Duncan and Niasa – 5. Like A Work Outing, But Not

I quite liked Purple Roses. With its nice selection of beers -including, thank the Gods, non-American ones-, its relaxed mood, and its friendly staff, it was definitely in my top five bars in the area. Not number one, though, that honour went to MacCaffrey’s, quite possibly the liveliest Irish pub in existence. I didn’t even think of dragging Chekov -that is, Sorina– there, though. You don’t go to MacCaffrey’s just to blow off some steam; you go there to have enough pints to forget your mum’s name, to loudly sing songs with less-than-subtle lyrics, and to overall share a nice time with a bunch of rowdy, chummy, equally-drunk strangers who, thankfully, will not remember anything the next day either. I actually made quite a few good memories there. Or rather, I would have, but, you know, pints.

It was still some time before rush hour when we got here, and the place was nearly empty. Sorina and I -Gods, it felt weird to say that- sat at the bar. Lauretta, the Lizard Girl who co-owned this place, came to greet me with a polite smile.

“Hello, Duncan. Ma’am,” she nodded to Sorina. “What can I get you, tonight? An Ice and Fire to start with, as usual?

– No, just a lager, thanks. I’m looking to stay sober, tonight.

– Ice and Fire? What’s that?” Sorina asked.

“Like a Singapore Sling,” I said, “but with vodka instead of gin, and mint juice instead of lime.

– Sounds… interesting,” she said. By her expression, I could tell she really was not a vodka kind of girl. “I will have a glass of the house red, please.

– I’ll get you that right away,” Lauretta said.

“Do you come here often?” Sirona asked.

“It’s one of my favourite places, yes. I’d say I come here about once a week.

– Only once?”

I gave her an amused look.

“I love to go out for drinks with my mates, but I’m not an alcoholic.

– That’s not what I was suggesting. So what do you do, on other evenings?

– The usual, I suppose. TV, Internet, hanging out with my girlfriend…

– You have a girlfriend?”

Lauretta came back with our drinks.

“I do,” I said, twisting the cap off my lager. “And you? Are you seeing anyone?

– No.

– Ever?”

She tasted her wine, shrugged, and took another sip.

“Boyfriend. Once.

– What happened?

– It ended.”

Her sentences were getting shorter, clearly indicating she was not keen on discussing this subject. Fair enough, this wasn’t an interrogation. I wasn’t sure what it was, actually. As far as Sorina went, I was following my habitual “no plan” policy, and was playing this whole thing by ear.

“I’m sorry to hear that.” I simply said.

She nodded.

“So, what do you do in the evenings? Aside from work.

– Not much, actually. Lots of work to do, these days.

– Ah, right, the secret new project.

– The secret new project, yes. You should fit right in.

– Right…” I chuckled. “Still can’t believe I aced those tests, to be honest.

– There is that, but I was talking about the secret part.”

I frowned.


– Well, you’re quite a secretive person yourself, aren’t you?

– Me? I’m an open book.

– Are you? You know, it was part of my job to vet the candidates for the tests. Including you.

– Found anything you like?” I said.

“I started with your work references,” she said, ignoring my snark. “But, aside from your previous job, not one of them checked out. I called the phone numbers you listed, but no one picked up. I tried looking up the business you worked at, but couldn’t find them.

– They all went under,” I said calmly. “Thus why I had to look for another job.

– Uh-uh. Then, I tried looking you up online.

– If you were looking for nudes, I could have saved you some time.”

This time, my remark elicited an exasperated look. Better than nothing.

“I was surprised by how little I found,” she continued. “No website, no blog, no social media account, no video channel… Nothing.

– I’m not one to publicize my private life for attention.

– This is the twenty-first century. Not many people can avoid having an online presence entirely.

– Guess I’m one of the lucky few,” I shrugged.

“Either that, or you’ve been very careful. Wiping one’s slate clean is a very difficult thing to do, but it’s not impossible.

– Oh, is that what happened? What’s your theory, then? I’m an illegal immigrant? A criminal on the loose? Some kid fleeing his family?”

The birth of an amused smile cracked through her neutral façade; she immediately killed it.

“Or just someone who’s made a mistake he needed to distance himself from,” she said.

“Interesting. What kind of mistake?

– The bad kind, evidently. Beyond that, I don’t know.”

But you’re going to find out, I mentally completed. I wasn’t worried, though. She wouldn’t find anything. My name, my social security number, my naturalization, even my birth certificate… As much of a gobshite as Gordy was, he had done his job well.

“I’m glad to know I sparked your interest. Tell you what…” I signalled Lauretta for a second round of the same stuff. “Let’s play a game.

– I’m not sure I’m in the mood for games.

– Are you ever?” I smirked. “Come on, you’ll like this one.”

Lauretta gave me another bottle and refilled Sorina’s glass.

“We each try to guess something about the other,” I explained. “Something not so obvious, otherwise it doesn’t count. If the guesser guesses right, the other drink. If not, the guesser drinks.

– How do I know you won’t lie?

– How do I know you won’t lie?”

She shot me an annoyed look.

“You seem to be a reasonably smart person,” I said. “I think you can tell whether I’m lying.”

Ironically enough, that was a lie. Not that I doubted her intelligence, but I considered myself to be a rather good liar. Although, to further the irony, I didn’t intend to lie. Something in my subconscious told me not to, I wasn’t sure why at the time. I think I rationalized that as not wanting to cheat. A bit dangerous, I’ll admit. But then, that was part of the fun.

“I’ll start,” I said. I thought for a moment, then said: “You… have not gone out like this in ages. Especially with someone else.”

She drank. Her turn.

“You have never worked hard a day in your life,” she said.

“Ouch,” I said. But I drank. “You don’t usually do relationships. Not even friendly ones.

– I thought you said “something not so obvious”,” she said, taking another sip nevertheless.

We were to the point where she did self-deprecating jokes. That was good progress.

“You, however, are something of a player,” she said.

“I told you I have a girlfriend,” I said.

“Yes, but I’m guessing you’re not exclusive.”

Guess that’s true. I drank.

“Does she know?

– I’d never lie to her,” I said. “And she’s free to have her own fun, too.

– Guess that sort of relationship is a lot more common these days.

– I’ve got a feeling it was always common, people just weren’t open about it. My turn… Oh, I know. Every time someone asks you about your hobbies, you say you don’t really have any.”

She drank, then pondered her next salvo.

“You’ve been arrested before.”

I chuckled. Another one down the hatch.

“What for?” Sorina asked.

“That’s for you to guess. You… have a perfectly clean record. Not even a parking fine.

– Am I really that boring, to you?” she said, before sipping her wine.

– Not quite. You’ll notice I didn’t say something like “you’ve never done anything wrong, morally ambiguous, or legally reprehensible before”.

– Right, because I am a corporate woman. I probably ate babies and got away with it.

– Are you sure that’s what I meant? The corporate thing?”

I smiled innocently. Truth is, I wasn’t sure what I meant. But I had started thinking there was more to Sorina Chekov than had met my eyes so far, and I wanted to explore that hypothesis. She looked troubled, for a nanosecond, then she went back on the offensive.

“Your girlfriend is a mamono,” she said.

“That one’s obvious, but not too obvious, so I’ll drink.”

And I did.

“You noticed the bite marks, the other day?” I asked.

“No, but you seemed like the type.

– Well, this is fun. My turn again. Let’s see…”

This one would be more of an intuitive shot in the dark.

“You broke someone’s heart, who didn’t deserve it.”

Sorina’s traits did not move one inch, yet somehow it felt like her face fell. It was something subtle in her lips, perhaps also in her eyes. Without saying a word, she took her glass and drank. A moment later, I drank too. Her expression turned to one of surprise.

“What do you know,” I said. “We have something in common.”

She stared at me, still silent, then slowly nodded.

“Should we stop the game here?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said, before finishing her wine.

“Okay. Sorry about the mood-kill.”

I emptied my beer and paid for my drinks. It seems we then both decided this thing we were doing -whatever it was- was over.

“Shall we do it again, sometimes?” I said.

Sorina gave her debit card to Lauretta, looking at me like she was gauging me. I admit I was a little astonished when she answered:


We said our goodbyes, and went our separate ways. I gave one last look at Sorina as she left, worried I might have done some lasting damage with that last guess. But she looked about the same as usual. With a shrug, I got in my Toyota and drove home.

Niasa was, as usual, aware I was home before I actually entered the apartment. I still couldn’t figure out her trick. It couldn’t be her sense of smell: there’s no way she could smell me through the closed door. I tried my best to be silent, so it couldn’t be her hearing, unless Hellhounds were distantly related to bats. Did she maybe have X-ray vision? Or some sort of sixth sense some animals possess, like those marmots who can sense avalanches?

Before I opened my mouth, she came really close to me and said:


– Wh-

– Nope, not one word.”

A bit spooked, I remained silent as she started… sniffing me. First, she took a whiff of my cheeks, then my lips, and finally my torso. She shot me a cagey look, then grabbed my hand, and smelled my fingers.

“If you’re trying to be creepy,” I said, “you’re well on your way.

– You don’t smell like anyone but you,” she said. “What did guys do on your date?

– It wasn’t a date, and we talked.

– And?

– We drank.


– That’s it.

– Blegh!” She poked out her wolf-like tongue through her teeth. “Boring. No second date for Corporate Bitch. Seriously, she didn’t even give you a peck on the cheek, or a quick handjob. Rude.

– Can you really tell these things?” I asked, a bit in awe. “But, look, it really wasn’t a date.

– What was it, then? A work outing?

– I guess? No, I don’t think so. It got a bit… intimate for a work outing.

– How intimate could it have gotten, with your fly zipped?” she said.

“We… talked about our pasts. Sort of.

– Wait, really?” Niasa raised an eyebrow, as well as an ear. “You didn’t reveal too much, did you?

– A little. Just enough to get her to open up.”

Niasa squinted her orange-red eyes.

“I’m gonna trust you know what you’re doing, darling. Anyway, it’s Friday. Got any plans for tonight?

– Not really. Any ideas?

– As a matter of fact, I do… Do you remember my buddy Tamry from work? Tamry Fitzpatrick?

– The one who showed up to work pissed and vomited in a server rack?

– That’s her. Anyway, turns out she avoided a pink slip because she’s loaded as fuck. Well, her dad is. Her family owns lots of places all over town. Including this one place, it’s like an indoor private garden. She’ll let us use it this evening.”

Her dark lips stretched into that carnivorous smile I loved so much.

“Oooh…” I said, smiling as well. “Are you suggesting a Great Hunt?

– Fuck yeah, I am,” she said, wriggling her ears.

“I’m in.

– Great! You’re gonna love that place. It’s got a grove, a heated pool, a hot tub…

– Sounds fun. Want to go now?

– Sure do, darling. Just put on some old clothes, first.”

Tamry’s private garden was way out of town. It was in a four-storey building, built in a brutalist architecture complemented by lots of greenery. The building looked completely deserted from the outside; not a single light was visible from the many windows. A ten feet fence surrounded it. I parked the car in the empty lot in front. As we approached the fence gate, I wondered if some security guard somewhere was going to open it remotely, or if Niasa was going to produce a keycard. Instead, she half-crouched in front of the gate, her tail raised, then took a leap and landed on top of it.

“Ah,” I said, “so when you said she let you use it, you meant…

– She told me how to disable the security system, yeah.

– Brilliant. I had almost made it a full day without committing a felony.”

She dropped on the other side of the gate. A few seconds later, it opened. We followed a path of concrete tiles to one of the building’s entrances, located on the other side. Niasa sneaked in by a window left open, rummaged a bit inside, then let me in the building proper.

The private garden was actually more of a private park -a big one. According to a plan, it was divided in four sections, each with its own theme: Cambridge, Nagoya, Trondheim, and Chichen Itza. They each occupied one corner of the place. At their centre was a pool area. Next to the plan, I saw a list of VIP members, along with their titles -every one of which was something impressive like “director”, or “head”, or “executive”. All lights were off in the building, save for the small emergency exit signs. We went to the locker rooms near the pool area, Niasa guiding me through the obscurity.

“Okay, gimme your phone,” Niasa said, holding out her hand.

I handed it to her, and she fiddled with it before putting it away in a locker, along with her clothes.

“Right, you have ten minutes. You can go wherever you want in the parks or the pool area, but outside is off-limits. Too fucking cold. No going in the rest of the building, either.

– Got it. When does my timer start?

– It already has,” she replied with a toothy smile.

I took off running immediately. The Great Hunt -also known as Hunting the Most Delicious Game- is a game Niasa and I play sometimes when we find both the time and the right place. The rules are simple: the prey -that would be me- is released in a space, preferably with lots of hiding places. Some time later, the predator -played by my lovely Hellhound- enters the fray, and must find the prey. When -not if- she does… Well, take a wild guess.

The Cambridge section being the closest, I went there first. It was, predictably, a very nice English garden, complete with benches, fountains and a gazebo. There were bushes, hills, trees, and even a small river running through. The whole thing looked like something out of a Victorian novel. It was very large, and the elevated ceiling was probably twenty feet high. I looked around, trying to analyse my surroundings as thoroughly as I could, as fast I could. Every second counted.

No… not here. I ran to the next section. Trondheim had a Norwegian influence, with pine trees and paintings of snowy landscapes. Some fake snow was sprinkled on several parts of the rather deep grass. This section seemed more wild than the more carefully groomed English section -well, as wild as an indoors private garden can be. I approached the trees, to see if I could safely climb one. Hmm… No. I kept looking. The river in the Cambridge section also crossed Trondheim, where it actually came out from a waterfall. A small cavity had been dug in the rock behind said waterfall. I thought it could make for a fine hideout until I realized it was blocked by a grate.

I moved on to Nagoya. The Japanese theme here was so overdone it bordered on clichéd. There were a collection of bonsais and toriis all along the pathway, and a zen garden in a corner. I was certain during the day there would also be some wagakki music played over speakers. The indoors river came here too, reduced to a simple stream, along with a pond -a koi pond, according to a sign I could barely read in the dark. The greenery here was not dense enough to conceal a person, so I went to the last section. I estimated I had four minutes or so left. I had better make a decision soon.

If Nagoya was clichéd, Chichen Itza was basically a Mesoamerican theme park. There was actually a miniature replica of the eponymous pyramid at the centre, about twenty feet high. Strange statues made out of plastic, meant to imitate Aztec sculptures -apparently, whoever designed this place did not know the difference between Aztecs and Mayas-, dotted the place, along with tropical vegetation. Said vegetation was actually pretty dense, this time, but that was actually a problem: visibility was very limited. Niasa could have been standing right next to me and I wouldn’t know.

Just as I was having this thought, I heard a strange, distant sound. It echoed all through the gardens, and made me shiver. I froze in place, my heart beating hard. Unless I was mistaken, that was a howl.

Was my time over? Was Niasa just having fun, was she getting antsy? It didn’t matter. Screw any hypothetical perfect hideout, this adequate hideout -a patch of bushes surrounded by trees- would have to do. I crouched behind a small tree, and moved a few twigs to get as clear a sight as I could.

Standing at about six feet six inches, and weighing something like two hundred pounds, Niasa’s a lot stealthier than she has any right to be. She knows exactly how to blend in most environments, and how to move her body so as to make as little noise as possible. I’ve seen her run at full pelt without making a sound. You’d think her glow-in-the-dark eyes would betray her, and indeed they do, but by the time you see them, it’s already too late. Plus, with her sense of smell that could put a bloodhound to shame, I’m fairly confident she can hunt with her eyes closed anyway.

Time went by very slowly as I remained completely motionless behind my cover. My eyes darted from one side of the room to another. My ears picked up on any sound, trying to distinguish which ones were normal, and which ones meant “run for it”.

I heard a cracking sound, not unlike a twig being broken, over forty feet away from me. Looking in its general direction, I saw nothing; one of those fake statues a few feet away from me blocked my view. As slowly as I could, I started moving sideways to my left, in the opposite direction of the noise.

Another sound. This one was like a stone being kicked and rolling. It was closer than the cracking sound. My reptilian brain told me to lower my head and scamper; I did just that. Looking over my shoulder every other second, I went back to the Cambridge section. Where to go? The patch of trees on the right? The bushes near the river on the left? Wait! The river…

The idea popped up in my mind to cross the small river so as to make things harder for her. I had always heard that running water made picking up a trail more difficult for hounds; I had no idea whether or not it was true, but it was worth a shot. The water was cold, too, which meant Niasa would probably stay away from it. The river crossed, I found an oak tree so bent that a portion of its trunk was almost horizontal, and jumped behind it.

All was silent again, except for the soft sounds of the river, and the not-so-soft sounds of my ragged breathing. I craned my neck above my cover. Nothing in sight. To get to me, she would have to cross the river… Unless she jumps over it, but then I could see her, even in the dark… Probably.

There was a rustling of leaves above me, and I felt something cold running down my spine. Very reluctantly, I looked up… to see two orange-red lights in the branches above me, looking right back at me. I only had time to throw myself to the ground in front of me; something heavy dropped right where I was, missing me by an inch.

Rolling under the tree, I quickly got back up and sprinted towards one of the exits. I didn’t even make it two feet before someone jumped me from behind, grabbed me by my waist and tackled me to the ground. I rolled on my back and she sat on my torso.

Niasa looked different, more beastly. Her eyes shone brighter than usual. Long shiny streaks illuminated her cheeks, descending from her eyes all the way to her neck. This always happened during a Great Hunt. The tracking, the chase… it brings out her darker side. Her wilder self wakes up, and her animalistic instincts kick in.

“What do we have here?” she cooed with a grin. Even her voice was different; she sounded somehow both deeper and more feminine. She was also more eloquent in that role, like she was impersonating a Disney villain. “A Human prey venturing on a Hellhound’s territory? How very kind to offer yourself…

– Get off me!” I yelled, trying to push her off.

I wasn’t going to just let her. Where would be the fun in that? If she wanted me, she would have to earn me.

“And he fights back?” she said, effortlessly grabbing my hands. “You’re looking more delicious by the second, Human.

– I said: get off!” I said.

“Getting off is exactly what I want,” she scoffed. “And if you’re good enough at that, maybe I’ll spare you… so I can keep you.

– What? What do you…”

One of her paws grabbed the hem of my old T-shirt and pulled it over my head. Then, I sensed her grabbing the front of my pants. The buttons came off pretty easily. As she started to pull down my pants, I decided to make my move. I kicked her in the stomach with both my feet, and she toppled back, ripping my pants off as she did.

I jumped on my feet and took off running once again, taking off my T-shirt; I wasn’t at all worried I might have hurt her: she had suffered worse and walked it off just fine. This time, I didn’t even care where I was going, or to look above my shoulder. I already knew that Hell was hot on my tail, even if I couldn’t hear her.

Wait a minute… I could hear her. I heard the stomping sound of her feet, and that of her hungry breath. Since when was she noisy at all? Of course… She wants me to hear her. She wants to get my adrenaline pumping. The smell makes it easier to track me. Not to mention, it’s funnier.

I could actually outrun Niasa -though not by much. The problem was, Hellhounds are endurance runners. While I could run faster than her, she could chase me for hours before being out of breath. Guess my fate is sealed no matter what I do… Okay, now I’m getting turned on; she’ll definitely smell that.

Niasa nabbed me again in Nagoya, and we nearly destroyed a nice shrubbery as we tumbled. She dug her claws in my shoulders as she pinned them down.

“No more running, Human!” she growled. “I’m gonna fuck you, now.”

Translation : “I enjoyed the foreplay, but now we need to get on with the main course. This place probably isn’t insured against arson.”

I didn’t even notice my underpants being gone. I only realized I was completely naked when I felt my Hellhound’s hot breath on my cock, which responded immediately.

“Not bad,” she said. “You and I are gonna have a lot of fun.

– Do whatever you want, you monster,” I spat. “I won’t enjoy it.

– Oh, really now…” she said.

She positioned herself on top of me and used her tail to direct my cock towards her snatch. I braced myself for the ride, but all she did was drag the tip of my member along her lower lips. She smiled at me, and I recognized that domineering look in her eyes.

“Beg,” she said.


– Beg,” she repeated, her smile growing larger.

She squeezed her tail just enough to give me a goosebump.

“Never,” I said, my voice suddenly strained.

Niasa let out a soft, slightly mocking laugh, then lowered herself less than an inch, making me gasp.

“Yeah? The more bravado you throw my way, the longer I’ll make it last.

– B-bring it,” I said. Translation: “Please bring it.”

Her hips began moving in a circle, my dick caressing her dripping pussy but never actually entering her. She bit her lip and moaned teasingly as my member touched her clitoris, then she tightened her tail’s hold again. The sensation was incredible… but would never be enough.

We both knew this was all a game, one I was going to give up soon. If anything, she would be the most likely to break if this teasing was serious. Of course, in that case, she wouldn’t beg -she wouldn’t need to-, she would just take me. Hmm… This could be an interesting theory to explore later.

I apparently started to get too deep in thought: Niasa brought me back to reality by massaging the full length of my cock with her tail. Its firm softness made me all but scream.

“F-fine!” I said. “Please… Just… Please…

– Say it, Human.

– I… Please fuck me. Please, please, please fuck me. I can’t take it anymore!”

I really couldn’t, and clearly neither could she. I had barely said the words that she lowered herself again, this time taking me inside her entirely in one swift move of her hips. She threw her head back and inhaled deeply.

Her pussy rubbed around my cock like a burning, wet sheath as she began moving. She pushed her tits together and pressed them against my face, wordlessly ordering me to service them. The additional sensation of my teeth and my tongue on her nipples turned her grunts of pleasure into moans.

“Grab my tail!” she said, frantic. “Do it!”

My hand reached out to the base of her furred limb, and my fingers wrapped around it to massage it vigorously. Niasa howled as an orgasm overtook her, but continued bouncing up and down on my cock. I don’t know how long we went at it like this, shagging in the grass like two animals in heat. I was just thankful the entire building was empty; our screams could probably have been heard three floors away. Finally, after her third orgasm, Niasa decided to take a small break, and collapsed on top of me.

“That…” I panted. “That was a Hell of a Great Hunt.”

She chuckled, then used her tail once more to free my cock from her depths. I was amazed to feel it still erect, having cummed inside her twice. The effect of a Great Hunt, possibly…

“I’d… I’d ask for another round,” I said, “but I’d probably die of exhaustion.”

She rolled off me and said:

“Why don’t we go take a break, then? We haven’t tried the hot tub yet.”

The entire pool area screamed “VIP”. Everything from the floors, to the walls, to the neoclassical columns seemed made out of marble. The main pool apparently had fountains and a wave system; it was also a weird, non-standard design that looked like the infinity symbol. Fittingly, it had probably cost infinity money to build. The hot tub almost seemed pedestrian in comparison, despite the golden finish and the chromed faucets.

Niasa went to turn on the lights, while I tried to get the streams working. Eventually, we got in and started enjoying the bubbles. I was leaning back against the tub, and Niasa was resting on my chest, her wagging tail poking out of the water. She placed her paw on my still hard dick and smiled.

“How long do you think I can hold my breath underwater?” Niasa asked nonchalantly.

“Three minutes?” I said.

“Try seven.”

Her head disappeared in the bubbles, save for her pointy, fluffy ears, and a moment later I started feeling really good. My muscles relaxed to the point where I couldn’t lift a finger. I gasped loudly and nearly swallowed my tongue when I felt her throat tightening around my glans.

“Aaah!… Ffff… Mmmh…”

Niasa’s ears suddenly perked up and she emerged from the water.

“I heard someone,” she said.

“Mmmbll?” I eloquently said, my vocal chords feeling like wet noodles.

“I think it’s a security guard.

– Uh…” I looked above my shoulder.

Through the open door, I could see the beam of a flashlight. I turned to look at Niasa, but before I could tell her to stop -and, actually, I wasn’t sure I had the mental fortitude to do that-, she went back underwater and resumed her wonderful job. Either she didn’t mind an audience, or she thought I could handle it.

I was probably not as anxious as I should have been when an Anubis dressed in a dark blue uniform entered the pool area and approached me.

“Excuse me, sir, this area is cl-”

Her eyes widened and she turned beet-red.

“Oh. OH. I- uh-”

She turned ninety degrees to her left.

“S-sir, this b-building is closed,” she said in a squeaky voice.

“It’s alright. I work here,” I said, with a relaxed confidence only a man in my particular circumstances could show.

“All the s-same, sir, it’s a-after hours, and…

– Yes, I know the policy. Fitzpatrick gave me the okay. Not that I told him exactly what I would use the place for, mind you.”

I chuckled.

“Mr Fitzpatrick?” the guard said. “The CEO?

– Yes, I’m his appointee for the Lion’s Maw project,” I said, making this up.

“Well, I… Do you have an employee ID?

– Obviously. How do you think I got here without triggering all the alarms?

– May… May I see it?

– Sure. It’s… Well, it’s either in my pants, which are somewhere in the Cambridge section, or in my locker… I think it was E14. I left it unlocked.”

The guard stayed silent for a moment, very uncomfortable, and clearly unsure how to approach this. I decided to push a bit further:

“While you’re there, pick up my phone, will you? Select “Fitzpatrick” in my contact list, if you want a personal confirmation. Or “Dominguez”.

– Dominguez?!” she exclaimed.

“Yes, Arturo Dominguez,” I said, remembering the list of members I saw on the way in. “You know, head of security. And if he starts bitching about safety policy, try mentioning his… masseuse, that he sees here on Mondays and Fridays, also after closing. You should find him to be a lot more conciliatory, suddenly.”

I let out a weak chuckle. The Anubis still looked on the fence; she was trying very hard not to look in my direction, and her blush seemed burned in.

“Look, lady,” I said, channelling my inner corporate executive, “I don’t mean to be bossy, but I only get one evening to myself and my girl every month. So, either hop in or continue your round, okay? I’d like to… finish.”

The guard sputtered an awkward “enjoy your evening”, and pretty much disappeared. I laughed lazily, then inhaled sharply as I sensed an incredible warmth enveloping all of my cock. Seconds later, I came, filling my Hellhound’s mouth.

“Aaaah!” Niasa said, coming out of the water again. 

She licked her lips, then sat on my lap. I placed my arms around her waist and she closed her eyes, the back of her head using my shoulder as a pillow.

“That wasn’t seven minutes,” I said.

She poked out her tongue.

“Nicely handled with that gal. How did you know that was gonna work?

– Eh… I know this kind of environment. There’s more weight being thrown around in these places than in a sumotori dance-off. Any low-level employee has probably suffered the consequences of trying to apply company policy to the higher-ups. You just have to play detached and confident, with just an ounce of jerk, and everybody will smell corporate.

– Dunk strikes again,” she said.

“Please don’t,” I said softly.


Eventually, we decided to leave the hot tub before we melted completely.

Sorina Chekov was standing in the alley behind the police station. Despite the fact that she wore no coat over her business casual outfit, the cold didn’t seem to bother her. The fact that she had been waiting for twenty-five minutes when she had been told ten, however, definitely did. She let out an angry sigh when the backdoor opened again, revealing a young Human woman. She was wearing a long coat, and a picture ID in its pocket identified her as Homeland Security agent Eileen Clay.

“Sorry about that,” she said. “Come in.”

Almost completely deserted at this late hour, the police station smelled of bleach and old coffee. A couple of officers were still present on the ground floor, along with a janitor. Sorina and Eileen took the elevator to the fourth floor. They then walked into an office labelled “Archives”. Eileen locked the door and closed the blinds, then entered her login in the computer.

“What was the name?” she asked.

“Duncan Abercromby,” Sorina said. She then spelled the last name.

“Any details on the arrest? Date, charge, place?

– No. But let’s look in the last five years.”

A list containing numerous arrests of people called Duncan Abercromby popped up on the screen. There were over two hundreds items in total. The agent said:

“Without any way of filtering it further, this won’t be of much help, I’m afraid.”

Sorina pinched her lips, then said:

“Try… filtering out violent crimes.”

Eileen punched a few keys. The list got smaller, but was still by no means small.

“I don’t have anything else,” Sorina said. “Is there any way to look up the picture of the arrest? And compare it to another picture?

– Not with the local database,” Eileen said.

“What about your database?”

Eileen tutted, then looked towards the door as if she was worried someone was going to barge in at any moment.

“You know I’m not supposed to do that. They’ll know I used it, and they’ll ask why.

– Can’t you pretend it’s related to something you’re working on?

– Maybe, but they’re likely to double check. I’m sorry, Chekov.

– Look… This is really important,” Sorina said. After a silence, she added: “Janus said you owe them a favor.”

Eileen closed her eyes and let out a loud sigh.

“Not anymore, I don’t,” she replied as she opened a new window and entered another login. “Put your picture in the scanner.”

Sorina drew a picture from one of her pants’ pockets, unfolded it and placed it in the scanner connected to the computer. The scanner came alive and made a lot of sounds, then another window opened on the computer’s monitor.

“All right, I think we got something.”

Sorina looked at the arrest record Eileen had pulled. That was him, without a doubt. Him with longer hair, unkempt facial hair, and a typical late teen smirk. Eileen raised an eyebrow, the left half of her mouth stretching into a smile.

“I hope I didn’t just use the Homeland Security database to get you a date. At least he looks legal.

– Very funny.”

She read the details included by the officer who made the arrest file: “Arrived at station at 9.51 PM. Detainee uncooperative but remained calm. Refused to identify and did not possess any form of identification. Accent and vocabulary indicate possible British national. Let go in the morning (9 AM) when legal representative Julian Hendrickson (see signed form attached) produced UK passport identifying the arrested as Duncan McAllister.”

A fake name, Sorina thought. I knew it. What else can I find?

“Is there any way you could look up that name, Duncan McAllister?

– Police database doesn’t turn up anything.

– What ab-

– Let me stop you right there. My favor’s been repaid. A quick lookup, I may be able to justify with my superiors. Pulling a file for no reason will raise too many eyebrows.

– I need to find out more. My superior won’t be satisfied with that.

– Then hire a P.I., or leave it to Janus.”

Sorina exhaled with frustration, but internally agreed that it was probably the best solution; she wasn’t sure she wanted that to happen, however. She remained pensive, her gaze fixated on Duncan’s old picture. Eventually, Eileen cleared her throat, and reminded her that they needed to leave.

As she walked back to her car, Sorina felt more determined than ever to find out Duncan’s real story. She didn’t have much in the way of clues, but it would have to be enough.

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