Lois looked at the double shot of bourbon in her glass, and snarled at herself for not buying more tequila on her way home. Bourbon wasn’t her drink of choice. It was strangely sweet without the astringent quality of decent fermented cactus juice.
No matter. She tossed it back anyway. She poured a second one and repeated the process.
The TV was on, tuned in to CNN, as usual. Lois preferred to know what the prevailing opinions were before they surprised her the next day. Thali Ramjan, that obnoxious bitch—the one she was planning to ruin—was going on about Al Fatwa and the instability in the Middle East as though she knew things that Lois didn’t.
Lois snorted into her third bourbon. The televised, teal-scarf-wearing, media whore, would burn just as soon as she stepped out of line.
The highball glass flew out of her hand and landed on the carpet near the bookshelves in Lois’ living room. She looked up, angry, and confused, into the jewel-colored eyes of Tol Agarutha.
“Drowning your sorrows in alcohol?” He purred at her.
“You goat-fucking, son of a bitch! Do you know how much trouble you’ve caused me?”
He stepped back, and lowered himself into the rocking chair beside the television. Every motion was elegant, seductive, and tuned to shred the better sense of any heterosexual woman. When he crossed his legs and smiled at her, things clenched in Lois’s loins.
“I gave you a reminder, Lois. That little jaunt your President and I took was an annoyance… a pimple… in comparison to what I will do if you break your word to me.”
She summoned up every molecule of courage—even bravado—and squinted her eyes into his brilliance. Nothing mattered more than the fairy bastard thinking she was sincere… otherwise, her plans wouldn’t stand a chance of succeeding.
“We will meet on Friday, at the old quarry, and we will zero-out our little exchange. That’s what we’ve agreed on.” She enunciated it very carefully.
He cocked his head at her, as if to say, “Bitch, please!”
Lois could tell he wasn’t convinced; his body language was absolutely clear on that issue. It was equally apparent that he felt in control, and couldn’t imagine the possibility that he wouldn’t get what he wanted.
It turned her on.
It pissed her off, and made her angry enough to piss nails… especially since he was right. She was planning to break the agreement, and keep the Rose Thorn Ring for herself. He probably knew that from the beginning.
You don’t use something to put someone in power, and then give it up. You hoard your tools and advantages. Defend them. Then, if you have to, you destroy anyone who gets in your way.