Selling the Fantasy
A Ranma, fic thingy.
By Sunshine Temple
Naturally, I do not Ranma So here's the disclaimer:
Ranma 1/2 and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video
Previous chapters and other works can be found at my fanfiction website.
Temporary Backup Site.
Other website Temple of Ranma's Senshi Seifuku
C&C as always is wanted.
Chapter 4: Relocation Perpetrations
A woman with teased-up golden blonde hair, deeply tanned skin, smoky eyeshadow and complimenting lipstick languidly eased back in her seat; the leather of her expensive, but skimpy, black dress creaked as she shifted a limp hand to puff on a long cigarette.
Blue smoke came out in a ring as heavy gold bracelets rattled on her arms. Matching hoop earrings, necklaces and rings adorned her curvy body. Her nimble fingers glinted with a long glossy gold manicure, and deep ultramarine eyes gave her companion an interested, but calculating, look.
"Another drink, Araki-san?" the blonde asked, her voice giving a throaty purr as she slid closer to almost touch the gaunt man in the grey suit.
"Oh? What temptations do you have for me now, Mrs. Kuga?" Araki asked as he took up his cigar. It had gone out
The blonde leaned closer, her body across his as she struck a pair of matches and helped ignite the man's cigar. She had special lighter most of her clients were fond of but Araki insisted on matches, saying that the lighter fluid ruined the smell of the cigar.
"I had heard lovely things about a bourbon, aged in sherry casks."
Araki puffed thoughtfully. "You haven't steered me wrong, but how many drinks have we shared tonight?"
"Oh, I'm not sure; you hold your liquor so well." Behind Kuga's assuring smile she knew to the exact yen every thing on Araki's tab for the night; everything he had purchased for them to smoke, drink, and eat.
Even without the club's markup, it was impressive.
She put on a pout and held her place leaning over him before slowly pulling back.
A few more drinks would make tonight's haul sizable, even after the club and Nabiki took their cuts.
Mrs. Kuga continued to chat with her companion and soon got Mr. Araki to indulge in some twenty-five year old bourbon, another cigar, and some rich fatty tuna sashimi.
Sipping her own drink while letting the ice cubes melt a bit more, the blonde luxuriated. It had been eight months, off and on, more and more on it seemed, at the Golden Oak club. And she finally felt like she was getting comfortable, which raised questions she pushed aside.
Kuga slowly crossed her legs and smiled down at her towering dark leather stilettos with their gold accents. Those had been an indulgence on her part, but between the heel spike and the discreetly hidden, but tall, platform in the toe box, they allowed her to walk around with some actual height.
Nabiki, in her dark wig and glamorously-innocent Naoko guise, had delivered the rich dark chocolate dessert. In her ethereal, but taut in the right places, blue dress she gave elegant smiles all around and held the blonde's gaze.
Kuga dusted the top of her dress and gave the other woman a languid grin. Her motion may have gotten Araki's attention, as did the deep curtsy Nabiki gave. The blonde allowed a small wink and eased back into her role.
Later, she escorted Araki to the front lobby. She let him take one arm on his and she patted him with the other arm. The bit of physical contact got a gimlet look from Mistress Yamato who was manning the hostess station.
The older woman in her elegant cream dress with white decolletage made a tisking noise at the blonde. Kuga bowed her head giving a credible impression of bashfulness before slipping to a naughty grin.
"If you continue to skirt the rules, I may have to transfer you to the Silver Oak club." The dark haired and elegant owner of the hostess club noted.
"My, sent to the club with even higher markups? What a punishment," Kuga quietly mock gasped.
"Eight months little one, you're not nearly as hardened as you think you are."
Mistress Yamato smirked. The wavy, chestnut brunette then looked her employee up and down. "Though you are fitting in well,
Yamato made a point of going over the receipt Araki had just paid. "Impressive, you might just get out of your obligation to your friend." She glanced at Kuga's new shoes. "Provided you manage your expenses. We'll talk later," she smiled.
"Thank you," Kuga nodded.
"This is your third day of double shifts?"
"I, um, had some open time in my schedule," the blonde allowed. It was true. With Ranma's... her fiancee on a beach trip with her school friends, a sort of end of high school vacation, the ersatz blonde had plenty of time to herself.
"And you'll be off for a few days?"
Kuga nodded. "And I'll be on break for the rest of the night, but..."
"Yes, if any of your regulars stop in, or if someone catches my eye, I'll call you in. I know your type," Yamato glanced to the row of photographs behind the lobby desk. They were a mix of high gloss glamour shots and carefully staged group photos.
Kuga looked at her own picture. The carefully staged and subtly retouched image of the confident, leggy blonde with her teased hair and severe evening dress had only slightly more artifice than... Kuga looked down at herself and shook her head.
She then sauntered through the club giving nods to the other hostesses and sly smiles to the customers. Weaving her way to the back, she nodded to the pair of men in their drab suits doing security, slipped into the employees only corridors, and entered the break room used for the hostesses.
After removing a bottle of juice from the fridge, Kuga took one of the worn, but comfortable leather couches in the break room. All the furniture in the cozy, intimate place were from the public areas of the club, but had either gotten stained, torn, worn, or damaged in some minor way.
Anya and Hitomi were already at the big table in the center of the room with a chess set between them. The latter wore a schoolgirl outfit that clashed with her stern, pensive expression while the former wore elegant lacy evening wear.
Both hostesses nodded. "Good night, Kuga-san?" Anya asked.
The blonde sipped and let her poise slip a bit. She was no longer quite so "on the prowl". Her legs crossed in a more relaxed manner and she allowed her expression to not be the alluringly-interested, slightly smug, look she used with most customers.
"Pretty good, how 'bout you?" Kuga glanced at Anya. When she had started working here she saw Anya as an old hand, who, despite appareling to be mid-twenties, seemed weary of the world.
Anya brushed some russet colored curls of her current wig back. "Fair enough, we can't all be stars like you."
"Oh, Honey, I learned from the best," Kuga put on a purr. She liked Anya. At least when it was just the other hostess girls, Anya was upfront about everything about her being an illusion: her hair, her interests, her persona, even her age. Kuga... or the woman Kuga was when working, could respect that.
Anya snorted while Hitomi shook her head.
The door opened and a dark-haired woman in clothing of a similar style to Ayna's entered.
"Naoko." Kuga patted the seat next to her on the couch.
Nabiki blinked and made her way over. "Good night?"
"I was just asking her," Anya said.
"Very good," the blonde preened.
"Oh, don't worry," Mrs. Kuga as she leaned to press to her roommate. "It's still not enough to put your... investment at risk."
Nabiki glanced at the tanned bosom pressing her arm to her side. She snorted. "Some investment, Raiko."
The woman known as Raiko Kuga pulled back and pouted. "Shame I'm too established, or I might change that first name."
"Oh? I like the double meaning." Nabiki had picked the kanji to mean "Child of Truth." instead of the more common "Next Child."
"Oh! Keep Kuga but make it your first name, then pick a new family name!" Hitomi said.
"Something foreign maybe?" Anya offered.
"Maybe Spendlove!" Hitomi said using the English words. "That'd go great with your style."
Kuga put a gold nail to her lip in thought. Then she slowly pulled back from her companion. "Kuga Spendlove does have a ring to it. What do you think?" she asked "Naoko" with a little frown. Something did not sit right.
"I think you've spent too much on monogrammed purses and the like, not to mention those business cards and glossy headshots to change your name," Nabiki drawled.
"That would be a waste." Sighing, Kuga adjusted the front of her dress.
"Need to get something off your chest?" Anya smirked.
"Har, har," Kuga grumbled. "Least they didn't get loose until after I stopped working."
Anya nodded. "The helpers are a boon but a risk."
"Maybe, I'll get rid of them," Kuga grumbled.
"After you went a size up? You know Naito-san and others will notice. That'll break your illusion," Nabiki reminded.
The blonde sighed. "Yes, it's easier to sell the illusion when the change is something the mark wants to see," she said giving a demure, but hungry look while sneaking a shy smile.
Nabiki snorted, but inside was concerned. Over the months Ranma's flirting had become... far more skillful than the blunt girlish "I'm cute, buy me stuff" act the semi-natural redhead had done before starting this job.
It was all in the body language: little movements of eyes and legs, posture, just the right expression. Nabiki exhaled. She supposed she had no one to blame but herself. She set up the incentives.
If Ranma wanted to get out of the debt, and keep the Musk medallion that allowed her to control her curse, then maximizing the money she made working at the club was the way to do it.
"I guess I'll just have to be careful with my tops," Kuga admitted glancing down at her chest.
"If you showed less cleavage you'd be at less risk of popping something loose," Anya said.
Rolling her eyes, Kuga leaned forward. A manicured hand hovered over the cigarette pack on the coffee table.
Nabiki tilted her head.
"Not my brand." Kuga pulled back. That was true, they were not Blue Dahlias. Still, sometimes, she felt a bit less picky.
She gave her roommate a smile. That was hardly the biggest secret she was keeping from the woman who held her debt.
"It's only fair that my clients eye me. That's part of the package."
"But only eye," Anya said with a cynical lilt.
Kuga snorted. "Of course. And it's not like we don't give frank evaluations of our clients."
"True." Nabiki eyed the blonde. "Does that include Ryoga?"
"Technically! But that was just our drinks at a cafe."
Nabiki exhaled with relief, at least Ranma could still be rattled.
"I mean it's not like he could afford to be a regular," Kuga waved to encompass the whole club.
"Ryoga?" Hitomi asked.
"Oh, just an old friend," Kuga assured.
"So, not a violation of the club rules by you freelancing," Anya said, deliberately mild.
"Nothing like that," Nabiki added. "We were out in a cafe and he just stumbled into us." She did not add that he did not recognize either of them. They had gotten lucky.
She eyed her roommate. That was part of why Ranma had started "advancing" her Kuga disguise. To make it even harder for people to recognize her.
"Ah," Anya nodded sympathetically. "Running into people we know who aren't in 'the life' can be a challenge."
"Tell me about it. University's hard enough without wondering if someone recognizes me." Nabiki had thought the exams and application deadlines would be the hard part but once she was in the schoolwork kept coming.
At least the campus was not too far from the dojo or the apartment, but that meant she had a whole other crop of people to worry about discovering her secret life.
"Are there that many college students who come here?" Hitomi asked.
"There are a few rich boys living off daddy's money."
"Sounds like your type, Naoko," Kuga teased.
Nabiki rolled her eyes. "Yeah... I suppose." She was distracted, fretting over her schooling.
"What's wrong?" Kuga asked.
"Just thinking about my budget."
The blonde laughed. "Of course you are."
"I mean the hours spent here eat into study time, but the money makes the time I'm not working comfortable; if that apartment doesn't eat into my profits."
"If only you could have a roommate to shovel money to you," Kuga noted.
"Yeah, yeah, I've had worse roommates." Nabiki thought back to the dojo. It was further from campus than their apartment.
And Kuga, definitely Kuga in this case, was not a bad roommate. The blonde was very neat, but she was a clothes horse and had more boxes of shoes and makeup and jewelry than Nabiki did. Still, after close to half a year of sharing a tiny apartment, neither girl had tried to kill the other.
As if reading her mind, Kuga gave a smirk before sipping her drink.
"Laugh it up, Blondie."
"I'm just happy to be done with three nights in a row," Kuga idly considered kicking off her high heels. "I'd like to go home and relax with a facial and a nightcap."
Nabiki frowned. "But you're still on call?"
"Sure. I have a client who might be coming in tonight. No appointment but if he keeps with his habits he'll stop by here after a late night at the firm."
"Anything special?" Anya asked.
"I've been plying him to try some Glenlivet 40 year old Scotch. I've been slowly empting him with progressively older versions, and while that is a nice source of money..."
"The margins on the 40 year old stuff are breathtaking," Nabiki answered and despite herself joined the other three girls in giving sharp grins.
"Older is better," Kuga smirked.
"And so a ten thousand yen markup is keeping you from your dream of a quiet night back home?" Nabiki laughed at the idea of Ranma wearing a facial mask at the Tendo place with her blonde hair up in curlers.
Nabiki almost gave another outburst when she considered the idea of a woman who used makeup to look more mature would be so vain to spend so much on skin care products.
It seemed no matter the form, no matter the job, Ranma Saotome was ragingly vain. Nabiki's mirth died when she realized Kuga was thinking of their apartment as home.
"That and getting off these heels," Kuga recrossed her legs. "Three days on my feet is a bit trying."
Anya shook her head. "Sometimes it's easy to forget you're really new at this."
"That's the whole point, Hun," the blonde smirked, to Nabiki's disquiet.
The blonde adjusted her hair and looked down at her white blouse and metallic gold skirt. Further down, her tanned legs were arched up by chunky, and shiny-white, high heels. She clenched a glossy gold purse in her hands.
For the first time in a long while, she was not sure how to dress for a situation.
One upside of her job was that she had the experience and the funds to know how to dress for just about any social event. Male or female, formal or informal, sensual or demure, she had an idea of what to do. Or she could ask someone else at the club.
But meeting with her boss, outside of work... informally?
Kuga shook her head, letting her blonde tresses flail about.
She eased into a natural gait swishing her hips as she neared the cafe. It had taken her an hour to decide which form to dress in.
Part of her wondered if she should go with a plain, that is unfilled, bra; her natural red hair pulled in a ponytail, or a braid; minimal, or even no, makeup; and some comfortable slippers. She even debated pants.
But in the end, she figured a more casual version of her Mrs. Kuga persona would be... more fitting.
She spotted the confident, mature brunette sitting at a table just inside the cafe's wide open veranda. Her dress was a smoky grey and her long, chestnut hair tumbled down her shoulders in a wave.
Mistress Yamato looked up and gave the blonde an utterly disarming, warm smile.
Kuga made a point to smile in return. Despite months of seeing her boss being cool and calculating, there was something vaguely like Kasumi about her. Possibly, it was due to how, despite it all, Mistress Yamato made sure nothing bad happened to "her girls", especially when at work.
Rowdy, too handsy, or abusive customers would sour other clients and were bad for business. Then there was that the "girls" took a lot of training and could quit and work for another club. And finally there was the Golden Oak's reputation, which given the liquidity of the clients Yamato courted was dear to ensuring repeat business.
Stepping in out of the warm mid-afternoon sun, Kuga took the seat across from her Mistress.
Yamato's calculating eyes appraised the blonde. After a moment her glossy lips curled into a smile. "I'm so glad you could make it."
"I am very fond of this cafe," Kuga picked up a familiar menu.
The brunette's smile indicated that she was well aware.
As Kuga ordered her drink and some pastries she wondered how much the mistress knew. Every hostess under Yamato was living at least a double life. One of the major reasons for getting that apartment five months ago was to keep a certain redhead from showing up around the Golden Oak club.
Setting up the lease agreement such that it would be hard to trace back to either Tendo or Saotome was also a challenge, but again, there was a lot of experience at the club to tap into.
And a certain black-haired male martial artist had never been in the proximity of the club.
But even if Yamato was unaware, or uncaring, of the curse, she did know that "Raiko Kuga" was deeply in debt to "Naoko Tanaka".
Kuga let herself discuss pleasantries until the waitress had given them their orders and left.
"You really are starting to grow into your role, Kuga-chan." Yamato smiled as she sipped her tea.
The blonde shook her head. There were few women at the club who would use that suffix with her.
"I'd say you're past Naoko in terms of dedication, but if you wanted to do more..." The Mistress let the statement hang.
"Oh?" Kuga's tone was polite but wary. Being under Nabiki's thumb was a pain, but at least she was family, after a fashion.
Mistress Yamato chuckled. "I won't purchase your debt, I can see you've turned the tables and used that the relative pittance you owe to Naoko to keep her under control."
Kuga sipped her coffee. She would hardly call the remainder of her debt a "pittance".
Yamato raised an eyebrow.
The blonde sighed. "It's not a pittance; I still owe a couple million yen on the principal."
"But you could pay it off anytime you please? If not getting a loan from me, then another coworker or associate. You're a proven moneymaker, Dearie," Yamato gave her an appraising smirk. "Anyone would be eager to float you a loan to make the vig on your payments. You've been diligent on paying down your principal and interest. And Naoko knows that."
Kuga replicated the smirk.
Yamato continued. "She knows the only way for her to make her full investment on you is to keep you from simply paying out. Cashing out early deprives her of all that interest, and any garnishing of your salary."
"Maybe I prefer having someone I know and am close to holding that debt?" Kuga prompted.
The brunette nodded. "Very possible. You both get what you want. " She nibbled her own moon-cake. "For a time."
"Eventually, you'll pay off the debt. What then? What does Kuga want?"
The blonde looked down at her manicured nails. She knew what Ranma wanted. Owning the medallion free and clear meant that she would never...
That all this could be put behind her... him.
"If you want more money, there are a couple paths open to you but they all require... dedication."
The blonde licked her lips. "I'm not sure. I'm still mastering well... this," she gestured over her form.
"And that's why we're having this conversation," Yamato agreed. "I see potential in you. You can look beyond getting a few thousand yen in your purse. Or a pretty-boy to go on compensated-dating while you float through college until you get an arranged marriage."
The blonde tilted her head and scoffed.
"Right, I didn't think you were the type to be smitten by a sugar daddy. At least not unless the price was worth it," Yamato winked.
"Then what are you talking about?" Kuga politely asked.
"I do have the other club I run," Yamato suggested.
The blonde's face clouded. The Golden Oak was a strict "no touching" hostess club, the other club Mistress Yamato owned...
"There's also internal advancement at the Golden Oak: training, supervision, off-site public events. That last one is more for Silver Club. But you have options, Dearie."
Kuga exhaled. She had not given too much thought to her future beyond the debt. Yes, in her off time... she... or he had been working towards entrance exams.
And things had gotten much better with Akane. They were acting like a proper couple. But right now, with her chocolate colored skin, her blonde hair, platform shoes, manicure, and tight skirt, that felt like a different life.
Yamato looked over the woman. "I might have been wrong about you needing Dr. Gensai, but your concerns about your helpers are valid."
Kuga glanced at her chest and wondered if Anya had talked.
"The question is how concerned are you?" Yamato asked finishing her tea. "As for Dr. Hotta... well you're already reworking your face... maybe you want something less at risk of smearing than makeup.
"Or maybe it's the money? Talk to Anya, she can point you to some of the other girls and how much their earnings went up after they got some assistance from the good doctors."
Kuga kept her composure. It was a close enough thing that the Musk medallion allowed her to functionally have two girl forms. One she could put under tanning booths, hair dyes, and other treatments, and one she could leave normal. The idea of doing something truly permanent...
"I'll leave you to think things over." Yamato smiled as she stood up. "If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me. I'll take it into the utmost confidence," she promised and left two business cards on the table along with enough yen to pay for both of their orders.
The blonde stared at the cards and went to her coffee and finished her own pastry. A few minutes passed and she stood up and walked away, leaving them on the table.
The blonde exhaled and went down the sidewalk. But something gnawed at her.
Then with the sound of heels clacking on the pavement, she sashayed back, slipped the cards into her shiny gold purse and put more yen on the table. Then exhaling she went back down the sidewalk.
She had plenty of time before her salon appointment; maybe she could ask Umeko, her cosmetician, a few things.
Nabiki's heels clicked as she walked down the street. She wore a green dress that showed just enough of her cleavage and a bit more makeup than normal for off work. Part of her missed her wig.
Ranma walked next to her. He was dressed a bit nicer in a slate button-down shirt and dark slacks. A large satchel was carried over one shoulder. The martial artists had a cocky grin as his hand occasionally brushed up against Nabiki's
"I don't know what to do about Akane?" Ranma sighed. "When we go out things go well... and I guess we're having an easier relationship than before but... I'm worried the other shoe is gonna drop."
"There's always telling her the truth?"
Ranma smoothly laughed. "Oh? Gonna tell her about your job, too?" he asked eyeing her up and down.
Nabiki put on a coy expression and twisted a bit as she walked.
"Very nice," Ranma clapped. "You've been practicing."
"Damn straight." Nabiki gave a smug grin. "But you're side-stepping the issue."
The martial artist sighed.
Nabiki saw his composure slip.
"Yeah, I feel like we're in too far. At least I'm in too far."
"You didn't want anyone discovering you at work," Nabiki said. "You didn't want anyone to think Ranma Saotome was working at a hostess club. And if people found out that the Mercenary Ice-Queen Nabiki were working at such a place..."
"Boy, do I get that." Shaking his head, Ranma chuckled. "Still, Akane's getting suspicious."
Nabiki stopped. "We are spending a lot of time together. Well... at work at least"
"Maybe telling her the truth would make her less jealous." The martial artist's laugh continued. "I don't think she's buying me working for you to fix that cure."
Nabiki rolled her eyes. "All that time I spent hawking magical trinkets and here you are legitimately working-"
Ranma put a finger to her lip. "I'm not sure I'd call it legitimate. Or... even 'me' exactly." He laughed. "I mean I can make a date work with Akane but..."
Nabiki nodded. "Faking a good date is what we do."
"I wouldn't go so far, but the skills..." Ranma stepped closer and with a wicked smile placed his hands on Nabiki's shoulders. "What about us?" he leaned in, his voice lowering. "We know each other's secrets, and you can't deny that we're... complimentary."
Nabiki cocked her hip, tilted her head back, and then slowly took one of Ranma's hands and pulled it down her torso. "Oh yes, Mr. Saotome, I say we could make a lovely couple," she said in her breathy "work" voice.
Ranma used is other arm to pull her in close. Nabiki let her head fall on his chest. He was strong, and he did know what a woman liked, or at least the fraction of female clients Kuga had, but... was it real?
"Maybe I should come to the club as Ranma. See what it's like on the other side? Maybe get you?" Ranma asked as an arm worked over Nabiki's shoulder.
"I think spending an evening with an honored guest would be lovely," Nabiki purred. The question of it being real flashed on her mind. Could a relationship between them ever be real? For both of them their jobs were giving the illusion of companionship, convincingly feigning physical interest, of providing a simulacrum of romance.
And that didn't even get into Akane. Could Nabiki do that to her sister? Could Nabiki even have a genuine relationship now?
Or was that what Ranma was afraid of?
If he couldn't be honest with Akane, would she become something like one of Mrs. Kuga's clients?
Nabiki then noticed that Ranma's embrace had stiffened. "Did... did someone see us?" she asked. If someone from Nerima had spotted them this could get awkward.
Ranma shook his head. "No, I saw someone," he said letting go and absently adjusting the satchel slung over his shoulder.
Nabiki straightened herself, she then followed his gaze to a cafe across the street. She couldn't see anyone from Nerima there, thankfully. But a young man sitting alone at a table in a suit did seem familiar to her.
Ranma bit his lip and sighed.
"What's up?" Nabiki asked.
"Get the medallion ready, and look for a place for me to change," he said.
Nabiki raised an eyebrow
Ranma discreetly pointed to the man in the suit. "That's Naito-san. "
"Oh," Nabiki nodded. On second glance the young executive in the frameless glasses did look familiar. He was one of young-go-getters who had gotten his first big promotion and despite being handsome-enough was a bit too awkward and busy to date. Hence...
"One of your regulars?"
"A budding client of Mrs. Kuga," Ranma sighed.
Watching the businessman try to talk with a waitress, Nabiki noted the similarities with his "woman problems" to Ranma's. Or at least what Ranma used to have.
"And her making an appearance with him would be good for business," Ranma looked about and spotted an alleyway.
Nabiki arched an eyebrow but didn't disagree. It could help; she just found it bit odd for Ranma to think that. She eyed the bag he was carrying. On the other hand...
"You mind being a lookout?" Ranma asked as he unzipped the satchel and pulled out a small thermos.
"Course not," Nabiki said before they crossed the street. Ranma slipped into the alleyway, and, while Nabiki adjusted the medallion and stood watch, poured out a bit of water.
Then the redhead in ill-fitting clothes dried her face with a little towel. "Come on," Ranma said as she went to the cafe.
Nabiki noticed that Ranma seemed focused on seeing if anyone... familiar noticed her. As she stepped into the cafe, she looked out onto the patio. Seeing Naito, she gave a little sigh.
As Nabiki ordered a tea, Ranma slipped into the bathroom. A minute later, Nabiki quietly knocked on the door.
When she heard a knock in return, Nabiki took out the medallion, activated it, and then stepped away to claim a table where she could watch both the bathroom door and Naito.
A few minutes later a dark mocha-skinned blonde sashayed out of the bathroom. Done in various hues and tones of glossy gold, her hair was fluffed and tumbled into slightly wavy fall to between her shoulder blades.
She was ensconced in gold jewelry: multiple sets adorning her wrists, fingers, ankles and neck; including several pair of hoop earrings.
Heavy eyeshadow and curled lashes framed ultramarine-blue eyes, and plump red lips formed an amused grin. Bits of rouge accented confidently-mature features.
Strappy gold pumps with subtle platforms in the toe boxes arched her feet. The angle helped show off toned rich-colored legs. Said legs vanished up the bottom of a short silvery skirt.
The backside of which strained against the blonde's rounded, jutting backside. The bottom of the dress actually rode noticeably higher in the back than it did in the front. A tiny silver purse was clasped in one hand.
The shiny pvc material of the dress went up her narrow torso and over her shoulders with a pair of thin straps. The dress's top was scalloped to best show off the cleavage of her overly rounded chest .
Nabiki had to keep from whistling, her coworker was really getting the most out of her "helpers". It was risky with a dress that... unsporting. Though a darker part of her wondered how much help she was really getting.
Giving the waiting Tendo girl a long wink, Mrs. Kuga passed Nabiki's table. A manicured hand gracefully dropped the satchel off at Nabiki's feet without a pause in her generous stride.
Nabiki took a brief moment to look at the bag that now contained Ranma's male clothes and shoes, as well as the makeup and brushes and accoutrements needed to make Mrs. Kuga.
Sipping her tea, she watched her coworker in action.
"Oh, Naito-san, how lovely to see you," Mrs. Kuga purred as her sashay finished before the young executive's table. "Truly a pleasure." She bowed deeply.
"Raiko," Naito gasped, unable to keep from staring at her cleavage.
"If you want to be familiar, I'll keep it secret," Mrs. Kuga promised with a coy smile. She put her hands on her thighs so she could hold her bent forward position. "Enjoying a break? You must be sooo busy."
"The office is just down the block." Clearing his throat, Naito finally was able to meet her deep blue eyes.
Mrs. Kuga's smile grew. Then her voice lowered to a just above a whisper. "Could you do me a favor? Please," she begged
The blonde laughed. "Would it be a bother if I sit with you? I promise I won't make you late for work. Well... unless you have something more important that holds your... attention," she added with a wink.
Naito made to stand.
"Oh no, I can handle it," the blonde put a hand adorned with silvery nails on his chest. "Though I appreciate your thoughtfulness," she said letting her fingers linger for a few moments.
She turn turned away from him and started to pull out a chair. Her fingers flittered and the silver purse tumbled to the floor.
"I've got it," Mrs. Kuga said as she bent over to retrieve the purse. Knees straight she bent at the waist. Hips rocking back and forth she made a show of trying to catch the little silver strap but it kept slipping out between her long nails.
Then giving a frustrated sigh, she got her knees involved. Already front and center in Naito's field of view, the bubbly derriere lowered and pushed closer. The skirt rode up a bit further as Mrs. Kuga's hips went from swaying to almost shaking.
There were a few gasps from others on the cafe patio, but Mrs. Kuga had snatched her purse and gotten up, but not before her backside pressed against the executive's thigh.
"I'm sooo sorry," Mrs. Kuga said as she pulled her chair so it was right next to Naito. "I can get a bit clumsy," she said, idly running a hand through her hair.
"I -uh- hadn't noticed," Naito said, his face flush.
The older-looking woman grinned. Leaning closer, she placed a hand on his thigh and took a menu. "Now, let's see what looks good," she playful said, slipping into her training.
Nabiki watched with a smile on her face. This wasn't their club. So, they wouldn't be getting a cut of the food and drinks sold, but that didn't mean Mrs. Kuga didn't have an obligation to be a good hostess.
Eventually, Naito had to go to work. Disappointment, filled Mrs. Kuga's face, but she still gave him a hug and a quick kiss.
Blushing and giving a goofy grin, Naito bowed, took his briefcase. Mrs. Kuga slipped up to him and pouted. He took out his wallet and started putting down bills. Taking his arm, she whispered in his ear. Nodding, Naito added a few more bills to the pile.
He then straightened himself and, waving, exited the cafe. She glanced down at the pile of yen. Tipping was not the custom in Japan. In many places it could be seen as rude. However, Mrs. Kuga did try to encourage it in her clients.
Warmly smiling, Mrs. Kuga returned his wave. Once he was out of sight she brushed past he table, hand low on her swaying hip. Nimble manicured fingers floated past and in a blink the pile of yen got a tiny bit shorter.
Continuing her swaying walk, she gave a contented little sigh. If not for her he would have ordered hardly anything. She knew she deserved a cut, and she still left enough of a tip, it was more than the nothing the waitress was expecting.
"Such a lovely young man," Mrs. Kuga purred as she took the seat next to Nabiki.
"He's ten years older than you," Nabiki stated as she watched he blonde flip through the bills and put them into her little purse.
The blonde gave a dismissive sniff, and then ordered some water.
"You think it worked?"
"Oh, Honey," Mrs. Kuga gave her coy smile. "I'll have to take on an extra shift but I ensured he'll be back."
Sipping her water, the blonde gave another elegant sigh. "We still have time, no? How about we relax and get a nice drink?"
"We do have to get back for dinner, and you have to change," Nabiki pointedly said.
Mrs. Kuga dismissively waved her hand. "I could use some wine and a smoke," she confessed pulling a lighter out of her purse and putting one of her Blue Dahlias between her lips.
With a small frown, Nabiki observed the blonde staring at the twin blue flames of the gold-accented device. It was another gift from one of Kuga's client and if anything burned a bit too hot.
Part of Nabiki understood: the whole thing was flashy enough, flames included, that Kuga just had to use it to light her cigarettes. But that was an artifice for work. Was the blonde Kuga right now? Who needed a smoke?
Giving a contented murmur, Kuga blew out a small smoke-ring. She had never purchased a pack herself, but they were yet another thing the club sold at a breathtaking markup. And her clients were such gentlemen, and the occasional gentlewoman, that she had already amassed three months supply. And that was at the rate that Kuga pretended to smoke. At the actual frequency of her addiction, it might last her a year.
"Maybe if we resume our talk about Akane and what to do with her," Nabiki suggested.
"Or we could talk about something I find more interesting," the blonde smoothly purred as she deliberately leaned forward giving Nabiki an eyeful of her chest.
"Back home already?" Akane eyed her sister.
"College keeps me busy," Nabiki said as she dropped a bag down and sat down next to her sister in the living room.
"Studying or running some new scams?" Akane teased.
Nabiki smoothed her grey skirt. "Just because I'm around thousands of people who have never met me before and thus aren't aware of my reputation doesn't mean I've started fleecing the student body. That would be wrong," she primly said.
The two sisters held their expressions for a moment.
Then they burst in to laughter.
"I'd say enjoy the last days of high school, but honestly not having entrance exams to cram for makes life a lot easier," Nabiki smirked. She looked around the house. "Where's Kasumi or Dad?"
"She's shopping and Dad and Uncle Saotome are out somewhere with Ranma."
"The three of them?" Nabiki shook her head. "Please tell me those two didn't decide to take him out drinking."
"Right, like Ranma'd want to go to some grubby bar with those two."
Nabiki smiled to herself. Her sister was right, in as much as the younger Saotome would object to the "grubby" part.
"What are they up to?"
"Checking out other dojos," Akane shook her head.
"Really? Did Ranma get roped into some stupid training trip?" Nabiki exhaled. Ranma was supposed to call her if "personal events" made Kuga unable to show up for work.
"No, nothing like that," Akane got up and asked if Nabiki wanted something from the kitchen.
Nabiki was careful to just ask for some snacks and a drink. Akane was getting... better, Ranma had shown disturbing patience with her, but she still had a long way to go with her culinary skills.
Nabiki sipped her soda. "Well?"
"Dad got some idea that now that we were 'serious' about joining the houses then they should look into how other dojos attracted students and ran things."
Nabiki raised an eyebrow. "Father used to have more students. Right?"
Akane shook her head. "I'm thinking Uncle Saotome got it into his head that they could visit some old friends and bum a few meals and drinks."
"So... it is about going out drinking," Nabiki shook her head. "Why'd Ranma agree to that?"
"He said it was training." Akane took a sip.
Nabiki blinked. Sure, she could see Ranma going to social events as training, but that was because she knew what Ranma's secret job was. Then realization hit her. "Oh, he wants to learn how to run a dojo."
Akane nodded. "It's not like his dad or our dad is all that great of an example."
Nabiki's expression turned sly. "You know, you should have gone with. Aren't you two love birds going to run this place one day?"
Exhaling, Akane gave a brittle smile. "Father didn't invite me. By the time I found out, they had already left."
Nabiki felt the need to stick up for her roommate. "I'm sure Ranma would have insisted you come, but he probably got rushed out the door. You know how sneaky that panda is; he probably ambushed Ranma and started to drag him off."
Akane exhaled. "Yeah, it's just annoying how they go off on those stupid secret adventures."
The older sister scoffed. "You've been on plenty of Saotome's adventures with his dumb rivals. Do you really want to deal with wacky, egotistical martial artists for the rest of your life?"
Akane glowered at the brunette. "Low blow."
"Hey, I'm glad you can make the engagement work with the lug. I couldn't imagine living with Saotome." Nabiki knew having Kuga as a roommate was... complex enough as it was.
Shaking her head, Akane turned to her sister. "Yeah, well, it's not like he's above wandering off when we start to get on each other's nerves."
"See! That's good, knowing when to give distance is key in any relationship," Nabiki teased.
"Right, so long as he doesn't vanish for ten years," Akane grumbled.
"Oh no, I'd never be gone that long," Ranma said with an easy smile as he sauntered into the room.
Akane turned to her fiance. "When did you get here?"
"Just did; didn't want to interrupt," he gave an easy smile and brushed his slacks and charcoal vest before sitting down. Patting his vest, he tilted his head and then shrugged at the items within.
"You're back early, and I don't hear our fathers," Nabiki noted.
Ranma rolled his eyes.
"What, did you ditch them early?" Akane asked, offering him some puffed and fried octopus snacks.
He accepted. "Oh no, the visits were good. And talking with Master Okubo was very informative. But then Pops and Mr. Tendo decided to celebrate..."
"They went to a bar?"
"And didn't seem to notice when the whipcord ascetic old master politely left after one round of drinks." Ranma shook his head.
"And since there was nothing for you there anymore, you came back home?" Nabiki asked.
"It's... only seven," Akane murmured.
"Yeah, Okubo seemed to think it was a bit early, too," Ranma frowned.
"I guess you could study," Nabiki smirked.
"That's not a bad idea," Akane allowed. "We could quiz each other."
Ranma leaned back and sighed. "Arrrrg. I so want this farce to be over with!"
Akane patted him on the shoulder.
The Saotome teen leaned on her slightly. "It's only a few more months. Then..."
"Then we'll have university to deal with."
"At least you're now fairly certain you'll both be going to university," Nabiki snidely said.
Ranma's face clouded.
"Hey!" Akane cried.
"Oh, come on, I'm complimenting you. In half a year you've done wonders in cleaning up this lunkhead."
Akane bristled at her sister.
"Take the left-handed compliment," Ranma put an arm around his fiancee.
Nabiki smirked. "You should be happy Akane, you won. Such is your prize."
Ranma rolled his eyes. "Really?"
Akane frowned. "Do you have to be so mean?" she pensively asked. There was a... familiarity between Nabiki's and Ranma's barbs. The mild ire between the two seemed sincere enough, but it was more like an old couple's bickering.
The youngest Tendo was not sure to be jealous or disquieted.
Ranma squeezed her shoulder again. "Come on Nabiki."
The middle sister sighed. "Fine. Why don't you two go out somewhere nice?"
"Your treat?" Ranma asked.
"It's not a bad idea" Ranma allowed.
Akane allowed herself to nod. Not counting the snacks, she had not had dinner yet. "Wait... did our father's not feed the Master they were taking out?"
Ranma nodded. "Nope, took him straight to a bar. And not even one that had a little grill."
Both Tendos muttered, decrying the stupidity.
"Yeah, sure. We can go out," Akane nodded.
"Great," Ranma stood up.
"Are you going to change?" Akane asked.
"This isn't fancy enough?" Ranma looked at his slacks, vest, and button-down shirt.
"I think she's politely asking if you can give her time to change," Nabiki teased.
"Ah," Ranma laughed. "Of course."
Akane nodded but still felt an odd... feeling of familiarity between her sister and her fiance.
Akane picked at her cherry cheesecake. The ambiance at the restaurant was nice. It was always nice. Ranma's tastes, and disposable income, had improved in the last year. Still...
" 'kane?" Ranma asked adjusting his dapper grey silk vest. He was still surprised at the pack of Blue Dahlias he had absently slipped in there. Only Kuga smoked those.
"Sorry, what were we talking about?" Akane glanced at her little black dress. It was flattering and looked good on her. It actually managed to compliment her curves, instead of drawing attention to how she was less endowed than most of the girls she knew But again...
It was Ranma who helped her pick it out. Akane wondered... ever since Ranma got his curse controlled there was less of the redhead around, but he was still giving fashion advice to Akane. It was not always the best. Ranma's idea of what was good eye makeup was hilariously overdone, but fit in with the disguises Ranma used back when trying to use that redheaded body in various schemes.
And Ranma was a guy, of course his views on femininity were overdone, and engineered towards what a man would expect and want in a woman.
Akane felt a bit of disquiet. Ranma was not quite as aloof as his father, but it seemed to be a Saotome man thing to just up and disappear for hours most days and blame it on training.
Her fiance smiled and patted her hand and cut his pastry. "Oh, tedious stuff," he glanced up, a bit pensive.
Akane followed his gaze. There were a few sprinkler heads high up on the ceiling. Of course he's still be worried about water, despite the... cure.
He shrugged. "It's not just the dojo stuff Pops and your dad are up to."
"Ah, university again?"
Ranma's eyes met hers. "Yeah, do you really want to deal with it?" he asked, smirking.
"It is a hassle, maybe it'd be easier for both of us to just run away."
"And abandon all our debts, all our obligations?" Ranma looked wistful. "But, whatever would our families think?"
Akane snorted. "They'd think we'd have eloped."
The Saotome man smirked. "Well. We are engaged."
Akane cut a piece of her cheesecake. "It would avoid another farce of a wedding."
Ranma sighed. "Yeah... I mean Ukyou's... better but that still leaves two more 'fiancees' who could cause trouble."
Chewing thoughtfully, Akane looked over. Ranma was maturing. He had the same hairstyle, but there was more care in his braid. His clothes were better and without having to worry about the curse he actually had clothes tailored to fit his form, instead of having enough give to allow for a bust and hips.
Ranma returned the look. "We still have time."
"Yeah, what college stuff were you talking about?"
"Oh, where we'd live: campus dorms, an apartment off-campus, or I guess we could stay at the dojo and commute."
"Stay?" Akane sighed. "That'd be a hassle."
"But it'd be cheaper," Ranma soberly said.
The Tendo girl snorted again. "Like you could stand cheap."
"Hey! I can only spend on nice things by keeping to a budget. You learn how to pinch pennies living on the road."
"Maybe." Akane shook her head. "But, given your dad, you would have learned how to stay one step ahead of debt collectors."
Ranma sighed. "Stupid Pops."
"You get into any new trouble due to him?"
He shook his head. "Nah, nothing new."
"A dorm wouldn't give us any privacy and..."
"Oh? You want to be roommates?" Ranma took another bite. "My how forward Miss Tendo."
"You jerk! We're supposed to be married."
"I suppose of all the Tendo girls you would be the best to have as a roommate," Ranma rubbed his chin and chuckled to himself
"Better than Kasumi?" Akane archly asked.
"There's more to life than cooking," Ranma assured. "And you know she has eyes for Dr. Tofu. The only reason she hasn't moved out..."
"Yeah, I know she's afraid of what will happen to Father when she's gone."
"Not just her. You know Nabiki's got one foot out the door already, and you don't have to stay and inherit, though it would be nice to have a dojo."
"Ah ha! That's why you want to marry me," Akane teased.
"You got me," Ranma gave a cocky smile.
"Still, Kasumi as a roommate... I mean I'll miss her cooking when she's gone."
"What about Nabiki?"
Akane snorted. "Please. You've lived in the same house with her. You know how messy she is with laundry. Just imagine how bad it would be to share a tiny studio apartment with her?"
Ranma laughed. "Maybe she'd keep it neat."
Akane rolled her eyes.
"Well there's another problem with the dorm idea."
"Even a coed dorm doesn't allow different genders in the same room." Akane gave a playful look. "Unless you want to go to college as Ranko."
Ranma whistled. "Oh no, I went through enough hassle getting my cure, I don't want to go through that double life nonsense, not again."
Akane eyed him. "It's not fully a cure. Remember the pool?"
"Yeah, I almost forgot what having boobs was like."
"Lair," Akane teased.
Ranma shrugged. "It's still better than how it was before," he added mostly to himself. "It's worth the cost. It's worth it." He looked down at his empty plate.
"Ranma?" Akane asked.
"It'll be expensive being on our own. And if we've got a lot of books and pencils and... student stuff to get," he finished lamely before taking a sip.
"Said the man who doesn't exactly sound like scholarship material," Akane teased.
"You wound me," Ranma put his hands over his chest then placed one on Akane's across the table. "But joke all we want, money will be very important for our future."
She smiled but saw a distant, calculating look in his eyes. "That's why you're marrying me. So, you don't have to pay for a dojo."
"That does save a fortune on my future," Ranma gave an easy smile. "It means I'll only have to concern myself with making one, if I have to."
"Don't worry so much," Akane squeezed his hand. "Obsessing, over money is something Nabiki does."
Ranma winced. "Well, I could go back to being an irresponsible lunkhead, that'd give me more time for martial arts."
Akane laughed along with Ranma. Then she noticed Ranma stiffen a bit as his gaze slid to one side.
She squeezed his hand
The worry on his face, the mostly-hidden agony of some sort of decision vanished. It was replaced by a different kind of worry, an alert, tense, immediate one. He pushed back a little bit on his chair as he moved forward, ready to bound out of his seat.
"Who is it?" Akane quietly asked. She slowly looked behind Ranma, trying to spot some reflective surface to give her some view.
"Shampoo," Ranma sighed.
The Tendo girl frowned. "I don't think she's after me."
Ranma's eyes narrowed.
He sighed and stood up.
"There husband is!" Shampoo chirped as she strutted forward in a purple cheongsam with gold trim.
Ranma took in her outfit, hair and makeup. After a year at the Gold Oak Club, he could appreciate all that Shampoo put into her look and how she moved. She was an experienced waitress and, conventional, hostess. Add in her ability to flirt...
The more calculating, the more vain, the more avaricious, the more Kuga, part of him eyed the Amazon's figure and quickly came up with the increased profitability such a bosom would yield.
Ranma kept down the jealousy and set his jaw. With those... assets she... he would escape Nabiki's grasp so much faster. "Shampoo why are you here?"
Giving Akane a dismissive sniff, Shampoo turned to leer at the Saotome heir. "Husband had dinner with boring girl, maybe Husband want dessert with Shampoo?"
Tilting his head, Ranma chuckled. "Not bad." The Amazon would have made an excellent hostess club girl. Her accent and exotic looks alone would immediately separate her from the pack.
He glanced at Akane and laughed to cover up his distraction. "Hear that 'kane? She's offering to be something like a mistress. You do the real relationship work and she's the occasional dessert."
Akane's eye twitched but she stood and gave Shampoo a glassy smirk. "Really?"
"Shampoo said husband. Flat-chest girl cannot cook," Shampoo stomped a foot.
"That can be fixed," Ranma crossed his arms.
"Hey! My cooking is getting better!" Akane bristled.
"True," Ranma's expression flickered. "Shampoo, are you really going to cause a scene here?"
"Why not?" The Amazon glared.
Ranma gestured around the restaurant. "Do you really want to make a mess for other staff to cleanup? Think of the customers the waitstaff'll lose. Their bosses won't be happy."
Shampoo tilted her head. "Why husband care?"
He smiled at her. "So, you care?"
"Yeah, kinda sucks when crazy martial artists wreck your work," Akane dryly said.
The Amazon gave her a dismissive sniff and pressed up to Ranma.
Stepping to the side, he allowed only part of the voluptuous form brush against him. "Fine, let me settle the bill and we can take this outside."
"All of us," Akane added.
Shampoo rolled her eyes, but waited.
Ranma shook his head as he flagged down their waitress and, while apologizing, settled his and Akane's bill.
A discreetly slipped gratuity got a few questions answered and Ranma returned. "Maybe we should go out the back."
"Husband want privacy?" Shampoo smirked.
"You live over a restaurant," Ranma scoffed while Shampoo looked a bit bashful. They both knew there was little glamour around delivery entrances.
He gave his fiancee a tiny nod and Akane hung back while they went thought the restaurant.
Ranma slipped the group past a wait-station and past the kitchen doors and down a small hallway. The key was to walk with utter indifference. Instead of nervousness, slyness or even confident bravado, he walked with bored routine. He did not try to act like he owned the place, Ranma simply walked as if this was just the necessary path required to go about the day's work.
He paused to hold open a door to a low-ceilinged utilitarian service hallway. Ranma glanced up at the tiles with their studded sprinkler heads. Out away from the customers. they were more obvious.
Ranma bowed his head a little bit as the two young woman passed him.
"What's this all about?" he asked the Amazon.
"Great Grandmother want Shampoo to give her grandbabies."
"Raised where? I've kind of got some commitments keeping me in Japan," he nodded to Akane as his eyes darted up.
Shampoo's eyes went to the Tendo girl and she snorted. "Shampoo make husband much better babies than flat-chested tomboy."
"You'd think an Amazon would have higher goals than a mere brood mare," Akane stated, looking out the glass-inset door at the far end of the hallway. She turned away from the alleyway full of crates.
"Great Grandmother is a matriarch, and Shampoo warrior with future."
"See, she's got nepotism going for her too," Ranma offhandedly said.
Shampoo's expression grew perturbed. "Husband?"
Ranma adjusted his grey vest, and held his right hand palm-out. "I'm being polite, you did try to ruin my date with Akane, but so far we're all being civilized."
The Amazon gave a predatory smile. "Husband wrong, Shampoo can show him. Can make him." Lifting an arm, she took a step forward.
The outside door creaked as Akane opened it.
Turning back, Shampoo gave her a glare. "Tomboy don't try anything clever."
"Oh meddlesome Amazon, she's not," Ranma stepped forward and lifted his left arm. Kuga's double-burner butane lighter flicked and a pair of bright blue flames arched up. Right onto one of the sprinkler heads sticking out of the low ceiling.
Acting on instinct Shampoo rushed towards him.
The heat burst the sprinkler bulb and water poured out. The spray hit both cursed marital artists. Shampoo immediately shrank to a pink and purple hissing cat. Ranma gave a few seconds of smirking as the Musk magic deflected the water.
The cat's eyes widened and she hissed and closed in on the still fairly dry Saotome.
That's when Akane stepped forward and dropped an upturned plastic crate over the cat. She started to get soaked as well, her dark dress turning clingy. "Heck of a date."
Ranma nodded and felt the Musk magic give way as the water became too much and he shrank into a soaked redhead in an ill-fitting suit.
She sighed. At least only one sprinkler had gone off. The disturbance should be... minimized. "Let's find a way to shut off the water."
Ranma stared at her reflection. She was glad her deep mocha skin tone made it hard to tell if her face was flushed with nervousness. Taking a step back on spiked heels, she looked over the rest of the atrium. It was all done in brushed steel and polished chrome. Beyond the doors, she could see a waiting room made of much the same materials, with the addition of black leather couches and chairs.
She was not the only... well put-together woman waiting. Already inside the room was an older woman with a preserved sharp-edged face and raven-black hair across from a pair of twenty something girls with chestnut brown hair who might be twins. Or at least could be with a little bit of adjustment to the bridge of their noses, cheekbones, and a few other little things.
Ranma gave a confident poised smile and idly fluffed her golden hair. These women were not competition. Well, perhaps they were. She did not recognize any of them from the Golden Oak club. The near-twins might work at a rival club, or maybe had an acting career of some kind.
Meanwhile the dark-haired woman, who judging by the rings she wore and the other jewelry that rivaled Ranma's own Kuga-style, but far more understated and expensive, was likely a trophy wife in the need of long term maintenance
The blonde made a point of pulling out a cigarette to justify her hesitating by the door. Taking a puff on her Blue Dahlias, she looked inside. At least her outfit matched the furniture.
It had been a week since that date which ended in disaster, and even a couple shifts working as Kuga did not do much to calm her down.
Her dark blue eyes went to the receptionist, a perfectly poised woman in white with perfect, almost doll like, features and proportions, absently smiled at the waiting women before going back to her typing.
The blonde crushed the cigarette between manicured nails. She glanced at her high heels. She had this dream before, this nightmare. But in the dreams the little details, like the mild ache in the arches of her feet, were not there.
Though sometimes she enters the lobby and then walked out in the mountains of northern China,
Sometimes near those cursed pools that started this whole mess.
Sometimes outside the Amazon village
Other times... home.
She shook her head. She had to do this. She needed more. She needed to get out of her debt. And she needed to get that faster.
A manicured hand adorned in rings pulled the door open.
The trophy wife and the near twins gave the blonde a competitive evaluation, she sniffed and ignored them
The blonde swallowed and walked up to the very well-endowed, and naturally-so seeming receptionist.
Taken with her perfect face, the woman behind the desk served as rather good advertisement for her boss's skills.
"Hello, I am Raiko Kuga and I have an appointment with Doctor Gensai."
End Chapter 4
I'd like to thank the prereaders for their help in this project: J St C Patrick, DCG, Kevin Hammel, and Ellf
The next chapter is about half written so there shouldn't be quite so... pronounced of a gap between chapters. Also my Deviant Art page (Yeah... Eclipse has been a pain, but username is sunny-temple) has some art for this story