Nothing's FreeMature

Following her matinee performance of the art-of-beheading, Shana’s red suit had been ruined. Luckily, Sonny had kindly allowed her to take a shower in the bathroom that led off from his office.

Standing under the steaming water, Shana took deep, steadying breaths. She placed her palms on the opalescent tiles in front of her, and leaned her head forward, letting the soothing water massage the back of her neck. Her second shower of the day did nothing to calm her agitated nerves. She was a rubber band pulled too tight, and with just a little more pressure she would either break, or fly off in some unknown direction.

How did everything become so complicated, so quickly?

Hybrid hunter-wolves, secret societies within secret societies, and assassins. This is a fucking awesome start to the day.

Before she had the chance to indulge too much in the makings of self pity, the door to the bathroom opened, and Sonny walked in. The glass in the shower cubicle was only frosted where tiny flowers decorated it, so Shana had a perfect view of the room as she tilted her head sideways. This also meant that Sonny had a perfect view of her, but she didn’t particularly care. Men that powerful could pretty much have anything, and anyone, that they wanted. If Sonny Lau had fancied the idea of adding Shana to his conquests, then he would have had no problem with making that very clear from their first ever meeting.

“As much as I like to keep a few naked girls lying around the place, I believe that you came here with a purpose.” Sonny smiled. “And I somehow doubt that it was because you needed to use my shower.”

Shana allowed herself a smile, and tipped her head upside down to rinse out the last of the shampoo suds.

“Are you going to get lady some clothes, or what?” She turned the water off reluctantly, it had been a nice shower. “Considering how mine got wrecked whilst I was saving your stylishly-dressed arse.”

It appeared that Sonny was already one step ahead of her, and he held out a black silk dress. There was no denying that it was beautiful piece of clothing, but it seemed a little dressy for the middle of the day.

Sliding open the glass door, Shana stepped out of the shower and raised an eyebrow at the proffered item.

“Gee Sonny, that’s really nice and all, but I’m pretty sure the Oscars aren’t for a few more months.” She grabbed a towel from the heated rail and began to dry herself.

Sonny laughed. “It’s a gift Miss Stephens. For saving my stylishly-dressed-arse.”

“Oh, well then that completely resolves the issue my looking like an idiot; walking around London at lunch-time dressed like I’m going to my high-school prom.”

After many years of something that resembled a friendship, Sonny was neither intimidated or offended by Shana’s permanently dry tones. He simply continued to smile at her, and held out the dress for her to take.

After tossing the towel into a wicker basket, she took her new dress and stepped into it. This was high quality merchandise. The silk felt fabulous against her skin, and she pointed at her back, signally Sonny to zip her up.

“So where are my matching shoes?”

From behind his back Sonny produced her own black stilettos. “They weren’t damaged in the fight, so I though you might like them back.”

“You cheap bastard.” she joked. “ I can’t believe that you’re paying for my high quality services with a half an outfit.” She slipped her feet back into her own shoes and ruffled her wet hair.

Ever the gentleman, Sonny offered his arm, and escorted Shana back into his main office, where he had already poured out two more glasses of his lethal liquor. The chaise-lounge had been removed, and all other traces of her fight had been cleaned away. In it’s place was a large leather arm chair. It seemed a bit baroque for Sonny’s tastes, but she kept this thought to herself and sat down.

Before sitting himself, Sonny passed one of the glasses to Shana.

She took it from him and raised the glass in a salute. “To your health Mr Lau.” Shana knocked the fiery liquid back in one gulp. “If I drink too much of this moonshine, I might just go blind.”

It was difficult to tell whether her nonchalant conversation was coming across as the usual Shana Stephens bravado; or whether any hint of her attempt to cover her nerves was showing through.

Just ask your questions and leave. You killed the wolf for information, and there is absolutely no need to discuss anything else relating to the deceased party.

“So, Sonny.” Shana leaned forward in her chair, and crossed her legs. “I hate to behead and run, but, I really could do with getting back to check on that ‘friend’ I cuffed to that radiator.”

Nodding solemnly, Sonny took more sensible sip from his own glass, and then set it back down on the table. “Fair is fair. You wanted information, and I wanted a dead werewolf. The dress, I’m throwing in for free.”

“It’s a good trade. So, assassins?”

For a second, Shana thought that she saw a flicker of nerves pas behind Sonny’s eyes. He remained composed though, and flashed her his impeccable smile again within an instant.

“I hear . . . stories.” he said. “You have to understand that I have never seen any of these ‘people’ myself, so I have no direct contacts to give you.”

“But you have heard of them? Before today?” Shana asked.


“I don’t believe this.” She ran a hand through her hair, and kept it there, pulling her hair back from her face. “Did I miss the fucking memo, or something? You’re the second person that I have spoken to today, who knows more about what goes on in hunter society than I do.”

Using the term person very loosely in one respect.

She took another one of those allegedly helpful deep breaths, and leaned back in the chair again. “So what can you give me?”

“A name.” Sonny folded his hands in his lap and eyed Shana with a serious stare. “But you didn’t get this from me.”

Shana nodded her head in agreement.

Unfolding his hands, Sonny reached into the breast pocket of his suit and took out a folded piece of paper. He held it out for Shana to take.

“Georgia.” he said. “There’s an address on there where you can find her.”

“Who the fuck’s Georgia?” she asked, opening the paper and reading the address printed neatly on it. “This address is in the harbour, but I don’t it; and I don’t know any Georgia either.”

“The information is good.”

Shana folded the paper again, and closed her palm around it. “I’m not questioning your honesty, Sonny. I’m just saying that I know every supernatural fucker in this town, and I don’t know this address or this name. And that makes me really uncomfortable.”

“These types of people are out of even your league, Shana.” Sonny said. “And I’m not trying to bruise your ego here, but there are always forces higher up than you are. No matter who you are. But if you want to know the truth, about the politics that is really the driving force behind all of this shit that we find ourselves embroiled in; then this is the highest rung of the ladder that I can take you to. Because it’s the highest rung I can get to myself.”

It was becoming more and more obvious to Shana that there was an awful lot that she didn’t know. And not just about being bitten by werewolves. It was a sobering, and worrying thought, that she had been living in such ignorance for so long. Just another puppet in the machinations of those who considered themselves above the rest.

Well Shana girl, let’s just hope that your irresistible charm works on this mystery lady.

She couldn’t shake the feeling though, that charm might not be enough to get her the answers that she wanted.



The End

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