“Oh goodness!” Randy said, as his ankle rolled melodramatically. His drink—normal alcohol this time, rather than the Abyssal Snoworm Tequila Slammer he’d been drinking earlier—sloshed messily out of its cup and onto the dark-haired bar patron.

What looked like an accident was in fact as accurate as a laser-guided missile. Randy had practiced that trick for five hundred years with everything from bloodline to snail juice, and on everything from orcs to celestials.

“I am so sorry, darling!” cried Randy. “Oh, let me find something to sop that up, right away.”

To his surprise, the woman didn’t move, even as the liquid was cascading down her top and rapidly soaking into the expensive fabric. “If you want,” she said coolly.

Randy grabbed a rag from the bar and began dabbing vigorously. He was a dab hand at this maneuver—a little strategic sensual massage under cover of rag was usually the first chink in the target’s armor. “I swear,” he laughed, “I’d lose my own head if it weren’t screwed on.”

“Well, I can see that there’s no seam on your neck since you were kind enough to remove your shirt,” the woman said, still regarding her own beverage. She delicately tucked a short strand of hair behind one ear. “However, I refuse to believe that you haven’t been screwed on.”

Randy laughed musically. “Oh dear,” he added, still dabbing, “this isn’t coming off.”

“Why do you think I’m not dabbing at it myself? I knew from the smell that your drink would stain and that it’d set. This is a job for a tailor, or a washer, not a barfly.” The woman glanced down at her torso, where Randy was sensuously dabbing an area that was not wine-soaked. “I appreciate your enthusiasm, but you can stop.”

“Please let me buy you a drink, to make up for my clumsiness and your bill-to-be,” Randy cooed, delicately withdrawing his hands.

“If you must,” said the woman again. “But if you spill it on me again, I might just have to see if your head unscrews after all.”

Randy, reading his target’s body language, called for the bartender. “A Reman ale for me, and a Regellian brandy for my friend here.”

The woman laughed. “Are we recovering from surgery or something?” she said. “Two Styx slushees with fermented Erinyes tears!” She barked.

“I’m not familiar with that one,” said Randy. “But I like a woman who can hod her liquor. What do you say we drain these glasses, order some seconds, and see where the evening takes us?”

The drinks arrived, misting and frosty. “Of course,” said the woman. “After you.”

Randy, grinning, took a meaty swing of his beverage. He looked up a moment later, confused. “What were we talking about?” He said. “I seem to have forgotten.”

“You were just leaving,” said the woman. “Thanks for the drinks.” When Randy had tottered off, she dumped her own mug into a nearby plant, which promptly forgot the last ten minutes or so.

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