"She's all right. Not a keeper or anything but she'll do for a couple of nights in the sack." The voice of her date filtered around the pseudo-Grecian column and stopped Victoria Bennett, Tori to her friends, in her tracks.
Not expecting a patron to stop so suddenly, the waiter behind her almost ran into Tori's back. Managing to scoot around her at the last minute he shot her a glare that suggested she was the living personification of all his woes. On a normal day Tori was polite to a fault, but today wasn't a normal day; she just blinked at the guy like an owl as she tried to process what she was hearing.
The hits kept coming. Richard's chuckle floated around the column.
"Of course she'll cooperate. Bit of the Cutler charm... liquid panty remover." He laughed again, a harsh sound Tori had never heard from the handsome executive before. "And if that doesn't work, then a certain special..."
Tori's blood started to simmer as Richard lowered his voice. "Yeah, in her drink. No, don't worry... no blood test will pick this stuff up. It's a lust potion. Mate of mine picked it up at one of those paranormal clubs. Says it turns any woman into an animal. They can't get enough of it..."
She was going to be sick. Richard planned to drug her. How freaking low could you get?
"Yeah, sure thing. If she's any good, I'll give you a call. No, not tonight. Sorry mate, I want my share first. Tomorrow night? Yeah, sounds good. I'll get her over to mine and we'll dose her up. Call a couple of the lads around and have ourselves a little party."
Tori went from simmering to boiling mad in the blink of an eye. He was planning an orgy, was he? She'd see about that! Her spine straightened and Tori walked around the column with her head held high.
Richard was still on his cell. His lips curved into a smile as he smoothly changed the subject. "Yeah, thanks for that, James. If you could send the Delaney tender over and I'll review it tomorrow. Cheers, mate, you too. Oh, before I forget..."
Plastering a sickly sweet smile on her face, Tori sidled up and pressed close to wrap an arm around him. With her free hand she reached for her drink. Richard started a little in surprise but recovered well and quickly covered her hand with his own, shooting her a smile as he carried on his call.
"Richard..." Tori breathed against the side of his neck, whispering a kiss across the sensitive skin of his neck.
"Hmmm?" He flipped the phone shut.
"You know the thing about lust potions?" She pulled away as she twisted her wrist and dumped her drink in his lap. "They don't work on those with Fae blood."
Richard shrieked, a full-on girly shriek, as the mixture of alcohol and ice landed in his crotch. "Bitch! What are you doing?"
Tori stepped back smartly and grabbed her evening purse off the table, stopping only to cast a look over her shoulder. "I hope it gets frostbite and drops off. Have a nice evening, Richard. Don't bother to call."
Tori was still shaking when she let herself back into her apartment. Slamming the door shut, she dropped her keys onto the hall table and shrugged out of her coat. The light on her answering machine winked at her as she hung the coat up on the peg.
"Tori, this is your mother..."
"Ugh, not tonight, Mom." Tori hit the off button as soon as her mother's tones filled the small hallway. She loved her mother to bits, but there was no way she wanted to sit through a lecture on how she was getting on in years now, and shouldn't she be thinking about finding Mr. Right and producing some grandkids for her mother to spoil rotten?
Trudging through to the living room, Tori almost collided with one of the household Wraiths as it went about its business. She stepped back with a quiet apology even though the creature, nothing more than a magical construct powered by her household spells, wouldn't hear her and couldn't answer.
Tori flopped down into her favourite chair with relief. Sighing, she dropped her head back and closed her eyes. The trouble was she was trying to find Mr. Right, trying her damn hardest, but so far all she'd found was Mr. Arrogant, Mr. Self-obsessed and Mr. Downright Scary.
"Arrrrrgh! Where are all the normal men?" She ran her hands through her hair in frustration. "Oh, sorry, am I in the way?"
The Wraith flicking the feather duster over the coffee table in front of her had stopped, its route interrupted by Tori's outstretched legs. It didn't say anything. It just stayed motionless and silent as it waited for her to move them so it could carry on with the cleaning.
Apologising again, Tori moved her legs, curling them up under her in the chair as she watched the Wraith idly. They were wonderful things, the stuff of magic made real to cope with all those nasty little household jobs most modern women didn't have the time for. Tori didn't know what she'd do without them cleaning up around the place. Sure, she had to do her washing herself -- for some reason her household Wraiths didn't like the washing machine -- but that was a small price to pay.
The Wraith moved around the room, ruthless in its pursuit of the smallest scrap of dust. Tall and slender, it was undoubtedly female, shimmering lines giving form to the ghostly figure. Tori turned her head to try and get a good look at it... at her. They were nearly always female although Tori had seen a male on occasion.
The face refused to come into focus and Tori sighed. It was always the same. No matter how hard you tried to get a good look at them to see what they looked like, what colour their eyes were... it never worked. It was like they were always out of focus somehow, out of focus and silent.
Tori dropped her head back against the comfortable cushions and rubbed at her eyes. Actually, that sounded like the perfect man; silent, polite and did as he was told. Her hands, balled into fists as she knuckled the corners of her eyes, stopped. She sat bolt upright and looked at the ghostly figure dusting the already spotless dining table.
The perfect man would be a Wraith?