She’s beautiful, Dick notices immediately. And she’s noticeably not human, which only adds to her loveliness. The woman is a monster like himself, but not one who cares for camouflage. The catsuit and the pink eyeliner alone garners even more attention than his famous face, and that’s without touching the gray skin and the horns. (He’s particularly impressed by the horns.)
“Ms. Crocker, I’m told,” he says, giving her his best salesman’s grin. “But we both know that’s not your real name.”
“And you’re certainly not Mr. Roman,” she replies. She smiles at him, teeth like a thousand little knives. Dick feels a twinge of jealousy. “Neither of us is what we say we are. I’d call you by your real name, but I am sick to death of overly-complicated monster titles. Vowels, Mr. Roman. They’re a wonder.”
He could make a Wheel of Fortune joke here. The real Dick Roman’s memories are chock full of such human phrases. They’re all well and good for dealing with the little monkeys, but he doesn’t bother with her. She’s practically an equal.
“Do you drink?” he asks instead. “I’ve got an excellent Merlot. Or fresh virgin’s blood, if you’d prefer.” She quirks an eyebrow and he chuckles. “I get all sorts in here.”
“I’d rather talk business.” She steeples her fingers and studies him. Her eyes aren’t demon yellow, which are human but for a filmy expanse of color; her sclerae are as gold as her crown, each iris is a magenta jewel. There is chaos behind her eyes. It fascinates him.
Dick pours himself a glass of brandy. “Talk away.”
“We seem to having conflicting plans, Mr. Roman,” she says. “I want to rule this little planet. You’d much rather have a nice meal.”
His smile falters, almost. “It’s hardly so simplistic, Ms. Crocker-”
The only sound is a brief jangle of her bracelets, but there is a trident poised at his neck. Dick chuckles and shakes his head. “I thought you were smarter than this. I’m very disappointed.”
She smiles. “I’m not a fool, you wretched little beast. I just do not have the time for your games. I have big plans for this world and you are in my way.” A prong meets his skin and she drags it, lets black blood leak out. “My, my. Isn’t that something.”
He nearly kisses her. He would, but he tries to avoid getting stabbed in the throat when he can. (This memory is hilarious a few months later. He’s always had a dreadful sense of humor.) She is beautiful like a hurricane, Dick decides. You can either get out of the way or get caught up in its path of destruction.
He takes a third option.
“I think we could reach an understanding,” Dick says.
She eyes him thoughtfully. “I certainly hope so. What’s your proposal?”
The air is so tense he could break it in two. The electricity in her is fantastic; every inch of this human suit vibrates with anticipation. He notices all too easily the curve of her hips and the way her ear fins flare out like flowers.
“Well, you’re in baked goods,” he says. “Surely you know all about corn syrup.”