Hazardous Goods (Arcane Transport) (10 page)

BOOK: Hazardous Goods (Arcane Transport)
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I was heading back to the office when my personal cell went off. A number I didn’t recognize.

“Pizza Weasel.”

“Hello?”

“Today’s special is deep fried weasel, with your selection of dipping sauce.”

“Uh, may I speak to Donnie, please.”

I can’t help it. I’m an idiot.

“You’re talking to him.”

“Oh! Donnie, it’s Amy Park.”

“Hey. Sorry to be a goof.”

“No problem. Jin told me of your situation.”

“Yeah, listen, I don’t want to impose.”

“No, no. I was going to say – do you have time for a coffee after work? I’m on the clock today, but I can take a few minutes, say around six? We can talk about it, see if I can help out in any way.”

Seemed more than reasonable, so we made plans to get together at a coffee shop she knew in Cabbagetown.

I had only met Amy Park once, five years ago. I couldn’t remember what she looked like, other than that she was attractive. Hopefully she would be the only Asian woman in the coffee shop. As it was, I got lucky.

Then again, how I forgot what Amy Park looked like is a complete mystery to me, and frankly a bit worrying.

Tall, at most an inch shorter than me, she wore an auburn suede jacket over a black blouse and slacks. No heels. Thick, midnight black hair, pulled back into a pony tail. Slim, with skin the color and texture of caramel.

I love caramel.

“Donnie?”

“Hey Amy.”

We sat in comfy chairs nestled in a corner of the shop. The place smelled great – roast beans with a hint of sweet pastries. She reminded me of the first time we had met, at a party at her cousin’s house, and I was secretly delighted I had made a lasting and not negative impression.

“So Jin was saying you were mugged?”

“Yeah, well—,” I shrugged, a bit embarrassed and a little concerned about speaking to a police officer, on the record or off.

“Listen, it’s OK. He mentioned you were leery of filing a report. Why don’t you tell me about it, and maybe I can come up with some suggestions for you.”

So I told her. About Clay and Niki, the gun, the package, and my discovery that Niki was somehow tied into Maxim Legenko. But not about the magic. I was still getting my own head around that.

“Really? Legenko?” That got her attention.

“I wouldn’t have believed it either, but I’m positive it’s him. I even have a picture.” I passed her a copy of the article and photo from the Daily Times. I had circled Niki’s face in pen.

“This him?”

“Absolutely.”

“You sure? You must have been pretty startled on the elevator. Memory is a funny thing.”

Yeah, I thought of that. Even wondered whether I made up the connection in my mind. But when I saw him on TV, during coverage of the trial, he was walking with Legenko, and I recognized the whole package. Not just his looks, but his clothes and the way he walked.

“I don’t think so. This guy’s pretty distinctive.”

“Hm.” She studied the photo. “You know, I think I’ve
seen
this guy before. Big guy, right? Six five or so?”

“Yeah.”

“I
know
I’ve seen him somewhere around town. One of the clubs, maybe. Listen, I’m going to check if he’s got a record. Do you mind if I keep this?”

“Go ahead. I know what he looks like.”

“I may also call the Ruscan Taskforce, see if he has come up in their investigation.”

“That would be great.”

“No problem. But listen – you’ve got to be careful. Guys like this don’t fool around.”

It was nice of her to care. Between her and Kara, I had two attractive women being nice to me on a daily basis, which left me very suspicious. Anyone who knows us realizes the Elder brothers never have good luck with women. It’s a basic law of nature.

My luck couldn’t last.

C
HAPTER
9

Monday of Week Two began with an incident I will treasure for the remainder of my days. Unfortunately, it also put a damper on my erotic fantasy life, at least as it involved Amy, Kara, me and a tub full of strawberry jam. Sticky but sweet.

I had arrived early again, having resolved to clean the parcel racks before heading out in the morning. Not the biggest challenge, but I was beginning to feel proprietarial about the office. I also felt like I had to get to know every nook and cranny of the place. Eventually I could let others just do their jobs, but this was a great chance for me to delve through the innards without pissing anyone off.

One at a time I removed the parcels from each rack, wiped the metal bars clean with a rag, then replacing the parcels. I was replacing the items for Airport and Area when I happened to knock a small box off the edge of the rack.

I cringed and dove to grab the box. No luck.

“Shit.”

The box had fallen on its side between two columns of racks. I had to lie down and extend to my fullest to reach the damned thing, physical exertion which I did not appreciate this early in the day. But moments later I had recovered the item. Unfortunately, it seemed to be leaking, and a quick glance confirmed that there was also a small stain on the floor.

It took me a good five minutes to clean the liquid off the rack, the box and the floor, most of it spent lying stretched out on my side, squirming to reach the damned puddle at the bottom. Once I was finished, I managed to locate a plastic zipper bag for the package, wiped off the guck I had managed to get on my hand and wrist, and headed out front to look for Kara.

She was chatting with Jamar in the reception area, the two of them standing and sipping coffee.

“Hi guys.”

“Hey man.”

“Hi Donnie.”

Jamar looked his usual self this morning. Maybe the curse on his ring was wearing off or something. Kara, on the other hand – I don’t know whether she was wearing more mascara or had changed her eyeliner, but she was looking even hotter than usual. Her eyes had a definite ‘come hither and thou shall have a glorious time’ look about them. I paused, waiting for her to speak, but she just stared at me.

“Um. Can you check with a customer for me? I knocked over this package, and something leaked through the wrapping.”

“Sure.” I held out the package, but she put her coffee down and stepped towards me, closing the gap between us to paper thin.

I have to say, standing a few inches away from a hot babe is not something I should complain about. God knows it seldom happens to me. But we Elders have our issues with personal space, and Kara had invaded mine. I tried to lean back without causing any offense, but found myself bumping into the reception desk.

“Here you go.”

She ignored the package in my hand, now trapped between us. I could feel a hot flush rising up the back of my neck and my ears.

“Kara?”

“You are
so hot
.”

I snorted and looked to Jamar. I will admit to being gullible, but the quizzical look on his face suggested he was not in on the joke. So I looked back to Kara.

Problem was, I could feel the heat coming off of her. Her cheeks were red, eyes wild, nostrils flared, lips engorged. Jesus. I pressed back into the reception counter, now worried that she would notice how my slacks were beginning to bulge below the waist. However, that was the last thing I needed to worry about.

One moment we were frozen, inches from one another. The next, she launched herself at me, arms and legs wrapped around my hips and shoulders (arms to shoulders, legs to hips –
pervert
). And her
lips
. Those sweet, sweet lips.

I admit it. For what seemed like an eternity, I just went with it. My whole being was focused on her lips, pressed to mine, then her tongue thrusting into my mouth. I made a tentative move with my own tongue, and she vacuumed it into her warm mouth. I groaned in pleasure and that seemed to ramp it up even more. Now her hips were thrusting against me, and I could feel myself responding. It took every ounce of decency in me not to throw her onto the reception desk and start pulling off clothes.

Finally we both needed to breath and our mouths separated, just for a moment. And in that few seconds, the sheer lust which had overwhelmed me was beaten back just enough for me to act.

“Hang on, hang on. I mean—”

She was on me again, lips on mine, tongue exploring. And she smelled
so good
. Florals, vanilla, and a primal musk. Despite myself, I pushed her shoulders back, leaving her latched onto my hips and trying to pull herself forward with her arms. Her hair was feral, blond strands curling down to her lips.

“Kara?”

Her eyes were glowing embers.

“Babe?”

I looked around us, desperate to find a way out of this paradox of pleasure and pain.

“Jamar!”

“Dude.” He was halfway out the door, having concluded that spectators were not welcome.

“Get her off of me.”


What
?” He looked at me as though I had grown a third eye.

“I know, I know.” I swear I sobbed. “Please.”

He didn’t say anything, but I think he knew. Something was wrong about this. So very, very right. And yet wrong.

“Kara? Girl?” When she ignored him, he locked his arms around her waist from behind and pulled, with me pushing on her shoulders. I had a very bad feeling someone was going to walk in on us and conclude that the premises were being used for a low budget porn flick. It took a fair amount of work, but he pried her off of me and got her seated in one of the reception chairs.

“Kara? Babe, what are you doing?” Jamar held her down in the chair, trying to make eye contact with her. Her hair had a wild, post-coital look that won hands-down over any sleek sophisticated hairdo I’ve ever seen. I remained at the reception desk, tucking in my shirt and trying to rearrange the lap of my slacks.


Jamar
.”

“Kara. You OK, girl?”


Let go of me
.”

He glanced back at me and I shrugged. What the hell was going on?

“I’ll let go of you if you promise to be a good girl.”


I don’t want to be a good girl
.”

Oh my God.

“Babe?”

“Please, Jamar. I
need
him.”

The way she said that, I almost shoved Jamar out of the way and jumped her.

“What are you talking about, girl?”

“Why don’t I just get a few things done in the backroom?” I turned to go, and the screaming began.

“No! Donnie, I need you. I NEED YOU!”


Run!
” I swear, that’s what he said. It was like Jamar was the guy in the horror movie that decided to sacrifice himself to save his friends. Only this monster was five three, blond, and in heat.

I ran.

She had been talking dirty to me for fifteen minutes before Jamar was able to get through to Professor Irving.

I was trapped, sitting with my back against the inside of the door to the Lost and Found Room, listening to a smoking hot woman tell me what she was going to do to me if I would just
open that door
. It was like she had snuck into every private fantasy I had ever had, and was now offering to make them real, describing every act in explicit, excruciating detail. I was shaking like a heroin addict watching his last fix go down the toilet.

“Jamar!”

“I got it!”

“— and then I’m going to pour butterscotch syrup all over your—.”

“Got what?
What
?”

“He says there’s an incense stick in there with you. Third shelf from the floor, left side.”

I stood, and the door shook as Kara threw her shoulder into it.

“Which one?”

“Blue, with a white wax tip.”

OK. Got it.

“Slip it under the door to me.”

“— I can wear a uniform, anything you want. I can put on a nurse’s outfit, with the—.”

I was feeling lightheaded. I swear I thought I would pass out. It was as though my primitive brain was scrabbling to override the slim thread of decency that was holding me together. I dropped to my knees and slid the candle under the door to Jamar.

“Hang on, big guy.”

“— just want to run my tongue all over—.”

I heard a match strike, and Jamar’s calm voice.

“Breath this, babe. Take a deep breath.”

“I don’t want to breathe your stupid—.” Kara’s voice petered out.

“Jamar?”

I listened for a sound, anything that might indicate what was going on.

“Kara?”

I could hear her voice. A whisper. “What —? What was —?
Oh
.”

I opened the door and peered around the corner just in time to see her turn and sprint to the front of the shop, hands to her face and tears streaming down her cheeks.

If it wasn’t clear to me earlier, it was clear to me at that moment. God has every intention of ensuring that the Elder family name comes to an end with Ted and me. No wonder my mother always seems so unhappy.

I suppose I could at least be thankful that it was Maggie’s day in the office. In her fifties, Maggie had a son who was nearly as old as Kara, and a daughter just a few years younger. She also had a kind face and a soothing voice.

Jamar was kind enough to bring her up to speed, so a few minutes later she was able to talk Kara out of the washroom and calm her down. I figured staying out of the way was a priority, so I used the time to stock the van, all the while mulling over what had just happened.

“You OK?”

I turned, and Jamar had a strange look on his face. Half smile, half concern.

“Yeah. I mean, it’s not like I could complain, is it?”

We both chuckled softly, trying to avoid Kara hearing anything.

“Is she OK?”

“She’s embarrassed. I think she’s scared you’re going to fire her.”

“What? I’ll go talk to her. It wasn’t her fault. It was the potion.” That was one thing we had figured out. The liquid I had spilled by the racks was some sort of a “love potion”. At least that’s what Professor Irving told Jamar. When things quieted down and I had a chance to check the package it would all start to make sense. Destination: Hidden Pleasures.

“Yeah, well—,” he looked away, and I sensed he wasn’t telling me something.

BOOK: Hazardous Goods (Arcane Transport)
2.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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