“Randy the Betrayer. Oh, it is most certainly NOT a rude surprise to see you here, on the prowl,” the woman cooed, sidling over to the attractive and strangely topless man at the bar.

“Nuby the Temptress,” said Randy. “Oh, goody. Here I was hoping for some fun, and now you’re going to try to put me to work wreaking havoc and chaos with mortals.”

“Tut-tut, Randy,” said Nuby. She growled an order in High Abyssal to the bartender, who returned, pale and trembling, with a snifter of something orange and fuming. “Even succubi have standards. What are we if not seeding evil and chaos amongst mortals? It’s for that very reason we were forged in the Abyss from the runoff of a million frustrated souls.”

“Succubi have standards. Incubi have incredulity. Incredulity at this straitlaced world of mortals in which we find ourselves. These masses live in a monogamous cult culture, they need to be liberated, and I am their savior, with a little fun as the grease to make it all work.” Randy snapped at the bartender, who brought him a frosted mug filled with dark blue liquid in which tiny shapes swum vigorously, fearfully. “What could be more chaotic, or more evil–from their point of view, anyway–than that?”

“Oh please,” snorted Nuby. “The most evil thing you’ve ever is try and convince a couple to become swingers so you can propose a foursome with the first thing that comes along on two legs.”

“TWO legs? My, picky, aren’t we,” said Randy. He took a swig from his mug and crunched thoughtfully on the denizens thereof. “You and I may not be wearing out wings tonight, Nuby, but I think we are serving the same goal in different ways. Burning the candle from either end, as it were. My end is forbidden frolicking and fun, while yours is film noir adulty leading to a quadruple homicide.”

“Why, thank you,” Nuby said. She downed her entire fulminade in a single gulp, belching a white-hot jet of fire before setting the smoking lump of glass that remained in her hand onto the bar, with which it immediately fused. “What do you say to a little contest, then, of our two approaches to tempting mortals?”

“What do you have in mind?” said Randy.

Nuby nodded at the end of the bar, where a statuesque woman with ear-length raven-black hair, sat quietly reading. “That hunk of ice hasn’t cracked all night, despite all the picks that have tried. First to get her to do something unbecoming wins?”

“Wins what, Nubes?” said Randy. “I’m not sure I have anything you want.”

“It’s a gentlewoman’s bet,” said Nuby, grinning. “Whoever wins gets the gentlewoman.”

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!
Advertisements