Warning: Adult content! Sex and extreme violence.


I wiped faint scuff marks from the black patent leather of the stiletto heeled boots before placing them beneath the dressing table, and then set about cleaning the smeared makeup from my face. The composition of the cheap eye shadow the club provided was not conducive to heavy sessions of wild sex. I frequently came off the stage looking like a cross between a magpie and a ware-raccoon.

Everyone calls them ware-raccoons, mutations from the nuclear fall-out after the great wars that decimated this world two centuries ago. I found a video in the city archives of the ancestors of these beasts; they looked quite cute. These are anything but... Around two hundred pounds of ravenous carnivore, with the slashing incisors one would expect to find on a pre-historic saber-tooth tiger. Shortly after I arrived here, I saw a ware-raccoon near the edge of the city, carrying the bloody corpse of a human child. I assume it was a human child; the head was missing. It looked too delicate to be one of the many cross-breed demon elf races that now reside here.

I had barely finished cleaning around the first eye when a subdued knocking was delivered on the door. “Just a moment…” I spoke almost out of instinct before considering who might be seeking entry. Certainly not Cervilon; he would have barged in here without warning. Madame Siren was not in the club today. I believe she was interviewing potential masseurs at a new parlor shortly to be opened. This could only be another client to whom Cervilon had offered my sexual services. He has no sense of decorum; that I might need a shower to remove the stench of sex before entertaining the next paying customer.

Ensuring the guy waited while I removed the makeup from around the other eye gave me the chance of looking him over with a telepathic scan. In these times of lawlessness and violence a girl in my profession puts herself at great risk each time she entertains a stranger. It might seem odd that I am comfortable while standing naked in a room full of rampant, over-sexed males, even allowing them to maul me, and yet be concerned about being alone with one. I must add though, at the first sign of a problem on stage that I could not handle, several extremely powerful bouncers would be beside me, and those guys are always spoiling for a fight. Here in my dressing room is a different matter; it would take several minutes for me to raise the alarm, even assuming I was able. Although being from the race of angels and thus immortal, if someone wanted to cut me up, it would still be painful.

The man waiting beyond the door, I was surprised to realize, was unreadable, causing me some concern. I could tell easily enough that it was only one man, but the type of person and his motives remained hidden, as if he had some kind of mental shield blocking me. This was something I had never before experienced; in fact I was not aware that it was possible. It made me wonder what he was hiding. I could not imagine Cervilon being so lax about my safety, to allow a psychopath near me and risk losing all the sterling credits I put into his purse.

With indecision, I dallied for several minutes removing eye-shadow to my satisfaction, rather than invite him in. If he had already paid Cervilon, it was unlikely he would leave. Sure enough there was another knock on the door, and a quiet but questioning voice, “Miz Loriel?”

With as much stealth as I could muster, I stood and approached the door. By opening it myself, instead of bidding him enter, gave me a degree of control. I might be able to get it shut before he forced his way in, if necessary.

With the door partly open, he seemed unconcerned about forcing an entry. His stance appeared relaxed, and both hands were visible, one raised as if to knock again, the other hanging loosely at his side. Relaxing a little myself, I opened the door wider before recognizing him as the man who had been watching me from the bar. I can only surmise that his surprise was the greater seeing me, stark naked, standing in the doorway. His grey eyes widened, the brows arched and furrow lines ran across his brow. The mouth sagged open as if he was about to speak with the tip of a pink tongue drooling over his lower lip. The color of the tongue proved he was of human or elfin origin. Any demon blood in his genes would have turned it black, and probably forked.

He had a sandy colored, tousled mop of unruly hair that hung over the top half of his ears and made it impossible to discern if they were rounded or pointed. If the latter case was correct, it would prove him to be an elf. His torso was muscular, carrying little extra weight and I estimated his age to be around thirty human years, considerably more if he was an elf. This man was not a bruiser like the club bouncers, but certainly able to look after himself.

He gawped at my body for several seconds and then, as if he were a young boy caught stealing cookies, turned his eyes to a point on the ground between my feet. “I…I’m sorry,” there was a hesitant stutter in his voice. “I thought you would be dressed.”

I laughed, partly from his embarrassed stammer, but mostly with the amusement of a woman who now feels in control of the situation. “There is little point in my putting clothes on when you will immediately want me to take them off again.”

He looked up. I would almost swear he looked hurt. “Why would you think that?”

“I saw the way you were ogling at me from the bar. You had better come in,” I turned to lead the way, adding over my shoulder, “but if you have already paid Cervilon, I will have to ask you to give me ten minutes while I clean myself up from the show.”

“I’ve not paid any one. Who is Cervilon?” He followed me inside closing the door.

“My manager, pimp, call him what you will. If you have not paid, how did you get here?” My woman-in-control feeling was beginning to evaporate.

“I followed you from the bar, and I wasn’t ogling as you call it. I wondered how you were controlling those wings. They look so damn realistic. Are they operated electrically or with hydraulic pressure?”

“Perhaps they look so damn realistic because they are damn real.” I hoped he felt the sarcasm in my voice.

His answering chuckle seemed to mock me. “You’ll be trying to convince me you are a real angel next.”

“And why would that be such a problem?”

“Everyone knows angels are fantasy creatures borrowed from the old religions to scare young children into good behavior.”

I felt hurt to be considered no more than a fantasy. “Three hundred years ago, people said the same thing about demons, elves and the fae-folk. Now the world is crawling with them.” I turned my back toward him, arching the wings. “Touch them and tell me you still think they are fantasy.”

I felt the pressure of his hands and arms as he tried to combat the strength of my flight muscles, and then heard the hiss of breath as he sucked air between his teeth. There was a sudden stabbing pain from the centre of one wing. I squealed and spun round to face him. He held one of my beautiful feathers in his hand like a trophy and there was a bemused smile on his face as blood dripped from the quill. “Did that hurt?”

“Only about the same as if I ripped off one of your fingers.”

Alright, so I exaggerated a little - it would have been similar to me taking a large lock of his hair and ripping it out - but I did not want him to try again. “So, do you still think I only exist in the imagination of the tellers of religious stories?”

“You seem real enough, although from what I saw of your stage show, you don’t fit the image of innocence the way angels are depicted in the stories. Can you fly?”

“I could on my home world, but gravity is much greater here, which makes flying impossible.” The memory gave me a wistful feeling of home-sickness for the warm sunlight of my world rather than the angry grey smog of pollution and acid rain on this. In the half year I had been here, I glimpsed a weak watery sunrise on only a few occasions, before it was stifled by the mid-morning wall of brooding, leaden cloud. On most days there was insufficient daylight even to make the neon glow of artificial lighting redundant in the low-lying squalid streets of the city.

“Then I guess like the other invading races, you are from a parallel dimension. Does that mean the earth is about to become an Armageddon for war between angels and demons as prophesized in those old religions?”

“There is no war between angels and demons, and from what I have seen, the earth is perfectly capable of holding its own Armageddon without help from anywhere else.”

“Touché,” a lop-sided grin spread across his face, “but I’m right that you are from a parallel universe?”

From my nod of affirmation, he continued, “So, what are you doing here, and why do we not hear of many more angels?”

“It was an accident.” I had no intention of telling him I was here as punishment for a small act of stupidity. “If I could leave, I would.”

“Well, how did you get here? I thought all the wormholes to other dimensions had been closed to prevent any more alien races coming through.”

Inability to read his intentions was disconcerting. I was getting a feeling of being interrogated; the sensation of chilled air ran over my back like cold water. Reaching for the towel intended for use when I showered, I wrapped it from behind and below my wings, drawing the ends up over my breasts and tucking one overlapped end under the other.

“I know nothing about these wormholes you speak of. Why do you ask so much about me?”

His face distorted again into that same half grin, one side of his mouth curling up while the other side dropped and his eyes averting downwards. I wondered if the expression was due to a feeling of guilt.

“I’d heard stories about how good you are so had to see for myself.” His gaze returned to meet my questioning eyes. “You know, you really are something special to look at. I just had to find out more about you.”

The compliment was nice to hear, but it came across as a touch too glib. I remained, silently studying his eyes, watching for a sign that would suggest he was lying. Reading body language was a skill I normally had little use for. Reading the mind was far more reliable… normally. I could detect nothing in his manner that suggested he was not telling the truth, yet intuition told me otherwise, and intuition was not something I would dismiss. As earlier, on the stage, I felt like he was challenging me.

“If you are not here as a paying customer, then I must ask you to leave. I need to get cleaned up ready for the next show, so if you don’t mind…” With my free hand, I indicated toward the door.

We held eye contact for several more seconds, before, without another word, he span on his heel and departed leaving the door open. I watched the figure receding along the passageway leading to the stage and auditorium until he turned the corner. I felt a sense of relief at his departure although he had given no indication of threatening behavior.

* * *

Like many of the girls that Madame Siren picks up off the streets to work here, I had a small apartment, just two rooms, above the Kittie Kavern. There were usually six of us in residence at any one time, although the speed at which many of the girls came and went made the place feel more like a hotel. We each had a quite spacious bedroom where we could entertain our clients, and a smaller living room. Cooked food we purchased and ate in a corner of the restaurant attached to the club.

I used the en-suite shower in my bedroom to clean up, which took about twenty minutes. The difficult part is the cleaning and grooming of wing feathers. They have a coating of natural oil that helps repel water and can give a glossy sheen to their surface. It took a while to lay them evenly to cover the one that was missing. I was annoyed he had taken one as it would be almost another year before my next molt and the new ones would grow.

Although I told the guy I had to prepare for another show, this was untrue. The next time I was meant to appear on stage was the evening of the next day. Until then, I could do much as I liked, unless of course, my services as an escort were requested. I dressed slowly; clothing suitable for an angel is difficult to find. The position of my wings meant most of my attire had to be altered to allow them freedom to move. Short skirts and halter necked tops were the easiest things to wear.

Back in the club, I headed for the bar. The party was still in progress, and several of the members on seeing me gave a raucous cheer. I smiled, acknowledging their attention with a wave of my hand. The older man I had been with was being supported by two of his comrades. He seemed a little the worse for wear, that I felt concern for his well-being. Probing his psyche showed little activity, and yet there seemed no permanent damage to his mind or body. I guessed it was due to tiredness; I had obviously drained the energy from him.

Before I could dwell on the problem, Cervilon joined me at the bar. “Punter just phoned for a call-out. Asked for you personally, so I said you’d be happy to take it.”

He sounded in jovial mood this evening that I wondered how much the client had offered to pay. I took the card on which he had written the address, Station Hotel, just off the central square of the city. Although not the best hotel in Srong Servina, it was often used by business executives, and the staff at reception knew me and my reason for visiting. The manager believed in liberal discretion so long as there was no trouble, and I had little concern about the sort of person I would meet. The name on the card read TeeRaigo Bran. TeeRaigo would be the family name and Bran his given name, the regular way of addressing a person now. Time for the appointment was 9:00pm which should mean I would be back by mid-night, but gave me two and half hours to kill beforehand.