“Well, you sought me out and here I am.” The Woman in Red sat in the booth, her outfit positively dripping with an otherworldly crimson, the reflected light giving all around her a notably pink glow. It might have been a trick of the light, but her eyes–clear and intelligent, if airy–seemed a darker crimson as well.

“Thank you for meeting with me,” said Harry. “It’s a great honor-”

“Please. I didn’t meet you for pleasantries,” the Woman said. “Tell me what’s on your mind. If it’s not boring, I’ll see what I can do. If it is…well, I’ll have to find some other way to make up for the time you’ve wasted, and I don’t think you’ll like it.”

“I have a favor to ask,” said Harry. “It’s about some of the other Hues.”

“Hmm? That’s asking a lot. They stay out of my business and I stay out of theirs. Why should I interfere?”

“The Couple in Green,” Harry said. “They took something very precious to me, and I want it back.”

The Woman leaned forward. “I. Do not. Care,” she said. “You have about thirty seconds to make me change my mind.”

“The Couple in Green took a friend’s soul,” said Harry. “She cares only for money now, and drowns herself in gambling and excess. I want to exchange hers for mine in their contract.”

“Oh, now, that is interesting,” the Lady said. “Release from a contract? That’s an everyday request, and I’ve eaten people for being presumptuous about it. But an exchange? That is delectable. I’ll tell you what. I’ll give you my calling card to take to them, on one condition.”

“Name it.”

“Your friend, what’s-her-name? I want her soul for one night. One crimson night, ichor-stained, to be my plaything.”

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