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07.14.2012 , 03:32 PM |
even more. Because a man like Wynston has many, many people in his past. Imperial Agent, 800 words, no spoilers.
Wynston was passing through the spaceport of a small out-of-the-way colony. He had been there before, some years ago; it wasn’t much to look at, but he was in town to trade for a couple of rare resources.
A voice cut through the noise of the spaceport’s main concourse. “Ryce!”
A small process in the back of his mind ran a quick check and decided he should answer to this name. He turned around.
He knew the short slim blonde pushing through the crowd. Leena, last name never specified, it hadn’t seemed relevant at the time. Very sweet girl.
“Leena,” said the Chiss, smiling. “I had no idea you were still in town.”
He stuck out a hand to clasp hers so she couldn't close the distance for a hug. She squeezed his hand and beamed. “Long as trade comes through here, here's where I'll be.”
“How’ve you been?” Even with former flings, he liked friendly conversations to go slightly longer than ‘Hi, gotta run.’
She gave some gushing update, and he gave some vague statement of satisfaction with his vague work, and then she got started. “So how long are you in town?”
Before he could answer, a shout sounded from not too far away: “Hey! There you are!”
Oh, good. Kaliyo had thus far been pretty good about giving Wynston an inarguable out in these situations. She seemed to enjoy hanging on his arm and watching the hope die in other women’s eyes.
The Rattataki ran up and twined her arms around his neck, then looked over at Leena. “Is this the tramp you said might be up for an easy threesome? I see what you mean about the flat chest.”
That was new.
“What?” said Leena.
“I’m sorry, who are you?” said Wynston.
“Wow, no need to get weird. I thought we were here for an easy score, but if you’re gonna play innocent on me, we may as well just leave and go on to the you-know-what clinic you needed to hit up.”
“I don’t know this woman,” said Wynston. He jerked his head sideways to knock Kaliyo’s head off his shoulder. “Hey, woman I don’t know, go away before I’m forced to make things unpleasant.”
“Either she’s crazy or you’re actually a creep,” said Leena slowly, “and either way you’re threatening her now.”
“Yeah, he’s a pr*ck, but hey, he’s a dynamo in the sack, wouldn’t you agree?” Kaliyo flicked Wynston’s ear with a fingertip. “I don’t think she wants to play. Why don’t we hit up her sister like you said, and then if she’s a b*tch too we’ll just bounce.”
“Kaliyo, get out of here. Leena, it’s been great talking to you, but I really need to go.”
Leena backed away. “Since, apparently, I’m not up for what you’re here for?”
“That’s not it at all,” said Wynston.
“That’s exactly it,” said Kaliyo.
He elbowed Kaliyo, hard. She stifled a giggle.
“Stars, Ryce, leave her alone,” said Leena. “I don’t know why you’re back, but keep me out of it.” She fled.
Kaliyo laughed a rich laugh.
Wynston scanned the scene. A few people were giving them curious looks. He touched Kaliyo’s elbow and went for the nearest side room. She strolled alongside him, willingly, cheerfully.
He shut the door and rounded on her. “What the buggering hell was that?”
“I was giving you an assist in shaking off one of your old girlfriends. You know, like we talked about?”
“I asked you to help me pretend I’m taken so I can let them down gently, key word gently!”
She opened her eyes wide. “Did you write that down somewhere? You know I get lost with the subtleties of your sneaky agent ways.”
“You’re a monster. And how did you even know about her sister?”
“Lucky guess. Why do you even care what these chicks think of you? They don’t know your real name or who you are. Who cares if last year’s girl thinks you behaved badly?”
“I know when I’ve behaved badly,” said Wynston. “I don’t enjoy leaving that kind of heartache.”
Kaliyo yawned. “That’s sweet. Look, I got her out of your hair. And you have to admit it was funny.”
“I don’t have to admit anything. Psychopath. What’ll it take to keep you amused long enough for me to finish my business here without attracting an angry mob?”
“I might be convinced to behave if you bribe me with favors tonight.”
“I’m not spending the night with you, Kaliyo.”
“What, you would turn all this – “ she ran her hands down her sides and over her hips – “down for spite?”
“Well, yes.” Even if it was really, really difficult when she looked at him like that.
“You’re an idiot. Also I’m gonna follow you around all evening wrecking your prospects with anyone else.”
“Possessive, are we?”
“Spiteful,” she said happily. “I’m going back out there for now. With any luck she’ll come back with armed, outraged menfolk.”
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