Saturday, June 24, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors - 31

“I’m so sorry to bother you,” the young elven waitress said timidly, “but there is a problem with one of our customers.”

“One that the bouncers can’t handle?” Jared asked. Most of those were trolls—large enough and strong enough to take on most anything.

“It’s a bakeneko and it has reverted to its cat form. At the moment it is in the wee folks’ area, hunting.”

“It couldn’t go after the mice in the basement,” Daniel grumbled as he got up. “Okay, lead the way.”

Once they arrived on the second level it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out in which room the problem was. High-pierced shrieks of fear seeped out into the hallway from behind a closed door at the far end.

“Shall we?” Jared said as he strode toward the door.

Daniel grabbed his arm before he could open it. “Be careful. These damned things throw fireballs, in case you’ve forgotten.”

“I hadn’t.” Jared shot him a look. “I’ll be fine.”

Opening the door, he moved quickly into the large, airy room. It was as if he’d been transported to a forest glade replete with flowers, flowering bushes and exotic trees, some that no human would have recognized. Any other time it would have been idyllic. At the moment it was far from that. Fairies, pixies and other like creatures flittered in panic high above the ground, while brownies and gnomes zig-zagged between the bushes trying to avoid the golden-furred bakeneko as it chased after them. It leapt up suddenly to a low-hanging tree branch sending a fireball at a fairy who had dared to land on a nearby tree. The fairy shrieked as one of its wings was singed, plummeting towards the ground. The bakeneko jumped after it, claws outstretched.

“Bad cat,” Jared hissed; catching its attention before it could capture the fallen fairy.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors - 30

“Okay,” Daniel said an hour later, “if there’s any form of sexual activity, regular or otherwise this place doesn’t cater to, for damned sure I can’t think of it.”

“And you found some of them interesting,” Jared said with a laugh, glancing down at the now waning bulge in Daniel’s jeans.

Daniel smirked. “You weren’t impervious either, I noticed.” He led a slightly protesting Jared to the dance floor in the main club, putting his hands on his partner’s hips. “Relax, go with the flow, move to the music.”

“There’s music?” Jared tilted his head as if trying to hear it above the pulsating beat that came from the speakers.

“Yes, smart ass, you know damned well this is music. Just relax.” He slid his hands around to cup Jared’s ass, pulling their bodies tightly together.

“Very primitive music,” Jared agreed reluctantly, “Primitive and erotic. It’s a wonder half the supes in here aren’t fornicating as we speak.”

Daniel glanced upwards, rolling his eyes. And then he chuckled and pointed to the ceiling. “Apparently a couple of fairies agree with you.”

A quick look up and Jared was shaking his head. “I’m not a prude but that’s just a bit more than I needed to see.”

“You are a prude,” Daniel whispered, nipping his earlobe, “My own, personal prude.”

They continued to dance through two more songs before Jared had had enough. Taking Daniel’s hands he led him to the edge of the main room. “Either we leave or we leave here. I’m going deaf.”

“How about the jazz room? We can have a drink, sit back and you can unwind.”

“Please the gods, yes!”

Once they found a table along one wall in the smaller club, the pair settled on the banquette, ordered drinks, and sat back to enjoy what Jared considered real music. The room was dark, and with everyone’s eyes focused on the band Daniel was seriously thinking of taking advantage of the situation. He began tapping his fingers on Jared’s leather-clad thigh in time to the song, inching up slowly but surely to his intended destination.

“Enforcers,” a voice said diffidently.

Both men looked up and sighed in unison, though Daniel’s was more of a growl than a full-blown sigh.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors - 29

“Loud enough for you?” Jared hissed when they walked into the main room of the club.

“Almost,” Daniel replied with a laugh as he looked around. The room took up the center of the huge warehouse space, rising up the full two stories. A balcony ran around the perimeter with tables against the railing for those who preferred to watch rather than get into the thick of things on the main floor.

And things were thick. The large dance floor was filled with Supes of all kinds. Some were in their accepted human forms, while others didn’t bother to hide their less-than human attributes. Spotlights swirled all the colors of the rainbow over the dancers giving a kaleidoscopic feeling that was almost dizzying. On the back wall there was a long bar outlined in green and gold neon lights. The wall, what could be seen of it behind and above the backbar, was deep red brick that extended up to the ceiling of the club above the balcony. Scattered along the two side walls were many small seating areas with tables and cushioned chairs in various sizes and shapes, again to accommodate the various Supes.

“Shall we explore a bit before I go deaf,” Jared shouted as the music seemed to amp up painfully, at least to his ears.

“You got it.” Daniel steered him toward a door to their left.

When they reached it, a satyr bent to whisper something to the lovely kitsune clinging to his arm, before greeting Jared. “If you're hungry, there’s a room with willing donors at the far end of the hall. To the left is the jazz club, much smaller than the main club and,” the satyr chuckled, “much quieter. Above us on the second level, you’ll find several small club areas that cater to the wee folk or those that prefer not to mingle with the rest of us.”

“He means the spirits,” the kitsune explained, “and the harbingers. Since this place is for fun, some of the customers take it badly when a banshee or a nix stops them to predict their impending death.”

“I can see where that could be a bit off-putting when you’ve just come in for a drink and some relaxation,” Daniel said, shaking his head before asking, “What’s on the other side?”

The satyr’s face lit up, a lustful grin on his lips as he raked his eyes over Daniel. “Come with me and I’ll show you.”

Daniel swallowed hard. He had nothing against a bit of recreational play but he wasn’t about to indulge in any without Jared in tow. However the look in the satyr’s eyes, as he took a quick glance at Jared and then back at Daniel, said that wasn’t an option in his opinion.

“How about we let the young lady give us the guided tour of that side,” Jared suggested, having caught the by-play. “I’m quite certain you have better things to do ,sir, than show a couple of new customers around.”

The kitsune, being a fox who was wise to the ways of the world, immediately linked her arms with Daniel’s and Jared’s, leading them over to the other side of the club. There was a protracted growl and then an accepting chuckle from behind them and when Jared looked back over his shoulder he saw the satyr was already homing in on another hapless customer.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors - 28

“We should visit that club.” Daniel looked guilelessly at Jared before taking another bite of his steak.

“Should we now? And just which club would that be?” It wasn’t as if Jared didn’t know exactly which one Daniel was talking about, but he was in the mood to yank his chain a bit.

“You know; the one close to where we found the wand.”

Jared frowned in thought. “Not certain I remember a club near there. Is it one of those jazz clubs?”

“Jared! Damn, come on, Mor told us about it. It’s the one for Supes.”

“For Supes?” Jared stroked his chin pensively.

“I swear I’m going to up your dose of ginkgo biloba. You’re going senile,” Daniel growled.

“Day-walkers do not go senile, thank you very much,” Jared hissed before laughing. “I know the club you mean.” He ducked away when Daniel took a swipe at him. “And it might well be worth checking out.”

Daniel grinned. “I totally agree. So get dressed in something that doesn’t make you look like you just stepped out of a corporate board meeting and let’s hit it.”

Looking Daniel over Jared muttered, “I suppose you want me wearing something like that.” His partner was in tight jeans and a mesh shirt. Neither item left much to the imagination, as Daniel demonstrated by standing and turning slowly. Jared pulled him up against his body, running his hands down the front of his jeans to the bulge that grew exponentially with each stroke of his fingers.

Daniel leaned back against him, groaning low while reaching his hands back to cup Jared’s ass. “Keep that up and we’re going nowhere.”

“And this would be a problem for what reason?”

Using all of his waning will-power Daniel pulled away. “I know what you’re doing Batman, you’re trying to distract me so you don’t have to change into those sexy leathers you keep hidden in the back of the closet.”

“Caught me, Catman,” Jared said with a grumbling laugh. After pulling Daniel back long enough to kiss him thoroughly Jared headed off to get ready.

Guardian Angels – Protection (18)

Once breakfast was over, Cass became all business. "We're using my car," she informed Kip. "It's safer. Jamie, you're to hold your father's hand and stay right beside him when you leave the building. Neither of you come outside until I let you know it's safe."

Kip looked at his son and saw his own fear echoed in Jamie's eyes. He tried to smile, saying, "And the big adventure begins, right?"

Jamie nodded slowly, looking around as he did. "He's not here," he barely whispered.

Knowing who he meant, and not wanting Jamie any more afraid than he already was, Kip told him, "Your angel's probably doing just what Cass and Mack are, making certain it's safe to go to her car." He didn't believe that, but apparently Jamie did because he seemed a bit less fearful.

"Let's go down," Cass said, after checking the hallway. Kip noticed she had her hand on her gun. When they reached the elevator, she took it out of the holster, holding it by her side, away from Jamie's view. As soon as the elevator door opened on the ground floor, she stepped in front of Kip and Jamie, scanning the lobby before beckoning them to join her. At the front door, she pointed to the side, indicating they should wait for her signal.

Kip moved to put Jamie behind him while he watched Cass with bated breath. Her car was directly in front of the building, less than ten feet away, but to him it seemed like it took her forever to get to it. He knew that was because she was checking everything in her view, looking for any place Stewart might be hiding, either in another car, on a rooftop, wherever. She paused momentarily before carefully inching her way around her car to the driver's side. He heard the click that meant she'd automatically unlocked the doors. Then she beckoned for them to join her.

"Now," he said to Jamie, staring at the empty sidewalk ahead of them.

Four things happened almost simultaneously as they started toward the car. Someone yelled, "Down", a shot rang out, Kip was shoved to the ground, and Jamie seemed to vanish, reappearing almost instantly inside the vehicle. Kip heard more gunfire and prayed Cass was the shooter. Without thinking of his own safety, he was on his feet again, calling out Jamie's name, praying he hadn't been shot.

"Okay," he heard Jamie reply. The back door of the car was open and his son was crouching on the floor in front of the seat. Kip raced to him, diving in to cover him with his body. He was barely aware of the sounds of running feet from outside the car.

"You got him," Mack shouted.

Cass replied, almost boastfully, "Of course I did." She opened the back door on her side to tell Kip it was over.
* * * *
"That was a bit close," Dave muttered, as he watched several police officers descend on the scene.

"I suspect Cass had to wait until Stewart showed himself before she could do anything," Hal replied. "It wouldn't have looked good if she took out a passing stranger. She played it well, though."

"Almost too well. We barely got them out of danger. If we hadn't been there…"

Hal patted him on the shoulder. "But we were, which is what counts."