The inside of the club was, well. I don’t think you really want to hear about what was going on, nor do I really want to tell you. Suffice to say that I saw parts of people I could do without seeing ever again, and I saw some things I wouldn’t mind seeing on a regular basis.
Around midnight, Predator pulled me into her lap, arms wrapped around my waist. I might have objected if we’d been in any typical bar, but her sliding a hand into my shirt to rest on my bare stomach was tame in a place like this.
“My guy is leaving soon,” she whispered into my ear, “we’ll be leaving when he does.”
I nodded, and relaxed back into her, inhaling her scent. I didn’t know which one was ‘my guy’, and I can’t say I was fussed about it. It was her job, after all, I was just there to give her cover.
Not long after, she gently pushed me forward, and we stood, stretching casually. I downed my drink, we both threw on our coats, and we left.
Predator led me to stand next to a streetlight outside the club, a place I assumed would let her get a good picture of the guy she was following. She leaned into my space, getting me up against the streetlight. We made out a little. We had to keep it light because of public decency, and so she wouldn’t miss her mark coming out of the club, but we got into it enough that I was panting slightly by the time she turned back to the door.
I didn’t see much of the guy; by the time I’d gotten my wits about me, Predator had already taken the picture and pocketed her phone.
“C’mon,” she smirked, “let’s get you home.”
A couple of days later, she handed me an envelope, saying it was my part of the pay for the swinger’s club job. It was… more than I made in a month at my paycheck job. She smirked when I said that out loud, and asked if I was up for another.
We did a couple more, over the next couple months. I never saw any of the people she was following or taking pictures of, other than a silhouette, maybe a glimpse of hair. As far as I was concerned – as far as I am concerned – I was just out on a date with my girlfriend, one that she happened to be able to put down as a work expense.
She mentioned something about Flare having out-of-town business when I asked why she was taking me instead of him–
No. You know what? I’m done talking to you. I’m going to leave, and you’re going to let me.
The harsh light of the room throws all of the occupants’ features into stark relief, the four of them motionless as silence falls. The speaker, a dark-haired young woman with cafe au lait skin and fierce brown eyes, glares balefully at the woman standing on the other side of the table. Neither the recipient of the glare nor the man sitting in front of her seem affected, though the white-clad young man standing behind the speaker shifts from one foot to the other.
“You’re not in a position to make demands, Aiyana,” the older woman says, after a few seconds of silence. Her blonde hair is cut in a severe bob, her police uniform impeccable. The tag she wears on the breast of her uniform shirt names her “Gonzales”, though the man sitting at the table calls her Maria.
“Neither are you,” Aiyana counters, leaning back in her chair. “No one read me my rights when I came in, you won’t get me a lawyer, and I haven’t actually been charged with anything. If you won’t go by the law, why should I? I can leave any time I want, and I really think I want to, right about now.”
Gonzales scoffs. “We know about your only little trick, and we’ve prepared for it.”
“No,” Aiyana shakes her head, “you just think you know, just think you’re prepared. Don’t you think it’s a little weird that I never mentioned actually doing anything with my abilities?” She continues to glare as a hint of discomfort enters Gonzales’ face. “I get a superpower, and you really thought I wasn’t going to mess around with it, see if maybe I could do other stuff?”
Her eyes flick to the other officer, whose currently-obscured nametag says “Jones”. He hasn’t said much of anything during the time she’s been speaking, but something tells her he’s the one to look out for. His bored expression and slightly-slumped posture argue otherwise, but she’s not convinced he’s as out of it as his body language says he is.
“You think ‘codename Smoke’-” Aiyana jerks her head backward, at the man standing silently behind her. “-is enough to stop me from stepping through glass whenever I want, and you’re probably right. Powers aside, he could just tackle me and stop me from touching any mirror in the station. Jones could, too. I’m small, and not very strong.”
She leans forward, eyes harsh on Gonzales’. “But are you really going to take the chance that I can’t do anything except step through a mirror?” Aiyana raises her chin. “Because if you’re wrong, this could get really ugly, really fast.”
She gives her words a few seconds to sink in, then says, calmly, “so I’ll say it one more time: you can let me out, or I can let myself out.”