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Things have gone downhill fast for Vex.

It was supposed to be a good night. Vax is working late, so she didn't need to argue with him as to which one of them got to go to the dungeon. Keyleth is making an appearance without him, which is somewhat rare, and she says she's got some friend Vex should meet. When she told Vex, Keyleth was the kind of excited that only comes with hooking your friends up. Accordingly, Vex wore something cute she'd been saving to wear when she was DTF, because let's face it, it's been a while, and Vex could easily be DTF for the right person.

When she got to the club, Keyleth was nowhere to be found, but it was still early. Vex got a snack and made the rounds saying her hellos; Grog and Trish were just starting a takedown scene, so she watched a little of it before moving on. Still Keyleth wasn't there, so Vex found a wall to lean on in the lounge and took a look around at the assembled.

This was as far as she got before things started to devolve. She was barely there for a minute before a guy came up behind her, making her jump when he spoke.

"You look so lonely," was his opening line, because that's not creepy as fuck or anything. "I am Saundor, and you don't know what you want."

Now Vex is stuck with this guy standing uncomfortably close to her, saying all these things that are deeply unsettling but with just enough ring of truth to them that it's making her second-guess herself. She looks over, and Kash is not sitting at the usual bouncer's spot at the desk; Zahra is still there, welcoming visitors, but she's got her hands full. Now Vex realizes that Saundor was watching Kash too, waiting him to leave his post so he could have the perfect moment to creep her out in peace.

Keyleth is still not there, and Vex looks around wildly, trying to find someone to help, because she's not sure he's just going to let her walk away. Pike is in with Grog, Zahra can't see what's happening, and no one else seems to be at hand. In the lounge, everyone has cleared out, leaving just one person, a man sitting by himself and drinking a coke. Vex has seen him around but doesn't know him; he's unusual-looking, tall and white-haired, with a fashion sense that gives him almost a steampunk flair. She's seen him chat with people, watch scenes, but he always seems to come in alone.

She is about to break absolutely every rule, but she's starting to feel genuinely frightened. Desperate times and all that.

"There he is," Vex says, cutting Saundor off in mid-sentence, then she walks over to the guy and sits down in his lap without so much as an introduction.

"Here I am," the man says in response, like he's not sure what else to say. She's aware he's getting some premium unleaded Vex right now, her low-cut top leaving her breasts mostly in his face, her skirt short enough that she's basically sitting in her panties on his lap, but she can't deal with that or his reaction to it right now.

Vex leans in, acting like she's saying something appropriately sexy. "Whatever I say, just go with it," she says into his ear. "If you're somebody else's, I'll make it up to them. I'll vacuum their fucking house naked if I have to, if you could just dig me out of this."

"Yes, ma'am," he says, loud enough for Saundor to hear, putting his arms around Vex's waist in a way that makes her feel protected, a thing she could very much use right about now.

"This is what you want," Saundor says, in a way that is neither a statement nor a question, inflectionless, and Vex is afraid he's seen through the whole thing.

"I do so hope that it is," the guy says, giving Vex a smile that, despite everything that's happening, warms her right up. He's such a contrast from Saundor, and she couldn't be happier about it. "I try my best."

"And succeed admirably," Vex says, running her hand through his hair; he leans into it in a way that she thinks might not be entirely fake.

The door to the play area opens, and Kash walks in, with the same look of annoyance that Vex thinks he probably has even during sex, maybe even while he's sleeping. He's walking towards the front desk, and Vex seizes her chance.

"Kash," Vex says brightly, before Saundor can speak again; she can tell her fake cheer conveys her distress the way she meant it to, because Kash immediately starts walking over. "Just the man I wanted to see."

"Is he up to that same shit again?" Kash asks, looking suspiciously at Saundor.

"If you mean scaring my domme half to death without asking, then yes," Vex's guy says.

Kash looks quickly between the two of them; Vex knows he knows she and this guy aren't a thing, but he doesn't give them away. "Alright, buddy, you're bounced," he says, putting a hand on Saundor's shoulder. "If it matters, you can have your money back. Just don't turn up here again. In fact, I'll walk you to your car."

When the two of them have gone, Vex gives the guy a big kiss on the cheek. "You are a fucking marvel, darling."

"I realize this might be a frying pan to fire situation," he says carefully, removing his arms from her waist so she can get up easily, "but you don't have to get up if you don't want to."

"I was hoping I wasn't sitting on somebody's sub, for multiple reasons," she says, not standing.

"How do you feel about unattached switches?" he asks.

"Huge fan, really," she says. "I'm Vex."

"Percy," he says.

"Well, Percy," she says, curling a lock of his hair around her finger. "What do you do when you're not coming gallantly to the rescue?"

"I don't think not pushing someone in distress off my lap counts as gallantry," he says, and he puts his arms back around her. "But to answer the question you're probably asking, I like things that are unusual."

"Unusual how?" Vex asks, intrigued. "This is all a bit unusual."

"True," Percy says. "I like trying new sensations, corrupting mundane things just to see how they'll feel." He shifts ever so slightly, and Vex thinks this conversation might be having an effect on him; she is so much more okay with this than she expected. "But there is nothing I love like a well-constructed predicament."

"Setting up, or getting caught in?" she says.

"Either," he says. "Sometimes both."

"We really will get along well," Vex says, grinning.

A familiar redhead finally appears, paying at the desk before crossing the lounge towards them.

"Sorry I'm late," Keyleth says to Vex. "Did I just see Kash kick somebody out?" She stops, seeming to take in the scene for the first time. "You mean you already know each other?"

"We do now," Vex says, the whole thing clicking in her head. "That's how late you were."

"Aw, man," Keyleth says. "I wanted to see your faces." She sits down next to the two of them. "So, what do you think?"

"I think you're supposed to pump us for information separately," Vex says.

"We'll talk later," Keyleth says in a stage whisper.

"Actually, I was just thinking that Vex might be interested to see my toy bag," Percy says. "Just as a demonstration."

"You should see it," Keyleth says. "It's intimidating, but in a good way."

"I'm genuinely curious," Vex says, standing up and offering Percy a hand. "I could use some of the good kind of intimidation. Lord knows I've had enough of the bad for one night."

"Is that why that guy got kicked out?" Keyleth asks, looking concerned.

"I'll tell you the whole story later," Vex says. "Right now, it's time for a little fun."

"I think that's just what the doctor ordered," Percy says, and Vex pulls him up off the couch. Impulsively, she leans up and kisses him on the cheek again.

"Thank you," she says.

"It was my pleasure," he says sincerely. "I hope it doesn't come to it, but I'd do it again if you said the word." He pauses, looking over Vex's shoulder.

"Keyleth is looking at us with stars in her eyes, isn't she," Vex says.

"Absolutely," Percy says.

"Well, let's go to the back and find out how right she is," Vex says.

"That would also be my pleasure," he says, offering her an arm, and she lets him lead her away.

While neither of them can see, Keyleth does a fist pump.