As the morning comes, I slowly wake up with a deep yawn. When I open my eyes, a charming sight of a cute face staring right into mine greets me. It seems that I’m not the first one to rise.
Sirgia smiles ever so faintly and moves closer to join our lips in a light kiss. I move my hand to stroke her cinnamon-brown hair as she rains little pecks over my mouth, enjoying her lovely show of affection.
Shortly after it ends, she snuggles her body and face closer to me and sighs blissfully.
“You must have been really lonely,” I speak gently as my fingers graze her smooth back.
“Just a little…”
“There’s no need to act strong. I promise we’ll go out together next time. Until then, you can always come to me with or without a reason. It’s my duty as your man to pamper you.”
“I will grow spoiled…”
“You are already spoiling me with your amazing work so it’s only natural I’ll do my best to spoil you in return, whatever way I can.”
She doesn’t reply with anything else and we just lie down in a close hug until Sirgia shuffles a little and flips over, turning herself into the little spoon. With a few more moves, she presses her back against my chest and guides my arm over her body, wrapping it and my hand around her slim waist.
For the next few minutes, I keep caressing her hair with my other hand, acting like the big spoon. I don’t need to see it to know there’s a faint smile on her lips. I enjoy sweet moments like these too. They feel precious.
Well… That is until someone’s small hand appears at a certain part of my body which is being very active in the mornings and starts to lightly caress it over the material of the underwear.
“Should I take care of this?”
I sigh into the nape of her neck. “And we just talked about me getting spoiled…”
A very quiet giggle reaches my ears. “Is it being spoiled if both of us want it?”
“I guess not.”
And therefore, we enjoy our time together for a little longer, followed by a quick dip in the bath before we head to the dining area. I gladly listen to more of Sirgia’s challenges and developments she went through in her artisanship while I have been out as we stroll through the corridors, side by side.
The meal times and their overall structure have been reworked during my absence. With our family’s non-working side getting more accustomed to the place, more of the girls showed interest in having some fun in the kitchen, increasing the number of those who can cook or prepare simple food.
The breakfast is now in the form of a standalone buffet which is prepared by those who wake up earlier than others and then set up in the dining area so that everyone can join in whenever they want.
They do keep some schedule up but it’s mostly there to serve as a basis and gets modified on the fly depending on who wants to have a turn. It looks like many things have been reorganized in the last two weeks.
So, when we arrive in the dining area, the preparations are already almost finished by some of the elves and tieflings working together. Astrea sits by one of the tables and calmly consumes her meal in silence while the other girls set up the remaining dishes.
We sit down together on the opposite side of the table and join the catgirl. During our meal, other residents keep coming in and doing the same. You can’t help but notice the nice and friendly atmosphere amongst everyone.
Even when the two of us finish, some other people still keep arriving in the dining area. It seems to be working well for this type of meal. Somehow, it feels like a hotel buffet back from Earth but it's the guests that prepare the food for themselves and each other. Such a weird feeling.
After we leave, I help Sirgia dress up and escort her to the forge. She then shows me a lot of the new tools and toys she managed to reproduce from my notes and also some of the simple artifacts or weapons she started creating as per my encouragement.
She keeps saying that they are nothing great but you can easily tell the equipment she made is of top quality in the range of the materials she had used during their creation. There are even some small accessories with enchants useful in everyday life and they in no way look any worse than those in most shops. She is really skilled.
Mafaris arrives in the workshop too, followed by Garrena, and Sirgia explains to me that they help her a lot with various things. The Orc woman might not be as knowledgeable about this stuff as the other two, but she enjoys pounding some metal in her free time.
The dwarf shyly pecks my cheek and urges me to go deal with my own responsibilities while they jump into theirs. I was planning on spending some more time with her, but seeing how quickly she loses herself in her work, I just smile at the sight and leave them be.
A quick scan of the mansion with my shared connection informs me that a certain individual has still not woken up, being one of the last yet to arrive at the dining hall for breakfast. I decide to pay them a little visit before dressing up and heading out. There’s still some time before our set hour with Elise.
Entering the room adjacent to mine, the usual sight enters my eyes. The windows are covered by the curtains and a beautiful half-naked girl lies chaotically entangled with the blanket on the bed, belly down.
I walk closer to it and sit down by its edge, which allows me to lean onto it in front of the sleeping beauty’s calm face. If I just sit here and wait, who knows for how much longer this overworker-number-two will sleep. So, I start poking the side of a certain squished marshmallow peeking out from under the covers with how its owner lies down.
And as a result, with an accompaniment of some grumbling, the sleeping princess—or rather the sleeping queen—lifts her charming eyelids and smiles beautifully after noticing my gaze.
“I should have figured out you’d be the one assaulting me in my sleep… You beast…”
I roll my eyes at her and Cornelia chuckles softly, leaning forward to peck my lips.
“What are you doing here? Didn’t you have a date planned for today?”
“It’s a husband’s duty to wake up his wife before she misses breakfast, isn’t it?”
A rosy tint envelops Cornelia’s cheeks almost in an instant. She’s just way too easy to tease. And to think it was her who brought forward the whole idea to the others.
She slowly raises herself and stretches, revealing her whole dazzling figure, especially those perfect perky breasts.
I move my eyes a little bit lower and shake my head. “You two really have a thing going on, huh?”
Cornelia stops and glances at me with a questioning look. I point at her chest and then at her bottom.
“You are sleeping topless even when I’m not around. You can’t convince me it’s not because of Sirgia.”
She quickly hides her breasts behind her arms like I haven’t already been staring at them for minutes and blushes.
“I-I have no idea what you are saying. She has nothing to do with how I sleep.”
I chuckle a little. “Sure, sure. Just don’t let it go too far.”
She sighs in defeat. “Don’t worry. This is just our small, friendly… competition. It also helps her be more open. You can’t say that she hasn’t grown less withdrawn since the time you took her in.”
“Yeah, that’s for sure. Thanks for helping her out.”
“Don’t even speak about it. It’s only natural after what she’s gone through. It’s a miracle she didn’t break back then. She is way stronger than she seems. It’s really weird considering how meekly she usually acts. But, from what I have understood from our little talks, she was like that back at home too. Not exactly the most social person.”
“That’s good to know. Well then. Shall I serve as your escort, my queen?” I smile and extend my hand to her.
“Hmph! I know you well! You just want to get a feel of me, you pervert!”
“What could you be talking about, my lady. This humble servant wouldn’t dare to hold such intentions towards you.”
She chuckles and steps off the bed. “Yeah, right. You better leave or you will be late and ruin your chances of capturing another woman for your harem. Ah~!”
I quickly approach Cornelia from behind and hug her, planting a quick peck on the nape of her neck.
“I need to make sure the current ones feel appreciated enough first. Don’t you think so, miss self-proclaimed first wife?”
As she turns around, I swiftly seal her lips for some more passionate exchange and grin at Cornelia afterwards.
“Am I wrong?”
She pouts at me and smacks my chest. “You are! Everyone agreed on it so it’s not self-proclaimed! Well, it’s not exactly like that so you are even more wrong! I just mediate and organize things among us! It’s not some position of power or influence! You know it’s better to have a leader, even if everyone shares the same privileges and responsibilities!”
I laugh openly as she keeps hitting my chest. She notices my grin, stops after she finishes speaking, and throws a punch into my gut, making me bend over from surprise, still chuckling.
“Damned bully! You and your teases! If you have the energy to joke then use it on the other girls! Now go and greet them properly before I freeze your dick so that no one else besides me can use it!”
She makes a catching motion with her hand enveloped by some whitish mist and I dodge it to the side, leaving a quick peck on her cheek before hastily running away. I can hear her chuckle for quite a good while through the closed door.
As Cornelia wishes, I walk away to see the other three of my wives before I go out.
On my way to where I can feel Elea’s presence, the jelly duo appears. While technically Safi and Emi aren’t part of the actual harem as their relationship with me is more in the form of willful subservience thanks to them accepting me as their master, they surely are special to me too.
At times it’s a little hard and confusing to understand them, but then I just have to remind myself that while they do look like humanoid girls and possess the memories of one of them each, they are still Slimes in the core of their being and the way they look at things is clearly a little different from us. A much simpler one at that.
Nevertheless, I make sure to show my appreciation for their devotion and pretty much unconditional support with a lot of mana-pats and kisses while we talk a little about their time when I was out. We throw some core rubs into that package too; they really love it when I nudge them with mana-filled fingers.
There’s only one other mana-filled thing—or rather a substance—they love more, but we don’t exactly have time for that right now. Perhaps a bit later.
I finally reach Elea’s room and knock on the door. Her ladylike voice invites me inside and I find her sitting by the desk with a pen in her hand, clearly thinking about something written in the notebook lying in front of her.
She’s wearing a casual white two-piece with her chocolate belly in full view. There’s also quite a bit of cleavage in the top part. Overall, it’s something that’s a common sight amongst Dark Elves. Their females just love clothing that shows a lot of their bodies, especially their stomach and back.
“What an unexpected visit. How can I help you, Master?”
“I did not come to you as your master. Or employer, to be more precise.”
She stands up with an elegant smile.
“Fufufu~ It looks like she is not planning to waste even a single day~”
“Oh, it’s nothing. Then, how can I help you, my dear husband~?”
I stare at her with a raised eyebrow for a while but she doesn’t relent and just keeps her exquisite smile up. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t really nothing. I’m already starting to make some assumptions.
“Well, I just wanted to see how you are doing.”
“To check if I’m not lacking your very affectionate attention~? Oh, how thoughtful~ Thank you, I’m doing fine. But, I wouldn’t say no to a little hug~ Or a kiss~”
I shake my head at her clearly flirtatious tone and step closer to wrap my arms around Elea’s waist. She doesn’t waste any time and quickly goes after my lips, not-so-stealthily roaming her hands all over my back, stopping for quite some time over my ass.
“Are you sure a kiss is enough? You seem to be a little starved. I do hope you ate your fill earlier,” I comment after our tongues finally part.
“Fufufu~ I appreciate the concern, but you have a meeting to attend, as far as I know.”
“Between some random girl I’ve met twice in the Adventurer’s Guild and my lovely princess-wife, who do you think would I rather ignore if I had to choose?”
Her smile grows wider and Elea dives for my lips again, not letting me escape that easily this time. I throw in a few good squeezes at her voluptuous bottom as a little payback and to settle the scores from her previous groping.
She finally pulls back when we almost run out of breath. “Haaaah… Let’s stop here for now… Or I won’t be able to hold back...”
“I was completely serious when I spoke earlier.”
“I know and I’m happy to hear that. Let’s have some fun together later~”
“Alright. As you wish. So, what was that you were doing before I came here?”
Elea steps away from my embrace and brings me to her desk, tapping at the notebook. Her breasts sway seductively as she leans over it. What a sight.
“Some of our elf and tiefling friends are looking very forward to the role-play service that you have mentioned before your short journey. Especially the dressing part. In here, I have written down some of their wishes and preferences they would love to explore. I’ve been thinking this over and consulting with Cornelia as she’s currently the only Human around. But naturally, an opinion of a man would be much more valuable~”
“Ooooh. Interesting. Can I take a look?”
She passes me the notebook with a nod and I start flipping pages. There are tens of notes with names hovering over each segment. As for the contents…
“Wants to be taken doggy-style in the attire of Shal’aran Ranger Corps while having both arms tied up behind her back and acting like a prideful elite, slowly falling into depravity and love for a good cock while under intense care of her handsome assailant…”
I raise my eyes from the paper and glance at Elea. She keeps her soft smile on her lips and prompts me with her eyes to read more.
“Would love to dress in the ceremonial clothes of the ritual dancers from the Offering to the True Moon festival and take part in an intense lovemaking session while having Starglint poured all over her body and licked off it, with a heavy emphasis on certain, sensitive areas...”
I again move my gaze up at her and look at the still unchanged expression of the Dark Elf lady in front of me. And again she urges me to continue. Swallowing my saliva, I get back to reading.
“If there’s an opportunity, it would be amazing if she could equip a full set of knight armour, preferably something easy to remove, and while acting clumsy and shy, have a good time—oh, this one seems pretty normal—while getting… all of her holes… ravaged... by numerous appendages… preferably tentacles… but dicks are fine too… Okay, that’s enough. And I’m pretty sure I know who the last person is even without checking the name. Do you also have a dream scenario like this?”
I chuckle nervously and hand her the notebook back. “These are quite specific so I’m pretty sure it would be hard to find random people to fill in the roles.”
“Everyone obviously knows that. These are just their dream scenarios, as you have called them. They would be plenty happy to have fun with less specific settings like just dressing up according to their partner’s wishes or assuming a different personality. And I’m sure there’s at least one person around whom they could ask for help with their most desired plays, isn’t that right? Fufufu~”
“I guess there is. Let me know when you’d be up to bring your dream scenario to life.”
Elea pulls me into her embrace again and hugs me closely. “I’m already living my dream life. But… There might be something I’d want to do… Unfortunately, the place required for that is out of our reach. Right now, at least…”
“Sounds like an adventure to me.”
“Oh, for sure, my dear husband. Let’s not lose ourselves in our dreams of the future though and focus on the present. There are still two people you have to visit before heading out, isn’t that right?”
I show her a wry smile. “Why do I have the feeling that I’ve been acting according to some grand scheme since the moment I returned?”
“You are just imagining things, fufufu~ Now go and show Neira some love. Maybe check if she’s not lacking any paint again.”
Elea pecks my lips and pushes me out of her room. I end up back in front of her door.
“Is there not a single damn detail these girls aren’t sharing with each other? Geez...”
I shake my head with a smile and head to the underground area.
The artistic elf is easily found in her own studio on the opposite side of the underground facility than the crafty dwarf’s forge. Before I even reach for the knob, the door swings open and Neira shows up on the other side, wearing a not-fully-buttoned-up white shirt with rolled sleeves and light brown hot pants.
She shows a gentle smile and grabs my wrist, pulling me inside. The very moment I step in, she locks the door.
“Uh oh. That’s usually not a good sign.”
Neira chuckles softly. “Don’t worry. I just prefer for others not to see.”
“You seemed pretty fine with the tieflings present.”
She shakes her head with an amused smile. “And they say it’s Dark Elves who have sex on their mind all the time.”
It’s my turn to chuckle as I slowly approach her and pull Neira into a hug. She wraps her arms around my neck and we exchange a few short kisses.
“So, what is the actual reason?” I ask.
I can feel her feelings of pride rising through our bond and she walks away without answering. While Neira rummages through a sea of frames and easels, I take in the sight of the workshop.
There are way more things in here now than two weeks ago. And there are also countless paintings of various sizes and in various states of completion on display this time. They are mostly portraits of everyone.
“It took me a bit, but I’ve finally been able to finish it.”
Hearing her voice, I move my eyes back to Neira’s position. She’s holding a vertical frame, covered by a sheet of material. It’s around two-thirds of my height or so. Quite a big one.
“Oh? Is it one of these you were not letting me have even a peek at?”
“This one is much better. If not for the painting above the reception, I’d be calling this one my magnum opus.”
“Now you’ve captured my attention. I assume you aren’t bringing that up just to tease me?”
She smiles again and sets the frame on a nice showcase, pretty much prepared just for it. Grabbing the material and glancing my way to create some tension, she pulls it to the side, finally revealing the masterpiece.
“Is every single painting of me going to be nude?”
“Why cover something perfect with unnecessary clothes?”
“Do you dislike it?”
“Of course not. It’s incredible. I just… didn’t expect it to be a piece focusing on... my ass… Literally…”
Yep. The thing in front of my eyes is my whole form portrayed from behind while I’m reenacting David. In full nude of course. I’m pretty sure it’s from that time I posed for her literally once before. Now I kind of remember her taking at least a dozen sketches of my butt back then.
But, besides me, there’s a beautiful garden and a pond in the background. So while I’m doing the David, she created a piece looking as if I’m heading into the pond for a pleasant dip, holding some material over my shoulder—most likely my supposed underwear—and looking back at the viewer with a soft smile. The whole composition is very beautiful and charming. If you can ignore my whole ass on display, that is.
“You don’t seem to like it too much…”
Getting pulled out of my pondering over the painting, I quickly move closer to Neira and wrap my arms around her waist in a warm hug, getting our faces close together.
“I never said that. It’s beautiful. The way everything merges together is amazing. I don’t remember if I said it before, but you can draw or paint me however you want. Don’t take my short moment of surprise as a sign of dissatisfaction, okay?”
She nods and pecks my lips, reciprocating the embrace.
“You really don’t feel uncomfortable?”
“Check that yourself if you don’t trust me,” I answer with a smile.
As I join our lips together, I try my best to enhance the connection between us, allowing Neira to get a read of my mind a little bit. It’s only fair anyway. I get to check on their emotions and mood almost all the time.
After a brief moment, it becomes impossible to continue this little show of affection with how widely Neira is smiling.
“Found your answer?”
“Was it a good one?”
“I’m glad then.”
We hug for a while longer and I help Neira cover the painting again.
“What are you going to do with it?”
“Can I hang it in my room?”
I chuckle. “Of course. I’m asking because I’m curious, not to restrict your options. You can do whatever you want with it.”
“Be sure to let me know if you need more help. With modelling… or your painting supplies…”
She smiles sweetly, catching my reference.
“Would the front be okay too?”
“Anything for you.”
“Then I’m looking very forward to it. And I’ll check my paints to see when we can schedule another resupply. Now, I believe there should be one more person waiting for you, right?”
“Why do I think it’s not Elise you are talking about?” I say as she pushes me outside of her workshop just like Elea did, with a quiet giggle. “Oh well. Time to find Astrea I guess.”
At first, used to her elusive way of being, I get worried that it will be hard to locate the reserved-yet-ferocious catgirl, but then I remember that we have finally bonded together shortly before my departure and find Astrea in one of the solo training rooms that were made during my absence as an alternative to the big arena.
When I enter the stone chamber, Astrea is jumping around while reenacting various moves and skills you would only see in martial arts movies or TV series due to the almost gravity-defying character of the blows and swipes of both her arms and legs.
I wait until she finishes the current set of techniques and gracefully lands on her feet. She then takes a deep breath and turns her head towards me, scanning my figure with her curious eyes as her tail dances in a mesmerizing, wavy motion.
“Yo. Am I interrupting you?”
She suddenly shortens the distance between us in just a few nimble steps, arriving in front of me in a flash and gazing up at my face with her usual, seemingly cold expression.
Unable to resist her cuteness, I plop my hand on her head and start brushing through her hair, scratching around her adorable, silver ears from time to time. She closes her eyes while her expression doesn’t really change. The quiet but noticeable purring confirms that she is very much enjoying this though.
“These were some fascinating and refined moves.”
“After we mated, I felt stronger, so I started training more. I can’t be a dead weight to you when we go to rescue my friends.”
I chuckle a little. “I’m pretty sure I would be the dead weight in this scenario. You have much more experience than me. All that I have is a slightly stronger body and a few useful skills. You would beat the shit out of me in a real fight.”
“I fought with Garrena. It was tough. You beat her so you can beat me.”
“I beat her? The last thing I remember from our bout is getting flung back into the wall with a force strong enough to turn a Human into a bloody stain, hahaha. I think she greatly exaggerated that fight.”
To not just stand there on the edge of the room, I grab Astrea’s hand and walk to the nearby wall, sitting down with my back to it in a cross-legged position. Then, I smile at her and pat my lap. She quickly jumps in and fits herself in the space, rubbing the top of her head into my chin and neck.
“How is it going?” I ask.
“I checked a few information points and found marks meaning that the next community meeting is going to happen in five days. Is it okay?”
“Yes, it should be fine. Are we forced to go with just the two of us or can we take someone else?”
“It will be easier to move through the canals with fewer people but I don’t mind one or two more. I think it would be better if you could defeat the leader in a one-on-one fight though.”
“Now, that would be quite risky. Why?”
“It would mean that you are the strongest and they would have to listen to your demands as you would be considered the new alpha of the group. They are not good people but most Beastkin still place pride on the first spot.”
“Interesting. Well, we will see about it. Is the current alpha strong?”
Astrea nods while I still pet her ears. “He is a pureblood canine Beastkin, a Crimson Wolf. Their tribe is usually very strong and fast. I challenged him many times so that he would focus his attention on me instead of my weaker friends. I couldn’t beat him… Not even once… Many scars I have are from him. Most are from the punishment after the fight though. He is very rough with girls. More than they would like their partners to be. That’s why I kept him away from—”
“Alright, that’s enough. I already have enough reasons to lob his head off.”
She tilts her head and glances up at me curiously. I gently stroke her cheek.
“I’m really surrounded by unimaginably strong girls…”
She tilts her head even more. “But I’m not strong.”
“Trust me, anyone who is willing to sacrifice themselves for others is an incredibly strong person. And from what I just heard, you’ve been doing exactly that for quite some time and for quite some people. And you are still worried about these people now that you are not there to help them anymore, right?”
She nods at me after a while. I stare at her for a moment, pondering over something.
“Say. Wouldn’t you rather take your own revenge on him?”
“I can’t. That’s why I asked you—”
“That was before. You said it yourself, that you felt stronger. I can make you even stronger than that. If that’s something you want, I can do everything I can to boost you up as much as possible in these five days. Although, that would most likely require quite a lot of sex. The choice is yours. I’ll do whatever you want.”
Astrea falls silent for a moment, most likely thinking about my suggestion. Just a few moments later, I feel a slight mental nudge. Not being exactly sure what it’s been about, I kind of instinctively pull out my menu. The sight of a very familiar window greets me.
|Astrea - Feline Beastkin|
(Mates for Life)
Oh… It looks like our Bond Level jumped up. And the Type switched to Deep Adoration. Huh. Was it what I said earlier? I think it’s the first time it rose like this, in the middle of conversation rather than overnight.
Astrea’s movement in my lap brings me out of my thoughts and I watch her shuffle until we end up sitting face to face in a lotus position. She locks her eyes with mine.
“Let’s do that. I don’t mind mating to get stronger. Actually… I would like to mate with you some more…”
She leans in and starts carefully licking my neck, making me giggle a little. I resume scratching behind her ears while getting caressed by her too.
“Alright. I’m happy to oblige. And if you won’t feel like you got strong enough before we depart, I will naturally still fight in your place if push comes to shove. Looks like my schedule will be quite packed for this week.”
We stay together for a little longer. It’s weirdly pleasant to feel her slightly ticklish tongue on the skin of my neck. But, I have arrangements for today and I’ve already almost run out of time.
Astrea doesn’t protest and lets me stand up after getting off me. I promise her to start our training later after closing and she accompanies me up, back to the main parts of the mansion, taking a turn for the baths when we reach them.
Checking the time, I quickly dress up in my suit, take a few things that could prove useful into my ring and move out shortly after.
Ailish materializes herself shortly before I reach the closed gates.
“May I join you for a walk, Master?”
“Hmmm… You don’t have your uniform yet so—”
She surrounds herself with the familiar black mist and soon, her body gets wrapped up in the maid dress everyone else wears. She even recreated the collar with the pendant. Additionally, her wings and horns disappeared, making her look like your usual sex-bomb of a redhead. Okay, minus the light violet skin, hahaha.
“I guess it’s fine. I would like to meet Elise alone though.”
And so, we walk together through the capital side by side. Ailish often comments on the architecture or the style of clothing people use, comparing it to the Human towns and cities she had seen back before falling asleep. It’s fun listening to her pointing out the small differences.
We quickly reach the spot at which I’m supposed to meet Elise and the eye-catching violet-skinned beauty disappears from everyone’s sight, tactically walking into an alley before turning into mist. I feel like letting her roam through the city in our uniform would net us quite some attention. Ailish giggles at my open thought and I begin looking for a free table with a smile.
Around fifteen minutes pass before I spot a familiar haircut amongst the crowd, clearly heading my way. Elise is wearing a very charming outfit, giving nice, summer vibes while still having the appearance of something you would wear for a professional meeting.
I stand up when she reaches the table and extend my hand with a nice smile. She shakes it while moving a lock of hair behind her ear.
“Hi… I didn’t expect to see you in something so… formal… I’m getting nervous, hahaha.”
“Don’t be. You can trust me or not but it’s something I wear pretty much all the time. That includes work too, but it’s not as serious as you would imagine.”
“Alright. You just rarely see adventurers dress this nicely.”
“How could I show up for a date with a cute girl in these rough clothes you’ve seen me register in?”
Elise blushes ever so slightly and a faint smile paints her lips. Nodding at her, I gesture at the table and we both sit down. I’ve already instructed the waiter to come here when the second person arrives and he does so immediately. I missed showing off my Ruby Card.
“Order whatever you like,” I say while passing her the menu.
“Don’t worry, I will pick something… cheap…" She pauses for a moment. "Ummmm… Why are the prices scratched off?”
“Because I asked for it. You can now pick without getting influenced by them. Feel free to order whatever you like, as I said. It’s on me.”
She seems to be a little flustered by the unusual treatment. I guess blank cards aren’t that popular in this world’s restaurants. Too bad. It’s a very fun practice.
After a few more convincing words, Elise finally orders a few desert-type items and so do I. The waiter bows respectfully and swiftly walks away. She glances at me with a curious gaze.
“You told me not to be nervous but with every passing second I’m starting to think that you are some kind of a hidden bigshot, I, for some reason, caught the eye of, and you are trying to lure me in with nice things at first but then revealing that it doesn’t even matter what I say in the end as you wouldn’t take no as an answer.”
I raise my brow at her. “That’s… quite specific. Speaking from experience?”
“I guess it looks a bit weird. I apologize. Where I’m from, it’s a common practice. I’m trying to scout a good employee so it’s only natural I show off my good side. And well, it’s also only natural to go this far for a date with such a nice girl. But, if I’m making you uncomfortable, I will stop immediately.”
She starts waving her hands at me. “No, no, no! It’s great! I’m sorry for acting all suspicious!”
“Don’t be. It’s good to be cautious. And from what I understand, you do have a reason for that. Being a popular girl must be tough.”
“Hahaha. Sometimes. You get used to countless men hitting on you all the time though. It’s just always the rich-looking ones that seem to have a problem.”
“I can imagine that. Anyway, to reassure you a little, you do have every possible choice here. You can even stand up, say that you never want me to show myself in front of you again, and leave. And I will make sure you will not have to deal with me ever again. The same goes for my offer. You can decline at any point during our discussion. I’m sure that many people wouldn’t be exactly happy to work in this particular environment. Even if you accept to work for me, you can quit at any given moment, no reason needed.”
“Woah. That sounds quite amazing already. And... peculiar. But if people there are treated even half as good as what you have shown me then that would be a dream job. So, what is it about?”
I smile at her and pull out a very characteristic business card, throwing it onto the table. While Elise picks it up, I calmly sip on my tea, waiting for her reaction.