Who: Nori and Poppy Where: Posh Party When: Monday Evening Rating: Adult, just... trust me.
Poppy had her first real doubts about the party when she noticed that the cocktails were smoking. And had chocolate spiders perched on the rims. The situation didn't improve when the bartender offered her something called a "Spider Bite" which, upon careful investigation, turned out to be a black Russian with tapioca pearls serving as spider sac garnish. Because that's something a girl really wanted in her glass.
Money, Poppy decided, was utterly wasted on the rich.
Luckily the rest of the was a little less juvenile, if no less ridiculous. Some mad soul had decided to make a stab at belle-époque splendour: a scattering of scarlet rugs, plush brocade or velvet upholstery, glossy parquet floors, acres of marble, a soaring stuccoed ceiling lit by a voluminous chandelier. There were hand-stitched leather door handles and a lot of silver leaf. Poppy hadn't (yet) the heart to check out the bathrooms.
The whole place had the hard glint and over-lushness of new money, likely collected in not altogether overly legal ways. The host - Myers? Milton? - matched the decor: moneyed, groomed, more cunning than intellectual, and desperate to be praised for all of it. He had to be in his late forties at least, but neither face nor body showed it; the exception preservation was a wonderful example of the sort of discreet plastic surgeries that cost almost as much as some cybernetics. He hadn't hired escorts so as much made it very clear that he would love to have CoD guests and would be "kindly appreciative" for company. And if some of those guests would be so kind as to provide particular entertainment for his other guests - well, he'd be especially appreciative then. The offer was as smug as it was sincere, but it was sincere. There'd been no shortage of volunteers for the party.
It was easy to tell the Children apart from the other guests; they were mostly younger, notably prettier, and, ironically, a lot more relaxed. They twined through the crowd like black cats, inviting petting and admiration. Poppy herself lolled on a plumped-up couch that could've been timewarped straight out of Louis XIV's sitting room, looking like a skinny Siamese on the lookout for a canary.
"Nori, why aren't we rich?" she asked, letting her head roll against her companion's knee. "I would be the nicest rich person. I'd buy booties for all the orphan kittens and only flog the butler on Thursdays."
Child or not, Nori had connections to many elite parties, she just typically passed up the invite. This time however, Father has received the invite himself and decided it might be good for the family to make an appearance. So, she’d made sure that when the attendee list was composed she included those she wouldn’t be bored hanging out with. Part of her was tempted to invite Haides, but he was a little too gruff for this party and he wasn’t her puppy anymore. While she’d had a few puppies over the past couple years, he’d made the biggest impression- probably because he’d saved her life.
Nori laughed lightly at Poppy’s comment as she brushed her hand over her hair. “Darling, speak for yourself. Some of us just don’t flaunt it.” Her books had been wildly successful, after all erotica sold. And having grown up with nothing, Nori didn’t spend as frivolously as others. Sure, her apartment was high class and she had more clothes than one person should, but she was also smart with her investments. She giggled, “And the trick is finding a butler who likes to be flogged.” Nori winked at the girl as she took a sip of the way to sweet drink she’d been handed.
"Then I'd flog him every day after lunch and twice on Sundays," Poppy said sweetly. She scrunched her nose at the drink in Nori's hand. "That's not the one with the edible glitter, is it? God, save me from the consequences of novelty. They have one cocktail with an olive cockroach or something, too."
"Rather surprised you turned up here," she continued, tilting her head to encourage the hair stroking. Indeed, house calls were quite far below Nori's paygrade. "Did you hire a sitter for your handsome terrier or will there be chewed up shoes welcoming you home?"
“Nah, it’s a blood cocktail, way too sweet.” It was blood red and had an additive agent that made the liquid a bit thick. “Almost like drinking syrup.” Which she didn’t doubt was an ingredient. She offered Poppy a taste.
Nori frowned slightly at the mention of her housepet. “No, he took his vows last week… no longer mine… now one of the children like the rest.” She sighed. “So I just had to show, keep myself entertained.” The place was also a nice way to generate muses for her next book. She’d already decided Digger would be the inspiration for the main character, but had to decide the setting.
Poppy ran a fingertip over the rim of the glass and licked at the pink stain, contemplatively.
"The man has video-mirrors on the bedroom ceiling," Poppy said. "No doubt if we ask prettily he'd share exhilarating footage of him rabbiting away at some well-compensated volunteer. Hell, we might not even have to ask; he's got the look of a man dying to shock a captive audience."
Her smile turned a few notches slyer. "What'cha think? Did he have them professionally edited? Perhaps added a few special effects, a little experimental jazz to go along with the tempo? Maybe a few strategic voiceovers."
“You’re horrible.” She chuckled. “I wouldn’t put it past him. That or some too real piece, cutting out all ambient sound. Maybe black and white… fisheye lens optional. Nothing would surprise me.” Then again with what she’d see or done herself very little did surprise her anymore. From her exibitionist tendencies to whatever the fuck happened whenever she was with Digger, this was just a fun harmless event. “I think if we tried we might be able to do a little of the shocking.” She grinned wickedly. Oh it would be so easy to show the people here exactly how dark the Children could be. “Father did give me some party favors. The wealthy elite as sometimes the most deprived.”
"You're going to waste my work on posh philistines?" Poppy's eyes went wide with theatrical – and utterly unconvincing – outrage. "I feel exploited. Oppressed. Milked. First thing tomorrow, I'm defecting to Camelot and starting a life of unblemished virtue."
She rolled on her side and peered at the crowd across the room with narrow calculation. "Eeny meeny miny moe…oh." A considering note crept into her tone. "Hey, Nori? Anyone reason for that bloke by, bleh, the heinous reproduction of Venus to be staring at you like that?"
Nori was a peerless specimen of her type, but…
If Poppy was truly as feline as her posture would suggest, her tail would be lashing.
Nori pulled out one of the blue pills from her pocket. “So used. But with your adjustments the addiction is so slow that people barely notice it. Then-“ Nori snapped her fingers. “Addicted without realizing it and customer for life.” She played with the pill between her fingers. “And who better to corrupt and control than the wealthy elite?” It was how Father had gained his empire.
Her eyes looked up to the direction of the stranger. “I’m not sure.” As he caught her eye he quickly moved away. “Perhaps a fan, I did just do a lot of press for my new book.” She shrugged, not really paying him any mind. Perhaps it was because Nori was used to people looking at her. From street walking to dancing at Warehouse #5 to Father’s Pet, she was always something someone looked at. She ran her fingers down the other woman’s hair, still playing with the pill in her other hand. “Let him look, it’s harmless.”
"They realize it," Poppy said, wry. "Each and every one of them knows that dependence is a risk, and each and every one of them thinks that they're an exception. That if they want it than it must be okay in their case. Because they're special." She huffed into the crook of her arm. "Nothing dumber than a fish that thinks it's immune to a hook."
And the only use for a dumb fish, in Poppy's view, was a hot pan and a bit of butter.
"Nobody's harmless," Poppy said, eyes half-slit. "Some are just a little slower in figuring out which soft spot to bite. I bet there's not a soul in this city that couldn't be convinced to murder an angel in church – if you tell 'em no one's watching. "
Or put the right dash of fun in their bloodstream, she added silently.
She was about to put the pill away when the two women were approached by a young man. A bit squirrelly, early twenties at the most. He pointed to the pill, “Is that what I think it is?” He asked.
He was cute, but too clean cut but that also meant that he was either hiding some serious demons or had a lot farther to fall. “Maybe. It all depends on what you think it is.” Nori replies with an arched brow.
“BloodoftheFather?” He asked quickly and hushed.
Nori glanced down to Poppy with an amused smile. “I’m sorry?”
“BloodoftheFather.” He said just as quick but a little louder.
“Who’s daddy?” Nori asked. The young man seemed to snap slightly, clearly getting irritated. She held up a hand and gestured him closer. “Darling, if you want this treat… you have to be able to say it.” She lowered the pill to Poppy’s mouth, knowing the other woman wouldn’t actually swallow the pill. “Now repeat after me… Blood…” the man did so, Nori pulled him closer to Poppy with every word. “Of…. the…. Father… very good… now fetch.”
"You mean just out of her – "
There was a flush to the man's skin which looked more like anger than embarrassment. Not a fellow with a talent for being teased, apparently. Poppy met his irritated gaze with a guiltless look of patience. The pill rested safe and dry in the dip of her pursed mouth. Here, kitty, kitty…
With a spurt of resolution, their would-be playmate leaned in to lip at the pill –
– only to rear back, spluttering, as Poppy surged up with her fangs down and out, hissing. The augmented teeth snapped a breath shy of the man's face.
"Sorry, reflex." Poppy smiled, back to innocent and sans dental intimidation. She plucked the little pill off her chest and held it out, helpfully balanced carefully on one fingertip.
You could practically hear the anger and hunger clash on the man's face. He wanted the pill, and he wanted – oh, how clearly he wanted – to throw it in their faces.
Here, fishy, fishy…
Still half collapsed on the floor, he reached out for the pill. Poppy let him take it. The moment it was in his hand, the temptation to be brave rose in his eyes. Poppy watched it come and she watched it recede just as quickly. Even with the first pill barely halfway to his mouth, he was already thinking of his chances for the second.
"Thank you," he said stiffly.
"With Father's warmest compliments," Poppy said kindly.
“He was cute.” Nori said as he stumbled off, watching him. “Nice ass. But you…” She turned to Poppy with a pleased smile. “Vicious. He never even saw it coming.” Oh, others had noticed the display and were looking at the two women. A few of their family with knowing looks while the rest seemed intrigued or horrified. Nori laughed and leaned back on the lounger. “How long do you think it’ll be until he crawls back her asking to be bit?” Oh those little blue pills tended to bring out the darker and… hornier side of people.
"That one? He'll rubbing off on the idea for the better part of a week before he shows up at the docks. He's such low hanging fruit that one of Initiates would trip over him." Interest warmed her voice. "Did you see that shirt though? Fucking beautiful. That's bona fide Raveesh Morris silk-print, it was rare even before he offed himself in '37. And the wanker is probably going to spill a dumbass Frankenstein martini on it. That's practically a hate crime."
Poppy tracked the young man's retreat into the crowd. "Okay, no. Yeah. I'm getting the shirt. Who's he talking to – is that Jocasta? When did she do that to her hair?" It was gray, what the hell. "Whatever, this is good; Jo's bloody terrified of you. She'd kneecap the Pope if you told her to."
Nori followed, thoroughly amused by her compatriots ramblings. She was going to cause some mischief and she was going to watch it. In only she had popcorn. “I got this.” As they approached the other couple the Pet moved up behind the woman. “Hello Jo… how are things? Do something new with your hair?” She asked, glancing over to the young man, her arm draping over the woman’s shoulder. Yea, Nori never liked boundaries. “Hi again. Are you feeling it yet?” She asked, eyeing the boy down his body.
She glanced over to Poppy and had an idea. Pulling out a second pill she held it up before Jo and smiled. “Why don’t you two have some fun? On me.” Nori leaned in close and whispered in Jocasta’s year, her lips grazing against her skin. “You look so tense. You deserve to treat yourself.” Jo seemed to hesitate, so Nori looked over to the boy. “What do you think. Don’t you find our little Jo just beautiful?” She cupped the other woman’s breast. “Sexy?”
The man nodded and Nori wrinkled her nose slightly. “I don’t know. I’m not convinced.” She stuck the pill between her lips and pulled the other woman into a kiss. Her tongue forced the pill into her mouth and the other woman managed to swallow it. Nori continued to kiss her, her hand holding the woman by the back of the neck as her other traced down her hips, pulling them closer. She was pretty sure Jo hadn’t fully caught up to what was happening. The attractive young man watched them intently- along with a few others who caught the show.
“No!” The man rushed forward and took Nori by the arm. She was very thankful that she hadn’t brought Haides, even not being her puppy he would have probably attacked. For her part she didn’t let it affect her. Instead she moved from Jocasta to him before he could think and started to kiss him. The fingers of one of her hand started to undo his shirt as she looked behind him to Poppy. The shirt was hers, quicker if she helped. Nori pressed her leg into his crotch and moved her lips to his ear. “Ask her to bite you… I promise it will be the best orgasm of your life.”
One had to give Nori praise; the woman was poetry in motion when she worked. True, it was that sort of poetry that got banned and occasionally burned – but wasn't the best marker of excellence?
"I'm not into that," the man was saying and, Christ, who even let him in here?
She stepped up against the man's back, sliding one hand up his back and the other around onto his stomach. He had a hell of a height advantage on her – then again, who didn't? – but with tonight's heels she could still press against his shoulder. It made them a pair of bookends: Nori on one side, her on the other.
"What's the best, wettest, most fucked out you've ever felt?" Poppy's tone was conversational, friendly. Almost clinical. "Hmm? How was it – did she put her mouth on your skin first? Kiss your neck. Your chest. Take you in her mouth in one warm…soft…slide. Did you lick her open like a gentleman after?" That got jump of pulse at his throat; she felt the beat under thumb. Interesting.
Chivalry ain't dead yet, Poppy thought. She slid her hand into the unbuttoned gap of the shirt. "Did it rush through your spine like heat – every nerve coming fucking online? I bet you lit up. I bet it felt like Christmas all the way from your head to cock."
"It was – it was –"
"Shh, I know," Poppy murmured. Her thumb rubbed idly at the hollow of his throat. "I know. And you're feeling all it now, aren't you? That wicked heat eating you up inside, leaving you so bruised." The hand at his throat pushed, gently, to tilt his face towards Jocasta. "Imagine what it's like inside her. Warm and tight as a vice – she'd bounce on your dick like a goddamn seal, you know." Poppy moved her other hand up his chest and felt buttons pop. "Jocasta is very, very…generous."
His breathing was rough as something inside of him was being sawed open. He was trembling, hips shuddering at where Nori was keeping the gas pedal flat to the floor, face towards Jo like he was watching for Jesus. And inside him – a biochemical firework symphony.
"You know how good it'd be," Poppy said. "You can almost feel it, can't you, baby? Hmm?"
"God, yes." His breathing was pure gasps now. Another button and the fabric over his shoulders went loose. "God, I – please."
A broken groan. "Anything. What she said, like she said – I want it, please."
"Please what?" The touch at his throat lingered, petting. Her other hand tugged ever so gently at his sleeves, encouraging the silk to slide.
Poppy nuzzled into the crook of his neck and shoulder, so close that she could feel his skin pick up her lip-gloss.
"No," she said simply and pressed her thumb flat over his carotid artery.
The effect was immediate and almost violently satisfying; he gasped like dying for air, every line of his body tightening into a skeleton of metal wire, skin flushed damp. A shudder passed – quaked – though the bloke hard enough for Poppy to feel sympathy pangs (minus the actual sympathy.) He went down to his knees clumsily and hard, landing with painfully.
…and leaving the shirt in Poppy's grasp. The silk felt especially lush under her tingling fingertips; a strong injection always left her applicators over-sensitized for a couple of minutes.
Someone broke the lull of the aftermath by saying: "Christ, how much for that?"
Poppy ignored it. She seemed to have already mentally walked away from the young man trying to recover on the floor while Jocasta's patted his bare beak in kindness. Unconcerned, Poppy inspected the shirt's stamped label with happy satisfaction.
"It is a Morris, I knew it." She glanced down at the man on the floor. "You mind?"
He made a noise that could've been agreement or a sign of passing asphyxiation. Poppy went with the former.
Ten minutes later she and Nori were sitting on an even plumper couch with drinks delivered by the – increasingly – solicitous host. Poppy crunched a chocolate spider and promptly passed the rest over to Nori's side.
“Do you ever think it should be harder than this?” she asked, tucking the remnant of a cocoa arachnid in her cheek.
Performance was an art, being able to take that performance into any situation was an art form. She could, Poppy could- probably why she liked the other woman so much. “Sometimes… but then again sex is so primal. People want it, they just need to get past their personal hang ups. Once you know what buttons to press you can make anyone grovel at your feet… well almost anyone.” Those who knew how to manipulate were harder, but even they could cow if propositioned with the right question. “Oh! I meant to share with you something wonderful I saw.” She took a sip of the drink that was basically melted chocolate and vodka. “Just why?” She asked rhetorically, looking at the glass.
Setting the drink aside she looked over to Poppy, with a smile. “So we had a lead on someone who we thought had something to do with Valentine's Day- he didn’t. But by that point it was too late. Anyhow a friend of mine was helping me convince him to share, when my attempts failed.” Friend being Digger, which made sense given the story. “Anyhow, he gave this guy something that… well…” she couldn’t think of a cover euphemism for what happened and leaned in and quietly explained briefly about the acid that ate him away from the inside. “So, apparently my friend was messing around with an idea and broke open a lot of our pretty blue pills into their liquid form and injected it straight into this guy. He was terminal anyhow… but the show that came next.” She laughed lightly “I’ve never seen someone- much less a guy. Orgasm so long and so many times. His heart eventually gave out.” The last line was hushed as well.
Just recounting the incident, recalling it, turned Nori on. Maybe she did have a problem.
"Petite mort?" Poppy asked dryly. "There are worse ways to go, especially in this town. Imagine if he'd actually had something to with Valentine's. Now that's going to be a execution worth remembering."
Poppy's expression thinned. "Many of them still think that evil shit came from Father, you know. Or at least they think he allowed it into the city."
As if anyone in CoD would resort to poison apples to take out a couple of Rats or Cybermen. It was ridiculous. It was insulting. It was - not completely implausible.
"It's a mess," Poppy said. She idly stroked the shirt in her lap the way others would pet a cat’s back. "The way things stand we're either murderous sociopaths who are willing to kill off our own clientele for, what, shit and giggles. Or we're incompetent sociopaths who let vermin go bubonic on their business area. If something doesn't turn up soon then nobody's going to care how many of our people died; the rest of the groups are just going to want an ass to flog."
"Your friend..." she said thoughtfully. "Were they the ones who brought you the supposed lead?"
“No… we found him on or own. He’d left the party moments before everyone was exposed and died. Seemed like too much of a coincidence.” Nori sighed. “Turns out he was trying to take advantage of the party to sneak in and try to steal the formula for our drug. Timing really was a coincidence.” Her heart ached for all her brothers and sisters lost in the brutal attack. “But we’ll find them… if we have to tear the city apart… we’ll get revenge.” Her fingers played at the collar around her throat. “At least the poison seems to be off the street… for now. I think they proved their point… got what they want… us to all be at each other's throats again.” Talk of watching the torture and death by orgasm had been a turn on. That was quickly fading as her thoughts moved to what was uncertain. She was at a party, this was not a funeral.
Nori leaned into Poppy and nuzzled her neck slightly. “This is getting boring.” She said, her voice soft. “What do you think we should do to change that?”