clit. She jumped, then moved her body, trying to escape my oral assault. I grabbed her by the hips and pinned her down to the bed. My work soon bore its fruits, and her snatch became quite wet.

“Don’t make her come just yet,” Niasa said. “Our doll must beg for it.

– You… mmmh… can’t make me…” Sorina said, half-muffled by Niasa’s pussy.

Niasa’s voice had regained her domineering tone, and Sorina’s her submissive one. Another point in favour of roleplaying: it allowed us to put the emotional stuff aside for the sake of having a spot of fun.

“Please… Mllm… don’t make me-mh!”

My Hellhound started playing with Sorina’s breasts, her claws tracing lines along them, then pinching her nipples. She mixed pleasure and pain, which I could tell Sorina quite liked. Taking a page from her book, I alternated tongue and teeth on Sorina’s weak points. A few minutes of this treatment, and she began to lose her mind.

“Please, ah, hmm, please, mmh…

– What’s that, doll?” Niasa said. “Please stop? Or please don’t?”

At the same time, she pressed her wet lower lips further against Sorina’s face, and started rubbing herself on it. With a gesture of the hand, she silently ordered me to bring Sorina past the finish line. I quickly shoved my tongue inside her, making her buckle and thrash around until a wave of pleasure washed over her and calmed her down.

“Oh no, no, no,” Niasa said with a mischievous smile. “Did you just come, doll? Without begging your mistress for permission first?

– Ah, I’m sorry…” Sorina said, panting.

“Sorry’s not gonna cut it, doll. I’m afraid you need to be punished. What do you say, darling?

– Yes, I’d say she could use a bit of spanking.

– Great idea, darling!”

She took Sorina by the shoulders, and flipped her over.

“Raise that ass, doll,” she said, brushing her blonde hair.

“No, please…”

Niasa’s fist balled in her hair threateningly.

“I said: raise that ass, doll,” she said in her silk-hiding-steel voice.

Sorina closed her eyes, then moved her knees under her. Niasa went to grab something from the nightstand: a tub of skin cream. She tipped a generous amount in one of her paws, then rubbed it on Sorina’s bum. Our Vampire gasped when she felt the cold, soothing cream instead of the spanking she feared/expected.

“There…” Niasa cooed. “Wouldn’t want to damage those beautiful ass cheeks, now would we?”

Sorina moaned as Niasa massaged her butt.

“Oooh… Aah…”

Soon, the cream was spread all over Sorina’s bum, giving it a soft and shiny look.

“Good,” Niasa said. “Now, Duncan is going to give you ten spankings. You’re going to count them, and you’re going to thank him each time. Understood, doll?”

Sorina nodded, her face buried in a pillow.

“Didn’t hear that, doll.

– Yes… mistress.”

I could swear Niasa had giggled in delight when Sorina had called her that. My Hellhound smiled and gave me a nod, and I moved to kneel beside our submissive Vampire. I gently put my left hand on her butt, feeling her quiver in anticipation. Slowly, I raised my hand at about shoulder level, deliberately waited a few seconds, then slapped her right butt cheek.

“One,” Sorina said. “Thank you, master.”

I had to admit, I did like her calling me that, too.

“Don’t go easy on her, darling,” Niasa said. “This is supposed to be a punishment.”

I tried harder the second time. Sorina didn’t make a peep when it landed, but her voice was higher-pitched when she said:

“Two. Thank you, master.

– Harder,” Niasa said. “Make her scream.”

Seeing that I looked uneasy, she whispered in my ear:

“Trust me on this one. She hasn’t said “rainstorm”, has she?”

Fair enough, I suppose. Sorina didn’t scream at my third spanking, but the fourth did make her voice shake. By the fifth, I started getting into it, and put more strength in my hand. Spankings number sixth and seventh made her squeal sharply, but still not quite scream. The eighth made her open her mouth wide, but no sound came out.

“Eight,” she said in a small voice. “Thank you, master.”

Niasa gave me a nod to let me know I was on the right track. I gave Sorina her ninth spanking, and this time she actually screamed in pain. I froze for a second, expecting her to say the safeword, but instead she said:

“N-n-nine, thank you, master.”

She was taking deep breaths, now, and was clearly choking back tears. The tenth and final spanking came, and she screamed again.

“Ten… Thank… Thank you, master.”

She began crying in earnest, her tears flowing silently. I got worried again, but Niasa patted my shoulder to reassure me. She laid down on the bed, and pulled Sorina into a hug.

“Good girl,” she said softly in her ear, rocking her slowly. “You did a great job. Good girl…”

Sorina sobbed, and hugged her back tightly. Niasa got a few tissues from the nightstand and helped her wipe her tears.

“There, there”, she said. “Do you want to take a break, doll?” Sorina shook her head with conviction. “No? What do you want to do, then?”

Our Vampire whispered something in her ear. Niasa smiled broadly.

“Really? Well, then…”

Sorina had stopped crying, although she was still heaving.

“Get in position, my naughty doll,” Niasa said.

“Yes, mistress.”

Sorina got on her knees and elbows, and shot me a look above her shoulder that immediately brought back memories of some quality time we had spent together. Niasa kneeled above her, her thighs on each side of her torso, and leaned forward to take my erect member in her mouth. I gasped as I felt her tongue all over it. She almost immediately released me, then leaned back to look down at Sorina’s now-red ass. Niasa flashed me that carnivorous smile I never got tired of seeing, then pursed her lips, and a bit of saliva dripped down on Sorina’s butthole. Her tail started wagging as she raised her eyebrows at me, wordlessly indicating what I had to do next.

I kneeled behind Sorina, lining up my cock with her tiny hole. She quivered again as she sensed my tip. Her bum must have been very sensitive; but then, that was probably the point.

“Oh,” she said in a whisper as I started pushing as slowly as I could.

Sorina took some deep breaths as I entered her. I could tell she wasn’t inexperienced in that sort of thing, but all the same she was quite tight. The sensation was really nice. There was a bit of friction, but thanks to Niasa prepping her, there was no pain. Our submissive Vampire let out short little yelps with every inch. Niasa was observing the penetration with a gluttonous look on her face. Finally, with one last push, I was entirely inside Sorina. I paused before I started moving, feeling like I could come at any time. When I did move, ever so slowly, Sorina bucked her hips to meet mine, high-pitched moans coming out of her mouth.

“Again with the gentleness,” Niasa tutted. “Just pound her, darling!

– I can’t,” I said, my voice strained. “I’m at my limit already.

– Don’t worry about that,” she said, smirking. “Come on, go for it.”

Against my better judgment -and along with my better libido-, I did. Sorina gasped loudly, but then remained silent as my body slammed against hers. She shut her eyes and started whispering disjointed words. In spite of my best efforts, I lasted maybe two minutes before I was done.

“Ah, damnit,” I said.

“It’s all right, darling,” Niasa said. “Let me show you something…”

She placed the tip of her claws on my lower stomach, and poked her tongue out mischievously. In the blink of an eye, I felt myself become hard again. Sorina felt it too, and moaned again.

“W- How-” I said. “Did you…?

– Yup!” Niasa said.

“You could do that all this time? How?

– Hellhound magic!” she said.

A part of me wanted to ask many questions, but the rest of me decided this really was not the time. I resumed moving inside Sorina, whose moans soon turned into squeals of pleasure.

“Ah, Hell, I’m taking part in this,” Niasa said.

She sat in front of Sorina, her legs spread apart, and grabbed Sorina by the hair to guide her to her snatch.

“You know what to do, don’t you doll?”

She definitely did. As the fun really began, my thoughts wandered a bit. I looked at Niasa, who was leaning back against the bedhead, her eyes closed, her mouth opened, and her tongue hanging. Maybe now would be a good moment? I thought. No, come on, Duncan. You can think of something more classy than while you’re fucking another woman in the ass. Although, that wouldn’t be unbecoming of our relationship… Maybe right after? Or tomorrow morning, over breakfast? My eyes started to wander around. Maybe… No, that’s not-

I suddenly realized Niasa was snapping her claws in front of my face.

“Darling, are you with us?

– Oh, sorry,” I said, blinking.

“Unbelievable,” I heard Sorina say between two licks.

“Right?” Niasa said. “Two naked chicks in his bed, and his mind is somewhere else.”

Rolling my eyes, I went back to what was happening. After enjoying Sorina’s ministrations for a while, Niasa decided to lay down under her, pulling her into a 69 as I continued pumping our Vampire’s arse. Sorina’s squeals became one long, muffled yell of ecstasy as she felt both my cock and Niasa’s tongue inside her.

My memories get a bit hazy, from then on. Thanks once again to Niasa’s Feeling, I sort of phased into an altered state of consciousness after that, and lost track of what was happening around me -we all did, I think. I only have vague memories of what we did, or of how many times we did it, but we definitely made sure not to forget anything during that last night together. I’m not even sure who passed out first. It was probably me, to be honest; and I doubt that stopped Niasa.

Next thing I remember, it was the morning, around six o’clock. I felt Sorina -who was lying between Niasa and I- shift in our bed, and get up. I followed her as she went to her bedroom, then the living room. My body felt cramped all over.

“You should probably take a shower before you leave,” I whispered.

“I’ll get one at the airport. You should get more sleep,” she said, smiling. 

Speaking of sleep, she really wasn’t kidding about Vampires not needing much of it. After everything we had done with her -and to her- last night, and despite what little rest she had combined with the early hour, she seemed quite refreshed. It probably helped that she had drank from me. 

“I just wanted to see you off… and make sure we’re good,” I said.

“We’re good,” she said. She grabbed her suitcase, and put on her handbag. “I’m not leaving because of you -either of you. If anything, I’m leaving despite you.”

I nodded, then hugged her.

“You’re always welcome back, whenever you want. Niasa and I will be happy to see you again.

– Should I expect an invite, then?

– Of course, you…”

I did a double take and released her.

“You… You know, don’t you?”

She chuckled silently.

“I accidently found the bracelet while I was doing some cleaning. You should probably find a better place to hide it.

– How do you know what the bracelet even means?

– I got curious, so I “innocently” asked Niasa about Hellhound culture. As it turns out, they don’t use rings for their unions; they’re not much for jewelry, and apparently, it feels weird on their fingers. They use simple bracelets, generally made out of cheap materials like brass or zinc.

– Yes, I got all that from her mum. Just as well: I’m not sure I could afford a diamond ring, anyway.

– Congratulations,” Sorina said. “When are you going to ask her?”

I bit my lip.

“I… don’t know. I keep trying to find the right moment, but…

– The right moment?” She smiled. “It’s not about the right moment, Duncan, it’s about the right woman. You could ask her right here, right now, and she’d say yes.

– I guess,” I sighed, “but I want to create a memory. At first, I wanted to do this in the Hamptons, where we first met, but then I thought she probably wouldn’t want to go back there, or associate that place with our marriage… Then, I thought about that little forest near Lake Tahoe where we did it for the first time, but-

– Duncan, you’re stalling,” she said with a knowing look.

“… Yes, I know.”

She patted my arm.

“Come on, this won’t be like with Claire. You’ll be a good husband to Niasa, you know that. You need to forgive yourself for all that, and move on, like I am. You’re a different person now.

– Different in many ways,” I said.

I had done a bit of research to find out whether I could legally marry Niasa despite my… very particular situation. Thankfully, things had worked out quite well. My identity as Duncan Abercromby was still legit -as legit as it could be-, and nothing connected me to my past as either Dunk or as Duncan Thornley. As far as the state legislature knew, I was a completely different and suitably single man. I suspected Janus had had a hand in that. I had also taken this opportunity to look into Claire. Although I hadn’t found much, I did confirm that she had eventually obtained a divorce for spousal abandonment. Good for her, I had thought. She, too, deserved to be happy.

“All right, I should get going,” Sorina said. “Good luck, and don’t forget about that invite.

– Absolutely.”

She opened the door and stopped on its step. She turned back to me, looking like she wanted to say something meaningful and memorable before she finally left.

“Thanks for the sex.”

Huh. It’s not tacky when she says it.

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