Red Lipstick

Hey, guys, just a quick announcement before we get to the story today. This will be the last scheduled short story for now. I’ve got a ton of huge projects and I find that I have less and less time to commit to short and flash fiction. Honestly, I’d rather give you something awesome once in awhile than something sub par every week.

Will I still post on Wednesdays? Maybe. If I’ve written a short piece I’ll post it. And I’ll often be giving out bonus content and sneak peeks of what I’m working on here. Of course, when I’m done with ‘You Can’t Trust the AI’ and all further Station 86 stories, you’ll find them here. 

I also have a special surprise for you. You can now get ‘Days And Other Stories’ for free. That’s right, for total free. Here’s a link. It’s my way of thanking all of you for being so supportive.

Alright, that’s over. Here is Red Lipstick.

Sasha knew, as soon as she walked in, that every eye was on her. She’d planned it just that way, with her red lipstick, high heels and short black dress. She gave the men who couldn’t take their eyes off of her a demure smile, but nothing more. She was looking for someone specific.

He was at the bar, nursing a gin and soda. He was the tall and dangerous looking kind, the outline of his arms visible through his tuxedo. His hair was graying at the temples, in that subtle way that make older men so irresistible to some types. She tried very hard to not purse her lips together in worry. “Hey,” she said, leaning against the bar next to him. “What are you drinking?”

“Something I’d prefer to drink alone,” he replied, barely looking at her.

“That doesn’t sound right,” Sasha said, giving him a smile. “It’s a party. Aren’t you having fun?”

He was well versed, she was sure, in ignoring women like her. Even so, he looked over and smiled. “Are you here alone?” he asked.

“I am,” she said, smiling at him. “Will you dance with me?”

He glanced at his watch. “Just a dance,” he said. He offered her his hand, and they made their way out onto the dance floor.

“I can’t believe you’re here alone,” Sasha said, pressing herself against him as much as she dared.

“I am not here for pleasure, I’m afraid,” he said. “You seem to be, though. Why don’t you find a handsome young man who is here for the same? A pretty girl like you won’t be lonely long, I’m sure.”

“That would be too easy,” Sasha said. He hadn’t offered her his name. She hadn’t expected him to. He was slipping, as old spies did sometimes, but he wasn’t slipping that much.

The song ended, and he started to pull away. She kept hold of his hand, though. “Miss, I have to get back to work,” he said, “You don’t want to get me in trouble, do you?”

“Ah,” she said, giving him what she hoped looked like a defeated smile. “Can I have a kiss, at least?”

“I’ve never been a fan of forward women,” the man said, raising an eyebrow.

“I’ve never understood men who don’t like that,” Sasha said, “Doesn’t it take the guesswork out of flirting?”

He sighed, and pulled her in close to him. He kissed her mouth, and she pressed against him. She made sure to hold the back of his head a moment, making sure to transfer her red lipstick onto him.

The man pulled away from her, looking dazed. He seemed surprised when she pulled away from him, and walked quickly in the other direction.

The antidote from her lips had hopefully been enough to offset the poison someone had slipped into his drink. They needed him to survive, at least for tonight. Though after Mr. Maxwell’s actions, this would certainly be his last mission before retirement.

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