I found a
set of house slippers that fit me – I needed extra large – and continued on to
meet the greeter. Heidi now had her black hair cut short, in what I would have
called a ‘pixie’ cut, in my Past. I now associated it with recovering oiled
girls. Not that Heidi was an oiled girl. She was still waif-thin, but her
bright amber eyes showed no signs of diminishment.
to the Windmill House, master!” Heidi smiled and gestured grandly. Her unmarked
ears no longer held earrings, and she showed no sign of the poison that had
formerly burned holes in her spirit. The antidote had done its work.
four different rooms,” she continued, “with all sorts of entertainments.
There’s the Water Room, with gaming tables and liquid refreshments. Or the
Earth Room, if you have an appetite for more substantial fare. The Room of Air
has music and dancing, and the Room of Fire has plenty of quiet corners for comfortable
grinning back at her. She looked good now, as an unpoisoned
Islander girl. Her vest of soft leather drew attention to her breasts by
half-concealing them, and beyond that she wore nothing but a Windmill House
collar and a big smile. “Sounds combinatorial,” I said.
smile turned into an urchin grin. “That’s right master,” she confided, “Master Mamay put me to work right away. He said that the greeter
has to pretend to be an oiled girl for the guests, but it’s better if she
actually isn’t one. The real oiled girls are in the club rooms.”
faded back into her greeter’s smile. “There are girls in all four rooms,
master, to help with your entertainment.” She giggled. “Or you could ask to
have me entertain you. You’d have to ask Master Mamay
for the key, though.” A short kick drew attention to the metal cuffs on her
ankles, separated by a bit over a foot of chain – and with a heavier chain
running from her left ankle to a staple set in the floor. “But there’s no extra
charge for that, beyond the club membership. That’s eleven links for a day
membership, which you can pay to sour-face.” She nodded to an arbi, standing behind a counter to the side. “And if you
wish for a longer term membership, you’ll have to speak with Master Mamay again.”
right.” I dug into my sash for the eleven silver links and set them on the
counter. The arbi swept them into a lock-box and
handed me a membership token in exchange. “All right,” I repeated, reaching
into my sash again. “I can think of one way you can entertain me without my
asking for the key.” I locked her wrists behind her with my cuffs, and kissed
her, listening with my Ear as I did so. It worked: As a member of the club, if
only for the day, I had a sliver of ownership over Heidi.
in another way as well: She kissed back. I could hear her combined frustration
and pleasure at her inability to put her arms around me. More importantly, I didn’t hear any of the unpleasantness that
the fire poison produced in pierced girls. If it weren’t for her hair, I could
imagine a private buyer quickly snapping her up. I could even feel a slight
temptation to purchase her myself, as an impulse buy.
master,” she whispered. “The hair will grow back. And it’s better this way.
This is fun! Pretending to be an oiled girl I mean, master.”
back, smiling again. “I think I will see Mamay van Koz. However, I have a question for you first: Have you
seen Peter come in?”
faded to a thoughtful expression. “I don’t think so master. There was a man who
looked just like him, about an hour ago, but he didn’t recognize me, and… he
didn’t act like Lord Peter. So I didn’t think it was him. But you can go see
for yourself, master. He hasn’t yet come out again.”