So this is the canon version of the piece of short fiction that started it all!
If you missed the previous installment please check here!
“So…they say you have spooky mind powers.” I said with a nervous little laugh. It wasn’t the best pickup line, as these things go. But then, I was a bit out of my element here. I’d never actually been inside a BDSM club until a couple hours ago. Now I was trying to chat someone up at one. Besides, I’d never been good at this whole thing: being single, dating, etc.
The raven-haired woman looked up from her book. She took me in at a glance and then quirked a dark eyebrow and smirked. “Oh really?” She said, her voice honey laced with sarcasm. “And just who would ‘they’ be?”
I flushed a little. Then I hurriedly gestured at the person who had been up on stage tying a boy when I came in: all lanky and tattooed with a short-cropped blaze of neon red hair. “Them. Jacques. Y’know…cute, genderqueer, obsessed with rope?”
She looked over my shoulder to see Jacques, now draped over the lap of a woman done up in a corset and petticoats, and couldn’t resist a smile. “Oh. Well, they certainly say a lot of things. And I wouldn’t believe half of it if I were you.” She used her foot to push out a chair from the little wooden table she had claimed in a rather private corner of the club. “Sit.”
I could have said something about how it wasn’t a request. I could have acknowledged how that casual level of command simultaneously rubbed me in both the wrong and right ways. Instead I just set my teacup down on the table and sat myself down in the chair. “Are you saying you don’t have spooky mind powers? Cause I have to admit, that got my curiosity up.”
She took a sip of her coffee, leaving a crimson crescent on the cup. “I mean, I certainly didn’t say that.” She extended a hand. “Vivian.”
We shook, her skin was warm and a little rough. It was hard to say how old she was, though I’d guess there was almost a decade between us. “Zoe.”
“Oh, really? So tell me, is it just a coincidence that you’re named for a woman who couldn’t resist temptation?” Her eyes sparkled at her own cleverness. She wasn’t letting go of my hand, and I was in no hurry to take it back.
My stomach squirmed. “I mean, I had another name once…prefer not to talk about it though.” I said, looking down and away. Presumably she’d find out sooner or later.
“Ah.” It was a small noise. And then she squeezed my hand. “I’m sorry, I’m not going to talk about anything you don’t want to. Okay?”
I smiled, I couldn’t help it. “Appreciated. So…mind powers?”
She gently let go of my hand and leaned back. Her teeth were perfectly predatory, and she ever so idly began to toy with her necklace: a pendant of some kind of dark, reflective stone. “Tell me…do you know much about hypnosis?”