Actions

Work Header

Pynk (is where it all starts)

Chapter Text

On her fifth night in the city, after an awfully long day spent in and out of meetings with clients that she despised, Tissaia decided to go out. She hadn’t had the time yet, despite the appeal of a drink or a walk in busy streets of a city that seemed to never sleep. As soon as her last client left her office, she shut off her computer and grabbed her coat. Spring was upon them, and the wind had graced them with its presence. With the amount of work she had to do, Tissaia could not afford to fall prey to one of those sneaky interseasonal viruses going around. Collar up, she locked up her office, took the elevator down to the lobby, wished Enrik from security a good night and she stepped outside of the building, through the revolving door.

 

Fresh air hit her face, accompanied by an array of horn blasts, typical of big cities. It had been tough to acclimatize herself to the noise. When she’d joined this law firm over a month ago, she’d traveled back and forth between her former place and here until the sale of her apartment had gone through and she’d been able to move out. Coming from quite the rural area, Tissaia had spent her first nights tossing and turning in bed, waiting frustratingly until well after midnight to fall asleep, despite her early morning. It was easier now, thanks to her natural ability to adapt quickly to new environments or people. As a lawyer, that had proved immensely useful in the past.

 

Tissaia walked briskly, eyes on the sidewalk so as to not lose her footing on the uneven concrete. She wanted a drink before going back to her apartment, which was still filled with boxes she hadn’t found the time nor the will to unpack yet. The lambent light of a neon sign across the road caught her attention. It seemed rather unassuming, with tinted windows, and a door that could easily be mistaken for a backdoor in an alley with its metallic look. Tissaia felt that this could be the hole in the wall she was looking for. There was no appeal in going to a posh bar and sit alone with a glass of wine, surrounded with people in suits talking business in their after-hours. No, a dive bar sounded good for tonight. She waited until the light turned green and crossed the road.

 

From the outside, the place felt like nothing special. She pushed the door and was greeted by a large man with his arms crossed. She looked at him while he took her in, from head to toe, and nodded at her.

 

“Good evening,” she said, ever polite.

“Evening,” he replied in a rough tone that matched his burly appearance.

 

The man was clearly security. Tissaia frowned. What kind of bar needed security? He opened a second door behind him and she understood immediately why he was there. This was not a bar. Dimly-lit, faux-leather sofas and round coffee tables everywhere with an impressive counter on the right… Tissaia’s eyes widened as she took a step forward. The sound of the door slamming shut behind her barely registered; her attention too monopolized by her surroundings. Women in thongs and very little else dancing on small stages—podiums, perhaps—to sexy music blasting from every corner of the spacious room… This was a strip-club. She’d walked into a strip-club.

 

“Fuck,” she let out, unsure of her next step.

 

The bar did look really enticing though. Bottles and bottles of what she imagined was a wide array of alcoholic beverages, which was what she needed right now. The barman caught sight of her and waved at her. She waved back, awkwardly, and studied him for a few seconds. Long, bleached hair held back in a ponytail, he was tall and muscular and she figured he could serve as backup to the security guy at the entrance should help be needed to remove a… customer. She gulped and decided to go out of her comfort zone and have her drink here. There weren’t many patrons as it was barely eight in the evening—the first time in months she’d finished work before nine—and she didn’t have to look at the women dancing, after all. She hopped onto a stool, heels finding the footrest underneath it. She tried to get the bartender’s attention but he was busy making a cocktail—something fruity, it seemed. To her surprise, he brought it over a few seconds later.

 

“For you,” he said, pointing at it.

“How do you know I’ll like it?”

“I’m a good judge of character,” he replied with an easy smile. “Welcome to the Pynk.”

 

Tissaia thought he was a handsome man. Idly, she wondered what drove him to work as a bartender in a place like this. Behind him, the neon sign caught her attention. Pynk. How original. She snorted and grabbed her glass of… well, whatever, and brought it to her lips. The first sip had her eyebrows raising so far up the she worried they’d disappeared into her hairline. This was good. Hell, good wasn’t strong enough to describe it. She drank more and set the glass back on the counter.

 

“Told you,” the bartender said with a wink.

“What is this?”

“Well now, that’s a secret. It involves juice and liquor, but I am not telling you which one.”

 

Was he flirting with her? She couldn’t be sure. Men weren’t exactly her type. He seemed nice enough, though. And she would have to tip him well because that cocktail was divine.

 

“Fine, keep your secrets if you must,” she retorted playfully.

 

At the other end of the bar, a man called for him—a name she didn’t quite catch—and he offered one last smile before leaving her on her own. That’s when she realized that behind the shelves full of bottles was a mirror covering the full length of the bar. From where she sat, she could see the reflection of the strippers. Not what she had planned. Nonetheless, she kept on looking. There wasn’t much else to look at, anyway.

 

On the podium in the far left, a blonde woman wearing red lingerie and 6-inches platforms that seemed like a broken ankle waiting to happen was crawling towards a customer sitting nearby. Tissaia really didn’t see the appeal in that, but from the way the guy leaned forward as the stripper approached, he certainly did. She sighed and took another sip, savoring the fruity taste.

 

Her attention was caught by a sudden move from one of the strippers on the stage nearest to the bar. Now, that was something else. She was upside down on the pole, holding herself with one bent leg. In the neon lights, her outfit seemed to be deep purple but Tissaia couldn’t be sure. She was too focused on the way her body moved, with such grace and ease and…

 

Their eyes met. Or at least, Tissaia thought so. She wouldn’t bet on it because she was looking at the reflection of the stripper whose head was upside down so she could be wrong, but from where she sat it certainly felt like that. Her doubt evaporated when the woman found herself on her feet again and beckoned to her with her index finger.

 

“Go on,” the bartender said. “Don’t make her wait.”

 

She hadn’t even seen him approach.      

 

“Oh, god no. I’m just—I mean I only came here for a drink,” she tried to explain, embarrassed.

 

He raised an eyebrow, skeptical.

 

“You came to a strip-club for a drink? Should I be flattered? Did someone send you here?”

“No. No, I… well, I walked in by accident. Not by accident per se, but I thought this was a bar. Nothing more.”

“Hm. Well. Here she comes.”

“What?”

 

Tissaia looked to her left and sure enough, the raven-haired woman in her skimpy—yet classy, Tissaia noticed—attire, leaned against the counter, right next to her. The bartender slipped her a drink and winked at her.

 

“Thanks, Ger,” she said to him.

 

God, Tissaia thought, even her voice is sexy. The woman turned her attention to her and smiled.

 

“Not often we see women like you in here.”

“No, I don’t suppose you do,” Tissaia told her, returning her smile with a lot more confidence than she actually felt.

 

It was true that she looked completely out of place, in her black pantsuit and white blouse. As she drank from her glass, the young woman let her eyes roam freely over her figure and Tissaia had probably rarely ever felt so self-conscious.

 

“You shouldn’t stay alone at the bar,” the stripper continued. “Why don’t you come closer and watch me dance? I could dance for you…”

 

Tissaia was glad the lights in the club were predominantly red and pink because she could feel herself blush really hard. Fidgeting with her glass, she shook her head lightly.

 

“Thanks, but I’m only getting one drink and then I’m heading out.”

“A shame, really.”

 

Again with the elevator eyes, Tissaia noted. Of course, this was part of the seduction the woman was paid to do, but damn it, she was good.

 

“Do come back for a dance some other time,” the brunette said, pushing herself off the counter she’d been leaning on.

 

She walked away without waiting for Tissaia to reply and the lawyer had to admire her confidence. Her eyes found the reflection of the stripper’s retreating form and she gulped. What a body she had. Tissaia knew she wasn’t bad-looking herself, but she’d kill for a body like that. Suddenly, the object of her admiration turned around, and their eyes met in the mirror. Busted. Tissaia immediately averted her gaze but she could tell the other woman had caught her. Why had she stepped in here of all places? Getting out of her comfort zone sounded like the dumbest idea ever at the moment. Tissaia finished her drink and before she could stand up, another was placed in front of her. She looked up at the bartender—Ger, was it?—and frowned.

 

“I did not order that.”

“Courtesy of Leela. Seems like you made an impression,” he explained.

“Leela?”

 

He nodded towards the stripper who was now back on her podium, dancing sensually to the rhythm of the music. Tissaia refused to turn around to look at her again.

 

“I… well, I wasn’t going to drink more…”

“You don’t have to, but it’s paid for. And Leela never buys customers a drink.”

“I—I suppose I wouldn’t want to be rude.”

 

He smiled affably and tapped lightly on the counter twice before walking away, leaving Tissaia with her drink and a head starting to spin. Whether it was from the alcohol or from the whole situation, she couldn’t tell. What a story it would be to recount to her friends later!

 

She drank a bit faster than she normally would and Leela didn’t come back to the bar. She did have an audience now, and Tissaia figured it was time for her to eclipse herself. She’d grab a bite on her way home and pass out in bed, and in the morning, she’d be back to her usual routine and this strange evening would soon be a distant memory. Her glass empty, Tissaia stood, left a few bills on the counter and slipped on her coat. As she grabbed her bag, the bartender showed up again and held out a small business card.

 

“Come back, yeah? I’m Geralt, by the way.”

“Tissaia,” she heard herself say while she pocketed the card.

“Nice to meet you Tissaia. I’ll see you soon.”

“Good, uh, good night.”

 

He waved at her, with that same gesture he’d made earlier, and she nodded awkwardly before turning on her heels and exiting the club, resisting the urge to glance at Leela one last time.

Chapter Text

“I am not taking that deal.”

 

Tissaia could have slapped him. Her client had to be the most moronic excuse for a man she’d ever encountered. To her dismay, he was also one of the richest and needed her services more often than should ever be reasonable. Drunk driving, sexual harassment, and now embezzlement. Those being the only crimes he’d been caught for. Who knew how many more he’d managed to get away with? What a prick, she thought.

 

“It’s a good deal, no jail time,” she argued. “If we go to trial, the jury will find you guilty. Which you are.”

“Aren’t you supposed to believe your client is innocent?”

 

She raised an eyebrow at him, unimpressed, and he looked away, frustrated. They were sitting in her office late at night, and Tissaia could hear the janitor vacuuming the floor. Once again, she was one of the last employees in the law firm to leave the office. Her client sighed loudly, rubbed his eyes with his thumb and index finger, and relented.

 

“Fine, I’ll take the deal. I’m not setting foot into that courthouse. Get it done.”

“I will,” she assured him, all the while thinking she’d love nothing more than for him to fall down a flight of stairs.

 

He got up and ran a hand through his hair, no doubt to an imaginary audience. Tissaia wished he would just get out already.

 

“Well, if there’s anything to sign, have the papers sent to my office.”

“As usual.”

 

He noticed the slight dig and stared at her for a second before he laughed, a single bark, and pointed at her with a finger.

 

“I like you, De Vries. Keep up the good work,” he told her as he made his way to the door.

 

Tissaia waited until he was out of her line of sight to exhale deeply and close her eyes. She reclined in her seat and extended her legs under her desk, kicking off her heels. Her mind drifted back to the Pynk. It had been almost three weeks, and she hadn’t gone back. In the pocket of her coat, she knew she’d find the card Geralt had given her. Perhaps a drink there wouldn’t be the worst idea. With renewed energy at the thought of a cold, fruity cocktail, Tissaia slipped her feet back in her stilettos and stood up. It was half past nine, and it would be closer to ten by the time she’d make it there. One drink, and then she’d head home, enjoy a hot bath and later fall asleep to the muffled urban noise in the background.

 

__

 

There were more people inside the club tonight. Fridays, she assumed. More dancers, too. All the podiums were occupied, and there were customers sitting at the bar, too. Tissaia noticed two other women beside her, the rest were all men. Uneasily, she made her way towards Geralt who was working tonight—lucky me, Tissaia thought—and the tall man smiled at her when he spotted her. It took him another minute before he could come and say hello.

 

“I was almost beginning to think you’d never come back,” he told her when he reached her side of the bar.

“I almost didn’t, but I really fancied a drink,” she admitted.

“Hm. Same cocktail or do you want to try something else?”

“What is that cocktail, anyway?”

“It’s the Pynk. Specialty of the house.”

“I see. Did you come up with it yourself?”

“I wish. But it’s actually the owner, she bartends sometimes, too. She was here just yesterday.”

 

A woman? That was interesting. Tissaia knew next to nothing about strip-clubs and somehow in her mind those were only ever run by men, for men. She’d have to look up the club on the web to find more information about it. She resisted the urge to ask Geralt. The man was working, after all.

 

“I’ll have a Pynk, then,” she said.

 

He nodded and went to prepare her drink. Tissaia’s eyes scanned the room, trying to see if she could identify any of the strippers from the other day. The blonde was here, with a different outfit. She recognized the tribal tattoo on her lower back. Tacky, she thought.

 

“Leela’s not here yet.”

 

Geralt’s voice startled her. She turned back towards him, feigning incomprehension.

 

“What?”

“If you’re looking for Leela she should be arriving soon,” he explained with a knowing look.

“I’m—I wasn’t. No, I’m just… I came back for the drinks.”

“Hm. Sure.”

 

She would have protested further but Geralt walked away, already heading for another customer calling for him. Tissaia sighed, wondered why the hell she’d thought coming back here was a good idea, and drank half her glass within minutes. He’d been right about Leela, though. She appeared on a stage recently vacated and started showing off some moves. In the mirror, Tissaia observed her. Leela was magnetic; her audience was captivated. Even from her seat, Tissaia could tell the men had stopped talking to focus on the stripper’s performance. The undulation of her hips was hypnotizing, and her deep red outfit revealed curves that made Tissaia’s mouth water. She gulped and looked down, fidgeting with her glass. She wished she were anywhere but here. This was no place for a woman like her. She could run into a client, which would be horrible and mortifying. Her mind made up, Tissaia finished her drink and fished for her wallet in her purse.

 

“No need to leave three twenties this time,” Geralt’s amused voice interrupted her rummaging.

“Sorry?”

“The cocktail’s ten bucks. You left sixty the last time.”

“Oh.”

 

Had she? In her defense, she hadn’t looked at the prices and she had no experience with strip-clubs so she couldn’t know how expensive they were.

 

“Well,” she continued, “then I guess you got yourself a nice tip that night.”

“Sure did,” he acquiesced. “Are you leaving already?”

“Yes, I have an early start tomorrow.”

“On a Saturday?”

“For some people, work never stops. Surely you know what I mean?”

 

He nodded, grabbed her empty glass, washed it and dried it off with a towel, all while Tissaia gathered her belongings and readied herself to leave.

 

“On Mondays there are less people,” he said out of the blue. “If you need a drink after work. I have a few recipes that need testing and I’d be happy to have someone try them for me. Can’t very well be drunk on my own cocktails while I’m working.”

“Hum, okay. If I can make it.”

“No pressure,” he assured her with a nonchalant shrug. “Leela’s working on Monday, too. You might want to book a dance this time.”

 

His devilish smirk was proof that he was merely teasing her and yet Tissaia felt herself go red at the thought he’d caught her staring in the mirror again. She ignored his jab and smiled, weirdly happy that she seemed to have found a new friend—or some semblance of a friend—in Geralt. A bartender at a strip-club. Life was strange.

 

“Good night, Geralt.”

“See you on Monday!”

Chapter Text

Her senior partner was none too pleased when Tissaia told him she’d cut her meetings short that evening because she had plans. He’d asked about those and she’d lied, of course, because in no world would she ever disclose that she’d be going to a strip-club just a few streets over.

 

So, there she was, at half past seven, briefcase in hand, walking determinedly towards the metallic door she was starting to become really familiar with. The bouncer greeted her with a nod, ever so serious. Tissaia wasted no time in finding her usual spot at the bar. There was no one behind the counter, so she took her time in looking around the room. A dark-haired beauty with tawny, flawless skin was working the pole under the lustful gaze of three men wearing suits Tissaia imagined cost more than all of the alcohol in the bar. Leela, with her long mane and mesmerizing eyes, was nowhere to be seen. Tissaia tried to not dwell on the pang of disappointment that she felt.

 

“Ah, there you are,” Geralt exclaimed from behind her.

 

She turned on her stool and smiled at him. He was carrying crates of bottles as if they weighed nothing. Tissaia waited until he set them down on the floor to speak.

 

“Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to risk alcohol poisoning.”

“Oh, she has jokes!”

 

He looked delighted, and his hazel eyes crinkled as he offered her a toothy grin. She’d never seen him smile so widely. Granted, she’d only seen the man three times in her life.

 

“I promise I will cut you off before that happens,” he said solemnly, a hand on his heart.

“I would appreciate this greatly. I brought some work with me, if that’s okay?”

“Definitely. Though you might be more comfortable on one of those sofas. The tables are bigger than the counter, too.”

 

She followed his finger pointing at an empty table in front of an empty podium, then turned back towards him.

 

“But for the drinks…”

“I’ll bring them over, don’t worry. We don’t get that many people on Mondays. At least I can pretend I’m busy.”

“Right. Okay, then.”

 

She gathered her briefcase and her coat and made her way to the designated sofa. To her surprise it was more comfortable than it looked. She’d imagined the faux-leather to be rather hard under her but it wasn’t. The black coffee table in front of her was passably clean, and Tissaia took out a file on a case that she had to prepare for the end of the week. The client was probably guilty—more often than not, in white collar crime, they were—and she had to come up with an argument solid enough to force the prosecution into offering him a good deal. She sighed. Defending criminals had always been difficult but the past few years—ever since she’d made senior partner—had really taken a toll on her emotional well-being. Tissaia thought she deserved a vacation, and maybe a change in career paths. Law was everything to her. She abided by it to the best of her abilities. But having to forsake her morals for money was a burden she’d carried for far too long. Quitting would be hard, she knew that, especially in this cutthroat world. But she’d open her own cabinet and choose her cases with care. She’d worked her whole life to be able to afford that luxury and now it felt like the right moment for this new chapter to begin.

 

“There you go,” Geralt said as he appeared at her side and set a first drink down on the table in front of her. “Let me know what you think.”

“Oh, thank you.”

 

He stood there, arms crossed, waiting for her to take a sip. The face that she made told him all he needed to know.

 

“Horrible?”

 

Geralt seemed genuinely sorry about it. Tissaia shook her head.

 

“No, not horrible. But too sugary, for sure.”

“Fuck. Give me that.”

 

She handed the drink back to him and he strode off back to the bar. She watched him for a while as he prepared a new cocktail, head bobbing to the rhythm of the music. Tissaia noticed the volume was now getting louder and the lights grew dimmer. She glanced at her watch: barely past eight-thirty. She focused her attention back on the file in her hand, reviewing the arguments. She’d won hundreds of cases like this one, so it was more of a formality than actual homework that she was doing. Certainly, this was the reason why the file was forgotten as soon as a particular stripper made her way on stage, right in front of her. Tissaia’s head shot up as she saw a pair of long legs on stilettoes appear in her field of vision.

 

Her eyes met Leela’s. She was wearing a lacy black domino mask tonight, and her eyes shone purple under the pink neon light. Tissaia was transfixed, her mouth agape. It took Geralt coming back with another glass to snap her out of it. He said nothing but his mocking smile was enough. She glared at him, daring him to open his mouth, and took the drink he was offering.

 

“It’s better,” she told him after she tried it. “Is it pineapple?”

“Good taste buds! It is. Do you want me to leave it?”

“Unless you’ve got something better to bring me, I think I’ll keep this one.”

 

She was thirsty, after all. He nodded and walked off again, leaving Tissaia to face Leela alone once more. The stripper was down to her lacy underwear, all black to match her mask, and she was intently staring at Tissaia. Sitting back, the lawyer did not look away. If she was going to have a show, then so be it. Leela grinned, delighted that Tissaia had decided to relax and enjoy herself. She kept eye contact for as long as she could and Tissaia felt her heart beat faster. She hadn’t been the focus of someone’s attention like that in a long time and it was really embarrassing how easily she found herself turned on. Geralt’s drink was soon gone and she wished he’d hurry and bring another one.

 

“Beautiful, isn’t she,” a female voice said close to her ear.

 

Tissaia looked to her side and found herself face to face with a woman she didn’t know. Her brown eyes were heavily painted with eyeliner and eyeshadow. She was chewing gum and openly staring at Leela as she leaned her forearms on the couch where Tissaia was sitting. At a loss, Tissaia didn’t answer her. The question seemed rather rhetorical anyway. On the podium, Leela was showing off her suppleness in ways that had Tissaia’s brain short-circuit.

 

“Cynthia, good evening!”

“Evening, Geralt,” the woman next to Tissaia replied.

 

He had a glass in each hand which he offered to the two women.

 

“Here. Let me know what you think of this one.”

 

She wasn’t sure if he was addressing her, or Cynthia, or both of them. She took a sip and hummed appreciatively.

 

“It’s lovely,” she told him.

“Hm. We’ll work on it together,” the other woman said as she handed him back the drink.

 

Oh. The dots connected in Tissaia’s mind. This Cynthia had to be the owner of the Pynk. Suddenly, Tissaia felt self-conscious. Here she was, all but gawking at one of the women this Cynthia had hired to seduce customers. Granted, that was the whole point of the place, but still. The owner circled around the sofa and sat down beside her. Tissaia hurriedly gathered her paperwork and put it back into the folder.

 

“I’m Cynthia Calanthe. This is my club,” her new companion introduced herself, a hand outstretched.

 

Tissaia shook it and idly noticed that the firmness of that handshake fitted perfectly with the woman’s attitude.

 

“Tissaia de Vries. Not a frequent visitor of strip-clubs.”

“You don’t say,” Cynthia guffawed. “You look like a fish out of water!”

 

Oh, she could imagine how out of place she looked! The other woman’s laugh was infectious, and Tissaia found herself smiling in spite of herself. When she calmed down, Cynthia gestured toward the small stage where Leela was still performing.

 

“Have you ever had a private dance?”

“Uh, no. No, I—well I only came here for a drink. And then I came back because the drink was heavenly.”

“Which one did you get? Not one of Geralt’s sugary shit, I hope?”

“The Pynk. He said the recipe was yours.”

“And that made you come back here? I’m flattered! Leela!”

 

The stripper was off the podium and sitting sideways on Cynthia’s knees in an instant.

 

“Leela, this woman here is going to have a private dance with you, on me.”

“Wait, what,” Tissaia reacted, alarmed.

 

Leela nodded and pressed a kiss to Cynthia’s cheek. Then she stood up and extended a hand to Tissaia.

 

“Go on, love,” Cynthia encouraged her. “I promise you won’t regret it.”

 

Hesitantly, Tissaia took the hand that was offered to her and got up on shaky legs. She picked up her briefcase and regretfully noticed she’d have to leave her drink on the table, for the lack of free hands to carry it with her. But Leela was already pulling her away under Cynthia’s watchful dark eyes and Tissaia followed, unsure of what would happen next.

Chapter Text

“You can leave your stuff here,” Leela told her as they disappeared behind a thick curtain into what Tissaia imagined to be a back room. There was a chair at the center of it, and on the side, a coat rack where she carefully placed her briefcase and her coat. Leela put on some music and then walked up to Tissaia, who stood awkwardly frozen in place.

 

Her domino mask was still on and Tissaia found that an incredible turn-on.

 

“You can sit on the chair,” Leela said gently, guiding her slowly to the lonely piece of furniture.

 

Tissaia let her, so out of her depth that she felt like she was back in high school at that party when she’d lost her virginity to some guy in senior year.

 

“Stop thinking,” Leela whispered hotly in her ear from where she stood behind Tissaia.

“I can’t, sorry,” she apologized.

 

Leela seemed to hesitate briefly, as if thrown off by a customer clearly uncomfortable, but she pulled herself together and faced Tissaia again, hips moving slowly to the beat of the music.

 

“All you have to do is watch,” she reminded Tissaia. “I’ll do all the work.”

 

Tissaia nodded, not trusting herself to speak properly. Her eyes couldn’t look away even if she’d wanted to. Leela was pure magic, she thought, holding her attention like that. Watching her, she could forget about work and idiotic clients, about the rest of the world too. There was nothing but Leela, mesmerizing, and smelling divine. It was no surprise whatsoever to Tissaia that she found out she wanted to touch her, feel her skin beneath her fingertips. Always one to obey the rules, she kept her hands folded in her lap, even when the tantalizing stripper rubbed her torso against her. The thin underwear left little to the imagination and Tissaia gulped. Leela grinned at her.

 

“I can take it off if you want,” she rasped, referring to her bra.

“That’s fine,” Tissaia croaked.

 

All too soon, the song came to an end and Tissaia was brought back to reality as Leela stepped away from her to turn off the sound system. Tissaia was still sat on her chair, processing. Leela laughed when she saw her.

 

“Are you going to be okay,” she asked her. “I have to get back in there,” she pointed at the curtain behind her.

“Yes, sorry, yes,” Tissaia said as she shot up and hurried to the coat rack. “I should tip you, right? This is what people do?”

“Usually, yes,” Leela told her, amused.

 

In her heels, she almost towered over Tissaia, who had to look up to meet her eyes. She handed her a hundred and noticed the smooth way with which Leela took it from her, two fingers delicately caressing hers in passing. On an impulse, Tissaia’s mouth opened and made a request before her brain could even process it.

 

“Would you take off your mask for me?”

 

Caught off-guard, Leela’s brow furrowed and she cleared her throat. Tissaia was about to backtrack and excuse herself when the other woman complied, revealing her beautiful face to her. Tissaia itched to caress the bridge of her nose and marveled at the long, dark eyelashes.

 

“You’re very beautiful, Leela,” she said reverently.

 

Leela smiled, slowly, probably still very amused by the strange woman in front of her.

 

“My name is Yennefer,” she confided in a soft voice.

“Yennefer,” Tissaia repeated, testing the word on her tongue.

 

It suited her, she decided. She extended a hand, which Yennefer took.

 

“I’m Tissaia.”

“I know.”

 

They stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity, even though rationally Tissaia knew it had to have been two or three seconds at most, before Yennefer retracted her hand gently and put her mask back on.

 

“Thank you for the very generous tip.”

 

She opened the curtain behind them and Tissaia understood that this was a subtle way of telling her to go back to the club, which she did under the intense gaze of the woman she now knew to call Yennefer. With a parting smile, she hurried out and headed straight for the bar where Geralt and Cynthia were no doubt discussing new recipes. He lit up when he saw her.

 

“Well, you didn’t run off!”

“How was she,” Cynthia asked her.

“Perfect,” Tissaia breathed. “I mean, uh, very talented.”

 

Her attempt at sounding a bit less desperate failed as both interlocutors shared a knowing look. Geralt took pity on her and slid yet another glass towards her.

 

“Here. Cynthia just approved of this one.”

 

The woman in question patted his shoulder twice and nodded at Tissaia.

 

“Come back anytime you want,” she told her, “and you,” she addressed Geralt, “write down the recipe and file it somewhere. Work on a name.”

 

With a parting wave, Cynthia Calanthe walked off and disappeared behind a curtain leading to a corridor. Tissaia tasted the drink, and its minty flavor was welcome and refreshing. She hummed and gave the bartender a thumbs up as she took another sip. Maybe it was the alcohol talking—certainly it was—but Tissaia was starting to feel at ease in the club. In the mirror, she found Leela’s—Yennefer’s—reflection and she stared, unashamed, until Geralt cleared his throat. Reluctantly, she turned her attention to him.

 

“Would you mind helping me come up with a good name for this one,” he said, pointing at her drink.

“Green.”

“What?”

“Green. You named the pink one Pynk, so…”

“That’s… Are you making fun of me?”

 

She wiggled her eyebrows and he clicked his tongue disapprovingly.

 

“Fine,” he continued, “no more free drinks for you. You’re cut off.”

“Well, I was about to go home anyway.”

“Great. See you never,” he said with a mock scowl.

 

Tissaia laughed at his falsely offended face and pulled out a twenty that she waved in front of him.

 

“I still enjoyed the drinks, so here’s a tip. Don’t pout. I’m sure you’ll find a good name.”

“No thanks to you,” he called after her as she left.

 

Tissaia waved at him, not turning back, and she looked to the side as she walked past the podium where Leela was still dancing. Their eyes met, and the stripper blew her a kiss, which made Tissaia smile embarrassingly widely. God, she needed some air.

Chapter Text

It felt like being on a cloud, was the thought that went through her mind. The white duvet was so comfy and plush, she could fall asleep if there wasn’t a very dedicated someone working magic between her legs. Tissaia’s hands were entangled in soft, black hair, and she couldn’t remember the last time someone had worshipped her body like that. She wasn’t sure exactly how they’d gotten here, but clearly it wasn’t important, not when she felt so good and so wanted. Her lover’s hands were caressing her body, and Tissaia’s own were gripping at the duvet, trying to reign herself in before she c—

 

Bzz bzz. Bzz bzz. Bzz bzz.

 

With a startled gasp, Tissaia’s eyes shot open and she sat up in bed.

 

“Ow, fuck,” she muttered angrily as a stab of pain went through her skull.

 

Bzz bzz. Bzz bz—

 

The offending noise coming from her nightstand stopped and she rubbed her eyes, then her temples. Was this hell?

 

“Ugh,” she whined, leaning back down onto her mattress.

 

This had all been a dream. An incredibly pleasant dream, if the throbbing between the legs was anything to go by. She pressed a hand against her lower abdomen and briefly considered taking care of herself when the buzzing started again. She sighed, annoyed, and reached for the phone. It was one of the junior partners at the firm.

 

“What,” she all but barked.

“Hum, I’m at the office. You’re not here.”

“So? It’s… it’s 7:30 in the morning!”

“We were supposed to prep for this afternoon.”

“Were we? Shit. I’m sorry Royce. I’ll be late. I’m feeling a bit under the weather.”

“Should I—”

“I’ll e-mail you my notes right away and we’ll work on that when I get in.”

“Alright.”

 

She disconnected the call, threw the phone next to her on the mattress and exhaled again, trying to shake the dream off. It had felt so real. Even though she hadn’t seen her lover’s face, she knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, who it had been. There was only one woman she’d seen recently with hair like that.

 

“Fuck,” Tissaia whispered in the semi-darkness of her room.

 

But there was no time to think about that. Royce was waiting, and the poor man was already stressed out enough as it was, with this big trial opening in the afternoon. Tissaia grabbed her laptop and sent him everything she’d prepared. By the time she’d make it to her office, he’d have had enough time to read them twice over. That done, she reluctantly got up and headed straight for the shower. Despite the cool weather of early spring, she opted for a cold shower.

 

__

 

“Oh my god, okay, be honest, was I good?”

 

Tissaia smiled.

 

“Yes, Royce. You were good.”

 

He fist-pumped the air, then raised a hand for Tissaia to high-five. She indulged him. The lawyer had only recently become a junior partner and he did not want to mess it up. This was his first big case and for once, it was defending someone who was innocent, if the evidence was to be believed. Tissaia was second chair, and Royce had specifically asked her to be since she’d mentored him a lot in her short time here. If she were to leave soon, Tissaia thought she’d miss him the most. Perhaps a place at her new firm would be offered to him. If he won his current case, he’d attract more clients.

 

“We need to go out and celebrate. I need to call my girlfriend first, but then we need to go out and celebrate!”

 

He was so excited and couldn’t stay still, pacing in her office. Tissaia remembered her first big case, too. She’d damn near lost it but a breakthrough had come in the nick of time and the jury had ruled in her favor. She understood the rush Royce felt at the moment.

 

“You should celebrate with your girlfriend,” she told him.

“What? Nonsense, you’re the one who helped me with this! I mean, she helped in other ways, trust me, she was a great stress relief—”

“Gross.”

“—but you’re the one who worked on the case with me, so we are going out! Like, now.”

 

She knew he wouldn’t take no for an answer, so she let herself be convinced.

 

“Oh, alright.”

“Yes! Drinks on me!”

“You bet.”

 

Within minutes, they were sitting in a cab, heading for a part of town she didn’t know yet. Royce kept praising this one bar that made the best Cosmos he’d ever had. All Tissaia could think about was the Pynk and Geralt’s cocktail and how a Cosmo would pale in comparison. She kept that to herself. No one needed to know about her little guilty pleasure, not even Royce.

 

__

 

The next time she ended up at the Pynk was almost two months later. Summer was around the corner and the days were longer which meant that Tissaia also worked longer hours and was generally exhausted. After the summer, she was planning on quitting the firm. She’d spoken to a few trusted clients on the down-low, to see if they’d follow her. All but one had said yes, and she would not miss that one. His business was big but he was an even bigger idiot and a pain in the ass.

 

Tissaia entered the club and smiled at the bouncer, making her way to the bar. Geralt wasn’t there tonight, apparently. Well. She’d only stay for a drink, then. The owner herself was bartending, and she acknowledged Tissaia’s presence with a nod upward as she finished drying glasses with a towel. Tissaia resisted looking at the strippers right away, but she knew Leela had to be here tonight. It was Friday and the club was pretty full, most of the employees were here.

 

“What’s your poison,” Cynthia asked her once she could come closer.

“Did you find a name for the minty cocktail?”

“Pft. Geralt wanted to call it the Leprechaun. He said it’s to honor his Irish roots, whatever that means. I don’t get it. He’s Polish.”

 

Tissaia laughed heartily. Despite her crabby tone, it was obvious Cynthia was fond of Geralt. Tissaia admired their relationship. Her own mentor had been a real asshole and she’d wanted nothing more than to get away from him for two years before it had finally happened.

 

“Well, I’ll have that Leprechaun, please.”

“Comin’ right up!”

 

She waited until Cynthia came back to ask about Geralt’s absence.

 

“He called in sick yesterday so I gave him the rest of the week off. That fool thought he could start wearing t-shirts outside just because it’s sunny these days!”

“We’ve all been there…”

 

From the corner of her eyes, she noticed a man who was edging closer, sliding his glass on the counter with a hand. She readied herself for the conversation that would soon follow. Cynthia saw him too, shared a knowing look with Tissaia and winked.

 

“Good evening,” the man said. “I’m Regis.”

 

Tissaia turned to face him, fake smile plastered on her face. He seemed to be in his early fifties, with the top of his head now devoid of hair. His eyes were black and his skin fair and in the reddish light of the club, he looked like the picture of Count Dracula come to life. Tissaia was a bit taken aback.

 

“Uh, good evening, Regis.”

“Do you mind if I sit with you?”

 

That was just her luck. In a strip-club full of hot women dancing in very revealing outfits, she was still being approached by men. He seemed to sense her hesitation and laughed politely.

 

“I’m sorry, perhaps I should have led with this,” he said as he lifted his left hand, revealing a golden band on his ring finger. “I’m married. Not looking for anything but some decent company while I’m in town for business. You seem as out of place here as I do. I thought maybe you’d agree to a conversation with me, around a drink?”

 

Well, that was a relief. Tissaia’s body relaxed and she even smiled a little, genuinely this time.

 

“In that case, you’re welcome to sit.”

 

Having a drinking buddy for the evening could be nice since Geralt wasn’t here to make conversation and Cynthia Calanthe was busy with other patrons.

 

“I’m Tissaia, by the way,” she finally introduced herself.

“How come you’re in a strip-club, Tissaia?”

“I could ask you the same question, married man.”

 

He smiled, revealing pearly white teeth and only reinforced Tissaia’s belief that this man was a vampire.

 

“Believe it or not, I was merely looking for a bar to have a drink.”

“Believe it or not, I can relate.”

 

__

 

Regis bowed out an hour later and Tissaia was surprised that she was almost sad to see him go. He’d been pleasant company, regaling her with stories of his travels as a salesman, and of his marriage to Henrietta, his high-school sweetheart. Oh, how she longed for that same kind of ever-lasting love! They agreed to exchange their business cards, “in case you ever need a lawyer,” Tissaia told him. Regis thanked her for making his evening less lonely in this foreign city, and then he was gone, leaving Tissaia to watch him disappear behind the door. She sighed and finished her second drink, thinking she ought to get herself home, too.

 

The night, however, had other plans.

 

Yennefer appeared at her side, pretty soon after Regis had left. Tissaia startled, not expecting the stripper to be off her podium.

 

“Hi there,” Yennefer rasped.

“Hello.”

“This might sound a little strange, but would you do me a favor?”

 

Now, that was intriguing. Tissaia raised an eyebrow, waiting for more.

 

“There’s this old guy who walked in moments ago—don’t look—and he usually asks for a dance. But he’s handsy, barely tips and he smells kind of bad. Would you mind booking me for the next… let’s say fifteen minutes, so he can pick a colleague? I’m usually his favorite but…” she trailed off and pouted.

 

Tissaia felt herself go red in the face. Fifteen minutes with Yennefer would be great and terrifying, but the stripper really seemed miffed at the idea of having to dance for the grubby customer. She thought perhaps she could do her a solid this time, as a fellow woman.

 

“Very well,” she accepted.

 

Yennefer seemed actually surprised that she’d agreed, and she beamed at her.

 

“Thank you! I will make it worth your while, I promise.”

 

Tissaia had no doubts about that.

 

__

 

Yennefer was true to her word. While Tissaia was as awkward as the first time they’d found themselves in this tiny back room, Yennefer had no qualms about turning up the seduction. The lap dance was exactly that, and Tissaia hoped her eyes weren’t bulging out of their sockets because she was pretty sure she’d never opened them so widely. Yennefer was everywhere, coiled around her like a snake, and Tissaia’s head was spinning and she knew it wasn’t from the Leprechaun—ridiculous name—because she’d only had a couple, and—

 

“Oh god,” she gasped as Yennefer took off her glittery bra.

 

She looked up immediately, eyes trying to focus on the ceiling, or anywhere that was not Yennefer’s slim body. This was torture. A sweet, sweet torture but still.

 

“So, what do you do anyway?”

“Pardon me?”

 

Was Yennefer trying to make conversation while shoving her tits in her face?

 

“Your job, what is it?”

“I’m—lawyer. I’m—I’m a lawyer,” she stammered.

“Hmm, sexy.”

 

Not as sexy as you, Tissaia almost blurted out. She caught herself just in time, but the amused smile displayed on Yennefer’s face was a sure sign she knew what Tissaia had been about to say. Suddenly, Yennefer threw her arms around Tissaia’s neck and all but sat on her lap, hips undulating on her thighs in a very explicit gesture. Tissaia was hypnotized.

 

“Would you like to touch me,” Yennefer whispered in her ear after leaning in closer.

“It’s not allowed,” Tissaia reminded her, eyes now firmly shut so she wouldn’t give in to the temptation.

“I’m allowing you,” the dancer said, hands playing with Tissaia’s collar.

 

Tentatively, as if afraid she’d get burned, Tissaia brought her hands to Yennefer’s elbows and held her lightly. Yennefer laughed and slipped a finger under Tissaia’s chin to get her attention.

 

“Look at me,” she ordered softly. “Relax, I’m not going to bite you.”

“Doing my best.”

“Tell me about yourself while I dance,” Yennefer suggested.

“What do you want to know?”

“Why come to a strip-club if it makes you so uncomfortable?”

“Everyone’s asking me that. I thought it was a bar.”

 

Yennefer chuckled and got up, sliding behind Tissaia, hands caressing her body everywhere. Was that allowed?

 

“And when you realized it wasn’t a bar, why did you come back, again and again?”

“The cocktails are good and cheap.”

 

A low hum in her ear, barely audible over the music playing, and Tissaia shivered.

 

“So, no dancer caught your eye, then?”

“Nope,” she lied, shaking her head.

 

Yennefer bit her ear lightly and Tissaia gasped. Surely this wasn’t allowed?! A second later, Yennefer wasn’t at her side anymore and Tissaia was brought back to the reality of her whereabouts when she noticed that the music had stopped and the stripper was putting her bra back on. Was their time up already?

 

“Thank you,” Yennefer said, back to a much more formal tone. “Hopefully that creepy guy isn’t there anymore.”

 

On autopilot, Tissaia stood up, gathered her purse and her light jacket. She was painfully aware of the throbbing between her legs and hoped it would subside rather quickly. She wouldn’t delude herself into thinking this moment would be forgotten by the time she made it home, but if her body could stop betraying her at the mere sight of a pretty woman with eyes that shone purple under the pink light, she’d be grateful. She took a fifty dollar bill out of the pocket of her jacket and handed it to Yennefer.

 

“Here, for the dance.”

“You don’t need to pay for that, I almost forced you to agree to one.”

“You did not. And you can see that as a tip if it makes you feel better.”

“Fine, put it in my bra then.”

 

It was a dare, Tissaia could tell from the way Yennefer rose her chin slightly, looking down at her. And yes, she might be uncomfortable with a beautiful woman dancing pretty much naked in her lap, but she was also not that much of a prude, and rarely ever backed down from a challenge or a dare unless she deemed it stupid. This? This wasn’t stupid. So she stepped forward, folded the bill in two and slid it in the stripper’s bra, letting her fingers linger for a second longer than necessary. Yennefer bit her lip and grinned at her.

 

“Thank you again, Tissaia.”

“You’re welcome.”

“When will you be back?”

 

The question took her by surprise. She paused, met Yennefer’s gaze and shrugged.

 

“I’m not sure, really. I have to say, every time I leave this place I never intend to come back. But then the urge for a drink gets too strong and here I am.”

“Well. I hope you get thirsty soon, then.”

 

The double entendre wasn’t lost on Tissaia. Maybe her heart skipped a beat, she wasn’t sure. One thing she knew was that she would indeed be back. Although perhaps this time, the incentive wouldn’t be a cold drink.

Chapter Text

Tissaia didn’t even try to stay away. The pink neon above the metallic door was like a beacon, calling to her every time she passed it on the streets. The first few nights after the infamous lap dance, Tissaia was too exhausted to find the courage to step back into the Pynk so she went straight home after work. She was also still trying to get rid of the mental image of Leela moving lasciviously against her, and that was definitely the hardest part since her subconscious kept throwing the memory back at her in her dreams.

 

She’d agreed to dinner with Royce and his girlfriend one evening, and coming back to an empty apartment had been hard. As much as Tissaia tried to bury the thought, she felt more and more lonely as time went by. Her last relationship had ended over two years ago and she had thrown herself into work to forget about it. That was then that she’d made senior partner at the firm, the youngest since its creation over thirty-five years ago. Foolishly, she’d thought that would fulfill her and she’d be content. For a while it had worked. More responsibilities, more cases that she could choose for the most part, which often meant choosing the lesser evil between two clients. But now, Tissaia longed for love and companionship. Perhaps she ought to buy herself a kitten. She’d noticed how touch-starved she was when Leela—Yennefer—had put her hands on her. The memory of it was enough to make her shiver.

 

And so, it was only a week later this time that Tissaia found herself back at the Pynk. Geralt was leaning on the counter, head propped on one hand, watching the women dancing. There were men around the stages and none at the bar. Tissaia headed straight for him. As she approached, she caught his eye and he straightened up, an easy smile appearing on his handsome face.

 

“Look who’s here!”

“Geralt,” she greeted him.

“How’ve you been?”

“Good, how about you? Last time I came here, you were sick.”

“Oh, right, bad cold. All better now! What d’you want to drink?”

“The Pynk,” she told him as she looked around discreetly.

“Leela’s not working.”

 

So much for being discreet. Tissaia smiled sheepishly. She wouldn’t deny she’d been looking for her, not this time, because it was the truth. She’d hoped to see the raven-haired beauty tonight. A shame. She tried not to let her disappointment show. Geralt mixed her drink, and excused himself. She sighed, alone at the bar, and took a long sip of her cocktail. It felt a bit stronger than usual, and she smiled at the idea that Geralt could have put more alcohol in it to somehow apologize for Yennefer’s absence. When he appeared behind the counter again a couple of minutes later, they talked for a while. He asked about what she was working on at the moment, and Tissaia volunteered some information that she could disclose without breaking confidentiality. Geralt listened and asked intelligent questions, and Tissaia once again wondered why he was bartending when he could obviously be having a successful career in any field.

 

“Can I ask you something?”

“Hm?”

“Why do you work here?”

 

He seemed pensive for a moment, considering the question carefully, his eyes downcast. Then he leaned in, as if he was about to confide in her which made Tissaia unconsciously lean forward too.

 

“I was in a bad place, when I met Cynthia. I, uh, lost someone. My girlfriend. Long story. Anyway, I used to go from bar to bar, looking for fights and getting wasted. Calanthe found me in an alley one night. Took me home, sobered me up, talked some sense into me. She’d just gotten married to a guy. Together they got me into rehab. I didn’t really need it, was never really in need of a drink, I just wanted to numb my pain. So they sent me to therapy to work through my grief. By the time I was able to stand on my own again, they’d opened that little gem. Cynthia offered me the job. She taught me everything I know about bartending. I’ve been here for almost eight years. It’s home. She’s family. The girls are family. Cynthia just takes care of her own, you know?”

 

Tissaia nodded, impressed. Yes, this was the vibe that Cynthia Calanthe gave off when you saw her interact with her people. Protective of her own. One big family. She offered Geralt a small smile, happy that he and Yennefer had someone to look after them. But Geralt’s hazel eyes were sad, his lips set in a tight, hard line.

 

“What is it,” Tissaia probed gently.

“Nothing,” he said with a dismissive wave, “let’s talk about something else. Like, about the woman who just came in.”

 

Tissaia followed his line of sight and froze when her eyes found the woman in question. It was Yennefer, no doubt about it, even though she looked completely different tonight. She was wearing clothes. Tight jeans and a brown jacket that could be either leather or suede, Tissaia couldn’t tell in the semi-darkness of the club. But it was her all right. She spotted them and headed for the bar, hips balancing as she walked, eyes meeting Tissaia’s.

 

“Good evening,” she said when she reached her destination.

“Hi,” Tissaia managed to get out, fingers gripping her glass tightly.

 

From this close, Yennefer was breathtaking. Her face was devoid of the over-the-top make-up she wore when she was working, and she had none of the provocative lipstick on her full lips tonight. Tissaia couldn’t help but stare.

 

“Hi, Yen—Leela,” Geralt greeted her.

“Hi Ger. Don’t worry, this one knows my name,” she replied, eyes never once leaving Tissaia’s.

“You—Geralt said you weren’t working tonight…”

“I’m not. I came for you.”

 

It took Tissaia a few seconds to connect the dots. Then she turned toward Geralt who had a conniving look on his face, mouth half turned up into a smile. He’d called her. When he’d disappeared earlier, he’d called Yennefer to tell her Tissaia was here, looking for her. Oh, Tissaia didn’t know if she wanted to strangle him for the audacity or hug him. Because Yennefer looked divine, and Tissaia was feeling adventurous and this was exactly what she’d been wanting for the past week.

 

“Come,” Yennefer said, redirecting Tissaia’s attention to her. “I know a place we can get good drinks.”

“Hey,” Geralt protested, feigning offense.

 

Yennefer blew him a kiss, and took Tissaia’s elbow, helping her off the stool. Tissaia was all too happy to let her. She was about to pay when Geralt raised a hand to stop her.

 

“On me,” he stated.

“Oh. Thank you.”

 

He nodded and she was about to bid him goodnight but Yennefer was already all but dragging her along with her, so she settled for a small wave. He gave her a thumbs up, and a moment later, was out of her sight.

Chapter Text

Yennefer’s hand never left her elbow, and it was all Tissaia could focus on as the taller woman guided her through the streets without pausing. Perhaps this was a bad idea. She didn’t even know her that well. Sure, her tits had pretty much been in her face but that didn’t mean Tissaia knew her life story. She gulped, wondering where this night would lead her. To good things, hopefully, and into several plastic bags all over the city, worst case scenario.

 

Suddenly, their trotting came to a halt, and Tissaia looked at her surroundings. They were in front of a bar, whose terrace was almost entirely hidden from the street by large wooden panels covered by climbing plants. Tissaia could see the fairy lights hanging from the pergola and she felt Yennefer nudge her a little.

 

“Let’s get a table?”

“Yeah…”

 

The place was beautiful and a clear change of scenery. She’d gotten too used to the strip-club with its neon lights, she’d forgotten what an actual bar looked like. They settled into a corner of the rather large terrace, and within a minute there was a young man asking them for their choice of drinks.

 

“Gin tonic,” Yennefer replied right away.

“Uh, I’ll have a glass of Chardonnay.”

“Perfect, coming right up, ladies!”

 

There were other people on the terrace and yet it felt as if it was just the two of them. Tissaia wanted to know what was going on in Yennefer’s mind, because the other woman was staring, holding back a smile that kept threatening to creep out on her beautiful face.

 

“What is it,” she finally asked.

“Nothing. It’s just not how I’d expected my evening to go.”

“What did you have planned?”

“Homework.”

“Wh—what? How old are you?”

 

Panic flashed through Tissaia but Yennefer laughed, fingers drumming on the table.

 

“I’m working on a PhD! I promise I’m out of high-school.”

“Oh, god, you had me worried for a second!”

“Well, I do work at a strip-club, wasn’t that enough of a clue that I’m over 18 at least?”

 

It was, of course, and she knew Yennefer was probably in her mid-twenties, but she also had a way of throwing off Tissaia and her brain was properly malfunctioning around this woman.

 

“I’m twenty-six,” Yennefer revealed, as if reading her thoughts.

“Oh. Good. I’m thirty-seven.”

“I didn’t ask, but okay. Just so you know, I have a thing for older women.”

 

The waiter chose this moment to come back with their drinks, and Tissaia was grateful because she was suddenly parched. They both reached for their glasses, and Yennefer held hers up to toast. Tissaia clinked her glass softly, eyes looking straight into Yennefer’s. She noticed they were blue-grey when not under the pink neon lights.

 

“To our date,” Yennefer toasted.

 

Was this a date? Was Tissaia on a date with a stripper? She swallowed hard and brought her wine to her lips. She definitely needed more alcohol in her to handle this evening. The Chardonnay didn’t let her down. It was cold, refreshing in the rather warm evening of early June. Yennefer leaned forward and put her elbows on the table, head resting on her clasped hands.

 

“Let’s play twenty questions. I’ll let you go first.”

“Alright. Uh… What’s your favorite color?”

“Black. Do you sleep in the nude?”

 

Taken aback, Tissaia’s mouth opened and closed a few times before she decided that drinking was the better option. Yennefer patiently waited for her to collect herself.

 

“Not usually, no,” Tissaia finally managed to say. “Though it can happen if it gets really hot outside.”

 

Yennefer grinned, pleased with her answer and probably at having destabilized her so easily.

 

“Go on, ask me something,” she urged her.

“Right. How long have you been working at the Pynk?”

“A little over three years. Are you a lesbian?”

 

God this was a lot more than Tissaia expected. She was enthralled by Yennefer and the ease with which she could ask such personal questions and her confidence that Tissaia wouldn’t flip out and run for the hills.

 

“I suppose you could say that. Do you make it a habit to take your clients on dates?”

 

Yennefer took her time to reply, preferring to sip at her drink slowly while staring at Tissaia, gauging her.

 

“No,” she declared after a few seconds. “It’s actually a first for me. Guess you made that big of an impression.”

 

Tissaia tried not to let it show that she was relieved and immensely pleased by that.

 

“Would you sleep with someone on the first date,” Yennefer continued.

“No.”

“Damn, that was a quick answer.”

“I just don’t do that. Or one-night stands.”

“I get that. Your turn.”

“Why work in a strip-club?”

“The pay’s pretty good. And I do my research during the day. How long has it been since you last fucked someone?”

“None of your business,” Tissaia replied matter-of-factly.

 

Yennefer smirked.

 

“That long, huh?”

“How do you find the time to date between your research and your job?”

“I don’t. You’re my first date in months.”

“Really?”

 

Somehow it was hard for her to believe. Tissaia imagined that Yennefer had to fend off suitors given how gorgeous she was. Yennefer shrugged.

 

“What I can say, I have standards. Very few people meet those.”

 

She had this roundabout way of complimenting Tissaia; it made the lawyer feel a warmth that was not due to the alcohol or the weather. She finished her glass of wine and Yennefer imitated her before asking her next question.

 

“What’s your favorite food to eat off of someone’s body?”

“I… I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. Maybe whipped cream, once. So, I don’t know.”

“Hm.”

 

Somehow, Tissaia knew, by the way Yennefer’s eyes were mentally undressing her, that the other woman was thinking about what food exactly she’d use on her body. She motioned to the waiter passing nearby with an empty tray.

 

“Yes, ladies?”

“We’ll have the same.”

“Right away.”

 

He was gone in a flash, and Tissaia had to think of a question to ask. She hoped to bring the conversation back to safer topics.

 

“How do your parents feel about you stripping?”

“My parents are dead.”

“Oh. Oh my god, I’m sorry.”

“Not literally. I mean, they’re probably somewhere out there. I don’t know. They gave me up when I was a baby. I don’t remember them at all. So, to me, they’re dead. Grew up on my own, in a shitty orphanage. But I like to think I turned out okay.”

“You did,” Tissaia assured her, letting a hand find Yennefer’s on the table.

 

The younger woman took the opportunity to entwine their fingers and did not let go. Tissaia stared at their joined hands for a moment, savoring how good it felt. What a smooth skin Yennefer had.

 

“Was it always your dream to be a lawyer?”

“I don’t know about always, but I knew it was what I wanted by the time I started high-school.”

“Impressive.”

“What do you study? I mean, your PhD, what field is it in?”

“Psychology.”

“Impressive.”

 

They smiled at each other. The waiter came back with their drinks and a ramekin full of green olives, and Tissaia let go of Yennefer’s hand. She thanked the waiter who was already walking away, and noticed how quick Yennefer was to throw herself on the olives.

 

“Are you hungry, perhaps?”

“It’s my turn to ask a question,” Yennefer replied with a wink. “Do you want to chug your wine and get out of here?”

“It’s good wine,” Tissaia protested.

 

Yennefer shrugged.

 

“I am hungry. And I also know there’s a pizza parlor right around the corner that makes a crust so good you’ll never eat enough of it.”

“Really? Well, now I’m intrigued. Since I’m still fairly new in town I can’t really pass up the opportunity to discover all the good places.”

“I would be honored to be your guide,” Yennefer said, a hand on her heart.

“Alright then. But I am not chugging that wine.”

“Fine. Ask me another question then.”

 

Her own drink was already half-gone and Tissaia wondered if Yennefer was a heavy drinker or not.

 

“What are the rules to be a stripper?”

“Depends on the club. Cynthia has a few hard rules. No smoking. No drugs. Don’t eat or drink right before coming to work or you’ll look bloated. Don’t drink on the job. Don’t ever fuck a client in the back room.”

“Really, you don’t do that?”

 

She realized she’d fucked up when Yennefer frowned at her.

 

“We’re not whores. Our clients don’t pay us for sex. And if they tried, Danny would throw them out in a blink.”

 

Her tone was icy, guarded, definitely unlike the Yennefer she’d known until then.

 

“I’m sorry,” Tissaia apologized, contrite. “I really have no idea how strip-clubs work. I didn’t mean to offend you.”

 

Yennefer’s traits softened a bit and she sat back in her chair, waving a hand in a dismissive manner.

 

“No big deal. People tend to equate strippers and prostitutes, nothing new.”

“I feel stupid.”

“Don’t. It’s fine. But no, we don’t fuck clients. We don’t even do full nudity, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.”

 

She hadn’t, but now that she thought about it, Tissaia realized it was true. The dancers always had a thong on at the very least.

 

“Are you thinking about me in one of those outfits,” Yennefer asked, wiggling her eyebrows.

“No, I was thinking about your blonde colleague. The one with the tribal tattoo.”

 

Yennefer feigned offense and pouted, which made Tissaia chuckle.

 

“Can’t believe you’d prefer Sabrina over me.”

“Sabrina is her name?”

“Well at the club she goes by Vivian.”

“Interesting choice. Which reminds me, why Leela?”

“It means “play” in Sanskrit. Sort of. Thought it was somewhat fitting for the job.”

“Smart.”

 

This was going well, Tissaia thought. Definitely not what she’d imagined her night would turn out like, but she felt good and Yennefer was charming, and Tissaia wouldn’t be mad if the younger woman tried to hold her hand or maybe even kiss her at the end of the date. Yes, this was a really nice evening. She finished her wine, unbothered by Yennefer’s intense staring. That, certainly, was due to the effect of the alcohol in her system.

 

“I’ll be right back,” Yennefer told her as she stood up.

 

Tissaia nodded, assuming she was going to the restroom but as her eyes followed her inside, she realized that the other woman had stopped at the counter to pay for their drinks. She shook her head at having been so easily fooled. Fine, then. She’d pay for the pizza.

 

Chapter Text

“Oh my god,” Tissaia moaned. “This is heavenly!”

“Told you,” Yennefer replied smugly, biting into her own slice of pepperoni pizza.

 

Yes, Yennefer hadn’t lied, the pizzas here were divine. Tissaia couldn’t remember the last time she’d even eaten one, but this was certainly something she’d do again soon. She wouldn’t mind doing so with the same company. Yennefer watched her with soft eyes while she ate, and normally Tissaia would be self-conscious about being observed like that but she couldn’t care less at the moment, because her senses were overwhelmed by the delicious taste and smell of the pizza, and the beautiful woman sitting opposite her. They barely spoke, only breaking the content silence occasionally to share bits of information about themselves. Tissaia learned that Yennefer liked jazz, dancing in the rain and taking hot baths while listening to soothing music after a night at work. She did her best not to imagine Yennefer in said bath, and failed.

 

She glanced at the clock on the brick wall of the parlor and noted it was already close to eleven. The next morning was going to be excruciating, but Tissaia was in no hurry to put an end to this impromptu date. They didn’t linger after the pizza was devoured. Yennefer wanted to show her one last thing tonight, and Tissaia was all too happy to follow her outside, reveling in the feeling of her hand in Yennefer’s.

 

It turned out Yennefer knew the city like the back of her hand. In under ten minutes, they were on the rooftop of a building that offered quite the view of the city lights. Tissaia was awed and tried to take it all in but she knew she’d have to come back again and again, and wouldn’t get tired of it. Yennefer never let go of her hand, looking at Tissaia proudly.

 

“Will you leave me a good review then? As a guide?”

“Definitely,” Tissaia affirmed. “Should I tip you?”

 

Yennefer remained silent, which brought Tissaia’s attention to her. Blue-grey eyes were watching her still, with an indecipherable look that made Tissaia shiver.

 

“How about a kiss,” Yennefer asked in a low voice, pulling Tissaia to her.

 

She went with no resistance, pressing against Yennefer’s lean body and looking up at her. The height difference was a bit less since she was in heels and Yennefer wasn’t. Yennefer, whose arms were now around her waist and whose nose was almost touching Tissaia’s. She shuddered and closed her eyes, feeling the other woman’s breath on her lips. Yes, she wanted that kiss very much. Delicately, Yennefer placed a light kiss on the corner of her mouth, then on the other.

 

“Just kiss me already,” Tissaia whispered, wanting more.

“You do it,” Yennefer retorted, pressing yet another kiss to her jaw.

“Oh god, come here!”

 

Tissaia’s hands grabbed the collar of Yennefer’s brown leather jacket and pulled her into a passionate kiss, rough and hungry. She’d been wanting it ever since the moment she’d laid eyes on Yennefer, and Tissaia wasn’t disappointed. Yennefer’s lips were soft but demanding, her mouth warm and oh so inviting. This was nowhere near as chaste as she’d imagined their first kiss to be. Not that she’d given it much thought. Once or twice, maybe.

 

The heat rose in her body as Yennefer’s hands slipped from her waist to her ass and Tissaia moaned against her lips. This was going too fast, a part of her brain was yelling at her. She knew it, and yet couldn’t stop herself, couldn’t put an end to this. It could have been a minute or ten, Tissaia didn’t know, when Yennefer broke away, breathless, and rested her forehead against hers. She was smiling and Tissaia’s heart skipped a beat.

 

“Wow,” Yennefer chuckled, “fuck.”

“Fuck indeed,” Tissaia whispered back with a small laugh.

 

Yennefer went for a second kiss, slower, unhurried, savoring the taste of her lips. Tissaia’s fingers found her black hair and she held her head in place as she deepened the kiss. She wanted more, needed more, and yet regretfully pulled back, leaving a dazed Yennefer to look at her with semi-closed eyes full of desire.

 

“I should get home,” Tissaia told her, caressing a cheek with the back of her hand.

“Why,” Yennefer protested immediately, stepping closer so their bodies would touch again.

“I have work in the morning.”

 

She did, it was true, but more importantly, she didn’t want to rush things. If she were to see Yennefer again, she wanted to do things right. To her credit, Yennefer didn’t try to argue much further.

 

“Shall I walk you home?”

“I’ll take a cab, I live quite far from here.”

“Are you sure,” Yennefer asked, pushing a strand of loose hair behind her ear.

“Am I sure that I want a cab?”

“That you want to go home,” she clarified.

“I must, yes. And I told you, I don’t—”

“Fuck on the first date, yeah. I remember. Okay. Come on, let’s get you into a taxi.”

 

Hand in hand, they made their way back to the street through the metallic emergency stairway. In the dark alley, Yennefer pushed Tissaia against the wall gently, and cupped her cheeks, placing a sweet kiss on her lips. Tissaia allowed it, allowed the deepening of it when Yennefer traced her lower lip with her tongue, demanding entrance. Going home could wait five more minutes. Yennefer was as talented a kisser as she was a dancer, and Tissaia felt her knees go weak. She was beyond grateful for the wall behind her and for Yennefer’s toned body pressing her against it. A horn blast startled her and she bit lightly on Yennefer’s lip, making her pull away.

 

“Sorry,” she apologized, out of breath.

“It’s okay,” Yennefer assured her, pecking her on the lips once, twice.

 

They hugged, for a while, neither of them speaking. Tissaia certainly didn’t want to let go, but it was getting late and by the time she’d make it home it’d be well past one in the morning. Yennefer seemed to sense her inner turmoil because she sighed and stepped back first, letting her hands rest on Tissaia’s hips.

 

“I really don’t want this night to end,” she admitted, eyes closed.

 

Tissaia didn’t want that either, but she kept quiet, choosing instead to brush Yennefer’s hair out of her face so she could take a long, last look at her before hailing a cab.

 

“I’ll see you soon,” she promised her. “It’s not like I don’t know where to find you.”

 

Yennefer smiled at that and opened her eyes, a mischievous glint in them.

 

“I’ll let you book me for dances all night long.”

 

The prospect of having an almost naked Yennefer writhing in her lap made her blush, and Tissaia cleared her throat awkwardly.

 

“Yes, well, we’ll see about that.”

“Go, now. Before I try to make you stay.”

“Do you want to share a ride?”

“I’m good. I’ll walk. Probably not heading home right away.”

“Oh, okay.”

 

She didn’t ask where Yennefer was going. It was none of her business, even though she was intrigued. Tissaia settled for a last kiss, chaste and sweet, and then she detached herself from Yennefer’s embrace, stepping away and after one last look, she turned around and left. Yennefer did nothing to stop her, but Tissaia could feel her eyes on her until she disappeared at the corner of the street, looking for a cab.

Chapter Text

The fantasies were out of control. Tissaia was a mess, trying in vain to push Yennefer out of her mind but that proved to be impossible. When she closed her eyes, she could picture her perfectly, standing in front of her, with that sinful smirk and those eyes that sparkled with amusement. Tissaia could remember the smell of her perfume, too, intoxicating, flowery, delicate. She’d wanted to see Yennefer again outside of the Pynk only to realize that, in their own little bubble, they’d forgotten to exchange numbers.

 

Swamped with work, she hadn’t been able to return to the club yet. It had been four days since their improvised date and Tissaia was nearing the end of her rope. She needed a break from the firm, from senior partners whose souls were long gone, and from spending her nights alone. She needed Yennefer. Like a drug, she kept thinking. She knew what it meant. She was enamored with the younger woman and while it scared the hell out of her, it was also the first time in years she felt so alive.

 

She resolved to stop by the club the following night, hoping for it to be a day where Yennefer worked. Otherwise she’d have to resort to asking Geralt for her number, and although she liked the guy, Tissaia wasn’t sure she’d be able to handle the endless teasing that would follow.

 

__

 

As soon as she entered the club, Tissaia looked to her left and found what she was looking for. Black pair of stilettos, long legs, black underwear and a domino mask. Yennefer was here. Tissaia sighed in relief and licked her lips. That girl knew how to work a damn pole. There were men watching her, and Tissaia felt a pang of jealousy and what was most certainly possessiveness settled in her chest. She wasn’t familiar with the feeling, had never felt it before even though she knew she’d been in love. But her ex wasn’t dancing almost every night in front of strangers wearing next to nothing.

 

Tissaia looked away and made her way to the bar. Cynthia was here tonight, but there was no sign of Geralt.

 

“Evening! What can I get you?”

“Do you have Chardonnay?”

 

Cynthia threw her a look and Tissaia shrugged. She was in the mood for white wine.

 

“I’m afraid we don’t serve wine here.”

“Oh. Well then, I’ll have my usual Pynk.”

“Excellent choice! You’ll see how much better it is when I’m the one to make it!”

 

Tissaia laughed, waited for the drink to be placed in front of her, and turned around on her stool so she could shamelessly look at Yennefer from a safe distance. There was no way she was going to sit near the men ogling her. Although maybe Yennefer would put on a show just for her… No, she decided. This was her place of work so Tissaia shouldn’t interfere.

 

“If you want her for yourself, you should book her for a dance,” Cynthia said behind her.

 

Tissaia looked over her shoulder and smiled.

 

“Maybe I will.”

 

She definitely would. Seeing Yennefer again had ignited a fire in her and Tissaia knew nothing would put it out but the one person who’d lit it up in the first place. However, she took her time savoring her cocktail and enjoying the show. Yennefer had seen her, even beckoned her to approach the stage, but Tissaia had chosen to ignore the gesture for the moment. She wanted to watch.

 

As if Yennefer had understood, she let herself fall graciously to the floor and crawl on all fours towards the men sat on the sofa closest to the podium. Tissaia gritted her teeth when she saw Yennefer play with the tie of one of them who tucked a bill in her thong. She drank a fair amount of her Pynk and stood up but didn’t make her way to the stage yet. Yennefer was now on her back, working up her audience, and Tissaia’s heart was pounding in her ears. The song ended after a few more seconds and Yennefer took her time in exiting the stage.

 

“That’s your cue for a dance,” Cynthia told her, startling Tissaia out of her trance.

 

Tissaia didn’t even reply. She downed the last of her cocktail and, with confidence she wasn’t truly feeling, walked up to Yennefer who was already in talks with one of the men. She cleared her throat and four pair of eyes turned toward her, questioningly. Yennefer seemed curious as to what her next move would be.

 

“Let’s go into the back room,” Tissaia ordered, leaving no room for arguments from the men.

 

Yennefer rose silently from the sofa she’d sat on, apologized cheekily to her admirers and walked past Tissaia, leading the way to the private room behind the thick curtain. As soon as it was pulled behind her, Tissaia’s hands were on her waist, drawing Yennefer closer.

 

“Ah, ah! No touching. Those are the rules,” Yennefer chided her, stepping away from her embrace.

“Surely you’re not serious?”

 

Instead of a verbal reply, Yennefer nodded at the camera in the right corner of the room.

 

“If you don’t want Danny to come in here and throw you out, keep your hands to yourself. We’ve got someone upstairs watching the surveillance feeds,” she explained, putting on some music.

 

Well, that was not ideal. Tissaia could barely hide her disappointment, but she complied nonetheless and went to sit on the chair, purse discarded on the floor. Yennefer started to circle around her, letting her fingers trail on Tissaia’s shoulders and back; a touch so light that it was tickling and gave her goosebumps. After the way their date had ended, Tissaia had to admit the barest of touches could set her off. Yennefer seemed to have understood that implicitly. She surmised her knowledge of seduction and of the human body had something to do with that. Yennefer had probably learned a lot in her years as a stripper. And how easily seduced Tissaia was!

 

“I wanted to call you,” Yennefer whispered in her ear as she bent down, still standing behind her.

“Me too.”

“You have no idea how lonely it felt in that bed after our date. I really wanted to hear your voice.”

 

Okay, that, she didn’t expect.

 

“Oh god,” Tissaia whispered, because she knew exactly what Yennefer was implying.

 

She squeezed her thighs shut as the enticing woman got around her to now stand in front of her, somehow still moving to the beat of the music.

 

“Have you thought of me since then,” Yennefer asked her, looking her in the eye.

“Every day,” Tissaia easily admitted.

“Good.”

 

Yennefer straddled her then, hips moving back and forth right above Tissaia’s thighs and it took all of her self-control not to grab her and kiss her senseless. How could one person hold so much sex appeal? Tissaia thought she was in way over her head. And that damn mask on Yennefer’s face was doing incredibly well in turning her on.

 

“I’ll pay for another dance,” she hurriedly said when she heard the song come to an end.

 

There was no way she could let Yennefer get back to the podium, not so soon. Tissaia craved more of her. The next song started playing but Yennefer’s hands were on Tissaia’s shoulders and she wasn’t moving anymore, merely staring at her. Tissaia looked up, meeting her eyes.

 

“What is it?”

“Nothing,” Yennefer assured her after a second.

 

She offered Tissaia a feeble smile and stepped back, turning around so Tissaia would see the back of her. Then she bent down, and Tissaia’s jaw dropped open.

 

“Fuck,” she breathed out, as Yennefer was already straightening herself up, the curve of her spine making Tissaia’s mouth water.

“You like that?”

“I…”

 

She had no words. At the moment, Tissaia was pure lust. Maybe it was the fact that she hadn’t gotten laid in forever, maybe it was simply Yennefer herself; she didn’t know and didn’t care. She could feel the wetness between her legs and she needed some release, one way or another.

 

“Come here,” she rasped.

 

Yennefer obeyed, ever so slowly, stopping once she hit Tissaia’s knees. She cocked her head to the side, eyes on Tissaia’s hands which were gripping the seat beneath her tightly.

 

“Do you want to touch me, Tissaia?”

“You know I do,” she all but growled, her voice low.

“I want that, too. Go out with me again.”

“When?”

“Tomorrow?”

 

Tissaia closed her eyes and swore out loud. Tomorrow would be impossible. She had to attend a dinner with clients and the other senior partner from the branch. This was not something she’d be able to get out of.

 

“I can’t,” she finally said. “Work.”

 

Yennefer chose this moment to sit down on her thighs and Tissaia’s eyes shot open as she felt her weight on her legs. Long arms wrapped around her neck, scrapping at the back of her head gently.

 

“Do you have any idea what I would do to you if there wasn’t a camera in here,” she purred.


Tissaia’s hands hurt from holding the chair so tightly.

 

“You enjoy torturing me, don’t you?”

“I’m torturing you? You’re the one seducing me.”

“What? I’m sorry, am I currently sitting practically naked in your lap and telling you about all the things I’d like to do to you?”

“Hmm, no, but do go on…”

“You’re killing me,” Tissaia murmured, torn between wanting this to end and wanting it to go on forever.

“You’re killing me,” Yennefer replied, grinding down slowly as if trying to get some friction from her current position.

 

Tissaia let her, observing her through half-closed eyelids.

 

“Come over to my place after work tomorrow,” Yennefer suggested, slightly out of breath.

 

Her movements accelerated, now going faster than the rhythm of the music called for. Tissaia knew what Yennefer was attempting to do and she couldn’t believe it was happening, that she was letting it happen, especially with a camera watching their every move. She didn’t know where to look—Yennefer’s hips or her face, showing the first signs of a pleasure Tissaia would not deny her.

 

“I don’t know when I’ll be able to get out. Dinners with clients usually take a while.”

“I don’t care,” Yennefer gasped. “Come at 2 a.m., I don’t care. Oh, fuck!”

 

Her hands clawed into Tissaia’s shoulders and she leaned forward, letting her forehead press hard against Tissaia’s as the movement of her hips became erratic. Tissaia flexed her thighs, offering Yennefer more friction. She could feel her pant leg becoming damp and she watched in awe as Yennefer got herself off a few seconds later, her back arching, pushing her breasts into Tissaia’s face.

 

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Yennefer groaned as she shuddered.

 

Maybe she wasn’t allowed to use her hands, but Tissaia was pretty sure Yennefer’s body was hiding her from the camera, so she stuck her tongue out and licked the valley between her breasts, making Yennefer’s hands fly to her head to keep her there as she rode out her orgasm. Tissaia could have almost come by the sheer obscenity of the sound Yennefer let out when she kissed a firm breast through the fabric of her lacy bra.

 

“Stop,” Yennefer said, “stop or I—I can’t… Danny’s going to show up and throw you out and then Cynthia will kill you,” she finished in one breath, pushing back at Tissaia’s shoulders.

 

Tissaia obeyed, licking her lips, taking in the sight and scent of Yennefer. She looked out of breath; black hair mussed somehow even though Tissaia hadn’t touched it despite wanting to do so very much. She was magnificent. All too soon, Yennefer stood up, bracing herself on Tissaia’s shoulders still. Her legs were shaky in their heels, and Tissaia let go of the chair with some difficulty. Her phalanges were aching but she couldn’t care less, not when Yennefer was looking so divine.

 

“Time’s up,” Yennefer stated, looking at the now silent music player and moving to turn it off.

 

She was loath to leave, but Tissaia knew this was for the best. She got up, adjusted her pants and noticed the damp spot on them. Thankfully the club was dark so it would probably go unnoticed and she’d only have to make a quick exit anyway.

 

“Sorry about that,” Yennefer apologized, pointing at it with her finger.

“Don’t. That was…”

“Hot?”

“Definitely. Yeah.”

“Come here.”

 

In two long strides, Tissaia was in front of her. Yennefer took her by the hand and spun them around, pressing her body against Tissaia’s and making her step backwards until she could feel the thick curtain behind her back. She took off her mask and threw it on top of the music player. Then, Yennefer kissed her. It wasn’t sweet, no. This was what Tissaia would describe as forceful and desperate and needy. She sighed into the kiss, leaning heavily against Yennefer’s taller body, feeling her arms close around her. Suddenly, it hit her:

 

“Wait,” she said as she broke away, “the camera!”

“Look up,” Yennefer replied with a grin.

 

The camera stood perched above them. Yennefer had brought her to the only blind spot of the tiny room.

 

“How long do we have until they see you’re not in here and not out there,” she asked.

“Probably about a minute or so.”

 

Tissaia smiled and went right back to kissing Yennefer, enjoying the feel of her skin now that she was free to touch her.

 

“Tell me you’ll come tomorrow,” Yennefer all but begged her once their lips parted.

“I will,” Tissaia promised.

 

She knew she wouldn’t be able to stay away, couldn’t wait until Yennefer’s next night off to see her in private. She’d make it work, tomorrow. Try to rush dinner, or come up with an excuse to leave early. She’d find a way.

 

“Give me your number,” she reminded her.

“Give me your phone.”

 

In under thirty seconds, Tissaia had a new contact with a picture of Yennefer’s breasts clad in a bra as her caller ID. She chuckled when she saw it.

 

“Nice.”

“It’s a little something for yourself tonight,” Yennefer explained. “Think of it as a thank-you and an apology for ruining your fancy pants.”

 

Tissaia stole one last kiss, and fished a bill from her purse that she then handed to Yennefer.

 

“Here. I took you away from potential clients and you danced for me, it’s only right that I pay.”

“That is way too much. You always pay too much.”

“I… I just have no idea what the prices are, no one’s ever told me.”

 

Yennefer simply laughed and took the money, before opening the curtain just enough to let Tissaia slip through.

 

“Go,” she told her. “I’m not going back out there right away.”

“Oh, okay. I’ll, uh, I’ll text you tomorrow.”

“You better.”

 

They shared one last glance, full of something Tissaia couldn’t pinpoint, and the curtain fell back between them. She cleared her throat and headed straight for the exit, never noticing that the dark eyes of Cynthia Calanthe were watching her retreating form like a hawk.

Chapter Text

Of course the day would go by excruciatingly slowly, Tissaia thought as she glanced at her watch after her third meeting of the morning. It wasn’t even noon and knowing that it would likely be twelve more hours before she could see Yennefer again frustrated the hell out of her. She pulled out her phone for the fifth time already, hoping to see a message from Yennefer but so far, nothing.

 

“Tissaia?”

 

Startled, she dropped her phone in her lap and looked up at the intruder.

 

“Sorry,” Royce said as he stepped into her office. “Didn’t mean to scare you. Everything alright?”

“Yes, yes. What is it?”

“I’m heading out for lunch.”

“Okay.”

“… Well, do you want to come?”

“Oh, no, I’m good, thank you. I have a salad in the fridge,” she explained, pointing towards the little kitchen they had on the floor. “Oh, and Royce?”

“Yeah?”

“Come in for a minute. Close the door.”

 

He looked at her, intrigued, but did as he was told and took a chair by her desk.

 

“What’s up?”

“What I’m about to say is strictly confidential, do you understand?”

“I do. It won’t leave this office.”

 

Tissaia hesitated, chewing on her bottom lip as she studied his earnest face. Seeing no reason to doubt his sincerity, she leaned forward, elbows on her desk, and said:

 

“I want to start my own firm.”

“You—you do? You mean you’re going to quit?”

“Eventually, yes. I’m trying to figure out when, and how to do it.”

“That’s, uh… okay. I mean it’ll be a huge loss for us, but I know that nothing I could say would be enough to keep you here.”

“I’d like you to join me.”

“Me?”

 

She nodded, giving him a moment to process the news.

 

“I like your work ethic. You’re smart,” she continued, “and you’re a good lawyer with a promising future. I’d be lucky to have you. And let’s be honest, we both know it’s not the end goal for you to become Stregobor’s lapdog. With me, you’d have the opportunity to choose your clients.”

 

Royce seemed to struggle with words, so she put a hand up reassuringly.

 

“I’m not asking you for an answer right now. I simply want you to consider my offer, and to keep it between the two of us.”

“Right. Yeah. Of course.”

“That’ll be all, then. Go to lunch.”

 

He stood up, looked like he was about to speak but didn’t. He wiped his hands on his pants and smiled feebly. Tissaia knew she could trust him, but he seemed skeptical about her offer and she worried that maybe he didn’t trust her to succeed out there, on her own. Which was fair, because building a law firm from the ground up would be a challenge, but what was life without them?

 

“Istredd,” she called out right as he was leaving.

“Yeah?”

“We can discuss this further, okay?”

“Sure. I’ll think about it.”

 

She watched him go, idly playing with her pen, until her phone chimed. She looked down and saw that she had a new text message from Yennefer. In her haste, Tissaia dropped the pen onto the desk and hit her knee against the drawer. With a hand, she absent-mindedly rubbed it to soothe the sharp pain she felt, while she opened the text message with her other hand.

 

Getting ready for tonight xo

 

Well. That could mean a number of things. Tissaia gulped, wished she had a bottle of water near her, and thought about what to send back. Before she could, another grey bubble appeared.

 

Do you prefer red or purple?

 

Tissaia bit her lips. She was fairly sure why Yennefer was asking, and the thought of it was enough to make her hot. She ought to open a window.

 

Either is fine, she replied, because it was the truth.

 

And there would most likely be other opportunities to see the other option, or so she hoped.

 

Can’t wait to see you xo

 

She smiled at the words, sent a short text saying pretty much the exact same thing, and put her phone down. She had another meeting in less than forty minutes and needed to eat first.

 

__

 

“David’s here,” Stregobor announced after knocking on the glass door of her office at the end of the day.

 

It was past seven and they were heading to dinner at Le Grand, a French restaurant in the fanciest part of the city. They’d be meeting with potential news client there, who had insisted they talked over gourmet food. Naturally, Stregobor had accepted in both of their names. She hated that he would do that, rarely consulting her on anything. Nevertheless, she followed. David, the chauffeur, was waiting for them in the lobby. Tissaia bid Enrik goodnight, as usual, and stepped into the car as David held the door open for her.

 

“This is going to be good for us if he signs,” Stregobor told her.

 

Tissaia hummed in agreement, even though all she cared about at the moment was what would come after this dinner. She knew the clients were big, but what did it matter to her since she was planning on leaving soon? And Viktor was a piece of shit, so she wouldn’t feel bad if the night ended with the clients not signing with them. Perhaps she could even go after them later, once she had her own firm.

 

“Earth to Tissaia,” Viktor called, waving a hand in front of her.

“Sorry, you were saying?”

“Try to mention your big win of last month in the conversation, that’ll impress them.”

“If you think that’s necessary.”

 

He nodded, caressing his neatly trimmed beard pensively. Tissaia looked away, out of the window, where the city was preparing for the night. Traffic was lighter at this hour and they arrived early, as was customary in meetings set in public places. The restaurant was expecting them and they were soon led to a round table for four. Tissaia didn’t wait for Stregobor to pull her chair for her and she sat down. She’d powdered her nose and touched up her mascara before leaving the firm, she knew she looked good. Anything to impress clients, was something she’d often heard and therefore assimilated. It was true. Image and talent went hand in hand in this world.

 

It was ten minutes of small talk she entertained before the clients showed up. Two men wearing classy suits, briefcase in hand, made their way to the table. Stregobor and Tissaia stood up to greet them with firm handshakes.

 

“Viktor, nice to see you again,” one of them exclaimed.

 

The other seemed more reserved, and stern. His eyes were on Tissaia, and she smiled tightly.

 

“Have a sit, let’s order drinks right away.”

 

A waiter was standing by, ready to take their order. The men asked for scotch, which to her was horrendous but unsurprising. She ordered her a glass of her favorite wine. This was going to be a long dinner, and she could feel herself die a little inside. Normally, she’d rather be anywhere but here but tonight especially, there was only one place she wished she could teleport to.

 

__

 

By the time dinner was over, Tissaia was half-drunk—she’d tried not to drink too much but her glass was somehow always full—and they were one of the last tables in the restaurant. She didn’t dare take a look at her watch again. The last time she’d done so had been about an hour ago, if she had to guess, and back then it was already close to midnight. She held back a sigh, weariness settling in her bones after her long day.

 

“Gentlemen, if you’ll excuse me a moment,” she said as she rose from her chair.

 

They barely acknowledged her, too engrossed in their sports discussion with Viktor. Well, at least this was going well. The clients would hire their firm; she was sure of it. Their business was growing, and Stregobor and Associates was the biggest law firm in this side of the country, with branches in many major cities.

 

Tissaia pushed the door to the women’s restroom open and slipped inside. At this hour, it was empty and she finally let out a long-suffering sigh. Immediately, she took out the phone from her purse and checked it. Sure enough, there was one message from Yennefer. Feverishly, she opened it, leaning against the sink.

 

If you give me your address, I can come to you. I’m sure you’ll be tired after working all day.

 

The idea of going straight home after this ordeal was enticing. Having Yennefer delivered on her doorstep, even more. She smiled and typed back a reply, giving Yennefer her address and asking her to be there in an hour. Yes, she was beyond tired, but seeing the other woman’s face, kissing her soft lips, touching her skin would be enough to make her forget about her exhaustion. With renewed energy, Tissaia slipped the phone back into her purse, washed her hands and touched up her hair before walking out and back towards the table. In thirty minutes, done or not done with this dinner, she’d get out of here and rush home to be presentable for Yennefer.

Chapter Text

The intercom buzzed as Tissaia finished changing the bedsheets. She hurriedly threw them in the linen basket and made her way to the door, to press the button that would unlock the entrance door of the building, fifteen stories below. Her heart was pounding in her ears. She wiped her hands on her pants and prayed she wouldn’t embarrass herself. She’d been home just long enough to hop in the shower for five minutes, brush her teeth, fix her makeup and hair, and throw on some clean, comfortable clothes. All the weariness in her bones had magically disappeared as anticipation slowly took over.

 

It seemed like an eternity before the doorbell rang and Tissaia had to take a moment to collect herself before she opened the door. On the other side stood a very elegant Yennefer, grinning from ear to ear. Dressed in a dark green blouse tucked into black jeans, a cascade of black hair falling over her shoulders, she looked positively delicious.

 

“Hi.”

“Hey,” Tissaia replied in the same tone, trying desperately to keep her cool. “Come in.”

 

Yennefer stepped forward, brushing against Tissaia as she walked past her and into the apartment. The younger woman whistled as she took in the place. Tissaia followed her into the open living space, quietly observing her. Dropping her tiny purse on the sofa, Yennefer walked around like a kid in a candy shop.

 

“Damn, Tissaia! I figured you had money, on account of being a lawyer and all that, but holy shit. And that view…”

 

She trailed off, looking out the floor-to-ceiling window in a corner. Well above the ground, they could see the illuminated streets below and the very light traffic of the hour.

 

“Yes,” Tissaia agreed, her eyes never leaving Yennefer, “the view is quite beautiful.”

 

It felt a bit strange, to have Yennefer here with her. It looked as if she belonged, and half of Tissaia was terrified at the thought that this was something she could so easily believe. The whirlwind of emotions the other woman created was too powerful for Tissaia to resist. Yennefer finally turned around to face her, eyes zeroing in on her.

 

“How rude of me. I haven’t even said hello properly.”

 

In three long strides, she was within reach, hands going up to bring Tissaia against her by the back of her neck. She pulled her into a deep kiss, and Tissaia could feel her smile against her lips. They took their time, neither of them wanting to rush into this. Finally, Tissaia thought. She’d been waiting for this and Yennefer seemed just as desperate to be close to her judging by the way she couldn’t even let Tissaia catch her breath for a second, lips relentlessly pursuing hers.

 

“What can I get you to drink,” Tissaia asked after a moment, playing with Yennefer’s hands in hers.

“Whatever you’re having is fine by me.”

“Is red wine okay?”

“Sounds great.”

“I’ll get us glasses. Feel free to, I don’t know, look around.”

 

Yennefer took her advice and chose to start with the balcony. She opened the sliding door and stepped outside. The bottle of wine was quickly uncorked and the rich, red liquid poured into crystal glasses. Before joining Yennefer outside, Tissaia turned on the sound system and chose a random playlist from her phone as background music. Quietly, glasses in hands, she then made her way to where the young woman was standing, leaning against the railing.

 

“Here,” she said.

“Thank you,” Yennefer replied, clinking their glasses together before taking a sip from the beverage. “It’s really good.”

“One of my favorites.”

 

They drank in silence for a while, side by side, arms brushing against each other’s, content to bask in the quietude of the night. But Yennefer couldn’t stay still for too long. She placed her glass on the white, metallic table and planted herself behind Tissaia, embracing her. They started swaying lightly to the rhythm of the music they could hear from inside the apartment since Tissaia had left the sliding door open. The night was warm, and between the wine and Yennefer’s body pressed against hers, Tissaia felt hot. She closed her eyes, letting Yennefer set the pace of their swaying, and enjoying the way her arms were holding her at the waist.

 

“You smell good,” Yennefer commented. “Like… I want to say vanilla?”

“Uh-hmm.”

 

Not intent on making further conversation, Yennefer kissed her shoulder and let her wet lips trail a path from shoulder to her jaw. Tissaia titled her head to offer better access and hummed contentedly.

 

“Taste good, too.”

 

A hand came to take the glass from Tissaia’s and set it on the table, too. She allowed it, knowing there was a reason for Yennefer to dare and take her wine from her. Sure enough, now free to roam with no fear of breaking crystal, Yennefer’s hands started stroking Tissaia’s sides, just as she buried her nose in Tissaia’s loose hair.

 

“What if…”

“What if what,” Tissaia asked after Yennefer trailed off.

“What if I were to take you, right here, on your balcony? Would you let me?”

 

Tissaia’s eyes opened at once; the thought sending a jolt of desire through her body. Would she mind? At this hour, there were no neighbors out, and the thick plexiglass railing wasn’t see-through, so what risk was th—

 

“Oh, god,” she groaned, feeling Yennefer’s hands slip beneath her button-up shirt and caress the smooth skin of her stomach.

“I’m going to fuck you, Tissaia, while you watch the city below and try to not wake the neighbors.”

“Yennefer…”

 

There was more that she wanted to say but the words couldn’t get out, not when very determined fingers were teasing her, just shy of slipping under the wire of her bra. She wanted to kiss Yennefer but their current position wasn’t ideal and the other woman wasn’t going to allow her to move an inch.

 

“I’ve been thinking about this all day,” Yennefer continued. “Thinking about all the ways I want to have you.”

“Fuck, god, just… fuck...”

 

How could mere words have such an effect on her? Tissaia could feel herself grow wetter with every dirty thing that came out of Yennefer’s mouth.

 

“Should I leave your shirt on,” Yennefer mused out loud, “or take it off?”

 

Was this a rhetorical question? Tissaia didn’t know. At the moment, she didn’t know anything but the way she was feeling and the presence of Yennefer, surrounding her, smothering her with desire and want.

 

“Touch me,” she finally managed to whisper, words dripping with need.

“Yes, that’s the plan.”

 

Chin resting on Tissaia’s shoulder, Yennefer let her hands slowly inch closer to the button of Tissaia’s grey slacks. Too paralyzed to do or say anything, Tissaia waited with bated breath for what was to follow.

 

“May I,” Yennefer asked softly.

 

As if she didn’t know that Tissaia was a second away from taking her hand and shove it down her pants. She nodded vigorously, teeth biting hard on her bottom lip as Yennefer’s expert fingers undid the button and found their way to her panties, stroking her through them. Tissaia’s hands gripped the railing and she tried to push against the inquisitive fingers brushing against the most intimate part of her.

 

“Shh,” Yennefer soothed her, kissing her cheek.

 

Her other hand kept tracing patterns on Tissaia’s skin, and she was getting desperate for more contact as the seconds went by.

 

“Please,” she breathed out, “please, I—”

“Tell me how long you’ve been wanting this.”

“Ever since I saw you,” Tissaia admitted, too overcome with desire to try and lie.

“Did you touch yourself thinking of me?”

“Yes, yes I did! Now please, will you just—oh.”

 

Finally—finally—Yennefer’s fingers slipped in her underwear and cupped her sex, pressing against it. At the same time, a pair of sharp teeth bit into the tender flesh of her shoulder, and Tissaia slapped a hand on her mouth to swallow a scream.

 

“I did, too,” Yennefer confessed, massaging the heated and moist flesh she’d found between Tissaia’s legs. “So many times.”

“Oh my god.”

 

Tissaia would come fast, she knew that. The friction wasn’t enough yet, but she was ready to let go and it wouldn’t take much more for her legs to trap Yennefer’s hand between them. Especially if Yennefer kept talking dirty in her ear, because that woman had a way with words.

 

“Do you want me inside of you,” Yennefer asked.

“Please,” Tissaia begged.

 

It was all she wanted, all she could think about. Yennefer granted her that, at last. A finger, quickly joined by a second, buried themselves into her heated core, and Tissaia’s head fell back onto Yennefer’s shoulder in ecstasy. Her lover kissed and licked the column of her pale throat, making her shiver and moan. One of the hands left the railings to find Yennefer’s hair, and Tissaia turned her head to meet an eager pair of lips. The angle wasn’t the best and the kiss was messy but she couldn’t care less. Between her legs, Yennefer’s hand was working magic, faster and faster, with a thumb that knew exactly what to do. She felt entirely possessed. In under two minutes, Tissaia was on the brink of a powerful orgasm and Yennefer showed no sign of slowing down.

 

“Let it go, Tissaia, come for me,” Yennefer intimated with a voice that betrayed her own arousal.

 

And so she did. Her inner walls clenched around Yennefer’s fingers and her mouth opened in a silent scream. Yennefer’s free arm was around her again, anchoring her as she felt her legs buckle. When she regained her senses, Yennefer had already retracted her hand and was kissing her neck softly.

 

“You’re perfect,” her lover said reverently.

 

Tissaia hummed, enjoying the feather-like kisses on her heated skin, and she turned around in Yennefer’s arms. Her limbs felt heavy, a combination of the post-orgasm state and the tiredness of the whole day. Still, Tissaia pulled Yennefer in for a kiss and she groaned against her lips, frustrated that this simply wasn’t enough. She wanted more.

 

“Let’s go inside,” she suggested.

 

Surely the neighbors had had enough of a show for the night. She prayed that no one had actually seen them on the balcony. Yennefer nodded and handed her the unfinished glass of wine from earlier, which she drank at once.

 

Once back in the living-room, she all but collapsed onto the sofa, pulling Yennefer on top of her. The soft music played in the background as their lips collided again, demanding, insatiable. It was Yennefer who broke away, a hand pressing against Tissaia’s chest so she couldn’t follow.

 

“You’re tired,” Yennefer stated.

“I’m fine, it’s fine.”

“It’s two in the morning. We should get you into bed.”

“Well, if you want to take this to the bedroom, you can just say so,” Tissaia joked, trying to connect their lips again.

 

But Yennefer had picked up on something and she wasn’t budging. She stood up, dragging Tissaia with her, and snaked an arm around her waist. Once more, Tissaia allowed her. It wasn’t like she’d been in control of anything tonight.

 

“Where’s your bedroom,” Yennefer asked her.

 

Tissaia didn’t reply but she started moving; Yennefer following immediately. When they entered the room, the sight of her bed made Tissaia yawn and Yennefer smiled fondly at her.

 

“See? You need to sleep.”

“But I want to—”

“No, no, tonight was all about you.”

“Well I need… you. More of you.”

 

They stared at each other, at an impasse. Clearly, Yennefer wanted her, too. Hell, Tissaia could see the desire etched onto her delicate features. But she had to admit she was beyond exhausted. In the end, she relented, took Yennefer’s hand in hers and pulled her flush against her, pecking her lips once.

 

“Fine, I’ll sleep. But you’re staying, too. I’ll make you breakfast.”

 

Yennefer grinned happily, satisfied with the solution offered.

 

“Yes, ma’am. I’m going to use the bathroom really quick though.”

“It’s that door, there.”

“You should, uh, you know. Pee.”

“I know,” Tissaia assured her. “I’m going to get us some water and then do just that.”

 

Ten minutes later, teeth brushed and makeup gone, Tissaia sat on the edge of her bed, watching in awe as Yennefer undressed slowly, making a show out of it. You could take the stripper out of the club, but… In her silky, purple underwear, with the orange glow of the bedside lamp reflecting on her skin, Yennefer looked divine. She came closer, inviting Tissaia to touch her. Fingers found her waist and pulled her forward, until Tissaia could kiss her abdomen and dig her short nails into her lower back. Yennefer hummed, playing with Tissaia’s hair as the older woman mapped her skin with soft lips and a curious tongue.

 

“We’re supposed to be sleeping,” Yennefer reminded her, clearly torn between amusement, seriousness and desire.

 

Tissaia didn’t reply, too focused she was on the warm and supple body beneath her fingertips. Sleep could wait a little more. She wanted to savor this. The hands massaging her scalp were also a delight, and Tissaia closed her eyes, forehead against Yennefer’s toned stomach.

 

“Fuck,” she whispered, knowing this would be the end of the night.

“Lie down,” Yennefer said.

 

Tissaia complied with a short sigh, disappointed in herself for not having the energy to pull an all-nighter as she’d done so often when she’d been a young law student. Sex was so much more interesting than studying, but staying up all night was something she hadn’t done in a long time. She slipped under the thin grey sheet and watched as Yennefer took off her bra and crawled over her on her hands and knees, pushing her back against the pillows until she was positively lying down. Then, Yennefer pressed a kiss to her lips, her forehead, and her cheek. It was chaste and sweet and not overtly sexual, which was the only reason Tissaia didn’t try to switch their positions and get on top of the half-naked goddess in front of her.

 

“What time do you need to wake up,” Yennefer asked.

“I’m a senior partner, I can do whatever the hell I want.”

“Hmm, okay, sexy boss,” Yennefer teased her, joining her under the sheet. “Lazy morning it is, then. Oh, damn, this bed is amazing.”

“I know, right?”

“Must’ve cost a fortune.”

“Had to sell a kidney for it.”

 

Yennefer laughed, and Tissaia’s heart did a somersault at the sight of her beautiful face showing such carefree happiness. Yennefer noticed that Tissaia was looking at her, and she turned on her side to meet her gaze.

 

“I had a great time tonight,” she told her.

“Me too. I only wish that dinner hadn’t been on my schedule.”

“It’s okay. We’ll have more time.”

 

She sounded so certain, as if it was an evidence that there would be another encounter like this one, as if they would obviously see each other again. Tissaia prayed she was right. She raised a hand to caress Yennefer’s cheek, marveling at how a simple touch could make her feel so much.

 

“Goodnight,” she murmured, moving closer to Yennefer who came to snuggle against her.

“You, too.”

 

Between the exhaustion and the comfort of Yennefer’s embrace, sleep claimed Tissaia almost immediately.

Chapter Text

She’d forgotten to close the blinds. A ray of sunlight roused her from her slumber, early in the morning. Tissaia cracked an eye open, squinting, trying to make out the time on the alarm clock beside her bed. Barely past eight. She closed her eye again, and exhaled softly. A hand on her stomach was keeping her firmly in place against Yennefer’s front. Tissaia surmised the younger woman was still asleep. Her breathing was even, and Tissaia let her fingers stroke the hand on her abdomen. She’d gotten about six hours of sleep, and while this was almost as much as a regular night of sleep, Tissaia wished she hadn’t woken up just yet. It was the first time she woke up with someone in her bed in over two years. She wanted to enjoy it.

 

In the end, it was thirst that convinced her to get up. Carefully, so as to not wake her slumbering companion, Tissaia extracted herself from her warm embrace and made her way to the kitchen where she poured herself a glass of freezing water, just how she liked it. She programmed the coffee machine and let it do its job, deciding that snuggling with Yennefer while she waited was a better option than standing around in the kitchen. She brought a bottle of water back to the bedroom with her, in case Yennefer would want some when she woke up.

 

She stopped in the doorway, taking in the sleeping form of her lover, entangled in the sheet. She looked peaceful, young, endearing. Tissaia felt a wave of tenderness wash over her, quickly replaced by the flames of desire when Yennefer stirred, exposing a bare breast over the sheet. Tissaia swallowed, opened the bottle of water in her hand and took a long sip, eyes never leaving Yennefer. She approached the bed, silently, and placed the bottle on the bedside table. Then, she kneeled on the mattress, feeling it dip under her weight, and she straddled Yennefer’s legs, careful not to touch her. Slowly, Tissaia leaned down until her lips met the skin of Yennefer’s collarbone, which she kissed lightly. Yennefer sighed but didn’t stir, so Tissaia decided to place another kiss at the base of her throat, and then lower and lower still, until her mouth was in the valley between her breasts and she couldn’t resist flicking her tongue and tracing patterns lazily, up and down, enjoying the sight of Yennefer’s hardening nipples.

 

“Hmm,” Yennefer moaned, finally free from Morpheus’ arms.

“Good morning,” Tissaia drawled before biting gently on the side of her breast.

 

Yennefer hummed in reply, not quite awake yet. Tissaia could certainly help with that. She tugged at the sheet separating their bodies and pushed it aside to have access to Yennefer’s abdomen, and eagerly made her way down her body, kissing, licking, nipping at her skin. She looked up and saw that Yennefer was now watching her intently, blue-grey eyes very much focused on what she was doing. Tissaia liked that a lot. She wanted Yennefer to know exactly what was about to happen, wanted her to watch as Tissaia finally tasted her. She made sure to never break eye contact as she pulled Yennefer’s panties down and discarded them somewhere behind her.

 

“Tissaia…”

 

It was all that came out of her mouth; her brain probably still a bit foggy. Tissaia noticed how quickly Yennefer’s hands grabbed the sheets and she smirked. Yes, maybe she was easily turned on by the younger woman, but it seemed that the reverse was true as well. With the confidence boost, Tissaia decided it was beyond time for her to dive in.

 

She settled between Yennefer’s legs and kept them apart with her hands, feeling the smoothness of her skin.

 

“You smell good,” she told her with a voice much lower than its usual tone.

“Fuck,” was all Yennefer could reply. “Oh, fuck,” she added as Tissaia’s tongue dipped into her lightly, just teasing.

 

Tissaia moaned at the taste of her, already certain she would not tire of it. She wanted to defile every inch of her. Yennefer writhed in pleasure as Tissaia’s tongue worked between her legs, and she was exactly as loud as Tissaia had imagined her to be. When three fingers ventured inside of her, Yennefer clutched the sheets and let out of string of curses that had Tissaia smile against her thigh before she sucked at her clit, and Yennefer could only moan in ecstasy. She came quickly after that, legs clamping around Tissaia’s head so tightly that the brief thought of suffocating formed in her mind. Yennefer’s hips bucked as she rode out her orgasm, chanting Tissaia’s name as if it were the only word she knew. After close to a minute, she freed Tissaia from the death grip of her thighs and collapsed onto the mattress, out of breath, a hand thrown over her eyes and the other wound in Tissaia’s hair, blindly pulling her up. Tissaia crawled up her body and lay her head down on Yennefer’s chest, listening as her heartbeat tried to slow down.

 

“Fuck,” Yennefer whispered once she could form somewhat of a coherent thought. “I… wow.”

 

Tissaia chuckled, happy to see that her skills in that department were as good as ever. What a way to start her day! She hadn’t done that in years and she was ready to go again, despite the slight ache in her jaw and Yennefer’s attempt at murdering her with her thighs. They lay in silence for a while; Yennefer’s hands caressing the skin under Tissaia’s nightdress, taking a special interest in the curve of her ass which Tissaia found funny and endearing. She kissed the column of Yennefer’s throat, propped herself on her forearms and met her curious gaze.

 

“Want breakfast?”

 

__

 

There were two things that Tissaia found out about Yennefer over breakfast. She liked her coffee with one sugar and toasts with tons of butter and jam on them, and she could not keep her hands off of Tissaia. While Tissaia buttered the crispy toasts, Yennefer stood behind her, kissing and biting at her neck affectionately, hands always under her shirt, tempting her, testing her. Tissaia was genuinely hungry and it was the only reason she didn’t throw Yennefer on the couch and fucked her senseless.

 

Breakfast was charged with a tension that she could only describe as sexual. They kept looking at each other over a mug of hot coffee, perhaps gauging the other, wondering what would come next. Tissaia, at least, was very much wondering about that. She knew she’d have to go to work eventually, but since she didn’t have to be in court today and her first meeting was around eleven, she was in no hurry to let Yennefer out of her apartment. Judging from the way she was looking at her as if she were yet another piece of delicious toast, Tissaia figured Yennefer wasn’t in a rush either. She was wearing her button-up shirt and panties, and Tissaia enjoyed the sight of her bare legs, remembering their smoothness and their strength. Her mouth watered and she drank the last of her coffee. When she turned to put her mug in the sink and wash it, Yennefer joined her—predictably—and snaked her arms around Tissaia’s waist, chin resting on her shoulder.

 

“Thank you for this wonderful morning,” she said.

“You’re very welcome.”

“Can I fuck you on the kitchen island now?”

 

Tissaia almost dropped her mug.

 

__

 

“Sorry about the couch,” Yennefer whispered, voice muffled against Tissaia’s neck.

“It’s okay. I didn’t like it that much anyway.”

 

She could feel Yennefer’s mouth stretch into a grin and she tightened her arms around her lover, who was lying half on top of her, half on the sofa which was definitely going to need to be either cleaned or thrown away after their sex marathon. Tissaia had stopped counting how many times they’d done it, all she knew was that she’d have to clean the kitchen island, the couch—if it was salvageable—and the rug in the living-room, as well. God, she was so sore, and sleepy too. And thirsty, again. But Yennefer was dead weight in her arms, humming against her skin, and they were too entangled for Tissaia to try and get to the fridge. She glanced at the clock on the wall and saw that it was nearing ten. She’d have to leave in thirty minutes if she wanted to make it to her eleven o’clock meeting. Regretfully, she sighed and kissed the top of Yennefer’s head.

 

“I’m afraid it’s time to get up.”

“I can’t.”

“Well, I don’t want to either, but—”

“No, I mean, I can’t. I don’t feel my legs yet. Give me a minute. This is your fault after all.”

 

Well, Tissaia had fucked her just moments ago, so she allowed it. Her hands went back to caressing Yennefer’s back.

 

“Why stripping,” she asked, out of the blue.

“What?”

“Why did you choose that job? Surely there were other options that paid well and didn’t require you to dance almost naked in front of ugly pigs?”

 

Yennefer remained silent, seemingly conflicted over something Tissaia couldn’t figure out. In the end, whatever debate she was having internally ended, because she spoke up.

 

“When I was a teen, I had a lot of self-esteem issues. I didn’t like myself. Didn’t like my body. I hated being a girl. Things seemed so much easier for boys, you know? It took me a long time to accept myself, and to be confident in my own skin. When Cynthia and I met, it changed my life. She made me a better person, taught me to be confident and I admire her so much for that. She’s so strong, and I thought “if she can be like that, in a man’s world, maybe I can be, too.” It took me a couple of months to learn how to dance but turns out I’m a natural. And then I asked Cynthia if I could work for her at the club, and she said yes. It’s done wonders for my self-esteem, to have all these men drool over me and throw money at me for basically just dancing and exposing some skin.”

 

Tissaia wasn’t sure what the appropriate reaction to such a confession was. She nodded, to show her understanding, and raised Yennefer’s chin with a hand so the other woman would look at her.

 

“You’re beautiful,” she said. “I wish you’d never doubted that.”

“Thanks,” Yennefer replied with a dazzling smile. “Now… I really think we should get into the shower.”

“Yes, definitely. Let’s go!”

 

__

 

Tissaia took a cab to get to the firm, well past eleven. She’d expected to be late, had called the front desk to let them know. Of course making it on time would have been impossible: Yennefer, with all the vigor of someone her age, had insisted on getting one last orgasm out of her in the shower, and Tissaia, too weak to resist her, had let her coax it out of her. Instead of taking ten minutes to get cleaned up, they’d ended up needing forty, and Tissaia now had to apply her make-up in the taxi. Hopefully, her client wouldn’t be early. She really had no excuse to give him and she strongly doubted that “sorry I was getting fucked in the shower” would fly.

 

She took out her phone and smiled at the lock screen. She’d called the firm while in the bathroom, still wrapped in a white towel, and Yennefer had used the opportunity to snap a picture of her afterwards with Tissaia’s own phone. She was standing in front of the mirror, using the blow-dryer, and Yennefer was in the reflection, taking the photo. She’d set it as her lock screen before Tissaia could see and she’d only realized it when she’d checked the time before leaving the apartment.

 

“Call me,” Yennefer had said. “I’m working tonight, tomorrow and the day after. Maybe we can see each other on my next night off?”

 

Tissaia had agreed, warning her that she might not be able to stay away and show up at the Pynk. Yennefer had smiled, perhaps hoping she’d do just that. After a kiss that had left both of them breathless, they’d finally made it out of the apartment and had reluctantly parted ways on the sidewalk; Tissaia hailing the first cab in sight and Yennefer opting to walk home.

 

__

 

She spent the rest of the day on a cloud. Meetings weren’t half as tedious, and she even smiled at Stregobor who looked at her like she’d grown a horn on her forehead. Royce was in court today so she didn’t see him at all, but she knew he’d do well with his cases. Tissaia worked on her own cases and found herself extremely distracted which was no surprise at all but certainly a problem for her productivity. She had to resist the urge to send a text to Yennefer, and she berated herself for feeling like a schoolgirl with a crush. She was a strong, powerful woman. With a crush. Oh, god, she thought. This had moved so far beyond her control.

 

__

 

She waited until the evening when she was out of work and on her way home to text Yennefer. Tissaia decided to keep it simple and play it cool so she typed a few words about hoping Yennefer’s day had gone well. When she stepped into her apartment, she sighed. It smelled like them. She headed straight for the sliding door which she opened to ventilate the living-room, and then went to the bedroom to change into more comfortable clothes. She had a lot of cleaning up to do.

 

__

 

At half past ten the same night, Yennefer still hadn’t replied to her text. Tissaia wasn’t someone to worry easily, but something felt wrong and she hated the feeling. Still, even at her age she knew that double-texting was a sure way to come across as clingy and desperate, so she waited. An hour later and still, her phone remained silent. She didn’t like it one bit, but Yennefer was working now so it made sense she wouldn’t be near her phone. Tissaia closed the book she’d been reading, finished her glass of wine and decided to prepare for bed. She’d have to be up early the next morning to let the delivery people in for the couch she’d ordered online a couple of hours earlier. Yennefer had left a massive wet spot on her leather couch which had permanently tainted it, and Tissaia didn’t care to try and restore it when she could simply buy a new one. It was due for a change anyway.

 

She’d also changed the sheets and mattress protector earlier, and slipping into clean ones that smelled like fresh lavender was a delight. The day had been tiring, and she’d had so little sleep the previous night that, even with Yennefer on her mind, Tissaia fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.

Chapter Text

The first thing she did when she woke up was checking her phone, but then again, there was nothing from Yennefer. Tissaia frowned. Something didn’t feel right. She knew she hadn’t imagined their connection; it had been real and tangible. And Yennefer had asked her to be in touch, so it made no sense for her to boycott Tissaia now. She sent another text, asking if everything was okay, and vowed to not obsess over that now. She had to be in court today; no time to worry about her love life—if she could even call it that.

 

__

 

When there was still no reply from Yennefer that night, Tissaia tried to call her and was sent directly to voicemail. Now, she was worried. This was out of character. She paced and paced in her apartment, debating what to do. It had only been a day since they’d last seen each other. Showing up at the club would make her look clingy or distraught, and this was not a good look. If only she’d thought about asking Geralt for his number! She plopped down on her new sofa and sighed, refusing to look at her phone once more, knowing she’d feel that pang of disappointment and worry when she wouldn’t see Yennefer’s name on her screen. Tomorrow, she resolved. If she still had no news by this time tomorrow, she’d go to the Pynk. For now, Tissaia simply prayed nothing bad had happened to Yennefer.

 

__

 

She wasn’t someone to lose her calm easily. Years of being a lawyer had made sure she had a very tight hold on her self-control, and yet, Tissaia was a mess. Yennefer hadn’t called or texted back. She didn’t understand. Had she somehow done something wrong? Tissaia thought she at least deserved an explanation if that was the case, which was the reason why, when she left the office after eight that evening, she marched straight to the strip-club. The pink neon was shining bright and for the first time, Tissaia felt apprehensive but not in a good way at all as she’d grown accustomed to before entering the place.

 

Once inside, she understood why pretty much right away. She greeted the bouncer politely, but instead of opening the door for her as usual, he extended an arm, blocking her the way.

 

“Excuse me? Is there something wrong?”

“You’re not allowed in here. Please leave.”

“I—I don’t understand. What’s going on?”

 

She had a sudden sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. Somehow, over the course of two days, something had gone wrong.

 

“Is the owner here? I want to talk to her.”

 

Danny looked at her impassively, but since she made no way to move, he took out his cellphone, pressed a button and waited until someone picked up. His eyes never left Tissaia. Finally, he spoke into the phone:

 

“The woman you told me not to let in? She’s here. She wants to talk to you.”

 

It was like someone had slapped Tissaia. Cynthia was the one who’d given the order to keep her out? The last time she’d seen her, they’d laughed together. It made no sense. Unless, perhaps, she’d gotten wind of her… relationship with Yennefer and she was mad about it? But that wouldn’t explain Yennefer’s silence. Surely, they’d keep seeing each other even if Cynthia disapproved?

 

Danny hung up and opened the door, nodding towards it to let Tissaia know she had to step inside. Apprehensively, she did and startled a little when it slammed shut behind her. The atmosphere was the same as usual, with men sitting at the bar and on the sofas, watching three strippers…

 

Yennefer was there. Tissaia froze when she saw her, a leg around the pole and her head thrown back. Relief washed over Tissaia, knowing that Yennefer was okay. When the woman looked her way, her moves faltered and she missed a beat. Tissaia frowned. She’d expected something else, but it seemed like Yennefer was thrown to see her here.

 

Suddenly, the music came to an end, and the clients looked around, surprised. Murmurs rose in the club as Cynthia Calanthe finally appeared from behind a curtain.

 

“I’m afraid we’re having a technical problem, gentlemen. That should be resolved within the hour, but in the meantime, I’m going to regretfully ask you to leave.”

 

Tissaia was torn between looking at Yennefer—who’d stopped dancing and was waiting on her stage—and Cynthia who was clearly making up something to get rid of the people in her club. She glanced at the bar, saw Geralt standing there, drying off glasses with a towel and very much ignoring her. Tissaia felt like she’d stepped into a parallel universe by accident.

 

The clients, disgruntled, left without a word. She watched them go, walking around her and disappearing outside. When the last of them was out, Danny stepped inside and closed the door behind him.

 

“How dare you,” Cynthia said, redirecting Tissaia’s attention to her. “How dare you show your face in here?”

“I’m sorry?”

 

What the hell was happening?

 

“Did he send you? Is that some sort of twisted game,” Cynthia continued, taking a step closer to her, words dripping with venom.

 

Tissaia had no idea what she was talking about. She looked around for someone to clue her in, and noticed how everyone had gravitated closer to Cynthia, except for Geralt, stuck behind his counter.

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about? Surely there’s mistake—”

“It’s funny, you know, I never even suspected you. Not for a second. And then there’s this man calling the club. Regis, or something. Says a client of the Pynk gave him her card, a lawyer. But he lost the card and wanted to know if you still came around sometimes so we could ask you to call him.”

“Is—is this about Regis? I hardly know him. We only talked for—”

“He said he couldn’t remember your last name, but that you worked at Stregobor and Associates.”

“I do, yes.”

“So, you admit it?”

“I’m sorry, I’m admitting what? That I work there? Yes. I’m a senior partner at the firm.”

 

Cynthia’s already somber look became downright frightening. Tissaia gulped. This didn’t bode well. She chanced a look at Yennefer and noticed the young woman seemed to be in pain, if the grimace on her beautiful features was anything to go by.

 

“Did he send you? Is this his way to taunt me?”

 

Tissaia was at a loss for words. She truly had no idea what was going on, but it was bad.

 

“Who do you think sent me? I always came here of my own free will,” she protested.

“Emreis! That sick fuck! And to use another one of my girls to try and hurt me? Hurt us? I should shoot you.”

“Wow, what?! Now wait a minute,” Tissaia said, anger flaring. “I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. I don’t know an Emreis, and threaten to shoot me again and you’ll see what happens!”

“What,” Cynthia scoffed, stepping closer, towering over Tissaia who had to raise her chin to look into her eyes. “He’ll send his dogs to kill me, too?”

 

For a moment, silence took over as Calanthe stared at her scornfully and everyone else was waiting for Tissaia to speak. She simply didn’t know what to say.

 

“I have no clue what you’re talking about. There must be a misunderstanding.”

“Listen to me very carefully. I want you out of this club. Never come back. If you try to contact Yennefer, you’ll get a restraining order stapled to your forehead, do you understand?”

 

Did she understand the words? Yes. Did she understand why they were directed at her? Absolutely not. Tissaia turned her attention to Yennefer, who was surrounded by the other two strippers.

 

“Yennefer, please, I—”

 

She tried to take a step in her direction but Danny placed himself in front of Yennefer to shield her from Tissaia’s eyes. Cynthia didn’t move an inch.

 

“Triss,” she called. “Take Yennefer out of here.”

 

The tanned woman Tissaia had noticed several times dancing here took Yennefer by the elbow and they turned their backs on Tissaia, walking away. No, Tissaia thought, this couldn’t be happening. This couldn’t end like that.

 

“Yennefer,” she tried again.

 

She looked to her right, trying to get help from Geralt. Their eyes met and she could tell he was hesitant, but he quickly looked down, sheepish and not wanting to meddle in whatever this was.

 

“Get. Out,” Cynthia ordered her through gritted teeth.

 

Was there anything else she could say? Tissaia was racking her brain but without knowing what the hell Cynthia was talking about, it was impossible to defend herself.

 

“Whatever it is you think I did, you’re wrong.”

 

Cynthia’s face betrayed nothing but her anger, and Tissaia took one last look around at the club, knowing it would likely be the last time she’d ever see it. Geralt was still avoiding her gaze. Fine, then. With a nod, Tissaia turned on her heels and walked out, slamming the door behind her.

 

Chapter Text

Tissaia headed straight to her apartment, opting to walk instead of hailing a cab. She was furious, with Cynthia, with herself, with whoever the hell was at the root of this misunderstanding. She couldn’t get rid of the memory of Yennefer’s face, looking at her with so much hurt and disgust. Tissaia felt hot tears pricking her eyes and she wiped them off angrily. She’d hoped that walking would help her clear her head but no such luck. Once inside her apartment, she was feeling even worse. What now?

 

She kicked off her heels, threw her briefcase on the new couch and grabbed the laptop sitting on the coffee table. Quickly, she typed Cynthia Calanthe’s name and Stregobor’s in the search engine and hit Enter.

 

Immediately, a good dozen of articles popped up on her screen. She looked at the websites: all from online news websites. The headlines stunned Tissaia.

 

Murder charges against strip-club owner dropped.

 

Feverishly, she clicked on the first link and was met with a picture of her senior partner on the steps of the courthouse. The caption read “Viktor Stregobor exiting the courthouse after successfully defending client Emreis Duny from murder charges.”

 

“What the hell…”

 

She scrolled down to read the article and understood at once why Cynthia had reacted so strongly to learning she was with Stregobor and Associates.

 

Widow Cynthia Calanthe testified that Duny had threatened her husband, Eisteban Tuirseach, a week before he was brutally murdered in an alley, a block away from the club he owned with Calanthe.

 

“What… what the fuck,” Tissaia repeated, dumbfounded.

 

She thought back on Geralt’s words about how Cynthia had just married a man when he’d met her. How the two of them had put him in therapy. He’d looked somber after sharing that with her and she’d foolishly assumed it was because he felt embarrassed or sad. Now she understood. Cynthia’s husband had been killed and the charges against the prime suspect had been dropped, and Stregobor was his lawyer. But this had nothing to do with her, she thought. The article was dated from two years ago, and Tissaia at the time lived over fifty miles away and worked in another branch of the firm. Surely being associated with Stregobor wasn’t enough to write her off as an accomplice of this judicial nightmare?

 

Tissaia read four more articles about the trial, and noticed that none of them showed the suspect’s face. He hadn’t even shown up in court, she surmised. Stregobor had probably found a good excuse for him not to be there. Any other man would have been in jail awaiting trial, but not this Emreis Duny, which meant he had connections, powerful ones. Upset, she tossed the laptop to the side and got up to pace in front of the couch, a hand running through her hair as she tried to figure out how to sort this out.

 

Cynthia—and by extension, Yennefer and even Geralt—believed her to be on Duny’s payroll like Stregobor. She needed to prove to her that this was not true and that she’d had no idea about Eisteban being murdered. Oh, how sorry she felt! Tissaia knew there were pieces of the puzzle that she didn’t have and that it was preventing her from fully understanding the story here. But since she was banned from the Pynk, she couldn’t go back to ask for details. The articles only related so much, and revealed nothing about the arguments of the prosecution or of the defense.

 

Frustrated, she took her phone and sent a message to Yennefer, just in case it could get through, explaining that she had nothing to do with the case and hadn’t even known about it until now. She wished that she knew where Yennefer lived, but since they’d changed their plans and had met at her apartment, she couldn’t even show up there to talk because she had no address.

 

Tissaia had half a mind to show up in Stregobor’s office in the morning and demand an explanation, but she knew this wasn’t the way to go. Perhaps she could take a look at the files, since he kept some of his biggest cases on shelves in his office. Tomorrow, Viktor would be in court early so this was her chance to sneak in. The thought did little to comfort her. All she could think about was how, in a flash, she’d lost what little friends she’d made in the city—Royce notwithstanding—and the hurt in Yennefer’s eyes. That burned. Tissaia hated how it made her stomach churn. The idea that Yennefer believed her to be a traitor, to have used her in some perverted game to get to Cynthia’s head… Tissaia felt like screaming.

 

There was only one thing Tissaia could do tonight, the only thing in her power. Determined, she sat back down on the couch, grabbed her laptop and opened a new document.

 

__

 

Tissaia saw her opportunity to enter Stregobor’s office pretty much as soon as she walked onto her floor. He was gone already, and the secretary was on a coffee break. She prayed he hadn’t thought of locking his office and sighed in relief when she found it open. She stepped inside and closed the door behind her quietly. It took her about three minutes to find Duny’s file. Tissaia flicked through the pages of it, deciphering handwritten notes from Stregobor. Emreis had an alibi for the night of the murder, but there were contradictions in his story which was why he’d been considered a suspect. Tissaia knew there was nothing she could do about Duny, but she had a hunch that he hadn’t committed the murder himself anyway. Men like him never did. They hired someone to do the dirty work. She put the file back where it belonged and made a quick retreat to her own office, shutting the door and the blinds to prevent other people from looking through the glass windows.

 

From her briefcase, she took out an envelope on which she’d written Stregobor’s name. Technically, a resignation letter wasn’t really necessary since she was a senior partner, but she wanted to make this clear, and a letter made it feel more official. By this time, in a fortnight, she’d be gone from this firm. Tissaia wanted to wait one more day before giving it to Viktor. She needed to see Royce, to tell him she’d be leaving sooner than she had planned. There was simply no way she could work with someone who defended murderers. Tissaia could admit she’d defended scum before, it was almost inevitable as a defense lawyer. However she’d always avoided two types of clients: rapists and murderers. Knowing that Viktor could defend them, could deprive victims of justice, made her blood boil. She hated him.

 

Between her four meetings of the day, Tissaia occupied her time by looking at office spaces in the neighboring cities. She’d be loath to move out so soon, but there was nothing here for her anymore. She couldn’t open a law firm in the same city as Stregobor and Associates, and the few others that existed. There would be too much competition and she didn’t care for it. She wanted away from all of them. Moving was the best option. Briefly, she thought of Yennefer, of what could have been with her, maybe. But it wouldn’t do her any good to dwell on it. There was nothing she could offer to appease Cynthia’s anger and grief, and therefore that meant forgetting about Yennefer and Geralt and the Pynk. They didn’t want to see her anymore, and while it hurt, she would get over it. Eventually.

 

__

 

Stregobor argued with her for close to thirty minutes. He wanted to know why she’d quit a senior position at a prestigious firm to start from scratch, and Tissaia had to resist hurling insults at him. She lied, telling him it felt like the right time in her career to strike out on her own. He didn’t wish her good luck, no. Instead, he warned her not to poach clients from the firm and she scoffed. If the clients wanted to follow her to her own firm, she wouldn’t dissuade them from doing so. Viktor had a menacing look on his face, and Tissaia wondered briefly if he’d try to sabotage her. She wouldn’t put it past him.

 

“You have my two weeks’ notice,” she reminded him, halfway through the door. “I’ll be packed before then.”

 

He watched her go, stroking his beard. There was nothing that he could have said to change her mind, but Tissaia was still a bit angry that he didn’t even try.

 

__

 

The week went by slowly, with Tissaia finding her mind drifting back to that one night she’d spent in Yennefer’s arms. Fighting against the memories was pointless. They were too vivid and she remembered all too well the scent of her hair, the taste of her skin, the sounds she would make when Tissaia touched her just right. On the third night after the whole debacle at the club, Tissaia cried. It was too much in too little time and she hadn’t processed it all yet. Her heart ached, her body yearned for Yennefer and there was nothing to do but to endure the pain and hope that it would subside quickly. Tears were a relief, somewhat. It felt cathartic, to be able to mourn that relationship that never was one to begin with. Had they been on their way there? Perhaps. Probably. The thought filled her with bitterness. She’d known heartbreak before, but this felt different. There wasn’t a proper relationship to mourn, and no proper ending to whatever they’d had. It had been ripped from her brutally and she didn’t know how to cope. Having a talk with Yennefer appeared to be the only way to Tissaia, to find the closure she needed. After seven days, she resolved to try and find Yennefer at the Pynk.

Chapter Text

Getting in through the front door would never be possible, she figured. So, canvassing the alleys around the club, Tissaia found the back entrance. It was closed, of course, and she made sure to stay out of sight of the lone camera above the door. The trashcans were here. Surely someone would come out at some point to throw away heavy plastic bags. She hoped for Geralt.

 

It was getting dark outside, and she’d already been waiting for close to an hour, but Tissaia didn’t want to give up just yet. Fidgeting with her phone in her pocket, she leaned against the brick wall behind her and closed her eyes, sending a silent prayer for someone to come out soon before she lost her patience and caused a scene with Danny at the entrance.

 

Another fifteen minutes went by when, finally, the door flung open to reveal Geralt and two heavy-looking bags. She straightened up and cleared her throat to catch his attention. Geralt startled and almost dropped one of the bags as he turned on his heels.

 

“Jesus, what the… Tissaia?”

 

He threw the bags into the recycle bin on his left and looked around, as if to make sure they were alone, before taking a step closer.

 

“You shouldn’t be here,” he said, on his guard.

“I had to talk to you. I… Look, I didn’t know about Cynthia’s husband. And I’m so sorry that this happened, to all of you. I just want you to know I was not a part of Duny’s defense team. I didn’t work on that case, I’d never even heard of it before Cynthia told me. Please, Geralt, you have to believe me.”

 

He kept his eyes on her, maybe trying to figure out if she was being sincere or not, and Tissaia implored him silently to believe her. She wouldn’t beg, she had her dignity after all. But she still hoped he’d see the truth in her eyes. After a few seconds, he looked away, then at his feet.

 

“It doesn’t matter, in the end. You work with the firm. You have blood money in your accounts. We don’t want you here.”

 

Each of his words cut through her like a knife. He was impassive, cold, detached, yet unable to look her in the eye. She stepped forward.

 

“I’m leaving the firm. I resigned from my position. I’ll be gone by next week. Before I leave, I’d like one last favor.”

 

He waited, and finally looked up when he realized she wouldn’t speak until he met her eyes.

 

“What?”

“I want to talk to Yennefer.”

“No,” came the immediate response.

“I need her to know—”

“I can’t help you.”

“You can! Just… call her out here. One minute, that’s all I need.”

 

She could see that he was torn between his loyalty to Cynthia and his affection for her. Tissaia didn’t dare speak any further, waiting for him to make up his mind. Geralt seemed to hesitate, struggling internally with what to do next.

 

“Fuck,” he cursed under his breath. Then: “Wait here. One minute.”

“Thank you,” she replied immediately as her heart began to race.

 

Geralt disappeared back inside, slamming the door behind him, and Tissaia started to doubt he’d perhaps changed his mind when, after ten long minutes, the metallic door opened again. Yennefer stood frozen with a hand on the doorway, unsure of whether she should step out or not. Tissaia, arms crossed, waited for her to decide. Yennefer glanced over her shoulder and made her choice. She let go of the door and exited the club. She was wearing a long jacket and her usual black heels. Her face was painted with glitter, and Tissaia’s insides clenched at the sight of her. She’d missed her so much.

 

“Hi,” she managed to say.

“I don’t have long. What do you want?”

 

Her tone was icy, guarded, wary. Tissaia wished there was something she could do to bring it back to its usual warmth.

 

“I—”

 

What was it that she’d wanted to say? Seeing Yennefer like that had her brain scrambling to find the right words.

 

“I wanted to say goodbye. I’m leaving, next week. Starting my own firm. You see, I didn’t know about Emreis Duny, or that Stregobor and Associates counted murderers among their clients. That’s not something I want to take part in.”

 

Yennefer’s chin rose defiantly and Tissaia thought she saw a flicker of uncertainty in her eyes.

 

“So you’re running away?”

“I’m… I don’t see it like that. There’s no place for a new law firm in this city. If I want it to thrive, I need to go.”

 

She stepped forward, boldly, no longer able to resist being close to Yennefer, who uncrossed her arms and stood tall before her.

 

“I wasn’t playing with you, Yennefer,” Tissaia told her, hoping her voice conveyed the force of the truth. “I fell hard and fast for you and I don’t want you to ever think I was manipulating you.”

 

If Yennefer could be forward in her attitudes, Tissaia could do that with words. Yennefer looked away and her mouth opened slightly to take in a shaky breath. She had nothing to say to that, and Tissaia didn’t expect her to.

 

“I’m sorry,” she continued, “for the justice system failing you, and Cynthia. I hope that the police catch the murderer one day.”

 

Yennefer’s eyes focused on her once more, curious.

 

“What do you mean? We already know who the killer is.”

 

Tissaia shook her head.

 

“I looked over the file. A man like Duny certainly had someone hired to do… to kill Eisteban. They just need to find out who, and perhaps the prosecution can convince them to testify against Duny for a reduced sentence.”

“You think he hired a hitman?”

 

Tissaia shrugged.

 

“It wouldn’t be surprising. From what I read on the man; he’s involved in more than one shady activity. He has connections, and money. Surely a hitman wouldn’t be too difficult to find.”

 

They stood in silence; Yennefer mulling over her words, and Tissaia drinking her in, knowing this could be the last time she ever saw her. Blue-grey eyes met hers, and for a moment, Yennefer’s features softened and she looked like the carefree woman Tissaia had known until recently. She wanted to trace the outline of her jaw with her fingertips, to commit it to memory, but she knew Yennefer wouldn’t allow her touch. Yennefer’s gaze dropped to her lips for a split second, and Tissaia had to dig her nails in the palms of her hands to keep from pulling her in for one last kiss. Then, Yennefer seemed to remember herself and she stepped back, clearing her throat and breaking eye contact.

 

“I’ll talk to Cynthia about it. She has connections, too.”

 

Her tone was noticeably softer, but Tissaia was quick to quell any hope she felt rising within her. This meant nothing.

 

“Be careful,” Tissaia advised. “Revenge might feel good but it comes with a price, always.”

 

With that said, Tissaia took a deep breath and steeled herself. She knew their time was up, and that this was goodbye. There were so many things that she wanted to say. I’ll miss you. I wish things were different. I hope you’ll understand one day that I didn’t have anything to do with Emreis. The words died in her throat. Yennefer probably didn’t want to hear them. Hell, she couldn’t even bring herself to look at Tissaia.

 

“Goodbye, Yennefer,” Tissaia finally managed to say.

 

It would be too painful to wait around for Yennefer to reply, so immediately after bidding her farewell, Tissaia took a step back, then another, and fully spun on her heels, walking away from the one person who’d made her feel so much in so little time. She didn’t hear the metallic door open and close, meaning that Yennefer was still standing outside. Despite the urge to check, Tissaia kept walking until she turned the corner and disappeared into the night.