Tsukiko’s sister had once given her advice regarding liking boys. She’d said no straight boy, no matter who he was, would be able to ignore a pretty girl in a revealing top. Of course, her sister had been fairly overweight and took most of her romantic cues from cheap seaport romances with titles like “The Ace of Midnight” or “Sins Of the Heart.”
But it was worth a shot. Ever since she had met Redcloak, Tsukiko’s tops had been getting progressively less shirt-like, and quite decidedly more underwear-like. She was at the end of her wits. It had never exactly been difficult to get a corpse to sleep with you, but still-living carbon-based life forms were proving difficult. If the shirt she was wearing today didn’t catch his attention, then clearly Xykon was right about Jirix and Reddy being an item.
Redcloak was very distracted that day. His heart hadn’t been in the cold-blooded torture, and he’d had to let Jirix take over. And watching your prisoners being tortured by your underlings just didn’t bring the same amount of emotional fulfillment and revenge on humans.
And speaking of humans, Tsukiko had chosen to wear a shirt that was just on this side of decency. It was a shirt in principle, really, not in practice. It was her fault he couldn’t focus. And he could tell she was taking tremendous satisfaction watching him watch her out of the corner of his eye.
As it was, he’d have to remind her of the “Appropriate Dress For the Work Day” section of the employees’ handbook. Which, given her petulance, would be about as effective as politely asking Xykon to be a little nicer.
It was going to be a long day.
“Tsukiko! I need a word with you before you leave!”
Grinning like the Cheshire Cat, Tsukiko turned. “Yes?” she asked, innocently.
“Don’t play stupid with me, Tsukiko. You know why we’re having this conversation.”
“I can’t imagine why, Reddy,” she said, still grinning.
“Because of your shirt. And don’t call me Reddy.”
Her grin got even bigger, somehow. “Do you like it?” she asked suggestively.
“No.” Her face fell a little. “It may have escaped your notice, but this is a job. You are paid to work here. This is a respectable evil empire, and as of late, your clothing has simply not been workplace appropriate. If you cannot dress in a manner that reflects the values of this corporation, you may stay home until you can.”
“Did you get that from the employee handbook?”
“Word-for-word. It’s just as well, I wrote it.”
She sighed in an overly dramatic fashion. “I guess Xykon was right.”
“He said you and Jirix are a couple.”
If Redcloak had been drinking something, he would have done a spittake. “What?”
Tsukiko gave him a look of incredulity. “You’re pretty oblivious, aren’t you?”
“No I’m not! I’m way older than I look, Tsukiko, I think I know more than you.”
She sighed again. “You just don’t get it, do you?”
She answered by way of a kiss. All of his eloquence and ability to speak were stripped away. “..Uh…duhhhhhh.”
She giggled. “You’re so cute when you’re stunned speechless.” She kissed him again on the nose, and left Redcloak standing in the middle of the room, slack-jawed and with his mind reeling.