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Anon x Cousin Starlight

By OniiChansFables
Created: 21st October 2020 04:12:16 PM
Modified: 16th February 2021 06:15:37 PM

  1. >You go by the name Anon in this town, you couldn't afford to use your last name.
  2. >Especially in your line of work.
  3. >You worked for a man who called himself “Hoity Toity”
  4. >Why anybody would call themselves that is beyond you, but that's not what matters.
  5. >What matters is that he pays well.
  6. >Well enough that you don't utter a word about his moniker.
  7. >He also treated you well, a little too well sometimes.
  8. >He's probably a fruit.
  9. >He gave the assignment to pick up some cargo from the docks around 2am and you obliged.
  10. >It was about 3:13 according to your watch.
  11. >These guys better show up soon, you wanted to get to sleep.
  12. >You take a sip from the cheap coffee you picked up from a 24 hour diner.
  13. >It tasted like water from a sewer, but you needed the caffeine.
  14. >You spotted some moving shadows through the fog in the docking area.
  15. >Guess they're here.
  16. >You grabbed your pistol, trench knife and fedora and exited the truck.
  17. “Gentlemen.” You called, your trench coat tails fluttered in the air
  18. >”You the guy?” The taller one asked, dropping a crate.
  19. “Depends.”
  20. >”On what?” The short guy asked.
  21. >You flipped over the crate and opened it.
  22. >Just as you thought, it was only half full.
  23. “If you're trying to screw my boss over.”
  24. >”They're all like this.”
  25. >You grab the short guy by the collar.
  26. “Don't fuck with me little man. Where's the rest?”
  27. >The big guy put a hand on your shoulder.
  28. >”All the boxes are the same.” He had some accent you couldn't place.
  29. >He sounded sincere, but you've been screwed over before.
  30. >And he had the audacity to touch you.
  31. >You let the short guy go, quickly brandished your trench knife and decked the tall one as hard as you could.
  32. “Don't touch me.”
  33. >He hit the ground hard and didn't move.
  34. >He's out cold.
  35. >”You motherfucker!” the short one shouted.
  36. >He reached into his suit jacket.
  37. >You cleared leather faster than he could and he was dead within the second.
  38. >You better get this stuff loaded into the truck before someone comes along.
  39.  
  40. >Those guys were right, all the crates were the same.
  41. >You felt a twinge of regret for throwing them both in the water.
  42. >After dropping off the truck at the designated lockup, you went home.
  43. >Your apartment was a nice place on the wealthier side of town, a gift from your boss.
  44. >A few bedrooms, a large kitchen, two bathrooms and a nice living room.
  45. >Your apartment was bigger than some houses you grew up around.
  46. >You slipped out of your coat, suit and shoes and smoked a cigarette before hitting the bed.
  47. >You woke up to the ringing of your phone.
  48. “Hello?” You greeted.
  49. >”Oh my dear Anon, how are you today?”
  50. >You recognized that voice.
  51. “I'm doing fine Mister Toity.”
  52. >”Please Anon, I've told you to just call me Hoity, remember?”
  53. “I'm sorry Hoity, I've only just woken up. The job took longer than it should have last night.”
  54. >”I do apologize for the job taking longer than expected my dear. Please, take the day off and come by tomorrow.”
  55. >You were taken aback by that.
  56. “That's not neces-”
  57. >”That's an order Anon. Relax.”
  58. >You couldn't argue any more.
  59. “Alright Hoity. Was the product all there?”
  60. >”All the cloth was accounted for, your payment is being brought to you by Snips, I'll see you tomorrow.”
  61. >The line was dead now.
  62. >You killed two people last night because you thought they were trying you screw your boss over some cloth.
  63. >At least this wasn't the first time.
  64. >Welp, you have a free day now even if you were tired.
  65. >Unfortunately, you couldn't get back to sleep.
  66. >Now awake, you listened to some radio.
  67. >You light up a cigarette and tune into just starting Shadow drama.
  68. >You hope this episode is good.
  69. >...
  70. >It was a rebroadcast of an old episode, it was a good episode at least.
  71. >As you finished your smoke, your phone rang again.
  72. “Hello?” You answered again.
  73. >”Hello Anon, how are you?”
  74. >It was Mom.
  75. “Hey Ma, I'm fine. How are you and Dad?”
  76. >”We're doing fine, honey.”
  77. “That's good to hear, but why'd you call me?”
  78.  
  79. >”Your cousin Starlight needs a place to stay.”
  80. “How does that relate to me, if I may ask? I thought she was going to the college there.”
  81. >”She was, but she wants to transfer out there for some specific classes that they don't have here.”
  82. “Oh.”
  83. >”Can she stay with you?” You could hear the pleading in Mom's voice.
  84. “I don't know. Don't they have some sorta student housing?”
  85. >”We can't afford it.”
  86. >You thought about it for a minute of silence over the phone.
  87. >You didn't know what to think.
  88. >Starlight needed a place to stay, sure, but you don't have the safest of lives.
  89. >You'd rather not endanger a family member, but she was trying to get a better life for herself.
  90. >The same reason you're here.
  91. >...
  92. >You'll keep Starlight safe while she's here, no matter the cost.
  93. “Alright Ma, she can stay with me. When's she coming?”
  94. >”Thank You! I'll let Firelight know immediately! I love you honey!” Mom hung up.
  95. >You let out a sigh,
  96. >You hope that you can keep the girl safe.
  97. >This town has enough creeps and slimes that would love to get their hands on a pretty girl like your cousin.
  98. >You've dealt with a fair share of them yourself, most of which are dead or severely maimed.
  99. >It's what those bastards deserved.
  100. >Hoity always bailed you out if you ever got caught by the cops and even got stuff wiped from your now nonexistent record.
  101. >With some things that man has done for you, you could almost kiss him.
  102. >Almost.
  103. >Sure, that silvery ponytail and silky smooth skin made him look better than a lot of dames out in the world, but you didn't swing that way.
  104. >Sometimes though, he looked real pretty...
  105. >You shook your head clear.
  106. >Better clean up the other room.
  107. >You never used it yourself, used by whoever needed a place to crash or lie low, mostly your compatriots and sometimes Hoity himself.
  108. >Snails crashed here a few days ago.
  109. >You hadn't checked it out since.
  110. >As you stared at the empty room, you realize Mom never told you when Starlight is coming.
  111.  
  112. >You enjoyed the rest of your day off.
  113. >Hoity Toity called you the next morning.
  114. >Today's job was simple: go pick up a package from a clothing manufacturer on the other side of the city and bring it back to Hoity Toity in person.
  115. >Easy job, you usually had it tougher.
  116. >Taking out targets, stealing product shipments, sabotaging rival endeavors, etc.
  117. >Your job today maybe be easy, but you know one thing.
  118. >You're only sent if Hoity Toity really wanted something done.
  119. >You got into your car and drove over to the place, traffic was awful and it took you over an hour to get there.
  120. >When you arrived, the sounds of the foundry were an assault on your ears.
  121. >The constant revving of the machines and the loud chattering of the workers echoing into the massive main hall felt like your ears were being hit with a wall of bricks made of sound.
  122. >Let's just hurry.
  123. “Mr. Toity sent me.” is all you said to the foreman.
  124. >He brought you to his office and handed you the package.
  125. >It just felt like more clothing, which made sense considering the location.
  126. >As you left the building, a speeding car swerved into the parking lot and screeched to a halt.
  127. >The driver window was rolled down.
  128. >”Ms. Photo sends her regards.”
  129. >You jumped to cover behind your car as gunfire lit up where you were just standing and now your car.
  130. “Motherfuckers!” You were more angry about the car than the attempt on your life.
  131. >You pulled out your machine gun from under the back seat and fired through the window.
  132. >You didn't let go of the trigger until you heard the clicking.
  133. >No more gunfire was heard after you ran out of ammo.
  134. >You got 'em.
  135. >Hoity Toity was overjoyed when you gave the package to him.
  136. >When you told him about Photo's assassination attempt, he looked pissed.
  137. >”That cunt will learn why it's a man's world. I'm sorry about your car dear, I'll have it fixed for you.”
  138. >You would not decline that offer, you put your guns into a duffle bag, and had Snips drive you home.
  139.  
  140. >The next few days and jobs passed with little incident.
  141. >A kill here, a package delivery there.
  142. >Ma told you Starlight would fly in in a few days.
  143. >Back in Kansas, you would've never thought the fashion industry would be this violent.
  144. >You came out here to work in the movies, not really as an actor but maybe a producer or a set designer or something.
  145. >You never truly thought about it, you just liked the movies.
  146. >Hopefully some day there would be a way to watch them at home.
  147. >Sure, you could go to a theater anytime you wanted to with the amount of money you had put away, but there would always be people with you.
  148. >There was always some mook who made too much noise and wouldn't keep his trap shut
  149. >Sometimes it was broad, but their husbands usually gave them a slap or two to quiet them down.
  150. >You knew it was worse in the negro theaters.
  151. >Snips, being a mick, had grown up going to such theaters and from the stories he told, you knew it was worse.
  152. >The only negro you cared to see was the singer at the Magic Lounge downtown; Zecora was her name.
  153. >That woman had a voice on her that sounded like no other.
  154. >Her lyricism was beautiful and brought tears to your eyes.
  155. >Her creamy chocolate skin was exotic, her pearly white smile could brighten a room and deep grey eyes were so warm and inviting, you could get lost in them.
  156. >Those long smooth legs of hers were mesmerizing too.
  157. >There were nights you went down to the lounge just to watch and listen to her sing: no drinking, no smoking, no socializing.
  158. >You would tell none of this to anyone for fear of ostracization.
  159. >Why would any non-negro want anything to do with a negress?
  160. >Whatever, it isn't like you would ever approach her.
  161. >At least, in the romantic sense.
  162. >You sat in your chair, listening to the current Shadow episode being broadcast, and smoked your cigarette with your whiskey in hand.
  163. >Damn, this episode is good.
  164. >You took a sip as The Shadow's maniacal cackle radiated from your radio set.
  165.  
  166. >Hoity had called you to his office earlier for something, he didn't tell you what.
  167. >The first place he owned was a legitimate business, and the building behind it was where the dirty deeds were ordered.
  168. >You, Snails, Snips and the rest were instructed to never go to the front building which is where he sold his designer clothing.
  169. >In the second building was where the clothing was made.
  170. >There were two floors: the bottom one that looked professional and was used to produce the clothes he put time and effort into with well-paid staff.
  171. >The top floor was a sweatshop that produced the clothes that Hoity sold to whatever shops that wouldn't question where it came from.
  172. >You noted the workers here, Asians mostly.
  173. >Cheap, easy labor for those that were eager to come to the states.
  174. >You took a swig from your flask.
  175. >Hopefully whatever he needed from you would be easy.
  176. >You weren't in the mood for hard work today.
  177. >”What do you think you're doing, you're slant eyed slag?!”
  178. >Toity's yelling caught your attention.
  179. >”Are you trying to steal from me?”
  180. >You heard some mandarin shouting and Toity arguing back in English.
  181. >”Snips, Snails! Throw this slut out!”
  182. >The pair dragged the still yelling woman up from her chair.
  183. >Nobody's gonna believe her if she squeals; she's a minority and an undocumented immigrant, she'll be on the first boat back to Beijing before the police ever investigate your boss.
  184. “Sir.”
  185. >That got Hoity's attention.
  186. >”My dear Anon, I am so sorry that you had to see that. Come to my office.”
  187. >You did.
  188. >”I caught wind of a courier carrying a package for Photo Finish. It's apparently some rare fabrics, you know what I want.”
  189. “Find the courier, kill him and take the package, got it.”
  190. >”Actually, retract the killing part. Bring him to me. He might have some information.”
  191. “Alright boss.”
  192. >”My informant saw him at the East Side Cafe about ten minutes ago.”
  193. “Description?”
  194. >”He's a small guy with a purple suit and green hat.”
  195.  
  196. >When you got to the cafe, you looked for the guy matching the description.
  197. >He stood out like a sore thumb with that gaudy suit, eating muffins and staring at a photo.
  198. >Grabbing him while he's eating is a bad idea.
  199. >Too many people around.
  200. >While you were sure the boss would bail you out, you'd rather not be arrested today.
  201. >You just had to wait.
  202. >...
  203. >How long is this midget going to stare at that picture and stuff his gob?
  204. >Didn't he have a package to deliver?
  205. >You've been in your car for an hour and it was getting hot when you turned off the engine.
  206. >Another fifteen minutes passed before he left, briefcase in hand.
  207. >You trailed him at a distance to not arouse his suspicion.
  208. >He turned into a vacant alley, big mistake.
  209. >Time to strike.
  210. >You exited your car and followed him.
  211. >He didn't notice you until it was too late.
  212. >You shoved your pistol into his back.
  213. “My boss wants to have a word with you.”
  214. >”I'll go! Please don't hurt me!” He pleaded with a somewhat high-pitched voice.
  215. >What a coward.
  216. >You checked the briefcase.
  217. >The fabric was there.
  218. >It was softer than anything you had ever felt; like some satin and a cloud had an offspring.
  219. >It was light too, it almost was blown away by a violent gust of wind.
  220. >You put the case in the front with you and the coward in the back, threatening to shoot if tries to run.
  221. >The drive back to the shop was silent; he pulled out that photo again.
  222. >You read the name on the back of the picture through the rear-view mirror.
  223. >Rarity.
  224. >Could be useful, Hoity might like to know about this.
  225. >...
  226. >This guy could take some punishment for a coward.
  227. >Snips and Snails had been wailing on him for almost an hour.
  228. >”Where is this fabric coming from?” Hoity asked again politely, sitting with his legs crossed and cigarette holder in his fingers.
  229. >He still didn't answer.
  230. >You whispered to Hoity about the photo.
  231. >”If you don't start talking, I'll have my friend here track down that girlfriend of yours.”
  232.  
  233. >He sang like a bird and told the boss everything.
  234. >The fabric came from some place in Italy, he didn't know where exactly.
  235. >Hoity figured that Photo had some roots set there, or at least a contact.
  236. >The boss decided he would keep this guy, Spike as he was called, under his boot as a spy.
  237. >He told Spike that if mentioned anything that happened today, Rarity's life would be forfeit.
  238. >You silently hoped he wouldn't, you'd hate to have the blood of such a lovely woman on your hands.
  239. >The regular hoods and thugs you dealt with were another story, you rarely lost sleep over them.
  240. >If there were people, you felt sorry for when you snuffed out some greaseball, it was the families of said greaseball.
  241. >You could imagine parents weeping as they get the news that their son was found dead.
  242. >That's the stuff that would keep you awake at night.
  243. >That's why you picked up your habits.
  244. >When you got back home, it was in the dead of night.
  245. >The neon lights from the burlesque parlor across the street beamed in through your living room shudders.
  246. >You hung up your fedora and suit jacket, poured yourself a whiskey sour, lit up a cigarette, tuned into a music and sat down on the couch.
  247. >Today wasn't hard, nowhere near it.
  248. >You just needed to relax.
  249. >The phone in your room rang, and you sighed.
  250. >Not even five minutes.
  251. “Hello?” You answered.
  252. >”Hey honey!” It was Mom.
  253. “Ma? Why'd you call at this hour, couldn't this have waited?”
  254. >”Starlight will be there tomorrow around noon.”
  255. >Oh. Right. Starlight.
  256. “Alright Ma, I'll pick her up.”
  257. >”Uncle Firelight says thank you for taking her in.”
  258. “Tell him it's not a problem.”
  259. >”Ok sweetie, be sure to call me when she gets there!”
  260. “Will do Ma, goodnight.”
  261. >”Night.”
  262. >You hung up the phone and sat there in relative silence for a minute.
  263. >You had forgotten that cousin Starlight would be staying with you for a bit.
  264. >With a sigh, you made a call to Hoity.
  265. >He'll understand.
  266.  
  267. >The boss was happy to let you have a day or two off under a simple condition.
  268. >He wanted to meet Starlight at some point, a reasonable request.
  269. >Hoity wasn't a creep, you had no reason to worry except for the off chance that Photo or Suri would try to kill him, but you would be there to protect them both.
  270. >Starlight.
  271. >You hadn't seen her in years.
  272. >The last time you saw her was when your family saw you off on your flight to get here.
  273. >That was three years ago.
  274. >Memories of that day flooded back, you could feel that tingle on your cheek.
  275. >Where Starlight kissed you before you boarded the plane.
  276. >You were sweet on each other when you were kids, but you were sure whatever had lingered into your teen years would be gone by now.
  277. >Probably for the best.
  278. >Starlight was a bright girl with an even brighter future ahead of her if she kept her nose to the books.
  279. >She didn't need a schmuck like you dragging her down.
  280. >You or anybody like you.
  281. >Any geek off the street tries to approach her, you knock their teeth down their throats.
  282. >It'll be that simple.
  283. >...
  284. >You went to pick your cousin up from the airport.
  285. >Since you hadn't seen Starlight in years, you thought it best to dress for a good impression.
  286. >Your best suit, shoes and hat would do nicely, gifts from the boss.
  287. >When you laid your eyes on her, you could tell she had grown up.
  288. >Starlight stood taller than you remember and had grown out her purple hair, putting it into a ponytail style with blunt bangs.
  289. >She wore a light blue blouse, a dark purple skirt and what seemed like some short heels.
  290. >She sat on her brown suitcase waiting for you.
  291. “Starlight.” You called as you got out of your car.
  292. >”Cousin Anon!” She exclaimed, standing up and running to you.
  293. >You embraced her hug.
  294. >”It's good to see you again!”
  295. “It's good to see you too.”
  296. >You pulled yourselves apart and opened up the passenger door for her.
  297. >You put her luggage in the trunk, moving some guns around to make room.
  298. >The drive back to your apartment was riddled with questions.
  299. >”What is it you do? Dad and Uncle Incog never told me.” She asked.
  300. “I work in fashion.”
  301.  
  302. >”Oh really! What do you do? Model? That suit is quite dapper!”
  303. >The suit was doing its job; thanks, boss.
  304. “No such thing. I just pick up and deliver packages for the boss.”
  305. >”Your boss, huh? Who do you work for?”
  306. “A man named Hoity Toity.”
  307. >“Wow! That's amazing! I didn't think you were working for THE Hoity Toity!”
  308. “Yeah, he pays well, gave me this suit and my apartment”
  309. >”He sounds like a great boss.”
  310. “He takes care of his employees.”
  311. >The legal ones at least.
  312. >”I'm glad to hear it. You know, my professor would always talk about how greedy and corrupt our country is, but it can't be all bad, right?”
  313. “It's not all bad.”
  314. >...
  315. >”Wow! I didn't think you had such a big place!”
  316. >Her excitement was refreshing.
  317. >Too many people here were jaded, understandably so.
  318. >This chews people up and spits them out like tobacco.
  319. >The airports were the hands that kept feeding.
  320. >”Hey Anon, what's a Burlesque?” Her voice was so innocent.
  321. “Nothing you need to know about. C'mon, I'll show you your room.”
  322. >You opened up the bedroom door, and she gasped.
  323. >”This room is bigger than the living room Mom and Dad have!”
  324. “Like I said, he takes care of his employees.”
  325. >”And he just gave this place to you?”
  326. “Yep.”
  327. >”That's amazing!”
  328. >You put her suitcase on the bed and left the room to let her get settled in.
  329. >A few minutes later, the door open.
  330. >”Hey Anon, I found a gun in here.”
  331. >You sighed. Snails must've left his pistol here.
  332. >You cleaned that room front to back, how did you miss it?
  333. “Bring it here.”
  334. >You could tell she was apprehensive about holding the gun as she handed it to you.
  335. >It confused you a little; the two of you grew up around guns.
  336. >Dad and Uncle Firelight always brought you two hunting and taught you two the ins and outs of gun usage.
  337. >It's half the reason you were good at your job,
  338. >You looked over the pistol.
  339. >A nickel plated Colt M1911 with a pearl grip: this was Snail's alright.
  340. “Sorry about that, my friend forgot it here.”
  341.  
  342. >You put Snail's gun in your jacket and sat down on your couch.
  343. >Starlight emerged a few minutes later and sat down with you.
  344. >”Is this what you do in your off time?”
  345. “I usually have a smoke and a drink with me.”
  346. >”I didn't think you would've started smoking, I was thinking maybe you had a guest that did.”
  347. “In my line of work, I need something to take the edge off.”
  348. >”I didn't think fashion would be that stressful of an industry.”
  349. “You have no idea.”
  350. >A few quiet moments passed; it was kind of awkward.
  351. >You didn't understand how to talk to this girl you hadn't seen in almost four years.
  352. >”So...what's there to do for fun around here?”
  353. “I usually just listen to the radio in my off time, or I go down to the lounge and listen to the singers there.”
  354. >”No theaters? I thought you liked movies.”
  355. “There's a one or two around here, places are great, but the people in 'em need to hit the bricks.”
  356. >She laughed with that sweet voice you remember.
  357. >”Yeah, that sounds right! I remember that when you got barred from the one back home for fighting with that guy who wouldn't stop talking.”
  358. >Her chuckling continued, and you frowned in some attempt to suppress a smile.
  359. “I don't pick fights in cinemas anymore.”
  360. >”I would hope so!”
  361. “There's also a diner down the street if you get hungry. The food they make there is unlike anything back home.”
  362. >”You don't have food here?”
  363. “I ain't brought a woman here ever, so no. Although, now that you here...”
  364. >She laughed again
  365. >”Me cook? Do you want me to burn the house down?”
  366. >A memory of Starlight's parents panicking over a flaming stove surface.
  367. >You laughed a bit yourself.
  368. “You're right, if you're anything like your mom, my place would be up in flames!”
  369. >The sound of grumbling stomach got your attention.
  370. >Starlight's face was beet red.
  371. >”I guess I could go for a sandwich.” She sounded embarrassed alright.
  372. “Well then, let's go.”
  373. >You grabbed your keys, and she followed.
  374.  
  375. >”Anon! How are you?” A familiar voice called.
  376. >You and Starlight hadn't even sat down yet.
  377. “I'm doing fine Hoity, how about yourself?”
  378. >”Marvelous dear, just marvelous. Our little informant has told me that Photo has another shipment of that Italian fabric coming in and-”
  379. >With a quick glance over your shoulder, he noticed Starlight's stare of awe.
  380. >”Oh, is this she, Anon?”
  381. >You nod.
  382. >”I am Hoity Toity, fashion designer extraordinaire and the boss of your cousin here.” Your boss introduced himself with a hand on your shoulder.
  383. >”May I ask your name, young lady?”
  384. >”I-I'm Starlight Glimmer!” She stammered out.
  385. >”Glimmer? How adorable is that! Is that your last name too Anon, you've never told me.” He asked.
  386. “No Sir, her mom and my dad are siblings, she got her dad's last name.” you explained.
  387. >”Oh, well, that explains that.”
  388. >He glanced down at his watch.
  389. >”I'm afraid I must be going. Ta-ta!” Hoity tutted as he exited the restaurant.
  390. >”I didn't think he'd be so nice.”
  391. “You calling me a liar?” you joked.
  392. >”A little.”
  393. >You motioned her to a booth in the corner with your back to the wall.
  394. >As you flip through a menu, you wonder why the boss was here in the first place; he never eats at places like this.
  395. >Probably had some business with someone here, but who is the question.
  396. >”You two ready to order?” The waitress asked.
  397. “I'll take a Reuben with a Coca-Cola”
  398. >”I'd like a BLT and a Coke as well.”
  399. >”Alrighty, your orders will be ready in a few minutes.” She took the menus and left.
  400. >You quietly scanned the establishment for anybody who looked like they would have business with Hoity Toity.
  401. >Nobody stood out..
  402. .>”Hey Anon, is something wrong?” Starlight's inquired softly.
  403. “I'm fine Glimglam, just a little paranoid is all.”
  404. >”Are you worried that someone will swoop me away?” She giggled.
  405. “Yes, swooping is bad.” you slowly responded.
  406. >Drop it for now, you'll have to ask Hoity about it later.
  407.  
  408. >Lunch was nice; the two of you caught up.
  409. >She was here because one of her clubs had a branch out here and, as mom mentioned, some classes related to her major are out here.
  410. >You made up some details about your life here and what you did.
  411. >She didn't need to know what you really did; neither did anyone back home.
  412. >”I'm a little shocked that you've never a girl the whole time you've been here.”
  413. >That wasn't a lie.
  414. “I told you that earlier, why's it relevant now?”
  415. >”If we're talking about what we've been up to for the past few years, your love life is on the table, isn't it?”
  416. “What about you then? How many hearts have you broken?”
  417. >”None.”
  418. >That was a curt reply.
  419. “Really?”
  420. >”Yep. I'd rather not have anyone I don't love touch me.”
  421. >You pondered that statement.
  422. >Starlight hadn't ever had a boyfriend which was surprising with her looks.
  423. >She had matured into a woman, a beautiful woman at that.
  424. >Her skin was smooth, her multiplied purple hair was lush and that ever present blue stripe was brighter than it ever had been.
  425. >She definitely filled out her clothing now, most notably her blouse.
  426. >You caught those stares when you two entered, you restrained yourself from whipping out Snail's pistol and wasting a few of these shitbags.
  427. >You wouldn't for obvious reasons.
  428. “Guess that makes sense. I'd rather not have some tramp off the road even come near me.”
  429. >”I would hope not!”
  430. “Is that jealousy I hear?”
  431. >”Not at all!”
  432. “Whatever you say Glimglam, whatever you say.”
  433. >A small growl escaped, and you suppressed a snicker with a grin.
  434. >The rest of the lunch was a small chat and after that you two left.
  435. >...
  436. >You got some more whiskey on the drive back home, having finished your last bottle the night before.
  437. >Starlight drank with you, her first drink apparently, you both learned that she's a lightweight.
  438. >Two glasses and she was out like a light.
  439. >She's gonna have a hangover when she wakes up.
  440. >You put her in bed and continued to drink.
  441.  
  442. >Some loud groaning interrupted your listening of the new Shadow episode.
  443. >Starlight rubbed her face as she walked over to the couch.
  444. “How's the hangover?”
  445. >”I never want to drink again.”
  446. >You hand her your glass with a little whiskey at the bottom.
  447. “Drink, it'll help.”
  448. >She reluctantly took the glass and swigged it down.
  449. >”I don't think I'll get used to that burning sensation.”
  450. >Not with her low tolerance.
  451. >”Could you please turn the radio down? My head's pounding.”
  452. “No, this is a new episode.”
  453. >”What is it, anyway?”
  454. “It's about a guy who kills criminals.”
  455. >”Like Batman?”
  456. “Batman is a ripoff.”
  457. >”Oh, how is it?”
  458. “The show's great.”
  459. >”I meant the episode.”
  460. “Can't really tell yet, a hungover girl keeps interrupting my listening.”
  461. >”Well you shouldn't have gotten her drunk”
  462. “She chose to drink and couldn't handle her alcohol.”
  463. >Starlight huffed again, still holding her head.
  464. >...
  465. >That episode wasn't as good as the recent ones, but it was still enjoyable.
  466. >Starlight passed out again, you assumed jetlag this time.
  467. >You put her to bed and heard a knock at the door.
  468. >You answered it and were greeted with a giant golden poof.
  469. >”Hello Anon.”
  470. >Oh no.
  471. >You knew that voice.
  472. “What are you doing here Adagio?”
  473. >”Oh nothing, just came by to see what my man was up to.”
  474. “I ain't your man anymore.”
  475. >She ran a finger up and down your chest.
  476. >”You could be.”
  477. >Her voice was but a whisper into your ear.
  478. >You push her away.
  479. “Did you want something? Or should I call Flash and tell him that his girl is throwing herself at me again? I'm sure he'd love to hear all about it.”
  480. >Her glare would've killed you in some other world.
  481. >”Fine. Can I come in and explain? I'd rather not have other people know my business.”
  482. >You hesitantly let the woman in, silently praying that this wouldn't backfire on you.
  483. >Adagio seemed to just glide around the place, leaving a trail of perfume.
  484. >”This place is still as impressive as ever. I can't believe Hoity just gave it to you for nothing.”
  485. “Get to the point or get out.”
  486.  
  487. >”I need a favor.”
  488. “Denied. Get out.”
  489. >”Will you listen to me?!”
  490. “No.”
  491. >”Gah! This is why I broke things off with you!”
  492. “I told Flash about us and he nearly beat you to death.”
  493. >”I'm going to be killed if you don't help me out!”
  494. >The girl broke down in to near silent weeping.
  495. >Oh.
  496. >You didn't know what to do.
  497. >Seeing women cry made you angry, but Adagio...
  498. >She's manipulative.
  499. >You know that.
  500. >Her gallivanting her way into your life and then nearly draining your bank account made you rat her out to Flash in the first place.
  501. >Watching the woman nearly being beat to death by her lover was a bit much.
  502. >”I stole some money from Flash and now he's sending Bulk and a few of the other guys to kill me!”
  503. “And you just came to me so you would have someone to protect you?”
  504. >”I don't have anywhere else to turn to!”
  505. >She pushed herself into your chest and continued to cry.
  506. >”I'm scared to leave town because he probably has people watching me.”
  507. “So brought these hypothetical people here?”
  508. >”I know you could handle them.”
  509. “So what's this elusive favor you want?”
  510. >”I just want someone to protect me until this blows over.”
  511. “Why not just hire someone with the money you stole?”
  512. >”No matter who I would've hired, they wouldn't be as good as you.”
  513. >You felt a twinge of pride in your chest, but you know she's playing you.
  514. >Inside you were torn.
  515. >That chivalrous knightly part that lay within yourself battled that hard ass part of you that knew better than to trust this blonde temptress.
  516. “Fine.”
  517. >The knight defeated the hard ass.
  518. “What about your, uh...”
  519. >”They're with my mom in the suburbs.”
  520. “Is that for the best? Couldn't Flash just show up and take them?”
  521. >”He doesn't know about them, or my mom.”
  522. >At least she had those bases covered.
  523. >You couldn't let two little girls be dragged into some mess their mother caused.
  524. “I'll let you stay here till Flash calms down. Don't get any ideas.”
  525. >”Oh thank you! I know you're a good man!”
  526. >You sighed to yourself.
  527. >What did you just bring upon yourself?
  528.  
  529. >You threw the unloaded pistol to Snails who was waiting for Hoity in his office.
  530. “Next time, take your shit with you when you leave my apartment.”
  531. >”Thanks Anon, I was looking for it all over the place.”
  532. “Don't thank me, thank my cousin. She's the one that found it.”
  533. >”I'll be sure to do that. Where is she anyway?'
  534. “I dropped her off at the college this morning.”
  535. >”What's she majoring in?”
  536. “Dunno. What's it to you?”
  537. >”Just curious, me and Snips came here for school after the war. We both wanted degrees in History before we learned that it wouldn't pay well.”
  538. “That how you two fell into this line a' work?”
  539. >”Bingo.”
  540. >”Gentlemen.” Hoity called.
  541. >Snails snapped to attention.
  542. >”Oh relax, this isn't the army.”
  543. >”Sorry, force of habit.”
  544. >Hoity took a seat at the desk, cigarette holder between his teeth.
  545. >”Coco is in the shopping district at the moment.”
  546. >”You want us to bring her back to you?”
  547. >”Not at the moment. I want Snips and Snails to trail her for today and make sure she doesn't spot either of you.”
  548. >”You got it, boss!”
  549. “And what about me, sir?”
  550. >”You, Anon, I want to snoop around Coco's office while she's out.”
  551. “Anything you want me to find in particular?”
  552. >”Anything useful.”
  553. “I'll try not to take too long.”
  554. >”Just try not to get caught, my dear.”
  555. >With a salute, Snips left, and you followed.
  556. >Snips was waiting in the parking lot outside by his and Snails' car.
  557. >”So what are we doing today?”
  558. >”Me and you, Snips, are trailing Ms. Coco while Anon here will snoop around her office.”
  559. >”Oh, a little bit of sneaking today, eh?”
  560. “That's my job, you two just need to not stand out.”
  561. >”Yeah, yeah. You always get the easy jobs.”
  562. “Do I?”
  563. >”You do, and I would love to know why.”
  564. >”Maybe Anon gets more 'hands on.' with the boss whenever we aren't looking.”
  565. >You restrain yourself from punching Snips.
  566. “Let's just get this done and over with, I have some more business after work.”
  567. >You have to buy food for once.
  568. >At least Adagio can actually cook.
  569.  
  570. >You already knew where Suri and Coco's offices were, already having staked those two out multiple times.
  571. >Hiding the car was easy; getting into the actual office was the hard part.
  572. >The fire escape would probably be the best option, but the possibility of being spotted as you climbed up weighed on your mind.
  573. >With a slight hesitation, you ascended the metal staircase in a few minutes, reaching Coco's deserted office.
  574. >Time to snoop.
  575. >Model Headshots, dress and lingerie test shots, a few unfinished dresses on mannequins, nothing useful so far.
  576. >Her ashtray had the few cigarette butts, Virginia Slims by the looks of 'em.
  577. >The desk was unorganized, and the drawers were stacked with bottles of scotch.
  578. >Funny, you never pegged Coco for a hard drinker.
  579. >You didn't really peg her for anything actually, you never really thought about Coco other than her being Suri's bitch.
  580. >She needed to stop trying to impress her boss.
  581. >A few more minutes passed, and all you had found was a note about Coco meeting with a woman named Rarity.
  582. >There's that name again.
  583. >Rarity
  584. >Could it be the same one from Spike's picture?
  585. >If so, what's her deal?
  586. >Spike worked under Photo and he's got some affection for a woman that's working with her direct competitor?
  587. >A modern Romeo and Juliet, such a tragic tale.
  588. >Could be useful information too.
  589. >You searched for anything else useful, but found nothing.
  590. >You left via the fire escape.
  591. >...
  592. >Snips and Snails were already back at the factory when you returned.
  593. >”How'd it go?”
  594. “Not as well as I hoped, but I found something. What about you guys?”
  595. >Snails shook his head.
  596. >”Nothing, looked like a normal shopping trip.”
  597. “Well shit. Where's the boss?”
  598. >Snips motioned to the office.
  599. >You entered and took a seat.
  600. >Hoity had his legs up on the desk, smoking through a holder held delicately between his soft fingers.
  601. >”So, what did you find?”
  602. “Nothing much unfortunately, however I did find one thing.”
  603.  
  604. “I found a note about Coco meeting with a Rarity.”
  605. >The Boss's eyes gleamed a bit.
  606. >”That Rarity?”
  607. “She's the only one I can think of.”
  608. >”Snips!”
  609. >Your fellow henchman materialized instantly.
  610. >”Yes boss?”
  611. >”Did Coco stay at any place for any extended period?”
  612. >”Not that I can think of, lemme ask Snails.”
  613. >You and Hoity sat in silence for a few moments while the duo outside recounted their day.
  614. >Eventually Snails popped in.
  615. >”She was at a place called 'The Carousel Boutique' for about an hour.”
  616. >Hoity took another drag off his cigarette.
  617. >”And how long was that in comparison?”
  618. >”About half an hour longer.”
  619. >”And you didn't think that was of note because?”
  620. >”.....Women like shopping?”
  621. >Hoity dismissed them with a sigh and look back to you.
  622. >”Well, at least we have more leverage over our little friend in Photo's racket, so today wasn't a complete bust.”
  623. >Your boss sat in silence in for a few moments, seemingly forgetting your presence.
  624. “Did you need anything else from me Hoity?”
  625. >He waved his delicate hands dismissively in the air.
  626. >”No, no. Go home dear, I need sometime to think about our next move and my next clothing line.”
  627. >You left the office with a small wave.
  628. >You see Snips and Snails in the parking lot arguing over who gets to drive home.
  629. >”C'mon you drove all day!”
  630. >”Yeah! Because I paid for the car!”
  631. >”It was my idea to get the car in the first place!”
  632. >You laughed quietly to yourself.
  633. “Like Abbot and Costello.”
  634. >While today was another easy day, there's another problem
  635. >A big poofy haired one, probably drinking herself stupid in your bedroom.
  636. >You stop yourself from slamming your head into the steering wheel.
  637. >You hope she didn't just rob the place while you were gone, or that she hadn't met Starlight yet.
  638. >Guess you'll find out when you get home.
  639. >But first, you got to buy groceries for the first time.
  640.  
  641. >You only bought the essentials: Coca-Cola for the Starlight to drink, steaks for Adagio to cook tonight, vegetables, bread, meats, some fruits.
  642. >You weren't sure what to buy, you never really went shopping for anything other than smokes and drinks.
  643. >If you ever got hungry, you just stopped at some restaurant and ate there, simple and easy.
  644. >The diet wasn't the healthiest, but who cares?
  645. >At least with Adagio in the place, you wouldn't hemorrhage so much money.
  646. >If she didn't just rob you and skirt on back to Flash.
  647. >You'd kill her and Flash if she did.
  648. >Nah.
  649. >You couldn't Aria and Sonata orphaned like that.
  650. >Flash would probably still die; he's already a pain you need to get rid of.
  651. >Nothing relating to your job, more like a prick who thinks he owns this neighborhood.
  652. >You'll teach that fuckin' shylock if he, or any of his yid minions, comes for Adagio.
  653. >Whether she was worth the trouble was irrelevant.
  654. >There's another issue.
  655. >You possibly put Starlight's life in danger.
  656. >Speaking of your cousin.
  657. >How is she going to react with the blonde in the apartment?
  658. >You already told her you've never had a woman in the place.
  659. >That was a blatant fucking lie.
  660. >Under any other circumstance, it would've been harmless.
  661. >Not yours.
  662. >It never could just be simple.
  663. >You leave home to work in the movies, you end up as a professional criminal.
  664. >You just want someone to love, she stabs you in the back and robs you.
  665. >You host your cousin for school, you put her life in danger.
  666. >At least the Shadow was still the same, that was comforting at least.
  667. >Wasting bad guys was something you could relate to, even if you were a bad guy yourself.
  668. >Still, you weren't nearly as bad as some people you put six feet under.
  669. >How or why Hoity's rivals hired those people, you didn't know.
  670. >He was the odd one out, hiring people without criminal records.
  671. >Guess it drew less attention.
  672. >Time to bring the food upstairs.
  673.  
  674. >”Hey Anon!” Starlight greeted as you opened the door.
  675. “Hey Glimglam.”
  676. >”Whatcha got there?”
  677. “I picked up some stuff from the store so it's not just alcohol in the fridge.”
  678. >”Would you like some help?”
  679. “If you want to.”
  680. >You finished quickly and sat down on the couch.
  681. >”How was work?”
  682. “Easy. What about your classes?”
  683. >”Simple, but I got this book my professor told me to read that's confusing me.”
  684. “What's it about?”
  685. >”It's just some old kraut rambling incoherently about how everything has to be changed because he says so.”
  686. “Why is your teacher making you read it?”
  687. >”That's what I asked! He just got angry at me and called me an ignorant member of the 'budgwazee' or something like that.”
  688. “Sounds like a left wing leaning parasite that wants you to sit there and listen to his drivel.”
  689. >”Who? The author or my professor?”
  690. “Take your pick.”
  691. >A audible thump came from your room that startled your cousin into gripping your arm.
  692. >”What was that?”
  693. “I know what it is; I'll be right back.”
  694. >You entered your bedroom and found Adagio laying on the floor, surrounded by empty whiskey bottles lining the floor and bed.
  695. “Are you sober?”
  696. >”Enough.”
  697. “Good. You're going to meet my cousin and cook us all dinner.”
  698. >”Why do I have to cook? I'm a guest, aren't I?”
  699. “One: I know you can, Two: I'll throw you out if you don't, and Three: I'm hungry.”
  700. >”Fine, fine. I'll start in a few minutes.”
  701. >You helped her up off the floor.
  702. >”Ever the gentleman.”
  703. “Did you just sit in my bed and drink all day?”
  704. >”No. I read some of your books too. I like the one about that Solo guy with the big hat.”
  705. “Solomon Kane?”
  706. >”Yeah that guy.”
  707. >You grumbled a little, hoping she didn't damage any of them.
  708. >”Oh cut it out, I didn't tear any pages.”
  709. “Just-”
  710. >”Yeah yeah, I'm going.”
  711. >You cleared your throat to stop her.
  712. >”What now?”
  713. “Put some clothes on first.”
  714. >”Oh. Right.”
  715. “Felt normal for you to walk around nothing, didn't it?”
  716. >”Fuck you.”
  717. “Not today.”
  718. >”So there's a chance?”
  719. “Keep dreamin'.”
  720.  
  721. “Starlight, this is Adagio, a friend of mine that needs a place to stay for the time being. Adagio, this is my cousin Starlight, she's staying here while she goes to college.”
  722. >”And since you have my old room, I'll be sleeping in his room.”
  723. >The two glanced each other over in silence.
  724. >”I thought you said you've never had a woman in your apartment before?”
  725. >”He lied.”
  726. >”Did you?”
  727. “I did.”
  728. >Your cousin crossed her arms with a huff.
  729. >”Well there goes that honor then!”
  730. >You noticed a small smirk on Adagio's face out of the corner of your eye.
  731. >What is this hell you have brought upon yourself?
  732. >”If she's sleeping in your room, where are you sleeping?”
  733. >”With me of course.”
  734. “I was just going to sleep on the couch, actu-”
  735. >”Quite the strumpet, aren't you?”
  736. >Starlight looked utterly nettled with her arms crossed and that cute scowl that she hadn't outgrown.
  737. >”What? Would you rather him sleep with you, like some backwater hillbillies?”
  738. >Adagio was baring her fangs too.
  739. >Ah shit.
  740. >Better step in.
  741. “Enough.. I'm gonna sleep on the couch. Starlight, go study. Adagio, get cookin'.”
  742. >After some more glaring, the two women broke away to their own devices.
  743. >Starlight all but slammed her door, and Adagio stomped off to the kitchen.
  744. >You took a seat on the couch thumbing through the latest issue of Strange Tales.
  745. >Women.
  746. >They're worse than children sometimes.
  747. >What the hell was their problem, anyway?
  748. >It's just a bed.
  749. >When you first got here, you had to sleep in the car 'till the boss gave you this place.
  750. >Wasn't all bad though, the seats were as a soft as your bed, almost putting you to sleep during some long stakeouts.
  751. >Hell, there were nights you outright slept in your car.
  752. >That might not be a bad idea right now.
  753. >You over to see the poofy haired woman slamming a knife into some vegetables, skillfully dicing and slicing with some great force.
  754. >Maybe you should grab a blanket.
  755.  
  756. >Dinner was....nice?
  757. >Adagio knew how to cook for one.
  758. >The two didn't scream at each other again, so that was a plus.
  759. >The deafening silence wasn't a fun time either.
  760. >You'd almost take a screaming match.
  761. >Almost.
  762. >That was a few hours ago.
  763. >Now you lay on the couch in the dark with a blanket to cover yourself.
  764. >The place was quiet.
  765. >Normally that wouldn't be a problem.
  766. >Now, it was almost unsettling.
  767. >The two angry women living in your home, the chance that Hoity's enemies could track you down at any moment, Flash's kike clique coming for Adagio.
  768. >Normally, these kinds of thoughts weren't a problem, but tonight they wrapped a twisted tendril around your mind.
  769. >The sound of a door creaking open made you reach for your Colt under the pillow.
  770. >”Anon?”
  771. >It was Starlight.
  772. >You loosed your grip on the gun.
  773. “What is it Glimglam?”
  774. >”I'm sorry for how I acted earlier. I just didn't know how to react to...her”
  775. “It's fine, I shouldn't have lied to you.”
  776. >”Can I ask how you met her?”
  777. “I'd rather not talk about that right now.”
  778. >”Oh.”
  779. “It's nothing bad Starrie, I just don't want to talk about it.”
  780. >”Then, can I ask why she's staying here?”
  781. >You run a hand through your hair.
  782. “She's in a bad spot and she can't go anywhere else, so I decided that helping her is the right thing to do.”
  783. >Starlight sat down next to you.
  784. >”I don't want to sound rude, but she doesn't look like the most...honest person around.”
  785. “I know, but I couldn't just turn a woman in need away.”
  786. >”Ever the brave sir knight. Anon.”
  787. “I feel more like Don Quixote.”
  788. >”A brave, idealistic, noble knight?”
  789. “A colossal idiot. She's screwed me and many others over in the past and yet here I am, letting her stay here like some kind of stooge.”
  790. >You felt your cousin's touch your cheek, and you turned to meet her face.
  791. >”That's not your fault. You're helping someone in need, despite what they've done, that's not a bad thing.”
  792. >She planted a kiss on your forehead and said goodnight.
  793. >You laid back down, able to fall asleep now.
  794.  
  795. >A week passed almost without incident.
  796. >Adagio cooked, Starlight studied, and you did your job.
  797. >The two women stayed away from each other when they were home.
  798. >Some police inspectors searched the shop a few days ago.
  799. >That put Hoity on edge for a bit.
  800. >He was almost silent of more risky work, mostly sending you guys to do random errands.
  801. >Suri sat at the cafe across the street the whole time the police were there, just staring with a snide sneer.
  802. >She was a bitch, but killing her would cause too many problems.
  803. >Hoity better have something planned for her.
  804. >That grin on her face burned itself into your mind and made your piss boil.
  805. >Hate wasn't a strong enough word for what you felt.
  806. >It was akin to unfettered malice, but even such a description felt inapt.
  807. >Hopefully, the boss gets less jumpy and lets you take out a few of Suri's goons.
  808. >You had some shit to work out.
  809. >Whenever you had the time to pick up Starlight, she would talk about her professor's socialist ravings and her classmates that hung on his every word.
  810. >Any attempt to argue points would just get shouted down.
  811. >College sounds like a nightmare, good thing you never went to one.
  812. >Just listening to your cousin talk about it made you want to beat that sonofabitch to death.
  813. >Adagio just sat around all day in her underwear, reading your books and comics and drinking your whiskey.
  814. >She only got dressed when you and/or Starlight got home.
  815. >Though, you wouldn't complain like Starlight does, you missed those long legs.
  816. >Flash nor any of his friends have came by, but you've spotted them being more active around the city.
  817. >It seems Adagio wasn't lying.
  818. >You weren't sure if you should be relieved or not.
  819. >None of them approached you yet, though whether that is because they're not thinking of you or just too scared to is up in the air.
  820. >Better not get caught lackin'.
  821. >You gave your Luger to Adagio, she knew how to use it.
  822.  
  823. >”I'm cooking tonight!”
  824. >Starlight's home.
  825. >”You will burn the entire building down!”
  826. >Adagio's sober.
  827. >”I started taking classes, I won't burn anything!”
  828. >”What will you cook? Meatloaf and Spam? Like the hick you are?”
  829. >You sighed.
  830. >”Every time you call me call me a hick, you're calling Anon a hick too!”
  831. >”He's been out of your backwater state long enough to become civilized and appreciate actual food.”
  832. >You heard your cousin grumble.
  833. “Leave her alone, Adagio, she's still a kid.”
  834. >”Kid?!”
  835. >Ow, your right ear.
  836. “You're still in school, aren't you?”
  837. >”I'm old enough to drink!”
  838. “Whatever, just cook something, I'm starving. Adagio, leave her alone.”
  839. >Adagio huffed off back to your bedroom and slammed the door.
  840. >You're thinking this was a mistake.
  841. >You sat on the couch and poured a drink.
  842. >You overheard the clanking of pans and sizzling of whatever your cousin was cooking.
  843. >A knock at the door interrupted your contentment.
  844. >Who could it even be this late at night?
  845. >It wasn't your associates, they'd just call you.
  846. >You looked through the peephole, it was black.
  847. >Shit.
  848. >You look over to Starlight and get her attention without a noise.
  849. >”What is it Anon?”
  850. >You put a finger to your lip and point to the door.
  851. >Her worried expression is understandable.
  852. >You slide a hand into your pocket and grip your trench knife before opening the door.
  853. >”It's been a while, hasn't it Anon?”
  854. >Flash is here.
  855. >Dammit.
  856. “Can we talk in the hall?”
  857. >”What about that stove I hear going?”
  858. “I have someone cooking.”
  859. >You step out in the hall and close the door.
  860. >”Finally getting a ball and chain?”
  861. “Why are you here, Flash?
  862. >”Adagio.”
  863. >FUCK.
  864. >Did he know?
  865. >He's alone, so maybe not.
  866. >Don't show any emotion, you can't let him know anything.
  867. “What about her?”
  868. >”I'm looking for her. She stole money from me and I want it back.”
  869. “And you're here because?”
  870. >”Nobody has seen her and I've exhausted every lead but you.”
  871.  
  872. “Why would she be here? We didn't exactly leave off on the amicable of terms.”
  873. >”That's what I was wondering, if she was here,.”
  874. “Do you know if she left town right after she swiped the cash?”
  875. >”That was my first response, but none of my connections with the cab union, airports or anywhere had seen her. I think she's hiding in the city somewhere.
  876. “Do you have any clues?”
  877. >”None, you were almost at the end of my list for places to look. She's covered her tracks real good, never should've trusted that goyim bitch.”
  878. “If I could help, I would.”
  879. >”I know. You brought her scheming to light in the past.”
  880. “We're not friends, Flash.”
  881. >His face tensed a bit.
  882. >”You're right. Just let me know if you see her.”
  883. >He took his leave down the hallway.
  884. “I will. And keep your boys out of my neighborhood, you're scaring everyone.”
  885. >”No promises.”
  886. >You saw Starlight and Adagio at the table with your plate made when you went back inside.
  887. >”Who was it?”
  888. >Starlight need not be wrapped up in all of this.
  889. “Just an old associate.”
  890. >You shot a look to the brunette-blonde haired woman.
  891. >Her eyes went wide, and she understood with a nod.
  892. >”Oh really? What did he want?”
  893. “He was looking for someone that he lost contact with, asked me if I could pass his information on.”
  894. >Adagio kept her gaze down at her food, not letting so much as a peep out.
  895. >You ate in silence, as usual.
  896. >”So, how was it?”
  897. “Could use a little salt, but other than that, it was good..”
  898. >”Thank you, Anon!”
  899. >Starlight gives you a peck on the cheek and takes your plate.
  900. >Adagio didn't really eat, just poking at her food with the occasional bite.
  901. >Her nerves were probably killing her.
  902. >How are you going to solve this?
  903. >Is it even solvable?
  904. >Damn it all.
  905. >This wasn't your problem to begin with and you became a willing accomplice.
  906. >All because of those long legs.
  907. >Starlight.
  908. >What about her?
  909. >She's done nothing wrong, much less know anything.
  910. >Tonight would be a no sleeper.
  911.  
  912. >Hoity gave everyone, including the factory workers, the day off.
  913. >He said something about planning a move against Suri, he's been at that for almost 2 weeks now.
  914. >It better involve gunning a gaggle of her chucklefucks down or something.
  915. >This lack of action has made you restless.
  916. >You were sitting and waiting for Starlight to finish her classes for the day.
  917. >You decided to take her down to the Magic Lounge tonight so she could get some entertainment outside the radio.
  918. >Seeing Zecora again would be just a great plus to that plan.
  919. >Just the thought of seeing that African beauty again made you excited.
  920. >You missed her melodic voice singing those rhyming lyrics.
  921. >Some tapping on the passenger side window broke your trance.
  922. >You unlocked the door, Starlight climbed in and you began the return trip.
  923. >”Hey Anon! How was your day?”
  924. “Boss gave everyone the day off while he worked on some stuff.”
  925. >”So you just sat at the apartment with her?”
  926. >You could hear a twinge of maliciousness in your cousin's voice.
  927. “What else was I supposed to do?”
  928. >She didn't respond, only clenched her fists.
  929. >”Just don't get comfortable around her.”
  930. “Didn't you tell me a few days ago that I was good for helping her?”
  931. >”You are. It's just her I don't trust.”
  932. >That's understandable.
  933. “I get it Glimglam, but I'm a grown man, I can make my own decisions.”
  934. >”Just be careful. For me, okay?”
  935. “Fine. Anything happen today?”
  936. >”Just the usual from the professor and his student cabal.”
  937. “Ugh.”
  938. >”I know.”
  939. “Listen, I got a plan for a night out, just the two of us.”
  940. >”Really?! That sounds fantastic! Where are we going?”
  941. “I was gonna take you to the Lounge tonight, nice upscale place with fantastic music shows.”
  942. >”I have just the dress for the place!”
  943. >She went silent for a bit with a smile on her face.
  944. >”What about Adagio though?”
  945. “She's an adult, she can take care of herself for one night.”
  946. >You were worried, Flash came by last night, but he suspected nothing.
  947. >If all else fails, she has a Luger.
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